Tag Archives: October

October Walks and a Wandering Mind

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This is the best time of the year for long walks, when it’s sunny but not too hot, the leaves crunch under your feet and the ones that haven’t yet fallen are brilliant colours against a clear blue sky. And then you go inside the mall and except for the Halloween and Christmas stuff everywhere, it could be any day of the year. I think when the snow flies I will continue my walks up and down the mall halls. I think I will take more pictures. I think entirely too much sometimes. My mind goes off on bizarre tangents making me think “scatter brained” is too vague a term.

Maybe it’s all the fall decorations in the neighborhood that reminded me of how Halloween has changed over the years. There used to be more trickery than treating, with pranks verging on vandalism. Every year our mailbox would go missing, car windows would get soaped, anything left out in your yard would be upended or put in some obscure and annoying place.

The “old-enough-to-be-everybody’s-grandparents” couple who lived on the farm across from our one room country school were the targets of much trickery speculation. I don’t remember if anyone ever did anything to them or their yard but we always made elaborate plans. The woman’s name was Beulah, poor thing, and there was a lot of talk about doing something crazy with the bloomers she had hanging on her clothes line. I suppose it turned out that bloomers blowing in the breeze were a funny enough thing all on their own without any help from us.  Plus Beulah gave everyone their choice of one luscious expensive chocolate in its little brown cupcake paper wrapper when you went trick or treating at her house. Best not to jeopardize a good thing.

I believe they were a childless couple, so why they had a little boy staying with them one summer isn’t clear. Maybe he was a great-nephew. Perhaps he was bored and they had no clue how to entertain him and since I happened to be the same age that’s why my mother volunteered me as a playmate for him for a day. I expect I wasn’t given any choice in the matter and was simply dropped off to fend for myself. I don’t remember the boys name or where he came from, but I do remember that he never stopped talking. That was fine with me, I’ve always been a great listener.

I remember eating lunch under Beulah’s watchful eye and then feeling ill. Maybe it was food I wasn’t used to, or maybe it was just nerves. Motor-mouth wonder-boy knew exactly what to do. Acid indigestion, he proclaimed. He marched me into the bathroom and rummaged through the medicine chest for the Eno. I don’t know what else was in there, because my attention was focused on a little blue mini bathtub. It was half the size of ours and I had never seen such a ridiculous thing before in a bathroom.  It didn’t look big enough for a child to stretch his legs out in, and I tried to imagine short stocky Beulah trying to squeeze herself in to it. There would hardly be room for water!

The boy ripped open a little packet of crystalline powder and poured it into half a glass of water, then thrust it at me and told me to drink it fast before it stopped fizzing. The bubbles went up my nose and it tasted like really bad pop. I drank it down and impressed my new friend with a loud belch. He told me it would make me feel better right away and that he drank it all the time. And he was right. It was like magic. The indigestion disappeared and it was my turn to be impressed. I could hardly wait to go home and tell my mother about this magical elixir called Eno.

Then he taught me the Eno song. I looked for it on YouTube today but I guess it’s older than dirt as far as tv commercials go and I couldn’t find it.   Nevertheless it’s still in my head all these years later.

E-N-O….ENO!
When you’re feeling low, ENO!
It’s mild and gentle and good good tasting,
E-N-O!

We sang it all afternoon. I guess he wasn’t that hard to entertain after all. Best play date ever, long before they were called anything like that.

What a strange memory to have retained, complete with little blue bathtub, and nothing at all to do with Halloween, which started this trip down memory lane in the first place. The moral of this story: beware of being overly impressed by strange men giving you weird things to drink. Or, it’s easier than you might think to write a commercial jingle that will stick with someone for over fifty years.

If you go for a long October walk and let your mind wander aimlessly, you just might come home and waste an hour of your life watching old tv commercials from the 1950’s on YouTube.  You have been warned.

Art du Jour 79

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Twenty days of blog neglect must mean I have at least half that many lame excuses for it, so yes, that’s what comes next.

But first, this is a drawing requested by my 14-year-old grandson of some random YouTube guy.  Two of my granddaughters knew right away who he was supposed to be and even told me his name.  However, as talented at portraiture as this grandma might be, remembering names is not her strong point.  So call him whatever you want.  I don’t think his teeth are that weird in real life.

Here’s what’s going on in my life, in random order of importance

  1.  After many scaredy cat delaying tactics I finally got up the nerve to sit down and figure out how to take a blood sugar reading.  The first few stabs at it were incredibly frustrating but now I’m poking my finger tips with sharp things three times a day like a pro.  So come on, how hard was that?  You think you can’t do something and then you find out you’re not such a wimp after all.
  2. Results of my mammogram were normal.  Can you imagine being the person who spends her day flopping boobs on to glass plates and squishing them in different directions?  Don’t ever complain about your job again.
  3. Bone density test was also normal.  So now I feel I can blame a large percentage of my weight problem on seriously dense bones.  Those things are heavy, man.
  4. The radiologist who looked at my abdominal ultrasound noticed some sort of mass on or above my uterus and has advised a pelvic ultrasound to investigate further.  This of course scares the hell out of me, but what can you do except make the appointment and show up for it, right?
  5. I spent a day at the Hip and Knee clinic with W learning all about his upcoming hip replacement surgery, scheduled for November 3rd.  He will be in hospital for three or four days, and unable to drive for six weeks.  So basically, totally at my mercy.
  6. The hand rail for our basement steps has been missing since we removed it when we moved in to this house, so we could get furniture down the stairs more easily.  For over thirty years I have been suggesting that we should put that thing back up before one of us falls head first into the rec room.  A cute little nurse at the clinic insisted that there must be a hand rail or W would have to refrain from using the stairs after his surgery.  The tv is down there.  The handrail is now up.
  7. Next week I go to the Multidisciplinary Care Clinic in the Primary Care Network building to learn how to cope on a day-to-day basis with my medical condition.  Now we just have to decide what exactly my medical condition is.
  8. If you know me even slightly you will know how much I dislike schedules and regimes and rules and itineraries.  I prefer to be an undisciplined brat.  However, I am now keeping a log of my blood sugar readings, blood pressure when I remember to take it, and every single thing I eat and drink every day.  I hope I am burning a lot of calories writing all this shit down.  This record is a requirement for my appointment.  They even make you write it all down in pen, I suppose in case you are tempted to make untruthful revisions.  As if I would do that.  With my erasable ink pen….
  9. Almost every day I go for a walk.  Some days I feel like I could go forever, and other days just putting my socks and running shoes on wears me out.  I find having a purpose and a destination works better than wandering aimlessly about the neighborhood.  The mall is my favourite destination.  Buying random things like a ridiculously long shoe horn from the dollar store for W because he won’t be able to bend over after surgery seemed like an admirable purpose.  I’m sure I can think up many more like that one.
  10. My middle granddaughter is always looking for paper to draw on, so when I was visiting them I gave her my big partly used white paper sketch book.  Within minutes she had drawn a head with a beautiful face and glorious blue hair.  It’s possible she’s filled the entire book by now.  Anyway, I need a new one and can’t possibly do any proper sketching until I get one.  What my excuse is for neglecting all my other art is a mystery.

And that’s it!  A not so brief summary of my October so far.  We had Thanksgiving dinner in there somewhere.  It caused my highest blood sugar reading to date.  I blame the sweet potatoes.  Better them than me.

Art du Jour 78

Sketch of a little dog I never met.
Sketch of a little dog I never met.

My life lately has been one big series of breaks. I’m running out of reasons (excuses) to take them. Maybe I’m just resting up for non stop November blogging from hell. (That’s not exactly what it’s called, but close.)

A couple of weeks ago I flew/drove/crossed a river by boat to spend several days on our little island in gorgeous fall weather. My sister and brother-in-law drove from the other direction and all of us helped W close up camp for the winter. It’s a two-day drive for both of us to get home. And then straight away I drove 5 hours north to spend some time with 4 of my grandchildren. Not sure how useful I’m being, but I’m here for a couple more days. Number one grandson turns 14 tomorrow.

W is busy at home preparing himself with appointments and paperwork for his hip replacement surgery. We are hoping it will be scheduled for early next month if not sooner. I will be his chief post surgery care giver. How scary is that? Not for me, for him. I’ve got my own scary stuff going on with two ultrasounds and a mammogram booked for next Friday. October is health month at our house. Flu shots are coming up too.

For the next three months I’m on a diabetic medication because blood work revealed that my blood sugar levels are all out of whack. I hardly ever eat sugary things, but I guess sitting on my retired ass for a year has messed up my metabolism or something. There’s always something. So yeah. Working on that.

So that’s my missing-in-action excuse list for now. The sketch is from a photo. I will get back to working in my “art studio” soon, and back to reading your blogs. I miss those things.

I have all the paraphernalia at home to check my blood sugar levels.  It involves sharp things and a bio-hazardous waste receptacle, so when I work up the nerve to start using all that, I will share the experience with you.  Self inflicted pain coming up.  Woohoo.

Have an awesome October weekend!

 

Art du Jour 6

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All that cutting and pasting I did as a kid finally makes sense.  This took mad skills.

Yeah, I’m kidding, but I like this so much I might actually hang it on a wall somewhere.

In other news, our hide-a-bed has gone to a new home.  Young guys with no furniture graciously accept hand outs and will happily haul things away for free.  Our garage is spacious again.  W went to a mandatory nutrition class yesterday so that he can be in top form health-wise for hip surgery in four or five months.  We had a lively discussion about nutritionists and Canada’s Food Guide and coconut oil.  I won every single argument.  And then I ate a fudge bar from the freezer to emphasize my point.  I think my point was moderation, but come on, it was last night, who can remember all the shit that gets said.

While he was off hearing from someone else that he should eat a lot more green vegetables, I did the grocery shopping.  Don’t you just hate it when a store layout is planned by people who have never actually shopped?  Lightbulbs should be closer to the toilet paper.  That was one of my brilliant conclusions and the other was that I hate shopping.

To reward myself for voluntarily ruining part of my afternoon for a good cause, I went to Michael’s on the way home and bought a new sketch book and some oil pastels, proving that I don’t hate ALL shopping after all.

Have a safe and happy Halloween and I’ll see you in November (a month in which I will be writing something quite possibly similar to this every single day!)  How’s that for scary?

Hello First Monday in October

Ha! Just showing you I figured out what day it is.

october 005
Watercolor inspired by a Pinterest pin, so not exactly original. Okay, not original at all, but it is my painting and my photo. Let’s just call it “bird with killer eyelashes” and file it under P for practice.

This morning I looked at my calendar, located Monday, and marvelled that it was already the 8th of October.  Except that it’s not.  Time stands still when you neglect to flip your calendar.  Yep, STILL stuck on September.

So that’s been rectified.  Yay me.  We’ve had guests this past week, including this lovely lady.  october 004She’s not that spooky in real life.

On the weekend we removed a very old hide-a-bed from our spare room and replaced it with a queen Ikea bed.  It was either that or risk inflicting back problems and insomnia on everyone concerned.  I suppose we could have opted for something more expensive and comfortable (although even a straw mattress on the floor would probably have been an improvement) but this way no one will be tempted to over stay their welcome, right?   Come to think of it, my cooking might have that problem covered already.

Also this morning, on the 6th, not the 8th, I donned my  long neglected running shoes (which I had to rummage around in the closet to find) and went for a walk.  No one is more surprised by this than me.  It’s a gorgeous fall day!  Sunny and windy and warm.

october 019october 008I saw a lot of trees.  But not one of those painted birds.  A chickadee flew right past my head into a spruce tree and refused to come out and strike a pose for me.  Nevertheless,  the wind and the sun and the fresh air and sunshine blew the cobwebs out of my blogging brain and this mish-mash of a post is the result.

It includes everything but the kitchen sink and a recipe.  I’ll fix the recipe part of that by giving you a list of smoothie ingredients:

  • blueberries
  • fennel
  • cucumber
  • spinach
  • kale
  • apple
  • lemon
  • banana
  • avocado
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • coconut water

Yes, I drank that, and yes, I am still alive.  It tasted great, even with the cucumber, which normally I find remarkably yech and try to avoid,  but mixed up with all the other stuff it’s barely discernible.  The only good cucumber is a pickled one.  (Pickles in a smoothie??  Huh.  Maybe not.)

And on that note, adieu for today.  Tomorrow I might be more focused, but I’m not making any promises.

october 016
I call this “Dead Grass and New Growth in the Autumn Sunshine Along a White Picket Fence”. Anything can be art as long as you give it a long enough name.

 

Hello November

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November appears to be crazy blogging month around here.  Many insane people are committed to posting something every day for the next 30 days, and even crazier people are holding themselves to a loony tunes word count goal.

For awhile this morning I considered joining them, but have since come to my senses.  I’m afraid I know myself too well, and when something sounds like work to me, I avoid it like the plague.  You might notice how I just proved my point by taking all day to say anything at all.  I like to write every day, but no promises.  Or threats.  Or obligations, even if they are self-inflicted.  Or maybe especially if they’re that.

I would love it if our November here looked like the above picture, but we’re supposed to get about 20 cm of snow this weekend, so everything except the landscape will be that lovely shade of blue. Time to dig out the scarves and mittens I guess.

IMG_0220Found this picture of myself on Facebook, waiting for some kind of ambition or motivation to knock me off the couch.  So far neither have materialized to disturb my state of bliss.

There was coffee to drink, I-pad games to play, books to read, and a spouse to annoy by not cleaning up my mess in the kitchen or folding my own laundry. Even though it’s November I’m not blue yet, and it’s been a marvelous day.

Ease My Troubles, That’s What You Do

Have I told Van Morrison lately that I love him?  This has been going on since Brown Eyed Girl way back in 1967.

Born to Sing, No Plan B is his latest album.  It’s awesome.

(No surprise, he’s been awesome forever.)

I tried to pick out my absolute favourite of all time Van Morrison song but it’s impossible, so I finally settled on two to share.

Happy Sunday everybody.

Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I’m trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low
And all the nights magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush.
Can I just have one a more moondance with you, my love
Can I just make some more romance with a-you, my love
Well, I wanna make love to you tonight
I can’t wait ’til the morning has come
And I know now the time is just right
And straight into my arms you will run
And when you come my heart will be waiting
To make sure that you’re never alone
There and then all my dreams will come true, dear
There and then I will make you my own
And every time I touch you, you just tremble inside
And I know how much you want me that you can’t hide

Can I just have one a more moondance with you, my love
Can I just make some more romance with a-you, my love

We were born before the wind
Also younger than the sun
Ere the bonnie boat was won as we sailed into the
mystic
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic

And when that fog horn blows I will be coming home
And when that fog horn blows I want to hear it
I don’t have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
Then magnificently we will float into the mystic
And when that fog horn blows you know I will be coming
home
And when that fog horn whistle blows I got to hear it I don’t have to fear it
I want to rock your gypsy soul
Just like way back in the days of old
And together we will float into the mystic.

October

Autumn Leaves
Autumn Leaves (Photo credit: oddsock)

Awk! October,

Slaps us sober,

Summer must lie down and die.

His fallen leaves her golden shroud

All things green are disallowed

With harsh cold breath he howls good-bye.

Then he begins his brilliant reign

Red and orange fire his domain

Bright harvest moon

The dark too soon

We gather up, we stay inside.

Watch him weaken growing older

Winter perched upon his shoulder

Gaunt and cold and hollow eyed.