My random thoughts and reactions to my everyday life. The voices like a forum.
|I do not know quite what happened or when , but my hubby and I now qualify for seniors' discounts at some venues. This creates a quandary; in order to save money, but not face, we have to admit to our age. HMMMM..... We definitely do not consider ourselves to be old. In this day and age ,when people as a whole are living longer and healthier lives why are 'young seniors', those in their fifties, like moi, considered 'old'?? It's so true that age is just a perception! "Maturity" is very objective/subjective, and I object! Whew, a few years have skittered by since I composed this biography block. Those "fifties" are in the rear view mirror and they are distant, fond memories. Oh, I do not plan to stop writing any time soon.|
|PROMPT September 23rd
What life lessons do you believe everyone can benefit from learning?
The journey of life certainly has its pitfalls. All of us I dare say blunder along most of the time in a perpetual loop of learning. Sometimes we hang on tight as we hurtle at g-force down a rollercoaster. Other times we sway with vertigo as if trapped in the spin cycle of a washer. Occasionally we hesitate on the ledge of a high rise's roof. At times we are paralyzed and pulled bit by agonizing bit into a mud hole. Eureka moments strike as if dazzling bolts of lightning. Deja vu haunts and chastises us. These are my words of wisdom / experience or whatever. Make of them what you will. Some I still struggle with. Some of them marked me for life. Lesson #1 : Since my youngest grand giggle at two and a half is at an impressionable stage in her development I feel I must pass on this hard-won truth. I know she'll thank me for it later. Never, ever under any circumstances stand , or walk behind an occupied moving swing. She may be a bit too young to appreciate the laws of physics, but I now know that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Physical stature is of no consequence. That arcing swing is a great equalizer. Lesson #2 : Always, always tie your shoe laces. It is most unfortunate when a dangling lace entangles in a bike's chain. Some might say disastrous. Loose flopping laces are attracted to moving machinery like an escalator. They lie in wait to trip the unsuspecting climber while scaling, or descending stair cases. They prove irresistible to slobbering, chewing dogs. I might even suggest a double, or triple knot to rein in errant laces. Lesson #3:Nowhere is it etched in stone that you must accept a double dare. The same applies to a triple-dog-dare. The world will not spin off its axis if you refuse. A giant yawning hole will not open up and swallow you whole. You may just save yourself a trip to the emergency room and preserve vital body parts. Your future aging person may thank you. Lesson #4:Listen to that little nagging voice warning you something is probably not a good idea. Trust that gut feeling, that intuition. Believe it or not, your mother had the right idea when she advised you not to jump off a bridge because everyone was doing it. There's a difference between risk and insanity, thrill and achievement. Look and consider before you leap. What's a few more minutes in the scheme of things? Lesson #5:If someone yells, "Watch this!", pay attention. Witnesses are always needed to verify a feat, or provide first aid, or dial 911. Lesson #6: Do not, I repeat do not stick your tongue out at your brother, the brother who chased you through the yard threatening to kill you, after you scoot into the kitchen, slam and lock the door, and taunt him supposedly trapped outside. Why assume you are safe and he is helpless to retaliate? You are asking for it as in a consequence, a bit of justice. Oh, and a glass window in a door is no match for that brother's fury, or his fist. Siblings may well be surprising. Lesson #7: Never ever press a big red button centered amongst the words DO NOT TOUCH. Yes, I know it is tempting, but resist that curiosity. Ear-splitting sirens will screech. Bright lights will strobe and flash. Shouting perspiring people will appear and mingle nearby. Oh, and the escalator will groan to a sudden stop. Lesson #8: Have you not heard of Murphy's Law? This aggravating maxim applies most strongly to mothers of young children. If anything can go wrong, it will. Children are nothing if not unpredictable. The moment you make that decision to not pack, or carry something with you you will need it. Convincing yourself that a ten-minute drive across town does not warrant bringing a fresh diaper and hundreds of cleaning wipes is the exact moment your baby experiences explosive diarrhea. Daring to venture out to the park sans a complete first aid kit in tow is the time your toddler tumbles, spies a tiny drop of bright red blood on their exposed knee cap, and screams that he wants a bandage. He will be inconsolable without that magic wound cover. Mothers be prepared.
|PROMPT September 22nd
Do you have a 'Bucket List'? IF so, what's on it? If not, tell us what you would add to it when you start one.
Do I have a before-I-kick-the-bucket list? Hmm... before I buy the farm what do I most wish to do? Perhaps I'd like to purchase a rural property, an actual farm? I could foster a few feathered and furry friends. Maybe I'd plant a humongous garden. Nah, why would I do that? I'd be creating too much responsibility and work, right? First of all I'd have more mouths to feed and critters to clean up after. It'd be like living with creatures children again , dependents who are vulnerable and needy. Any crops I encouraged to flourish would probably feed the local wildlife any way and weeding can be back-breaking work. I'm not growing any younger and I'd really like to enjoy myself before my inevitable end. Nope, at the moment I do not have a bucket list. At least, I don't believe I have one. I've never prefaced any plans with "before I die I want to have done this." My possibilities are "maybe one day" musings. If they happen they happen, if they don't it won't be the end of the world which as I now ponder it would be an actual factual event. Someday I will cease to exist and I will be finished permanently. There will be no more what ifs, or one days. Projects will be abandoned. Trips will be cancelled. Things left unsaid. Old wounds never healed. Relationships severed. Regret, I am anticipating regret. This could be a bucket list worthy goal. I'd like to die regret-free. I don't want to leave unfinished business as my legacy. There will not be secrets, or mysteries clouding my history. I will not scatter unequivocal, ambiguous feelings, messages, or opinions. Okay, okay, permit me one indulgence. I'd be beyond thrilled to visit and explore Great Britain. By plane, train, automobile, riverboat, and caravan I'd love a cross-isle trek. Imagine the new memories I could collect in my brimming bucket!
|PROMPT September 21st
Tell us about any vegetable or fruit that you absolutely hate. Then think of ways to cook those ingredients that would encourage you to try them. Truthfully I can not brag profess that I like to partake of all veggies 'cause there's one, just one, that prevents that boastful claim. I shall type it out, spit it out here, but I find this green-skinned abomination to be distasteful. Cucumber. Blech! Gag! Wretch! As a five-year old I'd rant, "Cukes make me puke!" Both the terrible stench and the regrettable flavour repel me. And the overpowering scent of this awful vegetable is glorified in a plethora of products; candles, skin care lotions, soaps, shampoos, and more. Yuck! Why has celery been overlooked in this regard? Now that is a smell and taste I find delicious. Not once have I found a celery-scented candle. Hmmm... Did you know people make cucumber sandwiches? I'd prefer a brussels sprout sammie, or a rutabaga sandwich. ( Isn't rutabaga a fun-sounding word? Exotic maybe?)Salads are ruined, defiled by cucumbers. Thank goodness for the good ol' BLT. Someone had the sense not to mar it with a cuke. Oh, and does anyone dare to blemish a pizza with a cucumber? There are plenty of actual tasty veggies for that honour. Onions, mushrooms, peppers, now those are venerable veggies. Now how in the wide world could a cucumber be transformed into something edible? Someone solved that problem eons ago. Just add dill seasoning and perhaps a soupcon, ( french word for tiny bit, a smattering), of garlic. The wonderful result is commonly known as a dill pickle, ( a cornichon for the francaise). Now, that is how I will consume a cucumber. Wait, hold up, I just Googled cucumber and guess what it's a fruit. Ah, sorta like the tomato debate. Hey, that means I do like all veggies and this explains a great deal. I'm not much of a fruit fancier, never have been. My favourite fruit is the tomato and my least favourite, or downright detestable are melons. Considering methods to disguise any food my mind automatically reverts to baking. With the magical powers of sugar, flour, eggs, butter and an army of spices I've converted many a veggie or a fruit into drool-worthy concoctions. Carrots, zucchinis, rhubarb, pumpkins, apples, bananas, peaches, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, and even potatoes may be altered to become the calorie carriers they were intended to be. Marie Antoinette was a visionary. "Let them eat cake." And in her defense, she never suggested anyone eat a cucumber, or a cucumber disguised as a dill pickle.
|PROMPT September 20th
No one knows you can't afford food. You do not want your co-workers or neighbors to know. How do you manage? Do you go to a local food bank? Maybe visit a good friend(s) at the right time (Dinner time)? Do you somehow scrounge for leftover or unwanted food? So, I'm destitute? For some reason I cannot afford to buy food? I'm in danger of going hungry? What's happened? Why if this is true am I wasting time asking questions and not seeking the source of my next meal? I suppose I need to scavenge, but this is not the greatest time of year to realize I did not plant a garden. Already the frost has returned. Most veggie plots have likely been emptied and their goodies harvested. Perhaps I could offer to help an elderly farmer / gardener tidy up their holding in exchange for a few of the leftovers. I'd gratefully accept the wizened carrots, the spotted potatoes, the wrinkled onions, the teeny tiny turnips and the pale unpopular parsnips. Surely there must be some root veggies left to uncover. I might meander into a local orchard and volunteer to pick apples as trade for a personal basket. They keep fresh for a while. There'd be one huge benefit to eating raw. None of the nutrients would be cooked / leached from my 'pay.' I assume I'd have no baking ingredients to whip up a mouth-watering pie, or an apple crisp. Hmm, I believe it's pumpkin season at the moment and while I do enjoy its flavour I've never eaten one uncooked before. I'm salivating over memories of warm pumpkin pie. If I could roll one home, I'd add it to the veggies to create a vegan stew. If I really needed sustenance, I could approach a market vendor at end of day and ask for the remaining wares as feed for my fictional bunny. Nobody wants to see a pet starve. My sister once approached a grocer and asked for the spoiled lettuce and such for her living, breathing bunny. I'm hiding my need, right? As I understand it anyone is supposed to be able to access a foodbank without any questions. We also wear masks when inside a building, or in the company of others, so my identity could remain secret. I really am not a picky eater and I'd be most grateful for anything donated to my well-being. Would the number of people waiting in line surprise me? I could wrangle an invitation to supper at my sister's. We usually get lost in our chinwags and the food is secondary. If I'm lucky enough to be served one of her homemade soups, I'll be offered a mason jar full to take home with me. The brother-in-law doesn't like soups and Sherry cooks enough for an army. I've been invited to my niece's wedding. I'll chow down with the other guests at the reception. Hey, might I crash other weddings in search of a meal? With these plans / alternatives I'm not quite ready to try dumpster diving. The regular scroungers may not be too willing to share their spoils. They're a tough crew and I do not relish having my eyes scratched out. Bears and raccoons can be such animals.
|PROMPT September 19th
Look at the photos below. Choose any three of them and write a short story (<500 words) to tie them together. (These are photos from my travels around the world. Read the photo description to learn more about it)
Emily tossed and turned. With a sigh she punched her pillow for what seemed like the gazillionth time. She'd tried counting sheep, but they were too noisy. Steadying her breathing, in and out, in and out Em remembered her relaxation techniques. She willed her taut muscles to relax. She made a concerted effort to force any worries from her brain. She envisioned a broom sweeping them out of sight. She gave her thoughts free will to wander wherever they wished. With a smile, Emily saw herself climb aboard an odd-looking motorized vehicle. It resembled a red tricycle with a canopy and a back seat. Over a rutted street she bounced and jostled while a grinning man chattered to her in a garbled rush.Vehicles rushed by her and strange new smells tickled her nose. So, this is a Tuk-Tuk she mused. Why weren't these rides available where she lived? Before she could consider this further Emily heard a whoosh and felt herself lifted up and away. With a thud she landed on a slick, damp, cobble-stoned path. A choking fog swallowed her whole. Swiping her eyes and gasping Em wandered into a solid stone wall. Scrabbling and reaching she slips to the ground. Something crawled across her face. Shuddering she jumps to her feet and a gust of wind spun her in fast circles. In a slow spiral Emily floated to the grassy ground next to a stone monument. Huh, she wondered. Somebody collected and piled all of these. Squinting she reads a plaque. Geronimo? 1909? What? When she yelled Geronimo before she leapt into the lake back home she was commemorating a dead warrior? Really? Emily's legs spasmed into an especially excruciating charlie horse. Springing upright into a seated bunch of nerves she rubbed her calves and panted. Well, so much for falling asleep now.All the mind travel had keyed her up.(354 words )
|September 18th prompt: Take us through a day in your life at your job/career. Today, 10:10ish: Emily awakened me via a text. I heard the chirpy "hello" generated by a Minion voice and I fumbled for my cell phone. My eyes opened reluctantly to read,"When do you want me to come over?" Not fully functioning my fingers stabbed at the teeny tiny keyboard. After a few attempts at sounding coherent and an equal number of erasures, I punched in a reply. I advised my grandgiggle I was just waking up. I was hinting I needed time to clear the cobwebs. Within a few minutes: Emily texted,
"Well doesn't have to be now. Just whenever you want me to come." Thinking this was the extent of our communication I rolled over and dozed off. Again the Minion summoned me. "Want me to stay for a sleepover?" With a sigh I forced my weary eyes open again. Obviously I needed to answer Emily. Before I composed something I read her Mom would drop her off. I relied on the ever reliable short 'okay, when?" 10:50ish: Em texted, "On my way." I thanked her for the warning and rolled out of bed. Thus began my Saturday. Perhaps I shouldn't have stayed awake binge-watching a Britbox series until 2:a.m. By the time Em breezed in, I'd shrugged into clothes and started to sip a hot cup of tea. She wanted to know our itinerary for the day. Ah, plans had to be made. Together we decided to visit the local fall fair and gathered the foray necessities; sunglasses, keys, and cell phones to snap pics. As we were leaving, hubby who was supposed to be on an extended road trip phoned to ask if I had any plans for the day. Long story short yet another transport had broken down and he wanted a lift to recover a new rig. Ah, I'd be a chauffeur. First, Em and I sauntered amongst the exhibits at the fair savouring the glorious sunshine and people-watching. Our road trip ate another three hours of our afternoon . Em acted as the D.J. selecting saved tunes from her phone and played through the car's bluetooth system. I heard music new to me and I liked it. Easy, carefree lesson... Back in the vicinity of home, we decided to partake of more fresh air. We strolled down to the nearby lakefront intending to snap more photos. The glimmering water, the sun rays, the floating ducks, all posed for us. Vibrants reds, yellows, and purples beckoned to us in the form of waving blooms. At home, Em searched online for a movie she was sure I'd enjoy. Her instincts were spot on and we laughed through it. The film's premise was based on a favourite childhood book her father had loved. Next we prepared a stir-fry for supper chattering all the while. Now I am composing this blog as Em sits beside me urging me to pay attention to "the good parts" in the Netflix series "The Umbrella Academy." Our together time continues... This is but a day in my semi-retired life. Emily and I share another "sleep-me-over."
|PROMPT September 17th
Do you procrastinate? We all do to one extent or another.
What doubts or excuses could you let go of to help you become more consistent and minimize procrastination? Me procrastinate? Inconceivable! I did delay responding to this prompt today though, does that count? I busied myself with other things. As I sat down before my keyboard I texted my middle grandgiggle about meeting up tomorrow. Her reply in the form of predictive text asked if I could pick her up "tomato." My laughing response, purely instinctual, caused a further delay. Sometimes, I fall victim to an easily diverted attention span. I discovered a Britbox program that tickled my fancy and so I binged for a few hours. Feeling hunger pains I did stop to cook myself something to eat. Then I reminded myself about today's blog prompt. Is it really procrastination when I choose to do things at a later time? Today consists of a twenty-four hour period and as long as my blog is posted before midnight I've honoured the deadline. My participation is voluntary. I choose when to sit down and create a blog post. I'm doing it now and dithering. Am I procrastinating? I prefer to believe that whilst I am preoccupied with whatever I am mulling over a suitable bit of writing. Sure with the time-honoured tradition of multi-tasking I do not always allot equal time or attention to each of my commitments. I defer my reactions, actions, satisfaction. While I type this I ignore the dirty dishes piled in the sink and recall I intended to send off a letter to someone. Full disclosure, that is an on-going 'shoulda.' I've hemmed and hawed about clearing space on my bookshelves. Before I know it my niece's wedding will be imminent and I've yet to figure out a suitable gift. It'll snow soon enough, so I need to finish packing away the camping stuff at the trailer. I think there's a month's worth of entries to inscribe in the company ledger. Okay, okay. I just may be a procrastinator. Nothing I listed is insurmountable. I could visit the trailer site 'tomato', but I have a date with my grandgiggle. She'll have plans for us no doubt. Perhaps Sunday will be the day. That trailer isn't going anywhere.
|PROMPT September 16th
I know you've done it. I know I have. Tell us about a time you were inappropriately dressed for the occasion.
Most of the occasions I celebrate require casual dress, nothing high-falutin' or fancy-shmancy. I did remember to don a floor length white gown for my wedding, but I never was too keen about the lace veil. I felt it was over the top and unnecessary. I've always disliked hats, headdresses and the like. Was it appropriate? I'd argue no, but Mom insisted. She muttered the word tradition. I absolutely vetoed donning white gloves. That was a non-starter. In my mind only butlers wore white gloves, or members of the military, specifically Navy and Marine personnel I believe? I don't make it a habit to wear black to funerals. Is that inappropriate? I prefer colour and black is not a staple of my wardrobe. Speaking of funerals... I rarely step out in dresses or frocks. I'm a jeans and t-shirt gal. Seven years ago, my Mom died unexpectedly and I scrambled to shop for a dress. Yes, I admit, it was an ill-conceived attempt to placate her contemporaries and a handful of traditional relatives. Entering a church should be done in a dress and not jeans. Not many of the store offerings appealed to me and I settled for whatever I could find. During the funeral service and the delivery of my eulogy I had to rise to my feet several times. I was front and centre to a packed house. Did I mention I'd recently undergone knee surgery and refused to wrestle with panty hose because the fresh scar still felt sensitive? The mourners saw my whiter than white legs marred by an angry red slash. I could deal with that. What I had not anticipated was a hemline that rode up every time I stood. Yep, I'd purchased something akin to a mini. Not to worry an aunt seated behind me in the pews made it her business to tug down my dress. As she later laughed she'd covered my ass-ets. Oh and as an homage to my mother who loved to wear bracelets I chose to wear her silver charm bracelet that day. When I stood, when I walked, when I breathed that darn bit of jewellery tinkled, but in the hush of the church it sounded more like clanking. It also liked to snag things. Copious hugging is a bereavement staple and that bracelet latched onto many sweaters and jackets. After my eulogy I crossed to where my youngest sister was seated in a front pew to embrace her. Yep, I snagged her hair. That charm bracelet qualifies as inappropriate, right?
| September 15th Prompt: What was the most memorable meal you've prepared? Tell us who you prepared it for and the occasion. Picture doe-eyed children fainting with hunger and rocking in their chairs encircling a dining table. Their trembling hands clutch grumbling bellies. Their piteous cries pierce the air. I pull open the door and step out onto the deck. As I tug the lid of the propane barbecue smoke billows out and stings my eyes. I gasp. I cough. I wave away the dark cloud obscuring my vision. Red flames flare and flicker. I hear sizzling.With a sigh I pierce the family's meal with a long-handled fork and wrestle each morsel onto the tray I am balancing. I permit the barbecue lid to slam shut. My free hand wrangles the door open and an elbow bends to catch it as it swings. Three hoarse voices exclaim, "It's about time. We're starving!" The tray clatters to the table and four sets of eyes stare. When no one attempts to spear the meat as I anticipated I go ahead and load four waiting plates. No one, none of the hungry, begin to stuff their impatient faces. While I wait, four forks hesitate and hover over my offerings. The children look to their father. He clears his throat and states the obvious. "This chicken seems to be burned." Before I can think, I snap, "Scrape the black bits off!" Peering at the silent offspring I begin laughing. My own poking revealed the chicken to be beyond seared. I had cremated our supper. Even the soot-encased bones crumbled. "Hey, this is sorta like blackened fish a Creole specialty," I snort. Okay, I confess barbecuing is often beyond my skill set. This is but one example of my prowess and the reason why my hubby would announce to his co-workers, "Well, I gotta go home now. The wife has fired up the barbecue. I can smell the smoke from here."
|PROMPT September 14th
What is the worst movie you have seen? Tell us why you consider it the worst. Mine is The Star Wars Holiday Special. Hmmm, I don't seem to have a definitive answer to this prompt. I must've seen terrible movies. Not all movies are great and of course that's true. There's an opposite for everything, right? Good versus bad. Fantastic movies, mediocre movies, and forgettable movies. If they're so terrible that I cannot recall them then I have no memory of them at all. To preserve my sanity and my discernible taste I've not bothered to retain anything about them. I've forgotten them. They're not worthy of remembrance. Now I do know the genres I prefer to view. This sometimes clashes with the movies hubby wishes to watch. For some inexplicable reason he loves chick flicks, the sappier the better. He is enthralled by romance , the chase, the courtship, the all-consuming angst and the happy ever after fairy tale ending. He's discovered The Hallmark Channel which specializes in these favourites. I dislike the fact that all these movies follow the doctrine of romance novels such as the Harlequin offerings. A woman is pursued by a man, a man she never knew she needed or desired. During the course of their gradual awakening they experience pitfalls, doubt, misgivings, whatever. After tears and fears they realize their undying devotion / love for each other. Always the happy ending. Every setting in the world has been exploited. Many times either she's a widow with kids, or he's a widower with kids. Every holiday from Thanksgiving to Easter has been showcased. I find this formula stale and very trite. It's the same predictable script. Blah, blah, blah. Conversely, my partner likes action movies with thunderous explosions, screeching car chases, non-stop tension, hand-to-hand combat. He perches on the edge of his chair barely remembering to breathe and rarely blinking. He recoils. He flinches. He grunts and gasps. His muscles tense and he clenches his fists. I find his intense involvement to be entertaining. With each movie he experiences quite the workout and it leaves him drained. Perhaps he should've been a stuntman? Wait, wait, during this diatribe I've thought of the worst movies I've had the displeasure of viewing and they were not ones of my choosing. Any film created by Quentin Tarentino is ridiculous. He glorifies blood and guts, violence. During their regrettable running, I buried my nose in a book. Yikes, apparently I've not forgotten enough.