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Theses are my thoughts and ramblings as I forge my way through this thing they call life.
These are my thoughts and ramblings as I forge my way through this thing they call Life.

I blog with these groups:
Welcome... Blog City image small WDC's Longest Running Blog Competition - Hiatus Soundtrack of Your Life Logo

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June 2, 2021 at 10:40pm
June 2, 2021 at 10:40pm
Blogging Circle of Friends - Day 9120: June 2, 2021

Prompt: What do you think about writing prompts? What type of prompts do you like? What type of prompts do you dislike?

I like writing prompts. I find I often need a jumping off point. A place to get me going when I first sit down to write. Sometimes I stay on topic and post the blog, other times I get off topic or find my way back into a short story or other piece of writing I have been doing.

Either way I find I am able to get back into my writing.

I like prompts that make me think. Make me consider my view of things. I also like prompts that give me a selection of words and have me make up a story or poem that incorporates them. I am pretty open to anything. If it intrigues me, I write.

I don't like prompts that are too political or ones that are geared to American holidays. Being Canadian, I pass on those. Holidays in general, I'm up for those.

Blog City - Day 2193 June 2, 2021

Prompt: Is there a difference between joy and happiness?
I would make a distinction between contentment and happiness and joy...

Happiness is fleeting. According to James Clear, from his book Atomic Habits, "Happiness is not about the achievement of pleasure (which is joy or satisfaction) but about the lack of desire." Caed Budris says "Happiness is the space between one desire being fulfilled and a new desire forming." We are always chasing our desires whether they are physical or whether they are more abstract (like fame or financial freedom). We always want something.

Contentment is being okay with where you are and what you have. No desire to chase after more. Just an appreciation for what you have in that moment. It is more like a sense of peace.

May 28, 2021 at 9:18pm
May 28, 2021 at 9:18pm
Blog City - Day 3115 May 28, 2021

What's your learning style? Do you prefer learning in a group and in an interactive setting? Or one-on-one? Do you retain information best through lectures, or visuals, or simply by reading books?

This is an interesting topic. As a child, I preferred to learn on my own by simply reading books. I hated group work. I was shy and did not think my opinion mattered. I was not a fan of my peers in school and they were not into me. I was a wall flower.

As I got older and began to work with interesting people - in university - I expanded my learning style to include others. I found working with another person, one I respected, was far more interesting. We got to bounce ideas off each other and challenge each other to be our best selves.

When I got to teachers college, this expanded further to morph into small groups. I tend to choose people that inspire me and challenge me to do my very best.

I think the older I got the more focused I was on the area of interest. In university, I studied Sociology and Psychology and in Teacher's College I was learning to take a curriculum topic and make it interesting for kids to learn. Collaboration became important and sharing ideas opened up my thinking and my learning.
I love to read and sharing my ideas with others helps to reinforce the learning.

With teaching, I find I learn so much from my students and am amazed at the learning that can happen when everyone is engaged in a topic. The trick is to get them engaged. Get them excited about the experience and watch it bloom.

I know that when it comes to tech stuff, I prefer to learn hands on. I need to see and experience how to do the new technology and applications. If I need to do something on the computer that I have not done before, I will often ask for one-on-one help to get that hands-on, visual experience. I need to walk through the process to see what to do, so that I can do the rest on my own. Covid has made that kind of learning a challenge, but luckily I work in a school with two other special education teachers who are willing to help me out when I run into a new venture.

I am a lifelong learner. I like to change things up. I read a lot. Usually one fiction and one non-fiction selection at a time - Most of these non-fiction choices are writing reference books, but I also enjoy books like Atomic Habits by James Clear to help me learn how to live my best life.
May 8, 2021 at 9:29pm
May 8, 2021 at 9:29pm
Blog City - DAY 2168 May 8, 2021

There's dialogue and there's monologues. Dialogue is conversation between people whereas monologues tend to be one person speaking similar to a speech or a rant. Let's take this opportunity to discuss your name. What makes it unique? Is it a family name? Is there a story behind? Have fun, be engaging.

A name, you say. Talk about your name. Why it's unique. Unique. Not so much. It's a name I had to grow into, though not as much as someone growing into Gertrude or Griselda. Gertrude was my grandmother's name. I escaped that... thank God. Griselda.... well, that was a name I got called by teens with self esteem that needed a boost and a target to pin there ambitions on. Being an only child, I was an easy target.

Carolyn. I liked the -lyn part of my name. The Carol part, I am not so crazy about, but I can live with it when it is said as a whole. When anyone calls me Carol, it's like nails on a chalkboard.

I was supposed to be born closer to Christmas. If I was a girl - I would be Carolyn. If I was a boy - I'd be Noel. Noelle is pretty, but probably sounded too French and my mother was not a fan of French Canadians and their attitude - it was the late sixties and Quebec Separatism was in full swing. Funny, how later, one of her best friends was French Canadian - and a really cool lady - she had hot pink leather pants!

But that is so off topic... we are talking about how I got my name.

My middle name is Bobbi. I love it, but tend not to use it because the name has connotations of a blond bimbo - or at least the outer surface of blond bimbo - with a smart, badass under that surface that guys have no clue about or want to know. The name is after my Dad. He was Robert, but he was called Bobby. His dad was Robert. A namesake... a family honour and since he has died - when I was 12 - I feel the name connects me to him in a way that transcends boundaries. I was a Daddy's girl. I never got to meet my Grandfather. He died before I was born and I was the first grandchild.

My last name is the one that confounds me....

When I got married, my ex would not ask me to marry him unless I changed my last name. I took comfort in my middle name as that connection to my family when I finally decided to take his name. We were married for 16 years after being together for almost 8 years before that.... now I feel caught between the past and my future. As a teacher I use my married name - it is who I was when I got my teaching certificate. Not having a contract teaching position holds me to that name as people who know me, know me by that name. If I ever get into my own teaching position, I will change my name back.

But in my writing, I hold to my name of origin. It is the one that holds my beginnings and I refused to give it away. That is who I am. Who I will always be.

The name of Carly is my own choice. When I was a teen, a cool girl I worked with, called me that instead of Carolyn and I liked the sound of it. I also liked the creative nature of the name and the sense of freedom that came with it. I adopted it as a way of pursing my dreams.... a kind of fearless personae.... or something like that.

So that's my name story. I look forward to reading yours.
April 5, 2021 at 10:41pm
April 5, 2021 at 10:41pm
Blogging Circle of Friends - Day 2061: April 5, 2021

Prompt theme: Renewal - “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.” —Joseph Campbell
How does this quote relate to renewal.

This is an interesting quote. It resonates with me. I find many of the stories that I write tend to follow this pattern of renewal as the women I write about are rising up above situations they thought were good for them. Leaving abusive relationships, unfaithful men and dead-end jobs to find their true authentic self and their happiness.

An old skin restricts movement and growth. Shedding it allows for growth to happen and freedom to move and change. Old skin cuts into the body and the soul, it can ultimately kill if it not shed. Nobody wants to be restricted and held back from new growth. Change is inevitable. Inevitable but not always negative.
Even in a good situation, new growth and change are important. Who wants to live stagnantly?! Have you ever smelt a stagnant pool of water? Yeash!

Spring is the perfect time to shed off the old, clingy winter that has keep up buried under coats, hats and mitts The freedom to go outside without all that extra to keep us warm is revitalizing. Yesterday I sat outside on the front stoop and read and wrote and just enjoyed being outside where I could watch the neighbours and say "Hello, Happy Easter" from a safe distance. It brought a lot of smiles to many faces, including mine.
I am getting tired of writing downstairs in the basement. After a busy autumn, it was nice to get cozy by the fireplace, but that was months ago and I am ready for a change.

I think the one thing about this Pandemic is not being able to get out and about. A change of scenery helps me blast through writing blocks. I miss watching people and the atmosphere's of various places. I missing popping over to another smaller village or small town to breath a bit of change... a bit of difference. It breaks up the mundane.

I have plans to take a thermos of coffee and my laptop to the park downtown when the weather gets a little warmer. The park is able to pick up free WiFi from the City Hall making the perfect outdoor spot... it just hope the bathrooms open and then I will have it made in the shade!

Being creative and finding ways to fulfill that need to get out, but still stay safe, is what has been keeping me sane when things get heavy.
December 21, 2020 at 9:35pm
December 21, 2020 at 9:35pm
Blog City - DAY 2332 December 21, 2020

Prompt What was your biggest learning experience in 2020?

2020 has been a challenging year. There have been many learning opportunities. The one that runs through all of them is being grateful for what I have - family, friends, my health, my work - teaching and my writing.
Staying close to home has not bothered me overly much. I have probably saved a ton of money not galivanting out and about. I miss exploring various places and people watching. In the spring, I was able to see our neighbourhood antics as I spent a good amount of time on the front stoop watching the neighbour families interact. Across the street, there are two little boys under 6 years. I called them the kindie show! Their antics were priceless!

Being outside, I was also able to greet many people out walking their dogs. Our area is really quite vibrant. I appreciated that.

Writing outside was just lovely.

Now as the weather is colder, I have moved indoors. My writing has moved back into the basement... close to the fireplace.

With Christmas coming at the end of the week... a mere three plus days away, I have begun to close in. I did go out today to spend a few hours wandering around in Indigo. I bought a few gifts, but was not able to find everything I wanted. I have also bought a few things online... including a bee necklace and a bee adoption through ProjectHoneyBees. This is perfect for my aunt as she is studying to be a master Gardener and bees are very important to our survival.

I refuse to go to the mall. So I managed to buy the calendar my mother wanted online. Not sure when it will arrive, but I can always put a wee note in her stocking.

Tomorrow I will pick another store to venture out to... Rexall... to get a few last minute gifts. Then it will be wrapping.

I may also pickup some baking items and make a few cookies I really enjoy. Like whipped shortbread.
Christmas will be a quiet affair. I'll miss the traditions and seeing my extended family, but I will be with my mother and we will make things lovely.

I think it is important to stay positive and look for ways to make anything possible. Patience is also important to develop. Nothing is done in a hurry. Shopping could take two or three times as long, if there are long lines and excessive wait tines.

Then there is the health aspects - handwashing and sanitizing. Wearing a mask. Keeping physical distance, but still interact with others with a smile, a wave or a cheery 'hello'. We still need others.
I look forward to the day I can hug my friends again!
December 1, 2020 at 10:36pm
December 1, 2020 at 10:36pm
Blog City - Day2312

December 1, 2020
Prompt: “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.”
Daniel J. Boorstin
What do you think the illusion of knowledge is?

Interesting concept. Not sure if I fully understand it and I think my admission of feeling less than knowledgeable in this area, makes me not an illusionist when it comes to knowledge. I would not call myself ignorant either. I think someone who is knowledgeable is confident in their abilities, but also humble enough to know that with that knowledge comes the idea that you are merely scrapping the surface of all that is to be known. The more you know, the more you realize you don't know. I felt like that in my last year of university.

Knowledgeable people are open to other views and are willing to widen their knowledge base. They know where they are strong and where they are weaker. They are also willing to bring in others who can share their knowledge - people they can learn from... because a knowledgeable person knows that learning in a life long adventure. They share and collaborate to bring everyone around them up to a higher level. Building potential.

Giving the illusion of knowledge has a level of cockiness and a belief that you are all knowing... or at least giving that impression to others. You act like you know, when in fact, you have no clue. You are just making stuff up. But because you sound like an authority, you can sway others... to believe things that are not true or even dangerously not true. These people are also closed to the idea of change or trying things a different way. It's their way or no way.

Fake news springs to mind.

The person may have knowledge in an area, but give the impression that they are more than capable in another area... in this, Trump springs to mind. He might have business savvy, but you can't run a country like a business.

I am curious what others think of this concept. I could be way off base, but I am also willing to learn.
November 28, 2020 at 7:26pm
November 28, 2020 at 7:26pm
Blog City - Day 2309 November 28, 2020

We're officially in holiday season. What are you doing differently than past years?

Weird how the Americans set up the 'holiday season' with Thanksgiving. I wonder how many celebrations practiced 'safe, protected' connections this year. I hope for good things, but I am not sure...

As for my family, I am not sure what will be happening this year. Today I intent to get the tree out and get it decorated. I hope to have apple cider and / or Egg Nog (not mixed) on hand to make the experience more festive... maybe even break out the Christmas music to set the mood. I think we will need these traditions to try to bring in that Christmas Spirit. A little snow would help, but not too much... I don't get my winter tires on until December 19!

As we embark on more restrictions and our Premier, Doug Ford calls for no family gatherings beyond your immediate household, I expect we will be 'visiting' via Google Meet or Zoom as we have our Mimosas on Christmas morning.

I will be spending less this year... and ordering more things online. There will be less travelling and more time to write.

I don't mind. I expect we will make up for it next year.

Last year I baked a lot and shared my treats with the neighbours and my cousins. This year I don't think I will be baking as much... I don't need to be eating all those yummy Christmas cookies or fudge. Oh, but it was so good last year. Still, not a good idea this year.

Mom says she is not even doing Christmas cards this year.

At school, the Secret Sock exchange is being modified to be delivered a week early so the socks can be quarantined for a week before we actually wear them and the treats inside are supposed to be gift cards or things to charities.... I don't know about that. I still think we should be able to put in gifts... just quarantine them like the socks. This is like a secret Santa kind of thing where you put in gifts for the person based on finding out what they like and surprising them. I like the surprises.

I figure we'll keep close to home and enjoy the little things.
October 24, 2020 at 5:24pm
October 24, 2020 at 5:24pm
Blogging Circle of Friends - Day 2901: October 23, 2020

Prompt: “There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers than those of us who are willing to fall because we have learned how to rise.” Brené Brown, Rising Strong
What do you think is Ms Brown right? How do you rise strong?

I am a fan of Brene Brown. Her ideas make sense to me. They buoy me up; give me confidence to try - to take the risk and see where it leads me. Fear only holds us back and limits our potential.

Part of learning is making mistakes - Miss Takes. You try again, after assessing the miss step and learning from it. That is how we grow and stretch ourselves. That is how we rise strong. We let go of the fear of failure that is limiting and embrace discovery. We learn to laugh at our mistakes and take them in stride. Being willing to risk failure and looking foolish, humbles us and makes us more open and supportive of others trying to make their way. Exposing our vulnerability lets others know it can be done and they don't feel so alone. Anyone who bashes us for being fearless is not worth our concern. Taking the risk makes us human and opens us up to deeper connection. These critics, cynics and fearmongers will stagnate and fall like leaves passed their prime. Time will trample them into the ground. Forgotten. Rubbish.

October 24, 2020 at 5:21pm
October 24, 2020 at 5:21pm
Blogging Circle of Friends DAY 2900 October 23, 2020

What do you like to do on a dark and stormy day? Or a foggy day?

Stay under the covers. Sleep and read. It is the ultimate pyjama day. A day for a 'bed picnic' - where one only leaves the bed to use the facilities after collecting books, magazines, art supplies and the TV remote as well as a selection of foods - both healthy and junkie. There should be chips and chocolate involved.
October 17, 2020 at 5:51am
October 17, 2020 at 5:51am
Blogging Circle of Friends

Day 2891: October 17, 2020
Prompt: What is your favorite part of October that has nothing to do with Halloween?

I like the cooler days and nippy nights. I like the coziness of October. I like being able to put on the fire place and enjoy the toastiness. I like that October is Preptober - as it leads up to November. It is relaxed and casual. I could wear sweaters...if I wasn't dealing with hot flashes and breaking out the longer pants and putting away the shorts is like a changing of the guard... a kind of natural season change that is refreshing after a hot, humid summer.

This summer was weird. With Covid-19, a lot of my usual summer adventures did not happen. I missed things, but not as much as I thought I would. I saved a lot of money in the process and got a lot more writing done. I also wrote outside more - on the front stoop, where I could watch the '5 year old show' across the street. There is a lovely family across the street with two little boys around the age of 5. They love to play outside and their drama is quite comical. They have a younger sister as well, but she has only turned a year this month, so she wasn't in on the drama. When they went away on a family vacation, it was pretty quiet around here.

Blog City - Day DAY 2267 October 17, 2020

Use these words in your blog entry... purple, pumpkin, determine, clock, scarecrow and Shelia.

Well, you asked for it.... this is what happens at 5:30 in the morning!

The purple pumpkin
danced upon the clock,
determined to wake Shelia
from dreams too odd to be natural.
A scarecrow winked at her
as it ran off down the lane...
A flock of crows flittering around
like dust in his wake.
Shelia shook herself,
dragged in consciousness
like air -
after being submerged
a moment too long.
She looked about her room
expecting the purple pumpkin
to be grinning at her,
his Jack-o-lantern face
gapping with a cheeky grin.
But all was silent
All was calm
the slamming of a door.

Cold gripped her.
turned her insides out
as she stared wide eyed
through the blanket of darkness.
She could hear footsteps.
Footsteps unknown to her.
Footsteps with a heavy gait
and a scrapping...
She forced herself to breathe.
Tried telling herself she was still
caught in the haze of dreams
But the thump ... bump, bump, bump...
The turning of the bedroom knob
had her dizzy with fear.
Clutching her mangled sheets
she peered into oblivion,
awaiting whatever was making its way
from dreams to reality.
The door shot open
Like gunfire,
sending shrapnel everywhere.
Shelia ducked back under the covers
As fear wrapped around her like a Boa Constrictor.
Laughter ripped the air.
A cackle that had a tinge of familiarity.
From beneath fear and flannel
Shelia peeked
And saw...
And saw...
The devil's child dressed
in scarecrow's attire;
A grin as wide as sin.
Light poured from the ceiling's bulb
Glaring light, pulsing.
As Sheila saw flashes of anger
and whipped a book
At the vagrant's head.
Get Out, You Fool
She screamed
as her son dipped back into the shadows of the hall
Laughter trailing
muffled words calling

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