by MD Maurice
Reflections and ruminations from a modern day Alice - Life is Wonderland
Reflections and ruminations from a modern day Alice - Life is Wonderland
Welcome to the place were I chronicle my own falls down dark holes and adventures chasing white rabbits! Come on In, Take a Bite, You Never Know What You May Find...
"Curiouser and curiouser." Alice in Wonderland
|30 Day Blogging Challenger
PROMPT November 8th
Besides music, what are some of your favorite sounds?
Aside from music, there are some sounds that I associate with happiness. As much as music soothes my soul, the sound of my daughter's sleep laughter brings me to a place of well-being and peace that little else does. Even at 9, she still manages to wander into our bed at some point in the wee hours of morning. I still wake up with her little body curled around mine or find her lying in the bend of her father's arm when the alarm goes off. On the rarest occasions, I've been awaken by her having a dream in which she is laughing about something. The giggles bubble up from her in the dimness and I watch her delicate mouth curl up in that secret dream smile that makes my heart nearly burst with a tender kind of joy. There is something so unguarded and pure about the sound, it goes straight to my mother's heart.
I love the sound Roo makes when we come to visit him. He usually hears our car these days. He is already softly nickering for us before we even get to his paddock. His nicker is a soft, fluttering sound that seems to start in his wide barrelled-belly. Sometimes when he is really feeling affectionate, he will put his big head on my shoulder and nicker into my ear and the gentle sound is accompanied by the sweet smell of his grass-soaked breathe. It is a sound that brings me a special kind of peace.
I love the sound of the Spring birds, especially after a tough, snow bound New England winter. When you hear that little tinkling of bird calls in the early morning, you can dream of a coming thaw. You can picture a green bounty of life waiting just under the snow and it makes you feel as hopeful as the warm sun on your back.
Oddly enough, one of my favorite sounds of all is the absence of sound that accompanies a blanket of freshly fallen snow. I love opening the door to a world that has been covered with a thick layer of overnight snow to find the world has gone silent. The lawn and the trees are shrouded with white, unmarred by footprints and the air is thin and almost brittle like glass. There is a quietness that accompanies that particular landscape that brings me a deep serenity for some reason. Before long the silence will be broken by distant plows and the dogs will tear ribbons through the pristine blanket of snow but for a few moments it will be absolutely and perfectly silent.
|30 Day blogging Challenge
PROMPT November 7th
What is your favorite color? Do you have a favorite color pairing? What’s something in your life that you picture when you think of your favorite color? Do you choose to wear clothing that is your favorite color? Has your favorite color changed over your life?
Use these questions to explore how your favorite color has influenced you.
Catching up today because yesterday I took my daughter to my first ever, Equine Affair, in Springfield, MA. For those of you that have never heard of it...think Comic-Con on crack for the horse world. For a newbie like me, it was overwhelming. There had to be miles of booths hawking everything you could possible need connected to horses...from summer camps to supplements! We barely took in a 1/5 of the available demonstrations and clinics that were scheduled to run over the four day event. It was a special day I got to spend with my sister and my daughter but we returned last night just as it was getting dark. My legs were aching and my brain was positively fried. I wish I'd know the prompt wasn't as intensive as the previous ones or I might have tried to tackle it, still clad in my horse clothes and barn boots, rather than showering and putting myself to bed early. So...here I am playing a bit of catch-up again this morning and feeling sheepishly pleased that this one is so easy for me.
Red is by far my favorite color. I love it in all its variations but its that fire engine red...that bright and unapologetically bold red...that is by far my favorite flavor of red. I love it when its paired with orange, that fire and flame combination that sparks among the russets and golds of the Autumn landscape here. Red for me is the ultimate power color, associated with passion and flare. I feel bolder when I'm wearing red. I have several pieces that stand out in my work wardrobe that is otherwise comprised mainly of black, navy and brown. I reserve those outfits for those days I know will be a challenge and I will need a bit of extra spunk in my corner.
Red is color of Christmas. Red is the sweet, fresh curl of peppermint and the shiny sheen on Santa's jovial cheeks. I decorate my tree in bright, red mirror ball ornaments and gold pearl garlands. I decorate early every year, putting up the tree the day after Thanksgiving as a tradition.
Red is the color of merriment and mirth for me, it fires the happy cells in my brain somehow.
Lastly, red is the color of my daughter's birthstone. She was born in January so her birthstone is the dark, richly colored Garnet. We bought her an inexpensive birthstone ring last year for her birthday and the tiny garnet set in sterling silver looked positively beautiful on her long, delicate finger. Red, for me, is representative of her now too.
|30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT November 6th
I have another link for you all today:
What parts of the chart did you find to be accurate and which did you find issue with? Anything you related strongly to? Is a chart like this useful, or does it rely too heavily on stereotypes?
Until I visited the link, I think it had barely registered with me that I was part of the Gen X generation. Once again, I come away from the prompt feeling more educated on some matters than I did before. I suppose I should come out from under my rock more often. There was a lot to unpack here and I feel oddly overwhelmed honestly. I will try to tackle the prompt none the less.
Now, feeling somewhat of a newly-minted X'er, I am forced to acknowledge that most of the generational markers for my age bracket, actually do fit. I remember when my mother shrugged off her mantle of "housewife" and took a job outside the home. No matter that it was a starting retail position in a touristy boutique called, "It's Raining Cats and Dogs", where she sold mugs, pillow and ornaments merrily festooned with..you guessed it...various images of cats and dogs. She was still one of the very first Mom's in my circle of friends to do that. I remember they all asked me about it with a wide-eyed reverence, as if she'd suddenly invented something groundbreaking. I would remind them, somewhat caustically, that she "just sold dog stuff in a gift shop", not really understanding why it all embarrassed me somehow.
The retail job was only the beginning. She went back to school and found her groove pursuing women's studies. Suddenly our home was invaded by books with titles like, "Women who Run with the Wolves" and conversations around our dinner table took on a tone of unnecessary defiance. My father, who had readily encouraged my mother's surge of interest and independence, found himself suddenly and unfairly vilified for being a man. I think my mother fancied herself as something of a pioneer...just several decades too late.
Around the time my friends' mothers began going back to work, my parents were divorcing - something they were also "first at" among my peers. Before long, most of us were "latchkey kids", deposited by rambling school buses to the stoops of quiet, empty homes. By the time I was going off to college, my parents had two separate residences to which we all had keys to let ourselves into. My friends' families started going through similar transitions and in time, my parent's failed to seem like the negative trendsetters I felt they'd been. They were younger than most and I think they just came to all milestones a bit quicker as a result.
I think I would agree that my generation are naturally more pragmatic and self-reliant than the Boomers that came before. I think most of us grew up having to learn to take care of ourselves more. I can see how all those kids letting themselves into empty homes, forced to cook their own Hungry Man dinners, must have inspired a higher level of independence. The disharmony in my household inspired me to "get the hell outta dodge". Going away to college wasn't merely a suggestion, the real question had become "how far away can I actually get?". I ended up at a school four hours away, just far enough to make the case I could stay put on the weekends instead of coming home with a duffel of laundry. Luckily I was with all my fellow Gen X's and most of all could not only do our own laundry, but we could also cook our own meals.
The really sad thing about the link, the really unfortunate distinction for me, is that we are first generation not expected to do a well as our parents. That is somewhat crushing, given my current state of affairs. Maybe, at least, our generation will end up being credited with helping to solve the energy crisis? Wait, what? That one is already going to the Millennials? Crap.
|30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT November 5th
Write your entry today inspired by one of the emotions listed on the webpage below:
I thoroughly enjoyed this prompt. Every single one of these emotions were new to me and more than a few of them really struck me as applicable to my current stage of life. Right off the bat though, two of them really hit home and oddly enough, they seem to dovetail together in a blanket description of how I've been feeling for the few months.
For the first time in my life, I've been dealing with a pretty significant depression. Recently current events have made me question the life choices I have made in my career. I have become increasing anxious that I may have wasted too much of my life laying a foundation on compromised ground. I now have a name to give that terrible feeling I've been suffering from, the feeling that the second half of my life is passing to quickly for me to catch up or to start again. Zenosyne is right where I am at, where I have been stuck, floundering for weeks between dark moods and sudden shifts from lethargic states of numbness to a frantic sort of mania. I feel like my brain is running in circles and I am plagued by the fear that I have wasted so many years working toward something that will never materialize in the way I expected it too. I recently described my current state as akin to Dorothy traveling to see the Wizard, amped up with all her hopes and dreams, only to have them crushed when the curtain is thrown open to reveal the Wizard is just a normal man, thoroughly unable to deliver on any of the bright and shining promises she had put her faith in. I don't feel as if I've got that same inner magic to power a pair of magic red pumps, so instead of moving on and finding my way home, I'm stuck in Oz...or rather, here.
I need more liberosis in my life. I need to learn how to "hold your life loosely and playfully, like a volleyball". Liberosis - that's my brand of yellow-brick-road inner magic mojo! I need to learn to care less about things and focus more on the flow of life, of where my choices actually take me rather then where I expect them too take me. I need to loosen the white knuckled grip I have on all my "should have's" and try to find the joy in the journey. I need to stop letting the failure of my expectations drain the lifeblood from me. I'm letting the anxiety and self-doubt overwhelm me instead of looking for the all positive opportunities and silver linings. Liberosis...yeah, if I can find more of that, maybe I can find my way home after all.
|30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT November 4th
Would you rather be surprised or surprise someone else? Write about it!
I am 100% Type A, and admittedly, a control freak of almost epic proportions. I would much rather be in charge of surprising someone else than being the one of the receiving end. Truth be told, I don't really like surprises. I am that person who has a plan B, and C and D...so allowing myself to be surprised by a scenario I didn't see coming, one that I couldn't plan for...well that sounds pretty awful to me.
I realize that makes me sound pretty dry and drab. I'm not. I like adventure and excitement. I just also like to have an idea of what I am walking into in case things go horribly wrong. For example, I would be all game for visiting Jurassic Park, but I would sure as shit would have a backup for my backup satellite phone with a private chopper pilot on speed dial. We all know, the people who fail to prepare are the very first to find themselves dino-chow.
I'm also pretty certain that I would easily become suspicious of someone trying to surprise me. It would take a lot of deception on their part I think. I don't know anyone in my circle who could pull the wool completely over my eyes honestly. My husband is horrible at keeping a secret and my daughter takes a certain glee in dropping really big, unnecessary specific hints herself. I can usually see what the two of them are cooking up like a freight train bearing down the track. Subtle diversions and pointed misdirection though....those skills fall squarely in my wheelhouse.
Last summer our family bought my daughter a horse, one she had been taking lessons on that suddenly became available. We managed to hide the secret from her. Our deception going so far as making her believe that she was helping to train him for another special little girl who was coming after her lesson to pick him up. It was a cruelty that lasted only seconds though. Before she could shed a tear at his imminent departure from her life, we walked him into the arena. He was shining bright from a bath and my sister had braided his mane and tail. We'd draped him with with flowers and ribbons. She looked confused to find us all there. Then we told her that she was the special little girl and that the family had bought Roo for her very own. He wasn't leaving. In fact, he was coming home with her to her Aunt's farm that very afternoon. She was stunned into silence, taking more than a few moments to have it all register before her eyes filled with a happy tears and she threw her arms around his big brown head. Best. Surprise. Ever.
My sister's husband takes the cake on surprises though. She went away for a seminar and while she was gone, he bought her a donkey on Craigslist. I listened anxiously as he told me about what a "steal" he was. I wasn't sure my sister would like coming home to another animal, especially one that had never been vetted or handled and still had all his "man bits". She WAS surprised. The day she came home my cell phone rang and I picked it up only to hear her say, "What the FUCK is in my barn?!" Two weeks of misery quarantine and one gelding surgery later, Sebastian had managed to find his way into her heart. He is now the coolest barnyard resident and her husband has officially dodged the bullet with his very high risk surprise.
|30 Day Blogging challenge
PROMPT November 3rd
Write about a time when you waited a long time for something. Did you end up getting what you wanted? Was it worth it?
I wish I had gotten my crap together this weekend and been able to react to this prompt on Sunday because it would have been completely appropriate. As a mother of a 9 year old, I feel like I wait a long time for just about everything these days. My daughter can move with an uncanny slowness that never ceases to amaze me. As a matter of fact, the more pressed for time I am, she can actually slow her motion skills down to a barely perceptible state of motion. This past Sunday for example, I waited twenty minutes for her to put on her soccer socks and cleats...twenty minutes...how is that even humanly possible?
Seriously though, before my daughter - at the time when I only waited for things I truly wanted - I would have to say the longest I ever waited for something was my flight to New Zealand. I was 17 and super excited to embark on my first overseas adventure. The flight was endless. I remember taking Dramamine to knock myself out, only to find upon waking up, that I had just as many flight hours remaining. With the time change, the flight basically was the equivalent of being in the air for 24 hours....it was horrifically tedious.
Was it worth it? Yes. A million times, yes.
We landed in Auckland, NZ to embark on the first leg of a three week tour that would take us science delegates to amazing places and expose us to one in a lifetime experiences. I spent a week living in a rustic cabin on Kangaroo Island. I visited Victoria, Australia and bush walked in the Outback with a rope tied around my waste and found myself completely disoriented inside of two minutes. I ended the trip with a dive on the Great Barrier Reef, which at the time was the culmination of all my dreams.
|30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT November 2nd
Write about jouska.
From Psychology Today, jouska is defined as “a hypothetical conversation that you play out over and over in your head. For example, replaying an argument in your head where you say all the right things and “win” the argument, or practicing asking your boss for a raise and playing out his or her responses and your comebacks.”
Playing catch-up today after a weekend storm knocked out power in our town all day Friday. It is not the way I wanted to start off the challenge by epically failing to keep up the very first weekend
I have such conversations all the time. I call them, "the things I'd rather be saying" conversations, and they typically involved me being brutally honest with my siblings, my boss and my husband. In these conversations I am much more articulate and witty and my words tend to pack more of bite than they would normally. It is these little conversations that keep me sane sometimes I think. It is like getting to be the best version of yourself rather than the polite, subdued person we are forced to be by the constraints of society or by the guidelines of courtesy.
|30 Day Blogging Challenge
PROMPT November 1st
I’m sending this prompt in between princesses and spidermen begging at my door for free candy. If you celebrate Halloween in your part of the world, what are your family’s traditions? What were the popular Halloween costumes in your childhood? Which candy was the most coveted?
We celebrated Halloween last night with unseasonably balmy temps for the typical October here New England. A spooky wind turned the roadways into a skittering carpet of dead leaves and the sky was black above the glow of the street lamps. The jack-o-lanterns leered and blinked from decorated porches and the night was filled with the sounds of small groups of trick-or-treaters making their way up and down driveways. It was an ideal night for the festivities, one that made me wax nostalgia for the Halloween's of my youth. This year I found it more difficult to recognize some of the costumes. My 9-year old seemed to have no problem and schooled me on who was who. Inflatable costumes seemed to be very popular this year and, apparently, masked killers are still all the rage. One group of middle schoolers traveling in tight pack included, to my delight, a pretty effective Pennywise and Georgie - outfitted with a bright yellow slicker and a bouncing red helium balloon. Kudos to those kids...they were Halloween-ing it up proper-like!
Overall my daughter's haul included the standard lot of M&M and skittles packets, mini snickers and milky ways and a few tootsie rolls and dum dums. She loves the smarties and sweet tarts and saves me the few reese's peanut butter cups and peppermint patties she managed to snag. Some healthy-minded parent was also handing out sea salted veggie chips shaped like ghosts and bats, so I supposed they should get points for that. Thankfully there were no apples or popcorn balls this year, or even worse..milk duds and malt balls...two types of candy that seem designed for purely evil purposes and and are not at all suitable for consumption.
|"Blogging Circle of Friends "
DA Y 2528: October 22, 2019
Prompt: Write about comfort.
Comfort seems to be a hard thing to come by as of late. I'm struggling a bit mentally at this point in my life. I've wondered quite frequently if I've become depressed in my middle age despite never having been particularly troubled by bouts of depression in the past. I've had bad moods that have elapsed into bad days but nothing that has left me feeling "scooped out" or drained to the point of inaction. Lately I feel that most days I am working hard to stay focused, to stay engaged. I am, in a real sense, wallowing in my own dim mire. The crisp October weather has been of some comfort. Spending time on the farm with our horse Roo has been a comfort but even that can only pull be out of my funk for so long. I'm quite sure I must be in a depression and while I believe I can name the catalyst, it brings little resolution for me. I look around and see the world moving forward but I seem stuck. My family is a blessing and possibly my greatest source of comfort but I know they sense the change in my, my deepening distraction and some of them might be worried where my head is really at.
"Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise"
DAY 2029 October, 22, 2019
Prompt: In Thunder and Lightning: Cracking Open the Writer’s Craft, Natalie Goldberg says, “I see that while I think I’m the active one, always doing, creating, I am also the one being created.” What are your opinions about what she says, and does what she says apply to you in some way?
I'm not sure how I feel about this prompt. I feel like so much of my writing is reflective of me, of my emotions and my experiences, I don't feel as if I am recreating myself. I'm not familiar with the book, perhaps if I were to read it I would have more background as to what she means. I might be able to flesh out some part of it that applies to me and my creative processes.
| "Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise"
DAY 2025 October 18, 2019
What do you like to do on a dark and stormy day?
Dark and stormy days are some of my favorite weather events. I think they are best enjoyed by lighting a fire and a few candles in case I lose power. I'd love to say I curl up with a good book but in truth, I am most likely prone to watch Netflicks with the daughter and the dogs draped about us on the couch. In my more prolific moods, I would try to write something. It seems easier to lose myself in some story when the fog rolls in and the rain is battering the window outside my little writing nook.
"Blogging Circle of Friends "
DAY 2525 October 18, 2019
Share a childhood memory that makes you smile.
In my middle school years, we lived in a little rural town called Preston. We had a modest raised ranch in a neighborhood my siblings and I shared with several schoolmates. There was a kind of intimacy in our hood, everyone knew everyone. In the summer, when the daylight would stretch into the dinner hours, my family would host a neighborhood softball game. The teams consisted of family, my parent's friends and all our friends from the street. We would play until it got too dark or the bugs forced us all back inside.
It was an all ages game. I remember knowing that those nights were unique and special. I think back to that camaraderie, to that feeling of being part of a close knit community, with a fondness that always makes me smile. I wish I could give my daughter the same experience but the world is so different now. There is so much more distance between people. Though we recently moved into a similar rural neighborhood, we only really know a handful of neighbors and there isn't one child her age on the street.