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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/nannamom
Rated: 18+ · Book · Personal · #2017254
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.
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June 10, 2021 at 9:23pm
June 10, 2021 at 9:23pm
         Although I scribble and scrawl with a pen, specifically a ball point pen, I never stopped to consider its origin. In my limited understanding of this I thought it magically appeared on store shelves after being harvested from some sort of manufacturing haven. Like money, I knew on an instinctive level that pens did not grow on trees. They were plentiful. They were affordable. When one pen gave up the ghost I tossed it without a second thought and quickly replaced it. I've never known a time without a pen. Pens accompany me daily tucked into a knapsack, or a purse, or a pocket, or a desk drawer, or a car's console.
          Without a pen I'd be lost. When inspiration comes calling I must be prepared to commit its message to paper. Sometimes, I employ a pen to create lists. On the occasions I decide to treat others with snail mail, I compose letters with the aid of a pen. What else could I use to complete a crossword? Pens are without a doubt my favourite writing tool.
         It is only fitting then that today is National Ball Point Pen Day. Well, also on this date back in 1943, the ball point pen was officially patented. Of course, it was a revolutionary alternative to the humble pencil and the fountain pen. Did someone holler eureka at the concept of a pen that contained ink and did not require a constant dip into a messy supply? Finally, writers need not wait an eternity for their script to dry. With the clumsy method of old no spontaneous notes could be left about. All missives had to be carefully planned. Blotches, spills and smears were former bothers. Writers bore telltale stains.
         Left-handers must have wept with joy at the advent of this writing marvel. No longer did they risk losing their trains of thought or miss transcribing an important point waiting for ink to dry before their awkwardness smudged their efforts. Viva quick-drying ink!
         Imagine stuffing a bottle of ink and a quill into your pocket. The new pen introduced itself as portable. It did not require re-sharpening which also caused a pencil to shrink and eventually whittle away. Ink proved more permanent than pencil renderings which could fade, or be erased.
         My pens are humble and affordable Bics. Of course, I am not referring to the other infamous Bic immortalized in ads with the tag line "flick my Bic." That contraption permitted smokers to light their cigarettes. Now, I do not write with Bic's For Her pens, or lady pens either. What was this company thinking introducing a gender-bias writing tool? Who conceived of this? How had women survived handling other pens since the 40's? Did someone honestly believe regular pens to be too heavy, uncomfortable, unwieldy for women? Had any female been disfigured, maimed, or permanently injured by her use of the original Bic?
         I prefer the sensible workhorse of a pen. It needn't be fancy or sparkle in a glimmery rainbow colour. Sure, there are times when a retractable pen feels like a luxury. No one enjoys misplacing a cap, or discovering scribbles across their white leather wallet. My pens are shaped as a slim cylinder, but some exist that are hexagonal to prevent them from escaping rolling. Mind blown! I just put up with pens that disappear and wobble under furniture.
         I will bemoan the fact that pens must be held somewhat upright for ink to be dispensed. They dislike writing on anything but a flat, level surface. They also do not appreciate cold temperatures and when exposed they balk. Some finicky pens prefer clean, dry paper.
         Mind blown encore! Ingenuity and a generous research budget has reincarnated the ball point pen in the form of a tungsten carbide gas-charged marvel dubbed the Fisher Space Pen. It boasts a shelf life of one-hundred years and was patented in 1965. Why have I not heard of this? It's a super writing tool that will work in zero gravity, a vacuum and extreme temperatures. Wonder of wonders it also works under water, at any angle, and on wet, or greasy paper. The creators marketed their pen to NASA which had failed to develop a similar product. The only reliable writing implement in space had been the pencil.
         Another ingenious reinvention of the pen originates with a Swiss company and their Caran d'Ache 825 Wood Chip Pen. This pen is sourced from 60% renewable materials created and collected from this company's manufacture of coloured pencils. The hexagonal body is composed of wood chips and wood cellulose. Wow!
         I celebrated this momentous occasion with a couple of my current pens. I took them on an excursion to the local laundromat where I utilized their specialist skills to solve a crossword and record a few of my flashes of brilliance. They never faltered. They did not run dry. My pens are dependable allies. Not one of them is aware of the super pens that exist out in the world. They plod along with me.
June 8, 2021 at 3:13pm
June 8, 2021 at 3:13pm
         Upsy daisy, oopsy daisy, parental murmurings from my youth. I suspect I heard this more than most children due to my proclivity to fall. Gravity and I battled constantly. To my puzzlement, I also heard descriptors such as ass over tea kettle and two left feet. Nothing surprises me anymore, or figuratively knocks me off balance.
         Today, I learned June eighth is Upsy Daisy Day. Okay. Really? A special day to commemorate the act of losing command of your motor functions? An occasion for klutzes to celebrate? A time to compare bruises and share 'war' stories?
          Well, in a nut shell, no. Upsy Daisy Day is a chance to take stock of what makes you grateful and puts a smile on your face. Positivity is the main focus. No negativity is permitted. Be happy. Turn that frown upside down. ( I've heard this simple platitude a few times and I admit I chose to glare which is technically not the same as a frown).Let a smile be your umbrella. (This is all well and good, but in the real world actual rain does pelt down and what protection does a grin provide?) It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. Maybe. Don't all muscles deserve a workout?
          Smile and the whole world smiles with you. Yes, I've found this to be true the majority of the time. It costs nothing to share a smile. It usually triggers a mirror response and is thus contagious. A smile knows no language barrier.
         When I'm out and about I always have a friendly smile ready to give away and mine shines brighter when it's been returned. Undeniably people exist who refuse to make eye contact. They stare at the ground, or they gaze off into the distance. Sometimes, they speed up to avoid a meeting, or they abruptly change course. The ones who pretend not to notice me make me laugh. I recognize a brush off , the reluctance to engage. Don't fret, I will not force my smile down your throat. Yes, you have a right to remain 'smileless.' And also true, smiling non-stop demands commitment and not everyone is ready to receive one.
         I do understand that circumstances collude to foil / thwart happiness. The down, miserable times exist without a doubt, but for the most part they are temporary. Gratefulness has an opposite. A frown, scowl or whatever is the opposite of a smile. How can we appreciate contentment without recognizing discontent?
         I wonder how people would react if I said to them, "Upsy daisy."
         I'd expect some sort of a reaction if only a direct glance, or a startled expression, or a 'bah humbug.' Do parents offer a 'upsy daisy' to reassure their children? You're okay. You stumbled, but you can get back up. Here, do you need me to help you? See, you can stand and walk again. I'm right beside you. Chin up. Let's try this one more time.
         Surely no one would argue that adults also crave reassurance. Adulting is not easy. It's a messy, exasperating, infuriating, frustrating, exhausting, grey-hair-sprouting, under-eyes-bags, wrinkle-inducing, weight-gain multiplying, worry-toting, endless responsibility.
          I know it's so much more than this and not everything about adulthood is depressing. There is the freedom to make choices and attempt new ventures. We can opt to smile. We can stop to notice others and acknowledge their existence. We can assist and share. I am grateful for this.
         Upsy daisy.
June 7, 2021 at 1:59pm
June 7, 2021 at 1:59pm
         I'm melting! Oh, I am well aware that a certain nasty witch bewailed her fate as she too melted in 'The Wizard of Oz' and as such my pitiful declaration lacks originality. But, it feels like it. I feel like I am melting.
         It's only a week into June and the thermometer is glowing red ready to explode. Already the much anticipated longer, sunnier days are too hot. Officially the temperatures read as thirty degrees Celsius and present as forty degrees Celsius. For the Americans I shall convert this measurement to something relatable. After all, I straddle both the metric and imperial worlds. It's 86 degrees Fahrenheit when only two weeks ago I waffled as to the wearing of flip flops. It's not yet summer or so the calendar states.
         Let me clarify. For some unknown reason the humidity has arrived early and like the heavy, oppressive, damp blanket it is it's smothering. It's stifling.
         Winter weather is more accommodating. Dressing in layers is a given. If one should feel cold add another layer for warmth. Shrug on an extra sweater. Bundle up in fleece. Wrap yourself in all clothing woolen. Pull on heavy socks. A comfortable body temperature is achievable.
         There is nothing as extreme as heat. I shuck my flimsy clothing which consists of a cotton t-shirt and a pair of cotton shorts and still I cannot lower my body temp. There is absolutely nothing 'nakeder' than naked. The only layers remaining are those of my skin and with this unrelenting humidity they may slide off. My epidermis is slippery with perspiration, ( did someone famous once claim that ladies do not sweat they perspire?). Perhaps if a couple of inches slough off I'll not only feel lighter, but cooler as well?
         Just breathing induces streams of water to trickle down my hot torso and beads to drip from my nose. Inhaling is apparently a workout. Puddles form around me. If I sit, my slick skin forms some sort of adhesive and glues me to a chair. Rising rips screaming skin cells that for a blessed brief moment feel slightly less heated. The air is languid. Ceiling fans spin furiously as they push and twist air that refuses to soothe. There is no relief.
          I drink so much water I'm considering installing an intra- venous, (iv) line that will deliver fluid straight into my arm. Walking to and from the kitchen sink and/or the fridge is taxing. I expel valuable fluid with this effort. Perhaps I could scrounge up a garden hose, attach it to a faucet and run it directly to where I choose to suffer move as little as possible. If I could see past the distinct possibility of electrocution and thus grievous bodily harm, I might consider using my bathtub as a wading pool while I surf the internet and type on my keyboard. Of course, I would not be exerting any actual physical effort such as wading. I'd be wallowing. I'd hope not to be stewing, or steaming.
         As I write this the nearby freshwater lake shimmers and beckons. Oh, I am tempted to partake of its cooling waters, but... As I mentioned, I am naked. To dress even for a brief foray to the lake would require energy I don't seem to possess. Donning some kind of clothing would be a nod to the sensitivities of my small village neighbours. In this oppressive heat, the sight of my nudity would prove too much. We are all suffering as it is. And yes I would most assuredly be spotted. My get up and go has evaporated and thus I would not be capable of a nude sprint, or a flash run. The only flashes would come from the cellphone cameras capturing my desperate scramble. If I hastened without due care, in my slippery state I could stumble and that would not be a pretty sight.
         So, I sit and simmer. I roast. I imagine basting turkeys. I long for a refreshing breeze and daydream about savouring an unlimited supply of freezing cold ice cream, calorie-free of course.
June 4, 2021 at 9:58pm
June 4, 2021 at 9:58pm
         According to DAILYHOLIDAYBLOG.COM today is Hug Your Cat Day. Now I'm all for celebrating diverse occasions, but alas I cannot participate in this special day because I no longer cater to a feline. My servitude ended years ago. No longer does a mere cat permit me to do exactly as it intended.
         I ceased to be at the constant beck and call of Itty Bitty when he died unexpectedly the hectic weekend I began a new job. I'm not insinuating that he disapproved of my absences, but his timing is highly suspect. He did far more than turn his back on me and ignore me for some perceived slight.
         That crazy cat entered my home stuffed into a shirt pocket and his diminutive stature earned him his name. Obviously, 'Cutie' and 'Tiny' did not rhyme with kitty. As he assumed his prominent position in my household it became apparent that he should've been tagged as 'Curiosity' and he seemed to have many of those fabled nine lives that are attributed to such a daredevil beast.
         For reasons only he understood, Itty Bitty decided to become my shadow. Oh, he never deigned to be stealthy, not at all. He loved the sound of his own voice and he spoke to me constantly. I was expected to listen without comment. If I did attempt to replicate his vocalization, Itty Bitty would approach me, plant his paws, cock his head and stare into my eyes. I received the message loud and clear. He did not appreciate my accent.
         Early one morning before the rest of the family members awoke, Itty Bitty followed me into the bathroom. Wishing to better see my reflection in the above-sink mirror, he perched on the seat of the commode. Somehow he lost his balance and or his concentration and he tumbled into the depths of the yawning toilet. He proved that the rumours re a feline's reflexes are not at all exaggerated. Even as his warm dry nether regions struck the ice cold water his paws were scrambling for an emergency exit. He exploded up and out with a great swoosh. Scrabbling on the tile floor he seemed to be out-running the cascade of water connecting him to its source. I chuckled at the frantic body contortions that had him slithering and racing while he both shook his wet feet and wiggled his sodden tail. I grabbed a towel and cornered him in the kitchen where I tousled him dry. Until every last hair had been returned to its rightful spot, he left me unaccompanied.
         This surprise dip did not cease his forays into the bathroom. If I dared to enjoy a soak in the tub with the door closed, Itty Bitty would scratch non-stop and howl his displeasure. He always got his way. I'd swing open the offending door and my cat would leap up onto the edge of the bathtub to keep me company. He relaxed his plume of a tail until it was immersed in the water and then he'd swish it back and forth. When he was ready, he'd leap to the floor and meow an order. As he commanded, I'd douse Itty Bitty with handfuls of water until he removed himself to a nearby spot and groomed himself.
         One day, Itty Bitty leapt into an empty cardboard box and careened down the basement steps. At no time did he attempt to vacate his impromptu ride. He stayed aboard until the box thudded to a stop.
         As I mentioned this loveable critter just had to be next to me. He found me irresistible I suppose. While sitting and viewing television I kept my hands busy with needlepoint and cross-stitching. For convenience sake I pushed needles into the armrest of my sofa and I also kept the various threads and scissors there, too. Itty Bitty insisted upon lounging on this same armrest, needles and all. He permitted me to reach under him to remove the sharp objects, but he never did wait for me to re-locate them before his recline. His spot was his spot.
         Despite his neediness, this cat was never a cuddler, a snuggler, a lap cat. On the rare occasions he sought affection, Itty Bitty asked for it. He'd tap me with a paw to get my attention and he'd emit a certain, distinct meow. At this indisputable signal, I'd gather him up and pet his head. I learned not to have allusions. If I failed to mark the time, a scant thirty-seconds, and release him ,Itty -Bitty would bite the loving hand supporting him. Obviously, he preferred his lovin' to be brief.
         If Itty Bitty were still shadowing me, I would not dream of disturbing his personal space to deliver a hug just because it happened to be Hug Your Cat Day. He had his dignity. He also had his strict regimen of measured doses of affection. I miss that grey tabby.
June 3, 2021 at 10:02pm
June 3, 2021 at 10:02pm
         So, my birthday rolled around again on June first. I'm not putting this out there to garner congratulations, or cheers, or even pity. Yes, I'll be the first to admit that I am aging, but isn't everyone? I cannot be the only one. The strangest thing occurred this evening and I believe it correlates to my 'advanced' years. My time has come.
         I just experienced a wellness check. Yep, someone expressed concern about my welfare and sent another someone to check on me. What precipitated this? Had someone worried ? Had they envisioned a catastrophe?
         My first inkling that I had somehow caused a loved one undue stress came as I hustled from my easy chair in response to a pounding upon my door. I did not hasten to a normal knock, or a tap. This thunder was inflicted upon my door to catch my attention, or wake me from a perceived slumber / momentary faint /, or a coma. The pounder exerted an urgency.
         I swung open the door to greet my daughter-in-law who exhaled audibly and exclaimed, "Oh, you're alright then?"
         I tittered in response and I may have bowed to show my level of consciousness. I waved my arms and wiggled my toes for added effect. Terrilynn's furrowed brow and unblinking eyes revealed her skepticism.
         "Chris texted me to come and check on you. He said his dad has been trying to reach you all day. I was in town already. One minute I was snuggling Josh's new baby and the next I was driving here. I even forgot how to pass over a baby."
          I shook my head and shrugged. I retrieved my cellphone and searched for recent calls. My call log was empty for today and in fact, I'd last received a call from my long-distance trucker hubby on my birthday, June first.
         "Well Paul talked to your son and they both thought maybe you'd fallen, or something. You never answered your phone. Is it turned off? Did you turn down the volume?"
         In my defense, I showed my DIL that my phone was charged, the volume set to more than a whisper, and it had been placed next to my recliner within easy reach. My cellphone and I were blissfully unaware that we'd created a kerfuffle.
         Terrilynn and I engaged in more of our impromptu chin wag before she bid me adieu. Of course, she texted my son with the news that I was still standing and breathing. During our gabfest, I multi-tasked and sent a private message to my perturbed / concerned / frantic partner.
         Eventually, he and I connected via a Facetime chat. He could see with his own eyes that all his perceived fears had been for naught. Had there been a glitch in the satellite thingies shooting our communication attempts adrift in a vast nether world? Strange...
         Now, it's not as if I don't sometimes worry about my hubby when he's far from home. His semi is tracked by a satellite. He possesses two cellphones, an American model and a Canadian one both of which may be traced. As he drives, he wiles away the hours chatting with a network of friends and family. He travels along busy highways amongst other traffic. In other words, if something happened to him it would not occur in a vacuum.
         I suppose I should feel loved and I most assuredly do, but does this mean I can anticipate further wellness checks? Will I be gifted with one of those Alert necklaces meant for feeble seniors? Will my family install an emergency phone that lights up the sky and demands a swift response similar to the fabled bat-phone? Oooo, perhaps there will be more spontaneous visits, or drop-ins.
June 2, 2021 at 7:47pm
June 2, 2021 at 7:47pm
         Yesterday, June 2nd happened to be that most auspicious occasion, Go Barefoot Day. Did I remember to take part? Of course I did. In my neck of the woods it's finally not winter and my feet couldn't wait to shuck socks and shoes to celebrate. They anticipate months of freedom. They look forward to wiggle room. Yesterday, I slid my bare feet into a pair of flip flops, or thongs as some know them. A five-year old cousin referred to them as 'plip plops', but I digress.
         I consider the word 'go' to be a directive and so I did just that. My bare feet and I ventured outside for a bit of sun and fresh air. We walked to the post office. No, no that is not accurate. What we did was more of a trudge, we were tired. For sure we did not skip. At some point, we dissolved into more of a limp and my bare feet dragged. Let me explain.
         On Go Barefoot Day Eve my feet and I jumped the queue. In reaction to the brilliant sunshine and balmy temperature, we began our observances a tad early. On Monday we visited our campsite with the honourable intention of picking up dead leaves. Feeling the allure of the enticing weather, we had chosen to toil in a pair of flip flops. Alas, my well-meaning bare feet and I had forgotten our propensity for mishaps.
         Intending to unlock a garden shed and retrieve a pair of rakes, we permitted ourselves to be distracted. We passed near the pick-up truck and decided on a whim to pull open the tail gate. This action revealed four newly-purchased metal c-clamps in the box that then had to be re-located. I grabbed them and without another glance we backed up and my bare feet stumbled into a wallow, or as I picture it, a sort of pot hole in the dirt. In a matter of seconds I face-planted on the ground. There was nothing pretty about my thud.
         Struggling to my stunned feet, I felt the bruises blossom and the aches complain. My right ankle sent distress signals of a sprain and my right big toe throbbed. Somehow, the flip flops had separated from my feet and the C-clamps had disappeared. Despite my tender ribs I chuckled. Unlike unlucky Wile Coyote, those pieces of metal flung into the air had not struck me while I was prone in the leaves.
         If I'm being truthful, I celebrate Barefoot Day most of the time. I eschew footwear in favour of freedom and comfort, but it comes at a price.
         A few years ago, two days post knee surgery, ( the first of four on my left leg with the third being a total knee replacement), I squished my right foot into a flip flop, rose from a chair and hobbled unsteadily forward in the add-a-room of my trailer. Without warning, my right big toe stubbed a particularly solid chair leg pitching me off balance. Swaying off-kilter, my right hip checked that immoveable piece of furniture and I bounced against the paneled wall. As I lost my battle to remain upright my right arm swung in a wide arc and crashed through a window. When I finally ceased striking objects, I caught my breath and surveyed the damage.
         My left knee remained swathed in a thick layer of gauze. I noticed that it hurt to inhale and my ribs sent sharp jabs up my right side. My right big toe throbbed and its nail had been bloodied and split up the center. My right arm ached and showed several inches of bloody scrapes. I even had an abrasion on my chin. It could've been worse. As I fell, my arm punched out the screen and not the glass window pane which had been drawn open.
         Had choosing to be barefoot caused this incident? I dunno. It was a moot point. I could not wear shoes in the aftermath.
         Bare feet and I share a history. Once I attempted to perform a simple manoeuver known to most as passing through a doorway. Huh, this happened at my trailer, too. The door had swung open without a hitch and I stepped forward expecting to be outside. To the family members sitting outdoors awaiting my imminent arrival, it appeared as if I'd been shot from some invisible cannon, or flung by some stealthy, malevolent force. I hurtled out that doorway and flew through the air. Landing on unprepared bare feet, I stumbled and crashed to the hard ground. As has occurred too many painful times, poor vulnerable toes were fractured, contusions and abrasions marked my skin, and I shook my head in amazement. What had transpired? Had I been pushed? All I can surmise is that as I stepped forward I trod on the back of a flip flop effectively braking my surprised feet and propelling me forward with the cold efficiency of physics and gravity. What intended to exit the trailer must still exit the trailer.
         My clueless toes have endured more than their fair share of breaks. Whomever coined the phrase "them's the breaks" must have been referring to my damaged digits. If anything at all could possibly cause them injury, my toes will find it. They are stubbers. How many people can claim to have fractured a big toe baking Christmas cookies? Has anyone else admitted to hurting their toes surfing the internet? Yes, I rolled over them while seated in my computer chair.
         I admit to fantasizing about docking, okay severing ,my toes from my feet. I cannot injure what isn't there, right? Horrified do-gooders insist upon informing me that my toes provide balance. Do they really? I certainly do not enjoy my mishaps, but I do like wearing flip flops. Barefoot footwear requires toes. I like to ambulate barefoot and shoes feel confining. It's a vicious cycle.
         Could there be sonar for my toes? If they sensed imminent danger, they could take offensive action. They need an early warning avoidance system.
         I still believe in Go Barefoot Day, I do. Fractures heal. Scars fade. Bruises are a consolation prize of sorts. They are pretty and they showcase all the colours of the rainbow. My newest ones are a lovely shade of violet that will morph into green and yellow soon.
"The Bard's Hall Contest The beginning of my blogs for this contest!
May 30, 2021 at 6:41pm
May 30, 2021 at 6:41pm
May 30th Prompt: What was your favourite prompt? What was the most rewarding aspect of participating this month?
          Every day I look forward to a new challenging prompt to tweak my writing skills. I never know what I will encounter, or what subject matter I will be asked to consider. Some prove themselves to be thought-provoking while others present themselves as more fun. I appreciate all of them.
         All of the participants answer the same prompt, but no two of us do so in the same manner. We offer our own unique spins and flair, our own special memories, our own experiences, our own reasoned opinions, and our own configuration of words.I admire the creativity of my fellow bloggers and I enjoy reading their wonderful writing. Thank you!
          Did I have a favourite prompt this month? Why yes I did! In fact, I had a few favourites. I liked the conversation I initiated with a dog in order to satisfy the 'converse with an animal' prompt. There's always a first time for everything.
         I also enjoyed reminiscing about nicknames. Fond memories resurfaced.
         My third most favourite prompt was the one re writing about a first ____. As an open-ended idea, I could consider anything. I liked the option of a choice.
         I anticipate another challenging month of blogging in the near future.
May 29, 2021 at 7:52pm
May 29, 2021 at 7:52pm
May 29th Prompt: Add to the War Chest Challenge. Write three prompts for future rounds and then use one of them to finish the rest of your entry.
         So, it's that time again, huh? Hmmm... What three prompts could I contribute?
         Okay, here they are. 1. Do you like your name? Would you ever change it? 2. If you could be a mythical creature, which would you choose? 3. The one thing nobody tells you about ______.
         So, now I'll pick one to write about. Eeny, meeny, miney, mo choose a prompt and let it flow. Number 1 is the winner. Do you like your name? Would you ever change it?
         I don't not like my name. It is what it is. It's not a god-awful moniker. It's not frumpy, or gawdy, or over the top. I've never known another name. My name is my identity. When called, I answer to it.
          There are names I'm forever grateful did not impress either of my parents. I feel for women christened Fanny. Everyone carries around that particular body part, but to highlight it as a given name?
         I could have been a Bertha, or a Frieda, or a Philomena. No disrespect to those who face every day with these 'labels', but they're not for me. Certain names I associate with old ladies which is wrong because they were not always seniors. Martha, Evelyn, Edwina, and the like seem outdated to me.
          I dodged a bullet by not bearing my maternal grandmother's names, Gladys Gertrude. Now, If I had been her namesake, I'd shorten my moniker to G.G. I'd keep people guessing and perpetuate an aura of mystery. Hey, this could be my pen name. Of course, G.G. is not at all similar to Gigi which I think would make a cute dog's name.
         I have no illusions of grandeur that would prompt me to change, or alter my name. Oh, as a teenager I briefly entertained the idea of creative spelling for my name. I considered that an 'i' in place of a 'y' would give me an aura of individuality, a 'specialness.' I knew someone who had decided to spell Cindy as Cyndi and that swayed my temporary bid as Sandi. I came to my senses and accepted that 'y.'
          Perhaps I'm becoming a fuddy duddy, but have you noticed the strange, nonsensical, and outrageous spellings some choose for their children's names? They pervert a well-known name and sometimes I hazard a guess as to the pronunciation. Surely, not all of these parents are terrible spellers. I assume they seek a uniqueness for their offspring.
         My eldest grandgiggles had a friend with just such a distortion to her name. I first saw it in a class list and I pronounced it as " zow" as in "kapow" and "ee" that rhymes with "lee." Zowee... The girls were quick to correct me. "No, Nanna, it's Zoe." Okay?
         Certain names seem to attract several versions in their presentations. Take the moniker 'Michaela'. I've noticed 'Mikayla','Michaella', 'Mickeyla', whatever. My eldest's name is 'Carrie' and the other options are many. 'Kerry', 'Carry', 'Cari' or 'Karri'. When I spy a name tag with 'Carrie' I make a point of saying that it's spelled correctly, but what do I know? I have a preference, obviously.
         Anyway, I'll keep my name as it is. I have no need for an alias, or a fresh start. A few of the relatives may display memory issues in the near future, so why mess with them now. I appreciate that they remember me.
May 28, 2021 at 5:38pm
May 28, 2021 at 5:38pm
PROMPT May 28th

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
         Would the sky be the limit? Could I achieve anything? Need I not worry about risking life and limb in an extreme physical sport? Would I ever need to train to prepare myself for acts of derring-do? Would I exert myself? Could I forgo lifting a finger? Need I ever lose sleep , or fret about an outcome? Why would I bother to learn, practise , or update any skills?
         I do not wish to be guaranteed success. If I never fail, where is my motivation to improve? If everything I attempt is golden, would I appreciate it? Would I not become complacent?
         To fail is to acknowledge an effort. To fail is to learn and grow. To fail is to seek improvement, modifications, and adjustments. Nothing worthwhile is easy. I want my accomplishments to be the result of my efforts. To never fail is inconceivable.
May 27, 2021 at 8:31pm
May 27, 2021 at 8:31pm
PROMPT May 27th

Write about your first _______. (You fill in the blank. Ex: first car, first job, first crush, first week at college, etc)
         Ah, firsts! They are incomparable. They are indelible. They may never be duplicated.
          I shall write about the kid that officially made me an aunt for the first time, Jimmy. He originated with the first of my siblings to become a parent, my sister Laurie. She decided he'd be a James Milo and right from the start I questioned the 'Milo.' I quizzed her as to its origin and she assured me it had always been a family name on the father's side. Milo? Jim's paternal stock were born and bred for countless generations in a rural landlocked area in northern Ontario. Few had ever ventured further than their home province with their run-of-the-mill average names. Milo? Had a foreign sailor voyaged about their farmland sweeping the star struck womenfolk off their feet and leaving unrequited swooning in his wake? But James Milo he became.
         Ah, Jimmy kept his mother on her toes. He believed his father who insisted that ants were 'clean bugs' and he collected them along with worms, spiders, and anything that caught his eye. Laurie was what her in-laws referred to as a 'city girl' and she never liked insects even if they were outside. As a child she would scream, "Bee" at anything that whirred by her.
         Jimmy also picked up a few choice cuss words from his father and he knew how to press his mother's buttons. He thought he knew just how far to push her, but he made a calculated mistake. At one of his birthday parties, Jimmy ran around shouting out his favourite swear word de jour enjoying the shock factor. Several times, Laurie cautioned him and then down right threatened him, but he ignored her. He thought he'd heard it all until my sister called his bluff.
         Laughing with his friends, Jimmy failed to notice his mom exit the house and march towards him. I suppose her shadow alerted him and he turned to see a green bar of soap floating before him. His first instinct was to run, but Laurie followed no matter where he zigged, or zagged. Cornering the wide-eyed boy, Laurie thrust that bar of Irish Spring in between his teeth. In front of his party guests Jimmy stood for all to see. He attempted to wiggle out of her grasp, but he had met his match. Only a scant minute passed, but to that boy with the tearing eyes it must have seemed like an eternity.
         When his parent asked if he'd learned his lesson, Jimmy nodded. With the soap removed, Jim gagged, retched and spat. He carried on for far longer a period than that torturous minute. He refused her offer of a drink.
          One day, my sibling noticed dark, purplish smudges under each of her son's eyes. He replied no to all the standard queries. He had not been punched. He had not fallen. No one had poked him. The dog had not jumped up on him. Jimmy claimed the 'bruises' did not hurt, so his mom shrugged them off. When those same marks took on a greenish-yellow hue, Laurie ferried her unconcerned child to a doctor's appointment. To the doctor's question re had he put anything up into his nose, Jim shook his head no.
         After a visit to the hospital's x-ray department and a series of nasal shots, the suspicious doctor discovered several pebbles wedged tight inside each nasal/ sinus cavity. Again, Jimmy underwent questioning. Finally, he admitted to inserting the gravel into his nose, but he claimed he'd forgotten about it. He had no idea when he'd done this and could not answer why either.
         At one time, Jimmy had an active imagination that caused me to laugh whenever I spoke with him. For a few years, he had an imaginary friend that went everywhere he did. For the life of me I cannot recall that invisible pal's name. Could it have been Doug? Of course, Doug became the excuse why Jim would refuse to eat certain foods. Doug didn't like it. Doug didn't have to take a bath every night. Doug's mother did not tell him what to do. For some reason, Doug was older than Jim, and in fact, Jim represented him as being an adult.
         If someone, anyone purchased a new snowmobile, or a vehicle, or new tools Doug's were bigger, better, and faster. When Jim's Uncle Rick got married, so did Doug. If Dad chopped down three trees, Doug cut down ten. That Doug was very competitive.
          Jim insists that he does not remember Doug and acts as if we invented him. I do not recall Doug saying goodbye.
         One fond memory of Jim involves a couple of empty toilet paper rolls. He toted this makeshift 'chain saw' everywhere pretending to cut things up and making the requisite saw noise. There were probably strangers who stared and wondered about a little boy playing with t.p. rolls. He never took notice of those unbelievers and why should he?
         Thanks Jimmy for permitting me to be your aunt. As my first nephew you provided so much fun.

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