All posts tagged: personal

What Were You Doing 3287 Days Ago?

Nine years ago (the aforementioned 3287 days) I published my first blog post: Did you Get the H1N1 Flu Shot in 2009. It was not highly successful and has been viewed a grand total of 13 times. At the other end of the scale,  Tricky Questions – Thinking Outside the Box has been quite popular with over 36,000 views. Go figure… That’s the interesting thing about blogging. While I might have a general idea what my readers might find interesting or when it is a good time to catch them in a reading mood, I  have no idea how the Search Engines will promote or trash my posts! I do know this involves algorithms that judge, filter, penalize and reward content, but that is about the extent of my understanding! While the stats for the Tricky Questions post are fascinating to watch,  I like the H1N1 post as much and I love the process of researching and writing.  I’m happy with my blog as a whole –  a scrapbook of my photos, thoughts and ideas …

Not a Sweet Tooth – a Chocolate Tooth

I started my Not Fueled by Chocolate Diet and Exercise program in April of this year. Six months into the project – I’ve come to the realization that it is going to take a lot longer than six months to achieve my goal! That means I still can’t have a stash of dark chocolate in the house. Why?  I am  1/3 a Chocoholic. That is to say, on the few occasions I have had access to a dark chocolate bar,  I am Chocoholic Signal 1 – not particularly good at limiting my intake to, lets say, a square a day. Fortunately,  I am not Chocoholic Signal 2 – having intense cravings and Chocoholic Signal 3 – eating it despite the consequences! No, I am not inclined to nibble a mere 70 calorie chunk and be content. It takes a full 200 chocolate calories (or more) to satisfy my palate.  I’d have to add another 3 miles of walking a day to make that calorie neutral. That isn’t going to happen, which brings me back to …

Where is Your Codex Vitae?

Is Codex Vitae a technical term for a part of your body or does it sound like a disease?  To answer that, I’m going to start you with Twitter, drag you through YouTube, and deposit you in a Book. Twitter – What do you Seek? Twitter receives a lot of criticism, but like everything else on the internet, the value is there if you take the time to look around. Think of Twitter as an almost endless series of doors. You open one door and if you don’t find anything of value, you can close it – but you might find another door there that is of more value to you.   It is through this exploration of doors that I have found a growing movement of people who don’t identify with ‘tribes’. They are open to listening to others they may not agree with. They have discussions and share ideas. Many of these people can be found at the Intellectual Dark Web Site. It’s the great agony and the ecstasy of the Internet today. …

Puppy Classes… Again

Grandpa Car Guy said (or maybe he suggested, even perhaps asked) “Shake a Paw.!?” As near as I can recall, I said “Why? What do you seek in this engagement?” I may have said or done a few other things too… So I’m back in a Dog Training Class again. Apparently I could be the dog that gets the ‘most improved’ award – but it is much too early to tell whether I will ‘paw the line’. Early days… This isn’t the first time I have been in the Gamma Dog’s blog. You can also see me at: Sticks and Car Shows A Satisfying Day at the ‘Gamma Dogs’ House Looking for Puppy Faces The quotation “What do you seek in this engagement?” is from the book Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. The photo has had a Rembrandt filter applied in Topaz Studio.

Dark Days

It comes with no warning. Days of being sad. Energy tank on empty. Dark, dreary, heavy days. Overwhelmed. Too much, too many. I’ve been down this road many times before. It always passes. It is seasonal or hormonal or just being sad. It isn’t depression, but it is a gift that helps me to understand those who battle real depression. If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. – Stephen Fry – I wanted to write down exactly what I felt but somehow the paper stayed empty and I could not have described it any better. – WTM –

Looking for Puppy Faces

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. – Winnie the Pooh (by A.A. Milne) – Six years ago I wrote a post called A Perfect Storm – The Motorcycle Accident. It was the story of the day (Friday, July 13!) that The Car Guy and the Harley abruptly parted company – both landing in a farmer’s field, both with considerable damage. I reread that post yesterday. I also reread all the comments left on posts then and after the event – words of encouragement, concern and prayers for a speedy recovery! Thanks again, from the bottom of my Canadian heart, to all these kind bloggers who reached out to me during those dark days: The Cvillean Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings Virginia Views Before Morning Breaks Joys of Creating The Other Side of 55 Mark Armstrong Illustration Coming East composerinthegarden Year-Struck Nylon Daze MountainMae From the Drawing Board Fear No Weebles Bless Your Hippie Heart k8edid The Sandwich Lady Winsomebella I Need a Play Date …

The Upside to Absent-mindedness

For some reason there is a malfunction, some disconnect, between my imaginary hello and, well, my actual hello… Just know this: if you have ever passed me in the hall and I appeared to ignore you, it actually wasn’t like that at all… – Stuart McLean, The Vinyl Cafe Notebooks – An imaginary hello. Yes, that describes the greeting I sometimes don’t give. It’s caused (they say) by a condition called absent-mindedness (also spelled  absentmindedness or absent mindedness.) Often, I don’t even know that I’m being absent-minded. On other occasions, it is quite apparent: I search for my glasses and find them on the top of my head or I walk into a room but forget what I came there to do. I don’t think it is something to be stressed about. On the whole, my memory usually runs fairly smoothly and  I’m fairly adept at focusing when I need to. I see the shift into absent-mindedness as something that sets me free to think in abstract or creative ways – (that’s my story, and …

The Quippery

When Do You ‘Put Your Affairs in Order’?

Unless your Doctor has given you notice that your ‘Best Before Date’ is rapidly closing in on your ‘Expiry Date’, you might not have thought about the most important thing you can do for yourself now AND leave for your loved ones when you depart this world. This important thing costs no more than a sheet or two of paper, but it is priceless. It is a List of All the Things you know now – but might not remember later. It is a list of things the Executor of your Estate won’t know until they have rifled through your desk, file cabinet and all sorts of places obvious and obscure – so that they can wrap up your estate and deliver it to your rightful heirs. Think about this: Do you keep your documents in obvious locations like your desk, file cabinet or a shoe box under the bed? Does your family know you also stash important papers in a fake cabbage (or lettuce) in the fridge, a former box for fish cakes in …

Canadian Snowbirds – Renewing a Prescription Drug in Arizona

Good News for Canadian Snowbirds! If you are going to run out of a prescription drug before you can get back to Canada, there could be a way you can get it refilled. Take the remaining medication to a local Urgent Care (Primary Care Walk-in) Centre (we used the one nearest  to us, in Fountain Hills Arizona). Be sure the medication is in the original container with the label from the pharmacy that filled your prescription. The Doctors or Nurse Practitioners will give you a similar check-up to what your doctor at home would do before renewing your prescription. There will, of course, be a fee for this service. The prescription will be sent to a pharmacy of your choice for pick-up the next day. Totally unrelated to this topic – I’ve edited the following popular Snowbird joke that circulates in emails. I made it an Alberta/Arizona joke instead of Minneapolis/Florida (though it is rather far fetched to think someone would choose to honeymoon in Arizona…) An Alberta couple decided to go to Arizona to …

The Christmas Spirit Can’t Come too Early this Year

The World of Commerce starts promoting Christmas earlier and earlier each year, it seems. In Canada and the United States, the ‘Great Pumpkin’ products can be in one shopping aisle and ‘Jolly Old Saint Nick’ can be in the next. Personally, I don’t like the crass materialism of the season, and I really feel sorry for the Sales Associates in the stores. Imagine having to listen to the same Christmas music for almost 2 months! This year, however, I’ve put up my small table top Christmas tree already. Every time I walk by it, I am cheered by the tiny white snowmen decorations that my daughter and I made over 18 years ago. At night the twinkly lights brighten that corner of the room. It is peaceful. I have several reasons for putting up this tree so early. First, it is a calming reminder that this final journey with a loved one is down their path to a peaceful place. The tree is also a reminder that the greatest contribution I can give others right now …

The Sad, Silent Coffee Machine

Eldest daughter and her family have been staying with us, on and off, for the past month.  This has not created any space continuum inconvenience to The Car Guy and I – The Red House is more than large enough (because it is the same house we raised a squabble of teens in). Two extra adults and two teenagers  – we left it to them to jostle for prime real estate to set up their internet command stations. Our kitchen is spacious. It is more than capable of handling the extra cooks. The biggest difference was that the fridge filled and emptied on a daily, rather than weekly basis. Oh, and the dishwasher was often pressed into service twice a day. But the workhorse, no, the single most essential appliance in the house, was the Coffee Machine. These people are fueled by liquid caffeine. This coffee falls into your stomach, and straightway there is a general commotion… From that moment on, everything becomes agitated. Ideas quick-march into motion like battalions of a grand army to …

purple monster

The 2017 Alberta Flu Bug Arrives at my Door

I shall take you to bed and have my way with you. I will make you ache, shake, and sweat until you moan and groan. I will make you beg me to stop! When I am finished you will be weak for days. Sincerely, The Flu. I’ve been getting an Annual Flu shot since 2003, and up until now I have been flu-free. My luck ran out last Monday. I woke up feeling awful – fever, chills, whole body muscle pain,  intense fatigue, a cough, and skin so sensitive I could hardly stand to wear clothes. All these symptoms pointed to a flu virus. The flu, in a nutshell: At First I was afraid I was gonna die. Now I’m afraid I won’t. – Author Unknown – For 3 days I shuffled from bed to couch and back to bed. By Day 4, the whole body symptoms had receded, but site specific rashes and inflammations popped up. I felt well enough, though, to get out of bed and go see the Doctor. He confirmed I …

pantyhose craft

Spare Time Crafting Stories – Knitting

My mom was a knitter. She knit in her spare time – but she could knit in ‘unspare’ time too. By that, I mean she was a multitasker long before that term became popular. She could knit and watch TV. She could knit and enjoy the scenery on long road trips. She could knit and have conversations with friends. She probably could have knit and played bridge if Dad had built some sort of card holder for her. My children are knitters too. Eldest daughter likes to knit in her spare time. Wander over to her blog, The Good Life List and you will see a photo of this lovely project when it was finished. Middle daughter likes to knit too. She takes her knitting on road trips (like her grandma). Last I heard she couldn’t multitask – she has to watch the progress of each and every stitch very carefully. If she doesn’t, she ‘drops stitches’ which is a knitters term that means a stitch got lost about 6 rows ago. Youngest daughter knits, …

Keep Out! Declarations of Personal Privacy

I’m at that age where the memories of my youth are not even remotely fresh, yet there is one that is still as vivid as if it happened yesterday. It was the day I got my very own bedroom. I vacated the room I shared with my sister and took all my worldly goods (which probably fit in a couple of 2 cube  boxes) and moved down the hall – to a room that was just mine. At the time, I didn’t realize that my belongings were external place holders for my memories, relationships and travels in the bigger world. I didn’t understand that I was an introvert, and that I needed long stretches of alone time in order to recharge. I did know, however, that I had been given the right to close a door and by doing so, no one else would enter my space. It was the same right to privacy that had always existed within the walls of my parent’s bedroom – a room that I only ever entered if invited …

Antelope Street Cabin in LEGO

Our cabin, along with 305 other residences in Hidden Valley Alberta, was destroyed in the flood of June 2013. All that is left of it is rubble, but we have many wonderful memories and hundreds of photos taken by our family – the Antelope Street Photographers. I chose the name Antelope Street because that was the street where our cabin was. It was a gravel road that branched off the main drive. At that intersection it was a broad thoroughfare lined with grand old poplar trees and pretty little houses. By the time it got down to where our house was, however, it had narrowed somewhat. Past our place, it rambled on a bit further, then turned into a path that wandered down to the river. I can’t begin to count how many times we all walked that road, either westward to the privacy and serenity of the river or eastward to join family and the community. The spirit of the cabin lives on in the LEGO world, thanks to the thoughtful creativity of my …

Why There are Back-seat Drivers

This is a story that started out with the Monarch Butterflies in my garden. I learned a bit about them and their remarkable journeys. It seemed quite natural then to discuss human journeys, directionally disadvantaged navigators, and why there are back-seat drivers. Some humans are remarkable navigators. Others – not so much. I call these people ‘directionally challenged’. Unlike a butterfly that can find the way from Canada to Mexico with only the sun and the stars to guide them, certain people are lost by the time they drive past the edge of their neighbourhood. My spouse, The Car Guy, is moderately directionally challenged. The invention of GPS navigation has been a godsend for him. He has a friend, 3P, who is both directionally challenged AND has failed GPS 101. 3P can get lost when he ventures past the end of his street. We discovered this on a recent road trip where 3P was the driver, and The Car Guy was the navigator. The ‘wives’ sat in the back seat of the vehicle. Neither wife …

At Peace on Christmas Eve – 2013

All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king. – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring – Forgive but do not forget. Forgiving changes the perspectives. Forgetting loses the lesson – Paulo Coelho –