Saturday, March 29, 2014

Personality!!!

I did one of those personality tests on FB and failed!! How can you fail a personality test? Does that mean that you have no personality? Here's what happened. First, I love the colour red. My last two cars have been red, which means that I have been driving a red car for the last 26 years!! I am thinking of buying a new winter coat (on sale in April) and it will be red, if I can find one :) So I think that I should have got the colour - red, as an indicator of my personality!! Instead, I got blue. I like blue, but I almost never wear it and I have never had a blue car, lovely though they are. Well, the test questions and their answers were a little limiting. Here are some of them.

1. Which band would you choose to play at your wedding - The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones. I'm not sure that I would choose any of these and they are from a certain era. I would actually love to have a band that could play all sorts of music - waltzes, swing, Gay Gordons etc. I chose The Beatles, because I listen to them more than the other two - so yes, I may have chosen a "middle of the road" answer.

2. Where would you choose to live, when you retire - in a condo near night life, at a beach house or somewhere near the grandkids. OK, I know that they were separating us out into categories, such as, those who like people and doing things, those who like isolation and those who like family. Now, I chose the beach house, mainly because I'm a morning person and I like to be warm. I guess that this choice would make me a blue person. However, since I have no plans to retire, and if I did, I would live in the city near amenities, not necessarily night life, but I would need shops, and clubs and people etc. If I lived away from my kids, I would have a reason to travel and visit them :)

3. If you could take a free vacation, where would you go - on a cruise, to Rio or to London. I ruled out a cruise, I'm not the least bit interested in one. I'm interested in Rio, but there are other places I would go before I chose Rio. I picked London, because at least it's part of Europe and I have lived there before, so I have friends to visit. I would actually go somewhere on the Mediterranean.



4. What restaurant would you chose - spicy Thai, themed burger place or seafood house. I opted for the seafood house. I don't usually do Thai, I prefer Indian curry and since they didn't mention French Bistro, there wasn't much choice. Plus, I only go to seafood restaurants when I'm at the sea!!

5. Your dream job would be - beach bar manager, astronaut, editor. None of the above, however, I did chose editor, because it was the closest position to the arts. I would love a paid commission to create visual art - unfortunately, it wasn't on the list.

6. How would you paint your house - select different colour schemes for each room. Paint every room the same bold colour. Paint every room white for easy maintenance. What a choice! In our first house, I painted every room a different colour with a different theme - but I was young and crazy then. After that I painted every room white to pop the colours of the wood and fabric. For the house that I'm in now, I painted every room white, all the wood white and made sure that all the furniture and fabric was white too. I was even debating white rugs. The only colour was from the paintings and the plants. What I really want to do is paint every room in a series of pastel colours - different shades for different walls and parts of walls. I would then paint the furniture in these shades as well, with maybe some vines and flowers, very subtly showing as a contrast. Blue indeed :)

7. What would you change about high school? Would you have joined more clubs, got better grades, not wrecked your mother's car. Well, I did wreck my mother's car. I sometimes think that I would like to join more clubs even now, but I never do. I always had a large circle of friends, when I was in school, and we made our own fun or havoc, as the case may be. I coasted with my grades :)

8. What do you wear when you are relaxing at home - PJ's, jeans and a T-shirt, whatever is clean in the laundry basket. When I decide to get dressed, which is usually noon on the weekends, I wear jeans and a T-shirt. so I guess that I am split between the two. When I get dressed for work, it's whatever is clean in the laundry basket. I chose the latter. Blue is a lazy colour!

9. What do you wear on your feet, most often - I think that they were struggling for questions here. The choices were - athletic shoes, loafers, sandals. I wear slippers, which I guess are like loafers, without the penny. However in summer, I wear sandals!!

Follow the link at the beginning of the post to try it yourself!!

The picture? Well, it's not my car and it's a pity that they had to use black duck tape to hold the front bumper on. I use red duck tape to hold my back bumper on :)

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Where have all the calories gone....

.....or not as the case maybe. I have just spent the last half hour hanging around the kitchen looking for an idea for a post. Unfortunately, I have done crumbs before and today there were too many of them to be funny. Anyway, I think that they're funnier in drawers, kitchen drawers that is, where they don't crunch under foot, they just lie in corners and prop up the elastic bands and other bits and bobs.

No, I was looking for a sign from the cosmos that might have gotten in through the sludge at the side door, which is unfortunately inside, not outside, the door - sigh. Aha! something is speaking to me from the fridge door, always a good place to look for unspoken messages. Already I can tell, it's going to be a day of contradictions!! First, there are all the slogans on the fridge magnets themselves - do I need to know the signs of a stroke? or where to buy fresh sea food?....not cosmic enough! Then there is all the info on the bits of paper these magnets secure to the door. The Jays' baseball schedule, appointments with Dr. Who :) or more specifically, a Dr Whose name I can't make out and maybe a note to call the British High Commission for passports - hmmmm. Finally there is the message inherent in the organized chaos of their display. This is not communication, this is the Tower of
Babel!!



Wait, I think I see something of interest - a calorie counter - OK, it's always good for a laugh!! Here's a list of the amount of exercise it takes to burn off certain foods - very depressing!!

1 slice of pizza = 30 mins of running
1 large muffin = 90 mins of yoga
1 caesar salad = 2 hrs of cleaning
1 glass of red wine = 1 hr of walking the dog
1 slice of chocolate cake = 1 hr of swimming
1 medium frappuccino = 45 mins of tennis

No wonder I never lose weight. To work off a basic meal with a little wine would take me several hours of strenuous exercise and then it would be mealtime again. Damned if you do and damned if you don't!!

The picture? Walking the dog cake or something like that :)

Have a lite day


Monday, March 24, 2014

I'm a Hero...

Maybe I should rephrase that.... I think I'm a hero. This morning, I could report to my husband that Barca beat Real Madrid 4 to 3 and that Messi scored a hat trick!! I'm sure that it will be replayed somewhere, in case you missed it. The only reason I know this is because of that little inset on my FB screen which tells me what's "trending." My husband doesn't have a FB account and obviously did not watch the game. So I could get my sport's two cents worth in before coffee and feel like a real hero!!

Soccer, I guess, is getting trendier here in North America. My kids always complain, though, that the commentator is a Brit, with a British accent, go figure. "Why couldn't they find someone from here to keep a running dialogue throughout the game?" they ask.

Obviously, I live in a sport's oriented household. My daughter leaves the house at 7:00am to coach a girls' rugby team. My son gets up early on his days off to watch European soccer broadcasts live over here. And my husband watches hockey, while waiting for the Baseball season to start. I put on my earphones and play background music, as I read, to drown it all out. Sigh!! I really can't call the challenge of getting through Middlemarch a sport, can I?



Somehow, walking is not considered a sport either. However, its day may come, why, just look at the rise of curling :) In fact walking has many sports-like challenges. There are the dangers of ice covered paths in Winter, puddle laced roads in Spring and human encounters of a dubious kind, any time of the year!! I don't wear knee pads, unless I'm worried about dogs. I do carry a walking stick in the ravines - it's more ski pole than hockey stick and I have special shoes, to which I may add cleats. Some people even walk in teams. We just have to add a little competition to this team walking and we could call it a sport. In fact, all we might really need is someone to donate a trophy to the cause!! I can see it all now - power walking as a new Olympic sport!!

Have an awesome day!!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sesquipedalia and the Meaning of Life.....

This has all happened before and I know it will all happen again. It's Sunday morning and I haven't an idea in my head for a post :) There was lots of "stuff" on FB, but again, much of it was repetitive - trite memes, boring lists, not-so-cute animal tricks - sigh.

I flipped around on a few blog sites, looked at some YouTube videos and finally ended up in one of my favourite places - Word of the Day. If all else fails, utter something sesquipedalian. It means polysyllabic and it does cast a new light on the situation.

I'm sure that we all remember "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." It's not that I need to sound "precocious," as the song suggests, it's just that I need to come up with something interesting!! Now the word for the day from wordthink.com was "bifurcate" - to divide into branches or fork. It's a new word for me, so this is good. It seems to be used mainly in the sense of a river splitting into separate streams, as in - The river bifurcates at the base of the mountain. It made me think, though, of anything liquid, splitting apart. I saw the mind dividing into different streams of consciousness, or the soul slipping into other realms. Can you go to these places and come back a different person? Something to explore another time.



Then again bifurcate doesn't actually sound like a mental or spiritual event. The hard consonants and the growling "r" suggest a negative, as in, "I wish he would bifurcate himself." Well, maybe and perhaps it is better than some of the alternatives :)

The other word place I visited was the Merriam-Webster site. I've forgotten their word for today, but, I liked their definitions on mugs, aprons, T-shirts and pet dishes. Yes, if all else fails find a word to define and put it on a mug or in a post :)  Not many, though, were sesquipedalian, maybe it says something about what we buy to define our lives!!

The picture? an unbifurcated stream :)

Have a wonderful day!!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Unicycle Dreams

Lee Anne Dalton posted to my FB wall about a dream she had. She dreamt that she could ride a unicycle. Well, I just happen to have a unicycle in my basement. Really a house is not complete without one :) Actually, when my daughter was a councillor at a circus camp a few years ago, she bought the one-wheeler ($200.00) to practise riding it for camp. I think she found balancing on one wheel a challenge, though, because it's been hanging on a hook in the basement for the last three years.

We occasionally pass a young cyclist (uni) on our walks. He rides a unicycle with a wheel, that I swear, is five feet in diameter. I'm not sure how he gets on it and I hope he never falls of it. He's the one cyclist that I don't mind cycling on the sidewalk. Sometimes, on our ravine walks, we meet a father and son team who do mountain unicycling. This, I have to believe, is another challenge!! The paths are very uneven and go up and down hill constantly. Good luck balancing on one wheel!!



No, I'll stick to bicycling, however, I do need to get a new bike. We've been thinking of doing Le Petit Train du Nord in Quebec. It's a linear park that is mostly a walking/cycling path north of Montreal. Not only, does it take several days to bike, you also have to take your luggage with you, or have someone ferry your bags from inn to inn along the way. We're still in the planning stages. I'll keep you posted!!

Just a quick post today. Spring is knocking on the door, but winter refuses to open it. More snow and deep cold in the forecast - lots of time to clean up those cycles :)

Have a great day!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fairies and the real world.

I was reading a blog post the other day on fairies and the belief that they really exist. Ironically it was posted very close to St. Patrick's Day and we all know the Irish' obsession with the "little people." At their worst, Fairies exchange children in their cribs at night, thereby leaving a parent to raise a "changeling," perhaps. At their best, Fairies delight us with the inexplicable. They are capricious folk and the older we get, unfortunately, the less we are able to see them or their work. We need to stay young to enjoy the little people.

In the post linked to above is a National Film Board documentary on Fairies. It is set on Cape Breton Island, a celtic stronghold here in Canada. It's a fascinating film about seeing the magic that still exists in this world!!



Fairies for me are creative muses. They sculpt the haunting images in our dreams and lure us from the tasks at hand to imaginary places. Fairies are also there when we read between the lines or hear what someone is not saying. I think that they may even exist in predictive text. There are times when I reread something that I have just written and say, "that's not what I wrote at all." Someone else needs to be heard, perhaps.

A Cornish friend of mine would always point out fairy rings on the ground. You find these swirls of long grass on morning walks in quiet places. They were proof to her that the little people were alive and well, dancing the night away.

Keep the magic, believe in other worlds!!

The picture? I see the work of fairies in shafts of light, moonbeams or sun rays, illuminating the common objects in our day and taking them to a higher level.

Have a brilliant day!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Alter Egos???

I was fascinated by this quotation posted by Wordporn. It's from Plato's symposium and it may explain a lot of the angst in this world.



How often do we feel incomplete? Are we plagued with the sense that there is something missing in our lives? Do we find ourselves searching, reaching out, ever hoping to finding a soul mate, or our other half. Then again, maybe they are one in the same.

I know that Plato's idea is a fantasy, but it may also be a metaphor for that sense of loss which creeps into our souls. Do twins feel more complete, for example? Is a life partner all we need or do we also need very close friends? Then again do some people surround themselves with company to mask their loneliness? To what extent do we need to be free, to search for our other half?



Do artists, writers, painters, sculptors etc. try to create, through their work, a projection of their other half? Which characters in novels are the authors' alter ego. Would your "other half" actually be your "other self" or your true self. And is there a difference?

Just some food for thought. It might be fun to discuss these ideas with a literary friend or someone else on a similar wavelength, if you find one :) Most of the people I chat to these days just moan about the weather. I know, I'm one of them. Hmmmm maybe I'm missing something here :)

The picture? The statue of a Jester in Quebec city - someone's funky other half, maybe.

Have a complete day!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saturday morning coming down....

....or maybe it's Saturday morning going up.... I took my daughter downtown to an early morning soccer practice last Saturday. As I drove home along King St., I took pictures, while stopped at various traffic lights along the way. Here they are.

As you can see there are a lot of boom cranes around. Toronto these days is boom crane central!! Soon there will be nothing but tall monoliths, 50-100 stories high made of glass and steel, where there was once a city with character and unique neighbourhoods. The buildings may be going up but the quality of life is going down!!

King Street through the wires
I hate to see the old buildings torn down. They defined Toronto.


King Street again. I love our streetcars. We used to have so many more routes, that have been dug up and replaced by buses. I fail to see the charm in a bus!!

The sign on this building says, "Canada Life."
Here's another picture in the same block.

Smoke and Mirrors
Last summer, when we drove from one end of the city to the other, along the edge of the lake (6 miles in total), I counted over 75 boom cranes to the north and south of the expressway. This does not take into account all the other planned buildings, mainly condos, beyond the lake front. There are at least another 25 - 50 boom cranes stretching vertically north from the lake to mid town Toronto.



It's madness

Have a sane day!!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Parking Safari

I live in the city, where parking is the equivalent of big game hunting!!!

First, finding a parking space can be very dangerous. You drive down (or up) a busy main street simultaneously looking for parking spots on both sides of the street. This means that your head swings regularly from side to side and you rarely look at the road ahead of you - very dangerous. The rule of thumb in any parking hunt is that, every available spot will be on the opposite side of the street. This means that you have to be very good at quick and dirty U-turns - also very dangerous.

Next, as most street parking involves backing into a spot slightly larger than your car, the angles you have to turn are very sharp and you invariably cut off a lane of traffic in the maneuver. Drivers blindly hope that the oncoming cars will stop long enough for a quick alignment - if you have to do some jockeying back and forth, you're dead!

Hunting parking spots in a mall lot is a little easier, however, you often have to stalk your prey by following shoppers leaving the mall as they walk to their cars. You then lay in wait, while they fiddle with their this and that before they finally start their car and back out. You also have to be very quick at getting into the vacated spot, or someone else may sneak in, while you are fiddling with your this and that.

Now, the easiest parking spots should be on the street where you live. Often this is not the case. On our street, for example, there are not enough parking spots for the cars there, so getting a berth is like playing musical chairs. In fact, once you have secured a spot, you are loathed to leave it for any reason. I often wonder why I own a car!! Yesterday's parking fiasco cost me $70.00. Here's what happened -



1. My husband had forgotten to pick up our son's prescription the previous day.
2. Today, the meds were needed a.s.a.p., so I offered to drive down to the drug store to get them.
3. But, the pharmacy hadn't filled the script, so I had to wait.
4. When I finally drove back to my parking spot, I was two minutes late. Someone had just taken it.
5. As a result, I had to park further down the street in deeper snow. The worse was yet to come!!
6. The next day, I knew that I would have to pull out all the stops to get out of the drifts I had to park in the night before. However, since I have managed to "blast out" of my parking spots every day this winter but one, I was confident. What I didn't see, though, was a bunker of solid ice under a few inches of light snow. Anyone who has ever driven over those cement blocks in mall parking lots knows what happened next. Yes, I managed to impale my car on the icy ridge. I wasn't going anywhere and the tow charge was $70.00. I'll spare you my argument with the tow truck driver, who tried to inflate the stated charge by another $30.00.

Time was of the essence here and had things gone according to plan, I would have saved myself a lot of time and money. Unfortunately, life, being what it is, rarely goes according to plan. There always seems to be a bunker of some sort here and there along the path and I somehow always manage to find it :) Hunting for parking spots is just one of life's daily challenges. It does, though, give walking a whole new dynamic :)

The picture? My car is  '98 Honda Civic with many battle scars. This year I lost this insignia from the back of my car. I miss it :(

Have a great day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Today we have naming of names.....

It's always an interesting diversion to muse about names - why certain names are popular at certain times and in certain places, for example. I've been reading Middlemarch by George Eliot. I'm at the middle of the book and it is almost the middle of March - how is that for irony :) Anyway there is a lovely character in the book, called Caleb. It's a biblical name, which means devotion to God. I've decided that I really like the name and if I could have more children, then one of them would be a Caleb.

Fortunately, I am not in a position to have more children, even if I adopted a few more. In fact, if I tried to squeeze more people into the house, I would be declared mentally unstable and dispatched to an institution, thereby leaving a little more space for the rest. But I digress. Caleb was a popular name up until the 1920s when it dropped out of favour. It then came out of nowhere in the 1960s and has continued to gain favour right up to the present. I haven't met many Calebs, but there are variations of which I am not that fond. (Reading Victorian novels alters your sentence structure.) Colby is a variant. Now I have met a few of those.



I also happen to like Hadrian, the name Justin Trudeau (our next prime minister ;)) has given to his new born son. His elder son is Xavier. Now Xavier means house and Hadrian is associated with cities and walls. Is Justin building an empire? According to statistics Xavier is immensely popular and Hadrian doesn't even make the charts. However a variant Adrian does. Also given that Francophones often do not pronounce the "h" at the beginning of some words, maybe orally, the new baby's name is closer to Adrian.

Other names on my list are Sebastian, Tobias and Winston. I think that there maybe a few people out there that are really fortunate to not have been named by me :)

The picture? I took this at a stop light downtown last Saturday morning. We have a new aquarium in the city and I know that Ripley's is a name everyone knows, though I'm not sure you would give it to a child as a first name. It sounds a little too wavy or wrinkly. Now when I think of sea creatures, I always think of the name Ahab. It's just one of those larger than life names, though few children are given it these days. I'm not surprised!!

Have a signature day!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Word purr-fect..

Desperate for a blog topic this morning, I went to a few "word of the day" sites, because they are often wonderful idea generators. I prefer the site, wordthing.com, because it's easy to navigate, has a clean clear format and keeps a list of the previous six or seven words offered. Their word for today, however, was plagiarize. Well, no I wasn't going to do that for a blog post. Other words for the past few days were, ravenous, perpetuity and enigmatic - all wonderful words, but nothing that sparked the imagination, not today, anyway.

I went onto another site, merriam-webster.com. Their word for today was "gritty." It probably has some substance, because it's been around since the12th century, but I wasn't inspired here either. I scrolled down the page, hoping that some force from the cosmos would direct me to a morsel or two for a blog feed - can I say that? Well, lo and behold at the bottom of the page was a link to a product that the dictionary was flogging - a cat food dish. OK, this was not just any old cat food dish for any old cat. This was a high brow literary food dish in two sizes. The dish is white with the definition of the word "purr" on the side of the bowl!!

Cat contemplating life - maybe.

What brilliance!! How does a publishing house make money, when no one buys its books anymore, because all word definitions are free on-line? Why it fuses its product - word definitions - with the other most popular item on-line - cats!! Why didn't I think of making knitted lace shawls for cats??? I used to sell printed patterns to knit lace shawls, however, now that everything is free on-line, I have had to come up with some other ideas.  I did not, however, manage to think of a way that I could combine knitting with cats, how stupid of me!!

Purr, by the way, means - a low vibratory murmur typical of an apparently contented or pleased cat.

There are so many amazing minds out there, it's hard to keep up. I didn't look to see if they had the equivalent for a dog. Then again, dogs haven't gone quite as viral as cats. Also, dogs don't purr, they pant, slobber or wag their tails. There is nothing subtle here. Nothing that says educated intellectual. No a purr is closer to a professor's hmmm, as in, let me think about this for a while. In the meantime, I'll just have a short nap and pretend that I am contemplating great "things."

Have a purrr-fect day.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Pomegranates and the seasons of life!!

I mentioned in another blog post that I was waiting for the return of Persephone!! I don't know why I say that I don't read Fiction or Fantasy, I love mythology!! One of my favourite myths is how the seasons came to be or the story of Demeter and Persephone.

This all happened a long time ago in Ancient Greece, when gods and goddesses roamed the earth, as well as the heavens, acting out the soap operas of their lives, while mere mortals stood by hoping for the best. One episode involved the goddess Demeter, sister of Zeus, and her daughter Persephone. Demeter was goddess of the earth, a realm she looked after very well. She and her daughter spent wonderful days roaming the world gathering flowers, visiting farmers and generally spreading good cheer among those who looked after her gifts.

One day, however, Persephone strayed a little too far from her mother. Once she was out of sight, cruel Hades, ruler of the underworld, broke through the earth on his fiery chariot, capturing Persephone and taking her back to his underworld kingdom. Demeter, when she realized that her daughter was missing, went into a deep despair. She refused to let anything grow. The earth withered and mankind prayed to Zeus for salvation!! Zeus, who knew everything, had to intervene. He told Hades to return Persephone to her mother. Eventually Hades agreed on one condition. Persephone could go home, if she had not eaten anything during her time in the underworld. Unfortunately, she had eaten 6 ( some say 7) pomegranate seeds. Alas, her fate was sealed. Demeter, in her grief, would then destroy the earth. Zeus bargained some more and Hades finally agreed that for every pomegranate seed Persephone had eaten she would remain one month with him. The rest of the time she could be with her mother.



And so it is that we have Fall and Winter, when Persephone is in Hades and Demeter goes into mourning. When Persephone returns to her mother, Demeter is joyous and we have Spring and Summer.

Now, if it weren't for Hades or the ingestion of 6 pomegranate seeds, we might have had eternal Summer. Yes, I know that some parts of the world do have it, but they have their own stories and those of us in the northern hemisphere have to have some interesting stories to while away six months of cold and misery!!

Also I guess we have to be thankful, that Persephone didn't eat all 613 seeds (the numbers vary greatly depending on the source), because then we would be in deep trouble!!

The picture? Pomegranates in Rome for smoothies with a side of mythology :)

Thursday, March 06, 2014

St Patrick, The patron Saint of Guatemala....

OK, I know that St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. Why, everyone in the world knows that St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. The irony here is, that for all the years that I have endured my sprawling, pugilistic, Irish Catholic family, I have never been invited to walk in the St. Patrick's Day parade!!!

However, my daughter, who was born in Guatemala, is walking in this year's parade!! How did this happen. Apparently, you don't have to have a lot of Irish connections to "wear the green." In fact Ireland may be stemming its tide of emigrants by embracing immigrants from lots of other countries. All they need to have is enthusiasm and the willingness to go to the pub after the parade. This she would qualify for!!



Her presence in the parade has taken a long circuitous route - this always makes for a good story and the Irish do love their stories!! First my daughter coaches girl's rugby. She played rugby at university and when she came back to Toronto from Nova Scotia she joined a local ruby club, The Nomads, to not only play a few games, but also to learn how to coach rugby. Now the Nomads are not necessarily Irish. The Irish rugby club here is the Toronto Irish. St. Patrick, obviously is not that particular about the pedigree of his followers. Also marching in the parade are the Toronto Scottish and maybe a few other hangers on.

Over the years I have had lots of connections with the rugby clubs in Toronto and London (UK). I have had male friends, a husband (ex) and now a daughter who have been members of various clubs. What I find ironical is that often the sons of my acquaintances have had no interest in the sport. I am sure that these men would have loved to have had a child (read male) to enjoy the sport as much as they have over the years. However, here, I have a daughter, who not only plays rugby, she also coaches it, thereby extending the reach of the game and the club to hundreds of other young people, including many women.

I just love the fact that things have changed and people are so much more inclusive rather than exclusive. Rugby is now a sport for both males and females and Ireland is a country that, as far as the parade is concerned anyway, loves everyone!!

Now I must find those badges that say "Kiss me I'm Irish." Gotta love it!!

The picture? The best I could do for the occasion. In Britain you are served beer in heavy glass mugs, unless you specify that you would like to have it in a "thin glass." Depending on where you came from in Ireland, you might not pronounce the "th" in thin and it would sound more like "tin." So you might ask for your beer in a "tin glass." It was funny at the time :)

Have a wonderful day

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

A Clutter of Blog Ideas....

It took me a while today to come up with an idea for a blog. In fact I really don't actually have an idea as yet, but I have an idea to write a list of ideas - does that make sense? I've spent about an hour going through some blogging communities that I spend time in and realized that there are very few topics that interest me. Maybe my mind is too narrow, however, I am really not interested in fashion - just look at me - oops maybe later, after I am dressed :)

I'm also not interested in creams to make my skin soft, it's really a bit too runny at the moment. I think that a skin thickener would be a better investment :) I also avoid spiritual blogs, self improvement posts, anything on raising kids, or remembering relatives. I have decided that I am beyond redemption, I have done all the damage that I can do to my kids and I have too many skeletons and black sheep in the family to bother remembering them.

So this leaves me with a few cooking blogs. I have yet to find a really hilarious blog on living - well maybe it's just not all that funny most of the time :) However, I always read TOSK's blog, when he posts on the humorous side of writing and I do read blogs on the topic of writing blogs - go figure - that's what I do!!

I think someone said today that if you don't have an idea, make a list of ideas. This seems like a contradiction in terms. However, I do love a list and really any excuse to create one is right up there on my to do list - oops maybe another contradiction. Anyway here is my list of potential blog topics.

1. Mangoes - We have at present too many mangoes in our fancy fruit basket on the counter. My daughter makes smoothies with them, so my husband decided to buy a bag of them (mangoes) because they were on special. I could write about the health benefits of mangoes. I could try making a mango pie...I wonder if it has ever been done? Of course it has - everything has been done. Whether it was successful or not is something else again. I will not move, though, to some place in Spain and write a book about having too many mangoes as in "An Abundance of Mangoes." How does "A Surfeit of Mangoes" sound :)

2. I forgot to put vinegar in the water for my Chrysanthemums, so they are wilting. Well I watched the video on vinegar after I had put the flowers in the vase. I did, however, remember to put water in the vase and that little packet of white powder - snuff for mums or something like that :) I guess I could write a post on everything that I have learned, after it was too late to put it into practice. This could stretch to several volumes!!

3. I could write a post on the state of my house plants. You would read this before bed and drop off to sleep almost immediately. Actually I have several pots of the same type of plant. It is supposed to clean the air of impurities. Well I think that we must be breathing poison because these guys are on their last legs or leaves. I did buy a spider plant on the weekend, but one of the cats ate it. Winter gardening is not one of my strong points :)



4. Clutter - I could definitely write a post on clutter. It seeps into the house from other worlds. I swear that boxes and bags take on a life of their own and creep out of cupboards to sprawl on floors and counters. I could set traps for them - clutter traps. I could write about the construction of the traps and how to bait them and then what to do with the clutter once trapped - ay, there's the rub - what to do with it, once trapped :)

5. Swaddling - I did read an article in the paper this morning on swaddling infants. Maybe I could write a post on adult swaddling - you know, those people who never ever get out of their housecoats. Or people who swaddle themselves in make-up, perfume or furs. How about being swaddled in books, catalogues or magazines. Do you think that swaddling might be synonymous with hoarding? It's those clutter aliens again - inhabiting the brain.

The picture? Clutter speaks a language of its own - "Sorry, A Scrabble of Clutter Monopolizes Life."

Have an uncluttered day!!

Monday, March 03, 2014

The Shadow Knows....

On one of my walks through the cemetery last week, I took some pictures. It was a brilliantly sunny day, so the trees cast some amazing shadows. I happen to love shadows. They often say more than the actual structure that's casting the shadow. Here they are -


I particularly liked this one because it reminded me of a tree often painted by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven - Art for the souls there.


This shadow had a little more substance to it, if I can say that. It is a little ironic to think of shadows as having more or less substance. Well, I guess that everything is relative!!


Shadows in a cemetery are part of another world. It's as though you were visiting a realm of spirits (shades) and the shadows form their landscape.


Behind the bars that separate the real world from the world of shadows, the spirits watch us and muse about our lives, as we must about theirs.

Have a magical day!!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Qualifications....

I went for a three mile walk on Friday. It was -13ÂșC, but it was brilliantly sunny with no wind. There, I had to qualify my walk or people might think that I'm more than a little insane. Somehow I couldn't just say that I didn't mind walking, even though it was bitterly cold. Maybe it's a Canadian "thing" - right up there with apologizing for everything!!

I always remember a line, from Trial By Jury by Gilbert and Sullivan -

"She could very well pass for forty three in the dusk with the light behind her."-  Another memorable qualification.

My mother would always sing these lines. She actually had the lead role in Trial By Jury once, when she toured with a company that entertained the troops. (There is an entertainment side to war.) The irony here is that for the performance she wore a beautiful bridal gown complete with a veil and all the trimmings. The next week she was actually married, however, she just wore a suit with a ruffled blouse. There really wasn't the money for all the finery and in fact because she was a Protestant and my father was a Catholic, they couldn't have a formal church wedding anyway. They were married in the rectory, much to my grandmother's dismay!!



Qualifications, at times, can be major hurdles, not just minor excuses. Then again, those who plunge ahead oblivious of the need for any qualifications, often fare very well. I remember once telling two people on two different occasions that I was going to design some knitted items and then create patterns for them. Both asked me what courses I had taken to qualify me for the task. Really one does not have to go to art school to paint. It may help, then again, it may not :)

I often muse on the irony of being qualified in order to be a parent. Because we have three children, who are all adopted, we had to have three separate home studies done to qualify us as suitable parents. No one, who has biological children, is required, before conception, to prove that they will be good parents.

Just a potpourris of thoughts today. Nothing very special. I get a sense that I'm marking time for the grand opening of the earth and that moment when Persephone suddenly reappears!!

The picture? My mother and I. One might say that she had no qualifications to be a parent, with her first, however, in the end after 5 children - 3 biological and two adopted, she probably had the equivalent of a PhD. As for me, I guess that my take on life hasn't changed much over the years :)

Have an awesome day!!