Ironing Out the Wrinkles of Life In a Wash and Wear World

മലയാളം: Charcoal Iron Box for ironing the clothes

മലയാളം: Charcoal Iron Box for ironing the clothes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ironing Out the Wrinkles of Life In a Wash and Wear World

I did something today I have not done for years.  I ironed.  Most people I know stopped ironing clothes when wash and wear made our lives easier, although I am not sure where the easier comes in as we have a tendency to fill the time with some other activity and the general pace of life itself has been accelerated so that it occurs to me that ironing in some way might just slow it down.

Now there are still lots of daily and weekly ironers out there.  In fact my cousin in Scotland and her peeps do it all the time.  My SIL here in Canada still irons.

I had the ironing board out to finish off a project when it occurred to me that I might just press a few articles of clothing likes blouses, sport tops etc just for the heck of it, and I found myself seized by the need to organize drawers and closets.  This is a common urge when large projects are completed.  Why? I don’t know.  Common sense tells me a better celebratory activity might be taking a cruise, or vacation, or even just out for a lovely dinner.  Maybe it is reactionary to spending time focused on one thing and neglecting a hundred other things.  For instance, IF I had put the board and iron away when I finished with it, the thought to do anything else probably would not have drifted through my grey matter.

Anyway, there stood board and iron.  Emptying drawers and a pile of fresh laundry from yesterday – because I did not put it away then – beckoned me on.

As I was pressing lace and designs I realized that by accepting wash and wear I was missing intricate beauty brought by a little heat and pressure and at that moment when I removed the iron did I see the fine stitching, the ivory sheen.

My mind started to wander a bit as I considered how much of our own lives do we just wash and wear?  A large part of the world I see figures that all they have to do is ‘put it out there’, believe and it will be, without realizing that it takes some heat and pressure and persistence to make it so.  Didn’t someone say that luck is 90% hard work?  Or something like that.  The idea being that verbalizing and thinking something is just the first step.  Then come the actions, the work; the energy to make it happen.

A positive frame of mind and spirit is invaluable but unless we use it to iron out the wrinkles in our lives we are forever stuck in a wash and wear existence.  And really, is the fabric of our existence not the quality material we want to show and display?

Preserving History – Or How I Learned to Love ‘The Big Lebowski’

Jeff Bridges The Dude

Jeff Bridges The Dude

The sixth decade in life is rather exciting for me.  It is a time when I have pretty much suspended judgement on matters previously assigned to the ‘not interested bin’, ‘it assaults my sensitivities bin’, or the ‘oh, that’s so gross bin’.

Interesting enough, this new open mindedness is a result of continued learning from, no, not higher education, but younger education.  From my children and their children, from the youngsters with the ear buds – a daintier form of ear phones – attached to whatever device that force their eyes downward in the presence of other humans. Those in their thirties and forties are a constant source of education and insight in many ways.

See, way back when, and here you can insert almost any decade in the twentieth century or even to the present day and still be in the ball park, and even though I flaunted propriety in many ways, there was one thing I would not do, and that one thing was an unbreakable rule.  Never ever force myself to sit through a movie or show where the ‘F’ word was the main supporting structure in every sentence.

Now this explains why, when the movie came out in 1998 I never saw The Big Lebowski written and directed by those famous Coen brothers, Joel and Noel who have between the two of them an impressive list of film credits as writers, directors, and producers.

My introduction to this amazing movie came when as I continued on my creative knitting streak (posted previously) I decided to make my youngest son a fisherman knit sweater, something he had long admired.  While chatting to my DIL a couple of months ago and discussing patterns, she asked if I would like to make my son his absolute dream sweater.   The Dude.

my son models his new sweater side view

my son models his new sweater side view

It doesn’t take long these days to check information so I quickly googled The Dude Sweater and so started my education.  It didn’t matter that I had not seen the movie or that one of my favorite actors starred in the film.  What mattered is that I was looking at a my next project.

The search for the pattern took a little time but finally took me to Ravelry.com a most wonderful site which then led to the brilliant Andrea Rangel who has the greatest pattern selections for almost everythinI stayed true to Andrea Rangel’s pattern (except for enlarging the collar) using the recommended yarn which is Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool a rather expensive but well worth it yarn.

I love doing this pattern and am happy to reproduce for any who may wish to purchase it.  It is somewhat costly but if you are interested in learning the details please contact me at cbar_k@yahoo.ca or visit Ravelry.com

Back view - looks pretty good on my boy I think

Back view – looks pretty good on my boy I think

my shy son The Dude sweater

my shy son The Dude sweater

It’s a Sad day When

It’s a sad sad day when injustice remains so until a life is lost. This Prime Minister has been around how many years but it takes an extreme occurrence to finally get response from the powers that be. NOW the hero rides in on his politicalized horsey to say something must be done. It hasn’t mattered that other have died or continue to live in pain or rather not lived because it wasn’t time for the leaders of this country to benefit by standing up and being counted. And in the end just how long will something take to happen? No really how long?

This article is an interesting read: Prime Minister Harper says tougher laws coming for child sex offences. The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, August 29, 2013 12:37PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 29, 2013 7:26PM EDT
TORONTO — Child sex offenders, particularly those who victimize multiple kids, could spend longer in prison under a range of harsher penalties proposed Thursday by the prime minister.
The Conservative government plans to introduce legislation this fall aimed at cracking down on people who sexually exploit children, Stephen Harper announced.
“Sadly there are truly evil people out there. The fact is we don’t understand them and we don’t particularly care to. We understand only that they must be dealt with,” Harper said at an event in Toronto.

Lianna McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and Justice Minister Peter MacKay, looks on as Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks in Toronto on Thursday Aug. 29, 2013. (Frank Gunn / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
“To protect our children we must create a justice system that is more responsive to victims and especially more responsive to children and to the families of children who have been victimized by sexual predators.”
A main plank of the proposed amendments would see people convicted of more than one such offence serve their sentences consecutively, rather than the current system in which sentences are served concurrently.
Harper cited in his announcement the case of Gordon Stuckless.
The 64-year-old — who was once an usher at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens — was originally convicted in 1997 for sex assaults on 24 boys while he worked at the famed hockey arena between 1969 and 1988.
Harper pointed out that Stuckless was originally sentenced to two years less a day, a sentence which was followed by the suicide of Martin Kruze, the victim who brought the sex abuse scandal to light.
Stuckless’ sentence was later increased to five years and he was out on parole in 2001 after serving two-thirds of it.
“Three years, for 20 very serious offences,” Harper said. “That sort of thing was common at the time. Of course the victims, on the other hand, have to cope for the rest of their lives with what such people have done to them.”
Stuckless now faces nearly 100 fresh charges, all laid in the past year, which relate to alleged offences that took place decades ago.
Lianna McDonald, the executive director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, said particularly when a sex offender has abused several children, the sentences don’t seem like enough.
“In many cases where one individual might have multiple victims the sentence has not to date adequately reflect the number of those victims,” she said after the announcement.
“For some victims in some circumstances it may not even seem that what happened to them really mattered in terms of the totality of the sentence.”
The proposed law would also increase minimum and maximum penalties for child sexual offences.
Currently, people convicted of sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching or sexual exploitation are sentenced to a minimum of one year and a maximum of 10.
Making and distributing child pornography convictions carry the same sentence range. Convictions for accessing or possessing child pornography see people sentenced to a minimum of six months and a maximum of five years.
Harper’s Conservative government has brought in a number of mandatory minimum sentences for various crimes over the years, including previously raising the minimum sentences for the aforementioned offences.
They have brought with them controversies and court challenges.
The Ontario Court of Appeal is considering the constitutionality of minimum sentences for gun crimes after it convened a special five-judge panel in February to hear six such cases at the same time.
In Quebec, the provincial bar association launched a legal challenge seeking to strike down sections of the Conservatives’ 2012 omnibus bill involving mandatory minimums. The bar association said the provisions don’t protect the public and represent an unconstitutional interference from one branch of government, the legislature, in the business of another, the judiciary.
Critics of mandatory minimum sentences say they don’t actually help reduce crime and do more harm than good.
To understand the impact of mandatory minimums one need look no further than the United States, where harsh mandatory minimums were enacted decades ago, said criminal defence lawyer Nader Hasan.
“What even some of the most Conservative law-and-order-oriented judges and politicians south of the border have begun to realize is that mandatory minimums do no make us safer,” said Hasan.
“What they do is overcrowd prisons and bankrupt legislatures.”
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently said the Justice Department would target long mandatory sentences that he said have flooded the nation’s prisons with low-level drug offenders and diverted crime-fighting dollars that could be better spent.
Hasan, who teaches a course at the University of Toronto titled “Crime & Punishment: Mandatory Minimums, The Death Penalty & other Current Debates,” said data from the U.S. shows little deterrent effect.
“The Harper government‘s fascination with mandatory minimums is all the more perplexing given that these policies have been tried but have failed miserably in the United States,” Hasan said.
McDonald, from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, said her hope is that the harsher penalties will keep offenders behind bars longer so that it prevents them, for a time, from committing future offences.
The proposed amendments would also ensure the spouse of a person charged with child pornography offences could be obliged to testify in court and increase penalties for those convicted of child sex offences who break conditions of supervision orders.

Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/prime-minister-harper-says-tougher-laws-coming-for-child-sex-offences-1.1432058#ixzz2dPqLL0ez

This email was sent from the CTV News

Creating the day or something like that.

A wonderful thought, an opportunity for action, not just to survive or sail through. Gotta love this reblog!

George Carlin on Euphemisms

Something to think about!

I Haven’t Shampooed My Hair in Sixteen Months

Bridgesburning Chris King:

I’m trying it! I am always looking at The Bill of Goods companies and government are trying to sell us – but I never even thought of this!

Originally posted on Linda Cassidy Lewis:

Remember I warned you that Out of My Mind blogging might take a weird turn sometimes? Well, this is one of those times. This post has zero to do with writing—except that I wrote it, of course. Skin and hair health is what’s on my mind today.

healthyhsNearly three years ago, when an unexpected financial crisis threw me into a tailspin, the stress caused my occasional skin problems to rage. Rare and mild eczema and psoriasis outbreaks became constant and serious. So, as I do everything, I researched solutions online.

Soon, I suspected sodium lauryl sulfate as a contributing factor. If you don’t know, SLS is a foaming agent, and since we’ve been conditioned to think cleansers need foam or suds to work, it’s an ingredient in nearly every commercial soap, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, etc.  Commercial SLS-free cleansers can be expensive, but I discovered I already had or could make…

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Discovering Aberration Part 2!*

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I am very proud to present to you, my wonderful and generous hearted readers, the second part of my guest host’s presentation about his exciting new novel.  Thank you thank you all for being so wonderful in reposting and spreading the word.

It started with a dream

Over the course of the last two and a half years I’ve been working late nights and lunch breaks on a novel entitled Discovering Aberration.

But it didn’t begin as a simple idea for a novel. It began as a dream.

In this dream I was a part of an expedition on a remote island with my cousin searching for a lost  civilization. Through the thick jungle we trekked, pressing through walls of great leaves and hanging vines. We pressed on and eventually hacked our way through the foliage. The world opened up around us, and before us was revealed a great lake; a crater with a  shimmering light submerged deep below the surface.

We rejoiced at finding the light below the water, it was the first sign of our discovery. But as we peered into the depths of the lake, our hearts sank as we saw a horrific sight. Within the lake was a massive beast, a dragon like creature which  swam about our discovery, protecting it over the centuries.

Immediately we set to work, building a device, a rocket strung to the ground with massive rubber bands. We climbed inside and the strange device shot us up into the air, and then, when we reached the point at which the rubber bands were stretched to their limit, we were hurled back down towards the lake to speed past the great and terrible beast.

It was a silly, adventurous dream. Most of it didn’t end up in the  novel other than as a little inspiration, but something about this dream stuck with me and eventually a novel only just barely related was created.

About Discovering Aberration

Discovering Aberration is a character driven steampunk adventure story taking place in  the era of budding steam and clockwork technology. The country of Victoria is in the  midst of a socio-economic divide, and in this divide, crime and villainy has festered. In this world lives our protagonists.

Freddy Fitzgerald is an esteemed adventurer/travel writer. His good friend, Thaddeus Lumpen approaches him on cold spring day with the discovery of a life time, an ancient map he’s stolen from under the nose of a notorious gangster.

Convinced this map will lead them to a long lost  civilization, they immediately build a rag tag team of explorers and archeologists and set out on a dangerous expedition. But in this world of villainy, news of the map leaks and suddenly they are up against a small army of competition.

Vengeful  archeologist, dangerous mercenaries, manipulating scarlets, and more  seek to head them off seeking the fame, the fortune  this discovery can offer them.

When they get to the island, all is not as it should be. People  are going mad, and what’s more, the island hides a deep, dark secret,  lurking in its heart.

Writing Discovering  Aberration has been perhaps the most rewarding work I’ve ever been a part of. I’m  so pleased with how it’s turned out. The novel has become so much more  than the dream ever was.

Indie Publishing

I’ve decided to publish Discovering Aberration myself, so I’ve become not only a  writer, but a publisher, an entrepreneur, a publicist and a marketer.

It’s a strange and competitive world I’ve stepped into. But unlike the  violent competition in my novel, my competition is other writers who  have proven to be some of the most helpful, supportive people in the  world.

I am taking the first step towards publishing  Discovering Aberration by launching a Kickstarter campaign. For those  of you who haven’t heard of Kickstarter, it’s a crowd-funding platform that enables artists like me to bypass  traditional corporations by seeking out funding from everyday people like  you who want to contribute and support.

For as little as $5, you can pledge your support for my novel and in return you’ll receive a professionally edited and  designed copy of the novel before it’s released to the general public. The more you can pledge, the  greater your rewards, including having a character named after you at  the $500 level, and even more in between.

If you’re interested, or want to learn more, please visit my  Kickstarter page which explains the process in detail.

But before you invest in my project, take some time to read the novel itself.  The first 28 chapters  is currently free to read on Wattpad.com.

If you enjoy reading Discovering Aberration as much as I enjoyed writing it, then please consider a small pledge, and be a very real part of this project.

Finally, I’d like to thank Chris for giving me this opportunity to share my  story and my project with you. She has been incredibly gracious and an  early supporter of mine (perhaps the earliest). And I look forward to  meeting and thanking every single one of you who choose to back my  novel.

Cheers,
S.C. Barrus

About S.C. Barrus

S.C. Barrus writes strange and thrilling literary adventures. He’s published short stories, essays and poems in print and online. Born in Canada,  S.C. Barrus grew up near Seattle in the pacific north west where he  lives to this day. He received his degree in creative writing from the  University of Washington.  You can learn more about him at his website Away and Away

Links:

Visit the Discovering Aberration Kickstarter

Read Discovering Aberration on Wattpad

A Mountain in Alberta

Originally posted on thekitchensgarden:

Here is the view from my balcony window. from-the-balcony-005

As all our fingers and toes and eyes and innards slowly uncross, and uncurl and relax.

from-the-balcony-008

I made it. The passport made it, passed through the car window of our laughing  good Friend. The check in lady gave me a priority ticket for no apparent reason. The screaming baby in the flight bothered me not at all.

from-the-balcony-007

11-001

My sons could not greet me (I arrived in at 9.30) because of the rehearsal dinner (oops forgot about that) but on the way to the car rental in Calgary I happened upon a shuttle that was leaving at 10.30 and the lovely man brought me right to the door of my Motel.  All along this life I encounter such kind people. But it was nighttime for the long drive.  So I have yet to see where I am. Rainy darkness had wrapped up all…

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The Question on at least 1280 Minds This Morning Is: Where is Miss C

Miss C as most of you know is Celi or Cecilia is a petite, tiny enough thing so you’d think the wind would knock her over, never mind those animals, who lives an exciting life on the prairies creating a self sustaining life in the most remarkable way.

We find her every morning at The Kitchen’s Garden and she always gets there first because while we mere mortals languish in our beds soaking up several hours sleep, this wee lady and already done a day’s work.

She paints the drama and comedy of her life daily and much like the readers of Charles Dickens’ Pickwick Papers series in the eighteen hundreds, we wait, breath held, fingers crossed, for news.  We cheer successes, lament losses all the while persevering and all the while giving thanks for every moment of life; the Good, the Bad… well you know what I mean.

News of what you may ask?   Is there sustaining dramatic entertainment anywhere in this world to keep folk interested in events, in lives?

You betcha!  And if Miss C’s stories sold even for a penny as Dickens’  did one hundred and fifty years ago she would no doubt have great monetary wealth, for once you find her it is pretty hard to let her go.

But this drama, this suspense can hardly be tolerated, and it began on July 1st, just a few short days ago.  The link above will take you to the start of this tale for I am overcome at the very thought of each step along the way to even try to relate to you the surprise, the angst, the trepidation, the hopes for welcome resolution.

The last word I had yesterday was from FB in which it seemed successful resolution had once more escaped.  Where or where are you Miss C?

It isn’t just me and The Cast, and 1280 others, …okay wait …maybe it is just us, but probably many more who need to know:

DID YOU MAKE THAT PLANE?  Our hearts and minds are in a suspension until we know!!

Cecilia G

When Discovering Aberration is a Good Thing!

LADIES AND GENTS: Prepare yourselves for a wonderful treat! One of my dearest and earliest bloggers I met here on WordPress in the beginning, has done all I set out to do except he actually, actually accomplished it!

He is the hardest working, most dedicated author I know of and one of my fave authors sharing that honor with Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Clive Cussler, and yes my main man Charles Dickens.

Sit back, enjoy your read, and please dearest readers, please repost!  Let’s spread the word!

SCBarrusPortraitsOriginals0050

 Creating

There is this thing out there floating around the universe hiding secretly behind every passion. I don’t know what it is, but I know it’s there planting seeds and fueling flames. The Romans called it a Genius (origin of the word Genii), a spirit that would inhabit the bodies of passionate people and make them feverishly create things.

I don’t know if I was ever possessed in such a manner. All I know is my life has been driven by a singular passion since I was young. Maybe it was planted when I was very small, this urge to create things and share them with others. Maybe it didn’t take form until I was older. Whatever the case, this passion, this creative drive has fueled every major decision in my life.

Hi, my name is S.C. Barrus and I’m a writer. I remember writing my first short story back when I was still in elementary school. It was a satire about the growth and bankruptcy of Microsoft and it was all of 2 pages long. I wrote it grinning all the while, convinced that the work was genius.

I was so excited to hear what others thought, I ran to my dad and began to read the work aloud. He listened patiently. He didn’t laugh, didn’t so much as smile. As my jokes fell flat, part of me fell through a hole.

I quit reading midway through. “Maybe I should write about something else…” I said nervously.

My dad looked at me with a quizzical half smile and said, “Maybe you should.”

For some reason, I didn’t stop writing that day. And my dad has been a huge support since (didn’t want to leave him hanging there ;)

I was in highschool when I really sat down and began writing a novel. I wrote it with a deep passion convinced it was a masterpiece. It was full of teen angst and sex and drugs, all the things my adolescent mind obsessed with, and was written with a style stolen directly from Chuck Palahniuk, my teen hero.

When I finished writing, I started exploring the strange world of publishing with a fervour. I taught myself about publishers and editors and agents, about queries and rejection. The process struck me as strange then, but I accepted it because I supposed “that’s the way it is”. It felt strange that I had put in so much work and alone created something, but when the book sells I’d get 15%. But then again, what did I know?

Despite my drive, the book was never picked up, and I was left with nothing but a stack of pages littered with ink. To this day, I’m glad I littered those pages with ink, because I learned so many valuable lessons. But I’m also glad it didn’t make it, because that taught me even more.

Despite the outcome, my creative writing teacher got behind me, and my school counselor began giving me gifts; books of poetry, pamphlets to writing contests, and an award for literary excellence. It might have been obvious, but I didn’t recognize it at that time. There were people guiding me from the beginning, people who believed in me.

Ira Glass once said that artists start creating art not because they are talented, but because they have good taste. It takes years before an artists work is any good. I was going through the motions, hoping to make a great work of art, writing and writing all the while. I pushed new stories into the world one after the other, sometimes publishing, but usually merely for the act of creating.

Then, two years ago, I began crafting another story. About midway through the writing of it, I realized that this was it. I was creating something worth standing behind and sharing with the world.

Check back next week for part 2 where I share with you the story behind my upcoming novel.

Cheers,

S.Cody Barrus

 

 

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