The Idiot Speaketh or rather he doesn’t

English: WordPress Logo

English: WordPress Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I received this message via FB today from our good friend and favorite Idiot Mark Pakulak from Texas.

*** Due to issues with WordPress, I will be deleting this blog in the coming days. I will continue my bike ride across Europe and will post daily updates on my Facebook page at Mark G Pakulak (Runaway Bay, Tx). See you all on FB! ***

If you are not aware of the difficulties Mark has had in the last few days you can catch up on his Face Book.

To me, Mark was WordPress so I will sorely miss his presence here but will follow him anywhere.  It is important to read what Mark has written on the rules and policies of WP because I think a lot of us really I not aware.

He brought a lot of class, laughter, and tears to us and a day with out The Idiot was like a day without..well you know what I mean.

The worst of it is that he has lost all his valuable insights.

When I began blogging I used to write my posts out on Word first and then copy them into WP.  Eventually I got comfortable enough to write directly on to the post entry and I know many of you do the same thing.  It saves time.  But not in the long run.  WP can at anytime vaporize your blog as can any similar site.  So just a cautionary word to be sure you have what you create safe somewhere in addition to your blog site.

MISS YOU HERE MARK but will see you in the funny papers..I mean on facebook.

Daily Prompt: Take Two – In and Out

I am late getting to the Daily Prompt at WordPress.com because I slept late.  Now the why of sleeping late is rather embarrassing but it goes something like this:

Yesterday I ached

And knowing it must be

From the warm front

Moving in.

So as I finished

The last of my three

Library books,

I laid

All day

Reading.

By the time

I should have

Been sailing off

To the Land of Nod

I was wide,

Wide Awake.

Anyway now for the prompt: Run outside.  Take a picture of the first thing you see.  Run inside,  Take a picture of the second thing you see.  Write about the connection between these two random objects, people, or scenes.

Grabbing my camera I ran outside.  Literally ran since that was the instruction and I am basically a rule follower.

Snow going!

Snow going!

The first thing?  Yup.  I mentioned warm winds the other day and the thirsty force of nature gobbled up my snow.

My  winter

My winter

It’s a far cry from the photo I posted the other day (as above).

Next I ran again. (instructions and rules you know)

 

Windows open

Windows open

 

And this is what came up on the second look: Open windows, every where in the house beckoning in this false spring.

Birds are singing.  Residual snow in the first photo is even less this few minutes later.  The darned old Magnolia tree is again in bud as are so many other trees.  False springs are such a danger for crops due later as a freeze is certain to follow and the rhythm of nature will be off and in the long run it will mean more failed crops, less food and higher priced food in the future.

BUT on such a day (it is 12 cenlsius which in real language is 53.6 F) it is impossible not to let ones heart soar in the glorious warmth.  Yup for Canucks this is almost shorts and Tee weather!  Because after all we Canadians are a hardy lot!

DP Challenge: Hindsight Rewriting that First Post

Bridgesburning Chris King:

Todays Daily Post Prompt is Hindsight and suggests “Now that you’ve got some blogging experience under your belt, re-write your very first post.” So I took a look at December 19, 2010 and have to say since it is one of my fave stories to tell I just could not bring myself to rewrite it. Hmm now I must go and deal with the fact that in almost 2 years I have learned nada.

Originally posted on bridgesburning:

Dating by the light..of a burning bridge

One cannot be single for a significant number of years and not have experienced dates spawned no doubt from some weird alter universe.  Well that may be exaggerating just a bit.  But oh my, where do they come from?

One chap whose given name will not be used, but who I called Eyore for reasons soon to be made obvious, I met on a dating site.  After the initial on line chats he suggested we meet for coffee.  I agreed and we set a Saturday afternoon for our first, and what became our last encounter.

Now I think the folk who work at every Williams, Second Cup,Starbucks and yes even “Timmies” suddenly have the most fun jobs in existence.  Internet dating and the perfunctory first meeting have made these centers the place to be.  Take the time to grab that cup of java…

View original 444 more words

Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots (To the Moon)

Gravity

Gravity (Photo credit: eat more toast)

Today’s Daily Prompt was just too enticing to pass it by. Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.

Well the first book I grabbed was a notebook so with a little extra lean in the opposite direction I picked up my latest read.  Once I saw it I was tempted to go for another but figured that wasn’t fair.  After all what is the poiont of a game if you don’t follow the rules?

Many years ago I fell into the ‘buzz’ trap getting all caught up with my friends when Weight Watcherswas a relatively new program.  Oh my we counted our proteins, fats, and breads, adhered to three fish meals a week, and made sure we ticked off every wee box for water, milk and fluids.  Our social get togethers amongst the women folk were all about what and how we achieved and discussions ensued on the validity of the program (after all it was over seen by physicians) and how well we were doing.

Weight Watchers company logo

Weight Watchers company logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now belonging to  an active weight loss club is a lot like being addicted to, say, gambling.  When the scales are not in sight the conversations can be all about your success – how much you lost (or gained when it comes to gambling),-  with little discussion about your set backs or losses.

‘Why you know I lost 25 but must confess I gained a bit back but then I lost it again and I feel wonderful!’

Meanwhile you think to yourself, Honey, I saw you when you joined months ago and the only difference I can see is your hairstyle.

*Actually the program works fine as does any weight loss program **if you follow the plan.

But this post is not about losing or gaining, about succeeding or failing.   It’s about perception and the why of things.  By the way I did all right on the program then and each of the ten times I joined in the following decades.  Matter of fact I will never again even see my initial joining weight (which I thought was soooo huge) but now lies 25 pounds ago quite happily.  This is because I choose to believe the medical data that says an elderly person (well as close to elderly as damn is to swearing) should not be stick thin.  It’s healthy to carry a little weight.  I would also like to say it is all behind me  now (get it? get it?) but that would be way too much of a stretch because in fact it is all in front. haha

But now I realize I can believe pretty much anything I choose..so my hypothesis is that food intake has nothing to do with a generous middle.  It all has to do  with Gravity and the moon, tides and oceans, and because we are 90% water – salt water that is- well we reflect mother earth which lends credence to “‘This is the main reason for the tidal bulge on the opposite side of the Earth to the Moon.” *Gravity by Brian Clegg page 82 third full sentence.

It is quite humorous decades later to laugh or chuckle at our youthful worries and thoughts.  It is also quite satisfying to find joy in the me of now and quite like how I am.  What a difference a little age and wisdom makes.

FITFS Friday – Georgette Sullins

Footsteps

Footsteps (Photo credit: courosa)

For those of you who may wonder what each Friday’s FITFS series is about, I will catch you up.  It’s all about heroes, specifically my heroes in the Blogosphere.  People I admire, have a blogging relationship with, people I want to emulate in some way (or in every way).  People I learn from.

You know that corny line in the movie with Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt, As Good as it Gets? – “You make me want to be a better man?”  Well, my Following in the FootSteps heroes enrich my life and by their very example make me want to be a better person.

And so it is with Georgette Sullins where this multilingual wife, mother, daughter, and grandmother takes us along on her journey of memories, life lessons, and new things discovered.  We get to arm chair it with this well travelled southern lady.  On her very first blog in Sept. 6, 2010 she started us off with memories of Oaxaca Mexico.

As a teacher for over 30+ years Georgette continues to teach us in the most delicious way.  Her entertainment value is first but oh my there are wonderful things to learn from all over the world.  I love how she did an end of the year review and in December 2011, I think it was, she gave us a recipe for mulled wine, that I had been searching for since 1985.  The exact recipe!

Georgette’s blog has universal appeal, I believe – and I say universal because should there be an intelligent life form in space I am sure they will also be reading her.

Oh! And she names scarecrows! Don Francisco is one!

Do I have a favorite blog?  Can’t say I do because as soon as I read one, it becomes the fave.

Now just what would I like to emulate about Georgette?

Certainly her ability to place us along side her as we travel, observe and learn.  Becoming part of her reality.  It’s a nice place to be.  In her company.  Could not ask for better! And, her enthusiasm for life, her joy and her faith! Oh! and her humour and wisdom.  Oh! and of course her appreciation for me which makes me want to do the same for others.

Please do drop by, say hi, and leave a comment or two.

*How do I choose my heroes?  Well, in the main it is they who choose me.  I cannot choose in order of importance as they are all important so I started first with those whom I have the closest relationship through comments on my blog and those who subscribe to Bridgesburning.  I have a long way to go because I have been very blessed by these most wonderful people. And if I can ever truly emulate them it will be by inspiring others.

http://georgettesullins.wordpress.com/

Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge: Meaningful Possessions

I am a little late to the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge Being Saturday and all.  The subject matter is ‘ tell us about your most meaningful possession and since I have spent most of my life making sure that possessions were not meaningful, I honestly thought I had nothing to contribute.

Then last night outside under the stars I asked myself that same question and the answer came crystal clear.  I do have one possession that matters.  Would I fight to the death over it?  No, but while I have it with me I will savor the meaning and remember.

Dad's leather purse

Most Meaningful Possession

My Dad is not someone I write an awful lot about which always puzzles  me because he was the center of my existence.  While my mother tried to teach me how to darn socks (darned if I could understand why – being the diva I was I could not see myself ever darning anything), and knit and keep the house cool in  the summer by pulling down the blinds on the east side in the morning and on the west side in the afternoon, my Dad taught me other things.

Have you found it surprising, if you have ever had to clean out a home after someone dies, what seemed important to that person?  Have you ever held an object and wondered why it was stored in a tin box with other seemingly meaningless objects?

When it was time to do this for my father there were a number of treasure found.  His gold ring with his initials had been left to me but I decided it should go to the oldest son of the oldest son and gave it to my brother for his son.

There was one treasure I was not even aware of until about ten  years ago (and Dad died in 1981).  The gift came from my sister.  I wondered at it at first as it was a small suede leather bag measuring three and half inches at its base, two inches at its neck and five inches in length.  And leather tie to tighten it.  Engraved into the leather appears to be a Mayan calander or something zodiac like.  I truly do not know exactly what it is.  This bag and other ‘treasures’ were kept in an old tin box in his top drawer.  It was a pretty beat up tin box and I remember seeing it as a young child and wishing I could see inside.

Anyway I thought this was a strange gift but I was touched deeply and then my sister said, “open it”.

Inside were five pennies, each with the birth year of my brothers and sisters and me, and one nickle with my birth year.

Meaningful possessions

The feeling of holding something my dad felt was important enough to be a tin box treasure and understanding the depth and the heart of my sister was overwhelming.

There has never been another gift that has meant as much and each time I pull that leather string to close the bag I feel like I am ensuring my family is tucked in safely.

Die for it if I had to?  You know what?  Just maybe!

FITFS…Celi Oh My

When it comes to ‘Following in the footsteps’ there is one model of theme that can’t be touched and that is Cecilia who is also known a ‘C’ and Celi.  I can’t remember how long I have been reading this wee lady with the strength of ten men, but once I started I could not stop. (in fact once I was hooked I spent a few days going back and reading every post – some of them more than once.  First because the writing is personal, exciting and filled with talent not often seen. (At least not often enough).  C describes herself as a ‘NZ girl married to an America fella, living on the prairies…’  The goal of her existence is to live on a self sustaining farm and she documents her adventures daily.  She posts first thing in the morning before her day starts, although sometimes when that day starts at 4 am she may post a couple of hours later.

Let;s see if I can give you a quick overview: first and most delightful are her ‘Walk around the Farmy’ series.  I swear her co cohabitants (I would never call them animals) have a way of becoming people in your heart.  Really. Daisy – my all time fave who is portrayed as a cow could become your best friend.  the Shush sisters, Ton Ton, Bees – who if they have individual names – and I wouldn’t be surprised if they did – and only C would remember them all. Big dog, Queenie, Baby Bobby Blanc, Minty, Mia, Meadow, the Murphy, the son of the son of Neanderthol man, Hairy MacLairy (can’t forget him) and well…it would take way too much time to list all of them but I am probably pretty close at calling it a cast of thousands.  Okay maybe not thousands but it is just like they are their own little town.

So!  There are the farm adventures, then all the education about growing, cultivating, cooking, preserving.  Amazing stuff!  And stuff about the land itself.  And cool stories about her youth and growing up on a beach in NZ.

What is amazing is I don’t know when in a 24 hour period she would rest or even sit down.  On top of all the work there is her writing, projects like the postcards -*C I love mine!  And then folks – she devoted time to the Old Codger and took to entertaining the residents in the home he lived in until he was well enough to live on his own.  Once a week she took the time and animals away for a few hours to brighten someone else’s life.  OH OH and the best part or one of the bests is that her car runs on vegetable oil – not gas.  Can you imagine?  I simply cannot tell you everything I want to in this space.  So please do stop by to visit her and see that I exaggerate not.

So if I want to FITFS follow in the footsteps in search of my own theme what could I do?  Well I can begin with our household.  No cows, no sheep, no pigs, no peacocks, or  or or.  But I do live with an interesting menagerie.  There is Bree our yellow lab who believes she is still a pup and launches all her body weight in greeting and who eats everything especially wood, plastic, shoes, well anything.

Then there are three whites.  Long haired white cats all of which were supposed to have blue eyes except for Jewels Grace who has vampire red eyes.  Poor Jewels is deaf and doesn’t realize just how loud she meows.  She is also nocturnal and heavy and clumsy.  It doesn’t matter how nice her kitty bed is or how cozy it is – she prefers a cardboard box.  It’s easy to forget about Jewlsy as G2 calls her so I always make a point to stop and pet her whenever I come across her.

I shall have to get some current pics sometime.  Celi by the way has tons of wonderful photos.

Nope I cannot follow in her footsteps so I guess I will just keep reading thekitchensgarden.com and keep on looking for my own style.

By the by…not only does she accomplish so much in a day..her site is beautiful…I am pretty confident saying there are not too many others in her league.

 

Now for as sweet as Jewels Grace is (named by G1) there is also Jack…King Jack that is.  Wherever he poses it is very regal.  He is also mean sometimes and for no reason will swat at you when you walk by.  I tried being sweet, being firm and finally now just hiss back at him when he does the same.  He will position himself directly in the path of poor Bree who will not cross Jack.  Sometimes to assure his alpha position he will eat the dog food or drink from her bowl just to annoy the dog.

Then there is wee kitty Gus who now is about 3 months old.  Gus adores Jack and it seems Jack returns the sentiment.  He watches over the kitten who is perfectly happy attacking Mr. Grumble Guts.  Jack not only puts up with him he seems totally devoted to the kid.

As strange as it all seems they make a cohesive group happy most of the time..although I am convinced Bree definitely would appreciate another canine.

Hopelessly Devoted to You..

This song came to mind as I started my day, considered all the could do and should do things and decided nope..today I am hopelessly devoted to you.  You being my bloggers and some wordpress organizational things to do.  So in order of priority 1) complete this daily post 2) read and respond to my comments (something I have been lax about in the past) 3) Enjoy the Reader aspect to read my ‘I follow list’ and comment 4) do some maintenance on my site especially blog roll as some there have now gone and many treasures are not listed at all.  All in all a perfect day planned I say.

FITFS – following in the footsteps – First, before any of that I must pay homage to my practice of recognizing one of my fave bloggers who also works around themes (have I mentioned this is something I am seeking for moi?)  Emily Cannell  This amazing woman and her family moved to Japan sometime ago.  I first got to know her at the beginning of my blogging career when her ‘Hey from Japan – We are being shaken and stirred here’ was Freshly Pressed.  The woman knows how to report and without invoking whining and sniveling was able to give us a birds eye view – or an Emily ey’s view of what is going in her adopted home.  She has been FP’d a number of times since – and for good reason.  She is inspiring, hilarious, and talented.

**By the by – big news!  Yesterday’s post was about Judith Baxter and her book review by author Zoe Sharp and how wonderful it was that Zoe had commented on Judith’s post.  Well guess what!!  Zoe commented on my post about Judith’s post about her!!!  So now it would seem I have two – that’s 2 published authors as my new besties -Zoe Sharp and my bestie bestie Joss Burnell (whom you will hear more about…should it be whom?)!

***Now in looking back at my first two posts on Following in the footsteps… I just checked the links I put in to Judith and Jaime’s sites and it does not seemed to have worked. So I just tried it again and it worked….go figure.

Oh my am I going to ever get to the rest of today’s post?  The air is cooler and less humid to day and I hope the weather conditions every where else lets up a bit.  Some places too cold, some too hot, some too dry some too wet.  I hope it all settles a bit for everyone.

We were lucky yesterday to have a pool here at the house and when DIL wanted to take G2 in he whined and cried until his foot hit the water and he bobbed along in this floatie vest thing and called. ‘Grandma, Grandma, look I decided to come in and I can swim!!’  Uh huh – just like a man!

Hope y’all have a good Saturday or Sunday – which ever day it is for you my friends.

 

FITFS….Judith

FITFS – following in the footsteps…

Yesterday I mentioned the quality of the bloggers I follow and that while I, after more than a year was still looking for my theme, my schtick, my brand, my…well you know – I could at least celebrate my faves, and perhaps through them find myself.  So one of the very first blogs I read this morning was a dear WP friend Judith who resides in New Zealand, where it is mid winter and earthquake season.

I am not sure if Judith Baxter has been Freshly Pressed (and if not should have been) but today her news was even better that FP.  Judith did a review of a book she had read.  Well  not just a book, and the contents kept her reading for an entire day, but an excellent book.  So  good in fact that the author herself, Zoe Sharp commented on her post.  The book Judith read was ‘ First Drop‘.  Now how cool is that????

Now I know I will get the book and others by Sharp, and I suspect that since Judith has had close to 100,000 hits on her site (in just over a year) that many others will do the same thing.  Congratulations to Judith and to Zoe!

Hmmm what is the greatest thing that has ever happened to you since you have been blogging? (aside from all the friends you have made which is of course the number 1 best thing)

That is going to require some serious thought!

It’s a 40 degree day here, G1 has just uttered for the first time since school was out, “I’m bored.”  I expect that sentiment won’t last too long once he gets going with his day.

If the children are going out to play today it will have to early in the day.  Our thoughts are with all who remain without power from the storms…which means also air conditioning and the every day things we take for granted.

My Friend Joss

My friend Joss is an author.  She lives in eastern Canada and today I got to have lunch with her and her friend Christine.  Joss is visiting southern Ontario and happened to be spending part of that time here in Hamilton, hence the opportunity for us to meet.  I have followed Joss’ wordpress site here almost since I started blogging.  Initially it was her poetry and witty, common sense approach to life and events that drew my interest.

Then we discovered we had more than mutual adoration in common; we shared the challenge of coping with and conquering fibromyalgia.  Well conquering is perhaps a little misleading as one never does conquer; one learns to live with and adapt and Joss has done this amazingly well.  It never goes away but it can be tempered and Joss has been flare-up free for almost ten years.  Me?  I have done well since 1986 but I cannot list any particular number of years as being flare-up free however I am continuing to learn and much of that learning has been via Joss.  She talks about it being a journey and that it is and oh my, like any journey it is better because of the folk you meet along the way who provide encouragement and support.

Thank you for your wonderful book Joss and for your personal support!

Her new book ‘What I Know About Fibro’ provides information and inspiration and I encourage anyone who has dealt with pain in any form to read it!

Now please note that below the table has no food on it but I swear we had a delightful lunch!

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