All posts by Bridgesburning Chris

The older I get the more amazed I am at the simplicity of life and at the same time the complexity of it. I think sometimes we make the simplicity complicated by our own ingenuity and the insistence that something so wonderful cannot be simple. Perhaps our greatest failure is to make complex that which is not.

I heard today…

I heard today of a passing,

Expected but painful in it’s loss.

I heard today of a birth,

And joy in celebration.

I heard today of a fine dinner

Cooked by a young couple for a grandmother.

And the thought occurred:

In this one day is the perfect depiction of Life.

And I gave Thanks.

Dating by the light…

Brad Pitt’s character, John Smith, in the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith, says – ‘I guess that’s what happens at the end, you start thinking about the beginning.’

This soft of thinking occurs at times of contemplation, endings, and of course becomes more frequent as one ages.

Today I took a look back at my very first blog post in December 2010. Oh my. This is a post about my newly started beginning in on line dating. Nine years ago. In that time many things have come and gone, including on line anything (except for the odd shopping *for things not people!).

But it was a fun and interesting time and worth the look back.

Ladies and Gentlemen and the politically correct, everyone else I present an amusing peek at….Dating by the light….

*Interestingly one of the people who ‘liked’ this was someone who has become a dear friend with whom I now FaceTime weekly at least and is now a Sister of Choice.

via Dating by the light…

Six Word Saturday

Never give up. Never give in.

If you live by these words does it mean you are tenacious, determined, or just plain stubborn? Is there a time when one should give up? I wonder if when I am most determined not to give up is exactly when I should.

Let me explain. I am an accomplished knitter and over the years have turned out wonderful objects. I do not say this from ego but just as a fact. The fact is if you practice something long enough and continually challenge yourself you will become accomplished.

A few months ago I completed a sweater pattern that is complicated but has become a favourite, and I have done a few of these. What I have never done is a project requiring considerable pattern adjustment expressly for a client. For money.

I have toiled mightily. And retooled. (If there is any such word)

Equally talented spinners of the ‘Yarn’ have advised me to give up. Give in.

This I cannot do. It has become a PERSONAL battle. Me and the yarn. One of us will win.

This is a previous one, done to pattern and not requiring personal adjustments. I knit because I enjoy it and have come to the conclusion that once you do it ‘for money’ the fun seems to go out of it. So for now I shall not up nor give in. I will probably give the lady back her money and make a gift of the sweater. Somehow that thought fits.

Under the Tuscan Sun

JB’s philosophy of ‘I choose how I will spend the rest of my life’ is always a warming hug whenever I visit. Choosing. It may be the best part of life. The choices may not sometimes be all that palatable, and sometimes consists solely of chosen attitude. How lucky we are to ‘choose’. Mandela chose a positive attitude in his years of prison, Hawking chose to move beyond physical restraints. Choosing is not wishing. I wish I were free. I wish I were rich. It is choosing a course of action, an attitude. A dear friend believes you don’t spend your time wishing but you play the hand you are dealt. That is not giving in to the hand or being happy with what you have. It is choosing. And choosing leads to action. That trip JB chose to take even when her plans fell apart and she would suddenly be doing it alone. She sold her house and made the move of a lifetime. A Septuagenarian Adventure. That’s my friend. An adventurer. Stroll around her blog and bask in the Tuscan sun, the New Zealand countryside, and the dance in the sea of her most treasured thing – words. Books, stories, poems. My friend. My treasure.

I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

On turning the calendar card I was confronted with this –

The wording on the card reads –

“The Italian enthusiasm for cycling come to the fore every spring during the Giro d’Italia, a three-week-long road race across some of the peninsula’s most challenging terrain. Thrills, hills, and spills aside, two-wheeled vehicles are an integral part of Italian culture and an uplifting fixture of daily life”

I was immediately transported back to my brief sojourn in Florence in 2013. Can it really be six years ago?

On October 23, 2013, I recorded Day 16 in Florence and noted that the World Road Cycling Championship had just been raced in and around Florence. Cycling memorabilia was on display and for sale everywhere one looked. I succumbed and purchased two little battery operated bicycles with pedalling cyclists whizzing around the footpaths. If you are interested, click here for that post.

Oh, how…

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The Time has come

In light of the latest act of terrorism I have decided it is time to draw a line. There is little I, one insignificant person can do that will make a difference, but if we all take this step it will help.

 

From now on all posts that lash out to anyone will be deleted and I will sadly unfollow that person. If I follow you now it is because you mean something to me and are treasured. But spewing forth: hatred for immigrants, politicians, fat people, thin people, Walmart in pyjama people, will be deleted. Expressions of Hate and Scorn embolden and spur those on to Despicable Actions, who might otherwise have not acted.

 

If you disagree with something or someone then act on it by becoming part of the solution. There is no place for vitriol. It is a tool of Evil. And Evil strives for Chaos and Discontent and Hatred. And all of these become stronger with expression.

It occurs to me…

*Two months since NY. Resolutions (called goals by some). Where are you on yours?

Last year I had an 80% success on my goals and pleased with the result set three more goals for 2019.

By January 22nd I scrapped all three and did a reset. Important to do this if you want to succeed. Sometimes our goals are just a wish list. It occurs to me the key to success lies in assessment and action. We either continue or reset. I reset to four measurable, attainable goals that deal with Finance, Healthy Eating, Business Development, and Writing. I did not just scrap them but took the time and documented exactly why they were being scrapped and what was replacing them.

* Business development is really quite a small thing, but I decided to turn my hobby time into a teeny tiny business. Having spent the last eight years in retirement doing what I loved, it occurred to me that I could assign an actual worth to what I do. So GCK was born. GrannyChrisKnits is being developed. Baby steps. GrannyChrisKnits@mail.com. Recent projects in demand:

Gryffindor has a new 11 year old Wizard

This hat is a warm chic favourite.

This sweater in both bulky and non bulky are in great demand

Lots of hats and mittens

*The Writing goal took a bid of serious contemplation. A love of words and intriguing story lines were not enough to drive me forward. My one underlying thought for this year is, ‘Enjoy what you do, and Do what you enjoy” I found I have a skill at reviewing books and articles and can present thoughtful and at times witty observations. I discovered this when I joined a Canadian Authors group where we write but also critique the works of other members. During discussions at month’s end I found I expressed some insights that surprised me. I stopped feeling guilty at what I had not written, and started to be excited at what I was reading and doing. I also belong to a book club that meets once a month called, Crime and Coffee.

My progress in all things this year was held up a bit due to the loss of a dear dear friend and Aunt who passed January 23rd. It occurs to me grief uses a lot of energy and whilst I have continued to move forward it has been at a slower pace. Her memory is an inspiration. Nuff said on that.

* I found myself wondering this week what the value of apology is. Aside from a public show of regret, that may not be at all sincere, but is required for political purpose (as we have seen on this week’s news), what truly is the purpose? If I feel guilt about something I did, and I approach the wounded party (no matter how much time has passed) and I beg forgiveness, am I really trying to make the other person feel better or just myself? It occurs to me that if I express regret at causing hurt that is fine. But if it is an apology that ends with, ‘Please please forgive me.’ Then I think that is a problem. I guess it is important to say you are sorry but it is not okay to saddle the wounded person with a demand for forgiveness. Hmm What think you?

*It occurred to me this week that Drama is over rated in our lives. I am wondering if great excitement is just an energy sapper. Spewers of drama are exhausting and I think sometimes the Message is lost is the Swirl of Energy. I recently read ‘Born A Crime’ by Noah Trevor about his life in South Africa. It was raw, real, and by being without great drama it encouraged serious thought and consideration. An excellent book.

I’ve been watching a lace curtain of snow fall outside my window this morning. It occurs to me that Spring will be most welcome.

On to another week. March 1st came in like a lamb. It occurs to me it might go out like a lion. Then again it might not,

EVERYONE NEEDS A HOBBY

I love every comment. Every word is True True True. I been knitting and cross stitching for decades and it only took forty years to become truly relaxing. When I was younger it was the Challenge of Creation, now, complicated patterns assure me I am compos mentis and avoiding dementia with each stitch. Each time I have to undo work I remind myself I am learning Patience. It is a necessary activity when watching TV so I do not feel I am wasting time. I give very few gifts as I have discovered not everyone appreciates the effort or the result. But I happily create for anyone who wants a creation. Thank you for an amusing poignant post!! Chris (AKA GrannyChrisKnits)

MorristownMemos

“You should take up knitting; it’s so relaxing”.

Those were the words of a former friend, whom I once mistakenly assumed had my best interests at heart. Now I rack my brain trying to understand what I could have done to her to cause her determination to turn my life into nerve pressuring misery. Knitting: Relaxing? Therapeutic? Really?

Trying to be open and fair minded, I consider the possibility that she has a good idea. As I look around wherever I go, I see women in lectures, on trains, and in recitals peacefully knitting. They appear to be relaxed as they demonstrate the art of multitasking. How hard can a little knitting be? I wonder.

You’ve always liked challenges, I tell myself, and I decide to try knitting. I’ll start with something small. Yes, I can do this! As I think about it I get enthusiastic about learning a…

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Book Review. Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly

Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly
Dark Sacred Night (Renée Ballard, #2; Harry Bosch, #21; Harry Bosch Universe, #31) 
by Michael Connelly (Goodreads Author), U 50x66

Christine Gingerich‘s review 

Jan 09, 2019  ·  
Some folk are put off by prolific writers as they often glaringly writing to a recipe, tried and true. This is not the case with Connelly. I first encountered Harry Bosch briefly when I was introduced to the Lincoln Lawyer, first as a movie, then the book.
There is a reality in the lives of Michael Connelly’s characters which guarantees no ‘happy ever after’, but which brings to life people you find yourself thinking about through out the day. Struggle, progress, success, failure, mistakes, humanness. All these things interwoven. 
Bosch forms a somewhat casual partnership with Ballard to solve another Cold Case. Justice for the long dead becomes an honorable venture.
Bosch’s relationships with past partners and associates, and family weaves a strong tapestry through each and every book, and they show up here and there, just like real life.
When I pick up a new Bosch book, it is with great anticipation, not just of a current adventure but wondering who will wander in with ties to a past story. Cisco, Lourdes, Mickey? Everything is connected and therein lies the deliciousness.

Junkie by Robert P. French

Book Review

Junkie
Robert P. French

Junkie is the first book in a series about Cal Rogan. I admit to some reluctance to read a book where our hero was in fact a Junkie. Encouraged by my friend Judith Baxter I turned to the first page and was hooked.

What’s makes Cal our true hero is the clear crisp writing, realistic and believable, without any of the self pity and whining and moaning often associated with first person addiction stories.

His path from functioning valued member of society to loss, homelessness, and recovery of sorts, whilst solving obvious and less obvious mysteries makes this a story difficult to put down.

His love/hate relationship with himself and those around him, particularly Roy, and his dead best friend whose relationship with him may or may not have been what he interpreted it as, strikes a chord of the reality we live with every day.

French puts a human face to a population in the shadows. Successes, failures, and in this case mysterious deaths.

The easy path to substance addiction is chilling and leaves one with a ..there but for the Grace of God…type of reaction, and an awareness that all that can change in a moment.

His relationship with his daughter and ex, his desire to be more, to be better is woven through out, partnered with the inability to succeed.

This is a story about perseverance, struggle, being right, being wrong, succeeding and failing. Failing is not the end of the story. This story is more than anything, about HOPE. The thing that drives all of us.

The humanness of the tale, and the characters, the truths both recognized and not recognized are the the truths of our own lives.

French is an excellent story teller, weaving suspense and surprise twists in a delicious fashion that is sublime.

Random New Year Morning Thouights

Passing Thoughts

* Under ‘Some Things Never Change’, countless millions continue to start the NEW YEAR with some sort of resolution, whether it is couched under that title or another. THIS IS CALLED HOPE. For some a serious undertaking. For others, not so much.

* The world has learned that the American process is not functioning. Congress as oversight to a dangerous president doesn’t work and has failed the country and the world. THIS IS CALLED PAINFUL TRUTHS. As suspected by many for years, the greatness of the Red White and Blue is empty rhetoric.

* To win an election properly one must have a better candidate. When people demand change, even the devil can appear a saviour. For a time. To win an election one must perceive accurately what the NEED is. Right or wrong, the country demands NEW. New thinking. New approaches. Paradigm. Step outside. Old, established, proper, will no longer do. THIS IS CALLED PROGRESS. In a dramatic way the Old Guard must be ready to step aside.

* Canada no longer appears as pristine as a snowflake. A Prime Minister and family who shame the country dressing up in Pretend and grinning like idiots for all the world to see. And that doesn’t even address the Politics of the country. THIS IS CALLED LAUGHING STOCK.

* The Western World and all first world countries have been faced with refugees and this will only grow. Developed nations having lived dramatically different lives than those in third world countries will find their world changing quickly. THIS IS CALLED REALITY ADJUSTMENT.

* More good deeds will be done. More trickery attempted. FAITH will win out. Without it all is lost. Faith in something. You choose. Faith in God. Faith in Human. Faith in Self. Faith in other. THIS IS CALLED LIFE.

MAY 2019 BLESS YOU WITH PEACE, PROSPERITY, SUCCESS, AND LOVE