Category Archives: Being

Secret Tapes

Secret Tapes

I have discovered the illicit fun to be gotten from having the recorder on my phone
tape delightful secret words.  I have meandering chatter by G2 as he explores his imagination with his toys unaware that his sweet voice ……

This past Saturday my sister and I went to visit a dear aunt; a sole survivor of ten, and my Mom’s sister who is now 84 years old. I listened, awestruck as she recounted things from her youth, the war and life in Canada.  She and my mom were both war brides.

It was the best three hours I have spent ever.  Tea and chat – laughs and tears.  She is the
last historian for that side of the family, the last voice to be heard.  I sit now listening marveling at her memory which may take a few minutes to unravel but unravel it she does.

I listen to, “It was in 1936 and…..”

Several things strike me as wonderful and in some ways a little sad; her work ethic for
one.  We seem to be afraid of this kind of work ethic these days, and would call it child labor, but then everyone worked.  When she was 10 she delivered papers early in the morning then returned home for breakfast and off to school.  After school it was chores, then supper, then brownies and then she ran deliveries for the local merchant.  The next morning it started all over again.  She said that each week when the merchant would pay her she would have him keep back a portion of her pay and then each Christmas a huge basket of food would arrive at their front door from the shop keeper.  The gift was anonymous and no one ever did find out who it came from.

Her husband to be was from the North Nova Scotia Highlanders and both he and his brother Gerald were in the same unit.  Gerald never did make it home and when he first died it was unknown who he was.  His brother had arrived at the cemetery in
France to deliver something and seeing his brother’s body was the first time he
knew he had died.  My aunt took a few moments to remember and name several others who did not make it home.

Working hard is not something this lady did…it is something she continues to do every
day..and she continues to do for others.
She is smart as a whip about current events and her opinions are based
on good thought….she is who I would like to be when I grow up….you know..once I
leave my sixties..it takes some of us longer to grow up than others.

It Started With Grumpy Old Men

It Started
With Grumpy Old Men

Original Grumpy

That really was the start of a new awareness about life and the uh elderly..no..I mean life in the more senior population.  Notice I say life in not life about.
I’m talking about the movie, not real life grumpy old men.  Or real life grumpy old women for that
matter.   Age, or aged, depending on how
you look at it is popular right now, probably because all we baby boomers decided not to accept ‘old’ as meaning ‘old’.

When I was twenty I thought thirty was ancient and how ridiculous that seems now.  At twenty I could not imagine feeling or looking any different – ever.  A woman I know at
the age of seventy-six went zip lining a couple of weeks ago and loved it.  Now I tend to think eighty-five is old but may have a different point of view when I get there.  I tend not to glimpse in the mirror as often anymore as the reflection belies how I actually feel.

I do seem more conscious of age now and have been looking at what makes age ‘old’ because in spite of people thinking I am much younger the facts are the facts: I am a
senior citizen.

It seems to come down to energy and joy in living.  I have met some in their thirties who are much older than I, who seem beaten down, exhausted, too weary, and as though gravity itself is a weight that relentlessly prevents living.  Energy does not even
have to be physical activity but can be mental.
The fountain of youth as sought by Ponce de Leon was thought to be a fountain and the myth of magic waters actually extended back a thousand or more years.

Men and women alike seek eternal youth through plastics and injections which to me really has the opposite effect.  Nothing
like spotting implants and unmovable facial skin makes me shake my head and wonder where the common sense is and what trigger in their brain convinces them, as they stare into a mirror that they are younger or better looking.

Longevity is of interest to me (current life span in America is 78 and in Japan is 83)
but it is not the number of years of living but the quality of life in those years. Tibet’s longevity is interesting for there the goal is for a long and healthy life. One is no good without the other.
There are a few things that are consistent in everything I have read
about youthful living.

My idea of 5 Factors for Ageless Aging

1)      ENERGY of course that makes each day
an adventure whether physical or mental – actually looking forward to each day
or minute.  Moving with intention.  Showing interest in just about anything. That
is energy.

2)      A SENSE OF PEACE or acceptance – the
feeling that you are not at odds with the world on a daily basis.  It is not that you accept injustice but within you your mind and soul are at peace with yourself.  I don’t think this applies only to religious folk but each of us can find a viable truth within ourselves that makes some sense of existence. Que Sera Sera.  No point in getting your girdle in a knot, as they say about things you cannot change.

3)      SENSE OF HUMOR – this seems to be core to even wanting to live a long worthy life because if you cannot laugh at the irony of life or at yourself for that matter then why would anyone even want to exist for however long?

4)      GRATITUDE – so essential, not because you have to, not because God demands it, but because it increasesappreciation of everything large and small around us.

5)      JOY – What was the last thing you were really joyful about?  Try looking at
just about anything right now, the first object to your right and finding some
joy in it.  Just for the heck of it.  Just because.

What is your true age and how do you define it?

‘The eyes are the windows to the soul’ is an oft used phrase and is pretty accurate as
they reflect pain, sorrow, happiness, deceit, smugness, life, love..the list
could go on and on…but they also show age, for the youth, regardless of years
have a sparkle called life and when that sparkle ceases to show then regardless
of years, there is only ‘old’.

BTW sparkles can come back.  There is little
else more rewarding that bringing joy to another and seeing life.

Naps are for Smart People

Naps are for Smart People

Raw bundles of energy learning to assimilate into life give all in laughter, running and the work of the day which may include miles of trucks on knees, bionicals that soar to mighty heights and giggling with delight when this little piggy goes to market find restful recharging in the afternoon nap.

The simplicity of giving it your all should be a more obvious lesson to those of us who transitioned from toddler to adult.  How did we miss it?  At least for most of the grown up persuasion it seems daily toils are an effort and concentration seems to be on getting through it. We utter words, axioms, as though verbalizing acknowledges the wisdom but feel forbidden to actually do it full time.  Stop and smell the roses.  Love what you do.  

The back end of that last one is do what you love and is something I could never quite figure out.  For one thing not everyone could say what they love and so wander through live gritting their teeth doing something they think they do not love.

I probably could not have named one thing I loved to do in my youth.  Sure, I was a nurse to the core of me and loved it.  It was my calling.  But as a high schooler I worked every weekend and holiday and whether it was a laundry or grocery store or factory I loved it all.  For me I guess the pleasure was in the doing.

What if….we woke up tomorrow and decide to love everything we do?  Love that alarm and morning stretch, love that shower and first sip of coffee, love the action of getting dressed, love that drive or walk, love that work?  

There are all kinds of songs that say be glad for what we are given.  You know it may not change the world but I bet it will change us and who knows energy may abound.

Some have a dream and belief and will reach it but for most of us ordinary folk the true pleasure of life is all around us in the most mundane things.  And yes when we earn our rest at day’s end it will be one of regeneration although I believe the whole world could use the benefits of an afternoon nap. After all some of the most brilliant people in the world grabbed a little midday shut eye, probably because in their waking hours they  gave it their all.

I’m a Bear, Barely There

I’m a Bear Barely There
 
If you were an animal which would you be?
Would you be big as a horse or small as a flea?
 
Would you bark like a dog, meow like a cat?
Would you be skinny or very very fat?
 
Would you slither and hiss much like a snake,
Or swim like a fish across a great lake?
 
Would you hop like a bunny or fly like a dove?
Would you be grumpy or growl with love?
 
In the summer I’d be a bird with a flare
But in the winter I’d be a big old bear
 
Cause then I could grow fat and furry
Sleep all winter and never scurry
 
Til spring beckoned with a flowery day
I’d shed all that fat then run and play.


 
If you were an animal – which would you be?

(Hmmm perhaps my three year old daily contact is influencing my style?)  As the days grow cooler I find myself wanting to hibernate.

Is That a Light at the End of the Tunnel Or……

Is That a Light at the End of the Tunnel or….

I used to love the whole idea of a light at the end of the tunnel – the tunnel being a long and arduous path, some great feat, challenge or test of endurance – and then one day someone commented that instead of it being a light of attainment it just might be a train coming straight at you.

I am still in the tunnel!  As per my previous post on activities which included a Christmas party in August and moving, events are trotting along.

The party was amazing, organized by my two nephews and their Dad.  Two fire pits grilling corn on the cob and beef and chicken and enough salads of every imaginable kind.  And desserts.  Lots of desserts.

My nephew’s country property sports a pool, swings, slides and a trampoline that kept the youngest generation in giggles for hours and triggered tears in the youngest when it was time to go.  A great big Santa stood proudly in the midst.  G1 and G2 could not make it as the whole house came down with a bug but a good time was had by all who did.

That was Saturday and Tuesday was THE MOVE.   I am in awe of anyone who does a move well.  I have gotten settled in..sort of… but must return tomorrow for final clean up which of course is in the  midst of more social activity – Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Muscles I did not even know I had hurt….okay I probably do not have them but pain has settled where they should be.  I keep thinking I must look toned and ripped but a glance in the mirror, when it cannot be avoided, just reveals an exhausted not so hot looking shadow of who I think I am.

I can’t quite see the light yet but at least there are no train whistles.

Lower Than a Snake’s Belly on a Hot Rock

Lower Than a Snake’s Belly On a Hot Rock

This is a phrase I started using when I lived in South Texas and have no idea if I coined it myself or picked it up during some southern redneck exchange but I love it; the sound of the words, the feel, the completeness of it and Lord the warmth of it.

See I spit it out one day to express that I was a bit down and as soon as those words were out of my mouth a miracle of sorts occurred.  I laughed and chortles were chortled around me.  Heck I felt better!

With a smile in my heart I examined what it meant – such an odd thing to say I thought- but such a delightful truth.  I mean how low can you go and still feel good and feelin good is what I like.  Why through fear and sadness and joy I allow, no I make myself enjoy the misery or elation to the hilt.  I’m not exactly a drama queen although there are folk who may argue that point.  Hmmm maybe…sometimes but I prefer to think of it as exuberance.

Truth be told it was much more so in my younger years which probably  started, oh let’s see, around birth, having learned very young that I love to make people laugh.  Slip a little comment into a conversation and boom, instant mirth.  Sure makes the moment better.

“How are you?”

“Lower than a snake’s belly on a hot rock.”

I loved it and was just a shade miffed if  in fact I was swell and had to admit it by saying I am well.

Now I love rednecks and all folk of a different bent; unique thinkers, wordsmiths, otherworldly minds, rebels by choice or by genetic misfires who spurt out something different making you stop and realize you just heard something genius muttered.  I figure because they give us a different view, not locked in by anything they are all a breath of fresh air in a world of propriety and staidness.

Young children have a way of doing that.

Funny I love that phrase so much cause I hate slithering retiles.  Cannot even look directly at them, which by the way makes the last Harry Potter film difficult to watch, and is annoying to those around me as with eyes cast down I keep asking, “Is it gone yet?”

But just think about it.  Feeling so low you must stretch out and let the warmth soothe you.  Well out of that can only come renewal.  Embrace the moment that is.  If you must be sad, glad, fearful do it well then let it go.

Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop Flaws in My Genes?

Mama Kat

 

Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop Flaws in My Genes?

 Some weeks a prompt is difficult.  This week there is several I could address but the most interesting is:  3.) Describe a talent or flaw that seems to be in your genes.

 Now I would prefer that all my flaws were gene induced otherwise I would have to recognize and deal with character flaws and that would never do.  Or should I be thinking my genes are not at all flawed that the g pool is perfect and that I in some way screwed them up?  Not a chance.  The nice thing about flawed genetic material is that its not my fault and I just need to work on overcoming, enhancing and perfecting them. After all we are recipients of said material at birth.  Right?

 Now my research shows that genetic disposition is usually related to passing on disease.  There is a strong argument that behavioral traits are in fact as much as or more of a social thing.  The basic assumption being that genetic traits are unchangeable. I believe that my personal study of six decades renders that balderdash.  So lets look at nature vs nurture which could be a whole other discussion but seems to fit here – in my mind at least.

 1)     Loquacious – meaning talkative or verbose in the extreme, can also be translated into verbal diarrhea.  Surely this has to be genetic. I believe, with no scientific proof at all, that my cave dweller ancestors fell into one of the primordial gene pools floating around at that time and absorbed a substantial amount of this material.  Of course they did not know it at the time as there were no words but by george when there were words, that particular line has not shut up since.

2)     The untidy gene – meaning untidy of course. Ah this is a gene I fight daily. As one comedian once said,  ‘My mother said it takes just as long to drop it on the floor as it does to hang it up.’  Scientific studies have shown that no; dropping is much quicker than hanging. (Although I am pretty good now on this one, proving this trait can indeed be changed.)

3)     Self Perception – why I perceive myself as Queen, as special, as a genetic pool worth dipping in…oh…so that is not genetics…uh huh..oh…delusions maybe.  Will think that one out a bit more.

4)     The cooking gene – This one is proff yet again that genetic traits are changeable.  I used to have it when my family was young. I gave fabulous dinners people raved about.  But I lost it.  Perhaps it is a recessive gene that can be recovered. Lets hope.

5)     The, I get lost anywhere gene – No sense of direction in a world where so many others do not?  That is definitely gene related, it just has to be.  In south Texas I never got lost.  Roads are straight there, but put a slight curve in the road and all the GPS units of the world cannot save me.

 You know I could go on forever it seems.  That may be TMI.  Lets just say I will stop there but I now realize as I start to tidy up my environment I should also start on that particular pool and perhaps change the thinking that genetic traits are in fact changeable.

 

AHA Moments

Aha Moments

It doesn’t matter WHAT we believe – just THAT we believe.

Oprah Winfrey is making a momentous move, but then she has been doing that all her life..making momentous moves.

“O” and “OWN” mean more than just a letter of the alphabet and possessing something.  Her life in many ways is an open book and there is no need, here, to go over it again.

Oprah has made some mistakes, a few very serious ones, but has always taken ownership by admitting and apologizing when someone has been hurt, fixing it when she could, learning from it and moving on.

I have never been a watch the show every day or even some days fan. I only occasionally pick up her magazine but I have been very aware of her.  She has done and will continue to do some great good deeds.

She said she knew from the age of four that she was destined for something great.  She did not know exactly what it was but she knew, and that knowledge factored into all her decisions.

I don’t even know if she ever made a statement similar or exactly like the one above about believing, but it seems to me to be an ‘Oprah’ kind of statement.

It doesn’t matter What we believe – just That we believe.

I have friends and family who are Christian, Agnostic, Atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, and all things in between.  I have friends and family who are none of these things, who believe in themselves.

All are right.  All have found their truth for this time.  Truths change.  Our belief structure of ten or twenty years ago, or from now, may be different.  We grow, we change, we learn.

Even the Dalai Lama in his book ‘My Spiritual Journey’ celebrates diversity in belief.

I too celebrate diversity and I celebrate humanity.

My Son My Speech

I am trying so hard not to share every little thing about our own personal Royal Wedding, but here is just one more. I must admit to more sentiment than humor in this one but hope you will give it a look because it is just a tiny look at one man’s life. This is my speech at the Wedding.

My Son
Before R was born we dallied with a number of names looking for just the right moniker. His dad called from the ER one evening to say a little boy had been brought in with red hair and blue eyes and his name was R. Just that easily our baby ..if a boy..had a name.

From birth he brought lightness, joy and an amazing skill with people. Naturally, balanced with that, came stubbornness and tenacity.

R marched to a different drummer with his first steps and to this day he often seems genuinely surprised that the universe actually may have it’s own drummer .

WE, all of us here, have a drummer of some sort to keep our rhythm of life.
R is one of those rare souls that has a whole marching band.

This is the stuff the shakers and the makers of the world are made of. This is the stuff of an incredible man, my son.

So my son, This is you

2 years old….
R don’t run with a stick in your mouth
R don’t run with That stick in your mouth
R get in the car we are going to emerge

3 years old.
Ryan go play Mommy’s doing laundry
“Drink Mommy”
Ryan that is bleach!!
Hello…poison control…this Mrs B
R get in the car we are going to emerge

R it’s okay if you do not eat dinner but you get nothing more til breakfast
“Drink mommy”
Hello poison control..this is Mrs. B. R drank my Lemon Up hair conditioner
R get in the car we are going to emerge

Hello poison control?
Hello Mrs. B what did R take this time.?

His Generous Nature

R was in hospital for a couple of days. Breakfast came the next morning. The little girl in the crib next to him did not get breakfast. R crawled out of crib, into hers and gave her an orange.
A sign of his generosity.
Nurse…”Chris, R gave the little girl next to him an orange..we had to cancel her surgery.”

One snowy Thanksgiving Day R came home for dinner. He was living in Simcoe and was glad for the left overs I sent with him. When I called the next day I asked if he enjoyed the food. He said, “Mom last night I looked outside and saw a homeless man in a doorway so I gave him sandwich and soup,and gave him my blanket. He was asleep so I covered him up put the food beside him.”

People Skills and instilling confidence..
Eunice…you know Chris. I was nervous about letting the boys go canoeing..but R reassured me that he is an expert canoeist.
Me ….Eunice..R has never been in a canoe before

Val…Chris. I don’t let Andrea go out in cars with kids but I always know she is safe with R driving
Me..Val, R does not have a drivers license

Sincerity
R has an amazing group of friends, a band of brothers of substance, talent and great humor. This is one of the rewards that life has brought this man of strong moral fiber.

And then a few years ago came a young woman who first said to me…R makes me laugh!
And over the years I have seen them laugh, work, and struggle and survive and grow.
Last night my son said to me, “Mom I’m sorry it has taken me so many years to marry but I had to wait until she was ready. And if I had to I would have waited forever”

Oh yeah and if I come across my other son’s speech from his wedding I will share it…cross dressing, pyromania all at the age of 2 and a loving heart!

Post Wedding Posting

Apologies to my subscribers!

I so have to remember to use the preview button before hitting publish.

I was tempted to use the song below as an excuse but alas cannot..I have reposted my blog on the Books of the iPad and do again apologize ..oh my..

Thanks to the Celtic Lyrics Collection at Celtic-lyrics.com for the words below ..it coulda been a great excuse! Lyrics by Tom Paxton

Could have been the whiskey, might have been the gin.
Could have been three or four six-packs,
I don’t know, but look at the mess I’m in,
My head is like a football, I think I’m gonna die,
Tell me, me oh me oh my,
Wasn’t that a party?
 
Someone took a grapefruit and wore it like a hat,
I saw someone under my kitchen table, talking to my old tom cat,
They were talking about hockey and the cat was talkin’ back,
Along about then everything went black,
But wasn’t that a party?
 
I’m sure it’s just my memory playin’ tricks on me,
But I think I saw my buddy cuttin’ down my neighbour’s tree,
 
Could have been the whiskey, might have been the gin.
Could have been three or four six-packs,
I don’t know, but look at the mess I’m in,
My head is like a football, I think I’m gonna die,
Tell me, me oh me oh my,
Wasn’t that a party?
 
Old Billy Joe and Tommy, well they went a little far,
They were sitting in my backyard blowing on the siren in somebody’s police car.
So you see, your honour,
It was all in fun,
That little bitty track meet down on main street,
Was just to see if the cops could run,
Well, they run us in to see you,
In an alcoholic haze,
I can sure use those thirty days to recover from the party.
 
Could have been the whiskey, might have been the gin.
Could have been three or four six-packs,
I don’t know, but look at the mess I’m in,
My head is like a football, I think I’m gonna die,
Tell me, me oh me oh my,
Wasn’t that a party?
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