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Awakened and Enlightened ..Guest Post by Tallis Steelyard

HEAR YE! HEAR YE! 

Did I not promise you of great things to come?  I told you that I would be part of a team that would present fiction in a new way.  I am installment eight.  You know that little kid near the end of the line, costume on and ready to hit the stage and delight you.  Then the IT gremlins came out to play and put a halt to things at about installment four or five, so just to get the you in the mood I started posting from the beginning the installments.  Well! Gremlins conquered and we are ready to rock. So I am posting my part YEA! and below that I will have the links to the foregoing.

Visit Jim for more and more and more

Awakened and enlightened

Awakened and Enlightened

I decided it was time I made my way back towards home. One thing repeated exile teaches a poet is humility. Disappear to avoid the results of some unfortunate understanding and it doesn’t take long for people to either forget you or to shift the blame onto some other poor beggar who didn’t absent themselves so briskly. Hence I was sadly confident that my return to Port Naain would evocate little reaction.

I headed south to Port Naain, working my way down the coast. This is an area I know better and even have friends I can call upon. It was one of these friends who is largely responsible for my meeting up with the Venerable Order of the Awakened and Enlightened Siblings.

We lingered too long over breakfast, so that it made sense to take an early lunch, and it wasn’t until early afternoon that I finally set off. Thus I was still seven or eight miles short of my destination when I decided I really ought to look for somewhere to stay for the night. The first place I saw after making that decision was a sprawling old mansion set back from the road. It seemed in good repair, there were plenty of lights showing at the windows and by the gate was a sign announcing to the weary traveller that this was the monastery of the Awakened and Enlightened Siblings and that travellers were welcome to stay.

Thus encouraged I walked up the drive and pulled the bell pull by the main door. A middle aged lady in a long robe admitted me and led me through to a reception room where she proceeded to ask me various questions; the usual things, name, occupation, reasons for travelling. I admit to a degree of caution, as I felt it might not be entirely wise to go bandying about the name of Tallis Steelyard. So I merely said I was Torris Blurt, gave my profession as ‘clerk’ and said that I was travelling to Port Naain to seek employment.

I was shown to a small sparsely furnished room. All it contained was a sawdust stuffed mattress on the floor, but this was accompanied by what appeared to be an adequate number of blankets. There was a hand-pump in the yard for washing, and when ready I was encouraged to visit the guests’ dining room.

It seems that I was the only guest. So as I ate I had the undivided attention of the guest master who proceeded to expound the teachings of his order.

Their beliefs appear simple enough. That once one reaches a certain level of wisdom one realises that man is the only god man needs. This is called ‘the awakening.’ Once somebody is awakened they realise that it is the duty of the awakened to guide and govern the rest of the population who so obviously are incapable of governing themselves. These masses are known as the sleepers. But the awakened also realise that even they are not yet ready to govern, so they purify themselves by a strict diet, celibacy and abstaining from alcohol. Success in purification takes the initiate to the highest level when they become enlightened. It is to the enlightened that the populace should look for leadership and guidance.

Judging by the meal I ate, a dish of beans cooked in water, and served with some coarse bread; the recommended diet for the awakened or the masses was unlikely to include such things as meat. On the other hand I did get a glass of beer to drink. It was thin and sour and I recognised it instantly. It was ‘Abbot’s Ale’, sold by many taverns and inns in Port Naain. Even by the undemanding standards set by Port Naain brewers, it was bad.

So I tentatively asked the guest master about the ale. He held up a glass of the pale yellow liquid. “It serves two purposes. Firstly sales help to fund our order, so that we might continue our good work. Secondly and perhaps most importantly, those who drink this will not be drinking stronger drink, so it reduces drunkenness and encourages teetotalism. It is indeed fortunate that we sell such a lot of it.”

With that he poured me a glass of a fruit cordial. “This is what we encourage folk to drink instead and we supply it very cheaply to those places that take the ale.”

The fruit cordial was pleasant enough, but again I recognised it. In the sort of bar where folk drink ‘Abbot’s Ale’ it is customary for the person purchasing it to ask for their glass to be ‘fortified.’ The vendor would fill the tankard three-quarters full of the ale and then top it up with a mix of half fruit cordial and half cheap spirit. The resultant drink is, it must be admitted, considerably more pleasant than the straight ale, but one is advised not to drink too much of it. Opinions differ as to how much is ‘too much’. Personally I’d suggest the sensible limit is less than a full glass. I have known people drink it to excess and not merely lose any memories of that evening, but of the following three or four days as well.

The talk then drifted delicately to the topic of donations. I cheerfully pulled out my purse and poured a small quantity of low denomination copper onto the table. The one ‘silver’ coin contained so much lead it had bent and I gently straightened it out again. Given the whole heap wasn’t worth much more than the value of a glass of beer, he gracefully declined. I assume he thought I had more money secreted about my person, but he was mistaken. As befits a poet, my penury was entirely authentic.

He encouraged me to contemplate joining the awakened. He pointed out that only the wise and properly educated could govern the populace properly, and the masses could only benefit with members of the order guiding them. After all, with us to lead them by example into lives of frugality and sobriety the world would be a better place. Then as I grew in wisdom and understanding, I would inevitably rise to join the enlightened.

I said I would sleep on it, and made my way to my room. To be fair the mattress was not uncomfortable, and there were enough blankets so I slept tolerably well. Unfortunately I awoke early feeling distinctly hungry and was unable to get back to sleep. So I dressed and went down to the dining room. It struck me that I might find the makings of an early breakfast and then I could be on my way. The dining room was empty and there was no sign of anybody in the kitchen. I was a little surprised, but it wasn’t until I looked out of a window and saw the false dawn that I realised how early it was. I continued to drift through rooms like a particularly peckish ghost, until I came upon a short corridor I’d never noticed previously. I walked down it and opened the door at the far end. This led into a dining room rather more elegantly appointed than the one I had eaten in the previous evening. Was this perhaps for the enlightened?

There was a door off the dining room which led to a separate kitchen and a substantial pantry. Here I was indeed enlightened. I returned to my room, collected my cloak and the trusty wicker fishing creel which had served me so faithfully as a pack and made my way once more to the pantry. There I nibbled on honey-cooked sausages whilst contemplating my possible breakfast. In the end I took more sausages, several slices of cold roast ham, some bread which I sliced and buttered thickly to save time later, a honey comb and two bottles of a rather fine white wine. I also acquired a quantity of black pudding and bacon which I could offer as my contribution to the meal should I stop at some peasant household that night.

I slipped quietly out of the window, closing it gently after me and made my way back to the road. It did strike me that within the order, it was obvious that abstinence from alcohol and decent food was only a requirement for those lesser beings. These were rules that the enlightened were wise enough to set aside for themselves. Whether the rules set aside by those who adjudge themselves wise also included celibacy is a question I am afraid I cannot answer.

At this point it seems pertinent to mention that the story of Tallis’s escapades continues on other blogs. They will be reblogged in what may one day be accepted by biographers as the chronologically correct order on his own blog. Thus and so you can easily follow his gripping adventures.

 Also, as an aside, the reason for this whole performance, (aside for being ‘Art’ with a capital ‘A’) is that another volume of his anecdotes has been published. Containing some work that has never appeared on the blog, this is ;-

 Tallis Steelyard. The Monster of Bell-Wether Gardens and other stories.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Steelyard-Monster-Bell-Wether-Gardens-stories-ebook/dp/B075DG5JJ6/

 

https://www.amazon.com/Steelyard-Monster-Bell-Wether-Gardens-stories-ebook/dp/B075DG5JJ6/

AND PREVIOUS LINKS TO BEGINNING CHAPTERS

https://scvincent.com/2017/09/24/guest-poet-and-raconteur-tallis-steelyard-a-family-saga/
https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2017/09/17/playing-the-game-guest-post-by-tallis-steelyard/
https://addandsomuchmore.com/2017/09/18/of-kings-and-kindness/https://tallissteelyard.wordpress.com/2017/09/27/the-spice-of-life/

https://tallissteelyard.wordpress.com/2017/09/27/the-spice-of-life/

https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/2017/09/19/questions-happily-unanswered-tallis-steelyard/

https://jenanita01.com/2017/09/25/the-monster-of-bell-wether-gardens-and-other-stories-by-jim-webster-short-stories/

https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/2017/09/25/if-a-tree-falls-and/

 

 

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I Love a Rainy Day

Unlike the Carpenters‘ Rainy Days and Mondays song always getting them down, I like rainy days.  The kind of day that begs for hibernation, curling up with books, and reflective thoughts of life.

When I awoke this morning to that delicious half light that accompanies immane cloud cover (BTW immane is a new word I learned – means monstrous, huge), my consciousness cuddled with my soul and prepared for one nice snuggy day.

I love skies filled with clouds (note I say that while staying in and looking out.  Not unlike my admiration for snow filled days also).  The best clouds in the sky photos are taken by my friend Celi so pop over here at thekitchensgarden to have a boo at this header.  

*and catch up on her farmy adventures!  Below is one of Celi’s skies.

Celi's sky

I must admit that retirement has rendered me one of the lowest maintenance gals around.  My needs are simple.  Gone is the need to impress anyone, including to dress to impress, to speak to impress, or anything else of the ‘ess’.

Especially days like this.  Some tea, clouds, and of course reading material.  I figure I will never run out of material because push come to shove I can make up my own.  But I love well written books and my sources are many.

One of the most exciting things I did this year was to make an effort to get out of my comfort zone in the literary world.  I know what I like.  But this year at the encouragement of my dear dear New Zealand blogging and Skype buddy, Judith who chooses how she will spend each day and who started another blog near and dear to her heart, about of course, books and more book 2017. I ventured out to other sorts of books.  I am glad I did!  I just wish I kept track of every book just to impress the daylights out of you. OH! forget the ‘impress’ anything.

Another wonderful source that soothes is Joss Burnel, words to live by, breathe by, dream by and who has found Eden in Ecuador.

 

Quiet days like this means leisurely perusing the news.  So today I see that Vancouver has beaten Toronto as the most expensive in Canada to live.  Of little matter to one such as I but an interesting fact.

Also Canadian, is that in a bar in Dawson City, Yukon, you can buy what is known as a ‘sourtoe cocktail’ and that said toe is a truly mummified toe that must touch your lips as you drink your cocktail, AND that said toe was stolen, AND that the alleged thief sent a letter to the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) saying that he had returned the toe to the bar by mail. And you think we Canucks don’t have news?

Next I read an article that the approaching solar eclipse is expected to cause a terrestrial problem for us.  It seems it will cause a 70% reduction in energy output which will in turn put stress on regular old energy production.  If you rely on solar power, we are forewarned that at 2:30pm on Monday August 21st production will drop.

Well, other than a fine chap from the Ottawa area who won 22 million dollars in one of our lotteries, and who is NOT related to me, or is one of the people on this earth who adores me, but intends to benefit others with his win, I think I am finished with news.

I will make another cuppa, work a bit on my own creative endeavor, and then resume reading. AHHH lots to be grateful for.

 

Handle with Discretion

“Though the big estates are interspersed now with middle-class homes, the overall impression is of money, carefully cultivated and preserved, vintage elegance harking back to a time when wealth was handled with discretion and material display reserved for one’s financial peers.” Kinsey Millhone’s observation in “C” is for Corpse

Sue Grafton is one of my rereads. You know, those books that become good friends, that bring you comfort and make you feel cozy all over just by picking it up? I highly recommend her alphabet series or anything else she writes, but it is her character Kinsey Millhone that provokes great thought for me. As I reread each book there is always something that stands out that did not the last time.

Yesterday was one of those A Plus days for me. The kind where wonderful things happen, one after another, and you end up driving along thinking, “I think I have everything I could possibly want in this life.”

And in that moment of absolute bliss came a mixture of emotion. I want to shout from the roof tops or stop every person walking along and tell them how perfect my life is, and then it occurred to me that so many people are in pain for one reason or another. There are problems, terrible sad problems.

Would my expression on joy be just that, an expression? Or was I thinking the world should just be happy because in that moment I was happy? Should I feel guilty at what I have and others do not?

I recognized that what I should be, and was, is grateful for my good fortune. I wondered how I could reconcile what joy I had with the poorer states of others. Loved ones, struggling, worried.

And then I thought of the above quote I had read yesterday, “when wealth was handled with discretion”, and it occurred to me that happiness and good fortune should be handled the same way. Not at all, SEE WHAT I HAVE? SEE HOW HAPPY I AM? SEE MY GOOD FORTUNE?

But with discretion, and gratitude.

Kinsey’s adventures are some of the best you will read, but her draw for me is where her head is at. What she thinks. What she observes. I think of her often throughout a day because in her I find a monitor of some sort. Not perfection but honesty that is clean, humorous, and core basic. I am not sure if that makes any sense to you but I do like how it rolls around my gray matter. I think I could write a book about the kind of person she is but Grafton pretty much has done that also with her book, “Kinsey and Me.”

What I realize is that our society is all about showing off what we have, what we do, where we go and who we know. The thought about discretion and being circumspect (another word that comes to mind in this), is appealing, and comforting, and proper somehow, though the idea of ‘proper’ seems to be shamed and scorned these days.

**In case you are wondering, no I did not win the lottery (yet), and nothing earth shaking happened, except a couple of very small things made me realize I am Blessed and Grateful. And I wish the same for all of you.

*** Yeah yeah I know, bad miserable days when nothing goes right will come again, but for now there is happiness!!

C is for Corpse

Book One and 4/366

I just finished reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  Every year I think I should keep track of what and how many books I read because I read a lot so am naturally curious.  Anyway it is the first book finished this year.  I tend to be very cautious about new hot sellers.  Often the book doesn’t live up to the hype.

I read the reviews that said things like, GRIPPING, and I COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN.  I get most of my books from my library which I download onto my tablet.  Very convenient.  It means I don’t get to the actual library very often and I do miss that.  There is something magical about being amongst books.

I remember a few years ago, in Canterbury England going into an old old bookstore and smelling something so intriguing I never wanted to leave.  Sort of like old ink and dust.  So I miss the library itself.

Oh yeah, about the book – OUTSTANDING.  An amazing story filled with suspense.  Truly GRIPPING. All the reviews were dead on.  At least all that I read.

I just came back from visiting Auntie Fran.  She is not doing quite so well today but perhaps tomorrow will be better.  I think I told you yesterday a bit about my Uncle Jack who became her husband back in 1969.

Jack was this charming gad about and Frances was a traveling nurse.  In those days it was not unusual for nurses to travel the world, usually in groups, working for a year or  so in a part of a country then moving on.  There are ‘traveling nurses’ today but it is not quite the same thing.

Anyway Frannie and some nursing friends had saved some money in Australia and they decided it was time to travel.  They headed first for Europe, and worked in England.  After a year or so they headed off for Canada where they planned a few stops across country.

They went to work at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto.  The girls shared apartments together and saved money toward the next leg of the trip.  Whilst there, (Fran being a well spoken Aussie often says things like ‘whilst’) a friend encouraged Fran to meet a male friend of hers.  Fran was rather rigid in standards and would not date just anyone.  She refused more than once to meet this gent.  Now as Fran tells it, one day this woman said, “I really think you should meet this fellow.  He is divorced, he is short and he stutters but I think you will like him.”

I guess that was the statement that sold her.  Perhaps curiosity.  Of course it was not an easy sell at all.  Which of course is part of the charm of their love story.  He truly had to woo her.

Well I must dash off.  More on our love birds tomorrow.

Intelligence Intellect Creativity

Intellect Intelligence Creativity

lm montgomery

I just finished reading The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery The PEI Years 1901-1911 by Mary Henley Rubio and Elizabeth Hillman Waterston and it got me thinking about intellect, intelligence, and creativity.

Montgomery is the author of Anne of Green Gables and many other stories.  Her personal journals have been published both after she had edited them and then in completion and since she lived from 1874 until 1942 I feel I absolutely must find the others and read them. Of course when I searched, my rusty trusty local library only carries the one book I have just read so now I have to decide whether to fork out some moola for the others.

There is a lot to discuss and share about the girl whose mother died 22 months after having given birth, whose father left her with his grandparents while he went off to another province, leaving her to be raised in an unloving, don’t you ever forget what we have done for you family. Seeing her life through her eyes is fascinating.  It was a stark life both emotionally and environmentally.  Prince Edward Island is one of three Canadian Maritime Provinces and while it has beautiful summer and fall seasons the winters can be brutal and when the annual storms from December to April raged it meant physical isolation for extended times.

But what I am thinking about this morning is creativity.  Maude Montgomery talks about the people in her life, family, friends, acquaintances, and notes those that are intelligent, intellectual, simple, coarse, common, and endearing.

But to get back to creativity – are writers born?  Many of my favorite writers say that from a very young age they had to write. Can you be creative and not intelligent?  Can you be intelligent and not an intellectual?  Can you be creative and not an intellectual?

Graham Collier in Psychology Today indicates from my understanding, that Intellect is Fact, and Intelligence is Feeling.

Can you increase your intellect or intelligence?  There is a lot of information on the internet dealing with this very question.  It seems yes, you can become more intellectual by learning, seeking out, and yes more intelligent, though it seems you can also be blessed with an intelligence gene.  In fact intelligence seems to be innate and intellect acquired.   So it seems you can be intelligent but not an intellect but if you are an intellect you must have some intelligence to have acquired it.

But where does that leave us on the Creativity question?  I don’t consider myself creative, at least not the kind of creativity where I am driven to create with intensity.  In fact it has crossed my mind that if there is reincarnation I may have been a successful writer in some past life but damaged my karma to such an extent that I am left aware in this life of the capability and to some degree hunger for it but lack just enough of je ne sais quoi to actually achieve anything.

Interesting huh?

Daily Prompt: Call Me Ishmael – The First Sentence

I usually do not post on a weekend but the Daily Prompt caught my eye and of course I just had to respond.  DP Challenge: Take the first sentence from your favorite book and make it the first sentence of your post.

My very very first thought was my favorite first sentence is not in my favorite book.  Way back in October 2011 I wrote about three of my personal fave authors and called it Cussler, Koontz and Stockett, and the line said, “Death was driving an emerald green Lexus“.

The first sentence of my favorite book is “He should never have taken that short cut.”  It’s from Michael Crighton’s book TIMELINE and the poor book is barely hanging on to existence.  Well actually it is not hanging on at all.  Its soft cover is curled back from the spine top and bottom.  The back cover has about an inch square flapped firmly back and some of the pages are missing.  At first I kept putting the pages back loose leaf like and then one day a few pages disappeared.  That was okay as I thought I would just fill the gaps in from memory as I read and reread and reread.  This book has served me well for the last twelve years but I can’t put it to rest until I replace it.

I discovered a long time ago that bedtime reading cannot be anything I am currently reading for the first time because I simply cannot put the book down.  So bedtime fare is one of a few fave rereads (although sometimes I get so caught up in it….well you know.)

So my poor book, like a weary soldier continues to soothe my soul and mind and guard against that thief of the night, Insomnia’ and yes it will be retired once I find another copy.

my valiant knight/night
my valiant knight/night
looks pretty weary huh?
looks pretty weary huh?
held together by the last straw I think
held together by the last straw I think

FITFS Following in the Footsteps of Darlene Foster Supermegawoman

Darlene Foster
Darlene Foster

  “Never let a day go by without a dream”  Darlene Foster

My favorite series is the FITFS – that is Following in the FootSteps of my blogging heroes.  These are all people I admire and in some way or really in many ways and would like to emulate them.

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a Supermegawoman at least according to her grandson -“My grandson calls me “super-mega-woman-supreme” and finding out just a little about this amazing lady confirms the moniker is accurate.

 

According to the archives Darlene Foster first posted on her site June 19, 2010 and titled it “Hello Dreamers”.  Darlene’s platform through much of her work is about dreaming, but not Just dreaming.  Its about making dreams come true.  One of her dreams, Hot Air Ballooning came true that very month.

Author Darlene Foster
Author Darlene Foster

Two days after that first foray into wordpress land Darlene announced publication of her first book Amanda in Arabia.  See?  A dreamer making her dreams come true.  I don’t have to say it but I will – YOU INSPIRE!

Since then two other books have been published about Amanda – In Spain The Girl in the Painting and In England The Missing Novel.  Now being for YA and I am definitely OA I had not read the books, however, after reading a couple of adult reviews I now have them on my list.

She is pretty modest about herself and says, “A bit about me. I am a writer of children’s stories, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor, a wife, mother and grandmother. I love travel, reading, shoes, cooking, sewing, music, chocolate, walking on the beach and making new friends.”

Now before you get all excited about her perfection I must tell you she does have a quirk or two.  It seems, and keep this just between you and I, her best friend is, well,  oh I guess I just have to come out and say it – her best friend is Flat Ruthie.  And not because she has no personality.  I mean her best friend is FLAT.

Flat Ruthie
Flat Ruthie

Ya see what I am saying here?  AND last summer she also hosted Andy the Traveling Armadillo, who I have mentioned previously but if you need a refresher just pop over here.  So obviously our fave author here has, shall we say, a strange taste in friends although she seems to manage okay with those of the human species.  So you are safe to pop over, have a look, say a little hello and get to know this incredible, incredible, woman.  I have poached photos and words liberally and she has so much more to say and to show you.  Awww I haven’t even mentioned recipes and…and….oh boy..

 

You can contact me at darlene.foster@telus.net
My website is http://www.darlenefoster.ca

 

Author Darlene Foster
Author Darlene Foster

perf5.060x7.810.indd

*Women Who Write – A little NaNO Inspiration

NaNoWriMo

I think it was last week that someone getting ready, set, go, was wondering about ways to prepare for National Novel Writing Month and someone in the comments (I do apologize for not being able to give credit where due) suggested just read favorite inspiring writing.  The library has kept me busy the last few weeks with my faves with some new additions including Peter James and Stefan Bollman and Zoe Sharp ( I am finally getting to the Charlie Fox Series!)

Anyway – back to my preparation and ‘Women Who Write’.  Sometimes when I am unsure what to do or how to do it, I Get Stressed.  And of course this foray into unknown territory might have started to create some stress except for the wonderful advice as above. READ.

Well that’s about the easiest advice, for me, there is to follow.  Each Wednesday morning I traipse off returning one set of treasures and gathering new.  Yesterday I wandered somewhat aimlessly waiting for inspiration to beckon, and it did, in spades.

The first book was Shirley MacLaine‘s ‘I’M OVER ALL THAT’ published by Atria Books that was inspiring, funny, and thrilling (largely I guess because we are not too far apart in age).  I love her books, they are never dull!  At 218 pages it was a perfect afternoon’s read.  MacLaine feeds my sense of adventure in literary unknown because she is so brazen.  Brazen enough to tell it like it is, her perception, with out sounding pompous or weird or egotistical.  She feeds my bravery in daring to express.

Then tucking aside Zoe Sharp’s ‘Second Shot‘ published by Thomas Dunne books as it is definitely dessert in this literary repast of mine, and I want to get through my delicious hors d’oeuvre and main course before I can savor this sweet treat so I turned to nonfiction.  I often have no idea exactly what I am after but aisles are walked, directions changed and before you know it I have in my hand exactly what I needed.

I don’t mind nonfiction but my style is to choose fiction first and then possibly stroll elsewhere.  For now and the immediate future, like the next 30 days, my interest is in writing fiction so that has been my literary diet for sometime.  The point is that my search took me to the nonfiction section and directly to a section on Writing.  There, practically leaping off the shelf and into my hands, was ‘WOMEN WHO WRITE’ by Stefan Bollmann published by Merrell.

Now this large size book, sort of in the style of the Coffee Table Book seemed insistent at coming home with me.  I considered the weight, the size and whether it would fit in my bag and put it back on the shelf to see what other offerings there were.  Nothing.  I kept picking it up, sort of like a puppy at a pet store that cries, ‘take me hooome!’  So I did.

Francine Prose did the Foreword and her first line was as gripping as the rest of the book: ‘A writer, any writer, is dangerous enough.’  HAH!  I was hooked.  The stories are incredible, the photos breathe life and when you open the cover the essence of these women writers, the ones who had to use male pen names, the ones who died in German concentration camps (more than I ever imagined), the ones whose brilliance was too bright too remain in this life and chose to exit, and the ones who lived successful lives that touched worlds.

Inspiration?  Yup, I think I have it.  And tomorrow, November 1st it begins.  Our own journey – Men and Women.  I only drifted to Women Who Write as that is my own inspiration.  So off we go all!!

What is your Inspiration?

What a Difference a Day Makes….Well Not Always..But…

English: Portrait of Danny Kaye
English: Portrait of Danny Kaye (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cover of "Ginger and Fred"
Cover of Ginger and Fred

I was looking at the picture on my earlier post today and got to thinking more about Foggy Days.

And then I got thinking about the coolest comments from people that when they comment, never ceases to amaze me that they actually take time to ..well..er..comment.

Then I got to thinking about the picture itself and the words to an old song came to mind about..of course…What a Difference a Day Makes.  Now lots of people have sung these lyrics but it is the original I think of first.

Words & Music by Maria Grever & Stanley
Adams
Recorded by Dinah Washington, 1959

Yup BMOYWB (before most of you were born).  Now I need to let you in an age comfirming secret.  Back in ‘the day’ and please don’t try to pin me down to a specific day.  I have had way too many days to zero in on one.  That’s why we old folk say, ‘back in the day’.  Anyway, back in the day, when television was called television not TV (it was an age before giving everything initials) as a very very child I used to watch musicals, usually in black and white, since color had not been invented yet.  I mean every kind of musical ever played, usually with Danny Kaye, Fred and Ginger, Gene Kelly, Rosemary Clooney, et al.  Anyway my point is that I grew up singing, mostly to myself as no one seemed to want to listen and I sang my way through life. Okay mostly out of the public eye.  I thought life was, or at the very least should be a musical.  I sang happy, I sang sad, I sang mad.  If I did not have an actual song to sing, I made it up.  I still do it today but mostly when I am alone.  And I dance and skip – mostly when I am alone.  Okay not always but mostly.

English: Portrait of Rosemary Clooney performing
English: Portrait of Rosemary Clooney performing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now before I get too side tracked I really wanted to tell you about the little four year old in the picture.  You see in keeping with Big Brother’s instructions, I mean the Ministry of Magic, no..I mean The Ministry of Education he goes to school Tuesday and Thursday and alternate Mondays.

Well September was sorrowful and I sang a lot about 16 Tons and whaddya get that month, and a lot about my head was hangin low, and occassionally the sun will come out tomorrow as this wee fellow decided school was a good idea for others but not for him.  He cried before he left. He cried at school.  I asked him why.  He said..sobbing….I..I …I miss my Mommy.  Or some days he said…sobbing…I miss my f…f….family.  All the books about Llama Llama Misses His Mama did nothing to soothe.

Then a family friend had an idea.  Why not stop by to pick up G2 when she was walking her children to school – the littlest who was the same age as G2?  Well the first morning she showed up that little boy had his coat on, his school bag on, and took off, laughing and playing all  the way.  Now his Mom usually takes him and he meets up with his little friends and there is Joy in Mudville again.

I wondered how he would be walking in the fog today and he was just fine.  And G1 who goes a different route to meet his friends took of alone pushing through peasoupy fog just as brave as can be.

So even though the song, What A Difference A Day Makes, came immediately to mind this evening, I must admit, that very little really changes in a Day, although of course some things can a do, but for little boys, sometimes it takes a month or so. (Of course that could be because his parents don’t have him watching old musicals so he hasn’t quite figured out The Difference a good musical can do for the soul.

And thanks to lyricsmania.com I have an excellent song to start your day with!

Lyrics to What A Difference A Day Makes:

What A Difference A day makes
From the sun and the flowers

Where there use to be rain.

Gene Kelly dancing with Jerry in Anchors Aweig...
Gene Kelly dancing with Jerry in Anchors Aweigh (1945) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My yesterday was blue dear
today I’m a part of you dear.
My lonely nights are through dear
since you said you were mine.
What a difference a day makes
there’s a rainbow before me.
Skies now blues once were stormy
just before i missed that thrilling.
And don’t know when
you find romance on your menu
What a difference a day makes.
And that difference is you

FITFS Lois Roelofs Champion of Nurses into the 21st Century

LOIS ROELOFS

Blogging Heroes
Blogging Heroes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am hesitant to write today’s FITFS (Following in the FootSteps) series for two reasons.  The first is that Kathleen Korthuis, Lois’s sister passed away October 5, 2012 and so her focus is on preparing Kay’s eulogy and dealing with the sorrow and loss experienced by her family, friends and herself.  You know that the purpose of FITFS is to honor my heroes.  Writers of the blogging world who inspire me to be better and to somehow emulate them.  Writers have allowed me in some way to be part of their life.  I decided to go ahead with this post to let Lois know that she is in our hearts at this very difficult time.

The second reason I hesitated is that Lois is exactly who I would like emulate but she has set the bar high.  She is the ideal for me and I am in awe of her life and what she has accomplished and continues to accomplish.

Like me, Lois Roelofs has her heroes and certainly the most important was her sister Kay who was her lifelong career mentor.  In fact both of them attended the Blodgett Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and Lois’s 50th reunion takes place this weekend prior to Kay’s service.  How bitter sweet that must be.  Kay graduated in 1955, Lois in 1962, – oh and me from South Waterloo Memorial Hospital in 1969.  That’s right.  There is a sisterhood bond here beyond writing, nursing and blogging.

You know how some people, like all of my heroes, do what so many do, but they do it with that extra touch of class?  It is that extra touch that I guess I want to emulate.

Lois, says in her ‘About’ page that she initially started the Blog to center around the publication of her career memoir, Caring Lessons: A Nursing Professor’s Journey of Faith and Self.  She is a Chicago girl, wife, Mom, and Grandma.

Blodgett Memorial Hospital

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being a nurse from about the same era touches my heart and makes me get all mushy about old hospitals and old uniforms. (I still think the old fashioned hats signifying who the registered nurse is instead of non-nursing staff was wonderful.  We worked hard to get those black bands on crisply starched hats).  I took the photo below from the Blodgett web site and Lois also has the same one on her post of October 6th.  Kay helped open the first intensive care unit in the country in 1958 and she is the nurse poised over the desk.

Kathleen E. korthuis, PhD, RN

Lois I know this FITFS may seem more about Kay than you and someday soon I may do another honoring only yourself for your incredible achievements.  But I hope you will let me join you in dedicating this post to your sister,

KATHLEEN E. KORTHUIS, PhD, RN 1934-2012

Folks I hope you will stop by to visit Lois, read about her incredible life, say hi, and leave a comment or two.