Category Archives: Uncategorized

New and Different Stuff

December 9th holds no special meaning to me other than it is, of course, December 9th.  But yesterday was December 8th and it was a day of epiphany, of sorts.

funnier yoga

*this cartoon from Pinterest is just way toooooo real….

I’ve been draggy lately (in terms of months not days), and it occurred to me that my physical exercise had decreased.  Significantly.  Gym had gone by the wayside, swimming drifted away on a tide of farewell, and walking, which I did religiously every day to the tune of ten thousand steps largely took place in my brain only.  Not largely, entirely.  December 8th I thought about just tightening my abds and discovered neither my body nor brain remembered quite how it was supposed to go.  So that got me thinking about today – which of course yesterday was tomorrow.  A day I had already decided would be dedicated to a deep pre-Christmas cleaning, possibly in hopes of St. Nick visiting but more likely due to mating dust bunnies frolicking around my feet.

Well once I decided to do something so outside my nature my brain started thinking.  Why not make it a day of new or different stuff?  Push myself a bit.   I remembered that a few days previous an acquaintance mentioned that there is a program on TV called ‘Healing Yoga’ and it is on at 6 a.m. in the morning.  At the time the term Healing Yoga appealed though the early hour did not.

I have been retired for almost seven years and argue with myself all the time about wanting to sleep in.  Unfortunately most of my life interests occur in the morning so I set my alarm dutifully for 7:30 which necessitates ongoing grumbles.  I have also come to believe that sleeping in is such a waste of life since my life span has been considerably shortened by advancing age and I need to make good use of every minute left.

About 9ish last night the thought came to me that I should consider doing the Yoga show.  It resulted in a rather brisk discussion between myself and I, with accusations of having taken leave of my senses, it was Saturday and one sleeps in if at all possible barring the Rapture or a call to duty if one works.  I  had to be strong and take control of my slothful tendencies so I did the only thing I will listen to.  I called my middle sister to tell her of my plan.  I figured if I told someone it would strengthen my resolve.  She was in the midst of watching her fave hockey team bite the dust, (or rather the ice) and chuckled merrily at my plan.  ‘I will call and tell you how it went,’ says I.  By now I think she was rolling on the floor in merriment and she cautioned, ‘That’s fine. JUST DON’T CALL ME AT 6!

Before retiring I dug my ancient Yoga Mat out of a cupboard and tried to unroll it. I finally placed bar stools at each end so it would be flat when I stumbled from bed in the morning.

I set my alarm, did not sleep well wondering what 5:50 a.m. was going to feel like, and awoke at the appointed time.  I took care of immediate morning needs, decided to exercise in my pjs and turned on the TV.

Deborah Devine according to Zoomer media ‘leads and easy to follow gentle yoga class’.  It struck me as a little ironic as she said the exercises we were about to follow were for relaxing to ensure a good night’s sleep.  Having awakened early I tried blocking the idea of a good night’s sleep from my mind.  At least the idea put a smile on face for the duration.

How was it?  Not bad considering….I was pretty busy watching and listening to concentrate on doing it well but..not bad at all.  It also gave me a bird’s eye view of some not recently dusted spots and corners so it provided motivation for the rest of my day.

Zoomer TV and magazine is designed for Canada’s Zoomers, those 45+, so really a bunch of kids to me, but I think I just might give this a bit of a go.  After all I am retired and if I need to nap in the middle of the day I can certainly do so.

I can hardly wait to see what else this wonderful day holds for me…..

 

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OOOOO the Excitement: Bringing Home Hemingway

I get ridiculously excited about fresh empty notebooks and thanks to our country’s faux Black Friday sales I found this soft leather inscribed beauty at Chapters for 50% off. My  Christmas is now complete.  Uh unless you have another gift for me of course … but the bar is now set pretty high…

leather journal

True Victims – remember them all, for they are you.

We cannot just pay homage to those who lost their lives but everyone who survived any war is a victim, haunted by ghosts of the past.  Every vet I ever met who survived in combat situations.  And not just in wars past but those today.    Families of survivors are victims too.  My father’s family suffered with the scars and memories brought back by their loved ones as did most others.  Putting on a brave face determined how one appeared to survive in life, but in the dark and  at end of life even seventy or eighty years later every horror heard and seen could be recounted.  Brave faces, broken hearts, broken souls.  There are no winners.  Ever.

Theatrically Matrimonial

Sad to say the final installment..and the funniest line ever.. I’ve got to catch him before he spends it all on poetry or writing or whatever.”

Tallis Steelyard

Theatrically Matrimonial

And the final installment of our hero’s travels (or should that be travails?)

Because of one thing and another, it took me longer to get back to Port Naain than I originally envisaged. You know what it’s like; you bump into old friends you haven’t seen for absolutely ages. You decide that you’ll have ‘just one more glass’ and before you know where you are, you’re trying to persuade a local magistrate that performance art is specifically excluded from a score of petty regulations. At least in civilised jurisdictions.

But still, I had turned my face for home and I could almost smell the chife of Port Naain. Yet perhaps I’d delayed too long. As I set off for the last day’s march, it came as a surprise to discover that there had been some snow overnight. I suppose we who live in the city forget how soon winter can…

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Forbearance – the quintessence of an authentic leader

Ah simple words, direct action, wisdom seemingly non existent today

The Essence Within

Leadership in all sectors of human activities is the most debated subject in the modern-day corporation since a leader determines much in terms of the performance of his or her subordinates. Meaningful leadership therefore demands a certain level and quality of awareness that is uncommon of many people.

The authentic leader understand the need to break the psychological barriers between him and his subordinates and partners. I will elaborate this aspect with an anecdote of Abraham Lincoln during the civil war in America during the mid-1860s. Lincoln was a very wise man who had a penchant for recognizing true performance of his Generals in the war and was very cordial to them.

His unequaled humor explains a lot about his own innate spiritual evolution and cultivation since he always reasoned beyond the capacities of a leader of his level, a quality that makes him stand out from the long list…

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Good People Doing Good Things — Team Rubicon

Good people…people who do…

Filosofa's Word

His name is Jake Wood and his story started with a simple Facebook post: “I’m going to Haiti. Who’s in?” It was January 2010, and the island of Haiti had just suffered a devastating earthquake with a still-disputed death toll of between 100,000 and 315,000.

Jake had only been out of the U.S. Marine Corps for a few months, and was planning to enroll in business school when he began seeing the pictures of the devastation in Haiti and thinking how much it reminded him of similar scenes from Iraq and Afghanistan, where he had served two tours of duty.  He realized that the skills he had acquired in the service, including the ability to adapt to difficult conditions, work with limited resources and maintain security in a dangerous environment, were sorely needed. And that was when he put out the Facebook message.  Wood persuaded his college roommate, a firefighter…

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The Lunchbox Note and Storytelling: Lifetime Lessons

Such a simple thing. I would love to hear from people who actually sit together for even one meal in a day. Alas I cannot personally think of one.

A Teacher's Reflections

Lunchtime in the classroom with fifteen preschoolers is very busy.  Once containers are opened, hot foods are heated, milk straws are inserted into their boxes, and napkins are found, things change.  Drastically.   Lunch becomes intimate.  Not quiet, but a place of comfort where children (and teachers) share their stories.  Children talk about their dogs and cats, their grandparents, their sleepovers.  They share what is on their mind, and also in their heart.  It’s how we become a family– we are a family at school!

Lunchbox notes are a special treat for children.  I make sure that I read the note to the child: “Happy first day of school, Ella” or “Have a fun day today at school, Josh.”  Last week Savannah had a special lunchbox note:

My goodness– it was a song.  And, it was Savannah’s favorite song.  I knew this was special, so I started to sing the…

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Hidden Messages in the Midst of Demented Ramblings

The strangest thing happened yesterday and the thought of it stays with me today.  I visit frequently and regularly with a dear relative who suffers from dementia.  The kind of dementia doesn’t matter, it all translates to the same thing.  Inability to communicate, to understand, to know.

I read once that someone asked an old man why he went to see his wife in the nursing home every day when she suffered from such severe dementia that she did not know him.  He replied that yes she did not know who he was, but he knew who she was.  I think of that so often.

Anyway, I am pretty much the only person who visits this dear soul and I do it because she is family, we have a long history and because I love her greatly.  Her degree of dementia varies from day to day.  Sometimes she knows who I am, most times she just knows I am a nice lady who visits her often.  Sometimes she knows, and announces to everyone that I am her great great great…but cannot remember what.

I used to visit her in the mornings until it was time for her lunch but then the Home would call me in the evenings because that is when her agitation grew worse (It’s called Sundowners) and they would ask me to calm her if I could.  So now I visit from about 3 pm to 5 pm and this seems to keep her grounded and most times content.

Our routine each visit is pretty much the same.  Big hello and hugs and then I take her to a common area, make her a cup of tea exactly the way she likes it (the water must come to a rolling boil) and we look through magazines.  Sometimes there are groupings of words that make sense and sometimes for a short while she is pretty accurate to somethings.  Once she looked through a magazine and saw an article on MS and commented on it.  I always put a few magazines out and when she finishes one she picks up another.  She ended up picking up the same magazine she had just put down.  I did not say anything and continued to peruse my own book, always keeping an eye on her.

As she flipped through the pages she said, ‘There must be a lot of MS about because here is another article about it.’  I only said, ‘Really?’

But that is not what I wanted to tell you.  I always listen to every word she says even when they seem to make no sense.  It seems the respectful thing to do.

After tea I take her to her room and help her to lie down to stretch out her back (other wise she is in her wheelchair all day) and then I read her Bible to her until it is time for her evening meal.  She has read her Bible every day  since she was a child but can no longer hold the book or read the print.

I always sit at the foot of her bed as I read.  I stopped for a moment and she started to talk.  Trying to tell me something but things like, ‘ I am a a a a  airplane,’ would come out instead.  And still I listened and suddenly, quietly, the strangest words were coming out of her mouth,  ‘We have talked about it you know, the kindness.  You coming here to be with me so much.  Your kindness to me.  Your kindness does not go unnoticed you know.’

She raised her hand and placed in over her heart, ‘I feel your kindness.’

She looked at me, very aware in the moment, and all I could say was, ‘I come because I love you.’

She raised her hand pointing up and said, ‘Do not love me, Love Him ‘In the time it takes to breathe out it was over and she began rambling on about a myriad of things none of which made any  sense.

And I was touched.

Of Kings and Kindness

Heeeere’s number 3. NOT as in third but as in the next chapter (installment with our friend Tallis Steelyard)

ADD . . . and-so-much-more

A Tallis Steelyard Tale
Written especially for us by a popular & prolific author

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Story: © Jim Webster, all rights reserved

Mental Health and Fantasy?

In a blog conversation about his newest Tallis Steelyard tales, The Monster of Bell-Wether Gardens and other stories, author Jim Webster disclosed that he was about to launch a blog tour, sharing stories from and about his protagonist, Tallis Steelyard.

I commented that if he had anything mental health related I’d be happy to participate.

His response was, “I was wondering if anybody else had ever introduced mental health issues into Fantasy Comedy of Manners!”

Quick as a flash, he penned the story that debuts below!
I am honored to be able to host it here.

A little background

This episode picks up our hero following his previous adventure, which those of you who…

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Playing the Game – Guest Post by, Tallis Steelyard…

Awaken my treasures to the second installment of that Old Scoundrel Tallis Steelyard. Be patient my peeps my turn is installment 8. Just want to get you in the mood. This is the way my FAVE Mr. Dicksons served up his yummies – serialized..you know..the forerunner to The Soap but of much better quality

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

I am constantly amazed at the pettiness of some people. What sort of Chef de Cuisine gets upset when he discovers he has an extra kitchen porter? I have worked with Chefs so grand that they would never even condescended to notice the existence of a kitchen porter, even after they’d just tripped over one!

Let us be fair, most kitchens have too few porters. Rather than have the job done briskly and efficiently, those in authority would rather employ too few unfortunates and work them to death for a pittance, all the while moaning about the poor quality of their work. In my case isn’t even as if I complained about my accommodation; like my fellows I just found a quiet corner in a storeroom to curl up in.

I readily admit I had joined the crew of the great paddle-wheeler at short notice. Such short notice that I…

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