Five Minutes of my Favorite Things

GypsyMamma’s Challenge is to list a few of our favorite things in five minutes!
A Few of My Fav Things in Five Minutes

Rain: falling lightly, falling in torrents

Sunshine: Baking everything to a soft warm glow

Wind: the feel fills me with a sense of adventure

Caleb: at seven believing Grandma is the coolest chick in the world

Rowan: slipping his three year old hand in mine so trustingly 

Music: Blues, rock, country reaching my soul

Blogging: for opening a new world and new friends

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No! No! Please No More Bedtime Stories!

No! No! Please No More Bedtime Stories!

A coblogger I like to read, Word Lilly did a post today on the re release of a favorite children’s book series.  I started to comment and then had to cut it short as I realized that I had enough material for a post.

Once upon a time, perhaps a millennia ago there were a set of stories for children called Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime stories.  I suppose my Mom started reading them to me but by the age of four or five I  would read them to myself.

Now why I did this, and did it repeatedly I have no idea.  I think Uncle Arthur must have been a very nasty man who hated children.  A lot.  His stories scared the life out of me -for years.  There was always a moral but even as a child I questioned the why of it.  And those were the stories I repeatedly pulled down to read again and again.

One was about a little boy who had been struck by a car and lay in a hospital bed ward all bandaged up.  He was in a lot of pain.  Another youngster in a bed near by could see his suffering.  So he told our critically ill patient that every night Jesus would walk through the ward and take children away who were ill.  All they had to do was hold up their hand.  

So our wee lad tried and tried to raise his hand that night but weakness and pain made it impossible.  His little friend crawled out of bed and bracing the arm with pillows was able to raise the hand.  

Well of course the happy ending was that Jesus did come and take him away from his pain and suffering.  But the residual effect was that every time I sleep on my side and raise my arm that picture comes to mind and I snap that hand back down quickly.  Then my mind reviews the whole story again.  As the song by Joe Diffie goes..”I want to go to heaven but I don’t want to go tonight ” Especially if it was because of an accidental hand placement!  Oh yeah, then I have to sign the song.  I swear Uncle Arthur has been the source of insomnia now and then.

The second awful story was one about a poor family.  A Mom and two children.  Food is a problem and Mama provides the best she can, always making sure her off spring eat first.  So Mama gets weaker and sicker.  A doctor comes and tears a strip off those wee bairns telling them how selfish and horrible they are for eating the food.  And he says that if Mama dies it is all their own fault!  

Well the outcome of that was the children started making sure she ate, and miracles of miracles she got better.  Well good for them!  Me?  I was locked in the nightmare for weeks, watching everything my mother ate and if she offered me something extra I declined.

No way was I going to kill my Mom!  (Which I guess is kind of funny because in my blog about Perception is a Funny Thing at the end of her life she actually did believe just that!)

The House that Built Me

The House That Built Me
Writing Prompt

There was only one house.  Driving past it today I wonder how seven people, one Mom, one Dad and five children cohabited there without death or destruction ensuing.  It had one small bathroom, one tiny kitchen, one living room and three bedrooms.  There was no basement except for a hole excavated a few years later to accommodate an oil furnace.  There were no air ducts – just a couple of vent grates on the floor of each upstairs bedroom.

Today it is a heritage house so declared because of the history of it’s origins. The exterior of this one and a half story wartime house was originally clap board.  The whole street had been built for returning veterans (of the second world war).  They were basic homes and cost my folks three thousand dollars at the time.

It was a young family street with lots of children around the same age. I referred to that in my blog The First Real Snow Storm and the plunking that went on.

The house, my house, sits on a quarter of an acre and all the yards just ran I to each other. Plus there was, is, a boulevard down the middle of the street.  We had plenty of play room.

My earliest memories might seem a little strange or other worldly to some of you youguns but it is all true.

In nineteen fifty-two we were one of the first families to have a TV set.  There were probably only six channels if that.  Black and white of course but there were a few years where some smart marketer sold colored transparent paper that you stuck to the front of the screen.  Ours was pink so we had a pink colored TV.  There was a huge knob on the front of the set and when you  wanted to change channels you actually got up off the sofa and cranked it loudly.

We did not watch much TV.  During the weekday if my Mom was not working she watched the fifteen minute Search For Tomorrow at noon. Saturday afternoons it was Howdy Doody, Roy Rogers and Gene Audrey and Annie Oakley.  Little boys imagined themselves growing up to be cowboys.  Barbies had not been invented but girls had tea sets and porcelain dolls.  Me I was with the boys and wanted to be Annie Oakley.

Sunday nights after church it was Ed Sullivan and I think Edward R Morrow who sat at his desk and puffed on cigarettes while he did his form of investigative journalism.  Of course everyone smoked; on buses, in the movies, in shops…well every where. Later Sunday nights were for Bonanza.  (Cowboys were our heroes then.)

There was a small shed attached to the house where the coal was delivered which fed the only furnace, a coal burning stove that sat in the living room.  Later that room became a laundry utility room when we moved to oil. For years that huge oil tank was part of the rear exterior of our palace.

Upstairs there were two bedrooms – the girls room and the boys room.  From the window of the girls room which overlooked the side lawn the older kids encouraged the younger kids to jump just like the cowboys..out of the window.  It’s a wonder we ever survived but survive we did.

I remember the ice man coming down the street with a horse drawn cart.  He delivered frequently to keep our ice boxes cool. Then the milk man who delivered glass bottles daily during the week.  In the winter the milk would freeze and the little card board lids would pop up.

In this tiny dwelling I learned you can fight and yell and later laugh and live together with love.  I learned one bathroom really was enough (how I don’t know but it must have been because none of us were ever incontinent.). I learned you could read and study and not be bothered by noise.  This has come in handy over the years.  I learned that the kitchen table or the floor was as good as any desk.

I learned and when I think of the house that built me I give thanks.  And now as my eyes fill with tears at those memories and so many more I feel a deep profound homesickness.

Size does Matter

Size Does Matter…
Yes Virginia There is a Santa Clause But No Honey, Size does Matter

Another inexplicable sleepless night. Well maybe not so inexplicable.  I ate too late and still feel full.  Any dining after eight-thirty is too late for me especially when I am ravenous.  So perhaps it is not the time as much as it is the amount which includes a couple of Moosehead brews.  I must put that on my no fly list – I mean my no no list…again.

Once that stage is set then arrive a whole cast of characters bobbing in and out of my grey cells.  It always starts with a list of things not accomplished and then seques into the specific people linked to either things they need or are going through and eventually into memories.

Linda Cassidy Lewis posted a blog today, I mean yesterday, on The Problem with Writing and how much personal reading one gets done when writing.  There was a tremendous response and some of the respondents said they read themselves to sleep.  Well I did that tonight.  But the problem therein is that if the book is good I get all caught up in the story and am too stimulated to sleep. (Thank you Stephanie Meyer).

So here I am tossing and turning and suddenly for no fathomable reason,my thoughts travel to size.  Does size matter?

In the nineties my oldest son followed his school buddies to Toronto to enter the world of commercial film.  I gave him my cell phone which he thought was pretty cool, until one day a call came.  They were working on a set and everyone had to toss their cells into a bucket.  “Mom, it was embarrassing. Most of the guys have these new smaller phones and mine was a monster.”

So he got himself a spiffy new phone (which was also outsized in a few months.). A lot has changed since our old black heavy stay in one place, party line sharing dial phones of the fifties. (I’ve heard stories!!)

We were amazed in the sixties when Captain Kirk smacked his chest and said, “Beam me up Scotty”  Today we have surpassed communications on the Enterprise.

Just look at computers.  When I was in grade five in the fifties my teacher, Mr. Johnson showed us a movie on reels of course..sigh..about a computer at NASA. Well computers, in the plural.  They were massive.  For a quick peak you can view the next generation puters in the movie War Games with Matthew Broderick.   Anyway Mr. J said, “Someday everyone will have computers in their homes.”   I did not remember the rest of the class. My ten year old mind puzzled that over and over, because for the life of me I could not imagine people being able to build huge rooms onto their homes to accommodate computers.

Now we are talking and working on quantum computers in my city’s University of Waterloo which is so well known that Stephen Hawking is chair of one of the departments.

So yes size matters and it would appear….the smaller the better!
Are there situations today where bigger is better? You tell me.

Brain Fried, Cooked and Boiled, Order UP! (via Crystal Rayne)

Hilarious! I just went through one of those periods but when my hits it seems to affect anything electronic…computer, phone, TV. Its like my grey cells figure, if they’re going down they are not going alone! This too shall pass meanwhile you got a delightful post out of it!
Chris

I have no clue what has happened to me.  Really I don't.  Yesterday and today it is almost like my brain has shut down, taken a vacation and who knows where the hell it went, but what I do know is that it didn't take my body with it.  I can't seem to get a single thing right, swear.  Last night I actually burned hamburger attempting to cook dinner, me, burned hamburger.  When I say burned that would be an understatement, I put a 1/4 of and inch l … Read More

via Crystal Rayne

Strange Pathways

Strange Pathways

Sometimes it all seems to come together (I love it when a plan comes together as Hannibal said – the fictional character from the A team not THE Hannibal).

Sometimes it does even though the reason or purpose for it remains unknown at this point.

I deactivated my Facebook last week, which I do occasionally when my visits to it start to interfere with other activities, like writing, cleaning, gassing up the beast, eating, socializing.  So I take a break.  

Anyway last night before going to bed I reactivated it.  This morning there was a message from an old friend I worked with years ago.  She is one of those contacts that are there, and you see regular updates on, and always plan to get together for coffee, but never really connect with.

The message was:

http://www.facebook.com/l/29f90e8NzbvA-J8WWcanpnMUiqw/www.eventbrite.com/contact-organizer?eid=1492745843
Hey Chris, one of my friends has this posted on their wall. I’m pretty sure you were inquiring about something like this and I thought of you.

It is a link to a Social Media Breakfast:

Social Media Breakfast with Josh Muirhead – Telling a Story – the key to online engagement
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 7:30 AM (ET)
Cambridge, Ontario

To the best of my memory I don’t remember indicating an interest in this specifically however since blogging I am searching out all knowledge possible related to story telling and social media. I am not very techie and need to learn how to make it better.  It is related to business and clients but I am thinking there might be some useful information I can glean from it.

Whatever the reason I feel like I need to be in this place at that time so I have signed up.  It does mean I will have to haul my aspergeezie out of bed early…nuts!

Will let you all know how it plays out!

Watch out for the Rattlers..You must be Canadian!

Watch out for the Rattlers,…..You Must be CANADIAN

In the nineties I lived in Texas for a couple of years. The first year was in a delightful little town of about fifteen thousand known as Uvalde.

Uvalde is quaint and is the birth place of Dale Evans and Matthew McConaughey.

  Almost no one knows the former, much to my shock, …what not know the Queen of the Cowboys, the wife of Roy, friend to Pat and Trigger, Happy Trails to you and all of that?

Of course everyone recognizes the latter and sad to say he left town the year I arrived I believe, taking those wash board abs off to Hollywood.  I try not to pout very much about that as my friends scold me ….for God’s sake Chris, he was only about seventeen at the time…yada yada yada..you can imagine what they say about my Twilight obsession.  (Note to self: Calm down, breathe and get your mind back on the story!). 

Where was I? Oh yes, this story doesn’t even include Uvalde but it was a starting point.  Oops my excitement is getting the better of me.  It does include Uvalde.

Anyway as Director I lived in a lovely little house nestled between two mansions on Highway eighty-three.  Actually mine was the only small house there and I loved it.

I recruited some nurses from other states and from Canada to work for me and there was a significant group of Canucks that lived in an apartment complex in town.  Come Canada Day, they hung flags from balconies and partied.  Well truth is they partied at the drop of the hat.  They were all young and boisterous.

One night when I was visiting, a group of them had to report for work at the local hospital for the night shift at twenty-three hundred hours.  It was a pleasantly warm night so the five of them decided to walk on down the highway.  

They were about halfway there when a state trooper pulled over, got out of his car and started yelling at them.  “Y’all get in this car right now!”. You have to be Canadians!”. Not said with awe or respect, but more like..how dumb can you be?….

Seems that when the sun went down the reptiles, which by the way are huge..like to lie across the highway soaking up the heat from the road.

Rock n Roll The Livin Dead

Rock N Roll The Livin Dead

Tomorrow my sister in law and I make our annual trek to Seaforth for a delightful brunch with a couple of friends. L is a fabulous cook and she serves up crepes that melt in your mouth, eggs, bacon, mimosas and any number of treats that strikes her fancy.

Following this culinary delight – no calorie counting today, we head off to a delightful village where each year there are any number of resurrected musicians supported by a great band, The Memphis Cats.  Johnny Cash is always there, Elvis for sure, Jerry Lee Lewis has been..piano wrecking and all proving that rumors of their demise really are exaggerated.

This all takes place in a rustic charming theatre and as I sit there I can actually feel the history of the place.  And it is always packed.  The theatre has a very loyal following with people coming from miles away, even the USA.

I am not sure who all will be there strutting their stuff tomorrow, but following the show it is off to The Rubber Boot Inn (actually this is a nickname and I am not sure why it has this particular moniker)  where the entertainers will probably join the town folk to hoist a cold one or two.

One young fella once was surprised I knew all the words and I had to confess I was there the first time those songs were sung.   So for a little while at least
the four of us will return to our youth!

Go Johnny Go!

When is a Burning Bridge a Jerk?

When is a Burning Bridge just a Jerk?

I had the opportunity today to be the bigger person.  And I did it.  Good for me you say?

The truth is…I should have done it a week ago.

I have a sister.  One of two actually.  She is the middle sister.  I have a theory about middle children and I am not sure if there is supportive legitimate documentation any where, but I consistently find  those siblings are tenacious, stubborn, combative and in their own way the most lovable.  Oh yeah and she thinks she is the boss of me.  Of the world in fact.  Kay maybe that is a slight exaggeration.

This is the kid, and I still think of her that way, that used to spit at babysitters, blatantly rebel at parents and teachers, run away (once), and argue every point arguable.

Anyway for the last couple of weeks I have heard from a couple of other family members that midsis thinks I should do something about a particular situation.  She has not called me directly.

So I patted myself on the back that I was able to stay out of the squabbling.  Squabbles are rare in my family and I can’t remember the last fracas I was involved in directly. Since this is a confession of sorts I should tell you that whilst I have not been directly involved, the subject of the squabble was frequently me.

How virtuous of me!  Well the fact is that by staying out of it, her anxiety over the situation just kept escalating.  And I knew that would happen.  And at first I found it amusing.  What she wanted me to do would add some stress to a challenging situation.

And then today I remembered that she has a best friend in the last stages of cancer.  That she has other worries and concerns.  I have let her know today that I have got things covered and offered supportive thoughts for her with her friend.

I hope her worrying and anxiety will decrease now.  No one wants their loved ones worrying needlessly.  I wish I had done it weeks ago. And today I must admit – this burning bridge has been a jerk!

There are no facts, only interpretations. – Friedrich Nietzsche. The truth I think that validates everything you have to say.

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