Tag Archives: postaday2012

FITFS….Reinventing The Event Horizon..Kathy and Sara

Reinventingtheeventhorizon

Visiting Kathryn McCullough, who reinvents event horizons (don’t you just love that!) takes you to a place of originality  in prose, art, love, and celebration.  This generous spirit located somewhere in Kentucky has a world wide presence in more ways than one.  And when  you visit Kathy you visit Sara for one is but apart of the other creating an adventurous amazing whole.

Kathy’s blog stats show 113,914 hits – impressive by any standard- and her numbers continue to grow with good reason.  FITFS – Following in her Footsteps takes you to a multiverse.

She began her WordPress.com trek in January 2009 and started with ‘Bangkok or Bust’ and her last sentence opens the door to on-going adventure. “I try to anchor our adventures in words.”  Kathy describes herself as ‘a writer, artist, and former university instructor, who lived in Vietnam during 2009 and Haiti in 2010, where my partner directed earthquake recovery for a major international NGO.’

She invites us to ‘couch surf’, and what a ride it is!

Lest you begin to think Kathy and Sara’s incredible world is filled with rainbows and adventure sans everyday challenges you dear reader are in for a surprise.  For no adventure, no creativity, no success can take place unless honed by the pumice stones of life. (sorry I just couldnot resist that line 🙂 )

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.  Who the heck said that anyway?  I guess it is true but only if you/we make it happen.  Take the turmoil, the trauma, the uncertainty and use it for building block of greatness.

Kathy and Sara are not only survivors but they are stronger for it.  Sara’s site uses photos to (in her words) ‘capture the details of daily life, my thoughts, my hopes, my dreams’.

Art, thy name is Kathy and Sara.

Now what can you expect?  Lets see: raised in an organized crime family strangely at odds with the FBI, recovery from Bipolar disorder, working in 3rd world countries in disaster response and living in a one hundred year old house.  And there is more, so much more!

Oh and when you do visit – cyber or blood and breath, you are welcomed into a world of warmth, color and adventure.  My goodness how often that word ‘adventure’ pops up with these two.

Can I FITFS – follow in the footsteps?  I can, a little bit anyway, and I figure that is a pretty good way to start.

**I have had trouble posting for 3 days now so I am putting the doorways to their world below.  You know – in case the linky thing is not working.

http://reinventingtheeventhorizon.wordpress.com

www.blipfoto.com/QueSeraSara

This Writer: The Unsuspected Truth

My mind sometimes rides on an endless roller coaster trying to sort out unsortable things.

Truth is one of those – the truth we think we see and the truth as perceived by another.

I had an old friend long ago.  She was old in tenure and age with friends of all ages.  As a matter of fact I and many others called her ‘Mum‘.  She was born sometime around 1916 and lived in a large stately home her father had built in the town of Preston.  She and her sister grew up learning good housekeeping from a very young age and when their school day ended they dusted both banisters of the front and back staircases.

She grew up well mannered, polite and demure as was expected of all ‘ladies’.  She was always a lady.

We became friends in 1967 when I was a nursing student and she a patient. A couple of years later I went to live with ‘Mum’ and ‘Pop’.

She died in 2002 after a few years as a widow.  She always kept her emotions in check as a lady should, through the death of her daughter and the difficulties with her son.  She never spoke out of line.  Never uttered a word of despaiir or anger.  Her daily life, for her whole life was centered in the kitchen, preparing food, planning, cleaning… After dinner ‘Pop’ retired to the living room  to watch TV as we cleaned up.

When her daily chores were done (about 8pm) she would go up the back stairs to the small room where she kept her craft supplies.  There she remained until time for bed.  She said it was truly the only time in a day that was hers.

Once Pop passed away she continued living there, taking care of the house and grounds.  One of the things I talked about at her funeral was that she appeared to have no problems.  She seemed to view them as challenges to be solved quietly.  When she could no longer kneel to garden she she would sit on a plastic garbage bag and slide along the ground.  When she could no longer carry things upstairs she filled a basket attached to a rope on the top railing and pull it up once she got to the top floor.

We spent many many evenings after a meal playing cards and talking.  The only time she ever used an unladylike word was during cards when just before she threw down a winning hand she would say, “I’ll show you where the bear sh*t in the buckwheat.” They were spirited games filled with moans groans and laughter.

As her time here on this earth became shorter she started to get her house in order. Literally. Wanted to make it easier for her son, her only living child.  She also started writing down the family history and told me tales of yore.

One Wednesday I suddenly felt an  urgent  need to see her so I stopped in on my way home from work.  She was pretty quiet during the meal and later during cards.  Quite suddenly, out of the blue, she said she was going to have a stroke and would be found on the kitchen floor.  She said it factual like not expressing emotion.  Just real quiet.  I opened my mouth to say I would stay the night in my old room but a message as clear as a bell came to me.  “You cannot stay.  Death is in this house. You cannot stay.”  I tried to get my mind around the thought and again the words were clear.

She held me for a long time that night as we hugged on the front porch and the next day I got a call from her Grandson who spontaneously decided to stop in to visit.  He looked through the kitchen window to find her lying on the floor.

But that’s not what I started to tell you –  as ‘truth’ and what we perceive are so often different things.  I asked ‘Mum’ after she had been widowed for awhile if she would ever marry again.  To me she had always seemed a woman happy in her role in life.  The crisp anger in her voice startled me,

“I would never marry again.  I spent my life looking after my family and my husband.  I was a good wife and mother and did a good job.  Now I get to look after me.”. And then we got up and went to the living room where she sat in ‘Pop’s’ easy chair and watched television.

She also told me that she followed the rules she was raised by.  “Never say anything in complaint and you can never get in trouble.  If I had it to do over I would talk up.”

So the truth I believed about an admirable always politically correct woman was not the truth of how she felt.  Marguerite was an amazing strong incredible woman and all who knew her were blessed.

Oh the Plots We Weave: Fictional Life

Stephen King explains in his book, ‘On Writing‘ how he comes up with some ideas for plots or characters.  In the course of his day he is acutely aware of people and events around him.  It can be a furtive glance from someone or and interaction played out and while he may not know what is truly happening his genius mind begins to question – what if?

So let’s take a look at a couple of possible fiction opps out of this week’s news.

OH ODA – Skip the Juice

Canadian Politics and its politicians are in my opinion dull, classless, lacking luster, crooked, self serving…um better skip this part and contine on…

Bev Oda was most recently Minister for International Co-operation.  HUH?  Me too.

Anyway she ended up resigning from the government for putting a $16 glass of orange juice on her tab.  Oh and $1000/day limo costs. Oh and she apparently altered a document which resulted in denied funding to an ‘aid agency’ (whatever that is).  And I have not read yet anything about her general work quality performance.

Possible What If Fiction ideas (if it isn’t already)

Perhaps Oda had a highly classified job so secret it cannot be divulged to the public and suppose she came across information vital to the survival of mankind.  But just suppose those in power decided to take her out. *In Canada we don’t ‘take people out’ if you know what I mean.  We just make them blush out of shame, lower their heads and shuffle out the door with their $52K pension in their back pockets.

Hmm on second thought maybe this is not the best story to do a ‘What if’.  How about this one?

LUNCH ON THE GO

A woman in Georgetown was sitting eating her lunch at her desk which was located in the foyer of a fitness centre.  An SUV crashes through the large window, strikes her carrying her in the desk chair through the back wall into an office where she was found under the SUV but still in her desk chair.  No mention was made of what happened to her lunch.

Possible plot ideas?

There are quite a few that come to mind but consider:

The driver’s husband was having an affair with the lunchee and while the wronged woman had no planned intent to attack when she saw her enemy so clearly framed in a wide picture window and spotted her smug smile as she ate her lunch with relish (ha ha) the jilted wife found she had no control as her hands gripped the wheel and her foot put peddle to the metal and before you knew it the deed was done.

Of course in another scenario it is possible the driver saw the lunchee pick up a glass…a glass of orange juice..and assuming it was one of those deadly $16 glasses of OJ she sped through the window to prevent the woman from committing a Bev Oda!

Y’all have a nice rest of your Monday!

This Writer: Remembers – Once Upon a Time

I heard a story a long time ago and to the best of my memory it went something like this:
Once upon a time there was a young girl strolling along a mountain path when the weather suddenly changed and the snow and chilling winter winds blew forcing her to pull her jacket around her.  Walking through the storm forced her to put her head down as she struggled with each step.  Seeing a snake across the path she stopped.  The snake asked her to pick him up and give him safe harbor from the storm. ‘ I cannot do that,’ she said, ‘you will bite me and I will die.’
‘I won’t bite you,’ the snake replied, ‘ I just don’t want to die in the cold.’  After much persuading the girl picked up the poor snake and tucked him inside her coat.  Almost at once the snake bit the girl and as she lay dying she said, ‘You promised me you would not bite me.  You promised me I would be safe.’  The snake looked at her and said, ‘You knew what I was when you picked me up.’

Sometimes we know the truth but for whatever reason choose not to see it, or believe it, because we want it to be something else.  The he and she of it can change.
If there is a snake in your life are you willing to look at the truth, as painful as it can be?  We glorify truth, but the reality is that truth can be painful.  It can hurt to the core.  There is nothing easy about truth.   Sometimes we can live with what we want to believe but sometimes choosing to not see the truth can be dangerous.   Be safe my friends.  Be safe.

Run don’t walk.  It is better to face the truth and be safe.  Some of life’s snakes do not bite fatally at first.  Just nips of discomfort unsettling your mind and soul, confusing you and putting you in constant angst.

The moral of the story is clear but as one who has built in rose colored glasses it took a long time and a few snakes whose bites I survived before I was ready to deal with reality.  I rather suspect that a few unfortunate situations we get ourselves into, we in fact had a pretty good inkling would turn into the snake.

Do we hate the snake?  No, we just accept its character and nature.  You cannot hate it for its nature, we just have to be smart enough to part company ASAP and say NO.  Enough is enough is enough.

Oh the Plots We Weave

I was all set today to post something light today catching you up on my week with the felines.  The fam got home from vacation today but the feline population seems to be intent on staying with me.  Perhaps they think it is just a dream that their loving family is back.

Anyway as I was saying….an article in the paper caught my eye this morning and it has been weighing heavily on my mind since.  Not just the story but the questions it raised.  First I want to ask you – can you take a look at your life and figure out who writes the plot and directs your life?  Are you in charge of  your life?  Do you believe in fate?

There have been events in my life where I have definitely felt the strong hand of fate but then I get wondering, if I believe in fate does that automatically mean I believe in predestiny and if so does that mean we have no control over our lifes?

Something happened on Friday.  A young woman named Jessica Ghawl at the age of 24 was one of 12 people killed when Jason Holmes decided on a killing spree at a theatre in Aurora Colorado at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises movie.

This in itself is horribly sad  and one thought is, how awful to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  But there is more.

This same young lady was in Toronto last month when there was another killing spree at the Eaton Centre and she missed it by  3 minutes changing her mind on a certain course of action.  She had planned on shopping and then sushi and for some unknown reason changed her mind at the last minute, decided on a burger and left the shopping mall.

If she had gone for shushi she would have been one of the victims.  Afterwards she said she could not identify the feeling in her chest, the odd feeling in her chest that saved her life.

I remember a case a few years ago when a man missed his plane and that plane ended up crashing.  Sometime later he died in a crash anyway – I think it was a car accident.  I think the movie Final Destination dealt with this type of thing to the ridiculous extremembut my point is it happens.

Have you ever changed your mind on a course of action due to an unexplained feeling or thought?  Has it ever completely changed the plot of your life?

I guess there are more questions than answers in this post none of which could be answered in just a few words.

12 people dead and 70+ injured.  Hundreds of lives changed – perhaps thousands.

*Someone mentioned to me that the guilty party will probably be deemed insane and get off.  So the only other comment I will make is that I believe, sane or insane we must all always be responsible for our actions.  Insane?  Drunk? Incapable of good judgement?  Oh that’s too bad.  You still have to pay.  Just my opinion.

The Night I Slept with Jack…or Jack Slept with Me..or Maybe not…

So as you know we have 3 whites.  Not great whites as in the sharks, but whites as in the cats.

I have spoken of these beasties before.  Jack is King with a capital K.  He can be a bit nasty taking a swipe at your ankles as you walk by him.  He likes to assert his power..his territory.  Then we have dear Jewels who is your typical subserviant please just stay out of my way kind of girl.  She lets Jack reign and I say ‘lets’ because I do believe if this dear lady ever decided to stake territory no one else would reign.

Jack needs to reign.  It is important to his ego.  He even bullies Bree who is away this week with the family at the cottage.  Now as you know we have Gus who is pretty new to it all.  So far Jack seems to be happy to just watch over the newcomer kitten although he is not above giving the kid a swat when needed.

Now Jack does not like me very much and for the life of me I don’t know why.  If I am in the kitchen he stretches out across the floor letting me know I am in his territory.  And he was forever taking swats at me; walking down the stairs, down the hall..well you get the idea.

Now this week, with his whole adoring family gone it is just me, Jewels, and the new kid Gus.  The family have been gone almost a week and tonight is the first time Jack decided to spend anytime major time with me.

Gus and Jack routinely wrestle around, most often in play but J always asserts his power when he becomes bored with the new kids antics and that pretty much ends the game of the moment.

Except tonight.  I am not sure if Jack sort of figures I am the new sheriff in town permanently but he decided to spread his territory.  Except Gus, the kid, has been used to sleeping on my bed at least for part of the night.

So first Gus makes himself at home beside me on the bed.  The evening is wearing on and before you know it, who makes an entrance but Jack.  He stands on the floor for a bit watching me and the kid, settling down for a bit of a read before slumbers.  Then he jumps up on the bed, my bed you understand, and sits at the foot watching us.

I’m figuring it could be very nice to tell the family, when they return that Jack and I are A1 buds.  That we slept together in perfect harmony.  Then all of a sudden there is one swift motion and a whole bunch of white fur and a bit of growling ensue.  Right beside me!

Believe it or not there really are two whites there.  Not sure what to do I remain very very very still.  Suddenly Jack jumps back and leaping from the bed leaves the room.  Gus, the new kitten in town settles and stretches out making it clear where his territory is. I tried taking photos at which point they both left my boudoir.

Guess I won’t be sleeping with Jack after all.  As for Jewels?  Well she could care less.  Her only staked out territory is my desk chair and neither of the other two seem interested.  So it all works out for her.

Men! Animal, Vegetable or Mineral.  So territorial.

A Face in the Crowd – Andy Griffith

I clicked on a show tonight more out of boredom than anything else.  1957 Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau in A Face in the Crowd.  All of them were very young of course and I never for a moment thought I would actually watch the whole movie.  Well once it started I could not stop – could not even take a bathroom break.  Griffith was about as far away from Mayberry as anyone could be.  A relative innocent, a rube whose music took him to the top and whose showmanship gave him power.  Big time power – until it consumed him.

As I watched I kept thinking of a line from the movie – something great – but there were so many good lines – exceptional lines from Griffith – from Neal – from Matthau.  I have no idea if this pic won any emmys or oscars way back then – did they even have awards then? = I am sure they must have.

This movie and his performance moved me intensely.  I will be thinking about it for a long time. Best writing.  Best performance.  Best everything.

If you want to see powerful – majestic – heart rendering and you get a chance to see it – well I sure would recommend it.  Whew!  Just had to tell you!  Magnificent!

 

FITFS …….. JOSS

Today’s Following in the Footsteps of..has been challenging. Not because I could not think of good things to say but because I was afraid of not having the words to really show how wonderful she is and why her Footsteps are good to walk in.

JOSS BURNEL

THE CROWING CRONE

I first came across the Crowing Crone about the time I started blogging and knew right away I wanted to be part of Crone group. As a matter of fact I think I mentioned this in one of my first comments to her.

I also had the priviledge of working with Joss when she wrote and published her book, ‘What I Know About Fibro’. See there I go getting ahead of myself again.

Okay – FIRST the woman – before the author and book I just knew Joss as a woman who had endured and not just survived but thrived on her early challenges. She is part of a select group that I must read as soon as she posts whether I am able to comment or not. Joss hasn’t ‘done’ anything as in ‘completing and forever closing – she is on a constant journey and each step, each experience just builds and continues building. She ‘walks in beauty and invites each of us to join her and Be W.E.L.L. (Woman Energized by Light and Love). You can’t get much better than that my friends. Among all the labels you can use where Joss is concerned, she is also a certified Holistic Health Coach. Nuts there I go again….getting ahead of me..

THE AUTHOR

Many authors, when discussing difficulty have a way of bringing us down- way down – so by the time you finish you either want to slit your throat or the author’s throat. Figuratively not literally – of course. When Joss makes a statement it is uplifting, full of hope. She is a wordsmith. There is absolutely no other descriptive word for it. Her words heal, soothe, unite, inspire, and strengthen. In addition Joss has an incredible ability to understand your needs and to identify what you need. Joss has a skill almost indescribable as a writier and and I guess that word is heart. (which nicely leads us into the next part:)

HEART CENTERED WRITING

Anyone who thinks heart is not a necessary ingredient in promoting yourself or your business deludes themselves about what makes ‘success’. Motivation to be successful can vary from the desire for financial success to more philanthropic goals but the businesses most successful are heart centered. Steve Jobs was one of many who recognized this. Without heart, success is hollow and probably more shallow that it should be.

Joss’ site to Holistic Health Coach is http://www.jossburnel.com and her services to ensure your success are all encompassing. She is ‘your virtual; assistant with expert writing and presentation skills’.

I could go on forever it seems as thoughts keep popping up..’tell them this..tell them that…’ but then …

OH

I almost forgot to tell you that I actually got to meet Joss for lunch when she was in this part of the country in April. I know whereof I speak …Here is a pic of the two of us taken by her wonderful friend Christine. Joss is on the right.  Your right my left…you know..

*In the event my link attempt did not work

http://crowingcronebewell.com and www.jossburnel.com

A Story Plot Free to Blogging Authors or Canada’s Justice System at Its Best

A Story Plot Free to Blogging Authors or Canada’s Justice System at Its Best

Some reporters do an excellent job reporting facts to the public accurately and without  judgement – just the facts ma’am just the facts.  And one of those reporters is The Hamilton Spectator‘s Ken Peters.  My first draft was filled with sarcasm scathing and railing against our shame the Canadian Legal system and our Justice system.  But what good would that do?  It would serve only to spread anger.

So as I read through the article I thought to myself, what if this was a plot?  A story outline? Perhaps one of you could use it. So without a turmoil here is a bit of information:

Characters *note these names are real so you will have to change them*

a). Dean Paquette – Defense Lawyer* get over the usual Perry Mason, LA Law idea that all defense lawyers are good and right.  No judgement here..just sayin.

b). Assistant Crown Attorney Carey Lee.

c). Reverend Jose Silva Roman Catholic priest and alleged perpetrator.

d). Ministry spokesman Brendan Crawley for Ministry of the Attorney General

e). Crown Attorney Tim Power

f). Deputy Crown Attorney Tony Leitch

g) Marcus Soares posted bail

h) Diocese of Hamilton

STORY LINE: B & A Make a deal that if C leaves Canada no prosecution.

A says if he never comes back he will never be arrested.

C returns home to his native Brazil

E states the ministry will investigate. Uhuh.

B is on a 6 month sebatical and presumablcabin not be reached.

E is on vacation and cannot be reached

F says no comment except to say there are no plans to attempt to have Silva extradited

H announced C resigned but H did pay for a portion of C’s legal bill

A says the sexual assault was on the ‘low end’ and C is a man of the cloth

G posted bail

A says the bail money would not be forfeited as part of the negotiation

A says C’s passport and visa were close to expirery so A obtained a valid passport for him.

**My additional,comment – Aside from the appearance that Canada has established a way to get rid of perverts without justice to the victims and to infect the rest of the world by shunting off its poisons there is one major consideration.

WHAT IF THIS GUY WAS INNOCENT?  No one wins in this situation and at this moment I don’t I will be waving any ‘yay I am Canadian’ flags.

FITFS…Celi Oh My

When it comes to ‘Following in the footsteps’ there is one model of theme that can’t be touched and that is Cecilia who is also known a ‘C’ and Celi.  I can’t remember how long I have been reading this wee lady with the strength of ten men, but once I started I could not stop. (in fact once I was hooked I spent a few days going back and reading every post – some of them more than once.  First because the writing is personal, exciting and filled with talent not often seen. (At least not often enough).  C describes herself as a ‘NZ girl married to an America fella, living on the prairies…’  The goal of her existence is to live on a self sustaining farm and she documents her adventures daily.  She posts first thing in the morning before her day starts, although sometimes when that day starts at 4 am she may post a couple of hours later.

Let;s see if I can give you a quick overview: first and most delightful are her ‘Walk around the Farmy’ series.  I swear her co cohabitants (I would never call them animals) have a way of becoming people in your heart.  Really. Daisy – my all time fave who is portrayed as a cow could become your best friend.  the Shush sisters, Ton Ton, Bees – who if they have individual names – and I wouldn’t be surprised if they did – and only C would remember them all. Big dog, Queenie, Baby Bobby Blanc, Minty, Mia, Meadow, the Murphy, the son of the son of Neanderthol man, Hairy MacLairy (can’t forget him) and well…it would take way too much time to list all of them but I am probably pretty close at calling it a cast of thousands.  Okay maybe not thousands but it is just like they are their own little town.

So!  There are the farm adventures, then all the education about growing, cultivating, cooking, preserving.  Amazing stuff!  And stuff about the land itself.  And cool stories about her youth and growing up on a beach in NZ.

What is amazing is I don’t know when in a 24 hour period she would rest or even sit down.  On top of all the work there is her writing, projects like the postcards -*C I love mine!  And then folks – she devoted time to the Old Codger and took to entertaining the residents in the home he lived in until he was well enough to live on his own.  Once a week she took the time and animals away for a few hours to brighten someone else’s life.  OH OH and the best part or one of the bests is that her car runs on vegetable oil – not gas.  Can you imagine?  I simply cannot tell you everything I want to in this space.  So please do stop by to visit her and see that I exaggerate not.

So if I want to FITFS follow in the footsteps in search of my own theme what could I do?  Well I can begin with our household.  No cows, no sheep, no pigs, no peacocks, or  or or.  But I do live with an interesting menagerie.  There is Bree our yellow lab who believes she is still a pup and launches all her body weight in greeting and who eats everything especially wood, plastic, shoes, well anything.

Then there are three whites.  Long haired white cats all of which were supposed to have blue eyes except for Jewels Grace who has vampire red eyes.  Poor Jewels is deaf and doesn’t realize just how loud she meows.  She is also nocturnal and heavy and clumsy.  It doesn’t matter how nice her kitty bed is or how cozy it is – she prefers a cardboard box.  It’s easy to forget about Jewlsy as G2 calls her so I always make a point to stop and pet her whenever I come across her.

I shall have to get some current pics sometime.  Celi by the way has tons of wonderful photos.

Nope I cannot follow in her footsteps so I guess I will just keep reading thekitchensgarden.com and keep on looking for my own style.

By the by…not only does she accomplish so much in a day..her site is beautiful…I am pretty confident saying there are not too many others in her league.

 

Now for as sweet as Jewels Grace is (named by G1) there is also Jack…King Jack that is.  Wherever he poses it is very regal.  He is also mean sometimes and for no reason will swat at you when you walk by.  I tried being sweet, being firm and finally now just hiss back at him when he does the same.  He will position himself directly in the path of poor Bree who will not cross Jack.  Sometimes to assure his alpha position he will eat the dog food or drink from her bowl just to annoy the dog.

Then there is wee kitty Gus who now is about 3 months old.  Gus adores Jack and it seems Jack returns the sentiment.  He watches over the kitten who is perfectly happy attacking Mr. Grumble Guts.  Jack not only puts up with him he seems totally devoted to the kid.

As strange as it all seems they make a cohesive group happy most of the time..although I am convinced Bree definitely would appreciate another canine.