today, Uncategorized

I know it’s been a while​

I haven’t posted in much longer than I intended. I had a post all set to schedule but … I just didn’t feel then. I still don’t. It’s sitting ready for another time to share. The next thing I knew I had taken on more than I could chew. My writing fell behind. Actually behind is not even close. I haven’t written anything since finishing up my storyboard. Even my reading began slowed to a halting stop.

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I was reading ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F&*k” but after 2/3 it became rather rote. I read chapter 18 of “Girl Wash Your Face” and put that book right away to the going going gone pile. I was read a trashy novel while flying to see Bob Seger perform. That was an amazing night. That trip also got me started again with feeling something. The book “I’ll Be Gone In the Dark” was given to me and sparked my inner oh. It’s as though the light has turned back on. Even if winter blues are still here my avid love of words is returning. The infatuation with books, the urge to push myself to write my story is returning. I am laughing as I read a novel by Margaret Lashley – if only I could have her gift for description. Glad One was absolutely wonderful and Two Crazy isn’t disappointing.

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I did learn about a new computer program, that hurt my brain. I switched from iPhone to Android yet kept my mac – that was a fun transition I am nowhere near done learning.  I took a couple classes – I finish that today. I hope to take another this summer if I can. I tried out something new that could have helped someone. I was overdrawn. I had nothing to give. I was tired and wanted to have an extra glass of wine not write. So instead I began to work out daily thanks to an insta friend I made who kept encouraging me to try it out. My faithful friend Dudley happily keeps me company with frequent offers of kisses as I sweat and grunt my way through.

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I have terribly exciting plans for this month. We will be exploring England, France, and Spain for a quick jam-packed trip. I must admit I probably won’t be posting while exploring Europe so it will be awhile but I will be sure to share many photos of the wonderful Adventure I am about to embark on when I can.

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childhood, Uncategorized

Hanging on to stuff

I remember dad got me these really cool sunglasses after I burnt my eyes. They were completely red matching my red high top sneakers that I wore till they were in shreds. The frames had red leather blinders so no light could get in from the sides. My eyes were safe and wouldn’t burn again. I didn’t know a person could burn their eyes. Yet I burnt mine on a hiking excursion. The glare off of the white snow crust, the bright reflection off of the glaciers. That glare is evil. I suffered from a painful blinding ache for days. Trust me, that isn’t something you ever want to experience.

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Later I lost them. Put them somewhere safe or left them somewhere and they were gone. I felt horrible. Sick to my stomach horrible that I lost them. I knew they were expensive, important. Dad’s old school reaction didn’t help my gut ache. That I should be more responsible, careful with my things. That they were expensive. Didn’t he think I knew that? Every time that my parents were in the bathroom together with the tap on I knew they were fighting. Fighting about money. I hadn’t meant to lose them. I loved them. They were red. They matched my shoes. They were gone.

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We keep things in case we need them, as mementos, for that one time we might need it. As a tangible piece after losing someone. Keepsakes, memories, things. I’m like that with photos. Thousands of photo’s to jog my memory of the wonderful adventures I’ve had.

Our stuff our collections of mementos don’t mean anything to others. We cart it around and display it. When we are gone it goes too. It’s just stuff. Even our photo’s don’t mean as much to others.

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Hanging on to things. Hanging on to the past. Feeling guilty when losing things. Becoming a hoarder when you feel you have no control over your life or income. When life becomes so scary so hard that all there is, is stuff. The connection between emotional tumult and things becomes blurred. It doesn’t have to be that way but for many it is.

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On a side note. I keep feeling shocked over how much stuff, junk actually is created. Every dollar store, Wal-Mart, knock-off brand, a cheap version that ends up in the landfill. Let’s face it, two minutes after using cheap replicas they break assuming they worked in the first place! The constant redecorating, redoing, replacing of things that aren’t even broken is such a common occurrence nowadays. That gives me a tummy ache for entirely different reasons than the one I had over losing my sunglasses.

memories, Uncategorized

My heart grew

I have noticed that I think back to my children being young often. Missing their sweet chubby young years. When I was pregnant with my first I was terrified. I hadn’t even planned to have a baby and then all of a sudden I had to make a family for the kids and try not to lose the baby. I was raised to play housewife and mother so I knew how to do that. I just didn’t know how to do that in the world. It might not sound like a big difference but it is. Especially at twenty-two without any solid groundwork laid. I was afraid I wouldn’t know how to love my unborn child. I was so afraid I didn’t dare speak my fear aloud. I am terribly superstitious about putting my fears into words. I had built such a great wall around myself. I had jeered at lovers and newlyweds. I avoided close friends and families. I laughed at the girls thinking they were in love. Ran rowdy with the boys that were no good laughing at their women who sat at home believing their men to be honest and faithful. I kept my walls high and believed that was how I wanted my life to be.

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Then I held my daughter in my arms. Her skin so soft. Her fragile little body, all 5 lbs of it. Trusting me to care for her and protect her from all that might come at her. I would sit for hours holding her while she slept. Tears would sneak down my cheeks from the deep love as my heart hurt from the depth of it.  I knew that in a blink of the eye she would be grown and gone. I wanted to treasure each moment. Love each stage my children went through not worrying over the terrible two’s or waiting for the pre-school age. I vowed to love every stage they went through growing up.

woman carrying a baby
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As I try to bring forward my childhood, my past to lay out as chapters in a book I find my mind wanders. It grasps onto peak moments without easily grasping the hidden pieces.

That moment when all-encompassing love touched my heart and it grew. I treasure that moment. It is a memory easy to think of when faced with troublesome writing. I was willing to have feelings for who could help but love these beautiful little beings.

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memories, Uncategorized

What do you put in your stocking?

It’s that time of year again. Shopping, baking, planning, rushing, visiting, creating. Something different to each of us. I am finally becoming at peace with this time of year. Depression doesn’t rear it’s ugly head as badly. In fact, I might even be looking forward to it a little. Since becoming a mother I was the first one up. Waking the kids in my excitement to see them open their gifts. To spend the day making a delicious meal. To visit with my siblings.

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When I was little we had different ways to celebrate over the years. We camped in a teepee in the forest. We used a long spider plant for a tree. We had a real tree decorated with strings of popcorn and yarn. We again camped in a teepee in the forest. ( see photos from the last Christmas campout )We even spent it in a hotel while we shopped for our years’ supply of clothing from a Thrift store. Knives, Pear soap, and wool socks were sure gifts we knew were coming. Nothing extravagant. No cookies for Santa as he was make-believe since I was born.

One year we had stockings. Dad had a stocking bigger than I was. Since he joked about everyone getting coal it was decided he deserved coal for being greedy with a stocking big enough for a  person. A dozen boxes were wrapped and placed inside one another until the last little box which contained a nice lump of coal. That was a fun Christmas morning.

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After fourteen I don’t really recall Christmas. Not that I recall previous ones. I think I went home to mother for a couple, another with a family who took me in, a few I was alone. The ever-present underlying depression and discomfort of the season as I didn’t really belong to anyone. I hope I have managed to hide that from my children giving them a warm sense of family, of love. Time spent together. Time to think of, to help others if we can.

I don’t recall stockings. I think an orange, a giant stick of a candy cane, was stuffed in a sock. I can’t really be sure. Even that is a glimmer of a thought, not a memory. I have no one to ask if it’s true. If we even had stockings.

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Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Pexels.com

 

So now I prepare for the season. The house all colorful and bright. A welcoming holiday feeling inside and out. The tree, tall and erect minus the usual side lilt is topped with an angel. Santa hits the roof so he has been demoted to a table ornament. To tell the truth when I bought the Santa’s and Angel all I had no idea they were to be on top of a tree. I didn’t know that hollow dunce cap shaped ornaments meant tree toppers.  I have a few to choose from thanks to that information being unknown. Just like how I didn’t know the plastic is to come off the lampshade once you bring it home! There are decorations on each available space. The jolly singing and dancing stuffies that made my children laugh. Now my grandson laughs and pushes their buttons. The cupboards and freezer stuffed with food.

 

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My little elf setting up the tree

 

I think I may finally have figured the stocking stuffing out. It has haunted me for many a season. Specialty soap, deodorant, girlie face stuff or hair things, magazine or book, chocolate and or candy. Then I heard a brilliant way to stuff them. With nuts that need cracking, oranges, chocolates, and a penny novel. You are set to nibble and snack with a book while waiting for dinner or bedtime. Maybe next year the stockings will be full of nuts!

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What do you put in your stockings? Does your family have a favorite tradition?

 

 

Uncategorized

Still a controversial​ subject

When I was little I was given my immunizations. Well, at least the infant ones. My siblings eight-ten years later, however, did not get theirs. I remember when my brother and sister came to live with me that was one of the things I had done. There was a lot of changes for them. We were orphans. They chose to live with me, their big sister who was big as a houseboat with her first pregnancy. Yes me I was giant. Actually, I just felt like I was giant even at eight months I looked maybe six or seven months along when I was actually nine months.

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I  knew that my parents had joined into the belief that we didn’t need all our immunizations. Maybe it was due to the scare tactics some use blaming unfortunate gene pool or DNA problems that cause defects physical or mental. Or maybe they just didn’t believe in the need for being immunized. Maybe because we rarely went into the general population. Maybe because the belief is that you trust in God and what happens is his will.  Whatever the reason they didn’t get them and I had an unbiased fear of having my children be immunized. Really it made no sense. Our family had witnessed first hand what some of these illnesses can do. My uncle had mumps as a child and due to that terrible fever, he was sterile never able to have children.

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I got my siblings immunized and enrolled in school. I immunized my children but missed a couple because I bought into the fear. I had read the article how during the 70’s many Europeans decided against immunization and as a result, a terrible Polio outbreak occurred. I still let my fear stand in the way without ever actually researching anything. Social media would on occasion have field days spouting fear and scare tactic information without ever having legitimate documentation.

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Recently there was an outbreak in our community and neighboring towns of Meningitis. I was unsure if I should have my children vaccinated.  A couple of youth died as a result and more were hospitalized. Clinics were held to immunize those that needed it. I didn’t want my children to get sick and die. They had been in contact with those that had been exposed, most likely to the one that passed away. So I finally did research. I went onto the gov’t website for information. I googled and read other articles. Noticed the difference between the ones that talked without real links or information to back up their claims opposed to the ones that did.

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I chose to immunize my children. I was grateful that I had that choice. I know some countries are opposed. Their religion opposes it. The funding isn’t there. The education isn’t there. I am grateful to live where I have the choice. Where I can learn and make the decision. I can only imagine how Immigrants feel when they come to Canada and have the choice. So they don’t have to see their children suffer from Polio, potential die from Meningitis, become sterile or deformed from other diseases easily avoided by a couple immunizations. I am grateful like many Canadians to have the choice and the information to help make that choice.

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Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com

 

 

my family, Uncategorized

When they were little

Thankfully when my children were barely ending their toddler stage and starting elementary I got a divorce. It was the best thing to happen to me, to us and I am grateful every day that he threw us away.  An odd sentence I know.

 

As I struggled to build a life for the kids and I life became busy. Work, daycare, school, soccer, gymnastics, work some more,  night school. The list was never-ending. I thrived from the hectic schedule. I persevered and pushed through it fighting to build a life where I was independent and able to provide for our basic needs on my own. During that time I faced many choices. One choice I had to make was working multiple jobs and jobs that might pay more but would keep me away from the kids most hours of the evening and weekends.  Or I could work for much less but be able to get the kids from school, take them to soccer and cheer them on, tuck them in at night. I had spent a couple years clawing and scratching my way to get to that choice. Working up to 5 jobs day and night while attending night school. I had cleared us from the mess that the ending of my marriage left. Now I could almost breathe.

So what to do? One day I asked the kids as we drove to school. What do you want? Mommy home with you but we have less stuff, fewer toys and shopping, can’t go on big trips but I’ll be able to be home more. My son’s answer still melts my heart. It wasn’t a short answer. His answer lasted almost until we pulled into the school parking lot. He wanted me home. Who would give him kisses when he needed them. Who would make cookies with them, help them read their books, answer their questions, show them how to do their homework, play in the park with them, kiss they’re boo-boos, teach him to tie his shoes, the list went on and on the entire drive. His adorable chubby body I loved to squish and hug settled in the back seat. His blue eyes so clear and trusting. He just wanted me there. My daughter ever the serious and silent one just nodded and agreed with all that he said.

So it was decided.  I took the low paying going nowhere job that let me drive them to school and pick them up. We camped, hiked, flew kites, played games, rolled in the leaves, played in the rain, tried fishing, went canoeing, went sledding in the dark, built fires, set off fireworks, saved unwanted dogs and found them homes, went exploring thrift shopping, made crafts, cooked together, slept in the back of the car when I forgot the tent poles camping, we did it all together. Priceless memories that hopefully gave them the courage to be themselves. The confidence to stand on their own. The unquestionable knowledge that they are amazing and can do anything they choose to. That was and is my main goal as their mother.

 

I will probably always look back and wish I had done more. I think that about the teens I raised when I was too young to know what they needed. I now wish I had done more with them. They are happy and have good lives not wishing I had done more. So I must learn to be as well. Hopefully, when my children are grown they feel the same way. I think it is the way of growing older. Looking back with the earned knowledge only time gives. Seeing what more could have been done. I am ever so grateful to have had the ability to make the memories I have. I sure miss those little snuggly children I had. I adore them no matter the age, size, or stage: but I sure miss the snuggles from when they needed me so.

childhood, Uncategorized

Traditional holidays – what traditions?

Thanksgiving means something different to us all. One thing that remains the same is the circle of love. The knowledge it’s a time to be grateful for all that we have. Whether from family or more often than not friendship. You can pick your friends but not your family. The friends are the family you get to choose.

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As the years past my parents fell further and further from the celebration of mainstream holidays. Generations of passed down recipes and traditions disappeared. I have no idea if my grandmother had an amazing recipe for stuffing that was passed down through the generations. I have no idea if traditions were even a thing in our family. One day is no different than the rest. Christmas is not really Christmas for Jesus was born in the spring with the sheep. Not in the dead of winter. Easter is a pagan ritual accepted by the church when joining the satanic world with the Christian. Thanksgiving is for giving thanks or for taking the world from the Aboriginals. Really everything depends on how you look at it.

I was taught that the mainstream holidays are not celebrated on the original dates. That when Christianity overtook the mainstream, the leaders from the pagan realm and the Cristian met and compromised on the dates to celebrate different holidays.  That is what I was taught. Don’t get me wrong we did celebrate holidays and birthdays to some degree. Our haphazard way of celebrating will be in the book.

 

I recall being about sixteen renting my own little hole in the wall place. The first place of my own that I paid for with money I earned. Before that… well, let’s say I got around! Made amazing friends and memories and traveled from one end to almost the other of our country. So by sixteen, I was “ready and able” to earn money and pay bills so to speak.

I had previously spent a stint living with an uncle and aunties in the town I come back to.  The town I was now living in and renting my own place. The auntie has such a hard-on for me it was unreal. Stemmed from her dislike of her husband’s inlaws – my parents. My standing up to their son and moving out solidified her dislike to the point of locking her husband out of the house when he met me for a walk.

My point… My first Thanksgiving living on my own I spent walking to the local pool to go for a swim to try and take my mind off how alone I really was. I knew very few people in the town and the ones that I knew were with their families. My mother wasn’t keen on being around me. Work was closed for the holidays, as was the pool I found out when I got there.

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I had spent the pleasure of being a part of a Jewish family celebration that spring with a wonderful lifelong friend. I had never seen or been a part of anything like it and loved it. Her family was kind and welcoming. They didn’t pepper me with questions or sympathy of my upbringing. I had never met people like them before and was eyes wide open to take it all in. I never saw a celebration quite as warm and traditional after that for years. I now knew what it could be like, and  I yearned for it. That knowledge accentuated my loneliness knowing what holidays can be.

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Many many years later after becoming a mother, a divorcee, I still struggle with holidays. It is too easy to not decorate. To not make a big deal.  I have no traditions to pass down to my children. We are finding our own way of celebrating. We spent holidays at a rustic off-grid cabin in the bush, we shot off fireworks for Christmas eve, we tossed chocolate from one end to another as a scavenger hunt, we always tried to have our small close family together when work allowed.  We were invited to friends for a few Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those holidays were the beginning of not minding holidays. Of not having the empty feeling I felt in the pit of my stomach pushing my smile wider to hide the emptiness.  We celebrated in Kenya with my dear lifelong friend. That same dear friend that I spend my very first traditional holiday with. To me now, a holiday is what you choose to make of it.

 

childhood, Uncategorized

I loved my sheep

When I was little I wanted pets. I was fortunate because we were living in the country so it was an option. Especially if you could find a use for them.

I remember being with the ladies as they had a quilting party in someone’s basement. The sheep’s wool was washed in the old washer in the corner. We all had the carting paddles and were carting the wool. It was kind of fun brushing the wool back and forth with the brushes. That is what the ‘wool carting’ paddles looked like to me. The best quilt I ever had.

Back to pets. Guess what I got to have? Sheep! I named them David and Ester after my favorite Bible characters. I loved those sheep. I loved them like Elmyra loved her pets.

I loved those sheep despite the warnings from my parents that they didn’t like it. Then they grew full size and were larger than I. Now I was on the receiving end of their affection! Which consisted of strong headbutts and me being the one running in the opposite direction! IMG_0915

On a personal side note. I will be changing my posting schedule to once or twice a month.  I am focusing more time on the manuscript and less time on posts.  My personal life seems to have hit high gear lately – more things to do and less time to do them in it seems.

Free thinking, Uncategorized

Terrified to have faith and terrified not to

When I was little I used to love to tell exaggerated stories. I hated to be put on the spot with a question and would be inventible I’d fib. It was a second nature. I would start with something simple like a boy kissed a girl and then next you know Jack and Jill did it greek on top of the hill and I didn’t even know what that was.

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Maybe this habit formed out of boredom. I didn’t attend school or daycare. Had no cousins or family outings. There was no television or radio. Once I could read my escape was found. I could go anywhere a nonfiction book could take me. I adored books and still do. I used to fill my suitcase with more books than clothes.

book girl grass hat
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When it’s up to the book or storytelling for entertainment you learn to elaborate. Especially once you learn how to get a reaction! We weren’t supposed to be joking and silly. Being solemn is deemed the Christian way. As a child though that’s what comes naturally. Being silly. Having fun. Laughing goofing around, being silly. We just had to do it in secret so as not to get into trouble. Don’t get me wrong, we had swings, toys, paints, and colors. No board games, sports, or other competitive or frivolous things but we did have fun. However reading was my favorite as I didn’t need a friend to escape and have a great adventure.

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The trouble with the nonfiction Christian books I recall having access to is that they were filled with torture, end of times before Christ second coming. Horrible pain and suffering before a life of bliss in heaven could happen. Needless to say, I was terrified into religious belief. I also learned that your closest friends and family are the ones to watch for. They will turn you in to be tortured to death to save themselves. Burning at the stake, stretched on the rack, drowned to death. So many ways the wrong religious believers were tortured and killed. Books like The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Book, Pilgrims Progress, Paula the Waldensian , novelized history of the churches persecution to bring all to the accepted faith. Terrifying stuff let me tell you. Those were some of the books I  read as a child growing up. One book I never forgot was They’re All Dead Aren’t They by Joy Swift. I read that after the loss of my father and it wrenched my pain beyond what it was to excruciating levels. I could feel what she felt on top of what I felt. The pain twisted inside sucking out all air.

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Thankfully I also had Laura Ingalls Wilder in my life and fell in love with her series. I was ten when I got my first Little House on the Praire – to give you an idea how old I was reading some of the other books.

Probably not the best way to spend your formative years. Leaves a lot of distrust in general. Needless to say, it was terryifying to have faith and terryifying not to have faith. You were damned either way.

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teen years, Uncategorized

What I have always missed

You might surmise I missed my mother. Or my father. Maybe even my little brothers and sisters. Or my friends. No those things I became used to not having.  What I have always missed is the sense of community, the sense of belonging. Of not being alone. The deep-rooted piece that leaves me sad and lonely is the lack of belonging of community.

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Growing up with the entire community living as one has left me with an overwhelming sense of aloneness in this world. I could blame technology but this feeling came not long after ‘coming to the world’ as I call it. That was before technology as we know it. The realization that ultimately I was alone hit hard. Knowing the families in the neighborhood, being friends with the kids my age, eating and playing together ended. The sense of belonging was gone. Even walking into a church didn’t help. And I tried. Either members knew ‘my story’. The story that was being spread throughout the SDA grape-vine. Or no one knew me or tried to reach out to the slip of a girl hiding in the back.

I realize now that I needed to reach out. I needed to talk to people to interact. I didn’t know how. I didn’t want the avid interest. The offers of help that comes with a price or an expiry date. I was so hurt inside I only could manage to push people away. If I was abandoned by my own mother – well really there was no sense in offering anyone else that opportunity now was there.

Now I know that I needed to become active in life. To join groups ( aside from church! ). I see now that a sense of community is built around being doing things together, memberships, clubs, hobbies. But it isn’t the same. I think many of us want to feel as though we belong. Whether is’s to our family we are born into or to the one we choose. This is part of why cults, churches, organizations, teams, are all so popular. They accept us and welcome us in. The unloved, the misunderstood, the different. We all want to belong.

It’s almost like Mr. Rogers had something with his line ‘won’t you be my neighbor’.

adventure backlit dawn dusk
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