A Year’s Worth

August 2, 2015 at 8:15 am (Blogging) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I published my 365th post last week and just wrote an amazing blog post about blogging that I lost as I was trying to save it!!

I don’t think I can recreate it.

It’s been a hard year. The blogging has been okay but life has been annoying.

There have been lessons learned – like always copy your words before you hit save draft!

I’ve been blogging since September 22, 2008. My one goal when I started was to blog weekly. I’ve done that. This is the first time I’ve lost a completely written post. I am feeling frustrated. I am eating while writing. It calms me. Thankfully, I am eating watermelon which is healthy. (The cat thinks she wants to try some). Damn, it was a good post – the ones that get away always are.

What happens in a year?

This is what I write about. My life. My interests. I write memoir. I write using other people’s challenges and memes. I write about yearly occurrences – expect another International Pirate’s Day post in September.

I write for fun. I write for obligation – if only, obligation to my self. In the beginning, my posts were longer and more structured. Now I am more comfortable writing off-the-cuff (like now!).

I can write off a frustrating occurrence like losing a damn good post and keep on. This is good. Especially if it means I eat less junk food along the way.

I write to learn. After seven years, I’ve gotten better at photography, writing and thinking. What inspires me. Today, I inspire me. I lost. I went on. I recreated something. I didn’t give up. Yay me!

I write, therefore I am.

I write in spite of it all (the lost post WAS better).

Birthday Cake

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Grass Close-up

July 26, 2015 at 10:24 am (Meme) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Photo Challenge: Close Up

Travel theme: Grasses

Back Yard

This is my back yard. I view it mostly through my kitchen window. It needs work. The grass is spotty and the weeds in my garden space are tall. The trellis needs to go as does the rhubarb. I don’t eat rhubarb – it is too sour. I ate it, as a child, raw dipped in sugar but now I know that there is not enough sugar in the world to sweeten rhubarb enough for my tastes.

As I may have mentioned before, I am not an outdoor person. I used to be. As a child, it seems when I wasn’t reading I was running around outdoors. Then I started working after school (when I was thirteen) and time to myself was devoted to reading because reading kept my sane. I would read outdoors then. There was a small forest right in the middle of town, beside the Catholic manse, with a gazebo perfect for reading. They tore the forest down to build fancy houses. I don’t know where the gazebo went. I stopped going outdoors.

My eldest sister has a back deck that she uses as a second kitchen as long as she can until the snows come. She revels in improving and enjoying her garden and yards. She takes after our mother and grandmothers. I do not.

An untidy yard and garden depresses me but I hate the thought of spending precious reading and writing time fussing about outdoors.

My gardens and yards came with the house. I enjoy the flowers but have no desire to replant and replace what is there. If the condos around here would have allowed pets I would have bought one and then would have no outdoor space to worry and fuss over.

A Mess of Weeds

This is my garden space right now. It is a mess of weeds. I get depressed every time I look at it so I avoid looking at it. When I have the money it will be converted to grass. The flowers will be pulled up (or moved to the side space) and I will convert my outdoor space to maximum low maintenance.

No weeding. No watering. Just a small green space outside my dooryard.

With lilacs, of course. The lilacs will stay as will the roses. But it will be every flower for themselves. They will survive (or not) as Nature attended with no help from me.

As Ailsa wrote “if you don’t like mowing the lawn, let there be meadow.”

Front Yard

This is my front yard. I like my front yard. It is just grass and a bench that nobody ever sits on. There are no flower beds. There is no weeding needed to keep it pretty. It needs only rain and mowing. I do not waste water on my lawn. It survives (or not) as Nature intended.

Sun-dappled

Yesterday, it was all sun-dappled and pretty. I love how freshly mowed grass smells. The spotty green (it has been a somewhat dry summer) doesn’t bother me. The grass grows as nature intended (or not). I would be happy surrounded by meadow as long as there was a path to the house so that I could get in.

The perfect summer reading experience is indoors in a screened porch with comfy couches and a deep big chair and a pot of tea with summer breezes blowing in the scent of roses and lilacs and freshly mowed grass and the salty smell of the sea or the crisp mountain air.

Do I ask for too much?

Pig in the Grass

On my walk to the hospital (long story) yesterday, I encountered a pig in the grass. It stood happily in the shade enjoying the summer’s day. It made me smile when I needed to smile.

That’ll do pig. That’ll do.

 

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I Did It!

July 19, 2015 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

What did I do? I finally cut off most of my hair. You may remember that about a month ago I asked for hairstyle suggestions.

Long

This was my hair then. It was about to the middle of my back. The last time I got a major haircut was about seven years ago so around 2007. That cut was slightly longer than on this picture of the actress’s hairstyle that I took for reference. The last major cut before then was about 1993 – it seems I yearn for shorter hair about every ten years or so.

Especially in the summer. In the summer I yearn for shorter (cooler) hair.

Ponytail

Getting few responses (ie hairstyles), I left the decision mostly up to my hairdresser. We started off by chopping off the ponytail. I knew I wanted the back to fall just to the nape of my neck and she suggested that I leave it slightly longer in the front. I have a natural wave to my hair so this short cut works okay.

Dead & Gone

I didn’t keep the ponytail. I am not the sentimental that way. It is dead and gone. I am confident that no one is using it for nefarious means.

Though, if I start sounding weird(er) on here you might want to send a necromancer to check up on me. Thanks!

Short

So, here I am, with my new short hair cut. I am getting use to it. I need to figure out how to style it. It is definitely lighter and cooler.

Now, I start the process of growing it out again.

😉

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Photo Challenge: Symbol

July 12, 2015 at 10:55 am (Meme) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Photo Challenge: Symbol

large-librarysymbol

Do you know what this symbol represents? I do. It is my home, my third place, my heart. I fear I have known this symbol since birth if they had used that signage then. I am a reader. I have been a reader forever.

I am also a huge library user. Last year, I borrowed over 400 items (books, graphic novels, CDs, DVDs) from my local library. Even if I were rich, I could never afford to buy every thing that I want to read.

I love my library. They never look askew at the variety of items I borrow. Right now, I have out 2 picture books, 1 young adult novel, a non-fiction book about Rain, a ton of mysteries, a graphic novel, a fan-girl geek guide, and the Big Gay Ice Cream book.

I love all libraries. When I travel, like to Alaska last year, I like to visit at least one library. I still regret not popping into the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh when I walked past it. I didn’t go in because I was lost and stressed. If I had gone in I would have become less stressed and (probably) less lost!

My ideal trip would be a tour of the world’s libraries. I’ve been a patron of at least half of the libraries in my province and have used one library in 3/4 of all the provinces in Canada. So, this is where I would start – visiting every library (public, private, special, university) in Canada and then moving on to the rest of the world.

I would need a list of how to translate the word library world-wide in every language possible. I tried to find such a list. I know this list exists. I saw it in a library book when I was in library school. After an hour sucked into the endless depths of the universe via Google, I cannot find the list. I wish my library was open on Sunday then I could just go find it in a book!

How long do you think this would take me? Keep in mind that my average library visit is usually two hours long. I think I might need another lifetime or two for this task.

If I start now, how long do you think it would take me to visit every library in the World? When I’m done, can I travel with the Doctor (please) to visit every past and future library also.

Sorry, no actual photo for this photo challenge. I have no car and the signage is on the road about a mile out (and I am not walking that far on this too, too hot day).

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Red Hair Fantasies

July 5, 2015 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I am a faux Redhead. My hair colour is artificial, an imitation, not genuine.

I love red hair. Right now, my hair is mostly red with patches of grey at the part and temples.

I resent the fact that you might think my hair colour is not genuine. I may not have been born with red hair but it does define me.

Crabapple Red

I’ve wanted red hair since I was a teen. I was born with blonde hair (I am so not a blonde) which slowly evolved into mousy brown. I didn’t call my hair mousy, I called it chestnut brown, – everyone else got my hair colour and personality mixed up. I was a very quiet, unobtrusive slightly skulking mouse of a child.

All the book heroines of my childhood had red hair.

The infamous Canadian Anne.

Pippi Longstocking with her parrot and pirate papa.

Madeline, the smallest of the 12 little girls who went out in two straight lines.

Charles De Lint’s Seven Wild Sisters.

Jo March (as portrayed by Katherine Hepburn) in Little Women.

Also, My favourite feuding queens both had red hair.

Snapdragon Red

Redheads were feisty and true to themselves. I wanted to be one!

I am not an impossible redhead. I have the pale colouring for it. I do not come across as a faux redhead at first glance. Red hair runs in the family. I have ancestors in Scotland. I have a cousin with natural red hair who won freckle contests in his youth. I have a nephew who goes all out strawberry blonde if he works in the sun too much. Red hair is superfluous on men!

Poppy Red

I experimented with red hair for the first time when I was in my early twenties. I was a bridesmaid in my younger brother’s wedding so I decided to colour my hair with henna. Which was a long and messy process that I got done in a hair salon. I have long hair and I read so I don’t mind spending the time getting my hair dyed by someone else. Plus, I hate messy!

Then I got married to a man with an aversion to redheads because one had bullied him as a child. He believed the propaganda that:

redheads were evil, wanton, and hot-tempered. Throughout history, they’ve been subjected to discrimination and fearful prejudice, being viewed as untrustworthy, mischievous, temperamental, and lustful. In ancient Egypt, red hair was seen as so unlucky, red-haired girls were burned alive. According to Greek myths, redheads turn into vampires when they die.

British tradition says that on New Year’s Day, your first caller will bring you luck. Brunettes bring the best luck, blondes bring none, widowers are bad luck, and redheads bring the worst luck!

Even before our divorce was final I was back to dying my hair red. I went strawberry red, copper, maroon, and auburn. I’d just find the perfect shade and then I switch hair stylists. I’ve gone through a lot of hair stylists – either they would move or I would.

Tulip Red

I discovered I was definitely not a strawberry – that colour was too light and flighty for my personality.

Maroon was too purple. I didn’t want purpley. Maroon was too dark of a red for me. Maroon was too serious. Maroon was yachts and polo shirts and croquet.

Copper was too bright. It sparkled in the sun too much and drew attention to me. I didn’t want attention. Copper was the two guys walking behind me discussing how much fun & trouble I would be in the bedroom. True but I didn’t want that aspect of my life pointed out so rudely in public!

Auburn was just about right. Auburn was me – a reader, a quiet doer, a book heroine just waiting to happen. Auburn with low copper lights is my go to red right now and probably will be until I decide to finally go all out grey.

Which may be soonish. Sometime after I finally get all this long, over-processed hair cut short.

Then I will be grey and I will have to recreate a new me.

Are we who we appear to be?

Are we what we appear to be?

“While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” – Mark Twain

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Happy Canada Day

June 30, 2015 at 11:59 pm (My City) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Flag

Canada Day Challenge 2015 Winners.

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Photo Challenge: Muse

June 28, 2015 at 9:32 am (Meme) (, , , , , , )

My muse is Halloween. It is my favourite holiday. I can’t resist taking yet even one more Halloween picture. This was taken on November 10, 2015. It is a lone ghost hanging around after the party is over. She was gone by the next snowfall and will (hopefully) return next year.

It is too hot right now and I am anticipating the coolness of Fall and eargerly awaiting next Halloween’s picture opportunities.

Lone Ghost After Halloween

Even more of my Halloween posts and pictures here.

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ROYGBIV

June 21, 2015 at 8:15 am (Blogging) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Weekly Photo Challenge

Chairs

Not quite the full rainbow – I’m missing orange and indigo. I love indigo, to me it’s the colour of the light at dusk especially in the winter. Plus, if these chairs had been in my yard I would have put the white chair in the middle! I took this when I was walking home from work last year so it’s just some random yard in some random city. I’m not compulsive enough that I would rearrange chairs in a stranger’s yard.

Potato Head Box

And here, I am missing red and blue and indigo. I need to take more indigo pictures. I love that word – the sound of it, the shape of it, the spirit of it.

Indigo,

indigo,

Indigo.

Dad 1956Happy Father’s Day

 

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Off-Season & Off-Center

June 14, 2015 at 8:15 am (Blogging) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

IMG_1006

Weekly Photo Challenge: Off-Season

Travel Theme: Off-Center

This photo was taken just after 11am as we entered the Alaskan ice fields, last year, on June 27, 2014.

The day felt like winter as we were served hot pea soup on the deck as we watched the glacier calf. I think the picture would have been more effective if it had also showed the glacier as it is hard to tell that it is ice floating in the water without it. However, I do like this picture with its cloudy blue sky and icy blue water framed by the mountains.

My sister spent most of the day outside watching the glacier. She got to see it calf. I did not. She said it made an amazing noise.

No regrets. That’s the motto I try to live by.

:-p

 

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Off With Her Hair?

June 7, 2015 at 8:15 am (Memoir) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I have had long hair for about 90% of my life. It defines who I am.

I have long hair, therefore I am!

It’s been the one thing most everyone has commented complimentary on since I was a teen.

The only other compliment I remember from then was made by a friend’s boyfriend who said I had amazing eyes.

I can remember the where and when of this compliment (a September day on the beach) because it was so unusual for anyone to compliment anything other than my long, thick, luxurious hair.

1961 Baby Me

Like most of us, I started out with hardly any hair at all. I was blonde as a child and my hair had a slight curl to it. The picture above was probably from my second Christmas when I was 20 months old. I still have that dog. I don’t have many childhood pictures (you really didn’t back then). My father was the family photographer and he left shortly after this picture was taken. I only have four pictures of me as a baby and my younger brother has none.

Pictures, back then, were reserved for special occasions (1st day of school, confirmation, Easter, Christmas Etc). We always found the money, even though we were very poor, to buy the yearly school pictures.

1967

Here I am around 1967 when I was seven. I have never looked good in pink. It’s one of the few pictures of me without glasses. I have had glasses since Grade One.

1970

Here I am around 1970 at about age ten (they must have made me take off my glasses for the picture). I look very tomboyish with my short hair. My hair was short, as a child, because that was how my mom wanted it. She said as long as she was dealing with it every day I was not allowed to let it grow.

I longed for long hair. I wanted long hair that would blow in the wind and to hide behind. I wanted braids like Pippi Longstocking, braids like Anne and tons of ringlets like Shirley Temple.

My hair darkened as I got older. It went from dusty blonde to chestnut brown.

My mom finally let me start growing my hair out. I was tired of pixie cuts and haircuts that seemed to take forever.

1973 Long Hair

My hair grew quickly. By the time I was thirteen, my hair was long, long, long and frequently very tangled but I loved it anyway. The kids I babysat loved to brush it and if I wheedled long enough either my mom or eldest sister would braid it for me. I loved having someone braid it in one long braid down my back after I got out of the bath. It would be days before I would unbraid it to reveal luxurious waves.

The picture above was taken after my eldest sister put in a mini ponytail. She was being artsy with her new camera and I was willing to sit and pose.

I loved braiding my long hair. I loved french braids (though to this day I can not french braid my own hair). I loved high ponytails.

1976

By the time my second sister wed, when I was sixteen, my hair was down to my waist. (I still don’t look good in pink). A classmate, one year above me, had hair long enough to sit on. I didn’t want hair that long. This was long enough and it stayed that long for decades.

Since then, my hair has gone from just below my shoulders to just above them and back again. I like keeping my hair long enough to put into two side braids. When I am tired of my hair, I put it in braids and leave it that way for days and days.

Lately, my long has started to greatly aggravate me. I fantasize about shaving it off (I won’t as my skull has bumps and thus I don’t think it would look good shaved).

I am contemplating short hair. For me, all changes start with contemplation. Perhaps even as short as a buzz cut. Now is the time to do it as Summer is the season for short hair. An university friend recently buzzed hers after a disastrous dye job and she looks marvelous.

But I am wary. I have had long hair for a very long time. What will I look like with short hair? How will I feel? For me, long hair has always been a defining aspect of my personality.

I have long hair thus I am feminine.

I have long hair, therefore I am!

So I appeal to you oh mighty internet. Send me clips of short hair styles that I can contemplate. Send me your stories and your pictures.

Should I cut it off? Should I cut it all off?

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