Turn On The Light

It seems as though the world is turning on its head.  It’s imploding with people condemning each other to friendship hell if they vote the wrong way, and other people tormented by inner demons to the point of taking their own lives; a ‘c’ word broke up a country and caused a wide divide, and the rest of us are left clinging for dear life hoping the assholes of the universe will suddenly realize by some divine intervention that the real logical courses of action exist and will redeem themselves with unbelievable compassion.  And humanity.  We hope.

We are missing something.  We are missing the spark of human conscience that guides every person on the planet to do and be in the light.  The positive voices that were once abound with energy and forethought are being

drowned out by deaths and guns and hate.

We are missing thoughtfulness and

mindfulness.

The once thoughtful intelligent discourse that filled the air is being pushed aside by social media insta-posts denigrating anyone who disagrees, anyone who takes a side and anyone who says the sun will come out tomorrow.   Guess what?  The sun will come out, people will disagree, there will be sides and the positive voices will sing.

Humanity has taken a big punch in the gut.  Compassion has taken a backseat to shaming.  Truth is a lost art.  The gun debate rears up and then fades away as fast as it arose.  People’s attention spans are at the ultimate minimum since we repeatedly seem to forget our own history. Allies are not allies anymore.  We would rather be at each other’s throats than by each other’s sides.

It’s painful and exhausting trying to wade through the muck of negativity and shameless heartlessness that seems to be waiting around every corner.  My generation, those of us in the throes of our fifties, are looking around baffled and bewildered by utter lack of empathetic voices.  What happened?

We forgot.  With all of the technological advances at our fingertips, with self-driving cars and instant cooking pots and ultimate quick efficient non-thinking gadgets, life got easier.  We got lazier.  We forgot to take care of the little things that we once thought were insignificant, but really are the most important.  We forgot people’s feelings; we forgot that people wage war with themselves that we know nothing about; we forgot to take care of our relationships, our friends, our family; we forgot what if feels like to struggle, to extend a hand to someone, to be neighbourly; we forgot what it’s like to be scared, lost, and alone; we forgot that someone else’s thoughts and life are as just as important as our own.  We forgot that whatever personal battles we are enduring, there is always someone else battling their own shit just as hard.  We became a self-involved, altruistic society with a big ego and multiple platforms on which to perform and display that ego.

We’ve forgotten how to think.  We’ve forgotten how to care.

The screeching tires that you hear in the background is the future of humanity revving up and getting ready to careen carelessly onwards.  It will run over anyone who stands warily in the road, waving her arms pleading for a hand with a flat.   If everyone stands in the road together, maybe we can get it to slow down a bit.  And help out.  And care about the girl with the flat tire on the side of the road.  Maybe.

If you are battling something that’s too big

for you to handle, there is always a choice.

The suicide hotlines are listed here.  http://www.suicide.org/hotlines/international/canada-suicide-hotlines.html

Take care of each other.

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Because She Said So

Two years before she died she told me that she was proud of me.  That, after reading a report I had done on a child I was seeing, she thought I was an intelligent independent woman and I would always be a little bit hers.  She said that. It was twenty eight years ago.  More than a lifetime and I still hold that near and dear to me.  I still carry it. I hold it in my hands as if it was a fragile rose ready to lose its petals.   I wasn’t hers in the blood relative sense, but hers in connection.  She had watched me grow.  Held me in her arms as I sobbed for my father.  Laughed when I couldn’t walk barefoot on the gravel at the cottage.  Washed my clothes. Washed my hair.  Let me swim in Lake Erie even if the water was freezing.  Took me for rides in her two seater convertible with the top down and the wind whipping my hair.  Let us search under the beds for the miserable cat we loved but didn’t love us back.   Christmas dinners, backyard barbeques, birthday cakes and an appreciation for evening games.  Cross border trips that included border guards looking in the backseat with me sandwiched between my dark haired, dark eyed brothers the European lady in the passenger seat and the black man driving.  The questioning look on the border guard’s face as he said “These kids yours?” We laughing hysterically as we drove on.  Fishing in Lake Erie and getting my line stuck in the rocks; halfway through a road trip to Toronto then realizing we didn’t have the tickets to a much anticipated game; a speeding ticket once we got there; singing Jesus Loves Me in the car, then me throwing up on the floor of the Ponderosa restaurant while we were in line; games of Sjoelbak (we pronounced it shoola), rummy, and my first introduction to poker.  My first drink (rye) during the move after my mom moved, my first job at her law office, my first grown up piece of jewelry, a watch when I graduated highschool.  Me picking ABC gum from underneath the tables at the Fiesta restaurant when I was five and everyone telling that story over, and over and over…..

A lifetime of memories from a woman who died too soon and she gave them all to us for nothing but by simply being a ‘little bit hers’.  And I am.  Because she said so.

The Day I Thought I Broke my Ass or How Gravity Literally Knocked Me Down. Again.

 

Gravity is to be defined as follows: the force that attracts a body toward the center of the earth, or toward any other physical body having mass. For most purposes Newton’s laws of gravity apply, with minor modifications to take the general theory of relativity into account.

synonyms: attraction · attracting force · downward force · pull ·

Or in my case, a catastrophic free fall to the centre of the earth without having the ware-with-all to catch myself.  I FUCKING LOVE SCIENCE.

It’s not surprising that should I chance upon the opportunity to become airborne at any time, the Universe aptly decides my fate by hurtling my fat ass downward where it belongs.  I’m not sure why I think I belong anywhere other than face down as close to eating dirt as humanly possible, but there are moments where I forget myself and think upwards is a direction I need to encounter.

Apparently, THAT IS ALL KINDS OF WRONG.

I have been, I’m going to say ‘practicing’ or working out in my basement to increase my strength.  One of my exercises I decided to try was a chin-up.  A never-before-seen-event in my life, the why-not-me approach ignited my fire.  Hence the need for a pull-up bar attachment that sits on the top of a doorway and of course, the ever-required pull-up-assistance band that the guy at the fitness store told me was ‘the way to go to learn to do a pull-up, chin-up or any other ‘up’ thing you can think of’.  Awesome. Still having the hauntings from the old  highschool Canadian Fitness tests, I figured the ripe young age of 51 was perfect to finally get it right.  Flashbacks of Mrs. Harrieta’s disappointed face as I hurled downwards off the chin up bar in what only can be explained as teenaged angst + embarrassment at my total lack of athleticism = FAILURE AS A TEENAGER.  I should have clued in that the Universe was giving me hints even back then that a chin up bar has no place in my existence.  Or random sidewalks.  AND DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT TRYING TO CLIMB A TREE.   Pfffft.

So there it was.  The good old pull-up attachment bar and the assistance band all ready to go.  All I needed to do was, well pull.

I was practicing the chin-up with the assistance band for a few weeks.  I was getting better.  I could do three fairly good ones without much difficulty.  One morning, I set up for my usual practice. I placed the bar on the header and tested it out by pulling on it to make sure it was secure.  (Pro tip: DON’T MOVE THE BAR ONCE YOU TEST IT.  )   I put the band around one foot.  I position my hands on the bar.  I cross my legs, close my eyes and pull.  I am completely up in the chin up with my legs out in front of me, when suddenly I’m down on my ass.  CRACK!  WHAT A SMACK!

I open my eyes only to discover I’m sitting on the floor with the bar beside me, my ipod and headphones strewn around, and bits of the header from the door frame scattered on the floor.  I’m in pain.  I jump up.  “OH MY GAWD I THINK I JUST BROKE MY ASS!”  That was my first thought.  Not, oh Gawd I broke the door, or for fuck’s sake I suck at chin ups, but OH MY GAWD I BROKE MY ASS.

Logical thought was obviously missing from this whole thing.  If I had broken my ass, I wouldn’t have been able to jump up and then sit back down.  I wouldn’t have been able to walk.  I wouldn’t be able to tell you this story out of extreme embarrassment and humiliation.

Okay, yes I would because I LIVE FOR THAT SHIT.

I tried desperately to figure out how I ended up on the floor.  I looked up to see if the header was still intact.  It was.  The bar was completely down on the floor.  My ass hurt like someone had just booted me with a steel toed boot in my rear a few times.  My elbow had a scrape and a burgeoning bruise.  I landed on one side of my backside and my elbow.  I could stand but lifting my leg was painful.

D1 was sleeping a mere 20 feet away AND IS A NURSE SO I THOUGHT SOME ASSISTANCE OR AT LEAST A LITTLE SYMPATHY WOULD ENSUE.  Yeah.  I got nuthin.

Apparently, as a nurse, sleep takes precedence over possibly injured family members who try stupid stuff like chin-ups on doorways and think CLOSING ONE’S EYES MID WAY is a good idea.

My undoing was the legs-out-in-front maneuver that somehow translated to me jumping the bar over the header mid-move which came flying off and crashing everything down on my ass.

I ended up NOT breaking anything but nixed working out for a week and can just now get to running a bit and to getting up off the floor without looking like a 90 year old with a hip replacement.

There is a lesson here, I’m sure and the Universe had a good laugh at that one.

“Yeah, remember the time  in Florida when I made the torrential rain come down and you thought, like an idiot, you could run through it  IN SANDALS NO LESS without any consequence  and face planted into that cement barrier?!  I bet you saw stars that time!  AND as a result looked like a Zombie Jay Leno for WEEKS?!!  That was a good one!  One of my best.  And then the time you tried to do a chin up and the bar came flying off  that beautiful doorway and you landed with a God Awful smack on your ass?!  You had a hard time walkin’ after that!  Yeah.  Your Coach kept asking ‘how’s your ass today?’  LOVES IT.  Oh, man.  Good times….”

Fuck you, Universe.

As for Gravity, you can suck it too.  I’m done with the both of you…

 

I Need A More Stable Roller Coaster Partner

My middle-aged-ness has arrived and I’m reeling between bouts of euphoric elatedness and anxiety-ridden craptastic desperation. It’s like riding the Universe’ version of the roller coaster from Hell with the Joker as my side-kick. He’s laughing at me being totally HAPPY AS SHIT one minute, then PETRIFIED OF LOSING MY LUNCH MONEY TO THE BULLY AROUND THE CORNER, the next. This is what paranoid mania must feel like. I’m thinking Menopause on Crack is a better term. WELCOME TO THE FIFTIES, LADY.

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Ugh.

For instance, I have acne and wrinkles at the same time. The Universe is fucking with my face. I don’t like it.

I’m prone to fleeting outbursts of anxiousness at the slightest provocation. D2: Oh the engine light just came on. Me: WHAT?! OH MY GAWD STOP THE CAR! HOW CAN YOU BE CALM AT A TIME LIKE THIS! DO YOU SMELL SMOKE?! I THINK I SMELL SMOKE. PULL OVER! D2: This is why I drive…

I’m posting childhood pictures of my kids and they don’t like it…which leads to more pictures which leads to more protests…If I could figure out how to transform those VH baby tapes to video, it would be online FACEBOOK GOLD. “Yes, D1 you had red hair…and you still do. AWWWW, look! You’re playing in the toilet.”

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I’ve been incessantly exercising which has given me the unfortunate ability to be REALLY FUCKING HAPPY ALL OF THE DAMNED TIME. Seriously. Except for the times when people are being utterly stupid, I can be a bit overly…perky. It’s annoying even for me. REALLY?! WE’RE HAVING CAKE TODAY?! OH MY GAWD MY LIFE IS MADE!! WHAT?! WE’RE GOING TO HALIFAX FOR 3 DAYS??!! I’VE NEVER BEEN TO HALIFAX FOR A GOOD REASON, LIKE OTHER THAN THE STRESSFUL RN EXAM TAKING THAT WAS TOTALLY ALMOST DISTASTROUS AND DEVASTATINGLY PAINFUL! THIS IS SO AWESOME!!!! Right. I need to take it down a notch.

I’ve also been meal planning and experimenting with some new and ‘interesting’ recipes. Every time I come home and my kidadults see a sheet of printed paper in my hands and a smile on my face, they grow increasingly concerned. “Uh, oh. She’s been researching recipes again….MOM I’M WORKING I WON’T BE HOME FOR SUPPER. FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR, BUT THANKS!” Yeah, I’m on to you, kid. MY RECIPES ROCK. Too bad you have bad tastebuds…that chicken soup was GREAT. Ok, maybe a little lacking in taste, but it was GOOD. Ok, maybe a bit brothy and the dumplings were just lumps of soggy flour, but it was at least EDIBLE. Ok, maybe THAT ONE, kinda sucked. BUT THIS NEXT ONE IS GONNA BE GREAT. Maybe. EAT IT ANYWAYS. YOUR MOTHER HAS LITTLE ELSE TO LIVE FOR BUT TO FEED YOU.

The guilt thing usually works.

Other than that, I’m fine. Really. PERFECTLY FINE, THANKS NOW PASS THE WINE BOTTLE AND NO ONE GETS HURT.

Happy Friday…

One Hundred Years

I’m not sure what a Feminist, by definition, is.   Is it wrong for me, a woman in 2018, to announce I’m unclear as to the classification of Feminism and the voice it should have?  Maybe. But I’m sure I’m not alone.

When I hear or read the word ‘Feminist’, the image of Gloria Steinman immediately pops into my head.  She standing at a podium with her shoulder length hair and aviator glasses, demanding equality for women; equal work, equal pay.  Sexual harassment is wrong and is abhorrent on all levels.  The fight for social programs, abortion rights, resources for women in domestic abuse situations.  Is that dating me?  Probably, but I’m not so old that I don’t understand this ‘new’ movement which really isn’t new, in so much as it is different, somehow.  Different in only that it was brightly lit by the glare of the Hollywood sign and the women who decided they’ve had enough hiding and not enough justice. We’ve had our champions the past one hundred years, or so.  Suffragettes, Frances Parker and Emmeline Pankhurst started it with protests for the right for women to vote only to be imprisoned where they were violently force fed with tubes shoved down their throats AND up their rectums when on hunger strikes for their cause. Held down by doctors and ‘wardens’ as the tubes were shoved into them to ‘sustain their life’.  More like, sustain their suffering.   The torment they were forced to withstand was not without lasting physical affects, later causing strokes and serious health issues. Men stood with them, also being imprisoned for helping women, be…well, women.  The right to vote, to have a voice in the future of their country.  To be heard.  To be accepted and valued.   Women suffering for their issues is nothing new.

And here we are, some 100 years later….

The fact that the issue of women’s rights is still an ‘issue’ is both appalling and horrific.  Sexual harassment in the workplace, in the classroom, in the doctor’s offices, in the PLAYGROUND…not to mention domestic abuse, workplace equality – being treated like a human being is, apparently, a difficult task these days.

Will this movement fade into the background like it has so many times before when the media gets tired of the same stories told repeatedly by different women?  When the male editors of the newspapers and the producers of the news outlets decide that ‘we’ve given them enough air time, on to something else’ and the collective consciousness takes a breath and it’s all whisked away into the foggy murky unknown. Again.

When do we stop blaming ourselves for the egregious actions of men, and start demanding they take responsibility for their actions and words and bad decisions? Probably around the same time we discard the notion that standing up for ourselves is ‘unlady-like’.  Or try to undo the brainwashing of pretty = perfect, or the million other ridiculous traditional insidiousness that was meant to ‘put women in their place’.  Whatever ‘place’ that was supposed to be.

We continually put ourselves in the background, in the category of “oh, it’s okay, I’m fine, thanks.” When really we aren’t.  Fine, that is.  At all.  None of this is ‘fine’.  When the old fashioned ‘traditional’ raising of ‘girls are sweet and quiet, boys are rough and ready’ should be abolished along with chastity belts and silence = permission.

I don’t proclaim to be a ‘feminist’ but in my mind, if you identify as a woman, you are by nature a feminist.  You stand for being a woman.  To be respected, valued and heard like Every. Other. Human. Being. On. The. Planet.

I support the women who have been abused by a man or men and have not received what they need to become a whole person again. It’s not something to ‘get passed’ or ‘to forget about’.  It’s a violation of trust.  Of human dignity.  If it’s as simple as an apology, THEN LETS HEAR IT, if that’s what she needs.  Justice if that’s what is necessary.  Jail time. Penile amputations.  You know…WHATEVERSHENEEDS.

Let’s remember this is an ongoing ‘issue’ (ugh.) social constant?  ONGOING BATTLE? Whatever you choose to name it #Timesup or #Metoo, it needs to disappear. A history of suffering is enough for any one species to endure.

Let’s make #Itendshere

I like that one better.

Of Weed And Wine

It’s almost mid-January and I’ve yet to write a full post.  I’m not sure if I should apologize or simply continue on reading sucky Donny tweets.  I have to say, if not for the race-spewing shit and the highly offensive ‘shit-hole country’ remarks, some are downright hilarious.  The one I thought I could actually plaster as a tagline on this here blog or bio somewhere, was absolute golden surfer-dude nonsense at its best.  Narcissistic inarticulate ignoramous gold.  “Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.”  LIKE, TOTALLY GOLDEN, DUDE. I almost fell off my chair.  I texted the DH ladies to let them know my new bio line was epic in its, like totally wicked smart asshole-like way.  Like, Donald, are you like, really REALLY smart?  Or just the run of the mill, my-dad-only-gave-me-a-tiny-million-dollar-loan smart, whereby you compare yourself as enduring a life of absolute turmoil by having the word ‘no’ said to you, to the guy working two or three jobs day and night just to put food on the table and kids through school.   You understand that shit because, LIKE YOU TOTALLY HAVE BEEN THERE.  Dude. UGH.

Here is a picture of a cactus I took whilst on vacation to distract you from the utter ridiculous-ness of the world right now. You. Are. Welcome.

It’s enough to make your head hurt and your faith in humanity south of the border wane just a bit.  After Oprah’s epic Golden Globe speech, the rants about having her be the next president made me a bit nauseated.  Seriously?!  YOU CAN’T HAVE OPRAH BE PRESIDENT JUST BECAUSE SHE CAN TALK GOOD!  And she rocked those specs. Making her look like, REALLY REALLY SMART.  GET OUT THE SANITY METER AND SEE WHERE SHE ENDS UP?!

GAWD.

Is that all it takes to be the President of a country?  Desperate, much? Tommy will be bouncing up and down on her yellow couch to proclaim the virtues of Scientology and the second coming of the Devil, AKA Leah Remini, and she’ll be wielding the presidential proclamation like a flag, all the while preaching ‘Your Best Self’ and having a Super Soul Sunday retreat with the VP and the Head of the FBI. I wonder if she would include the Fire and Fury book on Oprah’s Book Club essential reading list.  Huh.

And we’ll be up here reeling from the second hand smoke and scouring for munchies wondering what the actual fuck is wrong with the U.S.?  Dude.  Chill.

Grab the Acetaminophen and the wine.  Wait…pain relievers and alcohol don’t mix, right?  Weed and wine?

I dunno.

What happened to simpler times when Clinton was screwing his secretary and Chretien was getting pie-faced?

WHAT?!

A Top Ten

I’ve been stuck in bed all day with back spasms.  Mags is happy to hang out with me as long as I remain still and unobtrusive…or have treats to make her experience lying around even more enjoyable.  Because, really…it’s all about her.    The damned laptop is obviously a hindrance to her attempts at sitting right on top of my chest, which obviously is the BEST possible place for her to lie down.  That laptop HAS GOT TO GO.  It’s presence is almost offensive.

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Uh, hi!  Whatcha doin? Move this.  It’s in ma way. 

In the spirit of boredom and any kind of movement causing massive amounts of pain, I’ve collected a list of the Top Ten Things To Do When You Encounter Back Pain, or Held Hostage By a Fanatical Maniac Who Is About to Chop Off Your Legs.  It’s An Either Or Situation.

A long title, I realize but I have nothing else to do, and really they both are kinda the same.  They involve solitary confinement and pain, although having someone take an axe to your legs could be construed as a tad more painful.  On the other hand,  if you’ve ever had back spasms, you would WISH someone would just saw you in half.  So…

  1.  Watch a movie – I spent the morning in bed watching Practical Magic which was an old Sandra Bullock/Nicole Kidman flick. Not bad for an early morning movie and it was pretty cute.  Who knew Aiden Quinn was such a handsome hero in those days?

9. Eat all of the leftover Halloween Candy – I haven’t eaten it all…yet. But since we had so many kids last night, we had to send son to get some more and are now left with more than we thought.  I’m sending recon missions downstairs for mini Kit Kat bars…

8. Nap – never overrated and the dog joins you.

7.  Send the kids to the store for shit you don’t need – THEY LOVE THAT.  You suddenly realize you are short on pencils or don’t have enough chalk paint for that project you will never get around to.  Send the kids on the hunt for the elusive colour of salmon chalk paint ( does not exist) or number 2 pencils that you have no use for and can’t even sharpen, BECAUSE WHO STILL OWNS AN OLD FASHIONED PENCIL SHARPENER?!  It’s entertaining.  Good. Times.

6.  Write down the cooking instructions for dinner – Make them complicated like lamb chops stuffed with asparagus and goat cheese…Yeah. They will give up right after reading ‘lamb’ in a fury of WHAT THE HELL! expressions and helpless abandon and order pizza.  You get the extra slice with whatever you want on it for allowing them to give up on dinner so quickly.  They will be ever so grateful for not having to burn the house down trying to make that lamb dish a reality.   YOU. ARE. AN. AWESOME. MOM

5.  Organize your Christmas list – JUST KIDDING. Who the hell wants to do that?!  It’s a day where you can lay around watching t.v. and taking naps, and have those people you call family wait on YOU for a change.  Why spoil that with something constructive and practical?  Gawwwdddd.  WORK WITH ME HERE.

4.  Read that book you have been meaning to read – you have all kinds of time and nowhere to be. Get into that novel that’s been sitting on your shelf. A great way to pass the time.  Immersing yourself in someone else’s world is just what you need.

3.  A long soak in a hot bath – good for the muscles, good for the soul.  Make sure a glass of wine is accompanying you.  Or the bottle.  Whatever works.  You ARE in pain.

2.  The awesomeness of pain medication should not be overlooked – It can make you a little sleepy, but also a little loopy. In essence, it’s the one opportunity you can act drunk and disorderly without actually being either of those things.   Feel free to insult the kids or throw a tantrum because your coffee is not 98 degrees Fahrenheit, because dammit you earned it.  Tell those kids to keep it down and when they complain, just say “REALLY?!  I SPENT 25 HOURS IN LABOUR WITH A TEN POUND BABY COMING OUT OF MY HOO-HA, WHICH  BY THE WAY, NOW LOOKS LIKE SOMEBODY RAN OVER A PIZZA WITH A SEMI- FOR YOU TO COMPLAIN ABOUT MY PAIN?!  OK.  WHATEVER.  YOU DO YOU.”  Then weep wildly.  They’ll feel bad and get you whatever you want.

  1.  Nothing – the number one thing to do, is to do nothing. Ice, heat, rest, eat, repeat.

The pain meds are now kicking in.  Hope you enjoy a lovely fall day and get those kids to pamper you whether you have back pain or are held hostage by a maniacal fan, or not.