Memoir and Reflections, SoCS, The Insightful Wanderer, Travel

Hourglass #SoCS

Seasons change, one sliding into another, stretching out, one into the next and so forth. I am in the middle of my favourite one now, this October day cheering my lonely heart, turning from cool and aloof to the warmth of momentary peace and tranquility. Still, I think of the leaves that fall, that crunch underfoot, memories of childhood leaf piles with you.

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I soldier on. I revel in these days, as November and December will, soon enough, bring on cold, whipping winds and the first appearance of those delicate winter flakes drifting down, through the chilled air.

I don’t dislike this season, simply because I know the dark winter days are to follow directly in secession.

I love Canada, my home, and the variety of weather we experience. Many stereotypes exist of our country, but my recent trip to The Great White North, in June, was perfection.

Something is seasonal, like in the world of fashion. I do not wear shorts in the middle of winter, though I am not a big fan of wearing them in summer either. I also do not follow what the fashion world claims is “in season” because I know comfort and style are unique to each and every one of us.

Broadening out from the whole pattern of the four seasons, I think of the seasons of life. Mine have gone by painfully slowly and also, blindingly fast. They have been full of sadness, hardships, beauty and bittersweet memory.

So, as I think of you, of all of it, I hope this next one will be everything you are hoping it will be. Bloodlines aside, if he is your family, then be happy with him. After all, life is often so difficult, to find a little peace, that I strongly believe we must all find our own family where and how we can.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SoCS

I wish us all the best during the seasons of all our lives, as the hourglass sand drifts silently down, down, down.

And now my ode to seasons (yearly and throughout life) has come to an end.

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Memoir and Reflections, Podcast, Shows and Events, Special Occasions, Spotlight Sunday, Travel, TravelWriting, Writing

Ketchup On Pancakes: Episode 6 – Mom and More, #Thanksgiving #Travel #SiriusXM

It’s October!

Blowing out the candles and mya is in the shot too.
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Fall is my favourite month, this year my mom turned sixty, Canada celebrates Thanksgiving, and Halloween rounds off these thirty-one days.

Our 6th episode of the podcast is out and we dedicate it to our mother and discuss travel (Iceland), writing (SiriusXM, Canada), and Brian’s show on university radio (Friday’s from 11:00 to 1:30).

Episode 6 – Mom and More

We hope you’ll listen and feel free to visit our
Ketchup On Pancakes Facebook page
to share your thoughts and like the page while you are there.

Happy October to you all and thanks for listening.

Links to projects mentioned:

https://www.nativetraveler.com/blog-main/2017/9/20

https://chrwradio.ca

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, Piece of Cake, SoCS, Special Occasions

Mothers Are Saviours, #SoCS

Safe to say: Happy Birthday Mom!

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The idea came from a cousin when I couldn’t think of anything good enough on my own.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SoCS

How perfectly coincidental that the big 60 falls on a stream of consciousness day.

So many people care and wanted to be included in my present to my mom, and I am not done yet.

Whether birthday card greeting or nostalgia and memory, it isn’t hard to find positive things to say about her. The things flow from her, through her, if you’ve even just barely met her. I didn’t think the challenge I was putting out there was so hard.

Some people doubt their ability to use their words for self expression and toward another. They feel my expectation, perhaps, but I only wanted them to feel safe enough in saying whatever came to mind when they thought of my mom and the woman they all know and love.

Even those closest to her might have struggled, but that is just because the feelings are a little too close for comfort and, in having to put into words just what she means to them, it may have felt uncomfortable in the moment. I thought it, thought her, worth the immediate feelings of uncertainty as one sat down to write.

I wanted her to know how safe she made me feel, as her daughter, and how she has saved me, dozens and hundreds of times, from my biggest fears and from myself and the world at large.

Anyone can and soon does feel safe in talking to her, in opening up to her. That’s her gift to the rest of us who have the privilege of her in our world.

All the times I felt so sick, so much pain, and like nobody believed it, she saved me and made me feel safe again..

She was surprised by her gift and more is being added, even just today in fact.

A mother should want to do it, protect their children/grandchildren, and she does. My mother for the save.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, RIP, SoCS

The Heather By The River, #SoCS

Journalists. Photographers. And I use the term loosely.

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As a woman in my thirties, one who writes about things as my oxygen, I wonder what any of us would do for enough money. Would I write about people, even intrusively, for a living if given the chance?

Have I done it now? Already? Before?

How can it make anyone feel good about themselves to hound another human being, with their camera or their pen?

Responsibility: direct or indirect.

A world’s grief. Anger toward someone, needing to direct blame somewhere, the press. The press reports. The papers are printed. People buy the papers and mags.

More. More. More. We always want more.

From birth,
the two boys asked for none of it. That’s mostly where my thoughts return to.

I am not British and barely knew who Princess Diana was when she died. I wasn’t alive for the wedding seen around the world.

A sea of people, rather than water. That is what Diana must have seen when she looked from her vantage point, after saying her vows.

I would rather see a sea of Red or Black, blue or green, but the press fed off of the woman and she fed off of them, in a way, at least at first and for a long time afterward.

She was a fashion icon and a princess, but not only that. She used her position as a bit of an outsider, under the thumb of the monarchy, to become a change maker, by reaching out to those in need, those no one else wanted to associate with.

HIV and AID’s, in the 80s, when the hysteria about both was growing and at its greatest fever pitch. She shook hands, hugged those diagnosed and dying of the feared and misunderstood disease.

She came here, to Toronto, to sit by the beds of dying patients in hospice care. She walked a minefield, literally and figuratively. Danger signs.

Such grief of so many, I would not cry. As a fourteen-year-old child, fresh off of a kidney transplant and a thrilling wedding – I attended, my first of my oldest cousin. That was my wedding of the century.

Of royalty, I knew nothing. A fairytale life gone wrong is more like it.

Fairytales. I was familiar with these…the concept, the ideals, as a young girl. My Disney fairytale movies were my favourite. Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, with the bright pink dresses and dancing with their handsome princes. I may have had similar dreams at the time, but what did I know? A lack of life experience and my own understandable immaturity.

What do titles represent, really? Sometimes, they bring just the right kind of attention and sometimes the wrong kind.

Now, upon reflection, twenty years later I do feel sad. I know of celebrity of her two sons. They are the British royalty of my generation.

I do perk up when I hear their names on the news. I bought the fake imitation giant ring, modelled after that of the one worn by both Kate and her mother-in-law, still lounging in my drawer. I woke to watch the wedding, once again broadcast live.

Prince William and Kate came to Canada after their marriage, the same date as my big brother’s own marriage took place. I hope one generation learns from the previous one, in certain cases, that sometimes it happens we grow wiser with enough knowledge.

They’ve come again since, since then, and with their two small children, touring parts of the country in which I live, that still sees itself as the child of Britain, past and present.

What is Kate wearing? Where are the couple going next? Are they in love, for real, or is it all just another fairytale?

But I do feel for two boys who, in August of 1997, woke up to the loss of their mother when I clung to mine for dear life, during some of the hardest and scariest times of my own childhood.

Are those boys/men in some ways like their mother, under scrutiny of duty, feeling hunted or like outsiders, wanting to reach out to those in need, perhaps not born with some of the advantages? They grew up with cameras as their mother tried to navigate a life of celebrity and being followed. She was hunted, more even than Prince Charles.

Now that I am more aware, I watch documentaries on the weekend after the anniversary of her death. I listen to stories of a nineteen-year-old who got married much too young, to an older man who shouldn’t have ever proposed to her in the first place, who was likely always in love with another woman. He should have been with this other lady all along and now appears that he is.

People marry the wrong person all the time, every single day and have babies with them. In these cases it is my hardest task not to judge because none of us are perfect. This challenges me as an adult who wants to see everyone happy, no matter whether they’re famous or not.

As a writer, this is my obituary of sorts, no matter how stream of consciousness based it may be, twenty years on.

From birth to death: Diana, 1961-1997

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Memoir and Reflections, Piece of Cake, SoCS, Spotlight Saturday

My Saturday Story and I’m Sticking To It, #SoCS

When Saturday was much less lonely.

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Sometimes, I crave solitude. Last night I craved it, after silly worry that amounted to nothing, but caring is exhausting, though oh so worth it.

Then when I wake and only want to keep on sleeping, I let my mind wander in the silence of loneliness and memories of past Saturday’s come flooding back.

I could write an essay or I could write it into a memoir. Or I could write it as
stream of consciousness
because another Saturday is upon me.

Saturday markets. Early mornings and still so dark. Getting an early start. Meat counters. Fresh juice. Outdoor fruit and veggie stands in the cool light of dawn.

Off to the mall, shopping and then lunch buffets.

Or, once, ppancakes and then McDonald’s to see how long the longest fry might be.

As I spend a quiet Saturday with my own thoughts, after a busy week in 2017, I miss the old relationships that evolve, change, and vanish into thin air.

Night lights made with delicate glass and wire. Bright lights shining on pennies in shopping mall fountains.

Christmas lights, bright lights of the midway, now dimmed and dimness and loneliness…I knew it all when.

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FTSF, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, TGIF, Writing

Oh August! #FTSF

It’s August and I get giddy at the thought of autumn approaching ever closer, like a week ago when the night air felt like fall. Others disagree strongly and hate to see summer come to an end.

Otherwise, I eat fresh peaches, on top of soft serve vanilla ice cream and I inhale the flavours, eagerly waiting for the apples of September to ripen.

But then I remember what I’ve been working on, including one project that I hope will take my writing to a whole new level and I change to a nervous, anxious feeling.

By the end of this month I will have sent in two more drafts to publications I hope to see my finish product appearing on soon. I work on these in little chunks, wanting to write convincingly on my trip to the Yukon and to accurately portray the special bond I had with my guide dog for so many years.

I must locate photos to go with my words, a task made all the trickier because I cannot see them. I must read over contracts and worry about giving up the wrong things, while also signing and returning them with my permission. Getting paid has its drawbacks, but I won’t complain, just as long as everything goes smoothly.

Seriously, I worry too much about things that might happen or not happen come September.

I won’t likely see the total solar eclipse taking place on August 21st, the one many are driving long distances to view and that which many writers will no doubt pitch and write about.

It’s August and I can’t believe my nephews are now four and five years old consecutively. This is the month of both their births. Special and memorable. The older one had a breakdown when his foil birthday balloon got caught in an updraft and was gone, “up to its home, the sun” my nephew said, between bouts of sadness and tears and a wisdom of loss he’s picked up somewhere wonderful.

Dinosaurs. Curious George. These boys make my life better.

So I’m back to deadlines and working to control my expectations and impatience. I must buckle down and write, edit, and write some more.

I am dying to announce my upcoming published pieces along with their locations. I am proud of the publications that have decided to help this newly budding writer. If I do though, I fear (logically or not) that something will go wrong and my announcement being premature.

Instead, I focus and I try my best. I fear letting someone down, myself mostly. I have, in some ways, had one of the better summers in a long time, though I won’t see the results of this until autumn comes.

It’s August, the end of another week, and time for another
Finish the Sentence Friday
with Kristi from Finding Ninee and the rest of the FTSF gang.

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Memoir and Reflections, Piece of Cake, RIP, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: Oh, To Be Like Those Tenacious Weeds – Windows and Mirrors, #10Thankful

The eyes are the window to the soul…mirrors to the soul. So what about when one is no longer real?

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It’s about that time. Soon it will be time to have a new artificial eye made. It’s made me think more about the whole thing again.

August is here and if I make it through the next month I’ll be a happy camper. So much pressure not to mess up and let myself and others down.

Ten Things of Thankful

I’m thankful for the first day of August and a very special birthday.

My nephew turned four and will be starting school next month. Time flies by.

He had a dinosaur themed birthday with his mom, dad, big sister, and grandma.

We will celebrate next weekend. He is always so excited to show us any new toys he’s gotten since we last saw him when we first arrive. His spirit is one of contagious joyfulness.

I’m thankful for a more successful violin lesson where I could stretch my fingers, develop more strength and flexibility in learning a new part.

I’m thankful for a delicious and satisfying late lunch out.

A veggie omelet, Greek salad, and a cold Coke. Mmm. Strange combination maybe, but it hit the spot on such a hot day and after my lesson.

I’m thankful for the reception I got when I brought my old artificial eye into writing group.

I thought it might make for an interesting mystery object for people to try and write about.

Most people were fascinated to see one up close. One was horrified. I understand the reactions because I’ve seen them all before and have had them all myself.

People wrote humorous stories, horror stories, and to-be-continued stories.

I ended up writing a story that I didn’t expect. It seemed to reflect back at me, all the feelings I’ve had about having lost my left eye and had, what most times is this secret thing, until I reveal it to people. Or, unless they are able to notice it first. I don’t know how often.

I’m thankful for the chance to get more comfortable and challenge my old fear of used clothes.

My hair cut at my cousin’s salon ended with my sister helping me pick out some items from the small boutique as part of the facilities offered.

My cousin believes in recycling because she loves fashion and style, but she’s seen how much clothing waste takes place and she searches out the finds to be had in secondhand stores and sells them for low prices to her already loyal customers.

These are nice looking things and they’re often hardly even worn. I have a long standing phobia of secondhand things and I am challenging that still. I did find some great stuff, including a hoodie, tights, and a few tops and tanks to go with them.

I’m thankful for the happy sounds my niece is starting to make more and more as she approaches six months.

She’s growing far too fast for any of us, but with that comes more exciting milestones.

Sitting in my lap this week she was making a lot more sounds while reaching and looking, interacting and reacting.

She has rolled over and I swear she is eager to get moving.

I’m thankful for a successful second radio show where my brother did a lovely thing for a friend.

He dedicated a song to a poor, departed cat who changed my brother’s opinion of cats as a species.

RIP to a friendly cat.

I’m thankful for bowls and towels.

It’s been raining a lot lately and it’s a good thing we’re set to get a new roof put on this house any day now.

There are several leaks at this point, which have been happening for years, but now when it rains I listen for the drip drip sound inside, while listening to the pounding of the heavy rain out my window.

It’s not supposed to rain indoors. I am still lucky to have a roof over my head that keeps me dry, except for when I stand under those few leaks to lay down the towels and bowls and the drips land in my hair, along with a soggy layer of my ceiling.

I’m thankful for my cat stepping on my sore legs and purring that provides pain relief.

I’m thankful for a cool Friday night amongst humid days.

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Getting my TToT in early this week, for a change, doesn’t happen often. I think I just need to work on accepting a lot of life for what and how it is.

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”

—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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