1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Shows and Events, Special Occasions

A Stranger Returning Home, #MLKDay #JamesBaldwin #JusJoJan

Just. Juice. Prejudice.

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These are three things that come to mind when I think of the word
“justice”
because they look similar in my mind, not because they have anything really to do with the word itself.

Just Jot It January, #JusJoJan

Okay, well, maybe justice and prejudice are related, but really I say this now because I am delaying the moment when I have to write about serious things.

Today hasn’t shaped up the way I was expecting it would. I was trying to figure out how to write something about Martin Luther King Jr. and then Dolores O’Riordan died.

Well, that’s not really a topic of justice. It only adds to my blue mood on Blue Monday as it stands.

I relate to the fight for racial justice, in that I can take my disability and think how discrimination manifests. Still, the subject is a sensitive one, as it should be.

It’s like the reconciliation discussion I learn about, with Indigenous Peoples, daily, here in Canada and in other places, all over the world. I am just sad, sad we haven’t come far enough and in some cases, have slid backwards with time.

This is the type of writing that evolves and changes throughout a day. I started this (mid month Monday) thinking about how to address MLK Day.

I’ve spent most of today lamenting the death of a one-of-a-kind voice in music, and I’m ending it by watching a documentary I have known about for months about writer James Baldwin, being shown on PBS.

I haven’t read his stuff and I know very little about him to be honest. I do know that these issues of rights, of where privilege lies, and on how to fight oppression and for justice, are bound to be found throughout Baldwin’s doc, in his own words, years before I was born.

He watched the young girl try to attend school and be spit on, chiding himself for not being there to help her.

Disgust and anger. How to move past this and into making it all better?

Baldwin didn’t miss America while he was in Paris. He didn’t miss it, but he did miss his family and his culture.

MLK knew he wasn’t likely to live long to see any sort of change.

It is painful for James to return, though he is home again.

James Baldwin said: The line between a witness and an actor is a fine one.

This feels so intensely true right now.

So poignant all these years later.

All about class and culture and race and so many other classifications I cannot seem to parse.

James did not stay, as witness. He was free “to write the story and get it out.”

He saw Martin and Malcolm X both go and he wrote about it.

Malcolm, Martin, martyrs both. Baldwin was the writer.

He writes: I Am Not Your Negro

How to reconcile any of this?

And so goes the clicking of the typewriter’s keys.

If you get the chance, watch I Am Not Your Negro.

Things sure have changed, since last century, but we writers still will write.

The story of America,” Baldwin said, “is not a pretty story.” “Aimless hostility.”

“This is not the land of the free.”

—James Baldwin

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Special Occasions, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge, Throw-back Thursday

Bumps Under Fingers #WorldBrailleDay #JusJoJan

January 4th is Louis Braille’s birthday, French inventor of the braille code.

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I think two of the best qualities any person can have are passion and compassion. I believe we’re all passionate about something.

Just Jot It January, #JusJoJan

I am passionate about braille literacy, as an extension of literacy as a whole.

Braille is hard to learn for many people who lose their vision later in life. I’ve known braille since I started to slowly learn it in my first five-seven years.

I am practically allergic to math and numbers. I am deeply passionate about words and braille.

In this world of technology, there is less and less push for blind people today to need to learn braille at all. That, to me, would be like never learning to read. Though many prefer to listen to the talking programs on computers and phones, I still wouldn’t trade that for the feeling of those bumps beneath my fingertips.

Thank you, Louis Braille, for what you did so long ago.

This first-Thursday-of-the-month JusJoJan post comes from
Rosemary Carlson, Writer
with her prompt word-of-the-day: passionate.

What is it you’re passionate about?

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Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: Jury Duty Jury Duty, Pink Slip Pink Slip, Jury Duty #10Thankful #Farewell2017

“I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words, how wonderful life is now you’re in the world.”

—Your Song

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Sohia.

I am feeling rather emotional today, as the world begins to ring in 2018 in many parts, and I can’t seem to decide what to write on gratitude, reflection, and resolutions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9AFMVMl9E

So, I will dedicate this whole thing, the final
Ten Things of Thankful of 2017
to my favourite seven-year-old.

I’m thankful for her hugs, even if it’s goodbye for another time.

I am thankful for the next time when she bounds in and excitedly shows me her new Christmas present from Santa, an interactive tiger who’s so soft and even purrs.

I am thankful for a story about potatoes and erasers and recess. She’s reading so well that I was glued to her story as she read to me. Everything she will get from reading is so much more than I can state in thankfulness here.

I am thankful for what a beautiful, creative girl she is. It’s all the colour of art, all that’s alive inside her, that I am thankful to see, to see so much through her.

I am thankful for her curiosity, in asking and wanting to know, to understand what I see and what about the kidneys Brian and I have received, and so much more. Everything.

I am thankful for quiet moments watching The Grinch on my phone, even after we were tossed out of the front room so the little one could nap. Haha.

I am thankful for how my oldest niece loves my youngest. They are both so amazing to watch, in the seven year gap between them.

I am thankful she liked her pen, clipboard, hamburger and fry lip bombs (even if one did break already…cheap but cool), and all the other Christmas/birthday presents I gave her. It’s hard to shop for both, but may be even harder, in a way, to be born this close to a giant holiday like Christmas.

I am thankful for the relationship she has with my parents. It reminds me so much of how it felt, that special grandma/grandpa bond. It moves me deeply, every time I see them together.

I am thankful for that date, seven years ago today, where she came into our lives and showed me what this new love could feel like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DBJRSMP8Uw

What did we do before you Soph?

Happy Birthday, XOXOXO

Hello All.

Here are a few images from the weekend.
DOBO AKE!!!

Incase Kerry wants to use the images:

DADbday2017-14 = Sophia Hugging Mya.
DADbday2017-23 = Close up of Mya, Surprised look on her face.
DADbday2017-50 = Sophia decorating cupcake
DADbday2017-51 = Kim and Kerry watching the decorating. Talking/smiling.
DADbday2017-54 = Sophia laughing with a hand full of icing.
DADbday2017-61 = Grandma holding Reed close, Reed laughing.
DADbday2017-66 = Kim lighting candles beside Sophia.  Both laughing.
DADbday2017-70 = Reed trying to hide from the camera with his head on the bench.
DADbday2017-73 = Reed hiding his face with his hands on the bench, one eye peaking.
DADbday2017-80 = Mom, Reed and Sophia singing Happy Birthday with cake in foreground.

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Hello All.

Here are a few images from the weekend.
DOBO CAKE!!!

Incase Kerry wants to use the imagesy

DADbday2017-14 = Sophia Hugging Mya.
DADbday2017-23 = Close up of Mya, Surprised look on her face.
DADbday2017-50 = Sophia decorating cupcake
DADbday2017-51 = Kim and Kerry watching the dorating. Talking/smiling.
DADbday2017-54 = Sophia laughing with a hand full of icing.
DADbday2017-61 = Grandma holding Reed close, Reed laughing.
DADbday2017-66 = Kim lighting candles beside Sophia.  Both laughing.
DADbday2017-70 = Reed trying to hide from the camera with his head on the bench.
DADbday2017-73 = Reed hiding his face with his hads on the bench, one eye peaking.
DADbday2017-80 = Mom, Reed and Sophia singing Happy Birthday with cake in foreground.

P9THebt.jpg

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Resolving with the Years, #SoCS

Limbo is an uncomfortable place to be, for me.

I was hanging, like a literal version of limbo, when I went zip lining back in June, in Niagara Falls.

But what a ride!

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That’s life, every year I’m given, and all the years that are still ahead of me.

This whole
resolution
thing is a quandary to be sure.

I evaluate it every December 31st and more. I struggle with it. I ponder it in my life.

It can also mean the clarity of a screen, for instance, and so I look for the clarity in my world which is full of blurry things.

I do know the negative statistics that are shared widely each year, as the next year approaches, about how resolutions often fail. I choose to resolve to make changes, to make new things happen, and to live with an open heart and mind. That is not like losing thirty pounds or going to the gym every morning or eating only certain food groups.

I do make goals, which can be called by many other things, like plans or resolutions, if the mood strikes.

I am holding fast to these final hours of 2017 because I am scared. I admit I am scared, afraid of what is to come, when I likely won’t need to be. It will probably turn out just fine, or better even.

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TToT: On Boxing Day, Boxes, and More Christmas Wrapping On Its Way #BoxingDay #10Thankful

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Photo caption: Christmas Eve 2017 photo with my neighbour.

I’m sitting tight today, between December 24/25th and our family’s second Christmas tomorrow, on this Boxing Day of 2017 and I have plenty to be thankful for.

Ten Things of Thankful

I am thankful for another six months with my kidney.

Creatinine was up, from its usual seventy, into the eighties and, of course, even with this slight increase I worry somewhat.

The doctor tells me I am doing well for twenty years on and that he has no reason to be concerned at this time. I take this and hold it close as a win, for now.

It’s a bit of a tentative thankful, but it is genuine. Best I can do.

I am thankful for lunch with my friend from across the ocean.

She is a senior resident OBGYN in Cork, Ireland. She has a life there, with her two-year-old daughter.

I am happy to hear of their lives and am grateful that they come back at Christmas.

We went shopping and out for a nice lunch. I learned about her daughter’s two best friends and their daily routines. Busy girls.

It’s just nice, however briefly they are here, that we can return to our familiarity with each other, no matter how long it’s been, how long a year has felt in between last seeing one another.

I hope her daughter, as she grows, will soon feel that too. I am just honoured to be Aunt Kerry to another amazing child, if not by blood, relation, than by bestowment through lifelong friendship..

Friendship, I’ve learned over the years is never guaranteed in life, but sometimes it is meant to be, with an extra pinch of additional effort.

I am thankful for a quick fix to my heat.

I woke up, on Wednesday morning, to no heat at all. By the evening, I was curled up to warm up, but heat had been restored throughout the vents in my home.

I had a friend to take me out and a neighbour offering a warm place to retreat into if necessary. I was never in danger of freezing.

I worried the workers would be busy this time of year, but I was on a list, and it was short.

The problem had something to do with the pressure switch. That’s all I retained from the explanation. It required a pickup of the part, or delivery really, and Bam! Done!

And I had just been paid for a writing job and it felt good to be able to pay my own repair bill.

I am thankful for a pre-Christmas musical dedication and episode of my brother’s radio show.

Sure, Christmas may be over officially, but why not check these songs out. Some are dedicated to snow too, and Hannukah.

Chin Music (Holiday 2017 Edition) – CHRW Radio Western

I heard the song he played, for me, and I proceeded to dance/flail around my living room to it. Good workout and a reminder that Christmas isn’t so easy, for everyone, all of the time.

Bah Humbug is too strong for me, thankfully.

I am thankful for a Christmas visit and generous gifts from my 2017 neighbour.

Wine and Dutch wafer cookies made with honey.

She gave me a bracelet and necklace, with my birthstone and a heart, and other charms.

I appreciate her in my life, starting this year, and a dear one for years to come.

I am thankful for the love of earth and the natural world in a family creation.

Picked up a mossy world, with a gnome riding a turtle for my dining room’s table’s centre.

My cousin was selling them at the Saturday morning market. They find glass jars and other things, like mine which was an old fish tank or possibly a cookie jar at one time. Then they add moss and other things, creating its own little world in a jar.

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I am thankful for a Christmas Eve morning visit with my friend and her daughter.

A two-year-old into Peppa Pig and I found the perfect Christmas surprise: Peppa Pig’s pizza parlour.

She loved it and warmed up as the visit progressed.

I am thankful we were played and up in the first hour.

http://keepingscoreathome.com/?p=3284

The audio story I wrote and recorded with my brother was aired on the 25-hour Christmas Eve/Day marathon, on a little college radio station in New Jersey.

Jon plays lesser known seasonal songs and a story from a listener, one per hour. He has been doing this for years now and has loyal yearly listener/fans like my brother. It was one of our goals, since he listened and familiarized me with the show last Christmas. We made a plan to send in a contribution from the two of us and we got it done.

It was odd hearing it on that show, but a nice way to finish off 2017 on a high note.

I am thankful for another Christmas Eve to watch A Christmas Carol with my father.

Humbug!

It came on TV at nine and at first, in colour, but my father would rather black and white. I can’t blame him and he found it on another channel.

Again, the past and present and future, and I learn and reflect on my life and on the world.

I am thankful my neighbour could join us for Christmas Eve this year.

She made her signature Caesar salad and served it in wooden bowls she brought back from Costa Rica.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKkzbbLYPuI

Onward to Second Christmas. Hobbits have “second breakfast” and the Kijewski family has “second Christmas”.

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All the Trimmings of the Season #Christmas #SongLyricSunday

I was in danger of missing Christmas once, three years ago.

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Dramatic, perhaps, but I wasn’t feeling my usual joyousness.

This song helped bring that back:

And this year my brother included it in his holiday special, on his weekly radio show, in dedication to me.

I then proceeded to dance/flail around my living room to it. It’s a long song, the full version, and I was worn out by the end, but what a workout.

***

The Waitresses – “Christmas Wrapping” (LYRICS)

***

Hope you’ve enjoyed this Christmas 2017 edition of
Song Lyric Sunday
and on we go toward New Year’s Eve.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, SoCS, Special Occasions, The Blind Reviewer, This Day In Literature

Humbug: Review of “The Man Who Invented Christmas” #Humbug #AChristmasCarol #Review #SoCS

A little
yuletide and humbug for you
on Christmas Eve Eve, or however one might say that.

And now, here we are, and you’ll forgive me if it’s now officially Christmas Eve. I am about to watch A Christmas Carol with my father, a Christmas Eve tradition.

Please enjoy this brief summary/review of the tale of the man who came up with the story in the first place.

Light in places, nearing the absurd, but it took me back to the times, those days.

The year was 1843 and Charles Dickens was under pressure to come up with his next big hit. He’d toured the United States of America and the crowds there loved him, but Christmas was coming and he wanted a seasonal story for the ages.

He swore he could come up with one in a matter of months/weeks.

His home was filled with beautiful new things, purchased from his previous book’s success, and a family full of life. The more he pressed himself to come up with a Christmas tale, the more consumed by it he became.

His household employed a young Irish woman who loved to tell the children old Irish ghost stories. What a thing to share at Christmas I say.

Ghosts at Christmas…well I never!

Charles overheard her telling on of these tales and ran with it and a story of an old miser being visited by three spirits came to life in his head and soon onto the page.

Literally, it came to life, as soon I was confused, as a viewer without sight or an audio track to explain.

Scrooge was there and Dickens was talking out loud. Soon, his room was spread out with papers and his characters, talking to him.

Tiny Tim was apparently inspired by a real life nephew who was ill and whose progress was uncertain when the family came to visit the Dickens’ home.

How did A Christmas Carol come to be? – BBC

Charles deals with a father who was the root of many of his son’s issues, growing up poor and with debts owed. Charles fears the fame drying up and his own future debt, making his own family suffer the way he did as a boy.

His memories of going to a poorhouse and having to work in a factory, being teased by other boys, and all this with deadlines for what was shaping up to become A Christmas Carol.

So, we all know the book does get written, obviously. No mystery there. He did it when he was younger than I am now. Times were different then, or not so much as we’d think. This story still applies.

I only read it (the novel that is), for the first time, a few years ago. To me, the title of this film is apt, as Charles Dickens, in many ways, was the inventor of Christmas, to me, a lot more recent than two thousand years.

My father has been watching that old version of the classic story, the film, since my childhood. When once I couldn’t quite grasp the whole story, finding it boring in parts, I now treasure it for its lessons on compassion and humanity.

I can think of a few souls, in need of a lesson on mistakes of the past that cannot be undone, realities of the present in other places and in the lives of other people, and the chances still available in the future to make things better.

This film told a behind-the-scenes story that made for a pleasant and sometimes gritty glimpse into poverty and one’s life work, in this case being writing. Such a career and success can dry up as fast as from whence it came.

I am inspired, as a writer myself, by a story created, as Charles did, in those stories that span the test of time, from England to North America and around the world.

I’d add this one to any list of movies to view around the Christmas season, for sure.

Humbug and Scrooge to view, for you.

“And God bless us, everyone!”

The Real Reason Charles Dickens Wrote A Christmas Carol – Time

I once mistook the author’s main character for the author himself. Charles Dickens was no humbug!

You’ll forgive me, Mr. Dickens sir, won’t you?

Yule tidings to you all.

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