Blogging, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, The Insightful Wanderer, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge, Travel

So So Close, #JusJoJan

Hmm. Let me think.

Just Jot It January, #JusJoJan

Sure, I spent all that time coming up with over one hundred things I am thankful for just the other day, but coming up with the opposite is no problem, now that today is a new one.

New beginnings. New start. Starts and stalls and stops.

I can be restrained about it though. I won’t list quite so many things I am ungrateful about. I really still am grateful for everything I listed the other day. Promise. I am lucky to be me, right now especially, but since I am here…might as well jot down a few thoughts, after the day that just was.

I am keeping an open mind and heart. I am trying to let more of life roll off my back, as I am about to embark on one of those rare adventures in life.

If I had nothing today to write about especially, nothing to complain about, I would simply move along, right past this prompt in particular. Today was one of those tricky days though, and it just so happens that a complaint was what my day was all about, though I am still grateful for a brother who is happy to help me out. I can listen back to all this music, ready on my laptop, for my entertainment needs as I am soon to be on my way. He did that, made that possible.

I can receive and send email on my new phone. Yes, I had no choice. Not new, as far as the newest phones on the market, but new to me. After several years, even a slight upgrade is new.

It requires a lot of updating contacts and other prep crap. I can not complain because I have a portable electronic device to carry with me everywhere, to keep my family apprised of my whereabouts. They appreciate that too.

Sure, okay so I have a few little complaints. My contacts were updated, but not the names. It’s funny how we get so used to not needing to remember people’s actual phone numbers anymore. So, all these numbers in my phone, but ah…to whom do they belong?

Complaint number one.

Then there’s the fact that both myself and my brother received new braille displays that are meant to work with Bluetooth, with our phones. First, he tried to help me and he screwed himself in the process. My braille display can’t seem to recognize my phone, or is it the other way around? I don’t even know anymore. Long long longest of days.

I could complain that I don’t feel one hundred percent physically, but I could be grateful I have a doctor who is thorough and consistent and reliable and kind. She is doing her best to make sure I feel as well as possible for my adventure. She just feels bad she hasn’t been able to help me feel better still.

I could make a complaint that technology is awful, as it looks like my braille display won’t work, in time for my adventure, to work with my phone. Or, I could just be thankful it still works with my laptop. I need to be able to use it to read my writing out loud and that I can still do.

So, my brother is persistent too. He would and could work on something all day and night, until he had it figured out. So, did my silly newish phone do an update to the latest OS in the night, without my knowledge and permission, and could that be the reason it no longer recognized the braille display it recognized just a few days ago?

I don’t know all these answers. I don’t, unfortunately, have the time to get to the bottom of it all this week. I have things still to do to be ready for my adventure.

I have a complaint, sure, but I am trying to look on the brightest of bright sides. I don’t have to look very far for that, not today.

Thanks Willow,
Linda,
and Shan Jeniah’s Lovely Chaos,
for a place to register a formal complaint about technology and life in general.

Standard
Blogging, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir Monday, Piece of Cake, Podcast, Special Occasions, The Insightful Wanderer, TravelWriting, TToT

TToT: In My Head I’m Swept Away – Collective Arts, #10Thankful

Things are changing. I guess that’s a normal part of life. I wonder when it might be that this concept doesn’t feel so strange to me. I complained that these things are fading away, like this here ten things of thankful exercise, and then I’m the one who has faded away from even attempting it. Since the end of 2016 and the start of 2017 I’ve been preoccupied and all over the place. I still am.

QhjXGvy.jpg

I liked Lizzi’s attempt at coming up with
fifty
and not just ten, back around Christmas. I thought, since I am on my way to parts unknown very soon, I’d try for somewhere between ten and fifty, to cover for those I’ve missed in recent weeks and the week I’m sure to miss coming up.

January throws me off somewhat, no matter the year.

This is meant to be a bunch of things I’m thankful for from the year that just was and some of what I’ve been thankful for lately. I will set a timer and see how long it takes me to come up with fifty items for this list of mine.

U8krqnI.jpg

For the perspective a year can give.

For snow globes.

For winter in Canada.

For the violin.

jhfOHIg.jpg

For the bow in my hand.

For the strength and muscles needed to play.

For people willing to fight back, stand up, speak out.

For reason, logic, and common sense, which isn’t quite common enough.

For the challenge of learning to adapt and familiarize myself with new things.

For the discomfort that often causes because it helps me grow.

For the variety of sizes in Pesos.

For a Spanish language program I can listen to, shuffled up in my iTunes library.

For the syncing of all info and contacts even.

U8krqnI.jpg

For KFC (Kijewski Family Christmas).

iPjSyyX.jpg

For journals and diaries.

Sophia showing Auntie Kerry her journal.
Jpnh0z6.jpg

For treats made especially available at Christmas.

For all things tactile, like the letter S.

For being exposed to new people.

For a first date.

For the smell of coffee.

For the scent of cinnamon buns when I step foot in the mall.

For people watching, even the way I do it.

For music of all kinds.

For salad.

For the stars and moons of all kinds.

For rainbows.

For sunsets and sunrise.

For mild and frigid.

For the sound snow makes, that crunching, when it is really cold here.

For a female Canadian on our money…the money with braille on it.

For my violin teacher.

For a spa experience.

For a shopping trip with a friend.

For hearing my name coming from the smartest of smart almost-two-year-old little girls, only here for a visit.

For my cat’s strange and sweet behaviours.

For my cat and dog ALMOST ALWAYS getting along.

For travel agents.

For the life lessons from those who push me to require more of myself.

For rice cakes.

For the coolness offered by the frozen food section of a grocery store.

For snow covered country inns.

For buffet breakfasts.

For scrambled eggs.

For podcasts.

For perfecting family pancake recipes with Ketchup.

U8krqnI.jpg

For inspired ideas.

For audio technology.

For song lyrics.

For the ability to provide a jam space in my basement for a bunch of talented and creative musicians.

For creativity.

For outdoor concerts.

For personal invites to travel and write and meet others who love both those things.

For family days at the beach.

For giving myself a year to focus on me.

For borders, be they on countries or the sections of a country.

For Netflix docs.

For photos I cannot see.

For governmental programs that help make life easier and more hopeful.

For opportunities for my brother to play his music outside.

For coffee shops.

For intimate and cozy live concert venues.

For Halloween candy.

For wine and pizza.

For manicures.

For new writing opportunities.

For laptops.

For braille.

For hard decisions.

For blogging.

For miracles and magic.

For little puppy/rabbits.

For first days of school.

For the chance to do an interview with an editor/writer I admire.

For peg dope.

For sul ponticello.

For cello music.

For long tones.

For drag and drop audio.

For fireside chats with a train to be heard somewhere far in the distance.

For pasta Tuesdays.

For packing/to-do lists.

For my mother’s talents with a needle and thread.

For doctors who listen.

For medication coverage.

For tolerance.

For pizza with family.

For catching up with an old friend.

For my first violin concert and my second and my third.

For everything in the ocean.

For space and the eight/nine planets.

For morning glories.

For phone booths.

For talented family in the kitchen.

For family sharing food.

For my cat’s soft fur.

For a world full of accents.

For comedians.

For the chance to laugh rather than crying.

For Niagara Falls.

For heated car seats.

For mint filled cookies.

For secondhand clothing.

For the chance to face my fear of secondhand items.

For gavels.

For jokes, knock knock or other.

For rewatching old movies.

For good neighbours.

For unexpected book sales.

For the sound of skating.

I should probably stop here. This is just a start to a list. It goes to show just how much there really is to be thankful for, if you take the time to look, list, and add them up. I topped 100 things in this list and I think I’ve made my point.

I am starting to panic about why I’ll be missing TToT next time. I have so much to be thankful for. I just must learn to trust in all of it.

Bonus Thankful: airplanes and the responsible pilots who fly them.

Mucho Gusto!

Standard
1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, Piece of Cake, Song Lyric Sunday, Spotlight Sunday, The Insightful Wanderer, Travel

Facing Forward, #SongLyricSunday

My nephew thinks he wants to stay overnight with Grandma and Grandpa, when my mom makes him a late night snack of a grilled cheese sandwich, and my sister and brother-in-law are sad and will miss their little boy for the night.

Then, at the last minute, my nephew sees his parents leaving and he changes his mind. He is still young and his parents are his everything.

V1Xx7ZX.jpg

I don’t know exactly what it’s like to feel the intensity of becoming a parent. My new niece or nephew will be here in just over a month. The feelings for their children will multiply with the second child.

I don’t know that feeling, the one my own parents would have had when their four children were born, but I do know they were there for me then, they were there for me twenty years ago when I was severely ill, and they are here for me now, whatever may happen.

I want them to know I will be okay. I can sense their concern at me going off into the unknown. They have always been there to protect their daughter, but now it will be different.

My mom is super prepared. She makes sure I have everything I could possibly need/want when I go. My dad too. They are the two most prepared people I know. They just realize, as do I, that not all eventualities can be covered.

I want them to know that everything they’ve given to me is why I want to do this, to try and figure some things out for myself and my life, which is why I need this particular journey.

***

I’ve got money in my pocket
I like the color of my hair
I’ve got a friend who loves me
Got a house, I’ve got a car
I’ve got a good mother
and her voice is what keeps me here
Feet on ground
Heart in hand
Facing forward
Be yourself
I’ve never wanted anything
No I’ve, no I’ve, I’ve never wanted anything
so bad…so bad
Cardboard masks of all the people
I’ve been
thrown out with all the rusted, tangled
dented God Damned miseries
You could say I’m hard to hold
But if you knew me you’d know
I’ve got a good father
And his strength is what makes me cry
Feet on ground
Heart in hand
Facing forward
Be yourself
I’ve never wanted anything
No I’ve, no I’ve, I’ve never
wanted anything so bad…
so bad
I’ve got money in my pocket
I like the color of my hair
I’ve got a friend who loves me
Got a house, I’ve got a car
I’ve got a good mother
and her voice is what keeps me here
Feet on ground
Heart in hand
Facing forward
Be yourself
Heart in hand
Feet on ground
Facing forward
Be yourself
just be yourself
just be yourself
Feet on ground
Heart in hand
Feet on ground
Heart in hand

Lyrics.

***

This song makes me choke up a little anytime I hear the lyrics. I’ve wanted to know, since I first heard it, that all children have parents like the ones in this song, like mine. I know, in reality, this kind of parent doesn’t exist everywhere, but it should. They should.

Mine have been everything in this song and more. They have prepared me. For this week’s
Song Lyric Sunday,
this song I’ve chosen is titled “Good Mother,” but it is about having all one could ever possibly need to be okay. Strong and dependable and loving parents are invaluable. That is them and this is me, even with all the nerves and the concerns, and I will make my good mother and my good father proud of their youngest daughter.

Standard
Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, Piece of Cake, SoCS, The Insightful Wanderer, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge, Travel

Labeling Envelopes, #JusJoJan #SoCS

Pesos come in all different sizes. This is awfully helpful.

Just Jot It January/Stream of Consciousness Saturday

I used to be able to see the dark numbers on money or even feel it. Now, money here in Canada is smooth and it has braille markings on each bill, to distinguish the different currencies. This is key.

There could be cases of blind people getting ripped off because they gave the wrong dollar amount, unable to tell the difference. Coins are of all different sizes and textures, but it is often helpful having different amounts, to compare and contrast.

U.S. bills are not labeled and I don’t believe they come in multiple sizes. I don’t frankly see why it’s so difficult to put braille dots on the bills in the United States. They have the ADA don’t they (American’s With Disabilities Act) – shouldn’t they be the first to do this? One thing, of the many things, that baffles me about that country right now.

Blind people learn to come up with creative solutions for many many problems. They fold their money in specific ways and put it in places, so they know which dollar amount they might be taking out. Accidents do happen yet still.

I frighten people a little bit, when I let it slip that I enjoy the smell of things like gasoline, permanent markers, and car exhaust. To be clear…I DO NOT SEEK THESE THINGS OUT!

I used a lot of permanent markers, when I was younger, because I could see them to write. Smell is an important sense for me. I guess I just have to hope no permanent damage was done. No lasting affects on my brain.

I even enjoyed the odour of the saline solution, I believe it was, that the nurses would use to flush out my central line for dialysis. The throat and the nasal passages are connected and I would experience a strange sensation of tasting and smelling that I found to be quite pleasant, whereas most of dialysis was not.

As for scents of things I do not like, money is at the top of my list. Of course, we all use and need money. Some of us love it more than others. I appreciate having it, but not smelling it.

I hope I can hold onto it. I hope I can tell it apart. Please, let me figure out the conversion rates.

Gulp!

Please, oh please!

Standard
1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, Piece of Cake, Special Occasions, TGIF, The Insightful Wanderer

Good Luck, Bad Luck #JusJoJan

On this special Friday the 13th edition of
Just Jot It January
we must all pay extra attention, so we don’t end up in the hospital.

Okay, so is this day supposed to be lucky or is it supposed to bring bad luck?

I wrote about triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13 on my blog a few years ago. I am skeptical and sometimes pessimistic in life, but I wouldn’t necessarily say I am superstitious.

I have been in the hospital plenty, but not because of bad luck. It’s all scientific, something that is being railed against a lot lately, but it has saved my life.

I owe science and medicine. I owe my life and my brother’s life to it. I owe the existence of my nephew and “niece” to science.

Hospitals are avoided by most, clearly. I read about how we humans shape our own narratives in life. Mine was shaped by being in hospital more than the seventh grade. I choose to see the good in that, even if I felt lousy at the time. Hospitals are vital and, though sometimes we abuse their availability in North America, when we are in real need I am glad of them and all the stories on the Internet will never ever match up.

This year stands out for me, and it’s still within the first few weeks, because of the significance of a twenty year mark of sorts, one which hospitals played a big part. So, I may not be superstitious, not in the black cat crossing your path way, I do like to recognize times and dates that feel like they should be acknowledged, for both the good and the bad.

Standard
Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, Piece of Cake, The Insightful Wanderer

Don’t Scoff, #JusJoJan

There is so much rotten stuff going on all around us. But there is also so much that is wicked good and lovely, so much that makes one’s very being tingle. Just look for it.

Just Jot It January, #JusJoJan – Tingle

I recently read an essay written by a favourite editor of mine, in Creative Nonfiction Magazine, about writing and happiness, joy, pleasure. These topics interest me.

What are the experiences in life that most make us feel alive?

I know a lot of what feels awful and unpleasant. I am aware of that. I know there will inevitably be both in the human experience.

I am asking and pondering on that as I continue to experience life, both the good and the bad, in 2017 as a newly begun chunk of time. The year makes something of my experience and my willingness to let go and not forever analyze every little detail so much.

What is it that makes life worth putting up with? It’s the experiences that make you supremely pleased to be alive, that’s what. And, when they wash over you, don’t push those feelings away. Don’t shrug them off as problematic or unworthy or meaningless.

I think philosophically. I ponder and overtly over think, like usual.

I was recently given or shown one piece of really wise advice. It feels counter intuitive to me, but there are those who don’t let Facebook take up loads of their time. There are those who don’t spend their time dwelling on things. It sounds hard. Can it be done? Can I do that too? Some might scoff.

Of course I can, if I want it bad enough.

I long for those truly tingly nerve-to-very-soul experiences in life. It’s looking like I am destined for some of those in this first month of the new year. I am trying not to let long sewn character flaws, let’s call them, for the sake of this musing on anything that’s worth tingling for in life – as opposed to those stresses I can’t seem to shake. I will try.

I can do that.

What really causes any of us to feel truly tingly with vitality in this life? It starts with a twinge perhaps. It spreads outward then, from there. Just be open to it, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. It’s not often that we feel that, certainly not every day, so why not let that come if and when it may?

Standard
1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Memoir Monday, The Insightful Wanderer, Writing

The Struggle Is Real, #JusJoJan

Perspective is important.

NuaLyhV.jpg

Perspective is important and being a writer helps me find some.

I used to stare at the coloured fish, swimming around the long rows of tanks at the pet store. I wondered what they were thinking, through that glass. I still wonder, though I can no longer spot them.

Did we hold the power, us who looked at them through the glass and from our positions in the world outside?

Or did they hold their own kind of silent power, somewhere in there?

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother. Why do I bother to write at all?

Do words really hold a kind of silent power?

Or any power at all?

But I continue to write because it gives me a sense of power in a world where I feel mostly powerless.

Who really has the power and what were they willing to do, who were they willing to become, to get it?

You have the power! Just Jot It January #JusJoJan

Hosted, once more,
by No Facilities.

I jot things down anyway, so sometimes I am doing it here. One of these days I should share the to-do list I am working with for this most special first month of the new year. I believe that is allowed, if I read the rules correctly.

Today’s prompt came from this blog right here.

I hope I can soon have a week away from the temptation of time to check social media, to listen to the news on television. I hope to have no time to think about what might be going on between myself and the place I call home – Canada.

I hope I may soon find myself so busy trying new things that there is no time for everything that worries me.

Power to run one’s own life is the good kind of power. Any power over others can become dangerous, but we all have power over someone else, in a great number of ways, at one time or another.

I want to be free of the ways in which I may feel someone holds some power over me. I am doing this by focusing on myself.

I want to take back my own power. I don’t want to hold that power over anyone else.

I do worry that Canada and Justin Trudeau will be negatively influenced by the country which has always had more power on the world stage.

If my country has or has had power, it would be a less obvious power, one most people would refute. Maybe we will have the chance to show what we are made of here soon. Or, maybe we will be squashed by our close physical placement. If one country sinks under the weight of tearing itself apart, how long can Canada stay afloat on its own? Maybe we would become an island for the drowning and how long could that possibly last?

In certain situations, like on the school playground, the stronger, the one with all the real wisdom, is actually said to be the bullied. The bully is said to be the weak one. I know this in my heart. The world does not recognize this as a whole. We lecture our children that it’s wrong to bully, but we don’t model that belief.

Bravado is what makes noise and waves a lot of the time, but the really powerful waves come from those who feel oppressed, little, or unheard.

Who holds the power, really?

Standard