Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, SoCS

So Far, So Good #SoCS

International Women’s Day … World Kidney Day.

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I am lucky to be a woman in 2018 I realize. I am lucky to have one working kidney, rather than my two old damaged-beyond-repair kidneys.

Women have come so far since the 1920s. My kidney transplant is working, still after nearly 21 years, so far so good.

I realize all this, as I’m watching Downton Abbey for the first time. I found the series with descriptive track, which I first needed to keep up with all the characters, but now I like for facial expressions and such.

These aren’t available on Netflix with any audio track, though a couple shows (mostly Netflix originals) do have that.

These are recorded right from British television, one episode even with the commercials left in.

We’re coming to a time when audio description, on TV and in movies, isn’t quite so rare as it once would have been. Still, it isn’t common enough.

I want to demand audio description for movie theatres and for television, but it all takes time. People turn on TV and suddenly hear some odd extra voice chirping at them and are taken aback at first. It isn’t nearly common enough.

I recently began to see a new commercial for Diet Coke and wondered why they were choosing to show a new ad. Why now?

Some actress saying how if she wants to have a Diet Coke, she will. I admire that attitude, but what was I missing?

The answer is, I was missing the fact that it isn’t only the regular Diet Coke they are advertising. Apparently, they have four new flavours. I was told this by sighted family. Otherwise, I never would have known and they never would have caught my attention Coke.

I know, if most movies and shows still don’t have audio description, commercials won’t be any more likely to have it, though I have heard of a few. Either way, without specifically speaking about the fact that it isn’t just the usual Diet Coke they have to offer, someone without sight won’t know. I am a small minority of Coca Cola’s customer base, I realize, but I think I deserve to know these things, as insignificant as it might sound.

I totally thought about phoning Coke’s 1-800 number and complaining, letting them know this is discrimination and all they need do is verbally mention the new product they’re offering, but really I hold down a little on the growing activist part of me that is sick of living with things as they are. I am sure I’d only get one of those automated messages and be told to press 1 for…and 2 for…

I might still. I would also complain. I don’t recommend the Cherry, which is flavoured with something that tastes like pepper, a heated after taste that makes it undrinkable.

And so, your hard drive space is low, is the message my laptop keeps repeating to me. I get a notification of lack of space on my phone regularly, but this one is new. I am no good at clearing out my computer/phone. I let apps and files build up.

Wow, this post was supposed to be about one thing and it went a totally different direction. And so it goes.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SoCS

We’ve come so far, and yet… And so on and so forth.

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Blogging, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, RIP, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: Summer Solstice

“Summer afternoon-summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
–Henry James

This week started off and ended with a number of holidays, occasions, and celebrations.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

Sunday: Father’s Day

For my amazing father.

Last June was the first opportunity, on my then relatively new blog, to let my own dad know what he meant to me and I did that by writing about a particularly meaningful memory from almost twenty years ago.

Father

I have recently, for TToT, explained the incredible things my father has done for me and I hope he always knows what he means to our whole family.

For the longest day of the year and for another summer to come around.

I pushed through last summer, though my heart really wasn’t in it, and I have good reason to believe this one will be vastly better then the last.

I am already trying new things, determined to live my life in different ways, and hopefully have more to add to these thankfuls in the weeks to come.

For National Aboriginal Day.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Aboriginal_Day

I consider myself lucky to live in a country full of all of the people who share it with me.

Monday: For the sweetest words in the whole world.

“I wuve you Keree.”

My nephew turns three this summer and he has begun saying these words to, not only his parents and his favourite toys and movies, but to his Auntie Kerry.

🙂

When he cuddles with me and I hear him tell me he loves me, I know how lucky I am that I get to see him, at least once a week.

I miss my other nephew and my niece. They don’t live that far away, but far enough that our contact is less frequent than I would like, but we always come back together as a family in the end.

Tuesday: My Heart Will Go On

For the unforgettable music of composer James Horner.

I was obsessed with all things Titanic in the eighth grade, with the release of the film just that Christmas. I was so excited when my parents gave me the soundtrack for my fourteenth birthday.

James Horner Dies In Plane Crash

That is not the part I’m thankful for, obviously.

😦

The world has lost a wonderful talent.

Thank you, James, for some beautiful music I will never forget.

Wednesday: For the incredible advances in medicine in recent years.

I am amazed, as I hold my nephew close, just what these advances have brought to our lives.

No matter what, we are lucky to have him, and we owe it all to these things, unheard-of only a few decades ago.

I dare anyone to look at the beautiful little boy I speak of and say one bad word on what some like to term, “playing God”.

Whatever is to thank, it is miraculous, what doctors can do.

For family dinners out.

We went to a place we’ve gone to for years. It was a common family dinner spot for my own family, for as far back as I can recall.

I am forever a child there, ordering my shirley temples, but my nephew only wanted the orange slice at the bottom of his glass.

Thursday: medical technology isn’t the only wonderful technology. There’s always the phone.

For the chance to reconnect with a friend. We ended up talking, on the phone, for over two hours.

She helped me tick an important item off of my bucket list last year.

And, who knows – we could embark on more adventures together in the future.

That is only some of what we talked about. She shared some important resources with me for the Canada Day blog post I’m working on about Aboriginal issues.

She is a ball of energy and enthusiasm. Speaking with her is like a tonic, getting me to look positively forward.

Friday: Supreme Court recognizes equal rights for all.

For the ruling that came down, in the US, giving all people the right to marry whomever they love.

The White House and other landmarks light up in rainbow colours.

I simply want all people to be treated equally and I hope what happened in my neighbouring country is a step in the right direction.

Saturday: Happy Birthday Helen Keller.

For the important role she has played in my life, ever since I was introduced to her in school as a young girl.

Helen Keller was born, on June 27th, 1880 in Alabama. She suddenly lost her sight and hearing, during a fever, as an infant.

She was lost and locked away in the darkness and the silence, until her teacher came into her life at age seven, and from there she was unstoppable. She learned how to speak with her hands. She went on to become a first in so many things.

She was a feminist, spokesperson for social issues, disability rights activist, and an author who traveled all over the world.

She lived life to the fullest, as much as she possibly could, and she has taught me a lot about perseverance and resilience.

I give Helen the last word for the week…
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Kerry's Causes, Spotlight Sunday

Number 325 and Proud Of It

Sunday here in my little part of Canada and I am still reading, commenting, and sharing.

Hope you all have had or are having a lovely weekend.

🙂

I wanted to include the database where all the #1000Speak participating blogs can be found:

#1000Speak Link-Up (Number 325 and proud of it.)

I also want to continue to make my own little database, listing a blog here or there in a post, if it happens to resinate with me.

This time it is:

To Writers Who Struggle with Self-Compassion

Poetic Parfait captures a universal struggle for any writer and I am loving the name of the blog also: so decadent sounding.

🙂

I wanted, finally, to introduce anyone outside of Canada, who may not have heard of this lady, to Susan Aglukark.

She is a song writer, performer, recording artist, and activist.

She grew up in The North West Territories and has worked for the rights of Aboriginal and Inuit peoples.

She has had a few hits in Canada and the song I wanted to end with, I think, fits the 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion theme quite well.

One turn certainly does deserve another. I hope this thing we have started, I can’t even seem to come up with a word big enough to describe it accurately, will keep on growing and carving a path toward all things compassion.

Until next time…

One Turn Deserves Another – Susan Aglukark – YouTube

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, Special Occasions, Writing

One Year and Counting: Kind and Generous

Happy Birthday to me and here I am – I made it one year as a blogger.

I didn’t give up, I didn’t give in, and I did not burn out or run out of things to write about. It felt somewhat like a floodgate that was opened, spilling out all the things I’ve ever wanted to write about but didn’t for so long.

I liked the idea of pairing my actual birthday and what would become my blogging anniversary and that is just what I’ve done.

I never could have imagined, when I wrote my

very first post – Bucket List,

that I would have come so much farther than I dared believe I could and that I would have so much to show for it.

I thought a lot about how I wanted to mark this occasion and I decided to take this opportunity to thank all those who have made this, creatively, one of the best years of my life.

🙂

***

CANDACE JOHNSON

One of my biggest supporters, almost from the very beginning, has been Candace at:

Change It Up Editing and Writing Services

She gets the first spot in my list of thank you mentions – well deserved. The tagline from her website reads: “I love words. Especially yours.” This clearly shows her dedication to helping others.

When I was only debating and throwing around the idea of starting a blog in the first place I discovered her

Facebook page.

You can tell, or I soon learned how to, when someone genuinely wants to help you and to give you a moment of their time. I recognized, right away, that she was and is someone who is happy to help whenever, wherever, and however she possibly can.

Not everyone is willing to listen and do what they can, but when I reached out to Candace because I was, with my iPhone and its VoiceOver, unable to click on her Facebook links, she made a point of listening to what my issue was and doing what she could for me.

Ever since then, she has repeatedly put an extra copy of each link in the comments, where my VoiceOver recognizes it and allows me to read all the interesting articles and blog posts she shares on writing and editing.

I have learned so much from her. She granted me an interview, my first on Her Headache, and generously gave me the exposure, allowing me to write a guest post to explain to her readers some of the particular issues with technology that I face.

Since then she has continued to read and share my blog posts whenever she can. I will never forget her kindness and her support, the belief she has shown in my writing ever since.

I guess you could say that the bloggers and writers I have discovered and who have come to mean something to me, showing me kindness and assistance along the way, fall into a handful of different categories.

MAXWELL IVEY JR.

There’s the first blind seller of carnival rides I’ve ever met, who started a website to help advertise his business:

The Midway Marketplace

He is the friendliest person I have ever come across and he has done so much to show me how to open up, online and off.

He has introduced me to places for my blog and my writing to fit in, all while introducing me to other bloggers and writers, always there to answer any blogging or social media questions I might have.

Since I’ve begun talking with him he has started a second site (The Blind Blogger) and published his first ebook (Leading You Out of the Darkness Into the Light), which can be found here:

http://theblindblogger.net/ebooks/leading-you-out-of-the-darkness-into-the-light

STEPHANAE MCCOY

Then there’s the lady who has lost a lot of sight later in life, but who has not let that stop her. Instead, she has come out with this incredible resource for all women who are visually impaired and blind, but who still wish to be fashionable and stylish:

Bold Blind Beauty

Stephanae has again been someone willing to offer me support and an exchange of interviews. She has a site where she discusses things like makeup, shoes, and other accessories all girls like to indulge in from time to time. She includes not only photographs of these items, but the descriptions necessary for all women, even those who can not see, to be able to enjoy the things she recommends.

Sure, I may not wear makeup, but I still love to visit her website and especially I love to read about the interesting women she highlights on her Fierce Friday posts.

😉

She draws me in with the alliteration her blog name possesses.

🙂

I have met some wonderful authors and writers along the way too:

Alana Saltz,

Jordan Rosenfeld,

and writer, activist, and feminist:

Julie Zeilinger, from The FBomb.

The blogosphere is an amazing place; however, I sometimes feel like I stand out or I don’t quite fit into any particular niche. I guess this isn’t the worst thing in the world because I enjoy a number of areas of the blogging world and its many varied subjects.

I am in my early thirties, for those unfamiliar with me and my blog, but I am not a mother.

Parenting blogs are one of the most commonly found on the internet.

I have grown quite comfortable sandwiched between two groups in the blogging universe, all of which I do read for the array of different perspectives offered.

The second group are those twenty-something writers and bloggers, writing about the decade of exploration and self-discovery that the twenties has become. I guess I continue to return to blogs like these because, in some ways, I feel I am living some part of my twenties over again in my thirties, learning and growing and still so easily able to relate to the struggles these ladies are experiencing.

These bloggers include brilliant and insightful young women such as:

Young and Twenty,

Scarlet Wonderland,

Flowers and Wanderlust,

and

Single Strides.

Other blogs I love to follow include a Canadian writer and mother, a French blogger now living in the US, an Australian visually impaired travel blogger, a wizard with words, and a guy who lives with his illness and disability as best he can and who is a tireless activist for others with rare and debilitating conditions:

Carrie the Obscure CanLit Mama,

French writer and life coach Sylviane Nuccio,

Maribel of Touching Landscapes,

Lorraine of Wording Well,

and

Michael at Migraine Discussions.

What have I learned from one year of blogging and what advice would I give to those just starting out, who are where I was one year ago at this time? Hmmm.

I think this post from Scarlet Wonderland says it better than I ever could:

Advice For New Bloggers,

The best and only thing I have learned, think I knew all along, and would advise would be to remain authentic. I only know how to be me and that is all. If I ever did have those moments of watching what another blogger was doing, and the thought to emulate them crossed my mind, I soon realized that I have to stick on my own path and do things my own way.

Thank you to every one of my loyal family who read this blog and any friends and family, those who I know are reading, even if I sometimes don’t realize it.

Also, I want to take this time to thank everyone else. If I forgot you, I apologize. Just know I am grateful for your collective presence here and for each and every time you return to read one of my posts.

Whether it’s 100 or 1000 followers – I’m lucky to have you reading this. I appreciate every comment made, good or bad, because they’ve all taught me some powerful lessons, being able to hear other’s thoughts on what I write helps me to grow my voice.

This blog has sustained me through the hard times of the past year, gotten me through multiple rejections in love and in writing, and captured some new experiences and some lasting memories.

Half-way through this past year I got the crazy notion of starting a second one.

What was I thinking, right?

🙂

Kidding. I may have come a long way since I published my first post here, but I still have a long ways to go when it comes to the blogging side of things.

Now it’s each year of this blog that marks my life, more than New Year’s Eve does for most people.

I have goals I’d like to have reached this time next year.

I have a stubborn streak with the publications I was turned down from this past year. Maybe those serve to make me work even harder or, perhaps they are meant to be lessons, serving to teach me that not everything is meant to be.

I have a few exciting things in the works at this very moment. I hesitate to say anymore than that.

I know, I know – don’t you hate when people do that?

🙂

I will say as much as I believe I can, without jinxing myself completely. Yes, it’s happened before.

I hope to continue to write about new, different, and interesting subjects here and share even more fascinating people with you through the interviews I love so much to do.

Currently, what I can say is that I am in the midst of participating in two things, specifically:

The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge

and

1000 Voices Speak For Compassion

Both are causes I believe deeply in.

Finally, I couldn’t end this post without thanking the one who first got this blog up and running for me and who encouraged me, helping me get passed the tricky and the technical.

Thanks BSK.

***

Now then…

*Clears throat*
Now that I’ve come full circle.

Love and life are scary sometimes. I am scared a lot of the time frankly, but this blog is one of the greatest rewards for all that fear.

Jennifer from Young and Twenty sums up fear best in this way:

The Power of Being Scared

**I truly believe that where I am right now, at this moment in time, is where I was always supposed to be.**

This line from my very first post (February, 2014) was true then and, hey – it’s just as true today.

What do you know?

🙂

Through all the hard times and the struggles – I still believe it and I can’t tell you how comforting that thought is.

An so – one year and counting and here’s to many more.

Natalie Merchant, Kind and Generous, on YouTube

I want to dedicate this anniversary post and this song to you all.

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