IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Special Occasions, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge, Travel, TToT

TToT: Cherry Blossoms, Bluebonnets, and Clover Leaves # March Madness, #10Thankful

Stella! … Stella!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjHr-6Zl5P8

Okay, well if you aren’t already familiar with the play
A Streetcar Named Desire,
perhaps you won’t get my joke. I’m referring to the big “winter storm” in the eastern United States and here in Ontario and into Quebec and the Maritimes.

First it was the winter storm Stella and now it’s the Spring Equinox and first day of spring.

St. Patrick’s Day. World Happiness Day.

Either you’re drinking massive amounts of green beer or the day passes and you don’t do a single Irish thing, but you can’t help hearing about it. It’s the same with a day we are told to be happy.

World Happiness Day 2017: ticket to joy or time to ditch the smily face?

All these days.

Ten Things of Thankkful

I am thankful for snow in winter.

I like and appreciate it, during its season, but it is cold and I do happily move on from it by March/April.

I am thankful for flowers and birds and baby animals in spring.

Last year, I started off one of my TToT posts with some background about cherry blossoms, but today I am including a few others in this week’s title.

I can’t see them and their colours, but I am often obsessed with flowers, especially cherry blossoms at this time of year. I don’t know why those specifically.

Then I watched the new Anne of Green Gables series on CBC last night and there is a part where a cherry tree is featured.

If you know those books, Anne spots one when she first arrives off the train, before she meets Mathew and Marilla for the first time. She imagines climbing it and sleeping up in it if nobody had come to pick her up that day.

The blossoms are mentioned more throughout this newly updated version, and I took that as a sign of sorts, that spring has sprung.

I am thankful for anything Irish.

Don’t take my word for it. Don’t just drink some green beer. Visit Ireland and see it for yourself.

It was one of the best spur-of-the-moment decisions I’ve ever made. I don’t regret it and neither would you.

That’s why, whenever March 17th rolls around, though I love the music (like what Ed has done in the song above, anything else can’t quite live up to the real thing.

I am thankful to be working on a new piece which should be published in one week.

I am thankful the editor informed me of the stock photo she thought about including with my piece before simply going ahead and using it, without my knowledge.

It was a photo of a girl with her eyes closed. Part of what I do regularly is to educate people on what’s acceptable and what isn’t. I wish, sometimes, I didn’t have to do this. I wish people could understand without me having to explain it.

This may sound like I’m being self righteous about this kind of thing, but even if a girl with her eyes closed may say, right away to readers, “this woman can’t see,” it feels highly stereotypical and won’t help progress with people’s understanding and acceptance of those of us with disabilities.

Touching Life

I am thankful for the feeling of my baby niece’s soft head under my chin as I held her against my chest.

I held her while she slept. She has so much hair and it is so lovely.

I am thankful for her ability to already raise her head by herself.

I held her while her oma warmed up her bottle and I couldn’t believe how strong she already is. She will be one month old this week.

I am thankful for my four-year-old nephew reading his books to me.

Okay, so he didn’t so much read as explain about his favourite dinosaurs, but he did spell out “L i t t l e” on the sign as we were picking up a pizza.

So, he’s on his way. I try to explain to him that I can’t read his library book to him because my eyes don’t work. His response still is “my eyes work” as a way of comparing or reassuring himself or maybe just to inform me. I’m not sure, but, If I’m going to have a bonus thankful this week, it’s that his eyes do, indeed, work.

I am thankful when one of my really bad headaches subsides.

I am thankful for a doctor who understands when I can’t make it to my previously scheduled appointment, do to said awful headache, and their ability there to reschedule so soon.

I am particularly upset when I hear all the talk, south of the border, here in Canada, of U.S. healthcare. I want the kind of care I get, for every person who has lived with awful headaches, needed major surgery, been diagnosed with a chronic or terminal disease or illness, or who lives with a disability to not worry about not being covered or having to pay giant medical bills.

People in Canada complain about long wait times, convince themselves that our neighbours have the better options for medical treatments, and some may have terrible experiences with Canada’s healthcare system. All I know is my own experience and that of my family.

Healthcare shouldn’t be about insurance companies, deductibles, premiums, and whatever else I keep hearing, is all I hear when I hear the debates going on in the U.S. They talk of consumerism and shopping for the best health plans. Healthcare isn’t about shopping, even if so much of our society is all about consumerism. This is, in some cases, about life and death. It’s about feeling unwell or being able to be happy for more than only one day a year.

Ugh! It all gets me so fired up honestly, because I know what it’s like to need my country’s medical system. I have disability and medical conditions I depend on being treated for. I am lucky here. I hate how too much of the world still doesn’t get it.

It was a week where I could care less about the actual March Madness, as I am no basketball fan, but…as for some other madness:

The Tyranny of Now

It’s precisely why I need to count my blessings and why everything on my list today is needed more than ever and deserves the recognition in my own life.

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TToT: Boulder Slipper Lungs – Thanks Noodles! #10Thankful

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No quote full of wisdom can possibly be any greater than the ones that come from young kids and their imaginative little minds. I am feeling that most acutely and holding on, looking for a little bit of that in me, while the little ones in my life remain this age and teach me so much.

For some reason, some reason we can’t figure out, his mother can’t quite explain, my nephew calls his lungs boulder slipper lungs.

🙂

Nobody Knows (Pete’s dragon Soundtrack) – The Lumineers

The things the children in my life continually come up with are things that are constantly surprising me and making me smile.

My nephew, for example, he loves noodles and he wants them plain, with only butter. He loves what he refers to as “Grandma’s noodles,” but I think my brother, for example, may pick out the Simpsons quote from the title of this week’s TToT post if no one else has the foggiest clue what I’m referring to.

I was thankful my sister, brother-in-law and nephew made it home safe from their first vacation together out west to visit family. It was my nephew’s first airplane ride. Western Canada and Alberta means dinosaurs for my nephew and fishing for my brother-in-law. My sister was just glad to get away with her two favourite boys. With my nephew starting JK in a couple weeks, things are about to get busier.

PHYpcwO.jpg

For their affect on my life.

They teach me to keep an open mind, even though they often feel like they are right, so who’s to say who’s right anyway?

For instance, if you were to try and convince my nephew that lungs are not called boulder slipper lungs, he likely might not believe you, but school will soon start and who knows what sorts of logic and teachings he will be introduced to then and there.

🙂

Reminds me of that song by Canadian band Rush, “The Logical Song”.

That my family puts up with my writing and this blog, are as supportive as they are, when I know many writers aren’t quite so lucky.

A lot of people write memoir and non fiction which involves stories of their family members in it. This can create resentments and other issues. Recollections are different for everyone. I needed to express myself, but how to do that without alienating those I care about?

Of course, if I write (even in my fiction), people in my life are going to appear because they are most of what matters to me.

I know they respect my need to express myself through words, but I never want to sacrifice their trust in me or their needs for that self expression.

Hmm. Perhaps I really should just quit with these pesky words and return solely to visual art instead.

That all my family survived the destructive, unpredictable tornado of August 7th, 1979

TORNADO: Part One, Whirlwind

I wanted to mark the anniversary and write an interview with my parents. It was too late to speak to my grandparents about their recollections, as I only started this blog after they both passed away, though I had spoken to them both about it many times before.

It’s raining as I type these words, hard and noisily just now, and I imagine or I try to. One of those things I can’t really fathom without experiencing how it must have felt firsthand, which I am lucky and hope I never have to do. I am just glad my father survived to tell the tale, or else I wouldn’t have been here to be able to help him tell it in the first place.

For that moment that I often find myself awake to witness, at three or four in the morning, when the sound of the nighttime crickets and the start of the early morning first chirping of the birds intermingle with one another.

If I am unable to sleep in those moments, at least I am awake and tuned in to hear such a natural thing as that.

For a nephew who just turned four.

We had spaghetti and meatballs (noodles) and cake (which I received a big bite of just icing when finishing). We may need to whisper Happy Birthday for his fifth birthday, if he doesn’t grow out of the shyness he had this time when we sang out loud.

I will never forget his birthday, as I was there the day he first arrived.

It was a very special day for me for so many reasons.

Read here to find out why.

Memorable. Unforgettable. Incredible.

For a fierce game of dinosaurs.

This includes “THE DEEP UNDERGROUND” from my nephew’s favourite movie “The Land Before Time”.

The underground, in this case, is the front entrance which is down two steps. The Sharp Tooth is inevitably pushed off the edge by Mother, Littlefoot’s mother with the long neck.

For a chunk of days of rain, whether the weather is a loud, hard downpour or a sprinkle off and on throughout the day. We needed the rain, something to break up all the intense humidity.

For a gift from my father. I know he feels bad when he hears how much I miss the vision I used to have, but he still brings me markers when I speak of wanting to revisit all that anyway, despite my worsening sight, an activity which will likely bring back both joy and sadness all at the same time.

I heard my favourite scented markers from childhood, a somewhat brighter time in my life, visually I mean.

Mr. Sketch

Well, thanks to

Lizzi

and

Ivy,

I have been thinking about colours, flowers, rainbows. I am going to try art, which I have been aching inside to give myself another chance to do for a while, but kept on putting it off because it will never be what it used to be for me again.

I sat down with my pack of colourful markers this afternoon, with a piece of braille paper because it is the perfect thickness, at my kitchen table because the light from the window there is the best place for maximum brightness.

Well, it was frustrating some moments and at others I had hope, with the slightly damp texture these particular marketers leaves behind and with the correct colour of marker fitting to the corresponding scent all coming back to me. I want to make something for Ivy’s Art Challenge and maybe involving 10 Things of Thankful because it has been so important for bringing light and colour back into my life these last fifteen or so months of extra reminders of the things I have to be thankful for.

That my five-year-old niece has a love of art and colouring and drawing pictures.

She got that from my brother I’m sure, her burgeoning artistic talent, but she reminds me a little bit of myself at her age and I feel somehow comforted by that notion.

I know she will continue to create beautiful things because that’s just who she is and where she comes from.

For this old favourite of mine from fifteen years ago.

Perfect Day – The Cranberries

This song perfectly incapsulates my feelings about the August birthday boys in my life. I celebrate their birthdays and I selfishly want them to remain young like this and never grow old, as Dolores sings, but I know that’s neither fair nor plausible.

August, within ten days of each other but spanning a year apart in age, are my two amazing nephews. They have inspired these songs today.

It’s the two boys and my niece who inspire my attitude that all art is open to me because I’ve seen the amazing things that come from their imaginations and my own imagination is the one thing I haven’t lost. They help me never to forget that.

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Thunder and Lightning, Scars and Bruises, and Inconvenient Truths #JusJoJan

Today’s timely topic is brought to you by the

Top of JC’s Mind.

There is so much talk about a change in

climate,

but I am not a scientist and I don’t understand most of what is being discussed.

I do know what an amazing place our planet is. I do know I love nature and the earth. I do know it will likely be here long after I am gone, long after we’re all gone in all likelihood, but what if, maybe just maybe, we are messing it up through our carelessness and our actions.

I know things change. I just know humans are experts in screwing things up and making them worse, for what we want in the present, without really taking into consideration what the future could look like.

I did learn about science in school. I just don’t know much about fossil fuels and carbon emissions. I know big business is all about the money. Oil has been necessary, but there’s got to be a better way. I don’t think I am the one to find it, but I can still care, can’t I?

I feel like I lack much of substance to add to a discussion on climate change. I won’t just add to the debate over whether climate change is a real thing, really going on. I know the world is going to do what it’s going to do, but with a little help or a lot, it may not come out on the other side without a lot of scars and bruises.

Whether God created earth or some giant astronomical event is of little concern to me. I still have a hard time believing the earth is not flat, but that has very little to do with religion. It’s all just so huge and unbelievable, hard for me to wrap my brain around.

I am sick of the tired fighting going on. This has become some battle between religion and science and I don’t get that. I guess, if you believe God is going to be your salvation, you may not care much about this world, once you think you won’t need it anymore. I know science can become rather full of itself at times, with activism taking on a life of its own. I want to put both these things aside and hope that we all just care, when it comes down to it.

A strong wind can nearly knock me off my feet. Lots of rain or snow coming at me, in my face, blinds me even more than I already am.

🙂

When it’s the dead of winter and so bone-chillingly cold, I wish for the heat of summer. When those blisteringly humid temps arrive, I pray for winter again.

All that thunder and lightening across the sky, and imagining it out over the ocean is wild to me.

I know there is great power and fierceness in the storms and severe weather that we experience. Earthquakes, tornados, flooding, and I am glad I’ve stayed out of all that so far. I don’t know what we’re really doing to bring these events into people’s lives.

I imagine all those majestic creatures out there in the ocean. I want to protect the climate so they can go on living, those sharks who’ve lived since the dinosaurs. Wait, that’s right isn’t it? Too tired to Google to confirm.

Yes, that should show just how unqualified I am to be offering up about climate change, other than to say I want to not destroy the planet for the next generation.

So a conference on the state of climate change took place recently. Canada’s new prime minister was there. Does he care about the planet, enough to do what a prime minster has the power to do? Is that much at all?

Will the world really step up to the plate here, actually come together, work together, to work toward a common goal, for once? Is it in everyone’s best interest? Should I continue to ramble on a subject I don’t understand by far, if I am not likely going to offer up any suggestions for us to do better?

I need a comfortable climate in life. I am not about to become one of those storm chasers. I don’t even watch Discovery Channel.

There is a program about global warming and the environment on as I type this. I am really trying to pay attention, to possibly, hopefully learn something. I watch nature documentaries with Sir David Attenborough. I watched that one with Al Gore and was bored out of my mind. That’s likely not the way to reach today’s youth, but it could have been all me on that one.

Truths are often inconvenient, so I do, upon suddenly recalling the title of that doc, approve of what Al decided to call the thing. It’s inconvenient to have to care so much about the planet, but I don’t see how we can ignore what’s staring us all right in the face everyday.

JustJot It January, #JusJoJan

And, once again, the rules are right

HERE.

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SoCS: TMI

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Stream of Consciousness Saturday

***

When you read the title of my SoCS post this week, you may be nervous to read on any further. I know what sorts of stuff could fall under the category of “too much information”. I have shuddered a time or two at this, when it is the case. I don’t like too much information, if it’s of the icky variety. People do share much too much with others these days. Some don’t know when enough is enough or when something is better off, more appropriate for a different setting altogether.

I am no prude, but there is a time and place.

I just read somewhere of some one’s bad online dating experiences. They received multiple unwanted penis shots from guys and this turned them off of meeting anyone this way. Can’t say I blame them. Definite TMI moment there.

I do think, with the informational and technological age we now find ourselves in, that there is an awful lot of over-sharing going on. I have fallen into this trap myself, on occasion.

😉

Why, just this week I shared a photo of my new haircut on Facebook. of course, there’s nothing wrong with this, in theory.

In theory, Communism works, in theory.

Okay, I couldn’t resist a Simpsons quote just there. Not my true feelings on communism, or well let’s just say that’s a subject for another time entirely.

I don’t know what makes us crave that attention or that connection, where we want others to view and comment on a haircut we’ve just received. That’s the sort of information I can’t quite figure out.

But with things like Facebook and Twitter I do understand.

As for media, streaming services are becoming the norm. I guess it’s just easier for people to get their fill and their fix of the movies they love, sitting home with their game systems and their tablets.

I still love going to a movie theatre, but it’s the drive-in that’s going the way of the dinosaurs. Extinct.

Today, June 6th, is Drive-in Movie Day.

THIS DAY IN HISTORY: first drive-in movie theater opens

I just wanted to recognize this form of entertainment. It doesn’t appear, on closer inspection, that it is disappearing totally, but the one around here just shut down. Nobody wanted to buy it. It had a sort of run-down feel to it, but I think these places should retain their historical charm. It’s a feeling of the past that confronts me when I go to the drive-in. I feel like I am going back in time, to my parents generation or my grandparents’. I like the idea of sitting in my vehicle and having the movie coming through the speakers.

I have some good memories of seeing Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince there. I would see that one three times.

🙂

I saw Brad Pitt fight off zombies there. *Shudders*

Certain forms of information and entertainment seem to die out, making room for new ones.

Too much or a lack of?

***

This is my weekly post for:

http://lindaghill.com/2015/06/05/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-615/

Do you think that TMI is a problem in the world today?

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