1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, RIP, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: A Pile of Sleeping Sharks – Idiots and Animals, #10Thankful

“Isolation offered its own form of companionship: the reliable silence of her rooms, the steadfast tranquility of the evenings. The promise that she would find things where she put them, that there would be no interruption, no surprise. It greeted her at the end of each day and lay still with her at night.”

—From “The Lowland” by Jhumpa Lahiri

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Recently, I’ve only wanted to stay home with my cat. Maybe I really am becoming a cat lady.

I’m so sick of the idiots (and worse) in this world. There is so much immaturity and lack of care or concern for other people. Animals are where it’s at.

All I wanted was an enjoyable visit with family, but I was the one who didn’t choose to leave my phone at home that day, the day of rallies and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Ten Things of Thankful

I’m thankful that my brother’s band got back together, to practice for a gig, by playing in my basement once more.

It was all the songs I love, those I became so familiar with after months of hearing them in my basement.

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Secrets Revealed

This is a photo of their set list from the show the other night. My brother wrote it out in braille. They thought their fans might like to see. My brother didn’t really need it. He had the list memorized already.

I’m thankful to join in with a friend in a worthy cause.

He wants to start a branch of the National Federation of the Blind/Canadian Federation of the Blind in Ontario. The one currently going is out west only.

The biggest organization for the blind in Canada is still the CNIB (Canadian National Institute of the Blind) and yet it isn’t enough. It isn’t fulfilling all the needs, according to us, the ones who are in need of the service.

This sounds like a lot of work, but my friend sounds up for the job and I want to do what I can.

I feel so helpless with so much going on. I need to be able to do something good.

I’m thankful for peaches and ice cream for my nephew’s birthday.

I may have had both a small sundae and then a small cone.

Fresh peaches are the best part of August. When you mix that with my favourite vanilla soft serve, I am in paradise.

For the birthday, we did things backwards: ice cream first and then dinner. Dinner was pizza anyway.

My nephew is still grasping the concept of what a birthday is. He isn’t overly interested in why people sing and light candles, depending on the day. You say Happy Birthday to him and he says it back to you, like it’s a greeting. He makes me smile with his total innocence. I need more of that to fight the overwhelming stress and gloom that often threatens to bring me down.

I’m thankful for a mild night out on a patio, listening to some relaxing music, until the rain came.

A friend of ours was playing at a local restaurant. We got through ordering drinks and appetizers before the rain started up.

Until that point, I was enjoying the guitars, both with his singing and as instrumentals.

I’m thankful for all the amazing art my niece made at art camp.

She is artistic, like her father. She is the little girl who loves to create things. She reminds me of myself at that age.

She is a natural at making things.

They made letters for their first names out of crystals and jewels. She showed me an ocean in a jar, made with water and oil and food colouring. She made a polar bear mask. She tie dyed a pillow and made another pillow, so soft and with many knots around the edges instead of sewing.

At this camp there was something called the splatter paint room. Nothing but bright colours, paint splattered all over the floor and walls. You can go wild, make as much of a splatter mess of colour as you want, and it’s all okay.

I thought, since I am so bad at interior decorating for my own house, even though I can no longer see colours: why not make myself a splatter paint house?

Her love and pride for the things she made, as she was showing us, made me miss colour, art, and made me so happy for her and so proud to be her aunt.

I am thankful for the bottle of water my newly four-year-old nephew gave me when I said I was looking for something to drink.

He just opened the fridge and got it for me.

He is the master of his fridge and his home at this age and it is so sweet to witness.

I am thankful for what a thoughtful little sweetheart he is.

He told us, the moment we arrived, that he wanted to get his mother some flowers. He had previously told his dad that he was “thinking” about getting her some flowers.

He’s been thinking about this. It constantly amazes me, the kind of kids they are, and the sorts of things they think about, before deciding to share with the grownups in their lives.

I am thankful for the Max Mix.

My brother is a music fan and he has a lot of it himself. When he noticed my nephew had a love of music, he made him a mix of all the songs my nephew seemed to love.

He remembers lyrics and loves to sing in the car. He is so cool, cooler than me anyway.

I am thankful for a beautiful day to sit outside for a five-year-old’s birthday party.

People gathered, kids running and playing, while I sat and had a cool drink.

They have a big yard, the yard we had as children, and so much room to run and play games.

It wasn’t too hot. It wasn’t humid. The air was perfectly summery and pleasant.

I’m thankful for his amazing little mind and imagination.

My nephews are both so smart. He knew people were coming and he worked on a show to perform for us, all week long. He prepared a screen with a border, like a TV, but when we were all outside, he set it up like a play or puppet show, using chairs as the stage.

It was a form of fan fiction with his favourites: Littlefoot (from Land Before Time), a T Rex, and Curious George.

It turned out to be this whole epic adventure story and it all came from him.

Desired Consolation – Bjork

Basically, it was the kids that kept me sane this week. Then I think of Bjork’s question in the song: How am I going to make things right?

I wonder if I can. What that will look like, I do not know, but I have to try something.

The woman who was mowed down was nearly my age. What made her come out, to such a place, on that day?

“If you’re not outraged you’re not paying attention.”

—Heather Heyer

RIP Heather

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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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TToT: Short and Sweet, Here and Gone #10Thankful

I never get these in on Friday. Never. Despite my best intentions, it just never happens, until now that is.

Ten Things of Thankful

I’m thankful I can go for ice cream with my family.

We have a favourite place here and I thought about what it means to be able to enjoy such a simple pleasure and summer pastime, without fearing for our lives.

In Kabul this week that was not the case. How could someone plant a bomb at such a place, where families with their children gathered? How?

I’m thankful for a new friend who has a big heart and loves to help other writers, specifically women, to work to be our true selves.

Rebirth the Heroine

I recently liked the quote about being the heroine of my own story and this fits perfectly with the message in this video. I could use her peaceful voice and reassurances right now, in the midst of what is a pretty important month for me. (More on that next week.)

I am thankful the zip lining adventure has been officially booked.

We are ten or more. That means we get the discount. Wooooo! Five dollars off each ticket is five dollars. Better than nothing.

I just need to find out if they will allow my brother to photograph anything close to where the zip lining is. I hope to write a piece and use his photos in the newsletter for The Kidney Foundation of Canada. They may want you to buy their pricy souvenir photos though. I can do that too.

Maybe if I tell WildPlay Niagara I am a writer and doing a piece to be published and my brother is a professional photographer.

Cross your fingers.

I’m thankful for a doctor who has a family member with headaches.

Well, allow me to rephrase…I am not glad about the headache thing.

I mean that she seems to understand pain, as she lives with and loves someone who deals with it. This may be why she is as compassionate and empathetic as she is.

She is trying me on a new med because this one hasn’t helped one bit. I have high hopes for the next one.

I’m thankful for an invite to a lovely dinner as a guest of
The Writers’ Union of Canada
by the local members.

I was the youngest one there, but that’s okay. They were all so friendly and I feel I could learn a lot from them.

I probably can’t go back, as the rules are pretty strict and you must be a member, but I am not sure I qualify yet.

Either way, I was happy to be a guest that one time and I had some great conversations, ate some delicious food, and maybe I even made a few future connections. We’ll see.

I’m thankful for a friend who is speaking her mind for the causes important to her and which deserve more attention.

Sweatpants & Equality – Activism Is A Movement & A Practice — Not A Moment By Kerra Bolton

Feeling helpless gets old real fast. Some people find a way to act. Kerra is one of those people. She is strong and determined and I am happy we met. I look forward to reading her words in Sweatpants & Coffee in the future. Give this one a read though.

I am thankful Canada is vowing to move ahead with our promise devoted to the environment.

I don’t understand people and I will never understand 45 and the things he does. I don’t know when enough will be enough.

I don’t pretend to understand everything about the goals set out in the Accord, but I trust in what it stands for and am honoured to be one of almost all countries of the world working to protect the planet together.

I am thankful for another chat with my neighbour.

We could sit on her deck this time.

I love her vow to find peace in her life. She did something about her unhappiness and made a change. I admire her for that. I am glad she did and we can be neighbours.

She even said she will let my dog be leashed and hang out on her deck this summer. Whenever I go away I have to lock him in my entranceway and he barks a lot. She will have a key and can bring him out with her those days, so he won’t have to be alone and she won’t have to listen to him making all that racket.

I am thankful I am off to somewhere I’ve never been.

That is why I am getting this post in early. I will be back in a week’s time and I will have a TToT post in me, all about my trip to share.

I am thankful for some time with my nephew and niece.

With the brutal attacks, more this week, bombings in Baghdad and Kabul, I was feeling anxious and sad.

I sat with my almost five-year-old nephew, in the back of their new van like we used to do as kids in ours, with the hatch wide open to the driveway, where my dad (Grandpa) swept. Reed and I talked about colours, he got a juice box for both of us, and I relaxed for the first time in days.

Then I had a peaceful moment with Mya in my lap, as she stopped crying for her mom for a minute as I called to find out if she was coming to pick her up soon. She stopped crying, suddenly, and we just sat there together.

I kept thinking about Louis Armstrong and his famous song:

What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

“I hear babies cry. I watch them grow. They’ll learn much more, than I’ll ever know. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.”

—Louis Armstrong

I am now off to experience that world, the part that makes it as wonderful as Armstrong sings about that is.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Song Lyric Sunday, Spotlight Sunday

And Then Some, #SongLyricSunday

Okay, so, I just slammed the door a little too hard when letting my dog out a moment ago. The force of the slam knocked a clock from my wall that my grandparents gave me after one of my life saving medical procedures as a young girl.

They are both gone now and I will never get the clock so many of my cousins and my older sister have that was the wedding present from Grandma and Grandpa. This was the only Ruby/Melvin clock I will ever possess and it made bird noises. They loved birds and the noises they make, even if we could never guess what bird made those noises when the clock struck on the hour.

Sounding a little dramatic am I? I agree, but, you know, glass everywhere and memories shattered.

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Okay. So I wanted to start out with a story, but every part is one hundred percent true. It is the perfect way to end a bad week, but I will try not to judge myself too harshly, if you won’t judge me for my theatrics.

Deal?

Firstly, this song uses ice cream as a metaphor. Who doesn’t love that? Second, I first heard this song on a CD I purchased, shortly before receiving the clock I began this post with the demise of, and it was one to be found on an album full of songs, by women, about female empowerment. Third, who is fighting for her place in that area this coming week, especially?

Well, it’s a good message anyway, about not judging, as hard as that is for us all, no matter what we might say.

***

Squint your eyes and look closer I’m not between you and your ambition I am a poster girl with no poster, I am 32 flavors and then some
And I’m beyond your peripheral vision so you might want to turn your head ‘Cause someday you’re going to get hungry and eat all of the words that you just said
I am what I am, I am 32 flavors and then some God help you if you are an ugly Course too pretty is also your doom ‘Cause everyone harbors a secret hatred for the prettiest girl in the room God help you if you are a phoenix and you dare to rise up from ash A thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy while you are just flying past
I am what I am, I am 32 flavors and then some I’m taking my chances as they come I am 32 flavors and then some, I’m nobody but I am someone, someone…
I’d never try to give my life meaning by demeaning you And I would like to state for the record… I did everything that I could do
I am beyond your peripheral vision so you might want to turn your head ‘Cause someday you’re going to be starving and eating all the words that you just said That you said
I am what I am, I am what I am I am 32 flavors and then some I’m taking my chances as they come I am 32 flavors and then some I’m looking for truth and there is none 32 flavors and then some I’ll never forget where I came from 32 flavors and then some I’m nobody but I am someone 32 flavors and then some I’m taking my chances as they come 32 flavors and then some Looking for truth and there is none

SONGWRITERS ANI DIFRANCO
PUBLISHED BY LYRICS © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

LYRICS

***

I don’t know Hillary Clinton. I know—shocker, right?

🙂

I doubt the kind of person she is, sometimes too. I try to keep control of my judgments. I doubt myself and my own instincts. Then I wonder what is true and what isn’t and I hate that feeling.

I don’t know her and what she has or hasn’t done for sure and behind closed doors, and even so I can’t say I won’t be upset if she looses, but this song is really about all judgment, even though she has dealt with worse, more scrutiny than I will ever know.

This song is one I thought fitting for this week’s
Song Lyric Sunday
for obvious reasons and for all reasons not to judge too harshly, that we may or may not know.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, Shows and Events, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: Jagged Echos Off The Snare – Wet and Dry, #10Thankful #UnitedNations2016 #WomensEqualityDay #HappyInternautDay

Every single day that my vision fades, no matter how slowly over time, I remain, to some extent, a visual person. The sights I once saw, colours which used to be so bright, they have never left my brain. I attempt to bring what I still can’t help seeing in my mind’s eye out or else I go a little loopy.

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This is what I like to call “BlacK and Yellow”.

“I’ll be yours instead in my head. I’ll be yours instead.”

Sweet World – Braids, from “Companion”

Of course, this song doesn’t sound nearly as thrilling here, but the line from above seemed to fit with the visual images in my head of which I am attempting to do my best to bring forward through visual art.

Nothing is so black and white or, in my case, black and yellow.

🙂

I’m thankful for black and yellow, the darkest and the lightest colours that I can only now see such a vague idea of, compared to how I will always remember them.

I am thankful that I had a few moments of pure blissful peace. All I did was play Braids on top quality sound and let that stereo sound take me away from everything. It was as close to meditation and drowning all my other chaotic thoughts out as I ever get.

I’m thankful for siblings, such as an older one who is understanding and does not mind helping me out with a writing project which has the potential of being huge. All it took was a request and my brother was all ready to go. I trust his insights and impressions after all this time. I appreciate that more than he knows.

That my younger brother makes such breathtaking music, with his friends, with his own talents, and now with his sister.

😉

He plays, unafraid, loudly and I feel the vibrations of that music’s power through the floor under my feet and into my heart and soul. He is so cool, his outlook on life and on getting on with it, as best we can, and not allowing negative thoughts and feelings to drag you down, no matter how hard they try.

And also for the pictures that show a new life and my sister’s own strength in giving that new and developing life a safe and healthy place to grow, for as long as it needs.

I’m thankful for fresh peach soft ice cream sundaes
.

I’m thankful for women who speak up on the most vital matters that I wish I myself could do/say more about,

such as this woman in particular.

She is one of my heroes, in feminism, in literature, and in the art of just being a decent human being who stands up for what’s right. She spoke most recently at this United Nations 2016 meeting for World Humanitarian Day.

I am thankful for the thing which happened 25 years ago this week.

Happy Internaut Day. With the creation of the World Wide Web,

thanks to Tim Berners-Lee,

I would soon be able to find out anything I could ever wish to know and a whole new world of possibilities would open up to me, so many others, and especially the visually impaired.

I am thankful for the violin lesson I had, even for the rain that soaked me and made my shoes all squeaky as I stepped inside the music school. I am trying to get past feelings of silliness when my teacher shows me another technique she learned as a child. I am improving, slowly but surely.

I am thankful for the kindness and compassion shown to me by a nurse practitioner. She took the time to speak to me, not making any attempt to rush me, and I felt like she was really listening to what I had to say about my own years of illness and pain. I did my best to explain my many medical issues and how I’ve dealt with them. I tried to explain how far I’ve come, in making an effort in spite of the pain and the stress, to live my life. Not all medical professionals are nearly as understanding or empathetic. I don’t take such an attitude for granted when I come across it. I am lucky to have the medical clinic to reach out to in my town. It wasn’t so easy getting there.

I am thankful the Toronto Blue Jays are doing so well and that they won the game my brothers and my father were at. Here’s hoping for more of the same, as we head into autumn and a possible second year-in-a-row of playoff potential for our only Canadian baseball team in Toronto.

I am thankful my nephew is so big into the planets right now, just like I’ve been since childhood.

We enjoyed singing along to his favourite planet tune, even though I told him:

“In my day we had nine planets.”

Why is Pluto no longer a planet?

Pluto will always be a planet to me.

🙂

I leave off this post with what I’m calling “Circulation” even if those I’ve asked all guessed I was trying to draw the planets, but I originally began with only the images of coloured circles. I don’t mind. I love the planets.

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Things change. Nothing stays the same. I am thankful that I have learned to recognize my thankfulness.

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Blogging, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, Memoir and Reflections, Shows and Events, Special Occasions, The Insightful Wanderer, This Day In Literature, Travel, TToT

TToT: Faith and a Spinster’s Gratitude List – Harvest Moon, #10Thankful

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
–L.M. Montgomery

In the books, Anne Shirley believed, for a long time, that she would end up an old maid or spinster, instead she got her happy, storybook ending. Montgomery almost ended up one herself, but she still ended up unhappily. I sometimes fear the same will happen to me, either one, but it could always be worse.

10 THINGS OF THANKFUL

It’s been a strange week. Goodbye September and a beautiful September it was, but I do love my Octobers.

I’ve just been thinking a lot lately, as September has bled into October. It seems that big things are happening to people, from my past. This has made me remember certain things from days gone by.

R. E. S. C. U. E.

Catchy, catchy song.

🙂

Do you remember Disney’s The Rescuers, a highly underrated Disney film in my opinion with arguably one of the nastiest female villains, the sweetest little cartoon orphan, and two brave and adorable mice?

Someone’s Waiting For You – The Rescuers Soundtrack

I have been thinking about how my ex became a father for the first time last month. Also, an old friend’s younger brother just got married; not to mention, that’s the second one, little brother of a friend, to do that this week.

I remember that little boy, at three years of age, and how I used to lift him up and twirl him around and around as a game. It’s a strange feeling to remember him that way, then be brought back to reality, to realize he is not that tiny child anymore.

It made me search out a few movies from my childhood, on NetFlix: Homeward Bound (The Incredible Journey) and The Rescuers. Major doses of nostalgia for sure.

The Journey – The Rescuers Soundtrack

Life is a journey and this week’s journey, for me, starts off with an apology.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

Montgomery was right, as usual.

Ten Things of Thankful:

First thing’s first…

For forgiveness.

I’d ended last week on a bit of a sour note, with my lack of appreciation for a friend’s generous hostessing of me in Toronto.

Well, I made sure not to go to bed without apologizing of course, but I wasn’t certain she’d fully accepted my apology.

In the morning we talked about it again and she assured me there were no hard feelings, that she doesn’t let little things get to her like that.

I appreciated her saying so because it wasn’t so little really. I am grateful and thankful for the ability for other people to forgive because I would hate to leave things in a negative state, with anybody, if I can help it. I know many relationships are severed everyday because insensitive things are often said, anger is thrust at others, and apologies aren’t given when they should be. I know, firsthand, just how hard it can be to apologize, as more and more time slips by. Either you are afraid they won’t accept it or they will make you feel even worse than you already do. It can be hard to take that leap, but so worth it and a giant relief when all is said and done.

For giant book fairs.

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I attended my very first

Word on the Street, Toronto.

This was just like those book fairs, back when I was in school, always held in the library. Well, it was exactly like that, only much bigger and better.

For the bookish version of my rockstar/groupie moment.

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He is Canadian publishing royalty. Honestly, if I’d known who I was standing next to, when we were first introduced, I would have been a lot more intimidated.

He has published Alice Munro and a couple past Canadian prime ministers and I listened to his witty and insightful reading and then we chased him all over the place, before finding where copies of his new book were being sold. I was totally over-the-moon ;-), about his inscription in my book:

“To Kerry. From one writer to another. Best, Doug Gibson.”

“All photos taken by Glenda MacDonald)

@glenda_macd on Twitter

For a relaxing lunch by the waterfront.

This began with a humorous and entertaining waiter, and it continued with some excellent discussion with my friend about writing, a cool and refreshing glass of sangria, the most delicious salad I’ve ever tasted (full of kale, walnuts, and chickpeas), and a wasp landing on me at some point during it all.

Okay, so that last one wasn’t the great part, but it’s even worse to be there with a writer who uses words like “burrowing” to describe the wasp’s movements on my skin. She can’t help it. It’s the writer in her.

For the magic of a super moon/eclipse, even if I didn’t get to see it live.

Harvest Moon – Neil Young

I wonder what I’ll be doing, what my life will be like, in the year 2033 – the date of the next super moon, lunar eclipse.

I know there seem to be a lot of these lately, or several variations, but the moon is endlessly fascinating and I will never grow tired of any of it. Is there anything more romantic, more inspiring, more beautiful than the moon?

I was on the eleventh floor of an apartment building, in the middle of the city of Toronto that night, but I did see a great shot on the news the next day. I am able to see the moon, in the sky, when it is full and bright enough. From everything I know about the super moon, I would definitely have seen it if I’d been in the position to look for it. On the screen I saw the bright outline and the dark centre of the eclipse. Don’t think I could see that if I were outside.

I am thankful I can see the moon at all.

Here is a post from a blogger and Fellow Canadian with some shots of the night before.

Close enough.

For an unexpected and a highly lovely dinner out with a friend.

I discovered I had some extra time, a free evening in Toronto, and decided to invite an old friend out for $5 Margarita night at

El Rincon Mexicano Restaurant.

I would happily recommend this place. We ate an authentic Mexican meal, out on their covered patio with the orange walls and sombreros.

For the ride home I nearly got to ride in style, in a Mercedes. Instead we rode, less in style and more what felt like being in a clown car or video game actually.

🙂

Fun just the same. It was one of those smart cars. Very bumpy.

My friend had a membership to one of those car sharing services, offered in big cities, for people who it makes no sense to have a vehicle of their own, but for whom a car can sometimes be necessary or simply handy to have, as an option in a pinch.

For making it home from the big city, safe and sound…eventually.

🙂

I missed my ride in Toronto. Oops. It happens.

I was supposed to have help to locate my correct bus, but I waited and waited and the guy never showed up and before I knew it, it was too late.

These situations are annoying, for sure, but they’re ones to be thankful and grateful for because they help me, force me really, to become a better and more independent traveler. I figured it out, late yes, but I got home in the end, both tired and invigorated.

For the chance to officially celebrate the birth and the arrival, of a beautiful little girl. I think it is nice to have the baby shower after the baby is a part of our lives.

She’s five months old now, but it was nice to celebrate with that little girl’s mother, their family and a few friends and I am proud to be one of them, maybe even a bit of both, in some small way.

It was just nice to fit in, to blend in, and to feel like a part of the group. I had the perfect seat, one of those high bar stools at the kitchen island. This allowed me to spin my chair around, from the kitchen to the living room, depending on where people were at the time.

I felt like just one of the gathering and I didn’t feel like I was in a place I was all that unfamiliar with. The gathering wasn’t too big or too small, but just big enough. There were snacks, punch (both with vodka and without), and ice cream cake.

For a friend I’ve known for enough time, many years, that I am just “Kerry” to her. She doesn’t treat me any different or make me feel like I don’t belong or that I am any different than anyone else. I feel at home with her and with her family.

She understands me and would defend me to most anyone, in most any situation or circumstance.

She is a mother now, but she isn’t someone who would make me feel any different because I am not one myself. I value her for all these things.

The guest of honour at this particular party wasn’t feeling very well, but part of it could have been all those different faces and voices. I understand how intimidating a group of people can be. I thought this song was an appropriate fit for her day, for the occasion.

It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To.

The shower was held on a day, most appropriately, of showers – rain showers and wind that nearly blew me over and that’s October for you.

Tomorrow Is Another Day – The Rescuers Soundtrack

Life is a journey and tomorrow is another day. I appreciate the reminders of these facts.

I was watching a documentary about Georgian times and there was a lot of talk about what it was like to be a spinster during that period.

I suppose I would be considered a spinster: over thirty, single, and childless. I can’t pretend that new babies born and weddings of those more than five years younger than me don’t make things difficult sometimes, but that’s why I am here to find the silver linings, why I am writing down my TToT, and why the following quote from The Rescuers meant so much to me on this particular week, even more than most…

Faith is a bluebird, we see from afar. It’s for real and as sure as the first evening star, you can’t touch it, or buy it, or wrap it up tight, but it’s there just the same, making things turn out right.

–Rufus the Cat.

Another one of my favourite characters from the movie, one who always reminded me of my grandfather, and wisest one of them all.

Whether it’s love, the moon, or a bluebird, I know what it’s like to believe that these things exist, even if I can’t actually see them or feel them at every moment. This is what faith is and what having faith means.

Sincerely,
Spinster at Thirty-one

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Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, RIP, Special Occasions, TravelWriting, TToT

TToT: Laborious, Notorious, Glorious – Go THANK Yourself! #10Thankful

“No man ever was glorious, who was not laborious.”
–Benjamin Franklin

10 THINGS OF THANKFUL

Someone asked me how my Labor Day was going and I wanted to answer with a little something different:

“laborious,” I replied.

🙂

A lot went on this week, both in my life and in my mind. School’s back in session, for my niece and my brother, and for me, in a way too.

September 11th was also remembered this week. I can’t believe it’s been fourteen years since 9/11 happened.

“To build may have to be the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day.”
–Winston Churchill

It is thought that twenty-six Canadians lost their lives that day.

On the eve of 9/11, a rainbow appears in the sky over One World Trade Center in Manhattan.

Ten Things of Thankful:

For my latest travel writing piece to be published on the travel blog of someone I really admire.

Can you travel blind, crossing Ireland’s Carrick-a-rede- rope bridge?

Thank you, Megan, for giving me a second spot on your travel blog.

It has gotten dozens of RT’s on Twitter in the last week.

First it was our interview.

Can blind people travel?

Of course we can!

And now my guest post where I explain what taking a risk, is like, for me.

Night Swimming

It’s a little like swimming at night. I’ve long wanted to do this and I thought of it, again, on Labor Day.

It’s a bit of a frightening thing, the thought of being out there, at night. I guess it’s the way I live most of my life, stepping out, in the darkness of the unknown, but taking the plunge anyway.

For the chance to spend, what was said to be the hottest day of the year, in the water and so I didn’t even notice the heat they spoke of.

We decided to spend our Labor Day at the lake. We are lucky to live so close to all those fresh water sources.

For my flexibility.

In life, sure, I’m improving. However, I mean that literally because I have been told, by doctors on more than one occasion, that I am incredibly flexible. My muscular skeletal system can bend in strange directions.

So, when I decided to jump in the sand, right along with my nephew, I just so happened to land on a log that was sticking out at my feet.

Luckily my ankles are one of those highly flexible parts of my body and although I went down, landing hard in the sand, my ankle did turn over but did not sprain badly. I felt it go over sideways, but I have stretched out those muscles so much over the years, leaving little to no pain as a result.

The opportunity to chase seagulls with my nephew wasn’t to be missed. Just thankful I walked away from that and did not have to crawl back to the car on hands and knees.

🙂

For literacy and education.

International Literacy Day, 2015

I would be lost otherwise.

For the education we’re lucky enough to have in Canada, as my niece begins kindergarten this week.

She is smart and sharp and bright. She learns so much and loves to share it. She surprises us all with the things she’s learning everyday. and I know she will do amazing things as she grows.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?t=207&v=CQ2noSR1qdY

It’s a good thing John Oliver is not her teacher.

For the premier of the newest in late night television.

Late Show Recap

Stephen Colbert makes me smile and I look forward to his jokes and his unique style of interviews.

One of his first guests, on his very first week, was George Clooney. They discussed and even showed a clip of George’s new film: Decision Strike!

Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Well, don’t go looking for it in theatres in the coming weeks or months, as it is only a fictional movie, as he did not actually have anything real to promote. Sounds impressive anyway.

With all the talk of the heating up of the late night show wars, now that Colbert has thrown his own hat into the ring, Stephen made light of this when he mentioned all the thoughtful first-week gifts the other late night comedians have been sending him. He joked that they could all be expecting the best thank you card ever, with the words: GO THANK YOURSELF, written in them.

TAKE THAT! … Jimmy, Jimmy, Conan, John, and the rest.

🙂

For whatever it was that got me a replacement battery for my iPhone 5 and finally, after talking about doing it for months.

I put it off for too long. Not sure why. I can actually go a whole day and my phone does not die, a beautiful thing. This will be necessary for my trip to Toronto later this month.

I went in one of those crazy Apple stores, so hip and which make me feel very uncool. They have the genius bar. Well, I was informed of some loophole which made it so I did not have to pay the $100 for a new battery. Okay by me.

🙂

It just so happened to be September 9th and the big reveal day for Apple. I did not upgrade to the newly revealed iPhone 6S. My iPhone 5 works just fine, but it’s amazing just how revolutionary the iPhone has been for so many, but for anyone who is visually impaired especially.

For the people, in my life, who have gone through the loss of a loved one to suicide. They teach me things, all the time, about survival and resilience.

World Suicide Prevention Day, 2015

Sometimes prevention isn’t possible, upon looking back, no matter what anyone could have done. That doesn’t mean we stop trying.

I know life is forever altered for them. It isn’t easy and life will never feel happy, truly happy again. I just hope they know someone is thinking about them, always.

Everybody Hurts

The day was such a beautiful one this year, the weather anyway.

“She had always wanted words, she loved them; grew up on them. Words gave her clarity, brought reason, shape.”
–Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

For a dream come true – a dream of clarity, reason, and shape.

😉

First I was accepted into an anthology, with my short story: One Last Kiss.

Then it came out, on Amazon, but first only as an ebook.

It wasn’t until this week, finally, that I actually got to hold a print copy of the book in my own hands. I could feel the weight of it, turn the pages, and smell that signature bookish smell, all knowing my words could be found within. It is an indescribable feeling, a dream come true for me, and I will never forget what that felt like.

kerrsbook-closeup-2015-09-12-11-45.jpg

For a friend, somebody there on the day the book arrived in the mail. Someone to celebrate with.

We got Dairy Queen confetti cake blizzards to celebrate. Her five-month-old daughter sat, in her carrier, staring at me and I wanted to share, but unfortunately she isn’t eating ice cream, not just yet. I loved celebrating with her too, all the same.

🙂

Thanks, Mom, for bringing the book over.

For the best, most loving parents my nephew could ever have. And it all began on that warm day in September, back in 2009 – Happy Anniversary guys!

I will never forget that summer, that day, as long as I live. It was the day my sister had worked so hard for and looked so forward to. I got to be in the wedding party and was happy she allowed me to give a speech at the reception.

Storybook Love

My sister’s favourite movie is The Princess Bride and she wanted my uncle to sing the theme song from the film, at the wedding. It made it special, unique, and all hers. She wanted to get married in our back yard, of the home we grew up in. It was a wedding at home and meant so much to all of us.

Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

For rainbows, literacy, firsts, celebrations, dreams, and anniversaries.

I am thankful I’ve gotten to share my words, more and more, in recent days and weeks. I guess, for me, the need to share my words with the world goes back to all that stuff I said about night swimming.

It’s scary, certainly, but the idea of being swept up and away, washed out there and with no sign or footprint to show that I was ever here, that is what I am most afraid of.

Sure, the chance for rejection is ever present in the present, but not nearly as great as that there could be no proof that I ever existed in the first place.

“I don’t know how long I kept at it…
I felt reasonably safe, stretched out on the floor, and lay quite still.
It didn’t seem to be summer anymore.”
–Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

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