Blogging, FTSF, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, Kerry's Causes, Memoir and Reflections, Piece of Cake, SoCS, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge

What A Life! #FTSF #SoCS

“What a life!” my oma would always say with a sigh.

She was right. I say it now, that line, in exasperation, and in my memory of her, to honour her unique brand of wisdom and her straightforward ability to speak the truth.

I just had a checkup with a nurse practitioner. She was very thorough and we talked for what felt like a very long time. No rush to see me briefly and get me out the door. No neglect of what I needed. I told her my entire history, as fast as I possibly could, but she did not want me to hurry through the details. She was wonderful.

It takes me a little while to get through my somewhat complex medical history. I had her curious and eager to look up my eye condition

and the rare syndrome I share with my brother.

This took me back, which it can most often do, and required that I look back over the years.

Mostly I spoke of how sick I was before my then gp finally diagnosed my end-stage kidney failure at age twelve. That sure took me back, into the bad and the worse in terms of memories and recollections. I told her how hard it becomes to remember to include all necessary details, with every retelling I give a doctor or nurse. She was very understanding.

I see how far I’ve come when I look back, using my medical story as the example. I reflect on the girl I was and the struggles in the following years. I want to think I am doing alright considering. I think of my oma and I leave my medical checkup and I sigh.

When it comes to the years, I do so much looking back that it is sometimes a heavy weight on my shoulders.

I like the romantic notion of the days of yore. I read such fairy tales, but life is never like those stories in literature in reality. People reminisce about how it used to be, but perhaps, just perhaps they are remembering a time that never actually existed.

That may come across, to you, if you’re only just hearing me for the first time, as a highly pessimistic slant to life. Perhaps. Your take on, say the last twenty years of your own life, it could very well be all rosy coloured and tinted through different glasses. I haven’t worn glasses since 1996 I’m afraid.

No self pity here, but my life isn’t now or never has been a fairy tale anyway. Just the sort of telling it like it is/was, just like my oma used to like to do. That’s about as stream of consciousness as I can get today.

There is thankfulness to be had here, (which will for sure include that wonderful nurse), of course, but that is still to come in my next post.

🙂

I’m doing a double linkup this weekend, starting with

Finding Ninee’s Finish The Sentence Friday,

followed by

Linda G Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday.

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My favourite Word of All, #SoCS #SongLyricSunday

I want to walk amongst you, the many shelves and shelves of you. Bookstore or library. Doesn’t matter which.

I want to write you and read you and hold you in my hand. I want to flip through you, feeling your pages slide through my fingers.

Hard-cover. Paperback. I love you both.

I want to disappear behind stacks and stacks of you. I want to live among your silent stories, stories which come alive when read.

I want to vanish into you, to go on the adventures you hold.

I want to book a trip, a hotel, in Hawaii or San Fransisco or Iceland or New Zealand. On a beach somewhere, I want to read a book as the waves come rolling in and back out again.

I want to read with my eyes, but I settle for reading you with my fingers or else I must listen to audio books instead.

I want to write my own version of you. I will do some day.

Books. Glorious books. I open one and, yes, I rest it against my face, taking in the scent of so many past memories. The pages of you hold so much, everything I love about you.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SoCS

with my favourite word

BOOK!

And, in honour of getting this post in at the last hour of Saturday and nearing the start of

Song Lyric Sunday with Helen Espinosa,

I end this post with a classic (50 years old):

PAperback Writer – The Beatles

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Pieces of Me, #FTSF

The truth is, my left eye is artificial. a rod fuses my spine, keeping the curve of scoliosis at bay. My father’s kidney sits on my right side, at the front of my body, in my abdomen.

I sometimes feel like more others and other things, than I do myself.

How I grew up to be the one I am now…well, I acquired all these things along the way, making me stronger, propelling me forward.

What is artificial and what what is real?

I became who I am, with those materials and those extra, needed transplanted body parts.

It sometimes feels like I am part of some science fiction story.

I am who I am today because of all of this, but not without those people and the memories we’ve made together.

Right now, pieces of me are being kept safe, within boxes and boxes of old cassette tapes, a passing fad it seems, but even vinyl has made a comeback, so who knows what could very well come back around again one day.

On those tapes I was becoming me all those years, with the help of my family, my friends, and my doctors. They saved me, my very life, on more than one or two or a dozen occasions.

When I grew up, I knew…well, I’m still growing. Up and up and up I go. Up and back down again, as life often happens.

But as long as I have my father’s kidney (working well and taking me straight to breaking records for longest renal transplant) – nineteen years, on June 5th!

As long as I have my artificial eye where it’s supposed to be and my spine held straight, thanks to the hardware that keeps me from curving and twisting.

As long as I have my family behind me, supporting me, in whatever I do.

As long as there now exists digitized copies of those memories from childhood and the life that gave me…its best shot at stability.

Then I will be here to finish another sentence with all of you next week.

Another excellent one, with

Finding Ninee and her journey as a special needs parent

and this week’s FTSF sentence producer,

Life Through My Bioscope.

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Sailing Away and the Bee Tree, #TGIF #FTSF

I hear it, that far off humming from the other side of the driveway.

What’s that noise?

My family start hinting at the origin, somewhere nearby, but not too near.

We’re standing around, in the driveway, with the fresh cut scent of grass in the air.

“Ooh, don’t tell Kerry,” they say, dancing around something they see and I don’t. I know them pretty well and can probably guess.

***

This was no Winnie the Pooh cartoon. I remember his song about being a little black storm cloud, as he attempted to disguise himself in mud, so he could sneak honey from a tree, attempting to avoid detection by the swarm of bees.

This time, in this driveway, it was a favourite tree of my mom’s. The late afternoon warmth of the day made conditions just right for pollination.

This was a nightmare of mine.

Not pollination. I think that’s cool and all, for the bees, but it took some coaxing from my sister, to get me to walk close to the Eastern redbud tree, as the closer I came, the louder the sound of the bees. They were clearly occupied, more concerned with the flowers they were working on, and weren’t about to stop their very important duties, to all land on me, like they would if I were dreaming.

***

I back away hastily, nevertheless, just in case. The sound of a swarm of bees makes me shrink back. That sound gets me moving, faster than most anything else I might hear. Not the fault of the bees at all.

***

Yu know that fear you have that something in your own life will inevitably reoccur at night, in your dreams?

Of course, we don’t normally control that. The things, at least for me, which I fear could show up in my dreams at night never show up, just because I think they will. Always, it’s a surprise, for good or ill.

***

This week’s Finish the Sentence Friday post is about

dreams

and

dreaming.

***

I need to start a dream journal. If I were to do this, I would need to write them down the moment I wake up, because within minutes the memories fade, unless extremely vivid. I have had some of those over the years, of which some really crazy stories could have been written. Ah well.

**I’ve dreamed about clowns. *Shudders

**I’ve dreamed the standard one where I’m being chased.

**I’ve dreamed I was stuck at the bottom of the ocean.

**I’ve dreamed that I moved out to the west coast of Canada, to fulfill my long held dream of studying marine biology.

**Some good and some not so good dreams, for sure.**

**I’ve dreamt I was in an old house, one that smelled rancid, and when I awoke I could still smell it on the insides of my nostrils.

The putrid smell in the dream carried on into my day and I still get that happening on occasion. A strange mix-up of senses, experience, and consciousness.

***

To round off this week’s answer to the sentence I thought I would address one of the most commonly asked questions about blindness:

Do I see when I dream?

I don’t suddenly drift off each night and enter a totally sighted realm. I believe, most times, the brain can’t simply create images where none have been known. I could be wrong, not wanting to speak for all who can’t see, but it also depends on if you’ve been totally blind all your life or not. I have had more sight previously. Perhaps my brain can use a recall method, but mostly I don’t think about it. I can’t even really give a totally clear and concise answer.

You’d think it should be easy to say, but it’s not so black and white. More different variations of grey.

When I sleep, I dream in, from what I can recall, faded light. I think, as my sight seems to be less and less, that element of my dreaming hours becomes less and less important. I like the break I usually get though. In my dreams, I don’t worry about being treated differently. I don’t worry how I’m going to get somewhere, or if I have someone’s arm to guide me, or if I’ve suddenly ended up without my white cane. I just don’t care and, I must say, that break from reality is the best part of dreaming, no matter what I see or don’t see while I’m in the midst of it.

***

This song came on in a restaurant where I found myself eating lunch the other day.

Sailing – Christopher Cross

While I was sleeping, I dreamt his song. I like it. It takes me away somewhere when I hear it, sort of like a beautiful and a peaceful dream should.

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TToT: Red Means Stop and Green Means Go – Daffodil Hill, #10Thankful

Guess what?

Back and Better Than Ever

I sit here, feeling the vibration of the music underfoot. The music comes up through the floor at my feet and the art is flowing all around me.

As for me, I have my tool back, the one which I need now, if I even hope to write, the thing closest to breathing. Music is that for those in my basement.

Times Like These

Music. Writing. Creativity. Art. It’s all necessary, to keep this world bright and hopeful. Or to keep me bright and hopeful at least.

I had been feeling the pressure to write, but lately I have been held back by old and dying technology. I managed to keep up with my favourite weekly posts – somehow.

😉

Until last week of course. But last week I finally through my hands up in the air in frustration, when I couldn’t deal with a computer that resisted my attempts. I hated to miss this place, but I just couldn’t do it anymore.

Help arrived just in time.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For all the things I spoke of at the start of this post.

I am thankful I can offer a practice space to my brother and his fellow musicians.

This house is more than capable of providing a place for the kind of sounds of their guitars, drums, and vocals.

For the chance to observe the art they create. They do it all. They write their songs and perform them. They make something, where once there was nothing. That is producing something of beauty, putting something of beauty back into the world, when so much is taken away every day.

For my generous parents.

They see when I am struggling. They gave me back my creativity, when something came along and took it away for a while there.

For my brother’s help.

He knows his stuff and helped me find what I needed.

And for helpful computer guys on the phone.

For a sweet sweet computer.

Apple is not the product for everybody, as it once wasn’t for me, but they make magic and technology becomes my friend and ally once more.

For the slickest of slick Bluetooth keyboards.

This thing is so light and it allows me to write.

🙂

For helpful second brother to help me get new technology set up and working.

I needed to get my blogging/journal program to work and that involves a lot of the know-how of which I do not possess.

My brother rescues me from extra headaches. Invaluable.

For learning my second song on the violin.

My brother showed me the first few notes, fairly similar to “Twinkle Twinkle”, which I first learned.

Then I went to my lesson and learned the rest of a second song, a surprise for someone I love coming up soon.

For helpful cab drivers.

I took one to my lesson. He was helpful and gave me his number, eager to take me back when I was done.

It sounded a bit odd at first, but I know there are kind people. I hate to not take them up on that kindness. Perhaps he just desperately needed my business, but I appreciated it.

He described the streets (for my own knowledge, he said) and told me to call for a ride, anytime.

For creativity and a new project in the works.

I had an idea to try doing a Podcast. It will be based around the sibling relationship with my brother.

I had the idea and he went to school to know how to record.

He knew how to set up microphones and record us. It reminded me of all the times he taped us as kids. Of course, pictures meant nothing to him. He never could see them. I wouldn’t see them for long. Recording our voices, our experiences, this was how we passed our time growing up and how we captured memories, now all kept on cassette tapes he still has today.

I want to create something new and maybe it will become something.

Perhaps nobody but me will want to hear the sort of discussions my brother and I have, but maybe, just maybe we can say something, share something, speak to something.

Fast Car – Tracy Chapman

This song was performed live, at an open mic night I went out to Friday evening. It was a beautiful version, but this one is the one I’ve always loved, the one that makes me tear up when I hear it, and of which I love to return to.

“So remember when we were driving, driving in your car. Speed so fast I felt like I was drunk. City lights laid out before us, and your arm felt nice wrapped round my shoulder. And I had a feeling that I belonged.. I had a feeling I could be someone…be someone…be someone.”

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The Things I’ve Seen and Heard, #TGIF #FTSF #BluSkyFriday

The little boy goes from family member to family member, (parent to sibling), but none are cooperating with his request to speak into the tape recorder. This is his ritual, as a way to capture memories for the record, through sound. He can’t see vacation photos in an album. Soon his sister won’t either.

This family is used to their littlest and his odd requests. Well, they might appear odd to some, but it’s just annoying, as the family is finished exploring tourist attractions for now and only wishes to veg in the hotel room. They don’t want to be interviewed, asked what they are doing, but the boy persists.

My brother has tapes and tapes of this sort, from all the years and all the trips we took, and my parents loved to take us on trips.

Now, this morning my cough is nearly gone, but still I’m recovering and it’s probably good my violin lesson did not happen, though I hope I will soon learn second line of “Twinkle Twinkle” before I forget the first.

So, the things I see this morning consist of nostalgia and past family memories, all caught on tape, now digitalized for future listening.

My brother and I don’t see. We hear.

🙂

Okay, so I make a little fun with the wording of this week’s sentence, only in that I don’t normally like to pick apart the word “see” as a term that the blind can not really use. I “use” it all the time actually, with no further thought.

I see/hear the fun we used to have as children, together. My brother and I proceed to laugh our asses off, for what feels like hours, while we wait for the coffee that will not make itself.

On the first day of the final year of my brother’s twenties we remember when he was eight and I was eleven. We listen to the tour of the hotel room he did, to understand his world, so he wouldn’t forget a single moment of the time we spent as a family on that summer getaway.

This week’s “The things I’ve seen this morning…” prompt is brought to you by:

https://kimbawhite.wordpress.com/

And…as always:

http://www.findingninee.com/

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Back and Forth, #TGIF #FTSF

I often feel like these last twenty-two years have all been a dream, that I’ll still suddenly wake up and be back in the fourth grade, that ten-year-old little girl who has no idea what lies in store for her: both good and bad.

But that’s a story for another time.

IF I could travel in time, it’s the 80s I would return to.

Not only is it my favourite decade, for the music alone, it is the one me and all three of my siblings were born in. It was when we were young and we didn’t have to worry about filing taxes, basement flooding, and the future quite so much.

Save a Prayer – Duran Duran, 1982

Both Duran Duran and Back to the Future mark the 80s, in both music and film, better than almost anything else, in my opinion.

Marty McFly and Doc Brown’s DeLorean are giving me a ride and we’re traveling to the date…well, I don’t know because it all depends on my mood, sometimes from moment to moment: 1982, 1992.

I really liked Back to the Future, but only the first and third, as I thought the second one jumped around too much. It couldn’t make up its mind, thinking the future would be so much better, re-writing things too much, but I guess I am not recalling it very well.

I liked BTTF because the star of the film, Michael J. Fox, he’s Canadian and I always thought he was cute, sweet, different than all the other actors in Hollywood, starting from the eighties onward.

Well, music changed, Duran Duran, once it hit the 90s

changed quite a lot in its sound,

But it’s still the same band. They are still performing, all these years later,, for outrageous ticket prices if you ask me. It really costs a lot to travel back in time from the year 2016 apparently.

😉

Past, present, future. It really shows that things don’t change that much, and yet they change more than we know when time feels like it travels so slowly in the moment.

A time machine could bring me back or forward to any date I might wish, but what would I have to sacrifice for either one?

Duran Duran, in 1992 said:

“But I won’t cry for yesterday.”

I guess I shouldn’t look back, a concept I am exploring a lot lately, though it’s hard not to look back at all.

I don’t have the time traveling vehicle featured in Back to the Future, (although I did ride in one like it at Disney World once, with my family in the 90s), but I do have music. It

makes me happy

and it is my time machine, taking me wherever I wish to go, any time I might need a little reminiscing.

And that is a precious thing, one that doesn’t exist only in the movies, or in a science experiment, or at a Disney theme park of my childhood memories.

This was a Finish the Sentence Friday post, thanks to:

Michelle Grewe of Crumpets and Bollocks

&

Kristi of Finding Ninee.

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Music Makes Me Happy, #1000Speak #InternationalDayOfHappiness

“Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.”
–Oscar Wilde

“Aw, Dobby’s sad,” my three-year-old nephew says about my dog, sounding sad too.

I am constantly in awe at how very small children sense sadness in other people and in animals. They sense it, feel it, and acknowledge it, hoping the big people in their immediate vicinity will recognize it and make it all better, like their parents do for them.

Sadness is the opposite of happiness?

I guess, but there are many shades of both.

On this,

International Day of Happiness,

I wonder if I am happy, if the world is all that happy either.

Standard of living, poverty, oppression all play a role, but I believe there are those who have very little (in material possessions) yet are happier than some who have more.

Scars – Emmanuel Jal Feat. Nelly Furtado

Of course material possessions don’t automatically guarantee happiness. This got me thinking on what does make people happy, all across the world, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s one universal thing, other than love I’d think, and that one thing is: music.

This week I did what I never thought I could. I wrote lyrics for a song. I know my singing talents are few at best, but I know I can write, can convey a feeling through words.

Soon after I’d written and worked with my musician brother to set them to the song he’d written, he and a singer recorded it. I’ve heard a rough draft and, after the shock I felt at hearing my words laid out through song, I felt pride and happiness.

Music comes in so many forms and it evokes so many, varied, unique yet universally applicable feelings and emotions. It connects us all around the world. It brings people together. How can any of that not produce happiness?

So, as I’d seen recently on Facebook that people were listing the albums that most affected them, I thought I’d try it. Maybe someone will discover some new music that makes them happy or will be recalled to a time, of happiness, or something else, but at least we’re feeling something. I believe that is important to realizing we’re all human, fallible, deserving of love.

(These are all listed, not in the order of their original release, but in the order of which I feel happiest upon hearing them.)

🙂

First, Jann Arden even has an entire album she’s dedicated to the feeling of the day, as the album is called “Happy”, but here are ten other albums that don’t need to say it, although sometimes they do, to make me happy.

***

No Need To Argue – The Cranberries

“Unhappiness where’s when I was young, and we didn’t give a damn

‘cause we were raised, to see life as fun and take it if we can.”

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

I discovered this Irish group at a time when I was very confused and scared. This album in particular brought me peace from the storm that was raging in my world. Peace was much needed. Listening to this one, still to this day, makes me happy.

Heart of Stone – Cher

“Memories haunt you, feelings you won’t forget
Learn to live a lesson in love, walk away without regret.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_of_Stone_(Cher_album)

Nostalgia is not a big enough word for what I feel about this Cher album. I listen and I am immediately brought back to a simpler time, to happy childhood days.

Vespertine – Bjork

“I have a recurrent dream
Every time I lose my voice
I swallow little glowing lights
My mother and son baked for me”

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

This album is a favourite of my youth. The lyrics are wonderfully weird and I feel wistful wild happiness when I listen.

Jagged Little Pill – Alanis Morissette

“I’m broke but I’m happy. I’m poor but I’m kind. I’m short but I’m healthy. Yeah!”

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

I was still a little girl when this hit album was released, but it made me happy, even if I didn’t understand a lot of the things she sang about at that time. It got me through a really hard time and it helped me feel happy, sad, angry, scared. It taught me a lot about self expression.

Halcyon – Ellie Goulding

In March 1011, when asked about the album’s musical direction in an interview with gossip website Dean Piper’s World, Goulding stated, “It’s started to sound very dark and very weird. This album is going to be even more emotional (…) I wanted to make it so there is hope. I want to make an effect whether it’s happy or sad.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halcyon_(album)

Without sadness I don’t think happiness would mean nearly as much as it does. I feel both emotions, in quick secession when I’m listening to it.

Songs from the Big Chair – Tears for Fears

“And I believe that if you’re bristling while you hear this song
I could be wrong or have I hit a nerve?”

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

More nostalgia with this one. Simply a kick-ass bunch of songs. It is from my favourite decade of music, released almost exactly one year after I was born, and I consider to be a gift my father gave me. Well, my father or my big brother, but which one doesn’t really matter because they have both made me who I am. They both have done so much that has made me happy.

Surfacing – Sarah McLachlan

“Make me a witness. Take me out, out of darkness, out of doubt.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surfacing_(album)

Being a teenager is hard. This album brought me happiness through its powerful lyrics. It’s imprinted on my mind and heart.

It’s Not Me, It’s You – Lily Allen

Don’t you just love the title of this one? Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode. Know which one I mean?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_Not_Me,_It%27s_You

Jagged Little Pill was written when I was still a little girl, but I discovered this album when I was finally grown. It sort of became my outcry on so much I saw as I was now a grown woman myself. It makes me happy to hear it and to know I can do this. I can get past so much. I can handle whatever life throws my way.

Left of the Middle – Natalie Imbruglia

“‘cause intuition tells me that I’m doin’ fine
Intuition tells me when to draw the line
Should have turned left
Should have turned right
But I ended up here
Bang in the middle of real life”

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

This one reminds me of my first taste of independence. I loved it then, it made me happy, and I will love it always.

Rumours – Fleetwood Mac

“Don’t stop, thinking about tomorrow. Don’t stop. It’ll soon be here. It’ll be here, better than before. Yesterday’s gone. Yesterday’s gone.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumours_(album)

Before my time, again, but I like it for the classic record it is. It makes me happy to listen to its snappy beats and its catchy melodies.

***

There you are. There were the ten albums that make my list, music to make me happy.

I am listening to music as I write this post. It’s increasing my level of happiness. I do it often.

Now, I realize this, of course isn’t always possible. Since Bobby McFerrin told us to simply “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” in the eighties, it sounded like a good solution to all of our problems. Unfortunately, not all that practical all the time, but I hope there exists, somewhere out there, a piece of music…or an entire album for that matter, that makes you happy.

And so I hope everyone can find a little piece of their own brand of happiness, on this day set aside for that very thing, if not all the days of the year.

I have no doubt there is a deep connection between happiness and compassion. When we are happy we want to spread it around, (like the sharing of a song), which is compassion in my mind.

I am happy also that I can take part in yet another

1000 Voices Speak For Compassion

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TToT: Daylight Savings and Snowdrops, #10Thankful #PledgeForParity #WorldKidneyDay

“”They tried to bury us. They did not know we were seeds.”

–Mexican Proverb

snowdropcloseup-2016-03-13-09-57.jpg

Spring is close now, an additional hour of light.

THE SNOWDROP – HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN

The flowers are appearing. Growth is possible.

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL

For an excellent spotlight interview on the American program 60 Minutes with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Not sure how many people saw it, but I was watching, and I was proud and thankful to have him speaking for my country.

He spoke about being born into a politically royal family, his feelings on boxing and how it’s all about risking being knocked down but then getting right back up again, and he was asked what Canadians would like from our neighbours, what we’d like the US to know.

Oh boy! This was the interviewer’s attempt to start something and some Americans were very definitely offended and showed it on Twitter.

Justin Trudeau on 60 Minutes: Twitter Pulls No Punches For New PM

But I thought it was funny when an image on screen of Justin’s Father, with his supposed wife and mother to his children, actually turned out to be a shot of Pierre on a date with Kim Cattrall. Thought Americans at least were familiar with “Sex and the City”.

🙂

For the ability to be there when my sister needed me.

I want to be available to watch my nephew when she is at work, whenever possible. He’s learning, growing, changing so fast.

The other day, when she walked out the door, he stood there and clung to me for what felt like ages and ages. It was as if, without words, he was reassuring himself it would be okay…that his mother was gone but that he still had me. I never wanted that moment to end and wished it could have gone on longer than it did.

For snow drops.

There are flowers all over the place, starting to spring up.

😉

Then, the other day my mother (lover of all growing things) placed a small flower, on its stem, in my palm. It felt droopy, and I was then informed it was called a “snowdrop”:

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

I personally would have named it a snow-flop, but I liked the name and the transitional image of winter evolving into spring again.

For IWD2016

International Women’s Day 2016 – Pledge For Parity

I was trying to cut back a little on blogging during the week,

(Cracks in the Ceiling)

but I felt I had to write on March 8th, to say my piece, my peaceful piece.

🙂

Speaking of recognizing female voices…

Sophia Bush Speaks Her Mind On Feminism

For the discovery of a new song and artist.

She came on the local college radio station and I immediately liked the song, its signature Electropop sound.

I looked into her further later and discovered I knew one of her songs already, but I found a new favourite.

Halsey is another young and emerging artist, like Lorde for example, but she has a definite Ellie sound to her.

I am happy to have found another like Ellie Goulding, but a change from Goulding too because sometimes certain memories that go along with a specific singer or voice can still hold painful recollections. I’ve found a new voice to focus on for a while, even though I will always love Ellie in a way nobody else can top.

For bookstores.

I love standing in them. I love being surrounded by my favourite things, books, but I can only be in them for a short time before the fact that I am unable to simply reach out, grab a book, and start to read will wash over me and I will realize my limitations. It is at this point that I am thankful and grateful, but I must flee because the urge to burst into tears becomes a difficult one to hold back.

For World Kidney Day

Exactly twenty years ago was when I was first diagnosed with kidney failure. It was March, 1996, and finally my family doc sent me to a paediatric specialist, who immediately confirmed what my blood tests already showed. I was very sick and needed dialysis within a few months.

That was a scary time and, even all these years later, I will never forget what it felt like to be so ill.

For the option of doing dialysis to treat end-stage renal failure, like the kind I was in twenty years ago.

I am lucky to have a kidney from my father, for nineteen years now, and I was lucky, at that time, that there was such thing as dialysis as a treatment for kidney failure. Other organ failure did not and does not have just such a stabilizing treatment option, which is no cure, but is better than nothing, better than the alternative. I am lucky to be here.

For a successful visit in Washington, D.C. between the first families of the US and Canada.

The two men (Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama) they are a lot alike, see the world similarly.

No matter what else is going on with the US and their elections for a new president for November, now, in Washington, I liked to see peace, lighthearted humour, and harmonious relations between our two countries.

Trudeau might just be starting his time in office, while Obama and his rational good sense is on the way out, but I just liked the week that was. It made a nice “bookend” to the interview that started my week off right.

Finally, for the fact that I seem to be able to escape many people’s issue with losing that hour last night.

I had a nasty headache, sure, but I really don’t think I can blame that on Daylight Savings.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night from the pain, but I usually don’t detect a problem in my sleep pattern.

I am choosing to give this whole Daylight Saving thing the benefit of the doubt because I get headaches all the time, and I have a feeling I can place the blame squarely on something else entirely.

As I finished off my weekend and welcomed the lost hour and its additional light to come, my head began to pound. This song and all the signs of spring promise better days ahead.

Haunting – Halsey

In this song Halsey speaks of “diving in deep” and the song ends off with her, or it sounds like she is under water, scuba diving. It’s awesome!

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Blogging, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Memoir and Reflections, The Insightful Wanderer, Throw-back Thursday, Travel

Hotel Nostalgia At The Falls, #TBT #LoIsInDaBl

NIAGARA FALLS AT NIGHT

Just take a listen to that roar!

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I live only a few hours from

Visit Niagara

and I love it. I could write and write and write about why I love it so.

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I went to Niagara Falls, Canada, all the time when I was growing up, with family and friends.

I’ve been there on a rainy day in the green of spring, on a blisteringly hot day of summer, during a crisp and beautiful weekend during autumn, and the blustery cold of winter too. In any season in Canada I would happily return to where my heart lies.

It has been called the Honeymoon Capital. I spent a Valentine’s weekend of my own, there in February that had its own memorable charm.

I’ve ticked off items from my bucket list more than once and I plan to tick off many more yet still.

Feel the Vibrations – Touching Landscapes

Some complain of how commercial and touristy its become, but I don’t let that bother me. Of course it is a wonder to behold and people from all around the world flock to see it. I can’t and don’t blame them for that.

Just in my last visit there I met visitors from China and Zimbabwe alone, but the countries represented standing at that railing are numerous and varied.

I am one awfully proud Canadian who, once I place my hand on that rail and my feet on the rock ledge overlooking Niagara, I never want to leave.

Niagara on the Lake – if you love wine, you will love the atmosphere of peace and tranquility in that town.

I recommend a nighttime ride on the big ferris wheel that gives you the best views of the lights on Niagara Falls waters.

Niagara Sky Wheel

There is no place like it in the world. Go and go soon. Not to be missed.

As much as I am obsessed with travel, have places like Ireland where I’ve been and love or Hawaii where I love to dream of visiting, Niagara Falls will always be my spot. I can honestly say I “LOVE” Niagara Falls and always will.

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/us-officials-plan-to-temporarily-turn-off-niagara-falls/62781

For this week –

https://justfoolingaroundwithbee.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/loisindabl-for-11feb16-buildings-we-love/

– I couldn’t think of any building I love more than this place that could never be contained inside walls, but in Niagara Falls there is one building I love so very much.

http://cairncroft.com/

It’s not the fanciest hotel in Niagara Falls or anywhere else for that matter. It’s not the most luxurious of accommodations for a vacation, but it’s where I am at my happiest.

It should be called Hotel Nostalgia. It has a grouping of rooms, two levels of them, all facing out into a tropical indoor courtyard. There is soft music playing all the time. The pool is warm and the sky lights let in all kinds of light from above and outside.

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This was the newest generation of my family, making memories of this very special place.

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I was so excited to get to take my niece and nephews there. My whole family spent the weekend there together, and something I thought was gone forever, we all got to enjoy together one more time.

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