“I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl could be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
—Daisy Buchanan, The Great Gatsby
For April Fools’ Day this year: Tourism Ireland claimed they were saving power by having sheep keep the grass trimmed, George Takei announced he was running for office, and that’s just the start of it.
It may have been a week of tomfoolery,
but also of sunshine, birds, flowers, and beautiful skies.
I learned my brother and Vincent Van Gogh share a birthday.
Thanks, everyone, for your delightful and helpful descriptions last week, for what a rainbow looks like to you.
Anyone want to take a crack at describing Van Gogh’s painting? I’ve never seen a rainbow, but I’ve also never seen the stars.
Oh, of course, I am not glad to hear anyone feels this way. I just know it’s easy, as a newer writer, to feel like things will never go where I want them to. This writer has been published, books, and she still gets down on herself. It is oddly comforting, that it isn’t likely to get much easier, the further down the writing path you find yourself.
I am thankful for writers who are willing to stand up for others.
This essay hits the nail on the head. I am glad Full Grown People has returned, after being on hiatis. It seems to be moving to publish more of these kinds of open statements and I think that is important.
I am thankful, again, for a doctor who cares.
This doctor is doing all she can to help me feel better. In my experience, that doesn’t always work so well, but her sincere desire to try means a lot to me at this point, after some doctors I’ve seen over the years.
I am a little nervous to try her latest suggestion, but I will see how it goes. If it doesn’t help, then we return to the drawing board.
I am thankful for my brother.
He turned 30 and we didn’t get to celebrate like you should celebrate the start of a new decade of life, but I’m just thankful he’s here to celebrate it at all.
He had a seizure on the eve of his 30th.
I am thankful that my brother is okay.
It’s not a good sign that he’s had a seizure twice in only a few weeks, but luckily he has a doctor appointment this week and maybe he’ll have to increase his medication.
You never know when one will come on. He must have bumped his head on something as he fell because there was blood everywhere.
We’re all just so relieved he came to and phoned his friend, who thankfully could tell right away that something wasn’t right, and went straight over to check things out.
I am thankful my violin teacher and I could work on some problem solving and practice strategies.
When most people move out, I prefer to move in.
We discovered I could keep my arm straighter, in the proper position, if I stand against the wall to play. I rest my right arm against the wall and then I know not to bring it inward any.
It’s a bit of an odd place to be, but hopefully it’s just until I get the hang of things better. I need to know the feeling of where my arm should be, just like I need to learn to feel where my fingers should be.
We are working hard to find ways so I can practice more efficiently. Every lesson we discuss things in a slightly different way.
I doubt my abilities sometimes, but if you don’t submit, you’ll never win.
I wrote something that I quite like. I am proud of it, but we’ll see what the judges think.
I owe some of my family for their input.
I originally did not give my main character a name. Then, as I was working on the final touches before submitting, I realized what day it was. I am not a fan of April Fool’s Day because I am too gullible for my own good, even on a day I know jokes and pranks will be occurring. I did snap up a bit of, what I hope will be good luck, by naming my main character April.
I thought since the deadline was April 1st, it felt meant to be somehow.
Speaking of jokes and pranks…
I am thankful for humour and light things with Canada’s leader and a sitcom star.
I can’t tell you how nice it felt to read this and be able to smile at a story I read in the news for once. I say I can often be gullible, but I can’t believe some took this seriously. I needed this kind of lighthearted humorous exchange, between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Matthew Perry (Chandler) from Friends.
I am glad Canada has a leader with a decent sense of humour.
I decided to try the A to Z Challenge, for the first time, on a whim this year. I hope I will be thankful for that decision, as April goes forward.
“To be an artist means: not to calculate and count; to grow and ripen like a tree which does not hurry the flow of its sap and stands at ease in the spring gales without fearing that no summer may follow. It will come. But it comes only to those who are patient, who are simply there in their vast, quiet tranquility, as if eternity lay before them.”
: You’re a foul one, Mr. Grinch / You’re a nasty, wasty skunk / Your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk / Mr. Gri-inch / The three words that best describe you are as follows, and I quote: Stink, stank, stunk!
Two holiday favourites I like to watch this time of year are The Grinch and A Christmas Carol. I wonder at if the real life Grinches and Scrooge’s of this world could grow a heart and see the error of their ways, but sadly, I doubt it by this point.
Also, as I was sitting in the gymnasium from my youth, watching a new generation of children singing about Santa and snowflakes and all the other traditions of this time of year, I felt the ghosts of my own childhood, all the years I spent in elementary school. I also listened to songs about snowflakes and I thought about that.
I get on my own case for letting it bother me at all that the idea of a snowflake has been hijacked by those who have started referring to “liberals” as “special snowflakes” and saying all the “special snowflakes” need to go and hide out in their “safe places”.
So just what exactly is so wrong with that, anyway? Huh? Hmm?
I want a break from worries. As much as I love the advice I’m often given, to try not to focus on those things that upset me, I refuse to let something as beautiful as a snowflake be a negative thing. Or, as if a safe place is somehow a bad place to be.
Oh, no no no. I…Don’t…Think…SO!
So, here I am, starting this pre-Christmas TToT with a rant or two, but I wish I didn’t have it on my mind to rant about anything at all. I do plan to give myself the gift of a break from all that once Christmas does come.
(this is a real single snowflake showing all of the tiny details)
I’m thankful for snowflakes.
Snowflakes are special, this is true. They are nature at its finest. They are the most delicate things and I am lucky to have grown up with them, here in Canada. I recently had a fascinating conversation with someone who didn’t grow up with the kind of snow we have here. He spoke of his thoughts about it now. I enjoyed hearing his perspective, so different from mine.
They are all different, snowflakes, and that makes them special, not one being the same as another. They may be delicate on their own, but as more and more of them fall, eventually they become a collection of flakes, which makes snow and the results of enough snowflakes, all packed together, this can become the most unstoppable of forces: an avalanche.
I’m thankful for safe places.
Wait until war ravages where you call home and then see if you look for a safe place to run to.
In a world so full of harsh weather and cruel human behaviours, and a safe place is something we all would cling desperately to.
I thank everything I have for home, which is my safe place/space, where family are and where I know I am loved by someone. I desire greatly to explore the world, but I’m sure thankful I have the safe place right here to return to. If that makes me winy or pathetic to some, so be it.
I’m thankful for solstice. Man, do I love that word.
December 21st is the first day of winter. I am ready for it.
I think there is something beautiful about winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. People are thrilled this means the days, from here on out, begin to lengthen and commence in June. That will be another big month in my life, but for now, I enjoy what transpires in this part of the world and astronauts have seen it and word it best:
Generations of astronauts, after looking at Earth from space, have professed a profound new understanding of it. Edgar Mitchell, who, in 1971, became the sixth man to walk on the moon, said, “From out there . . . international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’ ” Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong’s crewmate on Apollo 11, expressed similar sentiments in his memoir, “Carrying the Fire,” which was published in the midst of the Cold War. Seeing our home planet from afar, he wrote, prompted an epiphany: “The earth
Must become as it appears: blue and white, not capitalist or Communist; blue and white, not rich or poor; blue and white, not envious or envied.”
Mike Massimino, in his memoir, “Spaceman,” reports having spent almost a full day staring out a window of the Space Shuttle Columbia, watching sunrises and lightning storms (“like a form of communication, like a sequence, like the clouds are alien creatures speaking to each other in code”). On his second spacewalk, Massimino told me recently, he had a spare moment to “take in the view.” He recalls being struck not only by Earth’s incredible beauty—“We are living in a paradise”—but also by its fragility. From out there, he said, especially during night passes, “you can see the thinness of the atmosphere,” a bluish-green line. This sudden perception of Earth as a delicate, intricate system is so common among astronauts that the writer Frank White coined a term for it: the overview effect.
Astronauts are endlessly fascinating to me, in part because they have a knack for poignant quotations. Buzz Aldrin, for instance, described the lunar landscape as a vision of “magnificent desolation,” a grand phrase for a bleak truth. Unlike our paradisiacal, blue-and-white Earth, the moon has no atmosphere and no real sky—just gray dust and black space, such that color photographs from moonwalks appear mostly black and white, as though someone colorized the American flags after the fact.
NASA brought six flags to the moon, on poles outfitted with horizontal crossbars so that the stars and stripes would show, as though caught in a nonexistent breeze. The flags are still there, but radiation is presumed to have left them in tatters—monuments to our love of Earth, or maybe just litter.
I’m thankful for the chance to return to my childhood for an afternoon.
It was a tad emotional, I admit, but it brought back a lot of worthwhile memories that had me thinking.
I have so much wrapped up in that building, both good and bad. I found it highly moving to return there. It gave me a lot to think about.
Speaking of ghosts at Christmas time, they were everywhere there.
I’m thankful I got to see my nephew’s Christmas concert.
Oh, aw, ah all those little boys and girls, trying so hard and singing their hearts out. They tried their best, especially the youngest ones like my nephew, to remember the words they practiced and my nephew, for one, was nervous when he walked on stage and saw how many of us there were in the audience.
I couldn’t pick out my nephew up there, as I am unable to see anywhere that clearly upon returning to that school as an adult with considerably less sight, but I am still glad I went, even if he couldn’t see me either.
I’m thankful for safeguards and protection for natural places.
President Obama and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau working together once more, for one of the final acts together, to preserve parts of the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.
They are protected against off shore oil drilling in those places. I don’t know how foolproof it will be, if what they’ve done will stand the test of time and Trump, but we shall see.
I am glad the two men are working together, once more, at something worthwhile. Sure, it may not be protecting everything that needs protecting, but it is something.
I’m thankful for a return to my library writing group.
I had missed a few, but I am glad I returned for this final meeting of “The Elsewhere Region” of 2016.
There were cookies and chocolate with mint and chocolate and raspberry tea. I don’t normally drink tea like the rest of them like to do, always afraid I might spill mine all over my electronics, but this time the tea sounded just too good to pass up. I took precautions, but the tea was delicious. Just the perfect thing for the occasion.
I wrote a story, dialogue and a conversation between two young women. The mystery object one member brought in was a strange family Christmas decoration. It was a frog wearing a fancy outfit and hat and his tag said something about him being named Mistle Toad.
Okay, so I guess he was a toad, not a frog, but it made for some interesting ideas for a writing prompt. We discussed and most wrote about the popular idea of kissing a frog and making it turn into a handsome prince.
My story confused some, but it really illustrates how, like snowflakes, all our writing styles are so diverse and so very much our own.
My imagination is a lot different from many of the other writers in the group. This always makes for a fun time.
I’m thankful for understanding doctors and nurses.
I have a doctor who hasn’t given up on me, even though I am a bit of a difficult case, and who promises I can call and come see her if anything comes up, even if it’s before our next scheduled appointment. That’s the sort of empathy and understanding I have always hoped for.
Also, I have a nurse offering to give me an iPhone case she no longer needs.
I’m thankful for my flu shot.
I know many people think it totally unnecessary. Some have gotten sick soon after getting one in the past and feel it can cause more problems than it helps prevent. I must say that I do take my low immune system seriously enough. If I can ever prevent getting a bad flu one of these times, I will get the shot.
My arm hasn’t even really bothered me this year, since getting it, and after the initial stinging and burning of the injection itself.
For those who are in perfect health, who are young and strong, there’s likely no huge need for it. Either way. I don’t get too worked up. It’s easy enough to get and so I do.
I’m thankful for a surprise Christmas card.
Thank you Lizzi
for the surprise. I also enjoyed the tactile parts on the front of the card and the surprises to be found inside.
I admit I don’t do up Christmas cards myself. I find it hard, all so visual and I guess I’ve lost a little of my artistic streak, which I could draw on to make cards still for people.
As for Christmas cards, having them sent to me, not many are. I suppose many people think I won’t be able to see them anyway, so what’s the point? I don’t know. I may feel somewhat left out, but there are other ways of expressing holiday cheer. It’s just nice, once and a while.
: He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!
: Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas Day will always be just as long as we have we. Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand.
It hurts, threatening to burst under the weight of it all.
It’s just another speech on the US 2016 election campaign. Still, underneath that, there were parts that were all, essentially about human decency.
Michelle Obama spoke and I listened and I felt the familiar stinging of tears starting to form in my eyes.
I put off listening, as Facebook’s newsfeed blew up with people sharing the speech and lamenting its sincerity and harsh reality. Finally, after a bad day of becoming choked up on New York Times Modern Love essays about children and adoption, I thought, “why not?”
Every day I can’t believe it. The days are constant: International Day of the Girl (which Michelle mentions), World Sight Day, Blindness Awareness, White Cane Awareness and people can never seem to settle on the correct word order for some of these. But I guess it doesn’t matter what you call it. We’re all just trying to get by and to be heard and valued.
I see less and less and yet it’s what I hear that I can’t believe.
I hear things on my television screen
that I can’t believe I’m hearing.
I doubt my own hearing, one of my strongest remaining senses.
I feel vulnerable every time I walk out there, a visually impaired woman with her white cane. Am I standing out? Or am I invisible?
The line she spoke that most caught my attention and left a lump in my throat, my eyes burning, and a ringing in my ears was: “We’re drowning in it.” I believe she was referring specifically to sexism and misogyny. It’s no big deal to most people, most times, but it’s always there, somewhere. How much does it matter?
Women should feel it. Men should feel it. Over and over again, people talk of daughters, sisters, wives, mothers. What are women, even myself, what are we supposed to think? What lessons have young men learned? What do those calling themselves politicians think they’re doing anyway?
I even doubt my ears here in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been in charge for one whole year now, since the last time Canada’s baseball team made it to the play off’s. I had hope then, as someone finally starting to feel somewhat better about the state of my own country, hope for a future where women’s rights, all rights of people might continue to improve, that we here could be a living embodiment of what is possible. Nothing but a naive girl’s silly hope?
His reputation as a feminist has only grown here and around the world. But then I think about possible leaked tapes, recordings, information in the future.
We believe forward-thinking men in politics like Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama are decent, would never treat women so disrespectfully. Then I imagine a time in the future where I will hear, with my own ears, something that could shake my confidence in these two men as concerned fathers and sons and husbands. Maybe they aren’t who they claim to be either. Power. Is it all one giant power trip?
A black man ran the country that supported slavery, segregation, and the targeting of black men as criminals. A woman may soon run a country where women who were black couldn’t even vote fifty years ago. This must represent change and growth, but not all want it, require it, hope and pray for it. Some attack and demonize it.
As for progress and decency, men in positions of power and capable of making sweeping and lasting change, I don’t want to be let down in that way, not ever.
But how sure can I be? When may the other shoe drop, the floor drop out on me?
I appreciate varied viewpoints and healthy discussions, but I too shy away from disrespect, inhumanity, bickering, anger, discrimination, the refusal to see beyond the nose on one’s own face.
I don’t call myself a believer in feminism lightly.
I try to find a balance. This isn’t easy.
I have not suffered at the hands of abuse by men in my own life, but I feel a wider societal pressure. I know only the most decent men in my own life. My father. My brothers. Those I have learned from about love. Those I have loved. We all make mistakes, say foolish things in a moment of weakness or ignorance, both male and female. Goodness can still thrive.
I’m just afraid to believe what I hear. Perceptions are realities.
I wasn’t around during slavery, but what slavery still occurs, and what can I do about it, if I happen to see it or if I hide from that which still exists?
How free am I personally? What am I a slave to in my own life? How dare I even ask, even think?
The 13Th Amendment. The 19Th Amendment. What can 100 years, 150, what can that passing time do? How slow is change really? How far have we really come with rights for all? What is truly being amended? What am I seeing, hearing, witnessing, neglecting to admit about this time I’m living in?
I recommend 13TH. It covers a long timeline of events and not just the small snapshot of time we’re currently living through. It’s not easy to see back into all the preceding time, into anything other than noticing the glasses on our own faces, even mine where no more literal glasses sit.
Trump. Hillary. Bill.
Reagan, like Trump, an actor/performer. Nixon, known, as Hilary Clinton, to be a liar. What really changes? What can we count on as the years pass us by?
I hear suffering. I feel it more and more as I age. the echoes of ghosts long gone. I recognized all their voices at different times.
I hear what I hear. I doubt what I hear. I know what I hear and wonder who may have isolated each clip, what it meant, as an overall statement of any intention. I believe it has all contributed and brought us all to where we currently are.
I did not need anyone to Tweet those selected Trump clips, used to illustrate a wider point, to know how awful I’ve felt at having heard them myself over the last months. I already felt ill upon hearing them.
I know much of the history. I know how humans have treated other humans. I felt my headache worsen as 13TH went on, but I watched the documentary all the way through.
So then why exactly did I put myself through that pain?
What else should I do? How else should I handle what I can’t un-know?
Politics. Pride in one’s home. Culture. Religion. Propaganda, all of it?
It is more than six months since I really last wrote about these things here.
I thought that the 2016 summer with unending stories in the news about the US election would never ever end. But it did and here we are. Less than a month to go, thank God! But I am so tired and I know I’m not alone. Speaking up is seen as “incendiary” and immediately turned into a political opinion, when really, all I’d like to make is a human one. I don’t write about it on Facebook, trying to be sensitive to my American friends. Here on my blog I feel somewhat safer, but I can’t agree with the sort of patriotism Americans often speak of, like Michelle in her speech most recently: that the US is the greatest country in the world.
I regret to say this Mrs. Obama, but go ahead and say whatever you need to say, to feel better about things.
I shake my head at such love of one place, run by capitalism, socialism, whatever you want to call it, from whichever country you reside in. Globalization. I am not a politician and never will be, but I care about not only myself and my family, but my country, and all others. I care about people, no matter where they live.
I love Canada fiercely, but I can’t just keep hearing people speak of their own country being the best, as pride gets us nowhere. I am lucky to live here and yet I fight to find my way. Canada has treated people just as poorly as any other country.
I stand on the border of my Canadian, English-speaking province and into the French-speaking province next door and I feel the wind on my face and in my hair. I smell the river. I hear the cars. I trust my senses in that moment, but rarely do I trust all else I’ve seen.
All politicians are caught saying things, things that have furthered their political purposes at one time or another, eventually revealing true intentions or previously held beliefs, hopefully altered. I don’t know how they really feel. Suddenly, thanks to an actual reality TV star coming this close to winning, it all feels like a huge reality show, like more and more politics and entertainment are melding, like we can’t tell them apart and there is no going back from that.
Human lives are at stake and 13TH makes that point extremely well. This isn’t a game. Or shouldn’t be anyway.
I can hardly believe what I’m seeing/hearing, but I suppose sensible people have always thought that way, and yet what was really done about it? What will the answer be now?
The thought that any one country is “the best country in the world” or that there ever existed “the good old days” is false to me, no matter the intended meaning behind either stated belief.
The “good old days” spoken of weren’t quite so good for us all. I just hope we can stay afloat going forward.
Wow! Okay, so I usually begin my TToT with some sage words, but upon searching quotes for February I came across nothing but doom, despair, and dying. These were all words used in the quotes that my Google search came up with
Is February really that bad? Does it stink that much or what?
So instead, me and my birth month might not get some wise literary or philosophical musings, but I do have my very own February song.
The last day of February is the day set aside for the awareness of rare diseases and I really wanted to speak up about mine. These are no more serious or worth fighting than cancer, diabetes, or MS, but just a lot less spoken about. So many diseases so little time.
I want to thank website “The Mighty” and all the family and friends who took the time to share and help me spread my message just a little bit farther.
So, supposedly now I am a contributor and have an in road with the site. Guess this means I can continue to write for them, after they’ve approved of whatever that is. Guess this is how these sites work? I am still new to all this.
For a lot of talk, with the one-and-only man himself. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appeared on television, for an hour talking about an important subject.
Not sure if this is more than a Canadian event, as it’s represented by Bell, the phone company.
Of course there is also a lot of talk about how a huge corporation is in it to look good and is getting something more out of it, but I focused on the fact that depression deserves the air time and attention and Trudeau spoke with sensitivity and commanding poise about the struggles with depression in his own family and what he, as the leader of Canada, hopes for those who live with mental illness.
For the notification that I’ve reached five hundred WordPress followers.
This comes just short of my two-year blogging anniversary next week.
I have more on top of that five hundred, but that little sound on my phone to inform me of the milestone made my day.
For the invitation to join as a blogging co-host for the week.
but I’m actually looking forward to February and the arrival of the day I was born.
I hope for lots of good things as I usher in the second month of 2016: from movies I’m really looking forward to coming out, to my favourite television series starting a new season, to the challenge of learning a new skill and working on another.
More of all that in the days and weeks to come.
Dobby and I are glad to welcome February. How about you?