Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Memoir and Reflections, SoCS, Special Occasions

Train Wreckss, #SoCS #Halloween #GilmoreGirls

Ho, ho, ho!

  1. Okay, so wrong holiday there. I am looking past a lot of things happening right now. I’m fast forwarding two whole months.

Just over a week left until Halloween and lots to be
HORRIFIED
about I figure.

This afternoon, on my way to a pumpkin patch, but the day looks to be cold and windy, not quite as pleasant as last year’s adventure. Should have some fun with family anyway.

It’s not really the horror of all things Halloween that’s got me so on edge and taking it out on stream of consciousness writing as an art form, more like a form of therapy.

I tried to get into the spirit of the season, by watching
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
last night, but couldn’t get into it.

This clown thing that’s been making the news for a while is scary enough. I’ve never been a fan of clowns.

Nothing against the ones who live to dress up and make children laugh. Not my style.

I think our options for entertainment have grown in the past several years, technology a big part of that, resulting in less need for clown entertainment, but not all will agree with me. Some still prefer just such classics.

When I was in kindergarten, I had a little friend and his mother was a clown. She did kid parties and had a candy floss machine. How cool was it to have a friend with a mother who had constant access to that sweet treat?

Well, something happened after I lost touch with that boy and I grew up. I started to fear clowns.

I was in hospital a lot when I was twelve. The Shriners even have a hospital. Clowns were an easy way to cheer up seriously ill children. This meant one could often find a clown wandering around any children’s hospital I happened to be at, going from room to room on a paediatric ward, trying to help the boys and girls forget about how sick they were and the needles and surgeries, just for a little while, with magic tricks and songs and friendly, lighthearted chatter.

I confess, my trick was to pretend to be asleep in my hospital bed when I got word that a clown was on the way. This only worked when someone could tell me, as one thing I disliked was how clowns were often silent until they were right up on you.

Sounds like a predatory action and it wasn’t. Any clowns I met during my months of hospital visits were nothing but well intentioned. It was I who was growing more and more uncomfortable.

I have never liked makeup and so Halloween only held excitement for me because of the candy. I didn’t want thick makeup on my face and I didn’t like to think of it as a part of a clown’s costume either. The only clown I liked, by this time, was the Jewish clown on The Simpsons.

As I’ve lost more sight, makeup never held any real interest, as a woman. I know it isn’t the case, but now that I can’t really make out faces, whenever I imagine makeup on a woman, I think of thick, dark, clown makeup.

As I learned of terrifying clowns in the horror genre, like Stephen King for instance, I liked clowns all thee less.

This whole thing is ruling social media at the moment. I try my best not to imagine a creepy clown in the woods. Better left for fiction, but when I heard it had started in certain US states, I said, “thank God that isn’t happening here in Canada.”

Well, it has spread, as many things on social media will do. It’s here in Canada, in my town even. I say if I were harassed by one of those guys I would use my white cane to jab jab. Maybe a kick to the crotch. I don’t advocate real violence, but getting up in anyone’s personal space is not cool.

I think people can be a little odd or possibly more than that. I also think once certain folk realized this silly thing would get them some attention, just such a behaviour was far too tempting to pass up. People are on edge now. Someone could get hurt. Will this whole bit of nonsense stop once October 31st has passed us by?

I try not to bring a whole lot of attention to it. Besides, there is a horror a lot more worrisome anyway, but that one we must wait for Halloween to be over before we face it.

I spent a lot of energy talking about the horrors of the US election in my post last week. So, I will not go too far down that rabbit hole this week. Already, much too much of my week/month/year has been spent thinking/talking about the horrible predicament they are in, but of which we in the rest of the world are not immune to.

I focus on the candy of this season and I look forward to the remainder of 2016 because it’s been a life changing one for me, in several ways, more of which I will write about as the end of the year approaches.

Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.

I am tired of feeling this anxious. I want to focus on the things I’ve got to look forward to.

Though, I have wondered lately about hope.

After a few more challenging times practicing my violin lately, I’ve started to fear that I have no hope of getting better.

I hope I will persevere through the trying times, because I never believed learning to play an instrument like this would be easy at age thirty-two. I don’t sound like a horror when I play, but I do struggle to remember everything and not get discouraged beyond repair. This is still something I love and am determined to get good at, or at least better than I am right now.

All you usually hear are those reactions when people hear I even wanted to start, at my age, to learn one of the more advanced musical instruments. They don’t see things as I go along, as I keep practicing and fight my doubt in my abilities. Most people aren’t around for the tough times. I may sound more horrible than a tormented cat or a screechy something or other, but I know what it sounds like when the correct strings are played and the exact notes are found. I still have hope.

And so, all threat of clowns aside.

(Halloween or November 8th included)

😉

I just want to get past Halloween without meeting up with one of those guys. Always have my white cane on hand though, and I will make my intentions perfectly clear before acting in my own defence.

🙂

Then, November 8th will come and go. Can’t wait for that fun day.

After that comes American Thanksgiving and the event I am really looking forward to, something to help me relax after these months of stress.

The new Gilmore Girls revival on Netflix.

After that Christmas and the start of a new and exciting year.

BRING IT ON!

Advertisements
Standard
1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, SoCS

Denial Vs Self Preservation, #SoCS

I am writing, for a little stream of consciousness therapy today, but what to write about?

I could speak about the recent passing of Nobel Peace Prize writer, teacher, and Holocaust educator Elie Wiesel.

He wrote about the loss of his family and horrifying imprisonment in a concentration camp in the memoir

“Night”.

I saw an old interview with him on Charlie Rose.

I could, but I can’t. I won’t.

I read news about his death. I reflected back on the reading of his memorable memoir, which I read over ten years ago most likely. I thought about his story and I vowed to carry on being a witness, (indirectly) of the horrors, which humans are capable of, but I just can’t dwell on all that too hard.

I would again have to hear things I don’t want to hear, things about concentration camps during World War II. I know about all that, more than I’d like to, being obsessed on this period in history, many times in my own life.

But now, with all that’s happening in the current climate of killings, anger, ignorance, and inability or unwillingness to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, I just can’t.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SoCS

I am having issues with concentration lately.

I can’t seem to focus on one thing. My writing. My blog. My violin. My thoughts.

I feel all over the place. I want to do so many things, but don’t last long on any one of them.

I’ve lost it, whatever “it” is.

I want to know what is going on in the world around me, but every time I listen in, I hear something worse than the time before.

It’s on my Facebook and on the news on TV. I take breaks from both, but this just leaves me feeling disconnected. Is what I’m doing, in my own life, is that worth drowning the rest of the world out entirely?

Don’t I need to be aware, as a grown woman in today’s society, of what’s going on?

But it’s all race debates, class debates, political debates in the US.

It’s government disarray in the UK.

It’s a growing migrant crisis in Europe.

It’s ISIS central in the Middle East.

I want to get out there, to experience more of the world, instead of just reading about it, though I love reading in its place. I can’t not read, yet my Safari App on my phone keeps bursting with the many articles I open up and vow to read. I don’t make it back, yet I keep on adding to the cue.

That is how I feel about my life, yet I know the chaos going on in my brain is only a sample of what’s happening everywhere.

I have a problem with concentration, but I expect I’m not the only one.

Today, to speak about

CONCENTRATION

has been no problem for me.

I can’t stop myself for very long, but during those breaks from the outside world, I am not in denial. I am practicing self preservation in the midst of so much I cannot control.

So, I write. I blog. I make “music” (of sorts) on my violin. I work on creative projects with my brother, (both song lyrics and our new podcast).

I create because I must. I spread a little genuine kindness and compassion through all these things. I hope I can make the world a better place. Lets all try a little more of that.

Standard
Blogging, Bucket List, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Special Occasions, TToT

TToT: Thanks and Thankfuls – That Was Awesome! #10Thankful

“The more I see, the less I know for sure.”

–John Lennon

Not sure why,

😉

but I love this one.

oct2015-322-2015-10-11-01-53.jpg

“Living is Easy with Eyes Closed.”

I often have my eyes closed in pictures taken. I am told this is a pretty good shot, so they should be open.

🙂

The Lighting of the Peace Tower.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRhq-yO1KN8

Should I say thanks, be thankful for the thanks or thanks for the thankfuls?

This week I am not sure.

10 THINGS OF THANKFUL

Yes, I am Canadian and that means October is when we celebrate Thanksgiving, not November like the US does. Okay, so the actual day isn’t until the 12th, officially, but I celebrated two days early.

For me, this holiday is not and never has been about pilgrims coming across and landing to a grand celebration with The Natives. In Canada, for this Canadian girl in particular, it’s more about celebrating my favourite season (and we get em all in this country), the pumpkins, and the colourful leaves as they fall. Family is the best part, not the pie.

Sure, my family have always eaten turkey and It is true, that I am thankful, but I am just as thankful at Christmas and every other day of the year.

I am a little muddled, as this is my first Thanksgiving as a part of the TToT group – lot of being and feeling thankful going around here. I am a little overwhelmed with that word, “thankful” and all the thankfuls I have running around in my head.

Here I go anyway.

Ten Things of Thankful:

For friendly and down-to-earth writers like Anne Rice.

A couple years back I went ahead and read Interview with the Vampire – my first and only Rice book so far. I am not her biggest fan, but not in a “not a fan” sort of way. I just couldn’t quite let myself grow comfortable with her dark and mysterious writing style I suppose. I look down the extensive list of books she’s written in her three or four decades as a writer and I am impressed, even if the world of supernatural she’s continuously creating remains still unfamiliar to me.

It’s her devotion to her fans, as shown on her Facebook page, that really draws me in and of which I truly admire. As someone beginning to think of herself as a writer, I don’t necessarily think social media is for every author, but I do admire Rice’s dedication to her readers.

Anne Rice Fan Page on Facebook

She is quite obviously the one to handle the page. She doesn’t just post occasionally. She only has her assistant post when she herself isn’t feeling well. She posts daily and is clearly glad to do it.

She engages regularly with her millions of fans, saying good morning and goodnight to them, and having discussions, posing questions, and posting articles.

For friends and graciousness and people willing to help spread the word.

Amy Boviard Author

and

Original Bunker Punks

in particular.

I thank you for your thoughtful shares and I am thankful that you took the time to talk about or publish me, and then go ahead and share that with your website’s readers and then on your Facebook pages.

For the ability to go and turn on the heat.

The weather is turning to the autumn crispness I love so much, which means I have been going back and forth, unsure which type of weather there might be outside my door in the mornings. Things are changing

On a particularly rainy and windy day I broke down and, instead of just loading up on heavy sweaters, took that step and turned on my home’s heat. I am thankful for this because I have it so easily accessible to me. I’ve been going on and on about humidity, heat, and my air conditioning since I began with TToT, but Canadian winters always end up as cold as Canadian summers are hot.

For familial beta readers and editors.

I am not a writer with a publishing contract and an editor on hand to read the things I write, able to give their feedback and offer their suggestions. I don’t have the money to pay people to read all the stuff I’m writing nowadays, but I have managed to cultivate and maintain a number of relationships with these people. I don’t ask them to help, as I am glad to just have their expertise and knowledge to occasionally learn and draw upon. This is where the family obligation comes in.

🙂

Okay, they wouldn’t say it that way, but I still feel bad imposing. Of course, I could impose a lot more often than I do, only asking them to read over something when I really need it.

I apologize eternally to any readers of this blog, as I edit myself, as best I can, but don’t have someone read over my post before hitting publish each and every time.

If a capital letter or punctuation is missed now and then, or perhaps more often than that, I am sorry. These days, with the VoiceOver and Mac, my writing and blogging programs usually catch any incorrect spelling.

As for a week where I have written a piece I’m sending off somewhere to be evaluated and possibly published, to grow a more expanded readership, I look to my family to read my work and offer ideas and first impressions. Usually, this means my big sister. She has a life of her own, you know, with a husband and young son to attend to and spend time with. She works some days and has her own interests, so when she takes the time to help me out I am incredibly thankful.

For my mother and the very fact of her birth. This is worth celebrating and declaring my thanks for, as without this and her, I would not be here to write these words.

For everything she does and everything she is, I am thankful and grateful. I may not always show it, but I mean it from my very soul, with all the feeling words can muster.

I have never been more thankful than for her. Happy Birthday Mom. Xoxoxo.

For purring.

My cat will come over to me and walk across my legs. I don’t know, but I choose to believe he knows the pain therapy he is providing in that moment.

My chronic pain is an all over sort of deal. My legs are sensitive and just the right amount of pressure helps.

As for the purring, when he rests himself against my legs and purrs, I feel better. This is worth a bunch of irritating cat hair on my clothes and furniture.

oct2015-044-2015-10-11-01-53.jpg

For a fun Thanksgiving day at the farm, pumpkin patch, and corn maze with the fam. Got an excellent view of the place from my watch tower perch.

Leaping Deer!

oct2015-049-2015-10-11-01-53.jpg

My first time through a corn maze. I loved the sound of the rustling corn stalks in the cool fall afternoon, but it would have been creepier in the dark. They said you were supposed to give them your names when you went in, presumably in case they needed to find us in the event that we became lost, but we were rebels and told nobody – well, the family knew, I think.

For the pleasure of getting to give my niece and nephews a little something, a small gift, out-of-the-blue.

It wasn’t a holiday where presents were expected, and that made it all the better. They were surprised and I am thankful I got to make them smile.

They are learning and growing, with each Thanksgiving that passes, and that makes me sad, but in a really grateful way. I get to love them and be there, and that’s worth an unplanned and a surprise puzzle, book, or sticker set now and again.

For optimism, without which, I could never find a thing to be thankful for at all.

Whatever else I give thanks for, I am thankful for the TToT and others who have thankfuls in their lives as well.

This one, from this week’s group, is the perfect example of finding the silver linings, all done with beauty and humour.

A Moment In Time – Summertime Wandering

I can use all the optimism I can muster today. I am off to watch the Toronto Blue Jays play, what could be their last game, and the end of any possible hopes their fans had of a World Series win after more than 20 years eager anticipation and hope.

I am thankful for all the togetherness that is shown around here, after being in Toronto a few weeks back and feeling the energy of the baseball fans, the Toronto supporters growing, and I know today is their last hope and the odds are against them, but until that hope is dashed for certain I choose to be positive and optimistic.

It could happen. As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

Okay, I’ll see where things stand by this evening, a week from now, at next week’s edition of the TToT.

OK…BLUE JAYS…LET’S…PLAY…BALL!

I’ll end this week’s post with one of the most optimistic quotes I know, in the hopes of something sticking, and, as Anne Rice always says to her FB fans,

Signing off.

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Standard
1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, TGIF

Planting the Seeds of Compassion

1000 Speak

When it comes to compassion, what do a couple of wrestlers, a gnome, and an abandoned button factory all have in common?

I thought a lot about what I wanted to save for my featured 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion post. I came to writing about this through a mixture of things, all leading me here today.

Isn’t that how the best ideas come to be?

On one of the warmest days of July, 2013, family and friends gathered around to watch two people we cared about walk out onto a flimsy dock, in the middle of a pond on a large property.

The floating dock was made from recycled materials. This was a true reflection of the lovely young couple and their care for the environment. They cared about the mark they were leaving on the world around them and we all were there because we cared so much about the two of them.

Later on we sat at rows of tables, under the walnut trees, with a soft warm breeze. The rest of the evening, in fact the whole weekend, would be full of good friends, lots of family, and an extensive line-up of the music that clearly represented this most unique duo.

To them music isn’t just music. This is evident by the radio show they have done, Sunday nights, for years now: Non Toxic Air Waves is a place where they play songs, all that have a certain significance, as they have always used the platform to discuss, on the air, issues of sustainability and social justice.

They are truly an inspiring couple, for so many reasons, and I am proud to call them family.

To see them together is a lesson in true companionship, trust, and compatibility.

You may be wondering why it is I have chosen today to feature them. I hope, by the time I am through, this will be indisputably obvious. When I thought about how I could put my own unique spin on the topic of compassion, on this important day for underlining its importance for our world, I came to the undeniable conclusion that these two are the best example of what compassion means.

From summer to a cold winter day in January.

I wanted to speak to them about their life together and the effect they have on everyone and everything they meet. All their modesty aside, I believe they deserve the attention and the praise, although they did not ask for it.

Their property contains their house, a nursery full of native plants (during the summer anyway), swamp land and a woods. A pathway leads from house and nursery down to the pond where they walked out that sunny July day, to celebrate their commitment to each other with us all gathered to celebrate with them.

On this day it was snow covered and she helps me navigate my way. The three of us then proceed to skate on the frozen pond, (a clearly Canadian winter pastime), all the while we talk about everything under the sun…or in this case, the snowflakes.

As we make our way back up to the house to warm up, they show off something they are proud to show me.

They took an old pink armchair, started cutting holes in it, stuffing soil and plants in, and placing moss on.

In her words:

“It will be a living chair and will hopefully clean air: Yeah!”

Her enthusiasm about this old chair sums up what they believe so strongly and what they live through example. It made me smile when I first read those words because I could hear her love for the project in my mind.

As a young girl she sold tadpoles instead of lemonade and he learned about gardening and plants from his mother and learned to love the natural world by exploring around his home, while starting, at an early age as a boy, by working in his neighbour’s garden..

She graduated with an Honours Bachelors Degree in Environmental Studies, Environment and Resource Studies with a specialization in Environmental Assessment at the University of Waterloo (Wow! What a mouthful).

He worked in nurseries, greenhouses, and as a landscaper and is an expert on all things seeds and sod. He obtained a Recording Engineer Diploma from the Ontario Institute of Audio and Recording Technology (OIART).

Together they began Wild Life Gardening, started something they like to call Trash Theatre, and organized something known as Procession of the Species in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

She has taken her knowledge and, together with his creative abilities, they have developed lesson plans to go into the schools with Trash Theatre. Through interactive skits and creativity they teach children all about the natural world and all the species that that world is made up of. They use music and self-expression to help kids feel inclusive and to help them explore their individual talents and strengths.

I spoke to them as we ate vegetarian pizza, down in their cozy basement by a roaring fire, for over four hours that day. We listened to music the whole time, from jazz to reggae to rap.

Something like this, a calling that they seem to have for this stuff, it appears to be a love so strong and pure, almost beyond my ability to pin down with words here, but I had to at least try.

They taught me about the term “native plant species” and how vital they are to a healthy planet.

Of course the term is pretty self-explanatory really, but I honestly never gave it much thought before they brought my attention to it.

I have visited their beloved nursery in the spring and he took the time to show me just some of the plants they had, letting me feel and hold some and he made sure to show me the ones I could smell.

There’s always something new going on, at their place, depending on what season it is.

They use terrariums as a way of letting anyone have their very little nursery of their own. They sell these at markets on the weekends and they are working on creating a children’s book, another fun yet educational tool to introduce children to a love and respect for our environment.

I wanted to know more about Trash Theatre, Wild Life Gardening, and about what matters to them.

She showed me something then, a puppet made out of some sort of bright orange or pink fuzzy material. It had a mouth, ears, eyeballs made from styrofoam Christmas balls, and the eyelashes were made from reused yogurt containers.

These are the kinds of masks and costumes they make, for Procession and with school children during workshops with Trash Theatre.

He jokes with me about the time a woman came up to him and informed him that naming it Trash Theatre didn’t make it sound very appealing. Of course, to her, the word trash didn’t exactly conjure up positive ideas, it works for them and word of mouth is spreading. Through grants and the Ontario Arts Counsel they get sent to schools all around the province and the impact they have is making a name for them that only they could pull off.

It’s kind of like a continuous Halloween. They search secondhand shops for items that someone else no longer wanted, but of which can be useful to them.

The unique look he has, with long hair and beard, this makes him uniquely suitable to dress up as a gnome.

Yes…a gnome.

They do singing telegrams and where, these days, can you get a singing gnome?

For their engagement party they dressed up as two wrestlers: Hulk Hogan and Macho Man’ Randy Savage (guess which one was which).

🙂
This, I think I can safely say, none of us had ever seen the likes of before, since, or ever will again. This is what makes them two of a kind.

They then bring this freedom of expression to children all over. They tell me that dressing up gives kids the opportunity to be whomever or whatever they want, choosing to hide their faces, which then helps them to feel freer to express themselves and to participate in performing with the others.

They encourage every child to participate in some way, whether big or small, as a leader or behind the scenes.

He gets the kids to rap right along with him and they incorporate instruments and music into it.

She prefers to be in charge backstage, helping get the kids into their costumes.

They then use fun and interactive play to teach the classes about native plants and animals and how the children themselves can make a difference to these things and the environment in their own lives, in their own small ways at home.

They love all birds, such as woodpeckers and owls. They love and care about the health of native species such as monarch butterflies and bees, pollinators of the plants, which benefits everyone.

Procession of the Species marks Earth Day

I asked them why the word “procession”?

“Procession is more of a celebratory liberating expression, where parade is more of a military term, kind of like showing off or to concur. Eli Sterling, the creator of Procession of the Species in Olympia Washington, is particular about this,” I was told.

Also, at an old and abandoned button factory the two of them run workshops, combining science and the natural world with artistic expression

I wanted to know who they look up to, admire, or revere. When I asked this, he hesitated, saying he had to think because he’d not really thought about it. I was surprised at that.

She right away spoke of trail-blazing women such as Jane Goodall, strong females who have gone out and made a difference to the natural world.

He thought about it. He named writer Kurt Vonnegut, but really his biggest influencers would have to be his brother, sister, and his parents.

Both him and her have it in common that they grew up in good families with strong role models and close sibling relationships. A lot of both their love for the natural world and for teaching others how to cherish it have come from the amazing families they have.

So they’ve lived and worked together for so many years now. I must admit I have wondered what that is like, but apparently I am not the first to be curious.

The two biggest questions this couple receive are:

When are you going to have children?

And

How do you do it? How do you possibly work and live together without getting on each other’s nerves all the time?

They must be sick of these by now, I figure, but they seem to take it with good humour and wise and thoughtful responses.

They are very much of the “whatever happens happens” belief, not saying either way. This, I believe, is a very healthy attitude to have about anything in life. Their unique experiences interacting with children through Trash Theatre gives them a chance to have an affect on the lives of children, which would make them amazing parents one day, but they don’t seem to fret about it either way.

As for the second question…well, they are like anyone else, in that they have their moments.

She tells me he is much more laid back and that she’s often the one who gets worked up. At times like this, they go to separate ends of their house or yard or one goes off on an errand or to pick something up for the business. It isn’t rocket science really. She tells me she knows how lucky she is to have found him and the feeling is clearly mutual.

It is something you just feel when you spend any amount of time with the pair. They are one of those rare fits for one another. Their creativity and their care for the world around them is evident.

He has a photographic memory, whether its for music or for a type of plant.

Her passion for saving and sparing the planet is hard to miss and her desire to teach anyone who will listen makes her charming and warm.

He uses rap and free style, not only as a creative gift, but as a way of training his memory and as a type of self-expression and a form of therapy.

I wondered if they had the urge to travel and, if so, where?

They seemed quite content to stay here in Canada, specifically Ontario. It is their home and it is where they work so hard to make our natural surroundings thriving and healthy.

They love the work they do landscaping people’s yards, including mine. They did so much, planting native plants and a red maple in my back yard.

Having a big group jam session in their basement, with friends, is one of their favourite ways to spend a Sunday.

While the thought of growing a nursery/greenhouse is always there, they try hard to balance work load with enjoying themselves
Their true goal is to teach others how to best help our native species thrive so that we can enjoy them for years to come.

I really enjoyed my day spent with these two. We talked philosophy, music, and life in general. I felt like someone understood, as it gets harder and harder, in your thirties when everyone around you is having children, some years ago already in many cases.

Their words of solace and wisdom about love was just the perspective I needed to hear, as I saw just how wonderful it is when two people truly click and compliment one another as they so naturally do.

This couple has weathered a lot over the years and has built something and continues to build it, leaving a legacy and an example to the rest of us. The world would be a much healthier and more prosperous place if the rest of us followed in their footsteps.

I wanted to write about the difference they’re making and the people they are, on this day, because at the heart of who they are and what they do there is compassion for all living things.

Compassion for the natural world, for youth, and for humanity as a whole.

That’s what today is all about.

***

In the above article I reference material from wildlifegardening.ca and from conversations the three of us have had. All the rest are my own personal observations, thoughts, and feelings.

For more information on any of what I’ve written about here, please visit any or all of the following:

http://www.wildlifegardening.ca

http://www.trashtheatre.ca

This past month and 1000 Speak has been one of the most inspiring for me and I hope we can continue the momentum of compassion that we’ve started here.

Colors of Wind

Standard
Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, Memoir Monday

Diagnosis and Treatment

Last week my parents answered a question about what it’s like having loved ones with disabilities in their lives and what that word means to them,

Here.

This week I will rejoin the discussion once more.

***

Q: What have your experiences been with medical treatment and/or therapy been like? Do you have positive, negative, or mixed feelings about your experiences?

A: I was diagnosed months after I was born and my vision remained stable for many years. I had the occasional eye check-up, but really I avoided the need for more treatments until my remaining vision began to suddenly and mysteriously slip away, when I was in the seventh grade.

I then found out, rather quickly and shockingly, what it was like to have lights constantly in my face. I would have been bothered by all the stinging drops and bright lights, if it weren’t for the fact that I was having terrible pain behind my eyes and I knew, even at age twelve, I was lucky to have some of the brightest minds in ophthalmology overseeing my case.

By this point I had wonderfully experienced parents who hadn’t been dragging me all over the place for miracle cures to my blindness. I didn’t see or experience a lot of negligence. I received excellent care.

As for my kidney failure I know how unexpected that all was and yet my parents still felt horribly that they didn’t do something sooner. How could they have known? They were raising their two blind children, but the rest kind of snuck up on us all.

***

It took us probably too long to diagnose your kidney disease because we thought it was because of stress and your blindness. Your previous diagnosis hampered finding your kidney failure.

When you feel something is different or not right, you search for the reason. Sometimes it can be a physical problem that can be fixed and it’s done. Other times you get a diagnosis that will affect you for the rest of your life. A diagnosis can be great relief because it explains all of your symptoms and you can focus on dealing with them and getting on with the rest of your life. Other times it can be overwhelming because it predicts possibly even more and complicated problems down the road.

***

Since I lost all that vision as a teenager I have kept the retinal specialist who treated me then. HE is the best at what he does, but I fear a future of undiagnosed and unpredictable vision loss. Things can only be handled with the right treatments and proper diagnosis up to a point.

***

Before I end today’s post I wanted to include something I found earlier, a post on a blog by another visually impaired blogger. It is a post about the topic of disabilities in the media and I know that is a big part of what Rose has been doing from the very start.

So please check out:

Adventures in Low Vision,

and

The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge.

for more information and next Monday’s question:

Do you think that it’s more important to emphasize medical treatment, life skills, community integration, or a combination of these things?

I think I’ve kind of messed up the numbering of the Awareness Challenge questions from how Rose has them listed, only because I was doing a few in two parts.

🙂

I will try to get back on track or perhaps the numbering system went out the window long ago.

Such is life.

Standard
Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, Memoir Monday, Special Occasions, This Day In Literature

Special Magnificence

It’s the start of a new week once more and once again, on this Memoir Monday, I participate in:

The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge.

Last week I answered Part A of this question:

If you have a medical diagnosis, do you see yourself as having a disability? Why or why not?

And

HEre, was my answer.

And Now, in Week Four, Part B: My mother speaks to the following:

Q: If you don’t have one, how do you view the concept of disability or the people in your life who have them?

A: Disability is such a broad term, it can be physical, developmental, very minor in it’s effects or all encompassing.

When you’ve had little experience with someone with disabilities, you often only see what someone is unable to do. The longer you know or more people you know with disabilities, you see them first as the person that they are and don’t even see their disability.

Everyone does their best to cope and deal with their own disability.
One of the hardest parts is when you are closely related, feeling helpless to fix or make it all better for the people you love.

Thank you to my mother and father for their sincere and heartfelt answers to the questions I have asked them to answer these last few weeks.

Next week, together, we answer the following question:

What have your experiences been with medical treatment and/or therapy been like? Do you have positive, negative, or mixed feelings about your experiences?

***

“The Bagginses had lived in the neighbourhood of the hill for time out of mind, and people considered them very respectable, not only because most of them were rich, but also because they never had any adventures or did anything unexpected. This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected.”

The above quote is from J.R.R. Tolkien, on this the eve of the first day of autumn and Hobbit Day.

This, in Middle-Earth, is when the celebrations take place: The Big Birthday.

This, around the world, is the start of the autumn season and Frodo, Bilbo, and Tolkien are celebrated by fans everywhere.
I love this particular season, feeling a shift and a change.

September 22nd is a big day for Frodo and Bilbo in those books and for me, I feel it too.

This week and day were first recognized and celebrated back in 1978 and since then parties have been thrown, food consumed for the occasion, and Middle-Earth literature and films have been screened. Both Tolkien and his son Christopher (just like Bilbo and his nephew Frodo) are celebrated all week long.

In past years my favourite holiday was always Christmas, but this year in particular I am looking forward to the theme of harvest, the apples and the pumpkins, and the bright colours of the leaves and the cool and crisp fall air.

It was the start of a new journey for both Bilbo and Frodo. Sure, the journey was just beginning and their were many cold, dark, and difficult days to come still.

I know winter naturally follows fall, but these autumn months are just the break from the crazy days of summer that I have been waiting for. Those two loveable creatures of my favourite stories in literature give me so much joy.

“Today is a day of special magnificence!”

Happy Hobbit Day to you all.

Standard