Given the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m having trouble concentrating long enough to compose an original post. So today I’ll share a post from exactly five years ago, a nostalgic look back to simpler times. When my… More
“A photographer must possess and retain the receptive faculties of a child who watches the world for the first time.” ~ Bill Brandt, British photographer
“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” ~ Elliott Erwitt, American photographer
I don’t know about you,
but I much prefer the summer version at the moment!
Our Maisie was the epitome of worry and concern the other day when she caught a flicker of movement outside the window. Standing on tippy-toes to see over a snowbank, she spied a neighbour’s cat prowling around our property.
Her territorial nature kicked in full force. Her tail puffed up. She hissed and growled. Maisie wanted to go out and drive that puss away, but her mom was not in the mood to referee a catfight that morning.
“The only thing a cat worries about is what’s happening right now.” ~ Lloyd Alexander, American author
Happy Valentine’s Day, readers and bloggers!
It’s been quite a while since I tossed a blogger bouquet, but hey, today is the perfect time to share a little love.
In her own words, Evelyn Krieger – Inspiration for the Creative Soul – is a “word weaver, radical educator, dancer, and homeschooling pro.”
Her debut middle-grade novel, One is Not a Lonely Number, was a 2011 Sydney Taylor Honor Book from the Association of Jewish Libraries, a 2011 Next Generation Indie Finalist, and a PJ Library Our Way pick.
From her Welcome page:
“I grew up in Michigan. Today my home is Massachusetts, though I hope to move somewhere tropical one day. Sunlight makes me joyful. I’m allergic to snow.
My blog explores creativity, grief, resilience, and all things related to the writing life. I love connecting with my readers and making new friends. Please stop by and say hello.”
Check out Evelyn’s enjoyable post below, where she poses the popular writerly question: Does the change of season affect your creativity?
Comments are closed here but you can leave a comment on the blogger’s page.
Have an inspired weekend, everyone!
For me, this winter has been a time of deep reflection. The dormant months are ideal for slowing down and looking inward, giving one a chance to rest, to heal, to quiet the mind and to focus on the spiritual side of life.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about and missing my mother more than usual. She has visited me in my dreams quite often in recent weeks.
I wonder why.
I suppose I could chalk it up to growing older and becoming infinitely more aware of my own mortality. Or maybe she knows I need her more right now.
Today, I dedicate this post to you, Mom. I wrote the following piece in January of 2012, ten months before our final goodbye.
The Little Things
You always hear people say that we shouldn’t love the material things in life, and usually I am inclined to agree. However, in one particular area of my life I must beg to differ. Sometimes we have certain items that are so very precious to us because they keep our memories bright.
My mother is now in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. She has changed so much in the past few years, from a vibrant, independent and beautiful woman, into a person who needs constant care. She can still smile in recognition at me but can no longer carry on a conversation of any sort. We are losing her, bit by bit, with every visit and every passing day. This is probably why I hold on so tightly to a few items that came from her.
As I write this, I am wearing a pair of wool slippers that my mother knitted for me. They are teal blue and white with little bows sewn on the top. I found them a couple of months ago when I was sorting out some storage items, and even though they are a little tight, which was the reason I had put them away in the first place, I’ve worn them ever since, stretching them so they would fit. Just knowing that she had made them for me gives me comfort.
While I was looking for Christmas baking inspiration a few weeks ago, I came across a recipe for cherry cake in my collection, written in Mom’s elegant handwriting. I remembered her making that recipe many times over the years. My heart ached with loss as I read it, but I knew I had to use it. Now that Christmas is behind us for another year, I still have some of that cake left, and I savour every bite.
And on my right hand, I am wearing my mother’s wedding band. It had been sitting in a little box in my dresser drawer for months, waiting until the day it would go on her finger for the last time. So for now I am wearing it because it makes me feel closer to her, and to Dad as well.
So please don’t try to tell me that things aren’t important. Sometimes it’s the little things that we need to hold onto, the touchstones for our priceless memories. Sometimes it is all we have.
Last week, while looking back on a few of my January posts from the past, I hit upon the following that I’d written exactly eight years ago. I thought the timing was perfect to provide an update as the last line suggested. I had mentioned that “The Change” can take anywhere from two to eight years. Thankfully, it didn’t last anywhere near eight years for me, and yes, Paul survived. 🙂
By the way, he still plays floor hockey on Monday nights and I never turn the heat off anymore in the dead of winter. I hope that brings a measure of comfort to those of you who are dealing with menopause or perimenopause at the moment.
January 30, 2012:
So here I am, on a frigid January evening. Outside, a bitter wind chill of minus 10 degrees Celsius (that’s 14+ degrees for you Fahrenheit folks) is blowing directly off the North Atlantic just a few yards from our door. Husband Paul is gone playing floor hockey at the high school gym, so I’m alone, trying desperately to chill out. Not figuratively, mind you, but literally. I turned down the thermostats so there is no heat on in my house, simply because my body feels like a furnace turned up on cremate.
This is a new and fresh hell for yours truly, only making itself known within the last couple of weeks. Somehow, I had let myself believe I’d be lucky enough to escape the discomfort of “tropical moments” at this time of my life. How I used to chuckle when one of my friends or coworkers complained of a hot flash. Ha! The joke is now on me. And for the uninitiated, it doesn’t feel like a source of external heat that hits you. It’s more like internal spontaneous combustion, where you think you just might suddenly burst into flames.
Stripped down to a tank top and appropriately, sweat pants, eating blueberries out of the freezer (still frozen), I’m trying to hold it together. I made the mistake earlier of googling other menopause symptoms, and started ticking off other lovely ailments I’ve been experiencing. Brain fog? Check. Anxiety? Check. Night sweats? Check. Mood swings? Okay, that one is just me, can’t blame that on The Change.
The website also warned that the whole process could take anywhere from two to eight years before it is done. That’s just terrific. Think I’ll go out and stick my head in a snow bank.
And now Paul is home. “It’s freezing here!” he says. He looks at my red face. “Is it alright if I turn up the heat?”
“If you must,” I bark, fanning myself with a throw cushion.
Then I realize something. In our house, PMS always stood for Paul Must Suffer. Well, the PMS might be coming to an end for me, but it won’t be ending for him any time soon. Will he survive? Will I?
Check back in two to eight years.
*Images courtesy of Pexels
… the days are noticeably getting longer. And in six weeks, we spring forward as Daylight Savings Time kicks in!
It isn’t just me who looks forward to spring around here. Practically every day, Vivian and Maisie go outside to check things out. They don’t stay out long, only long enough to confirm that winter with all its snow and iciness is still firmly in place.
One of the loveliest features of the longer days?
The sunsets, just as pretty in winter as in summer.
No two are ever exactly the same.
As gorgeous as they are, you’ll still find us hanging out mostly indoors for a few weeks yet.
How about you?
Do you embrace winter,
or are you counting the days until summer like me?
“You are my fantasy on a cold dark night, my muse during the light of day and the one wish my soul would make.” ~ Grace Willows
Calmer Girls is free on Kindle until January 22.
Grab this edgy coming-of-age novel here: http://getbook.at/CalmerGirls
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I am heartsick over this tragedy, and couldn’t agree more with this post. Well said, fellow blogger.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Normally you would find a satirical article here. In this case, it would attempt to skewer the fetishization of war so banally common in the world today – and which this week tragically cut short the lives of 176 innocent people – by juxtaposing it against a more hopeful way out of the cycle of violence. That of peace.
There would be fictional quotes from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and thinly veiled disgust for the chest-beating of U.S. President Donald Trump, and Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei. The article might conclude with a bitter statement from an average person, asking what war has done for them lately; or a final word from Trudeau, underscoring that while Canada is angered, and deeply hurt, it will not perpetuate the endless cycle of violence.
But we aren’t going to do that. Because the people who were on…
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Hello, friends and felines!
Maisie here, wishing my sister Vivian would make room for me on our big new bed in the living room. Yes, our early Christmas present is actually a dog bed, but it’s oh-so-comfy for us cats too.
Mom thinks she’s clever, making us share it with a beanie baby named “Howlidays.” We realize it’s Christmas and all, but we would’ve preferred a baby of our own species.
Oh well. Let me think… where shall I nap while waiting for my turn on the new bed?
Our twin beds are in the kitchen of course…
… and look what I found here. Just my size.
Ever-curious Vivian has to come along and inspect the situation.
I think you’re too big to fit, sis.
Move along. Nothing more to see here.
Thank you, sis. Now, one more thing…
Think, maybe, we can lose the mutt??
Ah… that’s much better!
Thanks, Mom… purr… zzzz…
Happy Holidays to all
and warm, cuddly wishes for the New Year!
See you in January!
This past Thursday, Perry’s Point welcomed its first little snowfall for the season, just enough to get this cranky-pants in the festive mood for Christmas.
Speaking of being welcomed, our neighbours rolled out the welcome mat in more ways than one that evening when they invited us over for supper.
Unbeknownst to us until we ventured outside — and unnecessary because there were only a couple inches of the white stuff — “W” had cleared a path from our house to his. A sweet little gesture that put smiles on our faces. Check it out:
“Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers.”
~ Kahlil Gibran