Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thank you to our Veterans - past and present

Today, on my way home from work I sat in traffic behind a little blue-grey Neon with a sticker that read

"My daughter is fighting for your Freedom"
I wanted to get out of the car and tell the older gentleman driving the care ahead of me
"Tell her I said Thank you"

But since we were waiting in traffic I thought it was not a good idea.

I am against war, but sadly it is part of life.

So I just wanted to say, "Thank you" to all those men and women, past and present, who have gone and go to war and risk their lives to defend the freedoms and rights of our country and our people.

Not very eloquently pu,t but I think anyone can see what I am trying to say.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 30

Technically, these should have been posted last night.. when I took them, on the official last day of my 30 day challenge. Some medical news bummed me. But on the good side, my oldest son was visiting. In the end I was very tired and went to bed. So here are the photos now.
Driving down a dirt road at night. a series of photos with a long exposure time. Trees rushing past.  I like them. Maybe it's just my mood. Either way this is the last post of my 30 day challenge. I failed to post every day I missed 3 in total.... 5 if you count the late posts. Maybe I will try again.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 29

This was tonights dinner.. and tasty it was.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 25

Day 25. Close to being done my 30 day Photo Challenge.

I wish that was the case with the construction crews outside my home bright and early evey morning. From early morning till early evening they are digging, scraping, hauling dirt, filling holes, pulling up road and curbs and sidewalks. Stirring up dust and pissing off drivers. I am amazed at how many people get impatient and blast their horns. PEOPLE....there are alternate routes.. take them if you have no patience. Quit pulling out and driving out of turn in spite of the sign that guy in the yellow hard hat and safety orange vest is holding.  It says "STOP"  Maybe I'm stupid but I never thought that STOP was an invitation to muscle your way ahead, putting yourself and other people in danger. I never understood that sort of impatience. I have no patience for impatience.  LOL.

Here is one of the machines working in front of my house... every day.. all day for up to 20 weeks.

Monday, August 8, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 23

The New Tenant

We have a pond off the patio. and this little fellow had taken up residence along with another.

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 22

Sorry. This on is a day late. It was taken yesterday but circumstances prevented me from posting it before days end.


Friday, August 5, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 20

I missed Day 19. I had the shot planned out. I trip to Rama with my daughter to see Jeff Dunham and at some point I was going to take a candid shot of my beautiful girl, 'cept, in the rush, I forgot the camera at home. We got home after midnight so technically day 19 was over and done with.

Here howeve,r is day 20.

I beleive this is the set of wires that provide our phone services. I could be wrong. I just took the photo.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

#fridayflash - Pre Wedding Jitters

Monica went over the conversation in her mind.

She and Karen had been discussing her upcoming wedding day and Monica was getting nervous.

"No" she answered to Karen's question about cold feet. "I absolutely have no questions about marrying Dan, I love him with all my heart and have no doubt we will be able to work through everything and anything we encounter. It's the things that go wrong on wedding days, the stories you hear about the flowers not arriving on time, or the DJ not showing. That's what I am afraid of"

"You know what " Karen stated. She was much older than Monica. The same age as Monica's mother as a matter of fact, and she often took it upon herself to give Monica 'motherly advice'. "That may happen, and then again it may not. But what's important to remember is how much you and Dan love each other and this is your day to celebrate your love and enjoy. If things go wrong, try not to focus on them so much, don't let them ruin your day"

"Make Lemonade" Karen said. "You know what I mean right?" she asked, nodding her head.

"I do" Monica answered " that's great advice."Thank you."

The guests were seated. The music was playing. And the flowers had not arrived.

Monica stood in her wedding gown at the sink in the kitchen in the church basement. Brushing the veil away from her face she squeezed another lemon into the pitcher containing sugar.

She added cold water from the tap and stirred vigorously.

"I don't see how this will help" she thought.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 18

Photographed on the kitchen table this morning at 6 a.m.
Manipulated with a photo editing program I just aquired.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 15

This is Smokey... who you have seen before.

Best cat EVER!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 14

This is one of three planters I put in on the pillars on the road side of the lot. LOVE these. Will do them again next year. Nothing special about this photo.... nothing interesting other than I am so pleased with the way they turned out.

Friday, July 29, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 13

This is Baxter.

Baxter belongs to my neighbours who shall remain unnamed.
Baxter is a cross between a Chihuahua and a Jack Russel terrier and is a wonderful little dog.  His mom/owner has trained him well.
Every day when I arrive home, if Baxter and his owner are outside, he tugs at his lead to be able to come over and say his hellos.
He did not want to stay still for the photo at this point however. Dinner was waiting inside

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 11

This is Smokey as seen through the old screen on the sunroom windows. Back before they were plastic the screens were made of some sort of metal. Therefore the picture is as you see it. He is peeking out at me standing up on his hind legs, paws on he window sill.
He loves that room as much as I do

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 10

There is a reason thay call this plant 'Bee' Balm. Just when you thought my photos were boring I post this one.

Hey, getting this close to a bee was an adventure.' Bee'lieve me, I was ready to jump back casue I had my face only the width of the camera and a couple inches away from this guy. OK  boring for you but not for me. He was actually quite sedate. I managed many photos as he moved in and out from 'bee'tween the petals.

Monday, July 25, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 9

Today Roger went fishing.. some people have to work.... not him.... at least not every he fishes. And he brought home some large mouth bass to filet up for dinner. We prepare it like fish and chips.
Love it.

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Whisk together the flour, milk, water, baking powder, and salt in a bowl until smooth.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 8

This is a glass, on the patio table catching the light from the evening sun.  It is out of focus.. intentionally.
Nothing special to be said about it beyond that.
I think I will take my camera to work tomrrow and see what I can catch.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 7

OK OK  boring again....
so I spiced it up with the use of a filter in PhotoShop.

Today was the local Garden Tour. We have done it for 4 or 5 years now. Some gardens were OK, some were very nice, some were not to our taste and one was spectacular. The photos I took of that one did not do it justice so I chose not to post it. But I liked the centre on this flower. And I liked how the filter punched up the colour and made it a bit more interesting. If I could find my manual for this camera I would read it and figure out how to use all the settings in a way that would make even the most boring photos more interesting.
My camera is a Canon OES 50D.

Friday, July 22, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 6

Wow!.. I made it to Day 6. BUT it's still boring. Seriously boring.
BUT as you see I have my book. I have a drink and have just finished a thin crust spinach pizza. My PJs are on and my legs are up as a recline stretched out on the day bed.. see previous photo... and I don't have to work tomorrow. Life is good.
I hope to find something a bit more interesting to post a photo of this weekend.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 5

This is Gooseneck Loosestrife

I fell in love with this flower when I saw it in a friends garden. I had never seen it before and a day or two later... there it was.. in the WalMart garden centre. I bought three.

Now, if the squirrels would stop using it to break their fall from the clothesline it might do OK.

Note:  Yes I know it's more flowers. My life is dull as all heck.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 4

This is Bandit. Sidekick to Smokey. But honestly, she's the one who rules the roost so to speak.  I initially brought Bandit home as a companion for Smokey because being alone all day Smokey got bored and got into stuff and made messes. Getting on shelves and on top of cabinets and dressers and knocking stuff onto the floor. I figured that would stop once he has someone to play with during day.

Ended up he taught her all his bad tricks and I was coming home to bigger messes.

Age and being fixed has mellowed them both.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 3

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a collection of chimes in the maple tree outside the sunroom window. This is one of them. from below, up into the tree.

Monday, July 18, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 2

This is the Sunroom in my home.
It holds a cot piled high with cushions to sink into. (seen here) a small desk, a side table a lamp table and two chairs.
And books.
It is my favorite room in the house and if it was up to me, it would remain open all year. But it is uninsulated and has windows on 3 sides so at some point after Thanksgiving it gets closed up.
A Maple tree sits outside the front window and holds my collection of chimes. When the breezes blow the sound is .. I wish I could describe it but I can't other than to say it calms me when I am tense and lifts my spirits when I am down.
The dappled sunlight shines through the leaves on the trees amd streams in and casts a soothing light over everything and the windows open to let breezes through.
On days when I am fortunate enough to have the luxury, I curl up on the cot and read. When my eyes get heavy from taking in the words I nap, then sometimes I will wake and continue to read some more and sometimes drift off again.
I have a tough time keeping still as a rule but but when I set myself down on this cot it's like a switch... the response is automatic. And I relax and forget for a while the challenges life brings.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

30 day photo challenge - Day 1

We have gardens.. far too many of them and this year its almost an addiction. My son has taken to sheilding my eyes from them as we walk past plants at the stores, holding my elbow as he quides me past. "Mom, we have enough plants, don't look at them, you have no room for anymore". 

And he is right.

This is an African Daisy. I have always loved the daisy type flowers because of the simplicity of them but I am fond of this particular flower due to the variety of colours and unusual blends of colours on some of them. And some have a variation of the pettle shape that is unusual.

For more images click the link below

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My 30 Day Photo Challenge

Later today.. when I get up after a long day and a very late night I will post a photo.
It is my 30 day challenge.
For me.
Cause I want to.

Each day will be a photo I took on that day and will include a description.
So off to bed I go for now.
Stay tuned to this station.

P.S. The photos posted may NOT be used or reproduced without my written permission.

Not that I expect them to be good enough that anyone would WANT to. But you never know.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Decision... continued

Ted pushed himself up from the porch swing and moved swiftly into the house. Chris sat silently letting the swing finish its reaction to his sudden movement. She swung slowly back and forth, back and forth in shorter arcs until the swing came to a stop. Tears welled in her eyes and she knew she saw some in Teds before he quickly bolted for the solitude of the house. It was a lot for him to digest and she began to wonder if telling him was a mistake. Her resolve to keep her secret wore down as she grew more fatigued.

She was scared and she never felt more alone. He had thought she was just getting lazy and they had fought many times about what she hadn't been getting done .Each day he would come home to a house with laundry not done and dishes in the sink. He would huff his displeasure as he slam things around in the kitchen while he cleaned up and put things away.

Earlier that night as she lay in bed she heard him and knew he'd be upset with her when she finally showed herself or he came down after his shower.

She drifted off when things grew silent and was abruptly woken by the door being flung open.

"Jeez Chris, what the hell is it you do all day? I work my ass off at work then come home to the mess here to take care of. And tonight you haven't even started dinner. I guess watching those damned soaps must drain the life out of you and keeping the house tidy is just too much for you now???"

Previous to tonight shed always managed to hold her own, make excuses of some sort that he'd buy and it would be done. But tonight he had had enough and yelled.

Dammit Chris, you've barely lifted a finger around here the last 3 months. And I am fucking tired of doing both our jobs. You have always kept a clean house.... always had dinner ready or on the go when I came in the door. Don't get me wrong I never took that for granted I always appreciated it but lately.. it's like I'm living with another woman. Heck you don't even look yourself. You won't talk to me, you're sullen, short of temper sometimes and that's not you. I don't know what to do. Are you unhappy? Do you want out?? Christ Chris. I love you, you must know that. I have been patient and tried to understand but you are doing dick all around here and not talking to me about anything. Come on.. something's up. Just tell me."

His rage had resigned itself now to worry and seeing the look on his face made Chris cry.

It was not a gradual thing. Ít welled up in her throat and forced its way out so hard she almost choked on it.

A sound alien to Ted came from his wife, he stood dumfounded and speechless not knowing what to say. He moved in and grabbed her in a big hug. Just in the nick of time too because her knees buckled and he had to hold her up. It was like the force of her sobbing stole the last bit of strength she had in her body. He slowly brought them both down to the floor and just held her. It was a long time before the crying stopped.

When she was breathing normally he gently cradled her chin in his large hand and lifted her face towards him.

He looked into her swollen eyes and stared for a long time. Searching for the woman he fell in love with. She saw the concern and love he had for her and mustered up a weak smile to ease his mind.

'Splain Lucy"' he mimicked in his best Ricki Recardo imitation.

She moved to get up and he helped her, now so aware of how weak she was. She took his hand and led him out to the porch.

Not sure what to say or how to say it, she led him to the swing and sat down.

They sat and watched the sun as it slipped slowly down the sky.

The sky burst into brilliant oranges and deep purples and she did, as she had every night since her diagnosis, marvelled at the beauty of it. And as she had also done every night since then, she lamented the fact that she had taken it and so many simple things for granted. She should have lived her life differently. And she would NOW live it the way she should have.

"Ted, I'm so sorry. You deserve better than you have gotten from me these last months, her voice caught in her throat and she swallowed hard working to formulate the words. There was no easy way to say this.

"I should have told you sooner.." and she stopped again. Breathing deep and trying to calm herself. She sat quietly... practicing the words in her head.

She looked at his face and before she could change her minded said the three words he would NOT want to hear

"I have Cancer."

He sat in stunned silence. She waited for him to say something. His hands balled into fists and and he got up and went into the house.

She sat on the swing, her mind swimming and second guessing her decision to tell him and through tear filled eyes she watched as one by one the stars sparkled to life in the darkening night sky.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sleepless in Huntsville

The last couple years have seen me sleepless. More nights than I care to count I have tossed and turned growing increasingly more frustrated as sleep eludes me. The pharmacist gave me melatonin, the active ingredient in turkey that makes most people drowsy after Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.

It works... sometimes.... but often enough I will find myself popping a Benadryl in desperation. It works quite nicely but as with any drug not prescribed it should not become a habit.

In January I joined the gym. For two reasons. I was a member of the gym for many years, it is where I met my significant other. Roger. I recall that I slept well those years without any sort of medicinal aid. I needed to lose weight and tone up so I thought "why not?"

Well that didn't work so well for the sleep part but I was toning up and feeling stronger.

Well, now, I am in a walking cast for reasons I won't go into now because I am quickly steering in a direction other than the reason I sat down to write. I have been up since before 5 this morning. Just like yesterday morning. Yesterday I drove into work for 7 ( heading off track again)

I was sitting in bed watching a recorded episode of 'House'. I had just gotten in from the final screening this season with Reel Alternatives. It was after 10. The cats trotted in and jumped on the bed as they often do when Roger is not around. He doesn't like them in the bedroom. And they know it. When they hear his foot land on the top stair to come down to bed they are out like a shot. Silent and crouching low to the ground.

Laying there last night, watching 'House' I looked at them sleeping curled up at the bottom of the bed and felt a calmness. And I remembered always having my cats on my bed at night while I slept when I was younger. So I decided that while Roger is away. (struggling in Lake Erie to get a boat back home, weather and fuel lines conspire against them) I'd let the cats sleep with me.

I turned off the light sighing to myself and thinking "hmmmm... this is nice" Less than an hour later I was woken by the movement of one of them crossing over my feet. Sometime later one of them was laying on my feet. the foot in the cast sensitive to the weight. At one point Bandit thought it would be a good idea to climb onto my chest with her tiny little feet poking at me like broom handles. It hurt. I lay there grimacing, anticipating shed settle down and curl up there and sleep. Nope, she walked round and round till I growled at her and she got the hint and moved off the bed. Later I was woken again to the rustle of one of them on my night table. Smokey was pushing at things, and in short order I heard plastic clunk of the 'TV remote hitting the ground followed by the similar sound of the PVR remote as well. More rustling and I knew he intended to create a spot big enough to lay down in. He is a big cat and I had a lot of things on that table. I whined his name and leaned over and gave him a gentle shove of the table. These events were mixed with several nose to nose pokes and vigorous play.

What was I thinking?? So much for that idea. Then I remembered. I started confining these two from my room when I lived in my apartment. For the exact reasons I stated above. How soon we forget.

It's now after 6 and I will be on the road to work within the hour. Time to dress and change to my day time walking cast. Roger won't be home tonight as originally planned. The bedroom door will be closed tonight and the cats can sleep anywhere but in here. Will try warm milk tonight.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Makes me wonder.....

Sometimes, things happen in a persons life that makes them stop dead and think. "WTF?" 
I know I am not the only person out there who encounters this kind of thing.  But here I am, blindsided and reeling. If my life was a cartoon I would be wobbling, my eyes bulging and rolling around, and I'd have stars flashing and birds tweeting in circles above my head.
In a cartoon its funny,
in real life.. not so much.
It brings to mind a song. Written by Albert King "Born Under a Bad Sign"

Great song.. always loved it.
I can relate. Now, I know my life is not as bad as so many other out there.
Far from it.  But Jeez... does it have to have these constant trials and tribulations, problems and issues, changes and pain?
I am grateful for what I have. I really am, But I could use a break from the crap.
Maybe I should have been a Blues Musician. It would be a great creative outlet for this stuff thats socially more acceptable instead of whining about it. When I complain about the trials in my life people avoid me. BUT if I wrote songs and sang about them and made money off it, I'd never lack for friends.

Time for a career change maybe.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Decision

She sat queitly thinking over what the doctor had said to her earlier that day.
That word that everyone hopes they never have to hear fell heavily on her ears and sunk into her gut. As he spoke to her she stared at his mouth, watching how his lips formed the words. He had been speaking for a long time.. saying words that she was no longer hearing because a buzz had settled in her head. She turned her gaze to the window and watched the traffic passing on the road below. A tiny blue car made its way to the corner and stopped at the light. A fog closed in and she could faintly hear a voice.
"Chris.. Chris are you with me?"
She felt a touch on her arm that jolted her back from the cloud she had retreated into. She blinked and looked back to her doctor. 
"I need you to pay attention to me." he stated flatly. "This is important. Take these brochures home and go over them with Ted then decide what it is you want to do. There are options" 
She nodded, not looking up.
"Do you want me to give you some time to absorb this before you leave" he asked.
Looking at her, he decided for her "Listen. Take your time. Compose yourself. You can leave when you are ready" He gave her a long look then got up and said "I will call you tomorrow to see if you have any questions" He closed the door quietly behind him.
"Thank you" she mumbled after he'd left. She sat and watched the tears fall onto the brochures that she was folding over in her hands.

She did not remember the drive home or how long she had been sitting in the bedroom.  She had read the brochures and tucked them safely away in her purse. She just did not know what she was going to say to Ted, or her children. After years of being able to speak her mind and discuss her problems she now found herself without words. She had no idea what or how to tell them.  She looked out the window and noted that the sun had gone down. She could hear her son moving around in his room, talking online with one of his friends while he played his game. At times she had found this irritating as he could get quite loud but this time she listened intently, enjoying the sound of his voice and remembering him as a baby. Remembering how he smelled as an infant, and reliving the feeling of him cradled in her arms. She closed her eyes and held the memory hard. 
"What do I tell him?" she asked herself.
She gathered herself and left the room and wandered to the kitchen where Ted had started dinner. He looked up from the counter where he was preparing carrots to roast when she entered the room.
"Hey Hun" he said smiling and moved in to give her a hug. She took his hug and held on tight, tears welling up in her eyes. After a couple minutes he pushed her away only far enough to look at her face. She could see the concern and she swallowed hard and blurted out.
"Damn menopause has me feeling moody. I don't know if I can handle possibly 15 more years of this" she moaned, hoping he'd fall for her deflection.
He wiped the tears from her cheeks and held her some more. Only when she let go did he move to continue with the carrots.
"I love you" he said and gave her a kiss on the forhead as she backed away. She almost choked on the lump in her throat when she returned an "I love you back"
She watched him go back to the meal prep and was so grateful for him. He has always been so patient with her. So loving and considerate. Loving her even when she dished out her worst to him when life was being hard on her. He took it with understanding. Knowing it was not him that the anger was about.
"Not this time" she said to herself. "Not this time" She would not take this out on him. He had always deserved better from her.
This was one battle she'd fight on her own. One battle no one needed to know about except her. At least not yet. Her sons, one grown and moved out, her daughter and Ted need not be involved. If, and only if the day came where she was told that there was no hope.... Then, and only then would she tell them.
She was determined that day would not come.
She went to the drawer and picked out the cutlery and proceeded to set the table. She glanced at Ted on her way past and he gave her a warm grin. She smiled back. She called to her son who came in and got the plates to place around the table. After the table was set she thanked him and he gave her one of his best bear hugs.
"I love you" she told her son.
And as they had since he began to talk he responded with a smile "I love you too"
"I love you three" she countered back.
I love you forever" he replied and gave her another hug. She watched him as he returned to his room. "Dinner in 15" she called out.
"Ok" he answered and the door clicked shut behind him.
Her determination had carried her through a great deal.
It would this time too, she thought.