Saturday, August 30, 2014

In Between

I love Queen of Your Own Life's daily posters as they're always so uplifting and positive. Today's message resonated with me.

I've always hated “in between” as I transition from one thing to another. It’s an unsettling feeling to switch gears and start something new. 

Even as a kid, I never liked having to quit one activity to start another, especially if I was enjoying myself.

I feel like I’m in that stage today after getting back from vacation and having to get back into my routine again. It is a bit of a struggle but eventually I will find my groove again.  

So much of our lives are those “in between” moments which we see as unimportant while we transition to the important events.

Even when I worked as an opaquer painting cartoon cells back in the 1980s, junior animators were always given the task of doing the "in between" cells that showed a character's less important movements in between the major ones that the senior animator would draw. 

Sometimes we get stuck “in between” and find ourselves in limbo while we’re waiting to start something new. I've been there and it's easy to stagnate and not grow very much.

I think “in between” is okay as long as it doesn’t drag on too long and it can actually be a good thing. It’s a break in our frantic pace to take stock and figure out what direction we’re going in next. 

If we see it in a positive light, it can be a stepping stone to something new and exciting. And who knows what possibilities await? 

Maybe being "in between" isn't such a bad thing after all.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

So long for another year

The breeze rustles the grass while waves lap the shore
Soon this moment will be no more,
We watch the blazing sun, so brilliant and bright
As it dips behind the hills to bring on the night,

Another day has slipped away
How I wish I could make it stay,
Moments rush by and become the past
I wish there was a way to make it last,

Precious memories are stored away
To warm us on a winter’s day,
I wish we were just getting here
So long Cape Breton, for another year.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Let's hear it for crows!

I really like Cape Breton’s recycling program with their clear coloured bags that make it impossible to throw out items that can be recycled. They are very advanced in comparison to Ottawa’s recycling program which still allows black garbage bags and garbage cans, letting people get away with not recycling.

As well as a compost bin, my parents have another recycling program in place that is very effective and entertaining. 

It’s called the crows. 

My parents toss out their leftovers and my dad hits a glass with a spoon. 

Like Pavlov’s bell, a cloud of squawking crows appear to claim the goodies.  Sometimes seagulls will tag along hoping to get in on the action and once an eagle came by, too. 

I admire the crows and think we should appreciate their good qualities.

Crows are:

Family oriented – They are very protective of their young and travel around in family groups. They are very territorial and don’t like any other birds infringing on their domain.

Smart  They recognize people and are ultra-aware of humans’ routines and activities. They also problem solve and remember things.

Good communicators – If one crow finds food, he tells the rest and before you know it, a big gang arrives.

Survivors – They scrounge for whatever scraps they can find, not minding if it’s stale or rotten. Like a vacuum cleaner they clean everything up. Also they tend to stick around in winter and if they can survive a Canadian winter, I really admire them.

It’s a shame that crows often have a bad reputation as dirty noisy scavengers. They’re even associated with evil and death.

I prefer to think of them as valuable creatures who do their part to keep the environment pristine and beautiful for future generations. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The 12 Most

I'm enjoying my vacation in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia visiting my parents so of course I'm thinking about that when it comes to my somewhat sporadic blog posts.

Today I am doing the Write Tribe prompt of "The Twelve Most..." It's a fun take on the list idea.

My idea is "The 12 Most Wonderful Things About Visiting My Parents in Cape Breton." Of course there are more than 12, but these are some of the great things about our visits every year. I have made a photo collage about it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grace, the Mermaid

I made a new friend when I was in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She inspired me so much, I had to write a poem about her.

I know a mermaid whose name is Grace
She has funny hair and a made up face,
When she talks, her voice peels paint
A beauty pageant queen, that she ain’t.

She has her good points if you look hard enough
She’s funny, she’s witty and boy, is she tough,
She won’t take crap from anyone
Rumour has it she carries a gun!

All of a sudden, she bursts into song
I hate to tell her every note is wrong,
She sings and sings into the night
Giving the tourists quite a fright!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

High School Reunion

Here is a short piece I wrote for a challenge over at Shailaja's wonderful blog.

We had to use the suggested prompts and keep it under 50 words but not less than 15. Harder than it looks. I used the word "reunion" and the phrase "At long last." Not very easy to get it down to such a short word count but I tried my hand at doing exactly 50 words. These challenges are so good for learning to make each word count.

I searched the auditorium for a familiar face but found no one. So much for my high school reunion.
Just as I was leaving, a woman touched my arm.
“Carrie from grade 10 English, right?”
 “Janet? Great to see you!” Not horrible two-faced Janet!
 At long last someone knew me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Casual friends chat about the weather
And never spend any time together,
They wave at you and say hello
But that’s about as far as they go

Fair weather friends like it when the sun it out
But when it rains they’re nowhere about,
Fair weather friends will share a beer
But when trouble hits, they disappear,

Fickle friends can’t make up their mind
Wishy washy and not always kind,
They are always waiting for another bus
Those kind of friends are not worth the fuss

True friends are always there for you
They pick you up when you’re feeling blue,
Dependable, loyal and ready to share
They are the friends who really care,

True friendship is a seed that has been planted
Nurture it well and don’t take it for granted,
If you tend it carefully, it will grow
And blossom even in the snow.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Living With Less

Last weekend, we gave away our broken old upright piano that no one plays. I don’t miss it, except it was a great clutter holder and dust collector. It was good for that!

I was happy to give it to someone who will get it repaired and use it. 

All this stuff that we’ve accumulated has become a burden taking up space, getting in the way and needing to be maintained. How did that happen?

I came across an article about Minimalism, a movement that two American guys, Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus are promoting. By their late twenties, Joshua and Ryan were were living the American dream, making six figure income,s living the good life with fancy cars and houses. They also worked eighty hour work weeks, were totally stressed, and had no time to enjoy life.

For Joshua, it took the death of his mother and a divorce to force him to take stock. He decided to downsize to a simpler life and his friend, Ryan joined him. He started the minimalism movement and has even written a book that he is promoting on a book tour. The site is

I love this whole idea of minimalism. Of course I still like my comforts, but I do like the whole philosophy of being content with less and not always buying new things.

We are bogged down by our materialism and consumerism. Wouldn’t it be great to have less stuff and less stress? What a freeing feeling.

These days the cost of living is always rising, squeezing us tighter and tighter. It certainly makes a person think twice before splurging on something. Is it a need or just a want? 

Or is it just those clever marketers making us think we need this stuff? It’s easy to be brainwashed into thinking there is something wrong with you if you don’t have the latest and the greatest. I see that a lot with people always upgrading to the newest cell phone or laptop. Our obsession with buying new stuff consumes all our time and makes us want more and more. Where does it end? Have we lost sight of what’s really important? What about more important values like sharing and caring for each other? What about giving back to the community?

It makes sense to get rid of excess possessions and not buy so much in the first place. Appreciate what you have and be content with less. It’s good for your health, good for the community and the environment, too. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Twenty-five years already?

In honour of my 25th wedding anniversary today, I’ve thought of twenty-five verbs that contribute to a happy relationship.

I’m far from perfect and don’t always follow this list as well as I could.

Still, these verbs remind me of what’s important in a relationship of any kind whether it’s a marriage, a parent/child relationship, siblings, other relatives or even a good friendship.

Relationships are hard work and not always easy, but so worth it, don’t you agree? 

What other verbs do you think are important to a healthy and loving relationship?

Monday, August 4, 2014

It's Time to Slow Down

Always hurrying, always worrying
So much to do, so little time,
Why are you doing all this scurrying?
Sit down and listen to my rhyme,

I know your “to do” list is seven miles long
That’s why I’m singing this wistful song,
It’s time to slow down and get a grip
If you don’t, you’re sure to trip,

If you don’t do it all will it really matter?
Who is it that you’re trying to flatter?
Does rushing give a purpose to your life?
Or does it jab at you like a pointy knife?

Slow down, take a breath and look around
Gaze at the sky or down at the ground,
Be in the moment, it’s going fast
None of this is going to last!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Fears Hold Me Back as a Writer

I am participating in the Blog Carnival at Write Tribe with the prompt about What would you do if you weren't afraid?

Write Tribe

I’ve spent a fortune on courses and conferences over the years. I've written loads of stories and have a few novels gathering dust in drawers or cluttering up my laptop. I've even had a few things published. You’d think that showed I was a real writer, wouldn’t you?

And yet, I still don’t take myself seriously enough. I act like I’m playing at this writing game and I often procrastinate to avoid getting going on writing project. Why is that?

My two fears of failure and rejection tend to hold me back from pursuing writing more seriously.

Fear of failure is a biggie with me. I often put off or even avoid writing, convinced that it will be too hard and I’ll just write garbage and fail anyhow. I have a notorious Inner Critic or Mr. I.C. as I affectionately call him. He perches on my shoulder and constantly tells me that my work is not good enough. He even tells me that I’m not good enough. I sure wish he’d go away.

I do think that my fear of rejection is legitimate. I’ve had lots of work rejected over the years. It’s all part of the process. It is very hard to get work accepted, even more so these days with so many people competing for less and less opportunities.

I fear that I don’t have the right credentials and that no one will take me seriously anyhow. I don’t have a fancy degree from a fancy university. Surely I’ll be rejected and laughed at. Credentials are what it takes to be a real writer, aren’t they?

I love writing as it’s part of me and I need to express my creativity. I’ve always written in diaries to express myself and make sense of my feelings about things. These days my blog and Facebook have become like my online diaries. I also enjoy sharing and supporting others. I am so grateful for the Internet for bringing me closer with friends around the world.  

I AM A WRITER even without a fancy writing degree. Now to let go of my fears of failure and rejection and boot Mr. IC out so I can prove it.

100 Words on a Saturday - Rebel Without a Cause

I am writing this post in response to the prompt from Write Tribe's 100 words on a Saturday. using the phrase "My grandmother/grandfather told me...

Write Tribe

My grandmother told me to watch out for Cal, but of course I didn’t listen. I fell in love the moment I saw him smoking in front of Mac’s corner store looking like James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause.”  Cal was everything this town wasn’t; good-looking, exciting, rebellious and dangerous. The first time we fought, he punched me and I lost a tooth. When I told him I was pregnant, he kicked me twice in the stomach and I lost the baby. Then Cal got thrown in jail for break and enter. Why didn’t I listen to my grandmother?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Golden Days of Summer

The kids jump off the dock into the river, shattering the silence with their screaming splashes. 

Mom lounges on the shore in the pink Adirondack chair while reading her steamy summer novel and wiggling her green calloused toes covered in chipped red nail polish.

Dad is up on the deck guzzling a Molson Canadian, his big tanned beer belly hanging out of his unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt. He hunches over the barbecue like a crazed caveman, wielding his spatula like a weapon while hot dogs and hamburgers sizzle in a cloud of choking smoke chasing the mosquitoes away.

Meanwhile the trees whisper in the cool evening air, their dry leaves rustling and rattling as they share their secrets.

The golden sun sinks below the horizon, transforming the sky from orange-pink to indigo..

Canadian summer is slowly slipping away.