Sunday, August 7, 2016

Ten Writer Promises #BarAThon

Today is the last day of the 7 day blogging festival. PHEW! I made it! Wasn't easy but the pressure was always on since the majority of the bloggers reside in India which is almost a day ahead of me here in Canada. It's been fun. Hope we do it again soon.

Today's prompt is "I promise." I decided to make a list of ten promises to keep in mind for a writer. Good to be reminded on the hard days when you want to give up.

Try freewriting where you let the words pour out uncensored, writing with joy and abandon. Isn’t that why you started writing in the first place?

Kick that Inner Critic to the curb and get rid of him for good. All he does is cause trouble making you doubt yourself. All those negative feelings inhibit you from writing. 

Make time for free writing sessions to connect with your right side writer brain. You know that feeling when you lose a sense of time. That's when you know you've connected with the abstract right brain where the good stuff resides.

Befriend other writers in person and online. Encourage and promote each other. Always keep it positive. Don’t plagiarize but find inspiration in each other’s work.

Be patient with yourself on days when the writing isn’t flowing. Don’t force it.

Try different kinds of writing and don’t be afraid to experiment with other genres like non fiction, blogging and essays. You may find something new that you really enjoy writing.

Do another activities to stimulate the writing such as reading great literature, listening to music, playing an instrument, dancing, taking photos; whatever stimulates your writer brain.

Only let that inner editor out when you’re at the revision stage. If let out too early, that inner editor wreaks havoc on a free writing session.

Join a critique group of writers you trust who respect your work and will critique in a fair and honest way without being mean or destructive.

Have adventures and go to different places even if it’s locally. Take a different route for a change of scenery. The change of perspective is a great creativity booster.

Realize you are a writer because you write. Being published is great but can take a while and be downright elusive and full of discouragement. In the meantime, if you are writing, you are a writer. Celebrate it and be proud!

I am participating in the Blog-a-rhythm Blogathon, a 7 day blogging festival. 
I am with Team #BlueLagoon
Day 7 prompt is Promise

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Wishful Thinking #BarAThon

I wish that I was young once more
With lots of time ahead,
I wish I’d opened every door
With joy instead of dread,
I wish that I had been more bold
Instead of being shy,
I wish I’d realized time is gold
And how the time does fly,

All this wishful thinking, doesn’t help at all
The past is done and can’t be changed,
Like the writing on the wall,
All I can do is be in the moment,
It’s here and then it’s gone
It’s wishful thinking to turn back time,
Like a battle that can’t be won.

I am participating in the Blog-a-rhythm Blogathon, a  7 day blogging festival. 
I am with Team #BlueLagoon
Day 6 prompt is Wishful Thinking

Friday, August 5, 2016

Tiny Shoes Will Never Be Mine #BarAThon

Look at you with your tiny shoes
When it comes to footwear, you can choose,
Shoes look good on tiny feet
Dainty, cute and oh, so sweet,

Big feet take up so much space
Clumsy, large and lacking grace,
Finding shoes is not much fun
I feel defeated before I’ve begun,

At least my feet take me where I want to go
Trudging their way through ice and snow,
Creaking across a wooden floor
Splashing in waves along the shore,

Tiny shoes will never be mine
I’ve accepted this and that’s just fine.

I am participating in the Blog-a-rhythm Blogathon, a 7 day blogging festival. 
I am with Team #BlueLagoon
Day 5 prompt is Tiny Shoes

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Caught Red Handed! #BarAThon

Here in Cape Breton, there is cheeky female red squirrel who raids the feeder just like the female red squirrel I have back in Ontario. I think this red squirrel is even brattier than the one back at my place, if that's possible. 

Her antics are fun to watch and of course I had to take a bunch of photos of her. She's not shy at all and I was even able to go out on the deck and take photos of her close up. She barely even noticed me and kept merrily munching away.

Her brash boldness inspired this poem for "Caught Red Handed" for today's prompt at the Barathon for the BlogaRhythm 7 day blogging festival.

Caught red handed, you cheeky brat!
Gorging on seeds and growing fat,
Cheeky squirrel, so impolite
Those poor birdies don’t get a bite,

Nothing stops a squirrel, they keep on going
Even on days when it’s sleeting and snowing,
Might as well just let her eat.
Enjoy it, Red and Bon Appetit!

I am participating in the Blog-a-rhythm Blogathon, a 7 day blogging festival. 
I am with Team #BlueLagoon
Day 4 prompt is Caught Red Handed

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Slipping Away #BarAThon

My son Eric and I are visiting my dad in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on the East Coast of Canada.

One of our favourite things to do each night is go down to the shore of the Bras d’Or Lake and watch the sunset.

I like to take loads of photos as the sun slips away below the horizon of the mountain. It goes so quickly that we can watch as it disappears.

Since the sudden death of my mother last November, the fragility of life is much more on my mind. I can’t help wondering how many more sunsets I will see.

All our lives are fragile, hanging by a thread between life and death. 

There are no guarantees we will see another sunset and we must appreciate every day we get.

The sun blazes, so bold and bright
Descending quickly towards the night,
Sparkling on the water in a brilliant display
Marking the end of another day,

How many more sunsets will we see?
That is something we can’t forsee,
Fragile lives, going by so fast
Enjoy each sunset as if it’s your last.

I am participating in the Blog-a-rhythm Blogathon, a 7 day blogging festival. 
I am with Team #BlueLagoon
Day 3 prompt is Fragile Lives

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

What You Don't Know

I am participating in the Blog-a-rhythm Blogathon, a 7 day blogging festival. 

I am with Team #BlueLagoon

Before you know it you will be old
Then what will you do?
I hate to be so pushy and bold
But someone has to talk to you,

What you don’t know is how to just be
You think you have to achieve,
Slow down and come and sit with me
Relax for a while and believe,

The world won’t end if you take a break
I really wish you could see,
Working too much is a big mistake
You will never be free,

Enjoy what’s left of your remaining years
Acceptance is the key,
Let go of your anger, let go of your fears
Let it all go and just be.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Stranger than Fiction

I am blogging for the Bar-a-thon Challenge this week with my fellow BAR members. Day number one's prompt is "Stranger than Fiction."

Since I've been going through a lot of my deceased mom's stuff, I have been sorting a lot of magazines. She just loved topics ranging from decorating, recipes and health to science, history and art. I'm sure the magazine industry is suffering without her support.

Looking at all the magazines gave me an idea for a poem based on today's theme of "Stranger than Fiction".

Magazines are a special treat
Fun to indulge in on a lazy day,
Kick back and rest your weary feet
And read what the experts say!

They tell you how to declutter, just like that
They tell you how to organize your stuff,
They tell you that clutter is making you fat
Then they say you’re good enough,

Lose weight with the diet that’s all the rage
Make cookies for your chocolate addiction,
Contradictions arise on every page
Magazines are much stranger than fiction!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Cherished Blogfest 2016

I’m taking part in the Cherished Blogfest where people are blogging about an object that they cherish.

It’s hard to pick just one cherished object as I love so many things but I’d have to say that one of my most cherished objects would have to be my camera.

I’ve always loved taking photos right from when I was a young girl back in those days of film cameras.

I remember I had one of those instamatic type cameras that were popular in the 1970's. 

They didn’t take very good photos and you couldn’t do much other than point and shoot, but I still thought they were great.

When I was 13, we lived in Deep River on the Ottawa River. One Saturday morning, I got up early and walked down to the river and took all kinds of photos. I still remember how the sun glistened and sparkled on the water with that magical morning light. 

When I studied graphic design in the early 1980's, I bought a manual SLR Pentax film camera for photography class where we learned how to develop black and white photos in the dark room. Developing my own photos was labour intensive but so worthwhile.

Later on, digital cameras came on the scene and revolutionized photography. No longer were we limited to film with all the expense and time waiting to get the photos developed. We could take as many photos as we wanted instantly. I can definitely say that my sons’ childhood has been well documented.

These days, I love my digital camera even more and take hundreds of photos of people, pets, birds, furry friends and whatever else captures my attention. I try to get those photos into photo books or printed out and framed. Keeping them on the computer is no fun. Photos need to be shared with others and enjoyed. Here is a photo of the cheeky squirrel who raids my dad's feeder here in Cape Breton. What a complete brat!

I am visiting my dad in Cape Breton right now and my camera is working overtime. I also have my mom’s camera to use so I’m taking even more photos than ever. I am enjoying comparing the two Canon cameras. My mom’s camera is an SLR unlike mine. Her camera is much faster and crisper but I do like the Zoom feature on my old camera, too. Now I walk around Cape Breton with two cameras hanging around my neck. Do I look like a tourist or what?

Here are some photos taken on our walk and visit to the Dundee Resort just down the road from my dad's house.


Now that my mother has passed away, my photos of her are that much more precious. Here is the one of the last photos I took of her in the summer of 2015 before her death last November. 

I am so grateful to have had my camera with me over the years to record those moments with my mom and the boys on our vacations in Cape Breton. Now I’m taking more photos to remember the special time with my dad and Eric on this vacation.

My camera is like an extension of me and I do cherish it for allowing me to express myself creatively, capturing the precious moments and people that are gone far too soon.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

My ABC Advice for Life

I am not one to tell people what to do but I did enjoy trying this exercise to give advice using all the letters in the alphabet.

Allow yourself to make mistakes. That’s how you grow.

Believe in yourself and go for your dreams.

Create a life of joy.

Delight in the ordinary moments.

Earn someone’s trust by being consistent and doing what you say you’re going to do.

Follow your heart and passions.

Give more and take less.

Hope for a better future.

Imagine how you want your life to be and take actions towards it.

Joke around and don’t take life so seriously.

Kick that Inner Critic to the curb.

Laugh daily and laugh often.

Make each day count.

Nag less and praise more.

Opt for optimism.

Practice being positive instead of being cynical and negative.

Question before deciding.

Resist following the crowd and make up your own mind.

Savour each moment as if it’s your last.

Take time to appreciate your life.

Unwind and relax.

Value everyone for we all have something to contribute.

Want less and be grateful for what you have.

eXpect less, give more.

Yearn to make a difference, no matter how small.

Zap negativity.

What would you write for your ABC list of Advice for Life? If you do write one, I'd love to see it.

Keeping in a positive mindset, I really like this quote I found and thought it looked great layered on this magnificent cumulus cloud I saw last night on my bike ride. 

Aren't summer clouds spectacular? They have such a different look from winter clouds. Stay positive, everyone!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Twilight Moon

I love seeing the moon when it’s still light
Before darkness turns the day to night,
Bright and bold, but sometimes shy
It glows so brightly in the sky,

The moon is elusive, like a fox in a den
It only shows up now and then,
Changing its shape, moving place to place
I’m grateful when it shows its face!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Grateful to live in Canada

I’m always grateful to live in Canada every day. 

Today I especially feel gratitude when we celebrate the birthday of this magnificent country that became a country on this day in 1867.

So much to be grateful for living in this wonderful country of Canada. 

Thank you, Canada and Happy 149th Birthday!

My gratitude list is very long
When I sing the Canada gratitude song,
I’m thankful to live in this wonderful land
Where people are kind and lend a hand,

It's Canada Day, hip hip hooray!
I love my country in every way,
I love the beauty, I love the space
I love the tolerance and the grace,

A proud country, so strong and free
There’s no other place I’d rather be!

I am taking part in Vidya Sury's Gratitude June BlogHop. 

Vidya is such a delight and just about the most positive and uplifting soul around! I am so lucky to have her as an online friend. 

Here is her gratitude post 

She has a Linky at the bottom of her post if you want to add your gratitude post, too.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Summer Moments in the Country - June 24, 2016

In summer, I like to ride my bike in the evenings when it’s cooler and the lighting is golden which makes for beautiful photos.

Last night I took a ride down a country road and watched the farmer making hay bales. He was making the old fashioned square kind as opposed to the round Muffett style. Every now and then he had to stop and open up his special bale maker and move the spools around containing the wire binding twine.

I passed these two horses and of course I had to stop and say hello to them. These two looked so golden in the evening light. I noticed they were followed by a big flock of brownish-black birds and realized they must be cow birds. Now I know why they are called that. They don’t moo after all! They just like to follow horses and cows around because that’s where all the flies are.

This lovely boy noticed me taking his photo and even posed for me.

I took photos of these daisies in the evening sun, their golden faces upturned and smiling. I love daisies! Such a cheerful and happy flower that says carefree summertime.

Taking photos makes me really pay attention and look at things that I might have not noticed otherwise. Even after living out here in the country for 25 years, there is always something new for me to discover as no moment is ever the same. And I'm not the same either.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

TMI: 26 Things About Me #Blogfest

Debbie Doglady is hosting a Blogfest over on her blog

where we can share these 26 questions and learn a bit more about each other. 

She has a Linky set up that is open for a month should you care to join in on the fun and want to share your post.

Here are my questions and answers. Some answers were sad and some were silly, but all in good fun, right?

I roll up my sleeves and giggle with glee
As I fill in the 26 things about me,
Should I 
make stuff up or tell it straight?
Just hurry up, Cathy. It's getting late!

Will anyone care about this fluff?
Does anyone even read this stuff?

It's good for a laugh and all in fun
I promise to read yours if you do one!
So here I go without further adieu
My 26 things about me for you!

A Age 56 (December 21, 1959)

B Biggest fear - losing my family in a tragic way 

C Current time Mid morning, almost noon and I’m being lazy lolling about in pjs. Hey, it’s Saturday!

D Drink you last had – COFFFEEEEEEEE!

E Every day starts with COFFFFEEEEEEE!

F Favourite Song – I don’t really have one. I like so many, how could I possibly pick just one? I love whatever we’re singing in choir or whatever pieces I’m playing on the flute with my harpist friend. I like some band stuff we do, too, but am growing tired of some of them since we’ve played them to death.

G Ghosts – Are they real? I don’t think so but don’t know for sure. Some things defy explanation.

H Hometown – Don’t really have one since I was a military kid. I guess I could call Ottawa my hometown now after 29 years of living here.

I In love with – my family, my pets, my birdies and furry friends, my camera and computer for being my devices for self expression

J Jealous of – Those who seem to have it all together, seem confident and seem so organized. Wish I was more like that.

K Killed someone – Only in my imagination. HONEST!

L Last time you cried – When my mom died. I still get moments of intense sadness that wash over me at times with the realization that I will never see or talk to her again. Sure miss her. Even though I knew time was growing short, it still didn’t make it any easier losing her so suddenly last November when she had a stroke that ended her life.

M Middle Name – Edith after my father’s mother

N Number of siblings – One younger brother

O One wish – that there was more peace and stability in the world and less hatred and poverty.

P Person you last called. I’m not a phone person but I did call my dad this morning just to chat as sometimes it’s good to hear a person’s voice. Since my dad is alone now, I do worry about him and it’s reassuring to talk on the phone.

Q Question you’re always asked. Do you have a sister? No, I don’t. Do I have that kind of a face or what?

R Reason to smile – My family, my cats, my dog, my beautiful birds and furry friends, my music, my friends online and off

S Sounds that annoy you – The cats fighting in the middle of the night, Daisy has a screech that could peel paint. Terrifying at 3am. Oh, and Leaf blowers – what a stupid and useless contraption that isn’t good for the environment. Use a rake, why don’t you?

T Time you woke up.  6:30 am. I usually get up at 5:30 and am a real morning person.

U Underwear colour – Geez – get personal why don’t you? A lovely grey white from hard water sprinkled with blue flowers.

V Vacation Destination – Favourite so far – Our trip to Germany this past March was wonderful Wish List – Australia and New Zealand before I’m too old to travel that far.

W Worst Habit – Negativity, self doubt and Procrastination. I have to constantly work on these things that seem to constantly plague me.

X Xrays you last had. For my back molar where I had a root canal and then a crown put on. I am sure I helped the dentist put their kids through university after all that expense.

Y Your Favourite Food – Chocolate, Chicken and Coffee – The three Cs

Z Zodiac Sign – Saggitarius – I am on December 21st so have even been called a Capricorn sometimes. Watch out! I have a bow and arrow! Zing!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Magical Moments

Last Sunday morning I was watching from my window. In the space of five minutes, I saw the hummingbird, a baby rabbit and the cardinal. I managed to get photos of them all to relive those magical moments. I especially like Mr. C's blurred tail feathers as it gives him a mysterious ethereal look as if he's going to disappear into the air at any moment.

Magical moments, how quickly they pass
Like a ripple of wind on a patch of grass,
Savour the moment like gentle rain.
This moment will never come again.

Monday, March 14, 2016

#Monday Musings - Keeping Going Through Adversity

Last week I had a horrible bout of a 24 hour flu with a lovely visit to Vomitland (love that description. Thanks, Liz!) that rendered me weak and useless for a day or two. Now I have a head cold that I caught from the hubs. I just had a humongous nosebleed this morning due to my nose being so irritated. That added to Daylight Savings Time, and my awful menopausal hot flashes making it so hard to sleep, it's no wonder I am one cranky bit….er lady these past few days. 

All these physical challenges are wearing me down and yet, I still have lots to be grateful for. Being sick sure makes me appreciate being healthy. Keeping a positive attitude and a sense of humour is extra challenging, but worth the effort. Giving up and becoming a whiny drudge doesn’t help anything.

I remember my dear departed mother in her final years. She had many health challenges and was too frail to do a lot at the end of her life. I’m sure she would have liked to travel more as she always loved traveling in her younger years. Near the end she found it too tiring and difficult. 

Still, she enjoyed each day as best she could. I will always have memories of her sitting in her favourite chair in the sunroom, gazing down the hill in contentment at that gorgeous view of the Bras D’Or Lakes in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I can still imagine her chatting loudly on her speaker phone, catching up on the latest gossip or having a good laugh with a friend while my dad would listen in the background. Her humour, positive and strong spirit would always shine through, despite her physical frailty.
Here is a photo of my mom sitting in her favourite spot in her sunroom. This is the last photo I have of her so it's extra special to me.

I used to think my mother was so tough and invincible when I was growing up. She was proud and feisty, going for what she wanted, not taking no for an answer. She always told me to stand up for myself and not put up with crap from other people. I admired that about her as she was a true survivor who kept going through any adversity.

In keeping with these thoughts, this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt resonated with me this morning. 

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves.
The process never ends until we die.
And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

My attitude shapes how I see things so I must work on remaining positive, despite the hard stuff that gets thrown at me. I can’t blame others or expect them to fix everything for me. I can’t let others run the show and tell me what to do all the time. I need to stand tough and believe in myself more. My attitude is up to me and so are my choices.

I’ve been given this brief gift of life and need to live each day with gratitude and a positive outlook, despite the challenges that will always be there. 

It’s ultimately my own responsibility as the Eleanor Roosevelt quote says so well.