How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


106 Comments

Popping in and Out (Post #450)

Hello, lovely blogging friends!

I’ve been held up doing the rounds since I started poking around a bit yesterday. Thank you for the lovely e-mails over the summer although I avoided my keyboard most of the time. I wasn’t home much and at times my laptop was broken under attack of one kind or another.

I confess the summer vanished much too quickly. Whoosh! You cannot believe the trying circumstances situations I found myself in time and again. Nothing like a little excitement to keep the old ticker going, or more likely, almost squash it like a plum.

IMG_1369

The top three headliners of my summer were:

  1. I got hacked (cost over $200 to clean laptop but no banking information lost and new cards now)
  2. The same tooth abscessed twice. After antibiotics, a week later, again. Had it pulled. Lots of problems afterwards. Ouches.
  3. Windows10 messed up laptop. Best Buy removed and now Windows 8.1 again. Desktop was okay, but Windows 10 messed that up yesterday.

I won’t bore you with the rest of it.

Some pluses were spending a couple days with one sister and a couple more in cottage country with all four sisters.

Now, I n.e.e.d. a vacation. My fourth sister to retire did so in April and when I heard her ‘thinking’ how to celebrate, I was in. Snap! Yeah like that and asked point blank where she wanted to go and I was coming.

We are going to Newfoundland and Labrador soon. Exchange rates for the Canadian dollar are heart-stopping and I’m glad Mary found something domestic. Sigh. A vacation is a vacation—no, she’s not paying… Maybe I should have negotiated that small detail.  *giggles* This sounds an amazing corner of Canada with mind-boggling views.

There you have it. I’ll be flitting in and out for the next week and a half and then take to the sky and away for a couple weeks.

I appreciate all of your welcomes and smiles. Feels like I’ve been away from home, but now I’m back.

When I come back, my worth ethic will change. Instead of clearing the decks (e-mail, blogging, commenting) first thing every day, I won’t get to any of that till much later in the day. I may not be a constant as before, but I plan to visit every chance I get.

What’s with WordPress making unwanted changes again? I don’t like Reader and I’ve noticed now one follows in Reader. Sheesh. Another thing: why makes the menu bar spastic and how does one stop it?

 


16 Comments

Hot Flash x2

“There you are. Everything okay in here?”

Janie’s delicate lips quivered. “I broke-ted my storybook. Look.” She wailed brokenhearted, and clutched the book to her heaving little chest.

Vicky scooped up her daughter. “Don’t worry, honey. It was an accident. Mommy will fix it.”

MB900440659

 The word limit for Brokenhearted is 50 words. I used 44 today. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for rules and contributions.

~ * ~

“Thank you for coming in, Mrs. Walsh.”

 Martha’s heart pounded like a jungle drum.

 “We interviewed you last October?”

 She nodded and patted her graying hair.

 “Good news. Hotel Bianca would like to hire you as Head Housekeeper.”

Martha clapped her hands then dropped them, her face creased with delight.

MB900045255

 The word limit for Elated is 50 words. I used all 50. Check out http://mommasmoneymatters.com/flash-fiction/ for rules and contributions.


21 Comments

Quickie Update – NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo2012

This is for inquisitive minds who need to know. Today is day 9 and counting down to zero for NaNaWriMo.

I’ve managed to stay in the game—still can’t believe it.  To say I am learning about keeping my balls in the air and scribbling in my notebook along the way, has opened my eyes in ways I could not have imagined. I have never attempted writing so grand a piece—I’m a short story enthusiast.

Writing something as large as 50,000 words has been daunting, humbling and informative. Eight days to go, and ONLY 5323 more words….

See you soon…


75 Comments

I Was Born This Way

I’ll tell you how it happened. My daughter’s at fault for the second time.(a.k.a. Mrs. G., identity protected).

After a year or more, my daughter had a free Saturday and  time to check out garage sales. We packed up the kiddies early and off we drove. Not much was in the newspaper, but we hoped to find unadvertised sales along the way. The pickings were slim and I was the lone spender. I found two great books: Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons and The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch for fifty cents each.

Mrs. G. turned an unexpected corner and I asked where she was taking us. She smiled with a wicked grin on her face. We were in SPCA territory.

“It’s something new for the kids to do and  maybe we can check out current pricing,” she said. My grandkids were excited. (I mentioned a while back I might consider getting a kitten later—in the fall—maybe. Or, maybe not. My mistake.)

We watched a three-month-old kitten because the fuzz ball was entertaining. I liked its fur: various shades of pale grey like smoke and fog. The one and two-year-old cats had the forlorn look you see on television commercials advertising abused animals. I wanted to leave but my granddaughters weren’t ready yet.

I came across a handsome two-year-old grey cat, similar to the kitten but it slept on even when I knocked on the window. I didn’t want a cat that old anyway, already set in its habits. What? Hush up brain.

Another cat was sleeping faced away from the window. I saw a long, sausage squashed between the wall and the kitty litter box. Ug-ly, I thought, and joined the grandkids for a while, but wandered back again. The brindled (sausage) cat was awake. She came up to the window when I tapped it, giving the glass a welcoming body rub, looking up at me. In an instant, I fell in love. Something irritated my eyes. My daughter’s face showed surprise and the grandchildren looked worried.

No-one was more taken aback than me.  One-year-old Didi was mine. On the way home, we renamed her to Lady Gaga (my daughter’s suggestion). I was gaga over her. Look at her; she’s one of a kind!

Day three:  I feel we’re old friends already and I think Lady Gaga likes me. She plays well but misses me and jump onto my lap crying for attention. She initiates cuddling, cheek to cheek. I’ve accomplished next to nothing since Saturday. Last night I was trying to type while she slept, curled on my lap. Heaven.

~ * ~

Crawford

The last time my daughter drove me to the SPCA was after she’d left home at seventeen. She worried I was lonely living by myself—I wasn’t. I didn’t want a cat; I missed her.

“Let’s just look,” she said. “Nothing wrong with looking, is there?”

I looked and was smitten seventeen years ago too. His name was changed to Crawford.


63 Comments

Imagine That!

I woke up the other morning with strange thoughts flitting in and out of my sleepy brain cells.

~ * ~

Church doors these days are locked tighter than prisons (that was the thought vying for attention). There was a time when I was young (a very long time ago), that a person could go inside a church anytime—at any age. It was not uncommon that should it strike you to take a short rest while passing by, with groceries or empty handed, you could have a quiet sit. No-one stood at the door to check you out. Of course, the Catholics didn’t go to the Protestant church and the Protestants didn’t go to the Catholic Church—unlike the openness of today. There was some silly idea that you might be converted to the opposite religion. Heaven forbid. Today, doors are locked to protect against vandalism.

 My favourite recollection happened in a village in Northern Ontario where we lived until I was eleven. I was in and out of the church all the time. The first time I saw a typist or a Remington typewriter was in the church rectory. What I was doing there, I cannot recall but the clickety-click and clickety-clack of something unfamiliar attracted my attention. I was seven or eight years old and curious as a mouse following the magnetic pull of cheese. The sound grew louder as I got closer and a man’s voice, not the parish priest, said, “Don’t be shy. Come right in.”

There sitting at the desk was a monk in his brown habit looking at something on the table then smiling up at me. It appeared he was making the clickety-click, clickety-clack noises. I had no idea who he was.

“Can I help you?” he asked. I knew he was a monk because I’d seen his kind of brown monastic habit before.

“What are you doing?” I couldn’t help asking.

“I’m writing my sermon,” he said but he could see I had no idea what he was talking about.

“Come around here, child, so you can see what I’m doing.”

In my eagerness and curiosity, I forgot my shyness.  The keys striking the page were making real words. “How do you do that? What makes the words come out right?” I’d never been so curious nor my brain been so engaged.

I liked the sound of his laugh. “Child, this is something anyone can learn. It just takes practice.”

I made a promise that I was going to do what he did. I was going to type one day. And I did but I had to wait until typing class in Grade 10. I loved it!

~ * ~

This is not what I had started to write tonight. I’ve surprised myself with this memory. Maybe another time I’ll go where I had initially intended.

Another promise: I am trying to keep to 500 words in the hope that busy readers will have time to to read my posts.


34 Comments

Share Your World Week 16

Share Your World is a fun way to meet new bloggers. The founder, Cee’s blog LINK follows with the rules on how to participate. Check it out!

http://ceeslifephotographyblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/share-your-world-week-16/

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If you had a choice, which would be your preference: salt water beaches, fresh water lakes, hot tub, or desert?

I’m a Northern Ontario girl: cold weather, tons of snow, short summers, a mixture of weather patterns in one day. We lived by the lake. It was clean and fresh, so fresh that it was the only natural lake in North America not poisoned with fluoride until a few years ago.

When I was a kid, the haunting call of the loon was the last sound I heard in the evening and first one in the morning. I loved that sound. Nothing beats living by the water. I wish I did still.

 

What book do you think everyone should read and why?

I have a hard time stopping at one. In no particular order, these three are provocative in so many ways; you stop and think about them afterwards. The stories linger.

Cry The Beloved Country by Alan Paton: This is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man (This description is straight from the book’s jacket).

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway: About courage in the face of defeat.

Night by Ellie Wiesel: About the death of innocence and more.

 

What’s your favorite way to wake up and what’s the first thing you do?

I love spring and summer and fall. The chirping of birds and the sun streaming through the window onto my face is the perfect way to wake up. It’s a gentle, soothing way to start out my day.

I’m not twenty anymore, so I head to the loo. (Well you did ask). Then I jump into the shower. There’s nothing as invigorating as pulsating water prodding my body awake. An inch at a time. What’s the rush anyway? I’m RETIRED, aren’t I?

The sound of an alarm clock is hell and should be banned. If I need to be somewhere early in the morning and can’t take a chance on sleeping in, then I’ll use one. But only if I must.

What do you do to relax?

I love to read, read, and read some more. In the past six months, though, I just haven’t had enough time for this guilty pleasure. This doesn’t feel normal to me. The jumping knee thing starts to creep up on me. . .

On the other hand, I enjoy tinkering with words, watching a story grow; stretching it this way and that, getting into characters’ heads. I never lose my cool or rip my hair out screaming at the page, ‘Why isn’t this working? Damn. Damn. Damn!” No, I NEVER lose my cool. (Liar). I’m always relaxed (really?).


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What’s it All Mean?

As much as daddy is the best one in the whole world, sometimes he just won’t do. He looks after the kiddies after work when mom’s working. He cooks a great dinner, plays fun games, gives baths and tucks kiddies into bed.

It probably wouldn’t happen this way if Grandma (Babcia) wasn’t living in the same house.

KNOCK, KNOCK

“Hi. What’s up Hanna?”

“The bandage on my heel is stuck. See the dried blood. Daddy says it will come off in the bath”.

“He’s right, dear. The water will soften the blood and the bandage will come off easily.”

“But I don’t want him to rip it off. Can you do it, please Babcia (grandma)?”

“Actually, nobody will have to pull the bandage off. It will take a little time but the water will do all the work. Wait until it comes off by itself. Don’t worry. It’ll be fine.” <Hugs>

KNOCK, KNOCK

“Hi, Hanna. How are you today?”

“Hi Babcia. Um, the bandage on my finger is loose and I need a new one. The sticky part that’s supposed to keep it stuck on doesn’t work anymore and the middle part is stuck to my boo boo. Can you take it off please? I don’t want daddy to do it.”

“Does Daddy know where you are?”

“Yes, I told him I was coming down to see you.”

“But not the reason why?”

“No.”

“Ok, we’ll do this quick. I’ll just get a bowl of warm water and you can soak it. Then you can put on a new bandage. Maybe daddy would like to do it.” <Hugs>

KNOCK, KNOCK

“Hi, sweetie. What can I help you with today?”

“I was playing in the hall and I hurt my wrist. Do I need a bandage?”

“I don’t believe so. Hmm. Looks pretty red, alright. It’s not bleeding and it’s not scrapped. Did you hit it against the wall? Maybe running down the hall?”

“Yes.”

“If I do this, can you move it?”

“Yes.”

“It’s not broken but it might sting for a while. Would a nice big hug make your feel better?”

“Yes, Babcia”.

<Hugs> Granddaughter goes home happy.

Don’t get me wrong. This particular daddy is very nurturing but what is it that makes a little eight-year-old choose to connect with her grandma when mommy’s at work?

That’s exactly right. YOU win!


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In Like a LION

So far 2012 has proved to be exciting and we’re only three days into the New Year.

I have a confession to make. Since New Year’s Eve, I have been distracted, spending gleeful hours being amazed, amused and abstracted. You might guess it’s about a man. A talented smooth-talking-very-tall-man—talking very tall, that is. I’m tickled that I’ve had him all to myself for the past three days (but who’s counting). True, I’ve ignored everything else around me but it’s not often I find such entertaining company. This is one pleasure that I’ve given myself as a first gift of 2012.

You can find me curled up on the couch. Gas fireplace on. Soft background music and a glass of wine. Alas I didn’t go for the lights turned down low bit. I like to see what I’m doing. I guess that started when I was approaching fifty or so. Even in restaurants I like to at least be able to read the menu. Then when the food comes, it might be all pretty and smell delicious but I want to be sure I’m getting exactly what I ordered not somebody’s else’s dinner. Guess it’s obvious I’m not twenty anymore.

In the course of our new relationship this weekend, I’ve learned a new word: obdurate. It has come up more than a half-dozen times already, maybe more, but I like learning new words; new things. I had to look it up, though, because I had no idea what it meant. It means pig-headed or stubborn. No, of course it has nothing to do with ME. It appears my friend likes this word to pieces, however.

I like a man who uses language well, who has the talent for that turn of phrase, a certain beguiling way of getting my attention with his words. If you haven’t guessed yet of whom I speak, his name is Stephen King. Yes, that’s the one–the famed author of horror and deliciously stimulating mind games. A friend got King’s latest book (11/22/63) for Christmas and lent it to me just in time for a scrumptious weekend of reading. I find the idea behind the story intriguing.

Mr. King is responsible for my naughty mood. It’s just been such a good time reading his latest book. Some parts I found laugh-out-loud-funny. With approximately 250 pages to go I’m not sure I want it to end. I am intrigued how he will pull all the pieces together, however, before I crash to earth again.

Here’s a review of the book:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/books/112263-by-stephen-king/article2233600/


What is Real and what is Reality?

Some months ago I heard about and read a book called Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent. It raised a LOT of questions but mostly I thought it would be so NICE to think / believe something this sweet is possible in our day and age.

I don’t want to colour your perception / assesment of what this book is about so I’ll not go into detail. However, if you are familiar with it or have heard about it, by the end, it also mentioned a very young female child by the name of Akaine, an exceptional painter of an extremely young age.

This opened up ANOTHER subject. She, as well as a number of other children were AGAIN mentioned in the video below. I’ve been trying to understand this subject and wondered if anyone else has anything to share.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxsIuQKvlZA&feature=related

It is not something I am trying to promote. I’ve been impatient and almost didn’t watch the whole video but am glad I did. There is a lot of information that sometimes seems inconsistant but I was curious enough to bite the bullet and see it through. Now I wonder if it’s some kind of heebie jeebies. Just saying. . .

I confess to not being all that religious but spiritual is another thing. I DO believe that children these days  are definitely born with / are wired with better “chips” than say 25 and more years ago. I’m not at all sure about this video but wanted to share it for some insight. Someone might find this interesting.

I would most certainly like to hear feedback as this is all NEW to ME but also wonder if it’s plausible? To you?

Depending on input received, I may be able to share the other half of my interest in this unfamiliar territory. I’m usually pretty conservative.