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Saturday, 21 February 2015

I'm at my conscious level.

From Wikipedia

 The Pollyanna principle (also called Pollyannaism or positivity bias) is the tendency for people to remember pleasant items more accurately than unpleasant ones.[1] Research indicates that at the subconscious level the mind has a tendency to focus on the optimistic while, at the conscious level, it has a tendency to focus on the negative
 
I think of myself as pretty much that type.  I've been accused of it often enough, felt righteously indignant, then remembered that mostly I'm happy with my self and my principles, and the person who was annoyed enough to call me a Pollyanna has lots and lots of good qualities.

I'm having trouble with my Pollyanaism lately though, when I go on Facebook and see the absolutely unforgivable statements about gender, race, age, poverty and politics.  I know that I have been outspoken about some of these issues, and that my energy is used to combat them---all but the political.

I don't know the opposite of Pollyanna, but I do know that for the last 8 years I've seen a meanness, a contra-compassionate, a with-us-or-against-us kind of government that I feel is just as likely as not to gobble up all the things I've Pollyannaishly thought of as Canadian.  Being Canadian is important to me, for a number of reasons, both obvious and not.  Maybe it's been too easy to be complacent, but I've taken pride in our approach to multiculturalism, our progress in equalizing rights, our local compassionate programs, our general label as "nice".  

Damn it, I can't take on another cause, and I'm glad that Dave has waded in hip-deep into the "a different government" move, but even that has its drawbacks as it seems to have added a layer of give to our personal relationship, and I'm a bit cranky about that.

And all this because we really need some groceries, I'm not doing much winter-driving and Dave was on the phone being passionate and totally right for over an hour this morning.  

I am a shallow Pollyanna.  But mostly, I'm nice.


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

One of the loveliest of sounds

Not baby gurgling
Not ice cream melting
Not people laughing at your stories.

One of the loveliest sounds is the one I can hear from this lovely Valentine's gift from our daughter Sarah
The bells on the outside of the bowl are moved in a circle around the stationary bells, and the sound is so clear, so gentle.  I've wanted one of these for so long, and that dear girl chose to give us one. 

Another of the loveliest sounds is hearing her babies wish Emily a happy birthday, which they did after she left to go to a celebratory dinner with Morgan.

A person can almost have it all.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Life chez Cunningham-Rushton

From the perspective of two of our oldest and dearest friends:

He: (checking calendar, but not compulsively)  Look, dear, tomorrow is Lorna and Dave's valentine Open House.

She:  Mmmm

He: (the next day)  Does Lorna drink red or white wine?

She:  (laughs hysterically)  it could be either, I would think.

He:  Well, they certainly picked a cold day for an Open House....but there still seems to be parking near the building.

He:  There's no answer to the doorbell----Oh, sir, would you mind letting us in?  We're going to a party and they must be making so much noise they can't hear the phone.   Thanks!

She:  Very quiet...they must be in the community room....oh no, here's someone...

Lorna:  Ohmigod!  You guys....with presents....

She:  (perkily)  Are we the first to arrive?

Lorna: (without thinking, and while trying to persuade hair on the crown of her head to lie down a bit)  I was asleep!!  I mean, ohmigod, you're here!!

They:  Well, this is your Valentine Open House, isn't it?

All: (for the rest of the afternoon, and into the evening)  Oh, we're so sorry....no, we're so sorry; how could we have forgotten to let you know we'd cancelled?  Well, we should be going....Oh please, let me see if I can find some wine, and some biscuits and oh! why don't we have Chinese from our favourite place....only if we share the price (whispering) we can't let them pay for anything...they brought chocolates and biscuits and wine!
Cheers (glasses clinking)  Happy Valentine's Day.  Great Chinese food!  (whispering) We're going to have leftovers!!  Well, this has been the best Open House ever!  See you again soon...Ohmigod, I'm so  sorry!




Friday, 13 February 2015

How to have a Successful Morning

  • wake up at 4:00
  • get up, grudgingly, at 4:16
  • have coffee, a somewhat dry croissant and marmelade
  • read, read, read
  • draw a deep hot tub with lots of bubbles
  • immerse yourself in the tub with a book (in my case, In the Skin of a Lion)
  • read
  • fall asleep
  • wake up splashing
  • lose your book
  • save your life

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

To write, or to paint my nails?  the two are not incompatible, only not in the same timeframe.  Here's puzzling proof.
Name of gorgeous colour?  Thinking brilliantly
Confession of vanity? check!
Ability to move on?  distressingly unsure

Today I heard myself described as "fragile".  I laughed heartily to try to disprove it.  That didn't work,  so I had a discussion with my friends about the box marked FRAGILE (pronounced fra jill ay) in A Christmas Story.  Funny but still considered fragile.


A definition from google's favourite dictionary:

frag·ile
ˈfrajəl,ˈfraˌjīl/
adjective
adjective: fragile
(of an object) easily broken or damaged.
synonyms:breakable, easily broken; More
formalfrangible
"fragile porcelain"
antonyms:durable, robust
I am not amused.  I can walk for miles.  I can make my own breakfast.  I can carry two of my five grandchildren.  I can dance to celtic fiddles.  I am not weak, delicate, frail or debilitated, although the last has a certain wine-inspired appeal.

I am marching up on 73, and damn it, just because I sleep in sometimes, it doesn't mean I couldn't, and haven't recently, pulled an all-nighter.

Those of you who think of me as fragile, stop it or beware.


 

Saturday, 7 February 2015

The cost of vanity

I admit it.  I like to amuse people.  Mostly that's why I tell stories.

However, sometimes the amusing things were not done for the reason of making people smile.

Not long ago, I was very pleased to find a lipstick that was almost exactly the colour I have been looking for since my hair turned grey.  Almost, but not quite.  I bought it anyway.

I was wearing it when I went out the other day and stopped by a Shoppers' Drug Mart where the people who work in cosmetics are really helpful.  "Could you show me a lipstick a little brighter than the one I have on, and it needs to be moisturizing as well?"  Those were the words that flung me into more pain than I have experienced in a long time.

"You ought to try this one...." said a perky person, holding the very lipstick I was wearing.  We laughed at how silly we were.  "Oh, now this is just in, it must be the next improvement on the one you have with the colour on one side and the balm on the other."

I looked and it was SO right.  It came in a superior case and a slightly larger size for the same darn good price, and both the colour and the balm looked wonderful.  "This is a sealer, not a balm...you'll love it."  I'd paid and was gone in next to no time.

At home that night, I took off my makeup and remembered to try the new lipstick.  Hmm, it came with a brush instead of the soft pointy applicator I was used to.  Maybe that would make the colour go on smoother.  It did.  Smoother and exactly like applying acid.  I jumped around a bit, looked at the colour, and it was so right that I decided, even though my lips were both numb and screaming, to put on the sealer.

My dear God, my lips felt hard and slick like plastic and none of the colour was removable!  After a lot of smarting, and cursing, and wiping and scrubbing, I got it off, and placed it in my purse with the receipt.

When I went back to SDM, there was no trouble offering me a refund.  "No, no...it's just not the refund!  This is a dangerous product!" I said righteously.  He couldn't have cared less.   In high dudgeon, I insisted he come back with me to the place where I'd bought the product, so he would be able to tell people that it might hurt.  

When we got back there, I picked up the product in another colour, and somehow realized that though it was packaged like a lipstain, it was nail polish.  With a super sealer.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

I boast about achievements I made today

I just turned on the overhead light with my nose.  Thankfully it was one of those flat switches, but to make it slightly difficult it was the one in the middle of three.

I finished reading a short story about the death of Jayne Mansfield, and I didn't shudder.

I walked to a meeting in -27 degree Celcius and arrived there without crying.  Then I lost my boots.

I made chicken soup from scratch and left it on the counter to cool; then I tasted it and it was so delicious I ate it cold.

I sat in my papasan with a copy of the catalogue from Victorian Trading Company, and I didn't actually place an order, although I did go back several times to this offer, and this one, and that:




Monday, 26 January 2015

I'm swimming in it...

Definition of nostalgia: a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period

I just spent some time at our family home, and if I think I was nostalgic before....some photos taken in the same place:
Chris and Phoebe....she might have been 3



and even though they both look like they finish at the hairline, Chris and Phoebe...she's 18
I got wrung out, looking at things and knowing how they were cherished by people who are gone, looking at others that I gave to the family (i.e. an image of a sampan on which I pasted about 3 thousand glass beads) and wonder what I was thinking.


Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Idle Hands, Idle Mind

Sometimes when I haven't got something I'm eager to write about---let's face it, I mean sometimes when I can't yank an idea to the forefront, I choose a number (this time it's 43) and open my photos to see which is the 43rd photo, and whether I can blog about it.
To be honest, I really couldn't inflict 43 on anyone, so I moved back one.  This is a photo of Dave and Robyn, taken about three years ago, at the Photo Studio of a pioneer village exhibit.  I didn't go on that visit, but here are some photos of the others who went:
Sarah in yellow


L to R:  Emma, Julia, Emily, Sarah

Patient Emma, Leaning Julia, More Leaning Emily, Saucy Sarah


Angelic Julia, Not-so-angelic Emma

Ho-hum, angelic Julia and one of the Children of the Corn

and an encore.
This exercise was brought to you by the amazing self-help book: 
How to Blog when Your Mind is Blank


Monday, 12 January 2015

Thinking makes me bezack

We've been in our condo for more than 6 years, but this is the first year I have ever felt cold when the heat is on.  I can hear the wind whistling around the building. It's a sound right out of a movie about Siberia.

Sitting here at my desk, I'm between two windows, one in front and one beside me, and it feels like it used to feel in the winter when I lived downtown in old wooden houses with single pane windows.   We would wrap up in duvets, but we'd have cold noses.

I know about layering, and I have sweatshirts and sweaters and tights and cozy slippers.  It's not enough.  Dave reminds me that we're having a cold winter, and that we're not spring chickens.  That just causes me to feel guilty because I'm not hardy.  Feeling guilty makes my jaw clamp and my teeth hurt.  And because I belong to every Facebook page with bad news, I know how awful this is for the homeless, so how can I even think about complaining?

I'm crocheting an afghan for the mission, but by the time I finish it, April will be upon us.  Damn, I feel like slapping my own face.