Just one nice, looonnnngggg sniff

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I had just about given up on harnessing anything creative today when my dog sat on the floor next to me and rested her face on the window sill.  Almost motionless, she stared intently as a chipmunk ran back and forth across the lawn, each time carrying another acorn to its hiding spot.  Callaway didn’t utter even the slightest whine as she watched the little furry creature passing by about 50 times.

chippy

Every so often the chippie would pause for a rest, choosing to stop about 10 feet from my living room window.  This intrigued Callaway even more.  Pushing her nose up to the screen, she took deep breaths with the hope of getting just a tiny hint of Eau de Chippie.

I knew the writer in me had begun to take over for the pet owner when I realized her behavior reminded me of Hannibal Lecter displaying his highly acute sense of smell to Agent Starling from behind his glass partition.  There’s hope yet for finishing my novel….I just need to pay more attention to my dog!

 

 

When someone says “get stuffed”, it’s not always a bad thing

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There’s a lot to be said for the joy the holidays bring – or any celebration, for that matter.  Whether it be a birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas or a reunion – the ease of the conversation, the steady flow of wine, the melodic sound of laughter and the joy of being with a close-knit group of people is unequalled.  There is an undefined comfort level that allows us to become absorbed in the festivities that surround us. The fact that we can gorge ourselves and have an excuse to eat everything in sight with only a few fleeting moments of guilt is sublime.

turkey

The molecules change in the room when family and friends get together for a holiday celebration.  There is something intrinsically sacred about holidays and the memories that are created within those moments. Time has a way of strategically obliterating those precious seconds as it marches on at a frantic pace, but our memories have a way of stopping that clock, if only for a few moments.

Holidays are a portal.  They can freeze time and create a vortex that allows us to travel back and relive certain periods in our lives.  The memories wrap themselves around us like a blanket and soothe us with the warmth of the times that engaged us and truly breathed life into our lives.

Although many holidays have passed and are collecting dust in the books of my hallowed history, watching my brother “float” his dinner in gravy brings back a rush of nostalgia, and that, to me, is what the holidays are truly about.  Personal moments that, to any other person would mean nothing but, to me, define my holiday experience.

Our Canadian Thanksgiving begins today and this evening I will spend time with family and friends enjoying a concert by Victoria Banks.  She is currently living in Nashville but is home for Thanksgiving weekend with her family.  The one glaring item that will be missing this Thanksgiving is my mom.  This weekend will be another “first” after her passing in March.  I know she will be with us in spirit tonight and especially during the making of my brother’s always spectacular turkey dinner.  Undoubtedly, she will be looking over his shoulder, whispering secrets into his ear, so he can make her stuffing just the way she used to.

Embrace your family, enjoy the moments and get stuffed with those memories.

Of portents and hints, and frogs behind Chintz

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I should have expected something strange to happen after finally getting my mind back into the creepy place where it likes to linger when I write fiction.  I crossed back into that dark place in this blog post and felt a sense of relief knowing that I could still find refuge in the shady corners of my brain.  Perhaps that energy drew the unexpected visitor to my window.

The overcast sky left the early evening completely devoid of light.  The dense bushes and large overhanging trees did everything in their power to make sure no illumination was cast on my little house in the woods.  From my nest on the couch, a slight movement diverted my attention from the television.  In the ambient light given off by the TV, three discernible fingers were visible between the window frame and the cloth blind.

Although startled by the movement, I quickly ascertained, by the size of those little digits, that I would not find myself in harm’s way.  I lifted the blind to get a better look at my late night visitor.  This little tree frog spent several minutes jockeying for a higher vantage point on my window.  I don’t think he was too appreciative of my flash blinding him every few seconds and the sudden burst of light seemed to make him lose his grip.  He slid down to the bottom of the window and hung there for a while.  I’m not sure which of us lost interest first but he left and I immediately Googled “frog on a window”.

My little visitor is a symbol of transition, transformation and cleansing.  I had already begun to formulate a plan in regards to making myself a writing schedule and changing some things in my life.  Cutting out the mindless hours I spend in front of a TV would be a great start.  Getting back to my healthier way of eating will be a close second.

It’s time to feel better and put my brain energy to good use creating ideas instead of digesting other’s ideas.  Thank you little froggy.  Next time, pull up a chair and stay a while!

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How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

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There is a myriad number of things I have seen on Facebook.  Most are mindless, time-filling, nonsensical things that I waste too many of my spare moments looking at, but every so often I come upon a sign or saying that really strikes a chord deep within me.

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”

~Satchel Paige

It was a simple question but those words really resonated with me.  Sometimes I forget the number of my authentic chronological age.   I have honestly never felt that my time on this Earth truly reflects the age I feel I am on a daily basis.  I have always thought that I have an old soul but I have a young energy.  Time strings us along, giving us a sense of comfort as we grow older and we are more comfortable in our own skin.  But time does not have to make us feel any older than we want to be.  Wisdom does not always come with age, wisdom comes with understanding and acceptance.

live your life

Too often we are classified by our age.  The year on our birth certificate does not have to define how we must act or how we should feel about ourselves.  Age really is a state of mind.  I will never define or categorize myself by the number of times the Earth has orbited the sun since I was born.  Nor will I let the stray grey hairs that peek out from under my Garnier Nutrisse #535 hair color affect how I live my life because of the number of years I have been alive.

When we are told as children to act our age but what does that really mean?   How can you behave as a number?  To prove my point, Yoko Ono said it perfectly, “Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90 – time is a concept that humans created.”

How old would you be if you had to pick a number?

 

 

A body at rest tends to get sick

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I should have seen it coming.  I’ve been so busy at work lately that the slight tickle in my throat seemed to be nothing more than a negligible nuisance.  But after I awoke at 8:00 am on my day off my body adamantly demanded I go back to bed.  I woke up again at noon.

I experience this phenomenon every autumn.  All of the stress and long hours are negated by my focus on my job.   Once that stress has subsided and the weekly hours begin to wane, my body seems to implode and every slight sign of sickness I had previously ignored comes at me with guns blazing.

Our bodies are amazing machines.  Every summer season I can completely ignore the signs of illness.  Each day I can get out of bed and put in my 8 to 12 hours a day with nary a symptom of infirmity.  But as soon as I allow my body and mind to relax, the wall crumbles and the army of germs march over the rubble to make a direct hit.

kale soup

I can only say how glad I am that I spent several hours yesterday afternoon making a couple of homemade soups.  A little Broccoli, Kale and Avocado soup should help cure what ails me!

Did she really just do that?

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The table setting was pristine.  The crystal wine glasses were symmetrically lined along the top of the knives, the cutlery was exactly perpendicular to the edge of the table and the cloth napkins were starched to perfection.

winemaker dinner

 (image credit: anselmovineyards.com)

Slivers of the fading sunlight cascaded over the place settings and the room lay in wait for the dinner guests to arrive.  Candles were lit, classical music undulated through the air and the mood was perfect.

The first of the guests arrived and were anxious to be seated.  Pair by pair, the dinner guests filtered into the restaurant and found their place at the exquisitely set dining table.  The host for the evening smiled as everyone took their seats and, once the group had settled, he introduced himself and the winery he represented.  He explained how a Winemakers Dinner worked and that each course presented from the kitchen would be perfectly married with a wine that he had selected to enhance the flavor of the dish.  An excited buzz was heard going around the table.

The amuse-bouche was delivered and the evening began.  Course after course was delivered and, indeed, made better by the wine selection.  As I leaned in to clear the last course served I noticed a woman moving in a strange way across the table.  Her bizarre twitching had caught the attention of several of the dinner guests as well but had been dismissed by all but me.

I tried my best to distract myself with my job but I could not completely pull my gaze from her odd behavior.  Her husband had been sitting to her left and was deeply engaged in conversation with the person to his left so he missed the entire show.

I did my best to clear the remainder of the table and turned one more time to witness the end result of the bizarre dinner dance this woman had been performing in her seat.  In one final fluid motion, she reached up her left sleeve and pulled out her bra!

I’m not sure, to this day, if I had been more shocked by the fact that she had not left the 30-person dinner party to make herself more comfortable in a private setting, or by the fact that her husband only shrugged and smiled at the erratic direction of her moral compass.

I guess we all have to march to the beat of our own drummer!

 

 

 

 

Taking back my life

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Time

Time had marched on,

aimlessly walking over me,

crushing me with its weight,

burying me under its pressure.

My body was leaden,

 unable to stop the parade of seconds,

watching helplessly as they turned into hours,

and slipped relentlessly into days and weeks.

 But I have begun to fight back,

to battle the oppressive tyranny of lost moments.

Time no longer guards me,

holding me captive,

only able to be governed by its rules.

I now hold the reins and make time do my bidding.

I am in control,

no longer bullied by its endless cycle,

released from its shackles.