Simple Things

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My grandmother Bernice was born January 5 of 1925. It’s easy to describe her but I am not sure that a description could quite do her justice. She was very simple, but not in the way that you would describe someone who was “not the sharpest knife in the drawer”, more like  ” She was two dimes short of a quarter! ” and when I say that I mean that money and material things didn’t mean anything to my grandmother. She was sensible and practical and she absolutely wanted to be surrounded by nice things, nice things to her were her family and friends. Her name, Bernice means shining star and she most definitely was the bright light that lit up our world. I can’t describe any grand gestures that made this so, I can only say that she was simply herself and in that we all felt comfortable in being ourselves. She never wanted for more, she wanted to have enough. She was a remarkable woman and I will love and treasure her memory always. The best compliment my husband ever gave to me was to say that my grandmother was one of the best people he ever met. I agree. I also like to think that there is a part of her in me that keeps shining.

We strive for all sorts of things in our lives that we think we will make us happy but my grandmother taught me that happiness is a lot simpler then we think.

Things we think will make us happy

1. Being Wealthy
2. Being thin
3. Being loved
4. Pretty things
5. A nice home

Things that will actually make us happy

1. Measuring wealth by the people you have in your life
2.Being healthy
3. Loving yourself
4. Things that can’t be seen, only felt
5. A home filled with love and laughter

Sometimes the things we stress about have simple answers. I find myself often looking up to the heavens and wondering what my grandmother would do.

♥♥

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Let it Rain

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I am sitting in my quiet living room, the soft tap tap of rain on the rooftop the only accompaniment to my wandering thoughts.

I am trying to pinpoint why I love the rain. Nobody appreciates a cloudless blue sky with the sun warm on my face any more then I do but the truth is I love the rain too. It’s a little cool in here with the windows open but I just grabbed my favorite soft fleece blanket and curled up on the coach.  There is plenty I should be doing and could be doing but I have chosen to take a break and enjoy the soft sounds of mother nature bathing the earth.

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I even like thunder and lightning.  When I was kid we used to have to sit in the hallway during storms as my mother was terrified of thunder and lightning,  as was her mother. I don’t know how that despite their fears I developed such a facination for booming thunder or electric bolts lighting up the sky but I did.

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Nature can be a thing of immeasurable beauty or at times what we think to be cruel and punishing but it should always be respected.

“Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous – indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.”

Richard Dawkins ~ River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls” Mother Teresa

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So no matter what you believe in Nature can teach us all something about life because although nature may not be in a hurry everything gets accomplished. For those of you hurrying through your life today please take an extra minute  to smell the roses, smile at a stranger, hold a door, lend a hand, share a laugh or simply take a moment to appreciate the quiet beauty around you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmVn6b7DdpA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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Let’s sit and talk about shit!

I don’t see my neighbors very often or know most of them but the neighbors to the left of me I have a friendly relationship with. They have been in Edmonton for years but their homeland is Turkey and they have maintained their very thick accents. They still own property there and visit frequently so last summer when they were away I was asked to pick up their mail. They own a business and daily there were checks in the mailbox. Summer is prime time for break-ins and a full mailbox is a sure sign that your house is sitting empty. I took it upon myself  to also take care of their front yard because I thought if it was neglected it would be another sign that the occupants were away.  I mowed, watered and cut myself fresh blooms of peonies and poppies daily. It was a win win for everyone.

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This year the neighbor popped over when I was planting a rose path along the side of my house. We shared niceties and it became clear that she was interested in talking gardening. Two minutes into the conversation I was lost. The thick turkish accent made it difficult to follow along but somehow we ended up in her yard and I remarked how well her peonies and poppies were doing. I felt I had taken care of them the previous summer but they appeared healthier then ever and double in size. I was a little in awe and the neighbor was excited to share with me her secret but was having a hard time finding the words.

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She struggled the way a child would and looked to me for help. I was no help at all. It was like a riddle I couldn’t solve. The moment had the potential to quickly turn awkward because I could not follow along with the promps she was giving me except that it started with an M and my neighbor was getting slightly frustrated that she couldn’t properly convey the message she was attempting. The language barrier was quickly erecting a wall between us. All of the sudden she had that aha moment. She squatted with her backside facing her flowers like she was a dog doing her business. She smiled at me and said excitably “SHIT POOPY, SHIT POOPY” and I got it. She manured her garden. I had won charades with the neighbor!

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I want to manure my perennials and have big, beautiful blooms next year. My thought is to cut everything back in the fall, cover with a manure (or compost mixture) work into the top layer of the soil and cover with burlap. Is this the correct way to do it? I would love to ask the neighbors for advice but I am not very confident that I will get the directions correct.

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Gardeners your advice would be appreciated.

 

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Under the light of the moon-Movies on the Square

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I love Sir Winston Churchill Square in the summer. The city organizes all sorts of family events and festivals to bring people to this downtown meeting place. Last night the offering was Movies on the Square, a free screening of Despicable Me on a huge blow up screen.

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The fun commenced long before dusk fell. A D.J. lit up the popular downtown mecca with the sounds of summer, Polynesian dancers delighted young and old alike, even giving mini dance lessons to those willing to shake their groove thing in front of strangers. Free hoola hoops, beach balls and sunglasses were a hot accompaniment to a summer evening that’s weather could only be described as “close to perfect”.

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Families delighted in face painting, balloon making, outdoor chess, table tennis, a bouncy house slide and some cooled off in the city hall wading pool. Food trucks offered tasty delights such as pulled pork, hot dogs, pizza, mini donuts and no movie night would be complete without hot, fresh popcorn.

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In addition to the Amphitheater seating families brought fold up chairs and blankets to ensure a comfy and cozy movie experience under the stars. It was a wonderful night, even long before the movie started my teenager told me how much fun she and her friends were having and the youngest loved the beachy atmosphere.

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A crowd favorite was Spider Man who talked and posed for pictures with all the children. Lots of prizes were given out, I won glow in the dark bubbles 🙂 The movie commenced around 9:45 when nature struggled to dim the lights on a magnificant summer day.

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Movies on the Square will be back on August 30-31. Tips for first time movie goers with young children, It is a long night, the movie does not start till dusk falls. Bring cold drinks and snacks if you are looking for an inexpensive evening. Weather can change quickly, pack cozy blankets and sweaters. Looking for more info about movies on the Square and other city events see HERE

Cheers. Happy Sunday!!

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Deep Fried Brains

It seems everything is reality show these days. I thought it would be a good night to chill and watch TV with the girls. A dating show hosted by Jerry Springer should have told me everything I needed to know but Morgan likes it and sometimes I need to relent. The show is called Baggage and one single man was presented with three single ladies that he might want to date. Each had three suitcases, small, medium and large with the baggage they carry around in their daily lives. One girl lived with her Mom and shared a room with her sister, one had such bad credit she couldn’t get her own apartment and the other owned a copy of every magazine that Tyra Banks was in. You could just feel the awkward discomfort because the guy didn’t want to date any of the women who were proving they were dateworthy by batting their fake eyelashes and shaking their asses. I cannot say I am a better person for having watched this show. During a commercial break an ALL NEW episode of Honey Boo Boo was advertised. I was shocked that this show is still being aired let alone in production. What are we doing to our brains? I am in a Friday funk. I feel I had to at least write something and maybe this admission of my hideous time wasting would somehow redeem me. Live and learn. Yay I am a cliche!!

I think I will eat some pork rinds and watch Jersey Shore reruns while petting kittens and writing poetry. 

Night All

Total Package

Daily Prompt: A Friend in Need

Posted by michelle w.Finish this sentence: “My closest friend is…”Photographers, artists, poets: show us FRIENDSHIP.Please note that comments are always closed on daily prompts. Pingbacks are always enabled; if you link to the prompt post on your blog, a link to your post will appear in the list below the prompt.

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My closest friend is my husband Kirk. Sometimes he infuriates me and sometimes it takes some time for us to fit into each others lives. We live a unique lifestyle but certainly not unusual for anyone who works or has a spouse who works in the Oil Sands of Alberta. Kirk works away for a minimum of ten days and then he is back for four days. This past run he was gone for 17 days. He lives in work camps and works in remote parts of Alberta. Our daily lives are very different so when he comes home the two of us often mix like oil and water. With patience (which admittedly I lack sometimes) and a bit off tongue, we eventually work through our conflicting personalities and that is when the fun starts. Once we decide that we don’t have to talk over each other and compete to see who has had a worse week we are able to breath, relax and laugh together. Nobody in the world can make me laugh like Kirk and when I am laughing I am relaxed and free. Unlike other couples we don’t have the luxury of time so when we are thrown together we have to jam all of our niceties and good times in a couple of days. My closest friend is a loud and opinionated.  I sometimes have to fight him to get a word in edgewise. He obviously likes the sound of his own voice. My closest friend is the hardest worker I know, often carrying a huge weight on his shoulders. He is conscientious,  strong and he has an unusually brilliant mind. He encourages me always and tells me I can do anything I set my mind too. My closest friend loves me passionately,  he makes me feel safe and important in this big bad word.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/daily-prompt-friendship/

Clean Living

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Daily Prompt: From the Collection of the Artist

Posted by michelle w.It’s the year 2113. A major museum is running an exhibition on life and culture as it was in 2013. You’re asked to write an introduction for the show’s brochure. What will it say?Photographers, artists, poets: show us RETROSPCTIVE.

Ladies and gentlemen we are pleased today to offer you a rare glimpse into the past. We are taking you back to 2013. Bear in mind how different our communities were prior to the war of 2080 which resulted in the clean living act.

Our exhibits include cars and trucks with actual gas and diesal powered engines. We also have a motorbike which is a large bike powered by gas as well.

You  will be awed to see battery powered devices such as Ipod music makers and Smart Phones. All devices are in working order and we will be providing a short demo.

The exhibit showcases a replica of an actual fast food restaurant including it’s 2013 menus.  You may be shocked to to see how people ate prior to the clean living act.

There are many other showcases that will capture you and take you back. Please enjoy and be thankful for our advances.

We are pleased to continue to offer free bike parking. The exhibit costs ten hours of your time donated either to a community garden or bike shop, one hour will be deducted for those using their own bike locks today. Roller skates are allowed on all pedways, please be mindful of those traveling on foot.

Welcome to 2013 and enjoy.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/daily-prompt-retrospective/