SoCS: musical

I am from a musical family, I’m musical but I don’t like musicals. Funny.

It’s finally behind me, the musical dance exercise class was a success. Phew! Now I can listen to something else. That playlist is burned into my brain from practicing every morning.

The musical aspect of this class was every bit as important as the exercise, maybe even more. I spent hours and hours on Spotify finding music that would make anyone move and feel happy. African, Bollywood even a little country, but not too country.

Ten years ago when I was very depressed my sister got me to go to Zumba, it was just starting then. One the way home it struck me that I felt good! I hadn’t felt good in a very long time.

Having gone to some exercise classes with music that was anywhere from irritating to unbearable I felt music was very important. The group I volunteer for is a mental health support group so this is what I’ve really wanted to do; a musical dance exercise class.

And it worked. It didn’t matter if they weren’t doing the steps right, what mattered was looking out and seeing everyone smiling and laughing. Afterward everyone said how much fun they had. One lady said, “I feel good! I feel light!”  That was the best.

Music has an amazing effect on the brain. You can down in the dumps but put on some music and soon your dancing around.

I just flashed on an image of my mom dancing around to Harry Belafonte. Thank You Mom!



SoCS: ma

Maybe I’ll put out some Christmas decorations. I do have some white lights outside and replaced the fall leaves and pumpkins (broken pumpkin lights) on top of my cupboards with a pine bough. But that’s winter decoration.

I’ve been putting off Christmas decorating until at least Dec. 1 but now it’s here. Christmas is getting earlier and earlier. And its all due to marketing. There’s lots of money to be made so lets milk every penny and max every credit card out of the masses.

I’m going to a Christmas party today at the nursing home. This is way too soon. A family Christmas on Dec. 1.  Many of them will think Christmas is today! Maybe that’s the idea. They could have had it a little closer to Christmas, though.

Mark your calendars, Dec. 6 is my first exercise class. Its called Low Impact Dance exercise. I practice it most mornings and have it memorized. I realize you are all too far away to make it.

That’s the main thing I like about all my friends here; you’re all far away!


SoCS: Readers Digest

Is the Readers Digest still around? That’s what came to mind. My parents subscribed to the Readers’ Digest so it came by mail every month. It was reading-lite for the masses. Very short stories, condensed informative articles, personal anecdotes, jokes: one little magazine could hold 25- 30 articles.

I would go through it reading all the jokes, then the anecdotes and maybe some one page stories or articles.

We also had the Readers Digest Classics.  Brown leather-like hard-cover books with gold embossed letters. One book could hold 3 or 4 condensed classic novels! Are those Dickens, Bronte sisters and Henry James novels too lengthy with boring descriptions? Have a novel-lite and get the gist of it….. you can say you read it!

But the funniest ever I discovered at my in-laws when I first went to visit them many, many years ago. They played their vinyl collection of Readers Digest musical classics….. The best in Classical music reduced to 3 minutes.  Battle of 1812 (I still sing ,”this is the cereal that’s shot from guns”) Beethoven’s Fifth,  each album had 12 pieces on each side. The best parts of 24 classical works! All the boring parts cast aside. I say funny because I laughed then realized I had better stifle that laugh.

SoC; I gotta go look for some pictures.


Oh gosh its still going strong. Here’s the format I remember;

readers digest

RDP: no shopping today

I’ll tell you what I am NOT doing today and that’s SHOP. Yes, even in Canada we have the Black Friday Frenzy. Worse where I live because it’s close to the border so some people drive over to Port Huron to get even better deals with even more crowds even though our dollar is only worth 75 cents in the U.S.

Shopping is destroying our earth. We have tons of stuff and we keep buying more stuff. People who’s closets are packed full go out and look for something they don’t need at all just to get a temporary rush from buying a thing. Even better if you buy a thing and get a good deal. But the feeling is soon lost and they’re back off to the Mall for another fix.

Last year I went to The Mall near Christmas time and it sickened me. So many people spending so much money on crap, nothing.  Buying stuff for people they don’t need or want. Money, money, money. So many go into serious debt. What a marketing scheme; buy a gift for everyone you know! All those people buying all those presents; its insanity, mass hysteria. And builds as if the world ended Dec. 26.  Then you go out for Boxing Days Deals. What? You didn’t get enough stuff?!

“Have you got all your Christmas shopping done?” Is the mindless question everyone will be asking soon. I just say yes and try not to look disgusted.

Yesterday the prompt was gratitude. I am so grateful for my present lifestyle; retired.  I practiced my own exercise routine in the morning, in the afternoon I went to yoga which is free with my Opening Doors group.

Today I’m continuing to be grateful because I don’t have to go anywhere and it’s sunny!  It’s been a dark and dreary month; yesterday was really cold. But today its nice and I’m going to put up Christmas lights. It’s dark so early; I need cheery lights in the evening. But I’m just turning on the white ones until closer to Christmas. It’s too early for the festive coloured lights; I’ll put them up but leave them unplugged for a couple weeks….. when I get my tree….oh boy!

And I’ll replace the autumn leaves decor with pine boughs.

I’m happy! This is way better than shopping!

SoCS: roll/ role

“Roll out the barrel! We’ll have a barrel of fun!”   Sorry, it stream of consciousness and that’s what came to mind. My Dad used to play the piano for a bunch of guys and I remember them practicing this song at our house.

Maybe it was easier to have fun in those days….. standing around a piano singing “…. we’ll have a barrel of fun!” 

I roll with the punches. Not one to plan or scheme how to make things go my way…. I wait until things come up and deal with them as best I can. It’s not the best way to live but its my way. That’s the way I play chess…… just defensively because I can’t strategize a plan of attack. Can’t or don’t want to. Definitely didn’t plan for a career when I was young.

I didn’t have good role models for that. “get married to someone with money” was the advice from my mom. Don’t remember any advice from my Dad. They fought a lot.  ‘Nuff said about that. I still loved them; they were cool and not your typical parents. They promoted music and a sense humour, great things to have in life.

Well….. I guess that’s it for roll/ role. I’m going to extend my birthday for another day and just hang out with myself. Let the day just roll by…..


RDP: Snooze Day

What a funny word; snooze. It sounds like what it is; slip into unconsciousness for a short amount of time. You have to catch it at just the right time, that moment in the afternoon where torpor sets in, that lull when your eyes try to close involuntarily.

If you are at (or going into work) you must have a coffee or sugar fix to make it through the next stretch. I would try to have a snooze before I went in for the afternoon/ night shift but it was too early.

This post is already a snooze. That’s mainly why I haven’t posted lately. Not in a chatty state of mind; I got nuttin’ to say. Sometimes I start a post then think it’s so boring I wouldn’t read it, so I delete it.

Today is my birthday! I’m 66. Snoozing is certainly on my agenda for today. Still reveling in the fact that I’m retired and can do this. I made the mistake of saying I was going to watch a lot of TV today.  Woke up to sticky snow, the kind that sticks to your satellite dish. Yes, the red light is on and its going to snow all day.

Hooray for the internet and Netflix. (oh, oh, knock on wood….. the electricity better stay on.)

My ex visited me again. He cleaned my chimney and my rain gutters, bought me 3 beautiful throw rugs and this⇓ which I love more than all the rugs put together!


Yep, it sure is nice. Don’t think I would have got a damn thing if we were still married! I was reminded of how great it is to have my own life and not be with him. He would get so mad if he caught me having a snooze: “What the hell do you think you’re doing!?!”

Yeah, Baby, having a snooze.

Marijuana is legal here now. I still can hardly believe it, it’s so wonderful. I got a special treat for my birthday and it doesn’t even matter if I get caught! It’s my birthday, I’m retired, it’s a snow day……. I may even have two snoozes!


Stream of Consciousness Saturday

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “point.” Open a book on your lap, close your eyes, and put your finger on the page. Whatever you land on, whether it be a word, a phrase, or a sentence, write about it.

Darn it; “I was….”  The worst part about stream of consciousness is that a I can’t go back and edit out all the ‘I’s.

“I was too hungry to care…” it goes on. Can’t really relate to that either. The closest I’ve felt to that would be eating a granola bar: not something I would choose to eat unless it was the only thing available and I was very, very hungry.

The previous phrase was “…… been in the pot for two days. (I was too hungry to care….)”.  Now we’re getting into my territory. It’s getting dark early, I’m on my second bag of Rockets. I knew I had eaten too many but I had…..

“…… been in the pot for two days. I was too hungry to care….”. 



RDP: dead

I want to move out my planted pots from the front but they’re not dead yet. I live in the banana belt of Ontario and we’ve barely had any frost compared the rest of Canada who has been experiencing snow already.

We had an uncomfortably warm fall and because of that the colours weren’t spectacular. You need frosty nights to make the colours come ablaze. Now it’s mostly yellows which is still very pretty against a blue sky…. when we get a blue sky. The Copper Beech is just a starting to turn metallic copper.

In a sheltered cubby by my front door I still have flowers; lobelia, straggly petunias and some hardy herbs. It’s time to move them out and empty the pots so they don’t crack over the winter but it’s still too pretty. When the snow flies they are taken away and replaced by garbage bins. It’s the easier place to shovel them out of the snow. (groan)

There are plenty of dead plants in the garden to cut back. I like that. I like the garden ending for the year then getting covered with snow, hiding it for months. I wouldn’t want to keep it going all year: my enthusiasm wanes by the end of August.

The second load of firewood is at the end of my driveway; dead trees to heat my house. That’s another seasonal job I really like doing; putting away firewood. I can’t do much on one day but I chip away at it a little bit every day and feel really good about myself for doing it. A lot of satisfaction and a lot of warmth.

This is the season of Dying if you follow a natural seasonal lifestyle. This is the season of Death. We celebrate it and mock it on Halloween.

I’m going to the nursing home to see my Aunt this morning but she is not dying. I don’t think she’s even near death unless her heart gives out. But that is not necessarily a good thing. No one would want this for themselves. Most people would rather be dead.

This afternoon is going to be at least partially sunny. I hope to cut back dead plants and stack dead wood. We have not had many sunny days and there’s more rain on the way. I wish I had enough energy to do more but I’m only good for an hour or two. The sunny days are few a far between so I’ll do as much as I possibly can.

Soon I’ll be losing all sun on my house. It’s already below a row of cedars most of the day and setting much earlier. In another month I’ll be bringing out the seasonal lights to light up the early gloom. Pre-Christmas lights.

But we’re not dead yet.

SoCS: Bonehead

Today’s prompt is ‘bone’. I’m loosing my stream of consciousness by fluctuating between. “I’m a bonehead.” and “I have no bones to pick.”

So we’ll start with I’m a bonehead. (I am not! Always challenge yourself when you put yourself down) But I am a bit of a bonehead because I haven’t written for a couple of weeks.

Last week the prompt was ‘can’ and, ironically I didn’t write because I spent so much time in the can. Not successfully, I had the worst bout of constipation ever. I wasn’t going to write about it.

How, you might say, does a vegetarian who eats plenty of fibre get constipated? Good question. I cried that out many times. Good thing I live alone so I could suffer loudly. I’m sure God got tired of my pleading and just turned me off.

The last time this happened, a few years ago, I had eaten a bunch of stale dry-roasted cashews.  This time I ate a bunch of stale dry-roasted pistachios.

Anyway, See? I’m a bonehead because I did write about it. Embarrassing, and now everyone thinks I had the flu because I wasn’t going to say I’m in pain from not pooping.

Onward to ‘I have no bone to pick’. I’m not stewing over any alleged slights at the time. Oh, they’re out there but I have chewed all the flavour out of the them and moved the monkey mind over to ‘live and let live’. I guess I’ve picked those bones clean.

Until the next judgemental mind feast.

I don’t care about any of that; I can poop and all is right with the world.


My History with Pot

Yesterday was a wonderful day here in Canada. There were celebrations in the parks, the newspapers headlined this historic day, there was joy on so many faces; marijuana is legal!  I’m so happy. This has been a long time coming.

Here is my story of my relationship with weed.

I tried it too young, for sure I would not want any kids turning to it at the age of 15, however, in those days it wasn’t anywhere near as potent as it is now. It was low potency leaf, you rarely found a ‘flower’.

On the weekend we would pool our babysitting money and allowance to buy a ‘dime bag’. $10 worth of weed. We would smoke it wherever somebody’s parent were away or go to the park, Edwards Gardens was a favourite. I never did it in the school week. I remember once someone lured me into sharing a joint during a break period and I was so paranoid that someone would know I swore I would never do it again and I never did.

Many years later I was at a factory job and someone lured me into smoking a joint during lunch break. The same thing happened: I was so anxious I swore I would ever do that again and I never did. There are a lot of people who are on their job high but not me. There are a lot of people who drive high but I do not.

But I haven’t smoked pot all these 50 years I’ve been wishing it was legal.  When I was young and travelled a lot I would only do it if it was around, I didn’t want to spend my money on it unless I went in with a friend for the weekend. Travelling in other countries with pot is downright dangerous so I didn’t do that.

In my early 20’s I drank alcohol a lot more and I mean a lot more. I would drink until I got drunk: I could not stop once I started. I woke up sick and remembered things I’d wished I could forget. When I met my husband, he pointed out that it was disgusting, not fun.

I didn’t start smoking regularly until I was a married and working at mundane jobs. At that time I didn’t understand what emotional abuse was (he didn’t hit me) so it helped keep the relationship somewhat calm. It became my reward for making it through another day.

We were already getting into an Eastern philosophy that required giving up meat, alcohol, and drugs. We had given up meat and alcohol which I was happy to give up, but drugs was the sticking point. We both loved pot.

This went on for a few years until we decided we would give up pot and devote our lives to the Spiritual Path. And we did for years and years. But I always missed it. Never craved meat nor alcohol but I missed getting high. By now I had no connections and didn’t want to find  a biker to buy pot from. (Let me insert that ‘bikers’ were also a different sort in those days) Now it had been around 15 years. How could I go back? Sometime I would dream about smoking a joint and would wake up; phew! I didn’t give in…… yet.

One day, and this was way back in the 1980’s, they reported that the government studies had resulted in the conclusion that marijuana should be legalized. At first I was so happy I literally jumped for joy! but the next moment I realized, I still wouldn’t be ‘allowed’ to do it. That started an internal conflict. I had been so obedient, bound to duty and I was getting tired of it.

Back in those days we were cavers and went down to Tennessee and Alabama regularly. One might around a campfire someone passed me joint and I said, “I’d like to but I can’t”  He asked “why not?”. I didn’t have an answer. It wasn’t that night but shortly after I succumbed.

Then I felt like a hypocrite because I was a ‘designated speaker’, I gave half hour talks (satsang)  for our philosophy. More internal struggle. Coupled with that was my dislike for the guy I was buying it from.

(I had to laugh years later in the movie “Pineapple Express” where Seth Rogan just wants to buy some pot from his dealer, James Franco, but the dealer wants him to stay and hang out and watch movies. Rogen is politely trying to just buy it and get out. I so much related to that!)

So I quit for a few more years. Missed it for a few more years. Then we met a nice dealer who came to our house and delivered. By that time we could afford to buy bulk and not have to do this often. Besides he came with his girlfriend and we all had a nice visit.

When I had my horrible break up I used it a lot. I was a mess. Now I’m left with a habit I don’t want to give up although I don’t abuse it anymore. I use it. And now it’s legal. I grow my own and don’t have to be paranoid about someone seeing my back garden anymore.

This is wonderful!  The years of watching people drink, get drunk and think its fun or funny really made me NOT want to drink all the more. That is the more dangerouse drug. But then, I wouldn’t make a criminal out of someone who doesn’t agree with me. This is how it should be.

O, Canada! My home and Native land!

CC flag

I found the clip;