The Next Chapter


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Today marks the third anniversary of this blog.  I’ve stayed pretty much true to the purpose of its existence and over the course of time and I have written some pretty good stuff.  I have offered up some rather deep and profound insights on my posts. Some have been funny, others have expressed anger.  Poetry has been spewed forth and I have indeed babbled a lot on this forum. While some posts have been well written,  other posts have been a little on the mediocre side.  Errors abound throughout many of them. Oye!

I read my first post for example that does indeed have a number of grammatical errors in it.

I thought of going back and making corrections but decided against this.

Why?

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One of the reasons I started this blog was to exercise my chops as a wordsmith.  If I can go back now and see where a post could have potentially been great then I’ll leave the lesson in tack.

December 6th, 2011 I went in for my heart procedure.  The following day I began this blog and one year ago today I finished up cancer treatment.  At this time a year ago I was violently sick as a result of the radiation treatments.

As 2014 began, the idea that the memory loss which I had incurred as a result of chemotherapy could possibly be permanent, brought to life a fear like none I’ve ever known.  Would I be able to continue with all the plans that I’d had in place prior to this interruption in my life?

And no one knew this fear that I had.  I could not give it voice as then it would be much too real.

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I slipped into denial so easily refusing to accept what was happening to my physical body.  And of course, by doing this the rest of my being suffered the impact as well.  It really has just been in the last few months that I’ve actually come to terms with everything and thankfully my memory has returned full force as well.

It was strange emerging from the fog cancer patients affectionately call ‘chemo brain’.  Stranger yet, was reviewing some of the work I’d done in that state.  Things that normally don’t even require any thought at all, things that are so ingrained they are done habitually were challenged.  And somewhere in that fog I tried desperately to connect the dots of reason.

I’ve corrected the majority of the work but there are a couple of entries at the engineer’s office where I’ve just offered up a simple fix as I’ve no idea what my line of thinking was at that time.  It’s not a big deal. I am only $283.47 out.  I think I know what happened but at this point it’s not worth the time and effort to try to uncover this mystery and again I only think I know.  When the year wraps I’ll send a note to the accounting firm that provides the audit every year.

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Sometimes we need to look back to see how far we’ve come.  There is a benefit too in that if similar behaviours still exist how are they masking themselves?

I’ve a lot to do in the next month.  I’ve a book to release and a campaign to put together.

Christmas is fast approaching and I really need to buckle down and get this put together.  As we speak, the tree is up but the place is a mess. I’ve decorations littering the living room and kitchen.  My office has gift ideas spread throughout as they are in their infancy at this point.  Cards await my attention and I’ve got two events this weekend that are in the spirit of the season.

On Thursday evening some friends of mine met a restaurant known as the Libra Room on Commercial Drive.  Marco, who is my girlfriend’s son, bought the restaurant earlier in the year.  We had a great time.  The food was fabulous and the company even better!  Great way to kick off the Christmas season!

Yesterday we had out Christmas lunch at work.  Later I hit the gym on my way home from work.  The plan had been to tackle the Christmas cards in earnest but a gentle exhaustion enveloped me so I curled on the sofa to watch a few shows deciding to take a bit of break.

I’ve been having issues with the signal on my TV as it keeps cutting out.  So I made the call and an hour and a half later after having a lovely fellow in Guatemala trying to program my TV, I resolved that the cards would have to be done today.  Oh, and the TV is still losing the signal.  Probably needs a new modem.  I’ll have to call again but this will have to wait.

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I will be meeting with my trainer shortly. I’ve had a good week.  I’m really starting to feel tight again.  One of my co-workers mentioned yesterday that she definitely could see a difference.  So I shall endeavor.

Over the last five years I’ve changed how I live this life that I’ve been afforded.  Having lived the majority of my life in a manner that I thought I deserved, I challenged that notion and decided to go after the life I wanted.
We are conditioned from the cradle on what we should want from this life and I accepted that for a long time.

Now its time to move forward in a big way.

Enjoy your day!  Peace.

 

 

 

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Back In Training: Week Four – Throwing Down the Gauntlet


June 21, 2014 1037 Desire.  Want.  Commitment. Conviction.  Focus.  Determination.  Gratitude. These were the emotions that were pulsating through me as I left the fitness studio today.  I can shower in a moment but first I need to get this down.  Record it.  It’s been a long time since I felt a strength like this.  It feels like years since I could look in the mirror and know that I was truly getting my healthy back.  I experienced this just a half hour ago as I walked back up the hill to my home having completed the Level One Fitness test. I am digging the challenge and rising up to it. van 4 It snowed a little last night and this morning a crisp blue sky greeted me with a brilliant sun that is very deceiving as the temperature is currently about -4 degrees Celsius.  Still, there is something so invigorating about the sting of the cold air on my cheeks.  As I walked down the alley to my building a wash of emotion enveloped me.  I thought back to a Sunday morning back in February of 2013.  I met with my running group and it was about -8 degrees. We ran a 10 KM that morning.  The route took us along W. 4th Avenue to Arbutus Street.  Then up to 16th Avenue and along to Ontario Street.  From that point it was  down to Athletes Village (close to Science World) then along the seawall back to the store.  As I was running down Ontario Street the vision of Vancouver frozen in white in all her splendor lay before me.  I was drenched in sweat and I can’t remember when I felt more alive. And it was in that moment as I tuned into the universal energy that I was so very much a part of that I accepted I could indeed complete a 1/2 Marathon. van 3 The significance of this particular moment is that was the last run I did where I was at my peak.  My energy was fabulous and I felt so strong!  I was building and all the hard work I was putting in was paying off. The following week as we ran the 12 KM my energy began to wane.  The progression of my health slipping from me continued and if you’ve followed this blog you’ll know the reason was cancer.  And the internal battle that ensued I am just now beginning emerge from. Climbing up the steps to my home the tears slipped down my cheeks and I just let myself cry.  Today I felt the same emotions that I did on that winter morning close to two years ago.  I feel so alive right now!  So vital and strong!  I am taking my life back now in everyway. Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day. QueensPark 177 Namaste.

The Human Condition


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The poster showcases a muscled beast of man with a shaved head and a trophy belt tossed over his shoulder as if it was merely an after thought. The expression, while shadowed, appears remote and angry, yet oddly defeated?

It is flanked by a framed sketch of a whipped latte and a cup of coffee.

The poster seems oddly out of place. Still, in this hang out of mine there are many contradictions.

I, myself, am one in many ways.

The balance between sinner and saint really is non-existent yet I foolishly try to sell this world this odd combination of what, I’m not too sure. I think I’m fooling myself more than anyone else.

And to what purpose?

It is simply a fact of being human I suppose.

I’ve been inflicted with this condition you see…no way around it. Some manage the human condition better than others. Then again it is dependent on so many infinite combinations, is it not?

The consumption of my meal is taking place as I listen idly to the conversations that are filtering through around me.

Germany apparently started both world wars. Ah yes, the quest to dominate, to run the whole show. Unfortunately far too many have sought that narrow minded way of thinking.

What is the imagined prize I cannot help but wonder.  Power?  Control?

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Our waitress prattled on at the table behind me about ‘Fright Nights’. The thrill, the excitement, the fear, the fun!

‘Fright Nights’ is basically our local fair ground reconstructed with Haunted Houses to celebrate the season of Halloween.  Oh yes, it has indeed become a season albeit a short one.

Staff members are dressed in grotesque costumes with frightening makeup and chase you about or jump out at you hoping to scare the bejeezus out of you.  Often they are very effective.

I’ve gone a few times.  One thing they do is turn the lights off on our glorious old wooden Roller Coaster. My friend Kathy and I went on it a few years back. They have a camera mounted to take your picture just as you make your first descend.

I don’t believe I’ve ever laughed so hard at our expressed horror. We bore the same expression with our then blonde manes practically in a vertical position upon our heads. Our eyes were wide, mouths open and the wind factor added a rather animated effect to our expression.

It was the most unflattering photo of the two of us ever and but one of the funniest.  .

I enjoyed it immensely but truth be told, I wasn’t willing to cough up twenty dollars for the damn thing.

After work today I met a woman I went to school with for a drink. She lives very close to my new place of employment so I danced across the street to the Deep Cove Brewery to sample their wares.

Impressive! Christmas giving will be full of spirits this year.

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Sharon was responsible for putting the cruise we went on earlier this year together.  And it was one of the best trips I’ve had.   And Sharon is a lovely woman.  She is in this life to live it fully and from what I can determine she’s doing a damn fine job of it.

And we make our choices on the direction we want our life to take, don’t we? Some of us do this with a great deal of clarity while many of us do this with blinders on.

Personally I’ve stumbled through this life’s journey and it has been an interesting one

At times we are all asked if we have any regrets.

The guy in the UFC poster I described earlier looks like he may have some, though it may debatable as to what the origin may be.

I love the line in ‘My Way’.

Regrets, I’ve had few…but then again…too few to mention…”

Perhaps I should have regrets. But at the end of the day, I have to accept that I made the decisions and choices that I did based upon the knowledge, or lack thereof, that was available to me at that time.

Expansion can only occur when you reconcile all the emotions that have bound you and release them.

Letting go of fears that have confined you for a lifetime, beliefs that may well have been misguided and the self-depreciating manner by which we subject ourselves to is not an easy task.

I’ve the muscled man in the UFC poster, a baseball game (the World Series) and a soccer game vying for my attention in a restaurant with about eight pages of food on their menu.

Pizza, pasta and beer.

I won’t be some skinny mini, of this you can be sure. I have no desire to be cut and rock solid.

I just want to enjoy a healthy body once again so that I can enjoy all the activities that I fought so hard to have in my life.

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Pizza and beer will not assist me in this endeavour. And while I try to persuade the rest of the world that these two items should indeed be considered superfoods, I can assure you that I am not too convincing. After all it is self motivated on my part and rather delusional at best.

We like what we like, even if our arteries are hardening at the thought of it.

The question of air pollution resulting from the use of automobiles certainly hasn’t deterred our desire to drive or our love affair with our automobiles.

And while I am trying to consciously cut down on the eco footprint that I am making, I know I could do better.

Why don’t I?

The answer to this is simple. I’m human. No, it’s not a cop out. We are conditioned and I am trying to change this on a daily basis, trying to turn those habits that have been ingrained into something far more constructive and benefical.

I want to be a kinder and gentler being. Oh, there are many things I want to aspire to. There is a bombardment of stimuli, good and incredibly bad, that I and everyone else inhabiting this planet is assaulted with each day.

Dear old technology rushes and washes over us like a tsunami. Oddly, we welcome the assault.

The news about the iPhone 6 and its release to the world held my attention simply in the absurdity that people were waiting in lines over night to attain this new object

Why?

So why the fascination and the must have? Will it change your life? Make it better than it was a day ago?  Not likely.

But again, it all comes back to the human condition.

That moment of supremacy, however fleeting, when you feel you’ve got the edge on this thing we call life.

Stick that phone in the pocket of your jeans and find out the next day that it’s warped.

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Back in the 1970’s women were making a real mark on their position in this world. They were challenging the role that they had been cast in on every level. Equality, fairness in the workplace, and a host of other inequities founded the women’s movement.

Then someone whispered in a woman’s ear…you’ll be far more successful if you dress like this and look like that.

We were on coltish legs understand and suddenly those insecurities were turned inward.

Today aging is considered a disease. It can be fixed though. There is a surgical procedure for everything now.

Wrinkles? Botox

Fat belly? Liposuction.

Sagging lips? Collegen shots.

Boobs? Implants or a reduction.

And to what purpose?

How will this enhance our human experience?

I really don’t think it will.  Oh, you might well think that the $10,000 that you spent on correcting the flaws that society insisted made you unacceptable will improve the quality of life…but sadly that can only come with acceptance of who you are.

With every perceived imperfection included in this acceptance.

Last year when chemotherapy induced the departure of my hair, I stood in the shower rather fascinated by the wads that slipped so easily from my head. My daughter shaved the remainder off at my request.

I stood for a time gazing at this bald head of mine.

It was a humbling moment yet equally liberating.

How much stock I put into my daily appearance, wanting to be accepted, wanting to be found desirable, and ultimately wanting to be loved.

Nothing had changed in my personage…just my appearance. I was the same woman I was a day ago, only now I was bald.

And it’s a dramatic change in such a visual society as ours.

But I’m alive. I’ve got another day, another moment, another chance.

These days the news is filled with men dressed in black beheading their fellow man.

Why?

Ebola is raging through West Africa and as it turns its insidious direction toward our continent the tendrils of fear are building.

Why are we not sending our knowledge and medicines over to West Africa?   Why are we not trying to save these people?

Oh, government officials will stand up for posterity’s sake and say they’ve committed so much to the effort while we watch yet another diseased body being lifted onto a gurney by a people wrapped in plastic.

What the fuck is going on?

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Lineups for days for the iPhone 6?

And everything is supersized or minimized. Our manic senses need to be filled. We need to feel normal in this abnormal world. We need to find sense in the non-sensical.

I saw the image on TV.

A figure shrouded in black standing next to a man in orange who was on his knees in all his fragility. A desert backdrop lent so much despair to the situation.

I gazed at the figure in black. What struck me was that this person had never known love; had never truly experienced its power. They wouldn’t be taking off a fellow man’s head had they.

And this saddened me so deeply.

They take these boys at such a young age. Feed them hate, fear and loathing. Promise things that will never be attained.

Now take a step back. I know it’s horrific. I know they need to be held accountable.

But what are we feeding the young minds of this world?

Love, compassion, empathy?  Gotta wonder.

Be a size zero, get your masters in anything, have a line of credit to live off because you’ll be paying off your student loan well into your 40’s, then pretend that you’re not polluting the world in that 3,000 sq. ft. home you live in that you can’t afford.

And across the globe young boys are being conditioned to serve a master that detests all you believe to be good and true.

They believe if they walk into a busy marketplace and blow themselves up and take a few of the bad guys with them, they are assured with their death that 76 virgins will greet them.

I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that it’s the same 76 virgins for each and ever fool who tosses the gift of life away for an angry god.

And isn’t that the crux of it all?

We all think we know, believe we’ve been shown the way, the path….

The very fact that the man in black beside the victim to be persecuted is so well covered speaks volumes.

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They know it’s wrong. Gazing into that damnable camera they know it’s insidious.

That is why they are hiding, covering themselves.

Again, it is the human condition.

And I hurt for them as much as I do for the soul who is on his knees begging for mercy, for their life as they are remembering the love afforded them. In that moment they want to be enveloped by it, wrapped in it, lost in it.

And the one to take it from them, who stands shrouded in black covets it.  Yet he’ll never admit to it.

A week ago I stood in this town of mine and watched and took some shots as we commemorated a photograph that was taken at the beginning of World War II.

A young boy broke from his mother’s grasp reaching for his father who was marching off to war.

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I am a photographer, albeit an amateur. But I know why this shot struck a nerve worldwide and still does.

There is an honesty to the anguish, to the fear….

It is the last photo of the family as a unit.  A small boy in that moment knew somewhere deep within that his life was about to be forever changed.

And as I continue to see horrific images of people dying horrific deaths, I’ve no answers.

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I got up this morning and readied myself for work.

God, it was beautiful out! The moon still flirted in her magnificence, while the clouds that lingered shone pink and a mist hung mysteriously on the river wrapping the trees in a sultry manner.

I stopped to get my morning coffee and man I see frequently was curled up on the sidewalk.

“Could you mange a coffee for me this morning?” he asked.

“ Sure. You good with cream and sugar?”

I got him a muffin as well.

We exchanged pleasantries when I delivered the goods and he thanked me.

As I drove into work, an obscure thought slipped through the grey matter.

“What if this guy were Jesus in the expected second coming?”

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How many of us see these people as being invisible?  There are so many out there now, too many.  I don’t know what brought him to this point, in his life but as stated earlier, we make our choices then we live with the results.

Still, for some, well likely for many, the road is not quite as conquerable as we’d like.

I am a bit odd in that I’ve got the tenacity of a badger and the heart of horse. I look for the good, seek the good yet I’ve known enough crap to appreciate life on a whole different level.

And we only have this day.

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I wake each morning grateful. Another shot at doing, another chance to make a difference, another opportunity to influence change?

And I’m no one special; just a woman who has far too many things running through her head at any given time.

I am preparing at 8:39 PM to head home. The ad in the bathroom stall is somewhat confusing.

Collectible plastic toys are being offered. There are 800 in all. And as I do my business I find myself saddened. Sell your condoms, your taxis, your warnings about smoking or drinking too much…but toys?

What does that say about our footprint?

Another poster of the UFC guy is hanging in the bathroom.

Pausing I look at the image. I wash my hands and leave.

Nothing much to say really. They are selling a product. One I don’t adhere to and it makes me feel sad simply because of it’s physicality and intent.

Oh, I can assure you that when I watch hockey this year I won’t turn in horror when the gloves come off.

And again, it comes down to conditioning.

I am feeling chilled. Time to head home and wrap a fleece blanket about my feet.

We only this moment.

Enjoy it.

Peace be with you always and may love always shine its light.

The New Independence


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A teenage boy sits in the middle of the wilderness.  A shiny clean Ford pick-up and a man (presumably the father?) are in the backdrop.  A computer is perched on the teen’s lap and he is skyping his mom.

She gushes “You made it!” to her smiling son.

The punch line to this Ford commercial is ‘Welcome to the New Independence!”

If that is what independence now looks like,  I firmly believe someone forgot to cut the umbilical cord.

I did something last week I’ve not done is a long time.  On Sunday I slept in.  And I didn’t go anywhere or talk to anyone.  I did some writing, cleaned my house, washed some clothes then curled up and watched a bit of television.

I can’t remember the last time I decided to just cocoon myself within the walls of my home.  Perhaps what was stranger yet is that I found this rather remarkable in some strange sense.

Just how plugged in have we become?

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And so I pondered this commercial and so many more that cater to a populace that seems to thrive on the next technological ‘wonder’ with a fervor or perhaps a fever?

Send a text or an email to a friend, family member or loved one and if the response isn’t reasonably quick, worry sets in.  Something is wrong!  The phone call is made and voicemail comes on.  A sense of panic washes over you.

Then you stop to think if you’ve perhaps offended in some way?

You feel a little foolish when it is discovered that they were in the shower or in a meeting….or, I don’t know, living?

And they were doing so without you.   Strange.

I stopped to get my coffee fix at Starbuck’s this morning as I always do on my way to work.  A beautiful day was dawning.  The rising sun was kissing the clouds causing them to blush a deep pink.  The sky was a sleepy blue and a mist hugged the trees.

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I slipped back into the car and began my trek to the office as Willy and the gang discussed on the radio that distracted drivers (i.e. those using their phones to text and  talk) were now responsible for more vehicle accidents causing serious injury and death than drunk drivers.

This caught my attention and began to really observe those on the road with me this morning.  It didn’t take long before I noted driver’s with their heads looking down toward their lap or looking downward at the passenger seat even though no one was in the car with them.

Some openly held the phone in front them as they spoke into it.

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Hey I’m no saint.  I’ve used my phone a time or two while driving, though rarely.  I’ve never tried to text.  Still, this really raised a certain awareness for me.   I am now committed to never using the phone while driving.

I love to drive.  I love to crank up the radio and sing to a favorite song.  I always enjoy the changing vista that surrounds me and often I am stimulated in the creative sense.  Man, there is nothing worse then having a line or two for a story that you’ve been working on suddenly rise to the surface and you just happen to be doing 100 KM on the highway!

But here we are now evermore enslaved by these technological tools that have invaded our lives.  I am no longer working in the downtown core, however, when I was it was increasingly apparent this absorption with the iPhone, Smart phone, Android…whatever it is we are calling this thing.

I’ve posted about this.  Of how I’ve had people walk into me and barely glance up.  Heads bent with that familiar little screen glowing up at them.

My daughter mentioned at dinner tonight that this was likely becoming an addiction of sorts and it was probable that some form of neurosis would result.  Sadly, I do believe she’s right.

She was also correct in stating that collectively we’ve never been lonelier.  I love conversing and sharing ideas.  I confessed, and rightly so, that often I have very strong opinions and its a well known fact that I’ve had my foot in my mouth more times than I can remember.  That is who I am.  I do learn from conversations and debates though.  A point of view will be expressed giving me pause and open up an entire new path of thought for me.

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Still, even when the tongue is running with blinders firmly in place…it is still just my expression of thought.  There is no malice or ill intent.  Just me thinking I know everything.

And I say this with tongue firmly planted in cheek.  I’m silly, garish, brash and at times amusing, even humorous.  I’m also intelligent, thoughtful, intense and care very deeply about this world I inhabit.

The idea of conveying all your thoughts, of who you are through, texts and tweets, well, my daughter pointed out that all of this could be edited, until the sender was satisfied it represented who they thought they were.

But was it accurate?

In a conversation you can say things in the heat of the moment.  Emotions can run high at times.  At the end of it however, Are you giving an impression of who you really are perhaps?

And as I write this, there is some conflict, because writing is such strong expression for me.

There is a difference though.  I’ve a very deep love of these things we call words.

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And while I have a Twitter account, I’ve found having only 140 characters impossible to work with.  I’m still far too long winded.  But again, I digress.

What is happening to us?

In 1997 I purchased my first computer.  I can recall being on a ‘chat room’ talking with people who were in Australia.  This fascinated me.  And what do you suppose I asked them?

Oh, it was hopelessly mundane.  “What’s the weather doing?”  “Do your toilets really flush counter clock wise?”

Why I needed verification of this type I cannot say. I was a different woman back in 1997.  I was emerging rather awkwardly into this life.  And while I’ve made leaps and bounds in the social department, I can still be totally inappropriate in what is uttered from these lips of mine.

Still I am searching for the human experience. I want to drown in it.  Want to find its honesty, its wealth, its truth…my truth.

I want to find a certain peace.

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I don’t know.

Somehow skyping someone from a desert or a forest or from wherever to let them know they are where they are holds little appeal.

The new independence.  From what?

Definitively I am very independent. I’ve had to be.  The life plan dished out dictated as such.  And what is independence?

It is in my mind it is someone who is ‘stand alone and self-sufficient’.   They don’t need anyone.

There are times when I wish I could ask for help, when I could admit I’m only human, when I could express comfortably my vulnerabilities.

That requires a great deal of trust and I’m still working feverishly on letting myself do this naturally.

I hope Carol reads this post.

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She was a pen pal of mine some 40 plus years ago.  It used to take some three weeks to a month to mail a letter over seas.  Carol lived in England and I, of course, in Vancouver, BC Canada.

We wrote for a few years. Pen pals were the thing back in the day.

And while I was writing Carol, my life was falling apart…rapidly.  I don’t know what I told her.  I don’t know if she knew.  But close to 40 years later I received a message on Facebook.

At the time I wasn’t very good at checking messages.  Carol had sent me a message asking me if I was the person she’d written in her youth.

It blew me away.  This was my pen pal after all these years.  And I hope to meet her one of these days.

We shared an energy, a time, a confidence.  Both young girls with a life ahead of us.  And we made choices.

Yet I must thank technology for allowing me to connect to her again.

No, I’ll not slam this ‘new independence’ of ours.  Perhaps we should use it with caution and appreciation though.

The frailty of youth is that they think they know how to resolve the sins of the past.

In time they’ll come to know it’s just human behavior.

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A bronzed moosehead gazes out above a fake fireplace tonight down at Begbie’s.  A barrel of peanuts sits at the door for those barbarians who will swill the shells upon the floor after consumption.

The Eagles serenade me over the sound system as I wrap this up.  I’ve watched an array of personalities come and go in the last two hours.

The girls that work here know me.  I pop down from time to time on a consistent basis to write.  It’s what I do.

And as this night closes all I can think is just how grateful I am to be here.  How much I love all of those that share my life, how much I love the energy beings that encourage and drive me each day.

Blessings and peace to you all.  And always offer a smile and greeting. It’s just good form.

Namaste.

 

 

c

Welcome!


September 20, 2014

 

My nephew and his wife brought their twins into the world today. So I thought I would share the events on this day to commemorate their arrival.

It is the last day of a spectacular summer. The sky now has a soft haze to it has the sun sets on this season.   I’m down on the river having dinner watching the geese fly by forming that all too familiar vee.  Also today I noticed several trees beginning to turn shades of red and gold.

Funny how it happens just like that.

Gary posted some beautiful photos of the babies, and wow, their energy is so strong! The last few months seeing the photos of Carleigh, of how healthy she looked, how at peace she looked, well I felt the energy of these two even then. Their life force is incredible

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Finishing up my dinner at the Wild Rice a warm breeze washes over me as the train sounds its lonely refrain.  A tree on the Quay is alight with white Christmas lights that have remained all year long.  The world’s largest tin soldier stands a short distance from me gazing over the Fraser River as it always does.

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There is a piano that is set up…they’ve put several around the lower mainland for people to play randomly and someone is currently playing a familiar tune. A woman who was dining here with her family is cradling her new born grandchild likely a month or two old.

Tug boats glide quietly up the river with log boons in tow as dusk grows ever darker and lights begin to blink on. Earlier today I put together photographs on a flash drive for my girlfriend of her son’s wedding. I also downloaded some photos from our trip to New York back in 2011.

And as I flipped through those images today, which I’ve not viewed for some time, the thrill of being there was once again experienced.

I had just completed the Coho Run, a 14 KM race, and a week later I jetted off to New York arriving just a week after the tenth anniversary of 9/11. I fell in love with the city.  It had as much energy as I did.  It was old and crusty, young and vibrant as well as stately and mature.

New York contradicts itself on many levels and makes no apology for it. It has attitude and then some.

I then headed into town to take my friend to lunch for her birthday which was in fact on the 4th of September.   I have four friends that celebrate a birthday in September. They are born under the sign of Virgo as are the twins that came this day.

And these two lads have made their debut during the Year of the Horse, one of the noblest of creatures on this planet.

I’m not going to check the news reels to see who was killing who. I’m not going to talk about the problems in this world that occurred on this day.  Problems have and will likely always exist in this world.

What I will say, is that Gary and Carleigh set up a Facebook page to keep all of us informed of the imminent birth of these two guys.

Their mother looked positively radiant and their father couldn’t wipe the smile from his face. Their joy was palpable, and the energy was a total rush.

Birth can be painful, as well I remember my own experience. Yet, when that first glimpse of the child that has grown within is experienced, simple awe and humility often follow.

Another promise has come into this world; another piece to an unending puzzle.

Welcome to the human race, boys!

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Love will be the energy that guides you.  Curiosity will propel you and a world awaits for you to experience it.  Know that there will be times when you will know sadness and you will hurt.  These experiences will make you stronger and appreciate joy and happiness that much more. You’ll feel a range of emotions during your lifetime but know that the love of your family really is there.

You are so fortunate in this regard.  I can not think of two more fitting parents than the couple you were blessed with.

My prayer for you is that life will flow in abundance through you. May you experience the true fabric of life and understand its contents.

Know that what you choose to weave into this fabric is yours for the making. Your brother and sisters’ will give you guidance.  Listen to their wisdom. Our time here is brief.  Enjoy it.

And as the dark of night falls may you never tire of the beauty that each day will afford you.

The stars that can shine through do. Here in New Westminster and the lower mainland in general, we emit so much artificial light that we obliterate the billions of stars that carpet the sky.

I hope you will experience this. That you’ll go camping and lay side by side enamored by the view with your breath taken away by the skies above you.  They are more alive than you can ever imagine!

Know that you were born on a day when those closest to you were so excited at your coming. All was very well on this day of your birth.

It has been a beautiful day, a calming day, a reflective day. One that I have appreciated with close friends.

I sat down at English Bay looking out over the ocean, watching the seagulls misbehave while chatting with my friend. This is a magical place for me.  Find those places that speak to you and hold them close to your heart.  They’ll be your old familiars, the things that never change.

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As I paid my bill the server asked about my writing. I told him I was trying to capture a moment in time for the two that entered this world today; that I wanted to give them that little slice of history that would otherwise not be recorded.

Suddenly I was overcome by the shear beauty of the event and tears pushed to the fore.  I took my leave thinking of the miracle of life.

And on that note let me just say, welcome.

 

 

Affirmation


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This has been an eventful week at the new job. There was a degree of discord from one of the worker’s there who will be leaving as a result of me assuming all responsibilities.

I am a ‘lovely woman’ whom she see’s herself ‘divorcing’.

I was and am very sympathetic  to her sensibilities.  Still, this is business.  Nothing more.  She can work her ass off trying to prove whatever it is she is caught up in, but I know all too well the bosses’ really have no interest in her personal life.  You need to produce.  Simple as that.

That acceptance as made me very good at my job.  And yes, it has taken awhile to learn these lessons.  Not that I’m  a slow learner…just a very stubborn one at times.:

I hope that the vision I am developing for this company comes to fruition.  I’m all business.  This isn’t about what the company can and should do for me.

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I am the worker bee you see.  This is about saying ‘Lets try doing this and that.  We’ll be more efficient.  More productive.  Better overhead results in higher profits.’

It is quite simply, business.

I’ve learned this the hard way.  You must separate to some degree your personal self with your business self.

Because of my journey I actually have a deeper insight into this.

I left work and arriving home tucked my pages and computer into my backpack.  I decided to head off for dinner and do some editing.

Boston Pizza won the decision for where I would dine.

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As I entered the establishment I looked past the host who was intent on seating me.  My eyes were now trained on an old friend.  I was half engaged with the gentleman who wanted to seat me and the friend whom was in my sight.

Brian.

I’d traversed through the hallowed halls of school from Grade 1 to Grade 11 with him.  We’d put together the 30 year reunion together.  He lives with is wife just a meer block from my domain.

I waved my hand and he looked up then rose to greet and folded me in his arms.

Brian had a stroke three weeks ago. This shocked me.

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He smiled rather sardonically and sadly  stating ‘Aging sucks.’

I laughed and agreed. I told him of my issues.  Discussed the emotional head games these things play out.  Then informed him to commit to a few hours out with Marie and I.

The three of us put together the 30 year reunion.  What I can I tell you is that year of  piecing together out past cemented me to so many aspects of who I used to be.

And I needed that.

So if I see a friend who has suffered, know this.  All the positive energy I have is being directed to your well being.

There are people who so quietly touch your life.  Brian I would say is one of those people.

Yet, there is a profundity to it.

Phone Pics July 2014 069He matters. He has all the school pictures of us from Grade 1 to Grade 11. He sees just me, not the latest invention of who I thought I should be.  Brian has gone through his own hell.  And I guess that’s what we need to embrace and understand about our journey during this life.

Despite our successes and losses…at the end of day…we are all simply human.

And I will always try to offer the most sincere and honest response to someone’s situation.

To those I hold dear…know that it is doubled.

And if you cannot articulate what burdens you… I understand this so deeply. I will not speak for you.  Your voice, your emotions, your feelings are necessary.  All I can do is hopefully give them a face.  Give them voice. Give them life.

Long ago I accepted that my roll in this world is souly dependent upon the organic thought provided to me by simply living.

It sounds simplistic…but really its not.

I commit to this world to assist in bringing an honest and forgiving truth to how we live our lives.

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Fashionably Uncomfortable!


I attended a wedding last weekend.  Twelve hours passed from attending the ceremony until I gave into exhaustion and left the reception at approximately 11:45 PM.

I took some 350 photographs, dined on a fabulous feast and danced ’cause my feet just couldn’t stay still and thoroughly enjoyed the company of all!

In all honesty, I could have carried on for a few more hours but I happened to be wearing support hose.

I am of the mind now that whomever invented pantyhose had a serious hate on for women.  That was my feeling when I was dressing for the event and in the eleventh hour questioned my attire when a hot flash ensued.

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The deception of the advertising would have you think the jiggly bits will magically disappear!

Pantyhose and perspiration do not mix.

It was a formal affair so fashionably I had to suck it up and keep my jiggly bits restrained.

The final two block walk up the hill to my home on Saturday evening had me uttering a number of profanities regarding said support hose.  Within seconds of entering the house I was tearing the damn things from my person.

Then exhausted I crawled into bed and let sleep claim me.

On Sunday as I perused the photographs I thought of the friendships that have blessed my life.  Many of my close friends I have known for some 25 years if not more.

It was my friend’s son that married and I’ve known the family for about 26 years now or thereabouts.

Cathy and I have shared laughter and heartache over the years. I must say, it was those moments of heartache when the friendship was truly cemented.  The laughter and joy we’ve experienced is the pleasure derived from investing in a friendship.

As I looked through the photos I’d taken, many things moved through me. I’d watched this young man grow from child to man.  I smiled as the memory of Cathy and I loading up the van for a run to the dump with goods that were no longer of use.  A very tattered and torn Curious George was in amongst the ruins to be discarded that day.

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The boy’s devastation was more than apparent as he tried desperately to rescue this soiled and spent thing. A tantrum of epic proportions ensued and as we drove away he ran after the van sobbing ‘George! George! I want George!’

It did have a very comedic undertone to it. His mother truly tried to reason with him. Stubbornly he wouldn’t have it. I felt sad for him in that moment. We were taking a beloved friend, albeit inanimate, from the boy and I understood that.

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He grew into a teenage boy with a gleeful penchant for trouble. Even this delinquent charm of his had an innocent honesty to it. He was quite proud of the mischief he managed to create so much so that often he would boast about it.

In his graduation year he and his buds took some spray cans to the school and wrote several derogatory comments on the exterior. Marco signed his name to his remarks and yes, he got busted.

And while his friends made comments of the like in memory of these happenings and their wayward ways during the reception, all noted Marco had taken the energy and become something of an entrepreneur.

It was a pleasure to watch him take his vows with his longtime girlfriend who seemingly keeps him so balanced.

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And I again silently swore at having committed myself to wearing those damnable support hose.

The years have gone by in a pinch.  Where we once exercised like a banshees to keep the boobs, ass and tummy tight…now we look for a piece of elastic that will tuck everything into place.

I am back in the gym. I’ve got quite a bit of weight to take off. The cancer debacle has left me looking rather discombobulated.  I do know that even once I do take off the weight the boobs and ass are still going to be droopy. And I’m fine with that.

I read somewhere that there are lotions that you can apply that will tighten everything up for a special event. I think one was a fabricated snake venom that, like Botox, will freeze everything?

Oye!

I will stay with being fashionably uncomfortable and tucking myself into support hose and the like when the event and need requires the effort.

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the pleasure of each day and the friends I share them with.

Peace.

 

 

What Are Your Measurements?


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July is now August. How did that happen?
Well, we humans like to measure things, don’t we?
We measure time, success, space, circumference, failure, our waistline…
And then we record it all, of course, for good measure.
After all we must navigate through the laws of averages, now mustn’t we?
I was at a poetry reading last evening. One poem that keeps giving me pause to consider was called ‘Indian Time.’
It referred to the measure of time as being slower in the context of how it was perceived by our aboriginal folk.

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I loved the whimsy of the poem and the earthy texture to it.
Yes, I was measuring the words and how they cradled me.
Some were presented like a lullaby that soothed, while others triggered a restless energy that provoked, and other still left me wondering ‘What if?”
I’ve much to learn in the vocal delivery of these things I set to paper.
We were given just three minutes, a small measure of time to be sure, in which to relay our prose.
I am very new to this.
Two poems I opted to deliver. Every other person on open mic presented just one.
In my mind I had two short poems and I could do it!
And on the second poem I felt the pressure begin to build. The flush of nervous energy began to take hold and I felt a slight tremble begin.
With my last word spoken I timed out at 3:14.
I recognized my own folly in that moment though.
Then I though back to the ‘Indian Time’ poem.
I am still trying, at a frenetic pace, to fill time, to make the most of what I’ve been afforded.

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I have just finished working twelve hours. I was at the new job then hopped over to the engineer’s office.
It would seem I am trying to catch-up these days.
And I was hungry. Decidedly I popped into a local eatery as I considered it just a little too late to be cooking.
And as always I have a pen and page at the ready to spill any erstwhile thoughts.
I like to be engaged in every sense. What I am attempting now is to have some ‘remote’ time, some ‘me’ time, some ‘down’ time.
Balance?
Yet, as we decided, oh, since the dawn of time, there are but twenty-four hours in a each day. This really doesn’t change and is based upon a fraction of how long it takes our beautiful world to revolve around the Sun, which of course necessitates our understanding of light and dark, of summer and winter and all points in between.
Time doesn’t speed up, nor does it slow down.
We have this affliction, I know I do, in that I am in some odd kind of race with time. And as my life span enters what is perceived as being the latter portion of the average that has been so carefully calculated of how long I should expect to be here, now an urgency permeates all that I do and absorb.

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Why?
I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. I do believe I need to learn how to manage my impulses a little bit better.
I should not be so intent on filling every moment with what, I’m too sure.
This explosion and eruption of self, this awareness and connection to all that surrounds and encompasses me and the desire, so strong, to emanate all that I feel, think and imagine to the world that envelopes me.
And just as I spilt the words, with nervous energy threatening to consume me, at the poetry reading last night, so do I try to experience all that this life has to offer and to give back.
I am, I know, but a speck in this universe. An energy form so small that I could think I’m insignificant. But each and every particle that makes up this spectrum we call space and time matters in some form.
And I guess in this odd little head of mine, it is our choices that it all comes down to.
Everything has an opposite as we all know…and then there is a rainbow of possibilities between these choices.
And maybe it is trying to find that balance, if it does indeed exist.
Perhaps it is the rapture that we feel at certain times in our life experience. Those makers that make us beg for more, that make us measure our wants, our needs and our desires, then try to capture and immortalize them.
And here we are, small particles in this universe that continually collide and expand, we experience friction. And such a terrible darkness runs through all of humanity, it always has.

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For as creative as we are in love, we are equally so in hate.
Now you need to make a choice. Which will you surrender to?
Will you die for love or live to hate?
And it is the play of words, their insistence upon my lips that I always challenge and find myself searching…exploring.
I just want to remain open and learn…absorb.
A new job has filled me with excitement. The intellect has once again been engaged and tickled. Perhaps this time it will be nurtured to its fullest potential.
And if you measure a person’s intellect by the credentials bestowed, perhaps this is a re-think.

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Knowledge is free.
While we’ve been sold the idea of a formal education as being the door to all that is, know that it surrounds you always.
Yours for the taking.
And so I surrender to my love of words and the visual arts. May my curiosity and love continue to grow and expand.
Time is never wasted, just the perception of it.
Peace.

50 Shades of….Orange?


 

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Secret Garden

The marathon painting session left me rather delirious.  Each coat of burnt orange applied to the chocolate wall seemed to simply melt into it.  So began the test of wills.  I would defeat this wall!  Conquer it completely.  It would become my firewall.

The colour, when first applied, appeared to be pumpkin.

Fear ran through me.  What if I’d made a mistake with my choice of colour?  What if, upon completion, it looked so horrible that I ran screaming from the room tearing the newly grown hair from my head?

I smiled at the dramatic scenario’s I was entertaining as I pondered all the written works that would be produced from my orange room.

I like tasks such as painting a room. For me there is always a reason for the transformation and the colour of choice that reaches out to me.  I also like that it’s my energy that is going into the transformation.

Mind you some seven hours to paint one room had the imagination becoming quite derelict.  I stopped for yet another bathroom break near the end of this lunacy.  Food had been consumed sporadically.  Yogurt, apple, grapes, crackers….

Just the basic sustenance.

Local pics July 2014 023My secret garden

A great deal of water had been consumed. On this hot summer day the temperature rose to about 30 degree Celsius.  Luckily, I face north and have the benefit of my secret garden that provides major cooling to my unit.  Still, the sight that greeted me in the bathroom mirror made me chuckle.

I was a complete puddle covered in fifty shades of orange. It was on my face, in my hair, paint was everywhere.

And oh, the decadent thoughts that sprang to mind that would in fact parody the unmentionable ‘grey’ version of said title.

Oh my!

This is not an X-rated blog though.  So I will keep it clean.

Still, the thought that sprang to mind was of our heroine showing up not to interview the mysterious Mr. Grey but paint his rooms….orange.

“What shade of orange do you prefer, Mr. Grey?” she asks him provocatively.

He smiles seductively at her. “I like it burnt, baby.  I like it so hot, it scorches.”

Oh my!

She pulls out a swatch or two and slaps them dramatically on the wall.  (This action was of course dictated by her inner Goddess).

“Are these hot enough for you, Mr. Grey?” she inquires enticingly.

He zeros in on a shade…it’s called Cinnamon Spice.

“I used to know a stripper by that name.” he reminisces fondly.  “Come, I’ll show you the room to be painted.”

Our heroine follows him down the hall and he leads her into a chamber designed for sexual play.

Glancing about she takes note of the additional work it will require to remove all the pullies, chains and the like from the walls

“I’ll have to charge you double, if not more, Mr. Grey.”  she advises him.

“I’m a rich man.  I’ll draw up the contract and do take as much time as you need.” he assures her.

They smile at one another.

Oh my!

Yes, I made the mistake a couple of years ago in reading this book.  It became quite a contentious issue with my writing group.  We would find ourselves yelling at each other over how poorly it was written.  why we yelled at each other, we don’t know. Finally we banished it from all future conversations.

If we did refer to it  at all, it was ‘the book that we were not supposed to talk about’.

So this is the first bit of written work produced from the orange room.  I am having giggle or two.

Interestingly enough I found a pamphlet tucked away yesterday regarding colour energy.

Orange is the spleen chakra that connects us to our emotional self.  It inspires happiness, confidence and resourcefulness.  The energy infused brings joy to the work day and strengthens our appreciation for life.  The colour orange also helps us remove our inhibitions.

Oh My!

All parody and playfulness aside, I love the result.

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Equine publishing in it’s infancy

Interestingly enough I did my bedroom in a sage green.  Green is the heart chakra and this relax muscles, nerves and thoughts.  Local pics July 2014 046Little Grass Horses

As I look around this room now I am envisioning some of the photographs that I’ve taken that I plan to mount.  I’ve a few visuals I still need to find but this is now the home of Equine Publishing.

The dream is transforming into life.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

 

The Firewall…Creating a Creative Space


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This is a selfie…oh, I know…I just booed about this…but I’d just gone for an interview that resulted in a new job!

I am starting my own company as you may well know. Equine Publishing is very close to becoming operational.  All the furnishings are in place.  Most of the legalities are taken care of.  I am getting close.  Exciting!

What has been bothering me lately is the colour of the room.  I’ve never really liked it.  In fact, when I purchased the place, both bedrooms were done in chocolate and tan.  The colours made the rooms cavernous and rather blah as far as I was concerned.

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My home office at about 10:00 AM today.

I painted my bedroom a lovely sage green. It is a restful colour, a soothing colour.  My daughter, however,  liked the colour of the room so I left it.

Now that she’s moved out and I ‘ve transformed it into my office, a space that I want to be creative in, the colour had to change.  I pondered my choices.

The idea of a burnt orange, a deep autumn colour held a great deal of appeal.  So it was off to explore and I brought home swatches and taped them to the wall.

I wanted vibrant.  I wanted heat.

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The home office at 10:00 PM this evening

At first I considered doing the entire room in the chosen colour  Lunch with the girls on Sunday convinced me otherwise.  It would be too much for a space that wasn’t very big.  So I would keep the feature wall, that was currently chocolate and paint it Caribbean Spice ( a deep orange). The other three walls would be painted Salmonberry which has a peachy tinge to it.

I’ve never had an orange room before.

Last night I hit the hardware store and got them to concoct my colour schemes.  I felt that curl of excitement race through me.  I love to paint a room for a particular purpose.

Trust me when I tell you some of my choices in years past have become legendary and not for all the right reasons either.  Still they are remembered by friends fondly and sarcastically.  And you know, I’m fine with that.  If there is one thing I’ve always done it’s take chances with room colours.

Approximately twenty years ago I had been living in the basement suite of a house and had the opportunity to move upstairs.

The walls were a dull beige in colour, the kitchen had brown tiles and the rest of the house had glorious hardwood!

It was an old house built back in the 1930’s.  One of the owners had developed the attic into a loft.

I had been in a year long depression around that time and I was emerging from it.

I found the rooms drab and depressing so I asked the landlord if I could paint the place.  Affirmative and I could submit the cost of the paint and they would reimburse me.

The attic, which was my daughter’s bedroom and space, was done in a dusty rose.

My bedroom and the spare bedroom were done in a light lavender.  The kitchen was done in white and baby blue.  The floor tiles replaced with white and nave tiles and the living room was done in white and pink.

And the bathroom…well, it has become something of a legend.

This I did in florescent lime green.

Even with the lights off I swear it glowed in the dark.  Some will tell you they needed sunglasses on to enter.  Some will say it burnt out their retinas.  Of course, they are being a little mellow dramatic.  Still, I do admit that it was extraordinarily bright.

I like vibrant colours though, particularly in living spaces.  A bedroom for sure needs to be done in muted and calming colours.  I do like warmth in my choices though.

Today was an adventure in a new product I’d never tried before.  I opted to try the combination of paint and primer for the chocolate wall that I was transforming into a deep, burnt orange.  I figured I could save myself some time.

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At 10:20 AM my saga began.  At 7:30 PM it had more or less ended.  I still have a bit of trim to do.

The chocolate wall required six coats and close to a gallon of paint.  The other three walls in Salmonberry required two coats of paint with a bit left over for trim.

The time frame noted above includes prep and clean up.

My body is stupidly tired and stiff.  I’ve a feeling that waking on the morrow might well be a painful experience.

Ahhhh! What we do for our art!

Still, its important if this is to be the space where I am to create masterfully crafted stories.

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I need the insanity of colour. I need the rich heat.  I need to feel like the walls will burn me if touched.

And I would love to hear from my fellow wordsmiths what colours inspire them.

As stated I’ve never had an orange room before.  After six coats of paint I’m delighted with my choice of colour on the feature wall.

A hot shower, pain relief spray and some Tylenol will hopefully make waking tomorrow tolerable.

It has never taken me this long to paint one room before.

And this was an important choice as noted.

And please I would love to know what colour schemes inspire and entice you.  Let me know. Cheers!

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