Saturday, April 30, 2011

Z is for Zeit Zusammen

Note: I'm throwing my hat into the A-Z Blogging challenge sponsored by Tossing it out! What you will be reading via the letters A-Z will give you a glimpse into my world and what I do when I'm not here - blogging.

The shadows outside the window moved in a blur; she could make out the countryside yet nothing was clearly defined.
The man sitting next to her was asleep, the steady rhythm of his breath was hypnotic.
She smiled, he was a nice older man en route to his son’s wedding. His wife had passed away several years earlier, he had told her, and he no longer cared for long, lonely car trips. 
Besides, he liked the train. 
They had talked for hours until she could see his eyelids closing, his head had bobbed for a moment and then he was off - presumably to visit his wife in that place one goes to when leaving reality behind; the world of our dreams.
The train stopped, she knew it was time for him to disembark. He smiled and wished her a safe and happy journey.
Through the window, on the platform, she saw a tall, handsome young man embrace him with such devotion and gentleness that she felt her eyes well up. They walked away arm in arm, the younger carrying the luggage. 
Several steps were taken when they stopped - the old man turned and looked up at her window; seeing her he smiled and waved one last time. 
It had been a brief moment, this train ride, but it was now an imbedded memory - she had enjoyed their time together.
Ich genoss unsere Zeit zusammen.   

Translated:  I enjoyed our time together.   

I wish you a wonderful journey - ever onward, ever forward - always with happy thoughts and joy in your heart.

Did you enjoy our Zeit zusammen (time together)? next journey!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Y is for Yackety Yak

Note: I'm throwing my hat into the A-Z Blogging challenge sponsored by Tossing it out! What you will be reading via the letters A-Z will give you a glimpse into my world and what I do when I'm not here - blogging.

YOU, my dear readers and followers, may be surprised to know that, YES, I can add a video to my blog. 

YET...You may have wondered if I would spin a Yarn for You about Yesterday's Yearnings.

Not wishing to disappoint...enjoy this little glimpse into Years gone childhood of YesterYear.


Hard to believe...I have Yackety Yakked my way through Yet another letter without Yielding to stress. Yeah, right? 

And You...what do You like to Yak about?

Until Z....the end of a great ride!

X is for eXtremely eXhausted

Note: I'm throwing my hat into the A-Z Blogging challenge sponsored by Tossing it out! What you will be reading via the letters A-Z will give you a glimpse into my world and what I do when I'm not here - blogging.

Yes...I dictionaried "X". 
I could have said I googled "X" - but I didn’t - I used my Mac dictionary. 
And just so you know...I know that dictionaried isn’t a ‘real’ word. But it’s late!
No...there wasn’t anything eXciting under “X”.
It was quite eXacerbating!
I am not accustomed to being defeated by a letter of the alphabet! (I toyed with getting out my hammer but I wasn't sure what to hit)
I thought of Xeroxing some X’s. (as close as it gets to Xing the mark) 
Then taking a picture and sticking here.

Maybe eXperimenting with eXtras like “X” sounding words would eXcuse my lack of commitment to eXtracting the the true X-factor in this alphabet challenge.

I am usually up to the task of dealing with eXtreme situations such as these, but given the late hour I find myself eXtremely eXhausted and must eXit before I eXpire and that's no eXaggeration!

Do you have a favourite “X” word or do you find this eXtremely eXhausting too?

Until Y...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for White Wonder

Note: I'm throwing my hat into the A-Z Blogging challenge sponsored by Tossing it out! What you will be reading via the letters A-Z will give you a glimpse into my world and what I do when I'm not here - blogging.

She waited.
And wondered.
What would be written?
The words, would they be worth the wait?
Or was it a waste…
Today’s inspiration came as she sat pondering what wonders lie in the letter “W” and as she finished this morning moment of hers, the inspiration was within arms reach, just waiting to be used.
Toilet paper, the white wonder of the western world was worth writing about...yes it warranted the words.
As funny as this may seem I think most of us would easily agree this product is truly a wonder - in my world it’s white, but I do know that it comes in other colours and even with designs imbedded in the tissue.

Is your white wonder plain or fancy?

Until X…
FYI - Being knee deep in flippers and fins and all things mermaid my creative juices have been spent sitting and basting and sewing and stitching...a tail together. 
Hopefully my Mini Master will find the time to post some pics for you to see that I am not waning in this wonderful word challenge - just wanting in the time department.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V is for Virtuous Vice

Note: I'm throwing my hat into the A-Z Blogging challenge sponsored by Tossing it out! What you will be reading via the letters A-Z will give you a glimpse into my world and what I do when I'm not here - blogging.

Dictionary definition of: 
Virtuous - having or showing high moral standards
                (blameless, righteous, good, worthy)
Vice    -    immoral or wicked behaviour; a shortcoming 
                a weakness of character or behaviour; a bad habit
The question then begs…
Can one have a virtuous vice?
She was given permission to go to the drive-in by her mother, but just barely. Mama was fond of the boy so she had agreed.
Her father was away for the weekend otherwise the answer would have been an emphatic No! Papa did not like the boy.
The boy’s car was a classic oldie, big and solid, but very fast - as was the boy - or so Papa thought. 
"And,” said Papa, in his sternest voice, “that boy has evil thoughts and no girl of mine will be allowed to ride in that devil car of his!”
As the clock approached nine and the sun had almost disappeared the boy knocked on the door. 
Mama had insisted on meeting him in the house and giving him her “look” - Mama’s look said a lot and you only needed one look to understand she meant business.
The girl and boy left for the drive-in.
The only intersection out of town was busy that evening as every other young couple was heading for the drive-in too. 
The boy was driving at just the right speed...not too fast, and not too slow; he remembered Mama’s look and had understood its meaning.
But…the other driver was not so careful.
When the call came Mama started to cry; the doctor said her girl was fine, but sadly the boy had died.
The town came together to grieve and mourn his death. Pews overflowed as people settled into their seats; a hush fell over the place and the girl’s Papa began to speak.
“I owe this boy my eternal gratitude; because of his virtuous vice my daughter’s life was spared.”

Can a virtue also be a vice?
Authors note: 
This story is about a boy’s car which is considered his vice; it becomes virtuous in a father's eyes when he realizes the devil car had been used for good and saved his daughter's life in that terrible car accident.

Until W...

Monday, April 25, 2011

U is for Utterly Understandable

Note: I'm throwing my hat into the A-Z Blogging challenge sponsored by Tossing it out! 
What you will be reading via the letters A-Z will give you a glimpse into my world and what I do when I'm not here blogging.


The day started, like most, with wee dog needing to commune with Mother Nature whereby wee dog could leave a little token of appreciation for the Master of its Universe.

The very exclusive and highly sought after European coffee machine had been turned on and was heating up as Master was tending to wee dog’s morning ritual.

Master’s means of communicating, with the entire galaxy, had also been activated en route to wee dog’s communion with Mother Nature.

With morning communion now complete and wee dog comfortably curled up, Master, with a perfectly brewed coffee in hand, could now officially start the day.

There were many, some even insurmountable, tasks to be performed by Master to ready the dominion for the arrival of the ‘blessing’ of Master’s Universe - Mini Master.

Mini Master’s arrival was of such importance that all other activities must be suspended and delayed so as to allow time for Master to be completely organized for this truly rare and special occurrence.

There was one concern.

Would Followers of Master’s galactic communication understand that today’s message was shorter then usual due to utterly unintentional universal undulations, caused by the unexpected and ultimately unplanned arrival of Mini Master.

Master was sure it would be utterly understandable!

When you are confronted with the unexpected what do you do? 

Until V...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

T is for Terrible Twos

Note: I'm throwing my hat into the A-Z Blogging challenge sponsored by Tossing it out! What you will be reading via the letters A-Z will give you a glimpse into my world and what I do when I'm not here - blogging.

Let me set the stage, if you will... 

It’s a few weeks before Christmas, about three or four years ago.
I’m doing a little last minute shopping at a local drug store. I am there to take advantage of discounted Christmas cards.
Standing on my left is a woman, also looking at cards. Her little girl, about two, is rummaging around the lower shelves where large plastic candy canes, full of colourful gum balls, are in her line of vision and within her reach.
The ‘little darling’ starts grabbing and rattling these candy canes and then tosses them on the floor; she then proceeds to reach for other items, which are clearly not toys, and tosses them to the floor as well.
Her mother, the empty-headed irresponsible female on my left, does nothing. Really, she’s in la la land and is so focused on her box of discounted cards that she is unaware the fruit of her loins is being an irritation to me and everyone else in this particular aisle.
As my imagination runs rampant and I envision myself drop kicking her (this could be either mother or child) into next week, I look at the little girl, who is now quite out of control with her destruction of shelf one and shelf two, and I say, “Stop that right now! Don’t touch!” 
You need to know I said this loud and clear, in a low and deep tone; (none of this high pitched yelling for me) anyone within a one aisle radius would have heard - except the useless one. 
The child is so startled (because it’s probably the first time someone has talked to her in this “I mean business” tone of voice) she starts crying. See, she’s smart - she know her parental unit will cave to her little crying act - at two they already know if the parent is weak or not!
The mother (if I can even call her that because I've lost all faith in motherhood at this point) looks at me and says, “How dare you talk to my little girl like that. It’s obvious you don’t have children.”
Tsk, Tsk….wrong thing to say to moi!
I smile; then calmly and very quietly, but still in the same low, deep tone, say, “If my twenty year old daughter were with me today she would be the one giving you a reality check on what an irresponsible parent you are. And I would agree with her! You suck at parenting.”
Her whimpering little offspring finally caught my tone and stopped her Academy performance, whereby I added, “I feel sorry for your child, she deserves a better parent.”
Now, for the 411 (that means ‘info’) on me and parenting. I am not an expert on parenting, but then neither is anyone else.  And that is a fact, by the way.
I have, like many other humans, given birth to a child and that in and of itself does not an expert make! Shocking I know!
The surprise, to many, is how long of a process it is to turn out a relatively decent human, and then only if it’s done with intent. 
Intent means actually giving a damn about the raising and educating of one’s offspring, and not relying on the rest of humanity to pick up the slack because one is just too tired or can’t be bothered.  
The human brain is a blank slate at birth and needs to be instilled with compassion, kindness, respect, tolerance, positive attitude and most importantly manners.
These behaviours are instilled through example, instruction, and perseverance on the parent’s part. Dare I say this is where the failing lies - it seems very few have the time or the energy to parent with intent these days.

If you have ever watched a professional dog trainer you will note they talk in a clear, direct manner and with a tone that means business. No wimpy, whining, pleading, high pitched, endless nattering will be found in a professional dog trainer’s voice. Never!
Have you ever watched a mother in a grocery store when her toddler won’t listen - it’s pathetic. I will, on occasion, step in and with a commanding voice tell the child to, “Stop that and listen to your mother.” I sound like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator.
What cracks me up is that some parents will look at me and tell me to mind my own business. It’s then that I tell them it is my business, because they aren’t keeping that annoying little thing of theirs quiet in a public place. If they would do their job I wouldn’t have to step in and do it for them. I know, I know, one day someone’s going to go postal on me!
We know that dogs with bad behaviour are the product of irresponsible owners  - is it any different with children that exhibit bad behaviour? No!
I’m not advocating raising a young child as if it was a pet, but the premise is the same.
In the early, informative years children need strong parental guidance; they need boundaries and, surprisingly, they actually want perimeters in place so they can test them and learn what acceptable behaviour is.
Yet, so many parents think they will be depriving their toddler, in the throws of the terrible twos, of some great self-discovery or major life experience if they set boundaries and enforce them. 

Too bad...all kids ever want is the knowledge that their parents care enough to set boundaries - it let's them feel protected, even if they protest.
So...have you come across any children in their terrible twos lately?
Until U...

S is for Sunday Shopping

Note: I'm throwing my hat into the A-Z Blogging challenge sponsored by Tossing it out! What you will be reading via the letters A-Z will give you a glimpse into my world and what I do when I'm not here - blogging.

Today is Sunday.
To some in the world, it is also Easter Sunday. (Enjoy and Be Happy)
And to others, on this revolving little orb, it is just another day - without the Sun.
Some will share this day with loved ones, others will enjoy it in time spent alone. This day will be enjoyed in whatever fashion befits the occasion - holiday or rest, or for some as a day to catch up on a little shopping.
I came across an interesting document outlining “Sunday Closing and Weekly Rest Periods: Historical Evolution and Current Situation” as it effects Canadians.
A very interesting read - and if you are a Canadian take a peek then astonish your friends at your next dinner party with the inside scoop on how Sunday shopping came into being.
I grew up with Sunday being devoted to family and doing something together as a family. Not necessarily going to church - although as a wee tyke I remember my siblings and I would wander down to the end (the north end to be exact) of our block and go to Sunday School. (there was a church at the south end as well - I think the folks flipped a coin and the north won)
This going to church was to preoccupy ‘the kids’ while ma and pa had their weekly conjugal visit. (yes...even little kids know why they are being sent to church without their parents)
As the years went by and church was no longer a suitable babysitter (I’m calling it what it was) we could then all be found with our skis strapped on bee-bopping down the hill of a local mountain.
Or, when the snow was packed away for the warm months, we could be found in the garden - clipping, trimming, weeding and complaining.
All good quality family time, according to Dad!
When the gardening was no longer enough to occupy the energies of four active teenagers we finished the basement and made a rec room. (who didn’t have a rec room in the 60’s and 70’s for their wayward kids on the verge of Woodstock)
Ah, the glorious Sunday - a day of togetherness, for families and friends. 
I do vaguely remember when Sunday shopping started, and as we were then more or less adults, my father shook his head as we waved on our way out the front door.

As he acquiesced in our decision he blamed the changing of the times for the ruination of his family - and how this would never have happen ‘back home’ in the motherland. (a bit dramatic I think, considering it was the "divorce" that was the ruination of our family, let's not blame everything on Sunday shopping)
Off we went, motley crew that we were, and became part of a generation that lost something special on their road to adulthood - that one day when you knew Dad would be enjoying your company. (weeding, skiing, hiking or just hanging out in the garage putting an engine back together)
Since the enactment of our Charter of Rights in 1982 and the need to address ‘multicultural issues’ Sunday is now just another day - one of seven, in a week that knows no beginning and no end.

Do you remember what life was like before Sunday Shopping?

Until T...

Friday, April 22, 2011

R is for Running Realities

Note: I'm throwing my hat into the A-Z Blogging challenge sponsored by Tossing it out! What you will be reading via the letters A-Z will give you a glimpse into my world and what I do when I'm not here - blogging.

I’m a runner. 
What does it take to be a runner? 
Lace up some running shoes and go.
I’m not really sure if I buy into the concept that you have to 'achieve' a certain something before calling yourself a runner. 
I have taken running clinics. I think this is an important first step if you’ve never run more than to the 'bus stop’ or to the ‘corner store’. (which no one does anymore - we drive everywhere, remember)
Everyone can benefit from some instruction and advice when it comes to any activity, even running.
But who stamps us with the official ‘now you are a runner and can call yourself a runner’ seal of approval? (same goes for writing...who determines when you are ‘officially' a writer?)
I have never entered an ‘official’ race of any kind - not for organized causes nor for prestige or even to qualify for the Boston Marathon. 
Well, because I don’t want to. (also I have an issue with crowds - get that from Dad)
I run for me.
After I post this, I’m lacing up my running shoes and going for a nice five mile run. I run at about a nine to nine and a half minute mile - not slow and certainly not fast - just right for me.
My running realities are not about competing with you they are about competing with myself. I strive to win but it is only a true win if I can conquer my own weaknesses.
Am I a runner? Yes.
Who decided? I did. 
Is your reality (running or otherwise) determined by you? Or do you let others stamp you with their seal of approval?

Until S...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Q is for Quality Quickie

Note: I'm throwing my hat into the A-Z Blogging challenge sponsored by Tossing it out! What you will be reading via the letters A-Z will give you a glimpse into my world and what I do when I'm not here - blogging.

Yup...I had a feeling that would get your attention.
After going for a ‘run’ through “O” and taking a detour through “P” to take care of some awards I needed to hand out and to throw high fives to some very deserving blogsters, I’m back! 
Now that we’ve got that out of the way…are we feeling like having some fun!
Are you wondering where I’m going with this quickie...hmm?
If you’re a dude you’re thinking give it to me baby and if you’re a chickadee then you're thinking maybe I’m going to learn a little something special here at Pearson Report - the site of intrigue and mystery.
See how easy it is to fill a page with suspense…
On occasion I am required to do a service at work that must be done fast, with extreme efficiency and attention to quality. It must be done as quickly as possible to get a client in and out before their meter expires or their luxury cruise ship sets sail to greener harbours.
When you’ve been buffing and polishing hands and toes (faces too) for as long as I have you incorporate a system that is like a high performance turbo boosted limited edition car - like the one my friend Lola (the only person on this planet that I outright envy) drives.
Yes, I’m that limited edition precision human you encounter when you need a service done in record time; you didn’t plan your day well, and now the pressure is on me to set your world right and I say - bring it on, baby.
It’s my adrenaline rush, what I live for...well...that was until “the accident”…
So much has changed since “the accident” - now, it’s called breathe, relax, chill, pull back on that tall cool drink and realize you are now in “the Jenny zone” - a place where you let go of time, park your problems (or luxury cruise ship) at the front door and for the next few hours you are in a wee bit of paradise. 
My studio is now a “no rush” zone; I no longer pull out the stops and rev up my engine anymore - those days are long gone. 
Oh, I’m still accommodating and all - but no more speedy gonzalez - come prepared to be pampered, to feel the peace and tranquility and the quiet - a mini vacation in the middle of your day - that’s me - that’s my business - slowing you down.
But, this brings me to the unfortunate position I find myself in -  getting a little quality service, done quickly, just for me, out in the Big Bad World. It is near impossible. I am extremely intolerant with what I receive in the guise of quality - something I would refer to as mediocrity.
Then there’s the ‘quick’ part of this 'quality' package I’m about to receive - I don’t ask for anything to be done quickly now-a-days. That’s a sure-fire guarantee of getting a half-baked bun! (read it with a slight profane twist and you’ll get my drift) 

Quality and Quick no longer hang out together. In fact, they are now divorced and are still fighting over their kids - Unrealistic, Disastrous, Disappointing and their youngest - Atrocious. We've all met them - they run rampant and without restraint throughout our lives. 
I often wonder who sets the bar on quality these days…
I chose not to make it a question, I’m hoping you’ll figure it out on your own. 

Okay, here it comes, the answer!
 We do! (refer back to my “C” post for the 411) 
We allow mediocrity to disguise itself as something great, even grand, when in fact previous generations would be rolling over in their graves because of our complacency with the diminishment of our standards.
Can something be done quickly and have the same high quality it would have had had the time not been reduced? 

Short answer - Yes! One just needs to know what can safely be taken out of the equation to help reduce the time spent but not compromise the overall quality of the end product.
The one thing I have never done is compromised the integrity of my work because someone can’t set aside the right amount of time for a service. Trying to do a one hour service in thirty minutes is at best pushing it - but if all the frills are removed and the bare bones are done to perfection the task will be a success, albeit a quickie.
My motto, these last twenty-seven years, has been, “If it must be done quickly the quality cannot be compromised.” 
A quality quickie is about speed, efficiency and high standards - great when done right, a disaster when not. No ancestor of mine is rolling in their grave, just yet!
When you’re in a rush is the quality compromised because it’s a quickie?
Until R...