Life in progress


JusJoJan 27 – How Parenting is Like the Weather

Long ago I read a story–it’s probably a famous one, but I’ll relate it here in brief–about how the sun and the wind entered into a competition to make a man take off his coat. The wind, of course, tried to blow it off, but the harder the wind blew, the tighter the man held his coat around him. The wind eventually gave up and then the sun came out. The man, becoming hot, took off his coat. The moral of the story is that sometimes coaxing is better than trying to force someone to do something.

The story came to mind today, as it often does on a bitterly windy day, when I try to bury myself in my scarf. For some reason the thought led to parenting.

My motto has long been, “Pick your battles.” If it’s not that important, meaning no one is going to get seriously injured or be more than ten minutes late for something, I tend to either let the issue go or do my best to be persuasive rather than forceful. The practice has improved my powers of persuasion to the point that I’m getting pretty good at it. Failing that, I’ve learned to be patient. To take a deep breath and remind myself that it’s not the end of the world if Alex completely empties a drawer of perfectly folded clothes to do it again himself, or insists on cleaning his own feeding tube when I know damned well he’s going to ask for the help he at first refuses because it can’t reach where it has to hang.

But I’m only human. There are times when I feel I must stuff him in the car against his will, or restrain him to keep him from falling out his second storey bedroom window. Part of these necessities come down to the fact that I’m not completely fluent in sign language – part of it comes from his own behavioural issues and the fact that he’s mentally well below his age level but physically entering puberty. This puts him in the range of adolescence mixed with the terrible twos.

Still. It’s better to be sunny than windy.

JJJ 2015

Just Jot It January is nearly over – link your post today and get your participant’s badge at the end of the month!


10 Random things that pissed me off today

1. People who argue on the internet, just because they can.

2. Bloggers who never ever reply to their comments, especially when they’ve written something controversial.

3. Looking out the window at a downpour when the “Weather Network” says it’s sunny outside. Don’t you people have a window of your own?!?

4. Over-sensitive people who love going out to socialize but who feel offended when strangers look at them.

5. Dog poo on the sidewalk.

6. My weeds. Not only are they choking my grass, but they keep growing, damnit!

7. My Sims Agents.

8. The pull of Camp Nano. It’s calling me, enticing me like a long lost lover…

9. Bacterial infections that live in hospitals – how do you weigh the risk vs. the benefit of going there?

10. When email doesn’t work! Please let me know if you requested my story the other day and didn’t get it – you should have.

What pissed you off today? And what made you smile? I could use one of those. 😉


If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the novel

As the temperature and the humidity rise, and the air gets harder to breathe, I find myself wanting to stay inside more. It’s like winter, only backwards – I’m looking for the ice inside and avoiding the furnace outside.

Therefore, I’ve been sitting on my ever-spreading derriere for the past couple of days trying to organize my writing. I’ve done some editing, and I’ve started jotting down notes for my next novel. (Yay!) I’ve had a couple of glowing reviews already for my A – Z novelette (which I still need a title for) and I’ve begun to look into the process of self-publishing. …and I have no idea where to start.

I have a couple of questions for anyone out there who has gone before me in this regard.

1. Do you have an ISBN for every piece of work you’ve self-published? If so, publish first or ISBN first?

2. Did you have to apply for rights in every country in which you sell?

I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg – actually an iceberg sounds nice right about now. Feel free to shoot me now for all the complaining I did in the winter. I deserve it, I know.

Tell me, how hot is it where you are? Make me feel grateful.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Reading

This post isn’t about what I thought to write about today, but rather, something that has come up. It’s about reading, yes. But then again it’s about not reading. Not being able to read.

Every once in a while my vision goes wonky. It happened today and I’ve been having a hard time seeing my screen. Last night before bed I was squinting at my book. Today I’m seeing double – one image is above and to the right of the actual image. It’s very hard on the eyes.

I don’t know what I’d do if I couldn’t see to write, or to read. I know I wrote about losing one of my senses before (can’t think of the title of the post right now, but it was about losing either your sight or your hearing- which would you choose if you had to?) and at the time I said I didn’t know. Then again, I was sitting at the table with John this morning and he could hear a song playing in the other room and was able to name it – I couldn’t even hear a sound, let alone a recognizable song. So I suppose I’m losing both. I may not get to choose.

The things we take for granted – our senses if we were born with them being the most obvious. I sit here at the kitchen table looking out at the deck I plan to stain this summer and I wonder if I’ll always be able to see it. I wonder if we forget what colour is like when we go blind, or if we just assign another sense to it. I can imagine green would be warm to me, even though it’s not considered a warm colour (I don’t think). It represents summer, after all.

There are men outside chopping up the tree that fell in December. I can see them through the slats of the fence. It’s cold out today, so I imagine their work is comfortable.

Maybe I’ll stain the deck bright red. There goes a chainsaw – there goes my thought process.

I’m posting this without reading. I hope it makes sense.

This post is part of SoCS:


A Tuna Built a Nest Under My Front Steps!

It’s true! A tuna has taken up residence under my front steps. What’s worse, there may be more than one!

Okay, by now you’re probably asking yourself what the hell I’m talking about. Let me tell you a story.

One fine evening when my eldest son was about a year old, my ex and I decided to go for a walk around the block, baby in carriage. It was spring, just like it is now, and the lilacs were blooming their fragrant heads off. The bumble bees were in heaven, and there were plenty of them. Their low pitched drones could be heard as they busily buzzed from blossom to blossom.

In the thick of it all, my ex decided that it might be the best idea for me to push the carriage. When I inquired why, he explained.

Now there are two things you need to know about my ex at this point. One, is that he is French. Quebecois. And two, that he is deathly afraid of bees.

His explanation for not wanting to push the carriage containing our child was as follows:

Because if I see a taon, I’m going to run.

Taon is the French word for horsefly, deer fly… but he meant bumble bee.

What I heard was thon, which is French for tuna.

Many minutes passed before I was able to get up off the ground from laughing so hard. When I could finally speak, with tears running down my face, I told him he could push the carriage because it didn’t matter – if I saw a tuna, I was going to run as well.

So there you have it. I have a tuna living under my steps. I won’t be telling my ex though – I won’t see him again until winter if I do.


My ex’s vision of a tuna



I’m a generally cheerful person. I try not to let things get me down. No, the situation in which I live is not ideal, but it’s really as good as it’s ever going to get. I have enough people and things in my life to make me content. I do my best for those I love, and though I could probably use a little more time off, I manage quite well, given what I have.

Yet I’ve found myself complaining a lot of late. If I was to stand back and have a frank word with myself, I’d say, “If you don’t like the way things are, change them.” So that’s what I’m going to do.

Here’s a photo of three poppies.


I think the one on the right is playing peek-a-boo.

What I really need is a vacation away from here. I want to get away – to get out of my miniscule world and experience something different. Not exotically different, necessarily, just off the block, out of town, to see new faces and unfamiliar places.

I want to break free, damnit! Thank goodness the Queen concert is coming up.



Not that I’m complaining at all, and I know I can just quit, but I feel like my blog has been filched by the A-Z Challenge. Hijacked. Pinched. Misappropriated by my need to take on the extra work of an alphabetical prompt: shanghaied by my inability to just say “no.”

But I’m having fun!

I just wonder what I’m going to do with myself when it’s all over.

Speaking of being stolen, I wonder what tomorrow’s promised snow is going to do to the flowers in my front bed.


It’s already ruined so much this year: my eaves troughs, the neighbour’s tree and fence, my little solar lamp…

Life is short. Nature, in every form, both gives and takes.