Good stories

When I went to college I had about 530 credits when I graduated. The reason was because I took so many different classes, such as the history of science fiction, physical anatomy, musical theater class, sailing, horseback riding, how to write the novel, plus a full load of courses within a double major of music and English!
Nobody was as curious as me. I was interested in everything and I had a keen hunger for knowledge!

One take away I got from my English class, from my celebrated professor, Prof.Terry Davis, was that one should write about what they know about. 

I tried writing a bad fictional account of a speakeasy in the Roaring Twenties, with hackneyed characters and I was rightfully criticized. 

Then I wrote a story about being teased by my sister, when I was growing up in Toronto taking the ferry to Centre Island. The professor gave me encouraging praise after reading my true account.

I also wrote a factual story about an elderly family member who didn’t want to have to pay for a plot, so he buried his deceased wife himself, in an undisclosed secluded spot, in the country .

I titled the story, A decent burial. 

The maxim is true, write about what you know.

I watched a travel show about the Orient Express last night. I found out why Agatha Christie was inspired to write the story, Murder on the Orient Express. It was because of the actual incident where a person was found murdered on the train while she was traveling from Paris to Istanbul on the Orient Express. She was one of those disgruntled passengers who was stranded on the train in the snow bank, and had to wait for days until the train had to be dug out to continue on to their destination.

Often the best writing is born from suffering, and also from real life experience!

Why work?

Teaching kids music is fun work!

The simple answer is, someone has to pay the bills!

Some people don’t like to work. They don’t understand that if they don’t work, someone else has to pay for them.
It seems, nowadays, we live in a society where people hate work.

Nevertheless, there are many benefits that come from even part-time work. If people get jobs, they can contribute to society in a positive manner and they get many benefits as well.

Other people prefer to be freeloaders, and have other family members or the employed work very hard to keep them in selfish comfort.

Everybody needs a job. Especially, if it contributes to self-sufficiency. When one person has to carry the load of financial responsibility for lazy people, it makes it very hard for that person. It’s pretty unfair, in my opinion. Especially when the worker bearing the brunt of all the hard work, begins to grow old, and feels the pain of long hours.

The maxim, those who do not want to work should not eat, is pretty harsh. Maybe it should just read, those who want to work, deserve to eat.

Find meaning in work by doing meaningful work

Two Furry Satellites

When I take the two dogs out on their big daily walk, it’s gives me a chance to think.
I had a lot of stress growing up and I also have ADHD. I don’t take any medications. Nope. I don’t use or abuse anything! 

Sometimes I try to distract myself by listening to podcasts while out walking. But that’s not a good idea for me. As much as I enjoy learning and being entertained, it’s important to allow myself some good thinking time. 

It’s always best when combined with movement, such as when I am walking my two dogs!

While I seem to walk away from home, it’s a way for me to come home. To myself. I get to think about things, and reason with myself. I get to plan new plans, and reflect on good times and bad. During my walk, I also count my blessings. 

I also take the time to celebrate the beauty of nature, and I like to take pictures with my smartphone along the way.

The two dogs also enjoy being out and about. They are good for me. I didn’t intend to inherit them, in fact I thought I would never own a dog or a cat again.

My mother’s two dogs came here from British Columbia. We brought them to our home here in Minnesota over 7 years ago. From the California of Canada, to the cold beastly winters of Minnesota, the dogs have been living large and enjoying life! 

Reading Julia Cameron’s book, The Artists Way in the nineties, she wrote how walking is physically, mentally, and emotionally therapeutic. I find that to be very true. 

I’m glad I happen to have my two dogs because I don’t think I would like to walk without them, alone, by myself.

I can still think my racing thoughts, and dream my grandiose dreams, whilst I walk along the streets of my community, with two canines surrounding me, like two furry satellites!

Unfriended? Here’s how to cope.

When friends leave, friends grieve.

So your feelings are hurt. Someone you cared about unfriended you on Facebook. You don’t know the reason why. You don’t use the F-word on your Facebook page, you don’t slam political parties, all you seem to love is food, pets and flowers.

It doesn’t help to go chasing after that person. I’ve tried it. Believe me, it doesn’t help.

Granted, I’ve read a lot of remedies for when people unfriend you, and some of them are pretty nasty. Apparently, I’m not the only sensitive person who doesn’t like being rejected.

However, I learned the hard way not to chase after your friend, who’s decided to stop being your friend on Facebook.

My Twitter account goes up and down like the weather, sometimes I have over 3065 followers on Twitter other times I only have 3000 or less.

I don’t worry much about my Twitter account for some reason. However, I do like my Facebook account. I take it more seriously, because a lot of those people, are actually people I know personally!

When friendships fluctuate on Facebook, it makes me a little more concerned.

Perhaps the feeling in the pit of my stomach will disappear shortly. Perhaps I can forget about being unfriended by certain individuals. At least I still have many of my long time friends, still as my friends, on Facebook.

Majority rules, right? Count your blessings and not your stressings.

Anyways, it makes me appreciate the friends that do remain on my side. It does hurt however, when people you like unfriend you.

It makes you grieve. But to be clear, it’s better to appreciate those that stick with you, then to go crazy after those who walk away.

Noticeable Improvements

Since my truck got vandelized I spent money to get it repaired.
Sadly, my Maui bumper sticker, my Radio is Heard Here bumper sticker, along with a few other cherished bumper stickers, I had to travel hither and yon for, have all been removed for the new paint job. 

I flew so far and so long to buy that Maui bumper sticker, another trip to the Aloha state awaits, in my mind. You know you have to have your Hawaii bumper sticker right?

All kidding aside, they did an awesome repair job on my truck.

The back of my truck makes it look like a brand new truck. Especially with the new Frontier sign on my Nissan. They got rid of the old one, and the new one makes the truck look a lot newer, at least from the rear. I still have dings, dents and rust here and there on other parts of my truck, but the rear looks amazing!

It’s amazing how just a replacement part can revitalize a thing. My truck has really nice comfortable seats, but the upholstery is starting to see wear and tear, and I’m contemplating either replacing the seats or else having the upholstery repaired. It’s nice when things look nice. Same goes for people.

There’s a girl I know who’s decided to embrace antiquity. In letting herself go, she looks ancient before her time . At least in my opinion. I have a problem with that. I want to stay as young and as vital and as inspiring to others, as long as I can.

Some people give into the grey hair, and the idea of looking like a granny, after a certain age. Give me the look of Raquel Welch or else even the look of Martha Stewart instead. 

No use looking decrepit in your middle fifties or middle seventies! As long as Medical Science allows, make yourself look good.

But, to each his own. For me, I want to live forever and stay forever young!

Actions Speak Louder than Words

Is it possible to live a simple and clean life in a world of cluttered consumerism?
I can’t look on any of my social media without seeing somebody trying to sell me something. I just saw something about a doggie bowl that is portable and pop-up. The fact of the matter is I have two dogs and when we go on long walks I stick a CorningWare soup bowl in a sack with a cold bottle of purified drinking water for us to share. Everytime I get a specialty item I generally wind up either losing it or misplacing it amongst all the clutter.

Years ago I used to sing with the Minnesota Chorale. I would perform at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis under the baton of famous visiting composers and conductors. 

However, we used to rehearse in St. Paul. I used to drive up there every Monday night to the College of Saint Catherine’s to rehearse. While I sang with the Minnesota chorale, I met the Chorale’s phonetician, a fellow choir member, composer and concert pianist. I had a chance to get up close and personal with him, and visit him in his apartment in a borough of Minneapolis.

His apartment was neat as a pin. He was a collector of underground comics and every comic was catalogued and neatly kept on sheleves. His sheet music was all in binders and catalogued.

His whole apartment spoke of efficiency and organisation. Nothing was extraneous. He did not even own a microwave oven. I was shocked and surprised to see somebody living solo display such organisation. All his clothes were neatly folded in the drawers, his furnishings were simple and sparse, yet comfortable.

He had a beautiful spinet piano against the wall and he had a computer to work on to translate the choral works phonetically. He was a computer scientist as well as a concert pianist and he grew up out east in upstate New York. He’d written a book on religious comic writer/artist Jack Chick based on the comics he collected. As a kid in Toronto, I would often open up a library book and find one of those little scary Jack Chick pamphlet comics, inserted as bookmarks, that would scare the tar out of you!

Nevertheless, Bob inspired me by his personal organisation and cleanliness. It’s a very rare thing to find somebody who is very tidy and clean with not a lot of stuff everywhere. I have the book, The Magic of tidying up, and today I found it buried in a bag under a pile of clutter. A lot of good that book did for me, and I also found it didn’t help any of my friends either.

They say actions speak louder than words. I was inspired by my friend and I have started to declutter, just by meditating on how clean he was.

I would rather a good role model, then a lot of mumbo-jumbo talk.

Not meant for city living

I grew up in Toronto, Canada. I was raised in the downtown area and for the first 11 years of my life, I was very happy. When I got to my teenage years, however, I had trouble going to sleep at night, and worse trouble waking up in the morning. I dropped out of high school at age 14, and I couldn’t handle the stress of big city life. Especially, the big school. 

I had severe mental depression which lasted until about age 19. 

Later on, after I moved to Minnesota I really suffered a lot of culture shock. I made the stupid mistake of marrying too young. The decision was largely based on wanting to get out of the big city, and away from home.
At the time, little did I know, I was jumping from the frying pan into the fire! 

I never knew there were so many petty minds that would sabotage all my dreams. 

Because I lacked clarity, a cheer team, a solid financial foundation, and practical wisdom, I failed on many counts.

Needless to say, the depression returned, in spades. I was led to becoming self-destructive. I was doing crazy things, in a foolish cry for attention!

When I look back at the choices I made, I observe the roller coaster pattern of my life and I could not have it any other way. It all had to do with both my genetics and my environment.

I encountered good and evil people in my life. The good people were not all good and the bad people were not all bad. 

Living here today in small-town America, I rejoice.

I reflect on those city days, the overstimulation, the envy, the greed, the sadness, and my mind’s obsession with the self. 

I cannot say I am entirely free of stress, but living out here has lessened my stress immensely. 

When I’m out in the country, looking at the vast acreage with admiration and awe, I feel very much like a cowgirl on the range. 

There is something so satisfying in spacious places. Something that cannot be found in the cement blocks of the downtown area where I grew up.

As the song goes,

“Give me land, lots of land, under Starry skies above, Don’t Fence Me In.”