Thanks For Giving!

Believe it or not, I am not the best communicator, especially with real-life actual non-cyber emotional stuff. And this past weekend was supposed to be filled with giving thanks for all those amazing life amplifying things was no exception. But as everyone knows, holidays aren’t the most relaxing time and making a meal for 8 isn’t exactly stress-free. But it is a proven fact that by expressing gratitude, we all feel better. So, I thought what the heck, I’d give it a try.

This weekend, Hubby had to bring home the bacon. So, while I was eating turkey, stuffing and pumpkin everything he was working in the big city. I on the other hand escaped with my sweetest Puppa in tow, and headed down the highway, hoping for cozy comfort and a little slice of peace and quiet. Now, you should know that my folks have 2 dogs of their own: Reba the Big Lady and Oliver the Lil’Fella. Both Basset hounds, both filled to the gills with personality and both poo-bum stinkers through and through. So, just by adding my teeny Bean, I knew I could wave bye-bye to my peace and quiet. I walked them and snuggled them and petted them and kissed them. And honestly, there’s nothin better than wrapping yourself up in a pile of sleeping puppies; their snores vibrating through the springs of the sofa for extra added relaxation. Ahh, thank you doggies.

Well, that was the dogs taken care of, now on to my human folks. In an effort to be more giving, I volunteered to manicure my Papa B and Momma, massaging their hands and using one of my various talents to show them I care, cuz I’m just too darn tough to say it. It was my hope that I could also de-hair my brother, but he told me if I brought those Roddamn tweezers anywhere near him, I could stick’em, well, you get the picture. So, we talked and laughed and ate together- as adults. We snoozed and strolled and went to the museum and local vintage stores. I watched the leaves falling from trees and the stars circling above. I know it’s October, but somehow it feels more like Home; the way family is supposed to feel. Then I realized that I was relaxed and I was full of gratitude and turkey.

I am grateful for the time away. I am grateful for the love and the food. And though I’ve only been gone for 2 days, I know Hubby is missing the Bean. So, as I wrap a care package up to take home to my lonely Man of the House, I know I’m feeling a billion times more myself. And at least 10 times more grateful. So, I suppose it’s time to head on back down the highway. And after this long weekend of thankful time, I am well fed, well rested and covered in fur, which is a good thing cuz tonight I have to be a Gorilla, but that’s a story for another time.

For all those things and so many
more, I am grateful. There, now don’t we all feel better?

Thanks For Giving!

The Starving Artist: Chapter 46: Home, Home Once Again

I was in dire need of a break. A few days I could spend thinking of nothing. Oh, sweet nothing. So, I spent this week at my mother in law’s boyfriend’s cottage. Not exactly my home turf. And I suffered from a disadvantage. I didn’t know the rules. The schedules. The plan. And it was hard to guesstimate the lay of the land. I spent most of this time tripping, slipping and snapping in every sense of the word. I learned about the humming bird’s grumblings. I witnessed bees bumbling. I slid and slipped down muddy slopes. And was munched upon by many an eager mosquito. I am a small town girl living in the big city, transplanted to the deep north. And being that alone can encourage your mind to play tricks on you.

While away, I was busy convincing myself that I had forgotten how to do what I do. That I’d been beaten and p’ownd by my big mouth. I began freakin’ at the thought of forgetting how to pontificate. Expel and explain. What if I’d forgotten how to blog? What if I was suffering from a shell-shock writer’s block? Who am I? Do I matter? You know, all those big questions. I second guessed myself, I was ill-at-ease and I dragged my heels. I hfrumfphed through the boat rides and hikes. I couldn’t stop starring at the uneven path before me, struggling to master it, or at least figure it out. But there were moment when I finally looked up. Or stopped to listen to the grumble of the hummingbirds; and would realize, I loved every second of it. For the record though: I hate being beaten at my own game, which happens to be UNO. UNO! (Autocorrect has me capitalizing the whole word and who am I to disagree?) and I have to follow the rules after I get caught cheating.

So, Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I announce, I am on an upswing. I had to be a few screws short before screwing my head back on straight. I had to grumble and battle and sigh before I felt better. And after spending a solid month working the Burly circuit; networking and chin wagging, I was tired. My body was worn out. The sound in my left ear muffled. Then there was the stretched and sore jaw muscle I had relied on for oh-so-much whooing. I was a broken showgirl, and for some reason, I needed a break and to be reminded that Sudbury is freezing. And that there are places north of Sudbury, that are even colder. But it was when I began breathing in the city air again, that I found comfort in a deserted city park with a clear view of the CN Tower and the hummingbird whiz of the Gardiner expressway. I was home. I needed to hula hoop in the sun running on just Glory Doughnuts and hope. Hope that’d we’d found a new place to live, with our stinky dog. And when I sat down at the computer screen again…my mind was calm and my path clear, and the blog was written and we began again.

The Starving Artist: Chapter 46: Home, Home Once Again

What I’d Do For A Friend Like You

Friendship isn’t a grey area for me, it’s pink:)

I consider myself a good friend to most and a great friend to few.

I think about you. I text you. I write to you, for you, about you.

I like you most days. And love you all days.

I want to laugh with you. And I laugh hardest when we’re together.

I want to watch your kids grow up. And be a part of their lives.

A friend is the family you choose. Lucky me, I chose to make my family my friends too.

When you’re sad and lonely I will dance a funny dance.

I will never hurt you, purposely.

I love that the internet has made our big bold world fit into my pocket; but I wish it would lower the cost of plane tickets.

I pinky swear, would jump in a cold lake if you dared me. Just don’t dare me.

I’ll try not to be jealous.

I like being able to pick friends without proximity affecting the equation.

I like that we listen to the same music.

I like that we squeal.

I will take care of you, if you need me to.

I might squawk, balk and bluster but you know I love you.

If I could fit it into my schedule, I’d see you everyday.

I like making stuff together. All kinds of weird and wonderful stuff.

But I admit- hugging is by far my favorite.

I am your friend, and there are very few things I wouldn’t do for you or with you. That’s what friendship is all about. And now that I’ve said all that- to all of you. Can we still be friends?

What I’d Do For A Friend Like You

The Starving Artist: Chapter 43: Tale Of Two Gloves

I love sunny Saturdays. Especially if there is a garage sale involved. Now, as a poor starving artist, I don’t have the capability to walk into a store and purchase all those special details a showgirl needs for her showgirl bag of tricks. I have to be creative. And that means I have to beg, borrow and barter. Garage sales are a great forum to showcase my slowly developing skills. Of course, none of these transactions are high finance by any means, but they save my precious shekels for those complex costume pieces that can’t be bought.

After a lazy morning spent snuggled up with my fur baby, Mr. Sun invited us outside to play. So, Hubby and I leashed our beloved Jilly Bean and stumbled out into the daylight and towards a neighbouring complex. As we turned the corner we saw, the grass was covered with tablecloths and the fences were strung with hangered goodies. In this big city it’s always strange to know your neighbours, especially by name, but recently our tiny universe of misfits has grown substantially. And one of Hubby’s oke regulars was one of the lovely ladies soaking up the sun and selling the bits and bobs that take up space in teeny TO condos. The pack rat in me loves sorting through the disorganized piles and finding a cracker jack prize. On this day I found a pair of elbow length white satin gloves. There they were, draped over the shoulder of the bust form decorated with jewels and topped off with a jaunty brown derby. Their iridescent gleam catching the sun. They wanted to come home with me, so I made it happen. What follows next may seem obsessive, but I’ll let you be the judge.

Those gloves became my best friend. They followed me through my day and all weekend long. I took them off. I put them back on. I posed and peeled. I caressed and caught them. I tossed, twirled and twisted those gloves. I would catch my reflection in all the shiny flat surfaces offering it. The stove-top, the sliding glass door, the hallway full length mirror. There were reflections of white gloved elegance everywhere. Now, if you’ve never worn satin gloves for a weekend, it changes you. It alters the way you hold your hands. The way you pick things up, only to put them down again somewhere new. The slightest flick of the wrist becomes a dramatic and enthralling gesture, if you do it right.

Now, if you’ve been following along, you know that last week was my premiere as a burlesque performer. It was great. By that I mean I had a lot of fun. But, I worked on that act for almost 2 months. I had to build the whole thing from scratch, which is great for a DIY diva like me. But now what do I do? I have 1 finished act…that hardly seems like enough. So, the next step is creating another act. Yay! That’s my favourite part. Ask any artist and they’ll tell you the beginning is the most exciting. And I am back at the beginning. This burlesque thing might be perfect for me. It plays into my OCD, ADD and dare I say it…Narcissism. What am I trying to say? Well, I am saying that I am now building act #2 (pronounced Numero deux). And this act is gonna feature my new best friends. Those gloves and I are going to be quite the pair.

The Starving Artist: Chapter 43: Tale Of Two Gloves

RESPONSIBILITY, from the French, Responsible

Scene opens on a gymnasium, the sign drooping from the arch above the stage reads: “Junior Regional Spelling Bee”. There are 20 or so chairs lined up, half full with impatient kids. Each of them focused but fidgeting. There is every type of kid: a short kid in an argyle sweater, the lanky girl with red hair and freckled nose, and the know it all kid sitting smugly, waiting for the other contestants to say the wrong letter- so he can laugh. The gym is dark and silent as a cute pig tailed blonde girl makes her way towards centre stage, the only sound is the feedback as she blows onto the mic. From the darkness comes a voice:

Adjudicator: The word is responsibility.

Contestant: What is the root of the word?

Adjudicator: “answerable” (to another, for something), from obsolete French responsible, from the Latin respons-. Meaning “accountable for one’s actions”; that of “reliable, trustworthy”. Retains the sense of “obligation” in the Latin root word.

Contestant: Can you use it in a sentence?

Adjudicator: You are responsible for your actions and the decisions you make.

Contestant: Responsibility-R-E-S-P-O-N-S-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y- responsibility

Adjudicator: Correct. Contestant advances to the lightning round.

A Disco ball drops from the rafters, shooting light and love out into the audience. Strobe lights and a bubble machine kick into high-gear. Suddenly the whole room has fallen ill- with Disco Fever. Dance to fade out.

Alright, alright, that never happened. If it did I would go to a lot more spelling bees. By now you’re probably wondering what the heck this is all about. Well, let me tell you. I am not great with confrontation. I typically respond with flight, which can be challenging depending on my whereabouts. But this is about responsibility. And all the crazy things that one 6 syllable word encompasses.

Earlier this week, BFF and I were discussing our self-imposed responsibilities. We are responsible for how we look and how we present ourselves to the world around us. We have fiscal and relationship responsibilities. Hubby and I are responsible for the beloved Lucy-Goose and Jilly Bean. Responsibility comes in all shapes, sizes and weights.

The greatest responsibility we have though is Socially. Social responsibility is up to all of us. We are not islands in the stream, we are fish in a crowded school. And when the fish in front of you yells something at another fish causing you to get doored, well, that’s an F. When another fish drives carelessly, endangering the fish around him, that’s an F. When another school of fish takes up the entire sidewalk without moving so that your school can swim past, well, that’s an F. And when one fish swims up stream, the school suffers the toil alongside. What I am saying is that most of us little fishys aren’t worried about being hooked and gutted, we are just going with the flow. Okay, wait, the fish analogies have gotten a bit out of hand, but I think we all know what I am saying…Right?

As a little girl, I would always lament about the injustices done to me. I would blame others for being irresponsible with my feelings. I would rant and rave about fairness. My Momma, the smart lady that she is, would always remind me, that no matter how badly I was feeling somebody, somewhere was feeling worse. Which, by the way, never helps anyone feel better, and it made me feel worse for being spoiled. But she always knew what to say, and the most important thing she said was: “The only person you have the power to change, is yourself.” See, I told you she was smart. That lesson helped me to realize that I have the responsibility to set a good example, no matter how hard it seems. So, little fishys, let’s go back to school, and try to remember: “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Wow, that has a nice ring to it, I wonder if anyone’s ever said that before.

RESPONSIBILITY, from the French, Responsible

The Starving Artist: Chapter 40: Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s Forty!

Chapter Forty! That’s the top of the hill that people always talk about it being all down hill from. Things are supposed to get easy now right? If it’s all downhill than I should be able to coast. Well, as with most hills, they aren’t measured in chapters. It remains the same height regardless of how you count. It’s just that those numbers seem to have lost their meaning. The journey I started with such a focus on my numbers has shifted. Measurements becoming about fitness and function. The work becoming worth more than the number of days hired. The Starving Artist has become hungry for something more than the numbers.

Upon realizing what a special anniversary this was I thought I should do something special to celebrate. So, I glitter painted a brazier and helped finalize the pink gemstones. While sitting surrounded by newspaper I altered my costume…again. I love that I can change my act by changing my clothes. Hubby, BFF and I sat inside this rainy Sunday and we laid the ground work for some serious crafternoons in the near future, and I found myself smiling. Giddy with the thought that I was finally feeling the support I’ve been looking for. That’s not to say there was unsupported before, but this feels like the act of supporting. An action, speaking volumes. We are quickly pouring the foundation that a good artist structure relies upon. It’s not a rush construction job either, this crew is all union. Quality control has become the focus of each task. Together we work until well after sunset, stopping for appropriate meals and unionized breaks, of course. Foreman Jilly makes sure of that. Her demands to play, snuggle and poo sprinkled evenly throughout the work. Plus you can’t argue with the littlest boss-lady. That’s just un-union-ly…right?

Alright, so I’ve reached a milestone. (I’ve been told to relish my wins) But it simply marks how far I have come, not how much further I have to go. (I’m still a sad sack. Except now I relish my wins) It can feel defeating, like you’ve already done some much to only get THIS! far. In these times of emotional turmoil I turn to the meme of an eagle and the black framed motivational plaques for help. Each journey begins with a single step. It’s not the destination it’s the journey. There’s always going to be another mountain. Take a deep breath and feel better. (Whatever that means) So, treasured readers (all 7 of you) here’s to Forty amazing…or at least completed chapters of The Starving Artist. And here’s to a Gazillion more *hopefully* entertaining blogs*cheers.**

**Melicious Manners does not support morning drinking

The Starving Artist: Chapter 40: Lordy, Lordy, Look Who’s Forty!

Home For A Rest

Everyone was at the cottage this weekend…except everyone who wasn’t. This long weekend in the Big City we celebrated for 3 days straight… and if I was honest, the Thursday night too. Usually on long summer weekends Hubby and I revel in what I call ‘Deserted City’. Our overcrowded city hive of activity dwindles down to those coming to visit and those who can’t afford to leave. We, of course, fall into the latter category.

Typically, this weekend is reserved for Christmas in July. A family long weekend celebration at my aunt and uncle’s lakefront home. After last year’s realization the family has grown too much to be housed under one roof; we begrudgingly retired the event. Sigh. This is our first year without it…sad. So, instead we threw ourselves into our local celebrations.

It was a perfect weekend. The weather was mild but the sunshine was warm. The rain held off…mostly. We marched at Pride; screaming back at crowds of enthusiastic rabble-rouser as they shot super soakers. We savoured beer on patios and visited with everyone who stayed right where their heart is. Surprisingly, there was a tonne of folks who we’re taking the time off instead of spending it parked on the 400. And everyone was happily jammed into tight spaces filled with all the different holiday celebrations.

We watched fireworks on the beach, from the balcony and in the car. Fiery bursts lighting up the sky. The only reminder they existed is the smoke trail they leave behind. Side note: My Puppa-tinker is deathly afraid of the ricochet booms that come from all sides. Lowering herself to full court press power dash back towards home. But since it happens so rarely, it’s difficult to reinforce train her to be unafraid. Especially since there are only 5 holidays we really celebrate each year. So, as I write this she is tucked up under the desk between my feet. A sucky puppa-tinkeroo indeed.

So ladies n’ gents, I am happy to welcome you back home. And for those who never left, staycations are underrated, and can be exactly what you needed. I hope everyone found fun and fantasy in every aspect of their long weekend. Happy Belated Canada Day! I hope you find yourself rested and relaxed to start a short week at the office. Or in my case a short week of blogging;)

Home For A Rest