The Sick Bed Chronicles

Blerg le grrr. I have a serious sinus infection, I smell like soup and my bed isn’t made. Plus I’m not feeling particularly creative. So, as I lay in my sick bed absorbing antibiotics, I am also trying to figure out how to get back on the horse. Back in the saddle. And blog like I have never blogged before.

But so far, it’s not working. I’m a dry well. A sore-throated nag. And I have oh so much to do. So, I’m gonna stay in bed and nurse myself back to some semblance of wellness.

So, it might be a day or two before I’m able to pour out my heart minus the mucus. For now however, I’ll lay ever so still. And watch as my kitty tip toes across the duvet, climbing aboard my congested chest, curling up and giving me a kitty massage which makes me feel just a little better; though she could use a few lessons.

The Sick Bed Chronicles

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

Spay Or Neuter Your Craft Drawers

My name is Melicious, and I am a crafter. I have always loved making something totally unique and special out of a pile of odds and ends. I glue, stitch and cauterize. My imagination running wild through fields of fancy things. I can transform anything into something special simply by combining it with unexpected counterparts. I grew up making every gift myself. I would dig into the craft drawer to pull out construction paper, glitter and popsicle sticks; fantasizing about all the great reactions this heartfelt gift would garner. The problem with crafts through is that they tend to breed.

I am a big fan of Bob Barker, and his words are burned into my conscience. Have your pets spayed or neutered…well, I have 2 happily spayed furry little ladies living with me, but I forgot to nip my pretty craft drawer before throwing in a lecherous glue gun. Needless to say, there’s glue everywhere and now I have a litter of craft supplies who need to go to good homes.

Hubby is as patient as he can be. He mentions my ever expanding piles only a billion times a day. And sometimes, he almost looks like he’s joking. I am actually surprised the Commish hasn’t made an appearance; demanding to be freed from the chains, beads and findings scattered and strewn through this Toronto condo. But I think he’s scared to make a real noise for fear of being targeted as a blank canvas ready for embelishing.

To be completely honest; the problem is crafts take time to dry and while I am waiting for that, I have time to start another craft…see how easily I can get myself into trouble? I mean, I am not the most resolute person to begin with. Combine that with the clear and present distraction of something shiny, and before I know it, I am off riding bikes. Leaving a path of total construction in my midsts. The crux, the problema and the kicker is that I can’t stop myself. I am hopelessly addicted to making the world a prettier place. Glue gun in hand I will face each dreary situation head on, ready to bejazzle the beegeebus out it. So, rest easy citizens; the Melicious Sparkler is on your side.

Spay Or Neuter Your Craft Drawers

13 Things That Help Me Feel Great

Sometimes life can be not so great. That sinking feeling when you just wish things would be as easy as they were when you were teeny weeny. So, for those times, I wanted to help you out. Hopefully these things make you feel as great as you can be.

1. That special song. The way I can’t stop smiling when those special songs come on shuffle. Those toe tapping, memory sparking melodies that have a way of reminding me to be soothed; that the sun will always come out tomorrow. That my Love’s on top. That I’ve got the music in me.

2. The new shoes that put a bounce into your step. Even if they’re second hand, they’re still new to me and make me feel like dancing.

3. Water. Clean fresh water, the most delicious beverage after dancing your socks off and singing you heart out. It’s important to stay hydrated. It encourages clean living; flushing out the toxins and renewing cells. Great for outsides and insides alike!

4. Snuggling with my pets. The feeling of an animal relaxing on you. It’s a pressure unlike any other, I think it’s the weight of their trust. It works for most animals, except of course fish, don’t let a fish relax on top of you. Eww slimey.

5. Coincidences. Like running into a long lost friend on the street. It’s like the universe reminding you how lucky you are, and if you’re gonna miss the opportunity to do it yourself, it’s still gonna happen. Also, hey buddy! Feels great to hear you’re great too.

6. Restaurants with board games. I love games. I am competitive and nothing makes me hungrier than a rousing game of Sorry, Battleship or even Solitaire.

7. Free! It’s great. I like giving and getting gifts, but I love getting anything free- samples of gum? Awesome. Shampoo? Even better. If it’s free, you can pass it this way.

8. Doubling down! By this I mean getting something for spending what I was going to spend anyway. Like Airmiles or HBC points, even multi-purchase cards where my 11th insert product is free. I like a reward system. I like them very much.

9. Sunny days spent outside with the wind whipping through my hair as I glide on my bike. The warmth of the golden light and the soft breeze keeping me cool. The way my shadow looks like she’s dancing with me, not trudging away from me.

10. When people laugh at my joke. That’s great, especially if I didn’t plan it.

11. Anything that glimmers and glints. It’s so fabulously great. Glitter can make a million statements, but the loudest is: Ain’t it Great?!? And yes. Yes, it is.

12. Videos of animals doing funny things. I love it when they do unexpected things. Cats barking like dogs. Birds imitating camera lenses. Dogs wearing glasses. It’s super, and I feel great just thinking about those furry and feathered friends.

13. This blog is great for me. It exercises all my demons. Getting them out and helping me breathe easier. I feel great.

Greatness comes in many forms. I know how hard it can be to feel great all the time, but if you look close enough at all those bits and pieces that make up your daily life, you’ll find great relief in the fact that it can all be great. And if you’re still having trouble finding it, just make a list…or read this one again.

13 Things That Help Me Feel Great

Living With Sparkles

FairyTale GlitterI have had too much time on my hands. Everyday I have been focused on using that time effectively. Well, attempting to be effectively focused. I have been writing, reading, working out and crafting. Yeah, that’s right, I said crafting. I have been doodling, sketching and sparkling. And there’s where my story really begins.  I may have over-sparkled, without taking the necessary precautions.  And there are sparkles…every…where. I mean they are everywhere. I wasn’t prepared for all the sparkles. Did I say they are everywhere, cuz they are.  Without realizing it I have made a household commitment being sparkly for a couple of days.

My Hubby will sparkle, my Jill-Bean will sparkle… The cat is the only sparkeless creature in our midst.   Though I think that has something to do with her compulsive baths.  (side note: seeing her hack up a sparkle ball would be amazing!) As for the rest of us: We are sparkled.  I will now be known as the girl who has sparkles stuck everywhere. Especially her socks.  But I have developed a savvy way of dealing with the sparkle-invasion.  Ready for the super secret?  It’s a smile.  Yeah, that’s right.  When your world is covered in sparkles, there is nothing to be done.  So, fuss-pants, stop worrying would ya?   Who cares there are sparkles on the couch, now it looks magic.  The same for the floor.  And now those dog fur dust bunnies have a certain special something.  And that thing, well, it’s sparkles.  As for the sparkles stuck under my nose and in Hubby’s beard… People think it’s funny finding them.  Like we’ve been on some treasure hunt or in an enchanted glen with mystical creatures who naturally shed glitter.  Things could be worse.

It’s no coincidence that sparkles go hand in hand with so many wonderful things: Christmas, diamonds and vampires. Just think about all places in the world that are sparkle free.  I can’t help but think how much more interesting they would be if they just sparkly.  Like the DMV, having glitter-crusted line ups.  Or the dentist- the glimmering tools hinting at the magic of tartar removal.  Even the TTC could benefit from some bling.  Sparkles are an inexpensive and exciting way to glamourize everything.  As for my sparkly household, I am looking forward to living with that glint of glamour. Especially on my jogging pants.

Living With Sparkles

The Starving Artist: Chapter 28: Seeking New Stress Mechanism

At Glory Hole Doughnuts enjoying Lemon Meringue
At Glory Hole Doughnuts enjoying Lemon Meringue

At my house, we’re stress eaters. At all my houses, really. We eat when we’re happy. We eat more when we’re sad. Late night snacking; a constant problem. Cereal for 2nd dinner. If it’s in the house it’s going into my mouth. This week’s stress of losing someone special has driven me to empty the fridge, the cupboards and pester the local takeout joints. A stress-eating is a zero benefit side-effect causing my total health train derailment. In the last week I have been avoiding mirrors. Wearing joggers and moping about with a plate or napkinful or tinfoil swan in hand at all times. It was mid-sugar coma that it hit me. Stress is the energy so many folks run on; maybe I could alter my pre-disposition to gorge the pain. We have the technology, we can rebuild me.

Now, if this scheme was to work, I was going to have to plan. What could benefit from the energy that my stress could generate? Well, let’s see, there’s the not so new-oh so untidy house, the cabin fever-ridden dog, the high-flying-skycloud shooting husband, the neglected book, the blog, the ever shedding cat, the storage unit…let’s just say there’s no lack of things that could use a little energy boost. But let’s also agree that a stress case is not the ideal candidate for most jobs. Temporarily sane me finally decided: The best fit for a basket-case is mindless, repetition, keeping my idle hands busy. Logically and with renewed scientific fervour, I picked up a cloth and cleanser. Laundering all the cross-over season clothes. Scouring the entire bathroom, including baseboards and cupboard shelves. Stripping the bed, dusting the ceiling fixtures. High and low, no bunny was safe at our house this Easter weekend. Eventually, though it had to end, and with 940 sq ft, it didn’t take too long. Then, Stress and I found ourselves face to face again. The Pirate cookies “yar-haring” my name from the junk cupboard.

With a clean house I turned to the sofa where the Hubby and the hound were tangled up in blankets.

Me: “Okay, the sun is shining. The world is calling…” As I flung open the blackout curtains.

Hubby: “But look at her, she’s found a sunspot.” Pointing to the dog splayed out with sunshine lighting up her underbelly.

Me: “I bet we can find a bigger sunspot out there. Spring has sprung.”

So, my Hubby left the cloud city he was defending and took his ladies for a walk about. We walked to the park, to play monkey in the middle, cuz Jilly only wants the ball when she can’t have it. This is my first real exercise since Blister-gate March 2013. Stretching and throwing and chasing that little Stinker, all over that muddy school yard. I finally started feeling less stressed. Like the sunshine had squeegeed the darkness, feeling better and brighter. Smiling…actually smiling. I could almost hear the song my happy heart sings. Then I went home and finished a bag of mini Reece’s peanut butter cups. Well, the good news is I didn’t do it because I was stressed…right?!? That’s still progress right?

The Starving Artist: Chapter 28: Seeking New Stress Mechanism

And Then It Hit Me: She’s Gone

My Grandma Near has been dying for a long time. With all those who love her wishing for her suffering to end. And then yesterday, it did. Finally going to that better place.  Wherever it may be.  Now, that she’s gone though, I can’t help but feel sad, lonely and achy.  No matter how long she was ill.  No matter how long she hasn’t been herself.  No matter what, she will always be my Grandma Near.  Grandma with the Pool.  Grandma who put margarine on my peanut butter sandwiches.  Grandma who called me dramatic and who I felt most comfortable being dramatic around.  Grandma with pride.  Grandma who worried and fretted and wanted everything to be perfect.  Grandma the cake maker.  Grandma who was surprised her family could be so boisterous.  Grandma who cared for us.  Grandma who lost herself slowly.  And my last Grandparent.

Earlier this week, while bracing for the loss, I couldn’t help but think; if my Momma buys my socks at Xmas who buys hers?  If my Papa B is my comic barometer, who is it he tries to crack up?  I feel how badly they want to take care of me, but who will take care of them?  Everything in this whole wide world spins around, ever-changing, ever staying the same.  It’s my turn to show them how brave I can be.  How brave they’ve taught me to be.  It is my turn to be leaned on, and I am ready for the responsibility.  This is my first chance to be a the pillar of strength with a comforting embrace.  Part of me thinks that my parents want me to fall apart, that it would give them a job.  A task to put me back together.  An outlet for their emotions and a chance to shift their focus from the sadness they don’t want to feel.  But I want them to feel like they are cared for, that I am here for them.  That it is okay to be cared for, for once.

After spending the day snuggled up with my Hubby and Puppa, with sporadic visits from the Bucy, I can admit I am sad.  But this sadness doesn’t feel as bad as the fear.  I fear the day when I will lose my parents.  I fear the day that I will be saying goodbye to someone who doesn’t know me.  I am scared of being an adult orphan.  I worry about missing a chance to prove they’ve done a good job with me.  I worry about taking the daily grind for granted.  Forgetting the important things.  I remember my Grandma Near saying: Yesterday, I was 22 and today I am a 22-year-old in this old-broken-down body. Time flies, even when you’re not having any fun.  So, today I thought I would remind you just how important it is to love. It’s all you really need.  And wherever you are; na-night Grandma, it’s time for a big sleep ❤

And Then It Hit Me: She’s Gone