Beggar Charlie

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Groceries, Anyone?

There's always construction in Ottawa. For the last four years they've been building a big condominium and grocery store at the end of my block. The new store was what everyone was waiting for. You see, there is already a grocery store downtown, but so many people had problems with the moody staff and other inconveniences that they could hardly wait for the new store to open up. It was May when it finally had it's big opening. I mentioned that they were much friendlier there than at the other place and was told that everyone she had met in the store said the same thing. Two days later, I went to the old store because the new store didn't carry all the brands I use. It was almost empty. People were gleeful. "That will show old Mr. _____ a thing or two." Today, I went to a corner store. There's a man who works there who also works for the old grocery store. I asked him if he still worked there, and mentioned the name of the store. "Oh. He sold the store. It's now run by someone different. He's retired." So much for glee. He probably got millions for the business, perhaps even, 'dumping' it on someone. So I guess he had the last laugh. If you're on Facebook, I am having a I Want To Go To School Release Party on September 5th. If you want an invite, just contact me through my personal account. https://www.facebook.com/madeleine.mclaughlin.7

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I Want To Go To School

It's almost here! In one month my first children's picture book, I Want To Go To School, will be published. It will be a physical book, your child can hold it, read it, and hopefully, love it. I'm so excited I can hardly wait. One thing, it reminds me of my own 'first day of school'. I was used to being with my mother and I liked being with my mother. I did not want to go to school. I wanted to be with my mom. So I was upset as we walked that first September day to grade one that I couldn't talk. No skipping. No singing. I dragged my feet and asked, "Do I really have to go?" and she would say , yes. We arrived at school and mom filled out some forms. Then the secretary sent a young student to get the first grade teacher, Mrs. Davis. She came out and got me and took me to class. Mom had asked did I want her to stay and wait and I said yes. Now Mrs. Davis was an old hand at teaching. She was also one of the best and all the students loved her. Anyway, she had us speak out loud our names to each other. I was so shy that it was torture but I did it. Then Mrs. Davis said anyone who wanted to leave could or they could stay and hear a story. I left. Mom was surprised to see me so soon. But I held her hand and happily left the school. We walked home, me knowing that I had to come back the next day and this time I had to stay until twelve noon. In those days, grade ones went a half day for six months. So in a way this blog today is a teaser, if you wish to see what my story is about, you'll have to read it. I believe you won't be disappointed. You can look up the Fox Tots Publishing site on Sept. 5 and order it there. I hope I'm not giving you a 'hard' sell.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Crimes Of Averages

Now, I have a question to ask. What is average? What is an average person? Does that notion play out in reality? You often hear, when people talk of someone who's done something out-of-the-ordinary, that's they're 'not your average person'. Well, what does that mean, I ask again? Who's really average? If there is a tribe where every man is six foot and all the women five foot, the average height is five foot six inches. Yet, no one in the tribe is five foot six inches. Or how about that 2.2 kids that the 'average' Canadian is supposed to have. I have never seen or even heard of (other than in averages) a .2 kid. What you be if you were .2 of a person? Only an arm? I'm just saying that the idea of average is only good for pretending. One middle-class family my make $10,000 dollars a month. Another may make $4000. So which is average when they're not even the same? Of a family may have three kids. Another two. But the fathers and mothers have the same job. So the four person family can afford more 'goodies' with their wages while the five person family may have to hitch in their belts to make ends meet. Or how about someone who's job changes because of some government law that comes into force. A good example is man I know who sold pesticides in Ontario. The government of Ontario passed a law prohibiting pesticides. Overnight, his job was gone. Is that average? Did that happen to the 'average' Canadian? Yet he had about a 50,000 dollar per year job. (Just as an aside, he moved to BC and now landscapes out there. Happy ending) So what about this 'law of averages'? To me, it's just so much blah, blah, blah. Let's be real about people and in that way, we can be fair to the reality of people's lives.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

TMZ Girlie Punch

I was watching television yesterday, a program called TMZ. This is a celebrity gossip show which masquerades as news. But that's okay. Anyway, there was a security camera shot of a girl and famous professional football player arguing in a bar. She makes a fist with her right hand. He grabs it to defend himself from being punched. She then punches him with her left fist. He punches her right in the face, almost dropping her to her knees. Some were saying, a man shouldn't hit a woman. But I wonder if the real problem is women who think that to attain equality, they have to be tough like a man. For me, the male mammal instinctively knows all about challenges and threats. They deal with it all the time. Women seem to think that challenging someone like a man is a cute personality trait and something they should attain to be 'equal'. If women are going to say that they have the adult choice to go to a bar and if they're going to get drunk and fight, then they're bound to get a fist in the face once in a while. I don't want to seem old-fashioned about women. I'm not saying they should stay home and defer, I'm just saying that women should understand what they're doing. When a women acts tough and hits a man in the face, she's challenging him. She's saying, "I'm tougher than you." In this dog-eat-dog society, if he doesn't want to be seen as someone who is a push-over, he has a right to fight back. If a weaker person challenges a stronger one, he gets pushed out. It should be the same for women

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thunderstorms

So summer days are here, in Ontario, this brings thunderstorms, which we are having one today. I don't mind this, I like thunder and rain and today it will be in the evening. Ontario has great storms. One of the best storms I've ever seen, though, happened back in White Rock, BC in the seventies. The trees across from our house were snapping back and forth and the lightening made the night seem like day. It was great. So far in Ontario, we haven't had anything like that but I'm waiting. It makes me glad I'm not a homeowner, though, as there are many things, like trees falling through houses that can ruin any homeowners dreams. Flashing back to White Rock, we had a tree come through our house. It was before we lived there and my room was the addition that was built after the tree ruined the front of the house. It was so cold in that room. Winters were awful and the floor was torture. But, oh well, as soon as we moved into the house that Dad built on the back of the property, we had all the heat we could manage. So today I wait for my storm. We don't need heat at this time of year. I want to go out before the rain and thunder and lightening hits. I plan to have a good time.

Monday, June 1, 2015

June Days

It's a nice hot day in Ottawa and I think it's going to be that way for the rest of the summer. I'm always a bit nostalgic at this time, thinking back to when I was in school and this time of year meant: one more month to summer! Yes, it was great to lean back at my desk and dream about all the great things I would do. Of course, there was always tests coming up and the dread that I'd failed. My whole elementary school life was spent worrying about failing and having to be seated the following year with the grade behind me. I remember how important one year was to me when I was a child, like it was with everyone, I suppose. After elementary school, I did not do as well. I lost any motivation for school work. I guess it was my fault. I had always made sure I did not get on the honor roll because I didn't want to be on stage. The honor roll kids all stood on the stage to get their little gifts. So by the time I got to junior high, I was sort of used to not working too hard. I did once think I would buckle down and do lots of work. I took a course of Mr. Bash. He was the biology teacher and his course was very precise. Pencils had to be sharpened exactly one way only. Books had to be kept a certain way only. But, I dropped out of that course. Not that I was a slacker then, that came later. However, I passed all my tests all the way through school and was happy to be finished with it. I never liked getting up in the morning from a nice dream to be faced with going to school. In fact, one of my dreams was of getting dressed and walking to school only to wake up and realize that I had to get up for real. It seemed like something I'd already done. I've always had very vivid and life like dreams. So I'm looking forward to June. I can have fun one month early now that I'm grown.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Cold Nights

Finally, winter is over. The nights in Ottawa are very cold this year. When I went out shopping today, it was only 8 degrees. I was wanting to wear my flip flops but it was not possible. So I wore my leopard shoes. The streets were not heavy with pedestrians so it was quite pleasant walking to Sparks Street Mall to buy a couple of dolls. I purchased one princess and one Lucy-from-peanuts doll. Only seven dollars each. I was pleasantly surprised to see the jigsaw puzzles. For a long while the pictures to put together have been drawings, not photos. So when I looked at the puzzles and saw a whole bunch of photos - and nice ones, too - I was happy. I also notice how many businesses are closing down. Of course Zellars is gone and also one restaurant is gone and has been replaced by another. I can't figure out why some restaurants succeed and some fail. They all seem to be about the same. I wandered over to the book store and bought a couple of kiddie books and then over to Shoppers Drug Mart to buy some milk for David. So a good day with lots of walking but not too much, my flip-flops are better for walking than my leopard shoes and hopefully next time I go out, I can wear them.