Beggar Charlie

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.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Past and Future

So much changes from when a person is a child to when they are older. There's the obvious change for me, at least, to living near a beach - so much fun to spend summers on the beach - to now, when I live in a land-locked province. We do have lakes and then there's the Ottawa River. Some sections have been made into beaches. Unfortunately, they are not near the downtown. Yet, there's other, social changes. Remember standing up in the car when you were little? Life before seat belts. No one was afraid to die but my father, in the mid-sixties, had seat belts put in. He made us use them. In some way, I suspect to get us to stop horsing around in the back. We never got into an accident so we never had to see if they worked but at my age, I'm grateful he took the time to care. Related to summer, I wanted to go to the beach by myself when I was four. No way, my mother was adamant, not until you're in school. Six. Now, I just want to say, my mother wasn't an awful woman but there are a lot of people who may not agree with letting a six year old go on her own to the beach or anywhere not under adult supervision. But like I said, it was a different age. There was not much said about people who kill children, in fact, there weren't many people who did that kind of thing. Nobody thought some man in a car would bother me. And I never did get bothered. And then there's what you might call generation changes. The sixties when I grew up began to get fearful after drugs came around. People warned us that we would think we were birds and jump out a window if we took LSD and other such things. Come to think of it, it was all different after kids began taking drugs. The generation gap began but for kids my age, who were being told by teenagers not to trust anyone over thirty and people over thirty telling us not to trust teenagers, it was all very confusing. I think that's where kids began to think they had to do everything themselves. They had to learn all they could, not from their parents, but from their peers and life. So now we're in a very distrustful age, where hockey coaches molest children and nobody looks up to anyone except celebrities anymore. I think that's because celebrities don't mind saying that they're screwed up whereas 'respectable' people who molest kids will lie about who they really are. That being said, I'm glad I made it through to this time of life, just to see all the changes, especially the ones I never knew were coming. I don't know what young people will make of the future but I expect that it will be a complete surprise to them. Just like it is for me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Librairies

So I'm going to have a children's picture book published. It's supposed to come out in September. I'm extremely excited because it's very difficult to break into that market. Even though I have years of drawing experience, I'm not doing the illustrations. I'll let a professional do them. It's going to be with Nocturnal Press Publications. It reminds me how much I loved books as a child. The drawings and paintings in my books were entrancing and the poems were great. Just turning the pages gave me a thrill. Of course as I grew my tastes changed. Nancy Drew was a great favorite and they still had drawings in them. Horse stories were another favorite. I had my own library card and used to go with my mom and get books. I suppose all kids know of that experience. Libraries in those days were silent. No talking allowed. It's so much different in Ottawa's libraries. They have a space set aside with easy chairs for people to sit in and chat. It's right next to the computers so it isn't likely to disturb any reading. Honestly, there is not much reading done in the library downtown. Mostly it's used as a drop-in center for poor people who have no place else to be. There, they can use the computers all they want. They wouldn't be able to afford computers and internet on their own. So it's good all around. There are some complaints from some, better? people who don't like the smell of them. But that's life in the downtown core. Aside from this complaint, the libraries are still a place where you can see mothers and kids looking for appropriate books. In my teens I was all about science fiction. Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and the usual 'gods' of the genre. Then I moved on to art books. Biographies about Van Gough and others. Now, my favorite is historical fiction although I'm open to read other things. Anyway, when my cover comes out, I'll try and post it here.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Worm In The System

My mother didn't believe in doctors so I'll never know if I had any allergies when I was a child. After I moved to Ottawa, everyone I met told me that people in Ottawa had a tendency to develop allergies. So I had myself tested and found that I was allergic to maple trees and dust mites. I received a shot of something each week and after a while was cured of my allergy to maple trees. I am still allergic to dust mites. A lot of people are. So I was listening when on one of David's crazy science shows, they mentioned a new theory of allergies. It seems more kids these days have allergies. It also seems that farm kids have a lesser tendency to allergies. So what gives? The new theory is that city kids are too clean. Yes, they say, kids need to play in the mud and cavort with animals. They must play with dogs and cats and make mud pies and parents have to stop wiping and spraying their counters with anti-bacterial cleaners. Disinfecting is killing our kids. Oh, and one more thing. We need to swallow worms. They've found that there is a certain worm present in pigs, in fact, that can cure the allergy to dust mites. Yes, for two whole months you swallow one worm egg a day and your allergy will go away. They swear it works and that human resistance to allergies can be found in worms. We need worms to protect us. Ugh. That's what I'm thinking, too. I have to admit I'm intrigued by this finding but also that I'm hesitant to swallow pig worm eggs. Maybe after they've proven it, either yes or no, definitively.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spring Broke

There never was any March Break when I went to school. Well, there may have been at the end but when I was in elementary school, I attended all of March. It just seems there's so many ways to feel cheated when you're my age. What about all the cool technology that kids have? I never had that and also there was the parenting thing where we had to stay out of our parents way. And stick up for ourselves to bullies. Now, that I found impossible. Bullies seemed to me like they knew who they were, although, they really don't. They're really lost people who try to diminish others to their level. Nowadays, you just report them and someone does something. We had to find ways to deal with them. Bullies could really ruin your school life. But of course, there are advantages to being raised such a long time ago. We had to write down notes and put the subject into our own words. That I find helped me develop my own opinions and mind about things, something I don't think young people do with all their 'copy' and 'paste' of school work. Some of my writer friends who teach say young people will often highlight bit swathes of someone else's book and copy it to their own. It's a problem that they don't know about plagarism. Maybe they don't teach any law in school now-a-days? So even though I missed out on some things, I did benefit in independence of thought and other such things. So I guess even though I'm getting old, I'm ahead on points.