November 13, 2022 · 8:16 am
In my late 30’s when I first noticed my hair thinning, I wasn’t prepared to admit defeat. I chose to chase after the remedies on the market that claimed to restore hair.
The sad reality was that I could not fight with Mother Nature as male pattern baldness ran like sap through one side of the family tree.
It was after I turned 40 that I became more accepting of the situation, although you could say that I didn’t really have much choice. All of the haircuts that I tried seemed to look a little off-balance in one way or another, which drove the Type A part of me a little crazy.
One day, I saw a picture of a young man with a shaved head, whose facial features and head shape looked a lot like mine. The shaved head was a very flattering look for this guy. I would even say that he looked pretty cool, which opened the door for me to gradually cut back my hair and then to try my first clipper cut.
Once I started in the clipper zone and went progressively shorter and shorter, I grew to like it more and more.
To me, this was an extremely freeing experience. With a low-maintenance haircut, I reclaimed so much time in the morning, I was able to sleep more plus I saved money on hair product and trips to the hair stylist.
Now, in retirement, I appreciate it even more, in terms of saving time and energy for more important activities, especially my writing. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour, Lists
Tagged as anxiety, bad hair day, barber, bed head, clipper, fashion, fashionable, fear, gel, hair, hairstyle, money, mousse, products, spray, time, trendy, worries, worry
February 4, 2018 · 8:31 am
When I took Ivy the Wonder Cat to the veterinarian for the very first time, at one year old, she was just a feline teenager and the absolute picture of health. The only thing that was mentioned as a potential issue down the road was her teeth, as tartar was already starting to build up.
Given the back story offered to me by the Ottawa Humane Society, of a life on the cold, wintry streets of Ottawa, fending for herself, eating from garbage cans in a tough neighbourhood, I should not have been surprised that Ivy’s teeth weren’t worthy of a finalist’s spot on America’s Next Top Model.
My vet recommended I put out a bowl of tartar control dry food, something she might eat more consistently than the occasional tartar control cat treat that I might give her. The second alternative was to brush her teeth.
At the time, I was already on the nerve-racking journey of finding the right time and mood where she would allow me to gently trim her nails. Some days, the right mood just wasn’t there, as scratch marks added up like a tote board on a telethon. Getting a toothbrush anywhere near her mouth seemed like an impossible dream.
As I lugged the bag of tartar control food back to my car, I couldn’t help asking myself why it didn’t come in a sample size and where was I going to keep it? Given that Miss Ivy was already revealing signs of a picky palate (though after eating garbage for several months, you’d think that anything from a can or a bag would be a step up) there was a chance that she may not like it. Continue reading →
Filed under Cats, How to, Humour
Tagged as advice, bristles, brush, brushing, care, cat care, Cats, Christmas tree, cleaning, control, dental, fear, food, funny, grooming, habits, health, how to, humor, humour, hygiene, independent, intuition, love, oral, pet care, pet owner, pets, struggle, tartar, technique, teeth, texture, tooth, toothbrush, toothpaste, veterinarian
December 17, 2017 · 8:42 am
The first Christmas after Ivy the Wonder Cat joined me, the same jitters that I felt before her adoption were back with a vengeance. This time, I was worried about how she would behave around the artificial Christmas tree.
Five months into our relationship, I already knew she was a good little kitty who didn’t have any predispositions to destructive behaviour. Nonetheless, she still had a strong curious streak which could make the tradition of keeping a Christmas tree upright a challenge. I had heard enough horror stories and had seen enough videos to know just exactly what cats are capable of, in the presence of a bright, shiny “play structure” in the middle of the living room.
I turned to my panel of experts at the office who all offered fabulous, practical tips to keeping the tree and the cat safe (thanks again, everyone!) Plus, with experience, I added a few of my own ideas upon realizing that my cat was not only smart but fearless when it came to climbing the tree.
Here are some of the strategies I use to keep my Christmas tree vertical throughout the holiday season:
– For the first Christmas with Ivy, I kept my most cherished (and breakable) ornaments in a box, safely tucked away until I knew how she would behave. This took some of the fear and apprehension out of the experience.
– When I install the tree lights, I try to avoid the branches at the very bottom, within the reach of her paws. By avoiding those branches, not only is it safer for Ivy and the tree, I find that at human eye-level, the overall appearance of the tree is enhanced given the greater concentration of lights higher up. Continue reading →
Filed under Cats, Christmas
Tagged as advice, apprehension, artificial, cat, Cats, Christmas, Christmas tree, curiosity, curious, decorating, decoration, decorations, fear, garland, health, hints, holiday, how to, ideas, ornaments, peace of mind, pet, pet care, pets, safe, safety, season, strategies, stress, tips, traditions, tree, unbreakable, worry
April 17, 2017 · 8:14 am
In working through some of my blog posts in the last years, there have been times when I would look at a final draft of a post and then think to myself that it was pretty good, but for some reason it didn’t quite fit with the overall theme of my blog. Rather than rethink the piece, I would just put it on the shelf and maybe the right time and place to post it would find me.
A few months ago, such an opportunity presented itself when I started receiving emails about the annual Writer’s Digest Short Story Writing Competition. I thought that this might be an opportunity to pick up one of those shelved stories and fine-tune it for the purposes of the competition.
With that decision made, in the days that followed, it was with great enthusiasm that I would come home from work, speed through dinner and rush to my desk to chip away at the story, several times per week. The writing competition definitely stoked my enthusiasm for writing again.
While I have never had delusions of grandeur about my skills as a writer, confidence was running high as the themes of the story were current, relevant and would definitely resonate with certain readers. To achieve that, I dug deeply (veeeeeeryy deeeeeeeply) for the material, breaking open some old wounds. Continue reading →
Filed under Humour, Misc blogs, Writing
Tagged as anxiety, cold feet, competition, confidence, confident, deadline, emotions, experience, fear, Fiction, gratitude, hesitation, overconfident, second guessing, self-doubt, short story, writer, writer's block, Writer's Digest, writer's life, writers problems, Writing, writing competition
November 20, 2016 · 7:43 am
The joy of coming up with a great idea!
The panic of not having a piece of paper or an electronic device to record it.
The fear of losing the great idea.
The hope you’ll remember it.
The sadness when you don’t remember it.
The elation when it comes back.
The delight of being at a computer this time to record it.
The irritation of having to wait for software updates to finish installing.
The annoyance of not finding a pen to record it until the software update installation has completed.
The terror when other things start distracting you.
The relief when the updates are completed.
The peace of mind of finally writing the idea down somewhere… anywhere.
The indecision of whether the idea is good enough as is.
The determination to work through it to make it the best idea ever. Continue reading →
Filed under Humour, Inspiring, Writing
Tagged as art, artist, author, blog, blogger, computers, connection, creative process, creativity, determination, distractions, emotions, fear, funny, generosity, good ideas, gratitude, great ideas, humor, humour, ideas, insecurity, joy, kindness, reader, readers, roller coaster, strength, ups and downs, writer, writer's life, writers problems, Writing
March 10, 2014 · 9:00 pm
Writer’s Digest, a top resource for writers, has been sending out emails announcing their 83rd annual writing competition. It sounds like an exciting opportunity and frankly, I have been seriously thinking about throwing my hat in the ring and giving it a try this year.
The timing seems good as I appear to be developing consistency in my output, publishing a new blog post each week and steadily working on a few other stories I am juggling. There is no rush to finish any one of the latter products, just a clear commitment to putting words to paper and seeing parts of stories come to fruition. Maybe tackling a special assignment like a writing competition is what I need to keep things interesting and seeing a short story through to the end.
What to write about is a bigger dilemma. And with it comes a bit of writers’ stage-fright!
Clearly I am not experiencing any shortage of ideas to draw from, whether from my journals or in my memory banks, but what is that great idea to potentially make the writing community take notice? Continue reading →
Filed under Writing
Tagged as author, blogging, characters, confidence, emotions, fear, fearless, fears, Fiction, human, insecurity, passion, storylines, writer, writer's life, Writing