An Absence of Sun

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Welcome friend, it’s come around again, we have officially entered the seasonal shift when morning light has attained a later state of being. These days, when my alarm sounds out, and I battle to pop my peeper’s open, I am greeted by a dungeon-like darkness. The only thing missing is the shackles. And to be truthful it’s not the pitch-black mornings which bothers me the most. It’s the possibility that crude creeping creatures might be hiding in the lightless space. That idea quickly ignites my imagination and brings to life the horror of unexpected slippery touches, bony grasping fingers, and weird grunting noises… And then I remember, my husband is away at work.

And so it begins, the return to the dark and dismal rise and shine time. The absence of the sun has throttled the very breath out of my fun loving demeanour. I find myself prompted to drag the life size skeleton, Mr. Bones from our garage and have him sit beside me on the couch. We lean in towards one another, fleshy humerus to naked humerus and listen to the top ten hits of funeral music. We silently mourn the death of my chirpiness, although to be frank, Mr. Bones seems quite unsympathetic to my current state of being.

I glance out into the blackness of the early morning hours, and summarily decide the stars are grieving too, as they are veiled by a thick coverlet of clouds. The only light in the room is the orange glow from my Himalayan salt rock. I could turn on a real light but that would interrupt the mood. And in all truthfulness, I’m not quite miserable yet, I’m simply setting the scene. I figured I may as well wait and see what happens, after all, misery loves company. I ruminate for a while longer, and soon realize it’s not coming. Misery has snubbed my overture. I drag Mr. Bones back to the garage, and set him on his sled with his sunglasses positioned over his empty eye sockets. His day won’t get much worse than it already is, and at that bright thought, I feel myself smile.

Paddleboard For Peace

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I’ve been contemplating the world from my secluded slice of heaven for a while now. Our lake invites a reflective state as you can see from the photo above. My daughter’s dog, Mica enjoys a good paddle on the water, and I am happy to oblige. My hubby occupies the other board and he struggles to keep up. I revel in the fact that I am faster than he. On land, he is the fleetest of foot, his legs compare to the stilts of a caribou running in front of a wildfire. If he strapped on skis, he’d be akin to a bunny on steroids. If you give him a pedal bike, his legs spin in a blur like the roadrunners in the Looney Toon’s cartoons, “Meep Meep, try to catch me.” So I admit, I practically glow with satisfaction when I look back on him as he wobbles in my wake. He blames it on his weight and the length of his paddle. I, however, patiently tell him, “Your paddle is fine. It’s the way that you use it that counts.”

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Anyway, my grand dog Mica loves to go cruising on the lake with me. She is oddly at ease, sometimes she stands up, and sometimes she sits down, and then there are times she lays across the bow like the July playmate in a Playdog magazine. She trusts me. She believes  I will do my level best to keep us afloat, and so far we’ve done well. We are two different species cooperating for a successful experience.

The contemplative nature of steering across the lake has caused me to toss around the notion that the most troublesome of the world leaders should be required to paddleboard. It should happen on a remote lake in the middle of nowhere. They should be instructed to ride together and then switch up partners taking turns at being the paddler, and then being the passenger. It would be a good teambuilding experiment. It might instigate a sense of trust— no rocking the boat on purpose here. It would be an excellent time to remind them of the beauty of our planet, and how well an ecosystem survives when there is little to no manipulation from human kind. Maybe all leaders should heed the words of Mother Teresa,  If you want to change the world, go home and love your families. (love your people) Just imagine if everyone stopped throwing spitballs at each other, and went home to hug their family and pet the cat?

Out here on the lake, I see no imaginary lines determining countries or property. It looks to be open access for all. On the water, the voice of the wind speaks gently to the trees, and the willowing cry of the loons echoes in the dusky evening light. We see the fish leap and land with a splash causing circles to ripple outwards. The dragon flies glimmer and sparkle in the fading glow, as they dip and dive consuming mosquitos that would feed on our blood. Out here there is a sense of freedom, and a definite detachment from the over populated parts of the world. As we sweep along on the wrinkles of the lake there is no phone by our hand, and no call to be judged or judge. Our hearts are open and our minds are free.  Our particular section of the world is shaded in splendiferous colors and glows offers abundant hope for tomorrow.

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Mosquitos Suck

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Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

The deadliest creature alive probably munched on you this past summer. This dastardly winged creature has been responsible for the death of up to 2.7 million people every year, far more than any weather-related fatalities. These blood-sucking demons are nature’s most efficient carriers of deadly viruses. They are responsible for transmitting Malaria, Dengue Fever, Yellow fever, Encephalitis, Chikungunya, West Nile, the Zika Virus, and even heartworms through their saliva. That, is quite the résumé,  little insect.

Perhaps, even more interesting is that only the females of the mosquito species suck blood from living creatures, the males only consume flower nectar.   And do you know why the females have an insatiable need for blood? It’s to enable their reproductive cycle to succeed, our liquid life is an essential ingredient to enable the creation of mosquito children. That’s right, the most irritating insects in the world uses the protein and iron pilfered from mammals to bring bouncing baby mosquito eggs to life.

These dastardly demons of the insect world would give you the chills if you saw them up close. How many nasty needle-like proboscises do you think the heinous little beast has to gorge on your blood? One? Two? Three? Nope. And the buzzard sounds— Six, in a single mosquito bite, six needle-like components enter your flesh. First, the two outer mandibles saw into your skin, then the second set holds the tissues apart as the hypopharynx drips saliva into the jagged opening. The saliva prevents the blood from clotting. Lastly, the labrum siphons up the crimson liquid by joining up with the hypopharynx to form a straw. Slurp, slurp, slurp. The female strives to fill her abdomen space up to the maximum capacity with red blood cells. To accomplish this,  while she is extracting the blood from the mammal, she is separating the water from the iron-rich beverage, and squeezing out the excess water in the form of pee. So not only is she stealing your blood, she’s taking a whiz on you at the same time. How horrid is that? Do you feel violated yet?

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Did you know that the word mosquito, is Spanish for little fly? Yet a mosquito is entirely different than a Spanish fly?  A Spanish fly was an aphrodisiac formulated by grinding up blister beetles, and when it was consumed, it was supposed to provoke extreme sexual arousal in men. Alas, a common side effect was death. So, I surmise from that tidbit of information that, a Spanish fly and a mosquito are actually quite similar in that they can both cause an unexpected demise.

Did you know a male mosquito lives for five to seven days? Yet the female can live up to a month. I find that fact oddly satisfying.

Now here’s an oddball but curious question. How many mosquitos would it take to drain an adult human of their blood? Amazingly enough, it would take approximately one million mosquitos to bleed you dry. However, that particular fact is irrelevant, because you would be dead before they finished with you. The human defence system would release such a massive amount of histamine into your body that you’d go into shock and die long before your veins were emptied. Histamine is a chemical that is released when foreign pathogens are detected in your body. The saliva from the female mosquito is what produces a histamine release, and then in turn, is what causes the insane itching at the bite site.

Let’s wrap it up with the most grisly question of all, how large does one mosquito need to be to bleed you dry? Although the answer can’t be proven, some scientists say, in theory  a mosquito should be the size of a large dog in order to have the ability to slush puppie you dry, but then again, once you take into account the monstrous size that the outer saw-like mandibles would become, it’ll be more like the magicians trick of a person being sawed in half without the revival. I think I’ll stick to the tiny blood-sucking mosquitoes I can smack.

Are you looking forward to winter yet?

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A world without mosquitos.

 

 

What You Do.

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We all begin at the same place, as wide-eyed innocent children, full of wonder, exploring our amazing and magical world. More often than not, it’s the people and the expectations from our culture around us that banishes the sparkle from our existence. We begin to give our attention to what everyone else wants for us as opposed to whatever we might desire. It happens through dogma and brainwashed beliefs. It’s taught to us when our sponge-like minds are ready to soak up knowledge like water from a sink; be normal, work hard, and don’t fool around. Society wants typical, well-behaved, tax paying citizens. Don’t listen. I dare you to ignore the propaganda of all news related feeds. If you want to read something worthwhile, read psychology books, so you can become familiar with human thought processes, and as a result you will find the clarity to live your own future.

I’m here to remind you that living within the constraints of society’s ‘normal’ is soul sucking. It leads you into the robot factory. Rise and shine, eat, have a big poop, go to work, eat, work, come home, eat, watch TV or play video games. Intermittently, you will shop and buy stuff you need; food, clothing, and toilet paper. Much of the time you purchase extra hogwash you don’t really want, or need. Usually, it’s because the television recommended the product, or a fashion magazine demanded you to buy it to remain en vogue.

Let me ask you, what did you do last night? Did you do anything that fed your inner spark that leads to feeling alive? Or did you simply zone out in front of the television while it brainwashed you into new purchases that will max out your credit card? Listen, I don’t want to be a nagging voice. I’m pretty sure you already have one of those. I simply want to say, you are potential incarnate. Don’t settle for where you are, or you will find yourself on autopilot sporting a vapid stare.

Let’s pause for a second my confidante, consider the fact that our bodies are simply blood and bone with some muscle and gristle thrown in for good measure. Consider also, that we are all on a continuous path to the compost heap. Looking at those facts, I have to wonder why we get stuck in the robot life? Why don’t we have some fun while we are here? As a matter of fact, why not have a whole heap of fun? We don’t need to be so serious about our lives. I seriously think we need to drop all the frowsy faces. As a matter of fact I’m going to insist. I’ve changed into a kickass desperado. I’m a brigand with a black balaclava on, fighting for fun. I pump  my 12 gauge shot-gun and fire it into the air to wipe away the vapid stares and frowns faces. “Listen up folks,” I shout. “I’m taking all your frowns. You figure out how to put a smile on your face without using money, because no one goes to the grave with all their stuff. The pyramids are closed for business.” A ray of light shines through the blast hole in the ceiling, dust drifts down like the sparkles from a diamond. I rip off my balaclava and stand in the glittering glow like a fairy godmother in the sunlight. “Tick tock, my friends, the compost heap is near. Decipher what brings enchantment into your life before the clock strikes twelve.”

One last bit of useful advice, ignore all your shoulds, coulds, and woulds that will undermine your ability to create your chosen life. You know what I speak of, I should do that. I would have done that. I could do that. Should, would and could are words that will hold you back because they attached to the energy of a big fat BUT. Speak no more buts, instead, ask yourself; what’s holding you back? Why are you hesitating? How can I make my dreams come true? Grab a hold of your desires today. Begin your plan today to manifest the best life you can imagine. Keep in mind however, that I am not condoning acts of self-mutilation or murder.

 

A Good Life

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Alvin Richard Mitchell  May 12, 1940 — August 2, 2016

“That was when the world wasn’t so big and I could see everywhere. It was when my father was a hero and not a human.” — Markus Zusak

My dad, Alvin was born into a family as the oldest of two children. During his early years he excelled at annoying the crap out of his younger sister, Shirley. Yet, somehow despite the fact he was a shit disturber, he remained the apple of his Mom’s eye. He adored his Mother until the end of his time. “She was a great woman,” he would say  emphatically. “A hard working woman —And boy could she swing an axe.”

He was raised to be a tough farmboy, who wasn’t allowed the luxury of using excuses for unfinished work. As a result of his upbringing with high expectations he became a determined individual. Al was always up for a challenge. He went straight from the farm fields, and right into the oil patch to earn his livelihood as a rig hand. Then when the jobs on the rigs slowed for spring breakup, he joined the Navy on a whim. He became the ships signalman. He travelled the seas from San Francisco to Singapore. On shore leave in Victoria, B.C. he met his future wife, Gail. Then shortly after, Alvin’s father, Walter, injured his leg in a farming accident and was unable to work. Under those circumstances, Alvin was given a compassionate discharge from the Navy in order to return home and run the family farm. Once Walter’s leg was healed he went back to farming, and once again Alvin found himself looking for work. It didn’t take long before he was hired on through the forestry as a timber cruiser, and once again his amazing work ethic led him into a position working as a Forest Officer for the Alberta Forest Service.

During the next five years, at separate intervals, Alvin became a proud/confused father to three bouncing/ squealing baby girls. During this time, it was with great pleasure that Al took night classes to earn his pilots licence. Eventually the trials of continually dealing with people within the rules of a bureaucratic government job took its toll, and he escaped. He bought the family farm from his father, Walter. He worked the land and raised cattle for many years until he became too cranky and fed-up to handle one more day of cow shit and tractor exhaust.

Alvin retired to British Columbia, with his second wife, Gil, to a life of fishing, curling, and golfing. He even had the occasional game of ‘Why the hell did I play ball? I can hardly walk‘, with a slow-pitch team called the Brew Crew, in Robson, B.C.

It’s funny, my Dad never considered the possibility that cancer might snuff out his life. I’m not sure why he hadn’t, after a lifetime of smoking he should have known the big C would be the logical result. Oddly enough it didn’t take hold in his lungs, it took root in his bowels. They operated, and then treated him with chemo and radiation. He toughed it out. As time went on, I knew for a fact that he would have preferred a bolt of lightening, rather than the long drawn out treatments, making him feel sicker than the illness itself. It was a shocking experience for him after a lifetime of good health.

When the cancer came back, it sapped his strength, and ate his body. The damage caused by the sickness angered Alvin, “I look like a goddamn concentration camp victim,” he would say. And he did. I could have learned every single bone in a humans skeleton on his ravaged body. Yet, Dad still breathed.

The vibrant man of action that I had known all my life was now replaced by a ghost of what he had been. He was a mere shadow of his former self, and he spent his final days staring out the window, and watching the river flow along. I could see in his wistful gaze, that he wished for the strength to toss in a hook and snag a fish one last time. In the confines of his living room, the constant drone of the television sounded; hockey, golf, curling, and of course, both the morning and nightly news, for both Alberta and British Columbia. And then for some bizarre reason Alvin choose, ‘My Five Hundred Pound Life’ as a short term favourite. The fragility of a human life had never seemed so clear for this man who had once sailed around the world. Now, confined to his living room by his illness, it was there in that small space, where he found comfort in small things. He sat in his recliner, sipped on his coffee, and pulled deeply on his cigarette. They were the only things he had the strength to do.

I asked if he had any regrets. If there was anything he would have liked to change about his past life. I watched him ponder that question as he inhaled another lungful of smoke. “No,” he said as he paused tilting his head, and tapping the ashes off his ciggy. “Well— I don’t think so,” he replied in his gritty voice. “I’ve had a pretty good life.” He nodded slowly. “A pretty good life.” And then he offered me a grin, weathered and worn. The familiar smile that all his friends and family loved, the one that invited you to smile along. And of course a person would. That was Alvin, that was my Dad in his final days. Gil’s cinnamon buns for breakfast, a good cup of coffee, and his smoke. He was a simple man, satisfied with the abundance of ordinary things. Nothing fancy for him in his faded flannel, thread bare, plaid shirt, his favourite attire— with, of course, a pocket to hold all the lighters he would inadvertently borrow when looking for a light.

It’s a painful process watching your Dad whither away. He was my hero when I was young. I thought the sun choose him to shine on all day long. I remember being a bobbling child and following his light around just to feel it’s warmth. He walked with giant steps, and towered over all things. He was the most handsome, athletic, brilliant Dad that anyone could ever wish for. I felt bad for all the other kids with ordinary Dads.

As age often does, there came a time I saw my Dad as a mortal. He struggled, but he did the best he could. He taught us the basics to succeed in life. First and foremost, he instilled a strong work ethic in his girls, Holy Hannah, the work ethic was strong. Later in life Dad said, “I know I was hard on all you girls, but it’s important in life to do a good job, it shows strong character.”

Growing up on the farm our Dad taught us how to drive, disc, rake hay, give a strong left hook, hammer, paint, shoot, fish, and run the grain auger while keeping body parts safe. He taught us to skidoo—but I missed the lesson on avoiding trees. He taught us how to dance to the oldies, the jive, the twist and the two-step. I may have kicked my sisters inadvertently. He schooled us on poker, and how to lose the entire contents of your piggy bank at poker. All great lessons.

When he became a grandfather, he literally beamed when spending time with his grandkids, a sunflower would have been persuaded to swivel on it’s stalk to follow the light in his heart.

My Dad died at the age of 76. He was the oldest, young-hearted  person, I ever knew. He will forever be missed. For such a slender fellow he sure took up a big space in plenty of hearts. God, Bless him.

 

 

Ragging on Trudeau

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I love Canada, I love the expansive diversity of the people within it, because for the most part we are all top drawer, fly, awesome, all that, and a bag of chips. But you know what makes me hang my head in shame? It’s our leader. It’s our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I end up with a permanent sauerkraut face every time I hear him speak. Can somebody get this guy some acting lessons?

I spent a couple of hours on the Internet watching footage during question period in the House of Commons. I couldn’t help but notice Mr. Trudeau rarely answers a question from the opposition. He just reiterates that they lowered taxes for the middle class, and raised taxes for the wealthiest 1%, and increased the child tax benefit. Yes, to his credit he did do those things, but he also implemented an increase in the CPP and the EI. The whole thing made me nauseous. I ended up taking the dog outside for some fresh air. We both ate grass in the ditch to make our tummy’s feel better.

Mr Trudeau’s first budget for 2016/2017 was supposed to bring us into a 10 billion dollar deficit. It ballooned into a 17.8 billion dollar deficit. In 2017/2018 the deficit is supposed to be 19 billion. In 2018/2019 the government ran a 14 billion dollar deficit. With all this debt, the red ink is running out and the pen with the black ink has been sucked into the black hole of liberal spending— And for what?

We all know Justin believes in peace and love. Me too, that’s why I’m not in politics. But did he really need to give $20 million dollars to the Clinton Foundation when we have hungry and homeless people at home? Is he trying to buy his way into fame with the tax payers money? I just want to say, “Let me give you a heads up Junior, you can’t buy love or respect. You can buy sex though. And selfies are free. Not saying you ever bought sex, but the whole country knows about your selfie addiction.”

I would like to believe Justin Trudeau will evolve into a great leader. I want to believe in miracles… but I think I have to face the facts. Here are some Justin Trudeau fact quotes,

Justin— “I can do anything I want, and there is nothing I want more, than to be a teacher, and maybe create more people like me, who recognise the importance of taking responsibility for the world.” (The Globe and Mail, February 3, 2001) So now you understand where the Canadian taxpayers money is going. He is building a secret laboratory and cloning his DNA to make more people just like him.

Justin—“One of the big difficulties for me, has been all my life, I’ve been an international traveler. I’ve spent years travelling around the world, seeing all sorts of different countries.” (Salam Toronto, March 27, 2014) It’s a hardship indeed. Was that an arrogant statement? Or a smug statement? Maybe his next quote will clarify.

Trudeau was asked, “Do you regret making the comment about China? That it was the country you most admire?” Apparently he admires China a great deal, after all he gave them the LNG project worth billions instead of using Canadian companies and Canadian steel.

“Maybe we shouldn’t be so smug about Canada,” replied Trudeau. (Xtra, November 20, 2013)

Holy horse pucky, damn rights I’m smug about Canada. Would you like to live in China Mr. Trudeau? http://thediplomat.com/2017/03/chinas-human-rights-crackdown-a-global-problem/

Justin “But 15 million dollars a year, which is not a whole lot of money in the grand scheme of things.” (Sun News, March 30, 2012) Pffff, it’s just a drop in the bucket Justin. Which leads directly into the next quote— Justin said,  “The budget will balance itself.” (CPAC, February 11, 2014)

Justin— “Canada isn’t doing well right now because it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn’t work.” (Tele-Quebec, November 24, 2010.) Hey! Funny how Justin remembered the Albertans when it comes to the blame game, and redistributing Alberta’s wealth. I guess he just leaves us out of the celebrations.

Justin— “I am very much in favour of the west-east pipeline.” (Your McMurray Magazine, May 29, 2014)

Justin— “The East Energy Oil pipeline is not socially acceptable.” (Le Soleil, December 13, 2014) Excuse me Mr. Prime Minister— Omega 3 might help with your memory troubles.

Justin— “The thinking that got us into this place no longer holds. We have to rethink elements as basic as space and time.” (Sun News, September 11, 2014) Beam me up Scotty. Preferably to a space and time without Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister.

Be Warned, Be Damned

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This morning I learned my inversion table could cause my death.

Should I be fearful? Maybe my inversion table attire should include a hardhat, steel toe boots, and a brilliant orange safety vest with an iridescent yellow x on the back. When I viewed the warning label on my gismo, I couldn’t help but wonder, what sort of brainiac would neglect to fasten the leg straps when they have chosen to hang upside-down. In the past, the damaging result would been identified as natural selection. Or perhaps, a more rational reason for the warning label is, that the company must protect themselves from devious bastards. You all know who I’m alluding to, those individuals that ferret out the absence of warning labels, so they can purposely injure themselves, and sue the crapola out of a company.

In the future, I envision holograms popping up as informational warnings before using any allegedly dangerous items. I imagine myself stepping onto my inversion table. Suddenly, a hologram springs to life in the form of a safety officer wearing a sky blue uniform with a  brass badge pinned on her chest.  She’ll raise a threatening hand. “Stop right there,” she’ll say with all the enthusiasm of a cheerleader on nose whiskey. “Do you realize you could drop onto your head, and break your neck if you don’t fasten your ankle straps securely?” The first time Miss. Teehee Jollygasm appears, I can imagine being agreeable. “Absolutely,” I would say, “I’ m not an idiot, straps are always a good idea… unless you’re a school principal, or protesting sadomasochism.” But by the fourth ghostly visit, I’d tell the hologram to get stuffed, and by the tenth time of being commanded by an artificial presence, I would tear into the machine hunting for the newfangled forever internal battery, and rip out wires like a warthog foraging for roots.

Are we for real as a society? I’m seriously questioning the evolution of the human species. Please read for your amusement this short list of warnings and cautions on random items.

On a bag of peanuts — Warning: Contains peanuts, not suitable for nut and sesame allergy sufferers due to the methods used in the manufacturing of this product. I have no words.

Warning label for front load washing machines— During high-speed spins do not put any person in this washer. Interesting, is it okay on the gentle cycle? But wait, hold on here, super informative warning label, if you are stuffing a person into a washing machine, I tend to think your intentions are not aligned with the safety and welfare of others.

A warning label on a warning label—Read before using, read directions, cautions, and warnings carefully. If you do not understand, or cannot read all directions, cautions and warnings. Do not use this product. The idiocy is self-explanatory.

Safety rule for a drill—This product is not intended for use as a dental drill or medical appliance. Hmmm, I’ll be sure to let the mafia know.

Danger, do not feed or molest the alligators— Gators cannot be tamed, and feeding them can result in them mistaking a hand for a handout. The law prohibits the feeding or molesting of all alligators. Is it just me? Or am I the only one who wants to watch a person trying to molest an alligator.

Found on a hairdryer, Instructions for use— Do not use while sleeping. At first, I thought this was a ridiculous warning. However, after researching it, apparently, there is an addiction to sleeping with your hairdryer. Who knew? Blow me baby… Blow me.

A warning on matches—Caution, contents may catch fire. In a surprising turn of events, the matches were the best fire starter of the day.

An iron-on transfer for a t-shirt— Do not iron on while wearing the shirt. What event has transpired that has resulted in a need for this caution? Maybe the instigator of the warning looked down at his or her stark white T-shirt, and suddenly had a deep desire for a multicoloured design. Did the person pant breathlessly begging, “Must have color now… neeeed it. Dooo it! Just do it! I can’t wait.”

On a box of rat poison— Warning: has been found to cause cancer in laboratory mice. Cancer? You mean it didn’t kill the mice? Maybe the warning was meant to direct you away from touching the poison. Now, call me crazy, but if you’re like me,  I would surmise it’s never a good idea to touch poison with bare hands, but then again, there are those reckless humans out and about, probably the same ones that are trying to molest the alligators.

So gang, what do you think? Are people really neglecting to connect the dots, or are companies just covering their substantial buttocks from the possibility of being sued? I have noticed people are quite brilliant when it comes to technology, but when it comes down to survival, the warning signs are all over the place. Let’s face it, trial and error mentors genius, and experience is the best professor on the planet. I vote to remove the warning labels and let natural consequences prevail.

You Matter

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Photo by Shane Kell on Pexels.com

I try to be positive about life, typically if I happen upon a pile of poop, I think, “Oh look fertilizer.” However, this time, I wasn’t looking where I was walking, and I accidentally stepped into the foul mess. I soon realized it was dog poop. The brown goo clings to my shoes, and it stinks, oh Lord, does it stink. I attempt to scrub my shoes on the grass, and soon find has it only makes matters worse. It’s hopeless, the only thing I achieved was to grind the brown goop into my teeny tiny sneaker treads. My shoes reeked. I momentarily thought I should throw them out, but no, I couldn’t do that, they are practically brand new. Would you throw them out?

And on that note, have do you ever wondered why so many people make purchases on a mindless whim? You would think we should all be aware that the middle-class are being played for fools. The sad fact is that we are all contributing to pollution with our brainless buying. The big corporations have the people of North America right where they want them, a population of easily influenced customers. Massive corporations use manipulative advertising inserted into several different forms of media every hour of the day. They do it to activate the desire in people to run out and purchase the latest and greatest gadget.

The cities, with their growing populations exist as the big-box stores most valuable crop of shoppers. These sprawling megalopolis area’s contain a captive audience, in which companies plant the many seeds of need for new and exciting items. In this fertile ground, one person buys the latest advertised product that might do everything but wax your moustache. And then that brainwashed buyer returns home and promptly shows off their new purchase to a friend or neighbor. Then the covetous friend or neighbor will also buy the stupendous new gadget. Pretty soon, everyone owns the new device.

Six-months pass and now most people have lost interest in their product. The next thing you know a newfangled contraption has exploded onto the advertising sites and captured people’s attention… and their wallets. Before you know it, the secondhand stores are inundated by donations of that same fantastic plastic product that was all the rage not long ago. No one wants yesterdays glamour. These former pieces that had gripped peoples greed are now relegated to the out of sight and out of mind place, where all trashy products go. The majority of the once-popular items will be tossed into the landfill, or even into the ocean. It is the final resting place, and there, the junk retires for several hundred lifetimes before it crumbles away.

It’s not an easy thing to to do, to wake up and realize you’re being manipulated into an idea that buying stuff will bring you happiness. It takes maturity and wisdom to truly understand that happiness is an inside job. There is nothing you can buy, that will bring you joy, or satisfaction, for more than a day or two. Happiness, and more importantly, spiritual fulfillment can be attained by feeling grateful, and from expressing personal creativity, and from actively engaging with the world. A joyful existence manifests from making a conscious attempt to experience your life with a sense of love rather than desire and excess.

There’s no doubt that adjusting to a new way of buying can be challenging, but why don’t we start by supporting smaller companies where we can purchase quality products that will last. Why don’t we use our beautiful minds to consider our reasons for spending hard-earned money on something new? When you are contemplating a purchase, imagine where the new item will eventually end up if it gets broken, or worn, or despised. Where do your cast-offs go? Are they made with durable materials so someone else can enjoy them a second time around? Or are they made brittle plastic and paints that fade or chip?

I met a man a while back, and we were discussing recycling, “Yeah,” he said with a wave of his hand. “I used to recycle everything. Then I watched a documentary on garbage and pollution.” He paused, and his face tightened as he shook his head. “We are so screwed. The way I see it, it doesn’t matter what I do. I’m not wasting my time recycling.” Wow! My jaw dropped, I looked like I took too many benzos. Now, I’ll admit it won’t be a straightforward event to clean up a planet, but how about we try. Don’t be the guy who gives up and waves his white plastic flag shouting, “I surrender.”

The middle-class people are the prime target market for big companies because the middle-class people make up the largest group of consumers. You matter. We support the Billionaires whose supper, cost more than the average monthly mortgage payment. So, that being said, consider the idea that it is actually you, and I, and all the other middle-class folks that can create the change for quality products by refusing to buy crap. You matter, you are not invisible.  Corporations, in general, don’t look at anything else but the number of items sold, positive digits in the form of profit. Therefore, if the masses decide to buy quality over quantity, the change for more durable products has to happen. We, the citizens of the extensive middle-class, can make an enormous difference. You matter. As an individual, you have the final say on how you spend your cash. The choices we make together as consumers will have an impact on our kids, our neighbours kids, and all the future generations.

Stepping in dog crap can be a nasty experience, especially if it’s a monumental turd from a Great Dane. The initial thought after stumbling into a mound of feces might be to toss your shoes into the nearest garbage bin, out of sight and out of mind. But is that truly the answer? What if everyone took the easy way out? If the shoes are quality, a person could simply drop the putrid footwear into a sink of warm soapy water, snap on a pair of rubber gloves, and scrub the shoes clean.