Best Road Ever

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Right or Left?

Fasten your seatbelts and take a moment to tumble into this line from Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken’,

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—“

In the past I have finished this sentence by cavorting along the path of life tossing confetti into the air and watching it fall around me. I confess to chasing small forest creatures into the bush and losing my way. Today I realize I am at a fork in my road. And I really hope I don’t fork this up. This year I decided to forgo flitting down the trail and becoming distracted by things such as the light filtering through the trees. I decided I am picking my path with purpose. No more darting off into the trees to chase squirrels for me. I think I may have been a Canadian cur in a previous life.

How about you? Do you have insight as to why you choose the road you’re currently on? Do you stay focused on your route ahead? Do you believe the choices before you are vast and open? I hope you can recognize your potential and brilliance.

You are unlimited.

Continue moving forward, one foot in front of the other, pause to catch your breath, do a little cha cha cha, and keep going. A sure fire strategy to fulfilling your aspirations is to keep travelling. Maybe there will be more forks in your road? No worries take a break consider your options and go. Refuse to halt your progress, balk at becoming a stagnant pool of decomposing sludge. Sometimes fear will whisper in your ear, “Stop, you’re making a fool of yourself. The only thing ahead of you is ridicule and failure. Don’t listen, return your focus to your goals. Move! Dance along the road of existence with a smile on your face. You know where you are going. Simply wrap yourself in the clothing of possibility for the journey. As you continue forward, you will soon find the momentum of your decision will carry you into your future with ease.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—”

Dealing With Depression

September 2009 to March 2010-18

The heaviness is daunting; your body weighs more than it should, even if you’re the size of a twig. The effort to accomplish anything in your day is like wading through chest deep water to get it done. You pretend to be fine but your emotions range from sad to numb. Hope is far from your heart, you think it is a magical feeling at the end of someone else’s rainbow. You wonder why you can’t rise up out of this dark funk. There must be something seriously wrong with you. Some fatal flaw, and if anyone sees it— they will walk away, and you will be even more alone than you already feel.

I’ve been there, on the edge of actually living, in the deep depths of personal anguish. It’s not something easily shared. It can be hidden from everyone who loves you. It’s both frightening and amazing that even as you toy with the idea of ending it all— no one knows.

Addiction and mental illness runs strongly through my bloodlines on both sides. So I am a well-bred pony for running the distance with alcoholism, depression, and bi-polar. I experienced depression on and off in my life. Thankfully I am well now and throughout my years of struggle with this very private affliction I discovered essential practices that hastened my healing dramatically.

Step one is to seek professional help. If you are reluctant to do so because you fear the stigma or other reasons, then try the steps I have listed below, they can be effective for mild depression. However, if you commit to the following steps and they do not help please, please, seek professional guidance.

Step two is by far the most important self-help step; this is like making sure you put on a seatbelt before you go on a roller coaster ride. Practice appreciation; find the time to feel reverence for life each and everyday. I understand the walls you have built up inside yourself might not allow the feeling of appreciation to get through at first, so practice on small things. Maybe a dazzling butterfly that landed in your garden? Or the sunlight shining down through the grey clouds? Maybe observe the perfection of the tiny fingernails on a baby’s hand? Or become mesmerized by the soft curved eyelashes on a sleeping toddlers face? The point here, is to try and find love and appreciation for something that opens your heart. If you begin to feel the positive flow of love and appreciation extend it to yourself. Then expand it to include other people, moments, and things. It can be a two-minute practice a few times a day. Or a longer practice once a day. The trick is to get your mind moving out of the negative thought patterns that inundate you when you are depressed. I came across a video on you tube quite a few years ago and if you are having troubles opening your heart to appreciation it may bring aid. You might need a Kleenex box beside you when you watch it, A good day with Brother David Steindl-Rast. (click on A good day and Shazam you’re at the video)

Step three is to withdraw from the news, and any sort of TV shows encouraging judgement of others. When we are depressed all we hear is our own negative judgement on ourselves and on our lives. Hearing judgement of others and seeing it on TV just reinforces our dark side if you will.

Step four is to engage in some type of exercise. Again, I realize this isn’t an easy task because the last thing you feel like doing when you are walking through water chest deep everyday is to exercise. Trust me and do it anyway, maybe go swimming; you’re in the water anyway. It will help. I promise. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym. Start slowly— ten minutes a day, five minutes? Whatever? Just do something and then increase the time you do it every few days.

Step five is to buy a herbal cleanse, of course check with your health care provider to ensure it is compatible with anything else you might be taking. They might pooh pooh the whole idea but poop, pooping can be very good for you. Think about it this way, our intestines are like long lines of curved pipes, over our life they accumulate sludge and chemicals from the food we eat. Just like the pipes in the house, depending on what you put in them, the sludge will build up to the point of affecting the septic system. It’s the same with your body. A cleanse will loosen up the sludge and clear it out. The chemicals in the sludge could be contributing to the way you feel. I have one word of caution for you if you begin a cleanse— toilet. Stay close to a toilet during the first few days.

Step six is to watch your diet. I know– now you’re thinking this blog sucks, not only does she want me to exercise, quit watching TV and destroy my bathroom with a ridiculous amounts of pooping, now she wants me to diet! What a bitch! Yes, I can accept that. I actually want you to call me every rotten stinking name you have stored away in your hostile little heart. Get it all out. You can even call me the C word, and I hate that word more than Donald Trump himself. I just want you to feel better. I want you to find that spark inside your heart and tend to it until you have a roaring blaze of life inside you. So back to diet, it’s pretty basic, eat vegetables, fruit, protein, whole grains, healthy oils and fats like avocado oil, olive oil, grape seed oil and butter, limit your sugars, use NON-GMO when possible, and go ahead and cheat occasionally. However, when you cheat be prepared for the addictive nature of sugar, once you have the chocolate bar your going to want more, same with salty snacks. Being forewarned is forearmed against food craving attacks.

Step seven is to limit your contact with people who push you into the spiralling dark hole of hopelessness. If you are in a close relationship with them they will notice your absence. That means you might have to take a couple puffs of a big gagger and give it to them straight. If you can do it without the puffs, all the better, but it doesn’t mean you get to be nasty and accusatory. Just be firm, this is your life. Tell them like it is, you are working on getting well and you need some distance. Anyone who truly cares for you will support your decision.

Step eight is to keep a journal and write whatever you want in it, and then burn the pages when you are done. It is an emotionally purifying exercise where you can vent and then release the emotions by turning them to ash.

Step nine is to meditate, or practice Reiki, or Qui Gong, these practices allow for a positive frame of mind. They all aid in letting go of damaging beliefs. Research each and see which one appeals to you. I practice Reiki myself because I can easily access love and acceptance for myself within the practice. Meditation and Qui Gong are excellent as well, and there are many free practices to be found on YouTube.

Step ten is to unplug from technology period. No social media, no checking status or messages. Who’s more important to your survival? Other people or you? Go for a walk without your phone, listen to music, have an epsom salt bath, whatever, just please, find out how good it feels to unplug. It’ll be difficult at first but I know you can do this. People had no technology for hundreds of years and they were much happier for it. An hour a day away from electronics will not kill you. That’s my mama talking.

So go ahead and kick depressions butt, it doesn’t have to rule your world. You can change your outcome. You can find joy again. The only thing you have control of in this entire world is you. So get hopeful, and practice the steps which make you strong. You’ve got this lovely person.

Mind Your Own Bees Wax

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Well, let me just say, “I take offense to your offense, and I am super offended because you think I offended you. When really it’s you that offends me because you’ve taken offence to some perceived insult.”

The definition of perceived is to interpret something or someone in a certain way.

If everyone would just mind their own bee’s wax we’d have plenty of bees, and wax, and the world would continue to spin in the appropriate way.

I think we should operate on every single person and take out their offense button, and while we’re at it we should take out the perceived button so they can simply see the facts instead of interpreting people and things a certain way. It’ll make Deputy Dog’s job easier, “Just the fact Ma’am, I only need to know the facts.

I despise feeling offended. I want to be all peace, and love, and Zen. I want to sit in my mellow space with my diffuser spewing out the scent of lemongrass and bergamot. I’d like to keep my, everything will work out fine attitude. It seems I can’t.

I have unwittingly joined the ranks of other Canadians becoming a wee bit hypersensitive these days. Not only have I felt offended, now I’ve become on edge about opening my mouth, I might say the wrong thing. I might behave… God forbid, politically incorrect. Knowing this, I’ve come to believe that sometimes people lie about what they actually believe in order to prevent offending anyone else. This is a tragedy. Pressuring people to think a certain way promotes a bunch of phonies running around not truly supporting anything.

I would rather meet an honest person who displays their true colors with disagreement, than meet the one who is pretending to follow todays latest politically correct agenda. Lets be honest, you can only have an engaging and enlightening discussion with someone if they are offering you an accurate view they have of the world. Arguing different viewpoints doesn’t necessarily mean anybody’s wrong or right. It generally means the truth lies somewhere in the middle. A difference of opinion does not mean one person is bad and the other is good. The gray areas in life are far more profuse than black and white. I’ve taken to adding more gray clothing to my wardrobe in support of that very point.

Truth be known, it’s the politics in the country that really jabs the button on my feeling offended. Every time I look at the news headlines it jolts my Feeling Offended button just like a pre-schooler hitting the crosswalk button a hundred times.

I’ve come to the conclusion I should start wearing a paper bag on my head.

If you saw me, you might ask, “Why are you wearing a paper bag on your head?”

I might shrug brushing the bottom of the bag with my shoulders and answer, “It’s because I’ve taken offense to my own offense. I am so tired of being offended. It’s utterly exhausting.”

“I still don’t understand?” you would ask, “Why would you wear a paper bag on your head just because you’re offended?”

“It’s a corrective action, it stops me from looking around for more things to be offended about.” I said. “It forces me to mind my own bee’s wax.”

You might make a face, “But then you’ll miss all the other wonderful things going on in the world.”

I’d shake my head and the bag might shift slightly, “Not really, I miss them anyways by always searching for things to be offended about. This way, if I mind my own bees wax for a while, I’ll have enough wax to do my own Bikini line.”

Golly Gee Wilikers, Is That You Superman?

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I love fun. I adore Halloween. I’m a teeny bit disappointed my Hubby and I didn’t dress up and attend the local Halloween bash this year. However, Rick’s been working long days, his sixty-hour week drags him down, so he was too taxed to Tango, literally. He’s been wondering if all his hard work is worth it, when half his wages go to paying taxes.

I know, here I go again. I keep telling myself I’m done, I will not write about Justin Trudeau anymore. I will not destroy my peaceful existence with another rant. But… Did you see the latest? And this comment is not because I am a stick in the Halloween goo, because I love it when people wear costumes at work on the spooktacular day.  However, when I saw Trudeau dressed up as Clark Kent, A.K.A Superman, I couldn’t help but do a tremendous eye-roll. I’m talking freaky pupils gone eye-roll, I actually lost vision in both eyes for a few seconds, and I admit to being grateful for it, because then I didn’t have to see Justin’s self-satisfied smirk any longer.

So now our egomaniacal Prime Minister thinks he’s slugging it out in the trenches and defeating evil at every turn like Superman. The audacity of him, you know, he could have reached for the joke. He could have disarmed his critics and haters with something fun. He could have dressed up like a beaver, or a polar bear, or a pair of socks? But no, he chose Superman. Once again he demonstrates his ego on a large scale. He see’s himself as the most powerful being on planet Earth. He chooses a Superhero created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, high school students living in Cleveland Ohio. Why didn’t he choose a Canadian Superhero like Wolverine, created in Cold Lake, Alberta, or Captain Canuck, created by Richard Comely, out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Or is that all too domestic, and too Canadian for our worldly Prime Minister?

I am not a fan of a counterfeit smile.

I am a fan of an honest demeanour. I believe in humanitarian efforts, I believe in legalizing marijuana, and yes I would even champion a carbon tax if all that money were going directly towards supporting clean energy options. I believe Quebec, and any other province which dumps sewage into our waterways should be held accountable.  I believe Canada should manufacture more products at home. I believe we should be actively recruiting and developing inventive minds. I believe in creating positive trading relations with countries who have the same fundamental beliefs as our own country, freedom of expression, freedom to protest, freedom of religion unless it causes harm to others, (no devil worship please, sacrifices are generally not voluntary ) freedom of sexual orientation, and strong child protection laws.

What I am not a fan of however, is a hypocrite. On that note, I do not agree with all of Trudeau’s renovations, expensive holidays, and costly meals when he is away from the country, which seems to be a great deal of the time. I do not agree with the whopping deficit his government is incurring for the Canadian people. I especially do not agree with Trudeau’s deal with China. If the Trudeau government is so concerned about the welfare and rights of people, why is he striking trade agreements with countries like China? Do you want to  support an authoritarian regime by doing business with them? Have a look at these articles. This is Trudeau’s choice of trade partner—  the Amnesty report on China for 2016/2017China’s deadly secret, and last, but not least Trudeau urges Canadian companies to do business with China.

This is why I’m not sailing along on the Trudeaumania love boat. Justin can’t possibly represent Superman, because Superman would never deal with a country which denies their people creative freedoms, and silences outspoken human rights activists through harassment, imprisonment, and torture.

Looking forward to next Halloween. God? Is that you?

Becoming A Wisengeezer

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If I were in the twilight years of life.

So the other day I asked my step-mom, Gil to give me a topic for my blog. “Anything,” I said. “It can be anything at all.”

She suggested I let my imagination zip into the future and write a profile of myself as a senior. At first I though, Ack! Kill me now! I don’t want to think about sagging body bits, bowel dysfunctions or misfires, failing eyesight, hearing loss, thinning hair, or extra pounds sneaking onto my meat suit. It’s not funny. I’m too close, it’s a freakin horror show. However, frightening or not, it’s a fact of life. It’s one most of us will have to face— if we’re lucky enough to make it to the coons age.

I trampled my resistance to the topic of aging, and after allowing the idea to ruminate in my mind. I came to the conclusion writing this would be more fun than putting Capri’s on a camel.

I believe old age is a state of mind, you’re only old and defunct, if you believe you are old and defunct. Bing bang boom, I arrive in my mid sixties with a face more like a prune than a raisin, but a sassy looking prune with a smile. My eyes droop at the corners, and my eyelids hang like a Bassett hounds. My super duper elastic reinforced bra keeps my boobies in line, as I never believed in letting them hang down and swing to and fro. My hair is far too thin for a lady, I’ve taken to wearing a wig with dreadlocks, I always wanted dreads. The skin on my body has the appearance of crepe paper but underneath my muscles are toned by exercising to rap music, every time I hear an explicit lyric I lift weights, or do an abdominal hold, or complete a series of leg raises.

In an effort to avoid a hum drum existence I would most likely take a few classes, a scrapbooking class, using pictures and phrases to capture the dastardly deeds I had done, or wished I had done in my life, scratch and sniff stickers included but not advised. In keeping with my creative side, I give birth to my own You Tube Channel featuring shows with local talent like Batwing Granny, Nightmare on Forgetful Street, Grandpas Gone Wild, Gummy Gummy Grandma, and Dr. Who?

Maybe I’ll finally learn to play an instrument with expertise, cello, piano, or fellatio? If my Hubby is still with me we could go out to political rallies and take turns heckling the politicians.

I could take up home brewing tequila, and have a ring around the rosie party with shots. Ring around the rosie, glasses full of boozy, cheers, cheers, we all fall down.

If my hubby is no longer with me I could go fishing on the weekend. I would catch and release. I know all the good ones are already dead or taken.

In the summer I’d plan a holiday in a recreational vehicle as a stowaway.

I’ll become an active participant in organizations similar to The Red Hat Society, but with more grit. I could join The Association of Gravestone Studies for future reference? Or maybe I would sit on the board of The National Association for Self-Esteem, but only if I’m good enough.

If my kids are sick of me and send me to a seniors living residence I’d become the local bookie, I’d take bets on the date of death for the oldest residents, no cheating allowed. The odds would go up or down according to physical ailments. In that atmosphere I could see myself enjoying some of the handicraft courses they might offer, instead of Build-A- Bear, it would be Build-A-Dildo, satisfaction guaranteed. Or I could take a pottery class. I would get my fingers in the clay and design my own urn.

If I needed some extra pocket money I’d get a phone sales job, where my husky voice, clear phone connection, and thorough knowledge of Fifty Shades Of Grey will really pay off. On a slow evening I could sell some irrelevant things on line, like the neighbours stuff. Or, I could hang out on the fringes of someone else’s busy garage sale and collect the money. Nothing says honest like saggy skin, silver hair, and age spots.

If I’m fortunate enough to live in my home as a senior I might get a pet, maybe a bird, a macaw, Id teach it an altered idea from Shakespeare, “To be or not to be? Soon it will no longer be a question.”

Seriously though, when I really do become a senior— I hope the attention I have given to eating healthy, being physically active, mentally exercised, and being emotionally aware will bring me into old age with a positive attitude. If not? Well then, roll me a giddy stick of the devil’s cabbage kiddo’s, with the new medicinal marijuana laws coming into play, there is no way life is gonna bring me down. That’s deaths job.

I dedicate this spontaneous blogarrhea to my most wonderful step-mom, Gil. She’s a good step-mom, her demons were exorcized long ago.

I’m Done For

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The other day a screw fell out of the stool I was sitting on at home. It just plinked onto the floor with no encouragement at all. I picked it up. I studied it, and thought, well that’s weird.

A little later on that same day as I was vacuuming the front rug, a silver thingy popped up catching my eye. I bent over and picked it up. It was another screw. Very strange indeed, we hadn’t been building anything recently. I put it on the counter for someone to claim later in the day.

A couple hours later I was making a dessert which required me to use a hand held pastry blender, as I worked the butter into the flour a screw flew out of the wooden handle onto the counter.

Now I am scared to leave home, with those three events happening on the same day I do believe the Universe is sending me a message. It’s either telling me I have a screw loose— Or it’s telling me I‘m screwed.

Dreams Come True

 

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The thudding rhythmic beat of the hooves is music to my ears. The momentary pause as man and beast soar over the jump is grace in action. The competitors make it look simple. They just gallop around the course in a collected manner and then spring up over the jump. I’m not sure the audience can fully appreciate the hours of practice and training that goes into the presented teamwork of horse and rider. This is a dream come true, it is the riders dream come true.

I attended the Nations Cup At Spruce Meadows held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on September 9, 2017. It wasn’t only an outing to enjoy the beauty of the equestrian sport but it was a small reunion between a few Equine Studies college friends, and myself. We hadn’t been together in over ten years. So what better way to reconnect than to horse around at Spruce Meadows? Yeah, it’s a groaner.

The horse is an instinctual animal that has survived for hundreds of years by living according to it’s fight or flight instincts. I reluctantly add that horses by nature’s choosing are creatures of prey. In the wild they are hoofed grass eaters subject to the laws of the hunt. The weak and slow of the herd are meals for packs of roving wolves, nature’s henchman of the bush. Most horses choose flight over fight, unless they are cornered, and then watch the kicking, striking, and biting commence. This fact alone should add to your admiration for all who sit astride a horse in hopes of controlling the outcome.

I’ve had the pleasure of horses in my life since I was a naive little pea pod on the vine of life. (Such a bad metaphor, no comments from the peanut gallery.) In my days of being tossed, trampled, struck, bowled over, bit and kicked by horses I know painfully and personally, horses are not just instinctual beings, but are emotional creatures as well. They form strong bonds of companionship between other horses, and given time and trust, between people as well. Horses are sensitive to emotion. They can sense fear or hostility in a person by simply being close to them. They don’t need the demonstration of trembling hands or a baseball bat to the fence, to know a person can’t be trusted in that state of mind. This means, for a rider to be successful, they must be calm and confident, even in the face of their own personal fears. The trust between horse and rider must be like the trust between a flying trapeze performer and their partner who catches them. There can be no hesitation, or doubt, timing is everything. Welcome to the Spock Academy for hopeful equestrians.

Now lets add to the mix, the fact that horses actually do have ideas and desires of their own. Sometimes a stallion would rather be mounting a mare than leaping a fence. It takes a strong hand to guide a stallion to a rider’s whims. Sometimes horses are having a bad day. Maybe they miss a stable-mate, or are feeling lazy, like they would rather just lie around the pasture. It’s a whole different ball game when a sport includes a non-verbal teammate.

 

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Ultimately show jumping is communication between man and beast, for the jumper to be successful the horse must want to jump. Somewhere inside them there is the desire to soar. And as I watched the jumping events it is clear to see the horse trusts it’s rider, and the rider trusts his horse. The horses accepts the encouragement and challenge from their director to jump fences they wouldn’t consider jumping on their own.

It’s bloody amazing. The professionals in any sport can make the task look easy. The teamwork in show jumping seems effortless, and therein lays the magic. It is the slippery fricken magic of appearance. We don’t see the in behind scenes of hard work, or countless hours of practice and failure. We haven’t seen the riders struggle to maintain a positive outlook through their feelings of frustration, doubt and fear. If these show jumpers can trust their horse, who by nature is a creature of fight or flight, to go over jumps for them time and time again— then I think you can trust yourself to accomplish whatever dreams you can conjure up in your limitless mind.

You got this. Oh yes. Damn right you do.

An Absence of Sun

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I’m what you would call an early bird. As many of you know early risers don’t only get the worm, they also incubate a dozen eggs and hatch a batch of chicks too. Not to say the night owls and nighthawks are slackers, it’s just that because of the time of the day there might be more alcohol involved. And then we have those akin to the blue-footed booby— we don’t generally talk about those folks. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with a secret society— they may or may not be under investigation. I plead the fifth my interpretation could be flawed.

As we enter into the seasons shift I can’t help but notice the morning light has attained a later state of being. Now as my alarm sounds out and I reluctantly pop my peeper’s open,  I am greeted by a dungeon-like darkness. The only thing missing is the shackles. Now don’t get me wrong. I like the dark. I just don’t like slippery touches, or bony grasping fingers, or weird snuffling, grunting noises in the pitch black. Not that there are right now, because my husband is away at work.

Now, to keep the truth on track, I admit I’m not totally opposed to the impending winters dark. I often wear black and I confess it’s a classically gorgeous color. If I am not mistaken, black is a combination of colors so it’s kind of like a rainbow in disguise. And who doesn’t like a rainbow? Heh?

So as we return to my 5:00 a.m. rise and shine time. I find the absence of the sun has throttled the very breath out of my fun loving demeanour. I find myself inspired to drag the life size skeleton Mr. Bones from our garage and have him sit beside me on the couch. I am currently playing the top ten hits of funeral music. We mourn the death of my chirpiness together. Although to be frank Mr. Bones seems quite unsympathetic to my state of being.

So here I sit the only live being in the dark. The stars are grieving too, currently 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 it would interrupt the mood. It’s not even that that I’m miserable. I’m just setting the scene to see if I can invite it in, after all misery loves company.

After sitting a while longer I realize it’s not coming— misery has snubbed my overture. I bring Mr. Bones back to the garage, and set him back on his sled with his sunglasses raised. He’s had enough shade for one day.

I wonder about the night owls, do they ever feel drawn to invite misery into their pitch-black moments? Do the seasons changing rhythms cause them to long for the extended evening light of summer? Or do they prefer to be wrapped in a shroud of shadows when the moon sits high, or to cocoon themselves in the velvety blackness vacant of starlight?

Regardless of my musings, autumn is here. It is robed in reds, scarlet, brick and sangria. It is accented with oranges, ginger, marigold and pumpkin. And lastly, it is crowned with yellows, golden sunflower, corn and flaxen tones. Without a doubt it is the most glorious season of all. It brings the shorter days and chilly nights to forewarn us winter is nigh. I wish the early birds, night owls, nighthawks, and blue-footed boobies a joyful transition time, because no matter what we do— winter is a coming and we have no choice but to nest or fly.

Paddleboard For Peace

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I’ve been contemplating the world from my secluded slice of heaven for a while now. It can be a reflective state as you can see from the photo. It’s a photo of myself and Mica on one paddleboard, and then my hubby on another paddleboard struggling to keep up. I revel in the fact I’m faster than he. He’s normally the fleetest of foot, his legs compare to the stilts of a caribou running in front of a wildfire. If he straps on skies, he’s akin to a bunny on steroids. If you give him a pedal bike, his legs spin around 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 wobbling in my wake. He blames it on his weight and the length of his paddle. However, I patiently tell him, “Your paddle is fine. It’s the way 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 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 knows I will do my level best to keep us afloat, and so far we’ve done well.

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 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 the leaders causing the most damage 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 we hear the voice of the wind speaking gently to the trees, and the willowing cry of the loons. We see the fish leap and land with a splash causing circles to ripple outwards. The dragon flies glimmer and sparkle in the fading light 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 as the sun begins to set. Our world is shaded in splendiferous colors and glows offering 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.