Sunday, November 25, 2018

Time sprouts wings and soars across the sky...

– Yes, time flies – even when you're not having fun.

The three-month-old was fussing. The big sister, now four years old, observed, "He wants the boob."

Spoken without a giggle, just a matter of fact statement.

She had a show and tell at school and wanted to take one of her toy figures. She couldn't decide between "Tyrannosaurus Rex or Triceratops," her words. 

When did little ones grow up so fast?  

On a completely unrelated topic, we have a new national anthem:

Long may she reign!

What, that's a different song?


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Friday, September 21, 2018

Dedication to Lynne

My cyber friend  of 12 years Lynn Sears Williams, [1956-2018], died on September 12.

We never met face-to-face but discovered we had a lot in common. At one time we both lived in Alberta, even the same city [she went on to live in the States]; we both had two daughters and one son – named Luke [hers] Lucas [mine]; we loved reading, loved writing, and edited each other's work; and we both shared the same nasty disease.

She was a wonderful writer. After publishing one novel, The Comrades, she wanted to write more, but couldn't get back into it. And although our latest contacts were less frequent, we stayed in touch through Facebook, where she had a large following and posted many beautiful pictures.

One of the beauties of the Internet is having the ability to meet people from far and wide, or close as the case may be, learning about them, liking them, then sadly losing them. Memory can be a good thing; saved emails even better. 

Rest well, Lynne. See you on the other side.

— Cat

Friday, September 07, 2018

Remembering Burt [1936-2018]

Burt Reynolds died today at the age of 82. 

Besides his movies, I will always have a fun memory about a time in my life when he was THE MAN!

In 1972  [really?]  my girlfriends from work and I anticipated his epic centerfold in Cosmopolitan magazine. The day it was due to come out we traipsed to the smoke and magazine shop on our lunch hour. The three of us put our hot little hands on the magazines, paid quickly, and dashed out of the shop. 

In no time, we all flipped to the middle section and opened the centerfold. There he was in all his glory – well almost all. And one of my friends, who has the loudest laugh, stood there in the middle of the sidewalk and laughed and laughed. [I think she had never seen a nearly naked man before.]

I know that he later said he regretted posing for that picture, but I believe he made the day for millions of women. And if I remember correctly, that picture spawned the advent of other magazines for women – Playgirl, etc. where the centerfolds were not shy. No, not shy at all.

I won't forget you, Burt Reynolds. Rest in peace.


 – Cat

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Childhood Games

We were talking the other day, husband and I, about how we spent our summers when we were kids.
Forget TV. There was only one channel for the longest time. And one TV in the house.      
Forget computers. The stuff of science fiction.
Forget cell phones. These existed only in the comics and in science fiction.
Forget any kind of on-screen games. Truly science fiction!

We didn't need any kind of gadgets that could get you hooked and hold you hostage. No, we spent pretty well every waking moment outside. And what did we do outside? We ran, jumped, skipped, and played team games.

– Red Rover – The more players, the more fun. Two equal numbered teams [minimum three players each] inked arms and faced each other. One team yelled, "Red Rover, Red Rover send [usually who they perceived the weakest], Cathy over!" Cathy ran toward what she thought was the weakest link in the opposite team and tried to break through. If she succeeded, she took one of the players and returned to her team. If she didn't, the usual case for Cathy, she joined the team she tried to break through. The object of the game was to get all the players on one side, which became the winning team.

Because there were so many kids in the neighborhood, we always had 6 to 8 member teams. And we played on the front lawn of our house, certainly trampling and killing what grass there was. My parents weren't fussy about the landscaping [not with six kids] so we did a lot of playing there.

–Eevy Ivy Over , also known as Eevy I over or Anny I over, or any number of other names.
Again, two teams of players, one on each side of the house. Team one hollered "Eevy Ivy Over" and threw the ball over the roof of the house. Players from team two, on the other side of the house tried to catch the ball before it hit the ground. If they did, they raced around to the other side and threw the ball at a player from team one. If the player was hit, he had to join team two. If not, the player who missed had to now stay with team one. However if no one caught the ball when it was thrown over the roof, then that team threw it back over, hollering the words again. And again, the object of the game was to get all the players on one side.

– The block one street over was undeveloped and grassy. We called it "The Field" and got our friends together to play baseball there. Fewer players – we played scrub. Lots of players – we made teams and played softball. We had permanent bases and paths to run. Every once in a while someone would hit a homerun and the outfielders, usually Cathy among them, had to hunt through high grass and shrubs to find the ball. If we lost the ball – game over. And someone was in trouble with their parents. Usually only one person had a bat and a ball. Most everyone else had baseball mitts, often borrowed from their brothers.

If we couldn't make it to The Field, and there were only three or four of us, we played scrub on an empty lot four houses away from mine. Handy and quick, within earshot of parents, it was a great place to play on an early summer evening before dark. When it got dark, and if the sky was clear, we would sit on a hill there and watch the stars, looking for constellations, for shooting stars, and for Sputnik to orbit past. It seemed we could see the Milky Way from one and to the other. A most thrilling sight, which I'm sad to say I haven't seen in years because of all the light pollution surrounding us.

Time marches on, things changed. We kids grew older, found different interests, went to junior high, then high school and on. The Field was developed. As was the lot at the end of our block – the hill was flattened, a church was built. 

Olden days, my kids would call it. Did any of them play the games we played when we were young? I'll be asking.

– Cat

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Happy Canada Day!

Happy 151 to the best country in, if not the world, then North America!

Thank you Mom and Dad for choosing Canada as our home.

— Cat

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A learning experience

The child is three years old. It has been a learning experience watching her learn words.

Mama and Dada came first, easily. Followed by Pa and Ma [Grandpa and Grandma].

The name of objects also came easily – show her something new, or she brings an item, a question in her eyes. Tell her the word for it and it seems she holds the word in her mouth as if tasting it. She repeats it once or twice out loud, and is done. She will remember.

An interesting part of this process was witnessing her learn and understand abstract concepts: time, space, quantities, qualities.

She learned her numbers to the teens. I think learning by rote, like singing a song repeatedly until you know it [baa baa black sheep...] becomes automatic after a while. But knowing the words of the numbers is not the same as understanding them. 

One day, two grapes lay on her table. She raised one finger, said the word "one," then raised a second finger. "Two." It was as if something clicked, because she has been counting ever since.

About the same time, she began speaking in terms of, well, time. She now knew the greater the number, the more time was available. Bedtime. "Two more minutes?" became "five more minutes." She began saying "later" "tomorrow" "next time." These are things she did not learn by herself but heard others say and pieced together their meaning.

"Too far!" She said to someone who was, well, too far to catch the ball she was throwing. "Ready!" When she was prepared to catch the ball.

She began using what I call "degree words" when eating her dinner. Ask her how something tastes, she'll either nod enthusiastically with two thumbs up, make an "ugh" face, or say "not bad." Ask her if she wants more she'll say, "a little bit." Ask her if she's done, "almost."

It came so fast – the multisyllable words, back and forth conversations with the rest of us or with whichever toy is talking to her. 

Parents are the major influence when it comes to children learning words, then grandparents, aunties and uncles, cousins. Then there's that big influencer – television. And an iPad her parents set up for her with kids' learning games, music and songs, and some of the thousands of child-related websites. 

Learning is never finished, though. There will always be something new. But I have a feeling this child will do well in school, and life.

Earlier, she stood on a kitchen chair, flung out her arms, and announced, "I'm King of the world!"

Well, maybe she will be.

— Cat