Cider Rules

I am in another reflectorary mood. Making up word combos, reading spam emails and wondering why I bother recycling Keurig cups. Yes, I do that; all of that.

I am compiling a list of wonderments. Feel free to answer these questions. There will not be a prize for the most creative, sadly, only my envy of not being able to come up with the answer myself:

1) Bratwurst and potato salad – is the truly an Oktoberfest thing or only in Saskatoon?

2) How do you know when it okay to ask if someone has lost it or has had work done? Moreover, does it matter?

3) I heard a person say they use the keystroke noise on their phone to make sure they press the right buttons – is this an excuse for being annoying?

4) Lager, Pilsner, wheat, IPA, ale, stout, porter, sour, or cider?

5) If you have more than one of the above, do you have a variety or stick to a favourite?

6) Pretzel – soft or hard?

It is amazing what goes through my head waiting for the bus. I am back at my favourite pub, enjoying the neighbouring conversations, the coffee (yes, it is actually good!), watching silent sport commentaries and though recognising I really want a tattoo, I realistically cannot get one. This is all a part of a mind-changing process.

On the mental wellness front (I need to stop calling it an ‘illness’), my course is going well. I am not afraid to admit my faults in a constructive matter. I am slowly realising I cannot always suffer fools gladly and I can bravely say house music can sound awesome with a bit of viola. I am no longer afraid of meeting one of my worst bullies on the bus – my cousin is a city bus driver.

I think it comes from finally kicking my dad’s xenophobia in the balls. I am not afraid of damaging private parts – verbally. Physically hurting someone on purpose is assault. Though my heart will ache with all the ugliness and vileness, I am slowly admitting I cannot change everything. Not that I did before, only now I can say with confidence I am not pleased and I will not apologise, even if am asked to do so.



Good day, my classmates. As promised, dear Tony, I have included a NO song in my next installment:

I did my random-pick-a-song thing. Tony, my dear Tony, I hope you are okay with this one. 😄 I quite like the shoulder dancing bearded fellow. Much like most music I listen to, I don’t have a clue about the players involved. That is not to say I do not try to research and get all crazy-obsessed over a group or an artist; no, I do that too much.

I am still writing my stories – you can follow the progress (excuse the pun) at Wenda Writes. Musicating (the processing and reworking of music into listenable formats) is coming nicely. Let’s say that I LOVE to copy and paste. It took we about 26 hours to do the Violin I part of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture; however, I now have a template for the other instruments so the time will be cut by a few seconds. All my projects – some completely unfinished – are going according to a plan which I still have to write. I am slowly finding joy in these processes, even the ones that will never be finished. I am working on this for my friend Phoenix. Phoenix Love and his wife Mo Love have a band called Go Satta. This is one of my favourite tracks. Phoenix, you have no idea how much I adore you, your family and your fight for goodness. Thank you!

I thank George Mihaly for the introduction. Sir, you have helped enlighten my life; thank you!

On the brain-wave front, I have joined a counselling group to get the coast clear. Well, at least clear enough that I do not need to have the windshield wipers on 24/7. Just one more thing to add to my interesting life CV. I am finding humour in this for some reason. Or is it relief? I think it is relief. The sessions may not work out and I understand that is just one way to deal with my issues.

Maybe this will help me become less needy. Or less whatever. What is the word I am looking for?

I am writing this on a Wednesday, sitting in a pub. I have started to take the bus to and from work, testing to see if this works out once my situation in the job-front evens out. Oddly enough, I have less stress over this than I expected.

These last few days have been crappy. My dad is still an f-word xenophobe, my husband’s family reunion is going to be in one of the most boring places in the world, and I am trying to come to terms with the proper way to make cold rolls.

Yeah, just like normal.

Progressive Whatever Trevors

Let’s have a little fun here. I am tired of talking family ickiness and mental breakdowns.

Yeah, I don’t think I know how to do that either. Oh, all be dog boggled, I think we can go with our feelings. I am going to start with my Favourites on Deezer (don’t worry, I will not list all 152):

“Fields of Fire” – Big Country (Guitars sounding like bagpipes. Yes!)
“Good Fortune” – PJ Harvey (Not to be mixed up with DJ Harvey, though his offerings are rather good.)
“Paris 1919” – John Cale (I have three versions of this song on my Favourites list. Addicted muchly.)
“Dog Days Are Over” – Florence + The Machine (No animals or skid steers were injured in the playing of this song.)
“Waf-Woof” – The Springfields (Dusty Springfield pre-solo years.)
“I’m Wondering” – Skydiggers (Do I need to maintain the 35% CanCon rule?)
“California Dreamline” – Rheostatics (Their name used to proceed with a ‘The’.)
“Loving is Easy” – Rex Orange County (I blame Dave for the addition of this song to my collection.)
“Le moribond” – Jacques Brel (Though I do not understand all the words, I get the sarcasm.)
“The Lines You Amend” – Sloan (A gorgeous song, yet one I cannot share on Facebook.)
“People Give In” – Manic Street Preachers (Tony, you know I could not forget to include the Manics.)
“You Can’t Do Disco Without a Strat” – Andrew Weatherall (Though the presentation seems angry, the song is rather good. Mr Weatherall may have needed a nap.)
“Death of a Rude Boy” – Madness (Somehow the skaness makes me weak. I don’t get it, yet I like it.)
“Faster Than the Speed of Night” – Bonnie Tyler (For some reason I see Stephen Morris, of New Order Fame, going all wild and crazy on the drums on a cover of this song. That will never happen, I understand.)
“Jessie’s Girl” – Rick Springfield (My karaoke song. I am going to demand a redo of this song at the next Cosmo Christmas party, as the song started before I could get into character. The drunk dude before me got a restart. Bah!)

I ask that you check some of these songs out on YouTube. I purposely chose not to include links, as searching for these songs will lead to other amazing places, which could ultimately take you away from the original assignment.

That is a good thing.

Richard is going away on a trek to the mountains and will be stopping in to have lunch with me. I am on assignment, waiting for emails and phone calls. Oh, and blockages on Facebook due to the fact Richard does not want his next family reunion to be at Madge Lake.

Be brave, dear husband; listen to The Beatles and may the Force be with you.


Here Goes Everything

Within the last three days we have heard and read about the deaths of Kate Spade – fashion designer – and Anthony Bourdain – chef. Both took their own lives, it has been reported.

I am not familiar with the work of both these souls, but I am not removed from feeling compassion, empathy and sympathy. I have been reading comments from disgruntled people asking “why it is important to broadcast their deaths when thousands of others end their lives with no mention in the paper or the Internet?”

I used to ask that question until I was almost a statistic.

Losing someone to suicide is devastating, I fully understand. I only want those in the sphere to know what it is like to be in that place to almost choose to end it all. I can say with all certainty it is a conversation that most avoid. You guys, I see the posts regarding suicide prevention day in/day out, yet the conversation door gets shut with a thud when I mention I survived an attempt. Mental illness only seems to be suffered by those who have not tried or those who have died.

I am part of this conversation, please remember that. With the help of a talk with a friend I am still here.

That breaks my heart.

I believe the presentation of someone admitting a failing moment is hard to respond to. How do you answer? What do you say? I find it easier to deal with someone who announces they have survived cancer treatment. Don’t be like my dad and say, “get some help, as I don’t want to read in the paper that you jumped off a bridge.” One good friend told me that he was glad I stayed. That comment I want to get made into a tattoo.

There are so many emotions involved in dealing with suicide. I look back at the moment my friend told me I mattered and it seems like a dream. I go to that other place every now and then but I always make it back to home. I do not call that moment the “black dog”. I refuse. Black dogs (and most black coloured animals) are usually the last chosen animals to be adopted from an animal shelter. I am not allowing my mental illness to be tagged with animals that are marginalised due to the colour of their fur.

In April 1975 (at the age of nine months) my mother found me unconscious in my crib. I was rushed to the hospital and after a few days of bickering, the doctor administrating my care was finally allowed to test me for diabetes. It was positive. Forty- three years later (after a bitter telephone argument with my mother and three years after my decision to not kill myself) she said this:

“I found you unconscious in your crib and took you to the hospital,” (I thanked her, obviously,) “I could have let you die but I chose not to.” Those words alone do worry me somewhat, as it implies a moment of questioning.

She chose to save my life. I almost chose to unsave it. Now, more than ever, I need to keep this body and mind going. I am going through not nice things right now, yet I am reminded daily of those who think I am worth keeping.

All I ask is for you to consider the struggle it takes to keep going for someone who almost gave up.

Letter to the Editor

I recently received a letter from my aunt, my father’s sister. Even before opening it I knew it was an invitation for the annual family get-together on May Long. I also expected and received, a long list of reasons why she was hurt due to me not going last year. Now, I am used to receiving free guilt trips every time I try to make a decision regarding my own personal mental health and physical well-being. I end up deciding to attend these annual functions, usually against my gut, but also as a way for my mum and dad to avoid the one-day trip there and back. Yes, my husband becomes a chauffeur and our house a bed and breakfast, without the money.

As you are aware, I am slowly trying to become my own self; to own myself. I have had to give up my podcast series of audiobooks due to time and finances. I am still struggling to find a job, yet I am still filling the bank account with the odd job here and there. I am scared of not finding something permanent. Through all this striving for the most awesome position, I have become aware I am looking in the wrong place. My deep dislike for xenophobia, misogyny, racism and the hate towards my LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters (I am one of them, btw). Though not a direct connection, the letter from my aunt was the final decision to look into a job that focuses on the person rather than the profit.

Today (7 March 2018) I am home taking care of Richard who is recovering from shoulder surgery. I will admit I have let out a few swear words these six days – his surgery was 1 March – but I have also collected a huge amount of respect for Richard, who has spent over twenty years working with the intellectually and physically disabled. He is learning as well how compassion can be received. I want to be able to return this service (minus the profanity) to others. I want to work in an inclusive place which strives to better people (and/or pets). I want to be able to love people for what they have to offer, even if they block our driveway with mounds of snow causing me to have a meltdown.

You had to be there.

I will have to write a letter back to my aunt. I am sure she is aware of my issues with my dad, without a doubt. Her comments about my brother I can fully appreciate; he does not visit me either. As I Christian, I am to forgive this behaviour, including hers. Guilting me into how disappointed So-and-So was due to my non-visit went a bit beyond acceptable. So-and-So should tell me. I am also to ask for forgiveness. You know how much trouble I have regarding that.

One thing at a time.

I am tempted to ask for an apology, but do I? I may get one, yet at what price? Oh, that sounds rather philosophical. I have all these amazing words in my head, however, knowing me, I will put it aside and find it sometime next year, even with all the pinging reminders of its existence.

I am waist-high in courage, only I am not too sure of how to use it. Writing myself out of the lives of my family and some of my friends may not have been the best way to go. I am better than that, says Richard. I need to offer my hand out to some of these same people who have humiliated me, as they may be my only chance to get out of the Waldheim Rut. My aunt’s letter reminded me of this point, in a non-pointy kind of way.

Boy, she is good.

Fit to be Counted

I don’t record the calories I eat or count my steps. I do need to calculate the carb-to-insulin ratio for my injections but that is to maintain decent blood sugars and dietary needs. A couple of months ago I celebrated losing three pounds due to starting a yoga regimen. I do not do this very often. I will explain the reasons further on.

At the time of writing (09 January 2018) I am five feet, three-quarter inches (SGI refuses to let me be 5’1) and 155 pounds. Yup, a little pudgy, me. I recently discovered I am beautiful. I still have a weigh to go to be comfortable with my floppy bits.

Within the last four or five years, I have become less worried about my outside. My insides, on the other side, are a concern. Diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis are playing against each other. After the car accident last year, I have been through bouts of physio treatments which have helped with regaining movement in my arms, but the stress of waiting to get better has made arthritis worse. Do not fret, I am not getting tingly feet or the like.

Yoga has to help me strengthen my muscles and my joints, which I think it was meant to do. I have found a programme designed for people with disabilities and limited movement. Having been blessed with whiplash in my middle back and a concussion, these exercises have been great. I can’t do fast moving Zumba like I could before. Heck, I have trouble watching television for a long time without feeling uncomfortable. Besides the plot of ‘The Last Jedi’, I could not wait to get into the car to go home and rest after watching this film. The fast motion, the loud sounds and the bad storyline made my brain hurt.

Now with the documenting of achievements. I see postings of training runs, laps run at the field house, stairs stepped at the office; all these are great, it does show a desire to feel better and get into shape. The work we put into our fitness programmes is to be encouraged. We slip out of it for a while, the reasons are our own. I used to be bothered by all the accomplishments of those who are dedicated, but now I am encouraged by those who take a break, cut back or lose only a pound after trying with all their might to lose two. I find our examples of humility lovely and we need to be kind in our attempts. Cheering each other on, even through the stoppages.

Setting a goal is great. I hope to melt away the dimples on my backside, yet that is going to take a lot of physical work which my body and my brain may not be able to take. Failing to achieve a set goal is not a bad thing. You may be sick one day and this may change your processing. Do not be discouraged. I still have a pilates ball waiting to be rolled again.

I could get into the fooding elements involved in getting fit. ‘Getting fit’, pfft, how about saying ‘feeling great’. I have been changing what I eat, going for a less meat diet. Not meatless. Bacon and I are no longer on speaking terms, yet I have made room for more chicken. I have tofu in da house. Going back to gluten-free may come later. I know I need to fix my food habits, as these go along with exercise. I am one of those lucky diabetics who have reoccurring low blood sugar episodes, what we called ‘insulin reactions’ back in the day. This has made it a bit complicated to change an eating lifestyle. Carbs are a blessing, but they are also a curse.

Like me, we need to consider the reason we post our fitness goals and our misses. I do it as a way to remind others I am a human with floppy bits. I am just glad to be able to do something that allows me to move at my own pace whilst stylin’ a funky pair of yoga pants (or not 😉).

It may take a while to get anywhere, and the same could apply to you. It does not matter – I will still love you.

Merry Whateverness

The more I look at where I am the more I want to be somewhere else. I am finding it difficult to find a job, mostly due to a thousand others looking for the same thing I am. I have had a few set-backs to my healing from our car accident, which can make work tough.

I found a fantastic posting at a not-for-profit music organisation, based in Regina with an office in Saskatoon but, alas, it was not to be mine.

Their mandate is promote Saskatchewan music artists from all aspects of the universe. I send albums by Saskatchewan-based artists across the world; you want promos, you got ’em! Granted, it is only for one year, but what an amazing year I would make! I have a music degree (BA), I have done my own radio shows, Classical music mixes: Ina Toon, one even broadcast on an international radio show: We Dig Deeper, Cassette# 15, and I completed the first instalment of my podcast: A Split in the Cabinet; or The Fate of England – Chapter One.

I am a Saskatchewan music artist with no support in my own province, even with sharing on social media. I don’t tour or have a band. My support comes from my fantastic friends in the UK and the EU. They make my art worthwhile.

What more do I have to do?