I’m Knick Knackered Out


I’ve been doing a lot lately to reduce stress in my life.  From working on my goals for this year, to spending more time with loved ones, and reading lots recently about minimalism, simplifying my life, organization, etc.  Three of my favourite reads of late have been The More Of Less by Joshua Becker (great newsletter too), The Productivity Project by Chris Bailey, and a couple of the books by the now very much talked about Marie Kondo.  Next on my to read list is Getting Things Done by David Allen.  But I haven’t gotten that done yet.

I don’t know about you, but for me, physical clutter creates mental clutter.  And mental clutter gives me mental stress.  And mental stress leads to physical stress.  And then I yell at my kids.  Well, not very often, but I craft in my head what I would like to yell at them.  And then I drink more coffee and play solitaire instead.  Most of the time.  (Hey, I’m just being honest with you okay?) Continue reading

A Very, Very Fine House


Today’s Daily Prompt:

Explore the room you’re in as if you’re seeing it for the first time. Pretend you know nothing. What do you see? Who is the person who lives there?


A famil20150708_114827[1]y:  passings by of the lives of a teen, twenty-something, and middle-aged female.  The family loves each other, the child/sibling who doesn’t reside here anymore, and their mom/gram now their angel as demonstrated in the various picture frames.  Well used couches from watching Netflix together.  “I love you mom” written on a sticky note by the twenty-something and on the bulletin board near desk.

20150708_113958[1]Music lover:   30 yr old all-in-one radio, cassette player, & turntable.  Retro Superman radio player.  Brass album stand holding about 100 vinyl (loads more in the basement if you were looking there too).  3 frames currently holding Elvis, Dean Martin, and Nat King Cole records.  Laptop with one tab open streaming Sirius XM live; channel changes frequently, currently on The Bridge.  “Been there Rocked that” plaque.  Some 45’s.
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Writing: It’s In My Genes

My great-, great-aunt on my father’s side was Isabella Valancy Crawford who was born on Christmas Day, 1850 in Dublin, Ireland and died on February 12, 1887 in Toronto, Canada.  She is recognized as one of Canada’s first major poets and one of the first in my country to actually make a living as a freelance writer.  My favourite quote about my aunt is by Ethelwyn Wetherald, another popular Canadian poet, who wrote a beautiful introduction to one of several books containing Isabella’s writings.  I have but one of just a few known copies of the book while others are within my family and in museums and historical library collections.  The book I am referencing is Collected Poems, edited by J. W. Gavin, published in 1905.  Wetherald said this about Isabella:

“Purely a genius, not a craftswoman, and a genius who has patience enough to be an artist.”

Isabella is already celebrated in Canada, not only through writings about her, but also with plaques and even a park named after her.  She was also designated a “Person of National Historic Significance” by the Canadian Government in 1947.  One of the plaques is in Paisley, Ontario where her family lived when they immigrated to Canada.  The other plaque is in Toronto on Front St. at the bottom of John St., just a few blocks from where she died at home.  That location is called Isabella Valancy Park and I visit it several times a year, as I live not far from Toronto and have a daughter living there now who also works about a 10-minute walk from the park.
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It’s My Funeral So Everyone P-A-R-T-Y!

The Life Of Marianne:   Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

People get ready!  We’re gonna have a party!  Only God knows when it will be, where it will be, and how it will take place but my death will happen.  I won’t have much control, if any, over any of those things but what I do have some control over now is planning the party that will take place after it.  Yes, I said party.

I don’t want some dark and gloomy funeral where everyone is crying over the loss of me in their lives.  I want better than that, more than that, especially for my own children.  Yes, I know there will be tears, I know I have family and friends who will be sad at my passing.  But I want the overriding theme for all to be a celebration of the wonderful, meaningful, and even corny & quirky things that made me me, and how that me meant something positive to them.

The inspiration behind this plan came from two sources.  One was my mother.  Long before she even became ill, she would joke about her funeral being a party and what a fun time it would be.  After she got sick and as she knew her life’s end was nearing, she took the reigns and told us her wishes for her final days if they were possible.  She got what she wanted.  My brother, sister-in-law, and I held her hand as she took her last breath in a hospice here in Guelph where I live now and she had previously lived.  And three months later, we threw her a party at the place that had been her home with her husband, my step-dad, for some years.  It was a beautiful sunny May day, along the waterside, and we truly did have fun celebrating the awesomeness of my mom.

Some of my other vision for my funeral came to me while reading “Who Will Cry When You Die?”, a book by one of my favourite authors, Robin Sharma, the man behind “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari”.  It was then that I started to actually put my thoughts to print so should my death come unexpectedly, my family would know some of my wishes.  The first thing I started to write out was a playlist of songs.  Music is the soundtrack to my life, and when I’m not sure what it is I want to express to someone, I often turn to lyrics to help guide me.  On that playlist are some of the songs I want dedicated to my loved ones.  Others are on there because they’ve had some meaning in my own life.  There are some sappy ones on it because like I’ve said before, a dose of sappy every now and then is good for the soul.  But there are a lot of happy ones too.  I want people to smile, sing along, and even dance.  Remember, it’s a party.

This post idea came from today’s Daily Prompt:  Festivus for the Rest of Us.  I could write a whole other post on all of the songs on my funeral playlist, maybe I will one day.  And yet another post on the rest of the details I have planned out like location and food and such.  But I’ll finish up this post on a music note.  I have picked one song to be the theme of my funeral.  One that has some life lessons in it.  A song that many will have heard and will remember seeing in the comedy movie it comes from.  A song that talks about death in an honest way, but at the same time in a lighthearted manner too.  A song that makes me smile every time I hear it.  That song is:  “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” from Monty Python’s “The Life Of Brian”.  Here’s an excerpt from the lyrics I love:

“For life is quite absurd, and death’s the final word, you must always face the curtain with a bow,

Forget about your sin, give the audience a grin, enjoy it, it’s your last chance anyhow”