Sunday, February 23, 2020

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation: The Cold Night

Image by aalmeidah from Pixabay

spring snow
purifies earth and heaven
the cold night

spring snow
covering flowers and trees
a threatening frost

covering flowers and trees
a spring freeze will destroy buds
a hard summer comes

the cold night
emerging from the dream world
the people awake


We were charged with creating a fusion-ku from the following two Haiku and a Troiku from the fusion-ku.

spring snow
purifies earth and heaven
our enemies perish

© Mizuhara Shûôshi

the cold night
comes out of the stones
all morning

© Jim Kacian

Come As You Are Party: Wired Differently or Just a Flake?

Image by Wolfgang Eckert from Pixabay

It is my hope to back away from apologizing for who I am and instead explain about myself so that those I interact with might develop an understanding of those of us who are wired differently.

I have type 2 bipolar disorder and ADD as well as complex PTSD and OCD. I wasn't properly diagnosed with bipolar disorder or OCD until I was almost 40. I didn't know I had ADD until I was in my 50s. I was just always scolded for being forgetful and distracted. I have always vacillated between being Ms. Wonderful and being that flakey a-hole that everyone hates. I understand why it happens now, but I can't change the past. I wish people would try to understand me a little better, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

My son will be 30 this year. He is high-functioning autistic and has ADHD as well as anxiety issues and major depression. He is very intelligent and has read the entire Amber series (Roger Zelazny), much of Tolkien's writing, The Count of Monte Cristo, the works of C.S. Lewis, and the list goes on, but he can't learn from a textbook to save his life. I think the current educational system does a very poor job of addressing the needs of those who are not neurotypical. 

I technically also have a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, but it is my opinion that borderline personality disorder is actually a form of complex PTSD and is an outdated and sexist diagnosis. It is almost exclusively applied to girls and women. Everyone who has it has endured some form of trauma, whether physical, psychological, sexual or a combination thereof. 

~Cie the Ornery Old Lady~

Image copyright Open Clipart Vectors

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Wednesday: Wisteria Beans

Image by M W from Pixabay

wisteria beans
let's make that a theme for haikai
a flower fruit 
© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

the pods hang down like earrings
admire, but don't ever eat


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation: Renga With: Waiting for the Full Moon

Image by Chikai Du from Pixabay

the autumn wind:
thickets and fields also,
Fuha Barrier

© Basho

I look at the turning leaves
see future snow in the clouds

a dandelion
now and then interrupting
the butterfly's dream

© Chiyo-Ni

when I am a butterfly
will I ever dream of you

the thunderstorm having cleared up
the evening sun shines on a tree
where a cicada is chirping 

© Shiki

is there a cool night ahead
or restless humidity

simply trust:
do not also the petals flutter down,
just like that?

© Issa

I have never been the kind
to simply go with the flow

in nooks and corners
cold remains:
flowers of the plum

© Buson

promise of warmer weather
pleasant till scorching heat comes

ancient warriors ghosts
mists over the foreign highlands -
waiting for the full moon

© Chèvrefeuille

will your troubled soul drift in
for another lifelong fight


All the Ageku are belong to me.

Everything else has been credited.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Fat Friday: Thoughts from an Irritating Overweight Woman

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

As my fan club of -666 readers knows, I review books for a living, such as it is.

I was presented with a book to possibly review, and was, initially, excited. It was a collection of short stories about a group of female friends.

The short story is an undervalued art and female friendships are an undervalued treasure. I was interested in reading this until I saw one of the characters described by another reviewer as "an irritating overweight woman."

The comment about the "irritating overweight woman" gave me pause. Why is her weight such a determining factor in her characterization? Many authors tend to write large people in a negative light. As a person who fights with my abusive partner ED (Eating Disorder) constantly, I don't really need to read works that vilify people who look like me. It's a shame because a good short story collection about female friendship sounded like just the ticket.

I decided to give the book a hard pass.

Authors (like society as a whole) love to scapegoat, stereotype, and vilify large people. I have enough problems wrestling with ED on a daily basis. I don't really need to read fiction putting down people who look like me yet again. ED does that quite often enough.

Fat and Ornery
Image copyright Open Clipart Vectors

Sly and Snarky
Image copyright juliahenze

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Carpe Diem Tan Renga Wednesday: Winter Chrysanthemum

Winter chrysanthemum,
Wearing nothing
but its own light
I wear a sweatshirt for warmth
and think about my garden

~Mizuhara Shūōshi & cie~

The Hokku is © Mizuhara Shūōshi (1892-1981). The Ageku was written by yours truly.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Tan Renga Wednesday on Friday: Last Leaf

a last leaf
swirls on the wind towards the east -
first snow falls gently
the falling snow is pleasant
the icy roads are not so

~Chèvrefeuille & cie~

The Hokku stanza was written by Chevrefeuille. The Ageku was created by me. I do like the snow, but I hate driving on icy roads. I've had a couple incidents when doing so which left me with a bit of PTSD. I tend to tense up when I have to drive on icy roads, which makes doing so a bad idea.

I will try to catch up with the poems over the next few days. I was working on a short story for If you are looking for a short story contest with no entry fee, they have a weekly contest here. Go to the apps section of the page and choose "story prompt."

Also, if you're looking for help with editing or publishing your book, you can look at what Reedsy has to offer here. Using that link will get you $25 credit on any of Reedsy's services.

I believe I may have had another TIA. There always tends to be a cognitive shift when one of these happens. It's hard to explain. It isn't as if I'm having short term memory issues (well, no worse than I ever did). It's simply that the WAY I think changes. At this point, I find myself needing to be a little more measured in my output. I get tired very easily. It's frustrating because although I've never been a Type A personality by any means, I've always been very productive.

I know that I'm vulnerable to vascular problems because of my diabetes. Well, I'm perfectly happy to keep my blood sugars in check, which I can do if I have, you know, ADEQUATE INSULIN! Which my health care provider and Medicaid seem to be conspiring not to provide me. Going without insulin for weeks at a time is, I don't know, a bad thing when you're diabetic. 

The elite devils in charge of things don't care about that, though. They want the poor and the handicapped dead. Of course, then they won't have anyone to do the menial jobs that they revile, but I wouldn't give them too much credit for being smart.

Yeah, I said "handicapped" instead of the more politically correct "disabled." I honestly don't see what the difference is. I can apply both to my own condition, and I don't find either one offensive. Sometimes people become so busy picking nits that they forget to work on the issues that really matter.

Fat Friday: It's Okay to Love Your Body, But...

Image by Christian Dorn from Pixabay

The following is a reply to Ragen Chastain's post about the kind of jackasses who defy the no weight loss talk rule in fat acceptance spaces.

“It’s ok to love your body but…”
Whenever anyone begins a sentence with that chestnut, I just know that I’m going to want to push them in front of a bus. Or more likely a tractor, since I live out in the middle of nowhere.

Furthermore, the idea of "loving my body" is such a foreign concept to me that you might as well be telling me to go dance on Jupiter. I can't imagine loving my body. It's a fight for me to even be neutral towards my body. 

I have to fight all the negative messages about my body several times a day every day and probably will for the rest of my life. Forget "loving" my body. I would be happy to be able to just ACCEPT my damn body and move on. But jerks who begin sentences with "it's okay to love your body, but..." do their level best every day to make sure that I will never even be allowed to just accept mine.

Fat and Ornery
Image copyright Open Clipart Vectors

Sly and Snarky
Image copyright juliahenze

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Carpe Diem Haiku: Love Senryu for a Troubled World

love to change the world
in this troubled atmosphere
hope for better dies


notes from nuts
I don't even have the strength to begin addressing all the reasons I feel this way.

Delightful Repast: Perfect Pizza Dough - No Machine, No Kneading, No ...

Delightful Repast: Perfect Pizza Dough - No Machine, No Kneading, No ...: This is THE pizza dough, the pizza dough I've been making for many years. Needs no special equipment or skill. 

I'm going to have to try this. When the words "simple" and "pizza" appear together, how can I refuse?

Ornery Photography + Not So Silent Sunday: From the Treetops

The images were taken on 17 January 2017 at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. You are welcome to use them, but please credit me. Cara Hartley/The Real Cie/The Ornery Old Lady.

I am not entirely sure, but I believe the skeleton in the bottom image may belong to one of those big brown tree-climbing critters in the top image.

I've changed things up a little with my photography shares. First off, I'm ditching the long titles. Silent Sunday (which is often Not So Silent Sunday) is specific to me (although not originated by me), so it is included in the title. 

These photography posts take more time than you might think to prepare, create, and share, which is why I sometimes don't do them for a while. I always have multiple projects that I am engaged in. I do consider myself a professional writer, even though I currently make very little money from my craft. I am evidently not a professional photographer, but I do enjoy taking photographs and sharing them with those who will tolerate my amateurish attempts.

~cie the ornery old lady~

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Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation: Renga with Friends

beach diamonds
a new day crystallized
in sunny surf foam
the taste of salt in the breeze
the smell of salt in the air

~Jane & cie~

cold spring breeze
makes the cherry blossom shiver
one heartbeat long
I am thinking of spring rain
the sky opening above

~Chèvrefeuille & cie~

The wind from Mt. Fuji
I put it on the fan.
Here, a souvenir from Edo
remembering my childhood
when I learned of Japan

~Basho & cie~

watch birth and death:
the lotus has already
opened its flower.
it waits for me to come home
back to a place without time

~Soseki Natsume & cie~

dervishes whirling
- seeking a higher consciousness
third eye opens
I am unsure if I want
to know the enlightenment

~Chèvrefeuille & cie~

flute melodies
across green ocean waves
spring meadows
do you remember our dream
floating away on spring breeze

~Jane & cie~

All of the Hokku were written by the authors indicated.
All of the Ageku were written by me.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Fat Friday: Standing My Ground

Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Nothing is wrong with your big body.

The way people with big bodies are abused, bullied, and devalued is wrong.

So, I told myself that I was doing all right, but I was actually starting to spiral. It all came crashing down after I ended up making a casserole that was a culinary disaster and then reading a post on a medical site by a dietitian looking for a punching bag so she turned to fat people, but of course. The sharticle in question used terms like "glorifying obesity." 

After leaving this unoriginal twatwaffle a scathing reply pointing out that there is no "glorifying obesity", there are merely people daring to exist in public while fat and it offends her delicate sensibilities, I deflated like a balloon that had been poked with a pin. I crawled under the covers and went to bed without dinner, falling asleep while watching Clone Wars and wishing I was dead.

People do not take care of things that they hate, and that includes our bodies.

Assholes like this dietitian who rail against fat people like we were the fucking second coming of the black death end up pushing fat people away from seeking help for whatever may be ailing them rather than engaging in preventative or maintenance care. Fat people tend to only go to the doctor when things become critical because of the way we are treated by the medical establishment. This goes a long way towards explaining why doctors only see unhealthy fat people. Who the hell wants to go to a place where they know they are going to be bullied?

This is why size shaming and diet culture don't work. Health at Every Size works.

I'm fat, not stupid. I know when I'm being othered and scapegoated. It's a bullshit approach, and if you use it, I'm going to tell you to go fuck yourself. 

Believe it or not, I used to be a really nice, sweet person. Being bullied and made to feel ashamed of myself at every turn beat that right the fuck out of me.

Right now, t 'is the season for "so, how's your New Years Resolutions (translate: diet culture adherence and burst of orthorexia) going?" posts.

I ditched diet culture ten years ago after 33 years of yo-yo dieting and trying to hate myself thin. I don't do new year's resolutions. If I'm going to exercise, I'm going to exercise. It's hard to do much at this point with my disabilities, but I do try to get in a walk every day. 

I absolutely do not diet. Dieting destroys a person's metabolism. I was a serial dieter and every time I dieted, the weight I lost came back with friends. 

Yes, I'm fat, and if people are going to be jerks about it, they are not people I want around me anyway.

“Is 'fat' really the worst thing a human being can be? Is 'fat' worse than 'vindictive', 'jealous', 'shallow', 'vain', 'boring' or 'cruel'? Not to me.”

― J.K. Rowling

Fat and Ornery
Image copyright Open Clipart Vectors

"Fat isn't the problem. Dieting is the problem."
--Dr. Linda Bacon

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Wordy Thursday: New Mindest, New Results


Four out of Four Stars for Online Book Club

I received an advance copy of this book for review purposes.
This post contains affiliate links. If readers purchase a copy of the book through the above link, I will receive a small commission from Amazon.

This is a brief, encouraging book geared towards small business owners who have employees. It can also be utilized by solo entrepreneurs and by managers in a larger business or corporate setting. The author writes in a friendly, personable tone. He addresses issues such as communicating with one's staff in an encouraging and forthright manner as well as personal perseverance. 
When employees feel as though they are a valued part of a business, they will be engaged and involved in its growth. I wish that some of my past employers had a book like this at their disposal. They might have enjoyed increased staff retention and performance if they had treated their employees as assets rather than disposable components.

Image copyright Open Clipart Vectors

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Watkins Wednesday: Up-Front Fees

Some home business opportunities are not upfront about the fees involved. They take your information and, next thing you know, you are being given the hard sell to try and get you to join someone's downline. They may not be upfront about quotas. There may be additional fees for access to promotional materials. 

Until January 31, that fee is just $19.99.

There is an easy-to-use menu at the bottom of the page so you can learn all the basics quickly and easily.

Best of all, no-one is going to call or email you to browbeat you into signing up.

You can sign up just to take advantage of reduced costs on products you use in your own home, or, if you're a real go-getter, the sky's the limit.

There are no outrageous costs. Never buy more products than you want or need.

The only fee is a yearly $29.95 (reduced to $19.95 through January) for your consultant website and back-office materials.

The risk is minimal and the possibilities are great.

Watkins is available to residents of Canada and the United States.

Image copyright Open Clipart Vectors
Ornery Owl of Approval

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Family Tombstone

a memorial
a place to sit and reflect
on past memories
my father's name is there now
my mother's will be one day


This time, I was a disobedient jerk-face on purpose. I was inspired to write this entire Tanka rather than a Tan Renga. You are still welcome to throw overripe produce at me. 

31 May 1936 - 28 November 2010

Carpe Diem New Beginnings: Candlelight

shall I make a toast
by candlelight some evening
to the fairy friends


Perhaps Grover and Clem's chums Nervous Ned and Darlin' Dolly could serenade the fairies.

Carpe Diem New Beginnings: Snowdrops

you always told me
whenever I saw snowdrops
it means you are near
are you here with me again
or is this wishful thinking?


Monday, January 27, 2020

Home Decor DIY: Beautiful Upcycled Tin Cans Shabby Chic

I love this! I've used old cans as pencil holders or such before, but I never decorated them.

Reminder: $10 off Yearly Watkins Consultant Fee until January 31

I am an independent consultant for Watkins.
This offer is only available to residents of Canada and the United States.

Folks, I may be THE Ornery Old Lady and proud of it, but I would never want to be known as The Pushy Old Lady. This is why I was never successful with MLM. I sucked at hawking Herbalife, and I was my own best customer with Avon. Most home-based marketing programs have monthly quotas and you end up with people pretending they're not home when they see you coming up the walk because they don't want to hear you begging them to please, for the love of all that's holy, buy something from you so you can make your quota.

Watkins isn't like that. In fact, I only joined Watkins to order their products for myself. From the fine quality extracts and organic spices to the Been Green Since Before Green was Cool cleaning products, I get a discount on everything I order. It only costs me $29.95 per year for access to the Timeless Integrity consultant website with all the promotional materials plus my own two websites that I don't have to do a thing to maintain. Trust me, I suck at building web pages. They usually end up looking like a kid's art project with a bunch of stickers and cardboard cutouts slapped haphazardly onto a piece of construction paper.

You can check out my websites here:
This website is strictly for selling products. The site is live, and if you see something you like but aren't interested in becoming a consultant yourself, you can order from me here.

This is the website that I usually send folks to. There is a link to the Watkins order page in the right-hand corner. The rest of the site explains about the Watkins home business. If you decide you only want to become a consultant to purchase your own products at a discount, that's perfectly okay too. That's why I joined, but I discovered that this business is so simple and so low-risk that I want everyone to know about it.

Plus, until the end of January, becoming a Watkins consultant is only $19.95. 

To become a consultant for most home-based business programs of this caliber, you end up spending hundreds of dollars. With Watkins, the amount of time and money you put into it is up to you. At worst, you'll be out twenty bucks. At best, if you're really motivated and/or are the kind of person who has charm to spare, you could end up quitting your day job for real and making your living selling products you can feel great about and helping other folks get in the game too.

If you're a resident of the U.S. or Canada, I urge you to check this out. The monetary risk is negligible, and you'll end up benefiting even if you only purchase products for your household.

Watkins has the Ornery Seal of Approval.

Image copyright Open Clipart Vectors
Ornery Owl

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