Saturday, February 29, 2020

Tan Renga Wednesday on Saturday: Cherry Trees in Full Bloom

springtime is coming
hope to put the longer days
to practical use
shadows become longer
cherry tree in full bloom grows

~Chèvrefeuille & cie~

Once my son and I are done clearing out that blasted mobile home (the one where I lived for 18 years and he lived for close to ten) we will finally be able to concentrate on what we want to do with our new home. I would like to plant a few dwarf fruit trees. I've always loved cherries, both as a fruit and a plant. I try to keep looking to the future, to have aspirations but also keep in mind the need for practicality due to my health issues.

The Ageku of this Renga is © Chèvrefeuille. The Hokku was written by me.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Money Monday + About Me Monday: WTF is an Influencer?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

In my quest to try and return to blogging about ways to make and save money, I headed to the Rakuten website to copy my referral code. For those who aren't aware, Rakuten, formerly known as Ebates, is a site where you can save money when you shop through their links. You can also get an extension for Chrome which will cue you if there is a potential to save money through Rakuten at a site where you are shopping.

There was also an invitation at Rakuten's site to apply to become an influencer.

At this point, most of us have probably heard the term "influencer." But like me, many of you may be saying "that's nice and all, but WTF is an influencer, really?"

According to this Quora site, an influencer is "a person who has the ability to make a group of people follow him and take him as an example due to his personality, authority, success, goals, values, abilities etc. He inspires people and becomes an anchor that keeps people together in other words he builds a community around him."

So, you know, probably not me.

According to YouTuber Critical, as seen in the video at the end of this post, an influencer is generally an egotistical douchebag who will go to extremes to feed their own narcissistic need for adulation. Hopefully, that isn't what people think of me.

Generally, I tend to see "influencers" as being fake. I don't do well with fake. I have no desire to be seen as a trend-setter. I don't care whether or not people think I'm attractive, and I am certainly not the height of fashion. I'm more like the anti-fashion broad.

I have something to say, but if I have to pretend to be something I'm not to get followers, then those are not the followers for me. I don't necessarily even want to be seen as a "leader." I make plenty of mistakes and if I decide to jump off a cliff, I don't want people jumping off after me just because I thought it was a good idea at the time. If I had my druthers, I'd like to be seen as a teacher who had the capacity to entertain.

I'm not an expert on...well, anything, really. I do know a little about blogging but I have a bit of a prickly personality and I don't play by the rules. I've been following a blogger named Janice Wald for several years now and I would recommend her to bloggers wanting to learn how to build a social media presence and monetize their online efforts.

There is a link to one of Janice's books at the end of the post. If you purchase the book through the link, I will receive a small commission from Amazon.

Janice has a weekly blog hop called Inspire Me Monday. I won't be linking there this week because this post isn't entirely family-friendly. My language didn't get too spicy, but my pal Critical definitely turns the profane heat up to Habanero!

Your Ornery Hostess with the Mostest,
Aunt Cie

Carpe Diem Love Month: Animal Friends: Senryu

all my little friends
there have been far too many
can't do it again


There are people who have said to me when I say that I won't get any more cats because I can't bear to lose any more cats that I'm being selfish.

I lost five cats in the space of five years, and I've lost many more before them. There are many that I can't think of without it bringing tears to my eyes. I've also lost quite a few people. I am pretty well numb with grief. I think that it's cruel to tell someone in my position that they are being "selfish" for wanting to avoid further pain. 

Inflicting guilt on someone who is already suffering is the ultimate in thoughtlessness.

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

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~

Sharing with these folks:

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.