Saturday, May 12, 2012

Travelling Light

For the third time in a less than a month, I will be travelling and sleeping in a different bed.  

This is not typical of a home body dealing with residual anxieties from PTSD.  It's a gradual process. I'm taking small steps to prepare myself for a future trip across Canada and eventually... parts of the Mediterranean and North Africa. 

The first time was a complimentary two-night stay in a local hotel.  It was a lovely experience, sleeping in a king sized bed with six pillows.  SIX pillows! I was swimming in pillows and stretching my boundaries after the past eleven months of sleeping in a twin bed - at times shared with a cat waiting for breakfast.  The twin bed was a brilliant idea, the result of downsizing from a queen prior to our move last year.  

The hotel was a short walk to the workplace where I arrived early and somewhat refreshed on the following mornings. Let's just say that the second night was more restful than the first.  The stay was good practice with packing a bag, making healthy takeout dinner choices and leaving my young people to tend to their own needs and those of the resident felines. 

The second experience was a two-day trip out of town to visit family.  Of course, I took the train and once again made priorities with my packing list.  The two gift bottles of wine on the way there added a lot of weight.  I brought a different, artistically altered bottle back with me, wrapped with care in bubble paper and cushioned by bags of dirty laundry.  The double bed was perfectly padded for two excellent, cool nights of slumber.  Except for what I think was my stomach's reaction to too much cilantro, it was a lovely visit.  

This next trip will be a little farther away, for professional development purposes and with a slightly longer train ride.  That's okay.  I have a lot of reading to catch up with; one book related to inner journeys and another related to a professional goal

This packing list will be different, including comfortable outfits that look professional; shoes that won't hurt my feet while touring vendor exhibits and networking with people.  What about sandals?  Should I pack a pair in case I want to get outside for a stroll, air out my toes and appreciate that recent pedicure?  Vanity alert

I recall a previous trip and movie with tips offered by George Clooney's character Ryan Bingham, a corporate axeman and business travel author.  His preferred method was by passenger jet.  Hence the movie's title of Up in the Air.  

Besides my gaga appreciation of George Clooney's acting abilities, I liked the title of the fictitious book "What's in Your Backpack?".  It reminds me to reconsider the material and emotional baggage that I let weigh me down.  

Some times there are things, stressors and people that you have to leave behind as you continue your life journey.

Links for packing tips:

I am tickled pink that you have read this far.  If you like my writing style, trains, wine and romance, you may enjoy reading The Year of the Rabbit, a novel about fate, family and forgiveness.  Get your Mom a copy of the Ebook for 99 cents.  Offer ends midnight on Sunday. 


Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Light Within

I wanted to offer a brief, Sunday morning post.

Since I am not in regular attendance at any place of worship, I thought I would light a candle in my new votive candle holder.  It's a little something I made while visiting a very creative, crafty sister.  She cuts down wine bottles and prepares them for a transformation into art.  

We had a lovely spring visit and plenty of opportunity for catching up while waiting for the stained glass paint to dry and sipping wine.  

My creation was kept simple with what appears to be a scene with blades of grass.  Could they be blades of grass or flickering flames?  What about that red flick?  Is that a flame or drop of blood?

I like candles and the representation of the light within each one of us regardless of religion - and the opportunity to celebrate what we have in common. 

I also like wine. 

Thank you for dropping by.  Remember to explore and dig deeper at where you can find plenty of reference to family, wine and accidental church fires.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What's in a name?

In a post from last year I offered the question "What is Family".  Today I want to explore the history of family names.  

Where did they come from?   How did families get their last names? Did most families take their namesake to heart and protect its honour to the death?  I suppose one could ask the Hatfields and McCoys

Since today marks the celebration of Beltane, I feel compelled to unearth the origins of the Robinson family name.  It was due to pagan rituals and the phallic maypole that young maidens were led dancing into the forest for lusty initiations with the Green God (or his representatives). Nine months later, the families didn't know what to call these bastard babies so chose Sons of Robin or Robinson.

You see, my family may be descendents of Robin Greenwood or Robin of the Wood. I honoured the discovery of this origin in a poem ten years ago.  Despite the bastardly references, I like to think we have the green blood of nature and essence of mythology coursing through our veins.

In The Year of the Rabbit, a novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness, there are a few family names worth looking into.  The Fletcher family name came about after researching options during the novel drafts.  A fletcher was a person who made arrows.  Matthew Fletcher was adopted and learned the carpentry trade from a Seguin Sound carpenter named Jim Robinson.  I made up the Vinoletti  name to represent a family of vintners from Italy.  

Returning to the Beltane reference, the novel contains some lusty frolicking in the forest that produced a teen pregnancy and the eventual birth of a much-loved February baby.  

Adult-content rating at Smashwords:

This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.

Your mother may not approve.  Tsk, tsk.