The Writer from 2001

Thank you Wayback Machine. I found one saved link from an old site I had at Tripod. Worked a couple of hours to find old Blogger sites but, no luck so far. Well, I found one but not the one I was hoping for. Likely written soon after this site, 2001 some time. Blogger makes it pretty easy to find an old account but, you still need to have the email you were using at the time. They send a verification code to you there. But, my old email addresses are as old/ older than the site I hope to find. I tried to recover them but two of them are ISPs not in business for about 10 years. The other was at Excite.com, now Lycos and I could not find anything about recovering old accounts. Likely they are not kept that long. Google/ Blogger seems to be the only social network which does care about history. I won’t forget that Google took up the old newsgroups and still has them saved from the very early days of the Internet.

I may repost these old posts in order by date. Nice to see them pop up in the right place and remember how long I’ve been doing this.

The Writer
Writing and publishing online and still putting in time on my regularly scheduled life.
The current mood of Laura at www.imood.comI was born in the Year of the Dragon, more than a few years ago. 2000 was another year of the Dragon, in December I married Todd, moved to the US and became an expatriate. Spirit of the NightI work as a freelance writer online and in print. My favourite colour is deep, dark red. When I’m having a bad day going outdoors always makes me feel better. I’m reading the same book I started 6 months ago: Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd. I’m not especially musically inclined, I can turn on the radio and be happy leaving it in the background. Spirit of the Night

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Wednesday, October 03, 2001

“One who says it can not be done, should not interrupt one doing it.” Chinese proverb.

Found some ornament making projects on a felt makers site. I really like to make Christmas ornaments.
Saturday, September 08, 2001
I’m still here in Ontario, Canada. Or back here. I went to Montreal for the MosaicCulture plant sculpture show. We also saw the botannical gardens. My favourites were the Canadian exhibits, although the Chinese dragons were great to see. I took pictures, as many as I could with the disposable camera. Its such a shame I forgot mine back in Illinois.
Friday, August 24, 2001
The Ex was good. Not as great as when I was a kid going down there with my brother and sisters. So much is commercial now and very little free stuff for kids or adults. I bought some things for the husband back in Illinois. Its his money so he should get something from it. 🙂 I bought a couple of small things for myself and a lovely angel/ fairy for the Christmas tree.
Wednesday, August 22, 2001
Its been awhile since I last wrote. I’m typing from my parent’s home in Toronto, Canada now. I’m here to get the dead zone computer fixed. IBM is still finding ways to do nothing.
Anyway, tonight I read a quote I liked from Evhead’s blog”To be an artist is a personality/ attitude/ spirit – not an occupation.” Evhead.I’m writing for BackWash now, 2 or 3 journal entries a week so far. I’m going to start a second one for BackWash Kids. The ASCII Art column for WZ.com isn’t going anywhere soon. They seem to be too busy to approve new entries. Todd has been waiting a long time for his to get off the ground. I write to the editor and get things done but its a very slow proces. Makes the prospects slim for promoting it. How can you go wild promoting something that isn’t there yet. Just the opposite of HerPlanet where its only because of me that the site isn’t already up and active. I’m looking forward to having that one (HerCorner) going. There is so much I can do with it and so many web writers I can help get the confidence to start.

Anyway, I think this will be it for now. I want to get to sleep for all that walking at The Ex tomorrow.

Thursday, August 02, 2001
Found a weblog I like today, Poundy. She even lives somewhere in the midwest. I’m sticking the URL here so I won’t forget where I found the site. Doesn’t look like anyone is actually reading this blog. It doesn’t matter a lot. But it would be nice to have my moment of fame. lol
Talked to my Mom this morning. Graham, my brother, is on his way down here from Toronto. He is going to stay awhile, be here for Todd’s birthday this weekend and then I will go back with him and get my money back for the dead computer. I think that is the best way to do things, still not sure entirely. But if I get the money back there will hopefully be enough to buy another new computer here on the US side of the border this time. I went to look at a couple of sites. Gateway seems the best way to go, too bad the closest store is about a hundred miles away in St Louis. Maybe Todd would consider making a trip of it. Though it might mean waiting as long as my birthday, Christmas and wedding anniversary in December. Still, if I can access the net and my HerPlanet site using Todd’s computer that won’t be too bad. Of course its a pain not having my own computer. I fee like an online transient.Suite 101 is having a really great event now. I think they could have done better in picking links but that they did it at all is pretty impressive. Oddly enough, its the same idea I had for a column. Full-Figured Women: Healthy Mind & Body
The Coffee Ring is a blog from a Canadian woman planning her wedding. Nice to read about someone else going through all that, especially when its not me!!
Another site I’ve ben keeping an eye on is BackWash, the internet organized by personality. I’d enjoy doing a column there but I just don’t think I can handle the time commitment. You have to write a fairly good sized article and then add links (not related to your column or each other). Thats quite a chunk of time for something you don’t get paid for. I don’t begrudge them not paying I just think I should put that kind of time into something that pays or has prospects of paying.
SheBazzle: Julie’s Motherhood Journal. This is a good blog, anyone with a scanner or digital camera does have an edge in blogging. Todd hinted that he is getting me a scanner for my birthday/ Christmas. I’ll have to get all those pictures developed finally! I’d love to have a scanner.
I like the name Darla for a girl. Maybe its too girly but I still like it. I hope Todd and I have at least one kid. Two or three would be a lot better, at least two anyway. I don’t think Todd wants to, he certainly isn’t co-operating sperm wise. I don’t know what my life will be like if I never have a kid. It just seems to be the meaning of life, something I can contribute to my ancestors and life, the future and everything. Its important to me personally, I want to raise a child, a person. I want to pass on my thoughts, genes and good and bad times. I want to be part of the world and show another new person all that the world is. There is so much amazing stuff in the world. Not everyone can see it, sometimes they forget to look or forget how to look.
Friday, July 27, 2001
I’m having a creative day. I made two new ascii pictures and wrote book reviews for HerCorner. Still waiting for the ezine to be approved for the WZard site. The URL has my byline up already. The editor is just busy with a lot of other new WZards/ writers. Looking forward to seeing my site up and functioning.
The Zeal directory is a mess. I can’t see myself putting in any more time there. Its not listed by topics but by country. Which just makes no sense and is bordering on annoying since everything is listed under United States really. Just a little too US centric for this Canadian.
My computer died on June 27th. I just realized its been a month to the day. We finally found out that its the motherboard that needs to be replaced. I will have to take the computer back home with me when I go to Toronto for Sarah’s wedding. It will be great to have my computer back and working again. I miss all my files! Its been terrific of Todd to let me use his computer for checking email and the odd bit of stuff I can still do without my harddrive and its contents. Sarah came up with the idea of transplanting my hard drive into Todd’s computer but I can see that Todd is reluctant to allow this brain surgery. So it looks like I will have to hope my hard drive survives another trip back and forth to Toronto. Its about 17 hours on the bus, with a 4-5 hour wait in Chicago. Not a lot of fun. Also, for going there I will need to go to the INS building and get the advanced parole. I will be so glad when I’m finally free, or at least a bit free. The only time anyone is really free is when they are a baby. At the time don’t really know it and would likely laugh at anyone who said it. They likely wouldn’t consider themselves free, can’t do anything they see everyone doing. Must be boring being a baby. Time to get ready to go out tonight. I’m really hungry, skipped lunch. We planned to go to the Chinese buffet tonight so I won’t be hungry for long. 🙂
Friday, July 20, 2001
Still no computer for me. Todd doesn’t want to put my hard drive into his computer. He hasn’t said that but he hasn’t done anything about doing it. I would do it but its his computer and if he doesn’t want to do it, thats up to him.
Sarah put up pictures from her birthday bbq, online. Great to see everyone, wish I was there.
Here is something I wrote last night. Todd and I had a bad night. Not that he knows about it.
I feel like I’m in too deep and the little light at the end of the tunnel is just my imagination. If I try to get to it, it just won’t be there.I can’t feel motivated. I used to think it was because I was afraid of putting a foot wrong. But now I think its more than that. I think I’d rather do nothing than try anything. Its easier to put nothing, to invest as small a part of myself, my knowledge, talents, personality, etc into whatever the end result will be. Knowing its far more likely that I will hear I’ve done something the wrong way, not enough, etc.
I wish I could find my old backscratcher. My shoulderblades are almost always itchy. I’ve read that itchy skin is caused by dead skin cells needing to be scraped off. I’m not sure thats right. Why am I always itchy in the same spots then and not in others. Just another of those little things. I’m about to go make coffee and get dressed. Hopefully I will hear from someone with good news about my computer. The only thing we’ve made progress with is to find out that its the motherboard that needs to be replaced.
Today is the big day at Zeal. They launch the new site, merged with LookSmart. Once I have my coffee on the go I’m going to have a look and see if my login still works.

Vintage Faux Fur Long Coat Made in Canada

Even the buttons look like trilliums. It’s a size 2X. Selling for less than $100 (counting the shipping) from a shop on Etsy.

But, I really don’t need another coat. Plus, 2X probably wouldn’t fit, a bit too tight. What a treasure for someone else to find though.

fauxfurcoatetsy.com

This is a top quality, thick, cosy and warm faux mink coat, jet black. The coat fastens with 5 pretty floral buttons, and each wide sleeve has a half belt a couple inches from the end, decorated with a smaller matching button. The coat is lined with glossy black satin and is in pristine condition.

Via etsy.com

Upcycle Jewels into Fridge Magnets

It’s a simple project and only involves a couple of steps: pop off the backs of your jeweled earrings/broaches with wire cutters, then attach a magnet with super glue.  Presto!  You’ve got yourself a blinged out fridge magnet.  Mega impact for the absolute minimum amount of effort.  Or, in other words, my kind of DIY project.

Capture

Curated from Curbly

I love finding ideas for upcycling broken brooches into something else you can use everyday, like this.

That Little Cardboard Box Robot is Known as Danbo

For years I keep seeing photos of a little robot made of cardboard boxes. It’s cute and I saved the photos sometimes. I posted a couple of seasonal images even. But, until yesterday, I did not know what the actual name was for this. Then I found it on a free wallpaper site. In their image tags was a tag “danbo”. It stood out from the other tags so I looked it up. Sure enough, I had finally found the name for the little cardboard box robot.

69509_388977434505254_696911636_n HALLOWEEN_danbo_1280x1024

Where Did “Piss Poor” Come From?

My Mother sent me this in email today. Keep reading, it gets more interesting as it goes along.

Where did “piss poor” come from?
If you’re young and hip, this is still interesting.

NOW THIS IS A REAL EDUCATION
Us older people need to learn something new every day…

Just to keep the grey matter tuned up.

Where did “Piss Poor” come from? Interesting history.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot.

And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery…

If you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”. But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot…

They “didn’t have a pot to piss in” and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500’s

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.
The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,
Then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children.
Last of all the babies.
By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.
Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.
It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.
When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.
This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.
Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.
That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing..

As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.
Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers In the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.
Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.
Hence the rhyme:
“Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.
When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.
It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.”
They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter.
Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.
This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status..
Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle,
And guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.
The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days..
Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.
They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.
Hence the custom; “holding a wake.”

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.
So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.
When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.
Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell” or was “considered a dead ringer.”

And that’s the truth.

Now, whoever said history was boring!!!

So get out there and educate someone!
Share these facts with a friend.
Inside every older person is a younger person wondering,
“What the heck happened?”
We’ll be friends until we are old and senile.
Then we’ll be new friends.

Prompt for December 6 | Project Reverb

Blowing Out the Candles: You’re another year older!  How did you celebrate the passage of another year?  Did it turn out the way you had hoped?

via Prompt for December 6 | Project Reverb.

As it happens, I’m not another year older yet. I’m not rushing to be 49 a day before I officially get there.

I’ve got a bottle of caramel whiskey which I found during a trip to Sudbury earlier this year. (My nephew, Zack, is attending university and living up there now). I’m going to enjoy a couple of shots of that and have a day of doing whatever comes along.

As it turns out, my birthday is also the day a friend of Zack’s is arriving here from the US. So I will have company at some point.

If things were different…. I would have loved to take off on the VIA Rail train for at least a month. It would be lovely to travel again. I’d even stay at a couple of hotels rather than skimping on pennies and staying at hostels all the way. There is something nice about waking up alone in a hotel on nice, crisp sheets. The day feels so fresh and untouched when you are in a different place, physically and mentally.

How I Chose to be a Pagan Earth Witch

When I was about 20 I decided to look into religions. I knew the traditional Christian ways were not for me. I didn’t like they way these religions viewed women. I had just read a book where the women were put into isolation after having their period or giving birth, they were “unclean”. This was on top of growing up with the Adam and Eve mythology. From that point the Bible (written and rewritten by men) just goes on to look down on women, and worse. If I were a male, I would probably never have become Pagan. I would never have begun researching other religions and beliefs and looked deeper than the surface. Most likely I would have put religion behind me as not being all that important.

My Early Pagan Experience

I started with Witchcraft and Wicca because I found a book written in the 70’s. It’s a book I wouldn’t choose to read now but parts of it were enough to send me looking for more information from more reliable sources. I found a Pagan bookstore referred to in a book. I made the hour long bus trip to downtown Toronto and found the place. Entering for that first time was not easy. I felt daring and yet I also felt I was walking into a place I didn’t fully belong and might not be welcome. I wondered if they could see inside of me, my mind and my thoughts. Would they know what I was thinking, could they see my future and my past, my aura…? That was creepy.

The first thing that really happened was the smell. Ever since then I have noticed the same smell, strongly of incense over time, in every Pagan bookstore. I like pulling out a book I bought in a Pagan store. Even a couple of decades later I can smell it in the pages. If the smell ever goes away I don’t know. So far it hasn’t.

My adventure in that first Pagan store was intimidating. If I were less determined or less curious I doubt I would have tried another Pagan store. The people there did watch me and yet said nothing. Maybe they thought I was going to walk off with something, maybe they were just curious too, I won’t know and I didn’t ask then. I was already the shy type. I bought a book and a couple of polished rocks and I left, glad to be out of there. I was left with the feeling of not belonging and I never did go back to that store. Luckily there were others and more came along later.

Finding Where and How I Fit In

A few years more and the Internet came along too. By that time I was making my own decisions about what I believed and how I believed it. I didn’t accept Wicca as it came. I took what felt right to me and put it together with how I felt about the world and it’s people. I still believe this way; I’m very much an eclectic solitary type of Pagan. I gave myself the label of Earth Witch and I’ve stuck with that, to keep the explanation simple. To me an Earth Witch means I focus on the Earth, the natural and I don’t feel influenced by deities or magick. I believe we each create our own magick from ourselves and it is up to each of us to choose how to use it, or not use it.

I have written about my Pagan beliefs before but not shared much of my actual experience. I used to get email from young women who wanted to know more about being Pagan. The main thing they wanted to know was how to hide it from their parents. I was never behind this. For one thing, if you have to hide it, maybe you should rethink the whole thing.

I do understand that some families are very Christian and close minded or even afraid of Pagan ideas and Pagan ways. If that is the case and you are living at home, this is not the time for you to explore being Pagan. Wait until you can do it openly. In the meantime, there is no reason you can’t do simple things like have a collection of rocks, maybe some shells and feathers, keep a journal about your observations of nature, history and people. These are things you can do without upsetting your parents and family. You can be Pagan without having to prove you’re Pagan. Know it yourself and start there.

Nowadays…

For me, being Pagan is a personal thing. I mainly keep it to myself. I’ve found a local group with weekly meetings but I have yet to venture out and attend one. I think I will. Each time I have stepped out and met other Pagans I have enjoyed the experience and learned new things about history, religion and beliefs. But, I’m comfortable with what I believe now, the way my feelings about being an Earth Witch have evolved. So I’m not as eager to stir myself up as I was when I was younger and just starting to explore and discover.