Loves her tortoise!

Recent entries from gottawonder
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gottawonderGood for you!

Papers can be such a huge problem.

I file bills and documents and such, and then go through them every year, roughly at tax time, and get rid of the previous year’s papers that I don’t need.

I’ve tried really hard not to hang onto magazines for too long. I used to hoard them, but what’s the point? I’m really not going to go back and read them, except for maybe art journals.

I hang on to a lot of my art attempts. That gets to be a lot of things.

Good for doing so well, and recycling where possible. This must make you feel soooo good. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderClarifying some concepts.

1. Are people sometimes happy in a rut? I know a woman who teaches pottery. We got talking. Her life seems really limited to me. She doesn’t go anywhere (literally, she says she doesn’t leave the small town she lives in), she is in her 50’s and lives with her mother and her brother. She works at a menswear store, and says she hates it. She doesn’t even want to come with me to an art gallery, because that violates her principle of “doesn’t go anywhere”. She even says she never gets to watch the television shows she enjoys, because her brother controls that, so she ends up watching “Duck Dynasty” and “Swamp People”.

She says she’s happy.

2. My neighbour has a friend who is dying of lung cancer at 62. She apparently lost a brother in his 20’s for lung cancer, and another brother in his 40’s to it. She never quit smoking. Amazing.

3. Some ideas about Autism.

Autism is thought to be caused by brain damage as a fetus due to an infection the mother might have been fighting during pregnancy. One of the causes, anyhow.

I was reading a very interesting article in Discovery about how people who have suffered brain damage often have problems dealing with reality. It apparently takes a healthy and strong mind to deal with the truths of life, especially unhappy ones, so a mind that isn’t as healthy often can’t deal with reality and resorts to pretending all kinds of things. It does make sense then, that the autistic boy I care for insists on having the people around him support his fantasy life.

He likely feels very unable to grasp his world, so he makes one up.

What about all of the average people out there who get so immersed in the fantasy worlds offered by television and video games? Are they perhaps, less equipped to deal with reality?

4. My nephew’s wife lied and cheated my nephew into having five children. He kept believing her when she said she was using birth control, she kept saying “this is the last one”. He was too stupid to go get a vasectomy. According to her, three of their children were “complete surprises”. They really don’t have the money to care for five kids, and it is always a source of great stress. They end up driving crappy cars, having to do work on their house is a great problem, and they have had to use the food bank, and accept money from family even though my nephew has a decent job.

Long story short, she also goes on and on about how exhausted she is, how hard she works being a mom, what a sacrifice it is, and how no one can possibly understand real love without being a parent.

She recently put a post on Facebook detailing how she is mentally exhausted, cannot remember anything, and is falling apart. Should she take some vitamins? See a doctor about antidepressants?

I can’t help but think that she brought this upon herself, and I have a tough time feeling any sympathy for her. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderMarch 30

Today I am grateful for:

Sleeping in.

Cleaning for my neighbour, instead of putting it off and making the rest of my week more hectic. We had a nice visit.

A pasture ride on one of my mares. 3 weeks ago


I don’t find that caffeine helps me be creative.

It might keep you awake, but it promotes the wrong state of mind.

I think the state my mind enters when I am creative is the alpha state (I think), which is a sort of relaxed state of awareness that isn’t about time, or even results. It is very “in the moment”. You can’t jar the brain with chemicals to stimulate it. You have to get there by being well-rested, full, but not too full, and physically comfortable. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderI think

a person can do mindless, repetitive work for long stretches, because that isn’t thinking.

When I worked as a janitor, I worked for nearly 100% of the time that I was at work.

The same for when I worked at a price changer at a grocery store.

However, creative work and critical thinking doesn’t work that way.

I might be able to focus on a creative process for three or four hours. Something like painting. However, if I am doing something like planning out the structure of a painting, I can only do that for about an hour.

I can do pottery for about four hours, but it is different. It has long stretches of a different kind of concentration.

I found college classes kind of exhausting because information was just fired at you, with no time for processing it.

I find that if I am too busy, I can’t be creative. I need to have a few long days of being relaxed before I can create.

When I am busy, I can do mindless creative things like knitting.

I make a point of getting enough sleep, talking to loved ones, being with my animals, and getting outside. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderI know that you are right

about being happy.

With some of my very closest friends, I have been free to express being unhappy, and that is a wonderful gift.

With people who don’t know you yet, and you haven’t forged a real friendship, I agree with you that most people are just drawn to someone who is positive.

It would be nice to get to that point with a few people though, that I can honestly express how I am feeling.

Even with close friends though, I don’t think anyone feels comfortable with someone who is overall a negative person.

From another perspective, I have an adult niece who is one of the most cynical, unhappy persons I have ever met. She can be surly, unhelpful, ungrateful, overly sensitive, sarcastic, and glum. She holds grudges for very small issues, that no one else even understands. She is not very popular. 3 weeks ago


I’m glad to contribute. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderI'm only 41,

but I have seen some changes in my friends that bother me. They are already saying they are “too old” for things.

I have a friend who drives me nuts because of this. She’s a warm, kind person and I enjoy her company, but I would love it if she would DO more.

I can’t get her to come walking at the lake down the road (easy, paved walking paths, and she says it’s too hard), or to go to the art gallery (she says they never have any “good” art there, in spite of her not even knowing what they have on display), or…anything.

She’s only in her early 50’s.

A woman who teaches pottery and I were talking, and she apparently doesn’t ever leave the small town she lives in, and doesn’t like to go out or do anything either. She’s only in her 50’s.

I think it’s obvious that most people will slow down, maybe have some health issues, and so on, but why would anyone just hang it all up and sit on their couch until they die?

I plan on being as active as I can, to keep learning, to listen to new music as well as my favorites, to be open to new ideas, and so on.

I will likely take on some traits of being older, but there’s a huge difference between being older and having an old attitude. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderI never had a credit card

until a few years ago. We were told that our credit rating was suffering terribly because we paid cash for everything.

At the time, we were looking to get a line of credit in case something extra popped up when we were building the barn, and actually having trouble getting one in spite of having lots of money in the bank, and a good job, because of our avoidance of borrowing money.

So, we got two, and we use them a little bit, and then pay them off immediately as a way of improving our credit rating.

I don’t know off hand about the extras or the interest rate.

Personally, I hate credit cards. I hate the very fact that if you are a responsible person and live within your means and buy things with cash, you actually are penalized by banks. 3 weeks ago


How would you describe your living space: micro, macro, Versailles, or average American/Canadian/European home with a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, etc not being the same destination?

Our home is about 1200 sq.ft with a normal layout of kitchen, living room, etc. being separate.

What is the smallest living space you enjoyed/suffered through? Largest?

I lived in a dorm room, but that didn’t matter because I spent so little time in it. You don’t need a kitchen, living room, etc.

I lived in a tiny apartment for four years that wouldn’t have been so bad except it was the attic, so that wall sloped in. It was likely about 350 sq. feet, with a bathroom on another floor. At the time, it was fine for me. I didn’t have a lot of stuff, or any animals. It was basically a big bedroom, and another room that was a kitchen. The kitchen was big enough.

Our largest house was the one in Wyoming. It’s main floor was four spacious rooms, and it had two bedrooms upstairs, and a big basement. It made it hard to move here, we had to get rid of a ton of stuff. We have no basement here for storage.

Is your dwelling large enough for you and your entourage/family/harem?

Our house feels big enough. I have too much stuff, but the house is fine.

Favorite part of your home?

The living room. It has a fireplace, and big windows that let in tons of light.

Would you agree to a micro apartment other than because you are poor in Hong Kong? Would it fit King Kong??

I couldn’t see my life fitting in one. I have animals, and tons of craft stuff. I would have been fine in one about 20 years ago, when I was in my 20’s. I would have eventually wanted more space, but it would have been fine for a while. It’s not a bad solution for people just moving away from home. It might work for some seniors, too. The rent had better be dirt cheap, though.

However, if circumstances changed, and that’s all I could afford, then I guess I could do it.

I feel that if they are a solution to a housing crisis, then yes, they would fit in Hong Kong, or any big city. I think they would do fine here in Edmonton, if the rent were reasonable. There are always lots of people in need of a simple place to live, who don’t have tons of stuff. Those people are likely living mostly out of a single bedroom somewhere already, a hotel room, or on someone’s couch.

It’s kind of too bad that people can’t just slow down on the baby-making a little, and reduce the overwhelming population crisis we are facing. I know that the birth rate is starting to slow down, especially anywhere that women get an education. It’s the only long-term solution to housing problems. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderI do my best to buy

things that are classic, and will look good for a long time. Things that aren’t part of some recognisable trend that will mean I will want to get rid of it in a few years.

We replaced our cheap Wal-Mart computer desk with an antique. It’s going to look good forever.

My living room curtains are plain white cotton. They’ve been up for over five years already.

My couch is a plain leather couch, well-made, and have had it for about ten years now.

I try to do this with clothes, too. I did buy skinny jeans, but the simplest ones possible so that I can wear them for years. Not the super trendy ones with all the prints on them that will likely be out of date in a year. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderMarch 29

Today I am grateful for:

A refresher at the library. I haven’t gotten shift there in over 6 months (I guess that’s the definition of casual), so I went in (not getting paid either) to brush up a little. It’ll be nice to work there some more this April, when the one librarian is taking vacation.

Getting in to do a whole bunch of glazing at the pottery studio.

In the process, having a nice visit with the pottery instructor. 3 weeks ago


When in conversation with others, I try to learn about them, and focus on what they are saying.

I have learned to be happy for the successes of others, to be excited when I see the chance to help someone else succeed, and so on. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderIn the last couple of years

I have had to put a lot of work into getting myself out there.

In Wyoming, I met a lot of people through college, and through the public horse corrals, and my husband’s job.

Here, any friends my husband makes don’t end up being friends HERE, because the job itself is hours away, and everyone’s home is all over the place.

I’ve been trying to meet people through work, riding lessons, pottery class, and so on. 3 weeks ago


I can’t just come on here and randomly make a comment like “Wow, I think I just had a crap that weighs more than I do”.

I COULD, but it seems so random without any context. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderThis is the point I'm making.

I feel lonely a lot, because I don’t feel like I have a lot of close friends that I can be myself around.

I’m not trying to fake my way into friendships, I’m just wondering if I must have some habits that are getting in the way of making friends. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderMy husband has a great mind too.

It takes a lot of talent to work with crews, and in my husband’s case, also manual work, computers, some electrical work, fixing the tools, running the actual tool string (he was a wireline engineer) and dealing with people from the laborers to very educated. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderI've tried asking my husband

if he has any idea how other people might see me, and he seems to think I’m doing fine.

He is pretty happy with my weirdness, though, so he wouldn’t likely notice.

I agree with you about unusual people. I like people who are bold enough to look for different perspectives, who do things a little differently, and maybe are creative. 3 weeks ago


we all suppress parts of ourselves for the sake of not being kicked out.

I really can’t justify making poop jokes and dirty sexual comments just because I think they are amusing, when I know it will mean offending…just about everyone.

Normally I have a few friends that will let me really let ‘er rip, but I haven’t found that group here. I’m thinking that no one makes poop jokes in this area.

I feel like it makes more sense to tone things down, for the sake of having a job, or getting my next job (everyone here knows you, or your reputation), or people in general feeling comfortable around me.

I try to be me, without a lot of the naughty bits. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderWhere I live right now

is a rural community, and there are some very traditional people here.

Where I lived before, in Wyoming, had some pigeonholes, but more like “ranchers, oilfield rednecks, oilfield more educated, and hippy freaks”. If you hooked up with the hippy freaks, there were a fair number of them, and they were quite accepting of a wide range of freakdom. My husband put us in a position to mingle with oilfield more educated (the ones who lead the crews and management), and some of the oilfield rednecks. 3 weeks ago


seven…brethren? You could think of seven monks.

Does it have to rhyme? You could think of seven dwarves. Or lucky number seven. Or seventh Heaven (which almost rhymes).

Ten…zen? Ten…hens? Pens? Fens (marsh)? Men? 3 weeks ago

gottawonderI think I am weird,

and I am usually happy and comfortable with a certain amount of weirdness in others.

The world in general though, doesn’t like a lot of weirdness. They like someone clearly identifiable in the world’s major categories. The rich businessperson, the art person, the blue collar person, the parent, the jock, the hipster (only we’ve clarified that hipsters are less than popular), the farmer, the biker, etc.

I don’t neatly fit a category, and society abhors the oddball.

I’ve tried only eating my thousand year old eggs at home, and that helps. Still, do you think a squid salad (really, it’s nothing fancy, just some little squids swimming around in vinegar) is so bad? After all, everyone else is eating hot dogs. Blech. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderNo one sits alone sounds like a rule

that could make the whole world a better place to live in.

I think my insecurity does come from the inability to perceive how I come across to other people.

There are also factors, such as perhaps it’s not so much how I am, but how my personality may trigger things in people who have their own issues. Maybe people just think that if I’m quirky, they feel like I’m less predictable, and people love predictability. A lot of people too only want to be around people like themselves, again, they feel safe around familiarity.

I guess it’s also apparent fairly quickly that I’m smart, and maybe because I am not in a position that matches (I’m usually a cleaner or some such, not a veterinarian or archeologist), that makes people uncomfortable. People often look at me in shock and say “why do you know that?”. Then it makes me seem less predictable again. Cleaners shouldn’t be intelligent.

I don’t really want to change my core being, but I also realize that maybe I’m not doing something simple, like smiling, or if there was a way of building more common ground with people….that sort of thing. 3 weeks ago


In real life, I find that I try very hard not to give people unsolicited advice, because I know how annoying that can be, and somehow, face to face, most people really don’t want to hear the truth.

I also really rein in my normal personality and sense of humour, because I have an outrageously dirty sense of humour, find strange things interesting/funny, and so on. Naturally I think I am devastatingly funny, but I am constantly worried about offending people. Mainly because I am offensive, in a fun-loving way.

My actual sense of humour is similar to a less frantic Russel Brand, with fewer whores. No whores, actually.

I can be myself around my husband, and some of the friends I’ve had a long time that I hardly ever see.

So, I suppose I’m suppressing everything so hard that maybe a lot of people aren’t seeing anything. 3 weeks ago


My husband is very likable. People seem drawn to him. Usually, after someone I know meets my husband, they will say to me “your husband is so amazing! He’s such a nice person!”.

There are people who used to work with him who still make a point of keeping in touch with him. When he works somewhere new, he usually ends up with a group of people who become friends outside of work. Guys who start going to the gym because he does, people who actually buy new bikes so they can bike with him. People who participate in charity bike rides as a team, because he asked them to.

I don’t understand how he does it. I feel like most people don’t value me. I often have issues at work or with co-workers. I don’t have many friends, or even many acquaintances who seem to at least like me enough to invite me to things. If I go to the gym, I go alone, not with a group of people who just feel inspired by me. If I started a club, I would be alone in it.

People respect my husband instantly. They value his opinion, ask his advice, and hang on every word. I feel like few people listen to me, care about my opinion, and half the time are only thinking about what they are going to say next instead of listening to my story.

I was unpopular in school, and I feel like most of the time, I am still recognised by the world as the girl “nobody wants to sit with at lunch”.

So, do you feel like people like you? If so, do you have any idea why?

Any insights into what makes someone likeable or unlikable?

Why is there always someone that “no one wants to sit with at lunch”?

Why is there always, all through life, a “popular” crowd?

Can a person become more likeable? 3 weeks ago

gottawonderThere's plenty.

I feel so strange sometimes, about our consumption culture here in Canada.

We have so much. Most people feel overwhelmed by the clutter in their homes. Most people have tons of stuff they don’t use, maybe never have used.

Yet, we often still feel poor. We want a gazebo. A hot tub. A new car.

I also know people who can’t afford rent, but they have lots of stuff. It’s a strange paradox.

I often shop at the thrift store. Partly because it’s cheap, and I often find amazing bargains. It’s fun, because you never know what’s going to be there. It makes sense in an ecological way. The money helps the community.

It’s a little strange, seeing things that are likely there for no other reason than they are “out of date”. Old-fashioned mugs. Wide-legged jeans. A seriously dated art print that everyone used to have on their wall in the 80’s. A wall of DVDs, another case of CDs. Another one yet of VHS tapes. The ubiquitous punch bowl sets that everyone gave as wedding gifts before fondue sets became the useless gift that everyone gave as wedding presents.

Native Indians survived just fine without “fashion” or trends like green enameled coffee carafes that are so 70s.

It’s so wasteful. People will go out and buy all new dishes, because their old dishes look dated. Or new lamps. New pictures.

Why does fashion even exist? If it didn’t, we would barely need anything new. We’d just use it till it broke irreparably. Our appliances would still be harvest gold. Cars wouldn’t keep shifting their appearance every few years (so that everyone knows your car is ten or more years old, and that car is subtly putting you into a category of either poor, or out of date).

A few years ago, I happened to notice that my glasses were terribly out of date. Never mind whether they WORKED or not, they made me look frumpy. Everyone wears glasses now with the elaborate arms.

A lot of that stuff in the thrift store will likely end up in the dump. A lot of the things people drop off there will go to the dump without ever making it into the store.

No one wants a polyester suit from the 70s, or an old swag lamp. They’re functional, but dated. Just junk.

Our landfills are full of things that are functional, but dated. Just think of all the millions of houses full of stuff, and in 20 years, most of that will be in a landfill, and full of fresh stuff. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderMarch 28

Today I am grateful for:

Sleeping in.

Getting to spend the day in town shopping and running errands.

Riding lessons. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderHow about a "speakeasy" party?

The underground bar scene during the Prohibition era?

We could listen to blues, swing, and bluegrass music in our mosbster suits and evening gowns, and drink Moonshine, ala “Boardwalk Empire”. 3 weeks ago


or we could make sweat lodges. 3 weeks ago

gottawonderMarch 27

Today I am grateful for:

Socializing with the mom of the boy I care for.

Having a lazy afternoon at home after work.

A funny phone conversation with my husband. 3 weeks ago

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