Monthly Archives: September 2014

Only Child experiences mysterious disappearances

Only Child's backyard where some of her stuff has gone missing

Only Child’s backyard where some of her stuff has gone missing

Lately some of my stuff has been disappearing very mysteriously. I’m not talking a few misplaced files or a pair of glasses – the usual stuff that gets misplaced. I mean things have been disappearing around here in my house and out in my garden. And it’s not the birds or the raccoons outside or a ghost inside or out. I have my own theory about this personal black hole.

The scary thing is some of them turn up – and not where they were left. My boarder has been experiencing some of the same phenomena as well.

This year alone the following of my stuff has disappeared:

My favourite brown leather wrap-around bracelet. I wear it all day in the spring, summer and early fall. Forgot to take it off when gardening one day but when I remembered I checked all over where I had been gardening, including yard waste bins. Nada. So, I bought another wide bracelet but not as wide and not wrap around. Two weeks later when sitting in the Muskoka chair on my veranda I happened to look on the veranda beyond the other chair. There sat the bracelet.

My small pruning shears (I call them my “snip-snips). I know when and where I used them last and am 100 percent positive they came inside the house with the garden tool basket (it is canvas so I bring it inside when it rains or it takes days to dry). Just in case I did forget to bring the snip-snips in I checked all over the backyard and garden. Nada. So it was up to Home Depot for a replacement. Then old faithful showed up – lying on the grass in front of the tool shed at the end of the backyard – not near the dead silverlace I had been cutting off.

The booklet of postage stamps that I had just bought. And I know it came back with me from Shoppers where I bought it because I used a stamp from it to mail something. I went all through my wallet (where I keep the stamp booklet) and the rest of my purse. Nada. A few days later I did another look – yeah, in the wallet but not where I usually put it.

Also gone missing (briefly) was one of my hair scrunchies – but it was a logical find – it had fallen off the vanity in my bedroom onto the floor under the bench. I have also had (a couple of years ago) another leather broach go missing – I thought it had fallen off when I was at a certain place and even phoned to find out. It showed up – in the vegetable bin in my fridge. Meantime I had purchased a replacement and you guessed it. The replacement went missing never to be found.

Also missing in action are a one-page document, my good trowel (I have another cheaper one for the garden) and my old weeder. The latter’s disappearance is very strange and it is that one that convinces me who is responsible.

A few summers ago I was out weeding in the garden and put the weeder down while I placed the pulled weeds in the yard waste bin (which was by the garden). When I turned around to pick up the weeder to continue weeding, the weeder was nowhere in site. I dug around, dumped the waste bin and even looked elsewhere in the garden. Nada. I bought a new one and kept the tag on it so it would be easier to find. But the old weeder never showed up and unlike the other missing items, the old weeder was taken from right under my nose.

I say “taken” because this is what I believe is happening. Some of you will think I’m nuts but considering what has been happening with disappearances and some of the re-appearances, you have to wonder. I think it is the invisible hand of God. No idea why (although I can think of one basic reason – to annoy me). If it is to show God’s wonder, that doesn’t fly with me because not all items have re-appeared.

Might be a case of seeing is believing – or not seeing is believing. Just not sure what I am supposed to see.

I’m still ticked off about what hasn’t been returned – especially the garden tools.

Just sign me perplexed.

 

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Gardening, God, Home and Garden, Lost Bracelets, Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child looks at Crowd Prayer

Only Child  contemplates God, weather, and prayer

Only Child contemplates God, weather, and prayer

Sunday morning I woke up to a dark sky, heavy rain and wind – a great forecast for the annual outdoor Word on the Street book fair in Toronto, Canada. I had a volunteer shift at the Crime Writers of Canada booth plus I wanted to walk around and talk to other writers, publishers, etc.

In the pouring rain with thunder?

I think not.

Shaking my fist at the sky I told God just what I thought of the weather and added, “It’s not just me; there are thousands of others who are going to Word on the Street and won’t like being stuck in the rain.”

To add insult to injury both my land line and Internet were down – and they are part and parcel of the whole utility she-bang where I daily ask God to keep them all working. I may not be Christian but I do believe in God and believe he should listen to our prayers. Some things ingrained from growing up Catholic never disappear.

Soon the darkness outside changed to lighter and one hour before the start of Word on the Street the sun came out and stayed out until sundown. (The weather forecast itself had been for thundershowers all day). The rain stayed away until way after night arrived. WOTS went until 6 p.m. and it was a beautiful summer day, hot and sunny and very pleasant (except for the persistent wasp buzzing around the CWC booth). I met some interesting readers and writers, connected with some writers I already knew and sold the first copy of my new mystery novel Beyond Blood (excluding Amazon and other online sales).

As for the phone and Internet, after a call to Bell Canada and being told the earliest time a techie could show up was Monday after 12 noon, I went back to scurrying around getting ready to attend WOTS.

A ring on my phone sounded and the phone was back. So was the Internet.

What does all this tell me?

The lone person praying to God is very likely not to be heard. Remember I daily ask not to have utility services stop working – that was the ask. But pray on behalf of many, even thousands of people and God has to sit up and listen (And of course, I did thank him).

I call it a form of crowd praying. Not necessarily a crowd of people praying together although I don’t doubt many others coming to WOTS asked God to stop the rain.

Well, there is crowd funding. Why not crowd praying in different versions? A study was done on an actual group of people praying for others with heart conditions. Being a scientific study, there was a placebo group and the real praying group. As posted on http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/prayer.html here are some of the specifics:

Cardiac patients from the San Francisco General Medical Center were randomly divided (using a computer-generated list) into two groups. The names of the patients in the “test” group were given to a group of Christians, who prayed for them while they were in the hospital…

The “placebo” group received no prayer. Neither the “test” nor the “placebo” group of patients knew if they were receiving prayer. Likewise, the hospital staff, doctors, or nurses were “blinded” since they did not know which patient belonged to which group (Source: Scientific Evidence for Answered Prayer and the Existence of God by Richard Deem).

Results?

Patients who received prayers had fewer diseases and symptoms, including less congestive heart failure, fewer heart attacks and fewer setbacks of pneumonia.

Besides this site (see URL above) you can read more about this type of study by going to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed and doing a search for “effects intercessory prayer”

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Crowd Praying, God, Only child, Prayer, Rain and wind storm, Sharon A. Crawford, Weather, Word on the Street

Only Child on first novel Beyond Blood being published

Cover of Only Child's first published mystery novel just out

Cover of Only Child’s first published mystery novel just out

Hi all:

Getting my first novel Beyond Blood published even at the ripe old age of 65 still resonates. Especially when I dreamed for years of doing so but had to hold back on the writing required because I needed to do other stuff to earn a living.

That includes working as a secretary in what seems like another life. But some of this other stuff is and was writing – since 1976 (gulp) when I first started getting my humorous personal essays and feature articles published in a local Bradford, Ontario newspaper. Personal essays equals short memoir pieces and although the book-length memoir is still being rewritten, getting personal essays published early in my writing career apparently is a feat not easy to do – at least these days. All fodder for the memoir book.

As for Beyond Blood – it has been in the works off and on for around 15 years. Maybe longer, as my freelance writing and some of those secretarial positions provided information, research and impetus for Beyond Blood. For example, two of my main characters who are PIs, fraternal twins Dana Bowman and Bast Overture get some of their career history from me. Bast is a former crime reporter and although that wasn’t my main beat, I did write some crime stories. Dana has a history as a freelance PI, which I never did but being a journalist also requires a lot of digging around and interviewing people. And the main police officer in the novel, Detective Sergeant Donald Fielding was inspired by a sergeant when I worked as a clerk for the Toronto Police Services back in the 1970s. I also worked as a secretary in a legal office in the late 1980s. So my secretarial background did more than pay the bills.

Then there are my growing-up years when I became hooked on mystery fiction. My late Mom and I would watch the Perry Mason series (the older one in black and white) on TV every Saturday evening. My mystery reading started before that with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, moving on to Agatha Christie when I was 12 or 13 – and on to many other mystery authors since. I am still reading new mystery authors (new to me) and learning from them.

It goes to show that writing fiction digs back into your past. Who you were, who you have become and your experiences all factor in. As a child I was bullied by both a classmate/friend and one of the nun teachers. So I felt like the underdog – and that is an underlying theme in my mystery writing, especially where children are concerned. But not all children with horrific childhoods come through okay. And I use that too.

Writing fiction also uses my imagination. It is fiction, not fact. The plots can become devious and I should hope original. And the characters… Let’s just say Dana and Bast (Dana, in particular) tend to take over and rule the roost in my fiction writing.

That’s a good thing for me. Fiction writing can get you out of the misery of your life. But it is also a means to have things get solved, some resolution, some closure – which often doesn’t happen in life.

Of course, some things in fiction still carry over into the next book.

Check out my publisher’s website for more info on Beyond Blood www.bluedenimpress.com and also my author blog www.sharonacrawfordauthor.com

And the book cover at the top links to my book on Amazon.

Cheers.

 

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Beyond Blood, Mother, mystery novels, Nancy Drew, Only child memoir, Sharon A. Crawford, Uncategorized, Writing

Only Child mulls over fall and winter weather forecasts

Only Child's front garden -  the way it should be with the beautiful juniper in front

Only Child’s front garden – the way it should be with the beautiful juniper (before winter damage) in front

Summer, such as it is, still continues but the hype for fall and winter weather is on. Do we believe it or hope for something better?

The bible of weather reporting, The Weather Network, announced its forecast for the upcoming fall and winter seasons. See http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/2014-fall-outlook-and-winter-preview-greater-toronto-area/35515/ They hedge around whether the weather will be another unusually cold one this winter basing it on if El Nino hits North America or not.

Another source, Accuweather, is predicting much the same with a worse forecast of a cold fall and snow in November. See http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/08/20/canada-fall-weather-forecast_n_5696285.html

Just what we need after last winter’s ice storm, polar vortex and all that nonsense. I’m still waiting for the powers that be (you know who that is) fixes the damage from last winter in my garden. My big juniper tree in front is coming back too slowly and I think after all the cold, ice, etc. of last winter I deserve to have that tree make at least an 80 per cent comeback – preferably before winter sets in.

And I’m not looking forward to another cold, icy, snowy winter. I’m not looking forward to winter at all. I loathe winter with a passion just as much as I love spring, summer and early fall (before the cold hits) with a passion. Although I try to go for a daily walk year-round, I don’t ski, skate anymore, snowshoe or do any other winter sports, and HATE the cold, snow, ice etc. The only thing about winter that I do like are the fashions, but I don’t like bundling up.

Going into my garden is a mixed pleasure and I do a lot of that, savouring its goodness – the flowers, tomatoes, carrots, onions and herbs. Even mowing the lawn with my push mower is pure joy. It is that time of the year when I wish it were July 1 again and we could do it all over.

Instead I’ll just spend a lot of time in my garden.

And shake my fist up at the sky with a “don’t you dare” warning.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Extreme Weather, Garden Destruction, Gardening, God, Only child, Weather forecasts fall and winter 2014, Winter Weather

Only Child gets her house in order – literally

Some of Only Child's house-cleaning tools.

Some of Only Child’s house-cleaning tools.

Part of my “delete project” includes sprucing up the house as I go along. You can’t just ditch stuff (into recycling or repurposing or the garbage) without cleaning up where they used to be. Or you can take it the other way around and in the process – ditch stuff.

It is also amazing what you will find.

This past weekend I decided I just had to do something about the wooden oak floor in the front hall, living room and my office (formerly the dining room) plus the laminated wooden floor in the kitchen. The former three looked a little scruffy – what you coul see. So I decided to do something my late mother seldom did – move the furniture to clean. (Mother’s idea was to vacuum and dust if company were coming and maybe a few times in between).

No company coming here but after seeing the shiny wooden floors at my cousins when on holidays last month my shabby floors looked terrible. True their wooden floors aren’t oak and are much newer but…

So I pulled out the chesterfield and found two pens, a cat toy, and dirt. So I got to work – removing the items, vacuuming and mopping and then using one of those Swifter-like mops (the ones with the bottle attached to put in water and in my case, Murphy’s Oil) all over the floors in the living room, my office, front hall and kitchen.

What a difference.

And when you physically cleanse something, it also helps cleanse your mind. You feel a combination of relief, satisfaction and “hey, my house now looks good.”

At least it does with me. It also frees me up to do something I have been wanting to do for awhile – another sort of delete.

More on that in another post.

Cheers.

Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Clutter, Home and Garden, Mother, Only child, Sharon A. Crawford