Posts in category “Creative Fat Grrl”

Bad Days do Not Erase Your Progress

Written by Laura Brown

Source: Redbubble - thelatestkate

"Inaction will cause a man to sink into the slough of despond and…

Written by Laura Brown

"Inaction will cause a man to sink into the slough of despond and vanish without a trace."

Farley Mowat, 1921 - 2014. Canadian writer and environmentalist.

"And now that you don't have to be perfect you can be good".

Written by Laura Brown

"And now that you don't have to be perfect you can be good".

Quote by John Steinbeck East of Eden, published in 1952.

The Dull Women's Club

Written by Laura Brown

I joined the Dull Women's Club, on Facebook.

When asked what I thought dull meant, I wrote: Simple, plain, normal, sane. Able to appreciate the smaller things in life, if not the better things.

This is what I wrote as my self introduction:

I'm excessively dull. Sometimes the highlight of my day is finding my backscratcher to get rid of an itch on my back. I live in Ontario, the small city of Barrie. At the end of this year I will be 60. I live with my Mother, who is now 80. I collect books, more than I can actually read. I make ASCII art. I have been a writer and editor online for years. I used to crochet and sew. I'm divorced with no children. I drink coffee. I couldn't find a photo of myself though I have easily a thousand photos I've taken of old farm houses around Ontario. I'm a volunteer with Ontario Barn Preservation, writing the newsletter, etc.

Dull Womens Club

A later comment about growing foot size as we get older:

I think everything you don't want to grow, grows as you get older. Things you wish would grow, like getting just a bit taller, don't grow. I started wearing men's shoes because I could get the same size (more or less) by number but they were wider and longer than women's shoes. Once upon a time I was a size 6, now I'm a 10. Not a 10 in the way I'd like to be a 10, just the dull way of having bigger feet.

It Takes Bravery to Get Old

Written by Laura Brown

It takes bravery to get old. Young people won't know, or may scoff at the idea, until they get here too. If they get here, not everyone is fortunate enough to get old.

Getting old means dealing with your health in new and innovative ways. You take pills and don't really know what to expect from them. You go for tests and don't know what they're going to do to you. You trust people, professionals, who were in diapers and learning how to drink from a cup just a short time ago.

Getting old itself. Knowing things aren't what they used to be. Knowing other people, younger people, look at you and see an old woman. They don't see the person you are. Every old face is a resting bitch face.

You measure things differently, especially time. More of your decisions are about time than quality or quantity.

It takes bravery to look at yourself in a mirror and see yourself, still there. To find yourself, as they said long, long ago.

Wasting Time Looking for Useless Shortcuts

Written by Laura Brown

Is there something about getting older that I find myself looking for shortcuts. To make things simpler, less complicated and less trouble. Or, is it the loss of confidence, maybe bravado, from being older. I can remember being reckless (I've tended to caution, not a big dare devil all my life) enough to open my computer and fix it myself, things like that, in my younger years. Was it confidence or trust or that feeling of invulnerability that people say young people have. I don't know. These days, I look for shortcuts.

Maybe its the idea or feeling that I just don't have as much time. I'm 59 now. Since December. Turning 50 was a big deal for me. Now 60 is coming around the corner, assuming I get there, and I don't feel too bad about it. Still seems an odd surprise, even though I can count past 60 even as far as being mathematically correct. The surprise is finding myself this old. I wasn't born this way. I used to be much younger and I looked different too.

Younger people look at me and assume I've always looked this way. I can remember thinking the same, even though it isn't logical, about people when I was younger. Look at old photographs and you imagine everyone living in black and white with (mostly) dour expressions. It's hard to think of them as real people in colour. But, real life has always been in colour. Its only technology that couldn't show it that way, at the time. We rely too much on technology, far too much as time goes on.

Anyway, shortcuts, to stay on topic. The more time I spend looking for shortcuts the more I think about the time I've wasted looking for shortcuts that I usually end up rejecting and I could have been actually making real progress, without shortcuts. (There's a good run on sentence for you, and I'm not changing it).

Big Cats Should Not be Bred in Little Cages

Written by Laura Brown

I was watching the episodes of Snow Leopards of Leafy London, about the National Cat Trust, with Dr. Terry Moore in the UK. Although its great to see someone taking in cats who have no where else to go. In the end, they are living in captivity for however long they live. Not able to have space, hunt, and live a feral life. He also breeds them. It wasn't clear if he also lets the domestic cats breed too. The Trust takes in domestic homeless cats as well as the big cats. I hope the Trust works on some version of the neuter and release idea.

The series was made awhile ago and I wondered what became of the cats, especially the snow leopards which were featured, and the Trust. I found the website, not really updated since 2013 it seems to me. I didn't see any updates about the snow leopard release project with India which was talked about often in the films. There is some project based in Argentina.

Also, interesting, was to find that his wife was part of things, one of the trustees for the organization. But, she was never mentioned in the films. If she were there, she wasn't given credit for her work.

I found reviews on the TripAdvisor site, which made the Trust seem overwhelmed. Not enough volunteers to look after the place. Also, no visitors due to restrictions. That may be changed now, but it was only for sponsors/ members of the Trust. Not a bad thing, no doubt they need the funds. Feeding big cats would be expensive.

I posted this as a comment on Facebook:

I don't think any of these kept cats can go back to the wild. Even if a habitat could be found for them. These cats have had an indolent lifestyle. They will have hunting instincts but no practice. So they will not have the skills or the muscles built up to take care of themselves without someone feeding them dead carcasses. So they will look for humans to feed them, leaving the wild areas and likely end up being shot by people who are afraid of big cats approaching them. It's really sad to see these cats being bred in captivity to live their lives in small spaces, never having space to roam and be wild.

I love cats of all sizes. But, I think it is very misled to breed them in cat farms like this. Without a sure place to release them into the wild and a lifestyle which keeps them fit and skilled (and not relying on humans to feed them) there isn't real hope for these cats to live anywhere but in concrete with a little patch of grass. Cats need to wander and roam and hunt. Even domestic cats will have a territory (unless they are kept indoors all their lives).

It would be very hard, if not impossible, to have these kept cats able to adapt and live in their natural home now. They've adapted to our environment, our culture, pollution, schedule, etc. Like being a tourist in another country, they would not know the local culture, the language and the ways of the other big cats who were born to the wild life in that area. They would not know what to eat when seasons change and prey migrate or change their habits. They won't know or have natural defenses from other animals, insects, and diseases.

Their ancestors could be from that area but it would be culture shock for them to be dropped into a new place and left to learn how to survive. Having eaten dead meat all their lives, is it possible they would only look along roadways and other places they could smell roadkill and dead animals. Are their bodies able to live that way, deal with the parasites and such which they would pick up from dead meat versus the freshly killed animals they would eat naturally.

I wish the Cat Trust well but I think the project is really Terry Moore and volunteers making friends and pets out of these cats. Cats can be great pets, but not every cat should be kept as a pet.

Trying to give them a better life is a great ambition, but breeding them is selfish not selfless. There is no natural selection when females are forced to be bred/ pregnant every few months or every year with whatever male is closed in with them.

Not every female will want to be having batches of kittens constantly. I've seen domestic cats abandon new born kittens because they did not want them. I'm sure that must happen with big cats too.

Kept big cats do not live a natural, healthy, active life. Are they physically strong enough to have kittens? Being pampered and inactive means these big cats may not have the strength and stamina for pregnancy and birth. They are not exposed to conditions which toughen wild big cats, including bacteria, which they build immunity to. They just don't make pet happy documentaries about any of these things.

I don't think this will end well. Other places like this have failed, had to close. The cats are left homeless when shelters can't be found for all of them. When there are reports about big cats wandering and hunting in rural and suburban areas, its likely true. How many of them are cats which grew up in zoos/farms which had to close and let the cats out of their cages rather than euthanizing them. It is not a kindness to breed cats, or any animal, just to hoard them in captivity.

Why Add Hoods to Sweatshirts?

Written by Laura Brown

I like sweatshirts, they’re comfortable, usually warm, and easy to wash. But, why do they add hoods to them? The hoods pull down on the back and leave the back of my neck cold. I try different things, like rolling it up and pulling the string tight to keep it from dragging down my back. I’ve tried stuffing it inside down the back. But, none of these stay put well enough. I’ve read about people cutting off the hood and sewing the remains together to make a collar. This seems the best solution. I haven’t done it yet.

Mostly I avoid buying sweatshirts with hoods. That works better than anything else. But, I wonder, does anyone actually wear the hood? Not as a fashion thing, but for practical reasons, or just because the hood is comfortable, or warmer? Maybe this is something men, or people with short hair would like. With longer hair the hood doesn’t work. Not for me anyway.

In the end, I wonder why they add the hood. There must have been some reason for it.

Upcycled Toilet Roll People Greeting Cards

Written by Laura Brown

Snowmen greeting cards created with marshmallows and candy. But, I'd have more fun making them as a toilet roll version. An upcycled version with things from the recycling bin. I'm going to start saving finished toilet paper rolls and other bits and pieces and see what I can come up with. Everyone needs a project.

Snowmen greeting cards

Source: Marshmallow Snowmen Holiday Card Pack

Rubbing Yourself Out and Getting Worn Down

Written by Laura Brown

I found this quote by Amy Tan:

“I did not lose myself all at once. I rubbed out my face over the years washing away my pain, the same way carvings on stone are worn down by water.”

People ask if you are sad or tired. I could say yes to those but neither is quite right. I am worn down, like a stone in a river. I try to hold on, be stoic and strong but I'm eroding all the time.

I feel this way more often as I get older. None of us are getting any younger of course. But, I don't think we should have to feel worn down. Does it happen from others or do we do it to ourselves. I'm trying to figure that out for myself.

I found this quote on an old site by Laurie Pawlik. She writes about writing, relationships, travel and living in a camper van. I started reading that post, first.