What’s a blog?

A friend recently read my blog for the first time, the first blog she’s ever read actually, and she said, “So that’s what a blog is, chatting about your daily life.” I let her know that all blogs aren’t just about that, some actually address very important topics. Some blogs provide information to new parents on what to expect with your newborn, some are specific to certain illnesses and diseases, some are a way to exchange recipes. Really, there are a variety of reasons and topics on which to blog. My blog…well, it’s still in its infancy and I’m still figuring out what it will be when it grows up. Right now, yes, it’s sharing my daily life, or experiences that happen to me. I hope the sharing of these stories will do several things; make me focus on writing more, allow people to learn from my experiences, and most of all, bring a smile to the faces of my readers.

This actually brings me to my topic this week, that things aren’t always as they may seem.

I had visitors a while back, my best friend and her sister, who is also my friend and has stayed here when she is visiting town alone as well. My friends’ sister co-owns an alpaca farm. She’s also an artist, in various mediums, and is always looking for ways to use the alpaca product – yarn and fleece mainly – to create art, clothing, household ite
ms. I happen to be the very pleased owner of one of their alpaca duvets.IMG_20160429_180540

Anyway, this gal always seems to think she needs to leave a gift, usually flowers, as a thank-you for the use of my spare bedroom. Hmmm…maybe I should forward this blog to my son. One visit resulted in this beautiful orchid, which has died off and blossomed again. This particular visit, she decided to gift me with a pair of alpaca slippers she’d started making for the farm store. Yes, they are as soft in person as they look in the picture. I immediately put them on, and have continued wearing them since.

A few days later, I walked in my basement door with my daughter. My alpaca slippers were sitting my regular slippers normally would and my daughter immediately said,”What happened to your slippers? Did you wash them?”

IMG_20160429_180752These are my regular slippers. Yes, almost the exact same colours, so I can see how my daughter might look at them and think they’d puffed up when I’d washed them. Believe me, it’s happened in the past with stuffed animals of hers that went from being cute and cuddly, to unrecognizable blobs of fluff.

I chuckled, and told her that no, these were new slippers from the farm. I then thought about it a bit and realized, there are a lot of things in life that are like my two pairs of slippers. It’s human nature to glance at something, or someone, and immediately make an assumption, but as the saying goes, “Never judge a book by its cover”.

I’m thankful that I live in a world that is changing, not quickly enough for my personal taste, but it’s changing. We are learning to accept people for who they are, not who we assume they are when we make that first glance. And we are accepting of everyone, or more of us are. People are people, no matter how they appear, or how you may see them through your eyes. Under our personal masks, whatever they may be, we are all the same. We are human beings who just want to be accepted for who we are, find happiness and live our lives in peace.The only thing we do by judging others, is judge ourselves.

P.S. My next blog, which this one was suppose to change to but technical issues (go figure) kept that from happening, will be an explanation for the three weeks delay in posting. Yeah..it has to do with yet more technical issues. It’s a good thing I like to share stories!

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What’s in a name

20160401_103313I have to first apologize to my readers for the delay in posting this week. Life has become busy, as it generally can be. While I’m trying to stick to my weekly post, my weekends can fly by sometimes. In addition, I’ve become accustom to sitting at my PC to do this and, well, my home office is not an inviting work space at the moment. I removed a buffet that stored most of my office supplies, and put it in my kitchen. To do this, I had to unload the bookcase that sat on top of the buffet. The books are currently in a number of small boxes, to be repacked into a couple of larger boxes shortly. In addition, the office supplies are stacked wherever I could find open floor space. This being said, my home office is my next reno project and I hope to have all of this cleared up within the month. Please bear with me and I’ll be sure to post before and after photo in another blog.

OK, on to the topic for this week. Many families have names that have been passed down through generations and have strong and heartfelt meaning…mine…well, strong yes…angry heart…yes. Let me explain, because you know I’m going to.

My legal name is Merri Janette, but I’ve always gone by Jan and the use of the diminutive version 130530208127700450of my name has caused a lot of grief through my life when dealing with legal documents or registration at school and such. I was told at various times that I was named after my Dad’s aunt, but I really didn’t know for sure, and I didn’t know why it was decided
to use the name Jan instead of my first name Merri (pronounced Mary). In later years I was told that my Dad didn’t like his aunt Mary Jane. Hmm….so why was I named after her? This is the story I’ve uncovered, so far.

It seems my Dad did have an Aunt Mary Jane. She was married to his Uncle 130530226706349722 (4)Charles. He and his brothers enjoyed going to their farm and hanging out with his cousin, and that could be plural as in cousins, but he really didn’t like Aunt Mary. She wasn’t any fun, was very strict, worked the boys hard, and was quick to anger. Dad was at the farm one day with a couple of his brothers. I’ve been told they were suppose to be doing chores, but were being typical young boys and playing around in the barn and just having a fun time. Aunt Mary came out and was not pleased, to say the least. She started chasing them with a switch and the boys ran up the ladder into the hay loft. There Aunt Mary stood at the bottom of the ladder, yelling up for the boys to come down and get the chores done or they were going to feel that switch. Well, Dad decided she needed to cool down, and he proceeded to help her with the only liquid he had handy. Yup, he peed on her. To say this made her even more angry is to put things mildly. She turned on her heels and stormed into the house, sputtering and cursing and yelling back that she was sending Uncle George out to whip him good. I guess Uncle George had different thoughts. Sure, he came out carrying the switch but he couldn’t stop laughing long enough to do anything with it. He made the boys promise to say he’d done what was expected, but he seemed to get quite the dadkick out of how things were handled. Now remember folks, I got this story from my Dad, who claims to have no knowledge of my being named after her…more on that in a bit. Dad is now 86, in ill health and certainly has the memory issues that come along with age, but him telling me the story while driving home late at night from the family reunion a couple of years ago, those are the things memories are made of. I can see him sitting there, laughing and remembering the incident like it was yesterday. It was probably around 11:00 pm, the skies were clear but very dark out on those country roads. I can still remember how the smile on his face and the laughter as he told this story, just lit up the night.

Many, many years went by and there was a lot of friction in my parents marriage when Mom was pregnant with me. The exact details of that friction will be a part of my memoirs, but just know that both parents had their own perceived reasons for the anger. Dad was away a lot, being a sailor by trade, and he happened to be away when I was born. That left Mom to fill in the birth certificate and, whether she did this out of spite, or she just liked the name, I became Merri Janette. I’ve been told Dad refused to call me Merri, because of his dislike for his aunt, and so Jan it was.

When I asked Dad about this, in the car on that drive back from the reunion, I told him the story I’d heard; Mom was angry at him when I was born and so she named me after his aunt that he disliked. He looked at me, in that way he has, and said, “I don’t know what the hell she had to be angry about. If anyone should have been pissed, it should have been me!”

So there you have it, the history of my name, or what I’ve come to know as the origin. I’ve often thought of going by Merri, and plan to publish under that name. I’m finding out more about my own history and feel that Merri is who I really am, or maybe it’s who I was meant to be. Either way, Jan is who I am now and, while I like the person I’ve become, I think there are parts of who I’m meant to be still to be discovered. But really, when you think about it, it’s just a name.