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Prompt: Start here


Dear Wednesday,

You know what they say about beginnings: They have to start somewhere.

This coming Saturday marks the startling start of a new era in this house: Our adopted 8-week old puppy comes home. Cliché alert! She is a cute, cuddly, soft, plump, adorable, blob of perfection. She is also Godzilla, a big fat steamroller with brown eyes and a little red collar who will pee everywhere and deny us an uninterrupted night’s sleep for too many months. Why, WHY do this to ourselves? This is why:

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Such a sad little Godzilla. So melancholy while ready to wreak spirited havoc. She is a Christmas puppy so Holly seemed like a fitting name. Will she live up to her name? Will she be pretty, prickly, evergreen, and seasonal? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, in the spirit of today’s prompt, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon bigger feminist

cartoon whale interior

cartoon office start


Love and peace,

~~FP

Might I Suggest

Prompt: Tab


Dear Wednesday,

When we run a tab we expect others to honour promises unfulfilled, whether it’s drinks at a bar or those times when we’ve been distracted, distressed, or ill and unable to take responsibility. I suspect we all do it at some points in our lives. I know that for the past year, I’ve been running a tab— withdrawing from once-important aspects of my life, from friends and family, feeling sad and unable to cope, and somehow firmly expecting others to stand with me and be there when I was able raise my head again.  I was also running a tab with myself— existing on the promise that things would get better.

And they did. I’m not sure exactly what turned it all around and sincerely wish I could bottle it up and present it to those who also suffer. Much of it had to do with regaining my physical health, without which gaining perspective (in my case) would have been impossible.

So if you are struggling, be kind to yourself, be patient, get enough sleep, get checked out by your family doctor. Don’t be afraid to say you are depressed or overwhelmed. We all need to run a tab sometimes.

May I now present a few of my favourite cartoons, which may or may not be relevant to today’s prompt, “tab”?

cartoon run a tab

cartoon suggest

cartoon olives table


Love and peace,

~~FP

Cheer Up

Prompt: New Year


Greetings, Wednesday!

“2020” has a good ring to it. It implies perfect vision. It is reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties. It could very well be a good year, a less interesting year (alleged Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times), a year that we strive, accomplish, endure, enjoy, appreciate. A better year than 2019.

How can we ensure that 2020 is a better year? Here are some simple suggestions:

  1. Be kind to yourself. You are a human with limitations, not a superhero, but the beauty of humanity is that we are all unique. You bring something to the world that no one else can. What is it?
  2. Relearn how to cry. Happy cry, sad cry, doesn’t matter. It means you feel things. It’s ok.
  3. Vote.
  4. When you are feeling particularly frustrated or upset, take a few seconds to imagine you are looking down on yourself from a great height. The higher you go, the less afflictive the frustration becomes. Breathe. Be patient. Know that your neighbours  have sorrows too.
  5. Find a place where the air is fresh and the water is clean. Revel in it. Resolve to do your part, large or small, to make this accessible to everyone, everywhere.
  6. Make your world smaller. Buy local. Look people in the eyes instead of through text on a screen. Go for walks. Look around. Take time to feel what you feel, from base sensations to profound feelings of joy or distress.
  7. Pet your dog, or someone else’s, regularly.
  8. Say please. Smile. Hold the door. Offer your seat. Donate a winter coat. Give to the food bank. It’s not that hard to be a good person.
  9. Love freely, knowing it is an infinite resource.
  10. Enjoy the cartoons on Fluffy Pool, including the ones below!

cartoon new year still good

cartoon new year hat

cartoon new year trash


Peace and love,

~~FP

Dear Santa. Grrr.

Prompt: Christmas card


Dear Wednesday,

It seems like only a year ago that I sat down and wrote Christmas letters to far-flung family and friends, regaling them with the perfection that was my previous year and wishing them even a fraction of the utopia that is the life of Fluffy.

This year I’ll treat them (and you) to a slightly different analysis of the year that was; i.e. the main occurrences in 2019 were these: 1. My dog died and 2. Men suck. 3. I got old. These do not seem to be the usual joyous events lovingly described in Christmas letters, but that’s the challenge. How to make convince people who don’t really care that my life is a exuberant dream that they should envy, when the news seems less than ebullient?

My dog was a very good dog, a black and fluffy dog. He got old before I did, and so we had to set him on his journey to the Rainbow Bridge. Sad? No, because a dog’s afterlife is a certainty: they go to a green meadow in a heaven where they can run and play with other animals, indulge in delicious treats, get belly rubs on demand, and in general  enjoy the kind of blissful existence they deserve.  People may go to heaven, hell, purgatory, or, more likely, nowhere to spend their eternity, because people are imperfect. Dogs are full of nothing but love and should (if they are not) be the centre of the Universe. If you disagree with me, you have never had a dog.

Men. I have a father, a husband, brothers, male friends, a beloved nephew… but holy shit, men suck. Think Donald Trump, incels, war-makers, sexual harassers and assaulters, arms dealers, rapists, Woody Allen, and the guy who really set me off, a piece of work by the name of Tommy Callaway, who felt entitled to slap and squeeze a reporter’s ass as he ran by her. What kind of person thinks it is ok to sexually assault a young woman or any woman, and who thinks his utterly cynical and smarmy “apology” is more meaningful than a poop bag? Tommy Callaway, that’s who. Tommy Callaway and, presumably, a huge population of men who seem to think the whole Harvey Weinstein thing, #metoo— and, one assumes, sexual assault in general, is nothing but an overrated joke. How else do you explain the man, his grope, his excuse? Men suck, that’s how. (Yet my father, husband, brothers, male friends, beloved nephew wouldn’t even dream of groping a woman— why are the good men like them never in the news? I know why, because being baseline decent is not newsworthy, so we have to hear about the Tommy Callaways grrr of the world.)

And I got old. I went to bed one night, a dewy, lithe, fluffy young woman and woke up as an ancient relic. To be honest, I am not so much a relic as fighting to wipe that thought out of my head. Every little twinge in my back, every bit of fatigue, every fleeting whiff of forgetfulness is now a reminder the size of a skyscraper that my dewy days are done. The real cherry on the top is the fact that my aging will be held against me, I will become invisible and easily dismissed while guess who will grow old with looks that become more distinguished and whose credibility increases? Men, that’s who.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my Christmas letter! I promise you that my contention that men suck in no way diminishes my great love for them. That’s what comes with extreme old age: you can hold two opposing thoughts in your ancient rattling head at the same time.

Obsessive-Compulsive Santa

cartoon dear santa

cartoon roll around santa


Peace and love,

~~FP

Lasagna

Prompt: Fear


Dear Wednesday,

Have you ever noticed that sometimes you are part of the day, and other times you are merely on the edges of it? When you are part of the day, the air moves aside as you walk, you take up space, the things you touch know you are there, you can hear the humming from inside the house, and the geese calling from the outside of the house. You feel yourself breathing. You takes steps with purpose. You have a destination.

When you are on the edges of a day it is all around you, being a day, but you stand unnoticed. You go through the motions. You look without seeing. You can’t identify sounds. You are a formless observer. You are unconnected.

Those latter days are biding time days. Waiting days. Futile days. You can never float on those days; instead you feel as if the earth might swallow you up.

That’s why god invented edibles.

I’m only half-kidding. Edibles embody a variety of legal (in these parts) herbal confections that take the edge off living on the edges of a day. In fact if used incorrectly can make you feel so much a part of the day that you can’t think separately from the day. The lines blur just a little too much. Otherwise, they relax the muscles in your face, calm your heart, allow you to move a little more lightly through the air of the day.

Plus, they can taste like black cherries.

With the calmness that edibles bring (even though I don’t have any at the moment), may I present a few of my favourite cartoons very tenuously related to the formidable prompt, “fear”?

cartoon bird feeder

cartoon beware of dog

cartoon dog following


Love, peace and calm hearts,

~~FP

Thanks, Batman

Prompt: Hero


Dear Wednesday,

Do people still have heroes? And I do not mean comic superheroes, those tiny-waisted muscle men and women who have remarkably similar histories of tragedy, misunderstanding, and injustice and similarly remarkable and predictable current obsessions and similarly pyrotechnic, technicolour battles against villainy. Sorry (not sorry), I supposed you’ve guessed by now that I’m not a fan.

Perhaps superheroes are popular because there are so few real human heroes in our midst. Remember when politicians like John F. Kennedy or Nelson Mandela or Tommy Douglas or Lester Pearson or Winston Churchill or Ghandi innovated and inspired? How about Neil Armstrong and the other astronauts, and those who devote their heart and soul to a pursuit despite tremendous obstacles, like Jackie Robinson or Jesse Owens, Terry Fox, Martin Luther King Jr., Oskar Schindler, Rosa Parks or Harriet Tubman? What happened to the kind of courage that left us breathless?

There are many unsung heroes, of course: Many of the “greatest generation” who endured the Great Depression and World War II, doing their duty with honour and without complaint even in the darkest of times. There are people who quietly and selflessly dedicate their lives to caring for the less fortunate, people who protest and even vote under dangerous circumstances, people who commit invisible yet meaningful heroic acts in their daily lives, like standing up to a bully or speaking up for the marginalized.

I think current political systems that value money, possessions, and personal power above all else create a wasteland in which it is hard for heroes to act or, when they do, to be recognized. Adversity is often a breeding ground for heroes, but the adversity most of us face today is dulled by distractions, drugs, ignorance, or hopelessness. In this atmosphere true heroes are desperately needed— who will step up?

On a lighter note and related to today’s prompt, “hero”, may I present a few of my favourite cartoons?

cartoon baby batman

cartoon superman xray

cartoon thanks batman


Peace and love,

~~FP