Irene North

Writings

A century of kindness

Me and Gram in the late 1970s.

Today would have been my grandmother’s 100th birthday. She passed away in 2011 and was a huge influence in my life. To honor her, I decided to share vignettes of who she was, how she influenced me and how she made my life better.

The picture above is the only picture I have of us together.

Ghost stories for Halloween

Hubert Clair Bishop – AKA Miss Bish. Nebraska State Historical Society

I’m not a big fan of Halloween, but I sure know a story when I see it.

World Mental Health Day

Note: For some reason, the video works for some folks, but not others. Here is the direct link to the video on YouTube.

Today was World Mental Health Day. I spent it by taking the day off and doing things for my own mental health. This included watching some videos and a little bit of writing, but mostly just thinking and reflecting on life and how to get a better balance on the many things that intersect with my mind and my personal life from day-to-day.

The video above would have never been made 20 years ago. In that sense, the world has come a long way in being open about mental health. The drivers have some good things to say as well. We still have so much farther to go, but this is a good first step.

Let people have their joy

Photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress.

Until last Thursday, I didn’t know Lizzo existed. Until last week, I didn’t know President James Madison owned a crystal flute. I did know, however, people will get riled up over the dumbest shit on the planet.

Respect and RIP, Coolio

The first time I heard rap music was Blondie’s “Rapture.” I remember thinking it was interesting and moved on with life. In time, I was exposed to the likes of the Beastie Boys, RUNDMC, Insane Clown Posse, and others, but the the music never truly drew me in. Like most country music, it wasn’t for me. My headphones in the 1980s were filled with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Rush, and Pink Floyd. If I was walking to or from school, Led Zeppelin’s “In Through the Out Door,” was likely blaring out my ears, causing me to have to listen to lectures from adults about early deafness.

Celebrating a year with no social media

After today, I’m not going to revisit thoughts about life without social media anymore. At this time last year, I made my last post on Facebook telling people I was deleting Facebook, the last of my social media accounts, and they were welcome to continue to keep up to date with me here. Those who wished to do so could also text, do lunch, go for hikes, etc.

While some people still criticize me for leaving because it doesn’t affect them negatively, I have no desire to return to an arena which made me feel angry and made me feel less of a person all the time. It absolutely worsened my mental health.

Vote. Your life likely depends on it

My black and blue computer chair is quite comfy. I sit in it each day to read the news. It’s where I write the majority of the things that come tumbling out of my brain. It’s an old comfort, full of tears where cat claws have made their mark. The chair has served me well for nearly a decade.

For the past month, however, I have sat down in my trusty chair, rested my fingers on my keyboard, and…I…just…can’t. There are things in my head that want to come out, but after reading the news, I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. I feel like I did when I was a little girl. A major right was taken away from me on June 24, 2022.  Every day since the Dobbs decision, there has been a story of someone who wants to further restrict my rights and all those memories come rushing back. I can’t switch it off. My brain still tries to protect me when something triggers me, even if it’s only a headline.

Today, I’d like to take you through the last 36 hours of my news feed and offer a solution, vote.

Day of the National Flag of Ukraine

F1 Ukrainian flag collage, framed.

One thing my grandma taught me was to never stop learning. It’s sound advice I have always remembered.

Appreciating Londo and Harvey on National Black Cat Appreciation Day

Although every cat owner thinks they will only ever have one cat, the cats choose differently. Paul and I have had five cats since moving to Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Today is National Black Cat Appreciation Day, so here are pictures of our two black cats, Harvey and Londo.

Monday Musings: Other writings

The inside of the Buddhist shrine at the Japanese Hall in Gering.

For most of my time working at the Scottsbluff Star-Herald newspaper, I didn’t have much of a fear about what would happen to my stories once I turned them in. The rule goes “the editor can, and sometimes will, change your story.”

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