Friday, May 26, 2023

Energy

I have to roll my life around days of energy and days of lack of it, the unpredictability of it all drives me mad. Plans get shoved aside. This does not suit this former Type A personality of mine.

Pain is also up and down. Today I took two doses of pain killers with a shrug and a WTF. I despise pain killers, that buzzy wuzzy feeling does not suit me. But my energy for the day is fairly even and not in the dumps. So these small mercies I am so grateful for. It is only in the shortfall of things we normally take for granted that we recognize with joy a taste of their re-emergence.

Grandgirl is now living in Paris. She and her partner visited the grave of Van Gogh and sent me this beautiful postcard and mentioned how much I would have loved the town and place he was born in.


I am so glad we are a postcard sending family. When I am out of town I send many. And even throughout the year if I see one that is interesting. I think the internet has stolen that beautiful tradition for far too many.

She also sent me a photo of what she sees when she looks out the window from her desk.


Living the dream, indeed.

In the absence of pets in this pet free building (why, oh why?) I concentrate on my plants and yes, of course, talking to them.

These started as tiny babies given to me by Daughter when I moved in. I had a massive repotting recently on a good energy day.


And my African Violets (how I love them!) sit on my windowsill and take turns in blooming. 


That white you see outside is dense fog. I woke up to it this morning. I'm one of those weirdos who loves the fog and the foghorns which I am hearing right now. Warning all the ships and boats out at sea to be careful. Though I am sure radar has made all the difference.



Monday, May 22, 2023

This and That and T'other.

My friend Lana, whom I speak to every week has started hallucinating in this dreadful disease of Alzheimer's. It has worsened lately. But she still knows my name when I call her.

Last night her hallucination was a man and his daughter coming to take her to a shoe shop to fit her with new shoes as she had broken her foot. I went along for the ride. She said she wore the shoes to bed as they were so comfortable and would never take them off again. I think it might have been her son and granddaughter who took her. But she had lost track of who they were and their names. If it happened at all.

She has a new friend who is thirty years old (living in a senior's full care facility?) but even though she protests at reception she, Lana, is not allowed to take her for walks with her which is, she says, totally unfair as she'd like some company. As they were spying on her all the time now she couldn't tell me her name.

We don't abandon our friends of such long duration though, and I focus on the few minutes of joy she has in hearing my voice and know that I am forgotten so very quickly until I call again in a week.

Blogger, Master of the Blogverse, decided that a post I had written about Iraq, way back in the day, was offensive in my critique of the politics of that so-called war invasion. Oddly enough, everything I wrote has been proven since.

Daughter booked our trip to my homeland for October. I did the pro and con list and will be interested in reading Andrew who is writing about his very last trip to the homeland of his partner in the UK. Always challenging with aging, disabilities, medications, too old for insurance, etc. Plus the roundabout way of getting there from here with the cancellation of direct flights to Dublin from St. John's. Now we have to back trek west to Toronto and then fly east to Dublin in a sardine can. My pro and con list for the trip had pros winning though. 14 hours.

In love with my air-fryer.


Flowers from my daughter in April.


A very faint rainbow landing in the middle of the lake outside my window this past week.




Monday, May 08, 2023

So many thoughts

I have a brain that is very busy all the time. What about you?

Meditation is helpful, it calms me and centres me and focuses me. As does knitting. 



I love me a good knit. Or taking photos or writing fiction, which takes me outside of myself. 

I look forward intensely to alone time. More than people time. I have never been able to manage small talk. When I was in public office I would wander around with a camera which worked like a charm to keep people at a distance. I never know what to say apart from a series of stock clich├ęs.

I live in a building which is full of small talk. I put on a nice face, being well practiced at my advanced age, and do my best, I remember things about people which soothes them. Like where they used to live and I ask about that. "Have you been back there recently?" Weather is a good coverup. And I range through my string of tropes and haul them out which seems to soothe others: inflation, weather, health status, weather, grandchildren, weather, new tenants, weather. 

I scan my list of internal topics of off limit stuff, climate change, Sudan, Ukraine, Somalia, floods, arctic collapse, rising sea levels and about a 100 more and shut my mouth. Along with the stuff I love to talk about, books, theatre, good films, art, seniors' concerns which usually draws a blank with most. Those I would chat to about such things are all gone to the great beyond of stardust.

One of the enormous voids of old age is losing those with whom we went to the opera or concerts or great theatre or a new showing at the galleries. Those who had this commonality of interests and could discuss such enhancing wonders with kindred spirits.

I imagine if one has a soulmate, old age is much more enhanced by shared interests but then again, if the soulmate dies it leaves one very unprepared for the loneliness and isolation to follow. So six of one and half dozen of the other.

I am so used to being alone and it's totally by choice as there were a few opportunities over the years to change that. I had a few great loves, one particularly of such depth and magnitude that I was only recently able to write about it in a memoir. He was definitely "The One" but there were far too many barriers in that time and place so very many years ago to take it further. 

I am grateful for so much in my life that often I find myself tearing up. I realize that any of us with family love and respect and living in the privilege that is Canada are so very fortunate and find myself crying openly at the child massacres in the US - the Gunster Capital of the world - and when the Ukrainians arrive on our island here with their hope and their pets and their little children, leaving everything they held dear in the appalling mess behind them.

A long post. I stop myself here as I could go on all day and never stop.



I never had to kiss the Blarney Stone. When I was a kid, I would ride out here on my bike from home, about five miles, and wait underneath, and pick up the coins from the tourist pockets as they bent over backwards to kiss it.


Thursday, May 04, 2023

Where Has All the Singing Gone?



We lost our primary Canadian troubadour Gordon Lightfoot this week. He was 85 years old.

An enormous talent with incredible music and lyrics left as his legacy. So many covers to his work they are uncountable.

His legacy is poetry, all songs a story. 

When I lived in Toronto I never missed his annual concert at Massey Hall for countless years, forty, fifty?

But as I played all his albums I was profoundly shocked that I knew all the lyrics and sang along to every single word (with a tear or two for the memories they evoked).

And then I started to ponder on when did I stop singing? 

I sang through so much in my life, I was a folk singer at one point, and on stage singing operettas, writing a musical ten years ago and having that performed to sold out shows. I grew up in a singing house, spent many nights at pubs singing my heart out back in the day. 

Singing "party pieces" at parties and gathering, along with my family members. Singing solo pieces on stage here, a few years ago.

Singing joint playlists with Grandgirl on our road trips.

And then I stopped. 

Until Gordy died.

Thank you, Gordy. Soar with the stars, buddy.



Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Exits



A long time blog mate has gone to the stars. I believe the day I started blogging, which feels like centuries ago now, I found Ramana.

This is his blog.

And his beloved son kindly let us know of the progress of his deterioration since November and his final passing today.

We shared many emails over the years and thoughts on every topic, addiction, existentialism, food, family, careers. He would regularly send me links to articles I would enjoy. 

Now and again we would have a bit of a tussle on items that amused him but appalled me but we surmounted our little conflicts.

I learned a lot about the different cuisines of India (and recipes too!) from him and his lifestyle there which circled around his books and crosswords and the family dogs and evening strolls in the local park.

He's a loss to the blog world. I'll miss his enthusiasm and his insights and his spirituality. And his sense of humour.

It always leaves an enormous hole when a blog mate dies. And there are far too many now.

For whom the bell tolls indeed.

Soar with the stars my friend.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Surfacing

I've never taken this kind of a break from blogland before and I do hope to catch up with all of you soon.

I've been writing and submitting and re-editing and editing again and then feeling like a schlump some days for even thinking I can do it and then other days feeling on top of it all. Sharing with other writers, I understand that this is entirely normal. We waiver madly between thinking what a wonderful piece and in the next hour thinking this is absolutely appalling dreck. 

Needless to mention I have missed you all, I've been blogging and reading fellow bloggers for yonks now and it was hard to pull away but knowing myself, I can't go down the deep dark worm-holes of the web if I am committed to other projects. I am a screen sucker. There, I've admitted it again.

I've also been piecing together an anthology volume two for my writers' group. We sold out two editions of the last one and are hoping for similar success this time. I have a bunch of enthusiastic and committed writers and they inspire me in so many ways. We are a very tight group now and that is lovely.

My family has been planning a major event for me for my upcoming significant birthday but more on that later.

Organ Recital

My health continues to improve and my gratitude knows no bounds. I honestly was at death's door only a year ago. And to come to this re-installation of my life Version 4 or 5 (I've lost track) overwhelms me. I'm on a new kidney drug and it's doing wonders. I'm actually building up stamina in my walking. This from a person who couldn't even cross her own living room without needing massive gulps of air and a lie-down this time last year.

We've had a lot, a whole lot of snow. This is a photo I took just down the road from my home with the frozen lake.

One of the best books I've read this year (there have been a few)


And one of my favourite films (and again, there have been many more) for  the multiple layers of story telling in it and the brilliant acting.


And yes, I saw most of the Oscar nominated films but did not, by a long shot, agree with the best film award.

And I was positively thrilled to go to a real live theatre for the first time in three whole years. Though I am still cautious and play it safe (masking, sanitizer) as Covid is not leaving us anytime soon and our cases out here on The Edge are dismaying and the deaths so far this year from it are appalling.

I try not to think of the state of our sad and sorry planet that seems to shed a little more hope off herself every single day. Climate change alone not to mention the wars and the starvation of countless millions. It's all kind of hopeless isn't it?

I guess we should all be more like the late unlamented Barbara Bush who tossed all concern about her son's unwarranted and brutal invasion of Iraq out of the window with:

"Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

And no, Barbara you did not have a beautiful mind. Your cesspool of a mind begat another cesspool with no conscience or ethics or morals.

And the truths are now pouring out about that twenty years ago invasion now. And it's all pretty appalling and sickening.

Twenty Years Later.



Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Going Underground

I've been working far too little on a memoir I am writing about a certain time in Toronto way back in the mists of time. I didn't want to do anything with it until a whole bunch of time had passed and key people in it would have passed on.

It's been a long project with scattered notes and old notebooks and many chapters written on line and thoughts in coffee shops committed to little notepads. Some chapters I printed and workshopped with a group who were very excited about the premise and the secret life I led. (There's a teaser right there!)



I think I am ready now to pull all the bits and pieces together. And send it off. But I need to pull away from everything else for a while and sit and nurse this whole thing together by the end of February. 

Daughter has been super encouraging, though she's not aware of the content. I would love to get away from all distractions to get this finished but that's not in the realm of possibility at the moment. I will try and disconnect where I live and relive and breathe all these memories that have never left me and still linger with a miasma of sadness at the choices that had to be made then.

So adieu for now. I will back on March 1st. 

Hopefully, not too battle worn.


(Not me!)



Monday, January 23, 2023

Abandoned Words

I hereby list many words used in my lifetime which are now lost in the archives of memory.



Corsets 

Were a huge thing in my mother's time. Whalebones (or equivalent) holding in the tummy, hampering breathing, unhooked and peeled off with barely suppressed sobs at the end of the day.


Roll-ons

In my time in the late fifties and early sixties they graduated to what were called "roll-ons" elasticated rubbery encasements, with dangling suspenders. Usually flesh coloured (at a price premium) or off-white. Often fetishized today. Or now known as "spanx" another female self inflicted torture device.

Galoshes 

These were worn by both men and women to protect the shoes from the rain. The women's had accommodations for high heels. I barely missed that era. I remember how shabby and droopy they looked on the hall mats when my parents had a crowd over. They probably lasted a lifetime of wear.



Costumes

In my mother's time, and nudging into mine there were what women called "costumes" which were the matching skirt and jacket, very formal, very proper. A woman usually could afford one or two costumes if she was lucky, as they were tailor made and quite expensive. Miniskirts, of course, blew all that away though I do remember wearing "costumes" with a mini-skirt and a matching jacket much to my granny's shocked expression when she first saw me thus "gallivanting" in such an outfit but she adored me so she kept her mouth shut tightly.

There are many more of course but I'm keeping this short today.

And, of course, I am aware that this was in Ireland in the fifties, early sixties and other countries many have had different words for such items.


Saturday, January 21, 2023

Bowing and Scraping



Lately I've been taking a critical look at all the genuflecting, bowing and kneeling to other humans going on in the world. Still. In 2023. All over the place.

Every petty despot or tyrant, inherited wealth, inherited "positions" either through birth or election or anointment in some way commanding or demanding the respect of the tip of the hat or a curtsey or a bow or a kissing of rings or other such artifacts.

It begs the questions as to why we still do this. Remnants of slavery? Acknowledgement of our "betters"? Like what the almighty hell? At this stage of "progress" we all know that many of these so called icons of grandeur have been guilty of more transgressions than we can count.


Freshly ordinated Catholic priests in front of bishops carry it to a further extreme, as do many other religions.


In this age of supposed equality of all, it's just about laughable that so many attach such groveling servitude to others deemed their superiors when the truth has long been exposed about past slavery and appalling abuses of such privilege including genocides.

And sidebar big question: have they ever done anything to earn this outrageous reverence? 

Saturday, January 07, 2023

Gratitude

 I listened as a friend told me how she recently learned how to quell anxiety (and we all have it, the plague's not over, many are sick, new variants, wars, climate change - I'm so very sick of even trying to list).

So it goes like this: she has an old rosary beads of her granny's that she treasures. Hanging up somewhere as we do with things that are precious but have no use for.

She took down the rosary bead and off it went to bed with her. And she thought of her granny and fingered one bead in thanks and then she thought of other wonderful beings in her life and she assigned one bead to each of them and on it went. And she slept better than she had in years and woke refreshed with the beads still in her hands and resolved to do this every night when lying down.

I threw out all the old beads, sinful me, but I need to find me some and do much the same thing. I have so very much to be grateful for including those wonderful beings who have no idea they help me so much as I navigate each day and I daresay I might even run out of beads.

I met my new internist yesterday, very impressed, and and afterwards went up glorious Signal Hill here in St. John's and took a few shots as the gloaming of the day settled into my bones. I took a shot behind me and a shot in front of me - the ocean and the moon and the gorgeously lit harbour with all the boats and ships and peaceful waters.




Gratitude.

What are you grateful for?



Thursday, January 05, 2023

Little Things Can Mean a Lot

I did a yarn stash cleanout yesterday. Yarn? You wanna talk yarn? I had yarn from oh, forty years ago. For someday. When. You never know when I might need this colour, this texture. So I dragged it around with me through various moves. My storage has been crammed with the stuff. 

And it's always one thing that triggers a release of some kind. So the one thing that had me moving in the direction of releasing stuff was the gift of this jumbo screen from my beloveds.


The whole room shifted and changed as my old one had been on a portable wooden trolley thingie which had to be moved close to my eyes to watch (I am just about blind in one eye) and then shoved back against the wall. So the wooden trolley was then moved to a corner which became my knitting corner and the little projects I'm working on were displayed prettily.


And as lightbulbs flew off I thought of all this yarn taking up most of my locker space that I will, oh heartbreakingly for a second there, never ever use.

So I piled a lot of it into 4 bags (there's still more but I will deal with it.)


And I threw a notice on my facebook page that I had this for sale for $5/bag and proceeds would go to charity.

I sold the lot of it immediately. And get this: the buyer texted me she was so happy as she knitted exclusively for The Gathering Place a form of shelter for the homeless and lonely not far from me where they are fed and clothed.

And the stash was picked up this morning and the $20 handed over which immediately flew out of my hands and into the Vancouver Rape Relief And Women's Shelter.

So one small thing is like the wings of a butterfly: tiny ripples touching so many other lives.

Do you have any little things stories?


Friday, December 30, 2022

Time Management

 Do others find this far more challenging as we age? I know I certainly do. I'm a former multi-tasker (and yes, I know, the jury is still out on whether this actually works or not) so I have to really, really prioritize and manipulate my time carefully. I can't be rushed anymore as the befuddling starts. That feeling of being overwhelmed.

One task at a time is important. Don't move me off my plan. I was adverse to being firm about this but now, yes, I am. No more galloping off spontaneously in gay abandon, on to the next adventure, no thought to the unfinished left behind.

I am careful with my time, careful with my energy. I saw this recently and it resonated with me:


So much doesn't feed the soul spirit. The news, all dreadful, with tiny exceptions, energy vampires, pessimists, I could add to the list. I'm not a believer in new year's resolutions I am more into subtracting that which doesn't enhance my life and there is much of that kicking around. 

We had a lovely holiday season apart from one dear family member who had a positive Covid test the day after we left which stressed us out a bit for the five days clearance time. She didn't infect any of us.

A second holiday dinner on Boxing Day had our host with a diagnosis of returning terminal cancer and it was bitter sweet for all concerned as we made the best of it and shed tears where he couldn't see us. So very poignant.

I am hoping everyone had a better emotional time of it than that and all was peaceful and jolly in your worlds.

Apologies for not being on top of your blogs but it's been hectic here with the revolving door of guests staying, leaving, bed linens, towels, food planning and general and enjoyable hopping around with cars borrowed, returned, pickups. Quite a whirl but I wouldn't change it and all respected my need for peaceful time management. So yes, I did slow down and just enjoy the company and the love.

What I did notice in the two fairly large gatherings we were at was that there was no drinking of alcohol. At all. So all was peaceful. I find alcohol at these gatherings raises the voices and often the temperature - if you catch the drift.

Happy, happy New Year 2023 to all. 

May it see us all, if nothing else, contented.



Saturday, December 17, 2022

Adaptability



I have little chats with myself. Today the topic was adaptation to life's quirks and tumbles, to the curve balls.

Is that the secret to a contented life? Being adaptable to circumstances? Like when life doesn't go your way, when you think others are having the time of their lives as you sit alone, mulling over your pathetic life? 

And speaking of "your way" what way is that exactly?

Like the song said : "I never promised you a rose garden."

My way was having it all. The house, the dog, the piano, the big important job, the kids, the devoted husband, two cars, all the appliances I would ever need. And space. Lots of space. 

And guess what? I had the "all" that I thought would give me the best life. Plus a nanny too for good measure.

And guess what? I wasn't happy. I could point to my mother dying young, my husband not being what I thought he should be, my busy career (there was no time for piano-playing and music). Stress. Emigration. Not enough something, something. Not knowing then, as I do now, that happiness is an inside job. Nothing whatsoever to with others or possessions or your kids or your partner. Nothing.

And we're not aware of our own adaptations to circumstances. And sometimes it takes time to adapt. It sure doesn't happen overnight.

And self-blame walks into a lot of situations which we have no control over, like our health, like an estranged child, like a death of a beloved ("I should have done more.")

And one day I woke up and did not memorialize my estranged child's birthday last week. I let go. I adapted. I was done. Adapted to her choice, adapted to my reaction. Adapted to moving on after twenty years of grief and worry and chest beating.

And I realized that adaptation has been part of my life now for a long time. And I've never been happier, sick, not sick, struggling, not struggling.

I've been three years in lockdown as I have been told that catching any of the three pandemics circling the drain of the globe right now, I will die. Maybe I'll be in lockdown until I toss off this mortal coil. I have many things to entertain me. Including blogs, books, writing, knitting, some tax work. My music. Correspondence. Big etc.

It's the way of the world right now.

I have adapted.




Thursday, December 08, 2022

Forever and Todo.

 An enormous word, isn't it? I was having a deep think today which involved old age, death, priorities and gripes, groans and geezerdoms.

Mainly though, there is never enough time to do all I set out to do in a day. My todo (pronounced toe-dough) lists are lengthy and spill over to the next week and beyond. What part of a todo do I kick to the curb when I want to complete all of it?



I reflect on my bestie Helen, whose wake was held at her house and her last unfinished book was propped up beside her - we shared a voracious habit of reading and exchanged books all the time, even though I was in Canada and she was in Ireland.

I think this is a great idea for readers who eventually die, the bookcase converts into your casket:



The point is, the unfinished business of what we leave behind, and how poignant is it?

I envision my own forever unfinished business: several novels, a memoir, three pieces of knitting with promises attached, a large piece of red felt awaiting embroidery, the relics of my once enormous collection of old movies (5,000?) - most now given away, but....journals - most now destroyed, but....design books of ideas waiting for actualization.... For who's to tell when the Grim Reaper comes calling? 

So it all ends up in the dump. Forever. And that's not a good thought, not from a vanity point of view but because of pollution and our cast away lives winding up in the oceans, etc. Never more of a crisis than now. Or if one burns the lot of it then, boy, green house gases and plastic crap in the air.



I try staying awake and trying to fulfil all my todos. But being a geezer, as I am, I nod off in the most unflattering of ways. If you are old and honest, you know what I'm saying. Chin drool, startling awake in an odd place, orienting oneself, looking at a clock and wondering where the last 2 hours went. My father in his time denied he was asleep mid-afternoon but told me, snottily, he was "giving his eyes a rest."

So my eyes need a rest most days. Unless I am over-caffeinated, then watch out.



Saturday, December 03, 2022

Catch Up

 I've been writing and editing and meeting with writers and neglected the blog. I apologise. I need to catch up with you all too.

I went for a walk yesterday. This would mean nothing to most of you but I'm telling you, this was a very major thing for me.

I went without George, my cane, scoped the area (it was a path around a lake - called ponds here no matter the size - I'm very fond of as it was one of Ansa's favourites) to check for resty spots and headed off. It wasn't much of a walk but boy after so very long being so very immobilized it was enormous to me. I was so happy I cried.

I had missed the cheerful greetings of strangers on little hikes, genuine good mornings and how are you doings. I had missed the winter birds bombing around, missed the myriads of dogs being walked ready to greet me. Missed the mittens and wee hat and a goodly scarf around my neck. Like a winter-walking human being.

Yesterday, in total, I had completed 2,000 steps in my day. Unimaginable even a couple of months ago while I was still, in the dark hours of the night, sleeping napping, curled up like a pretzel in pain in my recliner for months thinking a bed would never be in my future again.

But life is strange and wonderful and full of surprises. 

And I'm packing a lot of it in at the moment. I've been playing this. A favourite from the seventies and always relevant to my life for some reason.


And my Christmas cactus is right on time with her blooms with a bit of competition from the African violet.

A powerful lesson in embracing just the moments. As life can change in a heartbeat.


 


Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Thrifty Bits

I used up some yarn bits to make this sofa-neck cushion. It's all cotton so washable.

Odd this, it's not in the last bit "lumpy" the photo is fighting this truth.


The top showing buttons I found in the button jar.


It took an inordinate amount of time because of my moodiness and why-bothering with myself. Pain and lack of sleep effects us all in weird ways.

I was out today and took myself off to my favourite thrift store. A large palace of a place chock a block with a vast range of goodies.

For just under $10 I got the following:


A juice glass for mornings, I didn't have one and juice looks so pathetic in a tumbler. Two sets of bookends. One gorgeous journal with TWO ribbon markers and its own pen in a holder, and a neat standup wooden frame for current card/postcard received with a double rubber band at the bottom to hold in place.

I had good news from nephrologist in that my kidneys have been stable for a while now but he warned me that flu/covid could kill me as my kidneys could not handle either.

There's a party here on December 9th but, and a huge BUT it is, 90% of the residents in my building don't wear masks and I really can't risk it, unless things improve. 

How's Covid where you live? I see the US has a huge increase in the last wee while particularly with pediatric cases (and pediatric deaths). Here the deaths in the past month overshadow the beginnings of the pandemic. But still, people tell each other "it's over" and "it's embarrassing to wear a mask, it's over-reacting to nothing."

Right. 

Friday, November 18, 2022

Old Dog New Tricks

 I remember Lana telling me once (I think she was aware then of the beginnings of her dementia) that it really helped the brain to switch things up. Accordingly she was sleeping on the other side of her bed and had moved her toothbrush to the other side of the sink and her hair stuff to her bedroom out of the bathroom.

She was never a cook, ate her breakfast "out" every day for about 45 years give or take. And shopped for "stuff" as she needed it. I tend to organize myself a little better than that and save money while doing so as I don't impulse shop in grocery stores like many of my friends. I order on line and have it delivered to my car and plan a menu around my supplies and stick to it.

I do switch things around a bit. And I engage my brain in 12 games of scrabble every day. On line for about 15-20 years now. We all have pretty high ratings so that is challenging and good for the brain. I also read voraciously, now with a magnifying glass due to my right eye being nearly blind. So there's that. And design and knit "stuff."

So on this caloric reduction regime I am doing quite well. I make a variety of soups, delicious soups. My phone camera is old and my phone owes me nothing so I need to upgrade. So apologies for the quality.

Today's soup, a large pot, is potato/carrot/lowsalt bacon, chopped/onions.chopped/ kale chopped and portabella mushrooms fresh and sliced thin and used as garnish after gently sauteeing them. All in a no-salt chicken stock. I cook the carrots and potato first then blend these with an immersible blender before putting in the sauteed kale, bacon, onions and mushrooms.


Seriously? It's to die. This is a huge pot and I will freeze much of this in smaller containers and give away to those who like that sort of thing.

I've gone down around 3 sizes in the 8 weeks I've applied myself to these restrictive measures and my body thanks me.

I saw my new primary care person today and I was surprised at how thorough she was, familiar already with my intake interview which was detailed and took well over an hour and with discussion on the comments from my specialists on my on-line file. We're going to do well together, I believe. I really like her.

And my little window garden delights me with these:


I'm still not in perfect condition for an old dog, but this salt free soup making is a new trick and I can sit while slicing and chopping which is a bonus. 

Have you learned any new tricks lately?



Saturday, November 12, 2022

Frivolity

 A minor impatient rebellion by a few of my writers in my writing workshop yesterday. Demands to see their finished pieces published already. I took the requisite 24 hours before responding as my initial internal reactive one would have curled the hair on anyone's head. 

So I managed the reasonable, reasoned one a few minutes ago. Still calling them idiots but couched very prettily in one of those passive aggressive apologies. "I thought I had taken the time to explain the process in detail, I am so sorry if that wasn't the case."  (Note to readers: you see how imperfect I am.)

I read the rag of our local newspaper (on line) today, I don't do it often as it makes me grit my teeth. But I idly looked at my horoscope and it said:




So yes on the horoscope theme, I just finished "A Spool of Blue Thread" which was book club reading for this month. I see it has mixed reviews. I love Anne Tyler so admit to a bias. I would give it 5/5. It reads with extraordinary intimacy into a family. The secrets, the unspoken, the unresolved.



I've also nearly finished all the episodes of Season 5 of The Crown which, much like Downtown Abbey, one can't quite take seriously. The cars and frocks and sumptuous dinners and palatial residences and backbiting can't be beaten for their sheer entertainment value and re-creation. It must have cost a fortune to produce.




Thursday, November 10, 2022

Both Sides Now


 

After a clinic visit yesterday (which I will write about later), it was late so I took myself off to a coffee shop to grab a bit of a very late lunch.

Two young men were blocking the path to the only table available with an enormous packed bag on the ground. They ignored me as I huffed, frustrated, and then I circled around them and squeezed past on the other side, really, really annoyed and huffy in that way I have so reminiscent of my father. My Jimmy moments. 

I threw my perfected Jimmy glare in their direction but they had no time for me and my petty grievances. They were sharing a small box of timbits (tiny donuts for non-Canadians) with no drinks and also sharing a cell phone, which they passed back and forth. they shook their heads at each other, mouthing "any luck?" while the other hung up shaking his head handing the phone back.

I copped myself on as I unfolded my sandwich and thought: Homeless? All their possessions in this one huge hockey bag on the floor, and where else could they put it anyway, tables were too small, they had no car, were they looking for shelter from friends? Temporary accommodation, somewhere, anywhere? 

They left suddenly and huddled outside the window opposite me, sharing a stub of a cigarette. And I just knew, looking at their fearful faces, that yes, they were. And with shelters full and foodbanks empty what on earth would they do next?

They were gone when I left. I wish I had spoken to them and helped them in some way.

Monday, November 07, 2022

Small Things

 Tao meditation this morning:

"You may be capable of great things, but life consists of small things."

Perspective is every thing. I can still feel I am underachieving at life. That there should be more writing, more editing, more workshops, more knitting of wedding gift afghans and Alaskan hats and Solstice is coming and how ill prepared I am for the the book exchange and and and......I can really pile it on, all my perceived shortfalls.

And I light the small candle at seven a.m. and reflect on the meditation, and look over at my window and I see this:




Shockingly sudden deep pink blooms on my beloved African violets.

And then I spot this over at the edge. This tiny baby forcing out one solitary flower:


And then I look at my latest wee giftie from my neighbour. She saw it at a plant sale and thought of me and bought it and put it on my outside ledge to surprise me:


I'm acclimatizing it at the moment, but she is spreading her wings as you can see.

I would never have paid attention to such small things if not for the Tao jog.

You?