Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Words for Wednesday

I am hosting for the month of July 2019.

This meme was started by Delores a long time ago. Computer issues led her to bow out for a while. The meme was too much fun to let go, and now Words for Wednesday is provided by a number of people and has become a movable feast.

Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write. Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or an image. What we do with those prompts is up to us: a short story, prose, a song, a poem, what have you. We can use some or all of the prompts.

Some of us put our creations in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog - please provide the link to your blog in the comments. I would really like it if as many people as possible joined in this fun meme, which includes cheering on the other participants. If you are posting on your own blog - let me know so that I, and other participants, can come along and applaud.

Huge thanks to everyone who joins in the fun and/or comments.

This week's prompts are a photo followed by 2 lists of 4 words each:


(1)
School
Highway
Redhead
Crow

(2)
Yarn
Spider
Knife
Beer

Have fun!

Posted later - my story using the picture and all the words.
__________________________________________________________________________
Mrs. Martin, widow woman, had run the private school there. A faded redhead, she would have been in her late fifties then, Caroline reflected. The curriculum had been excellent with the emphasis on the arts. The tower had been a well stocked library, another room was an art studio, yet another was for needle crafts, the colourful yarns seemed to dance on the walls in the morning sun. All so long ago, now Caroline was the same age as Mrs. Martin was way back then. Nearly fifty years ago.

Mrs. Martin would have been horrified at the new bypass from the highway that ran across the house grounds, obliterating all that had been there, the trees where the morning crows would gather, the lavender bushes and the spring bulbs and those intricate pathways. And the fountain!

On impulse, Caroline stopped the car and pulled over. She knew she shouldn't but she grabbed a can of light beer from the six pack on the floor beside her and cracked it open and made a toast to long gone Mrs. Martin and her encouragement of her students. She let the warm liquid slide down her throat and feeling fortified, exited the car and went up to the house. Gosh, sadly, it looked fated for demolition.

She took a pocket knife from her purse and brushing a spider and its web off the door, twisted the blade into the old lock and popped the door open.

This is where it all began, her successful life as a sculptor. Perhaps there was some way of saving this building and making it an art gallery?

Mrs. Martin would be pleased.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sunday Smatterings

Thanks to a post from Elephant's Child on her Sunday Selections, I thought to post some of my knitting art on here. All items have left me as gifts to Ireland or Canada.

This shawl was sent to a dear artist friend in Ontario, it features her art work and her love of stars and 9 wee hearts for her grandchildren, etc. She wears it all the time. She says it always feels like a hug from me.

Close up of the above piece:

A dear friend in Ireland received this:

I covered this bench in Daughter's house.

And this is a blanket I designed and knitted for Grandgirl showing my house and our ferry rides and the lighthouses we love and coffee, we love our dark roast. And books and music. Of course.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Free Floating Fridays

A darling neighbour from my old life, 92, is currently in hospice. She became world renowned when she disclosed her love of receiving Christmas cards several years ago and was featured in some newspapers and local television shows as a meme surged its way around the world as such things do. Thousands of cards would pour in to her from every corner of the world. To our tiny village in Newfoundland.

She lived in her own home until she was moved into hospice having stayed with her son for a week.

Her son put out word last week she was in hospice so the cards started pouring in to her, including mine. I always sent her one. Today, the load was over 500 and in a message from her son to me, he told me he had read them all to her including mine. And her smile was big and wide.

She was a life long smoker. Seriously. The big joke at hospice was that she finally quit at the age of 92 and was on the patch which made her laugh until she cried. That was the kind of woman she was.

I had her cut the ribbon when we had the grand opening of our community library a few years back. And she was my partner at cards in the community hall many, many times. She was extraordinarily sprightly and if I ever drove her anywhere she would leap out of my car and wait for me, laughing as I unfolded myself.

She lost a daughter to cancer about 3 years ago and it was the only time I saw her cry and cry. And I cried too as I held her.

She told me Ansa was the happiest dog she had ever seen in her life as she always had a smile on her face when she was with me. As if she knew I'd saved her. I told her it was a two way street as Ansa had saved me too. And she nodded. She knew.

She'd look for my light at night and I would look for hers and send a kiss across the meadows to her as she did to me even though we couldn't see each other due to the distance. A nightly ritual for years. Makes me teary now thinking of it.

Here is a picture of her collecting donations on the day we opened the community library. She always had a big smile and a great heart that included everyone. And who could resist donating to her? Look at that face!


Go to the stars, dear Theresa, you were adored by all who knew you.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Words for Wednesday

I am hosting for the month of July 2019.

This meme was started by Delores a long time ago. Computer issues led her to bow out for a while. The meme was too much fun to let go, and now Words for Wednesday is provided by a number of people and has become a movable feast.

Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write. Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or an image. What we do with those prompts is up to us: a short story, prose, a song, a poem, what have you. We can use some or all of the prompts.

Some of us put our creations in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog - please provide the link to your blog in the comments. I would really like it if as many people as possible joined in this fun meme, which includes cheering on the other participants. If you are posting on your own blog - let me know so that I, and other participants, can come along and applaud.

Huge thanks to everyone who joins in the fun and/or comments.

This week's prompts are a photo followed by 2 lists of 4 words each:


(1)
Iceberg
Gas Pump
Cellar
Painting

(2)
Blackboard
Carrot
Doorbell
Cheese

Good luck!

Posted later - my story. All words used and the picture.

They managed to get a fire lit from the driftwood on the beach. A complicated process involving shaving some of the wood off the larger bits. Boy, but it was cold. Through the broken door, the small town outside looked forlorn and deserted.

But they were lucky in their survival, the iceberg had been small but the boat had taken a beating alright with a small hole in her side and water gushing in. It wasn’t time to make Titanic jokes, thought Cindy as she warmed her hands on the measly flames. They had barely tacked into the small harbour, an old settlement off the northern coast and all five of them jumping on to the shore. She looked out the broken window and saw their boat now crashing to pieces off the rocks.

It’s an old schoolhouse! said Kevin, there’s the remains of an old blackboard of the wall! And he brushed off the cobwebs from the flaking black painting.

Peter just then emerged from the cellar holding a few dusty jars of food and an old school bell, displaying his cheesy, fearless smile. They all rolled their eyes at him.

There are some really ancient carrots down there too, he grinned, if we get desperate. But the good news guys?

They all looked at him, in a mixture of shivering despair and overwhelming gratitude, yes they were alive.

He pumped his fist: There’s gas in our sat phone! Search and rescue is on the way!

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Sunday Smatterings


Remember those stories you heard about old women stashing money in odd places?

I've arrived there.

I don't know why I do it.

But view this as a tale from the trenches of old age.

It happens. Eventually.

I received cash for multiple reasons in the last few months and I don't know what to do with it so I hide it. There's quite a bit there (I think - I don't stroke and count it). It just lies there quietly. Waiting for death or dismemberment or fire and flood.

There's an odd comfort to it. I remember Granny digging deep in her underwear drawer and handing me a few notes back in the day with strict instructions to "spend it on myself mind you, not on the childer and not on the husband." I know, she fed me a lot of crazy notions about independence and not having too many children to tie me down. At 32 she faked breast cancer (it was a large painful cyst) to stop the nonsense of adding another twenty babies to her existing six children as her doctor said it would kill her to have more. She lied. But I digress.

Here she is with me on her lap as a baby ( I was her first grandchild and her favourite), my mother on the left of her and my darling Granda at the back. A proud O'Sullivan, his clan originally was from The Beara.


She was originally a Sliney, but word had it very much later on that her mother was the kept woman of the local lord of the manor and her children (or some of them) were in actual fact Abernethys. This bomb was dropped by an aunt at one of the family gatherings.

I need to get my DNA done.

Friday, July 05, 2019

Free Floating Fridays

It's great to write this when I have so much else screaming for my attention but here goes. A breath of relief in the midst of so many demands on my time today.

The rehearsals for the play are being scheduled, first one on Sunday night and I can't tell you how thrilling it all is to be looking forward to being back on the boards again. Grandgirl put a comment on my page on FB: "coolest grandma ever." High praise indeed but I think she's felt that way for a while, judging by her bragging to her friends when they compare grandparents. I think being open-minded and non-geezerish is the route to a successful grandparent-grandchild relationship. Plus seizing the opportunity to be a child again with a sense of wonder and joy. And avoiding phrases like "in my time" unless asked.

We are getting ready for press release event for the media for launching our Seniors Advocacy Group. Advocacy is a nice word. We are actually demanding rectification to the injustices and forcing accountability from these wealthy out of touch politicians. Such events are all about the "stories" and that's the part we are working on.

Obituaries: I've seen so many "sweet" ones here when it comes to women. How giving and uncomplaining and loving everyone they ever met and devoting themselves to family and baking. I'd rather die outrageous, unconventional and opinionated, thanks. I often think it's a matter of exposure to more choices as children, more opportunities to explore all aspects of ourselves rather than being confined to a narrow box of service to families. But if they're happy (are they, truly?) so be it. I know I chafe against "normal."

Now that I have physical challenges I find one of the hidden mental "jobs" I perform is accessing every place new for accessibility from the parking to the walking once I get there. I am astonished at how many places are off limits due to distance. Something one never notices when galloping around in optimum health.

I bought a lovely handmade cane when I was away recently, I think it adds a bit of class to the meandering me. I don't use it all the time but there are occasions when I've used up all my spoons in the previous 2 days and need it.






Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Words for Wednesday


I am hosting for the month of July 2019.

This meme was started by Delores a long time ago. Computer issues led her to bow out for a while. The meme was too much fun to let go, and now Words for Wednesday is provided by a number of people and has become a movable feast.

Essentially the aim is to encourage us to write. Each week we are given a choice of prompts: which can be words, phrases, music or an image. What we do with those prompts is up to us: a short story, prose, a song, a poem, or treating them with ignore... We can use some or all of the prompts.

Some of us put our creation in comments on the post, and others post on their own blog. I would really like it if as many people as possible joined into this fun meme, which includes cheering on the other participants. If you are posting on your own blog - let me know so that I, and other participants, can come along and applaud.

The prompts are here this month. Huge thanks to everyone who joins in the fun and/or comments.

This week's prompts are 2 lists of 4 words each:

Paddock
Bridge
Cane
Moss

and/or

Lilac
Espresso
Fountain Pen
Peroxide

You can use some or all of them.

Thanks and good luck and above all have fun!

Added later~

This is mine.


She hated it but Mother still demanded she dress in the old lady colour of lilac and purple and mauve. Fighting with Mother was distressing as she invariably cried. So she put up with wearing these awful colours. The doctor (and how lovely was he?) had said not to challenge her, just to roll with her desires, the dementia would soon take a further toll.

Twice a week she'd leave the horses after their morning gallop in the paddock, drain the full espresso pot of coffee in the kitchen to fortify herself for the long journey to Mossville where mother resided in her lilac room at the expensive Sunset Lodge. The home for those with dementia was luxurious. Mother was fixated on the colour and had been for some years. In the early days she sometimes forgot to wear it in her rush to make the long trek from the country and then Mother would refuse to see her or cry incessantly. With her Mont Blanc fountain pen she left a note for Paddy the horse trainer as she normally did when she left on errands and then took her cane from the hallstand as the dampness in the air was boring into her arthritic knee and climbed into her car, her mauve silk dress cool on her body.

She drove over the rustic bridge by the road, glancing at herself in the rear view mirror. H'm, not a great shade of blonde there, girlie, she told herself, the peroxide treatment was a little too harsh yesterday. She'd have to speak firmly to Maxine at the salon at her next weekly root touch-up. She sincerely hoped Doctor Cameron thought her hair was naturally blonde and wouldn't look too closely at it today.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Sunday Smatterings #3

Much on the go. we are finalizing our Support our Seniors press release, it took an inordinate amount of time. Nothing is easy truly and I find that as I age things just take a long time. Elder word searching, yanno? "Disparity" eluded me for days. Economic disparity. Simple but just that ephemerally out of reach thing. dis, diswhat, dismay-no, disregard-no, disrespect-no. And there it pops today.

And then I was invited to perform in the Abortion Monologues. I'll be closing the show as the old woman. It is a powerful script, moving and unapologetic. I am so looking forward to this in August. 3 days before my 76th birthday. A truly fabulous way to celebrate. I love stage work so much and this seems so fitting.

I am inspired by this friend of mine who talks of old women and aging and freedom so succinctly. I really believe I've never been braver and more me than ever before in my life. And as a result I find I genuinely like myself. (Apart from loving myself, an entirely different thing.)

Here she is - the wonderful Mary Walsh.



We have a Canada Day BBQ in our building tomorrow. Some music and socialization. But quiet and mannerly as we Canadians are. None of this impassioned nonsense for us. We're kind of secretive about our pride.

I wish you all, wherever you are, a Happy Canada Day. We made #1 again. (Sorry-not sorry).

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Slivers

Slivers of the Past. Blue Horizon Prints.

I stalk my estranged daughter on line. I can no longer call her missing. I found her about a year ago on Instagram and I have learned from a past idiocy of mine about 7 years ago when I followed her on Twitter. Big mistake. She blocked me and went underground again. And I had this underlying sick feeling of anxiety about her for 5 years.

I am overjoyed. Knowing she's alive as she was a suicide risk.

I know these life slivers about her:

She still lives in the same city in the UK.

She has a cat, and, I think, a partner.

She owns at least 2 pairs of shoes as she likes to take pictures of her shoes in odd areas.

Her beloved dog died.

She loves graffiti.

She eats Indian food.

Some of her more careful studies of scenes are quite wonderful. I see the world through her eyes and marvel at our similarities.

She highlights signs like "Bollox to Brexit. Bollox to Trump." That's my girl.

She's still a strong feminist and catches misogyny in plain sight for her camera.

Life can be about slivers whether joy or sadness.

Today I celebrate those slivers. They can pierce. But they are precious.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Words for Wednesday 6/26/19

This meme was started a while back and this month it is hosted by Elephant's Child. Join in the fun if you wish and check out her blog to see what others are doing with the prompts.

This week's prompts are, first two phrases:

Bitten off more than he can chew (taken on a task which is too much for him)*
Diamond in the rough (a person who is generally of good character but lacks manners, education, or style)*

And/or

Welcome*
Trigger*
Moving*
Taller*
Essential*
Expecting*


Some people should come with a trigger warning. Seriously.

She'd been hired by the HR department to assist me in my increased responsibility due to the expansion of the corporation.

An essential component for the job would be the expectation of expertise in software management and public relations.

She was taller than normal, a whopping six feet, so she towered over me. It is challenging to instruct someone when you are looking up at them all the time. Add to that an unwelcoming demeanour in her slouched shoulders and nail chewing.

When I outlined more of the details of the job demands, she kept moving from foot to foot adding to my annoyance.

"You are familiar with power point and spread sheets?" I finally asked her.

Oh boy, I think she'd bitten off more than she could chew judging by the blank stare I received from above.

"Well, no, um, what are they?" she said, bored, disinterested.

"I think I might have to call HR," I replied, frosty, frustrated. She was a diamond in the rough, for sure, and not one I wished to polish.

"Oh, I wouldn't do that," and she yawned right in my face, "Mom is the vice-president of marketing, Cheryl Manning, recently married to the president?"




Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday Smatterings

I don't know where this wee vase vanished to but I always loved arranging flowers in it.


This old vase has gone too but I always had some beach flowers in it from the beach in front of my old house.


I love this wee arrangement from my old bathroom of flowers I grew in the community garden.

I picked up Daughter at the airport a few hours ago. I've missed her as she was in Toronto for nearly 2 weeks. We talked non-stop over a Singapore noodle dinner. She had a wonderful trip and caught up with family and friends including her father. But she's glad to be back here "to my wonderful life" she calls it. I agree. There's something about this place that feels so "home" to both of us. Hard to explain to anyone else, truly, it's so visceral.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Free-Floating Fridays

I believe we become closer to the core of our beings as we grow older. If we haven't done something about our bad habits, unhelpful behaviours and upsetting peculiarities they intensify. I am an impatient person by nature and I find I have to reign this in more, this mental drumming of the fingers, the intolerance of others' lack of grasp of fundamental principles.

I don't have time to waste in other words, stop holding me up with your stupidz. Awful I know, but there it is. I also find I need more alone time than I used to. I relish my own company and am terribly fussy about my social engagements. And perversely I can be so wrong in my quick assessment of whether I will engage further or not.

I was hesitant about one such meet-up yesterday evening. It was a pretty packed social encounters day and the last coffee meetup was going to be quick. Instead it turned out to be one of the most fulfilling and interesting long chats of all with a young person who is going to work behind the scenes in so many capacities in our Senior Women Activist Group. She is media savvy and has done this type of work for quite a while. Gobsmacked doesn't quite cover my reaction and it shows me not to make rash and speedy judgement on the abilities and personalities of others. Most carry their lanterns unlit until another holds a match and I need to remember that.
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I was struck by this wee appliance of mine this morning. It started out as a gift from a friend close on fifty years ago now. One of the first domestic coffee grinders I would think. Made in France. And it has been grinding my beans every morning for half century now and continues to do so. Incredible in this disposable-built-in-obsolescence world of ours, right?
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Does everyone have a kind of lunar cycle? Women? I find I can plot out my moods by this cycle. Just like when I menstruated (I had 40 years of that). I find it fascinating. I can tell when my energy falls below what is normal for me, when I get more irritable and when is the best time to complete tasks I've been putting off and when I can accomplish onerous tasks. You?
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I did finish this beauty of a wrap {"Iceberg Season") and she slumbers along the back of my long couch waiting for some chilly evenings outdoors on the patio. She is very long and very warm and I am absolutely thrilled with her.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Words for Wednesday.

This week we have images from Elephant's Child who is hosting W4W for the month of June. Please visit her to see what others are up to and perhaps be tempted to participate yourself.




She insisted she had seen it flying overhead, an odd shape, the size of one of those motorcycle sidecars but with an energy pack at the back of it and a person sitting inside with a huge helmet, just zip, zip, zipping around, calm as you please. She'd been eating her lunch by the side of the fishpond and reading her book, and had looked up when she heard a kind of a buzz and there it was. A small, well, aircraft thing with no wings. A personal jet of some kind. Like the ones you'd see in those comic books of the fifties. A future world type of contraption. Individual flying machines like in sci-fi films.

"Then it skimmed the water, it had a kind of ski underneath it, and then it hit that fish fence and sank like a stone," she repeated slowly for the young cop and the paramedic who emerged from the ambulance. She was getting tired of this recounting.

"That's when I pushed 911 on my phone," her voice trailed away as she saw the disbelieving looks the cop and the paramedics were exchanging.

"No bubbles? No wreckage to the surface? Are you sure you weren't day dreaming?" asked the cop who was looking across the water at the freshly emerged diver who was shaking his head.

She looked behind him at the sky and pointed.

"I just saw it now - look! it's shoving those clouds aside as it streaks through the air. It must have resurfaced elsewhere and taken off again!"

"OK lady," said the paramedic, "I think you'd better come with me. We're going to take you to your friend Mister Jetski."



Sunday, June 16, 2019

Sunday Smatterings (2)

I am grateful for the pieces of work that come my way and supplement my meager pension.I am also grateful for my newly subsidized rent, geared to my total under-the-poverty-line income, but shocked on the application that one of the questions demands of applicants to state the "amount donated as gifts by family members and friends in subsidy." Seriously. I read it three times. Surely this is private?
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My very favourite aunt (I had 8 blood aunts and 2 aunts by marriage) in her heyday. This picture is circa 1940. Her name was Daisy and she was beautiful, vibrant, talented and artistic and married well. I wrote about her descent into alcoholism in two parts here.

Here's another photo, taken around the same time:
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The fog is rolling in again, it's been three days now. Can't tell you how much I love it and the sound of the foghorn warning the ships. This is a picture I took at my old house to give you an idea of how softly it drapes everything.
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Random. I love this photo I took one November sunset with the tracery of the trees and the sleeping boat and the lackadaisical water of winter. This was well before the madness and destruction took place next door and hundreds of trees were felled.
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Feel free to join me in Sunday Smatterings. No rules, just whatever takes your fancy in photos, song, memories, surroundings and link to your blog in comments.




Friday, June 14, 2019

Free-Floating Fridays

Grandgirl received her Master of Economics degree yesterday. Can't tell you how proud I am.


I transplanted the African Violets that I call The Three Sisters and they are thriving. I haven't been able to grow violets since my Toronto days (and a fine hand I was at it too) so am thrilled they like this eastern lookout.


I'm surrounded by sudden onset dementia lately. I don't even know if there's such a thing, don't want to know. Two women in the laundry room yesterday were completely baffled by the machine knobs. Women who were completely competent before. I had to go back to help them with the dryer knobs. A man I had a kinda "coffee date" with not too long ago was reported missing by his sister and the police found him wandering around the nearby lake looking for his car. 5 kilometers from his home, the car was parked at his apartment building. He is now in a home. I saw him about a month ago at the local coffee shop. Without even greeting me, he asked me for a ride downtown. I was on my way in the opposite direction and declined. He was odd, never looked at me, stumbled off outside as I watched him, puzzled, not realizing he was in a bad way even though he smelled to high heaven as if he hadn't washed in weeks. I feel weird about this. Is my compassion quota all used up?

I'm still not coming to grips with my seriously reduced energy levels. I take on too much and then have to bow off. The spoons theory needs to be honoured more by me. It's like I'm greedy for life in such an enormous way and then run into my elderly self, defeated and disgruntled and dismayed and disappointed. Not a good feeling.

PS Please feel free to join in on Free-Floating Fridays and link to your post on comments here.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Away in Pictures

Daughter, Grandgirl and I went off to a cabin way up in Ochre Pit Cove.

I feel so lucky we can hang out together. This was the trip planned in lieu of our road trip to Toronto which I knew I couldn't handle and they were totally understanding of it.

A few photos.

The beach at Salmon Cove~~~

Iceberg Season here - this is one in Grates Cove nearby where we stayed~~~


Daughter sitting at one of those adorable small libraries~~~

View from our front deck, iceberg in the distance~~~

Gumbo served by a Louisiana chef at a local restaurant~~~

This house was directly across from us~~~

Friday, June 07, 2019

Free-floating Fridays

A spark of light
In the grey of the day
Seeking tiny delights
Often hidden away.

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"Inglenook" used by Michael Harris in his book "The End of Absence."



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"Vehemently" used by Grandgirl in a conversation - I know, impressive, yeah?

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We agreed to 'master the art of doing nothing' beautifully at the beach together. Grandgirl is sauntering away in the distance while I break briefly from nothing and snap the picture.

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In the mail: A tiny care package from my sister in Ireland: handmade soap, Irish chocolate and a book festival brochure.

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A request from a young woman to meet her for coffee and chat as she really admires how contented (!!) I am. We did. And she sent me a text afterwards:
Just feeling overjoyed ever since our meeting I’m so grateful to you for making my night!
She made my night too. Some young uns really want to hear our life-stories and how we surmounted challenges and tragedy and know that contentment often comes at a huge price.

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My doctor thanks ME for everything. Yesterday it was for the copy of my daily BP readings which, he said, are far more relevant than the readings in his clinic due to white coat syndrome. He also thanked me for being on time always. And asks me stuff about our Senior Women Activist Group. I look forward to our interactions and I am delighted I lucked out in getting him when my old doctor moved to another province.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Words For Wednesday - June 5th, 2019

For the month of June, Elephant's child is hosting Words for Wednesday. You may visit her here and join in the fun or read what others are writing.

Following along with my story of Erla, warrior girl, here is Part 3. Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here.

Here are this week's prompts. I asterisk them as I use them in the story.

Lever*
Poison*
Fragrance
Between*
Immediate*
Oven*

And/or

Sunshine*
Feathers*
Rotten*
Dubious*
Becoming*
Hard*


Erla took several deep breaths, and found her warrior resolve hardening inside her. Trilby and Merlin swathed between her feet immediately, no longer casting dubious glances in her direction as they never had seen her cry before. It was like a lever had been thrown and poison had entered the parlour. As one, they moved off to the fireplace and sat on their feather cushion together and stared at Daddy who was looking down at his hands, quiet and reflective.

"No. I need to say a few things, Daddy," she said, "And please don't interrupt me, OK?"

He nodded.

"Mama has done her best, really Daddy. I know she's not like other mamas as she always feels so, well, so rotten. I want her to be well, to be like she used to be, playing with me in the sunshine, baking cookies in the oven. But you left us Daddy, you left me and her. And all I had really, were my friends here Merlin and Trilby."

Erla stopped and gulped.

"But weekends?" interrupted Daddy, looking very upset, "I saw you weekends?"

"I could have spent weekends here with my friends, I don't like your condo or your friend who wants to become my Mama."

Daddy put his head in his hands.

"But you have to move in with me!" he said.

"And school Daddy? Where am I going to school now? I like my school."

"I thought you would go to the school near the condo, it's a good city school....."

"I don't like the city! What about Merlin and Trilby? I don't want a new Mama!"

Erla felt close to tears, she didn't want to sound whiny, she needed Daddy to pay attention to her, to stop arranging her life into this frightening picture. And what about Mama?

"Matilda doesn't like cats." Daddy said firmly, standing up and picking up her knapsack from the floor,"We will arrange for the humane society to take them, alright?"

And he took her hand and tugged her towards the door.

Erla struggled with her rage. It came roaring to the surface but she knew to keep it hidden from Daddy. She followed him out to the hall and as they reached the door she told him she'd forgotten her book.

She turned to go back to the parlour and when Daddy stepped on to the porch she rushed forward and slammed the front door closed and with effort turned the deadbolt.

Trilby and Merlin stood in awe, mouths open, and she fell to the floor and embraced them, ignoring the hammering on the door, the yelling of her father and the pounding of her own heart.








Sunday, June 02, 2019

Sunday Smatterings

Grandgirl is here with me. Loving that. She cooked us supper tonight. A delicious pasta with zucchini and chicken and cremini mushrooms and garlic and asiago in a creamy rose sauce. To die. Though admittedly it's an odd feeling her taking care of me. I entertained her while she cooked with stories of my checkered career as a corporate controller in a man's world. The stories have me shaking my head and she is flabbergasted. Sexism and harassment ran rampant then. She now has her masters in economics and is poised, I would think, on the brink of a brilliant career.

This is a picture of me on the right, my friend Rosaleen on the left and my tiny daughter (who is now 52!) on the verge of our descent
to go UNDER Niagara Falls, back in the day. With gear supplied by the tour company. Spring 1969. I think that adventure has long been abandoned. It was scary I remember - the noise alone!


February 2009 I was driving by this church and stopped to take a picture. Somewhere near Portugal Cove South, I believe.


Grandgirl and Ansa Summer 2010, they loved running on the beach together.


And view from my front deck at the old house, also in 2010, I took so many pictures of sunsets there.



Thursday, May 30, 2019

When Life Gets Busy....

As life is wont to do now and again.

I go to my local beach.

Today I brought lunch and knitting.

Morning was busy and so was afternoon.

Nice busy vs stressful urgent busy I should add.

I met many dogs there today.

I had a long chat with one who looked like Ansa and paddled and obeyed commands just like her too.

Her name was Fermie. And she took a moment to rest herself on my feet for a while which took her human companion and myself by surprise. Ansa would do that. Fermie was a rescue from Labrador. I sensed that she knew of my loss.

I took this rather lovely photo of the view in front of me and my knitting. I call this #40shadesofblue.


I find the ocean marvellously healing. The surf was high and the herring were in. And for once I didn't cry over Ansa which is a gift. Thank you Fermie.

I hear on the grapevine that the board of this building are reconsidering the no pet policy all thanks to the submission I and my fellow advocates made. If so, I'll be first out the door to the humane society.

PS for those who care, I updated my 2019 book list but need to update Goodreads too when I get a minute.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Words for Wednesday 5/29/19

Elephant's Child is hosting May's Words for Wednesday. Please drop in on her and see what's on offer from the participants and maybe join in yourself if you are so inclined. It's a lot of fun.

My story is a continuation of Erla and her feline buddies Merlin and Trilby.

See Part 1 here
See Part 2 here




Here are this week's prompts.

Solicitude*
Rampant*
Toes*
Form*
Knocking*
Pin cushion*

And / or

Reel*
Grappled*
Perfume*
Courtroom*
Squad*
General*


Once Erla had finished reading the chapter and Merlin and Trilby and herself debated who the murderer could possibly be, they were all startled to hear a knocking on the front door. They looked at each other in consternation. No one ever came by here in the years Erla had been coming. Trilby had been grappling with his needlepoint - a lion, rampant, in heraldic form - and now he pushed the fabric and the perfumed pin cushion - another affectation - aside.

Erla rose on her tippy toes and tried to peer sideways through the parlour window at the porch, the human form she could barely see was large, male and impatient. The cats rubbed against her legs in solicitude. Oh dear, the knocking was getting louder and now, oh no, the person was shouting through the letterbox.

She ran to the door and opened it wide.

"Daddy!" she said, reeling slightly in surprise. Daddy walked in, looking around suspiciously.

"You had me scared half to death," he said, putting his arms around her,"Your mother hadn't a clue where you were, and then I remembered you staring out the car window at this house as we drove by every weekend."

"But this is not the weekend, why are you here?" asked Erla, confused.

"Well, generally I'm not here during the week," and her father absentmindedly started petting the cats,"but I had to go to court today, Erla".

"Were you in trouble?" Erla's voice trembled.

"Oh no, no,"Daddy said slowly, "I was in the courtroom to get custody of you."

Erla's mouth dropped open and tears filled her eyes.

"Temporarily," said Daddy quickly, "Mama is very sick, Erla. She needs to get well."

"But I don't want to leave Mama and Trilby and Merlin," Erla wailed, "They all need me Daddy! The cats are my little power squad, my friends!"

"As I drove over here, panicking a little I must say, my little pet," and here Daddy hugged her tightly yet again, "I had the most brilliant idea!"

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Juxtaposition

I am embarrassed. Truly.

Approximately each month I clean out my fridge. And I truly hate what I am throwing away. I can't seem to get a grip on what I will use. I had an inn, I had a boarding house, a rental unit in my house (a single mother does everything to keep poverty from the doorstep) and I still shop too largely. I can never get through a head of lettuce of a head of cabbage or for that matter tasteless, bargain tomatoes. Onions I buy too large and use 1/4 and next thing, remains are spoiled and thrown.

I caught myself lecturing myself quite brutally as I did this appalling chore today. It was on my to-do list for about 4 days, in caps, to shame me further.

For gawd's sake
What an effin waste
You should be ashamed of yourself
African children
And that poor woman.

The poor woman was one who had popped up on a knitting site today and she kinda haunts me a little. Circa 1900. Ireland. Turf on the back, bare filthy feet, knitting in the hand, looks like a sock for the fellah, could be a sleeve for a coat.


Point of this post is how do you shop and stick to it and plan it and behave yourself so waste does not feature? Do you budget? Do you cook lots of meals ahead of time? Do you buy junk (i.e. processed)? What happens when you get invited out for a meal throwing all careful planning to the dust?

I am heading out shortly to meet Daughter after her Outdoor Women weekend. She goes twice a year and learns so much about foraging and hunting and fishing and living in the wild. I don't know where I got her as that stuff would have me crying in my cabin for 3 days, sulking over my knitting.

We're going to have Singapore Noodles at a restaurant we love (cheap and cheerful eats) where I will hear all about the thrills of bows and arrows and identifying flora and fauna and being amongst 99 other women as enchanted as herself with the whole outdoor thingy.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Gains and Losses

I was pondering on this yesterday. I consciously move my thinking and reflecting and musing on to gains while sometimes casting a nostalgic eye in the rear-view mirror and view the losses, but not for too long, I can get sad and maudlin and wet-eyed, not that there's anything wrong with that, either, it's just not good for me to linger there.

So the losses - and I am 75 so there are many in my lucky, long life.

Losses

(1) Dear friends, so very many, missed forever, life emptier without them in many ways, too many to count. Parents and relatives I had anticipated but never my contemporaries somehow.

(2) Ability to run, hike and walk without thought. I loved running, the freedom of roads and trails, the weekend long runs with companions, the racing, the medals, the camaraderie.

(3) Travelling. Anywhere. Any time. As long as there was some money. Dreaming of outlandish trips off the beaten track, now never to be. El Camino in Spain, Outer Hebrides, Iceland interior, Orient Express, Siberian Express.

(4) Not thinking much about energy, my own. Being ready for 18 hour days, fast recuperation, coffee at 2. Writing at 3 in the morning, not a bother on me.

(5) Any name, any city, any year, any noun, any verb, coming to mind quickly and easily.

(6) Missing estranged younger daughter, always and forever.

(7) The many adored animals I was privileged to have in my life. All missed, all loved deeply. None more so than Ansa my last.

(8) Taking good health and a perfectly working body for granted.

Grandmother Moon outside my bedroom window the other night.



Gains

(1) Having time - the greatest gift of all.

(1) Listening to music of my choice any time of the day or night.

(2) Reading voraciously. All the time.

(3) Being more "me" than I ever have before. My opinions are clearer as is my critical thinking. And I'm very keen to listen to the young. I am so very lucky to have teenagers in my life.

(4) Being thrilled to be invited anywhere, especially when there are young people there.

(5) Living in my lovely apartment. I never thought I'd say that, but I absolutely love living here. And recently I applied for reduced rent due to my financial circumstances and received notification today that I was successful.

(6) Having close relationships with my daughter and my niece (who is a daughter to me) and being treated so well by them in ways I can't even list. They are supportive and proud of my endeavours and so very, very thoughtful in their caring and concern for and of me.

(7) Having time to pursue advocacy.

(8) Being asked to perform, to hold writing workshops, to speak at different events, to help others less fortunate.

(9) Being present in the moment. Staying where my hands are.

(10) Not taking anything for granted. Ever. Seeing beauty everywhere**.

(11) Writing anywhere, any time, all the time.

(12) Knitting whenever, wherever.

A wrap, "Iceberg Season" that I started a few days ago. For me.


** In my front hall, a wee corner, everything here is a gift. The owl is my totem, given to me by an aboriginal shaman many moons ago.


What about you? What have you gained and lost as you age?