Thursday, April 25, 2019

Words for Wednesday on a Thursday 4/25/19

Mimi is hosting this month's Words for Wednesday. You can visit her here and join in the fun. Or just read what others are doing.

This week's words are:



ad hoc*

Note trigger warning to those that are sensitive to darkness in a story.

The Committee met on the first Saturday of every month in the Great Hall of the Judiciary. It had started as an ad hoc committee but gradually, over the years, it had evolved into an annual election of Committee members selected from the survivors in the town.

Five of them sat on the bench, facing the petitioners. This month there were four, a male laborer of about 40, an outgoing male hippy type of 60,and a bawdy, brassy, blonde stereotype of a middle aged woman, long past her prime, and a timid, polite, young woman in her twenties.

It never failed to amaze her, the deciding vote as Chief Justice, as she sat on the uncomfortable bench overlooking the petitioners - that it took all kinds presenting themselves here every month in good conscience, seeking help, sharing their personal yarns all seeking the same result. To be chosen.

And one only could be chosen. The questioning was intense, for no word of this process could ever emerge out to the world at large. Yes, no doubt it was insidious, but all signs of what they did had to be invisible and the manner in which they did it. A vote would be taken once all stories were presented and the winner decided.

"So," she said clearly to the first petitioner,"Introduce yourself and tell us your life story, omitting nothing, swearing all present to secrecy, outlining at the end why you wish to die and what method you would wish us to utilize?"

Friday, April 19, 2019

Change Part 2

See Part 1 here.

I have a kitchen and it's not so much that it's tiny but that it's poorly designed. I have had smaller kitchens that have worked so efficiently - well laid out, everything reasonably within reach, all my appliances comfortably at hand. This one drove me bonkers from Day 1. No room for a dishwasher - seriously. I've had one for most of my adult life and this was a downer of a flaw. I investigated a multitude of possibilities, under sink, drawer, above sink, one tenant has one she would slide out from her pantry and wheel it over to the sink to do the job and gave up as her strength was failing with the heavy pushing. So I bit the bullet and hand wash nightly and make it a meditative process, reviewing my day, planning for tomorrow.

I'm good at re-invisioning space. I wanted to eat more at home as I was relying far too much on unhealthy takeout and restaurants. My processor, old and heavy was too heavy to lift up out of the bottom cupboards and there was no counter space, ditto my Kitchen Aid. I redesigned the space on paper and went shopping for a wee island with shelves underneath. Solid, heavy, wood, on wheels. For over a year I've been looking. The cost of any quality was beyond my budget. The FB local and buy and sell had many flimsies.

Then, to my heart stopping delight, this one popped up in the local FB market place. Solid as a rock, beautiful wood, heavy and wait for it, $60. I called immediately. Rhonda was in the middle of a kitchen design and this island no longer fitted into her plans. I told her I was a senior and wouldn't mind paying for delivery. Now don't you bother, she said, I will bring it over this minute to you, you will love it.

And she did and refused to take delivery money. And gave me another set of wheels that were bigger, brand new, if I wanted to change the wheels out. It was unused looking, polished and gleaming. I'm in love with this thing. (To give you an idea of the pantry size, it runs the entire length behind it. And is inadequately shelved to add to design fail.)

And this island? It has made a huge difference to my life. My heavy small appliances sit on it with their parts on one of the shelves. I have a long extension cord in the drawer for plugging them in. And guys, I ate all my meals at home this week. Healthy, sensible meals. Things like Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, chicken curry salad, Asian noodles with shrimp. I shifted away from gluten completely,and sugar and crispy things and gravy, all the leaden stuff. I'm on 1200 calories a day as my mobility challenges affect my physicality. I am hoping that will improve.

I put my processor to work with shredding, my Kitchen Aid on mixing and I'm on a roll. I don't feel deprived, in fact I feel reborn.

Amazing what a tiny re-design can do.

I will post recipes if anyone wants. I haven't eaten this healthy since marathon training and it feels good.

And more on this later.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Words for Wednesday 4/17/19

Mimi is hosting this month's Words for Wednesday. You can visit her here and join in the fun. Or just read what others are doing.

Words for this week are:




The quince crop was excellent this year. He'd have to dig out Granny's old recipe book, come to think of it: wasn't there an abundance of 20 recipes outlining "what to do with quince in your spare time" in her collection?

His debonair self, always perfectly groomed, belied his small farmer aspirations. His partner Joe, on the other hand, was sloppy and bouncy and out of all the gentler musical instruments he could have aspired to, he played the horn: loudly and early in the morning, saying it helped their chickens in egg-laying decisions. Nonsensical of course, but Joe had this spiritual bent also and was blind to criticisms. He'd flash that toothpaste commercial smile and say that and a cent will buy me a coffee.

He was easy to love, was Joe. Now to get him to help with the quince jams, jellies, relishes and pies. All set then for the farmers' market on Saturday. And Joe would blow his horn and attract the customers.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


Isn't life all about change though?

Then why do we never anticipate it, never allow for it, resist it, complain about it, why me dear lord it, and battle it?

My life has been full of changes. I won't pollyanna it by saying they were all good.

Everything I had to let go of had claw marks all over it.

Marriage, for ever and ever amen partnerships, addictions, moving, moving again and again. Daughter estranging herself. Love gone sour. Friendships tanking. Jobs not working out. Children. Babies starting school. Grandchildren growing up and adulting right before my eyes.

I could make lists and lists upon lists.

What brought this on?

Good question: as those professional lying speakers and politicians say (along with "we're taking this very seriously" when you know they're not at all)

Changing my diet, my life plan, my comfort eating, my foodie status. Growing up yet again.

Three days into it.

Radical change. Huge claw marks awaiting peaceful and accepting transition.

More on this later.

Monday, April 15, 2019

The Processor

I'm talking my brain. I've always read quickly but I think I need to slow down. I grab words with the eyes, think about them for a while, realize they don't make sense and go back and re-read again and think: whoa Nelly!

The other day my eyes grabbed: "Decorating Engineers" off a page.

And there was a wonderful few seconds when I thought: What a great idea, they're usually so dull and drab looking, we could up the ante here and throw on some sparkly bits, hang some loud earrings, dye their hair purple, hang a tambourine off an arm, maybe some lovely tap-dancing shoes.

Then I evacuated the reverie and re-read the bit: "Designating engineers". Ah, sad. But hey! my brain going off in unexpected directions can be delightful.

Ear worms now take longer to leave me. I had two days solid of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". This will be my funeral dirge. A kind of vengeance on those in attendance. Give them all an ear worm for a couple of days. Remember me!

Caution: Ear worm alert: Play this at your peril.

Friday, April 12, 2019

On Crows

Outside my mini-office window a pair of crows are nesting. I'll have to buy peanuts for them. They are birds I've long admired for their intelligence and myriad ways of communicating. If you enbiggen you can see the crow awaiting her tour of duty on the eggs on the wire on the left.

It is said they have the intelligence of a 7 year old human.

In the past I've watched them negotiate traffic lights and, imitating seagulls, drop crustaceans from a great height in order to smash them.

And I had an extraordinary experience once where about 5 km from my home I killed a crow in my car. I felt awful, pulled over to the side of the road, looked at the lovely rainbow-on-black wings and was glad it was dead because if it was in pain I don't know what I would have done.

The following morning I woke up to this terrible cawing and screeching and looked out my bedroom window to see all these crows congregated on the trees in my garden. I went outside in my pajamas and I was close to tears. I told them I was sorry. And begged forgiveness. And as sure as I'm typing this, they settled down but continued to glare at me. They knew my car, they knew where I lived. It truly freaked me out. I remember Ansa looking up at them and literally skulking back into the house. The shame of her companion murdering a crow and now having a murder of crows circling our house. I have no doubt she knew what they were saying as she had been a witness in my car to the dastardly act.

In honour of their cleverness, I love this National Geographic snippet of crows trained to pick up and dispose of garbage.

And I'll leave you with this witty cartoon:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Words for Wednesday - April 10th, 2019

Mimi is hosting this month's Words for Wednesday. You can visit her here and join in the fun. Or just read what others are doing. I found this week a challenge but I reflected on a book I'm reading at the moment called "The Boat People" - a very moving story about refugees coming to Canada and I thought, oh those words would fit that experience, so here we are.

Words for this week are:




The detention camp was rough, but no rougher than the rickety boat they had sailed on or the filthy holding pen from their last port. Built for 200, holding 500 in cargo and on deck. A shaking, rumbling, diesel-soaked voyage from Sri Lanka, Her broken English picked up a few words from the immigration officers, brave, bad weather, miracle, satellite. They'd been fed and showered and given fresh clothes and were now awaiting processing after their documents had been turned over.

She'd been allowed to keep her pencil and sketch pad. And she gazed about her now in the afternoon light pouring in from the high windows, tempted to sketch those around her, her fellow refugees, the officers, the welcoming Canadians she'd seen outside the fence with flowers and banners when they came off the boat, tattered, broken, starving, dirty; they, the very precious few, had survived the dogs of war.

No, she was freshly decisive, no drawing, I need to scribble as fast as I can before these memories are wrenched from me, I must write, write. I must think of my brothers, my parents. Did they survive? Did they suffer? Her throat filled, her eyes closed.

"Miss?" the voice was in her own language. A young woman stood in front of her reaching down to touch her shoulder gently. "I'm your emigration lawyer sponsored by the Canadian Refugee Service. Come with me please for your first interview. Welcome to Canada!"

Monday, April 08, 2019

Dis 'N Dat

I totally spoke too soon on the BP miracle med. Ha! My BP has normal readings but hell, the side effects of this tiny dose of Beta Blocker are dreadful. Cement head with dizziness and the effect on my legs with existing PVD condition is awful, my legs now feel like lead AND I want to sleep ALL the time because I am so irritable if I don't because I'm exhausted. I consulted Dr. Google on this med and its effect on PVD are not good plus it has mental effects. My doc had said I may want to see him this week without specifying why. Now I know. So my exhilaration was brief. Now back to the drawing board.

When awake for this 10% of my life, I struggled with a hook on my bathroom wall that would not come off:
So I posted this challenge on FB and readers jumped to the rescue asking for more pictures:
And offering many suggestions on removal:

I needed to put a shelving unit there - now removed from my bedroom closet as I have my old semainier in my bedroom. The hook was blocking its fitting exactly into that wall space.

I don't know about you but I really, really hate when plans are thrown by the "small stuff" obstacles thrown in my path.

So none of the suggestions worked.

My friend Marg appeared at my door a couple of hours ago, all brisk and business like and said show me that effin hook. Long story short as I passed her many tools from my tool box like a surgeon's assistant (I know you're surprised I have a tool box, so was she - and impressed I might add) and she had Effin off the wall in no time.

The damage is minuscule, it looks far worse in the picture. And the shelving unit hides it.

So in my tiny fractious-for-now world, order is restored once more. I wish my brain and legs would agree.

Friday, April 05, 2019


Do you find it hard to stay focused?

I'm finding it worsening as I age.

There is just so much to be done, thought about, planned, executed and accomplished that it can be overwhelming.

I got into a political skirmish on FB yesterday and I became enraged at the injustice of it all. I am aware that it is merely my opinion and others disagree but I find it hard to walk away and just LET IT GO.

Meanwhile, this steals precious time away from other matters that I can actually do something about. Like the new senior women's advocacy group we are forming and tax season - did I mention tax season? - where I still have some clients (not many) to keep my hand (brain) in and a few extra coins in the coffers.

Meanwhile, yesterday, I see my new young doctor and honestly, he is sorting out my elevated blood pressure like no tomorrow. He put me on a 1/2 a beta blocker and I'm already seeing the difference though side effects are a slight headache and exhaustion. I rarely if ever get headaches so this leads me into thinking some people suffer so much from them and I am so lucky.

Meanwhile, my dear friend with dementia has had enormous trouble with her power of attorney as it has been executed behind her back and the executor put his name on the title to her house. So she was all panicked and called me (she has no other friend she trusts) and I had her write down a plan, she was remarkably clear-headed, and then the following day her brain was all jumbled again and it was like the 2 hours of the day before that we had on the phone held no meaning for her at all, they had evaporated. So I've had to walk away, I have no room for this in my brain. And I live over 3,000 KM away. So I just metaphorically bless her texts to me that tell me everything is OK now with no specifics and LET IT GO.

I wrote a 5-parter about her here

So I'm going to get a lot more selfish with my time. Practise loving detachment in all my endeavours, go stupid on political engagement and accomplish what is in my reasonable grasp. Good plan, right?

We'll see how all this unfolds.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Words for Wednesday April 4, 2019

This month's Weekly Words for Wednesday is being hosted by Messy Mimi. Please check her out and all the participants' take on the words. Thank you Mimi.

Words for Wednesday




The Recipe

The booth rental was cheap, only five dollars for the whole day of the June fair, six weeks away. She ladled out the change, coin by coin, from her small leather purse directly into the mayor's hand. She was slowing down, turned seventy five last November, she knew that, but she quickly calculated that if she sold 80 bottles of her special syrup at 50 cents a piece she would be thirty five dollars to the good. That would see her through the cold northern winter.

She gathered her drab, once pale blue now grey, dimity dress in one hand as she stepped carefully on to the boardwalk bounding the street outside the town office, avoiding a boy with a hoop and a mother with a high baby carriage. Horses were tethered to the railings outside the small tea room and carriages were pulling in front of the Blagg's General Store across the street. She glanced through the window of the tea room and saw it was empty and without thinking, went in and sat down at one of the perfect round little tables.

Mr. Partridge came over from behind the counter, rubbing his hands, quickly concealing his astonishment.

"Miss Winterton! Well I do declare! To what do I owe this enormous pleasure?"

"I need a little sustenance," Miss Winterton said briskly, she'd never lost her school marm ways and had taught Eddie Partridge, "I was conducting some business at the town office. I shall have a booth once more at the June fair."

"Why, I'm thinking you will be again offering your recipe presented so beautifully in that special bottle in its very own cardboard box? The older I get, even if I just get a hint of that lovely taste I am well near enraptured!" and Mr. Partridge clasped his hands together most charmingly.

He waved payment for the cup of tea and biscuit away as he laid it gently on the table.

"Now, dear lady, you must put 5 bottles of your recipe away for me. Don't even think of selling your complete stock. Put them aside I beseech you!"

Miss Winterton nodded, sipping her tea, nibbling her biscuit. Perhaps she should think about expanding her production.

The only trouble was, in this dry town, so many took to drinking her syrup during the June fair and within a very short while, baffling as it was, this resulted in confrontations and misbehavior and even, heavens, some fighting and wounds being inflicted.

But why worry, Alice, she admonished herself, this has nothing to do with you.