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 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)*



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.
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?
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?
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?

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:

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.

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.

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.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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.




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.