Monday, July 27, 2020

Blog Jam

It's almost embarrassing.

I have so many masks, so much sanitizer that I could open a small shop and sell consistently for about a week. None of these, apart from one mask which I knitted, have been bought by me. This bounty has been been supplied or mailed by Daughter, Niece and Grandgirl. So I'm good for a couple of years of lockdown. But I get it. It's symbolic in these weird times, isn't it? These guys want me to live and show me this by their munificence.

Covid has started up here again after over 50 days of no new cases. All travel related. One engineer who works on turnaround in Texas, in self isolation, infected his wife and toddler daughter. Another flew home from Asia. Of course these flights are now being contact traced. It is extraordinarily easy to infect others when quarantine isn't enforced, isn't it?

I gifted Niece with her afghan/sofa blanket. I took some pictures with my "real" camera which I haven't downloaded yet - it's complicated as all the USB ports are just about inaccessible at the back of a big heavy screen - huge design fail and irritating as hell.

I hung it on a clothes rack, but you can catch the drift of the design. She was thrilled with it.

You can kinda see the house and certainly the trees of life and the hearts representing her children and the usual Irish symbols of marriage vines and diamonds and honeycombs for abundance.

This bottom one shows the land and see and lighthouse. It's a very large sofa blanket for a large family and impossible to photograph properly, I tried everything.

She is thrilled with it. I'll post photos from the real camera if they are any good at capturing it all.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

In praise of pockets

I never thought I'd make a post about pockets.

But seriously?

I bought these new pair of pants online at half-price. They're a lovely shade of lovet green but in that way of phone cameras, mine is belligerent when it comes to certain shadings and produces mud, which seems to be its favourite colour.

Many women have been dying for decent pockets for years. I remember reading a story once about a boyfriend trying to please his girlfriend when she was away visiting her family. He hired a dressmaker and put pockets in all her dresses and skirts as a surprise. She married him. I would have.

Pockets in women's clothing can be strictly decor (i.e. mock pockets) or too shallow for even a tiny wallet. We whine but we put up with it.

So imagine my surprise when I got these pants.

The two pockets (yeah one on each hip. were so large and roomy and perfectly tailored I had to use a seam ripper to open them. A seam ripper.

Pocket size would accommodate a small dog or a pair.

And then, I nearly fainted - there was a huge back pocket

I am now a human knapsack.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Socializing and Updates

Daughter and I have been out twice for meals in the past week. Very strange experiences with staff in masks, us in masks, sanitizers to squirt on entering and exiting and a surreal edge to it all.

We passed closed down malls, lots of businesses which did not survive. I was going to take photos of the empty parking lots and closed stores but I thought about it again and said to Daughter - it feels too dystopian, it's like those novels of the end of days we used to read.

Disposable abbreviated menus to peruse but today was especially great. I wasn't as nervous as I was on Sunday. The place was so utterly Covid as were we. The new normal.

I rested up well after our last excursion, so was able to walk quite far today without distress. I was delighted. These days are so precious when I'm feeling so close to normal.

Doctor has ordered more lung Xrays and we had an interesting chat on the phone. As only about 10% are masked here he is expecting a terrible second wave.

Library now has curb side pickup (I don't enjoy Kindle and gave mine away) so I ordered a pile. I was running low on books.

The Big Knitting Project is coming to an end and I will photograph it soon. I am quite delighted with it. But I will miss it.

The new creative non-fiction work is at 51,000 words. I'm doing the hard core formatting and chapterizing at the moment.

Daughter bought some cute clobber for my sister's twin newborn grandchildren, we oohed and aahed over the wee delights which scream Canada and maple leafs.

Next door neighbour delivered me some spell binding carrot cake.

I delivered her vegetarian lasagna.

Monday, July 13, 2020

The Bird Whisperer

The bird watching community out here on the Edge of the Atlantic has to be seen to be believed. Per capita, members of various bird watching groups have to be one of the highest in the world.

One of the members, Randy Jenkins, I've been following for years. Recently he was featured in a CBC segment, and we were all thrilled for him. He has chronic PTSD and though he never gave details of this when he posted on line, he did in the interview. Horrific.

I find the film segment such a testament to the human spirit. And Randy's relationship with the birds absolutely astonishing. He frequently posts morning clips of himself and the birds on Facebook. And now and again when his PTSD gets really bad he goes underground for a while. Also, he has shown clips where birds prefer to talk to him rather than feeding as if they sense his state of mind. Back and forth they go in conversation.

A great blue heron, posted today.

And finally, a funny header on one of the birdwatching groups. I had to laugh. So many were mine in my time.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

A Domino Effect

I wrote about Lana a few times, a dear long time friend who has Alzheimer's. It is getting far more difficult now to have conversations with her of any depth or meaning.

I felt an enormous burden after the last one. She told me her planning for retirement was going well and she was of course very fortunate to be doing all of this as she was in her fifties and had loads of time.

I thought it was a slip of the tongue until she mentioned it again later in the conversation, saying that she really felt more alive now that she was in her fifties. I let a lot slide with her but this time I said you're in your seventies. She didn't believe me and went hunting for her driver's licence and read out the date of birth to me January 1946. See, she said, I'm only in my fifties! I let it slide. I let everything slide. She is fighting with her sons over her estate (a significant one - she was a woman of extraordinary intelligence and financial acumen) and hanging up phones on them and confused as to how she has structured it and can't find copies of it anywhere. She is leaning heavily on me to tell her what to do.

I ran all this by another long term friend (he's not a friend of hers) and he advised me to back away as this was taking a huge emotional toll on me and anything I said to her would be forgotten in a minute, even though I tell her to take notes. Unless I'm into monologues. So yes, I have to let her go.

He also told me his liver cancer is back, half was removed over a year ago. This does not look good.

Sometimes, I don't think things such as these affect me mentally and emotional and physically. I have this denial mechanism that kicks in and I'm exhausted and dispirited and lackadaisical and sad and confused. Chin up, chest out, people are a lot worse off than you, etc. That's the inner voice.

But old age is a time of extraordinary loneliness (versus solitude, a different thing entirely). I'm aware that showing real feelings is dangerous behaviour. The BORE effect. I tend to lock down and pretend. Maybe this is a living alone protective strategy. But, observing those around me at The Lodge, I realise they are all in lock down too. Reduced to small talk and trivia, rather than the real and actual challenges of living so long as those loved and cherished disappear forever into the void.

And oh yeah, Joanna, my elderly cleaning lady is really losing it. Most notably, she forgot my apartment number even though she's been coming here since I moved in nearly 3 years ago. My name is on the board downstairs along with my apartment number. I found that really alarming.

Not to mention winding up our days in this Covid-19 scene. Something never predicted. We have one new case here after 43 days of none. Like a final domino to me in my downer state.

A view from the deck of my old house taken a few years ago. Oddly, it seems like yesterday at times. I loved that place.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Screaming Into the Void

I'm going to call her Tess, not her real name.

She drinks too much. She's old. She's a very pretty, feminine, soft looking and sounding woman but very conniving.

If she runs out of booze she will find some simple unquestioning neighbour to take her to emergency to get her pills until her next pension cheque. She's running out of obliging neighbours. Her daughters have her number and refuse to engage with her when she gets telephonitis late at night and harangues them on their failures.

I wouldn't want to be inside her head when she wakes up of a morning for this is how she immediately goes on Facebook with many expletives:

Tess inhales her morning swallow
Sorts out the thrum of her inside hollow.
She hits the keys, all caps and spleen
And shouts the world to smithereens.

And this is the kicker - I so admire the restraint of the responses:

Have a good day Tess! Heart emoticon
How's your garden coming, Tess? Flower emoticon
Enjoy your day! smiley face emoticon.

It brightens my morning, it's hard to explain. She says terrible things, sitting firmly on her pity pot with a long list of those she hates or have offended her or died on her.

But the responses never vary, all kind and normal sounding in the face of such abuse. That's what makes my day.

Human nature is magnificent.

Friday, July 03, 2020

An Ordinary Day

I tried my first grocery curb-side pickup yesterday. It was a delightful experience. Everything ordered on the web was in stock and the delivery to the trunk of my car went smoothly and courteously. This freed up "Spoons" to do a pick-up at the drug store and also visit a local shop to cruise (masked, distanced) for little gifts which I like to do but usually don't have the energy for. Little things for some children in my life, a pair of pajamas for Daughter as she had joked some of hers were threadbare from overuse. We are mad pajama wearers in my family. I hadn't been able to do this in a while as all the energy was eaten up for one whole day just with one grocery shop.

My pajama clad leg just now.

I heard a real nugget from a 90 year old on Zoom last night:
"Change is proof of life".
This will stay with me. Life is all about change, and when there is none, there is death. So when change has to be made, and oh how we can resist the inevitable, say "I'm alive!"and proceed.

Joanna is here today, she is coming more frequently at my request and she's making my life easier in so many ways. I took on some extra work (editing mainly) so there isn't too much of a financial impact. And I do love editing, one of my clients went into such a rave about my work that he is fielding others my way. I am really pleased and gratified.

Ordinary days can be brilliant - yesterday was, or just hum-drum (today is, not feeling that well overall) but I'm rolling with them, the support system is in place. Something about rose gardens not being promised.

I've always loved this card I made from 2010. It sold out but I really should get a reprint.