Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Words for Wednesday

 

Words for Wednesday will be here for the Month of April. All the way from Newfoundland, Canada, which has its own time zone - 30 minutes ahead of the rest of Canada. Thanks as always to Elephant's Child for keeping this feast going. 

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, and mixing and matching is encouraged.

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.

Here are the words for this week, In two batches with an image in the middle, use some or all of the prompts.

From "The Book of Longing" by Leonard Cohen. Art by Leonard Cohen.


Canopy*

Thorn*

Machine*

Charity*



Limp*

Aisle*

Nothing*

Sneak*


He'd been a thorn in her side for so long, she'd lost track of the times he'd teased and belittled her. And now here he was, all grown up, she sneaked a look, the slight limp from the long ago motorcycle accident giving him a roguish slant. Their childhood battles all but forgotten, falling away into nothing.

He'd come back into her life installing a machine - the new printing press for her company that ran the children's charity.

And incredibly, here she was, walking down the aisle, moving under the white canopy, leaning on her father's arm, smiling up at Luke her childhood enemy, as he held out his hands and grasped both of hers, smiling, solid, as if he'd always been standing there. Waiting.


Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Words For Wednesday


Words for Wednesday will be here for the Month of April. All the way from Newfoundland, Canada, which has its own time zone - 30 minutes ahead of the rest of Canada. Thanks as always to Elephant's Child for keeping this feast going. 

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, and mixing and matching is encouraged.

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.

Here are the words for this week, In two batches with an image in the middle, use some or all of the prompts.

Wardrobe
Silhouette
Sergeant
Dispensation




Placebo
Displeasure
Sympathy
Discretion

Good luck all!

Update (my take on the words)

Normally, Cat would never emerge from the wardrobe during daylight but the noises outside had forced him to abandon his discretion.  Through the window and murky fog, he could dimly perceive The Sergeant's silhouette making his noon rounds. He was filled with sympathy for the broken man allowing him a dispensation from normal human behavior.

The loss of Mrs. Sergeant had disrupted the entire household. Even Old Dog had gone off his feed and had ceased his only remaining hobby of making fun of Cat. It was a sad household. They offered each other placebos of pats and licks when their paths crossed, but their displeasure in each other's company in this time of interminable grief was evident.

Everyone just wanted to be alone. The Sergeant marching around outside, Old Dog moping in his basket by the fire and Cat hiding away in the wardrobe.

But today was different. The Sergeant had finally broken outside. He was weeping openly. Cat looked at Old Dog and flipped his tail. They slowly walked to the door.

The Sergeant came in, leaning his back against the closed door and then, bending down, enfolded Cat and Old Dog in his arms.





Saturday, March 27, 2021

Mondegreens

 Andrew today posted about Mondegreens. If you're not familiar with the word or need a reminder, here is the definition.

mon·de·green
/ˈmändəɡrēn/
noun
  1. a misunderstood or misinterpreted word or phrase resulting from a mishearing of the lyrics of a song.

I've had a few of these over the years but the following is one of the worst, which kept those who heard me regaled with laughter - but not in front of me, always rushing to the bathroom or outside to double over. Obviously it was too funny to have me continuing rather than to have me corrected.

Here is the original song, My Resistence is Low, it was released, I believe in 1951, so forgive me, I was 7. But I remember how wonderfully catchy the lyrics and melody were and also I hadn't a clue what the big words meant. And there were far too many occasions where it came on the radio and I joined in, probably drowning out the professionals.


This is the part I kept mondegreening:

You with your overcoat,
And your underpants low
I'm going overboard
Through the Gap of Dunloe*.

Absolutely no relation whatsoever to any of the lyrics. But you'd only have to play the first couple of notes to that song now, and I'd bellow my version at ya. 

*A gorgeous spot in Ireland. Many family picnics there.







Tuesday, March 23, 2021

 I'm booked for my first jab on Wednesday, the 30th. Daughter is a volunteer firefighter so she had hers yesterday and only suffering a bit of soreness and extreme tiredness.

I am find it difficult to focus lately, apart from reading engaging books. I'm enjoying Tana French's latest which is holding my attention even though her use of the word "cookie" all over the place is a little annoying. In Ireland, cookies are "biscuits" and biscuits are "scones". But trivial, right? It shows how petty minded I can be.

I'm using this as a meditation point as I can't seem to get ripping on a knitting piece that didn't work out and needs to be redesigned. It's a belated wedding gift for a niece. Really belated now. And I'm foostering and dawdling and sighing and hand wringing but nothing is being generated.

I love these beautiful shapes and the subtle colours. And each piece has a little memory inside it of places I've been and who I was with.

My energy is pathetic. This week I'll be 5 weeks on the iron and doc had said between 4 and 8 weeks for any effects to be felt.

I'm still working on my new card. The prose/poem is evading me. 

Writers' and knitters' blocks All at once.

I can hardly wait for each of them to lift.


Saturday, March 20, 2021

Little things

 I found these on line after a couple of years of trying to find red ones. I have splashes of red around the apartment to warm it up. My kitchen, as I've mentioned before, is so poorly designed as to be laughable. The lack of counter space is unbelievable but I have expanded it with a wooden cart.  And these burner covers add additional counter type space and cheer this section of my home up immeasurably.


These end tables were part of the marital home yonks ago and followed either me or Daughter to various homes since. Most recently as bedside tables in her house. Now they have moved back to me. The lamps (gift from Daughter) don't show how beautifully red they glow and bathe the living room so invitingly at night.


And finally, I bought these cheerful file folders with various messages a long time ago, 


I've always loved unusual file folders and treasure the ones I bought in Paris the last time I was there which are so well made and hold so much and can't be bought anywhere here. I've searched.


I'm getting ready for tax season, thus the obsession with file folders. And before you mention them, those accordion jobbies so many are in love with? Have you ever dropped one on the floor? And the space they take up? To each her own. As in all things.


Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Gratitude

 DKZ, co-incidentally, wrote about this today.  Just as I was thinking of my own list.

Somedays it takes digging through the coal for the diamonds, other days those jewels shine with the power of the sun.

I am grateful for many things today.

(1)A tube of 7 Fathoms that Daughter brought me on the weekend. My own small tube was running out and I was using it sparingly but I wouldn't dream of saying that to her until she gifted me with a large tube of this magnificent lotion. 

(2) Walking 1,000 steps yesterday. Can't tell you the last time I could do that. Way back in the mists of time in 2020. This iron is kicking in. Big Time.

(3)Reading a fabulous book gifted to me by Grandgirl, The Purple Hibiscus. A gripping read.

(4) Watched a beautiful movie last night : A Song for Jenny - yes, I cried, but sometimes we just need a good ol' cry, right? So much bottled up during these Covid Times.

(5) Visiting all your blogs and getting caught up with your doings, and beings, and interests.

(6) Receiving a long post card from a friend who had previously ticked me off with unwanted advice, recalling a special star filled night we had watched together during the Perseid Meteor Shower and that he brought to mind many times since, one of the highlights of his life. Interestingly enough, even with the prestigious memory I do have, I have completely forgotten it.

(7) A brother celebrating his 72nd birthday today. And so grateful all six of us siblings are still alive and meeting on Zoom every Sunday from around the world.



Sunday, March 14, 2021

Limbo

I can't thank you guys enough for all the private messaging and comments during my recent bout of illness. 

What I find most beneficial are the affirming comments and emails. 

What  I find devastating (and interestingly none of these from fellow blog-mates but from long term friends) are messages lecturing me on my "poor choices" in not going to the hospital for a multiple day stay in isolation and denying my feelings on the matter and told to think only of my being less of a burden on my family. As if I am incapable of making carefully evaluated decisions on my own.

It's been a rough old time, guys. Not enough strength to write most of the time. And you know, a lack of interest in life and most of all participating in it.

I am back on my iron pills and the last few days have seen a small resurgence in my energy. I am awaiting news of a more planned approach to this multiple testing rather than the awful rush of the last which would have been a disaster. And not just for me but for my family.

Enough said about it all. I am back in the writing saddle so to speak and can hardly wait to get caught up your blogs.

I managed to get to my beloved beach with Daughter yesterday. We picked up some Mexican take out for a picnic and drank in the gorgeous air so much we forgot to take photos. It felt like the clouds of winter and Covid were lifting us onto a different plane which was affirmed later by zero new cases in the province.


With this first taste of spring at 6 degrees celsius, there were many like thinkers, hikers, babies, children and dogs on the strand and all the magnificent trails surrounding it.

I felt very much part of the land of the living and not of the dead.



Sunday, February 28, 2021

Back to Square One

I had a couple of days of relief but for the past five days it's been back to exhaustion, pain, and this miasma of hopelessness covering everything. I've been nearly a year in isolation and the remaining nerve in my head is jingling and not in a good way. It's tough living alone and making all decisions with regard to health care, ever conscious of mobility challenges and lights at end of tunnel have to be self-instigated or not at all. And I don't have a match.

Sorry to be on such a downer, my lack of energy is dragging me into a dark place. It seems like my entire creative spirt has upped and left. I can't even get my new card put together.

I only whinge to my whinge buddies. On here is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. I haven't heard from specialists or have test appointments. I am super pale and a friend (masked) who delivered soup was shocked at my appearance which didn't make me feel better but a whole lot worse. I've lost interest in food, can't get enough sleep and it takes me a good hour to get oriented and kinda moving in the morning.

Okay. Cheery thought..

A huge shock. Grandgirl and her partner are moving here May 1 for three months at least. They can each work remotely. They are moving into a house right here, vacant, and owned by another family member:


To say I am thrilled that she will be living just around the corner from me is understating it. Totally unexpected though Daughter and I dreamed of it but just between the two of us. 

So over and out and I plan to try and read blogs today and connect with all you lovelies. 

 

 

 



Thursday, February 25, 2021

Update

 This iron tho!

It has me off the painkillers. I had a brief rotten reaction to the codeine where it heightened my symptoms. 

I am astonished at how forgiving the body is when corrections to deficiencies are made.

I'm not exactly planning a road race quite yet (my brain does this - it gallops ahead - the act of slowing down has been very difficult for me)  but I can walk across the room without taking a break.

I finally looked up the effects of chronic anaemia on the body and I completely fit the bill. I am surprised I could climb out of bed - albeit with some difficulty. I believe this downswing has been going on for a year, worsening just about every month and all my case doctors believing "another" doctor was taking care of it. I didn't mention my episodes of periodic blindness which were frightening, now also gone. Every afternoon for about 15 minutes. And putting my head down to "rest my neck". All iron deficiency. 

I have not heard from any specialist in the meantime to schedule the tests. We had a few more cases of Covid 19  hospitalized.  We are a tiny province and almost know each case personally or have one degree of separation from it. Daughter knows of a whole family down with it. Niece has had to contend with her whole family being exposed through schools - thankfully all negative.

In other news, I had to help a neighbour/friend out of a massive scam. The scammer emptied her pitiful bank account. A company based in Washington, DC. She didn't bother even with a basic Google on them which listed hundreds. The dollar signs of untold riches circled in her eyeballs. She only had to manage a website for Amazon. Believe me when I say that she can barely turn on her own computer. Absolutely no skill sets whatsoever.

Anyway long story short (and it did take a lot of my time, trust me) I reviewed the 6 page contract and found the tiny clause of "cancellation within 3 days" and immediately got a strong email out to them cancelling herewith and forthwith and witnessed and she got her money back.

So yes, she was crying in gratitude and shamed and humiliated too. 

No such thing as a free lunch. Ever. I am a born cynic of these "opportunities" as in my past career I counselled many such victims of pyramid schemes, investment goldmines, etc.

Thanks for all your wonderful and heartwarming wishes and the prayers from those who pray.

I will continue upward I hope.

One hour at a time.

Friday, February 19, 2021

So guys, I'm quite sick.

 I've had a series of tests to confirm that my blood is at dangerously low levels. Which means that I have internal bleeding of some kind.

Awaiting hospital and extensive testing to source.

I have absolutely zero energy but mercifully (without my asking again) I am prescribed better pain killers which means I am pain free but near collapsing most of the time. So I am extremely careful in movements.

My neighbor next door is on 2 hour watch with me, which means every two hours she texts me and if no response will call 911.

A shipment of iron pills just arrived so I will be on those until hospital confirm appointments and tests.

We are on Alert Level 5 here which means that no family member can attend me in hospital which is rather alarming. Plus risk of Covid on top of this.

But this is affirming, you know. I knew I was quite ill though at times I felt it was "all in my head" as I felt slightly ridiculous sitting down between minor tasks like brushing my hair or making breakfast in 4 steps. It's only when I wrote down all my symptoms (thanks to my loving Daughter) and read them all out to the doctor that he sounded the alarm bells.

Meanwhile my beloved coffee pot died and luckily I had an ancient up French press in my cupboard.

Gack, life without a good fresh ground dark roast would have been untenable right now.



Saturday, February 13, 2021

Mini Meltdowns

 I had a few yesterday. I was on CBC again (no clip yet, sorry) speaking on seniors and this ridiculous speedy election (power grab, basically) and the challenges for seniors having to vote in person (no internet usually, no access to online or fax requests for ballot). And another challenge, which falls below the radar of most, some of them have to work to make ends meet at the polling stations. I worked it last year and I'm telling you the toll of 16 hours on my body for $200 had me two days in bed. As it had the other seniors who worked it. 

So I expounded on what most would not be aware of, this fresh hazard for seniors with their compulsion to vote at all costs, as they have always voted. And begged a cancellation of this silly election. And lo and behold we had two pressers from the premier and the chief medical officer yesterday and we are now on Alert Level 5 overnight and this egregious election cancelled. The UK variant is here and most infected by this are under 20.

So yes mini-meltdowns. It's hard to be living alone in such circumstances. No one to share the fear with, apart from texting and phone calls which are not the same. There are still the long hours of silence when music can have the effect of making one long for live concerts and theatre. As when I played my Glenn Gould playlist, my god how he interpreted Bach is sublime!


I worry and cry for the young ones in my family. The long term effects, the mental burden of no socializing in the years when it is so important. 

My mail (I crept to the mail boxes late at night so I would not encounter the Maskless Wonders who would fuel my residual rage) was full of delight. Two gorgeous handmade cards from Daughter and 3 photos of my great-niece and great-nephew (twins) with a lovely card.

How do I plan my food was questioned in a couple of emails I received about my new regimen. Simple. I write everything down ahead of time. And stick to it. I am never hungry. One of the secrets is a little bit of protein and a little bit of fruit at 10 at night. So there's none of that night starving.

A long post.

A dear diary kind of entry. But there you have it from the Land of Alert 5. And oh yes, the weather. Here you go. Outside my window. There's no end to the joy.





Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Turning a Nasty Corner

 So here. On this so far so safe island, Covid 19 is now out of control in the schools and polling booths. Our premier called an election in the midst of a pandemic. With no votes by mail or on line. I won't post links but you get the picture.

Mask wearing was not enforced in schools, shame on the educators involved and sports meets were just about normal.

Complacency ruled. We were so safe. I saw that in my own building. Darts, coffee mornings, card games, laundry rooms, who needs masks? You're over-reacting WWW! These are seniors who regularly babysat grandchildren and had big family gatherings on the weekends. Asking about their bubbles was to receive derisive laughter. 

So here we are now. Community spread and imminent lockdown coming up.

Meancwhile, the hospital called me for a back X-ray on my doctor's orders (at least he's working for me!) and both the nurse and I laughed and laughed. As if. 

So on the phone with my sister today she was telling me (she's in Ireland) that some seniors there are opting out of ventilator treatement and choosing death instead. That gave me shivers.

Meanwhile niece's family (she, husband and 5 kids) have all been tested yesterday on a drive thru and so far so good.

By way of light relief I offer you a picutre of my mountain of books which pleases me no end.


And the gang on the windowsill. The middle one is thyme, one of my favourite herbs, which I have never, in all my born years, grown successfully before.





Thursday, February 04, 2021

Update

 I had an unpleasant reaction to some new medication the doc prescribed. And I truly hate to say this but everything seems to be an uphill battle lately with, internally, myself screaming: not another effing hill to  climb.

Daughter was in and I just couldn't summon enough strength to go out to lunch with her so she brought some Indian curry in. A new Indian restaurant has opened on this side of the city and the food was delightful. Absolutely the best samosas I have eaten and the lamb curry was to die. A huge menu. Opening in a pandemic is quite gutsy.

A friend/neighbour had given me some pills she was using for her pain management and they also worked for me but doc refuses to prescribe and was enraged I had taken medication not prescribed. I hear him but I was desperate just to get some relief in walking across a room, just for a day. So he refused to prescribe them as I might get "addicted" or long range, they might lose their efficacy. I said the quality of my life was so badly effected that I would take anything at this point. And I was an old woman - what? did he think I was going to wind up under a bridge with a needle in my arm? No budge.

I was down though for lots of days and I am going to tackle him again. But I had to conserve my strength for CBC and the interview which went well, I thought.

If you wish to hear it, please email me at wisewebwoman at gmail dot com and I will send you the link. I wish to remain anonymous here as I write of everything from my personal journey to more political matters and I need to keep my oars in the water so to speak.

I keep counting the small things today to keep my spirits up. I'm reading a marvelous book called "The Guest Book". It's gripping. Thanks to whoever recommended it. And there's some great stuff on Britbox that holds my attention. One recently watched was "A Confession" with Martin Freeman, based on a true story.



Saturday, January 30, 2021

Two Wonderful Things

The 21 days were successful. Now it's up to me to keep on this track of self-care and healthier living. 

I'm still having trouble with these new pain meds. They are making me feel worse if anything. Discombobulated. Not myself. And pain, as we know, is like another person in the room, taking up a huge amount of space, greedy, grasping and sneering.

The first wonderful thing was I was asked to write another article for an on line magazine on women and alcoholism which would be a follow up to a previous article I wrote.

The second was CBC called me - that's the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - to appear on television and speak on radio about food insecurity as it affects seniors so I am working on that at the moment. So many additional issues challenging seniors during Covid. I will provide a link to anyone who wishes when this is up. 

This is all as a result of founding the Support our Seniors Group. I've been on the media many times in the past advocating for all the issues facing the elders of our country (particularly woman) living in poverty -  with so many of us surviving way below the poverty level and just plain struggling, taking poorly paid part time work, eating cheap food, unable to afford dental, eye and hearing care (not covered by our universal health care).

I saw this great line from a comedian friend yesterday:

"Hearing the ancestral bark of the Black Dog."

Those of you with depressive episodes will relate. I did.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Day 21

All is well in my tiny bubble. 



Not being an alarmist here BUT. Will the days of Covid ever end? New strains, fresh outbreaks. Once again proving that as predicted, yeah though many, many years ago, we will all be wiped out by a mutating virus. Invisible. Possibly aliens in this undefeatable form wishing for a new planet to populate. Not too far fetched, truly. 

How come we always think of aliens with sort-of human forms? I've always believed they are invisible to the human eye. Another dimension if you will. More powerful and indestructible than we are. Why not in a virus? So there you go. Not that I'm scared. But hey reality? Surely if you give any kind of half think to the way things are the world economy is going to collapse? In so many ways our lives are unsustainable. The planet is destroyed, the wealth and corruption is in the greediest hands.

Sorry if I'm depressing y'all. But as I said reality check. Nothing us wee peons can do about it except find a safe harbour somewhere and grow potatoes and stockpile dried things. If we want to live in this changed universe. And that's another of the Big Questions.

And I  live in a place now classified as safer than New Zealand. But we have massive food security issues. We are dependent on ferries and all the implications of that. Two days away from starvation as one wag put it. Our tomatoes come from California (4,000 miles away) our grapes from Chile (incalculable distance) just a tiny example from our world travelling food chain of supplies.

No I'm not writing this in fear but in a kind of resignation. A double tin foil hat perched on my head, perhaps. But I can't be alone in thinking all of this.


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Day 20

 All is well.

Jessica was here today and the woman is a genius at organizing me and cleaning everything spotless. And at the speed of lightening. She cheers me up. And she's taking my recycling - this building does not have recycling which is a awful and I felt bad about tossing literally everything in the garbage after years and years of automatic sorting.

I had started the new knitting pattern and something didn't feel right, I should always pay attention to that - and sure enough, several more inches in and I realized I had made a massive mathematical miscalculation, so tomorrow I will rip everything out and restart with the proper math. I shared my downfall with Niece who said that when we rip everything out and start again, then we know that now it's going to be right. Wise words.

I watched a few episodes of a really fun Irish series called "Finding Joy".  I love how the dog has its own personality (and voice) and opens and closes each episode.



 From the Archives:

Boat at sunset, 2014 (where I used to live).



Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Day 19

All is well with self-care and change.

But a very rough pain day. I will call my doctor tomorrow.

My neighbour next door gave me some strong pills and they did the trick but they are prescription.

I was defeated by the mathematics of a knitting pattern I was designing so left it to percolate on the graph paper.

I wrote a poem about old age.

My friend Lana called  me. She has dementia but she asked me to rescue some memories for her which I did. She marvels at my memory capacity. She asked me was her marriage happy and I told her the truth (it wasn't). I find it easier on her to tell her the truth as she can wax sentimental about fouled relationships. I was delighted she called as her memories of other friends, other places, are shattered.

Perspective.

I'm reading a very funny book called Slow Horses about the Secret Service in the UK. If you've ever worked in a grinding bureaucracy you will relate.


From the Archives - 2008 - Trinity Bay, NL. What an amazing place.


  

Monday, January 25, 2021

Day 18

 All is well.

A gift of homemade bread from a fellow tenant - I'm on their regular list of donees. I say they, as her husband does the baking and she delivers to a favoured few in the building. 

I was wondering whether there is a magic age for us oldies to be described as "sharp as a tack". Turning 80, 90? And to not be described as such would mean dripping some marbles? It's like the expectation is for a shedding of same marbles as we cross the hurdle of another decade? I've yet to hear an oldie described as thick as a plank. And surely those outnumber the rare "sharp as a tack" crowd? I'll keep my ears peeled for further research on this matter.

Did you all know about green onions? You buy a bunch once a year for a $1 or so and they last for the year when you put them in a glass of water and top it up once in a while. Just keep clipping and fresh new spears appear. I use a scissors.


Especially for my Australian readers: herewith a picture of the snow outside all piled away tidily and that crystal blue sky.




Day 17

All is well.

I found this to be one of the most delightful and funny obituaries I have ever read. So thought to share it with you all. 

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1--1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1

Published: January 22, 2021



Margaret Marilyn DeAdder of Moncton, Nova Scotia - Obituary. 

Margaret Marilyn DeAdder, professional clipper of coupons, baker of cookies, terror behind the wheel, champion of the underdog, ruthless card player, and self-described Queen Bitch, died on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. Marilyn, the oldest of four siblings, was born Marilyn Joyce in 1942, to parents Hannah and Edgar Joyce, in New Glasgow. She grew up in a modest home, which still stands on the top of a hill where the Westville Road forks to the Town of Westville in one direction and the old drive-in in the other. Growing up with very little taught her how to turn a dime into a dollar, a skill at which she'd excel her whole life. 

Marilyn loved all children who weren't her own and loved her own children relative to how clean-shaven they were. She excelled at giving the finger, taking no shit and laughing at jokes, preferably in the shade of blue. She did not excel at suffering fools, hiding her disdain, and putting her car in reverse. A voracious reader, she loved true crime, romance novels and the odd political book. Trained as a hairdresser before she was married, she was always doing somebody's hair in her kitchen, so much so her kitchen smelled of baking and perm solution. Marilyn had a busy life, but no matter what she was doing she always made time to run her kids' lives as well. Her lifelong hobbies included painting, quilting, baking, gardening, hiking and arson. Marilyn loved tea and toast. The one thing she loved more than tea and toast was reheated tea and toast. She reheated tea by simply turning on the burner often forgetting about it. She burned many a teapot and caused smoke damage countless times, leaving her kids with the impression that fanning the smoke alarm was a step in brewing tea.

Marilyn liked to volunteer and give back to the community. She was a lifelong volunteer at the Capital Theatre in downtown Moncton, which her sons suspected was her way of seeing all the shows for free. For all of Marilyn's success in life, her crowning achievement occurred in the mid-to-late eighties, when, left with mounting debt, no job, no car, and no driver's license, she turned it all around to the point in the early nineties that she had paid down her house, paid cash for all her cars, and got her three boys through university.

Marilyn is survived by her three ungrateful sons, Michael (Gail), Paul and David (Trudy), whose names she never got completely right, and whose jokes she didn't completely understand. She loved them very much, even though at least one of them would ruin Christmas every year by coming home with facial hair, and never forgot that one disastrous Christmas in which all three sons showed up with beards. Everything she did, she did for her sons.

Marilyn is survived by her three granddaughters, Meaghan (19), Bridget (16) and Madelyn (5). While her sons committed unspeakable crimes against humanity, her granddaughters could do no wrong. While her sons grew up on root vegetables and powdered milk (funneled directly into the bag to hide the fact that it was powdered, fooling nobody), her granddaughters were fed mountains of sugary snacks as far as the eye could see, including her world-famous cookies and cinnamon rolls. Her love for them was unmatched.

Marilyn is survived by her sisters, Melda and Linda, and her brother, Lloyd, who still owes her $600* (*inside family joke - sorry, Lloyd). Marilyn is also survived by an incredible number of close friends, who cannot be named for fear of missing somebody.

Marilyn, ever the penny-pincher, decided to leave this world on the day Moncton went into red-alert, her sons believe, to avoid paying for a funeral. But, on the other hand, she always said that she didn't want a funeral, she wanted an Irish wake. She didn't want everybody moping around, she wanted a party. Marilyn will get her Celebration of Life when COVID-19 is over. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you do something nice for somebody else unexpectedly, and without explanation. We love you, mom, a bushel and a peck. A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.




Sunday, January 24, 2021

Day 16

 All is well.

Though I feel I should be doing more.

Which is always the way I feel, and I need to embrace "enough" every day.

It's enough for now to be self-caring with food and staying in the moment and knowing at my core that over extending myself is not on. Which includes energy thrown at others. Until I find my feet I just need to be vigilant and more aware.

I have often wondered why many of us choose to wear such uncomfortable clothes. Like made of nylon and polyester and push up bras with wires and really tight sweaty underwear and being told to avoid pantilines as if they're a crime against humanity. And high heels, when you sit back and look at that torture device. I mean men don't teeter around on them do they? They are dangerous. I've seen the long term effects on women's feet which are horrific but still many women still  encase themselves in spanx holding in stomachs and hardly breathing while tottering around on stilettoes. I've often thought it would be great to have a denim wedding, for instance. Everybody in their most comfortable jeans and sweats. I suppose a trillion dollar industry would collapse overnight.



I was reading about old age being a corridor with all these doors leading to different activities/places/events in our lives and we wind up with most of the doors closed forever. Only a few left. I found it quite profound. 


Saturday, January 23, 2021

Day 15

 All is well. I kicked another addiction along this route too. Diet pop(soda). I had this thing for diet lemonade. The sparkling kind. It was down to Daughter hauling in 12 large bottles at a time here. I took a serious look at this. I was always afraid of running out of the stuff. First sign of trouble. 

I didn't mention this before, but I'm fairly impressed with this. Kicking these habits to the curb is beneficial to me. I feel it in my body and my outlook. I'm the one who never bought cigarettes by the pack. I always had 3 cartons on the go, one in the office, one in my home, one in car. I never ran out. And that was kicked 33 years ago now. Stockpiler, that's me.

Not bragging at all. I don't take it for granted. Slippage can happen.

I was looking at these little guys on my windowsill today. Little memories of trips to beaches and up north.


I just finished this book. It's about an 85 year old protagonist. A really good, fairly light read.


I also binge watched the series "Mum". A delight from start to finish.










Friday, January 22, 2021

Day 14

 A "bad turn" this morning where I felt very discombobulated followed by a silent migraine. I've had those things for years, flashing lights, but no pain. I feel very fortunate. The pain would slay me.

Grandgirl texted to make sure I had stocked up enough food as she had been reading about the storm here.

Talk of role reversal.

Visitor of the day was young interesting electrician outside of the usual grumpy non-communicative maintenance workers. He installed a new fire alarm and then sorted out a baffling long non-working socket which wasn't working but it was actually controlled by a distant switch on the wall to light the lamps on the side tables. Very impressive. Never did have one of those.

The threatening sky was a glowering gray this morning and now over 12 hours later, it's still coming down, though the wind has been fierce beating it on the walls and trees outside. Snow plow has been around at least 6 times. 

No pictures today, it is late and all is well.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Day 13

 I had some fresh cod for dinner. It was magnificent. It had been a long time. It was paid for too by a friend who gave me a gift card. 

I prepared for the storm with food for about two weeks ordered on line and delivered to my trunk today.

My books were ready at the library and my stash teeters charmingly.



I was tempted to cafe-sit but thought better of it. Not that I would fall on the goodies on offer, but my trip with three pickups outdoors was enough. Enough has always been a strange word to me. More is my mantra. And I was feeling good which is a danger signal. So I came directly home. 

I'm thrilled I'm 13 days in. Thanks for all the support coming my way.







Day 12


 

All is well, though I am incredibly cranky. There's a huge storm forecast for Thursday so I have to plough outwards tomorrow and stock up on the essentials to get me through. I placed the grocery order for curbside pickup and was thrilled to see more books ready at the library for me to pickup. I have loads of books now which always makes me feel secure, more than food does.

It takes 21 days to change a habit. I remember learning this when I quite smoking. 21 days, they said, and physical cravings diminish, that's a promise. And they were right. Psychological takes a bit longer. I remember still looking for a cigarette when phones rang a year later. And I couldn't sit down and chat after dinner for a while but had to go out for a walk. So 9 more days and cravings for sugary sweeties and little pastries and choccie bickies and ice cream won't be as intense and I won't be so restless.

I was pondering on self-service which technically is no service. Like how we clean up after ourselves in cafes, and pump our own gas, and use the bank machines, and are encouraged to perform our own checkouts at supermarkets. Social interaction pared back to zero in such cases. Corporations yielding higher and higher profits. Unpaid labour for the rest of us. And I wonder where it all ends. Does it end? I am lucky that all my medications get delivered and my groceries are selected and loaded into my car. I never take such things for granted.

But as I say, all is well, and I feel even "weller" having written this and realizing how truly lucky I am. And I only blasted off one politician today. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Day 11

 I hope I'm not a crashing bore with these posts. But I have to say they are keeping me honest in my "clean" eating. 

And with the hot tea bolstering me and some smashing old series on BritBox and a brilliant new book and the spot of knitting I'm doing okay today. And you know why? Well,  partially anyway. I reached out to a dear friend who's not doing so hot and he can't get further treatment because of Covid being rampant in his area. And he's normally a cheerful man, positive and balanced and now he's wretched with bowel and breathing issues. And what can one do? I'm not a thoughts and prayers person, just assured him I was holding him in light and love and I've had a candle going all day to remind me.

And others are not doing so well either. Maybe it's in the moon or something. We've all had it up to here.

End of day was some refreshing news in that a niece had a baby boy a few hours ago. Why do we say baby girl and baby boy anyway? It's not like we can give birth to an adult or a teenager. 

And this was sent by Grandgirl in this new craze of sea shanties on TikTok.

But it's brilliant and I've played it, oh, maybe 10 times today.




Sunday, January 17, 2021

Day 10

 Not much happening here. I didn't get out of my pjs today. And it took every bit of willpower to wash the dishes.

However I was in contact with both family and some friends which passed the day well, and also Daughter who had her studio going, she's gone mad into art which is wonderful.

Our Zoom Fam Jam went well. Because of Covid much exploration has been done into ancestors by a few members so that always has us enthralled as we tie in Irish history dates with the family events happening in those times. 

I knitted away part of the day on a new project. And enjoyed my new mug which has both my spirit animal along with knitting on it. I use it just for tea. Change has seen me embrace tea to keep the munchies monkey off my back.


There was a heavy fog clinging to the hills and lake outside this morning. My crocuses winced.


I wish I could say that mentally I'm doing well but I'm not. A kind of lethargy spiced with a sense of will-this-shyte ever end. I'm talking the pandemic of course. this combined with winter here and the realization I'll soon be celebrating the first annual anniversary of my self-imposed lockdown.



Saturday, January 16, 2021

Day 9

So far so good.

I'm truly feeling it in my readings, BP and sugars super normal.

I was pondering today on groceries, how there seemed to be very little to actually "shop" for when I was growing up.

Below is an old photo of where the pub was at the end of the road I lived on. Around the corner to the left was the butcher shop, and across from it on the right was the local shop. 


 

It has changed greatly.



Everything was delivered.

Milk first thing in the morning.

Along with the newspaper

Bread some time in the afternoon. 

Mum usually walked down to the butchers (pushing a stroller) for the meat of the day which was always wrapped in newspaper and twine.

Dad grew a lot of our veggies but the small grocery store carried the basics of potatoes and onions.

Granny often brought in a "fowl" (turkey or chicken) and fresh eggs and "country butter" from her small holding. Carrying it on the bus where one of us children would meet her at the bus terminal.

All this information about meetings and Granny coming would be put on a plain postcard by Granny posted on the previous evening and arriving in our post the following morning. Two posts a day then. I wish we had saved all those postcards now, as Daughter is a postcardist. I was in my late teens before we got a phone.

There was none of this "stocking up". Our larder was  very slender. Mum baked a few times a week, Irish soda bread, the odd fancy pastry or cake (anyone remember the infamous "Victoria Sponge Cake"?)

If we were feeling particularly festive Mum would send one of us down to the grocery shop to pick up a shilling brick of ice cream along with the free wafers which would be carved up between all 8 of us.

We had two "accounts" in Cork City. One at Cash's for clothing where a discount was offered on all purchases "on account" and the bill was mailed to the house once a month. And the other at a place called Macroom Dairies where Christmas toys would be put away and paid for weekly. No interest ever charged in these two places.

What do you remember about your childhood shopping experiences, if any?


Friday, January 15, 2021

Day 8

All is kinda well.

Lots of snow overnight, I'm glad I cancelled my appointments. Snow never bothered me until I had that bad ice fall in 2015 and that changed everything. 

Here is a picture of the girls with the snow as a backdrop.


Slept a lot today but ate well and exercised nil. No energy.

Sometimes life is a bit of a trudge. But motto is "do the next right thing".  And that helped my day along.

A good book helps. John Boyne's latest.

And a riveting new documentary on the Night Stalker in LA.


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Day 7

 A bit of a rough day today as a massive snowstorm is predicted for tomorrow and I had planned to grocery shop along with two medical appointments and library drop off and pick up after a day of rest.

I was reminded of Robbie Burns' famous poem: "The best laid plans of mice and men......."

So I staggered out to do the curbside pickup, really tired to begin with, thinking I didn't have that much but it turned out to be a lot when I added it all up as I include so much fruit and veggies in it now and they are awkward and well LARGE.

I called both clinics to say I wasn't risking my life on unpredictable roads and their snowplows so cancelled the tomorrow stuff. Another day.

Huge attack of the munchies as I drove home, realizing that I loved to stop at cafes and pick up a snack along with the Americano and just sit at a masked distance from others and well people watch. I knew it was a no-go as the flesh is almighty weak and I would fall on a pastry or scone. So I didn't. A masked wonder was right into my bread she saw poking out of my cart when I got to the entrance of my building. I was grouchy but my mask covered up my snarl. I may wear one both permanently. I would never invade another's groceries and comment, but that's me, pandemic or no pandemic. Boundaries all the way. Yeah, I get sprouted bread, and had to give her tips on how to separate the slices, exhausted as I was. Now she thinks we're bonded over bread. Shyte.

What a lovely surprise with the mail though. Plural. A gift of a book just published by a friend, I've already read two of the stories and they are brilliant. And another book by Irene Kelly about her life in one of those infamous Mother and Baby Homes that are all over the papers these days. And a gorgeous handmade postcard from Daughter who extolled on the back of it how we have nearly 54 years travelling together, across oceans and continents. Very moving.



Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Day 6


So far so good - ain't hot tea the best tho? Kills the cravings. Already my BP is down a bit and so's my blood sugar. And my outlook is so much better.


The girls are cheerful today smiling out at the semi-sunny day. Yet no snow. We threw it elsewhere around the planet.

If anyone can tell me what this baby is I'd be delighted. Daughter bought it for me. I've never seen anything like it.


Elsewhere, Bell Aliant kept me on the phone a whole hour today as I tried to sort out what they've done to my internet service which has deteriorated in the last few weeks not allowing much of an upload which prevents me from participating in Zoom meetings. Nothing was resolved. Every time I get on the phone with them I feel they are BSing me. And they get quite confrontational insisting it is somehow my fault, and referring to a non-existent contract specifying low upload speed. Yeah, sure, I signed up for dismal service. So finally they agreed to a technician - physically - coming here this afternoon to "fix" it. I know what they've done, the baron thieves, they are completely over-subscribed and the pandemic and working at home has throttled the system. And I do track where my service is coming from which varies across townships around the province. Highly unstable.

And why on earth doesn't blogger have spellcheck anymore? Another "improvement"?

You'd think I was a long stream of misery after this post, but no, I'm quite happy. Another day in the life of......

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Day 5


All is well....

The girls are doing well. All 5 of them. Miraculous little creatures.

I read an inspiring essay this morning about writing down every little bit of our days - had coffee, phoned friend, cut toenails type of thing - just to marvel at how much is in our days. For in the small we see the beauty. There shouldn't be a word like mundane in our vocabularies. Nothing is mundane.

I'm enjoying the discipline of blogging once a day, much to my surprise. It keeps me honest. I climbed the Everest of laundry today (massive hike to laundry room) and felt good, though exhausted, afterwards.

My internet speed is so bad I was having massive trouble with Zoom meetings. Bell boosted the service but now it's worse. I find stuff like this exhausting. A rinse repeat cycle calling Bell. I believe they are completely oversubscribed here and the system is stretched to capacity. Reports I hear about competing providers don't impress me and Fibre Optic is not available for my building (seniors? dimwits, what would they want with fibre optic?)

I bring you a picture I acquired in a small artisan gallery in Nova Scotia a couple of years ago. It reminds me so much of the colourful houses here in St.John's and the houses in one of my favourite places, Kinsale, Co. Cork. I love the whimsical cow. In case your're curious, underneath is a hanging bowl for plant cuttings.

Houses in St. John's


Houses in Kinsale

Monday, January 11, 2021

Day 4

....And all going well.


Thoughts:

I find this fascinating in a family:

Brothers talk to brothers differently than they do to their sisters, (less emotionally).

Sisters talk to sisters differently than they do to brothers (more emotionally).

And brothers when engaging with sisters and vice versa talk differently (tap into their own emotions).

Why is that I wonder? I do think men miss out on so much of their inner lives.

I'm not talking all men as I have both men friends and male cousins who are very open with their emotions and our conversations are rich as a result of this.

Old Chestnuts:
(1)If one grows one's hair long it saps all the strength from one's body. Is there any truth to this?

(2)My father would say "Cop yourself on" if you were heading in a downward direction. I like it. I put it on my mini-blackboard as a monthly message but I added FFS for good measure. It keeps me mindful of staying on track.

So my iris turned out to be crocus and she had another two sisters this morning.

I just love these cheeky tiny things. I'm like a mother hen.