SoCS: hot, hut, hit, hat

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “hat/het/hit/hot/hut.” Choose one, choose ’em all, put ’em in your post. 

Yesterday I watched “The Magnificent Seven”; the original one from 1960. I had actually never watched it before which was a surprise even to me as I’ve seen most classic movies, even westerns like “Shane” or my favourite (western) “Once Upon a Time in the West”.

The reason I was inside watching TV during the day was because it started out raining, then got hot and steamy. But I had planned to do nothing except watch TV because I was tired. I had a few days of being physically busy and I wanted a day of rest.

First of all it stars Yul Brunner. Even as an adolescent he got my new hormones doing a dance in my body. I still have to laugh at myself at 13, 14 or whatever, getting mesmerized by Yul Brunner in “The King and I”. He was hot! Those smoldering eyes burning into .. . . well, me.

The Magnificent Seven had a line-up of hot men. They wanted women to enjoy the movie too so they had everyone’s type; Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and surprisingly Robert Vaughan who managed to keep a clean white shirt and clothes for an entire ride to Mexico and fight a gang. There was a very young ‘hot’ guy for the teens but I guess he never made it as an actor because I don’t know his name. He was no Yul Brunner!

There were a few things I wondered about; they lived in adobes and yet there were some African-looking huts on the edge of town. The locals did a strange dance; I wondered if it was real or Hollywood. They certainly depicted Mexicans as . . . well, not as manly as American men. Funny though, the Mexicans expected the Americans to be rapists. I liked that. They hid all their young women in a mountain lodge. Of course they found them; the youngest one met a beautiful senorita and ended up staying but it was her who hit on him first. They had to throw one romance in there.

They all had very unique cowboys hats. They had to be shaped just right.

Well, now I have to go get a photo; that is my SoC.

Got a great one!: When men were men and men wore hats.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS June 19, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)

SoCS: yarn

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “yarn.” Use it any way you’d like.

Yarn? Darn.

Hey, glad I said that, it gave me an idea.

I used to darn socks with yarn! Seriously, that’s what we used to do when our sock’s heels wore out. You could buy braids of thin, coloured yarn pieces, about a foot long, that had the main sock colours.

My mom taught me this. Now that I look back I understand she was still in her old way of thinking. She lived her teenage years in England during WW2 when everything was rationed. Even in her childhood they didn’t have much money so my mom taught me to darn socks the way her mother taught her.

She taught me to put an orange in the heel and hold the hole in position. Then you got your special darning needle that had a dull tip and large eyehole. The first stitches were loose and as long as the hole and when the vertical stitches were done, you carefully wove the horizontal in and out.

The major problem was that someone at school would see it. You would have to make sure you didn’t let your shoe heel drop. I guess back in England in the 30’s it was quite common to have darned socks. Not in Toronto in the ’60’s.

YARN. Yarn is the word. And yarn is another reason why I didn’t like it. I liked cotton socks and yarn darning was ridiculous.

Now I never wear out heels of my socks. Its the big toe nail that cuts cuts through. I admit; I have sewn up some toe holes on my favourite 100% cotton socks. I don’t use yarn.

Now we just throw things out.

Today is June 5. My mom’s birthday and her death day. I am grateful to her for teaching me to be frugal and the importance of not throwing out every thing just so you can buy new stuff. She taught me how to darn socks and talked about why they used to darn their socks.

. . . while she ‘spun yarns’ about her life. (that’s gotta be bonus points!)

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS June 5, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)

SoCS: collect

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “collect.” Use the word “collect” any way you’d like. 

Collect is now a dirty word for me. I have collected crap in the 15 years I’ve been living here and its not fun stuff like spoons or turtles or bears.

Back in the 80’s it was popular to have a “collection”. That way when you went on your aimless shopping excursions, not needing anything but wanting to buy something, you had something in particular to look for. You would peruse gift shops, antique shops, second hand shops until you saw it; “a bear!” “a turtle thing!”. Then you would get a momentary lift; you got your fix, and took it home to the Collection. On your birthday or Christmas someone would have found another great turtle, bear, or spoon to give you.

My sister-in-law was the bear person. She also had lots of money and loved to shop. Their spectacular cottage was filled with bear stuff. Even the bathroom had bear wallpaper and a bear toilet paper holder.

My ex-husband collected stones and crystals and turtle things for a while. But we didn’t have much money and didn’t do many aimless shopping excursions. I started to look at it all as more shit to dust.

The very best thing collected was by my mom and bless her for doing it!: She saved every note we wrote for her as kids. My mom worked so if we were going to be somewhere after school, we would have to leave a note. Later in teenage years were notes saying we were staying at our girlfriends or taking the bus downtown; often a lie. I look back and ask myself often; “Where were they?”

Anyway back to the notes. She even saved one from a friend when we were 12 years old. I’m pretty sure I remember it was about winning tickets to the Beatles from the radio station. I never would have remembered that without this note. I happen to have it in my photos already so I will share it at the end of my SoC. I reunited with her after 50 years and recently found her note, scanned and sent it to her. She was delighted! That collection still brings joy!

My mother-in-law collected sewing stuff she might use again. She left me her sewing machine and all her sewing stuff in her will. (I named my machine Marion.) There is a vial of bra hooks she picked off and saved, little tiny buttons, and all kinds of sewing thingamagigs that were popular in the ’50’s and ’60″s. I have my mom’s sewing collection, too, so I have the evolution of automatic button-hole attachments.

There is 40 years of collected stuff still in my old house where my ex still lives. He was much more of a collector than me and I suspect it has become hoarding. He told me he has over 50 Himalayan Salt lamps. I am so glad I don’t live in that anymore. I brought my favourite things here but I have not started collecting things except old papers and documents that should have been thrown out 10 years ago but they are in ‘piles to go through’. That’s my collecting.

Recently I was given a large filing cabinet so I am in the process of re-organizing my office/sewing cubby. Its hell. I hate doing it and its bringing back sad memories. So when the weather is bad, I am going through things collected.

But so happy my mom collected our notes!: Worth more than gold!

(Couldn’t resist adding the Easter card I made that was also scanned.)

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 29, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)

SoCS: growth

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “growth.” Use it any way you’d like.

Two subjects jumped into my mind; the first was my personal growth and the second was the growth of all the plants and shrubs that need attention right now.

I experienced a set-back in my personal growth. Someone touched an old wound that only has a band-aid on it and I lashed out in anger. It was an immediate response and I’m sorry I lost control although I’m not sorry I said it.

We, here in Ontario Canada, are still under lock-down so I have had plenty of time to turn this over and over in my head with no one to talk to about it. That’s why mental health is so bad right now. Human contact is a basic need and those of us who live alone can go crazy. Its a fact.

But the other kind of growth is saving my psyche. I spent an hour and half pruning my Pink Beauty. Its a very large shrub that gets a lot dead branches every year normally but also got backed up onto and some main branches were broken. I am very happy that I have 2 hours to spend on pruning shrubs; pushing negative thoughts out of my head with a mantra. I can turn “poor me” into “lucky me” in a short time.

I have 18 tomato plants growing in pots for the garden in the program I volunteer for. I was so sure we were going to have an early spring, I started the seeds way too early. Last week was cold and frosty. I’ve been moving flats of tomato, cannabis and hollyhock plants in and out of my guest room every night. I’ve had them out during the day but last night was the first night I left them outside all night. This weekend they can finally be planted. The flats to be given away can stay outside.

The growth all around the gardens is such a joy in the spring! So many trees and shrubs are flowering! In my raised bed I have spinach and beets coming up. I’m so fortunate to live here! My sanctuary.

The lawn is growing rapidly but I don’t have my lawn mower battery charged up yet. Fingers crossed it starts up again this year. But the lawn also has dandelions, violets and some other pretty flowers growing in it; too pretty to mow! I like it. Good thing I don’t live in a “keeping up the Joneses” neighbourhood!

Well, no witty ending: that’s all I got for ‘growth’.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 15, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)

SoCS: on my left

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “to your left.” When you sit down to write your post, look to your left. What is the thing closest to you? Write about the memories that thing induces.

Oh my gosh, what a long line of memories these kitchen chairs bring up.

My laptop is sitting on a kitchen table bought more than 50 years ago by my parents. On my left is a chair from a set of four that never went with the table. There’s 50 odd years of memories in these.

My parents didn’t agree on much, especially when it came to decorating. We first lived in a house in a small town until I was 10 years old when my dad’s company transferred us to the Big City; Toronto. My parents looked for a house but couldn’t agree on one and rented an apartment until they could find a house.

The big dining room set barely fit into the dining room of our first apartment. To get to the back chairs you had to squeeze behind pushed in chairs or, as kids, just climb over the empty chairs. But they kept it because we were maybe going to buy a house.

In the next apartment they knew they were never going to buy a house and so would buy an smaller dining set. And so the Saturday morning search for a dining room set, followed by a fight and tears, became a weekly event.

Finally, they found some chairs they both really liked. Wherever they saw these chairs had a pedestal table on sale. It was fairly ugly but my mom would make tablecloths for it. They would use it until they found a nice dining room table.

My mom would go to Fabricland, buy extra wide fabric, and make round tablecloths for it. I bought her a round tablecloth in Morroco that she loved. She used it up until the end, stains and all.

They never bought a new dining room table.

My dad passed away from a heart attack just as my mom’s Multiple Sclerosis was getting bad. A few years later she met a farmer in the hospital and they got married. He was living with his parents so he fixed up an old house on his farm and my mom’s furniture was moved down to farm country.

This dining room set was by a bay window in their kitchen, always filled with plants and flowers. We still used the chairs but my mom was in wheelchair. We would have our meals together; meals were the highlight of her day.

My mom lived to be 80 years old; even with her MS. She had a terrible flu and got better. She fell out of her wheelchair and broke her hip and got better! But in the end her organs shut down.

Her husband stayed in the house so we weren’t going to take any furniture from him. But fate had more shit in store for us.

My husband was abusive and I tolerated it for way too long because he didn’t hit me. He constantly yelled and belittled me and finally threw me out because I couldn’t work hard enough. I did not go back. He re-mortgaged our home to buy me out and I bought my own house.

During that time, my mom’s husband passed away and we went to get her furniture. I almost threw up from the smell when I went in: the house was a hoarding nightmare. My sister and I took 2 trips with 2 vans trying to sort through my mom’s stuff.

I basically needed to start all over so I was happy to get this dining room set along with some furniture my dad had made.

I’ll take a photo even though I have a vinyl tablecloth on it. (I can hear my mom say, “How gauche!”) I do have a couple of cloth table cloths. But this post is about the chair on my left.

I’m a little sarcastic when I say; Thanks for the memories

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 8, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)

SoCS: May

Its May! Beautiful May! Its greening up, crab apple trees are flowering, I may have to mow my lawn soon!

I may be partially immune to Covid now. In two weeks I will be 92% immune. I may spend a lot of money in two weeks.

I had my shot yesterday! I felt great and worked outside in the afternoon but by dinner I was extremely tired and thirsty. Felt kind of yucky last night but other than a sore arm, I’m ready to work outside again.

I wish I could do more. I go out so gung-ho to make my gardens beautiful but I only have 2 or 3 hours of energy in me. When you are younger, even in your 50’s, you can keep working tired or get a second breath. In your 60’s, your arms just give up. You start to stumble easily, trip on vines (I have lots of wild grape and Virginia Creeper). My brain starts to whine: “I don’t wanna do anymore.”

So I use the ‘chipping away’ method. I try to do a little everyday because I know I won’t last long. I work on the thing I really want done most and what doesn’t get done isn’t important enough. It seems like a monumental job but by going out every day and chipping away at it, a surprising amount gets done!

The monumental job at hand is weeding and digging out old compost piles to fill a bathtub. I bought a cast iron bathtub when I moved into this house 15 years ago, hoping to put it in because what was here was the most shallow bathtub ever. But it would have been a huge job as the floor underneath would have to be supported and the bathroom re-done as it had legs so would have to re-do the floors and walls.

So the bathtub stayed outside: I bought an acrylic soaker tub.

But now its May! Time to plant! The bathtub was sinking into grass and old irises for years but now I am preparing it to grow 2 cannabis plants.

Yesterday I got my shot in the morning and got the soil in the tub in afternoon. I felt victorious! Also, tired, thirsty and a little woozy.

Its May! I’m chipping away! Feeling so much more hopeful than last year!

(I put the photo below the banner photo so it wouldn’t show up on the Reader.)

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “may.” Use it any way you’d like. 

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 1, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)

SoCS: oop

our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “oop.” Find a word with the “oop” sound in it and use it in your post.

Oops, I did it again. I forgot it was Saturday last week. I remembered on Sunday that I didn’t write anything.

I’m only doing SoCS these day, when I remember. I guess I used to have a lot more to talk about. Maybe its because I’m writing to more friends now so I dump all my musings on them.

Speaking of dump;

About a month ago I got my poop-on-a-stick kit. That’s the home test for colon cancer they send out. Its much easier now but you still have to get a bit of your poop on a little stick. That means catching it above water. Last time I took the test you had to come up with your own way to get some poop. A nurse practitioner told me to lay saran wrap over the bowl and water and dump on that. That was messy and used way too much saran wrap.

Now they’ve got it streamlined. Instead of giving you a wooden stick to pick up and smear on a test sheet, they have a little stick that goes right into a little container and seals. AND they now give you a special sheet of paper that floats your poop! No need to use plastic!

But a few weeks later I got a message from my health center; they are sending out another kit because my poop was too old. You have to get that fresh poop smear to the post office ‘toute suite’! Oops, that’s French.

So now I’m waiting for a morning that I’m going to town.

But it sure beats having a colonoscopy!!

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 24, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)

SoCS: difference

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “difference.” Whatever the word “difference” conjures first in your mind, write about it.

What’s the difference? It makes a difference. Its our differences that makes us unique. I’m on SoC rolling on the word ‘difference’.

I almost forgot to do this post today as I did last week. Being retired, isolated, living in a pandemic; Saturday just rolls by like any other day. There is a nagging sense that I’m forgetting something but I always have that feeling. What difference does it make? Did anyone notice I wasn’t here? I’ll miss out on my 5 to 7 likes!

I believe we should celebrate our differences and be who we want to be. That is why I love “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” so much! That show makes me happy! Not only are they so free, being celebrated for who they are but they are Stars for it. That show is pure joy!

Making a difference in someone’s life or lives: I hope I can do that with my volunteer gig. I led an exercise class in the first time in over a year. It was on Zoom so I had to get my whole body and living room on screen! My old computer breaking down last year was the best thing to happen because the laptop makes such a difference on Zoom! I could not do exercise in the little cubby my computer used to be in along with my sewing machine.

I try and make it a really good class with some laughs. It’s chair exercise because some of our clients can barely get out of a chair. But when it comes to mental health, exercise makes a HUGE difference. If I can make them feel better then I’ve done my job.

What a difference in the US, getting all their vaccines, compared to us! We used to be so smug with our low numbers but now the variants are making it as bad as ever and we don’t have enough vaccines! That is because Canada never invested in its own pharmaceutical labs and depend on foreign companies. Pfizer shorted us. Moderna came later. No Johnson and Johnson yet as far as I know. This week they announced anyone over 60 can now get it; I tried and tried to book and finally on the third day, yesterday, I got an appointment for a shot April 30. My second shot is in August.

What a difference August and September are going to be from last year! We will have vaccines and we have beach! The last two years the water in Lake Huron was so high there was no beach: there was only a 5 or 6 ft strip and impossible to distance without going in the water. Not enough room to lay down a towel! This year there is beach and we’ll have been vaccinated! That has made a big difference in my mental health.

Hope. Last year it seemed there was no end in sight but now there’s a difference: we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS April 10, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)

SoCS: run

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “run.” Use it as a noun, a verb, use it any way you’d like.

I don’t think I could run anymore. Never was into running as exercise and when you get older, running shakes up your body too much. I would have to be chased by something that was going to hurt me to get into a run. Well, maybe if I was challenged by my grandnieces or grandnephew to race them on the beach but those days are coming to an end, too. They are getting too old for that.

So we move onto “who’s running things?”. Some people think there is a group of extremely wealthy people running things; that they are responsible for the pandemic and social chaos that is happening now. Some even say they conjured up this virus just to get richer and put the rest of us in life-long servitude to them. I don’t believe they thought it up or did it on purpose: I think its just a big lucky break for them!

The rich are getting richer hands over fist right now. What a great time to invest! Real estate is going wild and construction is driving building supply prices through the roof but so what? They can afford it! All those cheap apartments can become condos and make so much more money! Where do those people go who lived in the run-down over-priced apartments? Who cares! As long as they can get into town to serve us. And they better kiss ass with a great big smile if they want to keep their jobs!

Jeff Bezos lost 34 billion dollars in his divorce settlement. He made it back in a month. Not millions, billions.

So who is running things? I think no one. I think its chaos and we have these governments to keep everything in control. Now they are running on less money than one of the 1% private lives.

Governments haven’t been able to afford keeping up infrastructure and turn to privatization. There are no corporations working for the good of the people: corporations are for making profit. Corporations have to appease the share holders who demand a constant return of money. Cuts are made at the expense of the people who are doing the work to make the corporation successful. They put in as many hours as they are given: not full time because then they would have to be given benefits. Many of them, especially single mothers, take on 2 or 3 part-time jobs to give their kids a decent life.

Most people feel like they have been running to stay in the same spot for so long but now they can’t keep up anymore. The Finish Line keeps getting farther and farther away. If we stumble and fall, we will get too far behind to ever get there.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 27, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)

SoCS: March 11

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “day/week/month/year.” Use one, use them all, use them any way you’d like. 

“Far out. . . what a day, a year, a life it is . . .” That’s what a I thought of first.

March 11 is my ex- wedding anniversary. When I see the dates I get a sad little tug at the lost hope for happiness my husband and I had when we started out.

It seemed like over the years some event I had coming up would fall on March 11, just to keep reminding me.

Last year, on March 11, my sister and I went to a group psychic meeting. We all sat at a long table, sharing the water jugs, talking very close to each other’s ear because the music was too loud. That was the day the world-wide pandemic was officially announced.

We have a monthly meeting of the Cannabis Club, second Thursday of every month: this month was March 11.

But it really hit home on Thursday that I will never forget that anniversary. I watch the news during dinner hour; I have it on loud while I make dinner. I heard “The Anniversary . . ” ” On the Anniversary. . ” so many times and would groan each time.

Oh well, its not as bad as a friend of mine who has a birthday the world remembers; September 11.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 13, 2021 | (lindaghill.com)