SoCS: doodit, doodit, doodit. ..

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “a rainy day.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the phrase “a rainy day.” 

The earworm started as soon as I read it. This particular earworm was permanently burned into my brain. It was a song they played at work. . . . every day and every night.

“Save it for rainy daaaay….. doodit, doodit, doodit, doodit. . . Save it for a rainy daaaay . . . doodit, doodit, doodit, doodit. . . .” On and on, over and over, I couldn’t actually hear all the words as it was coming overhead from a little speaker in the bakery. There was no escape. Running to the washroom didn’t help because it was piped right in to the can. So I don’t know any other words except . . .

“Save it for rainy daaaay….. doodit, doodit, doodit, doodit. . . Save it for a rainy daaaay . . . doodit, doodit, doodit, doodit. . . .” Yeah I copied and pasted that. I could copy and paste it over and over to give you an idea of the torture that song can bring.

I would be driving home, in tears;

“Save it for rainy daaaay….. doodit, doodit, doodit, doodit. . . Save it for a rainy daaaay . . . doodit, doodit, doodit, doodit. . . .”

I think I better head on over to Spotify soon and exorcise this tune.

SoCS: In the morning

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “In the.” Start your post with the words “In the” – that’s the prompt! 

In the morning I get up to turn the heat up to 21C and then get back into my warm bed with an electric blanket. Ever after 15 years of having a furnace I am still thankful every winter morning I can get up, turn up the heat, go back to bed until it warms up.

This is normal for most people but not for those who heat with wood only as I did for almost 30 years. Get up in the freezing cold (now that I have a thermostat I often wonder how cold it was there) start a fire and huddle in a blanket until it warms up. Drink your coffee by the woodstove. Nowadays I get my fire going when the furnace reaches 21 and stops. It backdrafts if I try and start it before.

And I still think of if every morning because I know my ex is waking up freezing cold having to go downstairs and start a fire. He hasn’t had running water for a few years because he can’t be bothered to get it fixed. There is a composting toilet there that was a nightmare 15 years ago with me keeping it livable. I can’t imagine what its like there now. I suspect he doesn’t fix his water because there is too much clutter in the house. He won’t let a plumber in. He’s been sick with Omicron, he’s not healthy to begin with. . . and damnit! after 15 years I still can’t stop myself from worrying about him.

His sister started messaging me on Facebook Wednesday night. She had just found out he didn’t have running water and thought he was sick at home with no drinking water. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisc. and was trying to find out how to order bottled water and have it delivered to him.

I phoned him and he did have bottled water and cases of Coke. He won’t come here and I can’t go there. On top of all that, he is snowed in and its a very, very long driveway.

I keep telling myself ‘its his choice’. He is living the way he wants to live. His sisters have been nagging him so much he won’t pick up the phone when they call.

I wish I could feel vindicated or satisfied that he got what he deserved. I try to tell myself that . . . but I feel bad for him and I’m very worried about him. And I think of what our lives could be like if he wasn’t . . . . him.

SoCS: trees

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “tree.” Use the word “tree” or write about a tree. Any kind of tree. 

Trees! I love trees. I prefer to live surrounded by trees and not people. Love to be in the woods. Used to love camping in the woods. My last place was in the woods . . . the woods. . . now that I’m writing it, what a great name: the woods. all different kind of woods. It almost like our culture sees trees as a commodity to exploit which we did and continue to do.

I would love to see what Southern Ontario used to look like before we clear cut it. We did not leave any old growth. Only now its too late do we understand the gravity of what we did. Tens of thousands of years growth destroyed in 100 years. Then we moved on to destroy the west.

My last last place had a long driveway through through trees and our house was in a clearing of trees. I was really sad to leave that place but luckily my settlement bought me this place which is in trees. I want to look out my window and see trees.

There are a few trees I especially like. There is the Copper Beech which holds onto its leaves all winter after turning a spectacular copper in the fall. The old leaves are pushed off by new growth in the spring; a deep burgundy colour.

The huge butternut tree was from a seedling my ex-husband gave my nephew-in-law when we started a nut tree nursery about 40 years ago. Never in my imagination would I have thought this would end up being my place. My ex is still in our old place, My nephew-in-law has passed away, this tree is constant reminder of the transitory nature of life: we can never guess how things are going to turn out.

I’m looking out my window right now at a huge Black Pine that’s up by the road. I can’t see it all summer when the leaves are out on the poplars but when their leaves drop, I can see its beautiful silhouette. In these short days the sun sets there, showcasing this spectacular Pine.

And I can’t talk about my relationship with trees without mentioning The Sisters. They are a group of six Paper Birch coming out of one center. They are deep within the woods behind me, out on the trail. I never get tired of walking this same trail over and over as I get to know more and more trees. And they get to know me.

Oh my gosh, I looked right past my Gingko to admire the Pine. It just said “What about me? Everyone admires me!”

Trees, beautiful trees! We must switch to hemp for paper products and plant more trees!

The Sisters

SoCS: reversal

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “rev.” Use “rev” or find a word that contains it. 

I’m sorry to write a bummer post but my reversal of fortune has been on my mind a lot lately and that’s what jumped into my head. I even feel bad writing it because I’m very secure compared to a lot of people. So many are way worse off than me, I feel guilty complaining. But its my blog and I’ll cry if I want to.

A year ago I was doing better than I had ever done before. I was debt-free and starting to save money for the first time ever. Maybe go on a vacation or buy a new woodstove. A year ago I was bragging that I was saving so much money staying home in the pandemic. I guess the universe heard me and decided that wasn’t going to happen.

In February, during total lockdown and an arctic cold snap, my furnace broke down. I was really fortunate to have a credit line open from when I bought my car. Along with banking on-line, I was able to buy a new furnace and put it on my credit line without even leaving the house. For that I am so grateful!

I had been putting off going to the dentist before the pandemic so I was way behind when I finally got there. $1000. Yep. that’s what it cost me. And there were no fancy crowns, I’m talking extraction and fillings.

In the spring my lawn mower broke down. It was a very old rider mower and I could not afford to buy another rider. But my lawn is quite big so I had to choose between affording it and buying one big enough to do the job. I bought an $800 mower and don’t do it all in one day.

That’s about where the reversal took place and I started juggling monthly payments. I had to buy firewood for the year at the same time my propane tanks needed filling. And, of course, propane has gone way up along with everything else. The good part is that all my heat is paid for until I need propane again. I’m only using my furnace in the morning then get the woodstove going. It might last until February if it doesn’t get too cold.

Although its been a huge disappointment at least its not fear. If I wasn’t receiving Old Age Pension I would be up Shit Creek without a paddle. Working at that grocery store would not cover my payments right now. I can see why so many seniors have to get a part time job. I can see how young people go deeper and deeper into debt making minimum payments. Been there, done that. I’m staying tight because I pay down as much as I possibly can. I’m not digging a deeper whole.

I’m going back into shut-down mode, taking a lesson from the pandemic. If I don’t go anywhere, I don’t spend money or use any gas. I won’t be as generous at Christmas. I didn’t buy a tree but that wasn’t just the expense. Its all this “hurry up and buy stuff because there’s going to be a shortage!!” bullshit. I have a large green enamel tomato cage I turned upside down and made a tree with boughs and garlands and decorated it. Good enough! I didn’t spend any money going to SuperStore to get it where I would have spend a whole bunch more.

It nice to have this place to air my grievances. Hey! A good year to celebrate Festivus!!

https://lindaghill.com/2021/12/03/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-4-2021/

SoCS: Golly Gee

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “golly gee.” Use “golly gee” or another interjection that displays the same sentiment in your post. Enjoy!

Golly gee I’m going to enjoy writing about this because I’ve been saying it for over a week now thinking about talking to my neighbour. I didn’t say “golly gee” to his face, only when I’m relating the story or mentally savouring the moment.

A little background for those who don’t know me (as in my 6 loyal followers) I have a neighbour in his 30’s who does very little. Well, now he’s a stay-at-home dad so at least he’s being useful. He doesn’t like to work and doesn’t drive or even have a drivers license. He’s spent most of his adult life video gaming. Everything is paid for and done for him.

My house is behind their house so my driveway is a right-of-way through theirs. They don’t shovel snow. Sometimes they don’t even shovel their damn porch. She works and has the car so she parks up near the road, just off to the side of the driveway, so she can drive out easily leaving me with a very long unplowed driveway. When we get lots of snow the neighbour across the street will dig her out with his tractor and scoop.

Usually, I hire guys to plow my driveway and they benefit from that; especially when they want to get close to the house to unload their groceries. (still taking plastic bags). My last guy was so good, did such a great job. He said he had to turn around at the top of the driveway so I could offer to my neighbours; for an extra $10 he would clear out her spot up by the road. She said “No, we’re good.”

Of course he assumed they would take the deal. He’s from my generation, not understanding there are people like that. He did their spot. I ran into Numbnuts (I’m sorry but that is what I call him) and said “Did you phone the guy about doing your spot?” He said “No, we’re good” exactly the same way. They both knew I was going to get charged for it and I let it happen.

The snow plow guy came 4 times and it cost me $120. I knew they wanted me to say something but I didn’t. Back then she would have relished a conflict so she could tell the other neighbourhood women so it was worth $40 for me to make them just look like the assholes they are; wondering when I was going to say something.

That was 2 years ago. Last year I was looking for someone new and was going to try the older guy if I needed him. But we didn’t have too much snow and there were enough thaws to not get snowed in.

There are no young people doing snow plowing anymore. No young farmers with snow blowers doing a winter side-gig. There are landscaping companies wanting to charge for the season. One company wanted $450 for the season; up front. Seriously. What if I only needed them once or twice?

(I’m finally getting to the “golly gee” moment.) My neighbour’s parents were visiting them and I ran into them all while I was going to get my mail. I didn’t actually say ‘golly gee’ but my voice was dripping with it.

“I don’t think I’m going to be able to get a snow plow guy anymore.” The look on his face! and his parents looking at him! And now they have a kid! And while their car is parked right by the house on our driveway. Hmm, what do you usually do, Son?

Golly Gee, that felt good and I still savour the moment. Although, golly gee, I may have periods of being snowed in this winter.

SoCS: grey

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “black, gray, and white.” Use one, use ’em all. Bonus points if you use all three.

OK, first of all: what is with all the grey interior design? It boggles my mind that grey became the ‘colour’ in style so everyone uses it! It is the most depressing colour known. Its not even a colour. I’m sorry to the people reading this that have grey homes but I see it on TV all the time, too. And on FB and magazines. Grey! Why? Don’t people have a colour they like? Is now gauche to like colours? Are colourful walls the blue eyeshadow of home decor?

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When you get older things aren’t so black and white but bigger and bigger areas of grey. When you are young things are good and bad, right and wrong, you love and hate. But after having been the bad guy and wrong and hated, you start to see both sides. You realize you aren’t so fucking perfect so stop pointing a finger.

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There are actual studies done on how colours affect your mood. The ‘grey’ season is coming up. Grey skies and white snow. My eyes are drawn to the Red dogwood in front of the cedars. Christmas colours! Seeing a male cardinal really stands out! We all put up lights to cheer up the gloom at this time of year. Why would anyone choose to wake up to a grey kitchen!?!

I just realized I spell grey differently. oh well, and this is how I spell ‘colour’. See? There is no right and wrong way!

SoCS: cam

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “cam.” Find a word that contains “cam” or use it as is.

The next road over from me is called Army Camp Road. I really hope they change the name soon. It runs alongside the Stony Point First Nations Reserve and has a dark history. Its a reminder of how badly our governments treated First Nation people.

In 1942 their land was confiscated by the Canadian Government to use as a military training camp. The people were moved onto a reserve near-by; Kettle Point. The two reserves are separated by a strip of land two rural roads apart. That’s where I live.

What houses they could move were picked up and taken to Kettle Point. Sometimes they didn’t know where they should go so they dumped them anywhere they could. The brick houses were knocked down; farms destroyed, burial grounds desecrated. And all on the promise that when the war was over they would get their land back.

Some of the men had enlisted and did not know their homes were being demolished while they were fighting overseas. And because they joined the army, they lost their Status. They came home to nothing and nowhere to go.

They didn’t give the land back. They kept the army camp for Air Cadets and opened Ipperwash Provincial Park on their beautiful beach. My dad taught Air Cadets at this Army Camp and we would go to the beach there quite often. I never knew the history. the Kettle Point Reserve was something hidden and off limits. There was terrible poverty and alcoholism was rampant. We destroyed these people then turned our noses up at them.

Back in the 70’s a delegation of people from Kettle Point would take a monthly trip to Queen’s Park with all the letters and papers promising their land back. Nothing happened. (I do not have the dates in my head and to go look will break up my SoC.) Finally in the 80’s they took it back. It was a summer that many Indigenous people had come from all over North America to protest another land claim in Cayuga. The time was ripe and they had their own army to do it.

But that made them criminals and the stand-off began. It ended when Dudley George was seen carrying a stick they thought was a rifle and shot him. They did not help him. A few of his friends and family took him in their car, up Army Camp road to the hospital which is not close by. He died on the way and became a martyr for their cause.

There was a book written and made into a movie; One Dead Indian. Army Camp road is mentioned. Its lined with cottages on one side; fenced and wooded on the other side. Now is a time for Reconciliation. I hope they change the name of Army Camp Road to something Ojibway.

I still have the photos of the official “Walk Home” in 2015 in my media library. These photos were all taken on Army Camp Road.

SoCS: what’s in a name?

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “close eyes and point.” Grab the closest printed material to you when you sit down to write your post, open it up (if it’s a book, flyer, etc.), close your eyes, and point. Whatever your finger lands on, use that as your prompt. 

Lying next to me is my vehicle permit. I put it out yesterday to remind me to re-new my license plate which expires next week. Its not like I didn’t know it was coming up; we re-new our plates on our birthdays. They used to send out forms to remind us a month in advance but they don’t anymore. I guess they figure we will always remember our birthdays but that doesn’t mean we’ll remember to re-new our plates.

So I put it out yesterday to remind me to do it but I didn’t do it. Memory is a problem when you age. Also lethargy; that feeling of not giving a shit anymore but there are chores to be done. I have things that have to be done so I put off anything I can put off until it needs to be done.

I pointed at my plate permit and it landed on my name which I’m not going to type out. I’m still hyphenated. I still have my spouse’s last name attached to mine. Good thing I did hyphenate it because at least I still have part of my name and not just his family’s name.

I didn’t bother to change it for a number of reasons. At first I figured he would meet a younger woman who would demand he divorce and he would pay for it. Turns out there is no woman who is willing to tolerate that life.

We’re not divorced. Been separated for 15 years. Its partly because I don’t want to pay for it and partly the lethargy: I don’t care. I’ve always secretly hoped he would come to his senses and want a happy life but he doesn’t. I’m reminded of that when I speak to him on the phone; oh yeah, that’s who he is. What was I thinking?

When I went on Facebook I kept my name on so my caving buddies or anyone looking for me, knowing my husband, could find me.

That turned out to be a good thing because there is woman with my name on Facebook who lives nearby. My sister saw her post recommending a seafood restaurant. She wondered why I was doing that when I was vegetarian. I messaged her and we are ‘friends’ now. Always weird when she ‘likes’ something. Hey, that’s my name!

That got me wondering about our ancestors and if we were related. During the pandemic the library offered free access to Ancestry via our Lambton County archives. I knew of my great grandfather coming to Canada and his children but I couldn’t find any other relatives with that name.

Too bad I can’t lie and say the book I’m reading, “Braiding Sweetgrass”, was at my side but it was in the living room. That would have been way cooler than my license permit. Just for curiosity I will open and point to see what I could have written about.

“Cultures of Gratitude”. Oh yes, thanks for reminding me. I am so grateful to live here, in this house and have the health to look after myself. Its important to keep that in the forefront of my thoughts.

SoCS: boo

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “boo.” Find a word with the letters “boo” in it or use “boo” as is and base your post on it. 

Boo. I don’t mean this as scary ‘boo’, I mean ‘boo’ as in ‘bad’, ‘wrong’, ‘shouldn’t be’ ‘thumbs down’. Also ‘boo hoo’ but that just sounds too sarcastic because I really am crying. I wasn’t even sure I was going to write today but ‘Boo’ got me started.

This morning I found out an old friend of mine who has ALS has elected assisted suicide on Nov. 4th. I don’t know if you are allowed to do that in other countries but Canada has been slowly sliding towards it. I won’t get into that subject because that certainly is not my ‘boo’. Its a good thing. My ‘boo’ is on how much life can suck.

This lady is a great person! So kind and giving. I had a very small wedding way up north where she lived and she insisted on buying me a wedding dress and organizing a wedding. She flew up another girlfriend from Toronto as a surprise.

She came to visit me here and was the most supportive person I have ever come across. She would tell me how great it was that I do all this on my own and how I pulled myself out of a terrible marriage and bought this house . . . etc. etc. That meant so much to me! I usually get advice on what I ‘should’ be doing and its usually from people who are a couple. It was so wonderful to hear someone say that!

Here’s my BOO and it might get nasty. Those rotting bastards who make everyone miserable, don’t look after themselves, let their homes rot rather than let anyone benefit from them; I hate them today. I hate so much that they will live on and get old. They will live on the worst food, let their bodies get dirty, live in squalor unless someone else cleans up after them and make everyone around them miserable. And they will get old. There are two of them on the periphery of my life. At times I pity them; today I hate them.

This beautiful, kind, generous woman with big family who loves her is going to die on Thursday in an assisted suicide.

The next day is the 2 year anniversary of another loved one who committed suicide but under very different circumstances.

So BOO! on life today and boo hoo because I want to do some crying.

SoCS: body part?

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “body parts.” Pick a body part and talk about it. Make sure to leave a comment below or put a disclaimer at the top of your post if it’s NSFW! There are people who participate in SoCS and love to support others, but not every one will want to read about private parts. Have fun!

I had to google NSFW. At first I typed in NFSW which means “not for showing wife” which almost made sense but I checked and found NSFW means “not safe for work”.

Well, I’m sure as hell not going to talk about my private parts. EW!

Pick a body part. It doesn’t have to be my body part, it could be a body part everyone has. . .

Should it be my favourite body part? I kind of like them all as a collective and am extremely grateful mine all still work pretty good. I don’t know if I have a favourite. Certainly my legs are very useful to me right now as I’m moving wheelbarrow loads of firewood from my driveway over to my wood shed. And I guess my arms come in pretty handy for that, too.

But then the brain is pretty darn wonderful! What we can do with this spongy thing is amazing! We can talk about our hearts that feel love and pain but its really the brain that does all the work.

* * * * * * * * * . . .

Nah, I’ve been sitting here for long enough trying to think up a body part to write about. My stream has dried up. Now I want to go see what other people thought up!