RDP; open

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The prompt today ‘open’ gives me an opportunity to talk about Opening Doors which is a mental health program I belong to and volunteer in. In case you don’t know me, I’ll give you a little background:

When I arrived here 10 years ago I was escaping an abusive husband and had to leave everything.  After 28 years of being mentally beaten down I was a shell of a person. Certainly not ready to go out for job interviews or even hold a job.

Luckily I had my sister to help me out, some financial help and then help from my government who added on to my meager income once I got a permanent part-time job at 61. Working with people also gave me someone to talk and joke around with. Slowly over the years I got back on my feet.

This winter I was happy to be retired but ended up being alone for days and days on end. I still haven’t made close friends in the 10 years I’ve lived here. Part of it is my introverted and hermetic ways; I like being alone but too much of it is not a good thing.

Social isolation is very depressing. Exercise class didn’t help when you are in a group of women with much different lives: lives with children and grandchildren, holidays and husbands and renovations. So many times I’m in a group and no one talks to me. They don’t notice because they all know someone and all have similar lives. You end up feeling more depressed and lonely.

In February I saw a notice on Facebook from our Community Health Centre where my doctor is. They were starting a new program called Opening Doors which is a mental health program aimed at those who have anxiety, depression or any other mental health problems and experience social isolation. The marginalized and misplaced. The ones that feel they don’t belong anywhere.

The program includes exercise (I have to admit here; one of the main reasons I wanted to join is that exercise class is 1:30 pm to 2:30 and not 8:30 in the morning or at night, like the other exercise classes), exercise games so there’s more interaction and fun, Art and Conversation, cooking classes, guest speakers… things to do.

Last week they took a whole bus load of us to a local tourist town to walk around, have lunch then bussed us all off us to a show at the theatre. All paid for. Our small town group joined up with the larger group from The City so we all got to meet new people. For some people it was so exiting to do something like this; I felt humbled about taking for granted all the great things I’ve done and seen in my life.

This program is fantastic! We don’t need counselling, we don’t need medication, we just need to be with people, other weirdos and misfits like us. Friends with similar lives. Friends who encourage each other to ‘get out there’! It’s Opening Doors we’ve felt closed out of.

When we were at lunch, taking three long tables, I could see the waitresses looking at us a trying to figure out what we were, what is this group about? A waiter did ask and our leader said, “We’re just a group of friends out having a good time!”

The health center is enrolling me in a program to teach fitness to seniors for new programs they are starting in the fall. I intend to start a dance fit class because nothing is better for exercise and feeling better than dancing. I told my group leader what I was planning and she said, “We’re counting on it”

Opening Doors certainly has opened doors for me.

Here are my creations from Art and Conversation so far;

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This is a painted vinyl album melted into a bowl

Yes, they are chuckle worthy but we all had good time doing them!

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/rdp-46-open/

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RDP: spoof

Back when I first got satellite TV I didn’t know there were dirty movies after midnight on one channel. I always look for late movies to tape so I have stuff on hand for to watch when there’s ‘nothing to watch’ on the hundreds of channels.

I saw a movie called “Sasha Grey’s Anatomy” and thought it was a spoof on Grey’s Anatomy. OK, all of you who already are hip to porn are laughing because Sasha Grey is porn mega-star like Stormy Daniels. I was so naïve!

If you ever want to do something funny with your spouse or close partner; tape a porn movie and watch it on very fast forward. I tell you: I had tears I laughed so hard.

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https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/07/14/rdp-44-spoof/

SoCS; pot

Pot is the word that comes to mind first and is pushing out any other three-letter words so I guess the cat’s out of the bag. Oh… two more 3 letter words!

Pretty soon its going to be legal here in Canada. I’ve been waiting 50 years for this. I remember joking about how they should have a Cannabis Control Board selling different varieties of pot like our Liquor Control Board and we’d laugh……

Or how about the pot vending machine? I saw that on TV. Back in the day we would have thought we were dreaming. That would be a skit on SCTV.

I haven’t been smoking pot all these 50 years though. I quit twice for long periods of time just because it’s a bad habit and I am a very habitual person. But I missed it. Never missed meat or alcohol all these years but I missed pot terribly when I didn’t have it. Twelve years; missed it the whole time.

Now I live on my own and answer to no one and soon pot will be legal so I can say this:

I’m going to stay in today and watch TV. It’s already hot and hopefully its going to rain. (I’m sorry to wish rain on a Saturday but we need it.) I need total introversion today; not going anywhere, not doing any yard work, not talking. So, yeah, I have to admit it: I will be imbibing in pot.

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https://lindaghill.com/2018/07/13/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-14-18/

RDP: dappled

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In the morning the sun rises through the woods behind my house, mostly Silver Birch and Maples. On the wall just over my shoulder is a framed silhouette of leaves blowing in the breeze.

Birch and Poplar make the most soothing sound with their leaves. It’s heavenly this morning because it’s cool enough to have the windows open. The dappled sunlight coming through the trees along with the soft rustle is so peaceful.

I’m in my office/ sewing room.  Also on this eastern wall is my bathroom and kitchen with windows wide open, rustling leaves, dappled light and the occasional warbler.

Here is my kitchen right now;

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(That long piece of lace is for a gap between the door and the screen. Yeah, I could probably find a long plastic piece at the hardware store but I’d rather make something with scraps. It fits the décor.)

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/07/10/rdp-40-dappled/

RDP: dart

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The nice thing about where I live is that I can just dart down to the beach, dart back to my house and dart back down to the beach. I never do that but I could if I wanted or needed to.

The thing about darting out is losing your parking spot. If its hot enough to go to the beach its going to be crowded. After all, this is the best beach for kids and dogs and its free. Luckily we can go during the week when it’s not as crowded.

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standing room only at Ipperwash Beach

 

 

Today is a beach day; my sister is bringing my grandniece and a friend her age. I’ve been waiting a month to give her the boogie board I bought her for her birthday. The beach is only fun with the kids. I don’t ever dart down with my boogie board by myself …..although I might make that one of my ‘things to do now that I’m retired’.

I missed beach days working at the grocery store the last four years. It was in a crazy busy beach town, the crowds and traffic were terrible; by the time I got home I did not want to drive down to the crowds at the beach.

Phew! I just darted off to try on my bathing suit because I have a few things that don’t fit me anymore. Luckily it still fits although I’m going to wear a tank top over it. That floppy white blubber will be covered this year.

And I have to do some shaving. (sigh) I only do it when needed. Its getting tricky seeing it and finding the right spot on my bifocals. There’s a site selling bathing suits with longer legs which I really want but they are in Hong Kong. I don’t know why that makes me hesitate but it does. Now I have those bathing suits all over every thing I look at on-line. I’ll give you the link, there are some nice old lady bathing suits;

https://www.rosewe.com/print-Swimwear-c33.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0a67zu7T2wIVT7BPCh2Zuw5WEAEYASAAEgLOQ_D_BwE

The other darts I want to mention are the huge dragonfly like monsters that are out. They are as big a hummingbirds this year. In the evening they are up the in air about 20 feet and cavorting with each other. I think insects are flourishing in this climate change.

Well, Time to get ready for The Beach!

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/07/09/rdp-39-dart/

SoCS; sup

‘Sup? Well, I’m going to London and meeting my sister who will drive us further downtown to Sunfest.  I hope to buy some things: a white top, jewellery, anything patchouli and sup on some fine vegetarian food. Oh, so much vegetarian food I can’t even decide what I want.

Thursday I went to Grand Bend for lunch and a show at the local theatre. Really, I really did. It was with my ‘group’, Open Doors. They took 30 of us in a bus (a very hot school bus) downtown for free time, then lunch then bussed down to the theatre. All paid for. It really is an amazing program. I’m half volunteer and half group member.

One of the ladies who has some mental challenges had never been to the beach. ever. And she does not live far from great beaches. We got her down to the water, helped her take off her sandals, and she put her feet in. She was pretty excited; told everyone at lunch she went swimming.

We drove past Sobeys on our way to the theatre and I did one of those tongue out, thumbs in ears salute….. is there a name for that? I worked there for the last four summers and it was hell, Hell I tell you!

The show was “Cruisin’ the Classics”. If you have read my blog in summer’s past you may remember me complaining about 50’s, early 60’s classics music they played all summer at work. Same songs everyday. It could drive a person insane; Palisades Park, Hello Marylou, You Can’t Sit Down! oh yeah, good songs if you hear them once every 10 years.  Torture every day. That was the music at “Cruisin’ Classics”  Three girls and three guys singing all those songs.

I get that shit stuck in my head. Yesterday I couldn’t stop; “Wise.. men.. say….” oh no stop! get out of my head. “… but Ieee …caaan’t …hellllp……”  Aauugh!

I’m going to hear a lot better music today! It’s an international music festival. And bonus; it’s not too hot! Like yesterday which was so perfect I couldn’t be indoors. I did some weeding then actually laid out in the sun, covered in sunscreen of course.

Well, that’s what’S up with me.  Have a great weekend and be kind to those working to serve you.

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https://lindaghill.com/2018/07/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-7-18/

SoCS: cheers

Stream of consciousness on Cheers; In Canada its said when you all have a drink and clink your glasses together. I’m usually tipping a ginger-ale.

Once I was at a wedding and someone in charge (a parent?) made me hold a glass of wine and put it to my lips. For Pete’s Sake; how can it be so important?

English people say ‘cheers’ when they say good-bye. It bugs me, I don’t like it. It especially bugs me when someone who was in England for a short time says it when they say good-bye. I hate that.

Cheers is what my friends down south in Tennessee and Alabama call those things around a taa-ble. Man, I loved that accent. I usually came home with a bit of it.  Worse when you do it down there and they notice. They think you are making fun of them.

It’s going to be hotter here in Canada than Mumbai, India. I’m going to make some fruity water (very thinly sliced orange and lime in water) to mix with pineapple juice and stay indoors. Cheers!

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https://lindaghill.com/2018/06/29/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-30-18/

SoCS: Bugs: a big part of my life

Ha! Just yesterday I was thinking my life is being run by bugs! Well, maybe not ‘run’ but bugs are in my life way more than people.

First of all the mosquitoes are ferocious! After that heat blast and now rain they crowd by the door to get in. I can’t get in my car without at least three getting in with me. That’s dangerous driving trying to grab mosquitoes as they circle you looking for a tender spot.

I have one of those ‘Moroccan’ lamps I put a citronella tea candle in and leave by the back door when I’m working outside. that helps. It’s a good thing I don’t have kids and men around holding the door open. I slip in and out quickly closing the aluminum door behind me rather than waiting for the slow self-close.

Working outside its Deep Woods Off. No fooling around with natural ‘deterrents’. Going to work outside is a major commitment of sunscreen and bug dope.

Inside there are the ants. The tiny ants have finally left although an occasional scout or lost ant walks by. Now its the big black ants. You can’t leave a crumb of food or a drop of juice or they will find it and tell all their friends.  I have found the best natural deterrent this year; save all citrus peels in a jar of white vinegar in the fridge and spray this around the food area. I also have cinnamon sprinkled behind my sink faucets.

The big trouble is that I really hate killing things. I can’t just do the STOMP you’re dead thing. It’s a curse! I yell at them; “Go Away, Please!” really close to their little faces. I blow marijuana smoke at them and they go a little crazy. Why not? I’ve tried just about everything. One year I stained my counters using turmeric.

But there is a good bug life, too. The Swallowtail butterflies are incredible this year! They are fluttering around, playing with each other, floating by….. I’ve seen three different types, yellow and black. I do have lots of flowering shrubs which all bloom in June so its like heaven….. from indoors looking out the windows.

And fireflies….. oh man, so beautiful. The window in my bedroom is small and exactly the height of my head. I can lean on the wall and have my face practically outside. It faces my garden which is surrounded by shrubs and woods.  I turn out the lights and watch all the fairies twinkling. Last night I could hear the lake as the waves were stirred up. I can’t help but think how lucky I am.

The crickets are just starting. By August they will be driving me crazy at night.

Bugs, bugs lots of bugs. But they don’t bug me that much.

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https://lindaghill.com/2018/06/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-23-18/

RDP; antediluvian

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Rag Tag Prompt; antediluvian. And you say you use it all the time? Holy Moly. What a way to divide time; before and after the biblical flood.

Of course there are a lot of flood stories in many cultures which sort of proves it happened. Melting ice caps, perhaps? Who knows….. it was antediluvian.

Yesterday I was talking about a First Nation Reservation and there seems to be a lot of interest so today I will give the Abnishinaabe Creation Story.

 

I encourage everyone on Turtle Island (North America) to find when and where their local Powwow is and GO.

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/06/17/antediluvian/