Rocking grandmas

o-MOTORHEAD-900o-PILLOW-900o-ACDC-900somedayGet used to it everybody; the first generation of rockers are aging out. The first girls that screamed at Elvis’s pelvis are seniors now. What do people expect; suddenly get a taste for Lawrence Welk when you turn 60?  We are all going to listen to and love what we listened to and loved all our lives.

OK, maybe it’s a little too raucous sometimes. When I want to listen to Led Zepplin it’s usually during the day, doing housework. I’m good for an hour or so before I need to tone it down to some Tragically Hip.  I can’t do the dishes without music.

Oh, there’s the Celine Dion set for sure…. but they were always that way. They were never real rockers to begin with.

We are going to have to have nursing homes that have concerts on the big screen with surroundsound and a place outside for smoking and I don’t mean cigarettes, but they can join us if they don’t mind getting a contact buzz.

I’m sure there will enough of us to demand it.

Daily Prompt; Express yourself!

I was raised by parents who cared very much about how they dressed.  It was all about how you look. School or homework didn’t matter much but what you wore was major. I can remember my dresses. How itchy they were; starched nylon pulled in at the arm with elastic.  The crinoline had to be extra starchy to stick out so I had to wear a slip underneath because it was so “picky” on my legs.  I can remember crying with arms held out, “it’s picky!”  But if it was beautiful, I wore it.

My parents wore nice clothes. My Dad had his suits made at John Bullock and his shoes custom made.  My Mom shopped at Holt Renfrew and Harridge’s.  Did we have ‘money’? No! And now that I look back on it and know a bit more, I can hardly believe they would even go there let alone have credit cards.  We lived in an apartment in Don Mills and there were many things I was told I couldn’t do because they couldn’t afford it. Like go to college! Clothes….. now that was important.

But my sense of style was not to their liking. They didn’t care what I liked…. they cared how I looked because it reflected on them. The first of many teary fights started with a blanket coat and a John Lennon hat.  That’s what I wanted so much but was refused both. That Christmas I got a ‘jockey hat’; blue velvet with a rabbit fur pompom on top. I hated it. I felt humiliated wearing it, which was only once, to the Christmas dinner at my aunt’s so she could see how cute it was. We had a family picture taken and I still just see that stupid hat and how unhappy I was.

That’s when I started to babysit.  Living in a large apartment building gave me lots of jobs; enough to save up and buy clothing on sale or at Good Will (before Value Village came into being). I developed a style my parents hated.  “You look like hell!” my Dad would say. That only confirmed how good I looked.

Clothes remained a priority until I met my future and now ex husband. We were hippies.  He liked overalls, t-shirts and no make-up. I wouldn’t wear anything he didn’t like and that list grew over the years. My mom hated the way I dressed and continually asked me why I never wanted to get ‘gussied up’.  She bought me a curling iron one Christmas hoping I might be inspired but I just stared at it in disbelief.

This went on for way too many years.  My sense of style died along with my sense of self.  I tried to please these two people more than myself because pleasing myself would be selfish. I bought the cheapest, generic clothing I could find.

But in my forties I started to realize I could not make these people happy because they were never going to be happy.  I started to go to counselling and everything changed,  but that’s a whole other blog. My mother passed away, my husband couldn’t or wouldn’t change his abusive ways and tossed me out….. this time I went for good.

It took a few years to get right.  I didn’t just find my new found freedom and fly. I was depressed for a long time. I had lost my identity; everything I used to be was over.

TV became my new friend.  Now I could watch as much and whenever I wanted. I had never even heard of What Not to Wear but quickly became a fan.  I realized I still had those old voices in my head.  I was saying things to myself like; “I love that but I would never wear it”.  Why not? Too “gaudy”; my mom’s voice. not tasteful enough. When I had this realization, I went back and bought some sandals with rhinestones on them that I had loved and rejected. My ex would’ve hated them, too.

The other one was, “it’s an old lady’s store”.  I’m still laughing at myself…..  60 years old and I’m calling it an old ladies store. How much older do you have to be? Women half my age shop there, for Pete’s sake!

We don’t like to be judged by our clothes but it can’t be helped.  Clothes really do express you even if that message is ‘I’m depressed and have no self-esteem’ or just ‘I don’t give a shit’. That’s still expressing yourself.  I’ve been paying more attention to what I wear now and enjoying it.  I’m expressing my Self.

And there is no one to put me down…… only those telling me I look great.

Stacking firewood

Firewood warms you up three times;  Once when you stack it, once when you carry it into the house and last when you burn it.

Two weeks ago I had firewood delivered. It came in a dump truck and left a large mound at the end of my driveway. I had to cover it with an ugly blue tarp because, of course, it was delivered just before a weekend of rain. Only when I got it all covered did I notice mice had chewed out a corner of the tarp while it was folded in my shed and now that hole was perfectly centred on top of the pile.  I got another little blue tarp and a re-cycling blue box to cover the hole.  Talk about an eyesore.

My wood shed is on the other side of my house, closer to the back door.  Getting that mound moved looked daunting.  I figured; at least I have a few months before it snows so I can just chip away at it.  That’s what I did.  I would take 3 wheelbarrow loads of wood and dump it in the shed, then stack it. (I have to get those ‘log cabin’ ends just right.) I could get 3 or 4 trips done before my back was sore and I was tired. Yep, at 60 you have to pace yourself.

I really like this kind of work, this kind of lifestyle. The simple daily chores of keeping a house and looking after myself….. It’s a whole day!  But it’s a good day, a satisfying day. Almost monastic. However,  I’m looking for a job because I can’t afford this lifestyle. Just owning a house and car costs a lot of money.  I try to spend at least some time for job hunting everyday, but I found when I was out, all I wanted to do was get back and stack firewood.  Just chip away a little more of that pile.  Every day it was nice outside I would try and get at least a couple of loads done.

Yesterday I finished. It’s all stacked neatly in the shed and that ugly blue tarp is folded and hidden away. I was so happy! I just stood and admired it. I took some photos and posted them on Facebook, so pleased with myself that I did this all by myself. I can look and admire it from my bedroom window.

Last night we had a thunderstorm and it poured rain. I had such a cozy feeling with my wood all nicely tucked in.

So there’s a couple of life lessons here;  Sometimes a job seems like it’s just too much, too daunting. But if you can just chip away at it a bit at a time; you’ll surprise yourself how fast it can get done.  And it’s these types of accomplishments that are truly satisfying.


why am I doing this?

I don’t really know why I feel compelled to do this…. I have a lot to learn about blogging.  Maybe that’s part of it; I like to learn new things.  You CAN teach an old bitch new tricks!

I’m looking for blogs to follow which begs the question, “What kind of idiot starts a blog that doesn’t read other blogs?”  An old person?  We don’t even know where to look for blogs, if we even know what a blog is.  I found some on relationships which might be of interest but I’m still  looking for my peeps.

Sixty is an awkward age.  Are we seniors yet?  I wish I was….. at least I’d have a steady income.   On the Native Reserves we are Elders at 55. I like that!  An Elder.  I’ll have to make a new category for Elders.

So this page is for Elders.  I’m typical. My hobbies are making aprons and lamps. My fun is gardening and Zumba.  You know how they say “do what you love”?  Well, I tried and now I’m broke, looking for job I probably won’t like very much.  “They” must have enough money to dabble in their hobby.

Today I will learn some more about blogs.

my first blog

I’m 60 years old, single and unemployed. What a great time to start a blog! 

I ended up this way because I stuck out a bad marriage for way too long.  I didn’t think he was abusive because he didn’t beat me. He always promised to get better but he just kept getting worse.  People can make fun of Dr. Phil all they want but I have to say he made me ask myself some hard questions.  I went to counselling and discovered that I did, indeed, deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.  I needed someone to tell me that!

Unfortunately, my husband did not agree and is mad at me to this day for “changing”.  This change was standing up to him and wanting some happiness for myself.

I did it….. I started all over again at 55.  It was not easy.  I ended up in my sister’s guest room and got a job in a convenience store.  Disappointment is too small a word for what I felt.  Chest crushing, lump in my throat depression was what I felt for a long time.

I got a settlement a bought myself a small house at the beach.  Not on the beach, of course, but a few blocks away and surrounded by trees.  I couldn’t have landed in a better place; I’m so grateful.

I tried making enough money working for myself and doing odd jobs but my savings ran out and now I need a real job.  It costs a lot of money to live even when you own your house. And if you don’t like to live ‘in town’ then you need the money to keep a car.

So that’s enough of the past…. this is how I got here and now I’m moving forward.  I really just want to put away my firewood; clean up my garden and turn my compost, but I have to get a job.  At my age I’m wondering if I can work and keep a house.

I don’t know where this is going…. I only know I’m certainly not alone.  Too old to work….. too young to die!