Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now

Write a post entirely in the present tense.

Eek! How embarrassing. You just showed up at 8:10 in the morning. I’m still in my pajamas and housecoat.

morning

I’m off work again today. This is alright: one day on, two days off, one day on, three days off. This brutal Arctic weather (I’m so sick of hearing Polar Vortex) means a lot less business in the store. Grand Bend is a summer beach town anyway so the population is sparse in the winter. Our freezer at work is full of cakes; we’re getting ahead. It sickens everyone how much we have to throw out but the display has to be there. The products all have to out because the one that isn’t there is the one the next customer wants.

I like doing my computer stuff with my morning coffee. The furnace is on in the morning so my computer/sewing nook is nice and warm. I’ve got the woodstove started;  I have to go check on it….. Facebook and WordPress cause me to go through a lot of kindling forgetting about the fire.

Yep, it’s burning nicely. The pan of water with balsam needles from my Christmas tree is starting to warm up. It’s getting so dry with the heat constantly going; the static charge is getting crazy! When I touch my fridge or thermostat huge sparks pop at my finger. I’ve even seen the sparks! I’m using that stupid Cling Free which I hate but my fuzzy throws are charged with an electromagnetic field.

Pardon me for how I’m (not) dressed. I’m still on my second coffee. I don’t like to be seen without my eyebrows on, it makes such a difference. Even going to Zumba last night, I didn’t bother with other makeup but I did my eyebrows. My face looks kind of greasy right now; first thing in the morning I splash it with water and blob on some Nivea.

Well, boys and girls, I didn’t want to write a long time today because it really cuts into my morning and I have lots I want to get done.  The sun is coming in more and more in the afternoon lighting up dusty corners and cobwebs. The carpet and floors really need doing.

And I have to make that date nut loaf. I started it yesterday, chopping the dates, pouring a cup of boiling water over them and put aside. When I was making a quick dinner before Zumba I came across the bowl of soggy dates. They are in the fridge so I’ll make it today….. if I remember.

Beautiful sunrise; hot pink clouds on bright blue sky.

It’s up now, my second coffee is done. Would you like me to put on another pot?  Aw, what’s that…. you have to go? (good)

(Oh gosh, I just got a look in the mirror….)

morning 2

Have a great day everyone!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/daily-prompt-now-2/

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Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course

Think about what you wanted to accomplish last week. Did you? What are the things that hold you back from doing everything you’d like to do?

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Last week I wanted to prove (to myself) I was competent at showing up to work on time and icing a cake. Sounds easy perhaps but I’ve had two major obstacles this week; age and weather.

Age, mostly! I could probably deal with the weather better if I was younger.  I would really like to make the money full-time would give me but I just can’t work that long anymore. I get tired and my brain starts to turn off. It reverts to childhood; sits down and says, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore and you can’t make me’

Then there’s the Polar Vortex to deal with. In yesterday’s post I wrote about the scary drive to work and what it takes to just get dressed for this weather. I own a house so the shovelling is all mine, too. Yesterday I had the day off so I shoveled my driveway which is two properties long as I live behind someone who doesn’t shovel or have to go out to work. This morning I had to take out my recycling box at the crack of dawn as the garbage truck comes very early Monday mornings. The windchill was -26, (yes, really) so I put on my ski pants, fleece jacket under my winter coat, hat under the hood, snow boots and insulated gloves and trudged out to the road with my blue box. (one thing I Iove about this weather is the squeaking snow) The winds last night have blown drifts into where I shovelled yesterday.

I have a wood stove so there is wood to bring in everyday or two. It’s worth the work. I have a propane furnace, also, but it would cost a fortune and I would still be cold if I didn’t have my wood stove. Besides, I love the wood heat thing. I like getting it and stacking it.

006this is September.

002this is now. I shovelled it out yesterday.

My shifts are 5 hours long, three days a week and that’s all I can handle. I only get a 15 minute break which is OK because the lunch room is cold. After 5 hours I’m tired and a fog starts setting into my brain.

Today I’m in from 1:00 to 6:00. I’m worried because I tend to fall asleep around 3:30.  I had planned on relaxing this morning, having an early lunch, then coffee and sweets at 3:00 that will take me to 6:00. But I’ve got shovelling to do again and need to bring in enough wood to last until tomorrow. In usual winter weather the wood stove would keep the furnace from coming on all day but in this weather I come home to the furnace holding at 18 degrees.  I turn the thermostat to 22, turn on the infrared space heater in the kitchen, bathroom electric heater and stoke up the fire. I change into my dirty work winter wear, feed the birds (outside) and bring in more wood if needed.

Then there is the ‘icing the cake’ incident. I worked with my new cake boss who is a young man. He was showing me how to ice the large birthday cakes and was getting frustrated I wasn’t doing it well and fast enough. It was my first time and I’m sure I wasn’t that bad so when he said “here; you should be doing it this fast…… [slap, slap, slap, he’s done]” I felt somewhat incompetent but it was my first time for Pete’s sake! I’m sure I’ll get better.

This week I’m only scheduled for two days and I am glad!  This winter is a huge barrier and at my age it’s a lot of extra work. Enough is enough already!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/daily-prompt-barriers/

Daily Prompt: Your Days are Numbered [Going to Work]

It’s January 26. Write a post in which the number 26 plays a role. How about -26 C. That was the ‘wind-chill factor’ going into work on Friday. The actual temperature was only -17, but the winds picked up the light snow and shot it like a sandblaster. I looked out and saw there was only a little snow on the car, most of it was blowing around. What I didn’t see was the ice on the windshield under the snow. When I dusted it off I realized it was completely iced over because I’d gone out to Zumba the night before.  The car had warmed up then the first snow turned to ice. It took me an extra five minutes to scrape and I was covered in snow.

slippery

I have a new job and have to drive on Hwy. 26 to get there. This is a lakeshore highway so the winds are fierce. It’s also a major trucking route being close to the U.S. border so there are lots of big rigs on the road.  When the snow plow goes over it becomes smooth then the wind and snow polishes it to a glassy sheen.  The salter/sander had only been on the opposite lane.  My little Focus can get pushed sideways when there’s a blast of wind making my whole body turn to mush. All you can do is pray to God you don’t start going off course. You can’t brake, you can’t turn the wheel…. you just have to hold steady and pray. Then a big rig goes by in the opposite lane spraying the windshield with a salty frozen mush completely blinding me.  I curse at the windshield wiper I paid big bucks for; a ‘really good’ windshield wiper so it wouldn’t miss in front of my face but it misses in front of my face. I have to crouch low, my knuckles turning white from gripping the wheel.  I swear a lot at times like this.  It’s a release from the fear and keeps me from whining.

It should take me 20 minutes but it takes at least 1/2 hour plus the time I need for dressing. I have to add another 10 minutes to my time just to allow for all my clothing. The uniform is black polyester pants with a belt, white button down shirt with black zippered sweater, (a small, pain-in the-ass zipper that won’t start), and the apron when I get there. (All polyester, except the shirt which is 26% cotton)  Now with long johns and T-shirt underneath , getting dressed takes some time to get all the layers over-lapped properly and then get my boots and coat on. By the time I get there I have to pee again from morning coffee and fear but first have to get my shoes out my locker so I can take off my boots. The floors are wet from everyone’s melting boots; learned that the hard way. The coat rack is jammed with huge fat coats. I go to the washroom; again all the layers now adding the hair net, hat and apron.

By the time I get to my station I’m exhausted and want another coffee. Can’t do that, though, because I would have to pee again in 26 minutes.

It will be so great in the summer when it’s 26 degrees out and it only take me 26 minutes, house to station.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/daily-prompt-numbers/

Footnote; it’s all true except it’s Hwy. 21 and my shirt is 60% cotton.

Dreaming July 30th, 2014

One of the good things about having a job is having a Day Off.  Today I have a day off so I can take the time to write.  July 30th I will still be working and really like my job but if I had a choice, it would be my day off. I’m going to jump ahead to that day, at 10:22 p.m. when I am writing an e-mail to a friend.

Hi (your name here)!  It was my day off and had a beach day with the kids. C+K both had the day off, too, and brought  M+M.  J+W are staying with my sister’s for the week. Luckily we were able to get into Stony Point. This used to be Ipperwash Park before the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point took it back from the military. It was ‘borrowed’ in WW2 for training troops with the promise it would be returned when the war was over. It was not returned.  The beach there became Ipperwash Beach Provincial Park, run by the government. You might remember the big story about Dudley George being shot and the Ipperwash Inquiry that followed. (Google it) Yep, that was all right here.  Anyway, it’s been closed to the public ever since then. They have a gate and booth set up just like at customs only a lot rougher. It’s kind of anarchy but, for now, they are letting Kettle Point band members use the beach.

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Since most of the family are band members we loaded up two vans and set out for the beach. I usually like the stretch of beach at the end of my road because they don’t let vehicles drive on it but it’s totally packed in this heat. The parking lots are full and if you find a spot on the beach it’s somebody’s volleyball court. And you know those kids are all peeing in the lake. Stony Point, on the other hand, has plenty of space and beautiful sand hills with pines and birch behind the beach. It’s not stony, it’s all sand and very shallow so it’s perfect for kids.  And with kids, coolers, chairs, beach toys and blown up dinosaur, it’s nice to just pick a spot to park and keep the sliding doors open. We set up between the two vans putting the chairs in a semi-circle facing the beach. The kids are always so excited they just run into the water, screaming. Will tried to follow but he’s still scared of the water and started to cry when they left him behind. We all took turns carrying him out to watch the girls play but he’s just too damn heavy! You have to walk a long way out for it to even be up to your waist. When you see grown ups walk out and stand there….. you know what they’re doing.

I like to go out on my boogie board and just lie on my belly. You’re in the water but lying in the sun, too. Easy to get fried! I can hang out with the kids playing and get a little exercise paddling around. And it gives me something to do when I have to watch them do hand stands 150 times.

Awesome day! It was great to be all together and just laugh about stuff. I’m so happy to have them in my life.

I came home, had a shower and tried to have a little nap but I couldn’t BECAUSE I had a date tonight! My first date in forever. He comes to get his bread sliced where I’m working. I thought he looked pretty good for our age but didn’t know if he was married or what.  Last week I ran into him at the drug store and we got into a conversation; he’s a widower and asked me if I wanted to go out for dinner. I said I’m kind of a pain, being vegetarian and all, and he said he knew a great vegetarian restaurant in London. I’m still very nervous about letting someone I just met know where I live so I asked if he minded if we met at a local restaurant parking lot. He said, “no, I think that’s wise”!

We went to SoZen …. really good except very overpriced for what we ate. He didn’t seem to mind, good sign, he even ordered tempeh, said he loved tempeh. Can’t believe it…… I almost don’t. I think I really like him.

I’m writing because it’s getting late and I’m wide awake! I have to be in at 9:00 tomorrow because I’ve got a special order birthday cake to be picked up at noon. I’m just too excited to sleep! What a day!

Life is sweet!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/daily-prompt-future-3/

Footnote; I really hope I’m not having a bad day at work July 30th and then go back and read this. No, I have not met anyone. There is no restaurant named SoZen. I am fantasizing. NO!…..  I’m VISUALISING!

Daily Prompt; My Current Event

Oh, good! A chance to talk about the best news I’ve had in a long time. I got a job. Not only a job but a good job; a job I might even enjoy going to. I’m going to decorate cakes!

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I have worked in a bakery before and watched the cake girl have all the fun. Her own station and just cakes….. I coveted that job. Everyday a new creative challenge. Coloured icing, sprinkles, decorations, airbrushes, who wouldn’t want to play with them?  One slow day she let me try to write my name in icing. That is the extent of my experience.

The job posting came in on Saturday night on the eve of a huge snowstorm promising to dump 35- 40 centimetres of snow followed by record-breaking cold temperatures. The posting said ‘apply by fax or in person.’   Who the hell faxes anymore? I tried the Windows fax in my computer but didn’t have a modem.

Sunday morning I awoke to a full blizzard. At least no one else was getting to the store either and the office would be closed. But I wasn’t going to let this stop me, I knew I had to be Working the Fast Lane to get my application in.

I went on Facebook to complain and BAM! two offers to fax it for me. So I e-mailed my resume to Vancouver to a friend who faxed it to Grand Bend for me.

Monday morning the storm had died down somewhat but winds were still whipping snow into whirlwinds creating white-outs.  I started to shovel out my doorways and walkways but it was so cold and the snow was very heavy so I could only handle about 1/2 hour at a time

The snow plow guy has a cell phone but all day I just got the message that “he was not available” and had no answering machine.  That continued into the evening. The next morning, getting the same message, I messaged a friend on Facebook who lives near him to find out if he had a new business number.  She found out his plow was broken down.

I went back on Facebook to complain.  Got another snow plow guys number but his battery was frozen. By now the cold front was in full force with wind chills of -35 C.

So I went on Facebook to complain again. (When you are alone and have no one to complain to, Facebook is great.) While I was updating my status I heard an engine. I ran to the window and there was my neighbour, on the coldest day of all, on a tractor with no cab, plowing me out! I opened the door and waved like a crazy person and he just gave me a half a nod. Hallelujah!

I got all bundled up in my ski pants and arctic wear and went out to shovel my way to the car. 007Again, so cold your skin freezes. I shoveled out my car, cleared it off and ran it for a while.

The next day was clear and I got ready to go. I was very nervous but when I got to the grocery store that was hiring, it was mayhem. Customers, employees and deliveries where just getting out from the storm. I stood in a spot by the customer service desk and filled out application. No one spoke to me or even looked at me. I didn’t feel hopeful.

But they phoned me that afternoon. I went the next morning and had a great interview.  She called me a ‘firecracker’ and ‘really liked my energy!”.  This was mostly caffeine and nerves but I just smiled.  She said it would be a few days as she had other interviews but she called back just a few hours later to say ‘welcome to the team’!

So happy!  I’ve been watching cake decorating videos on YouTube. Tonight the Cake Boss is on. I’m very excited…. I’m on Cloud 9!

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Footnote; Working the Fast Lane was about easing the restrictions for immigrants coming into Canada. It was from the London Free Press; (London, Ontario, Canada)http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/daily-prompt-current-event/

Daily Prompt: Colours: The Bluest Time of the Year.

Write about anything you’d like, but make sure that all seven colours of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — make an appearance in the post, either through word or image. (I corrected the spelling to Canadian)
Most people in the Northern Hemisphere would agree; this is the bluest time of the year. But at least the worst is over, we’re through the thickest part of the gloom-filled hump. It’s staying lighter longer and the sun is making it a little higher everyday. For a few weeks everything seemed to be in black and white with a whole lot of grey. The sun would try to slowly creep in too late in the morning, hide its face behind a row of cedars then sink again, too weak to reach the tops.
 When the darkness was starting late afternoon, Christmas decorations and a Christmas tree helped tremendously. I still feel like a child in wonder when I light up the evening with the tree; it glows and sparkles with crimson red,  emerald green and silvery white balls. Icicles catch the lights and play with all the colours. Its merry and bright; the lights and colours seem to laugh, giggle and sing twinkly little  songs.
After New Year’s they get tired. Their garish display is getting old like a fading Hollywood star.  I hear a faint carol from the red and green balls as I lay them in their beds for another year.
By now the  early morning darkness turns to pink and the snow takes on a violet hue. A fiery orange globe starts burning through the leafless trees then turns to a bright yellow; the sides of Paper Birch light up, calling back the same tones.
But my very favourite colour of this wintry season is the colour of the snow at twilight; just after the sun has gone down but it’s not quite dark, the snow is bright indigo. Its electric blue and glows as if there is a great light underground. It’s the most beautiful colour of all, it vibrates; my eyes drink in the beauty of it.
I understand completely why so many people don’t want to stick out winter in Canada if they don’t have to. But for all the gloom and hardship, I would miss the changing of the seasons.  Without this, spring would not be so anticipated. I think I would tire of a garden that always needed work. I like it hidden away and forgotten then watch it slowly return as the snow melts away.
Each season has it’s own beauty and colours. What a beautiful world we live in.
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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/07/daily-prompt-colors/

Get That Thighmaster Away From Me: Why I’m Afraid of Menopause

re-blogging a good article today. I have to say I experienced everything that’s on this very eloquent list. Menopause used to be called “The Change in Life”. It certainly was for me. Thankfully the worst is over; I made out to the other side.

reliablyuncomfortable

pauseI’m afraid of menopause.

There. I said it.

This is not a baseless fear.   I’ve read a lot of articles about the subject.  All the articles seem to say the same things, and I have no idea which are myth-ish, and which are legit.  If I were to believe everything I read, this is what I’d expect from menopause:

  • I’m going to turn into a ravening harridan, totally irrational, ruled only by my run amok, dying hormones.
  • I will have hot flashes that make me turn bright red and pour flop sweat at the most inconvenient moments, like when I give a presentation to a Board of Directors
  • I will have the sensation of bugs crawling on my skin
  • I’ll get fat and sprout hair where I don’t want it, and lose fat and hair where I do want it
  • I might get a deeper voice and bigger feet

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