Message to Ellen; Help Me, Please!

Today’s prompt allows us to send a message to anyone in the world. Since so many of you are going to write to the world leaders for peace, that ground is covered.  I’m going to be selfish and send a message to Ellen DeGeneres.

I’ve often tried to send messages on her website begging for tickets to 12 Days of Giveaways, a new car and even renovations but she hasn’t responded yet.  I know I’m Canadian and haven’t done a lot to help the world so that’s two strikes against me. However, today I’m going to take this opportunity to send this message;

“Oh, Ellen, I need help!  I’m 61 years old, living alone, struggling to pay bills and my car needs to be scrapped. I try to be positive but it’s getting harder and harder. I need hope. I need something wonderful to happen to me. I don’t want my family to worry about me or pity me anymore. A new car and a box of money would change my life!  Thank You, Ellen!”

I already feel pathetic asking for that: a new car and box of money would change a lot of people’s lives. Who wouldn’t want that?

I have a house and a job and the bills do get paid; for that I’m grateful.  But I can see myself jumping up and down on the stage with my face in my hands in total surprise at my new car and $20,000! That would sure give me a boost!

winning

I’ll call it ‘visualizing’.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/make-it-count/

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What the hell?

Today’s prompt asks us to write about anything for 10 minutes, no more, no less. So I’m going to use this time to tell you about Kim Kardashian’s phone app.  This is the phone app she is making millions of dollars with. Yes, millions of dollars. And what did she do? She thought it up.

I knew this a while ago and thought it was darkly amusing but recently I found out what, exactly, the app is all about. It’s about getting on the A-list. I gather that’s the list of people who gets invited to all the right parties and this app tells you how to get there. You pick out the right dress and shoes, hairstyle (I assume you get lots of extensions) and then you pick out the right friends who will further you’re way to top.

I repeat, she is making millions of dollars on this. I work for minimum wage and it’s physical, tiring work.

Oh, the inequalities of life!

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/ready-set-done-2/

Autumn Rapture

fall

You may have guessed from the title; I LOVE the fall!  Here, in Ontario, Canada the ‘turning of the leaves’ is an event. The news has started its “Colour Watch” to show where the peak colours are happening.

It’s just started here; the Sumacs are turning bright red beside the golden orange of the Kentucky Coffee tree. The Copper beach is starting to live up to its name. In a week or two the morning sun will light it up as if the leaves were made from fine sheets of copper, dazzling!

I’ve seen a few maples turning on my drive to work. The woods behind my house is still mostly green but climbing up one tree is a beautiful display of rusty-brown Bittersweet vine with bright orange berries. In the forefront is the purple hue of wild grapes, although I’ve already picked the best ones for Wild Grape and Apple Jelly. They are in my freezer in a clear plastic container so I can admire them; frozen purple pearls. I’ll make the jelly later on in the fall to give as Christmas presents.

The only coloured maples will be the fake ones I’m putting out today.  A bouquet of red maples leaves and ornamental grasses goes in front of my houseplants to brighten up the green. The antique cups and saucers above my cupboards get pushed back and covered with coloured boughs of leaves and little pumpkin lights. At night the colour is warm and inviting. Night is coming earlier now….. by the end of November we will need to light up the gloom. For now the beautiful sunsets are coming at a reasonable time to end the day.

I washed my windows last week to make sure the colours are not obscured by dust and insect poo. This time of year I can just stand at the windows and enjoy.

I like it when it’s cool enough to use my wood stove.  I keep a pot of water on top adding Lavender flowers collected a month ago. Soon, when the frost starts, I’ll use cinnamon sticks and cloves; sometimes some orange peels if I’m eating one.

Then there is great fall food; squash with maple syrup, crisp apples and apple crisp. And pumpkins; I love pumpkins! I love to run my hands on their smooth skins. I love to see them lined up at the fruit stand.

pumpkin

Yes, fall is the best season! Spring is pretty but muddy. Summer is too hot and I have to work a lot catering to people on vacation. It’s a bummer.

Winter can be OK if you don’t have to drive to work and have lots of firewood to keep you toasty. But having to wake up early, in the dark and freezing cold, to make sure your driveway is cleared so you can risk your life driving to work and come home to a cold house is downright hardship! I am not looking forward to that in the least!

But then there’s Christmas decorating…….

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/autumn-leaves/

Daily Prompt; Please, Be Brief.

Today’s prompt asks us where we stand on brevity vs. verbosity.

I can’t stand blather. “Verbal diarrhea” is a term I learned from a high school teacher who not only said it to us but made sure we understood the meaning; when crap just pours out of the mouth, non-stop.  What makes it even funnier is that he taught geography. I remember it well because I thought it was hilarious and have used the term often.

I don’t like chit-chat. The answering machine was the best invention, ever. Call display is worth $5 a month.  I hated going on Facebook until I found out I could turn off the “chat”.   “What are you doing?”  Well, obviously I’m on the computer on Facebook.  Then try to communicate by typing? Slow torture.

I met a Zen Buddhist who tried to talk with the least possible amount of words. No lengthy descriptions or pondering thoughts…. sometimes he was hard to understand as he would leave out any words he deemed unnecessary. Maybe that’s taking things a bit too far but I respect the discipline.

There are many times when just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is required but some feel they have to explain first why they are going to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ then never get to it. You are supposed to glean the answer from their lengthy response. You listen and nod but go away thinking, “Did that mean yes or no?”

In my blog I write a lot more than I post. That is why it takes me so long to write one. I go through it and take stuff out that is not on point. I cut, cut and re-vise.

In the blogs I read, if they are too long and wander off topic, I won’t finish them. Just state what you want to say.

This is already over 300 words: ’nuff said.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/brevity-pulls/

Zumba Fights Depression

 

Today’s Daily Prompt asks us to talk about whatever we want. Perfect timing because today I’ve got Zumba on my mind; Zumba and depression.

I battle with depression. I don’t take antidepressants because it’s not the kind of depression caused by hormone or chemical imbalance. It’s the kind caused by being sixty-one and struggling to make barely enough money to pay my bills. I’ll save my complaints for other posts; I just want to make clear that this is the ‘drudgery and mediocrity of life’ kind of depression.

About 7 years ago my marriage broke apart.  We worked at our own business so I lost my job, home and mate all in one horrible day.  I was severely depressed for a long time. I ended up being the worst guest my sister ever had.

One day she pointed out Zumba was at the YMCA and the first one was free. It was advertised as ‘a workout disguised as dancing’.  I like dancing and my ex would “never dance” so I went.  An hour of dancing to pop music and I remember thinking, “I feel good!” I realized I hadn’t felt good in a very long time.

I’ve been going for about 4 years now although I tend to drop out in the summer.  The last two summers I have worked as much as I can. I live in a cottage/tourist area and get more ‘hours’ in the summer. On days off I try and keep up with my housework, inside and out. I have to admit; I get too exhausted to go to Zumba.  When I’m on my feet all day, the last thing I want to do is jump on them.

But depression creeps in. Working just to keep going to work is so depressing.  After working very hard the last few weeks, I was stiff and achy and would start to cry at almost nothing. All that freaking work just to pay my house insurance and try hard to think of it as; “yay, I paid my house insurance.”

Then I remembered Zumba. I had the day off; get back to Zumba, even if I just move from foot to foot in time the music.

I felt better right away. I drove home smiling! The shower was ecstasy!  Next day I worked with my boss and he didn’t bother me (hardly) at all. I found I could brush off his rudeness much easier. I could stop thinking about my co-workers and get some good sleep.

You have to fight depression. Sometimes it’s like pushing water uphill but you must make that effort or fall into a black hole of despair and self-pity.

Remember, I am not talking about clinically diagnosed depression. This is the depression that comes when you realize life doesn’t always turn out like you had planned so you better learn how to make the best of it.

This is how I feel when I do Zumba;

zumbaliscious

This is how I look;

aged zumba

But remember this;

how to see

I downloaded our newest Zumba number…..now I can stomp on depression at home!

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/ready-set-done/

 

Daily Prompt: “Uuhhh…..”

 “When was the last time you were completely stumped by a question, a request, or a situation you found yourself in? How did you handle it?”

Working with the public you get asked some stupid questions but you mustn’t laugh in their face and say “seriously?” or shake your head and sigh.

You glaze over your eyes and put on a frozen smile. “Just one moment, I’ll go check…..”. Go to your supervisor, who barely tolerates stupid questions from you already, and repeat the question.

This happened when I first started at the bakery.

“What’s the best cake for a diabetic?”  an elderly lady asked.

I turned and repeated the question to my boss who sneered back as if I was stupid for not knowing…..  “VaNILLaaaa”

I kept the frozen smile and turned back to the customer. She made a little face as if to say ‘oops!’  and said “I didn’t know”

“me, neither.” I said.

We bonded like a couple of kids who just got scolded; heads down and snickering.

 

Footnote; I have been asked that question again and said “all cakes have sugar but vanilla has a little less”    But in my head I was yelling, “are you kidding me? no cake at all is good for a diabetic!!”

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/curve-balls/

A Timely Reminder

Today I woke up with that “here we go again” kind of feeling. Yesterday was my day off: I’m going back to work today to do the ‘closing’ shift;  3:00 to 9:00 p.m. It involves a lot of cleaning; huge baking sheets, sticky scoops, knives, buckets, etc., and ending with mopping the floors. I used to say “at least I don’t have to mop the floors” but now that I’m doing this shift, I have to.

So this morning I felt the weight of drudgery on my aching body. My own place needs a lot of work, both inside and outdoors, that’s getting me down, too.  Today the Daily Prompt was “list 5 things you’d change about your life then write a blog from the day when those things are all crossed off.”  Holy Moly, where do I begin? ‘Five things’ is just about everything and then write about a day about when you have everything. I don’t feel like delving into some fantasy and spend my precious morning writing about it. That will get me nowhere fast.

But something I read this morning helped me quite a bit and that was this article in Huffington Post. It’s from a larger series called “Why didn’t you just leave?”  It’s the common question asked to women who’ve lived with abusers but chose to stay. I just read the first one and it hit home. It’s from a woman who was not beaten but verbally abused for years. Her story explains so well at why she stayed with an abuser.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/12/why-didnt-you-just-leave-family_n_5805614.html

He is your mate that you have been intimate with for years. There are good times between the bad times. You keep hoping this intelligent person will see the light and care about what he his doing to you. But it just gets worse.

Lissette had two children and wanted to keep her family together. After seeking treatment for herself she realized what the verbal abuse was doing to her and her children. That’s when she tried to get out.

Her husband shot her, then himself while their children were home. Miraculously, she lived but her children are traumatized.

This tragic story was just what I needed to hear today to remind me not to fantasize about ‘how life could be’ if everything was perfect but how life would be if I’d never left.  I got out without any violence. I have my own house and my own life. My job is physically demanding but I’m doing it and paying my bills. That makes me proud of myself instead of having to hear how incompetent I am everyday.

I’m going to do some housework, try to catch a nap, go into the afternoon shift with a smile on my face and pat myself on the back when I get home.

The ‘work marathon’ is over. Next week I have three days off in a row and beautiful fall weather. I am SO looking forward to that!   Hopefully it can bring back some frivolity and humour to this blog!

 

 

 

It’s a Beautiful Day

Oh, today, today…. I love today. I’m relishing today.

I haven’t posted much lately except to complain about work. I’ve been working a lot of hours and I am, after all, sixty-one years old. My co-workers can scoff at this as much as they want and they do; downright nasty sometimes.

I’ve had a couple of days off here and there but not two together and not good weather. Friday was a humidex of 39 C so I was just as happy to relax indoors but I’m starting to feel cut off from nature.

Yesterday I worked 3:00 to 9:00 p.m.; my first ‘closing’ shift. I was scheduled to come in today at 9:00 a.m. which is just plain cruel. When I went in my boss asked me if I wanted to change my shift from Sunday to Monday, I just about hugged him which would have been extremely uncomfortable. I did put my hand on his shoulder and say “YES!”

So today is doubly happy as I wasn’t expecting it. It’s going to be 23 C, no humidity and I have a pile of woodchips to mulch with. I’m going to call a friend who wants to help dig up and divide my day lilies. I can open my windows and curtains. This is how life should be!

This post isn’t just to complain, although it works for me. Its to talk about being sixty, single and surviving. It’s not easy. Seeing retired couples enjoying their lives I feel betrayed by my ex-husband. Others my age, who also work, have someone to make them a meal and listen to how their day went. The two people I work with who are rude and irritable both had most of the Labour Day Weekend off while I worked straight through for 6 days. I can’t get over how crappy they treat me and it’s not hard to imagine the way they talk behind my back because they do it while I’m right there in the room. Unbelievable behaviour.

Enough of that! I’m going outside to work in my garden with the flowers, birds and butterflies and be healed.

Hope we all have a great day!

My Day Off

This is the day off I’ve been waiting for: six days of working in a grocery store for the Labour Day weekend and now it’s over.  Last night I cheered as they showed the exodus back to the city on the news. Yay!  Good riddance!

Instead of constant traffic on my road there is just the occasional car.

What happens to people on the Labour Day weekend? It’s a crazed frenzy as if the world is coming to an end so we better have a great time, lots of fun and the best food.  We want everything and we want it now!

“You don’t have any English Muffins left? But I want English Muffins!”

“What, you’re all out of Snickers Explosions? I have to choose from the other 10 cakes you have? Can you make one up?”

The best part is when they mindlessly tell us to have a good weekend. Yeah, we’re here.

But today they are all back to their grinds and I’m off.  I am tapped out. This much work at 61 years old is too much……  I’m exhausted but also proud of myself for doing it.

I hope to make enough for my house insurance. I should say ‘yay’ but I wish I made enough for disposable income.  (I love that term “disposable income” -when you have so much money you have to think up new garbage to buy.) I have to keep every penny I can from the next two cheques and hope I have enough to pay it.

 It’s 9:00 a.m. and I already have on Turner Classic Movies. Loretta Young is a mail order bride to Alan Ladd in the American Frontier. Robert Mitchum has come along; a handsome wandering minstrel.  Things are heating up. 

I’m going to walk really slow, not talk at all, eat a lot and watch TV.  I am taking this day off, off. Not like; have a day off and do housework. I mean this;

not doing shit