It Was Alright!

Yesterday I wrote about not wanting to go into work because of the blowing snow and a wind chill of -21C. I phoned in that I would be late then phoned in again that I would be even later.

There were bands of snow that would break open to sunshine then a minute later be swirling, snowy white-outs.

I was tired of being anxious and tracking the radar so I finally left about 10:30.

It was rough going, at first, as the highway by me is flanked by fields so the snow blows straight across the roads. Further up the road is lined with trees so it wasn’t so bad. The plows, and sander/salters were out.

It turned out to be a good day.  No one cared I was late as there were already 3 people on in the bakery. It worked out better for them because I stayed later giving my co-worker a chance to go home an hour early and my boss extra time for a break. He was doing a 16 hour day….. and he was in a good mood! go figure.

He’s training me on ‘breads’ (I do cakes) and was remarkably patient and nice; not his usual demeanor.

A good looking man who works in another grocery store was shopping in my store and said ‘hi’ to me.  I was suddenly an adolescent; ‘He said Hi to me!!’

The drive home was blowy but the sun was setting turning all the snow into a golden haze…… it was surrealistic! I felt joy….. seriously, joy!  I did good job, made it home again and experienced Beauty.

Today I’m in 11:00 to 5:00 ….. awesome hours! Time to write before I go in and now it’s still light out on the way home.

I made it through January!

https://theywalkthenight.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/writing-prompt-25/

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Early Morning Anxiety

This is the reason I don’t like working in the winter. I’m supposed to start today at 8:00 a.m. which I hate doing even in the summer. Winter is just too hard.

We had snow all afternoon and night yesterday and now it’s blowing around. This was on Facebook this morning:

Lambton Shores Road Conditions

Plows are out but honestly you can’t tell after they have gone by as it is snowing and blowing so much. Visibility in Forest is terrible… Hate to think of what it is like outside of town. Stay home if you don’t have to go out!

I don’t know how much snow is on my car and driveway because its pitch black outside.  The sun isn’t rising until 7:15 which is the time I would have to leave to drive in this crazy weather.

So I’m going to be late. I’m waiting until there’s some light before I go outside and start sweeping snow.  I might even call in at 8:00 and tell them I’m not leaving for an hour or two.

What’s even worse is that I’m on 8:00 to 4:00. That’s an 8 hour day which is too long for me.  When it’s an 8 hour shift you have to punch out for an hour lunch. What a waste of time. The lunch room is so freaking cold you have to sit on your coat so the vinyl chair doesn’t suck all the body heat out your ass. I’ll have to go out and shop to kill some time when I will be dying to go home.

I’m up drinking coffee and giving myself lots of time to clear snow.

I don’t wanna go!!!

I might not.

Time to Think

Hhmmm….. I wonder what I would take if I was in a panic and had to decide right then and there , what 5 objects I would take.

Right now I’m at my computer drinking a coffee and have the day off.  What might be the 5 things I would take? Let’s see…. I’ll think about this while I sip on my coffee;

#1: cell phone  #2: pearls  #3: photos  #4: painting  #5: winter clothing which I would put on. (it’s probably from the woodstove so it will be cold outside.)

Well, that took a few sips.  Maybe I could think clearly enough if there was a fire and I could run around the fire and collect my stuff. But more than likely I would get dressed, run outside then cry all the things I should have saved.

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You know, I might just thank this prompt one day because now I will already know what to grab…. as long as I can think clearly.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Burning Down the House.”

Getting a Job

When was the last time you were ready to throw in the proverbial towel? Did you end up letting go, or decided to fight on anyway?

I really thought I could work for myself and get by. That’s what I had been doing most of my life but it was a partnership with my husband and we had built up that business over many years.

My house is paid for from my separation so at least I didn’t lose all those years of work.  When you have a mortgage you think it would be so cheap to live without it but it isn’t. It’s surprising how much it costs just to own a house and car.

I started to make lamps …. it takes a long time to make a lamp; I have a few of them around my house.

I made spring rolls to sell around here in the summer to the tourists from the chip wagons.  Very few people want something healthy at the chip wagon.

My last venture, the one that made me give up, was making aprons. I tried for a year to make and sell aprons. Any fabric that is nice looking is expensive; fabric that is cheap is usually quite ugly. There was no way I could compete with aprons made in China and sold for $9.00. If I was tied to my machine working 16 hour days (as many people are) I couldn’t make enough to pay my bills.

That’s when I threw in the towel and admitted I had to get a job. Don’t get me wrong, I like working…… I just don’t like having a job. “It takes up your whole day!” –Eliza Doolittle

There are always plenty of things to do around here.

At least, that’s what I thought. And that’s what I’m thinking when I have to leave my home and go in. (“I don’t wanna go!”) 

But all in all, it worked out great. I got a job I actually like and that’s all I could ask for! I’ve had some I really hated; scooping ice cream comes to mind.

Actually, I got two jobs in one as I was hired in the bakery but they also trained me on ‘cash’.  It’s great to have the two different jobs with a different set of co-workers. On cash, I can wear my hair out and meet a lot of people (OK; men). In the bakery I wear a hair net and baseball hat; not a good look for me but at least I’m a little more hidden away.

Today I was supposed to go in. We are getting a new oven in the bakery tomorrow so we were going to be moving all the boxes, containers, decorations and such. I was suppose to be on 9:00 to 2:00. Yesterday my boss phoned and said they got a lot done so there was no need for me to come in!  YAY!!!!!  Its like a bonus day!

You can’t get that when you work for yourself……there’s always something to do.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Enough Is Enough.”

He’s Gone…..

I really wanted to do this prompt yesterday but had I to go to work so I’m going to do it today, anyway.

Write a post about any topic you wish, but make sure it ends with “And all was right in the world.”

My ex-husband was here. I haven’t seen him in almost 3 years when he stomped out angry.

He called me in September to ask me to order slab wood; he would pay for it and just take some. He said he would come here in November. November came and went. I called him, got his answering machine; he didn’t return my call.  Same for December.

When I got the slab wood, (just lucky I had the money from getting my holiday pay) I phoned and he answered!  He asked what days I had off and said ‘OK’.

Didn’t hear from him; he just showed up on Tuesday. He had some good firewood with him which he unloaded and stacked right into my shed.

He was the same; gruff and negative. Nothing nice to say about anyone.

The next morning (no question about him sleeping in the guest room) he was angry because he couldn’t find something.  “It was THERE!” he kept insisting, yelling at me.  He finally found it in his pocket and gave a little, miserable, ‘sorry’.

“Be sure to get your chimney cleaned this summer.” he said.  He used to do that for me.

He loaded up his slabs and left… HE’S GONE: AND ALL WAS RIGHT IN THE WORLD!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Easy Fix.”

A Mountain of Wood

What was the last picture you took? Tell us the story behind it. 

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I took this picture yesterday to put on Facebook but forgot about it until I saw this prompt.

In fact; I wasn’t going to write today because I’m excited about putting it away. I really like doing firewood; just chipping away at the pile a few hours at a time is tremendously satisfying.

A huge dump truck backs down my drive and dumps it at the end. The woodshed is on the other side of the house in a sheltered spot that gets sun and is close  to the back door so I can bring it in without going through my living-room.

I’ve been 3 months on a waiting list for these; hardwood trimmings from a local mill. There are small pieces and large chunks; great for burning along with larger firewood.  I was hoping it would come before the snow but snow can be brushed off if it’s cold. It was delivered on a biting cold day but the next day thawed and called for rain. That’s the worst because it will get wet then freeze and be really hard to dry. So I went out that evening and got a huge tarp over it in the wind.  (I’m ept!)

A lot of people who live around here would just leave it out to get covered in snow and bring it in as they need it. Slackers.

Before it snows I use a wheel barrow. I dump three loads into the side then stack it. When there’s snow I use a toboggan and drag it;  a lot more work but great exercise. Today there is not much snow and it’s icy so I don’t know which method I’ll use.

This must be so boring for readers but not for me so I’m going to get dressed, have some oatmeal (with maple syrup, of course) and move some slabs! How’s that for Canadian!

I talked about my love of firewood in one of my first blogs, if you care to read it; it has a photo of my woodshed, too.

monicleblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/stacking-firewood/

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Moment in Time.”

Writing a Speach with Pens and Pencils

I used to do public speaking. I’m reluctant to say what the subject was because it’s spiritual and has nothing to do with the subject here;

When was the last time you wrote something substantive — a letter, a story, a journal entry, etc. — by hand? Could you ever imagine returning to a pre-keyboard era?

It takes hours to write a 30 minute speech. There was an outline, a formula to follow which I used as a template for the subject.

I had taken a creative writing course a few years before so I had learned how to organize notes and ideas to put together a finished ‘talk’. At that time computers were just coming into homes. They were the latest gadget;  about half the students in the class had one but they weren’t considered necessary for the course.

I remember the teacher saying asking ‘what is the worst thing about using the computer?’   They all agreed: once you have ‘erased’ something, its gone for good. Many times in editing you realize the line you crossed out with a pen is better than the change.

Ever forget to ‘save’ something on the computer after writing a long piece? It takes a few times before you get wise and it becomes a habit. I saved pages of stuff I wrote on paper that I didn’t use but would fit in other talks.  I might have deleted it on computer.

There is also the 3-dimensional aspect of organizing notes. I would have a bunch of papers laid out to put it all together, even cut and paste literally with scissors and scotch tape.

When it was done I would type it up on my fancy typewriter. (oops! not pre-keyboard!) It had a little screen showing the line you were typing for editing but only one line at a time and editing meant backspacing and re-writing. Afterwards I would pencil in directions (pause and look out) and do last minute changes.

The worse thing I remember was writing for hours then reading  out loud what I had written and it would be 10 minutes of talking. That’s when I’d go looking for quotations in books and write them out longhand. Wow….. now that I think of it…. a computer would have been awesome!

Nowadays I don’t do a lot of writing, only here on WordPress. If you’ve followed my blog you’ll know left a my old life behind at 55  and started again. Now I’m 62 and still starting…. what? I’m not sure.

That’s why I write!

In response to https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/pens-and-pencils/

 

A Different Life

It’s Friday night. You’re home alone.

This prompt reminds me of how different my life is than the ‘average’ life. It also has that irritating premise that everyone works Monday to Friday 9-5 and has friends and a social life.

TGIF is a popular term but if you are going to enjoy your weekend then just think about all the people who are working at stores, restaurants, theatres and bars. Cops, librarians and countless others work on weekends to make your weekend ‘a great experience’. (Our mission statement at Sobeys)

It’s Friday and I’m working tonight 5:00 to 9:00.  The sun is setting when I go in because it’s January which makes it extra depressing to go into work. When I have to work at night I’m like a little kid crying, ‘I don’t wanna go’ but once I get in under the blaring fluorescent lights and ‘popular’ music, I get into my routine and I’m OK.

If I wasn’t working Friday night I would be home alone and watching TV.  I’m a 62-year-old homebody and haven’t made any really good friends in the 7 years I’ve lived here. There are three woman in my neighbourhood who get together for ‘girls night’ every Friday and post their fun on Facebook the next day. I’ve never been invited. It hurts a little but then I remember that I don’t drink, which is the basis of their ‘fun’, and I’ve heard them all say nasty things about each other to me. Not missing much. Even if they did ask me, I’d be groaning that I didn’t want to go but I better get ‘out there’.

But tonight I’m working. It’s a four-hour shift which means I’ll make $44 dollars for all my efforts. The night shift at the bakery is cleaning and doing all the dishes. We still call them dishes when actually they are large baking trays, muffin trays and all the scoops, spoons, knives, spatulas and the like. All work counters are sterilized, bread slicing machine cleaned, floors swept and mopped, garbage taken away…… there’s more but I know its boring. My point is; people work hard behind the scenes in ways many overlook or take for granted.

I’ll get home tonight around 9:30. I started programming my heat to come on before I get home because it makes me feel happier to come home to a warm house. When I take off that uniform and put on my pajamas it’s a sensual delight.

If I was home all night, every night, I’d be depressed. When I come home from work I feel happy and proud that I can do this. I appreciate my home, heat and TV so much more!

So don’t cry for me, all you average and normal people. Just be cognizant of the people who are still working around you. Smile at that cashier, tip the people who serve you…… and enjoy your weekend.

https://theywalkthenight.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/writing-prompt-9/

A Shoe In India

I’m using this prompt and if I don’t get as many views, so be it;

Write about a shoe.

One shoe jumps to mind immediately. The shoe that stayed in India.

I loved those shoes. Black leather with flaps and a cool buckle on the side. They fit so perfectly, soft and comfortable: they were silent when I walked.

We were warned to lock all our luggage but there was no way to lock the side pockets of my backpack. “Who would steal one shoe?” I thought naively.

Luckily, both shoes made it to my destination. I must have packed them going there or just been lucky. But on my way home, somewhere on a crowded train platform, someone opened a side pocket and took a shoe out.

They didn’t bother with the other side. My guess is they just tossed it in disgust.

It was really hard to throw out that other shoe, as if it could replicate or call to its mate far away, lying on a train track in India.

This is me, many years ago, in India wearing both shoes. (I cut out my ex husband so I can still like the photo)

India

I don’t know who the guy is; he just wanted his picture taken with us.

Attachment; it’s insidious.

https://theywalkthenight.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/writing-prompt-9-2/

I just went to WordPress Daily Prompt and found I can use this for both prompts!

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/

Cold and Mad/ The Cost of Staying Warm

cold

Its happened again: I’m out of propane. It’s partly my own fault for not ordering sooner.  Friday it was just above 10% so I decided to phone Monday morning. But then it got bitterly cold. I used it up just keeping it at 18 C at night and while I’m at work. By Monday morning it was on ‘refill’. I phoned at 8:00 a.m. She said it would come within 5 working days. (Special delivery costs a lot)Today is Wednesday. They might not even come today.

I hate McRobert Fuels. I try hard not to hate them because it’s such a destructive, negative emotion but I can’t help it. Even though its a rude, heartless woman on the phone and e-mail, this is how I picture McRobert.

mr. Mcroberts

Last year was an extra cold, long winter; I ran up a bill that took me all summer to pay off. Consequently, they put me on a ‘pay first’ list so I have to phone in and put it on my credit card to get a tank of propane. Putting it on my credit card means putting off paying because I don’t have and extra $275 lying around.

I’m blaming my ex today, too.  He phoned in October, (out of the blue, after about 3 years of no contact)  and offered to help me with firewood. Order some slab wood, he said, he’d pay for it, bring me some firewood and take some slab wood home. That’s end pieces and slabs left over from a local sawmill. The smaller pieces help get a hotter fire.  A load of slab-wood is also $275 and it was supposed to be delivered a month ago.  Now I need regular ‘body’ firewood; cut and split logs. That’s $325.

If I got all I need now that would be $875. Mind you, some of that wood will take me into next winter.

When wood is delivered they back down the driveway and dump it at the end. If I order firewood and put out $325, the slab wood is sure to arrive. That means I won’t have enough money and my driveway will be entirely filled with dumped wood.  If I’d known the slab-wood was going to take so long I could’ve ordered body wood weeks ago when there was no snow!  Ggrrrr, I’m mad today!

Last  night I had two baseboard electric heaters going; one in the kitchen and one in the bathroom. I loaded up the wood stove before I went to bed. The thought of a house fire was on my mind. Thank God for my electric blanket! Couldn’t even use that room without it.

monicleblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/my-electric-blanket-my-love/

It was 14 C when I got up this morning. (Sorry, Americans, can’t remember ‘F‘ but it’s F‘ing cold) Turned up the baseboard heaters, turned on a couple more portable electric  heaters and got the woodstove going again. My Hydro bill (that’s what we called electricity here) is going to be sky high.

Right now I’m in my computer nook, far from my woodstove. I have a noisy radiant heater (loud fan) so I can’t listen for the “beep, beep, beep” of that propane truck backing down. Its all I want to hear right now.

I have to work tonight 5:00 to 9:00 and I really need a shower. It’s noon and I’ve got it up to 18 C. That’s the low temperature I keep the thermostat at. I’ve just got it up to how cold I keep it at night. Too cold to shower!

It reminds me of when you are driving and have to pee. All you can think about is somewhere to pee. I just want to see that damn propane truck backing down my driveway!

Bluebird

I apologize if there are any mistakes but I want to go back to my warm living room and look longingly out the window.

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Update: They arrived at 2:10, Yay!  I already had a shower because I couldn’t stand myself and they arrived just as I was drying by the wood stove.

I’m so relieved; I have time for a power nap before I have to get ready for work. I’m going to celebrate by setting the thermostat so it’s warm when I get home from work at 9:30 tonight.  OOooo, decadent!