A Saturday Off

Working in a grocery store, on cash and in the bakery, I usually work weekends. But today is Saturday and I do have the day off. I have time to linger on the computer and respond to this prompt;

What’s your ideal Saturday morning? Are you doing those things this morning? Why not?

I’m sitting at my computer in my pj’s and housecoat writing. I don’t care what time it is or what I look like. After this is posted I will be cleaning up my messy home (I had to work 4 days in a row!) so I will be able to enjoy the afternoon sun on my couch. I need sun bad and it’s still very cold outside. I want sun on my skin; soak it in like a sponge. My cheeks and chin is the only skin exposed outside and that has SPF on it.

But I wouldn’t be calling this an ideal Saturday. Ideal would be that my place is already clean; no hidden messes around corners, no mouldy stuff in the fridge, no piles of papers…… things I won’t even get to today. (But I will get that thing I think was guacamole)

If my place was all cleaned up and organized I would be able to sew or do some craft projects I have in mind but never do. I certainly wouldn’t drive to Sarnia or London to do WalMart on a Saturday. For that, I’m grateful I usually have weekdays off. I don’t need anything that badly.

But I can’t relax as messy as it is today. I have to do the things that are bothering me the most and won’t get to the messes around corners.

It’s not ideal but at least I’m not at that grocery store today. I don’t have to wear that uniform or a bra and get dressed in layers then go out in the freezing cold. Staying home, I can get my snow pants and jacket right over my soft flannelettes: its warm and comfortable. All I have to do outside is take out compost, bring in wood and feed my birdies.  I like doing that!

It’s sunny and quiet. It’s peaceful. That’s good enough! I’m happy just to get some housework done and relax today.




I’m going to cheat today and pull up an old post. (I have to leave for work soon.)  This is the scariest thing I have ever done:


Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?



Ipperwash Beach

At the foot of Lake Huron we have the beautiful Ipperwash Beach, renowned for its sandy beach and clear, shallow, water; perfect for families with small children and dogs.

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Ample parking space is available so beach lovers can enjoy the pristine nature and feel safe to let their kids play.   (Update; barriers have been removed so cars and trucks can drive on the beach.)

In the evening you can hear the sounds of whooping laughter, thumping bass guitars and the smell of campfires. Fireworks are popular all summer long: no special celebration required!  If you like to drink, BBQ and ‘rock-on’, you’ll love Ipperwash Beach…… a great place to let your pants hair down!


Perhaps peace, quiet and brooding is more to your liking: try a winter rental in a lakeside cottage for long days of bleak seclusion.

alone winter

Beside the once-renowned Ipperwash Park and close to the Pinery Provincial Park, Ipperwash Beach is a hidden jewel in southwestern Ontario.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Local Flavor.”      Write a piece about a typically “local” experience from where you come from as though it’s an entry in a travel guide.


W.P. # 40 Help someone to experience winter. is the prompt I’m picking today. I’m so frigging sick of winter I’m not saying frigging to myself. OK, I’ll say it; I’m so fucking sick of winter….. that’s how bad it is.

Today is -16 C with a -35 C windchill. That freezes your face in a few seconds.

I’ve been working 5 days a week because so many of our cashiers are in Florida or Mexico. I need the money, I have to go to work.

But first I have to feed the birds and squirrels. I can’t leave them without food in this weather. I put on my snow pants, snow boots, big jacket, hat and gloves just to go out in the back yard. (I do love the crunching squeak the snow makes under your feet when it’s this cold.) The snow is thigh deep in the back yard and I’ve tramped a path to the bird feeder (it’s a table; a buffet for all) but it still takes big steps to walk through the snow.

004(hubba, hubba!)

I undress from those clothes to change into my work clothes.

I really hate getting into my uniform; I wear long underwear under my polyester pants and a long-sleeved T-shirt under my white, button down shirt. I’m already uncomfortable.  If it’s been snowy, I put nylon pants over my pants so they don’t get wet when I brush all the snow off my car. Boots, coat, hat, gloves…… then I always hot flash. It doesn’t matter what shift I’m on or what time it is….. when I get dressed for work, I hot flash. There is an underlayer of sweat as I step out to the freezing cold. Uncomfortable is too weak a word, it’s torturous.

I sweep the snow off the windshield to find frost underneath. The scraper just glides over top of it; I have to work at it to chip away the ice. My coat is rubbing up against the car getting dirt and salt all over the front. The headlights are covered in ice, too.

Finally get in the car and realize there is frost on the inside, too. I forgot to leave the window open a little to let out the warm, moist air from my breath and hot flashes on the drive home. It impossible to scape off due to the angle. I can only wait for the defroster to clear the spot in front of my face….. now I’m getting late.

Living on Lake Huron we get frequent snow squalls off the lake. It can even be sunny out but the light snow will be blowing around taking visibility from bad to zero in a flash. The worst is when you can’t see the lines on the road. It’s scary. At night, driving into it, all you can see are thousands of white shooting stars hitting your windshield.

Yesterday was so cold; I had to go out and get shopping carts that people leave in the parking lot. We have a big thermal jacket and I got my hat but …. OMG! My face was so frozen it stung. I’m pushing carts through frozen slush, thinking about those lucky cashiers in Mexico; feeling very sorry for myself.

By this time I’m done in. Finally get off work and see there is a build up of snowy ice all around my wheel wells. I kick it with my heels, I pound at it with the scraper. I’m freaking tired and freezing cold and it won’t break. I’m ready to cry. I couldn’t get it. I could hear it scraping my wheels whenever I turned.

Today I’m off and it’s sunny. I have to do some shovelling but this afternoon I will be enjoying the sunshine on my couch. The light reflects off the snow making it extra bright in the house. It’s beautiful when you can stay home!


But I’m really, really sick of it.


Frozen Fortress

You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick?

That is exactly how I’m feeling these days; like I’m living in a private island.  Winter continues it’s annoying ways; it’s extremely cold and the snow is thigh deep anywhere I haven’t shovelling or stomped a pathway through.

The stomped pathway is to the bird feeder which is a table. I gave up on bird feeders the first year here when raccoons destroyed them. Squirrels are my friends, too, my totem animal, so they are provided with corn and a few peanuts for a treat. These are my companions in my little island dug out of the snow.

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Even though ‘having a job’ is keeping my sanity right now; they are also my captors.  Yesterday was my only day off in a run of 9 days when two weekly schedules collided in a explosion of ‘hours’.  Thankfully,  I’m on 5:00 to 9:00 tonight so I almost have today off.

(I was just writing on crazily, bragging complaining about all my hard work and isolation when I remembered the point and deleted my meanderings.)

My captors provide me with the five foods I need to sustain me in this isolated island that is my home. (At least I work in a grocery store!)

  1. Coffee
  2. Bread
  3. Cheese
  4. Potato Chips
  5. Chocolate bars


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Five a Day.”

Go to Work!

You picked a great day to ask me what I would get my clone to do.  My schedules have come together making this my only day off in a run of nine days. Although I did get one of those days ‘off’ when I left for work and turned back due to white-outs.

I’ve been driving to and from work in terrible weather and shovelling snow almost every day. Yesterday I was on the 5:00 to 9:00 closing shift in the bakery. I slept in the afternoon before work because I didn’t think I could do it.  I had to shovel snow in the morning and cried at the thought of driving to work again. Tiny icicles formed from my tears.

I did it. It was record cold last night so there weren’t many customers in the store. I finished cleaning and ‘closing’ at 8:30, asked if I could punch out and they let me.

Today I have to clear the snow off my satellite dish because there’s been no reception since the night before last.  Yesterday I was too tired to care. I use a chimney sweeping brush, which I can make very long and flexible with extensions, to reach up to the roof and knock off the excess snow.  (I missed the 40 year reunion of SNL last night; very disappointed.)

Where were we? oh, yeah….. the clone.  That would be so awesome to send her to work. She’d go to work with a big smile on her face; sharp, perky and ready to serve.

I’d be OK with clearing the satellite dish and bringing in wood; it makes me feel tough and resilient. I like working: I just don’t like having a job. “It takes up your whole day!”

We would share cooking but I hope she doesn’t eat. or talk.   hmm…. I do talk to myself a lot…..   She would have an ON-OFF button.

OK, she could do the satellite dish and bring in wood this one time….. right now, please.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Clone Wars.”

Old Man Winter is a Bitch

BluebirdI couldn’t resist doing the prompt this morning but I also want to catch up on my complaining.

Last time I wrote, the propane company was giving me the run-around. They showed up on Wednesday just moments after my niece dropped off my grandnephew for a visit while she went to the dentist. He’s 2 1/2 and loves trucks so it was pretty exciting to stand on the couch and watch this huge truck back in, beeping. I was very happy: not only playing with my grandnephew but getting the delivery, too.

My niece picked him up at 3:20. I went into work an hour later and worked until 9:00. The next morning I was supposed to be in at 10:00 on cash.

It started out sunny but lake effect squalls blew up. These don’t show up on the radar as intense as they are, so I started out for work figuring they would die down In a few hours.

When I got out to the highway I was in a total white-out. You could not see a thing; up, down or sideways. It was as if a white blanket was thrown over the windshield.  I started the “ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod……”  mantra, gripped the steering wheel and strained to see anything that would give a clue to where the road was. I saw the headlights of a transport truck only when it was very close. As it went by, my little car was blasted by it’s wake.  I was almost in tears looking for next road so I could turn around and go home. Peering into swirling whiteness and then..  yikes! I’m right beside it!  I did a quick turn and skidded into the snow bank but quickly recovered, (Thank God I bought this car with snow tires!)   I was still praying as I turned back on to the highway hoping a transport wouldn’t be coming up behind me.

I was shaking when I got home but so, so happy to be there.  Called into work; they were good. Turned on my heat, stoked up my fire and had a very relaxing afternoon. Lake Effect Streamers like this come in bands with sunshine in between. There were moments I was sitting in the sun going “YAY!”, so happy I did get the white -out to make me turn back and not forge on. At the time I would’ve been coming home it was just as bad or worse.

Today I’m working 2:45 to 7:45 (the cash shifts run like clockwork). It’s so cold……. record-breaking cold. It’s supposed to start snowing tonight and more tomorrow. Yep, I’m really, really sick of it.

I want to take the rest of the month off, please.

The Answering Machine!

Yes, the answering machine. The greatest thing since; “Sliced Bread.”

I hate to talk on the phone. I dislike chit-chat of any kind; “flapping your lips in the breeze” an old teacher used to say.  Say what you have to say and then say good-bye.  None of this, “What are you doing?” (stop and talk to me)

The telemarketers never reach me. Now there is ‘call display’ which is worth every penny. If I don’t recognize the name, I don’t pick it up. (And it gives me a moment to prepare if it’s from work or the ex.)

It was a very happy day when I found out I could turn off the chat on Facebook.  I would only go on very early in the morning for fear I’d get the pop-up. “HI! what are you doing?”  Seriously? I’m on the computer on Facebook, obviously.  Then try to have a conversation by typing; oh, yeah, drag it out long and slow. It’s not on for my dearest friends because they know I hate to chit-chat. If something is going on, I’ll post it.

It’s not so bad these days with cordless phones but back in the day when you where tethered to the phone by a 3 foot cord, it was torture. I guess that’s the roots of my phone phobia. We had a business so people called us all the time; when the answering machine came into being, it was such a blessing!  ‘Just leave a message and we’ll get back to you’….. YES!

Now I rarely answer the phone. With e-mail and Facebook I can keep in touch with my friends easily.

Just say what you have to say and keep it succinct. The answering machine whittles down all the B.S. and just gets to the point.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Sliced Bread.”

Seizing Today

Even though there are good prompts today I’m inspired to be in the moment and just write. I’m feeling pretty good for no particular reason other than its a sunny day and a murder of crows is coming in to check out the bird/ squirrel feeding platform.

They fly in from the woods and perch in the trees. A few will go down to the ground and pick out some corn while others stay perched, keeping an eye on me. I swear; they do! If I go to the window they will warn the others and they’ll all fly off, squawking.

There’s a bright, blue sky, crisp and cold. Yep, still no propane. I phoned this morning at 8:05 to see if they had the extra money I had sent. ‘No, it’s not in their account yet.’  I assured them I sent the rest but she said, “We’ll let the driver know when the money comes into the account”. But will she remember to check?  (I hate them)

But I’m not going to let those mo’ fo’s get me down. I have my wood stove and all available electric heaters going full tilt. It’s up to 20 C already. There’s no wind and the sun’s coming in so its warming up nicely.

Yesterday I had some rest; by the time I shovelled and brought in firewood I could only melt into my couch. It stayed cloudy but I still worked on the jigsaw, had a nap and went to Zumba last night. I always feel better when I go to Zumba and it lasts into the next day. (I wasn’t very good: flopped around like a petulant teenager but at least I did it)

So today I’m broke and my feet are cold but I’m still feeling good. Payday is tomorrow so my coffers will be filled. I have food and alternate heat sources.  The squirrels are chasing each other and the crows are complaining. I love them all.

One thing about the sun shining is seeing dusty messes and sooty cobwebs that have been hidden in the gloom of winter. It looks like a set in a Tim Burton movie.

I have to get off this computer and down to the sunny, warm end of the house. I’m Carping this Diem!

carpe diem