I am a Stranger

Last night I had a reminder that I’m still a stranger around here. It’s strange, I’ve been living here for five years and don’t have a good buddy to do things with.

There was a local Haunted Hayride on the reserve last night: they go crazy for Halloween on Kettle Point. After 9:00 it would be a scary walk-through for teenagers and grown-ups. I wanted to go so bad. One person I knew was in it and another is in NYC for the marathon. I asked a person I’ve been trying make friends with and she said she was busy. I’m sure she thinks I’m the strangest person she’s ever met because she is most regular person I’ve ever met and gives me the vibe: she thinks I’m strange. There are lots of her but not many of me.

No way was I going to go to the walk-through by myself. I was desperate enough to post on Facebook , ‘is anyone going to the walk-through?’ but only my cousin in England responded. I am a strange stranger around here.

By 7:30 it was very dark and I didn’t want to go out any later (Yeah, 9:00 is late) and figured I could slip into the Hayride unnoticed. It was cold so I put on my down overcoat and fleece-lined black, brimmed hat. Not a good look for standing around with kids, I now see it: “Who is that weird stranger lurking with the kids?”

It was being held where they hold the Powwow, at the Elders Lodge; another reason I wanted to go. As I drove near I could see lines of lights strung up and a flashing ‘siren’ light over a chip wagon. I parked under some trees and walked over just as a tractor load of screaming kids was being hauled away. Recently I watched a movie where Russian prisoners were being shipped off to Siberia. That’s what the wagon looked like except they were screaming already. On the other side of the Elders Lodge I came upon the line-up. The long line-up of screaming children. No, not screaming yet….. more like a cacophony. There was at least 3 more wagon loads awaiting.

I went home and had a bath instead. I know I am strange to people, and I like people who are a little strange.

Today I’m going to a Halloween party in a nursing home…… oh, yeah, I know how to party!

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “strange/stranger/strangest.”  Use one, use ’em all, or just let them inspire you. Have fun!

http://lindaghill.com/2015/10/30/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-3115/

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Exploding Dough

Sunday I went into work at the grocery store bakery expecting a quiet day to catch up on making cakes and cream pies.  The baker gave me a grim ‘hello’ and our part-time student gave me a wide eyed, ominous look.  As I walked toward the hand-washing sink I saw a rack of exploded bread dough. They had over-risen, blown up and dough was dripping all down the rack. It looked like a cartoon.

I started to laugh but the baker came over…..not laughing. I grabbed my cheeks, “HO, ho, oh,no!”

“I couldn’t get in this morning, [employee X] didn’t leave me a key!” She was fit to be tied. I had to chew on my lips to not laugh.

We can’t have our cell phones on the floor but my co-worker often sneaks hers in.  I really wanted to go get my phone and take a photo.

“Don’t you dare!” she said, “I’ll kill you! I don’t want anyone to see this!”  She feverishly started cleaning it up; worried I would.

I didn’t think it was dying over at the time but I wish I had a photo. I tried to Google it and nothing was even close to the sight of a six-foot rack of exploded breads.  I can only hope it will happen again.

She already had a second batch of breads coming out of the oven but they were not risen well. I sliced a rack of breads that felt too doughy and they went into plastic too warm. I helped to get everything out on the floor, nervous that anyone would want pastries that I knew were expired. I sold a five-day old cannelloni; it made me hot flash. I almost said, “no, sir, you don’t want that”

We were just getting it all out when the phone rang. It was our night student she couldn’t come in. The manager asked how late we would stay……  not until 9:00, maybe 6:00 or 7:00. He said, “OK, girls, see what you can do and close the bakery early.”

I still had cakes to make that weren’t even in the display.   Our big boss would walk by and look at the empty spaces.  I told the baker I had to break off and get my own stuff done. Her shift was over at 2:00 and she was exhausted.

Long story, short.  I got the bare necessities done, spaces filled, the student did all the break-outs for the next day, then we both did everything we do on the night shift and closed the bakery at 6:00.

It all went wrong but we rose to the challenge. I still regret not getting my phone and taking a photo of that rack.  It was so damn funny!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Comedy of Errors (and bonus assignment!).”

I hope I remember tomorrow’s assignment.

Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did — fiction encouraged here, too!

Bonus assignment: do you keep a notebook next to your bed? Good. Tomorrow morning, jot down the first thought you have upon waking, whether or not it’s coherent.

Beefless

Today’s SoCS prompt is beef; I’m vegetarian. It’s been around 35 years since I’ve had beef. I……

oh shit, I just deleted a bunch of stuff forgetting it was SoCS.  I disqualify myself.

But while I’m here:

vegan

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours.  Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

http://lindaghill.com/2015/10/23/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-2315

 

Daily Prompt; A Dog

Was there a toy or thing you always wanted as a child, during the holidays or on your birthday, but never received? Tell us about it.

When I was a kid, I wanted a dog so bad. I loved dogs, still do.

My first dog love was Sparky,  a cocker spaniel owned by my mom’s choir director.  There is a photo in the family album (which I don’t have) of me hugging Sparky on her porch. I can still remember playing with him in her basement while they made Christmas corsages in the kitchen.

My parents were not dog people and my sister was very afraid of dogs.  A dog fight happened on her lap when she was very small and she never got over her fear.

Looking back now I wonder about my parents thinking, as I often do.  One child begs you constantly for a dog and another is afraid of dogs.  You have a house in a quiet neighbourhood and a big back yard. Would you not get a puppy? Maybe my sister would have gotten over her fear of dogs.

One day I came home with a kitten and begged them to let me keep it. I named it Madeline after my favourite book even though it was male. I think it was afraid of me. I remember my parents telling me “Cats don’t like to be mauled”…….. like dogs. I don’t remember developing a bond with it.

I guess it was a good thing because a couple of years later my dad was transferred to Toronto and we moved into an apartment.  It was meant to be temporary while my parents could agree on a house to buy but they never did buy a house: we just moved to better apartments.

(A common theme in their marriage: )https://monicleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/the-temporary-table/

As soon as I lived in a house…… in my twenties, I got a dog. Max.

I don’t want to write about my dogs…. Max, Nels and Betty.  I loved them so much I’m starting to cry right and that’s not what this post is about.

I wanted a dog as long as I can remember and was a ‘dog person’ all my life but I don’t want another, nor a cat. I don’t want an animal to look after and the costs now are just too much.

I ‘gave’ myself dogs and had three wonderful, loving kids that got old and died. That’s enough for this lifetime.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Out of Your Reach.”

Renovating Superhero

I would be the Ravishing Renovator; able to do renovations with just the wave of my hand. Or maybe a little stick with sparks flying out the top.

oh

That old, shallow, grey tub with the yucky walls…… gone! Et Voila! a beautiful deep bath with shiny clean walls.  Since I’m mystical I might as well make holographic walls that make you think you are in Fiji or the Caribbean.

That old countertop….. no, wait, I’m magical……. the whole damn kitchen completely renovated.

After I’m done my place I could hire myself out, work part time and be rich!  And beautiful, of course. Totally believable!

Maybe if think really, really positively and CHOOSE to be a renovating superhero, it can happen……..

oh crap

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Do you Believe in Magic?.”

Polishing My Knuckles

Daily Prompt; Tell us about something you have done recently that has made you really, unabashedly proud.

003This may look funny to some but I’m proud of my new walk-way. I needed something there and don’t have much money so I was so happy to be given these. They are thick and heavy, not like the flimsy little ones I was thinking of buying that were still too much money for me to spend.

My new neighbour is a nice young man, respectful of an older woman like myself and put down the slabs for me. He admonished me, “Let me know if you want to move them around, don’t move them yourself!”

I just smiled. No way was I going to get him back to shuffle them around. They are heavy and hard to move, even for him, but I knew I wanted to move them around and make something more visually appealing. I had a lot of broken pieces to work with.

I sat on a garden stool and dug out the grass to make it wider.

004 I only did two stones a day but while this project was going on, I did it every day off I had. It was the main thing on my mind.

They were very heavy. Before I started the project I did this and numbered the slabs with soap.

009

That wasn’t how it turned out exactly but it helped a lot. I wrote about the problems before;

https://monicleblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/the-walkway-project/

https://monicleblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/02/finished/

 

While I have the opportunity to brag, I’m always very proud of my firewood. I do it myself.

(Wait a sec:  I buy it cut and split. I certainly do not split all this wood, I wheelbarrow it from my driveway and stack it myself.)

002002

Darn, I wish I had moved that tarp before I took the photo.  Here’s what it looks like right now;

002 Yeah, Mother Nature has given us a preview of things to come. I drove to work in a freezing, slushy mess getting freezing pellets going and driving home.  Today doesn’t look much better and I’m working 2:00 to 9:00. Bummer.

I guess that’s bragging about how tough I am, too.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Right to Brag.”

Too Soon

The thing I dread about winter the most is having to drive to work when the weather is bad. This week has been very nice…. seasonally chilly but sunny.

I’ve been off work all week and enjoying catching up with housework inside and out. I haven’t written this week because I didn’t want to spend half the morning sitting in front of my computer. Every morning I’m gung-ho to clean this place up and get some outside chores done. By 2:00 I’m burned out and don’t care anymore.

Yesterday, I did the dreaded trip to Town and Walmart. I received my last good paycheque for a while and thought I’d better get all the little things I had been putting off. I had a list of stuff to look for at Walmart but didn’t have much luck.  I looked for storage things for my bedroom but decided it was all too expensive and bought some cheap plastic baskets on sale.

After winding all through the store looking for various items, then doing my food shopping, I realized the belt to my raincoat had fallen out.  Damn, damn it!  I retraced all my steps trying to remember everything I’d looked at: shelving, bathroom stuff, blankets, makeup……. crap, lots of crap…… No belt.  A woman took my name and phone number at the Customer Service but was so damn rude I can’t believe they would ever call me.

I was in Walmart for an hour and a half. That’s crazy-making.

It always brings me down; shopping in town, I spent too much and waste a day. I try to bolster myself up with “at least I have a day off and money to spend” “at least I have a job” “at least I have a home…..”   I feel I’m always using these crutches to keep me ‘on my feet’.

This weekend I am working Saturday and Sunday, which is OK with me because I don’t do much on the weekend anyway.  But they are calling for snow squalls starting Saturday night and possibly going into Sunday morning. It has to be just the time I’m going to and from work.  Damn.

At least I have a job. At least I have a car……. damn.

And, yes, this is WAY too early even for Canada!

Thanksgiving Holiday

 

I am so grateful to have today off. Even though it’s cool and drizzling, I have my window open to connect to the peaceful sound of rustling leaves. The colours in the woods give it a whole new dimension: instead of a mass of green, there is yellow, burgundy, rust, gold, a beautiful tapestry. Bright orange bittersweet hangs from a white birch and purple wild grapes fill the bushes below. And I can stay here all day.

It’s good to be away from the Thanksgiving Frenzy growing at the grocery store where I work. It’s all about buns and pies. The freezer is so filled with boxes of frozen bun dough I can hardly manoever anything in or out. Boxes are stacked to unsafe levels.  A few times I had to ask my boss for help get boxes down that were too high and heavy. Anyone who has read about my boss knows that asking him to help is my last resort. I will risk boxes falling on my head before I’ll ask him for help he’s so damn grouchy.

One reason is that a young grocery clerk ran into a display of pies knocking them over and smashing them all. Another reason is that we are so vastly inferior to him and none of us can work fast enough. Yesterday I went in knowing I had a lot of stuff to do and tried my damnest to get it all done. On top of that I had 4 special order cakes.

 

My last day off (Monday) I went out shopping for a nightgown for my aunt and a few other things I needed and can’t get at my store. Stores are far from here so going shopping is a day in itself. I don’t do much when I get home, certainly not housework.

Tuesday, after work,  I went for a Meet and Greet at the local Health Community Centre and I now have a doctor! I was happy enough to get in and have a nurse practitioner but they just hired a new doctor and I got her!

Wednesday , after work, I went to the nursing home my aunt is in to visit and take the nightgown. Needless to say; its depressing. By this time I was getting worn out but decided to go to Zumba when I got home anyway; I do it for my mental health.  I need any little morsel of fun I can get.

I was very tired yesterday and my boss is getting frustrated that there aren’t enough hours and staff to provide all these people with buns and pies. I didn’t get done all that he wanted me to do but I knew I wouldn’t. He was listing stuff I should get getting done and I knew damn well (and so did he) that five hours would not be enough to do it all.  However, he is ‘given’ just so many hours to work with for staff and it’s just not enough; another reason he’s so frustrated.

By the end of the day his constant bitching had worn me down. We didn’t speak the last hour. One of cakes I was disappointed with; It was a small cake with “Happy Birthday ______, (four names)”.They barely fit so the names mushed together and I forgot the green icing runs. I wished I had done it with a smaller tip in orange.  I drove home thinking, “damn, I wish I’d used orange”. I went to sleep thinking, “I should have used the orange icing…….”

I started to think it again when I woke up but stopped myself. Instead I said, out loud to no one, “I did a damn good job and he should be happy to have me!”

Today I’m home all day, oh yay, oh yay!  Tomorrow we are having a family dinner at my nieces so I’m doubly grateful to have today off; I need a day to clean my house and rest.  No florescent lighting, no ‘easy listening’ music, no customers bugging me and no grouchy boss ‘tsking’ my every move.

Aahhhhh………. peace.

Expecting Rain

socs-badge-2015

I was expecting to wake up to rain today but the system has stalled. Yesterday I did all the work I needed to do outside; mowed my lawn, changed my furnace filters (propane furnace is outside) and moved some firewood into the woodshed. My arms would not let me finish the woodpile but I did more than I expected to do.

Yes, now I have some firewood on top of my slab wood. Most of it, though, is in the woodshed. It’s OK to get rained on because my woodshed is full of dry, stacked wood. I love that feeling. I admire it from my bedroom window.

The nursing home my aunt is in now is expecting seven nightgowns. My sister usually looks after her needs but seven nightgowns is a lot to ask for. I’m going to our local town’s Bargain Store and hope I can find something suitable. If I was a different person, I would drive 50 minutes to WalMart.  I would expect to find her kind of nightgowns there. But it’s Saturday and I’m working tomorrow. I do not want to spend a whole day and lots of money because I will buy more than nightgowns if I go to Walmart. Not to mention use a lot of gas doing it.

No, I will get cleaned up, put on some eyebrows and go to town. That will leave the afternoon to just relax. I’m expecting rain.

http://lindaghill.com/2015/10/02/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-oct-315/

SoCS