Prompt: Clouds

The only clouds around here are in my head. It’s the work hangover and I really overindulged yesterday.

I was supposed to work 5:00 p.m.to 10:00 p.m. but my boss phoned in the morning and asked if I could come in at 2:00 because it was so busy, John (the Big Boss) was coming and he was trying to do inventory.

The summer traffic has begun on the highway going into town. In between the beach I live at and the beach/tourist town I work in is the very popular Pinery Provincial Park. Campers are coming in for the weekend, setting up then driving to Grand Bend for food and entertainment. The town is packed, motels are full and the grocery store is mayhem.

This is the Food Frenzy that happens at Christmas and Thanksgiving. People have that list, carefully put together over days of planning just the right food to get for the weekend. They want what is on that list and if it’s not there they come and ask for it and tell you why they need it. Every retired person was there because it was the day before the day before the Holiday. This was their chance to not have to shop today which will be crazy.

It was crazy enough yesterday, so happy I’m not there today. I ran the gauntlet of customers and retreated to my car for my break. Then I went in and cleaned the whole damn bakery.

So the clouds are in my head and my head is in the clouds. But no sign of clouds in the sky. We are having such a drought its making local news. They even ran a poll. “Would you paint your lawn if it went brown?” 82% said no.

Big, dark clouds full of rain are badly needed. It’s finally coming on Friday; Canada Day. I have it off but I’d rather be working for ‘time and a half’. Instead, I’m working Saturday and Sunday when the weather will be great and tourists in high gear.

So have a fun weekend and be nice to the people working hard to serve you.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/clouds/

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Drink

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I have to get out there and give my plants a drink before the sun gets too high and hot. We’ve had no rain in some time and my rain barrels are down to a dribble. Three hot, sunny days in the forecast means I better haul out the hose and water everything with freezing cold, chlorinated water that costs me money.

There are a million mosquitoes out there waiting to drink my blood. Last week I sprayed a gallon of Mosquito Barrier which is a garlic spray and works really well… for a while. It was supposed to last “up to a month” with no rain but it’s worn off already. My place is one little spot surrounded by hectares of Mosquito Paradise. I should do that first before I water.

I don’t drink alcohol because if I did, I would be an alcoholic. It would be very hard for me not to drink before I went into work tonight. It’s a good thing I quit when I recognized I had a problem saying “that’s enough”. Nipped that potential problem in the bud.

But I sure would have more friends if I drank. The women around here would like me and think I was fun and funny. Actually, I am fun and funny but they will never find that out because I don’t drink. For them, getting drunk and having fun is the same thing.

Oh, well, my ex was quite right when he used to say, “You sure can entertain yourself.”

Good for me!

So I’m up bright and early with no hangover, going out to spray for mosquitoes, water my flowers and shrubs then coming in for a drink of pineapple and grape juice mixed with lemonade. Take it easy this afternoon and go into work tonight.

Yes, it’s good thing I don’t drink because I would today.

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The links won’t ‘insert’ ….. no pinging back.   I have to publish first, get the URL and put it in ‘comments’.  Is there and easier way?

 

Summer-Pooper

Summer is not my favourite season. Most people think of holidays, beach, beer, BBQ’s, fun with friends; all that stuff I don’t do.  You’ve heard of a party-pooper, well…..I am a summer-pooper.

Being vegetarian, getting invited to BBQ’s poses a conundrum; to go or not to go? That is the question. I don’t mind other people eating meat but someone will notice I’m not and ask why. This is a question I don’t want to answer at a BBQ while everyone is salivating over meat! (Besides, honestly; it stinks.)

I don’t drink alcohol. While everyone is holding a glass up and getting cheerfully loaded, I have to hide what I do and wait to get home. When you don’t drink, drunkenness is neither fun nor funny but it certainly is socially acceptable.  Light up a joint? What a degenerate! I never would have guessed you where a pot-head!

The beach is almost inaccessible in the summer. The parking lots are full on a hot day and the lakeshore road with no parking signs is lined with cars. The beach is crowded and I know most of those people are peeing in the lake so they don’t have to use the smelly pit toilets. This year the lake is unusually high leaving only a narrow strip of beach.  It’s going to be standing room only.

IPPERWASH — Beachgoers could be jostling each other for blanket space on Great Lakes shores this year, with water levels lapping toward a two-decade high.

Source: Rising Great Lakes leaving winners and losers

 

I have always worked in the summer. Keeping bees is summer work and the farmers markets are buzzing, too. Getting the bees set up and rotating their boxes to bring in honey is hard work in the heat. Harvesting, extracting, bottling and moving boxes of honey jars is constant once the honey flow begins.

When I moved here, to a beach community, summer meant employment opportunities. I worked in a beach-side convenience store, their ice-cream stand another summer, cleaned cottages and now I am at a grocery store in a beach/tourist town that is crazy busy all summer. The traffic and the heat makes it hell to get into work. (My car doesn’t have air conditioning.) I get more hours and shifts in the summer, working as much as I can to save up for the high cost of heating in the winter.

I have experienced some envy. Working at the ice-cream parlour was the worst. I don’t know why people think this sounds like fun because it isn’t . It’s hard work, especially if the ice cream is hard! Customers are people having a fun summer and you are not. Mothers at the cottage for the summer bring their kids in for a daily ice-cream: Do you know how lucky you are? Apparently, not!  At the grocery store I see so many retired couples planning for their weekend with kids and grand kids. Again: so lucky!

Today is the first day of summer and it’s a full moon. I’m supposed to focus on what I do have and not what I don’t have.

  • Sometimes a day off will coincide with a beach day with my grandnieces and grandnephew…. I love that! The kids make it fun.
  • I have central air-conditioning and a programmable thermostat! I can leave it set at 28C while I’m at work then come down to 26C before I get home.  Love it.
  • So You Think You Can Dance is on in the summer. Love it.

Yeah, I guess summer is not so bad.

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/summer/

Class and Perfection

“I’m one hell of a classy broad and don’t you forget it!”

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One of my favourite lines stolen from Midnight Cowboy. An aging call girl is furious when the young male prostitute thinks he’s the one with a client.

Of course, yelling in someone’s face that you are a classy broad more or less proves you have no class at all. But yelling it out loud to yourself is a positive affirmance and guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Go ahead, roll back your shoulders three times, get in a place with good acoustics and yell out it loud.

“I’m one hell of a classy broad and don’t you forget it!”

Repeat several times. Feels good, eh? It’s empowering.

The ‘other’ prompt reminds me of when I was first learning how to tell myself I was ALRIGHT.  If you read my blog regularly you may have heard this story, it’s one of those pivotal moments in my life.

After losing my marriage, job and home I was miserable and depressed. It felt like a dark hole I couldn’t crawl out of.  My sister suggested we try Zumba at the local YMCA to see what it was like. I love to dance but hadn’t danced in years. My ex didn’t dance so neither did I.  After years of mental and emotional abuse, I felt like an empty shell of a person.

Back at Zumba; I’m starting to move around and it feels good. Shakira sings; “oh, baby, when you talk like that, you make a women go mad.” I start to chuckle. My lips crack open and a smile started.

I’m shaking my hips and singing “Baby, don’t you see that this is perfection?”

When I went home that night, I thought, “I feel good!”  It was a revelation!  I realized I hadn’t felt good in a very long time.

I still have to reprimand myself when I let those negative voices get in my head. I usually start with;

“There’s nothing wrong with you!”

Then I go on to remind myself on how far I’ve come since those dark days.

“I’m one hell of a classy broad and this is perfection!”

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/perfection/

https://lindaghill.com/2016/06/17/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-1816/

Boney M. Saves the Day

My new neighbour is starting to bug me. He’s very young and doesn’t know what it takes to live but gives me advice in a very patronizing manner. It’s so irritating.

One can always find something to back them up on Google images. I was looking for “don’t give advice unless asked” to post on Facebook and found this;

advice1This really gave me food for thought. Those ‘innocent’ little put-downs that are supposed to be funny (but aren’t), that advice from a young man who does not pay rent, work, clean or cook,  leave their mark. That’s why I get irritated; it’s a little pain caused by a little shove down. It’s like a paper cut that can hardly be seen but hurts long after.

I’m proud of how much I do by myself. Once again, I’ll pat myself on the back because no one else is going to. You have to give to yourself!

(Note; I appreciate the real advice I’ve had on WordPress from my peers who apologize in advance for even suggesting something! I’m talking about men who have a spouse to keep it all going.)

 

Then I saw the video that’s been making me laugh for a few days and all my irritation melted away.

No prompts, no more rants……. I’ve got a day off, it’s pouring rain and I’m glad! No one is going to bug me today! (knock on wood)

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https://youtu.be/OBXRJgSd-aU

 

The Struggle for Freedom

Yesterday morning I wrote a post whining about my life. It was only later in the day I saw the news about the tragedy in Orlando. I’ll admit I heard there was a shooting the night before but that’s getting quite common in the USA so I didn’t pay much attention. Yesterday the whole story came out and the world responded.

What I was really moved by is the way so many people around the world care about the victims. Being in my sixties, I remember a world (quite recently) that ridiculed and persecuted homosexuals. In some places it was still illegal. Not many gays could ‘come out’ and live their authentic lives for fear of losing their jobs, families and friends. Parents would lament ‘where they went wrong’.

They were forced to live their lives ‘underground’ like criminals. Just being a homosexual meant being a degenerate in those days. One lived in fear of being caught.

Things turned around quickly this last decade, I’m glad to say. People stood up and came out. There was nothing wrong with being gay. They wanted to live in freedom, choosing their lives and their mates like everyone else. The changes in the last 10 to 20 years has been a complete turnaround.

But there will always be someone who hates them. That’s a sad fact.

Way back in the early 60’s,when I was 10 years old, my aunt and uncle took me to Florida. We stopped at one of those fresh orange juice stands. I asked to use the washroom and was pointed to the back where there was a sign. Actually, 3 small signs; “mens” “womans” and “coloured”. The men’s and woman’s sign were written in plain black letters but the coloured sign was written in wavy lines and rainbow colours with an arrow pointing the other way. I wasn’t sure but thought I’d like to go in the more fun washrooms. I asked my uncle what it meant and he told me, “Negroes have to use an outhouse, only whites can use the washrooms.”

Being from Canada, this was a shock to me, even at 10 years old. My aunt and uncle thought it was disgusting but ‘that’s the way things are down here’. A few years later things would explode in Alabama, changing the face of America.

We’ve come a long way but there is still hatred and bigotry, there will always be someone that will hate someone else simply because they are different.

The struggles of the oppressed, who even faced death to fight for their freedom, has turned our society into something so much better. The outpouring of support and caring from people all over the world is proof of that.

We are still struggling but it’s the struggle that gives us strength. We are the chick hatching from the shell, one can only stand back and let it happen as it’s the struggle that makes it strong.

From my stand point; we’ve come a long way, baby! What I’m seeing that makes me so hopeful is the awareness that hate must be fought with love, not more hatred. This is a leap in our evolution of consciousness.

What happened is indeed a tragedy. Sadly, it will not be the last one. But gone are the days when angry mobs would punish the innocent in retaliation. True, some idiots will blame Muslims, but they are in the minority now. They won’t find mobs of people in their neighbourhood who agree and stomp off to the nearest mosque.

Love conquers all. The outpouring of love and support from the rest of the world was so moving. This would have been unheard of just 40 or 50 years ago. We are getting better, struggle by struggle.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/struggle/

The Daily Prompt; rebuilding a life

O, crap.  The prompt for today is rebuild.  Why couldn’t it be yesterday’s prompt; understanding?  That’s what I really need today; understanding.

I apologize for complaining on my blog so much but I need a place to unload my burdened mind in anonymity. Living alone you only have yourself to talk to, no one to tell about your bad day. Conversations with yourself tend to go around and around in circles; its hard to turn it off sometimes.

Rebuild makes me think of trying to re-build my life for the last 8 years. It’s been a struggle. Starting all over again at 55 years old is not what I had in mind. Losing my mate, my job and my house all in one fell swoop was traumatizing and took about a year to even muster up the will to go on.  But I took my settlement, bought a house and started to make a new life for myself.

One thing I discovered is that even with a paid-off mortgage, it takes a lot of money to keep a house and a car. Since I had been working for myself, selling things for so long, I tried again. I made lamps but realized I could spend all week making one lamp and what could I sell it for? It would have to a work of art to make any money.

I love aprons, always use one and started that business.  Buying cheap fabric that wasn’t ugly was not easy and if I was out looking for fabric, I wasn’t sewing.  Even if I was sewing morning until night I could only make two aprons. But could I sell two aprons a day? Spend another day going around to stores that turn you down. How much could they make on it? By this time the apron would be $40. I tried mail order with Etsy and Facebook: I sold a few. It would take most of a morning to get the order ready and take it to the post office. Then I would see beautiful aprons, made in China by Canadian companies, sold for less money than my fabric.

Meanwhile, I ran out of money and got a job in a grocery-store bakery, cake decorating.  3 or 4 shifts a week is barely enough to get by but all the work I can handle and keep care of my house, inside and out. Once a week I get the dreaded ‘closing’ shift, cleaning the bakery. At 63 years old, it’s really hard. This weekend it fell on Saturday night and I had to be in again Sunday morning.

That was yesterday. Thank God it’s Monday and I don’t have to go in. My knees hurt, my feet ache, I’m tired and depressed. Facebook was full of everyone’s wonderful weekend with friends and family.

That’s why the thought of re-building only makes me feel more tired. There is a long list of things that need doing here; none of which I want to start today. Today I want rest and understanding.

 

Well, dear Reader, if you made if this far, I’ll reward you with my good moments, moments that keep me going.

In my bedroom there is a little window that is perfect size for me to look out on my yard. I can be in my pajamas (or naked, if hot-flashing) rest up against the wall with my face virtually outside. Saturday night, before getting into bed, I turned out the lights and stood at the window. The fireflies were out and going crazy, flashing and mating. the whole yard was twinkling like fairies. It was windy so the breeze rustled the leaves and brought the scent of lilac and mock orange over from my front yard. I was suddenly in the most beautiful world. This, I thought, makes it all worthwhile.

Earlier this morning there was a cloud of gloom around me and I started to write and unload.  I wandered out to my living room and looked out my window. Gosh, Almighty!

A day off to relax and enjoy this; the fruits of my labour.

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the source of the fragrance

 

 

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Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme….and lemon thyme, Italian basil, Thai basil, sweet marjoram and a few flowers.

 

Thank you for listening: I feel better now.

Aplomb

I need to muster up a whole whack of aplomb this weekend.

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Funny how that word was the first “mb” word to pop into my head when I read today’s SoC prompt. That’s because I’ve been doing a crossword puzzle and needed a six-letter word, starting with ‘a’ and meaning; “composure”.  ‘Aplomb’ popped right into my head, surprising myself because I thought I was a lot dumber. When was the last time I used the word ‘aplomb’?  Never. I must have read it in some smart books many years ago before satellite TV.

Why do I need aplomb? Because I have awful back-to-back shifts this weekend and I’m feeling whiny and weepy about it. Tonight I start my shift at 5:00 p.m. cleaning the bakery until 10:00.  I pray they don’t stick me with extra jobs like they often do, making the night even harder. Now we are open until 11:00 so I usually work past 10:00 to get done.  Mopping floors that late at night, I’m exhausted and want to cry. I do tend to lose my aplomb when I’m feverishly working to get done and get out.

Tonight I will get home around 10:45 then get up tomorrow morning and be in at 10:00 a.m. for a six-hour shift. I’m dreading it. On top of that, “It’s the weekend!” (oh, do I hate hearing that)  so it will be really busy. Dealing with customers is going to be a challenge.

My sister has my grandnieces over for the weekend, in the town I work in. They will be just a few blocks from me enjoying music and the beach with the throngs. I could join them before I went into work……. if I was younger. Unfortunately, going to the beach with music and crowds before going into work would be too tiring.

I’ll be dealing with the people who wander in looking for something delicious. Some of them don’t realize you are a human being, not a ‘thing’ to serve them.

That’s why I need to muster up a lot of aplomb this weekend. Those customers are just trying to enjoy their weekend and find the right food. They don’t need to feel my selfish ire: they don’t know how I ended up there, feeling sorry for myself. They don’t know they’ve just asked the 100th stupid question. They won’t know why I’m so freaking tired and depressed tomorrow. I always try to treat each and every person with respect, look them in the eye and smile. This weekend will put that to the test.

Aplomb…… I can do this.

https://lindaghill.com/2016/06/10/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-1116/

Mountains

The only mountain  around here is the amount of chores I have facing me all the time. The mountain is made by me leaving them until they pile up. However, in order to have everything neat and tidy, organized and caught-up, one would have to do it all the time, everyday.

My yard is quite large and requires a lot of maintenance. Since I work part-time for minimum wage, I do everything myself. It’s not fun anymore; it’s work. Gone are the days I could weed and haul mulch all day long; now I’m tired and irritable after a couple of hours. The weed-eater (whipper/snipper) is really tough on my neck and shoulders after just a short time. I have to do it often and in sections.

More and more I’m just tending to my front door gardens and letting the rest of the place get wilder. In order to keep it perfect I would have to do it all the time and everyday. Like the inside. These days its one or the other….. I lack the ambition to do this all day long.

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Some days I get to shop or visit my aunt in the nursing home for excitement. Three days a week I have a job working in a bakery; one is a night shift. I could spend all my time off trying to scale this mountain of chores but I don’t. More and more, I want to just relax. I could not work five days a week and do all this anymore, its physically impossible. This is why people retire at my age.

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I have friends who used to live in Ontario but now they live in the mountains of British Columbia.  They could never live here again where it is so flat but it’s OK with me. The mountains are beautiful but I don’t need to live in them. There is beauty here at Lake Huron in Carolinian Forest. Even my friends who moved up north to cottage country say it’s too flat and boring here. Humph.

Actually, my favourite geography is rolling hills like the area around Murfreesboro in Tennessee.  I used to go there several times a year when I was a caver, with my husband. We camped all over Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama. I miss it.

I miss having things to look forward to. There is my work schedule on my fridge then my days off I whittle away at the mountain of chores. I need to go to Sarnia to buy some new work shoes but it takes too much time: I hate driving and shopping. I need to go see my aunt because it’s been two weeks and I’m feeling guilty as hell. It’s doesn’t take that long, I can come home and still do a chore.

This weekend seems like a mountain looming ahead of me to be scaled. I’m working 5:00 to 10:00 on Saturday night then have to be in at 10:00 on Sunday morning for a six-hour shift. Cleaning the bakery at night is hard work. The next day I’m usually stiff and slow-moving but Sunday I have to get up and go again.

Today I’ll get my aunt’s visit behind me, make sure my general living space is clean and tidy so I can breath a sigh of relief when I come home Sunday evening. Monday I will revel in my well-deserved day off.

 

Stream of Conciousness brought on by  Daily Prompt…’Mountain’; https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/mountain/