Finally!

We finally got some snow! I live in a ‘snow belt’ on Lake Huron but the last two years we had very little snow. Not so this year….. snow is back with a vengeance and I’m loving it because I don’t have to go anywhere!

This morning I was peering out, waiting for dawn to see how much snow fell but I heard the birds start chirping, calling me, even before dawn. I noticed the red light was on in my satellite receiver so I bundled up and went out at dawn to get the two most important things cleaned off.

Took some photos;

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Simple but effective bird feeder
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The chimney brush is great for this job
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I hope the roof is strong. I’ll go out later for Round #2
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I think I’ll stay home today
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I had to push my back door open. I’ll do this later; no one is coming or going.

I love the colour of blue so early. It’s even better at dusk when it turns an electric indigo blue.

Now its all white and there is a murder of crows outside my office window. They want some of the corn I threw down this morning. Food is scarce when snow is this deep and soft. Crows are embarrassed to eat at bird feeders and will fly away if they see you at the window. I have a little sheer curtain I’ll put up so I can watch them unseen.

I’m so glad I don’t have to think about going to work anymore. Yesterday I finally got the Christmas ornaments put away so it looks like a fresh New Year.

The snow is so much better enjoyed from the inside. I don’t mind shovelling when its my only job of the day. I can make cocoa, burn some red oak (it burns very hot), work on my jigsaw puzzle and watch TV because I’m so ept I cleaned off my dish. Yeah, ept; the opposite of inept.

It’s My World now. I’m finally retired!

Happy New Year, everyone!

 

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

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SoCS; Resolution

Resolution. Never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. About 10 or 12 years ago I made the resolution to “Be more selfish”.  That didn’t go over very well but I was starting to get an “in your face” attitude with those around me. I figured if everyone else had no problem thinking of themselves first, why did I?

But that’s water under the bridge. Now I have no choice but to think of myself: I no longer have anyone to answer to or look after but myself.

I kind of have some resolutions that I’ve been telling myself I will do now that I’m retired and that is clean up the hidden messes. Clean up my office and storage area.

That’s it. I’m sure as hell not going to quit smoking pot or anything drastic like that. I already eat healthy except for sugar and I keep that down to a nightly treat.

I guess its good to have some resolve;

  1. I’m going to clean up my office and storage area.
  2. ….um….

No, that’s it.

new years resolutions

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https://lindaghill.com/2017/12/29/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-30-17/

NOW I’m cozy!

Yesterday’s prompt was ‘cozy’. It was a day too early.

Yesterday morning was far from cozy for me. It was SO cold, the roads were snow covered and slippery. Wearing layers of clothes and polyester pants makes for a sweaty crotch. My car fogs up on the inside when it’s this cold so I had to keep the heat down and the window cracked open. Then I worked in a cold store with a cold lunch room so I was cold and uncomfortable until I got home at 4:00.

The night before was my worst fears come true. Cleaning the floors, I dropped the hose down on the handle and it sprayed me; full frontal. I slipped on the wet floor.  A blizzard started two hours before I could leave. Out in the parking lot there was a lot of snow on the car, fluffy and blowing so my wet pants froze.   The road was hard to make out; I tried to judge where the shoulder should be. When a car passed the other way I was left in a cloud of snow, seeing nothing. So scary.

But no more! I’m done! I’m retired! Finito! This was like the Grand Finale; the final gauntlet before freedom to remind myself; why the hell would I want to keep doing this?

My plan for today is to take down the Christmas ornaments. My tree is so dry it’s turning brown,  droopy and sad-looking. The water reservoir is full: I’ve never had a Christmas tree dry out and die to this degree. But that’s good; its downright symbolic! Christmas is so over! It’s time to put it all away and start a New Year. The daylight gets longer, soon the sun will make it above the row of cedars along my driveway. It’s jigsaw puzzle season!

I made it to retirement! Hallelujah! From now on there’s going to be a whole lot of cozy!

 

 

 

The Last Night Shift

Tonight is my last closing shift, 2:00 to 7:00; the last time I have to wash the ‘dishes’ and clean the floors. The last night I go out to the parking lot to brush the snow off my car and drive home on slippery roads. For an extra good send-off, it’s really freezing cold and supposed to snow more tonight. We’ve already had lots and lots of snow.

But I don’t care because it’s the last time. It’s supposed to be freezing cold and snowy every day for the next week but I’ll be cozily at home.

It could turn out like my ‘LAST’ weekend. I was supposed to work Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday morning my boss called and said they were so slow they didn’t need me. Sunday morning, the same! That was Christmas Eve. I feel bad for the owner but I would still be happy if they phoned and told me not to come in tonight.

Christmas Day I was snowed in. I went out to shovel the driveway but it was too deep and too heavy. I shoveled off my porch and walk-ways and around my car but by then I was tired and sweaty. I was actually standing there, defeated,  looking up my driveway when a truck and plow appeared! My neighbour had called him. I gave him a generous bag of holiday cheer for helping me out. (its great currency)

Hopefully we won’t get much snow tonight. The usual half-hour drive in blowing snow can turn into 45 minutes of terror. There are long stretches of woods with no street lights where all you can see is the snow coming at you while you try and make out where the road is. It’s scary.

If I had to keep doing this all through January and February I would be so depressed! Relief is too light a word …… extreme relief is what I feel.

Tomorrow is my last day of work! 10:00 to 4:00. I can hardly believe it!

We need packing snow. This snow is fluffy; won’t make a snowball and no good for making a snowman. I have plans for my uniform out by my bird feeder……. where they can poop on the hat and I can watch, with glee, from the kitchen.

I’m almost there……

 

SoCS; You’ll, Yul, Yule

You’ll never believe I had a crush on Yul Brunner when I was an adolescent. It started with Anna and the King. Those flaring nostrils, the intensity, the wry smile: it was the first pubescent stirrings. That’s what I like about Jonathan Rhys Meyers who’s on Vikings this year, (I’m so excited). He played Henry the VIII in The Tudors which was fabulous. That same intensity… although when I think about it, I wouldn’t want some guy stomping around here flaring his nostrils and being all intense.

Now everyone is bald. What are all these guys going to do when bald goes out of style? They’ll have to figure out ‘what to do with their hair’.

Even though there has been some sad things going I can’t say it’s ruined my Yule Tide Spirit. My neighbour who has been battling lung cancer for 3+ years (they gave him 6 months at diagnosis) died last week, his Celebration of Life was yesterday. And it was a celebration of his life. I’ve never been at funeral where I’ve laughed so much.

When I was going in there was man in front of me who held the door open. I knew I recognized him but couldn’t place the face. As I was hanging up my coat I realized it was the Mayor. His wife told me the Mayor story later on; Gary found out Mayor Bradley didn’t care for Neil Diamond so, for a joke, he said on the radio how much the Mayor loved Neil Diamond. To this day he gets free tickets, signed posters, memorabilia of Neil Diamond because someone heard on the radio he loved N.D.

There were a lot of stories like this ending with “….. if I heard it on the radio, it must be true.”  That man was beloved.

Last night I got together with his surviving wife and daughter and few friends. We all smoked and drank whatever we wanted and I listened to more funny stories about Gary.  It felt as Christmassy as any Christmas.

We had our family Christmas the day Gary died. My nephew and his family have gone to Myrtle Beach. They have an exchange student who will be staying with my sister. We will go see my Aunt and hopefully go for a walk. ‘My’ trail here is still well-used. Because it’s on sand dunes the melting snow drains quickly and it doesn’t get mucky.

Today and tomorrow I have to work, BLAH! I have to face those co-workers who didn’t show up for our party and didn’t apologize to the host or me. At least they’ve made me REAL happy about leaving.

When I went in Thursday I checked to see if he put me on Dec. 31st because that was the start of a new schedule.  He didn’t but he had me on for two days in January. He was already in a huffy, bitchy mood because I pointed out to him that the host went to a lot of trouble and expense… etc. Right away he got all defensive, huffy and bitchy.

I said “I told you Dec. 31st I’m retiring. ” I crossed off my name and shifts. (In fact, I went back and crossed it off again, darker and stronger)

I think the owner sensed some tension when he came in and asked how the bakery was going. I said, “You know I’m leaving at the end of the month because Todd has me on in January. Am I supposed to put it in writing?” He said “We were hoping you would stay on…..” I shook my head and said, “No, sorry” but I wasn’t sorry at all.

I handed my boss a note that said “I quit. My last day is December 28”.  He put it up on the schedule for all to see. I wrote a nicer note to the Assistant Manager who deals with payroll also saying my last day was Dec. 28 so he wouldn’t change it and put me on New Year’s Eve.

AND I got my first pension cheque. I still can’t believe it! I’m swooning with joy.

So you’ll find me in the Yule Tide spirit. This is my last weekend at work. I can just sail through the drama knowing it’s almost over. I’m feeling joy, contentment and love.

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I was just about to publish when the phone rang. My boss told me I didn’t have to come in because there wasn’t enough work to have us all. Could it be they don’t want to face my flaring nostrils and intensity?  Ha Ha Ha and a Ho Ho Ho!

socs-badge-2017-18

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “yule/you’ll/Yul.” Start your post with one of them. Have fun!

https://lindaghill.com/2017/12/22/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-23-17/

Can You Relate?

I can’t say I’ve been depressed lately but I sure have been sad. You know, when you get The Weeps and even a soppy commercial will get you going. I’ll bet a lot of people can relate to this much more than the ecstatic joy we’re all supposed to be experiencing.

Last week I didn’t visit my aunt so it was partly guilt but then one of the reasons I didn’t go was because I was feeling teary. Now looking back it seems like I was getting sad in advance for all the sad things about to happen.

My aunts Christmas party at the nursing home was the same day and time as our family Christmas on Saturday.  I already didn’t want to go; it meant spending a short time with my family to go there. I don’t get a lot of happy time. My sister and nephew were going to go but the timing could not be worked so I was not alone in my guilt.

But I did have an edge of sadness all day. I found a gift bag in my Christmas box that had been used for a gift to my husband and I from my sister and her husband who died. I cried at the life we thought we had but lost.

That night I was invited to a party! That doesn’t happen much….. ever. One of my co-workers was having a Christmas party. Or so I thought. When I walked in there was a big banner and balloons saying “Happy Retirement!”.  I was really surprised and embarrassed. I was the first one there………  then after a few hours I was still the only one there. No one else came.

I learned how to play dominoes!

I felt so bad for my hosts with a big spread of food and drinks. They went to a lot of trouble and expense. Their house was decorated beautifully, they shipped their kids out for the night. They put on a good front in the face of disappointment.

My host asked me where I lived and knew my road and the businesses on it. I asked him if he knew my neighbour who is a well-known, local radio host but has been battling lung cancer.

“Yes, I guess you heard he died today.”

I hadn’t as I’d been at my sisters most of the day. It was a shock and I started to cry. My poor hosts…… I was their only guest!

I had a big mug of coffee at the ‘party’ and could not get to sleep that night. Not only was I hopped up on caffeine but thoughts of my neighbour and co-workers danced in my head. I don’t know what time I fell asleep but I woke up 5:00 a.m. and couldn’t get back to sleep.

I worked Sunday and was so tired and sad. I got a Christmas card and a present and started to cry. The day passed slowly. The freezing cold lunch room and the guy telling stupid, ethnic jokes made me want to cry, but I held back.

When I got home no one was at my neighbours…… his wife was with his kids in TOWN. I laid down and slept for two hours.

Yesterday I was determined to go see my aunt so I can have a couple of nice days off guilt-free.  They were singing Christmas carols which wasn’t so bad….. I joined in. They gave out sheets of music one at a time with a carol on each side. They sang pretty high for me so I was singing the alto, entertaining myself.

My aunt just pointed at the words rather than sing them. There was a lady beside me who was all twisted up and couldn’t talk but she could look at me with big, wide eyes, which she did the whole time I was there. I was doing OK until “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

As soon as they handed it out I thought, “Really?” Have you really thought about this choice? Do you know how many people here are sad because they can’t go home for Christmas?

I cried. Just think of it; an elder soprano on a guitar and a room full of very old people trying to mumble the words to “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”. I tried to hold it back but got the trembling chin and tears soon over-flowed.

Afterwards I went to see my neighbour, the wife of my deceased neighbour. We hugged and cried.

I felt completely drained when I got home. Got a nice fire going, turned on my Christmas tree, made some cocoa  (real cocoa with milk) and had an hour-long nap.

Life is always a mix of good and bad, happy and sad, abundance and loss. We are bombarded with images of perfect Christmases, great parties and presents galore. It’s marketing, that’s all. It’s to make us spend, spend, spend in our quest for the perfect Christmas. It’s not real and it’s certainly not spiritual.

Today I can stay home and it’s supposed to be partly sunny; a chance to get happier. It’s a double good thing I’m not working today because I need a little more time before I face those absent co-workers. I am mildly disgusted with them.

Can you relate? Is this not more like real Christmas?

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

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my retirement party
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They made real cedar boughs throughout the house. So beautiful!

Meager?

I hear a lot of seniors complain about their meager income but I, for one, am looking forward to my monthly Old Age Pension cheques that start this month. I am overwhelmed with gratitude that my government is going to send me enough to live on just because I’m 65 years old.

For many people it is not enough to live on but for a lot of complainers….. it is. Let me tell you….. after living on an extremely meager income this OAP (Old Age Pension) is going to be the most secure I’ve ever been; the best income I’ve ever had.

Now mind you, I do own my house. When I separated from my husband I received a settlement. With most of it I bought a house and then could work part-time. I’m so glad I did that. If I had taken that settlement and got an apartment I would be in deep shit now because that money would be long gone. I would be looking at most of my pension going to rent.

There are advantages to being poor.  I will receive a supplement because I have no other pensions and I also am eligible for a break on my electricity bill for being low-income. Yesterday I received a letter saying I’m eligible for another $83 supplement because ‘low income’.

I don’t feel poor. I feel like I’m so freaking lucky I can hardly believe it.

Yesterday someone asked me if I was going somewhere warm this winter and I said “I can’t afford it.” and I don’t care that I can’t afford it. I’ll be somewhere warm…. my livingroom! I have a propane furnace but I also have a wood-stove so I can get my livingroom hot if I want to. I can afford to keep my satellite TV and eat my favourite foods.

Now it just sounds like I’m bragging but that’s not what I started out to say. I was in the lunch room last week and woman who was retired but back at work was complaining about the meager OAP. She said, in a very bitter voice; “They say they are going to give us a raise but it’s only $120.”

Oh god this bugs me. You are getting a pension and have free medical care…… do you know how damn lucky you are?!  Are complaining that you don’t have enough ‘disposable income’ or can’t go ‘somewhere warm’ for the winter?

Do you know how many people in the world have nothing? In many countries there is no old age pension. In the great country of America you may not have access to the best medical care. What we call meager is wealth in a third world country.

I’m grateful for my meager income.

 

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

In Theory…

The theory is that I will love staying home all winter when I retire in three weeks. I had chance to experiment this week and put my theory to the test.

My schedule worked out that I have a whole week off, Wednesday to Wednesday. On Friday they were predicting a weekend of snow so I went to SuperStore and bought a lot of food, some blue mascara and a new top to wear at Christmas. I was feeling buoyant on the way home: it was still sunny out and I was looking forward to working on the latest jigsaw puzzle; a photo of buttons.

Saturday I wrote a post and spent most the day decorating my tree. It takes a long time. Everything has to hang which isn’t easy on a real tree. especially the icicles. I started collecting icicles when I gave up tinsel. It’s the final touch.

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It didn’t snow very much. Apparently there was snow all around us but we just got a dusting.

Sunday they promised more snow but it didn’t happen although it was blowing and icy cold.  I finished decorating above the cupboards with a fake pine bough, lights and little snowy houses. Then I put away the boxes, cleaned up and got out the puzzle.

Finished it.

Monday: ‘I could go out. I should go see my aunt’ in the nursing home which I’m already getting twinges of guilt over because I didn’t go Friday. The snow wasn’t supposed to start until noon.  But I have lots of food and it’s cold outside. She has dementia so she doesn’t even know I didn’t go last week.

It hardly snowed at all. I broke up the puzzle (can’t do it right away), laid down my new felt roll-up fabric on my puzzle board and prepared for the next puzzle. That involves picking up every piece, dividing the main colours into three box lids and laying putting the border out on the board. Do not ask me why I like doing this so much because I do not know. But I do know I’m damn lucky I can entertain myself so easily.

This morning I woke up to snow flurries. It’s about damn time! Hells Bells, they’ve been warning about snow for days now and its finally happening. North and east of here they’ve been deluged but it keeps missing us.

This is Day Four staying home. Okay, I’m a little nutty. Not only have I been talking to myself which is normal but I’ve been loud and obnoxious at times, breaking into maniacal laughter and Christmas songs. I check my phone and Facebook way more often. Even I, the Loner/Hermit, is feeling the lack of human contact. Damn, I wish I had some friends around here!

So the theory about how happy I will be when I retire has been put to the test. It’s going to be lonely and I will have to force myself to go OUT and DO things. There will be no more excuses to put off cleaning the dusty, unorganized areas of my home that need work. There is always housework, unfortunately.

But I certainly DO NOT want to put on that uniform, drive to that store and do that job anymore. Wednesday will be my first night driving in the snow this year and I’m not looking forward to that the least bit, people or no people. When it snows I can dig myself out at my leisure and that’s my job of the day….. not the start of my working day.

I still feel overwhelming gratitude that I’m getting a pension and can stay home for the rest of the winter. The theory is that I will be happy. The experiment starts December 28th: my last day of work!

 

 

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

 

SoCS; liqu

There is one thing I miss about liquor; the thick, warm liquid going slowly down your throat. That’s something I just haven’t been able to replicate. Ginger ale is guzzled. Hot tea is sipped. The only thing that has even remotely tempted me into drinking liquor would be cinnamon whiskey. Oh, yeah….. bring out a non-alcoholic version of that!

Years (decades) ago I gave up meat, eggs, alcohol and drugs. I did not have any trouble giving up or desiring these things except for marijuana. I never missed meat or alcohol but I missed smoking pot always. Years went by and I started to smoke again because I wanted to. I quit again for a few years just because it was so expensive and I had to deal with assholes to get it.

But I always missed it. Now I grow my own so I have no problems with supply or assholes.

For years I have been really sick of the hypocrisy of alcohol vs. marijuana. Alcohol is beyond socially acceptable; it’s almost a social requirement. How do you have fun? I’ve been asked. I get sick of all the memes and quotes on Facebook about wine, wine, wine or how falling down drunk was a good time. No, getting drunk is neither fun nor funny. You are really sick the next day…… duh!

But what if I brought my vaporizer to Christmas Day? Oh my, what a degenerate! You can’t do that in front of the kids!!! That’s doing drugs!!!

How long will it take for attitudes to change? It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens with legalization. It may be legal, but will it be acceptable?

Will people have lit up cabinets for their fancy bong collection. “Would you like to try one? Here….. light it up!”

I’m really looking forward to trying the edibles. Maybe, just maybe they will come up with a warm, thick liquid cinnamon marijuana liqueur.

But then, I would probably drink too much of it.

socs-badge-2017-18

https://lindaghill.com/2017/12/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-9-17/

Gettin’ Goin’

Due to daylight ‘savings’ I don’t get the prompt until 9:00 a.m. What a difference an hour makes. At 8:00 I can start writing something but by 9:00 I’m gettin’ goin’.

I’m going to TOWN today. Yucky, but have to do some Christmas shopping and my star Christmas tree lights don’t work. Gosh, it takes a lot of lights to light up a tree. I ended up putting two strands of outdoor lights on it.

That’s as far as I got yesterday. Put up some more outdoor lights and brought in my Christmas tree that was standing outside in a bucket of water. I like to do this in stages over days. Last night I got the lights on but I haven’t gotten out any decorations yet. Maybe I can get some more star lights today.

It’s very warm again for this time of year: it’s already 10C. But tomorrow the snow is coming and winter begins for real.  I’m working tomorrow night but I’m not worried because I have on my snow tires.

So I’ll go to TOWN today. Tomorrow I’ll get out the other box of decorations before work and set myself up for Thursday. Maybe there will be snow on the ground and I’ll have the day off to do the tree.

See now, there’s still 20 minutes before the prompt. I just can’t wait that long.

I gotta get goin’.