SoCS: Message in Mandarin

I have always hated talking on the phone. The answering machine was one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century. I pay the extra bit for call display so I can see who’s calling so I cannot recall talking to an association with which I have had no business with.

The last call that came from my answering machine was in Chinese. Whether or not that is Mandarin, I couldn’t tell you.

I’ve had quite a few calls come in Chinese before but I know for sure (well, pretty sure) it was for Shen Yun, the colourful dance ensemble that is touring across our country. I’ve seen plenty of commercials for them.

Last night on the news they showed people in Toronto, especially around Chinatown, wearing face masks because of a the latest virus that is coming. Here’s the really scary thing; it has an incubation period of a week to 2 weeks. Someone can have it and be travelling, not having any symptoms.

I saw advertising in the on-line newspapers I read in the morning. The troupe will be Toronto in March. I don’t think they are going to have a very good turnout.

I remember the SARS outbreak; I hope this does not get out of control.

For now I’ll stay in my rural isolation and avoid Toronto. . . like I always do.



Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “last call.” Talk about the enterprise (sales or service) conducted by the last phone call you received from a business you’re not associated with (i.e. your workplace), or talk about that phone conversation itself.

SoCS: The Big Sky, The Next Level

The Big Sky is dumping big amounts of snow on us. I guess we should expect it in January but I have something to do tonight. We’ve had no snow and easy driving so I didn’t think about weather at all when I asked my sister if she wanted to go see a psychic that was in the town she lives in.  The thing that drew me was the ‘pasta bar’ that is included. Being vegetarian paying for a buffet is usually a bummer but I know I can eat at a pasta bar.

In winters past, when we would have already had a couple of good snow dumps, I would not even bother planning for something in January. But I was living in a fools paradise;  forgetting the hazards of winter.

What’s worse is the band of freezing rain before it turns to just rain. Had to be today.

I watch a lot of old movies. I check Turner Classic Movies right after the weather and record anything that looks interesting and has a lot of stars. But I did go out a new movie in TOWN over the holidays.

So I will use JUMANJI!(as a swear word. I went to) THE NEXT LEVEL making the leap to Windows 10 from Windows 7.  They took away Outlook Express, the mail program I’ve used since I first got a computer in 1999 and gave me a new program.

At first it seemed have worked because all my e-mail came in. It was the next day I realized I only had an inbox. An empty ‘sent’ box. I went to my contacts; its been changed to “People”.  Half of my people were not in there.  So I went to my inbox to see if I could reply to the people in there. Those went “draft”.

This is where I will stop writing about it; most of you know what its like to try to fix something on computer and go around and around. I wasted a whole morning and was really agitated.  All I want is a ‘sent’ box so I can see what I wrote and if it sent.

The next level in Windows, my ass. I know I’m old but I don’t like it.

I usually right click to get ‘properties’ and find this link. Now right clicking gives me ‘copy’ or ‘print’ option. I took this link from the toolbar; I hope it works.

Its already late now because I still tried something this morning. ’round and ’round.. ..



Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “movie title.” Take the title of the last movie you watched (just the title, not the premise of the movie), and base your post on that title.

SoCS: ow

The time is NOW. The past is over, the future hasn’t happened, the only reality is MOW, no . . . NOW (the ‘m’ and ‘n’ are rubbed out on my keyboard).

OK, that’s it. I have to start organizing and thrOWing away my excess crap. I was going to do this when I retired. . . two years ago.

I OWn too much crap.

I actually started by emptying a closet. I was going to write about this but that is just procrastination. NOW, I’m doing it NOW. . . .  here I go. . . right after I eat.  . .



Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “ow.” Find a word that contains “ow” or use it as a word in your post.

SoCS: year

Another year has gone by. The older you get, the faster they go ’round. Hard to believe I’ve been living here for 12 years. The years just go by.

This feeling has been heightened by going through old family albums. I have all the old albums from both my mom’s and dad’s side of family. They go way back, 1800’s even. The bindings and covers are falling apart; I’m re-doing them to give to my nephew’s family.

That’s the feeling I keep getting; lives gone by, years gone by. . . time marches on.


People make such a big fuss about New Year’s Eve. Its almost as much stress as Christmas but without the shopping. Its just a night. Its just a change of month like any other month; a change of calendars.

I’m looking forward to New Year’s Day. That’s when I take away everything Christmas.  It’s already getting sad looking; like ‘the morning after’. I think I didn’t cut enough off the bottom of the tree because there is water in the reservoir but its tinder dry. Some of the icicles and balls are drooping and so they don’t hang anymore; they touch the branch below and are crooked. It looks dead, sad and cheap.

We had a green Christmas this year. That was OK with me because it was easy travelling to my nephew’s. Its nice not having to have my driveway ploughed or my porch shovelled. I’ve been out on the trail many times. But its dull and dreary; seeing a blue jay or cardinal is a surprising flash of colour.

Being as old as I am and remembering years gone by; we’ve had a few green Christmases and we are probably in for a few more.  But then it will swing drastically and we’ll get terrible cold and lots of snow.

That’s still coming, although I can remember a year when I hardly had to have my driveway ploughed.

Hard to remember we had a foot of snow in November! That melted away and there’s been no more since. I saw a lot of complaining about having a green Christmas on Facebook, all by younger people.

My stream of consciousness is a babbling brook today.

2020. I can’t believe I even made to 2020. I know I’m only 67 but I remember when we were young and read about the future; like 1984, or Space Odyssey 2001. Trying to imagine what we would like and what we would be doing when we were that old!

OMG, years go by.


Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “year.” Use it any way you’d like.

SoCS: Let it Jingle!


Ol’ Kris Kringle is going to be jingling and mingling around here tonight! My sister is coming over with my 7 yr. old grandnephew and staying overnight!  We are going to play games and eat stuff.

This great kid recently lost his dad but he’s doing well. I can’t wait to see him.


When you are single it can be hard to mingle especially if you don’t drinkle. (ok I stretched that one) All those couples talking about their kids, their grandkids, where are going this winter?  what renovations you’re doing. . . . I just want to go home, get in my jammies, light one up and watch TV.

And there’s nothing wrong with that!

I found these two looking for Christmas dance numbers for my exercise class.

and this one just because;

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ingle.” Find a word that contains “ingle” and use it any way you’d like in your post.

SoCS: stop yelling!

My inner voice, the monkey mind part, has been yelling and I can’t stop it. Oh, I can drown it out with music somewhat or try to repeat a mantra, maybe twice if I’m lucky. Sometimes even TV doesn’t drown it out and I have to run back what I’m watching.

I’ve complained about my neighbours before. I wish so much I could NOT think about them. I’m not just talking to myself, I’m hollering at them all the things I’d like to say to them.

There are the lazy young people in front of my house and their house is owned by the matriarch next door. My lot is behind both their houses.

I’ve been sitting here trying to think of how to explain it simply. I can’t. And I sure don’t want to sit here and write out the 12 year long details of why I feel this way today.

I spend so much time alone and Thursdays I get to be with people who make me feel good. We’ve had a heart-breaking death in the family; I’ve been struggling with depression.

So I come home Thursday feeling pretty good and there she is in my driveway with her dog, going for a walk. She never walks her dog. My first thought was, “she wants to know the details.” I’m already screaming “fucking, go away!” in my mind.

Yes, she wanted to know what happened to “the guy who used to be her neighbour”  then turned it immediately to ‘this is when her husband died two years ago’.  No ‘how’s your niece doing?’ or ‘how are you?’

Normally I could muster up some sympathy but this time I could not. I’ve been living here for 12 years, on my own, and the women in this neighbourhood have been awful to me. Those italics are what I yell at them.

The Celebration of Life for my niece’s husband was the day before my birthday. It was a very sad day. They knew I was home alone all day. This woman wrote on my Facebook Timeline; “have a great day, gf!”

And what does my stupid monkey-mind do? “Girlfriend?” Seriously? I want to walk over there and yell at her, “I’m not your fucking girlfriend!”

I’m sorry for all this negativity; I’m fighting it with a beautiful Christmas tree and watching a lot of comedy. . .

Why did she have to be in my driveway on Thursday?  Damn!


Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “loud.” Find any word that means “loud,” and use it any way you’d like in your post.

SoCS: keys

I read an article recently (on Facebook so it must be true) that now thieves can replicate the sound of your remote lock for your car and open it. It says we should go back to using the key to lock the doors manually.

I tried to remember this on my recent Christmas shopping quest. But its hard to remember its so automatic. (ha, pun!) And its a hassle.  Go all away around your car and lock each one like the olden days.  Then I start thinking, “Well that’s just in big cities, not here in Strathroy.”

But I will lock the doors with the key manually next time. I need to move on to a bigger city where they have lots of stuff. I’m on the quest for a coin sorter. It has to be Canadian for Loonies, Two-nies and no pennies.

The key to enjoying Christmas is to stop buying so much crap. Draw names or just buy for the kids. Stop buying all that needless garbage that nobody wants. When we stopped buying gifts for each other, Christmas got so much easier, cheaper and way less stressful.

Hells Bells: I just went looking for a film clip from Harry and Tonto (I’m sure that’s the movie) where he picks up a couple of hitch-hikers and a woman goes on and on about how much crap there is in the world. More and more crap; everywhere, crap. But I couldn’t find it and I’m losing Stream of Consciousness momentum.

One of my key ways to enjoy Christmas is to go through ‘all the hassle’ of getting a real tree. I bought it on Monday and it was outside in its netting until yesterday.

I moved some furniture and set it up; let it sit and unfurl all night. Straightened it a number of times because just a few degrees off drives me crazy. After much sweating and swearing and turning screws I finally stuck something under the tree stand itself. Perfect.

Today is Saturday: all that insanity out there in a shopping frenzy. I’m going to decorate my tree.




Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “key.” Use it any way you’d like.

SoCS: shade

My house has fallen into shade for two months now. Along my driveway is a line of very old, tall cedars. The sun doesn’t make it above them all day then sets behind the house in front of me. Its dismal.

For now, around 1:00 p.m., there is a little tiny bit of sun in a space between two trees. But that’s going now, too.

That’s why I put up some Christmas lights outside already, just the white ones. In a week or two I’ll put up coloured lights and the star above my door. You have to light up the gloom!


Sometimes I compare ‘evil’ to shade: I don’t believe in Satan or a power of evil. There is only the light that is God. But there is something in between us and the Light that causes a shadow. That thing is ‘ego’ and we are the shadow.

There! I’ve answered the question of good vs. evil!  Now all you have to do is put aside your ego! Easy peasy!


Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “shade.” Use it any way you’d like.

SoCS: marketing dentistry


socs-badge-2019-2020Went to my pile of flyers that get stacked until the day I put out my recyclables. Every Wednesday I get a roll of flyers stuffed into my mail box. I go through them, look at a few, pick out the good ones for starting fires then throw the rest on the stack.

The top flyer was a shiny, two page advertisement for Petrolia Dentistry. I’m so glad you had this prompt today because this is funny. Not funny ‘ha ha’ but funny like; holy moly, look at the advertising for these dentists.

‘Caring and Convenient Dentistry’ with a photo of a young mom and her daughter smiling, “you don’t have to go to a big city!”  “most insurance plans accepted!” etc.

Inside there is info on how to check yourself for problems such as #4- have your teeth suddenly become loose?”

Then next page has a recipe for Curried Butternut Squash Soup and a photo which I’m going to scan because it contains a pet peeve of mine. A good-looking almost elderly couple. I know they are not clients of Petrolia Dentistry and this photo is most likely used in many advertisements such as travel. Whenever there is advertising for seniors they are always a couple.  and they usually look just like this; (I’ll give you the whole page so you can get the recipe)

fake couple
fake couple with photo-shopped teeth


ON the back is a photo of the 3 dentists with a little write-up on each one. “Call them today!” and, repeated; “Most Insurance Plans Accepted”

I already have a dentist I like and she’s much closer than Petrolia.

Thanks for a fun prompt, Linda!

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “flyer/ad.” Look at the latest ad you got in the mail (if it’s a store flyer, choose the product right in the middle of the page) or choose the next online ad you find, and theme your post on whatever the product is. Do not name the brand if you hate it, unless you add that it’s an opinion/review of the product in question. You don’t want to chance getting sued. Have fun!

SoCS: bad dream

Warning; this post is very sad. If you aren’t in the mood for sad then don’t read this. I wouldn’t write it normally but I need to speak it.

Every morning I hope I’m awakening from a bad dream but then I remember its true; Tyler is dead. He committed suicide. He was my nieces’ husband, my nephew-in-law and father to Will, 7 yrs. old.

This happened 10 days ago. That’s why I didn’t write last week. Too sad.

I’ve had a hard time because I have no one to talk to. Two friends have reached out with letters but they live far away. I’ve been alone with my thoughts for days and days.

I thought the celebration of life yesterday would help bring closure but it made me worse.

When I arrived Will was playing Crazy Eights with his uncle. I joined in to play because I would prefer that to talking to people. We played a few games then I mentioned we were going to start soon.

Will started looking around, like he was looking for someone. I asked him if he wanted to get his mom or anyone but he shook his head. He kept looking and looking at the entrance way. I didn’t get it yet.

Tyler’s sister spoke first, in tears, then my niece spoke. That’s when I saw Will waking towards us starting to cry; his face showed his pain. They took him to the washroom and he threw up.

It took me until I was lying in bed last night to make the connection. Will was waiting for his Dad to come in. He probably thought it was all a bad dream and now Tyler could came back. I think it was the first time he really understood that his dad was not coming back.

My nephew and his family took Will home with them.

I don’t know whether to share this with family or not. Why add more pain and hurt?

My nephew, Tyler’s mother and I all have something in common; we share a birthday and that is today. I can’t imagine Tyler’s mom’s pain.

I wish it was all a bad dream.