SoCS: Rope

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “rope.” Use it as a noun or a verb.

Two things popped into my head, I think the movie “Rope” was first. Great Alfred Hitchcock movie! All set in one room. Its based on the Leopold and Loeb.. . . the two guys that murdered just to see what it was like. One is a psychopath and the other slowly unravels. Jimmy Stewart is the guy that figures it all out. There’s a lot of smoking and drinking and when someone is leaving they say “Have one for the road!”

The other rope I think about is the one we are given as karma. We have a certain amount of free will in our white privileged society. If you are rich and beautiful, you can literally get away with murder. If you can do anything you want . . . what will you choose? If you are given this great bounty . . . what do you choose to do with it? We are given enough rope to hang ourselves with. . . if we choose.

SoCS: complain

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “comp.” Find a word that starts with or contains “comp” and use it in your post. 

Aw, sorry everyone; its ‘complain’. I know I complain a lot here but that’s what this blog is for now: to complain in anonymity. Perhaps that’s why I still don’t have many followers. I don’t really care about numbers; I just like this prompt for my weekly complaint.

I started this blog 10 years ago called “sixty, single and still surviving.” This year I turn 70; maybe I’ll change it to: “seventy and still complaining.”

My complaint today is most people’s complaint these days. Everything is so damned expensive! For those of us on Old Age Pension; its killer! The only thing I can do is stay home. After 2 years of living in isolation now I still have to stay home! I don’t want to use gas and I don’t want to burn propane when I’m out. I have a small amount of money left and we have a 5 week month.

My propane company makes me pay ahead. They call it COD however they usually have my money for several days before they deliver. The minimum order was $400. I sent an e-transfer on Sunday night to be sure she got it first thing Monday morning. Password: propane. Early Monday morning I got an email from the bank; McRoberts had accepted my money.

Tuesday night they hadn’t shown up yet. I’m running very low. I sent off an e-mail saying “I hope you realize the $400 you accepted with password ‘propane’ meant I’m ordering propane.”

Wednesday morning she called me: “The minimum order is now $500. Send me another $100 and I will put you on the list for delivery.” Seriously? She couldn’t have put me on the list for delivery then e-mailed me to send her another $100? Just wait for me to realize they aren’t coming? Unbelievable.

They came yesterday and what’s more unbelievable is how much propane I got for $500. 75% of one tank.

Luckily its been warm and I still have firewood but its still cold enough in the morning to use my furnace. As soon as it hits 20 C, its turned off for the rest of the day.

And then I do that thing, after I complain, when I remember what’s going on in Ukraine and I ashamed of my complaints. I think of the women with their kids; sleeping in subways, not knowing where to go. Its heartbreaking.

I remember that I own a house and only responsible for myself. I can’t imagine what young people with children are facing these days. Talk about the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer! Holy Shite! Rich homes and condos going in all around here in beach towns; bought for Airbnb’s. The people who lived in the old cottages and apartments above the stores are displaced and many are homeless. Many have to live in their cars so they can drive into town for their jobs, serving the rich. Its so disgusting.

I have this picture of Mr. Burns in my media library because that’s how I imagine McRobert Fuels to look like and I have complained about them so many times! But now it also looks like all those rich getting richer on the backs of the poor.

SoCS: trip

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

I’m guessing Linda’s inspiration for this is because its the beginning of March Break in Canada and this year people can travel. Is anyone going on a trip? Many, many people. It was on the news last night, before the news on Ukraine. They were interviewing families at the airport and everyone said the same thing: “We haven’t been away in two years!” Even little kids, maybe 7 – 10 yrs old “I haven’t been away in two years!”

I don’t know how many years its been since I’ve been away. About 10 years ago we helped my aunt move her stuff up here from Florida but I was sick with a mystery illness and my aunt was in a constant tizzy so it wasn’t much fun.

I used to go on a lot of trips when I was married so its been at least 15 years. My married friends are planning their trips now. I hear “much needed getaway” a lot from a friend who writes often. She wants to come here again, after her trip to Cuba. She comes 2 or 3 times a year but I’ve never been invited to her place. I have been heavily hinting like; “yeah, it sure would be nice to go somewhere!”. I even said how great it would be to go to TO, eat in restaurants, go out! She said, “maybe next year”.

So I guess the best hope for me taking a trip is to drop acid!

Then there are the ‘tripping’ safety issues that come to mind. One of the things they recommend when you have osteoporosis to make sure you don’t have things that could cause you to trip. Like various throw rugs, runners and mule slippers: bad combination. I’ve had some close calls. . . “what a drag it is getting old.”

Well, that’s all I got about trips.

SoCS: way to go

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “way to go.” Use it as a phrase or use it in its literal sense. 

Funny, I saw the prompt this morning and thought I wasn’t going to do it. I’ve been down and didn’t want to write another bummer post. I was not inspired by ‘way to go’.

But I wrote to a friend about a story I saw about a Russian captured soldier. The Ukrainians gave him hot tea and let him call his mom on Facetime. He was in tears saying he didn’t want to be there and they did not know they were going to war. The Ukrainian people are now going to the convoy with megaphones telling the soldiers if they surrender they will be fed and housed. Then I wrote, without thinking about it; LOVE IS THE WAY TO GO.

So I guess I wrote it after all.

SoCS: rest

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

Rest. I get lots of rest now: too much rest if I’m not careful. And due to crappy weather, I haven’t been hiking either. Two thaws and quick freezing: sheer ice under a layer of fluffy snow.

I won’t complain about too much rest, though. That would be crazy because its not like there isn’t anything to do. There’s always something to do but I don’t want to organize. Yuck. Doing something I hate doesn’t make me feel better. It sure as hell doesn’t spark joy. I wish it did! I’d be doing it all the time!

I remember the days I longed for rest. It usually hits in your 40’s and 50’s that you need rest. You’ve stretched yourself too thin and its hard to get out of commitments you’ve made. My story is different in that I didn’t have kids and my job was our own business: I helped my beekeeper husband, made products from beeswax and did a Farmer’s market on Saturdays. I also belonged to an organization who ‘volunteered’ me to be in charge of flower gardens and public speaking. There went Sundays.

My mom had MS and lived four hours away. She liked me to cook for her and look after her flower garden. It was far away enough to need to sleep over for a night or two. There was an attic bedroom in their small farmhouse that was so creepy, I hardly slept. There was a old black and white TV but they didn’t hook it up to the big antenna. It had ‘rabbit ears’. I got one or two fuzzy Detroit stations, if I was lucky.

Now I was two days behind on my business and housework. Housework in that house was above and beyond: renovations never completed, plywood floor, composting toilet, greenhouse, gardens, landscaping, . . . yeah it was impressive but a lot of work. there was a honey house for extracting but most of the work was in the house; candle making in the laundry room. I made lip balm and hand cream in the kitchen so that had to be pristine to make my products then cleaned up to make dinner.

And caving! I almost forgot about caving: that was our ‘vacations’. More work. I would come home totally exhausted and have muddy cave gear and dirty cooking utensils to clean. Once I hit menopause I could no longer keep up. I told my husband to go alone, which he was happy to do, and I would clean my house. That was my goal in those days; to get one day of rest in a clean house.

SO. . . I would be crazy to complain about getting too much rest. After years of people making demands on me because “I didn’t have to work”, I earned rest. And the funny thing is; I still have to keep telling myself that!

SoCS: whatever

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “whatever.” Use the word “whatever” any way you’d like. Bonus points if you start your post with it.

That’s my answer for just about everything that’s going on these days: “whatever”.

Here in Canada the big thing is the convoy in Ottawa that is into its fourth week. Four weeks of division and name calling. People trying to tell me I’m not Free!?! Whatever.

Facebook has been such a bummer with people on opposing sides. Why keep at it? over and over. So that’s your opinion; whatever.

Everyone is worn down.

SoSC: fortune

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

A fortune. Wish I had a fortune. I don’t need a fortune. What is a fortune anymore? Why do so many people seem to have such large fortunes these days while others can’t afford the basics of life? Something happened during this pandemic where the rich got way richer and the poor got way poorer.

The ultra right-wing raised millions of dollars to help the demonstrating truckers stay in downtown Ottawa, blowing their air horns constantly, idling their huge trucks 24/7; saying its for ‘Freedom’.

Look what money can be raised if people care about something. Look at what Betty White did for animal shelters in one day!

People are all the more divided. Facebook is such bummer. I can’t imagine being on Twitter. I’m so sick of the whole thing.

Homelessness is up. Rents have gotten so high and now they can raise them even higher. Food prices are going way up, quickly. I am fortunate enough to own my home. I am fortunate to live in a country that gives me an old age pension. I’m OK but so many are NOT OK. The money is there; the rich just don’t care. And they really want to look rich; Lamborghini and other luxury cars had their best year. I can see old cottages being torn down and huge expensive houses being built; many of them to become B n Bs. A friend who rents cottages around here said people don’t want little funky cottages anymore: they want big fancy homes with vaulted ceilings, looking out on the lake. They rent for over $1000 a night and they are booked.

It disgusts me. Greedy people disgust me. With this trucker occupation, my level of disgust is affecting my mental health.

Figure skating is on right now. It started at 6:45 a.m. so I am recording it to watch later. Its good to have a pleasant diversion from all the crap going on. The Winter Olympics have been a good for that: Imagine all the people living life as One. Youoooo may say I’m a dreamer. . . .

SoCS: Page 1

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “page.” Use it as a noun or a verb. 

Another prompt reminding me of a job I once had! This one was the best job I ever had: Page in the Vancouver Public Library. I used to joke I was just a page in a library. Not only Vancouver but the Kitsilano Branch; the coolest part of Vancouver and blocks from the ocean.

I had my own desk. First job was stamping cards with the date that would be the return date of all the books taken out that day. Then I would take the cart of returned books around to shelve. I had so much information going through my hands . . . I use to take home stacks of books: fiction, crafts, home decor, dog training, travel . . . whatever caught my eye.

I put plastic covers on new books and mended old books. But the best part of the job was coffee breaks. We had a full kitchen downstairs with a large coffee urn. It was my job to prepare coffee break for the librarians and higher Pages. Many days, especially weekends, they would send me out to the bakery for treats to serve with the fresh coffee. I never drank coffee before this but that smell was irresistible and that’s when I became a coffee drinker.

It was also the staff that was so great about this job. Librarians have university degrees; they were all very smart. A lot of ‘spinsters’ as they were known in the day.

I met my first transvestite there; Fran. She wore a hat with a net and always had gloves to match her dress. She didn’t shave regularly so often came in with a 2 day old beard. But my librarians treated her with the same respect they showed everyone else and taught me to do the same. And that was the early 1970s.

I was trying to get a promotion from Page 1 to Page 2. I had to go to the downtown main branch and take a typing/speed test. This took me back to the Grade 4/5 speed tests to see if you would “accelerate”. As soon as that ticking countdown started I panicked! And so I FAILED! I stayed in Grade 4 while the other side of the class accelerated to Grade 5. As soon as I got into that speed typing test it was Grade 4 all over again. I failed twice. I supposed to type ‘so many’ WPM (I forget) but I couldn’t get there. As soon as the stopwatch started to tick, my fingers went wild in panic.

I would have kept trying but I had to move away from Vancouver and that’s a story for another SoCS.

SoCS: let go: I wish

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “let go.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think “let go.” 

First thing that comes to mind; I wish I could. And it figures it would be the prompt this morning because ‘letting things go’ is a big problem right now. I’m lying in bed at night and in the morning, thinking about those things I wish I could just ‘let go’ of.

What would really help would be a future. I’m going to be 70 this year. My hopes for the future are not ending up in a nursing home. I would love to be able to stay in my home, and I will for as long as I can but its not that easy. Its a lot of work for an old lady. A lot of upkeep and expense. Last year my furnace and lawn mower both broke down and that put me in a downward financial spiral. I worry that when I have to replace my roof, its game over.

I wish I could let go of my past. Its all the crap that brought me to where I am today. I don’t even want to write about it; I really want to let it go. Maybe when you get old you have so much past and so little future . . . well, I guess it comes down to dumping all that baggage you are still carrying; letting it go.

At seventy I could still have another 20 years or more in me. God, I hope not. There’s no way I’m looking after this place at that age. I can only bring in 2 pieces of wood at a time or my carpel tunnel hurts. I can see the day I’m shuffling in with one piece of wood at a time. If I didn’t have wood heat right now I would be freezing. I could not afford to keep this place warm with the cost of propane and electric heat.

We are in an “extreme cold warning.” My propane company has once again taken my money and not delivered. They have me on COD. They won’t deliver my propane without a $400 minimum payment and they will bring me $400 worth of propane, which is less and less every year. I phoned them last week and told them I was waiting for my pension cheque and could they please fill my tanks with $400 when I get it and bill me for the rest in March. No, they won’t. I can only pay $400 this month which I did when I got my OAP. But that wasn’t enough time to get on the delivery list. Now I’m very low on propane on an extremely cold weekend.

And it only takes an incident like that to lose my peace of mind. Its like treading water then someone throws you a weight.

I have to let go of the future, too. I’ll stay here until I can’t do it anymore. Not being able to drive or afford a car might come first; I would have to move to a town. There’s no use in worrying about it until it happens.

So I will do today what I always do; clean up and get on with it. Put some nice scents in the water on the woodstove, play some uplifting music while I do last nights dishes. Eating healthy is necessary for mental health so I use dishes, pots and pans everyday. I’m getting some sunlight in the afternoon in my living room now and today is sunny. I’ll work on my jigsaw puzzle and park myself in the sun. Do whatever it takes to let go of the past and enjoy what I have now.

SoCS: my old job

Your prompt for #JusJoJan and my very first birthday-Stream-of-Consciousness-Saturday is: “icing on the cake.” Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the phrase “icing on the cake.”

I think of my job at Sobeys. When I first got hired at the bakery doing cakes “will be trained” I was ecstatic! I had bought my house with most of my settlement and had worked at a convenience store full time in the summers the first couple of years. then cleaned cottages. I was 61 yrs old, running out of money and getting scared when I saw the ad for cake decorator at Sobeys. I drove there in a snow storm to hand in my resume. A few days later I got an interview and got the job! OH man, was I happy!

It turned out the manager of the bakery wasn’t anywhere near as nice as the store owner who hired me. He was grouchy all the time and the cake queen was a bitch. They were awful. I stood my ground. One day I yelled at him, “You aren’t going to bully me out of this job!”

And one day I yelled at her “I’m here to help YOU! Tell me what to do to HELP YOU!”

He got a little better after that and she got WAY better when she found out I not only smoked pot but grew it and could sell her good pot at a bargain price. I would stick a 1/4 oz in my sock and we would exchange in the freezer, out of site of cameras. (It was illegal in those days.) After that, I was her best friend. A friend with weed is a friend indeed.

But the main story I thought of when I read ‘icing on the cake’ was about 2 months into my job, in which I was told I would be trained, they had not taught me any cake decorating or writing. I only did background, help-out work. One day my boss said nastily “You should be able to write on a cake by now.”

So my next day off I went to Walmart, got a cake decorating kit and went on YouTube to learn how to write on cakes. I put plastic wrap over a cutting board. I still have the photos here:

this is before I found out I’d been spelling congratulations wrong my whole

I had to lick it off!
this is as good as I got.

A job I was so happy to get and even happier to leave!