SoCS: toss

Its a toss up if I’m going to write this post or not. I don’t have much to talk about so I’ll end up tossing it away.

Here in Ontario, Canada we have moved into Stage 2. Most stores are open, the beaches are open although they are too crowded. We are having a major and very long heat wave and the water is very high so I’m not going to the beach. I never did all summer anyway unless the kids were coming because I hate crowds. If its hot, its crowded.

Now crowds are something to be avoided more than ever. So I’m still in Stage 1. I go to the local grocery store once a week and stay home. I have a long morning routine; computer stuff then dishes from the night before. We have no rain in sight and its very, very hot so I water the front plants in the morning and the back plants late afternoon. I’m sew up a mask or two. I’m not selling them, I’m making them as gifts.

When I get sick of sewing I go to the TV. I have satellite TV and Netflix, always something to watch. I have food and air conditioning. I live in a nice peaceful place with birds singing, I can open the windows early in the morning before the heat sets in.

I chide myself, feel guilty, if I complain because I realize how good I have it. That’s why its a toss-up to even write this: its really hard being alone all the time. Waking up alone; doing this routine again alone; watching TV alone. It really wears on your sanity.

I’m not sure if people think I’m used to this or I like this because I’m an introvert but no one asks me how I feel. No neighbour checks in on me. I go days without even a text. But last night I got a text; asking how my sister is! WTF! Why don’t you write and ask her how she is? She can barely get a moment alone!

You know who else I hear from? My ex. I won’t even get into how much I want to toss the phone out the front door, listening to him. Its emotional torture. This is who I married. I ended up alone but somehow I still have him in my life. Again; WTF?

The heat is not helping one bit! Having to close the windows and living room curtains and stay inside is even more depressing.

See why I would want to toss this post? But I’m not going to. I need to say it.

Two Gifts

I can’t remember how long its been since I’ve written an un-prompted post. I’ve even missed some Saturday Stream of Consciousness. Part of the reason is that I started this blog as a way to talk to someone, air my feelings. Now I have 2 friends I write to, where I can really ‘talk’, so many mornings I’m writing to them.

Yesterday I did a Stream of Consciousness Saturday post and mentioned I have a couple of great gifts to make my life better. I didn’t post about them because it wasn’t following my stream of thought which was how sick I am of anger and outrage. (I really can’t take anymore.)

So today I will post about my gifts! The first gift came from the program Opening Doors, who I volunteer with and is funded by United Way. The program works with people who are socially isolated for various reasons and suffer from depression and anxiety. Needless to say this pandemic has taken us all back to square one, alone. Everyone is isolated and facing a long, lonely summer.

Like many people, I was trying to figure out how to grow more vegetables in my sandy soil in Rabbit City. I filled some buckets with soil and planted some greens. It literally looked like garbage and my soil is barren. I felt depressed and defeated.

Then I was told our program director got a grant from United Way to give Opening Doors members raised beds complete with soil, (Triple mix!) plants, seed, gloves etc. ! Incredible!

It took a long time to get here. It was ordered from Lowe’s and they were backordered for weeks. It was coming “any day now” for a month. First the raised bed kit came and I put it together.

In the meantime, my brother-in-law spotted my rotting, saggy deck and I ventured; “I can afford the materials but I’m afraid how much labour would cost to replace it.” So he and my nephew built me a new deck!

When that was finished, the soil finally came. 18 bags of triple mix! I had 3 bags left over after filling the bed so I put the tomato plants in buckets along side it to give me more room. I have 2 kale plants, 3 eggplants, 3 tomato, parsley and marigold plants and I sowed some beets.

The co-ordinator for United Way was waiting to come out for a photo and interview. I got him in the day I put in the soil so I could get that behind me. I’ve had so many people here; way more than usual! I found myself longing for lonliness again! Be careful what you wish for!

Here are some photos: the garden the photo day, the garden this morning; (just now and with many mosquitoes), and the new deck!

Oh Yes! I am very grateful for these gifts!

SoCS: nail

Another Friday has arrived and with it, another Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. So, how are you? Are you doing okay? Hanging in there? I hope so.

Here’s your SoCS prompt for this week:Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “nail.” Use it as a noun or a verb.

“If you are a hammer, everything you look at is a nail.”

I have reached the saturation point of outrage: I can’t take anymore. I’m so sick of anger and racism and . . . outrage.

The killing of George Floyd has sparked outrage here in Canada when some idiots had the audacity to say there is no systemic racism in Canada. I live in a First Nation area and have many First Nations Facebook friends. They are outraged and understandably so.

But I’ve been hammered into the ground. I can’t go any further down. I can’t read anymore articles or listen to anyone’s anger.

It was my ex who finally landed the last blow to my sanity. He has been totally isolated all this time and is so deeply into his own world there is no communication. I didn’t have the mental strength to listen to how bad everything is.

I yelled, “STOP!” I had to shut him down. Everything is bad and wrong and “they” are doing something to “us” . . . . Aarrgghhh! I can’t take anymore!

I feel like a nail that has been pounded in as far as it can go.

But don’t worry about me! For now I am surrounded with peace. I’ve had some great gifts that is making my life here even better. I just have to keep out the hammers!

SoCS: Caving

When I saw the prompt for today, “cave” I got all excited!  I was a caver for over 10 years. You probably heard it called spelunking but that’s very European. In North America we call it caving.

It was my husband (now ex) who was first interested. We were bigtime hikers; we would travel to Maine or North Carolina; different state parks to camp and do trails. I’ve been on the Pacific Northwest Trail and the Appalachian trail but only in little bits compared to the length of them. But my favourite was right here in Ontario; the Bruce Trail.

But back to caving; It was the book “…..  nope, can’t remember*. The hero of the book was a spelunker (in Europe) and there were some great descriptive caving ‘scenes’ in his book.  That’s when my husband found out this was a sport and found the Toronto Caving Group.  Soon he was off to West Virginia on a beginners trip.

At first I was “no way”. The thought of being down there with all that earth above terrifed me.  He came back elated and ready to buy lots of gear.

I went along to Rattlesnake Point (a park with cliffs in Ontario) where he practiced different manoeuvres and starting to learn some ropework. I met some great people who encouraged me to join in.

Soon we were off to West Virginia where I was promised some good hiking if I tried caving. I did and I loved it! It was so exciting and I came out feeling elated at what I had done.

I became a caver. I learned ropework; I had my own gear for descending (and ascending) pits.  We met some great folks in Tennessee/ Alabama and we would go caving to some remote area or just spent the day “hoppin’ pits”; fun descents into holes that went no where.

The peak of my caving career was Ellison Cave in Georgia. The descent is a straight drop of 18 stories. (I can’t remember numbers) the scariest cave I ever did. I did it because I turned 40 that year and wanted to do something great.

I wrote about it a few years ago; I’ll find the link and put it at the end of my post.

Caving was a wonderful thing in my life. It gave me self-esteem and made me fearless. I met the most interesting and unique people, I’ll never forget. I still love “The South” because of all the great people I met.

  • Shibumi by Trevanian was the book.

https://monicleblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/daily-prompt-unsafe-and-scared-witless/

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https://lindaghill.com/2020/05/08/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-9-2020/

SoCS: diverted

“Apply generously and evenly to face and neck…..”

But first wash your hands thoroughly then wash your face thoroughly.

******************************

I had a funny meme for this about a guy touching his face.  It was way down in my profile on Facebook so I switched my Reader window over to Facebook and scrolled and scrolled . . . way down until I found it.

I tried to ‘copy and paste’ it but it didn’t work so I clicked back onto the Facebook page  BUT inadvertently closed it.

Then, to go back and log out, I closed my WordPress page with my draft.

Now this has gone way past ‘stream of consciousness’. My stream of consciousness quickly went into ‘fuck this’ mode.

My computer is every bit as maddening as my sewing machine. They both get screamed at with very foul language.

In case you are wondering what this seemingly pointless post was about:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “directions.” Find a household cleaner/bottle of shampoo/something in the freezer/anything you can find with instructions on it, then copy down a single direction (just one) on how to use/cook/etc. your chosen thing, and make it the first line or word of your post. Then keep writing whatever comes out.

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https://lindaghill.com/2020/05/01/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-2-2020/

SoCS: inVALid

I have talked about my lazy neighbours before.  She works but he doesn’t work or even drive a car. They met playing videos games and she said this quarantine was “a gamer’s dream!”

One thing; she’s 8 months pregnant. We live very far from a hospital and, I repeat, he doesn’t drive. They didn’t do any renovations to the house which was in bad shape. But then; they are smarter than every woman who’s ever had a baby so they’ll be OK.

Years ago a friend said, “Some people are invalids, they cannot do things, but some are inVALids; they won’t do anything.”  

socs-badge-2019-2020

 

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “val.” Find a word that starts with “val” or if you’re not doing the A to Z Challenge, find a word that just has “val” in it, and use that word any way you’d like.

https://lindaghill.com/2020/04/24/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-25-2020/

SoCS: practice

Holy Moly, I forgot all about WordPress for the last couple of weeks. Sometimes I would remember that Saturday passed by without notice. One day blurs into the next.

But here I am; at home.  I’ve been practicing this for years!  I’ve been very isolated this last decade. After my marriage broke up, I moved to a new area and haven’t made any really good friends. Lots of Facebook friends but not ‘lets hang out’ friends.

After I retired I realized I talked to people at work and now I had no one except my sister. Now there were days and days with no communication other than Facebook.

Luckily I found the perfect volunteer position in Opening Doors. Its a program promoting good mental health with a healthy lifestyle. Its geared toward those living in isolation which is a HUGE problem for depression. We had a bus that would pick up people in rural areas without a ride.

Sometimes I would go all week without seeing anyone until Opening Doors again. It was my lifeline to sanity. But that was one of the first things to be cancelled.

So here we are; now we are ALL isolated. I guess I’m lucky to have learned so many tools for keeping myself sane all these years. I’m doing them all now!

Get out of bed. get dressed, comb your hair, brush your teeth. make your bed etc.  Do it even if you feel like you’re walking through water. Put one foot in front of the other.

Eat healthy!  You need fruit and vegetables more than ever now! But give yourself treats, too. I love sugar but I know if I have a night with too much sugar, I will be ‘blue’ in the morning.  Find the balance.  Its such a nice little joy to remember you have cake for dessert.

Exercise!  We are not getting out at all! Even our trails are closed!  Turn on that music and dance! Do yoga slowly with mindfulness. Make yourself do some kind of exercise; it really, really makes you feel better. You HAVE to do it!

And, of course, keep in touch with people. Especially if you live alone, as I do. I see so many things on what to do with your family or kids. .   not much on what to do all alone. Its really hard!  But then I think of all the people who wish they could be alone! Or the health care workers who would love to have an afternoon nap in the sun.

There is also spiritual practice. I felt I had been neglecting it compared to how devoted I used to be but its all there, waiting patiently. Whatever it is for you; do it.

This is all new to so many people but I’m an expert at isolation; been practicing it for years.

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

https://lindaghill.com/2020/04/17/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-18-2020/

SoCS: beside me

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “beside you.” Write about whatever is beside you when you read this prompt. Not when you sit down to write, but whatever is beside you right now. Take note of it if you think you might forget.

I had to read that slowly before I got it. You guys must look up the prompt on your phone and then have another device to write on? For me, I’m sitting down to write here and now so I have to confess what is beside me. Which side do I pick? Both.

On my left are two boxes of files and other papers. There is a plastic table over them with my printing paper and a little box of all my passwords. I can’t imagine storing my passwords on-line because they are much safer in my office in a little plastic box. No one is ever in here unless they are leaning over my shoulder. The printer is here, too.

On my right is a briefcase with all my ‘talks’ when I used to speak in public. There are years of study and writing in that case. The only reason its beside me now is because I cleaned out a dusty part of my sewing room* and put it by my desk to vacuum. Its clean now but I’m not sure where to put it yet: I’m still organizing. Its leaning on more papers to organize. I hate organizing.

I haven’t been here for a few weeks! I was losing track of the days; Saturdays just got lost somewhere. The program I volunteer for was shut down right from the beginning of all this so its been two weeks since I’ve been there. I’m writing to a few folks and my program director keeps in touch.

But I think its going to be a long time before I’ll have a person beside me.

[* the sewing room is also the office. ]

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https://lindaghill.com/2020/03/27/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-28-2020/

SoCS: figuring

I figured you all missed me when I didn’t post last Saturday. I’m sure you were all like ‘where is she?’  “I hope she’s ok’  Kidding of course.

My grandnephew was staying with me last weekend so I didn’t have time to post. I had better things to do, like look for new game shows. That’s his new thing; he’s too old for cartoons now he’s into game shows.

But I didn’t just park him in front of the TV, we also played games a lot. We did go outside for a little while but it was very cold and windy. In fact, he stayed an extra day because the roads between here and his mom where closed due to snow squalls. We had fun!

 

Figure. I used to have a good figure. . .  well, maybe a little too skinny. (I know; “shut up”) I’m still not bad for 67. . . OMG I’m my mom.  She used to look in the mirror and say, ” not bad for [whatever age she was at the time]”. But I am full in the middle now: I have a belly bigger than my ass.  I could give up sugar and bread but I’m not going to. I figure that a belly at my age is normal and I’m not going to go crazy to have a flat belly.

Crazy like the Dr. Oz challenge; don’t eat after 7:00 p.m. I know it would be healthy to not snack at night but I don’t care. I figure my happiness is more important that a flat belly.

You may say; well, there’s heart disease and stroke. Yes, that’s true. oh well. Then there is the “pleasure? or just plain gluttony” aspect. Guilty.

I do eat very healthy and exercise during the day; its just the night snacking that’s no good. I figure a healthy body can deal with a little sugar. I hope. Actually, if I get a choice, I hope I go of a heart attack and quickly. I’m afraid of having a stroke and not dying.  And after seeing my aunt die of dementia I’ve seen the irony of keeping your body healthy then your brain doesn’t keep up. Damn; if it ain’t one thing, its the other.

I figure if you got this far in this very boring post then you must be a regular. THANKS!

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “figure.” Use the word “figure” any way you’d like.

https://lindaghill.com/2020/03/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-7-2020/

SoCS: Swans!

The other day I heard someone say, “I heard swans going over my house this morning.”

My ears picked up . . .Swans? Its the first sign of spring and an annual event where I live. We are on a migration route where thousands of Tundra Swans gather each spring in the local fields. People come from near and far to experience them.

I love to see them flying when its clear and the sky is blue. They shine white: its so beautiful.

This weekend is supposed to be sunny and somewhat warm, for a Canadian winter. My eyes will be on the skies.

No, I didn’t forget the SoCS photo; I’m going to let the swan have the limelight.

 

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “animal sounds.” Write about the sounds animals make and how you experience them.

https://lindaghill.com/2020/02/21/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-22-2020/