OLW: Good Advice

Got some great advice for life in general while getting my health card and driver’s licence:

Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut.”—– Service Ontario





I am very dubious that my car needs a repair that’s going to cost over $1000 just so I don’t pollute our environment and can keep my car on the road. But I have no choice: in order to get the yearly stickers for my plates I have to do this or buy a new car.

I want to help keep our air clean but this is ridiculous.

It started when I didn’t get my application for renewing my driver’s licence and plates.  I had an application to renew my health card so I was waiting for the forms for my car to do all at once. Since the forms usually come long before your birthday I realized last week that I would have to go to Service Ontario without any forms.

My licence and health card were renewed but my car needed an e-test before I could get the yearly stickers for the plates. That is an emissions test to make sure your car isn’t belching fumes into the environment. I would have known this if I’d gotten the forms in the mail and not cut it so close (maybe).

She said if I hurry down to Canadian Tire they might be able to fit me in. When I got there they said the machine broke down an hour ago and should be fixed tomorrow. I phone the next day and they said ‘tomorrow’ but I was working. I phoned Monday and they said they couldn’t get me in until Wednesday. My plates expire Thursday.

So I drove to another Canadian Tire farther away and failed my test. The car runs just fine but my catalytic converter is cracked. ‘Small problem’ he says.

Being snow tire season my usual garage was booked until December. I phoned around and found someone who might do it but she couldn’t find parts for a Suzuki Swift. I phoned my old garage and they told me it was interchangeable with a Chevy Avail. I phoned the new garage back, gave them the information and she called me back…… the parts, alone, were $700 and she would have to look at the exhaust system to see if more parts were needed.

So now it will be $1000 or more to get the damn stickers for my plates. I can’t go running out to buy a new car now. I’m sick and angry about it.  My mind was churning all night about; should I get another car and stay on for another year? NO! I can’t do it! I have to quit that job. I will be way too depressed if I have to stay there. The car runs great and it has snow tires. I have to keep it.

Today the sun is shining and I intended to work at home all day with all this bureaucratic bullshit happily behind me. This morning I’m taking the car in so they can see what is needed.  At least I’ll have all afternoon and don’t have work and be miserable; I can be outside and a little less miserable with the soothing ointment of nature and sun.

I have to work tomorrow which is last day I’m legal.  Saturday I’m keeping my fingers crossed that no cops look at my plates and punch that number into their computer.  Hopefully I can get this all done by next week.

Good thing I have a credit card but I am very dubious that my car needs an expensive ‘repair’ like this.

if it aint' one thing




Sometimes a ‘prompt’ word comes along I sort of know the meaning of but not enough to be in my vocabulary.  ‘Panacea’: “a universal remedy, a cure of all ills.”

That would be how I’m looking at retirement right now. It’s only 8 weeks away and I can hardly wait. Even though I’m down to two days a week, I still drag my feet going in I don’t want to so much.

It’s getting cold in the store, too. The lunch room is freezing. Going in and out of the freezer with heavy boxes is too hard.  Sometimes you are looking and looking and freezing and there it is, way up high, so you need to get the ladder. These days I just want to say ‘fuck it’ and walk out. I am not ashamed to say; “I’m too old for this!”

Last Saturday I had a 7- hour closing shift which is working most of the day alone then cleaning. I didn’t last 7 hours. I just told them I was closing the bakery at 6:00 p.m. I was so exhausted. Luckily it was dark and pouring rain so ‘it was OK’.

“Pretty soon I won’t have to do this!” I sing to myself over and over. It makes me so happy!

However, like most panaceas, I realize retirement won’t be the cure-all for what ails me. There will be a problem with isolation and loneliness….. something that comes with being a hermit and a bit of a weirdo. I will miss the interaction with my co-workers who I’ve become fairly close to. I’ll even miss the interactions with the ones who bug me. It’s always good to have a bone to chew on.

Most people would go crazy being alone so much but I enjoy it…. to a point. After a couple of days home alone I’m a little nutty. I’ll need to force myself to do things outside of the home.

And I know full well that all this stuff I want to do around my house will not be fun. Many days I won’t want to do what I should do and there’s always something to do around here. Having a job gives you a good excuse not to do it; now I’ll have no excuses.

So retirement won’t be the panacea for all that ails me…… but it will sure help!


4.25 Hour Shift

Because it’s so slow at the grocery store I work in, our hours have been cut short. I was ‘lucky’ enough to have 3 shifts this week, next week I have only two five-hour shifts so a 10 hour work week. Most people are grumbling about this although they already know that is the nature of this job; crazy in the summer, slow in the winter.

I don’t care. In fact, the last shift I cut it even shorter.

It was pouring rain and we hardly had any customers so the owner told me I could leave when I was finished. I took every short cut, cut every corner on the floor and just washed the dirty part in the middle. And why waste 15 minutes up in that horrible lunch room when I can eat my sandwich on the way home?

Like a bat out of hell.


Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “shortcut/cut short.” Use one, use both, whatever strikes your fancy. Enjoy!



Lately I’ve been a little bugged by the “I’m so blessed” conversation which is permission to brag but since the prompt today is ‘gratitude’ I must say, “My cup runneth over”.

In two months I retire. I don’t have a great pension but my wonderful government adds on an income supplement for those of us with no other pensions and little CPP. For that alone I’m so grateful. It’s not much but I can get by.

I own my house and have no debts. There’s been help along the way, which I’m so very grateful for. Ten years ago I left my decaying ‘dream’ home when my marriage fell apart. Since we had a business together, I lost my home, job and mate all in one day.

With him there was no hope of retirement. I would still be working everyday, while being nagged and yelled at, with no end in sight. Instead, I’m here, in my own home, retiring.

Another reason I am so grateful is good health. Sure, I eat healthy and exercise but that doesn’t mean I won’t get cancer, a stroke or a heart attack.

(phone rings, it’s Sobeys)

Funny how the younger people are sick on Sunday mornings so often. At first I asked what shift? Noon to 7:00. That’s breaking out the buns and bread for the next day (in and out of the freezer with heavy boxes) and closing (cleaning). I said no. I did it, I said no. I almost called them back and said OK but I wrestled myself down.

I’m so grateful to have a savings account, a warm, cozy home and can say no.


SoCS; which, witch, wich

Which grocery store should I go to today? The local Foodland which is only 11 minutes away? I’m due for trip to the Superstore, which is 40 minutes away, because I’m getting low on paneer but it’s Saturday and why would I go on a Saturday when I can go on Monday or Tuesday?

These are the kinds of serious decisions I’ll be making when I retire in two months!

One would think when you work in a grocery store you would have no need to go out for groceries on your day off. Not so; most work days I can’t wait to get the hell out of there. It’s good if you need something but walking around doing major grocery shopping after work is out of the question.

I have 5 days off! It’s slow now and our hours are stretched out so everyone gets a few shifts. Fine by me: I have one foot out the door anyway. My next shift is November 1st so October is behind me! woo hoo!

My cake counter part co-worker is kind of a bitch and looks very much like a witch so when she’s being a bitch, she’s a real witch. She was mean to me for a long time until I told her I smoked pot then everything was OK after that.

She visited me with her husband the other night and tried to talk me into staying on at my job. If anyone knows me, they know I really, really hate it when someone tries to talk me into something I don’t want to do.

She said (in a real know-it-all way), “We were talking at work and we think you’ll get bored and come back in a couple of months.”  Really? do ya now?

When I listed my reasons for leaving I was met with shaking heads. He said, “My uncle was a machinist and he got bored.”  Oh, well then….. you talked me into it. WTF?

That visit pretty much clinched my decision! Even in the event (which I’m really looking forward to) that I get bored, I sure as hell won’t think…… “I’ll go back to Sobey’s!”  I’m pretty sure I can find something better to do.

Like cook a delicious dinner with vegetables and paneer instead of having a cheese sandwich!


Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “which/witch/wich.” Start your post with the word “which” and try to fit the word “witch” in somewhere if you can. Bonus points if you use a word that ends in “wich.” As an added rule this week, you will lose all the points you’ve ever earned if you type “which witch is which” anywhere in your post. Have fun!



Seasonal Living

When people ask me what I’m going to do when I’m retired my response is ‘it depends on the season’. My lifestyle changes along with the season.

Right now I’m all about firewood. There is a pile in my driveway delivered two weeks ago and I’m moving it into the woodshed on the other side of the house. It looks overwhelming but it’s really isn’t if you just chip away at it. I take three wheelbarrow loads and dump it into the woodshed then stack that. I can do that for about two or three hours.

The teacups above my cupboard get pushed back for boughs of autumn leaves. I have a string of LED lights up permanently for the teacups, autumn leaves then pine boughs later on. Christmas I add waving Santas and little snow-covered houses.

That’s when its time to get my Christmas tree. I have a tiny Suzuki hatchback and I must have a balsam tree because I keep the needles. Superstore has 5-6 foot Christmas trees that I can get in my car. I have to stuff it in so the top is beside me and the branches are over my shift stick. I laugh all the way home and hope someone sees me.

You must light up the gloom! It gets dark so early and the sun dips below a row of cedars lining my driveway for all of December and January. I go crazy decorating for Christmas but by Jan.1 it has to go. Decorations after Christmas are like a Walk of Shame.

January is bleak.

By the end of January the sun is starting to hit my couch bit by bit, a little more each day. Jigsaw puzzle season. With a movable table and board I can position myself to catch the rays.

But I like the snow (as long as I can stay home and work on a jigsaw puzzle) and like that the garden and shrubs beds are over and hidden away. That’s what makes spring so enjoyable….. watching it come back to life. It wouldn’t be the same to have it all year around.

Now summer is another story. I’ve been working summers for a few years watching my gardens and landscaping get worse and worse. I hope to change that this year.

I want to add that I live by myself and not many people come here. The decorating is all for my personal enjoyment and part of my seasonal lifestyle. It gives me something to look forward to.


The worst thing about SoC is going back and seeing all the ‘I’s. That’s what I do when I edit; try to cut out all the ‘I’s!



Release Me!

“Puleeeeze release me….. let me go…. for I don’t love you anymore.”

The pressure is on. I want to split up with my job: it’s making me unhappy but it’s hard when we have our good moments and maybe I should just try to make things work.

My plans have been to retire Dec. 31 but…..

Minimum wage is jumping from $11.40 to $14.00 on Jan. 1.

Now they are offering benefit packages for dental, glasses and insurances starting Jan. 1.  We have to pay but it’s still worth it.

Our newest staff member was once the supervisor for all Sobeys’ bakeries. She retired last year and got bored so she works a couple of days a week with us. A couple of days ago she took me aside and said that I should consider staying on because I was such an ‘asset to the company’ and not many people can decorate cakes. She said I have leverage and can ask for whatever time I want.

This is like Satan luring me in; flattering me, mixing truth with lies.

We are very slow right now, the lull between Thanksgiving and Christmas. When I went in she had already done my ‘dishes’ (funny they still call it that, there are no actual dishes) and taken the cardboard boxes away to be crushed. The counters were all cleared.

I had a cake order: a birthday cake for a two-year-old with a Halloween theme. I air-brushed it orange, trimmed and wrote in purple and put on some decorations: cartoony smiling Frankenstein, a witch and a couple of Jack O’lanterns.

I still had some time since they cleaned up so well (and both left early, yay) so I made up some different colours of buttercream for Halloween cakes. Orange, purple and a disgusting green.

Washed my own few dishes, sliced and bagged the breads in paper, barely had to touch the floors they were so clean. Drove home on dry roads into a breathtaking sunset.

See what I mean? Satan dressed up like a mom inviting you into her kitchen. If all shifts were like that I would most certainly stay on.

Then I remember winter driving and the Hell that summer is there. Being called in all the time because someone is sick or didn’t show up. I know I can say no but it feels shitty.

It’s like breaking up with a boyfriend who’s now being so loving and nice,  promising they’ll change and everything will be great in the future……… then in a few months everything is the same and you’re kicking yourself for being talked into staying.

“Pulleeeze release me, let me go for I don’t love you anymore. To waste our lives would be a sin: release me and let me live again.”