On and on

One foot in front of the other. Stiff upper lip, carry on and all that. You know the routine; I’m grateful for my health and I have job, my bills are paid……. I keep telling myself all that.

It’s Mercury in Retrograde and I’m having the usual troubles. My internet has been going in and out for over a week now. I call them and unplug the modem, plug in the modem and it goes on. The last call they told me to change all the lines one by one. I’ve done all that except for the special connector that splits the phone and computer. I know its OK. Should I drive to their office to get another one and waste my morning?  It’s in a town on the way to nowhere else.

For now the internet is on….. until I post this most likely.

Little things sabotage my attempts at joy; like mosquitoes. It was so nice out yesterday but the previous hot, rainy days brought out mosquitoes in droves. I used spray, much as I hate it, it’s necessary here. I wore a hat but they still buzzed around my face and ears, finding spots that I can’t spray.

I started my electric trimmer and got about 20 feet done when the last of the cord whipped out. It was really hard getting the cap off and extra irritating with mosquitoes buzzing around my face. Sure enough, an empty spool.

There are a few annuals left to put in pots by the door so I turn to them for a little joy. A nice little spot;



filled with mosquitoes. This is where I gave up and ran inside, crazed.

I soaked all my bites with AfterBite and had a nap. I don’t feel guilty about napping. It feels like defiance now; ‘I can have a nap if I want to, so there!’

I dragged my ass to Zumba even though I didn’t feel like it, hoping for a lift. Only two other people showed up and they weren’t any more enthusiastic than I was. No joy there.

This would seem like a great day compared to my sister’s. She spent yesterday with our aunt who is back I her ‘independent’ living apartment but shouldn’t be.  Only for the grace of her private nurse is she there. She had to wait for CCAC to officially say ‘yes, she needs to be in a nursing home’. There is paper work that has to be done but her health card was lost on the last visit to the hospital and that has to be renewed first.  The office is on the other side of London. It’s going to be a long haul with daily worries. Every morning I wish to hear she passed peacefully in her sleep.

I see my internet has gone in and out two times while I’ve been writing.

Oh, this post completely disappeared for a few minutes…. I guess I better ‘publish’ while everything is on.

Tonight I’m working 4:00 to 10:00. (groan) I gotta get me some joy.


I wrote this yesterday but couldn’t post it because my internet went off long enough to give up waiting so I went to town, bought a mosquito net, a clip-on OFF!, some coils you burn and a spool for my trimmer. A spool with a number different than the many numbers listed on that brands spools. of course. It looks to be the same size and popped in but I didn’t want to bother getting out the extension cord.

The net, clip-on and coil was a success; planted some herbs and flowers in the pots (need more).  Had a short nap and went to work; a six-hour shift from 4:00 to 10:00. It’s such a drag going in; it puts a pall on your day. But I prepared buns, made cakes while baking pies before cleaning everything and got done 15 minutes early. It was a ‘thumbs up’ night.

Coming home is so much more pleasurable than if I was home all night and having a day off is more rewarding than if I was home everyday.

The internet connection keep showing me an exclamation mark every once in a while but it’s on now. Maybe if I keep juggling wires and swearing it will stay on. I’m curious to see the if that spool will work on my trimmer.

Tomorrow I’m back in the bakery on a day shift: starting at 8:00 a.m. Be careful what you wish for….. you just might get it.

I get off at 1:00 and I’m going to the beach with the whole family; niece, nephew, grandnieces and grandnephew for a grandniece’s birthday party. SWEET! There’s a load of joy coming!

(awww… no internet…….)

Life After Painting

It’s so nice to be able to open the windows first thing in the morning. The woods behind me has birch trees which make a beautiful rustling sound; soft and relaxing. Birds are singing and no one has turned on any motors yet. Oh, I wish I could stay here today, all day.


I worked last night until 10:00. It was a good night. We have new cakes that are pre-filled; no more cutting  huge slabs of cake in half  (lengthwise!) filling them then cutting to various sizes. Now there are blocks of pre-filled 3 layer cakes that are smaller and easier to work with. I cracked off three trays of bar cakes; Snickers, Chocolate Fudge and Cookies ‘n Crème bars. I was laughing at myself that I dreaded going in so much. I’m making chocolate cake, for Pete’s Sake!

There is a lot of cleaning, mopping and trying-to-go-very-fast at night so it’s exhausting but the joy of arriving home, taking off that uniform and hitting the couch makes it all worth while.

Someone said I should post when I’m all done my kitchen. I don’t know when that will be as I haven’t ordered the back-splash.  I have to watch my money carefully and don’t want to spend any extra right now. Last week I put things back up. Above the cupboards I have an old tea set and antique glasses. I laid down some white string lights and taped them down where they were sticking up. It’s such a beautiful light at night. I wanted to capture it and took 9 photos. Photos with the flash were no good. Photos on the step-ladder showed the lights too much. Finally I settled on no flash and holding it over my head but couldn’t get a good focus. Then I thought, “What the hell am I doing? That’s long enough.”

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I have to take my car in for a minor repair but at least that will get me out to buy some flowers. If I didn’t have to go out today, I probably wouldn’t.

The wind rustling the trees, the birds chirping…… I must away but I shall return.

Stick to it


I worked until 10:00 last night. Yeah, I said I wouldn’t work past 9:00 but on Thursday I was told I’d be working until 10:00 now. I tried to talk to my boss about it, saying I’d filled out an ‘availability’ form that I would only work until 9:00 and I was way too old for this.  He shrugged. “This shift goes until 10:00 now”

Luckily there were two of us because there was way too much work for one preparing for the long weekend rush. We still went like crazy to do it all. I found out all kinds of things the young people don’t do or fudge. A real eye-opener.

Many people say I should just quit my job but I’m sticking to it. I will not slink away and let him do this. Next week I’m going over his head to the big boss.

The upside of all this is I have the whole weekend off! So many students coming in this weekend being trained there’s not enough room for me.  Those people taking my job have a wild and crazy weekend ahead of them. And for a cherry on top, a new girl starts today in the bakery and she has pastry chef experience so the other girls are feeling threatened. How does it feeeel?

I feel beat up; the work hangover. Of course, I wake up at 6:30. I didn’t get home until 10:40 at night. Stayed up until 1:30 drifting in and out of sleep, then wake up too early. Extra coffee day.

I can stick to my painting! Yesterday I did a couple of hours and got a little more done.


Maybe I’ll even finish it this weekend. I hope to do something with friends but that might not happen.

One last thought on “stick”: I wish I could tell them where to stick that job.

Going to make another pot of coffee now……

Ta-Daa! (almost)

The ceiling is done!  Almost. It’s sunny today and I can see places in the kitchen I would like to go over. Damn it. I was thinking I would never scrutinize the ceiling again but this spot is over the island where I prepare food. I will look at it. Some scrutinizing person will look at it and say, “You missed a spot.”

Fortunately, I didn’t take the bags off the fan yet. It was cloudy and dark the day I painted: I suspected the sunlight would reveal some misses.

I really didn’t want to paint today because I have to work tonight and don’t want to be too tired and ornery. It’s beautiful outside and I’ve been in this house for 4 days….. alone: I’m feeling a little crazy.

It won’t take long to go over that spot and since I’ll have the paint out, I can go over the glossy white trim. The kitchen/dining area is very small with French Doors to the outside, a door to the guest room and a window so it’s very broken up. I’m going to paint the trim and doors all the same colour as the walls so they don’t pop out so much. A coat of flat white paint over the glossy will ensure good coverage.

So little more painting this morning then I’m going outside even if it is to wash some windows…. at least it’s something else!

In the next few days I’ll be picking up my colour samples and working. I don’t have my schedule for next week so I don’t know when I will resume The Paint Job. It seems like a long time since I’ve been at work….. I’m very pleased I made good use of this time.

It’s been great documenting this and being cheered along! Thanks for your support: it’s great having encouragement!

I finally got the flash back on the camera. The nook;



It’s Hard Being Me

The prompt today from


is about mistakes. One of the pictures was;


This could be my boss. I make stupid mistakes then I realize it about 30 seconds to a minute later. This is exactly how he looked last week when I realized I was topping banana cream pies but forgot to put a layer of bananas on the bottom.  In my own defense, I’ve been on nights, cleaning for months and haven’t made banana cream pies for a long time.

Another time I was topping some chocolate fudge cakes and knew something didn’t look right. Then, my brain prickled, my face grew hot: I hadn’t put the ‘sides’ on. (The sides of the cake are smeared in icing and dipped in cookie crumbs.)  My boss was on his break so I rushed at trying to get sides on; not easy when they are topped with fudge icing. It was an “I Love Lucy” moment.

Half way through I could see him coming…. ‘maybe he’ll walk by me.’ I thought. He must have seen the panicked look on my face because he walked right up and stood very close to me.

“hehehe”…… I forgot the sides” I smiled.

He did that look.

It happens on cash, too, which is even scarier because we’re talking about money. Cake is just cake but money is serious.

I hadn’t been on cash for almost a week (lame excuse, I know) and jumped on with a woman holding a rain check. I rang her stuff through and voided the items. I didn’t “change price”, I voided the items. As she left I went to fill out the form on ‘price changes’.  I looked at the price I was supposed to fill in ….. $2. My brain prickled and a severe hot flash ensued. I slapped my forehead.

“What’s up, honey?” My supervisor was walking by. I told her what I did and she laughed. (She is also menopausal) I was punishing myself enough. “Stupid, stupid, stupid!”. I was burning up.

Call it old age brain farts; I have them bad.

The Hippy Trail

W.P. # 92    These are the trips I made.

Fresh out of high school my boyfriend, Bob, and I starting working towards a trip to Europe. In those days you could have a job and still save money. Air travel was affordable and there was a massive trek of hippies traveling all over Europe and as far as India.

We didn’t go that far but we traveled in a van for 9 months all around Europe and Morocco, back to Germany to earn some money then onto Yugoslavia, Greece, including Crete, then sold the van and flew to Lebanon. (That’s a whole other story)

We worked in an army-base grocery store for the summer in Germany, still living in our van in a big parking lot under a bridge that had a fresh spring. Locals would come and wash their car there. The police, both local and army, would check us out every once in a while but they let us stay all summer.

One day a troupe of gypsies drove in with old Cadillacs and trucks pulling old trailers.  It was the perfect spot to camp when they were passing through: a big, private place to park with fresh spring water and it was free. I met a gypsy woman at the spring getting water. She even had big hoop earings and a colourful skirt. We didn’t speak the same language but somehow we met and communicated. I offered her a cigarette and we sat and smoked.

Our coffers filled, we drove on to Yugoslavia, as it was called in those days, and met his parents. They had escaped when the communists took over in the early 1950’s by hiking over the mountains into Austria finally making their way to Toronto, Canada where I met Bob 20 years later.

They took us all down the Adriatic coast in tourist style. Real beds with sheets, restaurants…… that was a holiday within a holiday!

with van(This is me with Bob’s parents when we first met up in Yugoslavia; I can’t believe how young they look to me now!)

Bob loved to travel. He thought of himself as a ‘Ramblin’ Man’ and I was lucky enough to ramble along with him for four years. We drove to Florida when we were still teenagers. After our trip to Europe we moved ‘out west’ to Vancouver and would often take side trips around B.C. and it’s islands. We drove down to California, following another hippy trail.

I didn’t marry Bob. He did just a little too much rambling and I don’t mean travel.

The man I married was a hiker and later we got into caving. There were years we were driving down to Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama every chance he could get.

We had one holiday to the Caribbean; Barbados and St. Vincent. It was beautiful; he wasn’t. I got one day at a beach and he wanted to leave the whole time. I’m not kidding. But we did do some great things because we had to ‘do something’ every day. https://monicleblog.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/st-vincent/

I am so glad I traveled when I was young: I really need to thank Bob for that trip. I can’t afford it now and it was easier to travel in those days before terrorism. I don’t have much urge to travel now, probably because I have: I don’t have to regret I’ve ‘never been anywhere.’ Now I have the whole world come into the comfort of my living-room thanks to HD TV. The weather is always good and my own bed and bathroom are right there.

Oh, Yeah…… I spent a month in India. Again…… whole other story.

If you are young and reading this…… Make some memories now while you can.




My Job

Tell us about a time when everything actually turned out exactly as you’d hoped.

Landing this job I have now was a big, lucky break for me. Being 60 years old and having worked with my ex-husband at our apiary business for 25 years, not too many places I applied to would even interview me. Almost out of money, my anxiety was mounting, I was afraid and my confidence was zero. I didn’t even feel myself to be ’employable’.

I had been thinking about and looking into taking cake decorating when I saw an ad on-line for cake decorator at a fairly near-by grocery store saying “Will train”. It came out on the day of a huge snow storm so there was no way I could make the drive but it had a faxing address. My computer doesn’t fax. I happened to be e-mailing a friend that day who lives in Vancouver and told her my problem. She said she had a fax modem so I could send her my resume with a cover letter. We did some back and forth, finding the right file formats and she sent it out hours after I saw the ad.

I stood at the window and looked out at snow for long periods of time with the mantra “Please, please, please……” running through my head.

The storm ended on a Saturday night, the roads were cleared and my driveway plowed out Sunday.  Early Monday morning I drove to Grand Bend with another resume and jangling nerves. I wanted it so bad; I was very nervous.

My interviewer, who is now my boss, is a positive, cheery go-getter. She liked me and called me a firecracker!  Little did she know my energy was from 3 coffees and extreme nervousness. That was also lucky because she never did receive my fax.

I got the job!  Not only did I get the job but a few months later they decided to train me on cash, also. Now I have two jobs in the same store which is great. Two completely different jobs and different co-workers. On cash, I can wear my hair down and nice earrings and flirt with retired men. In the bakery I wear a hair-net and baseball hat which makes me magically invisible! When I work at night, no one even sees me! I dance, I fart, sing along to the ‘easy-listening’ music. It’s all just cleaning at night and I know I do that well; I have plenty of experience cleaning.

Yes, much as I would love to be retired, this job was my lucky break! Today I have the day off, relaxed and worry-free; who wouldn’t want that? I’ve earned it and that feels awesome!

And what about cake decorating? Well, the main person still does 80% of it and I get very little practice. I watched her for a couple of months then one day my bakery boss said, “you should be able to write on cakes by now”. That was my training. Mostly I make the regular cakes, such as Chocolate Fudge cake, Snickers Bar cake, and cream pies. ‘Yeah, it’s a tough job but somebodies got to do it.’

“All It’s Cracked Up to Be.”

Nagging doubts


This little tidbit from Shakespeare really struck me this morning. “Our doubts are traitors.”  So true. Our self-doubt bullies us into believing we can’t do something or it’s going to be ‘too hard’, so we don’t ever start.

I’m terrible for this; my own worst enemy. It took me 40 years to find out what self-esteem was and that I didn’t have any. I’ve been working on that for 22 years and have built it up to normal (for someone raised in the 1950’s, that is) but I have to keep bolstering it up with pep talks to myself;

yeah! You can do this!”

But then I don’t believe it.

I really want to make some home improvements but I have very little money and have to do everything myself.  That’s a better place than I was in a year ago….. I couldn’t even afford a can of paint.  But I’ve been working hard and I think I can afford some paint, a backsplash and some knobs for my kitchen.

This is where living alone, but with myself, gets hard. When you are two people, you go look at stuff and try to find something you both agree on.

Now I can choose whatever I want. I could get this or this or this….. but what about this?  I have wooden cabinets that might look great painted….. but should I paint over the wood…..?  I found some backsplashes that stick on and I can do it for about $250. Do I get the metal? Play it safe and do white?

It’s ridiculous, I know, I can’t commit to home improvements. And once I start, I have to do the whole house.

My kitchen is open to the hallway which has my computer/sewing nook at the end.  The ceiling is all one long, single expanse and needs white paint. Once started there is no place to stop; the ceiling alone is a huge job.

Then I will have to do the walls: do I do it all the same colour? Maybe use different colours?  It was easier to decide when I could argue about it! We could reach a conclusion and be relieved. Alone, I can’t decide.

Then there are the doubts that it’s too big a job. Once started there’s no turning back so it’s easier not to start.

I’m not going to tile and grout; I do know what’s involved and I’m not going to do it. There are now great stick on back-splashes…. should I paint the cupboards and use a metallic back splash?  Then my counter tops, very old white with black specks, will look crappy and I can’t afford new countertops.

I wish I could just love an idea and go gung-ho into it.

“Our Doubts are traitors”.


Frozen Fortress

You’ve being exiled to a private island, and your captors will only supply you with five foods. What do you pick?

That is exactly how I’m feeling these days; like I’m living in a private island.  Winter continues it’s annoying ways; it’s extremely cold and the snow is thigh deep anywhere I haven’t shovelling or stomped a pathway through.

The stomped pathway is to the bird feeder which is a table. I gave up on bird feeders the first year here when raccoons destroyed them. Squirrels are my friends, too, my totem animal, so they are provided with corn and a few peanuts for a treat. These are my companions in my little island dug out of the snow.

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Even though ‘having a job’ is keeping my sanity right now; they are also my captors.  Yesterday was my only day off in a run of 9 days when two weekly schedules collided in a explosion of ‘hours’.  Thankfully,  I’m on 5:00 to 9:00 tonight so I almost have today off.

(I was just writing on crazily, bragging complaining about all my hard work and isolation when I remembered the point and deleted my meanderings.)

My captors provide me with the five foods I need to sustain me in this isolated island that is my home. (At least I work in a grocery store!)

  1. Coffee
  2. Bread
  3. Cheese
  4. Potato Chips
  5. Chocolate bars


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Five a Day.”

Go to Work!

You picked a great day to ask me what I would get my clone to do.  My schedules have come together making this my only day off in a run of nine days. Although I did get one of those days ‘off’ when I left for work and turned back due to white-outs.

I’ve been driving to and from work in terrible weather and shovelling snow almost every day. Yesterday I was on the 5:00 to 9:00 closing shift in the bakery. I slept in the afternoon before work because I didn’t think I could do it.  I had to shovel snow in the morning and cried at the thought of driving to work again. Tiny icicles formed from my tears.

I did it. It was record cold last night so there weren’t many customers in the store. I finished cleaning and ‘closing’ at 8:30, asked if I could punch out and they let me.

Today I have to clear the snow off my satellite dish because there’s been no reception since the night before last.  Yesterday I was too tired to care. I use a chimney sweeping brush, which I can make very long and flexible with extensions, to reach up to the roof and knock off the excess snow.  (I missed the 40 year reunion of SNL last night; very disappointed.)

Where were we? oh, yeah….. the clone.  That would be so awesome to send her to work. She’d go to work with a big smile on her face; sharp, perky and ready to serve.

I’d be OK with clearing the satellite dish and bringing in wood; it makes me feel tough and resilient. I like working: I just don’t like having a job. “It takes up your whole day!”

We would share cooking but I hope she doesn’t eat. or talk.   hmm…. I do talk to myself a lot…..   She would have an ON-OFF button.

OK, she could do the satellite dish and bring in wood this one time….. right now, please.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Clone Wars.”