Daily Prompt: Obstacle Course

Think about what you wanted to accomplish last week. Did you? What are the things that hold you back from doing everything you’d like to do?


Last week I wanted to prove (to myself) I was competent at showing up to work on time and icing a cake. Sounds easy perhaps but I’ve had two major obstacles this week; age and weather.

Age, mostly! I could probably deal with the weather better if I was younger.  I would really like to make the money full-time would give me but I just can’t work that long anymore. I get tired and my brain starts to turn off. It reverts to childhood; sits down and says, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore and you can’t make me’

Then there’s the Polar Vortex to deal with. In yesterday’s post I wrote about the scary drive to work and what it takes to just get dressed for this weather. I own a house so the shovelling is all mine, too. Yesterday I had the day off so I shoveled my driveway which is two properties long as I live behind someone who doesn’t shovel or have to go out to work. This morning I had to take out my recycling box at the crack of dawn as the garbage truck comes very early Monday mornings. The windchill was -26, (yes, really) so I put on my ski pants, fleece jacket under my winter coat, hat under the hood, snow boots and insulated gloves and trudged out to the road with my blue box. (one thing I Iove about this weather is the squeaking snow) The winds last night have blown drifts into where I shovelled yesterday.

I have a wood stove so there is wood to bring in everyday or two. It’s worth the work. I have a propane furnace, also, but it would cost a fortune and I would still be cold if I didn’t have my wood stove. Besides, I love the wood heat thing. I like getting it and stacking it.

006this is September.

002this is now. I shovelled it out yesterday.

My shifts are 5 hours long, three days a week and that’s all I can handle. I only get a 15 minute break which is OK because the lunch room is cold. After 5 hours I’m tired and a fog starts setting into my brain.

Today I’m in from 1:00 to 6:00. I’m worried because I tend to fall asleep around 3:30.  I had planned on relaxing this morning, having an early lunch, then coffee and sweets at 3:00 that will take me to 6:00. But I’ve got shovelling to do again and need to bring in enough wood to last until tomorrow. In usual winter weather the wood stove would keep the furnace from coming on all day but in this weather I come home to the furnace holding at 18 degrees.  I turn the thermostat to 22, turn on the infrared space heater in the kitchen, bathroom electric heater and stoke up the fire. I change into my dirty work winter wear, feed the birds (outside) and bring in more wood if needed.

Then there is the ‘icing the cake’ incident. I worked with my new cake boss who is a young man. He was showing me how to ice the large birthday cakes and was getting frustrated I wasn’t doing it well and fast enough. It was my first time and I’m sure I wasn’t that bad so when he said “here; you should be doing it this fast…… [slap, slap, slap, he’s done]” I felt somewhat incompetent but it was my first time for Pete’s sake! I’m sure I’ll get better.

This week I’m only scheduled for two days and I am glad!  This winter is a huge barrier and at my age it’s a lot of extra work. Enough is enough already!


Daily Prompt: Your Days are Numbered [Going to Work]

It’s January 26. Write a post in which the number 26 plays a role. How about -26 C. That was the ‘wind-chill factor’ going into work on Friday. The actual temperature was only -17, but the winds picked up the light snow and shot it like a sandblaster. I looked out and saw there was only a little snow on the car, most of it was blowing around. What I didn’t see was the ice on the windshield under the snow. When I dusted it off I realized it was completely iced over because I’d gone out to Zumba the night before.  The car had warmed up then the first snow turned to ice. It took me an extra five minutes to scrape and I was covered in snow.


I have a new job and have to drive on Hwy. 26 to get there. This is a lakeshore highway so the winds are fierce. It’s also a major trucking route being close to the U.S. border so there are lots of big rigs on the road.  When the snow plow goes over it becomes smooth then the wind and snow polishes it to a glassy sheen.  The salter/sander had only been on the opposite lane.  My little Focus can get pushed sideways when there’s a blast of wind making my whole body turn to mush. All you can do is pray to God you don’t start going off course. You can’t brake, you can’t turn the wheel…. you just have to hold steady and pray. Then a big rig goes by in the opposite lane spraying the windshield with a salty frozen mush completely blinding me.  I curse at the windshield wiper I paid big bucks for; a ‘really good’ windshield wiper so it wouldn’t miss in front of my face but it misses in front of my face. I have to crouch low, my knuckles turning white from gripping the wheel.  I swear a lot at times like this.  It’s a release from the fear and keeps me from whining.

It should take me 20 minutes but it takes at least 1/2 hour plus the time I need for dressing. I have to add another 10 minutes to my time just to allow for all my clothing. The uniform is black polyester pants with a belt, white button down shirt with black zippered sweater, (a small, pain-in the-ass zipper that won’t start), and the apron when I get there. (All polyester, except the shirt which is 26% cotton)  Now with long johns and T-shirt underneath , getting dressed takes some time to get all the layers over-lapped properly and then get my boots and coat on. By the time I get there I have to pee again from morning coffee and fear but first have to get my shoes out my locker so I can take off my boots. The floors are wet from everyone’s melting boots; learned that the hard way. The coat rack is jammed with huge fat coats. I go to the washroom; again all the layers now adding the hair net, hat and apron.

By the time I get to my station I’m exhausted and want another coffee. Can’t do that, though, because I would have to pee again in 26 minutes.

It will be so great in the summer when it’s 26 degrees out and it only take me 26 minutes, house to station.


Footnote; it’s all true except it’s Hwy. 21 and my shirt is 60% cotton.