I’m Done!

Aahhh! That’s the sound of me breathing easy. I’m done. The long run of night shifts and busy days is over.

We had our family Christmas on Monday.  It was wonderful, warm and happy……  because there are kids!  Without them we’d be looking at each other,  trying to think of things to talk about.

Yesterday my ex visited me, I hadn’t seen him in a year. He talked a blue streak about the business that used to be mine, too, and going to places in the USA that I liked to go to.  Then he gave me some money and a hug and said he would visit in the summer and clean my chimney. It was stressful but I’m glad I’m not still with him.

I went into work at 5:00 praying I wouldn’t be met with a list of work to do but, lo and behold! My boss had everything done and told me I don’t have to work Christmas Eve Day! Business has been slow, (I think because the weather is so warm with no snow, it’s not ‘Christmassy’) we are well stocked up and the students are working.   I did a happy dance right there!

AND he hugged me, Merry Christmas, before he left!  That was very surprising! I went in so tired but joy got me through the evening.

I did some shopping on my break so I won’t have to go to any more stores until after the 25th.  People get into such a frenzy, its crazy.  Relax, people,  it’s only a day, not the end of time, for Pete’s sake!

The weather is still warm, it does look bleak and snow would be prettier….. but I don’t care! No scary drives to work. When I get the wood stove going I can open the kitchen window. Today it’s raining; perfect weather for a Netflix day.

The person I’ve been helping out hasn’t called for a few days so I’m keeping my fingers crossed she has found another helper but I’m not going to call to find out.

Tomorrow is going to be 10 C and sunny; I might just go for a walk on the beach!

Aaaaahhhhhh!  I hear the chorus…… Hallaalleeeelluuuujaaaah!





I hear those sleigh bells jingling….

I light up

It’s that time of year, time to clear away the clutter in front of those red and green storage tubs and bring out the decorations.  I’ll call it Christmas, that’s my tradition.  It starts with Diwali, Festival of Lights. There was a Celtic/ pagan tradition at Solstice but the Christians used that to represent that Light that came into the Dark.  (You can’t take away a good holiday). And Hanukkah, with the Menorah,  call it whatever you like….. every religion and society had a way of getting together to light up the darkest and most dismal days and ward off deep, dark depression and isolation.

The sun is taking the low road and can’t make it above a row of cedars lining my driveway. My deck is in the shade all day now so my string of solar lights is too weak to find my key at night. The porch light looks bleak, especially with no snow yet. It’s been warm for November, the grass is still green.

Way back when I was young and trying to get pregnant, I didn’t do any Christmas decorating. I had it in my mind it would be for the kids, when I had them.  After eight years of trying, I started to let go and consider life without children. Did that mean I was never going to ‘do’ Christmas and have a tree because I didn’t have kids?

The first year I decided to have a Christmas tree my husband reacted in the usual way; grumpy and calling it stupid, he cut a skinny Charlie Brown tree from our property with a “here’s your tree”.  I bought some cheap bulbs and lights from Zellers and decorated it. He liked it.

The next few years he did a complete about-face and got into it. He paid $60 for a tree because it was Balsam Fir. We started buying decorations after Christmas on sale and got excited the next year with our ‘new’ and forgotten decorations. We bought fake pine boughs, strings of lights and a big red and green storage tub for it all.  A few years later bought another big storage tub just for the lights.

When we broke up he brought me both tubs and said, “you might as well have these”. I offered to split everything but he said, “no” in a way that said, “no, I’d rather be miserable”

I’d rather be happy. Bring any bit of light and joy that I possibly can into the world, my world at least. It makes me happy to do it and to come home to it. You can’t see my house from the road and people rarely come here; I do it for myself.

I’ve really been looking forward to today. I have the day off, it’s sunny and going to be reasonably warm….. again!  I’m going to pull out those tubs and string up some white lights outside. Closer to Christmas I add a big star above the door and a light-up candy-cane.

Soon I’ll get my real, balsam Christmas tree, and yes, it IS worth the hassle. I laugh driving home with it stuffed into my hatchback. I cut the bottom with a saw and remember my Dad doing it. It takes me days to decorate it; a day for the branches to drop, a day for the lights then slowly the decorations go up in my spare time finding just the right spot. There is a whole box of icicles that have to hang just right.

(Here I am writing about it, procrastinating because of the clutter in front of the green and red tubs.)

This season is an opportunity for joy. Light up the gloom!

Christmas car





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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…….)

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”.


It’s a Beautiful Day

Oh, today, today…. I love today. I’m relishing today.

I haven’t posted much lately except to complain about work. I’ve been working a lot of hours and I am, after all, sixty-one years old. My co-workers can scoff at this as much as they want and they do; downright nasty sometimes.

I’ve had a couple of days off here and there but not two together and not good weather. Friday was a humidex of 39 C so I was just as happy to relax indoors but I’m starting to feel cut off from nature.

Yesterday I worked 3:00 to 9:00 p.m.; my first ‘closing’ shift. I was scheduled to come in today at 9:00 a.m. which is just plain cruel. When I went in my boss asked me if I wanted to change my shift from Sunday to Monday, I just about hugged him which would have been extremely uncomfortable. I did put my hand on his shoulder and say “YES!”

So today is doubly happy as I wasn’t expecting it. It’s going to be 23 C, no humidity and I have a pile of woodchips to mulch with. I’m going to call a friend who wants to help dig up and divide my day lilies. I can open my windows and curtains. This is how life should be!

This post isn’t just to complain, although it works for me. Its to talk about being sixty, single and surviving. It’s not easy. Seeing retired couples enjoying their lives I feel betrayed by my ex-husband. Others my age, who also work, have someone to make them a meal and listen to how their day went. The two people I work with who are rude and irritable both had most of the Labour Day Weekend off while I worked straight through for 6 days. I can’t get over how crappy they treat me and it’s not hard to imagine the way they talk behind my back because they do it while I’m right there in the room. Unbelievable behaviour.

Enough of that! I’m going outside to work in my garden with the flowers, birds and butterflies and be healed.

Hope we all have a great day!