RNC and Rings

Last night was the first night of the start of insanity. As I was cooking dinner I listened from the kitchen to the many , good-hearted (if not a tad misinformed in my opinion) supporters of the current president of the USA. His family, former athletes, politicians. One after the other stood up to extol the virtues of this administration.
I know there’s televisions, newspapers and access to the internet there, I’ve been to the states many times, so I’m a little confused as to how this many people haven’t accessed one of the above in the last 4 years. After seeing the lack of compassion to people in crisis; ‘here’s a roll of paper towel’, his approach to women, his dissembling of any protests, racial protests, poverty issues etc. “Let them eat cake” has already been used, and didn’t go so well the first time either.
Oh well, we all have our opinion, I’ll move on to something else.
A and I, he’s my hubby; went for a walk on the local track today. A couple of young people ran laps around us, reminding me of how many literal miles the both of us have travelled. We’ve come 19 years as a couple and in his case 50 years plus before that. We’ll never again sport the hardbodies, and we don’t have another 40 years to see what comes along. We do have a lot of great memories of travels, friends and family gatherings, date nights, Netflix and pj’s evenings. So when you look at your life and your spouse and smile, it’s easier to be ok with the young people dashing on by.

Frosted in August

A snarky day out there, a rainy respite for those with sunburns, and a foreshadowing of October, my all time favourite month. I do feel for those with carefully constructed summer get away plans that have been ripped asunder. On the other hand, if you had a few board games in your RV this would be a great time to introduce your kids to your former glory as Monopoly King/Queen of 1985!
Speaking of Monopoly and property barons, I just finished Mary Trump’s book about her uncle. I won’t mention his name, we all know who it is, and there’s no reason to summon the dark lord. Along with any ‘engaged in the here and now’ humans these last 6 months, I’ve been watching with horror the impact COVID-19 has had on the world and it’s population. Seeing the death rate rising, adapting to the changes we’ve all had to make in our day to day lives, wearing masks to the grocery store, if we felt safe to go! When he decided to refuse necessary masks, PPE, and other items to hospitals and clinics unless the State governors kissed his old white arse it showed him for who he is, a soulless, self absorbed, egomaniac. No more numbers of sick and dead mentioned, old news apparently. It’s up to the still interested of us to keep track of, and pay a certain homage to those who’ve died.
We watched most of the DNC last night and bits of it throughout the week, (interspersed with hockey games, what a strange August) because as Canadians, I believe it’s in our best interest to keep a wary eye on what’s happening down there.
As I write this, my hubby is watching a soccer/ football game. (Again with the sports in August thing). Both teams are being particularly aggressive and at the same time throwing themselves to the ground when anyone looks at them. Writhing around, holding their ankles, knees or head depending on what body part is next on the list. The ref’s whistle is going non stop, names are going in his little book and it’s only 20 minutes in!
Why do professionals choose to act like children? Why do some men revert to toddlers when they don’t like the way things are going, is it just a distraction, do they think that whether because they’re a President or a Half Back that we can’t all see the sulking child behind the curtain? It’s past time for a new leader down there, this last four years can go on his resume, and he can carry on with life. The game has a full half to go, but it too will come to an end. Both will leave a bad taste, but like August, it will eventually fade from memory. 

 

 

 

 

Messages and Massages

grotto   In my last post I mentioned trying for a trip to Mexico, well I managed to scale that down to a resort level that was acceptable. I still received the messages from all and sundry about ‘being careful, a woman on her own is vulnerable, watch your alcohol intake, lock your doors, don’t go out of your room at night’ etc. I wound up here at Tigh Na Mara on Vancouver Island. The picture to your left is of the Grotto Spa pool. (I got the image from the internet as there are no phones or cameras allowed in that area). After floating around for about 45 minutes, I prepared for my booked massage. HEAVEN!

Parts of me were so tense I forgot they’d ever been malleable. It’s safe to say that I am now more relaxed, and if not completely ready for the next steps, I’m closer than I was when I drove down here yesterday. Before I plunked my early (and obviously tense buttocks) into the resort parking lot, I drove straight past it and down to Nanaimo. I’m not one for retail therapy, ask anyone who knows me; shopping for hours is not high on my list of preferable activities. I do however like to spend time with friends. It was a happy coincidence then that I had just pulled into Woodgrove Mall, when I received a text from my PA friend, N. She had decided that she needed a leather bag and so drove from her happy valley home down to the big smoke and the Bay.

“Where are you?” The text read. I responded with my location and after a few minutes we managed to meet up. Someone to wander the stores with! We chatted and caught up, (though that didn’t take long as she had just been up in PR recently and we got together for a bevvy and paint night.) After perusing shoes, shirts and some rather unlikely hair colours on fellow patrons, we decided to hit the White Spot, nothing says ‘get comfortable’ than a large, recently wiped down with a wet cloth booth. Oh well. We survived, chatted about her work and wolfed down fries. I’m so glad I came on this trip, it’s been good. Thank you N, TNM, Alexa (my masseuse) and all the friendly staff that didn’t seem to think it odd that a woman was dining solo.

Flailing and Fearing

So, I am currently unemployed, I have applied for a compassionate care claim with EI so as to hang out with my mom. She’s going through a few health issues and it made sense as I live in the same city. Just before I got the news that I wasn’t successful in my application to do the job I had been doing for the previous 3 years, I applied for this EI claim. Seriously, it was like 5 hours difference. To say I was stunned wouldn’t do the word justice, but it’s the one I’m going with, because I’m a lady.

Trips to the oncology unit, supermarket, doctor’s office and just going to the view point with a blanket to talk has replaced getting up early 3 days a week and contributing my compassion. I have put aside the hurt, I’ve been here before after all, it’s not the first time in my life I haven’t been successful in an interview. What came next was a bigger blow. Someone I care for deeply told me I was being selfish for wanting to get away for a week. Another family member will be here next month to see my mom through April’s treatments. What better time, I thought, to get some sun and rest? I’ve had a couple of body blows and I don’t know when things will change, I have to be strong for that. If I’m not strong both physically and mentally, how will that help my mom? 

So, between checking online for solo trips to Mexico, and checking in with my mom’s sleeping and eating schedules, (both good at the moment) I’m gradually losing my pout, the inner child has finished her tantrum, she has decided to stand up, brush back her hair and get on with things; the way her mother taught her to do.

Musings from the left

A few years ago we changed sides, of the bed I mean. It was a shock to my system and I’m still not happy with it. From Manhattan to Maui, and every hotel in Las Vegas I have always slept on the window side of every room. Whether it was Al’s chivalry, (he walks on the outside of sidewalks as a gentleman should) or just his habit I don’t know.

Once his radio, (that he’s had many, many years prior to me), started producing static though he looked frantically for a solution. The radio was moved around the side table, then around the room. The only place that didn’t produce any noise was on my side. So, he looked at me, shrugged and made his executive decision. “We’ll have to change sides.” I responded with, “why don’t you just leave the radio on my side, and I’ll stay where I am.” Well apparently a woman doesn’t know how to operate a radio properly; I couldn’t possibly turn it on or off at the correct times, (such as in the middle of a song that said partner is enjoying, or at the start of any discussion on women’s issues). So, in the interest of making and keeping him, and his radio happy I now sleep near the door.

It does have it’s advantages; I’m that much closer to the washroom in the middle of the night, I don’t have the full moon in my eyes once a month, and if a burglar ever did enter our house, I’m very much the heavier sleeper so I wouldn’t hear them and be therefore expected to deal with them. After all, isn’t that a man’s job no matter what side of the bed they’re on?

-For a couple of years now I have been driving around in my Buick with about 5 dead wasps on the back window ledge. Yes it could be a power trip. I don’t like wasps, never have. They scare me, they sting when I haven’t done anything to them aside from sitting and shaking when they come near me. I have had numerous opportunities to get rid of their teeny and now desiccated corpses. I look at it as a warning to all other wasps not to get into my car. A ‘This is what could happen to you” kind of sign. I would too if I thought the little bastards could read. So, no it’s  not laziness on my part, I’m actually doing my enemy a justice, the fact that it’s February is irrelevant, I’m just biding my time, they’ll be back and when they get here, they’ll get the message.

I’ve been enjoying writing, I don’t talk a lot so it’s my way of putting down on paper, or on a screen, what’s running through my mind. I know that it frustrates people when they ask what I’m thinking about, (or that they have to ask at all) and I blurt out a précis of the novel in my head. I’ve never felt the need to talk just for the hell of it. Have you ever heard that song by Toby Keith, “I Wanna Talk About Me” It’s quite amusing to me, and it’s a song I have going around in my head when someone is just chatting up a storm and not letting me get a word in edgewise. It could be that people close to me know that I don’t have much to say. Perhaps they figure they’re doing me a favour by filling in those awkward pauses in the conversation? If that’s the case, then thank you. I am an introvert, I don’t get my energy from other people, it comes from inside, it’s on paper if you ever want to read it.

-Together in sickness and in health, that’s the line isn’t it? Well, does it still count when you’re not actually married in the eyes of a church? We are common law, that’s the old term for it. In the eyes of the law we’re a couple! That means that when I come home from work with a cold, he’s gonna catch it. I don’t get sick very often, hardly at all since I’ve become an adult. This cold though, has knocked me on my 54 year old arse. Coughing and sneezing, runny nose, congested, (well you’ve heard the commercials). I had it all. My favourite part was trying not to pee myself every time I had a coughing fit. If the lack of make-up, or indeed any colour on my face, perpetual PJ’s, and ‘before picture’ hair do wasn’t enough, then the constant dash for the washroom when I felt a rumbling in my chest was a topper. So, it’s a week and a half later, I still a few rumblings, but now Al is sick. He’s trying not to be, he’s valiantly watching English football, stoically cheering for his Leafs, heroically downing the Scotch and honey drinks, the man is a medical miracle. Oh, I shouldn’t be such a martyr. Women everywhere have just pulled up their reading socks, climbed out of bed and made dinner, beds and future plans. We are women, hear us roar. Nope, can’t roar yet, I might wet em.  

 

If given the chance?

I was noting with pride the website of the agency my niece works for. They do websites for companies, big companies. With a university major in English, a minor in Sociology, she’s in a prime position to work in public relations.

This is 2019.  I am forced to remember that when I graduated high school back in 1983, websites were few and far between. People who worked on computers were often given a four letter nickname. (It was nerd in case you think I was being rude).

As a current worker in a transition house, with past jobs in other social service agencies, I always told myself my heart was leading me to help others. A calm nature, common sense attitude with a sense of humour to lighten situations, what could go wrong? What else could a person with these traits do for a living anyway? Flight Attendant? Too much time away from home, Nurse? Hospitals and sick people, no thanks. Police Officer? I actually gave that some thought as a young woman, but didn’t really see me in uniform, so that essentially negates all three careers, doesn’t’ it?.

Truth is, if given the chance I would ditch the people loving part of me and huddle over my laptop providing content and concepts for agencies that would pay me for my brilliant way with words. (A little confidence in one’s skills is a good thing by the way). I would keep my customers up to date via text or teleconference, I would keep the ideas fresh and timely and relevant. I may have to start drinking coffee, and organize my work space so there aren’t valentines flowers and writing magazines on the dining room table but I could do that!

Ah well, on this snowy day with the hubby watching his Liverpool team on the other computer, both of us at different ends of a week of sick time, I have to be content to continue adding to the agency website, being proud of my niece for her work and looking at the local university calendar for courses geared  to future dreams. I’m only 54, so there’s still time right? best-writing-tips

Expressions

best-writing-tips     Listening to two people at a table nearby it occurs to me what sort of over-used language choices we use when we’re dealing with raw emotion. One of the two is obviously depressed and looking for support. His friend has been coming out with some real doozies in an effort to counsel. “It’s always darkest before the dawn”, (duh, when else would it be dark), “Seek and you shall find” (unless it’s a creditor, they find you even when you’re not seeking), and the last one the poor depressed person had to endure over his latte was “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”. (Does that include things such as arsenic, switch blade bearing street people, and stage 4 diseases)?

I have no problem with using metaphors, and even quoting the odd bumper sticker, I mean, why reinvent the wheel right? Someone has managed to encapsulate your exact thoughts on a subject and presented it on a sticky rectangle of paper for your car. When someone is in an emotionally sensitive place in their life; perhaps they’ve lost a loved one, or a job, spouting Jack Handy type comments will only make them realize you’ve got nothing they need in tough moments. I’ve found that by simply listening, (my kindergarten teacher taught us at 5 years old that we have two ears and one mouth, so listening is obviously more important than talking) you do people a world of good.

 I’ve learned that if you show through body language that you’re present for people they will continue to share. Simply nodding and gentle mhmm’s can be more encouraging, wait through a pause in the conversation. Just because someone stops talking for a few seconds it doesn’t mean it’s your turn to jump in. Some folks need to collect their thoughts before they continue. If you feel the need to speak is overwhelming you, use it to re-phrase what you heard them say. That may give them a chance to reflect and add to their thoughts. That’s what listening and supporting someone is about, throwing out-dated expressions at them is not helpful. 

Lost in space

best-writing-tips  When you don’t use something, it’s easy to lose it; your memory, your sense of humour, your sex drive etc. So, when I lost my password and then just got busy with the work blog, I let this one go for 8 months or so. My desire to write has returned, and as I mentioned before I can’t always expand on subjects un-related to domestic violence and health topics on the work blog. So, how have you been?

I’ve been somewhat busy, a trip to England with my mom in September to visit and meet with relatives, and a jaunt up to Manchester to watch my beloved FC Manchester United play at Old Trafford. Stopped by Windsor to wave at QE2 and family, (they didn’t wave back by the way but I’m not taking it personally since I didn’t write and tell them I was coming). I veered screaming back into work at the house and all it’s changes.

Christmas is coming, of course if you’re a person who watches television, it’s apparently been coming for a couple of months, innumerable shopping days and formulaic feel-good movies on cable. For me, I like the old ones. The list includes but is not limited to; Frosty (the original), Rudolph (the original), Charlie Brown’s Christmas, (the season doesn’t count until I hear the Vince Guaraldi Trio playing ‘Christmas Time is Here’). Christmas Eve has to include the black and white/Alistair Sim version of A Christmas Carol, with 8 hours later lying in bed listening to a reading of Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales on CBC. Whew, that’s a lot of essential viewing for anyone. We’re having a mixed holiday this year, the 24th will see us at ours with mom, then visiting another family for dinner on the 25th with what sounds like a whole lot of people! Whatever you do, believe in, celebrate, please do it safely and enjoy the experiences. 

Bit wasn’t Fit

The last couple days were spent trying to synch my mom’s Mother’s Day present and get it up and working for her. I did my own this past January so I couldn’t understand how it could be so nerve-wracking. My brother and I bought her a FitBit, it’s the same kind as mine because I convinced him that I could get it running for her (due to previous success). She was thrilled, and after charging it for the recommended time it was decided that I take it home to do my magic. Well, as it turns out my wand is broken. I was defeated after many hours of getting to a point only to be told to ‘insert my dongle’. 

I had to look it up. I thought the website was being a touch rude, if I had a dongle I don’t think I would be putting into a computer! Anyway, as is my want, I did the research, saw a picture of one, (don’t worry it’s not that gross) and realized I don’t have one after all. Where does one get a dongle in our fair city and if I didn’t need one in January for the same computer and same exact type of Fitbit, why did I require one now? Argggh! Anyway, after some grumbling and thinking, I decided to take the thing back to mom’s and let her know that I had failed in my venture. She would have to find a suitably computer savvy person to save the day. It wasn’t the failure that bothers me in all this, after all there’s a whole host of things I can’t do. It’s the company that makes them, and the company that sells them not including either the requisite dongle with the packaging, or a note to tell you that you’ll need one if you’re trying to register the thing online.

Information is a valuable asset when trying to process a Mother’s Day present!

Ah Mexico

We got back from our vacation last Sunday, it’s been a week of several washroom visits, stomach cramping and just generally feeling ‘off’. I missed a week of work and barely left the ole casa. It kind of humbled me, I’m the one in the relationship with ‘iron guts’. I can eat all manners of foreign foods/drinks and not have a problem. Hubby has a frail stomach at the best of times, I expected him to get sick, but not me. 

The vacation itself is just what I needed, some pool time, lots of reading and sunshine. Work was forgotten, I checked my email/Facebook once a day on the lobby computer, enjoyed our birthdays and just spent lots of time idly chatting, laughing at the little ones in the pool, and strolling around the grounds. 

Back at work today, still feeling my way, it’s amazing what an extra week off can do to the old memory. Anyway, I’m hoping this bug leaves my body relatively intact although losing the vacation weight gain plus a few lbs extra can’t be all bad, right?