Holy Thursday Walk in the Park

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It used to be extremely important to me, knowing what day of the week I was waking up in.  Now I don’t care; as long as I keep waking up, it’s all good.  And I didn’t suddenly say to myself today “Holy, it’s Thursday!”  in case you were wondering about that title.  This is the origin of my version of Holy Thursday , an old joke from my working days (which ended two weeks ago.)    I noticed there are bloggers out there doing throw-back Thursdays so this is my version of joining in, doing a ping-back to myself.  Weird but fun.  Or maybe fun because it’s weird.

Our poor old tree in the backyard is looking rather bare these days, but on my walk I saw lots of leaves still hanging on, waiting for the next strong north wind to send them flying.  It’s still beautiful weather for us in the middle of October (we often have snow here by Halloween) and on these walks I’m learning to appreciate the benefits of being near-sighted.  Even half dead hedges look good close up.

And then there’s this.

holy thursday 002Yes, it’s a picture of an almost empty 3.78 litre jug of apple juice.  My pre-op instructions advised me to drink three cups of apple juice the night before surgery and 2 cups of it three hours prior to my scheduled surgery time.  So I sent W out to pick up some apple juice.  If I had done a litre to cup calculation I could have let him know that one litre (4.2268 cups) was close enough.  He did pick up a one litre carton, and this jug as insurance I guess.  So if I needed to go for about six more surgeries, we were all set.  We’ve made a good dent in it, in a little over a week, drinking a cup or so each for 8 breakfasts.  I used the last of it in my smoothie this morning and retired the jug to the recycle bin.  My fridge looks empty.

In other ground breaking news (obviously I don’t know the meaning of that phrase) last night I watched the last episode available on Netflix of The 4400.  I’ve started a new book called “The Bone Season” by Samantha Shannon.  I am in la-la land and loving it.

Hope you’re having a great Thursday too.

Really

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Our gigantic tree dropping its leaves in at least four backyards.

Several things yesterday got me saying “really?” or even “REALLY??”  It was really that kind of day.

  • We got stuck in traffic on the way to the hospital.  There is construction going on all over this city and we are running out of alternate routes.  Everyone says it will be nice when it’s done, but construction is like housework and will never be done.
  • The nurse at admitting asked me if I hadn’t already checked in because she had me marked off on her list.  Nope, just got here.  So off she went to find my impersonator.
  • Flipping through a home decor magazine I came across instructions for kitchen art. Paint some utensils white, hot glue them (artistically arranged) to a red board, put them in a frame and hang them up. On the same page there was an ad for glass cocktail wands.  So much classier than swivel sticks.  I guess.
  • The many people around me were comparing their various wait times and how far behind things were when a nurse called me to say my doctor was running ahead of schedule.  Do I know how to pick a surgeon or what?
  • Hospital garments confuse the hell out of me.  What goes frontwards and what goes backwards with a gazillion dome fasteners and ties and elastic papery things for gawd knows what.  By the time I got it all figured out we were probably back on schedule.
  • I lost count of how many people with clip boards and check sheets asked me the same questions over and over.  I think they were all planning to meet up in the O.R. later and compare notes.
  • One minute the anesthesiologist was starting my  I.V.  and the next minute it was two or three hours later and I was somewhere else.  This is what time travel must feel like.
  • On a scale of one to ten, one being discomfort and ten being the worst pain you’ve ever felt, how would you rate your pain?  I don’t know.  I hate math.  I had different levels of pain in different places – neck, throat, back, head.  I didn’t want to sound like a wimp or a whiner so I said it was a four.  Wrong answer!  No extra pain meds for you.  Next time they asked I upped it to five.  Still not high enough.  Sigh.
  • After i was declared sane enough to leave, W wheeled me down to the main entrance and left me sitting in front of the hospital directory sign while he went to get the car.  No one asked me for directions.
  • It’s impossible to keep your head still in a moving vehicle even if you hang on to it with both hands.  I suffered a thousand mini whiplashes on the drive home because we kept braking for pedestrians and red lights.  Yes I am being overly dramatic.  I believe most post op patients are.

The pain med prescription bottle says one or two tablets every four hours as needed and they gave me 30 of them.  They are supposed to cause drowsiness but I managed to have a restless night anyway.  I am supposed to leave the steri-strips in place for seven days.  They told me not to have a shower for two days.  REALLY??  That rule is already broken because our shower is hand-held and I kept my neck dry.  Fewer people will die as a result.

Now once again we wait for answers.  Follow up is in two weeks.  By then I should look less like a bus ran over my face.  Another drama queen statement.  Sorry.  I’m drowsy.  Not quite as exhausted as this topic, but close enough.

Hello First Monday in October

Ha! Just showing you I figured out what day it is.

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Watercolor inspired by a Pinterest pin, so not exactly original. Okay, not original at all, but it is my painting and my photo. Let’s just call it “bird with killer eyelashes” and file it under P for practice.

This morning I looked at my calendar, located Monday, and marvelled that it was already the 8th of October.  Except that it’s not.  Time stands still when you neglect to flip your calendar.  Yep, STILL stuck on September.

So that’s been rectified.  Yay me.  We’ve had guests this past week, including this lovely lady.  october 004She’s not that spooky in real life.

On the weekend we removed a very old hide-a-bed from our spare room and replaced it with a queen Ikea bed.  It was either that or risk inflicting back problems and insomnia on everyone concerned.  I suppose we could have opted for something more expensive and comfortable (although even a straw mattress on the floor would probably have been an improvement) but this way no one will be tempted to over stay their welcome, right?   Come to think of it, my cooking might have that problem covered already.

Also this morning, on the 6th, not the 8th, I donned my  long neglected running shoes (which I had to rummage around in the closet to find) and went for a walk.  No one is more surprised by this than me.  It’s a gorgeous fall day!  Sunny and windy and warm.

october 019october 008I saw a lot of trees.  But not one of those painted birds.  A chickadee flew right past my head into a spruce tree and refused to come out and strike a pose for me.  Nevertheless,  the wind and the sun and the fresh air and sunshine blew the cobwebs out of my blogging brain and this mish-mash of a post is the result.

It includes everything but the kitchen sink and a recipe.  I’ll fix the recipe part of that by giving you a list of smoothie ingredients:

  • blueberries
  • fennel
  • cucumber
  • spinach
  • kale
  • apple
  • lemon
  • banana
  • avocado
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • coconut water

Yes, I drank that, and yes, I am still alive.  It tasted great, even with the cucumber, which normally I find remarkably yech and try to avoid,  but mixed up with all the other stuff it’s barely discernible.  The only good cucumber is a pickled one.  (Pickles in a smoothie??  Huh.  Maybe not.)

And on that note, adieu for today.  Tomorrow I might be more focused, but I’m not making any promises.

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I call this “Dead Grass and New Growth in the Autumn Sunshine Along a White Picket Fence”. Anything can be art as long as you give it a long enough name.

 

Let the Bells Ring Out and the Banners Fly

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It’s October! The start of candle burning season!

 

My job is done. The latest paying one, anyway. I’m inventing new jobs for myself by the dozen, although not working very hard at any of them so far. I feel as if I have all the time in the world. That’s probably foolish in the long run but at the moment it just feels good.  How I imagine it would feel to go through a portal to another dimension where fantasy and reality have traded places.  Although maybe slightly less weird.

Yesterday, on my first official day as a retired person, I got all my pre-op tests and reports and preparations done. Lab work, diagnostic imaging, papers, forms, faxes….now I wait for a phone call with a date and time for my day surgery, which they hope to schedule in the next two to three weeks.  I also had my doctor refer me for a hearing test.  She says it often takes up to eight months to get in.  Good thing I can read lips.

All the activity yesterday was more exhausting than showing up for work, since I added in some other running around too, being out and about anyway. What a luxury to know I could just come home and nap if the mood hit me.

There was a minimal amount of fanfare surrounding my leaving work.  I am thankful for that. Well, if you want to know the truth, I practically begged them not to do anything. I hate a fuss. I worked up to the last minute of my schedule, gathered up my stuff and left like it was any other day. Except for hauling away a couple of gifts – a beautiful flower arrangement (artificial because I kill things) and a desk top easel (because apparently I have talked about nothing else besides painting for the last two months). I’d say both of those things are perfect.

Already I’m having trouble remembering what day it is.  So I think I may need a calendar with a schedule on it.  Or I may just sit around on the couch watching Netflix for the rest of my life.

That’s not the only possibility.  I might also sketch and draw and experiment with water-color pencil crayons and consider all the possibilities of mixed media and get lost on Pinterest and never write another thing…..

Nope.  Going to make up a schedule.  The only stipulation will be that I am not allowed to get upset if I can’t stick to it.  It’s not like anyone will notice unless I’m foolish enough to share it.  So,  yeah.  I’ll get right on it.  You’ll know I’m done when you notice some semblance of organization and routine around here.  Not to mention pictures that make sense.

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Of Bogs and Baers

Cat with a backwards "c", a bog and a baer.  Not for sale.  Sorry.

Cat with a backwards “c”, a bog and a baer. Not for sale. Sorry.

Some art work is priceless.  Found these in my filing cabinet under Recipes.  Yes, that’s how I file.  I believe the artist is Kenzie and I’m guessing at about age four. The arrows are a nice touch.  But I’m a little freaked out by the claws on that baer.

Good Morning Sunshine

The latest incarnation of the paint room aka art studio, in which I have spent hours moving things around and minutes actually working on stuff.

The latest incarnation of the paint room aka art studio, in which I have spent hours moving things around and minutes actually working on stuff.

There isn’t a lot of sunshine yet today, but that’s okay.  We’re having gorgeous autumn weather into the last ten days of September.  Six work shifts to go.  I know countdowns are bad, and a form of wishing your life away while you wait for something to end or begin or happen but I’m doing it anyway.  Anticipation is half the fun, right?

On my second last working Wednesday, all alone between six and eight with no appointments and no customers and no real ambition, I decided to write down all the things I will miss about work when I’m finally done with it on the last day of this month.  I took a sheet of paper out of the printer, got one of my three erasable pens out of my pocket (there must always be three) and sat down to write a list.  Things I will miss.  Ten minutes crawled by.  Everything I thought of was something I actually wouldn’t miss at all.  In fact I knew I would be beside myself with relief and happiness to never have to deal with that shit again.  So then I divided the paper in two and on the second half started a list of things I will NOT miss.  I filled up that side and the entire back with such a pile of work related crap it put me in a totally pissy mood.  I should not be left alone on Wednesday nights.  I’ve always said that, but no one listens.

While this process was all very cathartic, I won’t be sharing my list of negativity from hell.  Going over it once was enough.  Indisputable proof that it’s time to walk away.

W is coming home today.  He’s been in Ontario at the island closing things up for the winter.  He’s bringing my water-color paint supplies home with him.  I can’t remember why I thought it was a good idea to leave them there, but now I’ll have fewer excuses for stifling my creative urges as I amass all my tools and gather ideas and look up art classes.  Plan projects, get organized, have another cup of coffee, read some blogs, play some candy crush, make a pot of soup…..

Is it a little sad that procrastination is my favourite thing in the world?   (Except for reading for hours and watching bizarre things on Netflix.  I never put those things off.)   If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I’ve been headed in that direction forever.  I do entire blog posts in my head in the middle of the night on my brilliant blog where I discuss brilliant things.  Then dawn breaks and work looms and Netflix sends me a notice that some dumb thing I’ve been watching has new episodes.  So the brilliance is put on hold.  Or forgotten.

Well, it’s an interesting theory/excuse, hey?

No, I’m not really buying it either.  But my point is (YES!  I have a POINT!) work will no longer loom.  Huge chunks of stress will dissolve right before my eyes.  I will have to find something completely different to get all pissy about.  I will answer more prompts and accept more challenges.  Or at the very least, drum up the courage to share my artistic creative genius.  You people are all really nice and will humor me on that one, right?  Thank you, I knew I could count on you.

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Ten days.  Six shifts.  Gorgeous fall weather.  Paint supplies en route to home.  Oh yeah, and W too.

Life is good and about to get better.

Bottoms Up

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Well I SUPPOSE it’s about time for a REAL post.  Said the pre-retiring mess-making cartoon-drawing officially old lady trying to make sense of this new not-classic mode of creation on Word Press.

So just ignore that, I’m not here to complain about insignificant things, because what I really want to talk about is my signature beverage.  It was a WP prompt awhile ago that made me laugh, because, really, who do we think we are, famous people with images or something?  And without even knowing me all that well you might suspect my drink du jour would be a tall glass of red wine (good guess) but it wasn’t always so.

It used to be chocolate milk.  I thought I would never outgrow it, and maybe I still haven’t completely, because that stuff is good.  Not the kind you mix with a powdered concoction into actual milk, but the kind you buy in little brown bottles or cartons which may or may not contain any real milk.  Smooth and thick and chocolate-y with coma inducing amounts of sugar.  This was such a rare treat when I was a kid that whenever we ate out (another once in a blue moon treat) that’s what I would order to drink.  Who cares about the food.  Chocolate milk goes with absolutely everything.

Then when I was a teenager trying to put chocolate behind me, Coca Cola was the next best thing.  Until it became cool to prefer Pepsi although if you did a blind taste test you’d probably have to cheat if you really wanted people to think you could tell the difference.

In my twenties and beyond, when I became extremely world-weary and sophisticated, my go-to beverage was a Harvey Wallbanger.  Because what could possibly be more sophisticated than that.  Not cheap draft beer, that’s for sure, although I admit I drank my fair share of that too, depending entirely on the money situation of the moment.   Vodka, orange juice, Galliano, a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry.  And lots of ice.  Umbrella purely optional.  But a nice touch.

W is the one who got me drinking amber rum.  Probably because the umbrellas were an embarrassment for him.  And it had to be with real Pepsi, no substitutions.  And a twist of lemon or lime.  I’m the one who switched myself to spiced rum.  He hates it.  All the more for me then.

Raising children changes everything of course, and drinking something like coffee to keep yourself alert replaces drinking anything that might cause you to pass out and miss seeing whatever it is they’re up to now.  And coffee seems harmless enough until you clue in to how addicted you are to it.  Even then, it’s not easy to give it up.  Mostly because you can’t possibly convince yourself that there’s any good reason to do so.  And besides, you spent a lot of money on that stupid Tassimo.

But pop and diet pop are SO incredibly bad for you.  I’ve had enough of them to last several life times and now I’m ready to quit.  Wine seems like a viable alternative.  I used to like white, but not much.  Then my daughter started raving about Malbec and I’ve been hopelessly hooked ever since.  It’s like store-bought chocolate milk for adults.  Plus you look way more worldly and refined sipping on something that’s not in a plastic cup or a travel mug, right?

Well I hope so.  I have a friend who won’t drink red wine because it makes her teeth and lips red.  I say, who cares?  I also say, drink whatever you want, teeth and lips be damned.  That’s the first time I’ve ever said that really, and probably the last time now that I look at it critically and while completely sober.

Damn, I should have said water.  We should ALL be saying water.  And being thankful that we have access to the clean and drinkable kind. That would be commendable, but also boring.  So red wine it is.  Until I’m at the stage in my life where they switch me to Metamucil through a plastic bendy straw.  May the wine preserve me until then.