Art du Jour 78

Sketch of a little dog I never met.

Sketch of a little dog I never met.

My life lately has been one big series of breaks. I’m running out of reasons (excuses) to take them. Maybe I’m just resting up for non stop November blogging from hell. (That’s not exactly what it’s called, but close.)

A couple of weeks ago I flew/drove/crossed a river by boat to spend several days on our little island in gorgeous fall weather. My sister and brother-in-law drove from the other direction and all of us helped W close up camp for the winter. It’s a two-day drive for both of us to get home. And then straight away I drove 5 hours north to spend some time with 4 of my grandchildren. Not sure how useful I’m being, but I’m here for a couple more days. Number one grandson turns 14 tomorrow.

W is busy at home preparing himself with appointments and paperwork for his hip replacement surgery. We are hoping it will be scheduled for early next month if not sooner. I will be his chief post surgery care giver. How scary is that? Not for me, for him. I’ve got my own scary stuff going on with two ultrasounds and a mammogram booked for next Friday. October is health month at our house. Flu shots are coming up too.

For the next three months I’m on a diabetic medication because blood work revealed that my blood sugar levels are all out of whack. I hardly ever eat sugary things, but I guess sitting on my retired ass for a year has messed up my metabolism or something. There’s always something. So yeah. Working on that.

So that’s my missing-in-action excuse list for now. The sketch is from a photo. I will get back to working in my “art studio” soon, and back to reading your blogs. I miss those things.

I have all the paraphernalia at home to check my blood sugar levels.  It involves sharp things and a bio-hazardous waste receptacle, so when I work up the nerve to start using all that, I will share the experience with you.  Self inflicted pain coming up.  Woohoo.

Have an awesome October weekend!


Rainy Tuesday

From somewhere on Facebook; mom-isms made in to inspirational posters.

From somewhere on Facebook; mom-isms made in to inspirational posters.

Today is Tuesday and today it rained.  My dad used to answer our pestering-kid questions wanting to know WHEN something was going to happen by telling us “a week from the next rainy Tuesday”.  This answer always made me sigh and roll my eyes and stop asking, but it also made me promise myself that I would keep track of the days of the week and note when it rained and thus be way ahead of the game.  Of course I never did, and if that Tuesday from the last rainy one ever did roll around I would have long forgotten what the question was anyway.  Which was no doubt his intent.

So that’s what I was thinking about this morning when I got up early and went out in the rain and off to the lab for my 8:15 a.m. appointment with the doctors requisition slip for fasting blood work stuffed in my bag.  I had eaten nothing since about 7:00 p.m. the day before.  Unfortunately I had also had almost nothing to drink.  Perhaps somewhere in the back of my little pea sized dehydrated brain I got the prep rules for this mixed up with those for surgery where you can’t even have water.  And because it was earlier than I usually take my meds and I would probably be home in about twenty minutes, I did not take my diuretic.  And I had no coffee.  And the last thing I did before leaving the house was use the bathroom, because mom always made us do that when we were going somewhere, whether we needed to or not.  Obviously my parents were both very influential people.

Can you see where this is going?  I swear there were no check marks at all in the little urinalysis box on that paper, but after I happily gave up three vials of blood the nurse handed me the dreaded styrofoam cup with my name on it.  Saying I didn’t think I’d be able to do it just got me that mom look.  So I asked for some water and headed off to the bathroom.

I was in there for a good twenty minutes.  I drank enough water to drown a horse, until it made me gag.  Then I started to sweat because it was damned hot in that tiny room with my hoodie on, but why take it off when I’m going straight home, right?  Who the hell ever thought peeing in a cup was a good idea?  I couldn’t do it.  I came out with the empty cup in my hand and told them I was going to sit in the waiting room for a bit.  They said they were wondering what happened to my sample, and would I like some water?  Double gag.

Alternately reading emails on my phone and watching the clock from 9:00 to 9:30 with still no urge whatsoever to urinate, I felt like a complete failure.  Asked to do ONE SIMPLE THING and unable to get it done.  Not knowing if giving up was an option.  Would they let me come back later?  Would I have to get another requisition?  What would happen if I smashed the damned cup and told them all they were ridiculous?  I was definitely not living in the moment, and fervently wishing to be somewhere else.

Finally after another fifteen or so minutes of extreme discomfort from all that water and embarrassment for being there so long and senseless frustration with myself I had some small degree of success.  I wonder if that might have been the most minute urine sample ever submitted for testing, but opted not to stick around to find out.

I drove home in the pouring rain, took my medication, drank two cups of coffee and then headed off to the pharmacy to fill my prescriptions and do some shopping and pick up the mail and guess what?  Could not wait to rush back into my house to use the bathroom.

The moral of this story is to always be prepared for whatever is happening being the opposite of what you thought you wanted to happen and have faith that everything will work out exactly right a week from the next rainy Tuesday.  And this Tuesday, even though it is indeed a rainy one,  doesn’t count because the rule is it has to be the NEXT one.

Glad I got that all sorted out.  And you wonder why I don’t like to leave home.

Ritualistic Showering


Where the ritual occurs.

Think about your day. Select one of your daily rituals and explain it to us: why do you do what you do? How did you come to adopt this ritual? What happens on days when you can’t perform it?

Thank you Daily Post for this intriguing set of questions.  In a couple of weeks I will have been retired from the work force for a year.  Since cleaning my fridge in August I have not done anything worth blogging about.  Yes, I guess that is kind of sad, but it also makes me extremely happy to have such an uneventful life.

Unstructured, seemingly limitless free alone-time probably sounds boring to a lot of you.  But to my fellow introverts I know it sounds like heaven.  Imagine being asked what you did all day and “nothing” pretty much sums it up.  Bliss.

Okay, I may be exaggerating slightly.  But this got me thinking about my day (please refer to the part where it says ‘think about your day’).  My daily rituals include

  1. drinking coffee
  2. taking a shower
  3. getting dressed
  4. filling or emptying the dishwasher but usually not both on the same day because it’s just me here at the moment, which means no one cares
  5. feeding myself
  6. wondering what stage I left the laundry at
  7. doing important things on my iPad
  8. thinking about art, checking art supplies, staring at blank canvases and that thing I started and don’t like and can’t motivate myself to finish
  9. doing totally unimportant things on my iPad
  10. wondering how it got to be so far past midnight and going to bed.

So the one I am selecting from this list and explaining to you is the ritualistic shower.  Because my Gawd this will be beyond interesting and exciting, won’t it?  No matter what my plans for excursions beyond the front door for appointments or shopping trips for the day may be, this is the one ritual I must perform every day.  Even if I’m not going anywhere except maybe to the basement.

Why do I do what I do?  How did I come to adopt this ritual?  I was born in 1949.  (Don’t panic, I’m only going to hit the shower related high points of my life.). The first farm-house we lived in did not have a bathtub.  The second one had a bathtub but no shower.  My brother thought it was hilarious to hold my face underwater at the beach, instilling in me a lifelong fear of getting water on my face and being unable to breathe.  For years after I moved away to places which had showers I would wash my face and hair in some place other than the shower, and then shower myself from the neck down.

Yeah, strange phobia, but something that was easy enough to live with.  Then I got married and had kids and none of these people I was living with were afraid of water so I slowly made myself get over it.  I passed the tadpole swimming level and the rest is history.

I don’t LOVE the water on my head part, but I can do it now and it certainly saves time.  Because I need a lot of that to get all my nothing done, right?  Anyway, now I can’t imagine a day without showering.

Oh, wait, yes I can.  There is no shower on the island where our summer camp is.  I am going there next week for about seven shower-less days.  Which brings us to the final question – what happens on days when you can’t perform it?

I cry a lot.  Just on the inside.  Outwardly I sigh and begrudgingly use the bathtub and the sink and the river.  And many wet wipes.  This is called roughing it in the wilderness.

The other day I showered and dressed and left the house and went to see my doctor for my yearly physical (and mental state I guess).  One of the questions she asked me was, on a scale of one to ten, how happy would you say you are?  I said seven or eight.  Because, let’s face it, nobody wants to claim they’re a ten.  People would be pestering you all the time for your secret, which would probably drop you down to five in a big hurry.  On days I don’t shower my answer would be two.

However, not drinking my morning coffee would immediately put me at a minus one.  So there are worse things in life I guess.  Showering is just one of my privileged life luxuries. Going without it is simply a kick in the butt reminding me to appreciate it.

Some Days Are Like This

imageNormally I would not in a hundred bazillion years share a photo of my fridge interior with strangers.  Or friends or family or anyone.  You just never know what totally embarrassing thing might be in there waiting to make you look bad.

But I am rather proud of my flyer-advertisement-worthy appliance today so you get to see it.  Plus, I have nothing else to tell you except my fridge cleaning story.  Close your eyes and put your headphones on, I don’t care, I’m telling it.

In a fit of blazing enthusiasm, perhaps brought on by the heat, I emptied this thing out, took out all the pieces and cleaned the shelves and the drawers and the glass pieces thoroughly in warm soapy water and dried them all with many towels until they were shiny clean and as sparkly as old well-used pieces of fridge can get.

Putting everything back together was a pain in the butt.  There are shelves that slide back and forth and in and out, and no matter how they are arranged there’s aways some stupid food product that won’t fit right on any of them.  What ever happened to fridges where you didn’t have any of these annoying choices and you could blame someone else for where you were forced to put things?  Throwing out mystery items and  expired things helped to balance my mood.  Like olives with a best before date of April, 2014.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Proving that housework never ends (until you put your foot down and tell yourself to just stop it) I carried on to the pantry cupboard and straightened that up as well.

The reason for doing all this?  I was making a shopping list and I have a bad habit of not looking hard enough for something and ending up purchasing another one of whatever it is that has gone missing behind a bunch of other stuff….you know how it goes.  So now I have a really great list and no energy left to go anywhere with it.

But wow, look at that fridge!  There’s actually an empty shelf.  And many many lemons for some reason that escapes me right now.

A super organized person I’m guessing could make two shopping lists.  The second one could be called “Do Not Buy” (because you already have lots even though while you are shopping you will forget this and throw random items that you purchase regularly in to your cart just in case.)  With my luck the lists would get switched.

So super organized might not be as super as we assume.  I’m not going to risk it anyway.  But I AM going to risk grocery shopping once again, this time armed with a little more knowledge than usual.  Let’s see how that goes.

Sharing My World 34


Share Your World 2015 Week 34

Was school easy or difficult for you? How so?

By the time I started formal school (before there was pre-school or kindergarten available to us, in a one room country schoolhouse a mile and a half walk from our farm) I was six years and four months old and fairly bursting with enthusiasm to know everything there was to know.  Like a greedy little sponge I soaked it all up and chalked up the A’s.  I remember it being academically easy breezy all the way through grades one to eight.  High school showed me how socially awkward I could be (there’s some skills that are hard to teach) and that I might not be as smart as I had always imagined. Oh, I continued to get marks in the 90’s, but suddenly I was 15th in a class of thirty brainiacs.  Middle of the road!  What? Yep, it’s a big world out there, full of people with all kinds of mad talents.

Teachers College taught me that I did not want to teach.  By the time I got around to going to University it had finally dawned on me that no one really cares whether you pass with a 95 or a 65, except maybe your professor.  Or your mother.  It was kind of nice to slack off and stop trying so hard.

Then I got married in a time when it was normal to set your own goals aside and support your husband in achieving his.  So I worked and had babies while he pursued his career.  I didn’t resent it, I was too damned busy to worry about such things.  We did what we did for each other and our kids.  In comparison to real life, school was just a fondly remembered walk in the park.

However, going back to school when I was about half a century old was not easy at all because of the self-discipline involved in getting my lazy brain to perk up and learn new skills.  I spent four years working full time while taking the optical courses required to become a licensed optician and contact lens fitter.  And yeah, I got 90’s!  I guess it all came back to me.

Now I am retired and the only tests I want to take from now on are the moronic ones on Facebook which make you question your sanity for even reading them.

What is your favorite animal?

I like giraffes, zebras and elephants.  As well as wallpaper borders which prominently feature them, in case you failed to guess that.  I also think tigers are beautiful, fierce and majestic.  However, if any or all of these favourites were galumphing about in my backyard and I had to clean up after them, I might like them slightly less.  I will try to be happy with the magpies and the squirrel.  And the occasional wandering house cat.

If you had to have your vision corrected would you rather: glasses or contacts?

Well I could write a book on this one, but I will take a stab at being precise and brief instead.  You might not have a simple choice  of either/or, depending on your prescription.  So go with whatever your eye care professional advises for you.  Because she is undoubtedly incredibly smart and probably scored 90’s on all her exams.

List: Name at least five television shows (past or present) you enjoyed.

Like the rest of this post, in random order and all over the place:

  1. Once Upon a Time
  2. Suits
  3. Doctor Who
  4. Damages
  5. Sense 8
  6. The Good Wife
  7. White Collar
  8. Covert Affairs
  9. Bones
  10. Psych

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I meant to have some art ready for your perusal by now, but the thing I’m working on is half-finished and needs to cook.  Or sit at room temperature while I ponder what to do with it next.  So, any day now.  I am grateful for having no deadlines.

Next week, who knows?  I live each day as it comes, savour and bask in the pleasure of now, and try not to let my mind wander too far in to the murky depths of the future.  In other words, I will know what I was looking forward to when it gets here.  This way there is little room for disappointment.

It’s a gorgeous sunny late August day, and time for my mail walk.  Or saunter.  Yes, I think this might be a good day for a saunter.  I’m giving myself an A for that decision.