Hurry Up and Wait

My November Day Six

I got up before the crack of dawn this morning.  These days it’s not that hard to do since dawn cracks ever later as winter closes in on us.  The plan was to be up and off to the surgery center to retrieve my husband by nine a.m.

As of whenever it was he started sending me texts this morning, I have been patiently waiting to leave.  Apparently they are in no great hurry to get rid of him.  He has to be cleared by the physio people who must be satisfied that he is sufficiently mobile to get in and out of things like the shower and a vehicle.  There are student nurses doing practicums using him as their patient.  Why does this not surprise me?

So, on the bright side, this gives him a chance to enjoy a couple more delicious hospital meals.

Drinking coffee.  Waiting for the phone to ring.  Imagining all kinds of disasters if we screw this up.

Meanwhile, this made me laugh out loud.


When W is once again impressing people with his agility I will tell them that isn’t even his real hip.

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.

Sharing My World 32


My gorgeous Tiger Lilies which continue to grow and bloom year after year despite this summers bone dry heat and my constant sad neglect.

Share Your World – 2015 Week #28

But first….(because I have also sadly neglected to share my world for several weeks…)

Questions from week 26
In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

The only car accident I ever was in happened when someone else was driving, so I don’t like the feeling of having no control in a vehicle.  But when I’m driving I also don’t like to have my attention divided by conversation and radio noise and signs and scenery, especially if I’m not familiar with my route.  Although in that case I suppose the signs might be useful.  Lately I seem to never know exactly where I’m going.  My plans could change en route.  There’s a reason why old people should just bow out gracefully and let someone else take the wheel.  As long as it’s not by someone else who is just as old and confused.  And before you leave it might be a good idea to write down where you’re headed just in case.

If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?

I would go!  I’ve never been to a live opera performance.  I think it would be amazing.

Describe your own outlook on life in seven words or less. (NOTE: does not necessarily have to be a sentence.)

We make our own heaven or hell.  I would also like to add “right here on earth” but that’s too many words. So just think it in your head.

Which would you prefer: a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure–intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a contented bordering on happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

No wild swinging turbulence for me thanks.  My heart can’t take it.  I would opt for contented and secure.  Yes, I am exactly that boring.

Questions from week 27

What is your favorite month of the year?

There are things I like and dislike about all of them.  The dislike mostly has to do with taxes and insurance premiums coming due and nasty bad weather.  The good things are birthdays and anniversaries and holidays and pleasantly good weather.  January is generally a pain in the ass.  I can’t think of anything bad to say about September.

Do you drink coffee at all?

Yes I do.  Every day.  This summer I am probably going to single-handedly wear out my Tasimo coffee maker.  In which case I will invest in a Keurig.  I hear they’re better.

What was one of your first moneymaking jobs (other than babysitting or newspaper delivery)?

I worked as a waitress at a beach café.  Everyone should work as wait staff at least once in their lives.  This would make for more polite patrons and much more generous tipping.

List:  If you play video/computer games list 5 games you like.

Hay Day, Candy Crush, Words With Friends, Unblock Me and Spider Solitaire.  Wow.  Clearly I have no life.

Questions from week 28

What is your favorite comfort snack food?

This is probably where you’re supposed to say chocolate and not something weird like dill pickles.  Yesterday I ate tuna salad with tortilla chips.  I really don’t have a favorite.  It depends on the month and the weather.  This month there’s a lot less frozen fudge bars in the universe thanks to me.

If you had to spend one weekend alone in a single store but could remove nothing, which store would you pick? (except food or beverage)

Good gawd, an entire weekend?  My first thought was to pick a furniture store with beds in it.  However, I reconsidered and came up with Michael’s where I would create many works of art and leave them lying around with price tags on them.

What was the largest city you have been to?  What is the one thing you remember most?

After googling a list of the worlds largest cities I decided to choose London mostly because I have never been anywhere else on the list.  I thought Athens was really big, but apparently geography is not one of my life skills.  What I remember most about London is travelling around on the top deck of a tourist-y red bus snapping photos like a mad woman.  I saw it all through a camera lens!  The Tower of London, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge, Big Ben – how in the world do you pick just one out of all those amazing things?  I remember being there with my sister.  That was the best part.

Finish this sentence:  It has recently come to my attention that ….

…..there are already almost 800 words in this post.  It’s time to do something else.  But before I shut up, I would like to tell you how wonderful the weather is today!  It is cloudy and overcast and the hot blazing sun is nowhere to be seen.  This is such a relief after the crazy heat wave and smoky air from all the wildfires in our province.  There was a lovely thunder-storm last night complete with pouring rain.  So it’s official, July 13th is my favourite weather day of the year so far.  My grass still looks dead, but now at least it is dead and wet and not looking so much like it might suddenly burst into flames. 

Hope you’re having an amazing start to an unbelievable week in this incredibly marvelous month!

Whew.  Might also be time to cut back on the coffee and sugary snacks for a bit.


Art du Jour 68

This is what happens when you take a photo in low light at the end of the day and your pencils cast shadows on the white page. As if you would ever wonder about that. Just saying, now you don’t have to.

This morning I went grocery shopping. On my return, I immediately made myself a very creamy cup of coffee with my stockpile of coffee cream.  Running out of cream was more brutal than anticipated.  This is how you learn how addicted you are to something.  Shopping before coffee sure speeds up the process but doesn’t necessarily make it pleasant.

The day turned out to be very hot and I turned out to be very lethargic. But it finally cooled off enough for me to draw something once the light was more or less useless for art.

Considering how little time I spent on this, I’m very happy with it.  My mind might change with the daylight.

This is the start of Canada Day long weekend!   Flags are flying.  Hope you have a good one.

Sharing My World 30



The little faded drawing in the middle of this picture is at least ten years old, made by our oldest granddaughter, when she was maybe three or four.  The creation and the concept and the words are hers, and all this time later I’ve added a border hoping to preserve her little masterpiece from getting lost or destroyed.  Her initials are above her self-portrait, and GR is a short form for grandpa.  And I guess that day they were being silly.  Worth saving, worth sharing, right?

Share Your World – 2015 Week #22

Finish these four sentences. You can talk about yourself or be creative and write a piece of fiction. It’s up to you. Have some fun.

Never In My Life Have I….

needed so little sleep as I do now since settling into retirement and advanced years.  That sounds better than ‘old age’.  You know, slightly.   I read somewhere that old people need less sleep, probably in part because a lot of them don’t have anything much to do anymore and thus don’t get exhausted.  Or it’s simply part of healthy aging where reductions in the sleep duration and depth are fine, and less sleep is required to maintain daytime alertness.   I’m trying to remember if I ever had a lot of daytime alertness when I felt sleep deprived.  Anyway, 6 hours a night seems to be the norm now.  And no daytime naps.  It’s all very weird.

My neighbour wants me to help her…..

feel less embarrassed by my flower beds.  Really, I don’t even know much about my neighbors on either side of me.  Except that their names are Denise and Faye and they both have amazing things growing in their front yards.  I have dogwood and a little tree that needs constant trimming and rarely gets it, and some kind of thorny berry bush growing wild.  Hey, I make both of them look good simply by being lazy non-gardening me.  They should be happy about that.

When I was little I wanted…

to get out of going to church every Sunday.  My mother never let that happen, even though the place was incredibly boring and I hated getting dressed up.  She had some strange and very strict rules.  Church got a little more interesting when I was part of the junior choir and could play Snap…

(Each player has a pile of cards face down and together they turn the cards up one by one until they match.  Whoever says SNAP first wins the other’s turned over pile of cards.  The object of the game is to win all the cards.)

….with my church friend.  We used the left over hymn number cards that went on the  little board on the wall announcing the page numbers of the hymns that we would be singing during the service.  It’s good for a congregation to all be on the same page.  It took a lot of stealth to never get caught playing with these cards, along with sitting in the back row and as far away from the choir leader as possible.  And it made the sermon almost bearable.  Church is where I became a clock watcher, wishing time would speed up so I could go home and do ANYTHING else.   Although whispering and being sneaky was fun.

Will you come here to…

work on my flowerbeds?  Explain to me what I was supposed to get out of Sunday mornings besides mad Snap skills?  Or we could just have coffee and you could assure me that I do indeed appear to be alert and don’t have dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep.  We could play a rousing game of cards.  There might be cake.

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

Half the time I don’t know or care what day of the week it is.  I’m grateful for that.  It’s very freeing.  I’m also grateful for the time to be creative, now that there are 18 hours of being awake in my day.  So do I use all those hours productively?  Pffft.  No.

But I wrote this!  I preserved a memory!  I admitted my small bit of flower bed remorse.  The day isn’t a complete write-off.



Art du Jour 60

For the big six-O I am calling this Adventures in Watercolour.  Whether I will ever revisit this place is up in the air for now. image This is what I accomplished by paying attention to a little watercolour tutorial and using the wet on wet technique. Up to a point, of course and then did too many embellishments, but over all I think it’s not bad. The crooked border was an impulsive afterthought. image And this one I’m happy with simply because it is recognizable as an elephant. So, Happy Middle of the Week Wednesday! I’m drinking that midnight eclipse coffee again and planning on getting many, many things done. Just have to decide what. Perhaps some pseudo LSD hallucination-like wet on wet abstract watercolour blended creations. Whoa. Brace yourself.