I am feeling blue

Okay so i finally met a doctor who has seen what i had, once. It is fairly rare and usually happens as a complication of something else like blood thinners or surgery but it can also happen for no apparent reason. It is called a rectus sheath hematoma and you can google it.

I guess i had a #2 cause they told me 2 to 4 months recovery. (14 cm x 7 cm bleed) No bike riding.  Rest and iron pills and maybe cold compresses and Tylenol. Yay summertime is ruined, again.
I will see a surgeon in August to discuss if anything needs to be done, probably not. “The good news in your case is it probably was just bad luck.” So much for those lucky socks i got for xmas.


My garden consists of pots filled with the rejects of small grocers and hardware stores, usually marked down to a ridiculously small amount, to the point that I could not help but be tempted. I grabbed them, put them in whatever bag, or pocket and carried them home.

I am going to have a lot of green tomatoes, the temperature is dipping lower every night and the air has the fresh bite of a Canadian Autumn coming: I will make some salsa.

They feed my soul, or at least the part of me that appreciates the late bloomers. 🙂


Sunday with Wednesday the dog!

On Sunday I got to look after Wednesday. She was a rescue. She had been used to breed puppies. Now she lives with lovely Chaase and Meagan who were away for the day to watch the Pride Parade. Toronto is hosting International Pride Week!

Wednesday would not chill out and just watch t.v. At one point she did have a nap (as did I) in the backyard but in view of the car.

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She just wanted to check over and over…


She ran around a bit…

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but it always lead to the door.

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Food was a distraction.

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But before long she wanted to check again…

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She looks like an Ewok!

She knew they wouldn’t leave the car… Dogs are more like little children than cats, even when they are smaller than a cat. I remembered a very young child in my care for the first time would have behaved in the same way.

Poor pet was exhausted. She fell asleep under the kitchen table shortly after they arrived. That little dog can snore!

Odd socks and how they got that way…

I have cracked the “odd sock” phenomenon! On my way back from the compost box this morning, across the freshly fallen snow there it was, the black sock lying there like it was marking the scene of a crime!

I have been plagued by lost socks and lonely left-behinds all my life but today I know how they do it. IT’S NOT BLACK HOLES! It is static cling.

I got my housecoat out of the dryer, it was chilly in the basement so I put it on. The escaping sock hung on while I made my coffee and did a few chores and then saw it’s chance after I left the house. It jumped off!

I get it, I don’t want to spend most of my time in a dark, possibly moldy place either (oh wait, I do don’t I?) but Sock, you are part of a pair. You have an identical twin who needs you to have purpose in her life, I do not…

OMG, I have to get out of here!!!!

Things you can clean with vinegar…

This was originally posted in 2011. I found out that this was my most viewed post, probably because I tried an experiment. I put “boobs” as a category. Still it is one of my best. Funny.

I find it annoying when, unasked, people give me “helpful hints”, for example telling me great ways to clean this or that.  I also resent unsolicited decorating advice, advice on clothing, make-up, parenting, gardening, shopping and preparing meals.  I don’t like being told I should go on Prozac or take up yoga.  The last bit of advice might be the only useful advice I’ve been given but I still don’t like it.

I am now a woman of 50+. Is that meaningful?  I don’t know.  Apparently Feminism is dead. Apparently I am not. It might explain why I am cranky.  I repeat my age  whenever my mother tells me, (daily) that she is 89 years old.  Yes, 89!!! That means, as far as she is concerned, no matter how old I get she will always be wiser. I feel cheated.

I wrote this little article for a now defunct periodical called “Homebase Magazine”. It was published by MAW a feminist lobby group here in Canada, focused on the concerns of feminist moms.  I called it: “Helpful Hints”. I don’t know what year it was. It was before we had to watch television to know “reality”. 

There are people and pets mentioned who are no longer living. My brother has nursed many dogs since Kelly, the dog I mentioned here. I have also questioned the bit about people asking to smoke in the house.  WOULD ANYONE DARE NOWADAYS? The whole article was supposed to be funny/informative but with so many people on anti-depressants now and the fact that making things “shiny” could be considered a career, I am afraid it will not be.

These really are things you can clean with vinegar. 

 Dog Pee

 If your doggie pees on the carpet, apparently washing it with vinegar will discourage him from peeing there again. I don’t have a dog, so I have no idea if he won’t just keep finding new places to pee.  I suppose you can just follow him around with a bucket of vinegar washing where he pees until every inch of floor is washed.

My brother’s dog peed on a balloon in my dining room.  He peed on the same balloon when it was in the kitchen.  He is a very old dog. My brother has to lift him up after he’s been lying down for a while because he gets stiff and can’t move.  He also has to brush the dog’s teeth every day because they are bad. 

 His breath is terrible, the dog’s breath, not my brother’s at least I don’t think his breath is bad but I can’t be sure because I didn’t kiss him.

 I didn’t try washing the balloon with vinegar.  I just threw it out. But if his dog had peed on the carpet I could have told you if washing with vinegar really worked.

Clean Air

 This information I got from a Mennonite cookbook: “A saucer of vinegar will rid the room of cigarette smoke.” If you are like most people these days, you won’t let any one smoke in your house.  If anyone asks you if it’s al right to smoke in your house you will tell them that you think they are disgusting and that they have no consideration of their own health or the health of their friends and children.

Furniture Polish

 Use cider vinegar for dark woods; white vinegar for light woods.

 Mix 1 c. vinegar

2 c olive oil

Apply lightly and buff when dry.


 Combine ¼ c. turpentine

¼ c. vinegar

¼ c. boiled linseed oil

Shake and rub on the furniture with a soft cloth and polish dry in twenty minutes.


 Paint brushes that have hardened will soften and clean more easily if boiled in vinegar.

You can remove dried paint from glass by rubbing it with a cloth soaked in hot vinegar and then scraping it with a knife.

 Lime Deposits

 Here’s something that I bet you never thought of:  There are lime deposits in your kettle, shame, shame! Bet you won’t sleep at night now.  But there’s a solution! Equal parts of water and vinegar boiled in that nasty kettle and left to sit over night will wash them away! Rinse it in the morning with cold water and you will sleep better from then on.  Honest!

 Vinegar will also work on the lime deposits in your children’s pet hamster cage, if it’s not politically correct these days to keep pets in cages…well, I just don’t know.

Bob is really my son’s hamster but I don’t mind cleaning his cage at all.  I really love Bob.  I think he loves me too. A lot of people tell me that I shouldn’t get so emotionally attached to a rodent because they don’t live very long but I no longer feel that it is how long a relationship lasts that determines the value of it. I feel I’ve grown as a result of knowing Bob.

 This doesn’t really have anything to do with Bob, except that it illustrates how you should not judge the value of relationships by longevity, this is what I wrote:

  I joined an artist’s guild.  I had finished chemotherapy and my hair had grown back.  At a meeting a woman came up to me and said, “Where you the new member who was bald last year?”


“Oh, I thought so.  Sorry I didn’t introduce myself at the time but I thought you were going to die.

See?  You never know.

 Washing windows

Half vinegar, half warm water and a few drops of dish soap make an excellent solution for cleaning the dirtiest windows. Buff with old newspaper. It dries without leaving streaks. That’s all. Seriously, you just have to believe me.

Life is full of messes. I try not to gripe and to look after my own.   But I also believe it is not all about keeping things shiny.    It’s important not to confuse smells with stink.  It’s important to think.

What do you do?

What to do during the worst storm of the year when you are waiting for, but not looking forward to, the arrival of the relative who said some really disturbing stuff once that everyone pretends she never said because they don’t want to think about what it means, especially if it was a lie because that would mean she is some really messed up psycho who is now coming to discuss things that will impact your life with the rest of your family, and the best plan you have is to stay well out of it,  maintain your integrity and do no harm, long and short,  to cultivate an attitude of unconcern for the future?  What do you do?

Well you clean the living room.  You finally try to remove the soot that candle left on the ceiling, but find you need a bigger ladder, and then the sun comes out and hits the little collection of bobbles in just a certain way and you photography them.

is it crazy to feel so sad and yet be moved by tacky beauty?  probably.

is it crazy to feel so sad and yet be moved by tacky beauty? probably.

Is it possible that we are all fools until our pride is undone? Is it only after our little plans for our lives are wrenched from us, by fate, accident or decline that we regain our universal self, that being of awareness that is simultaneously hopeless, beyond hope and utterly without fear?

This was previously published in a writers’s community on Livejournal.

“Scramble” was the word prompt given for a writing contest with”Brigits Flame”. This is what came to mind. It is a story with political  inclinations.  I never know what to do when I get these inclinations.

When I first moved to my southern Ontario community I joined the local artist’s guild. It had a good reputation, a three year waiting list and one of the founding members was a fairly famous Canadian artist. She was still alive at the time. She was still travelling to the far north on Russian freighters so she could sit on ice floes and paint, even though she was in her nineties. Granted, she did this only in summer.

When I say “ a fairly famous Canadian artist” I have to explain that an Artist in Canada is regarded in the same way as perhaps a Vegan at a bull fight. Canada is a country where the Prime Minister can declare: “The average Canadian doesn’t care about art.” and have nary a grumble of disagreement heard. Yes, the dusty group of Canadian celebrities would shake off their moth balls, trot out and shake their bony fists while their grandkids posted their support on Facebook and people ticked off “like”. The numbers of thumbs up could get into the tens of hundreds…(whoa!) but after awhile our aging artists would wander back to their homes where no Pavarotti could be bothered to follow.

It’s true. The average Canadian doesn’t care about art. To be an artist in Canada you have to be crazy or go somewhere else. Still. There was a time when artists sprung up like wildflowers in the brief northern summer of LOVE. It was a time when infant mortality was low enough that the average Canadian could actually chance developing a fond attachment to a child. That fondness lead to indulging them with nutrition, health care, safe drinking water, THE WHEAT BOARD, public schools and even crayons and paper. 

Some of these nurtured children grew up to be artists. They are old now. A lot of them belong to the guild I joined.

Part of the success of the guild was a result of juried shows.  If your work passed you could enter it in the annual art shows. While waiting outside the hall during the judging an old man with the worst breath I have ever encountered told me he had recently lost his wife to cancer. (I wondered if he had accidentally buried his tooth brush with her. I know I should be nicer when talking about recently widowed old men. They are so lost it is sad. It is the real reason that women live longer; they are so much better at being old.) He also confided to me, standing very close because he was hard of hearing, that he knew every juror they could hire personally and this one hated his nudes. “I won’t get in the show. You watch.”  I think he did get in that year.  All I know for certain was I got my painting in.

 The show I was trying to get into was the annual Fall Art Show. People came from all over. It was always amazingly successful. This show alone kept the Guild funded for the year. It was not a prestige affair however. It was held in a gymnasium in a community center and the paintings were hung on snow fencing that snaked around a large, acoustically horrible, space. Members were encouraged to bake things for the tea room and offer to volunteer for the set up and take down. The reward for being on the board and for volunteering in a significant way was the privilege of hanging your picture before the doors were opened to the general membership.

I could not see the advantage to this. I was to learn. Oh yes. I showed up at what I believed was a ridiculously early hour of 7:00a.m. to find the membership lined up around the lobby of the community center and out the door and down the sidewalk. Some had lawn chairs to sit in. Others were in wheelchairs. They all had their paintings leaning up against their legs. It was possible that some had slept overnite… The doors opened and there was a mad scramble of walkers and wheel chairs as the artists rushed to grab the preferred spots and place their markers on them. I ended up with a tiny space that required a pole vault to reach because I am not a pushy person. Also, I have respect for seniors.

I sold a painting of myself and my daughter when she was a baby. It had that gritty trailer park feeling because, well, we were living in a trailer park when I painted it.

The true scramble happened when the whole thing was over. By the last hour of the last day it was clear to most of us that we had sold all we would sell. Artists trying to avoid the rush at the end started pulling down their paintings and heading for the door. Panic shot through the gymnasium. Everyone started insanely rushing to pull down their work and get out. The organizers got on the loud speakers and asked everyone to stay calm and not remove their work until the show officially ended. The sound system was garbled however and many of the artists were hard of hearing. The message was misconstrued to be a dire warning of the coming apocalypse. This just added to the panic.

A bottleneck of walkers and wheelchairs and carts full of artwork occurred at the only door. It was a double door but the one side opened into the room and with the wall of people pushing against it, it could not be opened. There were patrons in the mix, terrified and slowly being crushed by artists. It was horrible.

“Patrons of the Arts Crushed by Rampaging Artists!” There’s another nail in the coffin of Canadian Art. If the same thing had happened in a national park the Mounties would have come in and opened fire on us, or at the recent G8 meeting in Toronto; well I hate to think of the carnage! Oh, I forgot, that’s what happened.

Because we were artists,  in Canada, hardly any publicity was shone on the event that teetered like a one eyed woman with a walker off the wagon. Is this right? No, but unlike the homeless, we artist’s are allowed to congregate and even hurt each other with out police interference.

So that’s something, right? Would I do it again? Hell yeah, but I’m taking my crutches next time!