Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Change of Plans

It's too bloody cold and icy to go tobogganing tonight. 

Oh well, I'll think of something else fun to do ....

Happy New Year, everyone!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Refocusing My Mind

It's the eve of New Year's Eve, and I'm thinking and feeling way too much for my own comfort ....

Today, as I waited at my breakfast table for Lucy to come back upstairs from putting the laundry in the washer, I read an email from OCAP.  It said that there was going to be a vigil outside of Loblaws for a homeless man named Richard Ian Kenyon.  Richard died outside of Loblaws on Monday, December 23rd, from exposure.

I wanted to attend the vigil, but it was going to be held at noon and, at 11:45, I was still in my nightgown waiting to eat brunch.  My groin was still bothering me and I had tons of work to do before I went out for the day.  (The pain fluctuations of my groin, between improvement and worsening, has also been affecting my mood.  I swing back and forth between feeling happy and hopeful to despair and depression.)

All of my excuses disgusted me.  People like Richard Ian Kenyon are always overlooked, forgotten.

After I got washed and dressed, I went out to do some errands.  I withdrew money from my bank account, paid my bill at The Printing House, bought a bottle of acidopholus at the health food store, and then treated myself to a double chocolate brownie and a peppermint mocha frappuccino from Starbucks.

On my way home, I stopped outside Loblaws for a few moments.  There were still signs of the vigil left behind.  I marvelled at the fact that, despite the cold and wind, most of the candles from this afternoon were still lit.  I marvelled even more of the pictures carefully arranged, pictures of Richard from about forty years ago.  I saw him as a child, with his family, with his dog. I wondered what path had led him to such an unlucky fate.

I felt a pang of guilt at my entitlement.  Certainly, my life hadn't been exactly a bed of roses, but I'd always had shelter, a bed of my own to sleep in, and food to eat.

I wondered what the owners of Loblaws (the Weston family is one of the richest in Canada) thought about the man who died outside of one of their stores.  Did they think of him at all, or feel any empathy for his fate?

After I wrote my blog yesterday, I thought that a good New Year's resolution for me would be to never again let anyone humiliate me by treating me as a non-person.  I want to amend this statement now and say that, by written word or deed, I will do my best to advocate for other people's rights if they need me too.

In my opinion, this is what a caring, affluent should always strive to do.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mulling it Over iin My Mind

I did some online banking today, wrote some emails and texts to friends and family, and I fine-tuned my employees' payroll.

Simone and Amy cleaned my whole apartment - that feels good!  And, Simone and I have been talking about going tobogganing at Christie Pitts on New Year's Eve.  How exciting and fun!

All day long, though, in the back of my mind, I kept thinking about Christmas dinner and what I would put in my letter to Holiday Inn.  It has to be written well and include all of my outrage and indignation, and yet, it has to sound fairly reasonable as well.

But besides mulling what I'm going to write over in my head, I've also been wondering who I should send it to.  A lot of people say that the head office is my best bet. I kind of agree with them, and yet, I wonder if Carlon Restaurant is run by someone else (like Starbucks at Holiday Inn is run by, well, Starbucks), and if that's the case, the hotel might not have any jurisdiction over the restaurant.

Somebody suggested that I contact the union of the restaurant and just talk to them about improving their relationship with their clientele who have disabilites.

Maybe I'll try that, too ....

Maybe I'll send a copy of my letter to EVERYONE!

(Evil laugh.)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pink Lady, Black Leather Jacket

It was very slow at the market today.  I only made $34.00 - not even my fan showed up to give me flowers!

However, I wore my new pink dress and put a smile on my face for all of my customers to see.

The brightest spot of my day was when my friend Leon gave me a black leather jacket from the Hard Rock Cafe.  He said it's a belated Christmas gift. I love it!

He said that next week we should go for dinner at Hard Rock Cafe.  What a splendid idea!

Thanks, Leon!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Ready to Rant

Last night, after Motria went home, I decided to go to the Drug Mart to pick up some of my prescriptions and get in on any deals they might have on chocolate.

 Before we left, Dobrila and I waited at the elevator.  As we waited, one of my neighbours came out of her apartment and stood with us.  I immediately smiled at her because, although I barely knew her, when I had run into her (figuratively speaking, of course) previously she always treated me with respect.

This time was no different.  She smiled back at me and asked me if I was still painting.  She, too, had painted herself once, she explained to me.

It is both good and bad that I feel so happy and grateful to my neighbour for showing me enough respect to talk directly to me and treat me like any other person. It's good that there are people like her in the world, and bad that there are still so many jerks out there who treat me like I am a non-person.

I had been excited about going to dinner with my friends at the Holiday Inn restaurant on Christmas day.  They advertised a turkey dinner for $25.00, including dessert.  I missed my mom's turkey dinner and thought this would be a good substitute.

The soup was ok, the turkey and stuffing were like cardboard.  However, the worst thing about the meal was how the servers kept refering to me in the 3rd person. "What would she like?" they asked my friends about me. Or, "Would she like her next course?"  Each time they did this I gritted my teeth and fumed inside, but I kept quiet.  I did this because I was with friends andI was enjoying their company, and I didn't want to make a fuss and ruin the evening.  In the end, I got my own back by giving them the tiniest tip.  Unfortunately, they did not notice my rebellious move.  Instead as we were leaving, one of the servers came right upto my face and spoke loudly,"I hope you had a wonderful time, dear!"

I am angry, not only at the servers but also at myself for letting this behaivor go unchecked.  I am also angry that I should be made to feel happy and grateful when somebody shows me respect.

It's 2013 (almost 2014!) - why haven't some people caught up with the fact that people with disabilities are just like anybody else and should be treated as such!  I don't get it, I just don't get it!  The servers saw me communicate with three of my friends, they must have noticed that none of my friends were talking loudly to me, or talking about me in the third person.  Why couldn't they have simply followed suit?

I am going to write to Holiday Inn and tell them how I was humiliated by their staff.  Beleive me, I've written this type of letter many times before - more's the pity!

I am not sure if I have the power to do this, but I would love it if people boycoted the Carlton restaurant in the Holiday Inn, or go in and tell the servers what ableist schmucks they are.

That would make me happy!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Social Butterfly

I was too tired last night to finish what I was going to say.  So, I'm going to continue now ....

This thing with people at the St Lawrence Market disappearing is really freaking me out. It upsets me because vendors are being shoved out by either means of harassment or bribery.  I feel, like so many things these days, that the fate of the market is teetering upon the very edge of change, and I find myself holding my breath waiting to see what is going to happen.  Will the change(s) be good, bad, or in-between?

During these past few months, there has been so many changes, things getting juggled and rearranged. I feel like there's even more change yet to come.  Will the change(s) be good, bad, or in-between?  I don't know.  And, as Hamlet would say, "Aye, there's the rub."

As I write this, I remember reading The Pit and the Pendulum for school and asking my teacher, "Why did the man fear the pit so much?"  Her response was that, more than anything, the man feared the unknown.  The pit was pitch black, bottomless, and ominous.

After both Rob and my mother died, I felt unbelievable, gut-wrenching grief.  I also felt fear, an onimous type of dread that said: What do I do now?

Lately, I've been mentally preparing for the new changes that are coming down the pike.  They might be good, bad, or in-between.  I don't know.  The money from the sale of my mother's condo is coming soon; I can feel it in my bones.  I should be happy about this (and part of me is), but I feel so sad.  I'd rather have my mother back than all of the money in the world!  And, what will I do with the money? How long can I make it last anyway? 

Last week, I had a dream that Rob and I were choosing which house we should move into.  I wanted to get the smaller house, Rob wanted the bigger one.  He took me over to the house he liked and, all excited like a little kid, he showed me that there was a fireman's pole that ran from the bedroom down into the living room.  I looked at it and suggested that we replace the pole with an elevator.  Rob replied, "No, no, Sweety!  I want to slide down the pole with you in my arms!"

 I woke up feeling ridiculously happy and wonderinng if I should indeed buy a house with a mortgage, go back on ODSP (god help me!) and start my life anew.

Maybe the cloud of uncertainy and dread would disappear if I simply took hold of the reins of my destiny and did something really big with the money.

I'll have to think about it .....

Social Butterfly

I was going to have a venting session re my experience over the Holiday Inn's restaurant, but Motria and Dobrila are coming over for pizza and Law and Order. 

It hasn't been a particularly enterprising few days.  I've been meeting friends for coffee/frappucinos,  for dinner, or to entertain people at my place.

Like Mom would have said, I've been a regular social butterfly!

I'll vent tomorrow ....

                     And  work on the employees' scheduling and payroll  ....

                                     And edit and order more cards and merch ....

Yadda yadda yadda ....

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

This will be a short post because I'm tired from having such a full, busy day.

Actually, the fun started last night ....

Kelly and I drank some booze, smoked a bit of pot (felt very gooooooooooo), watched Dr Who and Star Trek: Voyager.  We also put fresh duct tape (with the design of paint splatter!) on one of my communication board.

Today, I had dinner at Holiday Inn (I'll rant about the ableist shmucks who work there tomorrow) with my friends Dobrila, Natasha, and Zack.  After dinner, we went back to my place and chatted, drank, and watched videos.

Almost immediately after they left,  my friends Nic and Jen arrived.  We chatted, drank, and watched videos.

All in all, not a bad Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How Are You Doing?

I got a text today from one of my friends asking: "How are you doing?" 

I cried for about a minute after reading this. Sometimes, like Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, this simple question seems too invasive, too personal.  In order to deal with the holidays, I do my best to pretend that the degree I miss the people I've loved and lost is actually less than it really is.

After the minute passed, I went back to what I'd been doing beforehand: playing Scrabble and Words with Friends on my iPad, and listening to my YouTube playlist.

The playlist I listen to most often is called "Anne Rocks Out" - and in my mind's eye, I do rock out! I dance and I sing, and sometimes I try out for America's Got Talent! Of course I win! This makes me happy.

I remember as a kid, laying in the livingroom listening to records on my parents stereo. I did the same thing back then as I do now, only then it was The Ed Sullivan Show.

Of course, sometimes celebrities creep into my fantasies too. Back then it was The Monkees and Donny Osmond. Now its Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch (or just Sherlock), Hugh Jackman, or David Tennant!

Well, anyway, Merry Christmas everybody! ...And, if the holidays are getting you down like me, Happy Fantasies!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Waiting for Christmas

It's hard to believe that today is the eve of Christmas Eve and that Wednesday is Christmas day.  It simultaneously seems both too far away and too close for comfort.  It seems surreal and yet painfully real.  I'm looking forward to the big day and yet dreading it.

This is my life now.  I'm no longer that little girl who would count down the days until Christmas and who, on the morning of the big day, would climb out of bed and crawl to her parents' bedroom door and knock excitedly, wanting them to wake up and propel the day forward.

I am no longer the young woman who celebrated Christmas with her mate, spending a tad too much on gifts, to both show my love to Rob and to show the world Fuck you - poverty might have been forced upon me, but I deserve to enjoy Christmas just like anybody else!

I am me, a bit older and wiser.  I live in a paradox now, wanting to remember past Christmases and yet afraid to look too close in case the cloud  of sadness blows over me.

And yet, one thing I learned from my parents and Rob is to carry on no matter what and always look on the bright side of life.

I'm watching the documentary Gonzo with Brittany and enjoyinng a peppermint mocha frappuccino.

Rascal is sitting on a kitchen chair, looking very cute.  I can't wait to give him his Christmas gifts!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ice Storm Aftermath

Ice storm aftermath. I'm so happy I'm indoors and have power!

 I'm going for a short nap.

Wake me up when it's summer.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Working Hard for My Money

I'm tired.  It was such a busy day at the market.  Finally, a busy day!  The Christmas rush was on!  I didn't make a million dollars, it's true, but it's more than I've made in a very long while.

Apart from the financial part of the day, my faithful fan gave me not only a bouquet of flowers but another Starbucks gift card.  In return, I gave him a good deal on mugs and calendars, and a free tote bag.

After I packed up and left the market, I had dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory with my brother and his kids.  That was fun!  Dinner was delicious, company superb, and exchanging gifts most enjoyable.

Because I only had four hours of sleep, however, and because I had worked so hard, I kept dozing off during dinner.  I was and am so tired.

Good night.

ZzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz ....

Friday, December 20, 2013

Back to Normal

I'm feeling much better today.  Back to Normal, you might say.  Whatever that means ....

No more napping with my cats in the middle of the afternoon - delightful, though, as that has been!

Now it's back to work: answering emails, keeping the employees' scheduling straight, doing my fiinances, and (of course!) buying/wrapping Christmas presents.

I've exchanged a few gifts.  Motria gave me a chocolate snowman and the DVD Blow with Johnny Depp - I loved both!  And I gave her two gift cards and a bottle of wine that was in the shape of a cat.

Today, I gave Sarah a box of oysters and a LCBO gift card, and she gave me a tin of British mini Rolos and a bottle of homemade peppermint mocha liqueur.

I just hope Hershey'll let me near it! He's such a lush, you know ....

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Half Good, Half Bad

Today wasn't bad. I fought with UPS over the phone this morning for awhile. Apparently, they had shipped my package back to where it had originally come from.  I won't bore you with the details.  Sufficed to say, I mentally shrugged my shoulders and came up with a new plan of action.

I sent all of my Dandy Membership customers a package each of my winter variety cards along with a note of apology.  Hopefully, people will understand about the mishap ....

So, after everything was mailed off, I bought more stuff for Christmas presents, bought a sub and peppermint mocha frappuccino for dinner. I also made a reservation at the Holiday Inn's restaurant for four people on Christmas Day.

Turkey, stuffing, potaoes, and for dessert bread pudding -- all for $25.00 per person! Brilliant, I say!

Brilliant, except that I wrapped presents after dinner, and immediately heard "Time After Time" in my heaad and felt weepy and sad ....

Plus, I feel like I'm getting a cold.  Ick!  I took some cold medicine awhile ago, and now I feel like it's trying to pin my shoulders to the mat for the count out.

One - two - three!  She's out!

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ....

Good night, everyone!

Monday, December 16, 2013


AAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggghhhhhhhh!  Bloody helllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!  GRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

I hate when I'm organized but the rest of the world can't seem to keep up with me.

At the beginning of the month, I ordered cards to be made and sent to me.  The cards were for the customers of my Dandy Note Cards Membership program, who are expecting a note card and an explanation card for the month of December.  I had received other types of merch from the same source, so I guess I had just assumed that the cards were also there.

Unfortunately, not ....

I tracked down exactly what had happened and found out that UPS had delivered the cards to my address early last week, but because I hadn't been home, or perhaps I was having a shower or something, they left and took my cards with them! UPS usually leaves packages outside my door, or they leave the super or administrator.  When they do take back packages, they leave me a notice saying we were here, you weren't, come pick it up at our location or at the nearest post office.  But nothing this time, not a single slip.  Not a fucking dickie-bird!

As if I don't have enough to do without going out of my way to claim a package which should have been simply dropped off last Monday!

I just hope my membership customers won't be too upset to get Holiday cards a day or two Christmas.  Maybe I'll send everyone a free pen or magnet to say sorry.

Jeez!  I hate UPS.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


So, yeah, the thing that really annoyed me yesterday was when a friend of mine kept voicing her concern over my well-being in tackling the snow on the way home. Sure, other people had said, "I hope you'll be ok going home, Anne."  I assured them that I would be fine, that I'd gone through snow storms before in my wheelchair many, many times before   It  was a hassle, sure, but like anybody else, I would muddle through as best I could and get home safely.

The difference between those people and my friend was that they accepted my explanation and understood that I knew what I was talking about. My friend never stopped trying to convince me to go home early because it was "dangerous" for someone like me! Not only that, but she kept trying to get Sarah to side with her and persuade me to go home as soon as possible. Sarah, to her credit, remained firm and told my friend repeatedly that it was my decision to make and nobody else's.

I don't know what's wrong with my friend!  I've had similar conversations with her before, but she never seems to understand that her actions are both insulting and demeaning to me.  Why can't she understand that I'm fifty-five years old, and that I've been driving a wheelchair for forty-five years through all kinds of weather.  I feel proud to have this attitude that nothing will stop me - and for someone like her to treat me like a mindless china doll absolutely infuriates me!

During my time at St. Lawrence Market yesterday, I was texting back and forth with my brother.  Do you know what he said about the snow?  "I hope you put a hat and gloves on."  I told him that yes, yes, I did - and that was the end of it!  Brotherly concern, fine.  Overbearing, opinionated, and disrespectful comments from a friend, not so fine.

I think I need a serious conversation with my friend, or to end our friendship altogether.

On the bright side, I met two men who were very excited about my art.  One man said he'd like to display my art in his restaurant.  He said that he would come back with a business card, and we could discuss how to proceed.  The other man said my art was so good, I should be selling it at triple the price.  That made me so happy!

But what really made my day was when my fan, who usually gives me flowers, gave me a gift card for Starbucks.  I thought it was maybe for $10.00 or maybe $20.00 - but when I got home I found out it was for $60.00!! That was so sweet of him! Maybe I'll give him one of my paintings to say thank you; he always raves about how much he loves my art.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Slow and Weird and Slightly Annoying Day at the Market

What a day! OMG!  What a day!  It was filled with funny moments, happy moments, sleepy moments (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ...) and downright aggrivating moments!

The first funny thing that happened was when my first customer bought this card from me ...

and actually asked, "Is this supposed to be snow?"  I tried not to laugh or make snide  remarks (Naw, it's white grass ....  Naw, it only has "Happy Holidays" above the picture to confuse people!") and told him that, yes, it was indeed snow.

The second funny thing was when this couple and their baby came over to me and the guy said, "Hi Annie, do you remember me?"I had no idea who this person was, but I faked it and said, "It was good to see you again! How are you?"  It wasn"t until the latter part of the conversation when he menioned Stanton House and his grandfather Jack that it finally dawned on me who he was. Thirty years ago this guy was a twelve year old boy who used to come up to Stanton House every year with his family, during the same time that Mom, Aunt Joyce and I used to go. 

How could I have forgotten little Mark Hummel from 30 years ago? Maybe I should take ginseng to improve my memory.

I was going to write about how somebody annoyed me today but I'm tired and in pain.

I'll write tomorrow ....

Friday, December 13, 2013

Technical Difficulties

Due to technical difficulties beyond my control (my internet keeps going out on me every ten minutes or so), I'm not going to write anything earth-shatteringly interesting today.

But here are some cute pictures of my adorable cats:

A Tender Moment Between Rascal and Natasha

A Not So Tender Moment Between Hershey & One of Yuula's Boots

Hopefully, Brittainy will be here soon to unplug and re-plug my router ....

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tired and in Pain

After I posted my latest entry last night, I stood up in order to transfer from my wheelchair to commode chair and was hit with such excruciating pain in my left groin area. The pain shot downwards, toward my knee!

I've had this pain for maybe seven weeks, and instead of getting better it seems to be worsening.  I've been trying stretching exercises and painkillers, but nothing seems to be working. So,  I took the last resort and went to bed for a few hours.

Hopefully, I'll be better soon!

You can't keep a good woman down!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Penises Penises Penises

So, I woke up this morning feeling neutral.  You know neither happy nor sad.

And then, I texted with my brother about whether to rent or sell Mom's condo. Again this topic made me cry. To cheer myself up and forget about the conversation I said to Simone "You're wearing leopard tights so I want to wear my leopard tights!" and I also put on the leopard top that Sarah gave me. Dressing up in fun clothes always makes me happy!

Well then I went to my grief counselling and sure, thats good, but I cried a lot and felt sad all over again. So to cheer me up I had a peppermint mocha frappachino and brownie.

Because it had been a rough day and I was dressed up I told Dobrilla let's go to Cafe California for dinner! That was fun and the food was delicious. I even had capon, which made me smile and remember the time I had to explain to Sarah that capon is a neutered rooster. That was the time that the man at the table next to us chuckled at our conversation and then bought our dinner!

The only thing wrong with tonights meal was the never-ending christmas songs in the background.At first I could handle it but after a while I felt like I was either going to cry or punch someone. So I took one lorazapam and a gulp of beer and felt a bit better. However, when Dobrilla said "Just think of penises and what you can do with them, it will make you feel better" I laughed and laughed and I did feel better!

I'm still laughing now!  It's better than thinking "It's Demember 11, 2013.  I'm sitting in a restaurant ...." However, I don't think I could think of penises during a memorial.

But maybe thats just me ....

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Feeling Well Rested

I'm feeling well rested this evening.  I painted until 4am, and I couldn't get to sleep until 5:00 because of the pain in my groin.  (I wonder if I have a hernia ....) So, this afternoon, I had a two hour nap and now I feel a lot more refreshed and energetic!

Here's the painting I did last night:

Now I'll work on emails, my employees' schedules, and ordering more cards.  I sure won't stay up until 4am, though!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Here Among the Cats

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know how much I love my cats.  Some people might even go as far as to say that I'm nuts about them ....

Naw ....

Today, with Yuula's help, I took Hershey and Rascal to see the vet.  They needed their yearly shots, and I was concerned about Hershey's weight loss.

Except for crying all the way there and all the way back, my boys were as good as gold.  They took all of the poking and prodding in their stride, even the blood tests and the thermometer up their butts didn't phase them!

When we got home, I gave my boys five treats each and lots of pats.  I was in such a generous mood, I did something I'd never done before ....

I let Rascal nibble on my pizza:

Am I nuts about my cats?  Sure, but they make me so happy!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Market Day Today

The market today was pretty good.  It was very busy in the morning; the afternoon was absolutely dead, though. Still, I made over $100.00, talked to many nice people, and got more flowers from that same fan I have.

I'm tired and sore, however, probably from struggling through the cold.  I'm cozy and warm now, inside my apartment, and my cats are surrounding me with their furry brand of love.

All in all, not a bad day!

To bed  now ....

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ....

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Good, Bad, Happy, Sad, and Damned HARD Day

Me in "Rob" t-shirt

December.  It's such a good, bad, happy, sad, and damned HARD month. 

Twenty-six years ago in December, Rob and I started chatting online on a BBS called FAN.  We were two crazy kids who knew nothing about the other and who ended up falling madly in love.  Memories of that period in my life can make me happy, sad, or a mixture of both.

Some days in December, like today, it feels like I'm losing my mind.

Last night and this morning, I wrote emails to people, like Mom's accountant about her taxes, and to my financial advisor asking his opinion on whether to sell or rent Mom's condo. Beforehand, I knew what I was going to write and I felt confident that it was time to get these matters settled. And yet, as I typed, I couldn't stop crying because writing about these things opened up the small compartment in the back of my mind where I keep the dirty little secret that Mom's death is fact not ficion.

It's hard to accept this and move on, but I know I must ....

I took my green dress back today and got a bigger size.  Plus, I got a beautiful fuschia dress too.  That was fun!

The Christmas music drove me out of the mall, but it was a good thing for me to recognize that this was something I couldn't deal with today.  I went to 5 Guys for a burger afterwards - it was delicious!

And, just now, Rascal came and cuddled with me.

Despite my sadness, I must focus on the smallest of gems.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Very Little to Say, a Lot of Work Still to Do

I'll write tons and tons tomorrow!

                                                 Unless I'm painting ....

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Painting Cancelled Due to EXHAUSTION

I got up very early this morning and I dashed over to City Hall to hear depositions in favour of more homeless shelters, and more beds in the homeless shelters.

Apparently, it's so over-crowded in the shelters that those who are lucky enough (and I use the term "lucky" in its most ironic sense) sleep on quarter inch thick yoga mats and are in danger of many types of abuse from both those in charge or from other homeless people.  And, when people inquire about the possibility of a vacant bed for the night, they are met with a brusque "No beds!"

I hadn't planned on speaking today, but when somebody asked me if I would like to make a deposition of my own, I readily agreed.  My speech was towards the end and I tried to incorporate the information I'd heard other people give as well as putting my own spin on it. I said, basically, that because I was disabled and had used on-site attendant care in the past, where I had suffered terrible abuse from those who were there to provide services for me, I understood the importance of empathy and respect.  Certainly more beds and shelters are needed, but attitudes must change as well.

After the depositions were over, I had lunch and went on a shopping spree.

When I came home, I took a two hour nap - I was so exhausted! Once more, I've been burning the candle at both ends too many nights this week.

Of course, now, after my nap, I'm wide awake and full of energy.  Woo-hoo!  I think I'll write emails, work on the employees' schedule, etc, etc, etc ....

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Finished Teddies

I've finished my teddy bears.  If I do say so myself, Rhett and Scarlett look fabulous!

Tomorrow, I'll start another painting - a cat, maybe!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

So Many Things to Do!

I was going to go to another demo today, but I was sore; tired; and had to finish the payroll and send it to my bookkeeper.

I was going to paint this evening, but I had to write emails and order more merch to send to a customer.  I still have so many emails to respond to and more merch to order. Yikes!

I'll paint tomorrow and try to finish my teddy bear picture.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Uncle Norm's Memorial

I went to Uncle Norm's memorial today.  As memorials go, it was sad, sweet, and, at times, very funny.

Aunt Joyce & Me

Thomas, Bruce, Michelle

Cousin Sue & Me

Me. Bruce, Ivan

Honestly, at first, as Brandon (my cousin Lesley's son) led the way down to where the memorial was being held, it took all my strength and willpower not to turn around and start bawling my head off. Memories flooded my mind of the day when I took that same route and went into that same room to marry Rob 17 years ago.  This overwhelming feeling of sadness stayed with me for quite awhile, until I asked Kelly to give me a Lorazepam with a wine chaser.  That helped! It also helped to grab Kelly's arm occasionally and repeat to myself, It's November 30th, 2013. I'm here right at this moment in time, and nothing else matters.

As I started to mellow out, I started to enjoy myself!  It was great to see all my relatives  - some of whom I hadn't seen in ages!

And, as the crowd thinned out, my Aunt Joyce invited me up to her place to meet the newest addition to the famiy.


She showed me a seven month old kitten named Daisy-Mo, who was so adorable she could melt the hardest heart. I'm very glad my Aunt Joyce got this kitten, it will help her with her grief. A kitten may not be a perfect substitute for a husband you've had for 55 years, but a kitten may help soothe your ravanged soul all the same.

R.I.P. Uncle Norm.We will all miss you. If you see Mom, Dad and Rob please say Hi and I love them ....

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Varied Lifestyle

So, today I got up, had three bites of  breakfast, got dressed and ran over to MMP Glen Murray's office with my OCAP friends to have him sign a document saying that he would promise not to support the merger with ODSP and OW.  Mr. Murray wasn't there, but his assistant assured us that he would get him to contact us.

After that, Yuula and I went to Curry's to buy art supplies. And then we went to the Wine Shop and had a couple samples, and I bought a few Christmas presents there. After that we had a snack at Starbucks. I was starving! We bought groceries and cat toys too. After dinner Motria came by to visit me and buy some Christmas cards.

Now I'm going to paint!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Here and Now

I had another one of my grief counselling session today.  I told my grief counsellor about the dreams I've been having all week about my mother and Rob.  I remember a tiny sliver of one sweet dream, where I kissed my mother's soft cheek and told her that I loved her.

Two out of three dreams were about Rob, though.  The one I remember most took place in a hotel room.  I was trying to tell Rob something, but he wouldn't listen, so I got mad and pissed off.  However, as in real life, Rob made me laugh, hugged me, kissed me ... and I forgave him.  Of course I did!

The dreams have been wonderful.  It's those damned songs in my head that have been driving me to distraction!  On Monday, after I had that nice dream about Rob, I had the song by 3 Doors Down Here Without You in my head all day long. It made me sadder and sadder as the day went on because it mirrored my own emotions, knowing I could only dream about the people I love. And yesterday I had a song by Frank Zappa called I'm so happy I could cry, which either makes me very happy or very sad. There's a part in the song about waiting for the guy she loves at her front door, that always gives me a mental picture of Rob standing at my parents front door waiting to take me out for the day. (I was explaining to my counsellor that this was one of the happiest times in my life because my relationship with Rob was brand new and this was before I knew about attendant abuse or poverty.) And then today I woke up with Tragedy by The Bee Gees in my head. However, just before I left for counselling I suddenly had Trains & Boats & Planes by Dionne Warwick in my head. And this is so odd because I haven't hear or even thought about that song in maybe 26 years.

I told my counsellor that what I think is happening to make me dream of Rob and Mom is that 1) Christmas is approaching fast and 2) I'm going to my Uncle Norm's memorial on Saturday - the same place where Rob and I got married! Hearing my greiving relatives cry and tell stories about my Uncle Norm would probably bring back memories of the memorials of my Mom and Rob.

My counsellor gave me a good suggestion for when I'm somewhere and I'm feeling overwhelmed. She said I should grab onto something and think to myself It's November the 30th (or whatever the date is) and I'm here right now, and nothing else matters except what is happening at this precise second. 

I like her suggestion and I'm definitely going to try it out. It will probably be helpful for non-grieving experiences too.

Living in the here and now, what a good idea!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Beginning of the Bears

I'm painting a picture of the very first gift Rob ever gave me: two teddybears. I named them Rhett and Scarlett after the aliases we had on the FAN BBS.  Well, I also loved the book and movie Gone With the Wind.

I'm going to paint now and then go to bed. 

After all, tomorrow is another day!

Monday, November 25, 2013

I'm Painting Again

I'm seriously, heavily into a new paining I've just started.

I'll write tomorrow ....

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Productive Sunday

Unlike my lazy cats, I had a busy, productive, and fun today.  I wrote emails, designed and ordered new cards and mugs.  Yuula assisted me in doing a major clean-up of  my apartment. It makes me so good when everything is clean and organized!

Motria came over and we ate pizza and Caesar salad, and shared a bottle of beer between us.  Also, we watched several episodes of Law & Order on Netflix.

Not a bad Sunday, all in all ....

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cold Weather, Cold People

The market started out painfully slow, but at the end of the day I did pretty good day.  I was so tired, though, because I hadn't got enough sleep. (Don't you hate it when you keep worrying that you'll miss the time you're supposed to get up that you jerk awake every hour?)

The ride back home was unbelievably cold and windy, and when I arrived I almost immediately felt nauseated.  Yuck!

What I'm trying to say is, this won't be a long post.  I'm beat.

There's one thing I need to get off my chest.  You see, about three weeks ago, several of the vendors I'm friends with told me that the management of the market had made a new rule saying that everybody had to come and set up their booths by 5am.  This is ridiculous! Nobody shops in the south building at 5am; it's completely dead at that time!  Sure, people to the farmers' market in the north building to ensure that they get the freshest food, but there's no big rush to buy artwork and crafts. And, to enforce this new rule, management comes in at 5am and takes pictures of empty booths and then hands out reprimands to vendors who didn't (couldn't) show up at that time.  How draconian is that!

I hear that they're doing this to force vendors out so they can put in bigger, more well-known stores in.  Hmm, I wonder if the management would tell H&M or Starbucks to start work at 5am .... Probably not!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Busy Busy Busy and SORE!

Damned damp weather!  My neck, shoulder, back, and groin have been killing me all day!  OW!

I'm going to put a couple more things on Etsy ...
( https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/AnneKAbbott?ref=ss_profile )

and then chill out with a peppermint mocha frappuccino and a chocolate caramel muffin.  After that, Brittainy and I will watch The Walking Dead.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Good and Busy Day

It's been a good and busy day.  I worked on the employees' schedule, wrote emails, chatted with my friend Roger, and got the pay cheques for my employees.

And then, I went out and got some necessities: groceries, a sub for dinner, and a prescription. I also picked up pictures from Japan Camera.  (They're from my dad's old slide collection of 1977.)

Since then, I ordered (drumroll please!) a fold-out bed from Sears.  Some of my employees are too tall for the couch I have.  I hope they'll like it!