Saturday, August 31, 2013

Neither a Particularly Good Nor Bad Day

It was neither a particularly good nor bad day.  I made just over $50.00, which isn't bad, I suppose, but certainly not fantastic either.  However, people were nice and friendly, which made the day go a bit faster and easier for me.  

Maiga (or as I call him,  Shea Butter Man) gave me another free jar of shea butter - he's so generous like that!  And, he wants to buy another painting from me before Christmas, so he can take it back with him to Africa.

Renee (or the Hat Lady, as I call her) offered to make me a hat - an orange and red hat at that!  And, before I left the market, she gave me a pretty little orange decoration.

Hmm, I guess today was more good than bad ....

Friday, August 30, 2013

Dancing With Myself

Frank Zappa said, "Music is the best."  I won't argue with that!  It has the power to soothe; inflame passion; make you laugh, or cry, or ponder the mysteries of life.

I had a good day today.  I got a lot done: financial stuff, groceries, emails, designing/ordering cards.

And then Kelly left, and I was by myself.

Almost immediately, "Time After Time" entered my brain and refused to leave.  It's probably because every Friday night Rob would always help me get ready for the market the next day.

I miss him so much.

To ease the mental/emotional pain, I played "Dancing With Myself" from one of my YouTube playlists.

"Dancing With Myself" always remind me of my good friend Lamia.  Years ago, when they helped me at the market, it was their ringtone. 

I love Lamia! At one of the lowest points of my life, they were there to support me and spur me onwards so that I could get unchained abusive attendants I used to have and to get direct funding so that I could hire my own employees.

"I Get Knocked Down" by Chumbawamba just played. How apt!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Hooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaayyy!  I finished my proposal and uploaded everything.  What a weight off of my mind!

Here are a few of the pictures I used to persuade them to choose me for the artist residency:

And now to work on a speech for a demo next week ....

Busy, busy, busy!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Sorry!  I'm so close to be finished my proposal for the artist residency. So close!  And the deadline is on Friday! And if I don't finish it by the time I go to bed I know I won't sleep - again!

I'll write tomorrow ....

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Still Busy After All These Years

This evening Simone and I are both at the kitchen table, both working diligently at our laptops.

Shhhh .... listen carefully, you can almost hear the wheels in minds working together simultaneously.

I'll write more tomorrow, when the bulk of my proposal for the artist residency will be finished.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Dreams of Ketamine

Last night I had a dream that I was at a party and someone offered me a ketamine.  It was a great sleep aid, they assured me. I was about to take it when my mother suddenly appeared and said, "Oh, Annie, don't take that - it's very dangerous!"

I woke up then, and after since that "Sweet Child of Mine" has been playing over and over in my mind.

I love you too, Mom!

And I won't take Ketamine - I promise!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Post Post POST Birthday Celebration

I'm tired and sore, so this won't be a long entry. (Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, my aching back! And neck ...and shoulder ...and hip!)

I had a pretty good day at the market.  Once again, I made over $100.00 - things are looking up! People were super nice, too, and very friendly.

One rather funny thing happened, though.  These two women (one of whom, interestiingly enough, was driving a motorized scooter) came up to my booth and very boldly asked Sarah, "What does she have?" (Meaning, of course, what condition did I have?)  I groaned inwardly because I had heard this question asked about me or to me so many times within my 55 years!)   However, I had to smile when Sarah told the two women to direct any questions they might have directly to me. So, they asked me, "What do you have?"   Thinking quickly and smiling broadly, I answered:  "I have brilliant talent!"

I thought they'd laugh, or at least smile, at my attempt to make light of their rather rude and presumptuous question.  And, I had also thought that after the laughter had died down I could then tell them that I had Cerebral Palsy, explain how this condition affects both my body and my life, and gently tell them to never ask that particular question - especially upon first meeting someone!

That conversation never took place because, upon hearing my comment, both women turned away and, very hurriedly, left without saying a word.  Did I upset them with my glib comment? Did they feel embarrrassed over their choice of words? 

I'll never know ....

After the market,  Kelly and I met with Motria at Hot House for dinner.  We chatted and laughed outside on the patio in the beautiful sunshine.

Motria treated me to dinner as a belated birthday present. That was  super nice of her!

All in all, a pretty good day .....

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lots of Energy

I feel better today, and I have lots of energy!  Already I've written half a dozen emails, ordered more merchandise, worked on my proposal, and read some news articles.

There are many other things I need to do and complete, like the employees' schedule for this pay period; buy groceries; write more emails; and, do a lot more work on my proposal.  (Last night Amy gave me tips that I want to try out.)

And, of course, I'll give love and attention to my cats Hershey and Rascal whenever I have a spare moment or two ....

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Quiet Day

Nothing earth-shattering happened today.  I had breakfast, got washed and dressed, and then had my osteopath treatment with Anita.  She worked on the sorest parts of my body: neck, lower back, right hand. 

My body feels better, rejuvenated.

If only my mind could be soothed as easily ....

All day long, I've had Mom's favourite song in my head:  "Can't Get Started With You" by Bunny Berigan.  ( )  It's both comforting and yet painful as well.

Yesterday, I had "I'll Be Seeing You" by Rosemary Clooney playing over and over in my head. (  )  Again, it was both comforting and painful. Comforting because it was as if Mom was telling me that one day we'd be together again.  Painful because I want to be with her right now!

Last year, after Mom died, I immediately had "Go Your Own Way" by Fleetwood Mac.  It felt like she was telling me she had confidence in my ability to take my destiny in my own hands.

I'm grieving in music.  It's wonderful, terrible, and intense.  I'm going to distract myself by eating a tuna sub, watching Enterprise, and working on my art proposal.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


One year ago, at 5:15am, my mother's heart gave out.  After an amazing 87 years, my wonderful mother was suddenly gone.

Unheeded, memories flooded my mind of those last few days, those last few precious hours, when I sat beside her bedside.

These memories are torturous, so I've tried to push them away and only remember the good times.

Dad & Mom

As a teenager and young adult, after my brother Bruce got married and moved out, Mom and I bonded in a variety of different ways.  Every afternoon at 3:00, we would have tea and muffins and watch Match Game.  In the evenings, we would play Scrabble, or Cribbage, or Backgammon while watching TV.

Even though I could read myself, Mom would sometimes read books to me so that we could both enjoy them together.  The books included: Gone with the Wind, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Catcher in the Rye, and the Lord of the Ring series.

Parrott Jungle

My18th Birthday at Scarborough Recreation Club for Disabled Adults

When I was 18, I joined the Scarborough Recreation Club for Disabled Adults, and my mother and aunt became volunteers. The off-shoot from that was going up to a lodge in Muskoka with some of  the members of the SRCD.  The three of us went to that lodge for five years.  It always kind of amazed me that my mother not only assisted me with my daily needs while we were up north but also helped me drink booze and gamble until the wee hours of the morning.

Mom Always Knew How to Enjoy Life

Mom, I always said that you were "one of a kind" - and you were/are!  There will never be another person like you.  You were funny and kind and supportive and very open-minded.  You walked that fine line of being both mother and friend so well.

I love you, Mom, and I miss you terribly!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Painting Wins Out

I just can't go to the meeting tonight and act like everything's normal.  Memories of sitting by my mother's bedside a year ago invade my mind and make me terribly sad.

Painting will be cathartic.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Take it Easy

"Take it easy," Sarah said to me before she left.

My response was: "Take it easy?  Do you know me? Hi! My name is Anne Abbott. Nice to meet you!"

We both laughed at this, and Sarah said I probably work in my sleep.

I was going to paint tonight, but I still have so much to do! Emails, employee scheduling, doing work as an AAC mentor, and designing/ordering more cards/merchandise. I might work until 2 or 3 am again.

I had a very productive day too.  I took some old slides and family photos to Japan Camera and asked them to put it all on a CD.   My glasses had been broken since last week, so I got them fixed today as well. I went to Shoppers Drug Mart and refilled some prescriptions, mailed some letters, and bought a few groceries.  After that, Sarah, Kelly, and I went to Starbucks for a chat.

I might paint tomorrow, or I might go to the OCAP meeting.  Tomorrow evening will be hard for me because it will the eve of the one year anniversary of my mother's death. (One year! How can it be?)  Painting may be theraputic, but the meeting might take my mind off of everything. 

I'll decide tomorrow ....

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Busy Sunday

I've had such a busy day already.  Texts, emails,  working on the employees' scheduling.

Now, I'm going to get ready to go out for dinner with Roger at Village on the Grange, and then we're going to meet up with Lucy at the AGO and see Amy's show.  It's called "Doored 8" - it should be fun!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Post Post Birthday Celebration

I had a really good day at the market.  Not only did I make $100.00, but I also received a commission to do a family portrait - pets included!

A lot of friends came to visit with me.  One of those friends was Roger, who, much to my surprise, stayed with me most of the time.

Larry and his friends from Indiana also came to see me.  They very kindly gave me a yummy Iced Capp and a Tim Horton's gift card.

After Roger left, our mutual friend Ryker visited me and I told him that, funny enough, Roger and I had just been talking about getting together with him and other members of the BBS Metropolis.  Ryker seemed excited about this idea.

I went to the Spaghetti Factory after I packed up everything at the market. Bruce and the kids were there, and we celebrated both my birthday and Michelle's as well.

All in all, it was a very good day ...!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Busy, STRESSED OUT, and Very Upset

My door opener stopped working; I'm very upset with one of my family members; and, as per usual for a Friday evening, I have one billion things to do!

Time to listen to one of my YouTube playlists.  As Frank Zappa would say, "Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST."'

Thursday, August 15, 2013

No Time to Talk

I've got no time to talk today!  Sarah's coming over to finish the stick and poke of the hummingbird on my left arm.  I have to reply to emails; work on my employees' schedule; and really, really concentrate on finishing up my proposal for the artists residency.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Post Birthday Celebration

I've had a very good day today. First my door opener got fixed so I'm not trapped in my own apartment anymore! (I'm free, I'm free!!!)

While the guy fixed the door opener Laura came over and we chatted and had coffee andf frappachino.I gave her some material that was specially made with my artwork on it and she said she would make a few bags for me to sell. Brilliant!

After Laura and the repair guy left, Lucy and I went to the bank and I deposited some birthday cheques and (tah-da!) my setttlement cheque from the Toronto Police. That felt damn good!

Unfortunately, my joy was marred a tiny bit when a security guard at the bank started chatting with me and asked what the dates in my tattoo meant. Just hearing the question was a jab to my heart. But I help myself togther enough to explain that they were the 3 days that Rob was in the hospital and that he died on the 19th. She wanted to ask more questions, but I very politely said, "I'm sorry, I should be going now." After that I found a quiet spot and cried for a few seconds. Lucy suggested we go out for a beer to cheer up but I said, why don't we just go back to my house and have a beer there. We did and I did cheer up.

Lucy left and Brittainy came for her shift and I told Brittainy not to get too confortable because we had to meet my cousin and aunt at the Spaghetti Factoy. Much to my surprise, my cousin Lesley's 2 sons were there, and her husband Al.

All in all,  it was a very nice evening! We chatted and laughed and enjoyed the food and I loved the icecream with the singers and the single sparkler.

I'm tired I think I'll chill out and watch Enterprise on Netflix.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Incredibly Tired

I am so incredibly tired. 

Lucy is sitting beside me laughing her head off, saying the sentence I just wrote was such an understatement.  She came in to find me napping at the kitchen table.   And Simone is mock yelling at me, saying, "Go to bed!  Just go to bed!  I'll even pick you up, if you want, and toss you into bed!"

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I think to myself.

I'll have a quick snack and then go to bed ... unless I get my second wind.

Happy Birthday to Me

What a day!  I'm too tired and sore to write....

However, a picture is worth 1000 words, right?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Happy Pre-Birthday

In approximately 45 mintes it will be August 12th.  My birthday!

I'm going to have a big party tomorrow night, a "shin-dig" as my father would say.  However, I wanted to do something tonight to celebrate.  So, Kelly and I went to Cafe California for dinner.  Previously, I had received a coupon from them in an email for $25.00 off a birthday meal. So, I thought why not take advantage of it?

Here are the pictures of my lovely dinner at Cafe California:

Saturday, August 10, 2013


I'm tired, sore (my hand still hurts a lot), sad, and semi-cranky.  I don't think anybody would like to hear what I have to say today!

I have an ogre inside of me, and he is just itchin' stomp his feet, yell, and pick a fight with the next person he sees!

I just took a Lorazepam, though, and I'm just about to do lots and work - that'll make him go to sleep.

And, it'll make me feel happy and very satisfied!

Sheesh! I really do need a life, don't I ...?

Friday, August 9, 2013


I've always been rather a klutz, it's just the way I am.  Usually, I laugh at the silly things I do, like slipping out of my manual wheelchair at a party when I was drunk; or, falling off of the GoTrain because someone told me to go out the wrong way; or, almost drenching someone at the table next to me on a restaurant's patio because I accidentally burp as I take a swig of beer.

Should I go on?  Maybe another time ....

One thing that has always upset me, though, especially as a child, and that is when I accidentally break something.   I remember crying and feeling terribly guilty over what I had done.  My mother would hug me and say, "Annie, those are just things. Don't waste your time getting upset over that.  People are more important than things."

For the most part Mom was right. Inanimate, material objects don't hold a candle to flesh and blood people.

And yet, the TV that Rob watched before he died sits, unplugged, in the other room.  I tried to give the TV to my friend Leon, but I kept getting panic attacks and backed out of the deal.  Leon understood, of  course.

Yesterday, Simone brought Mom's kitchen table and chairs over to my place.

And Mom's armoir too.

People are more important than things, it's true.  And yet, certain things hold fond memories inside of them and make you feel happy.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Busy Fun Day

Today was a fun, laid-back kind of a day.

First, I met two old friends, Roger (he's a politician from Devon, England) and Ean.  We had brunch together at Golden Griddle.  We talked about our cats, politics, and the good ol' days of chatting over BBSes (Bulletinboard Systems).  Chatting inevitably led to parties and get-togethers.

And then we all went back to my place ...

where we talked about our cats, politics, my birthday party on this upcoming Monday evening,
 and days of chatting over BBSes.  Oh yes, and about where the nearest Dairy Queen was located.
Roger suggested, not for the first time, that I go into politics.  He's very persuasive!  I just know where I'd find the time to do it, though .....

After they left, I asked Lucy to trim my hair again.

I don't look too bad for someone who is almost 55, do I?