Monday, September 30, 2013

Suddenly it's Fall

Suddenly it's Fall ....

Bloody hell!
Gloomy weather makes me pensive, restless

Sure, the colours of the trees are pretty but I still prefer summer.

Sigh ...

And, speaking of colours, I''m about to lose myself in the multitude of paints before me.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Writing Postponed

I had a busy, fun day, but now all I want to do is drink my frappuccino, watch Breaking Bad, and then design more cards.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Flowers From a Fan

I just got a text from Yuula asking me how my day at the market had been.

Slow, certainly, I answered her.  Painfully so!

And, even though I had cool new merchandise, like tote bags ...

and keepsake boxes ...

I only made $50.00!  Yikes!  I think maybe the low sales are due to both parents and students buying school supplies.

Hopefully, October will be better!

I did get a bunch of beautiful flowers from a fan, though ....

That makes me very happy!

Friday, September 27, 2013


I went to the dentist today.  God, I hate going so much!  Not only is it stressful and uncomfortable/painful, it can also be frustrating and humiliating depending on which person I get.

Today's visit was not great.  Both the dental hygienist and dentist either spoke loudly and condescendingly to me or talked about me to Kelly.  Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez!  And this dental clinic is supposed to be for people with disabilities.  You'd think they'd know better!

Another upsetting thing was that I was diagnosed with Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD), a condition that makes a person's jaw muscles get stiff and painfiul.  They listed off a bunch of symptoms - some I had, but a lot I didn't!  And, then they tried to scare me by saying that this condition deteriorated very quickly until the patient's jaw would clamp shut and be unable to open.

I argued with them that I've had this same problem for 30 years!  My jaw moves to the left and then locks in place until I will it to open again. (This happens about ten times a week.)  It's painful while it's happening, but then it subsides to a dull ache in my jaw.  Sometimes I can even stop my jaw from moving by putting my hand to the side of my face.

I guess what really bugs me is that I've been trying to get dentists to listen to me for years about this problem, and now that they're trying to scare me, change my lifestyle, and put me on more drugs! All I want is a solution for my jaw going left.

Oh well, I have an appiontment with the oral surgon in October. Maybe he will have some good ideas!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


No words today, just

                             Paint ...

                                                     Paint ...

                                                                                     Paint ...

And music!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Thank God for iPads and Bladders of Steel

Seven years ago when I first got Direct Funding, things went, for the most part, pretty smoothly.  My employees came, assisted me with my daily routine, and went home.  If plans went awry or if there was a mix-up in the schedule, my employees helped me fill these shifts by calling or emailing others.  If nobody could be found, Rob gladly helped me out.

After Rob's death, it was a whole new ball game.  Sure, I have more hours per day (16 instead of 12) and seven overnights per week, but now if people are unable to come for their shifts or if some things got messed up, there are times during the day when I'm totally alone (except for my cats) and need some way to contact my employees to work things out.

Two years ago, my mother bought me an iPad, and I bought myself a texting app (Text Plus) to contact my employees if I needed them.

Today was such a day.  I woke up (Hershey was snoring gently beside me) and I could see by my clock that the person getting me up was 15 minutes late.  So, right away, I used my iPad to text one person and then another to find out what was happening.  There had been a mix-up, apparently.  An email confirming a shift coverage had gone into a draft folder not to the other person.  Shit happens. This type of thing has happened to me several times too!

In the end, everything worked out.  Somebody came and helped me start my day.

I'm so grateful that I have a network of cool, great, fantastic, and brilliant employees/friends!  I love them all so much!

And, thank god for iPads, texring apps ... and my bladder of steel!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An Iffy Day

I'm not sure whether I am feeling kind of blah because I'm tired from lack of sleep (I went to bed at 3am and then the cats kept me up by fighting on my bed periodically), or because my allergies have been really bad today, or just the general sadness that I am trying to snap out of. I had the song 'Since You've Been Gone' playing over and over in my head all day. (Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!) And Motria told me some sad news ... which I won't repeat.

I was supposed to go to an OCAP meeting tonight but I just didn't feel up to it. Instead I watched Coronation Street and an episode of QI. I am slowly cheering up. I'm having aloe drink with vodka in it and I'm about to watch Call the Midwife with Laura.

The revolution will just have to keep ...

Although at the moment my two cats seem to have the opposite plan; it's the battle of the fittest, or furriest, in here! I just hope they don't see my bed as a battlefield tonight.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Best Laid Plans of Men And iPads

I was going to do so many things today.  Not that I just lazed around either!

Ever since Saturday night, my iPad kept telling me that I didn't have a SIM card inserted, which I knew wasn't true.  I've had a Virgin Mobile SIM card for two years now to be able to text people with my iPad - this is so important to me so that I can feel safe and connected with my friends!

Well, anyway, I did  everything I could think of to make my iPad recognize the SIM card. I took it out and put it back in. I restarted the iPad three times, but with no luck.

And then, I found out via Google that people who also had this problem went to a Virgin Mobile store or a store, like The Source, that sells Virgin products.  So, I went to The Source at College Park and asked them for help.  They told me that there was nothing wrong with the SIM card, there was a problem with the iPad.  They said I should go to the Apple store and ask one of the geniuses to help.

So I did, and it wasn't as bad as I had expected.  They didn't make me wait for hours or insist that I make an appointment. I had a real nice guy named Tatum, and it only took about an hour.  I could have sent my iPad away to get a part replaced, or get a whole new one right away for half the price.

I took the latter option, and I've been setting up my preferences all evening long.

Rob would be so proud of me!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Paint Paint Paint, My Mind is Filled with Paint

I  had a pretty good day and have a lot of news and pictures, but all I can think of is finally finishing my painting ....

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Friends, Rain, and More Pain

I only made $45.00 on this gloomy, rainy day.


However, seeing some of my cool, great, fantastic, and brilliant friends drop by the market made me happy!

Larry & Me

Nic, Jen & Me

That's all for now.  I'm in too much pain to  write anymore.  Back, neck, arm -- sheeeeeeesh, I hate it when most of my body hurts!

Happy birthday, Larry, Aunt Joyce, and Stephen King!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Paint Paint Paint, and Pain

So, I've finished all of my emails, my finances, and the employees' scheduling too. 

I'm so psyched to get back to painting after dinner. Hopefully, I can finish it tonight, although I'm a bit doubtful because my right arm has been killing me since last night. I'm still going to paint, though. I need to.

Whoever said artists must suffer for their art wasn't wrong!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Almost Finished

I tried so hard to finish my painting last night, but I stopped at 3:30am to toast to Rob's memory with scotch and never got back to it.  I was exhausted and tipsy.

Tomorrow,  however, I'll do my best to finish it!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Music, Painting, The IT Crowd, and Toasting

I've listened to Patio Lanterns, watched several episodes of The IT Crowd, talked to my grief counselor about my life with Rob, and I'm determined to finish my painting tonight!

Right now, I'm going to have dinner and toast to the memory of Robert Shane Warenda.

I splurged wildly and bought a bottle of Drambuie.  I've never actually had it, but Drambuie always reminds me of Rob because of the dirty joke he once told me.

This is the joke:  These three women are sitting around talking and laughing about their boyfriends.  The first woman says,"I call my boyfriend Long John."  The second woman says, "I call my boyfriend Thick Dick." The thirds woman kind of smiles and says, " I call my boyfriend Drambuie". The other two women look at each other and say,"Drambuie? Ain't that some kind of fancy liquor?"

I love you Rob.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Million Vacations

I'm listening to a YouTube playlist I made called Songs That Remind Me of Rob.  The first song that came on was A Million Vacations by Max Webster.  It reminded me that I'm missing out on going to Baltimore for the Zappa Festivaal (not that it's happening this year) to honour Rob. I just couldnt get my act together because I was too sad about Mom's death to organize something huge like that. But next year I'm definitely going!

Rob loved music so much. Listening to his favourite music is my way of honouring his memory. From today until the 19th I will listen to the music and watch his favourite shows and and eat his favorite foods. Rob, if you're around, I hope you can hear and see and taste all that I'm experiencing.

Thank you Sweety For turning me on to Frank Zappa, Max Webster, ACDC, and Kim Mitchell. Thank you for turning me on to wrestling, drinking beer, and learning how computers/technology work.

And thank you for turning me on.

I miss you Rob. There will never been anyone like you. Yes, yes, I know you are saying, "Thaank god!"

Smart ass. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Better Day

I'm in a better frame of mind today, probably because I was so busy.

I went to see my doctor to get some forms filled out, had a peppermint mocha frappuccino in Starbucks, and then to the health food store, Sobey's and the the drug store.

When I got home my two boys were waiting for me on my bed wanting cuddles. How can I be in a bad mood after that?

Now I'm going to eat dinner and watch Coronation Street, and then paint.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A 3 Lorazepam Kind of Day Part 2

I talked to Simone and watched a few episodes of A Bit of Fry & Laurie - I'm feeling much better now!

A 3 Lorazepam Kind of Day

I started taking Lorazepam 10 years ago to help me deal with attendant abuse.  In the beginning I only took one a day.  When Rob died, 4 years ago, I started to take two.    Rarely do I ever take 3, because I'm always afraid of becoming addicted, like I was to valium.  Today though, my heart feels like it's breaking, maybe because it's very close to the anniversaty of Rob's death, so I took a third Lorazepam.  How can it be four years?

Excuse me, but I have nothing else to say.  I'll probably be in a better mood tomorrow.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Today at the Market

It was a slow day at the market.  People liked my work - some people were very enthusiastic about it! - but I didn't make many sales.  I made fifty bucks, though, and that's better than a kick in the head!

I did get this new, cool hat from Renee, which I love!  Renee made it for me specially, measuring it exactly and putting a tie at the base of my head so that it won't come off (the hat, I mean, not my head.)

I don't think I have anything else to say, so I'm going to design and order some more cards and then go to bed.

Good night ....

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wandering Down Memory Lane

I was a whirlwind today!  I got so much done, made things more tidy and organized, and called to make a doctor appointment.

Recently, I had some photos I got from my mom's place put on a CD.  This evening, I had the time to go through them and edit and put labels on them.

Here are some of my favourites:

Hubba Hubba, Mom!
Old Family Photo
Me at 16
At the Island
LuLu at Door

Me & Sylvia
Me, Mom Swimming

Grandma Dicon, Brandon, Mom

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Asphalt Watches

I had a pretty good day.  I got a lot of work done this afternooon.  You know, emails; employees' scheduling; and, catching up with my finances.

And then I went to Milestones to meet Natasha for dinner. I like Milestones, they are pretty cool there. I arrived before Natasha and I got seated and made them understand I wanted a Corona. I'm always impressed when people who aren't used to reading my communication board catch on immediately. Another thing that made me happy was when Natasha came in she asked the hostess if she had seen me and the hostess said "Oh you mean the very artistic woman?" That made me happy because I hate when people think right away of my wheelchair and not of me, the person. Also a waiter came to me and said he loved my raven tattoo and we ended up comparing tattoos. That was pretty funny! I had to laugh when he said he actually cried when he had one of his tattoos done and I told him I actually frequently fall asleep when Sarah works on my hummingbird stick n' poke.

Yuula joined us as we were finishing dinner and the three of us went to see a TIFF film at Scotiabank theatre. It was called Asphalt Watches, Amy's partner Seth co-directed it. It was very good! And funny! Here's a trailer for it. Good night!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Painting Painting Ever Painting

Considering "Trapdoors of My Mind"

Some artists make sketches of what they're about to paint.  I don't.  I like to go get right to it and see how things develop on their own.

I'm thinking and painting, thinking and painting ....  

What do I want to put in this painting?  It seems like a huge canvass\, and yet far too small for everything I need to say.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Pretty Good Day

I had a pretty good day.

I met Laura this afternoon at Starbucks. Over a frappuccino and iced coffee, we talked; laughed; and exclaimed about how hot it was.

Much to my delight, Laura gave me the tote bags I had asked her to make for me. They look awesome!  I'll have to upload some more jpgs of my artwork to Spoonflower so that I can make more material for Laura to make more tote bags - and maybe tank tops/t-shirts!

I met Motria and Sarah at Hair of the Dog for dinner.

That was fun! I hadn't seen Motria in ages and it was good to catch up.

I should try to get together with Ainsley, Lamia, Natasha, and  Lenny.  Who knows how much longer this nice weather will last. 

People tend to hibernate in the cooler/cold seasons.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thank Goodness for TIFF

Despite the rain, the market was quite busy today.  A lot of my customers were from the States.  Interestingly enough, most were from Connecticut, all wanting to see the movies and stars of TIFF.

One couple bought a painting and two others said they were going to commission me to paint their pets. That made me happy!  It's so gratifying to know people appreciate my work.

There were a few lulls in the flow of customers, and during that time Sarah and I worked on the crossword; cracked jokes; talked to our friends (Leon, Judith, Sandy, and Lee); and ...

Sarah did styrofoam art. Honestly, though, Hershey isn't all that rude or grumpy!  He's a sweetheart of a cat.  (Rascal might disagree with me, however ....  As I write this, Hershey's chasing him around the apartmennt!)

By the way, if you see Benedict Cumberbatch at TIFF, please tell him to find me and give me a hug.

It would make my day!

Sigh ....

Friday, September 6, 2013

No Time to Talk Today

No time to talk!

Demonstration at The Beer Store.

                        Birthday party for Amy!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

So Much to Do

I have so much to do!  Yikes!  Because of working on the proposal and speech, I'm behind in so many things, like, employees' scheduling, finances, and note cards for my membership.

Here are the card designs I'm going to send out to my Dandy Membership customers:


After I finish all of my work, I can go back to painting again.  Yay!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Spiked Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino Kind of Day

It's been a spiked peppermint mocha frappuccino kind of day, which isn't necessarily a bad thing ....

I saw my grief counselor this afternoon.  In this session, as with most of them, I cried, laughed, cried some morre, and had a few revelations. 

This time, though, I brought my iPad with me and let her read some of my blog posts.  I wanted my counselor to have a better understanding about what my life is like when I don't see her.  She said she liked how I wrote and thought my art was powerful.

I feel tired, and all day my allergies have been driving me nuts.  (Sneeze, sneeze, SNEEZE!  Blah!) I feel raw ... and yet cleansed.

I'm going to eat pizza, drink a spiked peppermint mocha frappuccino, and watch some "A Bit of Fry & Laurie".

Cheers, everyone!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Speech From Today

 As I promised, here's the speech I gave today in support of Britain's Disabled People Against Cuts:

"We are here today to show our solidarity with the people with disabilities in Britain who have suffered, and continue to suffer, from severe cuts to social programs.  Their Independent Living Fund is like a combination of our ODSP and Direct Funding.  So, not only is the Cameron government cutting money used for food, rent, and other necessities, they’re cutting money people use to hire and pay their personal support workers.  This means that with little or no assistance with their daily needs, disabled people in Britain are limited in their choices and their abilities.

David Cameron’s “no low is too low" attitude is causing havoc with people’s lives! How can Britain’s conservative government expect people with disabilities to survive, to thrive, and to continue to be a valuable part of society? And, how dare they lay a “Bedroom Tax”’ on people, just because some have a small extra room!  How can they cut funding and then add a ridiculous tax on top of that?  It’s inhuman!

I’ve heard people say, “What is happening in Britain won’t happen in Canada.” Nonsense, I say!  The Canadian government has already shown its distain for people with disabilities in many ways throughout the years.   In 1995, Mike Harris brutally slashed ODSP and OW.  We are at an income level that is 55 per cent below where it was twenty years ago.  We are living way below the poverty line, barely surviving!  

 And then, we were told that the Special Diet had to be cut because they said that people were “misusing” that funding.  Yeah, right!  The bastards only claimed this to be so, so that their cuts could be put into practice.  If the government truly understood what people on ODSP have to deal with, they would see that we use the Special Diet funding not just on medical necessities but on food and rent – in order to survive!

It is my feeling that we have a direct stake in the fight of Britain’s disabled people. Plans to merge ODSP with OW, and to further cut disabled people's funding in Ontario are eerily similar to Britain’s recent policies.

In Britain, disabled people from all parts of the country are doing demonstrations every day this week to voice their outrage and frustration at the terribly unjust way their government is treating them.  With every fibre of my being, I hope that their efforts make positive change happen and ends the persecution from government and the media.

Thank you."

There were five speeches in all, and mine was the last one to be read.  As always, everyone spoke with passion and conviction.  And, as always, I loved having my opinions heard and acknowledged by my peers.

And yet, not a lot of my peers came out today, which was disappointing.  Only about 20 people came.  However, that's the thing about doing demos/speeches.  Sometimes a lot of people come out, and sometimes only a few do.

Passersby heard our speeches and took our leaflets - that's good!  And, when the demo was all over and Simone and I went to have a snack at Tim Hortons, we met, quite by accident, Brittainy and her new boyfriend Billy.  Brittainy asked me how the demo went, and I told her that, despite the small size of people in attendance, it went quite well.

And then, with a smile, I used my Speak It! app to let Brittainy and Billy to read/hear my speech.  It pleased me that they liked it, and it pleased me, too, that some of the people in Tim Hortons seemed to be listening to it as well ....

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labouring on Labour Day

Sorry, folks, I need to finish my speech tonight.

I'll put my speech and tales of adventure on here tomorrow.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

An Enterprising Dream

I'm not sure if anybody remembers or even saw Star Trek: Enterprise.  I just finished watching the whole four seasons on Netflix about a week ago. 

Last night, I had a dream that the crew of the Enterprise came down to Bay St. in Toronto and started fighting with evil alien bankers. It was very exciting! 

And then, Captain Archer and T'pol saw me sitting and watching everything, and started running towards me.  T'pol was yelling, "It's her! It's her! I must touch her and give her The Power!"  Captain Archer, however, didn't seem to be thrilled with her intent.  He yelled, "No, no, we can't interfere witth the order of time!"  They began to fight between themselves, punching and kicking, until T'pol broke free and touched my arm.

For a few seconds I few seconds I felt very happy and empowered!

And then I woke up ....  I hate that!

I think my subconscious was telling me that I need to work on my speech for the demonstration on Tuesday.  (My subconscious is such a nag sometimes!)  And it's true, I need to finish it.

It's my hope that my speech and spirit of solidarity with the disabled people in Britain will evoke positive change in their country and reverse the cuts to social supports, which has increased poverty, homelessness, even deaths!

I'm going to end this post now and work on my speech ....