Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

I was going to paint a mask and go out as my beloved Dandylion.

My new burnt orange poncho would have been perfect for that costume!

I wanted to go out on Church St, too, and see all of the cool costumes - but I'm swamped with work! 

 Bloody hell!  Maybe next year I'll dress up as Cinderella ....

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

So Many Thoughts and Feelings

... on a beautiful fall day.

 Ever since my counselling session today my head has been filled with thoughts and feelings: sadness, frustration, anger and guilt.

I am a guilt-monster! Rob used to tease me and say, "Anne, you probably feel you're to blame for global warming." I would laugh and say, "Yes, yes, I do!" Unfortunately, there's a grain of truth in it. I do feel guilty about global warming and I think about who is conscious of what's happening in the world today should feel that way too.

One thing that keeps repeating itself in these sessions is that the overwhelming feeling of guilt and the need to be perfect, to be "Super-Anne". There are many reasons why I feel like this , mostly it stems from having a disability. I know it's ridiculous to feel this way because I have no control over the way my body is. I'm not sure if other people with disabilities feel this way but maybe they do because society, geneally speaking, devalues us and blames us for being a drain on the economy. I also think this is why I stive to be perfect, to show people I do have value goddamnit!

My counsellor told me to give myself a break and whener I being to feel guilt I need to think about myself and my accomplishments in a positive way. I'll try my best to do that.

In the meantime, I will try to focus on the gorgeous fall scenery to cheer myself up. It won't be long before snow comes. Oh crap! Now I feel guilty about meantioning the "s" word! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I'm finished with my newest painting.  Yay!

I feel happy and proud with my accomplishment.

I also feel sore and tired.  Ah, the life of an artist ....!

99 Percent Finished

Monday, October 28, 2013

Old Paintings and New

Yesterday, before I saw Aunt Joyce, I went to my mom's place and collected some things to bring home.

I found old photos, slides, and greeting cards.  Mom had saved all of the poetry, speeches, and stories that I had written over the years.  She had kept all of the articles written about me too.  I was her flamboyant, slightly nutty, politically minded daughter - and she had always been so proud of me!

Here are the paintings she had bought from me over the years:

"Cousin's First Home"
"Through the Mist"
"Flowers on Mother's Day"
"Standing on a Bridge"
"The Essencee of My Father"

Thanks, Mom, for the love and support you gave to me all of my life.   It's made me strong and determined to carry on.  I dare not even think about quitting on my art or writing because these things were what you greatly admired about me. (Well, that and my optimistic, caring, fun-loving ways - things you instilled in me anyways.)

I'm determined to finish this painting tonight!

I'll talk to you tomorrow ....

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Visiting Aunt Joyce

I thought today was going to be hard because I was going to visit my Aunt and give her support in her time of mourning. As I've said before in this blog, I have such empathy for her that I sometimes have flash-backs to the first few days after Rob's death.

It wasn't like that though. Of course my Aunt Joyce was very sad but she was also very happy to see me and kept saying so. We chatted and had dinner together. We talked about good times and bad, and of people we loved and missed. She talked about the lives of my cousins and I told her how Bruce and the kids are doing.

Aunt Joyce, besides missing Uncle Norm, really misses my Mom. They had always been very close but during the last 14 years they had been practically inseperable.

As I listened to her talk and watched her move about, I could see flashes of my Mom. It made me gasp, smile and feel a twinge of sadness. Maybe in some cosmic way they still are inseperable. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Gray and Rainy Market Day

It was a gray and rainy October day.  I got absolutely soaked on the way to the Market.  Amy was a bit late to meet me, so a fellow vendor dried me off, wiped my glasses, and lend me a woolen poncho.  People can be so nice sometimes!

It wasn't bad at the market today, despite the weather and nearby the road construction.  People were very nice and talkative, and I actually made $92.00!  Woo-hoo!  If I had seen one more low tally (below $50.00), I was going to scream!

I'm tired now.  As Laura and I ate pizza; Kraft Dinner; and salad, we watched two movies (Hellboy and Double Jeopardy) and Peep Show.

Tomorrow, Yuula and I are going to visit Aunt Joyce.   I feel such great empathy for my aunt.  It's heart-wrenching to lose someone you've loved, lived with for most of your adult life, and have been intimate as well. 

I'll write more tomorrow ....

Friday, October 25, 2013

New Glasses

I got new glasses today.

In fact, I got two pairs of glasses!

One pair is for my near-sightedness, the other one is f'or my far-sightedness.  I just couldn't stand wearkng bi-focals!

Well, anyway, I'm heading to bed now, so I can get up at 6am and go to the market.

No rest for the wicked, I suppose .....

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I painted until 3am.

I'm pleased with both faces, and I like the way the motion of walking looks too.

Hopefully, I'll finish it tonight ....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


My mind is totally focused upon my newest painting.  I'm stuck.  I can't get one of the faces exactly right - I hate that!

Back to work ...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

My Mind is Full of ...

My mind is full of adorable cats.

Finishing my newest painting.

And, having a tuna sub for dinner.

Also, my nose is full of snot .... I hope I'm not getting a cold!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Zappa Plays Zappa

So, yesterday evening, Kelly and I went to Zappa Plays Zappa and had a brilliant time!

Me & Kelly
Me, in my Sears Poncho
Zappa Plays Zappa - wonderfully!
Shaking hands with Dweezil

Talking with Dweezil and his band
Hanging out with Dweezil and his band

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I can't believe I met Dweezil Zappa!
It was so much fun!  The music was fantastic and very entertaining. Beer and other types of alcohol were made available all throughout the concert, which made the audience (including me) more boisterous and eager to embrace the beauty and creativity of the music.

After the concert was over, this guy named George, who worked for the theatre, arranged for me to get in front of the line to meet Dweezil and the rest of the band. They were all so nice and signed a poster for me.  (I'm going to frame it!)  And, it was so nice how they chatted naturally with me.  One of the band members actually ran after me to hand me a signed package of Poprocks. (He had been eating them during the concert.)

I sure won't forget about that night for a long while ....

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Zappa Plays Zappa and Playing Hookey from the Market Day

This evening, I'm going to see Zappa Plays Zappa at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. I'm so excited!

Well, actually, I feel happy and sad, with an order of guilt on the side. I wish so much for Rob to be here today and to be able to come with me!  He had wanted to go see Zappa Plays Zappa for years.  Every time they were in the GTA, Rob wanted to go and see them play, but I, who handled the finances, never thought we could afford it.  "Next year," I'd say.  "Next year."

Sadly, next year never came for Rob.

I'm sorry, my love ....

And yet, life is what it is.  I'm hoping that Rob's spirit will be with me at the concert tonight.   I can see him now, trying to act so cool and yet very happy and excited.

I love you, Rob!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Really Sucky Day

It's been a really sucky day.  I have so much to do (of course!) and people (one person in particular) and things keep thwarting me from my duties.  Grrrrr! I had planned on getting everything accomplished before tomorrow because I want a relaxing day and play hookey from the market. After this week I need a bit of a break.

I haven't led on here on this blog but it 's been a very emotional week. My Uncle Norm died, which is sad but not too unexpected. I feel most sorry for my Aunt Joyce beause they were married for 56 years. And, of course, I can imagine what she is going through. Because of this, I have felt my own greif spilling over many times this week. Of course going to greif counselling and spilling my guts didn't help either, neither did watching an episode of Coronation Street right now, where Haley told Roy she wanted to take her own life before her cancer got too bad.

Yikes! But now I'm going to eat grilled cheese and timbits and chocolate stout and forget about the world for a while. I'll do what I need to do after I eat.

Tomorrow is Zappa plays Zappa! Woo Hoo!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Raise the Rates Rally

Today I gave a speech outside of the Ministry of Finance.  I, like many others, talked about ableism, the continnuous frustration over the meagre amounts of money we receive from ODSP and OW, and the need to stop the government from merging ODSP and OW.

Here's the speech I wrote:

My name is Anne Abbott, and as many of you know, I’ve been a disability activist for years and years. I fight for the rights of my peers, and I will continue to do so until there are positive, rock solid, changes put in place by the government.

I will admit that fighting for our rights can be emotionally hard, draining, and very frightening.  A lot of people with disabilities are afraid to speak out against what’s wrong and ask for even the barest of necessities.  And then there are those who want to join in on the rallies and demonstrations so that their voices can be heard, but, because of either physical or environmental limitations, this simply isn’t possible.

As I worked on this speech, I looked up many instances of blatant ableism throughout history.  Did you know that in 1933, the German government put into effect the “Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases.”  This law called for the sterilization of all persons who had conditions, such as, mental illness, learning disabilities, physical deformity, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism. Because of this hateful law, Germany felt that it could step up its propaganda against the disabled, by regularly labeling them “life unworthy of life” and strongly suggesting that they were a burden upon society.

But Canada, too, had its own brand of eugenics.  In 1928, the Legislative Assembly of Alberta enacted the Sexual Sterilization Act which was created to eventually eliminate people with mental illness, developmental and physical disabilities, as well as people who were “paupers”.  At first, it was voluntary, but then in 1937 it was actually amended to be mandatory. That act didn’t get repealed until 1979. That’s absolutely disgusting! 

Now, even though banks and big corporation are to blame for much of the financial disaster, governments are trying to point the finger of blame upon poor people and people with disabilities. In Britain a lot of the conservative members of parliament have brazenly admitted that this is their opinion and have made brutal cuts to the already meagre disability allowance. This, as well as the mandatory rule that everybody must re-apply, is putting many people out on the streets and causing thousands of deaths.

I’m not afraid to say this - the merging of ODSP and welfare terrifies me! When they decided to bring back the Special Diet funding, what did the government do? They forced everybody to re-apply, and in doing so, they weeded out a lot of people who both needed and deserved the money. If ODSP and Welfare merge, you can bet your bottom dollar it will be mandatory that everyone must reapply. If this happens, we will be in the same horrible mess that Britain is in. 

We must stop this before it begins! We must tell the Finance Minister and other members of government that we won’t let this happen! We are already living way below the poverty line, which is humiliating enough without having the silent threat of cuts and reapplying. This cannot happen!

Thank you.

It was a very good rally, and I felt so gratified when people kept coming up to me and saying how much they liked my speech.  I did so much research for my speech and found the information horribly fascinating!

Interestingly, once the rally was over, I went to another rally at Queens Park and ran into my friend Leah.  I let Leah read my speech, and after she read it she told me a story that really shocked me!  Like me, Leah had been researching eugenics and found out that in 1909 the state of California had an eugenics program, where they attempted to eliminate people who were genetically "undesirable", such as poor people, immigrants, people with disabilities, and alcoholics.  This program was funded by charities, and continued until the '50s.  In the 1920s, the heads of the program actually suggested to Germany that they try eugenics out, but Germany declined, saying that it didn't think its people would be agreeable to it.  Unfortunately, Hitler was a big fan of California's eugenics, and thus, implemented it when he came to power with horrific results.

It's horribly fascinating, right?
wipe away all human beings deemed "unfit," preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. - See more at:
wipe away all human beings deemed "unfit," preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. - See more at:
wipe away all human beings deemed "unfit," preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. - See more at:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Still Busy (and Crazy) After All These Years

The title says it all. I'm too busy to do a blog post tonight ....

I need to focus all my energy on writing a speech for Thursday's rally.

And, if I have time, design and order more cards, using my two new paintings for them.

Hmm, maybe I'll work on my finances too.

I don't really need sleep, do I?

Monday, October 14, 2013

I'm Thankful For ...

I'm thankful for ...

my two boys who make me smile and feel loved every day.

And for ...

the ability to paint.  My artwork keeps me sane (well, comparatively so) and grounded.

I'm also thankful for ...

my cool,



and brilliant friends!

I love you all so much!

I'm also thankful for ...

knowing and loving Rob Warenda for 22 years.  You made me so happy, Sweety!

And for ...

 Thomas, Bruce, and Michelle.

And, of course, I'm thankful that I had Verna Abbott as my mom for 54 years.  Thank you., Mom, for shaping me into the person I am today. I love you!

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I Need A Hero

Bonnie Tyler once sang:  "Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods?"


I just saw Blue Jasmine this evening with Kelly. We both found utterly depressing!  All of the men (except for the youngest one) were cheating, volatile shmucks.  And the women were annoying because they acted as if they couldn't live without having a man in their life.  For instance, one of the women had been dating this guy for about a week, and she found out that he was married  So, instead of mentally licking her wounds and moving on, she got back with her ex-boyfriend who had previously ripped her phone out of the wall and had also called her a stupid slut.  Sounds like a real Prince Charming, right?!

This afternoon, out of the blue, this guy I didn't know Facebook chatted me up.  Usually, I just ignore people I don't know, but I checked out this guy's profile and saw that he was 1) British  (Brits get me hot!) and 2) he had a disabilty.  I was excited by the prospect of finding out more about the cuts to the pensions of disabilities in Britain.  Instead, I got: "Hi. How are you?" and "It's raining.  I think you're pretty. xoxo"

Now, I'm not sure if I'm ready for another relation or not, or even just flirty chats over Facebook.  When I am, I hope the guy doesn't act like a  creepy 12 year old by telling me that I'm pretty.  I know I'm pretty (fucking gorgeous, actually!) - I need some intellectual stimuli to get me interested.  You know, like favouriite foods and movies; his political opinions; the goals in his life; does he like cats or art.

I don't know how these guys who have been trying to chat me up don't know that the most important sex organ is a person's mind.  Make me laugh or care about you and that's a huge step forward in capturing my heart!

Saturday, October 12, 2013


On Thursday night, I only got four hours of sleep because of illness.   Last night, because both of my cats were fighting on the bed and jumping on my legs, I, once again, only got I only got four hours of sleep.

I'm exhausted! I dozed off several times at the market today.  (By the way, I only made $40.00! Bloody hell!)  I dozed off at Starbucks, waiting for Brittainy to bring my ftappe and brownie to the table.  And then, a few minutes ago, when I was sitting on the can, I dozed off one more time.

The only time I remained fully awake and alert was when I was having dinner at Swiss Chalet with Bruce and the kids.  It's always good to see them!  They make me laugh so much!

I'm exhausted.  I can barely keep my eyes open ....

ZzzzzzzzzZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ....

Good night ....

Friday, October 11, 2013

Feeling Better, Thank God

I'm exhausted! I think I got an extra spicy sub yesterday for dinner because I had the worst case of heartburn I've ever had in my entire life! I went to bed and tried to ignor it by playing Scrabble on my Ipad, but I had to text Dobrila to come and give me something for the pain.

I still had trouble sleeping because I kept thinking about this one friend of mine who had two strokes due to having his escophagus collapsed twice. It was because he kept eating spicy food and getting bad heartburn. I finally got my mind to shut up and go to sleep!

In the morning, I still had heartburn but not as bad, so I took two Tums. That problem went away, but then I had stomach pains and had to keep dashing to the bathroom.

I'm all better now, but very tired. I'm going to watch Fringe and go to bed!

Curse you yummy jalapenos!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Knocking Down All of My Chores One By One

Texting/emails/getting things arranged - Check!
Eyes examined, glasses ordered - Check!
Getting all of my membership packages ready to be mailed - Check!
Depositing my cheque from CDAC and buying groceries -  Check!
Cheering myself up by buying a new orange poncho and listening to my favourite songs -  Check!
Hanging with my cats - Check!  (Always!)

And painting?  I'll definitely do it tomorrow!  I swear!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I Wanted to Paint, but

I wanted to paint today, but it just wasn't in the cards.

Anita came early in the morning to give me my osteopath treatment. That was nice, except Rascal tried to get in on it too! He probably thought "If you're patting Anne, then you can pat me too! I'm much cuter and furrier than her!" He did finally settle down with his head in my armpit. Crazy cat!

Well, anyway, the treatment was nice and soothing and I even fell asleep for a while. I was all nice and mellow until I got up and saw a bunch of texts about somebody not being able to come in for their shift because they were stranded in Cambridge. Immediately, my stess level rose until the problem was solved. And then I got some emails which stressed me out again. One was asking me to give a speech on the 17th about the attack on ODSP. I love making speeches on topics I am passionate about but in the back of my mind I thought when will I have time to write?

I met Kelly at 5pm at the Drug Mart to pick up persciptions and Halloween costumes and chocolate. You know, important things like that! After that we had a snack at Starbucks and then did some grocery shopping at Loblaws.

I really wanted to paint today but I'm tired, especially since I was woken up by the firealarm at 3am last night. There were firetrucks too that were very loud. Simone came into my room and asked me if she should carry me out of the building and, very groggily, I said no no no its probably just burnt toast. In the back of my mind I thought maybe if there is a fire a sexy fireman will carry me out! (I'm sorry, Simone, but I need to find thrills any way I can!)

Maybe tomorrow I'll paint but it looks like a pretty busy day too. I'm getting my eyes checked because I need new glasses. I'd love a clone, but honestly, she'd probably be as busy as I am!    

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Two Canvas Artist

I stayed up until 3:30 am painting this picture.  Hopefully, I can finish it tomorrow and begin work on the other one.  I don't usually work on two canvases at once, but I feel self-imposed pressure to produce new designs for my Christmas cards and calendars.

Today was pretty good.  Sarah and I shopped at the Drug Mart for a few necessities, popped into Starbucks for a quick snack, and bought some groceries at Loblaws.

While we were in Starbucks, Sarah and I discussed plans to do the humourous vignettes we've been talking about for awhile.  The shorts will be based upon true (ridiculous) events in my life.  I'm very excited to begin our collaboration!

Simone thinks we should call the shorts Anne in the Hall.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Egads!  I thought I'd have a nice quiet evening paintig (I put up two canvases on my easel in order to get a lot of work done), do the employees' schedule, and to order more cards, but I'm swamped with texts and emails.

Inside my head I'm screaming (AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!) but I am the mighty juggler and I'll figure everything out ....

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cleaning Day

Today was cleaning day.  Amy, Laura, and Yuula all helped me to do a major cleaning of my apartment.  I gave them $20.00 each and free pizza.

It was very satisfying!  (I could feel my mother nodding and smiling in approval; she loved keeping things neat and tidy.)  My whole apartment was vacuumed and dusted from top to bottom.  Some things were simply reorganized, others were thrown out. 

As I purged, I came across small treasures.  A bottle of soap bubbles (one of Dandylion's favourite toys), several books, and an old abilities magazine that features the story of how Rob and I met online.

That was the best find of the evening!