Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Getting Things Straightened Out

The other night I was dreaming that College Park (a mall near me, for those who don't live in Toronto) had been turned into a school. I was a teacher there, and I taught anarchy.

However, the most memorable thing about this dream was the excitement I felt as my friend Dolores (a woman Mom and I knew from Stanton House Lodge up in Muskoka) and I cleaned up the school's kitchen and dining area, as we prepared for my mother's visit.  It would be so good to see Mom again, I thought, and to show her all of the new changes!

When I awoke, I had the oddest experience.  It was as if my sensory output had somehow been transported back 36 years to my very girly bedoom.  The same cool breeze that blew in from my window, trying bravely to defeat the suffocating humidity, seemed truly reminicent of my childhood/young womanhood. The joyous laughter of children and buzzing of working machinery outside also sounded as if it could have come from my deep past.

 So many changes had happened within these past years.  Most of all, I had changed.  I've had to ...

Today I answered emails, smoothed out a problem with an employee, paid for Hershey's thyroid pills, and booked an appointment with a lawyer for Thursday.  As a treat, I had a tuna sub for my dinner, as well as a peppermint mocha frappuccino and double chocolate brownie.

Mom would have been pleased to see how well I'm doing. With every little wrinkle that comes into my life, I quickly (although with some stress and anxiety) get things straightened out.

Mom would have been pleased to see how well I'm doing, but she wouldn't have been really all that surprised.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Queen of Duct Tape

I was just going to buy one of packages of duct tape at Canadian Tire today ....

I bought nine - all fabulously colourful and unique!

 It should last me for a day or two ....

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Technical Difficulties, Again

I was going to do a lot of things today.  Yeah, sure, some things got done, which is good, but the main thing I was looking forward to getting done, didn't.

I won't bore you with the details of my computer problems.  Sufficed to say., I felt a mixture of feelings when I did finally figure it all out.  Yay, I was a genius!  Boo, I should have thought of the solution much sooner.

I swear I could hear Rob chuckling to himself and saying, "Blondeness ...."   I miss Rob teasing me with that name.

Well, anyway, I downloaded the jpegs, which Jeff had emailed to me on Saturday. I'm quite excited to start designing cards tomorrow!  He's such an incredibly talented photographer!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Slow Market Day

It was a slow market day today.  A paaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinfully slow market day, as a matter of fact.

I only made $36.00!

Still, it was a lovely Fall day.  There won't be many gems like this anymore.   I want to make the most of everything before the (dare I say it?!) snow comes.  Make hay while the sun shines, as my mother used to say!

With this feeling of joyous abandonment comes a renewed sense of hope and determination, my head full of ideas.  If St. Lawrence Market had been dismal today (and odds were that there would, most likely, be more such days), then I'd better get my ass in gear and try to change my business' future.  I'd post more of my artwork on Etsy; apply for art and business grants; and, contact the people at Pawsway to see if they'd consider selling my note cards in their store.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Focus is on Painting

I had a good, productive, and fun day.

Now I'm painting, and that's all I have to say!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Lover's Quarrel

Painting, to me, is like a lover's quarrel.

I love you!

              I HATE YOU!

                        I want to start over with somebody new...

No, no, no! Please dom't throw me away like garbage. 

                     It's just not working between us. You're not doing what I need you to.

I can try harder! (pause) You used to think I was beautiful...

                    You're HIDIOUS! I can't stand the way you just sit there and taunght me. 


                    (long pause) Okay, I guess I can give you another chance. 

An hour later...

                     I love you! You're beautiful. 

You're love makes me beautiful. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


I'm cranky!  You don't want to really hear from me.

I will say this, however: if I get woken up one more morning by excruciatingly loud racket outside of my window by garbagemen clattering bottles and other trash-like items, gathering them to take it all away -  I just might need to beat someone up!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

With a Little Help From My Friends

I can't talk right now because Jeff Bierk (  jeffbierkphotography  ) is taking photos of some of my artwork for posterity.

 And Simone Schmidt (  The Highest Order  ) is painting an anarrchy symbol on an old Halloween cape I have.  (It's for an art project I'm going to be working on later on.)

And me ... well, I'll either be working on the painting of Hank ...

or, I'll try on my new cape for size and go crime-fighting!

Look out, baddies!  Super Anne-archist is coming to get you!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Honouring Hank

Today at 1pm, Hank was put to sleep.  To honour his memory, I'm going to paint his portrait tonight.

Good night, Hank ....

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Slow, Wet Sunday

I'm in a pensive mood this evening.  Sure, I look gorgeous in my red dress and sparkly teal dress, slowly drying off from racing home in the pouring rain, and yet I feel thoughtful and, yes, sad.

I had offered to take my friend Motria out for dinner at Cafe tonight.  A few nights ago, she confided in me that she was depressed because she was extremely worried about her cat Hank.

Poor little Hank has cancer and, even though he's on medication, isn't improving in any kind of significant way.  There was discussion of euthanasia in his not too distant future.

I love giving support and comfort to my friends whenever they need it.  It makes me feel good to know I can help my friends the way they've done a million times for me. Sometimes a sympathetic ear and shoulder to cry upon are way better than any kind of drugs.

Sure, it was difficult for both of us to talk about Hank and his inexcapable demise, because it inevitably led to talking about people and pets we loved and who had left this earth.

I can't speak for Motria, but the evening left me feeling frustrated and angry at how the uniiverse is run.

And, even hours later, one question rolls around in my head, searching for an answer (the answer):


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Are You Ok, Miss?

So,  I was two thirds of the way to the market, waiting for the light to change so I could continue on my way, when this guy, walking towards me from the opposite direction, kept yelling at me, "Are you ok, miss? Miss, are you ok? Miss, are you ok?"

I rolled my eyes and looked away in annoyance. What the fuck was wrong with him for Christ's sake? Many other people have had the same kind of weird reaction to me crossing the road, so I was kind of used to it ... unfortunately.

I just don't get it. Everyday people cross the street without shocked and panicked reactions from other people. What the big deal if I cross the street on my own? I showed no sign of panic or trepidation about what I do every Saturday morning.

Don't people know I am Super Anne? Hmm ...  Maybe I need to start wearing my cape and having St. Lawrence Market send an "Anne Signal" ....

Friday, September 19, 2014


I'm sad and missing Rob. I think I'll distract myself by painting ....

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Second Day of Honouring Rob Warenda

I'm still eating KFC and pizza, and drinking scotch and whiskey, Sweety.  Maybe tomorrow I'll have coffee with my breakfast.

I hope you can taste what I'm consuming.  It would please me to know that you can enjoy your favourite things through me.  Let me be your conduit, Sweety.

I've listened to some of your favourite music, like Under My Wheels  by Alice Cooper.  And, I listened to one of your podcasts: Kicked out of Podcast Camp Toronto   You hated the sound of your own voice, but I loved it and will continue to love it and yearn to hear it again for the rest of my life.

I'm going to stay up until 3:30am, my love; to honour the last time you drew breath five years ago at that exact time.  I'll drink scotch and water with Maddie, and toast to your memory.  Stories of your kindness, gentleness, and maddening self-depreciatiom will pour forth from me.

I will love you forever, Robert Shane Warenda.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Rob Warenda Kind of Day

You were my friend, lover, muse, confidant. I laughed with you, cried with you, and went to hell and back with you.  I'd do it all over again, if I could, Rob.

I went to counselling today and talked my ass off about you! Now I'm having a party in your honour.

I love you Rob Warenda! You were one special guy and I miss you like crazy. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Worrisome Saturday

Money-wise and customer-wise it was a pretty good day at the market.  People were nice, chatty, and bought items in bulk.

Technology-wise and health-wise, however, things weren't exactly great.  My Intuit app just refused to accept my password, so I couldn't receive Visa payments from my customers.

And, although this didn't affect me directly, I was offering comfort and a sympathetic ear to two of my closest friends.

Yuula found out that her mother was in the hospital.  Later on this evening, it was confirmed that Yuula's mother had suffered a heart attack but would, hopefully, make a full recovery.  I certainly could feel for Yuula; memories of Rob, his mother, and my mother spun around and round in my head.  Heart disease is a terrible thing!

And poor Motria; her beloved cat Hank has stomach cancer.  Having had many pets over the years, I know the pain and stress of seeing a creature I love wasting away before my eyes.

Why can't my fantasies come to actuality?  Why can't I have magical powers and cure all of the good, honourable people/pets?

Oh well, maybe one day ....

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Pursuit of Happiness

To Rob, besides coffee and cigarettes and me, music was the most wonderful thing that life could offer.

It is because of Rob's love of music that I've been posting on his Facebook wall his favourite songs by his favourite artists.  For the whole month of September (the month in which his life expired five years ago); Frank Zappa, Kim Mitchell, and Max Webster etc, etc, etc will be singing tunes on Rob's wall.

Today, I added songs by Talking Heads, Spoons, and The Pursuit of Happiness.  

Rob, I hope you're enjoying the music I've chosen for you. In my mind's eye, I can see you happily jiving to these tunes.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Feeling Wiiiiiiiiiiped

Maybe it's because of the cooler weather; or because my allergies were really bad today; or because I had a dreadful night's sleep, what with my two cats fighting on top of and beneath my bed, and weird dreams of my mother and aunt invaded my mind - whatever the cause, I feel totally wiped out!

An early night tonight?  Perhaps ... unless I get my second wind!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Recurriing Dreams Part Two

It hit me like a ton of bricks.  Lately, because some of my employees have been wanting to concentrate on other things going on in their lives (going back to school; taking a well-deserved vacation; focussing on their art/music/family), shifts have had to be shuffled around, and I've had to hire and train new people to work for me.

This is just how my life works on Direct Funding, and, for the most part, I wouldn't change it for the world!  And yet ... because I've been training so many people lately; explaining to them how I eat, shower, get dressed, communicate (that's a big one!) etc, it makes me yearn for the two people who knew me the best.

This is probably why I keep dreaming of Rob and my mother ...  and of the past.  Part of me yearns for the familiar, the comfortable. With even the slightest gesture or facial expression, Rob and Mom knew what I wanted, needed, knew what I was thinking, feeling. As I've said before, losing these two people was like losing part of myself.

And the part in my dreams about buying a new house, well, that has to be symbolic of my internal struggle over "moving on" - if that's possible, or even the right term!

Rob, Mom, I love you both, and you'll always be two of the most special people to me ... but, tonight, can you please let me have a fun dream, say about Johnny Depp or Benedict Cumberbatch - or both?!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Recurring Dreams

Do you ever have dreams that tickle your brain mercilessly, dreams that tease and taunt you by only showing bits and pieces of it but never the whole picture.

It's even worse when the dream recurs over the span of several nights, seemingly almost exactly the same each time.

This is what I've been experiencing for three nights.  Images of Rob; Mom;  and the Scarborough neighbourhood, in which I grew up, float around in my skull.

 The themes are always the same:  we are all glad to see each other (and it doesn't seem odd that we can see each other); there is a lot of discussion/arguing/debating about buying/selling/renting a house in Scarborough.

At first, I racked my mind to figure out what it all meant.

And then it hit me ...!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Good Night

Wow!  I painted for four hours straight, and now it's almost midnight.

I'll save all my news until tomorrow ....

Good night.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Rascal has the right idea.  Chill out, maaaaaan!  Ain't no reason to get your fuzzy ol' tail in a knot!  I agree with you, Rascal ... although I do think you're doing too much catnip these days.

I'm definitely less stressed out than I have been recently. I finished a lot of important projects - thank god!

Now its Ahhh ...  instead of AAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! in total melt down mode.

Maybe I'll drink some wine and go to bed.

Hmmm, I wonder if Rascal would let me try some of his catnip ....

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Still Too Busy!


I still have a ton of work to do!  If it's not done tonight, I won't be able to sleep.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Too Much!

I have too much to do, too much to think about!

I'll write a longer post tomorrow ....

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Checking for Perfection

Emails:  85% completed
Texts:  100%
Cat cuddling: NEVER ENOUGH!
Buying necessities: 99%
Scheduling/planning: 85%
Trying to be the best family member, friend, boss, pet owner, activist, and artist:  A+ for effort
 Knowing that it's impossible to be perfect:  C+

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Saving The Hard Parts For Later

Hmmmmm... that title sounds very suggestive. What I meant is my greif counseling was very difficult for me today and I was going to talk about it at lenght but I think I'll talk about what cheered me up.

I decided I needed some restraunt thearapy, so Lucy and I sat on the patio of Hair of The Dog and enjoyed the beautiful weather. The food was delicious and Lucy made me laugh a lot.

After dinner we went to te drug mart and I bought a new computer speaker, and then we went to Starbucks. Lucy had a coffee and I had a frappuccino. The guy in Starbucks was happy to see me, which always makes me smile.  And then I made him smile when he asked me how many frappuccinos I have in a day and replied "Oh, maybe one, maybe two, maybe 3..."

When Lucy and I came back to my apartment I played one of my favourite new songs from YouTube. Actually it's an old song from the 1970s and sure I've heard it many times, but a couple of weeks ago Brittainy mentioned it and I played it, and I've been fascinated by it ever since. The song is called  "The Night Chicago Died"

The song is about how Al Capone and his gang shot up Chicago. What fascinates me is the fast and very upbeat tempo it has. Its so odd that they're singing about such a horrific event in American history with such zest. I wonder how they came up with the idea to write a song about this and why did they put such joyous energy into it?

Hm, maybe I'll have to listen to it one more time...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Guest Blog - Deep Dish with Simone Schmidt on the Inside Track

HI HO Readers,
This is guest blogger Simone, in for another issue of  
INSIDE TRACK: Anne Abbott's Personal Support Worker Dishes To The Extreme.

I must admit I have broken a few dishes of Anne's in my day.  Two weeks ago I dropped a beautiful purple glass bowl, and on the floor it shattered along with my self-esteem.  Some people think that being a PSW is simple work, and in many ways it is.  But simple isn't easy, and sometimes the hardest task is to hold another person's standards to a daily task that one might do differently at home.  Case in point: Cat Petting.  I often pet cats roughly in my own home, but being an extension of Anne's arm means that I must pet the cats in a kinder, more Anne way.   While I might dom in my domestic, here I must submit to the will of President Abbott.  So it goes. 

One thing you might not know about Anne is that she has 18 pairs of shoes.  Most often she opts for Punky Brewster style crazy shoes, but the option to go for a suede beige hushpuppy, or a sleek black runner is always there.   Recently she has outdone the presidential collection by purchasing some shoes that light up.

One might wonder why I am tasked with guest blogging today.  Is the president ill?  Is she negotiating yet another ill thought out free trade agreement?  Is she meeting at Remington's with the PVC lobbyists again?  No. The President, though she is a woman of many profound words, has taken a break today because she "has nothing to say."   I should say, this sounds much more dismal than it is. For every wise woman comes a moment when she pauses to reflect, and parse the thoughts that knot up her head.   Picture her brain a spaghetti ball.   Let tonight's rest allow for the fork and the spoon to act nimbly tomorrow, so that we might all be able to eat her brains again without spilling too much sauce.

The most surprising dish I ever served the President was a simple omelette on her birthday.  I never would have thought she would vear on the savoury side, and yet, after nine years in service on and off, I should not be surprised that I am surprised.

Take care all of you little saucers,
Smell you later fork lazers,
Don't be shy apple pies!

The  Presidential Aide