Dear friends, family, and peers of the disability community -
Saturday, August 26, 2023
Thursday, August 17, 2023
Sorry, everyone, for not writing as much as I should. I’m just juggling way too many things right now. Good and bad, happy times, maddening ones. Some people have been driving me nuts, while others have given me many touching and joyous moments. I’m constantly torn between wanting to do the things I want to do and the things I need to do.
Here are some photos of my niece and I celebrating her birthday; me celebrating my 65th birthday; Frida Zappa opening her birthday present, and then Watson claiming it for himself.
Afterwards, I’ll go back to working on the current schedule/pay period for my schedule and updating my finances. Oh yes, also replying to emails, schedule an interview for a potential new employee, and find out what the devil happened to the cat food I ordered a week ago.
Hopefully tomorrow I can finally finish the painting I’m working on, as well as add a little to the poem I’m writing.
Monday, July 17, 2023
I’m tired and rather upset, so I’ll give you a brief grading of my experiences all day Saturday. I promise to give more detail later when I have the chance.
A+ for St. Lawrence Market. My customers were so nice and friendly and respectful. Yay!
B- The Waterfront Woman’s Awards were about 65% good and yet 35% frustrating and humiliating. On the good side I saw my cousin Vicky (well Robs cousin actually), the dinner was delicious, and I met a few people I liked. On the bad side, I had to deal with more people treating me like I was invisible. The staff would keep asking my PSW, “What would she like?” and things like that, and I would keep spelling out on my communication board, “Please talk to me directly!”. They also sat me way at the back so I couldn’t see anything. Sure, maybe I saw a few things, but when they started the auction and the fashion show I couldn’t see anything at all because people were standing up with their fucking phones, video taping the show! If I had been placed at a closer table, there would have been no problem! However, nobody thought about my perspective in this matter at all.
F- My journey home. I should have taken a cab home with Cassandra, but I decided to wheel myself home instead. Ugh! The lighting was poor so I couldn’t see the sidewalk very well so I went onto the grass and I got stuck. Fortunately, a very nice couple helped me to get unstuck. A few minutes later, a van came inches away from hitting me. (What’s wrong with people?) When I did finally get home, I was soaking wet and exhausted.
By the way, I didn’t win an award. I didn’t care, though, I just wanted to have fun and feel included.
Friday, June 23, 2023
Sunday, June 4, 2023
Yesterday, after working at the St Lawrence Market, I stopped by Tim Horton’s and bought a box of Tim Bits for an evening snack.
Tim Horton’s always makes me think of my mom. When she was alive, she and I would meet at Tim Horton’s at College Park every Tuesday. We would sit and chat about what was happening in her life and mine. She’d have coffee or tea, and I’d have an Ice Capp and something sweet to eat, like Tim Bits or a donut.
Afterwards, Mom and I would browse the stores in the mall and then have dinner at either Cafe California or Sambucas.
Tomorrow would have been Moms 98th birthday, so I’m going to celebrate by ordering dinner from Sambucss and having a cake and finishing off the Tim Bits.
Why the odd tittle for this post you may ask? Well, about 3 weeks ago I popped in to a Tim Horton’s after the Market, and this weird thing happened to me. All of a sudden, out of the blue, there was a voice inside my head that said, “There is Nothing Which I Cannot Do.” It was like an epiphany! For these past few months I’ve been extra stressed out. There’s so much I need to do and so much I want to do. And, honestly, looking for new PSW’s, interviewing them, and then training them has been the most stressful part.
However, this brilliant phrase has given me strength to carry on. Whenever I’m stressed out I just repeat that over and over in my head and I feel better. I can’t help thinking maybe Moms spirit was in Tim Horton’s and she put that idea in my head. Mom was always there to support me and believed in me.
I love you, Mom, and miss you so terribly much! Like I always used to say, you’re the best Mom in the universe!
Sunday, May 28, 2023
The Market wasn’t very busy yesterday. I only made $31.00. And yet, it was a beautiful and sunny day and I still enjoyed myself.
At the end of the day, a woman came up to me and asked me if I could do two paintings for her. One would be a painting of her daughter (who was with her) and herself. And the other one would be her pet dog, who had just passed away. I automatically agreed to do the two portraits, of course. The woman started to cry and I comforted her by giving her a hug. I love trying to help people whenever I can. I know how terrible loss can be.
After the Market I picked up some cat food and then I went to Rexall and got myself some chocolate on sale.
When I got home, much to my surprise and delight, my friend Alana dropped by with her 6 month old baby. It it was a short visit, but it made me very happy!
All in all, it was a brilliant Saturday!
Thursday, May 18, 2023
One of my friends just asked me how I was doing. My reply was this:
I’m so incredibly busy!!!! It’s all just one big juggling act. Interviewing people, training them (letting them go if they’re a bad kind of weird), painting, and, of course, patting cats 🐈⬛🐈⬛🐈
One bad thing happened. My MasterCard got compromised, but it got straightened out. And, one good thing happened. My friend Greg invited me to a comedy show that he was hosting. That was fun! Everything balances out in the end.
Saturday, May 13, 2023
Happy birthday, Rob Warenda, my sweet, wonderful husband! You would have been been 60 years old. We would have had a party with many, many friends helping to celebrate your big day. The menu would have been Swiss Chalet, Pizza, cake and Crown Royal.
Wherever, sweetheart, I hope you’re whooping it up and having fun… and hanging out with Frank Zappa!
I love you and miss you so much! You will always be the love of my life! ❤️🥳🥂🍕😍🎂🥃🍻
Thursday, April 20, 2023
On Sunday and today, I interviewed people to see if they could work for me as another one of my PSWs. (Personal Support Workers). They both ignored my presence and talked about me in the third person to the person I was with, one of my current PSWs.
I spelled out words and phrases on my communication board, and one of my current PSWs relayed the messages to both interviewees. First the pleasantries: “Nice to meet you. Please take a seat.” An introduction to my cats, who were rubbing against their arms and shoulders. Yes, even the cats were getting more recognition than I was!
It only took me a few seconds to see that both of the interviewees were actively avoiding looking me. (I don’t know why! I’m quite attractive, with bright and cheerful clothing, and flaming red hair!) And then, a few seconds later I recognized that they were talking about me to my PSW.
With the assistance of my PSW, I communicated: “Please look at me when you’re speaking.” “Please do not talk about me in the third person. I am right here beside you..” "Do you look at your other clients and speak directly to them?"
Neither person understood my meaning, and left soon afterwards.
I should be used to this kind of ignorance, but it still hurts. At 64 years of age, I find it hard to accept that things haven't really changed since I was a child. Certainly, my family, close friends, and customers see me as a fellow human being, with the same wants and desires as anybody else. They see my values and strengths, and the contributions I make to our society.
I'm 64 years old, and I should be used to the negative attitudes of some people. Lately, though, it seems like a bit harder for me to take. I am strong. I am Anne Kathryn Abbott! And yet ... lately, I've felt tears stream down my cheeks whenever something like this happens.
I am a person, a daughter, a sister, a widow, an aunt, a niece, a friend. I am an artist, writer, political activist.
I am not invisible!
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Dancing on the Head of a Pin
I’m dancing on the head of a pin
Trying to hide the fear within.
I laugh, I grin.
I dance, I spin.
Standing upright and tall,
I do my best not to topple and fall.
Repeatedly, they try to knock me over -
There’s no place for me to run for cover.
They pelt me with troubles and woes,
But I’m determined to stay steady on my toes.
Trying to keep my balance.
Sometimes I can’t stand it anymore,
Sometimes I want to simply hide and close the door.
Their aim is accurate, it hits its mark -
All I want is to sit and cry in the dark.
I trip and stumble,
I swear and grumble,
But, still, I do not tumble.
I never stop
Dancing like a top.
I can never give in
Because if I do, they will most certainly win.
And so I spin...
Upon the head of a tiny pin
Trying to hide the fear within.