Category Archives: Slice of Life

Back in the Writing Space

I have been intending to come back here for so long.

This small room in our house was labelled SEWING ROOM on the blueprints we found in the attic.  When I lived alone in the house for the two months before we were married, it was my bedroom, and for twenty-four years, I have planned to use it as my writing room.

I have a wonderful desk here — made from an old pump organ that sung its songs to the heavens in an unknown little country church at the turn of the 20th century.  But for the majority of the last seven years, the desk became a place where I just tossed things that were in my way, and it waited — lonely — for me to come write.  And I never did.

Tonight that changed.  In the space of 45 minutes, I cleared off the desk, put away books, set up the Keurig, and prepared my writing space.  This is my first blog post written here, but it will not be my last.  Listening to the rain hitting the windows, I am so happy to be sitting here writing.

I have been intending to come back here for so long.  Perhaps I didn’t think I deserved it.

The Best-Laid Plans

BLINK ON – blink off – BLINK ON – bl–

My car’s name is Buzz.  He is a little red 2008 Suzuki SX4, named after Buzz Aldrin, of Apollo XI fame.  And I love him.  Most of the time.

Except for now.

BLINK ON – blink off – BLINK ON – bl–

It was all so simple, you see.  Finish tutoring, hit the highway, beat the worst of rush hour traffic, drive 20 minutes to the suburban Staples to curbside-pickup the deliciously mustard corduroy tote bag that was out of stock in town …

BLINK ON – blink off – BLINK ON – bl–

Now I’m no longer ahead of the rush hour traffic.  Oh no.  I’m the object of all those drivers’ curiosity (and, dare I say, pity?) as they zip on by me on their way home.

Looking out my driver’s side door window, I see the Staples mocking me.  “That was easy,” it taunts.

I haven’t gotten there yet.

BLINK ON – blink off – BLINK ON – bl–

The noise of my hazard lights is boring itself into my brain.

When I left my house this morning, I thought Buzz sounded a little more … aggressive … than usual.  A little more snarly.  I made a mental note to pop into the garage on Thursday, as they would be closed tomorrow.  And then — decision made — I promptly turned up the stereo.

Everything was wonderful at the beach, through the residential areas, zipping along the highway, right until I came to the last intersection before Staples.  At that point, there was a roar to rival a Harley Davidson convention, and something — metallic and important-seeming — dropped from the bottom of my car and began to drag, making rock tumbler noises along the pavement until I got safely pulled over on to the shoulder.

BLINK ON – blink off – BLINK ON – bl–

Now I am sitting here, watching the sky darken, waiting for my husband to come rescue me (again), and wondering what fell off.  Is it beat-up enough I could claim it as space junk?  Could I sell it on eBay?

Headlights appear squarely in my rearview mirror, and I can see the silhouette of my dog’s tail wagging madly in the back seat of the vehicle pulled over behind me.

Help has arrived.




Stressful Day

I’m sitting in the dark, my glasses reflecting the light of the TV and the iPad screen.

I’m having what I call “a bad eye day,” when my eyes feel they’re being stabbed by hornets, and they run like Niagara Falls.  It’s another little quirk that came with my personal dosage of rheumatoid arthritis, and most of the time it’s not that bad.  But some days — like today — the least bit of light will make me feel like I’m trying to read in a car wash, sans auto.

It’s probably stress. The US election has got me in a bit of a knot, and stress tends to exacerbate autoimmune diseases.  Makes sense.  The body feels stress, thinks it’s being threatened, and it goes on the attack.  Unfortunately, in the case of autoimmune disease, the attack is on its own body.

I’m the sort of person who has to watch.  If I know what’s going on, I feel better than if I don’t.  It will probably be a late night for me.

The irony here is that I can’t even vote — I’m Canadian — but there are so many good friends in the United States, and I want them to be healthy, happy, respected, and safe.  If I haven’t recognized their country in the past four years, I can only imagine how they feel.

This is far more political than I normally get in a public space, but it’s all that fills my head and heart today.  I hope that this country to the south of me (just an hour’s drive away) comes out of this for the better.

God bless America.


Taking Stock

I’ve decided to do something a little different for this week’s Slice of Life.  Inspired by a post by Pip on Meet Me at Mike’s, here is a little snapshot of where I am right now:

Finding: that — three weeks into my hiatus — I’m missing the practical aspects of Facebook (community events, the Teach Write prompts) far more than the newsfeed.  I expect that when I return to the platform on November 11, my time spent there (as well as what has access to my attention) will look vastly different than it did on September 30.

Wishing: myself an uneventful day.  Yesterday’s flat tire adventure has disrupted today’s plans.  So far, this week has felt like organizing loose Jello with my hands.  And it’s only Tuesday.

Cooking: frozen entrées and pizza.  I like baking, but prefer to make meals that require as little little thought and effort on my part as possible.  I’ve always said that if I won the lottery, I’d have a staff member whose primary job description would be bringing me food on a regular basis so I don’t have to think about it.

Making: a small (slightly sweary) cross stitch project.  (It’s like me: mostly sweet, but with an edge.)  I also need to start a new rughooking project.

Sipping: Starbucks black iced tea with raspberry, along with lots of water.

Reading: The Annotated Little Women (Louisa May Alcott and John Matteson) and Magic Lessons (Alice Hoffman).

Looking: forward to shopping for and sending a little care package to one of my writer friends today.

Listening: to CBC Radio, the Fleet Foxes, Duran Duran, and various Can-Con hits from the 1980s.

Enjoying: waking up naturally at 5 AM, savouring the quiet of the early morning, as everyone else in the house sleeps.

Liking: being inspired by the most recent issue of Uppercase Magazine.

Loving: the colours, smells, and rituals of autumn.  Normally I am very busy as a tour guide for cruise ship passengers at this time of year, and it all goes by in a blur.  This year I am noticing more, exploring more, photographing more.

Buying: not very much.  And I’m mostly okay with that.  When I do buy, I’m trying to shop local as much as I can, to support my neighbours and community in these “unprecedented times.”

Watching: YouTube videos of people being creative, as little news as I can while still feeling informed, and Coronation Street.   We just finished The Haunting of Bly Manor, and I enjoyed it.

Hoping: the pandemic ends sooner rather than later.

Needing: some quality time in the woods by myself.  And a tire repair.

Wearing: pyjamas, as much as possible.  😉

Noticing: how late the sun seems to be coming up these days.

Sorting: project ideas for NaNoWriMo.  I have two candidates and can’t decide between the two just yet.

Getting: itchy travelling feet.  I need to see different things than I’ve been looking at for the last month.

Craving: a trip to Walden.  When I go, it’s normally at the end of October, and I am feeling the pull so hard these days.  I miss sitting and writing on “my sit-stump” at Thoreau’s house site, and I miss my Thoreauvian friends.  I miss talking about Thoreau, Emerson, the Hawthornes, and the Alcotts in the town where they all lived.  I miss paying my respects in silent Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, and I even miss the giant catalpa tree at Thoreau Farm.  In the overall scheme of current events, it seems so small, but the sadness in my heart is so deep and so heavy.

Bookmarking: I’ve been playing Google Streetview Tourist a lot lately, including the Isle of Mull in Scotland, New York City, and Green Bay, Wisconsin (GO PACK GO!).

Coveting: This adorable (but pricey!) little house on my favourite island.

Feeling: up and down, and all around.  But still standing, and that’s the main thing.

How about you?