Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Day Today

I am making this page the colour of the sun. The colour of the sun that celebrated this glorious spring day. The colour of the sun that matched the big and little daffodils that were lured out by the warmth the sun brought to the day. And the wind was a soft wind, very quiet. A caressing wind. I didn't need to get up early this morning, I woke up with the light. And Simon and I went for a walk to and in Monarch Woods. Simon loves Monarch woods. He almost still acts like a puppy there, in and out the water, sniffing around, following trails. In the woods I found Chives and wild leek, and brought some home. Altogether we stayed out for almost three hours. We had a snack and Simon conked out with a sigh. I cleaned up the house, and by noon I said bye to Simon and Yona , and jumped on my bike. I stopped of at the UP store and did some colour copying. I stopped off at the dollar store, and bought a frame for the picture I had copied and enlarged. Then I set off on the Iron Horse Trail, up to Waterloo to visit my friend Lois who lives near Allan and Weber. We sat in her sun room and had tea and chocolates, delighting in her two Siamese cats, curled up together on a blanky on the couch. And in her wonderful plant corner with many deep red geraniums, listening to the birds outside singing their hearts out. On the way home I stopped at the city Bakery Cafe and bought some of their delicious bread. Back home I decided to be a good co-op girl and got out boards, a saw and nails and repaired the perimeter fence. The co-op cleaning day is coming up and I am not going to be there, so I started to do my bit. The fence looks acceptable again. I cleaned up the garbage around it. And then went in and conked out with Simon, after we had supper. My supper of course was fresh baked bread with different toppings. Mmm!! By almost eight o'clock pm. My friend Joanne came by and we took our dogs to the field for a bit, just to hang out. We went once around the track. That was it for Simon. When I tried to walk back partly with Joanne to her house, he sat and looked at me like I was a lunatic. So he brought me home.
And home we are. Cat. Dog and me. It's grooming time for Simon, always supervised by Yona, also receiving some strokes and playing with Simon's tail, or hiding under a rug, and then, oh then, we all go nighty, nighty, sharing the bed.

I bet anything that the sunny, yellow background won't transfer in the blog. So readers will have to imagine it.

Nigle just called to chat. He worked all day and into the night, and also tomorrow. At least he works outside, and at least he has work!. Talking with him topped up my day. I'm smiling!

Wild Thing

Monday, April 06, 2009


Working on my entry of Nico van Schaffelaar in my scrap book, taking a closer look at the numbers of his birth- and death dates, I realized how young he died. He was only 46. And only 12 years older than me. Sjees, he could've still lived, would now be 85. I wonder what happened to him. I guess that's one of the things I have to put in the "I'll never know" compartment. Nico's page is finished in my scrapbook. It looks good. I like the memory. I am now building up to a section on chocolate, spent this day to do some research. Believe it or not, it took me to the liberation of Holland from the German regime, in 1945. What does chocolate have to do with that? I remember the incoming troops bringing us cigarettes and chocolate, throwing it to the cheering and celebrating crowds. I was ten and still remembered the taste. But many younger children had never had chocolate and didn't like the taste. spitting it out. Can you believe that Larry Keller ?

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Lately I have often been thinking back to the Newspaper place I worked for In Amsterdam. Especially I wondered about a man in the lay-out and arts department who I worked with, and who often would tell me a story or give me advice about certain works of art. I was just sort of an office girl with artistic ambitions. His name was Nico van Schaffelaar.

Without hope I decided to use the new technology and Google his name as an artist and musician in Amsterdam. I was shocked to see his name come up in connection with the Newspaper we worked for and several union magazines that were printed in our building, he being mentioned as the graphic artist of many magazine covers, vacation flyers, and even music magazines, and post cards.

Now that newspaper building doesn't exist anymore. I knew that. Most of Nico's work mentioned is from the sixties. I managed to find a page with some of his art work and a small photo. Oh my God, I did recognize him. I felt excited. then I wondered if there wouldn't be a way to contact him. Then I looked at the little photo and read what it said underneath: "Nico van Schaffelaar, 1923-1969." Oh no, he died!!! I forgot that he was way in his thirties while I was still only 18. What a bummer! I'd need a medium to contact him. Create another ghost story for Marianne. Anyhow, I printed the pages with the tiny photo and the small images of his art work to keep. Maybe, I can enlarge them a bit and use them for another page in my memory scrap book.


The following is a piece of writing that I had for a while and intended to post here, because it links with the phone part of the previous post. I only thought of it now because I wanted to do another post. Please excuse me if I left spelling errors, I'm too tired to check right now.

Often that's a day dreaded. I've heard nurses and caretakers sigh about how full moon affects patients and even ordinary people. It seems to bring out weird behaviour.
I know as a fact that full moon affects myself, and people around me. When I was fighting with my partner who had M.S., he being testy and unreasonable, I in tears, it never failed when I went for a walk, and looked up, Full Moon was grinning at me.
Often my daughter used to phone me with what seemed like a total nervous breakdown, sobbing in my ear about irrational circumstances. At some point I would interrupt, “you know it is full moon, don't you?” She'd be quiet for a while, and then would start to laugh, knowing well the phenomena.
It seldom happens to me, but whenever I have a sleepless night, my body all tense and uncomfortable, my eyes wide open throughout the night, it always turns out to be full moon.
Now yesterday was full moon and something weird did happened to me. The day was laid out before me without commitments, without plans. I tried to get creative. No go. My imaginative artery was closed for the day. So I decided to be practical. Time to get my taxes done. I do not do that myself, I pay to have it done. That may seem silly since my tax return is a dead simple one. But I would cost myself more than the price of professional help, simply by making mistakes, not knowing all the loopholes. So, I crept out of my grubby stay at home clothes and made myself presentable. The Liberty Tax office is down town. I would need bus tickets. I only had one and figured I'd need another one for the return trip I also had to go to the bank to pay a bill and avoid a late charge.
My first stop was at the bank. I went in and couldn't believe my eyes. There were no customers waiting, only eagerly waiting tellers to help me. I was in and out in no time. That is weird.
My second stop was at the tobacco/lottery station at the same plaza to buy bus tickets. I walked in and my eyes were in for another surprise. No other customers in a place that always has long line ups. In no time the slip of tickets in my pocket, I was at the bus depot. Weird.
I hadn't checked the bus schedules and expected to probably just have missed the bus, and be in for a at least 15 minute wait. Ha, minutes from my arrival at the stop the bus drove up. I could go in, away from that nasty, icy, blowing wind, and settle in a cozy corner. Maybe not weird, but surely unusual.
From the downtown transportation center I walked the short distance to King Street and the tax place. Customers are taken in at a first come first attended to basis, you put your name on the list and are called up in order. I had truly expected, going by past experiences, to have at least an hour wait But believe it or not, I was called in within ten minutes. My taxes were electronically entered into cyber space. I got to choose between instant rebate or wait. I could wait and save the money for that extra service. It was done. I looked at the clock and discovered that my transfer for the bus hadn't even expired yet. I booted it to the stop, and the bus was waiting for me, instead of me having to wait for the bus. Weird was definitely taking on a different meaning.
Coming home I found a telephone bill in my mailbox. I opened it and checked if I had received my refund. At the beginning of the year I switched from rental phone to my own. Bell was informed about it the same day. On the next bill I was still charged for rental. I went through an endless phone messages system to get it corrected. Took me about an hour. But then I was told to pay the bill as is and
a refund would be on the next one. Well there was no refund on my full moon day bill but again an other rental charge. Grrr., but I kept my cool and dialed Bell.
Here comes weird again Instead of getting a machine, a real live voice answered. And the person that voice belonged to actually knew what she was doing. She listened, took notes, and said, “That's not right.” She had me wait a few minutes, came back on the phone, apologized for the inconvenience, had me cross out the amount to pay on the bill, and enter the amount less three month rental. All taken care of.
I still had to do a bit of shopping. I went to that huge Real Canadian Superstore across the street from me, and picked up my items. It was later in the evening and when I went to the self check outs, they were closed at that side, I'd have to walk all the way back to the other end again. I had forgotten to pick up a bottle of litchy drink, my favourite. I was thirsty. But also tired. I did not want to go back in. I chose the nearest cashier, and had her check me out. By the tiller sat a bottle of litchy drink. “Can I have that?” I asked. Sure enough I could have it, someone had not wanted it and left it behind. What are the chances?
If I had to do with full moon behaviour that day, it certainly was to my advantage. I saved money. Bell refund coming up. Big tax refund on its way. Saved myself a late charge. Saved a bus ticket. Saved time, and it is said that time is money. Didn't get ruffled, maintained my good mood throughout the day, and slept soundly all night, the full moon smiling at me through my bedroom window.

Friday, January 09, 2009


Am I a dinosaur?
I must seem in the eye of this world, an outdated creature. I just sort of live my life staying the same. Not in nature. I do evolve. It's when it comes to every day living. Sort of when I discovered after several years loony that there were no one dollar bills available anymore. Pity. One can fold a one dollar bill in a enveloped letter. A coin doesn't work that way. That was in the time that one dollar still meant something to a young child. Today even in a dollar store that amount ain't much use to anyone anymore. Our new 99 cent or more store, only one year in business, closed it doors after Christmas. In spite of the fact that most prices were raised to more, (much more) they went under. And of course 99 cent never was enough anyhow with tax added.
Just as alert as I was with the withdrawal of the paper dollar, I was with my phone. I still had my old Harmony phone, rented it from Ma Bell. Doing that had benefits, years ago. For example, I didn't have to bother about repairs. I could trade the old phone for a new one without cost. Anyhow, I was made aware at some point that repairs to the phone line were not covered anymore. Not like how one time lightening struck my connection and it was repaired and payed for. So I agreed to a monthly payment added to my bill to avoid high cost if ever something like that would happen again.
My old harmony phone hadn't been replaced for a long time. Apparently for many years. Where do years go anyhow? It worked more and more crappy. The pushbuttons wouldn't push in far enough unless whacked. Often not whacked enough, I got wrong connections with weird messages. So today I decided that I needed a new phone. So automatically I went through the old routines. Phoned Bell for replacement. It took me about an hour to work through phone machines, get wrong connections, or get a person (several times)who misunderstood.. I ended up in Nova Scotia. Everyone assumed, even though I started off with mentioning my land line, rented harmony phone, that I was talking about a cell phone. Sigh!
Finally I got a real woman on the line, who was patient and understanding and explained to me that I had the choice of asking for another rental phone, or much better buy my own, and stop paying rent with no benefits. And wow yeah, of course! How come it never before occurred to me to do that? How could I still live under the illusion that renting a phone was more beneficial, cost wise? Even when I already payed monthly into an emergency fund. I wasted a lot of money, poor dinosaur me.
I have a brand new phone now, a simple, black beauty. Just a phone. No extra features. Just right for a slow, backward sort of person like me. My basic phone bill will be less each month.

Wild Thing

Indian Giver?

There is this man, who eight years ago gave one of his kidneys to his wife to help her live. I don't know what all went on in and around it and between, but the thing is the marriage went on the rocks and the man now sues his wife. He wants either a phenomenal amount of money or...his kidney back.

I burst out laughing when I heard that news item. The 'hot item' came up on the View just a while ago with Whoopie almost in hysterics laughing. The serious part, I guess, is when giving a kidney back is approved in court, where will that lead for certain transplants. Can you ask back for bone marrow? Can you ask back for sperm if the resulting baby is not brought up in the religion of your choice? Ha, ha, the suggestions went wild. Wacky and wild. Man, I haven't laughed like this in a long time...Crazy world.