Wednesday 9 February 2022

Thankful Thursday

 I am thinking of beginning a Thursday post called "Thankful Thursday" where I think back to people in my past that I would like to thank, for one reason or another. 

Today, if I could, I would thank my uncle. He was an unmarried dairy farmer with wiry muscles and big tough hands with cracks in the skin and at least one blackened fingernail. He brylcreemed his hair back and once a week, he would tidy himself up and go to the local town for a few drinks with his friends.

I would thank him because he always seemed to have time for me, a little timid girl who tagged along, watched him work, asked him questions, and road on the fender of the tractor when he took loads of fresh cut grass for the cows. He took the time to show me a new batch of kittens and patiently let me give buckets of powdered calf starter to the calves. He showed me how to get the calves to suck on my fingers and then lower my hand into the bucket, so they could learn to drink from the bucket. 

He listened to me practise my speech for school over the sound of the milking equipment. He used the green hose in the milk house to wash off my rubber boots with hot water. He let me make what was probably the worst cup of instant coffee for him when he popped into the house for a moment before heading back out to the barn.

I had parents who loved me and took care of me. But a great deal of my childhood was spent at the farm where my grandmother and uncle lived. I loved the animals, the repetition and predictability of the daily chores, the changes of the season on the farm. I even loved the smells. I loved the river that ran through the farm and fishing with bamboo poles and pieces of summer sausage as bait, waiting for the cork to be pulled down from the surface of the water. I remember walking up from the river, fish swinging from the hook, holding the pole and looking around to find my uncle so he could take the fish off the hook for me!

He took me with him in the farm truck to pick up what was needed from the feed store. Sometimes he stopped in at the very tiny, like-you-stepped-back-in-time general store in an even smaller hamlet and let me choose a treat - pixie stix, or shoe string licorice, or bubble gum. 

No doubt my uncle was busy most of the time. He prided himself on the neatness of his entire operation and rarely sat idle. Yet, he made time for me and never made me feel like I was annoying him (although I likely was) or taking up his valuable time. I was not the only niece of his. He had other nieces and nephews. I was the youngest of all of them, so I assume he made the same time for any and all of them when they came to the farm. 

And so for all of that, Uncle Boyd, I thank you.

Sunday 6 February 2022

Sunday, February 6, 2022 - What's Goin' On

 "What's Goin' On", I'm tellin' you what's goin' on. Do you have Marvin Gaye in your head yet? I am sitting here, propped up on pillows on my bed, waiting for one hour to be up. 

For those of you who have been with me for a while, you may recall that at a very late age in life, I decided to get Invisaligns (like braces for your teeth, but plastic trays that you change every week that gradually straighten your teeth). I wore those buggers for more than two years, driving back and forth to the orthodontist every few weeks rain, or shine, snow storm or calm, forty-five minutes from home, or rushing from work to catch the last appointment. The trays are kept in place with buttons or attachments glued onto the fronts of your teeth, strategically. Also you may enjoy the placement of a small metal (again glued in place) post around which a tiny elastic band is wrapped, hooked onto your tray in order to pull things in a general direction. 

About a week ago, I was on my last tray and decided I'd had just about enough, regardless of how much my orthodontist coerced me into yet another twelve weeks (the whole thing has already been paid for, so it's not like he's trying to get extra money, just perfection). I did my drive in blowing snow and had my little "buttons" or attachments ground off my teeth (an interesting odor is created as this happens, hot chemical mixed with bone????). It didn't hurt, but she really had to reef on that little metal post to pry it off! My final trays, or retainers were waiting for me, but alas, they just didn't fit well, in fact I couldn't even get the bottom ones on. So the lovely lady scanned my teeth and ordered a new set (again, this is already all paid for, didn't cost me more). 

I waited about a week, and then my new retainers were available for pick up. I also mentioned to the lovely lady that I wanted to make a dentist appointment so that I could get my teeth really cleaned well and stains removed (the attachments which are super hard glue like substances stain as well as around the attachments), and she informed me that they had a product that I could just put inside my retainers that would take any remaining stains away for only $20.00. Well, hey! That sounds better than an almost $200 cost of going to the dentist (now that we are both retired we are trying to see if we can manage without paying for dental insurance - we shall see). 

And that brings us around to me sitting propped up by pillows on my bed, creating a blog post, waiting for the one hour to be up as I passively whiten my teeth. 

As well, after I picked up my retainers, I decided to continue on my journey to a nearby city to go to Winners (a discount clothing store here in Canada). I have been doing some supply teaching recently and I wanted to find maybe another couple of nice tops that I could wear for supplying at a good price. I haven't purchased clothes for myself for quite a while. 

Sometimes it's a "good Winner's day|" and sometimes it's a "bad Winner's day". Yesterday was a good one. I had time to myself to look through the racks and gather up a bunch of clothes to try on at leisure. I did NOT find any wintery tops that suited me, but I am completely prepared for warm weather now! For a subtotal of $178.93 I found six articles of clothing and one pair of shoes. Because I live in Canada, tax must be paid, so with the 13% HST (harmonized sales tax, a blend of GST, which is the goods and services tax, and the provincial sales tax). If you don't enjoy paying taxes, it's best you don't live in Canada. The tax came to $23.26, so the whole thing came to $202.19. I am well aware that there are women out there who wouldn't bat an eye at paying that entire amount for just one dress, but I have never been able to be one of those women. I felt good about what I was able to come away with.

Because I have nothing better to do, here are pictures of what I purchased:

These are both light weight and flowy. You can't tell, but the shirt pictured on the right has gold bits in amongst the flowery design. I love gold, but not too flashy. 

I also love green - many shades of green, and that sleeveless top is a sagey green colour and is also a nice weight and flows. The "dress" on the right is not photographing well, it looks more red in the picture than it is , it's in fact a deeper pink. This would be a great cover-up at the pool, or I would wear stretchy black or white shorts underneath as it is cut up the sides quite a bit.

The dress on the left looks a lot cuter worn, than it does laying on that blanket. It ties around the waist, and is again, that nice flowy polyester / spandex blend that hangs well and doesn't wrinkle. This is a pretty bold choice for me, I don't normally wear this much colour - I'm a neutrals kind of gal, but it's fun for summer and was less than $20.  The shirt on the right is more of a rich coral colour than it looks in the picture. The buttons are gold coloured. Love gold. I'd choose gold over silver every time.

Lastly, shoes. To begin with, I am a very difficult fit. I try and try and try shoes until I find something that will fit perfectly. I am a size 9 and rather narrow, but I also have to have at least a wee bit of a heel because perfectly flat messes with my knee (long story, doesn't matter). I also have to have a sturdy, hard heel under me, not these new squishy, sink-down-into-it foot beds that you seem to find on so many slippers and shoes nowadays. Immediate knee pain if I have that under foot. So, I was very surprised that these Sketchers sandals were perfect. Normally Sketchers have that squishy foot bed and I know they will be a disaster. However, these are hard, not too high, and the straps are soft and ever so slightly stretchy. I have to had something that will grip onto my narrowish foot to prevent it from sliding around, yet can't rub or I turn into an old woman with multiple band aids in strategic spots on my foot. Always an attractive look.

I have always envied women who could just slip on a pair of shoes and they fit them well, never blistering, never sliding around, just happy in their shoes. These little sandals will be great with a dress, shorts, capris...

My back is now 96% better and a huge shout out to all the professionals who manipulated, pushed, prodded, squished, and punctured my body. It's been a long haul (15 weeks, or almost 4 months for anyone who ever has a similar mishap with their body), but I can gladly say I feel so much better. There were times when I was angry at the world, or felt like this "would be my life forever", but perseverance paid off.

I am almost at my allotted stain removal hour, so I shall bid you adieu for now.