I Had a Room of My Own, Once

I had a room of my own, once

We officially called it my office

It was important to me to have my own space

Separate from mothering and wifing

Where I could be a woman

Free to create ~ something

 

I’d holler down below, to

Tell him his music was too loud

But it was just an excuse to say

“Hey, how’s it going down there?”

To let him know that I was still there

Should he want to interrupt me

 

I had a room of my own, once

A place to call mine, not shared

And now that he’s gone

I no longer want nor need it

It’s purpose has lost its appeal

Besides, I’ve taken over his chair

 

Sometimes choices are made for us

And our needs and wants change accordingly

We adapt, we learn, we grow

And now that I am in charge of my destiny

That room of my own, once needed

Now feels more like a place where I hid

 

Every now and again, dVerse calls me to participate.  This week’s host is Laura Bloomsbury who asked us to “Make Some Room”.

 

 

 

 

I’m Sorry, But, We’re Done

That’s right, Sourdough.  You and me? We’re done. Finito. Kaput.  No matter how much love I give you, you refuse to do your thing.  I had to bring in Janet into the situation for one-on-one consultations and STILL, you gave me grief.  Janet asked me what I had named you and I apologise; I had no idea.  So I gave you my favourite name:  Charlotte.  And what did you do? NOTHING.

But let me go to the beginning.  When I first decided to try my hand at sourdough – yeast having become more impossible to get than toilet paper – (and like every other Tom, Dick and Harry during the great Sit-In – so unoriginal and such a follower, am I) I followed Janet’s instructions to the letter. 50g flour, 50 g water (filtered), mix, set aside, covered, room temp. Days 5, 7, 9, I did the 50g sour, 50g flour, 50g water – keeping the discard for future waffles (which were rather good, I might add).

Days 10, 11, 12, I left you alone.  When I uncovered you, your stink made me recoil.  “It should smell pleasantly like cheesy beer.”  Ummmm. No… this was closer to vomit.  I threw you out.  Oh wait… this would not be YOU, you.  But let’s call him/her your late cousin, who shall remain nameless as well, I didn’t know.  Plus there was an orange tint to it so, I took no chances. Of course, once I posted my failure on FB, everyone who could chimed in with a NOOO don’t chuck it!  Too late. NEXT!

We decide, Janet and I, to start fresh and do a double-feed per day for three days and then bake.  Let’s see…  You looked nice

So I did my kneading (stretch, pull over, eight “corners”) every half-hour for three hours.  Followed the video, EXACTLY, the bowls, the cloth, the flour.  I was not impressed with the rise at all. But I went with it anyhoo. My boules looked nice though not huge. (Haha! I wish!)  Used my special Dutch oven, preheated, baked and… phooey.

“Looks acidified,” says Janet.  Well hell and damnation.  The crust was nice, as you can see but the crumb?  To the bin with ya.

We start over.

We do the double feed, for three days to speed up the process with the intention of trying just one loaf.  At one point Janet said you looked cold, Charlotte,

so I gave you the oven with the light on.  Barely a bubble.  We tried all sorts of feedings. Nothing.  I left you alone for a few days, figuring you were in a mood.  All you gave me was a thin crust of hardened – something.  I think my oven lights are too hot.  Skimmed off the goo. Oh! But you did smell wonderful and guess what?  Yeah. You made FABULOUS pancakes.

Will I ever try this sourdough thing again?  Maybe. I dunno that I have the patience for this type of endeavour, to tell the truth.  Ironically, I was on Twitter when I caught Lesley Chesterman’s tweet (she was a food critic for the Montreal Gazette):  “I think I’m ready to break up with my sourdough starter. Too moody, too needy, too high-maintenance, sure to let me down in the end. And a bit stinky.”  Yep. Pretty much covers my feelings.

Nota bene (or post scriptum):  Since last Monday… I have yeast, so…

****

Running Diary

For those of you who ready my post where I shared my new “love” of running… ok, ok… I don’t love it. Yet. I thought I’d bring you up to date on the last two.

Saturday was a gorgeous day and there were way too many people out.  Some were being good, some, not so much but all of them I kept my distance from. That said, off I went, enthusiastically, for my 10 X 2/2.   I made it all the way to the park where I discovered a beautiful field of flowers last year. By the looks of it, there will be more this year – Yay! Plus I ran into a couple from the golf club – chit chatted for 30 seconds, luckily during my walk part. Soon as the bell rang, I was off.

On my way back I was feeling like there was no way in hell I would complete my ten sets.  I fudged a little on the times, cutting the run parts twice by 10-15 seconds in an attempt to catch my breath.  By the time I was just past my Willow the guilt set in so I added a rep and a half to make up.  I was glad it was over.

Today was another story. Like a recalcitrant child who doesn’t want to go to bed, I dug my heels into the entry rug.  It was cold outside with a light wind and rain was threatening. Really? Do I have to? I don’t know what force pushed me out the door but it worked.  And you are right, B… nothing more satisfactory than pushing yourself to do that thing you don’t feel like.  Not only did I do my ten sets, but after the first two, I felt I could actually control my breath.  And then, after walking for four minutes, I thought… why not? And I added three more!  Woot!  My knee felt a slight twinge just as I finished the third so I made sure my stretching session was properly done.  Extremely pleased with myself today.  Oh, and, following a discussion with Monika over at Tails Around the Ranch, about her lack of belief there is anything good about running (my former belief, as well), and did I ever notice that runners never smile?  Well, guess what Monika!  I kept thinking about you and put a smile on my face every time I heard the alarm that yet another set was completed 😀

Itty-bitty magnolia

 

 

 

The Next Chapter – Crimson’s Creative Challenge #77

Good Thursday afternoon/evening, Peeps!  In looking at Crispina‘s lovely photo, I eschewed my usual “look through my own gallery to find a matchy-matchy” and instead have chosen to do something I almost never do.  A part two!  Yesterday’s Friday Fictioneers sent me down one path and today’s CCC sent me down the next one.  They are both stand-alone, but should you wish to, part one can be found here.  No pressure! If you wish to read other stories or poems inspired by this lovely cottage, click on Crispina’s name above.

The Next Chapter

That snowy day at work in February had set into motion a desire to change her circumstances.  She spent hours reflecting on what she enjoyed doing and how she could put those joys into a profitable living.  Retirement wasn’t an option yet (dammit) but the thought of throwing herself into some job for the next ten-fifteen years made her shudder.

She loved to entertain and to cook.  She also loved her quiet time.  How to balance the two?

While perusing the “Want Ads” she came across the picture of a little cottage.  An affordable one.  In the country but not too far from the city.  “That’s it!  I know exactly what I want to do…”

And so she sold her home, purchased the little cottage and opened up her Air Bnb, which also offered suppertime meals. When it was time to vacation, she simply made it unavailable.

Win? Meet, Win.

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #150 – Continuity

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Thank you, Sammi.

Where do I find my continuity?

In each breath that I breathe

In each hour that I rest

In the nourishment that feeds my body, mind, and soul

In living with truth, humour and grace

Weekend Writing Prompt #145 – Abysmal

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

I love this challenge, so thank you, Sammi.

Choices

Life is comprised of a series of aleatory happenstances. There is a fair mixture of dark and light, should we pay attention.

Those who focus only on the dark send their psyches into an abysmal place from which they feel they cannot escape.  A tragedy, if left uncared for.

Some see only the light, dismissing the dark completely; oblivious to it.  Is this a realistic choice? Is their life flat?

I like to think I am a mixture of both, taking from the dark and turning it to light, ever growing, always learning.

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #143 – Elysian

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend. How you use the prompt is up to you. Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like. Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise. If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.  Thanks, Sammi, for getting me to use a word I never use!

To Each Their Bliss

It can be found on a beach

high up on a mountain top

in the endless sea of sand that is the desert

There is no set place outside of your mind

For me, on most of my walks with

Zeke at my side or bounding ahead

My Elysian bliss is found

No matter the weather

2019 Attitude of Gratitude Challenge

Funny how things work, sometimes.  I can’t remember if it was Thursday or Friday (2nd or 3rd of January) when I thought to myself: I wonder if Dawn is doing her Attitude of Gratitude thing this year. Not two days later (or three) what do I get in my inbox but Dawn’s post! Serendipity at its best. Let’s just say that if she hadn’t, I would have been sad and maybe, just maybe, I would have done my own anyway. It’s kinda nice to be part of something that already exists, dontcha think?

The rules are really simple.  Set the timer for 15 minutes and start listing – very stream of consciousness, this thing.  I will do exactly that by listing whatever pops into my head and at the end, shall return to my list and clean up typos, remove duplicates or even maybe cheat by adding more deets to the items, because, well, if I stop to write all the whys, then my list will be shorter.  Then again, this isn’t a contest so, does it matter just how many I have? Maybe cheating won’t even be necessary!  Okay, Rogerson, just shut up and write already.

The following are the things for which I am grateful or simply bring me joy and peace:

  1. B – for what you give and what you agree to receive;
  2. My sisters – no matter what’s what, they will be there
  3. Mom – same thing, without you, I’d not be here
  4. Dad – no longer here, you still influence some of my decisions
  5. Mick – no matter that you’ve been gone five years, you are still a huge presence, not to mention a great muse for my writing
  6. Writing – the ability to share what I want to say and have people receive it
  7. Reading – we learn so much about life, the world when we open ourselves to reading
  8. Friday Fictioneers and Rochelle in particular for being the first challenge that opened me up to writing more
  9. Blogosphere – for introducing me to so many fantastic writers
  10. Friends made over the blogosphere – it’s amazing how close we can become, like you, Sawsan, now a flesh and blood friend
  11. Julie, Giselle, Linda, Cathy – my girlfriends who are there to drink, eat and be merry with
  12. My guy friends – who keep me laughing
  13. My boys – for keeping me real – whether I like it or not
  14. The scent of petrichor in the summer
  15. The sound of rain on a window when lying in bed
  16. Being able to sit outside on a covered porch when it rains
  17. Big fluffy snow in winter, especially on Christmas Day
  18. Zeke – for giving me a reason to get out and enjoy the fresh air
  19. Standing outside, and realising all is silent and being in the moment
  20. Coffee!
  21. Wine (and beer or spirits 😉 )!
  22. The sound of the wind in the marcescent leaves
  23. My house – it keeps me safe from the elements
  24. My health – it might have blips from colds but otherwise, I’m healthy
  25. DK – for introducing me to soooo many books and for being you, who shares such beautiful things
  26. My laptop – which keeps me connected to so many people
  27. Hang Outs – which allows me to chat with my bestie face-to-face
  28. Warm thick socks in the winter
  29. Dresses in the summer
  30. My capacity (capability?) to smile through the tough stuff
  31. My ability to love freely
  32. Photography – a way to capture everything that grabs my attention
  33. Sunsets
  34. Being by the water – lake, river, ocean
  35. Travel – introducing me to cultures and broadening my horizons
  36. Cooking – not only to nourish but also to show my creativity
  37. Discovering my creativity, which I was so sure I didn’t have till it was pointed out to me
  38. Movies – being able to escape into another world for a couple of hours
  39. Merril – for introducing me to poetry and inspiring me to keep trying it
  40. Frank – because you introduced me to sooo many fabulous bloggers and your concerts were the best that I was honoured to act as your Maître D’ and because I want you to know that I am going to miss you – blogging. I shall hound you elsewhere 😉
  41. Light to see
  42. Dark to rest
  43. Love, in general – amorous or friendly
  44. Sex and the joy of sharing intimacy
  45. My eyes – so I can appreciate what is out there
  46. My ears – listening to the sounds around me, music, my loved ones’ voices
  47. My limbs – though they sometimes let me know they need more limbering
  48. My sense of humour – which helps keep me out of trouble
  49. My ability to connect with people of all stations
  50. My intellect – which permits me to have proper conversations on all sorts of things
  51. My curiosity – which keeps me learning always
  52. My snarkiness, which keeps me from not being taken seriously
  53. To you authors who trusted me with your works and allowed me to be a beta reader – I am beyond chuffed

Weekend Writing Prompt #138 – Lollygag

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Lollygag

Challenge

I frankly love this word so it’s a pleasure to insert it into this little exchange. Thank you, Sammi, for hosting this party weekly.

A Question of Balance

What are you doing?

Faffing.

Not dilly-dallying?

Could be.

You are definitely doing nothing.

So? What of it?

It is lazy and you’re wasting away the day.

I disagree. It is called creating balance. One cannot always be doing.

It is wrong.

Nay, it is necessary. Come sit down and lollygag with me. You’ll see. You’ll be more productive later.

 

Dear Mick – Year 5

Dear Mick,

Five years. Five. Years. A blink of an eye, really. Time goes way too fast.  Not a single day goes by without some thought of you – sometimes with a smile, sometimes with a curse. Can you blame me?  We had a good thing going when you went and screwed things up.  No worries, though, I’m not mad at you. You definitely did not plan on leaving so soon, no matter that you said you would not live to be an old man. I’m fairly certain you meant older than 51.

You are still and will always be sorely missed by all the family and your closest friends. I get messages now and again from Paul.  And I can always count on Leonard to change his Facebook profile pic to the one of you and him. He changes it on the 11th of December and by Christmas changes it back. He has been doing it for five years now.  He calls or texts me every other week.  I also hear from John now and again. Other than that, your friends have all but disappeared.  I admit it’s a bummer to not have Armen pop by once in a blue moon but that’s life. Nothing you can do about that.

Outside of that, your spirit shows up no matter the gathering – if there are others there who knew you, there you are.  So many stories. I even wrote a poem a couple of months ago that I composed while driving home from Tracy and Sébas’ oyster party.  I have to give you credit, Mick. You have been my muse more than a few times and I suspect we’re not done in that department.

 

Iain is on his last six months for his DEP in electricity. The kid is frankly crazy. He didn’t quit his job at Moderco so he works from 6:45 to 2:00, then comes home for a bite and a smoke (yeah, I’m not too pleased with that) and off to school from 3:00 to 9:00. He’s been doing this five days per week for one and half years. Plus, they still love him over at Barbu so when he has no school or on Saturdays, he goes to work there.  He is on a mission. He plans on moving out come June/July so he works hard.  Doesn’t do much around the house to help, mind you, except make a mess when he cooks – he’s always trying some new recipe and he’s really good. When I get mad at his lack of participation in the household duties, he then gets all gung-ho and starts a bunch of things but sadly takes after his mother instead of his father so he doesn’t necessarily finish them (see side gate, plank on deck, electrical socket… sigh.) He’s a thrill-seeker who got his license to leap from planes with a parachute and this summer he even went bungee jumping. A wild card that one. Oh, and before I forget, you’d be rather pleased to know that Andre gets him to work for him in exchange for any mechanic work on Iain’s car.  He and Bill say that the little bugger is a good worker.  Would be nice if he was as valiant at home.

Aidan quit Dawson when he found his dream job as a video game tester. I was not surprised by his decision. Can you imagine being paid to play video games? Still, I like to hope he will do like I did moons ago when I decided to go back and finish my college degree at night. We shall see.  He had a lovely girlfriend but with her studying in Ottawa and her father dying of cancer, it was too much so they decided to split up.  A sad day for all.  But he has a great circle of friends – who are here quite often… He, too, needs a swift kick in the butt to help out an has moments where he does so on his own and then… nothing.  In the meantime, your baby is going through some serious stuff that I cannot help but wonder how you would have handled. Truth be told, I so wish you were here with me now to help me deal. But you’re not. So I have to keep being strong and supportive and hope his path leads him to what he wants but mostly, I just want him to be happy.

I worked for my fourth (and final) season at the golf club. I was bar tender/waitress this year which was most interesting.  While I had a lot of fun, it is still a job that is rather hard on the body and frankly, the pay ain’t all that fabulous, being a private club with its members that we see day after day after day.  I told them I wasn’t going back but I know they still have hopes – it’s rather nice to be wanted but, no thanks.  So, come January, I’ll be on the job search. It sucks considering I haven’t applied for a job since 1995!  All jobs since then have come to me.  Time to spit and polish the ole resumé.

I still like to take walks with Zeke, camera in hand, snapping away. He’s getting old our puppy.  Can you believe he is ten?  I have to be careful and not take too long walks with him because his hips are starting to feel it.  I had his teeth cleaned so finally, his breath is not knock-you-out gross! I am not looking forward to that day in the future when he goes to join you… Hopefully not for a good many years!

I finally sold the house.  Yep. Sold it but there was an open house already scheduled, so we held it.  The morning of, I go into the basement and there is a lake in the former laundry room.  Bloody hell.  Mopped it up, held the open house, declared it to the buyer and then took care of it.  Thank God for my cousin, Marc. Whatever work that needed being done, Marc came in and did them. I still owe him a very fancy supper.

I am still having a helluva time with the buyer. He has given me formal notice for, get this, noises in the pipes!  You know the ones that we hear whenever someone takes a hot shower? I didn’t declare it – coz frankly, I didn’t think of it and why would I declare something I don’t even hear anymore? I swear, if I could have ripped up his offer, I would have. I had another offer from a guy who just wanted to flip it. Too bad I had accepted the first one. This buyer has caused me and my real estate agent headaches like you could not imagine. And the worst part is, I know you would have done whatever he wanted and have been done with it. But I’m not you and I don’t have your level of good in me. So now I’m paying for my pigheadedness.

As for the house I bought – I am suffering buyer’s remorse, big time. It’s around the corner from the old one. You know the one, It was sold like two or three times in the past ten years.

There are things I didn’t see when I visited it and maybe my real estate agent wasn’t as on the ball as he could have been.  Neither here nor there. I bought the damn thing and I hate it.  Hate is a big word.  I dislike it. A lot.  I’ve been here since June 1st and still haven’t fully moved in. Of course, I left that big-ass house with all that space and have downsized as per my desire but oy. So. Much. Shit. And a lot of it is YOURS.  Working in a golf club means working all summer and weird hours so I just didn’t have time to hold a garage sale or try to get rid of shit before moving so it all came with us. And filled the garage and my room and the basement.  I am still tripping over boxes.  No way in hell we’d be in this boat if you were here.  Course, if you were still here, we wouldn’t have had to move, either.  So there you have it. I’m done whining. Just had to get it out of my system.

Christmas is in a few days, we’ll squeeze the family in here for our annual breakfast – how we are going to make it in this itty-bitty kitchen is still a mystery. I know this is odd for me but I have had zero desire to entertain in this house, thus far.

Come January, I am putting myself to work purging and doing what I didn’t have time to do before. Maybe once I’ve placed stuff, and put on a coat of paint, I’ll see the potential I must’ve seen when I decided to buy it. Learn to love it.  Silver lining: I do love the garage though. Parking my car inside has been the one thing that I have been truly happy about, so there’s that.

Your mom is slipping away so fast. She barely eats and is getting beyond thin.  She never recognizes me first thing when I arrive until I remind her who I am and then she asks me how you are doing and why aren’t you visiting with me.   It’s hard to have to tell her that you are busy working because it serves no purpose to tell her the truth. She’ll cry, be really upset and in ten minutes, ask me how you are again.

On July 1st, Hugh contacted me to tell me he lost Patrick. He died five days after his 56th birthday. A sad state of affairs. What irony that a nurse should die of a hospital error. I have since spoken to Hugh a few times and he’s having a rough go of it, which is to be expected.  Lemme tell you, you have quite the party going on up there with too many of our friends, yanno?

The boys and I are joining my sisters, their husbands, some of their kids and my mom on a cruise March 1st. I can’t tell you how much I need this.  Life was way different with you around. Summer vacations plus somewhere hot in the winter… man. Adjustments.

That guy I dated didn’t pan out.  I was done after six months. But hey, all good. I’m not looking to becoming half of a couple.  I am learning to be my own woman and just don’t feel like giving up my own power.  You held a large portion of it in the twenty years we were together and I’m getting used to not having to cede to another.  Doesn’t mean I don’t still wish you were here but just know that I’m doing all right.

You’ll never not be a part of my life.

Lotsa love,

Rog.

Weekend Writing Prompt #135 – Barricade

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Word Prompt

Barricade

Challenge

So, I feel it’s quite alright to do a weekend prompt on a Monday when there will be none the following week, right? Right.  Thanks for hosting, Sammi!

 

A Blessing and a Curse

It is both a blessing and a curse to have a welcoming disposition. There is something heartwarming about knowing that my home is inviting, that it is a place where one feels comfortably at ease and wanted.

That said, I do not live alone. And guess what? My kids’ friends also feel that my home is welcoming, inviting and a place to feel comfortably at ease and wanted.  So much so, they just waltz in, doorbell unrung!

There are days I would like to set up a barricade to keep them out!

You know those days when you just want to be in your bubble and do your own thing without having anyone breathe your air. And no matter they are downstairs and you up. They’re THERE, and you know it. Which is enough.