We Are Not Alone…

Hi Nat, Just a heads up–something got into the garbage last night.  There’s garbage on the grass near the BBQ.  Are there bears here?  Nanette

Nanette, I’ll send someone to clean it up.  It wasn’t a bear.  We don’t have them here.  Warm Regards, Nat

Three days later I almost stepped in this.  It’s less than two metres from my front door.

I’m no scatologist, but I don’t believe this was left by chipmunk or Chihuahua.

Sigh–sometimes it’s not easy being Canadian.

Anyone know when bears hibernate?006



Indoor Camping

009Being a long-term tenant in a vacation cottage isn’t all positive.

For one thing, there’s no bathtub.  The teeny tiny shower stall is about the size of a coffin standing on end.  Only someone much smaller and infinitely more flexible than me (think Kathy Rigby at her Olympics peak) would be able to shave her legs without leaving big tufts of stubble artfully arranged along shins and calves.

The pint sized bar fridge has zero freezer space–buh bye ice-cream!

The joy of functioning with no fixed address cannot be fully appreciated until one has attempted it.  I learned this when I went to renew my car insurance and update my driver’s license yesterday.  D is generously allowing me to use her home in Vancouver as my mailing address, but the local authorities need to know where I actually live…you know, incase the RCMP need to find me in a hurry.  (Oooh–I hope they’re wearing red serge when they come!)  I ended up with official, government-issued stickers for my license and Care Card with “Heron Cottage…” on them.

But there are some benefits to living the all-inclusive lifestyle:

Heat!  I’m notoriously stingy with heat when I’m paying for it myself.  My philosophy is to suck it up and bundle up so I can use the money saved on heating oil for shoes and handbags…but since heat’s included in my rent at the cottage, I might as well enjoy it.  Bonus:  I always know where to find my little hairy friend when the heat’s on.  She’s cuddled up in front of the register, basking in the warmth.

Size.  I’ve always felt safe in small spaces, and I’ve been obsessed with tiny house websites for years.  My cottage is a mere 600 square feet over 1 1/2 stories.  Although I’d add some storage (and a bathtub!) if this was my permanent home, I’m loving the size.  It’s enough for me, with room for my Boy when he comes to visit.  Things that go bump in the night don’t even scare me because there’s no where for intruders, ghosts, vampires, etc. to hide.

The cool factor.  Most people act like my current lifestyle is some awesome never ending holiday when I tell them where I live.  Clearly they’ve never lived in a vacation property fulltime, but it does feel good to be the recipient of a little envy while my life is so topsy turvy.


Thoughts Have Power–Spooooky!

A couple of weeks ago when I blogged about my thrifting success, I mentioned a studded hot pink leather jacket as a MADE UP example of something I shouldn’t buy just because it’s cheap and available.

Guess what I saw in the consignment store window yesterday??? A studded hot pink leather jacket!  Spooky, no?

Did I have a premonition that such an item would turn up?

Did my thoughts actually cause this particular jacket to appear in the consignment store?

Frankly, I don’t know which scenario is creepier.

I’ve been reading Joel Osteen as an antidote to all my negativity.  Not only is he super successful, but he’s relentlessly upbeat.  He says God will listen and bring us what we ask for if we say affirmative things about ourselves.  I don’t know if it works, but I’ve made a concerted effort towards positive self-talk since reading “The Power of I Am.”

It’ll really suck if after months of telling myself I’m financially secure and my future is bright, all I get is a hot pink studded leather jacket.


Addicted to the Nette

Friday evenings are low key in my little world.

First stop after the hustle and bustle of the work week–the grocery store!  I love food and I adore shopping, so grocery shopping isn’t a chore for me.

Next:  get up close and personal with some inexpensive Chardonnay and my trusty old laptop until bedtime.

I’d like to say I’m working on the next great Canadian novel, but in reality, I’m blogging or surfing aimlessly until I feel like it’s not too early to fire up the Netflix.  (I did say my Fridays were low key!)  Right now, I’m into reality shows.  (Bondi Ink has me seriously rethinking my decision to stop at just one tattoo.)

I realize it’s not much, but it’s all I’ve got at this point as I adjust to the catastrophic changes in my life.

Imagine my distress when I discovered the Wifi in the cottage had mysteriously disappeared!  I can’t even say it’s Missing in Action, which sounds deliciously dramatic, as there is zero action happening.

Management says the problem will be sorted soon, but as of this morning I’m heading into 24 hours off line–ugh!!!

Things you can’t do without the nette:

Get a hair cut because you can’t google salons in the area or check out reviews.

Order pizza (gooey melted cheese makes everything better!) because you don’t know the number of the local pizza place and you can’t google pizza restaurants.

Schedule that over due oil change for the car because…well you get the idea.

Things you can do sans the nette:

Read, knit, cuddle your aging Chihuahua and handwrite the introduction to that anti-Sailor rant (AKA memoir) you’re thinking of writing.

And the number one thing you can do when you’re offline–hang out at Starbucks with the other folks who take advantage of the expensive coffee and free Wifi.


A Shoe Review–hmm

It is a well known fact that nature’s most perfect shoe is the ballet flat.

This style can be worn with everything–jeans, trousers, dresses, your old high school rugby uniform.  (Okay, maybe you can’t literally wear them with everything, but almost!)

I never say no to a beautiful, well-made pair of leather ballet flats, so I had a happy heart when I discovered these lovely French Sole shoes.

For those unfamiliar with French Sole, they’re high fliers in the exciting world of ballet flats.  Don’t believe me?  Kate Middleton was once photographed grocery shopping in a pair of French Soles back before she had a team of servants doing her Tesco runs for her.

Living in a small town, I normally don’t get to shop in the kind of high class store that sells French Soles…until I found these beauties in a consignment store.

I had a Cinderella/glass slipper moment when I slipped them on.  That’s how perfectly they fit me.

Best of all–they were $20!  I felt like I was taking advantage of the shopkeeper.

I’m delighted with my purchase, although I do wonder why I’ve suddenly started buying so much used stuff.

The old me wouldn’t have even considered wearing someone else’s old shoes.

New, nearly divorced me brags about it.

Now that’s something that makes me go, hmm.

Cardigan Power–grrr!

Now that fall is in the air, (I think autumn makes her official arrival on the 21st) I’m putting away my summer dresses and transitioning into my cool weather uniform of jeans or leggings and a cardigan.

I’m still in ballet flats, but when the rains come, I’ll switch to riding boots.

Clearly, I love a good cardigan.  I’ve worn them since middle school.

My cardigan collection is mostly wool, but I have a one or two in cashmere (thank you, annual Boxing Day Sale!)  Lately, though, I’ve added a couple in cotton.  It’s a genius move because it allows me to start wearing this beloved staple before it gets really cold.

That’s right–I’ve extended cardigan season!  This is big in my little world.

However, as exciting as cotton is, colour is the real game changer!

Black is my preferred cardigan colour, followed closely by charcoal grey.  Navy is a distant third.

But…divorce, new job, new town…why not colour???

Today’s duck egg blue was a stretch for me, but I still felt like myself because I had on my comfy Not Your Daughter’s Jeans and my favourite Geox ballet flats.

Is this a fashion turning point for me???  Will I be wearing pullovers by mid-winter?

Your Story

I’m reading “Your Story:  How to Write it so Others Will Want to Read it” by Joanne Fedler.

I love the way it’s written in short (often very short) chapters, each containing a nugget of advice.  I’ve had a hard time getting into books lately because my attention span has shrunk–alarmingly.  Another sign of divorce-related stress?  I hope so.  I don’t want to consider this new development may be permanent!

I was drawn to this book because The Grey Divorcee, like my previous blog, is my story.  For someone who lives a remarkably unremarkable life, I spend a great deal of time writing about myself.  Hopefully the tips I get from Joanne Fedler will make my blog a little more interesting for my reader(s).

Maybe down the road, I’ll attempt a memoir.  I actually started one once about the only period in my life that was interesting.  (Did I tell you about that time I lived on the largest ammo depot in Western Europe?)

Possible titles for my future memoir:

My 15-Year Divorce (Yes, that’s really how long this doomed marriage has been on life-support, and there’s still no end date in sight!  How do people manage multiple marriages???  I’ll be an Old Age Pensioner before I complete my first divorce!)

Don’t Marry the First Person Who Asks You! (Disclaimer:  this line is from Corner Gas, but it sums up my feelings toward the Sailor and our rotten to the core marriage so well, I had to borrow it.)

Marriage:  It’s Not a Fairy Tale (I got so caught up in the “happily ever after” myth that I ignored the stinking mess of lies and deception my marriage became.  Toss in a dose of guilt over making Darling Son a child of divorce, and it’s easy to see how I became a tired and downtrodden 50-something struggling to get through a divorce.)

What would you title your memoir?





Thrifting for Dummies

Thrift stores are awesome in upscale communities!

I guess it stands to reason that people with more disposable income will have better stuff to donate.

I discovered two fabulous thrift shops downtown.

They were clean, well-organized, and neither had that dusty, musty, nasty smell you sometimes get in shops selling used goods.

Normally, I’m a look, but don’t touch kind of girl when I go thrifting.

Why do I even bother looking, you ask.  Even through I’m slightly grossed out by the idea of buying someone else’s cast-offs, I just can’t resist browsing.  Examining all the stuff other people got rid of satisfies my nosier instincts.

Given my sketchy thrifting history, I surprised myself when I filled two bags full of new to me treasures.

If you can put aside the irony of taking advice from someone who has only done an activity once, I’d like to share my four super duper helpful thrifting tips.

  1. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need just because it’s cheap!  I picked up a black leather blazer that looks like it’s never been worn.  I don’t wear leather other than shoes and handbags, but a black leather blazer will fit into my fairly conservative wardrobe, and I look forward to becoming the kind of confident, kick-ass woman who wears black leather!  Now if it had been a hot pink studded motorcycle jacket?  I would have left that awesome garment to a woman with more panache because I’m just not the pink leather type.
  2. If you see something you know you’ll need in the near future, snap it up!  After much internal deliberation, I bought a beautiful homemade Halloween costume.  I was going to pass it by until I realized how much I hate hunting for cheap yet awesome costumes the night before All Hallow’s Eve.  My Victorian lady gown is ready to go, and was much MUCH cheaper than anything I’d find at Walmart under the dreaded costume time crunch.
  3. Check things carefully before you buy!  I found a few books, but didn’t commit to them until I’d flipped through each, slowly, multiple times.  I’m no dummy…I’ve heard the toe-curling stories of live bed bugs in library books–ewww!
  4. If you’re thinking of trying something new, but don’t want to commit to buying all the supplies and equipment, thrifting is the way to go.  I picked up a new hobby at the thrift shop–a bag of (new) fuzzy pink yarn and a pair of used knitting needles.  I’m teaching myself to knit this winter!  Right now I’m envisioning a cozy cable knit sweater for the dog or some thick socks for me, but the reality will probably be a misshapen oblong I’ll call a scarf.  I’ve been wanting to try knitting for a while now, but I know myself well enough to admit I’m likely too lazy to put in the time and effort to become a skilled knits-woman.  If the knitting doesn’t work out, I’m only out a couple of loonies because I thrifted my supplies.

Unbelievably my haul was under $20.  Quite affordable for a single gal who’s supporting an elderly neurotic Chihuahua and a high-priced divorce lawyer.

What’s the best thing you ever bought in a thrift shop?

We Have a Bleeder!!!

There’s a gorgeous bakery downtown.

It’s on the corner of Delicious Cowboy Cookies and Scrummy Homemade Pizza.

And lattes…robust, creamy coffee that’s good enough to make you look forward to your alarm clock’s morning scream.

The Bakery (yes, that’s its name–simplicity at its finest!) even has outdoor seating, a must for the girl with an anxious Chihuahua.

In need of some TLC and a little treat, I gathered up my furry friend and headed for The Bakery.

I enjoyed caffeine and a blueberry scone while she basked in the ultimate joy of spending an afternoon with moi.

I smiled at friendly townsfolk passing by.

Even though I’m alone in a strange town, going through an ugly divorce and adjusting to a new job, I found beauty and happiness in the little things in life.

For the first time I started to feel hopeful.

Then the dog got her leash tangled around the base of the table and I stood to unwind it.

I forgot about the super dangerous, metal support beams that I can’t believe haven’t been removed by some vigilant health and safety committee somewhere.

Sitting down, I slammed the back of my head into that metal bar hard enough to bring tears to my eyes.

I tentatively touched the point of impact.

Instead of a nice reassuring bump…I felt something warm and wet.

Blood!!!  Ack!  My head was bleeding!!!

Blood was coming out of my head!

I’m squeamish at the best of times, but especially so when the blood I see is my own.

Those positive sugar and caffeine vibes disappeared.  My bottom lip may have quivered and there may have been a few terrified yet dignified tears.

The good news is I didn’t need stitches.  It was just an abrasion, which I believe means a big scary cut on a place where you don’t want one.

I also learned where the hospital is should I ever go to that %$!$ bakery again.

And I’m up date on my tetanus shot thanks to the painful jab from the Emergency Room nurse.

Best of all, I learned how self-reliant I am.  I can deal with adversity on my own…even if it involves blood.