Old Dog . . . No Tricks

When I started at Club Pricey Freeze they said I’d be trained as a cashier after I’d been a cashier’s assistant for a while.

Cashiers are the rock stars of the front end. They get paid more than their lowly assistants…plus they don’t do the heavy lifting (literally) of the check out line. It’s the assistant who hoists huge bags of dog food, flats of Diet Coke, enormous frozen turkeys, etc back into the carts after the cashier scans them.

Many of the cashiers with whom I worked when I first started were new to the big Club Pricey Freeze tills. They regularly made mistakes, often calling the supervisor to get them out of their financial scrapes as they learned the ropes. Practice does indeed make perfect, and they worked through their issues, becoming competent cashiers

I got a till tutorial before Christmas, and finally got some till time during the pre-holiday shopping frenzy.

I thought I did okay.

Apparently the Club Pricey Freeze management team didn’t agree. Since Christmas, I haven’t worked as a cashier. I spend my entire eight hour shift loading heavy groceries while everyone else gets time at the tills.

I’m literally the only front end staff member who never gets to run a cash register.

Surely if I’d screwed up in some major fashion, someone would’ve told me.

To say it’s impacted my self-esteem is an understatement.

A Retired Day

Murphy and I went on a little road trip to experience a delicious “Retired Day.” (I was a Monday to Friday worker bee for so long that a weekday off still feels like a novelty.)

We went to Qualicum Beach, one of my favourite places and just about the prettiest little town anywhere. FYI: Qualicum Beach is also where O and I had our first two dates, so it’s got a special place in my heart for that reason.

We stuck to the forest and the village on our most recent visit, but the nearby beach is amazing, too.

Ye olde English-style buildings downtown.
Don’t you want to see what’s behind door #13? With a silver lame wing back chair and a rainbow on the outside, I’m sure the inside is stylin!
Murphy living his best life in the forest!
Nachos and wine at Lefty’s Restaurant–the perfect lunch!
This little cottage on the main street is my dream house!

Pop Goes the Tire!

Local news sources call them “car eating potholes.”

They’re right.

The other night I passed about a dozen cars on the shoulder of the Island Highway, hazard lights twinkling like a Christmas trees.

Then…a mighty bang and my little car limped forward making a horrible noise. Sensing something was amiss, I pulled over. A quick external examination revealed a flat tire, missing hubcap, broken mud flap and bent rim. Quite the automotive combo.

With only about a quarter charge left on my cell phone battery, I debated who to call.

Toyota Roadside Assistance proved to be more than useless. Although I answered “no” when asked if I was stranded in a safe place, I never actually spoke to a human. I listened to about twenty-five minutes of elevator music before giving up, and googling local tow truck operators.

Local businesses weren’t answering their phones, either. I later learned this was because they were otherwise engaged rescuing dozens of other stranded motorists on BC’s Highway to Hell. Apparently one tow truck driver was struck by a car that night. (See, Toyota, I told you it wasn’t a safe place!)

Eventually I gave up on society and called O.

He gathered up lights and tools and drove off into the night on that unsafe highway to change my tire and rescue me.

I got home safe and sound to begin the process of getting my damaged tire and rim repaired and decompress from my rough driving experience.

Thank you, O!

“If this is going any further…”

I work with lots of women at Club Pricey Freeze.

A few of my more seasoned co-workers are single. The unattached ones (and some of the married ones) are interested in how I met my late-in-life beau.

I get it.

Meeting a significant other can be challenging. Add in the baggage carried by the average 50-something, and finding love can seem impossible. Stir in a global pandemic heading into its third year and you might as well give up and get thee to a nunnery.

Flo, a bubbly purple-haired grandma/cashier, shared that she’s dipped her toe into the pool of online dating. She’d gone so far as to exchange a few messages with a prospective suitor.

“I had a good feeling about him,” she began. “Then he said if this was going any further, I’d have to send him a picture of my feet.”

“Your feet?” I asked.

She nodded. “I’d just finished work, and they were swollen with sock marks on my ankles. It just didn’t seem like a good idea.”

If it doesn’t seem like a good idea, it usually isn’t.

100 Day Dress Challenge

I’m wearing the same dress for 100 days straight!

Yes, you read that correctly. A small company called Wooland (Wool&) came up with an intriguing marketing idea. They challenged their customers to wear one of their merino blend dresses for 100 days straight.

What’s the catch, you ask? There isn’t one.

Once the challenge is completed and 100 photos documenting your dress journey are submitted to Wool&, they send successful participants a coupon code to order another one of their merino dresses.

I’m doing my challenge in their Maggie dress. It’s a short sleeved scoop neck in a fine woolen knit, so it lends itself to a variety of looks. Since it’s been super cold this last little while, I was relieved to discover that my dress is a layering champ. I’ve been wearing shirts under it and sweaters over it all along.

Since it’s often layered and not next to my skin, I don’t need to wash it every day. It’s machine washable and dries nicely overnight when it does need to be freshened up. My Maggie gets bonus points because dog hair doesn’t stick to it.

I’m on day 35, and I’m not going to lie–I’m looking forward to day 101, and a return to the rest of my neglected wardrobe. But I’ve got my eye on the prize, so I’m not ready to give up.

Nature Gal!

O, the fab new man in my life, is very outdoorsy. Since I’m ridiculously prone to peer pressure, I’ve become one with nature myself.

What does this look like, you might be asking. How does an indoor cat like me suddenly adjust to an outdoor lifestyle?

There’s been lots of camping! O introduced me to the joys of winter camping, something I’d never considered before. We camp when the weather’s good, too. Last summer, we spent almost a month wandering across BC and Alberta–my longest camping extravaganza ever. It was so amazing, we’re planning another adventure this summer.

Woodland hikes have become a regular activity. Most days we’re together involve long rambles through the forest–often followed by a pub lunch.

Finally, I’m slowly acquiring a super practical outdoor wardrobe that includes a water resistant merino toque, Hunter boots and warm wooly mittens.

I’m almost (but not quite!) as at home in the woods as I am at the mall.

Where to Start???

It’s been two years since I blogged.

So much has changed, yet much is still the same.

I lost Penny, my beloved Chihuahua, over a year ago. She and I were together fifteen years. Of all the dogs I’ve loved, she was the special-est. She’ll be the one waiting for me when it’s my turn to cross over the rainbow ridge into eternity.

Although Penny is irreplaceable, a house without a dog is not a home. I have another puppy–a feisty American Eskimo named Murphy.

I retired from teaching in June, and moved to a beach-side resort on the other side of the island.

Although I was done with teaching, I wasn’t ready to do nothing. Now I work at a grocery store–a seasonal Christmas job that became permanent. I quite enjoy being a cashier, but I’m not very fast, so I spend most of my shifts packing groceries for the real talent at Club Pricey Freeze. (I’m not allowed to mention my employer on social media, so that’s a made up name.)

And, perhaps best of all, I have a new man. He’s kind and generous and handsome. I feel safe and cared for when I’m with him. More about him (much more!) in later posts.

What hasn’t changed? I still think about things too much and waste endless amounts of energy second guessing every decision I make.

…And I’m looking forward to blogging again.

It’s a Good Thing!

My obsession with small living spaces continues, so this tiny, Tiffany blue trailer made my day.  I wasn’t able to get a better picture as the door was open and I didn’t want the occupants to think I’m a creepy stalker.

Cookie dough that’s meant to be eaten raw!  What more can I say to make this better?  Cookie dough is one of the best things on the planet, so learning I can now indulge without making myself sick is truly a blessing.

Frankie the tortoise!  She lives in the school library (along with three small frogs and an aquarium full of stick insects.)  Normally, I favor fluffy, cuddly creatures, but there’s something about Frankie’s dinosaur-like demeanor that has won me over.

Small Town Sunday

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Heading back to work after the long, lazy summer has been…challenging.

I miss blogging, but haven’t had the energy (or any interesting experiences) to share.  I went to yoga on Sunday to combat my malaise.

Yoga has magic properties that make me feel relaxed and healthy.  I always leave the class feeling better than I did when I went in.

It was perfect until the woman next to me started grunting and cursing every time she found a pose challenging.  Judging by her colourful language, she really struggled with the class.

Let’s just say, I didn’t get the calm, peaceful experience  I craved.

Afterward, I went to Starbucks.  It was a crisp sunny afternoon, so I sat outside to enjoy my coffee and unwind from the stressful yoga experience.  I wanted quiet to regroup.

I hadn’t even started my muffin when an adolescent turned up.

“I remember you from elementary school,” he announced sitting down.  “When I saw you, I had to come and say hi.”

I didn’t let on that I couldn’t recall him.  (Although I worked at his school, I don’t think I taught him.)  We chatted about his bike (he prefers riding it to video games!) and his recent transition to high school.

I didn’t get my solitary latte interlude, but I did get a sweet small town teacher moment.  It felt good that a former student felt comfortable enough to stop and talk to me.

Work has been crazy busy this year, but maybe it’s worth it if I’m making positive connections with kids.

 

 

I’m Beet!

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Getting back into the school routine has been…exhausting.

I’m taking a number of steps to promote well being.

I went to yoga on Sunday.  Since I hadn’t been for a while, some of the poses were difficult.  After this challenging class, I almost knocked the instructor over as I left the studio.  It was a physical Freudian Slip.

Then I bought an assortment of vegetables to roast for quick weeknight dinners.  I’m hoping to give myself a dose of energy and the healthy glow of a vegan.

As well as being delicious, the beets had the added benefit of turning everything they touched a glorious shade of pink.