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Soup is in the big cast iron pot. It’s “Chicken Tomato Black Bean Pea Buttermilk Soup”. Basically it’s all the leftovers from my fridge. It’s actually very good because I know how to make a good soup.

Yesterday I mowed the back lawn and washed some more windows with my super cleaner. 1 cup dish soap and 1 cup cleaning (10%) vinegar. Windows are the cleanest they have ever been. Today I just puttered about and did some dusting and a few loads of laundry. Beds were changed and the bathroom was cleaned. And I added another 8 people to my family tree. Those 8 people all married and had children. You would think that would only take a few minutes but the reality is it can take hours. You have to check and recheck and then check again. One error can lead to massive problems and it’s easier to get the information correct in the first place. I have made mistakes in the past that had to be unwound and it took weeks.

Well. I wrote that sometime last week and obviously walked away.

Today I scrubbed moss off the front steps and walkway because they turn into an ice rink in the winter. It came right off with my super duper cleaner. I also made Maggie Cookies. Mostly I just can’t wait for bedtime. My husband has a cold and I feel like I am getting it now.

We had a municipal election here yesterday and 4 of the 8 people I voted for got elected. I was happy about that. Our former city council was a national embarrassment with unending chaos.

Oh! Last week I went to a soap making class. It was in a home that is about 1 minute from where I live.

This is my good friend M. We have known each other for a bobillion years.

Measuring coconut oil to the exact gram.

Almost finished.

Swirly tops for my soap.

Our finished soaps.

My friends M, K, M, and myself. They have since been cut and are now drying.

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My Women’s Group

The group I attend is called We@ving Our V0ices. I am being all cryptic on purpose to protect privacy. It is a free, open group that any woman can attend who has experienced abuse or trauma. Because of the huge waiting list to get into counselling the facilitators decided to have an open group to “focus on building knowledge, sharing wisdom and strengthening support through a cycle of topics that encourage awareness rather than disclosure of personal trauma stories. The group format provides a high level of safety and containment to support the development of safety, stability and healing for women affected by violence. By remaining open it allows for changing as well as continuing membership.”

The format used is basically the same each week. There are four questions using the similar wording and only the topic word is changed. For example, last week the topic was Judgement. The first question was, “what comes to mind when you hear the word judgement?” The floor is open and women are encouraged to share their experience or knowledge. If a woman does not want to talk, that is okay. Each bullet is a thought from a woman in the group. We talk about each bullet, sometimes at length. This last week there were 9 of us plus 2 facilitators.

The next question.

And this one,

And then the last question,

We talk for an hour then take a break then do an art project. You have to know, I am not at all artistic but that’s not the point. It’s about sitting and thoughtfully thinking about the topic and words and how we feel about them. The topic of Judgement led me to the thought of Heart Centered Judgment. About how I and we as women need to judge ourselves with loving kindness, gentleness, wisdom, mindfulness, authenticity, caring, courage and compassion.

When judging ourselves we need to dig deeper, to really get to the real answer. For example, when I am angry I want to go deeper to understand why I am angry and not judge myself about the anger. Anyway, I won’t go into why I chose each word. I just did and they have meaning to me.

I now have a big box full of my art projects. I look at them when I am struggling.

This group is powerful and has helped me so much. We have women from all different backgrounds and we help each other. I have never felt judged, only loved and accepted.

22

A few days back I came in contact with a second cousin, twice removed. We found each other on Find-a-Grave. Yes. Finding graves is a thing. It’s something I have done for people who may live somewhere in the world and want to see a picture of a headstone. If you live in say, England, you can’t just make a trip to across the world just to see a headstone so you can put a request in and someone from FAG will go find it for you. Also, the volunteers will photograph entire cemeteries and add them to Find-a-Grave. Anyway… I had tried to link some families but made an error so I contacted the photographer and we discovered we were related. He sent me 4 pages of geneology and now I am cross eyed from adding dates to my tree. And I only finished 1/3 of 1 page. But I love it.

I just remembered something that I do. It’s another bit of information that you don’t know about me. In the picture above do you see Norbert’s teepee? In the front of his teepee is an advertisement for cat food. The thing you don’t know about me is I cut out articles or pictures of things that might interest Norbert and give them to him.

The weather here has been exceptional. It’s absolutely gorgeous. A perfect fall day. Warm and sunny but the nights are cool.

Tomorrow I am going to post at what happens at my woman’s group and some of the projects I have done.

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Husband is out of town and I have been puttering about. I cut my bangs myself and they don’t look horrible. It probably would have been a good idea to go to the person who usually cuts my hair but that would mean going out. I hate going out. I also reseasoned all my cast iron which I intended to do on Saturday but didn’t get to it until today. They are currently cooling in the oven.

What else? Yesterday my son and I went out to practice his driving. He is getting very good and I will not worry about him. He is a very careful and thoughtful person. He always has been. This was the boy that would stand at the coffee table at two years old and do 100 piece puzzles. He would work on them for hours. After driving we came back to my place I had turned on Little House on the Prairie. Now, when my kids were little I could not afford cable TV so all we had were DVD’s. Little House on the Prairie were some of the DVD’s we had and we watched them over and over and over again. Even though he is an adult he wanted to watch a couple of episodes with me. See? Is this the type of person that will drive recklessly?

Our neighbour is mowing her lawn. I need to do ours. It has been raining but there’s also been a lot of sun so it’s growing really fast. It needs to be cut at least one more time before I won’t need to do it again until spring. I am fussy about the lawn. It’s the first thing you see when you look at a house and I like the lawn to look nice.

Tonight I’m going to my woman’s support group for women who have experienced abuse and trauma. I love this group. It starts with a discussion on a topic like self-care or safety or gratitude. Then we do an art project. It’s the best part of my week even though it involves going out.

Do you remember when I mentioned that my daughter is now dating a boy that she used to be friends with when they were small? His mom must have taken this picture. They are about 5 here. I look at this picture and forget how tiny she was. She looks like she is closer to 3. She was in the 3rd percentile for years. My god, wasn’t she cute? So was her boyfriend. Awww!

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This calms my weary brain and aching soul. It brings this confusing life into focus. It makes this tilted world straight. Listen with headphones. If you don’t know me, this will tell you who I am more than a lifetime of blogging ever could.

20

Worse Mood Than Yesterday

Actually, I am at a one bar on the bad mood meter. I am in a foul and cranky mood today. Dinner guest was pleasant enough but didn’t lift a finger. Nor did she thank us for dinner.

And…

Trump. Kavanaugh. Cosby. Women being oppressed every single day that this planet has been spinning. Rain. Cold. Dark. Torn rotator cuff.

I feel so fucking old today. I look in the mirror and I just see old. Those of you who are older have to understand that this is the oldest I have ever been. When did all my hair turn grey? Why does my face look like a potato? Why do my hips ache? Why am I never not tired?

I miss my mom. Thanksgiving used to mean big family celebrations but now the family is scattered. When my mom died nobody told me that my (step) dad would be out of the country for 6 months of the year and when he is here he is going to be three hours away. Nobody told me that holidays were going to be spent alone. So. Fucking. Lonely.

Great. Now I am crying.

I just hate everything today. When my shoulder aches like it is right now I get so angry. I was raised to work hard. To leave everything better than I found it. To be good to your coworkers and help them no matter what. To respect management. In return, after I fell at work and tore my rotator cuff my employer hired a lawyer to fight my case to say I didn’t hurt it at work. I know I hurt it at work. I would bet the lives of my children on it. I never have expected praise or accolades for a job well done but I did expect a level playing field. I expected my employer to look after me if I hurt myself at work.

Today would be a good day for MJ oil but I am out and have been out for months because my antidepressant is working but today is just dark.

Even Norbert has abandoned me.

Fuck it. I’m going to eat brownies.

39

I am in a bloody awful mood. In the past I have mentioned certain company that invites herself for dinner. She only ever calls when she is passing through town and wants dinner. She always shows up late. It’s almost 6:00 and she isn’t here yet. In my world you ask what time dinner will be and show up accordingly. She never offers to bring anything. Even if she did I would say no but it’s just fucking polite to say, what can we bring? She never helps with tidying up. Just fucking rude. This is the third holiday she has wanted to come for dinner. Once she invited herself on Christmas Day. Christmas. Day. Yeah, sure. We don’t talk to you ever but come to our house on Christmas Day and we will cancel all our plans with our family and wait all fucking day for you to show up whenever you want. Another time she invited herself on Thanksgiving. I have had enough. Next time she invites herself we will meet her at a restaurant. She is my husband’s ex sister-in-law (his estranged brother’s ex-wife) and my husband wants to see his niece or I would not be cooking dinner at all. The part that pisses me off the most is she flirts with my husband.

It doesn’t help that my shoulder has been really sore the last 2 days. My tolerance for dealing with assholes is low. It’s hard to be nice when in pain.

It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada. Happy Thanksgiving! Even though I am a grumpy bitch I am so grateful for all I have. I am very thankful for all of you.

Addendum. We were just discussing strategies for making sure she never invites herself again.

I could clean Norbert’s litterbox, not wash my hands and serve dinner.

My husband could pee in the kitchen sink.

I could sit on the kitchen counter and cut my toenails. Big thick big toe nails and leave them there.

What ideas do you have?