Life in progress


#SoCS – I Can’t Believe it’s not Margarine

I grew up on butter, never margarine. My family hated the taste of it. And back when I was a child, it had a terrible flavor, kinda like butter that had gone slightly off. I don’t know how my mother always kept the butter so fresh. She must have used a lot of it, because it was never kept in the fridge. There was nothing quite as frustrating as trying to spread cold butter on fresh bread.

When I was an adult, I gave up on butter, but by then, margarine had improved. When I moved to Quebec (the province), I regularly bought what started out as margarine but they changed the name of it. To “Non-Hydrogenated Soy Spread.” No mention of margarine anywhere on the container. But it tasted like margarine, which, by that time, mostly tasted like butter.

I’m back to “Margarine” now–at least that’s what it says on the container. I miss butter. But we still call the stuff we put on our toast “Non-Hydrogenated Soy Spread” because why not?

It’s funnier. And it’s a mouthful. And who doesn’t want a mouthful when it comes to non-hydrogenated soy spread?

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley!

This very late, definitely non-hydrogenated post was brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Find the prompt here and join in!


#SoCS – Misty

As I come to the end of a full year of being sequestered in my home with my three kids, I’m looking back and thinking never has there been a year so slow and yet so very focused. So focused, in fact that there aren’t many moments I think I’m forgetting. It’s the least misty year in my existence.

Because I haven’t done anything. I can remember details like beginning the year going to the grocery store on Fridays, and gradually working all the way back to Thursdays, Wednesdays, Tuesdays, Mondays and now Sundays. I haven’t been inside a store on a Saturday all year.

Imagine remembering that kind of thing in a normal year?

I’ve written stories–books, even. I’ve published two books and one short story. I’ve moved from sitting on the couch to a desk in the spare bedroom. I’ve been to two–count ’em–TWO live concerts in Japan without leaving my house. And I’ve learned that “zoom” isn’t just what cars do as they go by. I’ve walked more than a million steps without leaving my neighbourhood.

And I’ve had the honour of spending more time with my kids than I knew I could without going insane.

How has your year been?

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley!

This very late, decidedly unmisty post was brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Find the prompt here and join in!


#SoCS – News

News from the front

(Assuming where I am is the front, since the prompt originates here … at the front.)

I killed two birds with one stone today. Going out once, that is, and getting two things done.

I visited my mum for the first time at the nursing home since she moved in in June. We sat and chatted about the same things over and over again for an hour. Nothing ever gets old, ironically.

Then I braved the (mostly empty) mall. Shoe store and Toys ‘R’ Us. No line-ups, just the way I like it. I really, seriously, have to get my Christmas shopping done within the next couple of weeks.

If only …

Ugh, I don’t want to complain.

Okay, so I’ll just say it.

Good news first?

Bad news first?

I can’t hear you, so I’ll decide.

I still have the tinnitus, but I’m able to ignore it.

And the heartburn seems to have pretty much cleared up. Yay!

But now I have a frozen shoulder again. And I have no idea why.

It’s the left one this time, which is helpful.

But it still sucks.

Getting old.

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley!

This post from the front was brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Find the prompt here and join in!


#SoCS – Collars up

After what I believe might have been the hottest summer since I’ve lived in this part of Ontario–on record? maybe not–it’s cooled down enough that I have to pull my collar up if I go out at night. It’s winter-coat time if you spend too much time out there.

Crazy weather.

But (touch wood) at least we’re not on fire. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow here. I’ll blow as much as I can southwestward.

On my mind of late has been the fact that things are open. More things than I’ve gone to in the past six months. Six months today, and I’ve only been to the grocery store for as many weeks as that is … 26 times? I’m tempted to go to the mall just to get my Christmas shopping done before everything is closed down again. I dread shopping online, but you know what I dread even more? Going out in public.

The virus has put a not-entirely-unwelcome collar around my neck and kept me chained to my home.

But my shoes have holes and I can’t buy shoes without trying them on because my size varies with brand. And no, I can’t just buy the same ones I already have because they came from Payless … Yeah, that’s how long it’s been since I bought shoes.

And Alex needs new clothes but he’s grown, so I really need to look at them to see if they’ll fit. Unless I can find actual measurements online.

Nope, I’m going to have to brave the retail, I’m afraid. Damn the torpedoes. Mask up and have off.

Yeah. I’m going shopping. Wish me luck.



2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley!

This post was brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Find the prompt here and join in!


What Day is it Anyway? Sunday, June 14th, 2020

My day today so far–8:05pm: 

I went for my weekly trip to the grocery store this morning and forgot half of what I went for.

Why, you ask?

I’ll tell you.

I was about two-thirds of my way through my shopping when a woman told me they had Lysol Wipes on the shelf.

“Oooh,” I said, and promptly looked for the aisle. But I was at the wrong end of a one-way “street” now that they have arrows on the floor for social distancing. So, being the good girl I am, I went down the adjacent aisle so I could come back the other way.

I turned up the correct aisle, and as you can imagine, I was shocked to find an older woman with a cart coming the other way. The wrong way.

“I know I’m going the wrong way,” she said, “but they have Lysol Wipes, and you don’t see those very often.”

She reached them just ahead of me so I waited while she plucked one off the shelf and put it in her cart.

“I’ll get out of your way,” she said and turned to go.

I got to the spot where she’d turned around. She’d taken the last one.

That’ll teach me not to follow the rules.

Nice guys always finish last, don’t they?

And so yeah, I forgot half of what I went for because after that I was distracted by the voice in my head chanting BITCH!

…concentrate on the pretty flowers, Linda…

(If you don’t get the reference, read yesterday’s post.)

Why I’m writing this post:

Because if you’re like me and stuck at home already, or if you’re going to be like me soon, the days of the week are hell to keep track of. We have a wonderful community here on WordPress and all over the Internet as well, and I’m sure many people are feeling nervous and/or isolated. I want to make sure every one of us has somewhere to congregate and someone to talk to.

I want everyone to know that you can start discussions with each other in the comments, and if you’d like to write your own “What Day is it Anyway?” post, you can link to this one. Hashtag #WDIIA.

Let’s keep in touch!


#SoCS – Hairier than expected

Thought I wasn’t going to show up, didn’t you?

For a day that was supposed to be filled with writing, editing, maybe a little Christmas shopping, and a whole other lot of productive stuff, it kinda wasn’t.

Because I’m kinda looking after Alex again. For the sixth weekend in a row.

His dad was going to pick him up Friday night. He really was going to. But he got stuck on the highway for two hours, waiting for the fire department to put out a truck.

Source: Twitter-OPP EAST

So he turned around and went back home the moment he had the chance.

And I will be seven weeks without a break. Or maybe eight. I dunno. I never know.

So it’s been a hairy day. Doing stuff with Alex that he’d been expecting to do with his dad. Like playing Wii Party.

Yes, we had fun. But I didn’t get much writing done, nor much editing. And I didn’t get to the store.

I really have to start my Christmas shopping soon. Do you ever wish you could leave it all until everything goes on sale after Christmas? Do things go on sale after Christmas in the US? Here we have Boxing Day sales. Boxing Week sales. A hairy time in retail. It’s the Black Friday of Canada. AND, there’s no Christmas music. Bonus.

And no hairy-chinned guy in a red suit, which means Alex isn’t afraid to go to the mall. Now there’s a real bonus. 😉

SoCS badge by Pamela, at

This very very late (almost 2 in the morning) post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the link to find all the other hairy posts and join in!


#SoCS – It’s the Most Musical Time of the Year

Is there a more musical time of year than Christmas time? Whether you’re Christian or not, whether you celebrate the holiday or not, if you go shopping, you’re subject to the music of Christmas.

I worked in a department store one year–Eaton’s!–for the holiday season as a temp. Drove me around the bend. I loved working there, though. My helpful side is never brighter when I have someone to help and engage in small talk with in person.

There are always a few songs I hope to hear, but most of them are sooo overdone.

Did I talk about this last year? I think I did. My bad.

The only other time of year I think of as remotely musical is the summer. Certain songs, whether they’re actually about summer or not, remind me of summers past. I think it has to do with listening to the radio a lot more when I wasn’t in school, when I was a kid. I only listen to the radio in the car now. It’s funny that I often know the latest songs before my son does.  This is the last song I introduced him to.

Apparently I’m the cool mom.

At least I like to think so.

You try listening to “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” after that one.


SoCS badge by Pamela, at

This “about to get heavy” post is brought to you (early!) by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link to find all the other posts in the comments and join in yourself. It’s fun!!


163. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Saturday, February 10th, 5:00pm
Misery and Gay


Gay: So whatcha doin’ tomorrow?

Misery: I don’t know. Sleepin’ I guess.

Gay: We should go out! Soak up some sunshine!

Misery: It’s supposed to snow.

Gay: Then we can go shopping! For boots!

Misery: I don’t have any money.

Gay: I’ll buy you some!

Misery: I take a size 18. (slides foot out from the seat in front) My shoes cost hundreds of dollars.

Gay: Then how about some new underwear? Nothing better than a new pair of panties!

Misery: Had a thong once. I lost it.

Gay: (frowns) You lost it? Wha … OH!

Misery smiles.


Next stop: Sunday, February 11th, 1:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.


#SoCS – Yul log?

You’ll forgive me, won’t you? For missing my own prompt again? Though technically it is Sunday, it’s still Saturday to me because I haven’t gone to bed yet. It’s very very late Saturday night … so late, it’s Sunday morning. 😛

I’ll have to forgive myself, actually, for making the mistake of trying to find a picture of Yul Brynner tied up so that I could say Yul tied … because what I got instead was to be treated to a photo of a young Yul Brynner with no clothes on. Full frontal. So for my efforts to find a festive Yul tied, I ended up with a Yul log … errr … okay, a Yul average-size stick? Umm … did you know Yul Brynner was a brunette? Neither did I, until today.

So, where was I? Oh yes. I was busy today. I think I’ve finished my Christmas shopping, apart from the food. And most of that is done, too. Turkey’s thawing, veggies are bought, as are the potatoes and all the other stuff … yes, the stuff-ing too. So I’ll be able to mow down on a nice drumstick on Christmas … aaaand, I just got a flashback of good ol’ Yul. NO, I am not buying a Yule log for dessert this year!

Oh dear, can you tell I’m tired? No, I’m not drunk. But I do have to put the white wine in the fridge – thanks for reminding me.

And on that note, I’ll wish everyone a lovely Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, and a wonderful holiday all ’round.

Now you can go Google Yul Brynner naked.


This silly post is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the link to find all the other entries in the comments!


113. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Note: Strong language

Friday, December 22nd, 5:00pm
Morris (and Andrea)


Morris sits at the window. Andrea takes the seat beside him.

Morris: Ugh.

Andrea: Excuse me?

Morris: I still don’t have my Christmas shopping done.

Andrea: And this concerns me how, exactly?

Morris: It doesn’t. I just wanted to …

Andrea: Why does everyone on this freakin’ bus want to tell me their problems? Like, I can’t get a minute’s peace on this freakin’, fucking bus! First I’ve got people flashing me, spitting at me, telling me their problems …

Morris: I’d watch it, if I were you. I’m Santa.

Andrea: (stares at him) You’re what now?

Morris: Santa Claus. And with a mouth like that, you’re not likely to find anything in your stocking, young lady.

Andrea: (frowns) Wait. Didn’t you just say you haven’t finished your Christmas shopping? Doesn’t Santa MAKE the toys?

Morris: No, the elves do that. I have to go out and buy all the supplies.

Andrea: You’re fucking crazy.

Morris: (shaking his head, mumbles) Whatever is the world coming to?

Andrea: (mumbles) Exactly.


Next stop: Saturday, December 23rd, 6:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.