Saturday, October 10, 2015

My Back Against the Closet Door Part II

So, as I was saying yesterday, ever since Wednesday, or to be more precise Tuesday night, I have been struggling with difficult memories of my past.  Especially when I'm by myself, they assault me, bombarding me with dark images and negative thoughts, which are difficult to handle.
It all began with a well-meaning lecture from a friend upon the evils of lending money to friends and family. My friend told me that I should never lend money, and if I did I should make the person sign a promissory note and take them to court if they didn't pay up.  I thought whoa, that's kind of over the top!  Whenever I've lent money to people it's been for small amounts and for desperate situations. 99% of the time, the money is paid in full within a reasonable time.   And, if not repaid then I'd simply never lend that person money ever again! I explained to my friend that, generally speaking, I would rather take a chance on someone and lend them money than not and know that they were struggling.

I had hoped that my viewpoint would have been enough for her, but, no, she kept pressuring me to only see things her way.

The last straw, though, was when my friend started making comments about how people on ODSP and welfare had it "so good". I was hurt and upset by this careless statement, as she knew I used to be on ODSP.

I started to cry, and memories of struggling to make ends meet filled my mind. I would sell my cards in all kinds of weather, to stores or just people on the street. People were either cool, or very rude or disrespectful. It was truly humiliating! Sometimes when cards wouldn't sell I would I take books to get money or pawn jewellery.

The lack of money was just one aspect of being on ODSP, it was the humiliation from people who should have known better. ODSP workers would pick through my bank account, looking for any discrepancies and making noises of disapproval.

But being poor in general, especially if you have a disability, also means you have a lack of choices. You can only live in subsidized housing, and, unless you're as fortunate as I am to have direct funding, you don't get a choice in who works for you and assists you with your most personal needs.

So this is what keeps invading my mind and making me cry. Perhaps these memories will settle down and go neatly back into my mind closet soon. I hope so! And yet, in a perverse way I cherish these memories because I came through all that shit and I think I'm a more strong, caring, and generous person for it. And I'm cuter.

Friday, October 9, 2015

My Back Against the Closet Door

Where do I begin ...?

I did all of the regular stuff:  email/texts; employees' scheduling; a nice, hot shower; marathon watching of Nip/Tuck; and, making a date with some of my family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Normal stuff, right?

Of course.

It was just after Chloe left for the day and I was alone with my thoughts that a torrent of tears began to stream down my face. So many dark, difficult memories tumbled out of the closet door in my mind that I keep locked away.  I tried so hard to push them back, or to see each one dispassionately ... but I failed.

Ever since Wednesday, when somebody

To be continued ....

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Home Sweet ARGH!

I had a wonderful time with Catherine and John. They're so friendly, amiable, and hospitable people! (I swear I've never eaten or drank so much in all of my life!)

However, I was happy to go home too.  I missed my cats and bed and my own space.  You know what I mean?

I was looking forward to working on my laptop and catching up on everything.  Unfortunately, when I returned home this evening, my laptop was dead, and it looks like I need a new charger.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Having Fun at Catherine's Place

Beautiful grounds and house, delicious food and drink, and cool; great; fantastic; brilliant hosts.

I'm glad that I came!!!

I'll post pictures tomorrow ....

Monday, October 5, 2015


Sarah, me, Catherine at Heathrow Airport

Sarah, me, Catherine at Brighton Beach

So, I'm 98% finished packing for my trip to Orangeville.  Brittainy and I are going to stay overnight at my friend Catherine's home.

It's going to be great fun!

Catherine and I have been friends for about 13 years.  She first started to visit me at St Lawrence Market, and bought a few paintings from me.

 We became friends, and went to parties and had dinner out together sometimes.

 When I was about to turn 50 and told Catherine that it had been my life-long dream to go to England, Catherine helped me to go there for my birthday.

Catherine is the greatest!


I'm not sure if I'll be able to post while I'm away.  I'll try, but no promises ....

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Photos From My Weekend

Busy, busy, busy! All day I've been writing emails/texts, doing the payroll, and organizing for a trip I'm making on Tuesday.

(More about that tomorrow ....)

Right now, because I'm still incredibly busy, here are some photos from my weekend.

Friday, October 2, 2015

It's a Bird, It`s a Plane: Contest Winner

The contest winner of It's a Bird, It's a Plane is Mr Roger Spagman of Brittain.  He came up with the best and funniest caption:

"Lionel Ritchie, Get down from there, your leaving scuff marks!"

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Cold or Allergies

For a couple of weeks now, practically everyone around me has had a bad cold.  I've been successfully dodging those nasty germs by taking extra vitamin C and Oil of Oregano.

However, all day long I've been sneezing and sneezing and sneezing and sneezing.  Hoping it's just allergies and not a cold.

I'm too busy to get sick!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dealing With the Best and Worst in Human Nature: Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about my friend Maiga who is a great, fantastic, person.

However, I unfortunately I met some not so great and fantastic people at the Queen West Art Crawl.  My employee and friend Chloe had to go and use the washroom, so I was by myself at my booth. I was minding my own business and watching people go by with their cute dogs when these two guys stopped and looked in my direction. One guy said to the other guy, "Gee, the artist must have stepped away for a minute. All there is is this retard."

It actually made me cry because for most of my life I keep running into shmucks like this and it knocks the wind out of me for a second. I do my best to live an ordinary life and to follow my dreams. I'm very proud of all my accomplishments and I think I'm a good, decent, person who always tries to help anyone in trouble. That's just the kind of person I am.

However, it always comes as a shock when jerks like that don't see me the way I see myself. It's like a slap in the face or a kick in the gut. More aptly, it's like a bully coming along and kicking your beautiful sandcastle into dust.

Sure, I cried at the Queen West Art Crawl, but most times I don't let peole get me down because I know I'm better than that!

Shmucks and bullies, watch out! One day I (or someone else) might just destroy your sandcastles. Karma is a bitch, baby!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dealing With the Best and Worst in Human Nature

To try to stay looking young and beautiful, I apply shea butter moisturizer (with Aloe) to my face twice a day.

I used to buy this cream from a man named Maiga who, like me, was a vendor at the St. Lawrence Market.  Maiga had always been kind and generous to me.  He purchased three of my paintings, and he never let me pay him for the cream.

Because Maiga got evicted from the market and I've run out of the cream, I had to look his business online and order a jar.  That was yesterday, and today I received a call from Maiga saying that he'd gotten my order and wouldn't let me pay again.  Indeed, he was going to send me four free jars of the cream!

Maiga is such a great guy!

Other people, though -

(To be continued ....)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Photos From My Day

It was a good, fun, and busy day.

After I got ready for the day, I went to Starbucks for my usual: peppermint mocha frappuccino.

I bought my Halloween costume for this year.  I'm going to dress up as a leopard!

At Dollarama, I bought a ridiculous amount of socks and two plastic bins for my paints.

And now, I'm painting again!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pets Past and Present

You know how much I love Hershey and Rascal.

I absolutely dote on them!

It was the same with Dandylion.

Crazy little hot-headed creature - but I loved him and he loved me right back!

And then there were Honey and LuLu, with whom I spent my teens and early adult years.

And, mustn't forget about Tippy, our first family pet!

Why am I getting sentimental about my pets?  Scanning old family slides will do that to you!

Here are a few more photos I found this evening.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pictures From Another Market Day

As always, I'm exhausted from working at the market, but here are some pictures of my day.

Sales were slow, but people seemed to like my art.

As a gift to myself, I had dinner at Hot House. 

All in all, not a bad day at all ....