Category Archives: Blogs

Daily Thought – November 26

Happy American Thanksgiving!!

This year has been tough on everybody, all around the world, so perhaps today is a good day to think back and be thankful for all the good things in our lives.

I am thankful for my family. My father and mother are both still with us, and despite the numerous health issues they both have, we are very lucky to still have them around. I am thankful for my siblings.

I am thankful for my children. And especially thankful for my beautiful grandson that greeted us this year.

I am thankful for so much this year, despite it being a rough year. There are always things we are thankful for, sometimes we just have to reach down inside us a bit deeper in order to find them.

Happy Thanksgiving and be safe this holiday season!

Photo by Askar Abayev on Pexels.com

Tales of a grocery store clerk – part 7

Christmas shopping has begun! People are lining up again here in Ontario to get their shopping done. And we cashiers are working as quickly as we possibly can, so please be patient!

At the store I work at, we have a donation bin, as well as donation bags pre-made that you can purchase and add to the bin. People have been so incredibly generous so far this year and it makes my heart warm knowing that there are going to be people getting donations for Christmas.

But then, there are those who just cannot see the good in anything. I had a customer who complained quite loudly to me that this year is not the year to be asking for donations. Too much has happened with Covid-19 that we should be thinking of ourselves rather than others. I politely kept my mouth shut, all the while thinking that no this is the EXACT time to be thinking of others who are less fortunate than we are. I have never had to use a food bank or get donations even when I was a struggling single mother of teenagers but I always knew they were out there if I needed them. I think the true spirit of Christmas is giving to those less fortunate than ourselves. I am pretty sure that’s what Christmas is all about.

I also had an incident with a customer who angrily tossed a box back at me (it was empty and did not hit me) but she was annoyed that it took me so long to get an answer on the price. Sorry, but again, I do my best to go as quickly as possible without messing up! Some people….

Anyway – I hope you are all well and enjoying the decorations going up around the world. We may be going through the holidays during a pandemic but that doesn’t mean we can’t still feel the joy of the season.

Black Friday and Covid-19

Being a Canadian, I have never really understood the fascination of Black Friday. Getting up at 4am to go shopping with mobs of people who have not properly caffeinated themselves and who all want the same thing. Fights, guns, and violence to buy a TV? Really? I don’t get it at all!

But now in the face of a pandemic, what will Black Friday look like this year? Will people be sensible and “smart” and stay home and instead shop online? Or perhaps, if they are not all on lockdown, instead of shopping at the big box stores, they could shop at a local shop to buy unique gifts this year? Homemade gifts are so much more personal. Perhaps take up a craft – there are so many YouTube videos out there to learn new things with. Bake a dozen cookies for each of your family members. Or perhaps prepare a meal for them to have over the holiday. Spending money is not necessary to make it a happy holiday.

And also remember – giving is supposed to make you feel good. So do something that not only makes THEM feel good, but also that makes YOU feel good. Spending a lot of money is not necessary to make ourselves feel good.

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.com

Tales of a grocery store clerk – part 6

Christmas season is upon us, and the store is getting decorated and ornaments are being sold. Garland, small Christmas trees- the works!

Our store is not the biggest grocery store but I am amazed every day at the selection of items we have to purchase. We are also in a somewhat “boujie” area of the city so we have some items that cater to that lifestyle. I can honestly say I never realized how many people eat brussels sprouts! Maybe that’s not a boujie item but to me it is bewildering. Not a fan of them personally but hey whatever floats your boat!

Not only are we getting busy for Christmas, but also for the potential complete lockdown of Ontario which may be in our very near future, so people are stockpiling. This past week didn’t see any unusual behaviour for customers. We were mostly talking about the continuing election situation in the States, and the pandemic. People seem to be more and more nervous about both. Which is understandable – no one wants to go back to a complete lockdown but perhaps that is the only way to bring the numbers down.

One thing our store is doing is allowing customers to add a donation to our local Food Bank to their bill. I am so happy to see how many people are willing to do that! It warms my heart that there are still generous people in the world who are thinking of others, especially this time of year.

I anticipate that customers will be getting more stressed as we approach Christmas, and I just hope I can put a smile on their face and bring them a bit of joy when they come through my till. It’s the least I can do!

Have a great week everyone and remember to smile behind those masks – your eyes will show us that you are !

Tales of a grocery store clerk – part 5

For some reason, unbeknownst to all of us clerks at the store, this week has been insanely busy!! My shifts are flying by, which is always a good thing, and the sales just keep ringing up!

I partly believe that people are stockpiling again in anticipation of further lockdown procedures and winter coming. I have, despite the rules against this, been helping the older people with bagging their groceries when they bring in their own bags, and also putting the bags in their carts. They always look so happy and appreciative when I do these things. Again, I would hope people out there who maybe see my mom struggling some days would do the same for her. And it makes me feel good inside to help and make their life just a wee bit easier.

But with the sweetness of the old people comes the people who I swear talk quietly just to hear me yell at them and then get annoyed that I am yelling! I know the masks are a struggle for some people, but it’s not because of the masks that I cannot always hear what they are saying. Its the plexiglass screen separating us and keeping us safe. And I also know that DEBIT and CREDIT, when said quietly, sound the same and so please don’t get upset with me when I have to press the other button because I heard incorrectly. Seriously it only takes another few seconds to do that. Chill out people.

In Canada, this is the time of year where we get our anticipated MILK calendar for the next year. Our’s are being given out at the store, and I love it! I excitedly am giving one to everybody and telling them all about the great recipes in the calendar. ~~ Side note for those who know about my addiction to notebooks – I have a similar addiction with calendars – I presently have at least 4 2021 calendars laying around here ~~. In any event, I love seeing the people’s faces look so happy that I am giving them something free and they all go away in a good mood, even if they have spent a whole lot of money on groceries! It’s the little things.

So there we are – another week done. Keep smiling and be kind to all of your front line workers -even us grocery store clerks. It only takes a second to smile !

Daily Thought – November 6

Anyone can succeed – ANYONE!

Today, in what is potentially going to become an historical day, we are on the cusp of not only having the oldest candidate become the President of the United States, but we are on the cusp of having the first woman – and a woman of colour! – become the Vice President. The numbers are still coming in but the Democrats are definitely making the move upwards.

Both candidates are questionable for president – but I have to give kudos to Donald Trump for one fact and one fact only. Because of him, there was a record amount of people that came out to vote. And that is a great thing to see. If only Canada could do that.

Twelve years ago, we watched history in the making when President Obama became the first black President. Even four years ago, we watched history when a businessman with no political or legal background became President. So now here we are, with more history about to happen.

I am anxiously waiting to get the final results. But everyone out there – Republican and Democrat – tell your children that if they work hard enough, they can do ANYTHING! Become a President or Vice President – male or female – they can do it. They can succeed!

Tales of a grocery store clerk – part 4

This past week, I have been noticing more and more of what people are buying and looking at the unique things people buy – our store carries an amazing array of items and I really need to take the time to wander through and check some of them out!

But one disturbing thing I have been noticing is the heavy use of plastic people use! There are a good majority who will put all their vegetables in two bags – which makes it difficult sometimes to find the codes to punch in. They also package their food in plastic bags and then will come to the check out and ask for the reusable bags because they are trying to help save the environment. Really? Perhaps use less plastic on boxes of things you are buying then? It’s baffling that so many plastic bags are used by people who actually tell me that they are working hard to save the environment. Incredible!

I have also learned that people really don’t listen. At all. We have very strict instructions at the store, and there are multiple signs around to explain them, about waiting at the checkout. Stand behind the line. Wait for the cashier to call you forward. Be sure she/he is cleaning the belt before placing your items on the belt. Pretty simple right? Apparently not, as there are many people who march right up and start putting their groceries on the belt, while I am still trying to check out the person in front of them. I ask them politely to remove the items so that I can clean the belt first, and the attitudes I sometimes get! You would think I had asked them for money or something! Sometimes they will go to another check out only to be told the same thing. Umm yeah – it’s not like I singled you out in particular to tell you that.

Most people are great, albeit the use of plastic, and I really enjoy my time there getting to know the customers.

Hope you all have a pleasant week!

Thinking back to four years ago…

Four years ago, I was in China, teaching over 800 kids every single week. Enjoying the freedom of my life, travelling, seeing the world, introducing myself to so many new experiences

But at the same time, four years ago, Trump was elected as President of America. I was journalling daily back then, and today I was reading back in my journal, and I came across what I wrote just after he was elected. I thought it was appropriate to share it here, the eve of the election. It relates today just as it did four years ago. This was written by me on November 11, 2016.

“Remembrance Day is a day to remember our fallen soldiers, and to remember the wars, and, in my opinion, to make sure that war doesn’t happen.

Unfortunately, this week has been a scary and tumultuous time in America. Donald Trump became president. His misogynist, homophobic attitude will be present to the world for the next four years. I would honestly not be surprised if there was an assassination attempt before he takes office.

People are very angry – and violence and rioting are happening everywhere in the States. While my American friends are not part of that, I am saddened and dismayed to see their reactions. Many of them are Republicans, and I have had to unfollow them on Facebook because of the racial comments. And my Democratic friends are very angry and it’s very disheartening to see the anger that has consumed them.

I am not naive enough to believe that peace and love can solve everything and, yes, Trump has said some very scary things BUT our time on this Earth is so short and we don’t know how long we are destined to be here- so yes, protest and speak up – but also live your life without being so consumed by anger that you forget to see just how beautiful life and our world is.

‘ A note to my American friends – both Democrats and Republicans

I have never denied my political side – I am a Socialist. And I wanted Bernie Sanders to be the candidate. He wasn’t – I get it. I’m not American and can’t/couldn’t vote, but I would have voted for Clinton in this election.

That being said – yes Trump scares me, and scares the world. BUT, my dear friends, life is so very short, and I understand where the anger is coming from, but please don’t be consumed with the anger and fear you feel that you forget to live. Protest – speak out – but also live your life.

Not all Republicans are like Donald Trump. Not all Democrats are like Hillary Clinton. There are very good people out there who are on both sides. Do you want to teach your children/grandchildren to hate? Of course you don’t. Do you want to show them contempt for others who aren’t like them? I don’t believe you do. So please stop the riots, and the violence, and the hate. For your children. For your grandchilden.”

Get out and vote. Remember to try to be respectful to your neighbours despite who they support. Respect the results. Be the better person. The world is watching.

Looking forward to mail delivery!

I have used the internet for many years to get coupons by mail. In Canada, it’s not quite like the States where you can take advantage of coupons and price slashing at the grocery stores, but we do still do coupon clipping.

Well, recently my daughter sent me to a page where I could get free samples in the mail. I thought – sure it’s probably just coupons to get a small version of whatever items I requested. But I was wrong!

This morning, waiting in my mailbox, was a box filled with free samples! I must say – this is WAY better than getting bills in the mail!

I got full size food samples!, laundry soap, dishwasher soap, a coupon for a free frozen meal and other stuff. What a lovely surprise to receive today!

I am going to take advantage of free samples more often!