Category Archives: Blogs

Tales of a grocery store clerk

The past week has been unusually quiet at the store – we have our moments of busyness but for the most part, unless there is a snowstorm happening, the store has been quiet.

What is that phenomenon anyway? Why do people – including old people! – feel the need to rush to the store in a snowstorm to get hundreds of dollars of groceries? Do they not listen to the weather forecast and think the night before to go get them? I do not understand that at all!

Yesterday was an interesting day though. I had an afternoon shift and when I came in, it was quiet, even among the cashiers. We usually chat when it’s not too busy, but they weren’t. It turned out that the head office was visiting and we were all on our best behaviour! Cleaning, facing products, making sure everything was extra sanitized! (seriously, my hands are falling apart from the amount of sanitizer used every day at work) I presume we did well with the inspection because no one came up to us to tell us to fix anything.

Hopefully today will be a bit busier so that the shift goes faster. I like being steady busy, and I enjoy chatting with the customers.

Till next week…. be safe!

Throw out the old, bring in the new

Boots that is.

My cherished boots, that took me through China and Chile, and through 3 Canadian winters, have finally come to the end of their time. I’m sad to see them go, because they were such good, well constructed boots!

But, the wear and tear of all my walking has taken its toll and my boots could only stand so much. They have done well but they couldn’t last forever!

So rather than endure the remainder of the winter with a wet foot, I succumbed and purchased a pair of new boots online. This was done with much trepidation – I have large wide feet and usually need to try on a bunch of footwear before I know which ones i want. But I took a leap of faith, and went ahead and got these ones.

They are okay – they will do for this winter at least. They are warm inside and comfortable enough. But I still want my old boots 😦 I refuse to throw them out yet though! I don’t hoard, but when it’s something that has taken me so far, it’s hard to give them up. I will eventually throw them out – when I’m ready to!

So bring on more snow – my feet are ready!!

maybe not this much snow….

What do you say….

When you are confronted by someone you work with who clearly believes all the conspiracy theories out there? Who seems like a nice enough person who is pleasant to be around but then when given the chance, in a one-to-one conversation, spews the most bizarre conspiracies I have ever heard??

This happened to me the other day on my way out of work at the end of my shift. A very nice lady I work with was leaving at the same time and we discovered that we live fairly close to each other, so we decided to walk home together and have a chat. What started out as a lovely walk and conversation turned into the bizarre.

She started the conspiracy talk by asking me if I had been vaccinated yet. My answer was no – not sure where I’d even go and get it at this point but that’s beside the point. She quite emphatically told me NOT to get it – that it’s the way “these people” are trying to kill us. And the vaccine is going to do just that – kill everyone. She then went on about how the governments have no control, and that the world is controlled by some group that is hiding behind the Catholic church. It was all so bizarre I actually stopped listening, but continued to make it seem like I was listening. I was actually a bit frightened at the intensity that she spoke of these things. She truly believed all that she was saying.

If you met this lady at the store, you’d think of her as a nice lady who is always pleasant and doesn’t yell or scream. But hiding behind that pleasant face is something that is, in my eyes, a bit crazy.

I know there are a LOT of people in this world who believe these conspiracy theories and yes some do make a little sense, but most of them don’t. And I don’t really understand why people do believe them. But please don’t push these theories on me and tell me I need to research and look things up because it is true – they are trying to kill us all!

I am pleasant with her still but am keeping my distance. No more walks home with her! Harsh on my part maybe, but I need to feel safe, and that kind of talk does not make me feel safe at all!

Styles and music of the 70’s

I love listening to music. It calms me, soothes me, puts me in a good mood, and makes me want to dance!

Of course, as I mentioned here before, ABBA is my all time favourite band! And I have been on an ABBA kick the past few days, watching videos on YouTube. What amazes me, not just their amazing voices, but the outfits! I can’t help it – but they are really incredibly 70’s! Funky, weird, odd and yet oh so cool!

So let’s have a musical interlude now – and enjoy some ABBA music!

Love this song and video!!
Classic ABBA – and the outfits!

And this one just makes me want to dance!!!

Family memories

My dad has taken a turn for the worst. He was taken to the hospital last night for what they thought was a stroke, but that isn’t what it was. They are doing tests to assess him and have FINALLY officially recorded in the records that my father has dementia. It has taken a long time for them to make this official – something my mother and my siblings and I have known for a while. Why no one else saw this is beyond me!

My father is 85, and has not been well for quite a while. He has been in a wheelchair for over a year, and I believe that combined with the pandemic just let his mind go. When I moved out of their place back in July, I wondered how my dad would be and I dealt with guilt for the first month of my being gone. I felt I was wrong for having left them, leaving my mother to have to take care of my father full time, and that I was putting a bigger burden on my sister, who still lives close by. I chose to leave to be closer to my daughter though, and I do not regret one moment for doing that. However, I do believe that after I left, he quickly went downhill. It was lack of conversation with more than my mother and what I believe was the overwhelming feeling of defeat he had because of the wheelchair.

My father was an outgoing, active member of the community. He was the president of the local Legion for many years, he knew a lot of people, and enjoyed being out in public, talking to everyone. He loved playing golf, and he loved travelling with my mother to the States. They spent many winters down in Myrtle Beach for a month at a time to escape the harsh winters of Ontario.

Growing up, my dad was the dad who would be outside skating with us on our homemade ice rink, he was the dad who would play kick the can, or hide and seek, or baseball in our backyard. Whenever he could, he would be outside playing with us. So when he ended up first using a cane, then a walker, and then the wheelchair – I knew this would be hard for his mind.

I love both my parents, and I know they love me. The words were not said much in our household, but we always knew they loved us.

So while it is sad to see my father deteriorate so quickly, I have reconciled in my mind that my time with my dad is coming to an end. I am sad but I also know that death is part of life. I love my dad and I know that he loves me. Is there anything more that we can ask for? I don’t think so.

Life is short – no one knows when our last days will be. We have to live life to the fullest. My dad did that. He lived his life as fully as he could, when he retired, he got another job driving people for wine tours in Niagara on the Lake and loved that job more than he loved his other one. My dad, for the most part, was content in life. And I know that when it’s time for him to leave us, that he will still be with us. In our hearts and minds and memories.

Give your loved ones a hug, or a call, just to say you love them. It will make you all feel a little bit better.

Walk a Mile for a Smile

I am a big supporter for mental health awareness. My children have both suffered with mental health issues over the years – depression, anxiety, and addiction. I have been there for them through all the pain and anxiety they went through. And I want to do something to show them that I am still there for them no matter what.

Last year, during the height of the pandemic, I decided I wanted to raise money for the Food Banks of Ontario, and I created a recipe book containing recipes from friends and family. It was a big success for me, and the sales of the cookbook raised over $800 for the local Food Banks.

This year, with the pandemic causing so much anxiety for people as it drags on, I want to do something more. I want to get my community involved and want to raise awareness of the stress the lockdowns are causing. So I am organizing a walk to take place in September.

I will be doing the walk – approximately 80 km, over four days, from September 24 to 27 2021, in support of the Canadian Mental Health Association. Mental health affects all of us in some way, and with Covid-19 causing so many people to suffer with mental health issues, this is the perfect time to do something to help others.

I am striving to help as many people as possible and to let everyone know that we are all in this together!

Judging without knowledge

I have a granddaughter who I suspect doesn’t know who I am. She’s 7 (almost 8) and I only met her once when she was 4 months old. Circumstances prevailed and I am not part of her life, which I have come to accept.

However, recently over the past few months, I discovered that she has her own YouTube channel. She puts up videos showing tricks and harmless things – but she is only 7.

I do not know why she is allowed to have a YouTube channel of her own, and why it disturbs me so much. I guess as a grandparent and as someone who has seen how children are exploited on the internet it worries me. She doesn’t know who could be watching the videos, perhaps a predator? I have no knowledge at all of whether her mother or her other grandparents are aware of what she is doing. Perhaps they do and they are okay with it. I just don’t have that knowledge. But I judge them. And I shouldn’t.

I have also discovered that I judge more than I realize I do. I have become acutely aware of this over the past couple of weeks. At work, at home, outdoors. I am judging people more and more and I do not like that about myself. I don’t want to be that judgmental person. I wonder if it’s because of the pandemic, and it’s bringing out a side of me that perhaps was always there and it is just now coming to the surface because of the circumstances.

I am telling myself TODAY to stop judging. Stop making assumptions without any knowledge of the situation. I just need to stop. It is none of my business what others do. I only need to worry about me. As it should be with all of us.

Judging doesn’t get us anywhere. It just creates more friction than is necessary.

Have a great – NON-JUDGMENTAL – day everyone!

Tales of a grocery store clerk

It’s been another busy week at the store. We are asking for donations for a local charity and the people are actually quite excited to be donating money for this charity! It is a charity that is based on children’s needs, and this is something that is near and dear to my heart. I am so excited to be asking for donations and while not everyone is going to donate, I love talking about this particular charity. It’s such a great thing to be doing this!

People are still being extra cautious, and while I do totally understand why they are being cautious, we have some people who come through who go to the extremes about being cautious. Like the customer who refuses to touch the money that she gives me and I give back to her (so maybe use touchless debit or credit instead??), and who, if she doesn’t have gloves on, uses two plastic bags on each hand. I wish I was kidding but I’m not. And there are others who won’t take plastic bags and will pack their own – but they put things in, take things out, rearranges, – the stress that takes place watching these people is crazy. I am a pretty low stressed person, but this brings up my stress.

I am hoping that, since we are front line workers, the vaccinations will be coming our way soon so that I can get mine done! Then maybe we will be able to get back to a bit more normalcy soon.

Tales of a grocery store clerk (a day late..)

Last week I worked 6 days in a row, this coming week 10 days in a row! I am grateful I had yesterday off and spent it with my daughter and grandson!

But today I was back at it. And it was a busy 4 hour shift. Par for the course these days. I had a strange and confusing encounter with a customer near the end of my shift.

She came through and said quite emphatically that she needed to spend a certain amount of money in order to use all of her air miles cash. I said okay – and proceeded to get her grocery bill up to the amount she said she had. Well, I scanned her card and well the state of confusion that occurred after that was breathtaking!

She proceeded to explain that someone at the store told her how many points she had. Which definitely did not happen because we have no way of finding that information out. After a very confusing conversation with me and my supervisor, she insisted I separate the order so she could do her transaction. Of course it didn’t work because she didn’t have enough. Finally, after more conversation with her and explanations, after about 20 minutes of dealing with this, she acquiesced and paid the remaining amount. She actually took the time to apologize to me for taking up so much time and being confused about it all. I took it all in stride, because I know it can be confusing if you don’t keep up with what changes have been made.

After her, I was just taking my time with customers and one lady came through and what she purchased confused me. There are a lot of people that eat organic now, and while I do not do this, I sort of understand it. Organic bananas I don’t understand – just don’t get me started on that. But, probably because it wasn’t that busy at the end of the shift, I took the time to watch what people were purchasing. Organic vegetables, organic cereal, and coffee cream with the highest percentage of fat. That confused me, and then with the addition of a bunch of junk food, it confused me more. Why eat organic if you’re going to eat junk? Seems a little counter-productive in my eyes. BUT to each their own!

So a long 10 days is ahead of me – but only one early shift so that’s a good thing. Stay safe and be kind to everyone.

When our children become adults

It’s definitely an eye-opening, and instant ageing, experience when you realize your children have become full-fledged adults!

Last year, I was blessed with a beautiful grandson – and my daughter (my first born) instantly became an adult in my eyes. She has had several tumultuous years and I really never thought she’d settle down and have a child. Well, she has become a beautiful, caring, loving mother to my amazing grandson, who will be 6 months in February! Where does the time go? So fast!!

And last night, much to my delight, my son proposed to his girlfriend, who is expecting their first baby in May! In less than a year, both of my children have become adults before my eyes. And while I’m sad to think that they will carry on with their lives and their families, with me in the background, I know I will always be part of their families.

My daughter will be 30 this year, and my son 29. I know they are not children anymore, but they will always be my babies. Even as adults, they will always be my babies.

I am so proud of both of them, for overcoming the difficulties that they have had, and coming out on the positive side of it. They still need their mom, and I will always be there for both of them. I’m just such a proud mom today – of two lovely adult children, one grandson and a granddaughter arriving in May, and a soon to be daughter-in-law too. Life has blessed me, as it has them.

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