Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

So far no one has tried to snag that egg. I wonder why?
Thanks to Hubby for the awesome picture!

Hope you're all having a delightful day.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Stranger than Fiction

Once again I have allowed my friends to drive me out of my comfort zone. This time I have agreed to write a piece of fiction about work. I have also agreed to enter this piece in a contest. What was I thinking?

I was thinking that it would be good for my friend, who has just completed her first book, to enter the contest.  I was thinking, when she asked if I was going to enter too, that I could say yes now and bow out later. I was thinking that I could support her in her writing if by saying yes, even if I had no intention of finishing.

Then she asked another friend to join in too. Then we met at my house to inspire and encourage each other. Then they started sending emails about their progress and asking about mine. Then I knew I was in trouble. Then I knew I had to go through with it. Damn. Time to think again.

So, I've been struggling with ideas for more than a week. The entry has to be fiction, and lately work has been so in-my-face that I just couldn't think about work in a fictional way. It was suggested that I write a fictionalized account of something that happened at work. I'm not comfortable with that. There is a very, very, very, very, very slim chance that I could be asked to read this piece in public. At a venue about a block away from where I work. In a rather small town.  I don't think I could re-write an event in such a way that it wouldn't be recognizable should the characters show up at the reading.  My rusty powers of fiction aren't up to that challenge.

So yesterday, after another check-in from one of my writerly friends, and after a huge rant about work, I decided to sit down and write. I didn't think I would get anywhere with a story. I was so sure that I wouldn't get anywhere that I started writing in Blogger. I figured that I would write an Elusive Onions post when I gave up on my story.

Only I didn't give up. 

Shit. Sometimes I surprise myself.

Of course, now all the wonderful (to me), interesting (to me) things I've been waiting to blog about are getting set aside again.  I suppose I could be writing about them now, but somehow it seems more appropriate to write about how I'm not writing about them instead. It's because I'm having trouble thinking of anything other than the story I've started. 

Are you beginning to get the impression that I fixate on things?  Once again I'm like a dog with a bone. Or a velociraptor with a finger

Now that could have made a good work story.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Long and the Short of It.

Last summer, while visiting family, I discovered Maurices. I probably would have walked right past, but their mannequins caught my eye. For the first time in my experience I was seeing mannequins in different sizes. Yes, there was the typical stick-thin model, but there were curvy models too. Not only did I have to check out the store out as a result, I made sure I let the sales staff know how much I appreciated seeing mannequins of unusual (for retail) size. I think I might have scared them (the staff, not the mannequins) with my enthusiasm. 

In my excitement I made some less-than-smart purchases. Fortunately, Maurices has a pretty good return policy, so I didn't have any trouble taking  items back when reason kicked in. I did keep the dress you see in the picture. It's shorter than I'm used to, and it's far too low-cut to wear on its own, but the colours won me over. 

Last week I brought the dress out of the closet for the first time this season. Even though the sun was out, it was chilly. I figured with enough layers I'd be warm and decently covered. 

Wouldn't you know, the day I wear something that feels a little on the short side is the day that I end up crawling around on a public bathroom floor trying to help someone having a medical emergency. I don't think I flashed anyone, and I'm pretty sure all involved were too busy to notice if I did. Still, that incident will be in the back of my mind every time I consider wearing this dress. Heck, it's been in the back of my mind each time I've selected an outfit this week. (And at other times too if I'm being honest.) I tell ya, it gets more and more difficult to find clothing that suits me and is appropriate for all aspects of my job. 


On a brighter note, I'm linking up with Patti and all the stylish women at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday. Head on over and find inspiration for anything life throws at you! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Rule!

We played a lot of unique games when we were kids. The games were often loosely based on existing games, but, because they were mostly made up, we could call "New Rule" when something wasn't working. That usually led to fights and cries of "No fair!", but eventually we would settle down and play on. We often found the game worked better for the change.

Today I wish to invoke the power of "new rule" in real life.

Here we go.

If you are ever in a situation where you require first aid from a stranger, once you have recovered, if you do in fact recover, you must find a way to inform that stranger that you are okay.

I can hear the cries of "No fair!".

What if to do so is embarrassing? What if the need for first aid was prompted by a stupid action? What about privacy? What if the help wasn't wanted? What if it's not convenient? What if I don't want to?

My response:  It's not fair that, having in my bumbling way provided first aid to a stranger, I am left wondering if she's okay.  It's not fair that I can't sleep for worry about her. It's not fair that I'm getting weepy as I write this. 

I know it's none of my business. I don't need her thanks. I just really need to know she's okay so I can be okay too. 

I think that's fair. 

New Rule!

Play on.

Monday, March 18, 2013

When Irish Eyes are Blinded

I saw this dress in a shop window last year, and I had to have it. It was just what I needed to quench my thirst for colour

Yesterday, in honour of Saint Patrick's Day, I paired it with a very green cardigan and black accessories. I knew it was a bright outfit when I looked in the mirror, but it wasn't until I saw the photos that I realized how blinding it was. What a difference daylight makes! In fact, the ensemble might have been a bit too loud for my line of work.  I did get a couple of compliments from the Celtic contingent, so it wasn't all bad.

Hope you all had a lovely, bright, green weekend. 

Linking up with Patti and the crew for Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Incident Report

A dinosaur bit me. 


I'm not kidding. 

There was no blood loss or permanent damage, but the red, angry tooth marks lingered for hours. I flaunted them repeatedly just to prove that I had, in fact, been bitten by a dinosaur. 

It happened at work. 

The customer at the next counter had three kids in tow. She was completely absorbed in her transaction, so she didn't notice that her oldest was bursting with excitement. He was the proud owner of a very cool, very realistic, scale-model, plastic dinosaur. A velociraptor to be precise. It was articulated and everything.

The kid was anything but articulate. He obviously needed some outlet, so I chatted with him between customers. He was so wound up he had lost most of his language skills. The only words I could make out were those related to palaeontology. "Carnivore", "velociraptor", "tyrannosaurus" and "teeth" were pretty clear. Everything else was garbled, but I thought I was holding up my end of the conversation quite well. I was rather pleased with my ability to keep him amused, thus preventing a potential preschooler explosion.  Preschooler shrapnel is a bitch to deal with in our big, echoey workspace.

Of course, my perceived success made me cocky. I got too close. The little monster delightful child wrapped the dinosaur's hinged jaw around my index finger and clamped down. Hard. It's surprising how much force such small hands can generate. Combined with hard plastic they can inflict significant discomfort. And tooth marks. Don't forget the tooth marks.

Being a wise grown-up, I walked away. I waited until the kid was gone before I rushed back to the counter to wave my damaged finger under the noses of my co-workers. I was convinced we should fill out an incident report. How many opportunities were we going to have to complain to head office about safety concerns arising from pre-historic creatures in the workplace? 

As I tried to convince staff that the event really should be documented, I was approached by the manager and the assistant supervisor. I presented my arguments to them too. They'd be the ones filing the necessary paperwork, so I really worked my powers of persuasion. No luck. They had other plans. The assistant supervisor was taking my place at the counter so the manager could go over my performance review with me.  Talk about timing. Good thing he had filled out that paperwork before I started shaking my finger in his face.

Oddly, dinosaur sightings are up in my world. This is the second one this year.  A few weeks ago I was out walking and discovered that this one had moved into my neighbourhood. 

I like how it's chained up.
It makes me feel much safer, particularly after the incident at work. 

I wonder if the universe is trying to tell me something? Something cosmic about dinosaurs and humans and extinction? Perhaps something about frightening power? Frightening power in the wrong, sometimes wee, hands? Maybe it's just the universe's way of telling me I'm getting old. Like a dinosaur.

I still think further documentation is necessary. 

Obviously I'm having trouble letting this one go. I'm like a dog with a bone. Or a velociraptor with a finger. 

Did I tell you about the time I was bitten by a dinosaur?

Monday, March 11, 2013

What's the Point?

Forty-two? No, that's the answer. 

I remember pointing. I have no recollection of what I was pointing at.
Somehow I liked this outfit better in the mirror. Maybe that's the point. Don't trust the mirror.

Car keys in hand. Rushing to work.

Whatever the point, don't panic. It's Visible Monday. Hitch a ride over to Not Dead Yet Style for some out of this world inspiration. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mistaken Identity

(Now I'm really embarrassed. I started writing this about a year ago, then I took a long, long vacation from blogging. So I'm now finishing a year-old post about an event that happened a year before that. Yep. Elusive Onions. Your place for up-to-date, two-year-old news.)

I am embarrassed to admit that this story is over a year old. Still, I would be more embarrassed if the people mentioned stumbled upon my blog and recognized themselves. I'm assuming that after all these months I am safe. And in a small town it's always better to be safe than to be sorry!

I was at the grocery store after a morning yoga class. The combination of the early hour and the vigorous class had left me dishevelled, befuddled and somewhat zoned out. I figured it wouldn't matter. I rarely saw anyone, let alone anyone I recognized, when I shopped before 9 am. 

On the morning in question, I was roused from my contemplation of nutritional labels by an enthusiastic greeting. I blearily looked up from lists of daily values to see a smiling, well groomed woman. It was someone I knew slightly, as I had worked with her daughter, and she was an occasional customer at work. Looking back, I realize the greeting was too enthusiastic for our level of acquaintance, but as I said, it was early and I was rather out of it. 

She followed her happy greeting by telling me she had seen my picture in a supplement of our local paper. I was surprised. I didn't realize I was in the paper, and I told her so, but even this didn't alert me to the fact that the conversation was off kilter. Photographers from the paper often cover events at my workplace. On more than one occasion I've found myself in the background of one of their pictures in spite of my best attempts to hide from the lens. I assumed this was one of those pictures, and our conversation continued.

She then asked about the progress of the construction at our house. This one puzzled me. We had recently had our deck replaced, but I didn't know how she knew this. Still, the work hadn't gone well, and I hadn't hesitated to bad-mouth the company we hired to anyone who would listen.  I figured she had either overheard my complaints, or knew someone who had. 

It wasn't until late in our brief conversation that I realized she had mistaken me for someone else. At this point I probably should have told her, but we were so far into our visit that I didn't know how to do it gracefully. I awkwardly excused myself and got the hell out. I prayed she wouldn't arrive at  my workplace later in the day and realize her mistake.

When I got home I scrabbled through the recycling to find the section of the paper she had found "me" in. I breezed by the unremarkable woman on the cover, lingered briefly, and somewhat wishfully, on the leggy model in the hosiery ad, and flipped through to the last page. That was it. Unremarkable cover girl or leggy model. Damn. Even if I stretched my imagination to the utmost I knew she hadn't mistaken me for the model. 

That left the woman on the cover as my local look-alike. This shouldn't have surprised me. If I was remarkable the woman at the grocery store wouldn't have mistaken me for someone else. Still, it was a bit depressing. Don't get me wrong, the woman in the paper wasn't hideous or ill-groomed or deformed.  She looked fine. Maybe a bit tired. Maybe a bit washed out. But overall fine. And unremarkable. And apparently just like me. 

You know, even months later, this incident still aches deep in my core. I can't quite put my finger on the reason. I'd like to think it's more than vanity, though I will admit I would have preferred to be mistaken for the leggy model, or at least a minor celebrity. As long as it's not  Gilbert Gottfried, or Meat Loaf, or... well you get the picture. 

Whatever the reason, this ache has helped to lead me to new places. It's part of what prompted me to take part in Meghan's Living the Creed Contest, it was there when I filled in my Sketchbook,  and it's in the back of my mind every time I take part in Patti's Visible Monday. For good or for bad I don't want to be mistaken for someone else. I want you to see me as me, though I'm still not sure who that is yet. 

Wow. When I look at where that case of mistaken identity has led me, I think I owe that confused, early-morning shopper a great big thank you! 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Just Ducky

After two days of the kind of rain that gives West Coast weather its bad name, yesterday was beautifully sunny. Hubby and I took advantage and went for a stroll around the neighbourhood. He snapped a few pictures along the way, then we headed home so I could get ready for work. I didn't realize until we were looking at photos much later that my outfit photos and the duck photos drew from the same colour palette. Some women get their fashion inspiration from the runway. I get mine from the duck pond. Quack!

Once again I am linking up with Patti and the stylish crew over at Not Dead Yet Style. Head over there to check out some inspired and inspiring women. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Local Holiday Shopping

This is one of those posts I started before I got sick back in January. I warned you that there were drafts awaiting my attention. Better late than never. 

If you've been a reader here for a while, you'll know that I'm a fan of supporting our local farmers when I can. A bit of a stretch in February, particularly when I don't visit the Farmers' Market regularly. Hubby and I have one day a week off together, and I refuse to spend the morning of that day listening to loud music on a bad sound system while battling crowds of people who seem to enjoy getting up early to hang out in a noisy, sweaty room. I might as well go to the gym. Yuck. 

Wow. Sorry. That was an unexpected rant, and not at all what I wanted to talk about. It has been building up for a while now. It's been two years since it closed, but I still miss shopping at Brambles. Farmers' market customers can really get on my early-morning nerves. I don't mind if my fellow shoppers want to question the farmer about his products, but I resent being forced to wait in a migraine-inducing environment while they natter on about the local film festival. 

Oops. Sorry. Again. In spite of that piss-poor attitude, I really do like to support our local farmers. In fact, I'm in favour of supporting all of our local businesses as best as I can. Particularly when our small businesses are having such a rough time. Our little downtown seems to lose shops on a monthly basis. The consignment shop by my workplace closed its doors on Friday. Great deals for me, but another blow to our eclectic city centre.  

As shops disappear it gets more and more challenging to find what I want locally. This was particularly difficult at Christmas this year; I felt guilty each time I purchased a gift online.  It wasn't until I was going through my receipts in January that I realized I did better than I had thought.

Here's the break down:

  • I made fourteen purchases altogether.  Some of those purchases included more than one gift.
  • Three purchases were made online. Two of those were for items I had looked for locally but could not find. (Shopping for those two items led to an unplanned local purchase. Sort of a bonus gift.)
  • The other eleven purchases were all made locally. Three of those purchases included five locally made or grown items. 
In a few cases I really had to think outside the proverbial box to find an appropriate gift locally. But as a result thought went into every gift I bought, and I was able to find some really unique items as a result. My sister ended up with locally-made earrings that were fashioned from recycled bicycle inner tubes. Bet I wouldn't have found those at the mall down-island.