Category Archives: Tournesol dans un jardin

a Big covid day ~ Daily Moments ~ Haibun Apr 8 2021

Today was the big day!! Yep, my daughter was kind enough to take time off her busy work day to pick me up and drive me to get my first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.  It’s done!  I feel fine and so grateful it is over…thankful to my daughter and every person working or volunteering in this project.

Okay, that is now but last night I was worried.  I had a sore throat for the past two days and a sinus headache last night.  I have chronic rhinitis and some allergies so all this is NORMAL but when you are getting an important vaccine, your mind plays tricks on you…especially if you are a worry wart.

So I got up at 4am and called the health line and the nurse said I should be fine. I mentioned that I heard you are not supposed to take Tylenol the morning of the vaccination and asked if I could take Advil…she had not heard about this but mentioned that Advil has more side effects and did not recommend it.  I took care of my throat and sinuses with salt and a good rinse a few times, then honey/lemon drops. Yeah, that worked!   I know I was being silly but the mind does what the mind wants sometimes.

By the time I got to the centre which is an old Loblaws (grocer) building, I walked in the building and waited my turn at the gate.  There were 5 lines.  I never saw so many old people in one spot….haha, yeah, it was like looking at me, times 500.  There were more single people than couples.  I mention this only because a couple told me a few weeks ago how they were shocked about this.  I had never really noticed that. Of course it depends where you are in your own life. 

As I waited at the glass door for my turn to get through the glass door and register, I saw all the stations, and rows and rows of people…my heart started pounded, my throat tightened and I struggled to breathe. The more I paid attention to what was going on in my body, the harder it was to breathe.  I quickly scolded myself…telling myself, “Okay, stop it! Now count 5 things you can see…keep looking at what you can actually see!!”  I never got to what I hear or smell…just grounding myself with instructions to myself to articulate in my mind each item I could see and my breathing returned.  Nothing like trying to practice what you preach…and it works!

As I entered, I was told to remove my mask and with cooking thongs, the person gave me a new surgical mask.  Then I was told to get in the line and follow.  I was relieved to see there were markers that were 2 metres apart.  The couple behind me kept moving closer…I looked over my shoulder a few times and they got the message…well, okay, the last time I did look, I gave them “the Mother Look”.   Haha, I think the man got it and told his partner.  I realize when you are with another person, chatting, you can lose track of the distancing.  But let’s face it, we still have to be careful, and I think I will remain a bit strict in that area for a long time to come. 

One of my pet peeves pre-pandemic times are people who hover too close to you standing in line especially at the cash register when I am paying. It really irks me!  I would turn my back to them in the past…now I have found the courage to say, “Could you back up please” and if they stay put, I will add, “Back up! have a little respect for others. My space is also protecting you.”  I guess this is one thing the pandemic has taught me, to assert myself and when that doesn’t work…be a bit little aggressive. Before I would sigh out of frustration or once on my own, cry and be sad that there are some people who just don’t care about others. 

I realize that is a generalization and that some are just so covid fatigued, apathy has instilled and depression…so I know I need to be aware of that when asking to respect the 2-metre space.

By the time I got to register for the actual vaccine, I asked the gentleman which one was I getting and he ticked off “Pfizer”…yay!!  then I moved on to another person to answer questions about my health etc an in no time I was sitting at the station.  A lovely lady introduced herself giving me her name and profession…she is a pharmacist. I asked her questions I was concerned about and she was patient and did not rush me off.  Then I moved on to the section to sit and wait for 15 minutes. During that time a gentleman came over to ask for my vaccination“receipt” and added the date of my next vaccination in July…and voilà! As I waited the 15 minutes, my daughter texted me to ask if I was ok. I love her so much for caring and bringing me here and waiting.  I know she is very busy with her work as a manager and teenage boys, but she did not complain.  I texted her to tell her I was going out to wait and the sun was glorious!  Many people were sitting waiting for their rides and the man next to me had pulled down his mask and was coughing…hmmm, not too bright…so I moseyed on away from him a good 20 feet!

I feel so fortunate having adult children who care…taking time away from their busy schedule to drive Mom around for something like this.  However, I do look forward to my 2nd dose so I can jump on the bus, rent a car and get around…drop by to visit them rather than they coming to pick me up.  Covid has aged my habits by a good 15 years, meaning, no longer driving (since I do not own a vehicle) and afraid to take public transit to get around and taking the bus to the car rental place.  I say aged because I know my kids worry about me due to my lack of mobility as well for my health. 

I have spasms of weeping for a few seconds most days worrying about our future but they are short lived.  I can talk myself out of negativity.  Talking to a few friends and of course family and virtual chats with my grand-daughter uplifts me all the time.  I find myself closer in many ways to my children and have grown even closer to my friend/soul sister 650 kms away.  It IS so important to connect with a few people who you can laugh, bitch, cry and laugh with, at the drop of a hat.

I have indulged in too much screen time but watching so many medical shows that are American, I feel so fortunate to be living in a country where we all pitch in to pay that little extra on our paycheques so we can benefit with free health care no matter who you are.  Sure a few private clinics have surfaced due to the high demand but people who have insurance and/or can afford this …fine.  I know I can walk into a hospital and not worry about being charged anything except for a private room maybe but other than that, I do not have to put off getting medical attention because I don’t have a better insurance coverage or am not wealthy.  I never had to wait until I was 65 in order to get any  kind of health coverage.  So, yeah, I feel blessed living here.

I am thankful I still can work part time from home, eat well, (well, maybe too much these days) and live in a comfortable condo with all the amenities I need in walking distance.

I can’t wait for things to open up so I can slowly prepare for retirement…to explore more passions where I can volunteer…maybe find one or two places for diversity.  I am not ready to stop until I know I can stay active.

plants forming buds
others are late bloomers
still… feel the movement
life is slowly awakening
beauty once again

© tournesol ‘2021-04-08

flowers for valentine? ( haibun) Daily Moments Feb 14/2021

The earth has been diseased for decades and now for over a year, the world is still held hostage by a virus that has no mercy and gets stronger over time. Humans are at war with a trillion drones hiding in wait…yet, they are invisible! And so we walk around with the only protective gear possible even in this high tech era that we live.

Social distancing
Wearing a mask
Washing your hands

Social distancing
Preferably
STAY HOME

Wearing a mask
When you can’t social distance
Forget the lipstick

Washing your hands
BEFORE TOUCHING ANYTHING!

Scientists working tirelessly to give humans ammunition but it’s a slow,process to gear every human..

In the meantime, is nature really healing? I mean aside from seeing a bluer sky, is it really? When things get safer, how many humans will revert to old, damaging patterns? This “time out” is perhaps an opportunity for humans to change. Here is one way to hear from a long time environmentalist David Suzuki 

A bud
Struggling to blossom
Needing air and water

A bud is just a bud is just a possibility …

© Tournesol’2021-02-14

Daily Moments – it’s finally dark  free verse  Feb 13 2021

 

It’s finally dark…

Wake up with the sun
feeling like a prisoner
another long day

Looking for excuses
to stay safe inside
it’s too cold,
it’s too icy…

tired of playing
the same ol’ game
“catch me if you can”
corona has no shame

feed the cats
my prime concern
then grinding java beans
fragrant and delightful
a lift that makes me smile

lifting the blinds
just a little
just enough
felines sun bathe
yet not enough
to peek inside my lair

just enough to see outside
watching the same people
day after day
day after day
walking their lady lapdogs
jogging to the park
some walking hand in hand
day after day
same old shit,
different day

one, two, three hours pass
still finding reasons to stay inside
brushing my cat
petting the other
blessed my friends are here
keeping me sane

binging today
on SVU…Law and Order
stories about perpetrators
victims of abuse
tales remind me sometimes
of stories that I’ve heard
the only consolation on TV
the bad guy may get caught
the victim may finally heal
live sort of happy ever after.

another hour, it’s quiet
the cats are sleeping
bellies full
the streets are empty too
no walkers now
just cars parked in front
a visitor here
another guest there

not sure if it is illegal
but keeping someone sane
outweighs any Legault law
so long as curfews followed
such visits heal the soul

tired of playing
the same ol’ game
“catch me if you can”
corona has no shame

it’s finally dark
yet not too late
last minute souls
who brave the streets
to get a dozen eggs

it’s finally dark
we’re all shut in
it’s passed eight o’clock

it’s finally dark
survived another day…

tired of playing
the same ol’ game
“catch me if you can”
corona has no shame

 

(c) tournesol ‘2021 -02-13

Daily Moments – it’s finally dark  free verse  Feb 13 2021

Daily moments Feb 9 2021 tapestry of life (Troiku)

 

Loom Tapestry Learning image 0
Etsy – Loom Tapestry Learning

Today as my colleague was describing a counselling process, I was visualizing a collaborative partnership…like creating a tapestry. Each yarn, unique in its texture and colour; each row adding to the complexity forming; client holds bits and pieces of yarn, varried textures from thin to soft, soft to thick and coarse of so many colours; counsellor holds the loom and together a new story unfolds.

Wrapping yarn
Bulky, soft and unique
around each nail

wrapping yarn
attentive and respectful
to each detail

bulky, soft and unique
weaving each new syllable
tapestry of life

around each nail
exploring – discovering
options unfold

© tournesol ‘2021-02-09

Daily moments Feb 9 2021 tapestry of life (Troiku)

Who am I but me? (written 2014)

I am me, none other,
not my mother’s weaknesses
nor the sins of my father
but the qualities of my mother,
strength of my grandmother
sometimes tenacious,
impatience blessed
my fortitude
and sometimes
with  some solitude;
when o’er the top
kinsfolk distressed.

I am perfect
in my imperfection
I’m an ordinary human being,
doing the best I can
with utmost dedication.

I love to  help, care
listen with compassion
giving, feeds me double rations
so much more do I receive.

I am female
woman, all the time
insisting I be true
to my heart’s desires,
my need for intimacy
my thirst for sexuality
if society permitted
I would not have to store
said desires in a drawer
No indeed!
they’d call me an exciting player
rather than promiscuous stayer
and…
I’m also a lady the rest of the time;

I am not English
nor am I French
I am Canadian,
then I’m Québécoise
I am a product of my ancestors
woven of the best of tweeds
in French, Irish, Welsh, English
like most Canadian tapestries.

I’m independent
but not unfriendly
embrace my solitude
which toys two camps
of loneliness and isolation
ambivalence ascends
with feelings of worthlessness,
aloneness then transcends.

I love my mother,
and all my children,
and my children’s children too,
my sister moreover-
cousins most times,
my friends… true siblings
soul mates, by design.

I love with abandon
sheer lust and passion,
not always guarded…
but, ill prepared,
which sometimes breaks
the heart in two,
Lord Tennyson
seemed to know this pain
as quoted saying:
‘Tis better to have loved and lost,
than never to have loved at all.’

I want to wake next to a lover
but not lose me along the way
so much explored of me, discovered…
I learn to love me more each day.

Originally Published:  © Cheryl-Lynn R.’ 2014/05/14

Oh my! How life has changed since I  wrote this…but I have not…I wonder what verse I could add to 2021…something to think about…

 

Lean on me (troiku)

(c) clr’21 Richmond Hill, On.

a new dawn
daisies lift their heads to the sky
shimmering star

a new dawn
heart fills with butterflies
quiver with joy

daisies lift their heads to the sky
searching
morning promise

shimmering star
butterflies sip sweet nectar,
spreading hope in gold

© Tournesol’ 2021/01/10

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(c) clr '2021 Lake Wilcox, Richmond Hill, ON. Canada

Where is that darn magnet?

Image may contain: cat, table and indoor

I just published a troiku (4 haikus piggy backing on one another) here in describing my daily thoughts and that inspired me to write a bit more, so I looked up Linda G Hill’s Saturday prompt of Stream of Consciousness and I decided to free flow write now before turning in and will post Saturday…

There are so many deliveries these past months that I cannot keep up with cutting up boxes to put out for recycling. My guest room is part library, part Kali’s room (my beautiful black cat) and where I have a make shift pantry where I put non perishable food that I don’t FEEL like WASHING the containers so it sits there for at least a week. It is enough that I wash anything new that comes in the house…I have become the twin sister of Detective Monk. I think the world has turned to Monk [chuckles]

I have received a few Christmas cards but yesterday I did receive a beautiful “first time ever” family Christmas portrait/card…homemade of course but still. My son, his beautiful wife and baby Lara sitting on mama’s knees. Well, let me tell you, I made room right at the centre of my fridge door and placed the magnets properly to ensure it does not fall. Then I notice a few picture needed shifting a bit to the left and others a bit to the right and then I heard one of the tiny round magnets fall to the floor. I got on my knees…and lordy lordy, getting on my knees hurts even more now that I have added more pandemic weight but search under the fridge, under the stove…the sink…nada! I sure hope it went far far so Kali does not try to swallow it. Of course I know her, she would just play with it like a hockey puck or soccer ball. If any cat could join a sports team, it would be Kali. She just moves those two front paws at such speed and finesse too!

So now that I have written this, I feel a bit guilty and worried and will pull the fridge and stove to find that darn magnet.

© Cheryl-Lynn

Written for The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS (Stream of Consciousness Saturday) Dec. 19/20

Dear Emma, Friday 13th Nov 2020

 

Dear Emma,

It has been months since I have written on a regular basis.  Many respond to sudden changes in their lives to comments like “Life happened” with all the busyness one may be exposed to.  But like the entire world, my only excuse is “Covid-19 happened” and it just took me a little longer to react.

Sure I was stressed and scared in the beginning but I was so busy putting out fires working on the crisis line three days a week, I would take four days to stay busy…distracted with still settling in my new condo since February…and yet every midday there was a press conference and I would freak out in my own little home.

I would rarely show my concerns with family or friends because they had enough to deal with.  At that time I was worried for my future and the unknown but like I said, I was also busy trying to reassure, comfort and listen to those calling our youth line that, that kept me focussed.  It reminded me a bit of a mom who is trying to tend to the family when they have an illness that is contagious.  Chicken Pox comes to mind as I had to stay quarantined for three weeks with my son and THEN on the third week, my daughter caught it…so six weeks quarantined.  Wow! I thought that was pretty tough then!  How naïve I was!!

In March and April and early May I was still counting the days since our lockdown and now, I have given up counting.  What used to be days, has turned to weeks and now turned to months.  Actually now the thought of counting any amount of time has a bad ring to it…yep, when you start hearing that things will get back to normal…or sort of normal in 3 to 4 years…I dread even thinking about that…my future is much shorter than my clients and my peers, working in an environment where the average age is 25.  So yeah, I’m probably the age of their grandparents.  I wonder how my last decades will be.  I had hoped to travel the first three to five years,  while I was healthy enough and still working to afford the expense…now I don’t know anymore.

In the beginning I mourned the future of youths and anyone 20 years younger than me; I felt so bad for them.  I was worried about my son and his wife and wondered if my son would be allowed to assist in the birth of his baby due in mid September.  I worried about his return to teaching elementary school and putting his family at risk.  I worried for my daughter and her three boys who were 12, 14 and 16, living in dullsville and wishing they could be with at least ONE friend other than each other.  I worried about the sanity of my daughter and her partner working from home with extremely stressful jobs that has increased since the pandemic. 

In May, George Floyd’s murder hit me more than Covid-19…one was a virus and difficult to contain, the other was an act of malice that could have been prevented.  And so I mourned for his family and friends, I mourned for past, present and future people who have died maliciously. It took George Floyd’s death to finally have the entire world acknowledge and listen to people protesting in the streets about systemic racism for black , racially marginalized and indigenous people  ALL over the world.  The finger was first pointed at America and finally we all looked humbly in our own back yards at the injustices that have been going on for decades if not centuries.  White privilege is finally being understood slowly…systemic racism is being acknowledged and recognized…notwithstanding our stubborn premier here in Quebec who will NOT use the word systemic racism pretending NOT to understand what it means…even if many have explained it perfectly in French for any bozo who pretends not to know.  If one does not acknowledge it, they can give that as their excuse to NOT begin to resolve the problem.

Mid-May, I finally bought an inexpensive home antenna and caught the news on several American, Canadian English and French channels…so now I could watch a summary rather than the whole press conferences that I was getting to dread.  I dreaded Zoom meetings and the echoey sound it had and would rarely attend to work meetings and rather chose to stay on the crisis lines. I am still not able to watch for long periods of time, shows that have Zoom…it just reminds me of a new world I dread. 

I worried I would never be able to hold the newborn baby when my grandchild would be born and then July came and I had my very first outing with the family…we were allowed to meet with our 2 bubbles…so my son, his pregnant wife, and my daughter’s family,  celebrating my grandson’s 16th birthday and finally saw everyone.  We had not been together since Christmas 2019. 

I was still scared walking outdoors and was not familiar with my surroundings.  There is a beautiful gigantic park 5 minutes from my condo with an artificial lake that runs a mile and a half long.  I was too scared to go but in August I decided to check it out. I hated walking alone all the time and not having a goal or destination, so I started talking to a friend in Toronto on my walks.  I tried to go for a walk during my lunch time as well to get away from watching the news on YouTube, not having cable, I was stuck with only streaming information. 

On August 20th, the Great Spirit answered all our prayers and my grand daughter was born three weeks early!  My son was permitted to stay with his wife the three days in hospital and I even spent three days the week after helping mama and baby Lara with this new transition.  I treasure those days I was blessed to hold Lara in my arms, soothe her and help her sleep.  The week after school started, I had to stay away from family….AGAIN.

And then the lows hit me. It felt like I was buried alive sometimes. I hardly went out for walks, would binge on mystery channels and Netflix and had a hard time to concentrate on reading…someone who used to read 3 to 4 books a week…my mind seemed to be slipping.

Work was getting heavier…calls were abundant and intense and although I was relieved youths and  young adults were reaching out, once off the phones, I was back in that dark hole. 

I tried anti-depressants for three months and nothing seemed to change and then it was increased and after two days of that awful feeling, I called my pharmacist to ask if I could quit cold turkey…it happened to be a medication that had little to no side effects if stopped suddenly.  That was the same day I heard from a dear friend who was caring for her son who had a terminal illness…I think that is what woke me up.  Life is still going on…cancer, heart attacks, strokes and other debilitating diseases are still around…in fact, it is even harder for them with all the restrictions and precautions due to this pandemic.  No, that was like a slap in the face for me…I wanted to try something else to get out of my dark hole.  It was time to start practicing what I preached to so many of my callers.

But two weeks ago I lost my voice. Well, you cannot answer calls on a crisis line with no voice and even if this week it is raspy, my vocal chords still need a lot of healing due to a couple of reasons. Reflux was the main culprit as that damages vocal chords a lot!  My  doctor gave me a three month treatment and warned me it would take time.  And so here I am,  trying to write again.  Today,   I was admiring some of the posts  my colleagues submitted on our internal Slack showing their hobbies.  That reminded me how much I had changed.

In March and April I was writing a little more, refurbishing furniture and getting into artsy things like water colouring, colouring and considering oil painting.  I was plugged into YouTube so many hours a day learning new DIY’s from makeover rooms to arts and crafts and then summer came, and I stopped.

I picked up knitting but within a few weeks my arthritis warned me painfully not to overdo it and so I picked up crocheting and with the help of YouTube learned new stitches or how to improve what little I did know.  I just finished crocheting a shawl for my daughter in law, almost finished knitting a throw and almost finished knitting a long, long scarf. In the summer I had purchased over $100 worth of yarn for a baby blanket but every time I start knitting something, it takes too long and hurts my achy body and I get discouraged and take it apart.  I knit a bit, then crochet a bit….that way I don’t overuse my body. 

Oh, and in August, I slipped down the stairs of my condo on wet steps the idiot janitor did not put a sign it was wet and there I flew right into a wall. The only thing that still hurts is my left wrist which does not help with crocheting or knitting.  But then again, those are things that may be soothing but they are passive…not helping with my dark moods.

Today, I logged onto WordPress and checked in my Reader to see who I was following and the first post that caught my attention was Linda’s.  Gee thanks, kiddo!

So here I am trying to get back into writing. Oh, I have written similar posts like this one before but after an hour or so I would just delete them.  This time around, I am hoping on this Friday the 13th, it will bring me good fortune and back to my old passion that has always been so therapeutic…writing.

© Cheryl-Lynn ’2020/11/13

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Nov. 14/2020 Ring

a new beginning (haiku) Daily Moments Nov. 13/20

 HAPPY DIWALI💕 – Happiship
 (c) https://happiship.home.blog/2019/10/27/happy-diwali%F0%9F%92%95/

  
 shaking in the quake
 uncertainty
 prayers interrupted
  
 obscurity reigns
 then -  rising from the darkness
 Amma’s smile
  
 sneering in her sleep
 monsters gaining speed
 Kali wins the fight
  
 fear turns into hope
 cruelty turns to compassion
 darkness turns to light
  
 © tournesol’ 2020-11-13
  
 Daily Moments   November 13  2020  New beginnings (Troiku )
Celebrating Diwali - festival of lights