Celebrating alone tonight

I accomplished a monumental feat at work this week. So monumental that, in the entire existence of the company, it’s never been accomplished. I’m really damn proud of that fact. Sure, we’re all a team and we all work together and we win collectively as a team. But this one, the company won directly because of what I did. That makes me feel good. That makes me feel damn good.

I really wish I could go out and share a drink with some friends right now. But, since that’s not possible, or smart (given the sharp increase of COVID cases in this city the past few weeks), I’m hanging out here wondering what I should do. Order myself some dinner? Order myself some wine? Order myself a congratulatory present? I don’t know. How does one celebrate when they’re alone at home? I’m clearly bad at this.

Just do it.

Today I learned of a woman who, when the pandemic hit Canada, started her own business that has now grown so large, she’s looking to hire employees to expand operations across Western Canada.

The business? Chickens.

She owns chickens. People can rent her chickens for $35 an hour to come to their home and eat the slugs and bugs out of their garden. It’s a pesticide free way of cleaning their gardens and yards. Chickens eat the pests. She takes her chickens to people’s yards, set them free for an hour or two, and makes $35 an hour to sit and watch them eat bugs.

The woman who owns the business says that she’s booked through mid-October and that she’s not booking much farther than that right now because we don’t know when it’ll snow around here. She also said that customers who rented her chickens this year are also pre-booking the service for next spring and summer as well.

If ever there was a story to remind you to just do it, this is it. If you’ve been thinking about starting a business, if you’ve been wondering if you can do it, do it.

A woman who keeps chickens as pets has been making $35 an hour through a pandemic by essentially taking her chickens on field trips. If she can do it, so can you. Start your business. Chase your passions. Fulfill your dreams. Work for yourself. Start your side-hustle now and watch it grow.

You owe it to yourself to do it. Stay within your means, but don’t limit your future. Use the chickens you keep as pets, and when things pick up, get more chickens!

My uncle’s funeral

I would like to start this post by saying that I didn’t want to travel. Traveling right now is not fun. It’s hard. It’s frustrating. It’s annoying.

If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you’ll know that I lost my uncle earlier this year. We actually learned of his death just three days before the province virtually shut down in precautionary COVID measures. Planning a funeral was seemingly impossible. Not only were there legal limits on how many people could be in one place at one time, but we also needed to think about the fact that my father, his siblings and most of their relatives (with exceptions of kids and grandkids) are 60 are older. Gathering in a large group seemed… not just stupid, but dangerous too.

COVID cases in Western Canada were trending downward for a while. Businesses started reopening and we reached a point that people were told groups of 50 or more could meet outside. Given the news warning we could be headed for a second lockdown, my aunt came up with a plan to host a funeral for my uncle now, before it got too late and we hit a second wave.

The plan was to meet at the beach. My aunt has a cabin at the lake and they have a pretty spacious beach. The rule was that only my uncle’s siblings, their spouses and their children were allowed to come. No grandkids, no cousins or other extended family, no former coworkers… no one was allowed to come who wasn’t immediately, and closely tied to my uncle. The details were strict and needed to be adhered to at all costs. Everyone had to wear masks. Everyone was provided pocket sized hand-sanitizer. Everyone had to stand/sit six feet or more apart.

I went and got an asymptomatic COVID test on Thursday, received my results on Friday morning and left. The only stop made along the way was to get gas and brownies in Lake Louise. (IYKYK) There were a lot of people in Lake Louise blatantly ignoring bylaws mandating that people wear masks. There were also A LOT of crowds. People didn’t seem to care about COVID.

When I got to the town the funeral was being held in, I immediately went to the hotel. Driving through the parking lot I saw a lot of American license plates, which was curious to me as the Canada/USA border is still closed to non-essential travel and this town is not even remotely close to any route to Alaska. When I got to the hotel lobby, I was met with a lot of people hanging out, laughing in the lobby without masks. Again, people didn’t seem to care about COVID. I’m not sure why as the particular area I was in was/has been averaging 100 cases per week. (100 cases might not seem like a lot compared to news we’re hearing about Brazil and the USA, but 100 for this little town and their small population is a very large number)

I nearly lost my cool at the elevator when a man with a southern accent pushed his way onto my elevator without a mask and then tried to intimidate me when I got out of the elevator. I wanted so badly to argue with him, but his lack of mask reminded me it might smarter for me to step out of the elevator and let an asshole be an asshole. The southern accent made me also think that he might be from one of the cars with American plates that I saw in the parking lot, and if he was traveling, I didn’t want to be near him.

For the most part, I stayed in my hotel room.

When I left the room I had a mask on. I had hand sanitizer with me and I have a little gadget on my keychain that makes it so I don’t have to push buttons or open doors with my fingers.

The next day I got up, got dressed and went to the funeral.

I was nice.

It was sad. But it was the farewell that my uncle deserved.

I’m certain that we looked entirely weird to anyone who saw us… all spaced out on a beach yelling at one another.

We laughed about my uncle’s dry sense of humour. We smiled and celebrated when we learned stories from his life of the goodness he spread. We cried when we talked about how tragic his passing was. We never got near one another. Though I’m sure everyone wanted to hug one another, everyone acted with precaution. I was proud of them all for that because, while the other people might not care what’s happening in this world, my family was able to successfully have a funeral for my uncle without anyone getting sick.

The funeral ended, I got in the car and I left. I stopped only to get gas, and I was home that night, shortly after midnight.

There were no hugs. There were no handshakes. There was no stopping to see sights. There was no going without a mask. Precautions were taken at every step of the way.

I was anxious for weeks about this funeral. I didn’t want to travel, but I wanted to be there for my uncle. I didn’t want to be around people, but I wanted to be there for my family.

My recommendation to anyone who has to travel, or is considering travel is to be careful. Don’t be stupid. Take precautions. You may be perfectly healthy, but all it takes is for you to cross paths with one sick person and everyone you cross paths with for the rest of that day and likely for weeks after, you could be spreading germs too. That’s how COVID spread around the world (literally) in a matter of three short months. If you don’t have to go somewhere, consider staying home. If you have to go somewhere, be very careful. Precautions help. Don’t hang out in crowds. Wear your mask. Bring sanitizer. Don’t give out hugs. Don’t attend a car show in Hamilton! Keep to yourself. Pretend you’re an introver!

The news is saying that it’s going to be a long, hard winter that’ll be made a lot worse if we don’t take precautionary measures to slow the spread of COVID. So please, please, please be careful.

RBG

The leading story on our local news tonight was that the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died from complications due to her metastatic pancreas cancer.

I’m not an American but I know what she stood for and what she accomplished in her lifetime. She was a truly incredible woman who played a huge role in pushing the United States forward and she was a role model to so many.

She stood for morality, equality and she stood against discrimination. She was a voice of reason in a world clouded with what seems like everything but reason.

I truly believe she is someone the history books will favour. I mean… she was such a badass. I hope that her legacy is treated with the utmost respect, around the world, and most importantly, in the United States.

May she rest in peace.

JSYK

You can buy some bomb stuff from the Dollar Store.

Seriously. Genuinely.

Drinking glasses, face cloths, make up removers, glass lock kitchen containers, fridge organizers, cleaners, rope baskets, wire baskets, plants… there are so many good things.

You can buy a Wet Brush at Wal Mart for $14.99. You can buy that exact same Wet Brush at the dollar store for $4.

You can buy acrylic fridge organizers for $10+ per container at TJ Maxx or could buy them for $2-5 at the Dollar Store. They’re the exact same containers.

Some people say it’s cheap, I say it’s smart. If they’re literally the exact same items from the same manufacturers, why would you pay more money for it? The makers of Clorox don’t care where I buy their bleach from. It all comes off the same assembly line.

What are your favourite items to get from the dollar store?

I bought a car

She’s a beaut, too.

I’ve owned her for about two weeks now and it’s been two incredible weeks. Progress, am I right? If only January-April me could have seen me now and known how this year was going to shape up.

She’s a pre-owned vehicle. There’s 55,000 kms on her, so she’s been around the block a time or two. I love her no less, though. She’s dependable, reliable and completely beautiful. When I say beautiful, I mean… she turns heads when I drive by.

Yes, I refer to my car as a her.

I need to give her a name. I’ll gladly accept recommendations if anyone has names that would suit a car. Brownie points go to any names that are recommended more than once!

Tuesday’s surprise

Five people from my work were fired today.

Five people. No explanation as to why, just notification that they no longer work for the company.

Five people got fired and I wasn’t one of them. I know it’s just my being overly sensitive but I really feel for each of those five people. Whatever the reason they were fired, I know what it’s like. It’s never good to be abruptly out of a job… let alone during a pandemic.

Usually you hear about last hired, first fired… but I was the last person hired. I’m still here, still standing and feeling like I dodged a bullet in some way.

The tie-dye extravaganza continues!

I mentioned (here) that I had ordered some face masks that I intended to tie-dye. Well, they finally made it and I finally got to tie-dye them. Well, some of them. I actually bought a lot!

I really wanted to tie-dye masks because I think they’re so cute, but, way too expensive for my liking. Stores near here are selling them for $25 a mask, and, shops on ETSY are selling them for $20 – $75 per tie-dyed mask.

This batch is looking rather lilac on camera (I have white lighting in my room where I took this picture). In person they’re more of a soft blue with dark blue speckles.

I personally love them. I’m going to give one to my mom and the rest I’m going to sell. It looks like we’re going to be wearing masks for a while, and I personally believe that everyone should be able to have a cute mask if they want one. And tie-dye masks should be way more affordable than they presently are.

If you’re interested in a tie-dye mask, let me know! And if you’re not interested, thank you for reading anyway. I appreciate you stopping by and I hope you had a wonderful weekend.


Stories about this past weekend are coming.

  • Traveling during a pandemic
  • Attending a funeral during a pandemic
  • A few more stories of the goodness my uncle spread in his lifetime
  • Running into my high school bully and her husband
  • Meeting Americans in a hotel elevator who are blatantly ignoring the border closure and coming to Canada for a holiday
  • Smoke from the California/Oregon fires blanketing our world on the West Coast
  • I bought a car!
  • What two weeks in quarantine is going to look like now

There’s so much to talk about! More coming soon.

If you’re reading and you made it this far, thank you. If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, thank you. And, in any case that you need a reminder today, you’re doing great. Keep going.

-Vee

Fun fact

I, along with two of my brothers, was an extra in X Men: The Last Stand.

The entire summer the movie was filmed will forever stand out in my mind as some of my fondest memories. It was one of the most fascinating, fun, difficult and rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Also, I was a teenager being paid more money in a week than most adults make at their day job, and I was hanging out with people that my teenage self truly idolized.

The whole summer came about because my brothers and I were sitting in a mall food court one day and heard a man near us pointing to a blind ad in the paper telling his friend that he was certain it was a casting call for X Men. ‘It would be fun’, we thought. ‘Why the heck not?’ At the very least, it’d make a cool story to tell our friends… going to a movie audition. Turns out to be a ton of cool stories to tell our friends.

I know it’s an older movie, but if anyone owns it or watches it, I’m a student in the mutant school. I’m not saying which one though. If you watch it, tell which one you think I am, or which three you think my brothers and I are. Your hint? We look enough alike that the casting crew thought we could pass as triplets.