Friday, November 29, 2013

Considering the possibilities: Fiction Friday

The story of the Spinster house: The House, The CoupleAnother meetingThe ShopAnna's last yearThe Disastrous BetrayalHope's Journal and Persistence.

Surprisingly enough, the arranged lunch date between Kade and Anna went well. They laughed about Zoe's forcefulness, they ate the local diner special, and they talked.  It was easy and fun, so Anna gave it little thought.  After all, she didn't know a lot of people in town -- any friend was a good friend.

The next week or two continued on much in the same way.

Zoe created reasons she needed Kade to come by the shop or he dropped in touring coffees or just to chat on his way elsewhere.  Anna got into her own rhythm of working in the shop, working on the house, and getting to know the little town again.  Trouble also settled into the routine, often accompanying Anna to the shop and only being chased once or twice daily for chewing on something he wasn't supposed to.

Anna was content. For the first time in awhile.

She had started organizing the financial side of the shop.  Receipts were starting to be copied, labelled, and filed instead of landing in a box beside the desk.  Anna noticed happily that her aunt Hope had been as fastidious as she was so the books weren't entirely a mess.  She thought she would be able to get them entirely in order before the end of the year.

Thinking of her aunt again made her reach for the journal.  It sat quietly on the side table by Anna's favourite chair in the living room waiting for Anna to pick it up and get immersed again in Hope's tale.  It was proving to be an easy task and Anna often had to keep herself from reaching for it when she needed to be working.

Sept 5, 1979

I have started searching for my future. One would think it was an easier task than it has come to be. I remain working at the factory for now as it is a steady income and I have time to consider my options. I have many people there who have become my friends over the years and I would be sad to let them go from my daily life just yet.  However, as always, I find myself just on the outskirts of them all -- as though they know I do not quite fit and so do not try to force me to do so.

I have a small amount of savings put aside now. With Martin's scholarships and rather modest living arrangements, I have expendable cash for the first time in memory.  I have considered what I should invest in as I know this is my opportunity.  The economy is growing and seems fit to continue to do so. I believe I would like to be part of that.  There is a space in a building just off main street that is longing to become something.  It seems reasonably priced, so I could look into it if I choose.

I would like to be a shop owner I think.  A place where people can come, be comfortable, sit and visit, poke around, and return time and time again to seek out new treasures. A book store would be lovely.  Or a shop with little pieces of arts and crafts to decorate with.  Oh the possibilities!! 

I won't rush in to anything.  If my life has taught me anything at all, it is to take my time and consider the options. I am just pleasantly pleased the options are so enjoyable. 

Next chapter: Anna's Decision

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Listing things I like to do - why is this so hard?

Last week, I told you about the 5 imaginary lives I wanted to have. It's all part of this book I'm reading about unblocking yourself and allowing yourself to figure out where you want to go and who you want to be.

So far, I'm writing almost every day in my "morning pages" (or at least I'm writing some) and I'm thinking about the topics of tasks that are assigned.

Today's has stumped me.

You would think it would be simple.  Write a list of 20 things you like to do and when the last time you did them was.  Easy, right?

Well... not for me.

I guess I must be pretty limited as I have very few things I can think of.  Like half of the list.  So, I will show you what I have and then I will add to them if I think of anything.  Problem is? I don't really like to DO anything.

I'm lazy and unmotivated.  But it's one of my favourite things about me!

  1. read (today)
  2. knit (yesterday)
  3. shrug for Ky
  4. sew (October? I made a phone case for a friend)
  5. walk the dog (yesterday - he's a jerk and likes DAILY walks... like he's so important.)
  6. 2012-06 Monty in the grass
  7. swim (well, not swim so much as hang out in warm water) (October)
  8. yoga (October? I started daily and that disappeared)
  9. take pictures (good ones, not just iPhone ones on the run) (October)
  10. 127 Havana - B
  11. paint (2011)
  12. craft/make stuff (2012)
  13. decorate (Christmas 2012)
  14. updated: watch TV/ go to movies -- thanks to Renee via FB for this one! (yesterday)
  15. updated: nap!! (Thanks Wynn Anne! via FB) (today!)
  16. updated: write -- I remembered this one in the tub and then Wynn Anne reminded me.  DUH. (today)
  17. updated: spending time with The Guy (every day!)
  18. updated: lunch/coffee with friends (yesterday)
  19. updated: making cookies 
  20. updated: shopping! (Thanks, Zoe!) 
  21. updated: tell people what to do (this is actually what Saryn meant in her comment... I know)
  22. updated: play FB games -- solitaire is my favourite (yesterday)
  23. updated: this should be #1: Make people laugh!!
What do you like to do? Maybe you can give me ideas.  I will update as you I think of things.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Lights on, nobody home

When I do particularly dumb things, I like to tell people about them. You would think because it is rare and makes me more like the common people and thus more loved. It's not.

I mean, it's not just that. It's that it happens with such an amazing frequency and a completely stunning level of stupid. It's a wonder I am allowed out of the house on my own.

Even the dog thinks I need an adult.

I tried for 5 minutes to get him to look at me so I could take a picture.
Finally, I had to ask if he wanted food. The look of disbelief is clear in his eyes.
He knew I was faking.
This weekend, we had a friend visiting during the Grey Cup. We hung out lots and had a grand old time.  The first evening, I had to set my car alarm off so we could find where I parked and then I couldn't turn it off.  For possibly the longest 5 minutes of my life.

That wasn't even the dumbest thing I did during the weekend.

On our last night together, I went to let the dog outside. I take him out the side door that I've been using since we moved into this rental in August.  I flipped on the outside light, let the dog out, and waited for him to come back in.

It was then I realized what I had been doing for over 3 months.

When I came back in, I had to share. I had thought the side door light was a motion sensor. It wasn't until that night, I realized it was not -- at all. It just took a long time for the light to warm up and turn on.

Both The Guy and my friend assured me I had nothing to be embarrassed about.  This is when I told them:
You guys don't understand. I've been waving at that light for months to make it turn on.
I muttered to myself about the fact I have two degrees and am still this stupid.  The Guy assured me it was only one now as the University had asked for the other back.

Like me here? Try me at Brazen Woman where I encourage you with 4 ways to reconnect with your partner!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Pinterest addiction: cheaper than shopping therapy

I have a small Pinterest addiction.

I'm lying. It's huge.

It is possible for me to lose hours of my life just by clicking on the tiny little red & white P that adorns my cell phone screen.  I heart it. I have to check it before I go to bed and I scroll through everything everyone has pinned throughout the day until I get to where I last left off.

I'm thinking about getting into treatment.

Except, there are things I like about Pinterest so much, I don't know if I would want to beat this addiction!  There are so many great things on there.

There are recipes that I would love to (but never should) try.  There are puppies and baby animals for when I am feeling sad and need a boost. There are home ideas that I can plan to use in my new house. There are funny sayings that make me burst out laughing in a silent room.  There are REALLY funny things I can't pin but can send to my friends because if I pinned them it would ruin my reputation.

Best of all, there are clothes. Tons of clothes.

I'm a shopper. It's my happy place. Whether it's the Dollar Store or Tiffany's, I am happy when I shop. Not just things for me (but mostly, yeah) I love to pick things out for everyone.

Thus, Pinterest is perfect for me. I get to shop, pick things out for people I love, and I don't have to spend a dime!

I decided that, in addition to (or replacement of, I haven't decided) Christmas presents for my friends/family, I would instead show everyone what I would have bought them if I had time and money to do so.  From now until Christmas, I will make a post of things from Pinterest that I love for people that I tolerate love.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Grey Cup weekend in pictures

Grey Cup 101 in our hometown and Saskatchewan Roughrider as the Champions? That's a dang good weekend.  Here are one highlights! Sorry for my Instagram and FB followers as most of these are repeats (with a few new ones thrown in!)

Wade and I are ready too! At the Sheepdogs concert
The Guy and I before the game

Golden boy at Grey Cup. Some people's children.
There were strange people everywhere.

Finally, I can participate in Mo-vember!
Including me.

Grandma and Vicki ready for Grey Cup!
Grandma and Vicki were ready to watch the game.

The Pep Band provided the music.

And then we won.

The entire city emptied onto the Green Mile to celebrate.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Becoming a football fan: Post from the past

In honour of the Saskatchewan Roughriders being in the Grey Cup this weekend, I thought I would repost my first game with The Guy. I wasn't a football fan before him and I have to say, my life was much less stressful before the Riders became important. This was originally posted October 21, 2007.

I went to a football game today. Not only a football game, but a Rider game.

The last time I went to a football game, I was forced to attend by two friends. I didn't want to go, I told them I didn't want to go and I said that if I had to go, I was bringing a book. They didn't believe me. I showed them. I brought Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry and read most of it during the most boring 3 hours of my life. The book was fantastic. The drunken idiots screaming around me were not. My friends were furious at me and even to this day (almost 10 years later) will not speak to me about it. They just get quiet and surly.

In Saskatchewan, not cheering for the Riders is a crime. Seriously, it's in the charter. Well, not really, but it might as well be. Everyone and their dog shows up to cheer for them. Winning or losing. And believe me when I say, it's usually losing. But we're nothing if not loyal. Oh, and you think I'm kidding about the dog? I'm not. On the way back to the car, a dog with a Roughrider's jersey was sitting on some one's porch. Apparently, the dog is trained to growl at anyone in a non-Sask jersey. Yikes.

So, you will ask why I was at the game? Well, The Guy is an avid fan. Correction, a rabid fan. Everything he owns is green and has a logo. He threatened to buy me a jersey for my birthday. I am sure he bleeds green. Or, I've been told that's what Rider fans do. So, when he asked me if I wanted to go how could I say no? Especially when I said no to going to the Ozzy concert? I couldn't. And, I thought I should be supportive for this thing he enjoys.

So, I went. It was about 8 degrees (45 F) and we were on the sunny side. The wind was a little sharp, but not too bad if the sun was out. Which is was for lots of the game. Which is why my face and lips are burnt. Oh, that's from the wind too. And then it hailed. Yes, it hailed. HAILED. While it was still sunny. Uh huh.

I had a surprisingly good time. Although, the first few minutes I was there, I spilled ketchup down the front of The Guy's jersey he lent me to wear. Oops. Well, you can't take me in public, I do things like that. The game was really interesting and I learned a lot. I can't say I would make it a regular occurrence (mostly b/c I don't want to be one of those people. I mock those people.) but I did agree to go some other time as well.

The Guy's highlight of the whole time was the Rider's first touchdown. After the touch down, they kick a field goal and set off fireworks. Which no one told me about. So, I jumped a foot in the air and screeched. The row behind me burst out laughing and continued to do so as I jumped every time the fireworks went off.

I am threatening to make The Guy take me to a Dolly Parton concert. Or, to watch a marathon of So You Think You Can Dance.

Photographic proof I was there. (Gah. I look like my Mom)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Monty's fear of cleaning supplies

I have inadvertently taught the dog to be terrified of cleaning.

Seems fair he should hate it as much as I do.

Anytime I start cleaning something, Monty cannot help himself.  He starts to pace. From whatever room I'm cleaning to whatever room he is safe in, he wanders back and forth looking at me like I'm doing something that will cause grievous harm.

He whines. He sighs. He stares.

He hates when I use a broom, but is also enthralled with the idea that I am gathering all the floor treats into one pile for him to peruse.  He waits until my back is turned and sneaks into the room. He stands as far away from the pile as he can while leaning his nose towards the pile of dirt.

B&W Monty napping
Monty, tucked out with his pile of toys

You would think he expects it to jump out and bite him.

He hates the vacuum even worse.

The vacuum makes Monty run for the hills.  Usually he tries for high ground -- couch or bed -- but some times he doesn't make it before I do or that is the room I'm trying to clean. This causes him to stand in the middle of his chosen hill and decide if he is going to fight to maintain it or make a run for it.

The problem is the evil vacuum. It seems to make the floor lava.  If the vacuum is in the room, he cannot possibly touch the floor.

It might get him.

The other day, I was vacuuming the entry rug. I like to take my time there because it seems to collect dirt like it plans to run tests.  Monty was in the living room perched on the couch, ready to attack if need be.

Then he noticed a problem.

His dragon was in the kitchen.

Monty panicked. He jumped from the couch and edged closer to where the cord of the vacuum reached across the hallway blocking his access to the dragon. Monty started whining.  I encouraged him to jump the chasm and rescue his dragon.  He looked to the dragon, looked to me, looked to the dragon, looked to me.

I was taking great joy in his discomfort. I don't get out a lot.

Finally, he crept as close as he dared to the cord.  Leaning just his head over, he streeeeetched his neck out, snagged the dragon by the torn remnants of his tail, and made a break for it.

Most hilarious rescue ever.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My imaginary life: what I want to be

In getting my writing mojo (and all other mojo) back on track, I started reading a book that has made the rounds here and there in the last 10 years or so. (It might be more, I can't be bothered to look.)  It's called The Artist's Way and it's about self-discovery and all that.  I find the author a little "fluffy" but the ideas behind it are sound.

One challenge is to figure out what is blocking you from being the best and most creative person you can be. Every day, you are encouraged to write 3 pages of free flowing writing.  The idea to this is there is a lot of messed up crap inside our heads that needs to be tossed out. If we write it out first thing in the morning and never look at it again, we have clean space for the positive things.

I like it.


There are also tasks to complete each week. This week's question was:
If you had 5 alternate lives to create, what would you be in each of them?
I thought you might be interested in hearing my answers.

  1. Writer -- I think I have always wanted to write. I remember finding a story I had written where the narrator was an old woman who was writing about being a writer even though no one read what she wrote. That is where my heart is in a lot of ways and yet I've never explored it beyond the walls of the internet.  I would like to write books and books and books and have people be touched by what I write, whether it is silly fiction or heartbreaking. 
  2. Interior Designer -- I love choosing paint colours and themes. I always thought I would like to do that all the time. Pinterest helps. It's like designing a million rooms for a million people and never having to leave the house.
  3. Police Officer -- This is the closest to real life. I really did intend to be a police officer when I started out.  I'm thankful it didn't work out that way, (especially after the *^R% polygraph) but the thought of putting on a uniform and a gun appeals to me still. When I was a teen, there was a period of time I wanted to be a sniper. I think that scared a lot of people.
  4. Singer -- I like to sing. The Guy doesn't think I'm particularly good at it, but he's tone deaf, so I forgive him. In my perfect alternate reality, my sisters and I are a trio singing folk gospel type music. My youngest sister is the melody, while my middle sister and I sing duelling harmonies.  We would make Naomi Judd weep with jealousy.
  5. Barrista -- This one might give you all pause. However, here is why. I love being a clerk in a service industry.  Not a restaurant or anything complicated, but a coffee shop would be perfect. A quick chat with customers, familiarity and humour, then get their stuff quick as a bunny and off they go. It's the perfect length of social interaction for me. (PS, I wrote barrista instead of coffee wench because it makes The Guy's head explode.)
So there it is. A list of what I want to be in a different life. Most of it is beyond my reach or will or ability. However, I could totally be a coffee wench. If only I could make a decent wage. You guys would tip well, right?

Quick! What would you be in your imaginary lives?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Radio silence

I've been quiet this past week. Apart from my rant against forced sexiness and my fingerless mittens pattern, I have struggled to write anything.

I promised myself I would not write if it was only to complain and not: a) be funny about it, or b) have a solution about it.  I also promised I would not write about work in any real or present way.

That made this last week one of enforced blog silence.

I have a difficult time writing when I am in the throws of something bad. Afterwards, I have no problem. I can see the end of it all and I have really great ability to deconstruct things once they are completed. Then I have wit and insight and understanding.

Until then, I'm just effing miserable.


Since last week, I have gone back to seeing a counsellor. I have started a new series of books I am highly entertained by.  I have started reading a book on getting past hurts, unblocking myself from them, and finding a way to be creative while doing so. I have started cooking more things (more on that tomorrow... oy vey.)

I will likely have to start and restart things over and over again. But, I'm going to keep doing them.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The over-sexualization of everything

I get it. Sex sells.

Slap a pair of boobs on something and you will sell way more items than you might have otherwise.  You'll get more attention for whatever you're pushing.  Selling more, getting more attention is good.  I get it.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of it.

Now, I'm no prude. I appreciate a good display of T &/or A as the situation calls for it. I've been known to rock some awesome cleavage myself.  However...

There is a time and a place.

I am tired of seeing sex being used to sell everything. Forced sexiness is not sexy. It is not appealing. In fact, I find it sad - like a washed up old woman still putting on mini-skirts and tons of makeup while she tries to convince the world she is really 25.

Everywhere we turn, things are being sold to us. Commercials, magazines, bill boards, or people; you name it, it's for sale. It also likely has something trying to convince you that it (and/or you) is sexy.

I do not need sex to eat Skittles. Skittles as a desirable STD is not what I am looking for. I don't need to think of M&Ms as sexy naked creatures. I don't need Honey Nut Cheerios to try and be hip.  I certainly don't need a mop getting lucky for me to want to purchase Swiffer.

I want to be appreciated for my brain. I want advertising to speak to my mind. I would rather watch a commercial that makes me think or laugh rather than something that just slaps a hot guy/girl on it and calls it a day. I feel like Sexy Advertising is just calling it in. It is like a ad exec said "I don't know what's good about this product. Just have a half naked girl in the commercial. I have a lunch date in 15 minutes."

If you have no choice but to make something sexy in order to sell it, then maybe it wasn't so great in the first place.

If it was, it wouldn't need it.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ivory Hawk - fingerless gloves: A pattern by MayB

Since I learned how to knit almost 4 years ago, I have adapted many a pattern to suit my needs. It wasn't until I had a handful of gorgeous yarn and a friend requesting some fingerless gloves that I decided I just needed to do my own thing.

I made them, she loved them, and now I want to share the pattern with you. Aren't you lucky?

Now, if you aren't a knitter, you won't care. Just look at the pretty picture. If you are a knitter, these are easy whip up and lovely to wear. A great gift for someone you love.

These gloves are named after the yarn I used. I thought it suited them perfectly. I hope you think so too!

Ivory Hawk Fingerless Gloves
by Bronwyn MayB


Materials needed:
Yarn used: Comfy Worsted Yarn in Ivory and Hawk 1 ball each 50g
Needles: 4 DPN in 4.5mm, darning needle for finishing

Cast on 39 stitches in Hawk yarn

Row 1: K2 P1 repeat to end of row
Join in round, be careful not to twist.  Place marker to begin next round.

Row 2 – 10: Continue pattern for 10 rows total

Row 11: with Ivory yarn K2 P1 repeat to end of row
Row 12 – 21: Alternate Ivory and Hawk rows in pattern for 9 rows ending on an Ivory row. Cut Hawk yarn.

**Row 22: Thumb gusset setup for glove one– continuing in Ivory (K2 P1) x3, PM, M1, PM, K2 P1 to end (Note: thumb is in stocking stitch)

Row 23: K2 P1 repeat to end of row
Row 24: K2 P1 to marker, SM, M1, K to marker, M1, slip marker, K2 P1 to end
Row 25 – 34: repeat rows 23 and 24 until 13 stitches are between the thumb markers
Row 35: K2 P1 to marker, remove marker, place 13 stitches on waste yarn, remove marker, K2 P1 to end of row

Row 36 – 44: K2 P1, repeat to end of row
Row 45: with Hawk yarn, K2 P1, repeat to end of row
Row 46: with Ivory yarn, K2 P1, repeat to end of row
Row 47: repeat row 45
Row 48: repeat row 46. Cut Ivory at end of row.

Row 49-50: repeat row 45
Bind off loosely in pattern.

With Hawk yarn, pick up stitches from waste yarn and pick up two stitches from the body of the glove (15 stitches)
Knit 5 rows.  Bind off loosely.

**Row 22 for glove two thumb gusset setup: K2P1 to last 9 stitches, PM, M1, PM, K2 P1 to end of row

Have I mentioned you can like me on Facebook? Find me at I, MayB, at Knit Monkies OR follow me at Bronwyn.MayB and be updated on all my shananigans.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Working hard or hardly working

My 93 1/2 year old grandma has always been a worker. She is happiest when she is doing something productive.

This fall, Grandma was in her element.  She got to help my uncle get his yard ready for fall. She had assisted him in planting the flowers and talked about that for week, so when it came time to rake and mow and tidy, she was all over that.

Uncle sent me a couple of pictures of Grandma and included a video of her pushing a lawn mower twice her size. It was adorable. I haven't seen her as happy as that in awhile.

Grandma working
Wee Grandma loading a recycle bin that is bigger than her.
I was telling The Guy all about the picture and showed him the video. I told him how Grandma has always been happiest when she is working.

The Guy looked incredulously at me and said, "How are you related to her?"

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

My book report: The Fault in Our Stars

It's been a long time since I have done a book report. However, this book is worth staying up all night researching things, organizing my recipe cards of information, and colouring in my title page.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Have you ever read a book so powerful it made you feel as though there was nothing more than that book? That the pain and honesty and heartbreak of it was more than you could physically bear?

That is this book.

It is story about teens who meet through a cancer-supoport group and face all the horrors of cancer all while facing the worse horrors of teenage-dom.  It is a widely agreed upon fact that children should not have cancer. Cancer, if it has to happen at all, should be for people who have experienced things already, who have lived and loved and travelled. You shouldn't get your first cancer treatment before your first kiss.

Cancer is one of those words whispered when spoken. It always makes me think of the scene from St. Elmo's Fire when the mother keeps whispering words she finds scandalous: "cancer" and "prison" hiss from her mouth like the words themselves are poisonous.

This book not only talks about cancer, but about how it feels to have it and be left physically and emotionally altered for the rest of your life which might just be miserably short. It's about being a teenager and experiencing things teens experience which would be completely normal except that it's tempered with being terminal or even in remission.  You can't just be teen depressed or teen in love, it all has bigger meaning.

And yet, the book isn't even really about cancer. It's about finding out what is in the world, experiencing things in the world you should get to experience, and also the reality of the world versus our expectations of it. About our heroes, how we think they "get" us and yet, they too are just people who can disappoint. About how we can find it all and how short that "all" can last.

It's about how life just isn't effing fair.

This book is all that and more. I imagine it is different for every person who reads it. It is different for me experiencing it as someone who lost her mother to cancer. It would likely be different if I had read it as a teen versus an adult. It would likely be different for everyone.

When I finished this book, I sat and sobbed. I sobbed for the raw emotion it brought forth and the unfairness of life. I sobbed because it was an amazing book that I could never read for the first time again. I sobbed because I could never write anything as beautiful and as painful.

I wish I had never read it because no other book will be as good.  And that is why I normally stick with trashy romance.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hard headed: my first assault on the job

My job with the public in human (social) services has been one filled with adventure and amusement. Most people hear about my work and wonder what kind of person I am to love it as much as I have. Crisis work has lead me to a personal body count, a knowledge of breaking into buildings, and more than one assaults on my person.

None of them are serious, so don't panic.

One of my favourite stories (apart from the time I watched the SWAT team clear a house) is from my first year in the field when I was assaulted.  By an old man.
146 Havana -old friends - B
Two old friends. Not my assailants.
I was green as the grass when I first started working at an advocacy agency that has long since been closed. My job was to go house to house and assess the living conditions. Our clients were poorest of the poor in terrible living conditions which they sometimes left worse.  On the off chance they didn't and were accused of it any way, I was there to make sure there was a record.

One day, I was visiting the home of a middle aged woman. Because of limited resources and a perceived lack of danger, I was on my own that day. I was not a threat, so thus was not considered likely to be threatened. I had already done many assessments without trouble.

I entered the house and was met by the woman at the door. On an old dilapidated couch, sat two old men whom she introduced as her uncles. I introduced myself, explained why I was present, and went about wandering the home looking for things.

Innocuous, right?

One of the old men didn't think so. He did not like a young, naive, bubbly white girl wandering around "judging" things. He mumbled about spoiled brats like me and told me I should get out. The woman told him to be quiet and encouraged me to get my assessment done. I wasn't worried and continued about my way.

I was dumb like that.

Looking back, I'm sure the old man was drunk as a rat. At the time, it didn't dawn on me. I was still learning about the ins and outs of poverty and how people coped with that life.  Now, I would have backed out of the house and made arrangements to come back. No big deal.

I continued my assessment - making notes on my clipboard (oh, Social Workers and their infernal clipboards) - and turned to go into another room.  I heard some motion and a slight whistling noise.

It didn't register what was happening until something thunked against my skull. It didn't hurt, but I whipped around nonetheless.  On the floor beside me was an empty, plastic lotion bottle. The kind with the blue twist on pump.

The old man had hurled it across the room and hit me in the head.  However, being that he was old and likely inebriated - and the bottle was empty and plastic - it barely made to to me and lightly bounced off my skull.

I did what any normal person would do. I burst out laughing.

It must have been the right thing to do because everyone laughed. I finished up my assessment and, when I left, I got a handshake and an offer of a hug.

I love my line of work.