My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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There be light! And not.

Though there’s a pile of melting snow a few feet away, I’m sitting outside on the deck in the sun – some kind of miracle. Sparrows squabbling viciously in the cedar tree. A few moments ago, before I came out, I saw a large rat foraging outside my kitchen door. That’s a first. Templeton!

So – where were we? Oh yes, going mad with smoke alarms. Definitely a low point, especially for a woman with a horror of loud noises. The electrician told me that in all his years, that has never happened to another client. Of course! I now think smoke alarms are like horses – they can sense your fear, and they take over.

The suggestion of the company, Kidde: that you blow them out regularly with compressed air. So add that to my list of chores – squirting air into my smoke alarms. Life is good.

However, we got through a very long day, with Mr. Wu and his team putting up most of the light fixtures – which included my climbing on the high scaffold to hang 54 metallic leaves on a dramatic fixture. And – it works, it’s lovely and interesting, as are the other fixtures JM and I bought drastically reduced on the remainder table at Dark Tools.

In the middle of all this, a former student came for an hour of editing and coaching. I managed to get my brain back for the hour. Then it fizzled out again.

On Tuesday I had a final visit with my beloved shrink who has kept me company through this process, and lunch with my beloved friend, editor extraordinaire Rosemary Shipton. Today, the painter is coming to finish, the electricians are here already finishing, Kevin and his team are doing bannisters and door handles, and best of all, my blue bedroom with its fancy fixture is nearly cleared out of tools, paint, and junk. It’s happening, folks.

I’m still waking at 4 a.m. to fret. Title of my next memoir, Fretting at Four: my renovation adventure by Beth Kaplan.

Despite the coming of spring, my heart is breaking with world news, and more especially Ontario news; I sense rallies and marches and protests coming, just like 20 years ago. When my kids were in school, the loathsome Mike Harris – I never write or say his name without ‘loathsome’ in front of it – tried to destroy our education system, and now that my grandchildren are in the system, the disgusting DoFo is doing the same. Makes me sick. Not to mention the shenanigans yesterday during the budget speech – more disgusting. I inadvertently read a tweet from a Conservative MP filled with violent hatred for Trudeau. Civil discourse is no more.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst   
Are full of passionate intensity.

We are all in the jaws of the rough beast, slouching toward Bethlehem.

PS And the news tonight – the Conservatives shouting about how Trudeau treats women – the Conservatives, that feminist party! What utter hypocrisy. The Ontario Minister of Education saying they’re increasing class sizes to make students resilient and prepared for the future. No, it’s all too much. What planet are we living in?



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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