Sunday, December 21, 2008

Trash for Supper

This morning I did the same thing I do every day when I come to work, I put my lunch (a salad) and my supper (gnocchi w/sun dried tomatoes and spinach) in the fridge. Both items were placed at the front of the top shelf, the same place I put my food every day.

At lunch time I went to get my salad. I noticed that my supper was gone, so I began to second guess myself. Had I left it in my bag? I came to my desk and checked my bag...no supper. I mentally revisited my morning and repacked my bag in my head. I distinctly remembered packing my supper on the bottom, salad on the top. I went back and checked the fridge again, TWICE!!! No supper.

I was stumped, there were tons of other plastic food dishes in the fridge, some that had been in there for a long period of time shoved to the back. Mine was not amongst them. I stood in the middle of the kitchen wondering. My eyes settled on the trash bin. There were crumpled donut boxes on the top, and I wondered some more. Could my supper be in there? Would someone be that ignorant? For giggles and grins I decided to look, never expecting to find my supper in there.

I moved the donut boxes and to my amazement I saw the lid of my container buried down below, under coffee grounds and crushed muffins. I reached in and moved the container to whee I could see it. It was covered in gooey garbage. I couldn't believe it. Who would be so mean?

I could have washed the container off and eaten the food, but at that point I couldn't trust that the food itself hadn't been tampered with. If someone was callous enough to put my food in the garbage, what else would they do?

I might have thought it was an innocent oversight had the rest of the containers in the fridge been "cleaned"out, especially the ones in the back. Had my food not been frozen still, I could understand how someone "might" have thought it wasn't fresh. If it had been at the back of the fridge with all the other old containers I might have understood how someone could have thought it was trash.

However, given the fact that it was the only container thrown in the garbage, it was at the front of the fridge beside other fresh food and it was still frozen I don't think it was much of an "accidental oversight".

Call me paranoid, but I think my food was thrown out on purpose, it's kind of hard to think otherwise. It sickens me that grown people could behave in this manner. It makes me doubt my co-workers and feel as though my food is not safe in the fridge. I think I may just start packing my food into a small cooler that I can keep under my desk and forgo the fridge.

What would you think?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Idiots, Morons and Mayhem ..... Otherwise Known as Winter Driving in Alberta

I am always astounded by the idiocy of people on the roads, but never more so than when it is icy winter driving conditions.

I drove my daughters to school this morning because it was -30 with a windchill of -41, and being the good Mommy that I am I didn't want them to freeze.

On the way we encountered the following:

The speedster "I have 4 wheel drive so I can go as fast as I want on glare ice" SUV

The "I'm gonna tailgate you cuz I don't need stopping distance" beemer; oh this was a dual personality driver, he was also the "I'm gonna turn across the lanes to the one I want because I am an ass", he almost drove into the back of me because I had turned legally into the lane closest to me and was performing a legal lane change when he turned.

The "I'm such a busy woman/heaven forbid I miss out on the latest gossip, I need to yack on my phone and turn the wrong way into the school drop off lane" mini van.

Lest we forget the "I'm turning RIGHT NOW (no signal, no warning)" sedan.

People are such morons. It's not winter conditions that cause accidents, it's morons who don't slow down, don't follow the rules of the road, don't pay attention and don't give themselves space and reaction time who do.

It's 09:30 and I want a drink..... and God help me but I have to go out amongst the moronic mayhem again soon.

*sigh* Is it summer yet?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Worry in Red

I always thought that once I'd reached a certain age I could stop worrying about "whether or not" I would get my period each month. I could stop waiting with baited breath each month, breathing a sigh of relief when it arrived (OK so I'm exaggerating somewhat, but I do have a point).

This is currently not a concern for me as a) I faithfully swallow my pill each day and b) one must have sex in order to find themselves in that condition and as I'm currently single there is none of that going on here.

I do however, have a teenage daughter. Now we've had "the" talk, I have been very open with my kids and I encourage them to come to me no matter what. I've told the girl that while I don't want her having sex yet, I want her to come to me if that's something she chooses to do and I will get her put on birth control and buy her condoms. I remember what being a hormonal teen was like!! I also remember how convincing those teenage boys can be, and since she has a steady boyfriend I'm sure you can see where my concern comes in. I mean will she come to me or will she be too scared of my wrath shy to do so.

We can instill the very best of morals and values in our children, and at the end of the day they will still make their own choices for the good or for the bad...and we can't control them. Teenage pregnancy knows no bounds, it doesn't discriminate. It also doesn't signify "bad" kids or morally lacking kids, it is simply kids who made a choice at an inopportune time. This scares the crappers out of me. I have to hope and have faith that she remains true to who she is, and continues to respect herself. I have to trust that she WILL come to me when that time arrives.

She assures me that she is not sexually active and I do trust her...but God help me, I worry EVERY damn month whether or not SHE is going to get HER period. Does anyone else with teen girls have this sick fixation on their daughters monthlies? Am I the only Mom who worries about this sort of thing.

I don't rest easy until I see the nice wrapper in the trash from the feminine hygiene product that I so lovingly supply for her each month.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Run Ya Over...

I was going to pick my daughter up from work last night at approximately 10 PM, so naturally it was dark.

I was heading south on one of the main roads and had to turn east to access the complex she works in. I had a red light so while I was waiting to be able to turn I did what I always do, I scanned the area around me. At no time did I see a pedestrian standing kitty corner from me waiting to cross. The light turned green, I scanned again, especially the corner to ensure no pedestrian in the crosswalk. Nope, didn't see anyone, so I proceeded.

I was about three quarters of the way through my turn when I caught a glimpse of movement. I hit the brakes.

There was a pedestrian, running across the crosswalk dressed from head to toe in BLACK. I had no idea where he came from, he was just there. Now that right there is a smart thing isn't it? Dart out into a dark crosswalk, at night, dressed all in black. I almost hit this person. I would have felt sick.

Where has common sense gone? If you are out walking at night for the love of all that is holy, please make yourself visible.

It's hard to get the stains out when something makes me crap my pants.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Internal Review

Recently some events occurred that caused me to take stock of myself, of who I have become, and I have to say I am not proud of what I discovered.

I have become a bitter, unhappy, judgemental, caustic individual. I have allowed things in life to get to me. I forgot to pick myself up and carry on. I forgot to let go of the bad and the negative. I allowed them to take up residence deep within my psyche, to build and grow and fester until they overtook my "self". They became "me".

I am now working on ridding myself of these horrible parts. I am working on becoming a better person. Working on managing stress better, understanding myself better. Searching for myself and who I truly am, because I am truly not who I am appearing to be these days.

It is hard when you look at yourself and decide that you don't like what you see. When you realize that you must take full ownership and responsibility; you must make necessary changes. Yet it is also exhilarating...to know that once all the hard stuff is over I will have found myself again. I will have found my happy again because right now I've lost it and I don't know where.

I do know where I will begin...stress management. I did not realize how stressed I was until I reached a breaking point... it was a huge wake up call. Recognizing one's own faults is a daunting task, but once done a solution is possible. I choose to better myself... I choose to become the person I once was.

I choose to find my happy again. I choose to care about myself.

I choose the positive.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Oh The Strange Places My Mind Will Go...

I cannot claim to be responsible for the stuff that runs unwarranted through my mind, at times I'm just as shocked as the next guy by what it seems to produce.

Just today, for example, I was in the little girls room tending to my nature call. I might add that this was at work so it's a very sterile, white environment in there. No pictures, no reading material....no color, just "blahness".

I happen to be cursed blessed with a very active imagination and a very busy mind. My mind is always going, it is difficult to turn it off at times, thankfully I am able to pay attention to many things at once so it normally doesn't present a problem. Except for times when there is nothing to occupy my mind and it begins to roam freely.

So there I was, sitting there minding my business, hoping everything was going to come out ok. And I started thinking.

I thought, "WOW I just turned 40"

Then I thought, "Oh I suppose that will mean mammograms now" It just went downhill from there.

All of a sudden out of nowhere I was wondering how women who are not so well endowed have a mammogram. Women who are AA. What do they stick in the boobie pancake maker?

Soon I was giggling as I sat upon the workplace john....

Giggling because I wondered what if they didn't have mammograms, but were just told to watch for anything sprouting from their chests after the age of 4o.

Again, I am not responsible for the paths my mind takes. Boredom does BAD things to me. Being bored is not good for me.



This is not meant to disrespect anyone who has ever suffered from breast cancer or had a family member or friend who did; I have lost loved ones to cancer so it is definitely not something I take lightly. I just have a very warped, dark sense of humor.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Write it Down!!!

I have learned over the years to write ideas down when they pop into my head or else I forget them. It takes a lot of discipline to do this since most of my ideas come at the most inopportune moments, like just when I'm drifting off to sleep. To counter this problem, I usually have a notebook and a pen beside my bed. I've also purchased a digital voice recorder for when I'm driving or otherwise engaged and unable to pen something. Usually this works great!

However, there are times that I am just too dang tired to want to get up. It is times like these that it is easy to delude myself into thinking, "oh I'll remember... I'll tell myself to remember and I'll remember". Yeah, guess what...I never do remember my idea. What I do remember is how important it is to write it down no matter how tired I am. I have learned that these moments are my subconscious' way of sneaking through and saying PSYCHE!!!!! Hahahaha fooled you... It dangles the carrot of a great idea in front of me and then yanks it away when I am too lazy to make good on it right away. Impatient my subconscious is!!

I blog about this today because this very thing happened to me last night. I was laying on the couch, vegging and watching my older girl on the computer. As I watched her I had this great idea for a blog... but alas I was tired and the pens were all the way upstairs (remember I haven't fully unpacked yet), so I told myself I would remember.

SURPRISE!!!!

I didn't remember...hence this lovely ramble. Next time I will just get up and write it down.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Exhaustion

We are all moved, well pretty much. There are still a few odds and ends at the old place, along with the cleaning. My wonderful roommate left all the cleaning for my girls and I... this includes all the leaves that need to be raked in the backyard. Oh well, I suppose that means ALL the damage deposit that gets returned will be mine. I shouldn't really be surprised at his leavings.

I was slightly annoyed bordering on a healthy rage when I found garbage and empties belonging to him left in the basement, but got over it as there's no point in being angry. Anger is not going to clean it up, the girls and I are.

We spent my entire week off moving and making sure the new house was unpacked enough to provide the girls with a feeling of home when I went back to work on Wed. Sleep, rest and relaxation were things I could only dream of, in fact, it was like I had to come back to work to get rest. Now I'm back and I can't wait for my days off. I am exhausted. It requires great effort just to remain upright and keep my eyes open. At this point any action taken is a huge exertion.

There will be no rest for me until after the 29th (that's the first day off in the next set of days off and will be the day I will spend cleaning the old place), but let me tell you ... as soon as the rug shampooer is gone on the 30th I am going home and curling up into the fetal position and then I am not moving for the next few days.

I know that won't happen because I am a driven person and there is still much to unpack, however, I am going to rest on the 30th. I need a day to step back, to find myself again and my inner peace. I need to relax. Right now I feel like I have been going mach 9 forever and my engine is screaming .... STOOOOOPPPPPPP!!!!

I also wonder, if I'm feeling this exhausted, how must my girlies be feeling? They worked so hard this past little while. Without their help we would still be in between homes. I am definitely blessed to have such wonderful children. I am so proud of them, they worked steadily and without complaint. They saw tasks to be done and they did them. They will be receiving a well deserved treat...I'm just not sure what yet. I have amazing girls!!!

As I sit here, bleary eyed, feeling like I haven't slept in years.... I can't help but think the 30th can't come soon enough.

PS: I am blogging from work because my home internet is not yet hooked up, but that in itself is a whole other story. Gotta love Telus, and that's all I have to say about that (for now)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fast Food Follies

Incident One:

Recently there have been a few events that have caused my blood pressure to rise a few notches blood to boil.

As I have stated we are in the process of moving, so culinary skills have sort of been forgotten to some degree and we have acquainted ourselves with drive-thrus. I went to the Dairy Queen near my house and began to place my order. It was very simple really. I wanted a cheeseburger, well done with extra cheese, combo, coke to drink as well as an order of onion rings, and two blizzards for my girls who had eaten earlier. Little Barbie "not quite out of middle school" Bimbette couldn't seem to wrap her head around my order. She totally butchered it when she read it back to me, apparently as well as means "instead of" so she figured I wanted the combo with O rings instead of fries. I patiently repeated my order.

We went through this gong show FOUR times. FOUR TIMES PEOPLE!!!!!!! Is there anyone who would not have been frustrated by this point? Seriously, if she hasn't gotten it after four tries, it's not happening. I felt like I was at the Special Olympics of the fast food service. I wanted to get out my green crayola and draw her a picture. I was gnashing my teeth and my knuckles were turning white as I gripped my steering wheel harder and harder. I told her to forget my order, I'd go elsewhere. Then little Miss "I wear a headset at the drive-thru window so I can act anyway I want" says, "Don't you be rude to me, there is no need for you to be rude" (Envision your teen daughter talking to you in anger with the head bob/finger snapping going on). While I wasn't rude to this point, her comment raised my hackles and I replied, "Sweetheart, believe me when I tell you I have not yet begun to be rude.... BUT I can begin if you'd like" At this point I figured it was in my best interest to just back away. So I did, I backed out of the drive-thru and came home.

Once at home I phoned the restaurant to speak to the manager. Of course he wasn't in. I got Lil Johnny on the phone who informed me with a snicker that the manager wasn't in. So I asked how it was that there was a restaurant full of unsupervised pre-pubescent pimply faced staff...SURPRISE!!!!!! There was an assistant manager on duty. Imagine my joy when the assistant manager could barely speak English. *sigh* I expressed my displeasure to him, not really expecting anything. He kept saying sorry, but that's not what I wanted. He asked for my number, I refused to give it. As far as I am/was concerned Dairy Queen is no longer on my go to places. Especially when you count this current incident with the one I blogged about before http://fnygrl68.blogspot.com/2008/05/cold-burgerdirty-bathroom.html

They must have call display because it wasn't too long until the manager called me. He said that he'd received my concerns and felt awful. What could he do to make me happy he wondered, could he send me some coupons. I said NO. I wasn't complaining for free food, I was complaining on principle. I was complaining because what happened to customer service and the customer is always right??? I was complaining because I was tired of constantly complaining about the state of customer service and not doing anything about it. I told him that it is easy to walk away from somewhere disgruntled and disgusted by the service received, but how could one expect any changes if nothing is ever said. Perhaps if more people stood up and took a stand saying "we're not gonna take it anymore" change would come. I told him that as such, I would no longer be a patron of his establishment. I thanked him for his time and ended the call.

Yes, I may be just one voice, but I am one voice that spoke up. I am one voice that said I will not stand for this type of service. It is my patronage that pays your wage and I for one am telling you... YOU'RE FIRED!!

Incident Two:

On Monday morning I decided to stop at the McDonald's on my way to work for breaky. Usually it is fast service so I wasn't concerned that I would be running late. So I enter the drive-thru lane and stop at the speaker box. It should also be noted that another vehicle pulled in behind me immediately and there was not a note to be seen anywhere on the menu.

The drive-thru nazi came on line, "Good Morning welcome to Mcdonald's I need to tell you that our interact machine is down. Will that affect your order?"

Uuuuh, hell yeah that's going to affect my order and now I'm STUCK in this drive-thru lane, wasting my time with no food at the end. I was livid to say the least.

I told her that I would not be placing an order and wondered aloud why it was only stated AFTER one was locked into the drive-thru lane. Her response, "I'm sorry Ma'am but it's the best we could do".

I'm sorry you moronic drive-thru drone, but NO that's not the best you can do...You could have an employee standing OUTSIDE, BEFORE the drive-thru lane letting people know that the interact machine is down. You could have been pro-active so that this fiasco could have been avoided.

So there I sat, for FIFTEEN minutes because that was the day they chose not to be "fast food". Now, not only have I wasted fifteen minutes of my life that I'll never get back, I still have no breakfast. Me without breakfast in the morning is NOT a pretty sight.

Finally I was out of drive-thru hell. I backtracked 4 blocks to the A&W and placed my order there. The people were friendly and capable. Most importantly their interact machine worked!!!!!

I think A&W will be my new breaky go to place when I decide to make that stop on the way to work.

Incident Three:

Yesterday I wanted coffee to take with me to the new house when I went over there to do a few things. I drove to the closest Tim Horton's to my house and got in line. Anyone who has ever gone to a Timmy's in the morning knows that it is a gong show. It is like a herd of cattle battling to get to the feed trough first.

This particular Tim's is in a complex that also has a Save-On Foods, a McDonald's (notice I didn't go there) and a bunch of other stores. So when the line for the Timmy's drive-thru is backed up, cars can be lined up to the opposite entrance. Now courtesy dictates that you not block any of the lanes to the parking lot of Save-On Foods, thus you have small breaks in the line every two cars or so.

As I am sitting in line, waiting not so patiently (I hate waiting) a white pick-up comes down the lane from the Save-On parking lot. He can see the line of cars in front of and behind me, I mean you'd have to be severely focally challenged not to. Since I know that he can see and obviously knows that this is a line for Tim's I assumed that he was leaving the store parking lot. Yeah, note to self...ASSUME NOTHING!!!!

This freak of nature CUT in front of me and got in line.

I took a deep cleansing breath. Pried my fingers off my steering wheel and did some relaxation exercises. I would not allow that jackass to ruin my day, I would not. There are just some people in this world for whom common sense and courtesy are too difficult to grasp, let alone practice.

All was right again. I had found my happy place. I was smiling. Then it happened.

A small car came from the opposite direction and turned as though he was going into the Save-On parking lot. But then.... he reversed and then pulled in front of me, behind dickwad number one blocking the entry to the Save-On parking lot. I had to blink my eyes. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The rage bubbled over. I laid on my horn and practiced my arm waving and hand gesturing. I think he could read lips never mind the sign language I was sending him. He moved out of the area.

As I watched him he drove up past the front of the line and pulled to the entrance to the drive-thru almost blocking the entrance completely. He had left enough room for small cars to get by. Soon it was time for the truck in front of me to enter the drive-thru, he had to hop the curb to avoid hitting Mr. Asshat I'm Too Cool for the Line Dickhead Nuimber Two.

Then, to my utter astonishment this asshole pulls in behind the truck AGAIN cutting me off and butting in. He had the audacity to look in his mirror and smirk. I hope he felt like a big man all day. I hope he felt like he'd accomplished something with his day. In my world he has succeeded in showing me what an ignorant bully he is. How very immature, sly, sneaky and underhanded he is.

All I have to say is ... and people wonder why I believe in selective thinning of the herd. Why I can understand how people are driven to perform violent acts upon others. Why I think our world is on a hell bent path to self-destruction.

This people is why.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Little Girls are Sugar 'n' Spice 'n' Mouth Guards and Sticks!!

Yesterday was my baby girl's first EVER ice hockey game/practice. I took a couple of hours away from work so that I would be able to take her. My heart did little flip flops as I helped her with her gear and then watched her take the first tentative strides toward the bench. She was nervous ... at least that's what she said, but it sure didn't show.

I laughed as I was helping her dress because the more stuff we put on the more worried she was became. She kept saying, "Mom, I don't think I'm going to be able to skate with all this on." I kept reassuring her that she would be able to.

Look at her:

How cute is this little face behind the mask?

She was amazing!!! She is one of those lucky people who is a natural at whatever sport she plays. Hockey doesn't seem to be any different. She innately seemed to know where to position herself, when to go in and when to hang back. She showed no fear and dove right into the action.
That's her in the blue with her back to us on the left... in front of the orange dude.
She even had a very close scoring opportunity which I almost missed because I was changing lenses on my camera, shhh don't tell her. It was difficult taking photos through the glass whilst shivering, many of my shots were blurry but at least her first time was documented.
She has the puck !!! Go girl, go!!
It was so exciting to watch her. It made my heart go pitty-pat. I used to play and she shares my love for the game. She looked like an old pro. Watching her with the other kids one couldn't tell that it was her first time playing.














She is the one in the middle on both these photos. She kept up with the other kids, and went into the corner and fought for the puck. I think she's played somewhere before...in a past life, because she sure didn't look like a rookie player.

Well, except for maybe here:

She dropped the water bottle and couldn't pick it up. Pesky, bulky hockey gloves anyway!!!!!
She is playing in a pond hockey league as opposed to the minor hockey league in our city. Anyone who has ever played organized hockey will know what I mean when I say some hockey parents can really ruin it for some kids and the league here is no exception. When I first phoned to inquire about registering her the woman I spoke to was rather snobbish when I mentioned that my girl had not played before. She then went on to haughtily explain that the girls team was a "travelling" team and it was very expensive. So I asked about the Pee Wee C team in the league, her reply was "if I wanted my little girl getting hit all over the ice by a bunch of boys then by all means put her on that team". My reply... Thanks for making my decision easier. We'll save $450 and put her in pond hockey.
The pond hockey league is more laid back. It truly IS just about having fun and being a part of a team. There is a lot of parent involvement, in a good and positive way. All kids, all ability levels are accepted and encouraged. If there is a child who can't afford the $100 sign up fee or equipment then help is given so that the child can play. The philosophy is that ALL kids deserve the opportunity to experience the great sport of hockey.
Just to give you an example of how great the people are: When we arrived at the rink we were a bit late due to the fact that I got hung up at work a bit. One of the Dads showed us our dressing room and then made sure the girl got to her bench. He and I began to chat. Through the course of the conversation I mentioned that we were late because I'd had to leave work. He told me that if there were ever any games/practices that I couldn't get her to because of work he and his daughter would be more than happy to give her a ride. The coach's wife also offered the same thing. I am going to like this pond hockey league. It really felt like we been a part of this team forever.
I look forward to this upcoming season. To seeing her develop her skills and abilities. To watch her confidence grow. To seeing her blossom both as a player and team member, as well as an individual. Most of all I am looking forward to strapping on my skates and showing her some moves!!!!
Look out Hayley Wickenheiser ... there's a new kid in town!!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sunsets


I love sunsets.

At the end of the day it is just so relaxing to sit outside and watch the sun go down. It is the end of a day well spent. A time for reflection.

Sunsets never fail to make me feel good. No matter what my day has been like, the beauty of a sunset takes my breath away and brings a sense of peace and well-being to my soul.

This particular sunset was taken from my friends deck in a rural area just after a thunderstorm. Everything smelled so fresh and clean, and then nature gave us this beautiful gift.





Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tangled and Jumbled

This is how I feel right now:


Tangled and jumbled and pulled into a billion different directions. I feel like I'm branching out all over and not really coming together.

I am constantly reminding myself that there is light through the maze. That soon I will feel peace and serenity once again. This is a crazy time and I find myself losing to the chaos at times.

I want to feel the way this picture makes me feel:


Calm and content. Relaxed.

Soon I will feel this way again. Only a few more weeks of chaotic living. Of feeling like I need to be super woman, in fifty different places at once.

Are you sure none of you would like to help?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

WHYYYYY...

Why doesn't it look like I've packed anything....

Why do kids have to think they know more than we do when we try to tell them something...

Why aren't there little fairies that come visit in the night and pack up my house...

Why is it only when I have lots of physical work that needs doing that I truly miss having a man in my life....

Why can't I just be like Samantha on "Bewitched" and wiggle my nose then everything would be done....

Why

I want to know

Friday, October 3, 2008

Packing

I hate moving. I've been packing for the last couple of days ... I'm sick of it already, but I have a long way to go yet.

How do we end up with so much shit tucked away in cupboards, closets and drawers?? I seriously need to downsize and get rid of some crap.

Thankfully I already have keys to the house we are moving into and am able to cart stuff over as it's packed. Today we took a truckload over and tomorrow we'll do the same. This is a bonus because I REALLY detest living amongst boxes.

I will be hit and miss for posting on my blog for the next little while, however I am finding time to read my faves. If I am gone for longer than a month please send a search team, I've fallen into a box and was not able to get out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Unwanted Surprises

I'm like the next person, I generally love surprises, however, I do not like certain types of surprises. I certainly did not like the surprise I received on Saturday.

I have been looking for a different table/chair set since we decided to move. We do not need the huge table we have currently so I've been on the look out for a smaller one. I really want a round oak one, but it must have a leaf for expansion in case we ever have company. On Saturday I found exactly what I was looking for at a local store. They were having a grand opening event so I figured that I may get a good deal.

I went through the process of filling out a credit application with the salesman as I wanted the pay over eight months option. He took all my information and then called in to their credit department. The guy on the other end asked to speak to me. I was thinking, "uh oh, this can't be good." The guy informed me that they couldn't approve me as I had an outstanding bill with ICBC (the insurance company in BC). I was astounded.

I haven't lived in BC since 2006, it is now 2008. At no time has anyone contacted me to say I owed them money. I phoned to cancel my insurance in December of 2006 and was told I had to mail my plates back along with various bits of paperwork. I sent everything they asked for back to the address I was given. Again, keep in mind THIS WAS TWO YEARS AGO.

I phoned an ICBC office on Saturday when I got back from the store. The fellow I spoke to informed me that they'd never received my plates. Well isn't that just great. I asked him what I was supposed to do since I had sent them, I no longer have them, they say they don't have them.... quite the conundrum. He said well if we look up when your vehicle was registered in Alberta ....

At this point I'm hyperventilating.

In Dec 2006 my Dad sold me a half ton truck. I left my old truck (the one that had been registered/insured in BC) in his driveway with no plates and no insurance. He was going to sell it for me. Months passed and no offers came. Dad decided to get the out of province inspection done on it (BIG money grab since that truck was originally bought and insured in Alberta and was in better shape than a lot of vehicles you currently see on the road). In order to do so he had to register/insure it himself. This was June 2007.

See my conundrum..... I can't prove that vehicle was sitting in his driveway unplated and uninsured as of December 2006. I can't prove I mailed those plates back. ICBC has put into the Credit Bureau of Canada to the tune of $470 worth of insurance I NEVER used.

I don't have a spare $470 kicking around, I also don't think I should have to pay this. I did what was required of me. Either those plates went missing in action while enroute to BC or someone at ICBC dropped the ball and failed to enter the receipt of said plates into their system.

I don't know what to do. Every time I think I'm getting ahead a lovely little surprise rears it's nasty head.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to fight the big bad government of BC please tell me. I have emailed the premier with this issue as I don't know who is in charge of ICBC or who to contact. My Dad told me to get a lawyer...but if I don't have the $470, I certainly can't afford a lawyer, and I'm pretty sure I won't find one to work on contingency.

What really bites is I've worked hard to clean my credit up since leaving my marriage. I am waiting to be contacted for a position that I had to put on hold for a year due to security issues regarding credit, which I've cleaned up. THIS has just cost me any chance I had.

Oh and one other thing...WHY is it that I am automatically the one at fault here... they won't even consider that they made a mistake or the plates went MIA enroute????

I hate big business and I hate the government even more.

I'm frustrated and I'm tired and I'm pissed.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Overwhelmed...

I sit here looking at my home...at ALL the damn "stuff" we have and I feel that panicked where do I even start feeling. I have to start packing ...SOON. We can start putting stuff in the new place as soon as we want, I'm aiming to be in there by the 18th of October.

As much as my chest in constricting with panic, and the dreaded I don't have time feeling, I know I'll get it done. All it takes is that first box and then I'll be on a roll. It's just that first box that seems to be the hardest. I can't decided where to start.

I think I'll start by assembling all the boxes and go from there (when I moved into current residence I kept all my boxes because I knew we wouldn't be staying). I will do this after we get home from daughters birthday party this afternoon.

Perhaps having the boxes built and ready to go will boost my motivation.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Moving

I found out for sure two days ago that my girls and I will be moving ... again.

We've had a roommate for the past year and a bit, and really it hasn't been working out for me financially. I've felt like I have a third kid living here. He doesn't clean anything, he won't pay his share of the bills and he eats my food when I'm not here. He roams the main floor after we've gone to bed, the rest of the time he hides out in the basement. I spoke to him several times regarding the heat, electricity, water and cable bills ... and twice in over a year he gave me a small amount of money for them. The deal was that he was to pay 1/3 of the bills on top of his rent. I'm too trusting and I never got anything is writing. A situation that was supposed to benefit BOTH parties financially has only been benefiting one... and it sure as hell hasn't been me.

On different occasions when I have gone away for days at a time I come home to find that he has been in my living space. Watching my tv and sitting on my couch, which wouldn't normally annoy me, but in this case it does as he only comes to this part of the house when we aren't home.

He annoys my daughters with the stupid, childish comments he makes. He freaks out over the strangest things. He's punched things downstairs, yells and mutters when he's angry. Quite disturbing really.

I've been keeping my eye out for a place that I can afford without a roommate which has proven to be nearly impossible because there are certain neighborhoods I refuse to put my daughters in. So we've stayed in a stressful situation. Recently two things happened that brought about change.

First I received a letter stating that the owners are raising the rent here from $1375.00/month to $1550.00, which is a joke really since this is a duplex and it's not brand new. It is not air tight, heating bills are through the roof because the windows and doors are drafty. I thought there is no eff'n way that I am paying that kind of rent.

Then a buddy of mine made a decision that he is indeed moving so I am going to rent his house. I will have to get a second job to make the rent, but having a second job is more appealing to me than having a roommate ever again. In fact, I've put the word out that if the word "roommate" ever comes out of my mouth, my friends are to shoot me.

I hate packing and moving. However, in this case I am excited. No more roomie, the girls can stay in the same schools (in fact they will be closer) and we will have more space. It will be nice for our home to be just the girls and I again.

I'm off to begin packing now.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Chose to QUIT LIFE

Today is my one year anniversary of quitting smoking.

I quit... tried to quit put on the pretence of trying to quit many times, however it was just that, a pretence, a show...an illusion a delusion. I was lying to myself and everyone else every time. I wasn't ready to quit, I didn't want to quit. My smokes were my security blanket, they were my go to guys when life's little stressors got to be too much, leaving them behind was scary, it was like ripping off that band aid painfully slowly. I tried it all, the patch, the gum, the inhaler, cold turkey, hypnotism and cutting back slowly (this one being the biggest joke of all). Oh and I am ashamed to admit that I even was that smoker who "quit" but really just quit buying my own but I'd sure smoke yours. Then, on this day last year I'd had enough.

I was sick of being breathless, of coughing up a lung each morning... sick of coughing all the time. I felt bad at the look of worry on my kids faces when I'd light up. I put on a patch and kept it on. I used the patch for 7 days and then I was done. I never picked up a cigarette again. Sometimes a fleeting thought will pass through my mind saying, "oh I should have a smoke", then I give myself a mental slap and wonder what the hell I was thinking. Where did that thought even come from? Thankfully as quickly as that thought is conjured it is gone. I have never had a mind numbing, nail biting, I'm-gonna-chew-your-head-off-if-you-don't-give-me-a-smoke craving this time and for this I'm thankful It made quitting for good easy.

In the years prior to my quitting people would dish out all sorts of advice but the one I hated the most was "you'll quit when you are ready". I used to think what bullshit, pfffftt, if I wanted to quit I would. I could quit anytime. YEEEEAAAAHHHHHH RIIIIIIIIIGHT. Not so. To my horror I couldn't, I truly had to be ready, I had to hit bottom so to speak...and I did. I am thankful that it wasn't a health related issue that caused me to be ready, but just my own mind.

Now the smell of cigarette smoke makes me nauseous. I smell people who do smoke and think EWWWWWWW that used to be me. I do not however begrudge anyone else their choice to smoke. I refuse to become one of those former smokers who becomes a zealot about not smoking. I can choose to be some where away from a smoker if I don't like it.

It is funny to me how I can so vividly remember the day I quit, yet I can't really remember the day I started. I remember my first puff of a cigarette; cute boy who smoked + wanting to look "cool" = taking a puff of his proffered cigarette. After that I can't remember when I really started smoking. Back in the day all the "cool" kids I thought were cool smoked. And I wanted to be a part of them, I wanted to belong. Well, that, and I was sort of a rebel, stuff my parents didn't want me to do, I did. I was a bad ass. I broke rules and pushed limits. I was COOL stubbornly stupid.

My Dad who was a smoker for many years (he quit a few years ago cold turkey) tried to tell me that it was bad for me, and very hard to quit. Of course I brushed off his fatherly advice with disdain and a sneer... I mean, seriously what could he possibly know? I was hip, I was young, I was with it... he was an old man, a washed up...a has been. How funny it is now to look back at that attitude. Things certainly come full circle, I now value the advice, knowledge and life experience that my Dad possesses and imparts to me.

I was an athlete. I played hockey, soccer and I ran distance, but I blew it away in a puff of smoke. I had such potential to go far with my athletics; however I didn't see that at the time. I was the shizzit...I knew it all ... I was going places. I was invincible.

Now, here I am facing 40 realizing how very disillusioned I was.

One blessing that I can see is that my children witnessed my struggle to quit so I don't foresee them picking up a cigarette in their future. Combine that with the fact that it is now a social stigma to be a smoker and my certainty climbs.

I sit here today unbelievably proud of myself for this milestone. I congratulate myself on doing it; I pray for and believe I will have many, many more smoke free years. I never thought I'd quit. People who know me never thought I'd quit, but I did it and you can too!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Families Who Run Together...

As I posted a few days ago, I've recently taken up running again. On my days off it is easy to run during the daylight hours, however when I work 12 hr shifts that is not possible. I figured I could run easily after work, BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA I made a funny!!! I digress, I thought about running after work, then I worried about how I'd still spend time with my kids before bedtime; then I came up with the perfect solution.

My youngest kidlet came running with me. It was GREAT!!!!! Truly a bonding time. We ran, we talked...well, we gasped out words hehe. There were no interruptions, no distractions, it was truly a moment that we were focused on each other.

I enjoyed the time spent with just her and I. She enjoyed the one on one time, even if it was created so that I could get my exercise time in AND spend time with her. I can kill two birds with one stone can't I?

My older one, well what can I say ... she's a teen and she's not into exercise and sweating. I will keep trying to get her to join us though.

My younger one and I will continue our jogging times and I look forward to them. Building memories for a lifetime is what we are doing.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

NEVER FORGET

I wanted to post something about 9-11, but I cannot find words adequate enough to convey my innermost feelings.

I have friends worldwide in the Emergency Services field. I know some who were at Ground Zero and I know many who lost friends there.

It was a horror the likes of which we couldn't have imagined and one we hope to never see again. Not one of us will ever forget where we were at the time of the planes striking their targets.

I remember being glued to my tv. Watching with tears streaming down my face. I remember thinking this can't be happening. I remember how surreal it all seemed. I remember hoping against hope that all the people would get out; watching the towers fall and knowing they wouldn't. I know the sick, heavy feeling that returns every time I think about it.

I remember watching in the days and weeks afterward, praying they would find people alive, and crying when they didn't.

Today ..
WE remember. We mourn the loss. We shed a tear, and we hope for a better tomorrow.

WE WILL NEVER FORGET

RIP 343
RIP all who were lost on this day in 2001

Friday, September 5, 2008

She Wants a WHAT????

My youngest daughter turns 11 on Tuesday. She wanted a gecko for her birthday, and while I am not a big fan of lizards/reptiles I was willing to buy her one. A friend of mine has two and they are really cute, as cute as two lizards could be. Alas, I couldn't find cute lil guys like that. The only lizards I was able to find were kind of ugly rather nasty and fear inspiring. One of them had a tail so fat it looked like it had a second head growing out it's ass. Definitely was NOT getting one of those...I'd have nightmares.

So after exhausting our vast array of pet stores both pet stores I broke down and went to the reptile store.

First impression... IT STUNK!!!!! It was so humid I was thankful that I wasn't bra-less with a white t-shirt. The proprietor was kinda creepy looking, but I suppose when you play with snakes and lizards and mice and crickets all day.... well I'd probably be creepy too. I was perusing all the different types of reptiles/lizards available. I saw a very large boa constrictor with two dead rats in its cage... that was kind of gross. I saw a few cool looking lizards, none that I'd want to bring home however. I had visions of waking up with one of those prehistoric type creatures sitting on my chest, flicking it's forked tongue in my face...yeah, no thanks.

As I walked around the reptile store I kept my eyes glued to the floor. There were a lot of empty aquariums on the lower levels and I had visions of a big ass python slithering out from the depths of where ever, coiling itself around me and squishing the life breath out of my lungs. Of course my wonderfully vivid imagination included the creepy store guy rubbing his hands together in glee .... "Yeeessssssssssssssssssss Yeessssssssssssssssss " (note the hissing s's). Then after passing by the cricket farm, and three very cute, very plump bunnies in a cage (I was horrified to think that they might be snake food, creepy dude assured me that they weren't, but what if the rats weren't filling enough?), I felt like there were things crawling on me. I quickly shudder stepped my way out the door and came home. Twitching and scratching the whole way. Somehow I don't think I'm cut out to have a reptile/lizard in my house.

In the end there were two blatant reasons why I didn't go the way of the gecko. One, I just couldn't find a cute, cuddly one and two, the cost of just getting set up, never mind the actual lizard, was atrocious. Besides, if I can't have the talking Geicko gecko I don't really want one.

We are now proud owners of two hamsters. My cat is ecstatic. I am as worried as I was when I had newborns,constantly checking on them. I worry they'll get loose and the cat will have a heyday.

Ah well, it's all in the name of happy kids. Right??? Isn't that what it's all about .... you put your right foot in ....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

To Thine Own Self and All That Jazz

For months almost a year I've been telling myself I need to be more active in order to reverse this "since I quit smoking" weight gain. Alas, I've been able to delude myself as to just how much weight I'd put on (thank you lycra infused denim... yeah not so much). However, when your stretchy jeans become a wee bit snugger than is comfy one must face reality.

I'm not religious about going to the gym. I go in spits and spurts... sometimes I'm into it, sometimes I'm not. More often than I care to admit it's the "not into it" that wins out. I get bored of it. Going to the gym becomes monotonous, so I slowly stop going. Then I'll kick myself in the butt and the whole ugly process begins again.

In my younger, pre-smoking days I was a runner. I held records for distance, I won a 10 K when I was fifteen and in shape. I played hockey and soccer. Some people in my neighborhood said they never saw me walk. Then I discovered boys, parties, beer and smoking...

It was easy to make excuses when I smoked, it was easy to justify NOT working out. However, since I have quit and some weight some sort of flubbery, lumpy substance has attached itself to my thighs, ass, belly and back I can deny it no longer. It is time to bite the bullet. Time to hit the pavement, break a sweat and burn this shat off. By nature I am not an overweight person, I cannot be overweight... it is icky!!! Besides I have a whole closet full of really cute clothes I cannot wear right now.

I decided to start running again, aside from the obvious health benefit I remember how much I loved it, the endorphins, the freedom, the solitude, the firm bod...oh yeah the firm bod, sculpted buttocks, shapely legs...ahhhhh.

I figured since it had been so long since I'd run seriously I should research things a bit. I bought a book called Beginning Running by Amby Burfoot to reacquaint myself with technique. It is a very good book, I quite enjoyed reading it. It was easy to follow and did not become boring. It includes an 8 wk or a 10 wk program. The 8 wk is for those already active. So me being me figured I was not totally sedentary so the 8 wk program it was.

This morning was "D" day, back to it day, hit the road and go day. I got up, had a small breakfast as I didn't want to be running on a full stomach. Drank water to hydrate, got into my workouts, laced up the old runners and out the door I went. I-Pod blaring...I was doing it!!

The programs (both of them) are interval training. The one I am doing is run 1 minute/walk 2 ten times for the first week. Run one day and then walk for an easy 30 minutes the next. Weeks 2 through 8 progress quite quickly as the end goal is to run 30 minutes straight.

I'm not so sure how well that is going to work out for me, but we'll see. The main thing is a) I'm back at it and b) keeping at it. Now I can do cardio the way I like and I can go to the gym for circuit training. I'm sure tomorrow will be special as I am already feeling it. Sore muscles aside, I feel DAMN GOOD. I did it... I took the first step.

Oh yeah, I also did something that I haven't done in years .... I stepped on the scale. We won't discuss that right now, maybe after I've run for a while I will discuss how much I've lost.

I just got back from my run about 20 minutes ago. I did some cool down stretches but my ass and legs are a tad tight.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Presidential Race.... A Canadian Viewpoint

I enjoy watching the US Presidential race. It is full of mudslinging and juvenile nitpicking. It's entertainment, it's like the bloody accident you rubberneck to see, the train wreck you just can't stop watching. I actually follow US politics more than my own, Canadian politics are so boring.... so lacking in scandal. Let's face it we are too damn nice ... everyone in Canada is too damn concerned with what the other person is going to think, heaven forbid we offend someone.

I was intrigued when John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate. Not surprisingly the Obama camp and many others started stating their sometimes scathing opinions. I was rather disgusted when individuals started dragging Palin's kids into the equation; kids really ought to be left out of the whole ugliness of politics. There was speculation that her youngest child, Trig, was really the off spring of her oldest daughter Bristol. The rumor mongering led to the announcement that Bristol was an unmarried mom-to-be. Since when are children fair game for advancement in the unforgiving world of politics?

I have to wonder if the Obama camp has sealed the fate of a possible Presidency by driving a nail into the ol' campaign coffin with this particular line of attack. Average America, those with half a brain in their heads, are going to look at their teenage daughters and think "there but for the grace of God go I"; or see their wee grandchildren playing around the dinner table while Mommy finishes her homework... and they WILL envision themselves on the receiving end of that judgement and it will sway their votes.

What really gets me is of all those people spewing forth their "opinions" on teenage pregnancy, how many of them NEVER had pre-marital sex? How many of them were just damn lucky to not get "caught"? I could be waving my hands, yep I'm sure many of us were "lucky" when we got lucky. How many of them have or had perfectly virginal teens, teens who never messed up. What they are failing to see here is that this young girl is stepping up to her responsibility, how many teens truly do that? How many seek the easy way out? I'd say this girl has a strong foundation and will be just fine.

I heard some woman going on and on today about how Palin is putting politics before her family. I say bullshit. Palin has a chosen career path just as many of us do, how many of us would turn down the opportunity for advancement or personal growth? If Palin is indeed putting her career before her children then by God we'd better start boycotting ALL movies starring parents... isn't that the same deal. Don't they go off on shoots leaving their children in the care of nannies? Let's not lose sight of the fact that Palin is married to her high school sweetheart, they love and support one another. If a long happy marriage, that has produced fine upstanding citizens (Track is in the Army) isn't the epitome of family value and dedication then I don't know what is.

This is a woman who truly has nothing to hide. She admitted to smoking AND inhaling marijuana back in the day; she openly brought forth the news of her daughters pregnancy BEFORE it could be maligned by others; she strikes me as being one very up front and down to earth individual. She is tough, and doesn't back down once she takes a stance. She stands by her word, she said she was going to clean up AK governments and she did. Integrity is a wonderful thing, it is something that is lacking in politics for the most part, maybe she can bring a refreshing change.

I've also heard it said that she lacks "experience". Well perhaps she isn't as experienced as some of the prior candidates, however, lets be real here...the "experienced" ones don't always bring much to the table. The "experienced" ones are quite often the biggest bullshit artists, the most easily puppeted by the behind the scenes people. Who would you rather, inexperience with a mind of her own ... or experience with strings? Honestly, when I have watched Obama speak he appears to be a marionette, he is weaselly (this has been my opinion right from the time he was running for Illinois senate)... definitely not someone I'd want running my country.

I don't understand why the candidates need to make each race so personal... why dig WAY back, so what if someone made mistake when they were younger (Palin's husband's impaired 20-some years ago)...shouldn't it just be about the job and the ability to carry out said tasks. If the prior mistake has not been a chronic lifestyle, if it truly was a mistake of youth... leave it where it belongs, in the past. The mudslinging and rumor mongering is so junior high schoolish, if you can't play nicely in the sand box, perhaps you shouldn't be playing at all.

I think McCain made a good choice, he chose someone who has values and heart, someone unknown, someone untainted by Washington. He chose a WOMAN, he chose someone who can relate to blue collar America. He chose wisely and I think his decision may well have ensured his place in the White house.

Perhaps it's time to vote in someone who has values and integrity. Perhaps it's time to make values and morals an important part of our lives again. Perhaps it's time to vote for someone who can relate to the average Joe's and Jane's, someone who lives it...someone who is untainted and unjaded.

I know how I'd vote if I was American.

Maybe it's time to do away with self serving governments and get back to basics.... By the People...For the People!!

MCCAIN/PALIN 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

You Know They Are Growing Up When...

Last night after work I picked up the girls and went to fill up the truck as well as grab the ingredients they needed to bake cookies today.

I pulled up to the pump and the young attendant was there before I had shut my truck off.

"Fill with regular?" he asked

"You bet, and could you check the oil too please."

"Sure"

I began walking to the store and I could hear him shouting something.

I looked back and said, "Pardon me?"

He glanced up "No, sorry I was talking to him." he replied as he pointed to his co-worker who was filling another car.

"oh" and I started to walk away again.

This time I heard him, "Do you know how to do oil, you know...check the oil"

I stopped, thinking to myself, shit.... the kid doesn't know how to check the oil. I was just about to turn back and do it myself when I heard him say the following:

"If you don't know come on over and I'll show you."

*whew* He's training ... I carried on.

Young lad came into the store and informed me that I was down, did I want him to put some in. I inquired as to how low it was and he said that he could probably put half of a litre in. I told him to go ahead. He said he would set the remaining half of a litre beside my truck.

After all was said and done, I paid for the fill and oil and went back out to my truck. The young man was just setting the remaining oil on the running board of my truck as I walked up. He turned and handed it to me, thanked me and bid me good day. With a smile on his face I might add. I was VERY impressed with his demeanor. Most of the young people who work at this particular gas station are lazy, not happy with their positions and don't care who knows it; so this young man was a refreshing change of pace.

As I was getting in the truck I glanced up at my fifteen year old daughter in the front seat (the girls had waited in the truck while I filled up) and said, "Wow, he's a cute one!"

She grinned at me, "I know!!! What did his name tag say?"

"I don't know, do you want me to go ask him his name? I could tell him that you think he's cute."

"NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!" This was said with great emphasis and a horrified look on her face.

I couldn't let it go, "Cuz... you know, I could. I don't mind doing that for you and he is awfully cute.... are you sure?"

"MOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM... we just wanted to know if he was K's brother... but you're right he is cute" At this point her face was kind of red and she couldn't stop herself from grinning.

My youngest one piped up from the backseat, "That IS her brother....I told you he works here."

I drove over to the parking lot for the grocery store and parked. All the while I was thinking I should have gotten that kids name, cuteness aside he was damn good at his job. I know that kids who are employed rarely hear positive feedback so I wanted to let his boss know how impressed I was with his employee.

We walked toward the store, of course I wasn't done yet.

"Are you really sure, cuz I think I'm going to go back and get his name anyway."

She glared at me while she giggled, "No, I'm good"

Youngest daughter says, "I could phone K and set you up"

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA...... Yep you know they are growing up when the younger one offers to set the older one up with her best friends older brother.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

You Know What ...Eff You and Your Crappy Attitude Too

In my line of work I deal with a lot of different people on any given day. Most of the people I speak to are men. Men who work in a very macho industry. Men who should be able to buck up, suck up and carry on. However, they are among the whiniest, pickiest, bitchiest group of people I have encountered.

When I am taking a message for my co-workers I strive to obtain as much information as possible so that a) the person receiving the message can be fully prepared when returning the call and b) the person making the request is being given the best service possible.

It really frustrates me when I am given a healthy dose of assholism when I ask for a last name, a phone number, reason for calling, etc. Why is it so hard for people to be polite and professional when conducting business. Why do these so called men throw kindergarten style tantrums when they can't have what they want right this second? Why do they ALL seem to think that they are the only customer we have, that they are the end all and be all to our business existence? I mean really, they can correct rectal cranial inversion can't they?

Example:

"I'm sorry they are on the phone right now may I take a message and have them return your call??

"*big sigh* ... I suppose it's blah blah with blah blah blah."

"May I have your last name please"

"It's the same as it was yesterday."

*silence* on my end

"You have no come back for that"

"No sir I don't. They like me to get last names when I take a message"

"Well my last name is too long, it gets butchered so I will just use my first name"

"Ok thank you, have a nice day."

*last name... same as yesterday... ok DICKHEAD it is*

Some days I WISH I could just say the retorts that pop into my head when these guys let their inner asshole roam wild and free. Why... WHY must I keep my inner bitch locked up and piped down? Perhaps someday, when I no longer see the need for employment I will unleash her and let her have her way....*rubbing hands together in glee and giggling* YEEEESSSSSSSS that's what I will do!


I try, really I do, to see things from their perspective. Unfortunately I have not yet been successful at shoving my own head that far up my ass.

Some days leaving it all behind and moving to the top of a mountain, deep in the bush ... away from people, and shooting whoever trespasses into my serenity is attractive.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Role Reversal ... Almost

I alluded to my Dad a couple of blog posts ago. When I went home it wasn't really a planned trip, my Dad had fallen ill and ended up in the hospital. However, we (my Brother and I) didn't know he was in the hospital; we I found out quite by accident.

While my daughters were visiting their father in my hometown they were going to visit their Grandpa (my Dad). On a Thursday night my oldest daughter called to let me know that they couldn't get a hold of Grandpa. It was 10 PM so I thought it was a bit odd, but maybe he'd gone out (he doesn't normally go out late in the evening but I didn't want to panic). I tried calling for about another 45 minutes and was still getting no answer. I went to bed with an uneasy feeling.

I got up in the morning, got ready and headed out to work. I didn't want to call too early in case he was sleeping so I tried at nine. Still no answer... at this point I was very concerned. Concerned enough to call my Brother who was camping.

He hadn't heard from Dad and although we knew he was planning to take a trip to Manitoba we were both fairly certain he wouldn't have left early without telling us. By this time I was in tears because I had visions of my Dad lying helpless on the floor and no one was there. Neither one of us could remember the last name of the neighbor who has a key to Dad's house, without the last name we couldn't look up the phone number so that we could call them. We decided that I'd phone an old family friend to see if she knew anything; if she was a dead end my Brother would drive to the city as he was camping near by.

I took a small break and went to a private office to make the call. Our family friend answered her phone and I explained why I was calling and asked if she had heard from or spoken to my Dad recently.

There was a slight pause on the other end of the phone. I did not like that pause.

She let out a big sigh and said, "Oh, Jennifer, your Dad is in the hospital."

"WWWWHHHHAAATTTTT!!!!!!!!" What do you mean he's in the hospital..why is he in the hospital. WHY DIDN'T ANYONE CALL US????????

She explained that while he'd been in the hospital since Tuesday night she herself had only found out by accident on Thursday. Apparently her sister was working on my Dad's ward, saw him and then called our family friend to let her know. Of course L (family friend) went up to visit him and he told her not to call us as I was on my week on and my Brother was camping. He figured since he was on the mend and would be discharged in the next day or two it was a moot point.

Duhhhhhh, HELLO DAD??!!!! You are more important than work and camping.

Then I was mad. He and my Mother had kept stuff from us when she was ill, with the idea that they were protecting us (we were both well in adulthood by this time). My Brother and I had spoke to them and asked them to please keep us informed when there are serious health issues. We are a big boy and girl who can take the information. So needless to say I was FRUSTRATED at finding out that he was in the hospital, had been for days and we didn't know.

I immediately called my Brother who called the hospital and talked to my Dad. Dad was ok, in pain but on the mend. He had driven himself to the hospital when he was struck with an acute pancreatic attack. He figured they'd give him something for the pain and send him home, so typically old school male. This was not the case, they saw his enzyme levels and admitted him.

Of course he did not have our phone numbers with him. He phoned his neighbor who went in the house but could not find our numbers. Hence, no phone call to either one of us.

Needless to say, as soon as I found out I decided to go home on my next set of days off ( I am fortunate to work 7 then get 7 off). I had to see for myself that he was ok.

He was and is. He is on meds that are helping.

While I was there I wrote my name and my Brothers name on a piece of paper with large "IN CASE OF EMERGENCY CALL:" then I had my Dad put it in his wallet, while I watched. I recently sent him a different cell phone because I had noticed the display on his was fubar'd. Prior to sending it I entered my numbers and my Brothers numbers in it, they are preceded by ICE (in case of emergency) meaning that they will be the first numbers shown in the address book should something ever happen that we need to be contacted.

So here we are at today and my Dad is travelling to Manitoba. Since he was ill I have called him EVERY day, sometimes twice a day to check on him. I toyed with the idea of quitting my job here and moving back to my hometown to be near by, but quickly kaiboshed that plan when I remembered how much I detest that place. He was under strict instructions to phone as soon as he arrived so that we would not worry, while I was typing this he called. He is there.

Funny how our parents become people of concern to us as they age, and we almost take on a parental role without realizing it. My Dad is still fully able to care for himself, he is after all a young 67, but ... when I look at him... he's not my big strong Daddy anymore. He seems somewhat more fragile now.

Maybe it's because I lost my Mom four years ago and my greatest fear is to lose my Dad. Maybe it's because he has seemed to age before my eyes. Maybe it's because I saw the toll this incident took on him .... I'm not sure.

My Dad is amazing. He has taught me so much and I have much yet to learn from him.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pets



I've heard it said that when we have pets they tend to "resemble" their owners in some way. I've seen photos of dogs that look like their owners in various ways, or perhaps it's their owners resembling their pets?? Meh, potato ...potahto. I once knew a woman who had a small poodle, her hair was always tightly permed and she really did look like her dog... weird.

We have a cat named Charlie. Charlie is Himalayan and absolutely gorgeous. However,like us all, Charlie has a few faults. He is slightly cross eyed, I have an astigmatism; he has really big paws, I have feet leaning to the larger size. Actually, I want to mention that Charlie seems to have an extra "toe" on each of his paws, I have no extra toes. He also walks "heavy". You can seriously hear this cat walk, I have been told that I walk like an elephant. When his nails get too long he sounds like he's wearing kitty stilettos, I don't wear stilettos. Charlie meows quietly, I am not so quiet. Charlie purrs on occasion, so do I.

Whatever his short comings, Charlie is a great pet wonderful addition to our family. We love him dearly, and we couldn't imagine life without him.




Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Going Home

I've been away. I went home because my Dad was under the weather, although he is on the mend now. I will blog more about my Dad in another entry, I am still polishing what I want to say.

While I was at home I saw my son!! So exciting. Look here he is:


Isn't he handsome!


He came over and had dinner with us at my Dad's. We had a good visit. We talked, we cleared the air somewhat. I have a better understanding of what's on his mind, he has a better understanding of what's on mine.

I am still heartbroken that he is moving to Vancouver Island, but I understand that it is something he has to do. It is a part of his growing experience. Now I have more incentive than ever to get out there again. I will miss him like crazy.


I am so proud of this young man. He has a heart of gold, he has a good head on his shoulders and he is extremely intelligent. He is still searching for his "place" in this world, but I'm sure that once he finds it he will shine brightly.


Go, be who you have to be, seek what you must. Always be true to yourself and who you are. Excel in what you do. But above all else never forget you have a family who loves you dearly and counts the minutes until they see you again. Remember your roots, where you come from.

Keep in touch.

I love you my Son!!!


Friday, August 1, 2008

The Greatest Pain

The greatest pain a Mother can face is the loss of a child. However, does that loss have to be caused by a death to be painful? I say no. My oldest, my firstborn, my only son refuses to talk to me. I haven't seen him in almost a year, and the last time I spoke to him I felt like he was viewing my call as an intrusion.

I am worried about him as he slowly seems to be cutting out all members of his family. He cut my entire family out of his life shortly after my Mom passed away. I have always felt it was because he was so close to his Grandma and it was his was of coping, but shouldn't he have "come back" by now? He used to keep in touch with his sisters, but now he does not talk to them either. He has stopped talking to his stepdad as often as he used to.

Now he and his girlfriend are moving to the coast of BC at the end of August, and I fear I won't see him again. I found out from my daughters, who found out from his girlfriend that they are moving. His girlfriend talks to my daughters, but at times it seems she only does so to flaunt their Brother in their face.

People say that as he gets older he'll come back to his family, but I have my doubts. I don't really understand why he cut us all out. I don't know anything about his life as he refuses to share himself with us. He will be 20 on his next birthday, shouldn't he be "getting it" by now?

My heart aches for my firstborn. I long for the son I once had, my lil man. I pray that he finds his way back. I have reached out to him to no avail, calls are cut short and only happen if I make them and emails go unanswered. I try to make sure that he knows he is loved and that we are here waiting for him.

Perhaps it would be easier if I could understand ... I don't know.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Where WERE the parents??

Twice in the past five days I have had cause to wonder where the parents of a child were. Granted we can't be with them 24/7 when they become older and more mobile, however when they are under the age of 3 I'm pretty sure we should be, or at least be certain they are in the care of a responsible individual.

On Friday I was in Edmonton visiting a friend. We went to Northgate Mall so she could select some eyeglasses. While we were in the parking lot, just finished parking and she was finishing a smoke (I'm almost at a year quit yay me) the rear driver's door on the SUV next to us opened up and slammed into her car. I looked out my window, as it occurred on my side of the car, ready to give a piece of my mind to the perpetrator. My mind was quickly changed when I saw that the person responsible was less than two feet tall and probably JUST two if that. I was stunned. There was no parent in sight. The child was running through the parking lot, barely avoiding being hit by cars. I ran over and took his hand. I asked him where his Mommy was, he didn't know, obviously. I took him back to the SUV and told him I'd wait with him until his Mommy came back. Shortly afterwards an East Indian woman came running through the parking lot yelling, "I'm right here, I'm right here...I was only gone a couple of minutes".

I looked at her flabbergasted as we'd been there for well over ten as the events had unfolded. Another bystander was on the phone to the police as I was talking to the Mom. She kept saying she was only gone for a few minutes. We told her that he was left unattended in a stifling hot vehicle, in the middle of a parking lot. It was well into the high 20's that day, and the SUV was black, how hot do you think it was in there?

She got very indignant and said that he wouldn't go into the store with her so what was she supposed to do. She tossed him into the back seat and then hopped into the driver's seat and pulled away. She did NOT buckle that child into a car seat, nor into a seat belt.

I was left there to mutter, " well in my world I would have picked the lil shit up and CARRIED HIM IN; you are the Mom, you are in charge. " Now I realize in the mid-east the women obey the men, but do they really start obeying them at birth??? Do the male children seriously dictate their mother's actions? I was totally sickened by her lack of care or regard.

What if some sick creep had found that child wandering? What if he would have gotten killed? I can only shake my head ... and these would be the first parents crying injustice if something awful were to occur.

Today, I was driving down my street, THANK GOD I was going under the speed limit and paying attention. As I rounded a ninety degree corner I spotted two very young children on the sidewalk. The youngest, appearing to be not yet two, got away from the little girl with him. She couldn't have been more than 7, if that. He darted out into the street. I slammed on my brakes and had I not swerved into the oncoming lane as I braked I would have hit him. The young girl had darted out after him, screaming. Another older girl was on the opposite side of the street,she appeared to be at least 13 and was obviously with the two young children. It appeared that the little guy was trying to get to where she was.

I sat in stunned silence for a full minute, thanking God that I hadn't struck either one of those children. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed the older of the two girls walking toward my truck, mouthing "I'm sorry"...and she had left the little guy UNATTENDED AGAIN. I told her it was ok and to watch the young lad.

I drove away and shook my head. The little girl who originally had the little guy had her hands full of papers and could not hold his hand. She couldn't stop him from darting out, and really why at that young of an age was she saddled with that responsibility? I can only imagine the horrendous guilt she would have felt if he had been hit. Truly the older girl should have been looking after the little guy. And again, WHERE WERE THE PARENTS??? No one came out when these children screamed in fright. No one came to their aid, no one came to make sure they were ok.

I would have felt so sickened had I hit that child. I don't know that I would have ever drove again. I am so glad I didn't.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Beauty and Time Out

Sometimes when the world seems chaotic...when everything around me seems to be in a state of "going to hell in a hand basket", it is hard to find the good. It is hard to see the beauty in what's around me, especially in people.

Sometimes, I get so tired of doing it all on my own, of being single and responsible for everything. Sometimes I feel frightened that I am destined to be alone forever, that there is no one special person for me. Sometimes those feelings threaten to overwhelm me, to take over the usually optimistic person that I am. Sometimes it is hard to remember to breathe.


So this is when I look to nature for my beauty, my serenity ...my peace.



How inviting does this path look? I had seen it many times in my travels to the hospital on the days that I volunteer, and kept thinking how nice it looked. I wondered where it went. So a couple of weeks ago we went.


This is our provincial flower, the Wild Rose. There were tons of them along this path.

And we saw Bluebells, I haven't seen these since I was a child. They were beautiful!!


Then there is always the wonderment of discovery. I love watching kids when they see something new. What is it that they've found? What could it be?

They saw two ants carting the carcass back to the masses. See the green worm? Two wee ants were working together to take him to their colony. The girls were rather disgusted by this find.



There is something calming about the stillness of a pond when viewed through saplings. (This was taken while on a field trip to Ft. Edmonton with my youngest)




I see beauty in storm clouds. They are mysterious in that you never know what they will bring.
Yet, that beauty brings with it a sense of fear because of that unknown.

The end of the day. The stunning beauty of the sun setting.

Fire in the sky.... the colors take your breath away. You can sigh at the completion of another day.

So when the road seems to long and never ending. When things appear to be too tough, or when the weight of the world threatens to suffocate I will make a different choice.

I will choose the path of beauty and discovery. The path of peace and serenity. The path to re-energize, regroup and reconnect.

I will remember to give my troubles up to a higher power. I will remember to take a pause for me. I will remember that I matter too, and that it is important to not lose myself in the hustle and bustle of daily living. I will remember to take five (See the hand in the sky).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

EWWWW, ICK...PATOOOIE even

I hate, I mean REALLY REALLY hate using public washrooms or washrooms in other venues, such as work (I suppose that could still be classified as public, just not as many unknowns).

Why can't people take a wee look behind them once they finish their business? No one, ESPECIALLY not me, wants to come upon your leavings. There is nothing more disgusting than going to the washroom and finding a drip, a plop, tiny balls of toilet paper, pubic hairs, lint and God knows what else left sitting on the seat by the previous toileter. Seriously folks, all it takes is a second, maybe two if you've left something behind, to look and perform a little clean up if needed. (and YES I am very well versed in the "hover and go"...but STILL .....just finding this is gross)

Very few things in this world make me gag, but finding someone's body stuff on a toilet seat does. I don't want your body leavings on or around my bits ... it's not like we're bed buddies or anything like that. Someone's pube left just sitting on the seat, waving at me as I walk in is NOT cool.

Remember, "If you sprinkle when you tinkle leave bits of yourself behind, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie." =)