|Favorite book:||Sooner ask me to pick a favourite star|
|Member Since:||Oct 27, 2012|
Dec 6, 2013
Alright. Lusty love-filled moment for coffee over. Unbelievably, it's even colder today. Apparently with the wind chill it feels like -42. My boss sent me a message this morning "WHY DO WE LIVE HERE?!" Oh Northern Alberta. Apparently Edmonton is the northernmost city in North America with a population over 1 million. So there are lots of other people crazy enough to live through this kind of weather. *shivers* Does that make it easier? Not sure. Did I mention that I sponsored a chicken through the heritage chicken program? Random subject change, I know. Anyway, I did. I sponsored one chicken who is kept free run in a barn in winter, free range in summer, no hormones, antibiotics, treated well - and I get a dozen eggs every two weeks. How's that for local, sustainable organic eating? Anyway, this Saturday is our first pick up - and I am really looking forward to some poached eggs on Sunday morning. I should probably go to the farmer's market for some bread and maybe pick up some thick slice bacon for Pat and the kids. Mmm, I'll have tomatoe slices with mine. I try to take pleasure in the little things. It is possible to take life a little too seriously, one must take pleasure in the little things.
Dec 5, 2013
The absence of sound when outside in the snow creates a stillness within. Then movement - and all you can hear is the squeak of snow that is too cold and dry as your breath freezes the moment it leaves your mouth. It is cold cold cold today. My bus was 15 or 20 minutes late so I waited (with slightly damp hair) for 25 minutes, no long underwear, no tucked in shirt - foolish Sarah. Icicles had started forming on the edges of my took/scarf. I am getting tougher though because while I was definitely chilled, I recovered quickly once I was inside. To warm up, I bought myself an americano for the first time in a while today - it was so deliciously full-bodied, hot, with cinnamon and raw sugar (no honey available). Drip coffee (even dark roast) does not compare. Warm, almost chocolately, ... mmmhmm...
Dec 3, 2013
Thought I posted here yesterday, but it appears that I didn't hit "save". Anyhoo - stayed home yesterday from work. It was quite the blizzard - you know how you look outside and the snow is floating in 10 different directions? The snow drift was 3 ft deep by 5:00pm! Also finished my Xmas shopping on Saturday, and last night I wrapped my gifts. Today I was smart and wore long underwear, tucked in my shirt and remembered my tooke. Would be lovely to live somewhere warmer - I've been oogling pictures of Bali recently. Pat is still enjoying his time off work - I think he would prefer to go back to work than school - but I hope he doesn't leave it all to the last minute. He's getting a bit touchy about people reminding him about what he needs to do with his time off. Not just me, in fact, not really me at all, mostly his Dad and sister who are on him and hounding him to get a job and not waste money etc etc. I hope he starts his art portfolio today because he finished a song he's been working on and he's planning to post it online today - famous last words. He also owes me a painting and I intend to collect!
Nov 28, 2013
Can't believe it's Thursday already - and got so much done yesterday. It is a challenge being on two boards with additional committees for each, while being a busy Mom and full-time employed. I think I might be a bit crazy - and on top of that I'm somehow puzzled that I don't have enough time to write and keep my house clean... imagine that. Well no one said I like to "take it easy". I must always "swim upstream" and "take the long road home" - it's who I am. Been listening to harmonics. Looking forward to meditating to them. Going to read my book on Zen meditation again. It's time to reconnect. Been more involved in my social media outlets again too. Tumblr I may have to revitalize because it is literally the best and easiest to use site for sharing photos and blog posts. I will connect it to Booksie for when I post new writing - and I guess NanoWriMo wraps up in a few days. I need to finish my Christmas shopping this weeking - or as Pat calls it - my Christmas "getting" - because I have everything picked out in my mind, and where I'm going to get it, and I HATE shopping with a capital H, so I will get in and out as quickly as possible so I can get home and tick off this pesky to-do list item. I love the spirit of Christmas, family, friends, love, memories, moments and food. But I absolutely loath and am disgusted with the consumerism this holiday promotes. How can I change the behaviours of others if I can't even get my own family onboard? I have so much more to rant about Christmas, so without further Humbugging, I say good day.
Nov 25, 2013
What a busy whirlwind weekend. Friday the girls and I decorated the Christmas tree - Pat found some very random Christmas songs to play while we did - they were ridiculous and hilarious and obscure. Saturday evening we took the girls to the waterslides at West Edmonton mall - most of which the girls were too small for and weren't allowed to wear life jackets down the slides. So the wave pool is where we had most of our fun. It was pretty cold at times - and those stairs - you could see through them and there were stairs all different colours - just getting up them was a chore, let alone the fear of the slide itself. I find I am somewhat of a wimp these days... Last night we went to NIN at Rexall Place. That was something else. The lights were pretty impressive, but what I really marvelled at was how a crowd of humans got together to enjoy music, and how "simon says" it was. People are almost in a suggestable state - all the flashing lights and pulsing music. I enjoyed dancing (we had floor tickets) and considering the collective age of the crowd, it was a pretty tame rock concert - could've done without the clouds of smoke that kept rising - and not my usual scene - but good to step out of the bubble and enter Pat's world for a while. I appreciate getting to share my passions with him, I want to reciprocate. Last night I was the DD, and it was awesome because everyone was happy with that arrangement. Though I had a flat tire when we got out and had to use my portable tire inflater thingy to get the flat fixed. Front tire was low too. Must be the temperature change. Tonight Pat's going back to Calgary with our friends Rob and Jenn (who came out here to go to the concert) so he can watch NIN play in Calgary. It's going to be weird sleeping alone tonight. I actually suggested to Pat that he go to Calgary because NIN is one of his favourite shows to see, and Calgary is the last stop on their Canadian tour. He was really touched that I suggested it - and since he's not working, I figured he should go and enjoy their last show. Started reading an "H. G. Wells" book - When the Sleeper Wakes - the pages are thin and yellowed and look as though they were produced on a type-writer. The language is a little flowery, but enjoying it so far. Taking a little break from Fantasy novels - I love fantasy, I'm just getting a little tired of it right now. I'm sure I will come back to my favourite genre soon, but for now - onto experiencing different things. *Edit - I can't sleep. Ughhhhhh. I only got 4 hours of sleep last night, and I konked out for an hour after I put the kids to bed and now I can't sleep. Stinking power naps!
Nov 22, 2013
What can I say about today? It is another day. The snow was falling this morning in large fluffy flakes that melted on my windshield the moment they touched, and then iced it as the wipers attempted to wipe them away. They were clusters of beautiful 6-pointed little white stars. I have acclimatized to the cold again and I can feel myself hunkering down emotionally for another long winter in Edmonton. It doesn't bother me like it did once. My brother keeps sending these spectacular photos of where he's living and visiting. Palm trees, beautiful blue skies, white sand beaches, people getting out and excersizing every day - walking/taking transit to work, no preservatives in their food, buying local goods that are fresh each day. He is living a lifestyle I can only envy - and yet - I don't. Don't get me wrong, I do in some ways - but in order to live that life I would have to give up my children as he has had to. He still speaks to them regularly, every weekend on Skype - and he saw them this summer - but I get to hug my kids every day, every night before bed. I get to tuck them in and promise them I'll see them in the morning and keep my word. Yes, a part of me longs for travel, adventure, and the freedom to decide how I will spend each day - but I sacrafice for them, for this life, for a "secure" future. And while sometimes I wonder whether it's all worth it, I believe that I'm doing the best I can - being involved with the community, trying to make a difference, working hard, and most importantly, making sure my girls know how much they are loved. But I am challenged sometimes by the life I lead. I question it. I pray for good outcomes. I pray for Pat to find his path - to become the man I know he is that he needs to let go of the fears he's held all his life, take some chances, and know that it will be ok even if he fails. Failures are life's greatest teachers. Embrace them. Learn. Move on to the next adventure. Hmmm. Philosophical day today - must be those fluffy things in the cold white sky. I feel like one of them - just one of millions of others just like me, trying to find my way to... something. The ground? the Greater whole?
Nov 19, 2013
wasn't going to write anything today, but I dreamt and dreamt last night - over and over the same sort of dreams. Even when I woke up and told myself I wasn't going to go back to that dream - I went straight back in. Not the most positive light to see myself in. At work this morning, (and at the end of yesterday) I started listening to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Htr2EVvkr1Q
Nov 18, 2013
It was a nice weekend, with my folks. Last night we put up the Christmas lights and I set up the tree - it's such a Charlie Brown tree. It's from the 1980's and it's prone to tipping over, but it's good for the environment to keep reusing it, so there. We bought a few new lights and decorations for the house to get ourselves in a festive mood, but I was having a hard time last night. First time Button wasn't at home - feels like things had just started getting better with her. But, this isn't about me or my needs, it's about Button getting better, and the vet in Calgary that my folks are going to take her to is the one we've used for years (Dr. Mike) and he's the only one who's ever had positive results with Button. So after he's treated her and when she starts getting better (or if he identifies what I fear is something more seriously wrong with her) then we'll return her home. I guess we'll see when the time comes whether she wants to go home with us. In other news, that book I read, I have to say - while it was really good - I quit after the first little bit of reading it and didn't pick it up again for a year. Guess I wasn't ready yet. Couldn't get into it - but once I made myself get past the intro and into Chapter 1, I got interested. There was a lot more to draw you in if you can get past the crusty unfriendly intro. I need something else to read now, and I need to get back to my writing as i didn't do any all weekend with my folks there. It's been interesting as Pat's told more people the same questions he's had to answer again and again - what will you do now? What are you thinking of taking in school? Why'd they lay you off? etc etc. I think he's really struggling with being unemployed for the first time in a long long time. I imagine it would be tough on his male psyche, on a human psyche, who wouldn't be feeling a little cast adrift. Still though, he's been very appreciative of me, and being supported and believed in. He said something to me yesterday that was really validating - and that is "I can't imagine how much harder this was for you. You had two kids to take care of and nobody to support you and you dove in anyway" - I think he's starting to understand just how scary it is to make such a drastic life change, even when one has the support and security of a significant other in their life. I respect and admire those who live up to their values, and are brave enough to self-examine and really take the chance to be successful and then work through it when it becomes hard. It ALWAYS gets hard - that's life challenging you and your original goals/beliefs that brought you to where you're being tested. If you tough it out and keep working hard, it starts to pay off - also because the harder you work the more you have invested in something. I guess it's about making smart "investments" of your efforts. For example, my Dad bought a motorbike. It was super low km's but the original owner had never changed the oil, the tires, the brakes. It was garage kept, but mechanically - it needed lots of work. Now he got the bike (which wasn't running) for an excellent price, and he put nearly $1500 into it to repair and replace all the mechanical things that break down over time (gaskets, tubes - I don't know, I don't speak that language) but now his bike is exactly what he was hoping for, and the paint shines and the bike purrs, and although it's resting for the winter, he can enjoy it in the spring and it's worth way more than he has invested in it. See? Smart investment. But he had to go through some lemons to find that gem.
Nov 14, 2013
Pat no longer has a job as of today. He was given a nice severance offer and literally he can do anything he wants now - this is his chance to really follow his dreams. It's scary, but I think this is what needed to happen, the timing is good too because there's still enough of the semester left that he can turn his grade around. My folks are coming this weekend after all. :) My sister is still driving them nuts and not moving out, and I guess maybe Button may go home with them, but now I'm leaning towards not letting her go. lol. Getting further in the story I was writing, though I'll never make it to 50,000 in time, but I do have some fantastic ideas to complete it. I'm going to incorporate a story I'd written years ago and merge the two plots. It's exciting - it really has the feel of success to it - like I may actually have a chance to get something done in that arena. Also, finally got the treadmill inside a couple nights ago. First jog on it felt amazing. It'd been weeks since I'd gone running. I'd really missed it. Minister is in Poland at COP 19. Hard not to feel for the Philippines people and their climate negotiator - and his hunger strike. Can't believe the Toronto Mayor is still clinging to the belief that he's fit to be in office and not an addict. I wish I could go to the Philippines and physically help them rebuild. Besides sending money, I'd like to help in some meaningful way.
Nov 12, 2013
Well I crashed and burned in my NaNoWriMo this year due to work. My boss had me working from home in the evenings after working a full day at work. I worked on Saturday too. In lieu, I get to take this Thursday afternoon off and spend it with the kids... so I guess it all works out. Haven't had any time to myself... well except Sunday/Monday. I spent the entire day in my pjs yesterday. didn't leave my house for two days straight, even to go outside once. Very lazy. Almost depressing. The girls and I bonded over watching Harry Potter though. And I'm reading a truly worth-it book "The Book Thief". My friend Jessica bought it for me and told me to read it. I finally am doing just that. It's told from the perspective of death during world war 2.
Nov 6, 2013
Today's sunrise rivelled some of the most spectacular sights I've seen. Ripples of bright pink ribbons and copper splashed across the sky as the sun peaked under the cloud cover. Must be because today is a good day.
Nov 4, 2013
Odd weekend - kids not at home. Last night I picked them up from Red Deer by driving on Hwy 2. Those are by far and away the worst road conditions I've ever driven in. I lost count of how many cars were in the ditch. My chest felt like there was weight on it, pressure. I was dizzy and I still feel off. I actually noticed it last week. My heart is beating irregularly. Weee. My good news is that I am on target to finish my 50,000 words on time - but my boss told me today she wants me to work at home at night. F*CK. I am really starting to hate my job. This is MY time. MY home life. However, I do get to write down the over time (for a change) so I can take lieu time off. But what if this impedes my ability to make my 50,000 word target? Anyway, the feeling of pressure on my chest is not going away, and I feel like it's stress related. I don't have time to go to the doctor, and it will probably turn out that it's in my head and the last thing I need is something like "panic attacks" or "anxiety disorder" on my public record. No thanks. I will just have to "know the truth" like I was taught by my Dad/Grandpa - Christian Science religion. May have to get more into it. Ha! Take that heart palpitations, dizziness and chest pressure. In YO face. Like the girl in Labrinth "You have no power over me!"
Nov 1, 2013
Pondering some thoughts. Thoughts I'm pondering. So. When I was younger I was a bit more black and white. This is this, and that is that. After having lived a little, I understand how a person can lose their way a little, how wandering lost is part of finding your way. I've accepted that that is part of personal growth. That's a part of a person's long road home. And, there's a saying my lifetime friend said to me and it stuck, special people enter your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Learning to accept that you don't have a choice over which of the three categories a person fits into, is crucial to personal peace. Acceptance, forgiveness, compassion - these are things I actively try to live. But these traits, they are the result of LIVING my life and making mistakes. Not with drugs and alcohol, though I've had my share of booze, but with friendships, relationships and trying to see how a person came to be the way they are. The sooner a person can see their own role in whatever relationship isn't working, the sooner it can be fixed. My relationships over time have gotten better, even challenging work relationships, family relationships, and especially my partnership. Learning to forgive others helps you forgive the things a person hates about themselves. So, rant over, underlying message, give whatever isn't working time to breathe and don't think you know what's right and what isn't - but explore, grow, forgive your mistakes along the way. *Edit* So it's not the friendships or relationships that aren't working, there's something in a person that prevents them from letting themselves have successful relationships (maybe there's a lifetime of dissapointments and a belief that all their relationships will fail, maybe they don't see their own role in how a relationship/friendship succeeds. Trying too hard or not enough, it's a balance. But the point is to have faith in people, because by doing that, you are having faith in yourself. Today is November 1st. 1st day of NaNoWriMo. I will conquer 50,000 words - starting tonight after I drop the kids off in Red Deer. On a side note, my Dad is in town today and wants to meet up with me for lunch. I think he'll want to take Spuntino too. *nail biting* do i want that? *Edit* first bit of novel - excerpt posted here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/sdixon0009/novels/heart-of-stones
Oct 28, 2013
This weekend was fun - as always - it's over too soon. Jada impressed me. I zipped out yesterday morning to pick up some bacon for breakfast (not for me, but for everyone else), anyway, when I got home she was laying down in the snow in the front yard. I asked her what she was doing and she said "I was listening to nature Mom" (I did this once with her and Chelsea) - I was super excited about that and asked her what she heard. She said she heard the birds chirping, another type of bird (Magpie) making chzz jerrr sounds and the wind. Very cool. My hopes to instill a love of nature in my children is coming true. The pumpkin carving contest was a success too. We had 3 sets of parents (besides us) and one extra adult plus each set of parents brought 2 kids. A very full house - everyone seemed to have a great time. I baked gluten free brownies and got Jada to help make the rice crispy squares. Most of the adults dressed up too -and the ones who didn't got to "make" their costume out of our costume box. It was hilarious because both of the men who didn't dress up chose to put on long feminine wigs. lol I am seriously considering brushing up my resume for a job I saw recently.
Oct 25, 2013
Finally got the dispersement payment from the lawyer's office yesterday - unfortunately, since it's a large amount, I have to wait a week before I can get it - but at least this process is almost finished. Helped Jada practice her math and she got 23/27 on her test. Helped Chelsea with her homework every night this week - spelling, learning her letters/phonix (she's a little behind) and worked on her reading. They are getting so big. Jada's been having difficulties socially. We had a heart to heart where I explained to her that this one girl she desperately wants to be friends with, who is a grade higher than her, and who constantly does things that are mean spirited to Jada, I finally got through to Jada that that girl is not her friend. I correctly guessed that she doesn't have a stable mother-figure in her life and some of her future behaviours. It's easy to see through her motivations and protect Jada from her nature. I told Jada not to hate this little girl, not to do anything to harm her, but to have compassion for her because she is being nasty because she feels insecure, because she doesn't feel loved at home - it's like she doesn't have a strong relationship with her mother - and then Jada tells me that she doesn't have a mother, that she lives with her cousin. So it all makes sense. That little girl's life is hard enough as it is, Jada's really smart, pretty and atheletic, and this girl wants to discredit Jada to make herself feel better - she needs compassion, but not trust. I told Jada that this girl, no matter if she was nice to Jada on some days - would, at the first opportunity - find ways to make her look bad - and to keep her distance. I'm also going to tell her that if this girl asks her questions, it's not because she's suddenly taken an interest and wants to be friends, it's because she's looking for more ways to make Jada feel/look bad. This girl does not have good intentions and Jada needs to protect herself.
Oct 23, 2013
Added a new facebook profile - going to have it be named "Aerial 90" and on it I'm going to have my online "personality" where I share my likes and dislikes, and it's not going to be connected to any friends (except Pat) and that way I can use it to comment on forums while maintaining my anonymity. Yes. That is the plan. So many dreams lately - and so hard to get up in the morning. Must be because it's colder out - and the warmth of the blankets and pillows holds me enthralled. Halloween Pumkin Carving contest party is this weekend - the house is all spookified with fake spider's webs, dark purple mini lights, loads of pumpkins, and Pat's cut out some "head stones" out of styrofoam left over from the delivery of our energy efficient appliances. We're even going to buy some dry ice to really spooky-up our yard. Very cool. I will post some pics when it's all ready. ;-)
Oct 21, 2013
This was a nice weekend. We went as a family on Saturday afternoon downtown to collect leaves - we walked through the river valley a little and then through the legislature grounds - and we even brought Spuntino. The wind was gusting gustily - sometimes we were chasing those pesky leaves. We also took the kids to McKay school - a beautiful historical site surrounded by apartment buildings and old trees - very urban. I think this may be the site. My folks have offered to take Button off our hands and I'm leaning towards letting them - though if we wanted her back they would let her - but they just want to help with vet bills and to get Button to a happier place. She does seem happier after staying with them - and they walk Basil nearly every day - lus they don't seem to notice her particular "Button"ish smell - and that's saying something - so the dog is allowed on their furniture (plus they have leather furniture so if she stinks it up, they can just wipe it down. I just don't have the time to give the dog the time she deserves and frankly can't afford the vet bills. Anyway, that's the raincloud on the otherwise perfect weekend. The girls were so cute hunting for the perfect leaves - we needed to find ones with different shapes and colours - some of them were truly works of art. Different shades blended onto one leaf. We're going to use them on our wedding invites. I'm currently soaking them in a mixture of glycerine and water to preserve them and then if I succeed, I will probably iron them onto a fancy card-stock paper. I may hand-write the invites or print them... I haven't decided yet. So far I have a lot more invitees than he does. Disappointingly, my folks didn't come out this weekend - they had to stay home to winterize their yard. I have already done that (except getting the patio furniture put away) and I need to get up on the roof to put up the Christmas lights. I kind of want to go all-out on the Christmas decorating this year. I have two full bags of ornaments I don't use - thinking of hanging those on the chain link fence out front. Get in the holiday spirit - and finding free non-consumer ways to do so! But all in all, a good productive weekend. Oh! And yesterday went to value village and got the girls their costumes and Pat and I got ours. Jada's going to be a ninja and Chelsea's going to be a princess. Gary's taking the girls the first weekend in November too - so we'll have a weekend off for the first time in a while. Not sure I want it.
Oct 17, 2013
Chelsea was sick yesterday - I say "sick" but really she was sort of faking I think. The thing is, normally I would just make her go to school - but I felt her head and she was hot - and she gave me the excuse I needed to take a day off, so I did. She spent the whole day watching TV and snoozing and eating snacks. I finally submitted our renovation paperwork and I hope to have a dispersement here soon - so we can repay our folks. It will be so so nice to have that item off the "to do" list. Now to clear a space in the garage so I can park my car in there. Also, Pat's friend Kevin (who is becoming my friend too) has asked Pat seriously if he can live with us. He works up north in the oil patch, and he's only home 2 weeks a month. We can certainly use the money, and he's really good to the girls, and the times he's stayed with us he's been a pretty easy person to live with - keeps to himself, helps out around the house, doesn't eat hardly anything but buys groceries (especially gluten free stuff for Chels) - but I'm not sure I want to lose that privacy. It's one thing if someone is visiting, and how much stuff will he bring with him, and can we use the space he'll be staying in when he's not here, and many other questions including what do you charge for rent for a friend and one who contributes in other ways like yard work, snow shovelling, rebuilding garage roof, etc. I feel like it sort of evens out - but still. I don't know - it would be nice to have an extra person around the house to help Pat with all the extra work, and a roommate who's almost never home is the best roommate you can hope for.
Oct 15, 2013
It's been a while since I've had anything to write. Considered not writing anything here anymore then realized, it's a comfort to be able to write down my thoughts, and I'm going to continue to do that - though probably not quite as frequently. Work is, as always, a little too busy lately. Thanks Giving was nice - just the four of us with 22lb free range organic turkey - I prepared the whole meal - literally spent two days cooking. Everything turned out really well. Definitely going to brine my turkey each year, but I think my favourite was the butternut squash soup. I have a lot of homework to do right now - and I'm going to ask for day off to get all this stuff done. My folks are coming out this weekend for a visit. I am also planning a trip with Pat and my friend Jonathan and his girlfriend Lisa to snow shoe up to a hut for my birthday. Already looking forward to that. Was weird this Thanks Giving with no family dinner to attend. It was nice because it felt like we bonded as a family unit - and we got to watch a movie in our pjs afterward - with an uncomfortably full belly - and caught up on all the laundry yesterday too. I love long weekends and I wish I only worked 3.5 days a week.
Oct 7, 2013
Not so long ago my life was entirely different. I think of the road behind - those early days of my divorce when everything felt so uncertain - when just waking up each day was a chore. The girls were so young, they didn't really understand what was going on. I couldn't gain weight to save my life - I couldn't eat almost anything without feeling ill - and getting my thoughts to stop terrorizing me at night was an intensive meditative process. Thankfully my life is nothing like that anymore. I still have to deal with an ex who isn't responsible, I still have a lot of learning to do - but I am in a good place. My family members all seem to be in good places. I feel so blessed. Blessed to have had so much love in my life, to have done anything differently would not have brought me here. I always take the long road home. Always. And you know what? That's ok. Because getting there is half the adventure. *Edit* I winterized the yard this weekend - planted bulbs for spring, took out bedding plants and wilted tomato/pepper plants (from frost) trimmed down perennials, basically got everything put away for the winter. Just have to find enough space in the shed to put away the patio furniture and hanging baskets. Next year we will have a strawberry patch, or another garden or both. Pat worked on organizing the garage so we can park the car inside. Still need to send in paperwork for renovation refund.
Oct 4, 2013
I can't remember if I wrote it here or not, but I've been wanting to have another baby. I think I did write it here. Well ...I told Pat. It felt nerve wracking! I wasn't sure how he would react, but I was fairly sure he would be ok with that, but I know opinions change once a person knows exactly how much work living with and raising children can be. We walked through the Legislature underground area while talking and I was actually kind of shakey. I said that I'm nearing the end of my "child-bearing" years, and that after 35 things get more risky. I wanted to get pregnant within the next two years or just put that thought to rest. I promised him I would be ok with it if we didn't have a child together, but I hope and I think that he will decide he wants to too. He wants to, but it's a big decision, and he needs to wrap his head around it. He said "I'd kind of like to be married first" and to be honest, that scares me, but I said "Ok, I can understand that, but we're kind of on a limited time frame here, and I don't know if financially we can afford to get married and then have a baby right away." So, if I happen to get pregnant, neither of us is opposed, but we have begun to quietly plan to get married. He seemed pretty giddy, I was happy too - felt closer to him - and thought about how many things we've been through together, how many of our (now mutual) friends have seen us grow as a couple and how awesome it is that our guest lists will have a lot of the same people on them because we're both friends with them. How he has supported me through thick and thin. He has not proposed, but we've both started thinking about what we would want - which is kind of the fun part, and it lures you in as you think about where to get married and what to wear and the food will be. To be honest, I'm not certain I want another wedding - but if I did, it would absolutely have to be an eco-friendly event - local organic food, no throw-away items, we'll see what else - ideally offsetting the energy we use by purchasing some renewable energy of equivalent value comes to mind - ensuring that wastes are separated so that organics can be composted, beverage containers returned, then come all the other details, how big will it be, guest lists, ughhhhhhhh. My sister is planning her wedding too, and I know as soon as my brother gets divorc finalized he's going to marry Shelley, his girlfriend. Maybe we could have a triple wedding... ha. So yeah, lots to think about, plan, and consider. I am actually excited about the thought, I just am nervous about what that means financially re: subsidy, who to invite, who we won't, keeping parents happy, considering the role the girls should play in the ceremony - Pat's in the process of now saving for a ring - another tradition that chaps me. It's ludicrous that I should wear so much money on my finger. I know it should be special, but brand new, a diamond ring (responsibly sourced) is upwards of $3000. There are some really nice antique ones that I like, but again, range from $1400 to $6000. I just can't stomach that kind of waste. Do you know how many groceries I can buy with that money? Or how about a trip somewhere? A new-to-us motorhome so we can trek across Canada? Or, how about that money to pay of student loans?? It makes me sick. I'm so Bah-Humbug about weddings, but I am a little excited to be planning this, and it has made me reflective and considering the road to where we are now.
Oct 3, 2013
I have learned how to knit! And I'm not fantastic at it... and there's a lot more to it than I thought. But I'm excited to do more. I'll need to get a few supplies but for now, Pat's sister has loaned them to me. She was very patient and encouraging - and she is a very high strung gal. I can't quite relax in her presence because she seems somewhat uncomfortable around me. I also need to get the treadmill from outside to inside. I want to be able to excersize now that the weather is changing and frankly, with Pat in school and I know if I had the treadmill easily accessible in the house I would use it. It's a lot more of an effort if I have to go to a gym and of course there's the social anxiety. I'm so unbelievably tired.
Oct 2, 2013
Brrrrrrr. *shivers* Definitely got a chill today standing out in the rain waiting for the bus at +2 outside. Couldn't sleep last night and that made this morning that much harder to get out of bed. Soon I will be sending out the invite to people to attend our pumpkin carving contest. I'm not sure what to make the grand prize this year. I think I will give everyone 3 votes, they can choose to allot them all to one pumpkin, or split them up, and the pumpkin with the most votes wins! I'm thinking a gift card for Best Buy, Winners, or a good restaurant. Going over to Pat's sister's house today to learn how to knit. What else? what else. Saw a job with the GOA that I'm interested in - Grant Administrator for the Ministry of Agriculture's Sustainable Food Programs... that would be pretty cool to allot money to deserving organizations and help them fill out their grant application in the best way so they can get the funding they need... THAT I could get behind... Strongly considering applying... but feel a certain loyalty to stay where I am - or is that a fear? Either way, little reluctant to move on. I like the people here and I don't want to leave, but the role here is not my "forever" role, that's for sure. But, I only just got here and I feel like I signed a 1 year contract, so I should meet that committment... I'm sure another role will come up ... but maybe not this one. I wonder if I'd even be qualified for it. Days like today make me wish I lived somewhere a little warmer, though I would really miss all the sunshine. Oh! And starting to consider building the upper portion of our shop-sized garage into a carriage house for my folks to retire to. I would love to design it - and I think it would be cool to make it a self-sustaining apartment with solar electricity ultra high efficiency windows, fixtures, appliances, etc. *daydreaming*
Oct 1, 2013
Trying to "manage up" as an article I read from twitter the other day told me to do when managing a difficult boss. It's not that my boss is disorganized or blames me for things that are her fault - she's got the same expectations of herself as she does of everybody else, though I'm not sure those expectations are ever met by anyone. However, I respect her intellect and drive, and I DO try to meet her expectations, anticipate her needs, and all the things the article talked about. But it has been challenging. Vampire Diaries season premier this Thursday!!! *squeals a little* Also, U.S. Government was shut down today due to the temporary budget bill rejection. Republicans are trying to roll in environmental regulations into the same bill that would allow all new cross-border pipeline applications and amendments to avoid any environmental review. The D's and R's are accusing each other for the shut down, though the D's are trying to pass the temporary budget bill without any other strings to allow government to continue. Oh the drama of US politics. I can't imagine Canadian politicians name-calling and show boating - though it would make it more entertaining. I'm sure some would argue that politicians are equivalent to entertainers.
Sep 30, 2013
Another cool and dark day - it will likely rain later on - but the trees are all turning colour in ernest and some torrential winds will come and blow every leaf off in a week at most and like that, fall will be over. It only lasts between one and three weeks. It's probably my favourite season - and to think it was +30 and way too hot just two weeks ago. Late yesterday evening I got a really nice surprise because two women I haven't spoken to in ages both contacted me out of the blue. One of them is Pat's sister and she was commenting on how this woman was sarcastically commenting on "organic" cotton and how ridiculous that is when another environmentalist (as well as Pat's sister) piped up and discussed how the use of pesticides is destroying the water table, soils etc - and how buying organic cotton supports more sustainable development of natural fibres (like cotton). The other was a woman who is the wife of Pat's former band mate. She and I hit it off originally and have read a lot of the same books. She wanted to gush to someone who would get how awesome it is to get a first edition signed copy of "A Memory of Light" by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson as her one-year (on paper) anniversary present. There's a novel writing competition for the month of November where you have to write at least 50,000 words in one month that I found out about at the public library - seriously considering entering that competition. I do well with deadlines, and I have lots of ideas and partially finished "novels" that I could work on - this might be just the thing.
Sep 29, 2013
The weekend ticks by and there are a million things at home that need doing. It's raining and cold and gloomy- the perfect day for staying in. Wish I could go running too though, I guess I could - if my hip weren't jiggered. My hip and my knee and even my feet. See. These signs of my body telling me something isn't right - but don't they have more power over you if you acknowledge them? Anyway, had a bad day yesterday, fought the weight of depression, only wanted to sleep, I'm foul to be around and even Pat is avoiding me. I slept and yet still want more - can't find the motivation to do what needs to be done. 6 paycheques until Christmas. On the positive side, I decorated a spooky gingerbread house with the girls - pic on twitter shortly. What will make me feel better? What is bringing me down? I think part of it is wanting to have another child and at the same time knowing that's not possible right now. I'm not a traditional girl, but I kind of hoped that .. Well.. It's not important, or at least not fully formed. When moments of pure clarity strike it may be alluring to just live the experience and feel it - but in those moments if i could describe the understanding in words and images and feelings, then you i could recall them at darker moments. Next time I'm feeling spiritual and enlightened I must write it down so days like yesterday and today I can just re-read those words - though being down can even flatten you into not being able to let yourself feel uplifted - sometimes these moment s just need to be endured. I will endure and just think of the things I am grateful for... Or sleep. **EDIT** and I re-read a poem I read recently - self-proclaimed words of wisdom. I do feel better - I stopped sweating the fact that I have stuff unfinished. I watched TV and did all the laundry and then I felt .. better. I feel a lot better actually.
Sep 27, 2013
Today, after an incredibly stressful morning, I felt STRONGLY like having a glass of wine. The desire is still there, lurking. But instead of encouraging me to buy a bottle (which he normally does) Pat said "how about a hug and some wine gums" - very sweet. I don't want more sugar though, so I said no to the candy, yes to the hug and that I'd settle for a nice bowl of soup, pjs and slippers with a movie. He helped me re-direct my need to unwind. I'm staying late tonight (on a FRIDAY)and I have to come in on Sunday to work. (Minister's mission to Europe - public notice of her travel expenses posted somewhere on website) - anyway, my boss and I are the ones coordinating the info for that trip. This has been a hellish day - high pressure/stress, fast paced, but... it makes you feel important. A lot of people are depending on ME to get this information to them - a lot of people who are more important (or at least better paid!) - and there's something enticing about being needed. I can feel my job trying to suck me in. Giving me a false sense of purpose. I want my purpose to be something else - rather than an information slinger. Is it too soon to judge? Should I be running for the hills? Whenever I get finished work tonight and get home I'm going to hug my kids. I'm going to hug Pat. I'm not going to talk - I will just listen. I want my pjs, slippers and after the movie, my bed... or perhaps one of the new books I grabbed at the library yesterday about how Non-profits can use social media - or the other one - the origins of money in our society. Really digging non-fiction right now. I guess I could do some school work - probably should so I don't fall behind again.
Sep 26, 2013
Soooooooo tired. I slept very lightly last night - woke up often. Exhausted this morning. Did I mention I'm beat? So. Double fisting dark roast coffee and starbucks "doubleshot" Energy + Coffee drink. That's the solution, right? Heard about a book called "Grain Brain" - pretty interesting. I will have to find it (maybe the library?) because I'm poor! Anyway, Thanks Giving is around the corner, and I told Pat that I want to cook Thanks Giving dinner. Currently scoping out local organic farmers for our turkey - I hope it's not too late to order one. I'm thinking purple and orange and yellow carrots, green and yellow beans, little roasted potatoes with green onion and olive oil, and maybe a butternut or acorn squash - now salads... this is the fun part... spinach, mushroom, thin sliced purple onion, goat cheese, candied pecans, craisins and a poppyseed dressing... O! and... pecan pie. No! Pumpkin. Mmmmm. Pumpkin pie.... will have to find a way to make gluten-free crust and filling. Yesterday I got up at 6am, got kids to daycare, got to work by 7:40am, worked all day to 5:40pm, the middle of which I attended my board meeting for EALT, then after work I walked to my next meeting for SFE Community Garden Grant Committee, grabbed a cab home at 9pm, then stayed up to finish watching lectures and taking notes, then wrote my test - got a decent score even though I could barely keep my eyes open - but missed the absolute deadline by an hour so I got no credit for that test (but I still finished it!) - then I read my book for 20 minutes and fell into a light sleep. TOO. BUSY. Would love to have nothing to do. Would love to make up my day as I go along. Not that I don't enjoy being busy, I do, I go kind of crazy if I'm not productive - but it would be great to have a break. (dreams about Christmas break)
Sep 25, 2013
Did first 1/3 of my lectures from last week on Ancient Greeks (must complete the test by end of day today!) - little behind due to competing demands on my time (ie: trip to FSJ - among other things!) Streaming the new Moby song. So far so good. Moby was one of my - if not THE favourite in the last nineties. Yes, I am dating myself. Age catches all of us eventually. I intend to do so gracefully and without shame - but perhaps some well timed humour. The girls were really well behaved at our Board meeting. I am considering resigning from SFE. I think I would rather just be a volunteer. It's a long story, but, they're going for a philanthropic model of funding - meaning that every board member must be an advocate and a fund raiser. You're required to fund raise, and not just that, you're required (all board members are) to donate not just time (which we are all already doing) but also money. I love the org, I love the programs especially - but I don't have any spare money at the moment, and I already fund raise so much for the kids and their school, their extra curriculars, etc. This isn't what I signed up for. So yea. My thoughts. It's a beautiful crisp morning.
Sep 24, 2013
Not the best morning today. Even more grouchiness this morning than last. The kind I can't tolerate - the kind that feels better when they put someone smaller down. Caused more sourness. Then outbursts followed by silent treatments. I thought yesterday was Monday.
Sep 23, 2013
Good morning Monday, my old friend. Got everyone up early today - made the 7:15 bus. The grumpies were in abundance, poking out and prickling sensitive feelings. I managed to buffer the grouchies, as I just do that when everyone else is grouch-o-matics. But hey, I have my own grouchy mornings occassionally. (Not that I admit that openly) Forgot my coat in FSJ. At the celebration of life, so many people there knew who Pat was - Shar (who'd passed) spoke of him often and with great pride. I think he was a bit overwhelmed at how many people knew him, and to be thought of so highly by a room full of strangers and to have almost all of them assume that someone of his talents must surely be pursuing art full time. The art crowd of Fort Saint John. They were so welcoming, genuine, and warm. They were certain we were from "the North" because of how genuine, warm and welcoming we were. Though I didn't know Shar I fought tears regularly as I was hit with wave after wave of emotion of those around me realized they would never see her enigmatic smile again. One woman, Sandra, she's a photographer and sculpter, really beautiful older lady who touched my shoulder as she walked by. I could feel her radiating energy, healing energy - and when she spoke to me a little later on I bravely asked her whether she had practiced Raike or other energy-type healing arts and she had - she'd done reflexology and a few other things. I just had a strong sense of her straight away. Another woman, Yvonne, she was a garlic farmer (former Agrologist/Engineer) whose Mother's farm provided her with the flax and Spelt and other grains she needed to bake bread that she would sell at the Farmers market each week in the Okanagan. These folks, despite being 20 years older than us were kindred spirits. I didn't mind hanging out with strangers at the after-"party" at Shar's partner Dale's house. I could see why Pat found himself drawn to them as a teenager. I think it re-kindled his passion for art - perhaps it gave him a slight kick in the pants. Everyone kept asking why we weren't married yet. It was cute. He says my painting is next (he'd given me an "I owe you" coupon for a painting on my birthday two years ago. I'm excited I'll get to collect! Once again my opinion of "the North" is raised by such a warm and welcoming experience. The girls had a great time - the neighbours kids were having a birthday party and they invited my girls. We dropped by the fire department's annual truck-tow fundraiser where the girls tried to pull the truck with the rope and got to climb on it. Over all it was a really good weekend. *Edit* ERCB equivalent Alberta Energy Regulator AER - has a compliance investigator position I think I would love... City of Edmonton has a few positions Recreation and Community Program Coordinator positions... interesting. Also got an email from Alberta Institute of Agrologists (AIA) who have about 9 positions posted for various industry groups as they pertain to agriculture and soils and water - but mostly its in sales. Still though, seems there's a lot for a person with my credentials - at least in Alberta.
Sep 22, 2013
Back in Edmonton, and it feels good to be home. Everyone is happy to be back - the girls are happy to be in their beds - the dog was so excited to see her crate all set up in its usual area. The girls did very well on their chores chart last week - now I need to pay up. Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Forever tomorrow. I have so much homework to do right now, and I'm really dreading going to work tomorrow. I don't think I'm in the right role. I'm staying put for a little while - but we'll see if I find something better while keeping the bills paid with a "right now" job. Definitely not my forever job.
Sep 20, 2013
Arrived safe and sound in fort Saint John. Really beautiful skies on the way up. Girls are tucked into bed on the air mattress, dog in her crate snoring happily. They ordered pizza tonight, Pat's folks and there is even one with gluten free crust. Mine was vegetarian, and there were tons of toppings. Time for sleep, sleep is the best solution.
Sep 19, 2013
Boss is in a good mood today. I have loads and loads of volunteer work to do this weekend - reading materials etc. I have to pack the kids and myself and Pat and the dog for our weekend. We're thinking of having Thanks Giving at our place - using our new and beautiful oven. There's so many chefs in Pat's family that I won't be able to get in there and cook - and you know what? I'm good at cooking. The other night I made a delicious cauliflower lentil bisque. When I am given the opportunity I can create. Pat can make anyone get lazy. His sister is worse, and his Dad is worse still. They all can't help themselves from just taking over. On the plus side, his sister Kendra is going to teach me how to knit. I'm going to learn how to make toques, scarves, mittens, and maybe, eventually, a sweater! I hope. Anyway, back to work.
Sep 18, 2013
Wrote a poem today - maybe it will become lyrics to a new song. I will find its melody. Pat assures me we will be posting our first song on sound cloud soon - but he's had so much to do lately with renovations, painting that painting of his mentor/second Mother who passed away, writing her a eulogy that he will have to deliver at her celebration of life (which is open to the public so he could be speaking in front of quite a large crowd). Feeling a little melancholy today. *Edit* Actually pretty proud of my poem, and nice to be validated by a stranger. I chaired a meeting today that I thought was fairly important - and it was out of necessity. My boss was out of town on a business trip (but she gave me a baby sitter) essentially a person who sat in the room for the meeting just in case there were questions that came up that those questions would be answered fully. Over all it went well but that's because I work with professionals. I made several mistakes which I'm going to pro-actively point out to my boss so she can't come down on me about it. She has been "riding" me ever since I missed one deadline - which in fairness to me happened as a result of many many things coming through on the same day, and even though I briefed her on our to-do list on two separate occassions, she missed it too - but it was my responsibility. Ever since then her faith in me is gone and she's micro-managing my work and criticizing everything I do. She seems incapable of telling me when I've done a good job and on the two occassions when she's said it recently it's been literally "good job". When it's criticism it's a 15 minute lecture. Oh well. I will weather this shit storm and I will succeed and I will show her that she has nothing to worry about - and then - I will move on to a different role so that I have glowing reviews for the work I've done.
Sep 17, 2013
Something definitely in the air today - can't place the smell - it's familiar, I like it, but what is it? I believe it's fall. Fall is in the air. Had a headache yesterday and I knew the weather was going to change (even if I hadn't already read that on weather network). Today was cool when I woke up - had to drag out the bathrobe for after the shower rather than just towel-dry. Made the girls wear pants today, and long-sleeve shirts (myself too). Will be driving North soon to FSJ, I imagine there will be wildlife on the road with the season changing, will need to be careful and to point it out to the girls. They're already talking about the moose we saw the last time we went up there. I wonder if the seasonal change will be further along in FSJ. I went to bed at 8:20pm last night and I am still tired this morning. I just want to sleep and sleep and sleep. This time of year reminds me of going to school, so much... Well, until my master's - I have coursera. *edit* On my run today at lunch I stopped to take a photo of the river valley trail I was on. I love it in there - there are so many trails I haven't explored yet. It's so secluded down there, shady in spots, it's so much nicer to run when it's not blisteringly hot outside. I plan to keep running until it's -10 outside. That's my cut off... I think. Is it ok to run in long johns? lol. The only thing is, I kind of want someone to run with me. I'm sure it's fine, but it feels a little sketchy being down there by myself. But I hate being dependent on the schedule of others - or more accurately - others being dependent on my schedule which changes at the drop of a hat. How many times have I had to cancel my running plans because 12:05pm my boss comes over and wants something urgently - or anytime I've made plans to meet up with colleagues for coffee - same thing. My schedule utterly belongs to my boss - though I think very very highly of her - she is so smart, and driven and strategic - but I am not her. I do not live to work, I work to live. You would not catch me working on my black berry until midnight or missing picking up my kids/risking dissappointing them for the sake of my job. Sorry. OH! And, the progress inspection was this morning. It went really well - I am hopeful we'll get our full re-imbursement and be able to repay our parents. I feel so much better for having gone for a run. First time in a week. I've been going about once/week for 3 months - I just can't seem to find the time to exercise more than once/week.
Sep 16, 2013
Another beautiful late-summer day - can't truthfully be called fall when it's this hot out. *Growls* So close. The season will change, and am I ready for it? Well I've made sure the girls have everything they need for cold weather. Need to winterize the yard - I wish I could dig the gardens for next year so they're all ready to plant next spring. *Edit* In other news, Spuntino, aka Button has not been doing well. Found a permanent molar of hers when I swept up on Saturday - she's losing her hair again, sides are covered in raised welts. I can't imagine suffering as much as she has. She's also lethargic and she has a few different growths on her now. I am sort of dreading taking her to the vet. *Edit* In happier news, Chelsea "lost" another tooth yesterday - though in truth I pulled it out for her with tweezers. EEeeew. It needed to come out, it was super loose, and she asked me to. Ick. Ick. Ick. Also got all the laundry for the girls done this weekend. Got everything I'd planned to get done, done except the painting touch ups for the progress inspection tomorrow. Indoor soccer team starting up - they're short women - but I really don't know if I'm up for that. It would be good exercise, but there are already so many demands on my time. Got an "A" on my most recent Ancient Greek History test. In fairness, it's pretty easy to get an A. This isn't quite scratching the itch for knowledge and returning to school. But it will do for now.
Sep 15, 2013
Kind of dreading the start of the work week. I like having so much time with the girls, to do Mom things, to watch my lectures on Ancient Greek History - to be home to just get things done here - the yard needs mowing, the flower beds need weeding, everything needs watering. Yet, I have to go to a job that is starting to feel thankless. I hope that this is just a blip. I had a walking lunch with Candice, my former boss while working for Alberta energy. She's such a nice lady. Definitely someone whom has peace and harmony in mind. I'm surprised she has lasted this long in government. By saying "no" when being asked to work beyond the limits set by the union, she's had more and more work piled on her until she missed one deadline which has begun the process of "micro-management". The truth is, she needs the change. She's got her house paid off, she's got money saved up, she wants to go back to school to take acupuncture and start her own business. I applaud her choice, and I hope she and I can stay friends even after she eventually leaves the GOA. (neither of us are very good at keeping in touch) Will I stay in the GOA? Well, the thing that I realized in talking to Candice is that I keep pining after the job I turned down in Calgary. Well, I'm pretty well established here now. Until Pat is done his diploma - actually he decided he's going for the full degree to become a landscape architect - more on that in a minute - anyway - I'm staying in Edmonton for the time being - so why can't I find a job similar to the one I turned down in Calgary - out here? I don't have to stay with the GOA. One is never trapped unless they let themselves be trapped. That unknown road, the road less travelled in the pursuit of really living - that is the true blessing of life. It is what you make of it. If my work continues to be unrewarding, I will find alternate means of paying my bills. I have a degree, I have my passion, and I will find the right fit - but not if I don't work for it. And sometimes staying put and working through a problem (rather than giving up on it) - is the right thing to do. And sometimes letting go of a situation that isn't working for you anymore is the right thing to do - and you have to trust yourself that you'll know the difference when the time comes. For now, I fold laundry, tell the kids I love them, and do my best to keep my life balanced.
Sep 14, 2013
Saturday morning and I have the girls at their gymnastics class. It was good to get out of the house first thing and not be rushing to work. It helps that it's absolutely gorgeous outside - sunny blue skies with a warm whispered promise of a hot evening to come. I got a bit of homework done last night for my board of directors. Started writing the report for my grant committee. Sent out a doodle for all of us to meet the next time. I sit here at gymnastics with the smell of a gymnasium and rubber mats sipping my dark roast coffee from my to go cup. The murmur and echoing shouts of happy children playing is pleasant background noise. I watched this new girl show up at the beginning of class. She was black as night and very nervous. She was probably the tallest kid here. She went and stood next to the other two bigger girls (sisters who are also black as night) and within moments of running she had two new friends. It brought a tear to my eye to witness the openness and innocence of childhood friendship. I've been incredibly emotional lately. Glad to be feeling things, glad I am not numb, but strange to be overwhelmed by the desire to cry over happy things. In other news, had a heart to heart with Pat about drinking last night. He said he realized that he would feel awful for enabling me to go down that path of alcoholism - and really reflected on what I'd said - that I have that predisposition for getting lost in it, or at least taking it too far. He doesn't want to be responsible for destroying my will power and no longer sees it as something I did for... Other reasons. We talked about his habits - I want him to quit smoking. I respect and admire when someone can quit an addiction - actually funny enough, last night I asked him if my being a "square" wasn't something he loved about me - and he said it was my will that was attractive. My ability to hold back. Agreed. The will power to do the right thing, very very sexy. He finished the hard part of his painting of Shar. We're off to fort Saint John on Friday. He's started his eulogy for her too. Sad and witty and beautiful. Class is ending, gotta run.
Sep 13, 2013
So close. And then gone. Ideas. Last night in the IKEA parking lot I remember thinking how beautiful it was outside - such a warm summer night. Reminded me a little of Kelowna. Steffi said the reason she stays in Alberta (because she's from Germany) is for the sky. You don't this kind of sky anywhere else, where it stretches forever and turns bright orange, blue and purple. She's travelled more than me so I will take her word. Either way, what a beautiful night last night was - until I tried to sleep and my feet were too hot. When Pat got home I asked in my cute sleepy voice if he could get me a cold damp cloth for my feet - I'm very lucky because he did right away, and as soon as my feet weren't hot anymore I was out like a light. I slept like the dead and woke up to my alarm confused like "What's this annoyance waking me up ...oh."
Sep 12, 2013
what a day! So. Busy. At work. Right now. Went to IKEA after dinner and last night (was it only last night??) went to Jada and Chelsea's school BBQ to "meet the teachers". I love this school. They have a dedicated art teacher and music teacher - Jada auditioned and was accepted into glee club. She loves her teacher, and is thriving. Chelsea is getting there, still struggling with some behaviour things and her best friend and her = trouble. But it will turn around. This is a weird little late-summer we're having - It's so so hot. Summer time hot. I'm in my bedroom trying not to roast to death as I write this entry. Pat's in school again - tues/thurs evenings - makes things harder when he's not at home - plus he's struggling again, already - but that's only because he didn't do his homework. You know when you're over-heated and your feet are hot? That's how I feel right now. My feet are hot - I'm searching for the cool side of my pillow. My flowers are wilted and my lawn is browning. At IKEA I met Steffi and the girls went into the play place. We found this same nice corner as last time and chatted - she talked about her Dad, about her job, I'm sure there were some people who wanted to try out the chairs we commandeered but TOO BAD. I had a strong urge to move a couple times but mostly people just walked by in their own little worlds. Shared a lot about grief - how Steffi doesn't want to do anything - doesn't know what future she has - is trying to live a little each day by having dinner out. since her father died, and since she had a recent mishap (concussion from something really silly) she feels she must try to live every day - and eating out is how she does that. While I get it, I also recognize the imbalance. Is that the right way to live? Shouldn't there be some squirrelling away for that elusive "tomorrow"? I guess we all just cope differently. I related to a lot of what she was saying - I went through grief with losing loved ones, with the divorce, and sometimes I just get down on myself. I think that's human nature. I shared with Steffi the wisdom I once received from a friend who said that mental pain registers in the brain the same way physical pain does, with the same neurochemical responses. Told her it was ok to feel the way she does, that it's good to strive to live, but that she should probably try to find a better balance like eating out half as much and saving that money to travel or whatever. I would prescribe her exercise. She needs to be more active and to eat less bad foods. And for myself and the world in general, I would prescribe B vitamins. Sleep. Water. Healthy food. But not in that order. Like that silly commercial years ago "Do YOU know where your children are?" - in this case "Have YOU had your vitamins yet??" Vitamins have helped Pat's mood so so much, even how he copes with things. Bed time. Zzzzzz *falls asleep on computer*
Sep 11, 2013
Having a rough day so far today. Boss is hounding me. I'm keeping up - but rushing. When I rush I forget things. But there's been so much work I missed something (though she caught it in time). Though she has no problem telling me when I've made a mistake, she doesn't outright say when I've done a good job - though I can infer because she when she is happy with me, she tells me to go home early, or buys me a little treat - you know, rewards. Good doggie. Woof woof. And right now I'm feeling a little flattened. Last night I didn't sit down/relax for even five minutes. Mother WOULD be proud. When I got home, I rapidly cooked eggs, toast and tomatoes for the girls to scarf down before Sparks/Brownies. I got them to their activity then blasted to the grocery store where I bought more dog food, more gluten-free breads/snacks and lunch stuffs. Then came home, tidied by picking up after the kids, myself and Pat - clearing off surfaces, filing paperwork, sweeping floors, washing dog bedding, bathing dog, picked up kids by walking over with the dog, got kids to bed, showed them their new Sparks/Brownies photo album of their activities from last year (paid the leaders $20 for it at the end of last year), folded laundry, did dishes, tidied TV room/den, vacuumed that area and laundry area - CRASHED. Exhausted again today. But, if I keep up with everything during the week my life will stay organized and I won't get depressed about how out of control I feel. I found a Master's Program at UofA that I'm interested in. Intake is September 2014. Applications being accepted now into the Department of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences. There's even grant opportunities within the faculty - I wonder if work would pay for it. I think I may have to pay off my car and my down payment on my house before I can go back to school - or sell my car and get something cheaper and put every available dollar towards my LOC so I can pay it off quickly. Anyway, I'm sure today is just a bad day, tomorrow will be better, and in the mean time, I'm going to try to cheer myself up by spending my lunch outside / jogging.
Sep 10, 2013
Yesterday I kept up my life. I cleaned, made dinner (never as good as Pat's), did dishes, made sure the dog got her raw pumpkin (good for her skin)etc. And, I even went to the gym. Congratulations me. I didn't go home and become a bump and feel depressed I didn't do more and watch things pile up. However, in doing more, I am exhausted today. Slugging back coffee (and water) and trying not to feel the fatigue that has me almost swaying on my feet. I don't feel muscle fatigue yet... could it be that I got lucky? haha. Over all though, I feel good today - especially for having worked out. *Edit* I got Jada to practice her singing yesterday. I think I'm going to coach her some more - it's something she's really interested in, and I know something about voice lessons having been in quoir when I was younger - and even getting a few solos. She feels that same embarassment - but she did it. I think I would've run away at her age. I feel less and less ashamed of myself for any musical tendencies, and it also helps that Pat's in my corner professing that I have more musical ability than most people (I don't, but I appreciate the support). Either way, Pat believes my Mom stifled me, (though in truth, it was someone else) and I want to give the girls every opportunity I can. Chelsea told me she "broke up" with Ricki from daycare, and was with a ten-year-old boy at school who she also "broke up" with because he didn't actually like her (to which she then burst into tears) - and I told her something I didn't count on needing to talk about for at least 10 years - that if he doesn't like her, he doesn't know what he's missing and she was smart to dump him. She seemed better after I said this - though inside I was completely freaking out and wanted to tell her boys are icky and then I realized that the less seriously I took her "boyfriends" the more comfortable she would be talking to me openly. *Edit*
Sep 9, 2013
The thing about pickling, pickles, etc, is that you need to wait six weeks to eat them... all that waiting while their deliciousness just... stares at you... taunting. I found out about the St. Albert Farmer's Market - largest one in Western Canada - 15 minutes from my house... but we had house guests over the weekend, I'd forgotten I'd invited Jessica and Jason over for dinner on Saturday with the boys so the kids could play - and this whole weekend has been spent entertaining friends. So... no school work. No Canning. Though I did bake some gluten free chocolate chip cookies last night - and I made a coleslaw for tonight last night - did the dishes ... at least 7 times, cleaned up beer bottles, etc, swept the floor, vacuumed, and on and on. I think we're ok now without a maid. Talking to this girl Wallis at work reminded me about how important it is to make sure the girls contribute to the household via chores, and decided we're going to start up the chores chart again (now that our life is back under control). Plus, having a maid, while absolutely LOVELY, is very expensive - about $320/month - and she only comes twice/month. That's a LOT of money, and our place isn't big enough for that to be justified. I'm still going to employ them to do the once-over stuff a couple times a year (like wiping down the walls, window sills, door frames, tops of cupboards, and all that stuff you never get to - but I can wash the floors, I can vacuum, I can get the kids to clean the bathrooms - they love it, and all we use are non-harmful cleaners so it won't hurt the Woozle. Chelsea Welsie Woo has turned into Woozle. Sometimes it's the Woozleator. So many nick names. Found a bicycle in Value Village last week and haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. It was only $20. If it's still there this weekend (which I sincerely doubt) I'm going to buy it, and it's going to become my commuter bike. Yes it is. I don't care that winter is around the corner... I WILL commute to work at least once or bust. Hopefully I don't bust.
Sep 6, 2013
Pat and I got to take the bus home together yesterday. I got to tell him I thought he was acting a little different - and he said he was reflecting on it, and thought he was being way more assertive with his friend, and made a few very valid points that I hadn't considered. He agreed with a few of mine and it was good we connected. I went to my meeting last night where I was given an excersize in balancing our budget - it did its job to get across the message that without new funding we're going to be in trouble in 3 years. We have lots of money, but most of it must be allocated to specific programs - and those programs can't run without more money than what we already have - so I was thinking of ways to raise funds, and I guess our board/organization is going towards a specific funding model (that I also learned about last night) Very cool. Nice to get that classroom experience again. I miss it. I have business cards for this organization, but I still don't have any for my current job - though they are on order. (Apparently my branch name/team name may be changing. Weee.) I like my job title. Just call me Officer Dixon. *grins* The girls had fun last night - I guess they played hot/cold to find some hidden toys in the long grass (the front got mowed, but the mower's battery died before it got through the whole back yard - or else Pat just didn't get to it because he was cooking dinner. Kevin brought alligator. Pat breaded it and deep fried it, and it was delicious - a bit rubbery - but a pretty good flavour. I daresay it was a little like chicken, but rubbery. So maybe, dark meat chicken... duck? Yea, it's more like duck... or pork.. it's meat. Anyway. The office today definitely feels like a Friday. You can tell because people are chattier. I really like the folks here. I daresay there's a great team forming. Had a giant cinnamon bun for breakfast... all bread... it had no icing but the dough was slightly sweetened and I think had a touch of vanilla in it. Very lightly buttered with cinnamon/brown sugar. It was lovely with my under-sweetened coffee with honey and cinnamon. Today when I finish work I'm going to weed the flowerbeds (again), water all the plants, weed the rock garden, and write my weekly test for my ancient Greeks course. I need to harvest several peppers and tomatoes now too. I should look up what I can use whooly burdock for - I have a huge "crop" in the alley I need to cut down so the City doesn't fine me... I think it's pretty woody stuff... I also need to do some canning this weekend. I am going to grab a couple flats of peaches from the St. Albert farmer's market, some pickling cukes and dill, and then maybe look into making some of my own stews/soups with freshly harvested carrots / potatoes / beets etc from the farmer's market. Next year my garden WILL be bigger. If I do enough canning we will be sure that our stuff is delicious, not high in salt, not full of gluten, and it will support the local food market... or I may not have the time and I'll be a lazy butt.
Sep 5, 2013
Oh, that's priceless. Then it's posted twice... sigh. Anyway, a friend of Pat's is visiting us - he's a good house guest. One of the few of Pat's friends that I actually like - that isn't out to use/abuse Pat, but is instead a person who is overly generous. Yesterday my post was all about the girls and my new history of ancient greeks class. Last night Pat's friend Kevin got the lawn mower working (Pat couldn't believe how easy it was and was very shamed about it) - he mowed a little before the battery died and assured me that he would get it all mowed tonight (while I'm at my Fund Development workshop). I told him to stop beating himself up about it - normally Pat is very handy. I sent Chels to school with a note for her teacher because she'd been allowed to play on the monkey bars again and burst several more blisters. I let the teacher know that I like lots of communication and to email me at work if she ever needed anything for Chels. I go for my physical today at my new doctor's office - but I get to avoid the awkward stuff ;-)(thankfully!)The one thing I don't like about having a house guest (besides the randomity it adds with the girls) is that Pat sort of... takes on an old valence - an old behaviour pattern of submissiveness/indecision. He's become a lot more assertive, decisive, he's been taking on more of a leadership role. He admitted that's because I kind of push him into it - but it's what I need. I just sometimes need someone else to sound off ideas with, someone who will give a reasoned argument towards one decision or another - and anyone who knows Pat knows what a big step that has been for him. With his friend here he's being really goofy - and making himself look .. like I run the entire show, like he's a third child... I guess. And he's not that person anymore - is he reaching toward a youth that he feels he's missing? Is he trying to show Kevin he's still the same Patrick? Is he truly more this person than the one he acts like around me? Worth some thought I suppose, but even if he has changed because of me, it seems like a good thing, and he wouldn't be doing anything differently and making it stick if he didn't truly want to see those changes in himself. I'd like to think I'm just providing the support he needs to reach towards the goals he wants. Or I could look at it as I'm making him into something he's not, but then you can see the glass half empty or half full. Well it's time to focus on other things.
Sep 4, 2013
I love the therapy of sharing good news and bad news on booksie... Except when I am "booksied" and my Gawd-damn entry is deleted when I go to edit something. Grrrrrrr.
Sep 4, 2013
I love the therapy of sharing good news and bad news on booksie... Except when I am "booksied" and my Gawd-damn entry is deleted when I go to edit something. Grrrrrrr.
Sep 3, 2013
Well, they're both at their first day of school. They were both nervous, and excited and so cute. I did their hair in braids last night after their bath so their hair would be wavy today. Pics on fb and twitter. I don't want to be here at work today. I want to be at home, studying school work, sewing on girl guide badges, and plotting my master's degree. **Edit Also meant to say that Chelsea's still got symptoms she needs to have addressed, but we've been giving her more water - water is so important. Her pee should be clear and it finally is - so she's not so dehydrated. I started giving her (and Jada) calcium chews. Been remembering to make everybody take the vitamins - I'm a good little Mommy. Everyone needs to have a balanced diet and their vitamins. *eyes the world*
Sep 3, 2013
Today was a good day. Last night while over at our friend's house for a BBQ, visiting with Rob and Jenn and their kids, we had a small fire, the kids played happily, we spotted the northern lights starting to dance. Turned out the electric lights, and watched, and as we did the lights got stronger - Pat and I (me under a quilt because I am so easily cold) just sat watching the beautiful display. It was a good moment. I remember being a child at a party with my folks, being allowed to stay up late, and then being put to "bed" where I was expected to sleep until they woke me up to move me to the car. I remember the fun of those evenings, how little supervision we had as kids, and how much fun we all would have playing tag, hide and seek, and all the rest. I'd like to imagine that the girls had tons of fun too. I started my greek history course today. Very fascinated already! Gimme Gimme! I had no idea how valuable the olive tree was to them, or about the Bronze Age, or ... anything! Love it. So grateful for FREE education. Wow. What an age we live in. Still reading Canadian history, have a few new titles to check out soon - in between sewing on Sparks/Brownie badges onto navy blue sash's and folding laundry, that is. Well at least all this reading and learning will help me to lay low while we get our finances back in check. Things are tight - haven't been this tight for me in a long while. Tomorrow is the first day of school for the girls, I have the morning and after noon off so I can drop them and pick them up. I get to be a "Mom" for one day - and I'm looking forward to staying on top of things this year. Found an app that both Pat and I can access so we can put all the family appointments, classes, etc into one place. There are so many things I'm grateful for - the information age, the freedom to read/write, the access to affordable food, water and clothes - the luxury of driving a vehicle, so many things - good music - worked on music with Pat this weekend too - we will be posting it to Aerial_90's sound cloud - me singing. Also going to cover my favourite jewel song - I've started to figure out the piano bits, Pat's doing basic cord progressions on the acoustic guitar. It's nice to finally do some of the things I've been thinking/talking about doing. On a side note - Jada is an over-achiever. She obtained a LOT of badges. A LOT. lol
Aug 30, 2013
The girls called me from the road with my ex. He has them all weekend, and I really miss them. Apparently the feeling was mutual. Chelsea was almost crying about it. I told her she would have fun, she could call me anytime she wanted to, and basically started distracting her with other things - like the dog a woman from my office brought in - beautiful black lab cross. It was such a tall dog. I worry about them. Last night there was quite a storm, pouring rain, thunder, lightning. Left the window in our bedroom wide open so I could watch it - but I had trouble falling asleep. I felt ... strangely less safe without the girls. I wanted to know they were safe in their beds. Pat had conked out almost as soon as his head hit the pillow. I could've woken him or tried to snuggle close, but I would've felt foolish. There was nothing to be nervous of, and I usually love storms. I just felt... anxious last night.
Aug 29, 2013
Dreams. Vivid at first, now I cannot recall. The girls and I went to the library together yesterday. We picked out books and Jada read a comic I found for her while Chelsea instantaneously made friends with 3 other little children there. She knew one from swimming lessons, and I had spoken to her Mom before. I borrowed some books on Canadian history. I don't know why, but I've become kind of fascinated with it lately. Borrowed a book on native myths, and there were several in the "aboriginal" collection, but all seemed to be written by white folks trying to explain native folks, and had a text-book style to them that was unappealing. The collection was really small and hard to find in the library. There are no first-hand accounts of what being native before or after about the mid 1800's was like. Where is THAT section of history? Heck, where is the history of this continent at any point before 1900? Why am I so fixated on history right now? Either way, the more I read about the people of years ago, the more I realize how much freedom they had, well, at least the men had. It is weird to think that just a couple generations ago, women weren't allowed to vote or hold certain jobs, or attend certain schools. I read a quote from Nellie McClung where she was arguing for the right for women to vote. It was fascinating. Even now, at gymnastics, speaking to that woman who was raising her grandson, and how her father wouldn't let her go to architect school because "she was a girl". This was a woman sitting next to me, alive now, who has experienced that first hand. There's nothing I can do about the past or any past wrong doing, but I can do my best to be greatful for the future I have, and try not to take the freedoms I have for granted. Even though I am not the richest, I need to remember that I am lucky to have what I have. Being grateful doesn't mean being compacent, or not trying to achieve greater goals, but not to get so lost in it that my personal self-worth is wrapped up in those goals, and instead I can turn around and see where I've come from rather than where I haven't gotten to yet. Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it. Take each day as it comes, one day at a time, same as running.
Aug 28, 2013
Started a new story idea last night. Will have to post it here once I write it - last night was the outline. The idea came to me, as they do, in pictures, with strong feelings and a sense of excitement. On amazon I just bought a book of historical fiction - short stories about Canada in the early days - also found one about native myths and traditions - but it was all mostly eastern Canadian. Yesterday was truly hectic at work, I probably shouldn't even be writing right now. I have a LOAD of research to do in a short period of time to brief our minister about her trip coming up to Virginia. In our rush to get out on time this morning I didn't remember to grab my work-out clothes that I laid out nicely on my bed. Erg. Tomorrow I guess. I can finally use the gym/shower facility that's in this building. The maid comes today - and though things are evening out and we're staying more on top of our "to do" list, it's still invaluable to have someone cleaning the floors, bathrooms, and we get to come home to a clean house. I finished touching up the paint in the kitchen last night, and Pat and his cousin finished the baseboards night before last. He's finishing the baseboards in the bathroom and then we can order our inspection. The girls start school next week - I prepaid the school for all the supplies they'd need so when they arrive at school next Tuesday it'll all be there for them. I've told work I'll be in late on Tuesday so I can take them to their first day of school. Not sure if we'll go camping this weekend now - too much money and things are tight at the moment. There's a few cool events in Edmonton too - one that involves a group called "the local good" and usually that means local organic food, and there's going to be swing dance lessons and a dance afterward - and as awkward as we both are, it sounds like fun. So who knows. Either way we're going to pick up the girls in Calgary so we can see my folks briefly before the school year starts. My sister will be in her first year of her actual program at MRU, though she's got several courses toward it already. She actually applied for student loans and got them, and is taking a full time course load for once - and I think that for her is actually 3 courses, but hopefully it's 4. I'll have to explain to her about student loans that she has only 1 year more than the number of years her degree is to finish before student loans cuts you off, and if she's supposed to be taking 5 courses a semester and she's only taking 3, she'll be in trouble near the end. Still, sometimes extensions are offered, and she could always explore that option again, unless she prefers the drama of the unknown - like how she's going to get to the next step - the not knowing. If I were footloose and fancy free, I would travel. Perhaps at first, just across Canada - with a camper. Or, perhaps with a backpack across Europe - though I'd probably need to have a bit saved, and I think you need a visa to go over there - and I'd probably work a little. Of course, that's if I were still 22. Now, if I were, I would probably look for a career option that was more permanent, even without kids, but probably in the area I wanted to live, and especially the line of work I wanted to work in. The right opportunity always comes if you keep looking, though sometimes, you do have to move (like I did) to get the job you really want. It's amazing what other aspects of life work out once you have one or two ducks in a row. It's almost like they're not ducks, but dominos.
Aug 26, 2013
Going to Fort St. John in September for Pat's mentor's funeral. She was the curator at the art gallery there, and she owns at least half of Pat's entire collection. Her celebration of life will feature her entire collection and Pat has decided to paint her portrait and present it to her husband/partner to be displayed at the event. He's also been asked to speak on her behalf. He knew her well, and in a lot of ways, was like a second Mom to him. His dealt with the loss really well, so well that I have probably not been aware as I should have been about how he might be feeling - though he also probably wasn't thinking about it as much before as he is now. We're going to bring the kids with us and stay at his folks' place and they'll watch the girls while we attend the "celebration of life". Pat and I are going back country camping this weekend on our own to Takakkaw falls (we just have to pick up some bear spray and some water treatment stuff from MEC before the weekend).
Aug 24, 2013
A weekend post, not a common occurrence. Today we took the kids to the outdoor pool at Kinsmen downtown. Jessica and her two boys were there, and I was freezing, but we all swam and had fun. There's something pretty exciting about being at the pool as a kid. I remember my folks taking me, or dropping me at the pool with my brother. He was far too cool to hang out with his little sister, but a new friend was always just a hello away. I remember opening my eyes under water and adjusting to that familiar sting - everything is blurry and has that under water sound, and I would pretend I was flying. Whole stories would play out in my mind, I was a mermaid, I was a human who could fly (like Peter pan) - I was rescuing small bugs who'd accidently fallen into the water. Even if my lips were blue and my teeth chattering I would swear to my Mom that I WASN'T cold, rrrrr-really mmm-ommmm. I haven't been swimming in a pool since... for a long time now. It felt good to be nearly weightless. Finished all four seasons of Fringe on Netflix... feeling a bit lost... We all made home-made pizza tonight. Chels and I had gluten free dough and sauce, I added super-thin slices of garlic, some red onion, zucchini, tomato, mushrooms, fresh basil and oregano (from the garden) and of course mozzarella and a little asiago cheese. It was delicious, but next time I would saute the garlic, onions, mushrooms and zucchini, add those on top of the sauce (along with the basil and oregano, then cheese, then sliced tomato. Mmhmm! Went to a farmer's market today too and bought some beef that is entirely grass fed/organic (stew meat and tenderloin steak), a dozen eggs and tomorrow it would be great to find some purple/yellow and orange carrots. I keep promising myself, each and every year, that I'm going to do more preservation of my own food. One day, if we're living off grid, perhaps I will. It's like that song, "The cats in the cradle and the silver spoon... when you comin' home, son I don't know when, but we'll get together then, son, you know we'll have a good time then" - I feel... time ticking lately. T On a side note, now that I've been taking Lakota for 6 weeks, I've noticed my hands aren't aching like they were, or my neck/back/feet. oh the joys of getting older...
Aug 23, 2013
My boss is getting me a blackberry. I have really mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I feel excited - I'm getting a new toy, I can work from home if I have a blackberry. On the other hand, I will now have an electronic leash that tethers me to my workplace, something that my boss can get a hold of me with at any time, and the temptation to work while not at work will increase. If I get more done in the evenings, when I'm relaxed, at home, kids in bed, then I will have less to do during the day - but I KNOW where that path leads. In other news, I'm fighting an uphill battle at home on the nutrition front - getting back to where I was a few years ago. I've let a lot of things slide. Now I have to fight not just the girls (not so much Chelsea whose system is so sensitive that if she eats bad stuff she gets sick - but moreso Jada who has a the constitution of a horse) I'm also having to fight Patrick, who SIDES with Jada about wanting KRAFT smooth peanut butter rather than the all-natural organic stuff I bought. I at least am getting everyone to take their vitamins each day. That's a start. Every time I point out health benefits, snide comments are made about "fake science" - so suddenly anything that isn't proven by a pharmaceutical company isn't true. Ick. So not the path I want to be on. So, to battle I go. Now, I just need to find some armour/weapons (strength and information) to back myself up.
Aug 22, 2013
Since the girls visited me at work I have a piece of Chelsea's artwork in my cubicle. I look at it and smile at her artistic "style". I'm so glad they came here. Several colleagues came to me afterward and said how impressive they were, how incredibly well behaved, polite and adorable they were - and they were! That's the best part. They made me so proud to be their Mother, though I promise I would be proud either way - but this was icing on the cake. Being around children, babies, toddlers, kids, it fills me with hope. They are devoid of prejudice. They are accepting of everyone no matter what they dress like, what language they speak, what colour their skin, until at a certain age, they start to notice and emulate the prejudices of their upbringing. But, that being said, humanity is given the chance to start fresh, every new life is a clean slate of human potential. I'm sure that's why people have studied those capable of evil - to try to determine how they became so anti-social, in hopes of increasing awareness about what causes that state of being, in an effort to prevent it. What to do with the existing adult socio-path? That's a tough call. If they are erradicated, it shouldn't be cause for celebrationg, but rather, sadness, at the true and final loss of that human's potential. Christ, not that I'm religious, I'm not, but those teachings preached that people can be redeemed. They can't do that if they're dead. However, most people who go down that path do not find their way back. And, in the mean time, they're every need is met and they don't have to pay for it, everyone else does through the tax system. My Grandfather believed in humanity supporting each other, (so we should support murderes or the destitute) that there is good in all people, and assuming the worst in them brings out the worst. So, if you meet a killer, can you talk to them without prejudice? Can you give them a truly fresh start with no expectations of evil? And if you do, don't they usually find a way to take advantage of the trust you offer? I don't know that many people could give it, or many socio-paths reform. Sometimes it seems necessary to take the "more efficient" path. But you shouldn't enjoy it.
Aug 21, 2013
Final decided on my first Cosera course. Ancient Greeks. My history background is weak, I need to know these cultural norms, I need to read Iliad, Homer, all the greats. It's time. I think most of my courses will be humanities focused. It's where my interests lie. How people click, finding relatable cultural/spiritual beliefs. Next up, in December, I'm going to take Soul Beliefs - which is about exactly what it says. I am fascinated by the human soul, the concept, the mystery. Finally. Let the swimming upstream BEGIN! lol. I MUST ride my bike to work at least once this summer. I keep promising myself I will, and then I don't. Tomorrow. I will. You just watch! I just don't know what the safest route is, and I'm nervous because drivers downtown are super sketchy. I wonder if I sneak through the train yard - it's between me and downtown and otherwise it would be a straight shot. Yesterday when I took the girls to gymnastics, I was so impressed with how well they both did. Chelsea crossed the beam hanging from her arms, she used the loops and flipped herself over. Jada did her first truly successful kart-wheel. I was so proud I had to fight tears. I always thought parents who get emotional over stuff like this were... well... pathetic. But I get it, it's pride in seeing someone so dear to you struggle until they get it right - that sparkle in their eye as they finally achieve what they were trying for. That is worthy of emotion. It's worthy of pride. Master's Programs. I haven't been looking into it, but I should do that again. It's just, can we afford to both go to school at the same time? I think we can - especially if we keep our expenses low. It may mean not being able to have the girls in a lot of extra curricular activities, but the two they are used to aren't that expensive, they're tax deductable. We have an inexpensive place to live, and if we needed to, we could rent out the garage once the roof is repaired for a little extra money. We could also let someone store an RV in our side yard... Yes. It is possible. But now what? Choosing a master's program... that's a big deal. I need to devote a great deal of time to it. And, I really really wanted to work on music for a little while. So many things to do... *grins* Why does the fall do this to me? Why do I feel so much more motivated at this time of year?
Aug 20, 2013
Musings and ponderings. Twitter is getting better and better as I add tweeter's that pertain to my interests and delete the ones that do not. I love National Geographic and Inhabitant. So good, most of the time. I find myself pondering about the crisp wind I felt as I walked to Starbucks this morning to buy my boss a pick-me-up Tazo Iced tea, hibiscious tea. Winter is coming. By the time I looked out my window again it was ... well now. And I realized that I missed my favourite part of the day, and there was something pretty charged in the air today - that change the precedes the season changing. Summer barely arrives before the fall is nipping at your cheeks. I feel that today. It's exciting even as I feel like the winter before me and how fast the summer went is a metaphor for life - and how will I ever enjoy the things I love if I'm always here, behind a desk, typing on a computer screen instead of being outdoors, truly living. I love our home, and how many easily accessible programs are available to the kids out here, but I wonder if I made the right choice for my career. What better job than the one that has me taking people outdoors and instilling in them a love for nature and all natures creatures like the one I passed up. Still, I do not regret, I enjoy the fact that my job entails ensuring Alberta's Environmental Protections are shown to international delegations and coordinating the right speakers for the venues, and booking venues, and event planning is something I love. But, ... I wonder. Should I be trying to move plans to build a sustainable property to the immediate future? Save EVERY penny for that dream property so I can get to that goal sooner, live more of my life outdoors? The crisp winds of change of this morning made me restless - restless for learning, travel, adventure, inspiration. Will tomorrow be the day I make a plan to be executed? I promised myself the summer off, and summer is nearly spent. *rubs hands in anticipation of next spurt of swimming upstream!*
Aug 19, 2013
The girls came to work with me today - we are all meeting our new family doctor. They are so well behaved and cute - they made me proud. More later. *edit* so we're all going for physicals - mine is Sept 5th. Ick. I don't mind almost the entire physical - there's just one part I don't like, and I especially don't like it because the doctor, while very professional, is male. But with a shortage of family doctors, beggers can't be choosers, and this is an english speaking white male who seems to incorporate natural medicine into traditional, and is open to (or at least not egotistically shooting down research I've done into the causes of Chelsea's skin problems.) I've taken Pat's health into my hands, I'm making him take vitamins to start, and I'm going to work on the rest. We got into an argument about our diet. He's really struggling with the thought of going gluten-free - like ANY change in our lives ever. It wears on me that I have to work so hard for the smallest changes when I'm used to just giving things a try and keeping what works and throwing away what doesn't. He's seemed unhappy for a while now, first with the issue of not being a biological father and now with this - mostly he admits becuase I was right, and wanted to try this a long time ago, and then my Mom went ahead and started the gluten-free diet for Chels, and we continued when she got home, and it worked so he's miffed. He's miffed that I'm right, miffed that he has to make changes, and I am normally very patient with him, but this time I told him he's basically having a pout, Chelsea can't help that she's allergic to gluten, and to basically get over it. I understand him, I get that it takes him a bit more time than me to adjust to any change, but I returned home not to a well-rested Patrick, but a grumpy I-preferred-the-house-to-myself-and-now-I'm-depressed-Patrick. Not that he doesn't love me, or the girls, but he really enjoyed drinking every night while we were gone, hanging out with the guys, rolling out of bed 10 minutes before the bus comes, eating out, cooking what he wants to cook (ribs, steaks, etc) making lunch only for himself, no Button underfoot, basically all the things in his life that annoy him are a result of being with me. We talked about it, and he seemed better afterward, but I worry. What prompted my intolerance to his struggle with gluten-free was that he said that he wasn't really kidding when he said he would leave if we removed gluten from our diet. He originally said that if I went Vegan he would leave me - and it was tongue and cheek - but after that comment (which really hurt my feelings) I was not really tolerant of his view point. It's not like I can help the fact that Chelsea is allergic to gluten. And I'm not going to make her suffer with horrific eczema so he doesn't have to change or ... for him to stay with me for that matter. What a ridiculous thing to say. If he did leave me for that than there's some other real reason that I don't know about. He's not that much of a shallow person to leave someone (and go through all that change) over this - though.. this IS Pat... and he is PASSIONATE about food... Anyway, it's not going to happen. I guess that goes to show that no matter where you find yourself in life, it will never seem perfect. Perfection does not exist anywhere but in our imaginations, and the only way to truly be happy is to let yourself BE happy. Work towards your goals, sure, but understand that even after you achieve them that emptiness will still be there if you let it. Life is what you make it, and when you find something that makes you happy, make time in your life for that. For example, back country camping/hiking. I felt so fufilled when returning from that trip. When you have to work for your survival (albeit easier since you're packing the necessities in) - life feels more worthwhile. I often ponder if our state of "convenience" is bad for the human psyche. I want to learn, and I learn so much in the wilderness, and I ponder more clearly out there, and while I don't cherish biting bugs, I do cherish a morning luxury (coffee) in such settings. Volunteering gives me that feeling of being worthwhile. Making my partner happy is fufilling (and also somewhat difficult to do since most of his unhappiness comes from a dislike of himself). Doing something right with the girls, spending time with them, resolving a problem with them, those things fufill me. So, those are the things I will focus on. What makes you happy? What makes you reflect in a peaceful way, and truly think? Not the type of thinking that sends you into a depressive spiral, but the type of thinking that inspires you to try something new? Those are the questions I try to ask myself and then focus my efforts on their answers. Mmmm, I want a cookie. Chocolate chip. **mmmm, white chocolate macadamian nut...** ***ugh. My stomach hurts... I wonder why...***
Aug 16, 2013
I'm in a hotel room in Kamloops. Halfway home on a road trip with my girls. Button happily dozes in the front seat. My Subaru hugs the curves of mountainous roads and I find myself in awe of cloud scapes tree lines and grey mountains. As always I am happier in silence on the winding road, or at least, with nothing but music. I'm nearing the end of season 3 of Fringe which is starting to disappoint. On the island Chelsea's asthma went nuts. Apparently moisture and sawdust and moldy campers don't agree with her... Shocking. Seeing my brother was nice, but didn't really connect, or feel connected. His visit was too short (1.5 days) and you just can't do anything but force it in that short a time. It took 3 days to get to Greg's and I had to leave today - so yeah. Used a whole week of vacation for essentially a weekend of time not driving - all the while my youngest having attack after attack making sleep impossible. Her skin has cleared up miraculously since removing gluten from her diet. I would've tried that sooner but there was a lot of reluctance to try that. I can't wait to get home to my own bed.
Aug 9, 2013
Smokey lake was nice - didn't have that "wild" feel to it - all the trees planted in rows - learned about the economics of forestry - how it's just like agriculture except the crop is more trees, and the turn around times are around 10 years minimum. Learned how to graft a tree - I could use that on a fruit tree that I wanted to improve production on, like an apple tree. Jada and Chelsea's birthday party is this Sunday, immediately after which we're driving to Calgary and then convoying to our hotel on our way to Quadra island. The girls are getting a b-day party at the gymnastics centre - they're each allowed 4 friends (10 kids total) and I'm going to pick up or bake a cake (that way I can make sure it's gluten free) and they'll get to open presents and then we blast off for holidays. Just browsing "Goodwork Canada"'s website - few good positions on there. Not that I want to move again, I don't. But I still like to dream about living near the coast, or in the mountains. What was interesting about the hiking/backpacking trip was how much Pat enjoyed it. He even said after we were home how out of place he felt in the city. It was pretty cool that the outdoors got under his skin (so to speak). He's itching as much as I am to get back out to the trails. Chelsea is literally almost entirely gluten free as of less than a week ago and there has been an improvement in her eczema already - I should really go gluten free myself. Maybe I will, just for solidarity's sake - though it is more expensive. Either way, I'm thrilled at the reduction of her flare up. Her skin looks almost normal (where there aren't scabs and pink discoloration from where the eczema is reducing. *Edit* Do you ever find you make little promises to yourself and then fail to keep them? Does it nag at you? Do you belittle yourself for being unable to keep to your word to yourself? Is this human nature? Sometimes I find my thoughts so negative and inwardly swirling - just berrating myself for something I should've gotten done, or wanted to get to. It probably isn't all that healthy. Still though, over all, I'm doing ok, well even. No need to sweat the small stuff, right? Try to focus on what has been accomplished. Anyway, work day is finishing up and I'm on holidays for a week! Won't have much time for self reflection over the next couple whirl-wind days.
Aug 8, 2013
Today I'm on a charter bus headed for Smokey lake "Alberta Tree Improvement & Seed Centre". A field trip for work. I'm excited to spend the day out of the office, though I'm not in Forestry anymore, I am an advocate for all of ESRD's work, so I can use this knowledge for just that. (Or at least that's how I sold this little excursion so I could go!) there's about 25 people going, and I'm grateful for the chance to drag out my hiking boots. My blister is still smarting, but I have it taped, and we're not doing too much walking.
Aug 7, 2013
Last night I picked up the girls and took them to the Library. I almost went into errand mode, making the girls come to find books with me - when I stopped myself. I had taken them to the library to spend time with them, to keep them interested in reading over the summer. So instead, I set aside any personal desire to peruse all that there was and just sat with them. Showed them books, helped them pick them out. I read Chelsea two books and while I did so, some other children wandered over. Their mothers too. I was reading for an audience. It was heart warming and I kind of wish I could do that more often - read to children. I enjoy doing it, and it's really rewarding to see their attention and imaginations spark, they wander over shyly at first, and if you include them, they're thrilled and they will climb right up on your lap. It's so adorable. My lap was occupied of course, by Chelsea, who really wanted me to keep reading - but it was time to go home for supper. Yesterday was a good day. Nobody fought. I let Jada take her first shower on her own - she bathes herself, but this was her first shower. She was very proud. These were good Mommy moments. I'm going to Quadra Island with the girls next week - Pat still hasn't decided if he'll go - but either way, I'm taking the girls and seeing my brother.
Aug 6, 2013
The entry was too long for here, so I posted it as new writing. I could've spent more time - finessing it into a story - building characters. And maybe I will. But the truth is, I didn't have any time for quiet reflection or writing. I spent the quiet moments sleeping, drinking tea, or exploring. How will I ever find the time to write?! Interestingly, I learned that when one is super fit, the elite of the fitness world, that one side of their hearts will become enlarged due to the strain of exercise, causing arythmia. It is strong incentive to ensure that everything is done in moderation, to listen to one's body and rest when needed. Try different types of excersize to ensure that the body is balanced. Most importantly, to understand that the body has it's limits, and it's ok to push them, (like I did with this hike this past weekend) but to heed the body's warnings (like I did when I spent more time sleeping than normal, and ate a little more calories than usual to keep up with my body's demands). I miss the outdoors already. *Edit* An article I found about over exercising says this: "Overtraining has been shown to affect blood levels of important neurotransmitters such as glutamine, dopamine and 5-HTP, which can lead to feelings of depression and chronic fatigue. The stress caused by intense, excessive exercise can negatively affect the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, possibly causing conditions such as hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is known to cause depression, weight gain, and digestive disfunction along with a variety of other symptoms. As we know, high stress in general can cause symptoms of hypothyroidism, and the stress caused by excessive, intense exercise is no exception. Another major effect that extreme exercise has on our bodies is an immediate increase in cortisol, the hormone that is released when the body is under stress. Heavy-resistance exercises are found to stimulate markedly acute cortisol responses, similar to those responses found in marathon running. Chronically high levels of cortisol can increase your risk for a variety of health issues, such as sleep disturbances, digestive issues, depression, weight gain, and memory impairment. Excess cortisol also encourages fat gain, particularly around the abdomen." So while I'm not at risk for getting fat - it explains why I was so sleep deprived and depressed when I exercised excessively a couple years ago. Valuable info... full article here: http://chriskresser.com/why-you-may-need-to-exercise-less *Edit* And another article: http://www.naturalnews.com/022596_stress_brain_training.html *Edit so maybe this is why I wanted to train so much at that time in my life when I was 108 lbs. Maybe I was addicted to the naturally produced drugs my brain imparted to me during exercise. I know I never want to be that way again. Today I need to do yoga to stretch out all the lactic-acid filled muscles from hiking. I feel great - but sore and stiff. Mentally I feel pretty clear - though Pat is pretty out of it today. I think he needed more sleep than he got last night. I will have to make sure he gets to bed right after dinner and do the laundry and such to make sure he's not over doing it. Otherwise I will find him up at 1am reading twitter and playing simpson's tapped out. Grrrrr.
Aug 2, 2013
Travel is healing for the soul. I'm excited. I remember when I went to England and France. I really want to go back. It was so liberating to travel on my own. It made me really approachable and complete strangers showed kindness and openness, things you don't experience when you're at home. Travel is addictive. While I don't get to travel to Europe, I am looking forward to going back country camping - but I dearly hope to travel overseas again. I would love to visit my cousin Maia in East Grinstead. It was so cool in Paris to find my way up to Monte Marte - a cool little area where the streets are cobbled and very steep. You can feel the depth of history there. There are all kinds of sketch artists who offer to draw your portrait. The Sacre Cours was at the top most point of Paris in the area of Monte Marte - I truly felt something spiritual there. Wish I could go back, to see that culture, experience that openness from people, that "make up my day as I go along" sort of feeling. The coffee in Paris is AMAZING. I brought my phrase book with me, and I have to tell you, if you make an effort to speak French they treat you better and usually switch to English. I miss it. I started to think in French -very cool. I felt inspired to write, to take quiet moments to myself, to wander the history and museums and of course the Louvre. The Mona Lisa isn't the only incredible piece of artwork there - though it is arguably one of the most famous. Anyway, going to finish packing for our trip - this time I'm bringing a notebook and two pens and I'm going to write. I've had two new story ideas recently and I want to spend some of my quiet time in the alpine areas of Banff tapping into that potential. Until Monday/Tuesday, I say good day.
Aug 1, 2013
Today is the first time I've noticed the sunrise is changing - the time of year that begins the gradual shortening of the days, when the first few stray leaves start to turn yellow, fruits and vegetables rush towards ripening and Mother Nature begins the process of putting the earth back to sleep. (Or at least the sections that get winter at this part of the earth's orbit). Get ready little ones, winter is coming. I saw a fantastic photo on National Geographic yesterday - a ground squirrel photo bombed a couple in Banff and it made their best of August 2009 album. So adorable. Nature astounds me. To watch the curiosity of animals, to see how birds interact, to watch my peppers and tomatoes grow a little each day. I love it. Seeing healthy vegetation gives me a sense of peace - how is that? The maid came again yesterday. What a JOY it is to have a clean home. To walk in and see the floors cleaned, beds made, bathrooms scrubbed and carpets vacuumed (all with earth friendly products too). I can't even express how valuable that is to me. I feel motivated. Happy. My life isn't perfect, it never will be, but there are certain things that affect me more - for example, having a clean and orderly home. The thrill of learning is pretty exquisite too. I MUST look into what course(s) I want to take... Work wise I was assigned a small task to help another department put together a timeline of environmental regulations, but the more people I spoke to about it, the more who wanted to see the timeline when it was finished and discussed what a great tool it would be. My vision of what this tool will be has already been done by other areas - for example - on water management/allocation in southern Alberta but was never made public. WHY! my mind screams... well. We shall see about that. I want Alberta not to just be known for oil sands (tar sands). I want people to be able to point to these other initiatives with pride - to help shift the focus from the value of oil and gas resources to the intrinsic value of having natural areas left in tact (like the values shared on the Edmonton Area Land Trust non profit that I'm on the board for). Maybe this will be reflected in other areas of Canada - so Canada can show how we are stewards of our land - and perhaps with greater value placed on natural areas through the marketing of existing initiatives it will build momentum for people to care more about the land, and less about how it can be used. I can hope, right? Hope is always valuable.
Jul 31, 2013
Talked about yesterday with Pat. Found a really good article online that essentially tells you the 6 don't's of being a step dad. It is a pretty thankless job, and I guess I am partly to blame for his misery. I am putting him in the position of disciplinarian when his role should more of that of a mentor/friend - apparently. Though I don't know if either of us really want to swallow that pill - we also read about how pitting a step parent against a parent will always result in the child choosing to be "loyal" to the biological parent - not the case with adults - but it makes sense. Pat had started to advocate against earings and thought they would see his view and not want to get their ears pierced. But my ex is their father and was so proud of getting to do this thing with them that they were easily swayed. The article encouraged the development of "house rules" that were posted somewhere - and I took that one step further and felt that if the rule was broken, that a set punishment/loss of privilege would result. Often instead of punishment I let the girls choose between being punished with a time out either in the corner or in their room or they can choose to do some chores to make up for what they did. They always choose to work. And, after they do, they are so cheerful and happy to have contributed that everybody wins. It's a good system. What isn't working is the morning routine. So. No more cereal for Chelsea - it means me having to make oatmeal for her, or her having fruit and yogurt or a bagel with cream cheese and cherry tomatoes, but isn't that healthier than cereal anyway? AND. She eats. Food is not wasted. No more morning fights which is when all of us are a little grumpy. So things are looking up, but only he can come to terms with his role in our lives - and I suppose I could reassure him more - but he wants to hear it from them and the truth is, it's not up to a child to make a grown up feel more secure. On a side note, I've been taking my slew of vitamins (greens, evening primrose oil, B 100 complex, ginko blinko (biloba), calcium chews, B12 and lakota) and I have been feeling great - lots of energy and motivation. I stopped taking them for 2 days by accident (just kept forgetting) and wow. What a difference that made to my run yesterday. I was exhausted. My energy levels and alertness were gone. I can't stress how much better I feel by comparison and the difference was vitamins. As a vegetarian I guess that's a pretty critical factor in my health... yes, many other people have told me that before, but now I've lived it and it's true.
Jul 30, 2013
Rough morning this morning. Yesterday was too. Stuff between Chelsea and Pat. It really hurts me the way he speaks to her - and if I defend her then he feels like I'm siding with her and encouraging her bad behaviour and if I support him I feel like I'm betraying Chels, and letting Pat treat her in a way that I feel isn't right. Talked to him about it on the way to work while we waited for our bus - to which he responded that "I don't get it". Well, that may be so. Pat's been unhappy lately. It really started with when the girls got their ears pierced with "Daddy". My ex asked me first, and I discussed it with Pat, and we agreed that while we didn't like it, it wasn't a big deal. Well once it was done Pat suddenly realized he wasn't ok with it. Like they were permenantly marked by my ex and Pat couldn't pretend to himself that they're his - but they are - in so many ways - Pat is the only father figure Chelsea has ever really known. She was 6 months old when I left my ex, and she loves Pat, but he's shutting down towards her because he decided (after the fact) that he wasn't ok with them getting their ears pierced, or the fact that my ex gets to be show-boat Daddy, who doesn't enforce boundaries and gets to be the "fun" one to them and because Chels is doing typical kid stuff and being defiant and a 6 year old. He feels he always has to be "the heavy" - and it is a role that he plays. I am simply not as easily angered as he is and while I DO discipline them, I don't always force them to my will. Maybe I should. But a part of me feels like if you don't let kids get the better of an argument once in a while that they will feel dominated and either rebel, or have their spirits crushed. I want them to have the confidence in themselves to speak up to those who are trying to control them. I want them to learn that skill. But, I don't want them to be disrespectful, and I don't want to be too lenient that I spoil them. I think it's about follow-through with what I say will happen "if" - and Pat has helped me watch that. The problem is that Pat wants his own family. He wants to be the biological father and not have to contend with some other guy stepping in and having a relationship with "his" children. He can't have that with me because even if we had another kid he will always have Gary in the background of the girls' lives. It would be so much better if he could just see this situation in a more positive light - but in his classic Eeyore way, can only see what he can't have and how disatisfying that is. Maybe when we go back country camping next weekend that will refresh him and he'll be happier. And maybe, it will be fun while we're out there but he'll come back and resume his misery. It hurts me deeply when I think about regrets - the regret of never being able to have that nuclear family. That's it really - I long for that sometimes - but it's foolish because I'd rather be alone than stay married to my ex, and I love my girls and don't regret having them. A part of me feels guilty that I cannot give Pat what he truly wants. It eats at me. It makes me doubt I'm the one who will make him happy in the long run. He doesn't make me feel that way, he is always telling me he loves me. But I know that he wishes things were different - that Jada and Chelsea were his biologically. He feels like he's a sham. That somehow what he's doing is lie. He's not their father. But he is. In all the ways that count. Ugh.
Jul 29, 2013
It was nice meeting my sister's future inlaws who are very into the natural way of living. Their Mom Bev is a very wise lady, she grows her own organic food, raises chickens, has horses and a mule - she makes her own tea, medicinal herbal remedies and doesn't buy any GMO food at all - there's no gluten in most of what she/family makes/eats. Bev's husband Marcus is the shyest man I've ever met. He blushed when I said good bye to him, and I don't think I heard him speak two words other than that. Bev's daughter, Carissa, lives at home with her 2 year old daughter Ostara, and her husband, who is 14 years older than her...he's not mentally well. She is kind of a shy gal, a practicing doula, very naturally beautiful, and smart and spiritual, no make up, no pretense - and she's stuck with this person who cannot hold a job, and I get the picture he is severely depressed. Bev has an actual teepee in her yard as she believes in native spirituality - she has an entire room dedicated to meditation and reading, one entire wall of this room is windows, one entire wall is books and there are all sorts of instruments in there from drums, to diggery doos, to anything you can imagine. There's one piano and two guitars. So when they're not meditating they could have a drum circle... they're so inviting as a family - so accepting of whomever they meet - it's easy to see why my sister loves them so much. She's lucky to be marrying into their family. I wish Carissa was with someone more at her level though. Her daughter Ostara is angelic - even though Carissa is Olive skinned, with dark brown hair and light brown/hazel eyes, her daughter has that same olive skin but ringlet blond curls and bright blue eyes. Ostara is going to be absolutely gorgeous, like her Mom. Carissa can sit, quiet, still and observant. She doesn't say much, but you can tell she thinks a lot. You can tell she is weighed down by her husband's presence, though I saw her smile at him encouragingly to which he responded by getting up and leaving. She led the drum circle later on - the whole group of us was playing along - the kids were still running around - we all sat around the fire on hay bails with blankets over them and some of us had blankets around our shoulders (I had worn a short dress - so the blanket was a welcome repreave from the cold). Chelsea fell asleep on my Mother's lap. My Dad sat next to me and we played our drums. Jada had fun - but she wasn't getting into the mood - she wanted the loudest drum, so she could play over everyone else - which kept ruining the tentative rythym the rest of us were building. In hind sight I should've taken her aside and encouraged her to play with the group rather than trying to play over us. Pat to my left gave up the guitar to my cousin Ben who is currently attempting to get into music program with a major in classical guitar. Almost no one at the party was drinking - just my Dad, Pat, my cousin Ben and one or two of the groomsmen. I don't think any of the women had anything to drink - Carissa doesn't drink at all. Her husband was drinking. Out of the 3 bottles of wine opened I think only 1 1/2 were drank with 18 adults present. I'd say that's a record for any celebration I've been to. I want to go back. lol. I wish I could've gotten to talk to Bev more, Carissa more. Makes me want to take a good hard look at my own life. In talking to Bev she convinced me to try a gluten-free diet for 6 months with Chelsea. I'm going to have to take a very active role in the cooking at our house, maybe I can even get Pat to improve his diet.
Jul 26, 2013
Started watching "Fringe" on netflix. Actually this show is good. I like it. I don't normally like CSI movies, but this has a twist. It combines genius science work and a slight cross-over into the paranormal. Really enjoying it. Went home sick yesterday, staying home today - everything hurts - but well, I apparently have a bacterial infection in my tonsils - and that's affecting the rest of my body... supoosedly. However, 2 extra strength advil, and 3 doses of antibiotics later and I am feeling a little better - it comes in waves. Anyway, free online learning awaits... but first, more sleep.
Jul 25, 2013
Did nothing but watch "The 4400" on Netflix last night. Some of the acting is soooooo bad - but it's entertaining and mindless, and intended to be a bit spooky. I didn't do anything because I have a low-grade fever, my headaches are back - only this time it feels like it's behind my eyes and my whole entire body is aching. In short, I feel awful. I'm probably going to go home sick from work today - if I can. Things are really really intense here right now as I'm helping to brief the minister about something that's great for Alberta. (prolly shouldn't be blabbing confidential info). Anyway, I hurt. I'm a big suck. And all I want to do is take some advil and go to sleep. I am actually going to go to the doctor for this one finally. Man I hate doctors. There's so much to do at home right now in preparation for our trip to Calgary tomorrow after work. The girls will be staying at Granny and Grandad's on Friday night until Saturday afternoon. Then they will come to my sister's future inlaw's house for the engagement dinner. I assume this is an event where I'll be expected to provide a gift for them... I just read that etiquette-wise, it should be something small, like a token of goodwill - for example, a cookbook. So, I'm going to go online, and use the recipes I already have, and start her her own recipe box and decorate it for her. HA! Great idea hmmm?? Anyway, fever is worse. Going home now.
Jul 24, 2013
I did nothing but read last night - just escapism with a truly disappointing book. Need to find a new hobby... like learning for example. I found this site (two sites actually) that offers all kinds of education for free. FREE. And it's offered from University's like Harvard, MIT, McGill, UofT, Berkley and MORE. MORE! I feel giddy with possibilities - and many courses don't start until September and few start now or in a few weeks. There's everything from music production to Quantum Mechanics! *SWOON* I'm going to sign up for a course, I just haven't decided which one first. I think this is how I'll achieve my "life long learning" goals. My Dad's health has been... not fantastic lately. He's got kidney and prostate issues - and though it may seem like TMI, he openly tells anyone who will listen about his issues. He was hostipitalized last week again - only for the day - but he was put back on medication to ensure he can "go". I am worried about him - I keep pushing it down and "knowing the truth" as my religious upbringing taught me - mind over matter etc. Culture is so so interesting. I find most cultures fascinating - their beliefs, their traditions. Knowing about a person's culture can tell you so much about who they are as a person - because no matter how far removed we get from our families, our culture, what we were raised with, that will permeate who we are, what we believe, and how we all think. On that, I think I'll take an anthropology course. Have you ever heard a name for someone or something that is so perfectly appropriate that it seems to humm, to resonate out from that person? I have. *Edit - the websites are on my twitter.
Jul 23, 2013
Almost didn't take Spuntino for her walk last night. I was so so tired. Sooooo tired. But couldn't deny her cute little flat face. I need to get her back on raw dog food. I also need to get a growth on her looked at again. I can't believe how big both Jada and Chelsea are getting. They're ... growing up. The urge to have another baby hits me in waves. Sometimes the urge is very powerful - I see a cute baby or toddler and I miss that phase - it's a sense of longing that overcomes me - like - I've built it up in my mind to be idyllic and not the most thankless part of motherhood. Infancy is probably the toughest part of becoming a parent. (At least, so far). I haven't lived through the teen years - and I hear those are worse. lol. I've been taking my vitamins regularily for the last two weeks and - what a difference. My skin is clear, Pat says I'm "glowing", I feel better (when I get a proper night's sleep), and I have more energy. It also helps that I've been jogging at lunch. I can't even tell you how much I'm enjoying that - it feels a little like freedom. It's so beautiful downtown for a jog - that high level bridge is a challenge all in itself. So, it really was just that I was overwhelmed with moving, renovating and job searching. That job search thing - it's a tough thing to go through - not having that sense of permanence. I'm happier now that I'm in a job that's faster paced and really does advocate for the types of actions that promote sustainability within Alberta.
Jul 22, 2013
Got up LATE today. Late late late. So tired. Brain a bit fuzzy, trying to get it back up to work speed. Was really nice to have my parents stay. The blow up bed did well for them - and they did a lot to help around the house. Mom spent a fair bit of money on house-warming stuff - Dad spent almost the entire time outdoors, puttering in our giant yard - he edged the lawn, whipper snippered picked peeling paint off the one fence that's in rough shape, helped dig/plant the new garden in the front yard - it's full of cone flowers and there's one blue fescue patch, and ... I'm a terrible gardener - I can't remember the other names... Anyway, it looks really good - and Mom knows this gardener in Balzak that puts together these HUGE hanging baskets and one of those is now hanging off the gazebo in the back yard. We put up twinkle lights on the gazebo which look so so nice and inviting. Dad was talking about how he and Mom really could park an RV in my backyard, and that he'd be happy to maintain my yard for me and he and Mom could baby sit, and then in the winter months, they would head to Arizona. It means they wouldn't have to maintain a Canadian address that costs money and retirement would be achievable in a soonish time frame. I would actually really like that. It would probably get a little tiring if Mom was telling me how to run my household, or if they were always watching our TV and never letting us have it, stuff like that - but my Mom is a work-a-holic, so I would come home to a clean house, likely cooked meals, and a trim yard thanks to the two of them, and just during the summers. So, we'd still have all the winter, late fall and early spring to ourselves. But I worry that Pat would not feel like the "king of his domain". Took Spuntino for her walk last night (got the kids to bed late, so walked late) and the full moon was up. It was so beautiful. Just wanted to stay outside and watch it move across the sky. My partner was outside later and asked me to come down, had the gazebo lights on and wanted to show me the moon. It's nice that he has started to appreciate nature a bit more. (my influence) and now I appreciate music more (his influence).
Jul 19, 2013
K-Days parade. Weee. I got downtown before all the roads were blocked off. Coffee sitting on my desk, sky is humid and overcast. The sun will burn it all off or we'll have a huge thunderstorm. Has that sort of feeling to the air. My folks arrive today and I'm excited to have them. Been watching U.S. politics very closely - the administrator appointed by Obama for the EPA (Gina McCarthy) has finally been approved by Senate. Even 6 republicans voted for her. Rebublican's generally do whatever they can to humiliate and undermine the President. No different than what the democrats do to a Republican president most likely - but hey. It's been interesting following U.S. politics. Not sure what to make of the following article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/tories-remove-environment-minister-from-economic-prosperity-committee/article13298471/ - Does this signal Harper making the environment even less of a priority? Or just the end of a project - I wonder what committees the new environment minister sits on - I know the Arctic Council and CanNor - but any others? With all the meetings I've been going to recently, a lot of other jurisdictions do not differentiate between energy and environment. Our federal and provincial governments have been focused on gaining market access to places like China and China's biggest focus right now is on improving their air and water quality while ensuring their growing economy has access to "clean energy" - it's our biggest importer of Canadian coal - and I heard yesterday from a colleague of mine that China is now asking for cleaner energy than coal. Between China and India, there's literally no other market for our coal - so without demand, does that mean we can finally stop pit mining and refocus our resources on more renewable energy? I found out about a study going on to look at the barriers to the development of renewable energy - I can't WAIT to get my hands on that study! I wonder if micro-generation will be how things go in the future.. you know, I really can't wait for the next election. I want someone with a stronger focus on social/environmental outcomes - not to disregard econonmics - but I want to be proud of my country's policies again. I want Canada to lead the way (well, others are already leading the way) towards the policy/regulatory and infrastructure changes to enable cleaner forms of energy to really get into the market on a scale that becomes affordable. I want to find out what the true lifecycle of electric vehicles are, and consider natural gas or hydrogen powered cars instead. There are so many options - wouldn't it be great if our buildings were heated by solar thermal and geothermal energy, our cars powered by hydrogren (with the waste product being water) and everyone, in every home uses ultra low-water use appliances and shower heads and taps?!?!?! Hooo! *fans self* Getting a little excited here. Anyway, time for a meeting. Group called CEC.http://www.cec.org/Page.asp?PageID=30101&ContentID=16043&SiteNodeID=282
Jul 18, 2013
Edmonton (Shelbyville) has K-Days - like the Stampede, but only Edmontonians seem to know about this celebration. There's a pancake breakfast at the Leg today (I didn't go). An older man knew where I worked - 9th floor - and asked me my name. He was overly friendly and I got a strange vibe, but I was cheerful and friendly as I always am. Well yesterday I got an instant message on the internal government communicator from someone named Linkion - goes by Link - last name... can't remember - something Indian like Boomstan or something. Anyway, I didn't know who it was - but when he said we should get coffee/lunch I said he had the wrong person and then he reminded me who he was. I guess he went to the effort of searching me out internally to say hello... so as always I'm polite - polite when a person like this needs someone to be assertive - but hopefully he won't contact me again. If he does then I'll have to say no in a more assertive way. Overall I felt it was pretty unprofessional of him. In other news, I've been taking Button out for a walk each night after the kids are in bed. She's so out of shape - I feel pretty bad. I'm not a good pet owner. I didn't realize that we haven't been playing with her as often and when I have taken her out for a walk the last three nights she's been panting and out of breath within a few blocks. Button used to be able to go forever it seemed - but she's older now - middle aged - and she's had fewer walks in the last few months, especially spring/summer months than ever. But, rain or shine, I'm going to walk my little doggie - at least once a day. It's so cute - after the first day she was so excited - prancing around my feet anxiously hoping that the night previous would be repeated - that i couldn't say no. It was so nice outside with a light breeze cooling the hot day I wanted to say yes. Last night was the same - and I found myself looking forward to the excuse to get outside with her. If I sit down and read, start doing house chores, anything, I won't go. So, as soon as I get the kids to bed, I make myself go downstairs and take her out. I feel like this is something I'll be able to keep up. I sure hope so. *Edit I wish my partner would quit smoking. Even his Dad managed to quit (for the last 8 weeks) and he's been smoking for much longer. I can't imagine what it's like to quit smoking or have that craving creep up and tell you "oh but you used to enjoy it so much" - That's the addiction talking - it's just like the urge to drink. I don't feel it like I used to - it used to just urge me, if I was feeling stressed "Ugh. I need a drink" and everyone would laugh and agree that they too, needed a drink. It's encouraged. If I were happy well "I need a drink to celebrate!" or if it's the weekend "IT's the weekend! Time for a drink!" and my drinking was considered normal.. except the nights where I binge drank. Those nights I'm certain I tested my luck. But now, thanks to a choice I made about what - a year and a half ago (2 years in November) that urge no longer whispers at me. Sure, I still have to say no when there's a social occassion - especially when everyone else is drinking and my not drinking is making them uncomfortable - but most of the time I can resist the urge as it has diminished. I do wish Pat would quit smoking. For health reasons, for smell reasons, for aging reasons, for money reasons, for Chelsea reasons, for Jada reasons, for me. I wish he would quit.
Jul 17, 2013
I have nothing interesting to say this morning. Just the same mundane stuff that I write about every day - house chores, first-world-problem personal struggles, the weather, coffee... I guess the trail we were supposed to be going up in a bus for the back country trip by sunshine is washed out. So now we're going to Floe Lake. It's pretty Alpine, higher elevation, but should be pretty amazing. That's in what... 3 weekends. My sister's engagement dinner is the weekend after this one. This one, while my Mom is here, I'm going to get to some gardening. I wonder if I should dig the rows this year and just plant some peas and lettuce and get what we get... I could rent a rototiller and take the sod and add it to the compost pile - I should also turn the compost pile and add some bone meal to it... Yesterday the cleaners came through and cleaned the floors, the bathrooms, the kitchen, it was lovely to come home to. I can't even tell you how much happier I felt to have a clean and organized space. Now when my Mom comes she can take out her white gloves... but seriously - she notices stuff like that and now everything is dusted, cleaned and mostly tidy. Yaay, I don't fail at life.
Jul 16, 2013
Government has a way of making things seem like they've all been tried before. You come in, with fresh ideas, only to have someone who's been there forever say "We've tried that" - as if that settles the issue and it's done. What that means is that at the time it was tried it was politically unappetizing or that the people didn't respond with the support you'd hoped for. But I can't lose faith in the role I play in informing the minister. Being that voice, with evidence to back your opinions, evidence that won't be scoffed at, that is what you must find to truly inform your minister. Sometimes all that's out there is uninformed opinions or studies from non-credible sources. Sometimes you discover your beliefs are too narrow for public service on a particular issue - but that's part of public service - you have to be able to see an issue through more than one lens, give the other viewpoint the credit it deserves, and then, with an attention to detail and perserverance, you barrage your oponents with evidence until you wear them down. If you can't convince the policy makers around you that there's more for them to see, how will you convince the public? Being in policy is often thankless - it's tiring and life-long work of someone (well, many someones) who never give up. I believe that NGO's play a vital role in policy, and sometimes it may feel that there will be greater advancement of one's beliefs through a venue that fights the system directly, rather than internally - and I say that that choice is up to each individual. I hope I have what it takes to perservere and like the tide against the shore, that I will eventually wear away resistance and be a part of bringing to light the evidence necessary for a paradigm shift. To funnel what I find into the hands of those with the power to make decisions and give due consideration to the environmental pillar of sustainability and not just lip service. I have to be an advocate for what I know is right by being able to prove it - which requires the work of academics, research, situational experts (those who've lived through the process or the aftermath of resource development). Everyone must find their own voice in how they speak to what they believe in. There is no right way - but you also don't have to buy into the line "We've done that before" or "We must do it this way". You can be that voice that says "Or, we could try it this way", but it may have more weight with people if A) you pick your battles and B) if you have the evidence to back it up. The moment you come across as one-sided on an issue you aren't considering the good of all people - just the good as you believe it to be - and what is that but the human ego to believe that one can have it all figured out when no one else can? That being said, life still needs visionaries. Life needs those who are passionate enough to dive head first after what they believe in. It's just not who I am. I am the person behind those people funnelling evidence into their beliefs so they are credible. I'm a "behind the scenes" person. It takes many types of people working together to effect positive change.
Jul 15, 2013
Pouring rain today. Pouring. Went for dinner on Saturday night and got drenched (in my nice new dress) on the walk from the car to Pat's sister's house where we hung out to wait for our reservation. Pat's mother is a hair stylist by trade so she took my sopping hair and arranged it in this neat up-do (twisting braids) coiled around my head to compensate for how Mother nature had styled my hair. It was great - felt very posh. The fondue place we went was to expensive and I wouldn't go there again. We almost never go out for dinner so it was weird eating out so much this weekend. Pat did a smoked pork tenderloin roast on the bbq last night though, with roasted potatoes, stuffed peppers (stuffed with jasmine rice cooked risotto style and covered with white chedder and broiled in the over to brown the tops). He/his Dad made custard from scratch to go in the angel food cake cups with strawberries and whipped cream... very decadent. It's Pat's sister's birthday today so the dinner (and all dinner's this weekend) were in her honour. The girls returned home with peireced ears, and they look very grown up and pretty. They are taking care of their ears and they weren't completely horrible when they returned. Chelsea's skin was/is in bad shape - there must be something at his house that she's allergic to - I'm thinking laundry detergent and sleeping in their sheets - but beyond that she was very emotional. I think it's harder on Chelsea than it is on Jada to move from household to household. Weather wise, today is the gloomiest. It's so foggy and rainy I can hardly see the legislature building out my window... I kind of like it actually - even though my feet are damp. I got to wear my red/burgandy rain coat - hood up - just like little red riding hood. Random pointless thoughts this morning... was looking forward to taking the kids to see Despicable Me 2, since we enjoyed the first one so much - but I hear it didn't get the best reviews. Hmmm. If Keystone doesn't go through, I wonder if BC or a route to the North will go through? It's not that I don't value economics, having a job and a good standard of living - I just believe there's a better balance to achieve those things without jeopardizing our environment. However, it seems like international relationships are more important than ever as the world shifts and borders blur thanks to the communicative capacity of the internet. Violence is reduced through economies of scale - technology is shared, impacts are reduced, or can/should be. Where will we go as a species from here? Will we make incremental changes with several generations free from war? It makes Pat angry, but Chelsea LOVES motorcycles. She's always pointing them out and saying she wants one. She is so easily terrified of everything, yet, she is drawn to her terror. I almost think she loves motorcycles because it annoys him... And the teen years are hinted at...
Jul 13, 2013
Tried a couple new restaurants this weekend while the kids were in Calgary with their Dad. I hate when they spend time there - I want them to have a relationship with him, it's not that. It's just that they return home unrecognizable behaviourally. He's getting their ears pierced this weekend - I personally think that ear-piercing is unnecessary at this age. Not opposed to it indefinately, but why rush these things? Ugh.
Jul 12, 2013
Bleh. Fine. *picks up self by bootstraps* And a spectacularly beautiful day greets me with sunshine and blue skies.
Jul 11, 2013
Booksied!!!!! I added to today's post some truly sad news then deleted my post by mistake. My cousin's nephew passed away this morning after fighting his entire life with cancer. He had black hair and blue eyes and was truly Mensa smart - gifted. I didn't know him well but the last time I spoke to him he struck me as such a worldly boy of 10, so full of the capacity to empathize and rationalize. I remember being impressed. Though I didn't know him well his loss is sitting heavily on me. I can't imagine how I would cope with losing a child, and he was an only child. There is a nearly physical weight to loss.
Jul 10, 2013
Painted the living room last night. Bought some outdoor lights to go on the gazebo the former owner left behind and we're going to re-use the sheer curtains to sort of "pretty" it up - they're super old and dusty so they'll need a good wash first - but hey, re-use opportunity and beautifies the backyard at the same time. It feels good to be putting money and effort into a space I plan on being in for some time. Hmmm, not sure why but feeling pretty disconnected. I think maybe this is what happens when I'm not "swimming upstream" - this feeling of ...bleh. But I promised myself no new big projects until after the summer is over. The stress in my body ebbs and flows like a body of water - sustained high water levels strain the banks, makes over flow easier and the result stormier. Over time, as it recedes, it's still more vulnerable to collapse until the water table draws down - though it appears better on the outside. *Edit Spoke to my partner over lunch - general feeling of disconnect reduced - need to be grounded and part of this is facing a summer with no time spent on the girls or us was not a prospect I was looking forward to. My boss just told me that from about late August until Christmas I can expect to be super busy (with the Keystone decision coming, COP 19 visit and a few other incoming delegations and outgoing missions, we're going to be run off our feet. It's all very political - but not so much working on solutions to environmental problems as I'd hoped.
Jul 9, 2013
Woke from strange dreams this morning - strange in that I dreamt of someone I haven't seen in a long time and it left me feeling a bit off balance today. Then lunch plans with my partner got cancelled due to work reasons, forgot/didn't realize visit of his folks this weekend was for his sister's birthday, and just a general feeling of screw-up today. I have been reading avidly for weeks - one book after another - I've probably spent $150 on iBooks in the past month - and I stopped a few days ago - perhaps that's why my imagination is still charging forward. I need to go to the Library. I haven't been to EPL since I moved here and Jada's an avid reader too (she just started Harry Potter Book 1 - I'm so proud!) - so it would make sense to make a family trip out of it. I just feel.. off today. Vulnerable - for some reason. There's a bike tour of the community gardens in Edmonton in a couple weeks. It looks pretty cool. I think it's a fantastic idea. Anxiety. That's what I'm feeling. I've drank a bit too much coffee today. Yeah. I wish I could go running right now.
Jul 8, 2013
Spoke to another person in my office who explained the single regulator concept to me a little better. And while it does eliminate unecessary hoops for industry it also means that one department has all the info about how the environment is being managed in a particular area. That being said, the Environmental Monitoring group is not yet set up - and when it is, I think that will be the true test of how effective this whole new system is. I found out that oilsands open pit mining is on its way out because only a small percentage of the oilsands can be accessed this way. Stil, in-situ has massive impacts to our water use - a commodity that will become ever more valuable with a growing population and only 1% of the earth's water being potable surface water. But the way my co-worker explained things to me, our regulatory system is used to monitor who is "permitted to pollute" and how much they're polluting. There's a threshhold that a natural area can withstand. There are apparently tailings ponds that have been reclaimed. I've seen pictures, but I would like to see this monitoring agency testing these areas. Really finding out what the chemical loads are, whether they are leaching, and more than anything, I would like to see our society stop wasting. You know, I shudder, more than a little, when I pass people on their way to enjoy their favourite recreation site when they have their huge dually trucks towing a trailer with 3 quads, a motor boat and an maybe even a camper. I look at those quads and I picture stream beds thrashed by a disregard for fish habitat, BOD, and dissolved solids. (Thank you aquatic ecology and even surface water analysis). Is it necessary to tromp all over on a quad / bring as much stuff as possible to enjoy the outdoors? I was talking to a couple women on my board (one who is doing her master's research project on food deserts in Edmonton, the other has her master's in urban agriculture) and we were talking about her Grandma who lives in Polan who's had the exact same posessions in her home for over 30 years. She's not wasteful. She doesn't redecorate. She doesn't get rid of stuff, she gets it repaired. Then we talked about how it is cost prohibitive to repair a cd player, or even a computer. Our society is designed so that it consumes. Everything. Whole degrees(marketing) and billions of dollars are spent getting people to think they need to buy stuff. How can we use this engine of commerce to get people to think differently? Of course, there's no money in people not going out and buying new stuff... but behaviour is what drives the market and I personally consider that whatever I spend my money on is truly how I am voting. The "vote" in an election is all but useless, but by golly I still vote for the politician who aligns closest with my beliefs. But mainly I vote with my purchases. We also got into food systems and I learned some things about eggs. "Omega eggs" use an amino-acid chain which cannot be processed by the human body efficiently. Apparently it's a half chain Omega 3 and the body must convert it to a full chain before it can be digested, so almost all - less than 1% - is actually digested by your body. Brown eggs are no more nutritious than white eggs (that I assumed) but the main thing with eggs is how the hens were treated - if it says "Free Run" that's not really much better than regular penned hens, Free Range is what you want - and often Free Range are also organic - and that got us into the organic "debate". More later - but got my house cleaned and put away... FINALLY! It looks great and I'm going to post pictures.. no really, I promise. *Edit - Anyway, one gal in the group who I happen to not have a natural affinity for seems to believe that organics are no more nutritionally valuable than GMO / pesticide treated produce. We didn't get much into pesticide loads, and she claimed that people stating that the tastes of comparable produce were placibo's. Anyway, this particular girl also told me that as a casual gamer (using your phone) that real gamers (herself and others) felt that people like me were dragging the industry down. lol - sigh. She's young, very smart, attractive asian girl who kind of rubs me the wrong way. Not really sure why - probably I'm a little envious of her in some ways. I'm going to give her a chance and try to get to know her better - chances are she's just trying to prove herself, and doesn't realize how spouting an opinion as if it's the gospel leaves little room for facilitating discussion or sharing ideas with others. Oh! And today I went for a run that took me over the high-level bridge. Quite the view - posted a pic on twitter. :)
Jul 5, 2013
Not much to say I guess. It's Friday, and I'm looking forward to the weekend. I'm going to get my house clean come hell or high water! (Not that I am challenging you to do this Mother Nature...!) Anyway,part of my job seems to be that I may be arranging logistics for COP 19. Ummm, shouldn't the Minister's or Premier offices be doing this? Or even International and Intergovernmental Relations? I'm not a travel agent, I'm supposed to be researching environmental policy, writing reports with recommendations for council - THAT - is why I'm here. The work is interesting, don't get me wrong, and I'm going to wait and see for a while - but I'm not exactly doing what I thought I'd be doing. I don't want to become a glorified secretary. Unfortunately, I am incredibly good at being someone's secretary. At anticipating the needs of another person and meeting them without having to be asked. It makes me the PERFECT secretary - a former co-worker once said (with respect and admiration, not condescention) "Everybody needs a Sarah. She's the person behind the scenes, making everything look effortless" - it was a really nice compliment, and it was when I was working at the Mayor's Expo in Calgary. I handled details, planning and thought of things that the manager hadn't. (It's not that he couldn't, it's just that I had had more experience than he). Either way, a part of me says not to fight it, to go with the flow, rather than "swimming upstream" and be at peace with what you have. Another part of me says I need to make sure I don't sell myself short and accept something I'm not happy with because it's easier. I feel like ... like maybe those are two seperate Sarah's. One that is ready to settle down and grow up, and the other that's still young, naive and ready to fight for something that is merely an unrealistic ideal - or a more positive, dramatic spin, is to "fight for what I want". I'm not sure that that's what people are doing. Had a conversation with a co-worker yesterday about how Canada is sadly lagging behind the rest of the world as they all embrace a low-carbon future. I feel that our leadership is far too focused on only the economic outcomes and Canada's reputation has taken a nose dive. There are many different ideas about how to get Canada back to being the emblem that all backpackers wish to have on their packs. But with the direction our current leadership (Harper) has taken on environmental outcomes, we will not get there. Why is it when I'm passionate about something, I shut down when I start thinking about it? I could say so much more here - but I keep ... mincing words. Ok beautiful sunshine, glorious view and fresh air. I love you. I'm willing to fight for you. Just... though I have a lot of ideas on what the right things to do are, I don't know what I should do next. What can I do to improve Canada's reputation, save the environment, ensure people have jobs and food and a decent standard of living, clean water, air, soil, and that there is a sense of community for all people and programs that improve our health, schooling and learning? What steps have to be taken? I'm sure there's literature out there with all these ideas and more, with research to back it up. Yet, no one trusts "statistics" anymore because if you've ever taken a stats class you know how easy it is to manipulate information. I ask again, am I in the right position? I miss Calgary. I'm enjoying Edmonton, don't get me wrong, but I miss Calgary, I miss home, my family, even the land itself. I grew up there, I was born there, my parents were born there. I miss the comforts of the familiar. I must make a plan, with goals, and outcomes, and ... yes. That is what I must do. I'm sure there's some kind of online tool that will help me do that. Though I am no longer an idealist, it seems pretty obvious to me that the oil sands have got to go - all open-pit mining must be stopped, all over the world. Consumerism must be stopped. People shouldn't laugh knowingly and haughtily when they use the phrase "retail therapy". Hey! Hey you! That emptiness inside you won't be fixed by shopping! That feeling will only be dispelled when you reconnect! When you truly look inside yourself and figure out who you are, and how you can help the world! You're a human, you're meant to innovate, think abstractly, and yes, have compassion and forgiveness! We're not supposed to blindly tromp on living beyond our means because current politicians find their power/security threatened by acknowledging that something needs to be done! Ok. Rant over. *puts soap box away*
Jul 4, 2013
Attended the grant committee meeting and had a good conversation with other like-minded gardeners. Sad that most of the gardeners were women, and of the two men there, one is pushing 70. I've known men who love to garden. It is the ultimate equalizer. The man who is pushing 70 was talking about how if you're a lawyer or a on welfare, everyone looks the same in their gardening clothes. All pretense is dropped in favour of moving toward a mutual passion. I've learned more about edible weeds, talked to others in the group who are in various stages of their garden - always expanding, always pruning, it's a living expression of who they are. If that last statement is true... well lets just say I need to get a higher opinion of myself. lol. But mine is work in progress! Big dreams, but starting small. NEXT YEAR (I promise myself yet again), Next year my garden will have a decent harvest. I will process the food. I will do some canning. I will be a good little environmental citizen. Going jogging at lunch today.
Jul 3, 2013
Power went out last night - rolling black outs here due to the energy consumption in the city and all those people using AC units... hmmm, maybe we shouldn't get one - unless we have solar panels maybe. Anyway, hung out in the basement with a lantern folding laundry, the winds were whooshing so fast I could feel the strain on the house, the windows, I had to make an effort to open Chelsea's door so I could close her window. The weather lately sure has made things... exciting. Yeah. Headaches are back... weeee. Took the girls to the park last night, there's a water park/playground just a few steps from our house. We all played tag, and the thunder was rolling. We didn't stay long, but it was fun. We just walked over with towels - it's good to travel light, less to worry about.
Jul 2, 2013
A long weekend it was! Sunny beautiful weather for the whole weekend. Got strange sun burns on places I missed putting sunblock. Canoeing was so fun. I was nervous, I'm not going to lie. Chelsea was really nervous too. It was both fun and taxing to be around another family - especially when you want to discipline their children or tell them to stick to their guns. Every time I tried to sleep I couldn't. So sleep wise, not such a great weekend. 4 year anniversary with my partner as of yesterday and this was the first year we didn't go see the fireworks because it was a work night. Every other year so far had fallen on a weekend or it was before, and I could just skip class if it were early and get the kids to daycare late. Summer makes me long to not work the Mon-Fri 8-4:30 thing. I'd like to have summers off - makes me almost wish I'd become a teacher... My garden and plants were a little wilted when we got back, but they bounced back. Edit** Going to clean the house this week in bits and pieces, then I'm going to hire Molly Maids to come and give it a thorough once-over. Time to get clean and organized. Also thinking a maid once/week to do the floors, bathrooms and strips the beds would be perfect. I will do the laundry on the same day, remake the beds, and then literally all I have to do to maintain is tidy and keep the kitchen clean. The garage is a disaster... Anyway, I have visions of where my gardens will go in the side yard - a largely unused area with grass on it currently will become rows of veggies. Time to get digging. Should I call before I dig? Is a garden deep enough that I shouldn't do something there? (It's a utility corridor) - Spuntino got lots of walks and exercise and was content to sit or lay in the sun for most of it - we even got her to jump in the water after a stick - she even swam to get it! You could see the whites around her eyes, but she kept going back for more. She received lots of praise and then slept the rest of the night. lol. Going to go jogging again - possibly today - though it's supposed to be 33 above. It's also brutally hot in the upstairs of our house... Wondering if maybe an air-conditioner is in order... it is too hot to sleep. The good thing about weather this hot is that all I want to eat is ice water... lol Might go to Quadra island week of August 11 with the girls. Driving through the Okanagan I will be able to buy some flats of peaches and strawberries for canning/jam. We'll see. :) OooH! And tiny cucumbers to make pickles - but mostly I want the peaches. Mmmmmm - my goodness I love peaches. Shmiegal's "So juicey SCHWEEEEET!" comes to mind... they are my precioussssss....
Jun 27, 2013
Instead of doing anything productive last night, I talked to my aunt for 3 hours - some of which about world issues and some about my brother's divorce. It was good to clear the air. I hate the whole situation - and I hate how my aunt now sees my brother. It's as I suspected, though she made claims to have faith that my brother is a good person, she said it in a tone of voice that implied the words were being dragged from her lips - and only for my benefit. She knows I love and am loyal to my brother - no matter his faults. That love is unconditional, and I will always have faith in him. However, that does not mean I am blind to his part in the situation, I know him well enough to know how pig headed, condescending and chauvenistic he can be. I know how he gets on his high horse and will deny being wrong even if evidence to the contrary is right in front of him, or at least, that's how he was before he survived his alcoholism. He has grown and changed after having survived that. My aunt still remembers vividly the betrayal she felt when he went off the deep end - on so many levels my brother became a very scary person. I have seen my brother in that state. He is not there - the spirit of my brother does not stare out at me through his eyes, it's like he's gone somewhere deep inside in hiding. However, when I saw him, (I caught him red-handed at my parents house during his darkest period) I didn't say anything except my eyes filled with tears, and I looked into his eyes conveying with every part of who I am how hurt I was that he'd lied, that he'd gone back to the bottle, that he must be in so much pain that he had to dive back into something so self destructive (in the hour I was out of the house he pounded back 3/4 of a 26 of vodka with no mix). He just said "Don't. Don't cry, I just, Sarah, ..." I don't recall how he finished that sentence, but I left the house, and balled my face off. I didn't give up though. I went back to him and talked to him, I wrote him a letter (because a lot of what I wanted to say to him I was afraid I would chicken out if I were face to face) - and I let him have it - everything - and reminded him of the person who I've always seen in him, and how set adrift I felt that he wasn't living up to who I knew him to be. Fast forward 3 years, he's living and working in Australia with a woman he plans to marry, who we all really like and who suits him better than his ex ever did. He's been clean and sober for 2.5 years, he regularly goes to meetings, but now to share his story with others and council them on how he got over his own addiction in hopes of helping them. He gets to drive and borrow porshe's for the weekends (on occassion), he gets to rub shoulders with the rich and famous, he's happy. These are HIS ideals, not mine. My brother has always been concerned with status, and that is one of his flaws, but I love him, and I am just happy he's still alive, and that he is now doing well. I just wish my aunt could give him that credit. His ex-wife was wronged, yes, but he's apologized. It's up to her to forgive. It's up to her to see how she contributed to the failure of their marriage. It takes two people to make a marriage work and it takes two to end it. Period. Anyway, back to work.
Jun 26, 2013
Tonight we pack our bags and get ready for the camping trip. Already went through all the gear, everything we need is piled up in one spot in the garage and we just need a new hatchet, one extra tarp, and some extra string. We decided to rent a canoe for this first trek. MEC has a sale on for this weekend that allows us to get the canoe on Thursday and return it on Monday for $50. So cool. We all have new (or new to us) life jackets, and I bought two new paddles at CAD Tire the other day, so we're all set. Also painted the living room (mostly) and found I was not too fond of one of the colors. The peppers and tomatoes in the front yard are doing great, all the shrubs I bought are planted and with the exception of one, doing well. 3/6 tree saplings I got for free as part of a work "arbor day" celebration died of a strange mold... but the other three are holding on. I will replant them when they get a little bigger. In the meantime, I have plans to put in more gardening areas. I think I will have to put in some rows in the side yard - so it's all ready for next year. I'll have to add soil, and I'm going to to use the compost from the pile I've started. When it's leaf season I'm one of those weirdos who drives around the neighbourhood to the leaf drop-off areas and poaches bags of leaves... I feel like that woman in the IKEA commercial "START THE CAR!!!" as I zoom off laughing maniacally. :)
Jun 25, 2013
Good morning. Steaming cup of coffee on my desk, water serenely sitting adjacent. Light drizzle and grey skies. Humming whisper of the computer tower accompanies my thoughts as I ponder. Went to MEC last night - got some new gear, gear that's needed - well, it was mostly clothes - but in preparation. New swimsuit - suitably Momish one piece. A little yoga last night and late to work - though not so bad because I caught a different bus. This day, like so many others, grey in its indifference. Did I make a difference yesterday? Will I make a difference tomorrow? Today the girls go through their Sparks/Brownies ceremony. I will have to make sure I take video/do their hair. I wish I had an actual video recorder rather than just my phone. Would be nice to make something high quality. The other day I selected one of the Disney trip's albums and turned on the slideshow feature on my mac - the girls and I and my partner all sat around reminiscing about that trip. It is good to look through old photos once in a while, letting your mind work as its own personal movie trailer as you recall those outstanding moments and smile, feel a little warmer, a little stronger, for having experienced them. Offsets the days of grey drizzling rain when the richest experience is not one's sight, but one's memories. (I should stop here, but I must include that its smells like heaven outside,(who needs sight?) or how I would imagine heaven smells. Rain. Flowers. Grass. Leaves. All leave a bouquet of fragrance that says "summer")
Jun 24, 2013
My parents have returned home with no damage to their home - the electricity is back on and they're going to try to go to work today. Mom works downtown, but on the outskirts, so chances are there is no water down there. As long as the utilties are back on, she'll be back on. I don't think Calgary, as a city, has ever experienced devastation on this scale. The good news is that something like 97% of the buildings are structurally sound despite taking on water. So that's really really good. Forestry department is preparing to send aid, and when I took the kids out to their Sparks/Brownies sleep over this weekend to Pigeon lake, there were tons of military vehicles driving south - to provide aid. Very cool to see Canada's military in action in their own country - unfortunate that they have to - but something I've never seen in this lifetime. About activism, I'm enjoying the work I do with Sustainable Food Edmonton, and I was asked if I'd like to put my name in to join the board for Edmonton Area Land Trust - an organization whose sole focus is on conservation and bio-diversity preservation - I'd be very passionately involved if I were to get on with them. I'm now chairing the grant committee with SFE - so I really don't know how much more I can take on - but I guess now that the house is nearly finished, things will even out. I believe it's so important to find time for community service. It's truly important, not just for the community, but also for one's soul. Doing something for others, how it makes you feel you're doing something worthwhile, gives a certain inner-strength and purpose to my life. I need to remember to save some of that time for the girls too. I'm going to double check with the piano teacher that she still has room for the girls starting in the fall - (and myself) - and I still want to volunteer as a community visitor for Alberta Health, but I don't think I'll find the time for it. I need to be more involved in my girls' school - bring some of these environmental programs to them. On a different note, Obama will be announcing his climate change policy tomorrow, and it promises to be constroversial since he's going around Congress because they keep "kicking tires" and not passing any of the bills put forward. He's apparently an unheardof president, being the first to use other methods to get things into action, and bypassing Congress. 40% of U.S. emissions come from their coal-fired power plants - it's anticipated that new emissions regulations will be put into place to significantly reduce emissions on new and exisiting plants. Industry is baulking. They're claiming it will put people out of work - while environmentalists are claiming it will create jobs and new opportunities for renewable energy. Exciting times. Finally got to relax and get pretty and go out for dinner and a movie. My hair is finally getting long again, and it's lightened a little. I can't remember the last time my partner and I went on a date. It was good to spend time together doing something other than renovations. This coming weekend we're going camping to Gregg Lake. I bought a canoe and had to return it because it was too big for my car... :( - but I am hoping I can find another one that's smaller. That, or else I'm going to have to buy a truck. lol (or perhaps less drastic, I will have to buy a dingy...) HMPH. I don't wanna dingy. I wanna CANOE. HMPH!
Jun 21, 2013
My family is safe. My Dad is in Vancouver - flew out this morning for business - but my aunt and uncle were evacuated from their home. My Mom and sister have no power and no internet connection. They have an old-fashioned land line, the kind that isn't portable, so they still have a phone line, and until their battery dies, they have cell phone and a data plan. Wow. High River - flooded. TransCanada highway by Canmore - gone - literally gone. And the last time a flood of this scale occured was in 2005 - and that was the first time in over 100 years... and people are still questioning whether climate change is real. Well I don't want to be an alarmist, but doesn't it seem that there are more floods, more severe weather patterns, than there used to be? When I was a kid, maybe I didn't pay attention to the weather, but it seems as though weather patterns are more severe than they were when I was a kid. Maybe that's just part of a cyclical process on a time scale that's bigger than humanity's - who knows. Either way, my Mom (and my Aunt who's there, different aunt than the one who was evacuated) told me they brewed coffee with an old-fashioned coffee percalator on the gas-stove. Some parts of Calgary (Oakridge) have no running water, and there have been gas leaks so I assume the gas lines will be shut down soon - Mom will have to take out the coleman stove. A relative of a co-worker who lives in Calgary said that when the stores were still open the grocery stores were like an apocolypse had happened - there was no food or bottled water left to be bought. Crazy. The main thing is, everyone's ok. Apparently they're expecting to break the banks (with more severe flooding) by between 5pm and 7pm tonight. I can't help but remember Aquatic ecology course on Dogpound creek and wonder how many fish are being wiped out, what the report will look like next year. I can hardly concentrate on work - and I wonder if the nobel peace prize winners (10 of them) who are actively opposing Alberta's "dirty" oil are right. I think I will be tarred and feathered... Ugh. What should I do? What actions do I take? This flood is making me feel... like life is too short not to take more action on my beliefs.
Jun 20, 2013
Went to a meeting yesterday where I sat next to the High Commissioner of New Zealand. Very eye opening meeting as a senior Energy/Environment guy explained our whole intensity-based carbon trading in Alberta, and Dennis's class on Market Initiatives came flooding back. It was such a succinct and understandable explanation of what Alberta is doing, I finally understood something that I hadn't until this point - Alberta is leading the way in Canada's carbon trading market - it lacks only federal support through a national strategy/mandate and there's no U.S. federal support yet either. It's not just rhetoric. There's almost 400 million in the climate change fund - about half of which has been allocated to new technology (so we can move away from fossil fuels) - and yet,... we're developing the oilsands, in some cases, with pit mining... Ummmm... I've gotten to go deeper on the Keystone pipeline issue than I ever have and even though I know Canada is a safe, secure producer of energy products with more environmental regulatory protection than other energy producing countries, I am anxious for the day when we use electricity with 100% renewable energy and there are electric cars with no emissions and let's not forget they all have huge highly toxic batteries that have a shelf life. Are we trading one type of pollution for another? There's less of it, true, but it is more toxic. The materials for batteries are mined. It will at least SLOW our consumption of resources... Well I've been doing my part. I use low-energy CFL bulbs around the house, take transit to work, share a car, use a programmable thermostat, compost my kitchen waste, the list goes on. I want to do more. I've gotten most of the "low-hanging-fruit". So, do I save up for solar pv or solar thermal heating? Do I replace my furnace, hot water tank, insulate my attic, replace my windows? It feels like these small acts get lost in a sea of people who are willfully ignorant about changing their behaviour. How to inspire them? How to get those people to WANT to be part of the solution? And then there are still the nay sayers who believe that organic produce is just a marketing ploy to charge more - and they may be right, at least partially. I spoke to a man on a plane when I was 15 who said that going organic on a farm was cost comparative to using pesticides - that all that was needed was government regulation to make farmers change their ways - but pharmaceutical companies block this type of progress by providing campaign funding to the electorate. (This man was an American). So, is he right? If so, I'd love to see that change in my lifetime. And there is simply no arguing with organic produce. Have you ever done a taste test between organic strawberries and the other kind? Peppers? Tomatoes? The difference is noticeable. Also, at the meeting I attended yesterday I learned that Canada imposes a 320% tariff on dairy products from other countries. (And vietnam imposes 20% tariffs on Canadian beef). I'm sure governments are considering trade agreements that lift these things - and then that opens up the question of eating locally. By removing trade tariffs, countries who can produce things Canadian's need will be able to sell their products here and undercut Canadian growers - so people will get high quality food for less money (social benefit, economic detriment, environmental detriment?). Won't that decrease food security by making Canadians dependent on products that are carbon intensive simply because of transportation? However, trade, as far as I've read, is what makes countries want to work together and trading relationships mean economic gains (in many ways) and prevent conflicts because both parties lose financially if they sever their trading partnerships... I'm going to thread my way through these issues - I need a sounding board. What is the most comprehensive solution?
Jun 18, 2013
What a day. Went to a divisional meeting, learned a lot about the Strategy Division I'm now a part of. Turns out one of the other positions I'd been interested in is in the same group, and my supervisor and that other hiring supervisor had talked and had a good laugh about how "keen" I was - and they're good friends - so it's a good thing I wasn't still looking for work after she'd given me an offer. I hadn't accepted an offer yet so timing wise, I wasn't two-timing - or whatever. I went to my Board Meeting and AGM tonight and it was a great meeting. I accidently created a new committee that most of the board wanted to participate in - it's the "election year" committee - the idea behind it is that we create an event to host a panel forum of mayoral candidates (so the event would take place once every 4 years, and this year is an election year) - where we would invite the mayoral candidates to debate and answer food policy questions as part of their campaign. We would use our non-profit connections to help us come up with the questions we want to ask our future mayor, and then invite our respective volunteer base to attend the event. This is in response to a candidate contacting us to talk about our perspectives on food policy as part of his election platform - and since we must be non partisan, we were thinking of ways to not inadvertently show support for one candidate over any others. Should be an interesting conversation - we have our first committee meeting next week! I am supposed to paint the living room and dining room this weekend and this Thursday the bath refinisher will be coming, and then, that's pretty much it. I was thinking of using my mac's program for photos to do a slideshow of all the renos with music. Why not get the creative juices flowing? Being reassured about the job I chose has felt REALLY good. It's good to feel like I can finally belong somewhere, rather than being an intern. Entirely different vibe to the job and how people interact and how I feel and act. It's good. :)
Jun 17, 2013
First day in my new office. I have a fantastic space. It has a window! And what a view. I posted a pic of it on twitter. I can't believe how lucky I am. I got all these plants and my office space is nice, and its funny how much these things affect well being. My new space no one can see my computer screen. I have more privacy, a window, and I already have several tasks to keep me busy. The weekend was ok - my sister really really disappointed me. She just kept doing things that were disrespectful of our parents, really self-centered, and as usual, made me feel as though the girls were a burden to her. She and Mom are fighting. Mom is sick of her living there - Emily is not a good housemate. She not only doesn't pay rent, but she only cleans up precisely what she's dirtied, she doesn't offer to help out around the house, she blocks her "fiance" from helping out so my 63 year old father is still doing hard physical labour while her 6'4" hulk of a 21 year old young man sits on my parents couch playing video games. We went out to the Deane House for brunch and she took the window seat my Mom wanted, (refused to move to the other window seat that was offered because she wanted the one she wanted) and then just expects my parents to pay for her meal. She doesn't pay rent. She leaves her laundry in the machines for days, and dominates every conversation I tried to have with my folks (except the one on the first night where I politely and firmly told Emily I wanted to talk to just Mom). She's desperate for acceptance, which I get, and want to give to her - but she's also being competitive. It irks her beyond belief that my relationship with our mother is so easy. I keep telling Emily that she just needs to move out and her and Mom will be great - I remind her of how awful my relationship with Dad was growing up, and anytime we've lived under the same roof. She wants to be taken seriously as an adult - but she refuses to do the one thing that will drastically help her in that area and that is to take responsibility for her own living costs and pay rent/offer to do more around the house or MOVE OUT. Anyway, mostly was an ok weekend - I didn't realize my Mom had planned a big bbq for Saturday night. I thought it was just going to be us. But it was my aunt and cousins and I just wasn't up to putting on my "social" side. I was there to recoup, not put out even more energy. All in all, it's family though, so they forgive me when I'd rather hide in my room reading than sit around a campfire and watch my Dad and my Uncle have a few too many. They were pretty drunk by the end of the night - something that doesn't happen too often. Dad makes me so uncomfortable sometimes.
Jun 14, 2013
Headache came back with a vengence last night. I felt really off - almost confused - definitely not myself. Eyes were a little blurry, light hurt them. Spent most of the evening horizontal - reading of course - and I feel a little better this morning - except in the tummy. (I took pain pills on an empty stomach to help my headache subside this morning) Didn't eat dinner last night, truly wasn't hungry. Partner has started griping about the trip to Calgary (not the first time) but I originally said I was going to go, and he said he'd like to come too so I thought sure. Well now he's annoyed because he's thinking about all the stuff we won't be getting done while we're away this weekend. You know what though? I am absolutely exhausted of "getting things done". I need a break. (He snidely says "A break from reading in bed?" - thanks honey) No, my love, a break from living in a house that has partially unpacked boxes in every room, drywall dust everywhere, sawdust everywhere, papers, clothes, everything everywhere. What I need right now is a break from the overwhelm I feel when I think of my home so I can return recharged and ready to do what needs to be done. At least that's the rhetoric I'm telling myself. Perhaps I'll return home and be overwhelmed by all that needs doing and return to a state of apathy.. Perhaps I'm just avoiding what needs to be done and I'm not being strong enough, trying hard enough. Eric Fromm (philosopher) says "The only way through something is through it". Well to hell with you Fromm. I want my Mommy.
Jun 13, 2013
Shared the family secret cinnamon bun recipe with 3 co-workers... couldn't help feeling a little like a traitor by doing so - and yet - isn't knowledge something we should all share as freely and willingly as we can? My co-workers are taking me out for Thai food today - our last lunch together. Should be fun. Yesterday's weather progressed into a very crazy storm. We went from severe thunderstorm warning to tornado watch to tornado warning. My office was evacuated into the stairwells and parkade for over an hour while the storm (travelling 35kms/hr) passed through downtown. It got so dark outside it looked like night time. There was a palpable "feeling" in the air - and an insane part of me longed to go stand outside in the torrential downpour, lightning, wind gusts and booming thunder. It whipped through Edmonton between 2:45 and 3:30pm - just as kids were getting out of school - some schools held children back from going home until the storm passed - it depended on the area of town and severity of the storm at that time. Jada and Chelsea were very excited about a Tornado and when I picked them up the sun was beaming and everything was shining and had a glow to it. The dark and ominous clouds on one horizon, blue skies and sunshine on the other. Truly a remarkable world we live in. A water spout was seen south of Edmonton, and the clouds certainly looked "swirly" - but the column never formed. We're lucky I suppose. I'm really looking forward to visiting my family in Calgary this weekend. Have I mentioned that? *Edit - today I put in a slight effort into my appearance. Despite not working out, my pants aren't as tight and I feel slimmer - probably a result of the flu... hmm, new weightloss regime? ..only kidding. Sure wish this strange head ache would go away.
Jun 12, 2013
Pouring rain right now. What a beautiful sound on our roof this morning - the cool darness of a gloomy morning - the soft dark grey of rolling clouds - like music for the soul. Partner has almost finished making our bed. Very exciting. Will have to post pictures once finished - ya, I know, I keep promising pictures and then not delivering - that's because a significant portion of them are not on my phone and I keep asking him to send them to me and he keeps forgetting. My new supervisor is apparently really excited for me to start. I've checked out mentally now - I spent most of yesterday packing up my cubicle. Was going to jog (brought my stuff) and then found myself exhausted and headachey going down a flight of stairs - decided I'm not quite over this flu yet. So hard to stay fit and healthy when your life partner is not into it the same way. It's nice to be loved no matter what, and he really seems to not care about my appearance, but then who am I trying for if not for him? And so it's been days and days since I last wore make up, since I last did something with my hair. The last time I did, it was curly (thank you diffuser) and lightest make up possible - we went out for dinner with his friend and one of his kids who was here with his soccer team. One of his soccer mates was at the table and I had the misfortune of sitting next to them. Pat's friend's son was alright, but the other boy was bad news. He may have looked innocent with blond hair and blue eyes, but he was very rude. He kept cutting wind at the table, mocking my eldest daughter Jada (who looked entirely uncomfortable and like she hated herself - I know that feeling too well) and later I found out that he shit in the men's urinal at the restaurant. Who does that? What kind of delinquent acts like that? He also ordered the steak from the menu. When I was a child and a guest of my friend's parent there's NO WAY I would've ordered the most expensive thing on the menu. I have nothing good to say about that kid, wish I could say otherwise. Anyway, that's the last time I made an effort. But though I feel that certain apathy and I'm sort of waiting for the week to be over, I'm hopeful that I'll be able to get back into a running regime. I failed the last time I got on this kick because I was packing and moving and renovating and looking for a new job. Now I need to find my motivation again. I will. It's in there somewhere. My will. I need to fight the apathy that would drown me. Perhaps recharging with my family will do the trick. I should bring my jogging stuff and sneak out in the mornings. **Edit - upon reflection, that kid, the one who had no manners or respect, he may not have been taught those things, but I had the strong impression he was also not treated with love and attention. No child is beyond helping - but that particular child has a long road - and it doesn't feel right to condemn him as though there's no hope - but I felt like his character was that of adults I've met before who have no regard for anyone but themselves. It's tough to see those traits in one so young, already on a path towards becoming a man that I would say does not restore my faith in humanity. Though there are others I've met who have. Those rays of sunshine, towers of strength, strength of character and or conviction - but this child ... lacked everything. His parents and teachers and mentors have failed him - or perhaps he never had them. **end Edit
Jun 11, 2013
Last week of work before I move to my new role. Been fairly focussed at work considering I'm leaving next week. Hasn't really hit me yet. Strangely have had a headache that won't go away. Hurts when I bend over and stand up, or when I walk up the stairs. It hurts so much. Been there for days now. Wish it would stop.. Wonder if it has to do with the ringing in my ears... hmmm Anyway, enough complaining. Decided to visit my family this weekend. Mom is thrilled. She called the Deane house to see if they have room on Father's day and amazingly, they do. Sister's birthday is a week from today too. She's 21. That seems like forever ago to me. Apparently she has a designer now that's doing her dress for her - apparently it is quite the work of art. My sister is so much more the Martha Stewart type than I ever was. She's so good at this wedding event thing she could be a professional planner...
Jun 11, 2013
Last week of work before I move to my new role. Been fairly focussed at work considering I'm leaving next week. Hasn't really hit me yet. Strangely have had a headache that won't go away. Hurts when I bend over and stand up, or when I walk up the stairs. It hurts so much. Been there for days now. Wish it would stop.. Wonder if it has to do with the ringing in my ears... hmmm Anyway, enough complaining. Decided to visit my family this weekend. Mom is thrilled. She called the Deane house to see if they have room on Father's day and amazingly, they do. Sister's birthday is a week from today too. She's 21. That seems like forever ago to me. Apparently she has a designer now that's doing her dress for her - apparently it is quite the work of art. My sister is so much more the Martha Stewart type than I ever was. She's so good at this wedding event thing she could be a professional planner...
Jun 10, 2013
Staying home from work again today - whatever I had last week seems that little Chelsea woo is now under the weather and feverish. This is a nasty little bug. It's raining and cold and really windy - kind of appropriate for stay at home weather. The dog is a lot happier here. She's kept in her area by the back door whenever we're not at home, and let out whenever we're here. She seems happier knowing she has a place to hang out. It's really nice that our house doesn't stink of her and she's not ruining furniture. Time for a cup of tea to fend off this cold rainy windy day and to put on "Diego" for my sick little girl as that's all she wants. Looking forward to some soup later. Saw some graduating photos of a friend of mine on facebook. Pretty proud moment. She and her son looked great, and I wish them every success. Wow, time flies.
Jun 9, 2013
The end of the weekend and I don't want to return to work. I don't want to sit at home either, but the house is coming along. Needed a wardrobe and somewhere out of sight to store shoes - thanks again IKEA. Going to buy a canoe here soon so when we go camping we can take the girls out on the lake. I love being on the water, even as it frightens me just a little. I have a slight fear of deep water, especially if I can't see the bottom - bet you didn't know that about me did you world? Did you? Lol. Well it was worse for a few years after my scuba accident until I faced that fear and snorkelled. The wind howls outside and the sky darkens. The weather here has been very stormy of late. Winds of change perhaps?
Jun 7, 2013
Well stayed home these past two days. Really didn't feel great, sort of worn out. It will be so nice to get things all organized and clean. Despite my owly nature lately, paused and reflected that I'm actually pretty lucky. I have a lot to be grateful for. I really miss my family. It's becoming a pronounced ache. Probably will trek up to see them next weekend if they don't come here. I put together another bookcase, finally have a working kitchen with counters and sink. Scoff all you like, you don't realize how often you wipe your hands or the counters or rinse dishes so the food doesn't dry on until you have to do all that in the bathroom sink around the corner, a sink so small my coffee mug cannot fit under the tap... Gordy is cuddled up on my lap. The house is silent, so quiet all I can hear is the ringing in my ears. Apparently I can hear high frequency sounds - more than I should be able to at my age , but still within the human range of up to 20,000 ... Something's... What's the sciency term? I fail. Lol. Sigh. The walk with Steffi ended up being a sit. She forgave me, and said I'd have to do a lot worse before she's hate me. I bought her a small "I'm sorry" gift card, but more than anything I noticed the sadness coming off of her. It's palpable. I met her before her father died and now, it's like she's in a state of resigned indifference interspersed with heart ache and pain. I wish I could do more to help her, it probably didn't help to have me stand her up when she was looking forward to just forgetting for a while. I did have to tell Steffi once that just because one's friends don't call all the time doesn't mean they don't care. I don't talk to my friend Robyn from one month to the next, but when we do, it's like no time has passed. And, often it is me touching base with her. I don't doubt her love for me though, I just accept that she's busy and that when she has time to stop and think, she misses me. It fills me with strength to have faith in those I love.
Jun 5, 2013
Stood up Steffi on the weekend. Didn't mean to, just got so busy putting stuff away, gardening, etc. We took the kids for dinner at 9:00pm, when I finally checked my cell phone (the ringer was off) I found 4 text messages and 3 missed calls. I felt sick. I'm taking her out for a walk around Churchill Square this afternoon to apologize for hurting her and to reassure her that I'm not a flake. I can't believe I forgot.
Jun 4, 2013
Not sure what happened there. Computer or booksie mishap. C'est la vie. Basically my prayers are with my brother and his divorce situation and my parents being able to retire. I mowed the lawn last night. I'm loving maintaining my yard and taking pride in my home. I feel that creative spark and I think I will start writing some more again.
Jun 3, 2013
Signed my offer letter today. I'm looking forward to working in this branch, and happy that I'm not changing ministries. My new building is back across the street, right next to the one I first started in. Got everything I purchased planted except the shrubs - didn't quite have the weight or strength to get through the thatched lawn in the front yard, I uselessly stood on the spade - but nothing happened - or very little - so my partner had to do it for me - though I strong-armed the sod over to my new compost pile. Didn't get it planted as I decided the 6 new baby trees I have need to be planted elsewhere - the kidney shaped bed is too close to the house. Planted the veggies in the front flower beds with the marigolds and added a clematis in a planter next to the backyard gazebo thing - plus some dalias. No petunia's this year as those guzzle water. I need a rain barrel... I have nothing else that's all that important to write - Life is evening out with finally having moved, having a new job to settle in at, completing projects at work - now comes the part I've been promising myself - the living part. How do I even do that? I'm so used to the struggle that I'm not sure I remember how to relax. I'm not allowed to take on anything new until the end of summer. I just want to have some normalcy for a while. A place to call home, somewhere to belong. I was offered an interview for an aboriginal consultation officer position that I turned down because I'd already accepted the ESRD position. Glad moving is over. It was so hard having my stuff in one house while being somewhere else - leaves one feeling torn and homeless, listless. Best to pick a direction and stick to it, close one chapter before starting the next. That's always better. I miss my family. My brother's divorce is still so ugly. It's unbelievable. He helped to create the mess, but his ex is really letting the lawyer call the shots. Family law lawyers believe they're "acting in the best interests of their clients" but they only consider the financial interests of the client, and if you're anything like me, financial security is only one piece of the puzzle - there's also managing emotional conflict and striking a deal that blesses both parties - not one person getting everything they're entitled to and that same person doing everything in their power to poison the relationship with the other parent. It's cruel to the children, and really, that's who loses here. I tried to talk to her but she refused to speak to me about it. It makes me shake my head in sadness. But, I must have faith that everything happens for a reason.
May 31, 2013
My eyes are burning. So. Tired. Slept about 3 hours last night. It's like I had a power nap. Really, I should know better than to drink coffee at 7pm. Last night I bought a bunch of shrubs, perennials, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber and cauliflower - yes, I'm cheating getting some plants that are already started - but that's because I couldn't start my seedlings because I was packing and moving. Anyway, going to dig two new xeriscape kidney shaped garden beds in the front yard for trees and shrubs and flowers and plant some annuals that need full sun in the planters, then I'm going to dig up the side yard and plant my Native Alberta Wildflower seed mix (approved mix with no invasives that are all drought hardy and meant to be in this part of Alberta) within my side yard forest, and, interspersed within there somewhere I'm going to plant edibles. If we don't get a harvest, that's ok - but I did buy some marigolds to keep the slugs away from the cauliflower - it's actually quite beautiful, and the white will offset the bright orange and reds. I still need to buy some hollyhocks to cover up the side of the fence that's starting to fall down. I'm also still hoping to plant my sweet peas as a privacy barrier along the chain link fence on the front yard. Either way, the digging and playing with dirt begins tonight! Also going to the movie "The Internship" with Steffi on Saturday for some inspiration. lol. *Edits* Restless. Entertain me. Distract me. Sometimes. Pointless. Fruitless. Glossed over. Plastic smile. Single tear shaped droplet on a pear. Peachy keen. Shining eyes that my smile does not quite reach. Genuine blues. Chest crushing sadness. Repressed. Crushed. Treads water. Pulls self up by boot straps. Starts walking the winding path home again.
May 30, 2013
I just got the 4th book of the Rain Wilds Chronicles - "Blood of Dragons" by Robin Hobb. As always, Hobb delivers. Have really enjoyed the Rain Wilds series and am loving being re-absorbed into this book - it overlaps in the same world with Althea Lestrit from the "Live Ship Series" and a few others. Accepted a job with ESRD as an intergovernmental officer - doing briefing materials for my higher ups, keeping track of international environmental policy and forming strategic relationships with other jurisdictions' environmental policy groups. Some travel will be required, and this is the position I said I saw myself working for after initially feeling that it may not be the best fit - solely due to my boss's boss. It will be hard work and challenging as they're super short staffed and basically a new division. I think I'm going to be writing about how demanding the job is in a few weeks - but it will be great to be busy. All this heavy lifting of boxes, cabinets, putting bookcases together and hauling demolition materials has left me feeling stronger, with a lot more nicks and cuts on my hands and arms (should really wear protective gloves) and a bit of chronic cough from dust. But skin is great - though we've been eating out constantly for over a week for most meals. I can't wait to get back to a better diet. Sushi, veggie burgers and veggie quesidillas can only go so far.... And I can't wait to bake some gluten free organic chocolate chip cookies in the new double oven in the kitchen. Finally - our home is starting to be a home.
May 29, 2013
So the cupboards are in at last... Seems less important now - somehow. I kind of had a melt down in the car today. I was so fed up with everything - there's so much I didn't even write here - so the installer made a mistake on where to install the handles which caused me to have to go out and buy new ones, return old ones, etc. I missed my turn, got turned around on this 10 lane over pass - one in each direction, but I miraculously chose one that took me right to where I wanted to go - but the contractor called me back because he needed to close off the job so he could leave for the day. On the way back (without the handles) I got cut off and that forced me to have to stop at a light. The second light I had to stop at in a row at the last second - so I just sort of screamed a few explitifs and started crying. Sort of final straw stuff. Things that upon reflection, wouldn't normally get me down. On a different note - it's absolutely POURING rain right now -it's so beautiful I had to pause and watch it... little thunder and lightning, kind of suits my mood. Nurtures the soul. FInally got internet back - last Friday it was supposed to be connected but it couldn't be (old wiring in our 53 year old house) didn't find that out until Friday night, and then had Mon-Wed off work to get all the cabinet stuff/cleaning of the old place/carpet cleaning done. So finally - internet is back on. You don't realize how much you depend on something until it's no longer there. House is starting to come together - I'm building two bookcases for the girls. Learning to use the electric drill. (Couldn't figure out how to change the bit - apparently you loosen it like you would change the focus on a camera lense... who knew?) I feel like such a helpless girl sometimes. lol - sigh. Foolish Sarah.
May 25, 2013
Packing up food, last of the kitchen, basement and soon will be taking furniture apart. Oh the joys of moving.
May 24, 2013
It drizzles outside, light rain, grey skies, and finally no wind. The outdoors calls to us, precioussss. Moving in tomorrow. Still hoping my current job sends me out into the woods a little before I move onto my next role - I will have to talk to my supervisor about her next trek. I've learned so much about insect and disease pests of trees, and about trees and how to identify bugs and diseases - and a little on plant identification. I love it. UofC has an outdoor naturalization (identification) course - it's two weeks, intensive, on plant/animal identification. I don't think it gets down to entimology - but hey. Something really cool is that Jada's class is learning about macro benthic invertebrates as water quality indicators! I LOOOOVE her school. They've started in on the waste-free lunches - forcing me to cut up fresh fruit and put in re-useable containers - yogurt from a tub (the best creamiest organic kind - greek starts with a K...) into portion sized reusable containers, their sandwhiches are in reusable containers rather than plastic wrap or single use baggie and same thing with veggies. I'm going to bake some organic gluten-free chocolate chip cookies to replace the "Bear Claws" that they love - I swear, those things taste like metal and plastic. Such poor quality - but this waste-free lunch thing is motivating me to get back on my enviornmental high horse - so to speak. Today I have baby romaine and arugula with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and pine nuts. I had fresh cut pineapple (I prepared last night) and some of that delicious yogurt for breakfast, and for a snack, organic rice chips with roasted pepper hummus. Almost everything is organic actually - except the tomatoes because there weren't any in the grocery store. Still haven't had time for running, but I've been taking the stairs to the 8th floor, and let me tell you - stairs KILL me. It's been great. I went running last Friday around downtown - So. Many. Insanely Steep. Hills. It was excellent. My heart was pounding, my legs/lungs were burning and I didn't over-do it. I walked when I couldn't run anymore. I wish I'd brought my gear today so I could go at lunch. *Edit* I was almost booksied again! Luckily I "copied" my entry before I "updated" my news so when it disappeared, all I had to do was start again, right click, paste - so HA! In your FACE! Ding dang Booksie glitches.
May 23, 2013
Exhausted. Was up until after 1am folding laundry, had to get up at 6am. Didn't actually get up until 7:15am. SO. TIRED. However, I did conquer the laundry pile. It is gone! GONE I TELL YOU! ... of course reinforcements snuck in last night, and I now have at least one new load waiting for me, promising me that there will be more to come. Sigh. Reflecting on the past year of my life - this time last year I was preparing my own graduation party. Paying for it. Inviting people. Kind of thought my Mom/parents would have done that - but no. They allowed me to have the party at their house - so that was nice of them. But it felt like... if I had done nothing, no one would really give a shit that I graduated - excepting my partner and a couple close friends. It's strange - it's the culmination of 3-4 years of your life, hard work, hours of homework and study, stress, exams - and then like an echo down an empty hallway, you are the lonely fluttering page of a notebook, forgotten in the aftermath. And you protest quietly, hopefull, that someone will recall you. That your accomplishment will have meant something - and in that moment, you realize that even if you are the only person who "gets" it, you have accomplished something. Something you can be proud of. Something that meant something - even if only to you - and you're no longer the forgotten page in a book, you are the message. You are closing a chapter of your life that will feel like both a loss and a gain. It's surreal graduating. But, as Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh would say, if you want something done, you have to do it, yourself. (though current opinion in leadership is otherwise...)
May 22, 2013
Did nothing last night. Just watched most of Titanic, ignored the pile of laundry I had to walk over to get to my bed and tried not to think about anything. Yes, I was supposed to fold laundry. Yes, I was supposed to do more packing. Yes, yes, yes. But I didn't. Some days are just harder than others. Couldn't watch the scene where the mother put her kids to bed knowing they wouldn't wake in the morning so they wouldn't be scared. Chelsea had an asthma fit last night - she was half asleep and kept pushing the inhaler away. She'd hold her breath and then just as she would take a breath she'd shove it off her face - the applicator - and waste the whole puff. Haven't had time for my garden. Haven't had time for running. I fail at life. Meh.
May 21, 2013
And we're back! Tidied up the new place, painted more rooms, second coats, slept at the new place, we get our cupboards tomorrow - or at least we hope we do - have all supplies for the bathroom, (just need tub refinisher to come in and refinish our avacado green bathtub and we move in next weekend. Pat and another friend took over 3-4 loads yesterday too - you might think our house would be empty with all these other loads... but it's not. We still have the piano, treadmill, couch, coffee/end tables, sewing machine, entertainment stand, kitchen table, chairs, patio umbrella, suitcases, and all remaining contents from the garage and kitchen... Chelsea's skin is starting to look a little better - contrarily, mine (on my hands) looks like I'm a scrapper. I have scrapes, cuts, and exzema all over (due to the harsh corrosive cleaner and washing my hands/washing dishes by hand so many times this weekend - it's dusty work. Still, the worst booboo I have is the tiny paper cut on the tip of my ring finger on my right hand... typing has become a bit of a maneuvering excersize. Time for coffee. *Edit* Did get those grade 5 projects marked, realized how hard it would be for a teacher to mark papers - at first you're pretty lenient, but then some of the kids' answers blow you away and you must be sure to mark them to reflect their efforts. It was really cool to see how much some of them understood environmental concepts. If these are the leaders of tomorrow we're creating, then we're doing a good job! It's actually pretty inspiring to work with children.
May 19, 2013
Painted. Kitchen and basement living room and I guess that's it really. Kind of seemed like more work than that. Also brought over a few loads (my partner and one of Pat's new friends) - we met he and his wife via kijiji. Oh, the wonders of kijiji. Actually - there's a story for you. So, last year, when I decided to buy Jada and Chelsea new beds and sell their old ones, a family came to buy Jada's bed. They seemed really nice, and it was odd, they seemed familiar too - I said to Pat afterwards that it seemed like we should know them. Anyway, I'd marked the bed down, and when they paid me, I told them that it was too much - that I couldn't accept because I'd marked it down, but they insisted on paying the full price because the bed was everything I'd advertised and all the other sellers wouldn't hold it for them when they said they would. Anyway, as the husband paid for the bed and they got ready to leave, he said "Well, goodbye... forever... I guess..." lol. I told my partner I felt we should know them and they drove away. Well, turns out, the guy got a job in the same office as Pat - and they started talking, and now they've become friends. We took our kids out to an outdoor concert together on Friday (left when the vibe changed from families with kids to drunkards waiting in line to get into the beer garden to drink.) And they are just super easy going, hippy-like folks - very in line with who my partner and I are as parents/in life. Very cool. The wife, Christina was a similar parent to me - easy going about the kids getting dirty and chasing each other, sliding down the "slide" - which is the smooth-ish concrete beside the concrete stairs - the police got a kick out of the kids playing so nicely together. They were very friendly to us. She does early childhood learning - probably one of the kindest souls I've met in a long time. The guy, Kirby, helped Pat move a bunch of stuff yesterday with his 1970's era truck. Pat should probably have paid him $80 in gas money... lol. Anyway, I've done 12-13 loads of laundry in the last two days, packed box after box - scrubbed the oven, no environmentally friendly soap was working, had to break out the corrosive stuff to get all the grease off after Pat and his fadder deep fried so many fish and chips' nights... anyway... So yea, my hands and fingernails are thrashed. The fumes were unpleasant. But the stove and hood fan and oven look nearly brand new! ahhhh, all in the name of "cleanliness".... Of course when I made macanoni (yes, maca- NONI - that's how we pronounce it in this house... lol) and cheese for the girls later - if anything fell on the stove I didn't pick it up and eat it or add it back to the pot - I figure I probably should avoid poisoning my children by accident... *So amusing, Chels is playing with a nutrigrain bar wrapper - her fingers are some kind of creature named "Squirmy" and he's wearing the nutrigrain wrapper as a cape... lol - so frickin cute* - anyway, going to get back to packing/laundry now and hopefully soon get up (heh) some more photos of the renos - I will! I swear! tick tock Sarah D.
May 17, 2013
So... I didn't paint last night. I didn't pack. I watched the season finale of Vampire Diaries. Yes, I watch vampire diaries, who wants to know? Anyway, my partner was pretty exhausted and fell asleep after dinner, and I didn't do my volunteer homework - I am supposed to mark the submissions of a grade 5 class for our "Minister for the Day" contest. I offered to do that and I want to, I just... haven't made time to complete it and it's due today. I'll have to do it after work and bring the folder back downtown (since I forgot it at home). Also brought my running stuff to work - the ravine, even the neighbourhood is so nice - especially with leaves finally opening and flowers blooming. I'm really looking forward to living in a home I own - I've felt like I belong no where for a long time now - I haven't had a place that felt like home, someplace that I felt settled since I was a kid - when you don't question these things or when they will change. This new place - feels a lot like the place I rented from my parents while I was in school - it has the same vibe to it - and I can't wait to get in there and set it all up. The only thing it's missing is the peek-thru from the kitchen into the living room... It's a supporting wall, but I wonder if we could do that eventually.... Button actually seems to be doing better lately. I gave up a while ago and stopped "helping" in any way and basically took the stance of "survival of the fittest" - I've done everything I can to help her get healthy, and nothing has worked - therefore - I'm going to do nothing and if she dies, then that's the way it will go. And, suddenly, she's doing better. No meds. Regular food. The only difference is - no access to the kitty poop smorgasboard. (eeeeew). Anyway, I'm acheing to get outdoors - into the mountains. I just have to get our house moved and then I can plan some weekend trips for the family. I've accepted that I have to plan them, organize where we'll go, pitch the idea, then pack and get everything ready. I've accepted that if I want these mini-trips to happen I have to take on a leadership role and make them happen. My partner has a great time while he's there, but the prospect of figuring out logistics is daunting for him as he really doesn't like to travel and breaking from routine is kind of.. unsettling for him. So, onwards, welcome back summertime. I've missed you. Oh, and I'm not a religious person, but I am a spiritual person, and so - I dislike organized religion. However, I do believe there is a God, and I believe in prayer, but there is truth in almost every religion I've studied - mostly religions are a way to strengthen a community, to put "necessary" (or what passes for necessary) controls on its people and their lives. I don't agree with the controls, but I don't think having a conversation about God, spirit, life, fate, love, etc, is ever a bad thing. It's stimulating. I do baulk when religious fanatics believe their religion is the only religion that's "right" and try to shove their beliefs on me and get angry/upset/put off when I don't conform and validate how they live their life. But if one human being reaches out to another to lift them up, whether they come from a place of religion or not, it's still life reaching out to you, and trying to find a way to connect you, bring you back into the fold. So, mormans who come to my door or jehovah's, I avoid - but that's because their intent is to convert me. But if someone from my daughter's school or any other religious person came to me and shared with me a wisdom from their religion to help me deal with something, I would take it with a grain of salt - for example when my Dad quotes Mary Baker Eddy at me. Thanks for caring Dad, I love you too.
May 16, 2013
With heavy eyelids, I walked in a dream-like state to the bus stop, got on in a fog, dozed all the way here - I'm still not awake yet. I am hoping the steaming cup of java in front of me will revive my mental faculties. Sleep's elusive caress was difficult to find last night - it kept slipping away from me - I would open my eyes and wonder what drew me awake. One of the times was due to Gordito - our overweight cat - his name is Gordy, but my cousin told us that "Gordito" is Spanish for fat, I laughed so hard at how fitting the name was... I digress. I stretch, bones crack, it feels good - for a short moment I am alert again, but it doesn't last. Less than two weeks before we move now - and each day is a new fiasco in renovations and coordination. There's just been mistake after mistake after mistake. Frustration. Eventually the house will be finished, all the appliances will arrive, all the cupboards will arrive, and we will have a functioning home to move into - or to live in. Like all things, we take it one day at a time - one challenge at a time, and focus on what we CAN do. So, I CAN paint, and I will, tonight. I CAN pack the house, and I will, this weekend finish that task. I can fold laundry, do dishes, make lunches, go grocery shopping, get dressed, get to work, and so - one foot in front of the other.. And, every so often, a ray of sunshine beams down on me, welcoming me to enjoy the moment. Yesterday I took one of those beams and actually stopped to smell a stunning red, black and orange tulip. It was so sweet - I may have looked odd kneeling on a concrete side walk in dress pants, but I don't regret it. The reward was priceless. That moment is clear in my memory - time to work.
May 15, 2013
Did you know that there are 9 different types of knapweeds in Alberta? There are. "Bighead" knapweed, Black, Brown, Diffuse, Meadow, Russian, Spotted, Squarrose and Tyrol knapweeds. A brightly coloured poster sits cheerfully across from me, ironically telling me that these plants must be stopped - the best course of action is prevention. They range from white and yellow to pink and purple. Very pretty actually. I just confirmed that my folks can take the kids on August long weekend and my partner and I are going back country camping! A friend from school who used to be a back country guide is going with us. He and his girlfriend are super outdoorsy, and I can't wait to get out there. Very Alpine - the area we'll be going. I'm so excited. I've literally been talking about doing this for 15 years. Finally. On a less happy note, I just found out that my cousin's nephew is going to die of cancer. He's only 12. He's had cancer his whole life, started when he was 2. They kept thinking they got it all, but it kept coming back. He has beautiful blue eyes, black hair, and he is the most worldly 12 year old I've ever known. He's also Mensa smart. How do you deal with knowing you're going to die at that age? He's just a boy. I asked God if this was truly "His" will, how could a boy like him be destined to leave this earth while the rest of us... *Edit - I didn't know Jasper that well, but my heart goes out to him and his parents, grandparents, family, friends. Trying to be happier than how that post must sound, getting the bases of the cabinets today, getting the doors sometime in the next two weeks. Going to refinish the bathtub instead of bathfitters, get a new showerhead, leave the tile that's in there, (it's fairly new) and find myself a little table and bench to do girly bathroom stuff. The girls are so excited to camp out at our new house. On a side note, been feeling nauseous lately. Tired. Naseous. Dizzy. Cramps. Ugh. Need. To. Get. Healthy. Going to buy some Costco organic/local beef - going to buy a dehydrator and a smoker to make trail snacks, our own snacks for the kids, and some traditional smoked meat. Just going to start with beef, but we'll see how it goes. I am proud to be a vegetarian, but my body is yelling at me. I've even been good about taking my vitamins. I'll keep trying for two more weeks. Maybe I haven't been diligent long enough. Went to my Dad's friend's house yesterday - actually lived with them when I was 16 while my parents lived in California. Their house is so much like my own tastes in terms of how it's decorated/renovated. The girls had a good time, though Chelsea has been a walking calamity lately - just one accident after another.
May 13, 2013
**Edit edit - and even more time passes and I can calm down and feel differently or at least, less rage about the situation. And really, the question I should have asked him is what horrible event / person in his life led him to his belief of pro-abortion. Was he like the grinch and his heart two sizes too small? Jokes aside, people like him aren't just born biggotted. That level of hate and intolerance is bred over a whole lifetimes, sometimes generations of lifetimes. So, have a little compassion Aerial 90, and pause to ask the right questions. There's absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions for the answers you need - in fact, that's what expected of new policy makers - that you question long-held or party-line ideas. You can question, and you will also be opened up to multiple facets of the same issue, and while your fundamental belief may not change, it will likely be broadened. And by asking those critical questions, sometimes you can start to make a difference, wear away at long held incorrect beliefs and change the system for the better from the inside out. At a collaborative workshop i attended I remember a key focus was focusing on outcomes - so ask, what are the outcomes of said policy, and see where you can align before you tear down the "how" of it. Ok. Preachy self-reflection over. End Edit* Edit**.*Edit - meant to say how I woke up at 8:00am to breakfast in bed on Sunday morning - complete with oatmeal, scrambled eggs and even a fresh doughboy cinnabun. Thanks to my partner and kids who were so thoughtful - and in true fashion of my interests, I didn't receive anything disposable, no card, just a thoughtful gesture. That's what counts to most. Also, probably a bit alarmist in this post - but that person was very upsetting, and I shouldn't let people like that get to me. End Edit** In a policy essentials class, while teaching us how to do proper policy evaluation and implementation, I had the misfortune of meeting someone I instantly disliked - which rarely happens to me. One person, near the end of the day was asked to join his group to ours, and talk about policy surrounding FASD. (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). Well he believes that in order to have a child, that you should have to take out a license. You need a license to drive a car, why don't you need a license to become a parent? When I posed the question of what would happen if an expectant Mother did not obtain a license, he purported to hunt the expectant Mother down and forcibly abort her child. His view point was... lets just call it offensive. Yes, offensive. He stated firmly that he was completely pro-abortion - not "pro-choice", but pro-abortion. So, while I get that having a child should be considered a privilege in a world with finite resources, and not having children raised in environments by a person who drank or used drugs througout the pregnancy, (or otherwise mistreated the child that is in their care - think foster service) creating a person who will be in need of greater support throughout their lives, and likely will have mental and developmental issues - I don't think you can make it mandatory and enforceable without becoming a military state. What happens to the Mother if she wants to have the baby and the Father won't sign on - well she's unwed, and therefore unfit to have a child. What if the license required renewals - well, you're divorced now, so we're taking your children from you. It's a slippery slope when you start telling a human being whether or not they have the right to procreate. I felt really outraged by this older white man's comments. Who do you think he's targeting with his biggotry? It may be womens rights, but it may also be any segment of the population that's increasing - so First Nations and immigrant populations. He seemed like a nasty hate-filled person and I felt like his zeal to dominate would overwhelm any legal dictates - and I can't believe a person like THAT is a government policy maker. There's a part of me that wants to argue with him further, raise the points I raise here, but my viewpoint would never be "right" in his eyes. Reasoning with an unreasonable person is never fruitful. Is it cowardly to avoid confronting him and his flawed views? Ugh. I hope I don't have to talk to him again. And yet, a part of me wants to yell at him. *a few minutes passes as I imagine myself tearing him down verbally* ok. Moment over. The cabinet fiasco may work out - apparently we can use stock cabinets, and just wait for the faces to get the job done in time. Bathroom reno may be very different than originally quoted. Turns out we have some flexibility in terms of what work we do! This may all work out in time after all! Spent the weekend packing and taking small loads to the new house - painted a little, including the bookcase for the kids area and will paint the kitchen this Thursday. Weeee.
May 10, 2013
Packing up everything in sight, doing laundry, doing dishes - still can hardly believe that at most, in two weeks, we're moving. Where did the time go? On another note, attended an Arbor day event in Sherwood Park today - about 1000 grade one students came through and our table (the GOA's dept of Forestry) had a booth that gave away swag - the Parks and Rec people from Sherwood Park Alberta were giving away trees - trees donated by our department. It was a nice tie in. Best of all, this morning, I stayed longer for Jada at daycare for the Mother's Day Muffins, when I came back I heard Karen say "See, I told you your Mom wouldn't disappoint you" - Jada didn't think I would come back (I'd gone to the corner store to grab a coffee) Aaaanyway, I received some nice Mother's Day crafts (a placemat Jada decorated, a white carnation) and Jada was thrilled that I stayed because she knew I was going to the "Mother's Day Tea" for Chelsea this afternoon. So today, I got what I've been craving - time to be a Mother. I felt closer to them. I got to take them home after school - something they both commented on, and expressed (again) their wish for me to drop them off and pick them up to and from school. My cough persists. Weee. Also my arm aches, from my shoulder down to my wrist. I'm falling apart! lol. There are more woes but no one likes a whiner. Made spaghetti for dinner, and garlic cheese toast. It was a hit. My partner is wiped out from the week - I don't blame him - but I drank a coffee after dinner, and I'm determined to be ready to move ASAP. Plus, I am SICK AND TIRED of the house being a mess. I want everything packed in boxes, and in order to do that, you have to clean up. I need a massage. Set up utilities at the new place, the last thing to do is book the Uhaul and get the landline/internet set up over there. At work I get to work on updating our web content - including creating some nice new pdfs of forest pests with pictures and educational blurbs. Too cool. The SOP's I'm working to create are ticking along too - thank you Dennis. Your classes have actually been some of the most useful - SOPs, QAQC. Contemplating riding my bike to work next week - it's a bit dangerous on the roads out here, but I am just making excuses. If I can take transit, I can bike. Transit is for winter, or rainy days - it just takes planning. Need to run again. Must find a way to squeeze it all in. Right now, though I just drank coffee, I wish I could go to bed. Take me away sweet sleep. Take me far far away.
May 9, 2013
**Edit - holy crap three new potentially very interesting new positions with GOA. End Edit ** Went for two interviews yesterday. One for the higher paying Dept. of Energy position, one for follow up "meet and greet" with ESRD's Director. After going to the interviews, I feel I could actually work for ESRD. The Director is someone I instantly liked. She's new to her role, environmental science background like me, and related to me when I said why I was interested in working there: because I don't want to just make Alberta's resources more appealing to foreign markets and lift the "dirty oil" image that we have, without this, our economy would not thrive, (until there is greater uptake of better technology, reduction in the use of energy and people stop driving cars or hydro or electric cars and infrastructure are in place to eliminate the need to burn fossil fuels for gas - I didn't say this stuff, I'm explaining my stance on the economy) aaaaanyway, I said I needed to KNOW that the right things were being done to protect the environment, to make sure that the methods suggested are doing what they claim they will do, because I don't believe in seeing an issue through one lense. A balance of what's good for Alberta environmentally, socially and economically must be found. I believe it can be found - but I feel that we cannot pay lip service to the environmental pillar of that triangle - and often I feel the other two aspects have greater value in the eyes of the politicians - which gets me into an even larger issue I don't know if I want to go into here at the moment. Well - she liked that, agreed with me, and I got the impression it was the same reason she was there - and I actually pictured working with her. I also haven't heard back from COE yet, and said that they'd let me know "early" this week. So tree-planting community outreach position that I wanted is not available, therefore my decision is easier. I will follow up with COE tomorrow and find out why I was not the successful candidate - I feel the interview went very well. Who knows, maybe they're just behind... in which case I'm back to square one in my decision making. Carpets look wonderful, and I'm so happy with what we chose. They are soft underfoot, they look fantastic, the house is starting to look like it's coming together. Instead of replacing the retro light fixtures, we're going to keep them and possibly use old Mason jars as a neat "re-use" opportunity. I keep thinking of more uses for the two cupboards we were able to salvage - one for a bookcase upstairs, the other for book/toy case for the basement. We're keeping all the walnut wood doors and casing. Last night I felt like a Mother again. I snuggled them both to sleep, and creeped out of their rooms without them noticing (I've still got it!). Chelsea's skin is starting to improve. I'm going to pack tonight as if we're moving in two weeks - because, well, WE ARE! HOLY CRAP! Going to need to fix the fence in the back yard soonish too. Ooooh! Also, I got 6 free trees yesterday. White birch (one of my favourites), Tamarack, and an endangered pine (For shame! I can't remember the name..) - those will go nicely in our side yard "forest". lol
May 8, 2013
I wrote an entry earlier today, and booksie had another issue, and I lost the post. I think I'm going to refer to that as being "Booksied". ERG. Anyway, I received some much needed reassurance and advice from those I love regarding Motherhood, career, and home life. I spoke to my friend Robyn last night who empathized with my need for help - being that I'm overwhelmed with "To Do's". It just doesn't bother my partner the way it bothers me when the house isn't clean. The clutter overwhelms me... I NEED to clear the counters, make sure the dishes are done and bathrooms are clean. I don't expect him to get it, and if I don't have time to do it myself, then I need to pay someone to get things like the floors and bathrooms done each week, or at minimum, every other week. So, I will hire cleaners to come in - advice I've received before, and tried, but my partner baulked at the cost. Well, I will pay for it by myself then, and he will see the value it has in keeping my sanity - at least until I feel like I'm caught up - ie: not going to interviews, buying a new house, renovating the house and moving houses. Chelsea's auto-immune system is the problem - according to the latest walk-in clinic assessment. At least I have refilled her prescriptions and with daily maintenance - will hopefully get everything under control. The doctor says it won't help finding out what she's allergic to because her body is reacting to "everything" allergenic with the way it is right now. I don't buy that. But that's not the first time I've heard that opinion. I appreciate the reassurance and advice I've received. It helps. I will strive to believe in what I'm told and take the advice I've been given. What would life be like without the opinions of those I love helping to guide me on my way. I love to help, and I've learned to ask for help and accept it when I need it. Even though it hurts the pride a little, it feels good to be supported. Makes me feel stronger. (until my next down moment anyway lol). In other news, the renovations are coming along swimmingly! My partner is a genius with carpentry - his finicky-ness and perfectionist nature make any work he's done amazingly perfect - especially for a first timer. It astounds me when someone is handy - whether that's mechanical handiness, or handiness with home improvements. It's hot. Ability to just get things done, and be organized about it, plan for it, being responsible is a turn on. lol. Anyway, soon pictures of the finished carpets, bathroom floor and new electrical panel will be up on tumblr. Once bathroom floors are in, we pick up the new bathroom vanity and install it, pick up the new medicine cabinet, install it, and look into the cost of baseboards. Come on kitchen cabinets! Everything remaining hinges on you!
May 7, 2013
**Edit Mostly productive day at work today. Going to take Chels to the doctor tonight, going to the Mother's Day tea on Friday so I can be there for her. Those are the things kids remember - whether you were at their presentations, field trips and volunteered in the classroom. I foolishly dream of being able to be a mother to my girls. I am still their Mother, and I do the best I can, but I can't help feeling like I'm not doing enough. That had I been more responsible I could've given my children the start they deserve for the best life possible. Not that they haven't been given anything - I guess - I just wish I could stay home with them sometimes. I would still volunteer or work outside the home - just not full time. I would have time to reach personal fitness goals. I would have time for creative writing. I would have time to forward the causes I believe in. End Edit ** Today the electrician comes to put in 3 hard wired smoke detectors, one on each level. He also has to put in a new electrical panel because the former owner brought in 100 amp service to the home, and jimmy rigged it - the panel is a mess, and not designed to have so many circuits. Chelsea's not looking all that well - especially since she got back from Gary's place. I'll be taking her to the doctor soon. There's a part of me that's really starting to feel like I can't do this. I can't do everything I'm trying to do. I feel like my kids and my home life need more than I am giving them, and I can't give more with work/renos etc. Button's ill. Chelsea's ill. The house is torn apart (because we're moving), and I keep telling myself everything is fine, but a part of me just wants to sleep. I have my own health issues that I'm ignoring. I was taught to ignore physical ailments - part of the religion I was raised with - it teaches mind over matter, and that this world is a dream, that the only real thing is the spiritual world. Pretty cool religion if you ask me, but I don't buy into all of it, I don't really remember most of it, but I do ignore physical ailments, avoid doctors and pray when something is bothering me. So there Dad. You DID get through to me... it just took 32 years for me to admit it. My Dad is especially spiritual these days. He's searching for some truth to lift him up in his golden years - i know he feels like he wasted his life in some ways, or misspent his youth. I know he wishes for the wisdom he now carries when his body was still young and healthy enough to do the things he now knows he wants to do. I miss my family. I wish they'd move out here. I need to visit them... I'm pathetic. "I want my Mommy" because I'm feeling overwhelmed. lol. Sigh. Foolish Sarah. Time to get back to work.
May 6, 2013
Wow. What a productive weekend. Lot of physical labour - each night I hit the pillow like a sack of potatoes. Hot shower just before. Woke up, rolled out of bed, dressed, and went out. We ate Tim Horten's breakfast each morning - me with the my bagel BELT (no bacon) and he with his breakfast sandwhich + my bacon. Our little house has so many problems, the poor dear. I guess that's what we get for fixing up the old gal. Each time we open something up to renovate we find new problems - such as rotten subfloor in the bathroom, rotten walls behind where the sink was, lead pipe in toilet (apparently lead is super maleable - did you know that? I didn't.) Didn't show the bathroom reno on Tumblr because it wasn't tidied up to the point where it was complete and ready for the next step of remodelling. So now it's - new gyprock for behind the kitchen sink, new subfloor in the bathroom (sections of it anyway) and all the while we cleaned as we went - making sure the work site didn't get too covered in debris. We're going to need a dumpster to haul the old carpets away - on tumblr I mention we're going to re-use the kitchen cabinets as book cases. Soooo excited. QHad a BBQ last night - it's hot hot hot here. Actually got to drag out the summer dresses and shorts finally. It's supposed to be 29 above today. I'm the whitest white girl out there. You can see my legs GLEAMING in the sunshine... Did I ever mention how - while attempting to suntan - 3 young men stopped to stare? Not for checking me out, but to ridicule me for how white I am. They felt they might get better sun exposure by standing in front of the reflected light coming off me... Whatever. I'm going to rock the nearly blue hue to my pale white skin and wear skirts anyway. To hell with anyone who has a problem with it. This is the way I am. Got the girls back yesterday - they spent the weekend away - I wouldn't want my youngest breathing in all that dust - my cough is worse. I've had this foolish cough for two weeks now. Anyway, they were exhausted and filthy. The bathwater was literally brown and a bit foamy. I washed the tub before I bathed them and I actually need to wash it again! They had a good time though.
May 3, 2013
Went to another interview today. Not all that excited about the job with ESRD. Sounds like a job that will include overtime, be demanding, fast paced, and not necessarily moving any of my values forward... sounds like business, economy, and how to make that look environmentally responsible. Sounds like uncertainty and stressful work environment. No thank you. Even if they offer it to me I will turn it down. My last interview so far is on Wednesday - that one is full time, permanent, good pay, sustainable urban development in Fort Mac. Bit of a contentious issue since the gov't just cancelled and compensated several large leases costing the province literally millions - but to protect cariboo habitat, protect sustainable urban development and create a natural reserve... the environmentalists were happy at least. :) Going for the COE job seems like my dream job - but it will mean leaving my internship early - but do I walk away from a tremendous opportunity because I said I'd work for the GOA until the end of August? Or do I do what's best for my family and I? I think that if letting someone go were in the interests of a company, even a non profit company, they would let that person go without hesitation. What temporary job ever offers that kind of loyalty to the person who is working? Still though, I feel like I will let my team down, I won't get to work on the projects I want to finish, and I don't want to burn any bridges with any of the contacts I've made. I don't know what I'll do if the COE offers the job to me - I'm equally afraid of if they do or they don't. Tonight I'll be putting on sweats and tearing up carpets, baseboards, kitchen cabinets, and possibly even starting to paint - though I doubt we'll get that far. Exciting to have my own home again - really excited for the yard - but there's also a part of me that's reeling under the commitment of it all. I hope this modest little home has good neighbours - I hope it affords us the extra living expenses to really get out into the woods and buy that property in BC that we can start camping on (and eventually build a sustainable home) I hope for many things, and taking this first step feels... like something I can come home to and also like a weight on my chest. I don't really like our current financial system - there's a reason a "mortgage" starts with "mort" - you'll be paying it until you DIE. lol. So tonight, on Tumblr at 101Dixonisms, I will be posting some before pictures (or by the end of this weekend). I need to start training again - with all the packing etc - I've not been running again these last two weeks! Or is it only a week.. not it's two weeks this Saturday - ever since my really big run - it's like I intimidated myself with that. I've at least been taking my vitamins each day thanks to my little vitamin organizer thingy. Onward!
May 2, 2013
Impromptu picnic was nice. My partner says I'm always "swimming upstream" - meaning, as soon as one crisis is averted I'm onto the next. Perhaps I'm a thrill seeker in my own way... perhaps I don't really know how to slow down and smell the roses - be present and still and in the moment. I felt like there was a time I knew how to do that. There was a time when I could sit quietly, and in stillness, and just be. That time feels like it's part of a dream I had - surreal. Incorporeal. If I was capable of that once, shouldn't I be again? Why should I try? What is driving me to "swim upstream"? I've always been this way. I always chose the long road home. It is my way, and I like who I am now, but some part of me feels like it would be good for my soul to be able to reach that place of quiet again. Lessen ambitions and just be somewhere. Camping does that to me. Hiking too - the walking clears my head, and the enjoyment of the destination when stopped allows me to just be. I feel cut off from that part of me. It's there, it's just ... behind a glass wall. I guess this drive is no different than the drive for knowledge - the desire to read non-fiction and exercise and clean the house. It's a drive for betterment - a very good thing. But I suppose all things in life require a balance. Times and places where we can simplly be. Trouble is, I don't know how to make space in my life for that balance. Right now I can't relax because I've just bought a house - a house that needs a full renovation - a renovation that's full speed ahead now that we have possession. We are also packing up and moving. Birthday season is upon me (the vast majority of my family is born in May or close to May). My volunteer activities are busy because this is the real beginning of gardening season. If I can manage not to take on any new projects, then I anticipate being able to relax in June - by then I will have an offer for ongoing work, we'll be moved in, the reno's will be finished, and I should probably promise myself not to take on anything new for a month! Prayer.
May 1, 2013
Just got back from my interview. I’m really excited about this COE role – I know it’s moving away from policy – which is where I ultimately want to be – but the type of work I’d be doing is going to be challenging (in a good way) and it’s the kind of tree-hugging work I want to do. Reaching out to communities, the public, corporations and non-profits to plant more trees. I have to get 300,000 trees planted within the next 10 years. It’s project management, and presentations galore, it’s helping create posters and awareness and other marketing materials. Here are the negatives: it’s fundraising (not always fun/risk of not delivering), I have to leave the GOA (pension/job security), I’d have to leave my current role in the next 3 weeks, it’s an 11 month temporary job, so in 11 months, I will be laid off for 3-5 weeks. They said that there are ways of expediting the re-hire process, it will be a recurring job – so the same opportunity will be available next year, though the role is brand new, so no one to really show me the ropes, though there is another person with the same job but different project (getting people to plant something other than grass in their front yards), so I’m sure she could provide me with some contacts and guidance to get me started, as could Areni, who’s the director of SFE. Anyway, 3-5 weeks with no pay – I doubt they’d give 3 weeks vacation like GOA - though that 3 weeks being laid off COULD be vacation time...– and the job, though recurring, means no security for the next at least year or two or more if I stayed, etc. But it pays well, it’s work I’d love, it means NOT having to sit in an office every day all day, and it’s close enough to home I could easily bike to work – it’s right by NAIT and beside Yellowhead Trail. The only GOA role I’ve got an interview for is also only 1 year. So once again… I'm faced with a decision between work I'd rather be doing and a role that would potentially move my career forward - but this time I think both would move my career forward, and possibly the COE job would move it in a direction I would feel more passionate about. I guess I should just wait and see if it's even offered to me. **Edit Just found out I got another interview for the Oil Sands Urban development one - permanent position, good pay - high pressure, fast paced. Interview for international policy and oil sands policy on Friday, this other one interview next Wednesday. Wow. More interviews than I was expecting! Basically one for each position I really wanted and was qualified for... Also, getting the keys to our new place at 7:30pm! Going to grab a veggie burger at Fatburger, and regular burgers for everyone else, and have a picnic in our new home! The kids are going to be so excited! Talked to my mentor, he thinks the best job for me is the COE one. hmmmm
Apr 30, 2013
The house sale has had more problems - none of the improvements that were done on this place were done with permits. Now, in order to get things into place legally, we have to hold back funds to ensure that if the city rejects the permits requested after the fact, and requires us to remove the concrete driveway that's there, we would have recourse. Yikes. So. Many. Things. have gone wrong with this house purchase - so many tiresome details. So much work, hours and hours spent in home depot - and now we've purchased kitchen cabinets, counters, a sink, flooring, taps, and appliances - only to find out that all this stuff is wrong in the home stretch, two days before we are supposed to take possession - wait, really, one day. I feel fine - meaning, I believe that this whole thing will get resolved and we'll laugh at how much of a fiasco it all was in a couple months. I've pictured living there, so I know it's possible. It's all going to be ok. I pray the roads are safe for my loved ones - my partner's Mom and bro headed back home today. I'm going to focus on what the house will look like once it's finished. Keep imagining it in my head.
Apr 29, 2013
Did a presentation today for the manager's meeting. Was shaking like a leaf, but thanks to MRU and the dozens of presentations I'd done before, I think I pulled it off. The adrenaline I experienced afterward made me shake like a leaf, I got light headed and my vision actually darkened a little. This past weekend I drank for the first time in a long long time. I cut loose, danced, had fun, and had a hang over to thank me for it. My partner's birthday wish: for me to drink and for me to eat meat... so I did both. The steak was delicious. I don't miss any meat except beef. I crave it. I'm pretty sure I'm anemic. I have almost every symptom. I'm actually going to go to the doctor to be sure. My vitamins are now in a weekly organizer thingy to help me remember. Hopefully I can get my nutrition under control - otherwise I will start eating some meat again. Though I had enough of alcohol. I don't think I'll take up that habit again. I have too many reasons not to drink - I guess that's the key to quitting. Having enough reasons to stick to your guns and follow through with what you promise yourself. I have an interview this Wednesday for a position I didn't think I had a hope of getting. It's a Community Greening Officer - essentially an urban forester... I would be providing education and outreach, planting trees, and planning for doubling the urban canopy in 10 years, as is the City's goal. I would love this job - the work I mean - but it's temporary, it's leaving the GOA, and the pension, and I'm afraid. I guess I should wait until after the interview before I let myself worry about it anymore. I kind of thought The City, being a government body, would take a LOT longer to get back to me. Today is my Mommy and her twin sister's birthday. I need to send them both a happy b-day text. Mom will be getting flowers at her work today. Yaay. I love surprises! Also, for my partner's b-day, I got him the new sound city movie, his sister is supposed to get him the sound track (great movie) and "The Geek Dad's Guide to weekend fun" - he was actually reading it! And I took him to a reverb chamber where he talked to the guy that runs the sound engineering department. The man suggested that Pat may want to pursue this as a career - and I told Pat to keep this guy as a warm contact and focus on getting a technical diploma plus the acoustic course - he would be doing sound testing similar to what Dennis had us all doing - except on window ratings and stuff like that -rather than personal noise exposure. I kept saying "N'EAiii" in the nerd voice of that Simpson's character... lol. Who knows what may be just around the corner - the opportunity that knocks, the path we all walk, Hmm, I am a poet, there may be more to this poem later... lol
Apr 26, 2013
It's been a dream of mine to have my writing published - not just my fiction writing, but having an academic paper published. The thing is, I once had the opportunity to have a short story published when I was a child, and I chickened out. Now one might tell me that that's not a big deal, but I've never had the opportunity since, never been asked. What an honour that would be. I did bump into my creative writing teacher at the AWA Climb and Run and she encouraged me to keep writing, that I was "really good" - and recommended a poet that's here in Edmonton that I should try and watch sometime. Alice... something - crap. I can't remember the name... I wrote it down somewhere... ANYWAY, that's not the point, the point is that - IF I ever have the opportunity to get published again, I will take the opportunity and run with it. I'm pretty sure it would make my loved ones very proud of me - not that that's everything - but it is a good feeling. Getting published would be a dream come true, and I suppose the trick to it would be writing about something I'm truly passionate about. Something that speaks from my soul - even if it's slightly painful to write about - perhaps especially if it is. The world doesn't need more lawyers and doctors. The world needs more humanitarians, writers and poets. Words are so very powerful. In other news, Button decided to go sniffing around this morning, and somehow managed to find a bone burried somewhere... I was wondering what was taking her so long and caught her red-pawed with a bone sticking out of her mouth, and her muzzle and feet covered in mud. She looks up with guilty eyes, drops the bone and rushes into the house with her tail tucked as close in as possible - of course then tracking mud into the house! ERG. Ding dang Snubnose! **Edit The best part about making a decision is the peace of accepting whatever will come as a result of it. Making the choice is the hard part, living it out afterwards is just the result of all the forethought put in.
Apr 25, 2013
Sometimes life takes you on a path you didn't expect. Well often really. But you can't possibly know all the outcomes until you've walked that path - it may lead you in a direction that you think isn't the way you want to go, but if you never find out, you'll always wonder "what if"? I say walk the path that speaks to you most, and you may find it leads you to exactly where you were meant to be, and home can be found where the heart is. I was surprised to find a home here in Edmonton - I never thought I would live and settle in my home town's rival city - but I have made a home here, and some true friends here, and so many other positives. I never expected to stay, I always dreamed of returning home to Calgary, but Edmonton is starting to feel like home - and though the Rockies are further away, I can always visit, and now I have Jasper to explore. When deciding what to do I had to weigh the pros and cons, but ultimately, it came down to my gut. What my gut told me is that despite what I wanted to do, which is fly home as quickly as possible, I knew that staying here was the better choice, at least for now. I told myself I could return home one day - when the time was right. In the meantime, I visit, and I live my life, and I explore my new city as if I will not be here long and must make the most of it. I am truly happy here.
Apr 24, 2013
Funny how a song can bring you back to a specific moment in time - the clarity hidden in the memory of a song, or perhaps especially a smell. Can't believe my partner turns 30 next month. Trying to make it a special one - anechoic chamber at the UofA should be pretty cool for him. Hopefully he can nerd out with the other sound geeks who actually appreciate and understand what he's saying... lol. My partner wants to go out to Whyte ave this weekend for his b-day, and that's better than going to Beer Fest like his little brother wanted him too - plus BF would have excluded everyone else. Even if there had been extra tickets, I have to draw the line somewhere. I drew it there. I refuse to go to Beer Fest. I don't care what live music is playing - and if he had wanted to go then I would've dealt with it - but there was no chance in hell I was going to that. Went to the Mongolie grill while in Calgary - that was pretty delicious. They had so many seafood options to choose from, and they were all cooked to perfection. Bit expensive though - but I have to say I felt really good after eating there. I just had seafood and vegetables sauteed in a curry sauce - the curry was too spicey but there were about 15 other sauces to choose from. Taking a friend to IKEA because she needs some new furniture and doesn't have a car. It was her 25th birthday yesterday. Ahh, a young pup. She thinks she's getting "old" lol. I need a vacation. Somewhere I'll have the time to write, relax, do some non-fiction reading. I've been so tired these last couple days... realizing now that I haven't taken my iron or B vitamine supplements in at least a week... sigh. I hate the responsibility of taking (or administering) pills at a specific time. I just can't remember to do it. Got out into the yard the day before yesterday. Nearly all the snow has melted - front yard is raked and we have the greenest lawn on the block - though that won't last because we rarely water. This weekend is Calgary's rain barrel and composter sale. Apparently can't access tumblr from work computer - firewalls are too tight... lol Oh well - from home then and I can start posting some pictures of the renovation - I need to get some more "before" pictures...
Apr 22, 2013
Two more positions opened up for interns - one is working on policy that mitigates environmental impacts of the oil sands and monitors international environmental policy, the other is sustainable urban development in Fort Mac. I've applied for both. Pretty excited about any of the three opportunities thus far. Scheduled carpet install for May 8th. The weekend before I will be yanking out old carpet with my partner - pulling out kitchen cabinets, making sure they can be reused in our garage or else in Habitat for humanity - they are solid wood cabinets built in the 60s - they'd be perfect for a cabin in the woods. My sister had me address her engagement party invitations - found out that her party is on the same weekend as our first camping trip of the year... sigh. Now we have to dissappoint someone - either the kids or my sister. ERG.Finally starting to feel like I'm not drowning in it. Got tons of boxes (nearly 20) packed last night. GOing to go at it hard tonight too (heh). lol. Just keep working at it, even when it seems impossible, and suddenly you come to the top of the hill and realize it wasn't as bad as you expected. If only I had good news about poor Spuntino... I'm taking her back to the vet this weekend.
Apr 18, 2013
it happened again. I wrote an entry yesterday that never posted. I'm trying again: April 17 Going to Calgary this weekend for an event I participate in every year. I'm looking forward to it - I love the relationships and rappor that's built with time. It's an exciting event and a friend of mine is competing in it. The work stuff is smoothing out - delivered a presentation on the survey project, boss's boss liked it and wants me to present it at the managers meeting and at a regional meeting taking place in Hinton at the end of June. Presenting to strangers... wow. My heart skips a little even as adrenaline seeps into my veins. I can do this. I want to do this. Have a ton of projects on the go at work that I finally feel motivated to do - I think I've FINALLY hit my stride here. I'm not sure why socializing has always felt like a chore - reaching out to people - but it is. I love connecting to people - a friend once told me, or at least helped me realize, that I search for the divine in my connections with others. There is a warbler living in the tree across the street from my house - every morning he sings his little heart out as we walk to the bus stop. Each morning it gets a little less frigid as winter finally loses its icy grip on the landscape. There are more potholes than pavement around here than road, and careful swerving must be observed if one doesn't want to replace their axles. Booked the first camping trip for the season and going to buy a canoe from Canadian Tire - sorry MEC and equipment swap MEC - I just can't afford you. Between biking and caneoing, we're going to have a wonderful trip. Went to the new house again today to coordinate measures and price quotes of contractors. Getting REALLY excited about the backyard. I kind of wish this Booksie site had a place to post photos - but I guess I could switch to tumblr or something. I'm applying for a job that is not in my area, but is policy work. It will be working with under-represented groups and supporting aboriginals and youth in a broad labor force strategy, policy and pilot program development. I'm also aiming to join EALT as a volunteer, and possibly as a board member. (EALT is looking for a conservation officer, but though the position looks excellent, I just don't think it's the right fit for me). I am wondering if I'm going to find meaningful work in government in the environmental field. I don't know if I can work within the system without ... going against my personal values. Change takes time - I may have a larger impact getting involved in committees and not-for-profit groups. Yesterday I felt like sleeping when I got home - so instead of Zumba, I did 4 more loads of laundry. I think I have about 2 more to go and then I will actually be finished for the first time in years. We never see the end of the pile - it just grows when we're not looking! The rental home we're living in has it's first showing tomorrow night. Been keeping it very clean lately - just have to put the laundry away and all will be well. I hope it's rented right away so we don't have to show it a thousand times. Writing project with sister is on hold while all this other stuff is going on - but running is going well... haven't run since Saturday but Saturday was a doozy. Going to try to run again tonight - bit strapped for time this week - more than usual. lol - sigh. No time for quiet ponderings...
Apr 15, 2013
Several mishaps with adding news lately. Two different entries weren't posted, and then when I deleted the multiple attempted I'd made to post them, all posts were deleted. Very frustrating. So many things are on the plate at the moment. Dealing with mtg broker to complete closing costs and final estimates of work done. Several projects at work finishing at the same time. For example, one project that took 6 months to come up with stakeholder engagement survey and survey closed April 5 - and Monday following was asked if I'd completed reporting with analysis and recommendations yet... I can speak candidly here, right? Well I think it's bullshit to ask someone to be able to come up with reasonable analysis of something in less than one working day on a project that took over 6 months to plan and implement. I think at least two weeks should be allowed for proper analysis and recommendations. Financially things are really scary with all the closing costs, children's extra curriculars all coming due at once, the ex being 3 months behind in payments (he's almost caught up now) and car insurance for the year, and all savings having been used for the downpayment. I'm more than a little terrified at the moment - but if I can just get through this time, then the monthly living expenses will go down, and the National student loans and Alberta student loans are welcome to start increasing their payment requests... but right now, GET IN LINE. Running regime is still going really well - so at least that's good. Renovation plans are coming together. Damn doggie is declining again. Medication not working anymore? Something ELSE upsetting her system?? I don't want to deal with anything else. Deep. Calming. Breaths. Everything is fine. I am fine. It's all going to be fine. :-D (manic smiley face) lol. I miss camping. I miss the outdoors. Winter - blast you - end already. Parents went to Joe Bonamassa concert in Vancouver... Haven't spoken to my brother in a month. Turns out he's still not speaking to my parents. ERG. Sister is having engagement party at the end of June.
Apr 5, 2013
There's a new position I'm going to apply for - it's only available to people already working in my department, and it's kind of a step down in title "executive assistant" to the "Assistant Deputy Minister" - it will be a highly political position, but it's with the environmental monitoring group. So what I'm hoping is, I get my foot in the door to this branch, and they find a permanent position for me... Also picked up a Runner's Guide to Running - when I bought a 711 coffee this morning. Normally I'm an Americano kind of girl, but hey, the roads are ice and I didn't feel like driving to a Good Earth - there are none close by. I don't have to work today so I read some really great tips about how to restart my running regime. It really inspired me about what goals to set - mine right now so I can successfully get back into it is to run 3 times a week for the next three weeks. Once that's completed, I will set a new goal. AND, the trick is to run walk jog run walk etc. To slow when I feel overwhelmed, and to try to stay moving for longer. Intervals of intensity is what marathon runners use for training... I'm also toying with the idea of entering a marathon. Something that's been on my bucket list forever. I also read a bunch about pre-and post run eating and hydration as well as specific stretches for us runners. I feel amazing, and the last few times I've run I'm mostly felt sore and maybe a bit like I'd over done it. I'm off to Costco now to go pick up some cod, salmon, fresh veggies and fruit, and some planting pucks because I WILL be starting my tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and strawberries today. But first, some lunch - tofurky italian, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, mayo and lettuce in a wrap. Oh, and that blasted laundry pile is still there - all accusing-like. It's calling me names. I'm going to have to teach it a lesson soon - otherwise it's going to be right about me.
Apr 3, 2013
Applied to another position - this one is not exactly related, but I feel I have a good chance of getting it. The trouble with this position is it's not exactly working on environmental issues. It's writing, and it's writing about parks and recreation issues, which loosely pertains to environmental issues. I think it would provide me with some good policy experience, keep me abreast of all the issues in that area - but nothing to do with energy efficiency, resource policy, waste management, wetland policy, water management policy or land use planning. All of those things I am passionate about - I'd like to stick to them - but there haven't been any opportunities in those areas... I should perhaps wait it out a while longer, but I am getting antsy to really sink my teeth in and find a business unit I can make a home at. I really shouldn't do that unless it's where I want to be work wise, though it's who you work with as much as what you're working on. Exciting times looking for work - waiting to hear about interviews - wondering where life's road will lead. ERG. Forgot to get those blasted pucks for planting!!!!!!!!!! MUST. DO. THAT. THIS WEEKEND! Going to finish getting quotes for work on the new house. Watched some more GLEE - I like it - guilty pleasure - and after buying groceries, getting kids to Sparks/Brownies, putting groceries away, making dinner, cleaning dishes, wiping table, going for a jog with the dog, coming home and washing the dog, cleaning the bathtub, picking up kids, bathing kids, putting kids to bed, showering, I felt I'd earned a little unwind time - the growing laundry pile and I got into an argument about it. It continued to glare at me for the rest of the night.
Apr 1, 2013
It was so nice to sleep in our own bed last night. We gave up our bed for our folks to sleep in while they stay with us, so Pat and I have been sleeping in the basement on foamies. The girls are outside playing in the front yard and we discovered that Jada's rubber boots are missing - they must have been left somewhere. Jada is such a good climber - the girls both are really - but gymnastics is really helping with things like strength, speed and most importantly, balance. Now we're just a couple hours out from showing our new place to Pat's family, and both of us are pretty excited to move. It's funny - normally Pat dreads moving - but this move he's actually excited for - and I am too - it's going to feel so damn good to be a home owner again, to have a place where I know we're going to be for a while. Finally it feels like spring is coming - the snow is melting at last, and you can feel the heat of the sun when it beams down on you. I'm picking up some starter pucks to get my veggies and strawberries started today - I can't wait to get dirty... heh. I can smell the chicken soup stalk simmering on the stove, and the house smells amazing. Kind of ideallic really. It's not often I feel so happy so I'm going to bask in the sunshine that is happiness while it lasts and try to remember this happy moment the next time I'm down.
Mar 30, 2013
The back and forth took a nose dive - that woman is nuts. Just nuts. Her arguments don't make sense, Pat put it best, "There's a vortex of stupid and you're at the centre" - one of the comments that he never sent that we had a good laugh at. Wow. She's mentally ill. Her comments and arguments are not coherent - when she's faced with rational thoughts she makes Jerry-Springer-esque comments like "darlin" and "babe". She also said that she and my ex feel that when I update him about the girls that the updates are unnecessary - even though that's what my ex and I agreed to - it's like... like she doesn't want him to have any involvement with the girls. I just... I have nothing good to say - so I will say nothing further. Instead I will focus on what a nice weekend it's been so far. Pat's family is staying with us and it's been so nice to see them. Pat's "fadder" (newfoundland for "Father") has been cooking up a storm. I had fish, but tonight every one else had roasted chicken and potatoes and carrots and "dressing" which is just like stuffing except God-forbid you should call it anything other than dressing - lol. It's been delicious - and it's been great to see Pat so happy to have his family around. His sister lives here now and she babysat for us the other day. It felt so much better to have a family member watch the girls. I took the kids to "The Croods" with my friend Jessica and her two boys on Friday. It was a lot better than I expected. Jessica's boys are the same age as the girls, and her oldest boy was so cute - he apparently dressed up and fixed his hair and fussed over his appearance - and he sat next to Jada at the movie rather than with his Mom, Dad and brother. So friggin cute. I think he's smitten. Jada really likes him too. I should probably not picture their wedding, right?? lol. Also went out for dinner on Thursday with a friend from Calgary and his wife at West Ed mall - then we all went on the roller coasters afterwards... probably not the smartest order of operations, but hey. Both things Pat had to miss - but that's because he was writing a math test and the matinee movie he missed was because he stayed home to finish cleaning in anticipation of his folks coming here. I miss my Mommy. My sister and I are now starting to work on our antagonist and side character profiles. Life is good. On Monday we get to show Pat's family our new place.
Mar 28, 2013
And the back and forth emails continue. But, it feels like with each one closure it getting closer. Angie said she thought I was trying to stay connected to Gary - something that was so ludicrous my emotions became the three stooges and everything I was feeling - outrage, laughter, shaking my head in sadness at how insecure she must be, that everything just froze and no emotion came out. I simply reassured her that in my sharing stuff about the girls I was telling him about his children because I thought I was helping them stay connected - not helping myself to stay connected. It felt good to clarify - and at the same time, I feel sorry for her. I remember how flirtatious Gary was - how he paid attention to every other woman but me in the room making me feel worthless. I understand why Angie is insecure, and I feel sad that Gary didn't learn from his past mistakes. I also feel resigned - it's no longer my problem. *Edit - it was fun yesterday, hanging out with Steffi. the girls were in the IKEA play place, and she and I got to have grown up time. Mostly she talked about her Dad - her good memories, we actually laughed a few times. I think it was really good for her to reflect about her Dad. I can imagine how when you're close to someone who's passed, and you relied on them to know things, to be your support, losing them feels like suddenly you are no longer safe. I would imagine that even though you've lost that person, they've still instilled beliefs in you, you can hear their "voice in your head" - it's that quiet whisper that tells you what you should do, even when you don't want to. It's usually the hardest things to do that are the most worth it. We talked a little about life after death, a subject that fascinates me, but I just - I just feel really private about sharing how I feel about that. I used to be more open about my spirituality, but I just don't feel like I want to expose my beliefs to anyone anymore. It's too risky, and I will speak in generalities, and usually that's all it takes to divert someone from drilling down and getting personal answers out of me. People aren't truly interested in what you think, they're actually more interested in sharing how they think. I just prod that information out of them and they feel good about sharing. Win win.
Mar 27, 2013
I am now armed with knowledge about how to deal with my ex's current. It's pretty much refuse to take the call or excuse myself from the call/hang up if she does that again. Make sure to ask if there's conflict at their house before the kids visit EACH time, and if they say there is, the girls cannot visit. The scary thing is, if child services are called because a concerned neighbour hears them fighting, they will take custody of the kids - and I will be powerless. However, if I have it in writing that they confirmed they weren't in conflict, I will get custody back sooner, and then I will be well within my rights to take legal action to enforce supervised visitation in the interests of protecting the children's safety. Honestly, the drama. I pray it never comes to that - but I will do what I need to do to protect the girls from witnessing violence and abuse which I learned today is considered child abuse. *Edit - In other news, I'm going to IKEA with Steffi and the girls to eat meatballs (or quiche in my case) and do some window shopping for the new place. Also, my office is a jungle. All the other offices who are getting their carpets done tomorrow moved their plants into my cubicle. It's absolutely lovely. It smells fresher, cleaner and feels easier to breathe. I am going to have to purchase some more plants - and I NEED to get my seedlings started! I keep doing other things each weekend...
Mar 26, 2013
Moving day at work - we're getting new carpets. Weee. Going to apply for a couple more positions online, see where they get me. Need to get out and do some Easter shopping... What does it mean when your finger nail beds start getting horizontal ridges in them? It is something I've developed in the past year in several of my nails... looks like google is telling me I'm malnourished... I'm deficient in B vitamins and/or iron, and possibly even diabetic... So, I reject that last possibility because I'd rather die than have to start taking needles every day - but B vitamins and Iron - I probably haven't been diligent enough in taking. Perhaps I need to start eating meat again - perhaps only beef, and only organic, and only once or twice a week... It's the only meat I actually miss. I don't even care about bacon anymore. BACON! But seriously, these ridges are sketchy, but it doesn't handle the water use to produce beef - and environmental reasons helped me make this decision as well... In other newsI feel even better today about the email I sent yesterday. Very diplomatic, but succinct, and a little anger - justly - but didn't take any real stabs at her so this should diffuse the conflict, or at least not create any new conflict. But things that needed to be said were said.
Mar 24, 2013
I was told that after getting a Bowen therapy treatment that I'm supposed to "honor" my body by going to sleep if I'm really tired, or I could possibly expect to feel like a million dollars. It's funny, but as Friday wore on I became happier and higher energy. It was like a runner's high mixed with a caffeine buzz with no jitters or anxiety. I felt amazing. I haven't felt that good, that positive in years. Even today, and yesterday, I was still feeling really positive - though I've mellowed. Yesterday was a bit manic though. I started watching GLEE and it affected me emotionally. I found myself cheering for the characters, dancing/singing along to the music, and I was watching while folding laundry - I folded 8 loads of laundry... so definitely high energy. But then, the girls were really hyper and I started to get annoyed by them not listening when it was time to go to bed and I felt that much more acutely as well. Earlier that day I'd had a pretty big fight with my partner, biggest one in ages, over both of us getting hurt feelings for different reasons, and we resolved it. But - all these emotions, happiness, sadness, anger, I felt them all more strongly. It was... a bit taxing - though now I feel like myself again, but still really a bit more positive. That was the thing, yesterday while fighting, I was hurt, and angry, but ... I still felt very positive - like I knew it would all be ok, and we'd resolve our conflict, so there was nothing to be too devastated over. Lately it's been easier to talk to people too - I just find myself being more open. Making connections, and then maintaining them. Really that's all there is to a friendship. Make a connection, stay in touch, remember what they talked about the last time, and then don't give them too much attention or they get weirded out. It's almost as if that's the formula. Not that friendship should be scientific - but if you're like me, and you have few close friendships and feel awkward talking to people and you have to psyche yourself up just to walk into a room full of people you're supposed to schmooze with, then having a formula in your back pocket would be really helpful... Doing some purging today - extra jackets we don't use, kids clothing the doesn't fit, adult clothing that we never wear, possibly some other things. It feels good - we're getting ready to move.
Mar 22, 2013
I had something called "Bowen" therapy today. It is a form of massage therapy that is designed to stretch your muscles over pressure points that stimulate your nervous system which in turn, stimulates healing. Your brain is the blueprint of how your body is supposed to align - and when you stimulate your nervous system, it's supposed to know where things are wrong and realign itself because the body's natural process is to heal itself. Pretty cool - very relaxing - and feels like I worked out. My muscles feel stretched, and I got lots of tingles and warm sensations and then my body would sort of twitch and then whatever twitched would be in a more comfortable position - it was pretty cool. The best thing is, with Bowen therapy you don't need that many sessions - once your body heals itself, it's much less likely to need another session unless you injur yourself, which is less likely because once you're healed, you're stronger than when you're in a weakened re-injured state that most neck/back pain sufferers experience. I may have to get my Dad to see this woman. She was amazing. In other news, we got the house!! So I'm going to be a homeowner - I've never bought a home on my own before - I mean, it's mine and Pat's - that's how I think of it, but it feels pretty good to be able to approve on my own, to know I am providing for my family. Those big moments in life, good and bad, are pretty stressful. Whether moving, buying a home, getting a new job (or losing one), having a baby, getting married, finishing school, starting school, it's tough to relax, it's tough to not get stressed out. Everything will be ok though - even when things look bleak - they always turn around eventually. And, you can see that statement in two ways. But one way is better. *Edit - meaning that every time you feel good you can think "something will go wrong" - because, well, it always does. OR you can think "Things will get better" when you're down and just accept the times that are good. **Edit Edit - wow, yesterday there was apparently a 100 car pile up on the Alberta 2 highway heading south. We're now back on for going to Calgary - sheesh can't keep up with the organized chaos that is my ex's life. It will be such a whirlwind trip, but at least we won't be missing our friend's 30th birthday and in turn, the girls will actually see their Dad because he cancelled taking them for any time on his own during spring break. (sigh)
Mar 21, 2013
You know what I actually did last night? Sure, I got the kids bathed, got them to bed, then, then I layed down for "5 minutes, just 5 minutes" ... next thing I know Pat's home and it's 10:45pm and I slept from 8:45. I am so so so tired. I didn't jog. I didn't do laundry. I did, however, I DID do my character map. My sister didn't send me hers which tells me she was bluffing when she said hers was finished. My new character is named Beverly. She's straighforward, forthright, organized, and often creates misunderstandings with her inability to be diplomatic. She's the one who likes to be in charge, have a plan and be organized. She has chesnut brown hair, grey eyes, light freckles and is tall and lanky. She's going to create incongruity in the story as a practical self-possessed girl who grapples with suddenly being thrust into a world of the supernatural - my idea about the little sister character (Emily's character) is that she's going to be the easy-going sister. The one that everybody likes, and the little sister will adjust like a natural to her new life. They're going to happen across their new ability by visiting a sacred site while back country camping. They're going to find the site, the runes, and I decided this morning while I dozed on the bus on the way to work that Beverly's shape-shifting animal will be the red fox. They are clever animals, and fast. Also, winter, you're beautiful but you're killing me. Here in Edmonton we have a heavy snow fall warning - I couldn't even see through the window on the bus it was so snowy/foggy outside. Ok, time to brave the blizzard for my morning coffee...
Mar 20, 2013
Still haven't done my character map - I will I will! I promise... Anyway work is really picking up finally. I actually have stuff to do. It seems like ever since I asked them if it would be ok if I applied for another position - they've been very supportive but have also realized that they're not taking advantage of the resource they have here - and I need work damnit! So exciting. The house deal is driving me nuts. So many moving parts. We are probably going to proceed - but we're waiting to hear back from the bank now... my stomach is in knots. Meeting a friend for lunch today. Annoying isn't it? So vague. Steffi and I are overdue for a lunch chat. Also meeting Jessica at gymnastics. She is bringing her two boys for the "bring a friend to gymnastics" day. The girls are thrilled. I've been getting lots of resume help and preparation help from my supervisor - my application is WAY stronger now! I might actually have a chance with this posting now - and my previous manager is on board with her reference and has promised to do some digging to find out who I'd be working with to find out what kind of a branch that'd be. Very cool. Nice to have the help and support of several people who are acting in my interest! Today is turning up roses. Oh springtime, how I've missed you... (this is clearly the work of a seasonal change) *Edit - the girls had a wonderful time at gymnastics. Since it's bring a friend day the instructors put on a gymnastics show - so amazing to see these lythe young women catapolting across the gymnasium twisting and turning mid-air. I don't know why, but I felt emotional watching them - much like what figure skating does to me. When did I become such an emotional person? What is all this ... stuff? Oh... they're 'feelings' you say? well I don't like them. They feel like a weakness. Where did that soul-numb dead-eyes sensation go? I want to bring that back. All this feeling. Thinking. Pfffft. Who needs it?? Fine. I like it. .. I just feel ... I used to scoff at people like me.. where did that even come from? I must go put these little ladies in the bath and then to bed, and then laundry, jogging and OH! I almost forgot! I'm starting Zumba classes next Tuesday at Jessica's class! So while the girls are at Sparks/Brownies now I'm going to go Zumba! I'm going to look ridiculous - but it's a fun way to get exercise and it does feel good to be around other people. Yoga is a great group fitness class to start with. I miss yoga. Too many interests. Too little time. The right job/interest will work out. It always does.
Mar 19, 2013
Ooops. Missed our deadline, my sister and I. We were supposed to come up with some character maps for our "respective" characters in our co-written book. We're creating a story about 2 sisters who accidentally come into contact with a sacred spiritual site where they adopt the ability to shape shift. We haven't decided yet if they have one animal form each or several. I think I'm of the opinion it should just be one animal form - related to the person's "spirit animal" or totem. This story idea was hers, and we aren't sure if we're going to make it about native myth or not, or amalgamate several native myths with witchcraft and invent a pretend native culture so we don't tick anyone off - (people get pretty down to details when you're doing historical fiction) but I forgot to do my character map, so I'll have to check up on my sis and see if she did hers and get us both back on our timeline! I'll have to do that tonight! I applied to a position yesterday that I am not that qualified for. I doubt I'd get it, but it can't hurt to try. Found out another girl at work applied for the same spot - I really like her. We have a lot in common: she's a Mom too and we're the same age, and we have a lot of the same child-rearing beliefs. She's a forester, and super down to earth. It would be really cool if we ended up working together again and both getting a job in the same area - though I'd say she's more qualified than I am.
Mar 18, 2013
Winter is back again this morning. Apparently Mother Nature wants to prove that Global Warming is a myth. Finally jogged last night - planning to continue that - hopefully I stay motivated. No longer certain about this house with all the repairs needed. *Edit* Won't be coming to Calgary this weekend after all - due to unforeseen circumstances. My folks are going to be in Arizona, and my ex's folks (who were wanting to take the girls) are now saying that there won't be room for them. We were also coming to town for our friend's 30th birthday party, looks like we'll be missing that. My sister got a job as a receptionist at a pet salon - I think it's perfect for her, considering her volunteer experience with SPCA and love of animals and bubbly personality. Her boyfriend now works for Community Natural Foods, another great fit. Will my folks be seeing any rent money? They better or little sisto will be hearing from big sisto. Whenever I learn that a good friend is starting to like someone new I can't help but feel both excitement and apprehension. Apprehension because you hope that they aren't going to get hurt, and excitement that they found someone worthy of their attention. They are giddy, sleepless and pre-occupied. They think they are subtle and have it under control, but they don't, and they aren't, and you smile to yourself as you watch the situation unfold with hope and excitement. **Edit Edit - My parents didn't call back... I had called them in hopes of some advice about what to do about this property. Should we back out? Should we proceed? When life's decisions like this get harder it seems that not only is my path unclear and each step a leap of faith, but it also seems to stump the very people I've always looked to for wisdom. They literally had nothing to add to my problem - no advice either way. They've done this before - in situations where they don't want to have an influence on me one way or another - it's their way of avoiding bias - aka avoiding blame. I think that means that this house deal could be a decent one still, but buying a house here means I don't come home to Calgary - but if this deal falls through, does that really put Calgary back on the table? Aren't all the reasons for staying still the same? I want to work for the GOA. Also, my foot keeps cramping and it's really starting to annoy me. Feels like the tiny bones are going to break as it cramps up. That means something nutritionally - I think it means I'm low in calcium, and possibly dehydrated... but I'm not thirsty and I've been drinking milk. So WTF. What do I always say when thoughts race and I can't figure something out? Don't worry about it now, let it go, you can worry about it again tomorrow. Nothing will change between tonight and tomorrow. Maybe it will be easier to face in the morning. One more night to sleep on it - perhaps the answer will become clearer then. Things are always more difficult at night.
Mar 17, 2013
Visited the would-be new house yesterday, got all measurements, went through the home inspection - there are a LOT of little things wrong - quite a few electrical blunders - a lot of maintenance type repairs, and it all adds up. We have a lot of cosmetic updates to do as well - but all these things need quotes so we can get approval for financing to cover these costs. Turns out the furnace is 35 years old - so that could go at any time. We're replacing it with an ultra-high-efficiency one, plus putting in some blow-in insulation in the tiny attic space, and new washer and dryer (which apparently only use $12/year in power) and we'll be changing out all light bulbs and a few fixtures - kitchen, bathroom, and that leaves no reno money for landscaping - but I don't think landscaping really counts toward this type of borrowing. So yesterday we spent 6 hours in Home Depot with the kids - they were getting pretty antsy and we designed our new kitchen - we'll be putting the cupboards in ourselves, but counters will be installed by them, all this stuff takes a tremendous amount of coordination - we've found a plumber and a furnace guy, and now we just need an electrician... so much to do. I haven't gone jogging in two weeks. I miss it. I had to turn down Seedy Sunday event with Sustainable Food Edmonton - manning a booth - because we had so much to do with reno quotes and such. I'm also signed up for the 22nd annual tower climb and run and unfortunately on that day is SFE's annual pot luck dinner - it really sucks to be missing that, but I'm a senior volunteer with AWA and they're counting on me to be there. The pot luck would have been an excellent opportunity to get to know all the other green thumbs in our organization. For some reason, Button took it upon herself to lick the arm rest of our couch until it was slick with saliva. DISGUSTING. WHY does she DO this stuff? ARG. I need a nap. Mmmm warm sunshine beaming in the window.... perhaps my spirit animal is the house cat. Beams of sunlight entice me to nap in them... and that's where the similarities end I hope... St.Patrick's day - wearing green - happy that it is just starting to feel like spring again - it's been brutally cold and wintery and snowy - not fair this late in March... Zzzzzz (me snoozing) *Edit - Got lots of help from the kids with cleaning their rooms, organizing laundry into piles, taking their own laundry downstairs - Chelsea "cleaned the toilet" aka made a huge mess, swept the floor (aka swept dirt and dust everywhere but in the dustpan) - but she's so dern cute, and if she feels good about helping, she won't be discouraged from doing house chores. For a reward we ordered pizza and I gave them ice cream for dessert. Now we've got all quotes back - and it's going to cost nearly $23,000 on top of the mortgage - a lot. But... it is still affordable - and so we're still considering - though we may have to back out.. all up in the air. Still though, some things are better than no things.
Mar 15, 2013
I feel like the reason I debate my decisions so strongly is because I lack basic self confidence. If I were more confident of myself then I wouldn't doubt myself so much - I wouldn't have so much fear I was "settling" for less. I am not settling. I have reached far beyond what I ever expected to 5 years ago. I expected to get where I am in about 10 years after fighting my way through industry - getting to help inform policy was a goal for the distant future. I just reached my goal so much quicker than I anticipated I don't know what I should shoot for now. What do I do now? What should I strive for now? Now feels like the time I'm supposed to slug it out, build a life, and start living a little - travel, hiking, camping, writing, music - all things I'm in the process of starting, working on or completing. I'm doing everything I set out to do, so why don't I have that sense of satisfaction that comes so rarely? Why don't I feel ... fulfilled? Maybe I'm just incredibly ungrateful, or perhaps I don't pause to reflect how far I've come nor how lucky I am enough. Writing this I think I realize I am pretty fulfilled - but still.. I feel like I'm a disappointment to some. *Edit - I am fulfilled in many ways, I guess the question is, why the sadness then? Why the sense I'm failing all the time? What's with the constant Mom guilt? You know what it could be... I hate to sound like a platitude... but maybe it's just my attitude. Maybe I'm so used to being in a state of sadness that I don't know how to be when things are good. I can't just BE. I think I had it when I said I don't reflect enough. I don't pause to look back at how far I've come, nor do I pause enough to admire things I enjoy. I'm always in a rush. ... but you don't get things done unless you rush - no, you don't get things done right unless you take your time to appreciate them.
Mar 15, 2013
I talked to my partner last night - we talk every night just before bed because he's out every night at school until at least 10pm, but it was one of those more vulnerable conversations where you share your insecurities and let them know that you're not as chipper as you may seem. For some reason, I feel tears, like I'm going to cry, all the time for weeks now. It's just below the surface, waiting to pull me under. I don't like feeling this way, and I don't know what's causing this weakness. Of course the first thing anyone would do is assume that they're the reason another person is unhappy - when in truth - feelings like this come from within. I reassured him that it's not him, when what I really needed was reassurance that I was going to be ok - and the voice that tells me not to burden him with this was shushed because me not telling him what's going on inside my head is what lead to... being open to receiving that kind of support elsewhere. It's really not his fault, and there's nothing he can do. So after I told him he told me that he's been sensing that on a more than five senses level. He felt he was picking up on my emotions, like he was feeling them too. Kind of like when men get sympathy labor pains, in this case, it was sympathy sorrow. He said he was worried that all the negativity he "puts out" into the world may have an effect on me too - it's likely in my opinion. Every so often something inside screams at me about settling in Edmonton, that I'm settling for security in my job versus really pursuing something that makes me happy, but I don't know if that's just fear talking or my inner voice trying to guide me. I feel like it's just fear - and my natural tendency to self-sabotage. I've done that so many times, sabotaged something good just because I felt unworthy of it. Though in this case, I feel like I'm wasting my abilities a bit. I'm hoping I find a better fit with where I am, in another role.
Mar 14, 2013
More good news. At gymnastics they've bumped up Jada to a 9-11 year old class (she's only 7!!) because of how well she's doing. First her grades, now she's excelling in her extra-curriculars! Way to go Jada! Chelsea on the other hand, though she moved up in gymnastics too, is moving into a five-year old phase - similar to Jada - it has to do with asserting herself and testing boundaries. She's been pretty frustrating lately - crying a lot. It's hard to get through to a five year old. I need to talk to her more - may have to look up how though. You'd think having been through this once before already that I'd be prepared - but you forget - and each child can be so different. *edit* I've also been encouraged by the speech therapist at her school to work with her on her language skills, and she doesn't have her alphabet memorized yet (in terms of how to write each letter) and she still sometimes gets colours wrong. She needs a little TLC I think. I missed Sodexho yesterday - the old cafeteria at Mount Royal. I was reminded of its charm while sitting at work wishing there were better places around here to eat/sit. In winter its not great, but summer you have the legislature grounds, the park paths and the ravine. But right now, I eat at my desk and I am on an inner cubicle so there's no window I can see out of, and there are beaming florescent lights all around me as I stare at my two bright computer monitors. Not quite the warmth and welcome of winter sunlight pouring in through the window as I look out onto the courtyard. Plus, it was so nice to grab sushi or a quick soup and go sit. I pack my lunch every day now to reduce costs... and because there's no where around here that offers such variety in one place. **Edit Edit - couple promising positions I can apply for. I feel like, if I get a permanent position (or even a two year temporary salaried position) I will be able to relax - especially after we've moved into the new place. It will be time to set down some roots - not to mention get started gardening!! Oh boy Oh boy! Though you wouldn't know it's mid-March by the weather outside today... -600 degrees with 10 ft of snow!!! Ok... fine. YES. I AM exaggerating. It's -16 though with 10 cm of snow from last night, and a heavy snow fall warning in effect until Friday. WTF Winter?! I thought I told you we were over? Ok fine. You leave me no choice... Yes. There is someone else. Their name is SPRING, ok? I'm sorry. But I long for the caress of warm sunlight and bursts of green!
Mar 13, 2013
Longing for a little more outdoor time, and dreaming of how to xeriscape my new yard... yes, we got the house. So I go to my financial institution to get a line of credit with interest only payments for the downpayment on the house - they deny me. I'm royally ticked. I had already approved at another bank but thought I should check with my own before proceeding. So I'm devastated - home ownership slips out of reach again. I try not to let my devastation show through to the girls, but Jada is too damn perceptive. She asks me if we can pray together. So at first I'm annoyed and tell her no, that she's just stalling going to bed (which she IS). Then I reconsider because really, I need to pray right now. So we sit down and I say "Ok Jada, let's pray, I actually have something I really need to pray about" and she says "Ok Mommy, you should go first then" lol - ok honey. So I give thanks for the girls, for Jada's recent report card (almost ALL excellents and only a couple "proficients" and no "basic"'s or "needs improvements" - essentially straight A's!! not that I'm bragging...) and then I ask for help with the bank, and in staying motivated at work. Not half an hour later the bank who rejected me phones back saying they've gotten special exception to approve me, but for half of what I asked for - but that is just enough to make this happen. Well I hear Jada still reading (she reads aloud in bed quietly after I close the door) and I sneak in, sit on the bed, and get to tell her that God answered our prayers. I am trying not to cry I'm so relieved and kind of awe-struck that my prayers were answered so quickly. I give thanks over and over. So amazed. We go to Home Depot this weekend to get a quote about how much the reno's will cost to give to our mtg broker to *hopefully* get our mtg approval... A quiet part of me mourns Calgary again, but is strangely uplifted knowing it is still there. I miss my familiar haunts there - those places I found accidentally or through a friend. I will still visit regularly. For now, it feels good to have a stronger direction, knowing where I'm going to be - though when I moved here, I never intended to set down roots. At least I know the place we have will make an excellent rental property if we needed it to be. My partner has decided to pursue Architectural Technician - a program that teaches you how to draft urban/commercial homes/office spaces - and has a sustainable housing portion - this will come in very handy when building a self sustaining home for retirement!! Though schooling may have to wait another year while upgrading is completed.
Mar 12, 2013
Feelings of anxiety today. So up and down right? Just a general feeling of worry and down-ness. Why is it when one is feeling down it's like you can't remember the last time you felt happy - even if you felt happy yesterday?! It's like the "one ring" and this feeling obliterates the thought that happiness every existed... ok, it's not quite that bad, but a general feeling of melancholy. Then, without explanation, the feeling will lift, and I'll be left feeling guilty for "letting" myself feel that way.
Mar 11, 2013
Didn't fire the realtor... I couldn't bring myself to be all cold and businesslike. Instead, I wrote her an email letting her know that I felt let down, that when she tells me she's going to let me know what's going on in the morning and then doesn't - that it gives me anxiety about my offer. Yesterday took the whole family for a walk with little Spuntino. At one point I could actually feel the heat of the sun. It was lovely. I can't wait for spring this year. This is the longest winter I've ever lived through. In other news, we found another property. This one has 3 bds 1 1/2 baths, and a HUGE yard - it's a town home with no condo fees, and a huge driveway, and best of all, a huge garage which is actually a workshop - it has 20 ft ceilings, work bench, compressed air - any mechanically minded person would swoon over all the tinkering space they'd have. My Dad's probably going to be eyeing up my garage for his mopars. FORGET IT POPS! just kidding Dad. But yeah, there's a big tree in the yard - the type that's just begging for a treehouse. There is no garden - just lawn - but that can be fixed...and a really really long driveway - perfect for kids who are learning to ride their bikes, and the front yard is also completely enclosed with a chain link fence - Button is going to love it. ... Ok, I may be getting ahead of myself because we don't have an accepted offer yet. The interior space is VERY dated. The home itself has been well maintained, has cedar planking on the ceilings, the tiniest cottage-sized bathroom sinks, funky orange carpet going up the stairs, a dishwasher that's older than I am... you know - that stuff. It's got character! But we are going to renovate a little - especially the kitchen, but new carpet in the basement for the kids to play, (because the stuff in there is dirty and stained) and we're going to make sure the wood-burning fireplace is in working order, and put in some built in bookcases as the fireplace is made of brick and it spans the entire wall of the room downstairs with cubby's for firewood. Probably a bit of work in the bathrooms. That's IF we get it... *edit they countered our offer, and we've sent back a counter offer... nail biting!!! **edit edit - they countered our counter offer and we accepted!!! They can't sign until tomorrow though, and now they've had more calls on the place... this is stressful. I will not be able to relax until it's signed. ***edit edit edit - my sister wants to start a co-written book project with me about a dream she had. I said AWESOME! Maybe we'll even post it here on Booksie! Looking forward to it! The Dixon Sisters. Sounds like a band name. lol. Plus, once we're settled, and especially that I'm getting piano lessons this fall, I will be able to work on some music and once I do some recording, I will have to open a myspace (or I could post it to youtube)to post what is created... I'm thinking 2014. lol (it's good to dream)
Mar 10, 2013
Relief and disappointment. We did not get the house. The other realtor successfully created a bidding war and I wasn't going to play. My own realtor is really not a very good realtor. She doesn't get back to me when she says she's going to, I have to contact her to find out and then she does her job. She said if referred clients to her she'd give us a commission or something (even a coffee gift card, something) - and we did, and he bought a house, and we got a general "thank you" and nothing more. She didn't do her research on the comparables in the market until after we'd already decided to make an offer and only then did the research. I've worked with 3 other realtors before, and she does the absolute bare minimum. She doesn't seem to have our back, she doesn't seem to go to bat for us or really care about what we need. Perhaps we're in too low a purchase bracket and we're not worth her time. She's just doing as little as possible and hoping for her $15,000 commission. I'm actually going to fire her today, it feels weird. I've never fired someone before - but I just don't trust her to get the job done, to be in our corner when the time comes to negotiate. It's unbelievable the difference in Button. She's playful again. She doesn't smell even 1/10 as bad as she did before - the medication is working, and NOT eating feces is apparently enough to turn Button into a whole new doggy. She is finally herself again, and I'm so happy to see the change in her. If she hadn't turned around, I was being forced to make a quality of life decision - she wasn't getting out of bed hardly at all, except to scratch or rub herself raw, and was just miserable, smelled like rot, the whole house stank, and it is a relief she has turned around.
Mar 9, 2013
I spoke to my brother last night. He, at first, was very distant and felt like, angry, but that was an undercurrent. If you didn't know him you wouldn't be able to tell. We were talking about what had happened to Dad and he didn't really say anything. Not that he's worried, not that he wanted to talk to Dad, he was cold, indifferent to what I told him. That kind of shocked me. Then I told him the good news, that I'd put an offer in on that little house. I haven't heard yet whether or not I got it, but if I don't I'll be ok with it, if I do I'll be excited and anxious - it will mean I'm definitely not coming back to Calgary anytime soon. A part of me really doesn't like that idea - I'm as torn or more so this time than the last time I made a decision to move to Edmonton/Calgary. Anyway, my brother warmed up a little when I told him the house news, but cautioned me about common law if my partner and I ever split up, that he could take half of the equity I'd built. Then we got back to the topic of his divorce and what he was so mad about - and I said "common Michael, this is Mom and Dad we're talking about" I reminded him that in his darkest hour Mom stood beside him and faced down anyone who said she needed to let go. I told him what Dad had said about my aunt and her siding with my bro's ex-wife. By the end of the conversation I'd broken through the crust of his anger, and helped to release some of the pent up steam inside. He helped me understand more of where he was coming from. It's so tough to see our siblings making mistakes, but the best we can do is be that quiet reasonable loving voice that helps guide them toward a better path, toward the person we know they are.
Mar 8, 2013
Spoke to my parents last night and my Dad again this morning. I wanted to clear the air between them and my bro. It's ridiculous that they're not reconciling. My bro doesn't even know what happened to my Dad. My little sisto wants to be in on the telling of our bro, which I respect, but at the same time, I can't help but be annoyed that I can't just tell because she's worried that that makes me look like the good sister and her look like the bad - though it's not about looking good - it's about making sure he doesn't find out through some other family member and have his feelings hurt. I am a better diplomat than her, and if I explain it to him, he will respect my opinion (more than hers) and I'm the one who worked on Mom and Dad until they agreed he should be told. I honestly wish we could tell him together but we don't live there... maybe she should just tell him, either way, all this stalling is annoying the shit out of me. Going to talk to my friend Robyn for our first phone date in a long time. Then going to view an ADORABLE little house, a different one. That's another thing, after talking to my Mom last night, much as I want to move back to Calgary, I am leaning towards staying here in Edmonton now. I feel like I can provide a better life for the girls here, not just financially, but emotionally. That might seem counter intuitive, so let me explain. When we live in Calgary, the girls have to regularly stay at my ex's. There they sleep in the unfinished basement where their step sister is horrible to both of them and jealously guards all of my ex's attention. They get no sleep and return home acting out and full of upset. With us here in Edmonton, there is a nice space between our families. They see his folks and mine regularly because we still visit regularly, but they aren't exposed to as much of the mahem at chez ex' and step sister. Plus, Jasper is 2 hours away, it's far less commercial than Banff, and yea... so that's the way I'm leaning today. Mom even said (after hearing about how much better both girls are doing out here) that she wants me to stay here. So, I feel like the decision is almost made, though a part of me still resists the thought of permanancy in Edmonton. I'm a Calgary girl, born and bred. Both my folks were born there. Our extended families and some very good friends are there, and I have a chance to work with my former co-workers at a job I know I can do, which is intended to be groomed to take over a senior managers job in 5 years. Potential is fabulous for both. Sigh. Anyway, then, after looking at that house, I'm meeting with Steffi for a tea/coffee and a walk before going to pick up the kids. And WOW is insurance ever expensive when you have to put collision on and your car is actually worth something... I wonder if I should've just kept the tracker... j/k i LOVE my scuby doo. Love it! I drank too much coffee yesterday and I was all jittery and hyper when my partner got home. We looked through school options again and he's probably going to register for Graphic Communications. I'm so so excited for him. NAIT has 100% employment for the graduates of that program. (Not all programs are as high as that either!) and my partner is so talented creatively that i know he'll float to the top of the graduate pile. I just finished sweeping all the floors, cleaning the kitchen and doing an hour of yoga. It's time for a tea and chocolate cookie (or 2). :) **edit - the little house is absolutely adorable. The yard is gigantic. It's like a park. There are tons of big trees and shrubs and garden space, single car garage plus carport and room for a camper. Outside there's a barn-shaped shed and a green house, A GREEN HOUSE! The entire upstairs is the master suite and it's incredible. I don't even know where to begin describing it. It's a block from the swimming pool where the girls take their lessons and three blocks from sparks and brownies and one block from the off-leash dog park. There's a LOT of grass to mow. Button would love the chain-link fenced GIGANTIC back yard, in fact, you could safely house a large dog at that house there's so much room to run. The kitchen is in need of everything. And, the addition at the back of the house slopes down at the back and isn't heated. If we can get heat into it, we can make it the third bedroom for one of the kids, or we can let it be their play room and just leave it as is (except ducting in the heat - currently there's a little space heater in there). Over all the place is adorable, small, and has a huge yard, is affordable and close to everything we already need/use. We're probably going to put in an offer - the only reason we might not would be if they didn't get permits for the addition on the house... I really like it. And I found out the other little place that I loved had a leaky basement and I wouldn't have wanted it anyways. :)
Mar 7, 2013
The day is young, barely begun. I am at work and I feel like I can just about still remember my dreams. I got the kids up, picked out their clothes, packed lunches and the left early to get to work to make up for the time I missed yesterday. I am so grateful for the help with the girls. My friend Steffi just got back from Germany. I feel like she needs me to check in on her. I will do so tomorrow and ask her if she's up for grabbing a coffee/tea somewhere. I'm looking forward to having tomorrow off. It's different when you're not in school and you actually have a day off. You get that whole day to choose what you want to do, not frantically scramble to complete assignments. I miss school and learning, but I am happy to have real time off. I will return to school in a year or two to complete a Master's - I think. That, or I'll start taking one course/semester - just to stay sharp. :) I keep feeling so tired, not just from lack of sleep. My body is exhausted, and then I remember I haven't had my iron supplement in two weeks or my B100 complex. Foolish ... me. I'm actually looking at a little house tomorrow. I'm surprised it's affordable in the neighbourhood where it is. But, if we stay here, and this little place is as nice as it sounds, who knows? It's a tiny house with a huge yard. From the google images I really like it. Of course those images are years old, and apparently it has new siding - I like it's plaster better - of course, it would be more energy efficient this way. We don't need a huge house, we just need to get outside more, have less stuff, garden, exercise and get outdoors. So there. Neener neener neener. *edit* It sold in ONE day. I could cry. **edit edit* Button already seems better, she's got more energy, she doesn't smell as... rotten, and the girls and I took her for a walk right after dinner. If we can try to make that a routine, she'll be a happier pup. I need to get my seedlings going. I read on the seed packets that I can start my strawberries 6-8 weeks in advance. Oh boy oh boy oh boy!! I find myself amused by the musings of fellow gardeners everywhere. We know the mild insanity that comes with the anticipation of the growing season, the thrill of that first shoot of green. I want to engineer myself a passive-watering system that uses stored rainwater. When it runs out, I just water with the hose, but at least this way I'm saving some water... now how to start that process? Plus, with us moving in June, now my adorable little garden beds will not be used by me. Should I plant them anyway for the next person? I went mildly seed crazy about 2 weeks ago with all those beautifully coloured packets of promise. *Squeal!* - this entry is so manic.
Mar 6, 2013
We may have figured out the mystery of Spuntino... I'd said I thought she was eating cat poop. My partner thought I was crazy. Yesterday while at home, my partner caught her downstairs near the cat's area and discovered, she was, in fact, consuming cat poop. SO! The dumb doggie may be having a serious reaction to continued consumption of clumping, scented cat litter.... We now have a baby gate guarding the laundry room where the cat's stuff is (Gordy took some convincing to jump over the gate) - and hopefully the dog cannot clear it. She can jump VERY high though... we'll see if her allergies decrease. Reading Mistborn - even second time around - SO GOOD.
Mar 5, 2013
Getting into a certain rythym with life right now. Jogged yesterday, walked when I had to, used the incline for most of it. I feel good today. Going to try a new yoga video and work on flexibility. I need to build up some strength for the summer. Successfully avoiding snacking on unhealthy things lately too. *edit - failed epically today, hickory sticks and chocolate chip cookies... sigh* Spuntino is in poor shape these days. Her allergies aren't under control anymore, even with her $60/mo medication. I washed the chaise cover and vacuumed/sprayed all the furniture on the weekend to freshen it up for springtime, only to return home that afternoon after getting groceries to find that she'd rubbed her ass raw to the point of bleeding all over it - now re-washing the damn cover. I don't know if she's protesting that I removed her stink from it or what. I am so fed up with her health issues. She's been sick for most of her life - and I think she's a sweet natured doggie, and very smart, but she's been suffering almost her entire life from one malady or another. This medication was kind of our last hope. I warned the girls that Button might have to go to heaven because she is suffering all the time. I don't know what else to do. *edit - my partner has been looking up employment opportunities in Calgary - some hopeful possibilities there. Finally been given something to do at work I somewhat feel I can do and went for a nice walk around the leg. grounds at lunch. Was cold and painfully bright outside, but so nice to get outdoors.
Mar 4, 2013
I'm not sure I like the layout of this "news" column. Shouldn't the news window be at the top so you don't have to scroll through everything you've ever written to write something new? Anyway, working through issues at home about moving back to Calgary. What does one do for 3 months before the return to school if they cannot return to their previous employer? Not a pleasant thought. Time to go get a coffee - and I need to avoid these chewy caramels by worthers. WOW. So good. *edit* there are so many paths in life, when one closes always another one opens. I have been watching city of calgary postings as well as city of edmonton and all the rest (not much on the eco job board that's for sure) but those trusty student positions I no longer qualify for are there. Not sure how much longer they're there, or really, if they are still there, but who knows? Either way I'm too OLD for them lol. (Not to mention I'm no longer a student). But hey, trivial things. Pfft. I'm a teency bit frazzled now that I know for sure we're moving one way or another this June. I think maybe a good long run would help me feel better. Soon it will be warm enough to possibly try biking to work...
Mar 3, 2013
Knowing that I'm not bound by this lease lifts a weight off of me. Things will get easier, things will be better, even though that's been really hard to see at times. I have been doing a lot o praying lately, saying what I need out loud and then knowing that it will be heard. It helps, so much. Tonight I volunteered for sustainable food Edmonton at a Casino night. It was a nice enough experience. Not sure how I felt about being a party to people under the influence gambling, but I guess if the proceeds go to a good cause and people are going to drink and gamble regardless - then why does it nag at me at the fringes? Maybe I'll find some time tomorrow after more house chores to delve back into my writing...
Mar 2, 2013
A lot of big news today. Our landlord is letting us out of our lease for June 1st - we won't even lose our deposit. I can't believe he's just letting us out of it. I nearly cried I was so happy. It's so funny because yesterday I said out loud "he is going to let us out of or lease" and I just knew it would work out. Before I found out, I decided that "down time is for suckas" - so I cleaned my house with a voracity and decided that down time brings me down, from now on I will keep busy, I will not rest so long as there is one thing to do. Perhaps this is unwise, but I am so tired of my house being messy. I feel better when things are clean. In other very upsetting news, I received a call from my Mother moments after learning we were going to get out of our lease, to learn that my Dad has had some kind of episode. He didn't remember he'd been given early retirement, he couldn't remember my sister's boyfriend, he didn't know what day it was. We're waiting on test results to find out what's wrong but the doctors say it wasn't a stroke, that it was possibly something called Global Amnesia. He's ok now, but I worry. I think mostly I worry about my Dad and how this will affect his psyche.
Mar 1, 2013
Still on Chapter 37... nail biting ensues. I'm starting to think what I read about the combination of honey and cinnamon to be true. Since I've started drinking coffee regularly with honey and cinnamon I haven't gotten sick once. In fact, this winter I've had fewer illnesses than every before. My eldest is sick with cough and cold, and my youngest's fever returned last night and is now combined with cough and cold - and I am not even remotely unwell. A little tired maybe, but that's because I stayed up too late. Interesting if this wives tale turns out to be true. I recall that a friend of mine used to put honey/cinnamon into coffee too and boasted often of how unlikely illness was... coincidence??
Feb 28, 2013
Chapter 37. Nearing the end... The Last LAST battle has begun - the shadow has injured someone Rand is linked to as he fights the shadow - weakening him unfairly - Mat Cauthon is the only one things are working out for. HOLY CRAP. This Chapter is the longest of the book - it's over 200 pages long!!!!! Had the misfortune of sitting next to a creeper on the bus the day before yesterday. He moved from where he was to sit next to me. He could barely speak English and kept "accidentally" rubbing his leg against me. Eventually I moved after he asked me some VERY personal questions. Then he kept turning around to look at me in my new seat. Finally I gave him the death glare to end all death glares and he got off at the following stop. I'm not sure if that was coincidence. I imagined myself turning into a female HULK and catapolting him off the bus if he turned around again (which he did) and then he got off the bus. Lucky me. I was pretty nervous he would get off at my stop - luckily he didn't. ICK. Feeling the restlessness of wanting to know what's happening next - Calgary? Edmonton? etc. Uncertainty is draining, but it will eventually work out. Right?
Feb 27, 2013
On chapter 28 of the WOT series - still really good, but getting a little tired of "the shadow" winning so many little things. It's time for the united forces of earth to CRUSH the enemy... I'm just sayin'... Of course they all just put Mat Cauthon in charge of the armies and the dice are rolling in his head... Little woo is feeling much better today. Let's see what I get for Rrrroling the rim today... SIGH. 0/4. I don't even like Tim's coffee. Meh. Landlord should be back from India yesterday or today, so hopefully will be finding out for certain what will happen with our lease if we do indeed move back to Calgary in late May early June. (Turns out the opportunity doesn't come up until late May, and I will push for June 1st for many reasons.) But, if that doesn't work out, by the end of March, all the job postings for the intern program will be up, and who knows, maybe we'll stay here a couple more years. I am hoping for Calgary, but will not be completely crushed if we stay here. I just miss my family - the kids miss their grandparents. Though they are better adjusted out here, with less back and forth between households and expectations/rules. And, UofA has a master's program I'm interested in...
Feb 26, 2013
My poor little woo (youngest daughter)is still sick today. I checked her temperature this morning before I woke her, and she still had a fever so I didn't get her up for daycare. My partner stayed home with her. So my eldest and I are eating our raisin bran at the kitchen table when little woo comes in - she's weepy when she's sick, and says "Mommy" and then proceeds to vomit all over the table... well I've lost my appetite, and who knows if the "over spray" got into our bowls? Ick. Anyway, I'm trying not to laugh as I ask her why she would come and vomit on the table rather than going to the bathroom but she's not sure so I bring her upstairs to change her and pass her off to my partner so I can get Jada and myself out the door. Good times. Little woo is now apparently enjoying a cheese string and peanut butter toast. Hopefully she holds that down. Been trying to think of ways to spend less time working and more time with my kids... If I buy a home with a basement suite, the monthly costs will be a lot lower. Then I wouldn't need to work so much. I could explore options like job sharing and work from home and home business etc. I'm plotting a way out of missing what's left of my children's childhood's. ... ooooh the guilt!
Feb 25, 2013
Read a quote on FB today that I had to share:Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you feel broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused. (apparently this is an African saying - but I can't think of a truer statement.)
Feb 25, 2013
At home today with my youngest, she has a fever of 103. The kids helped a lot with the home made soup, the biscuits turned out golden brown and tastey but they didn't rise enough, I'll have to add more baking powder/soda to that recipe. I wish I weren't missing work today, but I couldn't picture leaving her at home with my partner who offered to stay home. She wants her Mommy when she's sick.
Feb 24, 2013
Random things bring a smile to my face. Recalling something I read that made me happy I found myself quietly doing dishes with a smile on my face. This weekend has been better than others. I've woken up with some energy, spent time with the kids, and life doesn't feel so... heavy. I'm sipping my coffee watching the chickadees flit around on bare branches in the tree in front of my living room window. I love it when they stop and sing. It sounds like they're saying "Cheese burger!" - or at least that's what my Mom told me and it stuck! Chatted with my brother and my friend Steffi who just lost her father yesterday. Steffi's still in shock - it happened really suddenly - she flew home to Germany and saw him in time before he passed, but he passed only 3 days later. Now her Mom is sick with the flu and a fever. She feels like maybe she should return home to take care of her mother... she's probably the closest friend I have out here. A genuinely good person. She doesn't have any luck with men though - she's larger, glasses, but a fantastic personality. True quality that attracts to her friends, but not loves. I actually think she's never been with anyone. As for my brother, ended up talking to him for 2 hours yesterday. We were just supposed to catch up but boy the two of us can get going. We agreed that something has to be done about my sister and her boyfriend living at my parent's house. They're both not working, not going to school and I think her boyfriend's father is paying my parents $500 a month for room and board for him - but he's a giant and eats at least that in food. It's time for some tough love, tough love that both my brother and I received from our parents but they've never given to my sister. She's always had the silver spoon - or at least copper spoon my brother says - we had a good laugh at that. lol. I think I will make split pea soup and home made biscuits for dinner tonight - maybe a nice salad too. It's Sunday after all - we should be having something nice on this day of rest. Time to find a new recipe, go get the ingredients and spend some time as a family making it. I'll have to see what I can get the kids to do to help.
Feb 23, 2013
The sun is shining and it looks like it might be a nice day. Found out yesterday that there's nothing I can do if my landlord decides to enforce our lease to the letter. This fact may end up making the choice for us in terms of whether we move back to Calgary. I know my partner would rather stay out here. I can understand why - it gives us some space from my ex who has less of an influence on the kids than he used to - and honestly you can see it in how their behavior has improved. I'm not saying he's a terrible father, it's just that his gf's child is a terrible influence on the girls, and he's not allowed to reprimand her. Plus, at his house, the girls stay up super late, get up early, eat sugar, watch TV all day etc etc. Here they go to bed at the same time (a little later on weekends - such as an hour later or so) and they eat nutritious foods, they're only allowed up to 1 hour of TV per day and some days they watch none. So for example, right now, they're playing a pretend game with their imaginations. I am lazily sitting on the couch - essentially blogging - while they entertain each other without the use of TV. All I'm saying is that they're doing well out here. Yesterday the daycare owner Karen (quite a character!) said "your girls are so lovin'. (picture a sri-lanken accent) - I don't know what you're doin' at home, but keep it up!" we had a little chat about what being a real Mom or Dad was - including knowing how/when to say no and be the meanie. Mean Moms love their kids enough to tell them no when it's not good for them. My partner made us all crepes this morning. Sooo delicious. I had nutella and sliced bananas on one and maple syrup and butter on another. So freakin' good. Mmmm, maple syrup.... Was thinking about athleticism. I'm not a natural athlete. Every bit of endurance or ability I have (which isn't much) I've had to fight tooth and nail for. If I had had any sporting ability or running or track ability, I would have pursued an athletic scholarship. It's amazing what doors can be opened when a school finds out that you could help their institution win tournaments. I'm just sayin'.
Feb 22, 2013
It's sunny and cold and beautiful here. Was thinking of taking the car to the car wash. I just ate a Tim Horten's Bagel BELT (without the bacon) and drank a coffee with hazelnut. (yes, I'm back on the real stuff - sweet nectar how did I live without thee??) What? It's the addiction talking - plus its roll up the rim time! ... On Chapter 14 of my book - it's so big! (heh - that's what she said) - sorry for the vulgar humour, what can I say? That's part of who I am. Of course, I'm 0/3 for winners... oh well. Strangely been thinking about an ex from a long time ago lately. I dated him in high school, the last person before Naim. It's strange to think how well he's doing these days. The house he purchased for $225K is now worth close to $500K. When I knew him, he couldn't hold a job for longer than 6 months. Ever since I left him he's had the same job (this is more than 10 years ago) he's married with a daughter and his Mom still occasionally checks up on me. I loved his family, he loved the outdoors, and we could talk. Why did it end you might ask? Well for one, we started dating when I was just about 17. It lasted until I was 20, but he was 6 years older than me, couldn't keep a job, was always smoking pot and playing Ever Quest and other online games, and I just got tired of it. Then I went through my worst phase ever until I met Naim who got me back on the right path. Dreamt of Naim the other night - in the dream he said "Something's different. You love someone else now" and it was true. I no longer felt any longing towards him, I didn't wish him harm or anything, but he no longer held any sway over me. It only took 11 years, but hey. Apparently I must be healing right now - getting over past hurts and not just the ones dished out to me, but the guilt I felt for the wrongs I committed. I think this is called growth. Yaay me. I wouldn't go back to being in my 20's for all the tea in china. My youngest keeps saying "Mommy, I want you to pick me up and drop me off to school. I don't want to be in daycare, I want to be with you" - it breaks my heart that I can't provide that life for her. And soon enough she won't want that anyway as she grows up and doesn't need me as much. I missed everything. I missed Jada's and Chelsea's early years by working/being in school/going through divorce etc. They are children who will never have what I had - which is a few years of one on one time with their Mother who stayed home with them. I wonder if I made the right choices with them - and I think I did - I want to be financially secure so I can provide them with opportunities and a nice home to live in and clothing that fits and is clean. I want to take care of them and try to care for them at least half as well as my Mother cared for me. Though, oddly, Mom once told me that I was better at Motherhood than she was - I find THAT hard to believe. I think Mom was just trying to make me feel better that day. That's the thing, I have no idea what impact my words/actions have on others, people don't know how much goes on inside this foolish head of mine - and I've been told that I make it look easy. But it's not. I feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and constant guilt or perceived failings when it comes to the kids. Every so often a ray of rationality shines in on my pea brain and says I'm doing ok, the kids are doing ok, and not to be so hard on myself. But those moments are lost when I compare the life I provide to the life my friend's children are enjoying. I can't change any of the decisions I've made in the past. I can only do the best with where I am now. Focusing on what's done is a foolish waste of time, and a self-pitying indulgence I cannot afford. Yes, I can examine where I went wrong and aim not to make similar mistakes (and in truth, I know I won't) but in the end, using those mistakes to make the most efficient recovery of my life is the best I can hope for. I wonder how many years I will live. (I'm assuming of course that I have years) - if I could, would I really want to know? Would I want to know how many years I had left to accomplish my goals? What are my goals? hmmm, some introspective thinking is due here...
Feb 21, 2013
Reading the last book in the Wheel of Time series, and it's wonderful. The World is breaking, and all our favorite characters are leaders and deserving of their own stories. Rand has embraced his insanity and yes, he has not one but three women who have decided to share him. lol. Read on the bus this morning - the trip flew by and I wasn't ready to fall asleep by the time I got to work. Win win. Next week I'll be taking a statistics refresher course. Who ever knew I would voluntarily sign up for that? Truth is, I can barely remember statistics, but I was good at it - I'm good with computer programs, just a little techno-shy. I get there eventually. Going to talk to my bro this Saturday. He's never truly been mad enough at me not to talk to me like he is with my Mom at the moment. I think it's foolish of him to hold a grudge against her - he's pitting her against her big sister (who largely raised all the sisters because Grandma worked full time outside the house and truthfully had a drinking problem, so my aunt has always taken care of Mom) my aunt refuses to make a statement on my brother's behalf that would help lift something that is no longer relevant to the situation between him and his ex. It's a tough situation. I find myself becoming more of a leader in my family - it's strange, I had no idea the weight my opinions held. I guess that's the role of the mediator. I don't work tomorrow, and I'm really looking forward to another 3 day weekend. It's especially nice to have the house to myself. I'm not sure what I'll do tomorrow, but it will start with putting together my green house and starting my seedlings. I will also have to make myself a coffee/tea and either take a walk in the ravine or head to the gym or something. Next time I'm feeling down I'll just have to remind myself of another of my favorite sayings "This too shall pass".
Feb 20, 2013
A new day. I love Anne of Green Gables' saying of "Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it" - I would follow that with a "yet" but that's mildly pessimistic... Strange to say I've actually been enjoying taking the bus to and from work. It's not that much longer, and there's no hassle with parking and walking in. The bus stops nearly outside my house (1/2 block) and one block away from work as an express bus. Why didn't I start this a LONG time ago?? Well, I guess that could be because it causes us to lose 15 minutes each direction, but it sure evens things out on the home front. I hated driving through rush hour every day while my partner slept. That was NOT fair. lol. It's hard to believe that just a few days ago I was so down that I was fighting crying for no apparent reason. It's mentally crippling fighting depression, but the feeling passes and the absence of it lifts me. I don't think about how it will happen again next time, just that I'm glad I'm feeling better. I am so uplifted when I find out someone I love has taken my advice (I love giving advice) - but sometimes I suck at taking my own advice or knowing what's best for me. I guess it's easier to see things from the outside when one is not fighting themselves and their problems. I should start some seedlings soon! I just have to put up my temporary green house and get some of those mini planter pucks... weeeee gardening! (nothing like playing with dirt to lift the spirits)
Feb 19, 2013
First day back at work after a long weekend and only a 3 day work week. This morning I woke up and I'm able to turn my head without pain - just stiffness. I will be speaking with my former co-workers this morning about that Calgary opportunity... **edit: spoke to them, and wow, this opportunity sounds perfect for me. Start date is late May, kids would only be in school for one more month - at that point they're not really doing core curriculem anyway. My desire is to move back to Calgary eventually - but this opportunity seems too good to pass up. I would be helping industry increase their energy efficiency - managing accounts, coordinating engineer site visits and writing reports with recommendations. Winter has reared it's ugly head here again - sigh. I wonder what my partner will be taking in school this fall. Kind of excited to help him through the process. Very excited to help him reach for his dreams. Still looking at buying a small townhome - whether we return to Calgary or stay here. Staying here and working where I am or in another ministry will mean not just a good salary, but also all the other benefits including the generous pension plan. There's a part of me that's very focused on getting settled in - for the girls' sake and stability's sake, and also because I want to be anchored somewhere. I'm so tired of living in a state of impermanence. I miss my family. I wish my brother wasn't going through hell with his divorce, but there are only so many times you can warn someone as they stubbornly storm into a worse and worse situation - it's just spilling over into other areas of the family and it's hard to display loyalty when you can see that both parties are doing things that are wrong - though there are some definite lines I can draw. Life is like this I guess - ups, downs, inbetweens. The happiest I ever feel is when I have a plan and I start to see my plan executed successfully. I'm the lowest when I take on too much and fail, and inbetween when I can't figure out what to plan for. I went to my sustainable food edmonton - grant committee - which administers the grants for community gardens. Such a wonderful program. I hope I can get my garden in this year.
Feb 17, 2013
My neck is sooooo sore. I put it out 2 weeks ago, and at 10 extra strength advil a day, it was barely manageable. So, three days go by and it starts to hurt less. Excellent. I figure ok, I'm in the clear. Then, 4 days ago it goes out again. I had finally made an appointment to see a massage therapist yesterday, and I arrive only to find out my massage therapist had called in sick. Every other place is closed over the long weekend. So, the chiropractor there gave me a free adjustment. My neck has never been cracked before - now I can hear it crunching. My back/neck are still completely out and I'm so f'ing sick of being in pain and not being able to check my rearview mirror without hurting myself. Perhaps this continuing pain is what's making me owlish and emotional lately. I don't know why my emotions have been so intense, but when I'm not almost crying or feeling like I could turn into the Hulk, I'm fighting lethargy. I'm going to funnel these feelings into this blog entry and maybe some new creative writing... and perhaps try to get more sleep.
Feb 17, 2013
Going on a tear of cleaning today - spring is in the air. I'm surprised I haven't heard the rumble of any motorcycles out here... guess this far north the roads are full of gravel and ice patches - but I was eyeing up my bicycle today, and I was able to go outside in my leather jacket rather than my down-filled coat. Going to purge a bunch of belongings to get ready to downsize. One way or another, we're moving into a smaller place and we have too much stuff.
Feb 15, 2013
Friday before a long weekend and one of my oldest friends is coming to visit and bringing their kids. Surprisingly nothing is going on for family day events here. Talked to my partner about not feeling like I've been having any fun - felt motivated until I got home - where I made dinner, put the kids to bed and then watched TV. Hoping I can resist the temptation to become absorbed into my show this weekend. Felt different yesterday, like I'd broken through somehow. I find myself making plans that will cause me to stay here, such as a May long weekend camping trip to the Pocahontas campground - even as I've started looking at house rentals/purchases in Calgary. The lady I spoke to at gymnastics club last week invited me over this weekend to a "jockey" event she's hosting which is like a tupperware party but with clothes. Still deciding if I'll go. This party will require two hours of small talk and all the other ladies will be drinking wine (Why can't they serve TEA in the afternoon???). Sigh. Well at least it's the weekend!
Feb 14, 2013
Turns out I'll need to talk to my former co-workers next week as they've had to reschedule, which is a good thing because I need more time to think about this opportunity. My significant other told me last night that he does not want to move back. I'm pretty bummed by this because I always intended to return to Calgary - and now I know that if we do it's only because I forced him - just like coming out here. I admit that all I've been doing lately is watching TV. I literally immerse myself in my guilty pleasure for every moment I can. This is not living, and I know I shouldn't do it, but there's a part of me that's beyond lethargic. I've lost my motivation to create, to exercise, to eat food (I eat, I just eat cereal, muffins and bread)even sleep is elusive. I find myself thinking "What is the point?" I get up, get kids ready for school/daycare - where I won't see them for the next 10 hours of our day - go to work (where I have trouble focusing), get home, pick up the kids, make dinner, get them ready for bed, watch tv, go to bed, repeat. Each day is the same as the next stretching forward into time as I wallow in self pity here, writing about it. If I thought I could get away with less I would. It all comes down to living life outside work - which I feel squished from doing because I have no support out here and putting in the effort to be social is tedious. I don't have fun anymore. I miss fun. I don't know how to have fun anymore. Fun is what's missing from my life. How pathetic is this entire entry - dripping in self-pity and hoping for what? The feeling to pass so I can be strong again. It will pass. I'm just so tired of being in transition. I want to settle down somewhere, buy a house, keep the kids in the same neighborhood with the same friends and take weekend trips to the mountains, and once/year trips to somewhere tropical in February. I wish I could spend more time at home - being a mother. The guilt of having an institution take care of my kids for the majority of their waking lives eats at me - and I will now shove that feeling and all other crippling feelings back down where they belong in my subconscious, stop feeling sorry for myself, and get back to work.
Feb 11, 2013
A couple hours before we hit the road. I guess work booked a big van and we're all going in one vehicle. Sometimes it's just nice to get out of town for a bit. This past year I've done almost no camping/hiking. It's been such an adjustment living out here away from family. This summer will be better. Back country camping is back on the menu, the ex has supposedly said he will be taking the girls for at least 2 weeks this summer. Not surprisingly, I didn't win the lottery. And I started drinking real coffee again last week but quit over the weekend. All I want in my decaf americano is honey and cinnamon. I tried so hard to break the coffee habit, but I figured decaf is good enough. You have to have some enjoyment in life. I talk to my former co-workers this Thursday about an opportunity in Calgary that starts in April. My current landlord wants to gouge us for the entire lease and won't even consider renting the property to someone else, but after some back and forth discussion he says he'll talk to us about it when he returns from India. A part of me feels like maybe that's a sign I'm to stay here in Edmonton. Part of me wants to make it happen and I know I could if I put my mind to it. Looking forward to the road, and absolutely LOVING the milder temperature today with the smell of spring in the air. It lifts the spirits.
Feb 10, 2013
Changed the date on this post because I needed to correct a spelling error... guess I'm not a very devoted Trekkie just yet... Driving to Peace River tomorrow. Have to pack tonight. Maybe while I'm in the hotel I'll actually have the time/drive to get to some writing. Yesterday I was sitting in the bleachers watching my daughters go through their gymnastics lessons when a Mom who I've seen several times starts chatting with me. Well that hour flew by and we discovered we have a lot in common. At the end of the conversation she told me I had inspired her to see her divorce in a new way. This is the third such connection to a new female friend I've made this month. Is Edmonton trying to get me to stay? Also, on a strange note, I couldn't resist the impulse to click on the link on a facebook advertisement band for a "psychic" reading... why i can't tell you. Anyway, it's a scam, but oddly it would've been really accurate not that long ago. It also said I would come into money and on the bus the next day, a toonie mysteriously rolled to my feet. I checked with others on the bus and it didn't belong to anyone else. I decided I must buy a lotto ticket with it, I just have to choose my numbers. If I win, THEN I will buy the $100 in-depth psychic reading - pay it forward and all that... lol. But I do feel very intuitive right now. Crazy right? Yeah. I thought so too. But it's not the first time I've been told that, that I'm intuitive, not that I'm crazy... A few stories here in fact. Hmm, I feel a story a-brewin... On a different note, I have to decide what generation of star trek to watch, some say go old-school for the "real" star trek - some say Captain Picard is the best... Next week I go to Peace River on business. I wonder if Peace River is north enough to have that Northern untouched feeling to it.
Feb 5, 2013
Last night I edited the first two chapters of Cocidic civilization. Mostly correcting inconsistancies like name spellings, number of people in a group, things like that. Didn't actually write anything new, but that is on the horizon. Before I can do that, tonight I have to write up meeting minutes for my sustainable food Edmonton board meeting last week. Am considering starting to watch Star Trek for the first time. Confirmed space in fall piano classes with *hopefully* my new teacher Maggie!
Feb 4, 2013
Had a nice weekend, had a few nice surprises. I felt very lucky to have family and friends over for dinner and enjoyed all the messages of love and best wishes I received from friends and family whom I wasn't able to see on FB and other places. Greatful. Birthday's come but once a year... Seems I'm always at a crossroads of decision making, and once again I'm considering moving somewhere or staying put. Staying here means affordable home ownership. Moving means getting to live close to family and friends, and work with former co-workers who were awesome. So tired of pro's and con's lists. Life is not like one of those adventure as you go books from childhood... "For adventures in Calgary, turn to page 47. For remaining in Edmonton, turn to page 28." It's not like I can cheat and check both outcomes before I make a choice! sigh...
Jan 29, 2013
Looking into skills development. Will be taking piano lessons either this summer or starting next fall - kids too! I feel the creativity and inspiration starting to build up and long for release. Staying up until 2am watching TV on netflix = needing to start drinking coffee again... Should really stop watching and start writing. I will. I promised myself. ... Tonight is my first Board Meeting with SFE.
Jan 21, 2013
No time for inspiration this weekend. Traveling back and forth and attending a concert - there just aren't enough hours. I think it's easier to focus on writing when one has no other commitments on their time. I will have to make some today - time not commitments. P.S. There are no more episodes of Community to watch on Netflix... sigh. Well at least I finally received the last installment of Wheel of Time and finally find out how Rand will break the world!
Jan 18, 2013
Some progress is made but it seems there is always something else that needs doing. I move through each evening promising myself I'll get to it later. I read, watch TV (I'm addicted to "Community" on Netflix right now)do laundry, talk to my Mother, research housing, check emails, ANYTHING. BUT. It's strange because I am so fulfilled when I get to it, feel proud when I successfully complete a chapter. Why do I make excuses? Maybe I don't want to become one-dimensional, too dependent on one activity or let other activities go by the way side.
Jan 8, 2013
I find myself blocked, and picking holes in my latest endeavor, Cocidic Civilization. I hate it, and want to delete it, and keep finding continuity errors - it's actually based on a dream I had, and any reader will question those discrepancies the way that I did not... anyway writers block is no fun. I need to google how to break through writers block..
What do you do when you dream a scene, a picture so clear it feels like you're there? You write. You become absorbed in a world of your own creation. If you're very very lucky, you have patient friends, and encouraging spouses. You beg for proof reads and the indulgence of those who love you the most. In the end, you revise revise revise until you must stop yourself from stripping the moment of truth from your message. I've kept a journal since I could write. Now leary of who may happen upon my exposed and very odd inner self, I instead find myself writing in a sort of code. I hint at what's behind my words, like bread crumbs, it will lead me back again.
I beg the indulgence of the wide web with its outlets of creation, and an easier means of sharing unfinished works, where I will mercilessly send any willing reader and save a few trees along the way. God bless the written word, it has started wars (but don't bless it for that), won hearts, and bound untouchables to law - it's a medium that takes new turn on a road of cyber sets. How many untold places will it reach? What is the ultimate question? The answer is 42.
Unassuming, naively hopeful, mildly synical, faithfully optimistic, I have known love, I have known love's keen losses, and now I strive for a certain balance and peace that comes from years of taking the long road home. Home ...I dream of one day.