|Favorite book:||Sooner ask me to pick a favourite star|
|Member Since:||Oct 27, 2012|
Apr 17, 2015
Still no response from the counsellor. I don't know why, but I had hoped to hear back from her more quickly. I suppose she has other clients and my letter was really long, and I mention Asbergers - so she may have to do some research on that. I'm not really sure, but in the mean time the emails continue between me and my ex, and now he wants to arrange a time to "talk" to me about maintenance enforcement. aka - talk me out of it. He says he's going to claim hardship - like that's his get out of jail free card - and he also had the nerve to insinuate that Patrick should be paying for the kids, rather than him. I think I'm just going to pass up his email and maybe speak to my counselor, and the maintenance enforcement program again, and see what they have to say about his comments.
Apr 16, 2015
Angie's. Go figure. lol So I have written my first response to her questions - it is nice to have someone asking me those questions. The hardest part was talking about the current relationship issues. I can tell I'm stressed because I'm doing that thing.. you know that whole "I can't eat" thing. I have twice had to make myself eat. Food doesn't taste like it does when I am happier. You know? When it's literally work to make onesself get through a meal. I can feel my stomach rumble, but I don't have the sensation like I need to eat - it's just this odd jittery faint feeling combined with a rumbling belly. I don't want to lose the lovely muscle tone I have worked to hard to have. I look good at this weight. So. I make myself eat. A few times lately I've felt on the verge of tears, but then I don't/can't. I'm not really sad, I'm just sort of .. numb. Moving forward, getting stuff done, trying to be grateful for good moments, aware for them - like last night Pat stopped to actually caress my face. I can't remember the last time he did that - and it wasn't a sexual advance, it was a gesture of love. It felt so good, I felt myself respond, but then he walked away and left the room and I was left feeling puzzled. I don't know how many times I've told him one of my favourite things in the world is to lay my head on someone's lap and have them stroke my hair. If I could purr, I would. But I can count on one hand how many times that's happened. Once Pat tells me he likes something I try to make sure I do that for him, and he does too - but not for physical things. It's like he can't remember. Or... he doesn't have the emotional capacity... or something. I hope the counselor has some advice.
Apr 15, 2015
At last the counsellor got back to me. I have an email from her, her name is Angie. Odd that I would get a counsellor with the same name as my ex husband's soon-to-be-wife.l Odd indeed. Well nothing to it, right? Spill my guts to a stranger and hope for the best. Funny enough some of the things I wrote down have already been (at least partially) resolved. *looks for exits* why am I such a chicken?! I'm sure she'll have heard everything I have to say before right? ... foot starts shaking....
Apr 15, 2015
I recently learned about something called Ethno-ornithology - and let me tell you, that is fascinating! I would love to read more about it, and I will, I'm sure, at some point... Curse my allotted hours to my job so I can have money to pay for a house and a car, and the care of my children... something seems wrong with this picture... Anyway, the meeting yesterday didn't go terribly, and it didn't go well. It was awkward, and I felt like a traitor. I could tell that the things I was saying to her hurt her feelings, she genuinely seems to care about me, and had no idea how intimidating she was being, or in her mind, was justified in being like that sometimes because she was over-worked, stressed, and I didn't know the half of it. Part of that though, is her hording information, rather than filling me (or anyone) in, on everything. She has also had little to no support for the last 2.5 years she's worked here. I told her that I didn't know who to expect, the kind considerate boss who was the nicest person I have ever worked for (sort of, as Pat puts it, she buys me gifts and is overly sweet so that I feel indebted to her, though I have noticed increasingly that although Pat is very intuitive or cognizant of human behavioral motivations, he often sees the worst in people, even when they're not aware of their own intentions, and points it out. Sometimes that's helpful in making people accountable for their actions, and sometimes it's not true and it really hurts, I digress), or the flip side (depending on her mood) who is incredibly critical and deteriorates my confidence. The result is that I don't know what to expect and it makes her very scary/ intimidating. I explained that I hadn't gone to her boss, he had come into my office and asked some very pointed questions, which I answered honestly. The problem is that I hadn't told her first, and I apologized for that (and she and I both felt blind sided by that, and I wish he would've warned me he was going to tell her so I could've dissuaded him from doing that, and I would've told him that I would've had the conversation myself before he would - knowing that he would tell her if I didn't would've meant the problem got handled without damaging the relationship we have). I also indicated that although we have regular dialogue, I wasn't comfortable with ever contradicting her or pointing out when she was being unreasonable (she admits she "expects a lot" which actually means she expects perfection - something I am not capable of) because up until VERY recently I was not a permanent employee, supporting my entire family, and moving into a time of hiring restraint. I asked her, "Do you think I'm going to contradict the only person who's advocating I get a permanent position? Security is a powerful motivator to not rock the boat." And I think the fact that I am a pretty gentle person, and she's a pretty opinionated person, (and smart, and strategic) that I just let things go because I was afraid to stand up to her. There are times when I would speak up about some things, or advise her to tone it down (she would be ranting about someone or something and I would tell her not! to hit send on that email!) - and I believe the one reason why she hasn't rocketed to the top of this organization is this personality trait - this tendency to get angry and be hostile and then flip back to sweet and considerate. I didn't tell her that, that's just my opinion. She has excellent recall, she is hard working, but sometimes she just doesn't consider how her mood affects those around her, including those who don't directly work for her (e.g. she stomps by not acknowledging anyone, doesn't participate in any branch functions, doesn't respond when people say hello or does, but it's curt.) Anyway, that's the scoop about yesterday's meeting. I did none of the things I said I wanted to do. I just read my escape book and (made dinner, picked up Chels from brownies) and that was it. Ok, to work.
Apr 14, 2015
Good luck shall be had by all, I tell you. *eyes good luck* Getting paid to do something a person loves is the best kind of work that there is. Today I also have yoga, and it will be after my meeting, so I will use that practice, dedicate it, to letting go of any/all upset I feel as a result. Patrick's last final exam is this Friday. Meant to practice the piano last night but instead read my escape-book. But I did almost finish reading Outliers on the bus this morning. I'll have to read up on some of the things I've flagged for later, write down my thoughts and my "aHA" moments. I will practice piano tonight, and maybe go out and buy a book of sheet music for mid-level. Crap! I have to write another blog before April 20th... Ok. Focus. Conflict resolution. Study study study! WIN! (like Edna from the Incredibles)
Apr 13, 2015
actually meeting is tomorrow morning... but I ended up getting asked for coffee by a gal I know who was hired at the same time as me. She (it turns out) recently went through "conflict resolution training" and sent me her resources from that course - what timing... *shakes head* I am grateful for it and the encouragement I've received from everyone who's helping me deal with this mighty scary prospect. Went for a run today with another gal, (also hired in the same intern pool) who is fast becoming a good friend.
Apr 12, 2015
Nearly finished Outliers. Wow. So good. This book has kind of changed the way I look at the world. So many relevant points to my life, to life in general. So many times I have circled similar thoughts and here is an author who pursued them with academic and artistic flair. Stood up for Jada today. They didn't give her a swimming badge at the end of last swimming lessons and I know she's a strong swimmer, and it turned out it was only because she missed a few too many classes. They let her stay in her level 3 swim and she was proud that I stood up for her. Real "Mom-of-the-year" moment. Ok, my homework right now is making sure I am prepared for speaking to my boss tomorrow. Soon I have to write my next artilce for the blog, this one on how to reduce food waste... and how I procrastinate by reading, practicing piano, running, yoga and all other forms of put-it-off-ness. Meh. Ooh, and another distraction - I am picking out my bride's maid dress for my sister's wedding. I am overdue for a conversation with my brother. And I was given $50 by Pat's mother to take the girls out to the movies... will have to do that next weekend. Took Jada to the library and Chelsea to Home Depot to do a craft with her brownies group. Didn't get my seedlings planted... next weekend. I need to buy the pucks and a few extra seeds. I listened to an Eels song that I liked.
Apr 11, 2015
Reading a book called "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell. So. Good. It's filled with little coloured tabs as I mark spots where I had moments of realization or where there's an excellent quote. I plan to read "Blink" and "The Tipping Point" as well - and I feel like I should've known about this author before now. I swear I've seen him before - maybe on a show? On the cover of a magazine? Anyway, Outliers is really good so far. Practiced piano today for 1/2 hour, may do some more. Also did a run, some yoga and some core. Brought out the patio furniture I found on kijiji for the front patio today (though it was admittedly chilly this evening when I went out to supervise the girls riding their bikes). I may write more a bit later describing what's happened with my boss (short version is my boss's boss asked me if I was happy, and he caught me at a moment where I was frustrated and tired of not saying anything, and then he told her what I said... I'm sure she felt blind sided, and it's crappy that I didn't tell her to her face before revealing it to someone else, but I doubt I would ever have had the courage to confront her, and now I have no choice. We have a meeting on Tuesday to "discuss my conversation with Robert"... the good news is I have been practicing in my head all the different ways this conversation could go and I'm feeling like even though this is a crappy situation, maybe she can learn something from me, become a better people manager and I can assert myself a little and stop having to be her lacky) Yes. That was the short version. I had a delicious cup of tea this evening - chocolate spice from four oclock teas. Mmm so good. It was my last in the box. Study study study - Pat didn't have to lift a finger today. I shoed the kids away, made his dinner, cleaned up the kitchen - he's seriously behind - but it won't be long now he'll be free. Financial things are always... troubling, but yes, where there's a will there's a way.
Apr 11, 2015
Sometimes you just need to sound things out with someone you trust - talking about whatever is on your mind, and being honest about what you're worried about will allow you to see it differently. (e.g. my spilling my guts to Jess about the things I hardly ever admit to myself) Last night I realized a few things - not only what I was going to have to say to my boss (that's another little piece of drama in what is turning out to be a very tumultuous time in my life) but also how ridiculous it is that Gary thinks I will just give up my children (he's telling me that I should send my children to live with him in Kelowna because his soon to be wife isn't working so she can care for them "for free" and is completely ignoring the fact that having them there will cost money - e.g. food! Let alone the fact that it will be a cold day in hell before I give up my children!!) There's more, and I have included all of it in what I sent to the counsellor so hopefully I get some tools and resources to help me cope with all the things that seem to be unravelling in my life at the moment. I feel strangely detached from it all right now, like it's an echo far away. I feel calm and like everything will work out. Sometimes that's all a person needs is a little faith that everything will be ok, and of course it's really nice to know when there are people you care about and respect that see the good in you, validate your worries and tell you that they have every faith in you as a person. It's easier to believe the bad stuff, but sometimes you just have to open yourself to the knowledge that you are worth it and that you are stronger than you give yourself credit for and it's always nice to know that you are loved.
Apr 10, 2015
Did I mention that I have started to practice the piano again? I plan to learn the song "The way we get by" by Spoon. I started noodling on the piano and Pat said what I was doing (which was slightly more melancholy and ominous) sounded a lot like that song and I decided I had to learn it. Sent my first email to the counselor today. Nothing like the first step. ...
Apr 7, 2015
It was a quiet weekend in Calgary with my family. I made Easter dinner, and everything but the turkey turned out perfectly. The trouble is we used technology rather than just using the ages-old pounds/per hour method. So. The turkey was underdone, but the breast meat was really tender and juicey, the legs were in need of some more time.. typical. Anyway, my oldest and I have bonded. I feel like all she really needs from me is to know how much I love her and a big hug and that can solve just about any of her problems, ... right now. I did sign up for counselling, and I have only to send the first email. Why do I hesitate? Why is it scary? I don't want to face it I guess, whatever I might have to face. I am ready and I am not. Impartial person to share my issues with that will give me the straight goods, advice on what I should do next, that is what I need. Pat came to Calgary even though I told him not to. He did some homework, but not enough. I told him the responsible thing for him to do would be to stay home and really focus on his work and then he wouldn't have had to request time off 3 days before his scheduled shift. Just not terribly responsible. We must all do our best to meet the responsibilities we've set for ourselves and keep in mind that this too, shall pass. Sometimes a hug from a good friend / loved one helps, a long walk, and especially having something else to look forward to: e.g. what plans a person has after they get through whatever barracade they are facing - whether school, a shitty boss, etc. What I have to look forward to right now is a good book to lose myself in (though always on the look out for more), spring weather, biking to work, summer plans (though those I am kind of dreading too), starting my seedlings this weekend - Pat is looking forward to semester being over, the music he will make once it is, the projects he's going to work on over the summer including repairing the tree house, building more garden beds with me and camping trips. He just needs to hang in there right now and get through this. Wonder what other volunteering I can get to this summer...?
Apr 2, 2015
My blog got posted: http://fortheloveofwaste.blogspot.ca/2015/04/raised-garden-beds-for- We leave for Calgary for Easter tomorrow. Things have been better. Less complicated. I think Neelam knows I am not super happy with her, but when I confided in her about Pat to throw her off the trail - that seemed to satisfy her as she said I was "wearing it on my face" - yes, but I was angry at you, and you could tell in how I was behaving because I am an open book and can't seem to hide anything. At least not well. Then at work we got a new boss, and he popped by my office and he asked me some really good questions - which I answered honestly - and now I feel guilty because I betrayed Neelam. A part of me feels good that I finally told someone at work who can do something about it, besides the fact that I told her herself about the things that I am not super happy with. I don't feel like I shouldn't have said anything because I was given the opportunity to speak to my boss's boss about a real issue I've been having which I can't seem to resolve with my existing boss because it's a personality thing, Pat hears constantly how frustrating and difficult it can be to work for her and has seen first-hand how that oscillates between her "up" phases and "down" phases and how hard she has been on me - unprofessional even. Other staff members have come and told me I shouldn't have to work under those conditions, and I honestly felt fearful in speaking up about it... anyway, just in case, I had to remove a few blog entries as this is a public forum.
Mar 26, 2015
I got my permanent position, ironically on the same day I decided I've had enough of this job and applied for another position. Stood up to my boss this week - not disrespectfully, but honestly. She was coming down on me for the third time about how the technology didn't work at the conference - the computers we brought were too old to be compatible with the HDTVs at the tradeshow. And something inside had just had enough. I told her that the only thing she was focusing on was how this one thing went wrong, I do not have a technology background, I found a solution at the time, and really for a person like me who tries as hard as I do, to have that be the only thing she sees is incredibly demeaning. I also said that every other person involved in the tradeshow told me what a great job I'd done EXCEPT HER. She re-iterated her point, of course, but I could tell by her expression that she would go back to her desk and consider what I said. It felt really good to stand up for myself. I wrote a blog for the City of Edmonton's Waste Management news, and plan to write another tonight. When it's published I will post a link to them here. There are a few community league positions open for my community I just received notice for, and I am thinking about applying for one - like I need MORE work/time commitments, but I need to do something meaningful.
Mar 24, 2015
Today as I was leaving work there were two occurances that caught my attention. One, as I left the office for a coffee I heard the familiar "cheese burger" song of the chickadee chirruping away as I walked to get my capuccino from Starbucks (my current favourite drink). The second was even more magical as I came outside and I saw the feather of a bird, (magpie?) swirling in the air right in front of me, like one of those helicopter seed pods I used to play with as a child. The feather danced on the current playfully, swooping upwards and downwards. I calmly walked over to where it eventually rested and collected it into my backpack. I was truly grateful for that moment - its simple beauty lifted my spirits and I wondered who was putting on that impressive show for me, and why I was so honoured.
Mar 22, 2015
Montreal was pretty incredible. Wandered old montreal quite a bit, visited the Notre Dame Basilica, ate at delicious restaurants, tried to stay warm - though I definitely under-dressed. I used the train system to get around on my sight-seeing day, and went to a small neighbourhood of Mile End as per the recommendation of a local. beautiful rounded staircases up the outsides of the buildings. So much history in architecture. I am exhausted. Also saw the biodome, though admittedly, not really into tourist traps.
Mar 14, 2015
Wow, but the anxiety I feel right now over this trip and this trade booth, if anything goes wrong it will be on my head - and it's been so nice having a boss that is actually nice to me and is impressed by my work. Egads. What is the point eh? lol Not sure there is one, but that's life for you. Who really knows why any of us do anything, really. Never made any sense from the beginning, but that never stops anything - the lack of sense, does it? Saw my first motorcycle just now, just this second as it roared past my house. The pavement has just cleared enough and it is warm today, it smells like spring and I love it. Unfortunately the weather in Montreal isn't quite as good as here right now, but c'est la vie. Amazingly there are tiny little shoots of green (grass or weeds) coming in on my raised garden bed that the snow only just melted off of on Thursday. It amazes me the tenacity of new growth. Youth. Dern Kids! A mini holiday in Montreal might be just what the doctor ordered. Oh crap oh crap oh crap ... Oh boy oh boy oh boy... can't my manic moods make up their minds? Excited? Scared? Pick one! I'm out of calming chamomile tea, I wonder if I have any St. John's Wort. ... *deep breaths*
Mar 12, 2015
I fly out this Sunday to Montreal. I decided to take a couple extra days in Montreal after the conference to explore the city because the kids will be out of town with their Dad, Pat didn't take the time off work because he really didn't want to miss that part of his pay cheque, and he couldn't justify the expense of travelling out to join me for the weekend in Montreal. I really wish he were coming with me though. I was looking into shared accommodations in Montreal via AirBnB and found a few cute private rooms - but ended up connecting with a colleague from work who is also staying the weekend and he offered to share the place he rented through airbnb and split the cost. Since I'm sharing space either way I figured I may as well share with someone I know, and it keeps costs really low. I've heard of Swartzy's THE Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich place that I "must" try. Meh. And I am looking forward to exploring the city and especially the farmers market near old Montreal where I'm staying. A little anxiety has crept in now that I'm so close to leaving, but I'm almost ready to go. Pat's working on final projects and it's funny to hear him talking about the people who are essentially his peers, but who he feels slightly too old to fit in with, with the exception of one or two. Katherine is the only other Industrial Design stream student - a pretty brunette who is 27. And the other named Chelsea, 31, who is already a graphic designer but wanted the credentials she needs to move up in pay scale. Then there's "Peaches" a young gal from China who Pat's helped a few times with various projects. Or this other girl (I can't remember her name) who does things like tape her eyelids closed or the time she made "hobo" shoes out of paper and masking tape because her socks/shoes got wet... Did I mention that in Pat's program there are only 3 guys, and Pat's one of them? One of the remaining two is cheerleader (and most definitely bats for the other team) and the other one is an over-weight bottle-thick-glasses wearing fellow who is very much a hipster. Pat's becoming a leader, and even his teacher, as part of Pat's review, noted that he is. When Pat said he didn't see himself as a "leader" the teacher told him "the whole class follows your lead" and that there are different kinds of leadership (which I echoed before I even knew what his teacher said). He has also quit smoking, at last. He's using a vaporizer, and gradually reducing the nicotine every couple weeks. He smells SO much better. Back to Montreal - I put together the presentation that will be playing in the background of the GOA's booth at Americana - and showed it to everyone who has helped with planning the booth - it was very well received. I was actually a little bit proud of how well it turned out. Several other ministries have asked for copies of it so they can use it at other trade shows. Kind of gratifying. I just found out that there will be a new section in our branch for aboriginal relations. I'm trying not to get excited about that possibility, but the position I just learned about is an internal information and education position pertaining to raising awareness of aboriginal issues, relationships etc. It's not consulting work, it's building relationships with elders/leaders, learning about the issues / challenges they face, and sharing that with an internal audience to raise awareness throughout the department. I don't know if I'm really qualified as I am not fully immersed in those issues, but my heart is in the right place, and I always say (when faced with a huge problem / dilemma) "what can I do to make this situation better?" - anyway, that's all my news for now. Perhaps more from Montreal.
Mar 7, 2015
Today I volunteered for Edmonton Area Land Trust, a local group that works to preserve land for future generations keeping it as close to "in-tact" as possible, giving people a chance to enjoy the outdoors before we spread over the whole of the land covering everything with pavement and "development". They do this by accepting land donations to be held in trust for future generations, essentially making free-to-access greenspaces, and not considering it a luxury, but something free and open to all. It's entirely volunteer run (with the exception of 3 staff) and is a truly wonderful group, and I admire the work that they do a lot. What made the protection of the land possible is the conservation easement - this was brought in as part of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act in Alberta - without which it wouldn't be possible, this conservation of the land, which in turn protects biodiversity, water quality and general value to the ecosystem and human/animal enjoyment. There's a growing trend with the supreme court making judgements that are guiding policy in the absence of political leadership. Without working law systems there is no justice, and without justice, the inherent value of in-tact eco-systems will not be protected. Fighting for something like this ... = being an environmental superhero.
Mar 3, 2015
Is it really Mar 3rd?! I feel a little ill for some reason, no matter - this foolish ickiness must pass. Less than two weeks until Montreal, seriously getting excited to go, and at the same time a little anxious. I have coordinated so many details, I feel really good about all the work that has gone into this. Swimming last week was so wonderful, definitely need to do more, once a week maybe, and more as the triathalon approaches. I haven't had any moments or real "experience" lately to share - nothing that stands out. I have been negligent in my writing, but have been doing a lot - helping plan my sister's bridal shower and bachelorette party, planning this GOA booth, planning our travels for both weddings this summer, our next camping trip- haven't had any moments of connection in nature - am really ready for camping season. Lol - maybe I should just plan some cross country skiing before this winter leaves. Hmm, is it time to start gardening yet?
Feb 28, 2015
Today IS heavy. I don't know why, or how, or what. I watched a movie called Detached on Netflix that affected me. I became irritable with my children, with Pat, just this weight came over me as I felt that tug - you know the one. The one that says oblivion may be the "best" answer, or possibly the only one. I am not in that place, so I immediately pulled back and rejected that thought - but wow how it croons sometimes, beckoning like it is the ultimate answer, the inevitable answer. It laughs softly as I struggle against her spider's web. "You are already caught" she says, "you are doomed and it's cute that you struggle - it's your struggling that tells me you're in my web" - and I stare into her many eyes, that pierce the blackness in my soul and I see myself reflected. There is no hiding from that piece of me, and I could fall down - right then. Right now. Why bother? Why struggle against the inevitable? "Everything's going to be ok"... whispers the other part. "There are things worth working for", "I love you", "You have friends and family who would be so profoundly hurt - the ripple effects of that would echo through decades of your family". I figure, there are days like today when things are heaviest - but next week or the week after, the oppressive feeling that threatens to overwhelm will have subsided to the point where it's bearable again, and then, because I must, I will get up and keep going - toward some inexorable future - some potential in the world I must live up to, and live to breathe that fresh morning air, the hints of spring all around as that glow that halos the tree tops and branches shines and I wonder if the pale purple or white shimmer I see is real, or simply a product of eye fatigue - yet why is that light easier to see in the spring? I am here, and I am not. I wrote on twitter the other day about squirrels in forests and I had an image in my mind so strong I felt like I was in that forest - imagining it - and I could see a moment as clearly as if I'd been there. The imagination is such an amazing gift of being human - it is why I love to read (and am desperate for book 4, though I haven't made time to go to the library to find it, or onto Amazon to own it, perhaps that is my task for tomorrow - though Jada made the basketball team and I have to take her to a tournament tomorrow). There are never enough hours in the day, I feel like each day blends into the next and I'm ever running out of time.
Feb 26, 2015
Today my office is sunny and overlooks the grounds of the Alberta Legislature. It's highly distracting, not to mention misleading. It looks beautiful and sunny, but it is cold, cold, cold! I want to work on work but my brain won't comply. I am soooo tired today. Pat stayed on campus over night last night as his portfolio was due today - along with many other art/design students. His last deadline is in 10 minutes and I think he's using every last minute. He's been at the University since 9am yesterday. As a result I didn't sleep well, couldn't fall asleep until well after midnight, and woke at 5:30 am startled that he wasn't next to me (he had said he was going to come home to work on some things after he finished the design stuff that he needed the studio for). Anyway, I'm sure he will sleep well tonight and tomorrow. I am gearing up for Montreal in March - very excited to be going. Something I've been learning a lot about is how Alberta's price on carbon is contributing to some pretty innovative projects. Sometimes when I feel like I need a boost I just focus on the good stuff rather than how sometimes these "good" things don't really address the larger issue e.g. over consumption of everything from fossil fuels, to food, to all other resources and the lack of conservation of precious in-tact landscapes that make this world beautiful, healthy and the right habitat for humans and all other animals to live in - not to mention the fact that in our pursuit of these dirty fossil fuels we're destroying wetlands that are miraculously perched directly over geothermal energy sources that go unnoticed / untouched arg... anyhoo, the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (ccemc.org) has so many cool projects going it makes me feel like at least some things are going right, though it still misses the broader picture (note my rant above). Have been thinking about taking stories I've written, and writing new ones, and participating in Edmonton's community of short-story writers - once/month they get together and recite their works in public, almost like a performance. Have also been thinking about starting to take the knowledge I have and sharing it with people I work with by going into their homes and helping them create meal plans, grocery lists, putting together recipes to make life easier, and potentially branching that into a consulting business once I do it for free for colleagues and incorporate feedback and figure out how much to charge (and hopefully get some referrals!) It would be only on evenings and weekends, so maybe one or two days a week (when I'm not running the kids to and from extra curriculars, or volunteering, or actually taking some time to read or lay on the couch day-dreaming. That is seriously a favourite past time right now - just processing, while laying on the couch after a long day, but before dinner otherwise it turns into nap time... Zzzzz ok, rambly ramblerton. back to work...) - I wonder what the thought bubble above my head would look like if I were in cartoon...
Feb 23, 2015
Tonight I went for a swim - it was an intense 45 min swim with very few breaks. I doubt I will be able to move my arms tomorrow... Speaking of, it's Belgian Waffle Day at work tomorrow and I was voluntold to bring our waffle iron and waffle mix. Not fair I tell you. What music helps soothe the soul? What activities? My brother is currently going through the nastiest divorce I've ever seen. My friend with stage 3 cancer is suffering thru chemo. It's midterms. Seems so many people I love are suffering right now, but I have faith that things will get better in a couple months. I will pray for them and have gently suggested that if they ever need to talk, and friends aren't doing the trick, that they should seek professional advice, and if that's not happening, at least keep a journal where thoughts can be let loose... Actually I've heard an old wives tale that if you tell your problems to the toilet and then flush, your problems will go away! (Or at least you can laugh at how silly you look doing it) ... Other nuggets of wisdom? Forgiveness - not for the person or people who have wronged you, but forgive them for yourself, for the benefit of not holding onto anger can bring.. Mmmm sweepy... Oh, finally finished book three, now I need book 4 of the death gate series... Zzzzzz
Feb 21, 2015
I guess, much later... anyway, right now the sun is setting a pot of hamburger soup is simmering away in the dutch oven on the stove. The house smells delicious as the savoury scents waft by. I also made a fruit salad that I'm planning to give to the kids with vanilla yogurt for dessert. Then later I will make popcorn for them and watch a movie. Did I mention the girls are having a sleep over tonight? Two little girls that are sisters and the same age - we took them bowling first and then to the "arcade" - a very old-fashioned one where most games were still only 25 cents.
Feb 20, 2015
Sometimes a person gets a hair cut to "start fresh", or, to try something new. Today I cut my hair to above my shoulders from half way down my back. I feel as though this hair do is long over-due. This better represents who I am somehow. It's a little sassy, can be sultry, and really, less work than before. It's not that I don't work hard, I do, but I like to simplify, to live simply. I purchased an antique teacher's desk from Jonathan as part of the furniture he left behind. I got it for $25 and finally moved it into the house last weekend. It was so heavy that I was absolutely at my physical limit by the time we got it through the door. I was sore for 2 days afterward. It looks wonderful in the dining room and now Pat has a proper work station to create his designs and prototypes. He really has found his calling as an industrial designer, or as we like to say, an "inventor". lol. I have been helping my sister's maid of honour to plan both the bridal shower and the bachelorette party this week. Work has been so much better. I'm about to get a permanent position at last. I will feel so much safer once I do. More later.
Feb 14, 2015
Yesterday was so incredibly beautiful. How is some of the worst weather so amazing? I guess because I was at home, safe and warm. The sun shines this morning on fresh white snow (that started as freezing rain) making it nearly painful to look outside. I love saturday mornings. I used to think it was the cartoons, but now I know that the vibe of saturday morning is one of care-free joy - you still have the buffer of Sunday before the start of the next week, and if it's sunny, all the better to sip your morning coffee by. I swear this is what makes me the happiest. So simple. Almost silly. My parents are looking for ways to retire soon. My Dad turns 65 this year and I can tell he really doesn't want to keep up the same schedule he's had. He has worked hard all his life, my Mom too, and I want him to be able to have the life that he wants. They're talking about asking my Dad's cousin if they can live in a vacant 2 bedroom house on some land the family has owned since .. I don't know when. My Dad was entitled to a plot of land, but the land that was to be his was "sold" to a neighbour with a verbal agreement that they would buy it back - but when that time came, the neighbour said too bad. So. Anyway, all that is to say, I feel sick about my parents having to go and beg a cousin to live with on their property. I want to be able to provide them with a place to live, how many times have they helped us kids out? They have always been there for us, no matter what. (So long as we tucked tail and came home at least lol) I must buy that land for our sustainable off-grid house so Mom and Dad can go live there while I keep working until I'm ready to go off-grid.
Feb 11, 2015
I have become fascinated with hydroponics. As I look into it more seriously, it is dangerously close to becoming a goal in my mind, and if it does, then I MUST follow through and do it. The promise of year-round greens is too delightful, let alone that one mature adult fish can be harvested every two days (aka: protein source), that combined with us potentially doing backyard chickens has my head spinning with possibilities of self-sufficiency. All these technologies and ideas are being tucked away for our off-grid lifestyle Pat and I are working toward. Writing about it in a blog is another thing I've been considering - and found out Robyn has a blog on "Body Talk" and wellness, she wanted me to post my new year's resolution story on her blog. I also have the lasagna gardening blog I want to write (layering compost into new raised beds to see if the yield is any different). I have so many competing priorities!
Feb 8, 2015
The death gate cycle was merely a trilogy! The thought. I have been slack in my reading and sadly become a slight couch potato as I discovered an old TV series I had never seen the final season of. Now that I have finished binge watching the final season, there's this empty sense of accomplishment. Yah... I finished something. You hear the enthusiasm, no? Well wisdom is sometimes found in foolish sit-coms or hard hitting political intrigues. Right? Yoga 3 times a week is amazing. Wow I am sore 3 days later from Thursday's class. With all the warrior poses my thighs were shaking so hard you'd think there was an earthquake. I haven't reached that level of muscle fatigue in... you know I don't know that I've ever reached that level of fatigue. If there'd been a fire drill at work I would've closed my office door and hoped for the best because I could barely walk! There is something so ... satisfying about bringing ones body to its absolute limits in an act that is both healthy and challenging. I was chatting with a work colleague on Friday (he loaned me the Bob Dylan children's book that he bought for his eldest daughter) and gave me some advice about how not to be socially awkward at a networking event - "have a line, something that is your go to, that grabs people's attention" - I had told him about living in California when I was a teenager. He told me to use that: "When I lived in California, I always said..." "When I lived in California, i learned that..." He says that having lived in a different country or experienced (via travelling) somewhere culturally different, it changes a person. Expands their horizons. I had a lot of fun with the girls today - we went to the "Weaving Willow Baskets" workshop at the Resiliency Fair, and then they went skating afterwards. It was so nice to spend time with them, even though they got a little unruly (bored) at times with the basket weaving, and even though they can seem kind of ungrateful ("Did you have fun girls?" "Sort of, I was kind of bored making the basket, and Chelsea got to have that decorative feather that I wanted to have and it wasn't fair. And skating was cold") but then once we get home "That was so fun Mom, can we go again tomorrow????" Meanwhile I packed us a lunch with lots of snacks and made sure we used all reusable containers and had a no-waste lunch, brought our water bottles, packed kleenex, packed skates, made sure they brought gloves, tookes, paid for our attendance, brought us to the fair... it all seems thankless until those very brief moments where they are carefree and letting loose to have some fun - their cheeks are rosy and their eyes sparkling. The volunteer skating coach teaches them to skate backwards and then does a very cool ninja roll on the ice when (while showing them) he tripped on his own skate and managed to very quickly end up back on his feet. Gawd life is weird. You never know where life will take you if you turn left instead of right, right instead of left. Instead of seeing the roads missed or closed, to know that there are infinite roads ahead and merely need to be walked, be braved, that we make the path we walk on, and our enjoyment (or lack) of this life can be 100% up to ourselves and how we choose to see the world. I told Jada that today - when she was complaining - that it's as fun as you make it. Life I mean. Hmmm, late night rambles are the best rambles. I wish I knew for sure, about Pat, because when things are good, they are really good. Like at the cabin, I really felt his love, and mine in turn. He re-proposed - it was a beautiful moment - and a promise to renew our vows in front of our friends in 5 years when he's finished school and established. But he is so moody and he takes it out on me (and sometimes the kids) and it's so hard because I have to protect/defend them when he gets too dramatic (which causes us to get into it), but sometimes he's justified - though still too emotional, but nobody is perfect. No relationship is perfect, and all relationships are work. The choice to stay and work is what means the difference between lasting and not lasting, and that decision can only be made when a person feels that the good outweighs the bad, when their heart is truly in it. And if it doesn't, it takes a certain strength to see when things aren't working and to walk away rather than try to maintain the status quo - not talking about Pat and I here - but thinking instead of past relationships, seeing so many friends go through break ups recently. Actually very happy that Jonathan and Lisa may work things out - those two are great together - but Jonathan needs to get his head out of his ass and start to compromise and give more. Lisa is a catch, and (I hate to say this about my friend) but he is a fool if he lets her get away. But if things don't work out, then I will have faith that he knows what he's doing and do my best not to be disappointed. (I really like her). I pray that I find the owner of these ladies glasses that I found under our couch and I hope to feel like a complete fool for ever having let that sinister little thought snake it's way into my insecure little head. It's hard to even admit to feeling it, but maybe that will help me put it to rest.
Feb 6, 2015
Guess I am chatty this week... communicative... dare I say bubbly? No.. Not that. The snow that has fallen in droves since yesterday has been blown into the strangest formations and drifts. I saw Mount Everest...'s tiny baby cousin... inside the bus stop shelter this morning! I should've taken a picture. I will be posting some pictures to facebook or twitter or maybe even that old Tumblr account soon that will show the cabin trip, and all that good stuff. I am over-due in getting Summer 2014's pictures up somewhere too. Perhaps too much of our lives are lived online? hummmms Bob Dylan's "blowin in the wind"
Feb 5, 2015
Brrrr. It's frosty today. Ponderings and musings. Musings and ponderings. I think if one is striving for a state of peace, it allows them to focus, enables them to see what really matters. It's true that this world we all live in has many problems, so many in fact that certain thoughts threaten to make me give way to despair for my own species. However, despite this, happiness can still be found in small pockets, and this happiness is what can fill one's soul with hope and lend strength to keep going. Not that the "pursuit of happiness" is the ultimate goal, as no, given all that's in the world, how can one with any depth at all, truly "be happy" in this life? No, we're not meant to simply "be happy", and perhaps happiness is a state of mind that can only be achieved by contrast to another state of being that is less desirable. Basically, I say that it's not ok to shun happiness when it's rays of sunshine are there to be basked in, but neither is it ok to seek it out to the oblivion of the rest of the world. Just enjoy those moments, hold onto to them during the dark times, and through peace, determine what is truly the best use of time on this planet. I'm reading a very interesting book on "Consciousness after death". I'm also still working on finishing book 3 of the death gate cycle. So many small irons in the fire and no large commitments. I am choosy in how I spend my leisure time, whether I waste it kijiji window shopping, watching a TV program, or devoting my spare time to things of a higher calling (volunteering, family, side-projects). I find things to look forward to and latch on to the "next time" I get to enjoy them. In the meantime, I survive, and sometimes I even enjoy the survival a little because I have a lot to be thankful for. If I search, I can find things in my life to be thankful for, no matter how small.
Jan 14, 2015
So it's been a while, and so far 2015 has become a promising year (minus world events like Hebdo and falling oil prices - but now the solar market can move in, and millions have rallied behind the victims of Hebdo, so there is hope). I have all-but eliminated sugar from my diet. (I am trying to do a candida cleanse without guidance, and am learning that not only is that incredibly difficult, and I crave sugar like any addict, but I've been finding that my body is adjusting slowly, but still compensating for the loss of sugar by being thirstier, and craving things that have high carbs to replace the simple sugars I have abandonned (temporarily) - not even maple syrup, no sweeteners what-so-ever! - to make up the loss. (e.g. beans, lentils, chips, popcorn) The 2nd day I was Jones'ing - so edgy, intense, that little voice in my head telling me "Ahhhh, camman. Just one cookie. It won't hurt anybody". Nooooooo! Combine that with a renewed excersize regime of yoga and jogging and eventually swimming and cycling, and I will hopefully be in top shape for the next triathalon, if I choose to do that, which I think I may. It really pushed me, but it also gave me something to work towards, and having a goal and accomplishing it is life's sweetest sugar. Anyway, in other news, my new year's resolution, since my focus is on reducing waste, was to create a meal plan with Pat, and I am now ordering groceries online from a company called SPUD - that supplies organic, locally grown foods (as local as possible) to your doorstep. They deliver once/week, so now that I have a meal plan, I know what we'll need, and the over-arching goal is to reduce my family's food waste. So far it's been going really well. We've stuck to the meal plan and almost time to write up a new one. School is a struggle for Pat already with 5 courses, and I can tell he's really worried about not being top of his class, but the phrase "C's get degrees" exists for a reason. I just have to get him to relax. Recently a friend of ours (Kevin) and his girlfriend split, I think it was so she could get back with her ex, but it was also because Kevin is an alcoholic. As long as Kevin gets all the furniture and things he bought for "their place" that he no longer lives in, I will feel everything is ok, people can change their minds, but I don't want him to be taken advantage of. The best thing for him to do is to forgive her and let it go, holding onto the hurt will eventually become self-fulfilling and will really only hurt him in the long run. It's only 9.5 weeks until "Seedy Sunday" seed exchange, and then I can start my seedlings in anticipation of the growing season!!!! (Not that I'm excited about that...)
Dec 29, 2014
The fam left today, house is so quiet and empty by comparison, and truth be told, I'm enjoying the peace and quiet that brings. I miss them at the same time and could've kept sharing space with them for a while. Mostly what I found frustrating was not being allowed my non-kid time to myself to just read, write, veg, watch tv - things one does on one's own. I definitely am a quiet person in comparison with my family... which isn't saying much. Researched business opportunities in BC and it got my day-dreaming juices going. I really really would love to live somewhere more peaceful. I want a different lifestyle - I want to own my own days and I want the hours I put in to count towards myself. In contrast, it's that often feel that all the "work" I do is pointless. I want a salary, I want security, I want to be able to afford to buy food for my family and share my values with my children, I don't need a lot of stuff, but I really enjoy gear - I would love a road bike for commuting to work (and if I enter that triathlon again), I would love snow shoes, I would love cross-country skiis, better snow pants... in the summer I know the "I want a canoe" bug will bite again... basically I want to be enabled to enjoy nature as much as possible. I am not sure what my current degree is good for as I've had so little luck finding work - so maybe I need to beef that up as well somehow. I think I want to be in residential waste management, specifically in how people waste water, food, and resources without knowing it and teach them how to change their consumption habits, process their wastes (compost, sorting recyclables, recycling old materials into new ones and reusing things that can be reused). I also want to write. Somehow I feel that this sense of desire returning is a positive sign - it's a heck of a lot better than the bleh way I was feeling a couple days ago. Stars.
Dec 23, 2014
It's a very grey day as I prepare my house for the onslaught of family. They are both a blessing and a bit tiresome at times - especially when we all have different ways of living. Tolerance - that's all I can strive toward. No, the dishes don't need to be done while people are still eating dinner, but while my Mom is here I will strive to make sure that they are so she can relax. No, it is not necessary to see how many words you can fill in a 3 minute time span, but I am certain that my sister will try. There will also be 8 people in a house with only one shower - do the math. Finally started reading "Dragon Wing" by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman... somehow it seems familiar, like I've read this before, a long time ago, but I can't be sure. Anyway, back to work getting the house spic and span and everything organized for tomorrow :)
Dec 4, 2014
So I was rear-ended on Tuesday morning - nice bit of whiplash and more than $5000 damage to my car. It was almost humourous as my head whipped back and forth I actually thought "I guess your head really does go backwards and forwards in a collision like those dummies on one of those collision commercials" .. ha. It hurts us preciousssss.
Nov 27, 2014
Bifurcated - divide into two branches or forks. Next time I have a choice, I am totally using this word.
Apr 17, 2014
Sometimes me think, 'What is friend?' and then me say, 'Friend is someone to share last cookie with' ~ Cookie Monster. - this. THIS is the quote that I took from all the ones I've been sifting through. I saw a few I really liked, including ones about how success is not final, failure won't kill you, it's those who keep trying who succeed. And others about facing life's demons with quiet resilience - acknowledging that those forces that make a person want to give up are ever-present in life, but you need to keep facing them anyway etc etc. But somehow the only one that made me smile was the very simple cookie monster quote. And I believe that smiling, laughter, those little moments of joy, make life worth while. Moments - they can have perfect clarity in memory, lend strength when you recall them, but they can also sap strength when you long to return to them. The past always has this allure of safety to it - like when we had more hair, less body fat, fewer wrinkles, fewer responsibilities - but often we forget the pressures and stress of what we were living with in those aware moments (because we'd pushed worries to the back of our minds when we had those moments, that and time past is always seen through a rosy lens) - making the memory seem ideallic and therefore unachievable ever again. That is not the case - one simply must be open to receiving new moments and when the opportunity comes again, as it always does, we can find perfect joy in new moments without the burden of comparing them to the past. Granted, there are those moments in time that are a little brighter than others, but just because they stand out doesn't mean they become the measuring stick for everything else. That would be an exercise in futility - because as long as you hold that memory in the highest esteem, keeping the memory bright, no new memory can be as bright. You have to let time fade those memories a little so by contrast the new memories shine all the brighter. I read another quote today, "only in the darkness can you see the stars", seems fitting.
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.