|Favorite book:||Sooner ask me to pick a favourite star|
|Member Since:||Oct 27, 2012|
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 10, 2013
I find myself shivering in this new deep freeze with more and more reason to stay inside and warm. Time for a tea, a good book, and maybe some daydreaming to get me started on my next chapter or project!
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.