Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Olympic Torch makes its way through Huntsville.
December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Felt I should... just becuase...

I havn't blogged in days.
Not since before Christmas.
Not much to say.
Still real, real tired.
I shoveled snow today, but then that's not a NEW thing.
I still hate it and THATS not a new thing either.
It's pretty stuff. I will give it that.
Time for bed.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oh Look... there's a chicken in the living room... and butter tarts in the kitchen....but not for long.

I just ate a Butter tart for breakfast and stashed the last two in the cupboard and came down to blog or started to. I decided I’d go up and grab a cup of tea first when Roger asked.
"Where are the butter tarts? I went to get one and couldn’t find them. I looked all over for them, they're not in the fridge or any where I looked."
"Here they are." I exclamied with feigned good humor, all the while thinking “ Nuts, I won’t get to have anymore because I was secretly hoping he had forgotten about them and I could have the rest.
I am a butter tart freak. There, my secret is out. I LOVE butter tarts. But not just any butter tarts, home made with a real crust and crumbly like the ones Dave Made and bought over last night.
Roger loves them too but he will eat any old crud butter tart out of the store.
What is WRONG with him?
Why can’t he leave the truly GOOD, melt in your mouth, sugary sweet bowls of heaven for those of us who TRULY appreciate them??
I made like I was HAPPY to share the last few with him. It’s what you do when you love someone.
Had he never asked, I would have happily gobbled the last two by lunch time without volunteering that fact that they were there. But he did. And I just cannot lie.
I am a bad girl.

Now I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of our household.


I haven’t named him yet.
But he can dance. Boy can he dance. And he is a chicken
I managed to get one still shot of him but as you can see from the other picture, he moves and he moves fast I lay down on the floor and turned him on but by the time I get focused on him he is right in my face. He looks happy doesn’t he? Dancing for all his little chicken heart is worth.
Flapping his wings, and moving those little chicken feet.

I feel compelled to go see if by any chance there IS one more butter tart left. Wish me luck.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hmmmm... seems I didn't afterall

I was sure I'd written a post today....  then not so sure.
Turns out I hadn't. So. Here it is. Short and well just short. Shopped, got a foot detox bath thingy. cooked. not so well but it was palatable.  Got a dancing christmas chicken from Cathy and Dave... who were here for dinner and cards BTW. Love the chicken. He dances around the floor, beek moving, eyes rolling and he does the chicken dance... you know the one. da da dada dada da, da da dada dada da, dadadada da da da da..oh and his cheeks flash. you can't help but laugh. We figure we can get him bunny ears and use him at Easter too.  and maybe put a sheet over him and he can be a ghost chicken at Halloween. Smokey is a bit unsure and Bandit it not impressed at all. and that makes it even more fun. I will post a pic tomorrow.  I wonder if this will accept video. Oh and chocolates as well.
Had fun... We always do with Kathy and Dave.  They brought the boys along and the 5 (theirs and ours) of them did boy stuff which beyond playing vidoe games could mean seeing who can fart the loudest or longest.  They ARE boys. I have a full day tomorrow. I better try to sleep.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Shopping and my kids

I was in the stores tonight.. trying to get the last of my Christmas shoppiong done. I see that as it stands I was not too far from done when I went out this evening. So it was a lot of walking around looking at stuff that might be cool to add to the pile I have already bought for my kids.  I am going all out this year for them. More so than I have in past years.  But not crazy overboard.  Ok with the youngest... Yah  I did kinda. It will be the last crazy Christmas for him. I suspect I am compensating for what has been a tough year for him. But he is a trooper and gets past these trails with greater ease then in years past.
He's a good kid. 
All my kids are good.  I feel very fortunate.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Drive

This was not taken today, but this is part of my drive to work every day.

When I first found out that I was going to have to commute to Bracebridge every day I was upset. As I have said before I lived close to the location in Huntsville. Close enough that it was a 10 minute stroll. Tops.

A couple weeks ago I officially began the commute, anxious and pissed off at the same time. I drove that first day hating every kilometer of the drive in to work and every inch of it on the way home.
I did not feel a whole lot better about it the next day. Then winter hit. Talk about taking something I hate already and making it so I hate it more.
Well done Mother Nature.
Driving in winter weather...... you read how I feel about that on the previous post.
Today the roads were clear in both directions and I actually enjoyed it somewhat. It wasn't so bad after all.
It only took a dose of the worst winter weather this area has seen in a while to put things in perspective.
That's how I feel about it today.
I might feel differently tomorrow.
I can be fickle.
Or so I have been told.

P.S. I thought on the way home that my blogs were a tad long. If someone wanted to read a novel they'd go to the Library.

So here’s to a short blog.

Monday, December 14, 2009

At home... in bed.. lap top, well, in my lap sillys!

Winter hit, and it hit hard not too long after my job moved south and I had to start driving 40 minutes to work. This is nothing by some peoples standards but it has been a tough pill for me to swallow. Why? Because even though I do enjoy driving (as a rule) I hate driving in winter conditions. Winter is fine if the sun is out and the roads are clean. But cover them with snow and have a bunch of it blow around so I cannot see and mix that with some (insert bad words here) who think the roads are as safe as they are in the heat of summer, and I get physically ill on the drive. I fight to keep the contents of my stomach down. My heart races, my palms sweat. Sometimes, most recently this last Thursday on the drive home, I felt tears well up in my eyes. So by the time I get to work, I am already drained of all physical and creative energy. I am sure I will get used to it. Age makes that process much slower. But I am sure in time I will. Both the new drive and the winter conditions at the same time have been overwhelming. Combined with menopause... look out. Roger must really really love me.
Friday was an official snow day. Once I had decided I was not up to the drive and had left a message for my boss I found out the offices here and in Bracebridge were both closed.
Then reality hit. There was a ton of snow that had to be removed from the drive. Mountains of the fluffy, and as it turned out, heavy stuff, that went on forever.
I hate this driveway. It is on a steep (seems to me) incline and twists and turns to the parking space by the house. It is the slope that scares me during winter. The rest of the year I can hear it as my car switches gears to make the incline. She is groaning and saying "ohhh this hurts".
I can only imagine it’s worse for her when her wheels start to slip on the wet snow or the ice beneath. It’s a busy street at the bottom of this drive way and I slid out into traffic once. It scared the (insert another bad word here) out of me. It has coloured every trip I take up and down this drive in the winter. I expect the worst to happen.

But the snow needs to be removed so we can get our cars in and out during the cold winter months. Roger made it out in the early morning and an ample amount of snow had fallen since then. He had cleared only the minimum it took to get his tiny car out.
So shovel in hand I braved the blowing snow to make it as safe as I could for any and all to get in and out safely.
I was shortly joined by my son who worked alongside me until 1pm when we decided to take a break, warm up and eat something. An hour after that Rogers sister arrived home and pitched in when Liam and I went back out to finish the job. Between the three of us we managed to make some headway as far as getting the snow removed from the area cleared first thing in the morning. I was soaked through and aching and I know I was not the only one. We went inside.

We went  back out later to clear what fell while we were inside. Closer to Roger’s arrival time I sanded the drive to ensure he'd make it all the way up.
Saturday’s mission - To clear the snow that fell overnight and take back the banks to the best of our ability. Again. Minus Roger - the strongest one in this motley crew. He was out shoveling his father’s roof, and garage, and drive.
Taking back the banks is the hardest and heaviest work. The Snow blower has not worked yet this year, THAT being the reason why we had to do this ourselves. I was in the drive by 9:30. Roger’s sister was with me again. Both of us in our 50’s and anticipating the 'snow removal heart attack' which is common in the area under these conditions. We'd work and stop to catch our breath and allow the pounding in our chests to subside. As we made our way deeper into the banks the snow got thicker, harder and heavier and the banks got taller meaning every shovel full we tossed up resulted in at least half of it falling back down. Our shoulders by this time felt like they were made of Jello and devoid of all strength. We were growing frustrated and stopped to rest and vented further. It was during one of these ‘break and bitch fests’ that our neighbor strode up the drive... assessed our progress, shook his head and disappeared down the slope.
We were failing at our task miserably. I suspected he was ashamed for us. We started to shovel again laboring under the weight of this white curse.
Then….. through the blowing snow.... a sound... familiar. Almost forgotten.
It was getting louder. We stopped and listened, looking at each other, wondering if we were both hearing the same sound. There was something oddly comforting about it as it grew louder. We were unable to locate the direction in the now swirling wall of snow. We could barely see each other.
Then the snow parted like a curtain and our neighbor approached bathed in ethereal light, accompanied by the sound of angels singing. Snow blower and man functioning as one, removing the banks with seeming effortlessness.
Ok. There was no angels singing... no light...heck, the snow wasn't even falling at this point. But that’s what it felt like when he came up the drive.
Our knight in shining armor with his trusty steed.
Or more precisely, Tim in his grey coveralls and his Toro - Power Max Snow blower.
He glowed a bit…. and it shone.
No… Not really.
But I was ever so grateful
We worked alongside each other to finish the job. I’d chop the banks down that were especially tough and he’d blow them up and away.

It was dark as I made my way indoors. Everything hurt. I was shaking from being cold and wet for so long. I spent the night attempting to warm myself in bed drinking copious amounts of tea, and hot chocolate. I was cuddled up there wearing my flannel pajamas, socks and my house coat.

I had the fire turned up to high. Roger fed me two generous shots of rum and ibuprofen and as I watched the Polar Express I drifted off to sleep only to be woken by a wasp that stung my elbow.
That’s another story.
Yesterday I shook all day, still unable to keep warm, my joints aching.
Today my throat is sore and my nose is plugged and I am still cold. Drugs have dulled the ache in my joints and the throb in my head. Bed can be a boring place when you are all by yourself so I love the fact that I can be nestled in bed with my laptop, on my lap and can view and communicate with the world. Sometimes I can even work from here.
Final note. I love the LOOK of winter.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Is this real.. or is it just a figment of my imagination.....

Yesterday... Saturday, Roger and I indulged in one of our (don't have to work day) activities.

This involves driving to Canadian Tire, treating ourselves to one of the FREE cups of coffee from the large urn just inside the door, and wandering the store mindlessly.

Often we are together, picking up and discussing things that have attracted our mutual interest. Other times we will separate, heading off in opposite directions with a specific destination in mind.

On this particular day we had finally decided to buy a wreath we had both been eyeballing for weeks, fake, but oh so realistic looking. No sparkly adornments. Just (fake) cedar boughs, and twigs, and if I am not mistaken, real pine cones. It is quite large and so beautiful. In our eyes at least. We had agreed that it would be hung in the centre window in the living room over the sofa facing inwards. So with the wreath laid gently down in the cart we headed further down the aisle and stopped to look at something else. I recall we had a discussion about something he really liked at that point and I found hideous. I exaggerate, it wasn’t hideous, I didn’t LIKE it but I said it was hideous to get his goat. (On occasion we differ in our taste) we put the item down, I looked up and then towards where he was standing. I repeat WAS standing….. maybe 2 seconds previous. He was gone and I was caught mid sentence now looking like I was talking to myself. I looked down the aisle immediately beside where he was. No Roger to be seen. I looked down the large middle isle. Again, no Roger. He had disappeared and the thought jumped into my head.

OMG, I am mad, totally bonkers. Has he been a figment of my imagination and in reality I am the crazy woman who is seen every Saturday morning in the Huntsville Canadian Tire talking out loud to no one, about the item in my hand or in front of me on the shelf.

I experience a brief moment of panic wondering if this was really the case, and as I move towards the front door wondering how I even got here, I catch a glimpse of him hiding behind a large shelving unit.

What a relief, because surely had he not become visible I would have wondered where the heck I lived and how many of the people in my life are real or imagined.

Is this all part of menopause?

And that reminds me.

I plan to start a separate blog on that subject.

That's the plan.

Let’s see if I can make that a reality.

Keep posted.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Too short....

It's the last day of the weekend.
The LAST day!!!
I LOVE weekends.
I LIVE for weekends.
'Cause I get to sleep in. Its part of what I do. I stay up late only because I can. And I do that only because I can sleep in. I watch crud on TV...... surf the net, read trash to keep me up, only because I get to sleep in.
Weird huh??
Used to be, years ago, I actually stayed up because I had something exciting to do. Go out with friends to a bar or movie or a party. Those were the good parts of the weekend and the sleeping in was a necessary part of it. Now I create a full evening (boring as it is) to make it so I can enjoy the pleasure of not having to get up at a specific time.
This weekend I actually managed to sleep until 8:14... both days. My time is improving.
I do miss the old days though. But kids and finances have made those few and far... very far in between.
I wouldn't give up my kids to be able to relive those weekends again if someone made one of those offers. I love them to bits. I Live for my kids, and as they get older I appreciate every bit of time I do get with them. I am fortunate that my oldest, Miranda lives in town and we are quite close. We spend bits of time together often.
My son Eli lives in Guelph and I am lucky to see him once a year. He doesn't call, he very seldom sends an e-mail in my direction. And it hurts but I am coming around to seeing it's the nature of the beast he is. He is a dedicated student and employee. Not very social. Likes to keep his possessions to what he can carry and relationships to a minimum. Or so he tells me. I miss the little boy I remember. 'Sober sides' is what some people referred to him as. He was quiet and shy with intense eyes. He loved hats, even more so than my youngest. He wore a different hat every day and had quite a a collection of them. He settled on two favorites as he got older. A railway engineers hat that belonged to a great grandfather who actually did work for the railway, and a baseball hat that used to belong to an undercover cop with a drug squad. This group of cops had these hats embroidered with the grim reaper on it and some words that have long worn so badly I cannot read them. This hat in particular appealed to him in his preteens when boys get into skulls and dark stuff, as he did. I still have both these hats and in searches for other things I will often find them again. I stop and feel the soft worn fabric, turn them over to find a blond hair that has clung to the lining of these hats for 13 years now. I leave it there because picking it out and tossing it in the trash would feel like throwing HIM away. That's when the tears start. As they are now. I miss him so much and hope one day to reconnect with him again. I feel so unconnected knowing nothing about where he lives, what he does, who his friends are, and if there was or IS a girl in his life. I feel that a big part of me has gone missing.
Back to my first thoughts. I Do love weekends, really... I do stay up late, I do attempt to sleep in because and ONLY because I can. I do the other things I wanted to do but didn't have the time do do during the week. I get very selfish on some weekends. I do what I want... when I want. As I type this I am still in my pajamas. I may not even get OUT of my pajamas today.
Yah... I love weekends.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The things one wonders about when left to sit long enough......

The opportunity came to get my H1N1 shot..... much to my relief.
I started into the season with panic, at one point finding myself in tears because I was unable to get it... I was not among their definition of risk groups. Than, all the talk about shortages and my doctors office saying they would not be vaccinating the general public until early December, so I became resigned to not getting it, telling myself its blown all out of proportion and I won't get vaccinated. I didn't freak out about SARS. I wandered the city and the casino without a care in the world feeling invincible. It won't touch me.
But with H1N1 the first report of a child dying, suddenly, in the car as her parents drove her to the hospital, shocked me. It got my attention. She was 9 years old and had been to emerg once and was sent home with 'the flu', being told there was nothing to be concerned about and to follow all the standard flu rules. Rest, plenty of fluids etc. etc. I forget what brought about the families return trip to the hospital but the little girl tells her father from the back seat that her heart hurts. and she dies. Just like that...... she dies. I read that and felt sick to my stomach.
Later, days or weeks later, it is a 13 year old hockey player. Young healthy, thought to be on the mend. He dies while taking a bath.
My son Liam is 13 years old. That was when the panic set in. I called my doctors office in an attempt to get him the shot. We have spent many winter nights in emerg as he gasped breath. The doctor on call often used vaporised Ephinephrine with a cool mist to open his airways. He has not had a bout of this in 4 years but I worried and wanted him to get the shot soon as possible.
I tried a family friend who is a Doctor, but his office had not received theirs yet. So I waited. And calmed down. I had decided we would not get it afterall.
Then the word came that the shots were now being offered to the general public. I raced over there after work and was in and out in under 20 minutes. No huge line up. 15 minutes of that time was waiting to see if I suffered any of the side effects. I felt instantly relaxed.
Now, to get my youngest son Liam and my daughter Miranda over there. I picked him up at his friends, because he had skipped out of Karate and I got her from work and over we went. Liam whined the whole time about how he hates needles and begged me to not make him get it pleeeaaaase.... The line was longer now so we had to sit a while. That's when my brain clicked in and I started to think about what I was doing. Side effects? I was not concerned about that so much. I am not, and my kids are not allergic to any of the ingredients. The levels of the metals present in the vaccine are lower than in the smoke we breath while walking around every day and in the foods we eat. I have no concerns there. But then the radio show Miranda told me about where this guy spoke about the vaccine being a conspiracy, the governments way of killing off a large part of the population, squeezed its way inside my head.
I looked at my son, who was still trying to get me to give up on the idea, and thought. Am I unknowingly sending my son to death??? Is there some truth in what this guy was spouting? I am drawn out of my unpleasant train of thought by Miranda telling me about a video her boyfriends friend showed her about a woman who had the original vaccine back in the 70's ??? and what it did to her. It did something unusual to her brain where now she could no longer walk normally. Her forward walk was awkward, arms flailing and clumsy. Her speech was garbled. BUT... and this is the weird part... she can walk and run BACKWARDS fluidly, and speak with no difficulty.
Weird huh???
Miranda than texts her boyfriend and says "what if I end up like the wobbly lady?" I think they now call her. And he texts back " I will run with you." Tears well up in my eyes as she tells me this. Then her name is called and off she goes.
Soon Liam's name is called and he rushes off to the station he was directed to. I am close behind. Is it my imagination or is he actually, at 13 years of age, flirting with the young nurse who is giggling, GIGGLING in response to what he says. She asks him, after going over the required check list of what to notify the patient of before they get their shot. "Do you have any questions before I give you the vaccine?' He smiles and says" can I leave before you do? She giggles again and he smiles. He pulls his arm out of his shirt, she gives him his shot and instructs us to sit down, ONLY after another nurse goes over her check list of what to watch out for.
We join my daughter again.
Liam pulls out his phone and notes the time and tells us when it will be exactly 15 minutes. Miranda talks about the ingredients in the vaccine because she noted that even though the ask you "are you allergic to any of the ingredients in the vaccine?" they do not tell you what the ingredients are. So she asks. 15 minutes can be a long time when you just want to get home after a long day, and even longer when you have a 13 year old counting it down minute by minute. I listen to them both and gaze at the people as they file in now. The line getting longer and longer. into the hallway. I watch a woman arrive with a cooler, which I assume is more vaccine and it must be because she hands it over to another woman wearing the orange safety vest like the others with this group. I look at the attractive blond taking information from new arrivals, and entering them via computer into the system. Then my brain does what it did early and I wonder again. Does that blond know she is involved in a conspiracy that is supposed to kill off a large part of our population? Is she entering our names and assorted other information into some database so they can later monitor how successful it was and somewhere a signal is set off when one of us enters the emergency room in what will prove to be a vain attempt to keep ourselves from dying from whatever was REALLY in the vaccine.
Then I think. If it was really about killing some of us off, wouldn't they ask us questions about our employment? Whether we are on welfare etc. Do we have a criminal record? Then depending on our answers, the next person who gets the info sent via cyberspace at the next station notifies the nurse with a computer at the final station of this process, what vaccine to administer. The real one, or the one to kill us off in the future.
But they don't ask that. Cause if it WAS a conspiracy. then all that would already be IN the system. Our names flagged by the government if we are to be eliminated. Don't they already pretty much know everything about us. they gather it every year in our income tax forms. When we apply for unemployment. A mortgage, a loan. As long as we owe them money we are safe. Welfare and UIC recipients, maybe not so safe.
I think I'm safe. I think my daughter is safe, and my son. He's just a kid. Not any burden to society. He has not been in any trouble with the police. And contrary to how he presents himself has been deemed as being of superior intelligence. They might see him as useful in the future so I figure he's safe and I relax again.
Whew. I am exhausted and want to go home. Liam announces that time is up and we gather our coats and head out the door. I see my Big boss and his lovely wife who I chatted with in my hairdressers at length one day before I knew who she was and think, " You are both safe too."
We head to the car and home.
Thursday my knees hurt terribly as I walked down stairs.
I wonder.
Friday they hurt worse and my brain heads off to that scary place. I search the Internet to see if its related. Maybe I WASN'T safe afterall.
Today they hurt less and I breath a BIG sigh of relief.

Friday, November 13, 2009

And so it begins....

Whoever thought that the most time consuming part of starting a blog would be naming it... and picking out your domain name. I figured the other 227 titles I came up with would NOT have been taken. I was wrong. So Here it is, Much Ado About....anything and everything, 'cause when it comes down to it my life gets pretty confusing, hectic and often a lot of fuss has been made over nothing at all when I look at it afterwards. This is my intro. And now I have to make an exit to get to an appointmnet, then get my son back to school then get my ass off to work.....