Sunday, January 31, 2010

The ghost of this Past Christmas

My Christmas tree is still up.
Not in all the colourful glory it had during the festive season, but somewhat diminished.
It sits, a sad dull green shadow of its former glorious self…. alone and sad in the vestibule. The top folded up, the lights partially untangled from its branches and hanging in the front.
The ornaments were removed two weeks ago. And the ribbon that wound through its boughs was removed this Friday night when I felt a wee bit of energy beyond the drugs for pain and symptoms. The energy was short lived. In the time it took me to pull the ribbons from the tree and pile them on the floor the cats moved in to investigate. And I quit.
There were photos to be taken. Smokey had burrowed into the glittery bed. And Bandit soon followed.

Nothing can get done around here, no one can arrive here, without one or both of our feline cohabitants coming to investigate. They are a very active part of this household. Involved in every family gathering, whether it is a birthday, holiday or just time in the living room or kitchen. Smokey is the first one to greet anyone at the door and claim them as his. Bandit soon follows but is less eager than Smokey to lay claim to people or objects.
I suppose she is just waiting to be sure it’s safe. And I suspect that’s the way Smokey likes it to be.

So it might be a few more weeks before my tree is finally down.
There have been so many things higher on the priority list to deal with first. Its disassembly comes in bits and pieces. The lights will be off next week, and maybe the weekend after that the tree will finally come down. Getting this stuff all put away will happen when we can get to it.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chinese food....

My fortune cookie read....
You are the crispy noodle in the vegetarian salad of life.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Somebody Kill me....NOW

Just kidding... please don't. I dont recall the last time I hurt so much all over. I thought medical science had pills for this.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm sick.....

shoulda seen it coming.... felt it all week and thought I'd feel better tomorrow and then the day after that said to myelf I'd feel better tomorrow.
The yesterday after the whole driveway fiasco I went to bed tired as hell not feeling any worse than I had the days previous but thinking I'd call in sick and rest before it takes me over.
Too Late... I woke this morning feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. Seriously. I ached sooo bad. top to bottom. head to toe. Go to bed....sleep.... get out of bed drink.. get into bed.. watch some TV.. sleep again. eat a bit...
all combined with the taking of verious drugs to ease pain, clear my nasal passages. Holy cow. I want to die. I'm going back to bed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Driveway from hell.....

I have never, ever held back on how I feel about the driveway that leads up the hill to the house I live in.
Heck I volunteer my feelings abou it to absolute strangers.
I hate it that much.
In the winter that is.
In the warmer months, when there is no snow to coat its surface it is quite pretty. The lawn on the right and garage built into the hill on the left then you kind of wind around to the right a bit as you climb to the parking area on the left behind the previously mentioned garage. At the top you are greeted by lovely gardens, a patio with a shelter , Muskoka chairs and a pond stocked with gold fish and a little waterfall from the rocks. There are planters full of brightly coloured flowers and birds in the trees. It is a little slice of heaven then.
Come winter it the Dr. Jekyll of driveways. I dread driving down it in the mornings and attempting to make my way up it at night when the weather has done something drastic. Tonight, after a nasty drive home and too many errands to run I made my way across town feeling the familiar churning in my gut as I got closer to home. Along Centre street my phone rang and it was Roger calling to inform me that he had gotten up with no difficulty. So although it alleviated some of my building anxiety, there was still a large portion when I ventured up the drive now covered with about 5 inches of snow. When I left this morning I knew it was ice underneath but made it down safely because it was cold I suppose. I made it up the first rise and turned my wheels to steer around the garage and attempted the second rise. The steeper of the two. This one because it is combined with the turn is always tricky for me. But all winter I had successfully made it but this time, part way up I lost any traction whatsoever and began to slide backwards, in spite of the fact that my wheels were still attempting to carry me forward. So I eased off the gas and attempted to brake.
I was still sliding backwards.
I attempted to steer to avoid the rock pillar on the right and get between the partial rock wall buried under the snow on the left. I managed to avoid both those obstacles but still slid out of control backwards, towards the road, now painfully aware of my son in the back seat and in the line of any traffic that might not see our predicament and would be unable to stop for us as we slide out onto the road. I tried to keep calm so as to not make Liam panic. Using my favorite cus word. “Crap, crap, crap” fired from between my lips in machine gun fashion.
I cannot see the traffic because my line of site is blocked by the stone pillar at this point but I am hearing it fly past behind me. The car suddenly stops. Thankfully.
I am wedged between the two snow banks near the bottom of the drive. Well stuck.
So I order Liam out of the car and he climbs up the snow back and over the front end of the car to walk up the drive. I feel better because he is safe. He sends Roger out.
Being me… I have a minor flip out because the drive has not been sanded.
I make a lot of noise on a regular basis about how important it is for everyone’s safety that it be sanded. Not just scraped of snow. Whenever I have to clean the drive I always sand it. And hjave mentioned that I’d appreciate the same. But I realize it falls on deaf ears. And I wonder why it is a man thinks that if he doesn’t slip and fall or get stuck part way up the driveway no one else should.
I march up the hill with a full head of steam to dig sand out of the bin. Heaven knows we have an ample supply of the stuff. Meanwhile Roger has gone down to rescue my car and I hear a familiar voice call out.
"Hey can I give you a hand? I was driving by and saw your car and figured I could hook you up to my truck with a chain and pull the back end around.
And before Roger can say “No, I’ve got it”
I am not sure he was going to but I wasn’t going to take that chance. I yelled down the Hill.
“I would be ever so grateful”

Flashback to seven years ago.
I worked at a real Estate office and a man came in looking for property.
Solid build. Black hair kept on the long side and a full beard and moustache. Nice eyes and real personable. We spoke at length about some properties on the board as well as some other stuff. Life, kids, jobs stuff. We never exchanged names. Over the years we have run into each other time and time again and always stop to have a bit of a chat. I have met his wife and kids and he has commented on how my son has grown. It’s like we are old pals without ever having been pals in the first place. It’s a strange yet comfortable familiarity.

Back to today.
That’s who was offering help at the end of my driveway in the blizzard.
He waited patiently while Roger made attempts to get my car unstuck but only managed to get it wedged in and up on a bank now. Roger got out of the car and, “He” being my friend whose name I do not know said
” I’ll get out my chain and hook you up.”
I don’t know why but Roger came up and asked me about him…. if I knew him… because of the way I was speaking to him. I said honestly. I have known him for about seven years but I cannot tell you his name.
I went around the corner behind the house to get sand if it was needed and I did not want to see what they were going to do with my car.
Needless to say at this point, my car was gotten out of the jam it was in and safely up the drive and parked.
But I was still fit to be tied.
Being hormonal, I raged at poor Roger.
Vented about how he knows how I feel about the driveway and the need for sand and that him being able to get up it doesn’t mean everyone can. I told him how horrible it feels to be sliding down the dive potentially into traffic with a child in the back seat. And he’d be the first one hit if we were in the path of anything.
His response was,
“Well a comet could hit the house too.”
And I lost it.
Why, because his attitude struck me as so cavalier. My fear was real. It was not as farfetched as a comet hitting the house.
I pointed out that the house was on a busy road, I had no control over the car as it slid surprisingly fast down the drive and it made me sick to my stomach with fear. I was helpless to stop it and keep my son safe
What is it men don’t get about how mothers feel about our children.
I was mad and am now spent.
This is poorly written, but I am too tired to care.
I’m going to bed.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday Morning....

I slept in today.
For me 8:30 is an accomplished sleep in time becuase anything beyond 6:30 is rare. I was awake until 2 a.m..
So why is it that in older age, when we tire far more easily, and NEED more rest, it eludes us?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Smokey can talk.
Yep. You read that right. He can talk.
He says "NOW"
Clear as a bell. "Now!!"
And thats when he wants everything. "Now!"
From the moment you first greet him in the morning, till he sees you off to bed.
He wants his food "Now"
He wants to be patted "Now!"
He wants you to play with him "Now." And he will repeat if over and over again until you give him what he wants, just like he is behind me at this moment. "Now, now now now now."

I have the Bathtub Blues

I miss the days when I could climb into a tub full of hot water and soak, fully submerged, with nothing but my head above the surface of the water.
Recently, I started taking baths again.
Because the shower curtains in the front bathroom can't keep their slimy cold selves off of me when I have my shower. I frantically fight with them as they reach out and stick to my body from both sides. There is no pleasure or relaxation in that. I always ended up feeling stressed and pissed right off so I returned to the welcoming white porcelain arms of a childhood friend….. a bathtub in the back bathroom.
I have been bathing in there all winter. But only this morning, for some reason, I noticed that I cannot fully submerge myself at all. I can get my shoulders down but then my knees have to bend. My feet are under water but there is this line that runs about midline on my body and everything above that is exposed to the cold air.
When did this happen? When did they shrink the tubs so drastically?
I want an old fashion claw foot bath tub. One I can fill high and disappear into.

Not my bathtub... wish it was.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The big bad wolf... I don't think so

On my way home this evening I was lucky enough to see a LIVE wolf on the side of the highway.
I have only seen them at night in the past, and even so it's been a few years.
This one was coloured very much like the one on the right in the photo above. He was on the right side of the road on the forest side of the snow bank hoping for an opportunity to cross.  His neck was stretched long as he looked up over the bank and watched the cars speed past. Eyes darting from my car to the one beside me and then the one behind.  The roads were busy in both directions. I watched him as long as I could in my rear view mirror and never saw him make any attempt to move out into the highway. I hope he changed his mind and turned back into the woods, or if he continued on in the direction he was facing, I hope he made it safely.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is this 'my thing' or not?

I used to love to write. 
When I was younger I thought I wanted to be a writer but art caught my interest and I steered down another path.
Now. I try. Lord knows I try to write stuff that might intrest other people but quite frankly, my life is pretty dull. And the parts of my life that effectivly take up my time are not worth writting about. And some of what I have written about was probably better left unwritten.
You see, I figure anyone who can write... can really write well.... can make even the most mundane tale an interesting read. A good writer can, just with the use of words cause emotions to well up within the reader. Cause them to laugh, cry, feel anger,  frustration etc. just by skillfully and effectively stringing words together on a page.
I admire and congratulate all you true writers out there.
Bravo. The world would be a dull place without you.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Playing Chicken with a spider... in the bathtub

I am not a fan of spiders.
Truth be told, they scare the bejezzus out of me.
8 legs.
Who needs 8 legs anyhow?
Two is sufficient for part of the world’s creatures. I suspect the large majority of our earthly creatures have 4. And insects, who I am guessing make up the largest part of this pie chart have 6.
Horses walking on two legs would look odd and so would insects, so I can accept their unusual amount of appendages nessesary for motion. But spiders.... 8 legs are overkill if you ask me. And it is very possibly the extra two legs that freak me out the most. I don’t know why. There is no sense in being afraid of something that has 8 legs. I just am. That extra set of legs takes them from being potentially cute to just downright creepy.
And that’s my introduction to this blog.

A couple mornings ago I ran a bath and lay back to soak and enjoy. I needed to clean up but soaking is a large part of the experience. It’s a time to relax and also get rid of the chill in my bones which is ever present this time of year.
So, the bath was run and at just the right temperature… and I settled down and lay back in the gloriously hot water. I submerged my head to the point that my face was the only thing NOT under water and let my eyes look up to white expanse of the ceiling. The ceiling in this bathroom is so clean and clutter free. It’s nice to look at. My eyes follow the line of the crown molding around the room and then rest directly above me. I see a speck above my head and in an instant I can see it’s a spider.
So much for the leisurely soak.
I quickly set about washing my hair and body keeping an eye, as best I could , on this spider. The condensation accumulating on the ceiling is making it difficult for him to stay adhered to the drywall and I see him fall away. I attempt to leap out of the tub but since I am wet and slippery with soap it is not easy thing to do and I lose my grasp on the edge of the tub. Thankfully his super spider power.. meaning, his web stuff… remains attached to the ceiling and he only falls a few inches. He pulls himself up this invisible line to the ceiling again and attempts to find a less precarious location to sit and torment me from.
Only a short distance from his location he falls again.
Again, thank goodness the web material takes hold and he falls a short distance and climbs back up again.
I rush through the cleaning of my person and jump out of the tub still keeping a watchful eye on this creature from my nightmares.
I dry off in the hall. And go get my camera. Just so you can see how terrifying he is.

Lynda 0 – Spider 1.
He won that game of chicken. But his victory will be short lived. If I ever see his 8 legged body again… and Roger is home….

Be afraid little spider…. Be VERY afraid.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Trials and Tribulations.....

I have to apologize to my adoring fans for not having written lately. OK…. there is only ONE of you who follows my blog and I don’t know that I can say that you ADORE me….. please allow me my imaginings.

Anyway… I have not written because I have had nothing to write about.

Today changed that.

It all started last night when I took some bedding out of the dryer and headed up to make Liam’s bed. By the time I hit the top of the stairs my heart was pounding. It felt like it was going to bust its way out of my chest. As I leaned over to tuck the corner under on the top of his mattress I felt light headed and short of breath. I guess it was obvious to Liam because he asked if I was OK and I told him I was short of breath so he offered to finish making his bed.

I thanked him and headed downstairs my heart still pounding. Hard and fast. I lay down on my bed and tried to relax. Frankly I was scared to death but after about half an hour the heavy fast beating slowed and was more normal. I sat up in bed and watch an episode of Mad Men on my laptop.

Further trips up stairs resulted in the quick hard beat. Scared again but trying not to panic I climbed into bed to stay at 9:30 and turned out the light. I did not hurt. There was no numbness or tingling in my left arm or jaw.

I fell asleep quickly.


Fast forward to work.

At close to 10, I experienced the same symptoms. So I called my doctor and he told me to come in for 3.
Fast forward again because everything in between then and 2:15 is nothing to write about.
Once I got in to see my doctor he asked me some questions, checked my heart rate then gave me some forms to take to the lab and a number to call to schedule a 24 hour heart monitor.

Here’s where the trials and tribulations begin.

Backtrack a wee bit..

When I entered the doctor’s office they requested my OHIP card. I couldn’t find it but, no big deal. I was still able to see my doctor but was told to call OHIP because it’s time to get a new card.

Now let’s fast forward back to the lab.

My doctor requested and ECG and some blood work to check my iron and thyroid levels. He told me that low thyroid could cause the symptoms I experienced or even menopause.
The lab took my requisition then told me to take a number. In the past the lack of my OHIP card was not an issue. This time it was. I tore my purse apart to try and find the card. They would not take my blood or perform the ECG without my card, but told me I could pay cash up front and get reimbursed later. So, again, I dig into my purse to find my debit card. Nope, I was sure I saw it earlier. I looked again. No debit card. Now guess who is hormonal and starts to cry in frustration. Embarrassed, I apologize and turn away to call the Hospital to book the heart monitor. To be on the safe side I ask if they needed my OHIP card before they hook me up and I was grateful to find that they didn’t. They just need the number. I book the hook up for Friday at 3. At this point the girl in the lab tells me I can likely renew my OHIP card in Bracebridge tomorrow and then with paper in hand head directly to the lab there downtown in the old armory building. I thanked her then moved out into the lobby to insert my parking pass into the machine that will tell me how much I have to pay to get out of the parking lot. AGAIN, I dig into my purse and fortunately find the ticket and insert it.

$4. Is due so I dig in to find change. Nope not enough change. I possess a Loonie and a quarter. “Crap” Oh, but HERE is my debit card. And the lab is now closed. “ Crap” The machine won’t take Debit. It wants a credit card. I knew I did not have enough on the credit card to pay the lab but maybe there is 4 bucks on it. I swipe and YAY!!! It marks my ticket in whatever magical way it does so the gate will let me pass into the outside world.
Everything gets packed back into my purse, yet again, and I venture outside. Across the parking lot I see the last flicker of my headlights and break into a run, at least to the best of my ability. Fearing a potential heart attack and lack of strength in my muscles gives me a quick, clumsy walk at best. And honestly the chances of me getting there fast enough to prevent the inevitable is pretty slim.

Like I said it was the last flicker of my headlights.
I clamber in, putting the bottomless pit that I call a purse on the passenger seat beside me and plunge the key into the ignition.

Click – click – click – click. Grind. Over and over again. And here are the tears again.

I try again, 4 more times just in case by some miracle it starts after all. I hold my breath the first time. ‘Cause you just never know… that might help.
The next time I bite my lip. Maybeee maaaaybeee.. nope. “CRAP!!!”
Now about I scrunch up my face like I just smelled something bad. AND hold my breath at the same time. “CRAP CRAP CRAP!!!!”
Then I just cry and hope the ‘Almighty’ will take some pity on this pathetic human who just wants to go home at this point and curl up into the fetal position and feel sorry for herself.
NOPE…..”CRAP!! and a few other nastier words escape my lips.

I pull out my phone. It’s at least not fallen into the great void that is my purse, and I call Roger who thankfully is awake.
I sob out my situation and ask for help. He tells me to call CAA cause it will be at least an hour before he can get to where I am. And CAA is sure to be to me in far less time. I hang up on him as the words fall out of his mouth.

More sobbing.

I take some time to calm down and descend into my purse one more time. Looking for my CAA card. I find it and call. She asks the address of where I am. I don’t know the address. I try my best to give her my location. She tells me it will be about 2 hours before anyone can get to me.
And offers to give me a reference number if I need to call back.
I don’t have one that I know of and so help me, if I have to dig into that devil purse again I will lose my mind.
I spot it on the floor.. in the slush.. a bit of a broke pencil which must have originally come from my sons nap sack. I pick it up and chew off some of the wood to expose the lead. I look at the ticket to freedom thinking I will write it on there but am afraid of voiding it in some way.
To the rescue is the little hideaway campartment in my arm rest where I keep all sort of other crap, including odd bits of paper and change. I open it and on the top is an empty envelope that once contained a bill. I write down the number and thank her at which point she asks if there is anything else she can do for me. What? Seriously? That’s a long list right about now and I don’t think she can deliver a dose of sanity over the phone to me.
“No thank you” I mumble as pleasantly as I can muster and I wish her a nice day and hang up.
More sobbing…some all out bawling. Then I call Roger back and between fits of crying and those little annoying hiccupy things you get when you cry hard, I let him know It could be 2 hours before CAA arrived.
At some point he, in the painfully drawn out conversation, says “surely someone at work can give you a boost.” at which point I tell him I am in Huntsville.
“Oh” he says “I assumed you were at work. Where are you?” I tell him where I am. He asks if I have booster cables. And I tell him I did but they are in the shed in my emergency kit because we had to empty my trunk to get the flooring. A lot of good that kit does me there, I think, and then I think that it’s a good thing He didn’t say to me what I just thought. I suggested he look in the shed. He says it’s a mess and he’d never see them. I than ask him about the ones in his old car which is still parked in the garage, and he says he emptied the truck and they might be in the shed.
It’s turning into a big bad circle of CRAP.
I tell him I am putting down the phone and I proceed to empty my trunk into the parking lot.

Washer fluid
brake fluid
5 bottles of gas line antifreeze
two blue micro suede cushions
two fold up camp chairs, one green, one black.
bottles of water, frozen
a small Dust Buster car vac
a foot operated air pump.
And a shitake mushroom log in a black garbage bag, but NO booster cables.
I put it all back in my trunk and pick up the phone.
I hear Roger breathing heavy as he is doing whatever it is he is doing on the other end. He finally picks up and says.”I have found some. It turns out I didn’t empty my trunk after all. I will be right over.” And about 15 minutes later he shows up.

After figuring out what side the batteries are on in each of the cars he hooks me up and in minutes I am running. He leaves and I follow close behind. It hasn’t been 15 minutes for him so he gets to pass without paying. I insert the ticket and the machine feels compeled to inform me I now owe an additional dollar. Yay. I have one of those in my secret compartment under my arm rest. I fish it out thinking.” This is OK. Something is working” The I realize there is no coin slot.

Say it with me now….”CRAP!!!”

I now DUMP the purse on the seat and search with reckless abandon through the pile of ‘stuff’. Carelessly shoving things aside as I hunt for the damned credit card. Some items falling on to the floor into the slush. I don’t care. I spot the card and shove it into the slot. A message flashes on the screen. ‘Waiting for Approval’ and I panic. “What if it isn’t approved? What do I do then? Call Roger to come back with credit car in hand? The building is now all locked up and the parking lot empty with the exception of some employees cars outside. I could back up and drive up to the hospital and draw some money out of the Debit machine, but there is now a line of cars behind me waiting their turn to insert their tickets to freedom.
after what felt like an eternity “Approved” flashed on the screen and the gate lifts and I breath a big sigh and head home.

At home I left the car running to charge the battery and I asked Roger how long it would take.
“Maybe an hour” he says.
“CRAP” I say. “I will run out of gas before that”
So bless his heart, he goes out and turns off the car and hooks me up to some charger he has.

In the morning I must remember to unplug the charger so I don’t drag it down the highway behind me…….

And to buy gas before leaving town.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Do animals feel love???

I mentioned earlier about Smokey and Tripper. They have been acquainted for almost 2 years now.
Bandit on the other hand is not so easily won over by Trippers charms. Just as it took her some time to warm up to Loki, my daughters Russian Blue tom cat I expected it would take time for her to finally accept Tripper and be willing to lay a foot or two from each other on the floor as Tripper and Smokey do. Bandit acts her usual self by wandering into the living room to be with the rest of us and even climbed up into Georgina’s lap to sit while we watched a movie. On occasion when Tripper would come closer than she was comfortable with at that moment she'd give a low growl or hiss at him and he’d back off. Smokey had moved to a chair in the dining room and was asleep there.
Suddenly all hell broke loose and Bandit hissed and hit Tripper then was up and over the chair and around the room with Tripper close behind. He had her cornered near the fireplace tail wagging. Georgina pulled Tripper back because Bandit was obviously upset at which point Smokey came slowly and stiffly across the floor puffed up as big as he could and approached Tripper. A growl rose in his throat followed by a hiss and a volley of strikes to Trippers face that left the poor dog reeling. It was a good thing the cat had no front claws or blood would have been drawn. Bandit had run through the door into the hallway between the boy’s rooms and I picked up Smokey and could feel the tension in his body. I put him down in the hall and he went and sniffed at Bandit and the two of them went into Liam’s room.
Absolute silence engulfed the room for a minute then Georgina spoke.
“Wow I have never seen anything like that. He must really love her to stand up to an animal more than ten times his size like that.”
Smokey went in and was ready to take on the animal that he has lain with… has greeted nose to nose when John and G arrive for the weekend for the last year and a half, because Tripper had spooked Bandit and in Smokey’s eyes was probably attacking her.
Rogers’s sister Carol was equally impressed.
I had seen him do this before when Bandit was not yet comfortable with Loki.
So, does he feel love for the little female cat that was brought into his life 4 years ago or is it just instinctual? Protecting, what is in a cats mind, the female of his pride?
As humans discussing the event afterwards, we were inclined to transfer human emotions and motives to this display.
An hour later all was as it was before. Tripper lay on the floor and the cats walked past him as if nothing had happened.
I have to say... it was the most exciting part of the evening.

Interesting... very interesting. Not really

That's the dogs bed Smokey is on. Tripper's OK with that.

We have had house guests since New Year’s Eve Day.
I am not complaining.
They are my boyfriend’s brother and his common-law wife. She is an only child and calls me her sister. We are similar is size, shape, and temperament and sometimes it is uncanny how the words come out at the exact same time and the exact same words with the exact same inflection. It is like me being with me and Roger with Roger…. except Roger and his brother don’t look so much alike. John is as tall but heavier set and has dark hair and a moustache.
We spend a great deal of our time together watching TV, eating, talking or shopping. We talk about them retiring up here and getting a family compound.
It’s like being with ourselves.
But... in all the ways Georgina and I are the same and Roger and John are the same. Where John and G differ on what they like and enjoy John and I are the same. Likewise for Roger and G. When we are out John and I will gravitate towards the same things. And vice versa for Roger and Georgina. Roger and Georgina are minimalists. John and I like ‘stuff”. Roger and Georgina are not so social. John and I like socializing.
Strange but a comfortable fit.
They have a dog named Tripper who is very good with my cats. Smokey loves Tripper and they are never far apart when John and G come to visit.
Not an exciting blog… just observations and thoughts.