Tuesday, March 31, 2009

interview tonight

painting by Pim Sekeris

I have another job interview tonight at seven, this time for the upscale unisex store. I suppose it's very much like The Gap - I used to shop there when I'd go down to Calgary to see Bill because it was a sister store to the one I managed.

Anyway, because it's owned by the same company, it could go either way. I gave a scathing exit interview in 2006, but that was about a dispute I'd had with the district sales manager, who'd treated me unfairly. I'd also mailed a Thank You card to the Regional Vice President, saying I enjoyed working for the company and hoped to see him again one day, and this division used to be his baby.

I'm hoping for the best.

I was in my office yesterday, and met with an Advisor named Tim. Tim was the one I'd pass all my mutual fund people to, and he's been trying to think of a way for me to maintain my life licence while I give retail another shot. He might make me his Associate Advisor and pay me out of pocket for any sales I make. This would work great for me because his pay scale is three levels above mine. The clients would be his, but it would suit my purpose.

Anyway, I'm off to the office again today. Cross your fingers that I get an offer tonight!

Monday, March 30, 2009

great lines

Harry: You go back to her place, you have sex, and the minute you're finished, you know what goes through your mind? How long do I have to lay here and hold her before I can get up and go home? Is 30 seconds enough?

Sally: That's what you're thinking? Is that true?

Harry: Sure. All men think that. How long do you like to be held afterward? All night, right? See, that's the problem. Somewhere between 30 seconds and all night is your problem.

Sally: I don't have a problem.

Harry: Yes, you do.

lake of spirits

Horse chestnuts. Photo by Tim Lyon

When I came across this pic of horse chestnuts, it reminded me of that little hamlet on Vancouver Island where my friends Gary and Glynis live.

I met them in 1987 when I lived out there with Jamie's dad, and visited them every year, even after our break-up. I introduced Dale to them in 1991, and they drove the thirteen hundred kilometers to attend our wedding in 1993. Every year after, Dale, Jamie and I would either drive, or in later years, fly out to the island to visit.

We'd always take a walk around town because it was so fascinating - one hundred people living in thirty or so houses, which had all been brought in on trains and unceremoniously dumped to the sides of the railroad tracks for loggers and mill workers.

The owners of the mill, originating from the UK, brought with them a huge supply of horse chestnut trees which they planted in rows along the tiny "main street". Each tree has a stake with a plaque, commemorating the dates they were planted and for whom.

You can read more about Mesachie Lake here. Scroll down a bit to the picture captioned Bear Lake Park, and you can see the dock where Bill and I were married in 2007.

Have a good Monday.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

danny, my heart is yours

Bill was telling me about a radio program he was listening to on the way home from work last night. It was regarding cellular memory of organ transplant and their recipients, and some of their experiences.

University of Arizona scientists and co-authors of The Living Energy Universe, Gary Schwartz, PhD, and Linda Russek, PhD, propose the universal living memory hypothesis in which they believe that "all systems stored energy dynamically . . . and this information continued as a living, evolving system after the physical structure had deconstructed." Schwartz and Russek believe this may explain how the information and energy from the donor's tissue can be present, consciously or unconsciously, in the recipient.

Here's one of the stories:

"In one case, an 18-year-old boy who wrote poetry, played music and composed songs, was killed in an automobile accident. A year after he died his parents came across an audiotape of a song he had written, entitled, "Danny, My Heart is Yours," which was about how he "felt he was destined to die and give his heart to someone." The donor recipient "Danny" of his heart, was an 18-year-old girl, named Danielle. When she met the donor's parents, they played some of his music and she, despite never having heard the song, was able to complete the phrases."

Fascinating! You can read more here.

love your clothes

photo by Tim Lyons

The other day, one of the girls who works at my financial centre asked how it is that all my clothes are in such good shape. I'd recently given her a lightweight fuchsia sweater (that she'd seen me wearing last year) because it had a crossover bodice, and I couldn't wear it without a tanktop because my chest kept popping out. I figured that she'd wear it because she always layers her clothes, while I'd only wear a tank if I can layer it with a jacket that I can take off.

At any rate, she mentioned that she cycles through a wardrobe every ten months to a year because the washing machine wrecks them, and no one has ever taught her how to hand wash clothes. When I still recommended it, she replied "I couldn't imagine all the time it takes!"

I suppose it does, but not anymore than machine washing. In my case, I have to trudge downstairs to my tiny laundry room, dig through the piles of towels and jeans and socks and other assorted crap to find my stuff. Then I'd wait half an hour, trudge back down, put it in the dryer (if the dryer is even empty) wait another forty-five minutes, bring it up and fold it.

I'd rather do it my way.

All my skirts, blouses, tank tops, sweaters, and nighties are hand washed. I usually buy a small container of cheap liquid laundry detergent to keep beneath the bathroom sink. Any kind, as long as it doesn't have bleach. I wash two to three items at a time, rinse them once, and roll them in a thick bath towel. Sometimes I leave them in the towel overnight, especially if it's a sweater. The next morning I unwrap it and either drape it over the shower rod or on a hanger. Within a few hours it can be moved to my closet, which has an ironing board set up beside it 24/7.

I have managed to keep certain dressy items for up to four years by doing it this way, and considering that I used to spend $2,000 a year on clothes, it's saved me a bundle. Now when I buy something, it's because I love it, not because I need it.

Have a good Sunday!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I saw this discussion in an old Cosmo magazine.

Do you think that people of both sexes fantasize about other people while they are making love with their partner?

If you do, do you think this is natural, or a form of betrayal?

Do you think it's more common for men, or for women?

Please discuss. I'll be back in a bit!

the hardest part is over

photo taken by Alf, in Denmark

It always amazes me that people are freaked out by the lives that Jamie and I have led, as well as Bill and Em. It's true that each of us continues to deal with the fallout of our previous lives, which is why it is so important for us to pull together and protect each other, at all costs.

Although it seems like a stressful situation we're facing with Em's mom, I think it'll be okay. We're going to suggest that Em and Tina exchange letters instead of the phone calls. The pressure for Em to keep everything a secret (where we live, where she goes to school, where she hangs out) is too much for someone her age. When she was little, it was a real possibility that Tina might try to take her, and back then Em wouldn't have been able to stand up for herself. Now, we worry that Tina will use the info to stalk and threaten us.

For the last year or so, Em has been saying that this song is our Family Theme Song. It will bring Bill to tears if he happens to hear it on the radio. He says it brings back an image of bunkbeds, set up in a new apartment, right after he won full custody of Em. They literally had nothing but each other back then. He was scared, but happy.

Little Wonders
-Rob Thomas

let it go,
let it roll right off your shoulder
don't you know
the hardest part is over
let it in,
let your clarity define you
in the end
we will only just remember how it feels

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

let it slide,
let your troubles fall behind you
let it shine
until you feel it all around you
and i don't mind
if it's me you need to turn to
we'll get by,
it's the heart that really matters in the end

our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours,
these small hours still remain

all of my regret
will wash away some how
but i can not forget
the way i feel right now

in these small hours
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away but these small hours
these small hours, still remain,
still remain
these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away
but these small hours
these little wonders still remain.

You can listen to it here.

Have a nice Saturday!

more opportunity

I spent the week nursing my wounds at home, but by this afternoon I was ready to start over again. I'm actually at my best when I'm networking, so as I drove back into town I started planning on where to start.

In the past I've always liked starting where I'm appreciated, so I headed over to the clothing store where I work weekends. Although the manager seemed genuinely disappointed for me over the H&M thing, she offered me an assistant's position if I'm still available a few months from now. Then she referred me to the district sales manager from another division, who's looking for a store manager for their upscale unisex store. I left her a voicemail at two-thirty, by three I got a call from her assistant for an interview Tuesday night.

Let's hope that this one goes better for me.

Right now I'm waiting for Bill to wake up so that I can spend some time with him before he hits the road at two a.m. He's going to Fox Creek again, to move an enviro-birm system from one rig location to another, and has to be on site at seven. Today was exceptionally warm, enough to melt the snow and make all the roads wet, but then it SNOWED about two inches, making me worry all night about his upcoming drive. **sigh** Hopefully his guardian angel will look out for him tonight.

Friday, March 27, 2009

an old pic and getting ready for a fight

I used to send pics in almost every email to Bill (back when I had a webcam, before I got the digital) This is me from five years ago, before my fortieth birthday. I used to get ready for work, then take the pic, so he'd always see how nice I looked. Now he sees me first thing in the morning, poor guy!

♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

We're trying to get ourselves psyched for a fight with Tina, Em's bio-mom.

Em has really been wrestling with herself, as well as us, for the last six months. She goes back and forth on whether she still loves Tina, or just feels sorry for her, or both. Unfortunately, it's been wreaking havoc with her health. Her ulcer is acting up again, and she's been having more anxiety lately.

At her counselling session on Wednesday, we talked at length and it's been decided that we won't make her talk to Tina. Em's therapist said that it was like we were forcing her to stay in an abusive relationship, and diagnosed her with mild post-traumatic stress.

The therapist, Em and me decided that we'd start with a letter. Em can explain that she has some anxiety around the phone calls, particularly when Tina keeps reassuring her that she'll take us to court. Tina thinks she has to "save" Em from us (Em has never challenged this) but all it was doing was threatening to take away the only secure home she's ever known.

Bill and I would include a letter of our own, explaining that we are supporting Em in her decision but we will keep an open mind. We want to be kind to her because she's not well (untreated bi-polar disorder, munchausin's, personality disorders) but if she seeks treatment we can consider it.

The biggest thing is that Em is under a lot of pressure during each conversation. She has to be careful not to give away our location, her school, or even where she hangs out. She knows that anything she says can be taken wrong by Tina, and then Bill will feel the brunt of her anger - ten to eleven phone calls a day, each one leaving a three minute long diatribe about how she's going to tell Em something bad about his past. Occasionally she'll leave a short threat, like "I'm coming to get you, boy." Crazy.

Anyway, I'm not sure what'll happen. It could start something, but Em is hoping it won't. She thinks that Tina would be in danger of losing city housing if she admitted she didn't have custody of Em, or her older brother Shaun, and will keep quiet. We're not sure if she's also claiming both children to recieve more social services benefits, but that would help if she was.

Have a nice Friday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

stories from yesterday

story written for Bill on October 19, 2004
**a little explicit**

the coffee bar

She walked into the coffee bar absent mindedly, and moved to the right to join the shortest line. It had been a long day, and the thought of a 5 minute wait made her sigh and wiggle her shoulders in an effort to loosen up. Glancing around at nothing in particular, she noticed that there were two new counter people, rushing around to find things. A batch of muffins in the small commercial oven and a pot of decaf brewing made the air heavy and sweet.

Ahead of her, a small woman wearing jeans and a hairclip was picking out a dozen doughnuts, so she continued to glance around at the people in line. There were 3 or 4 teenagers finding enough money for icecaps and a man that looked like a truckdriver. When the door opened, a man walked in wearing dark blue fatigues and a nylon jacket. He was about her height, with startling green eyes and very short blonde hair. He moved with deliberate ease, stopping behind the truckdriver and pushing one hand into his pants pocket. Curiously, she watched as he pulled out a $20 bill, and glanced around to size up the wait. For a second, he looked directly into her eyes, and she felt a quiet heat rise up her chest. The line moved forward, so she shifted and continued to peruse him, from the black boots and following the curve of his legs up to his ass. There was an EMS embroidered on the sleeve of his jacket, so she assumed he worked for the city.

After ordering coffee and sandwiches, she stepped off to the side and thoughts of the man's eyes drifted through her mind. She wondered what would happen if she just stepped back towards him and ran her hands over his butt, and suppressed a low laugh at the thought. What if he led her outside, and leaned her against the building? She could imagine those hands on either side of her head, his face leaning in close to her. His breath on her cheek, and down her neck. She could see him dipping down to look at her, before gently pressing his soft mouth against her bottom lip. She'd press back - tentatively at first but soon deepening it until his tongue pushed into her mouth. Heat would explode in her belly, making her shiver suddenly, nipples curling up and pressing into his warm nylon jacket.

One of his hands would come down and curl around the side of her neck, pulling her in closer to him and pressing her closer to the wall. His thigh would push between hers, making them fit together and she'd run her hands down the front of his chest, then pushing beneath his jacket and across his back. Heat from his skin would make her moan, and he'd lift his head to look at her before bringing the tip of his tongue over her top lip.

Sighing, she turned to see that her food was ready, but the man with the eyes hadn't ordered yet. Not ready to leave, she moved over to the tables, and slid onto a chair to continue watching him. She pulled the lid off her coffee, and sipped while she pondered him naked. His shoulders looked wide, and she wondered what they'd feel like under her hands. She pictured him stripping off his shirt, and maneuvering himself over her. She'd want to taste every bit of his chest, and lick her way down his belly and up those strong thighs. She imagined the feel of hot skin and soft hair on her face, and she closed her eyes involuntary against the rush. When she re-opened them, he was handing the cashier money. He spoke quietly as he shoved his change back into his pocket, and moved around the people behind him toward the door. He looked directly at her, and instead of glancing away, held her gaze for a full five seconds before smiling and pushing through the door. Sighing, she picked up the lid off the table, and started putting it back on her coffee. A shadow moved across her peripheral vision, and she looked up to see him sliding in across from her.

"Hi," he said softly. "I'm Bill. And you are?"

"Yours," said Kate. "Would you like to sit down?"

sentimental commodities

A few weeks ago, I was going through my jewelry, looking for a pair of gold hoops to wear to one of my job interviews. I've kept every pair that Dale ever gave me, even if one of them was lost. I also had several rings that were channel set with little diamonds, as well as a pair of channel set earrings.

I pawned most of them that week,(including my half carat diamond engagement ring from Dale)taking away almost three hundred dollars and allowing me to fill the truck with fuel, buy groceries, and generally get us through until our mid-month pay came through.

I don't recommend this at all.

The interest charges on that was $170, which I had to pay in order to get them back. From there I took the smaller rings to the gold dealer, who paid me $100 cash.

Yesterday, when it looked like Bill's boss wasn't going to pay his expenses for a few more days, I sorted through the rest, and set aside all the single hoops as well as a broken puzzle ring that I used to wear on my right index finger.

I took Dale's wedding band, too.

I kept thinking, it's only gold, gold is a commodity. Don't think about the ceremony, under the shade of that tree in the park. Don't think about the hope you had! Don't picture that ring on his finger as he was dying. It was so big on him then!

I closed my eyes and added it to the rest.

The kids and I walked into the shop. Em took a seat at the table nearby, Jamie came up to the counter. I emptied the little snack bag onto the counter with a metallic clink and picked out Dale's ring. Jamie's eyes widened a bit, and I asked, "will I regret it?" She nodded. "Don't do it, Mum."

I slipped his ring in behind Bill's and sold the rest.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

an old favourite

One of my all time favourite movies is The Color Purple, with Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg. It came on TV late last night, and I stayed up to watch it while Bill slept beside me.

I have the novel in my office downtown, but haven't started to read it yet. To be honest, I never realized that the book is quite a bit different than the screenplay, particularly around two of my favourite characters, Albert and Shug. In the movie, I love to hate Albert when he's young and mean and taking a lesson from his own father, but I absolutely love it when he redeems himself by helping Nettie find her way back to Celie.

As for Shug, it seems unlikely that I'd like her at all. It's never really explained what her "sickness" is when Albert drags her home, but I've always thought it was booze and heroin, even though I'm not sure it was as prevalent in 1916, when Shug first arrives at Albert's house.

At any rate, I guess it's not just Shug that I like, but her entire story. Obviously, she was the black sheep of the family. The wayward daughter of the local preacher, she spends decades trying to prove to him that she's worthy of his love, but he won't have any of it until she realizes that he wants her to follow God. By the time she makes her Grand Gesture, belting out "God is Trying to Tell You Something" from Harpo's jukejoint to the little church just down the road, I'm pretty much in tears. It's even worse when the man actually hugs her, and she shows such palpable joy - I need a whole box of tissues just to get through it, lol. You can watch it here.

Today I'm thinking of going over to the retirement home where Bill used to work. Even though I'm still smarting over the rejection from H&M, I need to make some money while I'm regrouping and there might be something for me to do there. I'll be checking out the job boards too, but those listings are getting smaller and smaller every day, and the line ups at the food bank are getting longer and longer. I'd like to see my area put some money into infrastructure soon - our city has seen so much growth and the wear and tear is obvious. We need another school and another hospital, but that's another story altogether.

Happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

spot the differences

Wouldn't it be nice if we could photoshop our own pics? I would look so much younger, and so much thinner!

swiped from Dlisted:Be very afraid!

feels like thursday

I wanted to stay in my pajamas today, but it didn't work out that way.

However, I did luck out and was able to get a little fuel in my truck, some ground beef, and some milk, in spite of the fact that Bill's company hasn't paid his expenses yet. Even if they had, he got called up to Whitecourt and won't be home until after eleven tonight.

I think it's going to be a long day - when I went out earlier, I didn't notice that my shirt was on inside out! Thank goodness I had my jacket on.

Monday, March 23, 2009

so disappointed

I heard from the placement agency today, the one that did my original interview before short-listing me for H&M. Apparently, they've taken me off the list for candidates. I have no idea why - maybe I'm too old, or maybe I don't fit their image. At any rate, I am so disappointed! This all came down about an hour after submitting my intention to terminate my contract with my current company.

After that, I went back to submitting resumes. *sigh*

new week, new challenges

Thanks to everyone that voted in my last poll, and to those who left comments. As with all my polls, I don't leave a lot of options because I'm looking for certain respondents. For example, in my new poll I'm interested in those that have made a conscious effort to cut back on their household budgets, and what they might have done so far.

Today I'm waiting for Bill to come pick me up in the company truck because he had to take my truck this morning. Apparently, his is out of fuel and we forgot to fill it before we spent the last of our available cash on groceries. This is what I hate about living on one paycheque - scrambling to get by. I've taken as many shifts as I can at the clothing store, and this week I'm doing a prospecting blitz to make some insurance sales. I'll need them to fund my last month at the office, on top of filling up my freezer, which has emptied out completely in the last week.

At any rate, Bill should be here soon so I should hurry and get dressed. Have a good Monday!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

saturday morning

bird houses, Inner Harbour, Victoria BC

Interviewing for this job is taking such a long time, and I am starting to become annoyed and impatient by the way it's being done. It began with an interview with the placement agency, then led to phone interview with Becky from Vancouver. Then I met with two women at a hotel here in my city, which led to this last interview in Calgary.

Nothing, yet.

They think I might have to travel again to either Calgary or Edmonton, which would cost me yet another $60 in fuel and another day off work, before they decide. This is after four out of six of their last group of candidates didn't show up at all.

Also, they were saying that there is no bonus structure, or incentive plan, which surprises me. As long as they pay industry standard I believe it would be okay, but I don't buy that just having the honour to work at such an exciting, innovative company would be enough!

Now that I'm left hanging for another week, it's become increasingly awkward trying to plan the demise of my insurance business - especially in regard to the resignation letter and the thank you cards. I was hoping to give them a solid date, but if I don't have a job offer, how can I do that?

It's frustrating. I might just have to meet with the agency manager and give him a heads up, then scramble to find something if this one doesn't work out.

The good news is, I have the day off in the clothing store. We didn't stay in Calgary last night, because even though it was lovely, it was located next to the crack park in that area. Way too many prostitutes and weirdos in the area to leave my truck on the street. We got home around 7:30 and went to bed by 9:00, and now we have the day to do whatever we like.

Friday, March 20, 2009

hello from Calgary

I'm at the hotel in Calgary for my interview, but things have changed slightly. The group that was meant to be interviewed has gone from six to just two, and apparently they can't do the same type of assessment exercise without the others involved.

Instead, they've asked me to kill some time here in the business centre while they interview the other girl. I'll go in and see them in an hour.

Afterward, Bill and I are staying at a hostel downtown (it's newly renovated and only $26 per person per night) and maybe seeing a movie or going dancing. We love being away :)

Jamie's got a good friend coming to stay tonight with her and Em.

Have a good night! I'll be back tomorrow.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

daddy's girl

photo by Niall Benvie

One thing that I've learned in the last seven years - life is too short.
There were many times through my twenties and my thirties that I longed for a close relationship with my dad, but it was made very clear during his yearly trips that he enjoyed visiting the men in our family (namely my sister's husband, Dean, and Dale) more than Deb and I.

She and I used to sit in the house while the men sat out on the deck, coming up with all kinds of ideas for a business. In the late nineties, much of those ideas depended on the sale of Dad's Emu farm, which had turned out to be a huge drain on his real estate profits. (Later, when it sold, it became the money he gave us kids in 2004)

In the Spring of 2002 I called him to talk about his yearly trip and to let him know how we were doing (by this time Dale was losing his eyesight and equilibrium) but that must have scared Dad because he never came back. When Dale died we called him, but he begged out of the funeral and we heard nothing more for another two years, until I got the cheque that turned out to be the down payment for this house.

Since 2002, I've often wondered why he's not interested in my life anymore. He's never met Bill or Emily - I'm not sure what he thinks about this third marriage of mine. Some people are very judgemental, others aren't. He hasn't stayed in touch with Jamie, or with my brother, Steve.

It used to bother me a lot, but now I feel he's lost out. My Mom and Step-dad provide Em and Jamie with extended family, and we know we're loved by them. I don't really get upset and I haven't tried to contact him for about two years now. I used to send him pics of the kids and pics of the house, or write when something nice happened, but not anymore. He never replied, never called, and I can take a hint.

On another subject - isn't it sad about Natasha Richardson? I got such a kick out of her character in Maid in Manhatten, and thought she was a lovely woman. My heart goes out to her husband and her children. What a terrible, tragic loss.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

dear dad

my favourite chair

I found this email in my hotmail account, and thought I'd share. A lot has transpired since then!

September 19, 2004

Dear Dad;

Things have happened very fast since you sent me that gift. Every day I'm actually in awe that I've been given this chance to start over, and I can't thank you enough.

I know that all these years, you may have thought that us kids only wanted to talk to you if we needed something, and boy did we feel guilty if we had to ask! I just wanted you to know that you've always been more than that to me. I adored you when I was little - and I've always regretted not being able to get closer to you as we got older.

It seemed as though things were going fine for awhile. We didn't always have much time for travel when we were working so much, and when we did have 4 or 5 days they were used for karate. Then Dale got sick, and started drinking, and many of my dreams died. Then after he died, and the life insurance was denied, I struggled financially. I financed a car with my widows benefit, and my rent and debts left over from my life with Dale took everything else. It seemed like there was going to be years and years of struggle to get back on my feet.

What you gave me wasn't just money - it was a whole new start. I paid off the balance of my car loan and credit cards, and applied for a mortgage. Thankfully, my credit rating had improved over the last few years, and it was accepted. Last week, I closed on a house in a newer area of town, and we moved in on Thursday. It took just about the entire amount that you gave me, but the mortgage payment will be doable for me on my salary and pension.

I've spent 2 nights in this house now, and each night before I went to sleep I've thought of all the things I wanted to say to you. I just can't believe how things have turned out - I went from always worrying about how I was going to give us a future, to actually realizing the dream of getting us a house. It's a bittersweet thing, doing this without Dale, and it's kinda lonely doing it myself - it'd be nice to be able to share it with someone. But given the fact that I'm almost 40, and my paycheque will go towards something other than rent, I'm grateful.

Thank you so much for thinking of us. Thanks for giving me a chance to start over. I hope that all is well with you and Ev, and that your health is still good. Talk to you soon;

Love Kathy

more green for your viewing pleasure

photo by Bill Jobling
taken beside a river in Scotland

I spoke to one of my favourite insurance advisors yesterday, and he's going to give me a few of his sales to help fund my last month at the office. I didn't realize before, that the rules are very similar to that of renting an apartment - you need to give 30 days notice or pay up.

In return, I'll place my insurance business with him as well as my retirement savings, and send leads his way. He's a good guy.

Since my last appointment blew me off, I've accepted a short shift at the clothing store today. I know that I will miss this job as well - in particular, the 50% discount! The girls have all treated me well there.

After all this, I keep thinking I'd better get a job offer, but I doubt they'd bring me down to Calgary without an offer in mind.

I'd better hurry. Happy Humpday!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

my irishman

This picture of Bill was taken while we were driving out to the west coast to get married. I like it for several reasons. He still has the goatee, and I love whiskers (he had to shave it off for the oilfield job but now has a mustache) you can see just how insanely long his eyelashes are, and you can see the shape of his Irish Potato Head, lol.

You know, one of the most intimate things we do started when we first began dating. If I am laying on a couch or a bed he'll crawl up the length of my body and lay his head on my breasts to listen to my heart beat. I always run the palms of my hands over the back of his head, his hair is always so short and soft. When he was overseas I missed that so much - even today when I feel the back of his head, it makes me remember the longing. *sigh* He always tells his mom that his head is that way because she left him laying in his crib too long, just to get a rise out of her, lol.

What's so cute about it is that they're from an area of Newfoundland called The Irish Loop, and they both have Newfoundland accents with a heavy Irish brogue.

Damn, I miss him. I haven't seen him since Sunday night and he might not make it home tonight because they're moving equipment from one oilrig site to another, and the engineer is behind schedule. I guess it's good to miss each other from time to time.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

- an old Irish Blessing

Monday, March 16, 2009

messed up day

Change of any kind seems to stress me out to the max, but I'm having a hard time letting go of my current business. For the last two years I might not have been making much money, but I wasn't at the mercy of some idiotic district sales manager and I could write my own schedule. Now, even though I'm excited about earning a regular paycheque, I'm back to worrying about company expectations.

It's not just their expectations, but my own. I'm worried about my age and the dress code, I'm worried about being sent away for a month, I'm worried that Jamie won't find work, I'm worried that the bills won't get paid if I'm gone. I'm worried that Bill won't enforce Em's bedtime or her work chores if I'm not here. I'm worried I'll get fired in the first three months. I'm worried that they'll want me to work a lot of overtime, I'm worried I'll owe money to my old company for chargebacks after I leave, I'm worried about having to pay an extra month's rent on my office.

Anyway, all these things have been constantly going around and around and around in my mind, and today when the bank wouldn't deposit Bill's paycheque into my account so that I could make the truck payment and cover the cheque for Em's band camp, I could feel a freak out coming on, because he is about three and a half hours northwest of here and not getting home until tomorrow. They sent me from one branch to another, back to the first, over to the bank where his paycheque is drawn on, back to my own branch, then back to the other bank for a "bank draft" (because they don't "certify" funds) taking over three and a half hours of my time. In the end, he was able to stop in a town that has one our bank branches, and transfer funds.

Several times, I just couldn't stand it and had to sit in my truck and cry. On the way home, I was this close to buying a pack of cigarettes. Instead, I bought a pack of Captain Black Sweets, which are cigars made with pipe tobacco. I smoked one while I read a few journals, and my stomach (and my head) feels a bit better.

I know that I worry too much, and I'm working on it. Still, I think I could use a nap. Tomorrow will surely be better than today.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

got the munchies?

I want to get some mini-muffin tins like these. I started out searching for lunch ideas and ended up reading recipes for Reece's Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cookies, lol.

Basically you buy your favourite kind of ready made cookie dough, spray your pans with non-stick cooking spray, then line the pans with a thick layer of the cookie dough. Bake for a few minutes, push an unwrapped peanut butter cup into the centre and bake for another minute or so.

They sound delicious and very fattening, so I wouldn't make these very often!
On the other hand, I would probably use the tins a lot for every day fare. If it weren't for the laundry and the fact that I am saving money this week, I'd go out and buy one today.


photo by Dean Swope


Your horoscope - Week of March 16, 2009

Your mission seems to be related to your current financial situation. You want to get ahead, and Mars in Pisces is helping you envision a much better financial situation than the one you have right now. But you need to give yourself some guidelines and a sound budget that you'll stick to. Otherwise, you may end up not doing anything that will really make a difference. The Sun moves into Aries on Friday, which is great for giving you an additional burst of positive energy. You can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Be bold!

* * * * * * * * * * * *

It's been a nice Sunday so far. Bill and I stayed in bed a little longer, just laughing and fooling around. Eventually we had to get up because Lola needed out and we knew there would be a chance he'd get called in, which he was.

He's got to deliver a bin out west then swing east to pick up a light tower. Hopefully the roads are good this afternoon because the trees are pretty frosty today! I think he'll be gone for most of the day, which means I may drive out to the farm with the kids, because we haven't seen my mom for a few weeks.

My horoscope is pretty accurate today, at least in terms of my interview this coming Friday. My decision to go back to retail management was a tough one to make, and I was really hoping I'd never have to do it. On the other hand, being able to pay all bills as well as save money for retirement is a powerful thing, even though I am really going to miss my colleagues and my office.

What are you making for supper? I dunno what to take out.

Friday, March 13, 2009


What I've done so far today:

- drove Jamie to work
- blogged
- Put a pork roast in the slow cooker
- blogged

- loaded the dishwasher
- blogged
- made a hair appointment
- texted Bill

Now I am doing a face mask, and anticipating a shower. I have to hurry if I want to be out in time to make a sandwich for Bill, who says he'll be here at 2:30.
This is a really good Friday.

friday the 13th

I'm not particularly superstitious, but remember certain Friday the 13th incidents. In 1986 when I was working up in Red Earth Creek, it was bitterly cold (something like -50°C) and four people lost their lives. One man was run over by his truck while he was underneath trying to fix something, another man died by climbing up the derrick on his rig. Apparently the men wanted to stop work for the day because the cold made it dangerous, but their boss, the Driller, thought it was fine. Unfortunately he fell to his death trying to prove it. I can't recall how the other two perished, but believe it was related to the cold.

Here in Central Alberta it's 0°C and expected to get up to 7°C, which is like Spring for us. My only appointment has been rebooked for Monday so I'm not sure what I'm going to do today. I have a feeling much of it will be spent thinking about my next interview, what I'll be wearing and whether or not I should tan for a few minutes. Seriously, once you get to my age, you'll do anything to get an edge on your competition, lol.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

good news

I just got a call from H&M in Vancouver. They want me to do another interview with Human Resources next Friday in Calgary! It'll be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Bill will drive me down so that I don't have to worry how to find it.
This is very good news! I am so looking forward to getting a paycheque. I just hope they offer me management - not the general manager, but the department manager. Less responsibility, but good pay.


I often think about the first six weeks of my relationship with Bill, and how he went away for a year after that. First, back to Newfoundland and six months later, to Texas for training, then Libya and Qatar to work as security for an Italian oilfield company. A long distance relationship frought with fear, longing and frustration! I think he came back to me because he knew I was right - we were meant to form a family and protect each other, and it's been proven over and over every single day since June 15th, 2004.

There was some kind of invisible thread that connected us physically when he was gone, even though he tried to deny it. (To this day he blushes and pats me on the knee whenever I point out that he was the only man to ever break up with me, lol)

And there was a psychic connection, too. I've written about this before on journalspace, it constantly surprises me because I used to think that Dale and I were very close. I used to think we could almost read each other's minds, but it has never been as strong as with Bill.

The first time it happened, he was still living in Calgary and Emily had just turned seven. We'd been dating for about a month, and it had been a "date" weekend, meaning that Jamie had stayed here and Em had spent the night before at his friend Sheena's. On Sunday evening, we were all laying about watching a movie and I was trying to decide if I should drive home early, or stay and drive home Monday morning, in time to open the store I was managing. I was on the futon and Bill was sitting in the armchair beside me. Em was curled up in his arms, and I remember thinking he should put her to bed and hold me, which he did a minute later.

That might sound like a coincidence, but there are so many incidents. If he is thinking about someone, I'll ask him how they are. If I want him to call me, my cell phone rings. If I see him without his glasses for a few days, I'll be wondering if he's misplaced them and he'll ask, "Have you seen my glasses?" The other night he set a bottle of Pepsi on the coffee table and I remember thinking ugh, he should just leave it on the floor so that it's not in my periphal and two seconds later he moved it.

I think it happens with many couples, they just don't notice it. In our case, I'm sure that the LDR increased our awareness.

Today I'm seeing Glenda, my therapist, for more EMDR. Hopefully that improves my muscle memory as well! She says that when you experience trauma repeatedly for years, your muscles "remember" during current stresses and that might have caused the right rotator cuff problem I had last year and the problems I'm having with my left bicep and shoulder muscles now. It'd be nice to live without pain!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March 14th is Steak and Blowjob Day

This Saturday is Steak and Blowjob Day!
I'm not sure when I first heard of this man holiday, but it might have been 2002 or 2003. Personally, I think it's a great idea, if you can afford the steak, lol.

**quick edit**

Be sure to watch the video on the Steak and BJ Day site. It's got a few funny moments. Also, you can actually print off a greeting card for the occasion on the site. Who knew?

**end edit**

I have to work for a bit today, but will be home later this evening. I feel like I want to give up prospecting (looking for new customers) but I'm not sure that'd be wise, yet. Hopefully I hear about the other job this week.

Happy Humpday!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I had my job interview with H&M this morning and it took a little over ninety minutes to complete. I really have no idea how it went - but to be honest, if they offer me any position, I'd probably take it. Well, any position that paid more than $35,000 a year.

Bill received his tax return yesterday, which means we spent about nine hours running errands and catching up on bills. Today I went online and finished the rest and I must say what a relief it was!

I'm exhausted now. It was -35°C this morning and between the cold, the snow, the icy roads, the financial ups & downs and the interview, I totally need a nap. First I'm going to read a few of my faves.

How's everybody else doing?

Monday, March 9, 2009

memento mori

birthday polish, from Jamie

At my weekly counselling session last Thursday, Glenda said something about Dale that's been bothering me since then. We were talking about the guilt I have as a mother, for staying with an alcoholic. Because I couldn't leave, I changed the course of mine and Jamie's life forever - and in some ways, that was a good thing. In other ways, it was horrific. Anyway, she had said something like, "You shouldn't blame yourself so much because after all, when you met him he was still young and a nice guy. You didn't know he'd turn out to be not such a nice guy."

I'm sure she didn't realize how that would set off more guilt, because one of the reasons Dale chose to die was because he felt he deserved it. He quit drinking eight months before he died but kept beating himself up, I kept saying that I would keep his memory alive and I would celebrate the person that he was before he lost the battle with booze. I hate that other people only know the bad things.

Anyway, one of the nice things I truly miss about him is that he had a thing for giving me pedicures.

It wasn't a fetish as far as I know, but he thought I had beautiful feet. He loved the way they got so brown in the summer time, he loved the way they arched along the bottom, and loved painting my toes.

We'd be reading on the couch, with him sitting on one end and me laying down with my feet across his lap. Every now and then he'd notice that the polish was fading or coming off and fix it.

A few months before he actually died, we were on the couch in the same way but when his hand closed over the top of my foot he started crying. Through tears of my own I asked him what was wrong and he said who's going to take care of these? You have such pretty feet...

In the six and a half years since he died, I thought of this story every single time I painted my nails, with the exception of the time I asked Bill to do it last fall. We sat on the bed in the bedroom for over forty-five minutes because we kept laughing so hard that I couldn't stay still. Thank god the colour was light pink.

I kept that polish on for months, until it eventually faded away.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

spring ahead

The last week has been quite stressful for Emily. She lost a good friend to suicide on Monday, and was dreading having her bi-weekly call to her mom, which was last night. Actually, I'm not sure if dreading is the right word. She's usually ambivilent about it, and Bill will insist, to keep the peace.

She had a (seemingly) good conversation, but by ten p.m. she had a stomach ache that was getting worse every ten minutes, and by eleven she was vomiting. The stomach pain was enough that she couldn't lay down, sit up or stay still, and eventually she asked to go to the ER.

They went, but it was really cold and a blizzard was going on (as it is again today) so when it looked like it was going to be a three hour wait he brought her home again. She was sick a few more times and finally fell asleep.

Personally, I think the ulcer she had when she was three is still there, and sometimes it flares up. Spicy foods and stress seem to bring all this on, and I'd like to have an official diagnosis, but the test is so intrusive - it involves a stomach scope. I'm not sure what we're going to do. I guess we should take her to the family doctor, but maybe we'll ask her therapist about it first. She has an appointment on Wednesday.

Spring ahead for most of us! In Canada, Saskatchewan doesn't participate but the rest of us do. I really like having the extra hour of daylight because I think that many of us middle-aged Albertans have some kind of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Besides, life is so much easier if it's still light out when you get off work.

Because of the snow and winds, I highly doubt we'll be taking a trip out to the farm. I'm not sure what we'll do today, but I bet it'll include cleaning. And it's the perfect kind of day for stew and baking powder biscuits! Hope you're all warm and toasty today.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


I worked at the clothing store today, while Bill got our taxes done for 2007 and 2008. Two personal returns and two business returns cost a little over $500 to have done, but I think we'll be able to utilize the cash-back feature they offer for the personal returns. Hopefully we get the money on Monday, which means I'll be able to pay a few bills. God that'll be so nice!
Here's the poll results:

Do you play an instrument?

guitar - 3 (9%)

piano - 5 (16%)

drums - 4 (12%)

clarinet - 1 (3%)

other - 8 (25%)

I can't say, it's kind of dirty - 10 (32%)

Personally, I don't play any instrument have always admired those that play piano.
I didn't realize that I hadn't put "no" as an option, but by that time I figured you all had two other ways to go instead. It didn't surprise me that 32% voted for the last one, lol.
New poll will be up soon. Have a good night!

Friday, March 6, 2009

four inches closer to heaven

monolo blahniks, marimekko poppy print

"To be carried by shoes, winged by them. To wear dreams on one's feet is to begin to give reality to one's dreams."
-Roger Vivier

I've been thinking about shoes for the last few days, and knowing that I will most likely go back into retail means I will have to replace all of them. All the slingbacks, pumps, sandals and boots have a 3" to 4" heel and couldn't be tolerated on a tile floor.
Not that I don't love shoe shopping, but I will miss wearing the heels!

There is a certain amount of respect that people give you when you walk into a room wearing heels. It gives you a feeling of power, especially if those heels make you taller than everyone else there, and even moreso if everyone there is male.

The other day when I was at the placement agency, I had to sit out front for a moment before my interviewer came out to get me, but when I followed him back both women watched my boots go by. When we got inside Brian's office he blushed when I shook his hand (Brian is 5'4" to my 6' in boots.)

It's possible that some of my perception is wrong, but wearing heels creates a feeling of strength, confidence and attractiveness that others can sense.

At any rate, I hope to find some sexy gladiator sandals, some slides and another pair of black leather, knee high lace up boots, which were my staples back in the day. I guess I'll have to save the heels for something else.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

important question!

Okay not really, lol.
Since the roads are extremely hazardous today, and my appointment isn't until 4:00 pm, I am wasting time.
This topic comes up from time to time. Which way do you hang your TP roll?
Mine is always from the top, because I feel you have more control this way. Whenever someone does it the other way, I always find the end trailing down onto the floor.
So, which way do you like it?

more randomosity

photo source unknown

  • Since about eleven p.m. last night, there have been raging winds and snow. Nothing like when I was a kid, but still a minor blizzard. Right now it's -11°C but feels like -26°C.
  • One of Emily's friends from school committed suicide by hanging Monday night. He was twelve years old, and his mother had committed suicide when he was six. He leaves behind a brother and a dad, and we've been praying for them all.
  • I did an interview for a recruiter yesterday morning and it went very well. They're looking for a large management team for a new H&M store and after half an hour he short-listed me. Unfortunately, I missed a call from their HR office last night, but will touch base with them on Monday. It looks like they want me for some kind of supervising role because they're looking for a manager who has had a team of 60. Wow! The biggest team I've ever had was 18. I'm excited about any new opportunity, but I've heard awesome things about H&M.
  • A recruiter from a high interest lender called me yesterday for a loans officer position but I disclosed a crappy credit rating, and that ended it. I don't mind - I would have hated working for someone that charges 30% interest.
  • A recruiter looking to fill a Fashion Retailer Management spot emailed me for more information on my merchandising experience, and I hope he calls me for an interview.
  • Even though I'm looking for other work, I'm still prospecting. I sold some health insurance on Monday and hope to do two life insurance sales this afternoon. You know, I am really going to miss this job. I do love what I do, but there are just too many people who ruin it for everyone else.

Hope you all have a nice Thursday!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

canadian lynx

photo borrowed from The Lioncrusher's Domain

Bill was three hours northwest of here near Edson, delivering an enviro bin for a service rig, when a lynx walked across the dirt road he was on. He slowed down, thinking it was a dog, then came to a complete stop when he realized it was a huge cat taking it's time! The kitty had long legs and no tail, with the trademark points at the tips of it's ears.

It sauntered across the road and sat on the slope of hill in the ditch, watching him. He was really freaked out because he has a fear of cougars.

I said, "holy crap! Why didn't you get a pic with your phone?!" and he replied, "I was gonna! But then he stood up and I realized my window was open and he could get me. Ack!" LOL.

I'm so jealous - I never get to spot wildlife anymore.

This morning I have an interview with a placement firm, for a Store Manager opening. They wouldn't disclose who their client was over the phone, so I'm not sure if it'll be something I'm interested in, or not. I suppose if it's a regular paycheque, I'll probably be interested! I just hope it's not a shit job.

Happy Humpday!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

random tuesday

I got this picture of Tokyo yesterday after putting my clean PJ bottoms away. It's on the fourth shelf in my linen closet. I wonder what it is about laundry that cats love? I used to think it was the warmth, but these didn't have any of the dryer warmth left. Maybe it's the fabric softener?

Bill and I watched the news last night and saw all the stock markets drop even further. I have to say, it's scary! People say our city isn't ruled by the price of oil but that's incorrect. No one is hiring right now and probably won't be for awhile, and I am getting closer to accepting a low level, worker bee position just for the next year. I don't know how much that would ruin my career in finance, but you have to do what you have to do.

At any rate, I hope everyone else is doing okay. Happy Tuesday.

Monday, March 2, 2009

the guardian

painting by Macy Awad

Tim recently posted his personality type according to the Myers-Briggs test. I remember doing this on journalspace a few years back, so I tried it again.

I'm ESTJ, or Extraverted Sensing Thinking Judging.

ESTJ, The Guardian

General traits:

ESTJs live in a world of facts and concrete needs. They live in the present, with their eye constantly scanning their personal environment to make sure that everything is running smoothly and systematically. They honor traditions and laws, and have a clear set of standards and beliefs. They expect the same of others, and have no patience or understanding of individuals who do not value these systems. They value competence and efficiency, and like to see quick results for their efforts.

ESTJs are take-charge people. They have such a clear vision of the way that things should be, that they naturally step into leadership roles. They are self-confident and aggressive. They are extremely talented at devising systems and plans for action, and at being able to see what steps need to be taken to complete a specific task. They can sometimes be very demanding and critical, because they have such strongly held beliefs, and are likely to express themselves without reserve if they feel someone isn't meeting their standards. But at least their expressions can be taken at face-value, because the ESTJ is extremely straight-forward and honest.

More on ESTJs:

- Natural leaders - they like to be in charge
- Value security and tradition
- Loyal
- Hard-working and dependable
- Athletic and wholesome
- Have a clear set of standards and beliefs which they live by
- No patience with incompetence or inefficiency
- Excellent organizational abilities
- Enjoy creating order and structure
- Very thorough
- Will follow projects through to completion
- Straight-forward and honest
- Driven to fulfill their duties

Possible Career Paths for the ESTJ:

- Military leaders
- Business Administrators and Managers
- Police / Detective work
- Judges
- Financial Officers
- Teachers
- Sales Representatives

ESTJs as Lovers

Sexually, the ESTJ is likely to be robust, enthusiastic, and athletic. They will tend to be traditional, and to expect sexual encounters on a relatively scheduled basis. They're likely to approach intimacy as a physical experience of closeness, rather than as an opportunity to express and receive expressions of love and affection. The ESTJ will probably have to work on remembering to express their feelings verbally, but their mate's appreciation will make it well worth it for those who do.

Some things to watch for

In many ways, ESTJs are Guardians and Protectors by nature. They enjoy shielding and protecting their families, and are usually quite good at it. Their partners will appreciate and enjoy the benefits of the ESTJ's efforts in this respect, but they may also resent the more controlling aspects of the ESTJ's personality, which goes along with their strong desire to shield their loved-ones. The ESTJ may consider it their duty to instruct their spouses how to behave or what attitude to take in certain situations, which may not be appreciated.

♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

Take your test here and post the results, if you like.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

summer camp

oil on canvas and mixed media art by roy cicin

I just finished a book by Susan Wiggs called Summer at Willow Lake. The whole story took place nine years after a group of kids spent the summer together at camp, and that brought back a lot of memories for me! The excitement of meeting new kids, the communal meals, the archery lessons, the cabins, and the campfires.

I think summer camp is a little different today. The arts & crafts have been replaced by a zipline, there are more trampolines and fewer canoes, and kids are a little less naive than we were, but I think the premise is still valid today. We send Emily every single summer, if only to get a bit of time to ourselves!

My experience with summer camp comes courtesy of our public school system. Our family couldn't afford regular summer camps, but it didn't matter. Every year when June arrived we spent a week in the mountains, or at the nearby lake, doing all the things that regular kids did.

I loved the cabins! And I loved how the food was so different than what we ate at home. The only thing I didn't like, especially as we grew older, was the competition between the girls to garner all the attention from the boys of other schools. As a brunette, I just couldn't compete against the blonde girls, even though they were still flat chested. (You know, that feeling of being second followed me right into adulthood, which makes no sense to me now!)

Anyway, this coming summer, I'm hoping to spend some time at a camp. I think the whole family would enjoy it. The other vacations involving flights and hotels and renting cars are going to have to wait until I get a salaried position, but I'm sure no one will mind.