Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Emily, Christmas afternoon

I love blogging.

The first time I ever saw a blog was during my time at Widownet, a message board I'd found just eleven days after Dale died. I spent hours and hours on that board. I started dating a year later and continued writing about that, but once I'd met Bill (I had been widowed twenty months by then) I needed another outlet. I fell fast and hard for Bill and wasn't willing to write about it when I knew so many people were still pining for their lost loves, so in June of 2004 I followed a link posted at the bottom of Kamai40's post. That's how I found journalspace! I'm not sure if Kamai is still blogging, but she was the one that introduced me to it and I took to it like a duck to water.

All through my LDR with Bill, through Jamie's teenage rebellion, through our transition of getting custody of Em and becoming a blended family, my career changes and ups and downs - I blogged through it all.

This past August was the first time in years where I just couldn't write anymore. I couldn't write about my disppointments or my financial difficulties, my depression or my fear. It seemed like I was paralyzed and started getting through each day in survival mode.

Now that there is light at the end of the tunnel, it feels like I can breathe again. I am looking forward to dropping my hours at work, taking some classes, and blogging again. Physically, I have very little pain and most of my Fibro symptoms are in remission. Getting another vehicle will be possible sometime in January. It might be damn cold today (-26°C) but inside my little house, it's warm. My husband has a short working day and I have the day off. The kids are happy and healthy and watching RENT in the living room.

I hope you all have a wonderful time tonight. Be safe and take pics!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

love my days off

my ornament from Cin, an old JS friend

The tree will be coming down just after New Years, so I thought I'd post a few more pics. This is an ornament that Cin sent me, either last year or the year before. My memory is terrible! I got a chuckle out my reflection in the shiny bulb beside it. Reminded me of those people that post pics of toasters on kajiji, and it takes a few moments before you realize that the dude with the camera is nude. (I'm not nude, I am wearing PJ's)

At any rate, I'll spend the next few days enjoying the tree and some of my other decorations before having to take it down. Working at the off-price store has been both good and bad. Good, because I have lost another six pounds, making it twenty-two pounds in total. Bad, because I hate the way that I am dismissed by some customers and some managers. To be honest, I'm grateful for the chance at making an income, but after a few months I started resenting the loss of time with family.

And that is the biggest reason to go to college. Maybe I didn't know what I wanted to do in 1983, but I know now, and it's not working at an off-price store!


It wasn't my day off! I got a call and had to go in until 7 pm. Guess I should check my calender more often!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

pass me that shovel

my street this morning

Thanks for all the comments! I've been working from 1-9 and have tomorrow off, so I'm looking forward to doing some more blogging.

We have a lot of snow! Snowdrifts several feet high line the sidewalks and we've has a LOT of frost these past two days. Thankfully, it's above freezing (11°C) which means that the walk to the bus will seem shorter than usual.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, December 25, 2009

it's all over but the crying

Tokyo; 9:45 am this morning

Merry Christmas!

We're having a very quiet day but to be honest, we needed it. Work has been kicking our butts this past week. It's been bitterly cold (-40°C) and I haven't been able to get a car yet. Bill's truck is now able to change gears (for awhile there it was stuck in first) but has no heat. Brrrr!

Christmas was lovely and everyone gave and received awesome gifts (lots of jewelry, lotions and PJ's all around) but I didn't balance the gifts between the stockings and under the tree so it seemed like Emily had more than Jamie. I always feel so guilty when that happens, but overall everything turned out great.

Tonight we're going to see Sherlock Holmes, then coming back for turkey afterward. No big dinner, since Jamie is having dinner with her BF's family, but we'll be having hot turkey sandwiches with stuffing, mashed potatoes and veggies.

How was your day? I have to admit, I thought quite a bit about all my old journalspace friends today and all the fun we used to have. It's been just over a year since the old site crashed. I enjoy blogspot quite a bit, as well as the new Keep Connected Live site and hope to spend more time there in January.

Leave me a comment as a Christmas present!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Jamie's Bday weekend

Lola, 2008

I can't believe that December is almost over! On Tuesday, Jamie will be twenty-one years old, then a few days later it'll be Christmas.

I have most of the shopping done, although I still have to get Jamie one more thing for Christmas and I have to figure something out for Bill. We've all had so many sacrifices this year (he sold his Xbox360, as well as both his Serius radios) so maybe I'll replace the radio. He always enjoyed the Talk Radio.

After the holidays we have to concentrate on getting the mortgage caught up, which should be simple enough with all of Bill's overtime and my hours at the off-price store. I'm also looking forward to getting a car on Tuesday! It's going to be a little tight because the insurance agency and the car dealership are nowhere near each other. I'm going to be bussing it out to the highway for the car, so I'll have to stop at the insurance place first to pay some kind of credit so that I can do business by fax. Then I work from 1:30 - 10:00. Long day!

Today Em and I are bussing it to the South End to pick up a few things, then bussing it to the North End to meet up with Jamie, who is working with a crazy part-timer at Body Shop. That's the problem with retail - you just don't know someone is nuts until a few weeks later. Then it's too late to do much of anything, unless they get caught stealing or something. After that, Bill will join us and we'll decide if we should eat out to celebrate Jamie's 21st birthday, or come home and make Shepard's Pie, like she requested. It'll be up in the air, depending on the time.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, December 18, 2009

gifts of Christmas Past

Christmas gift, circa 1971.

This little sewing maching was one of my favourite Christmas gifts, ever! That would explain how it's survived for going-on thirty-nine years and over a dozen moves. My other was an Easy-Bake oven, but I lost that when Mom & Dad broke up and dad gave away our toys out of spite.

But I digress. I'm sure this little sewing maching would work if I installed batteries, and maybe I should because Bill is going to need a few pairs of pants hemmed, lol.

Here's a Christmas joke:

"Santa, have you lost weight?" "Mrs Claus is looking exceptionally pretty today." "Your toys look wonderful this year."

- Rudolph's cousin, Larry the Brown-Nosed Reindeer

Friday, December 11, 2009


I know, I know. I am almost forty-five and Shia LaBeouf is what, twenty-three? Still, he's a hottie.

I'm playing hookie from work right now. Not a full day's worth but definitely for the next hour. Bill started a great new job yesterday, meaning that I was supposed to catch the 12 o'clock bus just down the street so that I could be on the selling floor by 12:30. The house is so quiet that I decided to call in so that I can finish my coffee in peace!

Here's an update on what's going on:

- Bill's new position is delivering oxygen to different areas around Central Alberta. It pays well and he'll get an excellent benefit package, including dental, life insurance and disability insurance.

- Jamie just finished three days training for her new job at the payday loan place and is also enjoying her Body shop job. She hopes to buy her own car in the next few months.

- Em got Honours for her first semester of grade seven. She still has her paper route and she's babysitting for a new family and excited about making $60 this Saturday.

- I am working 40 hours/week at the big box store and every second weekend at the clothing store. I went to the college day before yesterday and applied for upgrading math and starting a management program in January, which can be laddered into the Business Administration program next September. It's kind of exciting and scary at the same time! I'm not sure what will happen with work, depending on how much funding I'm entitled to.

- I took the bus yesterday for the first time in five years. It had been fifteen years before that! I am looking forward to getting a car again, on my next payday.

- Christmas shopping isn't finished yet. I think that I will spend my entire widow's pension on it, now that I know that Bill will have a paycheque soon. After that, we're going to do some major saving so it's a good thing we've learned to live frugally!

Happy Friday.

december moon

photographer unknown

As tough as the last five years had been, there were moments between Dale and I that will always come back to me as unique to that relationship and all the little idiosyncrasies involved.

For example, Dale and I were very co-dependent with one another and it didn't dawn on us to get help. I followed him wherever he went and vise versa, we held onto each other no matter where we were. It wasn't an odd sight to walk into his dojo to see me sitting there, watching him teach. During breaks, he'd come over to stand by me and hold my hand. At parties, if he sat near me, his hand would be on my knee, my ankle, or my foot, depending on what was reachable.

We considered ourselves lucky to have an active sex life. Much of our closeness was derived from that because we shared so much passion, and from time to time the intensity of it all would bring me to tears. He used to tease me a little about it because it's disconcerting for a man if your wife has an orgasm that makes her cry, but what do you do?

Anyway, in December of 2001 Dale had started seeing a new Doctor in hopes of being able to wean himself off the alcohol. We'd received the terminal diagnosis a few months before and I was desperate to have him quit drinking, desperate to save his life. In the months previous to that he'd been dealing with chronic relapses and had been unable to deal with any aspects of normal life, including making love to me. Maybe I was too bitter and angry anyway. To be honest, it's one of those "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" type things. I couldn't have sex with a man that was slowly killing himself, and he couldn't bring himself to initiate sex knowing that I resented him for it.

It was a lonely time.

It was December and Christmas was fast approaching, much like it is now. We were living in the duplex and the master bedroom had this big picture window that looked out onto an alleyway with tall, mature trees. That night Dale and I lay sprawled sideways across the queen sized bed, he with his head on a stack a pillows, and me laying the opposite way, on my side with my head in my hand. Out the window to the right hand side I noticed that the moon was huge. The sky was a beautiful shade of navy blue and the trees swayed from side to side.

We talked about hope and for once in a long while he was actually sober. He thought that he'd be able to quit drinking gradually because the new Doc had prescribed Librium. I don't remember what I was thinking. Somehow, one thing led to another and we were making love, and from time to time I would notice that the moon was no longer on the right side of the window but in the centre.

With each kiss I would think his eyes are so blue when he's loving me and I can't stand to think of what might come.Don't think about it. Don't think about it! Near the end of our lovemaking I felt the tears running down my cheeks and pooling in my neck and near my collarbone. I fought to keep from crying out in despair because somehow I knew. My hands ran over his freckled shoulders and up into his thick dark hair, and instead of searching out his eyes I looked out the window, where the moon had moved across to the left hand side.

"Are you okay?" he whispered.

Feeling the need to lie, I nodded. As he drifted off to sleep I think that we both knew in our hearts that it was the end. I lay there, wide awake, wondering what the hell was going to happen next.

As it turned out, we never made love again, and he died on October 2, 2002.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I got this poinsettia by using 500 Sobey's points. It's cute, but those Sobey's points are useless - I think that you need to redeem 1200 of them to get a tiny bag of shredded carrots. Do American and foreign grocery stores do this? Award one point for every dollar spent just to track your shooping habits?

Ahem. Anyway, I like to get at least one poinsettia each year, to compliment the various silk ones around the house.

Tonight I hope to start wrapping gifts. Exciting!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I won't even wish for snow

Merry Christmas, 2009

Yesterday's snow made it really seem like Christmas, so I'm glad that the tree was up. And even though this year has been brutal in many ways, I'm really looking forward to the holidays.

We got this 7 ft. artificial tree last year and it really fits the space. It holds all of our ornaments and I love that we don't have to maintain it or clean up after it.

Do you have tree themes? For years I built a food theme around apples, candy canes, cookies and balls made of nutmeg but that changed the year that Bill came. I bought a group of family snowmen, one with each of our names on it. Em wasn't with us that year but we tell her she was with us on the tree. Bill has a little gold firetruck from the first year that he was here, and Jamie added a bear in a canoe from her trip to Vancouver in October. Dale has one of his gold medals tied to the tree with a red ribbon (my late husband was a Shotokan Karate instructor) The little snowman in the pic is part of a group that I bought last year.

Tokyo was a little put out because we took her spot from in front of the window, but she's making up for that by walking all over our entertainment unit. I swear she sheds more to get even, lol.