Saturday, January 31, 2009

saturday afternoon



Jamie woke me up at 10:30 this morning for a breakfast of pancakes and coffee. She even cut them into little stars! Very cute. After eating, I opened the gifts that they got me, which were very thoughtful. Jamie got me two scented reed diffusers and two DVD's (SNL collections, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. Love Schwetty Balls, lol) and Em got me a silver necklace with a stone encrusted circle pendent. Plus, there was chocolate and mocha coloured fingernail polish.

I talked to Bill a few times today, and it looks like he won't make it home in time for us to do anything. Honestly, I don't mind - I got used to do things alone after I was widowed. And even though I'm lonely for him, I'm still grateful that I have him at all and I can't wait for him to get home, mostly because I miss hearing him laugh. Well, I'm kind of low on kisses too.

I thought I'd ask your opinion on an issue that Jamie is having with her new boyfriend of three months. Kyle is twenty-two, and he'll be twenty-three in August. His mom was widowed twenty-one years ago when Kyle was a just a baby, and his sister was almost three.

Since that time, she hasn't recoupled, but she might have dated from time to time.

The issue is, Kyle has been the man of the house since he was little, and his mom is not going to let him go without a fight. At this point in time, he's in charge of any yard work, moving furniture, grocery duty, taking down Christmas lights ... you get the idea. Also, the mom is a dog breeder, and he's involved in most of the day to day care. He's a FT college student and works 20 hours per week in a furniture store.

Last night was the first night that he's been able to come over to see Jamie all week, and about 90 minutes after he arrived, she called and demanded that he go home because she needed to talk to him in person. Apparently, she wanted to attend a wedding today and wanted him home with the dogs, even though Jamie and he have had plans for over a week. Much of the time, he must ask her if it's alright for him to spend the night here. Also, they have a joint bank account and he shares a Visa card with her.

My opinion is that Jamie and Kyle should get to a counselor asap before they end up in an even more serious relationship, because this woman is going to interfere in every aspect of their lives. She has some real boundary issues already - just recently she called him to say that her Dr thinks she's pre-menopausal because she hasn't had her period in a few months. He tries to object to this type of thing, but in the end he doesn't fight it because she can make his life hell, and in the past she's gone into his room and taken things that were important to him, just to get even for something. Just recently, she took a few of the lighters out of his Zippo collection.

Am I the only one that sees some HUGE red flags?

**quick edit**

Thanks, I appreciate everyone's opinions!

The thing with Kyle and his mom: We suspect it's been going on so long that they don't realize how inappropriate it is. And with Kyle being almost 23, it's not about him and his relationship with his mom, it's about how he keeps losing one relationship after another. I guess the last three ended when the girls confronted the mother, which caused her to take it to another level and eventually the girls left.

Jamie and Kyle are already pretty involved and declaring love for one another, so it's too late for her to dump him. If they both go to talk to someone, they might learn how to deal with her. Jamie's hoping the therapist will give Kyle some ideas on how to handle the guilt trips she lays on him. If he resists and doesn't think there's a problem, she may have to dump him anyway but that would be a last resort. They're very well suited and a lot alike so it would be sad if they didn't make it.

As for the mom - I'm pretty sure she's in denial. It's not going to be easy.

dang



It's my 44th birthday today. Unbelievable!

Unfortunately, Bill got called out of town Friday morning and might not be home until 11:00 tonight. I hope not! But it's a real possibility. He and I were planning on seeing a local production of Shirley Valentine. I know he feels terrible about it, but there isn't much he can do. He's about four hours north of here building a berm in a snowstorm.

What I'm really worried about is that he plans on working from 7 am to 7 pm, then driving the four hours home. I don't know how far north that snowstorm spreads, but here in my city the winds are pretty fierce - and drifting snow will cover the highways in black ice. I just hope they finish sooner than planned.

So tonight, I have to decide whether I go to a wine & cheese party, or if I go to a play on my own. I really don't mind either, although I think I might be preoccupied until Bill makes it home. He and I will do something together on Sunday.

Friday, January 30, 2009

my dearest kathy

photo by Jesse Millan


If you could take all the wisdom that you've picked up along the way, and write a note of advice to your teenaged self, what would it say?

I've seen this little exercise over and over in different magazines and on talk shows, and will usually think on it for a few minutes before something else distracts me. I was thinking about it this morning, in that woozy state between sleep and awake, so I decided to write one down.

Try it out! Leave a comment or write a letter in your own space. It's kind of interesting.



My Dearest Kathy,

I wish I could remember what was going on inside our head at the age of sixteen, but to be honest (and please don't be offended) it's probably English papers, waitressing, and Pat, our HS boyfriend. I remember how obsessed we were with him. You know, there is more to life than playing housewife at that age, but since I've decided I don't regret and wouldn't change much of our life at all, I'll leave him out of it. However, I do have a word of advice for you, before you up and move out of Mom's house.

Stop acting like no one knows anything about you, and realize that when people try to give you advice, it's not about your ego, it's about accepting that sometimes people know more than you just from living.

Stop looking for the "perfect" man, because he doesn't exist.

I know that we're subjected to a lot of 80's music, but seriously - that Sheena Easton song? Forget about it. You'll both be on the morning train if you want to drive a decent vehicle.

You can't trust everyone. People will take advantage of you over and over, and especially because you are female you'll have to watch out for yourself. There are predators out there just waiting for you to let your guard down.

Stop making excuses for your men. And while we're at it, stop judging them soley by their abilities in bed and start looking a little deeper at their other qualities.

Above all else, keep your head up and realize that no matter what anyone says about you, you are a strong capable person, and shouldn't be afraid to take risks. That'll really help us as we get older.


Love, Kate

Thursday, January 29, 2009

the cross



Here's another old pic from last winter.

I like to tell the story of the cross, because in different phases of my life I have been a Jehovah's Witness, an agnostic and an athiest and none of those required a cross.

Bill's entire family is Catholic, but it was when he went to live with his grandmother that he began to practice it daily. He became an alter boy, said his thanks at the start of every meal, and asked for forgiveness each week. As he got older he got wilder and eventually stopped going to services, but Catholicism remained at the core of his beliefs.

My mother introduced us kids to the Witnesses when we were little. My dad had been running around partying and leaving her at home, making her vulnerable to isolation and depression. I even have a vague impression of the day they knocked on the door and she invited them in. They must have given her some hope, because it wasn't long before we were attending bible studies and going to the Kingdom Hall on Sundays. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus Christ was killed, but they believe he was nailed to a huge stake, with his arms above his head.

When I was fifteen I refused to attend anymore services.

I must have been atheist for awhile, at least until after Jamie was born. After that I took on a bit of spirituality, becoming more open-minded about different beliefs. To this day I believe that most of the bible and the ten commandments were written by men in organized religion, for the purpose of keeping parishoners in line. That doesn't mean I don't believe in the principles behind them, like having respect for other people and helping them when you can. And, when I say that I will pray for someone, I really mean it. I send those good thoughts and hopes out into the universe, hoping something good comes from it.

Anyway, when Bill moved in it was important to him that his home have a cross, and this one in the picture was a gift to Emily from her grandmother. The first time Jamie saw it she exclaimed, what the hell?!! We used to tease the shit out of her, saying that she should be careful it didn't fall on her head. Since she's such an evil child, we thought for sure that every time she came up the stairs and passed the cross, it would start to shudder violently, lol.

I think we're all used to it now. I don't associate it with religion - it's something sentimental to soothe Bill's mind and to honour his past and his family. I like it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

love the bad boys

emaciated idol, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta

It's been a nice morning. I meant to get up at 7:45 but since I was out late at my friend's house (silvertag...she hasn't been updating lately!) I slept in until 9:00 and now I am having a coffee and catching up with everyone.
I have to get into the office soon because I have some forms to print off as well as another course and exam, and my 7:00 rebooked for this afternoon. This means I get to spend the evening with my hubby, who's being very attentive today.
Sometimes I look at him and wonder what my life would be like without him. Not in paranoid way, but as if I had married someone else. I used to think he was different than the usual type I was drawn to, but he's not really. He's the bad boy with an addiction to adrenaline, but he's forty-one so he's slowing down. He can't do the extreme sports he used to (thank god) and he's not taking anymore extreme jobs (getting shot at by bedoins was enough, thanks) and if he had to choose someone to calm down with, I'm glad it was me. Still, enough of his old ways remain that he's definitely not boring. It also helps that he channels all that unused energy into his sense of humour and his love life. I'm a lucky girl.
Have a good one!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

proud mum


Jamie is a high school graduate!
She first quit school in the year following Dale's death, after finishing grade nine. That year she went to work FT and contributed quite a bit to the household, as we were kind of broke after we moved into the apartment. She tried going back every year, but it was tough. I think the worst part for her was the anxiety, and there were plenty of days she left the school to come home and hide in her bedroom.
As time went on I started getting worried - she was getting older every year and by the time she was eighteen I was freaking! She quit that year to go back to work, then last year she dropped out a third time because of a fight she was having with a friend.
This year she's done very well, and yesterday she took the final exam for her English 30. She found out today that she passed, giving her 100 credits and a High School Diploma. I'm so proud of her!
Now about some post-secondary education...

tim burton's roses


I brought a centre piece home a few weekends ago, and even when they started to die, I kept them on the table because the kids thought they looked cool. I think Bill has alternately called them the devil's flowers and Tim Burton's roses because they have turned so black, yet retained their shape. I'm not sure if I'll throw them away or keep them for some other purpose.
Yesterday I started thinking about changing jobs again, because I'm so tired of being poor. Not that I'll give up right away - I've been working some long hours and I'll continue to do so. But I haven't made enough money for almost a year, and my family and I have given up a lot. Some months, I can't afford to get a haircut, let alone a pair of shoes, and the debt I've been piling up has been scary.
If I took a banking position, it might only pay about $50,000 but that would still be more than double what I'm making now. The problem is, would I use some of those funds to replace my retirement savings? That is the whole reason I took this job, because I had to spend my RRSP's when Dale passed away. If I could save $1000 /month, it might be okay, but that's pretty high considering debt repayment.
Maybe I'll just keep looking until something right comes along. I'm going to hate giving up this autonomy! I love making my own schedules and not answering to anyone. If only...

Monday, January 26, 2009

there is no later



Calgary Tower, Calgary Alberta

I really need to take more pics! I'm running out of the ones I have on this PC, lol.

Today was a loooong day. I went in early to do a paperwork blitz, and I think I got quite a bit of it done. I was seriously disappointed in myself over this past week because I'd noticed that some of my administrative tasks were not being kept up, and after a few days they lose importance because you have new tasks to take care of. It reminded me of the saying I had when I was a retail manager - there is no "later". As in, "I'll do that later." There are far too many things to get done later, and as soon as you realize it and start acting with a sense of urgency, you won't have the same problems I've been having.

Enough about me. How was your day? C'mon - spill.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

lonely sunday night



Here's a picture of the harbour houses we saw on our trip to Victoria last Summer. I love getting out to BC and try to go as often as we can, but the trips can start costing as much as $2,500 if we get carried away.

I'm not sure what we'll do this coming summer - I'd like to do some camping with the family, and I'd also like to have a honeymoon trip, but it's hard to find someone to look after Em.

Speaking of family, one of Bill's paternal uncles died on Friday night. I guess Kevin was a biker (not sure which group) as well as an addict, and he over-dosed in Niagra Falls. I was always a little worried about this uncle! Bill tells a story about being in his mom's house with a group of people having coffee, and something Kevin said or did set Bill off and he swung his coffee cup full force across Kevin's cheek. From then on, no one knew if his threats were legit or not. I guess I don't have to worry anymore.

Bill is actually gone tonight, making this the third time I have had to sleep without him since he moved here in 2005. I just hate the thought of it.

affirmation

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painting by Rolf Harris

Today I had coffee with a girl who used to be one of my customers, and who is starting up a business as a long term care provider. She has been looking after her own mother for years, who suffers from diabetes and just last year, had both her legs amputated. I know her mom too, and in the last three years she's gone from 300 lbs down to about 115, and you can tell how sick she is. My new friend is hoping that her mom will not need dialysis, because she feels that that will just send her over the edge and she will not survive.

Other than talking business (we're going to do some networking) we also talked about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which she has as well. Since most of my triggers seem to stem from guilt, I asked her what her biggest emotional issues would be if her mom were to pass away. Looking back at my own, I thought she might struggle with the failure to keep her alive, as many caregivers do.

What surprised me was that she said she knows she's done everything she can - she does a lot of special cooking for her mom, she takes her shopping, she bathes her and makes sure she's taking her meds. She's her mom's best friend and confidante, and says her Bachelor's degree in Psychology has come in handy now that her mom is starting to feel the end is near and needs to do a lot of unloading. What she will struggle the most with, is the fact that her father has never acknowledged her commitment and sacrifice.

The relationship between her mother and father has developed into something superficial. When he gets home from working away, he wants to take his wife out to dinner and think positively. He closes himself off from anything to do with the subject of her illnesses or dying, which also closes himself off from his daughter, who has readily taken on this role.

After Dale passed away, a few friends expressed to me that my caring for him at the end was compassionate and loving, but not one person from his family ever said thank you or acknowledged what I'd done in any way. In fact, they thought I brought on his death prematurely. I have accepted that this just is what it is, and don't expect anything from them now. But my heart goes out to this woman who will always have to deal with the fact that her own father won't say the words, and even though she will eventually let it go, it would be nice to have him say I appreciate what you've been doing. Thank you.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

look up - way up


Remember the Friendly Giant? Jamie was soooo freaked out by him. I used to tease her and say, "hey Jame - your favourite show is on!" and she'd get mad and say "That is not my favourite show!!!!" lol.
Anyway, I've been wondering how to widen the picture that I have inside the banner. It's too small and always bothers me.
Help?

altered


My late husband was a third level black belt in Shotokan karate, or nidan. I'd been slightly fascinated with it before we met, but afterwards, I was hooked!
There's a lifestyle when you're involved with this traditional type of karate. Most of your life outside the dojo is about making money so that you can be back inside the dojo, training with a wide range of sensei's from all over the country. There's a protocol that is followed, based on your rank within your own organization.
I was always proud that Dale was one of the top members of his group, with a school of his own and students that excelled. Also, as Sensei's Wife, I garnered quite a lot of respect, to the point that his juniors bowed when they greeted me, and at dinner, I was almost always reserved a seat beside the big kahuna, who had a seventh level black belt and with whom I am still friends with today.
I've been thinking about and missing all the karate boys in the last few weeks, and I think it's probably because Dale's birthday is coming up. He would have been forty-two! I find that amazing, and often wonder what rank he would have made by now. One of his big dreams was to retire at forty-five and teach seminars, and I bet he would have done it.
Anyway, today I'm working at the clothing store. I've got the truck warming up (it's -25°C) and should leave soon. Have a good one!

Friday, January 23, 2009

sick children, and work awaits



remember these $1750 Alexander McQueen boots? I never did find a pair like them. *sigh*

Em isn't feeling well at all! She woke us up at 3:30 with a very sore stomach, and by 5:30 she was vomiting. Bill thought she should go to the ER because the pain was so high in her abdomen, but eventually she fell asleep and hasn't stirred for several hours. He's staying home with her.

I have to go in to work this morning because I have a case that's all screwed up. 80% of the issue comes from Head Office mistakes, but one is mine and I'm not looking forward to calling or going to her home. I should be taking her a gift card to apologize, but I just don't have the cash to do that.

Before I do any of that, I have a class on critical illness. Yesterday I took one on travel insurance, which is something that I think I'll start presenting. The commissions are decent and it's something people really need, even when traveling from province to province. Then there is all the Snowbirds that head to the U.S. every winter, and people coming from all over the world for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver - and I didn't know until yesterday that Albertans can insure their visitors. Cool.

Anyway, have a nice weekend, and go say hello to my friend Cathy, who runs her own shop in Kelowna, BC.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

absolution

I'd like to think that Dale's heaven is something like this



These notes are real emails that were exchanged between one of Dale's Sempai (senior students) and myself, last winter. When I came across them this afternoon, they made me a little weepy, but then I always get like that when I remember the strong, powerful version of who Dale really was.

February 24, 2008


Hi Dan!
I was thinking about you today and was able to find you through a google search. How are you? What's new? I hope that things are going well. The karate boys still ask about you! What town are you in now?


Februsary 25, 2008


Hi Kathy!
What a pleasant surprise to hear from you!
All is well with me, thank you for asking. I am officially "old", as I became a grandfather last year. I now have another special girl in my life. Her name is Brooklyn and already she knows how to melt her Grandpa's heart.
Tim is now just north of Calgary, and I am a little south. We often talk fondly of Dale and how much we miss his presence with us. The memories are invaluable.
Kathy, we often wonder how you are coping?
Jamie must be grown up! Keep in touch :)

February 26, 2008


Dear Dan,
A grandpa - wow! Congratulations! I'm really feeling old this year because I just turned 43, which is now eight years older than Dale. So hard to believe he's been gone for so long. I have his black belt and his certificates hanging in my office, and not a day goes by that I don't miss him. He was such a special person, even in light of all his problems. Looking back, I can hardly believe that we survived such devastation.
The last few years have been very kind to us.
You probably remember that Dale's life insurance was declined. There's a question in the application where he was less than truthful about his drinking habits and the investigators found it in his medical records. After that, Jamie and I moved into an apartment in Clearview and lived there for two years (I consider those years my pergatory) and continued managing the store. Jamie quit school and went to work FT until she was hospitalized for depression in 2004.
Actually, 2004 was a defining year for us.
My dad had had plans to start a business with Dale when his emu farm sold, but by then Dale had passed away so he split some of the money between us kids and our mom. I got the cheque at the end of August and it was enough for a down payment on a house, which I closed on just prior to my 40th birthday.
2004 was also when I met Bill. He moved in in November, and in January we got custody of his little girl, Emily.
There is no drinking in our house, and no fighting. We constantly stress that our house is about protecting one another and we don't allow people to stay with us or disrupt the peace we've worked so hard to build.
It's like we're new people now.
We haven't seen Dale's family since the funeral, but we know his grandfather passed away in 2003 and his dad died in 2004, as well as his Aunty Peggy. To the best of my knowledge, only his mom and his brother remain.
One of the reasons I wanted to find you was to apologize.
The last five years of Dale's life was so hard. It's not that it was easy in the beginning, either. We were young and stupid and just didn't know how to deal with our problems. In the end, I had become so resentful that I couldn't stand myself and I couldn't stand what he'd become. I couldn't get through the day without constantly complaining and whining and I hated that I did it but couldn't stop.
During the course of the last year of his life, both Dale and I had the opportunity to to apologize for those behaviours we struggled with in the past. We talked almost every night, deep into the night, sometimes only passing out at 4am from exhaustion. He forgave me and I forgave him, because I knew it was going to be up to me to bring him a good death. I also promised him that I would apologize to the people around us that had inadvertantly gotten sucked into our drama.
I'd like to apologize for the weekend we all went to Winnipeg for the Nationals. I was mad at Dale that weekend, because I had just discovered how much of our income was being used to support his alcoholism. and we'd been fighting hard leading up to that trip. I am always ashamed when I recall my behaviour in Sensei's dojo, especially since you got dragged into it. Please accept my apologies for those times.

February 26, 2008


Dear Kathy,

First, thank you for filling me in on what's been happening in your life. I frequently wondered how you were doing, knowing full well some of the challenges you'd face. I could only hope that you were managing to the best of your ability. The two years of pergatory (as you so eloquently put it) could not have been easy.
Second, you have absolutely nothing to apologize for. Thank you though. As you know, I loved Dale as if he were my brother. When you're that close to a person, you tend to look past their imperfections to see the beauty inside. I know it couldn't have been easy for you, Kathy, wondering how to deal with his addiction and all that went along with it. It's damn hard dealing with addictions.
Dale had faced a lot of challenges in his short life, but he was a good man and I am proud to call him my friend.
I want to congratulate you on finding love again. It's so great to hear that you're in such a happy relationship with Bill. I'm sure that Dale would have wanted you to find someone to begin anew.

It was so great to hear from you! Thank you for the congrats and please keep in touch.






Wednesday, January 21, 2009

apparently, cabins turn me on

Drumheller, Alberta - photographer unknown


I've been going hard on the phone calls since last Monday and my results are brutal! I have three appointments set over the next ten days and that's not good enough. I'm shooting for six apointments per week, then I'd like to have eight by the second quarter. Guess I'll be down at the office a lot.

How often do you have sexual dreams, and do they usually feature someone you can recognize? I've been having a lot of them lately, and they're all taking place in cabins. The family is staying at a lake, Jamie's there, Bill is there. I've got tiny bottles of beer in a make up case (I'm handing them out to people I know), and even though I've packed pajamas I'm going around bare breasted. There was even a point where I was being chased by rottweilers, but the sexual theme continued. Strange.

Today I'm leaving for my office early, so I'll have to catch up later. Happy Humpday.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

perfection


Marilyn Monroe, Royal London Wax Museum, Victoria, BC



Other than the dress, I didn't think this resembled Marilyn very much. In life, she was almost always a little fuller in the cheeks, legs and upper arms. She was a size twelve, where this figure is maybe a size six, or an eight.
Jamie commented that the museum got lazy and threw a Marilyn head on a random body, but I thought it was a comment on today's standards for celebrities. I really believe that if she were alive and trying to compete in today's market, she would have starved herself down to a zero and had her real breasts redone into hard, perky little D's.
Sometimes I'm so glad that I don't have to compete against all the tiny girls, old or young. I didn't mind a few years ago (before switching jobs and quitting smoking) but these last few years have kicked my ass and it's kind of difficult to stay that smaller size unless you starve or start running.
I am no runner, lol.
I do have a goal to lose some weight, but even if I don't, I will continue to dress well and take care of my hair and make-up. I'll buy sexy shoes and wear pencil skirts, and I'll flirt like mad with my husband when he's least expecting it. That always makes me feel perfect.

Monday, January 19, 2009

something to prove?

Bill has a supervisor named Nick, who is married to Donna.

It's not enough that they recently upgraded to a bigger house, but now Donna thinks that they should get a Hummer. The oilpatch has laid off 40% of their workers and this company has no idea when they're going to be busy again, but she still wants a Hummer.

I may have to apologize for saying this, but when you drive a Hummer, you're basically telling the world that:

a) you're a male who stands 5'6" or less

b) you're a male with a small penis

or

c) you're a female with something to prove.

I think the whole competing with your neighbours, family and friends thing should be put on hold for awhile.



cheap dinner



I spent the entire day in the house yesterday - doing laundry, watching Season 2 of Boston Legal, cooking, and trying to fix a couch throw that came apart in the wash. Bill was out on a Shell job and didn't make it home until dinnertime.

Speaking of dinner! Ever since I took this life insurance/commission job, I've been trying to find a way to cook dinner for less than $10 and I think I found it. Bill & I found some chicken legs on sale for $10 last week, and when we got home he skinned & trimmed & chopped them up and put them into four freezer bags. Then last night I browned one of them with some onions, made a curry Roux with button mushrooms to simmer them in, and made Bannock, a quick bread that is cut into wedges and used for dipping. Here's a quick recipe:

4 cups flour

4 tbsp baking powder

4 tbsp canola oil

1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Add water until consistent with bread dough. Divide into small baseball size balls and use a rolling pin to roll them out flat. Pre-heat a non stick frying pan and cover with non-stick cooking spray. Add the dough but keep an eye on it, it'll need to be turned within a few minutes. When both sides have been browned, remove and cut into wedges.

Served with rice and veggies, this meal is perfect for winter time. The kids loved it and so did we, and we figure we made the entire thing for less than $5. Amazing.

Anyway, I have to work today so I must hurry if I want to visit a few journals before I go.

Happy Monday ♥

Sunday, January 18, 2009

a night out

Last night was our annual awards banquet, and I have to admit that it was better than the other two I have attended. In the past, we've even ducked out before the awards were over, but this year we stayed 'til midnight, and even got some dancing in.

It was pretty interesting watching the dynamics of my group. In particular, there's the Philippino lady who's been with us for years and sells an incredible amount of insurance, but from what I heard last night, does so by telling newly landed Philippino immigrants that insurance is mandatory in Canada.

There's the manager who needs to be on What Not to Wear because she buys the ugliest dresses I've ever seen. Seriously, the one she had on last night was pink floral with a peach-coloured organza wrap threaded through the straps.

Then there's the fifty-two year old single advisor who brought her (older) best friend, whom we dubbed the drunk girl. Not only was she wearing some kind of Demi Moore outfit from St. Elmo's Fire, but after who knows how many drinks she threw herself against the wall on the dance floor and started pumping her fists into the air, lol.

Definitely interesting. On top of all that, we got to have some yummy roast beef served with a nice cabernet, dance a few times to Michael Jackson or Katie Perry, and bring home some roses. It was good.




Saturday, January 17, 2009

em's new blog



Jamie and Emily, August 2008

Em has decided to start another blog, and as soon as she changed a few details (such as as her full name) I promised that I'd write about it and put a link to her page.

She's eleven years old, so I'm not sure how often she'll write or what she'll write about, but she's excellent at writing stories and making up jokes. Go say hello!

I ♥ my truck


Here's my Nissan Xterra. I love this truck!
Since we've had it, someone has keyed the side, a hockey puck has dented the hood, and a duck has flown into the driver's side front panel, but I still love it.
This vehicle is the very first one that I've picked out on my own, with no influence from parents, spouses or financial situations, and although I would have liked the red one, I have come to love the colour - Knight's Armour. At first, it seemed masculine, but this suits me.

Friday, January 16, 2009

needs more cowbell


swiped from the lube faerie

25 Random Things


  1. My birth name was Kathleen Lorene Wells, but my adoptive mom renamed me Katherine Frances
  2. My heritage is 100% Haida from Northern British Colombia
  3. My older brother is also adopted, but my younger sister is a natural child
  4. In grade six, I got 100% on every spelling test that year, but the teacher didn't acknowledge it and I was mad about it.
  5. My favourite shift of all time was when I was working in a pizza place alongside a night club in Edmonton - 8pm to 5 am. We'd get the bar crowd at 1 am and go for breakfast at 6am.
  6. My love for shoes began in middle school with a collection of high topped sneakers
  7. By the age of eighteen I'd developed a thing for knee high, high heeled boots.
  8. My dad had money but after my mom left him he refused to pay child support and we grew up poor
  9. I have a scar on my ankle that I got climbing cliffs when I was little
  10. I envy people when they remodel their houses because I have such big plans for this place (all on hold until my business takes off)
  11. I am usually attracted to men of Scottish/Irish descent
  12. I make an effort to be kind, but rude and dismissive clerks or cashiers will make my snotty tone come out.
  13. I was a waitress and bartender for fifteen years
  14. I was a retail manager for nine years
  15. I have been a life insurance salesperson for nineteen months and it's the hardest job I've ever had.
  16. My 44th birthday is at the end of this month and it's freaking me out
  17. I have Obsessive Compulsive Personality disorder, which is characterized by my need to count things and follow a similar routine each day
  18. In my youth I was a Bar Star, hitting the clubs four nights a week and dancing and drinking til three or four am.
  19. I have always been afraid to have a son because my friends all said they were harder to look after as toddlers.
  20. My favourite red wine is a shiraz.
  21. I'm afraid to cut my long hair because I have always had it.
  22. I'm constantly attracted to people with addiction issues but wish I weren't.
  23. I used to feel guilty that I love Bill with more passion and surety than I had with Dale
  24. I wear skirts almost every day because I feel sexier and more ladylike than I do in pants
  25. I'm afraid that my sex life will suffer as I get older.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

a thursday by any other name



painting by Roy Luckett

I had an excellent day! I had lunch with a girl that worked for me years ago, and she gave me some good advice about using iodine and Vitamin B100 complex to improve my moods. Then later in the day I called a few people, made an appointment for tomorrow, and got a free call list from a guy in my office that made an $8,000 sale this afternoon. I guess one of his clients wanted to move half a million out of the stock market and into an accumulation annuity, so he just gifted the list to me - one that he'd already paid $60 for.

Now I have some sirloin steaks cooking and in another hour Bill and I are going to watch Juno. Life is so much nicer when things are going well at home.

lost socks



We've spent the last few days trying to finish up all the laundry downstairs, and today we'll be done. Between that and the handwashing (all my skirts, sweaters and new PJ bottoms get washed by hand) it's been keeping me busy while I'm here.

Today I feel like I have a hangover, but I'm sure that it's because of all the drama around parenting and trying to get it all worked out. I think that we've finally got that done too. It's so upsetting, because I love my life now. Jamie is almost finished school (she says she feels good about the first part of her English final, part two is on the 23rd) Emily is thriving, and Bill and I seem to spend most of our time laughing at one thing or another.

This last bump in the road grew into something much bigger than it needed to be, all because he kept insisting that I was over-reacting. I wasn't being heard at all, and to be honest, my marriage to Dale went like that for the last six years, and I'm not letting this wonderful marriage go the same way.

I posted an entry at the new JS but don't know how to navigate, so I have no idea how to get to your journal unless you post a link here. Since I read a few journals while I'm getting ready for work (right now I'm about to blow dry my hair, lol) and my friends are all on my dashboard, I tend to stick around here.

Thank goodness I have this Saturday off. I'll be able to look around a lot more.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

mid-week, thank goodness

Today is a little better than the last few days.
My biggest problem has been two-fold. First, I worry about my mom all the time, and I don't think that I'm being unreasonable for my husband and my children to know how important it is to me that we visit her on a regular basis. As a family.
Also, I absolutely hate it when Em goes to Bill because she knows he's a soft touch and she'll get her way on things that I will say no to. We've discussed it openly with her because she has done it four or five times in the past year and caused lots of strife. She promised to stop doing it, and Bill promised to stop indulging her when she does. However, it happened again on Sunday, which isn't a big deal to Bill or to Emily, and because it isn't a big deal to them I should just drop it.
We went to a counselor last night, which got us nowhere. So today, I'm asking Em for an apology and asking her to tell Bill what she's thinking about when she does it. I think that's the only way either of them are going to get it.

♣ ♣ ♣


Jamie has her English final today! If she passes, she can get into college so I will take any good thoughts or prayers that you have. She's a twenty year old high school drop out, and this is now the fourth year she has tried to get this done. I'll be so happy when it's finally done and she can start looking to careers she'd like to persue.

Have a good Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

middle aged angst



The last couple of days have been pretty rough. Besides the recent full moon and everyone's weird mood, I'm just struggling with my place in this family. Just when I start to feel secure in my role as a wife and mother, Emily and Bill pull this divide and conquer shit on me.

I am getting so frustrated! I do have authority, I don't have authority, I do have authority...

Moving on.

So someone bought journalspace! I was there yesterday and it wouldn't let me have 'becomingkate'. Are you all going to start writing there? I don't want to lose my friends, but I don't have time to start all over again! This blogspot blog took me days to get set up, finding faves all over the blogosphere. Perhaps I'll do what the others have done, and copy&paste. Tell me - what are you gonna do?

Monday, January 12, 2009

back to normal


As of yesterday, our living room is back to normal.
I hate that it took so long to be complete, but between working and being sick it took forever. The only thing out of place this morning was Bill's little guitar. Speaking of which, he had another lesson yesterday, so that's got to be his fifth or sixth one.
I think he really likes his instructor. He's a seventeen year old kid whose dad, Ian, used to have a studio across from Dale's karate dojo. Ian's son was four or five back then and the day I interviewed him for teaching Bill, he recalled playing down there and being awed by all the black belts.
These days Ian's son looks a lot older than seventeen and he's gorgeous. He's pretty good at teaching and he's got all the toys! By toys, I'm referring to at least one beautiful Stratocaster, some others I can't recall, and an amp that Bill would give his left arm for (he strums with his right, lol)
Today I'm working a later shift, from 1:00 to 8:00. This entire week is set up for prospecting, and I need to get a good start. I've been averaging about five appointments per week and I'd like to shoot for ten. That means I need to make at least fourteen, to account for the ones that forget or blow me off on purpose. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

just because

I miss seeing shoes on my page, I thought I'd post another pair. I have only worn these a few times, and never to my office. They just seem the opposite of conservative, lol.


in the bubble


photo taken by a local college student
I am the last person here that should write about the little economic bubble that we live in here in my city. I expect that it reaches most of Alberta, but because I haven't done the reading and can't quote sources, I'll leave that to someone else.
What I do know is that certain people (farmers, oilfield personnel, realtors, natural gas consultants, retail managers, mutual fund dealers) have been been talking about this since 2006. So many people had predicted the recession that it came as no surprise when shit hit the fan last fall.
This was confirmed at my company's AGM, where the Regional VP congratulated our area for taking a conservative stance on investments as a measure of damage control. There were devastating losses, but at least most of them were 15% lower than elsewhere.
During this entire time, I haven't been as worried as others have been. For one thing, I have no extra money to invest so it's not like I've lost anything. My house isn't worth $320,000 anymore, but one of my neighbours recently sold theirs for $285,000, which is still $115,000 more than I paid for mine.
The cost of fuel has leveled out, and that has helped us leverage our household budget. Consumers are shopping just as often as they were before the crash, and in fact, I have never seen so much traffic in our two malls as I have in this past two months. Clothing and electronics are still just as popular as before, and if we see those prices drop, that's even better. Real estate sales have dropped but they're still building and buying and selling and we expect the market to return to normal as early as 2010.
So while the rest of the world is seeing millions of lay offs, I have to say we're incredibly lucky here. There might have been some companies who have had to lay off about 20% of their workers, but many of them are hiring them back on a contractual basis (to avoid paying the benefits, I'm sure) but that makes it better for me - I will sell them personally owned benefits! Then maybe I can start buying some of these stocks and mutual funds, while they're still low.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

pricks!


Alright, maybe I'm the prick instead.
I forgot to renew my registration (license plates) in December, and just the other day I was thinking, do I have $78 to do this? But then I forgot because I was sick, then I worked yesterday and again today, and the county cops got me on the way home . $230!
Yanno, I was just thinking that January would be finally be easier, because Bill has three paydays and I have a lot of sales appointments lined up, but this ticket is going to wipe out a chunk of it.
Other than that stupid ticket, the day went pretty well.

Friday, January 9, 2009

what fifty bucks can get you

Two months ago, I bought a pair of cheap, high heeled boots for work. I thought that since they were on sale, and such an unusual colour (purple) that they'd be fun. Unfortunately, in this case, I really got what I paid for because they felt cheap and looked cheap and I never wore them again after the first time. Since I found the receipt last night, I decided to take them back and see what I could trade them in for.

Here's what I got for the $50 gift card they issued me:

  • A nativity set marked down with 60% off the last marked price
  • A box of 16 Christmas cards for next year
  • A ginger-spice candle
  • kitchen cleaner
  • two cans of pledge furniture polish
  • two Rubbermaid sandwich containers
  • dill pickle chips
  • mini-bags of popcorn
  • 4 litres of chocolate milk
  • 1 lb of butter
  • Eggo Pancakes

Does that seem like what you might get for $50? I love getting things that seem almost free. In this case, I think I had to pay an additonal 83 cents.

mothers and daughters



One of my favourite books of all time is The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold. Jamie bought it in 2003, the year after Dale passed away, and so far, it's been the only thing that ever brought me comfort about where he might be. The idea that someone's heaven is comprised of all the things they enjoyed on Earth, makes me think that he might still be a teacher, and that he is very good at Sochin.
It had such an impact on us that when Jamie came across Sebold's next novel, The Almost Moon, she picked it up.
What a strange book! The fact that the main character, Helen, kills her aged mother jumps out from the very first line. The entire story takes place over a 24 hour period, from the moment she arrives at her mother's house to the point where she must decide how to handle the police and their investigation. The guts of the book, however, are the recollections of her childhood.
In the beginning, we discover that Helen's mom used to be a lingerie model, and that she had some lofty aspirations to make it big in NYC. Whether or not that is realistic is never disclosed, but there is some indication that she resents having married a man that couldn't make that dream come true for her, even though his love of her sustained her life for decades.
As for Helen, one the biggest tragedies seems to be that as an only child within a small family, it takes something horrid to happen at the age of sixteen before she truly realizes why her mother is the way she is, and why a kindly neighbour might use the term mentally ill. Suddenly, she knows why her mother hasn't left the house in over five years, and why she would rub a bloody wound in the space between her breasts, forming a scar that years later, her ex-husband would call her martyr's stigmata.
Throughout the first few chapters I found myself grateful that Helen had her father to lean on, yet as I progress through the story I realize that he had his own mental health issues, mostly in regard to his own depression and need for isolation and, as Helen discovers, his penchant for living in the past. I suspect, even though it was never confirmed, that he'd spent time in a mental hospital for suicidal tendencies. In the end, years after she'd left home, gotten married and divorced, he bought her her own little house just a few miles from her childhood home, went back to his wife, and shot himself in the head at the top of the stairs.
It is at this point that you get the idea that she will pay dearly for being left alone with her mother, and she truly does. The love/hate relationship is so palpable and so strong that even while she cares for her, you get the feeling that it is undoing her.
As a mother to two daughters, it made me thankful that while I may have my issues like everyone else, we don't sweep it under the rug or make up stories to cover them up. We don't resent each other for secrets and things left unsaid, we aren't left wondering, what the hell happened?
I didn't like the book as much as I liked her other work, but it has definitely made me think, and since I finished it last night, I have spent some time reflecting on the relationship with my own mother. I'm so lucky to still have her, and I'm so lucky that while she still suffers from self-isolation and depression, she has never damaged me to an extent that I couldn't recover from, and come out loving her anyway.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

snowy



Here's my deck this morning, covered with the few inches of snow we've been getting in the last few days. It actually amazes me that we don't have more.

I've been living in Central Alberta since 1973, when my mom and dad broke up. Originally I'm from the Sunshine Coast, near Vancouver BC, where January brings spring showers and by February, the flowers are starting to bloom. Alberta was definitely a culture shock!

January and February are typically the coldest months of the year here, although December can give us a run for our money too. This year we've had a few weeks of -37°C, but the majority of the time it's been -20°C or lower. We've had very little snow, but what we have had has still confused some of our drivers, who refuse to slow down or keep any distance between themselves and the cars ahead of them.

Two of the worst offenders are teenaged boys with something to prove, or women in SUV's and UUV's. I guess the women think that they can just throw it in 4H, but I've seen enough slide through intersections to know that that isn't necessarily the case. Maybe in extreme cold, when the roads have some traction, but let it warm up just a little? That's when you really need to watch.

Today I have my first sales appointment since before Christmas, and I'll be on the phone trying to make more, unless my voice is too raspy from this cold. No sense scaring people off, lol.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

you can upload bitmap images to blogspot

A few months ago I saved a lot of pics in my old computer by emailing them to my hotmail account. Unfortunately, all the jpg's became bitmap images, and I couldn't use them on journalspace.
This is a picture of Bill, taken almost three years ago now. He's wearing Em's pink and purple hat. Yanno, she wouldn't be caught dead in that hat now that she's almost twelve.

an older story

photo by Graham Owen


I wrote this story last year and posted it on journalspace. Now, thanks to Google cache, I have it back. Obviously, I'm a sentimental romantic.

Tesoro mio, angelo Mio

Sophia could see him just as he was, if she closed her eyes. She could re-live the entire day, if she put her mind to it. That was the day that Mama had wanted her to go down to the market, to pick up an eggplant for the evening meal, and she hadn't wanted to go. The day wasn't as sunny as it usually was, but there was a nice wind, and she'd been busy hanging sheets on the line her Papa had strung up between their little villa and the pole at the back of the garden. She'd wanted to do some reading afterwards, before she started the afternoon cleaning, but instead she stored the wicker basket in a corner of the small kitchen and went out front to get the old red bicycle.

She waved to her neighbour, Salvatore, as she rode past, and gestured wildly at the driver of a grubby, three wheeled truck that veered too close to her. "Ma sei pazzo?!" - are you crazy?!"

Once she arrived at the market, her mood seemed to lighten. Children ran in and around the stands filled with fruits and vegetables, their laughter echoing off the old buildings in the background. Older couples walked hand in hand, and the young people - her friends, called out to her from where they sat eating in the piazza. It was then that she spotted the stranger, sitting at a table by himself. He didn't fit in, mostly because of his clothing. He was wearing a crisp white shirt and black trousers, but the others in the square had already stripped down to their undershirts, and many of the young men had begun wearing dungarees, made popular by American movies. She noticed him looking at her as she joined her friends, but had soon forgotten him as she laughed and visited with the girls she'd gone to school with. One of them had hoped to attend college, but her parents wanted her to marry. The other was already married, and was expecting a little bambino in the fall. Sophia wished silently for a family of her own.

A deep voice interrupted their talk. "Scusi, Per favore."

Sophia looked up to see the strange young man standing nearby, holding a piece of paper. He looked shy, and he was blushing. "Mi chiamo ... my name is William." William! She had never met a William before, and she'd had no idea how quickly her life was about to change. He'd stumbled over a few Italian phrases, telling the small group of girls about his trip so far (he'd been travelling with an Uncle, and they were both from a small community in Western Canada) and he had less than two weeks left before having to return home.

By that time, he'd had his Uncle visit Sophia's home and arrange a proper introduction, and they'd been out several times, enjoying the warm Italian weather under the watchful eye of her chaperone. Several months later, he returned to her little village for the first ceremony, and she cried copiously as her parents saw them off at the dock.

A second wedding ceremony took place in Leduc, with all of William's friends and family attending, and they'd settled into the little house on the edge of town. "Mio Dio!", she thought now. That had been fifty-four years ago, and it was hard to believe she was an old woman of seventy-two.

Her life played through her mind like an old movie reel - the babies, one after another. The lean years, when they were all little. The twins were both married, and had given William and Sophia five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren between them. Tomas wasn't married, but was an architect and travelled extensively. A few years ago he'd gone back to her village and had taken pictures of her old villa, which had been renovated extensively by a younger cousin. She'd hung it proudly in their bedroom, where she could look at it as she put her hair up each morning.

Today she sat in the over-stuffed chair in the corner of their room, watching William sleep. She wasn't sure how long he'd be here, as the cancer had progressed quickly. Every morning while her grandaughter watched him, she walked over to the little Catholic church and lit a candle for him. At the very least, his pain was being managed and she wasn't afraid for him. She was a little afraid for herself, as she'd never been alone since coming to this country. Hard to believe it all began because she'd gone down to the market for an eggplant.

Scooting over to the edge of her seat, she reached across and rested one hand over his. "Tesoro mio, angelo Mio - my treasure, my Angel. I love you so." She felt his fingers close around hers, and her heart swelled. Her home had always been where he was, and that would never change. "Scrivami una cartolina - I'll miss you so."

random wednesday



photo by Thomas Laupstad

I'm up early again today because I have an Annual General Meeting at the Country Club. The bad thing about this is that I'll have to sit through last year's numbers, but the good thing is the catered lunch, which the country club usually does very well.

Also, it doesn't hurt to show your loyalty and commitment to the management team - they're the ones that forward the leads, and since I am trying to raise my sales level I want them to know I'm the one they can send them to. Paul, the manager that I really like, sent me one yesterday for a girl who's looking for health and life insurance since she just left her job. The thing with these leads is that they're used to their company paying for their benefits and don't realize that the health & dental is usually twice what they expect it to be, but you never know. I'm meeting with her tomorrow.

Somehow between yesterday and this morning, I lost one of my gold bracelets. It was the one that Dale gave me in 1998, to apologize for training (karate) so much and ignoring me. I've looked in my bed but couldn't see it, and now I'm worried that I lost it at work yesterday. Other than to have the clasp fixed a few times, I have not taken it off in almost ten years.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

another close call


Yesterday I had to meet with a client to go over an offer extended to her husband, for life insurance coverage. I was quite nervous about it because the offer was taking the premium from $60/month to $345!
Because he was insuring himself for $2,000,000, the company required a para-medical, which means a nurse comes by your home to take your blood pressure, a blood sample, and a urine sample. With these, the lab found cotinine, a by product of nicotine usage, as well as some kind of medical issue. Between those, they sent the premium through the roof!
I thought I might be losing his sale, and usually when that happens I lose the coverage for his wife as well. Thank goodness we were able to adjust a few things and get the premium down to a manageable amount - I may have had to quit this gig if we hadn't.
Since I have only been selling insurance for eighteen months, the chargebacks would have put me out of business!
Today I'm working at the clothing store job, so I should sleep well tonight. The store itself is 8000 sq feet and with only two people on the floor, they keep you busy every minute of the day. I'm sure that I will think of you all for most of the day. To be honest, I've been obsessed with finding as many journalspace refugees as I can, and especially in the last few days, with so many signing up here at Blogspot.
Have a good Tuesday!
p.s. The photo is by Ron Asp. It's a snowy owl, near Wetaskiwin, Alberta. For some reason, I couldn't get a space between the photo credit and the start of my entry. It hasn't been a problem since I switched to this layout, but now it's doing it again. I guess I need to do a bit more Blogspot reading.

Monday, January 5, 2009

she likes it rough

For the benefit of any new readers, I thought I'd introduce Tokyo, my daughter's cat. She's three years old and she's a bit of a hussy. At first I thought she just had a thing for Bill, but apparently she exhibits the same clingy behaviour with Jamie's boyfriend Kyle, so it must be testosterone thing.
In this picture, Bill is actually tapping her, and not gently, on the back. Can you see by her claws how much she likes it? Those squinty eyes are a dead giveaway too. If Bill doesn't put her down by the time she has squinty eyes, she'll be trying to rub her scent on the back of his ears, which totally freaks him out. Sometimes it seems like she's not spayed, but she is.
Since we live in a fairly good sized city with lots of traffic, she's not permitted outside unless she's on a harness. That doesn't stop her from catching birds.
In October of 2007 she ran away and was gone for an entire month! Thankfully she'd only gone a couple of kilometers and had been living under this lady's deck. The woman caught her and called us from the info on her tag. The crazy thing was that Tokyo was only a five pound cat when she ran away, and when we picked her up the lady kept saying "she's so thin, poor thing, she's lost a lot of weight" but when we got her home and weighed her, she'd gained two pounds. Tokyo is a killer, and I bet she had a feast on birds and mice and whatever else crossed her path.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

home sweet home



photo by Jamie Isfeld

Today was a long day spent at home, much of it laying down because I've caught the flu or something. I'm exhausted and keep losing my voice too, and then there's the insomnia making me lethargic. I guess I'm a mess, lol.

I caught Titanic on TV while I sipped Neo Citran and slept on and off, then tonight the whole family went out to see Madagascar 2, which was pretty funny. I'm glad that it got us out of the house! And, it was only -15°C, which felt like summer. (Yesterday was bitterly cold. -36°C and who knows how much lower with the wind chill. It flattened my tire again)

Do you ever think about where you'd like to retire one day? Right now I'm picturing a little houseboat in Victoria for most of the year, then trips to places like Greece and Italy and Ireland during the rainy season.

Guess I'll have to work a little harder. Have a good week!

wing tips



For those that don't want to read about ghosts (see entry below) here are another pair of my favourite shoes. These are gray leather with black accents, and they're pretty easy to walk in. The real test of whether I can wear a pair of shoes for work is how easily they come off and go back on, since I visit people's homes to do my insurance gig. These ones are reserved for appointments inside the city - if I have to visit a small town, or a place out in the country - I wear a lower heeled pair of black knee high boots.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

the entity

photo by Sebastien Dechamps

For the last few years, strange things have been happening in our house.
My twenty year old daughter Jamie, has felt that there are either one, or two, entities that live downstairs with her.
She says that the first time something freaky happened was late one night when she got out of bed to use the bathroom down the hall. Someone, or something, put their hand in the small of her back and gave her a shove.
Other times, she feels as though someone is cuddling up to her in the evenings - laying their head on her shoulder, resting their hand on her arm as though they're spooning her from behind. She says she always gets the feeling that this cuddly entity is female, and lonely or sad.
Now Jamie can be a bit of a drama queen, and I have always believed her, but with a little skepticism. However, when things started happening upstairs, I started paying closer attention.
There's no reason to think that our ten year old house is haunted - as far as I know, no one has died here. There's no burial ground nearby (although this was certainly a farmer's field before this and in the middle of the Prairies, where anything could have happened.)
We're not a psychic family, although I am pure Haida by birth and my husband says that since my female ancestors were Shamans, perhaps some of that came down the bloodline. It's possible I suppose, but for the most part I've always thought that any connection to the dead was brought about by Dale's death and my penchant for talking to him. Apparently when you talk to the dead, you're supposed to "surround yourself with white light", but to be honest I don't really know what that means.
What I do know, is that my dog refuses to step one inch past the corner of the kitchen cabinets, even if there's a piece of steak on the floor. It's like she hears someone saying noooo and she backs up. Just recently, I was in the bathroom doorway applying mascara when the dog hightailed it out of Em's room. I thought the kitty chased her out, but just a few seconds later she came up the stairs and together, they sat outside Em's room and watched something going on in there.
Twice in the past, I have had the water in the shower turned all the way to HOT.
The first time it happened, I thought Bill was teasing me, but he wasn't here. The second time it happened, he was still asleep, and when I asked him about it he said he'd never adjust the water temperature.
There is no way that our shower tap is loose enough to turn either way on it's own. It's too stiff.
Since Bill is Catholic, he said a few prayers around the house and I asked whatever it was to play somewhere else.
Other than something chasing Lola around, things have been quiet for a few weeks until last night.
I had taken the kids for chinese food while Bill was working. When we got home, Bill was in the shower, so I dropped my bags and went in, and stood talking to him while he washed his face and hair. Then I turned and went back into the bedroom to put some stuff away.
Later on, he told me that the water had been fine while he was washing his hair, but when he turned to rinse it out it went freezing cold. He looked down and noticed that the taps had been turned completely to the right, so he moved it to the farther left and turned around. The water went cold again, he looked down and saw the taps on the right, thought Kate? He even yanked back the shower curtain, but the bathroom was empty. He said a quick prayer, rinsed his hair and got out of there.
Until this point, all these spooky incidents have happened to others, but now that it has happened to him, I doubt he can deny it any longer. I'm pretty much open to any and all advice!

my favourite shoe porn



These are my favourite pair from last summer. Since I wear so much black, they work out perfectly, and the platform in the front means I can grocery shop in these, if I have to.

Today I'm working in the clothing store, so I should get in the shower. I'll be back later to tell you a ghost story.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Jamie's old friend



I found this picture of Jamie's old friend Emily and thought I'd post it because it's funny. One night in 2004 while I was away (working? dancing?) Jamie had some of her friends over to the house, where they drank copious amounts of vodka and passed out.

They took advantage and make devil horns on Emily, lol.

I haven't seen this girl for years, but I always really liked her. She was a tiny little lesbian girl from a very religious family, and it must have killed them that she dressed (and acted) like a fourteen year old boy. I always thought that she was more transgender than gay, though. She used to love a challenge and tried to get every one of Jamie's friends into bed, and it didn't matter whether they were gay or not.

Last I heard, she'd moved south with a girlfriend, and never finished high school. I really hope that she finds her way into college because she was so smart, it's just too bad that her home life made that impossible.

everybody's got a story

Dale and Kathy, May 1991



The blog I had at journalspace was called Everybody's Got a Story, and for the most part, I'd started it because I was a widow in a new relationship and I wouldn't write about it on the widow's message board, even though I loved the people and the support they gave me.
My husband Dale had died almost two years before, and I'd found the message board (almost identical to Dorrie's Fun Forum) when I was at eleven days. That message board saved my life. I spent between six and eight hours there every day, reading and writing about my experience with Dale's illness and death, and commiserating with hundreds of others that were just as gobsmacked as I was.
Sometimes, in my early days, I would sneak over to the Relationships board and read about others trying to date, but it caused me so much pain and jealousy that I had to stop. It wasn't until I was finished with my self-imposed mourning period of a year that I finally started dating and writing about my experiences.
It was when I fell hard for Bill that I started my journal at JS. I couldn't bear it if someone thought I was flaunting my relationship, or if they ever thought that just because I was in love at that time, maybe something was wrong with them. Anyway, with every new website I post my story for those that might not know it. This is the version I wrote for a group of remarried widows.




Dale and Kathy 1990 - 2002



I met Dale in September of 1990, and we fell in love quickly! He moved in about five months later, and we married in 1993. A few months before we got married, he'd been having some trouble with a high liver count, and the Doc advised him to quit drinking. They didn't schedule any tests, just told him that he was at a high risk for alcoholic liver disease. At the time he was drinking on weekends, as was I and many of our friends who were about the same age. It was just accepted. Over the next few years he dealt with depression and anxiety, and probably had at least one breakdown that put him off work for six months. His drinking changed from the partying type to chronic abuse.
In 1995 I had a premonition that he would die, and in 1998 we bought life insurance, although he always said I would die first because I was a smoker. I couldn't see him living past 40 and that always haunted me.
From 1998 to 2001, our lives spun out of control with the alcoholism and subsequent emotional abuse, and I lost a lot of friends and he turned his family against me. I think he had to justify his alcoholism somehow, and he used to say that either I or Jamie caused him so much stress, who could blame him? Then he'd come to me for hugs, and tell me how much he loved me. It was so strange, but he didn't know I knew what he was saying. I chalked it up to his illness.
In 2001 he was dx'd with alcoholic liver disease and given a year to live. Still no tests, just warnings. In February 2002 he almost died from peritonitus and pnuemonia, and was able to quit drinking that day he was released from the hospital. He was sober for the last eight months, as a gift to me. I will always be grateful to him for that.
In June of 2002 I got him into a teaching hospital because I couldn't believe a 35 year old man could die from 3 years of chronic alcohol abuse. I asked them to look for cancer or something that would kill him, other than his lifestyle choices. They found the iron overload disorder, and wanted to put him on the transplant list. He declined. He only had a 30% chance of survival and he was too tired and too weak to fight. I think he knew that he'd have had a hard time staying sober and died to find peace and to set us free.
He asked me if I would look after him at home, because he was afraid to die in the hospital. I agreed. On September 14th, he took a cab to my mall and came into the store I was managing. We sat on the bench out in the hall talking for a bit.

I wish I were normal, he said.

I asked, How so?

I wish I could take you out for a drink one last time. Have a caesar.

I started crying at the mention of alcohol. My heart was pounding because I hadn't turned down any requests for weeks, but this was something I could not do.

But the salt...you'd retain more water...
(His ascites, or water in his abdomen, caused extreme pain because he had no muscle left to support his spine)

I know, it's okay. It's time.

We never had another real conversation after that. He slept for days and when he awoke he was delusional. He knew me, but didn't know my sister, his mom, or my nephew. We cared for him for 16 days, and he died on the 17th day.
I sat with his body for three hours before I called the funeral home.
In November 2002, his life insurance was declined for fraudulent misrepresentation. On the application he'd been asked 'has your Dr ever recommended that you lower your intake of alcohol? and he'd answered 'no'.
We went through every last penny of savings and RRSP's over the next few years. In March of 2004, I hit a wall. I'd been dating an idiot and after breaking up with him I wanted to kill myself because I was so stupid and thought Dale would be ashamed of me. I cried out to him, asking him to let me go so that I could have a fresh start. Until then, I had remained in love with him.

I met Bill in May of 2004. He had to go back to Newfoundland in July of that year, but we maintained a LDR for a year. He came back in July of 2005 and moved in with me in November 2005. We got custody of his daughter in January 2006. She's now 11.

The first year was tough - we had a lot of acclimating to do, but we think we've got a handle on it now. Bill & I married on August 9, 2007. My relationship with him brings me so much joy that it makes me afraid sometimes.

God - if you're listening - please give us as much time as you possibly can!

Most of the time I'm thankful for Dale. He taught me to love unconditionally and made me realize I am so much stronger than I ever thought. I still miss him. BUT I thank god for the life I have now, every single day.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

ZZzzzzzzzz



For the last month I've had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Every night I lay in bed for at least half an hour before finally falling asleep, then between 4:00 and 4:30 am I wake up and stay up for at least an hour. Usually I'll take a gravol to go back to sleep, but then I don't get up until noon.

I was using sleeping pills for almost three years after Dale passed away, but when Bill moved in in 2005 (and we got the new Queen bed) I started sleeping fine and gave them up. When I quit smoking in 2007, I used the patch for a few days but that was a huge mistake! I suffered nerve damage and now every morning around 4:00 am the area near my shoulder blade starts buzzing, burning and itching until it wakes me out of a solid sleep. I think I will start using zopiclone until it heals, if it's ever going to. I guess I'd better see my physician about it.

Today is a very quiet day. Em is playing some video games, Jamie is downstairs with her boyfriend, and Bill is having a nap. The only thing I must do today is take a trip to the grocery store before supper.

Happy New Year!