Sunday, June 07, 2009

Good Things

Have I mentioned to you how lucky I am? Probably not, seeing as the last time I posted here was over a month ago. Is anyone still out there?

Anyways, I am lucky because I have people. Wonderful, fantastic people. People who make me cry a little if I think too long about how wonderful they are. Because of these people we were able too, in the last month:

1. Survive
2. Pay our bills
3. Pay our outstanding property tax bill
4. Buy groceries
5. Buy Mary a new bike
6. Breathe easy and smile every once in a while.

When I went to Edmonton I knew something was in the works. I knew that the wonderful people that we left behind had planned to give us something. The magnitude of what they did for us still leaves me speechless, even today. To know that we have friends like that, people that we see maybe once a year who care that deeply for us...well, it really means more than anything. They were there for us, they helped us, and they made it easy to accept their help (which is a big thing for prideful mooks like us).

So, if you are one of those people, thank you. If you know one of these people, thank them for me.

More has gone on in the last month that I need to tell you, but for now, I've gotta get dressed for work.

Friday, April 10, 2009

2009 Thus Far

Has been the pits. Absolutely the pits. Between Miss Frances being ill for months on end, the crappy weather, and the loss of Tybalt and Rupert, I really didn't think it could get much worse. It did though, oh boy did it ever.

Two weeks ago Ian came home from work late. I was angry with him because I had expected him at supper, and when I tried to call he wasn't answering his cell. When he finally walked in the door I was geared up for a fight, but the moment I looked at him, I knew something was Very Wrong. He had lost his job that day. I'm not going into specifics because we have taken this to the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board, but I will say that things about his termination were extremely fishy, and the situation was not at all well handled by his employer. Because of what they did and how they treated it, Ian is unlikely to qualify for any sort of Employment Insurance or assistance getting training. We have been working to find him a job for the last two weeks, sending out his resume to different places every day, and after two weeks he has not received one phone call back. Not one. In short, we are fucked. Seriously, and utterly fucked. We aren't going to be able to pay the mortgage, bills or buy groceries very soon. I started a new job this past week working for an answering service. It's good, I am really enjoying working, but ten dollars an hour for 20 or so hours a week is not going to even begin to solve our problems. I mean, I know that it's better than nothing, but it's not going to pay or mortgage, let alone buy food and pay the bills.

So, things around here are definitely Not Great. It's hard to look on the bright side of things, to find the Grace in Small Things, when all I can do is worry about what on earth is going to happen to us, and wonder how we will make it through this. I keep thinking how this move to Saskatchewan, the move that was supposed to make everything easier, has failed utterly in that regard. We're at the point where Ian is considering going back to Ironworking. Going back to being out of town for months at a time. I had a hard time dealing with that when I was in Edmonton, with the city and a bus load of friends to keep me sane. I don't know if I can do it in Milestone, where my closest friend lives an hour away in Lumsden and I have virtually no other support system in place.

Anyways. 2009 has been the pits. The day after Ian lost his job in a most fishy and unacceptable manner, I found out that my mother is having some health issues. Some potentially Very Serious health issues. The type of issues that normally would make me cry a whole lot, and need to throw up some. There's nothing concrete yet, we are still waiting for some tests to be done. I am clinging to that thought, even though I know enough to understand that this is not likely to be something benign and happy. We are preparing for a diagnosis that begins with the letter "C", and I'm not sure I can deal with that. The thing is, my Mother has been a smoker since she was 14 years old. The thing is that where the lumps have been found, well, that means Bad Things. If those lumps are C___ it means that the C___ is everywhere. If that's what it is. I keep telling myself that. We don't actually know that it's C___ yet. Except I'm pretty sure I do know that's exactly what it is. Here's where I'm going to sound a little hysterical, a little like a crazy person, but this is my blog, and it's okay. See, when I was a kid, my Dad had C___. They tried to hide it from me, because that's what parents do, I guess. They didn't want to ruin my summer. They held off on my dad going to the hospital till I was away at camp. They wanted me to have fun. The thing is that I already knew that my Dad had cancer. I had a miserable time at camp, and I was incredibly angry with them for not telling me. Fast forward many many years. Five years ago, Ian's dad got sick. No one really knew what was going on, even the doctors. I knew. I knew the moment Ian's Mum first called to tell us that his Dad wasn't doing well. From that moment, I started telling Ian to prepare himself for the worst. I started telling Ian that we needed to save our money so he could go to Halifax. I knew 4 months before the doctors figured it out. And now. I know too. I just know. I really wish I didn't, but I do.

I've been trying to be optimistic, but it's hard. It's so incredibly hard. I'm not an optimist by nature, I never have been. I've always looked at the world through the opposite of rose coloured glasses. I don't know how much longer I can keep this up. I don't know how much longer I can keep being supportive of Ian. I don't know how much longer I can force myself to stay happy and calm in front of the girls. I don't know how much longer I can force the C-word out of my mind every time it creeps in unbidden. I don't know what we are going to do, and I don't know how we are going to do it, and I'm terrified.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

GiST #5

This whole finding things to be thankful for is harder than it looks, especially these last few months. I feel very much like I'm stuck in some hell dimension, where everyone around me is sick and needy, and they are sucking the life right out of me. Frances, Ian, and now's just never ending. In better news, Frances has been referred to a pediatric allergist in Saskatoon for her constant sicks. I just spoke to the receptionist and we have an appointment booked for April 15th. Also, I finally made an appointment with the family doctor for the terrible gastrointestinal issues which have been plaguing me for months, but I've not had time to worry about because I've been so busy caring for others.

I'm not even going to go into the terrible money problems we are having right now, other than to say that I don't know how people do it, and I don't know what we are going to do or how we are going to carry on this way. I could get a job, but because I have no education beyond high school, the best I can hope for is a low paying retail job. As I learned in the fall, I'm unlikely to find something that will make it worth my while after paying for daycare and gasoline to get too and from work. If I'm going to work, which is something I don't want to do in the first place, it's going to have to be worth it. I'll need to bring in at least as much as we get in our child tax benefit (which I'll lose when I start working) after paying for daycare and gas. Huh. I guess I did go into it a little bit after all.

Last night I went to my first punk rock concert! It was quite an enjoyable experience, though I have absolutely no voice this morning.

On to my Grace in Small Things:

1. The fact that we have a medical system in this country where I can take my sick children to the doctor without worrying about going bankrupt.

2. The fact that anyone in this country can do the above.

3. Scottish Punk Rockers with pierced nipples, tattoo's, bagpipes and kilts.

4. The snowman named Walter melting away in my front yard, and my husband and daughters pride at successfully making their first ever snowman.

5. The thick ice fog that just appears in the evenings, blanketing everything with white, muffling sounds, and leaving a beautiful thick frost on the trees in the morning.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

GiST #4

I had a bizarre dream last night about my family and a friend of mine. It was strange, because usually in my dreams I either don't have children and a husband, or if I do have them, they're far away in the dream. I very rarely dream in the detail that I had last night either unless I'm pregnant (I'm not). Anyways, I emailed the dream first thing in the morning to my friend, and he had an interesting idea about the dream which I hadn't thought of, but in hindsight makes a pile of sense.

At the rink yesterday, a child came up to me, she was about 10 years old. She asked me why my hair was so pink, and I told her it was because I don't eat my veggies. Her brow furrowed as her Mum laughed behind her, and finally, she looked at me and said with great intensity "But....what does that mean??"

I made banana chocolate chip pancakes for lunch today. Yum.

On to my Grace in Small Things:

1) Overripe bananas.
2) Crock Pots.
3) Strong winds bringing warm weather.
4) An insightful friend.
5) A cup of hot tea waiting for me in the morning.

Friday, February 27, 2009

GiSt #3

Since dying my hair pink, I have been a much happier person. How strange is that? The kids at preschool were all extremely impressed with my hair.

On to my list.

1) Pink.
2) Garlic.
3) Morning snuggles from Mary.
4) Frances belly laughing.
5) Sundogs (not because of what they mean, but because of how pretty they are).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I spent the night at Cenobyte's place, and when I woke up this morning I had a terrible headache and pink hair. See?

Really the pictures don't do the level of pink justice. The light in here is pretty awful. You'll have to take my word when I say that against the white white snow, in the hair is almost blindingly pink. It's so pink, it glows.

I stopped at McDonalds for cheeseburgers to bring home to Ian and Mary as a peace offering for disappearing for a full day. The girl at the drive thru who took my order looked at me, and her eyes got wider and wider. Finally she said "That....that's some pink hair, you've got there. Didja loose a bet?" I said "Yes. Yes it is, and no, I just like pink." The girl nodded seriously and quietly, and finally, as she was handing me my change said " have just have a nice day." I'm absolutely positive that if she had been able, she would have backed slowly away from me.

Mary, however, approves of the pink hair. She keeps looking at me with this amazed, admiring expression on her face. When I ask her what she's looking at she sighs and says "Mama. Your hair is pink. SO pink." I have a little dye left, and I may give her a couple of pink streaks of her own tonight.

Monday, February 23, 2009

GiST #2

Look at me go! Two days in a row, right?

1. Paranoid Android
2. Tragically Hip
3. The silence that comes after the children go to bed.
4. The busy noise that fills the house before the children go to bed.
5. Being introduced to new music by a friend in the wee hours of the morning.

Visit Grace in Small Things

Sunday, February 22, 2009

GiST #1

Because I am a follower, and because I've been getting overwhelmed by the negative lately, I've decided to try this whole Grace in Small Things. The basic idea as I understand it is to post 5 small things for which I am grateful every day for a year. Now, I'm not sure I'll be able to do this every day, but I'm certainly going to do my best to do it every week at the very least.

Here we go.

1) The sound of my cats purring.
2) A cold nose in the morning, when the rest of my body is cozy and warm under the covers.
3) The smell of onions frying.
4) Miss Vickies potato chips.
5) Guy Gavriel Kay.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nihilist Mary

Tonight, while I was washing the dishes, Mary sang a song for me, and I've written it down to share it with you.

(Sung to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)

Twinkle twinkle little nothing,
How I wonder why you are
Up above the world so high
Like a nothing in the sky.
(At this point the singer should wander away, mumbling nonsense)

I think that it's really quite deep.

Sorry I haven't been blogging lately. I'll get better, I promise.

February hasn't been great. I lost two cats at the beginning of the month, and I've been drinking far too much.

On the plus side, I spent the last couple of days in Lumsden enjoying the company of wonderful people and drinking too much. Also, I now have a ring made out of a spoon.

Monday, February 02, 2009


I missed a whole month!

It's February. If something bad is going to happen to my family, it will be in February. Life, or whatever, takes the time in February to kick us in the teeth. Every February. This February is no different. My house reeks of spoiled meat. Several hundred dollars worth of spoiled meat. A deep freeze full of spoiled meat.

This is only the first day. What other treasures are in store for us?

I think I might skip February all together this year.