Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stop Dreaming!


Wow. What a difference a day makes. The guy I gushed about yesterday sent me a text message an hour ago saying he met someone else. This was Mr. Keen too.

Huh.

Go figure.

I’m fine. Had my boo hoos and my wonderful daughter held on to my leg while I cursed him with bad words and tears and wouldn’t allow me to demean myself by answering him in a way that would hide how classy I am.

Anyway, I meant what I said yesterday about giving a nice guy a chance. They are out there. I just haven’t met them yet. For now it’s going to be casual dating and no more dreaming.

Peace and love.

2014 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,600 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Shopping…


I’m about to test the strengths I’ve learned these last few weeks/months/years.  I’ve planned a great adventure with my daughter which is totally out of my comfort zone.  One that will include a Greyhound bus full of strangers, bad food and poor sleep.  And then…

Destination:  West Edmonton Mall

We will be shopping pretty much non-stop for 3 days then head home again.  loveshoesWell, the girl will be shopping with her money, I will be the one behind her carrying her many purchases and stressing over how to save a nickel (could we have popcorn for supper?  I really don’t want those shoes.  Yes I do.  No I don’t.).

Does this trip fill me with anxiety?  Oh yes, you bet it does.  As a matter of fact today I had to drive to the airport where the bus depot is to purchase tickets and I felt so much panic as soon as I couldn’t see downtown anymore.  Will I get lost?  Will my bank card not work?  Maybe I don’t have any money.  Will my heart decide to stop beating?  Will there be an accident while I’m driving my son’s van?  Watch out for that old lady!!!!

Remember, this was just on the way to the bus station.

The original plan was for me to rent a car to get to Edmonton.  This wouldn’t work out because I don’t have a credit card and also because I would have to sell my body 541,000 times just to get the $1,000 I would need.  So Greyhound it is.  I’m relieved I’m not driving the 15 hour trip.  I would really be scared of getting horrorlost among other things too many to list here.  I’ve watched way too many movies where a car breaks down and weird-looking strangers make sure the passengers are never seen again.  The mom always gets killed first.

So once I conquer the bus and the inevitable motion sickness I’m prone to, we hit the hotel and then the mall.

The huge, incredible “mall”.   mall

 

This is bigger than anything in my city.  There aren’t just stores; there are amusement parks and restaurants and lots and lots of people.  Lots of them.

I want to do this though because this is the last year my last child is a child.  Next summer she will be an adult and making her own trips with her friends.  This way I get her all to myself for a few days with no computer in my face.  I’m really looking forward to it in spite of the gnawing in my stomach.  After all, I made it out of the bus station with a few wrong turns on the way back but made it home, unscathed, just the same.

I take heart in these small steps as they are leaps and bounds to what I could do 5 or 6 or 7 years ago.

Huge.

Like the mall.

Oy.

I Need Naps


This week I finally had the chance to do a decent grocery shop.  And I went with my girl, Carly.  We haven’t been shopping together in close to a year.

It seemed that I could never get the shopping quite right; Carly wanted “healthy” things.  Well, so do I but our versions of “healthy” are two different ideas.  I had to teach her about balance and budget.  Since she was complaining so much I made her come with me.

So there we were with a borrowed van at the store and a good wad of cash.  I needed prescriptions and headed to the pharmacy while sending her to the fruit and vegetable section.  While my prescriptions were getting filled we met up again and started cruising up and down the aisles. I don’t usually cruise but I had a list too.

We agreed on some things that didn’t have much to do with food.  The most challenging was a new razor.  Ours was gross already so we agreed to buy a new one.  I was checking out the ladies and Carly insisted we get a men’s razor style.  I wasn’t too sure about that until she found a weird shaped one.  She was reading the package and exclaimed “It has a battery!?”  That perked my interest and it was only $7 on sale, half price.  Carly said she didn’t think we should get it as we probably were too technically challenged to use it.  It had an attached trimmer for heaven’s sake.  That must explain the battery, right?

I ignored her and got the last 2.  She has no faith.

Then it was groceries…she read every label on every box or container of food and exclaiming in a horrified voice every time; “OMG the sodium! …the saturated fat!…the CARBS!” and would quickly put the item back on the shelf.  I would pick it back up again horrifiedand show her what we had to do to make a balanced meal.  She had to realize it was OKAY to have fat, sodium and carbs to a certain degree especially since my cart was full of fruit and veggies too.  We picked up whole grains as alternatives to what we would normally buy.  We also bought a little more organic fresh food as well.  It was all starting to come together.

I must say, shopping with her took twice as long (at least) and three times the cost.  I’m just lucky we  had the money for this trip.  I asked her if she saw how much it cost us and she said she did and was shocked at how much we have to pay to eat healthy.  I warned her that, on our normally very limited budget, this shopping trip would rarely be like this.

I’ll let you in on a little secret though…I did manage to sneak in my Cheez Whiz.  🙂

Boy, I had my exercise this week too.  I’ve been looking after my oldest granddaughter while my youngest granddaughter gets her eating habits in order.  I swear I’ve never been so tired.  It’s a really good tired though.  I go to bed before 11:00 (!!!) and get up for 8:00 am.  Amazing.  And she  has me running.  Running after her, ahead of her, beside her and with her.  In between we watch inane children shows that make me get ridiculous songs stuck in my head which have replaced the songs we played for my Dad while he was on his death-bed.  I don’t know which is worse.

We also nap.  Grandma needs her nap.IMG_0985

So a good week all around. Thank you to all who gave me their support the last couple of weeks.  I really appreciate it as it had to one of the worse times in my life.  I don’t feel as alone as I did.  I feel better being busy and productive.

Until next time….

The Best Traits


I’m sitting next to you
Watching you lie in that bed
holding you
Until you get to where you’re supposed to go
I hope you still feel my hand in yours
And know my heart is breaking
Because I will have to let it go

I’m remembering so many things
As tears fall from my eyes
Only the happy, the good memories
Have taken over my thoughts

Learning to fish and drive a car using our lamps as guides for parking.
The pride you never failed to have for each member of your family
And the love

The love

There’s a legend, I’m told
Of a grandfather leaving this earth
While his grandson is waiting to be born

So he may get his grandfather’s best traits
While they pass each other through the universe.

This could be why
My grandson is waiting so long to be born
He wants those traits so much from his great grandfather
And a lucky boy he’ll be

His gifts to him will be humility and pride
Kindness, love and a passion for sports ( Go HABS!)
A work ethic and time for family

I’ll have to let go of your hand soon I know Dad
So then I can hold a new life with
Your best traits

20140516-203355.jpg

In the Beginning


I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl and fell in love with reading.  I wanted to read way before parents were allowed to teach their kids anything about it before kindergarten and even first grade.  My mom would read me my favourite books so much that I actually started to read a bit on my own.  Once I learned to read in school, though, there was no holding me back.  I remember driving with my parents and them asking me what a sign might say and I would patiently sound out each letter until the word seemed to appear in my head and burst out of my mouth.  Every time my family would cheer and applaud me for my efforts.

I would read to my little sister most nights, giving her the stories I heard and loved.  I would try to teach her to read while we played “Teacher”.

writngWriting came next and it seemed like a natural thing. I wrote plays for my family and friends to act in.  Quite elaborate ones too.  One of them I remember quite well because it was about a dragon (my dad) and the prince (my cousin, Freddy) having a battle over the princess, (my little sister, Colleen).  I was the director.  This all took place in the kitchen at our cottage at the beach.  The dragon kept blowing fire at the prince and I kept yelling at the prince to put out the fire.  Unfortunately, the prince got the bright idea to take a 5 gallon pail of water and throw it at the dragon, soaking everything in the kitchen.  My mom was not happy and there were no more plays inside anymore.  But I kept writing them.

I didn’t realize that I could write until 10th grade when our English teacher had us keep a journal which he read every night and marked or made comments.  One day he gave us starter lines for creative writing and one of them was the one I picked “As the clock ticked…”  Suddenly I had an incredible idea of the last seconds of a person’s life ticking away; someone on death row about to die for killing her husband.  I wrote pages and pages in the 20 minutes we were allowed to write.  When I handed it in I had such a thrill of excitement knowing that someone was going to read it and give me an honest opinion.  I knew it was good.

It was.  The teacher wrote several lines of positive comments and gave me an A+.  He also encouraged me to write more and try to find that burst of imagination and creativity more often.  He also told me that was one of the reasons for the journal.  Practicing my writing would only give me more of a voice and, by golly, it sure has.

I saw my niece last night and found out she’s been following my blog.  I always feel kind of weird when I find out someone I know reads all about what’s in my head and then that goes away almost right away.  I’m writing for me and for anyone who wants to read it.  She wants me to keep writing and that’s my intention.  It was great to  have feedback from her and I feel encouraged to keep up my once-a-week posts here.

One of these days I hope to make a living at this.  Wouldn’t that be something?  I want to take more creative writing courses and maybe get a novel out of this old noggin of mine.  That has always been my dream.

Google to the Rescue!


I subscribe to Plinky (http://www.plinky.com/), which gives prompts for writers/bloggers who are stuck or just want some practice with their writing.  I was really stuck tonight so, after several failed attempts to write SOMETHING, (Carlyandfood, mycathadseizuresthisweek) I checked out some of them.  The one I picked was “What was the last thing you searched for online?  Why were you looking for it?”olympic google

One of the things I was looking up on Google in preparation for my post tonight was Agoraphobia.  One of my blogging buddies, Kim LaRocque, over at http://www.museinthevalley.com/ writes about it quite a bit, both on her website and her Facebook page. Excellent site by the way.  I encourage you to check it out.

I wanted to find out what it means clinically, always believing I had the symptoms.  A partial definition from Wikipedia says agoraphobia:

is an anxiety disorder characterized by anxiety in situations where the sufferer perceives certain environments as dangerous or uncomfortable, often due to the environment’s vast openness or crowdedness. These situations include, but are not limited to, wide-open spaces, as well as uncontrollable social situations such as the possibility of being met in shopping malls, airports, and on bridges.

No, it just didn’t sound right.  I have had a few panic attacks but they’re not what’s described by Wikipedia. I’ve mentioned them in some of my past posts on this blog.  I fear going to new places for sure but that’s the fear of getting lost.  Which I do.  A lot.  Oh, I guess it’s true then that this can make me anxious, but I don’t think I get panic attacks per se.  Any panic attack I’ve had seems to be associated with bi-polar disorder more than anything else. It comes with paranoia and its grip on me and that makes things hard to understand or control.  I can agree, though,  I don’t like the idea of meeting anyone I know in public and avoid it desperately.  Mostly because of my hair.  I can’t wait for it to grow out. I don’t like crowds but don’t really get panicked over them.  At one time I did but not for years now so shopping at Superstore is a breeze.  I just don’t like them and try to stay away from them.

So I dug a little deeper and found the symptoms for Social Anxiety Disorder on the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (BC) website digging(http://www.cmha.bc.ca/get-informed/mental-health-information/social-anxiety-disorder) seems to fit a whole lot better:

People with social anxiety disorder feel very nervous and uncomfortable in social situations like meeting new people. Or they might feel very anxious when they have to do something in front of other people, like talking in a meeting. Some people feel very anxious in both situations.

People with social anxiety disorder often feel like they will say or do the wrong thing. Or they might think that other people will look down on them and think poorly of them because they’re “strange” or “stupid.” It’s important to know that adults with social anxiety disorder recognize that they feel too anxious, but they may not be able to control it.

Some people may have a panic attack or feel some physical signs of anxiety when they’re facing a social situation. Common physical signs of anxiety include stomach aches, shallow breathing, sweating or feeling hot flashes, feeling like your heart is racing, feeling tightness in your chest, feeling tense and feeling shaky. 

Social anxiety disorder can have a very negative effect on your well-being and quality of life. The disorder can cause a lot of problems in your relationships with partners, family and friends. It can also seriously affect your school or work life. You may avoid certain careers or fields of study, avoid contributing your ideas, turn down promotions, drop out of school or take many days off because you feel so anxious.  Some people with social anxiety disorder fear one or just a few specific social situations. Others fear a wide range of social situations.

I highlighted the information which rang home to me.  It was incredible to see it all there in black and white, describing ME. I think a lot of people who’ve known me for most of my life will agree as well.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t anxiety girlfeel like this, speak about myself like this, having some good days and some bad including when I was a child. I realize now the feeling of ugliness and worthlessness might not just be because of the abuse I survived but it may have lived within me before that time or manifested itself because of it.  I guess to some degree it could be both.  I doubt I’ll ever know the answer to that one.

It interferes with so much of my life including my family and that’s happening more and more lately.  In the past, anything social I had to attend I would long for a drink or would head to the food table, to take the edge off, to relax. I was invisible because I wanted to be?  Maybe. What the  hell happened to me?

Now I just don’t socialize very much.

I barely leave the apartment…I got out three times in almost 2 weeks and that was yesterday and today to buy food and last Sunday to take my cat to the emergency hospital.  It’s been like that always; invariably finding a reason not to go somewhere or putting it off for as long as possible.  I’ve lost friends, work friends and acquaintances and my kids think I’m lazy and unable to form complete sentences and say I’m “too sensitive”.

This is ridiculous. I know this is fixable.  Everything I’ve read assures me of this.  When I see Dr. G this Wednesday we can get a plan going with support and self-help material.  I just need the skills to become the person I was meant to be.  Better late than never.get out of jail

This has to be the best day for me to discover all this as I was getting pretty discouraged with my relationships with my kids. I’ve been having trouble being a mom to them in many ways, isolating myself from them too.  I’ve been too scared to open my mouth for fear of sounding like an idiot.  There I go.  See?

I actually feel better now, knowing that I’m not all that weird.  Apparently this is one of the most common fears in the phobia business.  So there will be lots of help out there.

Peace.

A Day In My Life (Part One)


What a day this was (Friday).  It went kind of all over the place and it made me stop and think, and sometimes in places where I shouldn’t have stopped at all.

I started my new volunteer job this morning!  That was pretty great.  I had to get up early, which was tough because I’m into the last 200 pages of Stephen King’s almost 1200 pages of “The Stand” and it’s really hard to put down.  So after reading for over and hour and a half, until 3:00 AM, I determinedly set my alarm for 8:00 AM, which, by the way, is the earliest I’ve been up for a long time.

Well morning came and the alarm went off when it was supposed to.  I should hair productsknow better than to try to reason with a sleepy brain at 8:00 AM; it doesn’t work.  I reset my alarm for 8:30, thinking my bus surely won’t come until 9:30 and I can just put more hair products in my hair in lieu of a shower.

So, like a good little soldier, up I got at 8:30 and checked the bus times again.  Nope.  The time in my head was wishful thinking,  I had 25 minutes to eat and get ready and take my morning meds then run the 2 blocks to the bus stop.  Mad panic ensued.  lucky2My cat watched me in wonder while looking pointedly at her full food dish.  She likes to be petted while she eats.  It’s an anxiety thing.

It was the first beautiful morning in ages.  -1C and with the wind chill it only felt like -8.  So I figured I would not have to dress in so many heavy layers of clothes this time.

The bus was late.  A LOT late was that bus.  I even ran half of the 2 blocks to catch it on time.  Well, I think of it as running. It sure felt like running.  The wind seemed to be picking up as well.

I made it to the hospital where I volunteer and got ready to have coffee time with the “girls” for the first time.  Well, there were a couple of guys there too.  I love working with the elderly.  They were all smiles this day, even the grumpy ones apparently.  Tarts for tea today.

We spent the next hour and a half having coffee and tea and goodies while tea partyanother volunteer told jokes she found on the internet and yet another brought out his guitar and sang some songs.  I tell you, these people know how to chair dance!  The volunteer promised to play again next week.  Then it was time to clean up and go home.

I figured it was such a nice day I would wait at the bus stop instead of staying inside for 10 minutes.  Funny thing…was that wind getting colder?  It was definitely colder.  And stronger. And it was snowing really hard.

I made it home and had a nap.  Nice morning all around.

After the nap the ex brought me some of the child support which I planned to use almost all for groceries.  So now the bus to Wal-Mart.  The weather was worse than before.  It was freezing cold.  My fingers and my nose were numb in 2 minutes.  And the bus was 11 minutes late.  Then 13.  I guess it was travelling backwards.

A cold walk to the bank.  I climbed over snowdrifts up to my knees in some snow driftsplaces.  I fell twice.  I ran in front of traffic not wanting to stand on a windy corner any longer than I had to.  Then an even colder walk to Wal-Mart.  The sidewalks had been plowed though.  I wish there were heated bus shacks along the way.  This is Winnipeg.  There should be.

But once I got there I happily shopped, not realizing the money I had been really not that much.  shoppingTo me it seemed like a fortune but once I got to the cashier I was getting that feeling in the pit of my stomach that I made a  big mistake.  There were so many items on the belt I realized there was no way I could cover them all.  The cashier would tell me what amount we were up to and I was prioritizing items desperately.  Yes we needed meat.  Yes we needed milk and eggs and cheese and peanut butter.  Yes we needed veggies and bread.  I kept taking things out of bags and the patient cashier would take them off the bill.  I was red in the face and feeling rather faint with embarrassment.  I was so close to tears.  I apologized to the woman behind me for taking so long.  She was fine with it although the man behind her swore at me and went to another line.

Finally the tally came up with more than half of what I wanted to buy still sitting apart from my payitforwardbagged items.  I was paying, still on the verge of crying and holding it in nicely when I felt a hand on my shoulder.  I turned to see the woman who was behind me in line.  She leaned in close and whispered that she hoped I wouldn’t be offended but she wanted to buy me some of the items I couldn’t get.  Then there were tears on my face and told her how grateful I would be and promised to pay it forward.  She spent $16 so my girl and I could have toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner as well as a few other things.

I was embarrassed but so blown away by her kindness.  I know I’ve done that for strangers, mostly just a dollar or two, and more back when I was working.  The saying “What goes around, comes around” is perfectly true.  I wish for that woman to have the best year of her life.  The things she bought me aren’t so kindnessimportant but her actions touched me.  She is a truly kind and unselfish person.

I did get all the important items though.  I expect more money this coming week so I’ll be more rational when I shop then.

I made it through the day.  Again, as I usually say, I always do.  🙂

PS.  I know the title of this post says Part One.  I’m not sure if I can finish part two.  I wanted to have it for Mental Health Awareness Day on January 28 and it’s hard to write.  I’m digging deeper into my psyche lately and finding things that I want to ignore.  Hopefully I can put some order to it and share it with readers.  I might be a little late though.

Peace and love.

Switching Bottles


Well, my friend Jam is back in town, and ready to party.  The last time I partied with her was here and that was a time I will never forget.  I did write it all down so that helps with the not-forgetting part.  Which is why I’m doing it this time too.  Its great catching up with old friends.

Of course some things never change.  For one thing, just like last time, we were having a snow storm and I was trudging up the street with snow that, in some wineplaces, was up to my knees .  I had a half a bottle of my son’s homemade wine in an insulated water bottle and some 7-up to tame it just a bit.  It is a tad wicked.  No stuffed mushrooms though, just a box of Crunch and Munch this time.

I put on makeup before I left, although I don’t know why.  I guess because I haven’t had a picture taken of me in months, not even at selfie jan 2014Christmas, which is fine by me, let me tell ya.  Tonight, though, there are lots of pictures of me that should just be burned.  I can laugh at them though as long as I don’t acknowledge it’s me in the pictures.  Ha.   I did take one selfie that was pretty good.  I was going for a one-chin look and think I did it.  I did have to reach up quite far with the camera to get the effect I wanted. What do you think?  I’m dreading when Jan gets back home and will upload a whole bunch on Facebook.

So I made it to the door and didn’t fall in a snow bank.  There they were, the girls from the block and Sue(p).  God I love them.  We had snacks, drank some wine and remembered the great times we had.  We also realized that things aren’t like they used to be.  We are all so laid back (old) although it could be because of the cold it really limits what one can do.  We weren’t about to get on a bus and go to a restaurant and spend lots of money on food and booze then hop on another bus and yell things at Shelly with the sole purpose of embarrassing her (“Shelly has a boooyfriieeennd!!!”) while on our way to the casino.  Shelly was so easily embarrassed back then, now she just gives it right back at us AND she says really bad words more often.  That’s fun too but not nearly.  Watching and hearing her apologize profusely to whoever she had to sit with on that bus would make everything just get out of control.

Life was so different then.

Memories of a stinky cab ride

Memories of a stinky cab ride

So what did we do?  I laughed so hard the back of my skull hurt so bad I had to make myself stop.  I swear I was having a stroke or my brain was just trying to leak out the back way.  We started posing for pictures but without our Sue as she left a little early.  She did drink a lot of wine before I got there.

Invaded by the teens.

Invaded by the teens.

Shelly and Jan’s kids were there as well as some miscellaneous others that Shelly seems to adopt.  Mine stayed home. They were mostly pushing cars out of the snow outside the house.  A lot of snow and you’d think people would know better.  These kids were so loud I couldn’t believe it but what great human beings.  Shelly would screech their names, demanding they come upstairs and help the neighbours get out of the driveway AGAIN and up they would come.  Except the girls.  They put on fashion shows for us and made us ache for our youth.

My place is so quiet.

That feeling of friendship, which I felt was missing from my life for so long, was as if it never left my heart.  How easy it is to relate to these women, and to laugh and tell stories.

The best story?  Sue was woken up one night by a stranger, who was obviously drunk and in her room looking for “Jordan”.  She kept asking him what the hell he was doing there.  She got out of bed, was in her nightgown (thank goodness) and followed him out to her kitchen.  (Who are you??) There she noticed he had (Who the hell is Jordan???) helped himself to some snacks and tried to open her Crown Royal bottle (which is so stuck but I bet I could open it).  All the while he kept asking her where Jordan was. (How did you get in here??)  He finally realized that he was in the wrong house (Sue has no idea how he got in there or who he was or who the heck was Jordan) and was going to leave.  He was heading for the door and Sue was worried that he didn’t have a jacket but he left anyway.  She found the jacket (he had set up a nice little bed on her couch). She called 911 and told them about the guy  (that poor, poor man is out there without his jacket.  I’m so WORRIED!) and how worried she was about him and could they please come by to get his jacket so he doesn’t freeze to death.  NOTHING about the break and enter.  Our Sue was just worried about the hoodlum’s welfare.  We were all imagining if it were us and we would not be so calm.  I would have been beating the guy over the head and chasing him from my place, screaming at him to get out.  Jan figured she would have stood there and screamed and panicked too.

Legs up and duck face for Shelly.  OMG we are so HOT

Legs up and duck face for Shelly. OMG we are so HOT

We talked about and remembered some recent firefighter stories,  the crazy diet stories, the backyard fire pit stories, some ex-husband stories (mostly good ones that were hilarious and not bashing them too much), the time when Shelly’s cat wasn’t as, umm, fluffy as she is now.  Hell, we were less fluffy back then too. The times when Shelly and Jan would be on the bus with their kids, someone always seemed to scream at them that they were lesbians.   Which led to some dating stories and questions.  Lots and lots of questions.  But not about lesbians.

It was a good way to reconnect with them.  They are my friends.  They were never gone.  I plan on keeping it up but when the weather gets warmer.  I’ll have 2 grandbabies by then and will be wanting to go show off visiting.  I hope Jan will be able to come back again soon.

Now I have to go to Urban Dictionary and look up what my name means.  Sue’s started off nice but ended up with nasty words.

I’m going to try to post every week again.  That’s my goal so hopefully I’ll see you next week!

2012 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 42,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 10 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.