November 29, 2009


Comments on this site are now manually moderated so don’t freak out if yours doesn’t show up right away. Also I now have it set so that comments automagically close on posts older than 14 days. That is all.

Posted at 8:21 pm in: blogging , website , wordpress

The Downside of Drugs or Just Growing Up?

I worry, a lot, about the fact that I no longer seem to see the world with the same magic glasses I’ve worn my whole entire life. Not too long ago, I could take day to day situations and make them spectacular, because to me they were spectacular, and share them with the world via this blog, but ever since my meds have become stable, that scenario has become a rarity. Or maybe it’s because I turned 30. It’s hard to say because the two events sort of happened around the same time.

But I miss it because it’s always been a part of me. I often sit outside, usually because I’ve taken up smoking again, but often just to sit outside in the sun because I don’t like my lightbox, and I think about how I see the world now versus how I used to see the world before. Now I see hard reality, I see what’s actually there, whereas before I saw the potential in everything, what could be there.

When we moved to this town I was ecstatic because it had so much potential. I loved that it only had 1700 people and that it had a downtown core reminiscent of another once small town outside of a big city called Unionville. (And yes, I know I’ve written about this before.) See, Unionville was this little village built around the same time as this one (mid-1800s, if not earlier) and as the city of Markham expanded, Unionville became this little boutique town full of art galleries, cafes and antique shops – or at least its downtown core did.

With Elmvale being so close to Barrie and Barrie being the ever-expanding metropolis it is, I envisioned a similar scenario here, especially after we’d already moved here and our neighbour on the right told us that they were going to be building a subdivision of 300 brand new, $250k+ houses right across the road from us. As Barrie expands and creates more jobs, more people are wanting to move to Elmvale and that’s the same thing that happened with Unionville.

But here we are 4 years later and now when I look at Elmvale’s downtown core, all I see is a dead village because that’s what’s there. No longer do I see the potential, I see the reality. As I’ve mentioned before, half the downtown shops are empty or uncared about, the restaurants leave something to be desired, we’re only a town of 1700 but we have 4 big name fast food chains and a Wal*Mart up the road…pretty much the only thing about this town reminiscent of Unionville is the organic food store which I’ve never been in and I constantly wonder how the guy stays in business. The dollar store here is abysmal with the lowest stock of any dollar store I’ve ever seen, we have one clothing store by a woman who makes all her own designs but they’re designs for heavier set 40+ year old women, not exactly high fashion and I too, wonder how this woman stays in business. We have one gift boutique-y type shop but I’ve never been inside and from what the kids tell me, it’s mostly stuff made in China. There’s an art studio downtown that, from looking in the windows, appears to be occupied by a potter but it’s never open and I don’t think it’s ever going to be open to the public. Another artist works out of that same studio, Blake actually found her on Etsy, but I can’t remember her name. She makes really expensive beaded broaches, or at least that’s what she had in her Etsy shop.

I guess the potential’s still there, it’s just not as easy for me to see it because I’m either medicated up to the tits (which I am) or I’m old and jaded (which I am).

Blake was interviewed on the phone this week for a new position within his company and from what I understand, they’re fine with remote work so he’d theoretically be making more money and would have a more secure job, but we’d still be stuck here. He’s applied for another job within the company which is basically the same scenario but more money than the first. He’ll find out Dec. 8th if he’s made the short list for that one.

So, it looks like we’ll be staying here for a while longer and I have to kiss my dream house with its studio and our dream town goodbye. Really, it’s bittersweet. The hassle of getting our house ready to sell and then selling within a timeline feasible for buying another house made me really nervous because I don’t know how to do that, so I’m glad we probably won’t have to do that now. I really hate my house, though. It’s small, dumpy and needs a whole hell of a lot of work that neither of us know how to do. All of our bedrooms are impossibly small, we only have one tiny bathroom, I have hardly any room for my art, even though I have a whole room to myself to do it in, because the furnace, elliptical and a futon are in here and this is where the grown ups hang out. I’m glad we won’t have to leave Wayne & Judy because I really do love them, but with the way things are going with them financially…I’m not sure we’re going to be neighbours for very long anyway.

But I’m trying so hard to access my power of seeing potential to see the positive in this. More money and the same commute means that we’ll have money to fix this house up. It means I can get my dad to build my built-in bookshelves in this room and get him to lay the new carpet and re-trim the whole room. It means I can paint my studio how I want to. It means we have time to go slow and do a project at a time so when it comes time to sell this place, everything’s ready. It means I won’t have to sod over my garden right away.

It means that I won’t have to find a new doctor after I’ve finally gotten this one to work with me as far as pain management. It means I won’t have to find a new dentist after getting this one to understand that I’m seriously terrified of dental work so he drugs me up a little extra so it won’t be so scary. It means that the pharmacy is still going to know who I am and will continue to spot me a weekend’s worth of drugs when I forget to call my shrink to renew my prescriptions. It means that the ladies at the blood clinic will continue to remember who I am, that I’m terrified of blood tests and they’ll continue using the needles they use on babies to take my blood. It means that if one of the kids is sick at school, Judy’s still just a phone call away at work and can come get them and bring them home.

It means that things will remain the same but with a few minor improvements and I guess I can’t really complain about that. I just really really really wanted to move. :o/ There’s nothing in this town for me, I’ll never drive here and will be forever dependent on Blake to get anywhere, and Cookstown had so much more to offer. But the thing is, and I told Blake this a long time ago, I’m only moving one more time. It’s either the house we’re going to be in for the rest of our lives or nothing. With Blake continuing to work in Barrie there’s no point in trying to upgrade to a nicer house in this town because it won’t be our forever home because his “forever job” will probably be in Scarborough after he moves up from either of the positions he’s applied for.

I guess I should be thankful that in this economy he has a job at all and maybe it sounds like I’m whining here, I’m just tired of feeling like we’re in limbo. I hate not having a plan. In the beginning, when we moved here, we had intentions of staying in this house for 5 years tops and this July, it’ll be 5 years. My feet are getting itchy and I’m way less in love with this town than I was in the beginning because it’s become quite apparent that it’ll never be what I envisioned it would become.

So I guess it’s time to try and put my magic glasses back on and seek out the magic that was once here. Easier said than done.

Posted at 2:05 pm in: Blake , Fall , Family , Friends , Judy , Kids , Life , Madison , Wayne , Wes


Today my best frenemy, Krissy, had her baby. Emma Grace, 6 lbs, 3 oz. That’s really all I have to say about that because to say what’s really on my mind would be bad karma and I’m just not gonna go there. One thing I will say though, is that newborns skeeve me out. They’re all wrinkly and red and gross and almost always ugly – and I mean even my own here, not just Krissy’s – and I don’t know what to say to people when I’m shown pictures of a newborn. (And the pictures have begun…the kid’s only 8 hours old and there’s already a 40 picture album of her on Facebook.) I haven’t even met my own sister yet, who’s 10 months old, largely because little babies freak me out and I didn’t want to be put in a situation where I’d be forced to hold her and I’d look like a dick if I refused. I just don’t like them. Now that Rachael’s 10 months old, we’re good and I’m looking forward to seeing her for the first time at Xmas. Now she’s solid and can sit up by herself and stuff, I don’t have to support her neck and all that shit with newborns, so we’re gonna get along just fine.

Anyway, babies are gross. I’m glad I’m done having them and that none of my friends want any.

Right now I feel all kinds of barfy because of the Naproxen I’m taking. Even taking it with food and taking the Nexium in  the morning, that evening dose just fucking kills me. I find cold water helps with the nausea, usually, but it doesn’t seem to be helping tonight.

All day today I worked on the girls that will be going on my ATCs which has practically given me carpal tunnel and one hell of a back ache. Drawing girls in miniature is a whole lot harder than drawing them full-sized but even harder than that is shading the damn things. The brushes I have are all too big to do the best job possible and I already know Curry’s doesn’t sell smaller angled brushes, so I just had to make do with what I had. Tomorrow I’ll paint their legs and faces and hair and probably the next day I’ll start working on their dresses.

And that was pretty much my day. Honestly, I don’t even know why I’m writing a blog post today because nothing at all even remotely exciting happened. Wayne stayed home from work today because he was hung over and Judy stayed home from work today because of her tooth, but that’s not very exciting either and I didn’t even go over there today. I only know that they both didn’t go to work because Blake was supposed to pick Wayne up from work today and Wayne called to tell him it wasn’t necessary.

Yesterday Judy’s abscess was so bad that all underneath her eye was swollen and it looked like she either got stung by a bee or someone punched her in the face. She works at Tim Hortons and said that people were staring at her and doing double takes because of her face on Friday, so that’s why she missed work the last two days. She has tomorrow and Monday off, so hopefully on Monday she can get her tooth taken care of. Wayne has tomorrow and Monday off too.

Anyway, I’m gonna stop babbling,  just post this stupid entry and go to bed. Maybe tomorrow will be more exciting.

Posted at 2:31 am in: Art , Creativity , Judy , Krissy , Rachael , Wayne
November 28, 2009

Judy’s 47th Birthday

So Judy’s surprise party was a roaring success despite a few glitches.

As I mentioned, Judy has an infected tooth (more like an abscess) so she came home from work at around 10:30am and went to the doctor who prescribed her antibiotics because she couldn’t get in to see the dentist today. She was supposed to work until 3pm and then go to Wal*Mart shopping, where she’d meet Wayne and they’d do some more shopping until about 5/5:30pm.

So she was home all day and we couldn’t get started on decorating until 3:15pm when she left to go to Wal*Mart! But, that ended up being plenty of time to get everything done and by the time they got home from Wal*Mart, we had all the lights off and we did the “SUPRISE!” thing and she was definitely surprised.

This is the cake that Madison and Courtney (Judy’s 9 year old daughter) made for her this afternoon:

Ashley, Judy’s 23-ish year old daughter who’s currently pregnant with her first child and her baby daddy came up from Toronto too, then there were the three kids from up the street, Madison, Wes, me, Blake and of course Wayne & Judy, so it was a full house. Wayne had bought chicken wings to go with the lasagna Mikayla’s mom made and he also brought home this “3rd degree” hot sauce for them, which is like, industrial strength hot sauce that the deli at his work (he works at a grocery store) uses on their take-out wings.

I didn’t have any because I don’t like chicken wings or spicy stuff, but the stuff was so hot that Ashley couldn’t even finish three wings and Blake & Wayne were practically crying as they ate theirs, which was followed up by a great deal of beer.

Blake had mentioned earlier that he rarely walks away from a dare and somehow Ashley dared him to drink two shot glasses full of this hot sauce…which he did because he’s an idiot. Here’s the proof:

After the hot sauce was down the hatch, Blake pretty much downed an entire can of Coke Zero and about an hour later, he went outside and barfed three times between Judy’s house and ours…because he’s an idiot. After that he felt much better though and when we went back to Wayne & Judy’s, he consumed more wings with hot sauce. During that time, I actually came home and had a nap for about an hour & a half because I’m currently taking an assload of pain medication and it was making me sleepy.

Between Blake barfing and me having a nap, the cake was served:

After that, we just sat around and shot the shit and long story short, a good time was had by all, especially Judy who sampled some of my pain meds because of her tooth and washed them down with a hell of a lot of beer. And that was pretty much our day.


Posted at 3:02 am in: Ashley , Blake , Family , Food , Kids , Life , Madison , Sunnyland , Wes
November 27, 2009

More ATC Madness!!!

Obsessed I tell ya!
This is what I spent my evening doing, while talking to Ronny & Alex.

Once these are dry I’ll mix glitter paint with glazing liquid and water and do a heavy coat of that on each card, then it’ll be time to start working on the girls which I have a feeling is going to take foreveeeeeeeer but I think it’ll be fun.

I won’t have time to work on the cards tomorrow as we’ll be busy setting everything up for Judy’s surprise party. In the morning, when Courtney (her 8 year old daughter) comes over because it’s a PA day and I look after her when there’s no school, Blake’s going to help her and Madison make Judy’s cake and then he’s going to start blowing up the balloons while Madison cuts metallic purple ribbons for each one. When the cake’s done we’re going to go over to Judy’s house to start decorating. Madison bought green and purple streamers (Judy’s favourite colours) and she already has two garbage bags full of blown up balloons, so those, along with the ones I bought, are going to be taped to the ceiling in the kitchen and living room so they look like helium balloons with their ribbons hanging down. We did this for Madison’s 4th birthday (except we filled the balloons with heart-shaped glitter and gave my cousin Haylie a pin ;o)). Madison’s also been busy all week making frog-themed decorations, which she’s going to tape up all over the living room.

As far as presents…I got Judy a box of hair dye and a pack of three lip balms and a birthday card that’s sort of cheesy but has a recipe on the inside which I think she’ll like because cooking and baking are her favourite things to do. Madison sewed her a stuffed frog. Courtney got her a plant and Alyssa, one of the kids down the street, got her two frog birthday cards to be from all the kids and she also got her a set of three ceramic frogs that are really cute. (Did I mention Judy collects frogs?)

I think I mentioned this already, but last Saturday Courtney’s best friend Mikayla (which I’m probably spelling wrong) and her mom took Madison to the dollar store in Barrie to buy the streamers and decorations for the cake, as well as the cake mix and icing. Then they went back to Mikayla’s house and they all made Judy a lasagna which is thawing in my fridge right now. Unfortunately Mikayla and her mom (whose name I believe is Sharon, I’ve only met her once and wasn’t introduced) can’t come to the party because the husband has the car that day and they’re homebound. I was going to talk to Blake about maybe calling and offering to come get them and drive them home afterward, but with everything going on and the fact that we need his help because he’s the only one tall enough to do the streamers and balloons, I’m not sure that’s going to be possible. It was really really nice of her to do all that though, making the lasagna and everything. I’ve tried calling her to thank her (and get directions for heating up the lasagna) but I keep getting their answering machine.

What sucks is that tonight at about 10:30 Judy called our house saying that she had a really bad tooth ache and she wanted the number for our dentist to see if she could have the tooth pulled tomorrow. That means that there’s a very good chance she’ll walk in as we’re getting the house ready, which I’m worried about. :o/ All of the kids have worked so hard on this party and they’re so excited that it’s a surprise and she has no idea that it would really suck if the surprise was ruined. There’s not much we can do about it though, so we’re just going to go ahead as planned.

But how much does that suck, having to get a tooth pulled on your birthday? And the worst part is that they don’t have dental insurance so they’re going to have to pay out of pocket when they’re already struggling financially. :o/ As Blake said though, at least we’re doing something positive that she can enjoy even though that aspect of her birthday is going to suck.(And hey, I have like, a metric fuck tonne of painkillers, so I can get her all high and she won’t even think about her tooth if need be.)

After we have the lasagna and do the cake and presents, we figure the kids are going to wander off to play and that’s when we’re going to bust out the cards to play Judy’s favourite game: euchre. I was talking to Wayne today and even though he has to work the next day, he says he’s up for staying up late to play with us (Judy has Saturday off so she can sleep in or have a nap).

All in all, I think it’s going to be a good day for her and godammit, she deserves it too. She sacrifices so much for her family and goes without constantly, which is why the kids all wanted to do this for her. On the weekends, when she’s off from work, she invites all the kids over and bakes with them or plays cards with them and like, her door is ever revolving with neighbourhood kids. I think it’s awesome that the kids planned this and were that thoughtful. In fact, they started planning this 3 weeks ago (it was Madison’s idea) and Blake & I only even heard about it last week!

Anyway, tomorrow’s going to be a busy but good day and I hope Judy’s surprised. It really sucks about her tooth though, I’m worried about that. :o/

Well, I should probably stop writing now and get some sleep because there’s a lot of work  to be done tomorrow so I better not sleep ’til noon. Goodnight internets, I love you. <3

Posted at 2:26 am in: Alex , Art , Blake , Creativity , Fall , Friends , Judy , Kids , Madison , Ronny , Sunnyland , Wayne
November 25, 2009

Artist Trading Cards

Currently watching a movie and applying crackle medium to all of these.

There are 60 cards total and each and every one of them is going to have one of my girls on them.
It’s gonna take me forever but I think they’re gonna be so cool that I can’t even contain my excitement.
The staff at Curry’s have said twice now that they’re astounded at how fast the blank ATCs are selling so I’m going to call them once I’m finished about half of mine and suggest that they hold an ATC swap since the closest one I’ve been able to find is Toronto and that’s almost 2 hours away.

Anyway, that’s what I’m doing right now.

Posted at 11:55 pm in: Art
November 24, 2009

Bow Chikka Wow Wow

I love Blake being on vacation this week. Honest to god my favourite thing in the whole world is sitting around talking to him about anything and everything and that’s what we’ve been doing this week, mostly. It’s a long story, but right now he’s in Madison’s room having a talk with her about her little boyfriend Ashton, who’s been beating up grade 3 & 4 kids, including girls (he’s in grade 6) and how that’s not cool and that Madison either has to influence him to stop doing this or she has to break up with him. DRAMA! I have no idea how the talk’s going, but they’ve been in there for over an hour so far.

Report cards came home today. Wes got straight A’s, Madison had A’s, B’s and a C in math and somehow both kids are getting awards from the principal next week at a ceremony we’re supposed to attend. In fact because 250 kids are getting these awards, there are TWO ceremonies and each of our kids is in a different one so we’re literally going to be at the school all day. It’s nice that they’re getting awards and we want to be there to support them, but that’s a lot of sitting around watching a lot of other kids get awards too. Urg.

Blake & I were busy today. First, I was supposed to get a blood test this morning but Blake forgot about it and didn’t wake me up so it didn’t happen and we’re going to have to do it Thursday morning instead. (The lab’s only open Tuesday & Thursday mornings.) Then I got up and Blake was gone and the fucker didn’t leave me a note so I didn’t know where he was until he tweeted a TwitPic of a cutting board and a rolling pin, which was a clue that he was at Wal*Mart.

When he got home, we had breakfast and I took my pills and after a bit of digestion it was time to go to Barrie for art supplies and other errands. Since Marylin was curious about what I got and some other folks might be too, here’s the list:

– Two cheapo angled brushes, one smaller than the other
– One script liner because mine’s starting to lose its shape
– Two Micron Pigma archival markers, size 02
– 9 x 12 block of watercolour paper
– These neat little pre-cut blank ATC cards that were only $1.25 (I got the acrylic linen canvas one)

Glorious Gold metallic paint
Emperor’s Gold metallic paint
Champagne Gold metallic paint
Festive Red metallic paint x 2
Gold glitter paint x 2
Silver glitter paint x 2
Red glitter paint x 2
Weathered Wood crackle medium, 8 oz
Triple Thick Gloss Glaze varnish, 8 oz
Interior Gloss varnish
Interior Satin varnish
– A metric fuck tonne of scrapbook paper & cardstock
– Green balloons and purple ribbon for Judy’s surprise party
– An archival Martha Stewart fine point pen

Exciting, no? Yeah, not really. Mostly I was replacing boring stuff I’ve either run out of or I’m about to run out of. I was on a pretty tight budget so there wasn’t any wiggle room for fibres or embellishments or fun stuff like that. Just the basics.

Since Starbucks is in the same plaza as Michael’s, we went there were I got a chocolate coffee (I dunno what they call their crap, I’ve never actually been IN a Starbucks) and Blake got some sort of caramel coffee with whipped cream and crunchy caramel things on top. While we drank our Starbucks, we went to Jiffy Lube to get the oil changed in the car, something I’ve never experienced before and it was BORING AS SHIT and after that we had to stop off at Blake’s work so he could check on something that ended up not being there but will be there tomorrow so despite being on vacation, he’s probably going to have to go in tomorrow to do whatever it is he has to do.

Then tomorrow night Blake has to go to the hospital for a sleep study because he has sleep apnea and our doctor wanted to send him in for another sleep study before recommending/prescribing a CPAC (??) machine or a mouth appliance.

And now we’re home with nothing planned for this evening other than watching V and perhaps me playing with ATCs. I also heard a rumour that I might be getting a massage later. Hmmm.

Anyway, that was my busy day. I know, it was riveting. Aren’t you glad I write this shit down for you?

Posted at 6:39 pm in: Art , Blake , Creativity , Driving , Fall , Kids , Madison , Wes
November 22, 2009

Oh But There’s Always The Hours…

I just woke up from yet another “end of the world” dream. In this one I was camping with my mom and her boyfriend when earthquakes started happening and the hydro went out all over the world. I’ve already been up for about 45 minutes so the details of the dream are fading, but there was a store on the campgrounds and I went in and had to save the girls hiding behind the counter from a brown bear that had wandered in after the first quake. It jumped up on me, like a dog that’s happy to see you, so like a dog, I grabbed its paws and kinda tossed him down off my shoulders, opened the front door of the store and it wandered back out. While the door was open, a deer skittered out behind it. The girls gave me a flashlight, which I brought back to our tent and that was the end of that segment of the dream.

The next one, I was in the town I used to live in and all the streets were black. It was winter and there were strange noises everywhere from people looting and vandalizing the town in the dark. I was thirsty, so fucking thirsty. I met up with my friend Heather from when I was a kid and she brought me to this ice cream stand inside a bowling alley where she knew the owners and they gave me a can of Sprite, which I chugged down like it was the last liquid on Earth. We all hid in the bowling alley in the dark with boards and baseball bats, waiting for the looters to break in.

And then I woke up thirstier than I swear I’ve ever been in my life and with an unexplained ache in my left jaw. I got up and chugged the half can of Coke Zero I’d left in the fridge when I went to bed, then I opened another one and drank the whole thing. Now I’m on my third and as I said, I’ve only been awake about 45 minutes.

This has been a common occurrence during the past week, waking up around 6am so thirsty I think I’m gonna die. Usually I go for Coke Zero when this happens because if I drink water I’ll just be up in another hour to go pee and orange juice is bad for your teeth if you’re just going to go back to bed.

Just now I tried going back to bed, but I’m having racing thoughts again and the attempt was futile. I’m tired though, really really tired. Again, I figure if I get these thoughts out of my head and “onto paper” maybe then I’ll be able to go back to sleep.

I watched Oprah on Friday, where she announced that the season after this one would be her last. I cried. I cried hard. Her show began in 1986, when I was 7 years old, and really, I don’t remember TV without Oprah. When her show started, I was being babysat by my Aunt Heather and every day after school we would watch and Oprah’s been a big part of my life ever since. No, Oprah and I haven’t always gotten along, there were times when she and I disagreed, but she’s always been there and it’s hard to imagine TV without her. I know her final show is going to absolutely destroy me. After I tweeted something to that effect on Friday, someone said something like “don’t worry, she’s getting her own channel”, which is true, The Oprah Winfrey Channel, which everyone now knows as The Discovery Health Channel, has been in the works since I think 2008 and is set to launch in 2011, but like her XM Satellite radio station, Oprah and Friends, it’s hard to say how much she’s actually going to be on it. The fact of the matter is, channel or not, there will be no more Oprah Winfrey Show and that makes me sad.

I mean, I knew it would have to come to an end sooner or later, I just wasn’t prepared for the announcement.

Tonight I read Oprah’s Wikipedia entry and smiled when it said that she planned on retiring in South Africa, at her school for girls. Truthfully, that’s probably where Oprah should be and it’s probably where she’ll be happiest. Did you know that in her will she’s left all of her money (she’s worth $2.3 billion, in case you didn’t know) “to the children of Africa”? That’s absolutely amazing to me. I can’t even fathom what that’s going to mean for the continent. If you’ve been reading me for any great length of time, then you’ll know that I worry and fret about Africa every single day, but at the same time, I believe that within my lifetime a lot of Africa’s troubles will come to an end and that the continent will rise up and become a booming voice in the international community. I know that’s an extremely optimistic view, but think about it: Oprah will probably die in my lifetime and what can her $2.3 billion inheritance do for Africa? I honestly don’t know the answer to that question because I don’t really have a clear concept of what you can buy with that kind of money or how to “fix” Africa, but I feel in my gut that it’ll really help things turn around. And I’m going to be very glad to see it, even if it’s from my nursing home.

In other news, Friday night Blake and I were just going outside to go have half a smoke and he was ahead of me so he opened the front door and all I heard was “no kittens in the house!” and he was blocking something with his feet. I assumed it was the neighbour’s cat, Misty, who occasionally spends the night with us when she gets locked out of her own home on cold nights, but no, through Blake’s legs I saw that it was a little orange tabby kitten, no older than 10 weeks old. Immediately I reached through Blake’s legs and scooped the kitten up and brought it into the living room to show the kids. The poor guy was dirty and definitely had a smell, so I figured he was a stray, but Madison, who somehow knows every animal in this whole goddamn town, said that it looked like her friend Alyssa’s kitten, Cheesy. Alyssa lives about a 5 minute walk away on the other side of the road.

So Blake and Madison went to see if it was their kitten and when they got to the house, Alyssa’s brother was there with his friend from next door, ALONE. These kids are in grade 3, who leaves two 8 year olds home alone? Anyway, Madison asked them if the kitten was Cheesy, the kid said yes and the cat was returned. How the little bugger got so far away from home and ended up at my front door, I’ll never know, and why do these stray animals always make it to my house in the first place? Between June and August, Madison and I found the homes of 4 different stray dogs! Not to mention the other 2 we found the owners of throughout the school year! And now this kitten? Blake says they find their way here because animals just know that I’m a sucker and somehow that must be true because they do seem to always end up at our house.

It kinda sucks that we found Cheesy’s home though, he was the exact kind of kitten I want when it’s time to get another cat, and I was kind of giddy at the prospect of keeping him. At the same time I’m glad we did find his home because Pixel would absolutely freak the fuck out if we added another cat to the mix and for sure she’d stop using her litterbox because there’s no way she’d share. (And we just got her using her litterbox religiously after almost 4 years. Our house is very small and there are only 3 places to put a litterbox. First I had it beside the washing machine, underneath the wash tub, but with the way the washtub is set up, there’s blocks under its legs so the litterbox was kind of suspended and she wouldn’t use it. Then I had it between the dryer and the furnace, which was all fine & dandy in the spring & summer, especially since she usually did her business outside anyway, but in the fall & winter when the furnace or dryer was on, she’d pee in it when she got the chance (when both appliances were off), but she preferred to shit under Blake’s desk. I didn’t make the connection that she was afraid of the furnace until just this fall and that’s when I moved her litterbox to behind the bathroom door and ever since she’s been a completely different cat. Much more relaxed and loving, not so skittish. gets along better with the dogs. And as an added bonus, because it’s behind the door, the dogs can get into it which they’ve been known to do. Anyway, since she’s so finicky about the litterbox, I know if we introduced another cat, we’d be back at square one. When we get a bigger house, maybe one with a basement where two litterboxes can be set up, we’ll get another cat, just not right now.)

This week was unseasonably warm and the giant spider that lived on a web strewn across my office window all summer made its reappearance and that got me wondering about what happened to spiders in the winter. I figured, because of Charlotte’s Web, that they laid an egg sac and then died and it turns out that I’m only partially right and it really depends on the spider. The spider in my case, is a garden orb weaver, and they most definitely lay eggs and die, while others in warmer climates, but that still have winter (just not Canada’s kind of winters) hibernate and others who lay eggs and die, their babies hatch before winter and keep each other warm in clusters around their egg sac. I’m wondering when my spider is going to die. She’s definitely got a male on her web, I’ve seen him (the males are smaller, so I know she’s a girl), so I’m assuming she’s laid her eggs already somewhere, but she’s creepy and too big to kill (she’s about the size of a twoonie) and I’ve been waiting for her to go away for a long time now because while I kinda think spiders are cool and I like watching they catch prey, I also think they’re really gross and when I go outside for a smoke she’s pretty much above my head and I have awake nightmares about her jumping into my hair. It’s irrational and I know she won’t, but the whole idea of it gives me the willies and as soon as I think she’s dead, I’m vacuuming up her web and when her babies hatch, I’ll be relocating them to my garden. Or maybe my neighbour’s garden…

On Twitter, my friend Poetic Dreams pointed me to a blog post made by Katielynn where she asked:

Who are you?
Deep down.
Under the weight the world has put upon you.
Do you have an answer?

And it got me thinking. Who am I? DO I have an answer? The fact of the matter is, I’m 30 years old and still trying to figure out who I am because I’ve had so many setbacks in my life that finding out who I am has always sort of been put on the back burner. Does it matter if I know who I really am? I mean, I know who I am right now, is that the same thing? I know who I want to be, does that count for anything at all?

I think knowing who you are right now DOES count because everyone changes. But at the same time, I guess there’s who you are at your core and I guess if that’s the case I know exactly who I am. I’m the girl who, despite intense social anxiety, can put on a pretty good front and charm an entire room full of people. I’m the girl who gives away a lot of money to certain charities even though she can’t afford it because it’s important and there are people out there who need it more than I do. I’m the girl who’s insecure about most things and has low self-esteem in general, but who’s also brave and confident when it comes to other things. I’m the girl who’s not afraid of a challenge…most of the time. I’m the girl who can make boys cry. I’m the girl who sometimes doesn’t realize how much her words can hurt, even though she’s lived a lifetime of hurting people with her words. I’m the girl who, despite being 5 foot fuckall and 100 lbs at the time, can put a 6’5, 300 lb man in the hospital for fucking with her kid. I’m the girl who hates Guitar Hero with a burning passion. I’m the girl who likes to bake at 3am so her family wakes up to surprises in the kitchen. I’m the girl who’s helping the kids plan a surprise birthday party for my neighbour on Friday. (With the help of another mom who took the kids to the dollar store yesterday to buy supplies and who made Judy a lasagna for her birthday dinner that I’ll help the kids cook on Friday (it’s a PA Day). Also on Friday I’ll be helping the kids bake a cake and decorate Judy’s living room.) I’m the girl who’s already freaking out about turning 40, even though it’s almost a decade away, because I still haven’t grown up and I feel stunted. If I’m still stunted at 40…what does that make me? I’m the girl who sometimes wants to give up and go work at McDonald’s but doesn’t because that would give the haters exactly what they want and dammit, I’m stubborn. I’m the girl who thinks sex is vastly overrated. I’m the girl who takes 28 pills every single day and drinks way too much Coke Zero. I’m the girl who thinks the world would rather hug you than harm you. I’m the girl who’s helping to raise 2 pretty awesome kids. I’m the girl who always knew she wanted to be a mother and who made HUGE sacrifices to make that happen. I’m the girl who will take in any animal that comes her way, much to the dismay of her husband. I’m the girl who loves her husband fiercely and couldn’t live without him. I’m the girl who loves and hates with equal intensity. I’m a girl who’s easily distracted. I’m the girl who can spend an entire day reading about random things on the internet, who gets a hold of a subject and obsesses about it until the curiousity is satiated and there isn’t anything left to know. I’m the girl who sucks at sodoku and crossword puzzles but does both anyway. I’m the girl people claim to be intimidated by. I’m the girl who hates not having a book on the go. I’m the girl who doesn’t have a lot of friends and prefers it that way. I’m the girl who dislikes other people’s kids and their mothers. I’m the girl who seethes when people let their animals go astray and who don’t spay & neuter. (The aforementioned “other mom” who made Judy the lasagna? Her husky was in heat and “driving her nuts” so she just let her out to run through the bush and “if she comes back pregnant, so be it”. UGH.)

I don’t know if any of that answered Katielynn’s question, but I think it’s a good start. These things are at the core of me and will probably never change.

Blake has all this week off and that’s awesome. On Monday I have a doctor’s appointment to get some Tylenol 3 & Naproxen for my upcoming period and to make sure a copy of my post-op report is in my file. I want him to explain to me exactly what they did but I’m not going to sit there while he reads it and then have him explain it to me, unless that’s what he wants to do. I figured I’d just leave a copy with him, which he can read when he gets a moment and then he can call me in for another appointment to go over it with me. I just don’t understand why I’m still in pain and I don’t understand what all they did, especially the whole “cutting of the nerves” thing, which I never willingly consented to and which doesn’t seem to be working at all.

Also on Monday or Tuesday, I’m expecting a little bit of money by way of a cheque in the mail, so Blake and I are going to go to Curry’s and Michael’s to buy some much needed art supplies and probably get Starbucks because it’s in the same plaza.

For something I’m doing, I have to write an “artist’s resume” but I have no idea what that is or how to make one, so Blake’s going to help me with that also. I also had to write an artist’s statement which ended up being easier than I thought and once I iron out the kinks, I’ll be adding it to my site. It could only be about 250 words for what I’m doing, so the version that’ll be on my site will be a bit longer and more fleshed out.

On Tuesday I have to go to the lab for blood work. Oh joy of joys. They’re checking my cholesterol and doing a metabolic work up to see what the hell is going on as far as me being unable to lose the weight I gained while on that heinous medication. Long story short, we’re pretty sure, my shrink & I, that the medication messed up my metabolism semi-permanently and I may have to go on drugs to fix it.

Wednesday Blake has a phone interview for another position within the company and he applied for another one on Saturday so hopefully next week he’ll have a phone interview for that one too. Both positions are in Scarborough, meaning we’d have to sell our house and move. I haven’t checked to see if the house we want in Cookstown has been sold yet and I’m gonna hold off on that until things are more concrete so I don’t get my hopes up again.

Friday is the kids’ PA Day and Judy’s surprise birthday party, kid-style. Being a PA Day means that I’ll have Courtney too, so she & Madison will be baking and decorating the cake and I’ll help them put up streamers in Judy’s living room. Plus they both made a whole bunch of decorations that I haven’t seen yet, so they’ll be putting those up as well.

Then at some point on the weekend, we’ll be playing Euchre with Ronny & Alex and then probably playing again with Wayne & Judy.

It’s going to be a busy week, but a good one I think. I like it when Blake has vacation days and we can just hang out and do stuff while the kids are in school. We don’t get to do that very often.

Anyway, this is long and I don’t really have a whole lot more to say. I think I’m gonna go take some drugs and go back to sleep for a while…or maybe stay up and read some more of The Scarlet Letter. I haven’t decided yet.

Posted at 4:44 am in: Alex , Animals , Blake , Canada , Childhood , Fall , Judy , Kids , Life , Money , Pets , Pixel , Ronny , the 80's , the 90's , Wayne
November 21, 2009

Finally Finished!

The Two Sunnies” is FINALLY finished and available in The Shop!

Posted at 12:27 pm in: Art
November 17, 2009

Racing Thoughts

Today something clicked in my head and I made a realization that was so funny to me I can’t stop mentally laughing at it. And I totally can’t even share what it is because I don’t want to bring any more attention to it than I already have. Long story short: jealousy can be a VERY funny thing that makes people behave like complete idiots and all you can really do is laugh about it.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

This afternoon I watched the movie Sunshine Cleaning, which was alright…kinda “meh”, and worked on the painting that’s been causing me so much grief. I’ve decided that it doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect and that I should just get it done because it’s blocking me from doing anything else and I’d really like to do something else. I’m determined to have it finished by the end of the weekend come Hell or high water.

While I was waiting for paint to dry I tried having a nap but when I laid my head down, all of these thoughts came rushing to me and I was unable to fall asleep. I have drugs for when that happens, which I took, but when I laid down again it was the same scenario so I just gave up and now here I am. The stupid part is that I don’t even really remember what most of the thoughts were or I’d be writing about them now. They were mostly working the logistics of this painting out in my head and the thing I mentioned in my first paragraph which has me SO FUCKING AMUSED, but it was like every 10 seconds a new, interesting thought would pop into my head and I was just completely unable to fall asleep. So I gave up even though I slept for crap last night and I’m really dragging my feet today.

Annnnnnd hopefully I’ll be up late tonight playing the new Sims 3 expansion I mentioned yesterday even though Blake’s attempts at finding a copy on his lunch break proved to be less than fruitful. I guess this thing’s selling out like crazy, it’s even sold out on There are still 3 other stores to check though, so hopefully I’ll have a copy tonight. If I don’t, no big deal, I just wanted to get a jump start on it so I can do everything in the game before I have to review it for Buttercup. I’ve been getting my family ready for the expansion for the last 2 weeks so everything’s in place, now all I need is the damn game.

My mother e-mailed me today and unfortunately she no longer has her For Better or For Worse books, so I guess Madison won’t be getting those for Xmas this year. I’m sure I can find them in a used book store easily enough, but there are other things I’d rather spend money on for her for Xmas so they’ll have to wait for another year or maybe for her birthday. AND GROSS, THE CHILDREN JUST MADE HOT DOGS AND NOW ALL I CAN SMELL IS WIENERS. *shudder*

Speaking of my mother though, she’s going to be on TV tomorrow on a show called “Daytime – York Region” on Rogers TV @ 11am (with repeats at 3pm and 5pm, I believe). I don’t get the channel she’ll be on so I won’t be able to see it tomorrow but my mom thinks they show clips on their website so if that’s the case, I’ll link it when it’s up and we can all see it. :o) And since I haven’t pimped my mom in a while, here’s her site, which doesn’t get updated as often as her Facebook group. Keep an eye out for her boyfriend, John’s, wicked windchimes and antique teapot birdhouses. In the new year, pending I get a copy of The Visual Quickstart Guide for Dreamweaver CS3 for Xmas, I’m hoping to get her site in better order to reflect what she’s been doing lately and to add John’s work as well. We haven’t really talked a whole lot about it, but I’ve procured a copy of Dreamweaver for this specific reason and I know she wants some things changed around, so that’s my project for the new year.

Annnnnnnd speaking of websites…I have sort of a dilemma and I’d like it if people felt free to weigh in. Recently I registered the domain “” and I’m not quite sure what to do with it. Should I just make it point to my current site and let that be that or should I make a new site that’s JUST dedicated to my art? The reason I ask is because say I send out a media kit to a gallery I’d like to sell my work and they come to my site on a day where I’m at war with my mother-in-law…that could end up being a good thing or a bad thing, but if they went to a site that’s just my art, it takes the possibility of it being a bad thing out of the equation. (Although I’d link to my “personal site” on the art site.) My only real issue in doing this is that for years I maintained separate sites for art, camming and business (copywriting) before and it really fucking sucked, so I’m not really all that gung ho to jump back into that unless there’s definitely a benefit in doing so. I’m also afraid that if I separate the two things, personal and professional, that the art site won’t get as much traffic and my art won’t be seen by as many people as I get now. So I don’t know what to do.

All I know is that in the spring I’m thinking that one of my goals is going to be trying to get my work into a couple of the local galleries here to see what happens. I’ve been reluctant to go the gallery route all these years because the bastards take 50% and I can’t afford to sell my painting for half of what I currently charge and in my opinion, they’re not worth double what I charge right now. However, the Ontario Arts Council grant that I’m not applying for this year may be a possibility next year or the year after and they’d like you to have some gallery exposure. People this summer warned me of the pitfalls of selling myself short just to “get my name out there” but it’s seeming more and more like that’s just part of the game. With the economy the way it is, I haven’t been doing so well with selling online, which traditionally I’ve never had a problem with, so I think it’s time to pursue other avenues in order to move forward with what little “career” I have. When I was looking at Barrie galleries last year, I found two that I thought would likely display my work no problem so let’s hope that they’re still around. (In this economy, there’s a very good chance that they aren’t. :o/)

So these are the thoughts rattling around in my head today. Maybe now that they’re “on paper” and I’m sending them out into the universe I can finally have a nap.

Posted at 2:35 pm in: Art , Madison , Sims 3 , Video Games , website

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