July 2, 2014

Blake ate the misshapen fortune cookie.

Not sure I’m capable of a full post. Like. With paragraphs. I may just delete this line entirely.

I thought I was okay and then I saw this (which is awesome and I will read later, but you should read NOW…this post is a bummer and can totally wait) and it was like someone sucked all the air out of the room and I couldn’t breathe.

At least she waited until she probably knew I was done working or maybe she just waited as long as she  could, but this morning I got the first dated e-mail.

You can tell how serious or important something is by whether or not my mother’s dating the e-mails in the subject line.

Grandma. July 2 2014

Not unlike the e-mails people got 3 years ago this summer, “Sarah. July 2 2011”, events to which I had already been thinking about very recently, and as I figure I will for probably the rest of my life:

big sudden decline
grama (except she spells it right)’s been on oxygen since Thursday
increasingly more oxygen
now triple


palliative care asap
ps. no internet at grama’s. you may not hear from me until tomorrow.

Sarah pulls up her grama panties, e-mails back something pithy and decides priority 1 is that I e-mail work, tell them, again, that this time, for real this time, it’s gonna happen. I will need time off. I will e-mail with more info as I have it, here’s my schedule, thanks in advance. Luckily I am friends with everyone I work with, on some level anyway, and I’m not too terribly worried about work because I don’t think people have funerals on Saturdays and what are the odds she’ll die on my worst day? (Pretty good, actually, if the history of our relationship is any indication but it was work and I included our boss so I didn’t wanna get slap happy and umb out of shock or whatever, as I may be doing right now.) Time off no questions asked only happens for death and Xmas. I know my bosses would work my shifts if necessary. Both of them.

I am totally completely babbling but see? I’m wearing my grama panties. Work. The responsibility. The money. Priority 1. God I could throw up. I may throw up. The day is young and I am severely undermedicated. I’m betting my mom e-mailed her work/money/responsiblitiesthatarenotmygrama people before she e-mailed me, Blake and my brother. (Or she was wise enough not to take anything on in the first place.) We all have it, whatever it is. It’s AWFUL! No, scratch that, this is one form of crazy my brother was spared. My brother probably e-mailed her with “whatever you need, just tell me, I’ll be there” and like, wanting to be in the trenches and I guess I said that too, sort of, but my response may have included a colon, lowercase o and right parenthesis in succession. I also know for a fact that I am mentally incapable of going to palliative care and I don’t think anyone in the world would hold that against me. Or anyone who remotely mattered, anyway.

I got that far in my thoughts this morning before I had to stop. I thought about taking all my shit outside and working on my garden painting, y’know, IN my ditchweed butterfly wildflower keep off the fucking lawn garden as planned, or as I had planned all morning until I got that e-mail, but suddenly the rain expected at 1pm just had me making idle chatter with a friend who wanted to talk about weed (obviously) while I watched this awesomely shitty Lifetime series that is now on Netflix called Witches of East End and I had just finished the series 1 finale, knowing full well that season 2 was not on Netflix, and may not even exist so I had to come online to know, did it get cancelled? Because it was just SO awesomely shitty that I couldn’t imagine/really hoped there would be a season 2. I got as far as “set to premiere on July 6, 2014” on the Wikipedia page, stopped reading because I literally want to know nothing, and flipped to Facebook because okay, TV is over, now what?

oh. hi there “Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire“.

welcome, sheer fucking panic because I didn’t even think of clothes.

And then I came here because I couldn’t even get past the first paragraph of the article before having my worst panic attack in recent history.

I am good for one day of public viewing, unless it’s okay to wear the same thing multiple days in a row or it’s okay to wear white/off-white. (Is it?)
Madison will need clothes. As long as it doesn’t rain, we can work around her Docs.
Wes will need clothes from the ground up.
Blake would prefer no clothes, but has a few suits to choose mix/match/dowhateverboysdo from.
He will need shoes, an expense he’s needed for a while that I keep telling him to get that now he can’t put off. Although my grama might, if overhearing my inner debate as to whether or not he can get away with his orthopedic sandals, say, “oh! I don’t need it, I don’t need it”, because that is absolutely the very thing , when last I saw her, she would say. Ball’s in his court on that one. I’m wearing Docs.

Just texted my brother to make sure he has a suit. He’s a grown man, I probably don’t have to ask him this. Too late. Can’t take it back.

John & Chris are good.

That is all my people.

Everyone else can find their own canoe.

December 24, 2013

Sounds of laughter, shades of life…

I guess I’ll start in order of things happening, although honestly I’m a little foggy on when I was told what, specifically, but that’s neither here nor there I guess.

Saturday night was Blake’s work Xmas party and I had taken the day off work to get my shit together, get there, stay there and come home in one piece. Well, I was successful. The theme of the party was “black & white” so I wore what I wore to Blake’s grama’s funeral and probably what I’ll wear to my grama’s funeral (in a weird coincidence…), which was a black tulle skirt with a black tulle flowy Free People-y dress/top thing, fishnets, Docs. Oh and I wore a floor length hoodie over top because it’s winter and I don’t care how well heated a building may be, I’m probably going to be cold.

Right before we left, Blake said something like, “your grama fell last night and she’s in the hospital, but she’s okay” and well, she has brain tumours so it’s obvious why she fell but what does that mean? But since it didn’t seem immediate, I just kept getting ready and figured my mom would tell me the next day that my grama broke her hip or something “not serious”.

The party was okay. We hung out with our friends Charissa and Gary, which was cool. A bunch of people came up to Blake and he introduced me to them but I couldn’t tell you what a single one’s name was or even what they looked like. I just smiled and nodded and played with my phone (which, Blake’s work being a telecomm, was perfectly okay). The food was not my thing. They started us with squash soup (barf) and salad that both looked and smelled weird so I didn’t eat that either. The main course was a small steak with fake grill marks (which I ate) and a piece of chicken that Blake says comes from some frozen food company (did not eat). And roast potatoes (did eat) and green beans (didn’t eat). Dessert was a chocolate mousse and/or cheesecake thing that I tried to like but it was just texturally weird so I left most of it on my plate. There were prizes. Charissa won a phone (all I know is that it’s Android, whereas she’s a Blackberry holdout)  and Blake won a stuffed panda to add to my collection. His work has animal mascots that swap out every now and then and right now it’s pandas, probably trying to capitalize on the fact that The Toronto Zoo has two brand new ones. Anyway, I have most, if not all of the mascot plushies, from the last 8 years. So that was cool. There were also light-up fake ice cubes at each of our place settings with the name of the party on them. After dessert, they announced dancing was going to start and as if on cue fucking Blurred Lines came on, which was funny because I told Blake earlier that week that I bet I’d hear it at LEAST once while we were there and it was the first thing the DJ played. Hilarious. That was our cue to exit so we left and came home.

On Sunday I think John texted Blake or there was some sort of silent communication that it was okay to tell me that my grama had fallen because one of the tumours in her brain had started bleeding and that she was at St. Mike’s, the big scary Toronto hospital, the ICU of which I spent a month in, having undergone brain surgery to fix the bleed. The finer details I found out yesterday from my mom in an e-mail. I guess my grama fell and pressed her Life Alert button to get help, so it’s a g0od thing she had that or who knows what might have happened.

After surgery she was in the ICU but could remember her name and the answers to all the questions they asked her so she was a-okay. Still has terminal brain and lung cancer, but isn’t going to die of a slow brain bleed at this stage of the game. So that’s good. And my mom just e-mailed me to say that my grama’s being moved to the less scary hospital closer to home so while she won’t be out for Christmas, she’ll be more easily accessible by everyone she’d normally spend Christmas with.

Last week or the week before when Blake, my mom and I were hashing out plans to get together for “Christmas” (which is happening on Boxing Day, just as it has been for most of my life), I asked my mom if she had invited my brother and his girlfriend and she casually mentioned that my brother had not been replying to her e-mails but that they were both invited if I wanted to ask them.


So I hummed and hawed and dragged my feet and had started a conversation with my brother about random things last week but I was sort of dancing around the whole Christmas conversation because if he’s not answering my mom’s e-mails (and based on some things he said to me a few weeks ago), then I don’t want to get in the middle of whatever it is he’s mad at her for this time. Things are going good between me and my brother so I didn’t exactly want to rock what can often be an extremely volatile boat! But yesterday my mom e-mailed my brother about my grama with the subject line “important” and cc’d me on it, so I texted him to check his e-mail. He went into action mode and asked what he could do.

I don’t know what my mom answered (she doesn’t “reply all”, which is super annoying but you get used to it) but that’s when I asked him via text if he and his girlfriend wanted to come to mom’s on Boxing Day if we picked him up and brought him home. He waited a while before he replied and he wanted to make sure it was not an inconvenience. LOL We live 2 hours away from both him AND our mom and our car can only sit 5 people including the driver and we’re 4, so no, not an inconvenience AT ALL, Chad…but no, I promised him it wasn’t a problem and that Blake had made the offer ages ago (which is true and my brother and I had talked about in like, Sept.) and it was all good. So he said that he would be coming but that his girlfriend had to work. I felt like I’d won a marathon. I was totally expecting him to go off on me about our mother about whatever was eating him to not reply to her e-mails but he didn’t and he was gonna set aside his shit so we could all support my mom while her mom’s in the hospital having her last Christmas, so that was awesome.

The only thing I was worried about was the fact that I have to work tomorrow, Boxing Day and the next day, which would have been fine if it was just us, but with picking my brother up and dropping him off, we’re adding 4 extra hours onto the day. BUT! Since I worked Black Friday and will be working tomorrow morning for her, a coworker has agreed to do my mornings Boxing Day and Friday so we can start earlier and end later. Hooray! Total life saver!

Then on Sunday we’re having “friend Xmas” with Ronny, Alex, Deanna, her boyfriend Bradley and Madison’s girlfriend Ramona whom I don’t know at all. Much Cards Against Humanity will be played. Pizza will probably be eaten (unless Madison and I can find anything worth making on the Pinterests before then). Drinks will probably be had by those in the room who brought them.

And THEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN on New Year’s Day it’s the Winter Classic game between Toronto (yay!) and Detroit (also yay! but also booooo!) and I got myself a fancy Winter Classic jersey with part of my Xmas bonus just for the occasion. After I’m finished writing this post, I intend to write Ronny and Alex an e-mail inviting them over to watch the game. Ronny’s from Militiagan, he’s got a horse in this race. Blake’s from Militiagan too but loving the Leafs was just part of our vows and that is whose jersey he shall be sporting on the day of the big event. Truthfully though, I really like Detroit and always have so while I obviously want our team to win, honestly it’s just cool to be playing each other on New Year’s Day in an outdoor venue. I am fucking stoked.

And I think that’s probably all I got in me for the time being. I hope everyone who celebrates has a Merry Christmas tomorrow and to everyone else, enjoy your movie and Chinese food!

September 23, 2013

I cut my teeth on wedding rings…in the movies…

It is SOOOOOOO cold today!!!! And all weekend!!!! Blake turned on the FURNACE this morning, which I normally refuse to do until November but jesus fucking christ, it was like, 2 degrees this morning. So fuck that, the furnace came on.

This weekend was the studio tour and it was pretty uneventful. I cried like a baby before it started on the first day but got over it.

I had a good time hanging out with Rose and Carol, the artists who shared the space at the library with me, because they’re both very cool people, but we didn’t have that many visitors. Like 32 I think the first day and I’m not sure the second day. More the second day for sure, but not by much. I sold 4 greeting cards. Got lots of compliments on my paintings, lots of questions and people taking business cards but no buyers. One guy took a card and said, “I’ll think about it” so I dunno what that meant other than the apparent.

I had a real live trollop of a woman come up to my part of the room and was like, asking all of these really specific questions about my process and about the paintings and telling me I should do this and I should do that and I should sell my greeting cards at cost “just to get your name out there” and you could tell that she was trying to figure out how to make the paintings herself (good luck) and subtly trying to get me to lower my prices on my cards. And she was around for like, god, a good 45 minutes between all of us but mostly at my tables making me crazy. Finally she left and I was pretty relieved because she was really intense.

But mostly? I sat at our table and drew pictures for my colouring book and smiled at people as they walked by. I’m just not good at selling. I mean I know what I have to do to sell things and it’s just not in me. I’m not an extrovert.

I knew I wouldn’t sell any paintings. I figured I’d sell at least a few of my small items (I had greeting cards, buttons and ACEOs) and I did and that was cool & all but I don’t think I’m going to do this again next year. It was a LOT of work and a lot of money (to me) for not much return. So fuck it, I tried and it’s not my thing.

Moving right along…

My brother and I are friends again on Facebook. He encouraged me yesterday when I posted a picture of my setup on Facebook (which was a crappy pic so I’m not bothering to post it here), so that was good. My mom told me he and his dad and his girlfriend didn’t get the apartment they were hoping to move into October 1st. So that sucks for them. :o/

My mom and John and Chris came to the tour yesterday which is how I know about the apartment falling through.

At the end of the tour yesterday, Deanna and her new boyfriend came over. Deanna is awesomesauce, as always, unsure about the boyfriend. Time will tell, I suppose.

I’m really nervous about this macro class and kinda want Blake to get his money back before it’s too late to do so. I don’t know when that date is but it’s probably soon considering the class starts next month. It may even already be too late. It’s just gonna be late and it’s gonna be hard and I think you even get a GRADE for the class, which freaks me right the fuck out and I don’t think I can do it. But maybe I should try? I dunno. A small part of me is this fearless Amazon warrior woman and the rest of me is…soft and squishy and prone to tears.

Soooooo yeah…

Anyway, that’s all I have to report. Have a lovely Monday!

September 11, 2013

Aaaaall Riiiiiight Now, Baby It’s All Right Now

So my mom’s got her studio tour in Uxbridge next weekend which means we can’t really come and hang out with them and my brother but possibly the following Monday is okay because the weekend after that is my studio tour (from hell) and I’m going to need the Monday following it to decompress. I’m also going to suggest Wednesdays if she thinks that Monday is no good.

I haven’t seen my brother in 8 years. He wasn’t very nice to me during our last interaction which was only a few months ago so I don’t know what to expect.

I’m mesmerized by this thorough list of songs that use cowbell.

Blake’s got me hooked on this show called Supernatural which is actually very Buffy-esque but nowhere near as cool.  We’re in the middle of season 2 so we have a long way to go to catch up with current TV. I think Blake said there’s been 6 or 7 seasons so far? So yeah, we have a long way to go.

I’m pretty stressed out about the studio tour. One of the ladies who’s sharing the space with me (also a painter) suggested that we do something artistic, like part of our process, while people are walking around. I dunno how I feel about that but at the same time, what am I going to do, just sit there and nervously tweet? So I’ve decided I’m going to work on my colouring book while I’m there because those girls don’t require shading. My shading process uses Krylon’s Workable Fixative and it’s probably not a good idea to use it in an enclosed space with no windows. (I do at home because it’s just a tiny spritz every now and then, but I can see why it might be a concern.)

This might sound like the biggest first world problem ever but I dunno what to wear. Blake said “something Free People-y” which to me means “dress up”. Well we have to be there at 9am – likely before that. You want me up, my hair done, my makeup done AND dressed up and out the door by like, 8:45am? Lawd help me please. I think, especially since I’m going to be sitting most of the time, that my overalls with a tank top is just fine for both days. Tell me if you disagree. It’s comfortable, and get THIS, apparently “on trend“.  So people will think I’m cool, right? And if I get cold, I’ll just put on a hoodie. Good?

And finally, I sent Blake a picture of my boob…

Which is MONUMENTAL because he put a “u” in “favourite” like a proper citizen of the commonwealth!

Anyway, that’s all I got. Peace oot, homies.

August 27, 2013


Can you believe that??? HAHAHA!!! I think it is so awesome! Good for her and John. As I wrote this “I Got You Babe” by Sonny & Cher came on because, yes, I have that in my playlist and I started laughing so hard because John calls my mom that! What a weird, funny coincidence! But Sonny & Cher are a little played out I thought, so when I searched YouTube, I found this cover by UB40 and Chrissie Hynde that isn’t absolutely terrible:

And then One Love by Bob Marley came on. haha Rastafari! Praise Jah!

Anyway, that’s all I had to report. w00t w00t!

July 15, 2013

Who Is…Brendan Fraser With An Extra Chromosome, Alex?

I’ve been at a loss for words for a while now. Cat’s got my tongue. People are disappointing me left, right and centre. I’m getting fed up and I have no outlet…anymore.

I’m really sick of being sick. For the last 2 or 3 months I’ve been throwing up a lot. No food is really “safe” anymore. No idea what’s triggering all this vomit, there doesn’t seem to be any common denominator. I can keep down mandarin oranges out of a can, but I can only eat half a can of them at a time. And they have to be in a can. Mandarin oranges out of plastic containers just don’t fly with me. And they have to be cold. Room temperature oranges make me gag. They always have though, that’s not a new thing.

After I throw up, I usually feel better. After I barf I usually follow up with a bottle of water and a chocolate popsicle. I dunno why chocolate popsicles settle my stomach, they just do.

Blake suggested yesterday, after I threw up WATER, that I go see the doctor and have him order some tests but I don’t know what tests he had in mind. Like I’m just not optimistic that there even is a solution to this. My body’s just messed up. And it’s not like I’m “wasting away” or my hair’s falling out again or anything. I think he’s more concerned with the fact that my medications cost him money than anything else. Last week when I had to go to the doctor to get Zofran and he also prescribed me Tecta for the near constant heartburn that goes along with all of this, Blake was quick to point out that Tecta’s expensive. Like it’s optional or something. Like I can control this.

Sometimes the vomiting is accompanied by pancreatic pain, but usually it isn’t. I haven’t had a *bad* pancreatic attack in a couple of months now, so that’s good, but the throwing up is happening more and more frequently.

So I dunno. I’m going through Zofran and Gravol like crazy. The Tecta has helped with the heartburn, so that’s good, but why do I need it all of a sudden to begin with?

I dunno. I dunno. I dunno.

Right now I’m on hydromorph contin again because my pancreas is throbbing. It goes from the spot between and under my boobs, like right under where my ribs connect and it throbs from that spot into my back. It’s really really fucking painful. But like I said, this isn’t a bad attack where I’m bed-ridden and throwing up (a different kind of throwing up), this is just a mild one, but I’ve learned that if you don’t get the pain of a mild one under control as early as possible, it can snowball into a major one and that is the worst thing ever, next to actual pancreatitis.

I feel defeated. I feel like giving up constantly, even though I don’t even know what giving up would entail. I am both physically and mentally exhausted and so sick of other people’s bullshit. Everything is so fucked and most of it I can’t even talk or write about and that is so fucking frustrating to me. I’ve never been censored this much before and it feels a little bit like l/dying.

I’m angry and I’m hurt and I’m just a little bit confused.

I’m withdrawing. Immersion therapy is a fucking joke. Dreams are a fucking joke. I can’t see anything beyond all this mental fog. I don’t see the point in just about anything anymore. I’m confused all. the time. I don’t know what I’m doing or what we’re doing or what happens next. I just try to go with the flow, stay out of the way, keep my opinions to myself. Sick of being told I’m wrong. Sick of not being good enough. Sick of being a disappointment. Sick.

My brother dearest is currently staying at my mom’s, I found out yesterday. I don’t even have words for that one. Honestly I’m scared for Chris. I don’t trust my brother not to be jealous of Chris and my mom’s mother/son relationship and lash out at him. My mom was a mom wanting to mother a son and lacking a decent one and Chris was a son lacking a decent mother. It just worked out and their relationship is beautiful. My brother’s always had issues surrounding my mom having this “good” life and being “rich” (she’s not, he just thinks she is) while he and his dad “suffered” (because of her or things she did, naturally) and I worry that him seeing how good her life really is might set him off and make him destructive, especially after he gets what he wants out of her, which is probably money. My mom says nothing like that has happened, not even so much of a hint of it, but that doesn’t surprise me when he literally has nowhere else to go, no job, no money and no other options. He knows when not to rock the boat. My mom said in her e-mail that my brother would “probably want to see you (all) at some point” but I don’t know how I feel about that. He’s burnt my heart so many times that I don’t know if I can see him. I don’t know how he’d be around my kids. I just don’t trust him. And I think I have some pretty damn valid reasons not to. At the same time, maybe my mom needs this distraction from everything happening with my grama. I have no idea. All I know is that it was just a few months ago that he was calling me a bitch because I was like my mother etc etc etc and making my grama being sick all about him. (And my mom inexplicably got mad at ME over that because HE pulled that shit on Facebook. Figure that one out.)

So I dunno what to think of this situation.

In a perfect world my brother would live with my mom while he got his shit together whether that be a job or more schooling or even getting his licence back since he fucked that up royally many years ago. John and Chris (and my mom) would be good role models for him. In a perfect world, maybe even John could get Chad a job where he worked and they could go in together every day. In a perfect world, we’d sell our house and move to my mom’s town as planned and we’d all be one big, happy family. In a perfect world, my brother would be shown what normal, healthy relationships and happy lives look like and not want to go back to destructive slum life with his father.

But it’s not a perfect world. So I don’t know what to think. I want to know what my brother wants. I want to know what his plan is. I want to see him start thinking long term and not a long term plan that involves my mother paying his way at 28 years old. A hand up? Sure. A place to stay while he gets his shit together? I don’t have a problem with that as long as he’s not screwing up the natural order of their family that happens to work so well.  But the odds of there being a shady motive or a shady plan are pretty good and it’s not even so much that I don’t trust my brother necessarily, it’s that I don’t trust his father not to put my brother up to a plan like this. “Hey Chad, go get in good with your grandmother in her last days so maybe she’ll leave you some money and we can get back on our feet.”  That is exactly how Ken thinks and operates. There are any number of variations on that theme but that’s the gist of how he works. He’s a snake. (And such a ploy wouldn’t work for reasons I won’t get into here but it would be a shame if that was what was really happening and my mom got hurt in the process.)

Anyway, I guess we’ll just have to go slow and see what happens.  I doubt my mom will tell me much. She didn’t even e-mail me to tell me he was staying with her. I e-mailed her about something completely unrelated and she was like, “oh by the way…”. Typical.

And that’s all I have to say today.

Posted at 1:42 pm in: agoraphobia , Anxiety , bipolar disorder , Blake , blogging , Chad , Childhood , Chris , depression , Diet , Family , Food , gallbladder , Health , Immersion Therapy , Internet , John , Ken , Kids , Life , Madison , Medication , Mental Health , mental illness , Mom , pancreatitis , Summer , Sunnyland , the antichrist , Wes , Writing
July 5, 2013


I am so sick of throwing up. I don’t know why but barfing has become a daily occurrence again, usually after dinner, no matter what I eat. Last night we went to Boston Pizza where I had caesar salad and ravioli and then I came home, took my evening pills and about 15 minutes later I was barfing my guts up. For the 3rd or 4th day in a row. I don’t think I’m sick, I think it’s a pancreas/lack of gall bladder thing but why it’s happening now all of a sudden, I have no idea. I’ve also been having chronic heartburn which has made drinking Diet Coke pretty much impossible so I’ve become a water addict. There are worse things, I suppose.

Wednesday we had our artist guild meeting and Mike showed me this cool thing called Square, which is this little device you plug into your cell phone that allows you to swipe credit cards and then Square takes 2.7% and deposits the rest into your bank account. So I basically signed up immediately and now I’m just waiting for them to send me the device. My original plan for the studio tour, since I’m going to be stationed at the library, was to bring my laptop and have my Etsy shop open so people could purchase paintings that way with PayPal if they had to use a credit card but Etsy takes 3.5% so Square actually works out better. Also my phone is the Note II which has the stylus so I can accept credit cards that require a signature as well. It’s pretty cool.

Tonight marks the beginning of my crazy hours at work because I’m covering for Belinda while she’s on vacation for the next 17 days. I’m going to be working 28 hours overtime, all at weird hours. Like, instead of getting up at 4:30am to start work at 5am, I’ll be getting up at 2:30am to start work at 3am. Then tonight I work 2am-5am and Sunday I work 1am-5am. It’s all crazy and I’m super worried about my sanity if I can’t sleep when I’m supposed to. I’m going to have to get creative with my medications to ensure everything goes smoothly (with the blessing of my shrink).

On Sunday we went to John’s cottage for fireworks, which was a lot of fun. Before I get into that though, check this out:

That’s my mom, John and Chris in the Cash Cab, which is this game show type thing that I’d never heard of until my mom showed me a clip on YouTube.
You get into the cab and they ask you trivia questions and you win money.
If you get 3 answers (I think?) wrong, they boot you out of the cab.
I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say how much they won, but they won quite a bit of money.
They don’t know when it’s going to air but when I know, you’ll know!

Anyway, we went to the cottage for fireworks but in the afternoon John took Blake and the kids (and the neighbouring cottage’s kids) out tubing with the boat and I took pictures. Behold!

I started off (with the pics above) using my kit lens, which turned out to be not so great so for the rest of the pics, I switched to the zoom.

(He’s faking.)

Then John made us hamburgers with peameal bacon and veggie burgers with grilled peppers for Madison, who is now a vegetarian and then we all just shot the shit until it was time for fireworks. John got LOTS of fireworks and since this post is already pretty pic intensive, I’ll put the fireworks pics behind a cut…


June 28, 2013

This is pretty cool…

…so I’m posting it here and there and everywhere.


Recently I learned I’m not the perfect parent I thought I was…not that I really thought I was perfect, like, in italics, but I’d been complimented and praised so much because of things I’ve written here or just by people who have met my pretty awesome kids and like, my mom once, so I thought I was doing a pretty good job. Blake has shit to work out. I don’t like how much all of us yell and neither does he so it’s something that we’re constantly working on but certain children of ours sometimes test our limits for whatever reason kids do that and we cross the line but so do they. (Well, I don’t think Wes has ever yelled back yet, but obviously one day he will.)

Because Madison has expressed disinterest in my online world and has asked for more privacy, I think she’s going to appear less and less on this blog. But I don’t want anyone noticing this and thinking that because I’m not talking about her on here as much that I love her any less or that we don’t love each other, or anything awful like that. I know a lot of you follow this blog because I post pictures of Madison or I talk about Madison simply because I’ve been doing it since literally her birth in one way or another, online. It started in my Compuserve days, then I made my Angelfire site and then the Scratching Post message board, then Live Journal and now my actual blog for the last almost 7 years. She’s a big part of my life and honestly? My favourite part of my life, especially at this age, but I understand wanting more privacy, especially at this age, so I respect her request.

Wes on the other hand, is now a Pocket Frogs addict, which I introduced to him yesterday and he now has on his iPod, so that happened. We haven’t been making any videos for his YouTube channel because  we’re having bandwidth problems. Both of my Flip cameras have died and you can’t buy them anymore because the company stopped making them, which sucks because they were awesome, and my Digital Rebel, which can make videos, makes huge files and I don’t know how to make them smaller and we think that we reach 75% of our bandwidth cap halfway through the month on months we’ve uploaded videos to YouTube (also with the addition of Netflix). But we plan to make a video soon. I’m not sure if it’s going to be a Minecraft video or a Wes video though, he just said he wants to make a video.

We went to the beach yesterday because it was ridiculously hot and it has been for a few days so the hope was that it warmed up at least some of the lake, at least close to the shoreline, and while the water was still way too cold for me, Blake and the kids swam out to the second buoy and stayed out there for at least 15 minutes before getting too cold and coming back to the car.

Speaking of the beach, I posted this on Facebook yesterday while I was sitting in the car AT the beach:

And when I got home there were comments so I started commenting too, and I had this to say about our lovely freshwater beach:

Jenn, you need to come visit us one day. The beach here is awesome. Too cold for me today, though. I feel bad for the people planning on spending Canada Day here, we just haven’t had enough super hot days to heat a lake that size but once it heats up, it is awesome.

I also added, “Or at least I think so. Keeping in mind that the ocean ALSO creeps me out.

Then there were more comments, but then Belinda mentioned that she worked at a public pool which for some reason reminded me of the public pool that used to be in Stouffville (it may still be there, but I kinda don’t think so), which was one of those memories that hits you in the gut because it was sort of awesome and yet you’d totally forgotten about it. So here’s what I wrote:

Where I grew up we had this outdoor public pool in the park and the changeroom floors were always slimy, wet and disgusting and every toilet had a turd in it and the seats too were also always wet. And there was never any toilet paper or paper towels in there anyway so there was no point in even going there. The “kids pool” (there were 3 pools, a baby pool, a kids pool and “the” pool) water was literally salty and warm because there was so much piss in it. So fucking gross, I’m practically gagging just thinking about it. But when you’re like, 7 and it’s really hot out and your cousins are going because it only costs a dollar to get in, you go! And you have fun! But still, I mostly remember the nastiness.

When I used to go to the pool with my cousins, we lived right in the middle of downtown Stouffville and the pool was just across the park. And we also tended not to have any parental involvement in 75% of anything we did. I was also babysat by my Aunt Heather during those times, who was flat out negligent, possibly crazy, incredibly damaged, but really really fucking fun. Maybe I’ll start writing about that time in my life since I never really have.

Today it’s rainy but it’s supposed to be nice for the long weekend (Canada Day is Monday) and my mom invited us to the cottage on Sunday where we’re apparently going to have fireworks, so that’s something to look forward to. She just e-mailed and said to come whenever we want and that we’d be having hamburgers for dinner. I had to tell her that Madison’s a vegetarian now and that she should get veggie dogs when she does the groceries because I’m pretty sure you can grill them.

I haven’t picked up my camera in weeks. Daisies grew in our front yard this year and I never even photographed them. I meant to but the construction guys freak me out too much. The dogs are crazy shedding right now and our house is carpeted in fur despite our best vacuuming efforts. We found a flea on Lucky so we put Advantage on all the pets so hopefully they’ll fuck right off. Fleas looooove me, as do mosquitoes and horseflies etc. and I haven’t been bitten so I’m pretty sure he didn’t have many fleas on his to begin with. Advantage usually kicks in pretty quickly.

We had a guy at the house this week who re-drywalled our bathroom, fixed the leaky tap and tiled our shower and did a pretty nice job. It’s nothing special or anything, just white tile. We’re fixing up the house so we can sell it next spring, or at least put it on the market. I think the next thing we’re going to do is re-roof the roof of my office. Again. This time with metal. \m/

Yesterday I went to Michael’s to get “Santa’s Flesh” paint by Delta only to find that Michael’s doesn’t carry it. So I bought Americana’s “Flesh Tone” instead and when I got home I compared the two bottles and the “Flesh Tone”  paint is way too dark. I hate playing around with mixing colours so I guess I’m going to have to order “Santa’s Flesh” from Stockade. Which is fine, they’re a good company and everything, it’s just that now I have two bottles of a flesh tone I’ll never use and it’s not worth the gas to take them back. (Because of course I’m an idiot and I bought two, thinking they’d be the same as “Santa’s Flesh”.) I know, first world problems.

I’m working on a pretty kickass angel painting at the moment. One day as Madison was leaving the house, I asked her to give me 3 painting ideas off the top of her head and one of her suggestions was “the moon”, which gave me an idea and an angel made the most sense for the idea I had so there ya have it. People on Facebook liked the initial sketches so I think it’s going to be pretty good.

Right now Wes is at a birthday party for his best friend, Emily, who’s “really into lizards these days” so we got her this blown glass lizard and a little jeweled lizard pin. I think she’s going to really like them.  I got myself 2lbs of Jelly  Bellies. We also went to Pie 2 because it’s closer than the original location and we hadn’t been in a while. Or at least it felt like a while. I got pepperoni and mushroom this time and I really enjoyed it because their pepperoni isn’t crappy pepperoni, it’s the good stuff. I still have 3 pieces left so I think I’m going to go eat those.

Anyway, that’s all I got in me today. I think I’m gonna go eat, watch a movie and work on my painting. Have a lovely weekend! :o)

March 31, 2013

Happy Zombie Jesus Weekend!

I am so tired and PMSing bit tonight is going to be awesome because it’s The Walking Dead finale and the Game of Thrones premiere. Last night was Doctor Who’s premiere and honestly? I thought it kinda sucked and it didn’t endear me toward Clara in the slightest. We didn’t get to watch it until I was finished work at 11pm so I saw a few tweets from friends who said they really liked Clara based on this episode so I was expecting to be blown away and I just wasn’t. Then again, I didn’t like Amy in the beginning either so I’m probably not the best judge of companions. Then AGAIN, I loved Donna immediately and she’s my favourite so…I guess we’ll see.

Friday was….stressful and wonderful all at the same time.

As most of you know, on Friday we had Easter dinner with my mom, her boyfriend John, his son Chris, my grama and my Aunt Betty (my grama’s sister). This would be the first time I’d be seeing my grama or my Aunt Betty in 7 years. I was REALLY nervous about it so I took 3 clonazepams before we got there and my mom asked us to be there an hour or two early so she could “prepare” me for what was probably going to happen.

She told me to be prepared that my grama’s hair had started falling out because of the radiation but that it was still mostly a full head of hair “by anyone’s standards” and that she looked old and frail compared to the last time I saw her. I was mostly prepared for her to look older because we’ve driven past her house before when she was outside and saw for myself that she looked older but my mom said that she was using a walker now, which I wasn’t expecting.

I forget what time we got there, I think around 1:30pm or 2pm and my grama was expected to be there between 3pm and 4pm.

Before I go any further, here are some pictures of Blake and John being dumb. They’re out of focus because I had like, 30 seconds to get the camera and take the pictures before the moment was over:

This is what Blake was threatening to hit him with.
It used to hang in my grama’s kitchen:

At about 2:30pm I started freaking the fuck out and had a small panic attack. I was afraid my grama was going to be mean to me. Rick, my caseworker, said that when I saw her if she was mean to me, I didn’t have to take her abuse and that I should leave but that’s when she was in the hospital and leaving would have been as simple as walking out the door. Leaving my mom’s on Friday would have been a lot more complicated. Getting Madison out the door with her crutches alone would take like, 15 minutes. (I forgot to make a post about that: Madison fractured a bone in her foot when she fell off a snow hill on Monday. It’s splinted right now and on Tuesday we go back to the hospital for another x-ray and a walking cast.) I just didn’t know what to do when they got there. My mom said to give my grama a hug and I said I didn’t know if I could do that.

Anyway, my mom said not to expect any heartfelt confessions or anything like that (which I wasn’t) because my grama just wasn’t doing that kind of thing. In fact, my grama, she said, is convinced that she’s going to fight the cancer and win. My mom said that mostly everyone is angry about the cancer. My grama just retired and the same week the oncologist had to take away her driver’s licence, my grama’s passport came in the mail. That’s fucking bullshit and completely unfair.

At around 3pm my Aunt Betty pulled into the driveway and I watched out the window as she helped my grama out of the car and got her set up with the walker. They came in the back door so they had some stairs to go up (well, there would have been stairs no matter which door they went to) and then my grama came into the kitchen where I was standing. She held her arms out toward me for a hug and we both started crying and she said, “Don’t you worry, grama’s okay, grama’s going to fight this” and that just about killed me. The cancer is already in her brain. It’s in her lungs. It’s likely in her liver and I know that once it’s in the liver, you’re pretty much fucked.

But I guess she has to say that. What else is she going to say? She’s never taken anything laying down so this shouldn’t be any different, no matter how hopeless it is. She underwent a week’s worth of radiation the week before last and I think (?) as a result her face looked ruddy, almost like a sunburn. And she did look a lot older than I was expecting. And small. Frail. Sick.

My Aunt Betty got my grama set up in the living room so Blake, me and I think John sat in the living room with her, while Madison and my Aunt Betty sat at “the kids table” in the dining room which opens into the living room so they were basically in the same room as us. I don’t even know what all we talked about. Mostly Blake and my grama talked about Blake’s job, Madison’s foot and when I was sick. Just catching up. Everything is such a blur and it all happened so fast that I honestly have no idea what else was discussed. We didn’t talk about her being sick, except she did say she was going to be shaving her head next week and that it was “going to grow back red and curly”. (Which is her natural hair type, before she went grey.)

Then dinner was ready so we ate (ham, scalloped potatoes, carrots, corn) and made more small talk and then we had dessert (my Aunt Betty and grama had brought a blueberry pie, which I don’t like so I didn’t have any) and then my grama looked at the pictures I’d had printed for my mom for Xmas and both my grama and Aunt Betty complimented me on my photographic skills. My grama liked my dogs and enjoyed seeing the pics of Madison’s graduation. My Aunt Betty thanked me for the picture of the sap droplet. My grama said she loved the flowers I sent and the card and she said that my paintings were beautiful.

Then my grama and Aunt Betty left and we hung around my mom’s for a while afterward, talking about the house down the street from them that’s still for sale because the lady who owned it killed herself in the living room and real estate agents don’t like to show it because of that and because it’s listed privately. Blake e-mailed my mom’s realtor on Saturday morning and asked her if she’d show it to us sometime soon.

And that was the end of the day. I was pretty upset on the way home about everything. I mean, it was a good day, it was as if my grama and I had never had a falling out at all, it was all just water under the bridge, but in a way that sort of made everything just a little more sad. I was still pretty upset Saturday morning and cried all the way through breakfast. In public. :o/

So that’s that. I’m still trying to process it all and it was a good day. And there’s still time to have more good days, which I already intend to have with her.

These are the flowers she brought me:

Saturday I had to work, so screw Saturday, Saturday sucked.

Today I worked on my shadowbox and we watched the movie Saved! this morning, y’know, in honour of Jesus, and then we watched Battlestar Galactica, which we’re starting from the beginning again because it’s so damn good and then we hid geocaches in preparation of the Elmvale geocaching breakfast event in a couple of weeks which sort of “opens” the geocaching season. We hid 4 of them and we saw wild turkeys. I brought the camera with me but not my zoom and they were too far away to get decent pictures of. Here’s Wes and Blake though:

Here’s the new bag Blake got me at the mall on Thursday:

And here’s what it looks like with the top flap open:

And here’s my kickass shadowbox so far:

The red tape isn’t staying, it’s just there so I didn’t get paint on the glass.

When I was gluing the LEDs into the holes, I twisted a wire the wrong way so there’s one light that will only stay on if taped a certain way so I’ll never be able to sell this thing once I get it finished, but I’m not sure I’m going to want to anyway. I bought a second shadowbox so if this one works out the way I want it to, I can make another one; the only issue I’m going to run into is buying lights when it’s not Xmas but they may have them at Michael’s or possibly even Wal*Mart or Crappy Tire.

Anyway, I think it’s going to look cool when it’s finished, pending I don’t royally fuck it up.

And that’s all I got. Happy Easter!

December 27, 2012

Random Shit From a Random Folder/Xmas

So I came across this just now:

Dubber was just this guy I used to know.

I still think that’s a good idea. And I googled it just now (because I wanted to show the kids and back when I originally posted this, there was only this one link that doesn’t work anymore with a video of them sinking/floating) and it’s true, full sugar pops/sodas sink in water while diet ones float because artificial sweetener is less dense than sugar. (Click here for the nerdy part of that.) I say that that gives Diet Coke the advantage over regular Coke (because who wants the density of sugar feeling full in their belly and that much sugar on their teeth?). And Pepsi, for that matter, which was the original intent, but I’m not sure how far Coke would realistically want to take my line of thinking with this or if the simpler idea is the way to go. I mean, if Coke wanted to rebrand Diet Coke based on a positive response to these pieces of art in major cities, that would be pretty cool, right? And what if aspartame was cheaper than sugar or that the potassium blah blah blah that they have in Coke Zero that’s apparently super bad for you, anyway? Worse than aspertame? (And I argue that sugar is just as bad and Coke is a cheap source of it anyway).  And that there is less aspartame in a can of Diet Coke than there is sugar in a can of regular Coke so wouldn’t that make sense that there’s more carbonated water in Diet Coke and isn’t more water content better for you? So that was just one of my ideas one day when I was helping my old friend Dubber with his book a long time ago. (Which, for the record, he said was stupid but I argue that he was stupid and that’s where we are today.)

Anyway, it was just an idea and I’m surprised that I haven’t already seen Coke or Pepsi use this floating fact to their advantage. I mean, pop is still totally garbage for you, I’m sure, but with how people drink it, it’s still a tonic too and this is all just chemistry. We know sugar is bad. Aspartame is kinda bad, you can find reports and studies to deem it safe and not safe, but I do know it’s definitely better for you as far as your teeth and your blood sugar than regular Coke and the potassium blah blah blah in Coke Zero is banned in some countries because it’s not necessary and there hasn’t been as much study on it than aspartame  so – and this is just me – Diet Coke comes out the winner every time.

And this just turned into a total can of worms, I know, because people are really crazy about what they will and won’t drink or what they prefer and there’s even drink etiquette when you’re at someone else’s house, I think, so the beverages industry is the bigtime, but it’s my favourite brand category so I think about it often.

So Xmas.

Well, we had Xmas with my mom, John and Chris on Sunday and that was pretty cool. My mom makes this cheeseball every year that Blake and Wes really like so she made that and invented this:

My mom's a hipster.

It is:
A little 2 inch long crustini thing, like a bit crouton. I forget the flavour.
Red pepper cream cheese.
Bacon marmalade.
Havarti cheese.
And a slice of cherry tomato.

I am personally offended by cream cheese as one of the nastiest substances on Earth and I would also put the mere idea of bacon marmalade in that category, so I didn’t have one, but I thought they looked nice and Blake liked them so there ya have it.

Blake is dumb.

Give me pouty!

“Give me pouty!”

Prince Wes.

Madison reading the joke from her Xmas cracker.

Princess Madison.

My mom made a honey spiral ham, scalloped potatoes, carrots, peas and perfect crescent rolls and everyone had a good time just enjoying each other’s company. The kids sorta formed a gang upstairs and the adults (term used loosely) stayed downstairs. We played a little Cards Against Humanity which is extra fun when you play with Wes, who loves the game but understands very little but he knows what sounds funny and the brat ended up winning. By like, a lot. What have we created? I realize the game is for 17+ but when we played at Squam, the whole time, while having a good time, I was thinking, “yeah, I’d have no problem explaining that  to my kids” with every card and believe it or not, I think the game’s actually a little bit educational in that it’s good for kids to ask “what’s the holocaust?” and “what’s the three fifths rule?” which are two of the white cards in the game. Of course, explaining a lot of the other ones is a little harder, but we’ve played all the white cards from the entire base game and there wasn’t one thing that I thought we shouldn’t or couldn’t explain to Wes. It’s definitely not a game meant for kids and your mileage may vary, but for Wes it’s fine and I’d much rather he play a gross word game with his family than play the latest bloody video game alone. And also coming up with explanations for things that he would even understand is part of the fun! Of the game AND of parenting itself!

Anyway, on Xmas Eve I had to see Rick, my support worker mental health nurse guy, and that was pretty uneventful. I told him about all of the things I’ve been doing and he said he wasn’t sure what the next step is and I said neither did I. Blake suggested that I try having an appointment with Rick by myself, to which I said no. Blake said okay and Rick fucking argued me down to 5 minutes alone and the rest of the meeting with Blake, which I agreed to but isn’t actually going to happen, I just wanted to end the conversation without crying. Rick is not someone I want to be alone with, he just has a vibe about him I don’t trust. He obviously doesn’t respect my boundaries or he wouldn’t have argued and bullied when I said no. Other than that, which can be fixed next appointment I think, the meeting was pretty uneventful. Blake’s fear is that with the winter weather, I’m going to be less likely to drive and that’s going to slow down my progress. I don’t think he’s right and I don’t think that I have to work on anything new right now  with how much I’ve already put on my plate to digest and deal with. I’m pushing my mental faculties pretty hard between driving, dealing with Rob at The Conservatory and potentially joining the artist’s guild I wrote about a while back. Throw in still trying to learn photography, painting, parenting and my job and it could all come crashing down like a house of cards if we add much more. I think I need to plateau where I am for a little while and if that means only driving on clear days  for the next couple of months, I think that’s fine. I can drive in Elmvale and to the beach and possibly even to Midland if the roads are okay. And by “okay” I mean, either just wet or completely dry. I’m not ready to drive in snow at this point, but I think there will be good driving days ahead. I’m fairly confident it’s okay.

So the rest of Xmas Eve Day I basically just farted around online and hung out with Madison. Blake went back to my mom’s house to pick up the full-length mirror my mom got Madison for Xmas that wouldn’t fit in our car with people in it.

Then Xmas Morning rolled around and when I got off work, I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t and Blake decided to get up and then Wes got up and then Blake and Hoover woke Madison up and we did presents, and then Blake made a million phone calls to his family all over the US and then we had Xmas in Orgrimmar, had dinner, played more Warcraft, watched Doctor Who and then I had to go to bed so I could work the next day. (I actually went to sleep about 20 minutes into Doctor Who, so we finished it yesterday morning.) Here’s some pics of Madison, Wes and Blake with some of the stuff they got for Xmas:

Her shirt is Rose Tyler, if it’s not obvious.

Still trying to convince Wes to make his Furby evil.
Apparently how you treat them counts as far as personality development.

And that was Xmas.

I think for the rest of the week, Blake is working in the Barrie office so he’ll get to see some of his friends there and he’ll actually be home before dinner. Bonus! I think for me, it’s just going to be an internet day. Or maybe I’ll go level battle pets in Warcraft. I dunno. I’ll figure something out.

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