Friday, September 30, 2011

Anchors Away

As I mentioned in a post a few entries ago I've gotten started a tattoo depicting myself and two of my closest friends.  So LB and I discussed a mutual tattoo to symbolize our friendship as well.  We decided on mermaids that look like each other.  She's got an appointment on Saturday to start hers and I have, probably, one more sitting to finish my first ladies tattoo and then I can start my LB mermaid!!

Here's the drawing of the Holly mermaid.  She's so pretty.  (Just missing the stomach tattoos...) 

Monday, September 26, 2011


To say I'm a fan of Jane's Addiction is putting it mildly.  Though the walls of my bedroom are not adorned with posters of them (because I'm 37!), I've been listening to their music for years now.  Probably since 1989 or so.  And while I love, love, love Perry (and the boys) it makes me nervous to even think about meeting him (or any of them for that matter) face to face.  I think I'd make a total ass of myself and come off looking like a complete moron.  I can't think of another musician off the top of my head with as unique of a voice as him.  I could listen to him sing all day.

I'm stuck on which, Jane's Addiction's self titled album or Nothing's Shocking, is my absolute favourite album but it's safe to say those two top my list.  Ritual was awesome, but I was left slightly disappointed with Strays and only mildly more impressed with Kettle Whistle.  So you can appreciate my apprehension when I found out they were releasing a new record.  I feel like I've been let down by them just a little too frequently lately. 

HOWEVER, on my XM radio today I happened to overhear their new release Irresistible Force and can I just say, I LOVE IT!!!???!!!??  I've listened to it about 20 times in the past hour.  Yup, I'm like a 5 year old. 

Check it bitches!  You won't be sad.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Text Messages from Heaven

One day, not long after my dad died, Eric and I were having a conversation about him.  We decided at the last minute to take a detour on our way home and stop for some fruit at the fruit market.  In the middle of our conversation we were about to drive under a train bridge.  There happened to be a train going over the bridge as we neared it. At the exact moment we were to go under the bridge we both noticed the word "DAD" spray painted in graffiti on one of the rail cars.  It silenced us, though we questioned if it was truly a sign from him.

A month or so ago Eric and I were sitting outside playing a game of Scrabble.  We were starting a new game and I had just picked out my seven tiles randomly.  They were balled up in my left hand.  I pulled each tile out one at a time and set them on my tile holder from left to right.   R...P...C...A...K...I...T.   I was dumbfounded.  I paused, looked up at Eric and told him I needed to show him my tiles (My dad's name is Kit).  I asked him if he thought this was a 'sign'.  He thought it was and informed me that I, too, should take it that way.

Yesterday morning I was using the laptop to check my account balance with my online banking.  As I typed the bank's website into the address bar I glanced down to wait for my screen to load the banking information and there was my dad's web page.  I do my banking with a facility that starts with "P".  My dad's name could have started with "K", "C" or "R".  If I'm really grasping the domain website could have started with "D", "M" or "H".  Nothing with a "P".  Eric said it's likely since my dad's web page is saved in our favourites that the list popped down while I wasn't paying attention and I accidentally hit his link with my finger on the tablet.  So, I went into Favourites and he's right, it's in there but so were about 7 others and his was three down in the list.  I find it interesting that this whole thing would even have happened, let alone that I managed to 'scroll' down to the third one and just happened to pick his.

After talking to the minister who works at the church next to our funeral home about it yesterday, she told me she thought my dad was basically slapping me in the head with these signs.  And if I'm open to receiving them I'll probably start getting more.   I can't be closed off to the idea.

Were these three separate occurrences signs, or just coincidences? A message, or just something that happened? With no way of text messaging us from beyond the grave, would my dad be forced to rely on something as inconclusive, as inconsequential, as these things in order to communicate with me ("I'm still here!")?
Butterflies, rainbows, wind chimes that sing when there is no wind, garage doors that go up and down for no reason...we've all heard people talk about signs they believe they have received from the beyond.  I suspect they are shared very tentatively for fear that they will be "poo poo'd" by a skeptical listener (often myself, though I've been able to hide it pretty well in the past). Now having lived through my own tragic experience I think I'm trying to become a 'believer'.  I think it will help me experience a more positive movement through my grief.  The knowledge that my dad is still with me and my family gives me the hope I so desperately need just to get through the bad days.

The thing about "signs" is that there always seems to be another explanation.  Be it a coincidence, randomness, wishful thinking; a story misinterpreted, details left out or embellished in the retelling. I've heard theories that children are more susceptible to receiving signs from the grave.  Perhaps it's because they haven't yet had education taint their 'what ifs', or they aren't cynical of the world yet.  Their imagination is still an integral part of their beings.

I'm going to try really hard to be open to the possibility that my dad is contacting me in these little ways.  I hope my mom finds a way to open her mind up to the possibility of signs because I have to believe he's sending them to her too.  He's letting me know he's still around.  He hasn't gone too far.  Just far enough that I can't touch him, or see him or have a real two way conversation with him anymore.  But, he's got my back, even if I didn't win that particular Scrabble game.

I Am

My heart hurts.  I have no words right now.  But clearly he does....

Friday, September 23, 2011

Make the Right Decision!

I read the article above this morning and I cannot get over how much it has upset me.  Perhaps it is because I have a child around the same age and I can't imagine having to go through what this father has gone through.

I posted a note on Facebook tagging the friends of Gage that I have on my account. I truly like them and respect them and I would hope with all of my heart that they would NEVER behave the way this 12 year old bully and his friends have behaved.

I hope Gage, his friends, and every other kid will read the article and truly think about their actions.  It only takes a quarter of a second to smile at someone in the hallway.  I'm not suggesting (you) have to invite them to hang out with your group (though that would be so nice) but a mere smile can "make someone's day".  Please don't be that person who feels better about themselves by destroying another person's self esteem.  Please know that the smallest good will extended to someone who is considered the 'nerd', the 'geek', the 'loser' should be what makes you feel better about yourself.  Please understand that how you treat another person makes a difference in their life.  You may think your actions and behaviours towards another might have no impact on them but you are SO wrong.  If you see one of your 'friends' behaving this way do not be afraid to stand up for the victim and tell your 'friend' that sort of behaviour is inappropriate and does not make them cool in your eyes but the true loser.  Make yourself, your parents, me, and your community proud of your actions, not embarrassed or ashamed of your actions.

I'm not asking you to change the world, just make the right decision and change ONE person's world.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fun in the Sun

So Margie and I were determined this year to get away on a vacation together.  We decided to do an all-inclusive as neither of us has done one before.  We planned for the second week of November.

Yesterday we booked our trip.  I cannot tell you have truly excited I am.  It will be nice to hang with her for a solid week and have no real agenda and no guilt when I spend a lot of time loafing.

We had our minds set on one thing but after speaking with our friend who is also a travel agent, we were swayed to something else.  Something that sounds so much better and more suited to us.
We are booked at The Gran Portal Real.  I'm excited to be able to quickly and easily venture into the little towns adjacent as well as explore the awesome Mayan sites of Tulum, Chichen-Itza, Coba and Xcaret (the Mayan Riviera’s ecoarchaeological theme park.

 I just need to pick up some 100 SPF sunblock.  I'm not sure which one of us thought it was a brilliant idea to send the two fairest people we know this close to the equator.  My skin is going to hate me.

Cobra - 1, Job Search - 0

So Eric is finally finished the book!  I know, I know it's very difficult to believe, but this time I think it's true!  So that was as of Thursday.  On Friday he got a job.  Not the job he wants.  A job he is settling for.  But a job with a regular paycheck on a regular payday. 

He had to ask himself if being unemployed but holding strong to his dreams was better than working a menial job with a regular pay.  Which one would crush his emotional being more?  I suggested he take the menial job and continue to look for the job of his dreams.  Only he can determine if he's going to get into a rut and stay there.

I know I'm more optimistic (What, you say?  Not like me, I know) about all of this than he is, but I'm so glad he was only 'unemployed' for a day.  That's exciting.  Especially in today's times.  And just the job search alone can crush one's soul. 

So congratulations honey!!!  You're going to be great in whatever you do!

Another Thing Missed

Two weeks into high school and we're $400 dollars poorer.  That's not even from buying new school clothes and supplies.  Gage made the football team!

He's been going to tryouts and practices since the week prior to school even starting.  I'm liking his determination.  Anyway, he found out he made the team.  I'm still not sure yet what position he'll be playing but it will likely involve running, since he's pretty fast.

I believe his first game is next week but I suspect I won't get to attend too many as they are usually in the afternoons.  Probably not a bad thing since it will be crazy cold soon and I have NO idea how the game of football works. 

This news comes to us with bittersweet emotions.  I'm so glad and happy for Gage that he made the team.  He wanted to so badly.  I'm so relieved that he's getting involved in school activities, because I'm pretty sure in order to have a great high school 'career' you need to be involved.  I want his memories of high school to be great (like I have of my years). 

The overwhelming sad feeling I have that he made the team goes back to my dad.  Of course.  Yet another thing he's missing out on that he would have been totally stoked about.  My dad was a huge football fan.  In fact when my brother was born one of the first things my dad got him was a football and his hope was that my brother would be a football player.  That didn't come to fruition but they did enjoy many hours together watching other people play football and my dad was content with that.  I just know though he would have been elated to learn of Gage making the football team and he would have done his damnedest to be at as many games and practices as possible.  So for that reason I'm bummed.  I'm bummed that his 'dreams' for his son skipped past him and landed on his grandson and he's not going to be here to partake in the excitement with us.  I'm sad that he won't be able to share tips with Gage and 'coach' from the sidelines like he did in soccer.  I'm truly upset that I won't hear his screaming and yelling (all in positive ways of course!) from the bleachers and neither will Gage or anyone else for that matter.  I'm depressed that I didn't get to see his face as Gage told him.  I can only imagine the smile....

He was taken way too early.

High School Hair Cut

Just before school started I took Gage to get his hair cut.  We assumed he'd just get a trim and wear it as he has for the past 6 months.  However, because there was a 20 minute wait or so I skipped across the street to the drug store leaving him alone to peruse the style book, and when I came back he shocked me by suggesting he might cut all his hair off.  Gage hasn't had 'short' hair since he was about 7.

He was fretting over it so we posted it to Facebook to get a judgement call from his peers.  The results came up 50/50 for shorter or leaving it longer.  No helps basically.  I did inform him it didn't matter which way he went because he'd look good in either and left the decision for him to make.  He hummed and hawed over it until the moment his ass hit the chair and decided.  Lob it off.

The above is how it turned out and it looks awesome.  He looks older than 14 now.  :(  He came over to me after and told me we needed to go home so he could change his t-shirt as he was sweating profusely while she cut it all off.  That kid makes me laugh.

The funniest thing is no one recognized him right away, including his own father.  It's such a transformation.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Geek Kitties!

So we've been on a 'mission' to build our own kitty tower for a few months now.  Roan drew up a drawing of what he would like us to build.  It was so big it would have monopololized my entire bay window.  We scaled it down keeping the look relatively the same.  We were so busy this summer (yeah!) that we didn't really get a chance to work on it too much.  Well last night I stumbled across a design that I am leaning towards...something to appease me and my need to 'hide' things and something to appease the geekiness of Eric.

A TARDIS kitty tower from Dr. Who!!  How ingenious. 

I have faith that Eric can build this.  Now I just need to find him some time to do it between job interviews!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cobra on the Move

Eric sent out a bunch of resumes to some job postings this weekend and he scored himself an interview and a 'job testing'. 

The interview he landed was for a landscaping company in the Region.  We looked through their website and were very impressed with the work they have done and he thought he would enjoy spending his days doing that sort of thing.  I particularly liked the idea of him honing those skills and then being able to come home and mimic them in my yard! 

So last night I asked him what he planned on wearing to the interview and he said he was going to ask me what he should wear.  I, of course, said a suit!  As this is a job interview and you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  He disagreed with me but heeded my advice.  Little did I know that not every prospective employer is looking for you to come dressed in a suit.  Hmmp!  Eric told him it was easier to agree with me and wear the suit than to try to convince me otherwise.  Basically he blamed the suit on me.  I'm still standing my ground here. 

Over all it seems the interview went well.  My fingers are crossed for Eric that he is offered the job.  I think he's going stir crazy just sitting at his desk doing the book renderings.  It will be nice for him to get out of the house and do some physical labour and work on the book drawings on the side this time around.  The prospective employer was aware and interested in the idea of Eric working on design drawings for him in the future.  So that's a feather in his cap I think...

The 'job testing' is tomorrow with a guy who does stucco. (I also like the idea of Eric honing his stucco skills because down the road I'd like to redo the siding on my house in cedar board and batan and stucco.  But this isn't about me now is it?)  He's not too sure about the idea of doing stucco day in and day out but if it's offered to him and that's his only option for the time being I think he'll take it and just keep looking.  It sounds like the guy who does this can be difficult or hard to please based on the phone call Eric had with him today.  He thinks the guy he was testing out today is a "f*&king ret#*d" and didn't hesitate to tell Eric that.  You have to wonder what kind of decorum and tact this guy has.  Anyway, I figure either they'll hate each other or love each other.  Could go either way. 

So here's hoping something good comes out of these next few days for Eric.  He sure does look handsome in a suit and tie, but I'm guessing he doesn't want to have to squish into it too frequently.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fun Times Fall!

Because I found great success with creating a list for the summer of things I wanted to accomplish, I've decided to do the same thing for the Autumn season as well.  I am aware that I didn't complete every item on my summer wish list, but I did manage to scratch a lot of them off. 

So here goes!  I may, from time to time, add to my Autumn wish list, but here's what I could think up for now.

1. Watch as Roan scores his first goal in soccer.
2. Attend at least one of Gage's highschool football games.
3. Get a pedicure.
4. Book my all inclusive vacation with Margaret.
5. Get on a plane and head to warmer climates.
6. Spend a morning or afternoon at the spa.
7. SAVE MONEY for next year's vacations.
8. Get a sunburn.  (Not a bad one, just one to keep my freckles from fading)
9. Go on a road trip (even if it's just for a day)
10. Build a kitty tower.
11. Go dancing!
12. Finish my "Girlies" tattoo.
13. Start Christmas shopping.
14. Clean out all my closets.

That's good for now.  Not nearly as exciting and fun as my summer list, but a list none the less.  Now to start scratching things off!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Part-time Empty Nester?

I anticipated that this 'day' or time would eventually come.  The day the issue of my kids living with their dad on a full time basis or even on a permanent part time basis was inevitable.  I guess I also knew merely the thought of it would make me sad.  I never counted on feeling bitter too.  

I have to be careful what I write here and I am almost most bitter about that.  I've been 'spoken' to about what I write about my ex (the father of my children) on my OWN blog because he feels I don't paint him in a good light and that people will think "badly" of him.   I have explained to him that anyone who reads my blog and who also knows him should know if he's a good person or bad person by now and anyone who reads my blog who doesn't know him wouldn't give a shit about him.  So their opinion shouldn't mean anything to him.  Irregardless, I've thought about what I want to write about this subject and I'll try to be VERY diplomatic.

As I said, I knew this time would eventually creep up on me.  My kids are getting older and have social lives.  They are spending less and less time with us, their parents, and more time with their friends.  It's no skin off my nose because they live with me.  Seven out of ten times they (along with their friends) are hanging at my house at some point.  They come home to me at the end of most days.  But I get it when their father says he wants them on a 50/50 basis because he doesn't feel he gets to see them enough between his set times and their social lives.  I get it but I don't like it.

It only bodes the following questions from me.  And even though I ask these questions I want so badly to believe it's just that he feels he's missing out on stuff and wants to be included.  I could understand that. 

Is this just about not having to pay child support anymore?  Because if they are with each of us 50% of the time then it's obvious no child support will change hands.  And I'm fine with that.  I've always said from the get go that I can't complain about anything money related about my ex.  He's fulfilled his duties when it comes to that department.  I can make a comment that I've been more than accommodating to him, and his situations, in the past and have never increased his payments in the 10 years we've been apart, but I already know that.  (See that?  Passive aggression at it's finest!  It's my blog though. I can write what I want.  haha)  I am going to try REALLY hard to believe this isn't an issue of money.

I know he thinks he can do a better job than me when it comes to raising our kids.  He's made that crystal clear in the past.  I think he's the only one who thinks that but whatever.  I guess my response to try to convince myself that his words don't hurt me is to reinforce to myself how wonderful my kids are, and even though we both play a role in how they turn out, they spend far more time with me so I want to believe that my influences outweigh his.  Perhaps, he doesn't feel the boys are as great as they are and that is as a result of the time they spend with me.  Perhaps he feels he can turn things around if he gets them more frequently at still a fairly mold-able age. Perhaps he sees that his influence on them doesn't run as deep.  I don't know that statement to actually be true as I see tons of him in his kids, but maybe that's how he feels.

I know how much I would miss them if I only saw them for a couple solid days every two weeks.  So I guess I want so badly to believe that is his true intention behind this request.  I want to believe there are no ulterior motives and nothing his says to me will convince me otherwise (so don't bother trying).  I need to feel it to believe it.  I have too much of a past with him, it's hard for me.

He hasn't lived full time with Gage since Gage was 4 1/2 years old.  He hasn't lived full time with Roan since Roan was 9 months old.  Up until a couple of years (I might be being generous) he hasn't even tried to get more time with them.  So I guess it makes me question, why now?   Is it because they are so much easier now?  Because when they were lots of work and much smaller and it wasn't permissible to leave them alone he never stepped up to the plate to take them more frequently than what was outlined in our separation agreement.  In fact he bailed on them quite often because he worked too hard and was tired, it was too hot at work and he was exhausted and not feeling well, he was stressed out and depressed, he needed 'me' time, he had an opportunity for overtime...I've heard them all.  It's unfortunate and he probably won't remember any of that this way, but he needs to do whatever it is he does to feel better about the situation.  So now when they are entirely self sufficient and small versions of adults, and easy to take care of and talk with, now he wants to be a semi-full time father.

He tells me this wonderful idea of them living with each of us 50% of the time will also give me a break. Almost as if this is a selling feature.  Maybe he's transposing his thoughts and feelings on to me (as he truly believes this) but I'm not asking for a break.  I enjoy having my kids around me.  Maybe Eric would agree with Rob and welcome the week on/week off idea but not me.  I like having them here. I love having them in my life on a consistent basis.  They are my life, they make up the better part of me.  It's all I know.  It's been like this for 15 years.  I don't welcome this potential change. 

I guess I'm bitter because I question why it never dawned on him to be a semi-full time father during the difficult, time consuming, high maintenance years?  Those years got handed to me and I was made to deal with them.  How come now when everything is so much easier and they're never around is this important to him?  How come now he wants to take my kids from me?

I know, I know...I'm being melodramatic.  He's not trying to steal my kids from me.  But I've earned the right to have them full time.  I stepped up to the plate from the beginning of this whole situation and I never waivered from my decision.  I could have made the same decision he did and demanded only a part time visiting schedule.  He could have made the same decision I did and demanded a full time visiting schedule.  But I didn't and he didn't.  If he wanted them on a 50/50 basis then it should have been so since the beginning.  I would have known no different. I would be adjusted to it at this point and accepting and not bitter.

So those are MY feelings on the subject.  I guess I'm also hurt that he went behind my back and offered this option to both boys without speaking with me first or giving me the heads up.  As if they would ever want to tell him no.  There is no way they'd want to hurt his feelings and say they are content living where they live. Why does he want change all that they know?  He's put them in a very awkward situation where they have to choose and hurt one of their parents.  I don't believe he has been fair to them.  If they had come to him or I and brought the subject up themselves, then that's fine.  But he's put them in a position where they have to choose and choosing will hurt one of us.  I don't think he's realized that.

So again, MY THOUGHTS and MY FEELINGS on the subject.  It's MY blog and I can write what I want to write.  I don't want to talk about my feelings with him or justify my thoughts to him.  They are what they are and please don't try to take these feelings away from me. 

So all of that being said.  I am hurt and bitter but I will completely support whatever decision my children make about where they would like to live.  I will try to keep my feelings quiet to them.  In hopes that knowing how much I'll be hurting won't sway their decision.  But I will make it very clear to them how much I would miss them and how much I love having them live with me.  I wouldn't want them to leave my house feeling that I was glad for this change and glad to have a break from them.  I will make sure they completely understand how important they are to me and have been to me from the moment I gave birth to them.  They will know that they always come first.  Before everything else in my life.