Jan 31, 2013

To Do List

1. Quit biting my nails already, for Christ's sakes. They are hideous and it's a disgusting life long habit that needs to be broken.

2. Quit getting fatter, and start getting skinnier.

3. Buy a bathing suit. The see-through one that hangs down to your ankles when it gets wet, just ain't going to cut it if you want to try accomplish #2 up there.

4. Take better care of my hair. It's finally long, let's keep it that way.

5. Quit pulling out my eyebrow hairs when I'm bored.

6. Eat a piece of fruit once in awhile.

7. Make new friends. Laugh with them.

8. Call old friends more often so they don't forget you exist.

9. Use the free pass to yoga that your friend gave you for goodness sakes. It's FREE.

10. All of the above.

Jan 22, 2013

Grace in Small Things #79

1. Cheese is on super sale at Shoppers Drug Mart. Totally stocked up. 

2. I am now selling clothing at a shop in town called La Petite Boutique. 

3. Thanks to the owner of the boutique, I will have some of my infinity dresses walking down a runway in a local fashion show next month. 

4. Did I mention the sale on cheese? ;) 

Everything's coming up Milhouse around here! 

Jan 21, 2013

Wish You Were Here

My dad would have been 60 years old today. I always miss him on his birthday, but this year it was much worse. It's possible that my grief was compounded by the realization yesterday that if things had gone differently, I'd have a one year old today, and either a 3 month old, or another on the way. Missing my father and my would-be children all at once was maybe just too much sadness to take in all in one day. I cried six times before noon. Big, full body cries. It was a horrible morning.

Even though we were close, and I was most definitely a daddy's girl, my dad and I didn't always have the greatest relationship. We screamed at each other. We said mean things. Sometimes I rolled my eyes so hard at him, that it actually hurt. He embarrassed the hell out of me on multiple occasions, and I'm sure I did the same to him.  But as time goes by, those things just don't matter anymore. I find myself thinking about the silly things, like all our "shopping trips" at the dump, our Sunday drives to look for cars for me that he never actually purchased even though he said he would, him forgetting his teeth at home and not realizing it until he was at work, going fishing and always catching more than him, the way he always made us late because he was still in his bathrobe having a smoke when we were supposed to be walking out the door. I remember how he always thanked my mom for the great meal she cooked for supper, even if it was him who did the cooking.

I remember calling him from a hostel in Halifax, the first time I had left home, crying because I was scared and didn't know where to go or what to do and it was Halloween and I was surrounded by strangers who were dressed as The Crow. I remember going to visit him at the campground office and the golf course, and feeling so special cause my dad was in charge. I remember him always loving listening to me practice the piano, unless the Nature of Things was on.  If he wasn't working, he'd call me every morning and wake me up, telling me what to do with my life. At the time it drove me crazy, but what I wouldn't do for that phone to ring again. I remember how welcoming he was to my German pen pal, and how he taught her all he could about Saskatchewan. I remember his special chili, and how it burned your asshole out, but was so delicious. I laugh when I think of all the times he would yell at us for changing the channel, even though he was snoring loudly on the couch and obviously not watching anything. According to him, he was just resting his eyes. I remember the Christmas morning when we got our Nintendo, and watching him play Super Mario Bros. with the boys, and being just as excited as they were. I remember the embarrassing argument we had right before I was going to Regina with friends to see a Green Day concert, and me having to tell him that a band singing a silly song about masturbation didn't make them bad people. I remember him telling me not to do drugs, because they would give me the shits.

I will never forget walking into the kitchen late one night when he was sitting there, a few months after his mother had died, and having him look up at me and say "I miss my mom". I watched him cry and tried to console him, but I didn't know how.  I will never forget all the wonderful things he always had to say about my mothers parents, and how much he admired them. I will always remember the smile he had on his face the day he told me I had a new baby brother. I remember laying on the couch, with my head on his big fat belly. I always loved how happy he was to have married in to such a musical family.

I will never forget him telling me about a month before he passed away that he wished he could do it all over again, and "do it right this time". That one sentence has changed how I now live my life. I know there are no do-overs, and there is never enough time to start over, you've got to get it as right as you can the first time around.

Most of all, I will never forget sharing our birthdays. I really truly do miss that. I miss the annual phone call, usually after he'd had a couple drinks, re-telling the story of the day of my birth. My birthday was the one day he always said "I love you", no matter what.

There are so many good memories, I really could go on all night. When it comes right down to it, the good, really does out-weigh the screaming and fighting. The embarrassing things, are now mostly pretty funny.  I wish we could have had more of these memories. I wish he could have met my husband, they would have gotten along so well. I wish he could meet my dogs, we always joked that the family dog was his favourite kid so I'm sure he would love Patches and Maggie. I wish he could see how much Nick matured, and what a wonderful man he is, and how he's always looking out for us.  He would be so proud of Danny for finishing university, and living life to the fullest. He would see that even though he made mistakes, we all turned out alright.

So, happy birthday, Dad. Wish you were here.

Me and my Pa, January 25th, 1979. 

Jan 13, 2013

Grace in Small Things #78

At this moment in time, my immediate family, and my husbands immediate family are all healthy. Nobody is in hospital, no one is hurt. All of us have food and shelter and clothing, and we all have each other.

Jan 9, 2013

A Post in Which I Ramble on About Boobs, Being an Adult and Baby-Making and Come up With no Anwsers to my Own Questions

I wake up every single morning, and touch my boobs.

It's not as sexy as it sounds.

I figured out after my first pregnancy that for me, the very first sign of being impregnated is that my boobs hurt when I touch them. I don't even have to take a pregnancy test now, I just know the second I wake up if it's a yes or a no. This would be great if getting pregnant were easy, and staying pregnant were possible because on the flip side, I know that a pregnancy is over, if I wake up and my boobs don't hurt. My breasts have become gypsy fortune tellers that don't always tell me what I want to hear.

So it's become a daily routine, without even thinking, I just do it. I wake up every morning and disappoint myself, and look ridiculous at the same time. If I happen to be pregnant, I walk around all day, covertly squishing my boobs to make sure they still hurt.

I miss the days when the first thought out of my brain didn't have anything to do with getting knocked up. I miss the mornings when I didn't reach for my phone to check if I am fertile, ovulating or whatever that day. That app is bullshit anyways, hasn't helped us yet, I should just frigging delete it.

I miss the days when having a baby was the furthest thing from my mind, and all I cared about was working hard and playing hard and laughing a lot. I miss the days when sex had nothing to do with procreation.

I wish I didn't feel like such a failure. I wish I knew why my body is different than everybody else's, if only to have answers to your questions.

I wish I didn't want to be like everybody else. I never have before. Not once. So why does it matter so much now? Is it because I hate not getting my way? Am I too competitive? Have I made baby-making into a competition I am in with every other female I know? I think I have, and that's just ridiculous. Competing in a game you cannot win, is just plain silly, especially when the other players don't know you're playing. Or maybe they do?

Will it really matter in the long run, if my husband and I don't procreate? Probably not. Our life is good. Our future plans are fabulous. We'll be happy, because we're together, and I have no proof that a child would make us any happier. Maybe it would, maybe not. Maybe it would ruin everything. You just never know, I guess. Although, if we get that acreage, it would be nice to have some help around the yard. Unless the kid turns out like me, it won't be any help with yard work anyways.

I think it will have more of an effect on others. I get the feeling that some people just don't know how to act around us, being "that infertile couple". They aren't sure if they should treat us like adults. We aren't really treated like adults by some people, I guess, because we don't have spit up on our shirts, and we get to go out whenever we want and do whatever we want. But we work, and we vote and we have opinions on politics and religion and books and music and places you should travel. We don't have any stories about babies peeing on us, or temper tantrums or diaper rash or things like that. If you want, I can tell you stories about some of the disabled adults who have thrown poop at me, or pissed all over my car or had a "temper tantrum" in public...but it isn't as cute, although it does help me relate to stories of your children.

Ugh. So many issues and annoyances are intertwined with this whole thing that really have nothing to do with the actual act of making a baby. I wish I had known, maybe then I would be able to cope a bit better with them when they come up. Or maybe I would have just gotten my lady bits taken out so I could avoid all of this altogether.

 I'll figure out how to cope, I always do. Sometimes I just have to vent about it all though, I guess.

Jan 4, 2013

Grace in Small Things #77

1. Polenta!

2. Still having leftover beer from Christmas in Kamsack. There was a time when this never would have happened. I am proud of myself for getting my drinking under control, and for being able to save some in the fridge for special days like today!

3. Getting my Facebook fan page photo albums in order. Finally. ( https://www.facebook.com/abigail.road)

4. Finding a free wooden futon on our afternoon walk. It's going to be turned into much needed shelves for books and/or plants! Yeehaw! Also, it was very light, so I was actually okay with carrying it.

5. Dogs that shake their bums when they're happy.

6. Bonfires in January!

7. Crossing things off the "to-do" list.

8. New calendars.

9. The FX channel.

10. Being able to play Scrabble with friends all over the country. Go, Internet!

Jan 2, 2013

Grace in Small Things #76

1. Our landlord finally came over to talk to us about the subdividing of our lot, and nothing will be happening for quite some time. No reason to worry about having to move just yet.

2. The landlord also gave us $100 in gift certificates for a local fancy shmancy tapas restaurant, so we went out for supper tonight.

3. Finding receipts you thought were lost.

4. Gardening in January. This afternoon we picked fresh kale, Swiss chard, and Brussels sprouts at the community plot.

New Year, New Life

As some of you already know, I have been out of work since October, due to a lay off. I was starting to burn out after 12 years of working with mentally and physically challenged adults and children, and although I truly do love the the work that I've done, and the people that I've supported over the years, the lay off couldn't have come at a better time. I would never have taken this time for myself, had I not been forced to.

Right away I started applying for jobs in my field though, because it's all that I know. I even had people from agencies I had never heard of call me and offer me positions with them. I was never worried about finding another job, I have always been confident in my skills and my knowledge. Then one day, as I was sitting in an interview, I realized that I didn't think I could do it anymore. I was done. I've had a rough year in my personal life, and then putting a high stress job on top of it just drained me. I am a firm believer of "you have to help yourself, before you can help anyone else", and for once, took my own advice.

With the support of my husband, I went on EI, and took some time to figure out what it was that I wanted to do. Other than a medical leave a few years ago, I have never been out of work. It was an adjustment, for sure. For years, I have been trying to get my Abigail Road (http://abigailroad.etsy.com) business off the ground, and I have some ideas for expanding it and making it something more. I just never had the time or the energy, due to full time shift work. I also am loving selling Epicure Selections (http://annasmandych.myepicure.com/) and I would like to put more into this business and make it my own. My husband has also offered to hire me as an assistant in the next few months, to help him around his home office. I thought I needed some skill upgrading to pull these ventures off though, and had hoped that I would be eligible to take a Small Business Course, or Self-Employment course through EI, or some other courses such as accounting or bookkeeping. All of these would benefit myself and my husband in our long-term goals. However, at every meeting with my EI caseworker, I was hitting a wall. She didn't understand what I wanted, and she didn't understand who I was. It's very frustrating, seeing as all of these courses are free to people who are on EI, having someone road block you at every turn. It's starting to look like I will not be able to take these courses without paying for them, so I've had to switch gears.

I'm jumping right in. Unskilled or not, I can't waste anymore time hoping some close-minded government employee will give me the green light to do what I want in life. I'm going to find the courses to take, and pay for them. Most are available at the Community School here in town. I'm working with my husband to get Epicure and Abigail Road advertising designed and printed and out to the public in various forms. I've been given the master bedroom and am working at turning it into a home office/studio for myself.

My husband and I have a goal of being as independent and self-sustaining as possible in our life.This is all part of the plan, it just came about in a different way than I had previously envisioned. Being able to work from home, make our own hours, not having to commute to the city, being able to share a vehicle, and help each other in our respective business ventures everyday...it's what will work for us in the long run.

So, wish me luck! It's going to be a busy, terrifying and exciting year, and I can't wait to get started!