Monday, September 25, 2006

The Most Beautiful Day

Today was the most beautiful day. Warm and sunny. The last hopes of summer leaving me as fall kicks in full time. The leaves are turning all colours at once and the sky was so blue.

I finished my book, made supper in advance so we wouldn't be rushed. Did laundry.

Had tea with my friend Carm. We do most Monday mornings during the school year. She has three young boys and a very chaotic household. Very different from my home. She has the most beautiful voice. She played the piano and sang for me. We went in search of a bank machine and then stopped at the local Christian bookstore. I could spend all day in there. Thankfully, I did not have my purse. My only beef is that I think the store is way overpriced and I don't like that. The fiction costs too much as does the resource material. Not very encouraging if you're on the fence about the subject material. We had a great time.

M's band practice was cancelled so she had an early afternoon. She's learning to "msn" and is loving talking to many people at once. I would have loved that when I was a teenager!

Had a small "disagreement" over homework after dinner but worked it out. And I'll be in bed by 10:00 pm.

A perfectly non-eventful, boring, nothing-happened-at-all day.

Gotta love it!


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Can't be a hermit anymore.

The older I get, I realize that I have real "hermit" tendencies :) You know, I just want to stay in my house, not talk on the phone , watch TV and read. It's not that I don't like people and busyness, but in the last few years I have had to really cut back on my life to reduce stress (for health reasons) and now I can hide away with the best of them.

But now I have a blog. It's the coolest thing. I have "met" people from all over - OK, so it's mostly the US. They have influenced my life and made different impacts and I can still feel connected while hiding in my house.

This past week has been great. I tried a recipe from Sandra and it was great. Now I'm going to try one from Barb and I'm really looking forward to it. I also picked up a book recommendation from Barb that I'm really enjoying. Bev included my Dad in her prayers and that was really needed and was so sweet. And I've laughed at Boomama's posts and comments about the songs from the 80s. It's amazing this bloggosphere. I can connect with people I will never meet. I know some people do meet and talk on the phone. The global world seems smaller to me now, usually I'm stuck in my part of it and that's all that affects me.

And Faithlifts, isn't that wonderful. People have so much experience and insight. I sit and nod at my computer like it is really talking to me...doesn't yours talk to you :)

I guess this is a "non-post", no theme or direct thought. I'll try for one tomorrow. I just wanted people to know that they are affecting me, in a good way of course, and I think that's really cool.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thirteen Excuses For Not Keeping Up With Your Blog

I've never done a Thursday Thirteen before, but I thought I'd give it a shot...

1. My Dad's in the hospital. He went in last Saturday. It's a very long story but although "he's a tough, old bird", quote from the doctor, he has major heart problems and all of his medications seemed to have caused some internal bleeding. He might be home today.

2. I've been going back and forth to the hospital.

3. I've been calling my sister who lives halfway across the country.

4. I've been talking to my Aunts (Mom's sisters)

5. I'm worried about my Mom. Both my parents have been so healthy for so long, that this is a major change in both their lifestyles. There are so many emotions: anger, resentment, fear, astonishment. My Dad did everything right and the entire town was shocked when he had his heart attack last year. You can't fight your genes.

6. I can't focus. I can't pray.

7. My sister can't focus and I feel bad for her being so far away.

8. My daughter's getting over a cold. But she didn't miss any school and aced her first two tests in French Immersion this week and I'm so proud of her!

9. Tonight is curriculum Night at school.

10. Did I mention I can't focus?

11. I made Chicken Tetrazzini yesterday, recipe from Diary of a Stay-at-Home Mom, and it was delicious! I don't like cooking so it was a big deal for me.

12. My Dad might be coming home today from the hospital. I hope so. He was supposed to come home yesterday and was SO disappointed he had to stay another night. There is nothing worse to hear your Dad be sad.

13. The Rolling Stones are playing here Saturday night. I know it might rain. But they've never been here before and I've never seen them and it's the Rolling Stones, but I'm a "grown-up", but it's the Rolling Stones and I'll never really see them, only on the screens, but it's Mick and Keith but my Dad's hopefully getting out of the hospital - can you tell I can't focus?

My Dad should be fine. He's receiving good care. I was watching 100 Huntley Street the other day and someone said, "if you're still breathing, God still has plans for you." Maybe God isn't quite ready for my Dad yet, maybe he has more plans for him here with us.

This 13 thing is great - helps me to (re) prioritize and get stuff off my chest. Thanks.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Not Even Bloggityville is Safe

I was reading the FaithLifts entry today. It was by Lauren. I really like the way she writes. I can always understand her thought-process and usually I can relate her ideas to my life and make me think, and I like that too. So I hopped on over to her blog, Created For His Glory, to check out her latest posts and she obviously had an unpleasant experience and was hurt and unsure of what to do next. If ever there was a capable-sounding woman, it's her - however we are all human and words do hurt (despite what sticks and stones think). I'm sure she'll be fine and she has a strong circle of people who care. But it makes ya think...

I often get overwhelmed by mine and everyone's human-ness. Especially Christian human-nesses. I often feel that God is up there shaking His head wondering WHAT is WRONG with us, WHEN are we going to GET IT, HOW many chances do we need, are we THAT THICK?

Then I get quite afraid that He is going to give up on us (and that means He's going to give up on me) and take his ball and go home.

I KNOW intellectually that isn't going to happen. That I do not know His ways, or time or plan. That these struggles can bring us closer to Him.

I firmly believe that struggling strips us of our created distractions and shows us our weaknesses and strengths so clearly and in fact we have a clearer view of the "me" He created in the beginning, before I cluttered it up with my way of thinking... my "me-ness".

Why do we hurt each other? Why, when we try so hard, does it still get messed up? Not trying is one thing, but when you try to make the effort and still screw up, it's hard to try again. Why do people say mean things? What good can possibly come from making another feel bad? Sometimes I feel Satan is doing his major Happy Dance since things are going terribly wrong - even in bloggityville.

But then, you read the posts of those who truly do care, those who are still trying and trying and trying. That restores my faith.

Not giving up is a sign of faith to me.

I guess I'm rambling. I'm having a major problem with "prayer-block" (like writer's block I guess). I can't get focused. I can't find the point.

I will keep trying. I can do that.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How I met My Husband

I was just over at Barb's and thought this was a great idea, since I actually have a neat story. So although I just did my post for the day, I'm going to do another.

I was just finishing up the paperwork on my divorce, the marriage had been over for years. My daughter was 2 and a half, and I was not looking for love. What I was looking for was a full-time job since I had turned into the sole bread winner. I was the Co-ordinator for the Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry for the Canadian Red Cross Society, but that was only full-time on a contract basis.

When you need a bone marrow transplant, you have a 25% chance of having a match with a sibling. If there isn't a match, you have to turn to the unrelated registry and your chances are about one in a million, something like that. A real lottery. All the registries in the world are linked up so match could be from somewhere on the globe.


There I was doing my job, when a tentative match of one of our local blood donors came up. How exciting. So he was called in to do more testing. More matching. More testing. A perfect match! UNREAL! He was the fifth person in our province in the ten year history of the program to be a perfect match. Talk about excitement.

Then, the pressure. The person who needed the match moved into urgent status and the transplant needed to take place as soon as possible. It was my job to be the donor's new best friend. I went with him to all his doctor appointments, meeting with the medical directors, the transplant unit, etc. I was told to keep him "wrapped in cotton" since we didn't want anything to happen to him. The patient would be undergoing chemo to kill ALL bone marrow cells to be ready for the new bone marrow. Once that procedure started, there was no going back so our donor had to be ready and sure he wanted to do this. We were very focused needless to say.

My donor - well he was so casual. Like he did this everyday. No, he didn't need his parking re-imbursed. Yes, he could get the time of work. No problem. He was a single, computer software designer who didn't seem to mind me hovering over him and calling him everyday. Oh yeah, and he was cute - those puppy-doggish brown eyes, brown hair and fun personality. My job wasn't so hard either!

The day of the donation I went with him to the hospital. He would have about a 800 mls of his bone marrow extracted by a needle (4 holes) in his lower back. Took about an hour. Day surgery (remember, he's doing this out of the goodness of his heart - that tells you something right there doesn't it). So I went in the morning, was very surprised there wasn't a girl-friend or someone with him, and checked back in when he was done. He did really well. I stayed with him until he friends came to pick him up. He wasn't allowed to be alone for 24 hours while the meds wore off. He was fine, kind of groggy and sore, but fine.

Then I had to keep in touch with him for the following two weeks to see how he was feeling, what he thought of the whole experience, etc. He even attended information session with me when I put them on so he could speak from the donor's point of view and answer questions only a donor could.

But, it was just professional, and although he was cute and all, my self-esteem was in the toilet so I never thought anything of it when all was said and done.

But one Monday, he was there at my office before I got in. That was a bit strange, all of us in the office thought. But he said he was just checking in so OK. Then he called a few days later and we had lunch down on our waterfront. People had lunch all the time right? It felt so strange. He called after lunch and said we should do it again.

I said if we were going to do this, he needed to come to my house that evening at 6:30 pm. He came. And saw M. She was up for an hour before she went to bed, and did what toddlers do. After she went to bed. I went back down, and said that he needed to see her, she's not just a picture on my desk. She was my first priority. Then I explained briefly about her Dad. Then I said, he could go now if he wanted, that I would understand. He thought and decided that he would like to stay. And all that summer we rented movies and stayed home and he dealt all the inconsistent curves I threw at him since I was a mother and things always changed as my daughter grew. He was very flexible and understanding and two years later we got married. My daughter has known him all her life that she can remember and he really is the Dad, even though she calls my husband by his first name and her natural father "Dad". My husband was great when I told him, if we got married, by the nature of the divorce, he was indeed marrying my ex and all of his family since they are all involved in my daughter's life. Consequently my girl has an entourage of people at piano recital's, etc.

2 notes: since I worked at the Red Cross I had access to results of "tests" that the general public does not have and I did not have to take a single man's "word for it" when we had those know...sexual history, etc...I know that sounds brutal and suspicious but as a single mom, I wasn't taking any chances. And I did take those results into account when I decided whether or not we would date, and filed them away for when/if I would need them.

The bone marrow patient. The transplant was an initial success but he died four months later. It was tragic but we knew he was newly married and I always hoped those extra months helped the couple cope and prepare for their inevitable future. It was hard for my husband. I think in some way he thought he may have failed the patient but time, any amount of time, is important.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I have some health problems and when I'm really sick my husband will tell me the story of when we met and it always make me feel better...altogether now..."aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh isn't that sweet!"


You Said He Was Possessed By The Devil

We go to mass on Saturday night. My daughter (M) is an Alter Server and I used to sing in the choir but had to stop so now I just sit and watch her with my heart filled with pride.

My husband does not go to mass. He is a Catholic, I always say he has the paperwork, but he is not a "practicing catholic" and rarely goes to mass. Christmas, Easter, special occasions and M's special services, but generally he doesn't go. This bothers me and M a lot but I always say to say a special prayer and maybe one day he will come with us.

So last Saturday we were out all afternoon and evening so in the end he did come to mass, mostly out of convenience I'm sure, but whatever it takes right?

Last night M was saying how nice it was that we were all in church together and I was agreeing. Then she said, "especially since you said he was possessed by the devil!"


After a few minutes, I figured it out.

"No, no, I didn't say he was possessed by the devil. I said Satan is working really hard to keep him away from church and we have to pray extra hard that he will turn his back on Satan and come to church with us."

"Oh, I took that to mean that he was possessed by the devil."

"Have you said this to anyone?" I asked in a panic. "That I said he was possessed."


Sweet relief!

Lesson: just because they're 12 doesn't mean they will always "get" what you are saying and I still need to watch myself!!!!


Monday, September 11, 2006

That Time of Year...

Yes, it's that of year - committee time. The time of year when desire and guilt are in competition for what little spare time you have.

There are the committees that you join out of guilt because no one else has stepped forward and the need is there (so far two at church) and then the committees you join because you want to but really shouldn't because you're already out x number of times for the aforementioned committees (so far one at church). Then there are the groups you join because it keeps your life balanced (my Wednesday morning bible group) and the community service you want to do to contribute to the community life in general (reading programs at the local elementary school).

Since I am at home full-time and my husband is at work full-time, I feel that is my responsibility to manage the "contributions to society" aspect in our division of labour. Truth be told, I always feel I have the better side of things and he seems happy since he's not that keen on socializing outside of work, so it seems to work. Also, I feel as a parent, it is my responsibility to model social responsibility, aka volunteering, to my child, so she will grow up and know the importance and value of it and hopefully do the same.

I did have the inner-strength (because I felt sooooo bad) to opt out of one commitment for the coming year. It's called Rainbows, a program that promotes peer support for children who are dealing with loss, primarily due to divorce or death. I did it for two years and although I think the program is invaluable and I loved the kids, it was very hard for me personally since I am divorced and remarried, and I have very strong feelings about the children of divorce and the life they deserve, regardless of decisions made by their grown-ups. But, you can't do it all, right?

So, I came right home after Parish Council, dug out two old binders and I promise I am going to take a pen and paper to every meeting, Brownie's honour! Donna got pretty peeved that I kept using her pen...


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Back to the Grind

Well, school started yesterday. The very first day of Junior High, grade 7. Where oh where has my baby gone? Aren't I going to be the class mom because I am going to volunteer everyday because she needs me because she is so little...?

No class mom for me. Not anymore. I'll be lucky if there's a field trip they need drivers/chaperones for. Although last year I did crash the grade 6 Hallowe'en Party because I couldn't stand not being there...somebody has to pour the juice:)

So yesterday she wore all green - because that's the "first day of school colour" I guess, this year anyway. Green t-shirt, shorts, crocs, jacket, green knapsack and lunchbag. Today was blue. Apparently we are dressing in colour-themes this year as she now has friends wondering what the next day will bring.

It was also the start of French Immersion. I'll let you know how that goes once I can figure it out.

Unfortunately the teacher is new to the school. Gave out four lunchtime detentions on the first day. Crazy, but not surprising which kids got it. She'll figure them out pretty fast. The kids were trying to "help" her by telling her the school routines. Didn't go over very well. I said, "why don't you cut her some slack, afterall it is the first day of school and her first day at our school". Oh, OK. She guessed she could do that.

One more day of getting up at 6:30 am after two long days of the school year and then it's the weekend. FINALLY, a sleep in (this is both her and me talking, especially since I'm up at 6:00 am).

But it's so great to see her bouncing down the hill to the bus stop. The boy next door moved to her school this year so she has a friend for the bus. Little things make all the difference - thanks Jesus.

I'm hoping for/looking forward to a great year. No reason not to be...did I mention the first dance is next week...grade 7-9...maybe they're looking for chaperones :)!!


Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I think modesty is an important subject to band together for. As a mother of a very modest 12 year old girl, who, as of yet, has no interest in boys, clothes, etc., we find it very hard to dress her like a kid. Maybe a challenge is a better word. All she wants is regular jeans, shorts and t-shirts. Because she's not a bean pole, it can be even harder. Can you imagine your 12 year old daughter crying in despair in the changing room because she can't fit into skinny jeans? Her mortification at having to try on size 14 and 16 to get a proper waist size, forget about the 12 inches of pantleg I will have to cut off because the pants are "supposed" to be worn with platform shoes? I have cried with her with frustration and anger at the old man in a tower far, far away who is designing these clothes because no one in their right mind, who saw an average child, would size them this way. And "plus" or "husky" labeling for a tween - glad for the option but talk about slamming a ten-year old's self-esteem!

I have resorted to shopping on-line almost exclusively at LL Bean (sale and regular catalogue), which can be tricky sometimes because of the dollar exchange and not being able to try on stuff on first. But their selection is the best. And Gap's jeans are good too, can be more pricey but a good sale will help.

So far, the least little bit of interest in fashion (and I want her to care) has been devastated in the change room, and we have developed (how pathetic are we) a bit of a victory dance when preference and size jive...

oh...and buy in bulk.


Monday, September 04, 2006

You Think You Know Someone...

I have known my best friend for over 25 years. We met in the 10th grade. We went to university together, even shared an apartment for a couple of years as "young adults", were a part of each others weddings, baby births, etc, etc. You get the point. And even though I know we're not exactly the same, we are so similar that when there is a difference in thought or attitude, it shakes me up quite a bit.

Unfortunately, for the last few years, her marriage has been hard and she is going through quite a bit. As someone who was divorced and then remarried, I can totally relate to marriage woes. Lately she has been thinking about leaving the marriage. Just thinking mind you. But we were talking about it this weekend, our families spent the long weekend together at my mother's cottage. She has one child so naturally we were wondering about him and the effects.

Then she said that if she left the marriage she wouldn't take her son with her. He's eight.

My heart dropped.

I can't wrap my head around that. I REALLY tried, I am still trying.

She said that since her husband was such a good father they would probably have joint custody. I completely concur. Children need both of their parents. They would probably have a "half the week with mom and half the week with dad" arrangement. Although I don't personally agree with that set-up, I know it works for many families and it is not up to me anyway. But I said, "wouldn't you want to have him with you, you know "based" out of your house (the "primary residence" is the term I'm familiar with).

She said "no". "It would be too hard".

I don't get that. Who doesn't want their child? Who could leave their child? Who said parenting was going to be easy/not hard?

Who doesn't want their child?

I feel that this is a fundamental difference now, underlying the make-up of who we are. I almost felt that she was like a stranger to me. It's all I can think about. I know that will fade, I'm sort of in shock. I know it doesn't change our history but now when I look at her it's all I see. She is a mom who could leave her child. You couldn't pry mine out of my cold dead hands.

So...Quandary...How can I let this revelation not ruin our friendship? How can I not obsess about this? How can I see her and love her as I have always done and not let this affect how I see her?

I know that this is not an immediate situation. But I know she was being honest and telling the truth - even though telling the truth makes her sound like less than the truly loving mother she is.

But your close friends are people you usually share the fundamental concepts - morals and values, faith, general attitudes - things you have in common.

I wonder what else we don't have in common? Maybe our history is what we have in common? It's almost irrelevant since it may never happen, but that fact she could think it and mean it and voice it really unnerves me.

Maybe I hang on too tight.

Does anyone have any thoughts?