Monday, December 16, 2013

Joseph and Me

I've always loved the story of Joseph... How God could build something so amazing from such desolation. And how, even in the midst of pain and betrayal, God was with Joseph, guiding him to where he needed to be. I've always thought Joseph was amazing. To be so faithful and patient when everything inside of him must have been screaming at him to finally give in to the anger he must have felt. There had to have been moments when he wanted to give up and strike out at those who hurt him. But he didn't.

I wish I was more like Joseph. I wish I was better at reining in my anger, even when I feel betrayed. Since all this stuff with my mom happened I've felt that even more. I've felt the rebuke in Joseph's reactions compared to mine. I've felt like a failure in many ways. And I've wondered if even leaving aside my initial explosive reaction to what I see as complete betrayal, maybe my decision to live my life without her is wrong too. After all, Joseph forgave his family, and they sold him into slavery!

I've prayed about it. A lot. But I always find it really difficult to discern between my desires and God's voice, especially when they seem to match up. I worry that I'm drowning out His words with my own emotions. I don't want to see her. I don't think it's good for any of us. I told her sorry for the things I'm sorry for, but I'm not sorry for being angry with her. And I know that, as things stand, if I see her I'm going to be angry again. I don't want to be angry. I just want it to all go away.

So, I've worried that I'm fooling myself by feeling that I can forgive her without having to reconcile with her, and without having to be okay with everything that has happened, and will happen. (It will. I know it will.) And without having to try to be her friend again.

A few months ago, I've been meaning to write this down for a while now, something happened that put my heart's fears to rest. I heard this song. Actually, I've heard it before, but a few months ago it spoke to me. I think God spoke to me. I think He told me, again, that it was okay.

Bend - Brandon Heath

I am not my family tree
These are different leaves, you know
There are miles and miles between
My roots and what I’m trying to grow

I am not the slave they sold
Nor am I royalty
I’ve worn them both, the finest coat
And rags that barely cover me

But there’s mercy in the soil, mercy in the sun
Learning to forgive, what cannot be undone
And what was meant to harm can’t harm you in the end
Stepped out on a limb I thought might break
But Love said, it will only bend; It will only bend.

I am not my past mistakes
Labelled by some place and time
Nor am I trophy case
Trying to maintain my shine

I have dreamed a thousand dreams
Watched a grain in famine, grow
I am not my family tree
I have branches of my own

But there’s mercy in the soil, mercy in the sun
Learning to forgive, what cannot be undone
And what was meant to harm can’t harm you in the end
Stepped out on a limb I thought might break
But Love said, it will only bend; It will only bend.

Oh, does fate resign us to
Find shelter for our wounds
Beneath the battered roof of broken dreams?
Oh, but I will choose to stand
In the shadow of Your hand
And see what grows when Grace has sown the seed
 
I still think Joseph was amazing, most of all because of how he forgave. And I think God wants me to forgive her. I think He wants me to see the person that is hurting who hurt me. I think He wants me to let go of the bitterness. I know He does. And I do too. I don't want to end up spewing it into the lives of the people around me because I've let it take over my heart. I can do that, I think, with God's help. I am doing that.

But I can't see a way to let my mom into my life right now. And I think God is saying to me that that's okay. Because I'd never thought of something till I listened to this song. Joseph did forgive his family, and then he did the thing I can't. He was reunited with them, and they were a family again.

But there is something different about Joseph's story and mine. (Well, there are LOTS of things that are different. I get that what I've gone through is nothing compared to Joseph. I'm not deluded, after all.) The main bit that's different though, is that Joseph saw a change in his brothers. He saw remorse first of all, when they first met again in Egypt. And then he saw change, huge change, when they refused to sacrifice Benjamin to save themselves because they knew it would hurt their father. They saw their wrong, and they weren't willing to repeat it.

For now, I think it's okay that I keep my distance. I haven't seen any remorse, and none of us have seen any change. So for now, I think it's okay. I'm not saying it will always be okay this way, or anything like "I'm never speaking to her again." I'm saying I'm done for now, and until I see change, or even the teeniest bit of remorse, I'll stay done.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's Not Over Until The Fat Guy Rides Down Broadway

I made it! 30 days, 30 posts! I'm so excited there was nothing to do, but throw a parade.


Did I say throw? I meant go.

I love the Santa Claus parade here in Dorkton. We haven't missed it in years. It's one of our favourite Christmas traditions, and it doesn't feel right to put up the Christmas tree till we've been to the parade. It's small-town-terrific. The floats aren't fancy, but they're full of people we know, and even Santa calls out people's names as he's pulled down Broadway. Tonight Hannah and Sam (and Daddy) rode on the nursery school float dressed as presents because "Every Child is a Gift." They sure are.


Anyways, it was a great day, and a perfect end to a pretty good month. Bring on December! Merry Christmas IS my favourite time of year.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Sidetrack

I've had this post in my head for months. I figured I should save it for NaBloPoMo and a day when I had nothing else to say. It was bound to happen at least once.

There's one problem with that plan. I usually have nothing to say when I'm really tired and don't feel like writing.

Like tonight.

And now Fritti is stalking (there's really no better word for it) and pouncing Sam. So I'm tired AND distracted. I love it when he hunts the children.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cousins


I miss this little bum.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Bit of a Book Snob

I called myself "a bit of a book snob" on facebook yesterday. And then someone else said she's a MAJOR book snob, and then proceeded to say something that no true book snob would ever say...

"I actually agree - and I'm a MAJOR book snob. If you watch the movie first, you're not disappointed because it doesn't live up to the book."

Wait. What? She was agreeing with some advice a friend of mine was given, which was that you should always watch the movie before you read a book because otherwise, the movie could be ruined. But if you watch the movie first, usually the book will be better, so you're all good right?


Sure. If you don't love books. Do what you like. But if you love books the way book snobs love books, you would never EVER do this.

Never.

Ever.

For a number of reasons. I'm going to list them here. Mostly, because I barely restrained myself from being a know-it-all jackass on facebook. I have no reason to do that here. It's my place to come and be a know-it-all jackass. My happy jackass place.

So let's do this. Let's talk about why that is the worst, most appalling thing, a "book snob" would ever agree with.

  1. First, let's get this out of the way. Who gives a froink if a movie gets ruined? It's a movie. Compared to A BOOK. Enough said.
  2. A movie is almost never as good as a book. It can never take you into a character's mind the way a book can. It can never let you step into a world and be someone else. Why not? Because the character is right there on the screen in front of you, and unless you're Elijah Wood, it's not you. You aren't Frodo standing on the edge of Mordor, with faithful Samwise at your side and the ring of power heavy around your neck. And there's no coming back from that. Once you've seen Elijah, he's Frodo.
  3. When you watch a movie before you read the book the casting director is now more important than your own imagination. Even if the cast the character perfectly, that is not okay. Never mind if they do it imperfectly. I would never ever have fallen in love with Edward and Jacob if I'd thought of them the way they were in the movies. (And I would have HATED Bella.) The actors become the characters in your mind, and you can't change it. Not unless you've met the characters for the first time in your imagination. Then they will always be who they were supposed to be when they were written. They're safe from Hollywood.
  4. A book is so much more than a movie. It's sacred. Magic. If you love books, you know what I am saying. It makes a story come alive the way a movie never can. Movies never fully capture a story the way a book does. The movie is always a bit of a jip in some way. And that's okay, if you read the book first you can watch the movie and fill in the blanks for the movie-makers. You can make the movie better because you know the story. You know all the reasons Catniss is compelled to align with Rue. Oh sure, the people who just watched the movie get some of it. It's obvious. Rue is so young, and so sweet, how could anyone not want to protect her? But that's not all of it. So when Catniss sings her to death, and covers her body with flowers, book readers know what's in her heart the way people who haven't read the books just really can't. How could anyone think it's better to watch the movie without knowing those things?
  5. And then, finally, how could anyone think reading the book after the movie could possibly be as good once you've basically been given an outline? How could you possibly enjoy reading the moment Mr. Darcy confesses his love to Lizzy in the same fullness of incredulity and joy? It would be crazy to go on wikipedia before you read a book and read the plot summary before you turn the first page. But that's what you're doing when you watch the movie first. Only worse in my mind. At least with wikipedia your imagination would still have a chance to do it's thing. So instead of an amazing experience with a book, and a pretty great movie experience watching Mr. Darcie and Elizabeth find each other, you're left with a pretty great movie experience (but not as good as it could have been if you'd read the book first) and a CRAP book reading experience. You've ruined the book. I have no words for what the thought of ruining the first time I read Pride and Prejudice does to me.
  6. It's just wrong. So very very wrong.
Of course, even if you're just a bit of a book snob, like me, I don't have to explain any of this to you. You would never advocate watching a movie before you read the book it's based on. (Unless it's Les Miserables.) You get what she doesn't... Which is why it took every experience I've ever had arguing with someone on the internet to keep me from telling that dumb girl she's no book snob, or she would get it too.

I'm saying it here though. She doesn't know what she's talking about, and I bet her favourite books are Confessions of a Shopaholic. Yeah, I went there.

(I love Confessions of a Shopaholic.) (That's one of the reasons I'm only a bit of a book snob.)


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

BFF BD

It's one of my bestie's birthdays today. If there is anywhere I could be in the world today, with anyone at all... I'd pick Fiji. With my dad.

BUT ...


My second choice would be here. With her. Doing what I'm doing in this photo. The weather would need to be like it is in the picture too, obviously. Oh, Shirley. I just went through all my pictures of all our beach days, and the longing is painful really. I miss you. I hope your day was as FABULOUS as this one was.


Monday, November 25, 2013

Waiting

Oh, Christmas vacation. I can hardly wait till you get here. I can't believe I still have a whole month to wait.


Because of seeing my family and celebrating Jesus' birthday and stuff. Obviously.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Green is the Colour: UPDATED

Don't get me wrong, we want the Riders to win. Anyone who lives in Saskatchewan does. It's the law. I think you could actually get fined if you didn't.


So if the school has a Rider Pride day, we're in. But when the game comes on, we'd rather be doing this:


Green may be the colour, but football's not the game. Not at our house anyways. We're going to move this party up to my bed after supper. I promised the boys I'd read two or three chapters of Searching For Dragons, and then we're all going to snuggle down with our blankets and our own books while we wait to find out who won the big game. Because we are interested, just not enough to watch.

I know. Nerdy. I don't know how I got so lucky.

UPDATE:

It turns out we are interested enough to watch. I don't know how it happened. I just turned it on for a minute to see the stands all green and glorious.


Halfway through the game Ben showed himself to be his mother's son. He felt bad for the other team. That brings back memories of being ridiculed the last time the Riders took it all the way for pointing out how sad the other team looked when it was all over but the crying. Poor little football guys with big dreams mowed down by the green machine.


I'm glad we turned it on. Usually these things kind of make me sick with anxiety, but this was mostly just fun with only a few tense moments. And the boys loved it. Grampa would be proud of both his teams.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ahhhhhhh!

It's almost midnight and I almost forgot to post. I blame Seinfeld.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Living Room

It's time for the last room! Cue the depressing before shots: 


The fireplace and lamp by the window were especially hideous, in my opinion.


And here's the after!


This room was probably the most work. After I gave up on spray painting and switched to folk art paint, the rest of the furniture came together pretty quickly. The couches, on the other hand, took a lot of fussing to get them looking nice. It is surprisingly REALLY difficult to sew tiny couch cushions, and when I ripped off the old "upholstery" I discovered that they were falling apart, so I had to cut some new pieces. In the end, I could have just made them from scratch easier, but on the upside I know how to make Barbie couches now. 


I know I said earlier that the hutch in the kitchen is my favourite piece of furniture, and it is, but I love how everything turned out in this room. The furniture and lamp look so much better than they did when I got them, and I was really happy with the fireplace transformation. Ben and Sam helped by "painting" this artwork for Hannah last Christmas, so I guess there were property brothers involved after all. 


So there it is! From dismal and dreary, to bright and cheery. Hannah loves it, and plays with it all the time. There's nothing cuter than her setting up a tea party in the kitchen for her Barbies, and usually a stuffy or two, or her tucking in Ariel for a nap in the bedroom. I still can't believe I got this whole house, and all it's furniture for only $90.00 plus the $20.00 or so I spent on remodeling/redecorating supplies. It was worth every penny, and all the work, ten times over.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Kitchen

Here is the sad before of the kitchen:


I struggled a bit with this room. I tried really hard to come up with something creative for the floor, but in the end I went with the "hardwood" like the rest of the house. What made that decision for me was remembering when I was a little girl, and how I liked to rearrange my Barbie house. I figured if all the floors were the same Hannah could move the rooms around however she liked.

Speaking of all the rooms being the same, now might be a good time to talk about the walls. Originally, my intention was to "wallpaper" some of the rooms with scrapbooking paper, but once I put all the furniture in I ended up really liking it white. I still might paint some of the walls, or wallpaper them. What do you think? Yes? No? Maybe so?

Anyways, here is the after shot of the new kitchen:


My favourite part of the kitchen is this hutch. Actually, I think this is my favourite thing in the whole house. It looks so pretty with the white porcelyn dishes. I'd actually like it somewhere in my real house, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't afford it.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Bathroom

The depressing before shot: 


All of the fabric that came with this house had a weird smell to it, I think from being out in the previous owner's garage maybe. I'm pretty sure I would have changed it anyways, since Hannah isn't really into blue, which is shocking, I know.

Here is the after:


This room still needs something else in it. What I'd really like is some kind of dresser, or wardrobe. A full length mirror would be great too. (Uh, check THIS out! Should I???) And it obviously needs some curtains for the window just like the bedroom, but even without that stuff it's better than it was. The bathtub was mine when I was a little girl. I "made" it (painted it pink) back when my mom was into ceramics. And can we just talk about the floors? I think they look so much better than the carpet that was originally in here. I used drawer liner on a roll that I bought at Walmart for super cheap. All I needed to do was make a pattern with some newspaper, cut out the shape from the drawer liner, peel, and stick! Fab right?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This Counts

... Because I have a migraine, complete with nausea and vertigo.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Boudoir


So here it is. The first room I'm going to show you is the bedroom. I think it may be my favourite room, mostly because of the ceiling. Hannah loves it because it's pink. She picked the fairy fabric herself, and I was really happy with how it tured out... Sweet and whimsical. I want to snuggle into the bed with a book. All it needs is some pictures, some soft sheers for the window, and a teeny tiny Fritti asleep by the pillows...


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hannah's Extreme Home Makeover


I know it's been a lot of Hannah lately, but this post isn't really about Hannah. It's about her dollhouse...

Last year I promised that I would show you guys befores and afters of all of the renos I did on the house I bought her before we gave it to her for Christmas, and all I ever showed you was a before, and then a few pictures of my struggles on facebook.

Well, the time has come... But I'm not doing it tonight. Her dollhouse is nice and clean, but our real house is a mess, and while ordinarily that doesn't stop me from being unproductive, we have a busy week ahead and I need the house to be clean so that I don't go crazy.

So what's the point of this post then?

I just wanted to tell you that next week is going to be devoted to befores and afters of all the rooms in Hannah's dollhouse. Partly because I think it turned out awesome, and partly because I am really struggling to come up with posts. So get ready! It's going to be like Property Brothers. We'll take a fixer upper and turn it into your dream home... Only, without two adorable brothers. We DO have those, but they didn't help me buy and then renovate this thing. So. Um. I'm totally rambling now. Probably because after I post this I have to clean the kitchen.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Too Early

Why are there FOUR pictures of Christmas trees up in people's livingrooms on my FB newsfeed? I don't get it. I love Christmas. I really love Christmas trees. But November 16th? Really?

Really.

Dear Hannah,


You're beautiful. Your face is so sweet. I love everything about it, smiling or sad. When I look at you, it breaks my heart, how beautiful you are. I hope that you never look in the mirror and hate what you see. I hope you always love your freckles, your pointy little chin, your bright red hair. Because you are so beautiful.

You're beautiful on the inside too. I know that it is hard to have emotions that roll over you in waves, but there is beauty in that my little love. Your heart has so much room for compassion and kindness and generosity. You have so much to give. Because you feel things so deeply, no one who you love will ever have to wonder what's in your heart, and that's an amazing gift. I hope you embrace this part of you, that came from me, that came from your Grampa. I hope you learn to use it to bring others comfort and joy, and I hope you find ways to ride the crests of the waves and not let them swamp you.

You love God. I don't know how it is that you have things figured out that your mommy is still working on...  I don't feel up to the task of tending to your precious soul. You're constantly searching and questioning, and I hope you never grow out of that. I hope you can trust that God is big enough for all of your questions, and I hope that you always rest in His love the way you do now. I hope you dream big dreams for Him... And I hope they all come true.
 
You're mind is beautiful. You are so clever and creative. I hope you never lose your wonder and passion for the world around you. I hope you never stop making up stories and songs. I hope you always read, and dream, and dance. I love the fantasy world you live in. I have one too, and in it I never could have dreamed of a little girl as sensational as you are. You are in every way more; you're more than I ever wished for. 

I want you to know that I love ALL of you. Every freckle, every giggle, every catastrophe. I hope your heart never questions that. I hope I can be the mom you deserve, and that you always know that I look at you and see so much beauty and goodness. I see you, heart, mind and soul, and you are a masterpiece. I hope that someday you are blessed with a daughter just like you who makes you as happy as you make me, so that you can truly understand what a gift you are.

I love you Hannah. Always.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me

DOGGONE IT HANNAH!!!


This room was totally clean this morning when she woke up. I took the picture as my excuse for another lame post today. Then, when I loaded it up on here, I noticed something in the picture that makes this post not lame at all, but AWESOME. Because I took like five of them before I was satisfied that I'd come close to capturing the devastation. And I never noticed the room was occupied till just now. Oh man. I laughed my head off when I saw him. What is he doing just sitting there like that?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

No Yelling?

You may have noticed my no yelling counter has been set back a few times without any explanation. That's probably because it's really hard to not yell if you don't focus on it. I'm resetting it to zero again today. I didn't yell at anyone, but I know it hasn't been the 37 days it is saying right now.

So let's reset. And I'll try and focus on it again.

A friend offered to hook me up with a counsellor, and I've been thinking about it. I wish it was as easy to reset my heart as it is to reset my counter. Maybe I could use a little help...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Well, it's this kind of a day here:


And so, since it's part of the reason I'm so tired today, and to bring a little pure and perfect joy into an otherwise barfy day...

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank You


There aren't enough words to say how thankful I feel today.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Yesterday

Yesterday's post was so nice, I think it should count for two. So, if you're here looking for something new today, I'm directing you back to yesterday's post to look at the nice pictures and think about what things from your past are so beautiful you want to carry them forward with you into your present.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Memory Lane


I walk down memory lane,
because I love running into you. 
There's a place inside of me, 
where your hand still rests.
I hear your laughter echo, 
and feel safe in your smile again.
And so I have a place,
where I walk and feel you near.
And down wandering paths of new memories
I take you along with me.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Teddy The Porcupine

Yes. This is happening.


Thursday, November 07, 2013

Can't Talk, Becca's Here


I 'm super busy buying her hats and Smarties. Tomorrow we're all going to colour a giant picture together and make a tent. Then we might have a weiner roast and make s'mores. On Sunday we're going to make a belated Thanksgivingdinner complete with candle-light and sparkling cider, and sometime in there we want to fit a trip to the swimming pool.

I'll try and post pictures, but if it comes to a choice between Becca and NaBloPoMo, it's likely I'm going to end up slapping up a link to a funny porcupine video on youtube.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

My Cat Plays Fetch

And it's awesome. He only does it with his very favourite toy, feathers on a stick, and he only does it with me. I always play fetch with him at night, once the kids are in bed. It's jsut the two of us, and a few years ago I would have thought you were crazy if you'd told me how happy it would make me.

video

Seriously. I love it.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Legend of The Vomit Chain

Let me preface this post by making a request: If your child's teacher phones you and says they think your child should be picked up from school because they are too sick to be there... Listen to them. If they say something like, "He says he doesn't feel well, he really doesn't look good to me, and the stomach flu has been going through the class," listen to them.

That happened today. And the parent didn't listen. And it was EPIC. Legendary even.

When it came, the vomit was a soft pink, probably due in part to the candy the french teacher had passed out earlier. And it launched out of the child in a torrent splattering in a huge puddle at his feet. In a panic, he jumped out of his desk, ran through the puke, and desperately tried to reach the garbage can. (I can only assume the janitor emptied it and moved it at recess, because I had put it by his desk after his dad figured he'd be fine at school at least till lunchtime.) He didn't make it. Instead, I watched in horrified slow motion as yet another torrent of vomit spewed forth.

As I hurried towards him, into the battlezone, I called out orders. "Back up! Don't walk in it!!!" Just as I was trying to get around the first puddle to reach the poor kid, now covered in barf, I heard gagging behind me and called out, "Everyone, in the hall, now!" Too late.

By the time the janitor arrived, there were four seperate puddles. She said at first she thought it was me who'd gotten sick all over the classroom. I was gagging now too, eyes watering, FIGHTING to hold it together. "Becky, don't you dare. Don't you do it. HOLD. IT. TOGETHER."

And it occurred to me later, not right away of course, I remember a few things in grade four. Funny moments, and nicknames, and a grade six airband. And if something like this had happened in my classroom, I would have remembered it forever. My friends and I would have told, and retold the story of the barf chain-reacion to our friends, our families, and someday our spouses and children and coworkers, and the story would be embellished and exaggerated, and eventually ten kids would have puked, and the sub cried, and...

Today I was part of the beginning of a legend. I saw it in their eyes as they ran from the classroom. I heard it in their voices as they screamed, "Trent puked too! TRENT PUKED TOO!" Oh man, somedays it is really easy to remember why I always wanted to be a teacher. I wouldn't have thought a barfy day like today turned out to be would have been one of them, but it was.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Uh Oh

What is this? Day four? I've already got nothing. This is not a good sign.

And I don't feel like writing a thoughtful, emotional post.


So you get this:


Look what came in the mail today! Now I have to quickly re-read the first two, because that's how I roll. I'm pretty excited. (Also. I Amazon.) (And books. I love books.)

Sunday, November 03, 2013

New Fandangled Gadget

We've been stubbornly refusing to buy Ben a Ninendo DS for years now. All of his friends have one. Some have two, an old one and a newer 3DS. It's not that we don't approve of video games, well... we don't actually. My kids are so much nicer when they know the video games are off-limits. This is why they are only allowed to play on weekends, and why I'm not worried about a DS sucking his brain out. He'd still only be allowed to use it on weekends.

No, that's not my reason. My reason is the cranky old mennonite woman in my head who likes to say things like "kids these days" and "no respect for their elders." I know that respect thing she said doesn't have anything to do with what we're talking about, but she shouts things out at random, and most of it doesn't make any sense. In her day, kids didn't walk around with fancy name-brand slacks and new fandangled gadgets. And if it was good enough for her, then oh baaaaah, it's good enough for Ben.

She's such a mean old hag. 

I remember the Christmas Mom and Dad got us our Nintendo. They must not have had their own menno Jiminy Cricket sitting on their shoulders, whispering advice in their ears, because we got that thing the year it came out. It was the newest, coolest thing, and we had it in our living room. Granted, it belonged to the family. And it probably cost less than Ben's fancy new DS is costing us, but we got it.

And yes, I said "is costing." I ordered it tonight. The newest, coolest, Pokemon limited edition 3DS XL... yet already.

He thinks that he's not getting one, and that if he is we're buying the oldest, cheapest, (possibly used) model. And he's pretty excited that that's even a possibilty. I think there's an outside chance that his brain might actually explode Christmas morning. (Don't worry. I'll video it and put it up on the you tube.)

Saturday, November 02, 2013

The Little Cat (UPDATED)

Yes, I admit it. I haven't blogged for (almost) a month because even though I had things I wanted to write about, I knew NaBloPoMo was coming.

And today I'm going to keep on with that. I think it's a good plan. Even though I have better ideas, and things to say, I could write a post about this lost cat we're taking care of and keep saving the good posts till I totally can't think of anything to say.

Actually, that pretty much sums up the whole post. There's this lost cat living in our house. The SPCA is full to capacity. The animal rescue organization here in Yorkton is full to capacity. And I can't make myself throw this little guy out into the cold.


Fritti is NOT happy with this little act of compassion.

Hannah named it "Hannah Grace" and the boys named it "George" after Curious George and George Mallory. I call it "The Little Cat" because we ARE NOT KEEPING IT. Oh, I hope we aren't keeping it.

UPDATE: You won't believe this, but we found its family! After calling the SPCA, and putting up its picture all over facebook, I decided to put up a sign in our front yard. Worked like a charm! Not even an hour later there was a knock on our door.


Poor Hannah wasn't very happy. First, to find out "Hannah Grace" is a boy, and then to have to let him go. This is why we could never be fosters for our local pet rescue.

But, YAY! No new cat for us. What a relief.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Today is the Day

Today I read my book and got paid for it.
Today I let an old lady talk me into taking in a lost kitty cat.
Today I bought 7 costumes at Walmart for around 40 dollars.
Today I ate approximately 20 tiny Butterfingers.
Today I watched Sam kick a styrofoam board in half on the first try.
Today I started NaBloPoMo for the 7th straight year.


It was a good day. You know how I can tell? I would only change one of those things. And the only reason I'd change it is the heart burn. (I wonder if you can guess which one...)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rain

I remember the day of Mavis' funeral. I remember the weather was beautiful. The reason I know this for sure is I remember riding in the back of Dad's car out to the graveyard and looking out the window at the blue sky and everyone driving to wherever and thinking how wrong it was. Everyone was just going on about their business like nothing had happened. The whole world was happy, and it shouldn't have been. Someone really special was gone, and I wanted people to notice.

At least, at LEAST, it should have rained.

When I asked people on facebook to send stories about Dad, it really was all about the stories. I wanted to laugh and remember Dad. I wanted to maybe even find out something about his life that I hadn't known before. But when all the stories came in and I felt better I realized something. Although I loved reading them, it wasn't the stories that were making me feel better. It was the rain.

Outside, the sky was blue, the fall leaves were beautiful, people went about their business just like any other day, but the rain fell. The world, my world anyways, noticed.

And that was important to me.

So, thanks for that. Thank you for being the dreary grey clouds in my sky. Thank you for marking the day with me. It helped.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

This

This is now the week I spend in the past every year. (Actually, it's probably more accurate to say that this is the month I spend in the past.) I wish, and I hope that soon, more of it will be spent in the happier years, but still four years later I find myself spending most of it in 2009.

I think about the phone calls.

I think about the ones that were fun, and normal. I think about telling Dad about how Sam snuck a fudgesicle and then told me he hadn't with chocolate all over his face. I think about him skyping with Ben, eating cheezies and making faces. I think about being able to hear his voice and feel like things would be okay. I miss that feeling... That everything would be okay. I haven't felt that way since he died.

I think about the really hard phone calls too.

I think about the night that Mom called in the early morning hours and how terrified I was to answer, only to find out he was okay physically, but upset and needing someone to talk to... Someone to distract him. I think about how good it felt to be needed and to be able to help, even though it was the middle of the night and I was tired. I think about hanging up and crying because of how lost he sounded at the beginning of the phone call, and how much better he sounded when I said goodbye.

I think about the phone calls that made me change my plans and fly out to see him a month before I was supposed to. I think about how I started dreading conversations with him. I think about hanging up and crying, because he reminded me of how Grampa sounded just before he died. I think about feeling guilty because I didn't want to hear Dad so confused, and tired, and done. I didn't want to hear. I didn't want to talk to Dad on the phone, because I didn't want to hear.

I think about Dad telling me not to go there. I think about that a lot. Sometimes, I feel a little angry that we weren't allowed to go to that place. I feel angry with the people who made me feel like I was over-reacting. I feel angry that Dad didn't write letters to us or our kids, that he didn't TELL MOM what he wanted done with his stuff, just in case, so that we wouldn't have to fight her for things I know he would have wanted us to have. (Or buy them from her.) He wouldn't go there either.

Once I start thinking about those phone calls I always wind up thinking about that day before he was diagnosed when the idea of cancer first made its way into my thoughts, and screaming and crying alone in my room. NO. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I was so terrified. And I felt like everyone else was taking it better than I was, and everyone else thought I was being a baby, and everyone else believed he would get better and I didn't and that was making it harder on Dad and Mom.

I didn't believe. I never really did. I was always terrified. ALWAYS. There was never a moment from that first day of terror when I didn't dread this.

This.

This living without him. No Dad. No Grampa. In the beginning the thought seemed impossible. I couldn't allow myself to really think about it because it was too terrible. I was constantly pushing it away because it was too much. And the last few years... I was right. I knew it would be awful. I knew it would rip me to pieces and destroy my ability to trust God. I knew it would leave me empty, and yet so full of pain. Agony. Despair. And guilt. Because, of course, the thought slips in that I didn't do enough or believe enough. I let him down.

Did I ever tell you that I used to make Ben pray for Dad because in my mind, God would be more likely to listen to Ben's prayers than mine?

You would think after four years, the first week of 2009 wouldn't haunt me the way it still does. But I don't feel its oppressive weight any less now than I did then. Sometimes, I feel it more. Because, now I know what I was afraid of. I know what this is. I have the pain of four years without him added to the pain of what it was like to lose him... to the pain of that last night... that last breath.

And as the last minutes of today run out I think about what I was doing then. Where I was sitting. What I was wearing. Who I was with. What I was thinking. What I was feeling. I remember thinking that someday I would WISH I could be there in that room with him again, and even while I thought that I STILL wanted to sleep. I hate myself for that... For wasting even one minute with him.

But it's the evening of October 8th, and four years ago at around this time we stood around his bed, and he was awake and he was saying just one thing, over and over, like it was all that mattered. And in that moment it was.

"I love you a lot."

I love you a lot. That's all he said.


Oh Dad, I'm trying so hard to hold onto that. To let go of all of the other stuff and to just hold onto what you really wanted us to know. To let that one thing fill up the emptiness and push out all the things that hurt.

I'm trying. But this... This is so much more, and so much less, than what I could have ever imagined. I love you. I miss you. 


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Why Think When You Can Pin?

Holy moly, do I love Pinterest. There are so many great ideas on there, that I could conceivably never have to think again. It led me to this great tutorial to make magnets from those little clear rock things that you can put in vases, and teachers like to use as math counters...


And bam! Cheap and cute teacher's gift the kids can make themselves, and I can package so they look all adorable. I never would have thought of this on my own. (Or this, for our principal. We did that too.)

Tonight I'm using some printables I snagged off of Pinterest to make summer journals for the kids to write in while we're on vacation. Tomorrow I'm going to put together the nifty fire starters I found for camping... It never ends, I tell ya.

I love not thinking. It's fab.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Defender

I talked to a close friend of my dad's about all of this mom stuff a few nights ago. I knew what he would say, but I still wanted to hear him say it... I knew my dad. Any mistakes he had made were covered by the blood of Christ. He was a changed man, and what I saw, what we all saw, was who Dad was.

But first he said something else, and it resonated with me. It convicted me. Right off the start he said I needed to grasp and hold onto the truth that God is my defender.

I have trouble with that. If I see something that I feel is wrong, or unfair I often take it on as my resonsibility to fix it. I find it incredibly difficult to sit on the sidelines when someone is breaking the rules. This can be one of my strengths, because I am one of those people who takes action and tries to stand up for what is right. It can spur me on to help people who are suffering.

But, it can also be one of my biggest weaknesses. It can make me judgemental. It can make me critical. It can even make me into a busybody, butting in when the injury isn't mine. I have a really hard time seeing a wrong go unnoticed, unremarked-on, unpunished.

So when all of this stuff started happening with my mom, guess who thought it was her job to make it right? And when my mom started dragging my dad's past mistakes into the open, and blaming us for her distance from us, guess who thought it was her job to defend us? But it's not my job.

I know my heart, and I knew my dad's heart, and so does God. He knows. And if it's right, then it's right. And that's it. That needs to be enough.

I'm not saying I should never have tried to make my mom see what she was doing or told her how I was feeling. I'm saying I wish I had approached it with that assurance in my heart. Maybe if I had, my anger wouldn't have got the best of me. Maybe I wouldn't have felt so frustrated that I wasn't getting through to her, that none of us have got through to her for almost two years now. It's incredibly frustrating to feel like you are failing at something you think it's your job to do. When you feel like you MUST succeed, or all is lost.

If God is my defender, then all I can do is all I can do, and that's enough. The rest is in His hands. All is not lost just because I've failed. It's not my job to make my mom see, to convict her, to punish her for the ways she's hurt me and my family.

So I rewrote my letter again, this time much shorter. This time I left out all of my defenses for my actions. I left out the explanations for the things she's accused me of that weren't accurate. I left out the lists of hurts and proofs. Not that my second letter was a bad letter, but it was written with the belief that it was my job to get through to her, and it's not.

It's not my job... It's not!!!!!

I don't know how I missed it, but thanks to God, it's not.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday is No-Funday

I had to move my counter back again.

I'm on a losing streak. Two Sundays in a row. Next Sunday either we're not going to church, or Glen is going to need to do Hannah's hair.

OR I'm going to have to learn to be a grown-up when Hannah starts swinging her head around like she's watching a tennis match.

Whichever.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Crazy, Stupid, Love


I watched Crazy, Stupid, Love tonight.  What a great movie! I laughed, I cried, it moved me Bob. (Gold star to the person identifies the episode that quote comes from.) But seriously, it moved me. I think maybe it was just the right movie for me to watch tonight. I think there was something I needed to hear, to think. Ever since getting my mom's horrible letter something has been changing inside me. Melting, is maybe a better word. And I was ready to hear something.

"I have loved her even when I hated her... only married couples'll understand that one..."

I've screamed "I hate you!" at Glen in a lot of fights. Not until fairly recently, but once it was out the first time it got a lot easier, and came a lot more often. In my head, if I hated him I couldn't love him. In my head that part of me was gone. I'd fought hating him for so long, I'd held onto loving him, to TRYING for so long. And I was tired. So I gave up. And I hated him. And in many ways, it was a huge relief.

It never occurred to me that love could survive that kind of hate... Because I didn't want it to maybe. Or because I don't put that much faith into anything anymore. Loving is hard. Hope is HARD and it HURTS when, well, you know. I know I've said that before. That hoping Dad would be okay HURT. That hoping God would come through HURT. I feel the same about my marriage. In many ways giving up has been easier. And for a long time I've been a coward.

But lately, new thoughts have been finding their way to the surface. If Dad could do the things my mom said he did, and still be the person I loved, the person I LOVE, then maybe couldn't I find that same kind of knowingly blind love for Glen? Were the things Glen has done any worse than the things Dad did? If I keep hating him the way I do, will I end up like my mom? I know I've said that I am too tired to try again, that Glen has let me down too many times, and it's stupid to keep hoping something will change... but what if I gave up one time too early? What if the very next try was the one that made all the difference, and I quit and let all that happiness go (and not just our happiness, but our kids' happiness) because I was too tired and too scared to try again.

And what if, all along, I loved him, even when I hated him?

What then?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Divide and Conquer

It's that time of month again people.

I say this, not to explain my post from yesterday, but to explain why tonight I did something different. Here's some more background information: It's hot out. I'm crampy. I'm grumpy. I had a long day of subbing. The house is a mess and it's hot out. (I mentioned that already, but don't you think a messy house is worse when it's hot out? I do. I can't explain why...) And I feel the usual monthly migraine coming on. Right now it's still just my neck, but it's coming and all I want is to lie all still in a cool, quiet, dark, CLEAN room.

Since it's June, off-loading the kids on Glen and disappearing isn't an option. No quiet dark room for me. So, I had to come up with a plan. And it worked so well I wanted to share it here. I bet you can guess what it was.

Divide.

The kids have taekwondo on Tuesdays, which means they come home from school, have a quick snack, go to taekwondo, come home, BATH, eat, and then pretty much get ready for bed. In between these things they need to change three times and they work really hard at wandering off from what they're supposed to be doing to do things like bug the cat, bug each other, and bug Glen and me. It's usually pretty chaotic. And I couldn't face it.

So tonight when they came home from taekwondo I left them outside and brought them in one at a time to bath and feed. (And by feed, I mean make what they wanted, put it on a plate, and send them back outside with their food to eat in our sunroom.) And let me tell you... Genius. I swear it didn't take much longer than it would have to do them all at the same time, and there was SO MUCH less madness.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh yeah. Conquer baby. Try it sometime. Especially if you have a migraine coming on.

Or if you're all out of booze. Whichever comes first.

Monday, June 17, 2013

My Downfall

I knew it.

I knew eventually doing Hannah's hair would be my downfall. There's only so many times a mom can tell a kid to stop moving their head before they yell it... "HANNAH, FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING GOOD AND DECENT AND ADORABLE... HOLD!!! STILL!!!"

And it's not just the fact that I have to say it over and over. Every now and then when I tell Hannah to hold still for some reason her brain translates my words as "Hey kid, shake your head from side to side a whole bunch really fast." I don't know why this happens, but I do know it makes me crazy. I also know it takes a LOT of intense concentration to resist yelling in this circumstance. I'm getting really good at it, as my previous 35 days without yelling can attest to. 


BUT, every now and then she does that AND I'm in a really big hurry. It's the perfect storm. This is what happened yesterday before church.

So I'm back down to zero. I yelled... And not just my exasperated yell, my mean yell that makes her cry. We both know the difference and yesterday I crossed that line. Poor Hannah. Is a straight part and even pigtails worth sad little tears rolling down her freckled little cheeks?

We all know the answer to that question.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Worries

It's a little after 10 pm. The kids have been in bed for an hour and a half. And Ben comes down the stairs. His lip is quivering.

When his lip quivers my heart always breaks.

I open my arms and he comes and lays beside me on the couch. His head rests on my chest and he's crying. He's worried. He figures he only has 18 years left with Fritti before Fritti dies. And then I can't understand what he's saying. I rub his back while his tears soak into my shirt, and I wait till he can talk again.

He doesn't want to move away from home. He only has 10 more years to live with us, he says. And then more tears. And more words I can't understand. I stroke his back some more, and wait a little longer till he runs out of things to say.

And then I tell him he can live with us as long as he wants. I tell him we will never make him leave. He only has to move out when he's ready.

And I think of the day when he will be ready. I know he'll be ready long before I will. I imagine I will send him on his way and think of the night he came down the stairs in the Transformer pajamas that are too small so that his ankles and wrists hang out. I'll remember lying on the couch with my arms around my little boy who just wants to stay with his mommy and daddy in our house forever...

Sigh.

I want him to stay with his mommy and daddy in our house forever.

Monday, June 10, 2013

I Don't Get It

So.

I want to finish this story. I thought I actually had. It went like this: A bunch of crap happened between my mom and me. I got mad. I told off my mom and Dave. I said something I shouldn't have. She wrote me a horrible letter. She said stuff she shouldn't have. I burned it. She said she just wanted to live in peace and I was okay with that. Done.

Then she called Gramma. My dad's mom. And she continued her efforts to drag the past into the present by telling gramma the things she'd told me in the letter and then some. She also made sure to explain to my gramma how awful I've been. And then she told my gramma all... ALL of the things I'd ever told my mom about my marriage in confidence, years ago when things were at their worst. Things I haven't told other people. Not just things about me. Things about Glen.

She also called my aunt. And I...

I mean, why?

What could possibly motivate a person to do something so hurtful? I have a few theories, but honestly, none of them seem to answer that question as thoroughly as I'd like.

I just...

WHY? And how? How could she possibly justify telling a mother who's lost her son things like that? Who does that?

(And let's be clear here. Those things, whether true or not, happened more than 25 years ago. Those things happened before he turned his life over to Jesus. Those things were put as far as the east is from the west by God years and years ago. Those things do not, in ANY way, change who I knew my dad to be or how I feel about him. I need to put that out there. I know you all know it, but I needed to say it anyway.)

Since my mom met Dave I've told her off three times. I'd like to be able to say (like Ang can) that I talked to her instead of told her off, but there it is. I know she thinks that I'm acting like a spoiled child having a temper tantrum because I can't get my own way, but even if that were true... Even if all the things she has accused me of and blamed me for are actually all my fault...

Still. Why?

I got why she sent me her letter. She was out to prove a point, and get me back. In a twisted way, it made some sense. But that begs the question... Why my gramma? Why my aunt?

And why the Glen stuff? What could she possibly hope to gain?

I'm baffled. I was hurt, but now I'm mostly just totally and completely gobsmacked. I really have no idea who she is now, I really and truly don't. I also don't know if I'll ever send the letter I've been working on for a week now. There doesn't seem to be much of a point. I can't find the words anymore.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

And Then I Did This


And I felt much better.

And then I tripped over the gas can that I had carefully set away from the fire. And then I thought I should probably do something about the gas that had spilled on the lawn so that the next time we have a fire a spark doesn't set off the gasoline under someone's lawnchair. So then I lit the ground on fire. Which would have been a better plan if a little trail of spilled gasoline leading to the nearby can hadn't also lit on fire and then lit the gas can on fire. So then I tried to pour the fire out of the gas can onto a nearby flower bed. That didn't work. So then I ran around the yard a little with the flaming gas can in my hand looking for something to smother the flames with. I found a piece of cardboard. That worked. So then I just had to put out the fires in the flowerbed and lawn. Which I did. But then I rememebered my original concern about the lawn starting on fire from a spark. So then I lit the lawn and the flower bed back on fire and dug up all the gasoline covered dirt and lit that on fire too.

And then, just as the flames were finally dying, a thundercloud passed overhead and the rain came pouring down. 


And as I stood there with the rain landing on my face and the flames and ashes, I felt God say, "It's okay." I heard it in the gentle rumble of the thunder, "It's okay." Not in a way that meant what had happened was all right, but in the way that a mother strokes her child's hair when she's crying... In the way I said to Dad when he breathed his last breaths, "It's okay. It's okay. It's okay."

And it's not, but it is. I felt better.

Letters

I wrote a letter to my mom after I called her on the phone the other day and blew up at her and Dave. I left it on my computer for a few days so I could edit it before I sent it. I wanted to make sure I didn't say anything I'd regret.

Here it is: (I've taken out a few things that mention how Mom has treated other members of my family, for obvious reasons.) 

Mom, 

I'm sorry I said **** off. Not because I didn't mean it, and really I meant it more for Dave and his intrusion in the phone call than for you, but I regret that I said it. Partly because it's not a nice thing to say, but mostly because it means I let this situation get the best of me and I let my anger speak for me. Again. And that wasn't the plan when I called. The plan was to calmly tell you what I think of who you have become, before I close the door on this part of my life. And I did that. 

I'm pretty sure you didn't listen to any of it though. So here is what I wanted to say. 
First, I'd like to thank the woman that was my mother and best friend for the first 36 years of my life. I miss her, and I imagine she must be still down deep in you... ... ... She's the person who loved her grandchildren before they were even born, and couldn't help but shop for them while Melissa and I were pregnant. She's the person who called me for big things and small things in her life, and who was always there for us when we had big things and small things to talk about. She's the person who went missing pretty much right away after you met Dave. And you can think this rift between us is all about how awful your children are, but the person who was my mom and best friend would never have done some of the things you have done, including not visiting Ang the day Becca was born. I have no idea who you are anymore. I find your actions completely shocking and confusing when I look back on who you were before you met Dave. Everyone does.
You shouldn't have to choose between your spouse and your kids EVER, but you have, time and time again. And you haven't chosen us. I could write a list, but you know it. You and Dave can go right ahead and put this all on us, but I know you know. You aren't stupid. You are deluding yourself, and doing it very well, but you're not stupid.

Last year I said I was done with you. I meant it. I gave up on getting back any part of the relationship between you and me that was such a big part of BOTH OF OUR lives for so long. We had a two-way relationship that was meaningful and important to both of us, but last year I finally gave up and let that go. Since then you haven't hurt me. You're actions make me miss Dad more, but I haven't let you hurt me. But you have hurt other people I love... ... ...

And so, I'm done again, except this time I'm totally done. I had told myself that for the sake of my children who still love you even though they barely see you, I would maintain some kind of a relationship. I am no longer interested in that. I don't think you are either. You've seen my kids 4 times in the last year, and on one of those times when I asked to do something with you on another day your answer was no. You and Dave were going to take out your new boat instead. That's not a sign of a grandma who misses her grandkids. You've spent somewhere around 12 hours with us, and how much of that was actually spent interacting with the kids? Half an hour? Not much, that's for sure. You're with him all the time, but you can't spare some of your time for your grandkids who you hardly ever see? And Becca lives nearby and you barely see her either, so it's not just because we live farther away and don't visit as often as we used to. It's not just your kids you've turned your back on, it's your innocent grandkids. And whether or not their parents are horrible, you've lost all interest in Ben, Sam, Hannah, Noah, Abbey, Nathan, and Becca too. And they're not horrible. They're amazing. More amazing than any of us deserve, but you show almost no interest in them.

So, I'm done. No more. You've been doing exactly what you like with no reference to any of us, and from now on I will too. No more feeling obligated to keep some kind of door open between us. I'm good with closing it. I think it's best for everyone, and honestly I'm relieved it's finally over.

That's all I had to say, I wish I'd just written you a letter in the first place, I should know better than to think I can keep calm when I am talking to someone who I am so angry with.
- Becky
I got a letter from her today before I had a chance to send my edited version. My mom didn't bother editing. She sent me a seven page letter. Express. My instinct was to return it without reading it, but since I had a letter of my own that I wanted her to read I felt I owed it to her to hear her out. So I read it.

And I wish I hadn't given her a chance. And I feel less remorseful about telling her to **** off. And I feel even better about my decsion to never see her again.

I can't tell you everything she wrote, it was too awful. She was determined to show me that she's the victim and not only am I a horrible daughter, but my dad was a horrible husband. She went into intimate detail. Things that she'd hinted at before, things that had happened when she and my dad were crazy partiers walking far from God, she now went into intimate detail describing. Because, in her view, I thought my dad was a saint, and it was now her job to disabuse me of that notion.

I wrote her a new letter. I didn't edit it. It's long, so I won't post the whole thing here, but I will post a part of it:

I'd like to thank you for the lesson you just taught me today. I will NEVER tell my children any of the things their father has done to hurt me. I never intended to, it seemed obvious that it must be unhealthy, but this has locked that intention in solid. Your letter has shown me what an incredibly selfish thing that would be to do. (Especially if their Dad is dead and can never hurt anyone again.) Just so my kids can think that our crappy marriage was ALL his fault and not mine? I would hurt them like that? NEVER. So thanks for that. Now that I know that pain first hand, I can at least spare them. I will NEVER tell them the intimate details of our marriage.

There's another good reason that I won't "tell on" Glen sometime in the future, and your letter has taught me that lesson too. (I knew it before, but now I really KNOW it.) The fact is, people who try to make someone else look bad so they look good often find out that the opposite happens. They look bad. You told me this because of the "fact that (you are) shit under my feet"? Trust me. I have never thought that, and if I did this letter would most certainly have only confirmed it.

You have also taught me that I need to either forgive Glen and really love him again or GET THE HELL OUT. That's my choice and it was yours too. All those years of your anger and bitterness that I thought was just you and sometimes that I thought was all my fault, all those times you screamed at us sometimes out of nowhere and I promised myself I would never do that, the time you called me a "stupid little bitch" for stealing your socks, I can look back and imagine that if I was you, I might do the same thing. Your years of "unprovoked" (I thought) anger was provoked by my Dad, but you chose to push it down and store it up and then scream at us and now throw it all in my face in a letter. But thank you again. The next time I am really mad at Glen, but want to yell at my kids, I will think of you and your bitterness and what it has led to. And I will find a way to let his sins go FOR GOOD, for my sake and my kids. I don't want to be like you someday. I don't ever want to hurt them like that.
I still feel pretty shell shocked. WHO DOES THAT? What kind of sick do you have to be to describe things like that to your daughter? Nevermind that I'm an adult, and I know people aren't perfect. I'm not that shocked that any of it happened, I've been around long enough to know things happen. Mom said in her letter that she kept her mouth shut, but she has told me things before... Vague, undetailed hints at things that happened when I was quite young. Her letter blew me away because I was shocked that she would throw it at me now in descriptive detail. And of course, that wasn't bad enough. She also made sure to imply there was more and it was worse.

And then there was some ranting about how we all expect her to be at our beck and call, and jump to do what we want... Yeah. That's the problem. It's unreasonable of us to expect her to remember our birthdays and show up when babies are born. I'm a hateful horrible person for expecting that meeting someone new wouldn't change our friendship. Why should she have to call me when she gets engaged? What kind of daughter am I to think that my mom should come take care of me when I broke my ankle and was stuck on my back, or even call just once in more than two months to ask how I was healing? I mean, her boyfriend of a few weeks was expecting a new grandchild. She clearly had more important things to do. Busy busy.

She told me off for calling Dave disgusting, which was actually meant for her since I hadn't realized that she hadn't just put Dave on the other line, but handed off the phone completely. She won't stand for any more of my anger and "judgementalism." So that's that. Since I am angry, SO ANGRY, and I DO judge her the break is mutual and I don't have to feel guilty about cutting her off. She signed off that she just wants to "be and live in peace." I told her I was okay with that.

And I am.

The only thing is that for my own good I will have to someday find a way to forgive her for this, and I don't know how I will.



(P.S. In case you're wondering if it was deliberate, I did notice that I've finally come out and said Glen and I don't have a good marriage. Frankly, it's probably about time, and I'm sure it was pretty obvious to most of you. I'm also feeling an intense aversion to covering up crap like this right now or going into details. I really am thankful for the lessons I learned today. That wasn't sarcasm. She has done me a huge favour.)

Monday, June 03, 2013

I'm Done

I yelled today. But I'm not turning back my counter.

First off, let me just say that I believe no one should ever have to choose between their spouse and their children. Love should be multiplied, not divided. (Gold star to the person who knows where I got that line from.) But that choice has been made. By my mom. Over and over.

I haven't really written about it here because I think some things should stay private. I try to think about my kids reading my blog someday in the future. Would I be okay with my kids reading about all the nasty things I have to say about their grandmother? And then, would I be okay with my mom reading those same things? Up until today, the answer to that question was, "No."

I don't feel the same way anymore.

So prepare yourself for the whole story. I've told it to some of you, with many tears, and frequent breaks for chocolate or hugs or laughs. I'd like to write it out though, once and for all. Like a purge.

I'm done with her. I've said that before, to her, and to others. When I said it then, I meant I was done with my relationship with her. I was done trying to get back the person who was my mom for 36 years. I was done trying to find my friend somewhere inside the PoD. (That's my nickname for her. It stands for "Pit of Dave" and encompasses all the nuances that go with the word pod in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.) I was done trying to hold onto a relationship that she no longer wanted, and was now only adding pain and stress to my life.

I was still willing to "keep up appearances," mostly for the sake of my kids. Her grandchildren.

I'm not anymore.

And really, the excuse of doing it for the kids was losing ground quickly. She has seen them for a total of 4 days this past year. And those days weren't whole days. I would be shocked if the entire time amounted to more than 12 hours.

365 days. 12 hours. Including Christmas.

If you are a friend or family I am pretty sure you can think back and remember how things were between us before my dad died. Actually, you can probably also remember how things were after my dad died. We spent hundreds and hundreds of hours together. Vacations. Shopping trips. Just sitting around in eachother's homes.

And then she fell into the PoD and that ended. She made a choice and I fought it for a long time. But I'm done fighting, and I'm done with her.

I've never written that here, because I've always hoped that things would straighten out. I didn't want to burn any bridges. I love my kids so much. I would never ever ever ever want the bridge that joins our lives to be destroyed. I'm pretty sure she's good with that though. Going from almost no contact to no contact at all will be a breeze for all of us.

So I'm going to tell you all about what's been going on. I'm going to do some purging by lighting some matches and burning the crap out of some bridges. I have no place in my life for the selfish, twisted, self-absorbed, and deluded pod that is all that remains of my mom. Not even for the sake of the 12 hours a year we have spent together since she traded all of us for her new and improved life.

Friday, May 17, 2013

My New Old Bike

When I was a little girl there was no money for new bikes, so my dad bought me one from a junk heap in some guy's backyard. I remember his last name was Hamm, and my bike cost $10.00, and I could still point out the house we bought it from in Martensville. I also remember him telling me that he'd fix it up nice for me, and picking out the can of sky blue spray paint from Canadian Tire. He bought me a plastic white basket and rainbow streamers for the handle bars.

I loved that bike.

I've been wanting to buy one like it for years now, but I've never found one that was the exact right whimsical shade of blue. And if it was the right colour, then it wasn't the right style of bike. Lately though, I've seen more and more old fashioned looking bikes. Last year there was a red one at the lake that I thought about stealing and spray painting more than once.

And then today as Hannah and I were walking to pick up our van from the garage where it was getting a tire fixed, a girl drove past me on "my" bike. So of course, I screamed at her, "WHERE DID YOU GET THAT BIKE!?!?!?!" I was expecting to hear that it was from somewhere I couldn't get to, sometime years ago, for some price that I couldn't afford. But it was from Canadian Tire. She'd bought it the day before. On sale. And I could afford it. Guess how quickly I drove over there after I picked up our van?


I paid for it and wheeled it out of the store and it was MINE. I pushed it around the corner. I didn't want anyone around to watch my first attempt to ride it. I haven't rode a bike since I lived in Martensville. I had this fear that I was going to be the person who would prove the adage "It's like riding a bike!" wrong. But of course, like everyone else, I remembered... Riding a bike really is just like riding a bike.

That first block I laughed the whole way. I couldn't help it. Once I got the laughing under control I still couldn't wipe the ridiculous smile off my face. I felt ten years old all over again. And imagine my delight when I realized there were no hand breaks or fancy gears. To stop I pedal backwards. Just like in the old days when life was no more complicated than which colour to paint my new bike, and we put those cards from packs of gum on our tires with clothespins, and tossed poor Jynx into a backpack to bring to the store for company. The basket came with the bike, all I need now are some rainbow streamers.

Happy. This bike makes me feel happy right down to my toes.




I hope dad can see me riding it.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Out Of Nowhere

21 days. That's my new record. And now my new goal, since I yelled at the kids tonight and I'm back to zero. And it came out of nowhere, or that's how it seemed, but when I sat down afterwards and thought about it, it didn't really. 

We were having a good day, a GREAT day even. We went to the park, we hung out in the backyard, the kids played together like angels, and then helped me clean up the yard with no complaining. And then they got in the bath and acted like idiots, because they're kids. And when I told them to stop acting like idiots, (not in those words) they didn't. 

Nothing ticks me off faster than kids who continue to laugh and fool around after they've already got in trouble for not doing what they're supposed to be doing. And yelling stops that. Cold. And it feels good to make them take you seriously. And yelling makes that happen. Boy does it. 

It wasn't a huge outburst, but it was enough to know I blew it. In the past after that first outburst I would have yelled at them more, I know I would have because I WANTED to keep yelling. I wanted to really badly. 
 
And then I walked away and I thought to myself, "Was that really justified? Were they really being defiant, or just not taking you seriously? Are you really angry at their behaviour? Or how it made you feel about yourself?"


And there it is. It didn't really come out of nowhere. I yelled at them because of my own feelings of inadequacy... I'm mad at that feeling of being ignored. (I hate that feeling, and it comes from more places than just my kids.) I want to feel like what I say means something so I go and yell at them, which everyone knows makes people immediately stop listening to your words. When you yell at someone all they hear is the anger. We've all been there...I know I have.

On the up side, I went a whole 21 days this time AND when I started yelling I reined it in pretty quickly, mostly in an effort to convince myself that it wasn't a full out yell yet since it was so short... It didn't count? Maybe?

My kids would say it counted I think. There's nothing worse than a day of fun, and then anger coming out of nowhere at you. I remember days like that as a kid, and swearing I'd never be like that, and here I am.

I "fixed" it with apologies, and cuddles, and kisses... I still feel terrible. I need to find a way to manage my emotions when they take me by surprise. I'm getting better at keeping my cool when I know I'm grumpy, when I've been angry all day, I am getting better at reminding myself that that even though I feel mad I don't really have a reason to, and I definitely don't have a reason to take out my feelings on my kids. But those out of nowhere flashes of anger can still catch me off guard and then... Back to zero.


Lame.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Stronger

It hasn't been a day of yelling, but it hasn't been a good day for me. There are times when I feel unequal to who God wants me to be, to who I want desperately to be. Today has been one of those times. Not that I've screwed everything up today, just that there is so much riding on my choices, ALL of my choices... And I get one chance to do this right. One chance to live this life, one chance to raise these children, to be a blessing to others, one chance to make today mean something more than just another 24 hours lived and left behind... So today I feel unequal, but not unloved.


This is what I must hold onto. Not my strength, but Yours.