Are we? Are we? Are we?

Done, that is? Gah. Daddy issues abound. I shouldn’t have read Post Secret yesterday, because holy crap so much unresolved anger or else deeply missing Daddy.

I have a great stepdad, with whom I have no issues and sent him a nice e-card for Father’s Day. Husband had a great day yesterday with his kids. End of story. It doesn’t need to be an ordeal. 
This aft is boy midget’s grad from grade 8. We did it; we made it through elementary school, something I couldn’t fathom 10 years ago when he started junior kindergarten. 

I’m not one of those moms who laments their kids getting older. I love seeing them grow and change. When I see a random baby on the street, I want to eat it or at least smell its head. But I don’t feel wistful. Maybe sometimes I marvel at how much time has passed, but that’s about it. 

Today we got a parking ticket. This after carefully parking in a real spot and reading the signs to make sure parking there was allowed at that time of day. Oh but we forgot that parking is allowed there only the first 2 weeks of the month. $40 later, I am reminded again how hard it is to live in the city, and how difficult it is to raise a family here. Would I trade it for suburbs? No effing way. How about a small town? Probably not. So we are left with this option, of fighting our way to pay taxes, tickets, and other paperwork to keep our home, vehicle and lives in order with the powers that be. 

A Woman and The Refuge of her Mother’s Home

Someone please write a movie or TV show, in which the Man of the House is threatened, who DOESN’T send his Wife and Kids to her Mother’s place for safekeeping. Such a predictable turn of events.

What self-respecting Terrorist/Bad Guy who wants to put the hurt onto a man through his family would NOT first look for the family at the Mother’s house?

This has happened again on American Odyssey, a tv series in which I’m currently engrossed. This plot development is disappointing, to say the least. I thought the writing was so well done before this. Perhaps this is just a stumble.

Behind the Curtain!

On my mind right now, is:

  • making a decision on a house/pet sitter to live at our apartment during our time away this summer (lots of applicants to wade through);
  • find reasonably priced rain boots for boy midget (time sensitive – he’s going camping soon);
  • stop beating myself up over not taking good care of my physical self over the past 6 months of winter (i.e. too many carbs and way too much wine);
  • keep up with the bike riding in the face of cold weather and husband offering me rides to and from work (today was tough but I persevered);
  • I’m slowly ruining my midgets by letting them eat in front of the tv.  Yes, I know! But I like to eat in front of the tv too. I don’t eat the same food as they do, which already presents a mealtime challenge. I’m also very fucking tired at the end of the work day, and on weekends, and at all times during the fucking day.
  • This year was the last one where I could crawl under the back deck to store the Xmas stuff. In 2 years when it’s Xmas time again at our house, once of the midgets will have to dig it out.
  • We are meeting with an accountant so we can get a realistic idea of how many financial mistakes we’ve made and how much we’ve fucked over our present and future.

Well now I feel like shit. So here is a nice list to lift me up again:

  • My kids don’t eat McDonald’s. They actually say No if someone offers to take them there;
  • My kids don’t drink cow’s milk at my house;
  • I’m biking to work everyday that I’m in the office (4x a week). That’s 7.5 km each way;
  • Quinoa is one of my favourite foods; and
  • My midgets will eat any bread, no matter how seedy and dark.
  • We are being responsible and meeting with an accountant.

Know Your Enemy

It’s important to direct your displeasure at the correct source of irritation, whether that be a person, place, or thing.

For example: F*cking snow. The actual problem here is that I would need to change the location of where I live. It’s not the northwestern hemisphere’s fault for providing 4 distinct seasons; she’s just being herself.

Here, There & Everywhere $

Last night our city withstood a terrible windstorm. Some homes fared better than others; ours are intact although a fence came down. No big deal, right? Wrong!

I live in a city. I don’t have access to post diggers, circular saws, or any other fence repairing/replacement tools. I also have no skills in that area. There was a time when I could count on the men in my family to instinctively know what needed to be done in any outdoor situation, but that’s no longer the case. These days I hire out. Hiring someone is not itself a panacea; you have to hire the RIGHT person with skills and integrity. Not an easy find. My go-to resource is usually Homestars.ca. There you can find all manner of trades and read their reviews too. And then yesterday my confidence in this site was compromised! It turns out that lots of people who post glowing reviews are not real customers. And the negative reviews are often not even posted. So there is another level of scrutiny I have to go through: now I have to pay attention to how many reviews a certain company has, to make sure they are real reviews. After all, who could falsify over 100 reviews? Don’t answer that rhetorical question.

Luckily we know a ‘fence guy’ who has done great work for us in the past. I texted him (all hail the mighty text!) and he called back quickly with an estimate and ability to send someone over today. But the price tag was too high for us, so Husband and I needed to find a different solution. It isn’t a matter of calling a neighbour to help us out; no one else around us knows what they’re doing either! The solution we came up with was to pay the fence guy to install a temporary fence for the winter. This will be done today, considerably cheaper than the option of completely replacing that side of the fence. And the debris will be cleared too. Used to be we had to get to know our neighbours and make friends in the community so we could pool our collective knowledge and help each other. Now we have to develop a roster of trustworthy tradespeople while surrounded by less skilled, less honest ones.

This past weekend I went to Alberta to attend my little bro’s wedding. He’s a plumber/steamfitter in a small town, so his life is very different from mine. I’ve always prided myself on my physical strength and ability to figure out how to ‘make do’. What a shock when I realized this weekend that I don’t remember how to do anything outside the usual house cleaning and very minor repair. Used to be I’d have confident support of men and women in my network around me, to help figure out a solution for whatever outdoor problem had arisen, but no one else around me now has that skill set either. Weird.

This weekend I remembered a lot of sights and smells of my childhood, which was incredibly comforting. I hadn’t realized how removed I am now from my roots. I work in an office, I have lily-white hands, I studied English Literature, I manipulate words. I occasionally pay others to do manual labour at my house. We had a new door installed a couple of weeks ago, by a handyman we know. Despite all of this evidence, I still believed I was a down-to-earth, can-do-it person. I mean, I can write the absolute shit out of a technical document or anything else sent my way. But that’s all so…intangible a skill set. My abilities seem so imaginary; made up, even. I know that’s not true, but compared to the skill of putting up a fence, I doubt I would survive very well in a post-apocalyptic world unless someone needs a written manifesto.

More Ha and Less Blah

When I was in high school, I had a few English teachers who really shaped my style. One teacher taught me how to be succinct; another taught me to boldly describe my opinions. As a result, I’m pretty good at writing technical manuals.

On this blog though, I try to write whatever I’m thinking about at the time. This morning husband and I had some time to spare and so we got some coffees and went to the waterfront. Once there we both agreed that for that moment, we felt like we were dating and not married. The fresh but comfortable companionship, the interesting banter, and congenial feelings are surprisingly frequent even after we each said ‘I do.’

I ride the subway quite often during the week and as I look at my fellow weary travelers I’m struck by the struggles everyone must face. Everyone has a hectic morning, everyone is rushing at some point in their day, and everyone wishes they were elsewhere at least once during their hours awake.

Tonight I’ve agreed to help girl midget go through all of her closet contents and either donate or move out everything not belonging to her. This action is in preparation for buying new clothes in a bigger size, although I’m hoping we find enough neglected and buried items that we won’t have to buy anything new.

I actively try to get rid of ‘stuff’ and I feel like I’m fighting a mighty tide! I have a garbage bag full of items to donate every other week it seems, and yet that makes no difference. I’m fascinated by the concept of tiny house living, as I have mentioned before, because of the Spartan nature of that life style. I understand there is only so much I can get rid of, as my family is constantly growing, changing, and scrounging for school project supplies and Halloween costume props. It’s amazing the items that come in handy. I nearly understand the mentality of a hoarder.

I’m getting the itch again, the itch to rearrange the living room furniture. I’ve felt it coming on for about a week now…