Welcome to my Parlour ...

On August 26th, 2010, my mother passed beyond the veil.
This event has become a catalyst for change in many and often profound ways in my life.
This is my way of chronicling those changes so that I may, at a later date, have the ability to review and reflect upon them.

~ Go dtugtar breith orainn dá réir ár ngníomhartha. ~
(Let us, by our actions, be judged)

Friday, December 23, 2011

What to say ...

Not a lot, really ...

Just didn't want to leave this space untouched too long as I am all too well aware of just how easy it is to fall out of the habit of doing something.

I'm trying to focus on the positive despite the obviousness that the EL hasn't kept his word about December and now I face the inevitability of this uncertainty stretching into the new year. *sigh* What fun ... and it's particularly vexing since I owe a couple of people a fair amount of $ (one as repayment for help she's repeatedly extended to us to help keep us afloat and the other in the keeping of a promise where he has upheld his end and I am feeling pressure to uphold mine since, to not do so, will cause trouble for his wedding and I do not want to be responsible for that) and I would really sleep a whole lot better at night if I could just get those paid off.

Meh ...
I had so hoped for a better outcome to the end of 2011.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Little Bit of Optimism ...

With the Estate lawyer (EL) still assuring me that this awful waiting should be over by December (or the New Year as I am choosing to view it), and quite possibly as a direct result of having worked with Airmid's energy a couple of days ago, I did something yesterday that is out of character for myself. I actually have allowed myself a little bit of optimism that life is going to improve in the nearing future and I contacted a Realtor.

Not just any realtor either ... When Kara and I bought a house out in Chilliwack in 2000 (sold it in 2005 when we bought the acreage), the realtor we had for that transaction really stood out in both our minds as someone who actually cared to make sure that she got the very best for her clients. So very often, since then, in dealing with a real estate agent I have come away with the overwhelming feeling that their commission was the only thing they really cared about. The whole rigmarole I went through with the realtor that was supposed to be representing me when I'd briefly had the acreage up for sale a couple of years back really served to sour me towards realtors in general.

Since we are peery of getting stuck with another self-serving agent ... when I shyly brought up the idea that mabey, just mabey, it might be time to think about starting to look at real estate and agents ... Kara surprised me by actually remembering the name of the gal who took such good care of us eleven years ago. Having the name, I managed to find her listing and discovered that she was still at the very same office we'd walked in off the street over a decade ago to find. We made a quick stop by her office, which brought up some good memories as, other than some cosmetic upgrades, it is exactly as I recall.

She was not it, but her receptionist paged her to call me ... which she did in under 30 minutes. And, after I explained why I was contacting her, she remembered! Eleven years after she had helped us buy our house in Chilliwack, and without having the time to look us up, she remembered -- not us, but the listing/house. I'm still mighty impressed ... being that I couldn't remember her name after eleven years. Really glad Kara could ^_^

So it looks like I have a realtor ... I've told her that I likely won't be ready to start looking with a view to buying until around January/February. But still, it's a tiny step in the direction of optimism.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Saving Throw vs Charm - Failed

On Tuesday, Kara and I had to drive up to Merritt so that she could see her Dr, have him check on her healing process, and fill out some forms to facilitate her getting her medical short-term disability which Manulife has not yet processed (three weeks after her surgery). It was a long and difficult drive for her ... leading to a lot of intense pain later in the day. Not really unexpected when she's had to sit on the surgical site in the car for three hours just to get there.

Each time we have managed to get to Merritt, whether it was for an actual visit or we're just passing through, I have made a point to stop in and see the kids and the baby. Kara, however, has usually found reasons to be elsewhere. I have suspected, while her excuse is that she wants to give me more time with my granddaughter, that it has had more to do with her being uncomfortable with herself around the baby. Kara's first introduction to Amaya was when the baby was around four months old and cranky from a cold and teething, Kara had never held a babe that small before and was much less than comfortable.

This time, before we left, I insisted that she stop by and see the kids. We got there and Amaya started moving my way across the sofa to hold her arms up in that wordless gesture that even those who have never known an infant before understand to mean "pick me up". She was all smiles and cuddles as I held her and I could see Kara watching with a smile from beside me.

And then it happened ... Amaya turned towards Kara and leaned out with her arms up. Kara's eyes went wide and instinctively she reached out as well. Before Kara could change her mind, or think about what she was doing, I handed her the baby and stepped back to watch what was about to happen.

It was pure magic ... Amaya showed no fear or reservation, she just leaned right into Kara and tucked her wee head under Kara's chin cuddling right in. I have never seen such a perfect casting of a charm spell, this kid is a pro, and I had the pleasure of watching Kara's stunned face as she completely botched her saving throw. The charm took hold and Kara just melted her wondering expression turning to joy when, a few moments later, the baby looked up at her and grinned, followed up by the open mouthed baby-kisses that are pure wonderful for anyone who has experienced them.

I watched quietly as the gears in Kara's head shifted and the baby went from "Llyn's granddaughter" to "my granddaughter" ...

Isn't life wonderful?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Standing up ...

Isn't it interesting how, no matter how old one gets, certain things can return you to an earlier state? 

In my case, I was advised by the estate lawyer (EL) on Friday to contact my sister and give her the opportunity to say her piece in the hopes that she will finally piss or get off the pot concerning the release she has been holding the whole process hostage with. After some further conversation with the EL, it was determined that the safest course of action would be for me to contact her via email and insist that only that medium should be the method of communication.

Why safest? 
Because, much as it shames the adult me to admit, my little sister is THE BULLY of my childhood. 

I was a much bullied child ... bullied at school for being odd and different (the least of said differences being that I was the first Anglophone child ever admitted to the Penssionnat du Saint Nom de Jesus et Marie, a prestigious private Francophone boarding/elementary school .. now called Externat Mont-Jésus-Marie) ... bullied in my own neighbourhood; since I didn't go to local school the neighbourhood kids saw me as an outsider ... and bullied at home by my younger sister.

By the time I was in grade 9 (an oft pivotal grade/age for a child), I was so tormented that the teachers at the English public school I was at (Mount Royal Catholic High School) got so tired of seeing me be put upon (after they [parents, teachers, principal] tried everything they could short of bringing in the police, which wasn't done back in the 70's) that they and the principal decided to opt for a radical and (to the best of my knowledge) singularly unique solution. I was called to the principal's office one morning.

That was the day I learned what "carte blanche" meant.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Count down to NaNoWriMo ...

NaNoWriMo begins November 1st and lasts until November 30th ... 30 days to write 50,000 words or a 1700-1800 words per day minimum.

This year, I have gathered a trio of buddies and we're all going to give it a go. I've had a rampant writer's block for years now and lacked any real drive to break through it. I'm considering using my LiveJournal as a place to post my day's writing ... it would allow me to bring it out of mothballs and put it to some use.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Shade of Grey ...

It is now a full day after Kara's surgery and I can finally think about blogging ... not that I have a lot to say, really. Everything since our arrival in Montreal has been a blur right up to yesterday, which is in sharp focus in my mind.

Jen and I were supposed to be there for 10am as Kara had been scheduled to be the second taken in for surgery ... that was changed to 8am without warning and we were given 10 minutes warning. There was no way we would be able to get from where we were staying to the surgical centre in that time and so I missed being there for her when she was being wheeled away like I wanted to. She claimed she was OK with that ... myself, not so much but what could I do?

We aimed to be at the centre for just after noon and then waited until almost two for her to be brought down from the recovery room to the floor her room was on (and where we were waiting). The wait seemed to drag on interminably ... I brought my iPad with the kindle app and it's loaded books and did my best to try to read. I more or less ended up staring at the same page and reading the same line over and over without comprehending what I was seeing.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Just keep breathing ... breathing ... breathing ...

The countdown is on and this time tomorrow I will be in Montreal with Kara. I'm kind of sad that Reg couldn't be there like she wanted to, neither her nor my finances saw fit to make it possible, but I am grateful that Jen could come so that there will be someone there with me on Wednesday to keep me from fretting myself sick while Kara's in surgery.

It's important to not let one's fears get the best of them so both Kara and I are doing our best to keep our imaginations and nerves under control and, for the most part, we're succeeding.

Kara really deserves a lot of credit ... from the coming off hormones (an experience not unlike menopause) to keeping herself busy so that her nerves don't get away from her. She had one angry day and one sad day and the rest of the time, she's been giddy. She has been fussing over me more and more as we get closer to tomorrow morning, which I think is her way of coping with the stress. And that's ok, cause it reassures me as well.

Gtg and pack ... 6am comes mighty early.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Finally getting it right ^_~

So, the other day, Kara and I were out and about when I felt an irritating tickle on my throat. Reaching up, I happened to capture a stray shed hair of mine. But, instead of just discarding it, there was something about this particular hair that caused me to stop and look at it closely. I had never seen a hair like this before ... it was remarkable in that the bottom 2/3s of the hair was my dark mousey brown colour while the upper 1/3 was a definite sparkly silver colour (or lack thereof, I suppose). Never before have I seen a hair which shows the exact point at which the hair follicle stopped producing melanin (the natural substance that gives us brunettes our dark colouration).

Now ... I can just picture the reactions of some of the womenfolk who may happen to read this (ranging from the "just have to accept it" frown, to the "oh gods, where's the dye?" frantic eye widen). And, ladies, you will have to forgive me as I laugh at you ... I have NEVER understood the fanatical dread that many females appear to allow themselves to give power to over the simple reality of aging. How much energy you waste trying to prevent the inevitable, instead of embracing it and allowing yourself to enjoy the ride.

Well, perhaps I can't honestly say never ... On the day of my 25th birthday, I did experience a moment where that quiet, observant archivist portion of my mind presented me with a mental timeline whereupon my birth was at one point and 100 was at the other and my age/birthday marked clearly at the quarter century point ... whereupon I did experience about 5-10 seconds of frantic terror and then I shrugged my shoulders and it was over and past.

Friday, September 30, 2011

"So, you really think I am a little OCD?"

Isn't it interesting how, so often when we are wondering something about ourselves, someone else will inadvertently chime in with the answer without realizing it?

I am stressed, that's a given ... far more stressed than my previous experiences in life have prepared me for. In times past, even when my life was falling down around my ears, I could maintain a sense of internal stability and belief in the fact that I could, at very least, control my own reactions to the negative stimuli around me. I seem to have lost, or misplaced if you prefer, that talent ... and the quiet, observant part of my brain has been cataloguing the resulting changes in my behaviour for me. Tossing up examples both as they happen and in later quiet moments of the odd things I notice and my reactions to them. For almost a week now, I've been paying attention to that quiet little part of my brain and wondering whether it's just my imagination or whether my personal brand of insanity was getting worse.

Please don't get me wrong ... I know I'm an odd duck. I always have been. And no, I'm not crazy ... at least not the dangerous to myself or others type of crazy. But I'm also not what most people would call "normal" either. The nicest thing most people can say about me is eccentric ... and, you know what? I'm quite all right with that label. I am eccentric and if I gave into more of the impulses or idea that flow through my noggin during the course of a day, I would stand out a great deal more than I do (gratitude for the small blessings of the introvert's shyness overruling the eccentric's outlandishness). Or mabey it's just that I haven't had the funds to allow myself to properly express that eccentricity which has resulted in my keeping under the radar. Certainly, it never hurt that, what with my Da being a psychiatrist, I pretty much knew what to say and do to keep the professional types from judging me as too out there.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Breaking old patterns ...

Last Saturday, I did something out of the usual and travelled to Coquitlam to spend a few hours in the company of a handfull of strangers with dice. *wry chuckle* 

I had been vacillating whether or not to attend, but that became a non-issue once I'd told Kara about the invite ... she insisted that I simply had to go. Apparently, she was of the decided opinion that I have been spending far too much time at home ... alone. Who am I to argue with her when she's right, so I walked Bailey early that day and hopped onto transit to meet up with my host and two other invitees at the Coquitlam Center busloop. 

It was a very anxiety ridden trip ... I admit to not being very good at meeting new people. And it took a while to warm up to the small crowd that had gathered for the event but, once we got into the actual mechanics of rolling up characters, that passed. Our host/DM is a genial individual  who was most concerned with ensuring that we enjoyed the experience and quick to offer assistance. Things warmed up further once the bulk of the character creation was done and the geek socialization could take place. 

All in all, I enjoyed my time there (still not thrilled with the game system) and the people who will be making up the party (or some of them ... not all were able to attend) are all very interesting individuals. 

It all promises to be fun ...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Doggysitting ...

So, I'm in New West for the next while, taking care of Bailey ... [sarcasm] such a difficult chore [/sarcasm] ... while Rachel is in Montreal recovering from her surgery. She went under the knife yesterday and has already proven that she's got an awful lot still to learn about being female ... she's caused herself complications by sitting up too long too soon on her computer instead of being a good girl and resting (because she's just had ... you know ... major surgery and all). She's going to be just fine, thankfully ... might need a minor followup to deal with the blood clot that's formed as a result of her not following good sense and resting, but the nurses and care workers at the residence are all over the situation and she's in good hands so I'm not worried. Kara gets back Friday evening and we'll still have a week of doggy duty before Rachel is viewed as fit to return home.

Kara has had a major weight off her mind after her consultation with Dr. Brassard ... despite the elevated blood sugar levels, she has been cleared for her own operation next month. Understandably, she's relieved beyond belief ... but she's also displaying that inspired side of herself to the people at the clinic. She's endearing herself to staff, patients and family of patients ... displaying a genuine concern for others that is so uncommonly rare in someone who is diagnosed GID. It makes me very proud of my girl, that she has learned to set her own needs aside and genuinely connect with the welfare of those she sees around her. She's come such a very long way in such a very short time.

And this is only her beginning ...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Organised Chaos ...

Organised chaos is a concept that my Nana (Da's Mum) introduced me to when I was in grade 6 ... so I'd have been about 12, I guess. That year, my parents decided to actually take a proper holiday and we spent three months in Northern Ireland visiting various family members on both sides ... Da's Mum, Mum's folks, Auntie Peggy (Mum's younger sister) and her three kids, Uncle Jack (Da's older brother) and his fourteen kids (yes ... fourteen. My mind boggles at it having raised two myself), etc. While we were visiting Nana, I remember her home being quite clean but, unlike what I was used to at home, there was a fair bit of clutter ... stuff piled up on shelves, tables, any surface that you could pile stuff up on really.

Nana's craft room, in particular, was far worse than the rest of the house. It was a complete jumble of unpacked boxes here and there, stacks of books, paint pots, sewing patterns and yarn balls with knitting needles sticking out of them all over the place (some with partially completed projects attached). It was a riot of stuff, and I can remember Mum asking Nana about it. I believe Mum was offering to help Nana tidy it up and "set it to rights". Nana laughed and refused the offer, explaining that she had a system of organized chaos and any "setting right" would only cause her to not be able to find anything. Mum looked bemused but let it go.

Organised chaos is a good way to explain me ... mabey that's why Nana understood me so well. At 44, I'm only now getting the hang of keeping the house tidy ... consciously choosing to recognize that there are a few places in my home where I shouldn't allow clutter to take place. I've also managed to grasp the lesson that a woman's home reflects her inner self ... at least in this woman's case. ;-p If my home is an awful mess, then I'm not doing so well mentally/emotionally, and the worse the mess is, the closer to depressed I usually am. As my spirits lift again, the mess starts to get sorted out. And this observation leads me to wonder if other women might not be the same. But even in the midst of the mess, if you were to ask me for a particular item, I'd most likely be able to locate it for you fairly quickly.

Recognizing that I tend towards this mental chaos, I'm trying to make an effort to be a bit more organised ... the basement/garden suite here is being maintained relatively clutter free (compared to other places I've lived), I'm taking great pains to keep my craft stuff collected and contained in some semblance of order, and I'm making an effort to try to collect and discipline my thoughts as well. The beneficial impact on my mental/emotional self is interesting ... the more work I do on it, the better I feel so the more work I do on it. I've even done some organizing on the blog here and found a way to link it with my other two blog sites. ^_^

The darkness that surrounded me in Calgary is receding, and it's a good thing ^_^

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dental DAMN ...

Well, yesterday's dental appointment didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped ... I can honestly say that it was my worst experience at the dentist in my life so far.

I'm not normally one to have a bad time having tooth work ... my folks made sure to begin taking me to the Dental college as a small child to have senior students work on my mouth so they can get ready for the real world. Since the students were all on the youngish side of adult, it wasn't hard to like going and meeting them. They were, as I remember, all very nice and friendly. They explained everything they were doing (or about to do) and generally created a very calm and relaxed atmosphere that allowed me to avoid developing the fear or horror that others seem to reserve for the Dentist's Office.

This was a very good thing, and likely deliberate, as I didn't have the best teeth even in childhood. I was sickly and, as a result, I ran extremely high fevers frequently. As a result of one such in toddlerhood, my top left front tooth died ... well, almost. For years, I walked around with this wobbly, black thing stuck in my smile. The dental instructors at the college advised my folks against having it removed until it fell out as it was a necessary spacer for the other teeth (even if it was not pretty) and would allow me a greater chance of avoiding braces in adolescence (which I did). It had just enough nerve left to make me avoid trying to pull it out (ouch!).

Friday, September 2, 2011

Skin of My Teeth ...

Well, it took only 5 days for that awful pain in my face to come back once I'd stopped taking the antibiotics. So, following on a practical approach of eliminating everything I can from the potential list of causes, I went and saw a dentist today.

Good thing too ... apparently the tooth I broke back in February (I think it was Feb.) and that the dentist in Calgary tried to fill for me, has gone bad and abscessed. Which could be the cause or, at least, a strong contributing factor in all the pain I've been having.

I have a root canal scheduled for tomorrow morning at 9:00. Bad tooth is going to need a crown (och .. that's going to get expensive) ... only catch is that it's on the mandible, so fixing it might not solve the issue. Dentist gave me 40% odds that it will and I'm going to bring my lucky dice ... so here's hoping.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Month of the Blood Moon ...

Welcome to September,

Not much has changed beyond the page on the calendar, but I felt I should still mark the occasion. I have been back in the GVRD for four months now ... it's been an interesting time marked by small ups and some downs.

It's going to be a month marked with and up and two downs for me emotionally as well ... Sept. 13 = Da's birthday ... Sept. 18 = Amaya's 1st birthday ... Sept. 28 = Mum's birthday. I'm kind of glad that Amaya's in the middle there as it will break up the emotional down that would otherwise have caught me and held on till October.

I got quite upset last night ...

A very good friend of Kara's (who live in Minnesota, US) lost her house yesterday ... it was an odd but, apparently, not unheard of situation where a couple split up but find themselves having to stay together for a) the children [never, ever a good reason; as her youngest child recently pointed out to her] and b) financial reasons.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Location, location, location ... pt 2

My spirits are becoming a bit brighter again ... tho likely to stay on the off side of depressed until the end of September (being that Da's birthday was the 13th and Mum's the 28th), after which I'll be good until the 13th of November (Da's passing).

It's a nice feeling, although I'm still terribly emotional and apt to have tears in my eyes a lot with little provocation, to not be carrying such a depth of darkness with me around my days. I've been focused upon trying to plan for the future, with the understanding that the time when things are going to improve dramatically is getting ever closer (albeit slowly).

To that end, I've actually succeeded on getting Kara motivated to get herself geared up for school. Got her looking into Langara College with it's University transfer program to UBC ... she discovered that she can do her first two years at Langara for a fairly reasonable tuition and then transfer into 3rd year UBC Psych. And all she needs to get started is her GED. Needless to say, she's quite enthused by this turn of events.

Working on trying to get the Cave Troll to make a choice about what he might like to try ... he is his own worst enemy. Putting up roadblocks faster than you can encourage him to try. It's quite frustrating .. for him as well as for Kara and I. We know what the boy is capable of, we just need to get him to make a decision on where to start. I'll keep up some gentle pressure so that, when the time comes that he can actually see about getting into school, he'll have at least researched a few things.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dehydration Rehydration ...

I've been having a real problem with hydration ... the very essential need to maintain the levels of H2O that is necessary for all the systems of the body to perform their jobs properly and maintain good health. I noticed a few weeks ago that my ankles and feet were swelling, which means that my body is dehydrated and my lymphatic system is trying to calm my brain's panic by taking extra fluid from my bloodstream and storing it between my tissues and my cells.

Part of the problem has been Kara's tendency to spoil me ... she brings me Coca-Cola every day and it is a weakness that I will readily admit to. I am a Coke addict ... addicted to the caffeine and sugar to the point of being able to discern the "real thing" from the pretender colas (I was a terror during the 1980's Pepsi Challenge days). I am such a Coca-Cola-holic that I even took time, when visiting a friend in Australia in 2002, to sample their version to find out if the rumour about Canada and Australia sharing the same recipe (sweeter than the original US one) were true. It is ^_~

Saturday, August 27, 2011

366 Days ...

I couldn't write anything yesterday.
Still can't write much, but didn't want the day to go completely unmarked.

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of Mum's passing.

I'm not terribly ok and am isolating myself from everyone and everything until I have all my emotional marbles collected back into the same basket again.

I will be ok ... just need time, eh?
I miss her.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tearful Gratitude ...

Heh, I'm crying again. The tears come and just won't stop but this time, unlike all the other times, the reason for the tears is readily apparent.

I got word today from the executor/lawyer (E/L) ... it would appear that the financial fellow (FF) was as good as his word to me on Tuesday. The E/L informed me that he had spoken with the FF who had explained my situation to him and impressed upon him a sense of urgency about not only getting me some financial assistance but also about not delaying any further at getting the estate issues back into a forward moving position.

They have figured out a way that I can receive some help each month to facilitate keeping us afloat until a proper and final resolution is reached. I'll be receiving a cheque to help bring me current with those parts of my finances which are in arrears. They are also making some extra funds available to me for Kara's surgery in October.

I'm so very relieved that I don't have to jump every time I hear the "beep beep beep" of a truck backing up anymore, for fear that my car's being loaded onto a tow-truck (and, considering this house is situated above a truck yard, I hear that sound a lot!). I'll be able to get all my arrears caught up and have a little something each month to ensure that we have food in the cupboards again.

Let the tears come ... I welcome them.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Emotional ...

So, yesterday was my birthday. I turned 44 and, quite frankly, I am happy it's over.

I've been rather fragile emotionally for the better part of the last week ... apt to suddenly have tears in my eyes, and down my cheeks, with little warning and just about no provocation. I'm still that way now .. but at least I've identified some of the cause.

Yesterday started well ... went and had the meeting with the financial guru and his daughter (he's got two daughters working with him and one son just getting into the business, so it'll be nice ... his family will continue to help my family after he retires) and that went fairly well.

Took a while to explain exactly what the situation was ... his immediate/initial reaction was a bit reserved but, as we got into the specifics of it all he returned to that protective fatherly type energy and started agreeing with us that something needed to be done since my boat is sinking while we wait on my sister's pleasure. We explained about Kara's surgery coming up in October and how we needed money for that ... we explained about Rachel and how much she has contributed to keeping the boat afloat while we wait.

I told him specifically that I needed his help to light a fire under the executor's ass .. get him to stop waiting on my sister and get things moving forward again. We talked for almost two and a half hours, and I think it went well. He left me with he would see if there was something that could be done on a short term emergency type basis to help us hang on until things are resolved. He was going to contact the executor/lawyer and explain a few things to him ... after all, what's the point of inheriting by December, if I can't eat now.

Then we had a problem with Prospera credit union, which upset me greatly. But there was a greater upset that was growing ... it started making itself known during the meeting with the $guru, and slowly grew in strength as the day wore on.

Finally, around 1:45pm, had a chance to get some food and it hit me ... this was my first birthday in the whole of my life when I wasn't going to hear her voice ... or see her blue eyes. And I damn near came completely unglued ... took quite a while to regain my composure. Even now, typing this, I have tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.

Damn, I miss her. ;_;

Monday, August 8, 2011

Disgruntled Grumpiness ...

Blarg :p

I have spent the last three days trying to figure out what to write about and, other than some mighty negative feelings, nothing much has presented itself.

Went to Justin & Stephanie's wedding on Saturday ... very nice. Posted on FB the few pics I took on my iPhone that actually came out clear enough to be identifiable. Kind of sad we didn't make the reception, but I understand why ... and, honestly, Kara with a GI issue isn't something I want to inflict on anyone.

Tomorrow's the meeting with the financial guru ... here's hoping I have something positive to report and not just another case of "sorry, we can't help you" that has been the story of my life since as far back as I can remember. People perpetuating seven kinds of fraud can get help from all quarters ... but not me. (and so you get the gist of what I meant my negative feelings, I'm sure)

One good thing did happen on Friday last ... had opportunity to speak briefly to the landlord, who also happens to be a lawyerly type, about the situation with the estate. He suggested that I stop being Ms passive-pants (not his exact wording ^_~) and actually instruct the executor to get off his fanny and get things moving forward if it's simply a matter of having his bookwork for his time as Power of Attorney checked.

I'm going to be taking the renewal info for the acreage's 2nd mortgage with me to see the $guru in the morning ... and I'll be laying my financial situation out for him in as plain English as I can manage. I'm hoping there's something he can do to assist AND to enlist his aid in urging the lawyer/executor to get the ball rolling.

What's the point of standing to inherit 1/2 of Mum and Da's estate if I go bankrupt before the actual inheriting happens?

Here's hoping I have better news to report tomorrow, eh?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"You saved my life, you know" ...

About a month or so ago, I happened across the song How to Save a Life by The Fray. The melody is quiet and upbeat; a rather unusual companion for the lyrics and yet it works ... it strikes a chord deep within me that reduces me to tears each and every time I hear it. Tapping into a deep well of pain and anguish the origins of which I am at a loss to explain ... a sorrow so profound as to leave me unable to speak for long minutes until I am able to recover my composure.

Twice now, in just under three months, I have had someone say those words to me ... two different people who, along the course of their lives, had opportunity to have their paths collide with mine in a manner that has obviously left a mark. Twice now, I have refused to accept those words ... insisting instead that they saved themselves ...if I had a role in it at all, it was simply as the person who gave them a chance to.

It is not that I didn't understand the significance of what they were trying to tell me. I do appreciate that they felt this so strongly that they needed to tell me ... and I am able to grasp the significance of the words themselves. It is, I think, that I am unable to accept the notion that I did anything special ...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sleeping Dogs on Lughnassadh

Sometimes, somethings are just better left to the past and, apparently, I am learning to have some control over my impulsive side.
Go figure, it's only taken nearly 44 years, heh.

When I'm sleep deprived, keeping my mind busy is important else it has a bad tendency to lead me into committee, where I can then expend a fair amount of mental energy absolutely shredding myself (finding fault with everything and driving myself closer to a depressed state that would require medication to come out of). Being that the night before last was one of those sleepless nights, I spent the wee hours of the morning bumbling about on the computer reading random blog sites and updating my own (yesterday's post).

Eventually, towards dawn, on a whim I entered into Google the name of an individual I had known many years ago ... someone with whom I had a great deal of history and not all good. I suppose it was curiosity that led me to wonder how she was doing. What came up was a tightly restricted Facebook account (which had been given an URL name that only I would recognize being that it pertained to a story I had been writing when she and I last associated) and two news pieces dated to 2009.

The first one I found was actually the later piece of the two, published in the local Metro about the concerns of the number of people in Vancouver who exist under the poverty level. The GVRD has the highest poverty rate in the country ... with the poverty level being determined by the number of people who make under $16/hr which is the minimum single income that is needed to be able to live reasonably in the most expensive province. This person was featured as an example of someone who was too poor to get by on their own. In it she talked about being "trapped" by poverty and about how she had worries about how to feed her (then) 5 year old daughter. Knowing that she'd had three boys before I cut ties, discovering that there was no mention of them, only of the daughter, also led to some concern.

Those words struck me hard ...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sleepless in Surrey ...

heh ... ok, well, this is becoming too much of a habit for me to be happy with. And I have to be up early in the morning to go with Kara to that Pride thing ... eh, a fair bit of ambivalence from me with regards to that one. On the one hand, I want to be supportive of Kara's progress and, on the other, I really dislike the whole Pride thing.

My dislike it not due to any homophobic issues, but because I can't help but feel that it has all the dignity of a bad burlesque and about 1/3 the class.

While I know there are people out there that would try to admonish me with the "oh, they're just having a good time" and "it's all in fun" and "lighten up and enjoy", the blunt reality is that I was raised to believe that one needs to comport one's self with honour and dignity. I was raised to believe, since Gaelic families tend to have VERY long memories (just ask any Scots about the Campbells and the MacDonalds [Glencoe 1692] or the MacGregors [pre1400 - 1774] if you want an idea of just how long their memories can be), one should always act in a manner that would bring honour not only to one's self but to one's great-great grandchildren.

Any person who wishes to demonstrate their pride in themselves should, by all means, do so ... in a manner that reflects the respect that they wish observers to have for them. It's the same reason I won't be caught dead at Mardi Gras (yes ladies, let's display our dignity by flashing strange drunks for plastic beads ... that shows a lot of self-respect *eye roll*) or other similar "parties".

My personal belief is that the conduct of what is likely a highly visible minority of GLBT buffoons does more to hamper the community's struggles to gain equal status under the law with heteros in areas such as marriage, etc., than it does to help. Being that these fruitloops are the ones that get the sensationalist media exposure, and not the demure same-sex couple and the well adjusted child they are raising, it is those images that are called to the 'more likely to be closed than open' minds of politicians and your average Joe and Jane Doe, with their 2.5 kids and a dog, when important issues come up.

Thank you, but no.
I'll be supportive of the struggle faced by GLBT persons, but I cannot approve or appreciate the Pride spectacle. It's just not my thing ...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Defining the Self ...

A couple of days ago, I challenged Jyslin to get to work on the identity portion of her growth by seeking to reach an understanding of WHO she was. As a result, I appear to have created a bit of a stir, as the ripples of her initial blog-post's content have motivated certain of her friends to echo her.

Gradually, as I observe the various attempts to answer "Who am I?", I begin to understand that (for a majority of these people) there isn't a sufficient understanding of the question itself to even begin to formulate an answer. A number of them do not even realize how vital having a strong grasp of the question is and flounder away with explanations that reflect WHAT they are, but not WHO.

Being that we are not, currently, a culture nor a society that encourages independent thought ... favouring superficial appearance and conformity over individual uniqueness ... I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that so many do not know how to define for themselves what the question means so as to be able to figure out what the answer is. Considering that "Who am I?" is the hardest of all the questions a human being is likely to ask of his/herself, I have a great deal of empathy for those who are struggling with it.

While I cannot lead anyone to the right answer for themselves, perhaps I can lend a hand at defining the question and provide a framework that can help set them on their way towards discovering their answer. It is also important to understand that the process of "BEING" is ever evolving ... what your answer might be at age 20 will be different from what it is at age 40, 80, or 100. It has to evolve as you learn and grow, as nothing stagnant is ever healthy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Broadening my Horizons

And so, I have come to a decision about what to do with Merritt ... once I have the mortgage issue sorted out and disbursed, I'll be putting it back on the market for sale.

Here, in Canada, taxes are high (they have to be to fund our social programs) ... homeowners are aided, in this regard, by the Homeowner's Grant which reduces the amount of property tax an individual needs to pay yearly upon their primary residence. There is no grant, however, to aid with the taxes on a secondary/recreational property.

In order to allow myself to go back to school, I will need to look for a residence in or around Vancouver ... so that public transit can be made use of for transportation. Rather than rent in the city, I would prefer to own my own home. It would allow me more freedom and a sense of security that one just doesn't get in a rental (not that I'm dissing anyone who rents ... it's just not my thing). Buying in the GVRD would mean that the property I purchase would become my primary residence and qualify for the Homeowner's Grant. It also means that Merritt, as a result, would not ... and I would have to pay a larger amount in property tax for the acreage.

By selling the property, I would not only save myself that extra cost in taxes but I would free up capital that would allow me to do something a bit different instead. Well ok, if I'm being honest, what I have in mind is a lot different.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Bean Tighe, 'tis me?

A Bean Tighe (pronounced ban tig) is an Irish familial spirit akin to the Bean Sidhe (ban shee). Like her more fey cousin, a Bean Tighe was connected to a particular Irish family (usually older blood like my mother's folk) but, unlike the Bean Shidhe, her interactions with the people of the family to which she was attached was of a benevolent/beneficial sort. If seen, which was rarely, she appeared to be a small, elderly woman dressed in a leine mna (plain linen undergarment/chemise worn next to the skin), an ionar mna (woolen over-dress cut shorter than the leine), a brat (woolen rectangular cloak as long as the wearer is tall), a caille (veil/shawl), and a crois (tablet woven woolen belt) with a mala (pouch).

The Bean Tighe is a helpful spirit that is likely one of the inspirations for the "fairy godmother" type donor/patron from faerie and folk tales. She is the one who makes it possible for others to achieve their potential ... whether it be helping with the maintenance of one's home, one's finances, or the ability to make one's dreams come true.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bittersweet Tears ...

note - I wrote this two days ago but seem to have hit save instead of publish ... that's what I get for blogging at 4am, I guess.
The date for this entry SHOULD be Monday, July 11th, 2011

I got told something the other day that put a smile on my face even as it made me cry. Thanks to Denese Durden Rhoney and John Durden for that.

John is training as an EMT in southern Georgia, USA (So proud of him!) ... back in the 1980's my Da created the world's first emergency psychiatric department at Vancouver General Hospital (among a plethora of other things he's known for) and he pioneered a revolution in protocols for the treatment of patients, victims, and family of such.

Not too long ago, John comes home from his training to tell his mom about my Da's work. Apparently his protocols are still being used; his methods are being taught to EMT first responders as standard procedure. According to Nese, he made my Da out to sound like quite a famous person ... which, I suppose he was, within the bounds of medicine. He was just such a modest man that he really downplayed his own importance outside of the job. She teased me about it (in a good natured way, of course), accusing me of holding out on her about my celebrity status but her teasing got me to thinking.

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's all in the perspective ...

One of the things that has been replaying itself again and again recently in my life, has been a powerful connection to the camera ... or more accurately, my handing (literally or metaphorically) a camera to someone as a means to help them develop a little perspective outside their current comfort zone.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Temporarily Situated ...

And so, it's been a little while since I wrote anything here. Best do some catching up ...

Towards the end of June there, I was getting to the point where I was coming unglued. Mind you, I did come down with a bacterial sinus infection that necessitated me to go on some mighty powerful medication, both antibiotics and a strong analgesic to help deal with the infection and the pain resulting from it. This led to me being quite a bit less patient and calm than I normally am, both with Rachel and with Kara (on messenger). The meds have helped, but I suspect that I'm still sick now ... just can't afford another $70 for a Dr visit (which I am stuck paying until I can get my birth certificate replaced), so it'll have to do for now.

I managed to find a place to live ... a fairly nice furnished 2 bedroom garden suite with all utilities included (incl wireless, tv, and laundry) for $900/mo. Which is, all things considered, pretty good. It's not big, but it'll do us till the new year whereupon things should finally be settled with the estate.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

AND ... wait some more.


I went to the BIG meeting yesterday with what I've taken to calling my "three men in a tub" (lawyer, accountant, & financial manager) ... the end result is that my waiting isn't done yet. Worst case scenario would be December *cries* which is over a full year and 4 months after Mum passed. Seriously? The bureaucratic machine has created a situation so ponderously cumbersome that there's no way that a simple inheritance situation can be handled in under 16 months?

But still, even with my whining about the wait ... at least, to have a sense of the actual time frame and a deadline upon which all three of the gentlemen at the meeting agreed as being most probable, gives me more to work with than I have had since my mother passed away. I doubt I'll be ready for the board exams by February, as this means that I'll have take whatever work I can find to help pay my share of rent, bills and my debts until things are finally sorted out.

The Lawyer did indicate that he wasn't prepared to remain hostage to my sister's manipulations for much longer. He requires her to sign off, as I did, on his accounting during his time as the power of attorney from 2005-2010. He has provided her with all the paperwork she has requested and the Law Society has many reviews and checks in place to ensure that their people remain honest. At the Financial Manager's suggestion, the Lawyer is going to be providing my sister with a deadline ... a date by which he needs her to either provide the signed release or formally state her intention to not provide it. If she does the former, then the wheels finally begin to turn and things will begin to happen.

If she does the latter, then the Lawyer has stated that he will pack up all his books and accountings for the time period in question and make an appointment with the Courts to see a registrar about getting the courts to certify that he's done what he should and the books are in order. And this is what could cause everything to get stretched out until December, since nothing dealing with the court system is ever quick or timely. Once this has occurred, however, as in the previous scenario ... the wheels of the machine finally start turning and life can finally come out of this dreadful waiting period.

The meeting itself was, in a word, surreal ...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

reHoming Me ...

So, I have decided that this couch-surfing thing just does not suit me.

For the last month and a half, I have been staying with friends kind enough to open their homes to me as I try to get things sorted out. The month of May was spent hiding out at Justin and Stephanie's while June is being spent with Kara's friend Rachel. At J&S's, they at least had a spare room to put me in, so I could both have and give them as much privacy as was possible and still share a suite with them. At Rachel's however, I have a mattress on the floor in the living room as her suite is only a 1 bedroom.

There's also a very big difference in personalities between them ... foremost among the differences is that J&S are both relatively quiet people ... gentle folk with soft spoken mannerisms. Rachel, on the other hand, is not only extremely extroverted and needy but also very loud and lacking certain social graces that makes sharing space quite difficult for an extremely introverted person like myself. She is a kind soul, please do not think that I am not grateful to her for the help, I am ... very. But it is just that my personality and her's do not suit each other for long term contact.

As such, I am greatly hoping that the appointment to view a basement suite this evening goes well. The suite wouldn't be available until July 1 which means that I would have to be here in New West until then, but at least Kara and Stephen would have somewhere to bring the boxes and stuff when they roll into town. We may have to spend a night or two at Rachel's in case the suite isn't quite ready or the uHaul makes much better time than expected (which can happen).

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Nothing to report as yet on the estate front ... life continues in a holding pattern for now.

My location in the Lower Mainland, however, is making a shift. Justin and Stephanie are planning their wedding for early August, as such they have an awful lot of stuff they need to be doing and (quite frankly) I am in the way. They haven't said anything, this is my own sense of perception telling me that I need to be out of their hair.

As such, I'm shifting over across the river to New Westminster to stay with a friend of Kara's until I can find a place of my own. She'll be picking me up shortly. I have everything packed with the exception of the air mattress, one box under the desk in the spare room, and my mother's statuettes which will all remain here for safe keeping until I have my own place to put them. Justin's also promised to keep an eye on my car until I can find out of Rachel has a residential parking permit (which must be displayed in parked cars in NW else you get towed) and/or we can make arrangements to get one.

This is going to be a tight fit though ... definitely motivates me to find a place sooner. I'm looking for either a June 15th (preferred) or July 1st availability.

Almost time to make some magic, methinks ...

Friday, June 3, 2011

Waiting of a New Sort ...

Well ... over the weekend, as I was up in Merritt, I happened to stretch and put my left hand on an odd feeling patch of skin on my left shoulder just to the side of the spine below the neck. It felt very odd and, not being able to see it, I became concerned, since I'd not cut myself nor had any other reason for the skin to have been broken. Couldn't do anything about it while I was up there -- tho, in hindsight, I probably should have popped in to see Joie's Doctor ... as the Dr I got at the New West clinic was an Indian immigrant. Which is fine, except that she hadn't the faintest clue what Lyme Disease was, nor what the signs/symptoms are, nor what test to order to screen for the Borellia bacterium (nor the two blood borne parasites that are often carried by the tick along with the bacteria).

Now I wait for the lab results to find out whether Lyme Disease is, indeed, the cause of the skin lesion or if we need to start looking at something else. I'm actually hoping that it is the LD as, catching that early (which this would be) means approximately 3 months on antibiotics and I'm right as rain again. It would be highly preferable to other potential causes.

I just want to be healthy ^_^

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Application & Interview

Well, I went for my first job interview yesterday at Aru Spa Salon in South Surrey/White Rock.

Wow, I suspected the place was posh and I wasn't far wrong. The building, tho plain on the outside and with no parking available, is quite impressive on the inside. They get around the patron parking issue by having a valet service. Drop your car and keys with the chap at the front door and he'll not only worry about parking it, but bring it back to you when you are done.

I have a practical interview on Tuesday at 3pm. I got the feeling that, if I do well, I'll be offered the job.

The question is ... will the wage be worth it? I know they pay a commission per service and per product sold. But cannot recall what the exact percentages are and I need to know them to be able to figure out what my potential income might be.

I'll be making a point of clarifying that with them.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Avoidance ...

Despite my resolution to try to make an entry at least every couple of days, I have to admit to avoiding this space this week. There are things that I want to say, but that I just don't feel I should (at this time) in a relatively public place. While the chances of this being read by someone I don't wish to have see it are remote, I have heard of stranger things happening and, because of circumstances being as they are, I'm not willing to tip my hand just yet.

I can honestly say that last night was one of the roughest I've had in a while, certainly my roughest since leaving Calgary. It wasn't a matter of physical pain this time, a couple of AC&C were all that was needed to bring that back to bearable ... no, it was my growing dismay and indignation at the situation that I have been placed in that was making me miserable. At a point in time where my family should be pulling together to cope with Mum's death, it is being pulled apart by one individual's greed. This person's absolute disregard for the last wishes of my parents and insistence that the tenets of the Will must be ignored, challenged and/or done away with ... simply because the individual does not wish to be given their share in due time as was set up by my father.

Gods! What I would give to just have my mother back ... not only because I miss her terribly, but because it would mean that I wouldn't be trapped in this untenable situation. And, worse still is knowing full well that any chance of an actual familial relationship with this person (which my Mother so desperately wanted us to have) is in the process of being irrevocably damaged ... not only by the actions of the individual in question, but by the response I am being forced to take as a result of these actions. Neither side will likely be able to see past what will be percieved by each as a betrayal by the other ... our ethics/morals and perspectives are just too far apart.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Remembering on Mother's Day

I am quiet and listen for the sound of your voice in the wind.
I am grateful for all that you taught, gave, and did.
Through the heartache and tears as I stand now by your bed,
I remember and resolve to follow where you led.
But I would give much just to see you once more.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Toshiba doorstop ...


Well, this morning my notebook computer decided that it wanted me to update it with the Service Pack 1. With some trepidation, I started the install and popped into the shower. When I came back, what I found prompted me to take today's 365 ... black screen with a single line of white characters which appeared to be blinking.

The flicker had me hoping that it was still doing it's thing. 4 hours later, however, when the # of files processed hadn't changed, I started to realize something had gone wrong. I sent a "help!" message to Andrew who was at work but had his messenger on anyhow.

Despite his assistance and a couple more hours of effort on my part I finally accepted that it was beyond my abilities to repair.

It's dead, Jim

Friday, May 6, 2011

Playing with a new App

I took a walk today down past where Diane used to have her tattoo shop in Whalley. While I was there, I decided this would make a great opportunity to make use of the new free app I picked up for my iPhone called Photosynth. It is partenered with a free online hosting service that allows the user to have people see their panoramic photo spreads properly.

I need more time to learn how to work the app properly (specifically what is too little info and to not be afraid of taking the 365 shots) but I quite like the outcome. AND I can embed it here, which I quite like too.

Former home of Golden Lion Tattoo:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mobile Blogging ...

I found a free app in the iTunes app store this morning that allows me to update from my phone. I've been looking for this for a while since I have my phone on me a great deal more than the iPad or my notebook.

I helped Justin to install and set up the wireless router last night. It's a good way to make for a more pleasant cohabitation while I am here. I can give them more space and privacy as well as satisfying my own introverted need for solitude. And, after I have moved into a place of my own, they will be able to save some cellular bandwidth by using their wireless.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Journey Home - Travel Journal

May 1, 2011: first leg - Calgary Ab to Merritt BC

May 2, 2011: second leg - Merritt to Vancouver BC

Location ... location ... location ...

This is my first chance to update here since I left for Vancouver two days ago. I made the longest leg of the trip from Calgary to Merritt on the 1st, where I stayed overnight with my younger son and his little family. I, then, left for Vancouver around 2pm on the 2nd and arrived in Surrey at 6pm.

It's nice to finally be here ... the warm spring weather, the big fluffy clouds, yesterday's rain ... all makes me want to smile in this gods-am-I-tired-but-happy kind of way.

Justin wants me to help him set up a wireless router tonight, so I can have access to the inet for my notebook, iPad and phone. It will make things a lot easier for me (as well as allow me to upload the trip journal files I kept for the two days I spent travelling) and ensure that I don't need to try to pry J away from his WoW addiction to check facebook or look for homes.

I'm very grateful to Stephanie and Justin for being so kind as to take me in right now, they are planning their wedding for August so one can imagine that things are kind of crazy-making for them. And I'm hoping to get a rapid resolution with the lawyer so that I will at least know whether I should be looking for a rental or if I should be dragging S with me to talk to a realtor. I'd prefer to not impose upon these wonderful young people too much.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Closer Still ...

So, I got everything done today that I needed to except meeting with Lexi .. it's like the universe itself just doesn't want the two of us to get together. This time, it was she who came down ill and I hope she feels better soon.

Dropped off the notes/info package for that one patient with Rita, turned in my clinic key, and picked up my paycheque. Rita and Bev want to get together with me at noon tomorrow at the Grey Eagle Casino for a brunch/goodbye meal. I'm actually quite touched ... not at all what I was expecting and a nice way to let me know that I was actually appreciated (they do not do this for everyone) and will miss me (aye, as soon as there is laundry to do ^_~).

Sheri's going to drop by tomorrow afternoon as she says she has something for me and doesn't want me to leave without it. I have a suspicion I know what it is ... but I'm not going to say as I do not want to wreck her surprise. Going to miss her a lot.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Coming Closer ...

Okies ...

In just 3 days, I'll be on the road heading back to BC for keeps. With that in mind, I've been getting things ready:

Patient notes for a particular individual set up with an info packet so that one of our other therapists at the clinic can take over his treatment and just pick up from where I left off.

Adverts created for a replacement (since no one at the MMCC has bothered to advertise for a new therapist) and posted to craig's list and one ready to be put up on the community board at customer service in the mall. (someone's got to do it and this way I can feel that I've been quite fair)

Resume updated and 9 copies printed so I can get right to the job hunt after taking a short holiday (likely no more than about a fortnight or I'll be going squirrely from boredom)

Notebook computer recovered in anticipation of the trip ... still have a few things to put onto it to make it ready, but at least this way I know that it's not going to have any of the problems that it had been showing towards the end of my using it when Sutherland-Chan was still open.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Another Kick at the Cat ...

*sigh* ...

well, as if getting bitten by the tick on Sunday wasn't enough to be concerned about, it would appear that I've been exposed to ringworm today. Quite by accident, as the patient who was sporting the lesion was unaware of it's existence until I brought it to her attention and sent her to the Dr to have it properly diagnosed. Sadly, I found the lesion when my hand passed over it ... meaning that I came into direct contact with (if it is ringworm) a highly contagious fungal infection of the epidermis.

I've had ringworm before, I know how very virulently it spreads. Llaele and Jyslin (cats) had ringworm when we adopted them ... it wasn't long before most of the people in the house at the time showed signs of the circular, raised red rash with it's whitish centre. Kara was the worst affected and had to wear gloves at work for several weeks while using the cream to treat them.

If I have been exposed, then that means 4 weeks of anti-fungal cream and no work ... being that my profession involves direct skin to skin contact, I daren't take the risk of passing it on to someone else.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Balm for the Soul ...

Yesterday Kara, Sheri and I made a big departure from what constitutes the norm for any of us and we all got together to take a drive down through Radium to Golden BC and then back to Calgary. Acting upon a contagious whim, we set off early (for me anyhow) in the morning and got back some 13 hours later ... sunburned, exhausted, and having laughed more and harder than any of us had in months.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Preparative Planning ...

On a whim, I asked Kara last night if she'd like to go for a drive with me on Sunday down past Radium to Golden and then back. Just a short trip away from Calgary to take pictures, have some food and be silly. She agreed that it would beat sitting around the basement suite here wasting our time on our computers.

This afternoon, she suggested that we invite Sheri to come with us ... I thought that it was a great idea. It would give me some more time to spend with a truly nice person (you don't meet many of those in a lifetime and so the smart person savours any time you can with them) that is going to be too far away, in just 8 days, for me to have direct contact with often. Kara messaged her and, to our delight, she was game for the trip.

So, it would appear that we have a mini road-trip set up for tomorrow. And I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Paying It Forward ...

Well, I've managed to get a few things settled (cc and car loan) and am feeling (and sleeping) better .. although I still need one or two more night of good sleep to really feel like I'm recovering.

I made a friend happy Thursday night .. I gave her my phone. Her's was dying and she couldn't afford to replace it ... while I was planning to get a new one as I have to admit to missing my iPhone 4. My Samsung Galaxy S is still a pretty new phone, only a couple of months old, and works beautifully ... just not my preference. So, I managed to upgrade my account hardware yesterday to my phone of choice, which left me with a perfectly good phone without a user and a friend without a good working phone. Seemed like the logical pair up to me. I'm very grateful that she was gracious enough to simply accept the phone as the gift it was ... initially, when I suggested that I would do this, she had asked me how much I wanted for it and I'd gotten very uncomfortable being that I didn't want to sell it to her ... just give it. Luckily for me, Sheri read my discomfort correctly and dropped the subject of money ... I had no idea what a fair price for it would be, I knew she couldn't afford it in any case, and I didn't want money for it anyhow.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rolling Stones ...

Not only gather no moss, but they have a tendency to clobber anything that's at the bottom of the hill.

Just a quick update to mention that my own personal boulder seems to finally have begun to move. Got the initial cheque from the executor today and that has allowed me to set things to rights with my credit card and my car loan. Quite the load off my mind, to be very honest.

Had an opportunity to demonstrate to Kara why it is that I will likely keep dealing with BMO as my bank. She got to see a demonstrated level of customer service from the folks at my branch over at Marlborough Mall that is normally reserved for VIP's only. And that is how they have treated me from day one, even at those times when my account was in arrears.

More later, I'm soooo tired I could wake up tomorrow with the qwerty imprint on my face.

Huzzah for things getting better !

Friday, April 15, 2011

The 'Tween State ...

OK ... so, now that I am a bit better rested (sadly my Eureka moment of mental clarity didn't result in an ability to get more than a little sleep), I feel the need to define further the fuzzy logic that bubbled to the surface at 2:30 am. Most frustrating for me is the feeling that I'm poised upon something profoundly important that my intuitive subconscious self grasps fully, but that my analytical conscious mind can only see the edges of.

I can "feel" the right answer but, in order to understand it in the here and now, I need to put it into words and, in that, I feel like I'm failing. What I sensed so clearly in the middle of the night, is less distinct in the light of day ... harder to pin down even though I am not now fighting my own need to put my head down and close my eyes constantly. Staying focused right now takes considerable effort, staying focused at 2:30am just wasn't going to happen. I'm fortunate that I managed to get as much as I did into the last post.

I'm grateful for whatever inspiration had me set up my iPad as my night-time clock on my headboard within easy reach of my pillow. Between the twitter post that I don't even remember making at 2am and the blog post from 2:30 I, at least, have something to work with now ... as opposed to that infuriating feeling that I'd lost something important.

It has to do with understanding of the vast potential/power inherent in the 'TWEEN from the point of view of the Gael.

In Between ...

I actually think that I've had something of an epiphany in this sleep deprived state of mine. I've been making the right noises with regards to this transitory period ... BUT I have not really been recognizing this for what it is, nor have I embraced the real potential inherent in the changes.

I have been so focused upon simply enduring these last few weeks in Calgary ... my mind so intent on disliking the fact that I'm having to be patient and surrender to the tides pushing my fate around that I have nearly missed the fact that (according to Gael Lore) I'm actually poised within that most powerful of places:

The Crossroad!
The In-Between place where every heartbeat is virtually pregnant with possibility.

It is at this time, when I feel at my weakest and most vulnerable, that I have the greatest chance to MANIFEST the energies that will shape my reality for the next cycle of my life.

It was literally just now, as I was trying to figure out what title would best fit my thoughts and feelings righ, that I came to the realization that this is when I need to be planning and deciding what I wish to have come into my life.

Talk about a d'uh moment ...

I'll be back later today, when it's not 2:30am and I've had some sleep, to elaborate more on what I mean.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Success ... sort of ...

The twitter, followers, and event gadgets are working again!

I had nothing to do with it, they seem to have sorted themselves out on their own. Either way, I'm much happier with how this place is looking. I guess, in a way, this place is like having my own room .. it's a place for me to express myself, so it might as well reflect me aesthetically/visually. I've been opting for the less-is-more approach, trying to keep things simple and clean. Definitely does not reflect the chaos that are my nerves and thoughts recently, but perhaps that's the point. I'd like my inner state to return to something that more closely resembles calm.

Been watching a lot of the Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic channel the last few weeks and I can definitely understand why Tara is such a fan. I find that just watching the show can help soothe me, he has a presence and practical approach to the troubled canines they show on the program that the "calm assertive energy" has a way of communicating itself through the screen. Even Kara's remarked upon it ... how the energy in the suite changes when that show is playing.

Template Twist ...

Right, so I have no idea why my Twitter feed and Followers section is not showing up. I was adding a caption to  my upper image box from my iPad when, with no warning/preamble/error message, they both stopped working. No clue if this is temporary, permanent nor about why it's happened. I've tried everything short of deleting the gadgets and reinstalling them (which I will do tomorrow ... well, later today ... if they appear to be staying broken.

Eh well, I guess it's not a bad thing as it's given me a reason to post today.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stalemate or Crossroads?

Well, today is the day that the executor/lawyer gets back from Christchurch.

I greatly doubt that I'll be hearing from him for a couple more days, unfortunately my stress level is reaching an all-time high. The answer I'm waiting upon is coming inexorably closer and, while I suspect that I know what it will be, there really is no substitute for the concreteness of actually knowing for certain where one stands.

Ok, fatigue is finally kicking my butt. Time to take a nap break ...

So, it's now many hours later and I'm a modicum more rested than I was when I started this. I really don't have a lot to say at this point BUT I'm trying to make a point of posting something at least every other day, if not each day. I found that, through the project 365 photography challenge, I can undertake something and stick to it, so this becomes something new to train myself to do regularly.

Well, that's all for now. Back to work.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Esthetic Designs ...

Slowly, I'm getting this space put together so that it looks a little more ... "pretty".

Other than for the reason that it is keeping me busy and my mind otherwise occupied than upon the "hurry up and wait" situation that is slowly drawing to a close, I'm not sure why I'm putting the effort in. It's not like I expect this to become one of those hyper-popular blogs .. heck, I really can't even stand the word blog.

Blog .. bleh .. blerg ... blah ...

Eh well, I suppose even if I'm the only one reading it .. the place might as well look nice.

I think part of the trouble is that I feel I need to censor myself online ... not give away too much being that once it's "out there" it very rarely can be reclaimed.

There's not much here right now but a collection of my fears and a record of my stress ... but who's to say that it will stay that way. Mayhaps, I'll have something more worthwhile once everything has sorted itself out into a semblance of normality. Or mabey (yes I know I've misspelled it ... but it is a consistent misspelling that actually makes the word sound like how I pronounce it so I let it stay), this will remain a little place just for me and continue to be overlooked by the rest of the world. In the end, who cares?

The point of the exercise is to provide myself with a place where I can go back and re-read my thoughts and experiences at a later date so that I don't forget this very difficult of lessons and end up letting the memory of my Mother (and Father) down.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Plentiful Ponderings ...

So, being that it is official, I guess it's about time that I started to think about what I should be doing next ...

A lot will depend upon my level of income and whether I will need to work full or part time ... or even whether circumstances will create for me the ability to take 6 months off and focus on studies.

I would like to pass my board exams to be able to work as an RMT in BC should I choose to do so. The reality, however, is that I will need to put a good 6 months of study into getting ready for them ... three years of working in Calgary have caused me to forget a fair bit, in particular the technical terms/language surrounding anatomy and physiology. You talk to real (non-healthcare) people in technical language and most of them will stare at you with glazed eyes, some will actually develop significant stress (white-coat syndrome) as a result. Making certain they understand what is being said to them involves putting things in the plainest English possible. If they cannot understand, then the practitioner cannot enlist the individual's nervous system to work cooperatively with the therapy. They do not gain as quickly, gains made do not last as long, and they are less likely to follow through with self-care homework. I will need much time in review and study to bring my technical knowledge back up to where it had been when I graduated WCCMT in Dec. 2007. If things went well, I could be ready for the February 2012 sitting.

I also need to follow up on the TRU Bachelor's degree and see if it is even still available (I have heard rumblings). I would likely need to reapply being that I haven't had the time nor funds to follow up on it during the last two years. Which annoys and discourages me greatly, being that I had been so very happy to have been accepted in the first place.

I find myself pulled in two different directions ... on the one hand, I have had a great number of people tell me that I should look into psychology as it seems to be something I have a talent for. I do admit interest and, being that my father was who he was, I spent a fair amount of time absorbing information from him through association.

On the other hand, I am aware that Airmid is ascendant in my life (or will be in the next year or so) and therefore I feel strongly drawn to formally learn herbalism. The fact that http://www.dominionherbal.com/ is located in Burnaby and is Western North America's oldest and most respected herbal college (and that I have it as a repeating peripheral theme over the course of the last 25 years) gives me a strong sense that I should be taking their Chartered Herbalist course at very least. Particularly as it would line up my education with Jasper's ... allowing us to work far more effectively as a team.

Still others have suggested that I take up teaching ... this one is not likely to happen as I just do not feel that I have gained enough knowledge in anything to warrant me being let loose on the minds of others as a teacher.

I'm also aware that there's no age limit to any of these ventures ... tho, to gain my Doctorate in Psychology would mean 7-10 years and I'm already turning 44 ... and there's nothing to say I can't work on all of them, should I care to.  Just wish that I had a definite course as opposed to too many options *heh*.

I guess I'm still seeking that "sense of purpose" ... 43&1/2 years on the planet and I still haven't quite figured out what the heck I'm supposed to be doing here. I know that I derive my greatest sense of satisfaction and self-esteem from "being of service". It's that whole INFP thing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INFP) ... just went and reread this (http://www.personalitypage.com/INFP.html) page and am struck by how much it echoes what I just wrote, and by how accurately it described both my inner motivations and outer interactions. I suppose, at 1-5% of the total population of the planet, Idealistic Healers (Kiersey's definition) are an odd bunch and perhaps as difficult for themselves to figure out as for the rest of the world.

Ahhh! I need a sign.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sleepless Reprise ...

Ugh, well here is another night where I cannot find slumber even though I am _so_ tired.

Got another email from Jackie about her dissatisfaction with everything will/estate related. Basically just her lecturing me about money and insisting that she knows best. I still do not share her concerns ...

Why are things as they are? Because that is what Mum wanted. Why is the estate in Stan Lewis' hands and why is Ian Burroughs the executor? Because Mum trusted them and felt they would honour her wishes that her daughters would be taken care of.


I'll be glad when the Executor gets back from NZ and I can find out exactly if and how this affects me. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nervous Exhaustion ...

Today ... well, yesterday really ... turned out to be a total wash. I'm pretty certain that the collapse was a direct result of my giving in my notice on Tuesday.  I went to sleep early'ish on Tuesday night and slept pretty soundly until around 8am. Waking to head to the bathroom, I noted absently to Kara (who was at her computer) that I felt ridiculously tired ... keeping my eyes open long enough to get back to bed seemed like a chore.

I have a vague recollection of Kara coming into the room to try to rouse me for our workout, but her efforts were in vain. Tho I did struggle to keep my eyes open, it just wasn't going to happen. I knew nothing more until 2:30 when I again woke for a bio-break.

In total, I have slept for approximately 18 hours. Even now, I can feel it sneaking up on me again. I think that giving notice was the final straw, the proverbial straw that has precipitated my nervous shutdown.

This isn't a bad thing and, if I could just get over this head cold, I'd likely be feeling a whole ton better. Oh well, it really does beat insomnia. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Like a Leaf in a ...

Alright then, it's done.

I gave Rita my letter just before I started my shift and, so far, it's only been met with an effort to talk me out of it and mild disapproval. If things stay at this level, the rest of the month won't be so bad.

Nothing to do but wait now ... finish out the month and see if things stay good or slowly change for the worse.

Meh, in any case, it's not too long and done is done. I'm sure I'll feel better soon.

If I could only stop shaking ...

Notice Nerves ...

So, today is the day that I give in my notice at the clinic and I'm a bundle of nerves. As difficult as it has been, at times, to work there I have to admit that there has also been a sense of security.
Rita has been good as her word ever since we talked on the phone and she offered me the job. She has been a source of advice, security, and aid at all times. She understands the psychology of loyalty and how to encourage it in those around her. As such, it is very hard to turn my back on her, even when it is what I need for my own wellbeing.
This, when combined with my knowledge of how things tend to be once she knows that an individual is preparing to move beyond her sphere of control, leads me to a state of high anxiety over what the next month may hold once she discovers that I will no longer be one of her money making tools.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Stressed Sleeplessness ...

So here I am again at 3am ... unable to sleep.

I've moved to the living-room as I'm getting concerned that I'm starting to teach my subconscious that it's OK to lie for hours staring at the TV or the ceiling. That is not a pattern I wish to encourage.

Why am I sleepless? Well, partly because of the strain of the whole "hurry up and wait" process and partly because of the pain caused by the sudden rapid barometric changes that are taking place as yesterday's snowstorm finally blows itself out. We're supposed to be starting into a fortnight of nicer, more spring-like weather with temperatures (and hopefully barometer) holding at a stable level.

So, the decision's been made to move up the date of my return to BC from June 1 to May 1 ... which means I have to hand in my notice soon ... Monday or Tuesday. Because tonight is the dark moon, it's the best time for writing the letter. A good time for endings (which must come before new beginnings) and so, I'm hoping that it will go well. But I'm not really sure. Rita has a bad habit of being all nice-nice to an employee right up tot he point where she discovers that they are quitting. I remember how, with Bonnie, she told me she was considering refusing her resignation letter ... which, I guess, would mean that she would consider Bonnie as having left without adequate notice? I don't know. I also know that Bonnie tried to use Rita as a reference and R wasn't the kindest.

Ugh ...
Will be so nice to have this over with.

I so don't want to be awake right now ...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Ripples ...

Well, I managed to spot Kara having a rough time of things last night. She's been trying so hard to be strong and stable for me, I kind of knew things weren't as solid as she was letting on. I had spoken to her the day before about her talking to Dr Preece about everything that's going on, working on a hunch that she would likely have more trouble than she was letting on if only from the fact that she's never lived any way but hand-to-mouth in all her life.

Last night, as we were watching TV, I actually noticed her turn timid and insecure for once. It was a good thing because I was able to act on that and derail the panic attack before it really got hold.

Score one for my observational skills improving. ^_^

So, she is going to talk to Dr. Preece about it when she sees her mid-month. And I think this is a very good thing since I'm going to be relying upon her understanding of numbers to help shore up my poor money skills.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Beginning steps ...

So, it would appear that (since things with the estate are close to finally being sorted out) I'm going to be altering my timeline. I'm going to be heading home May 1 instead of June 1.

I'm of mixed feelings about this ... On the one hand, I cannot wait to get back to Vancouver and my friends there. On the other, my plans and financials are not sufficiently set in stone for me to be worry free.

I have heard back from Justin and Stephanie that coming a month early won't be any trouble for them. I'll be giving Rita my notice on Tuesday (which gives her most of the month to find a replacement). Then all I can do is wait until the executor gets back from NZ on the 12th before I can find out for certain the details of the disbursement timeline.


Overwhelming ...

Had an interesting evening with Kara, Stephen, and Jasper on LotRo. We used the game's voice chat and google maps to chat with each other over a couple possible houses in Surrey. It was almost as good as being there IRL.

We were able to use the G-maps street view feature to take a look at both the places and their neighbourhoods. We were able to discuss the various land challenges and housing issues based on what we could see ... and even managed to rule out one neighbourhood by taking a look at it's awful curb appeal.

Was fun to play the game of "what if" ... and a fair bit more overwhelming to realize that we might be doing this for real in the not too distant future.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Illuminated Roadblocks ...

I really need to stop being surprised by my sister's ability to throw a spanner into any works ... especially those where money is concerned.

She has never in her life known what it is like to go without, to live paycheque to paycheque, to barely survive in a hand to mouth existence. I, on the other hand, have known almost nothing else since moving out of my parents' home at 17.

Though I, at first, got really angry when I got her email yesterday ... I gradually moved towards something akin to sadness/pity the longer I reflected upon the internal thought processes that must have resulted in her feeling so strong a need to control even the disbursement of our inheritances. How sad her world must be for her to be so untrusting towards everything. How shallow her life that she doesn't think I know my opinion matters not one bit. I got a tiny glimpse of the mental processes behind her email and could only be grateful that her's is not a world I share.

It looks like the short-term solution will come about in mid-April. I can work with that. The lawyer is going to be away from March 31 to April 12 dealing with personal matters in NZ and things will get moving shortly after his return.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Winds of Change ...

So, here I am at 4am the morning after I've received word that the estate has been granted probate ... Sleepless.

My mind is spinning as I have learned the full size of my inheritance and, quite frankly, I'm overwhelmed. I'm stunned and have worked my way from shocked disbelief, through hysterical laughter and tears, and into exhausted incomprehension. I instantly went ice cold upon reading the lawyer's email and tried to contact Kara to get her to come home. Couldn't immediately reach her, so I posted to FB about needing to breathe. Jasper IM'ed me almost immediately and we chatted, with his gentle sense of humour keeping me grounded until I could get ahold of Kara.

I think she's in almost as much shock as I am, but she was so good about trying to keep me level as my emotions ranged from calm to teary and on to quietly optimistic. I'm not even able to fully process the extent of the relief I'm feeling just by knowing what the timeframe is for progress now. That dreadful holding pattern is over and, even though it's likely going to take a couple of more months before all the legalities are settled, I can function knowing what the timeframe is.

Now, if I could only catch my breath ...