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, 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.