Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Girls night...

It been eons, but last night, instead of meeting up and discussing a book, my book club went to the movies. We saw the Secret Life of Bees... it was poignant, and I think a fairly faithful rendition of the book. It was a total chick flick, and not the type that I will twist my DH's arm to watch at a later date. Aside from the five of us, there were 2 other couples of women.

Definitely a woman's movie, LOL.

Brandon was channeling his inner two year old this morning. Gawd Forbid. I cut his toe nails this morning and that set him right off. The crying. The whining. The whinging. Ah, I love that boy but he was a bit trying this morning. Only a few minutes late for work, but it is amazing how mercurial his moods can be at times. No, he truly not a terrible two (I think that parents control a lot of that with feeding and naps) but there are moments, where their moods are all over the board, and you just have to ride it out.

I have a bunch of books on the go - I am reading the latest Reichs book. I still really enjoy them, but you can tell that she has a sharper wit in her books. I laugh, but I also find it more crafted than her earlier books. I am also in the middle of the Twilight series... Yes, I am enjoying them as good escapist literature.. and then for my literary side I am reading "Madame Proust and the Kosher Kitchen" which is interesting, but definitely not a fast read. It is my work read, so I am plodding my way through it since I haven't really been getting the chance to take proper lunches in the last few weeks.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Well, I guess it's a good thing I didn't sign up...

I had high hopes of participating in NABLOPO this year...I figure that I love following the few friends that valiantly post every day for the month, and it is just nice to return the favor. If I would have attempted it this time around, I would have been abusing my time stamps on a daily basis, which pretty much defeats the whole spirit of the thing.

Maybe next year :D

It's been another damn busy month. Lots of history made. Lots of days I can't believe that the markets are still free-falling or that our dollar could be getting hammered like it is.

It's also joyous paying less than a dollar for gas. At $50 bucks a barrel, I wonder what kind of a rude awakening we are in for when the market readjusts itself.

I have been bloody tired this month with the longer nights and just bloody busy at work. I acquired more work, and now I have to learn to give up some of my work too. Before I do that, I have to get procedures manuals done... a never ending cycle of to dos.. and the word gets out I am here, and it seems that I am a popular person to seek out. So much so the newest on board made a comment about it this week.

Brandon had a follow up appointment this morning for his hydrocephalus and we officially got the all clear, life is good, and we'll see you in a year. What a huge weight off of our shoulders. Then again, I knew this. As a mother you do develop a sixth sense for when your kid is just not "right" and when something is "wrong". He's doing awesome. Or to quote my little dude:

me - "Hey Brandon, you are so my baby"
Brandon - "Hey Mom - I'm not a baby, I am a ROCK STAR."

Enough said. Cheeky bugger. Fits right in. And he is healthy as hell!!!! YAYAYAYAYAYA!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Not winning the housekeeper of the year award

I blame my mother.

Growing up, my mom was a fastidious cleaner. I think I started rebelling against her extreme cleanliness standards young, channeling my inner pack rat and having a messy room. It seemed at times having a perfect house was more important than enjoying life. You can read all sorts of psychology in to this, but in many ways my mom claims this was one way that she felt she had control over her life, was controlling her environment to the nth degree.

Weekends are my big clean up day. I hate to admit it, some nights, cleaning the kitchen is the last thing I want to do. So, things get cluttered. Sometimes life happens, and I can't say that making sure my house is picture perfect all the time is ever going to happen. Hell, I am proud when the house stays semi-tidy for my work week... normally it is "big clean up day" around the house on Saturday.. or if I push it.. Sunday. Working full-time, juggling home life, is one helluva balance.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I even got in early today.

Must have been something in the air this morning, not only did the right candidate win last night for the folks down south, IMH, but I got in to work early today.

I have beaten the paper monster back from half of my desk, but I still feel like there are a lot of outstanding bits and pieces. Makes me feel half anxious - knowing there is stuff floating around my desk I haven't gotten to and there are only so many hours in the day - even when I skip lunches and breaks, and just work my ass off to get it done. I hate the missing breaks, etc (we don't get paid OT, just time off) but they also give a little, giving me time off for appointments when I need it.. so, at the end of the day it all comes out in the wash.

Life seems busy, busy. I can't believe it is November, with Christmas around the corner. It really feels like it is sneaking up on us this year.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

the next Harry?

I have jumped in to a new series, but it is taking me a while to really get in to it.

A few people had mentioned the Twilight series, about vampires and werewolves, that seemed to come out of nowhere and is all of sudden really popular with a movie coming out this winter (don't quote me on this).

I am on Book 2 - New Moon and it is more what I would call an easy read, totally escapist literature with a bit of an occultist bent. The characters took a while to warm up to, and I do care, but it is one of those reads that I can power through 50 pages in a 1/2 hour break. Not that deep, but interesting enough for a break at work. That said, I am sure I will finish the series off (being able to borrow and not buy them helps) but I don't feel as drawn in to the magic as I was with Harry and his gang. I can't wait for the next movie to come out. Hell, I would love to get out for a movie, although nothing has really caught my fancy for the last few months...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Broken sleep

It's been a long haul over the last week. I guess just over the last week. B went through a minor surgery last week (planned, nothing major) and recovery has been steady, just slow. When your little guy is hurting, nothing in your world is right.

It amazes me when you have a little one how important the basics are - are they drinking? are they eating? are they crapping? how is their temperature? overall mood? are they sleeping enough? Are you? You watch these things like a hawk...

When things start to ease off, it is like a weight off of your shoulders, and then you just keep on marching forwards.

I took today off work - wasn't planned, but I figured my little guy should have another day at home, with just mom.

It's amazing how important it is when folks just "check in". The little kindnesses - like asking how is your dude doing (those that knew, I wasn't that vocal about what we went through in everyone's defense)and my dad just hanging out with us - not doing much, bringing timbits (my son is a true Canuck. He lurves his timbits) to the moments where B cuddles in and says he loves me.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hallowe'ening...

Why give up on being a big kid?? Check out my tiger..



Would not have believe it, but some of those patterns you can use are really cool!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

do I?

Do I attempt the whole NaBloPoMo event again this year?

I enjoy the continual posts from my friends that participate - especially since it seems that over the years my ability to post regularly seems to hit some real slides.

I haven't gone and signed up yet, I haven't posted the patch.. I want to give it a few days and see what I can come up.

There are always interesting tidbits running around my head that I can comment on, those thoughts don't always make it from my head to the page.

So, I shall give it a shot - ramble on and on for the next month. See where we end up.

Halloween was quiet for us this year - took B around to a few houses, and then spent a quiet night on the couch. No hockey, the folks bailed and hopefully I can play next week. The hardest part is finding sitters for our weird hockey times on friday nights.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I got the better book this go around...

This month for book club, we are going to be reading "Running with Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs... which I read well over a year ago. It was definitely an interesting book, made my family life seem bland, and made my eyebrows go up a few times at just how different a life can be - not only that, what is normal but what you happen to know?

Well, I discovered that his brother had written his own memoir, which I jumped at the chance at reading instead. It is called "Look me in the Eye" by John Elder Robinson and what a read it was! Probably just as unusual and off-beat as Running.. but I enjoyed this read more. I liked his style, and perhaps I connected better with John's tale than Augusten's tale. Whatever the case, I laughed out loud a few times in this book... I really enjoyed it right up until the very end.



I admit it, sometimes I like to read reviews of books that I have read on the big book sites... and well, one of the comments about this book was that it wasn't what they expected, and that reading this wouldn't give clear insight to all Aspergians. No shit. I think Elder makes the case that if you have met one Aspergian, you have met one Aspergian. Isn't that like life? Yes, you can generalize to your last breath, and there may be similarities, but no two of us are alike. We all have our own story, and this is what this was.

And in that, a great read.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Election day

It's amazing I can be hungry again after a big, successful turkey dinner hosted by yours truly last night. I even voted before I got to work!

This election feels strange - like it came up quickly, out of the blue. It is hard to feel passionate about this one, I felt a little undecided right up until I marked my X on the spot.

I brought a cedar tree in to work today. It will fill the space between me and my new office mate's desk. We are calling the tree "George" and we will decorate for Christmas. It has been amazing how many people have stopped by to check him out - definitely attracting a bit of attention. I am slowly bringing in some plants and making the office mine - it took me forever to do that in my last job, but I have a feeling I may be here for a while..

Well, I believe the truth sets you free and I had a good chat with the foot shuffler on Friday. I half feel bad to refer to them that way, but it works for these purposes. We had a great chat, cleared the air, and I felt so much better at the end of the day, and I think that they did too. I really needed that to happen. It was getting under my skin and wasn't good. Not letting things fester is a good thing. Today was better. Getting to come in late so I could vote was even better. I just don't understand why a shorter day all of a sudden becomes a longer day for practical purposes. It has been a long time since I have clock watched as bad as I have today.. and for no real reason.. weird.

October is blitzing by. I need to work on Brandon's Halloween Costume... and I think a trip to the Pumpkin Patch is in order for this weekend...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

the foot shuffler

I am trying really hard to see the silver lining of a coworker.

Thankfully, not the coworker that I will soon be bunking with. I can't believe that I am in a "better" job and now, after nearly a decade of flying solo, I will be sharing an office. At least we are on the same page, both weirded out by having to share, and are going to do our best to make it work.

But one of my other coworkers is a bit of an odd duck. Definitely humming along at a their own frequency. They are a "nice" person.. but that is almost right up there with calling a guy "cute". I just don't feel a connection with them on a personal or a professional level. I don't particularly like how they conduct their business. Not because it is different from me - but there are things I just don't get - like the never looking in your filing cabinets in your "inherited" office and cleaning stuff out. Like having stacks all over the place and really coming off unprofessional because of it. Ok, maybe some of these are my own biases, and I am trying to work through them and keep an open mind - but it is hard.

Then there is the foot shuffling and sniffling.

They will be moving in to the office vacated by my new buddy, so I think it will help so I don't have to hear the sniffling all the time. The foot shuffling gets me. You can hear them at about 20 paces, shuffling their feet down the hallway like a calling card. It feels like a Seinfeld episode! I guess right now I am fighting irritation as I am helping them to do some of the records management, and the little quirks get under my skin. We've been given the week to clean stuff up.. and well, I seem to be a lot more concerned about it than they are!! Which is just crazy, as far as I am concerned. I am not their supervisor, so I am truly only going to concern myself with my purview.

Ah well. Can't always like everyone... all you have to do is get by and figure out how to limit contact to the necessary. That being said - perhaps they are a diamond in the rough and I need to be patient.

Ah the high road, I see you.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Two year old molars.

Brandon is working on number 3 of the two year old molars.

Bloody hell. What a process for us all. Teething makes him miserable. The fingers in the mouth, the hurts in the ears and teeth, the irritability, the crying when we try to put him down for a sleep, the waking up.. the relief from baby tylenol and freezies and then you get your baby back.

I am so glad we are almost done, but man, my heart goes out to him. This molar is so close, I can feel it just under the surface... and then one final one. I am sure that when the baby teeth start falling out and adult ones come in, it will be nothing like this (I hope).

I guess teething makes us all miserable, and it got Brandon a free pass in to our bed tonight so I can watch over him and fret, and respond quicker if he wakes up a few times. Nothing like doing a freezie run at 3am and then wondering if he will get a sugar rush from it - what is the lesser of the evils?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Still more paper.

The saga continues.

I am still doing records management at work. If it was just maintenance that I was doing, I would not be bitching about it. It truly feels like I have been reinventing the wheel in my new job. Six months later and I can finally say that I am almost to the end of this "wave" of updating, but I can't believe the files that I am still unearthing (not mentioning the other processes and publications that need some loving care and attention to as well... nothing like going to a presentation like the poor folk not having a spiffy powerpoint or free swag to give out and everyone else does.. somehow a hastily made up and photocopied sheet and business cards don't measure up as well).

I found a folder of information from 1971. Relevant to keep? I think not.

Binders from the 80's. Instant contribution to recycling.

That being said, my office is in pretty good shape. The rest of the office is in pretty good shape. I am being sent in to the final office that is a complete disaster to "assist" in cleaning up the old files. What I don't understand is why this person hasn't dealt with any of it up to now? It just strikes me as bizarre. When I took over my office, it was a disaster. Crap everywhere. Way too much irrelevant paper. Before I could really sink my teeth in to my job, I dealt with it. Once I got enough taken care of, and was settling in to my job, I still dealt with paper from the side of my desk. Said coworker has "never had the time" to open the files, deal with the files, or make her own space. I don't understand this, at all. I guess if I was a dog, I would have marked my places all over the place in my office, poking in to the all of the corners, and making it mine because I plan to be here for a while. And that is what I have done.

I can't help but be more aware of personality differences as I am getting older, and work styles, and what does and doesn't work for me. I guess that goes hand in hand with parenting styles too. I am getting more opinionated, but I am trying not to get too fixed in my own ideas either.

But I don't get the passive position of saying "I never had time to clean up the office" when it really doesn't have to take all that long... a little every day and viola, the job is done. It is YOUR space and you can barely get to your desk because of all the paper and crap.. and how can you project authority when you keep your space like that?? How can you invoke trust in the people you are advising when it looks like you are living up to Linus's standards (yes, Linus from the Peanuts gang).

Yes, it has taken me almost 6 months to get it all done, but I reached out and beyond my office in the scope of the records management I have undertaken. I have been smoking busy, but never too busy to just deal with the crap. I guess a different set of time management skills. I have always just wanted more... so I push more?? Who knows. I am just philosophizing why this path may be ok for someone.

Hopefully this post will be the last of my ranting about paper at work. It has baffled my mind. I have also found stacks of notes and documents squirreled away from a previous coworker. WTF? How the hell can you ever help someone if you can't find their file?? I am unearthing stuff from years ago. Makes me look at them with a different pair of eyes too, losing a little respect. Nothing like creating big messes and then hiding them for someone to deal with years later. Brutal.

I like transparency, I like order. I like knowing where to find things. Who knew?

What the hell? I sound bloody responsible.

Monday, September 29, 2008

All grown up.

I had a coffee date with an old friend of mine today and I think I'm not a kid anymore. Of course, having my own child partially brought about this realization, but seeing my dear friend again after nearly a decade really brought it home that we aren't kids anymore.

We met back in the day doing our undergrad's in English lit, both bookish, and then life happened after our graduation, she went through her own growth and walked down a separate path, and I, well, I still had a lot of growing up to do. So, I returned to the scene of the crime (for lack of something more interesting to describe it as) six months ago and she started in September, as an Instructor.

Which means we both have offices here. And business cards. And people come to see us, for like, advice. Wow. It is surreal, to say the least.

Coffee was lovely, I really look forward to picking up the threads, it is interesting after a long period of time, what is pushed aside, and what you leap in to right away. Then the moments of introspection after, when you realize that you have moved a great distance away from your younger self, even if you are still her, you are more too. Whether it be more experiences, or differences, or shifts, or newer versions of yourself created from life, and reacting to life, and just being.. and all those positive and negative things we get to experience as we run the gauntlet.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Is this thing still on?

What the hell?

Where did the last month go??

I have written many posts in my head. I am tempted to say I am going to back a little and fill in some blanks between now and August (the last time I posted) but I am not going to promise anything at this stage of the game.

But you never know, look back in the next few days, maybe my posts will magically populate themselves.

September has been a sprint.

Work was nuts. We had a great semester start up, no major glitches, just fricken busy. Smoking busy. Paper bred in the middle of the night, I did more records management, managed a temp for a few weeks unexpectedly, got to watch us all get punchy by the end of each week, hyper-funny, and loving the fact that there is a good coffee shop in a stone's throw distance from my office. It is looking more and more like my time alone in my office is coming to an end. Eventually I will be sharing, but damn if I don't have a good space, and a good view, so really, sharing it won't be so bad.

I've read some great books, we moved my gran to a "care campus" (WTF - I really hate politically correct language, lets try to hide what is really happening in pretty words. Straight up can be really brutal, but at least you know where you stand), and Brandon has taken his first true steps, he is on his way, and he is learning all about balance. Hey, aren't we all?

At times, this last month has been overwhelming, and not neccessarily in a negative way, just a lot to take in and process, and grow from, and be honest about, and soul search about, and just be about. I know I am being vague, but it is getting close to my bedtime and I just wanted to throw some words out there, just to be here, say I haven't forgotten about this place to shout out from, and perhaps connect with my friends who don't live so close to the coast.

I am here! There just aren't enough hours in the day.

I am playing some hockey again, and it is great.

We are doing the Terry Fox run/walk tomorrow, and I think that's cool too.

Brandon is almost through the next round of teething, and it is cool he's been in bed a few hours and hasn't woken up.

I love having my wedding rings back and on my finger, looking good.

Going to the gym hasn't happened at all this week, but I am letting it go. Hell, I am just happy to eat lunch let alone get out for a lunch this week. Some weeks things come together, and other weeks, well, it is a struggle to keep everything rolling along as it should.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Lots of hockey.

Hockey, hockey, hockey.

That would describe my past weekend. And it was great! We played in a 4 on 4, coed tourney which involved 2 games Saturday, then party Saturday night, and then back at'er for another 2 games on Sunday. Then picking back up with life again and catching up on shopping, laundry, and some cleaning, while rediscovering muscles that you haven't used in a while because they are a little tender...

I haven't really played a lot since I stopped playing when I was about 10 weeks preggers, and I played a few times last year... but I think I played more this weekend than I have since fall 2005! I could still play - I don't feel like I was obviously the weakest link, my cardio wasn't too bad, and it was fun to be out there. I love playing. It is easy to not remember when you are caught up in life, but it is great getting out there and hitting the ice. We play with a cool group of peeps, and it is interesting, a lot of us are having kids later in life, so where there were no kids at our parties before... now there are many.

Now playing one a week in the fall will be a breeze. I think we have it somewhat organized between some nieces and nephews, maybe some friends that we can make it work for me playing... I committed to our team with a big "life happens" attitude, and that works, so it is all good.

Today I am stiff and achy, and I will be doing a yoga tape tonight. I have also been doing more records management AGAIN so I have been moving lots of boxes around and I am more tired than I was first thing this morning... at least I am starting to see the end of it, or at least we are getting to a manageable place. So close to having what I need in my office, and not just all this crap I really don't want to deal with (but am piece by piece this week in what will hopefully be the tail end of it all).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Big fuzzy moment

As crazy as life seems to get sometimes, life is rolling along pretty decent.

I got my rings back, and they are gorgeous. I love them. I keep looking at them, and they are everything I wanted them to be. How Ken gave them (back) to me was sweetly romantic and I had no idea how much of an impact it would be for me to be able to look down at my wedding rings, have them fit as they should, be totally unique, and be well, mine.

I like my job. We are still reinventing the wheel a fair bit, and catching up on reports that are years old, and finding records that are even decades old, but I am content here.

It makes such a difference to have a room with a view, and to have peers who are about your age and space in life (whether or not they have kids), being able to swap stories, and laughs, and be in a space where there is a gym that you can use for free at lunch, and a decent library, and lots of green spaces. Yes, I know like I am sounding like I am geeking out... but it's huge the difference a year makes. Last year I was just returning to work after my mat leave, back to a place where my office was literally a box within a box within a box, and I never saw daylight. The gym there sucked, and frankly... I was close a few people at work, but not all of them were in the same location as me (or any where close to my age with few exceptions), and well, where I worked was pretty isolated so you never really got a chance to chat, except those chance meetings in the hall going to the can. It has been different here for me - it's been unreal the records management, and learning new systems, and creating new systems, but now that things are evening out a lot more, and I am getting a real feel for working in my new digs, I am a lot happier, this place suits me.

How many places can you go to work, open your window, see the clouds cling to the trees and hear a piper playing?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lament for a shoe

I was walking in from the parking lots this morning when I launched my sandal.

At least there aren't any students kicking around, otherwise I am sure that I would have pegged someone in the back of the head... I am sure that I had a dumb look on my face, as my shoe landed about 6 feet in front of me, with the buckle behind me.

I am now wearing my runners, and wondering whether or not I should try to fix my sandals.. they are docs, but they were cheap and I bought them online...then again, I think they may still have some life in them, if they had a new buckle. Then again, they were cheap and maybe this is a sign to jettison them.

It's strange wearing running shoes at work. I kind of feel like a dork.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ever vigilant.

How to articulate this? I find it so frustrating that I have to be a careful watchdog and go over forms and papers with a fine tooth comb. That even when I do, and I pepper people with questions, things still don't work out the way they should. I hate having to be that anal retentive and to double check other peoples work.

Like here at work, I ask one coworker to do stuff, and her time line for gettin'er'done is not anywhere close to what I would consider reasonable. Her concept of alphabetical order also leaves something to be desired. The whinging about her workload is getting old, if you want to see workload, come sit in my office for a few days...

Then there is a claim that I may be able to make through my bank for when my DH was off with his concussion. There is now questions about how the paperwork was originally completed and I have to follow up with my bank to find out who made what mistake.

Last week I called up my extended health folks to make a claim for Brandon, and was told I wasn't the primary health care person. Excuse me? Oh yeah, they had Ken's birthday wrong, so I had to follow up and get that fixed too.

If it just happened here and there it wouldn't be so bad, but where the hell is the accountability?

I've always gone by the "execute as you want things executed for yourself" motto, but man, so many people drop the ball out there.

So, I will remain ever vigilant, picking over papers and asking lots of questions (cumulative knowledge has got to help out somewhere along the line). Given to random rants.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Books, books, and more books.

Ahhhhhhhhh. Summer reading. Almost as good as fall reading, lol.

I have been reading a hodge-podge of books in the last few weeks. I was eagerly awaiting the next Slade book, and it didn't disappoint. Crucified - a great title. I just wish the book was a little longer.. the last 2 Slade books have been action packed, great thrillers, but just not nearly as long as some of their predecessors and since I really like their writing, I find the last few pages almost sad since I am already finding my way to the end of the book.

I also read my first book by Gerritsen, and I really enjoyed it. In fact, it was one of those books that you pick up and then all of a sudden, a day later, you realize you need to find the next book you can by this author. I like her writing style, and I really enjoyed the story.

Yes, I really enjoy the forensic type novels.

Then there are the Rankin books I am working my way through. I like them, but I find that the reading for me doesn't flow as easily as some other authors, although I do enjoy them overall. I finished one called Mortal Causes and now I am working on the Ressurection Men. I have been damn tired when I have been falling in to bed lately, so that may be why I am having such a hard time finishing the second book... I like the characters, I just find that this current one is a little more convoluted so I guess I am spending more time thinking about it?! I don't know...

Soon I will start back on my slightly more academic books.

Ah yes, I am also working on a copy of Freakonomics... now this is an interesting read! A whole different look at economics and how the world works. Well worth a browse through, especially the chapter on why drug dealers live with their parents and what sump wrestlers and teachers have in common... you don't even need to be a rocket scientist to appreciate this one!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

August.

The month of crazy breaks and get aways has finally drawn to a close.

It has been an helluva month - from San Diego to small town Alberta, and camping down south in an amazing State Park, we have seen and done some really cool stuff. Hopefully soon I will update with some pictures, but no promises.

I finally went back to the gym. I figured I was getting really good at procrastinating, and finding other reasons not to go and work out, that it was time. I think in my head I had an idea that once July had come and gone, I would get serious about it again. Or as serious as I get about working out - I am going to aim for either 4 days of cardio or 2 days on the elliptical and 2 swimming. We'll see how well I am able to stick to that. I was feeling so much better that I really noticed not getting out and adding that little bit to my day.

Work isn't quite so crazy, either that or I am getting used to it all.

And the weather is amazing again, really warm and clear. It's great to kill my appetite..

I'm getting my rings fixed. A friend of the family is doing the work, and we are getting it done right. I can't believe how aware I was of my rings, and how strange my fingers feel without them. I was definitely channeling my more feminine side when we were talking about what I wanted to have done, and the style, and how I felt about my rings. I can't wait.

Friday, July 25, 2008

RELIEF

Super Hubby found my ring!!!!

I am ***so*** relieved. I have a call in to the fellow who will be doing the repairs and I have learned the lesson. I won't wear them until they are fixed and won't shift on my fingers.

Speaking of which, TGIF. I am tired. Getting away the last two weekends has been great, but a weekend of being almost normal is a thing of beauty. Quiet night tonight, and then we'll see how the rest of the weekend unfolds.

A complete circle?

I am kind of at a loss for words this morning.

Just over two years ago, my engagement ring broke and I lost the diamond.. which I did end up finding a few months later, but the ring has sat in jewelry box since then because life has gotten in the way of actually getting it fixed.

Well, this morning, as I sat down for our team meeting, and I looked down at my hand. My left hand to be specific. It was naked. No wedding band. FUCK. I could feel the blood drain from my face. The ring was a little big when I got it, and since I didn't know if I would gain weight in my hands with pregnancy I didn't get it fixed at the time, and now it was on my current mental list of things to do - get the engagement ring fixed and size my band. I am hoping for a second miracle that lets me find my ring. So many sentimental reasons - the gold was my grandfather's and contained a few melted down rings, a friend had made the ring, and well, it was my wedding band.

I am hoping it is at home, since I know I had it last night when I left work (since I always play with the band because it is a little big), and I will just need to reconstruct the places that I went. I have everything crossed, and need to make a plan with my dear hubby about all this. The time has come to make the call to the family jeweler to sort this out. It sucks having a ring I can't wear, and it sucks that maybe I have lost the second one. FUCK. It frustrates me so much because aside from some really nice earrings I got from Ken, I don't have a lot of valuable jewelry. I have some really nice silver jewelry, but it just isn't on the same level. This was it - my wedding rings. You have faith when things are made that they are made right... and well, I guess not the place a corner should have been cut and now it is a life lesson.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A two year old.

I am the mother of a two year old.

Wow.

Ken had the house all decorated when I got home, and Brandon was just absolutely gleeful. He was singing Happy Birthday to himself and he couldn't wait to blow out the candles. This year, he even tore in to a few packages, although he did have the attention span of a gnat when it came to playing with each of his new gifts. I got him a Bob the Builder ice cream cake, and he was way more interested in licking the icing off the cake than eating the ice cream?! We had the grandfolks over, and it was a great time.

The joy on his face, and the funny things that he says. We are both pretty proud parents of our little guy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A humbling read

This seems to be the year that I am finding more books that move me.

There are some books out there that are "technical" good reads because they are well written, regardless of whether or not you really liked the book (for me, that would be something like A Fine Balance because it was well written, but I can't say I am jumping up and down with excitement from the experience) and then there are the "good reads" because you flip the pages as quickly as you can (like Riptide, or some of the crime novels that I read). Then there are the good reads which aren't necessarily perfect, but they move you, or humble you, or cause you to think about something you have never considered before, or they open your eyes, or cause you to appreciate some element of life just a little more. I just finished one of those books.

Last year I watched an interview on the morning news with a fellow named Ishmael. He was a child soldier from Sierra Leone, and I remember just how compelling his story seemed to be. I have wanted to read his story for a long time, and I had a "moment" and realized it was probably at the library where I work, rather than waiting to buy (or remember to buy it).

Well, it was a moving story, one that shattered a few conceptions that I had. It is called A long way gone and it is a worthy read (an autobiography) to even just have a glimmer of what happened out there, and what these kids went through. Ishmael tells his tale in a way that lays it all out there, the good, the bad and the ugly. He doesn't hide behind words, or mince words, and there were times I had to put the book down and take it all in. It is a terrible story in many ways, and yet one that contains hope. I would recommend it as a read, although not one if you want a light and fluffy escapist book. This isn't it. So much of what happens in his young life, I couldn't imagine. His tale also reminds of how resilient humans can be when given the chance, but how hard of a struggle it truly can be to do so.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Berry Time

The downside of June-uary was a terrible crop of strawberries.

Kazzicus Domesticus has reared her head and let out a great big roar today. Shopped in the morning, enjoyed the new window my dad installed (yay! fresh air!!), got to visit the newest member of our extended family tonight after I finished a blanket in the car for him, then got home, watched some mindless tv, cleaned the fish tank after coming to the realization that yes the water should not be that colour green... and no, that water isn't moving (sorry fish sacrifice that didn't make it), and then I decided that truly tonight should never end because I have now made 2 batches of strawberry jam.

Or, should I say, one batch of strawberry, one of strawberry and blueberry, since the berries I bought didn't stretch in to two batches. They were shit berries. Small, great for jam, and lots of rotten ones. They were so bad this year I wasn't even tempted by these berries to put them in a bowl and eat them like a big kid. No big juicy red ones that make you drool just admiring them.

And because I don't have enough to do, I am running a process for work while I am off so I can get an "extra day" tacked on, meaning Monday. These two weeks have flown by. I had one of those damned lists, and I have notched a few things off, but I am letting a few things go too.

Honestly though, I am still up because I am excited. We are heading down to So-Cal to visit one of my bestest friends and her hubby and celebrate being alive. I can't wait. Just to hang out, catch up, hit the outlet malls. When we talked the other night, she said the weather was going to be good - it shouldn't be over a 100! Crazy talk! This BC girl is in a for a bit of an awakening after our spring. Yes, the last few weeks have been amazing, almost good enough weatherwise to help one forget just how much it did rain...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Weird Karma.

As a kid, I was a biter.

I was that annoying kid at the family get togethers that would be crawling under the table and biting peoples ankles. My aunt threatened to keep a wool coat she had with the perfect imprint of my upper and lower teeth in the corner of it.

Funny how when you have kids, people do say life comes around full circle.

So it is apt that Brandon too is a bit of a biter and I am getting a taste of my own medicine, so to speak. The biting urge seems to get worse with teething, but it's there. I ask him not to bite and end up with my hand on his forehead to hold him off, and then he tells me to "stop that mommy". It is funny as hell BUT I don't want to encourage biting, so I am trying positive and negative reinforcement, and hopefully this is a short stage.

I didn't imagine having conversations with my two year old. The other day I was attempting to put him down and he went for my shirt. I am sure if I gave him the chance he would breast feed right up until he had to go to school, and to quote my little darling:

B - "Boobies!"

Me - "Yes Brandon, those are mom's boobies." Trying really hard not to do an eye roll and hoping that he doesn't attempt to latch on. We have weaned about 99%.

With a funny look on his face, "Boobies in a bra, mom."

What do you say to that?

I think after so long going down for naps with me, and associating naps and bedtime with me and offering b'feeding, it is a struggle for me to put him down for a sleep. He fights it, the routines don't really help, ultimately we rock, and read, and sing, and cuddle, and I usually end up falling asleep with him on the bed (which is actually quite endearing but exhausting after the tears, the cajoling, the leaving, the screaming behind the door, and the entreaties to say the least). At least today the routine went better than the last few days. Could help that I really tired him out.

It is amazing how different he is to go down for anyone else. For Ken, he is a dream. They read a few books, a cuddle, Brandon asks for a hug and kiss, and a "see you in the morning" and they are DONE! It's almost funny. He goes down for naps and bed great for everyone but me. I guess that means I am some kind of special?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Read this book.

Every now and then a book comes along that takes your breath away.

This month's read for book club was like that. It was Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. The title is appropriate after you read the book, but doesn't really give you any indication of what or how the book is going to unfold.

What a BOOK!! All of us couldn't put it down, and all of us were excited to talk about this book (which isn't always the case) - after we talked about our families, and ate lots of good food, and well, just enjoyed being together and being women, and talking about just everything before we wound our way around back to the book. I didn't know what to expect, but it was a beautiful, moving, somewhat disturbing and gritty, but very elegantly written tale of two women in China beginning in the 1820s when women still went through foot binding. Parts were really hard to read (from the point of view of what was acceptable to do to women), and yet, it was a book that felt like it gave you access to a part of the world and set of experiences that are completely foreign to a twentieth century Caucasian woman.

We got to talking about standards of beauty, and what is considered barbaric, and what is truly "all in the eye of the beholder" when you discuss foot binding, whale-boned corsets, labrettes, head binding to create a flat forehead, piercings, high heels and bras all in the same conversation. Being born in our time, in this place was something we all agreed upon as being really good, especially as a result of some of the books we have read and experiences we have collectively had or read/heard/been exposed to.

Of course, the next book I read after this didn't measure up by any standard. It was just an ok read and one that just didn't flow all that great for me. Then again, this book set a pretty high standard.

Sunny days...

Although you can't see Brandon's face, I thought that the composition of this shot was kind of cool. For once, I think that the tide was too far out - it was so far out that it was awesome to make sandcastles in because the sand was really dry, but once you got to the water's edge, it was all seaweed as far as the eye could see, and frankly, Brandon isn't going in for a walk or a swim in it when you just can't see what he is going through or stepping on... saw lots of big clams and crabs, and I am comforted by the fact that I have seen some sand dollars on the beach again (it had been years).

It's nice to be off this week. Although the days are flying by. I have a "to do" list so I remember to do a few of the projects that would nice to get done... like chopping back our laurel hedge that is totally unruly, and painting around my stove (this was just a touch up job caused by getting a new stove that was a different size than the last one... and ok, so we did that last Christmas... welcome to life with kids and a whole new set of priorities).

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Almost there!


Ever gone up a stairs in the heat to check out a view...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Not in Kansas anymore...

Every time we have driven out to Steveston, I have been curious about the Buddhist Temple. You can just make out bits and pieces of the architecture as you go speeding by. On a lark, we decided to make a family outing of it, and took off to Steveston for both a trip to the Temple and then off to the docks for some fish and chips. It was a great afternoon.


What a peaceful, beautiful oasis. The gardens and grounds were lovely, it was quiet, the attention to details was staggering. It was humbling walking around the buildings and the gardens, and just seeing a different way to worship and a different set of ideals. It didn't feel like somewhere you could reach in a half hour drive, it felt foreign and yet inviting. There was so much for your senses to take it - it was a very cool experience.

The doors were wide open, and yes, there were a few places to give donations if you so chose, but it wasn't in your face. It feels like a place of learning, and there were monks walking around. You could drop in and listen to the various talks that were taking place, or stop for a vegetarian meal, or just sit by a perfect banzai and just soak it all in. There is something really appealing about Buddhism, I would love to know a little more. I would also love to see more female Buddhas. It's a catch of all the so-called great religions, you see lots of male faces, and not so much of the female. Where does the fear of the "other" come from? I know that is an entirely different train of thought, but I don't see division, I see complementary forms between men and women.

This seated Buddha caught my imagination - the artist truly caught an element of mischievousness here -

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Still?

So we got back from parts in the British Columbian 'Boo on Sunday, and it feels like I have been running ever since. I am back at work for a week, and then I am off again for 2. Yes, daycare owns our ass and since our daycare is closing for July, we are taking rotating holidays to cover the month. I get the first 2 weeks, Ken the next 2, and my mom gets one.

And damn, if it doesn't look like the month of July is going to go even quicker than June.

Er. Should I say Junuary? Needless to say it is almost time to celebrate when the glowing orb decides to reveal itself from behind the clouds.

I am still itching from my bug bites. My legs look like shit - I am a scratcher and I look like I had the chicken pox with all the red marks from the knees down. I also managed to scrap most of the skin off of one of my big toes, and being in a spot like that, and wearing shoes and all, well, the healing isn't exactly happening at a brisk pace.

It was a good break, and hopefully in the next few days I will go back and in fill in a few gaps, but so far all I have been able to do is compose blogger messages in my head, and hope that I could spare a few moments to write even just something. It is a tricky balance being a full-time career mom. There aren't enough hours in the day, and sometimes, just trying to figure out the time to connect with friends is hard. Hell, trying to get your laundry put away some days is a challenge! So, even though we got home at a decent time on Sunday (thankfully) this whole week has been about catching up, and putting things away, and food shopping, and then with work, dealing with what wasn't done when I was away, doing presentations, and then getting ready to go away again!! I can't wait to just alternate between doing some really cool stuff we have planned for July and hanging around the house and not having to go to work and doing some different stuff.

In a nutshell - the more I see of BC the more I love it here. We are damn fortunate to live where we do and call this incredible place home. Once you pass through the gates of Hope the whole province opens up, and there are places that take your breath away, and by the same token, open spaces to catch your break again to get away from the concrete jungle for a bit and recharge your batteries. Heading up and down the Fraser, it is hard to get away from the history of this province, between the gold rush, and the salmon fisheries, and logging. Yet the more you learn about it, the more interesting it becomes...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Bah.

What a shit week weather wise.

We turned the heat on again 2 days ago. I wore my peacoat again. The dark colours have been the predominant colours this week. And I just feel - blah. The highlight so far this week has been going out on a date with Ken and catching a movie.

One day pretty much all I saw outside my window was white. That and the rain hitting the glass.

It's felt like an uphill week, and like my mind has been skittering around and that nothing has come easily - except date night. Brandon even went to sleep nicely for his cousin!! woo woo!

We are heading away on holidays next weekend, and it can't come soon enough. I am just tired, need a change of scenery, time to hang with the family longer than just a weekend.

Ok, so what I have been doing is a lot of whining.

There has been some other good stuff, I finished a bunch of books. I finished one called a A Song for my Daughter" by a BC author. It was great reading about locales I know, especially going up the Fraser since that is a trip we will be making next week. It was a book the delved in to myth, and archetypes, and stories within stories. It wasn't great, it was a good solid read, especially since it was locally written! I was also thoroughly wrapped up in a book called Mortal Fear by Greg Iles.. WOAH. Talk about a book that took a while to get in to, but once I was, I literally could not put it down. I got kicked out of my office for a bit yesterday so a picture could be hung, and I stood in the concourse reading it... Ah yes, once a geek, always a geek. MAN. It was good.

It's funny, I know I see life through rose-tinted glasses, it helps, and I try to always see the positive side, but it is amazing how it can help just typing out the whining, and maybe reflecting a bit on the good stuff just to help put things back in perspective. I have been kicking it just - blah style - all week. Yet there have been these moments, and moments like in the morning sitting with Brandon on the couch, or even getting out with Ken for a few hours, or finishing a book that I was thoroughly in to... helps make up for the rest. I think life does balance out when you give yourself a chance to see that. Ok, enough philosophy for the moment. Lunch break is pretty much done.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

In the clouds

When I got up the hill to work yesterday, I got to experience being in the clouds again, for the first time in years. I pulled in to my parking lot, and between the misting rain, clouds, and the fog cloaking the trees, I couldn't see across the lot!! Funny, when I was a student here years ago, I was aware of the dampness, and the gray, and the never ending rain, but it seems different now that I am older, more aware of time, and the passing seasons. Of course, a day like yesterday would have been great in say, November, but in early June? A bit dramatic if you ask me.

I am slowly getting my office organized. It still staggers me some of the paper waste, and the convoluted processes, but I am putting my stamp on things, and continuing to plunder on like the proverbial bull in the china shop. A small victory for me - I am now 10 pounds lighter than I was just before Thanksgiving.. woo woo! That means I am truly lighter than I was when I first got preggers. Some days it is all about the little victories. There is something to be said about having a 13 minute walk each way to work.. and actually hitting cardio machines a few days a week at lunch. Actually, it is good for my head, just getting on the machine with my book and the time slips away. I am reading a book called Mortal Fear by Greg Iles... it took me a long time to get in to it, and it is really wordy and could use some editing, but the story ends up drawing you in (if you like the suspense/murder/mystery type books).

I miss my long weekends, even if cramming 4 days of work in to 5 was brutal. I can't believe it has been almost a year since my mat leave ended. Holy shit has the time flown. So much has changed - so much stays the same.

If all goes as it should, Ken and I are going to sneak out for another movie tomorrow night!! It's nice knowing we are getting out for just us a little more - helps with the whole balance thing. I think we will be seeing that new swash buckler sequel... although tried to watch the first one the other night and it put both of us in to slumber... LOL

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I need a few more hours.

Damn. Where the hell did my weekend go?

I need a few more hours before I go to sleep, and I am tired. Pooped. Feeling pretty done.

It feels like this weekend ran away on me, and it just seems like it got frittered away somewhere. Some great stuff - and some lame elements too. And, I forgot this will be a 6 day week for me, I get to work Saturday since we are hosting an Open House. I don't even think I was asked, I think with my position, it is quietly assumed I will be present and get some extra time off at a later date.

The garage sale was a total bust. I think I sold 5 items, and bought a set of chairs, and brought home some plants. I barely came out ahead. I also got sunstroke, which started to kick in about 10 o'clock with a headache and nausea to go with the farmer's tan I got. There were lots of lookie-loos, but few takers. It did make it easier to let go of a bunch of stuff at the end of the day because I did not want to pack it up and cart it home with me, only to have to deal with it again. Done. Off to an organization that picks up and pays forward. Had a good day chatting with some old friends, and it was bizarre, the garage sale was in my home town, and half the folks I saw knew me from my days working in the local grocery store.

I didn't really get to see much of Ken. Between grocery shopping, and him running errands after work friday, we both crashed out on the couch. Then Saturday with the garage sale, and then I went to a friend's place for some visiting and Ken played hockey. It was nice though - we both left our respective "parties" at the same time and arrived home together. It was nice that Brandon was asleep, but we were both bagged, again. Still?

The weather held today - it was a great Sunday. Picked up a few more plants this morning, got Brandon some outdoor toys, cleaned up my deck area, gardened, ran laundry, the dishwasher, took our bottles back, grabbed some steaks for dinner, made dinner with my mom, and O M G. I'm watering plants, and realized that I bought ribs on friday night to take when we head out fishing in a few weeks.. and just about forgot about them. They were sitting in the fridge. I knew, deep down, if I didn't do them tonight I would be throwing money away and wasting good food.

So, even though I am tired as hell and would much prefer to be in bed with a good book right now, my guy at my side. I make ribs. I blog. I make the bed, and hopefully even get some laundry put away. Hell, maybe even unload that dishwasher so I don't start the week off with just an extra element of chaos.

On the flip side, it is starting to smell pretty damn good around here.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Whoosh.

The sound of another week, flashing by.

Why are the short weeks somehow longer than the regular weeks? This has been a better week - I am not as crispy or as fried as I was this time last week. It helps when your reports are running as they should, and the clients clamoring at your door have dulled to a quiet roar. Finally, a little breathing room.

That also means more records management. Damn, someone else that I have taken over tasks from kept a lot of paper. Way too much paper. It is hard seeing such incredible waste - especially when said person didn't always duplex either. It's weird the paranoia that there used to be to keep paper trails, and uber documentation, even documentation that could be accessed at any time, on-line. *SIGH*. Once again, makes me feel like a bull in a china store as I bring about more process changes.

Tomorrow morning I am piggy-backing on a friend's garage sale and hauling over some stuff to get rid of and hopefully make a meager profit on. The theme of "moving on" and "decluttering" continues. The spring clean up week helped, and this should help too. I am getting the urge to do more decluttering, but there hasn't been the time. I do miss having a day off every 2 weeks, but not getting up for work for 7:30 has been a blessing too, and getting off at 4:30, but I haven't really done much of that lately either.

I must say, my motivation got up and left this morning.

Once Ken and Brandon left, I think I stood around with a stupid look on my face for a few minutes. And then I procrastinated, and then I was late leaving the house. I would have been happy just hanging out in my ginch with a good book all day.

-

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Not so bad.

35 has been looking pretty damn good so far.

Started out this new week, promising myself to not allow myself to ramp up stress-wise at a breakneck pace. It worked. It helps that I have sorted out most of the bugs in the report that I have to run, and I have finally had a chance to start to pick through, identifying what could stay, what should go, and what could move on. It's all in the details right now. At least I can see at what level the report sorts at (that was a mystery for the first 2 weeks) and semester start up is already moving quickly in to the past. I still think I have to take part of way too many meetings... but they are a necessary evil (apparently).

Ken's outta town for the night, and for a change, I didn't fall asleep with Brandon. Man, I have been bagged lately. Getting up before 6am doesn't help, but I think I was asleep before 10 three nights last week - LAME-O is me, The headache that didn't lift until Saturday probably paid a little part in that though.

Getting out of dodge for the weekend was a godsend. Not only was it good to spend time as a family with no distractions, the weather was good, got to see some new stuff, have some crazy new experiences... it's cool to think that in 3 weeks we are heading out for a real holiday!

I also got to change up the art work in my office today. What I had sucked. It was some dark abstract painting that did nothing for me. Now I have 2 semi-decent pieces of art that help jazz up some pretty boring walls. At least I have a view!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Othello Tunnels


Best time to go is first thing in the morning - before the crowds. Now, with my new life, where 7am is the old noon, doing just that is a reality! We were out and about at a decent time, and were at the tunnels for just after 8, and then to Hell's Gate for opening. It was an awesome day.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Gateway to Holidayland

My DH heard my pleas that we really needed to get out of dodge. From what he didn't say, actually finding a place to hang our hats wasn't an easy task, last minute, heading in to the long weekend, and the first nice weekend since last year.

I think I was reaching the end of my tether. I had a headache that wouldn't go away. Coffee wasn't helping, nor pain killers, or just trying to get more sleep. I think I was a tad stressed, and just needed a change of pace. The pain wasn't lifting, and it was going on days. And the early nights of crashing. And the waking up to do it again. Not that things have been that bad, or that stupid crazy (ok there were moments) just a cumulative effect of the whole ball of wax, so to speak.

So Ken planned an amazing trip. We made it to the gateway to the interior - which was just perfect. Far enough to be away, close enough that we didn't spend all day in the car. It was so needed. Sometimes being a tourist in your own backyard is the best thing you can do - discovered a cool place to eat called Skinny;s Grille, and a fabulous coffee shop called the Blue Moose.

I washed away the last 35 years in the face of an amazing waterfall - it was such an experience, words pale. The mist was tossed around by the wind from the temperature change (hot air and cold water), and I had to plunge my feet in to the falls to just experience it. Even though I didn't jump in to the water, I was soaked to the skin from the mist.


I think this is when my headache lifted.



My guys, checking out the falls. After seeing this, stopping in at Bridal Falls on the way home was no longer an option - it wouldn't compare.

I truly believe sometimes you have to get out of dodge to reconnect with yourself, get back to the basics, leave the noise behind, hold hands with your loved ones, and just experience something out of the ordinary. We did that - from cheesy Rambo-esque moments, to quiet moments having a picnic, to being awed by nature's beauty. So what I needed to refocus my energy.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

500

Funny how things work out - I celebrate 35 aged and celebrated years, and I hit the 500 posts milestone!

I am lurking at home for a few extra minutes this morning. I am going for a massage before I head off to work. I figure they should just be happy that I am working on my birthday - it is one of those days I like being a princess and not working, but I just don't have enough extra days to pull it off this year. Granted, I am getting tomorrow off, but I am working from home, and ultimately, tomorrow is happening because of a daycare crisis - our daycare lady *gasp* has taken the day off. Apparently she has a life too. LOL

Ken and I went on a great date last night - it was awesome. Our nephew and his GF came over to watch Brandon, and I am sure that they thought I was hilarious - we caught an early movie, and it was just what I wanted from a summer blockbuster. I was also mildly surprised at how the story unfolded, it wasn't rocket science, but still a good flick. Hell, getting out, holding Ken's hand, and watching a movie all the way through in one sitting was great in itself!!! Ah, the NWO. Got home, and Brandon had gone to bed without us, without a fuss!! YAY! Another cause for celebration. Last time we went out he was terrible going down for my mom, so perhaps we have turned a corner. And yes, the dude is in his own room. He lurves his own bed.

Work has been slowly getting better, but I have had headaches most of the this week. I have no idea if it has been stress, or just not sleeping well, or if I am fighting something. The headaches are getting annoying though - so it waking up about 5 am. I am cool with 6, but 5 is pushing it a bit. At work, it has been kind of neat, I have run in to a few familiar faces, and caught up with a few old friends that I knew from previous incarnations of myself at previous employers. That has been good. It has also been strange, it feels like I have never left this place on the hill.

At least I bring a lot of other experiences to the table now - there is something to be said about a little bit of experience in the field rather than just going to school somewhere and then working there without experiencing anything else. My office is coming together, 6 out of 23 boxes are gone, and 11 more to go this week.

I have been exhausted this last week. I think everything has caught up to me - the stress of the job changes, Brandon being sick, and then it trickling through to us, and just the normal day in and day out stuff, like trying to get laundry done and put away before the week starts up again... sometimes that is a huge challenge.

And how offensive is it that one of Canada's most notorious waste's of skin ended up with a myspace page? BRUTAL.

Yup, that skipping CD of a mind that I have is at it again.

Looks like we are getting out of dodge this weekend - I am not sure where, but Ken has something up his sleeve. I am tempted to ask where, but it is nice not knowing at this point and just being surprised, and happy knowing we are getting out of dodge.

And my dear friend Kelz had a baby girl!!! Welcome to the world Niamh!!!!

And my dear friend Clay is safely back in North America! Another reason to celebrate.

It feels like life has been happening fast and furiously. Days are going by way too quickly. It is kind of mind boggling actually. If tomorrow is as bright and beautiful as they say - I can't wait to get out for a walk at the beach with Brandon... should be good.

Perhaps I should start getting my day together... I don't think showing up to work in my robe today is such a great idea.

Friday, May 9, 2008

That's a wrap.

What a week.

I haven't been this glad it was a Friday for a long time. No wait, I think I feel this way pretty much every Friday night. What a fricken long, tiring, stressful, clusterfuck of a week.

It is my first taste of being in charge - I think it has gone fairly well, especially considering my first stint at being the point man also coincided with the third busiest time of the year for us. I had at least one staff member off every day. An integral program failed all week long. I realized I was sending the same information every day, no changes, causing a lot of delays for many people (unintentionally) because part of the file that I was grabbing was listed in lower case letters instead of upper case letters, and in no training manual, or in the training I got from the person I took over from (in their defense they were a temp, and frankly didn't have a huge vested interest in the program, beyond the small fraction of what they were shown) was it listed that it was important to have the whole file name listed in upper case letters. I assumed that the extension part could be lower case... well. Huge mistake. Most of the issues should sort out tonight.. the rest will hopefully sort out on Monday when I run my program again - I asked for a data refresh and that is being run tonight. Fingers crossed, it goes well and by Tuesday I can let the mob.... er... folks that are clamoring at our door know that everything is all good.

This is a short lived stint, since my supervisor is in Hawaii, but a welcome one. I was at my old job 10 years and never got to take the reins, and I have been in this just barely a month and I have been making decisions left, right, and centre, hosting team meetings, checking in with folks, and running with the ball. It is nice to feel valued in a different way, and to have more control... and best of all, to have a window with a view. Some days, my office is so bright I have to angle my monitor so I can actually see what is going on. Crazy! What a nice change from the broom closet I had at the old place, and then the box within a box, within a box, within a box I had not even a year ago.

Some days I can't believe the changes of the last year.

Then I met with the anal retentive archives dude yesterday, hoping to get rid of the 22 boxes in my office. A grand total of 6 boxes are officially ready to go. I then needed to spend a few hours I didn't have fixing another 11. One will stay put until they have a chance to go through the types of files in there and assign a retention period since we started making up our own numbers. Then I have another 6 boxes beyond my door that I think I am just going to be in denial about and wait for a motivated day when I feel the urge to do one final push for records management and get it out of here.

Of course, I love it when things get done, like yesterday. The wheels they don't turn so fast in a large institution. I am hoping those 6 boxes are gone next week. An approval to send off the other 11 to the archives would be nice as well, and I will optimistically hope that they will be gone the week after. Who knows about the rest.

In another 6 weeks the rest of my office furniture shall arrive.

Next week I may go and switch out the art work I have. It is some funky interpretive that I have hanging on the wall that does nothing for me.

That said, it has been a decent week at work - I have certainly bonded with my coworkers, and well, I have learned a few things the hard way. Seem a few stars, and well, some that fulfill different roles in the overall scheme of things.

What else?? It feels like work has dominated this week.

Brandon is fighting a cold - which is a far cry better than fighting the flu. Ken's between the pipes tonight, and I went out for dinner with Brandon and my folks to this funky little Italian place up the street. It was brilliant. It was a great departure from this week - marking a real end to it, and running in to the weekend. Granted the beer I had probably helped.. that and the latte with a shot of sambucca dropped in to it also helped.. LOL

Man, I can ramble when I set my mind to it.

My next goal is to update Brandon's adventures. I have been remiss in the last 6 weeks. It has been hard enough putting a few thoughts up here, every now and then, than trying to put up some new pics of him. It's Mum's Day this weekend. Wow. It is starting to feel real - like it isn't just about my mum anymore. My daycare lady floored me today when I picked B up - she had a picture she had made from hand cut outs, and B's picture in the middle, and a poem. If I was a crier, I would have been croaking out big crocodile tears. As it was, I was a little emotional but none of the wet stuff seeped out.

So, off I run.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another outfit change?

Well, we have now had the dubious distinction of going through our first stomach flu with Brandon.

It has really sucked. The flu hit on Saturday morning. It was a nerve wracking experience as the contents of B's stomach repeatedly chose a rapid exit... up until close to midnight. Then Sunday morning, round 2 started in the southern regions.

Needless to say, B has had his ass kicked by the damn flu, I am sure he has lost a pound, and learning how much and when to reintroduce food is a challenge. Yes, he is on the mend, are we fully there yet - nope. There have been times I wished we had hardwood/laminate floors throughout the whole house, and times where I wondered if the laundry would ever be done. He has been a real trooper though it all, but it has been brutal.

I used a call a friend to Nej on Saturday night to touch base about these wonderful bugs, and just to find out if this is truly how much it sucks when it is your baby with the flu. She answered with a resounding yes. It sucks this bad. Checked in with a doc and he said no need to call in the cavalry, but man, it sure would be nice if B was eating like he normally does. Last night he ate some dinner, and then powered through way too much milk and we both wore it again. Ah yes, life teaches about you limits and what is reasonable for an itty bitty stomach that has been shrunk over 4 days with a liquid diet. *SIGH*. This kind of thing is all experiential learning, you don't figure this out until you have walked down the path. Doesn't help that you have suffered through your own flus, etc. It is different when it is your babe, and you know they will eat when they are ready, and all the rest of that... it is hard letting go in that sense and just concentrating on getting the fluids in, and cleaning up the messes when they happen.

So, when I have a chance I will attempt to update the last few weeks...

Or maybe I will quickly paraphrase and if I get back there, great...

Grapples. Stay away from the Frankenfruit. They are gala apples injected with grape juice. Avoid.

Victoria was great - but bloody hell if it wasn't like winter when we were there. When we went up island we woke up with 4 inches of the white stuff the saturday morning we were going to spend on the beach.

New job is good. My presentation went well - stressful.

Man, April has kicked my ass.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Wherefore art thou, spring?

It is snowing.

I perhaps should have worn a sweater.

The upside is, at least I have a window to look out!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Is there a lesson here?

Day 2 of cleaning out my new office.

I have created 8 boxes of confidential shredding, and 6 tubs of recycling, a box of office supplies, unearthed about 200 old diskettes, thousands of paper clips, many many page protectors and dividers, and there are dust bunnies and paper bits every where.

Holy shit. It is weird going through someone else's papers. What the hell, how do you walk away from your job and leave so many boxes of your crap? Who do you think is going to look at it? Each time I have left my jobs in the last few years (between my mat leave, and then truly leaving, and then my recent switch) I left my office spic and span and ready for the next person. I cleared out my crap. Apparently no one has wanted to through anything out.

I found a goal statement paper from 1983. Yup. 1983. I found pictures from the 90s. Was our hair really that big and our clothes that bad?

And the emails. From the dawn of time. And ineligible writing, and half filled writing tablets stuck in boxes here and there. And I have boxes of empty binders. It is mind blowing. I know I am totally going off on a rant here, but it is amazing. There are still 13 boxes in my office, and a completely full book shelf, and a hanging file cabinet and that is just less than half of what there originally was. Some stuff will be archived, other stuff is being picked through. I can't give stuff away. People keep popping their heads in my office, and what started as me trying to look at stuff before it got turfed has turned in to me looking at the date and then either stuffing in to a box for archiving or dumping in to shredding.

The up side is that it helps for ownership, I am hoping that I am not stepping on anyone's toes... apparently there hasn't been the staff, time, or impetus to do a clean out like I am doing. Hell, the last occupant left 10 years worth of desk calendars kicking around. WTF? I am involving some of the people that would have had a vested interest in some of the paper, and we have had some good laughs, some interesting tidbits have surfaced, especially from staff members that haven't been around for more than 10 years.. and a report on which my name was on it from when I was a student.. that was trippy.

So that was my day. Oh yeah - they do white spot fridays - any one who is around from our area and wants lunch, well, everyone grabs some tables and hangs out. It is cool - we have a drama book to write in, and there is some great energy. It is different than what I am used too - this has been a good switch, in a different way than my last job was a good switch from the original one.

Next week will be my first full, 5 day week in forever. The later starts are nice, and I will be happy to have things cleaned up so the days aren't so... well, unstructured. I want to get my teeth in to stuff. I have a presentation to plan for at our AGM in 2 weeks!!!!

It took the dude forever to fall asleep tonight. Ken's at hockey, and I am a little fatigued. I am going to try to dive back in to Love in the time... but it isn't a fast read by any means. It is taking me time - I find the writing convoluted, and for me, the style doesn't flow that easily. It is interesting, the tale that is unwinding, but I am only a 1/3 of the way through.

I am being tempted by a dry apple cider. A blanket, a cider, my book, and the couch. Sounds not so bad. Either that or I have the latest CSI:Miami that I could watch. Thank god for media centre and being able to just program what I want "taped". It makes life so much easier. I do not miss the old VHS. Man, do I keep rambling or what?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I have a window!!!

I am settling in to my new digs.

Already I am learning new things, or at least reminding myself about stuff I already knew. Time is flying. So much so that I pretty much forgot to eat lunch yesterday. By the time I realized I had forgotten to grab something of substance, it was time to go home. I knew we were having pasta, so I feasted on that an promptly gave myself a queasy stomach, and a roaring headache. The joys.

It was strange walking in to work on the first day - going "behind the counter" where I used to be a student. Some stuff is cutting edge, other stuff blows my mind at how far behind it is.

I am back to cleaning out an office. I am on my 4th recycling bin, and have filled a confidential shredding box. There are duplicates of duplicates, and policy books that go back well in to the 90s. A historical record is nice, and there are requirements for records management... BUT!!! There is a point where that kind of information volume becomes a nasty beast and you just don't want to deal with it - at all. In I come... I do have an amazing view, and I do have 15 boxes that still need to be sorted, plus all the stuff on the book shelf. It feels a little chaotic, but I am feeling very welcomed, and already valued. It has been really cool. That said, a little daunting at times because some of the way that things has been done is really convoluted, and I come at a time they want to make some big changes, which is great, because that seems to be where I am at, and the team that I am with.

Time is flying. I still don't have an office key, or my own access card, and I still need to go to the gym and get me a membership. I am giving myself the week off - I figure there is enough chaos without getting my ass to the gym - especially since eating has been an issue, LOL. I also realized that I only did a trip to the loo once. Can we say, drink some fluids girl!!!

The shorter days and later start time is nice.. as is the 10 minute commute (after a 15 minute walk to the car, which I expected, which is actually quite nice.. me time, to just walk.... and not think). Today I am going to grab the dude, and poppa, and head off to the ducks. Which is cool because it wasn't an option to do that before dinner when I wasn't getting us home until close to 6! It's nice starting at 8:30 instead of 7:30.. mornings are not so hellacious.

Friday, March 28, 2008

That's a week!

Well, I made it.

Wrapped up work, and the last two days have passed by in a blur. I sent Brandon to daycare, and I ran errands, and cleaned, and puttered about doing god only knows what, and frittered away time, and cleaned the kitchen, and did laundry, and more laundry, and then even more laundry (was everything we owned dirty?)... and then I went to that big store of DIY and got a new coffee table. Anyone want an old one? I have coveted a new coffee table since we had to go back to our really old one. See, when you have a young dude, it really doesn't make sense to have a glass-top anything. You are just asking for it, so we retired our cool coffee table and brought back the one I inherited, and well, it did the job and that was about it. The new one is more functional, and smaller and taller, and well, I like it better.

I was on a mission to get our passports renewed too. I rocked up at 7:15... I had my book, some water, and I figured I had a few hours to kill before my hair appointment at 11.

I was DONE before 8! I was shocked - I didn't know what to do with myself! I guess when they have enough staff they do a "soft" opening to get a start on the day. I got back in my truck, and I thought- what now? I am on the wrong side of the bridge in the middle of rush hour. So I grabbed myself a java and took the long way around. Wandered around the mall, dropped off my package at my new work... which was cool. I went there for so long as a student, it is crazy to be there as an employee. Damn cool though, and nice being able to flash a letter and get parking, and not be forced in to the lottery to be even considered for a space!!! Yesterday, like today, passed way too quickly and it was time to pick up the little guy before I knew it.

It was just nice to be. Made up a budget we can blow to smitherines, cleaned up my bookshelves, took out recycling, and now I surf. Soon I think I shall bathe. Or at least read a book. It feels like the calm after a big storm. Although I really like my last job, and I made a few friends, I am looking forward to this change, and whatever it will bring. The last few weeks were all over the board, and now, it feels like the start of something new.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Last day

I feel moody, gotta love the hormonal surges of being woman... hear me roar.

So, it's my last day and I was absolutely unmotivated to get my ass of the couch this morning. Ken left with the dude before I was even dressed! At least traffic was generous to me, which means I was in by 8:15... which also means that once I have worked my 7 hours, I am outta da place.

I got in early yesterday and packed up all my gear and loaded it in to the truck and then parked and came back in. I didn't want to do the walk of shame down the halls with my box of binders, a plant, and then my framed degrees (I figure I don't have the space to hang em at home, so at work they get to be) in my hands, loaded down, obviously making my way out of the building..

I get to turn in my key, give them back their ID card, and I have no idea about my parking pass. Maybe I can sell it to the highest bidder? That is one thing that I will miss, where I am heading I will go from paying $25 a year for parking to about $450 a year... *SIGH* and I will still be walking about 10 minutes from the lot to my office... I guess it isn't as bad as paying to park in the city.. but for someone who hates paying for parking...

It is strange though - my overall boss has not said good bye or wished me luck, and my true boss is almost acting like I no longer exist - which is true, but just sits weird. I will end up quietly slipping out of the building later on today.. no fanfare... just vamooshing. Some people have been awesome - just happy for me, and others, well, they are acting like nothing is happening. It is interesting who actually wants to head out for a coffee or a word, and who doesn't. It is telling. I am doing a long coffee, and a pub lunch today. My kind of farewell.

Just finished a book that was just kind of ok. I usually really like this series, but I found that this one didn't catch me... it took me a few weeks to finish the book instead of my usual days. That is telling for me. It wasn't bad, just not the usual page turner. It also could have been me, and not the right book for now. We are going to read Love in the time of Ch0lera next for our book club, and I am feeling a bit leery about it. I couldn't finish the 100 years of solitude.. so I hope that I fair better with this one!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter was too early this year.

It felt like the Easter weekend came too damn early this year.

This weekend went by way too quickly, again. We did a whole bunch of visiting on Friday, and Ken made a lovely anniversary dinner of salmon and veggies. It was awesome... hard to believe we have already been married 2 years today!!! It feels like it has been a lot longer...

We drove up to Kelowna to visit Pete and Gilly, whom were in town, for the night at her parents, and after cooling our heels for an hour in town, we made it out to Lake Country. We stayed in the middle of lake (great views, although no Ogopogo) and wine country, and did some tasting in the afternoon. I was surprised to see that the winery charged for tasting - how many people show up at a winery to taste and don't buy something??? It was strange... But Gray Monk has some nice wines, and I walked away with a nice Pinot Gris. The company was great, we chatted, drank, ate, and did it some more! It was a great visit and we left after breakie on Sunday. It was surreal to see P and G in Kelowna at her folks when they are living in Calgary and we are out here.. it was fun to do something like that - spontaneous and just to get out and experience something a little different. I love that every now and then!

We left in time because there was snow between Kelowna and Merritt, and then again (and even worse winter weather) through the Coquihalla. By the time we made it through to Hope, I was grateful we didn't leave later because the pass was getting really bad with the snow, bad viz, cars and trucks stalled out everywhere... I was happy to be on the other side of the mountains! We picked up Ken's mom on the way home, the big turkey with my folks, and then the weekend was done and Ken was back at work today.

I got some house cleaning done, we fed the ducks, I grocery shopped... all that mundane stuff. I have a few days off at the end of the week after I finish work, and I have a "to do" list of all the stuff I don't normally get a chance to do. I am going to still send Brandon to daycare - which feels somewhat strange.. but I am doing stuff like dropping off my package at HR, and getting a haircut, and renewing our passports so it will be easier to fly solo. Hell, it will be nice to have a few moments to myself. I think it will be only a part day for him on Friday... there are just a few little bits to do, and then I will grab my little dude and perhaps head out to the park for a walk and some fish n chips... something wild and crazy like that! Amazing how fast the time does fly... and how organized you have to be with your time.. that's the thing as you get older.. more structure, no matter how much you try to fight it, that structure saves your ass most of the time!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Paws Up!

What dog breed are you? I'm a Golden Retriever! Find out at Dogster.com

A golden must have come up because I said I wanted a fancy pick up truck.. LOL

Thursday, March 20, 2008

First day of spring?

Damn this year is already going fast.

There are times this week that I really feel like the odd ball, and other times where I am pretty aware that I will be missed. Then there are the things that I really won't miss (like doors being slammed when I (or anyone else for that matter) is being too loud). It is like being on holidays... for the whole trip you really don't want to go home until you reach that very last day and then you start to think about your own bed, and everything you left behind.. somehow on the last day it is ok go to home. It has been like that here - making the decision was hard, telling everyone really sucked because being the bearer of bad news is never easy, especially when you know that even though it was "contact" they were trying to keep you... (but there is a BIG difference between being temporary for a year and three years, surprise surprise). Now, it is more like being in limbo.

Cleaning out your office, and scouring your work PC is a weird experience. Packing everything in to a box, and deleting all those files, erasing your presence. It's easier since I haven't been here forever, but I park the car a damn long way away so it is a pain in the ass to get everything back to the car unless I want to drive it around and park out front.

I guess enough whining - the change will be good, and I am really excited about the new job. There should be some good synergy, and hopefully my learning curve won't be too steep. Or at least interesting. At our AGM in a few weeks I get to do a presentation, so I am sure that will keep me somewhat busy!

I am GLAD we have a long weekend. Doesn't feel like it should be Easter already, WTF? We are doing a quickie roadtrip to Kelowna, and a turkey with the folks on Sunday... I will only be at work 2 days next week, so I am sure I will finally chase the dust bunnies around the house, and hopefully work my way through a spring cleaning. We can't use our shed. It needs help.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Yesterday's news

Well, I drank some guinness and wore some green, had some shepard's pie, my son got a lucky green coin, I made some lucky shamrock cookies, and thus passed a St. Paddy's day for us!

This morning, I am feeling like yesterday's news. One of the first things I was told this morning was to not come to today's peer meeting. Er. Um. Thanks! I guess don't let that door hit me on the way out, eh? Ah well, it usually lasts for 2 hours, they are drawn out meetings, and frankly, perhaps not such a bad thing that I am released from going! Half the time I am counting ceiling tiles, and the other half I am watching one of my coworkers to see if they are going to fall asleep! It just makes me feel a wee bit odd inside, I am already feeling excluded.

I am the one choosing to leave, and I know they did what they could to try to keep me, but sometimes it isn't about the short term, you have to take the long view and the long term benefits of the new place are superior.

I keep getting asked whether or not I am excited about going - I am, but I haven't even gone there mentally. I guess when it is in your face and you don't go to a staff meeting and stuff envelopes instead, it is pretty obvious you aren't "in" anymore, and I guess it is becoming more real for me. It'll be strange walking the halls where I once went to school - I am actually being paid to be there now! Things are the same (like the funky old smell in the older elevators) and they are different too - I'm still me, but I have grown up too. It doesn't feel as unknown as this job change to my current position was. I am going back to more familiar ground, literally and figuratively. I will be the new kid in town again though, and hopefully it will be a good fit for me there with all their personalities. I hope that if I am really sharing an office, that it works out. I am sure I will make it work, whatever it is... change is good. LOL... that is my mantra. Just feels like a lot of change in the last year.

Friday, March 14, 2008

on the move... again

I can't believe it. I am switching jobs, again!!!! For the third time this year, I am on the move.

O M G.

After staying with my last employer 10 years, and the one before that 7 years, I can't believe I have created so much change for myself in such a short period of time. I can't believe I am doing the rounds and saying good bye again. It is crazy - especially since here I made really good connections with all kinds of folks right away, and am a good fit, and have been going to the gym, and had projects on the go, and even been on a first name basis with the higher ups. I know that they want to keep me, but here, at this point, they can't offer me a permanent position. Not for another 2-3 years. Plus the guy I am replacing in my current job, could choose to stay away for the next 2 years, and yes, there will be movement, but the movement is created by people going on leaves, but not actually resigning.

So, I am on the move again. The new job comes with some really good benefits besides being permanent. I should have an office with a view, even if it looks like I will be sharing the space. It too comes with a gym membership (I intend to keep going) and the staff are fairly new to the job, and excited to make changes. I am joining the team so to speak at the right time. There is a mat top up, and if I wanted to further my education (yes, that is possible) it would be free. This stuff makes my head spin. I am going for coffee with the VP this morning, I have no idea what I am going to say! I guess it could be a form of an exit interview...

When I left my last job, I truly felt done with that place. I was actually somewhat choked up yesterday walking in - I enjoy it here, the people are pretty cool, and I have been learning a different aspect of the job. I don't really see myself as done here, but the timing and the new opportunity, I have to follow it. Plus it comes with some supervisory duties actually in the title, which means I can start moving on in time too. Nice to have official rather than indirect.

I'm happy - the security helps take an edge off that has been there on the backburner these last few months. It is hard worrying about whether or not you made the right call to leave a long term job for a one year contract with the possibility of an extension. In fact, I got offered an extension here on Friday, deferred making an answer, and found out about the new job offer late Tuesday. Did I mention my head has been spinning?

I have 2 weeks left, and will start the new job on April Fools. Hard to believe I switched jobs at Thanksgiving, and now, the next turkey holiday, I am switching again. Yup, I am still wrapping my mind around this.