Friday, October 26, 2007

Who's the one needing a life skills coach?

Staffing circumstances have dictated that Jed is back at our house for a while. My empty nest is feeling kinda full.

He has a life skills worker work with him each morning from 9:00 to 12:30. Let me preface by saying I love the woman and she deserves a very large crown in heaven for her work here on earth. And besides, she looks like my mom's sister. But....

Okay, I'm just not into have house staff arrive at my door at 8:45 am. We have always been night people. We stay up late. We sleep in if we can. We eat late at night. I rarely do the dishes at night (This is where you feel sorry for me because I don't have dishwasher.) - I do them about 10 or 11 before I go to work at noon. Now, I feel like I have to be up, showered, dressed and done my chores by 8:30. It bites!

The real issue is that it makes me see how much I, personally, need a life skills coach. As I try to stay out of the picture while another woman instructs my child in the basic rules of life, there are times I wanna crawl into a hole and hide when I realize how many of these rules I don't follow. It's no wonder my kid doesn't have these skills.

What is my response supposed to be when I hear her say, "Any life skill teacher will tell you that you don't iron on the counter. You use an ironing board."

Uh, yeah. Do I interject and say, "Um, actually I haven't owned an ironing board for about 8 years. As a matter of fact I didn't even own an iron for while till Barbee gave me one when she stayed with us couple of years ago." Or do I just let her think my son is a hopeless case. I decide it's easier to let her think negatively of my son.

One morning I realized she had cleaned the bathtub after Jed had a shower. I know this because I had noticed a bathtub ring the day before and just pulled the curtain closed to make it disappear as I headed off to work. The next day it was gone. Am I embarrassed by that? Only when I think about it.

When she threatened to leave one morning if Jed wouldn't greet her when he got out of bed, I hope that the bewildered look that was going through my mind didn't show on my face. Are people supposed to be polite to each other before they've had coffee?

Thank God Jed is my youngest or I'd be thinking I need to head off to a parenting class or something.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ha Ha! Like Mother Like Son.

I took Jed shopping tonight for a costume. We went to Value Village first. No luck finding anything suitable. He's helping at the church youth program where the theme is the 10 plagues. He wants to dress as an Egyptian.

We headed off to Walmart where I looked at patterns in the pattern book, refused to buy a $15 pattern and got a couple of pieces of fabric cut to fake a head piece and robe. It was gonna be about $18 for fabric.

As we headed to the check-out I said "Let's just go look at the costume section." And there, for $19.97, was a Caesar costume that he was willing to go with. (I know Caesar wasn't in Egypt, but hey, I'm willing to bet that a hundred kids under 10 won't remember that.) Head piece, arm bands, robe, sash and all were included. I did a quick look around for employees. My eyes scanned upward for cameras. And as I set the costume into my cart with my right hand, my left hand quickly tossed the cut pieces of fabric onto the bottom shelf beneath the costumes.

The costume didn't include sandals, so off we headed to the shoe department hoping to find some $2 discounted footwear left over from summer. There were some for $4.97. Into the cart they went and I turned in the direction of the check-outs once again. Just as I was noticing that I still had the piece of poster board in my cart that I had originally intended to use for assembling a head piece, Jed came up behind me with a pair of slippers that looked like bears.

"Very cool." I said. "But we can't afford them today. Please put them back." Meanwhile, I was thinking "As soon as he gets out of eyesight, I'm gonna ditch this piece of cardboard here in the luggage aisle."

He wasn't gone 3 seconds. My hand was just reaching for the cardboard when I realized he was right behind me again. I turned and looked, only to see his slippers sitting on top of a stack of purses.

"Jedediah! You go put those back where you found them! Don't you leave a mess for the employees to have to clean up after you!"

And you guessed it. As soon as he turned out of sight the poster board was standing neatly behind a set of luggage. And I was off to pay for the costume.

What we intended.

What we got.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Why can't we hibernate an be completely unaware winter even exists.

Christmas is coming! At least all my neighbours seem to think so. The neighbour to my left and 4 houses in a row across the street all put their christmas lights up on the weekend. They haven't actually turned them on, but they're ready.

And me. Well I still have summer blooming in full glory. My dollar store foliage in the boxes around the deck is getting a little faded now. I did replace some of the blatantly summerish blooms with autumn coloured stems about six weeks ago. But even the most die-hard summer enthusiast has to know when succumb to nature's change in seasons.

It only took about 18 seconds to pull up all my plants and stuff them into a bag for next year. And presto! Summer was over.

It may be a bit early for the Nativity scene, so I think I'll just keep the blinds closed, look at my beautiful bouquet from my husband and ignore fact winter is coming.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hear! Hear!

My ears are tone deaf, I cannot tell you if one note is higher or lower than another. I cannot pick out all the different instruments or voice parts in a song. But my teeth can distinguish even the most minute sounds from each other.

Sounds make my teeth hurt. I'm not talking about the irritating teeth-on-edge feeling when hearing someone rake their fingernails down a chalkboard. I'm talking pain. And it's often caused by ridiculously simple noises: rubbing the fibres of a cotton ball together, crinkling a bag, or certain tones or instruments if there is music playing.

The weird thing is, it's not consistent. There are certain sounds that will hurt every time I hear them, like dragging a fork across an earthenware plate. (This is why you'll only find Corelle in my kitchen.) But I'll have days when my teeth are feeling sensitive and every sound just seems magnified and painful. Last night was one of those times.

I endured supper during which time my husband and son would allow their fork to touch their plates. Normal procedure, I realize. But it pierced my ear drum like a cannon going off. The sounds of the skates on ice in the hockey game on tv came across my teeth like a dentist drill. When Jed started playing a computer game with background music that I'm sure was made with chalkboards, styrofoam and voices going through puberty, I could take no more. I retreated to my bedroom in search of some silence.

Ahh! That was better. For about 1/2 an hour, until my husband followed me and flicked on the tv. When was the last time you saw a comedy act take place in a kitchen setting where the clanking of dishes was louder than the vocal conversation? There was one on last night.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

From laying awake listening to him snore - to well rested butt sittin' on the floor.

I hate our bed. It makes Alb snore. I know all beds tend to do that to all people as they age but this is different.

For years we slept on a queen size solid foam mattress. When we moved to this small house we downsized to a cheap double bed. It's kinda like sleeping on a piece of slate. We softened it with a memory foam topper. But I don't care for memory foam much neither. I think it's a texture thing - it feels like dough, or a really fat stomach (which I am all too familiar with). Alb started to snore 'round about the same time. I didn't really put 2 and 2 together until we slept on a 6" piece of foam from Walmart all summer. Alb really didn't snore at all (I don't know if the same can be said for me, but I don't care cuz I was sleeping). Once again, I didn't really think of it... until we came home and the sawing logs started again.

I think the hard mattress makes him sleep on his back rather than his side. Perhaps it's just me. Maybe I sleep so soundly on foam I am unaware of the snoring that has been going on all along. Either way, I spent most of my day off yesterday wandering from store to store having mini naps in the mattress departments.

I found the perfect mattress. It's solid latex foam and I can take one home for a mere $2979. I realize I spend more time in my bed than my car, and I spent more than 10 times that on my car but I just can't do it. But the sticker shock was enough to jolt me into thinking my old queen size mattress really will fit in my small master bedroom. And the small piece of slate can be moved to the spare room.

I lugged the queen mattress by myself from the spare room to our room and flopped it onto the platform bed frame - where, of course, it hangs over about 4 inches on either side and 6" on the bottom, resembling the backside of an enormous person trying to sit on a folding chair. Even in this floppy state, I had a fantastic sleep last night -sans (that means "without") snoring.

As long as we don't sit on the edge of the bed we'll be fine. I forgot this morning and sat on the end of the bed to put my socks on. I ended up on my butt on the floor. Ooops.

Monday, October 15, 2007

And it burns burns burns...

I hate green peppers. Every once in a while I think, "I'm an adult now. I like most foods. There's no reason for me not to eat them." But the fact is I just don't like 'em. However, I love hot peppers. A girl at work has gotten me on this kick of eating whole hot pickled peppers.

Seeing as it is salsa making season, and I know my Dad's garden is brimming with peppers of all varieties, I told my mom about my recent hot pepper consumption. And as if by magic there were jars of hot pickled peppers in with my shipment of salsa.

I scooped myself a little bowl of them and sat down at my computer and mindlessly tossed one into my mouth as I was reading through my email. Holy Hannah! I gasped for breath and choked while my eyes welled up with tears. I then wiped away my tears with the hand that held the peppers. Good lordy, I thought my eyeball was gonna melt. I ran to the bathroom mirror because I was sure I'd find a blister on my lower lip.

Now, since Chantel had gotten me started eating those things, I had to take a jar to work to share with her. Now let me tell you, that livened up an otherwise slow day at work. In between curse-words and tears, we managed to polish off half the jar before we both broke out into a sweat. I got to thinking that sweat is associated with weight loss. hmmm.... Mom just might be on to something. I've ordered up another batch cuz I sense that these ones will be gone before long.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The science of poop.

I remember target practicing with a .22 caliber rifle as child of 8 or 9. I remember cutting the heads off chickens with an axe at about the same age. I was probably even younger than that when I witnessed a live pig being strung up by the ankles before being shot with a large rifle. I remember having the unthankful task of having to drown a batch of kittens in a burlap sack at the age of ... well, at the risk of having my parents arrested... let's just say I wasn't very old. Even though the purpose of my task was to euthanize the poor creatures, I could not bring myself to tie the top of the burlap potato sack closed. It seemed just too claustrophobic to me. So I threw them into the Fraser River in an open sack. Did you you know cats can swim? I don't think I ever told anyone I hadn't accomplished my mission that day, and I secretly hoped they all made it to shore.

While I am a carnivore and I enjoy a good steak, I am not particularly excited about the kill.

We agreed to meet with some friends who were out hunting yesterday. With the exception of the above incidences, I have never gone hunting. We armed ourselves with warm clothes and a camera and headed out to the bush.

We piled on the ATV's and we were off. It was a fun ride, but not anything like being on the back of a Goldwing on the 401. However, some of the trails were reminiscent of some roads in rural Nova Scotia.

This looks relatively flat, but trust me, it was about a 60 degree slope.
I was shocked that the Quad was able to come back up this hill without hesitation
while packing Dan and I - neither of whom are feather weights.

Fresh poop. It was still wet. Apparently it belonged to an elk.
And he wasn't far away.

I didn't even know elk lived around here.

I'm told this is moose poop.
And it's been quite a few days since he passed this way.
Who knew poop was so informative?

We also came across a pile of bear poop.
Also not that fresh. But it was too fresh for my liking.
From the size of the pile, I'm guessing he had very large bowels.
I didn't even get a picture cuz I was too busy having my eyes
closed in prayer hoping he wouldn't materialize.

There was an old homestead way out there
in the middle of nowhere. People used to live
out here in the boonies.

Not only did people live in this remote location. Various animals have tried to take up residence in the old buildings over the years. There were an enormous number of bones trapped inside. Some were just random bones, others complete skeletons laying exactly as they had been when they laid down while wearing skin. See the cat legs on the stump on the right? It was quite decomposed, but it sure looked like the remains of a domestic cat to me. Way out here? How did it get here? Perhaps some other weak stomached person had tried to send a batch of kittens to kitty heaven in the nearby river. I dunno, but it was all a little much for me, and I think I'll continue to do my carnivorous hunting in the aisles of Costco and Superstore.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Oh the eerie silence.

Sitting here at my computer, I can hear two clocks ticking - one is 15 feet behind me and the other is in the kitchen. Other than that I hear nothing. Albert is sleeping after working night shift. Jed has gone home after spending 3 days with us. And the dog, well the dog has left home, so truly we are now empty nesters.

As far as dogs go, we could not have asked for a quieter more docile one. But still it's noticeable having her gone, after being accustomed to her laying, gently snoring, and farting under my chair for 12 years.

Our little Sergeant has moved in with Grandpa and Grandma Z. Now she has someone to talk to her during the day and let her out to pee. Her aging digestive system can no longer handle being in the house all day. And my aging digestive system was starting to balk at cleaning up the dog bombs in the basement after a full day at work.

Grandma likes the little bark she gives to warn that someone's at the door. Sergeant likes the acreage to roam. And I shall become accustomed to the silent, poop-free, hairless days of being a non-pet owner. Ahhh.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Minding my P's and Q's

I have lots to be thankful for. I am sure I could write out a list of 100 things without much problem.

As I mentally begin forming a list I can't help but think past the gifts I receive to the givers. I have a lot of givers in my life. For them I am thankful. And ultimately I have to be thankful to God for giving me the givers.

So thanks, eh.

Friday, October 5, 2007

People are grouchy

I am happy (ish).

The same cannot be said for all of the people that have crossed my path in the last few days. Today a co-worker asked me why everyone is so grouchy. Like I was supposed to have the answer. Perhaps it is me. But people are grouchy these days. Seriously, just about everyone is snapping for no good reason. I realize that winter is hanging heavy in the air and I don't like it neither, but geez people - lighten up.

I understand that I had a great summer with lots of sunshine and vitamin D whereas most BCer's did not. So take a pill. Or go tanning. Fly away to a tropical location. But get out of my face!

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Betty's Baaaack!

Betty the Bike just won't call it quits. Her insurance lapsed on September 15 and she was all tucked away in the back corner of the garage. But she has emerged again for another 3 months.

Okay, it's very unlikely we'll still be riding her in 3 months but ICBC won't allow you to put a shorter term than that on a bike.

Why would relatively sane individuals insure a bike in PG when it's fricken freezing outside? I'll blame it on Ford. The truck is back in the shop for warranty work. This time it's the huma-ma-jiggy on the whatcha-ma-call-it that's allowing water to leak into something, creating clouds of blue smoke to billow out of the back.

It's all covered by warranty but they don't supply a replacement vehicle and they need the truck for 4 days.

I know lots of couples survive sharing a single vehicle, but for some reason we just can't figure out how to make it work - even for 4 days.

I know, I know we'd probably been smarter to rent a vehicle, but it's too late to think of that now; Betty's got her new sticker already. Let's just pray for no snow or ice for at least 5 days. And it will be great if we can get a couple of nice sunny afternoon rides in.

Anyone wanna buy a really nice shiny black Ford truck?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Little Miss Muffet Sat on Her Tuffet

I am a procrastinator by nature.

Today was my first day off work in 12 days. Some nights I was there until after 9. It's been year-end, inventory, Truck load Sale, Home Show, co-workers having babies, new staff starting ... the list goes on. I am exhausted.

The last few days I have gotten up, gone to work, come home, vegged, gone to bed and laid awake thinking about work, and not accomplished much of anything else. A few days I did not even see my husband. I certainly haven't been doing laundry and dishes.

Alb washed the dishes yesterday and left them to dry in the sink. I didn't even bother to put them away when I got home. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? I didn't even put them away this morning. I did mention that I'm a procrastinator, right? I finally got around to it after I got home from grocery shopping. I figured I'd better clear them away before making more dirty dishes for supper.

I picked up the upside down frying pan that had only been sitting there for, like 30 hours, max. What I saw freaked me out and I and threw it in the empty sink and poured hot water on it before I even had time to think that I should have run and got the camera.

The spider within was not particularly large, but the web it had built lead me to believe that about 78 relatives were planning on moving in with it. It was amazing and disgusting at the same time.

I scalded and scrubbed out the pan and put it away.

We had spaghetti for supper. I made the sauce in a pot.

Consider Yourself Reminded.

Ten years. It's been 10 years today since I was branded with that title that no-one ever wants to wear. That is until you receive it. ...