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It’s been nine long years

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Categories: Children, Family, Just for You, The Captain, Tags:

IMG_1192Not really. Not really long years. Nine ridiculously short years. Nine years that feels like days. Nine years that passed in the blink of an eye.

Your brother was in his stroller. I clutched my go-mug of coffee with one white-knuckled hand and the stroller with the other. We took pictures of you out in front of the garage with your new backpack. Well. Your dad and Papa took those pictures because I couldn’t. We started walking across the street, and you reached up and took my hand as soon as I put my coffee in its holder.

“I’m scared, Mama,” you said.

“I know,” I told you. “I’m scared too. But I think it’s going to be okay.”

You with your round cheeks and your bright eyes. Your hands were still chubby-knuckled and you wore the sweater I’d knit for you with the Irish wool mum sent back from Kilkenny. I thought about how proud she would be of you. Then I pushed that thought as far away as I could because I’d already been sobbing for weeks about your first day of Kindergarten. Of COURSE all of the other parents were crying (well, some of them, who may have been on their fifth kid, pretty much just drove by and slowed down to let the little urchins out of the  car).

You were the only child I could see on that playground. I heard some of your hockey teammates call out to me, and I suppose I must have waved to them.

Your teacher came to greet us at the gate, and she knelt down and said, “I know you’re scared, and that’s okay. Everyone’s a little scared on their first day.”

Then you hugged me tightly and took your teacher’s hand and you walked onto the playground. I stood for just a moment watching you, and in that moment felt so pleased. Yet letting you go was the hardest thing I’ll ever do. It will always be the hardest thing I’ll ever do.

Somewhere there is a place where all of the little pieces of mothers’ hearts go.

 

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A Gift of the Prairie

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Categories: Books, Just for You, poetry, writing, Tags: , , ,

IMG_7577-0.JPG

THE BOOK THAT MY POEMS ARE IN IS HERE! THE BOOK THAT MY POEMS ARE IN IS HERE!!

Extra points if you can name the reference there.

IMG_7577.JPG

It’s called A Gift of the Prairie and it is published by the Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre. This was a project co-ordinated (and edited) by the inimitable Bernadette Wagner. The book features pieces by several kickass writers in the Last Mountain Lake area. I’d say more but I haven’t read the whole book yet!

You can find the book on the web here or here.

Please come to the first launch/reading series at 2pm on Monday, 1st September at the Lumsden Beach Hall, or to my reading on 20th October at 7:00 pm at Crave in Regina. Attend ALL the readings:

2 pm Monday September 1, Lumsden Beach Hall, Lumsden Beach.

2 pm Saturday September 6, Lumsden Library, Lumsden.

2 pm Sunday September 28, Last Mountain Lake Cultural Centre, Regina Beach.

7 pm Monday October 20,Vertigo Series, Crave Restaurant, 1925 Victoria Avenue, Regina.

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It ain’t easy

23 comments

Categories: Something or other but True, True Stories, When There's Weather, Tags: ,

storm cloudsThis is a difficult post for me to write. To be honest, I don’t even know if it’ll ever get posted publicly. I’m not particularly good at this sort of thing, and the idea that people use their blogs to kind of…I dunno…bleed out all over the place gives me the squickies. So I don’t know why I’m even writing it. Maybe it’s just time for me to get my Internet leech treatment.

The past two years have been incredibly difficult. Probably this has to do with one a’ them…whattayacallems…big life changes. It’s been a time when many of the people around me – the people I care deeply about love have gone through some pretty intense periods of stress. And, I’ll be honest with you, I’ve gone through some difficult shite too.

I mean, we all do, right? This isn’t one a’ them …whattayacallems… calls for help or big neon signs flashing “pity me” or “soothe me” or even “look at me”. Feel free to stop reading now and go find something awesome to do. I encourage doing so without pants!

It started with the loss of a friend. It was silly, really. But here’s the thing – I’m one of those people who doesn’t form close relationships very easily (Depthless Gemini might tell you it’s at least in part because of my Geminosity), and so when something happens with a good friend, it kind of blows apart huge chunks of my life in psychologically astonishing ways. Actually, to be honest, it started with some pretty serious issues between His Nibs and I. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about that because there are some things I’m just never going to bleat about publicly. I will say that things were really, really shitty for about six months, and in that time, I was the loneliest I have ever been in my life.

(Which is saying a lot, actually.)

During that time, and the next six months, I had to work really hard to figure out what was most important to me. Also during that time, there was a strange …well it felt to me like an ostracism, but I’m sure that’s just because I was having a nervous breakdown. I’m sure it was more like a simple growing apart happening. A normal thing, the sort of thing that happens when relationships evolve and change. But to me, who was already feeling like the tiniest thing on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean, it seemed like the camera filming my life panned out so far that you could see that it wasn’t really an ocean but an entire planet covered in water except for my wee rock.

Then I lost a friend. We had been very close – at least in my heart – and I don’t even really know what happened. It was like a switch was flipped and all of a sudden it felt like I was being cast aside. Glob almighty this sounds ridiculous. Anyway, I was really hurt. So hurt, in fact, that I couldn’t even talk about it for a couple of months. So hurt that I couldn’t even figure out what the hell was going on for a few months. Once I figured out that what was going on in my non-rational heart was “you’ve been dumped, dumbass”, I started to see that all my attempts at retaining that friendship were in vain. In all truth, our friends go through their own shite all the time, and assuming it’s our friends’ responsibility to shore us up in times of weakness really isn’t terribly fair. So I have a huge part to play in the loss of this friendship. I think I was needing or wanting something that my friend simply wasn’t able to give – through no fault of their own. But it was devastating.

Part of the fallout from my Troubles was that I refocused a lot of things. I pared back a lot of what was scattering my focus (again, as Depthless Gemini might mention, we Geminoids are particularly terrible for scattering our foci), and I started to really listen to what His Nibs needed, and to what our children needed. Not that I’d been ignoring them, but there came a time when it was pretty clearly written in the sand that they needed me to be much more present. Part of this refocusing was to stop having huge games at the house, to stop having guests one weekend every month. We (the children, His Nibs and I) wanted to have our friends over when we had time to visit, when we would have time to really make and maintain those one-on-one conversations that connect us together. I know that decision was hurtful to some of our friends. While on one hand, I was trying to rebuild the sanctuary we all needed, I was tearing apart the haven that so many of our good friends enjoyed.

I still feel bad about that, actually. Perhaps I handled our decision poorly. Perhaps I was unclear about why we made the decision we did and why it was so vitally important to us to make that decision. I know that for at least one person, the way I handled that communication really blew. He had no idea how bad things were, and I found it difficult to really *talk* to him, even though I desperately wanted to (and didn’t know how to tell him how much I needed him), because there were always other people around. And, this may shock you, I’m not very good at asking for help. Particularly when it comes to emotional stuff.

So to him, it must have looked like I just snubbed him and basically told him he wasn’t welcome in our family anymore. I didn’t even know how to deal with that when it happened, and was still so goddamned sore from trying to climb out of the loneliest hell I’d ever experienced, that I just kind of…well, I fucked it up.

Then all hell broke loose.

IMG_1129A good friend found himself in hospital in an unexpected mental health breakdown, and while I was trying to help him through that, one of my close friends, David, succumbed to mental illness and committed suicide.

I didn’t know how to deal with THAT, either. I still, a year and a half later, can’t believe he’s gone. I’ve lost people (even family) to suicide before, including a different friend four months earlier, but this one…this one hit really, really close to home. I couldn’t stop thinking about David. I couldn’t stop being sad.

During this time, I was incapable of reaching out. I was just numb all the time, and sad the times I wasn’t numb. I knew it would pass, and His Nibs and the kids were wonderful. It took a very, very long time to start feeling myself again. I don’t think it was until last summer that I started to. I remember hearing the news that I’d be getting a new baby cousin, and I got to know some pretty amazing new people in my family and I realized I was never really alone; I’d just been trying to grab on to something that wasn’t there.

By the time fall rolled around, it felt like things were just starting to get back on track, and then one of my best friends moved away (I miss you like crazy, MrGod). He had been a real rock, and an amazing confidant, and someone I could just be comfortable with. He didn’t move a little ways away, either. He moved halfway across the country, so hanging out is REALLY HARD.

Here’s what I don’t want to say: I have really needed a lot over the past two years, and I’m not the sort of person who asks for help. When I do ask for help, it’s usually understated, and it’s been very, very difficult for me to not take “rejection” personally. I put that in air quotes because I don’t really know what I mean. I don’t even know how to ask for …Christ, for attention I guess? Not in the “Bitches be givin’ out attention over there” kind of way, but more in the “hey, I’m really having a shit time of things and could really use a movie night” kind of way.

And here’s what I do know: there have been some amazing people who have shared their lives with me, and I am deeply, deeply grateful for all of you. Even those whom I have hurt, and especially those I’ve lost. For those of you who have gone out of your way to share your time and your spirit with me in the last year, I can never thank you. I just can’t. You have shared yourselves with me in a way I can simply never repay.

So there it is. A super long, really kind of rambly talk about how my life has fallen apart over the last two years, and how I’ve gone from being completely and utterly lonely to starting to discover that there really are folks out there who want to spend time with me. That looks really bloody stupid all typed out like that. Maybe sometimes it’s okay to look stupid.

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Design is not my strong suit

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Categories: Good Idea, Porblems, Renos, Tags:

Here’s the thing.

I want a writing studio. I want a space that I can come to where creativity is the THING. I may even do sewing here.

IMG_7381.JPGWhen we bought this house, it came with a really neat space above the garage. It’s been great to have games up here and shindiggery, but in the past couple of years, that stuff hasn’t happened and the loft has been…lonely. I half-arsed decided that this would be the year I’d put together some kind of studio.

But here’s my porblem. I’ve started cleaning out all the junk and I’ve decided to get rid of a number of easy chairs (we have five recliners and two sofa chairs, along with three chesterfields, a rocker, and two coffee tables up here) but I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to make this big, open space do what I want it to do.

IMG_7385.JPGI have two bookshelves, two desks, and an old dining table we use as a bar. I don’t want to lose the comfy visiting area because it really is a great place to hang out. I show movies up here too, projected on the wall.

But how to create a little sanctuary amid the madness.

Plus, there are memories. So many memories here. A part of me just wants to seal this place up and keep the ghosts up here.

I need an interior designer or a buddy to come and tell me where to put things. Someone who uses words like ERGONOMIC. But only ironically. I need this space to be fabulous and I feel like I’m an eighth of the way there. I love the sorta Mediterranean feel of the ceiling draped in scarves and the floor covered in rugs. But I need more.

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A time to sow, a time to reap

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Categories: Everything Else Drawer

2014-06-07 13.07.52I have a love-hate-ambivalent-hate-hate-love relationship with my garden. With the ACT of gardening. I think it’s probably also indicative of my parenting style, which pretty much makes me a terrible person. Here’s the deal. I’m sure most of the gardening gurus tell you that the key – the SECRET to a lovely garden is to plan it out well in the beginning stages. That is probably very, very good advice. And I do plan my garden. It goes like this: “I’m’a grow stuff!”

Then I go to a greenhouse. Usually at the beginning of spring, when your pores open up as soon as you walk in and your skin remembers what it is to be sun-warmed, and your whole soul lifts at least seventy degrees from the horizontal plank position it’s been in since December. I see all the seedlings, and the thing about seedlings, just like children, is that they are full of energy. Potential and energy. You can see what they could become. This one, a bushy green tomato, fruit hanging low from each vine; that one a dark green bush bean whose fruit hide under its umbrella foliage. That over there, a climbing, purple-bloomed clematis. A spray of heliotrope. Kisses of black-eyed susans trailing from hanging baskets.

IMG_5963I picture myself walking through my garden, flowers in full bloom, vegetables ripening to feed my family. I think about a soft carpet of clover and moss, of having a living wall, of vertical gardens and trellises and the whisper of wind through the leaves of the trees. This is when I buy all of the things. Trays and seeds and bulbs and trays of trays and things that aren’t supposed to grow here (“It will grow! I will love it and care for it and it will become verdant and amazing and all of the gardeners will say HOW DID YOU DO THAT and I will be coy, and tell them that sometimes, what grows in your garden is simply a mirror of your soul.”) and things that should grow here and things that are native to this part of the world and things that have become acclimatized to this part of the world.
I fully admit that a large part of what happens involves the sheer romance of the language of horticulture. Cultivar. Tuber. Pistil. LOAM. The seedlings do well in my house – the ones the cats don’t get. The ones that don’t get knocked over when we go to clean the table off to eat supper or to play D&D. I do strange, ritualistic things called “hardening off” and “transplantation”. I prepare my beds. I weed. I till. I mix in peat and compost and bone meal. I put those little effers in the soil “when all [read: most] danger of frost has passed” (which around here is usually bloody August). I pay attention to the phase of the moon and the weather reports. I weed.

The little seeds sprout, and I cheer them on. Yes, I cheer them on (“Go beans, Go! Yaaaaaay Beans! Go peas go! Yaaaaaaay peas! Go potatoes go! Yaaaaaaay Potatoes!”). I sing them little songs “I knew a tomato-oh-oh-oh so proud and red; she was the glooooory of the vegetable bed!” I keep the deer and the birds and the footballs out of their beds. I weed.

IMG_5967I water them. I cover them with sheets when it’s too cold for their tender fronds, leaves, and runners. I hill the ones that need hilling. I mulch the ones that need mulching. I build trellises. I weed.
So why. Why, tell me for the love of God why. Why do I keep doing this? I get some pretty lilies blooming. I get seventeen peas. I get more beans than anyone can shake a stick at. I get a half dozen tiny potatoes. I get more chickweed than Christ himself could muster on a hill full of people and only one loaf of bread and one fish. Where in the bloody stool does chickweed even come from? I only ever get it when I plant peas. I’m not even kidding. That crap doesn’t come up when I grow weeds. It doesn’t come up when I plant spinach and kale and carrots. But it chokes the ever-loving hell out of my peas.

It’s an exercise in self-loathing, gardening is. Because I always THINK I’m working hard enough, but I never really am. If I were I’d have planned the garden better, or I’d have not gone away for vacation that time, or I’d have weeded the day before the storm not the day after. The peas would have strong roots, and wouldn’t just pop out of the ground when a strong wind came through (poor peas). The potatoes would have straw mulch, not half-hearted grass clippings (sorry, tubers). The tomatoes would have got enough water earlier on and wouldn’t be all spindly and awkward-looking (I love you even when you look weird, tomatoes!). The peppers would effing bloom (I’m actually disappointed in you, peppers).

photoAwkward, isn’t it? It goes the same way with my family, though. I spent so much time with the kids when they were little – not that they’re not still little; they’ll always be my babies – and now that they’re mostly self-sufficient, I pretty much leave them to their own devices except to make sure they bathe fairly regularly, leave the computer screens to eat (I sometimes fail at this), exercise, and have nice manners. But for the most part, I just let them do their own thing. This is my philosophy about gardening. Give things a good start and with a little maintenance now and then, they’ll pretty much take care of themselves. But then I see my garden be a little sad and underproductive and I worry about my kids. Have I done it wrong? What if their leaves are full and they haven’t any bugs but their roots are weak and they can’t survive a strong wind?

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Always should be someone you really love

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Categories: Questions, Tags:

Image is "Sticks" by Anita Berghoef (anitaberghoef.nl) used royalty-free from freeimages.com (http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1441185)

Image is “Sticks” by Anita Berghoef (anitaberghoef.nl) used royalty-free from freeimages.com (http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1441185)

I drove in to the city this morning and there was, just as I was pulling in to my parking spot, a “thing” on the radio about a transgender child from Alberta who is in the process of requesting his legal documents change his gender to represent the gender with which he identifies (male). I remembered reading an article about a family who opted not to reveal their children’s gender until the child themselves decided which gender they wished to identify as. I also remember that family being vilified as child abusers. And that brought me to this question:

What is so terrifying, so reprehensible, about allowing a child to express themself as whichever gender they choose?

That ultimately leads to this question:

What makes gender so damned important anyway?

I mean, what is “female-ness” or “male-ness” other than a group of behaviours and, ultimately, fashion choices? Why do so many people feel threatened – actually *threatened* – when faced with questions regarding gender?

I just keep coming back to this one question: what’s the big deal?

If someone wants to change their identification to reflect the gender they choose to display (rather than the one with which they were born, say), what’s the big deal? Surely there are better ways to classify and identify people “for national security reasons” than a box that says “m” or “f” on their passport or birth certificate. What are the important things that the government needs to know about you?

I guess that depends on what they’re going to use that information *for*. And, knowing bureaucracies, making a change to an OFFICIAL RECORD probably requires seventeen different people working on eight files in triplicate in order to change one tick mark from an “m” to an “f”. Ultimately, though, if the government wants to keep track of you, surely to Christmas they have better ways of doing it than the emms and effs on your passport.

This is actually a legitimate question. I don’t understand, and I’m trying to.

Why is it such a big deal to let a child (or an adult, really) what gender they wish to display? Where is the harm in letting (and encouraging) a (chromosomally-determined) girl to dress as, act like, use the same loo as, the boys? And what’s wrong with a (chromosomally-determined) man, who identifies as a woman, transitioning their life to live it as a woman? Is that child hurting you and your family in some way? Are they coming to your house and taking money out of your bank account? Are they eating your food and threatening your children?

I’d like to leave out the religious arguments, because…and I’m not sure here, but I THINK none of the ten commandments say “thou shalt, if born with one X and one Y chromosome, live thine entire life after the fashion of a male; likewise as a female when thou hast two X chromosomes. More than that and We Don’t Even Know”. I’m pretty sure there aren’t a whole lot of passages in the Torah or the Qu’ran that deal with gender expression. Ultimately, though, I think the religious argument that “we are made in God’s image” is silly. I’m sorry, I know that’s inflammatory and probably insulting and seven ways from “not socially/politically appropriate”. Here’s my reasoning, though: I don’t know what God looks like, and neither do you. For all we know, WE ARE ALL SUPPOSED TO GROW MAGNIFICENT BEARDS and something went wrong with the females. Or we’re all supposed to have enlarged mammary glands and something got cocked up with the males. Figuratively. Since there are no (that I’m aware of) passages in major religious texts that deal with the expression of gender, and since nobody (NOT EVEN JESUS) knows what “in God’s image” really means, let’s leave the religious arguments for now.

I want to know, socially, legally, bureaucratically, ethically. What is the problem with letting people – children especially – choose the gender they wish to express? Tell me. Let’s talk about this. Because it bugs the crap out of me when I don’t grok something.

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Pale Yellow

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Categories: Just for You, Stories, Tags:

IMG_5990She was an energetic child, running ahead of her parents everywhere they went. She was full of laughter and joy and her long golden hair flew behind her as she ran. She was a child of the sun.

They tried, one summer, to put her on one of those leashes for children. It was at Klondike Days in Edmonton. After the third passer-by asked what was wrong and could that child not walk (she had lain on the ground, flat on her back, and refused to move, in the middle of the fairway), her parents removed the leash, handed it back to the rental office, and asked for their money back. They made it clear to the child that she was not to run so far ahead that she could not see her parents’ eyes. So the child ran backwards through the fairway. After that, her father carried her. Her favourite was when he pushed her up onto his broad, strong shoulders so she rode above the surging crowd. She could reach the sun. She was the colour yellow.

Iris

She was the child who loved everything she found. There was never a middle ground for her. Once her heart had begun to open, it opened all the way. She loved the dandelions that littered the lawn, their little fuzzy heads tickling her lips. She loved the scratchiness of her grandfather’s unshaven jaw. She loved to hammer nails into boards in the driveway. She loved the kittens born to a stray in the garage. She loved the dead animal she found in the bushes, and the little white worms that wriggled inside it. She loved the snakes and the frogs in the garden, the cooing of pigeons, and the way gophers wagged their tails. She loved the endless peacock-blue sky, she loved the wind that took away her breath, she loved the stones that made ripples in puddles. She loved the people into whose arms she wriggled each night, and the stories they whispered in her ear before she was sent off to bed.

As for the things she didn’t love, she was very clear about that too. She hated when people were mean. She hated stones in her shoes. She hated that the old fart who lived across the alley told all the kids to call him “old Bonehead”, and she thought he was being mean to himself and so she decided she would never call him “old Bonehead”, and that made him angry and he threw onions at her. She hated weeds in the lake that brushed against her calves. She hated liver. She hated that so many people were too busy. She hated the colour pink. She was a child of hyperbole.

summer2web She was friendly. She was never shy to meet new people, even though sometimes she didn’t like being around a lot of them. She always preferred being just a little way away. She liked her distance, but wasn’t afraid to get close. She didn’t so much unfurl as explode, throwing her arms wide, as wide as her smile. She was full of just as many shadows as she was full of light, though, and sometimes was afraid of the dark, afraid of thunder.

It wasn’t the dark itself that frightened her, but the stillness it brought with it. The dampened sounds, the whispered voices. The movement she could only see out of the corner of her eye, there by the edge of the dresser. The ghostly images that swam, reflected in a looking-glass or a window, half-seen then lost on second glance. It was the loneliness that darkness brought that scared her the most. She didn’t so much mind being alone, but dreaded the feeling of being left behind, being left out, being forgotten. If the lights went out, would the world forget her?

IrisTongue4webShe comforted herself with words. Long after the lights had gone out, words tumbled from her tongue. Like soldiers marching across uneven terrain, they came one by one. Words she’d heard but didn’t know: chrysanthemum, pneumonia, adjunct, fallow, carburator. She tried these words out in tiny whispers while the house grew still around her.

Words enveloped her, comforted her. She dreamed if she ran fast enough and said the right word, she could jump and become airborne. When she rode in the bed of the truck on bumpy gravel roads, she could stand up and hold tight to the rear window of the cab. The wind that smashed against her face would steal her words, and that’s when she most liked to shout the words she was most curious about – when only the wind could take them. She was a logodaedalian.

glowweb

She was never afraid of death. It was all part of a cycle, and cycles made sense. Even when death came for her grandparents, she was not afraid. Sad, yes, but never afraid. Death was not a dark place. It was simply unknown. A blank page. Unnamed. Something unnamed was something to be explored. Something to be learned about. Something new.

The sadness death left in its wake, though, weighed heavily on her. She could not bear to see others’ tears and suffering; she felt her own heart breaking every time. Sometimes it was unbearable, and the heaviness of sadness would send her from the room. This was when the darkness became comfortable for her. Where the sun could not reach her, she could be perfectly blue.

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No Public Telephone

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Categories: Bad Mojo, piss in your eye, Rants, Tags: ,

Royalty-free image from stock.xhng (http://www.freeimages.com/profile/caffe)

My Internets died today.

And then my phones died. And the only way I knew my phone died was when #HisNibs texted me to ask why nobody was answering the phone. And I said, “you mean the phone that hasn’t rung all…ohhhhh…”

Royalty-free image from stock.xhng (http://www.freeimages.com/profile/caffe)

Royalty-free image from stock.xhng (http://www.freeimages.com/profile/caffe)

So I called SaskTel, who is our phone and Internet provider. They were all, “Okay, ma’am [I HATE it when people call me 'ma'am']; I’m just going to run a line check to see if your telephone lines are working…yes, it seems your telephone line is not working.”

And I was all, “No shit, Sherlock.”

So then we chat about the fact that my phones aren’t working, and the fellow says, “okay, I’ll set up a repair appointment for Thursday morning – does that work for you?”

And I was all, “Sure. I’ll be at work, so you just come and fix it. That’ll be fine.”

And they were all, “wait, what?”

And I was all, “you’re not expecting me to be home for this are you?”

And they were all, “well, actually…”

And I was all, “buddy. I work. We work. We are workers.”

And he was all, “so nobody will be home at all?”

This was the point at which I was thinking how easy it would be to hack in to a utility’s phone line just to set up appointments to find out when people weren’t going to be home and then go and burgle the shit out of them. I figured burgling isn’t really a lucrative business unless you can find the über rich customers, which are probably the ones that bitch the most, but you could set up a pretty sweet crime ring. Jewelry, cash, dope blu-rays…

Anyway, I was all, “my mother might be home, but she’s been dead for eleven years, so I don’t think she’ll be able to let you in. Besides, once you get her talking, she won’t shut up.”

“….”

“Hello?”

“…uh…yes, well…we will send someone out and it looks like the trouble is on the outside of the house so perhaps they can fix it on Thursday.”

“So, just to be clear, we will be without telephone or Internet service until Thursday?”

“Oh wait,” they said. “You didn’t say anything about Internet. Are you saying your Internet is also not working?”

“I am saying my Internet is also not working. Because, you know, they sort of run on the same line.”

“Well yes,” the fellow said, “but sometimes one might work when the other is not.”

“…that seems highly unlikely,” I said.

“I’m just going to run a line test to see if your Internet is working,” he said.

“It isn’t,” I said.

“It looks like your Internet also isn’t working,” he said.

“I know.”

“So we will fix that up on Thursday.”

“So, Thursday is the soonest you can get out here to fix our telephone and Internet [at this point I am having flashbacks to the time my grandmother's telephone line went down and she had no access to her emergency health line and SaskTel told me that didn't count as an emergency so they wouldn't fix it until the following week unless we wanted to pay $500 to have their repair dude from up the street come to take a look], is that correct?” I ask.

“Well, we can put you on a cancellation list in case someone cancels, but Thursday is the soonest we can schedule it.”

“That’s pretty sad,” I said.

“Pardon?”

“I said, ‘THAT’S PRETTY SAD’. At any rate, I will expect my phone and Internet to be repaired on Thursday morning. Thank you for your time.”

It’s not a huge deal that our phone and Internet will be out for a week. I’m sure it will be more of a hardship for the children. I won’t even notice that our phone is gone. But what *irks* me is that in a “boom” province, apparently it takes four days to get your effing utilities fixed unless you’re some kind of super celebrity.

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Flying along on a wing and a prayer

2 comments

Categories: True Stories, Tags: ,

20140523-100932-36572600.jpg

Let me tell you why this bleeding heart plant is my hero.

20140523-100533-36333269.jpgFive or six years ago, I planted this little beggar as a seedling. I watered him and fertilized him and he grew! He was GAAAHHHHJUSSS, as my friend’s daughter would say. Not quite big enough for blooms, but he was on the way!

Then the kids trampled him during a game of “yes you did no I didn’t”.

But he survived! He tried very very hard to reach his little arms up out of the mud. That year, though, he just couldn’t do it.

The next spring, I was happy to see his little leaves poking through the mulch. I watered him and fertiliZed him and showed the chitluns where he was so they wouldn’t trample him. They didn’t! But their toys did. In the chitluns’ defense, basketfootballbouncegolf does have a rather large and unpredictable play area.

He came back AGAIN the following spring! Cue the watering and fertilizing! Cue the putting a little cage over him!

That was the year His Nibs put roundup on our weed beds. I coulda cried. I thought my little plant was gone forever. But the next year, the year before last, it sprouted again! I watered and fertilized AND TALKED TO my little plant. Ever since I was a wee bairn at Granny’s house, I’ve loved bleeding heart plants with their delicate little blooms and their bushy leaves.

That was the year #HisNibs mowed over the little seedling repeatedly, followed by the kids dropping stones on it in Quest For Ants. I would make a little cage out of stones to surround it and he would methodically put the stones in the stone pile, muttering about the kids leaving stones in the yard the whole time. Because the kids, of course, moved the stones you earth the ants’ colonies beneath. There may have been tears shed following the Great Mowing of 2012.

Last year, the plant once again made an appearance it was doing well! Healthy! Alive! Unmowed! It was early June and I was looking for some little buds, but none had emerged. That was THE YEAR, though! Nobody had commuted herbicide!

You may recall that last June, an enormous bough fell off one of our ancient cottonwood trees, just missing the boys, who had been playing in the yard when it happened. Thank Glob the bough missed the boys.

It landed directly on top of my bleeding heart plant.

I have my fingers crossed for buds this year. I won’t hold my breath because apparently this plant has the worst karma in the history of karma. But I hope.

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Why I don’t watch network television

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Categories: When There's Weather

Retro/Vintage TV by meltingdog on stock xchng: http://www.freeimages.com/profile/meltingdog

Retro/Vintage TV by meltingdog on stock xchng: http://www.freeimages.com/profile/meltingdog

Here is my summary of network television programming: Angular dude with plastic skin 1 tells angular dude with plastic skin 2 that something has happened. Dude with engineered stubble reacts, but tries to hide his reaction. A woman walks in. One of the dudes notices. The woman announces some things, then leaves. A dude leaves.

Now the dudes are in a car. They are talking about a woman. Things not related to women happen. This is work.

The plot tries very hard to thicken, but someone has forgot to add flour, so it’s really just kind of simmering fat with some bouillon or stock added.

Angular dude with plastic skin 1 reveals something that is intended to elicit a sympathetic response from the audience.

A woman walks in. The woman announces some things, pours a drink, then leaves. A dude enters with a different woman. They are familiar because they are made of plastic.

Angular dude with plastic skin 2 has self-doubt. Then he overcomes it. Because he is white.

Sometimes this is intended to be funny. Other times the story is dramatic. Yet other times it is billed as “non-fiction”. But it is the same story.

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