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26 July

No Title

I miss him. It’s like someone tore out my heart today. I can’t cry. But I miss him.

After one new post there were 5,808 spam messages that got filtered out.

22 July

It’s Alive!

I’m talking about both me and the truck. Boy and I got it started, thanks to our neighbour’s jumper cables. That was a bit of an adventure. In a few short weeks, I’ll be taking a pay cut and going back to my former job. I’ve been doing more and more card making. I’m doing some femme stuff, which is somewhat scary for Boy and those around me. I have a new tablet, which is a very good thing right now. I’ve reconnected with an old high school friend.

Now to details.

I’ve been meaning to get the truck started for over a year now. Modern vehicles use up battery power by just sitting. They have all kinds of electronics that suck power, things like alarms will drain a battery. So, after searching the house for jumper cables and not finding them, we borrowed our neighbour’s cables. Alas, because the battery was dead, we had to use the key to open the door of the truck. Somehow, it remembered that the last time it had been locked was with the fob. When you try to use anything other than the fob to unlock the door, the alarm goes off. When we hooked up the cables to the battery, off goes the horn. So we try to get it to turn off by using the fob. Yeah, that battery was dead, too. So we wrapped up the cables and headed off to a Ford dealership to get then to open the fob because we couldn’t find the niche that we could stick a dime into to open it. The guy at the dealership opens it, showed us the batteries (but not how they go in) and showed where the slot was. So off we go to the drug store to pick up batteries. I load them in, and after a few retries at battery arrangement, it snaps closed and we’re ready to try again. We got the truck hooked up to my Escape’s battery, turned off the alarm and the truck turned over like it had never had a dead battery.

After the truck was started, and in order to let it run sufficient time to charge the battery, Boy and I went for a little drive around town. We stopped at the car wash and washed away over a year’s worth of gunge. All-in-all we spent about 2 hours driving around the city. I have to admit, driving it was easier than I’d anticipated. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still like driving a tank, but it’s not that bad. Now all I have to do is write up an advertisement and post it on Kijiji in order to sell it. Hopefully it won’t take too long.

The second week of August, after the long weekend, I go back to my former pay level. There are some things that I won’t miss about this job. I won’t miss the day shifts after working to midnight the night before. I won’t miss the drama of staff and scheduling. I totally won’t miss being on-call on weekends. The rest of the job is good. In fact, there’s not a whole lot more that I do now, that I didn’t do before. The only major difference is that I’ll be doing more direct support work. But, as I say, I’ll be getting a pay cut. Hopefully I’ll get a raise in the future.

I’ve been doing more paper crafting. I make mostly cards, but have done some bookmarks and a lovely sleeve for an emery board to have in my purse. I did that because every time I tried to get the emery out of my purse, it dragged the pocket out with it.

Femme. Not many people think of me when they think of that word. However, other than purses and other such fun containers, I have an achilles heel. That’s nail polish. I don’t often have nails of any length, mostly because they tear and split, and bend in a strong wind. However, when I’m able to get them, all of them, at any good length, I like to paint them up. Yes, I tart up my hands. I used to go for tame colours, like beige, creamy light colours, and light iridescent colours. This round I picked out. bright, vivid, blood red, black, deep, dark purple, white, sparkly white and a few others. I also got nail painting pens to draw designs. I got red, black, mauve, yellow, white, blue and green. I can draw nicely on my left hand (being right handed) but leave my right hand undrawn because I’m helpless with my left hand. Boy would be of no help because he’s got essential tremor and couldn’t draw a straight line if his life depended on it. Right now I’m wearing black. One nail broke and looks kind of stupid, but the other nails look nice. I use the emery to keep them at a reasonable length, enabling me to type and prevent too many accidents.

I got a new tablet. It’s a Surface, a Windows beast. I don’t have the games I did on my old Android, but I have a whole lot more processing speed, a whole lot more memory and it runs more like my computer than the Android could hope to. I can download programs like on a desktop or laptop, but have the versatility of a tablet. It has a keyboard that magnetically attaches on. Remember when magnets were “bad” for computers? This one also has a magnetic power cord attachment. Anyway, the keyboard also serves as a protector for the screen. Anyway, having the tablet is a good thing. We had a severe thunderstorm last week. Just when I was thinking of shutting down, the power went out. There was no warning, no brown out, or dimming, just gone. When the power came back about 1/2 hour later, I turned on my computer. It stops loading after the Bios screen. This may mean the hard drive is borked. I don’t know. I can’t know until I have someone look at it. I can’t have someone look at it until I sell the truck. So until then I’m going to be using my tablet.

The recent months have seen me reconnect with an old high school friend. We were pretty much opposites. She partied, I didn’t. She smoked, I didn’t until later. She was overtly smart, I didn’t know I had any brains. She’s smarter than I am, at any rate. We connected sometime ago on Facebook. I don’t remember exactly, but it was after Thomas died. Anyway, when I work late, we chat to each other. It’s really nice to be able to talk to her again. I’ve missed her a lot over the years. We’re still total opposites, but we care a lot about each other.

That’s pretty much everything going on with me right now. I’m sorry for the lack of updates, but there’s not a whole lot going on with my life at the moment.

5 April

And the Band Played On

Well, I don’t have a broken foot. There appears to be no injury to the foot or pathological issue happening. That said, I’m still suffering from a very sore foot. Because I saw that I didn’t have a break, I figured that I could do without the boot. I spent the day in sneakers. I walked a little more than usual, but not unwarranted. Despite this, I have a very sore foot. I put the boot back on tonight and it does feel better, but still hurts.

I got new windshield wipers for the Escape. One fit on beautifully. The other I ended up breaking the attacher thing because it didn’t want to fit properly. It’s the wiper arm itself, not the new rig. I’ll have to get that replaced eventually. For now I’m going to wire the piece on and leave it at that. It’s nice to get the windshield clean when I use the wipers.

Just heard the perfect description of the perfect man, “He is the perfect man. He doesn’t hog the covers and he poops in a box.” Emily Prentiss in describing her cat, Sergio. I enjoy that show.

I have stuff to take back to Michaels. I got some Fiskars cutting blade replacements. They don’t fit the cutting thingie I have. It appears that I have to replace them from ordering online. That’s somewhat inconvenient. I can order them from Joanne’s in Florida, but I’d rather order it from a Canadian company if I can. If I order from Joanne’s then I have to order a bit more to make the shipping charges worthwhile. The replacement blades are just a little bit over $4 for each package.

Boy and I went out to supper at Montanas Restaurant. We got a gift card a little bit ago, a gift from a kind friend who knows about loss and grieving. It was part of a gift (that also included a gift card to a local theatre) as dinner and a movie for Boy and I. It was to enable us to take the attention away from the profundity of the anniversary of our loss and remind us of the good things. She’s a very wise and sweet woman. She’s also my supervisor. Anyway, it was a very pleasant meal. I had a steak with garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, veg (broccoli and carrots). It was quite nice. Boy had salmon. He loves salmon. Then on our way home we got some Timmys (frozen lemonade for Boy and an ice capp for me).

Tomorrow is a day of dishes, sweeping the floors, folding clean laundry and sleep. I’m also on call for work, so I have to be ready to go in, should needs must.

2 April

Bang!

Month end is over for another month. I have a case plan started and that should be completed by next Tuesday. I have to pay rent tomorrow. I’ll be getting up early so that I can do that and also make sure that I can be tired enough to go to sleep tomorrow night after work.

I got a call from Statistics Canada today. They’re doing their once-every-five-years survey of perceptions of personal safety and crime. It was somewhat frustrating for me. I have been through past questionnaires while working on my Masters and gathering various bits of data here and there. Even then, I recognized that some of the questions were…problematic. It was hard to answer some. I realize it was asking about my perceptions, I have skewed perceptions compared to the average Canadian Jane.

Having taken classes on deviant behaviour, crime, justice and such, I know that becoming a victim of crime, stranger-on-stranger crime, is actually rare. So I don’t feel unsafe in my neighbhourhood. I don’t feel unsafe walking home at night (I’m just lazy). I lock my doors, but I did that when I lived in a much smaller city. It just makes sense if you want to keep your belongings in your house. There were some questions about how I felt about the police (yeah, those were tough to answer) and the justice system (the questions could have been phrased better). Actually the easiest ones to answer were about whether I’d been victimized by a partner/husband/boyfriend/spouse/etc. in my home. I was also asked about whether victimization prior to age 15 by an adult.They didn’t ask about being victimized by minors. So there’s an entire demographic they’re missing. They also left out a few gender categories that would have been useful.

It was interesting to answer the questions. The person I was speaking to was based out of Winnipeg. He was a nice young man (stressing the “young” part), new to adulthood. He seemed surprised at some of my answers, but then I’m a bit weird, so that’s not anything new to me. I’m not sure how long the survey is supposed to take, but I’m pretty sure that nearly 90 minutes is a little on the long side. I hope I didn’t interrupt his flow rate (the number of surveys per hour he completes) too much.

I’m watching Criminal Minds. It’s the episode where there’s a delusional guy in the midst of a psychotic break. He’s broken into a house to get away from the cops/FBI and is in a house with two kids, an older girl and a younger boy. He’s talking to the delusions and scaring the kids. The sister comforts her brother, but he ends up standing in front of her. I’m sure that he’s not doing it out of protection, but it makes me think that she’s using him as a meat shield.

Well, I should go to bed. It’s an early time tomorrow.

31 March

Sing, Sing a Song

And if I did a whole lot of very nice people would protest at my door.

I spent most of yesterday, when I wasn’t doing the taxes, trying to make a headway on the dishes. I managed to get most of them done and I continued on them today. Yes, housework kind of got away on me. Anyway, I got most of them done and have only a few more pans and tonight’s dishes to do before it’s all cleared away. I should be able to get it done this week.

Because I spent most of my time yesterday without my boot thing, my foot was sore today. I know, I should’ve worn it, but would have meant that I needed to wear a shoe on my other foot to balance the height. When I walk with the boot on and in sock feet on the other foot, I have to walk on my tip toes. That’s not an easy way of walking and it’s hard on the back when I stood flatfoot as it twists up my hips and shifts my back all weird.

I just realized that I’m sounding like an old woman, complaining about my various aches, pains, and ailments. It’s like a bad cartoon.

I got a cheap kitchen mandolin a week or so back. I wanted to julienne some zucchini as “pasta” to make a nice vegetable dish to have with pork chop/rib things. I sauteed sliced mushrooms, diced onions and garlic together, then I added the zucchini to cook a bit. When the zucchini was softened some, I added a pile of spinach and covered it all so that the spinach would melt down. After all that, I added a jar of commercially made Alfredo sauce and stirred it around. Boy, who doesn’t really like zucchini, liked it. I don’t think that the sauce hurt the “like” part. He wants me to try it with spaghetti squash, but I’m not sure. Spaghetti squash has a much stronger flavour than does zucchini and it goes better with a tomato sauce.

Anyway, back to the mandolin. It cost only $10. It could have been better made, but it did the trick. True to my nature, I managed to not only cut up vegetables, I managed to contribute that little bit of myself to the meal. It took a while for the bleeding to stop and I’m healing nicely. There were only three cuts. I used it again to slice up some onion and mushroom a couple of days ago and that didn’t quite go as well as I’d hoped and found that for some things, a knife is a more efficient tool for some things.

We’re a bit cash strapped right now. Boy hasn’t been able to clock the hours at work that he’d hoped and I have to spend a huge chunk of my cheques for bills and rent. The taxes will give me the chance to get ahead again. I look forward to that. It should only be a few weeks. I think that filing the taxes is a huge step toward doing what has been so very hard for me to do. I’m closing the chapter of being a wife and opening the new one of being a widow. If that makes sense. The truck remains the most significant stumbling block to that. I still have issues with that whole concept. I’ll have to get over it. When the taxes come in, I’ll be plating the truck for 3 months. If it’s as nice as Environment Canada says it’s going to be next weekend I’ll be starting it up and letting it charge up the battery, assuming the battery is even good to charge. Then it gets washed, vacuumed, wiped out and I’ll put it on Kijiji to sell. Hopefully it’ll go quickly and I’ll be able to pull in what I want.

I wonder if I’ll actually be able to follow through or if I’m merely blowing hot air up my skirts again.

31 March

Sunday Sunday

I was supposed to go to a friend’s house today and do some scrapbooking, or taxes, depending. However, I forgot entirely and slept in until 2 pm. So, instead, I started doing dishes. I’ve not had the kitchen clear of dishes for over a year. I also need to get the rest of the room tidied, swept and mopped. There’s also pointless detritus that needs to go as well. It’s stupid the amount of crap we have in there. So once dishes are cleared away, I move on to the counter tops, nooks and crannies, floors (which also need washing and will be a hands and knees task) and, as with the rest of the house, figuring out what to get rid of.

I did taxes anyway. I got the paperwork together and e-filed Boy’s return. His was very basic. He earned money, he was eligible for an extra credit and got a ton more than just his own taxes back. I did the taxes for Thomas and I. Because of the death benefit, my tax return will be smaller than it was originally. That said, it looks to be respectable. Due to Canada Revenue’s rules, Thomas’s claim has to be a paper filing. So after I was done with the taxes, Boy and I dropped it off in the box at the CRA office downtown and off we went to Dairy Queen for a treat.

We got snow again today. It’s also cold again. It feels like summer is never going to arrive. I was more unimpressed to find that I had to scrape the ice off the car. I should have had Boy do it because of the snow getting into the toe of the “shoe” thing. My toes got somewhat chilly and wet when we went out. I will have to wear a plastic bag over my toes tomorrow or else have that happen again.

When I was a kid my favourite two candies were Paulin’s Cuban Lunch chocolate bars and McIntosh caramel bars. I’m unsure if Cuban Lunches are available anymore. They’re a simple bar of peanuts and chocolate, like a thick chocolate bark. McIntosh is a bar of caramel, chewy, delicious and tends to pull out fillings.Now I’ve found an alternative to both the missing fillings and still maintain my boycott of Nestle and that company’s nasty environmental, social and ethically reprehensible practices. I haven’t been able to find any link to Nestle from any site of companies they own to Werthers so I’m good.

Damn. I just found another dish. Oh, well. I’m going to have to wash it tomorrow.

I’ve been watching Criminal Minds on the computer. If you go to couch tuner dot eu (remove the paces between couch and tuner and put a real dot in) and you will find a wide variety of television programs and at least some of their archives. There are a few tabs you can choose to view the broadcast, Boy recommended IShared, Vodio and VideoBull (or Vidbull).I’m in season 4. I’m sure there are other programs that I’ll enjoy on that site. I didn’t directly link to it because I didn’t want to have my site linked there. It’s a privacy thing. Oh, and for the record, I don’t like cliffhanger season enders. That’s part of the reason I stopped watching television series (except ones that don’t do that like The First 48).

That’s about it. Except for dishes and taxes, nothing really happened today. That’s my life. A thrill a minute.

30 March

One Step Spam Flood

Putin but not safe for work

That’s how much I like him.

Life is moving along. I got through the anniversary relatively unscathed. I’ll be doing my income taxes tomorrow, and Thomas’s. Dylyn will be doing his own, but with some help from me. His is bog simple and he should be getting any tax he paid back.I’m not so sure about me. We’ll have to see.

Work is going well. Except for the pay cut, I’m looking forward to having the counselor return so that I can go back to my relatively lower stress job. I can deal with everything fairly well, but the staff stuff is driving me crazy. She’s a genius with people. I’m not so much.

I went through a pile of old papers today and created a large garbage bag of shredded paper. I shredded pay statements from 2012 back to 2008. I also shredded student loan applications from 2004. Yeah, they needed to be held for 10 years, right? So that cleared up a lot of space in my file cabinet. I did all this because I was searching to find a piece of paper from Canada Student Loans with the amount of my payments each month. Anyway, I also found some stuff for my resume (which, by the way, I have to properly update).

Then I shredded stuff that Thomas had stowed away from his high school years. He held onto English compositions and essays from back then. I haven’t gone through his university stuff yet. That’s stored at the top of a bookcase. Yes, that bookcase is taller than me, which explains why his stuff is still up there. I also shredded stuff of Thomas’s mom’s from when she was ill and dying. I found the DNR forms that he’d filled out for her. With her instruction, she considered feeding tubes and IV as being invasive interventions.It’s not something I didn’t know about, I’d talked to Thomas about it at the time. It was merely a reminder of a time when I was of limited to support to Thomas due to my own “issues”.

In addition to all that, I also found user manuals for things that we haven’t had for years. Old electronics that we got rid of years ago, old cell phones and things like that. I even found some registration stuff from some kind of Samsonite product. I suspect that was a backpack, since we haven’t bought suitcases, ever.

This means that we have an empty file cabinet. I have more more smaller cabinet to go through. I don’t know what it contains. I guess I’ll see. It does mean that I’ll be able to get rid of at least one cabinet. It’s all about the start of clearing out stuff that I don’t need, stuff that can be let go. I have a box of sporting equipment, basketballs, baseball mitts and balls, etc. that I’m going to find some youth group that needs such stuff. Then I go through the boxes in the basement. I’ll keep the photographs. The rest, well, I don’t know what all is down there. I also have to get rid of Thomas’s truck. When the taxes are back I’ll plate it for 3 months and advertise it in Kijiji (is it scary that Kijiji doesn’t create an error in my spell checker?). That should contribute a nice amount of money. After all that is done, then I’ll have to decide if we’re going to move to less expensive accommodations.

I’m wearing a shoe on my left foot. I may (or may not) have broken some of my foot bones. I have had an x-ray done (last Saturday) but haven’t heard whether the bones are broken. It might be something else (I can’t remember what the name of it was, but involved a “bubble” between the bones (or something like that)and treatment apparently involves needles. I’m hoping for the break. If it’s broken, then it’s a stress fracture. This may mean that my bones are thinning and might indicate osteoporosis. this is because I didn’t do anything to cause a break. If it is a stress fracture I’ll be requesting a bone density scan.

I changed my sleeping position in bed. The topping pad had moved down to the bottom of the bed leaving a significant gap at the top of the bed where the pillows go. I had a pillow in the gap but I still got a sore neck and shoulder. So I moved my pillow down to the bottom of the bed. This is where there are no dents preformed from Thomas’s and my bodies and the mattress topper goes all the way to the top. My neck and shoulder are much better now, thanks (because I knew you wanted to know). Someday I’ll get around to changing the bedroom so that I can flip the mattress.

That’s my life. Fulfilling, yes?

13 March

Do You Eat the Red Ones Last?

I want a snack. Not Smarties (the Canadian Smarties not the American Smarties), but something like chips, shrimp, ramen, or something. I know those seem divergent, but they’re all savoury. That’s what I’m wanting, something savoury. I could scramble some eggs, I suppose, or cook up a couple of chicken legs. However, I need to go to bed soon because I have to be up to be at work for 9 am. Yipee. I’m looking forward to lunch. The cook is making mulligatawny soup. It’s my favourite. She puts rice in it (not all recipes do) and I eat it anyway. (If you’re interested, I browned up some butter in the fry pan and screambled a few eggs. I ate them with some ketchup.)

I’m still watching the Most Evil show. It’s still irritating me. The interviews are interesting. The scientific research being done by others other than Dr. Stone, is interesting. There’s some neat work being done around empathy, anger, emotional range and schizophrenia is very interesting. Dr. Stone’s commentary and meddling in the rest of the show is the most bothersome part of the show. I’d prefer if the show was hosted by Park Dietz and there was no mention of “evil”.

Work is somewhat slow right now. Our numbers are down again, so there’s not much activity. Most of the residents are stable and a few are leaving us. We still have a few coming in, but the Parole Board appears to be somewhat miserly in their granting of day parole. The most irritating thing when the men and women get released is that, more often than not, they don’t have the provincial health card in process. Another bothersome thing is when the person isn’t released with more than one week’s worth of medications. This is particularly critical for people who are on medications that are necessary to their well-being like insulin, heart medications or psychiatric medications. Then somehow, we’re supposed to get them their medications. Without a health card that’s bitching hard. We have to call the Ministry of Health and get things fast-tracked for supplementary coverage. For someone who has to have a prescription for their medication, this means that we have to send them to hospital because doctors won’t see them in their offices without their health cards. In my opinion, Parole should be paying for the doctor visits and the prescription costs because, as part of Corrections Services of Canada, they’re responsible for the well-being of the people they oversee. Apparently, their opinion is somewhat different.

I managed to get two months of scheduling completed tonight. I had them close to being done, but I had to do some tweaking to ensure that all staff were at least somewhat happy. I have one staff who just got a job with another NGO. She gets a lot of hours, but her work days and shifts appear somewhat arbitrary. That kind of set up would drive me nuts. There’s no regularity to it. I’m a creature of habit. However, she’s more than happy with having extra work (for money) and should the opportunity arise, she would work full time for us instead. That speaks well for the atmosphere that we’ve tried to create there.

Tomorrow I’m going to make an appointment with my doctor to see about what’s wrong with my foot. For some reason it’s hard and painful for my foot to do the natural bend when I walk. Direct pressure when I’m standing also hurts. I don’t know what, if anything, I’ve done to it to make it so sensitive. So I’m going to have it checked out.

I’m also going to make a dentist appointment for a check up and cleaning. One of my molars is chipped and has become very temperature sensitive. It’s also been several years since I’ve been in there. I should ensure that necessary work is done. That will keep me from needing dentures sooner than necessary.

I can’t think of anything else that might be considered interesting.

11 March

Rainbow Ribbons

I got one on a fruit arrangement sent to me by the boss. My boss won’t be ordering from them again. Something about them saying he was rude to them, though he insists he wasn’t. I tend to believe him over the company. Why, you ask? This is the same company that scolded me after Thomas died because he had issues finding our house and then had to phone to confirm that I was in. This time I was scolded because 1. I was out when he first tried to deliver the order and 2. I had the audacity to have the inside and outside porch lights on when we were out (even though the rest of the house was dark). You know, because we don’t need to have the lights on when we get home, right? Yeah. There are more fruit arrangement places in town now.

Life is getting back to normal.I had to apply again for interest relief from Canada Student Loans. I wish I could just pay the damned thing off in one fell swoop. However, I don’t have a spare fortune hanging around growing mould with which to repay them. Sucks.

I’ve been watching a show called “Most Evil” and have been enormously frustrated. First off, the psychiatrist who is trying to quantify “evil” is at best, unscientific. There is no clear system for categorizing people. There are too many categories (parsimony aka keep it simple, stupid). He includes those who were psychotic and whose minds are unable to recognize what is real. Seriously, they make it on the evil scale. The scale he uses, however he uses it, appears to be very arbitrary.

There’s not a lot going on right now. I did some dishes on the weekend. I haven’t messed up my desk since I tidied it. I shredded all the necessary shredding stuff. I have to download the tax forms for Thomas’s taxes from last year because they want a paper copy. When I complete his, I can complete mine. The tax office in Saskatoon is closed so there’s no tax forms only mailbox in front of the building anymore.

Exciting, yes?

9 March

A New Page

I posted a new page about paleo recipes. If you’re interested, check it out.