Saturday, April 30, 2011

A good day

Until last November, there was a gas station across the street from us. Not having a car, we didn't really care about the proximity. But after they closed, we realized what a loss it was - no more dashing out at 7:30 when an empty milk carton was discovered after the cereal was in the bowl. Quick access to ice cream and popsicles on sunny days. Many a trip over for late night munchies. It is missed.

The boys excitedly watched the demolition, which took place over a couple of days. Hubby and I would cringe when the clangs and noises would continue on well past bedtime. And then we looked at the ugly, vacant lot and wondered how we'd ever get by without it. We'd gotten to be friendly with the owner. I made him a pan of fudge on their last weekend in business.

Now that the weather is warming up, we're finding some perks to having that eyesore across the street. It's full of graffiti and broken glass and bags of dog poop shoved into the old windshield washing station, but it's a mostly bare open patch of pavement, enclosed on almost every side by huge concrete buffers and fencing.

It's a wonderful place for the boys to practice riding their bikes. We'd gotten Elliot his helmet last summer and he could just touch the peddles of the low rider bike. This summer, he's gonna take the place by storm on hubby's old trike from way back in the day.

Elliot named this bike Starry, as it has stars on it.

We picked up a helmet for Felix this week so he could join in the fun. He can't work the peddles yet, but will excitedly propel himself along with his feet, proclaiming "I'm doing it BY MYSELF!!" And hubby helped him along by pushing it fast, too. (Wore himself out, he did. We're apparently sharing that old fat man. He's a wheezing, gasping machine.)

And this bike is now named Richart. WTF?

And it's close enough I can walk over with my mug of tea in hand. Ahhhhhhhh, nice. Today was a good day.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


My head hurts. I think it was replaced with a bowling ball.
My sinuses are full.
Yes I'm using the blasted Neti Pot.
And drinking large amounts of Emergen-C.
There is an old fat man sitting on my chest, I'm struggling to get enough air.
My back hurts from all the coughing.
My brain is foggy from lack of sleep.
My feet are wrinkled from the days and days of rain. 
My eyes sting from the long hours in front of the computer.
My head aches from all the information that's being crammed into it. And people yammering away at me. Constant noise. Constant motion. Constant go go go.
My Fitness Pal informs me that if I continue pushing myself this hard, I will drop 8 lbs in the next 5 weeks. That can't be healthy. Of course, I will look good for mom's wedding! Don't worry - I'll post pictures!

Is it Monday yet? Tax season is breaking me once again. It's a common complaint. That and my office manager. (Did I tell you he looked at my belly and asked if I was pregnant? He did, the cad. And this was at the 16 lbs lost stage, too! Mrrrrrrrr.)
On the other hand, it looks like I'm going to win the office pool for correctly guessing the number of returns prepared over the season. Yay me! Money in my pocket!

I'm going to lay down. If I'm not up in a few hours, can someone come prod me with a stick or something? Prop me in front of the computer? Thanks!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gimme a G!

I am such a blog slacker! Things have been hectic around here. Elliot's tummy bug lasted for 2 freakin' weeks and ended with us collecting a stool sample. What a fun little activity kit that was... barf! No results yet, but it cleared up on his own so we're assuming he doesn't have a parasite or a vile disease. But he is sick again - both boys, actually. Started with low grade fevers and nasty smoker's coughs over the weekend. Fun times at our house!

It's been raining here for days. Work is getting more intense, as we're down to the final crunch - the tax filing deadline for Canada is May 2 this year and, like every year, the number of people who leave it to the last minute astonishes me. But hey - I'm one of them, this year. Shhhhhhhh.

To make my rainy day a bit more enjoyable, I made it to the post office this afternoon to pick up a parcel that had been waiting for a few days. It was certainly worth the wait.... the GMBOA is in da house!

So pretty! This is the outer wrapping....

So what is the GMBOA you ask? Well, it's the Golden Minion Box Of Awesomeness, of course! It's a fun little contest started by Whimsy over at The Creamery.  Quick - go check out the rules - and become a Creamery minion, er, follower. The GMBOA has been all over the place. I first tried to win it from Bethsix, and then followed it around for a while - I missed it at Eight-Twenty-Eight but then it was my turn for Awesome over at Amy's.
I *love* the pink duct tape
I brewed myself a cup of sinfully delicious Bengal Spice tea (I've been drinking buckets of this stuff. I'm addicted!) and started going through my goodies...
Such an odd little lady, caught my eye right away. She's red. Elliot's going to claim her if I'm not careful.
Look at that haul! I feel very spoiled. Can't wait to go through it all in more detail to get the full effect, but I'm pretty excited. I'm also excited about the next step. The GMBOA will be leaving me within 3 weeks, which means it might be coming to YOU. Look for a contest post on May 3rd, once tax season is over and done with and I can sleep again without seeing shoe boxes full of receipts and blood-thirsty staplers that have a mind of their own. Then you can win it and it will be yours. Full of all new goodies of course,  I'm not parting with these!

In other news, my weight loss has stalled. In fact, I've gained back about 4 lbs. I'm discouraged but not giving up. My FitOrbit membership expired a week ago. I'm not losing any sleep over that one, that's for sure. I just joined a new site, a free site called My Fitness Pal. It had been suggested by several people and I'm finding it very user friendly and informative. I'm set at a 1200 calorie day, but on the days I work out, I can eat more. Just as long as my calories in minus calories burned doesn't total more than 1200, I'm golden. Day 3 and still hanging in!

I've been working out in the mornings, finally, thankfully. Give the boys their breakfast and then hubby monitors them while I hop on the treadmill. This is strictly necessary as otherwise they tend to clamor too close. I won't be paying to fix a boy-sized hole in the wall, thank you very much.  I am up to running an impressive (to me) 6.0 mph. I can only sustain that for 5 or so minutes, but I've been maintaining a run at around 5.5 for a full 22 minutes. This is awesome!! And impossible for me for the last 5 years.  I'm in a wedding in less than 4 weeks, wearing a rather form-fitting dress. I don't want to be getting dirty looks for being the irresponsible pregnant lady chugging wine at the reception. I need that belly to disappear! Or at least to shrink enough that strapping it in with Spanx for a day won't kill me. Oh the things we do for beauty.

Happy Easter, everyone! Eat lots of chocolate for me. But don't tell me about it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dark and twisty

Please be gentle on yourself while reading. This entry isn't light or fluffy or funny. 

Nine years ago today at lunch time I sat with a group of girls from my college class talking about the craziness we'd gotten up to just after high school. The risque trips to Cuba. The frat parties.  The strangers. The drinking. How we were all so damn lucky nothing terrible happened. How it was all so much fun.  I remember that I didn't have any stories to share. I remember vividly feeling goody-goody, a wall flower, socially awkward. But I felt too old, at the tender age of 23, to go wild, to create my own stories. It wasn't then - and isn't now - in my personality.

Nine years ago tonight I had finished my shift earlier than expected at the German restaurant where I waitressed and was excitedly waiting for my friend from the city to come pick me up so we could go drinking. I was back in my hometown. Hubby and I had been dating for 10 months and he was still up in the city while I'd returned home to go back to school.

Nine years ago in a few hours from now, we met up with a friend of a friend at her house, had a few drinks and called a cab to take us to one of the hottest new bars in town. It was attached to the main hotel. It was swanky, small town style. Really, the only other option for a bar scene was a creepy little dive where your feet stuck to the floor and you'd always end up dancing next to someone's mother. The cab took us to the gas station first so I could buy some cigarettes. Du Maurier's Aventi Light. I haven't smoked since.

Nine years and a bit longer from now, a group of girls descended on the bar, dancing and drinking and having a good time. Shakira's "Whenever Wherever" struck a chord with us and we took the dance floor hostage. Cortez, in town for a basketball tournament,  introduced himself to us and inserted himself into the middle of our group, but focused on me. Drunk Rainy was completely and totally entranced by his name. We danced to Enrique Iglesias' Hero, dramatically swinging ourselves around the room.

Nine years and 5 hours from now, in trying to retrieve another friend of a friend who'd gone off in a van full of strange guys - Cortez included - a police officer drove several giggling, intoxicated girls to another hotel where we smuggled ourselves up to a room full of more basketball players. We actually beat the van-load back, as they stopped for pizza. Before they made it back, the hotel came knocking on the door with a reprimand to drop the noise level. We moved across the hall.

Nine years and almost 6 hours ago, I stood in the doorway of a crowded room with two other girls I had just met and a roomful of guys. Wanting to leave, but running through my options, I figured I'd better bluff my way through. I got myself in, I'd figure out how to get out. I'm reminded of a line in a Margaret Atwood novel, about how when you find yourself in a situation you don't know how or want to handle, you best pretend you planned to be there so no one catches on.

Nine years and 6 hours ago more drinks were mixed. Several of us passed out. And none of us woke up alone.

Nine years ago, my life fell down. Nine years ago, I couldn't call it rape. Because rape - that harsh, stinging word, like a knife being unsheathed - meant a stranger leaping out and dragging a helpless victim into a dark alley. Because rape left horrible, visible markings on the body. It took years of therapy and the support of my hubby, friends and family and so many other survivors I stumbled upon to name what had happened. I didn't ask for it. I didn't go looking for it. I didn't consent. It wasn't the stuff of dark alleys, but it was real. It was sneaky and somehow felt worse. Even still, I often have a hard time sharing the story without adding the qualifier that it wasn't violent.

I will forever love my sister, who came with me to the police station after I went to the doctor and before I was sent to the hospital. The officer we spoke with was on the verge of retiring. He had a daughter who ran with a good crowd. And who stayed out of trouble. He told me, condescendingly, "When you’ve been drinking, you become uninhibited and do things you wouldn’t normally do.” My little sister looked him dead in the eye and told him I was a very conservative person and asked if we could speak to someone else who had more experience in this area. It went nowhere, but I felt empowered for trying.

I have been drastically shaped and altered by my experiences 9 years ago. It's true that tragedy can make you stronger. If it doesn't kill you first. And it could have easily gone either way there for a while. But this is the second year in a row this date hasn't totally twigged me. It's never going to be forgotten - I can't imagine a time when the date will slide past, forgotten. But I can stare it in the eye now. I don't have to carry it anymore.

I look at my boys and know I've got a daunting task ahead of me. Making sure they know to respect and cherish women. Figuring out how to best shape their little lives so that they're the good guys. The ones offering and providing support, encouragement, trust. Watching them help each other warms my heart.

It's a rocky road, this recovery thing. But I've got the worst of it behind me. I know I do.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm in big trouble now

Luckily, they don't taste as good as the creme eggs themselves.
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