Category Archives: Milestones

Changing, Moving, Growing

IMG_20151004_165227When I realized that change was headed my way, I didn’t realize that it was going to be this intense.

In July, we sold our house in preparation for a move next year. We packed up all our stuff and trucked it to a rental. I whined about that a couple of posts ago.

However, life is not always orderly nor predictable (nor should it be). In late August, the opportunity for a great job came up. I interviewed, and a couple of days later I accepted their offer.

The job was 1000 km. away in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. Wine country. Some of the best wine in the world.

Real wine.

I was on my way west (even though I’m not a young man) inside of a week with my car packed to the rafters, my poor Rudy dog parked in a kennel and my dear M left on the prairies to finish up a work contract.

Now I live near all those wine grape vines you see in the top photo.

After finding a long-stay motel to reside in and starting my new job on August 31, I immediately got sick. Go figure.

There was sniffing, snorting, blowing and wheezing. A cough that came out of my bootlaces. A jackhammer headache that doubled in intensity every time I coughed. Aches and pains in my muscles that could have been caused by digging the equivalent of the English Channel tunnel but weren’t. I sounded like a four-pack-a-day, 60-year smoker. If I laughed, I broke into a cough. Sneezing turned into a chain of mini-eruptions with attendant lava flow. I was feverishly hot and cold at the same time.

And through it all, I kept working. New job and all that. I was the queen of hand sanitizer, giant tissues and elbow coughing.

Then it started to go away.

I started to feel better.

I started to get cocky. I’m like that.

Then I started to feel really, really bad. I woke up one morning feeling like I needed to get the bolt in my neck tightened.

Which would have been all fine if my name had been Frankenstein.

But it’s not.

I decided to investigate by taking a look in the bathroom mirror.

I looked like I was wearing a turtleneck sweater with an inflation device inserted into the neck part.

The side of my neck was swollen from my ear to my shoulder and the pain that accompanied it was intense. My tonsils were swollen. My ear ached and crackled. I could hear everything inside my mouth but nothing outside.

A secondary infection had taken up residence. Yum.

It’s still not gone but I’m about to start my second round of antibiotics, for which I am eternally (and internally) grateful.

Nevertheless Continue reading Changing, Moving, Growing

Age? What’s Good for Cheese Is Good for People??

I’m pissed off. About ageism, that is.

I was just at a store picking up some necessaries for my new abode and got treated like a doddering old fool at the till. And the thing is, I’m not much older than that cashier is.

I’ve noticed this more and more lately. The penchant for people to automatically think that I don’t know how to use a debit card. That I have no idea what the internet is. A couple of days ago, I was asked by a bank employee if I use online banking.

“What was that sonny? Speak up! I can’t hear you! Frontline spanking? Is that what you said? You oughtta be ashamed of yourself. What would your mother say if she knew you were talking like that to a customer?” Of course, I was just thinking this. But I felt like saying it. In a loud, high-pitched, whiny voice.

Yikes.

I’ve been using online banking for 15 years. I’ve had a debit card for, I don’t know, probably about 30.

People keep calling me “dear” too. Does getting older automatically imply that I’m in some sort of relationship with you? A few days ago, I politely asked a waiter to stop calling me “dear.” He kept doing it anyway.

People who use that word also have a special voice that goes along with it, too. There’s this patronizing, condescending tone, like they’re talking to a half-deaf half-wit. Just give me some pablum and a glass of warm milk and let me be on my way. Don’t let my clippy clop bother you as I head for the door, if I can find it.

Holy bloody hell.

And another thing is that my husband, who is five years older than me, doesn’t get treated like this.

He’s a guy! He still has all his faculties! His hearing! His virility! His drive! He’s vital and living!

While on the other hand, I have one foot on a banana peel and the other in my grave.

I’ve faced a lot of discrimination in my life. Nowhere near as bad as what some people have had to deal with, but still.

My guidance counsellor in high school told me that I couldn’t be a pilot. (You’re not a guy!)

People gave me suspicious looks when they heard my very French surname. (You’re not English!)

Military combat? (You’re REALLY not a guy.)

But the government says I can, so f**k off.

Yes. I’m 50-something. Yes. I’m female. It doesn’t mean that I live under a rock with only my walker and my knitting for company. And, I’m not a cheese.

So get with it, “youngsters.” Just treat us older people like … well, like people.

Have you faced ageism in action?

When You Move House, Don’t Forget to Pack Your Brain

I once read somewhere that moving house is the third or fourth most stressful thing you can do. I’ve moved before, but for some reason, it didn’t seem as stressful as it does this time. Maybe that’s because I’m older. The joints and muscles don’t work as well as they once did, and as a result, everything takes longer and is more tiring. 😦

The other thing is that last time, I was just moving me, and I hadn’t accumulated much stuff. Now there’s two of us, and I’ve been here for six years and I’ve managed to collect an impressive array of stuff that I didn’t have when I lived in a condo.

A complete set of garden furniture, including arm chairs and a chaise. A vast assortment of hoses, rakes, shovels and other garden implements and tools. Two rain water barrels. A garden gnome. Bags of drought-resistant grass seed. A weird instrument that looks like a mini-oil well driller but I have no idea where I got it or what it’s for.

You find stuff like this when you’re moving. Questions like, what am I keeping this for? And, what is this for? keep popping up. And let’s not forget that ureka moment when you realize that you’ve just found something that you’ve been looking for for ten months.

Yesterday, M called me out to the garage to ask me if I wanted to keep the rain barrels. It felt like answering that question might take two sessions with a therapist.

We have cartons and packing paper and bubble wrap everywhere.

It took nearly three days to pack up our rather large collection of china and wine glasses.

And, just for added excitement, we’re deciding what needs to be packed up for next summer’s move and what needs to stay out. Because …

right now, we are only moving across town to a rental house.

Next July, after my last year in my present job, we are moving to another part of the country.

As a result, I’m not doing a very good job of keeping up with my reader, or with much of anything else outside of this move, either.

I actually think today might be my birthday, too. But I’m not sure. It’s also entirely possible that I’m a Justin Bieber fan, as well. Er – no. I don’t think I’ve lost it that much. Have I?

So wish me luck, because if my brain falls out and lands in the wrong packing box, I might not find it until next year.

As you know, misery loves company. Do you have any moving stories to tell?

For C

You were going. Creeping through the night.

Airports.

Bus terminals.

With the heavy smell that you carried – of need. Of want.

To be somewhere else. Anywhere else.

With many, many others. Swallowing hugely

of everything.

And not knowing.

I leave you, you said. I think. I feel. You say nothing.

Except

Sit there with your tea staining your life. Trying to stain mine.

You went. She stayed.

You were better. Stronger. Growing.

Still, she stayed.

I touch you, she said. My darling. My one.

That is what I am. That is how I show.

Why, you said. Why? Irritated. There’s more. There’s other. So much other.

I touch you, she said. My darling. My one.

That is what I am. That is how I show.

Be some other way, you said. Be more.

I touch you, she said. My

I know, you thought.

Knowing.

This is for my special friend C, who has just lost her mom. I love you, C.

A Whole Year, with Thanks

A decorated birthday cake
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


So WordPress reminded me a couple of days ago that it was my anniversary! I’ve been blogging for a whole year! I think it’s time for a round-up!

October, 2012 – I started the year all serious. I was going to  save the world from narcissists!

November – Still serious about the dreaded narcs. Was starting to realize that there was a lot more to write about, though, and a lot of interesting stuff to read, like why I shouldn’t fear potatoes and why google is better than yahoo.  With names like that, recreational water torture is probably better.

December – I wrote a couple of rants about the holidays. I hate shopping, so shoot me now. Happy Thankshallowmas. Jenny Pellett thought this was great – thanks, Jenny :). Btw, there are lots of great writers around here named Jenny .

January – I was back at work after some medical leave and then got sick. Go figure. Water was a central feature of my life.

February – I did a couple of fairly well-received posts on narcissism and then moved on to other things.

March – I was back ranting and/or commenting again and began thinking about changing the name of my blog.

April – I changed my name! No more Mr. Narc Guy. Well, mostly.

May – I wrote a lot of random stuff. And then I wrote a post called Random Stuff.

June – I did some whining about how I’m not a morning person. You’d think that I would have this out of my system, but oh no. I just found out that non-morning types live shorter, unhealthier lives. If I wasn’t awake when I first started reading the article, I was certainly awake afterward. Since then, I have radically changed how I deal with sleep, I eat healthier, I exercise more … yeah, right.

July – I dipped my toe in the fictional waters again after a long absence.

August – M and I got married!

September – Waaahhh! I broke my computer! When it recovered, I started whining about the holidays again. Yup. That would be me.

October, 2013 – Only one post from me, because I’m monumentally busy with a change-of-career project that I’m working on. I’ve been reading all of you, though, and enjoying your posts thoroughly! 🙂

But this post together with a post from Rarasaur got me thinking. How long do we bloggers last? The shelf-life seems pretty short. Many people whom I started following last year don’t post anymore, even though they were doing well. Is keeping up the blogging harder than people anticipate? Do many not really understand what they’re getting into and how they are essentially making a commitment when they click that “follow” button? What do you think? Any thoughts about this?

In any case, I want to send a sincere thank you to all those who follow me or have clicked like – I appreciate you all. 🙂

A Very Small Wedding in a Fabulous Place

So M and I tied the knot a little over a week ago!

We met our three sons (M has two; I have one) in Calgary and then went to Banff in Banff National Park where we got married.

Banff
Banff (Photo credit: diluvienne)

We had some pictures taken with the Banff Springs Hotel in the background.

English: Banff Springs Hotel Deutsch: Das Fair...
Banff Springs Hotel  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We stayed at the Post Hotel at Lake Louise, which is my favourite hotel in the world and features the most wonderful menu and wine list. (Sorry, I wasn’t able to upload a photo of the Post Hotel – arrrgg – the following picture shows Lake Louise and the Chateau Lake Louise Hotel where we had dinner.)

Lake Louise Ski Area on Mt. Whitehorn seen fro...
Lake Louise (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A great day was had at the nearby Emerald Lake, including lunch at the Emerald Lake Lodge followed by some walking around the lake. Two of our sons thought that it would be a good idea to jump into it – pretty cold, even in August!

Emerald Lake
Emerald Lake (Photo credit: K J L)

Emerald Lake really is a very distinctive green; this is caused by minerals in the water from glacial run-off. All of the lakes in this region are impressive and varying shades of green and greenish-blue.

We had a fabulous dinner at the Chateau Lake Louise Hotel; M used to work there many years ago. He had fun taking a nostalgic walk around, remembering all the stuff he used to get up to and telling his sons about his life there on the hotel staff.

Chateau Lake Louise reflecting in the water
Chateau Lake Louise reflecting in the water (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After our sons returned to their various parts of Canada – Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan – (when the wait staff asked us where we were from, we were happy to say, “all over Canada!”) M and I spent some time on our own, as all newly married couples should do :).