Monday, December 31, 2012


I hate the feeling of unease that comes the morning after having a bad dream. Last night I dreamt that my father died, and it has left me feeling very uneasy this morning. What bothered me the most during the dream was that he had told me a bunch of things "in case something happens" that I was supposed to remember, but that I couldn't and was so upset that I was afraid I'd never recall them.  Except for the dying part, the rest is pretty much accurate to "real life" in that he has told me a bunch of things, but because they are discussed in context of him leaving life some day, that part overwhelms my thoughts and I'm left not paying as close attention as I should.  As much as I hate to say it, I think I will have to make a point of sitting down with him again and actually writing things down instead of trying to rely on my memory, which is proven to not be very good.

I live with a lot of fear every day about my parents leaving. I can't even type that line without tearing up. Most days I just stuff it down and try to get on with my day, convincing myself that I can't predict the future and for the most part, I likely have many more years with them because they're both in decent health.  But I'm also too smart for my own good and know that tomorrow begins 2013, and none of us are immortal.  It was hard enough for me when my grandparents died.  I can't imagine a world without my parents, nor what my parents must go through not having their own parents around anymore.  My Dad doesn't have anyone left from his immediate family since my aunt passed in April. My mom refers to herself sometimes as an orphan, I know she misses her mother deeply and I can't imagine the pain that she must feel from that.

Today, after that dream, the fear seems crippling.  I'm crying at my desk again.  Maybe blogging wasn't such a good idea after all?  I'm better when I release emotion though; I'm not much good at keeping it in.  Just wish I didn't have to cry at work since I never know when someone will walk in.  Now I'm exhausted not only from the dream, but from the crying.

I have too much to do today to keep this up, so I will have to suck it up and move forward with my day.  Hopefully writing the words down will help me stop running through them repeatedly in my head.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Snow load

John and I spent this afternoon shoveling snow and damn near killing ourselves. Unfortunately, my Dad is enroute to FL and could not plow us out, so we were left to shovel. We were rescued by a neighbor with a snowblower, which is probably the only reason I didn't have to call an ambulance for John. This storm was just too much for us (John with arthritis, me with little strength) to handle with  shovels.  Some pics of our shoveling duties:

John clears a path with the snow scoop down our driveway to the street. It didn't drift as much here as other places.

A good foot of snow, though. Thankfully not wet and heavy, but still a struggle.

John's truck misses its old SoCal home

Snow had drifted around 3' high. It was halfway up my thighs as I walked around the truck.
Storms with this much snow are becoming more rare in SJ, but they do still happen.  With my Dad spending more time in FL, we're on our own to get our driveway cleared.  Today happened to be a non-working day, which meant we weren't having to juggle working with clearing, but that also meant it pretty much took over our day off, and now we're tired and useless (though I'm still powering through my laundry duties).  The way I see it, we have a few choices:
  1. Buy a snowblower.  Pro: will clean driveway with less back-breaking effort.  Cons: Limited place to store it since our garage is small and our barn far enough away from the main driveway to make it awkward. Also still involves standing out in snow for hours to clear.
  2. Learn how to plow and keep Dad's truck at our house when he's away.  Pro: Definitely easier to clear, we can sit in the comfort of the truck and push major amounts of snow out of the way with minimal physical effort.  Cons: We don't have as much experience as Dad and could break the truck, have an accident, wreck the lawn, etc.  Also limited parking arrangements -- would we store one of our vehicles at Dad's while we have his truck at our place?  Would we just park the plow truck in front of John's truck and play musical vehicles for a while?
  3. Move to a different house with a 2 car garage so at least we didn't have to dig a vehicle out during each storm.
  4. Move to a different house in a much warmer climate where snow is a novelty.
We have some thinking to do.  Already we've received tougher storms than last year, but at least we were plowed out for last week's storm.  We can't keep shoveling if we keep getting these amounts of snow, though. This storm was a lighter, fluffy snow.  I can only imagine how back-breaking it would have been had the snow been wet and heavy.

December photo a day: Day 30

Day 30 is "something that made you smile this year."  I looked back through my pics and found one from my trip up country on my birthday.  Only in Boiestown would you see a sign like this:

I wonder who won? I missed it by a day.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

December photo a day: Day 29

Today's photo is "hot," so I chose our toasty fire in the wood stove.

December photo a day: Day 28

Day 28 was "cold."  Our back deck, covered in snow, looked pretty cold last night.

December photo a day: Day 27

Day 27 was "how you relax."  One way is curling up on the couch with my hubby as we watch TV.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December photo a day: Day 26

Day 26 is "mess," which I think would have been more appropriate for yesterday. I do still have some mess leftover from some later gift unwrapping though.

Romy sneaks into my shot

December photo a day: Day 25

Day 25 is Christmas Day, and the photo is "lunchtime" -- whatever we were doing at lunchtime.  We were waiting for my Dad to come over, and Sapphire finally started using her Christmas present for its intended purpose. Previously Romy had been attacking her present, trying to get at the catnip attached to it.

December photo a day: Day 24

Day 24 was "tradition."  A new tradition that John and I have started together is to watch the Jesus and Santa lounge act from South Park.

"Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand"  "That's not a Christmas song." "There are like, 300 Jesus Christmas songs and only 4 Santa songs."

December photo a day: Day 23

Since Christmas hit, I've been running behind. Day 23 was: "Joy is __________."  I saw this nativity scene at my aunt's house, so I thought of Mary's joy at being the mother of Jesus.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

December photo a day: Day 22

Day 22 is "decoration," be it Christmas or otherwise. I decided to go traditional.

I bought this ornament at a store down the street when I lived uptown.

December photo a day: Day 21

Day 21 (which was a busy day and I didn't have time to post) is "tree." I've posted 2 pics of trees in a row, plus my Christmas tree already, so John suggested I post a pic I took back in September when I was in Tucson. I love saguaro cactus, so I visited Saguaro National Park and snapped some pics of my drive through (would have hiked had I more time and less rain).

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December photo a day: Day 20

Day 20 is "weather". We're still recovering from yesterday's snowfall.

King Square (or King's Square, depending on which source you're using)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December photo a day: Day 19

Day 19 is "something that starts with 'S'."  In Canada, nearing winter, that's just too easy.  This is the view outside my office window today.

I didn't notice that tomorrow's theme is "weather" -- oh well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December photo a day: Day 18

Day 18 is "something that makes you merry."  Christmas bows are always merry.

Monday, December 17, 2012

December photo a day: Day 17

Day 17 is "on the floor" -- look down and shoot something on the ground.  I looked down from my PC to see a waiting cat.

Good, you're home, pet me.

We don't know squat

The internet is making me angry again. Since the CT school shooting, many Canadians have taken to Facebook expounding on how much the US is a "gun culture". In a way it's amusing to see so many posts from Canadians about gun control in America, but mostly it's just really f****** annoying. You're not American, you don't live in that country, and you truly don't know what it's like. All you know is what the news, movies, TV, and social media tells you. So until you go and live there, I don't give a crap what you think. America doesn't need or want Canada's help.

This school shooting has affected many of my friends in deep ways. Some are parents, some teachers, some both. I can't fully understand how they relate to the incident because I am not a parent myself.  What I do know is that wallowing in sorrow for the victims, re-posting Morgan Freeman's fake words of wisdom, or flooding my feed with discussion over how shitty Americans and their guns are does not do anything at all to help the situation. You want to help? Go volunteer for a support organization. Stop watching the news and get out and do something to help people move past the tragedy. If you feel that strongly about gun control, then start a protest. At least then it would be a constructive use of your time and I wouldn't have to read about it in my feed.

I previously posted that you can't "un-invent" guns. There are plenty of gun laws on the books, but that doesn't matter to someone who obtains weapons on the black market. If someone wants to kill someone else, there are many tools and methods to do so. What we need are well-balanced citizens who know the difference between right and wrong, and who seek help for their problems instead of deciding that taking a gun to a school is the right solution.

I will have to go Facebook-dark for a while. I had wanted to see and discuss Christmas things, but most people in my feed have chosen to bash the country of which my husband is still a citizen and the country in which I will likely finish out my life. The US is hurting, but you can't let the actions of a few tarnish the goodness of the many.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December photo a day: Day 16

Day 16 is "something you made."  Today I made an apple pie as a thank you gift for a friend who lent me her sewing machine for the past 9 weeks. My machine is not portable, so in order to attend sewing class, I needed something I could carry around. She loves pie, so I think it was a good gift.  :D

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December photo a day: Day 15

Day 15 is "outdoors". I took this pic on our way to Calais. John said the clouds looked like ellipses.

It was a better angle when he first mentioned it, I was a bit late snapping.

December photo a day: Day 14

Day 14, which I am a day late taking and posting, is "something green". We put our tree in the house tonight, so here's our green tree with photo-bomb shaka from husband.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December photo a day: Day 13

Day 13's picture task is to take a picture of lights at night.  These are John's favorite lights, and since they didn't make it into Day 7, here they are for Day 13.

December photo a day: Day 12

I'm late with Day 12, which is a picture of a hat.  This is the hat my MIL knit for my birthday present. I've been wearing it daily and have received MANY compliments on it. I'm not very good a self-portraits, so I had to stand it up on a chair post. The cloche style suits me very well.

Free TV doesn't exist

Regarding this article and the comments below it.

The comments are amusing. Sure, you can cancel your cable subscription and stick with Netflix or downloading. But if everyone did that, then how will your favorite TV shows get the money to create programming?  Ad revenue generates the money needed to produce TV shows. All those commercials we're skipping through on our DVRs means that ad revenue has been decreasing.  With decreased ad revenue comes new methods of revenue generation.  Bones, which my husband watches, is particularly egregious in this department. It's like a mini-commercial in each episode, and it is glaringly obvious.  This week's episode of Gossip Girl hit me over the head with the new Windows 8 phone.  Way to take me out of the story by trying to sell me a crappy OS or a car I can't afford. 

Yes, the business model needs to change, and I wish they'd hurry up and make some forward progress. But you can't have everything for free. Paying for cable is one of the ways to keep new TV shows coming.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December photo a day: Day 11

Day 11 is "sweet". My mother made some shortbread cookies for her brother today, and gave us the leftovers.  Shortbread is my mom's specialty, so anytime someone else offers it to me, I have to be polite... but it's never as good as my mom's.  Hers will practically melt in your mouth.  As a kid, I didn't really like them as much. The older I get, the more I like them, and appreciate the skill it takes to do them now that I bake too.  I still haven't tackled these yet on my own, but I will have to get a lesson from her some day.

Christmas shortbread cookies

Monday, December 10, 2012

December photo a day: Day 10

Day 10 is "under" so I bring you "cat under table."

Sapphire wonders what the heck I'm doing

Sunday, December 09, 2012

December photo a day: Day 9

Day 9 is "out & about".  Today is my Dad's birthday, and also the day we went for our annual Christmas tree hunt.  Here's a shot of the area as I was searching for a tree.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

December photo a day: Day 8

Day 8 is "someone you love" -- that's an easy one.  Here's my hubby enjoying a nice steak.

Friday, December 07, 2012

December photo a day: Day 7

Day 7 is "stars". I'm too urban to get a good picture of the sky at night, but we did drive by a neighbor's house with a star on it.  We don't yet have our star lights hanging up for xmas.

December photo a day: Day 6

Missed uploading this last night.  Day 6 is "something from your country". I pick maple syrup.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

December photo a day: Day 5

Day 5 is themed "looking up," where you're supposed to get on the ground and take a photo from down low, looking up.  Since it's cold, dark, and wet outside, I opted for inside from the floor of my office.

My Snuffles collection, who, coincidentally, are also looking up.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

December photo a day: Day 4

Day 4 is "black & white".  This is actually a picture of a skirt.

Monday, December 03, 2012

December photo a day: Day 3

Day 3 is "something you held".  I held my finished sewing project, John's nightshirt.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

December photo a day: Day 2

Day 2's theme is "peace".  What better than two newly acquainted cats who have found a way to sleep peacefully together?

Romy (left) and Sapphire (right) enjoy a peaceful sleep.

December photo a day: Day 1

A friend posted a photo-a-day challenge for December, so I decided to take part.  Except I missed the first day because the subject was "8 o'clock" and I wasn't inspired, didn't remember to take a picture at 8am or pm, and taking a picture of a clock didn't seem all that great of an idea.  So I'll start with Dec 2nd instead.