Sunday, April 30, 2000 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

I have deep thoughts whilst ill.

Side note: I forgot to mention I’m taking piano lessons! I took them before when I was about 8 or so from some lovely nuns. I quit after a year and a half.
I still remember some, and after my first lesson, most of it came back. I can play “Ode to Joy” on one hand, with one finger at a time. I can also play the first two bars of “Love Me Tender” on the other hand. Now to get them both playing the same song at once.

Yes, I’ve been sick all this time, and I am as thrilled as I sound. I spent most of last Thursday in bed. Except of course, when a certain customer came by, right when I had drifted off, and really *really* needed to speak to only me. Now I just have a post-nasal drip, stuffy nose, and a cough that sounds like a lung will shortly follow. I also have a mountain of work awaiting me tomorrow, but you don’t want to hear about that. Heck, even I don’t.

The up side is that with all this not feeling good stuff, I hardly ate at all, and feel five pounds lighter! I’ll let you know after I step on a scale, because we don’t own one. The abs are looking a little snug too, from all that coughing, you know. I did go outside a couple of times for a shuffle around the yard, but not much. It was enough exercise just making it to the bathroom.

One parental thing I have learned is this: Never let your children have string. Ever. This includes skipping ropes, because they will figure out how to tie things up with those too. This week the girls made a “chair lift” for their dolls in their bedroom, extending from the window across to the bunk beds. It crossed the doorway too, and sometimes made getting into bed difficult. That’s only a recent example, they did plenty more with string when they were smaller, most of which I have blocked.

I have a thought on being offended. Ever been offended? I have, and after a while I got to thinking… maybe the person (whoever it was at the time) had a point. Maybe I was just taking issue with the fact my faults were being pointed out for me to look at, intentionally or otherwise. Don’t want to look at my own faults, now.

I hardly ever get offended with just about anything people say to me now. At the most, I get amused, often because their perception was wrong. So if it was wrong, there’d be no point in me getting worked up about it, would there? I don’t care if you’re ever wrong, and I don’t feel the need to go around pointing out people’s “wrong-ness” because who am I to say? I’ve been plenty wrong before. And yeah, I still wonder if the judgment being passed is fair or not. If it is, I try to change if I see the need, and if not, well, see above where I mention “wrong”.

The other thing about this, is what usually causes offense is “blanket statements”, or sweeping generalities. These do bother me somewhat, but what can I say to change another’s mind? I can’t, only they can change their mind. My one rule is – there’s an exception to every rule. I can probably find an exception to that, too. I don’t really give people unsolicited advice, only when someone asks me what I really think, and then only if I feel they want to hear it. Sometimes people just want me to say what they want to hear. So that’s why I’m a good listener.

On a sad note, our tv remote control is missing. On an ever sadder note, we only have 3 stations. No cable. Life is so hard. All week, I had to get up and change the channel, or holler in my weak hacking voice for one of the slaves.. I mean kiddies.. to change it for me. Let’s hope I find the remote this week. It has the closed caption button, so we can find out what people are *really* saying.

Saturday, April 22, 2000 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Mommies aren’t allowed to get sick

Side note:
We really don’t do a whole lot for Easter. Mr. Bunny doesn’t visit our house. Most people think it’s because we’re all fundamentalist or something, but the real reason I rarely tell them is that I’m just making less work for myself.

Think of it: what do I have to top for next year?

Besides, now they’re old enough to see it for the commercialist watered-down candy fest that it is.

And maybe next week we’ll go into town and buy some candy on sale. I love those bunnies with the crispies in them…..

I’m such a hypocrite.

I’ve been sick. Ron gave it to me, and he got it from Addison, who brought it home from school. Addison, fortunately, didn’t get really sick like some of us, because he had that drama thingy.

They lost.

Can you believe *two* other schools also used black light?

Anyway, on top of it all Sarah has come down with the chicken pox. Yeah, I know usually it’s not big deal, but she was actually sick. Not throwing-up sick, but I-can’t-move-and-I’m-so-itchy-Mommy! sick. I’m just waiting for Meaghan to sprout spots too. Addison had a bad case of them when he was 9 months old, so he’s covered.

I sometimes can’t believe the slack attitude some parents have about Chicken Pox. We practically had to fight with a friend to not come over and pick up some pox germs to take home to his pox-free children. Class, repeat after me: Airborne Virus!

Ron was sick all weekend, and Monday was his 35th birthday. Good thing he doesn’t expect much because all I did was take the whole afternoon to make him a gumdrop cake. Good thing he took me… I mean, I took him out for his birthday dinner.

Back to me. My sickness is about two or three days behind Ron, so while he’s starting to feel better, he gets set back by extending himself to look after me. Or rather, look after things I should be doing while I lay on the couch. So we really didn’t get much of anything done, and yes the taxes are still waiting. My house looks like a bomb dropped on it. Or, like a certain seven-year-old had a lot of barely-supervised time to experiment with household goods…..

Yesterday I was starting to feel pretty good, so Ron got me to do some things in Quickbooks (which he hasn’t really typed anything in since last.. well, too long) and we discovered we’re missing 6 months’ worth of bank statements on his business account. Let’s just say that was the culmination of my week, shall we?

On to Easter. Today I’m trying to bribe the kids (Sarah feels good enough to play all day – I’d say she’s almost free) to do me some chores (read: dishes) so we can make some homemade egg-shaped chocolate candies. And maybe some peanut butter cups. I’m at the point where my brain has all kinds of ideas on what I can do, but my body just has a hard time following. By the time we finish with all that, it will be time for me to have a break to think about supper.

Here’s a thought: I don’t want to cook it, and I don’t really feel like eating anything in particular because I can’t smell a freakin’ thing! I certainly do not want to clean up after it.

In Meta news:
I sent Sasha an e-mail which, thank God, she thought was pretty funny.
I actually posted in Beth’s forums instead of lurking like I normally do. Yeah, I go there every day. Sometimes 2 or 3 times. Who am I kidding? Some days I’ve been there 6 times…

Sunday, April 16, 2000 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

um… I forget..

Side note: One time I had a conversation with someone who said they keep forgetting to eat. I may forget a lot of things, “But honey,” I said, “I have *never* forgotten to eat!”
Did I ever tell you what a lousy memory I have?

Actually, it’s only horrible in the sense I usually forget people’s names and birthdays. One year, I forgot my own birthday. Sometimes I forget where I put things, and why I went into the bedroom, or what I’m supposed to be doing later. I occasionally forget my kid’s names and how old they are. I have to stop and think about it, usually calling them #1, #2 and #3. Or “sweetie”, that covers everyone.

Ditto for my phone number. When asked, I often give my neighbour’s. I remember my own just when the person is writing down the wrong one. I don’t often forget why I’ve called someone (Wendy does that often – “Hi… why did I call?”) because I really hate phoning people and become stressed to the point I am repeating the reason over and over again while dialing.

I have forgotten what day it is, or what time (morning, or afternoon?). I have stopped dead in the middle of a conversation because I forgot my point, or what I was going to say next. I forget groceries when I don’t bring a list, and look at it.

Other times my memory works in the weirdest of ways. Until today, I thought I was the only person around who had Clothing Memory.

Yes, I remember people’s clothes. I can remember what you wore the last time I saw you, but forget your name. There’s a girl at church who has four suits that interchanges the tops and bottoms, and I’m the only one who has noticed. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s very creative.) I remember where every article of clothing we collectively own has come from. Whether it was bought new by myself or a relative for a gift, or whether it was given to us second-hand. And I usually remember how long we’ve had it.

Ron: “Whose shirt is *this*?”

Me: “Oh, that’s Addison’s. So-and-so gave it to us last spring, remember?”

I also remember things like tv show theme songs, and commercial jingles. I may not be able to tell you verbatim what happened in a particular episode of Laverne & Shirley, but if I see the first five minutes of a show I’ve seen before, I can tell you how it ends. Same thing with books, I only have to read a chapter or two, sometimes just a page or two, to figure out if I’d read it already.

Then I remember the whole thing instantly. Makes it hard to sit through re-runs.

If you ever come in the store, I will remember what you bought last time you were here. I may not remember your name, but I can tell you what you were wearing and what you bought. Kinda comes in handy for those customers who routinely buy things and take them home only to lose them.

Customer: “Did I buy white paint last time I was here?”

Me: “Yes, and the time before that. Still can’t find it, eh?”

I also remember almost every place I’ve ever lived in. The layout of the rooms, the furniture, everything.

I remember my mother leaving me at my grandmother’s and I cried and cried at the upstairs window. I was two.

I remember my other grandmother reading me bedtime stories until she fell asleep. I remember the feel of her gloved hand as she walked us to church. I remember learning how to read. I was about 5 or 6.

I remember Ron telling me that yes, he loved me too. I remember the sound of every one of the children’s first cries. And ever minute of the day they were born.

I remember who doesn’t like onions or mayonaisse, or when the cheese is next to the tomato on their sandwich. I remember who doesn’t like jeans, who likes pink or blue, and which one likes their hair up and out of their eyes. I know who needs to be reminded of what, because they forget too.

I guess I remember the important stuff.

Thursday, April 13, 2000 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

The Bad Word Tax and other things…

Side note:
The weather has been really cold. below freezing. It even SNOWED! There should be some rule that says when plants pop up and birds sing, then it’s offically spring and it just can’t snow or be cold anymore.
Earlier this week Ron and I had some deep discussions wherein I decided that I would close down the store. Not right away, but soon. As in the first of next year.

Then I get a pile of mail & phone orders come in. Talk about conflicting messages! I wish when God sends a message, he’d be a little more clear.

Another biggee is Addison. We had been discussing the possibility of home schooling him again when he gets to high school. That will be in one more year. I mean, look at the state of the school systems. They’re not perfect, but they’re not really getting any better. I think for him, Grade 9 is too young to be thrown in the den of High School. I won’t get into the violence, drug busts or bomb threats, either. Yeah, they happen around here too.

I also told him when he started high school, he’d have to make his own lunch. “Guess I’ll be home schooled again, Mom!” he said with a grin.

Now he’s talking about staying home next year. Says he’s tired of doing all the work in group projects. We’ll see.

I’m also looking at new curriculum and finding a group in town we can join. Yeah, we had one that was curriculum-dependant, but a few families dropped out, and most of who was left all went to the same church and lived in the same area.. so we were odd man out.

I’m thinking deep on spiritual matters, too. How manifestations or experiences of the Holy Spirit are seemingly different depending on your particular church affiliation. Coming from a Baptist and Catholic background, and now going to a Pentacostal-flavoured experience makes for interesting observances.

Here’s a religious question to ponder for those inclined (if you don’t want to bother, skip down to the next paragraph): Why is it that some people think that a person is *not* blessed by, or experiencing the Holy Spirit, if they are not worshipping the same way they are? If I want to sit in quiet meditation while someone else wants to jump and holler and do cartwheels (or vice versa), why should anyone else care?

Anyway, I had a customer walk in today with a very big potty mouth. It was f*ck this and got any f*cking new things in, and what the f*ck is this… Not in a hostile way, I do know this person. It was funny when I realized how I must have sounded when I cursed a lot. My particular word though was sh*t. Then we instituted the Bad Word Tax, which you may need to do when the children start saying things that you do.

The Bad Word Tax works like this: if I swear, and a child hears me, I must pay that child a predetermined amount (it starts at a quarter and goes up from there depending on frequency and intensity). It also works the other way. If a child swears, inadvertently or otherwise, they must pay the grown-up. Note: leniency is given if they have never heard a particular word before and need to know if it qualifies. Repeated asking of the same word, however, is given the “3 strikes you’re out” ruling. As in the following:
“Is _____ a bad word? Because if _____ is a bad word, I won’t say it. You’ll never hear me say _____ at all.”

Within two weeks, not a bad word was to be heard anywhere within the house. Or outside. :-)

A couple of summers ago, we went to a family wedding. Since this was the Catholic side, they could swear a pretty blue streak. (no offense to other Catholics, but I find lapsed one swear really well) Almost all the adults, I found, were being extremely careful not to swear around my kids. First, why was it okay to swear around the *other* kids there? And second, well… I forget my point… anyway, the kids had explained right away the concept of the Bad Word Tax, and a couple people thought it was funny to hold others to it. Each of my kids made over $3 at the reception. At one point, one guy gave Addison a toonie ($2 coin) and told him to leave him alone for the rest of the night. They also got very adept at sneaking up behind people in conversational groups. They wait until someone said a Bad Word, then make their presence known and charge them.

I’m so proud of their entrepreneurial spirit.

Monday, April 10, 2000 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

a very cheesy entry about groceries

Side note:
On the way home, Meaghan explained to me her theory on why old people rarely drive.

It seems as one gets older, one shrinks, and therefore, one just has a hard time looking over the steering wheel. So one doesn’t drive.

Now you know.

“Now,” said a voice behind me, “where would I find cocoa?”

I was in the baking aisle trying to decide between slivered or sliced almonds. THe lady behind me was getting a little exasperated. I can sympathize. This grocery store seems to routinely shuffle various items from place to illogical place. After telling her I didn’t know, I suddenly remembered that I too, had been on a quest for cocoa a short time ago.

“It’s next to the hot chocolate!” Her eyebrows raised a bit and she headed off. Funnily enough, we both drove into that same aisle a few minutes later from opposite ends. Sarah noticed her first and directed her to the cocoa, even pointing out the best bargain.

In one of those weird coincidences, just this morning I had posted in Sasha’s forum how yes, indeed, strangers talk to me all the time at the store.

Speaking of freaky, when we got out to our truck, we noticed that the car next to us was driven by a little old lady who sauntered out of the store just after we did. Then we drove around to pick up our groceries, because I almost never ride them back out to the truck because, well, there’s a lot! Anyway, the same lady pulled in behind us.

That was weird, but later as we were driving out of town, there she was, behind us again! For a second there I thought she was following us, but she turned off after a few minutes. At least I think she did, I sped up to lose her.

Then I got to wondering; why is it, that the further you get away from “real” food, the more expensive it is? (I meant LESS!! LESS!!) I mean, a tomato can get pretty expensive, but tomato sauce is relatively cheap. Or any processed meat. You would think it would be more expensive than say, a real ham shank, than all the stuff they put in it to make ham slices or hot dogs. I say this because it was only last week or so when I went grocery shopping, and I had to go again because there was nothing to eat. Last time, I had bought all kinds of fresh, healthy non processed food, and it’s gone in no time. I try to go all the way into town only every two weeks or so. That’s a lot of groceries you need to buy at once for five people.

One thing we are doing to broaden our palette is to try a new cheese every time. Sarah has a new best friend now and his name is Jack. Monterey Jack.

I’m writing this between runs to drop off and pick up girls at Brownies/Guides, so I’ll have to end things here.

Thursday, April 6, 2000 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

sealing wax and string

Side note:
“The time has come,” he said, “my friend, to talk of many things…”
There are things on my mind: sex, religion, world politics, school, church, relationship dynamics.
It takes me so long just getting my thoughts formulated into something coherent enough to write down.
I don’t make much sense verbally sometimes, either.

I freaked out a little and you missed it. I was going to write an entry last Friday, or even a couple days ago, called “Breakdown in Progress, Film at 11″.

I think I’m better. It would have been too full of angst anyway. Getting older is a strange thing, as I have what we call a “young” spirit. Some of the time. I increasingly have little insights into the future of my life. Not premonitions exactly, just more of a feeling of the essence of what is to come.

I told my grandmother that since I am now complaining about how the kids mess the place up, and will I ever get it clean, I bet the minute they are gone and the house stays clean for more than 30 seconds I’ll be very lonely.

She said that sounded about right.

I could feel that feeling of an empty house. I can see my daughters walking down the aisle on the arm of their father, and Addison as a grown man. I can see my children handing me their babies (and me handing them back when they fuss too much!). I can see my husband when he becomes an old man.

Actually, that part is not too hard, he looks just like his father who is in his late 70’s…

Spring has sprung here in Canada. I could smell it, and hear the birds heralding the arrival, so I knew it to be true. My narcissus came up in a new spot. Remember when we moved the driveway? (Darn, I just looked back and realized that I *didn’t* write about it…not that I can find.)
Like spring, I seem to be aching to be reborn, reinvented. Cut away the dead growth and let the new shoots come out. I can let go of some things, knowing I have done what I could with what I had. Note I didn’t say my best… I am ready and eager to head off in new directions.

Funny how you can sit here and write things that are vastly different than what you thought they would be, earlier in the day.

We’re working on taxes now. Personal taxes of course, but the company taxes, the craft store and Ron’s various enterprises, are coming due soon. I found some major errors that I’d told myself I’d fix “later”. Well, later arrived. I had to un-deposit a year and a half of deposits, then re-deposit them correctly.

I know I owe some of you e-mail. Maybe I’ll answer after I’m done this. It’s not personal, I haven’t answered much e-mail lately at all. I haven’t written any comments to journals I read either, even though it is on my mind.
And yes, I am exercising.. sort of. I go for a walk almost every day, with the “before I go on-line” plan going south a long time ago. I go all the way down the driveway, then down the road to the far end of our property where the road turns, and come back. It’s about 500 meters one way. I’m guessing. I haven’t timed myself, but I can go at a brisker pace than before, so yay me.

Must be some weird stuff going on with that whole aging/PMS/spring thing…. I keep getting the same sorts of e-mail from potential customers as well, the kind that drives me crazy because of its stupidity. One recent one read: “Can you send me a catalogue for two dollars?”. That was it. No address or nothing. I feel like writing back, sure buddy, but I need your address and the actual $2 first!

Oi.

Actually my whole web business effort seems to be more and more effort for the same amount of business. Do you know once I read an article where some guy said he gets about one customer from every hundred e-mails? That sounds about right to me. My records show me that while my business has been about the same last year, mail orders have gone way up, but local traffic has gone way down. I had a lady come in last week looking for some items for a wedding. She started out with “I have been all over town , do you have this?”. Gee, yes I did. I wanted to ask her maybe she should have stopped in earlier, since she had to drive right past my place to get to town!

I’m also beginning to think that I have a latent fear of being successful. I mean, I got this far without knowing what I was doing. But now I know what I don’t know, ya know? Some days the pressure does get to me, so I wonder what I’d do if I was to the point where I had rent and payroll to meet every month. Or I’d be filling an order and get real upset if I didn’t have every single thing.

Oh, Mom’s boyfriend sent me a photo of the big event.
(photo not linked)

Oh my Lord, I look just like my parents.

Ron and the girls took me shopping on my birthday. Sarah picked me out a pizza cutter (I knew she would) and Meaghan went in on it with her, mostly because she couldn’t think of anything. Addison seconded that when he got home. At least its a really good one, ergonomically correct and all. Plus we seem to eat a *lot* of pizza and it was on my “to buy” list. (hmm.. must think of relationship between pizza and love handles…)

We also went to the local Christian book store to present shop. I picked out “Every Woman in the Bible”, mostly because I couldn’t find “Bad Women of the Bible”, which was my first choice. But this one covers them too, but not with a catchy title. Ron picked out a concordance for an early b-day present for himself, and we also got a Veggie Tales video, well, for everybody. :-)

And we missed the bookmobile this week, so I guess you’re all caught up.