Tuesday, November 14, 2006


There is a family story from when my Darling Man used to work for the RCN. One of the duties of the Officer of the Watch included awakening the ship's Commander every morning. The usual routine went like this: "Good morning, sir. It's 'x' bells." Just my boy's luck to get a Commander who, in today's vernacular, didn't "do" mornings. My Darling, as OotW, called down, "Good morning, sir..." only to be met with: "IF I WANT A WEATHER REPORT, I'LL ASK FOR IT." Ever after, my boy started the day with: "Morning". I still do the same when out for a walk or run, anything in fact which might require a greeting before noon. "Morning" - it works well.

Which brings us to "Birthday". As in: what does one say to someone whose life has been turned upside down and who won't be hearing even "Morning" again any time soon? The usual "Happy B'day" could seem, at best, silly and, at worst, trite. I was a bit concerned about how the day was going to go. Warning: in honour of being a year older but not much wiser, I am trying to put "links" into this - disaster (as the son of the woman who backed into a jet engine said) may follow.....

Here is how the day went: Well, actually, it started y'day with the gift of beeeyoutiful and sweet smelling flowers from dear Joyce and The Tedamus on the doorstep-such red and spicy scent made me laugh after a hard day. This morning was up and into the downstairs shower (which has lots of hot water b/c it is close the the h/w tank) before I was even really awake followed by tea and the appearance of a delicate orchid and hysterical card (think 3 bears and Goldilocks and go from there) followed by taking Jr Boy to work and getting off a few good zingers ("are you serving those with ketchup?" "are you heating them up in the microwave?" not being questions one should ask any apprentice about to receive his chef's papers but getting away with them b/c "it's my b'day and I can say what I want to!". I am still waiting to hear how the event went but he was looking forward to drinking beer with some high-powered types this evening.) Please note that all this has happened before 0900h!! Then to the theatre to watch my new favourite group in the world not once but twice before lunch with dear friend Kate (and her wonder bag which seems to include flowers, bubbly, chocolate, biscuits & a super supply of coffee and monster cookies! She is also "AHellerForGettingMeSortedWRTANewCar" and now we know that some Subarus are off the short list - Stay Tuned for that instalment). School performances are also my new favourite thing for Mums on Budgets and Mozart and Shakespeare should be smiling.

(Small Weirdness: when The Theatre Tech one has only met twice wishes one "happy..." Both enfants deny any involvement... hmmmmmm)

Came home to find loving messages on telephone and in the realmail and a laughing convers with Herself in Cambridge as she walked along streets I know to a place I think I know but will have to check out when I go to visit. This was followed by a short work day (good for the b'day, not so for the budget but WTH) and then home to MORE fleurage arriving from Herself. Dinner has been the yumminess of roasted veg, chicken and couscous and hooch from the basement which really improves if it sits for a few months!

All in all, I am glad of last year's silent birfday at the cousin's in East Sussex - the day of CD finding(Karl Jenkins' "Requiem") and a glorious walk into the spectacular sunset and a turn to find the full moon rising over my shoulder and, at the end, The Sr Boy home "safe" in England. It was a warm-up for this year.... we are all, in some new way, "home safe".

Staying calm, being brave, waiting for the signs.....



Friday, November 10, 2006

New Additions to the Resume

Good morning, Ms W. Thank you for coming in today. We understand that you have some skills in which we may be interested. Would you like to tell us about them?

Thank you for inviting me here today. Yes, indeedy, in addition to the usual skills of life and a former work history in the "human resources" (aka personnel in the Olden Days) and teaching, I have recently acquired some new skills. Let me summarize: in June, I learned how to interpret what ICU staff really mean when they use ICUspeak. I also learned that pitching a fit in the middle of an ICU will often get results unexpected such as co-operation and, finally, some co-ordination of care when there has been no one willing to do so for a multiply traumaed patient aka my Dearest Man. Therefore, I am adding Fit Pitching to my resume and skill set. Fit Pitching, done properly, (i.e., quietly menacing voice, fists tightly clenched in the pockets, and freezing cold logic) is an effective tool in my new life.

Which brings me to my recent experiences: The Removal of The Indigent B-I-L Tenant. For those of you who knew Himself, please think of his exacle polar opposite and there you will have the b-i-l: can we say irresponsible, totally self-centred, and disrespectful??? Yes, we can. This character would be comic if he wasn't also into the estate for $45K+. There is a lot up with which I will put. Disrespect to my husband and children is not one of them. Do not be disrespectful and do not (under any circumstances but most particularly recently) pissmeoff.

These are the new items for the resume:
Waiting on the Phone for ResidentialTenancyOffice (average time: 57 minutes - excellent knitting time);
Chasing Out Ministry of Housing Staff When RTO Staff Hang Up On Me (av time: 6 minutes, see Fit Pitching technique above and add this phrase: "...I don't want to have to go to The Press about this...");
Hiring Eviction Staff Over the Phone including Paying by Bank Draft with Their Transit Numbers (staff hired: process servers: 1, bailiffs: 2; local bankers bemused: 2);
Renting Dumpsters ("A 40 yard roll-off in the driveway tomorrow at 0900 to be picked up at 1300 and replaced with a 25 yard. Thanks");
Interviewing Realtors (ummm, maybe that's a whole separate post.....);
Coping With a Schwackload of Testosterone (at last count: 2 bailiffs, 8 movers, 4 handyguys, 1 building inspector, 4 realtors, 1 "developer", 1 arborist. Skills required: breathing deeply, donut purchasing, not crying (much and only in the corner), story telling, small Fit Pitching including foot stampage.)
Recognizing That The Time Has Come To "Get the Heck Outta Dodge" (Precipitating Action/Realization required: phone calls, phone calls with messages left, phone calls missed, phone calls, phone calls, phone calls, combined with overwhelmage by the magnitude of the project. Action taken: Removal of self from rental front to the home front for regrouping and re-focusing and perhaps a bit of TLC of said self)

which I am now doing. Himself's Former Family Home is now empty of all save memories. It has been a heart and gut-wrenching several months and last week's eviction and 65 cubic yard clearout was like the peeling back of the wraps on a long festering wound. There is still so much to do......

And yet: Every day, deer walked through my life - including the buck who showed up at TimHortons while I was listening to a realtor's pitch. The sudden silence in that space while he ambled across the parking lot, up the berm, across the highway (after looking both ways) and into the bush by the railway tracks, that sudden exhalation of held breath as he disappeared.....

Thank You for your time.

You're welcome. We are looking forward to seeing you again.

Still breathing.....