Saturday, August 18, 2007

Until we meet again

Once again, it's been a while since I've been here. Life (some good, some not so good) has kept me hopping and by the time I've finished my work for the day/night, I am in so much physical pain due to the fibromyalgia that the idea of sitting here one minute longer than I have to fills me with dread. (And yes, I'm working on that whole pain and fatigue thing and am making some progress after a very scary couple of months.)

Perhaps when life evens out a bit for me, perhaps when and if I get a laptop so maybe I can be online and not be in pain, I'll return, I don't know.

Until then, know my sons and daughter-in-law and grandbaby-to-be are doing well, I continue to lose weight and exercise, work remains challenging and fulfilling, I am revamping my goals and dreams to accommodate some setbacks, I keep living my life, grateful for my friends.

Thank you to all who encouraged me and thanks to all of you whose blogs I still read and enjoy.

Fare thee well.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Two years today

Seems like yesterday. Feels like a lifetime ago.

You would have hated what I've put myself through the last two years. I think you'd be proud and hopeful for where I am now.

Even as I find my way and move forward, you are missed and still appreciated.

Acknowledging the day and feeling peacefully contemplative within.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A week of fun

My trip to Victoria with my mother for the Titanic exhibit went well. The exhibit itself was disappointing (and considering I didn't have high expectations, that's saying something) even for my mother who is into the Titanic thing, as were some other things at the museum. BUT we got along great, laughed a LOT, the day turned out beautiful.

It's created a very nice memory of my mother for me, especially considering it's become very clear she's having some pretty blatant cognitive and short term memory issues. Went back to my folks' after the long day for a lively discussion on politics, world issues, etc. I stayed the night there (no sleep) and, though it was raining, we went for a walk on the beach and out for breakfast. It was a good birthday for her, a nice Father's Day for him.

Last week my best friend and I went away to Whistler for a few days for our 30-year anniversary celebration. It was everything we could have hoped for and more. The hotel was nice with a great view. The resort town was lovely for walking and cafes and lively surroundings. We talked and talked and talked, exchanged gifts (she gave me the most thoughtful things), laughed, attempted to get drunk (didn't work).

The zip line tour was more thrilling (this is a GOOD thing) than anticipated. There were five lines in total, two of which were big drops and fast (one had been clocked at 60 mph), with a bit of hiking in between. For anyone wanting a bit of a thrill but bungee jumping or skydiving is more than you'd like, I really recommend this. The one we took ran parallel lines so my best friend and I were going down side by side. Plus the harnesses were more like paragliding harnesses than the uncomfortable rock-climbing harnesses often used. The people running it were wonderful too.

It's all also been a reality check regarding my capabilities regarding the fibromyalgia and I'm currently processing all that means, shifting goals and dreams once again. Still, soooooo much to look forward to and enjoy. Life is good and I'm very fortunate in my relationships.

And it really is no wonder

British Columbia is known

for its beauty.....

This coming weekend.... another trip to Victoria for the Rodin exhibit on Saturday, and the jazz festival and Canada celebrations on Sunday. Then next week a trip to the States for July 4th fireworks.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Continuing Adventures of SwampHag

See those pretty flowers? They're kinda how my life's been lately. Colorful and hopeful and a breath of fresh air.
They were a gift today from my best friend. I don't think she has ever come to my home empty-handed and it's almost always flowers. And I love them all, bought, picked from her garden, cut or living (okay, I tend to kill the plants but lately I've even had more luck with that). These are her latest.
Aside from work continuing to be busy, and a busy life in general, and some issues at work I'm not happy about, my life has been pretty good lately.
My sons are doing well. My daughter-in-law is insanely busy and having problems with her blood sugars during the pregnancy (she has Diabetes 1 and it's been a roller coaster and she still isn't even halfway through), but exciting things are happening in her life too. My sons' painting business is growing leaps and bounds, my older son and DIL are going to build a house with the help of my ex, so they'll have a nice new home a few months after the baby is born (they're going to build this coming winter). My DIL will be getting her Bachelors around the time her baby is born AND has been asked to apply to be an assistant to her favorite professor starting in the fall of 2008. She will be doing what she loves (translating from ancient Greek), earning her Masters, and getting published. My younger son has been eating healthier, losing weight, pursuing a busy, sociable life, working hard.
I'm almost afraid of jinxing things by saying this.... I've been dating someone for a while and it's going well so far. I know I will be okay either way and I continue to pursue interests and travel plans. But it sure has been fun to share.
We finally are enjoying some nice weather here. That alone has been a boost.
Today is my mother's birthday, so tomorrow (a day off for me) I'm taking her to Victoria on Vancouver Island to the Royal BC Museum for its Titanic exhibition, a longtime passion of my mother's. I always enjoy the ferry ride over and Victoria in general.
Next week, my best friend and I are going to Whistler/Blackcomb for three days to celebrate 30 years together as best friends. Adventures will include a treetop zipline tour.
I return from that to work next weekend, but Saturday night new man and I will be going to one of the many free venues at the Vancouver Jazz Festival (I'm more into Blues, he's into jazz, and I'm always open to trying music that's new to me).
At the end of the month, my older son, daughter-in-law, new man and I are going again to Victoria to their art gallery for their Rodin exhibit.
It never rains but it pours but - this time - it's almost all good.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Tag! I'm it!

Denise tagged me with the 8 Things Meme because, apparently, I don't blog often enough. Just because I haven't blogged since mid-April.... sheesh! ;-)

Here are the rules:

Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

There's only one problem with that: I don't have eight people I can tag who haven't already been tagged, soooooooo..... I'll just do my thing without passing the tag along.

8 facts/habits about me:

1. My hair length is usually a bit past my shoulders and I love the look and feel of it. BUT I absolutely hate feeling my hair on the back of my neck when I'm sleeping, so I have to flip it up on to the top of my head when sleeping.

2. I love a good western. The first Lonesome Dove miniseries and Deadwood are my favorites but there are quite a few others. Don't like the usual John Wayne fare; my style is more High Noon.

3. One way or another - both online and off - I've been helping men and women heal from childhood sexual abuse for 13 years now. I'm pretty good at it.

4. I drink a mug of hot chocolate every morning and have for decades. In general, if I like something I can eat it almost every day for months or years without getting bored. I have been venturing out of my self-and-allergy-induced mediocrity over the last few years, though. It began with traveling, wanting to experience everything a place had to offer and that includes food. But it's continued here and there.

5. I can rarely work in silence. That's always been the case. In my school days, I did my best studying and essay-writing while the tv and/or stereo was blasting and that's still the case when it comes to working.

6. I like driving fast. I don't tailgate, I don't weave in and out of traffic or cut people off or push when the road is congested, but otherwise, I'm fast. In another life I would have been a race car driver.

7. I don't like mice. I didn't KNOW I didn't like mice until our home was inundated many years ago. Much to my chagrine I instantly became one of those silly women who stand on chairs or counters until the mice are dealt with. They just move too damn fast. Except for one.... he had encountered one of our traps and survived but with a shortened tail and an unsteady leg. He lived in my turned off gas fireplace and would peek out at me now and then before his nightly run to pantry and back. I named him Stanley. He and all the rest of them are long gone now, thank goodness.

8. Despite reading fast allllll day long for my job, despite a speed reading course at which I did really well, I am a slooooooooow reader when it comes to novels. I love taking my time, relishing the language as much as the story being told. It probably doesn't help that I only read in bed at night before sleep so, well, I often go to sleep a few pages in no matter how good the book may be. So it takes me forever to get through a book. Sometimes it amazes me how many books I HAVE read, considering.

Thanks for including me, Denise!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Wanted: One Sense of Humor

My mother will sometimes go on the attack and she's been doing so lately. When I call her on it, when I don't appreciate her insults, I'm told "Your ex was right; you DON'T have a sense of humor".

Now, I don't think I'm the funniest person in the world but I do enjoy a laugh and enjoy being a clown and making my friends laugh. (One of my greatest joys in life was how easily and often I could make Michael laugh, and others since him.) I can usually find something funny in any situation and where I am in my life (this blog - at least lately - notwithstanding ;-). But for many years I bought into my ex's view of me in this regard.

It took me a long time to realize I actually DID have a sense of humor; I just don't appreciate jokes that put others down nor do I like insults against ME said under the guise of a 'joke'. The only two people who have accused me of not having a sense of humor are my ex and my mother. It's a pretty consistent accusation on their part. (My father and brother probably have the same view but don't say it.) I don't buy it anymore.

At least not completely. I do wonder though and, as is usual for me, something like this will cause some introspection. Because we're often the last ones to know and admit to ourselves the failings everyone else sees. And I may just be in denial.

I DO think I'm oversensitive some of the time to simple lighthearted teasing. I'm not talking about my mother or ex who do/did it meanly with the purpose of hurting me. I'm talking about those I know to love me and are just doing some light joshing. Sometimes I can take it, laugh, give it back and all is fine. Other times - often when I'm tired or in pain or otherwise down for too long - it's a bit harder even while I understand no ill intent is meant.

And I've wondered why that is. Why is it so easy for my best friend and not for me? She and her family joke a lot with each other. It's a nice thing and fun to watch. And I realized what the difference was/is. She grew up with parents who adored and supported her and who do to this day. It was safe for her.

For me, 'jokes' and laughter were so often used to attack and put me down, and that continued in my marriage until I finally smartened up. And yet *I* wasn't allowed to be a goof or clown because that was embarassing to them. Took me a while to free myself from that one.

I hate realizing now that there is still a legacy like this but hey, with awareness comes growth and healing. :-)

Oh, and re my mother.... I'm currently screening my calls. ;-)

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Skeet and Denise shared their obsessions and that got me to thinking about mine.

I am not sure what the definition of an 'obsession' is and whether I truly have any. I don't rabidly collect anything, I don't spend a lot of time THINKING about one thing over another, so I had to bring it down to about what things have held my interest for a good, long time.

Past obsessions included flying, computer games, technology and the online world. But they no longer really fit anymore even though I still enjoy them now and then and, of course, I work in the online world. And I'm focusing on things in my regular personal life, rather than more serious ongoing passionate interests like abuse, female genital mutilation, prejudice, child soldiers, etc.

So here's my current list:

WHALES: This one is at least four decades old, from the first introduction to beluga and killer whales at Stanley Park in Vancouver to seeing them in the wild as an adult. First sighting was off Waikiki, a mother hump back and her baby. Since then many encounters with grey whales off the west coast of Vancouver Island, sometimes close enough to touch, and a pod of playful killer whales unexpectedly meeting up with the ferry to Vancouver Island in 2005. These encounters never lose their magic.

OCEAN: Simply put, it feeds my soul, always has, always will. The wilder the better. When I'm rich I'll be sure to buy property overlooking the open ocean.

SEX/TOUCH: Everything about it -the feel, smells, sounds, tastes - and all that goes with it, the relationships, the impact of everyday life and our pasts on how we relate to each other, how it can deepen the quality of a relationship, how beautiful and fun and silly and hot it can be. The older I get, the more I appreciate sex, from my own experience but also the experiences of others as part of my job is working on message boards focused on sex and relationships.

TV SERIES ON DVD: This medium was made for people like me.... love watching at my own pace, love the behind-the-scenes stuff, the commentaries, all of it. I'm a movie buff too but with the quality of t.v. shows improving, the richness of character development in t.v. is superior for me.

WORD GAMES/PUZZLES: Online with a friend or soloing with the magazines. Great for waiting rooms and airports.

BOOKS & MUSIC: I'm combining these because while they don't feel like obsessions anymore, they are so a part of my everyday world and have been for 40 years; I just can't imagine my life without them despite music currently being an iffy thing for me.

AFRICA: It was probably all those National Geographic shows I grew up on that began this one, but it built as I grew older and read so much - fiction and nonfiction - about Africa. And it deepened as I became and remain aware of all the issues affecting the people who live there. It's nice to contemplate actually going there (well, at least South Africa anyway) within the next couple of years.

HOT CHOCOLATE: Yes, I know this list is already longer than it should be but I just couldn't leave this one out. I've never drunk coffee, not much of a tea drinker anymore and have yet to find an herbal tea I like, so it's hot chocolate every morning. It's just LIGHT hot chocolate nowadays.

I'm sure I'll think of more the second I publish this but there you have 'em.