Saturday, August 30, 2008


My mom, Oma, has the kids for a couple of nights. I needed a bit of time to myself. The kids were excited.
They LOVE Mom's garden. It certainly is a magical place where you can imagine fairies and gnomes would live. Thye love to take the double-decker bus with Oma. They go to the bakery and downtown to see the sights.
I think they may even go swimming at the pool today.
I am so glad they have a place where they feel excited to go, know they are loved and I know that my mom has a vested interest in their survival....They'll be okay.

But me? I think too much! It feels quiet and echo-ey without their constant squeals and flinging of various toys and food....But I need it. I just can't help feeling guilty when I get it. Is that normal?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

unhappy anniversary

I've been referring to this week not-so-fondly as 'Shit Week'. I think it's been the hardest week since the early stages of losing Jeff. The five month anniversary of his death. My birthday. My grandfather's surgery. Now our anniversary. Possibly putting Eli down. Some huge decisions that I have to make alone. Just constant reminders of the life that stretches before me without him at my side.
I had planned to book Jeff and I a night or two at the resort we went to after we got married to celebrate our anniversary. Now I'll spend it sitting on the couch trying to forget by watching some sort of crap on the tv.
I have decided, though, that since we didn't have a 'proper' honeymoon; one day, I'll do it for us. We had always planned to go to Ireland for a honeymoon when the kids were old enough to be away from us for a couple of weeks (Liv was two years old when we got married). So, when/if I land on my feet, I am going to put a few dollars away when I can and go to Ireland with Jeff. Unfortunately, he'll be in the form of a small amount of ashes in the locket around my neck, but I will try to the things we were going to do.
Anyhow, I am trying to not be too 'poor me' this week. But, fuck, I feel 'poor me'. I can't wait until it's over. I may have to have a drink to celebrate it's end....maybe two.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

growing up all over again

Do you remember when you were a teenager and how you'd imagine what you wanted to 'be'? How you strived to find your identity apart from your parent's? How you felt panic thinking about the future and all it held?
I am reliving those experiences. I suddenly, have to try to decide what I want to be. How I can support our family alone. Who I am without Jeff. Terror at the coming years alone with two little kids.
What if can't do it?
I don't see how I can go back to school to finish a degree. Not only can I not afford it, my brain is mush and I can hardly remember my name much of the time.
I am afraid to strike out. To step forward. I am afraid of failing and taking these two little kids along with me. Of affecting their lives and messing things up more than they already are.
I miss having Jeff help me make decisions. I have gotten out of the habit of thinking by 'myself'. Now, striking out alone is....well, scary.
I have been thinking about developing my photography skills. Maybe taking a class or two. Or maybe I should work on my portfolio and send it in to various publishers for illustrations. I just don't know...
Being a 'teenager' again sucks. I feel for my kids in ten years. Decisions are hard...especially when you have to make them alone. The only good thing about being an adolescent as an adult is that I don't have to worry about my LARGE, stiff, hairspray-laden hairdo adorned with ringlets and the hair tiara....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

happy birthday to me

I'm 33 today. It's ridiculous but since I was a kid I have said that I thought I would die when I was 32 . I kind of did.

Monday, August 25, 2008

five months

It's been five months since you left us. I miss you as much as I did that first day... more than that first day. I have so many questions. So many things that I want to share with you. Things have changed so much and not at all. I wish/hope you could see the kids. They're growing so much.
I have to keep reminding myself to not look at what has happened as unfortunate in their lives (which it is of course) but as something that will and is making them who they are supposed to be. That is true for me as well....but I need to feel sorry for us now and then.
I try to tell myself that you were done whatever you were sent here to do, and although, we weren't finished loving you and being with you, we had to let you go. It wasn't our choice. Liv asks what you were sent here to do. I tell her that you were sent to bring smiles and laughter to so many people. You were sent to bring amazing children into the world. You were sent to be a fabulous daddy and a good man. You were sent to love us as we were sent to love you....your 'visit' was just too bloody short, in my opinion.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

why? why not?

My sister, Kirsten, was lending an ear the other day when I was having a hard time. I was upset about the whole lack of hope and happiness thing. I didn't know why I should try anymore...with anything. So I said to her, "Why? Why bother?"
She said, "I guess it comes down to 'Why not?' We're here anyhow. Why not make the best of it?"
The next day, I was driving past the cemetary that handled Jeff's remains. Instead of it's usual messages of "Get your burial plot before the new rate increase" or "Preplan your funeral arrangements. Your family will thank you." It said this:

I know it's a coincidence...but it tripped me out.

Friday, August 22, 2008

busy, busy...too bloody busy

We've been going 9-0 for the last few weeks. I feel as if my head is spinning the majority of the time. I don't know if it is Summer and trying to fit everything in that is making me crazy or if it is the need to get out of the house and away from....the feelings at home, but life is too busy. The kids are exhausted....
But we have managed to fit in visits with cousins....
And trips to my dad's farm.
We've spent time with both of my siblings....(the picture above with my brother and Liv - not the horses)
And checked out some of the equine inhabitants at Dad's....again the picture above...

A couple of family get-togethers...(although most of these pictures were taken on the same day...oops.)
And cuddles with family.
We've gotten to hang with Grandpa a few times.
And check out Dad's machinery as he finishes haying for the year (big hit with the littlest ones).
Lots of farmer's markets and produce from B&P's farms...
And eating fresh from the fields (That's a cucumber).
I am tuckered out and ready for the big "F' word - Fall. I am looking forward to nights that are dark just after dinner and cuddling with the little ones near the woodstove. I am sure that this year will be so very different than years gone by....and so very much more sad. But I want to calm down. I want a break from the whirlwind. I want to rest now.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

silly junk

I apologize in advance for the seemingly vacuous frivolity of this post.

The picture you see up there, is the profile picture that I changed to on Facebook. Yes, I'm on facebook. I thought it was fabulous initially to be able to find everyone you have ever crossed paths with to see what they're doing, I now think it's ....well, vacuous and frivolous (isn't everything now?). But since two days after Jeff died, my profile picture on Facebook has been a photo of the two of us taken the day before he died. Everytime I see the picture I feel sick. I want to scream at myself to get him to the hospital. I search his face for signs of illness (which now I think I can see...). It's a reminder of how long/short the amount of time it has been since he died. It's a reminder of how much I miss my sweet husband. So tonight, I changed it. In someways, it's a relief to not have to look at the picture that reminds me of the worst day/moments of my life. But in other ways, I feel like I'm betraying him by removing it. I'm again trying to hide from the pain of losing Jeffrey.
It isn't just Facebook. I can't look at certain things that remain in the house since he's gone. I can't remove them. I can't even MOVE them. I can't look/touch/smell them either for fear of a breakdown.
The strangest part is that now, this week, it's as if, my heart suddenly knows he's gone. He's not coming home. I have the rest of my days to live out without him. No big cozy hugs in the middle of the night. No obscenely loud laughter from the basement. No ship-to-shore phonecalls. No 'I love you the whole pie'. No teasing and giggling. No working side by side to get work around the house done. No strong daddy to fling squealing little ones into the air. He's not coming back.
I guess that's called acceptance. I have to accept it. But I don't want to look at it. I don't want to immerse myself in it. I want to shy away. Will that ever stop? The recoiling in terror at the emotions that surge forward when I really see one of his possessions, smell his scent wafting past the closet, hear the songs he used to sing to me?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

my not-so-crappy list

Everyday, I try to do something that brings me and the kids joy. I don't feel the need to 'tell' anyone that I am not mainly negative lately....but I thought it may do ME some good to take a little inventory of the little things that make me smile lately... There are two little faces that shine at me every morning and all through the day that offer me the possibility of hope. Their presence is comforting and amusing and I feel so very, very blessed to them with me. They make me laugh often.
I am finding that photography has been a huge help in forcing me to find beauty around us. I am always on the hunt for colour, texture and sweet little faces. It makes me see the 'good' around me rather than miring myself in grief.

I love to hula hoop. It sounds ridiculous but I bought myself an adult sized hula hoop and haven't looked back since. Liv and I do it together. She can hula with four hoops, run while hooping and do it up her neck and down to her knees! I can do two at a time and can only walk like I am simultaneously hooping and having a seizure but I do enjoy it. Often, when the kids go to bed, I talk on the phone or watch a movie while hula hooping. It makes me laugh and have exercise at the same time. I love my list. I have a white board with all the tasks that I forget on it. It gives me IMMENSE satisfaction to wipe a line off.
I love getting the needed tasks around the house finished...especially when it is something that has needed fixing for awhile and involves power tools. It just seems to much more ....satisfying if I get to use something that could remove a body part and yet come out unscathed. I feel like I can take on anything and survive.
Chopping wood gives me the same sort of much so that I needed to put it in again. I feel capable swinging an axe and ensuring that we'll be warm this winter. Preparing. Protecting.
I was asked the other day, though, how much wood we go through in a winter. I didn't know. Jeff knew. I would chop and stack with him. But he'd get the wood. He knew how much we went through. I guess I'll have to learn.
I LOVE berries. I love picking them and eating them and cooking with them and freezing them. I have begun my late summer hoard of the little balls of deliciousness.
I really enjoy getting mail. Unfortunately, most of the mail I get lately is either bills or involves the copious amounts of paperwork involving Jeff's death and the closure of his business...But I love 'happy mail' when it comes.
I also really love getting the comments on the blog. It is comforting to know that their are some people out there who listen to me. Who may not know me but will be a shoulder and hear me. Thank you. Your words of encouragement are heard and treasured.
I love our chickens. I find it comforting and cathartic to watch the birds wander around and peck or investigate their surroundings. Their lives must be so relaxing...other than worrying about Freckles, they just hang out and eat.
I have not mentioned all the poultry happenings as of late as I have been nervous about introducing anyone only to have them be a doggy treat. BUT I think I have it down to a science now. Anyhow, we have two of the original chicks (Lucy and a spazzy rooster - the rooster will be headed to Penny's soon. He doesn't make any noise but he really has a healthy.....sexual appetite and poor Lucy is not happy with his constant affections). We have two smallish pullets that Liv caught at Penny's and two turkeys, Pilgrim and Noel. We, also, *big gulp* have an incubator full of duck eggs again. Before you call PETA, please know that I have moved the incubator into the garage, far from Freckles waiting jaws. I am at a loss as to why I didn't think of it earlier.
My veggie garden brings me joy as well. Although it isn't nearly the garden it has been in previous years, it is still providing some food for our table and a feeling of satisfaction for me. I wish I had been more interested in it earlier this year as I now feel capable enough to care for it...but there is always next year.
Anyhow, I find small pockets of pleasure in these little things. To me, at times, it is a miracle that I can find joy. But other times, when I see those giggling faces or feel sticky little fingers wound around mine, I can't imagine not seeing it.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

too negative

I hear I'm too negative. That I only 'talk' about crappy shit lately. It doesn't matter that I am lost from losing my beloved husband. That I am grossly sad over my sweet grandfather's illness. That I am afraid of what things will be like after having to put my best doggy buddy, Eli, down. That I have so many regrets when dealing with my darling friend's devastating illness.
No one wants to hear about it. I must put on my grotesque happy-face mask and talk about the oh-so-fucking-cute chipmunk that I got extremely close photos of today.

What amazes me, however, is the complete lack of empathy for this situation and the disregard for the positive steps that I have taken.

I am trying to keep us busy with things that we find enjoyable. I am thinking about joining the local photography group. I am taking the kids to fairs and out to the park. I am eating. I can laugh. I try to see happiness and positivity....the problem is that you have to come around to see it. You have to phone us or be involved in our lives. The short snippets you get from the blog or from phonecalls after I've just been informed of yet another 'kick in the chops' don't cut it.

I am TRYING. I get out of bed. I make breakfast. I play with my kids. Yes, sometimes, I cry...or yell. But I try. Please don't look away in distaste or berate me for feeling how I feel. TRY to understand that I have been through, what I think is, a lot and am trying to get through more. Don't tell me that many people have hard lives. That other people have to deal with 'their lot'. It does not help. It hurts. I feel you're comparing me. I am not them. I am me. And I am trying....Please, just tell me that you're proud of me. That you think I'm doing okay. That you love me. That you'll be here if I need you. Even if you're lying. I need to know that I am not alone without Jeff, my biggest supporter.....because that is how I feel. Totally alone.

the fair and dinner at a friend's

We went to the local agricultural fair yesterday. It was good to stay busy and distracted.
The kids had so much fun and I really enjoyed looking at all the poultry...I think I'm getting a bit obsessed.
I haven't mentioned that we have our last set of Pekin duck eggs in the incubator....I am afraid I'll jinx them. But I think I have Fuckles outsmarted this time. We'll see.
The theme of this year's fair was something to the effect of 'Where Old and New Rendezvous'.
So there were so many tools and gadgets from times past. The kids found many of them interesting.
I fell in love with a sheep. Seriously, if this guy was looking for a home, I would have taken him. He was a border cheviot with the SWEETEST disposition. He loved to be pet. I loev sheep.
Briar loved the piglets. I was concerned, however, when he expressed his delight while they nibbled his fingers. The piggies are cute but I don't want to lose my son's cute little fingers to them.
Liv's standard fair activity was still a huge hit. She loves to milk the pseudo cow. Last year, it was made of wood and I was horrified when she 'tasted' the gross milk-like substance being expelled from the faux teats. This year, they've 'upgraded' to a massive plastiv cow equipped with a motion sensor that sets off an exagerrated 'mooooooooooo' as the kids attempt to milk it. Call me a purist, but I preferred the wood one....Better yet, a real one! Still, Liv loved it.
I was shocked when we saw this. I have never seen one of these. I can't really explain why, but it seemed so out of place to me. An agricultural fair with a mobile automatic teller machine....
There were so many kid-friendly activities,
cool, quiet things to check out,
And a few to chuckle at.
Briar loved the pedal tractors.
Liv loved the carnival rides.
I just loved to watch them smile.
We followed our full-day out with a fabulous dinner at Krista's. I LOVE the atmosphere, smells and conversation we are privy to at their house. The kids run off and play. Krista, Todd and I talk and hang out...and eat. I find myself feeling so creative and calm. I end up taking SO many pictures....Is it the light? The colours? I don't know, but I love the essence in the capturing the feelings in their home.
All in all, a better day than my recent ones....