jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-09-20 09:55 am
Entry tags:

too much drama

Aaarrrghh...I am getting too old for this.

I'm so verklempt it's almost too hard to write this post.

As you know my daughter, her husband and their two little kids ages 7 and 4 moved in with us. We did it because she was having issues at their previous rented house and she didn't want the kids to attend the school in that area anymore. There was no problem with the school per se but it was too far away and a terrible neighbour of hers works there so she was worried that this person might behave in a negative way towards her children.

We wanted them to be able to save up the down payment for a house of their own and that's why we changed everything in our lives so we could accommodate them here.

I don't want this to be a long story and I know that there must always be a period of adjustment in which all parties must strive to make everything run smoothly, but Holy Hannah, did the last two or three weeks have to be so hard?

I am not getting any younger! There's only so much drama and stress I can take!

My daughter is never satisfied. This stems from her chronic depression I know, which she is managing fairly well now, but I remember when she was about eleven I noticed that she just didn't seem happy and tried to explain to her that nothing in life was ever going to be perfect and she would have to try to find the things that did make her feel somewhat good and try to always keep those things with her or around her and try to avoid the things that sent her into a downward spiral.

So the first day at the new school here went well for the 7-year-old boy, but was a disaster for the 4-year-old girl entering junior kindergarten. She threw a tantrum and bit the vice principal when they tried to restrain her. But she is not a biter! That was the first time she ever did that! We were shocked and horrified when we heard about it.

So long story short, my daughter fell out with the JK teacher, had words with her and demanded a transfer to another class. But when she found out all four JK classes were full at 30 kids each, she demanded a transfer to another school! But guess what? All three other schools in the area were also full!

The teacher had suggested to Olivia (my daughter) that there might be something wrong with Jessica - she dared to suggest that she might be "on the spectrum" - and that's a touchy subject with Olivia since Sean was diagnosed with mild autism ten years ago and was transferred into a Special Ed class. Sean seems so normal these days that we are beginning to wonder if there has been too much of a rush to judgement in naming certain kids to be "on the spectrum" over the past several years. It seems to have become somewhat of a trend now. Either that or perhaps certain kids can just grow out of their autism. Sean is going to be 15 soon and he is just like any other boy his age.

So Olivia kept Jessica home for the rest of the week and then asked me to take her to school beginning the week after that, while she took her son to his Grade 2 class.

*sigh*

Of course I caved, being me and wanting to keep the peace, so I took Jessica to her JK class, soothed her while she cried and said she didn't want to go (she wasn't the only one - there were two other little boys who were screaming their lungs out with resistance), apologized to the teacher for what my daughter had said to her, and everything actually worked out OK! One thing - I would never want to be a JK teacher - they are most certainly not paid enough for the work they do and the shit they have to put up with (sometimes literally) every working day.

Besides the teacher there are two ECE's and one teacher's assistant but it doesn't seem enough for a class of 30 little kids!

But this week so far, Jessica has been eager to go to school every day, has made friends and is enjoying everything about it there. We were speaking to the principal and he told us that this class and this teacher were the best ones in the school and very strong advocates for the kids themselves. Good to know.

One problem solved, but there are others. However, I don't want to write about them right now because I'm exhausted! It's hard to find time to do much of anything else and to top it off it's been unseasonably warm here and it's uncomfortable being sweaty ALL the time!

I want to write more, there are stories I still need to finish, etc., etc. but I find I have so much less "me" time than ever before. Am I being selfish? But I do want to do everything I can to help out my kids, without making them become too dependent on me at the same time.
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-08-30 05:33 pm
Entry tags:

my second post in one day? miracles never cease!

I saw this meme at silver_trails and couldn't resist doing it too.

CAN YOU FILL THIS OUT WITHOUT FIBBING?
1. What was the last thing you put in your mouth? Unfortunately a chocolate ice cream sundae from Dairy Queen.
2. Where was your profile picture taken? I assume it's the Facebook profile picture you mean. It was taken on a hike somewhere, probably Heydenshore in Whitby.
3. Worst pain you've ever experienced? Root canal on a lower right tooth some 25 years ago. I still shudder from memories of the pain.
4. Who was the last person to make you laugh? My husband, Dolorous Edd.
5. How late did you stay up last night? 11 pm or thereabouts.
6. If you could move somewhere else, where would it be? Portugal. I can't choose between Lisbon or Lagos. One is the big city, the other is near the ocean. I can't decide.
7. Ever been kissed under fireworks? Not that I remember. Maybe.
8. Which of your Facebook friends lives closest to you? A woman I used to work with, Tanya.
9. How do you feel about turkey burgers? I like them but not as much as hamburgers.
10. When was the last time you cried? Last Sunday when I found out that a friend's sister passed away unexpectedly in her sleep. She was only in her late 40's! Far too young!
11. Who took your profile photo? My husband, Dolorous Edd.
12. Who was the last person you took a picture with? I think my son Jamie but I'm not entirely sure.
13. What's your favorite season? Autumn.
14. If you could have any career. Either a teacher or a doctor, or maybe both.
15. Do you think relationships are ever worth it? I suppose so, if you mean romantic relationships. Other relationships, yes, of course.
16. If you could talk to ANYONE right now who would it be? My mother and father, who are dead.
17. Are you a good influence? Hope so. ;)
18. Does pineapple belong on pizza? Oh yes! I love it!
19. You have the remote, what channel are you watching? TSN. The US Open is on. It's my favourite tennis tournament of the season! I've been watching it since the 1970's!
20. Who do you think will fill this out? No clue…
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-08-30 04:37 pm
Entry tags:

turmoil and upheaval

Alas, I have had to be away for some time AGAIN this month! But we are in the middle of making a huge lifestyle change that may turn out to be for the best...then again it could tank worse than the Titanic!

My daughter, husband and two little ones are moving in with us! School is about to begin and her youngest (Jessica or Jess), 4 years old, will be starting Junior Kindergarten the day after Labour Day. Her 7-year-old son (Joseph or Joe) will be going into Grade 2. But Olivia (my daughter) didn't want to have them go back to the school where they are living now--there are some problems with her next-door neighbour who volunteers at the school as a lunch room supervisor that Olivia can't tolerate anymore.

This neighbour is a religious nut bar who has done the following things, all of which have made her scarier than Pennywise, the evil clown from Stephen King's "It":

1) She leaves religious tracts taped to Olivia's front door for her to read although she isn't interested.

2) When this woman was looking after Jessica she wouldn't let her use the bathroom but made her pee outside on the back lawn.

3) She made the kids change into their bathing suits in the hallway in full view of anyone who happened to be there because they weren't allowed to use the bathroom.

4) She accused another neighbour's boy of trying to strangle her son with a yo-yo in the lunch room last year at school. (Nothing came of it so I doubt it was the way this koo-koo neighbour insisted. The accused boy's mother was well freaked out over it.)

5) She calls the police to complain about any little thing her neighbours do that she objects to - for instance, people were parking in the gas station across the street which was against a bylaw so she called the police out to have the cars towed away.

6) Apparently she spends all day long spying on everyone and has even video recorded some of her neighbours.

Olivia cannot take it anymore and didn't want both her kids going to the school where she thought the neighbour might take her resentment out on them because Olivia told her off and stopped speaking to her after the peeing incident.

I told her that they could move here until they could save up enough money for a down payment on their own home. They are sick of renting anyway and are of the age now that they should settle down in their own place. We will charge them minimal rent and allow Olivia to use one of our cars.

We've been spending the past couple of weeks getting rid of extra stuff (I had no idea how bad it was--we've been here 15 years now and the amount of things we've collected is insane!) If it weren't for the large basement we have with lots of room for storage we'd be like the people on "Hoarders", no kidding.

Their rooms are almost ready! They will use the 3 upstairs bedrooms except for the master bedroom that Edd and I share and Sean has moved down to the rec room which we set up like a basement apartment for him. He feels very grown up now!

I spent the first half of today painting the room that Olivia and her husband (Greg) will share. It needs a second coat which I think I'll leave for tomorrow morning. I'm too tired to resume painting now and do the cleanup afterwards.

Of course I am way behind (as usual) on everything around here--posting, reading, writing, etc., etc.

Hey! At least I finished my Slashy Santa story in time and did a couple of betas for it too.

Hope everyone is doing great--I will catch up on your posts but it might take me awhile. They'll be moving in this coming weekend and after that things should settle down again. I hope. XD
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-08-14 02:35 pm
Entry tags:

alive and kickin' it

Yeah!!! Finished my Slashy Santa story and posted it. Had to change a lot of things. figured out what was making it seem flat, rewrote some bits and posted the sucker.

And not before I finished the beta I was doing on another story and sent it back to the writer. Depending on how she feels about the suggestions I made, I may not have anymore work to do on this exchange!

Feels good, I tell ya.

And I signed on for another challenge which is due SOON, so gotta start it. It's for the Silmarillion 40, to celebrate 40 years since The Silmarillion was published. I have more than a month to write a story based on a prompt that I chose from a list, so I should be able to get this done without stressing too much.

I'm also behind on 3 SWG challenges that I really, really wanted to do. One I've almost finished though.

In real life, what else happens but family drama? I must be getting used to it because the latest round didn't faze me anymore.

The thing that bothered me the most was Sean losing his glasses in the lake up at the cottage. It's his other grandmother's place in Coboconk, Ontario (yes, pronounced just like it's spelled-LOL), on the shores of Balsam Lake in the Kawarthas (that's a holiday region where there are a lot of cottages and resorts. It's very pretty.)

At least the poor kid had a spare pair of glasses at home (which his great-grandmother ran up to him amid much drama and I felt was unfair that it had to fall to her to do it-she's 80 ffs and didn't need the stress) and although they're older ones they still fit him and he can see out of them.

When school starts in 3 more weeks I'm going to apply for some of the school insurance which is really cheap (about $6.00 per year if I remember correctly but it's been a few years since I've purchased it). That will cover him for a new pair because our family insurance plan only covers new glasses every four years and he'll have to wait until January 2019 before I can get him some from that plan.

What else? My daughter is having issues. She suffers from clinical depression and it's hit her again hard because of a recent road rage incident that happened to her. I think she might move back here for awhile to calm down and bring little Jessica with her. Jess has to start kindergarten in September too, but she can go to the school Sean used to down the street from here.

Haven't heard from my son Jamie for awhile but I think that's because he owes both his dad and myself money! LOL. Whatevs.

OK gotta go. As you see, I didn't write anything exciting but that's because I'm all burned out from writing exciting fic! (LOL - no, just kidding - sort of.)

Don't bust my ladyballs. I just wanted to get back on here and write something!
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-08-13 08:48 am
Entry tags:

I'm still alive!

I'm back. Just finished my Slashy Santa story although it needs another read-through before I post it. I'm not that happy with it - it seemed a little flat when I read it last night - but it's done and that's the main thing. It was extremely difficult to write, partly because I have a bad writer's block right now, also the subject matter was a little cringe-y for me.

I have to catch up on EVERYTHING but mostly reading! I must find out what everyone has been up to in my absence.

Cheers for now. I'll be back. :)
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-07-08 01:29 pm
Entry tags:

meme

I saw this meme at Zimena's journal.

~~~~~~~


Are you named after someone? the "Jennifer" part of my name is unique in my family, but my middle name was both my mother's and maternal grandmother's. (Alice.)

When was the last time you cried? I don't even remember.

Do you like your handwriting? If I take the time to write neatly, then maybe I like it a little bit. I rarely write like that, though, because it's just too time-consuming.

What is your favorite lunch meat? Probably chicken? Or sausage? It's not like I eat meat for lunch all that much, though.

Do you have kids? Yes. Two. One girl, one boy.

If you were another person, would you be friends with you? I hope so.

Do you use sarcasm? Sometimes.

Do you still have your tonsils? Nope, had them removed when I was 2.

Would you bungee jump? Not by choice but I would if it was to save my life or someone else's.

What is your favorite kind of cereal? I eat cereal every day for breakfast, but never the sugary kind. Puffed rice or granola are my top picks for cold, and oatmeal is my favourite hot cereal.

Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Nope. I find the way to tie them so that they stay nicely on my foot, yet also come off easily.

Do you think you’re a strong person? I've been told various times that I am, but I don't think so myself.

What is your favorite ice cream? Chocolate or pistachio, as well as any other brown-coloured ice cream, i.e. butterscotch, maple walnut, pralines & cream, chocolate chip cookie dough, etc.

What is the first thing you notice about people? Their hair. Then their faces.

What color pants and shoes are you wearing now? Black capri pants and red sandals.

What are you listening to right now? Wimbledon tennis. Sascha Zverev (whom I dislike intensely) just defeated Offner, another Austrian player.

If you were a crayon, what color would you be? This choice would probably change every day. I LOVE crayons and the names of all the colours. Today I feel yellow ochre would be my favourite.

Favorite smell? Fresh strawberries. Nothing is more evocative of summer.

Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? My son Jamie.

Favorite sport to watch? Ah. I am a huge sports fan, so it depends what's on and when. I'd have to say football (soccer) is my favourite to watch but I do enjoy many others. Right now it's Wimbledon tennis.

Hair colour? My natural colour used to be light, mousy brown but is now white and grey. When I dyed it it was blonde and I still have a bit of that but have let it go for a few months.

Eye colour? Dark brown.

Do you wear contacts? I used to when I was in my late teens or early 20s. Nowadays I wear glasses. I guess I got tired of fumbling with the contacts every day.

Scary movies or comedy? Scary!!!

Last movie you watched? It was a silly horror movie called "The Windmill" which wasn't actually as bad as some I've seen lately.

What colour shirt are you wearing? Reddish-brown tie-dye.

Summer or winter? I have to say summer even though I hate the heat. But winters are so gloomy. My favourite seasons are actually autumn, then spring.

Hugs or kisses? Both.

What book are you currently reading? Various, but I'm lazy & not making much progress with anything. In front of me are Unfinished Tales by JRR Tolkien, The Perils of the Night by James Runcie (a Sidney Chambers mystery), Northern Soul (a fan's story of Wigan Athletic), American Gods (I feel I'm never going to finish this) and others I haven't opened in quite awhile on my Kindle.

What is on your mouse pad? A map of Westeros from Game of Thrones.

What is the last TV program you watched? "Bordertown", a Finnish crime noir that takes place on the border Finland shares with Russia. The primary character is a forensic psychologist, or profiler. It's very good. I believe it was called "Sorjonen" in Finland, which is the name of the profiler.

What is the best sound? The singing of the birds outside my window in the morning. Also just before the sun goes down at night. I love the sound of mourning doves the best.

Rolling Stones or The Beatles? The Beatles, although I like both groups.

What is the furthest you have ever traveled? Berlin, Germany.

Do you have a special talent? I don't know. I used to be told I was talented at various things in school but at the moment I can't believe I'm talented than anyone else at anything, really.

Where were you born? Vancouver, B.C. in Canada.
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-06-28 08:48 am
Entry tags:

disorganization is killing me

When I retired on June 30th last year (almost a whole year now!) I knew that it might be tough adjusting to a new lifestyle. After all, I had continued working after having my two children and that was back in the day when working mothers were given only three months' paid maternity leave and fathers none! (Now it's a year for both, I believe. Such a huge difference that would have made in my day. But on reflection I think my experience made me a tougher person and able to deal with anything that came my way.)

Anyway, I've discovered that retirement isn't easy! It requires a huge adjustment from living a life of organization to one of a freewheeling mess that I am not used to and don't particularly enjoy!

A year ago I couldn't wait for my last day of work to come. I felt quite impatient waiting for it and slacked off something terrible because I was suddenly sick and tired of our patients and what I perceived as all their whining. Obviously, that was a terrible attitude to have when dealing with sick people but I wouldn't let anyone see it and basically left my co-workers to handle these patients. And when my last day finally came I was ecstatic. One of my co-workers drove me home with all the gifts I received from patients and colleagues alike - I felt quite loved when I saw the stuff that she dumped out all over my front lawn but also relieved that the past 50 years of working were finally over.

My boss asked me what I was going to do first and I told him "Sleep for a week and then get up and figure things out!" I did accomplish the first part, sleeping for a week, waking in the summer mornings with the sunlight streaming through my windows, stretching like a cat before turning over and falling back to sleep again, wearing my pyjamas all day long and not doing a single thing that required any mental or physical effort. It was a week of heaven.

Then my daughter arrived to spend a month with us. She took me shopping for plants and gardening supplies because the first thing I wanted to do was plant a beautiful garden and keep it nice. The best thing about that month was that I got to spend all that quality time with her. We went on a few hikes despite the hideously hot weather last summer and we spent a lot of time sitting on the patio sipping cold drinks while watching the flowers grow. Or else we'd go shopping, for clothes, gardening stuff, pretty things for the house that we didn't need. My boss had given me $5,000 as a parting gift that I just blew.

At the same time my husband and I decided that we were going to pay off the rest of our mortgage from our savings (there wasn't that much mortgage left) since I wouldn't be having anymore employment income. We also had our swimming pool closed and filled in and covered up with new sod to create a beautiful grassy backyard that everyone could enjoy. It had been years since anyone used the pool and it needed a new lining that would have cost as much as the fill-in, plus the extra expense on our monthly hydro bill for running the pool heater.

All that made me think I was on the right track. I began organizing the huge clutter bomb that our basement had become and pulled out a few items that we could put up for our garage sale that we held last July. But we didn't sell very much stuff and after a good start on the basement mess I haven't really made any inroads since. Once in awhile I will get off my ass and go downstairs to tackle it again. But what usually happens is that I'll come across something I want to use again and I'll drag it back upstairs. This happened with a bunch of cookbooks that I hadn't used in years but they gave me the idea that I'd like to start making dishes again from scratch and that became my new hobby for awhile. Now there are piles of cookbooks scattered over the family room and it's a cluttered mess right now. In fact, the whole house is a cluttered mess and needs a good clearout.

I'm sensing a pattern here. I go down to the basement to clear out the clutter, find something that piques my interest (heaven help me if I come across my old scrapbooking stuff), drag it upstairs where it piles up, clear the clutter from upstairs and take it down to the basement again where it piles up. I'm facepalming right now just thinking about it.

What I need to do is what used to be called a good spring cleaning. I want to begin with the kitchen cupboards, take out everything that we haven't used for years, dispose of it in the garbage and retain one or two cupboards for storing the cookbooks that I brought up from the basement. Then I'll move on from there and clear out every room in the house, one at a time, leaving the basement for last. It could take years and it's still in the stage where I'm just thinking about doing it but haven't done anything yet.

What I really hate is this feeing of indecisiveness and ennui (laziness) that has taken me over! I wasn't like this when I was still working!

Real life has gotten in the way too, and has made me sad and a bit anxiety-ridden, which hasn't helped me become more efficient around the house. My husband suffered two cerebral hemorrhages in January, spending a week in hospital to recover, and while he was very, very lucky to not have too much lasting damage in a physical sense, he has definitely experienced cognitive changes that are sometimes quite challenging to deal with. Besides increased anxiety on his part, he forgets things very easily and requires much repetition before sometimes understanding what I'm saying to him. It appears as if he is not listening to anything I'm saying but it's really that he's not comprehending. He will sometimes use the wrong word to describe something, or he is incapable of description altogether. I worry about him driving - once on our way to the library he went to make a left turn into the path of a car coming toward us. It was as if he didn't see the other car at all. That scared the shit out of me. It was only one time but nobody can afford to make one major mistake on the road.

Then our son who had borrowed our 'good' car had a minor accident on the way to work not long ago that left the car with a crumpled front end, two broken headlights and a damaged air conditioner. My husband was so mad at him he made Jamie take his own car back out of our garage where he had stored it and drive it in the winter (which was something he didn't want to do and was why he borrowed our car in the first place). He then bought two new headlights for the car and hammered out the dents in the front so it looks passable and we've been driving it. It just doesn't have air conditioning but we've been lucky so far that it's been such a cool spring that we haven't needed it.

Just now I've heard from my daughter who was supposed to come for the long weekend next Saturday, but last night her car died and she had to have it towed home! She lives about an hour and a half away from us by car. She was at the mall and had to take a bus home. It was the last bus and she didn't get home until 1:00 a.m. She and her husband have an appointment on Friday at a dealership to buy or lease a new car but she can't come over to see us now. Sean hasn't seen her for awhile and is disappointed. She is his real mother although we are his legal guardians as well as his grandparents and he lives with us. A long story best left for another time.

It just seems as if the family drama is all happening right now and I feel jittery and not able to concentrate on anything else. Plus I am heartsick about having to cancel a trip I was planning to take next month to Vermont for a special event. I would have been meeting some online friends that I've had for years and was looking forward to with much pleasant anticipation. I thought it would be possible to go but when I told my husband about it (I purposely kept it from him until very recently because of his tendency to forget things) he freaked out and said he didn't want to be separated from me for even two-three days because if something happened to him (another cerebral hemorrhage or something worse) then nobody would be around to discover his body lying on the floor. He was so full of anxiety that I had to cancel my plans. I'm devastated about it but I understand his feelings as well. He would be alone for those few days. Our son Jamie was going to drive me to Vermont and stay with me of course, and Sean won't be here because he's going to the cottage that week with his other grandma. Olivia probably wouldn't be available to come over because her two little kids would be off school and her husband needs to work. She could bring the kids with her but doesn't want to because my husband (her father) told her that he needs his peace and quiet and doesn't want noisy little kids around. (Believe me, they are very noisy! But I love them.)

Anyway, I feel very bad right now. I've been trying to write some stories that are overdue for challenges I entered but my mind is so scattered that I cannot concentrate. I think I left out some things I wanted to add to this post too, but it's long enough as is so I'll just end it here for now.

Peace out, everybody. Don't feel bad for me, I always want to keep a positive view and I'm sure everything will get better sooner rather than later.
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-06-16 03:15 pm
Entry tags:

trying to emerge from under a cloud of negativity

I have not had a good time at all this past week. The worst thing was finding that quite a few sums of money were being withdrawn from my bank account that were not authorized by me! Horrified to see that my funds had dwindled to just over $100 from $800 I had in the account I use to put through Paypal transactions, and kicking myself for not being diligent enough in financial matters to notice that this had been happening since June 2nd, I had to spend last night checking everything, only to find out that all these withdrawals had originally been made by Sony Playstation!!! That meant only ONE person could be the culprit.

I hauled him into my room to look at my bank account balance and Paypal statement on my laptop screen. I do all of my banking online and use a debit card for everything that isn't Amazon, for which I use a credit card. I had a good talk with him about what he'd done. I was devastated and he knew it. But I would never yell at him or use abusive language or anything...but he could see that I was upset and he turned meek and promised that he would never do it again.

Of course I've cancelled the Playstation account, as well as a couple of others like his Xbox that he doesn't play with anymore, and a Star Wars game that requires a small monthly payment. If he didn't need his cell phone I would get rid of that too because it costs a substantial sum each month and I don't think he gets full use out of it. But he needs it so I and other family members can keep track of him.

And I felt horrible when he woke up at 5:30 this morning (early for him) and told me he had wet the bed. Luckily there was a foam padding mattress cover on it that the pee hadn't soaked through. We hosed it down outside and right now it's drying on top of the spa. He was clearly upset by the accident - it has never happened to him since he was going through toilet training at least 12 years ago. I'm sure this happened because he was upset over the money issue as well as some school problems.

Things have not been going well with him at school at the moment and it's right in the middle of exams! He hates his Special Ed class, hates the teacher and the kids in that class. He hates being segregated from the other kids, his friends among them. Today there was a track and field meet for the Special Ed kids and he didn't want to go. Because of what happened to him this morning and because I am a big, stupid softie, I let him go to school later, at 11:00 a.m. because he loves basketball and they were going to play a game in the regular Gym class that he wanted to attend.

Not only has all the above been bothering me (and there's more besides - we have an ant infestation in the house) to the extent I cannot even think about writing my SWG story, but I am having issues with my husband Ed as well. Ever since his cerebral hemorrhages last January, he has had problems with his cognitive functioning. (I know we are lucky - it could have been much, much worse an outcome.) Yesterday we met with my sister and her husband for lunch and a few days beforehand Eddie asked me "When are we going for lunch with your sister again?" I said Thursday and he replied, "It's supposed to rain and thunderstorm." I asked him if he wanted me to call and postpone it but he said no, he didn't mind driving in the rain. The next day he asked me again. The same question. I repeated "Thursday at noon" and he said "It's supposed to rain, etc." So I had to ask him again if he wanted me to postpone because his answer this time might have been "Yes, we'd better postpone." (!!!)

That's just an example of what he's like now. I find I have to repeat things several times or even many times. He has trouble finding the right word to use sometimes too, or he simply uses the wrong word entirely so what he says doesn't make sense. I know it's difficult for him and I am not complaining but I feel bad for him and I am becoming very stressed over everything! With both him and Sean too! And Jamie! And Olivia whom I had not heard from in ages but just got an email from last night. And I am supposed to be going on a short trip next month but now some of my savings have been depleted!

Honestly, I feel like my life has been turned upside down. Please forgive me if I am not around that much until I can get things sorted out. I think I need to speak with people who can help both of my men. I'll see if the doc I used to work for can recommend a couple of therapists or specialists. I'm sure he can.

And I hate so much to complain about things but I thought I'd better explain. Let me tell you - getting old SUCKS. Big time.
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-06-10 08:07 am
Entry tags:

procrastinating

A rabbit is eating my Asiatic lilies that are growing from bulbs I planted in the ground. I saw the little bastard nibbling in the garden the other evening. I've had to put green netting all over the area where I planted the bulbs...the tops have been bitten off so I am hoping that the plants will still grow. There are only four left but I planted nine. I suppose the rabbit dug out and ate the other five bulbs. *sigh*

The French Open tennis tournament is almost over. It's been eating up a huge amount of my time the pat two weeks. Since I am totally sick of the "top four" (Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer) in my book, even though Rafa and Roger are no longer rated in the top four by the tennis powers that be, they still seem to be the most talked about. Of course I am bitter that my faves are out (Milos Raonic, Juan Martin Del Potro) but I have found two new faves - Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem. Stan is in the final vs Rafa and I'm hoping that he will win. I am not really interested in the women's, doubles or mixed doubles side of it.

I've been trying not to follow the James Comey interrogation on TV but I've been reading about it on some of my apps like Pocket Hits and The New Yorker. I hope the results will be as revealing about Trump as I think they will be despite the twisting of facts and opinions by the Republicans.

Of course I've been spending too much time on Tumblr. Such pretty pictures but what comes to mind is a recent phrase I picked up from somewhere: "Whiny, triggered millenials". So apt. And I'm so sick of them.

Yes, I am procrastinating something terrible. I should be writing! Instead, I have been watching tennis and gardening although I have been doing some more reading about the SWG subject I am working on. I've decided that I don't like the original idea I had for the way I was going to approach the subject matter so I am going to start from scratch. If I like the way the new story is going I think it will make it easier to write.
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-05-29 08:56 am
Entry tags:

catching up/nostalgia hits

I've been thinking lately about a lot of my old friends, the ones that I don't see anymore. I guess this is bound to happen when you get older but I miss them!

Many have been lost to early demise but there are others who have simply disappeared, moved away and/or changed phone numbers and aren't on Facebook or otherwise online so I can't find them!

What made me think of these people was getting a Facebook notification that I might know a certain person and sure enough it was someone from the past who has just opened a Facebook account. I was thrilled and friended him right away. He is the male half of a husband and wife team that we were very friendly with up to about 25 years ago. Sadly, he and his wife are no longer together. They have a daughter the same age as our Olivia, so 33 now. We haven't had much contact with him yet - he posted that he had just bought a new iPad and it was doing strange things such as not letting him post and/or changing some things that he'd written. I guess he isn't used to Auto Correct!

Making contact with him also brought up some old baggage that I feel sad about. It's that I may not have treated some people that I cared about very well in the past. I've always prided myself on being a 'nice person' but maybe that was only in a superficial way. I've always tried to be non-judgmental and sympathetic to other peoples' problems but in other ways I think I've let some of my friends down. Self-reflection has led me to believe that sometimes I have 'used' people and not given them very much in return. By that I don't mean by not paying them for things they've done but by neglecting them once they've done something for me. For that I am truly sorry and I wish it had never happened.

I find that I have an aversion to too much closeness, or what I believe that to be. I've never enjoyed things like long phone calls when there is really nothing to talk about, or visiting other peoples' houses when there is nothing to do. I do remember getting together with two other couples every Saturday night before we all had children. We would play euchre, drink wine, eat good food and watch Saturday Night Live back in the day when John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Dan Ackroyd were on the show, among other greats. We made it a regular thing and I enjoyed it because we had specific things to do, the company was enjoyable and we had a set time to go home (when SNL was over).

Now I find I don't much enjoy going out at all - at least I find I have anxiety over the anticipation of going out. I don't like the traveling to get there - mainly I'm scared of the traffic and the way people drive these days, or maybe it's because I've slowed down. But what usually happens is that once I get there I really enjoy being wherever that is. Like yesterday - I took the commuter train into Toronto to meet my sister and brother, to go visit our parents' grave site at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Then we went for lunch at a really nice restaurant, The Granite Brewery, which serves English-style pub food. I had an almond-crusted sole fillet with basmati rice and a simple green salad, my sister had a delicious looking shrimp linguine and my brother had his usual - a club house sandwich, but at least he tried the home-brewed beer. We talked, laughed a lot, got a little rowdy (luckily the restaurant wasn't very busy) and thoroughly enjoyed each others' company. It took me right back to our childhoods because we all got along extremely well. Now we're all so busy with our immediate families and hardly see each other anymore although we do keep in touch online or via phone calls.

All in all yesterday was a very enjoyable day although I didn't particularly enjoy the trip down on the train full of Blue Jays fans (it was too crowded and noisy for me) but I made sure to go home before the baseball crowd got out so the trip back was much better. And at least it didn't rain yesterday, the first day in awhile!
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-05-23 09:20 am
Entry tags:

random RL stuff

I don't post much. This is because my days are usually overwhelming and when I even think about posting something I know it will take hours just to figure out where to begin. But recently I've had internet issues that prevented me from doing anything online the past few days. (Thank YOU, Windows 10 update!!!) While I could have used the extra time to catch up on writing the things I should, instead I read and watched a lot of TV and movies.

The best TV show I watched was Season Four of Line of Duty. The DVD just came out in Region 2 format. Since I have an all-region DVD player I bought one and have just finished it. You know those TV shows that come along once in awhile and make you think "this is the best show ever"? Well, currently that's Line of Duty. In the past I've felt that way about "Breaking Bad" and before it, "24".

As for movies, I have to say PBS' 2-hour one the other night, "Dark Angel" was rather shattering. It stars Joanne Froggatt of Downton Abbey fame as Mary Ann Cotton, a Victorian-era serial killer (she was a poisoner). Joanne F. was riveting in the part but I didn't sleep well after watching it. It was based on the true story. Here are some details at Radio Times:

http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-05-21/who-was-victorian-serial-killer-mary-ann-cotton-the-true-story-behind-new-drama-dark-angel

In real life stuff, Sean is sick with a sore throat and not back at school today. He actually can't talk, making it too quiet around here. The house needs a good cleaning but I can't get motivated yet.

I've also left it late to begin writing my story for the new SWG challenge (although I've decided to base it around the story of Beleg and Turin Turambar). I still need to do some research, come up with a title, block out some ideas and write the sucker! I'm also 3 challenges behind on Reuben's Weekly Challenge and I still need to write 2 more RPS stories for people.

What else? Tragedies lately! The Manchester thing is horrendous. Also the death of motocross racer Nicky Hayden, not from a competition but from a random accident in Italy when he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle. I'm shattered by both events and my condolences go out to everyone affected by them.

Today we have to do the grocery shopping and take our borrowed DVD's back to the library. Mine were all British mystery or crime series and Eddie's were pretty much all war movies. That reflects on what we're both into right now.

Cheers. I hope to catch up with all of you soon!
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-04-26 02:09 pm

a couple of memes

These seem to be making the rounds:

First, a musical meme:

Musical I hate: Carrie (I haven't seen it but it just sounds horrible)
Musical that's overrated: A Chorus Line
Musical that's underrated: Thoroughly Modern Millie
Musical I love: South Pacific
Musical I cherish: Funny Girl
Musical that changed my life: On A Clear Day You Can See Forever
First musical I was in: I wasn't IN any musicals! My son Jamie was in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in school. Does that count?
First professional musical I saw : Man of La Mancha

Read more... )
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-04-25 08:17 am
Entry tags:

photo test

This is my second attempt to post photos:

These are random. I just wanted to see if my attempt would work. Pics are below the cut:

Read more... )
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-04-24 12:17 pm

april 24, 2017 gardening post

I'm trying to figure out how to post photos. I tried doing the e-mail thing but nothing happened.

Will open an Instagram account and see if that works. *sigh* I've exhausted myself so might go and have a nap now before I try again.

Here is the post I wanted to make (with photos if I could manage it):

One of my hobbies is gardening but in recent years I've had to scale down my attempts to putter in the garden because work was getting to me to the point I'd arrive home exhausted and want to do nothing else but sleep. I was able to cut my job's hours down and started working a different, later shift in attempt to alleviate this but that just created more problems. When I retired at the end of June last year and my daughter Olivia came to stay with us for a few weeks the most enjoyable time we spent together was in scouring the nurseries for flowering plants and herbs, which she helped me to plant in both the front and back garden beds.

One thing I discovered last summer was that I like bulbs and tuberous plants better than any other kind! Shopping taught me how expensive plants have become, so to buy the kind that flower profusely and then can be dug up, stored over winter and then planted again come spring seemed the best option for me. I fell in love with dahlias, calla lilies and caladiums, to name a few. I've grown tuberous begonias in the past and intend to get some of these this summer. From a company called Breck's Bulbs, I've ordered about 50 or so lily bulbs which should be arriving in later spring for me to plant when the chance of frost during the night has passed. I did order daffodils, bluebell and snowdrop bulbs from them last fall and they turned out very well. The bluebell leaves are up but they haven't flowered yet. When they do I'll have to take some photos and post them.

Yesterday I took my five sets of dahlia tubers out of storage (one of them was already spouting stems!) and planted them in pots so they can get a head start growing before I plant them in the garden in a few weeks' time. However, I left the pots outside, forgetting to bring them in last night so I hope they survived! I will be extremely upset if they don't! I think last night's temperature dropped to about 4 degrees Celsius (what's that - about 40 degrees F?) so there was no frost at least.
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-03-07 07:01 pm

not going to be around for a little while

Everything is OK!

But I just wanted to post that I won't be around much on DW because I am involved in the B2MEM community (that's short for Back to Middle-Earth Month) which runs the whole month of March. I am doing some tagging work for the community as well as writing, writing, writing! I felt inspired to complete an actual challenge! Yay me!

Therefore I will not be posting anything here until at least the beginning of April (not that I was doing much anyway) but I promise I will participate a lot more once I am back!

I hope everything is going great for everyone. I will try to look at your entries over the next few days when I take some breaks. :)
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-02-25 10:04 am
Entry tags:

a meme

This one is from Tumblr, from Alexa. The idea is to answer every question with a word or name beginning with the first letter of your own first name. It was dead easy to do this with 'J'. I think you are supposed to tag people but I invite everyone on my flist to do this.

name: jenni
a four letter word: jamb (I'm sure I was thinking about jam)
a boy’s name: john
an occupation: juggler
something you can wear: jeans
a food: jicama
something you find in a bathroom: junk (take that any you want, folks)
something you shout: jeepers!
a movie title: Jungle Book, The
something you drink: julep
an animal: jackal
a type of car: Jeep
title of a song: Just The Way You Are

I am also going to post this on Livejournal. I haven't figured out how to cross-post yet.
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-02-24 09:29 am
Entry tags:

meme (one of a bunch I have to do)

I got this from heartofoshun

Two names you go by:

1. Jenni

2. Grandma

Two parts of your heritage:

1. English

2. Dutch

Read more... )
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-01-22 08:38 am
Entry tags:

writing and the strangeness of it all

I've always doubted myself as a writer but because it's something I love to do I just keep carrying on with trying to make myself a better one. It's not that I'm prolific - it takes me forever to choose a subject and think of a story, which is why I love to enter challenges because a prompt, especially a very specific one, provides more ideas than I can come up with by myself. Time doesn't allow me to write too often these days but when it does I try to apply myself to my best ability.

For the last Slashy Santa Swap I entered which was September 2016's Sultry in September, I purposely requested to be challenged and was at first dismayed by the truly difficult assignment I received. Details to follow. I killed myself over this one trying to figure out how all the recipient's requests could be accommodated in one fic. I did research, I sweated over which characters I should use, and eventually came up with something I didn't feel very confident about. I was happy that I actually got it done in time (it was completed at the last minute, with a day to spare) but I didn't believe that it would go down very well.

Would you believe that this story got me the most hits and most kudos that I have ever received on any story I've ever written? Life is funny, isn't it? I am always surprised by what people like and what they thumb their noses at! What it taught me is something that other writers have tried to impress upon me before - write for yourself and don't try to please anyone else. In a way I didn't actually write this story for myself but for someone else with very specific requirements - but it was much different and more sensational than anything I had written in the past and in the end I just went with it in a way that made sense to me - and I think this is the secret. If it makes sense to you then it will to others as well. And sensationalism doesn't hurt.

It's based on The Hobbit. The recipient had requested AU, a different period in history, denial of relationship, groveling for forgiveness, battle scars, angst, hurt/comfort, ugly fighting, anxiety, barebacking, praise kink, size kink, daddy kink, wall sex, group sex and in the end, everyone lives.

I managed to include all of these and some other requests and somehow managed to make it work.

The fic is here on AO3:

http://archiveofourown.org/works/8002237

Since September I have not written much of anything else but to be honest I have not had the time or the inclination. My muses fled while I was dealing with other issues. But recently my interest has been piqued by the new Taboo challenge at the Silmarillion Writers Guild. The details are here:

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/challenges/

I love it! Especially the bottom two lines. I want to write as much as I can for this challenge.

Because I had no ideas I thought I'd check out the Random Silmfic Generator and this is what I got on the first try! I usually have to reject many ideas until I get the one I want. This one, happening on the first attempt which is very unusual, seemed to be just the inspirational gift I needed.

Form/Genre: Dystopia
Theme: The Machine
Quotes: "We owe it to each other to tell stories." - Neil Gaiman, 'Locks'.
Popular Character: Amras (I love this! I just LOVE this! Would never have thought of him myself.)

The other prompts didn't work for the combination above but I love these four amazing prompts.

You can access the Random Silmfic Generator here:

http://www.silmarillionwritersguild.org/birthday10/story-generator.php

I'm off to do some research and hopefully come up with some good ideas!

Happy writing to all of you!
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-01-19 12:46 pm
Entry tags:

sometimes I don't know if I'm weird

I really wanted just to make an update post on my husband. He came home from the hospital a week ago because the bleeding in his brain had stopped and he had no terrible lasting effects from it. The first few days were tense because he kept having TIA's that each lasted about 20 minutes throughout the day. These are periods of right-sided numbness and tingling from his shoulder down to his mid-calf and also affected his hand and fingers. He wanted to sit with me for periods during the day because he was very worried. On Saturday he spent all day in bed in an attempt to prevent them from occurring. It worked for the most part although he had one at 5 a.m. on Sunday. I knew that he wasn't taking his new medication properly but I could not convince him how important it was to do so. We made an appointment to see the family doctor who was more convincing than me (after all, I am his wife so why would he listen to me?) for Tuesday and by then he was much improved. Now that he is taking the medication as directed he finds the TIA's have stopped. The most important thing is for him to keep his blood pressure down and between 100-150 (the systolic or upper number) which will presumably help him avoid bursting his blood vessels in future. And he should try to keep calm and not let too many little things bother him. (This IMO is his main problem.)

Okay, enough about him. I don't want to make this a boring post about medical conditions! At least he is feeling better and we can both breathe more easily now.

During the time I was home alone I took time to clean house and declutter. When my son left home he left behind a great number of clothes that I hate to throw away. I did give a lot to charity and actually sold some at a consignment store as well. Jamie was/is a real clotheshorse and has wasted many precious dollars on his outfits. For instance, who in the world needs 50 white t-shirts? I highly suspect that he wore each shirt only once!

To segue, I once worked with a young girl who would buy a new pair of blue jeans every Friday after work to wear to the bars/discos. She would not wear the jeans again after that, but would donate them to charity. I thought she was crazy, but to each his own I guess.

Anyway, I also found about a dozen shirts of Jamie's that I like, in the Henley style and with a basket-weave texture. I decided to keep these for myself along with a few wife-beaters which I like to wear as vests over top of my turtlenecks.

I also find since I retired and am sitting around a lot more, my neck, waist and feet become very uncomfortably cold. I'm sure this will go away when the warm weather arises but for now I am wearing turtleneck sweaters all the time. I cannot tolerate any tops that are too short, i.e. that fall just at the waist or above. I can only tolerate tops that are long in length to cover my waistline. And I find that thermal socks are great for my feet, or else I wear two pairs of socks - the outer socks are those woolly men's work socks. Thermal insoles are also great for my shoes/boots/slippers. I have two pair that are easy to wash and I alternate them.

When I think of how fashion conscious I used to be I laugh! One of my friends dropped by yesterday evening and I think she was shocked to see me in an orange turtleneck with one of Jamie's black Under Armour wife-beaters over top, black sweatpants, no make-up and my hair pulled into a ponytail. That look is totally not me, or at least it wasn't a year ago. I guess it is the new me now!
jenni_blog: (Default)
2017-01-14 11:03 am
Entry tags:

my latest setback

Unfortunately my husband Eddie has suffered another two cerebral hemorrhages and was in hospital for most of last week (Saturday to Thursday). He's really not doing too well at the moment. The hemorrhagic stroke he had in 2014 wasn't as severe as this one. He may also have a brain aneurysm because there is a third area on his last 2 CT scans that show a suspicious area but it's not quite visible enough to see what it is exactly. He needs an MRI now but that can be done as an outpatient.

Anyway, this has set me back again as far as regular posting goes. I hope to be back soon and becoming more involved in the community.