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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!
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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. :)
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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:

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!
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I got this from heartofoshun

Two names you go by:

1. Jenni

2. Grandma

Two parts of your heritage:

1. English

2. Dutch

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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!
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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.
jenni_blog: (scenes-montreal house)
Oh yes, of course, at the beginning of the hottest period of the summer, we decided to close our swimming pool and have it filled in and the backyard resodded. Not really, we had decided to do it a couple of months ago but it took that long until the guys we hired could start work on our place. Ryan, the man in charge, told us he had done 32 pool closings so far this season!!!

They did a wonderful job. I have put before and after photos below the cut. Fact was that since our kids had grown and moved away we weren't using the pool anymore and we deduced that the cost of keeping it open for nobody to use outweighed the expense of having it filled in ($7,000 paid in cash so we got a bit of a discount). We do have a hot tub and lowered the temperature to 87 degrees F so it's quite comfortable to sit in and cool off. The pool would have been nice and for Sean too but we quite like having a lawn now.

Read more... )
jenni_blog: (scenes-blue-green)
It's almost time for me to watch my Woodstock DVD again but I can't wait until August 15th so what better time than now? There's only so much time I can waste watching the GOP convention no matter how fascinating it is to see a political machine self destruct.

One of my favourite performers from Woodstock 1969 was Richie Havens. I cannot express how much I love this singer and the way he expresses the words of a song. This isn't from Woodstock but I do love how he interprets Cat Stevens' 'Peace Train'. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Jul. 15th, 2016 07:14 am
jenni_blog: (scenes-beautiful bridge)
We've started hiking again despite the overly hot weather. But I need to get rid of the fat roll around my middle ASAP and for me this is the best way to do it. These are pics from our local Heydenshore park in Whitby and the trail that runs east into Oshawa. We only did 2 miles for starters and I managed to twist my knee but not too badly.

Photos below the cut:

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jenni_blog: (flower-pink beauty)
I've been gone from here for so long it's ridiculous but let's forget all that for now.

I'M FREE!!!! My retirement from work took place a week ago and true to my word I slept for the first week. Now I'm ready to do all the things I enjoy most, including immersing myself once more into LJ and my fandoms.

It was very busy during June. It wasn't the best time to retire. The stress was almost unbearable.

First was Sean's graduation from his public school. I can't believe that high school is only two months away!

Pictures from his grad and my leaving do are below.

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jenni_blog: (flowers-red lily)
I missed Olivia and the little kids so very much this Christmas. I think that and the weather being so unseasonably warm with no snow has served to take me right out of the Christmas spirit. I also feel bad for not being able to send most of my cards out on time, which means a lot of you will not be receiving them until at least next week. Here are some of the pictures we took this year, with only Jamie, Sean, Eddie and myself (and the two cats) on view. Do they look as lonely as I feel they do? Thanks to some wonderful carol videos posted by the lovely [ profile] heartofoshun I realized that I had taken all my Christmas CDs to work and left them there, so I downloaded two albums from iTunes: Michael Buble's and Boney M's. Boney M's Christmas album is fantastic and was half the price of Buble's. Isn't that the way it usually goes?

So here are a few of the photos we took. Eddie would not let me take his picture and I respected that, so it's just me, Jamie, Sean and the cats for your viewing pleasure.

First up: Sean.

 photo Sean-Xmas2014_zpsae4dd732.jpg

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jenni_blog: (camera)
Thanks to all the problems with LJ lately I am behind on reading all your posts. If you've been able to make any.) I'll be catching up with everyone soon. There are lots of stories and things I want to read. :)

Off to work soon and hope everyone has a good day! :)
jenni_blog: (owls)
Have just finished working two double-shift days because we are on skeleton staff at the office and it fell to me to be there since I was the only one not taking any extra time off during the holidays. To add to all the extra work three bad things happened at the same time. Don't these things all happen in threes?

1. Our heating system broke down (at work, not at home). Our digs run in a north-south direction, with two heating units, one controlling the west side, the other the east. The east side was the one that shut down completely, and is also the one we work in! (The washrooms and storerooms are on the other side--it figures--but at least our butts were warm when we had to use the washroom, which was often because of the cold). On Thursday we almost died from frostbite. Kept having to run to the washroom to run our hands under the hot water to thaw them out as well as numerous trips to the coffee shop downstairs to fill ourselves with as many hot beverages as possible. Then the physiotherapist lent us some heating pads to put on our chairs to warm us when we were sitting down. That felt like heaven although my butt almost got burnt when I turned the heating pad up too high. On Friday the repair man came and put in a new 'ignition board' which fixed the problem.

2. Our telephone system broke down. Anyone calling could not leave messages, because the system kept saying the mailbox was full when it wasn't. We could answer only one call at a time (which actually made it easier in some ways). The phone repair guy got it fixed yesterday afternoon (just like the heating guy) but then the calls just started to pour in like mad and drove us crazy.

3. I broke my 'new' (it was actually used but new to me) laptop which we had bought to replace the desktop that I had broken back in the summer (I think--it could have been spring). Never having done music downloads before in my life, I got Jamie to show me how so I could download some tunes to Sean's new iPod for him. I guess there was a virus attached to one of the songs. I don't know much about these things, to tell the truth. My husband is terribly annoyed with me. Can't say I blame him as I really should have known better.

Anyway, on a more pleasant note, it has snowed here! Finally quite a bit of snow of the long-lasting variety, which is rather nice for a change. I'm supposed to be going to see 'The Hobbit' today with my sister and Olivia, but we are also supposed to be in for a snowstorm, so it remains to be seen if the outing will be cancelled or not. We may have to put it off another week or so.

And I've been immersing myself in watching 'Downton Abbey' which I received as a Christmas gift. From myself. The first two seasons. It's quite wonderful. I'm really enjoying it, so if I don't get to see 'The Hobbit' today I'll continue to watch the TV series. And read. I've got many books to get through. Those I received as gifts last year as well as the three I got this year. :)

I may not be able to spend as much time as usual on the comp. I'm currently using the tiny laptop I got for Christmas two years ago for use when traveling. It's fine except I cannot use it for large downloads or graphics. But I can use it for writing (thank goodness) and I have a fair bit of catching up to do there as well, after my exhaustion wears off. :)

Happy New Year to everyone! I've got to pull another double shift on Monday (New Year's Eve) so I probably won't be around very much until everything gets back to normal.
jenni_blog: (Default)
I've never written about this, and I'll keep it short.

Last Thursday I got a bad scare when I learned that my co-worker of many years had been rushed to hospital with abdominal pains and was awaiting the result of a CT scan. We were on tenterhooks at work, all of us worried as hell. On Firday morning the results came in. They didn't look good. While not knowing exactly what they meant in terms of prognosis, I can tell you that they involved the pancreas, a possible aneurysm and some other stuff that may or may not be important. The past weekend was a long one for us, to celebrate Simcoe Day here in Ontario. We worked only half a day on Friday so I was not able to find out until yesterday when I went back to work how my colleague was feeling. She came in late in the day, and said she felt much better, although she still had some reduced abdo pain and was very tired. She's going to take next week off work. I went home before she could speak to the doctor about her result, and she clearly didn't know anything yet. Today is my day off, so I won't find out until tomorrow what the doctor told her. :(

This is bad enough, but my sister recently had a hip replacement that didn't go too well. She had been suffering from a genetic hip disorder that my mother had, my brother has also, but somehow I escaped. My sister's operation was in the middle of June. During the course of the surgery, while her 'old' hip was being removed, the surgeon managed to fracture the large bone in the same leg - the femur. As a result, she suffered trauma while she was under anesthetic, which resulted in her vomiting in the middle of the surgery but luckily didn't aspirate it, and her blood pressure went sky high. They had to stop the operation halfway through, wire her fractured femur together, try to stablize her blood pressure and some other things, and then continue to replace her hip.

Since then she's had a long recovery time, she cannot bear weight yet on that side of her body, and it's going to be awhile until she can walk again. She's not even an old woman, for crying out loud.

And to make a long story short, I've had very bad luck with friends. Six of my close girlfriends have passed away much too young. The first one was a schoolmate of mine who died in a sky diving accident while in university. She was only 19. The next one died of breast cancer at 25 years of age. After that, another was killed by a truck on her way to work, two had heart attacks and the final one passed away suddenly from an aneurysm.

Seriously, I am glad to be healthy and to have escaped any accident at all so far, but I do not want to lose my sister, my co-worker or any of the friends I have left. Or any of my online friends, who are all very important to me because I really don't have very secure feelings about making new friends in real life.

You know what it really means to be a survivor? It means that you lose everyone that you have loved and it means that you are left alone to carry on.
jenni_blog: (Default)
Besides the usual 'too busy in RL' excuse, sometimes something else will happen to make me go silent for a few days. On Friday I received some bad news about my co-worker of many years. We have been very close and this news came out of the blue.

I'm feeling rather shattered and quite unable to do anything at all of a creative nature. I'm sorry. When I feel able to come back for some fun I will do so with great enthusiasm, I'm sure. But right now I just can't concentrate.

Love you all. Please don't leave me. :(
jenni_blog: (wolf and moon)
Today was terribly hot - that flesh-melting, steaming-blob-on-the-pavement kind of hot in which you can do NOTHING but flop down somewhere and stay there for hours not moving at ALL.

I had to work today. Sean wanted me to bring him home a smoothie and a sandwich from Tim Horton's, but I could NOT walk the half-block to Timmy's in this weather at lunch-time. I got him a smoothie from the coffee shop downstairs so I didn't have to go outside, and thank god Eddie went to the grocery store today and bought a fresh baguette, so I was able to make him a sandwich when I got home.

But seriously, we have an indoor-outdoor thermometer which is right now showing 109 degrees F outside and 76 inside. Even the 76 is a bit too much but at least it's not 109! The inside-the-car thermometer was showing 36 C on the way home, which I suppose is the equivalent of near 100 F.

Some of my plants are dying. Everyone's lawn has gone from lush green to dusty brown in the matter of a week. We killed two weird-looking bugs inside the clinic today. That's not good.

But in talking to Olivia on Skype, I discovered that in Lloydminster, Alberta it never gets above 23 C during the day and drops to 5 C at night - perfect sleeping weather. And it stays light outside until almost midnight. And they get the Northern Lights! If anyone doesn't know what the Northern Lights are, here:


The picture was taken near Edmonton, Alberta, which is near where Olivia is living as well.

So I am good for nothing the rest of the day. I am going to watch some movies, try to eat something although I'm not even hungry, and then go to bed.

Btw, last night I watched an absolute stunner of a movie. It was just excellent, and not the type of thing I usually like (a prison movie) but it was so much more and I thought it was great. It's called 'A Prophet' and here are the details:

And last week I enjoyed another immensely entertaining film called 'Winter in Wartime', about a couple of Dutch kids who rescue a stranded British pilot during WWII. It was not at all depressing, but kept me on the edge of my seat with its amazing suspense. And it was beautifully photographed, as well as starring the incredibly attractive Jamie Campbell Bower as the downed pilot.

Okay, time to soldier on...

Hope everyone is managing to keep cool! :)


jenni_blog: (Default)

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