Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Dona Nobis Pacem 2014

I was going to write this years  peace blog last week, get a knee up as it were. Unfortunately several things conspired against me, we'll call it life at a roar. Here I am the *day of* woefully unprepared and with no fewer than 6 skookum ideas, all fighting for a place on the page. I haven't felt this wordy in years. So bear with me and hopefully something half way intelligent and clear will appear.

First off I was going to tell you about my war. My personal battle with chronic illness and how I'm winning the damn thing. We've had a few skirmishes and outright knock 'em down fistfights, but I'm proving to be the victor!

Then there were the terrible attacks on two servicemen, and my battles seemed puny and small in comparison. What more is there to say about Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo? Our shock and outrage, our disbelief, our collective horror are still with us. Families are smaller, wives and mothers, sons and fathers and daughters are bereaved. Senseless.

Then there's the whole Jian Ghomeshi thing, the debacle. My problem with that whole situation was trying the man on social media. Sneaking around and getting him fired. Vilifying him and not going to the RCMP. Doing to him through the media what they claimed the media would do to them. A rape of public opinion, with no charges to back it up. Thankfully someone has finally filed a report with the RCMP and Mr. Ghomeshi will have the benefit of a proper trial, when and if he's ever charged. I'm not saying he's innocent, I'm not saying he's guilty. I'm saying he has the right to  properly defend himself, after all isn't that what the *Unknown* soldier who died in WW1 fought for? Isn't that what Cpl. Cirillo died for as well? Our rights and freedoms?

I was also going to mention my father in law and his battle with lung cancer. He fought hard, he fought clean, he was the bravest person, the most loving through his whole ordeal. He lost his war on July 31ST.  My husband has since lost an Uncle and an Aunt to cancer. Shit disease, sorry that's not very eloquent but it is. Shit.

I can rail against so much, but I've decided to give you a peek into my walking days, lighten it up and hopefully we can give thanks for everyone that went before so we could just be.

Last March I woke up one morning and decided I was entirely too fat. Now I had known for some time that I was entirely too fat. Believe me, fat people know they're fat. In fact it's all I could think of, it's what I muttered to myself every time I went past a mirror, had a shower, changed clothes, ate a meal.

"You're disgusting, you're a blimp, how can anybody love a moo pig like you? "

"You better do something about this piggy!"

"Fuck you're fat!"

"Why bother doing anything? "
These are but a few nuggets that ran constantly through my head.

I have Fibromyalgia, arthritis, and bone spurs. I've been off all related medicines for these conditions for years. No T3's, no Oxy, no Lyrica, no NSAIDs, no Amitriptyline no Prednesone. Nothing but the odd OTC like, Ibuprofen or Tylenol Arthritis. I use pepper cream and other topical creams and I soak my hands in wax. Kinda like the old Palmolive commercials. 

"You're soaking in it."

Anyway, my *conditions*, life in general and the bloody atmosphere had all conspired against me and I was fat. Fat fat the Water Rat! This was unusual, this was a former nervous 110lb dynamo who worked a full time job and had two babies a husband and a menagerie. I was never fat! 

I used to joke that, "I'm here for the food!" 
Stupid skinny bitch.

So what could a fat woman, with really bad joints and a limited budget do for herself? She could drink less beer and buy more lettuce, or she could walk. I chose walking. I walked around the dyke. Or I guess that's *on* the dyke. Two afternoons then I got an abscessed fang. Much dental work, expense and pain later we were back at it. I walked for about 6 weeks, never missing a day walking between 3-5 kilometers a day. My son was hospitalized during this and I walked off my worry.

I started off wearing my husbands old sweat pants and hoodie, it was after all March and I didn't need no stinking expensive lycra/spandex/gortex legging thingies. Sweat pants were good enough for the likes of me. Having never been so damn fat in my life I wasn't aware of chafing. Up to this point I thought chafing was a dish to keep your casserole warm. Ouchie momma, redthighsredthighs. (Sorry just read Dr Sleep, the sorta sequel to The Shining.) Needless to say I got my ever shrinking Ass to the Costco and bought a pair of lycra/spandex/gortex legging thingies. If that Lulu Lemon guy has something to say he better get in line.

The first few days *on* the dyke, I was lapped by a geriatric man who uses ski poles, not for show but to hold himself up. Wow was that ever an eye opener, I always walked fast. Yikes. I'll huff and puff etc. I had to get my shit together, move or die kept going through my head. I had already quit smoking in May 2012, so I needed to move.

My objective was to fit in my underwear. What? Yeah, you heard me, my underwear. They would roll down my belly. (not unlike a Venetian blind)They were huge, I called them gups. An acronym for GIANT UNDERPANTS. Here I was, 52 years old, in my gups and  lycra/spandex/gortex legging thingies walking *on* the dyke with geriatric alpine equipment users. What new Hell was this?

My underwear also included my bras. I was down to one bra that fit. I had a whole whack of them in the drawer, a bakers dozen. Padded, un-padded, red, black, blue, purple, pink, beige every colour of the rainbow.

" Underwire?" 

" Don't mind if I do!"

Thing is they were way too small. The bra that fit was a sorry thing. It had patches,it really did. The under-wire would poke it's head out every now and then and poke my underarm roll. I'd sew it up, put a patch on it. The thing was so stretched, and thin that I don't know how it stayed together. My bra of many colours finally disintegrated in the wash in early May. There was no service. Luckily by then I had another old one I could just squeeze into. I was not buying a bra, they are expensive and I had a gazillion of them. I just needed to walk off some flubber.

I started walking at the track, nice cushioned lanes, like walking on butter and no dogs. I love dogs, but when I'm walking I don't like them running in front of me and lets face it some owners don't pick up their dogs poop. Walking *on* the dyke was becoming a hop on the dyke. Hop over this pile, hop over that pile. Disgusting.

I walk most mornings. Now I won't stop unless I've done a minimum of 4 kilometers. I lap people now.....IN YOUR FACE! I have more energy, I still don't sleep, I still need to soak my hands, but my mobility has increased. The last week or so I've walked in some pretty crappy weather, but I didn't melt.

I'm down 7 bra sizes, I can put my arms at my sides now, two gup sizes, two shirt sizes and I'm wearing pants that haven't fit since 2011. I've had all my yearly tests done and my cholesterol is bueno, same with my blood pressure. Hopefully I can go off the lipitor and enalapril by next year. I only drink once a month or so now, and don't miss it. Still miss smoking though. Always will I think. People who aggravated me are gone from my life too. I was always worried about what people would think of me, now not so much. I live for me now, not anybody else.

So am I at peace with my body? As if.....we have an uneasy ceasefire for now.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Road Construction and Meth Follies.

Road construction and meth follies.

And here we go again. It isn't bad enough that the property next door belongs to a prolific thief, who  in addition to his thievery over the past 12 years has done the following.

#1. Let his goat eat my raspberry canes. (we know this because he tethered said goat to them)

#2. Had his pack of vicious dogs roam our property repeatedly, and attack our beloved dog Milly to the point where she was never the same, and almost died. She had a rip in her throat, a deep puncture under her front left leg and her belly was ripped up so badly she needed drains put in.

#3. His various batches of pigs have *escaped* into our yard so many times it was becoming farcical. Pigs, if you're unaware can really rip up your yard to the point where the grass is a mud hole. 

#4. Shooting *at* said pigs to butcher them, (with an unregistered .22) while they ran in circles, un-tethered. So he was shooting and missing toward our house. That's right, firing a weapon at my house.

#5. The burning. He burns casings from stolen copper wire, gutted innards from campers, Styrofoam, plastics and his garbage. He burns in an open pit during fire bans even. Apparently the rules don't apply  to him. The resulting smoke makes Tijuana smell like spring in the mountains. It's toxic and invasive. Can't leave the pets out, can't open the windows, can't hang out the laundry. 

#6. His *boarders*. These have progressed from an elderly man, (who he worked like an indentured servant) to the odd rub-a-dub. (I'm not talking about  poor and unfortunate homeless alcoholics) I'm talking about hardcore bush people who'd steal your fillings right out of your mouth. These are the winners we've caught walking *through* the back acre stealing firewood, and anything that isn't nailed down. Now we have the new crop, the meth heads. These are the wanderers, the screamers, the ones that keep me out of my own yard. We've caught them making their way through the blackberry bushes, ripped to shit trying to find a way *off* the property. They're afraid of the thief. Now they're making *roads* escape routes. They've taken old planks and placed them over the ditch to the road, and hacked their way through, just on the thief's property. (So right up against ours.) We've heard several *stories* from the one female about how the thief won't let her go, he has her car, he thinks she owes him money, he ran her boyfriend off, he beat up a little girl etc etc etc.

So what are we supposed to do? We've called the cops, the fire dept, the S.P.C.A., three different by-law officers over the years. Finally Buzz called the ACRD again about the burning and the R.C.M.P. about the *kidnapping* and that's all we can do. The cop said to keep reporting them. Big deal.

Years ago, I think 7 or 8, there was a big bust next door, he was caught with a flat bed full of chainsaws and other small outdoor tools. An engine for a helicopter, still boxed up! Some (get this) building material from the new police station. Lots and lots of other stolen items. Vehicles and campers and boats! Oh My! There were news crews, helicopters, all manner of goings on. Do you know what happened after that? Not a fucking thing. I don't know if he was ever charged, but he's still there, still carrying on.

 I'd like to feel some compassion for the addicts but come on, go three feet onto the road and walk the fuck away. Go help yourself. Go sit in the police station. Stay the fuck off our property. Keep your vicious dogs/drunks/meth heads on your side. That's all I want, I want him to be held to the same standard as the rest of us. I really don't care what you do on your property, stay the Hell off mine.

So now I'm thinking we need to make them some road signs. They've already built their own *Ice* road, it's just past Meth way the 2nd left after Crystal Junction. Fuck me large.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Big Daddy.

Today is my father in law's birthday, he would have been 82. Sadly we lost him on July 31st after a brief, 

(blessedly) but valiant battle with lung cancer.

I've been remembering all the special occasions that we've celebrated as a family since he became my father in law in 1981. Wow, that's a long time, a lot of birthdays.

I'm remembering his dry sarcastic wit, his love of a good pun and the anticipation on his face as he'd wait for you to *get* it.

The first time we stayed with them  was in the summer of 1980, I had known Scott's parents from a distance and from Sea Cadets for several years. This would  however be the first real *sit down* and visit.

I was nervous and those who knew me back then can attest to the fact that I was shy. Really I was, I hadn't come into my own yet and was terrified that they would figure out we were having S E X. Real S E X. 

The first afternoon we were sitting out on the deck,it was as hot as Hades and there were bajillion wasps buzzing around. I can't remember the whole conversation but I actually opened my mouth and made a smart arsed remark. It just came out, like a belch.

Dave looked at me, looked at his watch and said,  "The bus leaves from downtown at 1:30."

I looked him right in the eye and replied, "You'd best hurry then if you're going to catch it."

That was the defining moment in our new budding relationship. After that it was every one for themselves. The barbs and cracks, the puns the bullshit, it all flowed freely.

One of the last times I saw Dave I took him a full turkey dinner. It was screaming hot, he was ill and hadn't been out of bed much in the two previous days. I figured what the Hell, lets take it, we'll all eat, if Dave can't no biggie.

He ate a big plate, I was surprised and very happy. While we were waiting for the food to heat up, we were talking and laughing, he was engaged and not feeling too bad. 

He pipes up, "So Laurie you're going to feed me dinner eh?"

"Yes Dave a turkey dinner."

"Will you chew it up and spit it in my mouth?"

"Sure thing." "You want me to spit on a spoon first, or directly into your mouth?"

Scott asked me if I got to *talk* to his Dad, to say goodbye. I told Scott that Dave eating my supper and being sarcastic was our goodbye.

That about sums us up. I miss him and feel very rickety knowing he isn't at the end of a two hour drive. Tonight there's a super moon and I know he'll be looking down on us. 

 I'd like to think he'll be benevolent and smiling, although he'll probably be thinking, "When the heck are they going to mow that back 40?"

So Happy Birthday Big Daddy, in the words of Maxwell Smart, "You missed it by that much!"

Monday, July 28, 2014

To be grateful...or not.

Some days, between the pain from the bone spurs and the arthritis, the fibro. The sickness in my family, my sister in and out of hospital, my father in law, (poor old bean has stage 4 lung cancer), coupled with the exhaustion from the heat and the stress and worry about where the next mortgage payment is coming from......I find it hard to remember to be grateful. I am grateful for my children and their health, I am so grateful, even though Stacy has moved to the back of beyond and we probably won't see her for 3 or 4 years.
 I am grateful that we have a working vehicle to get from here to the in-laws. I'm grateful for my husband's energy and taking courses on-line (and passing!) so he can support us when his job is done. I'm even trying to be grateful that the dog hasn't got fleas because I'm 6 days late with the flea treatment.
 Sometimes being me sucks, being my husband sucks harder this month. I wish I could take the pain away that 'll be coming. My poor mother in law is exhausted and scared and I'm worried about her. I hate to leave them. We come home to our lives, as broke and chaotic as it is, we aren't living under such a cloud. I wish we could all be healthy  and well. For now I'll settle for a couple days of nothing happening. No more bad news. Please. I'll be ever so grateful for that.