Friday, May 29, 2009

Moving on

Hi all,

I'm having a little trouble getting over this.
It's been a week now, and I need to move on.
Get over the what-ifs and OMG's and stuff.

Maybe this weekend will help - it's been tres hectic at work and I just need to relaaaax.

Maybe I'll even get some stitchy pics posted so Von can move me back to her list of Stitching Blogs (although I do like being a part of her friends and family list )

Have a great weekend everyone!


Friday, May 22, 2009

Why this child?

About 10 years ago, when I worked for a large company, I was friends with a woman there. I'll call her Mary. We both worked in the Information Technology department, which at the time was mostly male. We women stuck together, and spent many a lunch hour discussing our co-workers, our husbands, our children, and the important things in our lives. At one time I was quite close to Mary; her youngest child, Mike, was 3 years older than my oldest child, but that was close enough so that we could swap similar stories and relate quite well.
Time passed, Mary left the company and divorced, her children grew up, as did mine, and she remarried and moved to Alberta. We lost touch.

Tonight, my youngest child crashed his car. He was driving the car that we had helped him buy less than 2 weeks ago. We did "all the right things" - didn't push him to drive when he was 16, but let him wait until he was more ready at 18. We then put him in the most well-respected, comprehensive driving school we could find. He passed his driver's test the first time, and when I got over my initial shock I grew to see that he was a careful driver. We waited until he had a good job, and could afford gas and car insurance, and then we bought the car early for him with the understanding that he would pay back half the cost.

He had been driving down a very quiet rural road, with a friend in the passenger seat, when a rabbit darted in front of the car. He swerved, over corrected, and lost control. The car glanced off a couple of trees, entered a 3-foot ditch, and half-climbed out again. The airbags that I had insisted on were deployed, and both boys, who were wearing seat belts, got a good dose of airbag dust, got shaken up, but were otherwise unharmed.
I drove to the accident site after he called us, and angrily wondered if he had been goofing off, speeding, and/or making up the rabbit story. When my husband, who got there before me, told me that the car was probably totalled, I further wondered if we were going to make him continue to pay us back the half that we had agreed to, or if my husband (the softy) would just let him off the hook. I wondered if my boy had learned a lesson, and I wondered if my husband was going to rush to buy him another car so that he wouldn't have to be "inconvenienced". (I can do a lot of agitated thinking when my adrenaline is going).

Then I remembered my old friend Mary. A few days ago I found out from another friend that Mary's son Mike died unexpectedly last week. He took his own life, and no one saw it coming. He was a few weeks short of 25 years old. He left behind a young wife, his siblings, his friends, his parents and grandparents. Mary, of course, is devastated.

....and now my thoughts are wrapped up in comparing the two situations; I have my son, and Mary does not have hers. I can hug my son, and Mary will never hug hers again.
I don't think I will ever fully comprehend Mary's situation, except for the fact that Mary would probably give anything to switch places with me. I don't know who, if anyone, is in charge of life or death. Are people "chosen", or is it random? Even if I did believe that some"one" was in charge, I would still be asking WHY? Why this child and not that child? The "works in mysterious ways" answer would not satisfy me. Why was some"one" not watching out for that child in his darkest hour? Why was the suicide attempt successful? I know, I know - free will.
But why was that child's momentary expression of free will so devastating while my child's was not? I could go on and on with this.

But I am lucky; life for me and my family will go back to normal within a few days, while Mary will continue to ask "why?" for the rest of her life.

Hug your boys, hug your girls, hug whoever you love as often as possible.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Comings and goings

I must not get this blog thing. No posts in days and then I post two in 15 minutes. It must have something to do with sitting down and unloading the camera. Is this normal? Am I? Don't answer that!

Dave is out of town, so I am somewhat adrift in a house with disappearing and re-appearing people of the male persuasion. First, of course, Dave disappeared to go camping/dirt-biking.

I returned home from work to find Gregg in the driveway washing his car, so we decided to go out for a late lunch. When we got home Tristan had appeared, from work. He showered and left to meet friends. Gregg left to go to b-ball practise. Homer, the cat, left to do cat things outside.

Tristan returned, got "stuff" and left again. Gregg returned from practise, showered, and left to go meet friends. Tristan returned, with friend in tow, and left his car here in order to walk over to another friend's place. In-between all this, Homer the cat returned and left numerous times.
Milo, the other cat, did not leave as he is not allowed out!
I made a cake and watched girly TV (a rare treat for me), and then went to bed.

Heard various noises of some people returning home (dragging Rock Band accessories down the hall), but went back to sleep. Did not hear if/when Gregg got home.

I awoke this morning and found EVIDENCE!
Exhibit one: all cars safely home and undamaged in the driveway. Looks like Gregg got home OK.
Exhibit 2: Gregg's B-ball shoes left outside to air out.

Exhibit 3: Rock Band accessories out in the family room. They weren't there when I went to bed!
This means Tris and Elias got home from the friend's place that they walked to...
Exhibit 4: Extra shoes....Tristan's friend Elias must have stayed overnight. Please disregard the filthy floor. This room is impossible to keep clean. It opens to the outside, to the garage, to the family room and to a powder room. It contains washer/dryer/spare fridge and freezer. It is a traffic nightmare!

Exhibit 5: Part of my cake is missing. At least, more is missing than was when I went to bed . Mmmm - quite good. French vanilla cake with lemon icing.
Exhibit 6: the only male who stayed home all evening. He looks bored.
I never did get a picture of Homer, the cat who comes in and goes out every 5 minutes.
Today I'm staying put, no matter what those other people do, to get some stitching done!
Kathryn ; )

A bit of spring colour

Hi there,
Just a few photos of a couple of signs of spring. Nothing like some of my friends with warmer climates or sunnier yards, but still very pretty. Except for the snail. Yech.

Thick petals of what some call Magnolia and others call Tulip Tree. Love the pink!
Looks like Mr. Snail needs to power wash his shell. I don't like snails, but I've got to admire his spiral house.
This is Siberian Bugloss. Does well in shade. Thank goodness.

Finally, one of my favourites, Bleeding Hearts, or Dutchman's Breeches, or Dicentra...or whatever you want to call it. Another shade-lover.

Not much else in my very shady garden, except weeds. So I'll leave it at that for now.

Kathryn :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I take it all back

My son (aided by his girlfriend) gave me a Mother's Day card and a package of my favourite candy.

I tried to tell him, but he has no idea, how absurdly pleased I am. This is the only card or gift I received. (Other than the enormous blessing of having my loved ones in my life, of course, lol).

I am smiling like an idiot.

Kathryn : )


Happy Mother's Day!

Dave made his version of eggs Benedict for the two of us. Pretty yummy!

Poached eggs on bacon on multi grain bagels. Topped with his own Hollandaise sauce - he made the hollandaise himself and added a splash of white wine and some dried mustard.

He never makes a recipe just "as is" - he always embellishes.

Now we're doing the usual Sunday stuff - housework, chores, etc. There's always so much to do around here that there doesn't seem to be lot of time for pure relaxation. I'll try to get some time to stitch and veg out at some point.

Won't get to see my daughter today - she's working, and I know my son hasn't planned anything for mother's day: he's an 18-year-old male!

Still, I'm so happy to have been able to have kids of my own to raise and love. It's been at least 95% wonderful, and definitely 100% interesting!

Kathryn : )

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Front Counter

Hi all,
I know, I know - where's the stitchy post? I guess I'm just not getting any stitching done these days. What I am doing is working and surviving. I was trying to describe the front counter of our shop to a friend of mine. Well, a picture IS worth 1000 words, so here goes:

This is a shot of MY view of the front counter. Acting as customer is Bob, our mechanic. We love Bob. At any rate, you can see that the counter is rather, um, crowded. Computer, printer, phone, bank machine pinpad, parts, tools, papers, catalogs, pens, rolodex, junk, and more parts and more junk.

The customers barely have a spot to sign their credit card slips. Even if I clean it off, it's like this again the next day.

Here's a shot of the front counter from the customer's perspective. This is how we greet our valuable customers. Obstacle course, mess, sarcasm. They have a tiny spot to stand on, between parts and boxes of parts. They have rude and insulting messages to read, while they wait. I try to make up for it all by babbling away at them like the idiot I am. Oddly enough, most customers enjoy the messages written on the front counter. One guy read them and said he'd never be back, though. This was after he'd gotten excellent service and a good price on the part he needed. Some people are....sensitive. This is not the place for them.

I don't have a lot of say about the decor here. This is my husband's gig and I am just here to help. And help I do. I cringe, I hide, I apologise, I run around, I suck it in, I suck up, I smile, I chat. I make excuses for my husband's "brusque" manner. I explain about the broken bones, pain, wrecked knees, stress, economy, and why we can't afford to hire more employees. Urk.

Most people are fairly understanding and continue to come back to us. Some even appreciate the "honest" atmosphere. Nothing like a dose of brutal honesty to put a spark in one's day!

I'd better get back to work,

Kathryn : )

Sunday, May 3, 2009

It's all relative

Hi all,
I know I promised something stitchy next time I posted, but I really want to share something else first. I have mentioned before that we have a tall houseguest staying with us. He (Gregg) is my husband's cousin's son, and the first thing everyone notices about him is his, um, size.
Last night Dave and I got to watch him play basketball , and it was really fun; the first time either of us had ever watched a basketball game of any kind, let alone a professional one. Gregg was a bit bummed out at the end of the game - his team lost - but he is such a sweetheart he let me pose with him, and he put on a big grin as I told him to please stand tall in order to better illustrate our height difference.
I've gotten to know him a bit over the last few weeks while he's been here, and he's no longer just Dave's tall cousin. He's now Dave's really nice, sweet, funny, gentle, kind cousin, who is, incidentally, quite tall. I'll try not to hold it against him that I suddenly look shorter and wider than usual....