"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


It's been a while since I posted.  Sorry (I know 3 people that read this.  This apology is for them, and if you read it, and I don't know about it, then it's for you too.)  I got to feeling crummy, and then we went away for the weekend to the cottage.

First things first.  Cottage was great.  It was sad that Adam wasn't there, and I missed him (and my dog missed him more!)  My mom did make me stay in and do homework on the Saturday, but my dad and I got some good fishing in on Sunday, so that was good.  Geoff, Mom, Sebastian and Sawyer and I went for a nice little hike (that ended in tears from Sawyer, and Geoff and I carrying her back, because she was tired).  We hot tubbed like crazy people, and I even slept in a bit on Saturday (til 830- WHO-fucking-HOOOO!  Awesome).  All in all, great weekend.  I feel recharged, a bit sad, and want my own cottage.  Erg.  Someday.  Maybe.

Tonight I had my banquet for the ladies golf league I joined this year with a group of girls from work.  It was fun- both the league and the banquet.  It got me thinking about the things that I have joined over the years, and how it played out. 

For a long time, I refused to join organized sports.  I hate the commitment.  I hate knowing that every week, at the same time, that I HAVE to be somewhere.  As Steve Martin says in "Parenthood"- "My whole life is 'have-to'." 

However, now, with the kids, I have them enrolled in tons of things (Sebastian has is Social Skills group and gymnastics, Sawyer has swimming and gymnastics).  I find the routine comforting.  My days, weeks and month fly by.  I feel useful, busy and worthwhile.  I appreciate my down time- not that there is any. 

But when it comes to me, I don't wanna.  Tai chi, as much as I like it and it helped, discourages me.  I don't like that it isn't something you can master.  I don't like that there is no end in sight.  Give me a 10 week course, no problem.  I will be there.  But leave it open ended, and tell me that it is a good thing that I will be there in 10 more years, and I am outtie.  I know, for some people, that is the ultimate.  It is the constant challenge of besting yourself, improving, driving yourself forward.  That's not me.

I want need to be the best, at everything I do.  Everything.  When I read, I have to be the fastest, and understand everything at a level that other's might not see.  When I create- knitting, painting, writing- I need to know that people love what I do, and that I am good at it.  Even my dog has to be the best.  I am a little amazed that I have stuck with the training though.  Axle and I kicked ass in the first part of the training.  The second half, however, we are getting our asses whomped.  He is the best dog I have ever had, and I have the ultimate faith in him.  Maybe that's why I haven't quit. 

And that's what has me thinking- am I a quitter?  Or a realist?  If I am not the best at something, and it doesn't happen immediately, then I usually quit.  So, am I a quitter, because I am not willing to stick it out, and work hard, and make it happen?  Or am I a realist, knowing that I haven't found my passion, my talent, and that I shouldn't waste anymore time on it?  That I should move on, and find my heart's desire?

Don't know.  Tired of thinking about it.  This entry was harder to write and it didn't work the way I wanted it to, so I'm stopping.

I quit.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "non-commital".

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


For the last couple of months, off and on, I have been trying to get healthy- well, healthier.  Being as busy as we are, it has been easy to slip into fast food and laziness.  Both Geoff and I have been feeling it, the loginess, the extra weight, all of it.

We were doing really well for a while with the eating part.  With Sebastian and his limitations in diet, we had lots of organics, and very little snacky-type foods.  We slipped a little in the past month, but we are getting back on track.  I have been trying to cut out dairy, which is really hard.  REALLY hard.  But I am doing ok, with the exception of the occasional drunken craving for cheese on my pizza.  But I really want chocolate milk.  Sometimes, I would punch a kid in the face to get it.

The one aspect of our health attempts that was missing was the exercise.  Let me be blunt up front.  I hate exercise.  I mean HATE it.  I dread it, I think up any excuse to avoid it, I pretend to forget about it...I will do anything to get out of it. 

But I know I have to do it.

When I went to the naturopath, she was actually very inspiring.  She did a body scan, that looks at your muscle mass, your bones and your fat.  My bone and muscle mass is 142 pounds.  That made me happy.  That means, no matter how skinny I could get, I am really not going to ever be much below that.  And I am cool with that.  It means I can stop beating myself up because I don't weigh 120 lbs.  And that is so liberating- you have no idea.  She also tested my body and my cell's ability to conduct and burn energy.  Essentially, she said this is a way of testing the body's ability to work efficiently- basically, can your body burn up fat?  I forget the actual number, but it was something like 6.5-7 is normal range- right where you want to be.  I was burning at a 9.75.  My body wants to burn the fat.  It wants to help me.  That too, was inspiring.  I have always felt like my body works against me.  That no matter what I do, I just never get where I want to be.  Now I know- it's not my body- it's my head.

My head is my problem.  My head is where the bad voices are.  My head is what makes me give up, time and time again.  My head hates me, a little bit.  My head makes me cry, makes me angry and makes me look the way I do. 

But my heart is what makes me keep trying, again and again.

So, I am taking my inspiration where I can get it.

A dress I want to wear someday. 

A tattoo that I promised myself, if I can get down to a certain weight. 

Somewhere I want to go, something I want to be...anything.  I am hoping my heart, and my fat burning cells will kick my head firmly in the ass.  :)  If that makes any sense at all.

My friend Bill just ran 5 kilometres.  I am inspired.  My friend Teresa wants to run a half marathon.  I am motivated.  I am starting "Couch Potato to 5 K in 2 months".  Starting tomorrow.  I will let you know how it goes.

Keep your fingers crossed, keep your opinions to yourself, and keep telling me nice things- if I deserve them.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never give up."

Sunday, September 19, 2010


This weekend coming, we are going away to the cottage that we rent each year.  I really look forward to it.  It is the one time that we (my family) are really together and connected.  There is usually very little drama, and just lots of good times.  I think everyone relaxes, has fun, and really just unwinds from the normal grind.  It is a good tradition, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
This time, Adam isn't going to make it, because of his new job.  I'm glad he's working, but I will really miss him.  I have been getting to know him again, little by little and these trips are a big part of it.  But I know, there will be other trips, other times.  I just wish he wasn't going to miss this one. 


No moose.  Trust me,  I looked.

Going up north is revitalizing to me.  I can feel the weight of the world sliding off my shoulders, when I start seeing the pre-Cambian rocks, and the pines lining the roadside.  The air smells different, a bit cooler, a bit sharper.  I search the edges of every bog and beaver pond we pass for a glimpse of moose.  I watch hawks wheel through the sky.  Every time, I feel like I am coming home.

 In my heart of hearts, I belong up there.  I work well in the city, our small little town.  Because I have to.  When I married Geoff, I understood that the life I had always envisioned, on the edge of the woods, just a little bit wild, would never happen.  That's not who he is.  That's not how he will live.  They say that marriage is just an ongoing series of compromise and sacrafice.  That was one of mine- one of the biggest.

I dont' regret it.  At least, not alot.

These trips help. 
Would that I could.
While we drive up- Geoff's latest soundtrack compilation playing on the stereo of the "packed too tight" mini van, kids sleeping (hopefully) in the back, dog resting as comfortably as he can- I think.  I usually love road trips.  Geoff and I would have the best conversations in the car.  Sometimes, we still do.  But on these trips, in the final stretches, I tend to be quiet.  Sure, some of it is the fact that we have been on the road for 4 hours and I'm tired (I usually drive).  But alot of it- MOST of it- is me thinking.  Thinking hard.  Thinking about where I would be, what I would be doing, and who I would be doing it with, if I had chosen differently.

I went to school for fish and wildlife technology.  While there were parts of school that I didn't like (read roommates, being poor, and crappy classes), there was alot of it I loved.  I am so proud that I did that.  I loved learning and hiking the woods and proving how strong I was.  I was surrounded by likeminded people, very different from the people I had grown up and went to school with in the Falls.  The girls, few and far between, were often alot like me.  They didn't care about hair styles- pony tails were best, they kept your hair out of your face and the fish guts.  They didn't care about clothes- we lived in flannel and wool and work boots.  They drank and swore like men, were tough and strong.  And if they weren't like that, they usually didn't last.  And the boys....oh my, the boys.

I have a very particular type of boy that I like.  I like tough boys.  Not ones that talk tough, or like to fight all the time.  No, they are idiots.  I like tough boys, real ones.  Ones with calluses on their hands, and dirt under their fingernails.  Blue collar boys.  I heart Bruce Springsteen.  I love the smell of sweat, and grease and the outside on a boy.  I like hair a little bit long, a little bit curly, facial hair and tattoos.  I like boys with meat on them, in t-shirts and jeans.  I like boys that can catch and gut a fish, that know how guns and cars work, that can  fix almost anything.  I like boys that drink beer and shoot whiskey and smoke.  Oh my.

So, I know if you know me, and you read this, the inevitable question you will ask is- "If this is the boy you like, how the hell did you end up with Geoff?"

Geoff has asked me this question a couple of times himself.  :)

Me and him.
While Geoff might not be a lot of the things I mentioned, he has one advantage.  He is real.  He is live and here and present in my life.  He is good to me.  I don't worry that he will spend the mortgage money on drugs, or liquor or strippers.  I can talk to him, and he listens.  He loves me, I don't doubt it for a second.  He gave me two beautiful babies, and a home.  He is smart, and kind, and honest.  When I told him about my idea to take scary photographs and try to get people to buy them, he never doubted for a second, even though he hates horror.  He still talks to me about comic books, even though I don't get most of it.  He lets me steal the blankets.  And no matter how many times I complain about myself, start and stop diets and excercise regimines- he tells me I'm beautiful.  No imaginary bad boy can ever live up to that.


So, when we leave this weekend, I can do my imagining, and my thinking and my daydreaming.  But reality- my reality, down here, is what I will always want to come back to.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "north".


6:15 am- Up.  Not happy about it, but up.  Bastian is usually already awake.
6:25 am- Up for reals.  Go pee.  Turn on flat iron.  Check on 'Bastian, make sure he's alive.
6:30 am- Brush teeth, wash face, apply wrinkle creams (to prevent, not create).  Hair, make up, earrings, necklace, access card.
6:50am- Dress, let the dog out, food and water for the dog.  Kiss 'Bastian good bye.  Pack snacks and maybe lunch if there is something worthwhile.  Out the door.
6:55am- Drive, drive, drive.
7:15am- Drive through.  Timmies.  Lg Green Tea, 2 sweetners.  Bagel BELT, hold the cheese on a sesame seed bagel.
7:25am- Park it, walk it, buzz it, walk it, sit it on down.
7:30am- Work begins.  Eat while typing with one hand.
8:00am- Co-workers begin arriving.  Chit chat ensues for about 5 minutes.  Drink tea which is now cold.  Then it's heads down, get 'r done.  Time is ticking by....
10:00am- Morning crunch is usually over.  Time for a breather.  Check email. 
10:15am- Begin the rest of the required daily tasks.  Blech. 
12:30pm- Realize "Holy shit.  It's 12:30."  Realize "Crap, I'm starving."  Realize "I really don't want whatever it is that I packed at 7am this morning".  Go get lunch.  It's usually soup.
1:00pm- Back from lunch.  More work.  Maybe answer an email.
3:30pm- Wow, I only have an hour left.  I have 4 hours of work left to do.  This is fun.  Yipee.
4:15pm- Try and start wrapping up for the day.
4:30pm- Finish up, and log off computer.
4:31pm- Realize that I forgot to do that one very important thing.  Boot computer back up.
4:45pm- Ok, for reals this time.  Log off.
4:46pm- Remember something elses.  Debate turning computer back on.  Finally say, "Fuck it" and walk out.
4:50pm- Yell goodbye to everyone as I walk out.  Nice talkin' with y'all.
4:55pm- Drive, drive, drive.
5:15pm- Home.  Hugs from Sawyer, kisses from Axle, hugs from Geoff, hugs from 'Bastian, in that order.
5:30pm- Ok, depending on the day, different things happen.  Monday- golf league, and Geoff's school.  Tuesday- Dog Training and beers with Celine, Barb and Bill.  Wednesday- Accounting class and homework.  Thursday- swimming lessons for Sawyer.  Friday- gymnastics for Sawyer.
5:45pm-8pm- maybe I eat something.
8pm- Bath Times.
8:30pm- mop up all the water tracked everywhere during bath time.
8:30pm- Sawyer bed time.  Stories and play.  Baba.  Tuck in.  Music from Tad.  Lights out, and she rubs my ear until she falls alseep.  I try and stay awake too, but it doesn't always work.
8:45pm- Sebastian bed time.  Hugs, go pee before bed.  Up the ladder, tuck in.  Talk about today.  Talk about tomorrow.  Hugs.  Kisses.  Prayers.  Take off his glasses, down the ladder, play the music, out go the lights.
9pm- Bath or shower.  Hopefully bath.  But only if there's time.
9:30pm- depending on the night- different things- pay bills, homework, practice with Axle, read, watch a movie, homework, Facebook, balance the books for the photography, homework, school stuff for Sebastian, fold clothes.
Anywhere between 11:30 and 1am- fall asleep  doing whatever it is that I'm doing.

Repeat as necessary.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "numb".

Monday, September 13, 2010

I'll be your best friend....

I have a dilemma that I have been trying to work out in my mind for a couple of weeks now.  I am not going to use names, since some people that I work with might read this, and I don't want any more drama or rumors than is absolutely necessary. 

There is this person at work who, I think, wants to be my friend.  Which in and of itself is fine.  I was actually very friendly with this person for a couple of years.  But then, situations changed.  I got pregnant with Sawyer and went off on maternity leave and this person got a new position.  When I came back- things were....weird.

I don't know if I changed, if they changed or if the time away just opened my eyes to what this person is really like.  Whatever it was, I realized that this person wasn't someone that I really wanted to be around or to be friends with.  Since they were very cold with me, I figured it was mutual.  I moved on, a little bit hurt and a little bit wiser (ok- a lot hurt, but still only a little wiser). 

Now, this person has, off and on, started reaching out to me, in what appears to be attempts to reconcile the friendship.  One instance had us together for about half an hour, outside of work, away from prying eyes and ears.  I thought long and hard about the situation, and had prepared myself for a very honest and open discussion about what had happened, what they had done to make me feel the way I do, and where I thought we could go from here.  I was nervous, but ready to have this talk.

Instead, I got small talk, and chit chat.  Then I find out later that the only reason we had even had our little time together, was so that this person could have information for an email they wanted to send later.  Again, I smacked myself in the head for being an idiot and being used, and moved on.

The last attempt from this person was an email, asking me to "come by any time and chat".  They miss me and our talks.  Blah blah blah.  I didn't reply.

I guess why I am torn is that a part of me does miss the friendship that was there.  I honestly thought of this person as a friend, not just an acquaintance or a co-worker.  And I miss that.

But then, I keep thinking about all the little white lies, and misdirections, and the coldness, and the using, and the politics and everything else that has made me feel sick to my stomach when it comes to this person.  And I start thinking that what I miss really wasn't real at all.  It was just another silly game, played for reasons only this person understands.

I want to think that these overtures of friendship are genuine.  I think that this person is very lonely, and has surrounded themselves with sycophants and yes men, who are all busy trying to stab each other and this person in the back.  It is a wholy unhealthy environment.  I don't think there is a genuine friend in the place for this person, and I think they are beginning to understand that.  I hope that maybe they remember what I brought to the table- honesty, laughter, lots of cursing, but lots of fun too- and they realize what they lost. 

I think I also hope that it keeps them up some nights.

I hope they have regrets.

I guess I'm not ready to be friends.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "not now, maybe not ever."

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Today is the anniversary of 9-11.  I can't help remembering, like I am sure millions of others are doing, where I was and what I was doing that day.

I was about 7 months pregnant with Sebastian.  I was still working for the Niagara Parks Commission, at what was then "Feather in the Glen" (now it is an outlet for the Whirlpool Jet Boat tours or something).  My co-worker Anne and I opened the store and were looking forward to a nice, relaxing day- Labour Day was over, most of the tourists had gone home, our hours were reduced to a nice 9-5 day.  I remember it was sunny and a little cool, but still beautiful. 

We were standing at the counter, shooting the shit, when a customer came in, and asked us if we had a TV.  Of course we didn't, but we had a radio.  He asked us to turn it on, because he heard something strange when he was driving and he didn't know if it was a joke.  Anne went to get the radio in the back room.  That's when the phone started ringing.

First, it was our manager, Shelley, who was off and watching TV at home.  She told us ...well, you all know what happened.  I remember thinking in the beginning that "whatever, no big deal".  Of course, as the day went on, the deal got bigger and bigger.  My mom called shortly after, followed by Anne's mom and husband.  Between them and the radio, we kept up with what was happening.

Anne and I thought about asking permission to close the store down, but knew we probably wouldn't get it.  We actually became a kind of pit stop for people.  Some hadn't heard anything, so when they heard snippets from our radio, or the people that were inevitably gathered around it, they would ask, and we would fill them in. 

The Asians, and Europeans really didn't seem to care.  Can't say I blame them. 

The Americans, though.  They were hard to watch.  A couple had friends and family in New York, and the panic you would see on their faces was heart-wrenching.  Just an overwhelming feeling of uselessness- the complete lack of ability to do, or help anything.  We all felt it.

Of course, through the day, there were wild and crazy rumors..planes crashing into Camp David, planes headed to Las Vegas, the army mobilizing to shoot down anything that moved.

Late morning, early afternoon- someone had the bright idea to list what they thought the next potential target might be.  They were listing symbols of America- the Statue of Liberty, the White House, Mount Rushmore.  Then they started listing sites that would do the most damage to the American way of life.  Nuclear power plants, missle and weapon depots, hydro-electric generating stations. 

Stations like the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station. It supplies power down the eastern seaboard of the States.  Hitting that would wipe out power to major cities like New York, Boston and Chicago.  Mass panic, looting, just general horrible-ness.

Sir Adam Beck was just over a kilometre from where I worked.

Anne and I talked about this, and decided it wasn't likely, and there wasn't much we could do about it if it was.  What I didn't count on was Geoff- 2 months away from being a father, listening to the same radio show, at work in Beamsville and building up to a full panic. 

He told his boss that his wife was working just down the road from that last place they mentioned- oh and she's pregnant too.  His boss told him to hit the road, and he did. 

When he showed up, I was shocked (well, not really, cause he hated his job and would have done pretty much anything to get out of it) and touched.  I convinced him that I wasn't going anywhere and that it was all hokum.  He settled down finally and stayed for a while, to listen and wait and wonder right along with us.

The rest of the day was pretty much the same.  We listened until we closed up shop, then went home and watched it all unfold in endless replays and closeups.  For days afterwards, it consumed all of my free time.  Maybe it was the hormones from the pregnancy, but it hit me so hard.  I would sob each night, watching the tv, and the mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and husbands and wives, searching through rubble and just crying in the streets.  I couldn't stop crying (and to this day, I choke up a little) when I saw the firefighter and cops writing their Social Security numbers on their arms and legs, so that they could be identified when and if they were pulled out of the wreckage.  I was a complete basket case when they talked to the wife of one of the men that rushed the cockpit on the flight that went down in Pennsylvania.  Hearing her accounts of the last conversation with her husband, just before they brought the plane down,  knowing that they would never talk again...I can't imagine that courage.

Finally, I turned the TV off.  I had too.  I couldn't take it anymore.

Anyway.  It's been 9 years.  Lots has changed.  But today, I'm thinking back.  Remembering.  Crying a little, one more time.
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never forgetting".

Falling apart at the seams

Not my actual feet, but pretty close to what I am suffering through.
I am in a world of hurt today.  Last night, I went out to imbibe spirits with a couple of friends.  We were venturing to the far off land of Port Colbourne, which I knew.  What I didn't know was that we were parking and then walking to the bar.  The bar that was about 10 miles away.  And I wore wedges.  Yeah, I'm dumb like that. 
So, now I have blisters on the bottoms of both feet.  That's right- the BOTTOMS.  Pain.  Unending pain.

Then, this morning, I do something else, and now my shoulder hurts.  Actually, it feels like an unending cramp of the muscles that attach my arm to my body.  And this is not pleasant.

Plus, I drank vodka last night, which I rarely do.  I like beer.  So, again, I am dumb, and now I am paying for it.

All I want to do is curl up and sleep for about 15 hours.  That's not gonna happen, so I think I will do some homework.  Blech. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "numbskull".

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I am a list person.  I make them for everything.  To Do lists, grocery lists, life achievement lists...you name it, I have probably, at one time or another, made a list for it.

I like organization, although I am not, by nature, an organized person.  I have developed this need to organize over the 13 years or so that I have lived with Geoff, and then later my kids.  They are the essence of chaos.  Nothing is ever where I left it.  Things that are put away are all of a sudden in the middle of the living room floor.  I sometimes wonder what my house would be like if no one else lived it in.  Not that I regret my choice, don't take it that way...I just wonder about the road not taken.  I think my house would be lovely.  And clean. 

And lonely. 

But I digress.  Lists.  That's where I was.

I love them.  The one thing I have always wanted, in my heart of hearts, is the movie "lover's list".  You know the one.  Where the guy lists all these crazy, obscure and wonderful reasons he has for loving her.  Two that stand out are 1) Almost Famous- "How you know the words to every song- EVERY song, even the bad ones.  Especially the bad ones.  How you wear that crazy coat, even in the summer.  How you make a hotel room a home."
2) The Truth about Cats and Dogs- "I love how you make a tuna sandwich an event."

I want that list. 

But I worry that it wouldn't be as good in real life, or that I would ruin it.  Like, when he said "I love how you pull grey hairs out of your head every morning" I would say- "Jesus Christ, thanks for mentioning that I am going grey.  FUUUUCK!"  Or it would be horrible and embarassing, like when Shaun Burton sang a Bryan Adams song to me in Grade 8.  Blech.  I wanted to die.  So, while my head knows that this whole lover's list would totally not work out, and would ruin the moment for me forever....my heart still wants it. 

Geoff bought me a kick ass book yesterday.  I can't wait to start.  It's called Listography.  It is a biography about you (me), in list form.  It has all kinds of topics through it, and you make lists.  Regular topics like favorite movies, favorite tv shows, favorite books, but then there is also topics like " Your greatest sins", "Your kindest actions", "Your best and worst drunken moments."

I am trying to decide how honest I plan to be in this lists.  If I am writing it just for me, I can be brutally honest.  If anyone is going to read it before I am dead, then I might have to edit.  But I do think it would be cool for my grandkids to find it someday, and realize that Grandma fell through the second floor of a barn when she was drinking, or that I tried to save a woman I had just met from another beating at the hands of her husband.  Hmmmm...I will have to think.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "numerated lists"- one of my favorite kinds.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Saturday, Geoff and the kidlets and I went to the CNE.  Neither Geoff or I had been in over 20 years (probably closer to 25, but who's counting?)  Sunday was supposed to be the nicest day of the weekend, sunny but cool. 

So, of course, it rained.

Pissed rain, actually.  We had planned to take the Go Train up, since it runs to NF now, but based on the incredibly confusing schedule that I looked at online, it doesn't appear to stop at Exhibition Station.  We decided that we would take it from Appleby, which would save us about half the cost, and we would only have to drive about 45 min.  The only thing we didn't count on was me being a complete ass, and totally missing the Appleby exit.  By the time I thought about it, we were 20 minutes outside of TO, and there was no traffic anyway, so we just drove the whole way. 

When we got there and paid $25 to park (I almost shit), we walked in.  We were meeting friends, Barb and Bill, but they wouldn't be there until later.

Bill's classic pose, and how I always think of him.
Let me pause for a moment, as I often do, and tell you about Barb and Bill.  They are 2 of my very favorite people.  Bill is my movie boyfriend.  He goes with me to see the movies that Geoff won't (read horror movies, lots of blood, lots of gore).  Bill and I tend to be similiar, while Geoff and Barb match up well.  Basically, if we ever want to trade in spouses, we have a ready made match all set to go.  Barb was in our wedding party, on Geoff's side (my brother was on mine) since they have known each other since the Gametronics days.  They still geek out about it once in a while, but it is pretty few and far between.

Camping, smiling Barb. 
As I said, they are 2 of my favorite people.  They are the type of friends that you can not talk to for a couple of months, and then run into, and it's like no time passed at all.  They are pretty much up for anything, anytime, anywhere (as long as they don't have to work, but sometimes, even that is negotiable!)  Some of the best times I've ever had, some of the best things I've done- it's been with Barb and Bill.

Barb and Bill don't have kids (by choice), and really don't like them (kids) that much.  It says alot about our friendship that when G and I told them we were having a baby, they were happy for us, and didn't judge.  As the years have gone by, they have gotten close to our kids, and even enjoy being with them.  Sebastian loves them because their house is like Halloween year round, and Sawyer thinks they're funny.

So, anyway, back to the CNE.  While we waited for B&B, we checked out some of the cool kid displays, and went to the farm building.  It made me sad, especially to see the pigs in pens, but it was a good display.  Me and the kids sported our "Farmers feed cities" pins with pride.  They had an awesome display for kids, with the kids having to collect something different at each station- like planting seeds, collecting eggs, picking veggies, milking a cow etc.  They had a bucket to collect everything in "for market".  Both Sebastian and Sawyer got into it, running around, finding the next thing.  The final stop was the market.  The market consisted of a pimply faced teenager, listening to his iPod, and effecitively ignoring all of us.  He would look up every once in a while, and tell the kids "Put your buckets on table" and then turn away from us again.  A huge letdown, from something that was actually pretty cool.

After we found B&B at the food pavilion, we ventured to Ontario Place for the air show.  They had a roof top area open, with a bar and food and washrooms.  We all went up to see the planes.  The kids ended up crashing out for a bit, and I had a few beers, so I had a nice little buzz for the afternoon.  Bill, disappointingly, had none.  He is always good for at least 2, but having worked until 7am that morning, and running on 3 hours sleep, he opted out.  Sad.  Sad and disappointing.  But hopefully his performance will improve next time.

Axle, my very own super dog.
We all went to see the Superdogs show in the afternoon (makes all my dog training with Axle seem next to useless!) and then went for snacks.  After that, we were pelted with necklaces a la Mardi Gras, and we each went our separate ways to go home.  B&B had actually managed to take the train, and we went back to the car.  We had a minor incident leaving the parking lot (Geoff got up close and personal with a tree, but just a little damage was done to our automobile.)  An hour later we were home.

All in all, great day.  I always love carnivals, and the atmosphere of the Ex was great.  We didn't really get a chance to see everything, but still had a blast.  I think we might have a new tradition in the making here.

Thanks guys, for a great day.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "National".

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bringing horror to the blue-hairs

Today, the fam along with my dad traveled to Marshville Heritage Village in Wainfleet.  We do it every year, over Labour Day weekend.  It's a tradition.

Let me pause for a minute here and talk about my thoughts on traditions.  I love them.  Period.  I think they are so important, to have happy routines, and things to look forward to.  I have traditions for every major holiday, and lots of the minor ones.  I have traditions for vacations, and all of the seasons.  Maybe it's a touch of OCD, or the control freak in me.  I don't care.  I love knowing that every St. Paddy's, I will drink a toast to Rosie (my Irish Grandma), and that every Christmas eve, we will each open a present containing our new Christmas pyjamas.  Every summer, we go to the Toronto Zoo, and the first carnival of the season is the Chippawa one.  We go to a cottage each fall, and every labour day, we go to Marshville.  God help the person that gets in the way of one of my traditions.  It pisses me off royally, and even though I might have a perfectly nice day- it isn't the day I really wanted- and my tradition has not been met. 
I hope that I am passing my love of tradition onto my kids (maybe not the neurosis, but I am sure that is rubbing off as well.) so that they can carry it on.  Nothing would make me happier than to hide easter eggs for my grandkids, or have chili dogs on Halloween before we go trick or treating. 

So, according to tradition, we went to Marshville today.  My dad came, but mom's feet were sore and she managed to pick up a shift at the hospital (she retired so that she can spend more time with us and not miss things, but that, too, is a story for another time :).  Every year, my dad takes the kids on the horse drawn carriage, and he gets roasted peanuts in the shell, while we get kettle corn.  Sebastian and I eat pig on a bun, and Geoff and my dad eat soup.  If my mom is with us, we can't go near the apple cider/apple fritter stand, but since she stayed home, the kids got cider to try.  We watch them make shingles and rope and use the two-man saw.  My dad, having finally figured out how to use my mom's point and shoot, took pictures of everything.  Geoff, the aspiring photographer, took maybe 3.  (I know he took more, but I like to bug him about the fact that he worries so much about his camera and lens that he never uses them.  Just ask me about New York sometime.)

They have a big craft show there too.  Years and years ago, I would always pick up holiday decorations and different things there.  Now, having completely filled my storage space, I rarely buy anything.  Besides, it is the same vendors, year after year, and very little changes.  As we walked through, watching the old ladies scramble for a new dust cover for their ottoman, or a wicker angel, I tried to imagine what it would be like if we showed our photos there.  When I mentioned this to Geoff, he laughed too, and said he was just thinking that.  I am pretty sure we would have been removed on the first day.

I got me thinking about myself, and all the sides I have to my personality.  I guess everybody has them, but I think (and I might be totally off base) I am pretty good at balancing all these different aspects.  I can blend in at a craft show, noting the quality of the tolepainting, appreciating the effort in the whittled wook, but I can also talk horror and gore and grindhouse films at the Festival of Fear.  I feel comfortable in both worlds.  I work for a global corporation, as a financial analyst, monitoring hundreds of thousands of dollars, down to the penny.  I can also fish, idenitify animal tracks, trees (in summer or winter state) and hike a deer trail.  I am happy in both worlds (more so with the second, but the first pays all my bills, so it has it's place in my world too.)
I have my true comfort zones, and things that I know and love, and can talk about for days- my books, my favorite movies, my kids, my dog, camping, the north, knitting, tattoos- etc, etc.  But it's nice to know that I'm not trapped there, in that world. 

Anyway.  Went to Marshville today.  Fun. :)

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "normalcy".

He brought me to tears

Inevitably, one of my days off on the weekend is a cleaning day.  In a perfect world, this would entail a light dusting, maybe a quick vaccuum, or tackling something that is rarely cleaned (like the storage room!).  Since G is home full time now, you might expect this to be the case.

Yeah, it's so not.

Not that I blame him (well, not entirely).  He does look after 2 kids, plus my dog.  They are constant whirlwinds of destruction, wreaking havoc and destroying the best laid plans.  I try to give G a goal for the week, and he tries to get that one thing done.  Most times he succeeds.  Those are good days.  It is a little sad how little it takes to make he happy.   Vaccuum tracks in the carpet, closet doors that close. (As I type this, Sebastian just dropped a half full bag of kettle corn on my carpet and is currently standing on it *sigh*.)

Anyway, with all the hectic activity from last weekend (we were showing at Fan Expo- I will blog about that another time) this week- not much got done.  I asked G to please help me clean on Saturday, just so I didn't spend the weekend miserable and moping, dragging ass around the house, and muttering to myself about living in a shithole. (Yes, I do all this and more.)

I tackled the upstairs bedrooms and bathroom, and G had the kitchen and living room.  He asked me to not get crazy, and to just focus on the most "bang for my buck".  I tend to get distracted in weird jobs, that absolutely have to get done, but suck up my time.  Cleaning the house is often a 3 day adventure with me.  Anyway- I agreed, but said that I really wanted the mystery gunk in the bottom of the fridge cleaned out.  I don't know if something spilled, or rotted, or just climbed in there to die- it now had stuff stuck in it, and it needed to be gone.  He agreed that cleaning the gunk was within reasonable expectations.

I cleaned and cleaned, and drank some beers, and cleaned some more.  Sawyer drank some beer (she got ahold of mine and took a healthy swig- and then chased me, crying for more.  G just shook his head at this) and made a mess behind me.  About half way through the day, Geoff called me downstairs to check his progress.  Things looked good (he didn't sweep or mop, but you can't win 'em all) and then he opened the fridge....

He cleaned it.
Top to bottom.

I literally cried, there in my kitchen.  I am not the most affectionate person in the world, but I grabbed him and hugged him and cried.  I hadn't been that happy in a long time.  He told me later that it was one of the proudest moments of his life- seeing my reaction and how happy I was. 

Here's to a new start, a clean fridge and a husband that might just get it...even just a little bit.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "neat and non-gunk-ified."

Friday, September 3, 2010

Life limps along at subsonic speed.

I am dog tired today.  I actually fell asleep a little while ago, and my forehead hitting the keyboard woke me up.  My week is over, and the weekend begins, with no break in sight.  But I don't have to be up before the sun, so that's a good thing.

My days this week started early, I was at work by 6-615 most days, except today when I just couldn't hack it.  It seemed like there were a million appointments and things to do this week, so I started work as early as I could to allow for me to attend all of them, relatively guilt free.  But man- Fuck having a work ethic!  I would like to be one of those people that can just leave shit for other people to do, and not think about it.  But, alas..that's not me. 

Even with my work day starting that early, my days didn't end until 430-5ish.  Long days.  Then home to homework, housework (which I just left- I am cleaning tomorrow), dog training, dinners, drives, kids, bath times, bed times...lots of stuff.  Good stuff for the most part, but it all contributes to my overwhelming fatigue.

Sometimes, I forget what it's like not to be tired.  I have run out of my vitamins, and I am feeling it.  I was actually feeling good- for a while- and now...well, I am back to my sad version of normal.  I just have to make (find) the time and money to go get more.  And then remember to take them.

This whole summer has slipped by.  So fast.  It was filled with great times, good friends, lots of memories.  But it's over too fast, and I am beginning to dread the dark and the cold that is coming.  I think I am getting old.

My head just hit the keyboard again.  It's time to go.  I will try to write something more coherent and more profound tomorrow.  In between the cleaning, and homework. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "night, night."

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Under Pressure

Yep, I caved.  I am addicted to reading other people's blogs, so it seems only natural that I start one for myself.  When I find myself drifting and thinking, and each of those thoughts ends in "That would make a good entry in a blog", I knew it was finally time.

I make no guarantees about regularity, quality or even rationality of the posts.  But, maybe, someone- somewhere- will want to hear what I have to say. 

Maybe someone is interested in the cracks in my armour.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "newbie".