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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My favorite day, volume 3

So, it's Thursday again.  I have a new list of favorite things:
- free lunch at work, for 2 days running
- finding Phineas and Ferb books for Sebastian's birthday
- haivng people responding excitedly and enthusiastically to my blog about Sebastian's brushing.  It makes me think I'm not crazy
- running into an old friend from high school today, totally unexpectedly
- Great Wolf Lodge.  Awesome and fun and I can't wait to do it again.
- OT pay on my pay cheque this week.
- Monster Quest on Netflix.  I am addicted.
- sleeping.  Resting my brain.
- starting my photography course.  Learning, and talking with Geoff about it.
- Starting a Supernatural watch-a-thon with Geoff.  He's gonna love those boys as much as I do, when we're done.
- Having dinner with Dawn on Sunday- eating pulled pork and drinking Rolling Rock.  So nice to visit. I miss her.
- Sawyer's excited face when she goes to school
- Sawyer asking me "how was work?" every time they pick me up.
- Sebastian's got his hugme shirts and loves them.  Good feedback from the school this week.
- shaving my legs, washing my hair
- a cold breeze blowing in the window when I am sleeping

I have some stress on me.  Most of it is self imposed and involves me stretching myself too thin.  I have committed to some volunteer opporutnities, and have allowed myself to get sucked into some circumstances at work.  I don't have alot of spare time at work (my work actually fills my full day!!) and my spare time is pretty full too.  So I don't know when or how I will get this stuff done. 
I am learning to say no more often, and meaning it, but I still struggle. 
So remembering the good things that happen is a positive exercise for me, and one that is worthwhile and I know I should continue. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nice thoughts".

If I were...

If I were a stripper (perish the thought!  GROSS, I know!), I would strip to this song.   

I heard it today after having not heard it for a long time, and that was the first thought that crossed my mind.

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

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Date Night

Friday, Geoff and I were supposed to spend the afternoon with friends, having beers and listening to bands.  Long story short, people started dropping out, and we decided to postpone the event for a time when we could actually all get together. 

I had booked the day off work, but ended up having to work the morning.  I decided to keep the afternoon off and spend some time with Geoff.

We haven't had alot of time together lately.  We have the kids, obviously, but when we do go out, it tends to be with other people, so it really isn't condusive to one on one interaction.  So, spending the afternoon together was a new(er) experience for us.

We dropped the kids at my mom's, and they were staying over night.  SCORE!  :)  Don't get me wrong, I love, love, loooove my children.  But they are not always able to provide me with a good nights' sleep or a sleeping in opportunity.  I take what I can get.

Geoff and I then headed out to the Paranormal Museum in Niagara on the Lake.  I had gotten a Groupon for it a while back, so we got to check it out on the cheap. 

It was pretty cool, a little cheesy, but with some interesting and creepy things.  They have a window from the Donnelly's farmhouse, post-mortem photos and Lizzie.  Lizzie creeeps me out.  She is an old doll (horrible) and people claim that sometimes, she blinks at them.  No matter where I was in the room, I tried to keep an eye on Lizzie.  I didn't see her blink, but I probably would have peed my pants if I had.

They have a gift store there too.  It has some cool stuff, some ridiculous stuff.  I do think that our photos would be a good addition.  The person working the register, however, was very occupied discussing spirit guides with another customer, so I didn't think that she was the one to discuss merchandising and vendor relationships.  So I am going to email them and see if they are interested in carrying our photos.

After that, we walked around NOTL, checking out the shops and window shopping.  We stopped at the fudge shop and the english bakery.  I got an amazing tart at the bakery, chocolate-peanut butter- skor- caramel.  Amazing.  So good.

We headed out for dinner.  We tried the Syndicate, a brewery and restaurant in the Falls.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but this was really nice and good.  The food was a little fancy, but delish.  The beer was ok, but altogether it was a really nice dinner.  We chatted and talked about stuff and acted like grown ups.   We did talk about the kids, but in good ways.  It was just really, really nice. 

We tried to decide what to do next and thought about maybe going to a movie.  There wasn't anything we wanted to see, at least not together (I would have seen Contagion, Geoff woud have seen Elite Killers, or something like that) so we hit up Blockbuster to pick up some sales.  There were some trashy, trashy people there, so we got out as fast as we could and headed home.

We were in early, and just watched some TV.  I had some OT to do, but I left it.  I didn't want to work.  We just hung out, watched Top Shot and chatted some more. 
All in all, it was a great night.  I missed Geoff, so it was good to see him again.  Maybe we can do it again sometime. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "next time shouldn't be a year from now".

My Favorite Day Volume 2

I missed it on Thursday, so here is this week's version of My Favorite Day.

- Geoff rearranged the living room and cleaned it.  It looks amazing and I didn't ask him to do it.  I didn't even hint.
- Zooz with the kids last weekend was amazing.
- rainy days this week made me feel snuggly and homey.
- Ordered Sebastian's OT stuff, can't wait to get it here.
- vaccumed the van, it looks great.
- fixed the van, it runs like a brand new car.
- half a day off on Friday!  :)
- lots and lots of Sawyer hugs

Good week.  :)

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new week of wonderful".

Friday, September 23, 2011



Have you ever had a dream about someone you know that you really have no business dreaming about? 

Last night, I dreamt about someone I worked with.  One of those kinds of dreams.  Not a super, dirty porno dream, but a little racey and completely shocking, because it came out of left field.

Now, I know I work with people that read this blog.  Before you ask me who it is, let me say:
1) I will never tell.  Unless I am really, really drunk and we are super-dee-duper good friends.  And you will have to pinky swear on your children's lives.  And maybe not even then.
2) It is not someone that I work directly with.  He does not work for the same client as me, we are not good friends, we don't talk outside of work, or even at work.  Sure, if we are walking into work at the same time, we would definitely say hi and talk about the weather. 
3) Yeah, it's definitely one of the last people you would ever think.

So anyway, I had this dream.  I didn't even remember it, until I got to work.  This man, that I don't even see every day, walked past me this morning and all of sudden, like a smack in the face, it came back to me. 

Now, I don't handle embarrassment well.  I get hot in the face, I blush, I stammer.  Yep, all of those things happened.  My face felt like it was on fire, and all I could do, for most of the day, was laugh at myself. 

I am so ridiculous.  I want to not think about this.  But I feel so awkward.  I know it's one sided.  I know it is nothing.

I can't stop laughing.  And blushing.  Sheesh.

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My first Yarn Along!!

Thanks to Ginny at Small Things, I have decided to participate (at least this week) in her Yarn Along.  Yeah me!!

Essentially she is asking what we are all reading and knitting.  So I am answering. 

This week, I am just picking up my knitting again.  I have several projects on the go, but since I am easing back in after months (let's face it, it's been about a year) away, I want to take it slow.

I was inspired earlier this year to create some fun, funky things for kids.  I started a Princess Leia hat, complete with big buns on the sides of the head.  Right now, I am working on the buns, trying to determine how long my tubes should be and the optimum size of the buns.  Very technical. But fun.

Currently, I am reading multiple books at the same time, trying to clean up the remainder of my summer reading.  My sister in law lent me her newest acquisition "Hollywood Monster" by Robert Englund.  Yes, that Robert Englund, who was Freddy Kruger.  Good read so far, I had put it down for about a week, and I am picking it back up again.  It is autographed in the front cover, complete with drawing.   Love that Robert. 

So, that's my Yarn Along for today.  Enjoy and feel free to join in!!

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for " 'knittin' again".

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Excited and Hopeful

Today, Geoff and I met with Sebastian's occupational therapist.  He has been seeing her since February, and it was time for a meeting to set some new goals and targets for the next 6 months or so.

It was a fantastic meeting.  She had some great feedback regarding Sebastian and his progress.  She has some funny stories about him and shared some of her frustrations.  It is so nice to get good feedback.  We very rarely get good, tangible feedback regarding Sebastian.  It was lovely to hear, even when she was talking about his stubbornness and idiosyncrasies. 

We have set some new goals for the winter.  We are bringing in his bicycle on Monday, and over the winter, she is going to teach him to ride it.  I am so excited! 

We gave up on Sebastian ever learning to ride a bike.  He hates the feeling of unsteadiness, his balance and equilibrium are not good, so he panics easily when the bike shifts.  His core body strength isn't sufficient to hold the bike upright with just two wheels (so we have training wheels) and he can't grasp how to make the pedals work, alternating the pressure from foot to foot to make the wheels turn around. 

But Kathleen has him riding a stationary bike.  Amazing.  I can't wait to see what else she can do.  It will take all winter, but by spring...who knows???

The main push of our meeting however was for Geoff and I to learn how to brush Sebastian. 
The process itself is called the Wilabarger Protocol using the therapressure brush.  It is a soft brush, with multiple bristles on it.  This brush is used on Sebastian's arms, hands, thighs, calves, feet and back.  Following the brushing, we do joint compressions on all his major joints, and then touch massage on his face.
Based on the Protocol, we have to do this about every 2 hours, or 6 times a day.


Essentially what this will do is provide multiple benefits for Sebastian.  One, it will help him with his spatial awareness. Kids with autism often have trouble defining their physical space in their environment.  They might not know where they end and where everything else begins.  Two, autistic kids tend to be high anxiety because of something called Sensory Defensiveness.  Essentially, kids that are sensitive to sensory input will react in ways to limit the overload that they receive from the noise, smells, sights, temperatures and everything else that bombard them every day.  Some of the autistic kids will spin, yell, cover their ears, fight and lash out.  Others, like Sebastian, shut down.  His defense mechanism is to tune out everything, to fall asleep, to focus on a single object, sound or sight.  Both reactions drive their anxiety up, which then increases the cortisol levels in his body.  A build up of cortisol will lead to lethargy (check), a paunch, even in thin people (check), a lack of focus (check) and a difficulty in focusing and learning (check, check).
The brushing has been scientifically proven to assist in the breakdown of cortisol in the body.  It increases endorphins, which attack cortisol, and increase the breakdown. 

So, we are starting this brushing protocol.  I have ordered brushes and compression shirts for him.  Once we get them, then we are ready to start.  I can't wait. 

Kathleen showed us how to complete the task, by completing it on me.  She was surprised by my reaction, because following the session, my face was flushed, I was a bit sweaty and warm.  It felt good, I liked the compressions and the brushing.  She said the flushing and warmth proved that it worked.  She explained that it takes about 20 minutes for the protocol to kick in, and that would be when he would be at his best and most focused.

Well, all I know is that I went back to work feeling good.  I was stressed about what was going before I went to the meeting.  I went back and dealt with what I could, moved past what I couldn't.  I let go of the stress and just worked.  It lasted all afternoon.  By the time I was driving home, I was in an almost manic state, listening to Little Lion Man, singing at the top of my lungs.  When I actually punched the steering wheel, as I was rocking out, I realized I was a bit out of control.  I got home and it continued.  I made dinner and felt good and happy.

It has since worn off and I am tired now.  But if it can impact me that well, I can only dream about what it will do for Sebastian.  I can't wait.  I am so excited and hopeful.  This is the best feeling in the world.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new direction!"

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Motivation vs Creativity

Lately I have had a burning need to be creative.  I have been blogging more that I did through the summer, and it has been a good outlet.  I have lost some of my finesse, and find my blog posts to be rather blunt and to the point, so I am hoping that if I write more and more often, then I might get some of my talent back.  I used to write a lot, and I would like to again.

We took a couple of pictures for Fan Expo, but I have been wanting to do more.  I have ideas for the horror photos, but I have also been very inspired by macro photography, portraiture and others.  I have a Groupon for an online photography course, and I am itching to start.  I wanted to make sure that I got some stuff out of the way first, before I started. 

I find I do that alot.  I set a goal for myself, before I will allow myself to do something that I want.  Like, I won't knit, until my bedroom is perfectly clean.  And since my bedroom is never perfectly clean, I have essentially stopped knitting.  I won't read a book until the dishes are done, or I won't blog until the laundry is put away.  I know people say you have to get over that, or you will never do anything for yourself.  I understand that intellectually, but the OCD in me struggles with the concept.  Seriously, I am really starting to think I have some obsessive compulsive issues.  Anyhoo...

I also want to start knitting again.  One of my favorite blogs has a weekly touchpoint called Yarn Along.  And every week you are supposed to take a picture of whatever it is that you are reading and knitting.  Most of them are reading Christian based faith books and knitting socks for their solider sons in Afghanistan.  I am reading Paul Magrs books about the Bride of Frankenstein and working on a pattern for a Princess Leia hat for babies (yes complete with the buns on the sides of the head.  I think it's gonna rock.)  But, I think I might start doing that.  It seems fun and interesting and a neat way to share what you do with other like minded souls.

I think I have mentioned that money is tight right now, and with recent unexpected car repair bills (choke, gasp, sputter), it is tighter than ever.  So, I think I am looking at doing things close to home, stuff that is cheap and fulfilling but also functional and practical.  I am reaching for my creative roots. 

My roadblock, as it always is, is time and energy.  Motivation. 
Every year, I fully intend to have an amazing vegetable garden.  I want to learn to can, and make my own salsa and spaghetti sauce and pickles and corn relish.  I want to do all of that very badly.  The problem is, that I always seem to run out of time and money and energy.  I work hard during the week, most of the time I work around 9 or 10 hours a day.  It is pretty rare that I don't log in at night, and at least try and get organized and a little bit ahead of the game. 
We are also trying to have more organized schedules with the kids at night.  We are still keeping the TVs out of the kids room, limiting computer and TV time drastically for them.  I am pretty happy.  Sebastian went from about 7 hours of TV/computer time a day on school days (yeah, I know, I know- but when he gets up at 4 in the morning and you don't know it, he can sneak in about 3-4 hours before my day even  begins!) to 2 hours of computer time (1 hour before school, 1 hour after school) and about 30 minutes to an hour of TV time.  Not bad, eh?  The timer on the computer is working like a dream.  It took a little coaxing, but he realizes now that if he is good and stops when I say, then I am more willing to let him have time in the morning.  We also have the lap top password protected, so he has to come get us, in order to start the computer.  So no more sneaky sneak down at 430 am (seriously!).  I send him back to bed, and he has to wait until at least 6/630.  So, good news all around.
But all this monitoring means that we have to replace the time with something.  They do have to spend some time with themselves, entertaining themselves and doing quiet activities, like puzzles, colouring or reading.  But we also will go to the park, or play on the trampoline in the backyard.  We go for drives or walk around the library.  All cheap or free, all good for keeping them active and engaged. 

Not so good for "me" time to be creative.

As we move into the winter, I am wanting to get my house cleaned out and organized.  We are doing a little bit at time.  Books, clothes, toys, stuff in general- it's all gonna go.  Geoff is home and is trying to keep the house neat, so I think he is more on board than ever before.  But this too, takes time away from me doing me things.

I am hoping that soon, I will have the drive and make the decision to take the time that I need to do the things that I want to do.  I think it will make me happier, more content, and also energize me for the other things in my life that I have to do.  I am optimistic about it.  I am looking forward with hope.  :)

Yeah me.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "night time thoughts about day time dreams".

Adventures in Sawyer Land, Part 2

Just wanted to give everyone an update on my very favorite redhead, and how she is doing.

Sawyer has just started nursery school.  She is loving it.  Nursery school was one of the driving forces behind her potty training motivation this summer.  The very first time she went poo in the potty, she turned to me and said " I go to school now??"  And by now, she meant RIGHT now.  That was July.  She managed to wait until September.

She is going 3 half days a week, and has a week under her belt.  She took to it like a duck to water.  First day, she went in, hugged everyone and made herself right at home.  The teachers seem to love her and she likes them very much too.  Her going was very different from Sebastian's.  He cried every day for the first month, and so did I.  With her, even though I got misty, I didn't cry, and neither did she.

There is a little boy in her class, though, who is struggling.  He cries and clings to his grandma's legs, begging to go home to his mommy.  He breaks my heart, I just want to snuggle him close.

Because of him, Sawyer has decided that she likes everything about school, except the boys.  She makes a point of telling me "I don't like boys" every time I mention school.

I talked to her and told her that she should try to be nice to the little boy that cries.  Maybe if she was nice to him, he wouldn't miss his mommy so much, and then he might not cry.  Very, VERY reluctantly, she agreed to try and be nice.  That night, I asked her if the little boy cried at school again.  She said "yes".  I said, were you nice to him?  Did you try to be his friend?  The response is a very emphatic "NO!"  Puzzled at her reaction, I asked "But why, Sawyer?  Why didn't you try to be his friend?" 

"Because I don't like him!" 

She really doesn't like boys.  Pointing out that Papa, Daddy, Bastian, Gage and Roan are all boys doesn't seem to help. 

Sawyer has been a good girl lately.  She wants to help all the time, even when her help just hurts any effort you are making.  She is excited about birthdays- anyone's birthday!  She is playing really well with other kids.  She is loving and sweet.

She also has a cold after her first week of school.  Oh joy.  Today, I was a walking kleenex, and have the boogers on my sleeves to prove it. 

She was recently climbing all over Geoff, trying to look at his IPad with him.  She managed to wedge herself in and laid her head on his chest.  I was sitting back, thinking about what a wonderful image it was, and being a little jealous of their closeness, when suddenly Geoff lurched upwards. 

"Jesus", he muttered, under his breath. "Sawyer, thanks for kicking me in the balls." 

I think he thought he was quiet enough that she didn't hear him.  I think he meant to whisper it.  But eagle ears heard him.

"Sorry daddy, didn't want to hurt your balls". 

For 5 minutes, Sawyer continually had comments and thoughts about balls, that she insisted on sharing with us.  It was really hard not to laugh.  I managed, Geoff, not quite. 

Every day in Sawyer land is a new adventure.  I look forward to all of them.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new adventure".

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Proud to Be

Last night I went to see Glass Tiger.  My husband, a long time hater, was not interested at all.  But my good friends, 'Chelle, T-dot, and Ny-Ny (we come up with ridiculous nicknames when we drink!) were amped up and excited and that got me excited too.

It's Grape and Wine, a festival. We came in with our lawn chairs, wearing sweaters and Uggs.  We picked our spot, and made it our own.  We could see the stage, weren't too far from the washrooms, and had a direct line to the wine and the food. 

So, as we sat, and waited for Glass Tiger to take the stage, I began to look around.  I always people-watch, but sometimes, I slip into this state of observation where I am hyperly aware.  Just aware...of my state of being, of the people and environment around me, of the energy and the spirit and soul of the event.  It is so hard to describe, but I love when it happens, this little gift of knowledge that I can sometimes get.

I really, really want a sweater like this.
Last night, as I observed and watched and really "saw", I realized it was a moment about being Canadian.  This is canadiana at it's best.  September that feels like fall, smells of delicious food, wonderful music.  I watch small children, bundled against the cold, dancing on their mother's feet.  I watched people walk, and dance and hug and drink and smoke.  People with handmade sweaters, which amazing deer or wolves knitted into them.  People wearing toques and sandals at the same time.  The sight of the sun setting between the trees, the stage set up in a small park.  Everything, every little bit of it.
It's the feel of the cold at the tip of my nose, and how it feels to sit in my lawnchair, in a crowd.  It is the hearing the sounds of the voices around me, their laughter.  It is how safe and secure I felt, that sense in my gut, that I am home.  It's knowing that you belong. 

I am proud to be Canadian.  I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.  I am thrilled to raise my children as Canadians.  I love the cliches, that we are polite, and overly apologetic.  I love our music, some of my very favorite movies are Canadian, I love our country side, our food, our writing, our opportunities.

So, last night, I was a part of Canada.  Canada will always be a part of me.  I can't describe it.   But I am thrilled that it was there. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "our home and Native land".

Annual Hurt

I really don't get hang overs.  I know everyone says that, but I really don't.  I have been drinking alcohol for many years (more years that I should have been, let's put it that way) and by now, I know my limits and my list of do's and don't.

DO drink water and take 2 advils before I go to bed.
DO eat before I go out.
DO let Geoff control the money.
DON'T do shots.  Ever.  Ever.
DON'T mix beer and liquor.  In fact, stay away from liquor, just stick with beer.

As long as I play by the rules, and stick to my limits (with plenty of reminders from the perpetually sober Geoff), I don't have to pay a price the following day.

Sure, lots of times I am tired- a good night sometimes doesn't end until 3 am.  Sometimes I have some gut rot, 5 pitchers of draft beer will do that to you.  But hang overs- nope, don't get them.

Except, once a year.  Once a year I do something so incredibly dumb, that I am crippled the next day.

Today was that day.  And last night, I was at Grape and Wine.

For those that don't know, the Niagara Region (where I live) is home to dozens and dozens of wineries.  We have vineyards everywhere.  So every fall, there is a 2 week celebration of all things wine. 

This weekend is the first weekend of the Festival.  Glass Tiger (yes, THAT Glass Tiger) was playing, and a group of friends from work decided to get together and go.  I, foolishly, agreed.

It was a good time, and it is always good to see my friends.  But the crux of the problem was the wine.

I don't drink wine for reason.  It makes me foggy, hurts my head and my stomach.  Last night was no exception.  Hang over, guaranteed.

So, this morning, my day began at about 10am, slowly moved forward until I finally got dressed at 1pm.  We had a birthday party this afternoon, but if we hadn't, I doubt I would have gotten dressed at all.

I am feeling fine now, and I don't really regret my slow day.  It was nice to lay a-bed, feeling a bit oogy, taking hot baths, and wearing comfy clothes.  It doesn't hurt to do it, everyone in a while. 

So, thank you, Wine Hangover 2011.  You gave me a well deserved rest.  See you next year. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never learns".

Thursday, September 15, 2011


So, a couple of my friends have started writing their own blogs.  I, being a cyber stalker and infernally nosey, LOVE IT.  I love reading blogs, particularily of people I know, so I love to find out more about how the people that I see all the time really think and what is going on in their lives.  I have been supremely lucky so far, as my friends are eloquent and well spoken, gifted writers and endlessly entertaining.  I am not looking forward to the day I have to tell one of my friends that their blog is awesome, when it really isn't.  Hopefully, no one is doing that to me!  *fingers crossed*

Anyway, my one friend Teresa, has a wonderful blog.  It was originally called "Pretending 2 B Perfect".  My only complaint about the blog was that she didn't write often enough.  I would send her bitchy emails at work, telling her how long it had been since she blogged, and that my expectation was that I would have something to read soon. 

But recently, she has changed her focus.  She has changed the name of her blog to "My Favorite Day."  Each day, she writes about why that particular day is her favorite day.  Basically, she is forcing herself to find the good in each day. 

And as you know, that type of belief and philosiphy speaks to me. 

So, I have been inspired by my lovely Teresa.  She is one of the most positive and optomistic people I know.  She is beautiful and funny and is always smiling.  And if she feels she needs to focus on the positive, then lordy, so do I. 

So, moving forward, once a week, I am going to have a favorite day.  I am going to find something wonderful to talk about.  I am going to try not to make is something obvious, but the more subtle things that happen, that I might be more inclined to forget.

So, that being said, I will make today my Favorite Day blog. 

I don't really have a favorite day, but I have favorite moments out of the week.  This week was difficult in a lot of ways, but also had some shining moments.

- Geoff coming into the waiting room at the DR office, smiling, and telling me all was well.
- Geoff bringing the bags of toys to Value Village, without me having to ask
- My dad answered the phone the other day when I called by saying "Hi Sweetie."
- The season finale of True Blood was awesome.
- I got to talk to Lynn at work, and she brought me awesome jalapeno peppers (I ate them in my salad and they were awesome!)
- Getting a groupon for the Zoo today!
- Clean sheets on my bed.
- Being reminded that my brother and parents are some of the best people I know. 
- Getting to work from home
- The cooler weather
- Losing 5 lbs
- Having lunch with Shannon and Zendra today
- sharing my secrets, and having it turn out ok

It's about the little things.  I may not be organized yet, I might still be struggling, but I still had some good days.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "Nice things to remember."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A letter to my friends

Dear friends,

I wanted to write you a letter.  I feel I owe you an explantion and an apology. 

I love my friends.  You are all amazing.  You are all so different and unique, but each of you brings something to the table of my life, something I was missing, or needing.  You teach me new things, make me experience new opportunities, introduce me to new people that I might never have met, if not for you. 

You make me laugh, and sometimes cry.  When you are hurting, I hurt.  You are so funny though, that sometimes you make my face and stomach hurt when I laugh.  Sometimes you make me mad, but I get over it, because, like family, you guys are all a part of my life and my heart.  You make my heart happy.  I am not lonely around you.  I feel like a part of the cool crowd, you make me feel accepted and loved.

Sometimes, I don't see you as often as I want.  I should change that.  I miss you when you aren't around.  I might not say it, but I think about you and I wonder if you are ok.  I wonder what you are doing, and what is going on in your life.  I wonder if you are thinking about me.  I talk about you to Geoff, and I stalk your Facebook page.
I know it's my fault.  I don't call to chat.  It's just not in me, I don't know why.  I used to talk on the phone for hours when I was in high school.  I think, sometimes I am really self concious, because I don't know if anything that I have to say is interesting enough for you to listen to.  I should call, I know it.  If I text you, it's because I feel like talking, but I don't want to call.  I don't want to bug you, I don't want to be weird.  But I know I am.

I want to say that I am sorry that I don't tell you all my secrets.  It's not that I don't trust you.  I do.  But I worry that I whine too much.  I worry that I am monopolizing your time.  I worry that if I am not funny and friendly, and if I am negative and mopey that I won't be fun to be around.  I also worry that if I start, I won't stop.  I don't want you to see me crying.  I know you probably have, but I feel funny about that.  I want to be there for you, I want to be level headed and be able to help.  But I am scared that I am too crazy for you. 

So, when we are together, and there is a pause, know that I am thinking about something.  Something that I want to say.  But I probably won't.  And that's not your fault, it's mine.  I'm so sorry.

I want to be friends with you forever.  I want us to grow up and old together.  I want us to be family. 

I love it when you hug me when we see each other.  If that's your thing.  I love it when we sit and have beers together.  I love it when you send me random texts about weird things that you see.  I love that you talk to me about your husband and kids and tell me what's going on in your head.  I love it when we can talk about movies.  I love playing bingo with you.  You intimidate me with how smart you are, so I am inspired to try and be better. 

I get a funny stomach flip, every time you call me your friend.  And I cried, when you called me your best friend.

I am vowing to try and be a better friend to you.  You deserve it. 

Love you,

p.s.  I know I didn't mention names.  As much as I want to, I can't.  But if you think I am talking about you, or something sounds familiar, rest assured...it is you that I am talking about.  You are my friend.  You. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Is it just me?

Does anyone else feel weird when their friends do things that you don't know about?

I like to think that I am not self centred enough to think that I am the centre of the universe.  I know my friends have other friends and lives and do lots and lots of stuff that I am not (and probably should not) be involved in.

But sometimes, I feel funny.  Maybe it's insecurity.  Maybe it's lonliness, although I don't feel lonely.

It's like sitting at a table with people recounting stories about times and events that you weren't involved in.  I know I am guilty of that.  But I hate it when it happens to me.

I just don't like to feel left out.  It is totally unjustified.  It is totally out of left field. 

Maybe I am PMSing.  Maybe I am crazy.  Maybe I am just sensitive and I need to suck it up.  Yeah, I think that's it, the third one.  I just need to suck it up.  :)

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

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Journey of 1000 miles...

I have taken my single step.

I have been talking for months about better organizing my house and life.  I have made small attempts, cleaning and organizing, but really haven't gotten far. 

I have decided though, that my project for the winter, right through to spring, will be to get organized.  I want to adopt the mentality that if it is not beautiful or does not serve a purpose, then it doesn't belong.  I know myself well enough to know that it will be hard for me, that I have sentimental attachment to pretty much everything in my house.

Geoff and I (Geoff moreso than me) have the capacity to be hoarders.  We keep shit.  We pile shit. We stack, we stuff, we cover, we stash.  Every corner of the house could be filled with stuff.  Geoff would love it.  It drives me crazy.  I feel like I am fighting an uphill battle against Geoff and the kids and the mess.

So, today, in my 1000 mile journey to an organized life, I took my first step.  I decided the best place to start is with the kids' rooms.  They have toys on top of toys.  They have toys that they very rarely played with.  They have mystery toys, broken toys, pieces of toys, baby toys, toys, toys, toys.

I decided to start with Sawyer's room.  Today, in 2 hours, I gathered 5 recycling bags full of toys, stuffed animals, shoes and books.  And I didn't even tackle her toybox.  I didn't get to her clothes.  But, I did get a start on it.  Geoff and I had left the kids at my parents' house for a couple of hours, so we had to drop all the toys off at Value Village before we went to get them.  If she had seen the bags, she would have lost her mind. 

I tried to be brutal.  I tried to be harsh.  I tried to be merciless.  It was hard.  Alot of the stuff I was tempted to keep, I wanted to keep for me.  Like I said, I have sentimental attachment to most everything. 
- the first dolly Sawyer got
- the books I bought for Sebastian when he had his first surgery
- the Kung Fu Panda toy I got for Sebastian when Sawyer was born
- the first book Sebastian wanted me to read
- the stuffed lobster I bought Sawyer for her first Christmas

Some I kept, most I got rid off.  I was good.

So, I am on my way.  My plan is to finish Sawyer's room, to be brutal.  Then on to Sebastian's room.  Mine, the bathroom, living room, linen closet, kitchen, storage, laundry room, garage, basement, etc, etc, etc. 

I am having a few tinglings of nerves and regret.  I worry that I got rid of too much stuff.  Hoarder's remorse, I guess.  I worry that when Sawyer is older, she will tell her therapist about the time that I threw away all her toys. 
A big part of this is my desire to move towards living simply.  And that includes my children.  I want them to play with simple, imaginative-play based toys.  I want to let my kids be kids and play with fun, basic toys.  I want them to play dress up and house.  I want to keep the toys at a minimum, and let them use the toys they have in new and amazing ways.

But I do worry that they will hate me for it. 

So for now, I blame the mess.  That should do it.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "next step".

Friday, September 9, 2011

Boys and Girls

So, I have a dilemma.

As you might now, Sebastian loves superheros.  Loves them.  Really, he had no chance.  Geoff is a comic nerd from waaaaay back and the kid had a comic in his hands from the time he knew how to hold one.  His teachers are always amazed at how engaged and focused he is, when they do a unit using superheros.

He has his favorites.  His very, very favorite is Wonder Woman.  He also likes all of the Justice League, particularly Hawkgirl, Green Lantern and Batman.  But Wonder Woman always comes first.

We were at Walmart today, looking through the Halloween costumes.  Sawyer found a Minnie Mouse costume she liked (just a pink dress and ears, but she is happy, so I am happy.)  Since I am usually the crazy mother in the costume aisle the week before Halloween, I thought we could be a little proactive this year and pick stuff early, while there is a still a selection and we aren't madly trying to choose between the donkey from Shrek and a Power Ranger from 1997.

So, we picked Minnie for Sawyer and started looking for something for Sebastian.  Well, he found what he wanted, alright. 

You guessed it.  A Wonder Woman costume.

Now, I have absolutely no problem with Sebastian dressing up as whatever he wants for Halloween.  He has witches costumes at home that he used to wear all the time.  Couldn't care less. 

But he is going to be 10 this year.  And I can only imagine what the other 10 year old boys would do to him, if he showed up at school, dressed in a short mini dress, looking like Wonder Woman.

And as I am standing in the aisle, trying to explain the preconceived notions of gender appropriate behavior, I am trying desperately to avoid phrases like "Only girls wear dresses" or "Boys don't do that".  I do say that while mommy is fine with him dressing up as WW, other people know that she is a girl, and they would expect a girl to wear the costume.  I said if they were surprised to see a boy in the costume, they might not say nice things, and might laugh or be mean.  I said that I think it is fine if he wants to dress up at home, but that I don't think it is a good idea to be WW for Halloween to go trick or treating.  But his autism doesn't allow him to understand much beyond the fact that he loves WW, and that he wants to be her. 

I have, for many years, harboured a sneaky suspicion that Sebastian might be gay.  I know people think that I joke about that, but I am deadly serious.  He really hasn't shown any type of romantic inclinations towards either sex, but his behaviors and preferences tend to lean more towards the feminine.  That might mean nothing more than I am the dominant feature in his life, and I have maybe influenced his behaviors and choices more that I thought I could.  I am a strong female presence and as such, I think he finds comfort in that, when he is looking for heroes and role models.  But, I do wonder if it's more than that.

Geoff and I have talked about it, and neither of us has an issue with it.  We know many gay people, both men and women, and get along with them well.  I have no problem at all with Sebastian being gay, other than the inherent issues that come along with that.  Couple that with his disability and the poor kid has a recipe for one rough life.  I mean, it's hard enough for an autistic person, but a GAY person with autism??  Holy crow.  I don't even want to think about it.

So, while I have no issues with Sebastian's potential sexual orientation, or his possibly penchant for cross-dressing, I do want to avoid him having more trouble in his life.  And I felt (and still do feel) that keeping him from dressing as a crime fighting woman for Halloween is the right decision. 

Geoff had a brilliant idea, that eventually worked.  He talked Sebastian into getting either Batman or Superman costume (we had to go with Batman, since the Superman was too small, although that was what Sebastian picked first) and told him that he could carry his big stuffed Wonder Woman, and even Hawkgirl and go out for Halloween as the Justice League.  Once Sebastian wrapped his head around that, he was on board.  The Batman costume is safely put away.

But this whole scenario is weighting on me.  I keep thinking about it.  I don't know if what I did was right, or wrong.   Could I have handled it differently?  Should I have said things that I didn't?  Did I say things I shouldn't?  I think mostly, what I am thinking is that this is the first of many such situations. 

I guess I just have to take it as it comes.  Just like everything else.  Anyway, it's going to be an interesting Halloween!

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never know."

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back to School

First day of school, 2011
Sebastian's first day back to school seems to go well.  He was pretty anti-school this morning, and really didn't  want to go. We let him have some computer time, and he had a good breakfast.  By the time he was done brushing his teeth, he was in a better frame of mind, and happily went out to meet his bus.

Every year, we take a picture on the front porch for the first day of school.  Even though it was raining today, we kept up the tradition.  Sawyer joined in, and we got smiles out of both of them.

Totem pole of love

My dad came over to see him off, also a tradition.  It was rainy, that misty kind of rain that just soaks into everything and chills you to the bone. We all bundled up against it.

Sebastian and Sawyer had races up and down the side walk (Sawyer ran, Sebastian limped along. He is still recovering from the cast.)  Sawyer was remembering being out, across the street, waiting for the bus. She was enjoying herself.

The bus was running late, and didn't end up picking Sebastian up until about quarter to nine.  I missed him actually getting on the bus, because Sawyer and I had to pee.  She made it back out in time and I didn't.

I felt a little weepy, earlier in the morning.  It is always so hard to send him out into the world.  I worry so much about him, but I really try not to let him know that. He doesn't need any more anxiety than he already harbours.  But when it was time for him to leave, I held it together and was very brave.

Geoff, Sawyer and I came back in and snuggled for a bit and watched some TV.  We did have some running around to do, so we went out about noon.

I think I was feeling anxious, because I was a bit irritable. I didn't realize it at the time, but looking back, I can see it.  We picked up prescriptions, and got some groceries.  Each year, on the first day of school, we would take Sebastian out for dinner.  That isn't possible this year, so we asked what he wanted to have for dinner.  He chose hamburgers (beef is a treat for him), chicken fingers (coatings are a treat for him) and french fries. The kid's a gourmet, for sure.

We stopped and picked up food and browsed kids clothing.  There were some amazingly cute clothes.  Sawyer, of course was fascinated with the boots. What a girl.

We headed home, and I cut and seeded the lawn.  Sebastian made it home in good time.  The true test of a day is how he is when he comes off the bus.  When the bus pulls up, and he is smiling, that means a good day.  90% of the time he is smiling.  7% of the time he is sleeping.  We won't talk about the other 3%.

Sebastian was smiling.

He said (and his book supported it) that he had a good day.  He came in, and we talked a bit about school. He was allowed to play on the computer for one hour.  For the first time, I decided to set the timer.  We talked about the timer and what it means when it goes off.  An unexpected side effect of this, was that it took alot of stress off me.  I didn't feel like I had to watch the clock and make sure that he was not on for too long.  It gave me a chance to read my magazine, and start dinner. Once the timer went off, Sebastian knew and logged off pretty quickly.

After that, he did something that shocked me.  He asked to go outside to play.

Now, Sebastian has inherited his love of the outdoors from his father.  That is to say, he has no love of the outdoors.  Really, none.

So, it is usually not an easy thing to get him to go outside and play.  He very, VERY rarely asks to go out.  So, this was kind of a big deal.  I told him that yes, he could go out and...another first....he could go out by himself. 

Yes, I will admit it, I am over-protective. I think I am justified in that.  I don't let my kids play outside without an adult with them.  I envision pedophiles climbing over the backfence and stealing them away forever.  I picture him falling and smashing his head.  I imagine kids standing at the fence, screaming cruelties and throwing rocks.  I know, I know, I am ridiculous.  I know this about me, but there it is.

But, he is going to be 10.  He is growing up, and I need to let him.  So, I put on my big girl pants, swallowed my fear, and let him go out to play.  He did great. I had to yell at one point, because he is was putting his sister's fairy garden toys in the dog's pool. After that, he headed for the trampoline.

Shortly after that, Sawyer woke from her nap and headed out too.  Geoff followed along. 

I let the hamburgers burn a bit, because I was loving the moment.  From a day that started in drizzle and almost-tears, we had sunshine, breezes and laughing kids.  The air was cool, and smells like October.  It made my heart happy.  The air itself was inspiring. The kids wrestled and ran and laughed.  Geoff was laughing and had shed his mantle of stress, at least for a while. It was wonderful and magic. 

The mood carriedover into dinner. Everyone enjoyed Sebastian's specially selected meal.  Sawyer ate well, and didn't fight.  Sebastian did too.  We took a short drive after dinner, Geoff tidied the kitchen while I gave the kids their baths.  We got into pjs and watched Rio, then to bed. 

It was a frigging awesome day.  What a way to start a new school year.  This is great karma, and I am so thankful for it.
the best things in my world
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for nearly perfect.

End of Summer List Review

Back at the beginning of the summer, I made a list.  A list of things I wanted to do before the fall came.

We had some stumbling blocks.  Sebastian breaking his ankle put the breaks on a lot of our plans for things like waterslides, beach days and the zoo.  We also had some unexpected surprises when it came to Geoff, so that also took a toll.  But for the most part, we had a great time.  We replaced the missed opportunities with new activities, and some things came up that I hadn't anticipated in the beginning.  Some things that weren't originally on my list, but should have been:
- seeing (or intending to see) a summer concert.  I made every effort to see Nazareth and Helix and had a great night anyway.
- taking the kids to Avondale Dairy Bar.  Sawyer experienced it for the first time ever on her birthday.
- eating dinner out on the porch with the kids
- doing Rib Fest.  The NF one was fun with Holly, Kathy and Dawn and the kids, and the St. Catharines one was great with Joel and Carrie.  So much ribby goodness.

So, here is my final list.  I am pretty proud of it.

. Take the kids to the beach at least once.
2. Go to the Zoo.
3. Use our season passes to Zooz like crazy.  Get our money's worth and more.
4. Have family BBQ's at least once a month.
5. Have a blast at our White Trash party.
6. Sleep in the tent with the kids...even if it is just in the backyard.
7. Keep the grass and the hedge trimmed and neat.
8. Plant flowers.
9. Make salsa from ingredients I have grown in my garden.
10. Play outside...A LOT!!
11. Get a pool for the kids.   But mainly for me. :)
12. Ride a roller coaster.
13. Make suntea.
14. Go to a carnival.  Play bingo.  Eat burgers and cotton candy.
15. Ride a horse.
16. Run through the sprinkler with the kids.
17. Walk on the treadmill every day.
18. Reconnect with an old friend.
19. Take lots of pictures.
20. Play hookie from work, for one afternoon.
21. Get a tattoo.
22. Get a pedicure.
23. Have a sleep over with Sawyer in her bed.
24. Have a day of fun with Sebastian- just me and him.
25. Same thing as above, with Sawyer.

26. See Gage graduate from Grade 8.
27. Clean up Grandma and Grandpa's grave.  Plant flowers for them.
28. Go down a waterslide.
29. Play baseball.
30. Get a sunburn (not a bad one, just enought for freckles.)
31. Go fishing with Dad.
32. Have beers on a patio
33. Wash the cars.
34. Find fireflies.
35. Go garagesale-ing.
36. Go to the drive-in, eat tons of popcorn and junk.
37. Find a dog park for Axle, and let him go crazy.
38. Go on a road trip.  Even if it is just a day.
39. Watch fireworks.
40. Eat watermelon with Sebastian.
41. Have the driveway covered with drawings in sidewalk chalk.  Courtesy of Miss Sawyer.
42. Teach Axle to catch a frisbee.
43. Laugh so hard I cry.  And maybe pee a little.
44. Sit by a fire, making spider dogs.
45. Have fresh flowers in my house, as often as I can.
46. Fly a kite.
47. Buy good sandals.
48. Take a nap, even if the laundry isn't done and the dishes are dirty.
49. Sleep in.  But not on the same day as #48.
50. Read an awesome book.  Share it with everyone

I still have a chance to do a little of the left over stuff.  We are going to be going to GWL soon, so we can do the waterslide.  We will try and do the Zoo this fall.  Garage sales will run right into October. 

My sister-in-law has adopted the lists as well.  I think we are probably both going to do a list for Fall/Winter.  Should be fun. 

Thank you summer, I will miss you.  See you next year.  I can't wait.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new list, coming up."

Fairy Garden update

As you know, we had the fairy garden built for Sawyer this summer.  She enjoyed it very much, and for her birthday, we gave her a bunch of stuff to add to it.  Next year we are tackling a garden for Sebastian.  I will be packing away all of her stuff soon, for next year's garden.  But here is her garden, in all it's glory.

Reminder of what the garden looked like before we began.

This is what the garden looks like now. 
There are blue stones for a river, that lead up to the beach. 
Marbles are the first path, followed by river stones. 
There are red diamonds hidden in the plants, tea cups and fairies.

path to the fairy house. 
Her new sunflower fairy is off to the left.

Pretty birthday girl playing in the fairy garden

Birthday fairy
 I am glad I built it for her.  I am glad she loved it.  I can't wait to do Sebastian's.  Happy Fairy Tales to everyone!

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "Never Never land."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Last day

Today is the last day of summer vacation.

I always dreaded this day as a kid.  The end of sleeping in, staying up late, warm lazy days and long summer nights. Next comes school.  Sure, there was good in that- seeing my friends, weekend parties, passing notes and skipping school.  I did like some of my classes and my teachers, like Law with Mr. Lang and English with Mrs. Cook.  But I better liked playing euchre and asshole in the cafeteria, having lunch at Christa's, hanging out in the back field.  I liked the weather in September, the cooler winds, getting to wear sweatshirts and jeans again, after a summer of bathing suits and shorts.

I can see the dread in Sebastian.  He has been counting down this last weekend, but not in a good way.  He has told me, multiple times, that he doesn't want to go to school.  He enjoys Brick by Brick, and wants to keep going, but really doesn't want to go to school.  He isn't a fan of his teacher (I will keep my mouth buttoned about that) and he doesn't want to get on the bus and go.  I can't say I blame him.  I am going to miss him too.

This last weekend of summer has been funny.  Saturday, Geoff was gone most of the day (he got his tattoo in honour of Kit.  It looks amazing) and the kids and I were stuck at home.  I worked a couple of hours of OT and cleaned the house (albeit grudgingly).  Sunday, we went to Marshville with my dad.  It poured rain over night and was very overcast in the morning, with some sprinkles.  We headed out anyway, and it turned out to be a hot, nice day.  We ate good food, and walked around and Geoff took some great pictures.   My mom had just had surgery on her knee, so she couldn't make it, but my dad brought her home kettle corn.  What a gentleman! :)

Today was a rainy day.  So, I worked a little, and caught up on True Blood.  I let the kids have a day doing what they wanted, which meant Sebastian played on the computer and Sawyer watched cartoons. 

So, tonight, it will be baths, and bedtime.  We will be laying out school clothes and packing lunches.  Tomorrow, we will take the traditional picture on the front porch of the first day back.  When Sebastian comes home, we will have a little party and have a fun dinner.  And we will be back to school.  For another year. 

Can't say I am looking forward to it.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new school year."

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy anniversary to me.

Yesterday was my first anniversary of my blog.  Yeah for me.

This blog has been good for me.  I have used it as an outlet, my soap box, and a sounding board for the irrational and strange thoughts that bounce around in my head. 

One of the strange side effects of having a blog is having other people have a view inside my head.  Nothing is more disconcerting for me than to have someone start a conversation with me about something that I am surprised they know about me.  Believe it or not, I sometimes forget that people read my blog, and that I am not just talking to myself.  I have 12 followers, but I know that more people read it, that aren't registered.  So, sometimes, I am just surprised at the people that are interested or care about what I think and write.

There are good and bad sides to the blog.  The good is that I have an outlet.  I can rant and rave, be bitchy, sad, mad, estastically happy, silly, weird, and it's all good.  It's my thoughts, my feelings. 

One thing I didn't expect was judgement.  My thought was always that "it's my blog, if you don't like it, don't read it."

One lesson I have learned with the photos is that when you put yourself out there, people feel they have the right to judge, comment and critique you. Not just your work- YOU.

So, I have been critiqued.  I have been judged.  I have been told that what I write is wrong, is depressing, is sad.  I have been told, quite literally, to smarten up and stop writing "stuff like that".  People worry about me, people laugh with and at me. 

I have thought about stopping.  Starting a new blog, completely anonymous.  One where I don't have to censor myself, because no one would know who I was.  But honestly, I have a hard enough time posting to this one with any regularity.  No way could I maintain another.

In retrospect, I am glad I started the blog.  It is cool to read back over the year and see what I have been through.  It's cool when someone that I don't know well tells me that something I wrote touched them.  It's cool when people that I do know, get to know me a little better.  Overall,  I think there has been more good than bad in this writing.

So, to celebrate my 1st anniversary, I am kicking it out to you, my loyal readers.  Leave me a comment, send me an email, or message me on Facebook.  Ask me a question, give me a topic.  I will dedicate an entire blog (or more than one) to answering your questions, or writing what you want to know or read about.  Nothing is off limits. 

Thanks to everyone that reads, follows, comments and feels right along with me.  Here's to years to come.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new year."

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Last weekend was Fan Expo.

It is the biggest event of the year for our little photo company.  This year they increased it to 4 days.  Geoff was able to attend all 4 days, and Dawn came up for 3.

We wanted to have new photos available for the show, since we have a very, very small number of fans, but they are loyal and are always looking for new stuff from us.  And we didn't want to disappoint.  We also had our t-shirts, which I was actually super excited about, because I thought they were awesome and would do very well.

We managed to get 2 photos shot in the week before the show- Reflection and Lynch.  Thursday morning, as we were traveling up, we were picking up the shots.  That's how tight the timeline was. 

The good people organizing the event sent us a check in time.  Unfortunately the 8-9am timeframe they assigned us, really didn't work.  We had to drop Sebastian at therapy and take Sawyer and the dog to my mom's.  Then we had to pack the van, get everything together, and drive into Toronto.  So, needless to say, we didn't get there until 1 in the afternoon. 

The show opened to VIPs at 2pm on Thursday, and to the general public at 4pm.  When Geoff and I got there at 1pm, there was already a line up around the building and the regular parking garage was full.  I had purchased parking passes, so that we didn't have to pay the crazy $20 daily rate, but I didn't have them yet.  I had to register and get our passes, or we couldn't get through the door.  This is the part that always causes me stress. 

Geoff dropped me in the street and I managed to find my way to our passes.  Geoff and I found parking in the north building and started the long, slow trip of hand-hauling all our stuff to our table.  The elevators broke, so Geoff was taking the dolly on the escalators, which was good, clean fun. :(.  They had one entrance to the show floor open, and of course, we are on the opposite side of the show from that entrance. 

We were relatively lucky, we were able to load all of our stuff with only 2 trips.  I did see Tom Savini on one of our trips (he was Sex Machine in "From Dusk til Dawn") and I stalker-jumped him a little.  I touched his shoulder and said "Tom Savini, it's great to meet you!!"  He kept walking.  I didn't blame him.

When we finally got in, it was exactly 2 pm.  We still had to set up the table and get everything out.  Of course, I was sweating like a pig.  I had straighted my hair and actually put on make up, but that was a write off.  Geoff, when he took the dolly back, changed his shirt, so he didn't stink like sweat.  I didn't have that option.  So I was paranoid all day, and made Geoff sniff me constantly.  He said I was good, but I don't know if I believed him.

We started seeing people we knew from previous shows, like Emily and Jason, and the couple from My Ghoul Friday.  They are good people and it was nice to catch up.  We met our neighbours, Jayson, Shannon and Chris, who were awesome and nice.  We did some browsing and a little shopping for the kids and basically had an incredibly slow night.

Last year, we had taken names and email addresses for a quarterly newsletter.  I finally sent the first installment about 3 days before this year's show.  But it was cool that people read it and mentioned it to me at the show.  We had some regulars stop by, but really didn't sell much.  I think we sold 2 prints the first day. 
When the show (finally!) ended, Geoff and I headed to Jack Astor's for dinner, and then back to the hotel for a well-deserved night's sleep. 

Up early in the morning for Day 2.  Dawn came up early and was there shortly after the 10am open. 

There were a couple of people that I wanted an autograph from.  The main one was Robert Englund aka Freddy Kruger.  The day before, the line up had been pretty big for him, so Geoff, thinking ahead, had gotten me a line ticket.  Once the number on my ticket was called, I was able to get in a relatively short line and get a chance to meet him.  Dawn wanted an autograph from him as well, so she waited with me.  Turns out, the book Dawn wanted him to sign sold out just before we got up there, so she was forced to get in line again the next day for it.  Luckily the guys remembered her and were very gracious and nice. 

My brother had wanted a bunch of autographs, but since some of the line ups were crazy, we were only able to get some.  When I was waiting for Elvira for him, I decided I wanted one for myself.  She was also very sweet and very nice, and she looks amazing!  And yes, she was there as Elvira, not Cassandra.  I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

I also got to met Nichelle Nichols, who played Uhura on the original Star Trek.  She is about 108 years old, but again, very sweet.  Adam wanted her autograph, and he got it.

Geoff was super stoked about Lee Majors, and he got his autograph and got to meet him.  It wasn't as big a deal at the Duke Boys, but pretty near.  He also got Eliza Dushku and Michael Shanks for Adam.  None of us were willing (or really worried about) waiting in line for William Shatner, or Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter movies). 

On Saturday, Guillermo Del Toro made a surprise appearance, and it would have been cool to meet him.  But I was busy working, so it didn't play out.

Anyway, Friday was a bit busier than Thursday for us, but still not great.  At this point, we had sold a grand total of 7 prints.  :(  I had to break the news to Geoff and Dawn at dinner at the Loose Moose that night, that if sales didn't improve, this would be our last year of Fan Expo.  Everyone understood, but no one was happy.

Saturday is usually the big day at the show.  It's the day, over the past 2 years, that they actually had to shut the admissions to the show down, because it was over capacity.  Last year was a cluster fuck, so we were all half dreading/half anticipating what would happen this year.

What happened was nothing.  Yes it was busy, but they seemed better equipped to handle it.  Everything flowed smoothly and I really didn't hear any complaints from any of the customers. Everyone seemed happy, which was great. 

We were busier on Saturday.  A couple of people we knew were there, and some bought from us, which is always appreciated.  I always feel funny charging people I know for my stuff.  I feel like I should be giving it to them for free.  They don't seem to have the impression, I just feel it.  But, if it weren't for my friends, I really wouldn't sell anything, so I guess I have to suck it up and keep charging.  Sorry, guys.  I appreciate your pity-buys. :)

Saturday night, we went out for drinks with Emily and Jason.  We had talked about it last year, and finally made it happen.  We ended up at the Lone Star.  Dawn and I drank buckets of Corona.  Emily was sleepy and a little quiet, but lovely and gracious.  Her comments about the Anime kids taking her picture, because they think she is a chubby Katy Perry had me in stitches.  Jason, her boyfriend is hilarious, and had me laughing so hard I cried.  It was great to hang out with them, and I am glad we did.

Sunday, last day.  We had picked up a bit of business on Saturday, but Sunday was the real proving ground.  We had sold only 3 tshirts, which was so disappointing to me.  I thought they were funny and interesting, and so did lots of others.  But no one cracked out their wallets for them.  Our new print, Reflection, actually sold pretty well, which was great.  I had pulled some of our framed prints and they were selling as well.  But it just wasn't what we wanted or needed.

Sunday was....ok.  We had quite a few of the wanderers that had said "I'll be back" actually come back and buy.  We made 2 new fans.  One was a very quiet guy.  Geoff was talking with him, and working the sale.  When he picked one of our $5 prints, Geoff figured the sale was done.  And then he picked another, and another and another.  I think he ended up with 4 or 5 prints, at least one of them was new.  Our other new fan is Dustin.  He came back Saturday and Sunday and cleaned up!  He bought quite a bit, and gave Dawn and I our first autograph opportunities.  He actually had us sign Respect, which is a photograph of me, but he wanted Dawn too, since he has spent so much time with us. He actually mentioned how much he wanted to get Workshop as a tattoo (the image of Adam carrying Dawn, anyway) and that was totally exciting.  He was a great guy to talk to, and we had fun with him.  He is a paranormal investigator, and we have already emailed back and forth.  :) Welcome to the fold, Dustin.

By the end of the weekend, we had made enough to cover the cost of the table and some more.  Which is good, that has always been my measure.  But, it wasn't what I was looking for.

I wanted to have a great weekend.  I need the money and I wanted to make it.  It just wasn't there.

Through a Cracked Lens is a labour of love.  I don't make full time money at it, because I can't put in full time hours.  I do my best to do good work, but it is getting discouraging.  It is 3 years in, and we are no further ahead than we were when we started.  The big breaks, the big opportunities seem to keep eluding me. 

So, I think this might have been our last Fan Expo as a vendor.  At least for a while.  Maybe, if things change, we can revisit this.  But, I don't know.  It was fun while it lasted. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stand for "never say never."