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

Friday, October 28, 2011

The View from Here

Ever since I was a little girl, one of my very favorite things in the world was the view of the sky out of my bedroom window.  I would lay in bed, night or day, look out at that sky and dream and think and wish and hope.  To this day, I still do it.

I remember as a little girl, in my parents house, there was a Rose of Sharon tree outside my window.  The sun, in the summer, would be stained pink, and the smell of the blooms would drift in with breeze.  Lilacs are one of my favorite things.  My dad gave himself a hernia moving a lilac bush outside my window, so that I could smell them in the spring. 
One of the best feelings was laying in a freshly made bed (I was a slob as a kid, and my bed was very rarely made, let along fresh sheets!) and watching the clouds drift by in a blue, blue sky.  Or in the winter, laying warm and snug, seeing the snow swirl and whirl and listening to the wind howl and blow.

The other night, Sawyer got up late in the night.  She was wet, so I stripped her down, put her in new jammies.  She wanted to lay down in my bed, so we crept back in.  As I helped her in, I turned and looked out my bedroom window.  It was bright and clear.  The moon, even though it was a sliver, seemed brighter than normal, and the dark was strangely clear.  Everything was outlined in silver, and so very, very still.  It was very beautiful, and I scooped Sawyer up to look out with me.  My normally squirmy girl, lazy with sleep, snuggled into me, and laid her head on my shoulder.  After a minute, I looked at her, assuming she was asleep.  She wasn't.  Her bright eyes were looking out the window and she wrapped and wrapped my hair around her finger.  She was quiet and thoughtful.  She was loving it as much as me. 

This morning, I woke up, after my typical 4-5 hours of sleep, groggy and disoriented.  I heard birds singing, something I miss once the summer is over.  The sky was blue and the air was cold, cold, cold.  But I knew, in those first 3 seconds, that it was a beautiful day.  I lay for a few more minutes, enjoying the blue, instead of grey, enjoying the sun, instead of rain.  When I let the dog out, there was the sun, shining down through my big maple tree.  It turned the backyard golden.  I almost woke Geoff to get his camera, but I don't think anyone could have captured that.  It was just amazing.

I have positioned my kids' beds, so that they too, can see out their bedroom windows and see the sky.  I think it's important.  I hope they do too.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new view, every day".

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Always learning

Twice in two days, I have had people tell me that they are worried about me.  That tells me that I have been too depressed in my blog.  That tells me that I have to smarten up.  I think I had been kind of secretly hoping for someone to be worried, and to ask me hard questions.  But when someone even got close to asking those questions, I clammed up and tried to change the subject.  I realized then, I didn't want that.

So, instead, I am going to try and be more positive and optomistic.  I want to be happier and more satisfied with my life.  So, I am consciously deciding to make that happen. 
Somehow, someway, I am getting this up in my house. 

Tonight, I did some volunteer time with Autism Ontario, manning the booth at the Pen Centre, trying to raise awareness for Autism Month.  I had brought some knitting and my Kindle, preparing for a slow and boring night.  I was surprised to realize that someone else was working the booth with me, a man to twin boys, both diagnosed on the spectrum.  We started chatting, since we were spending the next 5 hours together. 

What I discovered was that when you do things outside your zone, step out, say hello and meet others, you can have the most interesting experiences.  Yes, our conversation started with autism.  We shared stories and laughs, and gave each other some tips- I told him about GF/CF diets and Heartland Forest, he told me about art  and movement camps at Brock and Suzuki music lessons. 

This hit me.  Hard.  Don't know why. 
Not thinking about it too hard,
 just accepting.
But after a while we got talking about other things.  It turns out that David works in the library at Brock, in the archive and rare books section.  He was telling me about some of the amazing books they have; they just got a verses book that is over 400 years old, that was created about 30 years after the printing press was invented, so it is quite literally one of the first books ever created.  They have a page from a bible that was hand lettered around 1150.  They possibly have a letter written by Napoleon Bonaparte. 

The fact that this exists in our backyard is amazing.  To talk to someone that knows about this, and does this for a living was amazing.  You could hear his passion for the job in his voice and see it in his eyes.  The fact that I love books more than some people I know made us kindred spirits in a sense.  It was exciting to talk about and hear all about this world of history and literature and art.  It was a gift, something to be grateful for. Something to be happy about.

So this, this experience, this type of person, I am seeking this out.  I am finding myself in these words and worlds and lives around me.  And I am starting to be excited.

I hope this makes sense.  I hope you are inspired too.  Cause I am picking you, to come along with me for this ride.  Buckle up. :)

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new lease on life".

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stripped Bare

The other night, I had my third (and sadly, final) Thanksgiving dinner of 2011.  We did a potluck dinner with our friends.  One couple is from out east, so their family isn't around for the holidays.  They end up missing out on things like turkey dinners and apple pies, so this year, we decided to do our own dinner.  Everyone had plans last weekend, so we did it on Saturday.

It was so much fun, and I haven't laughed that hard in ages.  We were kid-free, at least temporarily, since Holly had offered to have the kids stay at her place for a play-and-stay night.  Sawyer was stoked to hang out with Roan, and Sebastian was excited about Gage.  Bastian came down with a cold though, and was nervous about sleeping out, so he just hung out until about 930 or 10.  Geoff went and picked him up and brought him back to the dinner for a bit, so I could stay a while longer.  Sawyer did great, and had tons of fun.  I know she did, because she had a 3 hour nap the next day, to recover.  That's always a sign of a good night.

Sp, anyway, we had dinner with the works- turkey, ham, stuffing, potatoes, veg, fresh buns, soup and appies.  Dessert was delish and of course, there were drinks.  Lots and lots of drinks.   I think there were about 4 different kinds of wine kicking around, plus beers and I think I even saw some Baileys.  As the drinks flowed, and our bellies got full, we chatted and laughed and tried to out-do each other with our stories and tall tales.  We competed in volume, to the point where I could barely hear Geoff, who was sitting right beside me.  As I said at one point, I had never been to a Thanksgiving dinner where the "C" word, had been thrown around so much.  But it was awesome, fantastic fun.  I hope it becomes a tradition.

During the night, a couple of my friends bared pieces of their souls.  They talked, not overly seriously, but still- about their issues and state of mind and being at this point in time.  They talked about the help that they are seeking and have sought.  They talked about feeling crazy, and angry and weepy and everything else in between.

And as they talked, I was in awe of them.  For them to so easily bring this forward, matter of fact and plain, was amazing.  I am sure, in retrospect, it wasn't easy.  But that they were comfortable and trusted us enough to talk, spoke volumes to me.  I was and still am, incredibly proud of them.  I want to hug them.  I want to be them.

I too have my struggles, but I often stay quiet about them.  I worry alot about judgement.  I worry that what I think and feel isn't normal and what will happen if people really find out.  I really don't see that changing any time soon, but maybe, just maybe, because of these lovely brave women, I will let my cracks show, just a tiny bit more.

But what do I know?  Maybe I only think I hide it.  Maybe I am broken on the outside too.  I can see the signs, the lines, but for some reason, I tend to think no one else does.  Maybe they are all just being polite, too polite to say anything.

Either way, I wanted to say- Ladies, you know who you are. I am so proud of you.  Keep it up, you are inspiring. 

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

When I grow up

Sawyer brought home some work from nursery school today.  She has bringing home paintings galore, and lots of papers with sparkles and stickers and other wonderfulness.  But this was her first honest to goodness project, and she was soooooo excited to show us.

It was all about her.  We had to send in a picture of the family and they took an adorable shot of her at school.  There is a section about her- how tall she is, her hair colour, her favorite colour.  She got to cut out pictures of things she likes and wishes for (a cat, bananas and blueberries.  My girl has simple tastes. :) and things she doesn't like- cucumbers and beans. 

But the absolute best part is the one section- what I want to be when I grow up.  It says "I want to be like my mommy."

So, yeah- I cried.

I know it's the work of a 3 year old.  I know she very likely couldn't make up her mind, so the teachers prompted her with options and she picked one.  And when she says it, it's probably because she wants to drive a car, pick the TV shows or stay up late.  It's not my work ethic, my generosity of spirit or my earth-mother nature that she is thinking of. :)  I know this. 

But the fact that as of right now, I am one of her heros?  That I rank up there with Bolt, and Dora and The Christmas Pony???  That's fucking awesome.

I try so hard, and I mess up so much.  I worry that I am making too many mistakes, that I am making wrong choices and that I am scarring my kids for life.  So, to read that, just made my day.

Hell, it made my entire month.  Thanks Sawyer, that was the best gift.  Ever.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nothing compares to this."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Naturally Super- Day 2

So, Saturday.

Saturday started early because Corin Nemic was up at 930am for his talk and Dawn and I wanted to see him.  For those that don't know, Corin, or Corky, was the star of "Parker Lewis Can't Lose", a Ferris Bueller based TV show, back in the early 90s.  He guest stared on Supernatural last season as one of the boys' cousins.  We headed out, with no hangover- thanks to bottles of water and Dawn's Tylenlol PM, and checked him out.  We grabbed Starbucks and muffins in the lobby and settled in.  It was a bit awkward at first, as no one had any questions for him.  He wasn't someone that could wing it and talk to the crowd just off the cuff, so I was starting to feel bad.  Finally people started coming up with questions and things started to roll.  He ended up being pretty good and funny.  He does an amazing Stephen King impersonation (he played Harold in the TV version of the Stand.)

Next up was Traci Dunwiddie, or Tracie NumTitties, or the Hippie.  We called her any of them, at any given time.  She was a bit left of centre.  She drummed and made us chant with her, and I am pretty sure we joined her cult.  She has amazing biceps, and seemed very nice, if a little flighty.

After her, we had a bit of a break, so we hooked up with Val and Shannon and hiked down the road a bit to Kelsey's for lunch.  Yummers.  We had a nice chat, and some laughs.  We headed back with plenty of time to catch Mr. Misha.  *happy sigh*  We even had time for a nap.

Before we napped though, Dawn and I wanted to run back to the vendors so she could get a picture for Corky to sign.  On our way over, who do we see in the lobby?  Mr. Parker Lewis himself.  Before I could stop myself, I stepped up and waved at him, like really waved and made myself look like an idiot.  Dawn kept looking at him, and noticed him giving me the stink eye.  As she made eye contact with him, she burst out laughing at my idiocy.  But it looked like she was laughing at him.  So, yeah, we are great in the presence of celebrities.

Before we went to see Misha, we had out autograph session with Corky.  I went through first, and let him sign my license plate.  He remarked that it was the first fake license plate he had ever signed, and I told him that he was welcome, I was glad to help out. 

Dawn came up next, and Mr. Nemic fell in love. :)  He was obviously smitten with her, and was just a Chatty Cathy, talking about Niagara Falls and Detroit, and other ridiculousness.   Because Dawn is a beautiful, thin, stunning girl, she very literally stood out from all the rest of the hot mess that was the Convention.  After we left, Dawn decided that her goal for the evening was to get to know Corky, in the biblical sense.  :)

We went to the Misha Collins event next.  Misha Collins plays Castiel, a badass angel.  We love Misha.  He is cute and funny and sarcastic.  He has little patience for ridiculous questions.  His talk, as expected, was awesome.  I have lost alot of the details to my ever-increasing foggy memory, but I know it was good. :) After that, we had our autograph sessions with Misha, some random extra guy (his role in Supernatural was Jenny's boyfriend), crazy hippy Traci and someone else that I am not remembering. 

Then we went back to the room for more beverages.  We had a good time, laughing at alot of crazy stories.  We discovered that the motto for the weekend was "smarmy but awesome" and learned that it can be used in multiple circumstances.  We talked about our engagement stories and other things.  It was a really good time.  I laughed so hard, I was in tears.

Dawn and I had our cocktail party that night.  It was going to be the stage for Project "hook Dawn up with Corky".  At some point, we got to talking about pheremones and how Dawn needed to just let him get a whiff.  In an unusal and hilarious coincidence, Val had pheremone enhancing roll-on in her purse.  I have no idea why, but I still laugh about it now.  Dawn put it on, and we were ready to roll.

We headed over to the cocktail party, a little bit late, and it was pretty full up.  We found 2 seats at a table, full of nerds.  None of them were talking, so Dawn and I, full of liquid courage and our own sense of worth, took over the table and owned the event.  We made friends with all of them, and pretty soon, they were all making trips for more drinks and were actually becoming a part of the Project HDUWC.  We realized that each celebrity would come to the table, sit at the first empty chair, spend about 90 seconds to 2 minutes exchanging chit chat and small talk, and then move on.  We knew we had to get the chair beside Dawn emptied out, so we moved the guy positioned there.  He was totally down with that.  Soon enough, Corky made his way over and into our trap.  He immediatly fell into a conversation with Dawn, and at one point, even had his hand on her leg, holding her hand.  I made sure that I interjected tot he conversation at one point that Dawn did not, in fact, have any children, nor did she have a husband.  Corky took that to mean, as he said to her, that she was "good to go".  She concurred.  I also took the liberty of blowing the pheremones off of Dawn into Corky's face.  This continued until Corky's handler (no, not Dawn) tapped his shoulder and told him it's time to move on.  He circled the table, shaking everyone's hand.  When he gets to Dawn, he cupped the back of her neck and flirted a bit more. 

And that was it.

Sure, she thought of a million things she could have said, after he left.  I blame the beer and the pheremones.  But needless to say, we had a good time.  Like always.

I will do day 3 tomorrow.

Rosie N. Grey
The N still stands for "nerd".

Friday, October 14, 2011

Naturally Super

Last weekend, me and my fellow nerds travelled to far off TO, to join lots and lots of other nerds in a ridculous event of hero-worship.  Yep, Supernatural Weekend.

Friday started with work.  I didn't want to leave my team hanging, so I logged in early, and got my work done in good time.  I was done by 9am, and really, really wanted a nap.  But since I had worked the night before until late, I hadn't packed, so my morning was dedicated to that. 

Dawn came by and picked me up shortly after 10am.  We made a brief pitstop at Future Shop to get a charger for her iPod, so we wouldn't have to miss a second of our Supernatural Music Mix.  Yeah, it's like that.  :)

Then we headed out, picked up Val and hit the road.  I really don't watch TV much at all, so I had spent the days before trying to frantically get caught up on the previous season and what had happened so far in this year's episodes.  Unfortunately, I didn't, so I made the girls give me the low down, so that it wouldn't get spoiled for me in a bad way when I was up there.

We made it to the hotel in awesome time.  We checked in, and just happened to get one of the last clean rooms.  Shannon, who Val was staying with, ended up having to work until about noon, so she didn't make it up until around 430.  Val lugged her stuff into our room, and we started prepping for the weekend.  First things first- find the ice machine.  3 floors, an elevator trip and a janitor later, we found one.  Being the geniuses that we are, we carried the garbage can and ice bucket to fill up.  As it turned out, it was the only trip to the ice machine we needed.  We packed all our drinks in ice, to get them nice and chilled and headed out to explore. 

We went over and registered with the convention.  Matt Cohen was talking - we call him Little John- so we ducked in and listened to him for a bit.  He was about 4 feet from mine and Dawn's seats, so we had to duck and cover to get past him.  He was charming and sweet, and once he was done, we headed out for lunch.

Montana's was right next to the hotel, and it smelled awesome, so that is where we went.  We took the obligitory first drink of the weekend photos, when Dawn and I ordered a pitcher of yummy deliciousness called "Big Momma's afternoon lemonade" or somethign like that.  Val had whisky and maple in another delicous sounding drink, and then we ate.  I was starting to get that old familiar toasty feeling, which I took as a good omen.

We went back to the hotel and checked out the vendors.  Val got a necklace, and I got a shotglass and a t-shirt.  Dawn picked up some pictures to be signed later.  We really didn't have much to do at that point, so we headed back to the room for more bevvies (noticing a trend here?!?!)  Gabriel Tigerman and Elias something or other were talking, and we really didn't care.  So, back for beers and whisky and some nice chillaxing.

Shannon finally made it up, after we texted her to keep her company while she waited in traffic.  Shortly after, we headed back to the con for signature time.  Mine and Dawn's package included most signatures, while Shannon and Val had opted out of them.  That meant that we sat in 2 different areas and Dawn and I had some additional things on our agenda that they didn't.  We tried to not let that impact our good time, and spent as much time together as we could.  We brought Val and Shannon up to sit with us as much as possible, since the 2 seats beside us never did get filled (except for the last day, when a woman and her handicapped son got bumped up to better seats.  I certainly didn't mind sharing my space with them. :)

The first night, we got Matt Cohen's autography, Gabriel Tigerman, Amy something or other and Richard Speight.  Dawn picked up on my idea from last year and found a '67 Impala diecast model to have them sign.  I had found a replicated license plate (yeah, the car is a big deal in the show.) 

We were a hit!!  Since it was the first year of the show in TO, I would say 90% of the people there were there for the first time.  So most of them were buying pictures and having them signed.  Dawn with her car especially got noticed.  Everytime she or I carried it somewhere, someone would comment- usually dripping with envy.  :)  My license plate got more notice on the later days.  We figure next year- there will be cars and license plates all over that place.  We are trendsetters.

Gabriel Tigerman was an unexpected hit.  He was very sweet, and was talking so much with all the fans that they had to create a new line for him.  When Dawn got to him, she told him to write anything he wanted- "The first thing that comes to your mind!"  Her photo says "To Dawn, Aardvaarks are the coolest! Gabriel Tigerman".
Not to be outdone, I told him the same thing.  Now, I had brought John's journal, for the lesser stars to sign, since there is limited space on the license plate.  He was the first to sign it.  Mine says
Bagpipes remind me of South Africa.
Gabriel Tigerman"

Needless to say, I am now a fan. :)

We went for dinner at Jack Astors.  Sometime durring dinner, I discovered that I had been given a magical knife.  For reals.  It was magnetic and would connect to spoons, forks and other knives.  I must have had more to drink than I thought, because I was really fascinated with it.  Of course, I stole the knife. 

Friday night was the night of the kareoke party.  Last years's was amazing.  So unexpected and absolutely insane.  I am sad to say that Dawn and I talked about it incessantly to Val and Shannon, building it up and building it up, until nothing could have matched their expectations.

Unfortunately, this years was a wash out.  Boo.  Sad Face.

It didn't start until about 45 minutes after it was supposed to.  They kept the lights on, so it felt like a grade school dance.  The sound was horrible and you couldn't see anything.  No one sang Supernatural songs.  Shannon left after about half an hour in disgust.  Val left about 30 minutes after that.  Dawn and I decided to try and stick it out to the end, mainly because we had travellers in my purse and didn't feel like walking all the way back to the room.  It did get a bit better- there was fake Madonna behind us playing Tetris with her hands, and Weird Girl on the stage. Amy What's-her-name was hammered drunk, and very sweet and funny.  Gabe and Elias were funny and endearing. There were incredibly annoying fangirls everywhere, just ripe for the mocking. 
While we did ultimately stay out until about 230 in the morning, it wasn't as good as last year.  I think Dawn and I were going to write a letter about it.  I will have to remember to do that.

I have to get the kids' dinner ready.  I will finish the weekend later.

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

My Favorite...Volume 3

Sorry, a little late, but here are my favorite moments from the past week or so...

- finding hilarious quotes that I posted to my phone when I was inebriated with friends
- seeing my kids laugh and sing along with Toopy and Binoo
- watching Sawyer get so excited that she saw a friend
- Sebastian getting 4 out of 5 on his spelling test
- getting my scary clown shirt, only to have the kids be creeped out by it, and having to wear my jacket the whole time so they wouldn't see it.  Too funny!
- rainy days, when I don't have to leave my house
- my new shampoo- smells so yummy
- turkey dinners and left overs
- getting all my bills paid
- laughing out loud, so hard that I cried
- seeing oh-so cute boys, and the entire Supernatural weekend
- being married for 13 years, and having Geoff remember our wedding song
- my new kuerig hot beverage maker.  I love it!!!
- inspiration for our next horror photo, and maybe jewelry. :)

So much good stuff happens to me every day.  It's hard to remember it all.  I am so grateful for all of it.  I hope I send my gratitude out to the universe and to all of you.  I hope that I can be a positive force in the world. 

I am trying to curb my pessimism.  I hope I am winning. 

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

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On

Thanks to Ruby for helping me name this post. <3  Much love.

I saw that phrase for the first time at Fan Expo this year.  Tons and tons of mottos, all starting with "Keep Calm and...."  I saw everything from "Keep calm and carry a wand" to "Keep calm and ride a unicorn".  Yeah, people are crazy.

I like the original and the idea behind it, and if you want to know what it's all about, check it out here. But for me, it's been my motto for the last little while.


Last week, Sebastian had his echocardiogram at McMaster.  His first is chronicled in my blog.  Because he woke up and fought the procedure, they wanted to do another with him completely sedated.  It took us this long - 10 months- to get the appointment. 

We got called 2 days before hand with an appointment at the last minute.  As we found out, that appointment time was wrong.  We were told a 1pm appointment time, with him having to be at the hospital by 12noon.  In reality the appointment was for noon, and he was supposed to be at the hospital by 10:30am. 

Because the timeframe was so short, Geoff had to take him on his own, since I couldn't get the time off work.  So, he and Geoff left the house about 10:30.  I got a call at 11:40, asking where we were.  Didn't we know we had an appointment?  *sigh*

Luckily, Geoff was just walking up the hall as they called me, so they managed to get him in, just a little bit behind. 

Geoff got to experience, first hand, the pain and sorrow of watching your son restrained and drugged.  I think he has a new appreciation for what I have done with Sebastian in the past.  He also got to experience the lovely time we have when Sebastian comes out of anesthetic, fighting and crying.  Bastian managed to rip his I.V out of his hand, and bled quite a bit.  The kid is fast and strong.   It is startling, when you aren't used to it, and even when you are.

All in all, he did very well, and Geoff managed like a trooper.  And we got our results.

Sebastian has a hole in his heart.

The doctor has said that it has been there since birth.  It's small.  He does have the leaky valve as well.  There isn't any enlargement of his heart (either condition can cause it, on their own, so I am thinking we are specially blessed, since he has both).  We don't need to medicate him right now, or talk about surgery.  Blessed.  We are blessed.

We do have to monitor it regularily.  That means an annual trip to McMaster, to do this again. It means vigilance when it comes to his physical condition.  No blue lips, no grey skin. 

Geoff told me the news when he got home and we were on our way to get a special treat for Sebastian for being so good.  We haven't talked about it to each other since.  In my case, it's because I find it hard to talk and think about.  I think it is probably the same for him.  We are digesting.

That night, I went for a walk with the dog.  I pulled up my hoodie and plugged in my iPod and walked.  And cried.  I allowed myself, for a  brief, few, precious moments to mourn.  Because I know I won't be able to, again.  Now, it's about strength and being positive. I'm not allowed to be sad about it, or at least, not to let people know I am sad. I can't stand the judgment, and the lectures.

But then, it was about being sad.  It was about owning it.  About letting all of those horrible thoughts come flooding in, the ones that dance around the edges of my conciousness, that I don't normally acknowledge or entertain.  It was about honestly thinking about my, his, our future- the tests, the anxiety, the prayers that I don't ever see a change for the worse.  I owned it.  I made it a part of me, so that I can control it.

And soon, I was thinking about what to do next.  What my new reality was.  God, it would be a blessing in itself to stop having to do that. 

When I came home, I was hollowed out.  I was cleaned out and dry.  I could face having the conversations that I needed to have- with my parents, and my in-laws.  The one with Geoff, that still hasn't come.  I found my brave face, and put it on. 

So, there it is.  And I am doing what I do best- keep calm and carry on.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for " 'nuff is enuff."


Today I made a decision.  I quit the Autism Ontario fundraising committee. 

I joined about a year ago, after I had quit the charity committee at work (are you seeing a trend here??)  I had been with the charity committee at work for about 6 years (maybe longer, I lose track), and had lost my passion for it.  I was starting to get a martyr complex, so I knew it was time to move on.  I thought it would be a good idea to deal straight with the charity itself, one that I am passionate about and one where I think I can do some good.

The relationship at first, was great.  They were very much stuck in their ways, but I was able to make some suggestions and help out.  However, the core team had been together for a lot of years, were good friends outside of the committee and it was difficult to break into the circle.  After 8 months on the committee, there were still some of them that didn't know my name.  *sigh*

Lately, I was growing more and more resentful of the time and energy it was asking of me.  I have been trying to split my time between all of the mulitple facets of my life, but I was finding that less and less was going to charity.  It didn't seem right and it didn't seem fair, to them or to me.

So, I quit. 

It helped that they sent an email out, asking for a recommitment.  It provided the perfect opportunity to bow out gracefully.  I probably would have dragged it out for much longer, had the email not come along.

I am not closing the door on volunteering.  I have learned though, just like with money, the volunteering of one's time and energy is much easier, when it is there in abudance.  To give a day, when you have time to spare is easy.  To give an hour, that you don't really have to begin with, is much harder.  I guess I failed that test.  In my soul, it makes me feel bad.

But, there is a bit of weight off my shoulders.  With every meeting I rescheduled or cancelled, I felt more and more guilty.  I have volunteered to assist with some of the activities (come see me at the Pen Centre on October 19 and 20!) but I will no longer organize them.

Maybe, someday, I can go back to giving. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "not happy."

Thursday, October 6, 2011


This weekend, on top of being my Supernatural Geekfest, is Thanksgiving.  It's also my 13th wedding anniversary.  I will blog about that later. 

I love Thanksgiving.  Obviously, I got married that weekend, and we had Thanksgiving dinner for our reception.  Turkey and the trimmings is my favorite food in the world.  I love having a dinner with family, with the house smelling like good food, being in comfy clothes and sleepy with full satisfaction.

This year, I get 3 dinners, one with the Rousseau's on Sunday, one with my family on Monday, and one with all my friends on the following Saturday.  I can't wait for all 3 of them. 

We really don't have any big Thanksgiving day traditions.  For quite a few years, my family would head up to a cottage we would rent up north.  That was a good tradition.  We didn't do it this year, because of money, but I am hoping we will do it next year, or soon.

What I really try to do, though, is take stock of why I am thankful.  Hokey, I know.  Some years, it is easy.  Some years, it is very hard. 

So, why am I thankful this year?

- I am thankful for my job, as much as I sometimes bitch about it.  I work with good people, I can learn new skills, and challenge myself.  I can do good work (even if it sometimes feels trivial).  It pays my bills, keeps a roof over our heads, puts food on the table.  It keeps my family going.
- I am thankful for my parents and my brother.  My parents are both still with me, thank God, and relatively healthy (who doesn't have their aches and pains?)  They are active and involved in my life and the lives of my children.  They are kind and caring and giving.  My brother is coming into his own.  He is a wonderful uncle to my kids, and Sawyer, in particular, is enamoured with him.  I am grateful to know, and keep getting to know him.
- I am thankful for my in-laws.  I have been in their family for 20 years.  They have welcomed me with open arms.  We have shared happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears.  I am as comfortable with them as I am with my own flesh and blood. 
- I am thankful for my friends.  They stand with me and keep me strong.  They make me laugh and cry.  They keep me sane and grounded.  I have so many fun and wonderful memories, revolving around them.  When we sit and rehash old times, and plan new adventures, it is one of my happiest times.
- I am thankful for Geoff.  He loves me, truly.  He cares about my happiness, my health, my well being.  He supports me in anything I do.  When I am freaked out and crazy, he can calm me down.  When I am sad, he will let me cry and not judge.  He's in for the long haul, is trustworthy and good.  He really is a hero.
- I am thankful for Sebastian.  He has taught me patience and strength.  He is my pillar, my solid, my reality.  He is, very literally, a piece of my soul, walking outside my body.  I look in his eyes, every day, and am in awe of this magical boy that I willed into creation.  That he is mine is as true as the fact that I am his.  I cannot imagine, and do not want to imagine, my life without him. 
- I am thankful for Sawyer.  She is amazing.  I see myself reflected in those smart baby blues.  I hear myself in her voice and her laugh.  She is unrestrained and wild.  She is a fairy, who made it through the veil, because I wished her here.  I can't believe that she is truly of this place, but that she is an old soul, come back to test, and tease and grow up with me.  I think she will be my life's greatest adventure.
- I am thankful for my dog.  His smell, his warmth, his sleepy sighs.
- I am thankful for my home, warm and secure and cracked and old.
- I am thankful that I can walk through my neighbourhood at night, unafraid.
- I am thankful for my health, my intelligence, the opportunities I have had in my life.
- I am thankful for my blog, which allows me to speak, when I literally can't get the words out of my mouth.  It lets me be heard, when I feel tiny and silent.  It lets me reach out, when I am too shy and scared to move.

There is so much more to be thankful for.  But this is enough.  For now.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never enough gratitude".

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse, and a good wife.

That quote is from Daniel Boone.  I happen to agree. 

Tonight, I shot a gun for the first time ever.  It was pretty fucking awesome.

A gun club in St. Catharines has an open shoot on Tuesdays.  For $12, you get 50 rounds of ammo, and a bunch of safety lessons.

not just my boobs,
but burn marks on my boobs from spent shell casings.
I'm hard core.

Geoff and I have been watching Top Shot on Netflix.  Both of us got jazzed up and wanted to shoot something.  I knew that my friend, Bill, had been to a shooting range before, so I reached out to him to find out.  He and Barb were interested as well, so off we went.

We did the safety instruction class first.  I will admit, I was intimidated as hell, when I first touched the gun.  Hell, even when I saw the gun, I was nervous.  There are all these steps you have to complete, in order to make sure the gun is safe.  You have to pick it up in a very specific way, to make sure that you are keeping the muzzle pointed in the safe zones.  I was so worried I was going to fuck it up, and honestly, when we were actually in the range, I forgot alot of it.  But I understood the basics, which is never point the muzzle at anything you don't want to shoot, and always assume that it's loaded. 

We got to fire .22 caliber pistols.  Mine was a left handed Ruger.  It was different than the one we practiced with, and mine jammed alot.  The guy thought it was how I cocked it, and it might have been.  I handled the thing like it was a live rattlesnake. 

When we first started firing, the thing that got me the most was the noise.  I have heard gun shots before, but never right beside my head.  Even with the ear protection on, it was loud.  Very loud.  I jumped a couple of times.  But that might have been the adreneline coursing through me, at the thought of loading and firing a real, live, honest-to-goodness gun.
It sent a shiver up my back, just touching the bullets, sliding them in the little magazine.  Pushing the magazine home, it was satisfaction made of metal.  And the first trigger squeeze....

I was hooked.

I didn't do great, but didn't do too badly either.  I hit my target with about 15-18 of my 25 rounds (you change your target half way through).  It was tricky to remember how to hold the gun, and to breathe, and to squeeze.  To line up your front sight through your back sight, to the bottom of the bull.  To be safe, and not wave the damn thing around.  It reminds me of golf, so much to think about, to make it seem natural. 

my own little shell

My gun seemed to like throwing off the spent shells.  I got hit in the face and the safety glasses plenty of times.  I caught a couple in my cleavage.  Let me tell you...shells fresh out of a gun are hot.  Damn hot.  I burned my chest, and of course, fired till the magazine was empty before I fished it out.  Next time, turtlenecks.

It ended all too quickly.  I have sore shoulders right now, but I think that is more due to the stress I had today at work, and the stress I gave myself about being good and being safe with the gun.  There was very little recoil with the little pistol, just enough to throw off my sights every time.

I will defnitely go back.  It was a bucket list thing, learning to shoot.  In a very real way, I am preparing for the Zompocolypse, when it comes.  I need to learn other weapons, if I am gonna keep us safe from the horde.  But since Geoff is a better shot than me (he hit the target 23/25 and 25/25 times) as he said "I will be the one on the roof with the sniper rifle, in the snow and the rain.  You and the kids get to stay inside." 

Yeah, right. 

So, I have a very healthy respect for guns and what they can do.  But I can't wait to try again.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "NRA, baby!"

Saturday, October 1, 2011

If I were...

If I were a UFC fighter, I think I would enter the ring to this song.  I can't decide, there are others that I might possibly choose.  But this is definitely up there.

I hear this song, and I want to kick someone's teeth in.  Not anyone in particular, just someone.  The "Sawyer" side of me rages. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for " 'nucks, brass 'nucks".

6 more sleeps...

...until Nerdfest 2011!!!

That is, Supernatural Convention 2011!  I am heading out again this year, with Val, Dawn and new addition Shannon, to that bastian of nerd-dom, that shangri-la of geekiness. 

We don't have the huge drive that we had last year (reminder to those that don't keep track of the trivial aspects of my life, it was in Chicago last year) so we will be better rested and in good spirits for all 3 days.

While I can't wait to see the boys, to get autographs and have some fun, what I am really looking forward to is the comraderie of friends, of being away from home and care-free, even if just for a few days.  I will miss Geoff and my babies like crazy (usually within the first 3 hours of so) but I think it's going to be fun. 

Dawn and I are going to try and stock up on Rolling Rock, and maybe she can find "Tacos at Midnight" chips for Val.  While we might not have pulled pork sandwiches as big as our head or Butt-faced Amber beer, I think we will probably end up with some great stories.

Oh yea, and there will be cute boys and hot cars there too.  :)

Stop judging me.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nerd, round 2".


Last weekend, we had a really nice Saturday.  It was sunny and a little cool.  Geoff and I had talked about taking the kids to the zoo, since I had gotten a Groupon a week or so before, but neither of us had the motivation to get up and moving that fast.  Instead, I cleaned out the car, vacummed and Armoralled it, and we took it out for a ride.

We piled in the kids and a couple of drinks and headed out on Highway 3.  We drove and drove and looked and sang.  We ate snacks, and saw the sights.  We were out there for 6 hours.  We made it to Aylmer and back.  By the end, we were all a little sore in the butt and needed to stretch our legs, but it was a great day.  Sebastian peed on the side of the road at least 3 times.  I did discover that if I or the kids talk about having to pee enough, we can drive Geoff to have to go badly enough to pull over. 

I love taking the back roads.  I will take them 9 times out of 10.  Unless I am in an absolute hurry, and the city streets are the best ways, I am taking the back way.  An old friend of ours, her kid used to quote me.   I don't really remember saying it, but I know we were on our way somewhere, and I decided to find a faster way down a dirt road.  When everyone wanted to know where I was going, I apprently told them, "every dirt road leads somewhere."  Maybe I will have that on my headstone. :)

It's pretty hard for me to get lost.  I have a decent sense of direction and Sebastian has inherited it from me.  By the time he was 4, he could directly me to turn left and right through the city to get to where he wanted to go- Papa and Grammie's house, Walmart, Tim Horton's..wherever. 
I'm not afraid to turn down roads I have never been down.  I know I can find my way out.  Sometimes you find good things. Most times, you find good things.

I love looking at the homes, sometimes with well manicured lawns, sometimes with broken down cars.  I love the smell in the spring of the fresh turned earth and newly mowed grass.  I love the smell of the summer, of cows and horses and growing things.  I love the smell in the fall, of wet leaves, and burning wood, and cold, cool wind.  I love the smell in the winter, of sharp snow, of fireplaces. 

I try to imagine myself in those houses.  I imagine my tree in the front window.  I imagine my kids running on the hills.  I imagine a garden, and a chicken coop.  I imagine a horse, and dogs.  I can picture my tractor, and how I would keep my barn.  I can see the paint peeling off the window sills, and see the lace curtains in the kitchen.  I can smell the wood, musky and damp, piled up near the house, to prepare for the winter.  I can see it, feel it.  I want it.

The rides down the backroads help.  Geoff is patient, and, I think, over the years he has grown fond of them as well.  Not quite as much as me, but still, not resistant. 

I think we might go for a ride tomorrow.  And see what we can see.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "not in neutral".