Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D

Hooray!

Wednesday, July 28

Family

I was blindsided last week.
Long story short I found my “dad.” And by “dad” I really mean “sperm donor” because, let’s be real, supplying genetic material does not a father make. My father is my step-dad. My bio-dad never paid child support, never visited me, never called, never wrote, not even a single birthday card. Ditto for all my paternal grandparents, uncles, and so on. But don’t think that keeps a little girl from wondering, and wishing, and hurting.
When I was a child I longed to find my dad.
When I was a teenager I longed to find my dad and give him a piece of my mind.
When I was a younger adult than now I longed to find him, give him a piece of my mind, and rake him over the coals for never having paid child support.
Then I found that I didn’t care…or, at least, I thought I didn’t care. After all, why on earth should I care about someone who cares not one iota for me? But that zen conclusion was the product of circumstance. I couldn’t find him. And that was that.
Until I “ran into” him on Facebook.
On Facebook.
And it turned my world upside down.
There he was. He was on Facebook, and MySpace too. There were pictures of him, surrounded by his collection of eleven electric guitars. Eleven guitars. Funny, he wasn’t around to help my mother pay for my one clarinet but he could buy himself eleven friggin’ guitars. And there he was, with a different child in his lap. He couldn’t be bothered to make the child that was me a part of his life, but apparently he had room in his life for others.
I freaked out. I was angry. I was sad. I yelled and cursed and cried. I bawled on the phone with my mother.  I vented to Adam. I tweeted about not knowing whether to contact him or not. I exhausted myself with the emotion of it all.
And then I made my decision.
They say you can’t pick your family {with the exception of your spouse}. Well, I’m lucky because, in this case, I can pick my family. I get to choose if this man will be a part of my life, a part of my family. Over two decades ago he chose to not make me part of his family.
And now I’m making the same choice.
There isn’t a good reason in the world to invite a person like that, a person who would desert his own daughter, into my family. There isn’t a good reason in the world I should put myself through the stress, and anxiety, and hurt I’ve been through any longer. And there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell I’m giving him a chance to be a negative influence in my daughter’s life.
He walked out of my life over twenty years ago.
And I’m letting him go.
Forever.
Goodbye…asshole.
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Saturday, July 17

Ice {Cream} Ice {Cream}, Baby!

There really isn’t a decent ice cream place in Medicine Hat, unless you like soft serve…which barely qualifies as ice cream. Having moved here from a town with no less than 6 locations that kept me supplied with really, really good ice cream I haven’t had an easy time adjusting. Just ask Adam, he’ll tell you how much I whined about it.
But last night that all changed. Last night, while driving home from a grocery run I saw something, something that has changed my life, something that made me scream “OH MY GOD!” and grab Adam’s leg, and nearly scare him into a heart attack while he was driving…
THERE IS A NEW COLD STONE CREAMERY INSIDE A TIM HORTON’S!
Apparently they’re testing the market across the country and only four Tim Horton’s in Alberta have Cold Stone ice cream. It’s miraculous that Medicine Hat got one, as opposed to Lethbridge, miraculous and wonderful!
I nearly cried I was so happy.
No, I am not exaggerating.
That is how desperate the ice cream situation has been in this town.
I almost cried.
And today I had a “Love It” sized bowl of cake batter ice cream with yellow cake, sprinkles, and M&Ms mix-ins. It was probably enough calories to fuel Michael Phelps for a day. But it was worth it, I say! Worth. it. YUM.
I had a sample bite of the key lime {which was fantastic by the way}, and next time I think I’ll have to sample the coffee and the chocolate flavors. And herein lies the problem with Cold Stone. There are over 11.5 million possible flavor combinations from which to choose {that’s the actual mathematical statistic, not hyperbole}. People, I am the Queen of Indecisiveness. I could very well end up spending more time trying to decide what flavor to get than I do eating it. But it’s ok. I’m not complaining. I am celebrating because LIFE IS SO MUCH BETTER NOW because I have omgit’ssofreakin’yummy ice cream that isn’t 3 hours away!
My wallet and my waistline are cowering in fear.
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Friday, July 16

Swaps Swaps Everywhere!

I had a blast last year doing the Christmas ornament swap. That’s why I organized the Valentine’s swap this year. But organizing swaps is a lot of work. So I was pretty stoked when I discovered Swap-bot!
Swap-bot is a online service that organizes group swaps and a community of creative individuals. Swap-bot takes the hassle out of participating in group swaps by organizing all of the participant information and doing all of the partner assignments. On Swap-bot, you can host swaps, join swaps, and chat with other swappers from all over the world.
The swaps for Canadians are somewhat limited, but I managed to find a few that look fun. I’m signed up for a Christmas card/recipe/ornament that can fit in a flat envelope swap and a no spending swap. I love getting stuff in the mail, and I love putting together little surprises so I’m on cloud nine.
I’m also participating in this super awesome I Spy squares swap {not on Swap-bot}! If you’ve got kids they’d probably love an I Spy quilt or book. So check it out!
swap button
Do you like doing swaps? What’s the best swap you’ve ever done? Tell me in the comments!
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Thursday, July 15

A Quick Anecdote

Lucy’s vocabulary has exploded lately. We’re often the only ones who can tell what she’s saying, but she is trying. And one of her new words is “bug.”
This morning, lying in bed, she looks up and says, pointing, “Bug! Bug! Bug! Bug!”
I look up.
“Oh my god!” There’s a spider.
A big, ugly, nasty {and did I mention big?} spider. *shudder*
Adam promptly takes care of it {if you know what I mean}, to which Lucy simply replies:
“Bye-bye!”
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Tuesday, July 13

The Year of Sewing

button2big
You all know I have a new-to-me sewing machine. Well I also have a new blog to go with it. I’m aiming to sew, at least a little bit, every day for 365 days. So if you’re into crafty-type things check it out. I’d love to have you follow my sewing adventure. :)
Here’s what I’ve made so far, and there’s much, much, much more to come:

beanbagssewingmachinecover
ricepack

So just click the button and please follow my newest venture. Thanks! :)
button1big    siggy
Friday, July 9

Picnic Pictures

As promised, here are a few of the pictures Jenn took today {none of which have Ms. Harassment in them}.

picnic Medicine Hat photographer picnic Medicine Hat photographer

picnic Medicine Hat photographer 

picnic Medicine Hat photographer

picnic Medicine Hat photographer

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Snapping Pictures Can Make People Snap

Today I went on a lovely picnic with my friend Jenn and her 4-year-old son. We had peanut butter and banana sandwiches, fruit salad, mint limeade, and other goodies. We played with bubbles, and splashed in the fountain in the park. And Jenn, who is a photographer, brought her camera to take pictures of the kids. That’s when things went downhill.
Before I go any further let me just lay out the rights of photographers {in case you’re unaware}:
  1. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees your right to take photographs of anything you want, as well as publish them.”
  2. Nobody can…forcibly delete photos, expose your film, or harm you. If anyone does…you can sue them under civil law to recoup the damages.”
  3. People can be photographed if they are in public (without their consent) unless they have secluded themselves and can expect a reasonable degree of privacy” for example, if they’re in a dressing room. {This is a clear policy for US photographers and seems to be applicable in Canada as well based on point #1}.
So, now you know. And now when you read the following it should be abundantly clear who was out of line.
So Jenn is taking some fun shots of our kiddos playing with the water {and as soon as she sends me copies I’ll post some for you to see}. We’re having fun, minding our own business. When, from clear across the park, a woman approaches us and orders Jenn to delete any pictures in which the woman appears. Jenn assured her that she wasn’t in any of the shots. But the woman just kept repeating herself, “If I’m in any shots delete them.” Finally Jenn says “right, but you’re not.” She even offered to let this complete stranger look through all the pictures on her camera. Jenn reiterated that the photos are close ups of our kids, that we are on a picnic, and that the woman is being rude. At which point the woman turns to me {as if I’m Jenn’s mother or babysitter or something} and says
“I have a problem with your friend.”
“I have a problem with you,” I replied.
Now, let me make this clear, I hate confrontation. I’m scared of people. I avoid conflict whenever possible {and often when I should be standing up for myself}. So if your behavior has gotten me upset enough to actually speak up then you’re really out of line.
“You’re not in the pictures. She told you you’re not in the pictures. Why would she even want a picture of you?” I continue. Then Ms.I’m-Going-To-Harass-You-And-Refuse-To-Listen-To-You makes a lawyer threat. I told her “go ahead!” Jenn tells her “call the police! Go ahead, call the police!” {The woman does neither which is almost a shame because I would have loved to see them tell her “Lady, you’re nuts. They haven’t done anything wrong. Stop wasting our time.”} The whole thing ends with the woman complaining that Jenn wouldn’t give her Jenn’s business card {to which Jenn said “I don’t deal with crazy”} and the woman approaching another lady in the park {presumably to complain about us}.
I absolutely don’t blame Jenn for refusing to provide contact information. I’m not in the habit of giving my phone number to paranoid strangers who harass me either. In fact, I walked home along a different path because I didn’t want this lady to know where Lucy and I live.
So, word to the wise:
  • If you’re in a public park you have no right to not be in the background of someone’s pictures {or the foreground for that matter}.
  • If you want to approach anyone you happen to see with a camera and ask them to delete precious childhood snapshots despite the law saying they don’t have to and they assure you that it’s not necessary because you’re not in the pictures then take them at their word and leave them the hell alone.
  • If you ignore the previous two points and continue to annoy two mothers trying to have a good time with their small children and the photographer offers your the completely non-obligatory courtesy of proving to you that you’re not in the pictures either accept her offer or shut up and go away.
Geesh. Seriously guys, it was five and a half kinds of obnoxious.
Have you or someone you know ever been harassed for taking pictures in a public place? Tell me about it in the comments and I’ll share the three best stories in another post.
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Wednesday, July 7

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time…
There was a peasant woman with a desire to sew. She bought the cheapest machine she could get because it was all she could afford. And she sewed. She made a cat bed, skirts, some zippered make-up bags, and a few other things. But little did she know an evil wizard had cast a spell on her machine before it was sold that would make it inexplicably break. The woman was very sad. Her husband tried to fix the machine. Her mother-in-law tried to figure out what was wrong. But nothing they did made it better. And in time the machine became even more useless. Hiring a repair-wizard would cost far more than the machine cost. So the woman conceded defeat.
A few years after buying the first machine the woman’s husband surprised her with a new sewing machine for Mother’s Day. And there was much rejoicing! But, having learned her lesson the first time the woman consulted her magical information machine and, in doing so, discovered that this particular type of machine was regularly cursed by wizards and witches. So it was with much sadness and a few tears that the woman had her husband return the machine.
Now the woman had no machine and no hope of soon obtaining one. Trustworthy machines simply cost too much, even refurbished ones from the repair-wizard’s shop. But one day the woman saw a notice on ye olde notice board on her magical information machine for a trustworthy sewing machine in “good condition” for very little money. She laid claim right away and soon the merchant-woman delivered the machine to her. Alas! It was missing a foot, but the merchant discounted the machine to help make up for that unfortunate fact.
It wasn’t until after the merchant had left that the peasant woman discovered that the machine was also missing a crucial part. She contacted the merchant woman again to ask for a refund. The merchant woman simply said she had never had that part. The peasant woman was outraged! “Why, that’s dishonest, “ she said. “You shouldn’t have listed it in “good condition” if you couldn’t even test to see if it works!” The merchant said nothing and slunk off into the dark and frightening woods where only liars, cheats, and robbers live. The peasant woman pronounced a curse on her but, not being a witch, the spell was just harmless, but colorful, words.
By this time the peasant women was sorely vexed and feeling quite depressed. There were so many projects to sew and no way to sew them. Hoping against hope she visited the shop of the lord and lady of the land and asked if they ever had sewing machines for sale. They did, in fact they had one that very moment! It was an older machine, which meant it was probably made before wizards and witches began regularly cursing machines. And, just to be sure, the peasant woman could try it out before buying it {at a discount because the lord and lady are benevolent like that}. It worked! The peasant woman rejoiced! She may have gone through much sorrow and frustration. She may have been cheated. But she finally had a working sewing machine!
But what to do with the two expensive and very large door stops she still had in her possession? “Perhaps the repair-wizard would like to by them for parts,” she said to herself. And, in a complete reversal of her usual luck with sewing machines the repair-wizard did indeed want to buy them. In fact, he bought the machine the wicked, lying merchant had sold her for three times the amount the peasant woman had paid for it {“ha-ha! take THAT liar-liar-pants-on-fire” she thought}. And with a song in her heart the woman joyfully used her earnings to buy notions and fabric.
And she lived happily, ever after?
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Sunday, July 4

A Total “Eclipse” of the Heart

Guys, it’s just so sad. I had to share:
There we were, me, Adam, in the car with the progeny in the backseat on our way to run an errand. I saw something spectacular, incredible, fan-effing-tastic!
“I have to have a Burger King kid’s meal!”
“Right now? Or on the way home?” Adam replied.
“On the way home…they have Twilight toys!”
That’s when Adam gave me a look of disgust and hit me repeatedly saying “dirty, dirty, dirty!”
“No! It’s awesome! That’s a blog post right there!” I was practically gleeful. “Maybe I’ll get a shirtless Jacob figure!” I snickered.
Cut to later when we’re in the drive-thru. The sign on the menu said the toy was a holographic ring. Excellent! I could totally take sexy-face pictures of me wearing it. Adam just wondered if they could make holograms sparkle. The air was thick with anticipation as I dug into my greasy bag and excitedly pulled out…
…a Marmaduke toy.
A MARMADUKE TOY?
Booooooo! Where was my toy for desperate Twihards?
I then sent my very-good-sport of a husband inside to make an inquiry about the toys. They were out of Eclipse toys.
They were out.
I’ve concluded that either Twilight has suddenly become very popular with the under-12 set or a lot of lonely, grown women have been ordering kid’s meals at Burger King. Then again, maybe there’s just been a rush of bloggers like me ordering them for the purpose of satire and merciless mockery. ;)
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PS: I love to make fun of Twilight for many reasons {not the least of which being that it’s just so easy}.  And I do stand by my belief that they send a terrible message to girls about relationships. That said, I do have my own similarly pathetic movies and books to which I will admit a fond attachment. But I’m still going to poke fun at Twilight and the obsessive fandom. So spare me any outrage in the comments, please.
Saturday, July 3

The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short

I’ve been busy.

I’ve been selling etched glass and vinyl decals at the local Farmer’s Market and working on my Etsy shop {click “products” in the left-hand sidebar}. I’ve read some books I’ve been meaning to get to. I’ve been taking care of a toddler and attempting to maintain some semblance of sanity {toddlers are hard}. I’ve been doing a little baking. I’ve been, you know, living life.

We celebrated Canada Day on Thursday. Lucy liked the fireworks last year. I was really looking forward to watching her watch them again this year. The bugs were out in full force. I’m covered in itchy bites {Lucy and Adam came out relatively unscathed}. While we were waiting for the city’s fireworks to start there were some little ones set off by somebody or other. Lucy was pretty excited:

But then…

…there was a LOUD firework.

Lucy turned tail and ran. She didn’t even look back to see where we were. Adam chased her down. I gave her lots of hugs. But it was clear that she was not going to like the fireworks. We couldn’t even get her to look at some nearby sparklers. She would turn away from subsequent smaller, quieter fireworks saying “no, no, no, no, no!” So we went home. And even on the way home, in the car where the fireworks couldn’t be heard she refused to look at them. Poor thing.

Maybe next year.

How’d you celebrate Canada Day, or, how will you be celebrating the 4th of July?

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