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Monthly Archives: March 2012

I’ll be your friend… I’ll help you carry on

My friend Billy LOVES this song!! whenever I hear it, I think of him singing it in the church choir. Belting it out, hopping around on his tippy toes using everything he can to get it out Loud and Proud.  Even as I type it right now I’m chuckling about it, picturing him.

Billy died on his living room floor from a Methadone Overdose. I took the phone call from police as they frantically searched for his wife to inform her.  I then took the next phone call.  The one from his wife where we talked of … I don’t even remember what.  After Billy’s funeral, when they had loaded the casket into the hearse for the ride to the cemetery, the hearse wouldn’t start.  In the middle of a busy street, in one of Canada’s biggest cities.  The funeral people were mortified.  Billy’s wife and I sat there laughing and laughing, thinking Billy may have just pulled off one last joke. Billy taught me to laugh, no matter how bad things got. He was ALWAYS looking for a good laugh or a chance to make someone smile.

I’ve thought a lot about Billy and some of my other friends lately.  Not just people I know.. but friends… people who’ve taught me things.  I’d like to tell you about a couple more of them.

When I first met Crystal, she was about 17. Dripping with attitude, smelling like she spent the night in a sewage treatment plant, although she swore up and down it was just an alley behind the Eaton’s Center.  She was the first “Cutter” I had ever met, with scars criss crossing her arms and a few fresh slash marks from a recent stressful situation.  Abused by trusted figure after trusted figure, she became a regular at the shelter, and a regular in my office.  When the staff knew she was coming, they’d often make themselves busy, not wanting to hear another of her “stories” when she came in.  But she’d sit in my office chattering from one subject to another, becoming background noise while I worked on other things. Crystal taught me how important it was to listen, and about people just needing to feel heard.

Amanda and Naomi were my first “Transgender experience”. Two MtF (Male to Female) women working the streets who taught me SO much. The right vocabulary, the struggles of tring to “pass” (The year spent in the gender you’re transitioning into,  where you live as that gender 24/7), and the biases of a system designed for Male, Female and no room for “Grey”.  As MtF’s, they couldn’t stay in a mens shelter for fear of being beaten up.  When they arrived at many women’s shelters, with obviously male features the staff were quick to say the other residents were uncomfortable, some even branding them as predators, although my experience has taught me the transient population is often more accepting the staff serving them.  Even when needing to call the police regarding sexual assaults, they were often met with scepticism if they were lucky, but more often than not it was open hostility. (So much so that a special division of the police was formed for the LGBT2S, homeless and sex workers of the city). Amanda and Naomi taught me to look beyond.  To really SEE the person, and not just the outward appearance.

Beverly was a quiet woman, sitting in the corner of a room, knitting, colouring… always creating something.  Many of the staff had a “Beverly Drawer”, a place where we’d put the many homemade gifts she’d give us during the run of a shift.  In fact, I’m wearing one of her bracelets today.  I have little squares of wool she knit tucked away in my “Baby Box” to add to a quilt when the time arrives 🙂 Beverly was a different case.  So severely wrapped up in her cocoon of mental health issues that there really was no chance of her living on her own, yet to pass her on the street, she’s seem as normal as any other person, maybe even more so.  Beverly was content to go to her day programs.  To live in our dorm setting with 45 other women, then bottom on a bunk bed in the corner, with a locker and the space under her bed for her possessions.  Always the first to help if needed, and the last to ask for favors unless she was in a jam, Beverly taught me to find Joy in the little things.  To stop and pick the flowers before dinner, to paint your feelings onto a piece of paper to share.

There are so many others.  The convicted murderer playing basket ball with my son.  The drug dealer offering to say a prayer for my family as we struggle through a situation.  The addict with keys to my office and my house.  The woman bought and sold into MY HOME COUNTRY who struggles to regain herself and who becomes a legal assistant while working her way through law school and the 80-year-old homeless woman who smells like garbage so that she wont be assaulted on the streets and who sleeps sitting up with her shoes behind her back so that no one will steal them.

I have acquaintances, people – coworkers even – who I see who say “How are you?” as they walk past, never really waiting for an answer.  Those people will drift in and out of my life as necessity dictates, but for friends? I count the addict, the murderer, the homeless woman, the prostitute or the mentally ill woman among the ones that changed my life.

Maybe thats why this song speaks to me so much…

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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

I *HEART* YOU!!

Most people who blog take part in “Wordless Wednesday”.  Today happens to be a particularly stressful Wednesday as The Hubs gets ready for more tests to try to figure out what’s causing his chest pains.  I couldn’t think of a better picture for Wordless Wednesday then one of our more recent tattoo’s.

We each hold a piece of the other’s heart literally 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Plans? We don’t need no stinkin’ plans!

I had plans…. Big plans for this week. The Hubs will tell you, I’m very OCD about my plans, and very Sulk-ish when they fall through.

In 2 weeks time, the Hubs and I are going away for a week, and it will be the first time Child the 3rd has stayed with my in laws. I had plans to get th house all beautified this week.

Remember I was also going to do all that cooking, get all those freezer meals ready?

Big plans.

Thursday morning,the Hubs got sick. In a big way. Like head to the ER, don’t pass go don’t collect $200 kinda way. Like the stay overnight hooked up to a bunch of machines kinda way.

Thursday and Friday were spent terrified about what was possibly wrong with the Hubs, so all plans kinda got thrown out the window.

Today is Sunday. The Hubs is no better, but he was allowed to come home with some struck instructions, and some serious follow up. The floors are in need of a serious vacuum, the dishwasher needs to be emptied and the formerly harmless load of laundry in my bathtub has made known its plans of mutiny. My plans have been thrown out the window and instead we’re sitting on the porch reading and just being.

Forget the plans, I want to remember the small moments.

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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Do WHAT with my freezer??

I don’t know if I’m just late to the party, or if I’ve just been ignorant to the goings on around me, but the last 2-3 days I cant take a step without tripping over something freezer meal related!  Do you mean there are people out there who have things other then weight watchers ice cream and Child the Thirds food of the month (pizza) in their freezers?!

If you’ve done any back reading (you should… there may be a test…) you’ll know that The Hubs and I have been doing this lifestyle change thing for almost a year.  You’ll also know that The Hubs and I have been veering a little off course these last few months, and not been following our program as closely as we should.  With so much going on at work, and pulling long, late exhausting hours by the time we get home, we’re not really in the mood for 1) cooking for 20-30 min and then 2) measuring out healthy portion sizes.  If I were being totally honest, and we all know the Internet screams confessional, we had bacon and eggs 3 times this week just so that we wouldn’t have to make anything else.

So when I stumbled on my 18 thousandth pinterest link about Freezer Meals, I decided to check it out.

There are a LOT of cool sites out there with some great ideas.  But with a restrictive 800 calorie, 40-80 carb daily limit, the strawberry waffels with cream really couldn’t fit in our food plan (although I do know they would fit nicely in my tummy!)

But then… less then 30 min ago, I stumbled across the blog of possibly my female soulmate. We may in fact, have been seperated at birth (To my brother Shawn, I’m sorry you got stuck with the evil twin!).  http://onceamonthmom.com/menus/  is so organized that it made my OCD heart a little jealous.  She offers menus for the “Traditional”, “Whole Foods”, “Dairy and Wheat free”, “Diet”, “Vegitarian”, and even “Baby Food” options!!  And know what else?? Excel spreadsheets that adjust and calculate number of ingredient needed based on the number of people you are cooking for.  Recipie cards, Nutritional values (at least for the diet menu’s.. I gotta be honest I didnt look too closely at the others because I was too busy freaking out over finding my bloggy secret twin)

So Friday, I’m going to go grocery shopping and Saturday… Saturday I’m going to spend the day cooking a whole month’s worth of food!! 

ImageMaybe then, my freezer wont look like this.  What is IN all those bags??

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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And now for something completely different…

I need a hobby.

It’s not like I don’t have things to do, what with needing to pack up our house, offices, and prepare for our move, but for some reason, I can’t focus on that right now.

Instead I find myself sifting through post after post on pinterest, looking for some kind of DIY, Upcycled, Recycled, repurposed project to work on.  I can tell you my dream upcycle is to turn an entertainment set into a little girls kitchen, but I refuse to do so until our little Chunky Pumpkin is on her way.

So instead I’m on the hunt for some really cool stuff to make.  Working for the organization that I do, there is and endless supply of thrift store stuff floating around.  If you had a warehouse full of possibilities and the focus of Mr. Magoo like I do, where would you start? Think funky… think organizational, think… easy, because I’m not all that good at the crafting thing yet.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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This House is Pretty

In a few short months my family will begin the process of moving. Something The Hubs and I are all too familiar with. Growing up as children of pastors, we’re used to having to pack up and go on our merry way.

(Truth be told, we packed our first boxes last weekend. No idea where we’re headed from here, but I can now say without a doubt that our books will be coming with us… or… at least the ones that were on the shelf in the reading room… the rest.. there’s a 50/50 chance).

Since we’ll be hitting the road, I decided that it was time my blog hit the road too! So I packed up and moved over here to WordPress. And I gotta say… I think I like it. I still have a bit to figure out, but I’ll get there. (Hmm… think that applies to both moves at the moment)

Dude! My theme is Choco!! Yes, I picked it because it made me think of chocolate, and I don’t care who knows it!!

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Be Still ?!?!?

Be still and know that I am God

God created Sunday to be a day of rest. A day to Be Still. Why oh why has the last few Sundays felt like the most stressful day of my week??

No matter what time I’ve gotten up, I feel like the clock is ticking to Church time. “Go time”. As part of the role The Hubs and I fulfill at our rehabilitation center, we hold a Sunday morning service for the men staying with us. We hold it early enough that if there are those who want to worship with their family, they will still have time to do so.

After a typical Sunday morning service, we head off to a second service. Some of the men come with us, and we share with our church family (our pastor starts some of his best Sundays with “like the Olive Garden, when you’re here your family”).

This really is an opportunity for Sunday to be the most restful of days. I try to plan for 90 min to get us up and out the door on a Sunday morning. We get up, The Hubs takes a shower whil I feed Child the Third and let the furballs outside. Once The Hubs is done, I go and shower and get ready, then we’re out the door. But what happens to those 90 min? Where do they go and why does it feel like I’m the only one living in this odd time warp? And to top it all off The Hubs is preaching at our family church this Morning.

I could use a little zen before the meeting. Sunday morning all my pastor friends are posting wonderfully inspirational things as their Facebook status one their facebook, while all I can do the last fee weeks is sigh and hrumph my way through the morning (hmm… Maybe I would have more time if I wasn’t on Facebook)

Last Sunday I sent a text to my Father In Law to let him know we were singing one of his favorite songs that morning. His response? “I was just sitting in the quiet room singing that and other songs from back in the day”. Sitting in the quiet room. Reflecting before service. People have the time to do that??? I can hardly find the time to brush my hair on a Sunday morning and there are people out there who are spending time in quiet reflection?

In preparation for Gods word How do you get through the Sunday Mornings? How do you prepare for the worship to follow at church? Do you have a special routine to prepare your heart and mind?

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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