1408 postcard

blah blah blah

Monday, March 2nd, 2015.
I'm late, I'm late, I'm late! It's one of those nights where I know I'm pushing my luck with time. I'm trying to do too much at one time when I should focus on one thing - only I left all the things to the very last minute so that means I have no choice but to focus on all the things - no one to blame but myself!

11:21pm Just finished uploading some photos. Admittedly, the self portrait for today was a rush job. I'm hiding behind a book, literally. I was standing in front of the shelves that have the journals, diaries and books of letters. This ties into the book I'm reading. I'm sure to read through this one before another day is out. If I was to concentrate on any one thing long enough, I'd be done it by now. It's a good read and I can see how a younger audience would find it appealing. I hope it inspires them to read what inspired the book and other works and writers connected to the confessional genre.

365 Days (2015): Day 61

11:31pm This is my own fault. I just zoned out for a good five minutes, looking at other pages on LJ instead of keeping my eyes on the blank page for today's 750 words. I'm not going to make it if I don't get to typing! I have written my words every day for over 182 days and there should be no stopping me now. I have to keep going. I'm tired and I need to have a bath. It can be understandable that the events of the past couple of days has left me emotionally exhausted.

How have I been? What's been going on with me? How am I doing? Well, glad you asked. I'm doing okay. I mean, no, I'm not doing okay. I wanted to be fasting from the first and onward but no, instead I had to eat some of my emotions and that is never a good thing for me. Having done that, I feel like I may have ruined things for myself with the first goal I wanted to get to before going away on our trip at the end of the month. But no, that's not true - I can still get close to it if I get myself in check now. I have an alarm set for 11:59pm so that I can do midnight to midnight, like I used to do. I can't allow myself any excuses on this one. I'm just going to have to feel whatever I'm feeling and not stuff it down with food. I felt so much better for those days at the beginning of last month than I had in a long time. I need to remember how that felt and do that again. Also, more tea. Drink more tea, more water and for gosh sakes, do some stretching at the very least!

Yes, I'm nervous about the upcoming trip. I can't believe it's already the month where we have these plans to travel overseas again. I can't believe we're actually going to Scotland and to Ireland. I thought it was amazing when we went to Italy and now we get to go somewhere else? That seems incredible to me. But, if we were to save some money properly (and I were to ease up on my frivolous spending) we could very well afford to do this every couple of years - travel somewhere - if we plan for it wisely. It's entirely possible that we could do that. I will start stashing away each pay toward the next trip. If I do get a say, I would like to visit Paris and then return to Venice again. Oh, I think my husband and I would like to see a lot of places, including more of our own country. I don't want to be gone from home too long but a week or so away without much hopping around from place to place would be good.

Meanwhile, I still think about how I want to go exploring here at home, meaning, in my hometown. I think of getting on my bicycle and getting rid of some of this weight on me. Taking photos of what I see around me and becoming familiar with this town I've somehow settled back down in. I think about Toronto from time to time but I don't long for it as I used to, especially the way I did after we left it. I will be visiting it soon (only for the stay before leaving the country and as a rest day before we return home after the trip) and I don't even know if I'll get out much from the hotel room. Maybe? A little? Maybe I'll even feel a bit homesick when I get to Toronto, as I have before, just because it feels the most like home to me than any other place has so far. Or maybe I won't feel anything at all because I'll be too nervous about traveling (okay, flying) again.

11:52pm I typed enough to meet my daily word count goal today. This post was fluff, I tell you, fluff! I could have written about meaningful things or the recent episode of 'The Walking Dead' or something but no, I wrote about what I often write about. I sure hope you skipped it all. Just read it as, "blah blah blah" and that about sums it up.

I'll give this a better try tomorrow.


O, Brother, Where Art Thou? (not a movie)

365 Days (2015): Day 60
New month. New!
365 Days (2015): Day 60

Sunday, March 1st, 2015.
First contact. Or, first telephone contact. It happened today. It was after a message that was quite moving, really, with the words "Welcome brother!" and when I read that out loud to my Dad, I had a sob in my voice from the emotional impact of those words that I'm sure the two of us wondered over the years if it would ever be possible to hear. It was the phrase of acceptance. Cautious, initial steps, tentative, but forward. It truly is exciting and scary at the same time for all of us. For those who will be aware of this within the birth family to my Dad, myself and I can't help but think of our friend Laurel who also had a long lost sister they never knew about until late in life - after being reunited with her birth family, she passed away shortly after. Heartbreaking but just in time? But these things don't always happen in time. I feel the loss for my Dad of never getting to speak with his birth Grandmother - but then I feel good about the fact that his new brother and him can match up each of the pieces of information they have - plus all of those experiences - so much they both can share together! Even if the birth mother never hears of my Dad (which, perhaps, may be best now) that is fine - more was gained in my Dad's phone reunion with this man who reciprocated our reaching out then we dared hoped could happen. I also spoke with him, although my call was a mess with me being in a state of shock still, a bit overwhelmed and then there was spaghetti to be had, of course.

It was a chaotic last few minutes of the call because my husband was having his own freak out moment about changing our train ticket times so that we could travel a day sooner to the big city this month so that he can meet his nephew. We are an Uncle and an Aunt ourselves, of his only sibling's recent newborn. We don't have the best of relationships with his sister but we're trying our hardest. I sent a message to her asking if a brief visit in the afternoon or evening of that day before we leave to go away would be okay and she replied with an excited text message so we're on. My husband and I were interested in this baby as soon as we heard the news - it's our only chance to be an Uncle & Aunt and we won't be having children of our own - and we sent many gifts for the baby shower (and some afterward - and a card, even though a fight was already in progress by that time) and despite the differences, we actually do care and are trying. I hope that they can find a way to develop a relationship.

Likely, caught up in the family reunion that happened over the phone today, it was enough to make us decide to give just a bit more. I mean, honestly, I think my husband has put up with quite a lot recently in this situation but there is a lot to still be learned as the dynamics shift (or need to shift) in that sister / brother relationship - she doesn't know that he is not the way she knew him. He has grown up a lot in recent years and is a good man.

I remember her message telling him that it was his loss (if he couldn't bend over backward to travel all that way to see her) and the next morning, early hours, I ranted and rambled in the early morning darkness to him while he was mostly asleep, "No, it's HER loss. You would do anything for her and you're a great friend and you'd do anything that you can for those you care about and she's missing out if she doesn't figure that out." But sometimes people see you as someone they knew years ago and they aren't able to shift their perspectives. Even if you try to show them, they will only see what they have fixed in their mind.

Sometimes it's easier to think that people don't change so that you don't have to think about changing, either.

Either way, we've tried to get it across to her that we do care and we do love her (I wouldn't have held my tongue or restrained my fingers from texting her during that last tirade she went on at it him if that weren't so - but it's also because I love him and I know he wants to give her time for this to be fixed - the many years she felt he failed her as the older brother, when he had shut down - he understands more than she realizes) and I'm just reminded of how broken we all can be at times and of how it doesn't matter whose fault it is - it only matters what we do with the pieces we are each alone left holding.

Where will this piece go? Does this piece matter anymore? Is this one worth finding a place for in our lives? Should we let this old puzzle piece go?

& then, the most incredible puzzle comes along and the pieces fit into place!

If we have lived long enough and not slept our way through our lives, we will have many experiences. Many losses. Painful times (or years!) and so many things that break us up so bad that we'll wonder how we managed to carry on. For some reason, we hold on to the bad memories easier than we can grasp the good times. I don't know why that happens to us because it would seem that we'd want the best memories to be foremost on our mind but that doesn't always happen - especially when the bad times pile up higher and faster than we can process in time.

In time. Some things happen in time. Some things don't. Whatever the case may be, I am grateful for days like today where I was able to hear my Dad be accepted. He was not rejected this time. He was not thrown away this time but welcomed. Oh, brother, there you are!
monkees imaginary phone

"we may be related..."

Saturday, February 28th, 2015.
This is definitely the latest start I've had in quite some time for writing my words and of course it would happen on the last day of the month, eh? Yesterday was my 180 day streak for writing every day in a row on the 750 words site so that's awesome. I want to keep the streak going but I'm challenged tonight by the momentous events of the day. I didn't type that statement with sarcasm either - it truly was a day where a big thing happened, or the start of a possible thing, we're not sure yet - it was a very important thing.

11:30pm A half hour to type over 650 words off the top of my head - go! I know that I can type quick enough but can I think that fast tonight? I feel a bit off because, for some strange reason, my meds are hitting me. They don't usually. I have no idea why they are for a change. I've often not felt them at all. I ate food today - in fact, I had a mini-binge of junk food while watching the first episode of the new season of 'House of Cards' and this happened in a brief amount of time but I managed to eat a salad, Pringles chips and a chocolate bar. If this was something I did every day, I'd be in big trouble. I gave myself a couple of excuses (even though there is no excuse and obviously I am not going to lose much weight if I allow myself to eat like that) but these are my two excuses:

1. I am starting another fast just before midnight tonight. It's going to be a long one. It's the end of the month. Let me have this one last time to eat something and feel awful about it but eat it anyway because.

2. I made contact with someone who is likely (probably, most definitely if all the connecting dots are indeed connected correctly) my Dad's birth family. Also, I received a response back!

It was a quick reply but seems to be positive, in that, it wasn't a quick dismissal and we've added one another as friends on Facebook. This may lead to further contact, here's hoping! We have the same nose. There are a few other relatives on there, even one of my Dad's Aunts (who also has the nose and the same light fixture as I have in my dining room in the background of her photo) but caution must be taken. As it is, I have a feeling this is something that is going to cause quite a stir in that family and they need to be able to process this information for themselves first before any decisions are made for further contact, I imagine.

So you see, a little binge was not out of order. It's stressful to wait for further contact but I'm imaging this is likely a shock because I think, perhaps, it might have been something the mother was willing to be silent about forever. I don't know. I can't know until we've all actually communicated with one another. That's the other thing - whether the person I am in contact with will take the steps to contact the government to request information to search for any adopted blood relatives and if they do, they'll get a reply back and so will my Dad and then they'll all get answers.

From what we can tell, we have a fair bit of information - enough to have tracked down a fair number of the relatives from the live birth certificate to an obituary that led to the one woman who could have been my great grandmother, to, sadly, a woman who could be my Dad's sister - who passed away just last month rather young. Yes, last month. That rips at my guts, honestly, to think that we were that close and then to see another possible sibling be in the hospital, according to a Facebook photo, just made me think of how there isn't much time. (There never is.) Once I saw that photo and the nose - that nose that I've always pointed out to my Dad, of how our noses are - I felt I must reach out now.

Random fact: The age difference between my Dad's adopted mother and my Dad's birth grandmother was 1 (yes, that's ONE) year. In that, my Granny Pullin was one year older than my Dad's birth's mother's mother. That is also why my Dad's mother adopted him - she was in her late '30's when she and my grandfather were going through the adoption procedures.

My Dad has more than enough information to connect all the dots but another heartbreaking one is that the oldest son looks to be just over a year younger than my Dad. That's really close in age (my husband and his sister have about the same amount of time in between them so it's not uncommon) but that adds more to the story, I'm sure. There are also some other coincidences and connections that would be most fascinating to talk about, no doubt, but that is something we have to wait on the edges of our seats for because I have a feeling this is something that must be discussed among the relatives first. I mean, are they going to approach their Mother about this or are they going to call me or my Dad or write back and forth or use Skype? Dad has a lot of information that he has given me that he is holding on to until there is further contact.

I burst into a brief episode of sobs after shaking because I felt relieved. I was so worried that my Dad might never get the answers. That he might never make contact with the blood relatives he knew were out there somewhere. I worried that it would be me that would be contacted, after my Dad had gone senile or died, when I wouldn't have any of the information, stories or knowledge that he has. That the chance would be lost.

This is only a first step. But this is the furthest we've made it. We just want to know more about where we come from. Yes, my Dad has a family history through the wonderful people who adopted him - a framed photo of my Granny Pullin is centre on the fireplace - I know my Dad could not have had a better mother than her. But with all the losses he had in life, all the family that died when he was young (he was adopted into an older family) and the feeling that most adopted children might have with the big question mark in their life, I can't help but feel that the chance for my Dad to speak with the man who was first born after him would be something that would make up for everything.

I have tears just typing that.

Family isn't perfect. I know that firsthand. But still - just to know - oh, to know!

365 Days (2015): Day 59
The Dad and Me in younger years.
365 Days (2015): Day 59

11:58pm I need to wrap this up. I also had a visit today from Aunt Terry and she arrived just after I'd cried in my husband's arms, happy and relieved.

Can't help but also think about their family. The recent loss they had. Whatever they might be going through in their own lives. How they might want to approach the subject matter with other relatives. The many questions they would have, of course! Especially if they had no idea that my father ever existed, which I imagine is the case?

We don't know what will happen next. I don't know how long we'll have to wait. But we're closer than we've ever been to knowing. That makes this a very important day.
alice o frabjous day!

went outside today - have proof!

The balcony view sunrise this morning.

Friday, February 27th, 2015.
We went on an adventure today! This is another way of me saying that I actually went outside of the apartment - and not across the street but across town. After husband finished work, I was dressed and ready to go with him to the bank so that we could take care of rent. I had a feeling the other location of his bank would not be open, despite it being a Friday and only five o'clock, and sure enough - we pulled up in the taxi and we had to get back in it again to take us back across town to the other location.

RBC Royal Bank (west end branch)
Talbot Street

Thankfully, (MOST thankfully!) the east end branch was open until six o'clock on a Friday which meant we got there just in time. While we were getting our money order done, the lights were being turned off, a teller was taking off her dress shoes and putting on those boots (they're called Uggs, I think?) and we were the only customers there. Husband had just been there the day before to get the printed receipt for his tax records (it hadn't been sent to him yet and the deadline is early this week so we did that before the deadline, phew!) but here he was again, at the bank to do something out of the ordinary for him.

365 Days (2015): Day 58
Outside the bank before we got a money order to pay for March and April rent.
365 Days (2015): Day 58

See, with rent, we've had this pattern of him sending me the balance left to pay it to my account through the magic of the internet. It's fast and simple. After that, with the amount I've saved from my recent pay, we then go into a branch of my bank (the very one where I was upset the other night) and I usually buy the money order for our rent. Husband is generally standing beside me. I get the amount for our entire rent and we pay it ahead of time and I make sure to keep a copy of the money order and to put the one for the property company into an envelope for them. It has the month and our address, both our names and my number on it just in case. I make sure to write the month of rent on the copy of the money order since they stopped doing the carbon copy thing awhile back. This is just so that I can keep track of the money orders and have them in order should anything happen. (It's rare, but something does happen from time to time and it's helped me several times to have kept copies of my money orders.) This has been our way of doing it for a few years now but today was different.

We got the money order through husband's bank account this time. We also put two months rent on it instead of just the one. Meaning, we paid for March and we paid for April today. We would need to pay April ahead of time anyway since we won't be here when it will be due. One thing that is important to the both of us is that we don't fall out of sync with our bills just because we're going away on a trip. Everything will be paid on time or ahead so that when we get home we won't have to worry about that sort of thing. I'm sure we'll feel exhausted from traveling that we'll just be relieved to be home and likely busy cleaning up after whatever the cats have been up to while we were away. We'll have cat sitters but it's still not the same, eh?

The money that he sent to me earlier today for our initial (and usual) plan of paying rent out of my account was altered so that we instead had me pay that money on the credit card. I did that through phone banking. We're keeping the credit card clear for the trip.

The app for my bank didn't work today but that's not as bad as the other glitch that was going on. Apparently some people didn't receive their direct deposits for their payroll deposits today in some places throughout Ontario. I noticed it was kept quiet overall and he was paid fairly early in the morning since it was a bank glitch that was corrected quick enough but having that happen the day after I was frustrated with banks just made me think all the more about how there should be a better and less stressful way for those of us who don't have a bajillion dollars in our wallets.

The sunset (& other things) before I fell into a snowbank.

11:20pm As you can see from the next two photos below, I fell down in the snow while trying to take photos of the sun that was going down in a brilliant blazing red way. We hadn't been to this restaurant before before (husband has been wanting us to check it out since we moved here) and so we weren't aware that the front entrance is actually at the back of the building and we were entering the back entrance at the front facing the street which had a patio hidden in the snow. We were oblivious, especially me as I walked along, trying to take photos of that sinking red sun, which is when I fell into that snowbank. My poor camera. I've had a tough time with it as I struggle to take a photo every day. I keep messing things up with the settings. I realize I could read the manual but why would I do something like that? Weird things keep happening with my camera and I sort of ignore it so long as it can still take pictures.

11:28pm Facebook message sent to a man who has the same nose as me and my Dad. No idea if we'll get a response back. I've typed my words for today and I have photos to add to this post. I should probably work on that instead of rambling now.

11:30pm Walked the short distance home with husband after supper at the restaurant. It was cold out and that sky was like the night before -

I tried to take pictures along the way and some video clips, realizing that tomorrow is the last day of the month and I didn't take even half has many clips as I did the month before. Next month will make up for that, no doubt, what with the end of it being another adventure of traveling to Scotland and Ireland for my husband and I. I'll be sure to take lots of photos and video clips, even if I can't upload them while I'm away. Part of the fun is going through that stuff when I've returned home. It's a good way to relive things I wasn't noticing because I was too busy taking photos of everything.

Stopping in the cold when we need to hurry home but wanting to capture the sound of our shoes crunching on the packed but slippery snow, I was thankful that my husband was willing to suffer a bit with me and for me so that I could get that 15 second clip, so that I could stop to look up at that bit of shiny moon, the stars even brighter somehow with Spock's ascent - I felt grateful that we had some time outside to be cold together for me to appreciate that much more our getting home.

Slipping the envelope into the rental box to have rent paid in time and ahead was also satisfying. Although I am disturbed by how long they're keeping the reminder posted to get tenant insurance in all of the bulletin boards. We've got renter's insurance coverage and we needn't worry about that but it makes me wonder why they're leaving that posted for so long! They need to change things up soon. It's ominous. Also, a reminder pamphlet or having it posted in one central place (like they do above the mailboxes) seems sufficient enough. While we may have coverage, the things I treasure most aren't replaceable.

As, I suppose, they couldn't be and shouldn't be.