Sunday, February 28, 2010 Nova Scotia on my mind

Sailor Boy flies back to Halifax tomorrow after two weeks compassionate leave. (sigh)

We've been talking about going out to the Maritimes for a few months.  I ordered some tourism literature from the Province back in the fall, and now I'm anxious to get going on the trip!

One of the things on my "100 Things to Do Before I Die" list is to drive the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick to PEI. It's eight miles long, and seems so exciting to me!  I wonder what I'll see from there! I turned into a L.M.Montgomery fan last summer (thanks to Wendy!) so I will probably just have to do the Anne of Green Gables thing.

My plan is to then ferry from PEI to Pictou (look out Denise!) and then to Halifax.  I haven't got dates yet - - I'm still considering summer school. But it will be as soon as I can swing it!  End of April?  First of May? I'm so excited!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday morning....

...and I really SHOULD be sewing.

But I'm not.  I'm actually writing a paper that I'm horribly underqualified to write.  It's about community organization around racism.  I have no community experience, very little theoretical knowledge, and I am critically aware that I live in a privileged position (being inside my white/Anglo skin) and thus will never know what it is to be a victim of racism.

Ugh....the only good thing I can say is that my title page looks awesome, and I've got a list of really impressive references.  Okay, rant break is over...back to work.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Blacks & Brights

I have been working away at this a little at a time.  I added another five blocks this week.  The colours in this photo didn't come out as bright as they are in real life though:

It's time for things to get back to "normal" (a word I would hardly ever apply to THIS household, however...).  Back to school tomorrow for me and Itty Bitty.  Sailor Boy will be with us for another week though.  I suspect we're going to be recovering from this week for a very long time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

....well, you're probably wondering where I've been

I was looking forward to a really slack week.  It's "Reading Week" at university (doesn't that sound more academic than "Spring Break"?).  On Valentine's Day, we had planned to celebrate "Family Day" (Feb 15th to any non-Canucks) and kick off my break by visiting the Kitchener Museum to see Our Body: The Universe Within.  About 20 minutes before we were heading out the door, the phone rang.

This was a call I had been expecting for at least five years.  But nonetheless, it was a horrible shock.  My ex-husband had died in the night, the father of my sons, after a very long illness due to complications from diabetes. It seems he had developed a kidney infection, and become septic.  He needed to be in the hospital, but refused to go back in the hospital, having only three months earlier gotten out.  He'd been in the hospital before that for nearly five years.

Sailor Boy had JUST been posted to Halifax only eight days earlier, leaving 16 year old Itty Bitty to plan his father's funeral arrangements.  Sailor Boy flew home Tuesday morning, and the funeral was today. 

No worries - - we're all managing quite well.  I'm so proud of the boys.  During the visitation yesterday, I tried to be in the wings (I mean, we've been divorced quite a long time...not exactly appropriate for me to be playing the grieving widow!) but still close enough to be supportive for the boys, and be able to speak to people that were from my side of the family, and people we knew mutually.  I must have been glowing with pride though - - so grown up, so handsome, so polite.

Their dad would have been sooooooooooooo proud.  Rest in peace, old friend.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm HALFWAY there!!!

Check my ticker at the bottom.  I'm over halfway to my goal of using $1000 in coupons in 2010, and we're only 6 weeks into the year!

I must slow down now, because I am fully stocked in all Health & Beauty items and laundry products.  Now that I have a stash, the numbers won't be adding up so fast.

Wanna see what I got today?  (I used $24.50 in coupons for this purchase)

Starting today, all yellow ticketed clearance Health & Beauty products are an additional 40 % off at Zellers.

Olay Ribbons Body Wash
4x $3.69 - 40% - 4x $1 off coupons = $4.84  ($1.21 each)

Crest Pro Health
2x $1.89 - 40% - 2x 50c off coupons = $1.26 ($0.63 each)

Reach Toothbrush
2x $3.49 - 40% - $1 & $1.50 coupons = $1.68 ($0.84 each)

Aqua Velva
1x $2.49 - 40% (no coupon!) = $1.49

Dove 4-pack soap
2 x $3.69 - 40% - 2x $1 coupons = $2.42 ($1.21 each) 

St. Ives lotion
1x $4.19 - 40% - $1.50 coupon = $1.01

Old Spice Body Wash
5x $2.99 - 40% - total of $7.50 in coupons = $1.45 ($0.29 each)

Old Spice deodorant
1x $2.19 - 40% - $1.50 coupon = -.19

Dial Pump Hand Soap
5x $1.69 - 40% - 5x 50c coupons = $2.55 ($0.49 each)

TOTAL = $16.47 (+tax)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Getting better every day

I've been a very bad blogger! 

This darn PLAGUE I've had has kept me away from Lucy (my Janome)...I don't want her to catch anything!  So I haven't sewn a stitch.  And it's not like I've been anywhere to brag what do I blog, eh?


I'm so sorry I forgot to wish you a Happy Birthday last night...and I'm sure you've left already for your trip.  Everybody...let's all head over to Gail's Place and have a party! (click on the link, and leave a comment - - she's having a Give-Away).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

There ARE signs of life...

...but WOW!  What a weak week!  I made it to one class in the past 7 days.  I'm finally turning a corner with whatever kind of virus this is that has kicked my @$$ -- and I really can't take any more, so that's good!

Gotta story to tell.

I drive by a shelter every day to go to my practicum placement.  I noticed there was a sign requesting "Blankets Desperately Needed".  So, I cleaned out my linen closet and found six blankets that could be passed on, and ended up with a nice, neat linen closet!  I tossed the blankets into the laundry and put them in my car to drop off when I had a few minutes to spare. Three of the six were good heavy, serviceable, blankets, two quilts (not handmade, but department store fakes), and one rather ordinary blanket.

Today, I had time to stop and deliver them.  I parked, and got my bundles out of the back seat.  There was a group of men huddled outside the door of the shelter, and one asked me, "Are you dropping off a donation?"  I said yes, and asked if he could direct me to where I should go.  He agreed to help me, and took one of my bags.

As he took one bag, and felt the heft of it, his eyes lit right up!  "Are these blankets?"  I said yes, and that I hoped they would come in handy.  He looked up from the bag and into my face.  "You don't know how badly they are needed. Thank you.  Thank you miss."

The small group gathered around.  One young man - tall, good looking kid in his mid-20s maybe, with red hair and glasses asked me: "Can I have that blue one?" pointing to the blanket folded over my arm. I put the blue blanket in his hands, and said "There's a total of six in there." and my helper interupted: "ohhhhhh there's two quilts in here!!!" he quietly breathed to the men gathered around us. My business was through here, but I overheard the redhead boy tell the others, "I slept under a window last night, and nearly froze."

As I headed back to my car, the group of men called out their gratitude and words of appreciation, and I was hit with a sudden overpowering feeling of awe.  I like to think I'm a generous person, as generous as my means allow at any rate.  But I think this was the first time I ever took something of my own and put it DIRECTLY into the hands of a complete stranger and felt --- I don't know --- I don't have the words to describe how the experience shook me.  Giving feels completely different when you omit the "middle man" who takes the gift, and then divides it out. It was an enormously humbling, near-religious experience. 

Next stop: a 'coffee-house' drop in centre about two blocks from the shelter, which services homeless people.  A student at the school where I'm doing my placement had put out a call for coffee, cups, cleaning supplies, books, playing cards, etc.  I put together a box of things, and loaded a totebag with books.  I wasn't sure if I was at the right place, so I parked, and walked to the house, where there were about 15 or 20 men standing around outside in small groups.

I recognized a volunteer, and told her I had a couple of things to drop off.  One man asked if I need help, and I said yes, so he tapped his buddy and said, "Let's go help this lady."

On my way back to the car, I explained how grateful I was that they had offered to help me, because my packages were heavy, and I was feeling very week and just recovering from a very bad cold.  The younger, taller one replied, "That's okay, it's not a problem.  I understand, I'm just over a bad cold myself."

He told me to follow him in, so that I could retrieve my totebag.  The room I stepped into was comfortably warm, with old stacking tables, and wooden chairs set out in small conversational groups.  There was a long low bookshelf, stacked with books on one wall, and posters advertising different projects and events on another.  The conversations were low, no jokes, no songs, no reminiscences.  Just simple advice on survival.  One man warned another not to be too helpful to another person, because it's so hard to say no when you don't have what they need. "What are you going to tell him at 2 in the morning when he's begging you for a Tylenol?"

This made me think about the boy who just helped me unload my car, and about my last week, when I've had the support of family, friends, not to mention a health care system that didn't make any judgements about me based on how I looked, what I wore, or what my address was. And I had the money to buy any comfort I could want - pain medicine, ice cream, a bed, and time. How did that boy manage with his cold, living on the street? 

Again - - - an enormously humbling, near-religious experience.

I think I'm hooked.