Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Updates, etc

Hello peeps,

Returning home after two wonderful weeks in the sun, was rough to say the least.  The weather here sucks!  No kidding, it's been a freaking nightmare!  From freezing temperatures to melting ones, snow up the wazoo, and now everything is covered in ice, WTF?  No matter what people may say or think, and this being the regular smucks to the American presidents, we broke our planet and it shows!

Anyhoo, we had an amazing time in beautiful Hawai'i, not a drop of rain, very little clouds, nice warm temperature, lovely people, so yeah, a great time.  To get there and back, I could do without.  It is such a long trek, but the return was easier that the going there.  That was one friggin' long day.

I did manage to remain sun burn free - yeah me! - granted we didn't do the toast (or bacon) much.  We visited a little, and on the Big Island we did one awesome tour.  We witnessed a gorgeous sunrise on top of Mauna Kea... what a sight!  I've never seen so many stars (except at the Planetarium), shooting stars and even saw the Hubble Telescope as it flew above us, unreal!

Observatories on top of Mauna Kea, with its shadow...
We were lucky enough to be up there, at about 14,000' high, feeling a little dizzy like we've had one too many Mai Tai, with no wind whatsoever and some snow.  It was cold though.  Had my coat from home, plus the parka they gave us and it wasn't too much!  We were also very lucky with our guide, he loved astronomy and the volcanoes, and it showed.  He was passionate and made it much more interesting for sure.  Being there was something else, where the earth met the sky, above the clouds, such a beautiful place...

We did manage to catch up with some friends while there, so that is always a BIG plus.  Even made her visit this statue, at Punchbowl, which she had never visited before.  Figures, she's local!
Made famous with the opening of the original Hawaii 5-0

And then we came home... argh.

Yesterday I woke up with my left eye sore, as if a lash was folded wrong or something...  Tried some hot compresses, some eye drops and ended up calling my eye doctor for an emergency visit.  I was lucky enough that he could see me.  Good thing Hubby was working from home and drove, since I couldn't keep my eye open.  It hurt to blink and felt like cramps behind my eye. Within a few minutes of sitting in his chair with his microscope he said I had a scratched cornea.  - yeah me! - He prescribed some antibiotic ointment, to mostly prevent infection and promote quick healing and sent me home, with a follow up tomorrow.  I will say this, that little ointment of his works well.  As soon as I put it in I felt relief!

In other news, I think it might be a sign that you've been with your loved one for a loooong time when neither of you are sure of the date you started dating... we both know it was in January 1994, so that will do...
Yep, I've been with my grumpy old man for the past 24 years... who would have thought... Half of my life, I've spent with him.  It almost feels unreal.  Where did all that time go?

One thing for sure, even if it might be because I'm used to having him around, with all his noises, and man, trust me, he generates a LOT of them from sneezing, coughing, farting, burping, swearing, chewing and even breathing this past week (he's been sick, poor thing!), he's one noise making man, but I love him.  Like I've said in my vows when we did the deed on the beach, I love him not only for who he is but for how I am when I'm with him. He makes me feel loved, he's my best friend, and even if there are (and trust me, there are!) days when I don't like him so much, I do love him.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Six More Dodos...

Christmas is among my favorite time of the year, but it is not for everyone... plus, as we are getting older it is not the same.  My mother is now a snowbird, and she doesn't come back just for me.  Hubby's father is... well... we don't see much of him.  Hubby often offered to escape at Christmas time.  We did it once, to Napa, and it was nice.  It didn't feel like it was Christmas, but the time away sure felt good.  This year we had not, yet, really taken any vacation.  I did go spend a two days at a cousin in Québec City, but other than that, we we pretty much home bodies.  Hubby worked a lot. We had talked about going to Europe, visit with friends back in August, but the scheduling wasn't working out and the funds were low, so that didn't work out.  When we talked about escaping at Christmas we did think of Europe - I would love to visit the Christmas markets in Germany or Poland, but then it would NOT be a relaxing vacation for Hubby since there would be places to see and lots to do.  Given that he's the main bread winner in this household, he needs (and wants!) to relax some.  So, rather than going someplace where we would feel guilty about crashing and doing nothing, we thought why not go some place we know.  We won't feel the need to visit or the guilt of crashing. Plus I wanted some warmth.  When we started talking about it, it was for the week of Christmas leading to New Year's.  We thought of using this damn timeshare of ours, we pay for it so might as well try to use the damn thing, so Hubby started to explore different options.

In mid-August (one hundred twenty-seven days exactly from our departure date), Hubby booked us a Christmas escape, just the two of us. We are heading back to Hawai'i... again.  A part of me feels like the luckiest girl and another part feels like the old broad who hates to travel.  The twelve freaking hours in transit are not exciting me, but, come on!  It is Hawai'i after all!

We dug out our snorkel gear and went to a dive shop.  Man we care good consumers!  Let's leave it at that!  While on the Big Island, I would love to go snorkeling daily.  I will admit, I'm not the most confident swimmer, and the thought of those big winter waves is somewhat worrisome,  especially when our local friend texted us to let us know they had to close a surfing competition on the North Shore (of Oahu) because the waves were too big... nothing to warm my insides, let's say.  But I do love to see marine life, and being in the  water, so hopefully we will manage to get some days in the blue waters of the Big Island.

This year, again, I kept up my tradition of sending (a lot!) of Christmas cards, both folded and postcards. To my pleasure, I've been getting some back.

One the first weekend of December, this is how it started:

Then, the following weekend, I had a little more...

And then, this weekend, it showed that a nice load came in... I manage to almost fill out my first door. Check it out:

I'm hoping to get a bunch more this week, before we leave, I just love it!  Last night we had friends over and the man thought those were cards accumulated over the years... come on!  These are all cards received for this year's Christmas!

Remember a few years back I used to adopt a family in need at Christmas?  That was such a thrill and emotional thing.  I loved to do it.  When a friend of mine mentioned that she was going to be an elf  for a kid this Christmas, I jump on that bandwagon, I wanted in too.  I got assigned a little eight years old boy, who wrote me a letter telling me what he wanted, etc.  I had to buy him a gift, and write him back.  I wrote him a cute letter, as an elf, wrapped my gift and dropped it off at the assigned location.  I've been following the evolution of the project, organised by a teacher in a poor income area of town, and it is so touching and fun to see everyone's excitement.  Looking forward to seeing the kids'.  Hopefully she will post about it too, even if she's trying hard to keep the kids identities under wrap.

Tomorrow, since we will be missing the family gathering with Hubby's cousin at either Christmas or New Year, I thought of taking the kids (the three of them) shopping for their gifts.  They chose the stores they want to go to, so I will pick them up, drive them there, let them choose (in our set budget, of course!) and pay for it all.  The only thing I'm not certain of right this moment, is if I'm going to be nice or naughty... Nice if I let them take their gifts home with them, or naughty and take the gifts away and ask the parents to give it to them on Christmas... hmmm... decisions, decisions...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Being Me

This past week I turned fifty-one... I would lie to say it really bothers me, because it doesn't. I don't feel it and I don't really look it either.  Granted, there are times when I feel like my body and brain are not in sync, the body is showing a little more reluctance to follow let's say... but then again, I don't train like I used to... I don't train at all, actually!   I don't miss it one bit.  I know about the health benefits, etc., etc. I guess I haven't reached that point yet, where the benefits are more needed then how I feel about it.

One sure thing about getting is the fact that we (should) learn to detach ourselves.  We learn to let go and to not care oh so much.  If not, than it should be our goal so that our remaining days are pleasant and drama free.  I don't know if it is because Hubby told me many (many!) times over that it's ok for me to let go, or if it is one of the benefit of meditation or simply because I am learning, but I'm trying hard to detach myself, to not care, to relinquish control of things (and/or people) I can not control.  I fully understand that we can't please everyone and that not everyone will like us.  I accept that.  What I (still!) don't get is how, grown adults will spread lies about others, how they will act like teens in high school and rally against someone rather than verify (for themselves) what a situation really is about.

The past ten years, I've been working on myself, my short temper, my bluntness and came to realize that there are some things about me that I'm willing to work on and change, and others that I (me, Stinkypaw) don't dislike at all.  I've come to accept that I am this way and I don't mind it.  I like the fact that I can say to someone what I think.  I'm trying to work on my delivery, but the message I want to deliver will remain the same, only the packaging will change.  I've come to realize I'm a good person, with good values.  I have a set of beliefs and can agree to disagree.   

I will not lie, it does bother me when I hear someone doesn't like me.  I want people to like me (Sue me, I haven't reached that step of detachment yet!), or at least to not dislike me for the wrong reasons.  To hear from someone who visits with me that she was asked how I really was IRL, disturbed me somewhat.  I know we're not all alike, since I would do a perception check with the person I feel something is going on, I would verify with them directly rather than ask a third party.  Yes, that is me.  Yes, that is the confrontational me.  If I have a problem with the clerk at the grocery store, I will tell her.  I won't be going to another clerk.  I will go to the source.  Not everyone is like that, granted.  I'm asking you this:  Isn't it easier to go directly at the source and get a straight answer rather than go to a third party who will give you their impression?

A few weeks ago, I was accused of bullying after calling out members of a group to participate directly.  This person asked me to stop putting her name up, she would not participate and no amount of bullying from me would change that.  I was quite surprise by her answer, and asked her why she just couldn't tell me that she'd rather not participate instead of accusing me of bullying.  Her answer was that she thought I was a bully and found I pushed people and that she usually tried to stay out of my way.  To which I only answered thank you.  To my surprise, she came back with an apology stating usually she doesn't say mean things to people, that I've always rubbed her the wrong way.  After that I did not answer anything back. Not really worth it, now was it?  That episode did upset me.  It made me rethink my behavior and how it could (maybe) be construed as bullying.  I only wanted more active members to participate in this project, not bully them.  It also made me see that no matter how you try, if someone has decided they dislike you no matter what you do or try to do they will not like you.  It is ok. Again, we can't please everyone, nor should we try I say.  We should do our best and hope we don't rub people the wrong way too much.

In our condo association I know I've rubbed some the wrong way, because I'm the one applying our by-laws.  Some people will (do) dislike me and others will (do) like what I do.  In managing a Bacefook group I've had people say they were leaving because of me (being a mean moderator) and others that they enjoyed how well the group was managed.  Isn't funny how all our lives we try to better ourselves to become a better version of who we are, and when we are that person, we only need one person to criticize or dislike us to try to become a version they would like... how fucked up is that, really?  I like who I am (most of time), granted I could have a longer fuse, I could be more gentle in my communicative ways, I could keep certain things to myself, and I could be a little less outspoken, and not swear as much, but then again that wouldn't be the real me, would it?

I know my flaws, and like I wrote before, some I've worked on others well, I don't give a fuck.  Really.  I am Stinkypaw, and if you don't like me, well... if we're "friends" on Bacefook and you don't like what you see or what I say, there are three little dots next to my name and if you click on those the option to delete post and remove user will be offered to you, click on it, and your (and mine, most likely) problem will be resolve.  It is that simple, really.  If you're a member in a group I manage, the first box on the left, under the group's banner says "Joined", if you click on it, it will offer you the option to leave the group, voilà, another problem solved.  It can be that easy.  It's not complicated and I won't even know it until the day I might want to contact you and realize you're no longer a member.  I will get over it.  Trust me.  I will.  As Deepak Chopra said: No matter what the situation, remind yourself "I have a choice."

I choose, on this full day completed in my fifty-first year, to let go of many things, and to be happy with who I am.  It's ok not to be liked, because despite those haters I do have great people in my life who do like me just the way I am with my lack of fuse, bluntness, raw words, etc.  They know me, and take me as I am.  To those, and to all of those nice people who took the time to wish me happy birthday by Messenger, by posting their wishes on my wall, by calling me and even to come see me, I say a BIG heartfelt thank you.  Thank you for your friendship and your kind words.

and with this I wish you good night!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Is it really to write that I feel the need for?!

I feel the need to write, and yet I have nothing in mind really to write about... Weird, huh?

Thought about writing about what I find yummy about men, you know like...

but then there is also...


always thought I wasn't much of a hairy fan, and yet, when I see this..

... I guess I don't mind it too much... oh and let's not forget a good mouth, or more a nice bottom lip, like this... 

or this...

And of course there are the eyes...
... and the jaw, of course...

Oh! there's always a nice, round ...

... aannd I love those... (I will spare you their names)...

Ok,so, I guess I like men... go figure!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Alive She Is!

Well hello there!  Yep, still alive!  Don't really know why I feel the need to write today, but I do!

It's only been four months or so, not that bad, really.

Life has been keeping me busy, somewhat, and I managed to stay out of trouble, so trust me that does take time, and skills!

I think I'm starting to master the art of avoiding some people, you know those juice suckers and always drama happening.  I've been keeping to myself, and even if one could think it might be lonely, one would be wrong... it is actually nice.

Our condo association(s) have been keeping me somewhat busy too, and having to deal with people who want everything and expect it all, makes it hard for this one to remain calm and quiet.  There were some rocky times, but overall, it is turning out good.  It's a slow process but changes are happening and for the better, so one has to remain positive.  I'm not really hopeful, because, after all, I do know who I'm dealing with, but having lowered my expectations helped a lot.

I'm still writing postcards and enjoying it.  If only I could get this enthusiastic about going to a gym, ah! not happening!  Deep down, I know, I've trained for so many years, that I fell like I've given all that I could, and now the thought of dragging my ass to a gym makes my skin crawl.

Last week, I played tourists with some friends in town for the week.  The weather was nice so it was pleasant, even if it was here, not some exotic location or new place to discover.  I'm not used to do that much social in a week.  They think we're acting old, and maybe we are at times, but both Hubby and I like our time at home, and if that makes us old, than be it.  I don't care.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying being home.  And if there is, then call me wrong!

Oh and I've come to the conclusion that some people, even if they do say nice things to you, will let their actions speak louder than their words.  I'm sure we all have that type of friend who often says ''I'll call you'' and never does, or that one who comes to town but doesn't say a thing nor try to get together with you... I have a few of those, and sadly decided not to let them play with my feelings anymore.  If I get to see them, good, if not, too bad.  I'm often the instigator of get together with people, not sure I want to call them friends anymore, and I've made a conscious decision not to do it anymore.  I've made enough effort and I'm tired of being the one trying... so if they want to see me/us, they I'll give them the chance to do so.  I'm not holding my breath though!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Things I do miss...

Ever had that feeling that you were born in the wrong time period?  That you're an old soul stuck in the wrong body for the times?  I've been thinking about that lately, oh this is not a new thing, quite the opposite.  I remember thinking, as a kid, that I should have been born before.  I was brought up a certain way and because of that, I often stood out.  I guess my values were different than those of the people my age.  Maybe it came from my parents (read strict father and his crazy ass ideas), I don't really know.  I do know that as I'm getting I do miss some of that.

What do I miss exactly?  Many things, like for example:

Dressing up - I was raised to dress up when came time to go somewhere like church, or to attend a funeral.  If I went out with my parents to visit a relative or even to go to a restaurant, I had to dress up.  I didn't have to wear tulle, but I had to wear something nice, and preferably not pants (I did say my dad had crazy ass ideas!).  In doing so I had to behave a certain way, I had to sit properly and it "forced" me to be more lady like, not slouching as much if you will.  I remember feeling proud of my nice clothes.  To this day, whenever we dress up to go somewhere, I still feel this feeling of pride as soon as I wear something nice.  Many fashion advisers will say it, dress the part, and it is true.  When you dress nice your whole posture changes.  We've lost that with all those "jailin" pants that is for sure!

Modesty - Maybe it is because of the new clothes styles, the "gang" style many people wear, the casual went from a nice pair of khakis to rip jeans and showing more skin than I do in a bathing suit. The sad part is, many (read, a shit load too many!) should cover up.  Please do not say that everyone is entitle to show as much or as little as one please, that we should accept all sizes, etc.  Give me a break.  Some things should remain private and unexposed, and I'm no prude, but I do have a gag reflex!

Handwritten letters - I used to have penpals back in high school, I still do and I have my postcards.  I just love to write.  The feel of pen and paper is nice.  We can express ourselves in writing often way better than if spoken (in my case anyway!), and for me the coolest thing is finding an old letter written by an ex-boyfriend or a relative long past, and remembering them through their words as if they were still talking to me.  So many souvenir in old hand written documents.

Memorizing phone numbers - to this day I still remember our phone number from the store.  I used to know so many numbers by heart, now, I can barely remember mine!  That muscle hasn't been trained in many years, since the arrival of speed dial and the Smart phones.  I don't even know my own mother's phone number!  I have it programmed in my cell, so I don't need to remember it, right? Riiight!

Saying "Please" and "Thank you" - that used to be a given.  I find it sad to see a TV commercial (about Tim Horton I think) where they say you can only say "Ice Coffee" to get one, and oh, of course, you can say "Ice Coffee Please" or "Ice Coffee Thank You".  It is a very sad reflection of our manners or rather lack of manners.

Saying "Sir" and "Ma'am" - another nice thing that has been lost.  Granted I will admit, being called ma'am by a twenty something stings a little, but then again when it does happen I appreciate the respect.  I remember being afraid of my elders, relatives, neighbors and even complete strangers, because I knew that if I didn't talk to them respectfully I would get it (it being whatever from an earful to a good whack!).  We had to show respect to our teachers, to people working in public (from waitress to nurse to office personnel), to the parents of friends, we weren't on a first name basis and did respect them (or at least acted like we did!).  I hate it when I call somewhere or meet a contractor (which is something I've been doing the past few weeks) and to be talked to as if I'm someone they know.  We have an expression (in French) that says:  "We didn't watch the pigs together", as in we're not that familiar, let's keep it clean.  It's not even about being snow, I see it more as mutual respect and in some way showing some modesty, keeping things on a neutral basis if you will.

Doing mental math - I'm not math person, far from it.  I had to learn at a young age to count, since my folks had a store and I did operate the cash register (we had one just like that!  We used the crank when there was a power failure).  I had to know how to give the change back.  You know, before the electronic cash register?  There is nothing that infuriates me more than going to a store and giving $10.25 to the clerk for a $8.15 invoice.  When they look at me with that puzzled, confused look I want to scream (no not really, I would much rather smack some sense into them!).  When I tell them to simply give me back $2.10 they are completely lost.  I don't know how many times they will hand me back my quarter and the change for the $10, so a dollar and eighty-five cents of change, grrrr. Morons who can't count, unless their cash register tells me the amount. And if their cash doesn't work, then forget about paying, they are royally screwed.

Cursive writing - actually never mind cursive, simply writing full words and sentences! Ah! Seriously!  Sometimes some younger friends will text me (we have more than twenty years difference) and in order for me to understand what they are sending me I have to read it out loud.  I just can't get on with that, I like words and like to write them.  I don't do "gr8" or "CU", so no I'm don't type fast nor do I use my thumbs, what can I say I'm vintage!

Are there any things like these old habits that you miss?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Care too much, get hurt too easily

I turned fifty last November, so I'm not only an adult but I'm an old one.  Yet, at times, like right now, I feel like a fucking child in regards to my mother.  I've always known my mother to be the weak one in my parents' couple.  My dad was loud, abusive and very assertive and my mom was quiet, and very tame.  My father controlled everything, so she went along and never really making any decision for herself or even me, really.  When my father passed I thought it would be an occasion for her to assert herself, to become stronger and to decide what she wanted.  Boy, was I wrong!  After my father's death I realized that she was also a dependent woman, she needed to be with someone, she just couldn't be alone.  It sadden me, and still does.  I do understand that not everyone is able or rather want to be alone, I (sort of) get that, but at the same time it infuriates me and let's be honest, it hurts me too, when I see that she can't decide what she wants.

When we got married, back in 2000, I did ask my mother to come shop for my wedding dress with me.  She lives one hour away from town, and doesn't drive in town, so she would have to be driven by her beau. This was about nine months after my father's death.  I suggested to pick her up along the way, or for him to drop her off, but she wanted him to come with her and wait in the car.  I refused thinking it was ridiculous to have this old man sitting in a car, in January, waiting while I was trying on dresses.  She insisted and when I kept on saying it was ridiculous, she gave me an ultimatum: he would wait or she wouldn't come.  So I told her to stay home, I would go shopping with a friend.  And I did.  She wasn't happy about that, and even had an attitude with my friend for "having taken her place", but I reminded her (on a few occasions) that she gave up that role and chose to stay home.

I was hurt by how it was more important for her to have her beau with her, than to share in my big moment.  I won't even go into her attending our wedding in Hawaii. That was something else too.

A few years back, for her birthday, I decided to surprise her by taking her away just the two of us, for a night away at a spa.  I had to skip one of my class to get to her place the night before, so we could have dinner together, before making our way to the spa.  She had told me she would wait for me for dinner so we could eat together.  When I got to her place, she was playing cards with her new beau (a new one, since the other from the wedding died).  I was a bit surprise to see that there was no food on the stove or anything.  She asked if I had eaten. WTF?  Her beau had come over and they had dinner together.  She forgot that we had made plans.  She had even forgotten that we were going away for a night.  The whole time we were at the spa, she would check her phone to see if he had called.  It felt like I was with a teenager in love rather than my mother.

Move forward to just now, which prompted this post, she will be turning 75 years old in June.  Since she likes to swim, and massages etc. I decided to, again, offer her/us a get away, mother/daughter for a night, with spa, massage, facial, pedi/mani, the load.  I would pick her up, drive there and be pampered for a day with good food etc. I've asked her if she had plans for her birth day, and then told her to reserve me that day and night.  I made all arrangements.  Today she calls me to tell me that she's not feeling good.  She feels stuck between her beau and me.  I should have verified with him if he had any plans for her birthday, as well. Maybe I should, my bad, but at the same time, I did ask her if she was available before booking anything.  Anyway, she doesn't want to upset anyone and feels bad. Really?  She was away from October to March, in Florida, with her beau, and can't be away from him (or him from her) for one fucking day/night, and she feels torn?  I'm not only pissed off, but I'm hurt.  I've told her when she was asking if I was upset, that once again I got to know my place.  I know where I stand in regards to her.  I come after her beau.  Despite my best efforts to let go, it hurts. The kid in me feels rejected sort of.  I will do my best to apply this rule of mine, to treat family as I do friends, and tolerate the same.  Now I have to ask myself, if a friend did to me or treated me the way my mom does at times, would I tolerate it?  Would I still contact that friend and try to get together?  I know the answer to that, and somewhere deep in me, it hurts.  I will have to cut those sentimental strings... and whomever said that blood is thicker than water, can go fuck themselves.