Tuesday, March 14, 2017

That Bitch Who Ratted On A Kid

Today I had my morality tested.

You’re walking through the grocery store.  You’re behind a Mama and her little girl.

All of a sudden, the little girl’s hand shoots out, and the Easter Cream Egg flies into the pocket, like lightening.

Mama sees nothing.

Do you tell the mother?

I struggled with this.  I really really REALLY struggled with this.

Do I say something … and most likely upset the little girl, and possibly the mother?

Or do I say nothing at all, and mind my own business … and not be the bitchy lady who snitched on a kid.

Not the little girl from the store. Pic taken from HERE.

I was on my way to the self-checkout when I saw this happen.

Instead, I turned and wandered down a random aisle, just thinking about what I was going to do, if anything.

Would I want to know if someone saw one of my kids take something from a store?

Yes, I’d want to know, but … GAH!  What to do!?!?!?!?!?

So I made a deal with myself.  If I saw the mother again, I’d tell her.

I rounded the corner and there she was.

And all I did was watch as she looked down at her daughter, and ran a hand over her hair, stopping at her forehead, as if feeling for a fever.

I walked by them.

I didn’t say anything.

But, I noticed the little girl still had her hand firmly in her pocket.

I continued on to the self-checkout.

I won’t lie.  It nagged at me.

What kind of person am I, if I’m always preaching to my kids to be ‘good people’, if I let someone, yes even a 4yr old child, steal and say nothing.

I’d be a hypocrite.

I don’t want to be a hypocrite.

So with a heavy heart, I turned around again, and went off to find Mama.

She was on her way to the checkout when I walked up beside her and said almost in one breath, "Excuse me, I’m having a moral dilemma that I’ve been struggling with, but I’ve decided to tell you.  I think you might want to check your daughter’s pocket for an Easter Cream Egg.  I’m SO sorry, I wasn’t sure if I should say something or not, but as a Mom, I know I’d want to know.” 

She quickly looked down at her little girl and asked about the egg.  The little girl looked back up at her Mama with eyes huge as saucers, and shook her head, nooooo, ‘Nothing in my pocket!’, as her hand clutched her little treasure that was hiding in there.

Mama looked at me and said, ‘Thank you for telling me.

I left her as she was trying to coax the truth out of her child, and went to pay for my things.

But I couldn’t let it go.

I felt like such a Bitch for ratting on a kid.

I know morally I did the right thing, but it felt wrong.

So I looked behind me, found Mama in the lineup a few rows over, finished my transaction and then ran back through the store … to the Easter Cream Eggs.

I made it back through the self-checkout with the egg, before Mama finished paying for her order.

I walked over to their cash.

Little girl was sitting on the floor next to their cart, her cheeks still wet with tears.

I looked at Mama, held up my bag with the Easter Cream Egg and mouthed the words, ‘I got her an egg’. 

She thanked me again, and I explained why I felt the need to buy the egg, then I crouched down on the floor, and had a heart to heart with the little girl.

I told her I was very sorry for having gotten in her in trouble, but that we can’t just take things from stores without paying for them first, because that’s stealing and stealing is wrong.

I told her it was because I felt bad for getting her in trouble, that’s why I bought her the egg.  But also, that Mommy needs to know these things, and next time, I wanted her to ask Mommy for the treat she wanted. Mommy might say yes, and she might say no, but the RIGHT thing to do is ask first.

Then I gave her the bag with the egg, and the receipt.

So yes, she got the egg in the end.

Was I right in telling Mama? Was I right in buying the egg for the little girl?

I don’t know, and I don’t know.

I did what felt right at the time.

I’m a mother.  I’d want to know if my child had taken something they (or I) hadn’t paid for.

On the flip side, I didn’t like being that Bitch who ratted on a kid.

I just hope the whole experience made enough of an impression on her, that she’ll think twice about snatching that next treat, which is what I was going for. 

Or, in 10yrs time, I'll find Easter Cream Eggs on my house at Halloween.

Who knows?

Life's a crapshoot that way.


Friday, March 3, 2017

It Was Enough

The other night the 20yr old and his girlfriend were in the kitchen making dinner, and I was roaming around, doing this and that on the outskirts when I overheard … ‘We had so much fun when we were kids!’.

I know he didn’t realize it, but as a single parent for all these years, one who worried so much about ‘enough’ …

               Do I read enough?
               Do I play enough?
               Do I teach enough?
               Do I laugh enough?
               Do I discipline enough?
               Do I nurture enough?
               Do they have enough?

… never ending enough, what he didn’t realize was how much those simple words, ‘We had so much fun when we were kids!’, made me stop in my tracks, filled my heart, and made me smile.

Hearing your now-grown-up boy say that he had a happy childhood, and that he had fun growing up, is something every parent (I would hope) strives to achieve. 

Yes, you want your kids to do well in life, to be good people, and hopefully turn out to be awesome adults. 

But it’s also a good feeling to know that they were happy, and had a good time getting to wherever they may be today.

So I guess, whatever I did, it was ... enough.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Storm Chips. MacGyvered Muffins. And Pie

I really can't complain about our winter so far, because it hasn't been all that bad.


Sure, we've had days that have been biting cold, and snowy conditions that made driving slow and/or a bit crazy.

But no real 'blizzard-like' conditions.  Yet.

That all changed last night when we came under a possible 25-70cm snowfall advisory.

Today, we have our blizzard.

There is a relatively new phenomena here in the Maritimes.  One that calls for people to prepare for an upcoming storm by putting gas in the snow blower, setting the shovel within easy reach, having candles at the ready, and ... buying their 'storm chips'.

Yes, storm chips.  It's a thing.

Pic taken from HERE

It's a thriving business for New Brunswick's Covered Bridge Potato Chips!

So with the upcoming snow forecast for today, I along with many others stocked up on my favourite chips (Sorry, Covered Bridge, not specifically Storm Chips).

Given that this is expected to be a 'big one', and everyone will be home, I wanted to have more on hand besides just chips.

Yes, I have 'real' food and fruits and veggies, but I'm talking 'storm snacks'.

And I knew just what I wanted.

A few weeks ago, I tried a muffin at Tim Hortons I really liked, and thought to myself, *I* could make this!

No, I don't profess to be a fantastic baker, but the concept seemed pretty simple.

It was a chocolate muffin, with chocolate pudding in the middle, and chocolate chunks on the top.

I picked up a chocolate fudge cake mix in order to make the muffins, as well as a box of chocolate pudding.

But having never done this before, I had no idea how I was going to get the pudding into the muffin.

How DO they get the caramilk inside the Caramilk bar?

And then ... it hit me.  

A way to MacGyver it!

I stopped at the pharmacy, and asked for a small syringe that is used for administering liquid medicine to infants.

They gave me this.

Perfect. Exactly what I was looking for.

I started by making the chocolate fudge muffins.

Then made the chocolate pudding.

I made a small hole in each of the muffins with a toothpick then I sucked the pudding into the syringe, and squirted it into the small hole. 

Finally, instead of adding chocolate pieces on top, I added chocolate icing, and a variety of toppings from walnuts, sprinkles, and cinnamon hearts.

GAH!  They looked good!

The TRUE test was going to be the inside. Did the pudding actually get in there?

YES!  SUCCESS!!!  Not bad for a MacGyver move!

Since chips and to-die-for chocolate pudding explosion MacGyvered muffins are sort of junk food-ish, I figured I'd make something healthy also.

Apple pie.

I have  no idea how much snow we'll end up getting by the end of this, as it started just after midnight, and doesn't show any signs of stopping yet!

So, like most people, I've got my storm chips.  

And MacGyvered Muffins.  

And pie.

And, of course, ice cream is in the freezer.

I'm ready, Mother Nature.

Bring it.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Ahhhh Ms. Karma. Ya Know I Love Ya, But Sometimes, You Really ARE A Bitch.

Being a single parent all these years, I haven't had many opportunities to buy new 'stuff' for the boys and I.

I don't mean at times like birthdays, or Christmas. The kids have always gotten new presents for those occasions.

I'm talking about all our material goods, like furniture, was given to me by family and friends, or bought second hand. I haven't bought anything new in a very long time.

Except for the TV.

About five years ago, I took some of my tax return and bought us a new 42" flat screen RCA TV.

No, it wasn't a Sony, and it wasn't a SMART TV, but it was new, brand freakin' new, and it was a flatscreen, and it was all ours, and *I* bought it!

I was so happy with that TV.

And then it sat in a box for almost two years. 

We were still in the old house when I bought it, and at that time, the basement was flooding on a regular basis, so I didn't want to put it down there.

The living room wasn't a great spot either because of the setup, and the fact it got SO much traffic, I was afraid of the TV getting broken.

So in a box it stayed, until we moved, and had a proper room to put it in.  

OK, so it sat on a desk, (not a proper TV stand) once it was finally out of the box, but one thing at a time.

For years,  I have babied that TV.  My one prized possession.

Anytime the boys had friends over, and they were in the rec room, I was guaranteed to say, 'Be careful of the TV!'

And once they started getting rowdy, 'Stop screwing around near the TV.  You know I'll be pissed if that gets broken!'

My fifth child.  After the dog and cat, of course.

A few weeks ago, I invited a friend over to watch a new show I'd discovered.  Animal Kingdom.  Awesome show. If you liked SOA, check it out. 

Both boys were in B.C. visiting their father, so it was going to be a girls night in front of the tube.

Because I was going to stream the show in the rec room, I grabbed the cable from my room, and went in behind the TV to hook it up first to the TV, then computer.

I put my hand on the side of the TV, and then, everything else happened in slow motion.

I pushed just a little too hard on the cable, I wasn't paying close enough attention to stabilizing the TV and before I could even understand what was happening ... IT WAS FALLING OVER!

Of course I screamed, and tried to grab it, only to watch it hit the bin below the desk.

My heart sank. Then broke.

My baby.  Lying face down on a Rubbermaid bin. Broken off at the base.

My friend came running from the kitchen yelling, 'Are you OK?!', and found me just staring at the TV.


I came out from behind the desk with a, 'Yeah, but I'm not so sure about the TV.'

She and I picked it up, and set it back on it's base.

My broken heart skipped a beat.

It was fine!

A small scratch on the side, and covered in finger prints, but otherwise, FINE!  OMIGOD!  YES!!!

So i held my breath, and turned it on.

And that's when I saw ...

Annnnnndddd that's when my heart broke again.  Shattered, like that screen.

Damn.  I broke my baby.

At that point, there was nothing else to do but turn it off, and continue our night with a sip 'n bitch at the dining room table.

I broke our TV. I was going to have to get us a new one. Period.

The hard part, was going to be telling the boys.

That's their 'chill room', where they play xbox/watch movies when there's a group of them here, which is frequently.

Or at least, was frequently.  Until I broke the TV.

I suck.

I decided not to say anything to them until they got home from B.C.

Why put a damper on their vacation?

But, the second one got home yesterday, so ... now, they know.

And now I can share with the world my bonehead moment, while at the same time, giving the boys a moment to bask in the glory of the fact that for all the years I harped on them to be so careful around the TV, *I'M* the one who ends up breaking it.

Ahhhh Ms. Karma.  Ya know I love ya, but sometimes, you really ARE a Bitch.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

I Needed A Job. I Got A Job. I Quit That Job. Then I Got Another New Job.

When it came time to look for work, I mean really look for work, I treated it as a job. I scoured the online job boards and had the most up to date employment links bookmarked and used them daily. 

I applied for approx 29 jobs in three weeks. None were for the same type of work I was doing before. 

The way I see it, I've spent the better part of 20yrs in some form of IT/business/training career, much of that in defense and aerospace. I'm on the downward slope of the 'career' and right now I'm happy to take a 'job' for the next few years, until the boys are 'doing their own thing', and then we'll see what happens and where I end up.

So, I was answering ads for everything that I could apply any of my 'transferable skills' to. From Admin/Exec Assistant, to QA Analyst, Director of operations, to Tester, Marketing, Communications, Flight attendant, 9-1-1 Operator, to Costco worker. 

Anything that would pay the bills, work with my 45yr old, single parent lifestyle and hopefully something that I'd actually enjoy doing.

But I wasn't being picky.

The first week of my search, I met with a gentleman at the local coffee shop to discuss an exec admin position.  He is an entrepreneur who is starting a new business that will be 'local' to nova scotia, and needed a right hand person. Someone to handle the details of the day to day. Not really an interview, more of a chat.

It sounded interesting to me.  We talked for over two hours. It went well.

But it wasn't happening fast enough. And I needed to get back to work, now.

The next week, I decided to send my resume in to a temp service.  I was always seeing their name on the job boards, and knew they had been around for years and were established, so although I'd never worked for a temp agency before, I figured what the hell, I'd give it a try.

I'm OK with change.

I sent the resume, and they called me, and asked me to come down and fill out a few forms and take a few tests.

So I did.

And it went well.

I did well on the tests, they spoke with me and signed me that day, and told me they hoped to have a placement for me soon.

I was looking forward to being 'the temp'.  And you never know what kind of long term placement will come out of any of these jobs, so I saw it as the vast land of opportunity.

But was it going to happen fast enough?

Rent, bills, groceries ... it all needed to be paid/bought.

I decided I would keep looking until I saw how things progressed with the placement agency.

The next day, I saw the ad for a job 10 minutes from home, away from the city and downtown traffic, working the evening shift as night auditor (running a lot of reports and taking care of guests) at one of the hotels near the airport.

Although I had worked in a hotel dining room before, many years ago, I had never been a 'night auditor', but after reading the requriements, I sent in a resume.

I thought I could do the job.

So did they.  They called the same day and asked me to come in for an interview in a couple of days.

I did. My first real interview in about 15yrs.

It went well.

They called later that afternoon and offered me the job.

I was ecstatic.

I thought for sure this was going to be the perfect fit for the boys and I. 

I would get off in the morning and be home to wake the boy and drive him to school, sleep while he was at school, be home to make dinner, and run errands in the evening before work. 

It would be perfect.



IF you can sleep during the day, and don't sleep through dinner, and don't mind that you rarely seek your kids and a work environment that was, not something I had encountered in my close to 30yrs of being in the workforce.

And I'll leave it at that.

I gave it a try.

I showed up every night when I was supposed to, learned, worked hard, and gave it my best.

I really wanted it to work because I really wanted to be back to work.

I even messaged the temp agency as soon as I was hired, and told them they could take me off their file, because I'd found full time employment.

Big mistake.

I knew that after the second night.

But I showed up for work anyway, with a smile on my face, determined to make it work.

Because every night I went in, was money added to a much needed paycheck.

However, I messaged the temp agency again, two days after I started the new job, and asked them to put me back ON their file, because I still wanted them to find me a daytime placement.

I still wanted to see what they might come up with.

When I was offered the full time night position by the hotel, I panicked and jumped at it, but in the end, it wasn't for me.

It wasn't for me physically, or mentally.

I don't like not seeing my kids on a regular basis. We've never been that family and I'm not going to start now. 

Physically, working nights was killing me. I wasn't sleeping much, or sleeping too much and missing the day entirely. I was cranky.  Unhappy. And constantly tired.

So yesterday, I quit my job.

In the last 20yrs, I have never just, quit a job.

I finished my shift at 7am, came home, sat and pondered life for a bit, took the boy to school, came home and did a bit more soul searching, and then called work, and asked to speak with the manager who hired me.

45 min later, I met with her and explained that I was regretfully handing in my nametag and resignation.  And gave to her my honest answers and explained my feelings as to why I was leaving.

It went well.

I left on a good note. But I left nonetheless.

OK.  So I was jobless again.

Until today (the next day), when I had a nice conversation with the temp agency, and found out they had a placement for me if I wanted it, working for a division of one of the universities, right downtown, Mon - Fri (8:30 - 4:30).

Yay!  Mon - Fri (8:30 - 4:30).

Shit.  Right downtown.

Regardless how much I was hoping to avoid 'right downtown' ... Yup, I jumped at it.

I start on Tuesday (because Monday is a holiday).   

Was I foolish to quit a perfectly good job, without having something to go to?


But why waste everyone's time, and why have them invest any more money in me, when I knew in my heart it wasn't going to work.

For many reasons.  Not that I just gave up.

And, ya know, it's just another new adventure for me. That's the way things go.

I needed a job.  I got a job. I ended up hating that job.  I quit that job.  Then I got another new job the next day.

Everything happens for a reason.

Now we'll have to see what happens next.

You know that old saying from The Sound of Music (at least that's where I remember it from), 'When the lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window' well I'm about to shove this window open WIDE, and breathe in the fresh air of new adventure.

 Pic taken from HERE

But for now, I'm going to go catch up on some much needed sleep!


Friday, January 29, 2016

The Really Bad Ending To A Really Great Day

My life always seems to have a yin and yang to it.

When something good happens, something bad usually happens shortly after, and vice versa.

Karma just keeping all things even, I guess.

I had a great day yesterday!  I got a new job!

That's what this next post was supposed to be about, but by the end of the day, things weren't so great, so I'm going to tell you about that instead, cause it has a moral to it.

I spent most of the evening online, chatting with friends and family about the new job.  The boys had gone out to play some basketball, and when they got back, were hanging out in the rec room with friends.

Just a quiet Thursday night.

Until about 11pm, when they decided they were going to take the dog for a walk.

She was in my room, so I got up from the computer, and as I let her out, I leaned down to give her a rub, pushed the door shut again, and when I stood up, everything went black, and I thought, 'Oh ...shit...'. 

And that's the last thing I remember, until I woke up flat on my back on my bedroom floor.

 Yeah yeah yeah, I have penguins on my pjs!  Keep reading!

And no, before you ask, I hadn't been drinking to celebrate the new job. That comes after the first paycheck.

I have mentioned the occasional 'black out' moments I've had before in THIS POST.

But I haven't had one of those in a very long time. And never one this bad.

Last night, it came out of nowhere.

I have no idea what happened from the time I stood up after petting the dog, until I came to, but this is the best I can piece it together.

When everything went black, I was standing next to the wall you see in the pic above, and I must have cracked my temple on the corner of it, knocked myself out cold, and went down with a bang.

I know about the bang because the boys told me this morning that they all heard it.

When I landed on the floor, I must have hit the back of my head on the bottom board of my bed, because I have a sore spot there today too.

I also must have landed weird on my leg, because today there is a bump and bruises and I can hardly walk on it.

I woke up flat on my back, glasses off my face and on the floor next to me, I thought my head was exploding and I had no idea what had happened or how I got there. 

Or how long I'd been there.

That's a VERY scary feeling.

I honestly wasn't sure if I'd had an aneurysm or a stroke, or if I'd hit my head, it was hurting that bad.

I came to the conclusion that I'd cracked it, because of the bump on my temple that was quickly forming, and when I leaned my head against the wall this morning, in a reenactment for the boy, I can pinpoint exactly where my head first hit.

You know when things start to go black, and everything comes down to a small pinpoint in your vision?  That's what it was like, in reverse, when I came to.

In the distance, I could hear the boy calling, 'Mom!  Mom, we're leaving.  Mom!'

That's what I heard when I came to, and everything was a pinpoint that just got larger until I realized where I was and instinctively yelled back weakly, 'Yeah, OK'.

And then I tried to move quickly before he heard something in my voice, and decided to come and check (not exactly a good position you want your kid to find you in).

Moving quickly wasn't such a good idea, I realized, when I immediately got dizzy and my head hit the floor again.

It took me a few minutes to get up and sit on the bed and process what had happened.

I was dizzy, confused and above all else, my head was killing me, but I managed to lean over, look over into the mirror, and smile.  Big.

OK, good, I didn't feel right, but all the facial muscles were working, so I took that as a good sign that meant it wasn't a stroke.

We figure I was out about 5 minutes.

As i said, the boys all heard the bang (when I hit the floor), but didn't really think anything of it and they said it was at least 5 minutes between the time the dog came out, to when they finally left and called out for me.

They did find that strange, that I didn't answer them right away, but when I eventually called out 'Yeah, OK', they got their response, so went for the walk.

I didn't say anything to them about what had happened.  I was still too shaken up myself, and didn't want to scare them. 

In hindsight, that probably wasn't a smart move, because if my brain actually was exploding, and I simply didn't wake up in the morning, they would have no idea what had happened or when. Or why.

That's definitely one drawback to not having a spouse in the house.  Someone you can tell things like this to when you're freaked out, and don't want to freak out your kids.

As exhausted as I was from not having slept well the night before, I purposely stayed up for another couple of hours. 

I didn't want to go to sleep after all that, for fear I might not wake up.

Yeah, crazy I know, but when your head hurts so bad you can't see straight, all kinds of crazy thoughts go through it.

Today, I woke up early to a splitting headache, bumps and bruises on my leg and head, queasy, unsteady, and I honestly feel like I had the crap beat out of me.

Yes, I know, I probably have a concussion, given it's now afternon and I STILL have a headache, but I know even if I went to the doctor, the only thing they'd tell me to do is rest, and stay off the tv and computer.

Unless of course my brain is actually bleeding or something. Then they'd probably do something.  ;-)

I know my limits, I know I'm not 100% right now, so I'm resting.  Staying off the computer? Not so much, but I'm trying.

And if I'm still not feeling better by tomorrow, I will go see a doctor.

But I'll be damned if I'm missing that first shift at the new job on Sunday!

I'm not sharing this for the 'OMIGOD are you OK comments', or for the well wishes from friends and readers.  I got loads of well wishes yesterday when I announced the new job. I already know my family and friends care and don't like to see me unwell.

I'm sharing as a reminder to others to not be like me, and TELL someone when crap like this happens immediately, because in the words of my boy, it would have been pretty messed up to walk into my room and find me dead, and have no idea what happened.

Extreme, yes.  But you just never know with a head injury and blackouts.

Snow has started.  We're supposed to have a storm today, so I'm OK with staying in the penguin pj's and resting in bed.

The boy is keeping an eye on me while the other is at work.

I also messaged a friend this morning and told her what happened, so there's another adult aware who can come over quickly if I happen to keel over on the kids in the next day or so.

A quiet day of yin so far, compared to the excitement of yesterday's yin/yang.

Note, I said so far ... it's still only mid-day.