I'll just be over here in the Korner, doing my happy dance!
Back into Kim's Korner and follow the adventures of a single mom, her two active boys and yes, the pets too! Tornados, road trips, car accidents, a phone call from a hockey legend, makeup mayhem, kid gourmet, temporary canine insanity, and ... those pre-puberty questions from my pre-teen! YIKES! You never know what you'll find in the Korner!
Yesterday I was at the right place, at the right time!
And then I ruined it.
They say that people are so caught up in getting that 'perfect' Facebook moment in a picture, that they aren't enjoying the actual moment itself.
As I was reading through the article, I thought to myself, 'Well, no, I do both.'
I don't take my pictures specifically for Facebook purposes. I've always been a photo maniac, from the time I was little, (and now I'm the chick who takes 500 pictures when I go to concerts), so in a lifetime of picture taking, I've learned to master enjoying the moment, and capturing it.
Or so I thought, until yesterday.
I was letting the cat out, mid-afternoon, and I stood on the deck for a minute to take in some fresh air.
Then I heard it.
It was like a rumble, coming from the back of the house, and it was getting louder, fast.
All of a sudden they came around the corner, a giant flock of birds that looked like a huge sheet flying in the wind.
There had to be at least 50 of them. Probably more.
They all came to an abrupt stop, landed in my snow-covered hedge a few feet away with a big whoooooosssshh , and sat there.
It was amazing! They just appeared out of nowhere, at the exact moment I was standing there, and there were SO MANY of them, I couldn't help but just stare.
But only for a few short seconds, before the thought hit me, 'I've got to get a picture of this!', and turned and ran for my camera.
When I got back, they were gone. All that was left was the empty, frozen hedge.
I cursed myself for running for the camera, and missing the moment they all took flight, because I think that would have been just as beautifully cool as their sudden arrival.
If I had stayed, and enjoyed them for only a few seconds more, I wouldn't have missed that moment.
And, it's not like I got the shot anyway.
Guess I haven't quite mastered both after all, so I'm glad I saw them for the time I did.
I have no idea what they were. I'm not a 'bird person'.
They were small, and grey and white with black (I think). It all happened so fast, and I was so taken aback by their appearance, I wasn't really sure what I was looking at. But I know they weren't crows or blue jays or cardinals or seagulls.
They might have been chickadees.
There's a relatively new law (where I live), that came into effect in 2010, which states you must slow down to 60km an hour, and pull over into the lane furthest away, if there is an emergency vehicle pulled off to the side of the road.
I get it.
I understand why the law is there.
We're all trying to avoid causing another accident.
But sometimes, following this law can actually cause the accident, as I discovered the other day.
Since the weather was finally cooperating on Wednesday and the sun was shining, I decided to go for a small road trip to visit the Bestie.
The double-lane highway was surprisingly good the whole way.
I wasn't speeding. In fact, I was keeping it at an even hundred, so I was a little bit under the limit.
But on these roads, after the weather we've had, you just never know when you're going to hit a small drift in the middle of the lane(s), or black ice that sends your tires into a spin and your car out of control.
So I was simply keeping up with everyone else, and even managed to pass when I could.
Passing was easy, as long as you watched for the clean stretches. But like I said, every now and then you hit an unexpected snow/slush patch, so passing was only attempted when necessary (coming up behind someone who was painfully crawling along), and on a clean straight stretch.
I may be a woman driver, but contrary to the belief of some, that doesn't automatically mean I'm an idiot when it comes to driving.
I'm safe and I pay attention.
I was about 10 minutes from Truro when it happened.
I had come up behind a cube van, and ahead of that was an 18 wheeler without the box on top. It still had the long trailer part on the back, behind the cab, just no box.
I looked around the cube van and saw the passing lane was clear of snow and slush.
So I pulled out to pass.
I got past the cube van no problem, and since the passing lane was still good, I kept going.
I had just started to pass it. Was maybe three feet or so past the very end of the truck.
All of a sudden, without warning, he started coming over into my lane.
You know those moments, when something unbelievable is happening, and you're thinking ... 'WTF? Is this really happening?!?!?'
Yeah, it was one of those moments.
I looked over and despite the fact I was yelling, 'STOP!', ' STOP!' ... yes, it was really happening. The 18 wheeler was coming into my lane.
He was going to drive straight into the front of my car!
Did he not see me?
What the hell was he doing?
I immediately let off the gas.
Here I was, driving along, minding my own business, and all of a sudden I'm faced with the decision of letting an 18 wheeler slam into me, or run me off the road into the ditch.
Those were my two choices at the moment.
Instead, I went with option number 3. The WRONG one.
When I saw the truck was REALLY ready to hit me, I panicked.
I admit it. I'm an idiot. I panicked.
I hit the brakes to avoid the crash.
Unfortunately, I hit the brakes at the exact same moment I was going over a snow/slush covered patch in my lane.
I lost control.
Everything else happened in a matter of seconds.
The minute I hit the brakes, I fishtailed, spun out and turned sideways.
When I tried to regain control, I spun out again, and flew out behind the 18 wheeler, into the right hand lane where he had just come from.
When I slid out from behind the truck, I came face to face with a police car, in the middle of the lane, and the police officer standing NEXT TO THE CAR in the middle of the highway.
He was not pulled over safely to the side. He was right in the middle of the freakin' road!
My heart stopped. Literally stopped beating, I know it.
Here it was, a gorgeous sunny morning, about 10 am, all was right with my world, and now ... I'm about to smoke a police officer standing in the middle of the road.
What is happening right now?!?!??!!?
I panicked again. Don't judge. If you're about to slam into a person standing in the middle of the highway, with your out of control car, you'd panic, too!
I yanked the wheel back to the left and slid again.
There was one and only one thought going through my head.
'Please, God, don't let me hit him!'
I have no idea what that poor man thought, seeing a car coming straight at him (sort of), but out of control.
I didn't make it back into the passing lane completely, but by a few feet, it was enough.
When I yanked the wheel to the left, and the car turned and slid, I went by the police officer and his car ... sideways.
Might have been diagonally, but it wasn't straight.
My ass end was facing him on the way by, nose pointing at the ditch, and all I saw in that split second when I turned around, was his sunglasses, as his head turned to watch me slide by.
Another second later, and I hit the dry patch, regained control, moved over and fell in behind the 18 wheeler, who eventually pulled over to the right hand lane again.
The police officer didn't come after me, and no, I didn't stop.
There were still cars behind me, although the cube van had backed off when he saw me lose control, so I didn't want to take the chance of hitting the brakes to stop and lose it again.
I shook the rest of the way to Truro.
I probably should have pulled over for a minute, if nothing else, to stop shaking, but I just wanted to get to the Bestie's and get out of the car.
I made the pit stop at Tims, and when I finally got through her door, I said, 'OK, I'm going to have a little breakdown now.'
And I did.
I cried for what had almost happened.
I could have killed that police officer. I came that close.
I realize now what happened.
There must have been an accident earlier in the morning and a tow truck had come to get a car involved.
The tow truck was still on the highway, with the car on back, and I believe the police officer was where he was to warn the traffic of the tow truck up ahead.
I get it.
I know why he was there.
I now know the 18 wheeler didn't have any choice but to cut me off, or HE may have hit the officer.
But ... here's the part that bothers me. The car was already on the back of the tow truck. WHY didn't they all pull off, safely, to the side of the road, at least?
All the stars and planets aligned to put that officer in the middle of the road, and the truck cut me off, and I hit the snow patch all at the same time.
I could have killed that police officer and it all would have happened in a heartbeat.
My life, his life, our families would have forever been changed.
But that's not how the story ended, after all.
Wasn't in the plans for that day.
I simply can't express how happy I am, that the stars and planets also aligned to make sure I slid by him, even if it was ass end sideways, instead of sliding INTO him.
I'm sure he's pretty happy things turned out the way they did, too.
I'm truly sorry Mr. Police Officer. It wasn't my intention to scare the crap out of you that morning. Thank you for everything you do to keep us safe.
Hope he keeps a change of underwear in his car, just for days like those, and people like me!
Happy Birthday to me!
Happy Birthday to me!
I've officially been PUBLISHED!
Happy Birthday ... to ME!
Yes, today really is my birthday, but that's not the big news!
The news I've been anxiously sitting on, because a couple of months ago, the most amazing thing happened.
An email landed in my inbox, from a reporter who wanted to know if I would be interested in possibly writing a column for one of our local monthly newspapers, The Laker.
After a bit of conversation, it turned out that we have a mutual friend in common, and it was through her facebook 'likes', that he found this little Korner of mine.
He liked what he saw, thought I might be a good fit for the paper, but still had to discuss it with the editor.
Then, I heard from the editor and she asked the hard question. "Which topics were you thinking of tackling?"
As you all know, that could be just about anything that's going on in my head at any given moment!
And that's pretty much what I told her.
But then I thought to myself, if this was really it, if this was my opportunity to get something I had written out to the world, somewhere other than my own blog, my very first published piece, what would I want that to be?
Should I submit something I'd already written, or come up with something entirely new?
I knew I wanted it to be something relevant. Something I felt strongly about. Something that could be of personal interest to most anyone reading it.
So I reworked it a bit, to accommodate for the word limit, and chose the blog post I wrote a couple of months ago, about the launch of the Rehtaeh Parsons Society.
And then I waited.
It was the middle of January, and the next edition of the paper wouldn't be out for a couple of weeks.
This may be my first rodeo, but I do know enough to know that if it's a busy news month in the community, the opinion column wouldn't necessarily make it into print.
But that was OK with me.
I was ecstatic that I was even being given the opportunity in the first place, (...to write a column ... for a paper ... GAH! ), so I'd just try again the next month!
Today, my birthday, I picked this up. It's the newest edition of The Laker.
You can't escape them.
They're at your school, your work, yoga class, the grocery store ... go anywhere there's a large gathering of humans, chances are there will be one mean girl in the group.
I don't think I was ever one of 'them'. At least I certainly hope not.
If anyone has ever perceived me as one, I apologize!
And having two boys, I believe I got off easy in that part of the parenting department, as boys just don't go down that same 'mean girl' path that the girls seem to.
Sure there's some drama, and complaints and they have their arguments with friends, but then it's forgotten.
Not with girls. WE. FORGET. NOTHING!
And we can be cold, and vindictive and spiteful, and downright mean.
No ... really ... I'm serious!
As we get older though, we understand that compassion, and caring and empathy are better qualities to have, than having the biggest circle of friends, and making life hell for those NOT in that circle.
At least ... SOME of us get it.
For others perhaps, it may simply be a case of; once a mean girl, always a mean girl.
While I was home over Christmas, the boys, my mother and I went to visit my grandmother in her nursing home.
She is in her 90's now, and firmly in the clutches of that terrible Alzheimer disease, so she's not exactly the lady I remember so vividly from my youth.
Alzheimer's not only robs a person of their memories, and leaves them a shell of what they once were physically, but it can also do 'strange' things to the person it has afflicted.
One thing that happened to my grandmother, was that she stopped speaking french for awhile.
The woman is French Acadian. She was brought up French, and raised her own family as French. Yes, she could speak english also, but french was her native language.
She's a French woman through and through.
But one day, all of a sudden, she would only speak english. No french. At all.
Then, just as suddenly, it was back to french again.
Now, she rarely speaks.
She also gets very agitated easily.
But how could you not? When you don't recognize where you are, or the people around you or why you're there?
And you can't even get out of your damn chair.
And you're medicated.
How frustrating would that be, to be trapped in your own mind and body?
But one of the biggest adjustments is the personality change.
She swears now.
My little sweet, polite, respectful, loving grandmother will now curse you out, just as easily as saying hello to you.
No, definitely NOT the woman who has been my grandmother all these years.
But I do understand why she does what she does and says what she says.
Even if she doesn't realize she's doing it.
That particular day, we (all four generations of us) were sitting in a 'common room' at the nursing home and mom was feeding her lunch.
The boys and I were talking quietly, when all of a sudden, Nanny decided to curse at my mom. In french.
The boys just kind of looked at each other and me, and mom. They may not have understood exactly what she said, but they knew by my surprised reaction, and Nanny's tone that it wasn't good.
Mom simply spoke to her calmly. She's used to this.
The woman sitting at the next table over with her friends however (who are also patients there), decided to make fun of my grandmother.
She made fun of, and laughed at my grandmother.
Never ... ever in my almost 44yrs have I EVER wanted to
kick the ass of rudely disrespect an elderly person.
Until THAT day!
I seriously wanted to go right over the table and yell at her. Tell her exactly what I thought of her making fun of someone who can't control their actions or words.
Get right in her face, and let her know that if she EVER made fun of my grandmother again, it would be ME she would deal with!
I wanted to come down on her and let my bitch flag fly high!
But, I didn't, of course.
She's an elderly woman in a nursing home.
She may not have understood that other people could hear her.
Instead, I simply looked over at her and her friends with my evilest glare, bit my tongue, HARD, and focused on enjoying the rest of my visit with my grandmother.
I can't say it didn't bother me, because it did.
I thought about it after we left, on the drive home, and wondered to myself what that woman was like when she was younger?
Was she a nice person?
Or was she always a mean girl?
Once a mean girl, always a mean girl?
I don't know the answer to that.
I realize she's there for her own reasons, and may not even be in her own 'right mind', but prior to the incident she was sitting there having a conversation with two other people and then later walked away on her own.
Whatever her health issues, she's definitely in a better place physically and mentally than my grandmother.
Maybe I'm wrong, but I see no other explanation for her actions.
And if I'm not ... Seriously? In a nursing home, making fun of other patients.
That's just mean.
So, here's a little secret for you, for those who don't yet know ... NOBODY likes the mean girl.
Not at 7 ... or 17 ... or 70.
Don't be a mean girl.
Be better than that.
Someone's granddaughter will thank you for it.
My last 'vacation' was in 1995, and that was my honeymoon.
Every year, I make myself the same promise, 'THIS will be the year I go somewhere WARM!'