Sunday, November 25, 2007

I saw a Hypnotist yesterday and I hit a Deer today

How's that for the start of a weekend :-)

Yesterday after work I went to see the hypnotist to kick my 17 yr smoking habit. I was really excited about this. I wanted it to work. I've tried the patch, zyban, cold turkey, now it was time to try this.

I had two cigarettes on the way there. I know, I know ... all you non-smokers are going 'ewwww' and the smokers just 'get it' ;-) They understand why I finished off that one last one in the parking lot before going in. Right to the end of it. (I can see my mother shaking her head now and making that tsk tsk tsk sound .... sorry Mom!).

He took me in right away when I got there, we started right away and we were finished within half and hour. Some of it I remember, some I don't. Did it work? Who knows? Right now I'm taking it hour by hour and we're on hour 31.

Do I want one? Damn right I do. I think about it all the time. And I'm sure I wouldn't have been nominated for a 'Mother of the Year' award this morning lol. This morning was hard. I opened my eyes and remembered I was now a non-smoker. I instantly closed them again. I'm a morning smoker. I wake up, I have my coffee and smoke then start my day. This morning just wasn't going to be the same.

Turned out I had more important things to worry about than how I was going to start my day without a cigarette. When I walked into the kitchen, I headed straight for the fridge. I had put an invitation to a birthday party that Adam had received up there, so I'd have the time/date handy. For some reason, I had it in my head that this party started at 2pm. Planned that the boys and I would hit the store for a present before heading to the party.

When I got up, I had the 'check the invitation' feeling and sure enough my heart sank. It was a morning party! Start time 10am. I looked at the clock ... 9:50 .... "OK boys, let's go ... we've got a party to get to!!!!" Pit stop for a card and by the time we got there (10:20), they had just sat down to get started stuffing. It was a 'stuff a bear' party :-) It was a large group, so by the time everyone got organized and instructed, they had just started handing out the materials when we got there. PHEW!!! It was a two hour party, so in the big scheme of things, he hadn't missed much :-)

Later this afternoon, Alec had a basketball game. It finished around 5:30. We left the school parking lot, drove down the street then pulled on to a four lane busy street and drove maybe 10 seconds before we hit a deer. Yes, a deer. A big male deer. On a 'main street'.

I've been a passenger in minor car accidents. I've sat in the traffic jams caused by people in front of me getting into accidents, but I've never hit an animal or another vehicle myself personally. Until tonight.

It simply came out of nowhere. It made it across three lanes of traffic, and had just run past a police officer in an SUV when I saw it ramming into my front end. Before it's head slammed into the side of me, I had no idea what was coming. We were discussing the game. I had just said to Alec "You guys played a great... and the word 'Game' and "OMIGOD" all sort of came out as one word. Then 'THAT WAS A DEER! WE HIT A DEER!'

The deer hit, sort of went up onto the hood then bounced off and rolled in front of us. Thankfully there was nobody directly behind us because I stopped dead in my tracks, squealing the tires behind us. I checked the rear-view, and saw the police lights right away, and slowly pulled over to the side of the road.

Both boys were fine. I was fine. Everyone was wearing their seat belts. Seat belts save lives! Oh my God ... I just hit a deer!!! On the main road! Not out in the boonies somewhere! I could understand if we were closer to home, or it had come at us on the highway, but we were 30 seconds away from a major intersection, grocery store, gas stations etc etc etc. Major civilization!!! Not deer country!!!

When I'm driving home to NB, and there are Beware of Moose! signs peppered along the highway, I'm on the ready. I've traveled that road for 20yrs and I know that something can come at me at any moment, so I'm tense, and ready ... on a busy street in 'the city' ... I was not ready :-(

The police officer came up to us to make sure we were OK, as did Adam's former teacher, who also happens to be Alec's assistant basketball coach (along with her husband). She had pulled out into the outer lane to pass us, and just missed hitting the deer herself. Other than a case of mild shock, everyone was fine. Once I realized what had happened, I felt my eyes fill with tears, knew I couldn't 'lose it' in front of the kids, police or the teacher/coach lol, so took a breath ... got out of the truck and dealt with it.

It's funny what you remember in the hours after an event like this. I remember getting out of the truck, looking at what was left of the bumper and where the light was, and seeing deer hair, blood and 'stuff' in there. I didn't look at the rest of the truck, I turned around and walked over to the officer instead. He told me he had seen the whole incident, and there was nothing I could do. Which was really nice to hear coming from him!!! Said he'd need some info from me so the boys went with Alec's coach to a nearby garage and I followed behind to wait for the officer, while he shot the deer :-( I felt really bad about hitting that poor deer. So did the boys :-( Adam said to me tonight "I'm never gonna forget that Mom!" Sigh.

Ever the optimist, I asked the officer if he thought I could drive my vehicle home. He sort of chuckled and pointed out how the whole left side of the hood was smashed in, and it was leaking alot of fluid. When I got out of it at the scene, my door was not ... right... I could hardly turn the steering wheel to get it off the road and when I got it parked at the garage there was smoke coming out of it ... nah, he thought it better that I have it towed LOL. Probably a better idea :-) He also told me that it was good that I drive an SUV, because if I drove a car that was 'lower' ... the outcome could have been alot worse.

So I called the ex from the police car, while handing my paperwork to the officer, he arranged for the tow truck and we cleaned out what we needed from the truck, left the key for the tow truck and got a ride home with the coach.

Tonight of course, the 'what ifs' set in. What if the deer had come up through the windshield ... what if the air bag had deployed and I ran us off the road or into another car ... what if it had hit into my door or Alec's ... what if there had been a car behind me (the coach if she hadn't pulled around to pass us) when I hit the deer, then the breaks, and then we got hit from behind too .... and again ... back to the what if it had come through the windshield!!!!

I can't do that I know. A person will drive themselves crazy with the 'what ifs' of life.

I'll tell ya one thing ... I sure could have used a smoke after hitting that deer!!!!

31 hours and counting .... 31 hours and counting ....

Now we're without a vehicle. Sucks. I called the 1-800 emergency hotline number for my insurance when I got home ... they couldn't tell me if my policy covered a rental car. Can you even get a rental on a Sunday? I don't know ... most everything else is open, I'm hoping I can find somewhere to get a car ... and that it won't cost me a fortune ... and that my insurance will cover the cost of the damage to my vehicle ...

31 hours and counting .... 31 hours and counting!!!

Have a good night all! Time to put this rattled brain to bed :-)

Till next time :-)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

House Hunting 101 - Part I

Hey all,

I've gone through the process of selling/buying a house before. It's not fun. Moving is not new to me. This is the first time however, I'll be doing it on my own. The thought of moving two kids, two pets and a houseful of 'stuff', is a bit frightening ... but this is one of those times that I'm simply living by the mantra, 'what doesn't kill me will make me stronger', and with all the boxes I've been packing and dragging around the house lately, I'll be physically stronger as well :-)

The other night, I sat back and thought about the whole moving experience.

Some people move from their parents house in with a sig other and that's their one and only apt/house period. My grandparents (dad's family) lived in the one house. It was passed down to my uncle who lived there with his family, later sold to my dad and will me mine one day. I don't ever expect to live there, but my father made me promise him to 'keep it in the family' if ever I didn't want it. Who knows, I may end up there eventually. It could be the perfect place for retirement ... when the time comes.

Others move all over the world, regularly. One friend I went to school with has moved several times with her husband and son, and is currently in India. Although it can sometimes be a a bit of a culture shock ;-) she has lived so many experiences I could only dream of, and some I'd never even imagine thinking of ... like
giant spiders, and huge snakes But overall, a REALLY cool way to live :-)

My life isn't as dramatic lol, but when I really thought about it, I've moved 14 times since I left mom and dad's to go to University.Into a dorm, then into my first apartment with a roommate, then on to another apartment with an additional roommate, then another apt with a guy as a roommate ... that one was interesting lol, we're still friends :-) Then the ex and I moved into an apt together, then 3 more before we built our house. Then 4 more places out here in the community where I live now. This will be my 15Th move. Yeah ... been there ... done that ... packed the boxes :-)

So with the For Sale sign officially on the front lawn, I decided to look at a couple of houses this weekend. I don't plan on putting any conditional offers on anything, I just have my eye on a couple that I would consider if mine sold within the right time frame.

So house hunting I went.

Not that it was a long hunt lol. There are only two in the area. Well actually three I wanted to see, but one of them has foundation issues. The back end of the house is sinking to the tune of $15000. So that one was out. Although I was really disappointed, it was like an old farmhouse, wrap-around veranda, 4 bedrooms, pool. I really wanted to see that one :-( But apparently it's a ''money pit' ... my Realtor told me to stay away from it lol.

So I went to see two houses yesterday. One is an old, (33) chalet style heritage cedar home, the other one is new (3) two story saltbox. One is 'modern' , one is ... not :-) One is completely in 'move in' condition, the other ... I'd want a few changes made first. Nothing too serious, just a few slight modifications to make it more 'kid friendly'.

Man, this is a hard decision. I'm going to check out the home listing website tomorrow, but so far, if nothing else comes on the market in this area when the time comes, it''s between these two. They're so different. I've been looking at both and trying to picture our furniture in it. The rec-room gets smaller in the newer one when I think of the furniture and toys :-) The bedrooms in neither house are big enough for ALOT of toys so what's left after purging will have to be contained to the rec-room lol. The the older home has an in-law suite in the basement with kitchen. I like the bathroom and extra bedroom, but not a fridge and stove in the basement. And upstairs, I don't like where the washer/dryer hookup is, on the other side of the kitchen and would rather have a 'kids coat/boot area' there. So if I changed that kitchen in the basement into a laundry room, which really wouldn't be that hard because it's taking out things like the fridge and stove ... I can put tons of shelves in their spaces instead for toys, keep the counter-top and cupboards for storage, and put the washer and dryer where the sink is now, cause the plumbing is already there. There's really alot more 'room' in the older house. No, it's not as new, and has it's original windows lol, (forgot to ask about the roof) but it's more 'functional' I think for us. Lot size is actually a bit bigger at the newer house, but nicer at the older one. Electric heat in both, but the three heat sources at the older one would give me a few alternate heat sources.

Then of course there are the other pros and cons that come to mind. We have a 'if you live within 2.4km of the school, you pay for your kids to stay at school during lunch' program. The newer house is within 2.4 km. At the newer house, we would no longer members of the summer day-camp program. Still have access to the beach, but not the program. The older house, being cedar and all, has the huge downside of spiders... and that's a big down side for an arachnophobic like me :-) it would require lots of wall vacuuming lol. But it also has the huge up side of being a style of house that I love.

Sigh. Such a hard choice. And I've only just started lol. I've got to get mine sold first!

Here's to good house selling karma this week! Now that I have a clean, ready for showing house, I'm going to give my brain a rest, grab a bag of chips and finish watching Freaky Friday on the Family channel :-)

Have a good week all!


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Accident Update, Basketball, Moving and Belle

Hey all,

Long overdue for an update. Sorry to leave you hanging on the results of my friend's dad's accident. He's better, to a certain degree. But better every day. He's out of ICU, wearing the halo and they even have him walking down the hallway with a walker and now eating on his own. This is amazing in itself, considering the injury he sustained in the accident. Unfortunately, there's no quick fix for bleeding and swelling on the brain, and a C-2 break. I understood the impact of the brain injury right away, but a 'C-2 break' didn't quite 'register' until I came home and looked it up online. Thank you Google!!! :-) When I saw the following table (as well as other stats on other sites), it put it all in perspective ... he was a VERY lucky man.

Level of injury

C2 - C3

  • Usually fatal as a result of inability to breathe
  • Totally dependent for all care


  • Quadriplegia and breathing difficulty;usually needs a ventilator
  • Dependent for all cares
  • Quadriplegia with some shoulder and elbow function
  • May be able to feed self using assistive devices
  • Usually can breathe without a ventilator, but may need other types of respiratory support

He may be sporting the latest 'halo look', but he's breathing on his own, feeding himself and it may be with the aid of a walker, but he's WALKING down that hallway daily. But there's still a long way to go for both the physical and psychological therapy/rehab.

They haven't started rehab with him yet because they don't feel he's progressed far enough with the brain injury. The long term memory is there, but the short term isn't. And they won't start the physical rehabilitation until the brain is functioning a little better. This is also very frustrating for his family, because they would rather see him at least doing something physically than lying in the bed for so many hours a day. He's not a big man to begin with so he needs all the exercise his body can handle and get himself further on that road to recovery.

He's still very confused at times :-( When I was there, he knew who I was, but kept referring to work, ie, had to get going cause he had to move the machines at work. Continuously focused on work. I think he thought he was in a work accident too by some of his comments. Other times, you could see he was trying to joke around with us lol. So the brain is working ... just not quite the way it used to right now ... but that will hopefully be improving every day as well! On Sun, he was able to remember what he had for dinner when asked a couple of hrs later ... he couldn't do that on Friday.

Considering it's been 5 weeks since the accident and he was in a drug induced coma for the first two, he's really only had three weeks recovery from very serious injuries. He's made great progress. Is doing things that are considered 'a miracle' by some. But he's really only taken a baby step towards a 'full recovery' whatever that will mean for him in the end. But he's here, that's the main thing. And everyone is thankful for him being able to have that first baby step at all.

As for the rest of us, it's been another krazy month in the korner :-)

Basketball season has started. Both boys are having a ball and Alec has turned out to be the high scorer on his team :-) Not that they win alot LOL, (which doesn't matter of course) but he's gotten quite a few points for his team in each game :-) Adam isn't playing competitively yet as he's still too young, but it will be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of years with him also. He's playing rec ball and has quite the shot as well :-) I've told them both I'm very proud of them, and think it's great they're able to get so many baskets, but I do also remind them before every practice/game "pass the ball too ... nobody likes a ball hog. You want them (team members) to pass to you so you can take the shot, make sure you pass to them and they can shoot too ... it goes both ways ..." But that's it for the motherly advice ... aside from Have Fun :-)

I've decided to invite a little more chaos into my life and sell the house :-) I've never liked the street we live on and have wanted to move back into a subdivision type neighbourhood since we moved to this house four years ago. It's time. I don't plan on moving out of the school district, just to another house in the same community we're in now. So I've been to the broker, had the Realtor in and the "For Sale" sign goes up this week :-) It's going to be a HUGE project to take on myself ... but it's time. The house I wanted to buy of course just got a conditional offer on it :-( So, now it's a race. Can I sell my house before the other people sell theirs? I haven't made an offer on the other one yet, cause I can't make a 'clean' offer without a conditional sale. So it's a wait and see. The way I see it though, everything happens for a reason, so if the house is gone, there will be another one.

Had a bad scare with Belle this weekend :-( We had gone to Alec's basketball game, got home a couple of hours later and as I went around the back, Alec had gone in the front door, and came running out the back saying 'There's something wrong with Belle!!!' I ran into the house and there she was at the back door shaking uncontrollably. She couldn't walk properly because she was shaking so much. I had no idea what was wrong with her, but could definitely tell she wasn't 'normal'. My first thought was 'the kids Halloween bags!!! She's eaten some of those mini chocolate bars out of their bags!' I know chocolate can kill dogs, so I ran around the house looking for chocolate bar wrappers. Nothing. Ran back upstairs and saw only one thing that might have been what was causing whatever was wrong with her.

She had grabbed an old, forgotten, Tim Hortons coffee cup that I had thrown away out of the downstairs garbage, ate the moldy coffee sludge at the bottom and ended up with mold toxicity. After calling the vet and confirming that's what it was, they said to rush her down there, then we had to take her to the animal hospital where she spent the night :-(

After an IV drip, flushing out her system, and a Valium drip to control the tremors and onset of seizure, she was recovered and home the next day. And Mama's now throwing her old coffee cups into the neighbours garbage!!!! Kidding ;-) Although I'm still not sure how I'm going to cover that outrageous vet bill before Xmas, I couldn't just let my girl die. I've told a few people what happened to her, and have had one person out of all say 'I wouldn't have paid that money to save her, she's only a dog' ... I guess I'm just not made that way. Yes, I know hundreds of dollars for an emergency vet bill is outrageous ... and downright impossible on a single mom's salary ... just before Xmas, but it doesn't matter that she's 'only a dog'. She's part of our family and I couldn't do that to my children, or myself, to just take her to a vet and say 'nope, don't want to pay for it, put her down'. Financially foolish or not ... I just couldn't.

My highlight of this past weekend was seeing George Canyon. He is one of Canada's hottest Country singers right now. He gave a special concert for the troops on Nov 11th, and my project at work was one of the sponsors of the show. I happened to be in the right place at the right time and scooped tickets to the concert :-) It was great! Our company had a table reserved so the seats were excellent, and I managed to take 100 pics that night LOL.

That's it for tonight all. My brain is tired and ready for bed.
Until next time!