Friday, December 30, 2011


We were waiting. 

Waiting for me to go back to work, to save, to sell, to pack, to move. 2011 seemed like a bundle of culminations, even after 2010. 

One letter after another dictated our actions. New emails, and phone calls guided us and life trickled by, though we kept punching the "hold" button. 

Wee man and I came to understand each other. I learned to dance, literally and figuratively. His smiles became more real, and we all held our breath for September. 

There were beautiful weddings. I saw my baby sister in her perfect dress on her perfect summer day. I told her, in a speech, that we had an unspoken and unconditional care for each other. I sputtered, like I knew that I would, and then danced with my nephew until my feet were too blistered to move. My toe-nails remained bruised until the snow started to fall. 

 My grandmother died. We took Wee Man to visit her for a final time and I pushed the burning in my throat away when I saw her wide eyes and hands reach for him. I told her I loved her and smiled. I did my best to make my baby laugh and coo for us. We visited her in the hospital during the day and at night my heart was torn out with thoughts of her loneliness. The night before we left, I told her that we'd visit before we got on the plane. "See you tomorrow" was the last thing I said. When my mother got home from a later visit, she told me that my grandmother had asked me not to come back before we left. She couldn't bear it and what could we possibly say to each other? I was relieved. What could we have said? The last visit had been a good one. 

About a week later I got a phone call from my father that she was gone. 

Then we came here, in September, which felt like our real year's end. I'll tell you now that it hasn't been easy. 

The last few months seem like a blur of fatigue and tension and isolation. Mr.Fella's program has been harder than either of us expected, and we both expected it to be hard. I invested a lot of psychological energy into a workplace that didn't seem willing to invest much in me. I decided to go back to school, we panicked about finances. We struggled to understand each other and communicate our needs while still having something left for our son. There were days we worked together and days we didn't. There were days we were on our own. I desperately, piercingly, missed my friends.

But. We are getting there.

In the last few weeks I've felt a change and I have hopes for 2012. We've managed to catch a few breaths and prioritize our lives again. This happens from time to time, something shakes us up and we become disoriented; then the dust settles we find each other again.  We need our senses of self. We need to work together and we're moving there.

I'm going to spend less time working, more time at home. 
I'm going to start dancing again.

2012, me and my Fellas. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's strange to look at my son and think that he won't remember anything we've done so far. This move, his birthday, his parents as they are now, they'll all be vague reference points. Gone to oblivion. Though, now, he sees us and grins, he knows how to get home when we're out for a walk. I'm sure, if I let him, he could find his way home alone from most places on our street.

Part of what people like and dislike so much about children is the fact that they're so full of life. They're their own little forces of nature; raw bits of genetics and eons of evolution trying to unfold into a person. It's infuriating when sleep-deprived-you are at the receiving end of this process at 4am. At other times, you're grateful. It's an insight into our own humanity. Children have an innate honesty.

The cynical side of me hasn't been surprised by some of the less desirable revelations. Children are selfish, they have no impulse control, no patience, no sense of consequence. They don't notice how their actions impact other people.

But, on the other side.

They are born to love.

Call it the evolutionary advantage of the parent/child bond. Call it social functionalism. Call it neuro-biochemistry. Call it spiritual, call it anything. They are built for it. We all are. There is something truly innate about the human condition to love.

Seeing the way he lights up when he see me, or Mr.Fella, has reminded me to light up when I see my own loved ones. To feel it, feel that experience of seeing someone you love again.We get desensitized to the love in our lives; but that is time and age and repetition. Seeing such a new, earnest love shakes you back to your core. It is who we are.

My son's casual fearlessness, the kind that keeps me on my toes most of the day, has reminded me that all of our own fears are learned. All of them. We are born bold. Sometimes fear is useful, sometimes it keeps us safe and stops us from grabbing knives by their blades, but it's a tool. It doesn't have to be in every part of us. The voices in our heads are our own voices and we can control them.

So, maybe, someday when he is grown, I'll sit with him and we'll have tea and I'll show him everything I've written from the times he can't remember. I'll tell him to love as much as he can and to be brave. It was what he was born to do.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Fun fact: Someone reached my blog by googling "puppy has sandy granulas in urine sample". 
The internet is fun. 

So, after my crazy couple of months (complete with intermittent bitching and moaning) I am currently, for all intents and purposes, laid off for a while.

The company that I've been doing causal car counting/survey calling/ data entry with has "cooled off" for the Holidays, so I won't be heading there

 for the next couple of weeks. There have also been some alterations in my "Animal Hospital" job. I told them that I'd like to avoid working at
any time I'd need a baby sitter in the evening - given the fact that I'm heading back to school, and I've gotten the impression that I'm probably
never going to be working there on a full time basis, so they cut two of my days. 

So, instead of working 16 hours a week, I now work there 9 hours a week. Yeah. 

But that's all that can be done. 

I'm taking to opportunity to do some writing, spend time with the Fellas and get a head start on reading for my courses.
Business writing is very different from writing from a personal perspective, so I think that's going to be the biggest change for me. I need to be able
to get out of my own head and my own perspective and make it appeal to a specific audience. 

The upside is that I'll always have a handy editor available to me through Mr.Fella. 

So here we go. 2012. New plans, new changes. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Our little kitty had a good weekend, and yesterday wasn't the sad day we were thinking it was going to be. She's still, essentially, in palliative care, but it was a little win.

Sometimes a little win can turn a whole week around.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


There is a very old cat who has been coming in for subcutaneous fluids for the last two weeks. Somehow, I've always managed to be the one around who holds her when she comes in for the procedure, and every time she buries her little face in my arms and sits good as gold ; she purrs, takes her needle, and leans into me.

She's 18 years old and is skin and bones. She's stopped eating. Today, the doctor who saw her said that she gives her to Monday, at the latest. This evening, while they were waiting for their appointment, one of her owners talked to me about the life this little cat has had.

When they found her, she had been abandoned outside with four kittens. Her owner wondered aloud how anyone could have lost a pregnant cat. "She couldn't have come far, the people who had her must have noticed!" and I didn't have the heart to tell her that some people are horrible. Some people want a mother with new kittens to die. Or, at the very least, they don't want it to be their problem. So, instead, I said "she must have chosen you."

They took her in, but all of the kittens died within a week. They were heartbroken. They spayed their kittenless stray, and she spent over a decade and a half with an easy, happy life. This was the end, and it should be okay, after a long easy life, but I could tell that it wasn't.

"I just wish I had a sign about the right thing to do" she said to me. I wondered what she thought I was thinking. I wondered if she thought I was desensitized to this and that I was just feigning concern. I wasn't. I told her that she was a very sweet little girl, that I imagined that she would have been a very good momma cat, in her day, and that these things are never easy.

She said "thank you" and we booked an appointment to see her again on Monday. We booked it in the last appointment slot of the day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I graduated with a BA in 2008 and since that time I've come up with a million different ideas about what I've wanted to do with my life. The following is a list of careers/programs I've given serious consideration to:

- medical technologist
- veterinary technologist
- veterinarian
- veterinary head receptionist
- veterinary office manager
- international development
- curator
- sociologist
- human resources
- public administration
- lawyer
- yoga instructor
- writer
- MA in History

I tend to get excited and make plans and then change those plans and then get disheartened about those plans.

Well, in September, after we moved here, I started looking into "my options", which has been a chronic obsession of mine since I graduated high school. I discovered a program in a technical writing program, in Ottawa, at Algonquin College. It's a one year program, it's a post-graduate certificate, it has a paid work term, it has good job prospects and it looked like something I'd enjoy.

So I applied.

I needed to have a strong writing background, certain grades, certain experiences, etc. etc.

Then I was accepted.

And for the last month or so I've felt a bit like I've been in a limbo land. I've actually applied and been accepted a program since my BA before - I almost started a human resources program. I was accepted, I was registered and then, I don't know, everything just fizzled.

So I've been a bit cautious.

Then this last month was pretty brutal and I think part of my brain snapped. I need a change. As much as I love working with animals every day, I don't think I can stay in my position forever. I can't work a job I hate in order to work a job I like for $2 above minimum wage. Yesterday I received an e-mail from Algonquin with my tentative course and book list, and I decided it was time. I was going to do this and I had to tell my work.

So that was my adventure today. I told the Doctor who had hired me (she's only in two days a week) that we had to talk. She's said, "okay", so I closed her office door and started spieling out everything before I really knew what I was saying. I think I was more honest than I meant to be - I told her I wanted to do a program that could set me on a career that'd really make use of my undergraduate degree and that would, ultimately, make me more money.

She was pretty dead-pan, but said "So, you don't think you want to stay in the veterinary field?" I winced a little and said "I don't think so." Then she said "Okay, well, thanks for telling me. Good luck".

That was that.

So, after Christmas, I'll have four courses and I'll have to find some way to balance my life all over again. The good(ish) news is that I've been approved to receive student loans again, and, while I'm in school, I won't have to continue my loan payments.

Two of us in school full-time. And a baby. This will be interesting.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Today I woke up and there was snow, layered, rising, and I thought "not today".

I made four different phone calls to say we weren't leaving.

Wee man and I had popcorn for lunch and watched Elmo. Cuddled in our blanket. I tried not to think about the money I was costing us by deciding to stay in.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day in the Life

5:00 am: "Is Little Fella awake? No? Is he going to wake up?"
                "Go back to sleep, woman"

5:30 am: "Little Fella?"

6:00 am: "I think the sun is coming up. Do I hear anything?"

6:30 am: Squeaks and coos next door - Little Fella is awake and as I crawl out of bed, Mr.Fella's alarm goes off.

I walk into Little Fella's room and all I can smell is shit. Awesome. He smiles and chirps hello, he doesn't seem to care. He politely hands me his soother and his little fuzzy duck.

I zip him out of his sleep sack, cautious of what I might find underneath. No visible explosions. Good. I scoop Little Fella up onto his change table and he screams bloody murder until I've finished changing him - he still has a bad diaper rash. If he'd stop pooping over night, it'd probably heal more quickly.

I let him run around pantless while I wash my hands.

I have to be out the door in 40 minutes.

Mr.Fella gives me a kiss, "Go get your shower, I'll give him breakfast"

Shower. Awesome.

There's still some hot water left, also awesome.

New moisturizer. I like it. Quick powdered makeup. God, my eyebrows look like shit. Oh well.

Mr.Fella and Little Fella are having breakfast - oatmeal with apples and cinnamon. Oh yeah, breakfast. I put some bread in the toaster, but I don't feel very hungry. Mr.Fella goes to get his shower. I attempt to clean Little Fella up - he's finished his breakfast, so he's bored. I take him out of his chair and let him continue to run around pantless. I fill two bottles for daycare and throw them in his bag. My toast pops up. I put on some peanut butter and take a bite. "No, I really don't want this right now". I throw it in the garbage.

Time to go.

I grab some of Little Fella's clothes and get him to sit on my lap in our living room. He giggles. I kiss his forehead. Socks, pants, shirt. Okay. Boots. Jacket. I strap him into his stroller with a blanket tucked around him. He's going to get warm now, so I have to act fast. I grab my bookbag, which I packed last night. Sweater. Jacket. Where the fuck did I put my keys? For the ever-lovin'-fuck-why-the-fuck-do-I-do-this-every-fucking-time?! They're in my bike helmet. Why the FUCK were they in my bike helmet?!

Oh well.

Mr.Fella is still in the shower, so there'll be no goodbye kiss today.

Out the door.

It's nice outside. Sun. Breeze. Rustly leaves. Idyllic fall and university students gather next to the bus stops outside our apartment building. Little Fella's hood slips down his back and his sandy, downy hair flutters in circles. He kicks his boots rhythmically. Cutie. Down we go, down the hill to daycare - 15 minutes. I'm still on time.

The Daycare lady comes to the door and Little Fella smiles. I'm glad he likes it here. She scoops him up and takes off his coat and boots. I remind her that we still need the receipts for the last several weeks so Mr.Fella can put in our claim to his Student Union. She mutters "Oh yes. Right."

I kiss Little Fella's chubby cheeks and tell him to be good. I tell him I love him. He smiles goodbye. It's 7:30 am and it's the last time I'll see him today.

My first job starts at 9:00, but I'm beginning a new project so I want to get there early. I have to head downtown. The bus comes next to Little Fella's daycare at 7:40 - a lot of people are traveling at this time of day, and within minutes I feel lucky that I have a seat. It's slow moving until we get on the transitway. We zip by bedrock and other buses. I close my eyes - why didn't I feel this tired at 5:30 this morning?


I get off at Albert and Kent and it's the busiest I've ever seen it downtown. There are more people than cars. It almost looks like New York.

I need to stop at the bank and deposit yesterday's paycheck so we have enough money in our account to cover daycare and homecare. There are so many people, I have to check over my shoulder, like a car changing lanes, before darting into the bank.

Cheque deposited. I take out a $20 for coffee.

Where can I go that has a decent latte besides Starbucks? What's that place, "Coffee and Friend's Co"? No, I tried that last week and it was horrible. I see someone with a MacDonald's coffee cup - heeellll no. Second Cup? No, look at that line. I check the time. I have about a half hour before my shift starts.

Bridgehead. "Organic, Fairtrade, Shade Grown, Coffee"

I don't know why "Shade Grown" is a good thing, but okay.

I dart in Bridgehead. There are a couple of people in head of me, but the line is moving fast. "Large Skim Latte to go, please". $3.50. Nice. I wait for my latte and read part of their board "Shade Grown coffee preserves the ecosystem and natural environment". Hmmm. Haven't heard that before.

Latte's ready.

Oh, it's good! It's really good! Awesome. New latte place. I'll have to tell Mr.Fella.

What time is it? 8:40? Yeah, alright. I'll go in a bit early. I join a pack of people crossing the street and head towards my building. Two blocks West.

Here we are.

5th floor

First door on the left past the bathrooms. It smells like computers, carpet and faintly of despair.

Two girls sitting in supervisor chairs swivel their heads towards me.

"Hi", I say "I know I'm a bit early, but I was in for training on Monday. We went over SAQE, but I haven't used CallWeb at all, yet. I don't know how to use it. Jussst thought I'd let you know"

The supervisor with approximately 3 gallons of eyemakeup on replies, sickly sweet, "Oh yes. Just wait in the break room until 9, please".

Alright, b'y.

I sit in the breakroom. A few of the regular workers drift past me into a group in the kitchen. I eat one of the granola bars I packed yesterday.


I poke my head back into the main area. "Oh yes, you can sit at seat 17"
It's by a window. Score.
A nicer supervisor gives me the basics of Callweb and watches my first call. It's an answering machine. She watches me code it. All's well.

I sip my latte between calls and try to convince strangers to do a survey about their travel habits within the city. A few calls reach polite people, some calls reach rude people, most calls reach dead air and answering machines.

I take a ten minute break. Makeup supervisor scolds me for not closing out CallWeb properly. I remind her that I've never been told how to close it. She smiles, sickly sweet, "Oh yes, well, just for next time."

I get more respondents the second half of my shift, so it goes by more quickly. Some of the people I took my training class with filter in. Before I leave for the day, I call over the nice supervisor to make sure I close everything out properly. I follow her back to her desk and get her to sign me out. It's 1:58 and Makeup Supervisor informs me that "we dial right up until the end of our shift. Not two minutes before."

I have 5 minutes to catch my bus

I smile, sickly sweet, "Yes, I'll remember that for next time."

Out the door.

I really have to pee, but I don't want to miss my bus. I wonder if, next time, I can push my break to the end of the shift and maybe just leave 10 minutes earlier. This is cutting it close.

I need bus 86.

I wait at my stop as route 85, 95, 97 and 96 fly past me. 86. There we go.

I eat my second granola bar on the bus.

I arrive back at my apartment. Do I have enough time to pee? I check the time. It's 2:30. Yes, I should be able to pee and.

In the building, in the elevator, floor five. Pee. In the elevator, out the door.

Amelia, beautiful Amelia, is chained to a tree next to our building's wheelchair ramp. I unlock her and off I go. 15 minutes of beautiful, windy, fallish riding. Down quiet suburban backways and new asphalt. Past pedestrians and black squirrels and recycling left on the curb for tomorrow. A mini-oasis between shifts.

I chain her out of view next to the strip mall where our hospital is located. Some asshole stole the rear light off of her back a few weeks ago - they didn't even take the bracket that holds it, so it'd be completely useless, but they took it anyway. Assholes. This is why I now hide her.

I realize that I'm starving. I check the time. I have 15 minutes before my shift starts and I still have to change into my scrubs.

I buy a diet Dr.Pepper and a bag of SmartPop from the convenience store next door.

Fuck, I'm hungry.

I walk in through the clinic doors - the morning shift is ending and the evening shift is starting, so there are a lot of people around. Most of the girls are folding up vaccine reminders and chatting. Everyone gets along pretty well here, I think. It's nice.

I change into my scrubs, grab a chair and start devouring the SmartPop. After I've taken off the edge of hunger I go into treatment and check the schedule. When's our next appointment? Not for a half hour. Awesome.

I go back up front, finish the bag and chug my Dr.Pepper. Better. I play with one of the tech's bernese mountain dog. His name is Thunder and he's beautiful. I call him "Thun-dar!". He recognizes me now, so he says hello with drool, fur and nudges. "Heelllooo, Thun-dar!!! THUN-DARR!" Every time I see him I think about how much Mr.Fella would love him, if he could ever find time to come in and visit.

The girls from the morning leave, the half-hour passes and the real work begins. Our schedule is blocked, the phone keeps ringing and there are three of us in the hospital - the doctor, one tech and me.

The appointments rolls in - I weigh dogs, pull up vaccines, bill people out, answer the phone. I ask the doctor between appointments if one of her patients can have more thyrotabs. Yes. I count them out, but the tech has to ask me a question. I lose count. I count them out three more times.

I need to help the tech with some bloodwork. I hold a sweet tabby named Max very still for a jugular. He's snuggled under my arm in a towel. We can't get any blood - let's try elsewhere. Max is purring in fear. We wiggle and try different veins until we have success!

Haven't we changed labs for the pre-anthestic bloodwork? How do I put that in? I can't find it in Avimark - oh, there it is. It's about the same price as before, that's good.

We have a half hour to go when a very good client walks in. This man loves his dog more than anything in the world and is frantic because she peed in the house today - he holds a bottle of urine under my nose. He doesn't have an appointment, but can the Doctor PLEASE see them today?!

I inform them that we are booked up, but I will ask the doctor. I know if she sees this appointment, we won't get out of the hospital until at least a half hour after we close. She's writing up a file in treatment. I explain who it is and what he wants. She sighs "alright".

"He brought in urine, do you want to run it?"
"Yeah, might as well, I guess"

I bring the urine to the tech "I think she wants you to run this for you-know-who"
"She wants me to go over a puppy kit with the people in room two, too. When should I grow extra arms, do you think?" She's good natured about it.

I get a stool sample ready and fill out a lab rec form. I print off a vaccine certificate, I call back one of the Doctor's clients with the instructions she's given me for them. I print off some information that the Doctor asked for about some weird kind of cat litter one of her clients told her about.

I text my babysitter who, by now, will have picked up Little Man, fed him and put him to bed, to let her know that I'm running behind. Within seconds she texts back "No problem :)" She's awesome, I love her.

We get out almost exactly a half hour after we closed, as predicted. The walk-in client's dog had absolutely nothing wrong with him.

I turn on Amelia's head-lamp and peddle home in the dark. It's not quite as picturesque as during the day, but it clears my brain a little. I pull in and chain her to her spot.

In the door.
Up the elevator.

I walk in, and there's our babysitter. "Hi" she smiles.
I'm pretty exhausted, but I smile back. "How was wee man?"
"Oh, good. There's a bowl of broccoli in the fridge though"
"The little frigger, I know. He won't eat it. We'll just keep trying"
"I've been trying to be sneaky about it, but he's too smart!"
"I know, me too!"

"Goodnight, thanks for staying late."

As soon as she's out the door I remember something and send her text
"Did the daycare give you a receipt today?"
a few seconds later I get a response
"Nope, sorry"


It's 7:15pm and Mr.Fella won't be home for another two hours. I miss him.

Then I realize I'm fucking starving again.

I proceed to eat half a small pizza, a handful of baby carrots, two squares of dark chocolate and two bowls of popcorn. That's better. I ignore the sink of dishes I know I have to do before bed. I'm too tired.

I sit on the couch and think.
People do this all of the time. Days like today, every day, all of the time. People do this. all. of. the. time. People have whole lives that are like this.
Every day.
All of the time.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Writing is like a muscle; you need to keep using it to hang on to any kind of proficiency.

I've been pretty inconsistent about a lot of things in my life, but I've always stuck with two things: Writing, in one form or another, and loving my husband since the day I met him.

Not bad, all in all.

I've decided to write a 1000-1500 piece for a creative non-fiction contest. I can't post "the story" here before I enter it, as part of the contest rules, but I'll let you know how it goes and I'll post it after everything is finished.

Considering how spastic and thrown-together most of the things I write are, it'll be nice to have longer term goal. Put a bit of polish on it. A lot of heart.

This is what happens when you don't have any friends in your city, haha!

Friday, November 4, 2011


On our second day, I chatted with my cab driver. He was from Bulgaria and warned me that, in order to get a decent job in Ottawa, I needed to speak french. He asked me a lot about what I do and what I planned to do, until I mentioned that I had a son. Once I mentioned Little Fella, he seemed appeased that I had my life's path sorted out.

In our first week, Mister Fella and I talked to a man at the bus station. He seemed kind of scattered and came over to tell us that Little Fella was cute. He told us that he was from Montreal, that he also had a Ph.d in English, and that the nicest people in Ottawa weren't from Ottawa. I'm not sure if he actually had a Ph.d, or if he was just an eccentric man. His comment about the niceness of Ottawians has  been stuck in my brain since we spoke.

In our second week I started my part-time job at a local vet clinic. It was smaller than my previous hospital; only two vets, four techs, no other receptionists. I sat in on a staff meeting and the girls showed me where the latest earthquake had cracked the tile in our treatment area. Every time I walk by that tile, I'm reminded that I am no longer in relatively-earthquake-free Newfoundland. The week after I started the hospital had more euthanasias than they had had in months previous - I joked that I was bad luck and everyone laughed, but I think they wondered if it was true. 

In my second month I interviewed for another part-time job at a research firm downtown. I got lost on my way there and finally realized what real "city blocks" looked like on the ground. I wondered how everyone around me was navigating their way around. I asked a man sweeping the sidewalk for directions.

In my interview I learned that the position started at 5:30am;  counting traffic on the side of the road. Data collection. The man interviewing me seemed to be my age and had an accent I couldn't quite place. I sensed a hint of flirtation in his conversation and thought to myself that he might have been my type if I wasn't married. Then I felt guilty. (I told Mr.Fella that he had seemed cute later, which is my self-imposed honesty policy - Mr.Fella didn't feel threatened in the slightest.)

Later I found out he was from New Zealand, and he wouldn't be directly over-seeing our project. I was glad when I wasn't disappointed.

Last month, at the 5:30 am project, I was partnered with a man from Sparta. He talked about how small Ottawa seemed and how he was thinking about moving to Toronto. I told him that the population of Ottawa was larger than the entire population of Newfoundland and Labrador and he looked at me like he couldn't imagine living in such a place.

Last week, at the 5:30 am project, I worked with a woman from England who talked to herself a lot. When I introduced myself to her, the first things she said was "I had a miscarriage last week - have you ever lost a child?"

"No." I said
"That's good."

For the next four hours I spoke as little as possible as she talked about her partner (apparently, a mute-frenchman), her mom that she lived with, and  how kind I was, even though I said practically nothing to her.
At one point, she started talking about a serial killer pig-farmer from B.C. and I wondered if I could out-run her.
Several times she told me I was pretty.
She asked me if I was married, I told her that I was, and she asked if I ever "really hated being stuck in a marriage sometimes." I told her "no" and that seemed to confuse her.

This week I worked with a 22-year old man from Toronto and I told him all about the crazy-lady from England. He laughed. Then he asked me for relationship advice, and told me that the longest he's ever had a girlfriend was three weeks. I didn't give him much advice, but he regaled me with a series of his failed relationships. He also told me that I was very nice.

Today, when I was downtown, I walked into a coffee shop called "Coffee Friends Co." and ordered a latte. I always try to find an independent coffee shop that makes decent lattes because I like giving my business to places other than Starbucks. The latte cost about a dollar less, but tasted vile. I threw it, half-finished, into the garbage next to my bus station.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Fellas have flown back to Newfoundland for the weekend - Mr.Fella is "crossing the stage" for his Masters and he brought the little man with him. I couldn't go because I was unable to get the time off work (one of the down-sides of working with very few co-workers - no one to cover for you.)

I'm normally a pretty independent person, and for the longest while I thought "awesome! I'll have the apartment all to myself! I'll do all kinds of fun stuff around the city!".

So far, I've ordered Chinese and watched a couple of episodes of Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares".

And I'm very sleepy, but I don't want to go to bed. I'm not really sure why, but my brain is screaming "no bed!". Maybe it thinks I've gone back in time and I'm a 19 year old university student, so this is just what I should do.

Tomorrow I'll do something interesting!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I got a call from the student loan people saying I didn't make a payment last month.

"That's funny", I thought. I was sure that I had.

Then I looked at my account online and realized that I had made a payment, but it was to the other "payee" listed  in my accounts. Newfoundland Power.

Only, I haven't actually had a Newfoundland Power account for over a year now. Oops.

Sooo, I've spent my morning on the phone.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

We've been here over a month now, so I guess we're pretty officially "settled in"

Little Fella started day care today, which was surreal. It's strange to take your baby and just leave him at a stranger's house for the whole day. I felt a little guilty and a little relived. He did very well. So I hear, he was in bed by the time I got home.

My current job (I work as a receptionist at a vet clinic) hasn't been offering me many hours, so I've been scrambling to find other work. I was just hired on with a company who has a contract with the city of Ottawa to count cars. That's it! Counting cars. It's pretty random and it starts at 5:30 am, but since having a baby the prospect of sleep deprivation and early rises doesn't scare me much.

I'm trying to ride my bike as much as possible because it's hard to justify $94 a month (plus tax!) on a bus pass, which I'm sure is a reasonable sum, but still seems to be a lot to me. I haven't taken a picture of my actually bike, yet, but this is what she looks like:

Ottawa is far more level than St.John's, so I haven't come across a hill yet that I haven't been able to handle in the lowest gear. It's starting to feel fallish and riding a bike feels like a particularly fallish activity, so I enjoy my commutes each day.

And that's pretty much it! We work and come home. Sometimes I have acute moments where I realize that we don't have any friends here and I get very lonely, but it normally passes. I have been plotting "future life plans" but I have so many life plans, and I usually change my mind about them, so I'm determined not to get myself too worked up about something until things are actually, really in motion.

The first month is down. Approximately 60 more to go!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Before I left Newfoundland, I had a distant relative who moved to the St.John's for the first time. I've never met her, but my uncle asked that I add her to Facebook so that she'd know someone in the city. I did, and she spent nearly every day complaining about how awful Newfoundland was and how much she hated it there.

It's weird to hear someone talk about your home, a place you love, like it's alien. You always want outsiders to see things the way you see them. Maybe slightly better.

Since we've moved here, I keep telling myself that this is someone's home. There are people who love this city more than any other location on Earth. There are people missing Ottawa, thinking about Ottawa, planning trips back to Ottawa for Christmas. I keep telling myself that maybe, someday, I'll be one of those people. Little Fella, our son, might be one of those people. He'll remember it here. His first little friend will probably be here.

So, I'm trying to give it a chance.

 I've moved a lot, and when I was a kid I developed the theory that it takes a full year in a strange place to really feel acclimatized. After a year you'll have some friends and you'll know your way around and when you think "oh, a year ago..." you'll be thinking about where you are.

So you have to expect to be a little lonely and feel a little out of place for at least a year. That's the rule.

It still makes sense to me.

Soooo, as for the boring stuff: I have a job, though it's not giving me nearly as many hours as would be helpful. I'll likely have to find a second job, and that's probably going to suck. Mr.Fella started his Ph.d program and he's enjoying it, I knew he would. Today he took me around his campus and showed me his office (he's so proud that he gets an office - despite the fact that it doesn't have any windows and he shares it with 6 other Graduate students).

He has to read an insane number of books for his coursework, but he's getting through it. Sometimes he talks to me about what he's reading and I find it reassuring that I can keep up. It's sort of silly, but I always worry that one day he's going to wake up and he's just going to be "too" smart; like he'll just start speaking another language or something.  Something beyond me that I won't be able to understand because I stopped going to university three years ago and they developed a new mode of communication since I've been away. Special "academic-top-secret" talk or something. I don't know. My mind goes weird places.

I bought a bike today. She's a beautiful "commuter" bike (which I didn't even know existed until I started googling about bikes yesterday). She's perfect and will, hopefully, cut my commute time in half. I've named her "Amelia". I'll have to take a picture of her.

Other than that, we're settled in. I'd like to make some friends, but I'm not even sure how you go about making new friends when you're in your mid-to-late 20s.

Okay, if you're reading this, and you're from Ottawa and are kind of cool, look me up. No stalkers/serial killers please. Decent sense of humour preferable.

Let's see if that works.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I have a habit of moving to strange cities.

When I was thirteen, my father pulled us onto a ferry and brought us to Corner Brook. I had never set foot in the province before.

Thirteen years later, and I'm a week away from moving to Ottawa.

Some things change. I have a husband, a son, some cats.
Some things don't change.
I feel like I'm on the edge of another big cross road. The next week there'll be hurdles and bumps and frustrations.

And then a new life.