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.