Thursday, December 31, 2009

day seventeen...


i woke up luxuriously late this morning, which rarely happens in general, and has not happened since moving to the new house. the window in our bedroom face the south east, which means that our room is lovely and bright from the moment the sun peeks over the horizon.

i don't mind this. in fact, i quite like it. however, yesterday we purchased heavy curtains so that on the days when my husband has just come off night shift... he'll be able to sleep.

they work like a charm, let me tell you.

between the darkness of the room... and discovering that my husband has had stashed away for the past two years a lovely down duvet, which i promptly purchased a cover for and now have floating over my bed light as a dream... i had a wonderfully warm, dark and restful sleep.

for which i am deeply grateful.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

day sixteen...


okay, i'm starting early this morning... because i'm already feeling enormously appreciative.

we decided, way back when we first moved to Virginia, not to get a home phone and to simply use our cell phones. this meant careful scheduling with family and friends over when was a good time to call, that wouldn't eat up our limited minutes... this meant being frugal with chat time when making calls to family and friends in Canada... although i also made good use of internet chats and e-mails and such, to be honest, it left me feeling a little isolated at times.

so, with the move we decided it was time to have a home phone installed, with an unlimited plan for calling within Canada and the US. it's been four days, and i cannot begin to tell you what a difference it has already made for me. i've had long talks with my family almost every day... and not just late in the evening as we had been for the last year and a half.

and the reason i'm writing about this now? my grandmother just called, wanting to hear all about the new house... and we were able to talk for as long as we wanted, without me feeling anxious about using up my precious cell phone minutes.

i feel lighter, happier, connected in a way that i haven't in a quite a while... and i am so very grateful.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day fifteen..


just a brief note this evening...

highlights of the day: chili lime dark chocolate, birds in my new bird feeder, french movies, red paint, cheese toast and hot chicken soup

Monday, December 28, 2009


okay, so... we thought we had made arrangements to have internet hooked up at the new house on the same day that we arrived. however, due to strange and complicated winds and star alignments.... and the fact that apparently that particular company does not want our business, and truth be told we don't want to give them our business in the end.... we have been without internet since mid-December.

this has made it difficult to continue posting my gratitude on a daily basis.
which is not to say that i have been ungrateful.

i have been both grateful and somewhat agitated by our enforced period of "unplugging"....

i have been enormously grateful for the simple "we live in a house a little off the beaten track" sounds.... melting of snow in the eaves, washing machine doing it's thing in the back ground as i do my thing elsewhere (no more laundromats!!!), birds singing, no sirens, very little traffic...

i have been grateful to have a beautiful snowfall to make it feel like a real Christmas.... and also grateful that the former owner of our new house left behind a couple of snow shovels.

i have been grateful for my husband's patience and dogged get-to-it-ness regarding the unpacking of boxes... i did the bulk of the unpacking while he was at work, but those last boxes of "misc" i just could not bring myself to open, let alone put away.... and he's kept at it. we're almost all done... just a few more adjustments, moving this to there and putting that here... and it will be home.

i have been grateful for friends who invited me out to spend Christmas day with them, knowing that my husband had to work all day....

i have been grateful for the friendliness of all the new neighbours that we've met. we lived for two years in the last place, and knew no one there. the neighbours weren't very neighbourly.... here, people stop by to introduce themselves if we're outside.

i have been grateful for reconnecting with old friends...

i have been grateful for phone calls from my brother who never calls, and my grandad who rarely does....

i have been grateful....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

day thirteen...


oh boy... am i ever grateful that our move is largely being done for us (now that i unpacked all my boxes so the movers could repack them).

the packers came today... three of them, not particularly big, armed with nothing more than a stack of boxes, bags of paper and rolls of tape.... and they packed our entire 2 bedroom apartment (plus storage room full of tools and crap) in less than 3 hours.


anything that was not nailed down got packed in the blink of an eye. i was so busy telling the guy not to pack the clothes my husband needs to wear to work tomorrow that i missed the woman in the kitchen packing my toaster and kettle. thought we might need them for breakfast tomorrow... oh well, i'll hold the bread on a fork over the gas stove burner for a while... kind of like making toast over a campfire.

i don't know how much it costs to have other people move you... because i'm not actually paying for it, truth be told... but whatever it is, it's totally worth it.

they did it all but the refrigerator... and tomorrow, when the movers come... they'll load it all like magical moving fairies, flitting from room to room, waving their magic wands and poof... the piano that we had to use the winch on my husband's truck to load into the moving van two years ago will suddenly and effortlessly be located in their moving truck. those boxes of books... that heavy table...

i won't even break a sweat.


(not the no sweating, necessarily... but about all of it.)

day twelve...


i have no idea what day it is any more!! i think we're in Tuesday now, which means that once again... i did not post my gratitude yesterday. i'm pretty bad at the posting part, but getting better at the gratitude... which is the important bit anyway, right?

i spent a good portion of the afternoon yesterday gathering together all of the things that we are not taking with us when we move... things that we have either not used in the two years in this apartment, or things that we have used... but that the new house already comes with.

i lugged a television that weighs almost as much as me (possibly a slight exaggeration), a toaster oven, a microwave that i had just finished heating my lunch up in (and carefully wiped out, of course), a paper shredder, some cushions, some clothes, some mismatched dishes.... and dropped them off at the Salvation Army.

i hope they make someone else's life easier...

i'm grateful for the abundance we have in our lives.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

day eleven...


it was a quiet kind of day today... starting with a quiet rainy morning with coffee and couch and staring out into the rain.

followed by a little packing and taking of stuff over to the new house. we don't officially move until Wednesday, but there are things the movers won't take... and the seller of the house, who is now the renter of the house, had offered to empty one room that we can start moving our things into... so it's starting to feel a little more real.

and now, a quiet evening at home with my sweetheart... doing some stuff for Team In Training, cooking warm and cozy meals, and watching movies that i've seen countless times...

nothing remarkable in this day... but it's been a good one.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

day ten...


my husband had just come off night shift yesterday morning, and it always takes a couple nights for him to get back onto a "normal" sleep schedule. so he fell asleep at about 8pm last night, and then woke me up at 3am when he couldn't sleep and decided to watch a movie. beside me, in bed... with the light on.

don't ask.

needless to say, i was less than thrilled when my alarm went off at 6am to get me up for my early morning Team In Training run. my eyes did not want to open.

the funny thing is though, no matter how gnarly i might feel upon waking after a sleepless night, if he's in good humour i can't help but get to laughing within minutes.

this may be "too much information"... but, it's been a couple days since i shaved under my arms. so, i was stretching as part of my waking up process when he looked over and said out of the blue "gadzooks! she's got a couple hedgehogs in a headlock!"

i just about fell out of bed laughing.

he was crying he was laughing so hard.

and just like that, the tone for the day was set...

i think you know what i'm grateful for in this little story :)

ps... no hedgehogs were harmed during the telling of this story

Friday, December 11, 2009

day nine... on time


do you ever put something off for so long that by the time you get around to doing it you feel foolish for putting it off and so rather than feel foolish you just don't think about it for a while... and then when you'd really like to get to it, you're embarrassed that you've let so much time pass???

yeah, that happens to me too.

so, the thing i was putting off was visiting a friend. how ridiculous is that? i wanted to see her. i knew she would be glad to see me.... but late in the summer and early in the fall i was feeling kind of blue, and i didn't feel like i had the energy to get off the couch, never mind go visit someone who might then feel like she needed to cheer me up, and then i'd feel guilty about making her feel like she had to do something to help... and so i never called.

and then i wanted to call, but i'd put it off for two months... and how do you call someone after two months? what do you say... "i'm sorry, i wanted to call you, but i just couldn't make myself do it..."?? that doesn't make people feel good. so, i put it off some more.

here we are, now five months since i last saw her.... and i finally decided to just get over myself and go see her this afternoon. so, i drove to her house, knocked on the door, she greeted me with a big smile and a hug, told me she was glad to see me....

so i was straight with her... i told her i had wanted to call or drop by but i felt embarrassed for not having done so sooner... and she said "i meant to call you, but then i was embarrassed for waiting so long..."

and there we were... both of us wanting to see the other, both of us feeling badly for not having made the effort sooner, both of us not wanting to feel foolish... and both of us missing out! what a waste of time!!!

we laughed and said "well, i'm glad we got that over with".... and had a lovely two hour visit.

and so, today i am grateful that i just got over myself and went to see her. grateful for her friendship and understanding, and looking forward to our renewed friendship.

the end.

day eight.. a day late


oh boo... i did it. i wanted so badly to be on top of the daily posting of gratefulness... and then only a week in, i botched it.

but i'm here now... and today, you shall have two postings. a morning posting and an evening posting... aren't you happy to hear that? grateful, even??

yesterday was something of a strange day. a gentleman from the moving company came to look over our stuff, so they'll have a sense of how much work lies ahead of them next week... how many hours to pack, how big a truck to bring, etc...

he arrived about half an hour after my husband, who had just come off a 12 hour night shift, had gone to bed for the day. i mentioned this to him, and asked him to start in the bedroom so that my husband could get up briefly before falling asleep, and then go back to bed while the guy looked over the rest of the apartment.

now, you may already know that my husband drives a bright yellow land rover. it was parked right in front of the house. i just happened to be wearing a t-shirt, given to me by my husband's mechanic... advertising his shop. not because i'm land rover crazy... but because i have packed most of my clothes and left this one out to clean the house in...

so, the minute my husband groggily crawls out of bed, the guy starts talking truck.... loudly, with great enthusiasm and elaborate detail.... the elements of his home work shop, the myriad to vehicles he's purchased and chopped up and put together, stories of off-roading...

my poor husband can barely keep his eyes open... but nods in the appropriate places in the stories for about an hour before he excuses himself to go to bed.

we move into another room where the guy continues to regale me with stories, at high volume, for another hour.

nice guy... kind of annoying. made me late with all his story telling....

then, i went to visit a friend who struggles with depression. her husband is away until just before Christmas, and she has two kids... so i thought i'd take advantage of the free afternoon and hang out with her for a couple of hours.

somehow i got maneuvered into talking with her kids about sex. i don't quite know how that happened. we were talking about how i run marathons to raise money for people with blood cancers, and how her youngest (a girl aged 9) grows her hair long and then donates it every couple of years to makes wigs for kids who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments. from there the conversation went to organ donation, to donating blood, to screening blood for diseases, to what is AIDS, at which point the mom said "megan can explain that to you".... which is true, i can... that was my field of work for many years... but not normally with 9 year old girls... (and i don't know if they've had the birds and bees talk with the 12 year old boy yet! never mind the 9 year old, although i now assume they have... )

so we're talking about how HIV works inside the body, and how there are lots of medicines now to help people so they don't die from AIDS the way they used to years ago when nobody knew what AIDS was... which the mom later contradicted when we started having the "safe sex" part of the conversation... when she said, if you have sex and don't protect yourself you could get HIV and then you'll die... oof! scary stuff at any age, but i'm there thinking "is it really appropriate at age 9??"

and then, it turns out that maybe it is....

because while we're having the big talk about needing to be grown up enough to understand the consequences of your decision before you start to have sex, and about how you need to know that you don't have to do it just because your friends or your classmates tell you that they are doing it, or tell you that you're weird if you're not doing it, or tell you that you should be doing it.... the little girl says something along the lines of "like when the kids are playing truth or dare at school?"

she's 9!!!!!!

when i was 9 truth or dare involved dares like walking across the railway bridge (with the scary huge gaps between the supporting beams and you can see the water flowing underneath, and you know your dad's gonna kill you if he finds out you did it)... or going into the creepy old tumbled down you-know-it's-haunted-house by yourself.

when i was 9, having a crush on someone meant you threw snowballs in their face, or put spruce sap in their hair, or made them an extra special valentine card so they would know you liked them without you having to say it.... it did not involve "i dare you to touch his...." or, "i dare you to show me your..."

and so... yesterday's moment of gratitude had three parts.

one, i'm enormously grateful for growing up where and how i did, where i was able to remain a child while i was a child.

two, i'm grateful for having had this eye opening experience now, while i'm not yet a parent... because now i know what my children will be experiencing as they grow up. i can't assume that their lives will be as innocent and safe as mine was. and, i've already had the awkward sex talk with someone else's kids.... so hopefully it won't be too difficult to figure out how to have it with mine.

and three, i am grateful that i am aware enough to know when people don't want to hear my stories, either ever... or just not at that very moment...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

day seven...


it's late and i'm really sleepy, but it's still almost today and not tomorrow.... and i wanted to post before i close my eyes.

it was a good day today... met up with a friend to do some cooking... stopped by the garden center, and even though the person i wanted most to see wasn't there, it was really nice to talk to a couple of my former colleagues... bought gifts to send my nephews, hopefully in time for Christmas, legos and dinosaurs for the oldest, bouncy unbreakable snow globes and a robot for the youngest.... i like how they're each into their own thing at the moment.

posted a stack of Christmas cards, so this year, they might actually arrive before Christmas, rather than getting written two days before and arrive in January. the envelopes looked so pretty with our new address on the upper left hand corner :)

i'm grateful for being busy.

good night.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

day six...


many things to be grateful for today....

~ i am grateful that my husband has a good job and is able to support us in relative comfort while i continue to look for a job

~ i am grateful that our realtor is an absolute dragon when it comes to protecting our interests, and has made sure that the things that needed to be done have been done

~ i am grateful the purchase of our home has finally gone through, even though we can't move into the place until late next week.... we will be in our new home in time for Christmas, even if we won't be totally unpacked.

Monday, December 7, 2009

day five...


i baked more bread today, after reading my friend Marni's blog about channeling her Baba in order to make the perfect apple pie. my Nan was a wonderful cook, and an amazing baker. although i had opportunities to learn from her during our infrequent visits, i was never really that motivated to learn. i don't know why. resisting the stereotype about all the things girls are supposed to know, i suppose.

she taught me to crochet at one point, although i don't remember exactly how to do it now... but i think i could pick it up again with a quick refresher from someone who does know what they're doing. i have 7/8th of a crocheted hat that i started maybe six years ago (with Nan's help), and found when i was packing to move here last year. i brought it with me thinking i might pick it up again. and i have. several times. i just don't quite know what to do with it when it's in my hands.

Nan tried to teach me to sew at one point too, when i was much younger. that didn't stick either.... and now i wish that it had.

anyway... back to baking bread.

even though my bread is nothing like the master pieces my Nan used to make, it is still pretty tasty. and it smells great.

and i am grateful, as i walk about the house inhaling deeply, that baking and knitting and Abba and Oklahoma (the musical) and gardening all remind me of my grandmother.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

day four...


today i am grateful for:

~ blue skies & sunshine
~ beautiful chinese movies
~ fuzzy blankets & hot tea
~ life lines that keep me connected; taking the form of e-mails, post cards & phone calls...

day three..


okay, so yesterday kind of got away from me because it was really busy....

here is what i was grateful for yesterday:

~ first snowfall of the year!!! big fat fluffy flakes that clung to the branches and turned our area into a winter wonderland.
~ great turn out for Team In Training Spring Season Kick-Off breakfast... and it looks like my group is going to be a fun bunch of people

~ meeting some really lovely people at my sweetheart's staff Christmas party... not only because they are nice people, but because they are big time mountain bikers and snowboarders and active people who are looking for new people to get out there with them :) maybe we have some new friends?? and i'm always grateful for friends.

~ a safe return home on the terribly icy accident-strewn roads last night. some of those accidents involved people who will now never make it home, and i'm so grateful we weren't among them.

Friday, December 4, 2009

day two..


~ this morning i am grateful for the plumbers who came to fix the leaky pipes in my dining room ceiling... and for the call from the office saying that the dry wall guy will come this afternoon to patch the large hole.

he did patch it yesterday... but prematurely, it seems, since the plumbers had not yet fixed the leak.

~ i am grateful for peanut butter and banana sandwiches. hadn't had one in a long time, and i'm really glad i had one for breakfast this morning. it was delicious.

~ i am grateful for postcards arriving in the mail

Thursday, December 3, 2009


so, i've been all caught up in the goings on of my own life, and have not made time to keep up with friends. while i'm waiting on the plumbers who are supposed to be fixing the pipes in my ceiling so that the dry waller can come and plug the hole... i thought i would do a little blog reading. and in doing so, i caught up with my friend Char.

she just recently completed a "month of gratitude" project on her blog, and i'm taking inspiration from it. given that i've been working really hard over the last few days at not dwelling on the things that make me feel angry and frustrated... taking time to find things i am truly grateful for at the moment seems like a good idea.

this shall be the inaugural blog in my 30 days of gratitude series. buckle your seat belts, people!

~ ~ ~


at this very moment i can think of an abundance of things for which i am grateful. and i wonder if i should just blurt them all out right now, or should i hoard them so that i don't run out before my 30 days are up? i'm in favour of blurting, to be honest... in part because i'm like that. and in part because i think the "exercise" part of this exercise in gratitude may be in the rooting through the goings on of the day, and finding something to be grateful for...

today, i am grateful about the following things:

~ the sun is shining, the sky is bright blue, and it feels like spring... even though winter has not yet arrived.

~ a few of my dearest friends have been checking in recently, propping me up with love and laughter just when i really needed it. thanks girls.

~ my husband's determination to remain positive and optimistic about this journey into home-ownership. when my head was about to blow off, he reminded me that in the end it just means that every possible thing that could go wrong already has and is being mitigated, and once
it's all over we'll be moving into a house that has NOTHING wrong with it.

~ finding treasures in unexpected places... we went to have a print framed, and the owner of the framing shop showed us some prints that had just landed in her dumpster. literally... the owner of the prints had lost her house, and some of her church members were helping her to clear out her "old junk" and asked if they could dump some stuff in the dumpster belonging to the framing shop. the owner of the framing shop said sure... and then almost had heart failure when she realised that what they were dumping was art. so she rescued all the prints she could find, contacted the owner and offered to sell them for her. now we've got a very fair price for some really funky pieces that are going to look great in our new home... she's made a small profit for her efforts, and the previous owner will also get some much needed income. (the photo doesn't really do the image justice... and i didn't get a picture of my absolute favourite piece... i'll show you that one later)

~ i have a lovely new bar of Vosges Red Fire dark chocolate sitting on the coffee table, just waiting to be broken into...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

countdown crazies... update

still losing it.

very grumpy.

trying not to be.

not closing on the 4th as planned.

possibly not even by the 8th, which is when we will have to renegotiate rates with the bank because our loan offer will expire.

he asked to postpone to the 28th.

lease on current apartment expires on 20th.

movers are scheduled at our end for the 15th.

mover on his end not yet scheduled.

he's currently frantically trying to get planning permission from the State for structures that he added to the house years ago... like the pool and deck, which the health department now says may have to be removed as they may be encroaching on the septic field.

it's all turning into what my husband would call a "shit-sandwich"

coolblueoceans... blue oceans... cool blue oceans, etc.

aside from the fact that the actual purchasing of new home and moving into new home is not going exactly as planned... i am trying to hold onto the fact that i'm very excited to live in this house. and one way or another, at some point in this month... we will be living in it.