Sarah and the No Good, Horrible, Very Bad Day…er Week

I’ve never seen this movie, the one whose title I’ve blatantly stolen for this post.

I don’t care to ever see this movie.

I believe I have lived this movie. It was Tuesday of this week. Who am I kidding. It was all of last week, but Tuesday was especially horrible.

It’s never a good day when I wake up before my alarm. On Tuesday I woke up 45 mins before my alarm. And there was no going back to sleep because my annoying brain had already started itemizing the day’s events. Not a good sign. This was compounded by the throbbing in my left arm, because apparently I’ve developed tendonitis in my elbow and it hurts before I’ve even begun to move. Because, why not!?

Attempting to thwart my feelings of foreboding, I decide to assemble my smoothy as I make my breakfast, to ensure I would leave the house in good time. Moments later the blender is filled with fruit flies, and regardless of how many times I tried to remove them, finding them back-stroking through my almond milk was the limit for me and the entire mix was dumped.

I was late leaving as I reassembled the smoothy.

The computer at work, with which I have an rocky relationship at best, decided to pull work-to-rule action. Progress was at a snail’s pace. Because of the aforementioned fruit fly incident, I forgot to take my allergy medication, and I was completely and totally congested by 10 a.m.

With a work meeting scheduled for 2 p.m., I set up the meeting area, including the projection equipment. This involves a mobile screen on a tripod that I’m pretty sure was used for the first talkies. Just as I’m putting the final adjustments on the screen, the retractable screen does just that, and when it fully and completely recoils into the mustard yellow casing, said casing flips upward on one end from the force, and clocks me in the right temple. I saw several constellations and am still amazed that I did not use “language”. I likely had a feeling that I was being watched, which I was. A gentleman from another office witnessed the assault on my person and rushed to my aid.  As a gentleman would, he offers assistance, asks if I’m ok and demonstrates a suitable amount of concern for what he just observed. As an idiot would, I told him I was FINE, that I was sorry I caused him concern and that this stupid projection screen was not long for this world. With a quizzical expression, he asked again. Are you SURE you are OK? With as much grace as I could muster, given that the impact nearly dropped me to my knees, I wave him off and assure him, no harm, no foul. His face says it all; Sarah’s a nut job. Well, my friend, you’re not the first to think that, and I’m pretty sure the club will extend membership to you.

Moments later, when the initial sensation wears off, it is replaced with a new, stinging, sharp sensation. When that lingers, I decide to head to the bathroom, where I see blood running down my face – the start of which the gentleman would have observed and explains his disbelief at my demeanour. NUT. JOB.

An impromptu clean up job leaves my face swollen, lacerated and missing a significant amount of make up on the right side of my profile. The meeting I’m hosting is in 30 minutes. I have no makeup at work. I decide then and there, that we are going to run this situation, and not let it run us! Two hours later, at the end of the meeting, and with my face nicely inflamed and swollen on one side, I can’t take the sidelong glances any more and flat out own what happened.

“Whew, I’m glad you said something,” said my colleague, “because I wasn’t sure what was going on there!”

Well my friend, what was going on here on Tuesday is just a string of what has been happening, known more affectionally as The Shit Show. Perhaps you think I’m exaggerating. Adding a little flair to the story, some “Artistic Licence”? Oh gentle reader, if that were only the case.

After some therapy on said elbow, and waking up the next day feeling better than I had in a week, I bounce the elbow off a corner in the hallway and hit it so hard that I’m afraid of travelling bone chips. Back to square one. The only way I’m sleeping now is if it’s on my right side. And if I could stop have disturbing dreams…but we’ll leave those for the therapist I’m draining my kids’ education fund for.

Then this happens….

I can't make this stuff up!

I can’t make this stuff up!

I’m the centre vehicle. To clarify, this is NOT parallel parking. This is a PARKING LOT. I’ve just been blocked. Ironically, in an effort to change my karma, when I saw another vehicle about to block the vehicle beside me (after doing a 24 point extraction of my own vehicle) I called out to the driver – very nicely I might add, to advise him of the honest mistake he was about to make. He thanked me for my efforts by giving me the sharp edge of his tongue and slamming back into his car.

Oh, and I should also mention that the week before, my work vehicle died most unexpectedly, in a remote location, on one of the hottest days of the summer. The cause of this malfunction was so random that even the mechanic shook his head.

Loooong story short, stay away from me unless you have bulk bubble wrap. And just think, Mercury Retrograde starts TODAY! Not sure what Mercury Retrograde is? Basically everything I’ve described. I’m locking myself in my room now, because I’m certain I’m a danger to myself!!

 

Musical Chairs

There’s been a lot of furniture shuffling going on at Boweryville. It started with the fact that Little Sister bought our parents’ home, and our Mother is moving to a new, smaller, lower maintenance abode. This means she has too much furniture.

At the same time, The Big Guy’s aunt is revamping her home, and wanted to move some older family pieces. It’s times like this that I’m glad we have a big house.

Now, some people like buying new, and we do have some newer pieces in our home, but there’s nothing like a well-made piece of furniture that has been used and loved by your ancestors. This first one has a special place in my heart.

Yes, I have two external drives. I'm a pessimist when it comes to technology.

Yes, I have two external drives. I’m a pessimist when it comes to technology.

This desk was where my paternal grandfather conducted his business when he ran a mechanic shop. After that, my father used it. It became the place where I did my homework as a teen and then my father took it back for his office once I was in college. Having it back not only means I get to hold on a piece of history (mine, and my patriarchs) but I also have a decent spot to work on my laptop. It should be noted that most Bowery Girl entries are crafted in the semi-prone position of the couch with my feet elevated. It’s all about blood flow to keep the creativity going folks!

Next were the matched set of wooden plant stands.

Spider plant is VERY happy!

Spider plant is VERY happy!

While one of the planters is rather water damaged, I’m hoping it can be salvaged. These belonged to my maternal grandfather. I don’t have much from that side of the family, so it’s nice to have such a nice pair of pieces.

Then came the pieces from The Big Guy’s aunt.

Table and Buffet

Table and Buffet

This table, matching buffet and four chairs (not shown) were purchased by TBG’s grandparents after they married in the early 1930s. Two of the chairs are gone, but the remaining seats need some TLC and will be as good as new.

2016-08-18 19.28.37Ignore the flooring! The buffet is the perfect height for out TV, has storage for our clutter and fits beautifully with our decor…flooring notwithstanding.  I love the mirrored back.

2016-08-18 19.29.16

I am fascinated by the grain of the table. Although it’s not a collector piece, knowing that TBG’s family had this table for formal events in their dining room, just makes it priceless.

We have been fortunate to have another family piece from TBG’s clan. A small 2x3x4 ft wooden trunk, one of two his ancestors used when relocating their family from Scotland to North America, is being used as our coffee table in our living room. I cannot imagine anyone from this era being able to whittle down their belongings to share one trunk with their kin, so this is truly a conversation piece!

While it may seem sappy, I do feel that we each have a valuable family story. A lot of these stories are lost over time. These pieces are built better than most furniture being sold today, so I have no problem collecting “old” stuff. It will outlast any of my “new” stuff.

Puggly

I believe I’ve found the way to create world peace. Get a puppy.

But not just any old puppy. You need a Pug puppy.

WHAT. A. FACE!

WHAT. A. FACE!

Little Sister recently lost her beloved poodle (RIP Lance!) and the ache just wouldn’t go away. She saw a Facebook post that one of her friends had a litter of pups and couldn’t resist the puppy pull.

Now, you have to understand; we were raised with German Shepherds. BIG dogs! I am guilty of making comments about little dogs just being cats with dog tags. But that was before I met Eco.

Eco – as in Echo, spelled incorrectly, not as in Ecological. Little Sister does things like that.

We recently enjoyed a day at the beach with wee Eco. It was a slow start for his first day at the shore.

Pugs have breathing issues. Not aided in this instance by the fact that he's crammed his head into layers of blankets...

Pugs have breathing issues. Not aided in this instance by the fact that he’s crammed his head into layers of blankets…

Eco wasn’t really “into” much of the whole water, sand thing. But he really shone later on in the day. We like to go walk about after soaking all the sun we can handle. It’s nice to move around, see the local shops, maybe get some deals. It usually takes about an hour and we grab a snack before heading back to the parking lot and hit the road for home.

Unless you are with Eco.

Then it takes A LOT longer.

Hotter than Bieber, I tell ya!

Hotter than Bieber, I tell ya!

Little Sister bought a sarong and used it as a pup carrier, since it was too hot to let him walk on the sidewalk, and let’s face it, someone would step on him, then they would have pug all over their sandals. It would be a disaster.

Okay, let's walk!!

Okay, let’s walk!!

Finally we shake off the spectators when this happens!

#$&@!

#$&@!

We’ve moved about 20 feet – just to give you some perspective. Again, we move along, after answer what will be the same three questions; 1. What kind of dog is it? (He’s a Pug) 2. Is he full grown? (No he’s only 8 weeks old) 3. What’s his name? (Eco)

Then we decide to pop in to a store, having found something that catches our eye!

ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME?!?

ARE YOU FREAKIN’ KIDDING ME?!?

Now we’ve got store clerks fawning over him. Let’s completely forget the fact that dogs aren’t likely welcome in the shop. It’s a puppy! It’s a Pug! It’s Eco! Even while sleeping, completely adorable!

Ok back on the street. Let’s move!

What happens when you stop for 5 minutes to order Dairy Queen!

What happens when you stop for 5 minutes to order Dairy Queen!

Second Born Son wanted to experiment. Was the attraction the puppy, or the owner?

Pug pups = people magnets!

Pug pups = people magnets!

Needless to say, he slept all the way home!

Give Peace Pugs A Chance!

 

Vacation. Holidays. Days off. Rehab…

We spend all year looking forward to a handful of days where we can get away from the routine of early mornings, commutes and emails – or whatever your equivalent is. The past few years, we’ve been purposefully NOT making plans for our holidays. We’ve ask the boys what they want to do on our days together, and it’s usually been a great experience. This year was no exception. However, I did get my request in first – to the Scenic Caves in Collingwood. While we’re there, we should do the zipline and the suspension bridge!

Great view - foreground and background!

Great view – foreground and background!

Unfortunately, First Born Son was unable to join us, working 18 hour days six days out of seven. So we took lots of pictures to make him jealous…he still had more fun at work, he said!

One of the many amazing caverns.

One of the many amazing caverns.

Second Born Son didn’t know what to expect, but ended up loving the gorgeous, natural wonder.

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SBS tried out the highlight of the trail – Fat Man’s Misery.

Here at the start, but he made it through!

Here at the start, but he made it through!

Finally, it was time to move on to the zipline. This was my idea. I thought it would be cool. And, admittedly, that feeling cooled tremendously at the top of the launch tower, looking at half a kilometre of cable. That one glorified rope was all that held me from a a forest of treetops. And my son was about to launch beside me. WHAT KIND OF MOTHER AM I?!?!?

Looking all brave right before the tower ascent!

Looking all brave right before the tower ascent!

Seriously weighing my options at this point.

Seriously weighing my options at this point.

As I’m getting the last minute instructions from the staff (which, btw, I’m clearly incapable of absorbing) the only thing I see is the cable that disappears into the canopy of trees below me. I hear SBS enthusiastically repeating the instructions being fed to him only 10 feet away. He’s not afraid. He’s excited. I’m questioning his intellect and his ability to see. As soon as the gate releases, the two of us head out of the launch platform and I vaguely hear him saying to me something about being “gone”.

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Half way through the way down, SBS is gone and I can focus on the view, the controls and the fact that I can actually relax and ENJOY the experience. However, it not until I’m at the bottom platform that I realize that not only did I LIVE, but I LOVED it! I’d freakin’ do it again!!!!

Entering suspension bridge.

Entering suspension bridge.

The suspension bridge was no biggie after the zipline. Sadly, some ass felt it was necessary to grab the hand cable and get some sway going. Wanted to impress his daughters. Managed to traumatize more than one youth participating in a day tour.

Breathtaking!

Breathtaking!

The Three Amigos (but missing the Fourth!)

The Three Amigos (but missing the Fourth!)

We then followed up with a great day at the market AND two days at the beach.

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It’s a jam-packed week – without a minute of it planned in advance. Can’t wait for the next week! Only four weeks away. Not that I’m counting!🙂

BITCH – ARCHIVE

Still pulling from my old blog, and this is easily one of my favourites. I loved coaching ball; the kids, the sport and especially my colleague in coaching. Good times!😀

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

BITCH

I’m a bitch, I’m a lover
I’m a child, I’m a mother
I’m a sinner, I’m a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I’m your hell, I’m your dream
I’m nothing in between
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way.

~Meredith Brooks “Bitch”

I remember the first time I was put in the same context as the word “Bitch”.

I was 13 years old and my mother was in the middle of a nasty exchange with her sister. A bitter and eventually vengeful person, this woman had some beef and laid out her anger in a letter, including the reference that my mother’s eldest daughter was “a bitch”.

This wounded my mother terribly. I can only imagine how she felt inside as I know how I would react if someone made a derogatory comment about one of my children, never mind my sister.

At the time, I was shocked. I remember thinking I knew what incident she was referring to, but didn’t think that action would qualify me as “a bitch.” It took me a while to process the idea that there were people out there – in this case, a family member, who had a very dark impression of me.

Kinda heavy for 13…. That kinda crap messes a person up for a while.

I can remember referring to this branding throughout my teen years. Kind of an excuse for anything I felt contrary to – because after all, I was “a bitch”.

Over time the brand became a badge of honor. I had a backbone I’m not sure I would have discovered as young and my ability to stand my ground comes from the fact that while you have a right to your opinion, I sure as Hell have a right to mine. Don’t confuse my ability to concede or defer with weakness. I simply don’t care as much about the issue as you do. Because if it matters to me, I will go down for the count. And there are very few people whose opinions truly matter to me any more.

As soon as I realized this, the better I felt about myself. A type of empowerment, if you will. Why worry about other people’s opinions when there are very few whose opinions truly matter?

Which brings me to last week. I’m assistant coaching First Born Son’s ball team AGAIN – long story there I won’t bore you with – and it came time to hold the first practice.

Faced with 13 12-13-year-old boys, I realized there needed to be a strong impression made. The hormones are working. Some of them are as tall as I am and a couple of them easily out-weigh me. This is where you have to go for the weak spot – the brain!

“When I’m talking, no one else is talking,” I started, which beautifully shut two of them up. “When Coach J is talking, no one else is talking. That’s just common courtesy. When I’m here, I’m not FBS’ mother. I’m Coach Sarah to him, just like I am to you. He’s not my kid when we’re here. There are no favorites. You will work hard. Don’t get me wrong, I like to have fun and I’m not a prude – I’m not hung up on swearing or being frustrated when you are practicing. When we are in a game you WILL represent your town to the best of your ability, which means NO swearing, NO trashing the other team AND DEFINITELY NO tearing down your team mates. When I tell you to run, YOU WILL RUN. Softball is a running sport. When I tell you that you will be running an extra lap you, will do it, because gentlemen, I bring my own vehicle for a reason – and that’s to stay here until the lights come on if that’s what it takes. I will wait you out – that’s right, I am a BITCH.

At that point, one kid fell off the picnic table…. All of their mouths dropped open – except for FBS – he knows about my bitchiness.

Three practices later, if someone speaks while I’m speaking, I merely stop talking and look at them. They immediately stop and usually they blush. When I’m running a drill and they are not executing the way they should – I stop – spell it out for them and they immediately adjust their actions. They speak to me with respect, or genuine friendship, since they realize that 90% of the time, I’m very easy to get along with and truly want for them to improve. I despise shouting.

While I would not suggest telling young girls they are bitches as a means to create character, I would have to say what started out as somewhat of a damaging experience has since become something that I would not change even if I could.

I’m a bitch, I’m a tease
I’m a goddess on my knees
When you hurt, when you suffer
I’m your angel under cover
I’ve been numb, I’m revived
Can’t say I’m not alive
You know you wouldn’t want it any other way.

WHAT I DON’T KNOW…AND WHAT I DO

I don’t know what it’s like to be a black man.

I don’t know what it’s like to be a black woman.

I don’t know what it’s like to be a black mother and worry if your son is going to come home safely at the end of the day.

I don’t know what it’s like to fear for my life at a simple traffic stop.

I don’t know what it’s like to feel the need to carry a gun for my protection.

I don’t know what it’s like to be a police officer.

I don’t know what it’s like to put myself in harm’s way to protect someone else.

I don’t know what it’s like to walk into a group of people and know that they hate me because of the color of my skin.

I do know what it’s like to protest.

I do know what it’s like to love my child, my husband, my community.

I do know that if you hold the heart of a white person in one hand and the heart of the black person in the other, no one could tell the difference.

I do know that there is no difference between a black baby and a white baby other than the color of their skin…and neither of them knows that the other is “different”.

I do know that we have a lot of work to do to get this world to a better place. As a white woman, I’m open to doing whatever it takes to let people of all colors feel safe.

I do know that this is possible. It has to be.

 

 

When is More Simply Too Much – Archive

This isn’t the first incarnation of The Bowery Girl, and I’ve been having a blast going through the previous site and reviewing my posts. Here’s one I had to share, and hopefully you find it timely, given that it is Wedding Season…

 

Monday, May 17, 2010

When More is Simply Too Much
Since when is “more” better?

I prefer to err on the side of “less” especially when it comes to public displays of affection, demonstrative actions etc. unless it is something truly funny. Funny needs to be shared.

But lavish, meh, not so much.

So I’m standing in the bridal salon that I shall not name because I’m still mad at them, waiting for the rolly polly seamstress. In the wall of mirrors I’m watching a tiny young woman leafing through wedding dresses. Honestly, she weighs about as much as my thigh. She’s with her mother and while the young woman is very collegiate looking, her mother looks very tired, dishevelled and not nearly as current in her wardrobe as her daughter.

The woman sits in the middle of the room on the bench and watches her daughter fanning through the gowns and I notice she only looking at short, strappy styles. I figure she’s having a small wedding and doesn’t want to overpower her small frame with a large gown. In my head I’m giving this girl a lot of credit – she’s going to spend about half to three-quarters what she would have spent on the larger dress.

I’m annoyed at the mother, who doesn’t seem engaged in this time with her daughter. Instead of revelling the time to being with her to pick her wedding dress, the woman looks and acts like she’s afraid to touch any of the dresses, and that she’s not buying into the idea of the wedding at all. I’m annoyed big time. If I’ve learned anything in my many trips down the aisle, it’s that the wedding is not about anyone other than the bride and groom – egos and attitudes need to be checked at the door.

Then grandma walks in. Wiry white hair cut bluntly that frames her face, makeup stylish appliced and a kick-ass outfit that makes the mother look even more frumpy. Her artisan jewelery plays off beautifully with the chic hand-crafted wrap and dark-wash jeans she’s wearing. She looks impecable and carries herself with an air of sophistication reserved for Katherine Hepburn. As soon as the woman walks in, the young girl starts to squeal, and the mother stops talking entirely.

Grandma fawns over the young girl, pulling out various dresses and suggesting various alterations to make the dress “her own”. My pleasure at seeing the older woman relishing the time with her granddaughter comes to a screeching halt when the younger female corrects the sales associate.

“Oh, this isn’t my wedding dress,” she said. “I already have my wedding gown.”

dead air

“This is for after the service – and pictures – for the reception,” she clarifies. Now I understand why Mom is hanging her head. She can’t afford this. And the daughter – a recent grad, can’t either. So thank goodness Money Bags showed up.

“I LOVE my dress,” she said. “But I just can’t imagine wearing it ALL DAY!” she gushes. “I mean it’s SO big and SO heavy, I would just DIE wearing it ALL DAY – it’s going to be too hot!”

What

the

hell

So you are getting married at the end of June – you’ve picked your dress – DON’T YOU PICK YOUR DRESS BASED ON WHEN YOU ARE GETTING MARRIED? I felt like asking, “What are you wearing, Angora wool? RAYON? PIG IRON??”

Unless this woman is marrying a multi-millionaire, she is about to start her married life under a grave misapprehension. It’s clear she wasn’t raised with a lot of money, but money is around her. She is having a wedding with TWO wedding gowns because, after all, didn’t Jennifer Lopez or Katie Holmes do that? The cost of having a second dress was over $750 – how much did you pay for your initial gown? Likely between $1,200 – $2,500 – and I’ll bet the farm it was closer to the top end amount. So now, you are looking at well over $3,000 AND TAX just for one day.

Because there was no time to order the dress in, the girl was negotiating the cost of alterations and the sales rep was having a dandy time trying to calculate how much it would cost to alter and cut down a sample dress. Grandma never blinked at the cost. She only concurred with her granddaughter – one dress simply would not DO! Mom just sat there like she was watching it all happen to strangers.

I wondered if she had tried to instill a sense of frugality in her daughter all these years, knowing she had limited resources. Had her mother then trumped her and usurped her rights as a mother when she felt she had the overpowering right as a grandmother? Did the daughter see this dynamic and play one off the other? At what point would the grandmother stand down and let this girl see things for what they are? Maybe the girl was embarassed that her mother was not in the same world as her grandmother was, but I daresay, unless her grandmother planned on supporting her for the rest of her life, the young woman’s wake up call was going to greet her the morning after her honeymoon.

It’s a disturbing trend, young people starting out expecting the best of everything. My parents were the most fortunate of all their friends. They had saved enough money to buy a house when they got married. Many of their friends had to rent an apartment for the first couple of years, finally saving a down payment in time for the first baby to arrive.

Homes were furnished with miss-matched furniture and dinnerware, save for the nicer items they received as wedding gifts. You worked hard and gained throughout your marriage. You had goals and dreams and set targets for yourself, including one day, GASP, buying a NEW car.

When did we decide it was ok to start at top? Newlyweds moving into homes that are fully furnished and model-home ready. Neither of their cars are more than 3 years old. A trip up north or to Niagara Falls is not be considered a worthy honeymoon, and if it didn’t include either a cruise or a number of spa treatments (for both of them)it simply wasn’t worth writing home about.

Methinks we need to adjust our expectations. Otherwise, what do you have to look forward to, other than a mountain of debt and a divorce decree?