Secrets & Lies

I have a confession to make. It’s rather awkward to share, and I hope you will be understanding and won’t rush to judgement.

I have been lying to my husband. For weeks. I have also been keeping things from him. I’m not sorry. If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

You see, I felt very strongly about something, and I knew he wouldn’t necessarily agree, so I just went behind his back, did what I wanted to do. He never saw it coming.

We had a surprise 50th Birthday Party for The Big Guy.

I knew I was going to have to be deceitful when I heard TBG’s response to my question regarding his milestone birthday. When I asked him how he wanted to celebrate his birthday, he replied, “I don’t want a party, if that’s what you are asking. Let’s just go out for a nice meal with the boys.”

I new in my heart, when I smiled and nodded in agreement, that I would not, could not agree to this. I knew that I would go against my husband’s wishes.

Tough noogies I say.

Weeks of planning went into a week of setting the scene. Firstly, TBG’s birthday was celebrated the way HE wanted over the Christmas Holidays. A nice dinner with his little family. We even had the wait staff sing to him. We celebrated with presents on his ACTUAL birthday, which happened to fall on a Wednesday. Ironically, he was sick this year, and didn’t go to work. Anyone who knows him knows that it had to be fairly serious for him to miss a day of work. He actually ended up missing two days of work.

Then there was the advertisement we put in the local paper – eluding that this was the extent of the extravagance.

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But it wasn’t until the following weekend that the ultimate deception took place. Although he still wasn’t at 100% per cent, he agreed that we would go to the movies; something we had hoped to do, but never got around to over the holidays. Just as we were about to head out the door, his brother, sister-in-law and niece showed up. SURPRISE! TBG is shocked, confused and thrilled. He thinks the surprise is that they have come for a visit, but they have brought quite a bit of food for just us….

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They got to work at putting up the decorations I had stashed away. Within 20 minutes, we had another vehicle pull in – then another – and then it hit him, we were in the midst of PAR-TAY! The food I had told him was a pro-active food prep for the following week, WRONG – was actually for the people who came to the door every 20 minutes or so. Instead of having a typical surprise where the guest of honour is brought in to a fully amassed group of friends and family, I asked them to come whenever they could, which meant a steady stream of people from 3 p.m. onward.

It. Was. PERFECT!

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The gifts, while appreciated were unnecessary. I say that because I don’t drink beer. Little Sister and her hubby, Thing 2, gave TBG 50 Beers for 50 Years. He was spoiled by many of his guests.

One of my favourite gifts was the large container of ornaments given by dear friends of ours, who also read this blog…they wanted to help TBG with next year’s Christmas tree after reading what happened to this year’s tree. Perfection!

It was a wonderful time. The pool table was well used. The food was snapped up and the cake was eaten.

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While TBG was thrilled to see so many friendly faces who wanted to celebrate how awesome he is, he found himself unable to go to sleep once the last pair of tail lights left the driveway. He questioned every action that had taken place for the past few weeks. As much as he enjoyed himself, he couldn’t believe that so much had taken place right under his nose.

“So there’s no more surprises?” he asked, after piecing together the puzzle.

“Nope, that’s it,” I replied, relieved.

…other than my secret family and off-shore bank accounts….

 

Reality Show Revelation

Days after our spectacular Christmas tree fiasco, we found ourselves the day before Christmas Eve Day. That’s an awkward way of saying Dec. 23. Second Born Son was at work because it’s high season in the grocery business, First Born Son was in the kitchen cleaning up some dishes. (Yes, that was my Christmas Miracle!)

Me and The Big Guy? We were in the living room discussing decoration placement for the rest of the room, since the tree was the only thing that was completed. You could say we left things a little 11th hour this year.

FBS calls me to the kitchen repeatedly, quickly, and I can tell by the tone, that we have a problem. He points at the sliding glass doors off the kitchen where Cane is anxiously looking to come in. He has his left paw up in the air and there’s enough blood in the snow on the deck for transfusion.

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We let him in the kitchen to inspect the damage, and the hemorrhaging continued inside. The same towels that mopped up water the week before, were now used to mop up blood. Once we got his heart rate down, the bleeding did subside and we were able to determine the source of the injury. It was the outside pad of his left paw. A clean slice on an angle that ran so deep you could see parts of the pad I’m fairly certain were never meant to be exposed.

Thankfully, and due to our history with Cane and Roman, we have a fully stocked First Aid kit just for the dogs. We managed to clean things up and wrap it. This was now around 9 p.m. and TBG and I decided to call the vet clinic rather than throw him in the truck for 45 minute drive. After the phone consult it was scheduled to take him in the morning when we wouldn’t have to pay double the rate. After all, once Cane was wrapped, he told us he was ready for bed, thankyouverymuch!

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The morning visit confirmed what we feared; that you can’t stitch a pad, and this was going to be a long healing process for Cane.

This made for a “fun” Christmas season; trying to keep a large dog inside and inactive while entertaining family.

<PAUSE> Cane was a model patient at the vet clinic. For a large, large-breed dog, he’s remarkably gentle, especially when he knows you are trying to help him. No snarls, no snapping, just one little whimper when they cleaned out the cut. <PLAY>

Christmas came and went and with it some interesting family interaction. Now folks, I can’t get into too much of what I’m referencing here, because honestly, I don’t need a law suit right now, but believe me when I say statements were made by certain individuals that were cause for “shock and awe-ful reactions!” Gotta love the holidays! I’m setting money aside for counselling for the boys!

This was followed up by an opportunity to educate my father in law, whose understanding of burning garbage over the years at the family farm, needed some updating now that he lives in town. We are hoping our neighbours are still speaking to us after learning what he was trying to dispose of in our light paper burning barrel. I’m fairly certain the black smoke billowing from our property was visible from space.

It was that day, just after lunch, that FBS made his declaration.

“We need to have our own reality show!”

“We’re pretty boring, bud. I don’t think anyone would want to watch us,” I chuckled.

Then he made his case. He figured the Christmas tree would be one episode, the dog would be another, and there had been enough crap going on in our world in recent weeks that it would most definitely be enough fodder for a first season. He pointed out we had all the right personalities that would make for good viewing.

“After all, if that family can have their own show, and it’s all written for them…our stuff is real!” I thought he meant Duck Dynasty. He actually meant Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

I reflected on this comment later in the afternoon and chuckled to myself. I think I’ve grown used to the “crazy” to the point that it’s become our “normal”.

After all, we have had a much drama as anything on TV. My father goes in for high risk surgery on a Friday, which takes much longer than estimated, but he survives. The next morning TBG’s mother passes away. SBS breaks his arm TWICE. The same arm – a year apart. We buy a new house, TBG gets a great job offer a month later, which he takes, and the following week I’m laid off of my job.  My mother and my sister move THE SAME WEEKEND – then my father in law moves a month and a half later! We decide to go on our first family vacation in 8 years and our furnace is condemned a week before we leave. Oh, did mention this is in NOVEMBER?

Maybe the kid is on to something!

I can recall catching up with a friend a couple of years ago, and she was stunned with the collection of events.

“If I didn’t know you, I would think you were making this up!” she stated in awe. It wasn’t a compliment.

I’m going to keep his little suggestion in my back pocket, for the next mini crisis. I’ll grab my cell to record while I’m juggling the chaos!

Sweet 16

This entry is 10 days late.

It’s 10 days late because life get stupid around here this time of year. Which is exactly how it was 16 years ago when Second Born Son was born. Parades, presents, wrapping. And then a newborn baby.

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Happy, happy, happy, until he wasn’t. Then he was VERY unhappy. But most of the time he was a joy. Looks nothing like his brother, acts completely different, and yet there’s such a bond between the two of them, especially now.

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It was a big enough shock to the system when First Born Son got his driver’s licence. Now we get to put SBS behind the wheel!

It’s so easy to celebrate everything that SBS brings to our family; the humour, the sass, the movie trivia.

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Yes, I had nightmares!

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The Big Wee-ner!

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Happy 16th Birthday SBS. We adore you!

 

 

Resolve

Resolutions.

It’s the annual tradition around this time of the year to reflect, and therefore plan for the year to come.

I hate resolutions.

I’ve done it a couple of times, but quickly found that my personality isn’t suited for them. You can start with the best of intentions but then, life happens. Then there’s the guilt and the sense of failure.

I’ve decided to take a different approach. Instead of looking at the things in my life I want to change, that should I fail will make me feel bad about myself, I prefer to look at the beginning of the year as a chance to challenge myself. Last year, it was to say YES to things that are outside my comfort zone.

I started with food. Specifically, Sushi. Then I moved on. To Indian food.

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Mmmmm – Butter Chicken!

I didn’t just leave it to dining out; I tried new foods at home, and it was pretty much a success each time. I liked the idea of challenging myself, and feeding my family healthy, flavourful meals. We have some new favourites now! (Spaghetti squash anyone?!?)

Then there was recommitting to Yoga. It helped that The Big Guy was willing to give it a go. We’ve made Monday night “date night” as we Downward Dog ourselves to healthier bodies!

I’m also trying to look at better ways of taking care of myself. While it’s traditionally accepted to pop a pill or chug a manufactured syrup, I’m trying to figure out WHY I’m ill, pained or otherwise out of sync. A couple of people have looked at me funny when I show them I’m wearing a crystal or using an essential oil to give myself comfort. Those who have opened their minds to these things are quick converts themselves! Keep learning and keep young!! 😀

So long story short – look at New Year’s Eve as a chance to dust off the bucket list. As I sit here this evening, I’m thinking of what I want to tackle in 2016. It’s certainly more fun than contemplating a diet or deciding what I want to “quit”.

Happy New Year! 2015 was certainly a step up from 2014. Can’t wait for 2016!

Roundup Reading

There has been far too much going on to focus on any one topic, so here goes nuthin’!

1. Graduation

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It was a pretty big day. Second Born Son wore my Dad’s going away suit from his wedding to my mother 46 years ago. Some minor alterations and a trip to the dry cleaner, and he was the snappiest grad in the room. Dad gave him the suit two months ago and seeing the outfit that night was a very emotional part of the event.

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If you think he was excited about the Graduation certificate….

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…and the Athletic certificate (with a broken arm for half the year, no less)…

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…imagine our surprise when he received the Principal’s Leadership Award.

My mother and I were too busy commenting on the various other awards being handed out, to listen to what the principal was saying about our Grad!

“Each year, the Ontario Principal’s Council donates a leadership award to go to a deserving grade 8 graduate. This student demonstrates many great qualities such as leadership, and citizenship, and kindness, and humour, and respect. He’s helpful, well-liked. He’s willing to go that extra mile for peers and for adults. He’s supportive of on-going social causes and has been active with the Me to We group. He approaches life with a great positive energy and unbridled enthusiasm. I am pleased to give the OPC Leadership Award to SECOND BORN SON!”

Needless to say, we are very proud!

2. The Kindness of Others
It has been truly heartwarming to experience the outpouring of support and kindness in the weeks (a month already!) following my father’s passing. You find out who the people are that you can count on; those who truly care.

It is a unique situation; losing a parent. Those of you who have not yet experienced this, there are no words to prepare you. People can tell you their stories, but your experience will be as unique as your relationship. To those of you who have lost one or both of your parents; wow – I cannot believe how much this situation sucks. It’s like the world is spinning on a different axis. The sun now rises in the North. You almost lose trust in yourself. You don’t even realize you go days without crying and then a single phrase can knock the wind out of you.
I want to feel better and forget about this. I never want to feel better and I will never forget this.

3. Hail Mary – Good News!
Anyone who has followed The Bowery Girl knows that employment has been a delicate top. Need a refresher? Try here.

In the past three years, there has been a lot of frustration, some revelations and a great deal of change. The job I’m going to at the end of the month is a compilation of every job I’ve ever had, including my most recent. It’s interesting how the universe will make you think you are heading out into the wilderness, only to find your Utopia!

I’m very happy to be back to work full time, even if The Big Guy and the boys will have to make do with a little less homemade baking!

Real or Fake: AKA Getting into the Spirit of Christmas

Real or artificial?

It’s a debate for the ages. Some suggest full and natural, the way God created them, is the best. Others think there is nothing wrong with the artificial version, and that sometimes perfection is attained through a manufacturer, not necessarily nature. This is especially true when you are particular on size, shape, uniformity.

You know we’re talking about Christmas Trees here, right?

This year I decided I’d really like a real tree. And then I furthered the concept by deciding I’d like to get one from Mom and Dad’s property. Dad was thrilled. Mom objected. Especially when I asked for one of these…..

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So, I relented. After all, I didn’t want to look greedy. Dad was keen to help us out, and scouted a couple of locations. The problem was, everybody had an opinion about what kind of tree we should have. We struck out with the big truck, and headed back the lane way. After a brief search, the guys decided they found “The One”.

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Ah. No.

So, we kept walking, and walking.

Then they found this one…

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Really?

Still walking. Getting cold now people!

Then we came across this one.

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Now we’re talking turkey! We all agreed, this was our tree. The Big Guy got the cutting started with the handsaw, and Second Born Son quickly took over.

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He cut,

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and cut,

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and cut. Finally, we thought we heard something!

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I didn’t think it was serious, after all, my father is howling with laughter. But it looked like assistance may have been required!

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More than just a little ham was being served here, folks.

So after First Born Son took off to locate the truck, the rest of us debated the best route to get the tree out of the forest.

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Why, yes, that is a water gun. Why is my father holding a water gun? Because he’s carrying it back to the house for SBS. Why do we have a water gun? Because we are looking for a Christmas tree…Do I have to explain EVERYTHING???

Finally, we are making tracks.

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We load up the tree and take it home. Where, suddenly, something becomes apparent….

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Yes, that’s the tree, upright, outside the house. Adjacent to the sliding glass doors. No photoshopping here, Jack. That tree is THAT TALL. Hmmmm. Wisely, The Big Guy decided to wait until I was at work to bring the tree in the house. We knew the tree would need a little trimming. The top was very spindly, so we figured nipping that off would solve the problem. What I missed was A LOT of trimming. A LOT of sap and, my favourite, a middle of the kitchen stump docking. Yes, A SAW IN MY KITCHEN.

Thankfully, when I came home, all I saw was this…

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Let’s pause for a moment and note the amount of clearance between the top of my tree and my HAND PLASTERED CEILING!!! We opted for denial and started decorating.

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Again, I’m going to draw your attention to the TOP OF MY TREE!!!

Finally, after covering ourselves in sap, spruce needles and glitter, we had ourselves a Christmas Tree! We had one last thing to do…

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Folks, if my angel were to sneeze, she’d be wiping sap off her nose. The Big Guy crammed her on so hard, she might have to go out with the tree.

With my tree lit and angel violated installed, it finally felt like Christmas had arrived!

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From our house to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!