Tuesday, March 28, 2017

PROUD TO CALL YOU MY PEEP

When you meet someone that you connect with professionally from the very first time you speak, for me anyway, those relationships tend to stick. I’m not saying they are friendships that ultimately last a lifetime, just that no matter how much time passes both respect the journey. When one calls, the other immediately makes themselves available. In this particular instance, I am referencing my old window and door days.

You see, about a month ago I was discussing a specific project with a couple of Engineers at work and I instantly had a brilliant idea and/or possible solution. Not entirely sure what they would think of my idea, I decided to pitch it to them rather than just simply blurt it out. In the end, I got the answer I’d hoped for. ‘Set up the meeting’ they said; to which I did.

Not gonna lie. From the moment I placed it in their calendar I was looking forward to the approaching date.  He wasn’t an unknown to my new team, one of the guys had met him a few years back, the other had heard of him in passing. Though I had nothing to do with participating (I’ve long since left that lane) I was simply excited that I was going to get to see him.

After their lengthy meeting concluded, he and I headed off to catch up. After returning to my desk after some much needed friend time, I was so pleased to have him back in my work life and formally introduced to my new team.

Back at the office, I reminisced with the guys about us selling together. I explained how he granted me unconditional access, would handle the technical side of the specialized work he does, and I would collect the money for the sale and keep the builder happy. From that very first sale, it was a win-win for both of us.

Sentimental reflection aside, once he headed home I truly believe what I posted on Instagram this afternoon to be true. It was a simple graphic that read: I am a very strong believer that whoever is meant to be in your life will always gravitate back to you, regardless of how far they wander.

Yup, I've really missed chatting. We officially fed the others ‘expired parking meter...' today.

It felt great!

The both of us leaving a Lake Muskoka boathouse project site visit that used his products.
TAKEN: JUNE 2013

Saturday, March 25, 2017

SHE JUST SCORED 20 MORE

This past week my sister in law posted to her Facebook page that our local Habitat Restore was closing. Via her share, they even apologized for the inconvenience. As all my long standing readers know, I am regular there (as well as every other Restore from Barrie to North Bay). Anyway, it turns out it was only closed for the day which was ultimately a huge relief.

When we were there last Saturday, we ran into couple we've been friends with for years. Aside from discussing how it took extra long for our nests to actually empty, the conversation also touched on the glasses I collect. I was somewhat sad when I admitted that my ongoing fear's that they're coming to the Restore, Value Villages and Salvation Army stores via estates of elderly folks that hung onto them the way my parents did. Even though I have about 6 dozen, I admitted out loud for the first time that I figured I'd eventually no longer be able to find them; but I will always continue to search.

Because I spent today working on e-filing 2016 income tax, I didn't make it to the ReStore. After I finished the terrible tax deed, I decided to plug Petro Canada Olympic glasses into Google just for fun and multiple Kijiji sites replied to my search.

Because they come in all shapes and sizes and I only collect one style, it took me a while to sift through everything. Then I hit the mother-load: 20 glasses for 5 bucks in Mississauga. The piese de la resistance was that she wanted to sell them as a set and they were originals from the 1988 Calgary Olympics.

I stared at my screen, then decided that I was OK with the price. Though I generally only pay twenty cents a piece at the ReStore, I am willing to pay a whopping twenty five cents on the black market. (Seriously, that last sentence made me laugh because I'd probably willingly have paid 5 bucks a piece.)

I have to share that this past week when the thread on my Facebook had everyone feeding me intel on why the Restore had closed, one specific response was absolutely and unequivocally perfect. My cousins' explanation as to why the store was closed was short and to the point. It simply read, "...they probably ran out of glasses!" 

As I filed our taxes today, then trolled around the online black market for my glasses, I couldn't help but think how my kids might feel at the reading of my will. I can assure them that it won't be anything long and drawn out and I suspect may sound something like this: Your mother loved you all very much. She is leaving you (which is to be divided equally and without prejudice) 15,472 Petro Canada glasses.... and the balance of her bank account.... which is a total of $0.53 cents.

What...? Travelling to pick them suckers up all over the country would've been expensive!!

This was the last time I scored... Thanks Habitat ReStore (in Huntsville, Ontario).
TAKEN: OCTOBER 16th, 2016

Friday, March 24, 2017

BRING ON THE HEAT!

As I got ready for work this past Wednesday morn, the local radio station warned me to bundle up. Even though spring had officially sprung the DJ let me know my morning walk was going to have me endure some serious -28C weather with the wind chill. I didn’t care.

Why? Because when you’ve geographically lived where I do as long as I have, you realize that this particular early spring cold snap is just winter leaving us with a sheer sense of haste whilst sticking its middle finger up at Mother Nature!

NO Hair, NO makeup, AND happier than a polar bear on an ice shift to be outside!
TAKEN: JANUARY 1st, 2017

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't hate winter, just simply despise how it affects me. I don’t know about you but it’s been a brutal winter for me. No matter how much time I spent outside, I was unable to turn my funk into fab. I had great days, like the one I am sharing in my photo, where I made a massive fire in the effort of getting as much natural light and exercise as possible; but by sun up the next morn, those neat vitamin D produced chemicals were once again depleted.

In an effort to keep my life as uncomplicated as possible, I unhooked electronically from a number of people that drained me emotionally, rather than showed any general support. It's not like I've ever looked for sympathy when it comes to my seasonal affect disorder but when you know I'm down, I'm not sure why certain peeps felt the continual need to kick me. My only reasoning's that they were unable to give to the friendship because they only ever had an expectation to take. To self preserve, I simply had to let them go.

Anyway, because the firm Darin is a partner in does work in Muskoka, once we confirmed my travel timing, he began sending me a weather updates from New Orleans. On the very day I ventured into the very cold spring tundra,  his graphic read that it was 70F in the moment that he was walking to the office.

My first reaction was surprise in that appeared a tad chilly. Not sure why that was the first thought the entered my mind, it should have been how quickly our visit was approaching. If I think back, it probably had something to do with the extremely limited fashion choices I have to make and the single piece of carry on luggage I get to take away on my adventure to visit him; but that's another post.

I am looking forward to being in NOLA during the April A-Z Blogging Challenge.

Will F be for Fashion? Hell no! The letter F will definitely be for French Quarter Fest!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

STUPID MENTAL-PAUSE

So it begins. The complete and total bullshit that goes along with getting older. To hell will growing old gracefully, lately I've been pummeled into submission by flurry of medical jargon, all looping back to simple fact that I am a quinquagenarian. I'm seriously pissed off, though really just mad at myself.

In 2011 I made some very significant life changes and lost close to 50 lbs. When I share that with people they seem surprised but the truth of the matter is that I disguised it quite well with how I dressed. During that journey, I promised myself I would never let it happen again. Until this past December, when I was blind-sided by an emotional setback and a quick spike of weight gain returned. Not because I was ill, simply because I was self medicating myself through a very trying time: with food.

I LOVE MAXINE!
(C) Hallmark Licensing Inc.
If that surprises you, I will admit that I engage in regular conversation with a good friend about the power of food and the damage it can do. I haven't always struggled, it's just that my relationship with food changed drastically after my dad died in June 2005.

Shortly after his passing the tipping of the scale (so to speak) was slower at first. The settling of the estate took longer than expected which was not only stressful but extremely painful personally.

Little by little my portion sizes got larger and the muscle mass and cardiovascular condition I had worked my entire life to build up, slowly deteriorated.

In hindsight, I recall during this painful time, I hid how much I ate and internalized everything. Thanks to some good therapy, I learned to rationalize and understand what was happening personally and counter balance the triggers. Apparently this last slip has come with some severe consequences; all which are intertwined to my long term health and wellness.

You see, when a close friend was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, I figured it was time to get the skinny (no pun intended) on where I was at with my overall health. Going in, I had some severe underlying concerns but my main fear was being diagnosed with diabetes. Turns out I am A-OK in that department but have a plethora of other issues directly related to my weight gain. So, I have to lose 20 lbs in 3 months.

I lost the 50lbs I was mentioning with the time lapse being close to a year. Not bad as the gain happened over four years but in this challenge, I won't have that luxury. Apparently I have to become as close to a vegan as humanly possible. For a person that loves beef and pork and every single fixin' they get plated with, I think it will be a definite challenge.

With no one to blame but myself, I am not going to allow anyone to enable me into thinking I have food options outside the wellness doctor I have been assigned. Besides, you know what I always say.....

Life is hard right up until the moment it isn't!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

LIFE LESSON #883

When riding shotgun in the carpool tonight, I spied a familiar face manning the crosswalk at our busiest intersection in town. Though there’s a traffic light there, the walk's exceptionally long and the flashing stop sign she holds high most certainly keeps the little ones out of harms way. I immediately noticed she was limping.

As we drove through on our way home, I physically turned my head to watch her.  Out of the blue I felt the need to disclose her name and mention the type of wrath she was subjected to when we were in high school. The truth of the matter is that after sharing about her journey I was embarrassed that I remembered such finite details.

You see, it wasn’t I that was the bully. The hard fact's the ones making fun of her, were also the ones continually making fun of me. The single difference between she and I was that I got to walk around in their presence. To this day, those that treated the two us that way, are generally still the same;  ill informed, overbearing and insecure.

One of my teen year bullies snapped this picture.
(Introducing a one time blog costar: Dusty)
TAKEN: WINTER 1983
To let you know where I'm headed with this, I saw a meme on Facebook this afternoon that said “I’d rather have an enemy that admits they hate me, instead of a friend that secretly puts me down.” I see some serious merit in that.

I am embarrassed to admit that in one very singular instance (in fact, with the person that took the picture I am sharing) I occupied that latter lane I am referencing; and she willingly did the same.

I use to be remorseful at how I forced our friendship to an end, yet everyday I am grateful I finally did. I was drowning in her consumption of my good nature, which served as premium fuel for her narcissistic agenda. That was about 20 years ago, and if there is one single thing we now agree upon, it's that neither have a single use for the other.

I'm no shrink but I believe (for me, anyway) because I was bullied, in the past I use to let certain toxic friendships consume me to simply prove that I was worthy. All these years later, there's absolutely no comparison to where I am in my life and where they are in theirs. The only way I can rationalize the difference, is that I've never stopped learning and they've always believed they know everything. 

My point tonight's that watching the local crossing guard limp way, I was offered an instant 30+ year flashback. I instantly envisioned all of us standing in that high school atrium on that very day. Reflecting, I immediately had an profound sadness come over me and  it's because I still only keep in touch with only one gal that witnessed what I did on the day I am writing about.

The saddest part to my story?

In mid-life, that gal is still a part of that specific crew. All these years later, she's become the one they secretly put down behind her back. They always have and with her BFF's behaviour being deemed acceptable since public school, I suspect they always will.

For the umpteen time I write but refrain from using all caps.... Mean people suck!!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

...HOW BIG WAS IT?!

I fell in love at first sight!
TAKEN: MARCH 4th, 2017
Well, I ventured about 50 miles south to go shopping last Saturday. Not for groceries or shoes, dog cookies or clothes. Matter a fact, it was something much more personal. So much so that when I spied this amazing thing of beauty from across the store, my heart literally skipped a beat. Trouble was, I instantly realized it was simply too big. You read that right. Once again, I was quickly reminded that size DOES matter. 

Allow me to take a step back. For numerous reasons, I usually checked my luggage. I keep my electronics and digital cameras in my 50 lb tickle trunk that I cleverly disguise as a purse and everything else gets zipped up and manhandled rougher than the young gal in a red room scene of 50 Shade of Gray. I've always just budgeted that lost time into my vacation; which was considered my norm until my weekend jaunt to Cuba.

For my quick February fly-in I knew I was departing late Thursday afternoon and coming home just before midnight the following Sunday. Thus, we all decided to stay calm and carry on. All our liquids were packed the way the airlines insist and fashion choices were kept to a bare minimum. The problem was, once at the wicket, we discovered that what was an acceptable carry on a couple of years ago, was no longer and our luggage had to be checked. Suffice is to say I was disappointed with the extra time we would have to spend in both airports.

Only $52 and I'm in approved size territory!
TAKEN: MARCH 4th, 2017
Checking luggage aside, I learned a lot of things about myself on my puddle jump to Cuba. First and foremost, that you don’t need to go somewhere for a week to have an amazing experience. 

With a less than 3 hour flight (and 15 minute bus ride to the resort) I returned to the northern tundra relaxed and recharged and used only 2 of my 2017 vacation days for a Cuban passport stamp.

Next up? New Orleans, Louisiana for my birthday. How many vacation days will be used? Only 3 in total!

As it stands now, I am saving seven for Secrets Cozumel at the fall time change, leaving me another long weekend adventure to look forward to.

Now that I am all sized up in the luggage department I think I just may need to take a few days before or after the Canadian Thanksgiving and hit the road. Hmm... I wonder when and where the Raptors play in October?

Hang on. Let me run and put on my K-Low jersey and check the schedule!