Rockin’ Good Time

The insanity has been spread. Here’s the documentation:

Spent a quick day in Squamish trying not to get killed by my sister’s cat. (Turns out I am extremely allergic. Not to cats in general, only to Sarah’s cat. Convenient, no?) The resulting goal when I come to visit? Avoid her home at all costs. A hike seemed like a great way to accomplish this and show our guests some of what BC has to offer. So we hiked:

Samuel was pretty tired by the end of that one. It’s disturbing to note how much he looks like one of the people in those ads for CF where the person is deflated. Anyone out there remember what I am talking about? The ads were effective, but messed up.

Fear not, he was just resting:

& not having a temper tantrum or doing the dead fly. Just attempting to swing himself back up before we went for lunch.

After lunch we went on another, shorter hike:

Seems to be a reoccurring theme. Maybe we should have cut the kid a break until he was less jet lagged. Regardless, he rebounded the next day. We went swimming:

& had a beach day in Parksville:

Here are a few of the other highlights from our time in that area:

Cathedral Grove:

Goats on the roof in Coombs:

Wildlife Recovery in Errington:

We saw eagles, owls, and loud, enormous turkeys (to name a few). However, it seemed that Marbles the cat was a highlight for Samuel:

My vote was for the turkeys. I have my reasons.

On our way to PR, we impulsively decided to go to a fish hatchery. I love it when random decisions pan out. We walked around for a while, in the rain, scoping things out. Little did we know that we were being scoped out at the same time. Word of tourists spread like wildfire and we ended up meeting “Magic Mike”:

He recommended that we pay a visit to a VIU research site on our way up island, so we did. Samuel loved the tidal pools:

Marbles was up for some competition now (it should be noted that the most exciting part of the trip for him on the whole was Scooter, the kitten. Nothing else really stood a chance).

Then came our time in PR, which included a day on Savary, of course. We sat on the porch:

And played on the beach:

And were pretty darn tired when the day was done:

But not too tired to pose beside the start (or end? Let’s go with start) of highway 101. On the way out of Lund I realized I drove across the whole country, but neglected to get a picture of the beginning of the road, so I took one now with a couple of my favorite Torontonians:

We had a good week. I’m still tired. But we had a rockin’ good time.


The Fun Patrol

The fun patrol has been in full swing. Here’s the run down.

The walk in PR was a raging success. Although I was not able to be there in person due to a prior commitment to host another CF fundraiser in Vancouver (stay tuned for quiz night), a lot of money was raised to fight CF and everyone I have spoken to said they had a great time. Thank you so much to all of the businesses and volunteers who helped Terri and I pull it off. It warms my heart to know that people care so much.

Quiz night was also went off seamlessly. That said, the win was contentious. The “Tinkerbells” took the trophy by half a point and weren’t shy in the slightest as they openly embraced their success:

King Kayliegh was honored to take home the team trophy and happy to rub her team’s half point victory in the other teams’ faces. She was also quick to peel out and flee the scene when April decided to chase her down the street in a vain attempt to snatch the award, which she felt quite strongly rightfully belonged to her own team. I stand by my original ruling.

The following day, we had our own low-key walk with the fam, Leslie, and of course, the original Tinkerbell:

From there, I headed north to have a lightening visit with the Sandman and spend a few days in Clearwater. The nieces and nephews were more than impressed with Grandpa and Grandma’s new wheels:

Also included was a trip to Barrier to watch Keltie play ball, a trip to Kamloops for some shopping with Poppa Randy and Shirley, and a movie night with Yaya. In fact, I hardly spent any time in Clearwater at all. That said, some time is better than no time.

Next, I headed to the village of Clinton, where my friends Roy and Rachel were getting married. This is the view from the cabin I stayed in:

Yep, we were in the middle of nowhere. Strangely enough, I’ve been there before. Years ago, Joey and I blazed through Clinton on our way home, but felt compelled to pull over and take a picture of our heads over wooden cut outs of a cowboy and a pink dress that was set up to attract tourists. Guess who was the cowboy and who was the lady in the pink dress. Sadly, the wooden cut outs had been removed upon my return, but I was able to force Sam to take a photo of me standing on the same porch below the same sign:

The bottle of gin in the paper bag is a classy touch. When in Clinton…

And now for some wedding shots.

Sister of the groom:

Mother of the groom and I with our fancy purses:

Jill and Michael:

The lucky soon-to-be husband:

Stephanie (AKA: Kimberly’s doppelganger) and I:

Not kidding in the slightest. Check this out:

I knew there was a reason I felt so comfortable with you! You are the taller version of one of my best friends!

And finally, the wedding that went off without a hitch:

(except for the fact that the marriage commissioner was unable to make it because she got stuck behind a semi that caught fire and the happy couple had to be married by one of their “fat ginger” friends. I’m not making this up; the papers still hadn’t been signed when I left yesterday. As far as I know they aren’t legally married. Disappointing for them, but it makes for excellent blogging material).

The “groom” and I:

Scenic shot:

Brother of the bride:

Roy and Brendan, AKA: the wanna be groomsman:

In fact, he was probably the one who started the truck fire so that he could sub in. “If Matt has to stand in as the marriage commissioner, I can usurp his place in the wedding party and claim it for my own!” In all honesty, it was a coincidence. I just like to bug people who are insecure.

The bride and I:

Isn’t she lovely?

So after a night of much dancing and celebrating, we had a few more wiggles the following day:

And then I hit the road again. The drive back down to the coast was beautiful:

I was also delighted to discover that they apparently have unicorns around these parts:

Although I wasn’t lucky enough to see one for myself.

Eventually, I arrived in Squamish for the white trash barbeque and to reunite with my own doppelganger from Toronto and her son Samuel:

It’s going to be another fun week. Can’t wait to spread the insanity around Powell River.

Not a bad rebound, huh?


Goodbye House

Admittedly, I have totally been dropping the ball here. My reasoning is as follows: I have been monster-depressed and enveloped in things that are triggering me and I’m trying to keep my head on straight, so the blog has been a low priority.

Over the last few weeks, Momma R and Daddy G, with the help of several other family members, have cleared out their house in preparation for it to be rented. It’s a good move for them and what needs to be done, but I am not reacting well to the change. I’m sick of change.

Any-hoo, I was spending a fair bit of time at the house helping. Although, on more than a few days, my “helping” consisted of going home shortly after I arrived so that other people didn’t have to watch me cry. What a trooper.

Here we are the night before they left:

Locked out of their own house, peering in the windows. That’s what we’ve been reduced too. Check out Momma R’s wine glass in the background. Even that looks sad.

So goodbye house. Goodbye Christmases; goodbye Easters. Goodbye backyard parties:

And Heather with the burn mark in it:

And Gapping Gourmet doll:

(Although in all fairness, he was really just relocated to Calgary).

Hello grumpy drive-bys and unfair resentment of tenants. Sad, but probably going to be true.

In other news, Terri Cramb (of T-Fit) and I have been planning a CF walk in Powell River for this Sunday at 11:00 at Willingdon Beach. Check out this article in the PEAK:

If you want to sponsor either of our teams, please visit: , click on the Great Strides link and search our names. Or better yet for me, do a team search for Joey’s Angels. My name is spelled with a confusing absence of the letter “e”, so doing a team search seems easier and more likely to be successful.

So that’s the abbreviated version of what I’ve been up to lately. I’m ready for some fun. Which I believe I am going to have in great abundance over the next few weeks. More on that later.


Honorable Mention

If there was an award for world’s worst blogger, I’d be buying a dress and heading to the ceremony at this point. At the very least I’d get an honorable mention.

There are a few reasons for my lack of attention in this area. First off, I haven’t had a reliable internet connection lately and sitting on the floor with my computer hiked up at an awkward angle is not my number one choice of how to spend my time, especially when not sitting on the floor with my computer hiked up at an awkward angle is an option. Second, I have a feeling that some people figure that I should be farther along and acting more functional than I am, so blogging about how I am still devastated, still miss Joey every minute of every day, and how basic tasks seem insurmountable at times makes me feel weird. I guess I have shut down to some degree because the thought of talking to people who don’t want to hear about it is…well, what’s the point really? It’s damaging. As a result, I am still talking to people because that’s how I’m going to get better, but I am just being more careful about choosing those people. As a result, I’ve been having a hard time getting inspired to write. Finally, I have been busier. I consider this a success, even if it has been simultaneously discouraging because I get tired, emotional and overwhelmed easily, even when I’m doing positive things. It’s still progress though and I’m happy I get the chance to see people and am getting out more.

So here’s what I’ve been doing for the last little while:

I went to Vancouver, did some visiting, and ran some errands. It occurred to me that I am turning into a real Powell River person again because I had to be organized, as my trips to the city are becoming more infrequent. Gotta see a people! Gotta get out to IKEA! Gotta hit up Costco! What a great deal on corn! Etc.

Highlights from the trip included time with the fam:

I was even able to have a rendezvous with April and Emma at IKEA. Now that’s efficient.

Once I was back in PR I did some more visiting with family that were in from out of town. I also actually went out (it’s as shocking to me as it is to you), attended the world’s worst play (I use that term loosely) and ate the world’s worst meal. Here it is:

This one was in competition with the “Spinach Cheese Slice” ala St. Paul’s hospital. Gluten free food isn’t delectable at the best of times, but this was a whole new level of bad. Dry, sauceless, nearly vegetableless rice noodles. When I put my fork in to take a bite, the whole plate moved. After I wrestled off a couple of chunks, I was done. My friend Drew, still hungry from his own substandard meal, then took a run at my leftovers. The highlight came when the plate was cleared out from under him while he was still eating. “Were you finished with that?” I asked. “I guess so” he replied sadly. Well worth the outing.

And then of course there is the work that comes with trying to be a healthier person again. It’s exhausting. For me, anyway. That’s still in full swing and new approaches are being tried with the hope that something will help nudge me forward. Any progress is good progress in my books. Happy that I’m continuing to make some. Go Cuba. That, combined with finally having a short term plan seems to have been a turning point.

Til next time,


A Time to Grieve

Hello out there; it’s been a while. Sadly, I have no earth shattering progress to report for the time being, but I have been keeping it together for the most part. I’ve been reading (and re-reading and re-reading) A Time to Grieve by Carol Staudacher and can relate to the majority of the thoughts and feelings expressed by the survivors. The great thing about this book is that it’s designed to be read a page at a time, which fits rather well with my current ability to concentrate.

This morning, there were a couple of entries that struck me:

“I get so tired of having to put up a front and say I’m okay when I’m not.”

“Being in public takes its toll.”

The crux of the first is that when others ask how we are, we are likely to respond with “fine, thank you” even though we are not okay. (I am long past being able to put up such a front and fluctuate between trying to reacquire the will to be able to pretend again and saying screw it while allowing the brutal honesty to fly. I’m sure at times people are thinking “Put it back in! Put it back in! I know too much!”, but I just don’t have the energy or desire to pretend anymore a lot of the time). Anyway, the point is that we are so concerned with being socially acceptable that we don’t reach out for support when we need it most. I can relate. The author urges survivors to let those who are close enough or caring enough in and not try to hide their feelings or disguise their state of mind.

The second phrase is followed up with the quote: “When one is pretending, the entire body revolts.” It discusses the enormous amount of energy that is used up doing things that we perceive as being socially required. Staudacher states that trying to create and maintain an artificial front contributes to that stress, which manifests itself in a variety of ways throughout the body (headaches, insomnia, the inability to concentrate, the impulse to be on the move, to name a few). She urges survivors to be kind to themselves by reducing the amount of time and effort they put into doing what seems socially required, avoiding false situations or performing in a way that differs significantly from their truest selves. She reminds survivors that their bodies will revolt against pretending and encourages them to look after themselves by not forcing certain actions or responses, regardless of the pressure put on them to do so.

Smart lady. A big shout out to the person who gave me this book. It’s been really helpful; thank you very much. I’ve given copies to a few other people who are struggling to come out on the other side of their own grief. Hopefully it will be a useful tool to help them work through too.


Power Tools

I’ve been playing with power tools lately in an attempt to spruce up my surroundings.

“Power tools?” said Owen. “I can’t see you doing that. Where I can see you is sitting on the sidelines, criticizing someone else’s work.”

Though I agree that would typically be a role to which I am far better suited, I am in the process of expanding my horizons. First came the driving across the country (Joey was typically the driver in the relationship), then came the power tools (he worked; I criticized). Next thing you know I’m going to take up golf. But let’s not get too crazy.

My goal is to switch things up in here enough that it still feels like home, but has better energy and isn’t left to stagnate. First came the couch, then I found a cabinet in storage that I was unaware we even had, then I finally assembled a Christmas present (Shelley’s trunk of rocks) that we got from Momma R and Daddy G for Christmas the year before last. Next in line are the table and chairs, hence the electric sander. On the plus side, they can’t look any worse than they do already. On the downside, I am struggling not to strip their spindly little legs too thin or they’ll snap like toothpicks when guests come over and sit on them.

Is it wrong if I still consider that an improvement?