Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Leanne & Kay

In the last year we've had 7.5 months of people living in the house with us, namely international  students, friends and family. So tonight feels weird because there's just us in the house.  I'm not quite sure how I feel, other than exhausted. I'm sad that my cousin Kay left this morning (who I adore) but also a bit stressed that there's a mountain of chores that I've avoided for so long, like:

  • 4 ft. thistles all over my garden, so we look like an abandoned yard in The Walking Dead
  • Rolling balls of black dog hair all over the house and an out-dated rabies tag (sorry Ben)
  • FILTHY bathrooms. FILTHY. 
  • An embarrassing lack of nice underwear and clothes in general.  This past weekend I wore boot-cut jeans which I'm fairly sure went out of fashion 2 years ago. 

In the year we had all these visitors we lost two dear friends: Eric &  Darian. September 1st was particularly brutal: Darian's funeral and the 1 year anniversary of Eric's death.   I'm ashamed to say I didn't handle either of those deaths well. There was a lot of emotion and crying. Safe to say my male friend who called on a Saturday night to tell me of Darian's death probably won't ever call me with bad news again for fear of having to deal with a hysterical woman saying No No No and crying inconsolably. I told him that and he said "yep, I won't!"  In my defense, I had a friend with me that night who's going through a really awful thing and we'd been drinking wine (yes, really! Not like me at all!). This year my dad has also had some health stuff going on, and his brother, my Uncle John (Kay's dad) has some stuff too. UGH. Can't deal with that publicly.

But anyway, It's ok. I'm a happy chap so let's forge on.

Back to "normal" now, but I'm not sure what that is. When you've been bonkers for so long can you go back to a quiet life, or is it like travel, where you get the bug and then you can't stop? Time will probably help get things back in balance, hey.

In the meantime, I'm going to post a few pictures that sums up the last few weeks .....


Our 20th Anniversary. Great Dinner at The Riverstone Grill (famous from Man versus Food)

Campsite shenanigans

Such a great moment when they arrived at the airport.  Heartwarming.
The amazing Niagara Falls
Yes, he did it. Yes, he hated it. But he did it, with me!

Brave Souls

The boys idolized Dean

Went on this ride 14 times. So long lack of confidence! 

Big sister had a beardie years ago

First day of 2nd & 5th Grade

Walked to school by big Sis.

Mike O' & Leanne,  proof that it's a small world indeed. 

Each Monday they wear them: Messi Mondays!

Dean, getting his Americana fix

These three!

These four!


A toast to Darian after his funeral.


Our Afghan refugee friends. These boys are so great .
Just looking at this picture makes me happy they are here, and safe. 

Statue in NY. I wish it had been in Columbus.
This picture always makes me laugh. The man-child with teeny hands and orange hair. YUK. 

My cousin Kay:
the globetrotter, cave-diving instructor, typist, mother, daughter, sister, friend,  birder, & environmental scientist.

Mansfield Reformatory (venue of Shawshank) was a unique experience.
She left this morning and my heart is heavy for the loss, but happy we have each other.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Shitty Week

This may well go down as the most shitty of all the shittiest weeks in the history of shitty weeks.


My friend Darian died, who was 47.

Leanne and Dean are leaving.

It's the 1 year anniversary of Eric's death.

My dear friend is going through a TERRIBLE time.

Oh, and we are both stressed at work and nothing is going right at school.


What to do?
  • Have a cuppa and chin up
  • Get in my car and keep driving
  • Cry into my pillow
  • Drink wine and pretend nothing's happening
  • Be a grown up and deal with it all  ( doesn't sound too good right now)

Monday, August 22, 2016

20 Years of Marriage

Last week we took a week off work and went camping at one of our favorite campsites in America: KOA at Grand Island, New York.

Let's get the grumbles done first - it was hot as hell, the pop-up leaked (a not very nice man who sold it to us might have mentioned that), we spent a big chunk of our anniversary trying to save our camp site set-up because there was gale force winds, and the lady in the camp shop asked if I was Jack's grandma (ugh, that was a blow).

But other than that, the week was fabulous. We redeemed out 20th anniversary by going to a great place for dinner and playing cards with the kids. Then we went and got Leanne and Dean from Toronto airport and had the most fabulous time at Niagara Falls, a funfair/water park and just generally hanging by the campsite swimming, fishing and enjoying life. It was really, really nice.

On the way back from Niagara it was just me & Jack and we had a laugh in the car, telling jokes, doing skits and playing games. He told me that was his favourite part of the holiday.


20 Years!

Nothing more important than family 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A History of Dolly

I remembered (well actually my old mate Sue Rushton remembered) that we used to sing Dolly songs while we walked down Bescar Lane in Scarisbrick when we were going to hang out with our friends. It was probably a 3 mile walk but we did it each night. We'd sing our hearts out.

I was about 11 when we started hanging out, until 16 when I went to college, so that would have been 1980-85. I had such a FANTASTIC childhood, completely free and bonkers. Free to get into mischief  and live life without parents breathing down my neck.
I need to write about this later because I'm scared my boys won't have "oh crap I did that" memories.

But anyway, here's to Dolly, Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Rod Stewart and Barry Manilow. Childhood memories galore!


My friend & neighbour Erika bought me this LP :)

My favorite Dolly song is "Here I Come Again". This was filmed by someone at the State Fair concert that me and Erika were at. It's a terrible video - Dolly is a white blob (well she's covered in rhinestones so impossible to video bless her) and it's a tad far away. But please just imagine me and Erika off to the bottom left, dancing....