2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 240 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


I’ve often prided myself on the fact that I am not afraid to be alone or do things alone.  I travel alone, I eat alone, I go to movies alone, I go to fan cons alone.  I enjoy down time…alone.  I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin.  I’ve had to teach and force myself to do and be that.  Or else I’d be a hermit.  I’d never do anything or go anywhere.  It’s always annoyed me when someone says, “Oh I can’t eat alone.” or “OMIGOD, go to a movie alone? No way.”  Or people that always have to be doing something.  It’s like they are unable to spend time with themselves.

But what I am realizing as I get older is that I am tired of being alone and fearful.  I was passing a graveyard on the subway and I thought if I die, who will come to my funeral?  I don’t have many friends in my immediate life.  Lots on the Internet.  My extended family and I are not close.  I guess I’m just feeling a little morose as I just had a colonoscopy and I’m thinking of my own mortality.

I have never had a long-term relationship with a man which is what I desire most in the world.  When I’ve been the chaser I have been spurned.  When I have been the chased, I have not trusted it.  Like when I was just in Punta Cana one of the workers at the resort took a shine to me.  And I could not entertain the thought.  I wasn’t sure what his motive was.  I’m sure he thought I was just a lonely heart travelling with her mother and I might have been an easy target.  The DR is very poor.  But he kept telling me HE made a good salary so I don’t know if he wanted me to stay with him.  Or he just wanted a marriage to Canada.  But I didn’t trust it.  For some reason I have to be the chaser in order to trust that someone could love me.  I know that it must have to do with my relationship with my father and how we are estranged now.  How is it supposed to affect you and your relationship with men when the first man in your life, the first man who is supposed to be in love with you and love you with all his heart, doesn’t.  That he treats you so badly.  How can you trust a man fully if not fully given a chance.  If every time you’ve reached out you are rejected.

I’m 50 now.  I don’t want to die alone in this world.  I want a partner.  I want someone to share my life with.  Not necessarily live with.  But a call, a date, a vacation.  I’ve tried dating sites, I’ve tried social clubs.  I seem to push people away.  I have been in years of therapy and think I’ve finally gotten through the self-hate and loathing.  Except for my body.  Have a very bad body image.  What’s next a relationship life coach?  I don’t know. 

I hope I can find an answer soon.  I don’t want time to run out.

So yes I was attending group therapy to help with relationship issues.

Interestingly, I got along way better with the men than I did with the women.

One of the woman was an aged lesbian who was consumed but this male/sexual/dominance that she could not get over.  She believed that she was a victim because she was a woman and she had to bring sexism or possible sexism into every conversation.  None of the men were safe in group and after awhile it got very tiresome.  If there was a rudeness or perceived rudeness between her and a member of the opposite sex it was because she was a woman.  Not that the other person was a jerk.  But because they were a man, she was a woman and there  ya go!

She was constantly attacking me in group because I disagreed with her.  She told me I was wrong, she called me a Pollyanna and she asked me if I still considered myself a woman!  How rude!   She was a bully and I didn’t subjugate myself before her.  So I quit and actually I’ve been so much calmer and unstressed since I did that.  It was taking up my every waking moment.  This conflict.   This challenge to the way I live my life.  How dare she attack me.  It was distracting me in my sleep and in my work causing me to lose focus and make mistakes.  Group can’t be for everyone and it wasn’t for me.  So I wrote a letter of resignation.  And I feel good about it.  I feel like I’m letting the men of the group down because I was their sole female defender but I’m sure they will survive.  The doctor of the group called me today to see if I’m still resolute in my decision and I left a message telling him I was.  Flicka is worth 10,000 of those therapy groups.  So I don’t get a long with a lot of people, I have a sensitive bullshit meter and I don’t take any prisoners.  I’d rather have no friends than have friends who aren’t really my friends.  Yes I’ve made mistakes, maybe ended friendships where I shouldn’t have.  But everyone makes mistakes.

So on to the next part.  I turned 50 and it was actually a very  nice birthday.  I spent it up in Owen Sound with my step family and my cousin Sandra-Lee opened her house to a party.  It was very wonderful.  Then we had a late Christmas Party at work and my co-workers combined the party with my birthday party and I got logs of movie tickets!  Yeah!

I got flowers from my friends in Australia and cards.  I thinks this will be a good decade!

Flicka and Me

When I was small I had a dog by the name of Tippy, part Beagle and part German Shepherd I think.  I was the only one who could walk him because he knew I was small and he would not pull me, so at night when he wanted out and my father was on night shift as a cop and mom was home alone she would bring me along to hold his leash.  But as often happens we had to move and so we had to give Tippy away.

Later on we had another little dog part Pekinese and party Pomeranian.  She had 3 puppies while she was with us.  We came home one night and she was giving birth.  Mom shooed me into the living room thinking I would somehow be traumatized but I kept peeking through the sliding door.  After they were born she let me pick them up right away.  After they were weaned we found them good homes. But we had to give her away as well when we moved.

After that we had cats, but as we always had to move, I kept having to give away my pets.

The first chance I got when I was out on my own I got two cats.  They didn’t really get along but the were mine and I kept them both until they passed.

I have two cats now as well and I will be their only human.

But  my purpose today is to talk about Flicka the dog.

I’ve always been a dog lover.  I always stop and greet them on the street.  But it’s not fair to have one when you live in an apartment and are out all day.  Although lots of people do for sure.  But my cats basically take care of themselves.

Well the opportunity came up recently to connect with a dog.  One of the lawyers at my firm has a service dog.  I didn’t really think I would get the opportunity to interact with her a lot because as a support dog she is  mostly on duty and one should not interact with a service dog.

But one day I got an email from the lawyer asking me if would walk her because he was injured.  I said heck yes!  I got a list of commands, treats and poop bags and we were off.

I am still so thrilled to have been asked.  Service dogs are very well trained and a lot of time, effort and money go into their training.  They are valuable not only  monetarily but for the service they provide.  So to be trusted with someone else’s dog is a great responsibility and an honour.

My friend brings her up to my work area and she knows that we are going for a walk.  We cannot greet each other until her jacket is off and until then it’s torture for both of us.   Once her jacket is off she flies into me and is so excited!!!!  So am I.  There is nothing more unconditional than a dog’s love.

So we go off into the City.  Do you know that everyone smiles at you when you have a pretty dog with you.  And you get to talk to lots of people who you normally would not greet.  And greeting jer always cheers up any person.  And she loves the attention for sure!  Many times we meet other dogs and they sniff each other’s butts and get face to face.  It certainly is great exercise for both of us.  We walk for about 50 minutes at a full clip.  Sometimes a trot.  She pulls me to the park so she can stalk the squirrels.  It’s been very cold the last couple of days so the squirrels have been hiding.

But most of all it’s what she does to my psychologically.  I feel so unstressed when I’m with her and long after.  I am responsible for a valuable animal and I take her for walks.  I give her commands and she listens to me.  Her spirit is so beautiful and it shines through to me.

I feel like I am her friend.  I talk to her and she takes me on her journey. Everything is from her point of view.  What she sees, who she greets.  Something about her just takes the stress right out of your body, your mind, your soul and releases it back to the universe.

My friend thinks I’m doing him a favour, but he’s really doing one for me.  A huge one.  He’s said that after his leg heals that I can continue to walk her as we do so well together.  So I know we will be friends for a long while.  I’m so blessed.

  My Uncle is not a God.  He is not the God.  In fact by observation he’s not even a very good man.

My mother is not now, has ever been or ever will be jealous of him or what he has.

My mother is not a thief.  She did not take anything from grandma and she didn’t steal anything from any of you.  Despite the scurrilous rumour that my uncle started.  I’ve heard my mother’s account and and I was there that day and I believe her.

My mother gave everyone the chance to have more quality time with grandma than they would have had otherwise.  No one stepped up, but my mother to take care of her.  Least of all my uncle.  In the beginning, grandma was just lonely and tired and maybe not looking after things as she should.  She said she found the nights hardest.  When my mother visited and saw how she was and noticed a difference, she offered to move in.  Otherwise, unless anyone that already lived near her offered to move in with her and give her the 24/7 companionship and care she needed, she was headed for a home and a faster death.  But my mother stepped up and took excellent care for her.  This is verified by anyone who stopped by and officially by Nova Scotia Caregivers who gave mom glowing reports on their inspections.

Yeah mom got the house, because she asked for it.  She sold her house to move to Nova Scotia to take care of grandma and they used the  money to live on while down there and pay their expenses.  When someone leaves you something in their Will as I understand it, it is yours to do with what you wish.  But various people have expressed that they felt that if mom wanted to move or had no further need for the house that she should have gifted her only asset back to the family.  The one that is currently acting the most cruel by giving my mother the silent treatment and then when she finally tracked him down said, “You sold my mother’s house.”; would not have done that.  He would have sold it for the money I’m sure.  This house is not even the house they grew up in.  That house was torn down.  I believe the problem is that while my mother was there taking care of grandma and after, my mother was treated like a door mat.  It was “mama’s house” not also my mother’s home.  My uncle dropped in unannounced every morning just like he did before my parents moved in.  Didn’t matter if you were eating or still had your night clothes on.  As long as he saw his mother at his convenience, it didn’t matter.  Mom didn’t say anything.  She felt that they would make her life miserable by saying she was cutting off access to grandma.  But could not a compromise have been reached?  Surely her safety was not in question as my mother was there.  But no it couldn’t wait.  People walked in and out of there like my mother did not even exist.  She was just the caretaker.  Not a person.  With rights.  This uncle who’s acting like a jerk now used to come down and ask for this food or that food which my mother gave willingly.  Now that the house has been sold, to another uncle, who is not living in it, it’s not a matter of just walking in whenever you damn well please.  You have to get a key and clean up after yourself and be accountable to someone else.  Oh by the way these uncles and aunts are all in their 60s-80s.  Despite the fact that some of them are acting like mean girls, they are all sadly adults.  But no, they would have just liked my mother to pack and leave her only asset, with no money to buy a  new home in Ontario to live close to me.  What they don’t realize that if they had treated my mother better from the beginning, she might still be there.  Instead of mourning with her, they mourned without her.  They wanted this and that and kept grabbing and asking.  Even though my mother was willed the house and contents and it was hers to give.  They felt they were owed.  And when my mother stopped giving, they stopped talking to her, except when they had to or wanted to out of curiosity.  But not out of warmth or duty to a sister.

They all tried to destroy my mother and her reputation.  They even talked about it in front of their children…my cousins.  To the point where I got an email from one of my cousins asking me what the etiquette was on my mother writing cheques on her death mother’s account.  If only she knew the mother I grew up with.  A woman who would go back to the grocery store when she was “undercharged” to give back money.  Yeah and she’s going to steal from her own mother’s estate?  Not likely.

It’s greed, jealousy, one getting more than the other.  If the memories and good feelings of your mother are tied to money and possessions then you are sad and pathetic and your soul is in trouble.

Because my mother took care of my grandmother I had the opportunity to spend more quality time with her than I would have otherwise.  Even in the depths of dementia she was a wonderful, funny, caring woman.  And I would not trade those days for anything.  Everyone else had that opportunity as well.  But for many of them, it was hard to get them to visit at all.  Either they couldn’t bear to see her decline or they just wanted to pretend that everything was ok.  It was a 24/7 job and exhausting.  But my mother did it well.  To get help from those that now have treated her as an outcast was something she had to beg for.  Oh they visited on the important days like her birthday or Christmas where their presence would be noted and they would be seen.  Not in private, when it mattered.

But mom was a middle child, who moved away and was now considered “from away”, a quaint little colloquialism that they use to divide people into us and them.  Mom was an us but somehow became a them.  Despite sacrificing her life for her mom and her “family”.  And like my Uncle said, “We never had any trouble down here until you came around.”  Lovely thing for a brother to say to a sister.

My mother is heartbroken.  But life carries on.  She is closer physically to me and we are all excited about that.  She is becoming great friends with my stepfather’s family.  Although this whole mess is still the elephant in the room and people smile politely at my mother, they don’t share what is being said about her and by whom.  They try to act like they are neutral. But as they view my uncle as a God, it’s easier to doubt mom than him.  They want to be welcome down in Cape Breton after all.  There is no justice for mom.  Only the fact that she did nothing wrong and there are some who believe her.

But what I really know for sure is that my grandmother would be so disappointed in her children and how they’ve treated mom.  And for that matter so would grandpa.  So disappointed.  Especially in their ringleader. My uncle, who some say is a God.

I went to the Art Gallery of Ontario today and was hoping to see the Picasso Exhibit but I was told that that Exhibit was already gone but that there was a photographic exhibit of  his life or something.  I never did find it.

But I did see ancient art, carvings, classic painters such as Picasso (two one from his “pink” period and one of his cubism paintings), Manet, Monet, Group of Seven, lots of painters I didn’t know.  A lot they never labelled for whatever reason.  Maybe they don’t know who they are or maybe they figured it wasn’t worth it?  Early Canadian, contemporary Canadian,  Indigenous art.  I just wandered from room to room.  Looking for a connection but not really able to find one.  There were some I liked more than others.  Some were violent, some were nudes, a lot had biblical themes and Catholic themes for which you’d probably have to have a good understanding of the bible to appreciate which I don’t.

I went about myself.  I should have maybe taken a tour so I could ask questions.

I feel a bit lost now because I don’t have anyone to talk to it all about and I don’t feel I appreciated or understood it enough.  If I could have just seen the Picassos I thought I was going to see, I might have had a chance.

Years ago I saw the Barnes Exhibit and I feel I did appreciate it more.  There were so many of the old masters.  Maybe it’s the Gallery I didn’t find impressive and they way they had everything arranged.  It has relied on many donations and each room seemed to be donated by one person or another and was named after them.  There was very little theme and in most cases very little about the painting other than artist name, year and media.  Not what it meant.

Most of the so called modern art is just crap, at least their pieces are.  A bookshelf made of plastic.  A wooden ramp and a ramp that looks like a case.  A roller coaster made of couch cushions with a bed at the end?  A girder you are supposed to sit on.  A metal window with a slit in it.  Just silly crap.  Oh and a painting that appears to have been done with painter’s tape in different coloured blocks and one just blank canvas, all white.  No name.  Perhaps the artist was too ashamed.  Or maybe it’s invisible and we’re supposed to imagine our own painting.

They did have a rather good selection of ship models.  None of the Picton Castle or even The Bluenose.  But there lots of nice war ships and models of ships long since destroyed by war, fire or just broken up as they got older.

Anyway it was an experience.  There ya go.

I just tried to crunch some numbers for sailing on the Picton Castle.  Wow who was I kidding?  How am I going to raise that kind of cash, pay off the debts I do have, up end my life and just do it.  I know it takes an immense amount of courage.  Younger people, people my age and older people have done it.  But yet I know with all my heart, with every cell of my being that I need to do this.  I want to do this.  I want to learn how to sail.  I want to learn everything about being on a ship.  And I want the life experience with a group of people working towards a great cause, working together for the greater good.  A team in the truest sense depending on each other for life.  The stakes are high and I want to be part of that.  If I cannot do this, if I don’t find a way, I think I’ll be crushed.  To all those who read me.  For whatever reason, if you could just leave a comment of encouragement, it would mean the world to me.

Thank you!


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