Don’t worry…

It was late winter of 2012 and I was looking for an apartment for Colin and I. I had my eye on one the next town over. It had an indoor pool, which made me fall in love with it, and it was close to everything. They had two units available, one on the 11th floor and one on the 7th. The 11th floor was meh. The previous tenants had done a midnight move and left a lot of stuff behind. My Dad and I entertained ourselves by finding what they’d forgot, from the clock on the wall to the Christmas tree in the closet. Then we saw the 7th floor apartment and it. was. perfect! Two balconies, tonnes of storage, and there even was a pantry/storage area big enough for its own light.

The downside was we were at the end of the month and the office needed to decide who to choose. I told her I had to give my 60 days notice on the first. She told me there was nothing she could do. So I walked to the office of my then current building and told the woman my concerns. She looked at me from across the desk and said, “Kathleen, you’ve been a good client here for years. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve given me your notice. Your word is good enough for me.

And that was that… at least for five months. That was when my parents got a letter for me from CapReit stating I owed them $465 in arrears for not giving notice until the 8th of March. So much for my word being good enough.

And here we are again. I’ve got an apartment I’ve been waiting (and waiting) to move into. Now I’ve been told twice that the apartment will be ready for January 1st. But the official website still reads December 1st. Everyone says “don’t worry” but not everyone has needed to pay almost $500 due to a conflict with their moving schedule.

I’m counting down to January now and am resigned to the fact that Christmas is going to be full of boxes and not decorations. And all I can do is hope they’re right and I’m not walking into a big financial mess.

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Tiny homes…

I’ve never been a fan of tiny houses. Don’t get me wrong, I love to go through the pictures and marvel at how they managed to cram so much into such a small space, especially while keeping it looking clean and relatively spacious. But I’ve never wanted to live in one.

Apartment layoutBack in February I desperately wanted to figure out the layout for my new apartment, I didn’t want to move in blind. Except they didn’t have a layout, just a floor plan. No problem, I copied the floor plan into my photo editing program then drew lines over every blurry line in one apartment and, voila, I had a layout. I had no idea how accurate it was but at least it gave me some idea.

Last week I was told there would be a viewing in a nearby apartment building which was made by the same company as ours. The apartment was apparently identical to the one I’d be moving into. I was so excited, finally I could know what my apartment will look like and get an idea of where I can put my furniture. I could hardly wait.

Monday finally arrived and my Dad, Colin, and I arrived at the building. The lady doing the tour commented that the unit we were viewing was accessible so it wouldn’t look like mine. I’d just get a general idea of the size. So I’m still moving in completely unknowing what to expect.

My first thought when I walked through the door was “Where did they put the rest of the living room?” It was that small. I’d originally planned on putting my couch and hutch on the same wall (the one beside the stove in the layout) but the main wall was too small to fit both, it was barely big enough to fit a couch. The little cubby was there, same as the layout, but it turned out to hold the heating and air conditioning units and is not to be opened. The plus side is I’ll have total control over my own heating.

The kitchen was nothing like the one in the floor plan. It was bigger in some ways and smaller than others. There was more cabinets than I’d expected but the cutlery drawers were a third of the size. The previous tenant had their cutlery tray on the counter and the top drawer contained tinfoil and saran wrap… that was all it could hold. Now I can’t help wondering about mine.

And to make moving just that bit more interesting, they’re negotiating a new date, somewhere from mid-December to early January. So I’m thinking this is going to be a New Year’s move. If I’m up at midnight this year it’ll involve lots of tears and packing tape.

As for now, I’m jettisoning some furniture and getting ready for my own tiny home.

 

Am I binging?

20190914_164447The first one slid down so smoothly and easily, an intoxicating balance of peanut butter and dark chocolate. The second one was almost as good. I lost count as I continued to eat. Taste and enjoyment faded away behind the urge to eat just one more… and another… and another… I couldn’t stop. I’d been planning on having two peanut butter cups a day but I ended up with twelve treats in under ten minutes. Why had I done it again? My mind continued to berate me. I was lazy… lacked self control… fat… ugly… I would never eat healthy… I’m the ugly sister in the family and this overeating just proved it. Obviously I was weak. Who couldn’t stop eating? I just needed to put the food down. It was that simple.

But it wasn’t that simple. Time after time I’d eaten a whole carton of Haagen Daz, a whole bag of chips, a huge bowl of spaghetti, a sleeve of cookies (and maybe one more). I’d eat until my stomach stretched uncomfortably and it felt like my food was kicking the valve to my esophagus.

And I have to stop.

This won’t be easy. I have to stop worrying about dieting and my weight because they seem to cycle into this eating. And I’m going to have to ignore some pretty strong cravings for just about anything unhealthy. Funny how I never crave an orange. Maybe that will change.

I see my psychiatrist this week, which is good. Even though I feel like I have binge eating, he’s the one that went to school for this.

If you struggle with binge eating, could you please share any tips on what made the cravings better? Thank you so much!

Small Dreams ~ Chapter One

It’s a difficult decision to buy a book online. All you have to go by is the tiny blurb beside the book cover and that’s not much. So I’m sharing the entire first chapter with you. That way you get to meet Jessica and Chris and hopefully grow to love them as much as I do.

***

Chris was, once again, perched on the porch railing. I’d told him the railing was unsafe, the damn thing was held in place with nothing more than a handful of rusty screws and a whole lot of hope. The landlord had warned him against it too. But Chris had the attitude that nothing bad could ever happen to him and, well, so far nothing had.

He jumped down as soon as he saw me and the railing swayed wildly behind him.

This is for you,” he blurted as I walked up the path then he handed me the bag he’d been holding. I took a peek inside. A pregnancy test? I tossed it back like he’d lobbed me a live grenade.

Chris!” I exclaimed, “Why did you get me this?”

You’ve been queasy all week. You’ve thrown up twice this morning alone and your period is late. Why wouldn’t I get one?”

I can’t be pregnant!” I replied, ruthlessly ignoring the voice in the back of my head whispering ‘that would explain a lot’.

The only way we’ll know for sure is if you take the test,” he said then pressed the bag back into my hands. As tempting as it was to push it back, he was right. I sighed then quietly headed upstairs.

I could hear our roommates, Ann and John, laughing and talking in the backyard so at least we had the place to ourselves. Luckily Ann had been cleaning so I could no longer smell the liver she’d fried that morning. Unluckily Ann had been cleaning so all I could smell was powdered cleanser (only 79 cents a can at Bargoon Land, Jessica) and her heavy duty, catch-in-your-throat industrial floor cleaner. I tried to breathe shallowly.

I’ll, umm, wait out here while you take the test,” Chris said awkwardly. He leaned against the wall and stared out the hall window, even though it overlooked nothing but our neighbour’s roof and the sapling collection currently growing in their eaves.

It felt weird not locking the bathroom door but Chris was right there and it wasn’t like he’d let John or Ann waltz in. I slid the test onto the counter then fished the instructions out of the box. It looked easy enough but I still read them three times. I was about to read them a fourth time then admitted to myself I was just stalling. I could have written them by that point. Besides I really had to pee.

No time like the present,” I muttered then followed the instructions.

I refused to look at the test until I had thoroughly washed and dried my hands. Finally I picked it up and looked at what I already knew was there, two distinct lines in the window. A tear landed on the test, then another. I couldn’t hold them back.

The bathroom door opened a crack and Chris slipped inside. He picked up the test gently and stared at it in amazement. His expression said it was Christmas and Santa just showed up with a Porsche. Then he looked at my tears and his smile dimmed.

You don’t want the baby?” he asked forlornly.

I rubbed the backs of my hands across my eyes before replying. “It’s not that,” I protested. “What are we going to do with a baby? What sort of life can we give it?”

Could you imagine bathing a baby in here?” I gestured around the bathroom at the chipped paint, the grime streaked windows, Ann’s hairy razor, and the cracks winding their way across the entire length of the wall.

I want a baby with you, but I want our baby to have a real home and a future.”

Chris clasped both my hands in his and stared down at me. I looked at the friendly, goofball kid I joked around with all through high school and saw the man he was becoming.

We won’t live here forever,” Chris solemnly assured me. “We’ll make a better life for us and our baby. Things will turn out; I promise.”

I stared into his eyes and believed him.

***

If you want to read more, you can find Small Dreams here: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/small-dreams

Small Dreams…

It was 1995 and we’d just got our very first computer. It had 1mb of RAM and I nearly filled it up by adding everything in our calendar for the next hundred years. I even included our 100th anniversary, you know, in case we lived to be 123. The calendar became boring fairly quickly and I fished for something else to do.

Then I came up with writing. I’d always loved to write and had been good at it for as long as I could remember. I got told last year, by one of my former teachers, that my writing was handed around the staff room in elementary school because it was good. I had been writing poetry but wanted to try something different. I settled on a novel because it would give me space to add extra details, while poetry usually wants you to pare them down. People say to write about what you know. I was young, broke, newly married, and had a baby so I wrote about a young, newly pregnant woman and her boyfriend.

book-coverAt first I wrote about every single day. Yeah, it was as boring to write as it was to read. I also tried to write it as a diary with the same reaction. Then I made everything perfect for them. Every time there was trouble in their lives, it was immediately improved. For example, they need to look for another apartment. They were living in a rooming house and found, well they found my great grandmother’s backyard cottage. Her Dad had built their house and, when him and his wife got older, he built a backyard cottage for them to retire to. My great grandmother used to rent it out to a school teacher. It was gorgeous, with it’s own small backyard and a wide front porch. It was also pretty unrealistic for the main characters to find.

There were other minor issues. Things like phones for example. Almost no one had a cellphone in the 90’s so, when they got a phone, it was a landline. Then they waffled over having cellphones but they were too expensive… and again got a landline. Now, what 20-something year old doesn’t have a cellphone? So they have cellphones.

I’ve been working and editing on this book for so long and finally decided enough was enough. It was time to publish. I hope you love Jessica and Chris just as much as I do. If you’re interested in reading my book, it’s $3.99, so about the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee and it lasts longer too. You can find it here.

My life…

by Colin Davidson
(the views of the guest are not necessarily the views of me)

In my life I’ve had many ups and downs but I guess that’s life. I guess I should start with the thing that took up most of my childhood, which is school. I can’t remember a lot about elementary school but the stuff I can remember were not the best times of my life. I’ll start with the positives, the breaks (aka lunch and recess) were nice. I was able to hang out with my friends and just chill out. But that’s all that I can remember about the good parts of school. The bad parts were weird. I remember my teacher just never helping. I was never able to learn fast, obviously, because of autism. I probably should have had someone sitting next to me, telling me what to do but I remember having my hand up for thirty or forty minutes at a time but no one would actually help because, I’m assuming they thought I knew how to do it. And whenever I got upset at the teachers they’d put me into the kitchen with a desk and a chair and that was it (Kathleen ~ he was supposed to be the snoezelen room but they saved that for good behaviour, which is not how it works).

High school was another thing altogether. My school life went from bad to worse. But I should start with the first high school I went to. I was able to make friends in the class, pretty simply, and it felt like the teachers were actually listening. They weren’t teaching, at the beginning, as they should but I could tell they were making an effort. The only thing I can say about that school was they should have taught math more but, when I told them I felt uncomfortable eating in the cafeteria that found me a safe place to eat.

The second high school was worse than the first. It actually felt like the teachers actively didn’t like me and made it their mission not to let me do what I wanted to do. I would sometimes bike to school, without my Mom’s permission, so she wouldn’t call the bus company. Some days I’d arrive five or ten minutes late. Well math would be written on the board. And the board is supposed to be this almighty powerful thing that dictates the entire day. But come second period, when math was supposed to be taught, they’d pick something else. I’ve had days where I’d come back to school after a doctor’s appointment or something and the class would be talking about how they did math the day before. I’d always want to do math but it never happened. It always felt like I was being singled out. We’d always have talks when we came back to school after the weekend or holidays where we talked about what we did. She’d let different students talk for more longer so I always kept an eye on the time, like every second when I was at school. So I always knew how long most people got. One person in the class always got like thirty minutes. Everyone else who would actually talk, got like five. And the teachers themselves got like thirty minutes. It wouldn’t abnormal for the class, when we got back from break to have the talks go until lunch. So me and the other students she didn’t like would get like five minutes. I honestly think that teacher should not have been in a special ed class. She would do things like just talk to the EAs and help no students who needed help. Any time I pointed out to her that we needed to learn basic math, she’d get upset. She wanted everyone to be on the same level of education, but no one was at all. I was in times tables with math and there would kids in the class who could barely do addition. They couldn’t do subtraction. And there was a kid in the class who couldn’t tell time off an analogue time at all. It was weird when I got onto the bus going home. I actually had comments from people on the bus saying it was weird I was taking the bus home because I was sent home that much. I have a disagreement with the teacher, I literally asked for math like ten to fifteen times. Now, in the winter they were more hesitant to send me home and to be quite honest, I regret not calling the police that day. It was -20C and the only thing I had to wear, which the school knew, was a long sleeved shirt. I only had a shirt because I always forgot to grab a jacket. After that day I didn’t forget my jacket.

Just a small note. It didn’t affect me too much but, at the time I identified as non-binary and the teachers refused to say my pronouns. It wasn’t the biggest deal for me because of all the stuff I said before but it was still a problem. My Mom brought in someone from the school board to tell them what they had to say and they still refused.

So it was obviously nice times I had with the family. They’d bring us to the zoo and we’d walk over to their place and have fun there. But there were also some things that weren’t great. One of the best examples is I had a skateboard I bought for myself. It was a Darth Vader skateboard. I spent extra for it because it was Darth Vader. I made sure not to use it too much so I wouldn’t mess up the picture. And then, I don’t know if it was me or my Mom but we left it at Nana and Grandad’s. I can’t remember if I asked where it was or they told me but my cousins were using it one day and they left it outside and it got stolen. They didn’t offer to buy me a new one, they just said “kids will be kids” and left it at that. But then there’s also the zoo trips were getting pretty repetitive for me. To this day, I can still tell you everywhere we went. We’d go to see the polar bears, the great apes, and we’d see the bats, and then that would pretty much be it. Every so often we’d do different things but it wasn’t that often. But now we’re going on to what happened at home.

There’s a lot of great things that happened at home. I don’t know how many DSlites my Mom helped me buy because I’d accidentally break them. I think it was five. I’d save up a hundred dollars and be all excited because I was buying a DS lite. And Mom would chip in probably a hundred dollars. But then there was stuff that weren’t the best things. To put in mildly, Kait was not gentle. I don’t know how any of our plates managed to get out of that apartment. One of the things that Kaitlyn would do is just grab plates and drop them out the window onto the roof over the entrance to our building. It was usual for me to wake up to Mom and Kaitlyn yelling. I remember waking up and not even thinking why are they yelling but, how long can I stay in my bedroom for because I have to use the washroom. Honestly the best times of my childhood has to be when Kaitlyn wasn’t at the apartment (Kathleen ~ they were the best of friends until Kait was a teenager and Kait’s issues started when her Dad tried to be more involved). She was taken away by the police twice because the police thought she was a danger to me.

Dad was an entire thing all on his own. I’m sure my Mom, if she hasn’t already, could write an entire blog just on him. So he did stuff like when Kait went over her maximum phone minutes, he’d tell her things like he’d never get mad, he’d just pay the bill. And then he’d make both me and Kaitlyn get upset at Mom and then say that, don’t worry, I’ll get each of you out starting with you Kaitlyn then I’ll get Colin out. He actually brought us to an apartment and said that, if he wins, he’d move us in there. He gave up trying for custody after he learned that the government money didn’t cover all of the expenses and him. That’s when he cut communication with both me and Kaitlyn. He’d often cut communication off with us. He’d constantly just stop talking to both me and Kaitlyn randomly.

Kaitlyn moved in to the place we’re currently living. So when this was going on, I was dealing with the second high school. So I was stressed out from school and stressed that Kaitlyn was here. I was optimistic. I thought everything was going to be fine (I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t). The biggest regret I have happened and I’ll say first. If there was one thing I could go back and change from high school I’d change this. I was dating this chick in high school. We both liked each other. Every day though, when I got home from hanging out with her, I’d hear from Kait that I should break up with her. And eventually, just to have her stop saying it, I did. I guess I should have been more strong willed but I was dealing with high school.

But she would do other things like, I paid $50 for her old smart phone. She originally said I could just have it and I didn’t have to give her any money and then she said she felt like she had to give it to me so I offered to pay her $50 for it. I left a video one because I was using the phone as a wifi antenna. I was listening to music at the time, in a playlist and Mom brought me over to Superstore and I left my phone at home. And I knew I’d left it at home because the computer kept playing videos 12 to 15 minutes after we left. I haven’t seen that phone since and Kaitlyn had been the last person in the apartment.

We had an agreement that she got the living room and we wouldn’t go in there at night. Well I’d have to wake up for school. I’d have to be outside at 8am and Kait would get upset at me because she needed to get dressed and ready to go. We gave her a large closet area to get dressed and leave, she was never meant to change in the living room. She only changed in the living room. So I was getting ready to run out the door and I would have Kaitlyn yelling at me that I needed to go back to my bedroom because she needed to change. I remember once, when this was happening, she pushed the fridge door at me, well what was I supposed to do? I pushed it back at her and she started screaming about how I’d assaulted her. So Mom was going to go out and buy ink for this printer that obviously was broken and I threw the printer on the floor because if it was broken, buying ink for it would be pointless. So I made everyone know it was broken because I wasn’t able to convince them. I threw it at my feet. Honestly I was slightly worried I was going to hit my own feet because I was that close. Kaitlyn’s boyfriend ran over and put me into the most violent hold I’ve ever been put into. And they were planning on leaving anyways so I told them to leave. Eventually they did leave but we continued arguing for an extra 10 or 15 minutes. At the time this happened I think Kaitlyn’s boyfriend was about twenty. I think he’s four years older than me.

Well that’s it for this one. Like, comment, and subscribe. See you guys on the next one. Generic YouTuber out.