Kathleen Creates…

63One thing I’ve been working on for months now is getting back into my much loved hobbies. Reading, writing, and scrapbooking. Of the three, I’ve found scrapbooking to be the easiest. This isn’t my best layout but I a) didn’t want anyone else in the shot and b) most had already been converted to 8×10 for printing. An aside, I love that picture from Dollarama and can’t wait until I unpack it again and find the perfect spot.

I recently bought a friend’s book and read it from cover to cover in one evening, just like I used to read. It helped that the book was well written and interesting. Then I went to the library with friends and am now enjoying curling up on my swing chair with a book.

Reading has rekindled my love of writing and I have a finished book called Small Dreams that just needs a read over. And I’m doing just that. It’s the first book I ever wrote, I started it in 1995 when Kait was a baby. Back then I started it in a diary format then decided it was too clunky. Then I made everything too perfect for the couple. For example, they’re looking for an apartment and stumble across a sign. The apartment turned out to be a grandparents’ house in the backyard, complete with leaded windows and their own little backyard, redolent of lilacs. It was too perfect and I ended up tucking it away for a few years. It was gutted and rewritten so many times but, finally, I think it’s almost good to go. I’m looking forward to when it’s done and I have people reading it! I hope they like it as much as I do.

And finally, I’ve started a Facebook page where people can keep up with what I’m working on and get chucked interesting memes on a regular basis. The webpage is Kathleen Creates, feel free to click the link and like the page. As always, when you click on a link here, it opens in a new page so you can come back.

And, with that, it’s time for me to go work on Small Dreams again.

Kathleen Creates

Advertisements

The weight loss merry-go-round…

I was so hopeful on October 3rd. I had just found out that I was going on a Caribbean vacation the following March and I was going to lose weight. I was aiming for ten to 20lbs with an emphasis on the twenty. I even made a weight loss journal on my computer as an incentive. I figured I would track my weight loss journey, instead I watched as I gained and lost the same five pounds over and over (and over). The trip came and went with me still losing and regaining those same pounds.

Then I saw my psychiatrist last month and admitted that while my depression was mostly under control, my anxiety wasn’t. My lithium and abilify were increased along with my weight and it has. not. budged. My anxiety’s only a minute bit better.

I can’t do this anymore. I can’t struggle, depriving myself of treats, panicking because I didn’t get out for a walk this one day or that my walk wasn’t long enough. I can’t keep feeling like a failure, that if I just walked a little more… ate a little less… I’d do so much better. It’s not working.

From now on I’m only weighing myself once a month, not once a day, and I’m not going to panic if I don’t get 10 thousand steps every single day. I will eat healthy but allow room for some treats. Mmm mini vegan peanut butter cups!

I don’t own a crystal ball. I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but it’s got to be better than what I’m doing.

20190731_110917

Even with being overweight, I must be doing something right

Isn’t it ironic…

flat-blackieI was watching Blackie lie on my unmade bed today and marvelled at how flat she looked, as if she’d melded with the bed in some way. Then my mind wandered to an article I’d watched yesterday about a senior dog getting abandoned. I was on Facebook at the time, I scrolled once and there was another article about a 17 year old dog being abandoned because he was “too old”.

Pardon me but what the fuck?!?

I could write for a while about all the things pets do for us and it would all be true, but it’s not the important part. The important part is they’re our family and we don’t throw away family!

I know elderly pets aren’t always “convenient”. Blackie has accidents that have to be wiped up. She’s also lost a lot of weight so I’ve got her on wet food (another expense) and feed her when she’s hungry. Hello 3am.

Oreo’s getting senile. He’ll start howling on occasion, lost in his own apartment. Which means I have to go find him and carry him to my bed to sleep. He isn’t always sure when he’s done pooping and will leave the box too early. This means I’ll find a trail of poop from the box.. sometimes leading right to a peacefully sleeping Oreo, poop lying right beside his butt. He’s not exactly subtle. He’s also started wetting on the floor, I’m assuming because he’s temporarily forgotten where the litter box is.

Angel, the oldest, is doing the best. She has sore hips, which has me checking every cannabis store for CBD oil. So far I haven’t had any luck. So I make sure she has plenty of soft spaces… and she lies on Colin’s bed anyway. She’s Colin’s cat, she loves him dearly. He used to wear her draped around his shoulders like a scarf and she’d lie there, happy as can be.

Sure, there’s incontinence, anxiety, pain, and senility (and who the heck is throwing up) but there’s also joy and comfort. They don’t want to race around the apartment anymore. They’re not up on my bookcase knocking down the decorations (I see you Smudge) or crying because they’re stuck in the bathroom cabinet (I see you again Smudge). They are lap cats, content just to lie there and purr while occasionally licking your hand. They’re bed cats, content to snuggle against you for the whole night or, in Blackie’s case, snuggle under the covers. She likes the cave experience.

They are our family and, more importantly, we’re theirs. They expect, with the certainty of belonging, that they’ll be here forever. This is their home, their beds, their fuzzy carpets, their cat tree. No one say love was perfect or accident free. Love, in all it’s shapes, can be messy, glorious, painful, and poignant.

And it you’re dropping your senior pet off at a shelter, you have no idea what love is.

Time hit a speed bump

me-and-a-mountie

Me with a Mountie character outside the Yukon Strider

First, this has nothing to do with main topic but it was such a great experience that I had to share. Colin and I went to Canada’s Wonderland on Wednesday with CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association). We had transportation there and unlimited fountain drinks and our tickets were only $10 each. That was the first amazing part.

Second, it called for horrible weather on Wednesday, thunderstorms and rain all day. It was a little drizzly but the rain stopped before we got to the amusement park and it was sunny for the rest of the day. Everyone else must have cancelled their plans because the park was empty. Colin and I wanted to go on the Yukon Strider, a roller coaster with a 90 degree drop, but he’d heard the lines were an hour and a half long. Instead we just walked right on… three times! This was the same for every ride. I used my disability pass twice and that was just because we wanted to be in the front row. It was, hands down, my best Canada’s Wonderland experience.

The rest of the week was quiet and boring to write about. Then this morning I got an email from the company who owns my new apartment building. Due to unforeseen issues, they’ve had to change my move in date from October 1st to December or January 1st. It’s a disappointment for me. I was down to 72 days left until my move in date and was handing in my notice on Friday. I’m now up to 133 days, if I move in on December 1st. The good news is it’ll give Colin more time to find a place. He’s got two agencies working to assist him in apartment/room hunting and another two helping him find a job. Between them all plus Colin and I, he should be settled in before I move in. That’ll also give me time and space to pack.

Now Colin’s got all the questions. What if I get told to move in early? What if they put all the subsidized units on the first floor and you’re able to go in early? What if all the subsidized units are on the top floor and it gets finished early and you’re told to move in? I kept explaining to him that no one will be moving in until the building is completely finished and eventually the questions stopped. I don’t know if that means he’s satisfied or if he’s just waiting for a later date and I’m scared to ask in case I set the questions off again.

I’d posted that time seemed to be speeding but it’s slowed right down again. There won’t be Thanksgiving or Hallowe’en decorations out this year and Christmas will depend on my move in date. Next year they’ll all be out in their glory and I’m looking forward to that.

And now to organize and wait because time will get here eventually.

Time is sprinting…

Our current building does a home inspection every year and this year’s was done today. When the property manager and superintendent were leaving, I asked who I give the letter of notice to, the management office on the top floor or with the superintendents in the basement. It will be with the superintendents, who were quite surprised we were leaving. Then I realized I’m giving them my notice in three more weeks, the real start of the moving countdown. 83 days (today) seems very long. Two months doesn’t

Colin’s blissfully unconcerned about moving. He knows he’s getting a room… somewhere. Apparently someone in the John Howard Society has one but she was off for the last few days. I need to get Colin to call her tomorrow because I’m not nearly as blase as he is. He’s positive everything will turn out perfectly in the end, like this is some Disney Movie or one of his animes. But we’re not in a show and he needs to be a lot more proactive. Sadly I can’t push him into calling, it’s like moving a mountain. He’s stubborn to say the least.

Next we need to find boxes. It used to be easy. NoFrills, a Canadian grocery store, always had bins of boxes at the front of their store. We’d go in and grab the suitable ones. Now they’re selling yellow shopping bins at the front of the store. I guess free boxes were competition.¬† I know there’s boxes for sale at Home Depot because my sister got hers there. I’m still hoping for free boxes first.

I should have asked someone at NoFrills today what they do with their cardboard boxes now. No Frills being where Colin asked me to meet him, although honestly, it would have been better if I never went. I knew I was really anxious before I left but my psychiatrist suggested taking an ativan and immediately leaving, which I did. I might as well have taken a skittle considering my anxiety got worse instead of better. The walk to NoFrills¬† and back were okay seeing as we went through the park instead of down busy roads. And I made a beeline to my swing chair and giant soft carrot as soon as I got home. That helped a lot. Part of me wants to go out for a walk now because it’s gorgeous and being in the woods would be so nice. But the rest of me feels the anxiety squirming around my stomach and knows it would be one miserable struggle.

I’ve bought all sorts of things for my new apartment. Wooden cutlery rack, dishes, beautiful cutlery shaped like tree branches, candles from Bath and Bodyworks. And there’s so much more to buy. I need a new dish rack because mine is falling apart. My garbage can is a cheap one mounted inside a cabinet door and it’s breaking. We need a slim line one for the kitchen. Luckily I get the GST cheque after I move to pay for some of the odds and ends.

And it’s evening here again. The cats are all sleeping, Colin’s watching shows and me? I just don’t know.

And every passing second brings us closer and closer to moving. And then my life will start up anew.

smudge-on-my-packing-boxes

Straight pride…

I can’t remember how old I was, maybe six or seven. I was standing in the living room beside my Mom when a boy only a little older than me walked past on the road. It was obvious he was crying.

“Why’s he crying Mommy?” I asked.

“He’s going to karate and he doesn’t want to go,” she replied.

“But why does he have to go if he doesn’t like it?”

My Mom thought for a few minutes, likely tailoring the story into something more suitable for my age. “His father thinks he’s too… sensitive… too girly and he’s trying to toughen him up.”

I thought of how sad he’d looked. “Can’t someone stop his Dad?”

“It’s not illegal to send your child to karate, even if he doesn’t like it. It’s not even against the law to make him walk there.”

I could tell by my Mom’s voice she didn’t like it. It was also obvious that there was nothing she or anyone else could do. It was also obvious that some adults did not like their children for who they were. Fit in or get hammered in.

The years passed and I was in high school. I was in a crowded hall when the group next to me caught my attention. Maybe because they were loud. Maybe because there was a teacher in the group. It was Monday and they were talking about what they’d done that weekend.

“I went downtown,” one said with a shit eating grin. A second and the teacher had also gone.

I loved going downtown too. I’d go down Queen Street to Bakka, a sci-fi/fantasy bookstore and I’d sometimes eat at The Old Spaghetti Factory. That wasn’t why they went though.

“There’s so many fags there, I didn’t have enough rocks!”

“I hit one and made him bleed!” The rest, including the teacher, made noises of approval, while I slid through the crowd and hurried away, feeling sick.

Time went on. I joined a choir and looked forward to our weekly rehearsals. One year we performed the song “Putting on the Ritz” and had a tap dancer perform in the middle. I couldn’t keep my eyes off him and couldn’t stop blushing either. He was really cute and a really good dancer. I mentioned the latter to the person beside me who looked at me with surprise.

“She’s a girl,” the choir member informed me. I looked closer and, sure enough, she was. But the interest didn’t go away. And, unlike the feeling of curiosity I felt when I was romantically attracted to a boy, this time all I felt was fear.

I was bullied at school and already knew how kids treat those they feel are different. And, of course, I couldn’t forget the guys blithely talking about throwing rocks at strangers for fun.

By the time I finished high school I was so far into the closet I’m surprised I didn’t come back out riding a lion. I married a man and was pregnant before our first anniversary. I’d worn my hair almost down to my waist for years but was finding it harder to keep it brushed and decent so I’d got a short cut in my 8th month. We went out for a walk one evening when a car drove by. The passenger yelled, “Fags!!!” out the open window. Anything else he said blurred into nonsense syllables while they sped away. I was terrified. Would they come back? Would they care that I was pregnant if they did. My ex wasn’t worried at all. I, however, knew how they treated those who were different.

It was last December and on our first date when I slid my hand into my girlfriend’s hand. We walked down a quiet path and I quietly breathed a sigh of relief when no one said anything. I knew that wasn’t the case all the time. Times have changed but by how much? Apparently enough to have a straight pride parade.

The parade is scheduled for this August in Boston and, to no one’s surprise, has links with the far-right and includes having Milo Yawnopoulos as the Grand Marshal. I’ve read a mixture of opinions regarding it but all I have is rage.

Pride started out as a protest against police brutality. It started with a brick thrown by a black trans sex worker, causing a riot that lasted for several days. The following year they started a parade and it’s continued ever since, spreading across the world. It was a parade of rage. Rage against the police officers who would pull them onto the street naked to shame them. Rage against the public who didn’t care. Rage against people who attacked them and mocked them… who refused to hire them or rent apartments to them. It wasn’t a party.

Now the Pride Parade is more of a party, a celebration of how far we’ve come. A celebration that we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re not going away.

But now there’s a straight backlash. They want to be in the LGBTQIA2S acronym, you know, because it isn’t quite long enough yet. They want their parade too. It’s not fair.

Do you know what’s not fair? What’s not fair is that child crying his way to karate, knowing his father only wanted him if he was someone else. Someone stronger… someone more straight. That child’s suicide attempt risk is so much higher than a straight child.

What’s not fair is all the people who had rocks thrown at them all because they dared to hold hands in a gay enclave. Or had slurs screamed at them.

What’s not fair is the eleven POC trans women who have been killed this year alone.

Or how about gay conversion therapy for youths, a treatment that has huge suicide rates and can cause PTSD.

Straight people want the party without the pain. They’ve never worried about holding hands or being attacked. They don’t have to worry about being misgendered and mocked by hospital staff after being assaulted. The people demanding their straight parade are like a spoiled child seeing a student get an award and demanding to know where their award is too, even though they didn’t put in any of the work.

No one’s stopping them for attending a pride parade, although I have a hunch they refuse out of a fear of having a pass made to them. They can wave rainbow flags and laugh and cheer with everyone else. Allies are more than welcome.

But they’re going to have their parade and a bunch of my friends are figuring it’s going to be the most boring parade ever, unless the far-right ignites a riot. And I’m just glad I’m nowhere near it.

 

Losing myself…

We were all lazing around the resort pool on a hot tropical afternoon. I was a bit bored and remembered that someone I know, who was on the trip, used to brag about her “gaydar”. So I went up and asked her to guess me. I wasn’t that interested in the label, I just wanted to see if she actually read my posts.

“Kath,” she replied, “you’re not going to like this but I see you as being lost, lonely, and desperately looking for labels.”

I was simultaneously shocked and angry. Shocked that she could think such a thing and angry that she paid that little attention to my life. I’ve been identifying as an asexual for around four years now and panromantic for almost as long. I never mention it anymore because the label gets too long but I’m still demiromantic too. We have to be friends for me to be interested in a relationship. The last four people have been friends. I’ve only ever mentioned two of them though.

A little while ago someone who’s very close to me told me several things, all having to do with “the old me”.

“These days you put yourself in so many tiny boxes. The old you wouldn’t do that.” and so on. I’m assuming the boxes are sexual orientations.

Most of the conversation washed past with the “the old you” comments stinging like a wasp’s bite. I know I’m not the same as the old me. I have memories, both my own and on Facebook. I know I could do a lot more before my breakdown. I didn’t need daily naps and didn’t go to bed at 8pm. I didn’t struggle with making simple meals. I used to meal prep on Sunday, something I think I posted recently, and had no problem doing so even though it took most of the day.

Being told I’m not the same as the old me makes me feel like the new me is an inferior copy, one that can never succeed.

It’s noon on Monday and I’m still in my pjs. I’ll get dressed soon but will likely pass lunch because there’s nothing I can think of that I want to eat. It’s okay because I’m not hungry anyway.

I try my hardest to be a good and decent person. I hold doors open for people, smile and hold a cheery (albeit brief) conversation in the elevator. I always make a point to smile and say “hi” to the homeless people downtown and give any food I have, which is usually my own lunch. I support people on Facebook, helping talking them down from suicide sometimes, giving relationship advice (mostly how to tell if it’s abusive). I’m not qualified for either but somehow I’ve fumbled through and helped. And all of that feels inadequate because I’m not working 40 hours a week anymore then coming home to cook from scratch. I’ve always tried my hardest, it’s just that my apparently my hardest isn’t good enough anymore. And I don’t know what to do about it. I can’t go back to my old me. She’s gone now and I have no way of bringing her back.

It’s now 1pm. I’m up and dressed and even fielded a phone call from a Facebook friend of mine. I’ve even made my bed. So now’s the time to wash the handful of dishes in the kitchen and take a nap. I’m going downtown this evening to support having a rainbow crosswalk (or two). I don’t want to leave this post on a down note so here’s a song I sang while my friends and I sang karaoke. My apologies for the couple of flat notes in the beginning and I don’t have a clue where that half a line went. But it does get better, hopefully just like me.