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

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Positive steps…

makes you happyFor the longest time my life was defined by being Katie and Colin’s Mom. Meals were picked with their palates in mind, activities planned around their interests. My free time was marked out by their bedtime; once the bath, stories, and lullabies were done… then I got to creep downstairs and do some activities of my own. At least before I got too tired to do them.

Then they got a bit older, Kait upgraded her name, and they had more freedom to explore, leaving me with a bit more freedom too. But even with that extra freedom my life revolved around their needs.

I’m going to be moving in a few more months and, for the first time since I was 25 years old, I am going to be on my own in my own empty nest. No one will be counting on me (other than the cats). I will be cooking for one and cleaning for one. And all my free time will be my own.

It’s a hard thing to wrap my brain around after almost a quarter century putting myself blog picturein second place. And it’s made doubly hard with depression and anxiety. But I am determined to do it. I’ve metaphorically dusted off my digital scrapbooking program and am making an album for our Dominican Republic vacation. Plus I’ve been taking time each night to sit in my swing chair and watch YouTube videos. I love music and this relaxes me before bed. And I see friends of mine several times a month to sing karaoke. The microphone is a cheapie that I picked up for twenty dollars but it works well enough for us. And singing with just the three of us gives us the confidence to branch out on songs we aren’t 100% sure of.

And even more changes will happen once I move. Their transit system stinks so I’ll be walking a lot more. Plus there’s going to be a Planet Fitness nearby which I’m determined to join (and attend). I’ve been told that there will be groups held in my new building, which means the potential of making friends with my neighbours. I’ve lived here for five years and I don’t think I’ve even seen some of my neighbours.

I used to write almost every day and regularly for several hours at a time (obviously while the kids were busy or asleep). I’ve got out of practise when it comes to writing and am hoping a quiet apartment with no distractions will help me get back into practice again.

I am looking so forward to letting the real me step outside. I’ll always be Kait and Colin’s Mom but from now on I’m going to be known mainly as Kathleen. And that feels good.

Life… and all that stuff…

Jeremy’s off visiting zir sister Emma for the day, leaving the apartment quiet… almost overwhelmingly so. Jeremy is not a quiet person. Zie putters all day, long building elaborate water systems for zir plants, upgrading zir computer, and rebuilding zir remote control cars.

plant watering system

This is only half of zir plant watering system.

Jeremy is not quiet during any of this. Zie either has zir music on, a video, or both and zie talks to zirself the whole time. Zie answers zirself too… holding complete conversations. The only time there’s silence is when zie puts on headphones, at least until zie laughs.

I’ve made the most of my quiet day. So far I’ve taken a nap, made myself chocolate pudding, and done some scrapbooking; including a layout of one of my favourite pictures of Jeremy. It’s a selfie zie took last September at the beach.

Colin

And now I’m finally settling down to write before zie gets home. I’ve been meaning to write here for a while but life got hectic. The biggest change is my job; I transferred to a closer location. This is amazing for us because the store is a five minute walk from home instead of an hour long bus ride. At the same time, it’s a huge change for me.

I don’t handle change well *huge understatement*. I left a store where I’d worked for six years. I knew the rules, the location of everything, and all the people. I had coworkers who would hug me as soon as I got to work and coworkers who waved and said “bye” when I left. I knew most of our regulars (and we had regulars that treated the store like their second home).

I’ve lived here for three years and had previously been in the new store four times. Once to drop off a resume, once to pick up tickets to Canada’s Wonderland, and twice to order food. I was so not a regular. I didn’t know a single person who worked there either. I spent just over a week fretting that I made the worst decision of my life. Then I went to leave work one afternoon and several of my coworkers smiled and said “bye” while my supervisor looked sad and said, “you’re leaving already?”. I think it’ll be okay.

The part that’s better than okay is Jeremy. This job means that I wake up at the time I previously had to leave and am home before I used to get on my first bus back. Jeremy sees me for almost two additional hours a day and knows, if zie’s really lonely, zie can meet me at work. Zir mood has perked up dramatically. Zir sleeping is still horrible but a pleasant mood makes up for a lot!

I’m moving forward in other ways too. I got my passport and bought a plane ticket so I can visit L in 201 more days (and 1 hour and 30 minutes)!!! Plus I’ve filed for a divorce from my emotionally abusive ex-husband. As expected, he did not take this well. Since Jeremy is the one who served him, zie got stuck listening to him rant about how much he hates me and how he wants to buy me a one way ticket to London.

Jeremy rolled zir eyes when zie told me this. “I don’t think Dad understands how immigration works,” zie said dryly.

My ex called a short time later wanting to know how he can file a counter claim… for a simple divorce. We’ve been separated for fifteen years, I have no idea what he could want to counter claim about. Child support has long been hashed out and he’s 15 years behind in that. Custody has been dealt with as well. Besides, Jeremy’s almost nineteen years old, I’m reasonably sure any judge would laugh in his face if he wants to renegotiate custody.

Then the call moved back to Jeremy.

“He’s my son!” my ex retorted.

That’s when I lost it.

“Zie is not your son!” I snapped back. “Zie is your teen.”

“What?” his tone was both angry and confused, not a good combination with him. But it was too late to back down now even if I wanted to. Which I didn’t.

“Jeremy isn’t male so zie isn’t your son. And zie doesn’t use he or him for pronouns.”

“Jeremy has never told me this,” my ex replied haughtily. “Until he tells me himself that he doesn’t want me to call him my son, I’m going to continue to use male pronouns.”

That was it. I held the phone out to Jeremy, who’d been sitting beside me the whole time.

“What pronouns do you want your Dad to use?” I asked. I’d expected a quiet zie and zir.

“I am not male!” Jeremy said forcefully. “I don’t want to be called he and him. I want you to use zie and zir.”

I put the phone back against my ear. “Did you hear zir?”

I’ve never heard anyone splutter before but that’s definitely what he was doing. “That doesn’t count! It doesn’t count until I feel like asking him what pronouns he wants me to use. Until then I’m going to keep on using he and him.”

If you ever wanted to know what Jeremy’s father is like, this conversation sums him up completely. Along with the fact that he’s been arguing with Jeremy for weeks now, telling zir that we need to carpet bomb the entire Middle East. That “we” is presumably North America and not the two of them, but with my ex it’s hard to tell. The good thing is, he has nothing more flammable than his own flatulence and a cigarette lighter. Jeremy keeps trying to explain to him that there are millions of innocent people there but zir Dad isn’t overly concerned about things like morality and ethics. Unsurprisingly Jeremy has been cutting zir visits short and they weren’t exactly long to begin with.

With any luck, in another month I can start planning my divorce party. I’ll post pictures of the cake once it’s made.

I should have some sort of conclusion to put here but we’ve got thunderstorms rolling in and I just took a couple of Advil so you’ll have to settle for “The End” and a picture of Jeremy posing with zir Easter dinner.

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Happy spring!

The End!

Pink for Leelah ~ take two…

Back in January I posted a scrapbooking page I’d attempted for Leelah Alcorn. I promised I’d do better and finally did today.

Pink for Leelah2

Paper – Shabby Princess (Winter Wonderland)
Alpha – Studio Taran (Shabby Glittered Alpha)
Font – Fonts for Peas (Pea Mily Mix and Pea Hello Two AM)
Elements – Studio Flergs

I tried to make it as sparkling, pink, and feminine as I could manage, for a girl who was never allowed to have enough of any of those in her life. Rest in power Leelah, you haven’t been forgotten.

Pink for Leelah…

Edited: It’s funny, I was so sleepy last night but at the same time so determined to get this post up. It had to be up as close to the 6th as possible and the 8th, even though it was only a couple of hours away, was way too far away. Which proves that nothing brings out my inner toddler more than being overtired. I woke up this morning and when I looked at this post, all I could think was, “It’s a wonder I didn’t fall asleep at the keyboard.”

So I’m scrapping what I wrote previously (which was only five lines). Actually, the layout for Leelah is a work in progress too. My main computer is in the shop for at least another week so I have no access to my scrapbooking supplies. The layout was made with what I could download last night and I want this layout to be the best I can do, not the quickest (I will have more elements by the same designers). At some point I’ll post my final version as well, although that won’t be until the end of January.

Emma’s hand is on the left, showing her rocking her hot pink nails, while Jeremy and I are on the right. It was wonderful seeing all the pictures on Facebook yesterday (and on the 6th) of families painting their nails. I hope Leelah’s siblings are able to see the support and love being shown toward their sister and gain some comfort from it.

pink for Leelah

Backgrounds by Designer Digitals
Elements by Shabby Princess