About Me

Life is learning. Life is change. Life is good. Life doesn't have to cost a lot. I want to make my life greener, healthier, and thriftier. And I want to enjoy doing it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


How do I get it back?

I had so many good intentions ... I was going to find a good job, finish organizing my workroom, finish all four sweaters, get a herb garden going, plant some raspberry canes, get out for a long brisk walk every day, get started on making a real patio out back, watch a couple of my DVD lectures every evening, post a blog entry at least once a week ...

None of those things have happened, not really.  I'm still working on the first sweater a little bit at a time, I do go for a walk every few days, I did make it to all my job search workshops, and I do chip away at the workroom organization a little bit almost every day.  But ... I just can't seem to get motivated to actually finish anything.  For the last couple of weeks I've spent far too much time reading fiction, overeating, and watching NCIS reruns.

What happened?  I don't really know.  Maybe after being hors de combat for so long, I tried to do too much too soon?  Maybe the loss of FatBrat hit me harder than I thought?  Maybe the job-search stress and uncertainty is getting me down?  It could be one or all of those.  It could be  -  Goddess forbid!  -  that the clinical depression that runs in my family has finally tracked me down?  Though I don't really believe it's depression ... when I do get out for a walk  -  usually with P and The Dog  -  I really enjoy it.  And when I get something significant done in the house or the yard, it makes me happy.  And I do enjoy socializing with friends and family.  But it takes a real effort of will to get off the sofa and do something; though once I'm doing whatever it is, I'm glad I did get up.  So I think my problem is a lack of motivation.  But how did I lose it, and how can I find it again?

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Sister S and I took Mom to the rhododendron gardens at Deer Lake Park on Mothers' Day  -  lovely gardens, a beautiful warm sunny day  -  altogether a very good afternoon.  That's Mom in the bottom pic, asking me to get a close-up shot of the lovely red blooms:

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I have a couple of promising job leads, both for work I'm very good at.  One is what I would call my "dream" job; it's local (which means a one-zone transit pass at $81/month), it's in export lumber, it's with a company that only deals in FSC-certified forest products.  Overall, this would be the job I'd keep showing up at every day even if I won the lottery.  The other is also in my field; it's export CS for a shipping line agent, and while it's in downtown Vancouver (a three-zone transit pass at $151/month) it's at a company where I already know some people, have worked with them before, and get along well with them.  So, now I wait to see what happens with those, and in the meantime I keep looking.  Who knows?  There might be something even better out there!

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I don't normally talk about specific products by name here, but I'm going to make an exception for this one: I will never again use Avon hair colouring, nor will I recommend it to my Avon customers.  It's touted as a "salon-quality" product, but (at least in my case) that only applies if said "salon" is affiliated with a clown school ...  The brochure, the package, and the website all called the colour I chose "dark brown".  After following the directions to the letter  -  and I've been colouring my hair for nevermindhowmany years  -  did I get dark brown?  Nope ... I got a weird bright purplish red.  Think day-glo maroon; and vigorous shampooing only served to tone down the purple a bit while making the red even brighter.  So it's back to Miss Clairol for me  -  she's never let me down. 

*  *  *  *  *  *

P and I, while walking The Dog, discovered a really nice little park a few blocks from here.  It has a grassy field and a kids' playground, but also has some nice trails through a patch of forest.  We've found blackberry canes galore, of course, and also lots of salmonberry vines.  So we're checking on them every few days and hoping, once they're ripe, to get our share before they're all gone.  Salmonberries are best fresh, while blackberries make fabulous jam; salmonberries also tend to be ripe a few weeks before the blackberries.  I foresee a number of walks with ice-cream pails in hand ... exercise, sunshine and fresh air, and free fresh berries!  And S has said I'm welcome to go over and dig up a couple of her raspberry canes, which I'll probably do next weekend.  I already know where I'm going to put them  -  along the side fence in the back yard, where they'll get plenty of sunshine but will be out of reach of hungry passers-by!

*  *  *  *  *  *

It doesn't look like I'll get my patio this year after all.   Currently it looks like this:


It's actually all paved with 12" x 12" cement slabs; I'd like to keep those, but pull them up and put down a bed of gravel and sand, then lay them back down level with better drainage.  Then I'd put my lawn swing near the left back corner, my sundial (now residing in the basement, alas) in the centre, put up a trellis across the back with grapevines (Thompson seedless if possible), have planters along both sides for my herb garden, and maybe get a little wood-burning chiminea for cool evenings.  I'd prune all the overhanging laurel back to the fence line, but leave the white lilac alone  -  I can't resist the smell of blooming lilacs!  (In fact, I went out a little while ago and cut a bunch for the living room, which now smells heavenly!)

Big Guy is trying to convince me that if he moves all the firewood from the fence side to the garage side, there will be more patio space.  Sure there will, just like Daylight Saving Time actually makes the day an hour longer ... if I cut a foot off one end of a blanket and then sew it on the other end, will I have a longer blanket?  Thought so.

And it's not just the firewood, it's all the other junk.  Windows we took out of the house that he might put in the garage wall some day, outdoor toys the girls outgrew a decade ago but might want back some day, a dozen empty cat litter pails we might need for something some day, a dead water heater he might turn into a smoker some day, dead tires he might turn into planters some day ... scary stuff, some of it.  And you'd think, with a 900-square-foot workshop and a storage shed, he could find a better home for the stuff he absolutely can't part with.  Some day ... I will simply start hauling the crap out of that area and dumping it where he has to deal with it or keep tripping over it.

But for today ... back to the sweaters.

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