Monday, December 27, 2004

What a Great Day!

Yesterday was the most fun I've had in a long, long time. It was snowing like crazy, so we decided to take advantage of it and go sledding. It was an absolute riot...I took quite a few turns on the hill myself. Hey, its no secret that I'm a nutjob, this just proves it. LOL I thought I was gonna die when it was time to go home. Mickey and Kaity pulled me home on the sled so that I'd be able to stand long enough to make dinner. I still hurt, but it was so worth it. This is the second or third time we've gone sledding the day after xmas. Looks like we've got a Boxing Day tradition on our hands. We were out for two hours at least, and the best part of it was....there was not one single conflict...not one angry word spoken by anyone, to anyone. It was a Christmas miracle! LOL Kait and Jared are usually at each other's throats 24/7, with Jenny occasionally pissing off one or the other. Mickey and I said later that we wondered who these Stepford children were. This holiday season has been topfilled with miracles, actually. Wanda invited me up to her house to play cards with her, Mark and Mom tonight. If that wasn't enough of a miracle in itself, she also offered to keep Mom for the full two weeks so that I wouldn't have to shuffle kids around to make room for her. It's a bloody good thing I was sat down. I couldn't believe it. What's more, she even invited me to come jamming with her and some girls she knows after she heard me singing along to the radio. Her and Mark are both musicians. You could've scraped my jaw up off the floor where all these issues are concerned. She hasn't invited me to go anywhere or do anything for awhile. When we saw each other last Christmas, it was pretty obvious that there was still a great deal of animosity on both our parts. It was different this time. We actually got along really well tonight, and even had a laugh or two. It's something, anyway. It would be nice if Wanda and I could put our trash behind us once and for all.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas

Today was awesome. My Christmas Eve and morning was fabulous. It was spent at home with just the five of us hanging out and watching movies. Santa was good to all of us. Then we went to Wanda and Mark's. The food was really quite good. My sister's cooking has improved quite a bit. heheh All in all, it was pretty good, but there was about two times that things got tense. The first was when Wanda and CJ starting sniping about something stupid. Luckily, I think they both realized just how stupid they were being and dropped it right away. LOL The second was when Mom starting shrieking for no reason about being able to eat as much as she wanted on Christmas. She has a bad habit of flipping out at the drop of a hat...due to the strokes she had, she unfortunately either can't or doesn't care to control herself. The really bad part was that she was shrieking at a complete stranger to her....Wanda's friend, Marie-Madeleine. Poor Marie-Madeleine only asked if she was going to try each kind of pie...she didn't mean anything by it. Mom friggin lost it...starting screaming and even made a really rude gesture. Somehow the situation was diffused, but we left soon after. The kids wanted to go home after Grandma came unglued. I don't blame them. Jenny in particular was upset by the way Grandma acted. She had a stomach ache for awhile afterward. Kaitlyn and Jared were just plain embarrassed. It looks like I'm still Public Enemy #1 to Alf. He called Wanda's just after we finished dinner and talked to her, Dad, Mom, my kids and CJ and I think Mark...but not to Mick or me. Oh well. I was pretty surprised that he called, considering he and our sister parted on pretty bad terms. Twasn't any skin off my butt that he didn't want to talk to me. Someone had to be straight with him...unfortunately he'd rather I lie and pretend that I accept his tripe. Other than that small snippet of the day, I can't complain a bit. This was one of our better Christmases. I took the dog out after we opened presents, and it was one of those perfect Xmas scenes. Snow falling steadily, dog barrelling through the woods chasing squirrels...Metallica blaring in my ears. hehehe

Friday, December 24, 2004


'Twas the day before Christmas and all through the house...Amethyst feels the need to grumble and grouse! Can we say AAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH?!? Mom hadn't even been here a full 24 hours...she's not even staying with me yet, and I already had to lay down the law last night. I was joking around with her, and she told me to "shut the fuck up" front of my kids. Then she went out to the porch for a smoke. I almost let it slide, like in the old days....then I decided that oh hell no...that shit is SO not happening anymore. So I put on my coat, marched to the front door, took a deep breath, went outside and said in a calm, yet very firm voice..."Do not speak to me like that my own home, or anywhere for that matter. Mother or no, you have no right to speak to me like that for no reason." She started to get her panties in a twist, but I didn't let her. I continued on in that same calm, firm, icy voice I use on my kids. I told her that she will find that when someone says or does something that I don't like, I will no longer hesitate to stand up and put a stop to it...and I don't care who they are, or who they think they are. You know, I'm not entirely positive, but I think I gained some small measure of her respect out there on that freezing cold porch. I've never in my life seen her back down that fast to anyone....and I didn't raise my voice once, even though I was incredibly irked. As for my self-respect went through the roof. It used to be that Mom would go off on one of her tangents, and I'd do one of two things. I'd either do nothing and try to ignore her, or I'd lose my temper and act just as childish as she was....neither of which ever did a lick of good, and in fact probably made the situation worse. Last night marked the very first time I've ever had the cojones to look my mother squarely in the eye and tell her that I will not tolerate her behavior. So tomorrow its off to Wanda's for Christmas dinner. The only reason she invited me and Mick is partly because Mom insisted, and partly to look good for her friends. It'll be the first time I've set foot in her house for about a year. Jeez...if I'm not careful, I may end up telling her to get on her broomstick and take a flying fuck at a rolling donut if she gets in my face! LMAO I'm not looking forward to it at all. It's just gonna be an exercise in tension. I'll be on the defensive, just waiting for her to start with me...or more likely, with CJ. She's the one I'm worried about. She SO doesn't want to go. She's only going because of Mark (her stepdad)...and because I'm going. I told her that all she has to do is say the word and I'll take her home. There's no reason for her to have to take her so-called mother's crap on Christmas.

later....Oh. My. Frickin. Gawd. I get home from walking the dog to find Mick sitting at the computer, sputtering. He was on his lunch break from work. Apparently my mother called work on one of the busiest days of the year, no hit him up for CIGARETTE MONEY!!!! Yeah, that'll happen....NOT! Where is the money that Wanda was supposed to reimburse her for her bus ticket, is what I'd like to know. Wanda told Mom to buy a one way ticket, and she'd give her the money when she got here. I'm paying her way was the only way she could come for Christmas. So Mark came into the store right after Mom's call, and Mick asked him why Mom is calling to hit him up for money when they were supposed to have reimbursed her the $90 for her ticket. Mark was confused...he thought Wanda had taken care of it already. Poor guy was pretty mortified. He couldn't believe her audacity. Hell, neither can I! Who calls a non-smoker at work (in the retail industry, BTW) on Christmas Eve to ask for cigarette money that she has no intention of paying back??If she thinks for one bloody minute that we will support her addiction while she's here, she's got another think coming. I will not pay for her lousy, stinking coffin nails. I haven't bought a pack of cigarettes in 19 months....I do not intend to start. If I won't buy them for myself, I sure as hell won't buy them for her. I think that's asking wayyyyy too much. If she doesn't like it...TFB, I'm afraid. I'll buy her a bottle of vegetable juice....I may even spring for a Diet Coke or two, but I will not under any circumstances buy cigarettes. I absolutely, positively REFUSE!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Remember, Amethyst...She IS Your Mom....*sigh*

I had to call my mom back yesterday morning. When she called Wednesday night, I was in the middle of freaking out, as previously mentioned. She got me to agree to bring the kids up to the bus station when she arrives next Wednesday, even though Wanda is already meeting her. She'd be slightly pissed to say the least if I showed up. Mom figured this would be appropriate because "she hasn't seen us for a year and a half". Now, I understand fully why she'd want to see us ASAP, but FFS...relations are strained at best between Wanda and I as it is. Why do something that'll make things worse? Wanda would NOT be understanding about it, believe me. So anyway, I told Mom that I wouldn't be able to make it and that I'd pick her up the next day. I also suggested that Wanda could drive her down to my place for a quick visit Wed. night if she really can't wait. So we somehow got on the subject of her smoking. She was giving me some excuses as to why she keeps blowing her quits. It's the old anger trap. She babysits sometimes, and she's just not used to little kid antics anymore, especially those of 3 and 1 year olds. I told her she should quit babysitting for a bit. She says she needs the money. I say she wouldn't need to babysit if she'd quit smoking...she'd be saving about $90 a week. She starts to get mad. I say, "But Mom...what kind of daughter would I be if I didn't try to look out for you?" She calmed right down and muttered, "I guess." That was a stroke of genius, I tell ya! LOL I told her that I see quitting as a good thing, and I just want her to have an improved quality of life like I'm enjoying. Amazingly enough, she didn't rip off my head and dump down the hole, even when I didn't drop it right away and I even went on to suggest that she talk to her doctor about NRTs besides the patch. She can't use it due to her history of strokes. I was pleasantly surprised that she didn't get really defensive. She usually gets mad for much less. Hell, I felt like a bomb squad member diffusing the Big One. LOL But, all went well and I put a bug in her ear. Here's hoping it keeps on whispering. If anyone needs to quit, its her. She doesn't have to live from cheque to cheque. She doesn't have to feel like crap every day, or stink, or choke, or be a slave....*sigh*

Friday, December 17, 2004

Spent The Evening Crappin Bricks

I had a terrible couple of hours Wednesday night. Mickey and Kaitlyn had their first out of town basketball game that day. They were travelling to a town that's about 45 minutes west of us. Mickey is an assistant coach for the grade 8 girls team, and Kaitlyn is a point guard. Anyway, I figured that since the town is practically within spitting distance, they'd be home around 6 or 7 pm. I started to get concerned by 8...was downright frantic and on the verge of calling the police by 9. I live way up in the mountains...roads are curvy and treacherous, and the area is notorious for avalanches and accidents. Winter travel is not undertaken lightly here. To make matters worse, their bus had broken down 2 days before, when they were supposed to have had their first away game. They had to wait by the side of the road for over an hour before another school bus could be found to bring them home. By the time they came in at 9:30, I was pretty much hyperventilating. I knew that there had been no slides, but I hadn't had the nerve to ask about accidents. Just when I was ready to burst into tears of sheer frustration, my mom called to vent about the crappy night she was having. Anyway, it turns out that the boys team went with them, and they had to play their games one at a time. The school they were at is even smaller than ours. They went for food after they were done, then headed for home. They didn't waste much time, really. However, while they were enjoying Subway and Tim Hortons, I was pacing a hole in my kitchen floor, twisting the ring on my right hand round and round...and vaguely thinking about going across the street to bum a smoke. When that idea popped into my head, I was surprised, to say the least. I thought to myself, "What if something DID happen? Would I react by smoking?" At the time, I didn't honestly know. The only thing I did know was that I thought pretty seriously about smoking for a moment or two. It was the first bona fide "crave" that I had felt for some time. It would've been so easy...there's Mickey's co-worker Max and his wife Jean across one street, Jean's dad and his woman across the other (I'm on the corner), and my next door neighbor, Anna...all of whom smoke and would have no problems scoring me one. I would hope that even in the face of dire circumstances, I could keep my commitment to remaining smoke free. Sure, the thought crossed my mind when I was panicking. I was hooked on one of the most addictive substances on the planet...of course the thought of smoking will crop up occasionally. If push came to shove, though...would I actually do it? I don't think I would have. I was in the grips of a full blown panic attack that would've sent me racing for the psychotropics a couple years ago. When I thought about going to one of the neighbors, the rational part of my mind asked the freaking out part, "If something has happened to Mick and Kaity, will smoking change anything? Will it make them well or bring them back? No? Then don't be so bloody stupid!" Then I carried on pacing until Mom called. I let her vent for a minute, then said, "Y'know, I'm not having such a great evening myself." When I told her what was going on, she was pretty supportive. We commiserated with each other until my family strolled in with Slurpees, after worrying me near to death. LOL Mick felt really bad...he just assumed that I knew that the boys and girls teams had the same schedule. I said, " You know what they say about assuming...and you sure made an ASS outta U and ME this time, pal!"All in all, it was a pretty harrowing couple of hours. I'm pretty proud of myself, though. Not only did I not smoke, I got through a full throttle, heart racing, sweaty palmed, claw-my-way-outta-my-freakin -skin anxiety attack without benefit of psych drugs. Oh hell yeah!! GO ME!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Staff Party Night

So last night was Mickey's Xmas staff party. It was sucked big time, though. The taste might've been better if the damn stuff was HOT. The lady across from me said that the butter wouldn't even melt on her potatoes. The hollandaise sauce on my salmon was tepid at best, the shrimp in it were ice fact, the only reasonably warm thing on my plate was the rice. Now I know why I've never eaten there before...and I won't be again.It was a sports bar type of setup. For the most part, it's smokefree...but the pool room isn't. I sat at a table that directly faced it, and I was able to watch the smoke waft out of the doorway and creep along the ceiling. I went in once while we were waiting for the lousy food to arrive and had a game of pool with Mickey. Kicked his butt, too! LOL Our neighbors, Max and Jean, were in there at the same time. I swear they both smoked one after another in the 15-20 minutes it took to have one game of pool. The smoke was fairly tolerable at that time...there were only about 2 or 3 other people in there. I tried to go in again after most everyone had eaten. It was standing room only. It was so smoky in there, it was almost like the place was on fire! I lasted maybe 2 minutes before I booked it outta there, mumbling about needing the ladies room. I couldn't stand the smell, but even worse...I couldn't breathe. When I came back from the washroom, I couldn't bring myself to go back in, so I stood at the doorway and watched Mick play pool through the haze. How he could stand it, I haven't a clue...he's been a non smoker all his life. Maybe his years in the military, plus his years of marriage to a chimney...made him impervious to secondhand smoke. LOL My 20+ years of sucking down firsthand smoke didn't help me a bit...I thought I was suffocating. It sucked. The times they are a-changin'. Less than two years ago, the smoke wouldn't have phased me a bit. I'd have sat in there all night and happily contributed to it. I probably would've gotten half snapped, too. I drank 2 kahlua and milk....that's it. Cripes! I'm scaring myself. I don't smoke, I rarely drink anymore, eat reasonably healthy and exercise every day. Who the hell is this woman?!? I'm still getting to know her, but I know that I like her a lot better...and respect her a lot more...than the person I was before. That person seriously cramped my style!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Teenagers...Bah, Humbug!

Y''s true. Raising a teenager IS sorta like trying to nail Jell-o to a tree! All I did was call up to Kaitlyn's friend's place (she slept over) to suggest a time for her to come home yesterday. She wasn't there at the time, but called me back about 10 minutes later with a "WTF do YOU want?" attitude. I couldn't understand what her problem's not like I wanted her to come home immediately. I was giving her 2 more hours, for cryin out loud! Her attitude rapidly changed when I informed her that if that's the way she wanted to be, not only could she come home immediately, she could bloody well walk! Amber lives clear across town....well out of comfortable walking range. It was almost comical to hear how fast she changed her was like turning off a bitch switch. hehehSo much for the extra 2 hours peace...she called back about 15 minutes later. She was all apologetic...spent about 5 mins sucking up, then she goes "Can I pleeeeeeeeeeze have a ride home? Amber has to go out." Is it petty of me to be grinning like a Cheshire cat when I say, "Sorry kiddo....Dad has the car at work."? Is it spiteful to think that a nice 90 minute walk in the cold December rain might do her some good? Probably...but oh well! And yes....Mick really did have the car! LOL I gotta say though...I doubt I'd have given her the ride even if he didn't. That kid thinks it's all about her at times, so I figure any opportunity to show her that the world in fact does NOT revolve around her is all good. Sheesh...I'm a mean ol bag, aren't I?As it turned out, Amber's aunt felt sorry for the brat and drove her downtown...and from there it's only 3 blocks home. Rats! Foiled again!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Too Funny

I had quite the laugh tonight. I was walking Jenny and her friend to the movies, and we passed this group of young Chinese men. Every single one of them was smoking...but that wasn't the funny part. The funny part was the way a couple of them struck a pose as I went by, doing the smile and wink thing. I'm thinking, "Sheesh, boys...quit wasting your time. I'm an old lady compared to you...and smell NASTY!" Was funny to me, anyway. It was like they figured the cigs made them more attractive or something. As if. LOL I have to give those girls credit...they're both 10 and neither of them blurted out anything negative while we were walking by. They waited until we were out of earshot! LOL They both let out an explosive breath after we passed and we like " Wow..those guys STUNK!" Then Jenny said, "Mom, I'm so glad you don't smell like that anymore." Kayla was like, "No way! You used to SMOKE?!?" Jenny said, "Yep...she quit almost 2 years ago, right Mom?" I said, "Yeah, and if I ever catch either of you smoking, you'll get a free ride to the moon on the toe of my shoe!" They giggled in unison and declared, " EWWWWWW!! Smoking's gross!" Let's hope they keep that attitude when they reach high school in three years. OMFG....I just said that out loud!! AAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Auntie On a Mission

So I sent my niece an e-mail with a bunch of quitting links the other day...including this one. LOL I should send one to my nephew too...but everything I've sent him lately bounces back. I hate the fact that they both drives me up the wall, in fact. I'd love to try to help them quit, but I don't want them to think I'm some militant ex-smokin auntie on a crusade. How do I try to help and support someone without coming off as annoying? I tried like hell to support my mom when she first tried to quit about a year ago, but I'm pretty sure that she thought I was bugging her. That was the time that she lied to me for two months. Man, that still chaps my ass. So what if she relapsed...she didn't have to lie about it. God, I hope she quits at some point. She should talk to her doctor about NRT. So the patch might not be suitable due to her history of strokes...there are many other options out there. She's never even talked to the doctor about it, she's just going by what was on the box of patches.She's gotta do something...cold turkey just doesn't seem to be cutting it for her.

I wonder if brother Greg is still quit. It should be bout 5 months now. That guy quit for 2 years once....TWO YEARS! Damn! I've been quit nearly that and I can't imagine ever putting another smoke in my mouth. Different strokes, I guess...Smoking frigging bites!! I can't name one good thing bout it. Why do so many people slowly commit suicide with cigarettes, but yet look down on someone who blows their head off? What the hell's the difference? One is merely getting it over with efficiently, as opposed to long, slow torture.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Life Is Good

It's so nice to be facing the impending Christmas season with only my normal amount of Scrooginess. LOL This time last year, I was a flipping basket case. I was so worried that the stress of having to put up with Wanda...and to a lesser extent, CJ...might cause me to throw in the towel. It's no big deal this year. I now know that it'd take a hell of a lot more than estranged family members to make me smoke, if anything even can at this point. Besides, CJ and I are getting along really well these days, and I no longer give a flying hunk of poo what her mother thinks. Her opinion of me is none of my business.So I'm trying to get into the Christmas spirit. After all, the kids are bugging me about when we're gonna put up decorations and even when we're getting our tree! Holy crap guys...its only Dec.2! I know I have to start making a move...not like time will stand still because I want it to. The big day will be here before I know it. One good thing about Xmas since I quit smoking...nobody gets cheap gifts anymore. Last year, for the first time ever, we were able to buy Kaitlyn, Jared and Jenny exactly what they asked for. That was pretty cool. We tried not to skimp on them in previous years, but it wasn't easy. Last year and this year, I plunked down the money without batting an eye. I went out of town to Walmart with my dad and stepmom a few weeks ago, dropped nearly $300 and got presents for about 6-7 people. I had to eat at Wendy's for lunch...but at least I still had the money TO go for lunch after! LOL Life is good. I should've quit smoking a long time ago.