Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A Lot has Happpened and Big Changes Afoot.

Its really hard to know where to begin. There we were, my boys and I, enjoying our vacation by the sea when all hell broke loose and our lives changed.

I am not dishing out dirty details which enough people know and noone else really needs to know. Suffice to say that the problems of the past few months came to a crisis point while I was away and now our lives will never be quite the same.

Here is the story without gory details:

Imagine how it feels to work very very hard for a company that had a good reputation. Imagine that while working there you notice things. Things of a not so savory nature. Things like taking advantage of customer/clients, fraud, misrep-resentation, falsifying of documents etc . Stuff like that. What would you do? Imagine too that you are a person with a strong sense of right and wrong and ethics and honour....this is important in our imaginings because a lesser person may have just pretended not to notice things. May have just turned a blind eye.

Imagine that at first our upright citizen thinks that its honest mistakes and tries to correct it through the proper channels. Then he sees that they aren't HONEST mistakes but deliberate. Then he tries to effect change from within, which makes him unpopular with his bosses. He champions his clients and THEIR clients but he is ONE person between them and the corporate machine. Imagine, again, how this must feel. The stress. The worry. Over time it has a crippling effect as bosses say one thing but in fact ok the doing of other things. Imagine that you point out that customers are losing/being taken advantage of due to changes in policy and your "superiors" tell you that this was an expected side effect, that they would knowingly rip people off. How would you, as an honest person, deal with this?

In our scenario, the Honest Man informed these clients via a mass mail out that their products were expiring due to lack of representation, according to the company records. He included a trusted contact in that letter incase they wanted to prevent their losses. He tried to protect customers against losing money and protection. Many responded with gratitude, not knowing that their representative was gone and they were glad to save their products they'd spent so much on.

Unfortunately, some of these clients DID have representation but it wasn't in the records and one of these brokers got very PO'ed and thought that the company and the Honest Man were trying to steal his clients. The company wasn't happy about this OR the fact that their negligence had been brought to light. Our Honest Man had since left the company's employ and was exploring the possibility of creating a business with his friend, the trusted contact he'd suggested to the clients. Just when things were finally looking brighter for our Honest Man, the Doom came.

Allegations were being made about his actions. Suggestions were made that he'd acted to benefit himself. A complaint was lodged with a regulating body and an investigation commenced. While this investigation took place however, the Honest Man could not continue building and working on the business he'd so hoped to vreate as a way to provide for his family. His stress levels and anxiety for the future grew and grew. He told the regulators his side of the story and provided documented proof of the company's actions. The 'investigation' dragged on for 2 full months. The Honest Man appealed to a government official to look into the case and make sure the regulators were not being influenced by the huge corporation.

Then the investigation was finished and the regulators decided that the Honest Man was wrong to have chosen loyalty to the law and what's right over loyalty to the Company. Their letter insinuated that he should have turned a blind eye to the illegalities.

The Honest Man was crushed. Those in charge of protecting the public against Corporate wrong doing had found in favor of those doing wrong rather than he who'd been trying to defend and protect the victims. His reputation as a good and honourable person was now besmirched on the public record and the Company was laying liability of their actions at his door when they were sued. It was all too much. Betrayed by the Company, the industry, the regulators and the government, the Honest Man fell into the very deepest despair.

Isn't that a tale? Would make one hell of a novel for ol' Johnny Grisham, wouldn't it? This stuff could never happen in real life could it??! It must be some sort of crazy delusion of conspiracy theory.

Except that in the fiction there would probably be some sort of happy ending where the Company and Regulators and government officials get theirs and Our Hero, the Honest man, is validated and vindicated and everybody good lives happily ever after. In real life, we could only wish that this would happen.

As a result of that deepest darkest despair, my Honest man and I have decided to put some distance between us and the hateful mess. For the health and well being of our family unit, We are pulling up stakes and heading East to go back to a simpler life. Working to live rather than living for the career. We are making drastic changes, including the move, such as down sizing our possessions to fit into a smaller accomodation, looking for lower income employment because it offers less responibility than management did and also because thats all there is in the small town world we are relocating to. Let someone else save the fucking world. We will save ourselves, thank you very much.

Its been 5 years in this place. 5 years of his hard work and we did have some good times! That job was wonderful in so many ways. He found it challenging, never dull, exhilerating by times and he believed in what the industry offered people and did his best for his clients so that they could do their best for theirs. We met wonderful people and had adventures we never could have had if it hadn't been for his position. Our house, while messy and chaotic, is our dream home and we had such plans for it even though we never intended for it to be our last house. We just didn't envision leaving it under such a cloud of misery.

Yet, as the great lyricist said, "every dark tunnel has a light of hope, so don't hang yourself with a celibate rope". There is joy in this move. Small town life is good. Being close to family and support again is VERY good. Changing our focus to simple pleasures and loving rather than having them secondary to achieving is also good. We are bustin' a move toward happiness again.

May you be happy and healthy and have what you need. See you on the other side.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nova Scotia

Hello from wonderful Nova Scotia! The boys and I drove here on Thursday last and have been enjoying as much as we can of the beaches and our wonderful friends and family.We were blessed with sunshine for the first 4 days of our visit and managed to do 5 beaches in 3 days! By Monday Cam flat out refused to even consider a beach outing, claiming he was "beached out". So we went shopping!
You just can't beat Guy's Frenchies, the best thrift store shopping ever! I went into the nearest one, hoping for some pants for the fast growing Thing 2, and came out 58 dollars poorer and his wardrobe quite enhanced ( manly terry bathrobes for both boys, 1 pair jeans, one pair cords, one pair Tony Hawk cargo shorts, several shirts for Cam and at least 2 for Ben). I also got a couple of tops for the cooler weather for myself (4). And a couple of books (3). Beat that retail stores!

Tuesday, which is still today in my head, we went to visit my mom and dad. I timed it to send the boys to a movie while I went to pick up my mom and together she and I went to the home. Dad's been moved now, for a couple weeks almost I think, to the more secure but much more enfeebled infirmary wing. It smells like pee. Its noisy with various yowlings and hacking coughs etc. When we arrived, the nurse dad was speaking to pointed us out to him as we approached but we didn't really register with him. He continued to mutter and ramble at the nurse and gradually we eased him away to get changed from his soiled pj's to clean ones. Then we managed to coax him into a wheelchair because walking was tiring him, and took him outside for fresh air and a turn or twenty around the gardens. Through it all he continued to be fairly incoherant. I would make comments on what was there and he commented on what he percieved and if we were lucky it might be the same thing. Yet, for all that he was more or less content. His eyes were bothering him so he tried eating supper with his eyes closed, with some assistance from me. At this point I had to pick the boys up so we said our goodbyes, which didn't much register with Dad. Mom, as usual, tried to force his attention but can't seem to understand that it doesn't work or why it doesn't. Its not a willful thing. Taking his face and turning him to face her, eye to eye , and speaking firmly as if to a child does not work and usually agitates him. Trying the same method to get a kiss goodbye while he is focusing on his supper is also doomed to failure. She still does it though. I was content to kiss his head and offer a gentle hug that didn't interfere with his dinner attention and a heartfelt "I love you, daddy" to which he actually replied with a a lovely response, though I'm not sure he meant it for me, since I'm not 100% sure he knew who I was.

We left and retrieved my boys and took mom to the grocery store where she got disoriented as to what aisle the tissue paper prducts were in. Rather than take my suggestion that we try the next aisle she chose to ask a store employee where the Kleenex was. He jovially answered that the paper products were in the next aisle. She then insisted taht they'd been moved from the aisle we were in and where she was sure she always bought it. His confused yet eager to help expression and answer to the negative that no, they hadn't been moved, kind of clued Mom in that she was wrong. Once we reminded her what we were there for again(diabetic vanilla Boost and Kleenex), she was ok again. I got her a cold rotisserie chicken plate for dinner thinking it would be more substantial that the leftover soup she was planning to have. Then we took Mom home.

I know its wrong but I can hardly stand to be around her, at least in her house. I know she wanted us to stay longer and for supper but the idea of it made my skin crawl. I spent my teen years in that house, and they were not terrible by any means, but now as an adult it makes me claustrophobic. The nictine stained walls and ceiling, the smells of air fresheners and the like OVER the stink of 30 years of cigarettes nauseates me, and after the mice incident from my last visit ...!? My usually mild germ phobia rears its ugly head. ( my house maybe untidy and carry its own patina of grime but I also disinfect quite a bit. I go through a lot of environmentally unfriendly and possibly toxic disinfecting wipes and a fair bit of bleach in the run of a month thanks to my better-than-it-used-to-be germ issue. And hand soap...but I digress).

I am so gonna go to hell for not being more tolerant of my elderly Mother.

I need some more beach time I think. Hello, Clam Harbour this weekend!

Thursday, August 05, 2010


Gratuitous Hippopotamus shots because they were my favourite part of Granby Zoo. LOVE!

What a week. Not in a bad way, mind you. I got my shop on at a couple of thrift stores which led to getting my shop on in the hardware know how it is.

On Tuesday I decided that I was going back to a thrift store I visited last week to grab the rattan shelving unit I saw for 20 bucks. It was seriously fugly with its incorporated wine rack (donations welcome...maybe a nice merlot?) and had been partially painted with an ivory flat latex. The horror...the wine rack hadn't been painted and the paint job itself was very bad. 6 cans of gloss ivory coloured spray paint later, its much cleaner looking and will be holding all of my crafting books and some assorted crafting stuffs (needles, iron, sewing basket etc) in my craft space/"studio" in the basdement family room. I'm very excited because gradually I have been hauling all my yarn and crap downstairs and for the first time in perhaps my life, all my craft stuffs will have a central location. This is MY place and the rest have been warned on pain of death to keep out. There is still some hauling and organising to be done but its shaping up and making me happy. Pictures will come eventually.

Next week I am heading East! SO EXCITED. I hope we have good weather while we are there because I need some beach time.

Lets see, what else....I have more duties with the yarn company I work for now and thats fun and new. No new escapes for Da. Miss Kitty comes home all the time now that Mouche is gone (did I mention that? Mouche had to go because of his treatment of Miss Kitty. Now she comes and goes as before and it makes me so happy that she is actually coming back home again as opposed to hanging around other people's houses). Pippin was neutered today and needs to have his urine tested to check for crystals. I am waiting for him to gimme a sample (eeeew)so I can run it to the vets tomorrow. I got an awesome deal on a big book about textiles for beginners (how to knit, crochet, weave, felt, and quilt. It was regularly 19.99(UK) but I got it for $10 Canadian. Schweet! I went back the next day to nab the last copy for my lovely friend and fellow enthusiast Barb.

The upstairs bathroom is FINALLY finished. Check out the photos above! So much prettier than its former self.

The nightmare of the last two months seems to be "almost" over. It has to do with Hman's old job and his new career plans and how things are NOT going well thanks to some hiccups and monkey wrenches caused by his old job. We were told yesterday that the issues may be resolved "soon", but don't know whether it will be a resolution in our favour. Yet, that light at the end of the tunnel is glimpsed and we are trying to keep it together and prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Just knowing its soon over is heartening. Its more than we knew before (we have been seriously stressed over how long this was going to go on...6 months? A year? yet, how long a wait is this "soon"?). To all of my friends and family that have been my shoulders to cry on, sounding boards, and support I want to say thank you very much. I hope I can be as supportive and soothing as you all have been.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Da's Famous Now

Dad moved into his new digs at the home on Saturday with the aid of my Wunder-Sistah and her husband. It was all so new and a tad confusing for him. He does like his new comfy chair and does spend time in the lounge with the other residents. There have been a few "getting settled" issues but the staff is used to things like that and all in all Da is doing fine.

However, one incident has made Da the home "celebrity" amongst the staffers. Maybe I should say he's become "infamous" rather than "famous".

On Da's 3rd day in residence, the home recieved a phone call. "Do you have a resident by the name of R******S*****?"
"Why yes we do! Please hold and I will transfer your call."
"No, don't bother. I just wanted to make sure that this is where he belongs."
"Yes, he's over here at the hospital on the 5th floor where he was living before his transfer."

And then mild panic ensued, I am sure. Dad was returned to the home, safe and sound and cheerful after his unsanctioned visit to his former nurses and an emergency staff meeting was held to discuss the security breach that is my Da. It was debated whether to move him to a more secure area in the home but that would remove him from the other more active residents and stick him in the area where the more bedridden etc are located. His nurses stood up for him though, stating that it was only his
3rd day and that he deserved more time to settle in and learn the rules etc. Their wiser heads prevailed and Da stays put for now with an extra set of eyes watching to make sure he doesn't walk out the front door alone again.

Thanks to the incident, though, EVERYONE that works there knows who he is. He's both baffled and chuffed as to how all these nice people know him. He is greeted cheerfully by name as he walks the halls to this or that destination or when he is encountered by any staffer. "How does everyone here know me?" he has wondered to my sister.

I'm sure it was quite serious on Monday but now all we can do is laugh at our Dad the famous escapee .

Friday, July 23, 2010


Today, for the second time this week, I've had trouble using my debit card. It happened at grocery stores both times and I had to whip out the credit card to save the day. This time however I went to my bank to see what was wrong with my account/card. Turns out, that I'd used my card somewhere that was cloning cards!!! GASP! I've been wracking my brain to remember if I'd used my card in a shady place of business lately..a questionable depanneur maybe? Anyways, the bank said I just had to change my PIN and all would be well. WHEW!

Dad is moving tomorrow! My sister tried to get my brothers to lend a hand because at a thrift store she got Dad a nice easy/armchair for his room. Apparently my brothers are too busy. I could just SCREAM and its all I can do to keep myself from calling them to bawl them out for having their heads so far up their own arses. Anyways, one way or another she will get the chair and herself to the place on time to check Dad out of the hospital and into the home and try to have him settled in comfortably. Thank goodness her husband is around to lend a hand. If I could afford the air fare.... I haven't been able to leave the guys for a trip back since April.

Our big family outing for the month was a trip to Granby Zoo. It was exausting trudging around all afternoon but I loved the hippos so it was worth it! They are so cool. Now, its not ONLY a zoo...there is a small water park with two wave pools, a lazy river ride on tubes, and some other assorted bits and bobs AND a small amusement park with a mini roller coaster, ferris wheel and games of chance etc. There are restaurants and canteens to get your munch or drink on and lots of places to have a wee rest. If we ever go again I'd like to spend the night before at a motel in the vicinity so that we could get there earlier. Its an hour and a half away from our home. Next month we have our trip east scheduled and a promise was made for a day at La Ronde in August.
I have the first sock of my second pair nearly done of the 6 I committed myself to for Romanian orphans.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


As anyone who reads here knows, my Dad was stricken with quick onset dementia with delirium this winter. We'd noticed the cogs were slipping a wee bit over the last year or so...just little things here and there..but then the whole train seemed to leave the tracks over the span of a few weeks and Whoa Nelly! that was hard. The delirium was due to an undetected infection and over time has eased and now Dad usually recognises his family and no longer thinks he's being held prisoner by criminals on a boat.

My sister has been handling EVERYTHING for Dad. Doctor's, paper work, financials, name it she handles it. She's my hero.

So, since February Dad has been hospitalised because he is no longer able to live at home safely. Last week the call came that he is going to move into the local long term facility! My devoted sister went to our home town yesterday and dealt with the paper work and information. She got to visit the room waiting for Dad and see how his life is going to change from such limited freedom in a hospital situation to a much more social and active small community. The TV and socialising lounge is right next door to his room and the dining hall is a short walk down the hall. The activities they engage in there range anywhere from trips to the Mall to soft exercise sessions. He will have a roomate but their room is spacious enough that we could get Dad a comfy armchair for having some peace and quiet in his room if he's not up to being sociable. This is going to be so much BETTER for him than how he's been living the last few months that I am really excited for him.

Its a big adaptation for him, though. The support staff at Glen Haven seems to have thought of just about everything to ease his transition from hospital to home facility and I think that he might be able to enjoy himself given the chance.

Mom won't need to do his laundry anymore either once he's moved in since its all done in house, so thats a bonus too. I can't wait to visit Dad in August and see his new digs. Maybe I can challenge him to something on the lounge's Wii!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday in July.

So far its been a beautiful day for weather and somewhat productive. I did errands while waiting for a kid in tennis lessons. I have spaghetti sauce in the slow cooker and ingredients to make my version of shish taouk. Miss Kitty pee'd behind the washer again and thats been cleaned and I bought some enzyme odour remover stuff so it won't stink up the joint.

I started editting a manuscript for a friend. I am not an expert, nor do I play one on TV, but I did major in English at University and I remember enough to know when a sentence doesn't work properly. If only I had one of those memories that actually stores useful stuff like the rules of grammar and punctuation. I can say something isn't right but can't give a good reason why. I'm running more on instinct here I guess. So far my pencil and highlighters have been busy.

The beds have been switched around and now the old bunk bed frame (minus a rail)is serving as a shelving unit for my totes of yarn and fabric. Not all of the yarn has been moved nor have my books as I need a bookcase to put them away in. I hope to find one cheapish at the thrift store. I don't want that space that I have carved out to be overwhelmed in clutter like its predecessor(s). The key will be having enough storage to put things away. Places for my things and things put in their place.

Summer is slithering by. We hope to get to Granby this week and take in the zoo. The kids will love the water park. Next month has a trip East scheduled and possibly a day at La Ronde.

I hope everyone is having some fun this summer.