Monday, January 18, 2016

Advocating is Tough (When You're too Tired to Try Again)

Advocating for anyone or anything is tough. I advocate at work, and I advocate at work. It's a tough business, people.

In the fall, hubby had to apply for CPP (disability pension), and though we didn't know all the ins and outs of it, and asking our worker from the local brain injury association, we applied. It was actually to see on if disability (from BC) could get some money back that they paid to Anker over the last year or so. But we also thought that he would get up to $500 a month (less $500 from disability, but we wouldn't have to claim it towards what I make). Sadly, he didn't get approved. We were kind of upset, but somehow, not surprised. That being said, I read it, and got mad. And then, I got madder. They said that Anker would be able to go back to work. Ummm...back to work doing what? (that being said, I hope that he will still back to getting is regular disability next month)

So, it looks like we will have to re-apply. On top of that, b/c of what I make, he only gets it for about 6 months, then we have to live off my income. I don't make a ton. I make okay money, but not great money. It has been SUPER tough to make ends meet sometimes. My family has helped a bit, but we really hesitate to ask them much, b/c we want to do it on our own. Advocating is tough. It is exhausting. It is painful. It is sad. It is frustrating. We have to re-do the paper work, set up appointments, go to the appointments...and I am the one doing (making) ALL of it. He rarely picks up the phone...I have do to all the spelling/writing/phoning. So, we will re-apply. Why? B/C we need to. For the sake of us. For the sake of him. For the sake of others in his same (or similar) shoes. Even though I/we can barely try again. We just do it.

Seriously, though, I don't know on how people do it, day in and day out. I am told that I am strong. That I am brave. That no one else could do what I do; have the life that I live...that is sweet, but it makes me realize that it really IS exhausting. With Anker having his liver disease on top his mental issues, as well as his Raynaud's, it is triple whammy. No one really has heard of PBC, nor have they heard of RP, so we have to explain both to them. Then, like I said, there are his mental issues...he has dyslexia (severe), frontal lobe injury, dysgraphia, as well as a host of other issues. I am just barely touching on the issues....I could go on and on. There are a host of other things that come under those three main issues...not to mention, his infertility.

So, all that being said...our life is very different than a "normal" marriage/life. Sometimes, I don't mind it...in fact, I kind of thrive on it...and other times, I find it darn-near exhausting.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

That Time that We took in a Stray Kitten, and She's Still With Us

I haven't really been into blogging much lately, but there are a few posts in my drafts that are in my blog roll, that should get either published or deleted, so I thought I would do one or two :) I also haven't done a Friday link up post in the last couple of weeks, and I might do that, too.

So, if you follow me on IG or FB, you will see that we have a new kitty. She seemed to have adopted us. Just after Christmas, as hubby was out having his smoke, one of the neighbour kitties decided she would walk on in, and she pretty much hasn't left!

We tried to find her her owner; twice I put her picture on a couple of our city's group pages, and in the mean time, we had chatted with our neighbours, and found out that she used to belong to the girlfriend of the neighbour next door (where we found out what her name is), and she either tried to give her away, and the cat got away, or she just left the cat to fend for herself, as the cat seemed to be roaming around the neighbourhood since she left.She came on in, and just made herself at home. And she ate a lot, so we figure that she WAS left out, and abandoned. Poor thing. She and Callie LOVE playing together!! She has given us much more laughter, and she loves her cuddles, whereas Callie doesn't like to be held; only petted. Of course, we love our Callie, too :)

We were only planning on keeping her until we either found her owner, or until someone wanted her. Well, we didn't find the owner (unless they were next door, in that case, they didn't want her), nor did we find anyone who wanted to take her. Well, my co-worker said she would take her, but now, hubby (and even me) have grown attached to her, so now, she is ours.

We don't really know on what kind of cat she is....we only know she is black (duh), short/medium hair. We think she is still a kitten...not even sure if she has been spayed....nor do we know on if she has her shots yet. We really don't have the money for vet bills, but thankfully, we are with a local Social Development program that helps their clients with vet bills.

So, without further ado...let me introduce you to Sahara:

I have over 100 pics of Calico on FB, and only 10 of Sahara..lol. Oops :)

 Don't worry, we really don't like her (or them) on the table...we try to shoo them off as soon as we see them on there.
 One of the first pics I took of Sahara. She took to Calico's cat tree like a house on fire.
                                               For some reason, she loves our bathmat.

FYI: My parents don't know we have a second cat yet...my sister thinks we should have given her up. LOL.



Thursday, January 7, 2016

Friday Faves/Top 15 of 2015 (AKA, 2015 in Review)

I have missed out on doing a post/link up for Andrea's 2015 Favourites, but I am going to do it anyway, and post it in the comment section, as well as use this topic for the Friday link ups!

Although 2015 wasn't a FABULOUS year (are they ever FAB?...not with us, but they are good), but it was a good year, with lots of highlights.

Here they are, in no particular order (ok, maybe in SOME order):

1) Temporary Position

In January (after driving through horrible roads after a dump of snow), I applied for, and got a temp position at work. SO happy!

2) New Car

We got a new-to-us car in February. It has much less KM's than our other car, not to mention much safer to drive, than our Alero.

3) Perm. Position.

I applied for, and got a permanent position, which started early March. Yay for benefits, lieu days, and holidays!


4) Moving

This actually happened end of April/early May. Ooops...! We moved (our first together, and the first time for me in 8 years) to a new place. So fun! An extra room, a yard, a garden. Love this place (for the most part).

5) Vancouver Trip

Took an overnight trip to Vancouver for my annual specialist appointment, and got a great report.

6) Seeing V

Got to see V (sister) this summer. We had a lovely time, and spent a fair amount of time together, which was awesome (we also got to pick her up at the airport).


7) Wedding/Family Wknd/Meeting Lilah

Yes, I am combining three things into one :) Seth got married, we had a lovely family wknd, AND we all got to meet Lilah (who was born in Jan). It was such a lovely time! And beautiful weather.

8) Victoria Trip

I haven't blogged about this yet (the heading is still in my drafts...lol), but hubs and I went to Victoria in August, and we had a great time. The second set of my holidays were had then.

9) Calico

We got Calico after we got back from Victoria. We LOVE her! She's so cute!!!

10) Getting an A/C

 A and K had a line on an AC, and asked if we wanted it...they bought it, we bought it...presto, our hot house becomes cool.

11) Another Temp. Position

I got another Temp Position in September. I so needed this change.

12) Thanksgiving With Family

We had a lovely TG Wknd with Family. Love going to the ranch at this time of year.

13 Spending time with H

Spent 2 days with H while his Mom was away. We had a lovely time together.

14) Sahara

We took in a stray cat after Christmas, so Callie has a sister. Awesome.

15) We're Still Together

In this year of breakups among celebs, we are very proud to say that we are STILL together. Sometimes, it feels like we just don't have it together. Then, we I read/watch/hear of celebs (or normal people) going through Splitsville (esp ones married AFTER us), and I feel so happy. We have out-married them. Take that, Blake/Miranda, Ryan/Kaley!









Days off Things

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, I took my first holidays for/of the year. I have two more coming to me in March, then not sure when the other ones will happen, since I haven't booked them yet (They do it in two parts....you put in...if you want to...your holidays for the first part of the year in Octo/Nov, then in March, we book our last part of the year).

Monday, as I stated in another post, I came home in the morning, and was back in town around 12:30, and, since the roads were horrible, I didn't venture anywhere for the rest of the day. I relaxed and didn't do a whole lot for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, I went to Krystle's, as I brought a few things back from the ranch that H had left. We had lunch, and had a lovely chat...then I went to the church to pick up a gift from my Secret Sister. She gave me some chocolates and a Starbucks GC. I decided to go through the Drive Thru at Starbucks, and as I paid for my order, the barista said that the person in front of me had paid for my drink! He said that they had dumped snow on my car, and felt bad. I didn't see any snow, but hey...a free drink is awesome! I tried the new Latte Macchiato, and I wasn't a fan, as it was too strong for me. Once I got home, I put some hot chocolate in it :) Hubby and I both had Dr's. appts, so that was our hot date for the week. We dropped off our RX's, and, since it was going to be over and hour, we grabbed some chicken strips for supper, and came home. I went back out an hour later, and went to the library, then I grabbed our RX's, and went to McD's to read some magazines, but I didn't stay there too long, as I didn't feel safe, so I came home.

Wednesday, I met Mom for coffee at The Bucks, and we had a lovely chat for an hour. I ran a few more errands, then came home. Anker and took down our Christmas stuff, which is a big load off my shoulders. Our tree is still up, but he has to take it apart branch by branch in order for it to fit into the storage box. Around 5:30, I went out to meet my friends for a farewell/bday dinner for our friend who is off to AZ for three months! Since I was strapped for cash, I really only allowed myself $15 for dinner..not the best allotment for dinner, but when you only have $30 left, you have to do, what you have to do. I got a Prawn Uvechi, which is very interesting. The prawns were SO GOOD!!! When I die, you can bury me in prawns and butter, and I will be happy (well, I guess I will be in heaven, so I won't know..lol). It was kind of like a Chicken Marsala. We ate at a local Greek restaurant, and it is usually really good. At any rate...we had a lovely visit, and lots of laughs. The place was near empty, so that was awesome, too. AND I got a parking space (downtown) right in front of the door. So, that made me happy!

Today, I just chilled and grilled (my new saying). I did manage to clean our stove top, and did dishes, and got caught up on Y&R. I ran out to Starbucks, and I journalled, which was muchly needed...and then came home...talked with my cousin, and my aunt, and then ran back out to get some French fries to go with our chicken strips. So, that was my day! Hubby has been hogging the couch (and TV) for most of the day, but I don't mind :)

So, those were my/our first few days of 2016!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

My Time at/on the Ranch

Anker and I hummed and haaa'd about going to my family's for (and around) New Years. Anker got sick (like, fairly sick) with a cold (that I have not gotten yet..yay!), so I didn't end up going FOR NYE, so I decided to leave on Sat, Jan 2. It helped that I didn't have to work on Mon/Tues (the first of my holidays for the year..yay!), and since Anker wasn't up going, I went alone was sad that he didn't come, but in a way, it is kind nice to get out and do something like a road trip by myself. The roads (and weather) were great! I arrived at around 4, and we had a lovely turkey dinner with my brothers, and my SIL. We played TABOO and Truth Be Told, and had a lot of laughs, and watched whatever was on TV, and went to bed.

Sunday, went to church, and came home and ate left over turkey dinner, and visited. Went over to my aunt and uncles to have Christmas pudding. SO GOOD! We had a lovely visit in front of the fire, and then it was time for Downton Abbey!!! I think it was the first time EVER that Mom and I had watched it "LIVE" (vs an episode on Netflix or DVD), so that was super fun!!! We had chips and grape juice. Yum!!! We watched the specials afterwards, which were fun. We watched whatever else was on TV, and then went to bed.

Monday, I was planning on leaving mid afternoon, or even staying another day, but since Dad knows on how I HATE to drive in the snow (esp on the HWY), and he (we all did) knew that there was to be some snow (it had snowed HERE since Sat evening, and the roads on the hwy cams looked HORRIBLE), he advised me to leave ASAP. So, I did. The roads were great until about 30 minutes from town, then they got bad, then they got nasty. I nearly got into an accident, which thankfully, I adverted. It was SO nice to not have to work Monday evening. I pretty much just hung out in our room (where I still have my laptop top, etc set up), and FB'd, etc. SO FUN! I haven't even been watching much TV...just listening to music, and chilling.

                                           Christmas Pudding!!!
                                                                My parents' tree.
                                                  The only sheep picture that I took.

I didn't take many pics, b/c frankly, I didn't feel like it :)

Show and Tell Tuesday/Re-introductions and Resolutions

Andrea is doing another year of Show and Tell Tuesday!!!
I am not sure what they will be doing this year (for topics), as I don't see their button yet, but for this week, we are all doing re-introductions and resolutions!

So, here goes!

I don't think this will have a ton of pics, bc, well, that all takes time! Actually, I might sneak a few in, as I have a few on m FB page.

So...

I was born in Vancouver, BC, and due to many health issues, I was there for the first 21 months of my life. I grew up on my family's sheep ranch. I was home-educated from grade 5 (we don't say 5th grade up here) on. At age 18, I went to Bible College, and then went to Europe the Spring/Summer of 1996. Moved back home, then moved away, then moved back home...you get the drift..lol. I did go and do a year of MOA training, then I moved to Regina, Sk (please know that I am giving you the Reader's Digest version), then moved home for a year, to help Mom look after the younger kids (by this time, my parents had 4 more kids...including me and my three younger brothers..so, there are 7 of us in all), while she home schooled the older (younger) ones.

Then it was off to Calgary, AB (for the third time) for over 5 years. I worked in various medical offices, and had a lot of fun adventures! That is when I started having problems with depression/anxiety. I moved back home for a bit, then moved to where I live (city-wise) now. I have been here for just over 11 years.

I met my hubby in 2006, and we married in 2007. We (sort of) started trying for a baby that next year, I got sick in 2010, was in the hospital for a month, found out I was diabetic the next year (I think), found out I had the CF gene in February 2011, found out that hubby had no sperm later in the year, and the next year (I think?), I found out that I really shouldn't carry a baby. I went to school to become a CSW from Sept 2012-April 2013, worked in a Christian book store for the summer/fall/winter, then got my job with/at my current employer in February 2014.

So, that's me in a nutshell!

As far as Resolutions go, I don't really do them, but I have decided to try to read more of the Bible this year.

Shift Work

 I have decided to use this post to link up with Tiffany for this weeks LBFBH.



I had this post on my blog, then I deleted it, b/c I wasn't sure if it was too much info about work (it wasn't, I was just being paranoid), then I had a draft, thinking that I would do another post, then I guess I deleted it. Anyway...my original post was quite good, and I rather sad that I deleted it, but I will redo it, albeit a bit shorter.

I was inspired by The Glorious Mundane about doing a post about working shift work. My life is so glamourous, I know. Ha! I am a CSW who works in a 24/7 staffed Group home. Right now, I work 4, have a day off, work one, have four days off, work two days, have two days off, then back to four. When I work four days, the middle two shifts are two - 12 hour shifts. I have had this rotation/position since September. Shift work is well, interesting. There are many highs, lows, pros cons to having a job that isn't 9-5 M-F. Let me share them with you:

 Pros:

More money. Duh!

 It's not 9-5 M-F. I actually like the idea that I get to sleep in, relax, maybe get things done, then I get to go to work. I love that I get the weekdays off, too.

Our Grocery Bill has Gone Down. When I work, hubby doesn't eat much. So, he pretty much just nibbles, etc. Sometimes we do that even when I am not working. LOL.

I get a four day wknd every second wknd. Yay! My social life is back on! (see CONS section) This is the part of my rotation that I LOVE. LOL. We can (not that we do) go the ranch, or go on camping trips, etc.

Cons:

My social like takes a hit. It really does blow sometimes, not doing things with friends...not being able to go to things, etc. Thankfully, my friends are pretty good and wangling things around me. I also only get to church every second wknd. It isn't a huge deal, but I do miss it, especially if I decide to not go on my wknds off.

Four days in a row is tough. I wouldn't mind if they were shorter shifts (thankful for the money, though), but the fact that I work two 12 hours shifts can be tough. Thankfully, this position isn't as busy as my other one, but it can be super long at times.

Not as much time with Anker. Thankfully, he is awesome about this. He knows I am tired when I get home, I don't like to talk much, and I usually go to bed (especially on the wknds that I work), and just chill and be alone. But you combine that with my evenings out with friends and family, well, you don't get a lot of time left. Thankfully, we do spend time together at home, on our computers...ok, it's not true couple time, but hey, we're together.

A bad sleep pattern. I go to bed late, sleep in late (even on my days off), which isn't the greatest, but, it is what it is. People bug me about it, but they get it.

I am sure that I had a few more in each section in my last post, but I can't remember. So, those are just a few of the pros and cons of shift work.





Saturday, January 2, 2016

Christmas/Winter Bucket List..How'd I Do?

I thought it would be fun to go through my list, and see on how "well" I did with my Christmas Bucket List this year.

To recap, here is my list:

To see on whether I have done it or not...read at the end of each item.

1. Buy ONE Christmas DVD/CD, some fun accessory, ornament, decoration. (I have bought A Charlie Brown Christmas on DVD, got a new set of Christmas earrings, and I got a few ornaments from people so far this year, and I bought some decorations)....Done.
2. Sleep by the tree with its lights on (you can interpret that how you wish..lol)....did this the other night.
3. Make a Gingerbread house with hubby (we usually do this every year)...I didn't do this with Anker, but I did do this at work. Does that count?
4. Baking (either with someone or by myself)....done...both at home and at work.
5. Bake Christmas cookies for our neighbours (I have done this the last couple of years...not sure if I will do this this year though..)..I didn't do this this year.
6. Read Christmas magazines (or a Christmas novel) while drinking some Christmas bevvy, in front of the tree, while listening to Christmas music (Bonus if it's snowing!). (already read my mags while reading Christmas magazines)...Done.
7. Watch Christmas movies with hubby (as well as alone). (already done this)..Done
8. Make (and drink!) either homemade apple cider or some mulled beverage. (did this with K awhile back).....I had some apple cider at my friends house.
9. Christmas Carol (I actually don't do this..but hey, you never know!) Nope But we did sing Christmas carols while at our friends' house...does that count?..Actually, we morning coffee ladies DID carol to the Blood Donor Clinic while they were at the church..so there...I DID go carolling.
10. Go to a store (Wal-Mart, Superstore, etc) at 2 or 3 in the morning (while they are open 24 hours). This didn't happen, since neither of them were open 24 hours. hubby and I did a fairly late shopping at Walmart, though.
11. Take a walk (downtown would be awesome) in the snow while the snow is falling. Didn't happen.
12. Do a Christmas Bible Reading Plan...Done. I did three.
 13. Attend an indoor Christmas Event (Play, musical, theatre, concert, {either church and/or community} etc)...we didn't do this this year....kind of sad...though we did go to a craft fair together...which should be included in this :)
14. Attend an outdoor Christmas Event (Santa Parade, Holiday train, Christmas tree lighting, Christmas Community event...ie...Basics for Babies...Gift Fundraiser, etc)...Didn't do this, either.
15. Watch a Christmas special (not movie). Bonus if it's live. (I already did this..watched THE WIZ, and it was great!)
16. Help Serve the Hungry (Salvation Army, etc)/Do a Good Deed (Give someone a GC, adopt a family/single Mom, etc)...I did give someone a GC. You can read about it here.
17. Go to a Christmas Eve (or Day) Service (or Mass, etc). Didn't do this, either.
18. Go Ice Skating...not yet.
19. Sip hot cocoa/hot chocolate in front of a real fire (bonus if it's outside!)/roast marshmallows/s'mores (bonus if it's with hubby..and even BIGGER bonus, if I end up turning this into a picnic; stargaze)..Haven't done this yet...maybe while at the Ranch.
20. Decorate the tree (duh!)...Done.
21. Go and check out the lights (on houses) (drive or walk)...Did this twice.
22. Visit a Farm (Christmas Tree/Stables, etc- Ok, I realize that we WILL be visiting OUR farm/ranch, but sometimes, visiting another farm is kind of fun-and go on a sleigh ride..Nope..didn't happen.
23. Toboggan..nope..didn't do this...yet.
24. Play in the snow; build a fort/snowman, make a snow angel....not yet.
25. Christmas Crafts (already done, and I am horrible at it!!)...done.

Things to do with H:

1. Build a Snowman....not yet.
2. Bake....kind of..I was there when he was finishing up cookies with his mom.
3. Watch a Christmas movie. (already done, while I was looking after him...twice actually, as I was there a week prior. Last week, we watched the Old Classics..so fun!)
4. Do a Christmas craft. (already done..as I said, I am horrible)
5. Go to a Christmas event (not sure if this will happen, but you never know)...nope.
6. Read a Christmas story together...nope.


I guess on a whole, I didn't do too bad....will hope to do some different things next year....or at least try and do what I didn't do this year.


Did you make a Christmas/Winter Bucket List? Did you do everything on it?

New Year's Eve 2015 (and Other Happenings)

Happy 2016!!!

                                                       Photo credit: Zedge

I hope this year is the best year yet! Or at least better than last year. Ha!

The highlights were:

Getting a new-to-us car, getting not one, not two, but three positions (including a permanent one, which now allows me lieu days, holidays, etc. I am in a temporary one now, but since I have a permanent position with the company, I still get the permanent status..yay!), moving, going to Vancouver in June, and having my specialist tell me that I was doing awesome (and tell me that I don't need one of my meds), then Victoria in August, seeing my little brother get married, welcoming, and meeting my niece Lilah, getting our new kitty, and well, that is all :) Plus...a little something may be in the works..stay tuned.

The lowlights were:

My childhood friend dying, Hubby being cut off from disability, saying goodbye to our car, having to get a new battery for our new-to-us car as soon as we got it, always being broke, hubby deciding not to go to church anymore, no one understanding our life (infertility, life with someone who has a disability, and a disease), and as of a few days ago, needing a new cord for my laptop (and being too broke to buy one, so I just use tape. True story).

It actually wasn't that bad of a year (other than Matt dying), so I guess we can't be that depressed about it. LOL.

So, our NYE was pretty low-key, cause we are low-key and boring like that. Anker also had a cold, and Mom had a cold, so we didn't want to venture to the ranch (I might go out tomorrow...the second..not sure yet). I ran a few errands (that may or may not have included Starbucks), and came home, made up some snacky food, and we watched Penguins of Madagascar. We also watched a few things on TV, watched the news, Skyped my sister, and had Spumante sparking wine. SO GOOD! I didn't even taken any pictures. Well, I took one, but it was rather boring, so I don't think I will share it. Or maybe I will. Ha! I slept in SUPER late this morning (Jan 1st), and we had a relaxing day, watching TV, I ran some errands, did laundry, made a few calls, and made a ham dinner with hubby. We watched the news, and Y&R, and I just finished watching a movie.

Just curious...does anyone else watch Christmas movies/specials, and listen to Christmas music after Jan 1? I just deleted some Christmas baking/light shows, but I am still watching Christmas shows that I recorded on our PVR. I haven't watched all of our Christmas movies, but I watched most of them, so that makes me happy. LOL.

So..on to what happened over the last month:

A couple of weeks ago was super busy for me....I went to our friends house for a Christmas/Birthday party for our friend. We had a lovely time together; ate lots, laughed, and had a great visit. The next day, I slept in, since I was working a night shift that night. I hung out, relaxed, and then went to our work Christmas party. It was a fun time, and I won a $20 GC to M and M Meats. On December 10, my aunt and uncle took us out for dinner. We had a lovely time, then afterwards, we went up the street to one of the best lit houses in town. Afterwards, hubby and I drove around to look at some lights. This past Tuesday, I went to have dinner at my friends house. Our other friend, Krista was in town for a few days, and we all wanted to see her. We had a lovely dinner; lasagne and ceaser salad, and garlic bread. And lots of yummy treats. I stayed a little longer to chat with Kim and Krista, and left around 10:30. Hubby and I haven't done a ton of things this season (or anytime..lol), but it's ok. We did go to a craft fair together, and went shopping together...and of course, we had Christmas Eve dinner together. It is what it is...he doesn't like to go out, and I do. Ha!

Well, that's our year in a very small nutshell, and my last couple of weeks.


Here are a few pictures:

                                              The house that we went to see:



                                        We had a big dump of snow last wknd. So fun. NOT!
 I am very thankful for my 5 minute drive to work..especially at night, in the winter.
                                                   The only picture that I took on NYE.