Friday, September 27, 2013

On the Road...Yet Again!

We are back on the road again today!

My afternoon of packing went well, mostly..  As I was packing and getting things ready I opened the tote that we usually use for bedding, assuming it was empty and I could start putting the linens in it.. negative! I opened it up and found this...

Ya it was full, honestly at first I didn't even know what to do.. so I laughed. It was actually full of a bunch of my winter clothes, sweaters in particular. Four Lulu's, a couple Bench sweaters, some Abercrombie.. totally forgot I even had it.... Jason thinks this is a problem! I mean I made room for it all and everything fit in the truck and that it what is most important right? I don't need to 'purge' (Cringes) until things don't fit in the truck?

Jason got home last night with pizza for dinner and then we headed over to the post office and to return the cable stuff. That turned out to be an experience in itself.. you know I feel bad when someone is new at something and trying their best and just not accomplishing what they set out to do, but when I am in a rush and their superior is sitting in the back room doing dick all and not helping that pisses me off. This poor guy was struggling and he kept going back and asking questions which was getting him no where, and the place was full of people wanting to pay their bills and stuff including these young kids acting like morons, falling all over each other, making out, being stupid.. I hate that! So in the end we paid the bill and cancelled our service but he had no idea how to enter a U.S address and therefore I have to call the 1800 number to get shit done! On our way out I took a final picture of a beautiful SK sunset.. its the only thing I am going to miss about that place.

We got the truck pretty much completely packed last night which was great, this was probably out easiest move! Minus the fact that it was freezing out I thought things went really well. This morning we got up early and got on the move. God love Jason he went straight to Tim Hortons for coffee... PRIORITIES... while I started getting the last of things put together. We cleaned and waited.. go figure Trunchbull was late! She knew we had to be on the road so I swear she was screwing with us, Jason called her and she said she would be 5 minutes. The walk thru was seamless, it lasted all of 5 minutes and we were out of there. 

We got on the road and crossed the border into North Dakota - First and only time change of the day, 1 hour ahead of SK time, 1 hour behind east coast time. From North Portal to Minot (2 hours) we encountered an unusual amount of wide loads.. literally.. houses, silos, etc.. weird otherwise things were OK... there was a pretty big upset, for me at least. I saw a dead horse... ugh.. it hurts me to even type that.. its true though.. and there was 3 other horses standing around it, almost guarding it.. looking so horrifically sad! I could have sobbed.. I begged Jason to go back as he INSISTED it was probably sleeping.. I wish I could have believed that.. kind of ruined my day!

We made it through North Dakota and into Minnesota, In Minnesota we encountered rain and an accident that put off our time just a little but then the sun came out and it was 80 degrees and amazing!!

We considered stopping in St. Cloud, Minnesota but we felt like we could drive further so we did. We ended up in Hudson, Wisconsin and just grabbed pizza to bring back to the hotel. As I have joked before (but am very serious at the same time) Jason is a bit of a tight wad and so we decided on Little Cesar's for a hot and ready.. well he was out the door in less than two minutes and with free bread sticks.. he was a happy camper... until! 

Ya there is a catch.. there is an art show going on is Hudson and therefore EVERY hotel is booked SOLID! FUCK! Honestly at this point I was really tired, I didn't want to drive another hour or more until we found something else and truth be told driving after dark makes me nervous in regards to hitting wildlife. So we started going to every hotel and finally, THANKFULLY we found a room at the Holiday Inn Express!! 

So that is where we are now Hudson, Wisconsin! Tomorrow we are thinking we will make it to Dayton, Ohio it is looking to be a 12 hour day which I am not looking forward to, however today really didn't feel to bad! I am off to bed, the morning is going to come quickly... I just know it!

Happy Friday all!!

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

I'll Never Ever Learn!

As though I don't have enough trouble sleeping as is but it is officially that time of year again where I retreat to self torture! 

If I've never said it before I am a total wuss! I HATE anything scary!! I don't watch scary movies, anything ghost related, hell Teresa the Long Island medium creeps me out!! I only like it pitch dark to sleep when Jason is beside me and when he's not I keep the TV on and most likely won't sleep at all. Yet tonight as much as I knew it was a bad idea I watched Criminal Minds. 

Criminal Minds and I have a long and bad history!! I remember watching it in Saskatoon in 2009 and everyday when Jason would get up to go to work at 5:00am I would get up too, turn on all the lights in the apartment and watch TV... And my surroundings... It's always scared the crap out of me, I can't tell you the countless nights sleep I've lost over this stupid show. How many times I've crept into the bathroom and swung the shower curtain open like a ninja as though I was expecting to find someone! Yet I continue to torture myself.

I know what you're all thinking, I do it for Shemar Moore... Negative! Don't get me wrong, I'm human and he's absolutely GORGEOUS! Having said that I made the mistake of following him on Instagram and I've never seen someone so into themselves (well Caite, that may not be true if we reference tonight's conversation). I hate nothing more than someone who is so super self centered and arrogant, yes he's hot and we all know it, he doesn't need to tell us, literally! Naturally I unfollowed him.

Seriously though I won't read scary books or anything, I've always been this way, when Shelia was after Lauren on The Young and the Restless I didn't sleep until her inevitable demise! Pathetic I know. I don't know why I'm so convinced something terrible such as torture or murder is bound to happen to me but I am. Ugh.

Anyways I've been a terribly bad blogger lately let's be honest! Crap content, not making the effort to be around but I've been a little busy. We move Friday morning and as much as I am excited the whole thing really is bittersweet! Jason coming backs is the pits to say the least, and with not sleeping everything seems worse!! Plus as much as I'm obviously use to moving its a big fat pain in the ass!! Packing, cleaning, trying to fit everything because inevitably old stuff is gone and now the new stuff needs to somehow fit that of the now gone missing puzzle piece in each box. 

Tonight I made a big dinner because we will be eating out for the next little while, tonight we had decided to pack the kitchen stuff, or rather I decided. I've been packing odds and ends for days, clothes have been packed and so I feel like things are half done and I hate that! The more we got done tonight the more time we had to pack the truck tomorrow and then on the road Friday morning. My plan tomorrow is to clean and do laundry!

So tonight Jason comes home and we eat dinner, on the floor as we sold our couches last night. Jason really took to the new owners as the guy played hockey in Charlotte, NC for a couple years and likes hockey so much he named his son Boston! Jason was beaming about the name! At first he thought the guy was calling him Boston because of his accent but then he got the scoop and thought the whole thing was fantastic! Anyways as I'm waiting for Jason to make his plate thinking he was washing up I realized he's laying in bed on the laptop... Umm dinner? After dinner I did all the dishes and started packing them...Jason? Back in bed on the laptop. You know before he got home I was making dinner trying not to cry (because I'm a bawl ass) about how much I will miss him when he's gone but I have to admit I was quite irritated he wasn't helping pack. So I very nicely asked what the frig he was doing? He said he was working on his fantasy football team... PRIORITIES!!! I was calm, I asked him to please come help as he knew we were planning to pack tonight and he NEEDS certain things a certain way, I didn't want to be up all night. Two hours later he had not moved and I had officially slammed everything in the apartment at least twice. When he finally came to help I somehow "accidentally" forgot things and boxes had to be opened and retaped.. I felt "bad". 

We got a lot done, more to go tomorrow but we have definitely made progress. I am looking forward to it all being done and getting on the road on Friday! I'm off to not sleep as I told you I watched Criminal Minds and well I never sleep anymore. 

I'm going to miss Greys Anatomy tomorrow and football! We're going to miss football Sunday which BLOWS, no cable until Thursday morning next week.. 

Stay tuned for travel updates and pictures!! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Places I Would Much Rather Be....

Someday's things just come together and because those days really don't happen often I choose to take in every single minute of enjoyment! I felt overwhelmed this morning getting up with a huge list of things to do and knowing that most likely one of my tasks was going to be extremely frustrating. Mind you nothing has gone easy, mostly on account that we are in a different country and trying to plan things for our arrival and Jason's short time there with me.

So first thing I had to order trash and recycling carts... this was something that I didn't really give much thought to but then realized that we would have to put trash out and I had no idea when that would need to be done and more importantly I had absolutely nothing to put the trash in. I called the city of Raleigh and ordered them as our home is a new construction, I waited on the phone for about 15 minutes and the guy was a douche bag but I got it ordered and they will be delivered in 5 business days, so hopefully Monday!

Next I had to order our plates and bar stools from Target. Jason really wanted them to get there while he was still home as we are not going to have a table and he knows how I am not very handy so he was hoping to get them put together before he leaves. That would be nice.

As I mentioned we were struggling to get the table we really want and I was in contact with a woman over the weekend but the manufacturers are closed on the weekend so she said she would get back to me today. I didn't hear from her this morning when I was done with a bunch of other calls so I thought I would call her before getting to the huge list of other places that I had high hopes may be able to get it if she couldn't. I gave her a call and she said that she hadn't heard back but she would put me on hold and give them a call right then, perfect! She came back and told me that because they are a registered Liberty Furniture dealer they will get first dibs and as it looks they will be able to have it at our house for the last week of October.... SCORE!!! Honestly I was so excited, it was a lot cheaper then we had originally priced it which is always a bonus when you are furnishing a whole house! I feel so much better that is taken care of, I was extremely worried we wouldn't be able to get it until January if at all.. which would have put us back as square one and that would have been extremely frustrating.

I got all the laundry done so hopefully I will just have one quick load to do on Thursday night when Jason gets home so we can finish packing. Really we have a lot of packing done already. Yesterday we had people in and out looking at the couches and tonight when Jason gets home more people are due to come over. They were also showing the apartment today which is annoying but whatever.

Now on a SUPER GOOD NOTE!!! My Mom wrote me today and her and Fiona are coming to visit the week of the 13th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!! I have been so down about Jason coming back here and being alone. This job has been extremely lonely for me and I had looked so forward to us going home that I was disappointed to know I was going to be alone again! Now that is not so the case as they are going to be there for a full week and I couldn't be more excited!!! They are going to be there for my birthday, they get to see the house and I cant wait to show them around Raleigh! YAY!

So today has really turned out to be a great day, but it is absolutely FREEZING in our apartment today and super damp because its raining out which makes my body hurt and I heard Trunchbull tell the people she was showing the apartment to that they don't turn the heat on until October 2nd.. really? Its been in the 30s... THAT'S COLD!!! So with that and the fact that Jason and I have been talking about a vacation with all the points on his credit card it made me think of all the places I would rather be...

1. At home in Raleigh, curled up on the couch in front of the fire watching a movie!

2. Back in Hawaii, Maui was amazing and I would go back in a heart beat but Kaua'i is an island we have never been too and I have heard nothing but good things.

3. Key West, Jason just mentioned maybe flying into Miami and driving through there and down into Key West and exploring for a week.

4. Peru with Tanya today because she is getting a new tattoo and I want one REALLY REALLY BAD! (I just saw a picture of it and now I know I definitely need one!)

5. In New York City.. because really at any point in time that is where I would love to be, I miss NYC and our life there.

6. Anywhere that is warmer than here really.

See I am not hard to please, haha!

So we are definitely hoping to get rid of the couches tonight and then as far as I am concerned we can pack up that TV and clean out that whole room and be done with it. If not I am going to look into Goodwill coming or something and picking them up just to get rid of them!

Football this week was a total bust, I don't even know what the hell happened there. The Panthers wiped the floor with the Giants, 38 to zip.. who saw that coming??? The Raven's smoked the Texans... I suppose that was super shocking but what happened to last years Texans who were ON FIRE! The Browns beat Minnesota.. Come on? I don't understand! I was actually really confident in my picks this week and turns out I suck. End of Story.

Alright I am off to kill more flies (that was another fabulous aspect of my day, as Jason ripped the screen door off the other night and couldn't get it back on and then opened the door yesterday and filled this place with flies.. rrrgh!) and make dinner. We are basically using up what we have here which makes for somewhat crappy dinners but whatever.


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Sunday, September 22, 2013

No Sleep... No Blog!


I'm sorry I have been MIA lately but it has been a rough week around these parts and I really just didn't have it in me to get here and write something that was worth reading.

As I mentioned last week Jason has been extended here in Estevan which means I will be staying home by myself. Our whole trip home that we planned is officially cancelled as we now have to make the trip in half the time, needless to say I am beyond disappointed. I don't generally deal well with stress and on top of that my insomnia has been awful here to begin with therefore the end of last week had absolutely no sleep for 3 days, an unhealthy amount of tears and not much eating. Its funny what stress can do to your body if you let it, not to mention no sleep! I felt absolutely AWFUL and finally gave in and took a sleeping pill and got a good 12 hours sleep.. thankfully.

I started packing which was obviously necessary as we are leaving on Friday morning. Trunchbull is coming at 9:30am on Friday and then we are hitting the road. It REALLY sucks but we have to take our cable and internet stuff back to the provider on Thursday night because they wont open until 10:00am on Friday and we really want to get on the road as early as possible so I am going to miss the Grey's Anatomy season premier! I'm so upset! But you have to do what you have to do.

We have spent a ton of time this week trying to get things arranged, things that we hadn't really given much thought to thinking that we were going home to stay, both of us.... now we will arrive home late Sunday afternoon and Jason will have to be back on a plane Wednesday morning. We booked to have cable installed, trying to get other furniture delivered, and so on and so on!

We FINALLY found a dining room table that we both really love and of course it hasn't turned out that it is as easy as ordering it and hoping it will be delivered. I have called a ton of places that show having it around North Carolina and basically they are all saying that its not showing as available from the manufacturer which potentially means it hasn't shipped from China yet, which would mean we wont be getting it until January! FRIG! I have tried everywhere but at this point one person isn't going to get it any sooner then the other, having said this all this digging trying to find someone who has it has lead me to finding it cheaper then we had originally found.. bonus! I am waiting to hear back from a bunch of people, int he mean time here is the creature causing all the trouble...

Tomorrow we plan to order plates and bar stools, we figure if we might not have a table for a couple of months (I know right, crazy!) we should at least have bar stools until we go to Maine and get our set we usually travel with. Jason mentioned maybe using our travel table there until we get it which isn't a bad idea because its a nice set and dark wood, its smaller but its something which is the point. 

We picked some bar stools from Target, I actually really like them and it will give us something to sit on which is the important thing... I suppose if we find something we like a lot better later its not like we spent a fortune on these! Besides if Jason's theory is true that I get sick of everything after 6 months he wont mind so much if we find something else. This is what we have decided on for the next 6 months, maybe more! ;)

Believe it or not we have also chosen the furniture for the spare bedroom as well and although I'm not sure its really a priority in the short time he will be there but Jason would really like to get it. So we are thinking about making a trip up to Ikea to pick it up and maybe Jason will have a chance to put it together before he leaves, it not.. well I'm not going to attempt it, because I did that once and it was a big huge effing mess! I'm not handy with that stuff... I am going to paint a couple of rooms while he is away but I don't put stuff together. Its best for everyone that way. Anyways here is the spare bedroom furniture we've picked. 

I am really happy with the choice, we don't need anything super fancy for a spare bedroom, just something solid and comfortable. We generally like dark wood but we thought we would change it up in the spare bedroom which I really like. 

So that is really our scoop, we went out to dinner last night for the last time with Jason's co-workers as many of them will be gone for good when he gets back. Today Jason is working, hopefully just until 1:00pm and then someone is coming to look at our couches. Truthfully I hope they just take them and then we can pack up that TV and get that room cleaned out which will be one less thing to do on Thursday night. We have a TV in the bedroom and although its not ideal not to have couches for a few days I would rather sell them now than not at all. 

I plan to enjoy football Sunday, when Jason gets home I might run to the store and pick up a few last minute things we may need this week for dinners. Thursday night we will have everything packed and therefore we will just order something. I will keep you all up to date on packing this week and look forward to post about our QUICK trip home! 

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

When the Stars Align...

Or in this case the clouds. You know when you have one of those days where it seems like everything has so perfectly come together to ensure its just terrible? Well hello Thursday! No sleep for two days, crying, red swollen eyes, rain, cold.. need I go on? I feel awful complaining because I know that there are people out there that have a lot bigger things to complain about, so I'm not going to complain... I am going to bring as much positive as I can... visually!

As you know I love Pinterest, so with all the positive words on Pinterest that I could definitely use today, I thought I would share a few with you today.

Ok, I went overboard.. but can you really ever have too much positive in your life? 

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Plans Changed... Such is Our Life!

You know... no matter how many times it happens it never gets easier. You would think having traveled with Jason for so long and knowing exactly how things work I would have almost expected this, sadly I did. This morning we planned our stops for the trip home, how far we were going to drive each day and all the things we were planning for each day when we got home. It seemed overwhelming but so exciting as I have been counting down the days and really really miss home. Then this afternoon I got the dreaded email... Jason has to stay. Needless to say I cried. It should be final tomorrow so I suppose there is still hope but I knew there was no way Jason could leave at this point in the job we were just waiting for management to figure it out.

So instead of leaving on Monday the 30th we are going to leave here the morning of Friday the 27th and get home on Sunday. We will have a few days situated and Jason will have to be back on a plane Wednesday morning. I'm not going to lie I know it probably doesn't seem like a big deal to the rest of you but I am heart broken. I have been so looking forward to getting the fuck hell out of here and going home to really get started on the house and making it ours. Jason isn't going to be there to help, he is going to miss Canadian Thanksgiving and my birthday... it really sucks! What pisses me off more than anything though is they knew, its scary to think they really are THAT STUPID thinking they could manage when he left... and trust me although I think Jason is amazing at what he does I am not boasting, its simply that his job is not complete. I hate to the say the jobs for the Canadian division seem to be a circle jerk at best.

I'm really upset, all night Jason has been trying to convince me its not all bad and that we can still get a lot of things done and he will still be back for our Smokey Mountain getaway with the Seavey's but I have my doubts... as he was going on and on I sat there listening piping in with rants when I was sure I wouldn't sob. I know its not his fault, I know this is how the job goes but it doesn't make it suck any less.

Just the other day Tanya and I were having the same conversation as she is in the same position, waiting to know whether they are going or stay in Miraflores, Peru.. they are suppose to be heading back to the home office and she is really hoping for less then a weeks notice as you know.. we have real lives and all outside the company. She said she had a meltdown about the whole thing and although I tried to comfort her I could have recounted my numerous upsets and freak outs over the fact that WE HAVE A LIFE TOO! I digress.

I may have taken things a little better (but likely not) if I would have gotten any sleep last night. It was just really hot in the apartment last night and the thunder and lightening started around midnight and really didn't let up all night. You know how I feel about a good thunderstorm but when it prevents me from sleeping its not my favorite thing. Jason's alarm went off at 6:00am this morning and that was it.. I was up! I'm really not a morning person and I laid there forever trying to go back to sleep but it just wasn't happening. I read Bloglovin' and tried to go to sleep again.. nothing.. so I made coffee.

The whole work thing has been something we have thought a lot about lately. As you know when one job ends it is always our hope that another job will begin. We were hoping to have a little bit of time off after this job as we went straight from 14 months in Alaska to a month of traveling and then here. With the new house we wanted to get things in order and then we were prepared for where we would head next. I'm not sure we were really prepared for what we were going to find out was next... Tunisia, Africa.

If you're not sure where that is... take a look...

At first I really felt like it could be an amazing experience, but after a lot of research, talking to others Jason works with who are from there or have been there we decided that there is a lot of civil unrest in that part of the world and the safety there specifically is extremely questionable for me specifically and no amount of money is worth that. Jason prefers jobs in North America and I have no fear that something will come together. 

Anyways I had a productive morning, I will say when I have to get up at the crack of dawn I somehow manage to get shit done! I made my football picks for the week and entered everyone else's! I found a dining room table I think and now I need to get the chairs ordered to go with it and hopefully they can be delivered now that Jason wont be around and lets be honest I shouldn't be trust to to tie stuff in the back of the truck and drive across the city! So we will see how that goes.

I managed to do the new software upgrade to my phone.. I am really not sure how I feel about the new setup just yet, I feel like it is a whole new phone! I'm not going to lie it took me long enough to figure out the first one out! Steve assures me that they have worked out all the kinks and I will see that the more I use it.. I'm going to choose to believe him.

Our oven also broke this afternoon and therefore I roasted a chicken for over 2 hours (I was on the phone and forgot it was in the oven), I took it out and left it on the counter for Jason to pick apart tonight (I cant pick meat off a bone, it seems so barbaric) and it was still RAW in places!! WTF! I blame it on the oven, a chicken that size cooked at 350 degrees for over 2 hours should have been CHARRED! Oh well.

Anyways we went and picked up a few last things at the grocery store tonight, and a few things that I wanted to take home with us that we cant get in the States! We are hanging out watching Duck Dynasty and then I am headed to bed hoping to sleep soundly! I'll keel ya'll posted if something by chance changes tomorrow and Jason gets to stay home with me but its not looking good! We didn't get the tornadoes they were calling for here today but it is lightening something fierce out there right now!

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Well I didn't win both pools last night, the Bengals screwed me! Therefore this week, I shit talk like its my job!! Truthfully this early in the season I know its a total crap shoot and contrary to what Bubba and Jason think I don't check injury reports, stats or predictions I just pick! I know enough about the game and watch religiously that I feel like I don't need all the other stuff and so far it hasn't steered me wrong! If only you could have heard Bubba and Jason face timing tonight saying how I cheat because they suck... ya I said it.. I told ya.. let the shit talking begin!

Anyways I didn't make it around here today, I told you before that I wasn't going to force it if I didn't have anything to say because I feel like it really just takes away from to content so I didn't force it. The day actually got away from me which never happens around here. I had a bunch of stuff to get done today, and after dinner we didn't make it to the gym until 7:30pm which I hate.. I would much prefer to go in the morning or at the very least right after dinner but whatever... When we got there it was packed so we ended up not staying forever but got in a good work out. It was a beautiful summer night to walk home and enjoy before the rain hits tonight and to stick around all day tomorrow I hear!

The gym actually leads into why I stopped around these parts in the first place this late at night. I know I have complained about TV here before and all the crap reality TV that exists these days. I say "crap" but to each their own, I have one or two that I watch just like everyone else, but as the days go on they just seem to get worse and worse.

Have I ever talked about my love of fat shows? If not, I'm addicted! I absolutely love fat shows, I use to have one favorite in particular and for the life of me I cannot remember the name of it but it was all kids losing weight the summer before college! They were given this amazing opportunity to work with a personal trainer who pushed them like no one else and regimented their diet! I think having my own personal weight struggles and working hard at it I really admired the strength I knew it took for these people to accomplish their goals as they were larger then I have ever been and had to work ten times harder.

I would anxiously await the show every week, curl up where ever there was a free TV and get completely sucked in beyond my control. At the end of the show when they revealed their new weight I would cry with pride, and if they screwed up the whole thing and wasted the opportunity I despised their attitude and wished I never watched. Haha talk about getting too involved! I just LOVE shows where people have the opportunity to change their lives, be who they have always wanted to be, for so many reasons.

I am a huge believer in personal growth at all ages, I think having the desire to better yourself is amazing.. you are ever changing as you grow older, have new goals and advance to different places in your life. The gift of encouragement or other supportive means you need to achieve your goals is incredible! So this new show irritates me greatly...

I never got into the biggest loser, I don't know why I just never watched. I think maybe I prefer to the more personal stories, one on one kind of thing and the show was just so commercialized and more about the teams from what I could tell then one person and their goals and aspirations for losing the weight and the person they wanted to be after. In the personal stories you really get to know these peoples struggles, how they got where they are and what brought about the need for change.

The new show is called "My Big Fat Revenge" and basically what it is, is one person loses all kinds of weight sets up someone who made them feel like shit while they were fat and embarrasses them the same way they were embarrassed by this person in the past. I cant help but be annoyed by this, does this really make you feel better? Is this why you worked your ass off to lose the weight, to throw it in someone else face? I feel like its really taking away from their journey, this amazing thing that they have accomplished.

Don't lose weight because you want to fit into societies view of beauty, lose weight because you want to feel good and be healthy. Eat right and exercise regularly because you want to live a long and healthy life with your friends and family. Healthy and fit is a lifestyle its not just one choice everyday, its THE decision that affects your choices everyday.

I catch a lot of shit for the emphasis I place on my weight and truthfully I don't care what my BMI says and although I know better I do care too much what the number on the scale says.. so we don't own a scale and I don't get one the one at the gym. When I waver from my healthy eating, water drinking, regular exercise routine I don't like the way my body feels, I don't like the way my clothes fit, I don't like it and it effects my day from the start. It takes me forever to get dressed, I end up settling with the best of the worst and I walk around self conscious all day wishing I hadn't had that one extra beer (OK, its rare I regret a beer.. but the brownie.. I regret the brownie!)

As I've said before you can absolutely treat yourself and you should!! Like everything else in life its all about moderation. But want to be healthy, want to fit, want to be comfortable in your own skin, for no one else but for you. Maybe you don't think I need to lose weight but I need to be comfortable in my own skin, just like anyone else. So for all you people who work your ass off the shed the pounds to get you to a healthy weight, do it for you, do it because you deserve to be the best you that you can be.. not to shame someone who obviously wasn't a good enough person when you were larger, and certainly doesn't deserve a relationship with you now that you aren't. Don't diminish your journey, don't demean your hard work by making it seem as though it was all to throw it in someone else face... you are so much better than that!

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Week Two... In it to Win it!

As week two of regular season NFL is winding down I will tell you one thing, I am in it to win it! I am writing now to take my attention of the Monday night game as my nerves are getting the better of me! I need the Bengals to win for me to take the win in both pools I play in! There's been no smack talk, from me anyway which is the way I like it when I'm in the running!

Pittsburgh just scored a touch down...

This week has been productive, we are starting to tie up loose ends here although truthfully the time doesn't feel like its winding down (yes I am going to complain until we leave). We managed to decide on a coffee table and end table and actually get it ordered. I swear it was seeming like we were never going to pick something let alone get it ordered so we will actually have furniture in the house while we are there. We went with the same furniture company we ordered our bedroom set from, actually its a table I have shared with ya'll before! Check it out.

We are super happy with this decision! Now this decision was a little tougher to make as Jason is insisting on white plates as he claims he needs contrast with his ketchup? WE. ARE. NOT. GETTING. WHITE. PLATES!!!!! So he finally said he didn't care and I picked these.. WOOHOO!! I love when he gives in, which rarely happens so I'm taking full advantage! This is what I picked... it goes with out color scheme in the kitchen, its square and I love it. 

So we have that settled and my parents are so wonderful and buying us the Rachel Ray pots and pan set as a house warming gift.. WOOHOO! So I plan to order all of this stuff probably the day before we leave or the morning we are leaving because I don't want something to come before we get home. 

I went down today and talked to Trunchbull about getting our carpets cleaned, I looked in our contract and it says we have to pay $170.00 to have our carpets cleaned which I think is bullshit because only two small rooms are carpeted and our whole apartment in Alaska was carpeted and we paid $70.00. So I went down to ask her if we needed to have a professional do the carpets and provide a receipt or could we just rent a machine and do it ourselves. She said neither were an option, they do it and charge $170.00.. period. The more I thought about it I remember when we first got here and I hated this place and refused to live here and part of that was the carpets in the bedrooms were awful, she they had them cleaned... funny how shes charging people to clean their carpets and yet I have to pitch a fit before she cleaned these ones.. when it sat empty for 2 months while the company was paying for it and no one was living here. 

Jason and I have been discussing our trip home we know that we are planning to cross into North Dakota and then into Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and FINALLY North Carolina! We will leave here on Monday morning and don't plan to be back in North Carolina until Thursday afternoon! We have no real reason to rush and we love Kentucky and Tennessee so we are going to see if there is anything we want to do on our way! Jason wants to swing through some place in Tennessee and get some LEGAL moonshine, but we'll see where we end up! When we made the trip from North Carolina to Seattle we went from Raleigh to Knoxville the first night and stayed there which was great. We would like to make the drive through the mountains during the day as well so we can enjoy it! 

Tonight is our night off from the gym so Jason got home and then we headed to Walmart to just wander around! We made a quick stop for froyo on our way... they switched up their flavors and we both indulged in New York cheesecake... oh how I miss New York!! Walmart is torn apart as they are making it a Super Center so our outing didn't last long! 

I'm off to watch the game and snuggle with my honey as he has it on meat locker in here! I swear fall weather rolling around here has not been a good thing, Jason has had this apartment so super cold! However I slept marvelously last night. I don't think I have mentioned it but the last week or so my right hip has been killing me! When we lived in Saskatoon years ago I dislocated it running and suffered from pretty bad bursitis. Since then I have bouts off and on when its really painful and the last week or so its been AWFUL, seemingly worse as night so I took a painkiller they gave me for my shoulder and it completely knocks me out! I went to bed last night and was OUT! I woke up in severe pain but nothing seems as bad with a good nights sleep under your belt! 

I've got a to-do list tomorrow and blogging is definitely on it. 


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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Get Involved... Make a Difference!

Happy Football Sunday!!! 

I am super excited for today's post, because it is my very first guest post and the cause is extremely important! I really hope you all take a minute to sit, read and really absorb the magnitude of this cause! I greatly appreciate your time here as always and I will be back tomorrow! I am off to watch football and not drink beer... ya I said it. Anyways I am pleased to introduce Stephen who has the immense courage and strength to share his very personal story in hopes of finding a cure of this terrible disease with which he suffers. 

What you didn't want to know about PSC,( Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.), but learned anyway. 

As if you didn't have enough already in your life to worry about, here I come along wanting to tell you about a rare, incurable disease that affects me and a very tiny percentage of the population. Why bother ? Two reasons. First, you may know someone who has Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's disease . These two diseases are more common . You might ask, well so what ? Well, hold on for a moment and I will tell you why this is important. This blog is about an area of the body that has some uncomfortable side affects, so if you are currently eating a nice bowl of chili or something tasty, you might want to put it aside to eat later. 

Second reason, if you find yourself interested in this devastating disease , you can CONTRIBUTE to some fundraising. Hah, I can hear you now, "I knew it, this bastard is looking for money". Ugh, ya I am but I want more people to know about this disease and the fact is, drug companies develop drugs based on perceived demand. So today we have  an ample supply of drugs for erectile dysfunction and next to nothing for PSC. According to drug companies, man's need for a good, hard and lengthy erection is more important than saving a few lives every year. Welcome to 2013. 

PSC affects a very small percentage of the population, so small in fact that I bet you have never heard of this disease. PSC is an auto immune disease, which means the body attacks itself. Nobody knows why. What they do know is, if you have or had Ulcerative Colitis, you have a greater chance of developing PSC in your life. The odds are still low but greater than the average person with no history of bowel issues. PSC attacks the liver and the bile ducts, corroding both and wreaking havoc. Currently there is no cure. The most common form of treatment for serious cases is a liver transplant. Regretfully , this is not a cure but it can provide the patient with renewed energy. After the transplant, PSC is not gone. It still lives in the body and can and will attack the new liver. 

Here are a few pictures to give you a visual of the area of the body that I am discussing and how it is affected. 

I personally know a few PSC patients that have had 3 liver transplants. They don't usually do a fourth. It sounds simple, a liver transplant, just lift the lid and pop one in. Well, going through this is horrific, dangerous and very painful. If you haven't signed up for your organs to go to someone if something should happen to you, I encourage you to do so.

If you currently have Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's disease, I would encourage you to talk to your G.I. specialist about your risks of PSC. It sometimes happens that you have the disease and don't even know it as it lays dormant for years, causing problems that you might chalk up to something like the flu, food poisoning or just some weird bug. You never know.

So here is a basic review of my medical story. I will try to keep it short.

When I was 15, I started to get sick. I had pain in my gut, bad diarrhea, bloody diarrhea some days  rapid weight loss and fatigue. My GP at the time thought I had the flu, so this was the diagnosis we went with. Off I went to summer church camp where I spent the summer working various jobs. I kept getting sicker. I got so bad that if I drank a glass of water, I would head straight to the washroom , sit down and it would come out the other end. All in 60 seconds. I kept on working, not telling anyone but I got so weak I couldn't perform my job. I recall the camp manager getting pissed off at me as he thought I was just lazy. By mid summer I had to go home. My parents were not alive so I lived with my brother and I went back to my GP. He then suspected I had Ulcerative Colitis and booked an appointment with a UC Guru connected with Dalhousie University. He examined me and yes I had the same disease my Father had. By this time I knew it anyway from watching my Father deal with it for decades. So I went on steroids to bring the inflammation in check, (a horrible but necessary treatment sometimes) plus 2 other pills that I took daily. I was sometimes OK  other times, I would have flare ups. I had some lovely tests,  hoses and cameras up my rear end along with other assorted delights. I was 16, in my prime and going to get these tests was humiliating . I had this one test every 6 months where they laid you on a table, on your side, inserted a hose in your anus, shot dye up your colon then they filmed it, all the while trying to hold the liquid in. When I was done, they told me to get off the table and run to the bathroom and let it out. I made it to the little bathroom. As I was vacating the liquid dye, a nurse walks in, looks at me and says, " oh Stephen you forgot your gown" . Could she not have hung on it on the door and knocked without walking right in on me ? This kind of humiliation only got worse over the years. So I lived like this for the next 15 years, 20-30 pills a day, constant monitoring, colonoscopies every 6 months, then every 3 months, then every month or so. During this period, going through high school, I had more than a few bowel incidents, essentially being caught too far away from a washroom and loading my pants. I cringe whenever I look back on those days.

After 15 years or so your odds of getting colon cancer increase, specially since my Father died of it when I was 15. I started to show signs of pre-cancer, then early cancer, so I ended up having a full Colectomy, where they remove the colon, a piece of the small bowel, the rectum, the entire plumbing system ripped out and started wearing an ileostomy bag at age 30. I had 3 major surgeries in 11 months during my 30th year, so there was no celebration on my birthday, that I recall .

Having to wear an ileostmy bag is a huge shock. I recall watching the movie, Dances with Wolves and my wife at the time looks at me and says, " hey hon, your Indian name could be , "He who shits in a bag". In those days we didn't use the current term Native Canadian or whatever we are supposed to say now. During those times, nobody ever ,ever mentioned PSC. It existed but I doubt the Doctors knew anything about it. Just as well, I would have obsessed on it and drove myself crazy.

When I was 50 or so, I started to get sick, specially when I traveled for business. I would get belly pain, I would vomit, fatigue but it would only last a day then I would be fine. I always chalked it up to the flu, bad food, whatever but I never told my Doctor. This went on for years and the episodes got worse. Finally in May of 2012 I was travelling on business in Western Canada and I had the worst episode yet. This time I got severely jaundiced, I mean I was yellow, my pea turned dark, my stools turned grey and I could barely move. This was a full blown Cholangitis attack. As it turned out, my common Liver bile duct was blocked and so bile started leaking out into my skin and the body tried to compensate by excreting bile through the bladder and intestine. I was admitted to the hospital, diagnosed with PSC and had an ERCP, where they put a camera down your throat, into my abdomen and the Doctor can actually enter the bile duct, place a stint and open the blocked duct. The procedure set off a bout of Pancreatitis, a horrible thing to go through but ERCP's can sometimes can cause this too happen . I spent 17 days in the hospital, went home after that and rested up for a week and then I returned to work. In July I had to go for another ERCP, which as it turned out was a bit of a nightmare experience. The patient is always sedated, not totally knocked out but enough that you don't know what's going on. This time for some unknown reason, the sedative didn't work and I lay awake through the entire procedure. Yikes.

So after this second ERCP, the results are sent to a lab to get tested for cancer. The Doctor takes scrapings from the bile ducts. It's routine. A few weeks later I received a call from my G.I. telling me on the phone they found a tumor in my bile duct and it was positive for cancer. Talk about shock ! So after multiple visits, tests, discussions I was scheduled for "Whipple surgery", which is the most complex surgery one can get in the abdomen area. The surgeon opens you up, I mean he cuts you open from side to the other and exposes the gut, then he removes the cancerous bile duct, piece of the liver, stomach, intestine, pancreas, then reconnects you back up where your body literally has to start over and relearn to function normally. I had the surgery in the fall of 2012 and here it is the fall of 2013 and I am still messed up inside. Thank you PSC!

Today I am exhausted most days, am in constant pain, (partly due to adhesion's from multiple surgeries in the same area but that's another story). I can't work. I can't travel. I am afraid to leave the house for more than a few hours. My sweet wife has endured a lot, as a matter of fact at the age of 49, this past February she had a serious heart attack and then a small stroke a month later. It's been one hell of a year!

If you want to go on line and read more about PSC, then I would suggest looking at the Mayo Clinic. Check out this link.

I trust this site for the most accurate information on PSC. The scary part of this disease is cancer, specifically bile duct cancer. It's very hard to detect and if not found early, it's usually a death sentence. I was a very lucky person, mine was found early but I live in fear that it will return.

If you would like to contribute a few dollars, I am currently raising funds for a PSC research group that I belong too. Anything will help. Research dollars are desperately needed. Just click on this link. 

Once you open the site, look to the top left side and click on the link: find a team/ participant. Then type in my name in the little window, Stephen Cox, then search, then click on my name and then you can click on make a donation and go from there. I will get a copy. You cab do it anonymously if you like. No need to give your name. Any and all help will be deeply appreciated.

If I can answer any questions, let Nicole know and we can get in touch.

Thanks so much for taking a few minutes of your day to read about a somewhat depressing subject.

Blessings !


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Friday, September 13, 2013

And then I cried...

You know I could probably title a million blogs with this same title, because as you know I am a self proclaimed bawl ass! In the last few years I have said over and over again if I could change one thing about myself it would be my extreme worry, something that I truly feel I have absolutely no control over what so ever. I worry about everything, big or small which I'm sure I've said before.. I make little things big, I make things unknown even bigger, I take circumstances that are so far fetched and make them my reality and I truthfully can't tell you why.

I remember being little and going to bed at night and not following asleep for hours because I would worry about the events of the day, worry about tomorrow, wonder if I did something on my homework right or wrong and god forbid I didn't do part of my homework because I had questions.. I wouldn't sleep all night. I wish I could explain it, I don't know why I do it but as I get older I find it getting worse. When we travel I check my zippered pocket inside my purse a million times for our passports. I put them there, zip up the pocket and never put my purse down, where are they going to go? I fear losing my boarding pass, the airline losing our luggage, basically you name it I worry about it. Although I will be honest I don't really ever fear the plane crashing.

Last night Jason got home from work and we went to dinner with some people that he works with, its nice to get out and they are all very nice people but there is a part of me that feels a little twinge of... nostalgia I suppose for our friends, the people we always travel with, the normalcy, camaraderie.. you know. We go out now and truthfully no one here cares about American football (weird), they only talk about work and although I know what they do, Jason hates this job so much that its not like usual where he comes home and tells me whose up to what and where they are in the project, so I kind of sit back and take it all in. Then as soon as dinner is over everyone leaves, its weird, its different, I miss our norm.

As I mentioned I am starting to feel restless here and just in general, needing a change. I'm not going to lie I am longing to go home and as I continue to count down the days they inevitably seem longer. I am trying to wrap my head around the next two weeks and get excited about the road trip home. Jason and I have talked about going up and around through Kentucky and  Tennessee which I am very excited about, I really love our road trips and all that we see. I feel like if I should be worrying about anything it should be packing (I never worry about packing, I'm a pro at this point), our move out inspection with Trunchbull who is inevitably going to try and take as much money as she can from us, but truthfully at this point I really don't care she can take it as long as it means we are getting the hell out of here). I do find myself worrying about the house and wondering if everything is OK there and what we are going to go home to, yet somehow I can push it out of my mind thinking that it is what it is and I'm sure it is fine and we will find out when we get there. Funny how that is, something so big and yet I can brush it off, why can't I do that with everything?

But instead of worrying about the near future I am worried about where the next job will be (This always happens at the end of a job, I always worry if we don't know and sometimes when we do. I have an idea about the next job which I am thinking of sharing in the near future). I worry about going to Maine during our time off as it is not my favorite place to visit and I can't say I ever really feel comfortable there. I worry about leaving the house again (funny how we aren't there now and I can push that aside), I worry about not having a job to go to after this and what that would mean for us financially. I worry.

So tonight when we went out I had my phone charging on the counter and I completely forgot it, it rarely happens but Jason and I were talking about the Patriots game as we were going out the door and I just didn't grab it. Not really a big deal as I have to turn my data package off in Canada so its useless to me anyways, but when I came home there was an email from Unemployment asking for me to call into the office. I don't know why I got so upset, the email said they had a question about my travel. I have always been 100% honest about our travel as I think honesty is always the best policy, how bad can it be if I was honest but yet my night was ruined then and there. I went to bed, I laid there and tried to read, pin, watch TV and I just couldn't do it. I tried to talk to Jason about it (who is the worst person in the world to go to if you are looking for comfort) and I cried more! I finally just got out of bed and sat on the couch.

Why do I do that? I use to do the same thing about my green card. As much of a hassle it was dealing with immigration in the end I cant say that we ever really had any problems. It was a long process and of course totally worth it but every time a letter would come in the mail from homeland security, even if our lawyer told us what it was and to expect it I would cry the whole way from the mailbox back to the apartment, barely get it open because I was shaking so bad and it was nothing bad at all. All for nothing.

I can honestly say that a lot of my worry generally turns out to be for nothing, I will cry and stress and worry and lose countless nights sleep and in the end it was all fine... so why? I honestly don't know how to fix it, I wish I did. I try and tell myself things will work themselves out how they will and most often it is completely out of my control, which is true but it doesn't change how I feel at the time. I attribute my insomnia to my worry 110%! When I lay awake at night (most nights) it is often for a reason, I may not feel like I am necessarily worried about something but I am always thinking about something.

At this point you probably think I am totally loonie... don't worry, so do I. I really have tried to work on it, reading before bed so I'm tired enough to fall asleep and I go to sleep thinking about the book instead of whatever else.. it works sometimes but generally no. Tea, yoga, exercise in general, talking about it, not talking about it.. nothing works. Any words of wisdom? Suggestions?

Truthfully I feel bad about my worry too, because I know I have so much to be thankful for and I could have some real things to worry about, health issues, real money problems, etc and I don't.

I really just needed to vent here today.. get it out there, hoping it would make me feel better. I'm not going to lie though as much as I love using my blog as a sounding board sometimes it didn't help.

Tomorrow is a new day though right? and one day closer to getting out of here. Plus side, right?

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Young & The Occasionally Restless...

Do you ever feel restless, in need of a change and looking to get it where ever you can? I get like this sometimes, and it is generally closer to the end of a job or when we've been on a job for awhile and I'm bored and ready for whatever may come next. As you know we are soon to depart the wild west and I think that is part of my need for a change, mostly because it just isn't happening quick enough.

This morning I was so rudely awakened just after 7:00am by the lovely neighbor who was out there with his saw, hammer and whatever other power tools make loud obnoxious noises. I tell ya, this guy kills me... he has been doing this all summer! He built a HUGE shop for his backyard, then he built a huge fence around the perimeter of his property and now I suppose he is working on a underground shelter in case of the zombie apocalypse because he doesn't have anymore room in his yard. Who starts power tools before 9:00am? Aren't there laws against that or something??? I got up and closed the window, even though I was greatly enjoying the crisp air in here this morning (it was 45 degrees - straight fall weather!).

I was just getting back to sleep when around 7:30am when the cleaning girl started the vacuum again.. WHY!?!?! They don't care about the actual units why do they care about the hallways?!?! STOP THE MADNESS! I just got up. Clearly I was not meant to sleep in today! I made a coffee, which truth be told is the absolute highlight of any morning of mine. I go to bed looking forward to my morning coffee, and this is how I drink it!

One teaspoon of Nescafe French Vanilla instant coffee. 

On package of Sugar in the Raw

A few table spoons of Silk Vanilla Pure Almond Milk.

SO GOOD! If you do not generally use raw sugar, its like making a switch to anything different it definitely takes some getting use to. I use to use Splenda and after reading so many bad reviews about artificial sweeteners I made the change and couldn't be happier. How do you drink your coffee?

Anyways after making my coffee this morning I grabbed the laptop to start reading Bloglovin' and I came across a new post from one of my favorite blogs.. have you all heard of Kate from The Small Things Blog? Her blog is fabulous, she has her own Youtube Channel full of hair and makeup tutorials that make the beauty possibilities seem endless! I started watching and it got me thinking... maybe I should cut my hair (no.), maybe I should dye my hair, maybe I should let my tan go (happening as we speak) and embrace my pale complexion, maybe I should try some new products, lighter eye shadow, different liners, brighter lips! As you can see there are a lot of maybe's floating around. 

I'm not going to lie these are all just minor changes that are more possible at the moment as Jason is pitching a fit about me getting a new tattoo.. ya I said it, TATTOO! I have tattoos that I absolutely love, I know a lot of people who get tattoos young often regret them the older they get and truthfully that doesn't apply to me at all. Jason however regrets his tattoos and therefore is convinced everyone eventually will. I'm not going to lie I am not a huge fan of one of Jason's tattoos, but I don't by any means hate it.. now the one of the back of his left calf I absolutely LOVE! People always compliment him on it, the colors and everything and truthfully I don't think he hates that one as much. 

I have always loved tattoo's, I art.. a form of self expression! You can really tell a lot about someone by their tattoos because lets be honest no one gets a tattoo that doesn't have some meaning to them in some way (unless you were young, stupid and drunk I suppose- but I assume that is a rare few). People take time and do research to pick an artist, at which time picking one I would say is a huge compliment because tattoos really are life long commitments. I really wanted to get on while we were in Hawaii with the traditional Polynesian tattoo tools. I think it would be an amazing experience and if you have never seen the Hawaiian tribal tattoos they are absolutely AMAZING! 

Yes it would probably, most definitely hurt more than the more modern tools used in today's tattoos, but so what! ADVENTURE!

If you follow me on Pinterest you know that I have quite an extensive board dedicated to INK. I would absolutely TASTEFULLY cover myself if Jason didn't have such a HUGE problem with it. I can understand where he is coming from, and I definitely do respect his opinion which is why I'm not making appointments for when we get home, but I cant help but long for a new tattoo. Truthfully I probably scared him when I said that I was thinking about a half sleeve, haha! But I really am!!! I see so many women with beautiful tattoos, half sleeves and full body pieces and I think they are amazing! I would be super happy if Jason would cover himself too, that's how much I love tattoos.. but it will never happen. 

So while I work on Jason check out my Tattoo love on Pinterest and tell me your thoughts on tattoos! Do you have them? If so what are they! Do you want them? If so what are you thinking about getting and where?! Maybe for now I will just live vicarious! 

I'm off to get my ass in gear, I have a few things to do and Jason and I are going out for dinner tonight with some people from work. Naturally we are going somewhere that is playing the Patriots game, but just in case I am taping it at home as well! I'm not going to lie, in making my picks this week I had a really hard time picking the Patriots (shhh... I know, I know!). It's just that they were already starting off with a mostly rookie team, they didn't do stellar in the preseason and last weeks game was by no means a steel! I will credit their win to Brady, Amendola and Vreen.. two of which are not playing this week do to injuries! Hell Vreen who was amazing last week isn't looking to be back in the game until week 11 do to surgery on his wrist, that he broke a bone in at the beginning of last weeks game and yet he finished the game! So I picked them out of respect for my husband but its a crap shoot this week! 

I hope everyone is having a great week, football is on tonight so that has to brighten your day! Plus we are that much closer to Sunday.. Hello upside! 

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