I'd give an update on the house while I still can...
Last time we
were waiting for the roof to be shingled. That is now done.
In addition the concrete was poured in the basement and our
two furnaces installed. The ductwork and electrical is
all complete as well. Last weekend when we swung by they had
finished wrapping the exterior of the house and had started
insulating the exterior walls and putting up the vapour
It looks like
the ensuite shower is finally fixed. What
they had done was to install the body sprays, controls, and
shower head facing towards the door. So all that water would
be shooting directly at the door. Beyond the stupidity
of installing it that way we were told 'well that's what you
signed off on'. Sorry, no. What we had signed off on was the general
layout of the hardware relative to each other and their
height from the floor. No one at the plumbing store thought
to mention that it'd be on the back wall. Chris and I just
assumed it'd be off to the side - like every other shower
I've ever seen.
So when I
informed the builder of the mixup they said to talk to the
shower people. When I talked to the shower people they said
to talk to the builder. At which point I got extremely
bitchy and told them I didn't care who, how, or when but we
weren't moving into the house with the shower like that. The
next day we met the supervisor for the shower company and he
agreed it was ridiculous and promised to fix it. The one
benefit of all this is that the controls will now be in a better
location as we won't have to reach across to turn the water
on (something we didn't think about originally).
We asked if a couple of the interior walls could have
insulation added and even said we'd pay for the material and labour. But were told no because it wasn't on our Schedule B
- which is a list of all the stuff we had agreed to. I argued back that
the trades will be there anyway as we had paid to have
insulation put in the main floor ceiling. It would take them
an extra half hour to do a couple extra walls - and besides,
maybe it'd be a nice way to make up for the fact that
instead of moving in our new home in November which was what
they originally said that we're (the latest guess anyway)
moving in March/April. But they won't budge.
And to make
it even more frustrating they told us that it's now standard
practice for the sales people to ask home buyers if they'd
like to have insulation added into the walls.
Today when I
popped in they had completely finished drywalling upstairs
and were almost done drywalling the main floor ceiling. I
didn't spend a lot of time looking around as the trades were
there working and I didn't want to get in their way. As soon
as I got
home I kicked myself because I forgot to check if they
had put insulation in the ceiling. I rushed back because I
wanted to verify before everything was covered over with
drywall. Sure enough, they had finished almost the entire
main floor and hadn't put in the insulation which we paid almost
$5000 for. I informed the people at the showhome and they assured
me it'll be fixed, but I honestly
wonder if I hadn't checked if anyone ever would have
But despite all
the issues, it's exciting watching the progress being made.
It's really starting to look like a home now.
Only a few
hours until the end of everything.
Chris and I
are going to have a few wobblies tonight. I'm going to
down some expensive Scotch and we're going to ring in
the apocalypse by watching
Melancholia. I'm fairly confident there'll still be
a world tomorrow. Although after what I've gone through
the past two weeks I would almost welcome the end.
But in the event the Mayan's were right, it's been an honour knowing each and every
one of you.
has been an absolutely brutal week.
Easily the worst
week since my Dad died - which ironically enough was a year
ago this past Tuesday. Chris and I had planned to go up to
Edmonton and spend the day with my mother, go and visit his
grave and so on. But minutes before I was supposed to leave
for home so we could go to the airport, I had to tell Chris
I wasn't going to be able to go.
before I had done some changes at work and it appeared
everything was ok. But it wasn't until Monday that problems
started showing up. The company was without email for the
entire day as a result. So instead of spending time with my
mom on what was surely the worst day of the year for her I
was working. While she said she understood, words can't
express how upset I was at the situation.
That said, in a
way it was good as it kept me busy and my mind distracted.
For the previous week I had forced myself not to think about
the coming anniversary but by the beginning of the week I
couldn't push my feelings away anymore and I wasn't doing
good. And although I got things resolved another problem
popped up soon after that was related and it took all night to
was our staff Christmas party and that was the absolute last
thing I wanted to go to. Instead I went home and went to bed
And then on
Friday there was another crisis I had to deal with. It was
like, fuck, enough already. During the absolute worst of it
there was a guy out in the hallway sanding some drywall for
a new storage room that had been built. All I could think of
was how jealous I was of him having such a simple, carefree
job. How he never had to worry about how his actions could
potentially ruin the company he worked for. Not having to
deal with that ever present stress. Being able to leave work
behind when he went home for the day.
I lay in bed with Chris and we had a good cry. I told her
that the thing I missed the most about my Dad was simply
being able to talk to him. It all seems so unfair. They say
that time heals all wounds. That's partially true. In some
way things are easier, but in other ways things are even
I love you
month has gone by.
I can't believe
soon it will be the end of the year. Assuming we get past
the end of the world of course. Hopefully we do because then
Not much is
new, I've been really busy with work. Chris ditched me this
weekend to go up to Edmonton. My best bud is having a
traditional Chinese celebration for his newest arrival but
unfortunately I had to work. I feel bad not being there but
I know between Chris and my Mom that I was well represented.
Chris and I
were just talking a few nights ago that we want to make more
of an effort to spend time with friends and family next
year. Not only because it's a good thing to do, but also
with moving into our new house we likely won't have a lot of
money and doing smaller more local getaways will be the
order of the day. That said we are doing one big trip next
year as we've booked a cruise to Bermuda. Why Bermuda? Why
not. Actually years ago I was runner up for a tech job that
was located there. It was one of those 'what if' moments
that you look back upon. So I've always wanted to go there.
We'll also get to spend a few days in NYC which will be
As for our
money pit, things are moving along. But the past few weeks
have also been frustrating. Essentially we have friends and
family who have already built telling us 'well we just did
this' or 'you should do this' on one side, and on the other
side is the new site supervisor who by his own admission is
'an asshole' telling us that no, we can't in fact do that
and threatening to have us banned from our house until
possession date. After a few run-ins with him, he talked
with us for quite awhile and we found out what the rules
were. While I understand where he's coming from and while
buried amongst all our paperwork is a sheet we signed off on
agreeing to those rules I'm pissed off that they were never
explained to us from the beginning. When we signed that
sheet all the salesperson said to us was that it was a
waiver that if we got hurt on the job site it was our own
fault which I thought was fair enough.
In any event,
when I was in the office a couple days ago I was told it
wasn't going to be a problem anymore and someone, somewhere
had told him to back off. But I'm now worried that I have an
adversarial relationship with the one guy who's responsible
for the quality of our build.
For the first
time in a long time I got to spend a decent amount of time
checking out our place. I lost track of time and ending up
spending over two hours there. Framing is basically done,
windows are in, roof should be shingled in the next few
days, in-floor heating installed and basement floor poured,
plumbing and duct runs are going in, and our furnace should
be installed next week. Oh and we finally have the
electrical lines run and the panel installed! We are
scheduled to do our official walk through at the end of the
Last night was
the final Halloween Party in our current house. It was a lot
of fun and while I didn't overdo it, a late night and lack
of sleep definitely took it's toll on me today. We've had
several Halloween parties in our house over the years and
both Chris and I put a lot of time and effort into
decorating. So it sucked when we had six people cancel on
us. But Michael's friend Roger came over and he made up for
It was cool
in that for the first time ever a bunch of us hung out
downstairs playing arcade games and beer pong. It's ironic
that our last party here was the first time we made use of
think I was going to be able to enjoy myself as earlier in
the day I had spent close to three hours digging out all the
snow that had accumulated on the main floor of our new
house. I knew that it was supposed to be nice this week and
was worried about all the water that'd be everywhere - in
some places the snow was a foot deep. I honestly can't
remember the last time I worked so hard. Needless to say my
back was wrecked. But a few Robaxcet's later and I was
our house, they've finally started framing! A well placed
phone call from a certain father-in-law to the owner of
Calbridge and suddenly our place was a beehive of activity.
As you can
see from the pictures things are progressing nicely -
although we still don't have any electrical. It's
been very cool watching everything being built. We've been
going every couple days to check on things and take
pictures. I'm really hoping they can get the roof up this
week before we get the next big dump of snow. I think I'll
be able to relax somewhat when that part is done.
my snow shoveling I haven't exercised for a week and I
feel like crap. Between the lousy weather and being
extremely busy and stressed out at work I haven't had
the motivation. But I need to get back at it as I know
it'll help me deal with the year end bla's. It was
pretty sad that I went and tried on a costume I had from
a couple years ago and it no longer fit. Sigh.
for now. Time to watch a scary movie methinks...
was hoping I had positive news about our house, but it's not
After having been backfilled, our house sat there for two
months without any work having been done on it. When we saw
three different houses being framed that had been started
after ours we lost it and went in to bitch at the builder.
I said that
it was bullshit that all these other houses were being
worked on while ours sat idle and we were also promised a
meeting with the new site supervisor which months later
hadn't happened - only to be told that wasn't supposed to
happen until the framing was done. For one, that's not what
we were originally told, and two, I needed to discuss some
things that needed to be figured out before the framing was
done. So they arranged for us to meet him the next day.
A long story
short, the previous supervisor had verbally assured us a
number of concerns would be addressed and now we were told
because it wasn't documented that they couldn't do anything
about it. I told them it wasn't our responsibility to do
their job for them! In the end the new guy relented and said
he'd see what he could do. We were also told the reason for
the delay is that they were waiting on the city to finish
installing the electrical line to our house. Months after
having signed off on everything we were told we were above
our electrical capacity and they needed to install a 200 Amp
line which was a big deal and we had to pay additional
thousands to do so. Of course we couldn't change things
because we had already signed off on them. Nice that they
figured this out after it was to late. Nice that they
bothered communicating to us the reason for the delay. Good
thing we hadn't sold our house because our estimated date of
possession had now moved from November to February!
enough, the day after we yelled at the people in the office,
we showed up to find people had starting framing. We had
been told that they had fired a bunch of framers for doing
substandard work (presumably the people that did Michael and
Lisa's house as well as our neighbor's) and they had hired new crews. Ok, well assuming they weren't feeding us
a line of BS, it was at least reassuring that we were getting
But not so
fast! Because after that first day of framing our house once
again sat untouched for over two weeks - meanwhile all the
other houses that were started after ours were basically
done and new ones had been started. So last night we get an
email from the builder saying the people who started on our
house did a horrible job and were let go. So they were now
getting yet someone else in to do the work. You can see how
my confidence is through the roof now right? Even worse, I
noticed that the city had signed off on our foundation
inspection - even though one of the two main footings hadn't
been poured! I'm not sure what's worse, the city passing the
foundation or the builder forgetting to pour it.
talked to our neighbor who had just moved in and he told
us the new site supervisor was 'an asshole' and then
listed off a number of problems with their home that
they were pissed off about (they didn't even get a
walkthrough after the framing was done). I also noticed
the shitty work done with the electrical in their
garage. It looked like a joke.
scary thing is that our builder is supposed to be one of
the elite. The best of the best. Considering the sheer
number of issues and complaints from others in that
development I would really hate to see a builder with a
bad reputation. Obviously some things are out of their
control, but the complete lack of communication has been
extremely frustrating. One of our neighbors summed it up
nicely by stating that you get treated better buying a
$20,000 car than you do when building a million dollar
know it's been a long time since I've updated the news.
waiting for framing to start on the house so I could post
pictures....and I'm still waiting. The foundation was done
two and half months ago and nothing has happened since then.
All the lumber to start framing has been sitting there for
going on three weeks now.
not in any real hurry - other than I don't want them still
working on it in the middle of winter - it'd be nice to see
some progress. We nicely asked the builder what the holdup
was and were told that they fired a bunch of their framers
because they were doing subpar work. If that's true then I'm
glad they didn't end up working on our house. But this delay
has likely moved our possession date into early next year.
Someone whose house is actually done is Michael and Lisa. We
were over there last weekend for dinner to check it out.
Their house is beautiful and I think suits them perfectly.
Michael and Lisa, those crazy kids went and got married this
was very nice and I figured everyone would be in tears, but
the minister kept things lively and had everyone laughing.
At our wedding, it seemed to last forever whereas this one
seemed to go by really fast. Obviously your perspective
varies greatly depending on if you're the one up there or
not. The reception was at a golf course way in the south and
at first I thought it was an odd choice but after being
there I understood why they held it there - the scenery was
Chris and I
had a great time. Wedding speeches are usually boring, but
these ones were really good. We all laughed when Michael
perfectly described his very extended family as a pack of
gypsies. The food was also really good as was the music. As
usual I ended up overdoing it and felt rather crappy the
next day. But worst of all, I lost my shoes! How does one do
that? I'll never learn.
big congratulations to them!
& Mrs. Smith
I went back
to work last week after having been off for a couple
weeks. While it was a nice break I wouldn't describe it
as being a holiday. We spent a lot of time 'packing and
purging' as Chris calls it. We want to try and get as
much done now so that we're not in a panic later when we
go to list our house. At this point we intend to do that
when the new house is at the drywall stage. We figure
that will work out best timing wise as we really don't
want to have to move twice and temporarily live
I went for a routine checkup with my heart doctor. It
was all good and I was in rhythm. My blood tests all
came back fine as well. Although he wants to send me for
a couple more. I'm not sure what that's all about. Other
than that I'll continue taking my medication and see him
after a year and get another Echocardiogram to see how
my ticker is doing.
for another update...
As usual things
have been hectic despite it supposedly being the lazy days
of summer. That said I have enjoyed the weather. It's been a
long time since we've had the sort of summer I remember
having when I was a kid. Despite all the predictable Global
Warming fear mongers coming out of the woodwork, this time
of year is actually supposed to be hot.
to work has also been a nice relief from the norm. I'm on
holidays in a few weeks so I plan on taking advantage of
this last month of summer. I have a few projects planned
that I'll detail later in the tech section, but one of
things I plan on doing is fixing up one of my pinball
I'm a bit sad
that two weeks from today we would have been in London or
Paris hanging out before our wondrous two week cruise across
the Atlantic. Sigh. But someone had to go and buy a house on
a whim so we had to scrap that. We finally finished the last
of our appointments! I had changed my mind on the tile we
were going to be putting in and so we had to go and pick out
something else. At least three times we thought we had
everything figured out but then the consultant would say
something along the lines of 'oh, that's not going to work
because...' and we'd have to start over again. It's amazing
how hard it is to pick a frickin grout colour!
sit dormant for over two weeks it looks like they're about
to start framing. We went by earlier in the week and there
was a city inspection report posted and they had signed off
on the foundation. A couple days after that swung by and
they had back filled everything. So I'm hoping we're going
to see walls going up soon.
Chris and I
have been very stressed the past few days. We're burying
Chris' grandmother tomorrow and Chris is naturally upset about
it. You can tell her all the right things but at the end of
the day despite your best intentions to console her they're
just words. As always happens during this type of occasion,
family members that you don't get to see as much of as you'd
like come in from out of town. Hopefully that will bring
some comfort to her. Tomorrow will also be hard on me as
it'll bring back memories of burying my Dad just a few
As for me I
did something which was quite juvenile but in a worst case
scenario has the potential of spinning out of control. I've
been literally sick to my stomach the past couple days
thinking of 'what ifs'. But taking a page from Chris' power
of positive thinking, to use her words 'I'm not going to
give it any energy'. Hopefully things will work out and I'll
be able to chalk it up to a matter of thinking before doing
month since I've updated the news.
I don't know
why, but it seems I had way more free time in past years
than I do now. Obviously we've been busy with most of our
time spent going to various appointments and picking out
what we're going to put in our new house.
done this before it's been interesting to say the least. We're
now done selecting everything and just have a few things left to sign off on. In
terms of budget we've so far managed to pay everything off
without going into debt. That said, the last few
appointments are likely to be quite expensive.
we've decided to not get right now and instead get early
next year when we have more money. We're spending an obscene
amount on this place so I'm not going to compromise on
anything. I've spent countless hours agonizing over the
smallest details....there's been a number nights where I
couldn't sleep as all I could think of were tile selections,
faucet finishes and so on. I know in the grand scheme of
life such things are trivial, but when you're in the thick
of building a house it's all you can think about.
So far Chris
and I have managed to not get divorced during this process.
We've compromised in some areas, she's put her foot down a
few times, and so have I. I'm actually surprised at how well
our selections have gone. That said, we did have some help.
Karen come down from Edmonton on our last day of
appointments and we utilized her experience in interior
decorating to assist us. Lisa also came with us when we
picked our lights and was a big help. Thanks to both of them
that struck me is the number of times we heard the the
people we dealt with say how nice it was to deal with
clients that knew what they wanted. I just don't understand
that. You're spending the most you'll ever spend in your
life and you show up not having a clue what you like? In
almost every case I had done a bunch of research and
discussed things with Chris days in advance...
going out to what we jokingly refer to as 'our hole' almost
every second day to watch the progress. Never having built
before I love seeing how things are done at each stage. Here
are some pix:
been completely smooth however. We've cursed our builder
several times (and they've just started construction). I
think the biggest issue has been a lack of
communication. While I realize the complexity builders face
in managing everything, working with the trades, dealing
with the city, accommodating fickle clients, coordinating things and
so on I feel they could have done a much better job in
explaining the process.
advice to anyone else thinking of building - make sure
you detail absolutely everything you want and make sure
it's all included prior to signing on the dotted line.
Keep pestering them until it's included. Don't assume
you can add something or change something later on - you
can't. Even if you had previously discussed it with
them, if it's not included in the paper work you're out
of luck. There's a number of things we'll have to change after we take possession for that very reason.
clarification on everything. I had asked for a tile
shower and weeks later when we received the updated
blueprints were shocked to discover they had walled over
our open shower leaving just a single opening. To them,
that is what a tiled shower is. To me, I expected the
shower they had in the showroom just with tile walls.
Thankfully they did change it. I had asked for a door at
the bottom of the stairs to the basement. No problem
they said. What I didn't realize was that by code that
meant they had to build a landing. Now there won't be
enough room to have a door into what will be the
exercise room. So we'll have to tear down the landing
when we get the basement done.
everything on the blueprint and pour over it in great
detail. We had
expected a cabinet in the powder room just like what was
in the showhome only to find out we were getting a
pedestal sink instead. When we protested we were told
'well that's what's on the blueprint'. I had sketched
what I wanted the end wall in the great room to look
like and had detailed drawers on the floor between the
fireplace and the side wall. While I'm sure I had said
they were drawers, for whatever reason they thought that
they were boxes. So we're now getting wood boxes and
will have to change them after we move in.
I don't want
to paint too negative of a picture as several of the
people we've dealt with at Calbridge have been great and I know when
all is said and done we'll absolutely love the end
result. The past few months have been a whirlwind of
activity and excitement and I know the next several
months will be the same.
I've got good news and bad news.
The good news is
I'm not going to jail. The bad news is I have to pay a $172
weeks ago I was coming home from work. I was in a shitty
mood after having to deal with a crappy commute full of
idiot drivers - being on my ass, cutting me off etc. So I'm
on the stretch of road that has two schools and this crappy
little Honda in front of me is doing 20. My first thought
was ok whatever, it's a school zone. But then I thought, no
it isn't. School is done for the year.
going to stay behind him the entire way home so I checked
for oncoming traffic and then pulled out and passed him at
high speed to show my displeasure. Well sure as shit there's
a cop van sitting there and the policeman is outside the
vehicle as I blow past. I checked and he didn't hit the
lights and follow me so I figured I was ok. The next night
I'm in Edmonton and Chris calls me to tell me the police
came to the door looking for me. Apparently the guy I passed
caught my license plate, stopped when he saw the cop, and
filed a complaint - with the cop being a witness.
So after a
week or so of stressing out I talked to them and they came
by the house to chat. They asked if I was the person driving
and I said I was and then told them everything from my
perspective. That I have a clean driving record, without
even so much as a traffic ticket (that's true) and such
behavior wasn't characteristic of me. I only passed because
I thought school was done for the year - not having kids
ourselves and the fact that Hailey graduated almost a month
ago. The one constable said that he and his partner talked
before meeting me and if I was going to deny it or be a jerk
then they would have charged me with careless driving. Which
is a serious charge - in the worst case involving jail time.
At the least I'd have to hire a lawyer and appear in court
hoping for leniency.
But because I
was honest they just gave me a fine for passing in a school
zone and thankfully it doesn't involve any demerits. The
point of all this? It doesn't matter what other people do,
because the moment you act in kind you're the one that gets
nailed (I'll leave aside the monumental unfairness of it
all). And honesty really is the best policy.
Outside of my
brush with the law we've been busy doing house stuff. We've
finished our first round of appointments and have the major
things picked out and paid for - kitchen, plumbing,
fireplace, appliances, furnace/AC. It hasn't been as
stressful a process as I anticipated in terms of picking
what we wanted. I had a strong idea of everything I wanted
and while I compromised with Chris on a few items, for the
most part we liked the same things.
they'll break ground in the next couple weeks and we'll be
one step closer to moving into our new home!
I've had a four
day long weekend and this is the first time I've had any
time to relax.
it was Hailey's graduation and we went and endured almost
three hours of ceremony. It wasn't actually that bad
considering the number of graduates from her school. I must
admit that I felt the same excitement and pride when I saw
her enter the building dressed in her gown as I did when
formalities the girls went and had their pictures taken and
then were off to the dinner. The dinner itself was fairly
good although we were all grumbling that it was an alcohol
free event. When the dinner was finished there were the
obligatory speeches and then the dance. I haven't directly
told her as I would have gotten to emotional, but I was
touched beyond words that she asked me to dance with her for
the father/daughter dance. After a few songs the girls piled
into the party bus and were off to the after-grad.
Congratulations Hailey. We love you.
pictures of the big day:
The next day
almost everyone in the family came over for a BBQ to
celebrate. By everyone, I mean almost everyone. At one
point I counted and we had 30 people crammed into our
kitchen and living room. Because the weather was a
little crappy everyone mostly stayed inside. I've never
seen that many people in our place before. Good thing
we're getting a bigger house.
And then on
the Saturday we went out to Canmore to help celebrate
George's parents 60th wedding anniversary. It was nice
meeting some of the people from that side of the family.
We got to eat a delicious dinner and even tastier desert
while looking out upon an amazing view of the Three
Sisters mountains. I'm so glad we got invited out there
as we had a great time.
us to today. We went out to the Showhome as we had some
paperwork to sign and also went and looked at our plot
of land. The house on the one side is mostly built now
and on the other side they've dug it out to create the
basement. Which means our place is currently a big mound
of dirt. The good thing is when our house is done our
neighbors will have already been finished so we won't
have to deal with construction when we move in. We also
met Michael and Lisa and toured their house which is now
at the stage where it's ready to be drywalled.
weekend we ran up to Edmonton for a visit. We hung out
at Deb's place for an afternoon which was cool as it's
been quite awhile since I was there last. We also had a
fun night at Jim & Karen's where much wine was consumed.
And we spent a great day spending some quality time with
All in all a
hectic but extremely enjoyable few weeks.
see what's new?
Oh ya, we bought
a house :)
For the past
couple months Chris and I have been mulling our future.
Should we renovate or build? Money wise the smart thing
would be to renovate, but then there's the pain in the ass
factor of going through that. And at the end of the day I
still wouldn't have the two things I really want - 9'
ceilings in the basement and a walk-out. And as a bonus we'd
have a ridge lot which is also something I've always wanted.
Lisa bought a house around the same time in Evansridge and
took us out to look at the show homes there. We saw one show
home that we really, really liked and that put the bug in us
to build. What sealed the deal was when we talked to a
realtor and told us that we already had the nicest house in
Coventry and any money we spent on renos would be wasted.
Everything all came together over the course of a few days
and it was literally down to the wire to get an approval
from the bank before we had to leave for our vacation. But
in the end it all worked out.
details of our house can be found
here. Our elevation is different (and I think better
looking) however and we've also extended the great room.
This is the
most money I'll ever spend in my life, but strangely I
didn't get that sinking feeling I usually get after
committing to a large purchase. This is also risky as I know
rates will be rising, but I plan on paying the mortgage down
as much as possible.
Unfortunately, with us scrambling to come up with as much of
a down payment as possible we've had to cancel our summer
trip to Europe. But we knew going in that we'd have to cut
back on our exotic vacations for a while. Speaking of
vacations....we just got back from a fabulous time in the
weekend of the month was spent at the hospital. Chris'
Grandma was admitted as she was sick with suspected pneumonia. Given her age when I heard
that I wondered if this was 'it'. However she'd been sick
with pneumonia so many times before and always pulled
through. She was an incredibly strong woman.
At first we
were told she was improving but then not long after we were
told to gather the family as she had taken a turn for the
worse. So I spent the weekend with Chris and everyone else
watching her die. It was really hard for me as it naturally
brought me back to the night my Dad lay dying, only a few
months ago. I had expected her to go the first night, but
she was still fighting the next day. Like I said, an
incredibly strong woman...she passed away late Sunday night.
I had gone home for the night as I just couldn't be there
for the end. Chris told me that when she went it happened
incredibly fast. There was barely enough time to grab the rest of the family
who were outside the room. Gram Gram's was an amazing
person and she'll be incredibly missed by all.
Chris and I
have experienced so much death in our lives - it gets to a
point and it's like 'enough already!'.
Unfortunately, the time that Chris has needed me the most
and I've been sick. I'm guessing I picked something up while
at the hospital, but who knows. What I do know is I've been
really ill for the past 2 weeks. One moment I'm freezing,
the next I'm sweating. I ache all over, my skin hurts, my
heart is out of rhythm and I'm dizzy. I would have guessed I
had the flu but for several days I was in excruciating pain
on my left side. The pain was so bad I felt like throwing
up. Finally it got to the point that Chris convinced me to
go to the doctor.
But as is the
norm, all family doctors do is refer you to other people and
schedule a battery of tests. A few days ago I had X-rays and
today I had bloodwork done. That was an adventure in itself.
They had just finished taking the last vial of blood and
suddenly I got light headed. The nurse said to put my head
back but that just made it worse and I then realized I was
going to puke. So she grabbed a garbage can and Chris held
onto me as tears and snot ran down my face and I dry heaved.
After a few minutes of this I started to feel normal again.
It was a good thing I had fasted and not ate for 12 hours
otherwise I would have filled the garbage can.
So ya, I'm
quite the mess right now :)
to Chris losing her Grandma, the timing has also been
absolutely horrible work-wise as we're in the midst of
moving half the office to a new building. And I feel guilty
I haven't been able to contribute more. Throughout all of
this I've at least made the attempt to go to work and tough
it out as long as possible and then work from home. But
today I said screw it. I really needed a complete day to try
In any event,
I have an appointment with the doctor in a few days and
hopefully I'll find out what the hell is wrong with me.
bad thing about not updating the news for almost a month is
that you forget what the heck has happened recently...
A few weeks ago
Chris went up to Edmonton to help my Mom get some stuff out
of the house. I'll probably be heading up there to visit and
do some work in a few weeks. Mom's been having issues with
her eyesight so she went to the doctor and found out she has
to have surgery to remove some cataracts. So that sucks, but
the end result should make things much better for her. I was
surprised to find out that the surgery itself is really
quick as is the recovery time. I really need to get my eyes
tested. The last time I did the eye test things were blurry
as hell. Sigh.
we're all excited about our upcoming Caribbean trip, we
thought we'd do a mini-vacation closer to home and went to
Banff this past week. My Mom has asked us if we want to take
over her timeshare there and so we thought we'd hang out and
get a feel for the place. Chris and I spent a few days by
ourselves which was really nice. Then Tracy and the kids
went out to hang with her for a few days while I came back
to work. And then we finished our Banff vacation with Kim
and Hailey who came out.
For me the
highlight was spending time at the hot springs. I love the
contrast between the cold of winter with the warmth of the
water. Even nicer is having the snow softly falling on you
as you relax and take in the beautiful scenery. We also took
in a movie at the theatre downtown. I've always wanted to go
there and was surprised to find it was relatively modern
inside. It was kind of a cross between an art house theatre
and a Cineplex actually. Sadly we forgot to bring the camera
on this trip, so we only took a few shots with our iPhones.
I took a really good one of Hailey with the mountains in the
Hailey Conquers the Rockies
It was a fun
trip and a nice break from things. Chris and I will need
to look into some more things regarding the timeshare -
specifically what affiliations they have at other
resorts - but there's a good possibility we'll end up
owners thanks to my Mom.
a quick update.
Yesterday I met
with a sleep specialist to discuss the results from my sleep
test. Way back when I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation
they were at a loss as to why I had it. One possibility was
that I suffered from Sleep Apnea. So they wanted me to get
tested to see if it was the cause or not.
on a wait list for almost two years (thanks public health
care!), I finally got the call to go in and get the
equipment. So I went in and found out how to operate the
machine which consisted of a heart monitor, breathing
monitor, and sound monitor. I went home and that night
hooked everything up and tried to go to sleep. It was
without a doubt the worst sleep I ever had as I had all this
crap taped up to me and had to be careful every time I
turned on my side that I didn't yank everything out. The
next morning I dropped the machine off at the hospital for
them to analyze the data.
a month and I'm sitting in the specialists office. He did a
quick checkup of me (I was surprised to discover my right
eye is pretty crappy) and asked a bunch of questions and
made a bunch of notes. He then went over the results and in
the end it was determined that I have very mild sleep apnea.
Not severe enough to cause my heart issues and not severe
enough that they need to do anything about it. I mentioned
that I've been losing weight and he figures if I keep doing
that I should be pretty much normal after losing a few more
any case he's going to do a follow up in six months.
So I guess
that's good news.
weekend was Deb's 40th party. Despite my best intentions I
felt moderately crappy the next day - although nothing like
Jamie and Tracy were feeling I'm sure. Thankfully there's no
more 40th parties for at least a few years. Tracy, then Jay,
and now Deb all within a few months. I don't think I could
handle any more. It was a fun night. Happy Birthday Deb!
Here's some pictures of the night:
Well I'm living
the bachelor life as Chris is in Vancouver this week. Yahoo!
Party! Nah, I miss her already. I'll probably just geek out
while she's gone.
With all the
stress of the past two months, living on the road, eating
out all the time etc. I ended up gaining almost 30 pounds.
Chris has also been wanting to get back on Jenny again but
she's found it hard to do so while I continued eating
normally. So we talked it over and I agreed to give Weight
Watchers (WW) a shot.
The idea is
that I still get to eat something other than processed food
and she gets the added support of us doing this as a couple.
With our cruise coming up in April we both need to get back
to some semblance of healthiness. So that's our short term
goal, to lose as much weight as possible before then. I've
been on it for a few weeks and I've lost about half of what
I had previously gained. I'm not sure if it's getting back
to a normal life again, exercising again, or eating better -
probably a combination of everything.
bought a WW app for our phones and it's been really handy at
keeping track of everything. Whenever we have a meal we run
the app and punch in what we ate to keep track of our
points. A few things I've learned so far are that carbs are
a lot of points, exercising isn't as important as reducing
what you eat, ground turkey is actually a pretty tasty
substitute for ground beef, and eating at restaurants will
pretty much use up your daily allotment of points in one
meal. One other thing I've done which has really helped is
to basically cut out alcohol.
That said, I
pretty much said screw it this past weekend as we went up to
Edmonton for Jay's 40th birthday party. My best bud had
turned the big 4-0 so I just had to live it up with him. It
was a fun night. Maybe to much fun as I felt somewhat crappy
the next day.
Well I'm off
to go eat some carrots.
the worst year of my life is over.
There's two ways
you can go when faced with such a tragedy. You can become
withdrawn and self destructive or you can move forward with
a new sense of purpose. For most of my life I would have
taken the former route. And while I've still had my moments,
I've chosen to go in a positive direction. I'm not sure why.
Either I'm hugely naive or with age I've just become more
accepting of things I can't control. Ultimately, I need to
take care of myself as the thought of Chris and my Mom
losing me is unimaginable...
that mindset I enter a new year with a clarity I haven't
obviously not very festive. I can't even really remember a
lot of that week. I know I woke up to a dreary day which I
found appropriate considering the sadness I felt. At some
point we went to my Mom's and half heartedly exchanged
gifts. Days before my Mom had asked what I wanted and I
jokingly said 'a pony'. So sure enough she got me a stuffed
pony. It added a nice bit of levity. Later we went over to
Jay's parents place who were kind enough to invite us to
their family get together. As my Mom said it gave her a
chance to forget about things for awhile. And that was our
New Years was
also pretty subdued. It started off with a bunch of us going
to go see the movie New Years Eve. It's one of those films
with multiple intersecting storylines. But one of the
stories was about a father's last day dying of cancer. I
find myself reminded of my Dad's passing by the most mundane
daily things. Things that I previously wouldn't have given a
second thought to. But this was unbelievable and much too
soon. I tried to tough it out and get through it, but
eventually it got the the point where I was going to break
down in the theatre and I bolted out of there. So while
everyone else finished watching I drowned my sorrows at a
bar across the street.
We then ended
up at a Greek Restaurant which was to celebrate Kim's
birthday. The food was awesome and we all agreed we want to
go back. From there we went back to Kim & Hailey's to ring
in the New Year. We watched the ball drop, did the
countdown, kiss kiss, and not long after came home and went
to bed. Not the craziest way to welcome 2012. Oh well, at
least I wasn't hung over the next day.
was really good. For the first time in a long time I was
able to actually relax and just enjoy myself. Today Kim and
Chuck joined us at an Indian Restaurant to learn how to cook
Indian food. Tracy was supposed to be there as well, but
unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute. We watched
while the owner demonstrated how to make a variety of
popular dishes and the history behind them. When that was
over everyone got to take a tour of the kitchen and then eat
a buffet. As I love Indian food I left very satisfied
and full. It was a fun experience.