Monday Bliss

What a blissful rainy weekend.  I know it will only add to my tasks this week once the grass dries out…  the lawn at the community garden is desperate to be cut and our tiny yard is filling with green at an alarming rate.  The new owners will wonder what they bought if we don’t tame it a bit.

On Friday we had our home inspection at the new house. [I call it The Cottage in my mind.]  We didn’t hire anyone to do the inspection, but went through with Gino our real estate agent.  He is handy like Husband, so together they examined all the nooks and crannies while I measured the windows and floated about in pure bliss.

I have relationships with buildings, and I knew from the first moment I walked into the little building it was for me.  Good energy.  Happy energy.

The Cottage is all one level, with massive windows which will allow the sunlight to stream in.  It has honey-stained hardwood floors and high ceilings.  It is opposite of our present home, which is tall and skinny with dark brick and stained glass windows.

The Cottage will be my house of whimsy, regaining my lighter side.  When I am in the house I radiate happy. I can feel happiness oozing from me.  My soul has yearned for this safe place for so many years.

I began to pack as well.  And we went to Ikea to price out affordable curtains for the massive living room window – 7 feet width by 6 feet height.  South facing.  I will be able to sun myself in the winter months for my vitamin K.

Had Heather over for supper last night, sans wine, all well.  Sobriety is moving along, day by day.  I am not counting days.  My intention is to move into this new home as a non-drinker. Living sober is very different.  Before, always at the back of my mind was making sure there was something for me to drink at the end of the work day, or that what I had at home was enough.  Now, I have more time in the evenings.  Who would have thought that drinking was time consuming? At home in the evenings I make herbal tea, and now I don’t even bother using my wine glasses, I just use a mug…

We are drinking more soda.  Not pop, but flavoured soda water.  I go easy on it because there is some sugar in some of the flavours, but refreshing after work like a beer was refreshing.

I love how I feel not drinking.  I love the changes I feel taking place in my body and my life.


Living beside Evil

Our coming move is welcomed on SO many levels.  We moved from a large house into a tall skinny inner city home nearly 9 years ago. We were moving with our 4 kids; 1 college age, 2 high school and 1 elementary. We had to find a home that could accommodate all our needs. We ended up with a 1930s home with a tiny back and front yard, shared driveway and large garage. 2 kids would be in the unheated but insulated attic, and the rest of us would be on the 2nd floor.

On my first morning I met the neighbours.  Friendly Diane to the right of us, and then I met the neighbour to the left…

The moment I met Mark, my heart sank. I looked into his eyes and saw nothing.  No connection, no spark. Just darkness.  A dark hole.

And my instinct was spot-on.

He represents to me what is evil. Sounds crazy I know, but he terrifies me. His behaviour ebbs and flows with the moon, with the season… One winter he threw compost in our backyard every Saturday night – I thought it was a raccoon until the spaghetti hit the deck.

There have been eggs and ripped up plants and things stolen from the front porch and side window.  Our van was targeted once and he throws his ear plugs into our garden on a regular basis. I cannot blame everything on him, but as time when on, it became a given.  If something bad happened, it was him.

He is verbally abusive to me, to my husband, and to the neighbours on his other side. He calls us names like a child would. He calls us lazy, and stupid, and ‘goof’. He calls us idiots. I now believe he calls us all the names he was called as a child.  He is damaged to the point where at Christmas, his wife and kids go out, perhaps to her family, and they leave him behind.

He holds down a job, though. He provides.

This morning I heard him throw small pebbles at our porch roof.  Rat-a-tat.  That is what he does right now.  Not a lot of verbal spewing, though.

I had to write about Mark. His behaviour has crippled me for these nearly 9 years.  I am empathic, and I cannot block his hate.  I hear his voice, and my heart beats – flee – danger.  I am sure that his evil spilling over our home gave me cancer.  Toxins.  Toxic.  My poor kidney trying to filter out the evil.

I will not garden in my front yard.  I will not use my front door unless I have to, preferring to use the neutral exit to the alley.

And all of this is about to end.  We will be moving away, and I will have to learn to love my front yard again.  My ears will still be attuned to the timber of his voice, but I will not hear it again.  In a month.

I will learn to straighten my shoulders and not always brace for verbal assault.

It will take time.

Falling Off, Getting back ON again.

The wagon was fallen off-of, I am not crushed nor was it a big fall, but today is day 2, nuff said.  I am not going to beat myself about my head and feel shame and guilt.  I am starting fresh again.

We have purchased a house, and have bridged our closing so that we can move 2 weeks before our present home closes.  We are eager to move, but the great task of packing is upon me now.  I am the one who usually packs up our life, but this is the first time I have had to move while working a 40 hr + workweek.

Organization is going to be crucial.

We have lots going on at the Community Garden as well.  A load of mulch was delivered, and now it has to be moved from the city side, to our side of the fence.  Getting the gardeners to commit to a date and time to help is brutal.  We are all on different schedules and have varying energy levels…

There are good things happening in my life.

I need a little normal.

Searching for normal.

We sold our house last week and have been on the rollercoaster of trying to buy in a hot market ever since.  I am fussy.  My original goal : a driveway, garage, 3 bedrooms and a yard large enough for a vegetable garden expanded into : No funky smells, dry basement, please a dining room, have to have hook-up for my gas range…. and so on.

And quiet.  We have lived in a very inner-city, close to a busy road area for nearly nine years.  I am weary of the yelling, the motorcycles, the middle-of-the-night races down Main Street, the squirrels eating nearly everything that blooms in my garden including the christmas lights…

Every time we viewed a house my list grew.

Husband wanted a modern kitchen.  I didn’t.  All the renovated kitchens looked alike : Dark brown cabinets with a brown/beige mix of skinny tiles.  I want whimsy.  I need to manipulate colour.  It’s what I do.

Last night we found this cottage-like home in a lovely neighbourhood where people like to garden and care for their lawns. It is quaint.  It is clean.  Not perfect, but so – right.  We’re putting in an offer, it will take some time because the owners are apart and the offer has to go to both and one is way up north and has to go to his agent’s office to see the offer ect.

I can wait.  I might be moving in a month.  New energy, new surroundings, new neighbours, new shops and walks.  A bike ride away from work.

I am exhausted and need some time at my garden…


A whirlwind.

Yesterday we listed our home, after a lot of intensive de-cluttering and cleaning and painting and tweaking…  We listed high, so we could have some wiggle-room.  We live in a 85 year old home in the city.  We have knob & tube wiring and old lead pipes.  My hardwood floors show their age and my kitchen is quaint [primitive]. No dishwasher.  Small. No cupboard doors. So we needed some wiggle room.

The housing market in my city has become very hot as Toronto people look outside their area for affordable homes. Thank you Toronto!

I arrived at work yesterday planning on leaving halfway through the day to go home and assist with the virtual tour people but pretty much as soon as I arrived my cell started going off. And it went off all day long. No work here was completed. My adult children were thrown out into the rain to seek shelter so people could see the house.

Seven showings yesterday – and two offers at 8:30pm. We sold $41,000 over our list price. It was amazing.

Our cats were traumatized, one pooped under my desk in the attic, another [or the same one, who knows] threw up on the front hall carpet – but the house sold.

So now we need to find a house but I am putting it out there to the universe to keep helping me out.

Three weeks wine-less today. My pants are a little looser as my body adjusts. I am still feeling strong with my non drinking.

Now that the house is sold, I can breathe again.

I don’t drink.

Both my mother and father were alcoholics.  My mother’s father, who died in the 1940s, was also one. She told me he died in the gutter. Mom was a binge drinker and nasty when drunk. She was a screaming, angry, belligerent, messy, drinker.  She would go on benders that would last days, maybe longer.  Then she would go to bed, ill, and dry out.  The house would be drink free for a while.  She would drink beer out of teacups in the bathroom.

I was always afraid to bring home friends after school. Shame was a big part of my childhood.

My father was a different drinker.  He was happy, mostly, when he drank.  When my mother turned on him in a rage, he would leave, going to ‘the shop’, where he worked, or to the cottage. Quite often he drank and drove.  Dad would hide bottles.  In his boot, in the mailbox, in a pocket of his coat, in the hedge.

When I was 12 I began to sneak off with my nephew, who was 2 years older than I. We would steal beers at the cottage and go for long walks on the dark country roads.

I drank my way through high school, and college. I drank a tiny bit through my first pregnancy, because that was when they still ‘allowed’ a drink per day.

Around the time my parents died I think I was drinking more.  We had moved from one end of the country to the other.  My father died, then my mother.  We moved again, into our first home. My children will remember me as the mother who always had a glass of wine in hand any time after 4pm.  Never drunk, mind you.  Not messy.  Not angry.  I was just me.  I could hold so much wine that a bottle a day did not leave me hung over or slurring my words.

High-functioning alcoholic.  I’ve known for years, but it was easy to cover up.

Two years ago I stopped drinking for 3 months.  The first  3 weeks were the hardest as I learned what people drank, who didn’t drink.  I eventually discovered chilled herbal tea.  It works for me because it is not sweet.  This time around, I have stopped my bottle/day habit with less anxiety.  I think I knew better what to expect, and I had planned the day in advance.  Husband stopped as well, and although he might go back to a beer on the weekend or with friends, I am quite happy right now about not drinking again.

When I stopped smoking [for the 2nd time] in 1998, I was of a certain mind-set.  And now, I have that same mind-set.  I am beyond ready to change my future.  These two weeks have been fantastic.  I feel free.  We drive home and pass the LCBO, when before we would stop every night. I am drinking water and herbal tea and soda mixed with juice.  I use my favourite wine glasses.  Socially, it has not been an issue yet.  Family functions will be weird, but not horrific.  There are enough recovering alcoholics in my immediate family that one more ‘outed’ will not cause too many ripples.

Gathering with friends will be harder.  Of recent years we have not been as social, so this will not be as difficult now as it might have been 5 or more years ago. I will not miss that social hangover, since I always drank more than I should playing Euchre.

I think that I am finally passed the peer pressure thing.  When you give up smoking, you are ‘in the right’ you are proving how strong you are.  When you give up drinking, you are saying you are not in control, and you have a weakness.  So now, I don’t care.  I’m not going to spend the rest of my life accommodating others.

I don’t drink.

Midlife Blogging

I have tried to remember how long I have been blogging…  It all started with Xanga where I blogged for years and years.  Then I went to Blogger for awhile.  I just love to start fresh once and awhile.  So here I go again.

This might end up being my sobriety blog – since I am 2 weeks into a sober-by-choice lifestyle.

This might be more of a menopausal blog – since I am firmly entrenched now in that journey.

I’m not sure where it will go.  This year I am passionate about walking trails or paths.  The films I have been watching and the books I am reading are about personal journeys.  I feel as though I am on a journey now.

I love a good journey.