Friday, July 31, 2009

Abuse Comes in Many Guises

I know it may sound odd to some of you people who have come to know me as that 'nice aims' who writes about surviving a life of abuse and mental illness and about New Orleans - but I have another side to me that few of you will ever get to know and probably for a good reason.

Most people aren't going to get the chance to get on my wrong side. Those who have crossed the line with me have experienced what happens and those who haven't - well - if you want to remain on the other side ......

So let me get this out there. Because right now I have to.

Having been abused for far too long in my life - and for suffering mentally because of it - I now have a cut-off point. I can smile and smile for a long time - taking it on the chin as they say - taking it and putting it away for a rainy day. Then one day - and you never know when that day is going to happen - but one day I'm not going to take it anymore. Once I reach that point - then we're done as friends. Very rarely - and I do mean very rarely - do I acquiesce and take up the friendship again. In fact to do so I need plenty of proof that the line isn't going to be forced ever again if I am even going to consider doing so.

Now - people like me - well - we have this arrow over our heads that says - "kick here for much fun". For some reason - there are some people out there that see beneath the smile and see a form of weakness that they like to take advantage of and abuse. They like to think that they have reasons to do so - and that they are going to get away with it - because I hide what I am thinking behind a smile for a long time. I'll even let you get a few kicks in because I'm just like that. I do have that little weak area that is susceptible and like the weakling on the beach it is easy to kick sand in my face.

However - I'm only going to eat sand for so long from so many and then it's game over. I'm not playing anymore.

For those of you out there who think people like me are fun to bully around or even push around - watch out. We're not so fun on the flip side. We're not fun at all.

And once you cross the line with me - believe me - it's no-man's land.

Think about your actions before you take them. Some of us are tired of the abuse - the misuse - the taking for granted - for the uncaring attitudes. Some of us just aren't going to play anymore. And it's your loss - not mine.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Small Redirection

Before I head off once more to the land of white-water rafting - I wanted to tell you that I have posted once more over at Big Blue Barn Knits.
I am hoping that I can post some pics

over there of what I am currently working on and eventually resurrect my Etsy shop once more. Notice that I say - eventually.

Have a look and have a great weekend. Hope it's sunny and warm wherever you are.

(pics are of my brother's pottery - and my jewellry)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Day Off = A Post

I’m back from white-water rafting for a bit so I thought I’d write a post and finish off my review of our holiday in New Orleans.

I don’t know how many of you who read this are like me – but I use my experiences to help me live in the present. I often reminisce about my holidays throughout the day to help me get through stressful times. Our trip to New Orleans still brings me much pleasure and many smiles when it’s snowing in July in Alberta or some such thing (or you’re dealing with broken toes).

Leaving New Orleans was incredibly hard for me. As our days wound down to the last few I started to panic once more. I came up with many variations on how I could remain in New Orleans while The Man went home to work – perhaps flying down to visit once in a while. He didn’t cotton to that at all no matter how many ideas I came up with.

During our last day we did some obligatory shopping – food for traveling – things I saw and never bought – you know how that works. We ended up standing in the grocery store and talking to the security guard while it poured buckets outside. We learned a lot more about New Orleans (from the friendly security guard) because of the torrential downpour – plus it gave us one more night in my favourite place. I didn’t fool The Man with that bit of dallying at all.

The next morning I cried as we headed north and left the familiar cityscape of New Orleans behind. I’m not a big city person but there is something about New Orleans that gets in your blood. So many people call it a ‘cesspool’ – people who have never been there – people who will never go there and don’t know what it is really like. People base their opinions of New Orleans on stories about Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street and the history of violence related to the city. One should experience something before passing judgment on it. Few do however.

Being a Canadian who lives on the dry prairies of Alberta – a place that gets deadly cold in the long Canadian winters – we like to travel to the United States where it is warm. We have been fortunate to have long holidays because of The Man who usually accumulates lots of overtime and then takes it all at once. That way we can travel far and wide if we want. We have been to many of the different States in the US – and we have fallen in love with New Orleans for so many reasons I doubt I could explain them all and even do justice to the few I can put words to.

I’ll try with just a few though. Not only is it the combination of very old (The French Quarter) with the new - and the huge Mississippi that flows right through it - or Lake Pontchartrain – the immensity of it – or the swamps that surround the city with their own beauty. Mostly it is – The People. The people of New Orleans are wonderful. They are the friendliest people we have met anywhere in the United States. That says a lot. They are happy to talk to you and really appreciate you and your business. There are no ‘uhhuhs’ when you thank them for something – instead you get ‘Your Welcome’! In fact, you almost expect a hug from them! I don’t have enough words or the ability to describe them or their incredible city and its surroundings.

In this city that has experienced so much turmoil and angst – where the weather, the government, and their own countrymen have pounded them repeatedly – we didn’t feel like tourists at all. Instead we felt comfortable and safe and right at home. We never feared for our lives when we walked the streets late at night. We used common sense and never had one bad experience. Sure there are gangs killing one another – they are doing that in the beautiful city of Calgary an hour away from us. In fact, Calgary had the first death of 2009 in North America – aren’t we proud!

Suffice it to say – I didn’t want to come back home to my beautiful big blue barn.

We looked at other houses besides the million dollar mansion while in New Orleans. I still have one that I check on every week to see if it has sold. We drove past it one evening and I said to The Man – that place is empty and for sale! After many drive-bys we finally went online and checked it out. The next time we drove past it I hopped out of the car and looked in the windows. The Man was beside himself – ‘You’re trespassing!’ - but I had him looking in the windows too! When I opened the back gate and went to look at the pool and in the back windows – he fled to the car! He didn’t want to get booted out of the US for trespassing and break and entering (I didn’t break – it was not locked). However – being the great salesperson that I am – I enticed him back to the gate and into the backyard for a look at the pool and into the floor to ceiling windows that covered the back of the house. As we headed back to the car we noticed vehicle lights coming down the street. The Man jokingly said ‘Here comes security’. It was. As we casually drove away, the vehicle entered the driveway and the garage door went up. When we drove past again, lights were going on and off throughout the house – rooms obviously being checked. Who knows what sensor I tripped as I nosed around?

The Man and I are trying to figure out a way that we can live in New Orleans. Perhaps during the cold winters of Alberta – and still keep the big blue barn for the lovely (but short) spring, summer and fall of Alberta. Who knows? Someday we will follow our dream and have an adventure of a lifetime! I’m not too old for that and I never will be!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sorry Folks!

My blogging is taking a back seat at the moment as we are smack-dab in the middle of whitewater rafting season.

With that in mind - I would like to direct you to my brother's new blog In Otter Words. David is posting about his days on the river - what the river is like - and also including some blog posts from his guides. He's just starting out - so pay him a visit.

When I get a few days at home again and I wring the water out of my brain - I'll be posting more frequently.

Until then - see you on the river!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Roast by the Host With The Most

I'm really not one to toot my own horn - but I was interviewed by David McMahon of Authorblog.

Sunday Roast -

Have a look if you are interested.