Archive for January, 2009

The 12-minute semester

January 22, 2009

I did everything right.

Last week, I filled out the little form, put it and my payment in the drop box, went to the bookstore and spent $115 on the designated textbook.

This week, I arranged supervision for the Little One, co-ordinated transportation with all the other people in the house, and on the appointed day at the appointed time, arrived at College to begin the Next Stage of my Educational Journey.

I joined all the other “older” adults milling around the notice board, gave my course number to the helpful lady with the laser pointer and waited whilst she scanned the list to tell me what classroom to go to.

It wasn’t on the list.

I followed directions to the Continuing Ed. office, told the nice girl at the desk my course number and waited patiently while she investigated.

The course was cancelled due to low enrollment.


I went back to the bookstore, returned the $115 textbook, and cried a little bit into a large Double Milk from Tims.

Then I went to the mall, surprised the Green Kangaroo at work, bought her some dinner and bought myself a new book and some underwear.

Apparently, God has other plans for me right now that don’t include the Great Return To Higher Learning. I have no idea what those plans are, but I shall keep pluggin’ along.

Dern it.


I’m going to get organized if it kills me and it probably will

January 15, 2009

The title here is a play on the Golden Pen Award I received from Momwriters in 2001, the “I’m Going To Write If It Kills Me And It Probably Will” award. I don’t believe I’ve won a Golden Pen since then, but the 2001 award, a cute little cross-stitched square with my name on it, is tacked to my office wall.

I know this because tonight I moved my walls around.

>>pause while you contemplate that for a moment

No, I didn’t move the WALLS, I moved the stuff on the walls. Lemme tell ya ’bout my walls for a moment…

When The Hubs Darling Hubby Mr. Husband That Guy Whose Children Generate 4 Loads Of Laundry A Day

>>digression…You know, other bloggers have nifty little code names for the people they live with, but I can’t come up with something that’s both smart and semi-unique. Since I found out that the Naked Chef isn’t really NAKED, I’ve considered that, but still…let’s call him The Man. Because he is. The rest of the household is female, which I’m sure will eventually earn him a special place in the After, because now? Now he is surrounded by women in this house, all of whom want to tell him what to do, and invade his Manspace and use up his shaving cream when the Skintastic runs out, and living with that takes a particular type of patience and fortitude, you know?

So, some years ago, The Man put up walls in the basement in the places I pointed at, and it was called My Office, and it was good. And he offered to paint it all pretty and girly (but professional-ish too) but I said NO, leave the drywall bare. Wouldn’t even let him tape, sand and prime. Because to me, those walls? of My Office? Were going to be one giant memo/bulletin board.

So he shook his head and left me to it, and I began to pushpin my merry little way to visual reminders nirvana.

But that was 8 years ago, and the walls, they filled up. Calendars, white boards, children’s artwork, inspirational notes and sayings, kudos and thank yous, post-its with writing prompts and ideas. It was all there, from the efficient (deadline sheets for the mag) to the frivolous (a little plaque that says “There’s nothing wrong with me that a little chocolate won’t help”)

I’m a piler, not a filer (though I have a lot of files too), except I pile things on the walls. And while I have, over time, developed some organizational methods and tactics that work for me, my New Year’s reality check has forced me to acknowledge that they’re not working ENOUGH.

I can do better. Particularly in the area of long-term planning.

So I’ve rearranged the material on the walls a bit, and incorporated some changes in the calendar department. I can already tell it’s going to take some getting used to. I glance up from my screen and my first thought is, “What’s THAT doing there?”

Let’s not forget that in December 2006 I moved my desk two inches to the right and I think I finally adjusted to that last week.

If you’re in a good-vibe-sending mood, send them in the direction of my Green Kangaroo (the one in the middle). She’s got her French language proficiency exam/interview tomorrow which is the next step in qualifying for the federal Page Program.  So nervous was she, she went to bed before 10:30 tonight for the first time since she was a year old.

My understanding of the first law of thermodynamics, or, What I learned at College today

January 8, 2009

Everything counts for something.

Went to the College today to determine what the combination of seven University credits, and a variety of work experience is worth. Turn out, quite a bit. Which means that I’m already 1/4 of the way towards earning the diploma I’ve decided I want and I haven’t even enrolled in the program yet.

Ha. Not bad for an hour’s work.

In our next episode: In which Shelley begins to be introduced to World Culture once a week and determines if she can, indeed, survive “group work” with people almost 20 years (gulp!) her junior.

Save me a seat at lunch?

January 8, 2009

She did it.

So did she.

And her too.


Guess I will too…

Who’s in charge around here anyway?

January 7, 2009

This was taped to my monitor this morning:



Yes, I raise bossy women.

It’s harder than I thought, showing up here on a regular basis. It’s not because I have nothing on my mind, but rather because there’s so MUCH on my mind, and none of it, I believe appropriate to share with the Internets at large.

My favourite device, when discussing inner conflict is to say, “Name your fear.” The theory is that once you acknowledge, out loud, what it is that you’re really afraid of, it loses its power over you. Outside of the murky recesses of your mind, the darkest most fantastical corners of your imagination, the fear lies stark in the light of day and you can see it for what it really is.

Once upon a time, I glanced out our front window of an evening and my gaze fixed on the roof of the house across the street.  I saw what I could have sworn was a cat sitting, two stories up, on top of the chimney. It was silhouetted against a faint moon in a cloudy sky, nothing more than an inky shape in the night.

I looked again a short while later, and it was still there. Hadn’t moved, not so much as shifted its weight.

I watched, my curiosity growing. Whose cat could it be, and why was it just sitting there? It began to freak me out a little bit.

Finally, I opened the front door and walked down the sidewalk for a closer look.

Outside, in a different light, from a different angle, I realized the reality.

The cat on the chimney was actually the neighbour’s satellite dish. Nothing weird about that at all. I went back in the house, alternately chuckling at my own imagination and feeling relieved that I hadn’t said to anyone in the house, “Get a load of that cat!”

It’s like when you were little, and turning the light on instantly banished the monster under the bed. Dare to shine a light on what you’re afraid of, risk looking at it from a different direction, and you realize – there was nothing to be afraid of after all.

So what am I afraid of?

The children, as you can see from above, have gone out and gotten minds of their own. And while that’s the goal, after all, it’s more scary than I thought it would be. What if they’re not ready? What if I’M not ready?

I’m meeting with someone at the college tomorrow to discuss adding to my education. I have the skeleton of a plan, and it’s a little exciting. There are few details yet, and no, I haven’t planned every angle. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say I’m planning to plan. I’ll keep you posted.