I wasn't really sure whether to keep the blog thing going or not, but since on a day like this, a Thursday, I have so much free time on my hands, why not. I don't know what I'm going to say at this point in time but let's see where it takes us.
It's been since before Christmas that I've posted, that's quite a while. Well, Christmas was good. Very quiet, but good. We didn't have a lot to spend on each other for sure, but we had each other here and that was enough. The winter was long and hard. Quite a fair amount of snow and lots of cold temperatures, and the positive side of that is that it makes you appreciate spring and summer a lot more.
The year got off to a bit of a rough start. Our little guy Crocky the cat was profusely sick, throwing up all the time and losing a crazy amount of weight. After bringing him to the vet, we were referred to an animal hospital in Riverview where they kept him for a night hooked up on an I.V. to get his fluids back. Long story short, it fixed him up, $700 later. We were already broke, so we opted for a financing thing called PetCard, which we'll be paying on for the next couple of years. Bottom line is, we have our boy back and all is well again in the Cook household. It was interesting when we brought him home, because his brother Marbles kept a watchful eye over him the whole time. It was sweet and sad at the same time to see. We realized how engrained Crocky is to the household during that very short time when he was gone. Janice and me couldn't sleep, and we never talked. Not because we were mad or upset with each other, but because we missed our little guy and were so worried. You have to see Crocky snuggled up to Janice to actually understand the momma/son bond that they have, he gives her head-butt kisses and lays on her belly, and just totally soaks up the love she gives him. He loves laying on my lap to watch TV and does his 'Swiffer Kitty' routine, in which he lays on the floor and tosses and turns for our amusement, knowing the entertainer that he is. When we brought him to the hospital, once we left without him Janice broke down. I wanted to, but one of us needs to be strong. She had visions of him not coming home, I think. But it was a happy time when we picked him up the next morning and brought him into the house again.
Our little girl is doing just fine these days, doing well in school and excelling in her construction classes. She's a shining light in her class dominated by boys, showing a lot of them how it's really done, which is exactly how I expected it to be. She has aspirations at this point of getting into a sheet metal trade when she graduates, while doing the cosmetician thing at work in the meantime. She's been doing the Maritime Idol thing, which seems to have stalled, but I don't regard it with very much credibility anymore. She continues to sing and is showing a lot more interest in guitar now, which I'm real glad about. In this age of autotune and multi-singer 'bands', I'd sooner see her forge her own path. She has a friend named Sarah who also plays guitar, whom she met up with at Maritime Idol, and as it turns out Sarah's dad is a very old friend of mine I've known since I was about 5. Darren and I caught up on things a little bit, and it's amazing the things that can happen in life that shape your path. It's really good being in touch with him again.
Janice is doing pretty well, still struggling with constant pain but coping with it better than probably 99% of how others would. She has remnants of Bells Palsy that aren't all that obvious, but at least she got past that nuisance of a hurdle for the most part. We train together at the gym with a cardio/weights program pretty faithfully, and it's a good thing for us to be doing in spite of the soreness that ensues after each workout. She actually runs on a treadmill for 15 minutes before doing weights. Normally our sessions last up to two hours, but seem a lot shorter because we do it together. Sometimes we'll opt to do even more. We do the gym thing two or three times a week, so we make it worth it when we actually go. Janice is excelling at work, of course, getting recognition from the place it counts the most, Canada Post itself. There are times that it proves stressful, but she's tougher than anybody else, so she just comes home and vents a bit and she's alright. She does love her job.
As for me, it's steady as she goes. I still deal with this depression thing, something I've come to terms with that I will always have, but I learn as I go. The blessing about that is that I can help others by relating with them. I make no bones about the fact of what I'm dealing with, because the stigma is just bullshit. There's absolutely nothing to be gained by being ashamed of dealing with mental illness. I know people talk, people will say things no matter what. That isn't something I can control, but it is something I can make a choice of whether or not to care about, like everyone else like me. That's probably the biggest enemy facing us depressives. I know about the whole dial-a-mood labels that we get, and I actually understand it. Janice has to live with me every day, and if I have a bad day at work or something, she has to deal with my behaviour until I can get over it. There are flare-ups, and there always will be. I have a four inch 'burn' mark on my left arm healing right now that I incurred myself from scratching along with a small cut over my right eye. I'm not a danger to anyone else, but I can be to myself I guess. It's why I'm in treatment. Perhaps though, talk therapy is in order, because there are issues ongoing that I am not making any progress on, namely my fear of people in general and especially large gatherings. I haven't even seen any of my own siblings in over a year. I was keeping track of them on facebook, but decided to eliminate the account because of so much negativity, which doesn't exactly jibe with what I'm dealing with these days.
There was quite an episode that I dealt with recently that was a bit harrowing, in that I faced another round of intense nosebleeds. I have septum issues that led to a perforation in my bridge, so I have to clean that hole out from time to time. One night I wound up scraping a vein, I guess, and the blood came forth with a fury. So bad, in fact, that in the bathroom, where I was pinching my nose waiting for it to clot, that it began coming out of my mouth. It was vicious. After a half hour of nearly choking on my own blood, I relented and we went to the hospital, where they eventually got it to stop. It left me pretty dazed and out of it, for sure. They didn't cauterize it though, which left me puzzled, so after several nosebleeds after that (waking up with them, having them start out of the blue, etc.), I made an appointment with my family doc to have my nose burnt, which did the trick. That doesn't hurt, by the way. The worst of it might be that sensation you have when pop goes up your nose, that kind of burning feeling, which makes you sneeze your ass off, which I can certainly live with.
But all is not dark and dreary. I actually applied for disability benefits relating to my depression and got compensation dating back several years, which allowed us to do a lot of things around the house here that we wouldn't have otherwise gotten done, like replacing basement windows and the patio door; replacing carpet upstairs with fresh laminate flooring; getting plumbing taken care of, though not just yet, and getting our 3 year old never-used-yet dishwasher hooked up; getting a brand new barbecue for the summer; paying off some bills, and basically, just getting to the point where we're not living paycheck to paycheck anymore, at least for now. There's so much more we want to get done, like drywall, tearing up and re-paving the driveway, new siding and a new roof, etc. But all things in due time. We want the curbside appeal of the house to go up next, so that sometime in our 50's, we might be able to sell and get that bungalow we've always dreamed of. This house has gone through quite a drastic metamorphosis since we moved in.
So as you can see by the above paragraph, there's always light to temper the dark. Or as I heard in a song once in a line ripped straight from the Bible, 'darkness is just a speck in the light'. Before closing this out, I do want to give a shout-out to my longtime friend Tim, who's always been around and always keeps a watchful eye out for me, for God knows whatever reason, but I'm in debt to him for being there. Outside of my wife and daughter, he's the one person who's been true-blue and unfailing. I have to stop short of calling him a guardian angel, because of his and my history together, neither of us can get any kind of 'angelic' designation! But he is certainly a brother from another mother. If you're reading this, big fella, my thanks and gratitude to you for all you do.
And thanks for checking into my humble blog. God bless and see you again soon.