Sunday, May 03, 2020

So, this is a thing

I think it's safe to say that SARS-CoV-2 is probably going to be sticking around for a while, so I took some time today to whip up a couple of face masks. I used Brittany Bailey's Best Fit Face Mask, blogged about here, as a comfortable fit was my main concern. I had some leftover cotton fabric from some project or another (seriously, I have no idea what I even used this for), my thin armature wire (the thick wire was too rigid), electrical tape, 2mm elastic cord, and Kara graciously provided the four wooden beads to function as toggles. Fortunately, I already have enough of a sewing kit that the cutting and assembly was relatively easy and quick. That said, it still took a few hours out of my day.

Kara has claimed the mask I'm wearing in the photo above, but I prefer the fit of the one that was left. I have no idea if I'll use this, as I'm concerned that I'll want to touch my face more with it on, but I figured it'd be a good idea to at least have them on-hand in case we want to wear them.

Sep 29, 2020 update: incidentally, I was able to recall that the fabric I used was bought when I sewed a cover for our music keyboard. My memory was further jogged when a trip to our local Len's Mill Store included me looking at and identifying it as 100% cotton muslin fabric.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

One of the thoughts I find myself having to reconcile with in the past couple of months is how the man who I used to have hours-long conversations with is no longer around. Dad's having trouble making it past a few sentences without losing track of what he was talking about. I realized this when Matt, Kara, and I had to take dad for part of a Saturday — a couple of weekends ago — while mom went to the E.R. to get her eye looked at (which is a whole 'nother "kettle of fish").

We picked him up and brought him with us to Kara's gymnastics class at Vellore Village C.C.. Dad and I sat for the majority of her hour-long class in the swimming spectator gallery, trying to have conversation. It was scattered. I doubt dad noticed, but it was glaringly obvious to me. I tend to be able to "roll with it" well, but it's still a bit of a trip to think back to how he was a year ago and compare it to now. Fortunately, the last 15 minutes of class were given over to exhibition time: Kara and her classmates did handstands/headstands and walked the beam.

This is undoubtedly the first of many smaller "deaths" I'm going to notice, but it's a big one.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Searching for a piece of history

About a decade ago, dad mentioned that — of the things he left behind in a storage locker when he left his childhood home — he wished he'd kept the war medal my grandfather got for his service in "The Great War". My grandfather was wounded by shrapnel during World War I, a fact which my recently-deceased aunt claimed left him struggling with discomfort, pain, and foul moods until his passing when my dad was a young child.

So it was that about a decade ago, I presented my father with a "scrubbed" British War Medal for WWI that I purchased off eBay. I know it's statistically unlikely that it's the same medal and, allegedly, many people melted them down to sell as scrap silver until people began to give historical and sentimental value to them. I wouldn't be surprised if my grandfather's medal suffered that fate, 'though I'm hopeful that it was sold or given to one of the many Laushway families that would have still lived in the vicinity of the storage locker.

Still, that didn't stop me from setting up a default search notification on eBay for new "British War Medal"s all those years ago, when I first learned of the existence of a medal for my grandfather. Sadly, I have never encountered a medal with my grandfather's name on it.

This leaves me in my current dilemma — checking the listings daily for this medal, knowing it's likely that finding it will mean nothing to dad, soon. Do I give up the search and admit that finding it, at this point in time, might do little to give dad a memento from his past, or do I continue looking for it, despite that fact?

Of course, this all plays into the issue that the man who looks like my dad is rapidly ceasing to be my dad — a subject which I've been wanting to write about for a while now, but which I've yet to explore fully. In the meantime, here's a melancholy post about treasured items from the past, and their increasing lack of significance to people who are quickly losing their sense of self.


Monday, October 09, 2017


I'm not even sure how many of the people I know even check this blog any more, but I figured it'd be a good idea to post here, regardless. This is a relatively quick way for me to write a mini-novella, and keep it reasonably structured.

I'm finding this year uncomfortably similar to the one in which I got married which — until this year — was unquestionably the worst year of my life (and no, the getting married part wasn't the bulk of it by far). It still "wins" that title, but I say so in full knowledge of the fact that this year isn't over yet.

First off, the ever-present doom that I have no control over: dad's got dementia and it's rapidly worsening. The fact is that most of the people who read (past and present tense included) this blog don't have a very good understanding of just how bad my immediate family's dynamic is and the only reason I haven't broadcast it completely is out of a sense of obligation to the my parents' generation of family — I feel there'd be a strong sense of embarrassment on their parts. That said, I've been tempted to come clean about it all. 40 is about 40 years too long to hold onto these issues without admitting how big of a piece of my life its been. So there might be more info to come on that front. This is all a very roundabout way of saying that when one's immediate family has long-standing, unresolved, and deeply hurtful issues left unaddressed, dealing with a chronic and debilitating illness within that dynamic doesn't do anything to help with the stress levels inherent in that dynamic. Mostly, Caty and I end up feeling helpless and resigning ourselves to the fact that my parents are effectively trying to end their existences in as painful and drawn-out a fashion as possible.

We were looking at selling our townhouse over the Summer, after I came to the realization, in May, that we'd be able to move to a detached home in the Barrie area, mortgage-free. I'd be lying if I said that my parents' situation was a motivating factor, but I think that being somewhere quieter, closer to our lake of choice and nearer to my in-laws (to say nothing of how much better off we'd be, financially, if we were mortgage- and maintenance-fee-free) would be genuinely and incredibly beneficial to our family unit as a whole. We saw several places we placed offers on, but either had them outright rejected or were unable to close the sale on our home in time. We ended up taking our place off the market and hope that sales will be strong in the Spring.

I had what seemed to be a digestive-based anaphylactic reaction to duck egg on the first day that Matt returned to work of Kara's Summer break. On the floor of the local Lowe's. During which I had to weakly crawl across the floor (with the attempted assistance of several staff members), collapsing every few "steps" in a sweaty, pained heap on the floor. When the contents of my digestive system had emptied themselves (I was able to make it to a toilet — yay!), I was still soaked with sweat and beet red, with bloodshot eyes. So this Summer included a referral to an allergist who was able to determine that all of the things I already knew I was allergic to, I am, but to not chicken or duck egg. I'm also, previously unbeknownst to me, allergic to rat dander and mugwort. My birch allergy is every bit as strong as I suspected it'd be — that test site swelled up like a full-blown mosquito bite.

I also seriously aggravated the mild case of plantar fascitis I've had since Kara was born. At its worst, I had to walk around with the weight applied only to the ball of my right foot. I'm mostly recovered now, but it took me about 3 months of fastidious, self-administered physical therapy to get to this point. I still sometimes have to prop myself up on the edge of the couch or bed when I take the first steps after allowing the relevant tendons and muscles to "go cold", but I can walk normally and for extended periods of time again.

Kara developed a bump behind her left knee just as her Summer vacation started, so we've had to see her pediatrician, then get an ultrasound (druing which, she cried), then have a follow-up with her pediatrician, then have an MRI (that was a week ago). We'll probably have to have another follow-up to get the results from that one. We didn't know until we arrived at Sick Kids for the MRI that she was going to need to have an I.V. inserted so that the dyeing solution to determine the presence or lack of blood flow to the affected area could be administered readily. Kara hates needles. It took about a half-hour of her crying, then screaming, and finally a firm grip on her while she did both, to get the I.V. inserted. It was miserable. She did well after it, but I think it's safe to say that the needle was traumatic for everyone involved.

Kara and I also had our optometrists appointment this Summer — Kara's first, in fact. She cried mightily when the pupil dilation drops were applied — the "stinging" scared her. So, you know, let's add another thing to the list of medical procedures that terrify her.

I'm looking into building myself my first ever desktop PC. I'm leaning towards going with a small form factor build and am basically waiting for Black Friday/Boxing Day deals to actually make the purchases. That's one of the few "bright spots" I've got going on.

And yeah, on top of all of this is the daily grind of being a homemaker with a husband at work and kid at school. I'm still cooking, cleaning, helping with homework and getting the medical appointments booked and attended. About a month ago, my guts exploded again, then I came down with a cold, then got my period. I basically haven't felt "normal" in a month. It's been awesome.

So far, this year has been busy and kinda Hellish. I'll be glad when it's over.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Biisuke Ball's Big Adventure Part 2

This is just a delight from start to finish.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I've just discovered my new favourite website

Fuck Your Noguchi Coffee Table

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Friday, March 11, 2016

F---, yeah!

Orkestra Obsolete's cover of New Order's Blue Monday

Our first visit from the Tooth Fairy

Kara's first baby tooth popped out yesterday, just before dinner. It's her bottom, right, front tooth which has been wiggling for weeks now. The adult tooth was growing in behind it, which for some time caused me to be reminded of a shark's mouth whenever I'd glance in her mouth. Matt created a tooth envelope and the tooth fairy left Kara a hearty $2 coin in exchange for her tooth. Kara says she thinks the tooth fairy turns the teeth into the coins she leaves behind.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sofia the First's crown

Finding one of these in real life which actually looks like the character's crown is next-to-impossible, so I made one for Kara's Hallowe'en costume this year with Adobe Illustrator, printable shrink plastic, scissors, an X-acto knife, a hole punch, silver-tone paint, acrylic gems and Krazy Glue.

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Friday, October 03, 2014

Filmation-style She-Ra!

I was done working on her a couple of days ago, but the weather's been so gloomy around here that I've been unable to take any decent pictures until this morning. This beauty is going up for auction on Sunday evening. I'm so proud of how she turned out.

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