My bedroom walls are purple.

I never really meant them to be.  I thought I had picked an elegant medium shade of grey, one with only the slightest hint of a purple undertone if you squinted your eyes in just the right light. I remember opening the can and seeing the Barney-liciousness of the paint and wondering if I had been the victim some devious bait and switch paint scheme carried out by perverse employees in the paint section at the local big box store. 

Nope. I just have terrible taste and a penchant for ugly paint chips. But it was a year or so after my kid had died and honestly, purple walls weren't the worst thing to happen and I was broke, paint is expensive, so to heck with it, I thought as I rolled the grapey-goodness on my walls. I think I was waiting for a miracle to happen as the paint dried, but hours later it still looked like Willy Wonka threw up grape bubble gum on my walls and the only real miracle to materialize was the one where my husband didn't insist on an immediate repaint or a divorce. 

Those walls have been purple for over 10 years now. 

My husband is an extremely patient man. He may be slightly colour blind. Both of which I'm extremely grateful for. 


Mudder Lover

My yard has been a construction zone for over a year. Since the morning of April 27, 2012 when the first backhoe of many arrived in my yard to dig what seemed then, a giant gate to hell.

If only I knew. 

When the cement was poured, the doors hung and the snow starting to fly, I remember giving a great big sigh of thanks. 

"Thank GOD that's over and it's done," I thought as I watched our new garage doors close for the first time. My husband's dream, his Zeppelin Hangar was now in business.

It didn't take long for a blanket of snow to cover all evidence of construction, covering uneven ground, abandoned pieces of scaffolding, and remnants of six months of toil and trouble. 

I have to admit; Bruce's big beautiful barn sure does strike a pretty picture when surrounded by six feet of snow for half (or more) of our year. 

Eventually, however, snow melts and it didn't take long to realize what a complete disaster my yard was. 

That's wife code for "You broke my yard, now you better fix it." My husband took that as an invitation for fun and didn't look back. 

I should have realized I was in for a rough ride when I woke up to find this on my front lawn a few weeks ago and a husband with a grin so big his face threatened to split in two.

But I'm a big girl. I knew what had to be done. I could handle this. 

I handled it for approximately less time than it took for the first bucket of dirt to be dumped and then I fled the premises. Sometimes it's easier to deal with the carnage if you don't have to witness the proverbial killing.

I made Bruce swear he wouldn't tear my entire lawn up. "Don't dig up past the cherry tree! Leave me some grass! Promise you'll won't kill all the grass I worked so hard to grow!"

My husband always keeps his promises.

Sort of. 

I would have been mad about the entire destruction of my front lawn and my tiny patch of grass but I was too busy being horrified by the giant pit of doom I almost fell into when I walked out of the barn to get to the house.

I promise you all, it only looks like my husband was trying to kill me.


Everywhere I looked there was dirt. I couldn't get to my house, let alone SEE my house; there was so much dirt. 

Apparently, when you dig a big hole, you get a big dirt pile. 

I'm told it's basic science. Science sucks.

Once the hole was dug the fun began. And by fun I mean, full blown anxiety attack. We had to hire a crane to lift our cement water cistern and move it ten feet to the left.

That's right. TEN FEET. 


I would have killed my husband but I couldn't reach him.

Luckily for us (and our bank account,) the cistern moved with no problem and the hole was filled back in. 

And yet, I was still surrounded by mounds of dirt. 

And it was starting to rain.

I was not happy. 

Abbott, however, was THRILLED. Guess who just found out her dog loves to dig? 

*Raises hand.*

It rained for over two weeks. Northern Alberta flooded, then southern Alberta flooded and my yard turned into one big mud wrestler's delight. The dogs, the cats, the kids, my floors, everything was covered in mud. 

Mud everywhere. 

Which lead to this:

A very broken toe.

This is what happens when one is trying to prevent an itty-bitty dog with muddy paws from running across the living room floor and diving onto your furniture. You chase after the dirty mongrel only to smash your foot against the coffee table and the dog still gets the furniture filthy.

I've since learned mud makes the ugly leather couch look much better. 

Muddy paws are only slightly more acceptable than broken toes.

Slowly the yard started to dry out and the arduous process of trying to grade the yard began. 

Translation: My husband moved dirt from one location to the next. He swears he has a plan, but I'm pretty sure his plan is trying to drive me to madness.

It wasn't so bad. I only had to carry Knox up and down this hill several times a day, like a sure-footed mountain goat, because there was no way to access the house with his wheelchair. 

Not every plan is perfect. And I only almost dropped Knox once. Mostly because after I almost dropped him and fell on my face I refused to carry him over that hill of dirt without someone walking alongside me. You know. Someone I could pull down with us if I tripped.

Because if Knox and I go down, I'm taking as many people with me as I can. 

Thankfully, the rain stopped, the sun came out and my husband moved most of the dirt off to the side. That's a problem for another day. In the meantime, I almost have a front yard again.

Kind of. 

It doesn't look like much to the casual eye, but to me it's the glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and the bones of what will one day soon be a beautiful end to what has been a very long construction season.

I'll have my yard back.

Just in time for the snow to fly once again.


16 years

It's my 16th wedding anniversary today. 

I'm spending it alone. Well, not completely alone. Knox is at home, wheezing and sounding a bit like Darth Vader with allergies while Abbott tries to lick the snot bubbles out of his nose. Bruce is away at work. I haven't seen him in six weeks. He's not scheduled to be home until sometime in June.

I don't spend a lot of time writing about my marriage, other than sharing jokes or silliness, because really, who wants to read that stuff? Certainly not my husband, his relatives or my children. Privacy and boundaries are important, even if they make for really crappy writing material.

But the other day someone remarked on twitter that they didn't know how Bruce and I do it. How we stay married when we are never together. I gave a flip remark, because what else is twitter for other than to hone the fine art of sass, but I've been thinking of that question ever since.

There is no easy answer really. When it boils down to it, like most every other married couple I know, I just like him best. He suits me the way no other person does and hopefully he feels the same way. 

Marriage isn't easy, ever, even under the best of circumstances. And my husband's and my marriage is no different. Add in the complications of marrying young, being poor, the death of a parent, the birth of a unexpectedly disabled child, the surprise death of said child, crappy extended family dynamics, a failed adoption attempt, a successful adoption attempt, teenagers, disabilities, health problems, every day stress and a job that takes you more than 600 kilometers away from your family for most of the year, well, marriage is tough. 

I have spent more than seven years blogging about how I am no longer the person I used to be when our son Skjel was alive. How I have used my words to find myself and my place in this world.

But I have never mentioned how my husband has changed. How the man I married no longer exists. How could he? For everything I've been through, so has he. He's been beside me for more than half of our entire lives. He bears the same scars I do from all of the same hurts. 

When I see my husband now, I don't see the optimistic idealistic boy with big dreams and great hopes I once married. I see a gentle spirited, patient, intelligent man who wears the same look of sorrow in his eyes that I have. It's easy to miss his hurt because he hides it behind a big smile and an easy laugh. But it's there. I see it.

I'm proud of the man the boy I married grew to become. And I'm so grateful he's been by my side through it all, even when we were at our lowest, teetering on the edge of total collapse. He's always been the one to yank us back to safety. He's never quit on us, when quitting would be the easiest thing to do.

So I'll happily spend our 16th anniversary alone, while trying to avoid getting slimed by Knox's snot bubbles. Because it doesn't matter to me how many days my husband and I spend apart. I know he'll always come home to us. To me. 

He's the roots of our family, the one that anchors and supports us through it all. 

Happy Anniversary Bruce. Come home soon. 

There's poop waiting to be picked up and I don't want to do it.

I love you.