Yellow Fever

>> Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I have it.

One of my favourite times of year is when the canola is blooming. It's a very popular crop around here and there are canary-yellow fields everywhere you look these days.

And I just never get tired of seeing them.

  Butterfly watching


Are you sure it's Monday??

>> Monday, July 27, 2015

This past weekend was a weird one.

The Man worked nights from Thursday to last night, so from about 9-5 each day, he was sleeping in our basement guestroom.  I was awake early enough to spend a bit of time with him two of the four mornings he walked in the door around 7:30, but the girls haven't seen much of him at all.

Every year on the last full weekend in July, our town hosts a fairly major rodeo event and this year, we realized we'd have to miss it because of The Man's work schedule and my back's inability to cope with sauntering or sitting for extended periods of time.  But then on Friday, one of AJ's friends asked if she'd like to join their family in spending the evening there, so they picked her up shortly after 5pm and brought her home again around 11:30, while Mack and I had a movie night by ourselves.

I repeated the movie night thing with AJ the following night after bringing Mack to town in the late afternoon to join a friend with whom she'd made plans to take in the action.

It was weird, heading back into town at 11pm to pick her up!  It was weird leaving my 13-year old daughter with a friend to roam the fairgrounds UNSUPERVISED.  The friend's parents were both working at vendor booths on the fairgrounds, so that made me feel a little better about it, but it was still rather strange-feeling.  Especially knowing how much cash she was carrying initially.  (that rodeo midway ain't cheap!!)  It's uncomfortable learning to let go.

Needless to say, both Saturday and Sunday were sleep-in mornings.  Normally, I wouldn't have allowed optional late-night activities to affect our church attendance, but I couldn't very well allow the first kid a late night followed by a late morning and then not allow the second kid to do the same.

Then just a few hours after waking up, the girls and I piled into the car yesterday to bring Mack away to camp.  This was the girls' first year going to separate camps.  AJ wanted to go back to the camp they'd been at last year (on account of they have horses...), but Mack wanted to return to the camp they'd been at two years ago instead.  She didn't know of anyone going, but upon checking in, she discovered she'd be cabin-mates with two slightly older girls from our church, and two boys she knows from school are also there. (though she wasn't too impressed about the one being there ~ he's been a bit of a pest all year long!)

Driving home again, AJ and I were treated to a rare moose-sighting.  It was kinda funny, actually.  I had just finished commenting on how the many marshy areas up in the hills that we pass along the way to that particular camp are the perfect place for moose, but I'd never ever seen one yet in the 30-ish years I've been visiting that provincial park.

Not 30 seconds later, she casually shrugs and says, "There's a moose."  What??

I totally didn't believe her, but she pointed and sure enough, there was a young bull moose knee-deep in the marsh not far from the road, munching away!  I stamped on the brake and turned around to get a closer look (and of course, hoping for a decent picture), but he'd already turned around, too, and was heading into the bush.  So all I got is a distant view of moose butt.  But we saw a moose!!

After returning home and seeing The Man off to his last night shift, AJ and I had yet another movie night together and tried to turn in a little earlier than we had been for the last several nights.  I woke up in time to greet The Man when he walked in the door this morning and watch some sports news with him, but she still slept quite a bit later than I expected she would.  She has trouble falling asleep alone in the room she shares with Mack.  She's never had to do it for more than a single night before, so I hope this week won't be too rough on her sleep-wise.

And so here we are.  After such a convoluted weekend, it's tough to remember it's Monday today.  Keeping track of time is tricky when unusual events are combined with a complete lack of routine!



It's not you, it's me.

>> Friday, July 24, 2015

I'm breaking up with Facebook and deactivating my account this weekend.

Yeah, it was an impulsive decision I made just this morning (after reading this) and I'm sure I'll struggle with feeling a little lost and disconnected for a while, but I don't imagine I'll struggle long.

I've had a love-hate relationship with it almost ever since I joined (which I think was the spring of '07), and even took a 3- or 4-month hiatus a few years ago.  For the life of me, I still can't really figure out why I returned.  The people I most want to be able to stay in touch with ~ like aunts, uncles, and cousins I get to see only once or twice a year (or less) ~ are often the ones who don't post much, and so many of the people whose posts fill my feed are ones I could easily be spending time with in real life on a regular basis.  But because I know far more about them reading FB than I probably would having coffee with them once a week, I don't feel like I need to.  Facebook does such a great job of deceiving me into believing I'm connecting meaningfully with my many friends.

Over the last year, I've gotten particularly annoyed by the number of "public service announcements" that appear on my feed.  Most simply compound our fears and make us wish we never had to go outside.  (where we'll either get sucked up by a tornado or killed by a wood tick)  And then there's the links that seem to be posted solely based on the headline, whose articles have clearly never been verified for accuracy and credibility.  Sometimes I'm pretty sure the article hasn't even been read.  It drives me nuts how many product warnings and recalls I see that don't affect or pertain to my country, my province, or even the person who posted it.  Or confirmed ebola cases that are nothing more than a cruel hoax generated by a practical joke website.  (REAL classy)

In my opinion, this is not what Facebook is for.  But nonetheless, that's how it's often used and I'm just tired of it.  But even more than that, I'm tired of how much time I waste there, and bothered by how it's changed my reading style.

I'm tired of how restless and impatient it's made me.  I used to read long articles and blog posts and make thoughtful responses, but now I do nothing more than skim and expect the main points will pop out at me.  (before I head back to FB to see if anything has happened there in the last five minutes)  Sometimes I don't even skim anymore if I can tell at a glance that I'll have to scroll down in order to finish reading the piece.  (perish the thought!)  That's just too long these days.  Actually, quite frankly, even a lot of FB statuses are too long for me to carefully read.

I'm tired of being that pathetic.
I want to go back to being the person who enjoys a good read ~ who REALLY reads, REALLY thinks, and who maybe even writes something of substance every now and again.  I'm tired of the steady barrage of links and status updates that passes for "news."  I want to enjoy and love my OWN life, seeking out and cultivating what's truly important.  It bothers me that this is something I actually have to make a deliberate effort to do.

I know this isn't really Facebook's fault; it's what I've allowed Facebook to become to me that's the problem.  And that's why I need to end it.  I'm sure this will hurt me more than it hurts Facebook, but it's just time to say goodbye.  I will miss some things about it and interacting with some of the people who are also on it, but mostly (once the withdrawal symptoms are over) I look forward to being FREE.



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