A Perfect Weekend

Not everyone gets along with the ex-husbands/wives.

My first marriage was more than regrettable. I don’t hold a grudge, but I also don’t want to spend time with people who make me unhappy. My ex, and his ex, and his other ex, and his current wife all make me unhappy. I bit the bullet for Terra’s wedding, and attended, even though my ex also attended with his current wife. There was civility. He took videos of me from the other side of the dance floor, thinking he wasn’t noticed. Totally creepy.

So, when Terra said she was having a huge first birthday party for Sunny and Sky on Saturday, and asked if it was OK with me if she invited my ex and his wife, I said yes, if we weren’t at the party at the same time. I agreed to come early, and leave early, to accommodate his schedule. I did this for Terra, as she said it meant a lot to her to have him there. Terra let me know on Thursday that he had decided to come early to help them setup, and to stay late, attending all the hours of the party. I told her we would drop by sometime this week, and wished her well with her party, we did not attend. It seems that passive aggression won the day. Compared to the insanities of the past, this is a small bit of silliness, with no police and no lawyers involved. I think I am mentioning this situation to clarify that all is not rosy in my world, there are pockets of misery that I do not dwell on, but that are an ongoing source of pain and disappointment. What I will say is, be very, very, very careful who you have children with girls!!

On Thursday our plans for the weekend changed. We spent the evening packing Tank with all sorts of things to be kept in Grace the trailer at the Rideau Camp. Things like bandaids, and plastic bags etc. Friday I prepared clothing for a weekend at the Rideau Camp, spraying some pants, overalls, shirts, and socks to ward of mosquitoes, black flies, and ticks.

DSCF0715 The clothing to be sprayed with a 10% permethrin solution were laid out on the back lawn in the back yard. After donning a long sleeved work shirt, long pants, rubber boots, a cap, latex gloves and a breathing mask, one side of the clothing was sprayed, mindful of the occasional breeze. Then the clothing was turned over to accommodate spraying the other side. The clothing was hung until completely dry, then folded, and packed for our Rideau Camp visits.

On Friday we were loaded and off to the Camp as soon as Attila got home from work. We arrived with plenty of daylight left to unload Tank, and store all the items we had brought with us in Grace. Because our plans changed so quickly, and I was feeling a little distracted by the way in which the change had come about, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the food situation. I had planned on only one meal on Saturday night, as we would have headed for the Camp when we left Terra’s party. So, our meals for the weekend were, shall we say, spartan. While I organized things inside Grace, Attila got a camp fire burning, and after a quick supper consisting of cheese and crackers and muffins, we enjoyed sitting around the campfire until the stars came out.

It was a beautiful night Friday night. The bright moon peeked out from behind varied layers of racing clouds, occasionally stepping right out onto an un-curtained stage. The fire warmed us as it threw dancing shadows into the forest. We could hear coyotes nearby. The air gradually became crisp and sharp with each intake of breath.

After putting out the camp fire we retired to our bed. Changing into cold night clothes was shocking, but we soon warmed under our comforters. I wore a beanie to bed, and we both wore socks. Still, I awoke several times in the night, cold, having uncovered an arm, or a bit of shoulder. The temperature fell below 8C, very cool for sleeping. I should have brought my hooded sweater with me, it is great for sleeping when it is really cold, as it retains the heat around my head, neck, and shoulders. But alas, I had not thought to bring it!

Saturday morning brought the sun, and milder temperatures. It was a beautiful day. I arose many hours before Attila, so I sat with a cup of hot coffee, and watched four blue jays foraging for food on the forest floor right outside the window. Then I headed outside. I started a camp fire, burning it bright and hot for the day’s work. When Attila arose we ate a quick breakfast of morning rounds (bread) and coffee, and began our day of projects. Attila gathered and brought to the wood pile all of the branches he had trimmed off the trees to accommodate getting Grace onto the property. The branches were green, with green leaves, and pine needles, so that they needed careful tending as they burned. Leaves and pine needles burn brightly, and lightly, so that hot bits of ash will rise up out of the fire pit. It is important to monitor them all, to make sure no flames exist outside the fire pit. Since it had rained recently, everything was wet, and there was almost no danger. But still, I kept a close eye. My day was spent tending the camp fire, with small forays to perform other short tasks.

There were a lot of tent caterpillars crawling in swarms on our trees. We killed them with long sticks, and continued to kill them as we found them for the entire visit. Attila used a weed killer to spray poison ivy that had invaded our property along the entrance driveway. I spent some time searching for, pulling out, and burning brambles and wild grape. The brambles make moving around on the property unpleasant, as they are quite barbed. The wild grape grows up trees and eventually kills them. I also had to empty the tote where we keep our humanure buckets, which were totally undisturbed. A colony of big black ants had decided the tote would be a wonderful place to establish a nest, I thought otherwise. I took the tote and emptied the ants into the forest where they belong.

In keeping with our continued vigilance against domestic intrusions, Attila spent a great part of the day working on the exterior underbelly of Grace, putting steel wool in larger entry points, and caulking smaller entry points.

Attila filled a pothole that had developed near the culvert in the driveway. He also whipper snipped to the end of the driveway and along the road in front of the property.

As we worked the sun shone, the birds sang, the wind blew, the sparse clouds raced across the sky, and the leaves whispered home. A pair of beautiful hawks flew over us, screeching, clearly disturbed about something. We do not recognize many of the bird calls, unless we see the birds. There were four very loud blue jays who travelled above us, stopping to inspect our activities. We heard pileated woodpeckers deep in the forest, and owls. As usual a pair of turkey vultures flew over head to see what we were up to, checking for any possibility of a meal. And of course, as evening drew near, the crows began to gather in one of the huge oak trees near the back of our property, they are always very loud.

Our dinner consisted of bean burritos that Attila prepared from the homemade refried beans, and homemade salsa, all sodium free, which we brought with us. We decided to let the camp fire die early in the evening, so that we could enjoy an early night. As dusk fell we retreated to Grace. I changed into my night clothes at that point, as it was still relatively warm, and so avoided a repeat performance of donning chilled garments at bed time. We slept well and soundly through the night, warm and comfortable at around 11C.

Sunday we awoke to cloudy skies. We spent our morning stacking firewood, Attila, and pulling brambles, me. We also came to a decision about where we will place Grace on our property. Before we move her, a half dozen trees will need to be felled, and several more loads of crushed stone will be needed to level the site. All in good time, she is fine where she is for now.

After lunch it was time to go home. A steady, all-day rain had set in. We arrived home in time to do laundry and cook a nice hot chicken dinner.

It was a perfect weekend.

All the while I continue to work on my crochet projects. Last week I began a kitchen hand towel, to hang from the oven door handle. We had one that I bought at a Church Bazaar years and years ago, and wore it out. I finished it this morning, and love it! Now to make one for Grace, and one for Iris, our two old trailers.

DSCF0717 My latest crochet project completed. A kitchen towel, that will hang from the oven door. We use this towel to dry our hands, as we go about with various kitchen tasks. This began from a pattern, which I found beyond my skill set, so I altered the pattern, using the lemon peel stitch for the towel, and single crochet for the tab. I am finding that crochet offers an opportunity for constant learning!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

14°C
Date: 9:00 AM EDT Monday 5 June 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 14.2°C
Dew point: 12.6°C
Humidity: 90%
Wind: NE 11 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.”
Jane Wagner

10 Comments

  1. I knew you’d beat me to it! I love your towel. I began a sample using knitting needles and cotton yarn but it’s not right. I started another blanket (the ripple coastal blanket done by Lucy of Attic24) and am loving it so far. Here’s what I have (after having to frog the entire thing 3 times before I got the stitch pattern set in my head and coming out right).
    https://flic.kr/p/UgYA5P

    the colors are off due to my stupid camera.the top color looks beige but it’s “silver” in reality.

    I guess I’m not happy unless I have way too many projects for my own good going on here.

    I heard a caller on late night radio say that out in western Mass. he was experienced a giant inundation of gypsy moths (in worm form) all over the place there… everywhere… they can’t get rid of them.

  2. Thanks Bex, these towels are so handy, great for wiping our hands while we are cooking. Your blanket is beautiful, well, all of your projects are amazing, colours, patterns, workmanship! I am a one project at a time kind of girl, so for the summer months I have my cotton yarn for projects, two more hand towels and another beanie for the Rideau Camp. My green and white beanie looks like a flower to the yellow jackets, so I am frequently having to stand very still while they buzz my head looking for nectar. I need another beanie the colour of dirt!

    The caterpillars are bad some years and not so bad others. Last year they were a lot worse. We are hoping that our consistent efforst will eventually diminish them at the Camp, time will tell. It is working with the brambles, I only found an armful of them on the weekend, whereas the first year there were dozens and dozens of armloads to burn.

    Bex, I really am so glad that you inspired me to take up crocheting, and that you have been so encouraging. Thank you my friend!

  3. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    I’m so sorry for what happened with Sunny and Sky’s birthday! And I say that with having some small inkling of what you’re going through. I could bookend your admonition to girls by echoing – boys, be careful who you have children with!

    Last weekend we went to granddaughter’s dance recital. There were some unexpected problems when we were told that granddaughter was worried there would be a fight if we and DH’s ex and her daughter attended the same recital. (DH had allowed the ex’s child to take his name, even though she was the child of an affair his ex had had and wasn’t his.) We were nonplussed, having no idea what was going on. As far as we knew, all was comfortable and we were certainly capable of being in the same place as the ex and just avoiding her. But in the end DH’s son, who has been trying to get close to his mother again had them go to the Sunday recital instead.

    We still have no idea what was said to make granddaughter feel there would be fighting but I know that everytime I said my stepdaughter’s name, to introduce friends of hers and such, that our 13 year old grandson sat at attention and watched me like a hawk, as if I was going to say something attacking. Having lived it before, I’m sure the ex has said some attacking, nasty things about us that the grandkids have been allowed to hear but where we haven’t been given the chance to defend ourselves. It’s disheartening as you can see damage is being done to our relationship with them.

    I’m glad you had the time at the camp to give a happier, lighter perpective to the weekend. It’s just what you needed to literally clear the air, I suspect.

    Over here, we had a truly lovely Sunday, with beautiful blue skies and gentle temps. And DH was off on Friday, so we took a drive to the beach and had lunch at a favorite restaurant. So we were able to clear the air and have some good times, too. I’m so thankful for those days when it’s just the two of us where we can have pleasant, enjoyable days that are free of the drama that some of those who surround us can bring into our lives.

  4. Teri, I do remember the challenges that you and DH have faced, a very difficult situation. We handle our whole thing by focusing on how much we love the Grandbabies. My Grandbabies have told me things that have been said, but I just nod, shrug, and change the subject, my relationship with the children is not about their parents, the other grandparents, or anyone else. We give the Grandbabies permission to not have to deal with what other people think when they are spending time with us. It isn’t perfect, but it is the best we can do.

    As it turned out in this instance, we went out to see them tonight for a few hours, and had them all to ourselves. They were eating their dinner when we arrived, and Lares brought in two little bowls of birthday cake with candles, and we all sang happy birthday to them. It was much more fun than a large party. Attila helped Lares plant the last of his garden, and I spent my time rolling around on the floor playing with Sunny and Sky. It was a case of “when God closes a door, she opens a window”.

    A safe haven from drama is a blessed thing!

  5. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Sounds like you had a wonderful celebration and time together.

    We never brought up anything about the other grandparent while we were with the family and at the recital. I just noticed the odd, tense reaction of grandson as we went about normal functions and talked to stepdaughter’s friends.

    I found myself hoping that grandson noted there was nothing wrong and no ill feelings on our side.

  6. I need one of those towels! I buy them at the farmers market but haven’t been lately, so must go.

    I remember reading/hearing that anything derogatory or critical you say about a child’s parent, the child will take as being said about him/herself because s/he comes from and feels partly like both parents.

    That is a poor paraphrase, but I think it’s true and applies to grandparents as well. You’re wise not to tell your truths about the ex in front of the kiddies — adult kiddies too, as long as they know what’s what.

    -Kate

  7. I love the towels too Kate!

    I do believe there is something in the claims that derogatory comments about a child’s parent are not in the child’s best interest. Unfortunately, I, and many others, have been on the receiving end of these kinds of comments. It does immeasurable harm, and the parent on the receiving end of the derogatory comments cannot neutralize the effect. I think it particularly pernicious when the parent attacked is the same gender as the child, sons hearing their father’s attacked, daughter’s hearing their mother’s attacked, the identity of self is deeper in those instances I think.

    This kind of violence is more insidious than physical violence, as it is often invisible, and the victims do not receive the same degree of sympathy or support. Often extended family members will sympathize with the abuser. I am familiar with both types of violence, and I do believe that the relentless expressed hostility does greater harm, barring disfigurement or death.

    My adult kiddies do not really understand what is what Kate, much of what was said by my ex was unconsciously internalized. They must discover that for themselves. In the meantime I do not allow my ex, or my children, to treat me with disrespect. With the ex this involves avoidance, for the children it involves setting boundaries.

    I love my girls and invested the better part of my life putting their needs above my own, which was a sacrifice only because of the circumstances around us, not because of the the children. They are grown now, doing well for themselves. My sacrifice is done.

    My ex sued me for the last time just before Terra turned 18. After she was 18 years old, she was legally deemed an adult, and he could no longer use her to sue me. His legal fees were paid for by the Ontario government, as he was a government employee. All those years of lawyers sending me threatening letters, court dates, ended with Terra’s childhood. It was a rough ride for all of us at the receiving end. I could afford no lawyer, and defended myself and the children successfully, in and out of court, time and time again, for years and years and years.

    There are many stories from my first marriage, all true, all miserable, and my heart goes out to all parents and children who are victimized by infantile, small, self-interested family members.

  8. TopsyTurvy (Teri)

    Maggie, I agree with everything you said.

    We also defended ourselves for years in court with no lawyer, while the ex often got free lawyers even though she had inches thick files from Children’s Aid showing she was in the wrong. She delighted in illegally taking us back to court as soon as one action ended, even though legally she was supposed to wait a year.

    Now that stepdaughter lives with her mom hours away things are usually much quieter for us, and next year will be even better as SD turns 18.

  9. I haven’t personally experienced these legal attacks that are such a waste of money and so devastating to potentially healthy relationships between divorced parents, but I am acquainted with someone who has and I can see the scars it has left. The adult child also does not realize the damage done by one parent, and which will never be forgiven or forgotten by the other parent. It’s such a shitty, unnecessary situation, brought about by greed and a need to control. Maybe the adult child never will “get it,” come to think of it, perhaps until or if that parent shows true colours to the adult child. With luck, their relationship is and will always be totally different. -Kate

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