It’s pretty crazy that October is gone and we’re nearly at the end of the year. What a year! This month in particular just felt like it was so quick, overwhelming with highs, lows and filled with some pretty great memories. Here are some stories from our RAD house this October 2017.
Shriners Variety Show
October 1st Gregory and I won some tickets to go see a variety show put on by the local Shriners. There were clowns, magic acts and comedians. Gregory loved the magic act, in fact, he now has a magician costume that he loves. We practice juggling which is a hoot and whenever he sees a stick or wooden dowel the size of a wand he is swinging it around saying abracadabra. So adorable.
Vacation for Two
My wonderful tribe member, Rachelle, had to fly back East to visit family and asked us to come down and house sit. It’s always fun to go visit her home. It’s gorgeous, secluded, and on the backside of a provincial park with many hiking trails to explore. Not only that but they just rescued a dog, so we were dog sitting as well. Gregory and I have been talking of getting a dog and this was going to be great practice.
Walking the dog twice a day helped get me back into the fitness groove that I had not been able to get back into since the transition house stay started last October. Gregory didn’t care to go out in the cold mornings and walk the dog, and I was nervous to walk the trails once the sun started to go down. I always brought along our Baby Hip Hugger so I could carry Gregory when he was too tired to walk if we went for too long. The little hiker surprised me and almost never wanted to be carried the whole week we were there.
I know we were house/dog sitting, but I decided to make this trip special for the two of us and call it a vacation. It made the whole week a little more magical and enjoyable. We got to visit friends one day and drive out to Sandcut Beach with the dog another day for a big hike to find a waterfall. This particular hike was a little more intense for Gregory thanks to all the stairs we had to climb on return. I hope the little man has fond memories of the trip and not of him crying the whole way back up. I’m quite impressed with G’s hiking skills. We’re almost ready for Mt. Whistler again!
Rachelle’s house is spectacular and in their garage they have an old car that they are about to restore to its full glory. Gregory and I loved going in each day pretending to go for a ride. We also managed to find a corn maze and went exploring. Definitely got lost at least twice in the smaller kids maze #NoShame. Gregory found all the check points and got a farm inspector sticker as a reward. Before we left there was a tractor that pulled little carts painted like corn and Gregory jumped in the back and went for a ride.
We ended up missing Thanksgiving because we had to go to the airport Thanksgiving day. Being away from family and home made it difficult to manage a grand feast as well, but next year I will hopefully get myself together enough to make some candied yams. I’ve always wanted to try them. Do you have a recipe? Link it or leave it in the comments below.
I attend a pre-employment program that helps women who’ve experience abuse, suffer from trauma and face barriers to get back on their feet and into the workforce. It’s my 5th month in and I’m starting to repeat workshops, meaning my time with the group is almost up. They helped pull me out of depression, introduced me to new friends, helped me get a place to call home and so much more. I could never thank them enough for what they’ve done for me.
I was able to repay them in a most grand way on October 28th though. And I got to check off many items from my bucket list that night as well. I was a guest speaker at a Masquerade Gala to help raise funds for women fleeing domestic abuse. I got to dress up, put on a mask, eat delicious food, speak out and help the next women trying to flee, and dance the night away with friends.
I’ve always wanted to go to a masquerade ball, ever since I saw Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst. It always looked so magical and fun, and it was. The costumes some people had were absolutely stunning. As the guest speaker, I didn’t have to pay for my ticket. But I’m already saving up the $100 for next year’s ticket.
Did I mention I have amazing friends? Julie drove up to support me and the cause. My beautiful friend held my hand as I shook nervously before and after my speech. It was nerve-wracking to speak in front of all these people. Julie walked outside with me to help calm my nerves, kept me laughing and in great company all night long. I am truly blessed to have such an amazing friend to go through the trouble of attending just for me.
None of the guests knew that there were women who are clients to the society in attendance. I was very aware of that. I was also very aware that the moment I went up there I was about to expose myself. Telling people that you’ve been homeless for a year, don’t have a job, money, and are a parent who exposed your child to abuse and displacement isn’t something I do. It’s my hidden secret that I don’t tell strangers, at least not in person, it isn’t their business. But this was worth it. Opening myself up like this was going to help other women, and that is what I want to do.
I know how hard it is to flee abuse and then try to rebuild your life after. It’s no easy task. When I was asked to be the guest speaker I accepted right away without a second thought. Until I had that second thought. I had to speak to strangers, tell my story, make it personal, but not too personal and help raise money.
In the end I think I did alright. I’ve seen the recording and am satisfied. I was not expecting the standing ovation at the end, it was very overwhelming. And for the rest of the night I had strangers coming up to me thanking me for my words and congratulating me on how far I’ve come. A few people even bid for items at the silent auction and gave them to me!
Dear kind Sir who gifted the over-sized stuffed duck to my son, he loves it. Sleeps with it every night, hauls it out of the bed every morning and snuggles the Ducky all the time. Thank you very much. I’m not sure if you’ll ever read this or if I’ll ever see you again, but my kid loves that stuffed animal. Thank you.
I go to a farm and work in exchange for work experience and some harvested fruit and veggies. The farmer said next year he would try to employ me officially so I can get off of income assistance. I am very thankful and love being outdoors all the time. It really helps my SAD and the physical labour keeps me moving and healthy.
The berry picking season is over so we cleaned up some land and built up some burn piles. You know what that means, right? BONFIRES! I hauled Gregory out to the farm to roast some hotdogs and marshmallows one evening. It was awesome. There is a dog on the farm, Digger, and Gregory just adores him. It was a wicked night that really set the tone for the Halloween season.
Our neighbour, Miss Elizabeth, is on the PAC for her sons school and invited us to a fundraiser dance. I was totally down to party, it was just a few days before the masquerade so it would get me in the mood to party with adults. …I haven’t been inside an elementary school in quite some time. I forgot how loud young children are when inside a gymnasium.
There was a costume contest, pizza, cookies and a DJ who played some wicked beats. Gregory was a little nervous with all the kids running and screaming, so I held my little Buzz Lightyear in my arms as we danced the night away. The DJ even came by and gave him a prize for being on the dance floor for so long. When we got home Gregory said ‘I want to go again next time.’ It was a hauntingly good time.
Trick Or Treating
The town we live in is small, and the downtown area is full of small local businesses that put on a Halloween Spooktacular event for kids. Saturday morning Gregory dressed up as Rubble on the Double from Paw Patrol and we went trick or treating to all the stores and got a bucket load of candy. We saw princesses, firemen, zombies, minions, chickens, pirates, vampires other paw patrol pups… someone even dressed up their bulldog as Rubble from Paw Patrol.
Having gone during the daytime a few days before Halloween, Gregory was more than ready for the big show by Halloween night. This time he was a fireman. His costume has reflective bands already on it which made it perfect for when the sun went down. The streets we went down begging for candy were empty, and if you’re an experienced trick or treater, you know that means you’ve hit the jackpot.
We were the only ones to hit these houses up all night, so each house we got a fist full of candy. I can’t even tell you how many kit kats and rockets we got. Gregory was happy he got his chips, chocolate, lollipop and bubblegum. That was on his treat wish list and that made it a very successful night for him.
We sat around a campfire with locals in the area and enjoyed the evening before turning in for the night. The next day Gregory gave half of his candy away to a boy who was sick on Halloween and didn’t manage to get out for the fun. I was very impressed with the G man, he didn’t even put up a fuss. He was bashful when handing it over though, my little cutie pie.
I expected to struggle this October with my PTSD. It’s the anniversary of us fleeing my abuser and I had a court date where I had to see him for the first time in just slightly over a year. My emotions were all over the place. My triggers were firing one two and three every day it felt like, and I still had to manage life commitments and motherhood. I’m definitely getting the hang of it, handling life again. I am very proud of myself.
Dear Gregory Thomas
Hello my little prince, a little word to you as I look back at this month. Its been a hectic month, and you handled it like a champ. I am sorry for waking in the night from my screaming and fighting the bed, and I am sorry for waking you those nights I couldn’t do anything but cry… but you, my angel, are my rock. You are what keeps me going. You are what kept me looking to the positive future. I can’t believe we’ve made it a year. I hope I give you enough love and show you how much I love you every day.
Your art wall this month turned out great. Your leaf monsters and footprints were the most fun for me to do with you. I’m sorry our pumpkin rotted before Halloween, but at least we got to roast the seeds and paint some pumpkins for your art wall.
You weigh 40 lbs and are 3 feet 5.5 inches tall this month. Your 3 inch growth spurt over the summer has ended, but seeing how your appetite has been as of late makes me think you’re about to shoot up again. You’re a little boy now, not my toddler, definitely a little boy. And your knock knock jokes are coming along great!
Knock Knock. Who’s there? Ach. Ach who? Bless You!
Knock Knock. Who’s there? Boo. Boo who? Don’t cry!
Knock Knock. Who’s there? Hoo. Hoo Who? An Owl!
You’re all done dance class now, the difference from your first class with Miss Bonnie to your last has been astonishing to see. You are so excited to start your Soccer class on the 2nd. My little Soccer rocker, I can’t wait to see what November has in store for you.
Our RAD house
I’m so glad that I get to preserve some moments in text like this, for both Gregory and me to look back on and spark our memories. Like I said, it’s been quite the year, but we made it. I know that my little man and I can do anything now, we are survivors. Watch out world, the story continues in our RAD house.