Please Let This Work As I Missed You (And I Don’t Sell Watches.)

Shush. Walk in here very quietly. Don’t turn on the lights. Grab that candle over there and don’t bump into anything while you’re looking around here. Whatever you do, don’t push the home button at the top because you will wake the evil purse people who took over this blog. 

What happened? Okay, well, around March, I let my Url lapse. I thought I bought that bitch once and it was mine forever. Turns out, I don’t read fine print because I’m really lazy and no. I have to buy it every year. Huh. Who knew?

Apparently, it’s a “thing” for weird, troll purse and watch and sunglass sellers (with very bad grammar) to buy lapsed urls (domain names. The www dot thinga-ma-boobers.) and put their own horse shit up on your page. Their hope is that you will be completely devastated (I was) and will buy back your domain at a hugely inflated price. Dirty trick, right? So my response to that idea was “Fuck, no!” Hence my absence.

But I may have found a way to get this all back. I may be back. I may have climbed out of the dark, sticky hole that having my blog hijacked by knock-off purse sellers left me in. And god, I hope so. I have so much to tell you! This whole ‘I-have-to-talk-to-my-family-because-I-don’t-have-a-blog-thing’ has been really sucky.

Let me know if this shows up and is readable. And quick PSA:

*Read the fine print on EVERYTHING! Don’t be an asshole like me because the internet is a cold, cutthroat place where everyone is out to screw you (except that it’s wonderful and makes me warm and fuzzy because kitten pictures!). And know this: Anyone who sells purse/watches/sunglasses/leaky prophylactics/penile enlargements or any other such nonsense is not me and comes straight from Satan’s outhouse.*

Extra quick PSA:

*Satan’s Outhouse sounds like a good name for a band, doesn’t it? Please feel free to use it.*

I’m Angry And You Are About To Get A Lecture About Spectrum Parents

Three times in as many days, I have read blogs written by parents whose children  have Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Autism.

Three times in as many days, I have been furiously horrified by the comments left by some readers.

It seems to me that a lot of folks, likely without intent (always the benefit of the doubt), are blaming the parents of ASD kids for their children’s issues or behaviors. I’ve read the subtle finger-pointing (It’s a DISCIPLINE problem!) to the overt (If you didn’t do this or that, your kid wouldn’t behave that way, YOU BAD PARENT!). It’s making me really angry.

As someone who has a family member who is somewhere on the spectrum (we know now. When he was a child, the diagnosis didn’t really exist), as someone who has friends with ASD kids and as someone who has trained professionally, and personally worked with children and adults on various levels of the spectrum, I have this to say.

It’s perfectly fine to wax on about how you would handle things if it was your kid, but guess what? Unless you’ve been there to live through a full on meltdown, you have no idea. When someone you love tries to hurt you or themselves, and that child has no control over what they are doing, when you as their caregiver have been down the same road so many times that you know all you can do is wait for the storm to blow itself out in a few hours (hopefully less than eight) how the HELL can you, as an observer, offer any advice? And how dare you pass judgement.

Fine, some of it is well-meaning. Suggesting diet things you’ve read, drugs, brain hemisphere balancing, sensory treatment, blah, blah, so on, is really not helpful because you know what? These parents have likely tried it all, including things you wouldn’t ever think of. Remember this: these are their children, their babies. Can you even imagine how painful it must be to watch your loved child struggle and obsess? To go from happy and functioning one moment to unreachable the next? It’s bad enough when your kid is typical.

Before you comment to these parents, know this. These blogs are being written to educate you and as an emotional release. These writers/parents are the bravest of the brave. They are letting you peek into a world of frustration and triumph, a rollercoaster world of highs and lows even they themselves don’t understand. Please, show some respect.

Have some empathy, some compassion. It’s hard enough being a parent. Harder still parenting a child who has special needs.

If you want to help, educate yourself. Learn. Acceptance and understanding come with knowledge. But don’t judge their parenting. Trust me, they’ve done that enough by themselves.

And always bear in mind; people on the spectrum, physically disabled, mentally challenged, wheelchair bound, brain injured, mentally ill, deaf, blind, mute, one-armed, one-legged, people with Tourette’s, Down Syndrome, PDD, ODD, FASD, dementia, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, are PEOPLE first.

We’re all here together. That’s never going to change. Be kind.

*drops keyboard, stalks off*

Now With Less Barf

January sucks like a Dyson, doesn’t it? It’s cold, dark and the Christmas bills just keep pouring in. I ended up with a stomach bug and was abed for 4 days.

In my fevered and dehydrated stupor, I thought about you guys. No, really. I wondered what you were doing, if you were safe and warm and not vomiting every half hour. Then I sort of started to hate you, just a bit, for getting on with your stupid, happy, unvomitty lives. And I felt guilty for hating you all, as I’m Canadian, and we don’t hate randomly. We might express mild disapproval for something, but hating? No. We are the sort of folks who will gently put down our beer, put up our hand in a non-aggressive manner and with a slightly furrowed brow, ask you politely to stop doing that which offends us or we may have to raise our voice somewhat.

Like a good Canadian, I decided to channel my guilt and untoward feelings.

I thought, “How can I change the world? Make this a better, less nauseous place for all of us?” And I made these.


card 2

card 3

Less barfy greeting cards! I only put a couple of them up here, but you get the idea. Click on the card and it’ll take you to the store. I hope you like them.

And if you’ve got anything you think needs to be on a card, leave me a comment and I’ll see what I can do.

Love to you all.


Why TLC Is Good For You

I watched some show on TLC the other night about extreme (read that as above 50) cougar (read that as horny) gals (read that as well, gals, I guess) that like to date or sleep with (molest) decades younger men. One of them got handfasted, which at first I thought was going to be a handjob, so I kept one eye on the t.v. and quickly made sure no one else was in the room. Oh shut up. You would have too, prissy.

I later found out that it’s an ancient marriage ritual from before they had marriage as we know it. As far as I can discern, some lady waves a shiv around, then ties your hand to your loved ones hand (against your will?) so you can never fucking get away. The knife part is to frighten you, because she’ll cut you if you even think about untying that knot. Really, it’s beautifully terrifying, like a real wedding is, though I think the wedding meal consists of leaves, dead grass and lake water and there’s likely some sort of bestiality involved, but it was still touching.

When he told his parents he’d married his love, who was older than his mother, the shit pretty much hit the fan. I completely see his mother’s point, as I think if my baby brought some heavily mileaged old trollop home, I’d play “let’s see who can accidentally get tripped down the stairs and land in a broken bloody heap” with her, which I’d win, of course. And even though my eyes melted a few times during the show, I learned something. I learned that no matter who you are or how fucked up you believe yourself to be, TLC finds people to put on television that make you look normal.

Watch away, my friends.

Why I Didn’t Write For Ten Years

There are people who come into our lives and change us, often in ways that we never would have wanted or imagined. As you recall, I have briefly written about the abusive ratbastard cop here. I try, have tried, always will try to never let his short involvement in my life have dominion or consequence in my future. It was so long ago. So much is different. And safe. For the most part, I never think of him except perhaps in passing, when I see one of his grown children that I pretend not to know.

By the odds of cruel fate, while I was deeply in my grief at my cousin’s passing, I received a friendly message from HE WHO WILL NOT BE NAMED on my personal Facebook page. Ah, Facebook. The playground of the bored sociopath.

My sorrow had chinked my armour and while I would normally snort derisively at the audacity of such a stupid person, I started to remember. Pain added to pain. Fury added to pain. Beyond all doubt, he did one of the worst things anyone could do. He took my words.

Let me backtrack…

As a youngster, I was the insecure, the odd duck, the bullied, the outsider. I was raised by people I now refer to as The Criticisms. In a very small town, I had no escape except inside my mind and into stories. Other’s words, my words. I wrote and wrote. My sanity and my sense of self, my release, were words.

The Criticisms weren’t very supportive. They’d say, “That’s fine, but go study Math as you’ll have to get a real job someday.” It’s okay. Them, I forgive. They’re  just people and people fuck up all the time.

I kept writing quietly, never showing anyone, wearing my words close to my heart, letting them protect and save me. I worked on my craft, telling myself, “Someday, I will tell a story. Someday.”

I collected my words in journals, for later, whenever. Someday.

Almost at the end of the relationship with nameless, I came home one day after work to find all my writings, my journals, opened to pages where I had tried my hand at erotica. Nameless had the look of “I will put you through terror” on his face and a fire lit in the fireplace. It was so absurd, I actually laughed.

I’ve said before, there is no such thing as a bad abuser. They are all very good at what they do. After 4 hours of being berated by a person trained in interrogation, I burned them all. To make it stop. A life’s work. My words. My salvations. My releases.

After that, I didn’t write. No journals, no fiction, no poetry. Writing down words was too dangerous. Who might read them? Who might find them? Who might use them against me?

But in my head, they flowed. The “What ifs…”, the “Whys”. I wrote in my mind for 10 years, until finally, one day, a couple of years ago, I wrote something down.

I nervously took my cheap notebook to my husband. I asked him to read it, and please remember, it was just a story, it had nothing to do with him or me and was it okay? He looked at me curiously, read it and said “It’s good. Keep it up.”

I was safe again. My words could come out. And I’m here.

So nameless, all that you did is behind me. All you tried to do, all you thought or think you were is nothing but fodder. My husband, my son, my life now, it’s good steel. Go ahead. Beat on the door. You can’t come in.

The words you took from me? They’re back now. And they are legion.

I will write until there is nothing left to write on.

Beautiful Boy

Eight years ago today, I was rebuilt.

Everything I thought I knew or believed to be true fell away to become inconsequential dust. You changed me as nothing ever could and I shed the weight of alone when I became your Mother.

rowan 3

Thank you, Rowan. For teaching me true love, what dreams really are and for awakening in me all that had long been dormant. Because of you, I am a better woman. It is an honour to be your mom.

My beautiful, brilliant boy. Every second of every day, I wish you something wonderful.

Happy Birthday.

How To Fuck Up All Chances Of Becoming A Professional Writer

Dear Stranger,

You recently sent me an email asking if I would be interested in doing some columns for you which got me very excited as I’m completely flattered whenever anyone reads me, let alone when someone thinks my writing is worth sharing with anyone else, especially on a professional level because hey, let’s be honest, I’m no pro and if you read closely you’ll likely find spelling and grammar errors, flow problems (Ha! Flow! Sounds like my period) and realistically, most of what I talk or write about is absolute nonsensical bullshit (I should trademark that phrase) and half the time, I write these things in under 15 minutes and don’t proofread or edit, anyway, as I said, I got excited, so I reached for some chocolate because, yum, am I right, and it’s way too early in the day to drink, but of course, in this house there is never any fucking chocolate when you need it as I make it disappear down my gullet every night before bed, so I found some Doritos, which I haven’t had in 4 years as I’m getting super old (fuck) and the main ingredient in chips is salt, which raises my blood pressure and I am decidedly too stubborn to die young (I have too many people left to piss off, namely my husband, and if he thinks I’m kicking off so he can find himself a younger, hotter woman, that prick is delusional as he knows I’m nothing if not spiteful, which is why we’re both still in this marriage to begin with) and the Doritos made me even happier, salt be damned, but the old blood pressure did rise rather quickly, which made me goofy and I sent you back a nice email that I signed with “Love, Leanne”.

While I’m certain you are loveable, I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable with my forward and entirely uncalled for proclamation of love, I mean, come on, we don’t even know each other, and it’s true I do love a lot of people but as you are a complete stranger I thought I should clarify that “love” as I don’t want you thinking that if we ever meet in person that I’ll expect you to sleep with me or anything, not saying it wouldn’t be nice, as this is in no way a denigration of your probable sexiness and prowess, but I am married and aside from all the contempt, I do love my husband and am faithful to him, so I was thinking maybe we might just want to form a friendship and if that goes well then we’ll throw in some hand-holding and cuddling but seriously, no pressure.



p.s. If you can get me a book deal, I will love and totally sleep with you. Just so you know.

p.p.s. I feel really tall right now. Is that one of the signs of stroke?

If You Can’t Fit Into Your Pajamas, You Might Need To Lay Off The Butter

I’ve gained somewhere around 10 pounds this year, due to a combination of gluttony and not being able to do any excercise for two months after I had my appendectomy. (I stretched that two months out to six, by the by. I was feeling fragile, plus I just had an oversized baby only eight years ago so give a gal a break, right? That’s what I told anyone that made any mooing sounds as I waddled by.) Christmas didn’t help either. I subscribe to my Dutch ancestors notion that to make anything taste better, add butter. That bacon tastes off? Put some butter in the pan. That rock you’re eating could use a little something? Butter, my friend. Butter makes it better.

By Boxing Day, I couldn’t get into my new fancy pajamas, which I could totally wear out to grocery shop if I had to, they’re that nice. That’s what you do when you’ve just flat-out given up on what other people think of you. You wear your pajamas in public. It’s a blatant statement of not being able to fall any further down the rabbit hole. All that’s needed is a sign that says, “I am wearing my sleep attire out in the middle of the day. In public. I have farted all night long in these and I don’t give a damn.”

So I wrapped an old sheet around my middle like a toga and I got my flabulous self on the computer. I found a Pilates machine and I fell in love. Pilates? Short info: You do the whole workout on. your. back. No shit. You’re laying down for the whole thing! It’s like a nap! That’s just goddamn fantastic.

The machine is a series of pulleys and a movable track (the part you lay on) with a nice little headrest. My brain said “Holy fuck. That’s fucking brilliant.”( My brain swears a lot when it gets excited.) I told Hubby I had to have it and I promised to wrestle with him at least 3 times a week if I felt better about my body. ( You’d think after 10 years he’d have learned that all promises of sexual favors lead to nought but he’s nothing if not hopeful. And a little dumb.)

I wrapped my sheet neatly around my body, added a belt for security (and flair) and went and bought my Pilates machine. I hugged it and dubbed it “The Gunt Begone”.

I got on the Begone today for my first official workout. I put the disc in to follow along with the nice dvd instructor lady. I think she’s somewhere around 137 years old but her body is amazing. That’s the power of laying down while you work out, people. I followed along, kept up, until 20 minutes in when I realized I was pulling my whole body weight in a rowing circular motion, with my feet in the air with pulleys on them, swinging in circles, and that the muscles that seemed to be bearing the brunt of this movement were the ones that attach your crotch to your body and that for no reason ever would I need a bulked up crotch. Oh, and also that I was in horrible pain and hopelessly flailing while trying to untangle myself. Somehow I got a knot in the pulley cables before I managed to fall over whimpering on the floor. I think the Begone snarled and snapped at me as I crawled away.

Now I’m stiff. So, so stiff. The only cure for that will be to do it all again tomorrow. Motherfucker. But I’ll do it. In a few short months, people will compliment me on my toned body and admire my bulky crotch, I just know it.

In the meantime, The Gunt Begone is parked in the corner. I think I can hear it snickering.

If My Son Survives Having Me As A Mother, He Can Survive Anything

It’s the new year. Thank God December is over is all I have to say. It was hellishly busy for me, as for us all, and I feel like it passed in a blur.

My son has hung on to his baby teeth like grim death. There is no rhyme or reason to when he loses them and they take their sweet time coming in and when they do, they are chew corn through a fence huge. He went from having the most gorgeous smile to looking like he’s visited some hillbilly home dentist that’s removed his normal, human teeth and replaced them with something he pulled out of a dead Beaver. It’s terrible. I open his mouth, have a look and  see dollar signs gleaming in some Orthodontist’s eye. And I mutter, “Oh! So ugly. My god, look at this!” He just grins, sticks his tongue through the gap and goes off to gnaw down a tree or something.

The first week of December he lost one of his teeth at school. He excitedly came home with it in a baggie lovingly provide by his teacher. The Tooth Fairy came that night. And with no warning (looseness), two weeks later he lost another.

At that time, the Tooth Fairy was tired. She was too busy at work and home, trying to get the stupid Christmas thing together and survive. And she forgot to come.

The next morning, my son ran to his room after breakfast and pulled the tooth in its baggie out from under his pillow. He showed me with a frown. “The Tooth Fairy didn’t come.”

Shit. “Well, honey, she’s probably really busy helping Santa out with things. I think they know each other.” His frown deepened a bit. “Or, Mom, maybe the cat got her when she came! He’d do that, you know.”

The cat got a steely eyed glare and I made the mental note. Tooth Fairy: 10 p.m. tonight.

And wouldn’t you know, I forgot AGAIN! This time when he woke, there was yelling. I heard from the bedroom “What the… Mom, she didn’t COME! What is wrong with her?”

Shit,shit,shit,shit,shit. “Well, Honey, maybe the cat did get her, I don’t know! Maybe ALL the kids are losing teeth right now and she’s really backed up because she’s short-staffed!” He left for school with the angry “what is this shit” look all over his face.

The guilt? I know it well. I made the mental note again. FUCKING TOOTH FAIRY! 10 FUCKING P.M.!

At 10:05, I remembered. And half asleep, I remembered that I had no cash. I frantically searched pockets, the bottom of my purse, hubby’s jeans. Nope. Nada.

And with a EUREKA that was heard around the world, I ran out to my car and searched under the floor mats, and Voila! I found four bucks.

The next morning, he came out of his room smiling. “Look! The Tooth Fairy came! She left me these coins and look! This one’s really dirty! It smells like coffee!” Off he went to school, happy.

And the Tooth Fairy? She and the cat now have a secret. And she always keeps coins in her car, safely hidden under the mat.

I really should win some sort of parenting award, shouldn’t I?

Happy New Year, my Ducks. I hope it is your best year ever. xxoo

Blues Man

Back when I was in my early twenties, I moved out to Vancouver from Saskatoon. The chaps that I lived with had a shitty, roach and mouse infested studio/house in the infamous downtown eastside. It was an incredible eye opener for sheltered little me. I went from my heart bleeding with pity at the sight of the homeless and junkies around me to being able to step over a sleeping drunk and more than once yelling “Go piss on someone else’s doorstep!” Good times.

Not by design, I became a hairdresser in the fancy, wealthy part of town. (For clarity, I took my training and was quite good. I just never wanted to do it. Some jobs we fall into.) Twice a day, I had culture shock. I’d get dressed up and go catch my  bus. Inevitably, some dirtbag would cruise me and ask me if I “wanted to go for a beer.” I’d lose my shit and respond with a shrill “No, asshole. It’s 7:30 in the morning and I’m on my way to work. This is a bus stop. I smell like hope and beauty and if I was a hooker, you couldn’t afford me. Now fuck off, twatsmack, before I put one of my heels through your eye.” Okay, not really. I’d normally say “Um, not a Ho, friend. Have a nice day and good luck with everything.” Respect went further than aggression in terms of safety. It was still sort of insulting, though.

As I was getting ready one morning, I walked into the main part of the house and smelled the most heinous, throat-closing, nose-leaping-off-your-face-to-escape odour. It hit me like a wall and I called out “Jesus Christ!” (Why do we call him when something is yucky? FYI, he didn’t show up to save my olfactory glands.) I couldn’t figure out what had been horrifically killed by shit, wrapped in stinky cheese and left to rot around the house. As I gagged over my hand, I walked up to the window and peeked out. And there, on my step, leaning against my door, was a very overweight and smelly man eating his breakfast.

I knew that the restaurant down the street would sell their leftovers the next morning for a couple of bucks to the bums. I knew he likely needed the meal. I also knew that he was sitting in front of the only viable way out of the house and that my bus was coming in 15 minutes. Fuckity, fuck, fuck, fuck. Now what?

I sucked up my courage and thought, “To hell with it.” I knocked on the door, yelled “Coming out!” and opened the door. He leapt to his feet, his take-out in his hand and with a deep Southern drawl said “Oh! So sorry, Mam. So sorry!”

I locked the door and as he was walking away, I called him back. I said “Hey! It’s okay. Sit  down and finish your breakfast. I wouldn’t have interrupted you but I have to go to work.” He came back and yes, he was as smelly as you think. “Aw thanks, Lady! Where you work? Where your man at? I hear them fellas playing music here sometimes. I write some songs! I got some fine Blues songs I can sell to your friends.” “I’ll let them know. Gotta go catch my bus.” “Y’all shore is pretty. And you smell so good.” “Um, thanks. See ya.” “Where you work at? I come visit you sometime.” “Um, well, I do hair and it’s across the bridge so…” “Oh! You do the Gerry Curl? Like Little Richard? I’d like that on myself!” “Well, no, I’m not too good at black hair but I’ll ask around.” “Okay, Lady, y’all have a good day. I hope your man takes good care o’you. Tell him I said to!” And he sat down to finish his meal and I caught my bus.

A couple of months later, in the pouring, pissing Vancouver winter rain, I saw him downtown. I’ve never seen such a miserable looking human being in my life. He approached me reluctantly and asked for some money. I asked him how much he needed for the shelter and he told me ten more dollars. I gave him fifteen (which he didn’t want to take), and told him to get over there before it was full for the night. He barely met my eye as he said thank you. He then said, with his head sheepishly down, that if I ever needed some “luvin” that I could come and find him anytime. I thanked him with a polite no.

Shortly after that, I saw him once more. He was with some people who were already half dead from drugs. It made me sad. He never did come to sell us a song. And all I wish is that I could remember his name.