Ugh.

There are things I hide from everyone and I don’t know why.
I don’t know why I do them. I don’t know why I hide them. 

I wake up with a headache probably anxiety and lack of caffeine
I always think it’s cancer or an aneurism. Ridiculous. 

I wish I didn’t care about politics. 

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Wagner’s observation of transactional memory.

This beautiful concept is called ‘transactive memory’. This is the observation that we don’t just store information in our minds or in specific places, we store memories and understanding in the minds of the people we love. You don’t need to remember your child’s emotional relationship to her teacher because you know your wife will. You don’t remember how to use the remote because you know your daughter will. I have never learned to make bread because my mom does it for me. Little bits of ourselves reside in other people’s minds.

You know when one half of a long marriage dies and its surviving partner says that some part of them has died along with their spouse. According to Wagner this is true. Everything you’ve stored in your partner’s brain dies with them.

The hardest thing I’ll ever have to do.

Had a conversation with Emily today about Chef and Ariane (Chef’s autistic daughter.) I said this could be the most difficult thing you’ll ever have to do but it could be the greatest thing you ever do as well. It made me start thinking about what I’ve been through with Ann Marie.

Pre-july

  • I was 29, wife and two kids, making 72k per year with my job, freelance and rental. I owned two houses.
  • Ann Marie’s failing interior design career caused a constant employment/layoff/EI cycle. It didn’t really matter though because she didn’t really need to be working. (Didn’t realize this until … 2017.)
  • We discussed either having more kids and she stay-at-home moms it or she goes back to school. Ann Marie decides to go back to school for nursing.
  • We figure we have a great relationship with my parents and my mom is dying so moving in with them wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. She could go to school in Kingston, my mom would have the time with the kids, and I could continue to rent our properties and make 90k per year instead of $72.

July 2011

  • New city / New job.
  • Ann Marie had to get 4 high school credits in a year while raising 3 year old twins while volunteering at the GoodLife in the daycare.
  • We spent two weeks living in my in-law’s basement.
  • Moved in with parents because my mother was “dying”. (Diagnosed in 2008 and given three years to live… yet still alive and managing a good QOL in 2017…)
  • Started paying full time daycare when we realized we didn’t trust my mom to discipline the kids at all.
  • House ran out of water.
  • Lucked out with good tenants in 106.
  • 104 tenants bailed without notice.
  • 104 left behind fleas and became vacant. Rentals were only breaking even.
  • I had a nervous breakdown and started trying to find an anti-depressant that worked.
  • Steve Jobs dies.

2012

  • First anti-depressant was bad. (Slept all the time.)
  • Bought a mini-van we didn’t need and didn’t end up using much. Really expensive.
  • Second anti-depressant was bad. (No libido.)
  • Living with my parents remained difficult.
  • Found a tenant for 104 after 6 months of dealing with fleas.
  • Couldn’t stand my parents so we ate out a lot which cost us a lot of money.
  • Ann Marie got shingles.
  • Ann Marie’s anxiety went through the roof during her first year of university. Her hair was falling out and she was crying uncontrollably all the time.

2013

  • Ann Marie’s grandfather John died.
  • Ann Marie barely passed first year.
  • Inherited $25,000. Paid off debt.
  • Ann Marie got a job as a PSW.
  • Ann Marie got appendicitis and had to have it removed.
  • Ann Marie dropped out second year for the first time.
  • Good tenants in 106 terminated their lease.
  • New tenant in 104 didn’t pay their rent for 4 months.
  • Decided near Christmas we’d had enough and started desperately house hunting.

2014

  • Ann Marie got a job as a PSW at Bayshore.
  • Sold 106 easily. Sold 104 w electrical upgrades.
  • Paid off debt.
  • We bought our current house, invested $20k into upgrades and paid off debt.
  • Mini van died. Bought an Elantra.
  • I got Graves’ disease.
  • Ann Marie’s dad had a tumour found in his chest.
  • Grave’s disease almost killed me.
  • Ann Marie’s dad had open chest surgery to remove the tumour.
  • Ann Marie’s grandmother had a heart attack.
  • Ann Marie dropped out of second year the second time.
  • Ann Marie’s complete breakdown

2015

  • Cashed out our RRSPs. Paid off debt.
  • Things get better. We start to feel normal.
  • Ann Marie got a job as a PSW.
  • Ann Marie attempts second year again.

2016

  • Remortgaged the house. Paid off debt.
  • Ann Marie passes second year.
  • Ann Marie gets a job in the renal unit at KGH as a PCA.
  • Millie’s mom Flora dies.
  • Ann Marie’s grandmother keeps having heart attacks and needs a valve surgery.
  • Ann Marie starts third year.

2017

  • Applied for OSAP. Approve. Paid off debt.
  • Ann Marie passes third year.
  • Ann Marie gets a job in the renal unit at KGH as a PCA.
  • Ann Marie’s grandmother had her valve surgery and her dementia got way worse.
  • Ann Marie’s great-uncle Josh died.
  • Ann Marie’s cousin Rita died.

Learning a lot…

So of all the things I’m learning in the garden this year (my first real attempt at a big garden) timing is the most important.

I grew zucchinis, tomatoes, and cucumbers inside and they took no time at all before they had outgrown their shelf. I was struggling to keep them under control and they were starving for sunlight and soil. That was dumb. They can be planted early May.

On the other hand I planted flowers in May and now have a shelf of 36 marigolds and a shelf of 36 pansies that I’m waiting on. I needed to plant those end March so they would be hearty by May 24.

End of March – Mint, Strawberries, Marigolds, Nolana’s (maybe), and Pansies.
Mid-April for Zinnia’s They grew fast but still went out too early.
Early May – Zucchini’s, Tomatoes, Cucumbers.

That should get me more on track for next year.

An email to dad… passive-aggressively begging for help.

Hey dad. I’ve got a huge favour to ask. I know youre busy so how much you can do is up to you.

The chipmunks are back and it won’t be long before they start destroying all my hard work.

Here’s the top of my garden.

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I want sides on it like this (without the hinges) I didn’t leave a lot of edge to work with… :

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and a top on it like this (without the fold-out-brace-posts)

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I  don’t know where to start. I’m willing to put in work but I don’t know what to do.
If you could give me some kind of step-by-step that would help. I just don’t want to get so far in and have to tear it all apart.
I’m also fine with you doing it for me but I know you are busy AF right now with the chickens, gardens, etc.
Much love,
Andrew

He responded like two minutes later saying “Let me give it some thought”

I’d love to make a day of it and learn from him. But he’s so busy with my mom and their property I dunno if he’ll be able to. He’ll probably just do it for me. We’ll see.