hey, look!  it must be August 10th because i’m actually blogging.

happy 20th existence anniversary to this here blog!

as i wrote in my anniversary post back in 2010 (oi!), this is pretty much the only time i ever come to write something here anymore.  honestly, you could just take that post, change 10th to 20th and christopher to brad and it’s all still entirely applicable.

the blogging world as it existed in the 2000 is long gone.  if you’re not selling something, a personal weblog isn’t the place where you spill your guts on the internet anymore.  i haven’t used this space as anything more than a way to remember things which happened from 2000-2010 in, well, 10 years.  even that’s been replaced by an app (hi, timehop).

i will always be thankful for the people which were brought into my life because of this, the adventures i had, the things i learned; but, i think it’s time to stop pretending that i’m going to ever use this as an actual repository of my life again. yeah, i did briefly think about pivoting into making this a sewing-centric space since that seems to be my jam these days (@whatheathersews); then, i had to be honest with myself about the amount of time and energy i actually have to pursue that kind of commitment.  i’m not motivated to spend the time required to make something like that worth it.

so, yeah.  after today, i don’t expect there to be any more new content on fubsy.net.  i’ll see what’s involved in locking it down into a searchable archive, but that’s about it.

thank you all for playing with me these past two decades.  you all have permanent places in my heart and i’m thankful for every memory we share.

if you’re looking for me:

@hessiebell – twitter – mostly retweets
@hessiebell – instagram – mostly cats
@whatheathersews – instagram – mostly sewing
facebook – mostly arguments with racist relatives
linkedin – mostly crickets
email (how retro) – mostly spam
i still like presents july 3rd

2019:  (i missed that whole year, it appears. was i asleep?)
2018:  old enough…
2017:  sweet seventeen and all the gruesome details
sweet sixteen!
2015:  fifteen is a nice, round number
2014:  shit, sorry
2013:  lucky number 13
2012: it’s not goodbye. yet. maybe.
2011: time files (and so do i!)
2010: pass the cake!
2009: well, fuck me running
2008: belated, like always
2007: (it looks like i was busy trying to buy car, and forgot)
2006: trolls and stalkers and spam, oh my!
2005: belated blogday
2004: four fucking years!
2003: (there were technical difficulties of some sort, it seems)
2002: time flies
2001: who woulda thunk it
2000: the post which started it all

i’ve really shat the bed on this whole “blogging” thing, haven’t i?

i got engaged, had a birthday and the blog turned 19 — all without nary a peep.

three months later…

no, really. i totally suck at this. let’s see what i can do to rectify that.


last februrary 13th, brad & i went for a walk around LaFarge Lake to see their winter lights display. halfway around the lake, we stopped on a small lookout platform where he proceeded to tell me a story about his Great Aunt Babe who got married much later in life when her boyfriend proposed “with this ring”.  eep!  suddenly, i was engaged! #heputaringonit

it’s now a year later and our wedding date of may 10, 2020 is approaching at breakneck speed.  most of the big things are already sorted:  venue, photographer, catering, wedding dress, groom.  the little things are now starting to fall into place:  hair & makeup, set-up & take-down, crafting decor & favours.  holy shit, though.  planning a wedding, even a small one, is no joke!

this weekend alone, brad is going out suit shopping with his best man and we’re having our engagement photo session. plus, i still need to run some crafting tests to ensure my plans aren’t entirely ridiculous (news flash: of course they’re <em>somewhat</em> ridiculous. this is me, afterall). and, i need a manicure pre-photos and plan what we’re going to wear (all while b’s family from the island is coming over and the kids will be at ours).

i’m exhausted just thinking about it. and that’s just one weekend!


i got new glasses this summer.  it’s hard to believe i’ve only been wearing them full-time for three years. but, if i want to read, i kinda have to. my arms are no longer long enough to hold things far enough away for my forty-something eyes to focus.  presbyopia is a bitch, i tell you.

this is what i get for spending most of my teenagehood wishing i needed glasses, i suppose.


oh! i had a whirlwind trip to Boston & Chicago this summer!  i spent 41 hours awake travelling to Chicago via Edmonton, Ottawa and Boston to help my friend heather (eop) transport her two cats to her new life in Chi-town.  we hadn’t seen each other in 19 years, but when she put out the call for someone to help with the cat wrangling, i jumped on the opportunity.  everyone seems to think it was way more of a huge deal that i did so than it was – i really feel like i got the best out of it.  a subsidized trip to see a long-lost friend, two cities i like AND cats?!  it was a no brainer.

even after almost two decades apart, it was awesome to find out we were still able to talk and hang like we always have.  we both admitted to each other that we’d had worries about that, but were so glad our long-distance, low-maintenance friendship has totally held up.  i love those kinds of friendships.


i sew a lot. i mean, i must, as i now have two sewing machines and two sergers. wtf? how did that happen?

i also started a sewing-only instagram account last year that now has more followers than my 10-year-old original account.  double-wtf?!

actually, it’s been awesome. the online sewing community is kind of amazing. add in all the super cool local sewists… it makes for a really welcoming and supportive environment to advance my skills.

after the xmas holidays and rushing around was over, i had a whole week at home with minimal commitments and i spent almost all of it in the office sewing up stuff. it was fucking glorious.  honestly, it’s my favourite thing to do. i just wish i had more free time to do it.  le sigh.


in everything old is new again news, i spent 7 hours on sunday setting up my dad’s new computer and porting over all his info.

i haven’t done anything super computery in a long ass time.  i mean, i use macs now.  i don’t have time for fiddling with this anymore. that being said, it was kind of fun to flex those muscles again.  it’s not <em>that</em> long ago that i’d spend allllllllll my free time futzing with my various flavours of PCs: tweaking this, reinstalling this, upgrading this, replacing this hardware, etc.  while i don’t <em>miss</em> it, it did remind me of why i enjoyed it so much – even the frustrating parts.

but, i’m not going back to it!  i need all that time for sewing! ;)


okay, that’s it for now.  i won’t insult you (or myself) by making any promise that i’ll write more.  if you want me, you can find me on instagram and facebook, and sometimes twitter.  i can barely maintain my grocery lists – this doesn’t stand a chance.  sorry.


what what?!  this here blog is now 18 years old!  old enough to vote!  buy booze in Alberta!  enlist in the military!  legally change its name!

every year i lament that it’s a long-suffering and ignored entity, but i still love it so and will always keep it.  thanks for dropping by!  we both appreciate it!

exclamation points!

2017:  sweet seventeen and all the gruesome details
sweet sixteen!
2015:  fifteen is a nice, round number
2014:  shit, sorry
2013:  lucky number 13
2012: it’s not goodbye. yet. maybe.
2011: time files (and so do i!)
2010: pass the cake!
2009: well, fuck me running
2008: belated, like always
2007: (it looks like i was busy trying to buy car, and forgot)
2006: trolls and stalkers and spam, oh my!
2005: belated blogday
2004: four fucking years!
2003: (there were technical difficulties of some sort, it seems)
2002: time flies
2001: who woulda thunk it
2000: the post which started it all

as previously posted, i decided to up my sewing game by participating in Me Made May ’18!  as our intrepid readers may recall my pledge was:

  1. wear at least three me-made items each week
  2. sew two new (wearable) items
  3. complete the repairs/alterations of three other me-made items to make them wearable again

how did i do?

1. wear at least three me-made items each week

Me Made May '18

Me Made May '18

Me Made May '18

i did pretty good!  i wore me-made items 27 times, with peak me-made in my second-to-last outfit which consisted of THREE me-made items!  that was cool.  there were only a couple of repeats, too.  oh!  and i managed to wear every single one of my me-made items!  every one!  i wasn’t sure if that red pinafore was going to make it, but i made it work, dammit!

2.  sew two new (wearable) items

Me Made May '18

Me Made May '18

Me Made May '18

well, i did make two new wearable items:  a second pair of Winslow Culottes and a second Drop Shoulder Top.  my first Hemlock Tee met an unfortunate neckband issue and serger snacking i don’t care to try to fix because the yellow knit i used kind of awful.  i’m chalking it up to a learning experience!

3. complete the repairs/alterations of three other me-made items to make them wearable again

Me Made May '18

Me Made May '18

Me Made May '18

Me Made May '18

mission accomplished!  three items altered/repaired to make them wearable again.

but, wait, what? there are four photos, you say? yup. turns out that blue skirt didn’t need any altering, so i fixed the polka dot dress instead.  go me!  although, that being said, i can see having to give the skirt waist a wee bit of a nip in the near future (fingers crossed).

i’m super proud of that brown shirt though. it used to be a dress which shrunk in the wash because i didn’t pre-wash the fabric. so, not only did i shorten it into a shirt, i also made my own bias binding from the bit i cut off the bottom to hem it! i’m not going to lie, it made me feel pretty fucking badass.  (i just wish i hadn’t cut the front longer than the back — oops, back to reality, ego.)

so, yeah, i completed all three aspects of my #MMMay18 pledge.

one unintended side affect was feeling really fucking shitty about myself by about week three.  i was so grossed out with myself and tired of taking full-body selfies and hating how some of those clothes made me look.  seriously.  it was not a good scene.  but, now that i’m out of it, i feel a bit better and can look back a the (highly staged and curated) photos and smile while enjoying my accomplishments.

anyhoo, that’s my recap.  i’m already working on some pants in hopes of making my way to being a jeans-maker by fall!  i’m tired of buying cheap jeans which i’m constantly hiking up because my monster thighs pull them off my non-proportionate waist.  woo.

let’s see…

  • i did nothing but sew a shirt and make spaghetti sauce on sunday and i have zero regrets about that
  • i cancelled my amazon prime account because it was enticing me to spend money too freely and without due consideration
  • it’s Me Made May and i’m wearing nothing i made today
  • Brad’s dad is having emergency eye surgery tomorrow, so he’s staying with us right now
  • i’m going to a wedding this weekend
  • no, really, i’m not going to buy any more fabric (just ignore that package which arrived last week)
  • my friend Sarah has shared her pattern stash with me and i’m overwhelmed with sewing possibilities
  • being over-scheduled makes me cranky
  • my friend Lisa has sold me her bike — I HAVE A BICYCLE!
  • my mom might have cancer

“I, Heather of blog and https://www.instagram.com/hessiebell, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’18. I will endeavour to wear Me-Made items a minimum of three times each week, finish the repairs/alterations of three other Me-Made pieces, and complete at least two new items during the month of May.”

yup. that’s a thing i’m going to do.

here are the items i will have to work with (not pictured: two Avery leggings in black & butterscotch):



as my three to-be-repaired items are repaired, they’ll get added to the pile.  as will the any new items (minimum of two!), of course.

i’m a little scared and a lot excited to take on this challenge.  expect photos.  eee!

i’m really fucking tired today.  that’s what’ll happen if you don’t get to bed until after midnight and you’re awake before five the next morning, i suppose.

i knew that there was a direct correlation between my mental state and the state of my home, but since embarking on this co-habitation adventure, it’s become ever more apparent to me.  especially when situations conspire to rob me of any perceived control over them.  as soon as i feel like i don’t have any input or way to resolve the situation… i start cleaning.

that’s why i was vacuuming and doing dishes at 10:30 last night.

the why isn’t important, but when i found myself all ramped-up, anxious and more than a little bit angry last night, i knew that i wasn’t going to fall back to sleep anytime soon.  so, instead of just stewing and torturing myself, i went downstairs to reclaim my space from a weekend of kids tracking flotsam and other schmutz all over my floors.  then the dishwasher needed emptying after i cleaned the dinner dishes.  oh, and the dining table had to be scrubbed of the spaghetti which was strewn all over it.  i might have thought about washing the kitchen floor, but i’m not a fucking martyr.

oh, how mightily powerful one feels fueled by frustration and impotent rage.

also, yay for not sharing walls.  i’d have gotten all sorts of flack if i’d tried that level of cleaning at that time of night in my old apartment.

afterwards, i rage-ate some Girl Guide cookies and binge-watched some Joel McHale Show until i couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer.  just like i couldn’t keep my eyes open after driving to work this morning (hello five-minute nap in my car) or after lunch this afternoon (hello ten-minute nap on my desk).

but, at least my floors will be clean and my kitchen counters clear when i finally get home tonight.  i need at least one win this week, because i have a lot of trepidation about how the rest of it is going to turn out.  with the amount of control i’m going to have at my disposal this coming week, i wouldn’t be surprised that the house will be so glitteringly clean by sunday night that you could eat off the toilets and perform surgery on the floors.

so, i’m a part-time part-parent to three kids these days.

my boyfriend, Brad, has three kids who are 10-, 8- and 6-years-old, who live with us for a certain percentage of each week.  while i never set out to be anyone’s parental figure, i always kind of thought i’d make a pretty okay step-mom, if i ever were to meet a man who had already procreated.  Brad and the kids, luckily, seem to agree, for the most part.

most of the time, it’s a pretty fun adventure. i got to skip diapers and they can all feed, dress and bathe themselves (with enough cajoling).  they can communicate in mostly-full sentences and they can comply with most simple directions without assistance (with enough cajoling).  i feel like this was a pretty great age to start a family — not my age, i think i’m way too old to suddenly have kids, honestly; but, their age.  they’re fun and mostly autonomous (with enough cajoling).  it’s kinda cool and takes a lot of the pressure off.

but, what i just can’t get my head around is food.  trying to feed these three kids is a Herculean task!  why, you ask?  well, let me point-form it for you:

  • first, just getting three kids to sit at the table for however it long it takes the slowest eater to finish their meal is a trial. i’d like to invest in a seat restraint system to keep their butts in their chairs, but i think that might be frowned upon.
  • that’s if you can find a meal all of the kids will eat; because:
    • one kid hates potatoes
    • two kids hate rice — unless it’s in an avocado or cucumber roll
    • one kid hates tomatoes
    • one kid hates bacon — BACON?!
    • one kid hates lettuce
    • two kids hate cheese — unless it’s on pizza
    • two kids refuse to eat chicken — INCLUDING CHICKEN FINGERS!
    • one kid refuses to eat fish — INCLUDING FISH STICKS!
    • one kid will only eat spaghetti-shaped pasta
    • one kid hates ketchup
    • one kid hates mustard
    • all kids hate mushrooms
    • one kid only likes Freshslice pizza
    • one kid only likes Panago pizza
    • they’ve never had chinese food, but refuse to try anything new, so…
    • Brad can’t eat dairy of any kind (which just limits our meal options another level)
    • none of the kids like McDonald’s — WELCOME TO THE TWILIGHT ZONE
  • for the most part, the kids don’t know how to use cutlery properly — trying to get them to use a knife and fork to cut anything without it turning into a temper tantrum is futile.  despite how many times i try to tell them, they consider everything finger food.
  • but! one kid freaks out if his hands get dirty/sticky — YOU SEE THE PROBLEM HERE, RIGHT?!

so, yeah.  sigh.

i mean, i was – ahem, am – a picky eater, but i think it’s just easier to handle with one kid.  multiplying it by three and adding in all the different combinations of dislike makes trying to plan healthy, well-balanced meals a Mensa-level mind-bender.

we have a regular schedule of Taco Wednesdays and Spaghetti Sundays, but the other couple nights a week we need to feed them are utterly frustrating. i don’t want to serve them ground beef-based things multiple nights in a row, but if that’s the only thing they’ll eat, what else can we do?

so, we add in sloppy joes and Brad’s version of Hungarian Goulash.  sometimes we can cook them ribs, but that’s starting to out of favour, just like hamburgers and hot dogs did.  shepherd’s pie is a no-go because of the potatoes.  cabbage roll casserole is a no-go because of the rice.  mac & cheese is out because of the dairy and pasta shape restriction. they won’t eat sandwich meat, so there’s no sandwiches.  they can’t cut up a sliced roast if it’s on their plate, so we don’t do that (besides, what’s the point of a roast if you can’t serve it with potatoes or rice?).

we have a three-bite rule for new foods, but even that doesn’t work sometimes.  we’re also pretty solid about no dessert if they don’t eat their whole dinner, especially if it’s something they’ve successfully eaten before; but, even that doesn’t work if one or more of them is feeling particularly ornery  that evening.  so we tell them “don’t worry kids, if you don’t want to finish your dinner, it’ll be waiting for your bedtime snack”.  you can imagine how well that goes over.

googling “kid-friendly dinner ideas” comes back with all these cheesy, creamy, breaded things that any combination of the five us can’t or won’t eat.  i don’t know what to do anymore, really.

it’s not all bad, though.  they like most vegetables, even if preferably raw. so, the chances of them getting scurvy are low, at least.

i made myself nine pieces of clothing last year. and a kilt for someone else!

so, sewing.

i like it. a lot.  i pretty much want to spend all day, every day just reading sewing blogs, buying fabric and making things.

last year was pretty good, sewing-wise.  as you can see above, i made four dresses, two shirts and three bottoms!  i conquered french seams on pockets.  i am still in search of the perfect leggings pattern.  i need to practice knit neck bindings so that i can make ALL the Lindens, because i love making them and wearing them.

my sewing goals this year are:

  • to NOT BUY ANY MORE FABRIC, DAMMIT (until it’s time for me to make the Winslow culottes, because i don’t have the right stuff for them)
  • try at least two new things that scare me (i.e. fitting woven garments, making actual pants, inserting zippers, etc.)
  • maybe try to blog about my makes, as it’ll give me reasons to use this space more often and make me pay a little more attention to the process
  • sew more often. now that i have a space i don’t have to pack up at the end of every night, i can start doing a little bit at a time and keep a steady progression of project.

yeah, sewing.  it’s cool.

let’s talk about sewing!

i don’t like working.

i don’t mind doing things which are work, but the getting up at 5 a.m. every morning, putting on pants, driving to a building which isn’t my house, spending 8.5 hours (soon to be 10.5 hours) of my day under fluorescent lights having to make idle chit chat with mostly strangers just because we’re all suck in the same box together for 1/3 of our lives?  nope.  HARD nope.

i miss my cats and my freedom and the ability to spend all day reading sewing blogs or making lists or deep cleaning the showers or slow-cooking a pot of spaghetti sauce while reorganizing the pantry or sewing another Linden sweatshirt or having three naps because i’m just that tired today, dammit.

2017 has not been good for my work ethic.  between vacation and recovery, i was off work for almost four months.  actually, yeah.  almost exactly four months. that’s a third of this year.  and every time i’ve had to return, it’s been harder than the time before.

i’d rather be at home helping Brad with his social media presence for the business. or working on some creative endeavour of my own.  or, hell, even working part-time in a fabric/sewing store where i could geek out on the things i actually WANT to do instead of the things i’m TOLD to do.

don’t get me wrong, my job does not suck.  it really, really doesn’t.  but, it’s not what i LOVE.  it’s fine.  i get paid very well and i have a shocking about of autonomy for a administrative wage slave, but…  sigh.  yeah.  i daydream and lust after a creative and unstructured life of making and learning and sharing and exploring. but, someone has to keep the lights on and the freezer stocked and that’s up to me these days.

i don’t have to like it, but i do have to do it.

HAHAHAHAHA!  hahahaha!  haha!  ha.

yup. that’s how i feel about that particular set of goals i made for myself last january.  it’s truly a good thing that i can laugh in the face of adversity.

so, yeah.  two major surgeries resulting in nine weeks off work, moving in with my boyfriend and his three children, setting up a new house (not just a home, but a freaking HOUSE), supporting a new business, getting a new boss… so many things happened to conspire against my list of goals for last year.  i can’t even…  i don’t think i accomplished even one.  maybe the sewing more.  maybe even the seeing people more (thanks to our bi-weekly dinner club).  but, still.  ugh.

  • i had to quit improv cold turkey last february because it was stressing me out (i had three different classes going on at one time and it was way too much because scheduling and lack of confidence). then, recovery ruined the timing for getting back into any kind of committed class.  now, i just can’t afford it.
  • i’ve become a habitual snacker because there are always snacks around now; it’s hard to be food diligent when you’re feeding more than just yourself alone. plus, my reflux is so bad that i really, really have to stop eating after the kids go to bed because i’m not a fan of aspirating on my own bile, thank you very much.
  • other than a couple of hip hop fit classes and dance lessons i got as a gift, i haven’t exercised deliberately in almost a year.  yeah, i had to recover from surgeries, but i’ve been using that as an excuse for far too long.  it’s time to get back outside — time to use the snowshoes Brad and i got each other for xmas, dammit!
  • moving is expensive. moving into a HOUSE is even more expensive.  everything about my living arrangements is more expensive than it was and i haven’t been very good about being wary about how i spent my money.  being off work cut my pay for almost three months and i didn’t compensate for that by reducing my expenditures.  so, this month we’re eating out of the freezer and i’m trying to stop letting amazon be my stress relief.
  • sewing is the thing which is bringing me the most joy right now. i love my sewing space.  i love that i can make things to wear and people think they’re great even when i know they’re kind of shittily constructed because i don’t really know what i’m doing yet.  i just don’t have enough time to do it as much as i’d like. especially if i also want to do things like exercise more or cook more or see people more or make sure the HOUSE isn’t a pig sty.

so, this year?  fuck goals.  fuck resolutions.  i’m just going to try to be a less crappy human each day.

i’ll try not to whine about going to work or having to pick up after the kids or spend the weekend doing housework instead of making that pinafore i’ve been daydreaming about.  i’ll try to talk to my parents more often.  i’ll try to be a better friend and partner.  i’ll try to play more games and go outside more often.  i’ll try to spend less time watching tv and fucking around on my phone.  i’ll try to eat more real foods i cooked myself.  i’ll try to stop living in a constant state of FOMO.  i’ll try to read more books.  i’ll try to keep the house a little cleaner.  i’ll try to rebuild my abs because i miss being able to sit up without pulling myself up.

not goals. not resolutions.  just things i’m going to try.  because that’s all i can commit to right now without overloading my soul and crushing me.

i’ve wanted to sew clothes for a really long time.

i remember doodling the most 80’s-licious dresses with puffy sleeves the size of Pluto  and the pointiest dropped waists on my notebooks in high school. going further back, i used to make new fashions for my Barbies with carefully draped Kleenex and elastic bands.

when i finally decided i could and should wear clothes i like instead of just things i could find in my size, i realized that learning to sew them myself would be a really good way to accomplish that.  that was about seven years ago.  no, really.  i’m the slowest learner.

first, i bought three metres of stretchy denim and tried to design my own dress, without a lick of experience or knowledge.  as expected, it turned out hilariously terrible.  then, i bought an actual pattern and followed the actual instructions and made an actual dress — technically.  it never fit right and i’m pretty sure it never got worn outside of my own house.  again, i didn’t have any experience with the techniques and it showed.  so much.

after that, i kind of stopped sewing anything but tote bags and pot holders.  straight lines i could handle.  bodies have too many curves and i was totally intimidated by that point.

that’s about the time i met Lisa and she helped encourage me to try a bunch of new things:  including taking garment sewing classes at Spool of Thread.

first, was the Hollyburn Skirt class.  while i still haven’t worn that skirt out in public (i was losing weight too quickly and it was always too big — it’s in my alteration pile for after my body lift next month), it had AN INVISIBLE ZIPPER! and POCKETS!  i felt so empowered after accomplishing the creation of an honest-to-goodness wearable piece of clothing!  we soon thereafter took the Schoolhouse Tunic class and then the Staple Dress class.  Lisa was constantly finding free or cheap easy patterns online for us to try (like the Barbara Dress or Pineapple Top) and suddenly, i was legitimately sewing myself clothes i could wear outside! in front of people! who were SO IMPRESSED that i made them myself!

i wore my first Barbara Dress (aka the Foxy Lady dress) in Italy and Brad reported that more than one woman legit checked it out while we were wandering around Venice and Florence.  ITALIAN LADIES CHECKED OUT THE DRESS I MADE!  what??  that’s nuts.

recently, i completed my first pants.  they’re pajamas so fit isn’t really a consideration other than the ability to get them on and off, but pants!  it was also the first time i’d spent time properly finishing seams in order to ensure a long life for the garment.  and, just last night, i finished what i think is the project i am most proud of:  a Saltspring maxi dress.

french seams! trimming hems! cats helping!

it’s not the most complicated pattern out there, but it does have a lining, elastic casing, is floor-length.  that’s a lot of stuff for me to do for the first time.  on top of all that, i also decided to sew it without the zipper the pattern calls for, so that took a little extra planning to make that happen. and… AND!  i french seamed the whole thing!  including the in-seam pockets!  there is not a single exposed edge of fabric on this whole dress and that makes me SO HAPPY!  i almost want to wear it inside out just so people can appreciate just how awesome the insides look.

gosh, i’m just so pleased.  with it and myself, tbh.

i'm still looking for a name for my dress form. suggestions?

who wore it better?

there’s no way i’m ever going to consider myself an accomplished sewist, but i can tell i’m building on my skills and slowly getting better each time i attempt a new pattern which involves skills i’ve never tried before.  it’s empowering. and pretty damn awesome to have some cool clothes to wear that no one else will ever have.


i’m feeling overwhelmed again.  there’s just too much to do.  both of the awesome stuff and the crappy stuff.

now that i have an awesome sewing room, i want to sew all the things.

now that i have outdoor spaces, i want to grow all the food & pretty flowers and have barbecues and sit in the backyard reading a book whilst drinking coffee on a balmy evening.

now that i live in a house with four other people, there’s always something which needs cleaning/fixing.

now that i no longer live in the concrete city, i’m constantly finding spider webs and bugs in the house which need eliminating.

now that i have part-time kids who hate everything i love to cook, i’m constantly trying to find healthy food they’ll eat.

now that i’ve spent all my money on the transition to co-habitating and setting up our home, i am broke and need to re-learn how to be frugal and stop spending goddamn money all the damn time.

this means i can’t go to all the great fitness/dance classes i want to because:  1) $20 each is too much; 2) plus paying for parking downtown; 3) not to mention the 90+minutes of driving to/from just to get to them eats up way too much of my evenings.

this also means that i can’t afford to treat my mother to all the things she deserves/i want to for her upcoming 80th birthday.

not to mention i’ll be off work for six weeks soon and i’ll have a reduced income for that period.  ugh.  stress.

so, yeah.  i was telling brad that it would be so much easier if i just didn’t want to do/have as many things as i do.  why can’t i be dumb and uninformed and not curious and be happy with a small, boring life with no excitement or interests?  i’d be so much happier.  wouldn’t i?

it’s coming up on my 17th blogging anniversary.  next thursday will mark the first time i ever logged into blogger.com, typed some shit and posted it on the internet. (that’s not the first time i ever put anything on the internet, but it was the beginning of this 17-year string of websites tied together with a continued theme:  me me me me me!)  i usually forget about it until sometime in mid-august, so it’s kind of nice to be early this year.

i’ve been thinking about plunking down a bunch of words about my life lately and the things i’ve done in the last couple of years.  i know i haven’t kept y’all as informed as the good old days when my blog was really the only place for me to get my shit out.  now, i have a tight group of friends and an amazing boyfriend i can be really real with, so i don’t seem to need a safe space to unload anymore.  and, when i do, i’m more likely to crypto-post on facebook or, if it’s particularly dark, tumblr.  which is good!  i’m actually really glad of that!  but, it does mean that when i stare at this text box with the intention of sharing with the group, i feel like i’m just rehashing stuff which has already been said.  and i’ve always been super sensitive about repeating myself to people.  i feel like i’m just annoying them if i’ve forgotten i’ve already told them that story and keep going about something. anyhoo, here we go.

on march 26, 2015, i had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy.  that means, i had 80% of my stomach removed via surgery.  at the end of the year following, i weighed 125 pounds less than i did at my highest weight.  today, i maintain a ~110-lb loss, with which i am totally satisfied.  most days.  just because i’m more average-sized now doesn’t mean my head isn’t still a jerk and i don’t have “holy shit, i’m huge and ugly days”.  as the weight loss surgery community keeps saying:  they perform surgery on your stomach, not your brain.  i am totally thankful and glad i made the decision to ask for this and that i had such great medical professionals to guide me through it all.   it hasn’t been easy and so many things about my life are so dramatically different now than two years ago, but i’d do it again in a heartbeat.

while i’m not shy about telling people about how i lost the weight if they directly ask, i haven’t exactly lead with disclosing my surgery.  that sometimes makes me feel like i’m deceiving people. so, i kind of consider this my coming out.  i had a lot of shame and fear about asking my doctor for this surgery.  i thought it meant i was a failure because i couldn’t lose the weight — ahem, keep the weight off — on my own.  i’ve since learned that it is nearly impossible for anyone to lose the amount of weight i needed to lose and keep it off for the long term.  there are exceptions, of course, but the majority of people will always gain the weight back.  i was not a failure.  biology fought me every step of the way.  if i wanted to live a long and healthy life, this was the only thing i could have done.

this past may, i had a bi-lateral brachioplasty.  that means, a plastic surgeon removed about seven inches of skin and 850cc of fat from each of my upper arms.  see, when you’ve been overweight your entire life, you’re over 40 years old and you’ve lost over a hundred pounds, you’re left with saggy skin which no amount of exercise, lotions, massages or laser treatments can improve.  and, in some ways, those empty, flappy bits are even harder to deal with, mentally and physically, than when they’re filled with adipose.  i’d been covering up my arms since i was a pre-teen.  first, because they were huge and i thought they were gross.  then, because they were saggy and wrinkly, and i thought they were gross.  so, when i started this journey, i knew that the end of it would include an arm lift to finally afford me the confidence to go sleeveless for the first time in my adult life.

surgery went well, and now that i’m almost three months out, i can confidently say that it was totally worth it!  i am so excited to be able to wear sleeveless tops… OUTSIDE MY HOUSE. the first time i went outside without sleeves, i felt so self-conscious; but, then i realized that no one knew i hadn’t gone sleeveless in public in 30 years.  i just look like everyone else to them.  no one was paying any special attention to my naked upper arms and shoulders.  dammit.  part of me really wanted to say to them “hey!  this is a big fucking deal!  my arms!  they’re out and proud!”  it’s been a huge boost to my well-being and, even though i now have scars which run from below to elbows to beside my breasts, i am entirely thrilled with how it all turned out.

and, in october, i’ll be going back to my plastic surgeon to have a circumferential trunk lift (or lower body lift).  again, because of my history being overweight, my age and my weight loss, i have a lot of excess skin and tissue around my midsection which impedes me both physically and mentally from living my best life.  this surgery will be the final step in my bariatic journey (until i win the lottery and i can get some new boobs, that is).  i’m looking forward it and getting my new-to-me body and seeing what it can do.

and, of course, no life update could be complete without talking about Brad.  *shmoopy smile*

so, yeah.  we met on tinder of all places.  i’d been dating online for two years, he’d been on tinder for two days.   he took me away for the weekend three weeks after we met.  we went travelling internationally after eight months together.   we moved in together after a year and a couple months.   and i wouldn’t change a single thing.

he is quite possibly the best person i’ve ever known and i doubt i will ever understand why he thinks i’m as amazing and worthy of his love as he does.  i’m just so grateful he does.

i haven’t really done much improv this year, mostly because of the two big surgeries — the timing was just off.  i was in three different programs at one time back in february and i got a lot overwhelmed and basically quit everything in order to save my mental health.  i felt terrible about having to, but as soon as i did, the amount of relief i felt assured me it was the right thing to do.  once i’m healed from the body lift, i look forward to rejoining the community and trying to figure out where i want to go from where i’m at.   i don’t know if i need to find a troupe to grow with or keep taking random classes with strangers.  i feel like i want to find a group of like-minded performers to tackle more meaty character and story development, as opposed to just finding the buttons for the audience.  the acting class i started (but had to quit) showed me that there’s a lot more under the surface i feel like i want to try my hand at.

improv has been so good to me, i don’t want to just drop it entirely.  i just don’t know where i want it to take me next.  or if i’m even up to the challenge.  while i may love it, it might not be the right creative outlet for me.  i’m still willing to keep trying, though.

the longer this post gets, the more i realize there is to say; but, i think this is enough for now.  thanks for reading and (for some of you) sticking around for the last 17 years.  blogging as a personal journal might not be the coolest thing on the internet anymore, but some of us have to keep the flame alive, dammit.  and i’m just old and cranky enough to do it out of spite, if i have to.   *smooch*

i did this same list when i moved the last time — 13 years ago — and i’m nothing if not a creature of habit, so here goes:

things i will miss about about my apartment:

  • the hardwood floors
  • the new, double-glazed, vinyl-framed windows
  • the three-blocks-from-anything-i-need location
  • North Vancouver
  • the pink bathtub
  • the exfoliatingly intense shower
  • the plaster-worked ceilings
  • the insanely cheap rent
  • the free heat & hot water
  • the dumpster
  • the friendly fireman neighbour next door
  • being walking distance from the hospital
  • being 10 minutes from Shan’s house
  • living near my dad
  • 25 minutes to the ferry
  • all my favourite breakfast places nearby

things i will NOT miss about my apartment:

  • Stompy McStomperson and her replacement Thunderfoot Clompsalot
  • the sirens (fire, police and ambulance are all within three blocks)
  • traffic noise
  • $1.50/load laundry, in the basement, with ONE washer and ONE dryer for TEN apartments
  • silverfish
  • shitty parkers parking badly next to my car
  • super loud neighbours (partying, sexing, yelling at video games, screaming, fighting, practicing instruments, singing karaoke, listening to religious radio broadcasts, too much base on action movies, really bad taste in music)
  • getting blasted with boiling hot/freezing cold in the shower because someone else is doing laundry or dishes.
  • the peeling lead-filled paint in my bathroom the super refused to fix
  • the lack of storage
  • not having control of the heat
  • having things take forever to get fixed/replaced
  • the airplane-taking-off loud bathroom exhaust fan
  • the tiny apartment-sized oven
  • bridge traffic getting off the North Shore
  • the lack of power outlets

does anybody but the bots read this anymore?  if so, could you please leave a comment so i know i’m not whistling into the void?


Yadda-yadda. New year. Start fresh. Blah blah. Road to hell pavers…

I’m not a fan of resolutions, but I am using this symbolic beginning to tackle a few things in my life I’ve been avoiding:

– Food. This has been a nightmare for months and months. Too much money spent, too much junk eaten, not enough cooking at home. This month is all about eating out of my cupboards/freezer and once the snacks are gone, not replacing them. Then, once all that has been used up, start meal prepping and incorporating way more fresh food prepared simply into my daily menus. I’ve come way too far to let myself down again.

– Money. Italy, tech upgrades, allllll the things from Old Navy, Christmas. It’s time to stop spending like a drunken sailor and get my financial house back in order. I have major goals for the next 12 months that require sound money rules set up well in advance.

– Fitness. Other than a 5k last January and that ridiculously un-trained-for 10k which re-broke my knee, I’ve done jack shit fitness-wise since my regular Zumba class shut down in the spring and I ran out of Groupon spin classes. I can’t justify $20+ per class to ride a stationary bike or go to the less awesome place for Zumba (plus paying for parking in Vancouver). I can’t run because my knees are toast. I don’t enjoy what swimming does to my skin & hair. I like hiking, but I’m a little afraid of going into the woods alone and hate asking people to get up early on a weekend morning to go out with me. I think I’d enjoy biking but I can’t afford a bike right now and riding in actual traffic is just terrifying. So, yeah. I’m committing to the 31-days of yoga and a push-up challenge for January. Hopefully, they will help me feel a little bit stronger and encourage me to start incorporating more things into my life. I miss my strong, active body.

– People. I’ve been a shitty friend for a while now. I have never been great at keeping in touch or reaching out to people (mostly because I’ve always been convinced I’m interrupting or annoying them by doing so), but this year has been worse. I know its cliche, but relationship island is totally a thing. I love Brad to the moon and back, but I’d be a terrible partner if I gave up all my other relationships for him. And I know he would never, ever condone it if he thought I was doing so. So! I am going to try to reach out and make plans more. Even if all they are is sitting in my living room eating my cupboard foods playing games and petting cats. That’s fun, right? You’d come do that with me sometime?

– Improv. I don’t know if I’m any good at it and the last year has been a real struggle for me, but I still love it and have some plans for this year. One: finish my ICI Core classes so I can apply for Performance Series and audition for Rookie League. Two: see what Instant Theatre has in store for their Conservatory program. It might not be for me, but they’re my improv home and I am nothing if not loyal. Three: go to WAY more shows. Like, seriously. A LOT more shows. There’s no better way to learn than to see how other people play. I’d also like to explore writing and performing sketch, if the opportunity presents itself.

– Sewing. I finished up last year with a couple small sewing wins and I am highly motivated to get better at making clothes for myself (and others), but I am, as always, procrastinating starting because I’m afraid I won’t be good at it. I also intensely dislike not being able to start and finish something in one sitting, which is ridiculous, but it’s a thing. At least I know it’s a thing, right? Anyway, I’m putting it out there because it’s something I’ve wanted to do more of/get better at for a few years now and hoping it’ll happen without me trying too hard obviously isn’t working too well.

Well, writing this was enlightening. I think I’ll need to follow it up with an “awesome things I accomplished last year” post to balance out all the ways I appear to lack. Heh.

Woo, 2017!