Saturday, May 12, 2012

IT'S MY MOTHER'S FAULT

Our home of twenty years has been under construction since the first of March. No sooner do I think we're nearing completion and something else needs to be done. Most recently we replaced the railing in the loft with a half-wall.



What I like best about the change is that we turned the area into an actual room...


and because our bedroom is beyond this room, at the back of the house, and there's no door, we now have more privacy. The walls also act as a buffer for the TV downstairs.

You may be wondering what's taking us so long; March! I'm wondering, too. Maybe it's age. I don't move as fast as I used to. And I think I'm allergic to paint. Since March 1, we've painted every room in the house including the basement. That front wall you see in the photo below is 25' high. I excused myself from that project, but too late; my hands are sore and puffy, and so are my eyes.


We replaced the carpets in the bedrooms, installed new flooring in the ensuite; thanks to our son; but we're not finished. Next, we need to ... never mind. No need to bore you. Let's just say we still have a lot of work to do.

What has this to do with my mother?

Today I tried to remove myself as a follower on my blog. It didn't work. I've tried before, but after several failed attempts, it occurred to me that whomever removed themselves from my blog this week (I had 250 followers, now I have 249) did so successfully.

I've lost followers before. My inner voice says it isn't personal, and yet I can't help wondering, did I offend said-follower? And no, it's not my mother's fault.

Except, maybe it is.

I started blogging in June of 2008 and learned very quickly that blogging is about community. Over the past four years, I've met some wonderful bloggers who I consider friends. They're listed under my blogroll. We support each other. When a new post is aired, we're all there to read, share and comment.

At least I used to be. With all this remodelling, I've become overwhelmed. I'm not writing. I'm not blogging. I'm generally late commenting on my favourite blogs. Sometimes I miss the post completely.

I'm taking too long to explain myself. The point is my mother taught me good manners. I learned to treat people the way I wanted to be treated. I learned that I'm no better or worse than anyone, and no one is exempt from having their feelings hurt. I don't know why I lost a follower this week, but because my mother brought me up to be considerate of other's feelings, I'm now worried that I've inadvertently hurt that follower and they've left because of it.

It's Mother's Day tomorrow. I'd like to thank my mother for teaching me to be a good person. She was a gentle, kind woman, and if I'm distraught over the fact I may have said something to upset someone, and they removed themselves from my blog, a feat I can't seem to accomplish myself, then somewhere my mother could be smiling down at me and thinking: I didn't do such a bad job after all. At least I hope she is.

I miss you, Mum. The years seem to get harder without you.

Now, about the ice...

I'd like to apologize for taking so long to get back to you on the ice contest. The winner of accurating surmising when the ice would come off Cluculz Lake was Suzanne de Montigny. Suzanne guessed May 5. Congratulations, Suzanne.

May 4



Thanks to everyone for participating. It was fun.

34 comments :

  1. I find it amazing how much my mother's influence plays into my life. I still think, like you, how my mom would react to certain facets of my life and how I handle them. She passed away in 1993 and I still think of her almost every day. On Mother's Day she feels especially close to me. Today I had our kids over for a Mother's Day dinner, so they can go to their out-laws tomorrow. For fun, I took out my Lenox china and stemware for my two daughters and me to make the dinner special for moms. It brought back all the fun stuff my mother and I experienced getting ready for my wedding 42 years ago. Picking out china and crystal were one of the things we did together. I understand how you feel. You will always want your mom to be proud of you, just the way I feel too. Enjoyed your post very much.

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    1. Your story made me teary, Janet. Thank you for sharing this. I know exactly how you feel.

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  2. I'm so glad to hear you'll be able to swim in the lake without chiselling through the ice this summer! The down side is that you won't be able to run out and chip off chunks for your cold drinks either. But congrats to Suzanne on her good guess.

    Once I got married I didn't live in the same city or sometimes even the same province as my mother or my MIL, so only occasional vacation times were spent together. But I have lots of good childhood memories, and like you, I remember well the lessons I was taught. "Always put on clean underwear when you go out. You never know when you might get hit by a bus and end up in hospital." No... wait. That was my grandmother's admonition.

    Sorry, Joylene. I'm not meaning to make light of the serious tone of your post.

    Don't blame yourself OR your mother for feeling bad when you lose a follower. Blame all the renovations and construction! You're worn out!! I'll bet if a bird flew into your window glass you'd burst into tears, feeling guilty that the blinds weren't closed, or that you'd shirked your responsibility because you hadn't been standing there with your arms waving to warn it away. Exhaustion will do that to you.

    I sincerely doubt that you offended anyone. I know I've subscribed to way more blogs than I can possibly read, and every so often I will delete one or two from the list. It's my way of trying to pare it down to a realistic number. I haven't been offended by anything on those blogs; I just haven't visited them in several months... or maybe the odd time I have, there wasn't a new post so I decided not to keep going back to look. It's a result of time management efforts. Think of you TBR stack of books -- several great titles that you'd like to read but you don't have time for them all right now, so you pick a couple by favourite authors and leave the others for another time.

    I don't keep track of who subscribes to my blog, so I don't know when someone unsubscribes, but I'm sure people do occasionally. My blog posts evolve from year to year (sometimes week to week!) and they aren't always going to appeal to some of the original readers. I don't know why they chose to follow my blog in the first place, so I can't hope to know why they stopped. I don't worry about it, and neither should you. You've got a great fan base and you're doing your bit to provide interesting material on your blog.

    Surely the renovations are *almost* finished??? You need to get those men off the ladders and scaffolds and suggest they provide a nice serene space for you to enjoy a restful Mother's Day!

    There now. I've had my say. Took up enough space, too, didn't I? :)

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    1. Carol, you are wonderful! Hope I mention that often. I wasn't as upset about losing the follower, I've lost them before, as I was when I realized I wasn't visiting my favourite blogs and commenting like I felt I should be. I know, remodelling allows me some leeway, but honestly 3 months' worth? Haha, you're right, I would burst out crying if a bird hit my window. And it wouldn't be the first time. But none of that matters. I thank God for your friendship and your wise counsel. You are a true blessing.

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  3. Wonderful post, enjoyed every bit of it, and also your stamina! Just love the look of the place. Don't worry about the numbers, people delete their blog, whatever. As for your loss of your Mum, it becomes easier to bear as the years pass, but the feeling of loss never goes away, does it, a bitter sweet feeling. I was blessed with a mother like yours, lost her twenty plus years ago and hope one day to be with her again.

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    1. Hi Carole. My mum passed in 1999. She wanted so badly to see the new millennium. The worst part is I didn't fully appreciate her until she was gone. I was way too quick to express my lame attitude. I'm looking forward to seeing her again, too.

      Happy Mother's Day, Carole!

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  4. I often hear my mother's admonitions in my head, too, Joylene....and I was also raised to treat people as I want to be treated.

    But as for blog followers: I'm pretty sure that you didn't offend anyone, and instead the drop has to be about something in that follower rather than anything you did. Perhaps that person's stress level and inability to keep up with reading posts explains it all.

    Facebook is where I see my "friends" go up and down, and then I worry about why someone left...lol

    Yes...it's the fault of our mothers! lol

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    1. I knew you'd understand, Laurel. LOL. It's my mother's fault that my hair is sometimes kinky and won't do anything I want. My sore feet are her fault too. I inherited her bones. Ah, it's her fault I love to eat...

      Happy Mother's Day, Laurel. Thanks again for that lovely review of my book. Still makes me smile to read it.

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  5. May 5th! Now, what's that about global warming? I personally think Mother Earth is just really, really confused. ;) Congrats on the win, Suzanne!

    Your house is BREATHtaking!! :D Can I come live with you, pretty please?

    Happy Mother's Day, Joylene! :)

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    1. Of course you can come live with us, Adriana... you cook, right???

      Have a lovely Mother's Day, Adriana.

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  6. Your house is gorgeous, Joylene!

    Don't sweat the blog "karma" too much. We all step back from time to time. It's the only way to stay sane and keep our priorities in check. There's absolutely no reason for you to feel bad about that. :)

    P.S. Congratulations, Suzanne!

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    1. You are so right, Carrie. I'm way over it now. Pizza for supper helped! Hope you're having a great day.

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    2. Carrie! I love my new heading! Thank you. Wow, you have talent!

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  7. I sincerely doubt you did anything to discourage a follower. You are the kindest and most generous blogger I've ever met. I bet it was simply an account that was deleted.

    We all seem to be motherless here. My mother died five and a half years ago, almost exactly a year after my brother died. The doctors told her she had three months to live, and she said, "that's not good enough. I need five months." She wanted to live to celebrate her 60th wedding anniversary. And she did.

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    1. Thank you, Pat, for sharing this lovely story. I bet it warms your mother's heart to see what good care you're taking of her husband. Good daughters are a blessing.

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  8. That's gorgeous. I know how hard construction can be. My hubby used to be a general contractor, and our house has always been under construction.

    Congrats on being RAOK Blitzed!

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    1. Thank you for the blitz visit, Donna. What an uplifting thing to do, and just when I was feeling a big low. Thank you for your generous kindness.

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  9. Beautiful pictures! And can't believe the difference a day can make!

    And I totally understand about the stepping back. The past month I've been terrible! It's been such a busy time, so it really can't be helped, but it still makes me feel terrible that I can't get around to everyone.

    Congrats on being ROAKBlitzed!

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    1. Peggy, that's what is so wonderful about living here. First thing I learned about the weather... to wait 5 minutes because it was bound to change.

      thanks for joining my blog. I'm honoured.

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  10. Lovely pix! The other Butler babe referred me here. New follower now. I hope that helps your follower issue. Nice to meet ya. :)

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    1. Mina, what an awesome thing to do. Thank you. I'm off to explore your blog. Thank you for your kindness. It means a lot.

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  11. Real life happens. I think most people understand the need to step back, and that blogging isn't always a top priority. April was pretty hit and miss for me as we finalized the adoption of our little girl. I know I missed some great visits with friends but it's where I needed to be and they understand.

    Love the pics and your header! Beautiful!

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    1. Congratulations on your new baby girl! What a wonderful thing to happen. You are going to have such a great time watching her grow up. I envy you. Thanks for visting my blog. Means a lot.

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  12. I'd be amazed if you'd offended anyone Joylene because you're one of the nicest people I've met through blogging.
    Since I moved my blog I haven't even added the followers gadget, I post as and when I feel, and the people I've always associated with drop by whenever they want to. It's nice and relaxed that way and tends to discourage the people who "follow me follow you" and never get involved.
    I've never understood people who follow a blog, but don't comment even if it's only to say hello.

    As always I enjoyed the photographs of your beautiful lake, keep us posted on the progress of your renovations, I'll look forward to seeing the fruit of your labours.
    Have a great week.

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    1. Paul, I have to argue with you. I think you're one of the nicest people I've met through blogging. I was thinking about you the other night while we watched Meg with Russell Crowe in "Proof of Life." She was so raw in that film. That's what I love about both her and Michelle. When I see them on screen, I become a believer.

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  13. I want to dive into your gorgeous pictures the way they jumped into the chalk pix in Mary Poppins. New follower *waves* Found you from Carrie B's blog post for the Random Acts of Kindness Blitz. Sweet tribute to your mom.

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    1. Thank you, Leslie. Isn't Carrie just the sweetest girl. I'm very happy to meet you, Leslie, and I look forward to reading your posts. Have a great day.

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  14. I think that the cardinal rule for home renovations is that one thing leads to another, which leads to another, and so on. At least we have found that to be true! Hope you come to your desired end of projects soon.

    I've gained and lost followers (once lost two at the same time) and tried to figure out what I'd done to cause it. I've since given up trying to figure it out, for I've never meant to offend, and what can you do if you don't know who it was? I've actually thought about posting about the topic. :)

    Your mother taught you well - she raised a lovely and sweet daughter who I am proud to know!

    Have a great week,
    Karen

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    1. I know you're right, Karen. I'm not sure why this one leaving was different. Then the next day another one left. LOL. But I know feeling much much better. Thanks!

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  15. What a lovely post and tribute to your mom. Life can get to be overwhelming, especially when home renovations are involved. We can only do so much given the 24 hours in each day. ; )
    I found your blog by way of the RAOK Blitz and I am so glad that I have.

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    1. Thank you, Cynthia. And thank you for following. I think the RAOK set precedence yesterday. Right after I found out what Carrie had done, I learned that my suspense thriller won a Silver Medal through the IPPY Awards. It's just so wonderful. And so nice to meet you.

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  16. Hi Joylene,
    First of all, I'm very sorry to have not got to this posting at an earlier time. I've been somewhat out of the blogging loop just lately. Yet, like you, I endeavour to display the finer attributes of a sharing, caring blogging community.
    Sometimes, other things in our lives become a priority and they sure can overwhelm us. You have been very busy with your lovely home and that is most understandable. I sometimes worry that I've not been as proactive as I perhaps should be in the blogging community. Then again, other aspects of life make that happen and those who care and understand will know that we cannot always be a proactive as we would ideally like to be.
    A fitting tribute to your beloved mother. And a belated Happy Mother's Day to you, my friend.
    In kindness and admiration, your way, Gary

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    1. Never have to apologize to me, Gary. I've been a bit out of it too. The snow might have something to do with it. Doesn't it make you want to run out and buy an airplane ticket to good ole Canada!

      Thanks for visiting. Glad you got to hear about my mum.

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    2. I'm glad to have read this thoughtfully written article. Ah yes, got my airplane ticket, my toque, my mittens, my insulated lumber jacket and my ear muffs. And, oh yeah, my ice skates for the lake!
      Arrangements for the parades in my honour should be well on their way for next year....

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