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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Taking A Look Around- The View from my Bike

I don't have a car.  I haven't had one since November. As anyone who has been reading my blog for a while (all 4 of you!! Thanks, by the way) knows that I ride my bike everywhere.  

It is 5.5 km to work and 5.5 km back home so I end up doing 11 km a day at minimum.  If I have any kind of errands, that usually adds anywhere from 2 to 16 more km to my bike riding.

The beginning of the biking season -which was late this year due to the cold and icy weather -is usually a struggle for me as it takes a few weeks to condition myself every Spring.  But once I am used to it, the riding is no problem.  I can get to anywhere in the city -faster than the bus- with no problem.

I have lost more than 20 pounds this summer- which is always a good thing.  Not having a car has saved a HUGE amount of money on gas and car maintenance.   Admittedly, I have had to rent a car a few times when I needed to get somewhere farther my legs can take me.  But all in all, it has been a really great experience.  

Another benefit of bike riding- especially in the summer, is the scenery.  Really, when riding in a car, especially driving, a person misses a lot.
On my bike, I get a real look around.  I have ridden past shopping plazas and really looked at the stores that are in there.  Riding my bike past houses lets me have a good look at the various gardens and flowers.  It gives me ideas. On my way to work, I see lots of rabbits, a few opossums.  I can do without the skunks though. 
On my way home from work, there are always people out walking or running- getting in their morning exercise.  It is nice to be able to say a 'good morning.'  The dog-walkers are out at any time of day. 

It is not all rosey.
I did have three flat tires in one week.  Two in one day- my back tire.  I must have ridden over glass. (There is a lot of broken glass on the roads.) Then my front tire- which was the first flat for my front since I have had my bike- more than 10 years.   I got new tubes and two new road tires- so hopefully I am set for a while.

I have a small backpack that I use as a purse- it carries enough.  I can do a bit of shopping and still get my purchases home! 
And it is really nice to be able to go around traffic jams!!

 Truthfully, it will probably be at least another year or two before I think of buying a car.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A New Family Member

We got a new dog.  We adopted from B.A.R.K who was up at our local humane society from Louisiana with dogs for adoption!  We named her Coco.

Below is Spirit.  We have had her for 3 years.
 
 This is Phantom.  He is a little cuddlebug!
Three dogs is the limit in our city so that is it!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

48

 Today is my birthday!  Yay!!  
48!!  
Marissa got me cupcakes the other day because she left for her summer job this morning!  She will be back near the end of August!!  Another quiet summer!! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sailing

 Marissa took some photos at the Provincial Sailing Competition over the weekend.  She went to help out with the Sea Cadets!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fun

 My Guy and I went Geocaching on Saturday.  We found 3.  It was fun.  The weather was warm but not muggy so it was good.  We rode our bikes.
 Has anyone else done geocaching?? If not, you should check it out!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

They Love Me

Tomorrow is Phantom's (black Toy Poodle) birthday- well, his sort-of birthday. We got him 2 years ago so we call that his birthday.  He is probably almost 5 1/2 years old.
On May 25 was Spirit's birthday.  We have had her for 3 years.  She is about 5 years old!
I wrote about when we first got Spirit here!  She is such a sweet dog.  Phantom can be sweet as well-- except when we drop food!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Dead Beat Dad (or Sperm Donor, As We Like to Call Him!)



Here is something.

How much leeway should be given to deadbeat dads?  Like say, one who took off 18 years ago, never seen or heard from again - or paid the measly $100/month child support he was supposed to pay?

As anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that Marissa’s so-called father left when she was seven months old.  That is basically the end of it.  He came back once to pick up his stuff.  He called me once to get back together (after he had already married someone else).  He called two more times about a visit.  That is it. 

I paid for the divorce.  The custody papers gave me full custody and gave him summer visitation- that he had to pay for.  I wasn’t trying to make things hard, just fair.

He never asked for any visitation—because the second last time I talked to him was the time he asked to visit us (or more like-stay with us on an extended vacation, to which I said, ‘yes’ to the visit but ‘hell no’ to staying at my place while he did it.  He called a couple days after that to say he wasn’t coming at all.  (She was less than a year and a half around that time!)

That was the last time I talked to him.

When Marissa was almost four years old, we moved.  It wasn’t a secret.  I was in the phone book if anyone cared to look for me.  I didn’t tell her so-called father that we moved because by that time, I didn’t know where he was.  We lived in that place for almost 9 years.  Since then, we have moved 4 more times.  Now I am no longer in the phonebook. (But I am on facebook, this blog, twitter and other various media- one could easily find me if one wanted!!)

Occasionally, I would look around when I left my house, in case he was there but I was never really worried or cared either way.  But I will say that it was infinitely easier not having him around in any way.  I have seen all kinds of fights with friends and their exes about kids so it was just easier for me that I was the only parent making the decisions (school, sports, clothes, religion) about my child.

The internet can be a wonderful thing…. Sort of.

I occasionally stalk the guy’s facebook. Other than a few religious posts, he usually doesn’t say much.  Until today ---

He posted this long thing about please share, help me find my daughter who has been hiding with her mother, I was given summer visitation, fathers shouldn’t be given this bad treatment, I want to be in my daughters life. Etc.  Well, he spelled Marissa’s name wrong, he spelled my name wrong, he spelled the city I live in wrong AND he wrote her age wrong.  My first thought was, what a douche.

I am not sure what he meant by his visitation rights as Marissa is 19 (he thinks she is 20) and she is an adult and the custody/visitation no longer applies so it doesn’t matter what he thinks he is entitled to right now.

I don’t like being lied about.  I didn’t leave with my child.  He left us.  I didn’t hide.  I didn’t prevent him from seeing her.

Marissa was never really too interested in whether or not she had a dad growing up.  She asked me about when she was about 6.  I told her that he left and I didn’t know where he was.  We talked about a few other times.  When she was 16 she mentioned that when she turned 18, she would find him and ask him for all the child support that he owes us.  But she never did that.  She just doesn’t care.


Here in Ontario, the custodial parent cannot refuse visitation even if the other parent doesn’t pay child support.  Same, the non-custodial parent cannot refuse to pay child support even if the custodial parent doesn't allow access to the child. But again, Marissa is over 18, so any custody arrangement isn't valid anymore.


So- what amount of time should pass with no contact before parental rights should be taken away?  I know the law.  I know it doesn't work that way. I am not talking about the law.  I am talking about what is right.  And I don’t just mean so-called fathers.  Mothers too, who take off with no contact.  How much time??  My friend once said: a year.  If one parent leaves with no contact and no child support, all parental rights should be terminated.  I said, five years.  I know it doesn’t work that way.  But 18 years!  And a little poor-me facebook post about his missing daughter and big bad ex wife.  Pu-leeze!!  And to be honest, why now, after all this time?

I could answer him on facebook- but then I would have to deal with him.  And I sure as hell don’t want that.   

If he contacts me, I will tell him to F-off.  If he contacts Marissa, she can decide what she wants to do.  But I am sure she will ask for the $20,000 that he owes us first.