Tag Archives: blogging

NFred: Totally Bananas.

Holy crap on a cracker, how the heck are you?

I know, it’s been forever since I’ve written ANYTHING and I appologize. To say that my life has been totally bananas since the end of January would be an understatement.

Here’s a run down of what’s been going down with NFred;

asshat

  1. The Toy Shop where I worked for over twelve years closed its doors at the end of January. It’s sad and I miss my work family dearly. I knew my location was closing since September, so it wasn’t a shock, but it was a long drawn out process of repeatedly telling customers the sad news. It was also exhausting trying to keep my rage in check when asshats asked strangely personal questions about my future and demanded to know what was on sale. One asshat in particular singled me out to explain to his five year old grandson why I was closing his favourite store. I explained to the little guy as best I could through clenched teeth while wanting nothing more than to yell at Asshat Grandpa that it wasn’t MY decision. The high point of having the store close occurred when I got to fulfil my life long dream of cracking a beer IN THE SHOP once we closed the door for the last time. Dreams do come true, kids!

    tea-snob

  2. I took a few days off after the store closed and then returned to start work at a different Toy Shop location downtown. A thriving store in a distinguished neighbourhood with full shelves and zero asshats asking about the closing of my former location. The staff was lovely and I fell in love with a hipster tea shop on the same street that converted me into an obnoxious tea snob. I was happy to work there. Sure the commute sucked and I was nervous about being far from my diabetic son, but I was cautiously optimistic. Until…

    pump-up-the-jam

  3. On February sixth, my son made the switch from injections to an insulin pump to help better manage his diabetes. The first couple of days were a total gong show. Soaring high blood sugars followed by random lows. I had taken the week off work to help my son adjust to his new life and I’m so glad that I did. I wasn’t prepared for how much work the switch would entail. Waking up every two hours at night to test his blood sugar, weighing every single piece of food that he was going to put in his mouth, doing more math than I’ve ever done in my entire life to figure out carb counts , writing countless emails to his school to make sure they knew how to keep him alive. Exhausting. Things are slowly starting to fall into place, but I quickly realized that I needed to be closer to my son. My old Toy Shop was a five minute drive from my son’s school. In an emergency, I could get there quickly. The downtown Toy Shop was far, too far for me. Call me a Helicopter Mom or a Worry Wart or a Nervous Nelly if you please, but when it comes to my son’s health, I put him first. Always. So I made the agonising decision to resign from the Toy Shop so that I could be closer to my boy. It sucks. I’m sad. The Toy Shop was a huge part of my life, but in the end, I know I made the right decision.

    nfred-bum-wiper

  4. In my sleep deprived delirium, I accepted an offer to work at a ridiculously adorable preschool in my neighbourhood. I am officially a Teacher’s Aid and have found myself the ever elusive Monday to Friday, nine to five job that is the unicorn of the retail world as those hours just don’t exist! I work with kids aged fifteen months to three years old and feel that a more fitting job title would be Professional Snot Wiper, Bum Changer and Toddler Herder. I had my first day last week and survived. A child even told me that I was beautiful. Will this be my forever career? I have no idea, but for now it works and I’m happy.

Holy Hell! I sure can ramble on about myself. If any of you are still reading and haven’t lapsed into a coma, this is the part where I talk about the future of What NFred Said.

nfred you need to write

I love this blog with all my heart. It’s like my fourth child. Fingers crossed, now that life is settling down a smidge and I have snagged myself regular working hours, I can FINALLY devote more time to writing. My problem has always been that I have more ideas than time. I hope to get on a permanent writing schedule soon. I’d also like to clean my disgusting home, get into shape, win a million dollars and find a cure for diabetes, but I’m taking it one day at a time.

Thanks everyone for reading. I hope all of you are having a splendid 2017. I promise I won’t be a stranger. Let’s chat soon, okay?

Until next time,

NFred.

 

 

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Creative Crossroads.

will-write-for-money

One of my biggest life goals is to get paid to write.

And when I say paid, I mean actual cold, hard cash.

I’m not interested in writing for “experience” or “exposure” because neither of those things buy groceries or get me any closer to achieving my goal.

For a long time, I told people that I would have a book published by the time I turned forty. I’ve come to the realization that this is not going to happen. I mean my fortieth birthday is just over a year and a half away and the only books I’ve written are the imaginary ones that I day dream about while I’m in the shower.

So if I’m not going to write a book, how else can I make money from my writing?

I have this nifty little blog, but publishers aren’t exactly lining up to throw money at me for my musings about parenting, cats and short shorts.

Do I gather my best work and randomly send it out to different publications? In theory this sounds like a great idea, but when I actually sit down to do the research, I get ridiculously overwhelmed. Then I get stressed and find myself shamefully polishing off an entire family sized bag of  M&M’s.

Do I send my writing to other blogs? Websites? Magazines? Newspapers?

Do I start with local publications or the New York Times?

And then there’s the whole world of writing contests. I’ve entered a few over the years and have had a one hundred percent failure rate. Just the thought of entering another one fills me right up to the brim with self loathing and dread.

Do I start my own website? Self publish? Write a play? TV show? Screenplay for a movie about a writer at a creative crossroads?

Where is all this coming from? This need to make my writing for money dream a reality?

Could be that there are big changes happening at the toy shop.

Could be that the beginning of a new year has me feeling like I need to get my shit together.

Could be that I’m ready to put myself out there, to take a leap of faith into the writing world and see what happens.

So if you want to help out your old pal NFred reach her writing for money goal, please spread the word that I’m willing to write literally ANYTHING for money.

Essays, taglines, short stories, tweets, jokes, non-fiction, poetry, product descriptions, reviews, flash fiction, comics, grocery lists, obituaries, blog posts, speeches, Facebook statuses, Dear John letters, greeting cards, hieroglyphics, ANYTHING!

Also, if you have any suggestions of where I should start, I’m all ears.

Thank you so much and happy freak’n New Year! Here’s to a creative 2017!

Big hugs,

NFred.

 

 

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Trick or Carrot Stick! Our First Diabetic Halloween.

Santa filled his stocking with socks, underwear and Pokemon cards.

The Easter Bunny left Lego around the house instead of chocolate.

Sugar Free Jell-O has become his staple dessert at birthday parties.

But what do you do with your diabetic child on Halloween? A holiday that revolves around candy?

My boy is excited to go Trick or Treating in his new Storm Trooper costume. He’s pumped to run around in the dark with his brother, sister and friends. But he keeps asking me what we’re going to do about the candy and my only answer so far has been “we’ll worry about it on Halloween”.

BUT HALLOWEEN IS TOMORROW AND I STILL HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING.

Clearly I need some help…and fast!

Sam’s one year diabetes anniversary is on November twenty-fourth. This will be our first rodeo having a diabetic child on Halloween. Because he’s on injections of both slow and fast acting insulin twice daily, he needs to eat a regimented amount of carbohydrates at certain times throughout the day. So what does that have to do with Halloween?

EVERYTHING!

Halloween is all about running wildly from door to door while pigging out on candy. It’s about staying up late and bending the rules when it comes to bedtimes and proper nutrition.

BUT YOU CAN’T DO THAT WITH A DIABETIC CHILD.

Maybe I could go around to all of the houses in my neighbourhood and ask them to offer carb free, diabetic friendly foods like veggies, meat or cheese to the Trick or Treaters instead of candy? And while I’m at it, I’ll ask all of the kids to say “Trick or Carrot Stick” instead of Trick or Treat?

Clearly I’m delirious.

As I sit here and stress about ways to include my son in all of the Halloween fun, my husband comes up with a plan.

“Sam, how about Mom and Dad buy your Halloween candy from you and then you can use the money to get yourself something special? Like a new Lego set?”

“Really? So I can still Trick or Treat?”

“Of course,” my husband replies with a smile.

What just happened here? Did my husband just solve our Halloween dilemma?

“Sam, you’re sure you’re okay with not eating candy with your brother and sister?” I ask to make sure he fully understands.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Oh and maybe I could donate the money to the JDRF instead of getting Lego?”

What? Who is this kid?

“That’s a terrific idea” I say as my heart swells with pride.

As a parent of a diabetic child, all I want for my son is to be included. Whether it be soccer, hockey, class potlucks or Trick or Treating, I simply want him to know that having diabetes won’t stop him from doing anything that he did before his diagnosis. Sure, we might have to get a little creative, but nothing is impossible. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last year it’s that my son is ridiculously resilient.

I’m still relatively new to the complex world of parenting a diabetic child and I would gladly welcome Halloween tips from any Type 1 parents out there! I’d love to know how  you make holidays and other special events inclusive for your kids. Feel free to let your suggestions fly in the comments! I think that my “Trick or Carrot Stick” idea is a pretty clear indication that I need all of the help that I can get!

Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!

Your friend,

Natasha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NFred’s Delicious Little Secret -UPDATE!

I must be very in tune with the universe because  you’ll never guess who showed up at The Toy Shop on the same day that I wrote  this:

https://nfrederick78.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/nfreds-delicious-little-secret/

So there I was, minding my own business, innocently going about my evening. My coworker was on her dinner break and I was finishing up some paperwork behind the cash. I heard some chatter at the front of the store and as I looked over to say hello, I realized that…

IT WAS HERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

Holy crap! It was like my writing had conjured Her over to the The Toy Shop!

I momentarily contemplated running into the back room and forcing my coworker to deal with Her, but then decided to pull up my boot straps and handle it like the capable retail professional that I am.

In a booming voice, I called over “HELLO”. She nodded and then walked towards me with her child.

“Do you have those special tattoo pens?”, she asked while looking directly at my face.

“Yes, we do. Follow me”, I replied while looking directly at Her face.

I walked Her over to the section of the store where she could find what she was looking for and then I booked it back to the cash area.

It was obvious that she still didn’t recognize me.

STILL.

As I was contemplating my forgettable status behind the safety of the cash area, she approached me, ready to pay. Because I’m super smooth in awkward situations, I asked her child if he was going to tattoo the word “mom” on his arm with his new pens. Well did that ever make Her laugh. Like a real, snort inducing chuckle.

AND THEN IT HAPPENED…

“Hey, I know you! From hockey!” she said with a smile.

FROM. HOCKEY.

“NO, YOU KNOW ME FROM BEING AN ASSHAT ABOUT FREE GIFT WRAPPING” is what I wanted to say, but all that came out was “yes”.

“I thought you looked familiar. Have you worked here long?’, she asked innocently.

“LONG ENOUGH TO REMEMBER THAT YOU’RE AN ASSHAT”, I thought but again replied with “yes”.

“Well I guess we’ll see you next weekend then. Nice seeing you again”, she said with a smile as she exited The Toy Shop.

NICE SEEING ME AGAIN?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

If only she knew how NOT nice it was for ME seeing HER again.

I couldn’t help but think about Her for the rest of my shift. What kind of a person explodes on someone and then acts like it never happened? Maybe she regularly loses her shit on underpaid customer service employees making it next to impossible to keep us all straight in her asshat mind?

I have far too many questions that I fear will never get answered.

Who the crap is this woman?

What is Her deal?!?!?!?

I JUST DON’T KNOW.

Life really is full of surprises…and unpredictable plot twists…

Stay tuned!

NFred.

 

 

 

 

 

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NFred’s Delicious Little Secret.

I couldn’t quite place her, but I knew that she looked familiar.

It was at my son’s hockey evaluations a few weeks ago. She was registering the kids as they arrived at the arena.

“What’s your name, Honey”, she asked my son. He answered and she sweetly told him which dressing room to use and wished him good luck.

As I sat shivering  in the stands, watching my son play, it suddenly came to me.

IT WAS HERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

A few years ago while working at The Toy Shop, I had a customer who was very upset with the quality of our free gift wrapping service. I remember that she bought an item and asked to have it wrapped. As I was removing the price tags, she went off on an unprovoked rant about how poorly wrapped her previous purchase had been and that she had to redo the whole thing HERSELF in her car because she was too embarrassed to give such a horrible looking gift. I apologised and took extra care to fluff the tissue and curl the ribbon to perfection. When I asked her if it looked okay, she rolled her eyes, snatched the bag from my hands and said, “I’ll do it myself” before storming out of the store.

It was one of the most perplexing customer interactions I’ve ever had in my entire retail career. How could someone be so upset about a totally optional and completey FREE service?

I sat there in the stands, my butt frozen and fingers numb and I smiled. As if this was the same woman who just called my son “Honey”! What I delicious little secret I had.

And the best part?

I’ve seen her on a weekly basis at the rink ever since.

 

Needless to say, I’ve been a little guarded in my interactions with her. I’m cautiously waiting for her inner asshat to escape.

In all fairness, I don’t know this woman. She could lead a very difficult life. But there’s just something about people who aren’t cordial to those in customer service jobs. Your server, cashier, the person that pumps your gas are all paid to help you in one way or another. However, being outlets for your misplaced anger is NOT part of their job description.

Anyhoo, it’s going to be an interesting hockey season to say the least! Last week I made sure to wear my staff shirt to see if she’d say anything, but no dice.

Who knows, maybe we’ll become friends and one day we’ll laugh about her inner asshat?!?!!? It’s not likely, but you never know….life is full of surprises…

Thanks for reading,

NFred.

 

 

 

 

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This Is Diabetes.

It’s three in the morning and Adele’s voice is lulling me awake from my clock radio.

I groggily shut off the alarm and rub my eyes.

Two more minutes…I’ll get out of bed in two more minutes.

The next time I open my eyes, forty minutes has passed. Panic washes over me as I get out of bed and grab my son’s kit off of my nightstand.

I squint under the hallway light as I fumble for a lancet and a test strip.

I stumble into my son’s room and prick his finger with the tiny needle while he stays fast asleep. I hold my breath as the meter calculates his blood sugar. I want the number to be over ten so that I can go back to sleep.

It flashes 3.1.

Fuck.

I wake my son and inform him that he needs a “Midnight Buffet”. He angrily gets out of bed and follows me downstairs. He chugs a juice box in a daze while I try to stay awake beside him on the couch.

After fifteen minutes, I test him again.

The meter flashes 4.2.

It’s buffet time.

Still groggy, my son manages to eat a granola bar and some apple sauce. I figure that should hold him until his six-thirty breakfast and morning shot of insulin, but with Type 1 Diabetes, you really never know.

As I tuck my son back into bed and kiss his little face, I’m hit with the realization that this is diabetes.

This and so much more.

It’s the sleepless nights and the never ending worry.

It’s the panic in the pit of your stomach when your phone rings and you see that it’s the school calling.

It’s double guessing yourself as you meticulously calculate insulin doses.

It’s needing a degree in math just to make your kid a snack.

It’s knowing that there are exactly twelve grams of carbs in thirty-seven Goldfish crackers.

It’s having your son yell at you impatiently to hurry up when you have to haul him off the ice to test his blood during hockey.

It’s the mountain of paperwork involved with every new school year or extra curricular activity.

It’s the guilt that your kid has a stupid fucking incurable disease and you can’t make it go away.

It’s your husband switching careers and working the night shift so that one of us can be available in an emergency twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

It’s people saying ridiculous things like, “but he’s not over weight”, or “I could never give my child a needle”, or “he’ll grow out of it”, or my personal favourite, “my uncle has Type 2 and he’s doing great”.

It’s wanting my son to never be left out of anything because of his disease.

Before my son got sick last November, I thought diabetes was just about drinking orange juice and avoiding sugar. I’ve learned over the last nine and a half months that it is so much more. It’s a complicated and relentless disease that never takes a day off or gives my son a break.

There is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes, also known as Juvenile Diabetes. All donations made to the JDRF go directly to research.

If you’d like to donate or if you’d like to learn more about Type 1 diabetes, check out the JDRF Canada website at http://www.jdrf.ca.

Furthermore, if you’re curious about Type 1 Diabetes signs and symptoms in children, I’ve compiled a handy little list;

-excessive thirst

-excessive hunger

-rapid weight loss

-constant urination

– unprovoked mood swings

-always being tired

-looking pale

-dark under eye circles

-sudden stuttering or losing their train of thought

-a sudden loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities

I also just want to say that if you ever feel like something is “off” with your child, trust your gut and follow your instincts.

Thanks for reading and also a huge shout out to all of our friends and family who have been so supportive. You know who you are and big love to you all!

NFred.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Great Diet Dr. Pepper Incident of 2016.

Seven months ago today my youngest son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Throughout this time he’s been showered with love and support from his family, friends, school and community. Diabetes is a shit deal, but my boy takes it all in a stride and makes me proud every day.

Today started off a little rocky. My boy was on edge, grumpy, not his usual bubbly self. When my daughter asked if she could have a loonie for Freezie Friday at school, my son exploded in a rage filled rant about how it’s “not fair” that he can’t have a freezie and that “diabetes is stupid” and that he “doesn’t want it any more”. Every time he has one of these breakdowns I find the only thing I can do is agree with him, because he’s right.

Once he calmed down, I asked him if he’d like me to bring him something special to have when the kids were having their freezies. Last week I surprised him with some diet iced tea and that blew his little mind. On my way to work, I stopped at the corner store and decided to totally freak his freak by buying him a diet Dr. Pepper. Yes it’s full of aspartame and is obviously not the healthiest choice, but come on! The boy deserved a treat after the crappy morning he had. I happily dropped off the pop at his school and laughed with the secretary about how odd it was that a diet pop was better for my kid than a “100% fruit juice” freezie.

Freezie Friday takes place during second recess, which is at two o’clock in the afternoon. At three o’clock I got a text from my husband asking me to call him. I wasn’t busy at work so I called him right away. The first thing he said was “everything is fine” followed by “but there was an incident at school”. My heart sank thinking that my son had gotten sick due to high or low blood sugar. My husband was quick to say that our son was “just fine” but that he had been very upset.

Here’s what happened…

My son was ecstatic about his diet Dr. Pepper surprise! He took a few sips at the start of recess then set his pop down on the ground next the school wall so that he could go off into the yard and play. A few minutes later he went back to have some more and was horrified when he discovered four boys drinking his coveted diet Dr. Pepper! When my son confronted the boys they dropped the bottle on the ground an ran away. With tears flowing down his cheeks, my son and some of his friends found the teacher on recess duty and told her what happened. Together they found the four boys out in the yard and those jerks were promptly sent to the principle’s office.

THOSE.

FUCKING.

JERKS.

First off, what kind of kids see a random drink on the ground and think drinking it ALL is a good idea???

Secondly, my son’s school is tiny and everyone knows about his diabetes. WHY WOULD THOSE JERK KIDS STEAL MY DIABETIC KID’S FREAK’N TREAT???  WHY???

Knowing that this happened to my son filled me with a myriad of emotions. Rage, anger, sadness. I mostly wanted to find the parents of the four boys and ask them why their children were such inconsiderate assholes.

On my way home from work, I stopped by the same corner store that I had been to in the morning and I bought my son his second diet Dr. Pepper of the day. When I got home he was playing in the basement with his brother. I called him upstairs and hugged him a little  tighter than normal. I gave him his replacement diet Dr. Pepper and his eyes lit up as he thanked me. We had a quick chat and he said that some of the boys had apologized and that he had forgiven them.

I’ve had a few hours to cool down (and swear) about The Great Diet Dr. Pepper Incident of 2016. I’m still angry, but if my kid can get over it so quickly then maybe I should follow his lead and let it go.

Thanks for reading my rant and we’ll chat soon,

NFred.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paragraph # 30: Paragraph Challenge CRUSHED.

crushed it

Well holy guacamole, I’ve done it.

I crushed my paragraph challenge.

CRUSHED IT.

I can’t believe that I actually wrote EVERY FREAK’N DAY for an entire month.

I’m not going to lie, it was hard.

Very hard.

Did I produce the best writing of my life? Probably not.

Was I super pumped about everything that I posted? Oh heck no!

But I did have a crap load of fun and I learned a few things along the way.

I learned that I write better in the morning, that I really like writing dialogue and that my Microsoft Paint skills are on point with those of a four year old.

Most importantly, I proved to myself that I can squeeze in some daily writing even with my crazy busy life.

So, what’s next?

I have no idea.

I’m going to take a few days to pat myself on the back for reaching my goal and then I’m going to hunker down and figure out my next move.

Thanks to everyone who’s supported me in this ridiculous month of writing. Your feedback has meant so much.

I’d also like to give a shout out to my one reader in Russia. Spaseeba!

Cheers to the future and thanks again for reading.

I’ll see you soon,

NFred.

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Paragraph # 29: Crust.

crust.png

 

I have a red patch of crusty dry skin growing out of my right eyebrow.

It’s ridiculous.

It’s ugly.

And it’s spreading.

I bought some over the counter cortisone cream in a desperate attempt to get rid of the crust, but it didn’t work. In fact, I think my crust liked the smelly cream because it appears to be thriving. As of this morning, I’ve developed two new patches on my forehead.

GAH.

I haven’t felt this self conscious about my appearance since that time in grade eight when I cut off all my hair and the boys in my class started calling me Bill.

Where did these itchy patches of doom come from?

And what the crap are they?

And how the hell do I get rid of them?

My co-worker is convinced that the patches are a result of my gluten heavy diet.

A friend suggested that they might be a symptom of stress.

Another friend said that it might be a sign of dehydration.

I was pretty confident that it was ringworm until Google proved me wrong. Now I’m thinking either eczema or mange.

I know I should just go to the doctor already, but who has the time?

An easier solution might be to cut bangs.

Or to start wearing headbands.

Or to get really large glasses.

Stupid crust.

If you have any crust busting tips, I’d love to hear them.

Thanks for reading and my crust and I will see you tomorrow!

NFred.

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Paragraph # 28: Tired.

tired

 

OH MY GOD!

I’M SO TIRED.

I have no reason to be this bone crushingly exhausted, but here I am, sitting on my couch in my jam jams, struggling to keep my eyes open.

My day at work was pretty uneventful, so I really don’t have any excuse for wanting to go to bed at eight thirty on a Saturday night.

The only exciting part of work today occurred when an older gentleman told me that I should inform all my customers to buy the squirrel socks we sell because his daughter wore them for her government French exam and she passed. I smiled and said “awesome” and then he went on a giant tangent about how hard it is to get a job in the government. I did my best to look busy in an attempt to get away from the conversation, but he wouldn’t stop talking at me. After rambling on for a solid five minutes he told me AGAIN how I should tell all my customers about the magical squirrel socks and then he said “thanks, Buddy” and left.

Buddy? People are so weird.

Tomorrow I have a ridiculous day “off”. A bowling tournament, two hockey games, skating lessons and our crazy annual toy store staff party extravaganza.

I’m going to need a clone, a caffeine drip and a solid eighteen hours of sleep tonight if I plan on surviving tomorrow’s madness.

What’s that I hear? It’s my sweet, sweet couch calling!

Good night and thanks for reading.

See you tomorrow,

NFred.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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