US-Canada Trip 2022 Day 7


I’m writing this post on my phone as opposed to my laptop. I’m not sure how it’ll look, so bear with me.

I traveled to 3 states yesterday. That must be some kind of record or maybe that’s just me because I’m from Western U.S. and the states are huge compared to the east. Anyway, we crossed into the US early in the morning after we were grilled by the custom officer.

He asked why, of all the cities in the whole world, we chose to visit Toronto and Ottawa. I don’t remember being grilled like this when I returned to the US after visiting Canada 5 years ago or is that just typical manner of the people on the east coast? Mom said he was just doing his job but really?

It certainly left a sour taste in my mouth.

We drove through New York and Pennsylvania before getting to our destination – Washington Crossing State Park in New Jersey. It surprised me by how green it was. Perhaps, it’s because I’m from out west where there’s little to no rain.

I loved the greenery and seeing the autumn colors starting to peek through. It was one of my purposes of the trip.

I’ve always wanted to see the place where George Washington crossed the Delaware river as depicted by the famous painting but it turned out, the painting had exaggerated the event as often history does. It was certainly a good history lesson and I learned quite a bit from this little history tour.

Which brings me back to why I’m writing this post on my phone. I stayed at the worst motel in the history of worst motel last night in Bordentown, New Jersey. I requested for a non-smoking room and the moment I entered the room, the smell of pot and smoke hit me like a punch in the face. I told front desk and all he did was spritzed air freshener in the room.

After he left, I discovered not only could I not get wifi in the room but my cell signal was gone too. It was like being sucked into a black hole. Normally, I wouldn’t mind a night without internet but I happened to need to modify the itinerary which involved modifying a few hotel reservations and I can’t do that when I don’t have internet.

After complaining to the guy and showing him the room was a black hole, he switched me to another room. Still, the smell of pot and smoke hit me when I opened the door. I’ve stayed at plenty of bad motels before but this is by far the worst.

Well, I’ll reporting from Philadelphia for the next 2 days. Hopefully, my living accomodations improves.

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Birthday in Canada


Good morning! I am on the road to Ottawa today from Toronto and since it’s my birthday, Starbucks is giving me a free drink. So take yours and join me on the road.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I have a feeling this would be a special birthday because I’m in Canada. Hopefully, mom will not ruin this day like she had ruined day 3 of the trip aka Thursday, September 22.

Today is day 5 of the trip and we are already a mess. My gums has been swollen since arriving in Buffalo, New York, probably from being dehydrated from the lack of drinking fountain in Canada. I can barely talk at times because of the pain and I’ve been irritated by the way mom makes me shout sometimes just so she could hear me even though shouting exacerbates the pain in my mouth.

Mom was having on and off fever yesterday, which she thinks might be an infection somewhere and not COVID. She was having pain in her legs before we left on our trip, which caused her to barely able to walk. Having walked almost 30 miles since Tuesday, she’s almost constantly complaining about the pain in her legs and guess who had to put up with it?

I swear, if we were a married couple, I would be the husband, putting up with all the complaints and temper tantrum and never getting what I want while needing to do everything else like keeping an eye on Google Maps while paying attention to the road signs because it seems like, when in Canada, one is unable to read road signs and drive at the same time. I hate being the navigator because sometimes, I have trouble reading the GPS and sometimes, the GPS has trouble pinging my location. That’s when the one-sided shouting matches begin because mom wanted everything to be perfect.

Unfortunately, I’m far from it.

Last night, she actually called me selfish for wanting to finish the trip. 4 days in and she’s wanting to go home. Well, we can’t because our plane tickets are non-refundable and to modify our plane fares cost more than the original plane tickets alone. She also suggested we could go hole up in Richmond or Philadelphia. Who’s the selfish one now?

I knew this would happen, why did I even agree or be excited to go on this trip in the first place?

Anyway, here are some of the memorable photos I shot on the trip so far. I have posted an entry for Day 1-3 of the trip so far, you can read each one by clicking on the links.

#weekendcoffeeshare is hosted by Natalie of Natalie the Explorer. I appreciate you stopping by and hope to chat again same time next week.

#SundayStills: #Closeup on Garden Raspberries


I cannot believe the day has at last arrived!

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#WeekendCoffeeShare – 4 Days ’til Road Trip 2022


Good morning! Come on in, sit, and enjoy a drink. I discovered something good this week.

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Friday Thoughts


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#WeekendCoffeeShare – An Exceptional Long Week


Good morning! Come on in, sit, and enjoy a drink.

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Losing a Friend


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#WeekendCoffeeShare – September 2022 Garden Update and Anger Management


Good morning! Come on in from the heat and cool down with a drink.

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Hello September!


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#WeekendCoffeeShare – Something Good this Week


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Avoidance


I thought I would be okay now that the nightmares have subsided. I thought I would be okay to drive to my doctor appointment on Friday (two days from now).

Maybe not because I find myself stressing out just to step into the garage. I can’t even go into the garage to retrieve some insect powder for the garage. For some reason, every time I put the thought of “go to the garage” in my head, my brain would automatically override the thought with another like “walk 1000 steps” or “watch TV”.

I have already reschedule the appointment for next Thursday and part of me want so much to reschedule Friday’s appointment. You can’t, a voice says firmly. Friday’s appointment is a dietitian/counseling appointment and I need to talk to somebody who understands what I’m going through. Maybe then I can have the strength to get back on the road.

Curiously, I googled “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms” and one of the symptom that came up was “avoidance” and it includes:

  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
  • Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355967

I remember when I went grocery shopping with mom on Sunday. It took all my strength to hurl myself into the garage and into my mom’s car. The house key was in my pocket and when we returned, I entered the house through the front door instead of the garage.

My mom didn’t understand this. She doesn’t understand I can’t stand to look at my car – the missing fender, the hole in the door, all of it. She doesn’t understand about PTSD.

I have been in accidents before, none was my fault, but I couldn’t recall having such a strong reaction as this time. I was able to step into the garage. I was able to get in the car and get back on the road. Why is it so hard this time?

Meanwhile, mom isn’t making this easy. Not only does she keeps talking about it, she’s saying it’s my fault that I got into an accident which prevented us from taking a trip to Cheyenne, Wyoming last weekend and possibly any trip in the future because of the deficit I’ve spent on getting the car fixed.

She also wants me to call the auto body shop and ask them to give me a quote to add blind spot detection to my mirrors. I don’t see why I need it. It was never a problem and I don’t want it to be another crutch for me to rely on. To be honest, I hate all the gadgets cars have these days and I’m glad my car doesn’t have features like lane departure and blind spot detection because it makes us more distracted and reliant on these feature instead of focusing on the road and drive.

I emailed the person who did the quote for my repairs but he hasn’t gotten back to me yet and I doubt he will. His business card is in my car and given my current dilemma, I don’t know how I can retrieve it.

#WeekendCoffeeShare – My Brain won’t shut up about it.


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This will take a while…


Please note that this is quite a long post. I won’t be offended if you skip this one.

Physically, I’m fine but mentally, I feel like I’m once again at a breaking point. It will certainly be a while until I’m truly comfortable driving again…

Yesterday was supposed to be a day of fun, a day which I head into the forest once again to seek solitude, a little time to myself, and to enjoy nature but it looked like someone had another agenda for me.

This week has been a series of unfortunate events with the biggest one of them all on Thursday.

Continue reading “This will take a while…”

Monday Thoughts


For some reason, I’m feeling anxious about this Monday.

It’s my final counseling session with my therapist and as I ponder on what to discuss, all I can think was yesterday, Sunday. So much about yesterday peeved me. The only parts that didn’t peeve me were the solo walk along the forest trail and all the wonderful photos I took on my walk.

It was actually mom’s idea to go to the forest yesterday. “I need to go breathe in some fresh air.”

She didn’t want to drive her car though and she didn’t want me to drive, so she dragged her sister and brother-in-law (BIL) along, assigning him the role of the driver for the trip. As usual, I was the navigator, which is the most annoying task ever since mom was doing the navigating from the backseat while telling her BIL to ignore everything I said.

The forest was wonderful – so cool (temperature-wise) and lush with greenery. I had a suspicion that it rained the night because the ground was wet and there were water droplets on the plants. I hurriedly abandoned the adults while I hunted for a location to practice long-exposure photography.

After taking all the long exposure photographs I had wanted, I began wandering down the forest trail while paying attention at my surrounding to find interesting photo compositions. After a while, I caught up with them as they were returning to the parking lot.

The next activity on mom’s agenda was food and her BIL suggested the only restaurant he knew – Burger King – and that was what mom wanted as well. In fact, it’s just about the only restaurant mom will eat at these days. Unfortunately, there was no Burger King nearby, which was odd considering all the other chain restaurants were nearby. I tried to search for the next best thing but they don’t like any other fast food restaurant. So I suggested Texas-style barbecue.

Her BIL agreed. However, when we arrived at the restaurant, she refused to order anything, and in the oddest fashion, she asked for a coffee. Um, coffee in a barbecue joint on a Sunday afternoon? The guy looked at her and then replied apologetically, “Sorry, we don’t have coffee.”

As the food arrived, after taking a bite of the beef brisket I ordered, she said, “The meat is overcooked. It’s terrible.”

Then she started reflecting on the barbecue joint we once gone to just outside of Austin, Texas. “The line was out the door and round the corner,” mom said and as she said, my anger level ticked up ever so slightly.

Why can’t she keep her opinion to herself? I thought and before I could stop myself, I said, “I ordered the brisket for me. If you don’t like it, order whatever you want for yourself.”

“I don’t want anything.” She pouted. The only reason you don’t want anything is because this isn’t Burger King, I thought.

As we got up to leave, while mom and her BIL went to dispose the trays, my aunt whispered to me, “Just do what she says,” which was the other thing that peeved me about yesterday’s outing.

Um, excuse me, I wanted to say, I’m not a yes-woman or a robot or a dog. I am entitled to my own emotions and opinions, but that’s when mom returned, ushering us to leave.

Wow, it looks like I have quite a bit to discuss with my therapist.

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Too Long of a Work Week


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#WeekendCoffeeShare – Tomato Harvest and Scenic Backway Adventure


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Hello August!


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#WeekendCoffeeShare – Goodbye July 2022


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#WeekendCoffeeShare – July 2022 Garden Update


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Monday Thoughts


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#WeekendCoffeeShare – Road Trip Planning 2022


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#WeekendCoffeeShare – Thinking of Fall Gardening in the Dog Days of Summer


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I’m glad I’m off today…


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