The Fortress of Solitude

This post is in follow up to ‘I found a house‘.

I found a house! I packed up my life and I moved. I did it! I’m still in the process of moving in and it’s not quite home yet, but I can say without a doubt that it’s a peaceful place to be. I feel calm here. I feel collected here. I’ve actually been sleeping here. And, as someone who’s always struggled to sleep, the fact that I can naturally fall asleep and stay asleep, that’s a huge deal to me.

The fact that I found this place within my budget is incredible to me. The fact that I found this place and it’s in a nice neighbourhood makes me feel like I won the lottery. This place is way nicer then anywhere I ever thought I’d live… or be able to afford living.

Anyways, in my ‘I found a house’ post, I promised to share a couple of pictures. So, here they are!

To everyone who voted on whether or not they prefer light or dark kitchens (here) I’ve got to say that the dark kitchen is growing on me. I haven’t done too much cooking in this kitchen yet as I haven’t been able to do a proper grocery shop, but I am excited to make full use out of this kitchen eventually.

The place came furnished. I was skeptical about looking for furnished places because typically when you find furnished places they’re the cheapest furnishings a landlord could find. This place, though… the landlord really took their time to choose furnishings that fit the house and complimented it well. Let me just say, this couch is dreamy.

Is it weird to show your bedroom online? It might be. I might delete this after. But, I just wanted to say that, as this place was furnished, all I really had to do was get bedding. I went to Wal-Mart and spent only 30 dollars on this bedding and I think it looks pretty damn inviting.

I haven’t been here long, so I’m still technically moving in and I still have to decorate and make it my own. I will say though, I’m really excited for what it can become. There are so many small details the landlord thought of – buying furniture to fit the space, putting built-ins in the closet, even having the garbage can on a track that comes out when you open the cabinet… like a weird, smart robot.

The landlord said that I was selected as the tenant because when they called my former apartment building the landlord told them that the apartment was cleaner the day I moved out then it was the day I moved in. Apparently that sold it for them and I was the perfect tenant. And apparently they’re more interested in finding the perfect tenant that’ll stick around for a while rather than gouging people and having someone new in the house every six months to a year…

Hopefully I get to stay here a while. Hopefully the future continues to be bright. I feel like I won the freaking lottery.


Here are a few more posts where I talk about housing/real estate in Canada:

The Cost of Living in Canada >

For the low, low price of $259,000 you can own your Elementary school >

If I ever won the lottery >

New life, who dis?

I woke up this morning at peace… with myself, with the universe, with life. It seems like things might actually be turning around for me. (Knocks on wood) It seems like maybe what I’ve wanted for so long might actually be attainable. It seems like things are good, for a change. (Again, knocking on wood)

It feels a bit like I’ve won the lottery in a sense. I’ve never needed a lot to make me happy and now that I feel like I might actually get all of it, I don’t know how to accept it. Is that weird? I feel like I don’t deserve it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful. I’m counting my lucky stars. I’m so, so, so grateful. I’m just worried the other shoe is going to drop.

For now, though… I’m just going to enjoy it, appreciate it and soak it all in. Loving my life and the people who are in it.

8:30 AM

How much did I sleep last night? Maybe an hour… tops.

I just can’t calm down. I’m not sure what’s going on. That’s a lie. I know what’s going on there’s just nothing that I can do to fix it right now. Sometimes shit hits the fan and you just have to wait for the storm to pass.

I’ve been working for two hours already and I’m exhausted. I feel like a zombie. There is not enough coffee in this world to get me through this week.

It’s going to be another long day. If I make it through this week I’m going to hibernate for the summer.

1:10 AM

I’ve been having panic attacks on and off for the past three hours.

I haven’t slept for three days. Not really. I’ve has small naps here and there but I haven’t been able to physically lay down and shut my eyes for any considerable length of time (longer than an hour).

The toll of not sleeping is deep. My mind is exhausted, my body is aching and I have this overarching pit in my stomach that is making it difficult for me to consume food.

I need to be up for work in five hours. Am I going to sleep tonight? I doubt it. Am I going to lay here anxiously trying to slow my brain down and massage my achy muscles for the next five hours? Well at least for the next four.

I don’t know what to do.

I really don’t.

Nothing is working.

I lay down with every intention of sleeping and life… it just fucking has other plans. I’m literally running myself ragged.

Still feels like Monday

As of 9:00 this morning a total of seven people from my office have tested positive Corona Virus. This morning the building staff said that two of the security staff have tested positive. I’m speculating here but that’s likely how they got it? I mean… it’s not like any of the people from my office have been near one another. They all popped into the office at different points in time and their paths never crossed (we literally have a calendar dedicated to when someone needs to go to the office so we can ensure we’re not getting too many people there at once), but all of them had to pass the security desk/check in to get to the elevator to go to our office.

Anyone who’s been to the office in the past two weeks now has to go get a test as a precautionary measure. Glad I’m not one of those people who’s been to the office. Funny thing was, I was supposed to go for a tour because no one is/was around. I ended up making an excuse to cancel the tour because I had anxiety about going right downtown the city.

Stay safe, sane and healthy and be careful who you go near. Wash your hands and be diligent in looking after your health. You really don’t know who has or hasn’t caught this.

Feels like a Monday

I recently found out that I have a savings account that was opened in 2009 that has been sitting dormant since 2009… because I genuinely did not set it up and did not know it existed. There is $111.13 in the account.

Can I close the account (since I haven’t used it in 11 years because I didn’t know it existed) and take the money out of it?

Nope. Apparently the bank puts rules on savings accounts. That’s fine. I plan on switching banks next month anyway, so I guess they can keep this mysterious $111.

Its 9:10 am and I’m on my third cup of coffee. I’ve also done two video interviews and spent forty minutes waiting on hold with the city. Man oh man, I seriously hate when someone asks you to call them and they then proceed to make you wait on hold. “Just call whenever” would be so much easier if they could provide a time where they’d be near their phone and willing to answer.

Oh and two of my coworkers tested positive for Corona Virus on Friday. So… I’m in no rush to get to that office.

Why is it that Friday is so far away from Monday but Monday is so close to Friday?

JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan deserved so much more out of life.

This story caught my attention on Christmas Day, 2019 and I’ve been absolutely consumed by the twists and turn it has taken ever since.

Last week, the remains of seven year old JJ and eighteen year old Tylee were found, charred, in the back yard of their step-father’s home in Rexburg, Idaho. The saddest possible ending to the most deep, dark and twisted story I’ve heard in (quite possibly) my lifetime.

If you’re unfamiliar, JJ and Tylee have been missing since September 2019. They weren’t publicly reported as missing until Christmas 2019, though. How that happened? Well, I don’t know. I don’t know how any of this string of events happened. While their mother and step-father have not been officially charged with their deaths, I have no doubt in my mind that it’s coming. The police are likely just making sure they have an iron-clad case prior to filing charges.

This case has left me with a lot of questions, though.

  1. How are kids missing for three months without anyone knowing about it?
  2. What is the magic number of suspicious deaths in one’s past that would cause police to actually consider that person’s involvement?
  3. What kind of gall does a person have to show up for the court hearing of his wife, knowing full well he was the one who burned the bodies of the children that she was on trial for desertion of?
  4. How did NO ONE put this string of events together, chronologically, until January of 2020 if two children went missing in September of 2019?
  5. Why were two kids left in the custody of two deeply-disturbed individuals who had a trail of dead-bodies in their recent pasts?

I have so many questions and I’m almost certain that we’ll never get answers to any of those questions. Unless someone decides to make a movie about this, I’ll likely spend my lifetime confused and wondering.

This story is such a doozey. Here’s some brief details:

  • 2006 – Lori Vallow married her fourth husband, Charles Vallow, and together they were raising her daughter from her previous marriage, Tylee Ryan. Lori also had a much older son named Colby Ryan who was not in her custody.
  • 2014 – Lori Vallow and Charles Vallow legally adopted JJ Vallow and began raising him. JJ was an extended family member of Charles Vallow and required consistent care due to several special needs including severe autism. The couple were raising their children in Arizona.
  • 2018 – Summer – Joseph Ryan, Lori’s third husband and Colby/Tylee’s father, mysteriously passed away of a heart attack in the summer. At the time his death was not considered suspicious, but now that everything has unfolded this year, an investigation into his death is now being re-opened. Lori was still emergency contact for Joseph Ryan at the time of his passing and, thought she was beneficiary of his life insurance policy. When she learned she wasn’t the beneficiary of his life insurance policy she told her son, Colby Ryan, that his father had passed away via text message and that’s all she was going to say and she refused to speak of it any farther. She also refused to give Joseph a proper funeral.
  • 2018 – Fall – Whilst married to Charles Vallow, Lori Vallow meets doomsday cult follower/rumoured cult leader and author, Chad Daybell.
  • 2019 – February – Charles Vallow files for divorce from Lori after proclaiming to multiple people, including authorities, that she was making concerning statements about zombies, the end of the world and threatening to end his life.
  • 2019 – July – In Arizona, Lori’s brother Alex Cox shot and killed her soon-to-be ex-husband Charles Vallow in front of Tylee Ryan, in what Alex claimed was self-defense. Following the death of Charles Vallow in Arizona, Lori high-tails it out of Arizona and moves her and her children, abruptly, to Rexburg, Idaho. (Home of Chad Daybell) JJ was pulled from his school for special needs children, causing the school’s faculty to report the abrupt move to police, due to his severe autism and the move happening less than two weeks after the death of his father, they were worried for his well being.
  • 2019 – September – September 9th was the last time Tylee was seen and September 23 was the last time that JJ was seen.
  • 2019 – October – Chad Daybell’s wife of more than a decade, Tammy, died in her sleep. The death was deemed a suspicious circumstance as she was a healthy year old woman, but with Chad being her husband he ordered there be no-autopsy to find cause of death rushed to have her buried within less than a week of her death.
  • 2019 – November – Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow got married only two weeks after the death of Tammy Daybell, in Hawaii. The pair married using wedding rings that were purchased with the credit card of Lori’s now-deceased former husband Charles Vallow. This marriage makes Chad Daybell Lori’s fifth husband.
  • 2019 – November – JJ Vallow’s grandparents asked for police to do a welfare check on the family as they had not been able to speak to their grandson in eight weeks, and they were worried that Lori’s excuses each time they had tried to speak with him, were becoming more than excuses. Police perform a welfare check and Lori says the children are visiting their Aunt Melanie. The police said they would return to check on the children when they came back from their aunt’s house. The next day Chad Daybell and Lori high-tail it out of Rexburg and are gone. No one knows where they went, they didn’t leave a forwarding address and no one knows where JJ and Tylee are.
  • 2019 – November – Police learn that JJ and Tylee were never at their aunt’s house and that their aunt is going through a tumultuous divorce with her soon-to-be ex-husband Brandon. Brandon was shot at, in an attempted murder, by someone who was driving Tylee’s car. Police now believe that Brandon was shot at by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, who had used Tylee’s car.
  • 2019 – December – Lori’s brother Alex Cox was murdered. The death, at the time, was deemed to be of ‘natural causes’ but has since been reopened.
  • 2019 – December – Police go public with their investigation into the whereabouts of JJ and Tylee. The public goes wild. Are they being held in some underground bunker? Their mom and step-dad are in a doomsday cult. Anything could be possible, right? People begin to hope that’s where they are because that would mean they were still alive and people just wanted to believe these kids were okay. Still, no one knows where Chad and Lori are.
  • 2020 – January – Chad and Lori are found in Hawaii, ‘living their best lives’ at the beach. JJ and Tylee are nowhere to be found, though. What is found with them in Hawaii is Tylee’s cell phone. Tylee’s cell phone had been making regular text messages to her older brother Colby long after the time in which she’d actually been declared missing.
  • 2020 – February – After failing to produce the whereabouts of her children to Kauai police, Lori Vallow-Daybell is taken into custody and extradited back to Rexburg, Idaho.
  • 2020 – February – Colby Ryan, Lori’s oldest child, makes an appearance on the Dr. Phil show, pleading for anyone who might have seen his mother in Hawaii to share what they saw and if they ever saw his siblings with her.
  • 2020 – March – Lori Vallow-Daybell makes her first court appearance in Rexburg, Idaho where the judge lessens her bail from 5 million to 1 million dollars due to their being no legal precedence on the case and his feeling as though 5 million dollars was an excessive bond when people couldn’t even prove where these kids were. Chad Daybell was in court, supporting Lori that day as she smugly sat and laughed at the prosecutor making his case for why she needed to stay in jail and should be required to turn over her kids.
  • 2020 – March – Lori’s next court date was postponed from mid-March to July 2020 due to the Corona Virus outbreak. People, at this point, have lost any hope that JJ and Tylee are still alive.
  • 2020 – June – The charred remains of JJ and Tylee’s bodies are found on the property of their step-father, Chad Daybell. Chad has been arrested and charged with destroying/concealing evidence.

So. Why no murder charges? Neighbours of Chad Daybell report a suspicious bonfire being held in his yard in October 2019 that was very out of character for him. Also, in the past week, court documents have been released publicly stating that it was actually the cell phone records of Chad Daybell and Alex Cox that lead police to Chad Daybell’s back yard where they inevitably found the remains of JJ and Tylee.

Also in the court records are transcripts of Lori proclaiming that her children, JJ and Tylee had been consumed by demons and that they would no longer be able to live and breathe as human beings because the demon spirits were within them. She claims that the demon spirits only die when the human body dies.

Now, Aunt Melanie is making her media tour, proclaiming that she knew Chad and Lori were bad all along and that she just needed time to process it. This a personal opinion here, but I think he’s highly culpable in this too. I think the fact that she knew as much information as she did about all of these suspicious events and how they strung together.

There’s so much to unpack with this story.

How is this going to be tried in a court of law? Two kids lost their lives and were mutilated. Four adults are also dead, all of suspicious circumstance. $75,000 went missing, and all of the evidence tying Chad and Lori to any of this was destroyed. Literally, they went so far as to burning JJ and Tylee’s bodies to try and destroy evidence.

How did no one in Chad Daybell’s neighbourhood smell the burning flesh? Why did no one listen to JJ’s grandparents or Tylee’s older brother for three months before they started actually taking the investigation seriously? How many mysterious deaths have to be in a person’s past before they’re considered a serial killer?

WHY DID NO ONE TAKES THESE KIDS AWAY from Lori and (by proxy) Chad? Will any of the people who lost their lives in this story get justice?

Chad and Lori believe that the end of the world is coming on July 14, 2020. So, when they’re still sitting in a jail cell on July 15th, are they going to be pissed off? Are they going to think it was all for nothing? Or, now that bodies have been found and details have been released about what actually happened to those kids, will someone in jail ‘take care’ of each of them? I’ve never been to jail but I’ve heard rumours that even people in jail live by a code.

Whatever happens, I hope there’s some justice for everyone who lost their lives in the path of the hurricane that is Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow-Daybell. Authorities dropped the ball big time

Joseph Ryan’s death… okay that could be chalked up to chance. But the moment Charles Vallow was killed, in front of Tylee no less, that’s when police should have intervened and removed those kids from her custody. Your brother murdering your ex-husband in front of your kid, to me, doesn’t seem like a fit place for a child to be living…

Every day more comes out about this story. Every day it gets more and more twisted. Those two kids deserved so much more in this life. I hope that Chad and Lori go to jail for a long time. And I hope that Tammy Daybell’s death, Charles Vallow’s death, Alex Cox’s death and Joseph Ryan’s death are all investigated as having ties to this story now. Because, this is a totally personal opinion here, these are all related.

They like me. They really like me!

It’s been four weeks now that I’ve been at my new job. What a difference finding a decent place to work makes in one’s life. Four weeks into this job I’ve been treated better, and with more trust then I ever found in the last decade of my professional career.

I know, I know, I know: ‘Don’t get too far ahead of yourself, Vee’.

I won’t, I promise.

I’m just grateful. Grateful for the opportunity. Grateful for something to look forward too. Grateful that they’ve put faith in me.

In four weeks I’ve taken part in presentations with companies from three different continents, had an article published on an international governing-body’s website, dove head first into a brand new industry and not drown, and… had my first performance review. Spoiler alert: they like me!

In my first performance review (I have to do them every three weeks until I pass the employee probationary period), my boss said that she thinks I am intelligent, articulate, talented and am fitting in really well with everyone on staff. That last one meant a lot to me because, coming in to the company in a ‘work from home’ situation posed a unique challenge for me to try and get to know my new coworkers.

My boss went on to say that she’s so thankful she hired me and that she’s so grateful I didn’t get swooped up for another position between February when I started the interview process and May when they officially hired me.

I’ve been taking a course in software development this week. As much as I hate ‘school’ this course has actually opened my eyes to a whole new subject matter that I think will really benefit me down the line. It’s made for some long days, but I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Here’s to hoping they continue to like me moving forward and that I’ve got a long, fruitful career ahead of me in tech!

The universe looking out for me

Last year I made a post about the best things that never happened to me. Throughout the entire post I shared some stories of my life centered around the premise that perhaps the best things in our lives are those that never actually happen to us, or for us.

The stories that I shared had finished with 2018, and at the point of writing, I genuinely hadn’t had an experience that led me to believe there was anything to share with respect to 2019.

Fast forward to today.

Today, I got an intriguing email to my work inbox. Being a relatively new employee, my inbox has been rather quiet the past few weeks, mainly serving as a means for coworkers to share files with me. Today, the email I received was from someone that I’ve met before. It was from someone that I interviewed with in 2019.

In May 2019 I had a job interview with a tech company that I was really excited about. This company was ‘on their way up’ in the business world. It was new and exciting software that was unlike anything else on the market and they were poised to make an integral mark in the industry because of investments from Silicon Valley.

I made it to the final round of interviews and was one of the last two candidates being considered. Nevertheless, I was devastated when I didn’t get the job. I was so excited for the opportunity and I genuinely thought that the job was mine. It took me months to get over the fact that I didn’t get that job. I really felt like I was to blame for the missed opportunity at really stepping up my career.

The email that I got today was from the woman who interviewed me, and inevitably, did not select me to fulfill that role.

She’s looking for a job and she wanted to know if I was hiring.

Ummm. What?

A year later, someone who didn’t select me for a job was now asking me for a job. Does she know that I am relatively new to the company? Does she remember that I was the candidate she rejected to do my very role at her company last year?

I sent her an email back, reintroduced myself as the individual who interviewed with her last year and asked her what was going on, why she was looking for a new job. She seemed to have it made at the company she was with, so I just… wanted to open a conversation and see what she had to say.

‘The company went under in December 2019.” She said. Of course she went on to explain exactly what happened and she let me know that she was looking for work in January and February and then the pandemic hit and she hasn’t been able to find work since.

She actually went on to mention that she applied for the position that I now have. (Which I did not ask her, it was information she volunteered)

It was a ‘holy shit’ kind of a moment. I feel bad for her for being in a position of being unemployed. I know the feeling all too well and I don’t wish it on anyone. But also running through my head was ‘Had I been selected for that job, I literally would have worked for six months and then had to start back at square one’. Then my mind went to ‘holy shit, the woman who thought I wasn’t good enough to have this job at her company now wants me to keep her application in mind for being my assistant’.

There’s so much to unfold there. The biggest thing that I can’t seem to get past though is… had I gotten that job, I would have worked for six months and been right back to square one.

Did I dodge a metaphorical bullet, or did I dodge a metaphorical bullet?

Holy crap.

As hard as my unemployment tenure was, and as much as I whined and complained to my friends, family and this blog, I’ve always maintained the belief that the universe guides us. And the universe clearly had better plans for me than a tech company that was soon to go belly-up.

I feel sorry for this woman. I really do. I wish I could say ‘sure I’ll keep your resume’ and give her hope. But, truthfully, I can’t give her any hope. My bosses won’t be hiring any more this year. I befriended her on LinkedIn and told her that if I hear of any similar positions that I’d pass along her name/contact information. I wish I could do more for her but dang, 2020 has been a hot mess and there’s really not much more I can do now.

Execept… I can savour the role that I have so much more today than I did yesterday. Does that make me a bad person? Her email just made me so much more thankful of the role I’m in now. I mean I’ve been appreciative of this position since they day they said ‘Will you accept our offer?’ But, today… it just seems so much sweeter…. like so much more of a win, finding a role in the industry in the middle of a pandemic.

2020 man… such a crazy year. The universe always has a plan.