Wednesday Things

Good Morning World,

Here’s a mish mash of thoughts for the day.

Equality will not happen in this world until we, as a collective society, agree that inequality is our present reality and has been for a long time. If you’re marching, if you’re writing letters, if you’re making phone calls, if you’re having awkward conversations, keep going. It’s a worthwhile battle to fight. And in the end, we should all want to be better. Also, we should all treat each other fairly and equally. Be an ally. Keep the fight going. Make change.

I reckon that there are some wealthy elites who will be knocked down a few pegs in the coming months/years. With the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell by the FBI, there are likely a lot of very powerful people who are scrambling to cover their tracks and hide their heinous crimes and friendship with Geoffrey Epstein right now. The skeletons were hidden so long as she was in hiding… now that she’s in custody, I could be years of unfolding the horror and indecency that Epstein and his powerful friends thrust on the world. Human trafficking, sex trafficking, sexual assault of underaged victims, oh the list is a lengthy one and I bet the public doesn’t even know the half of it. You know shit’s going to go down when even the Royal Family of one of the oldest monarchies on earth is doing damage control.

Canadian actor and extremely talented Broadway star, Nick Cordero, has passed away from complications brought on by Corona Virus. At just 41 years old, he leaves behind a wife and a son (who turned one and learned to walk whilst he was in the hospital). Over the past three months that he was in hospital, he’s suffered from strokes, been in a coma, had his leg amputated, dealt with serious blood clots and, at one point in time he was even going to be put on the transplant list. 41 years old and this virus left him in hospital for three months fighting for his life until he eventually succumbed to it. His wife is now a widow and his son will never know, or remember, his dad. It’s something I say a lot to everyone in my life, but if you’re not wearing a mask… please put one on. You really do not know who you could infect with this virus. Whomever it was that infected Nick Cordero… well it lead to his death. Even if you’re healthy, even if you ‘don’t go around that many people’, please just put on a damn mask. Don’t be responsible for someone else contracting a deadly virus… because honestly, you don’t know whether or not it’ll kill them. Corona Virus is not gone. Nor is this ‘the second wave’… we’re still in the first wave, ladies and gentlemen.

Alright, it’s pouring rain and I’ve got to make myself some breakfast before my next meeting. Working from home is convenient in that sense.

Make smart choices today. And also, have a good day.

That’s all for now.

Do weighted blankets make a difference?

I don’t normally do product reviews on my blog. Actually, I don’t know that I’ve ever done one before. But, on January 1, I made a New Year’s Resolution that I was going to get myself a weighted blanket. Now that I have it, I want to talk about it.

This is a product review for the YNM Weighted Blanket.

YNM’s description of their blanket:

YnM is a premium-grade weighted blanket that helps relax your body by simulating the feeling of being held or hugged, making you fall asleep faster and sleep better throughout the night.

After years of research and practical application and learning from our countless customer feedbacks and reviews, the YnM R&D team achieved this fabulous 2.0 Weighted Blanket.

Sleep: 10/10
Price: 10/10
Quality: 10/10
Size: 6/10
Aesthetic: 6/10

SLEEP
As someone who suffers from anxiety, I can say without a doubt in my mind that this blanket has improved my sleep ten fold. I’m someone who tosses and turns in my sleep and frequently has bad dreams that wake me up. At times I can lay awake for hours on end feeling anxious with my mind racing a mile a minute. Sleeping an entire night through seems like the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest some nights. Since incorporating a weighted blanket into my night’s I’ve felt a lot calmer. I feel as though I am falling asleep easier and I’m staying asleep longer.

I’ll admit, when I read about these blankets online, I was worried that it was a gimmick. Which is partially why I wanted to test it for myself… I wanted to say ‘AH-HA! You’re lying!’ Truth is… they’re not lying. A weighted blanket feels a bit like sleeping in a cocoon. You feel safe and warm and comforted.

A weighted blanket won’t make your anxiety disappear, but it will help you sleep if you’re feeling anxious. It does help you feel comforted. It does help you feel warm and snug and cozy.

PRICE
I had put off testing one of these for a long time due to financial strain. They aren’t cheap, and given that they’re so heavy, a lot of companies that sell them charge astronomical shipping.

Recently, though, I stumbled upon the YNM Brand of weighted blankets on Amazon and they were on sale at the time. Instead of being $119 it was just $73. To me, this seemed like a reasonable price to test it out as a basic comforter would cost you at least $100 at Wal Mart. The extra benefit to ordering it off Amazon was that it had free shipping.

I strongly recommend looking for, or waiting for, a sale for weighted blankets. They can be quite pricey ($300+ and added shipping) if you just purchase the first one that comes up on google.

QUALITY
For $73, I continue to be thoroughly impressed with the quality of this blanket. It’s thick, the stitching is deep and each individual 4×4 square is measured evenly and reinforced to ensure there is no disproportionate weight distribution over time/use.

The fabric is cooling so it’ll be a nice sleep companion in any season, especially now in the heat of summer. All in all, it’s a very well made blanket.

The YNM quality information graphic explaining how the blankets are made.

SIZE
This is where I’m thoroughly confused about weighted blankets. I have a queen sized blanket on my full sized mattress (pictured here) and the blanket drapes over the side of the mattress with just enough length to cover the mattress (which makes my OCD happy). So, after measuring my mattress and the blanket that I have, I thought I would be safe to order a queen sized weighted blanket for my full sized bed. When the queen sized weighted blanket showed up, it only covered the top of my bed.

After doing some reading online, I see that a lot of people say that the weighted blanket is only supposed to cover the top of the mattress because the weight of the blanket can cause it to fall off either side of the bed if it drapes over the edges. Also, apparently the blanket is supposed to drape over you and not your bed.

So, I guess it’s supposed to be that way…

That being said, I did order a queen sized blanket for a full sized mattress and it fits the top of the mattress perfectly. So, keep the side discrepancy in mind when considering a weighted blanket from this brand as a queen size mattress is seven inches wider and five inches longer than a full size mattress.

AESTHETIC
It’s not pretty. It’s just not. If you’re someone who cares a lot about what your bedding looks like, you may want to do some hunting for appropriate covers or patterns on a weighted blanket. For me, I always intended to put the blanket underneath the blanket already on my bed, so I really didn’t care what it looked like. That being said, if you wish to only use the weighted blanket on your bed and nothing else, the basic grey is a little dull. I should also note that, as a weighted blanket, it’s prone to wrinkles. A lot of wrinkles. If that’s something that might bother you, I recommend getting a thin comforter or throw to put over top so you cannot see the wrinkles.

Overall Ranking: 7.5/10

Could it be better? Absolutely. In spite of what people online say, I do think it would be better if the blanket itself draped over the side of the mattress. The sizing could possibly just be an issue with the YNM brand of blanket I bought. It seems like it would be a little excessive to order a king sized blanket for a full sized mattress. Perhaps other brands don’t have the same issues. Definitely do your research.

Am I keeping it? Absolutely. It’s comforting. It makes me feel good when I lay down at night. I can look past the aesthetic and weird sizing, so it’s a great fit for me. For $73, I think it was well worth the money spent. And, I can completely see why so many people love these blankets.

A couple of noteworthy points:

  • A lot of websites state that the weight of the blanket you order should coincide with your body-weight. I ignored that recommendation. I ordered a fifteen pound blanket and I honestly don’t think I’d want one that’s any heavier. I don’t want to feel like I’m being smothered in my sleep.
  • Weighted blankets cannot be put in a traditional washing machine. So, either purchase a cover or do not let pets on your bed. Otherwise, your dry-cleaning bill will go way up.
  • If you’re worried your partner won’t like a weighted blanket, you can purchase a small one, such a twin-sized blanket and then use it on the bottom of your bed as a ‘throw’. Then when you’re feeling anxious you can pull it over you without disrupting your partner at all.

New Year’s Resolution to purchase a weighted blanket – done. And I’m glad that I did. I think I might buy one as a gift for my friends/family when birthdays and Christmas come around.

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!