Saturday, September 29, 2007

Today I walked for...

This weekend I took part in a marathon relay. Those of you that know me well know I can not run. So there was no point in me competing with professional marathoners. But anyone that does know me know I am a competitive person. Tell me I can't do something and it will always be my pleasure to prove to you that I can. Up to a point. Before I said I would do this I thought of why I wanted to do it. I thought of why I had gotten healthy again, why I had lost all my excess weight and why I continued to monitor it.

I had 2 "legs" of the relay to complete; a 2 mile one and a 5 mile one. I did the 2 mile yesterday in good time. Today I did the 5 mile one with much more difficulty. It is raining here and my muscles don't do well in rain. I could feel the muscles start to cramp at about the 3.5 mark but I'm not a quitter either.

I reminded myself of why I was doing this. I saw my sister's face in my mind and I knew why I was going to finish this leg no matter if I landed on my face. These are the reasons I walked today:

For my sister Adele who died of colon cancer at the age of 46
For my dad Roland who died of prostate cancer at the age of 59
For my aunts:
Lucy of breast cancer at 51
Winni of breast cancer also at age 51
Irene of breast cancer at 63
Cecile of brain tumour at age 43

For my uncle Paul who died of prostate cancer at 76
My grandfathers:
Benoit who died of liver cancer of age 74
Albert who died of prostate cancer at 88 years

For my cousin Curtis who died of leukemia at the age of 4
For my cousin Donald whose wife was just diagnosed with breast cancer

Today I walked for my children Douglas Kim Mary Eugene Lareta Curt Jody and Linda
Today I walked for my grandchildren, Terry Senthia Britnee Dallas Latitia Sinead Darien Regan Amber Rosaleen Miranda and Aisling.
Today and every day come rain or shine I walk for Keith and for our eternal family. I am determined to not give in to this disease that has caused so much grief in my family. I will continue to do what I must to make sure I remain as healthy as possible.

I could feel my sister with me as I finished my last steps gasping for air as my lungs felt like I was inhaling sand paper. I had a friend earlier this week ask me why on earth would I want to do this when there were no prizes no TADA's with thousands of spectators cheering you on to victory.. what was the point. There was a point. I smiled as the vision of my sister left me... there was a point.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cost of being a Nana

New Jeep double stroller to transport princesses around their kingdom:$55.00 (Notice the brand name Jeep matches our own Jeep?)

New toy chest or imaginary trunk:$7.99

New Barbie Princess Castle:$5.99

2 Mommy Barbies, 1 Daddy Barbie and 2 Baby Barbies with clothes to wear:$12.99

New imaginary clothes:$2.99 each

The intense look on a Princess as she plays with her new things: Priceless!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Weird stuff going on

So you can't guess what I did last night or what my body did? I had taped Survivor and last season ending of CSI (I like to watch season endings just before the premiere so I can remember how something ended ) and watched Survivor. Keith went to bed and I started to watch CSI. Then it seemed like I was still watching tv but all of a sudden I smelt burning, the alarm was going off and there was loud noise coming from kitchen so jumped off the chair as Keith came running in the kitchen and here there were eggs popping all over :( I guess I had put eggs on to boil for egg salad for Keith's lunch and forgot I did it. The water was all gone and the eggs were very hard boiled so bad they were exploding all over the kitchen! That is just one night. Most nights in last couple of weeks on being on this new drug I wake up in the morning or Keith wakes me up in the middle of the night to ask what was I doing??? I think I am going to check out the medication online for side effects. Poor Keith!! Good thing I can lump all this activity under "worse" part of the better for worse section of our marriage vows hehehe

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Duh Moment

Here is something that should make you smile. It is just after midnight right now and was thinking I should go put my jammies on before Keith goes to bed and I looked down and realized I was already wearing my bottoms!!! I remembered my mom had called this morning while I was getting dressed and I was in a rush to head out so finally said bye and left to run errands, met Lareta for lunch, we went and did some shopping .... all the time I am wearing a nice sweater and my pajama bottoms!! Wait till I ask Lareta tomorrow what she was thinking letting me out in public wearing jammies!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Remembrance and bad stuff

I have been watching the Discovery channel lately (got hooked on it when I was at my moms this summer) and have been watching all these natural disasters that have occurred.. and lately they have been many. As I have been reading the scriptures and for all the years I have read them I know that evil will multiply and be more rampant on earth. I have read many times that the Lord's anger will be released because the people just will not live His life and what He has commanded us to do.

But then I see the suffering of the people that have been caught in hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods.. all in the last little bit of time.. a lot of innocent people have given up their lives. I just think of the thousands who lost their lives during 9/11. God could not have meant to have innocent people die?

When my father died, his youngest sister was "volunteered" to come talk to me. I was grieving just like everyone else was but it seemed to the others that I was grieving differently so she came and asked me why God would do this to him? He had finally stopped drinking, becoming a half way human being, changing his life and for what? A cancer that took his life in a year and a half. She kept going on about it was all God's fault and how many evil people were out there and why didn't He get them rather then someone who was working so hard.

I tried explaining to her that God doesn't go around and say ok so and so is gone or that country needs a wake up call let's send them a hurricane. I told her that we have all been counciled since the beginning of time in the Bible to get our acts together, to follow the 10 commandments and the Golden Rule. And have we as a people? Nope not even close.

I told her the reason that I "seemed" different then the others was because I truly believed that we were a family for all time and eternity not just till someone died. I told her about the plan of salvation and how we were given the choice of following Satan or Christ in our previous life. I told her by us coming here means we chose to follow Christ. We also knew to a degree what our lives were going to be like and we said no problem. I can handle it. But with the pain and sorrow comes joy. I told her I would see my dad again one day.

These last couple of months I have been really struggling with my sanity and my spirituality. My head and heart haven't been on the same page lately and that has discombobulated me. When it is in the middle of the night and I can't sleep I think of my Dad and my sister and ask God why? Why them and not the evil people like my aunt asked. Yes my head knows that I will be with them once again but my heart is human and I ask Him again and again.

I think of our daughter and son in law who have struggled this year. Far more then any family should have to deal with. I know they are doing every thing as right as they possibly can so then why? Did He let the blood clots form in Curt's lungs? Did he cause her to lose not one but 2 babies this year? Why? Why do bad things still happen? Is it to make us grow more? Learn more? What are we missing? Why do some people seem to get more then their fair share of struggle? I think of that poem Footsteps In The Sand and the last line where Christ says "In the sand where their is only one set of footprints, they are not yours walking alone, they are mine carrying you." So then why is it then that at times it doesn't feel like you are being carried?

How do you answer your child when they hurt so much? How do you tell them you don't know why all this is happening? I read in a book the other day that said God always answers our prayers but our minds are usually too busy with other things that we don't hear the answers. I can vouch for that. Many times late at night I am saying my prayers and then find myself reminding myself to get some meat out for the next day's dinner or some other idiot thing.

A mom is supposed to kiss all owies better. How do I fix this? I grew up listening to my mom and the other women saying bad things come in threes/ I live my life waiting for the "third" thing all the time. I know that is wrong. I love life too much to do that. But at nights like tonight when it is 3:30 in the morning my heart isn't on the same page as my head and I miss my sister and my dad and I grieve for the grandchildren that God called back to live with him before their parents could hold them.

If I had only known
It was the last walk in the rain
I'd keep you out for hours in the storm
I would hold your hand
Like a life line to my heart
Underneath the thunder we'd be warm
If I had only known
It was our last walk in the rain

If I had only known
I'd never hear your voice again
I'd memorize each thing you ever said
And on those lonely nights
I could think of them once more
Keep your words alive inside my head
If I had only known
I'd never hear your voice again

You were the treasure in my hand
You were the one who always stood beside me
So unaware I foolishly believed
That you would always be there
But then there came a day
And I turned my head and you slipped away

If I had only known
It was my last night by your side
I'd pray a miracle would stop the dawn
And when you'd smile at me
I would look into your eyes
And make sure you know my love
For you goes on and on
If I had only known
If I had only known
The love I would've shown
If I had only known

Monday, September 17, 2007

Marathon Relay

Will wonders never cease??? I have just signed up for a marathon relay the weekend of Sept 28/29, I will have a 2 mile leg and a 5 mile leg (this one is the last leg). I will only be walking it as if I ran they would have to scrape me off the pavement half way through. I am very very excited. So every day for the next 2 weeks I am going to push my granddaughter in the stroller and just boogie keeping track of my time to get faster and faster. This way on the day that I do it (minus the stroller and toddler) the time should even be better.

3 1/2 years ago I was walking (if I walked at all) with one or two canes. If I had to go to a mall I had to use a wheelchair. Who would have thought 3 years later I would even be doing a marathon relay let alone think of doing one. I am very pleased with my progress.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Day in rthe Life

I finally have 2 quiet moments to breathe and thought I would play catch up. I have been watching our 3 1/2 year old granddaughter since the beginning of the month. Keith and I decided that she needed to get out of daycare and be with family. I wouldn't have been able to watch her beforehand as I couldn't lift her in and out of the playpen or the toilet or pick her up but now that she is very self sufficient (at least in her mind) she is here.

So we have been going out for nature walks (have you any idea how MANY leaves or ants are on any given sidewalk that has to be checked out in a one block area?)and doing crafts etc. I didn't want her to spend all day in front of Treehouse although I have to admit by 3 o'cclock that station is a wonderful tool hehehe. Because Lareta has been down the last week and a half, I have had Miranda off and on and the 2 girls have had a blast playing together.

Today we went to the library to register for their weekly storeytime and to get some books. I had packed a picnic lunch and it was so nice out we sat out in front afterwards and had a little picnic. Then off to the pool we went. I will be very happy to see tomorrow morning though so I can just relax and not worry about getting up early and making breakfast.

It's Keith's birthday and our anniversary next week and I wanted to go up to Whistler for the weekend but they have nothing open so will have to make do with dinner at home with friends. Not that there is anything wrong with that. May be a good time to find some new recipes although Keith hates new things. He likes his meat and potatoes.

Well that's it for me. I am going to go see if I can convince these 2 little girls that they NEED a nap :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Accepted Story

I was just notified by UNILEVER company that makes Dove that my story has been published!!!! I was so thrilled and it came by so unexpectedly!! Here is the link to the story :) I am dancing on air today! I am so excited I might just clean out the oven... nah on 2nd thought I am not THAT excited!

Canadian Census Report

Yesterday on the 11 o'clock news it reported the findings of the 2006 census. Here are just a few highlights with regards to the dynamics of the so called family life:

* Common-law couple families increasing much faster than married-couple families
o For the first time, more census families comprised of couples without children than with children
* Same-sex married couples counted for the first time
* Lone-parent families: Upward trend has stabilized since 2001
o More never-married lone parents and fewer widowed
o Lone-mother families remain the majority of lone-parent families but growth is higher for lone-father families

# Households

* Household size continues to decline
o Large increase in number of one-person households

# Individuals

* Legal marital status: Unmarried people outnumber married people for the first time
* Living as part of a common-law couple growing rapidly, especially for older age groups
o More common-law partners divorced than never-married after age 50
* Living as part of a couple peaks for women in their late thirties
* Increasing proportion of children aged 14 and under live with common-law parents
o Some children shared a home with grandparents
* Higher proportion of children aged 4 and under with mothers in their forties
* Fewer young adults aged 20 to 29 in couples
* More young adults aged 20 to 29 living in the parental home

Family portrait: Continuity and change in Canadian families and households in 2006: Highlights

* The 2006 Census enumerated 8,896,800 census families in Canada. Married couples constituted the largest group (68.6%), although their proportion has been steadily decreasing for the past 20 years.
* The number of common-law-couple families increased 18.9% between 2001 and 2006, more than five times the 3.5% gain observed for married-couple families and more than double the growth of 7.8% for lone-parent families.
* Lone-parent families headed by men increased 14.6% during the five years prior to 2006, more than twice the growth of lone-parent families headed by women (+6.3%).
* For the first time in 2006 there were more census families comprised of couples without children (42.7%) than with children (41.4%).
* The 2006 Census enumerated 45,300 same-sex couples. Of these, about 7,500 (16.5%) were married couples and 37,900 (83.5%) were common-law couples. In 2001 there were 34,200 same-sex couples in Canada.
* The number of same-sex couples grew 32.6% between 2001 and 2006, more than five times the growth observed for opposite-sex couples (+5.9%).
* Households have been declining in size over the past century. In 2006, there were more than three times as many one-person households (26.8%) as those consisting of five or more people (8.7%).
* The census counted 12,437,500 private households in 2006, up 7.6% from 2001. One-person households (+11.8%) and couples without children (+11.2%) grew more than twice as fast as the total population in private households (+5.3%). Households with children edged up only 0.4%.
* For the first time in 2006, there were more unmarried people aged 15 and over in Canada than legally married people. Just over one-half of Canada's population aged 15 and over was unmarried, that is, they had never been legally married, or they were divorced, widowed or separated.
* Two-thirds (65.7%) of Canada's total of 5.6 million children aged 14 and under lived with married parents in 2006, a decline from 81.2% in 1986.
* A growing proportion of young children aged 4 and under had a mother in her forties as more and more women delayed childbearing. In 2001, 7.8% of children aged 4 and under had a mother who was between the ages of 40 and 49. By 2006, this proportion had increased to 9.4%.
* The proportion of young adults aged 20 to 29 who lived in the parental home continued to increase, following an overall upward trend for the past 20 years. In 2006, 43.5% of young adults lived at home, up substantially from 32.1% two decades earlier.
* Provincially, Newfoundland and Labrador (52.2%) and Ontario (51.5%) had the highest proportions of young adults in their twenties living in the parental home in 2006 while Alberta (31.7%) and Saskatchewan (31.8%) had the lowest proportions.
* Nova Scotia had the lowest proportion of private households comprised of couples with children (25.5%) in 2006. The national average was 28.5%.
* Common-law unions continued to be more prevalent in Quebec in 2006, where over one-third of couples lived in a common-law union (34.6%), a level much higher than the other provinces and territories (13.4%).
* Ontario had the highest proportion of married-couple families (73.9%) in Canada in 2006 and the lowest proportion of common-law-couple families (10.3%).
* The number of census families in Alberta increased 11.5% between 2001 and 2006, nearly twice the national average (+6.3%).
* In 2006, half (50.0%) of same-sex couples in Canada lived in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver. Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia were the first three provinces to legalize same-sex marriage.
* In 2006, nearly one out of five census families was a lone-parent family in the census metropolitan areas of Regina, Saint John, St. John's, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay and Montréal.
* Census metropolitan areas with fast growing populations in private households also tended to have the most rapid increases in the number of households with couples and children. Between 2001 and 2006, households with couples and children grew above the national average (+0.4%) in Barrie (+14.6%), Calgary (+12.9%) and Oshawa (+7.6%).
* In 2006, more young adults aged 20 to 29 in Toronto's CMA lived with their parents (57.9%) than in any other CMA. The national average was 43.5%.

For the complete breakdown please see:

All I can say is how sad that the family unit has changed so much especially with the category of no children.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cannibalism and starvation

Keith and I were watching a documentary last night called Alive in the Andes about a small plane holding 40 odd passengers crashed in the Andes mountain. They had hit some major turbulence and so had veered off course. They went to go in between 2 peaks but a gust of wind hit them and took a wing off and it went downhill from there. Because they were off course they gave the wrong area in their mayday message.

Short end of the story, many of the passengers that had managed to survive died in the next month due to dehydration, hypothermia and starvation. At one point one of the survivors tells the others that they need protein and the only way they could do this was to eat the passengers that had already died. Most of the passengers had been a soccer team that had been going from home to another country to play a game so these were their team mates and parents for some they were talking about. Most said no way they could not do it but one by one they did.

2 of the passengers decided to try and climb to the top of the peaks where they were and figured they would hit the valley and civilization. But what they thought as being Chile on the other side was actually the entire Andes range and they had to cross that to get to Argentina. It was a long journey and they had taken body parts with them of the dead passengers to sustain them through the journey. They did eventually get rescued but the thought that they had eaten their mates and family members were hard to deal with when they returned to civilization.

Keith and I discussed this at length after the movie wondering if we would or would not. It is easy to say NO WAY we would NEVER do this when we are in the comfort of our living room eating snacks. Keith kept saying he would find other food.. I kept saying but hypothetically if there were no other food around like where these people were, would you. I told him I would not. If it was just him and I and he died I would not. He said I would expect you to to continue on for our family. I said if you died I would have no purpose in living so what would be the point of eating you? It ended up in a stalemate but it made me think what would others do? As Christians would circumstances be different and it would be ok? I mean they are dead already so it is not like we committed murder. I tried finding information on it this morning but haven't been able to. I have found very strong evidence though that people will say either a strong yes they would or a strong no they would not.. I haven't found too many that are sitting on the fence.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Being 50 ish

I was watching a rerun of Oprah the other day and I am glad I did. I don't normally watch daytime story shows like them but I had been flipping channels and she came on. She was doing a show on women who are past 50, these are women who are powerful in their own right. So I decided instead of concentrating that I was now over a half of a century old I would find positive things about being the age I am. And who knows... maybe someone or more then one person that reads this will say hey yea I can DO that. So here goes... what I learn by the time I hit Fiftyish:

1. I finally figure out how to be a parent and my children are adults and moved away from home.. COME HOME!! I finally know how to do this

2. That it is more important to sit on the floor playing with a grandchild then it is to be washing floors.

3. I can wear a purple dress with large red cabbage roses on it. Not that I ever would but if I wanted to I could

4. I don't have to follow the latest fashion craze

5. I can now blame all my screw ups and mistakes on senior DUH moments.

6. My parents were right when they said "Stay in school"

7. Families ARE THE MOST important thing in your life

8. That although I have to pick my battles I do not have to win each war

9. That I can and do stand up for what I believe instead of listening to someone saying "that's the way it's always been done"

10. That I can say no when I am asked something and then not feel guilty afterwards,. (Seems like I still have work to do on this one ;)

11. That's it's ok to have your dessert before you have your meal.

12. That if I don't cross everything on my to do list it is ok it will all be there for me tomorrow.

13. That I am more in tuned with my inner Spirit then at any other time in my life.

14. That it is good to cry in front of people. And although I know this in my head my heart is a lot slower in heeding that call but I am working on it.

15. That who cares if hubby and I stay in jammies all day long on his days off and we just watch movies and tv shows on tapes we made of our family since day 1.

There are more but I am still working on that.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

History... to do or not to do

As most of you that read this know, I am passionate about family history. Well at least passionate about mine.. not so excited about John Doe’s. I was looking up something in one of my grandparent’s history book the other week and realized that although the book was less then 10 years old, so much information had changed. People had married, died, given birth, moved etc.

A thought has been niggling at my brain cells for some time now but I kept piling other stuff on top of it pretending like it wasn't existing. But just as I never stop talking in real time, my brain never shuts up either even when I am sleeping so this thought just kept cropping up and getting stronger. I gave myself excuses after excuses most of which began with "I do NOT have any more spare time" but that has never stopped me in the past..

After looking through the book I knew in my heart of hearts what I needed to do. I needed to write a new history book of my father's line. I have done so much genealogy on both of my parents’ side I am knee deep most days. It isn't that I want to do this book to toot my own horn... it's because of something my paternal grandmother told me before she died. Her greatest concern was that our family would stop getting together after she was gone. She knew we would all be busy with our lives, jobs, children, and for some of us grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She knew that the only time we would get together if at all would be at funerals and weddings.

My mom told me once when I was whining about why we had to be poor and why people made fun of us when we were growing up, that all you really have in life is your name and your family. She also told us to never do anything that would put tarnish on our family name.

I value my heritage. I work hard at keeping traditions that belong to our family. The first thing that attracted me to my church was the focus on families. I was hooked. Now with 12 grandchildren “attached” to my hip I tell them stories about their ancestors. I know that when I am gone they will have stacks of journals to keep them occupied reading about the good old days.

Genealogy isn’t just about pedigree charts. It’s about writing in journals, it’s about telling others of the stories that you were told. It is about asking questions and questions and then some more questions. It’s about never assuming “it’s already all been done”. That is why I NEED to do this book. I need to make sure that I make my grandmother proud. I need for them to know I had been listening to their stories. I especially need my descendants to always know who they are. After all you can’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you’re from.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

If I knew then...

·If I knew then what I know now: I would have paid more attention to the stories that my grandparents told me and taken more of an interest in the scrapbooks and photo albums when we looked through them. Now my grandparents are gone (for the past 20+ years) and no one knows what happened to the Family Bible or the scrapbooks. Luckily I do remember some of the things my grandparents told me and some of those things have helped me to unlock a few mysteries.

·If I knew then what I know now I would have added every bit of documentation to the notes/sources area of my genealogy as I put it in. It is so much harder to find it again and add it now than if I had added it as I found it.

·If I knew then what I know now I'd ask better questions of the living and not assume it would all be obvious later. I did interview my grandfather a couple of times and got it on tape. But it never occurred to me that I would have so much difficulty figuring out how his "Aunt Delia" was related to him. There are numerous things I have run across that I naively assumed would be clear when organized together, but many connections still elude me as I try to piece together the puzzle of family relations. The right questions asked of my grandfather would have helped immensely since with his death I have yet to find anyone else still alive who knows the answers.

·If I knew then what I know now where my great-grandparents had come from in Quebec, when I was there for my work a few years ago, I could have probably walked where they walked and met some cousins and seen what they had seen. I am in awe of the things they must have gone through to get to this country and start a new life, leaving behind their familiar life and family members. I don't believe I could have done that! And to think the majority of people today couldn't care less about their ancestors!

·If I knew then what I know now, I would have visited all the cemeteries in every town I ever lived in, and would have taken the time to record in a note book, the names of all the family members, and when they were born, and when they died.

·If I knew then what I know now, that one of our sons would move away, I would have made it a point to give him a written account of our family and my birth-family. I think I would have written him a book of "Mother's Advice" that could have prevented him from making any mistakes after leaving home.

·If I knew then what I know now I would have saved years of research. I was told by my mother, my aunts, the whole family, that my maternal grandmother’s maternal grandmother was Marie Louise Cloure who lived and died in Quebec. After years of looking for that name and checking census, birth records and marriage license I came across the name in Burlington Vermont. After much searching I finally received her birth, marriage and death certificates. Although she lived in Quebec, all her info was American. There big as life, Memere was Marie Louise Cloure born not in Vercheres Quebec but in Burlington Vermont. I could have saved years of frustration, but I'm now on the right track...I would still like to know how the family had pictures of her at 106 years old when she died of smallpox in her early 20’s. Maybe some day. Oh those elusive kin of mine.