Friday, February 29, 2008

Is it Spring yet??

I am so ready for spring time. I really thought it had "sprung" last week but it has chilled off again. Since I have been home I have been madly cleaning out closets and purging my home. I attacked my bedroom closet first and no word of a lie I filled three count them THREE huge bags of clothes!! Where the heck did they come from? No wonder it took me forever to find something to wear!

I can just stand in front of it now and just look lol I know I know I am weird what can I say. Next was my linen closet. Now our linen closet is right in the major pathway. It does not have a door on it although it did have a bifold one when we moved here. I had taken it off very soon after as things kept falling down off the shelves and when I went to open or close the door it always jammed. So I got baskets and organized it all nice and neat.

After that was my so called laundry room which technically isn't even a room but rather a closet again with no door. And no I did not do a before shot of any of these closets.. trust me you would not have wanted to have seen them. Those of you who HAVE seen it you just hush...

Then the other day I was at Costco and they had the most beautiful tulips ever and what can I say.... I got 2 bunches and put them in my beautiful Mikasa vase and can almost smell spring really coming!

I told Keith last night that I want him to give me one whole Saturday in the next month where we can go at the spare room. My mom is planning on coming down when I have my surgery and I want that room turned back into a spare bedroom. It literally has turned into a catch all and thank goodness I have kept a door on it so I can close it. It houses the media stuff for the grandkids, Keith's tool boxes that are supposed to be IN the actual closet, his desk which he never uses as he can't get at it so uses the dining room table for his laptop, 2 large bookcases, a dresser, a sideboard that doesn't fit in the dining room and of course the bed. Add a large leather swivel chair for the desk and you can count how many times I have stubbed my toes or cracked my shins in there.

Now that is one before picture I will be taking when we start. I was actually thinking of posting it now, asking for decorating advice and then taking to lunch the person that had the greatest advice :) Sound like a plan??

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tag You Are IT

I got this from my almost sister Carm's site:

5 things you cannot live without under $10
1. scarbooking anything at the dollar store
2. Dove Night time Intensive lotion in Lavender scent
3. Storeybooks at the 2nd hand store
4. ice cream truck in the summer

5 favourite movies
1. Pretty Woman
2. Gone With The Wind
3. Casablanca
4. Lion King
5. The Princess and the Pauper

Baby names you love(but won't use) - Girls
1. Kelly
2. Suzanne
3. Marie-Ange
4. Angelique
5. Gabrielle

1. Kelly
2. Cody Anthony
3. Jean
4. Zacharie
5, Nathaniel

5 songs you could listen to over and over: (Okay, here is where my true colours come out!)
1. Child's Prayer by I have no idea
2. It's Your Love by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill
3. Proud by Heather Small
4. Survivor by Destiny Child's
5. Unwritten by uh I forget

5 people who influenced your life in a positive way:
1. Keith by far
2. my maternal grandparents
3, My mom for the srenght she has shown me that no matter what comes at you, you stand with your feet planted firm
4. Madame Bourget one of my high school teachers
5. Suzanne Legros, She was a friend of my mom's they worked together at the hospital and my sister and I used to go to her to talk about teenage girl stuff

5 things that stay in your purse all the time:
1. Wallet
2. Keys
3. Cell phone
4. medicine bag
5. glasses

5 moments you knew changed you forever:
1. Meeting Keith
2. Being sealed to him for all time and eternity
3. Being sealed to my children for all time and eternity
4. when my children were born
5. when my sister died

5 obsessions you have right now:
1. spring cleaning
2. organizing the closets without Keith seeing so he doesn't have to ask why I am throwing that out
3. doing the time line for October's seminar
4. labeling over 400 pictures that I scanned a couple of weeks ago
5. hand writing letters!!

5 places you would really love to go:
1. Whistler
2. Paris
3. Hawaii
4. New York
5. Tuscany

Monday, February 25, 2008

Cousin Darrell Cloutier still mssing

This is an excerpt from a newspaper in the Bahamas posted today:

25th February
Disappearance of Canadian Man Remains A Mystery
By Kendea Jones
Darrell Cloutier
Ten months after a Canadian man disappeared in The Bahamas, his family members are still hopeful he will be found alive.

Darrell Cloutier, an employee of PCL Constructors Bahamas, was last seen when he left work on April 10, last year, according to police.

He was reported missing on April 11 by his employers after he failed to show up for work.

Since then, police, co-workers and family members have searched for him, but to no avail.

Recently, Chief Superintendent Glenn Miller, who heads the Central Detective Unit, said the case is still not closed.

"It is not a closed case until we find him," he said. "We are still trying to find him."

He said, however, at this point police are looking for a body.

Ray Cloutier, Darrell’s father, said on Sunday the family has not taken his disappearance well. He said the family is just hoping that he is still alive.

"How do you deal with something like this?" he asked. "Basically, we know nothing."

He said at first the family members did not believe his son was kidnapped, but now they believe anything is possible.

Mr. Cloutier said the family had hired a private investigator to look into matter, but that did not prove helpful.

"I had a meeting with the police about three months ago and the private investigator did not find out anything that I did not already know," he said.

Despite the lack of information, Mr. Cloutier said he believes the police are doing all they can.

"We have dealt with a lawyer down in The Bahamas and he assured us that the police are doing all that they can so I have no complaints," he said.

Mr. Cloutier said the family has not given up.

"We think that someone out there knows something and it will be a matter of time before they share information," he said.

The family has offered $10,000 for the safe return of Mr. Cloutier.

Mr. Cloutier is a slim Caucasian male who stands 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs roughly 180 pounds, police said.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact police at 322-2561 or 502-9991

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Faith and the Big "C"

As I mentioned in a post last week, I have been diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas. I spent the better part of the day Tuesday at the Cancer Clinic speaking with an Oncologist. What my surgeon had suggested a couple of weeks prior to that was I was to go through a bout of radiation and in the near future look at having a double mastectomy. The end result of my visit with my oncologist and then again the following day with my surgeon is that I am going to bypass the radiation and go straight for the surgery which will be scheduled in Aprilish.

I had a sort of "out of body" experience as I was discussing everything with my surgeon. On the outside I was sitting there calm cool and collected. But on the inside I was screaming my head off. I am very well trained in the art of appearing like everything is fine which of course they were not. When I got home my husband and I called our children and my brothers and mom. The rest of our friends and families we emailed as I was getting exhausted of repeating the same story over and over again.

I was resigned to the surgery a couple of months ago. Actually I was a couple of years ago when I started having problems. But it still wasn't the same as KNOWING you are going to have the surgery. By Friday I refused to read my emails anymore as they were getting pretty depressing. Every email but one basically said the same sentence in different phrases but had the same meaning "CHOP THEM OFF". I understand everyone was very concerned for my health and would rather have me alive and flat chested then dead in 6 months but it was very disconcerting to have had only one email that asked me how I felt about needing the surgery from my friends.

I love my close friends with all my heart and I know they love me truly and I also know they have my best interests at heart. But to have that many emails come in a matter of 2 days with the same message I was getting very sad. Not only that but I was starting to question my faith. Before I had been diagnosed, I had a blessing from the Priesthood holders in my ward. For those of you who are not members of my church, a blessing is a laying on of hands by worthy priesthood holders. It is done by prayer and the Spirit guides them into saying what needs to be said. I had been getting a blessing in regards to my new job (Director of the Family History Centre) and in the blessing I was told that the diseases of the world would pass me by AND that I would be healed of all illnesses.

That part of the blessing kept going through my mind all week getting to the point where I have been distraught over it just sitting on the couch in a ball. Friday I went out shopping with my daughter to get my mind off of things but I couldn't focus. I talked it out over and over with Keith how I was feeling but all he could do was let me talk and hold me.

I was concerned that I was moving too fast with the surgery. I kept wondering if I shouldn't be putting more faith in God that He would heal me. I kept thinking what if I am hurting His feelings by not trusting Him to do what he had promised to do in my blessing. I know He tells us to do all we can first and then He will help. I thought I had been doing that but what if I wasn't giving Him the time to do what He said He would. But then I would think what if part of the blessing was that He would heal me AFTER the surgery and that I would remain safe during it. What if what if what if.

Yesterday morning we spent 4 hours at the organic health food store to get products to help my immune system. I was getting even more overwhelmed at the amounts of foods that are supposedly healthy but had preservatives in them. I was in tears several times and Keith had to stop and hold me for a bit before I would be fine again. Thank goodness I have 2 of the best daughter in laws on earth. One is a Nutritional Consultant and had sent me information on what to look for and what to concentrate on with my meals. The other one works for an Organic wholesaler and was able to help me with what is available out there and what is really organic and what is not. Thanks Mary and Linda.

But it was a long day and by supper time I was continually in tears as I continued to struggle with my faith.. was I moving too fast was I not putting enough faith in God.. over and over again. Then an angel called by the name of Lareta. Our little granddaughter was very ill and so Mommy asked me if I would teach her little Sunday School class today. I said of course!! I love teaching the children. She sent over the manual and I put it aside till later. I also had brought home a stack of letters that I had gotten when I had been back home with the boxes of pictures and some of the letters were dated from 1909. All in French and so last night I decided to start reading them. The first one I pick up randomly talked about a family member who had died. The person writing was writing to his parents and talked about how they would see her again in Heaven, that we should always be prepared to die as to live our lives in as best a way possible so we are always ready to go with a clean conscience. He went on to say that we must always say our prayers that God does hear us but at times our minds are too busy talking to even hear Him.

I looked at Keith and said how ironic it was that out of the stack I pick one that talked about what I was going through. By then I remembered I still had to prepare the lesson for the class so I put the letters down and opened the manual. Wouldn't you know it... it was on Faith and how Heavenly Father hears our prayers. As I read the lesson from start to finish tears came down. Keith noticed and came over to give me a hug. I told him what the class was on and because our daughter teaches the 5-7 year olds it was written in a language that a child would understand. It was in the perfect language that I could understand. I realized my faith was strong enough and that I would be all right. I realized that God had been speaking but my mind had been too busy "talking" to actually hear what He was saying. I know now that Faith is constant. I know having Faith is about really believing in it. It is easy having faith when every thing in your life is hunky dory but something else when your life is up for grabs.

I realized I AM strong enough to go through with this. Thanks Lareta for asking me to teach your class. I don't know if the children will benefit from it but this Child of God certainly has learned her lesson today.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Back from Saskatchewan

I am back home safe and sound from the big freeze of the prairies. I don't know if I will ever warm up. My flight was late leaving Regina last night by 2 hours and narrowly able to catch my connecting flight home. But even that was only by the good graces of the pilot who said he would hold the plane. I wonder why it is if a connecting flight is going to be late why on earth pilots don't park right next to
the plane that passengers are going to be getting on. Why on earth part on opposite ends of terminals?

But I am home safe and sound. I did have the same experience at the security clearance at both legs of my trip. I had to be taken aside with my carry on purse to get permission to go through it. They said "something was pinging" but because it was so packed they couldn't get a clear reading of what it was. DUH! I am a female who
needs that much stuff on a 2 1/2 hour flight!! Who knows what I might want to do. Heaven forbid I just have one pocket book to read. I told them fine they could empty it but they had to put everything back exactly the way it had been but of course they didn't. This time coming home they actually swabbed my purse inside and out to check for who knows what.

I got off the plane at 1am in Regina when I first got there and when I got outside the insides of my nostrils stuck together making me have to breathe through my mouth. I told the cab driver that it was very cold out here but he chuckled and informed me they were having a tropical heat wave as it was only -16 without the wind chill factor which was warm compared to the -50 of previous weeks. Remind me again why I am over here??

But I got a couple of hours sleep at the hotel then my youngest brother picked me up in the early hours to take me to the bus depot to continue to my last part. Outside was completely white with hoar frost. I had forgotten what that looked like!It's like walking through clouds. Driving for 4 hours like that was hair raising to say the least. But I finally got to my mom's. She was very happy to see me! We had another hour's drive to get to her place and I knew I did not want to sit for anytime soon.

The temperature kept dropping and winter storms hit. My oldest brother and his family were supposed to come down the following day to visit with me and I thought for sure they would not be able to as the RCMP kept saying everyone stay off the highways but nope not my family :-D. They showed up at one of my other brothers en masse with enough pot luck food to feed a small army! Wait.. we were a small army hehehe.

We had a good visit although way too short. I had spent the better part of the morning and afternoon in ER the second day I got there from an incision that had started bleeding and I was exhausted so we finally went home. I had written my family members in my home town letting them know I was coming and really needed their help in gathering up photos so I could scan them for my book I was writing. My oldest brother had brought one of his scanners for me to use but for some reason it was not compatible with my laptop so on one of my every other day trips back into the city for dressing changes, I picked up a scanner. We spent part of one day with 2 of my dad's brothers and their wives as well as one of my cousins as we poured through boxes of pictures. It was way more then I could have even began to have expected to get. Of course there was a lot of "no that's not so and so it's him/her". I furiously wrote on the backs of as many pics as I could. The next day one of my aunts showed up at mom's with another box full plus a huge package of pics she had copied for me to keep. I was moved beyond words. All together I scanned nearly 400 pictures of my ancestors. There were many many more but no one knew who the people were so I just left those.

Last 3 days I have been going through the photos through the middle of the night labeling them into some sort of order but I have so much more to go through. I had the wonderful experience of meeting with 2 of my cousins that I had not seen since high school and I loved every second of every day. It reminded me how different small town life is. Your family is your priority. You drop everything for your family. I wanted to get something for the 2 that had helped me tremendously there that week so mom and I went to the florist shop. Now in my home town all businesses close for lunch from noon till 1pm. It was almost 1 when we got to the florist but the open sign was there so in we go. After awhile of not being greeted we did our "hellllooo anyone here" kind of thing and nothing. We were there just browsing when I finally found what I wanted. it was almost 1:30 by this time. I was about to just leave the items on the counter with a note saying who I was and that I would be back as I had other errands to run when in walks the owner. Her comment was "oops I guess I forgot to lock the front door again". Small town life. A different way of living.

It was very cold for most of the time I was there. I had bought new boots just for my trip and it was nice to go for walks and here this crunch crunch under my feet. The last weekend home my youngest 2 brothers and their families came to mom's for one last visit. One of them had driven almost 4 hours one way to pick me up to take me back to Regina for my flight back. My brothers didn't care there were travel advisory out. I was there. They were coming to see me. End of story. I have the most beautiful and amazing sister in laws that every woman on earth should have even just one like them. Hugs after hugs after hugs. I got to sit on the floors and watch Happy Feet with my nephews many times over. I got to play catch with Miss Ella and dance with Nicholas. I got to listen to Aidan read me bedtime stories. I got to hug a little Zacharie to pieces to hide my tears when he asked me if I was "still broken".

Everyone kept taking me aside asking how Mom had taken the news, how she was, how I was. We were a houseful for breakfast Sunday morning when I left to come home. It
hadn't occurred to me to really check the calendar when I booked my flight. I was leaving my mom worrying about me on the day that my only sister had died of cancer. Great planning Sally.I am a big journal writer and have been for many many decades. I had found one that had the word INSPIRE on the cover. I got that for mom and left it on her bed just before I left. I wrote inside telling her that she was the strongest woman I knew and that she was my inspiration for my strength. I hope her new journal will give her strength as she goes through this next phase in our lives.

I thought I was fine this whole trip.. till I came down the escalator and saw Keith standing there with this huge bouquet of flowers in his arms. I dropped both of my cases regardless of those behind me and ran into his arms. I knew I was home; that I was safe, that I no longer had to be the strong "I am perfectly fine" type; I knew my knight was there to look after me and look after me he did. As we drove home I told him of my trip. I told him how proud I was of my family, of my brothers and their families. I told him that although we grew up very dysfunctional we were still our best family. That thought will give me great comfort over the next few months as I go through these next trials.

I know I have eluded to things happening lately on my blog but I could not say anything before I had spoken to my mother. I was too worried she would get the news from someone else. I was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas. My brothers and my children knew. They knew the surgery I had to have and the results. But for mom, I knew I had to tell her this face to face. I wished I had planned the date a little better so I was not leaving the day my sister died of cancer.

I have learned that one can face anything as long as they have faith, faith in themselves, faith in prayer, faith in God, hope and most of all as long as they have family around that love them. That I do have. There was no doubt in my mind over the last 9 days that I have the best family. How can I possibly not survive this?

These pictures are of my mom's home on the whole block of Main Street
This picture is of my 2 youngest brothers and their families

Niece Michelle

Niece Raquel with daughter Mia

Brother Richard and sister in laws making dinner preparations. Leanne you REALLY can make a fortune selling your cabbage rolls!

Oldest brother Claude and my mom at Ricahrd and Janet's house

Little Zacharie popping hweelies :)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Levels of Prayer

I am in my Sunday School class this past week abd we have a substitute instructor as our regular one is on holidays. I have never been in one of his classes before but I have known him for a few years and love his sense of humour so knew it would be a great class. Well it was!! Now I have been reading scriptures since who knows how long but I kept thinking "I don't remember that before" and where did he get that from. He was very animated and I followed his every word.

At one point he was talking about prayer and the faith of the prophet he was teaching about. He used an example that at times our prayers are very routine, sort of please bless so and so, I need such and such, amen and hop into bed before you get any answers. Then he went on to say he was at his mother's one day and for some reason she gave a family prayer. He said he listened to her as she prayed in earnest and he realized that is how we should be praying. So as he went on with his story it made me think of my prayers and that maybe they could be done in a little bit less routine manner.

So the other night as I knelt for prayer I was determined that I was going to pour my heart out in gratitude for all I had. I wasn't going to ask for anything I was just going to talk. I am leaving later this afternoon to see mom mom to give her some bad news and I needed reassurance that what I was doing was right. Well to make a long story short, I was talking so much that I fell asleep. I never go into REM mode and have been on medication for it for several years. The medication tries to fool my brain into thinking it is in REM mode so that it can rest and heal. Most days my brain is too smart to fall for that trick but what does happen is a couple of hours after I take it I will fall asleep regardless if I am in bed or not. The sleep comes very fast. I wish I stayed asleep that long but that is another story. Anyway in the middle of praying that 2 hour mark came and went and I went to sleep in the middle of praying. Now I have not mastered the art of sleeping and staying up on my feet in one piece or in this case on my knees in an upright position so gravity did it's thing and threw me sideways.

I do not have a night table. I have too much stuff to have a mere night table. I have a small bookcase that is home for my lamp, clock, numerous books, music boxes, pictures etc. I could have tilted to the right and just hit the floor but oh no that would have been way too easy. I tilted to the left and landed square in the middle of this shelving unit. Now had Keith put the unit together it would not have mattered what hit it. It would have stayed put. But he didn't I wanted to do it myself and used a kitchen knife to turn the screws as I couldn't find the screwdriver. I also had decided at the time I did not want the backing on the unit as then I would not have been able to get the cords through to plug things in. I mean that was supposed to be an option right?

So down I go into a very noisy unit scaring the crap out of Keith!! Now our bed is very high. I am tall and we got this bed purposely so I could basically just walk up to the bed and get in without any bending. So when Keith sat up he didn't see me as I was hunched down. He didn't know what made all that noise so when I went to sit up I scared the daylights out of him. When he asked me what on earth I was doing I said saying prayers!! He shook his head and said you fell asleep didn't you? Nope not me! I would never do that! So why are all your things off your shelves... uhhhh.. let me think of an answer to that.

Needless to say my prayers were done for the night. I had to reset my clock and that takes a science degree to do especially at 3 am! Then just when I turned the light off and was starting to nod off, one of my music boxes started to go off. I heard this deep sigh coming from Keith which turned into a very soft apology from me.

Thanks Don!! Could you give a better description in your next class??? One that doesn't involve class assignments for when they go home to practice what you preach???

Friday, February 01, 2008

Movie Critique

OK I am back on my soapbox tonight. Honestly I don't usually get on one as there are not too many things in life that get my goat but this one did. Keith and I went to the movies tonight. We went and saw a movie that looked very very good on the previews and commercials. We rarely go to movies as there aren't a lot of anything good out there these days.

Well to make a long story short, we had to sit through 13 yes count them thirteen minutes of garbage before the movie even started! Now I don't mind previews.. I mean how else would I know what is coming up that might be worth seeing.. but most of that time was taken up with commercials!! I mean get real are you kidding me??? This isn't TV this is the movie theater.. that's why we come here.. to sit through TWO hours of movie not things we can see at home.

Do you really think I care about what country roast what blend of coffee beans? Do you really think I care about fashion week in New York and Milan when toothpicks are walking down the runway wearing what looks like an explosion of a giant fruit bowl on their heads? Do you think I care about what commercials are going to be playing for the "first time" during Super Bowl? Really!! I saw the same thing 2 hours earlier on the 5:00 news! So much for first time viewing. Do you really think I care about what is staying behind in Las Vegas?

No wonder we rarely go to movies anymore!

Cost pf 2 tickets: $21.76
Cost of 1 large popcorn, 1 water, 1 pop, 1 chocolate bar: $25.44
Cost of sitting through all those commercials only to find out the movie was really bad: $priceless lesson learned