Friday, August 29, 2008

Breahe In Breathe Out

Before cancer, many of us go through life pretty clueless. I know I did. I worried about things that seem trivial now: a petty difference with a co- worker, irritation over a spill on the carpet, too many things to do and too few hours in the day to do them. I spent my days running around and making myself crazy over the smallest details.

After my diagnosis and throughout most of my treatment, I went back and forth from borderline hysteria to resignation and depression.

Then one day, for the first time in many months, I was feeling physically strong enough to take on a few errands by myself. I went to
the post office to buy stamps.

As I stood in the long line - a little weak in the knees, and more than a bit queasy in the stomach - I began to feel rather proud of myself. I thought I have been through so much in the last year. I have been sicker than I ever thought a human being could be and still be alive, but here I am. I'm still standing, I'm doing things for myself again and,hey, this feels pretty good!

Then I noticed that two women ahead of me were becoming very agitated and vocal about the long, slow-moving line. They began complaining loudly that they had "better things to do" than wait in line at the post office "all day."

I thought about that for a minute and then asked myself Do I have anything better to do today than what I'm doing right this minute? Do I have anything better to do than just be alive and grateful? And then the answer: Nope.

That's when it happened. I felt myself begin to glow. Today I tell people that it was either an epiphany or the mother of all hot flashes, but whatever it was, it was powerful and life-altering. So I just stood there, basking in its warmth, and I slowly began to understand some important truths: This moment is all I have. And in this moment, there is nothing I really have to do except breathe in, breathe out
and say "Thank you!"

I wanted to say something to the two women. I wanted to ask them if they had any idea how lucky they were to be able to stand there in that line, if they knew how many people would gladly change places with them, if they even had a clue what a priceless gift it is to be able to stand in a line and buy stamps all by yourself!
But of course I didn't.

Many people argue that there is nothing good that comes of the cancer experience. I disagree. I believe that, if we allow it to, cancer can bring us many gifts. One of the gifts of cancer is the gift of patience. I no longer "sweat the small stuff." I don't allow petty differences with co-workers to even happen. If there are people who are confrontational or negative, I can choose to keep my distance from them. A spill on the carpet is laughable. My response to most things is, "So what? In the grand scheme of things, how important is it really?" Most of the time, the answer is that
it's not important at all.

Dear God, help me to remember that this moment is all that any of us has, whether we are cancer survivors or not. Our lives are in Your hands, and every day we are alive is a gift filled with new possibilities and opportunities. All we have to do is open Your "present". And please help me to remember that there is nothing I have to do that is more important than breathing in and breathing out and thanking you for the fact that I am alive today.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Capping off the Summer

Honestly I still am looking for the month of May!! Where on earth did the entire summer go? I tried thinking last night about what I did all month but it seemed I was oblivious to it all. But then I went through my pictures and realized I guess I was busier then I thought I was. I did end up having to go back to my mom's in July unexpectedly for a family funeral. Although that is never a good thing by any stretch of imagination it was good for the reason that I got to spend some time with my cousins.. some I had not seen in over 20 years! It was really funny listening to all these children calling my cousins, moms, Grammas, Memere (French for gramma) and think that they had grown up as well. Although seriously Elphie still cracks me up as a grandfather as he ever did as a kid lol Some men just never grow up :)

So here are some pictures of my summer. I wish I had the talent of my dear friend
Carm who is able to put pictures all in one square instead of posting all individuals like I do but maybe she can slow down one day and teach me (hint hint lol)

First we had Canada Day in our backyard with our children and their families as well as some close friends. Everyone had to bring food that was red, white or red and white. It was pretty cool the different dishes we had to eat!! We played volleyball, badminton, had tug a war which the men cheated at of course, egg races and other races.. It was a lot of fun. Our oldest son and his bride to be brought fruit and juice over to make smoothies.. YUMMMMM He was kept busy making those things. He used cranberry juice instead of orange which I normally use and it brought a whole new meaning to the taste!

Keith and I went to the Cari bean Music Festival in Maple Ridge one day and that was a ton of fun!

We also took one of our granddaughters to China town for a private time then went to an ice cream place that has over 300 flavours!!! Can you spell indecision?

We had a couple of picnics, and I took the Little girls to the water park a few times and then the summer was over!

These were taken at my brother's cabin when I went to Mom's in July. My sister in law and I are in what you call the Saskatchewan's idea of an outdoor pool :)

So sad.. it has been raining for the last week for the most part and I hate it. Oh yes... I also have been working in my little garden. I do container plantings and we got about 10 meals of potatoes yummmy!! lots of salads with fixings and now my tomato plants are heavy with tomatoes so am waiting to harvest those soon. I lost one of my green pepper plants though so had to make do with only 1 plant but I got about 11-12 green peppers.

Here's to the fall, Halloween, decorating the outside with fall things.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Punishment fitting the Crimes

Yesterday I was on the elevator heading to the skytrain platform and tried valiantly to not touch anything or even breathe for that matter as it was so filthy in there. As I stood on the platform waiting for my train I was thinking of writing to the newspaper editors asking why there isn't something done about the sanitation of these train stations. Then I thought if I was in charge what would I do to fix the problem as I knew the city would say they didn't have enough man power to clean them.

Then I thought of the old days when people went to prison for crimes committed.. they worked on "chain gangs, work crews that worked from dawn till dusk. There was none of this sitting around watching TV all day, playing pool and basketball. Then I thought of how the prisons are filled with repeat offenders so why not start making punishments fit the crimes. Here are some examples:

1. Someone gets caught defacing, littering etc any skytrain station, instead of getting a fine and a slap on the wrist they would be (under police supervision) they would be made to clean the stations and surrounding areas every day for an indefinite period of time

2. If you got caught spraying graffiti you would be fined and then be made to paint buildings for an indifinte period of time

3. If you got caught stealing or vandalizing cars you would be fined and be made to wash cars in car sales lots over and over

4. If you got caught doing a home invasion of a senior you would be fined and your punishment would be to spend time at a senior's home where there are armed forces vets there and speak to vets about why they faught for our freedom and after an indifinte amount of time write essays of why these seniors are our real heroes

5. If you got caught littering whether when walking or throwing things out of your car window, you would be made to clean ditches picking up trash at the sides of roads and highways or in bad areas of town where litter is the new decoration

In some eastern countries if you get caught stealing you get your hand cut off. I bet they never think more then twice to steal something. Last week in the news here, someone had been caught stealing and this was the EIGHTEENTH time that he had been arrested. Are you kidding me??? What part of repeat offender do you not understand? Obviously this person's punishments don't fit his crimes. But if he was made to come into stores after closing and stock shelves and clean floors of large box stores like Costco over and over he'd never want to walk in a store again.

What do you think?

Newest Family Member

Here is our newest granddaughter:

KLoie Elaina Shaelynne
Born August 13th at 4:02 am
Weighing in at 7lbs 10oz and is 21 1/2" long

In this picture she is 2 minutes old you and can already tell we are related hehehe her mouth is open and already making noises :)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Computer Grammar


Log on - Make the wood stove hotta.

Log off - Don't add no more wood.

Monitor - Keep an eye on that wood stove.

Download - Getting the firewood off the truck.

Floppy disk - What you get from trying to carry too much firewood.

Ram - The thing that split that firewood.

Hard drive - Getting home in the winta.

Prompt - What the mail ain't during the winta.

Window - What to shut when it's cold outside.

Screen - What to shut during black fly season.

Screen saver - Duct tape for the torn window screen.

Byte - What the black flies do.

Bit - What the black flies did.

Megabyte - What the BIG black flies do during trout season.

Chip - Munchies for TV.

Microchip - The crumbs in the bag after you've eaten the chips.

Modem - What you did to the weeds growing in the driveway.

Dot matrix - Old Dan Matrix's wife.

Lap top - Where the beer spills when you pass out.

Software - The dumb plastic knives and forks they give you at McDonalds.

Hardware - Real stainless steel cutlery.

Mouse - What makes the holes in the Cheerios box.

Main frame - What holds the house up, hopefully.

Enter - The only way to win those magazine ad sweepstakes.

Web - What a spida makes.

Web site - What's found in the corners of high ceilings.

Cursor - Someone who swears.

Search engine - What you do when the caa dies.

Home page - Map you keep in your back pocket in case you get lost in the woods.

Upgrade - Steep hill.

Server - Waitress.

Mail server - Male waitress, damn few in Maine.

Sound card - One of them technological birthday cards that plays music when you open it.

User - The neighbor who keeps borrowing stuff.

Browser - A problem moose in the garden or blueberry patch.

Network - Mending holes in the fishnet.

Internet - Complicated fishnet repair method.

Netscape - What haddock do when you don't do your network.

Online - Good sign there'll be clean clothes this week.

Offline - The clothespins let go and the laundry falls to the ground.

BACKUP - What you do when you run across a skunk in the woods.

BAR CODE - Them's the fight'n rules down at the local tavern.

BUG - The reason you give for calling in sick.

BYTE - What your pit bull dun to cusin Jethro.

CACHE - Needed when you run out of food stamps.

CHIP - Pasture muffins that you try not to step in.

TERMINAL - Time to call the undertaker.

CRASH - When you go to Junior's party uninvited.

DIGITAL - The art of counting on your fingers.

DISKETTE - Female Disco dancer.

FAX - What you lie about to the IRS.

HACKER - Uncle Leroy after 32 years of smoking.

HARDCOPY - Picture looked at when selecting tattoos.

INTERNET - Where cafeteria workers put their hair.

KEYBOARD - Where you hang the keys to the John Deere.

MAC - Big Bubba's favorite fast food.

MEGAHERTZ - How your head feels after 17 beers.

MODEM - What ya did when the grass and weeds got too tall.

MOUSE PAD - Where Mickey and Minnie live.

NETWORK - Scoop'n up a big fish before it breaks the line.

ONLINE - Where to stay when taking the sobriety test.

ROM - Where the Pope lives.

SCREEN - Helps keep the skeeters off the porch.

SERIAL PORT - A red wine you drink with breakfast.

SUPERCONDUCTOR - Amtrak's Employee of the year.

SCSI - What you call your week-old underwear.

Relearning your ABC'S

ABASH: A high school graduation party.

ABDICATE: To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

ACCOUNT: A Countess's husband.

ACRE: Literally means the amount of land plowable in one day. So in my case it would be four feet by four feet.

ADULT: A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle.

AMNESIA: condition that enables a woman who has gone through labor to have sex again.

ANTIQUE: An item your grandparents bought, your parents got rid of, and you're buying again.

ARBITRATOR (ar'-bi-tray'-ter): A cook that leaves Arby's to work at Burger King.

ATHEISM is a non-prophet organization. -- George Carlin

AVOIDABLE (uh-voy'-duh-buhl'): What a bullfighter tries to do.

BALDERDASH: A rapidly receding hairline.

BARIUM: What we do to most people when they die.

BATHROOM: A room used by the entire family, believed by all except Mom to be self-cleaning.

BEAUTY PARLOR: Places where women curl up and dye.

BOSS: Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early.

CANNIBAL: Someone who is fed up with people.

CANTALOUPE: Gotta get married in a church.

CAR SICKNESS: The feeling you get when the car payment is due.

CATALOGS: Rails used to build cow fences.

CHICKENS: The only animals you eat before they are born and after they are dead.

CLASSIC: A book which people praise, but do not read.

CLOTHES DRYER: An appliance designed to eat socks.

COFFEE: A person who is coughed upon.

COLLEGE: The four year period when parents are permitted access to the telephone.

COMMITTEE: A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.

COMPROMISE: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece.

CONFERENCE: The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present.

CONTROL (kon'-trol): A short, ugly inmate.

COURTESY: The art of yawning with your mouth closed.

DERANGE: Where de buffalo roam.

DICTIONARY: A place where success comes before work.

DIPLOMAT: A person who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.

DIVORCE: Future tense of marriage.

DOCTOR: A person who kills your ills by pills, and kills you with his bills.

DUMBWAITER: One who asks if the kids would care to order dessert.

DUST: Mud with the juice squeezed out.

EGOTIST: Someone who is usually me-deep in conversation.

EMERGENCY NUMBERS: Police station, Fire Department and Places that deliver.

Etc: A sign to make others believe that you know more than you actually do.\

ETERNITY: The last two minutes of a football game.

EYEDROPPER (i'-drop-ur): A clumsy ophthalmologist.

EXPERIENCE : The name men give to their mistakes.

FABLE: A story told by a teenager arriving home after curfew.

FAMILY PLANNING: the art of spacing your children the proper distance apart to keep you on the edge of financial disaster.

FANCY RESTAURANT: One that serves cold soup on purpose.

FATHER: A banker provided by nature.

FEEDBACK: The inevitable result when the baby doesn't appreciate the strained carrots.

FLABBERGASTED: Appalled over how much weight you have gained.

FULL NAME: What you call your child when you're mad at him/her.

GOSSIP: A person who will never tell a lie if the truth will do more damage.

GRANDMOTHER: A baby-sitter who doesn't hang around the refrigerator.

GRANDPARENTS: The people who think your children are wonderful even though they're sure you're not raising them right.

GROCERY LIST:. What you spend half an hour writing, then forget to take with you to the store.

GUM: Adhesive for the hair.

HAIR DRESSER: Someone who is able to create a style you will never be able to duplicate again. See "Magician."


HEARSAY: What toddlers do when anyone mutters a dirty word.

HEROES (hee-rhos'): What a guy in a boat does.

HINDSIGHT: What one experiences from changing too many diapers.

HORS D'OEUVRES: A sandwich cut into 20 pieces.

IMPREGNABLE: A woman whose memory of labor is still vivid.

INDEPENDENT: How we want our children to be as long as they do everything we say.

INFLATION: Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.

KISSING: A means of getting two people so close together that they can't see anything wrong with each other.

LEMONADE STAND: Complicated business venture where Mom buys powdered mix, sugar, lemons, and paper cups, and sets up a table, chairs, pitchers and ice for kids who sit there for three to six minutes and net a profit of 15 cents.

MISER: A person who lives poor so that he can die rich.

MISTY (mis-tee'): How golfers create divots.

MYTH: A female moth.

MOSQUITO: An insect that makes you like flies better.

NAIL POLISH: Part of an assortment of make-up items such as lipstick, eyeliner, blush etc. which ironically make Mom look better while making her young daughter look "like a tramp."

OPPORTUNIST: A person who starts taking bath if he accidentally falls into a river.

OVERSTUFFED RECLINER: Mom's nickname for Dad.

OW: The first word spoken by children with older siblings.

OYSTER: A person who sprinkles their conversation with Yiddish expressions.

PARADOX (par'-u-doks'): Two physicians.

PARK: Before children, a verb meaning, "to go somewhere and neck." After children, a noun meaning a place with a swing set and slide.

PHILOSOPHER: A fool who torments himself during life, to be spoken of when dead.

POLITICIAN: One who shakes your hand before elections and your confidence after.

POLYGON: A dead parrot.

PRENATAL: When your life was still somewhat your own.

PRIMATE (pri'-mate'): Removing your husband from in front of the TV.

PRIVATE TUTOR: Someone who doesn't fart in public.

PROFESSOR: Someone who talks in someone else's sleep.

PSYCHOLOGIST: A man who watches everyone else when a beautiful girl enters the room.

PUDDLE: A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry shoes into it.

QUIET: A state of household serenity which occurs before the birth of the first child and occurs again after the last child has left for college.

REFRIGERATOR: Combination art gallery and air-conditioner for the kitchen.

RELIEF (ree-leef'): What trees do in the spring.

RUBBERNECK: What you do to relax your wife.

SCHOOL TEACHER: A disillusioned person who used to think thhe liked children.

SEAMSTRESS: Describes 250 pounds in a size 6.

SECRET: Something you tell to one person at a time.

SELFISH: What the owner of a seafood store does.

SHOW OFF: A child who is more talented than yours.

SKELETON: A bunch of bones with the person scraped off.

SMILE: A curve that can set a lot of things straight.

SPOILED ROTTEN: What the kids become after as little as 15 minutes with Grandma.

STERILIZE: What you do to your first baby's pacifier by boiling it and to your last baby's pacifier by blowing on it.

SUBDUED (sub-dood'): Like, a guy who, like, works on one of those, like, submarines, man.

SUDAFED: Brought litigation against a government official.

TOOTHACHE: The pain that drives you to extraction.

TOP BUNK: Where you should never put a child wearing Superman pajamas.

TOMORROW: One of the greatest labor saving devices of today.

TWO-MINUTE WARNING: When the baby's face turns red and she begins to make those familiar grunting noises.

VEGETARIAN: Old Indian word for bad hunter.

YAWN: An honest opinion openly expressed.

YAWN: The only time some married men ever get to open their mouth.

VUJA DE: The Feeling You've Never Been Here.

WITHDRAWL: To remove money from a bank down south.
(Submitted by Pericak.)

WRINKLES: Something other people have. You have character lines.

ZUCCHINI: Vegetable which can be baked, boiled, fried or steamed before kids refuse to eat it.