Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Memories

So I decided because Mondays start with M and Memories start with M I would start a new tradition/habit on here on writing a memory of my past on Mondays. Today I am going to do one on Montreal.. also starting with M although that is a pure coincidence hehehe. I knew that Montreal was playing in the Grey Cup yesterday and it brought up memories of my dad and me growing up. Although it had nothing to do with football it did have to do with Montreal.

We didn't have a TV early in our childhood like most other families and when we finally got one it was obviously in black and white and was this small size. Probably 12 or so inches. It sat on top of a cabinet before we got the big floor one that had its own cabinet. (Came from Dad having been on a binge and needed to apologize to my mom). Anyway I digress. At first we only had 2 channels, one French and one English. But the one thing I remember watching was Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday nights. It was in French and we always watched the Montreal Canadiens play. I can't even remember if my other brothers watched with Dad and I. I just remember watching it with him. I used to think at the time I wished he was always like that.. like a real family.

I developed a love for Montreal anything. I watched all their games regardless of what sport. My dad had a cousin whose name was also Solange who was from there and at times they would come down for Christmas and we would all be at my grandparents and she would walk in with these big fur coats always asking where her namesake was. I used to think of her as this glamorous movie star.

When I was working at the hotels we had annual conferences at our head office in Montreal and the last year I was there, they had gotten us tickets to go watch the Canadiens play hockey. Now you have to know Montreal fans. They are true fans.. no matter how good or bad their teams are they are there for them. Kind of like Saskatchewan Roughrider fans. So to get tickets to their hockey games are pretty scarce and as this was their last game to play in that stadium, I have no idea how they managed to get them but they did. I sat there just thinking of my past and how I had sat in my living room so many decades ago watching from the outside in and now I was literally sitting in those same seats.

As I sat there I remember thinking how much my dad would have loved being there, how much he would have cheered the team and how much he would have just sat there taking it all in. For him that would have been a dream come true. Now anyone that has ever been to any sports game with me knows I am the least quiet fan in the bleachers but as I thought of my dad I was quiet and just thought of him. I realized at that moment he had been a human being and that no matter if I liked or hated what he did at times he was still and would always be my dad. And for that I truly am grateful.

Although the team no longer plays in that particular stadium, I took a piece of history home with me that night, a memory that will never be forgotten.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Spitting Nails

I am alternating between spitting nails and immense sadness right now so need to blow off steam. I just realized last night talking to our youngest son about our annual Christmas Tree trek that the first Saturday in December this year was on the 6th. I mean I KNEW that it was on the 6th but my brain has been so somewhere else lately that for some reason it did not register till last night. So I do the math and realize if we wait till that day to get the tree we will only have it up for about 2 1/2 weeks before Christmas plus it is one of our granddaughter's birthday that day and our tree decorating literally takes all day so they would not be able to finish before heading back home.

So when Keith got home this evening I talked to him and he said no problem we can go get it on the Saturday before.. COOL!! SO I go online to make sure they are open.. now this place is the best.. we have been going there since before the grandchildren were even born.. they are open.. open that day actually BUT this year they are not doing u-cuts.. what??? are you serious?? I read more and I guess they need to let their trees mature as word of mouth has made them pretty busy. They will have lots of pre-cuts but you can't go traipsing around the farm looking for one to cut. Well I can go to Superstore and get one already cut.. where is the fun in that????

So I went to Keith and told him and he said well just get one already cut.. duh!! I guess by my face he realized wrong question.. so he said well let's just go to another place.. not right thing either.. this year more then any other year I really needed tradition... I really need stability and things the same.. I need roots and family and everything the same. I really need that this year. Keith asked if I wanted him to call them and ask them if they would allow us just this once to go cut a tree and I said yes and he just cocked his head like he was talking to one of the little kids and quietly said Sally do you really think out of all the people that live out here that go there that they will let just one family through? And what happens when we walk out with a tree we just cut and all these other people are there just getting one pre-cut? I don't really care. That is beside the point. He just hugged me.. there was nothing he could do at that point.

First the pumpkin patch gets changed and now the Christmas tree farm. Not a good time to have changes for me. This was not the year. I am very very sad.

Christmas getting to know you

Well this one is very different then the usual ones I get in my mail and as Christmas is my ultimate favorite holiday I couldn't resist:

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy (not forward) this entire email and paste into a new e-mail that you can send. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know, INCLUDING the person that sent it to you......Tis the Season to be NICE!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper is more enjoyable, but gift bags easier...
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real duh!
3. When do you put up the tree? December 6th this year. Always the first Saturday in December. We gather up as many grandchildren that want to go with us and we go chop down a tree. Very sad though this year that a whole week goes by before the 1st Saturday! Might have to convince Keith to move it up a week but that means doing it the same week I have surgery... he might never go for it UNLESS he doesn't put the two of them together hehehe
4. When do you take the tree down? 1st weekend of January.
5. Do you like eggnog? Love it, but don't drink too much as it gives me (the cream part) gives me really bad cramps
6. Favorite gift received as a child? a walking doll I called Susie.. where I got the name I have no idea as it is an English name
7. Hardest person to buy for? Keith by far..
8. Easiest person to buy for? Lareta!!!!! she always tells me ALL year long what she would like for presents :)
9. Do you have a nativity scene? yup
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? sheets.. cause they were something for the house that Keith NEVER got me as gifts.. but I had made the mistake of telling him that year that he was predictable and I never made that mistake again
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? the new Miracle on 49th Street
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? usually summer early fall.. this year.. have not even started
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think so.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? caramel slices that my mom used to make
16. Lights on the tree? Yes! Lights everywhere! I love Christmas lights
17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night..sung by Celine Dion wish it was in the Hymn book so we could sing it in Dec.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay Home unless going to one of the children's home but never travel away just the 2 of us on vacation.. are you kidding me??
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen...oh and Rudolph!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? angel.. this year will make 31st year with same angel.. Keith gave it to me our 1st Christmas together
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve at midnight
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? no snow. hard to remember and get excited about Christmas when it is raining outside
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I have a memory tree.. nothing matches (except for 2 decorations I got from Carm :) hehe)all my ornaments mean something.. someone gave/made it for me or we got from a certain place.. I still have some from when our children were little. each of our children and grandchildren have their very own ornament that goes on the tree... oh shoot I need to get one for Kloie!
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? all my children and grandchildren with me
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? a clean bill of health

Fit to be Tied

So the news station did a report from new findings from the health government. The higher echelons of power have now decided to tell women that they no longer should be doing monthly breast self exams as it causes them too much worry and unnecessary visits to doctors, for mammograms and ultrasounds let alone the costs of biopsies etc. I was so struck by what they were saying I was actually speechless!! Which says a lot for me!


Who the heck are you to tell me that or any other woman? Do you know what a slap in the face that is for every single female out there that has/had breast cancer?I went for my mammogram last April and it was "clear". 5 months later I found a lump. A lump that the mammogram should have picked up. When I went to my doctor she sent me for a biopsy and the technician told me that I didn't need the biopsy that my mammogram was clear that it was just hormonal and women could not expect the staff to do a biopsy for every single little lump. She went on to say that because of my age, it was probably due to hormones and beginning of menopause and not to worry about it.


I went back to my doctor who called the Radiologist on staff. A few weeks later I was sent back for the biopsy. From the first time I went for the mammogram in September when I found the lump to the biopsy was now 3 months. They did the biopsy and 2 days later was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. If I had listened to the government and listened to that technician I would not be sitting here right now. 3 months later I had a double mastectomy. When they did the pathology after the surgery they found the cells to be very abnormal and reproducing too fast.

I would like whoever in the higher ups of the government who decided to tell that to women AND that technician to come into my home with my 5 children, my 4 in law children, my 13 grandchildren and my husband and tell them to their face of why I should have stopped doing monthly breast checks. I want them to explain to them why my doctor should not have insisted on that biopsy. Go ahead.I dare you.

The TV station should have done a follow up or at least do equal time to why women should continue with monthly self checks instead of a one sentence deal at the end of the story. I am so fuming right now I am likely to just copy and paste this and send it to the new station.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Newest find

I found this coolest thing.. well actually Lareta did and I copied off of her. It is called Listerine Cool Blue. It is a mouth rinse that you use just like mouthwash but when you spit it out, any plaque or bacteria left in your mouth will shine bright blue.. really gross let me tell you.. but it shows where you missed.

Now I brush my teeth for the full 2 minutes that my brush goes off before it shuts off and many times I still am brushing afterward so thought I did a very good job of brushing but man the first time I used it there were these blue patches.. especially at the back of my tongue!!

I "forced" Keith to use it one day because I am convinced he doesn't brush nearly long enough and the first time he used it his whole mouth was blue lol. Needless to say he spends a long longer brushing now. Anyway check out the site.. it gives you a $1.00 coupon that you can print off plus enter to win a trip to Nickelodeon :)I have only found it at Zellers so far but Lareta would know more if she has seen it elsewhere.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kitchen makeovers

OK seriously, I do go to bed sometime during each night even if these pictures were taken at 2:30 this morning. I could not stand this one cupboard. Every time I would get something out of it I either could not find it, making me buy another one, or else things fell on top of me. So going in to get some Sleepytime Tea to calm my nerves down was the last straw when a bottle of oil fell on top of the toaster waking Keith up scaring him half to death. Poor man his nerves are so frayed looking after me! So what's a girl to do but take everything out, wash all the shelves off and put everything back :P Isn't that what you all do?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Where did I go?

I have had so many people ask me this past week or so where I have been as it has been so long since I posted on here.. Gee didn't know I was so popular hehehe. For the most part I was getting ready for our 12th annual Tri-Stake Finding Your Roots Seminar. We had the greatest attendance this year since 2002 so was VERY excited about that. But basically for the 2 weeks prior to that I was literally eating breathing and sleeping family history.. no wait.. I never slept so cross that one off! When I wasn't working on getting ready for that I have just been spending time with my family. I have been trying to not think of my surgery coming up in 2 weeks today. I developed complications from the last one and a part of me is hesitant about going through it again or even have more surgery. I am really dreading it. But this pain in my chest has got to get resolved. Very few people see the "real" me outside of my family and very close friends that know me but it sure has been difficult putting on a smiling face lately.

We went to our annual Pumpkin Patch. I was very very disappointed. We went to the place we normally go to. They had a petting zoo, a haunted house, a corn maze, a smaller maze for children, a refreshments place, a picnic area with a play place for children, a store that sold produce and homemade items. But there was new owners and they got rid of EVERYTHING other then the pumpkin patch. Everything. When we inquired they said it was too expensive to keep the animals and the gas for the tractor that gave the hayrides. DUH!! Do you realize that you are now going to lose customers who are going to go elsewhere? As it was while we were there 4 car loads of people came in, asked what happened and when told they just got back in their cars and drove off. But we stayed as we didn't know where another place was. It was ok and the kids all got pumpkins and that was the main thing. But next year we won't be going there! Plus they charged by weight of the pumpkin!! WHAT?? It's always been you paid $2.50 for admission and you got what pumpkin you could carry. Rip off!

We had our annual Trunk or Treat on Halloween and that was a lot of fun. I always enjoy going out trick or treating with the grandchildren :)We went to this one house that really had their yard decorated as a haunted place! I wish I had taken a picture of it. Well all the kids would walk up to the door and the adults would wait on the sidewalk but at this house just as the kids got off the driveway onto the entrance to the house Ghosts and skeletons "fell" out of the upstairs windows on ropes and a guy jumped out from behind one of the cars. Well one of the little girls just screamed and started crying lol. She came running to Lareta to be picked up. We thought ok well she is done trick or treating now but she just told Mommy to go with her. I guess the need for the treat was greater then the fear of the unknown :) Lareta asked the guy to take his mask off which he did and he was apologetic :)Then after we did that we headed off to our church where the trunk or treat is held. Basically the children play games for an hour or so inside the gym while the adults decorate their cars. Then the children go car to car to get their treats. It is a safe place for the children. They know the treats they are getting, parents don't have to worry about strangers and adults can actually make homemade treats without thinking it's a waste of time as parents will just throw it in the garbage can. It was a great night.

I am doing a Christmas Baking Exchange on December 2nd so am working on the invitations for that to hand out this weekend. I also am making Christmas ornaments for the staff at the Family History Centre so have been working on that this past couple of weeks.

I have been trying to keep busy which has been hard to do with this rainy weather. I know it's my bad time with my FM and I try and get ready for the season. I increase my Vitamin D to 2000mg a day and make sure I stay warm wearing socks and slippers in the house. I have been working on getting our heat bill down so we have been keeping our thermostat down but being a ground floor apartment it's on a cement floor so it's always cold. We have used our fireplace as well. Keith has firewood from his work so that has been nice. Last week at our granddaughter's sleepover we had a fire going. They thought we were camping and they wanted a tent set up. We compromised by letting them have their beds in the living room but they wanted to roast marshmallows. The only ones I had were the minis and there was NO WAY I was going to let them roast those. So I guess I better remember to get some tomorrow for their sleepover.

I am doing a family reunion for my dad's family next summer and just found out that the parish hall just became available. Whoever had booked it before changed their minds so I was VERY happy to hear that. We were going to have it at the other hall but it technically holds only 100 and I am thinking we are going to be about 130 so we would have been squished. And you can not dance the butterfly in a squished room! I have been working on that, lining up things for the children to do, enough activities to keep the adults occupied and doing everything I can ahead of time. I am really looking forward to that:) I haven't seen most of my cousins since my dad died 19 years ago. I wasn't able to attend my grandmother's funeral which was after that so a lot of my cousins are now grandparents so will be a wonderful gathering.

So that's about it for me. Same old same old different day :) Here are some pictures of the last month's activities :)

taking a break over lunch hour

I treated the staff to a surprise lunch

some displays

right in the middle of the afternoon classes the wireless went down so Keith and one of the other IT guys were hooking up the modem to hang from the ceiling so that the waves would bounce to the back of the building. At least I think that was what they were doing
men needed some help with putting on name tags

last minute instructions to staff

triple checking last minute things at 7am