Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

To my family and friends:

As this year ends I have spent a great deal of time this past year reflecting on what really is important in life. As I made my list I realized there wasn't a single material thing on the list. The first item was God, the second was family. Short list. I also came to the realization that I need to let go of this need for everything in my life to be perfect. That doesn't mean that I will or should just let everything go to hell and back or lower my standards of work, it just means I need to learn to accept others for who they are and that their ways of doing things may not be the same as mine and that's ok.

My goal this year is to focus on being more patient with others both at home and at work; I need to breathe in and breathe out more and just let go of little things; I will endeavor to work on accepting people for who they are and what THEY can do with their talents no matter what they may be. I will work on being less critical of myself and understanding that I do NOT have to do everything. I will work on being able to delegate more of things that I can delegate and let go of some of the other things.

I want to work harder at being more healthy, to get off my medications and take a more holistic approach to my care. I want to work on having more of an open mind in regarding to new ways of dealing with my health rather then automatically saying no just because it is unheard of and not the "norm".

My wish for you my family and friends for this coming year is this:

Let go of grudges, they have no place in your life. They are poisonous and they accomplish nothing but bring you down. Learn to be the better person and forgive first. Not for others sake but your own. You absolutely do not know when someone's life can be taken away without notice and the guilt of wasting valuable years will eat away at you for the rest of your life.

Today open a new book, it's pages are white and blank and is called Opportunity. The first chapter is today. When this next year ends let it be said that you were a friend of the best kind, that you lived and loved to the best of your capabilities. The object is not that we start each year as a new year but that we start it with a new renewed soul. A new year is a new chance to get it right, to banish worries, doubt and fear from your life. Learn to love live and laugh.

We are given this chance once every year and we need to take advantage of it. Let go of the mistakes you made but learn from them and from others. Try and grow each and every day to be the best you can be. Live each day as if it was your last. Take this opportunity to right some wrongs. I want to wish you health so that you can live each day in comfort ( I know a lot of us who deal with chronic illnesses and pain). I want to wish you love of family and friends and peace within your heart.

I want to wish you the beauty of nature. Take the time to enjoy it. Take more walks, watch the sunrise and sunsets more often. Take advantage of your surroundings. I want to wish you courage to change the things you can , acceptance for the things you can't and wisdom to choose your priorities for things that should really matter in life.

I want to wish you generosity so that you may share all the good things that you have been given. I wish you happiness and joy in this new year. I wish you the best of everything good that you so well deserve. I wish that we may all be a bit more wise this next year, more kind, more brave to try new things,with  a heart that is a bit more true. I wish that we may learn to be a bit more anxious to reach out our hands more, despite hurts and problems to still understand and accept the heartache that life often brings.

I wish for more peace within our hearts, our families and our friends, faith to guide our way when lost and hope to guide us each and every day. I wish for us to have sunshine to lighten our days, stars to wish upon and rainbows to let us know we have another tomorrow. I wish for you to have tears to show compassion to others.

When the clock rings at midnight there will be cheers heard all around the world but for some it will be just another day on the calendar. For others it will symbolize a start of a new life, the beginning of a new tomorrow. So if you are looking forward to a new tomorrow, take the time to spread that happiness to others. Don't keep it all inside. When you are lonely I wish you love, when you are down I wish you joy, when you are troubled I wish you peace, when things seem empty I wish you you hope. May the dawning of this new year fill your heart with new hope, open up new horizons and bring for you promises of brighter tomorrows. Most of all I wish for a better relationship with each one of you, more time together and a better understanding of what is going on in your life.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009


It is that time of year again. I am not big on New Year's resolutions.. I would rather just try and live my life as good as I can and at least make improvements from the previous year. But this year I am going to focus on 2 areas. One.. I am going to work on being less of a perfectionist which will help make me more patient with others and secondly I am going to work on being 75% off my medications by the end of 2010.

What is your plan for the coming year?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Large Batch Punch

With the holiday season upon us I thought there might be some of my readers looking for a large batch of punch recipe. I used to use this all the time when I lived in Sask and had my catering. It maks 129 - 8oz glasses

7-48 oz orange juice
1-24oz lemon juice
2 whole oranges and lemons
4-48 oz of pineapple juice
10-24oz ginger ale
10-24oz soda water
2 cups berry sugar
Mix altogether and serve. Make sure the sugar is well dissolved

If you need a smaller amount to serve here is a smaller version . This serves 60-8oz glasses

3-48oz orange juice
12oz lemon juice
1 whole orange and lemon
2-48oz pineapple juice
5-24oz gingerale
5-24oz club soda
1 cup berry sugar

Both recipes you slice the fruit to float in a punch bowl


Friday, December 11, 2009

wonder how big is big?

Little bit of an eye opener for sure. When I started on my weight loss journey 6 years ago (in a couple of weeks it will make 6 years officially.. thanks Jan!) I was shocked at how large our food portions were. You think well I ate chicken so I am ok.. but that one chicken breast was 2 full servings... glad I had a good friend who talked me into changing my lifestyle and making it a new and better life. It now makes 4 years that I have maintained my weight with no gains..

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Care of your Christmas Tree

As most people will be getting their real tree this week I thought I would give you some tips on how to keep it fresh longer. We have tried a lot of different ways depending on who we spoke to and have found that this has worked every single year. We like our tree up the first Saturday in December and we don't take it down till the 1st or 2nd weekend in January and we rarely lose needles. The only time it did not work was when we mistakenly got Grand Firs instead of our usual Noble Firs. Grand Firs have amazing true Christmas tree scent but only last 2 weeks at the most. Which is ok if you only put your tree up the last week .

-When you get home, decide where you want your tree and once decided, cut at inch off the base. Do this EVEN if you only chopped it down an hour before. Sap starts drying up within minutes of a tree being cut.
-The stand needs to hold at LEAST one gallon of water. A freshly cut tree can take up at least 4 litres of water a day in the first few days.
-Make sure the base is in the water. At times we just check the stand and think as long as there is water in it, the tree is fine, but if the base is not in the water it can not take any water into the trunk.
-Fill the stand with BOILING water. Keep an eye on the stand and keep it full.
-Keep using boiling water for the first 48 hours, after that regular temperature water is okay.
-You do not need sugar, syrupy solutions, aspiran etc in the water. Plain water out of the tap works plenty fine
-Keep it away from registers, fireplaces and heat sources. If you do not use LED lights make sure you don't leave your lights on for extended hours as the heat from the lights does dry out the needles which in turn dries out the branches.

That's it.. pretty simple. Enjoy your tree and if you have any questions please feel free to ask away.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Tis the season.....

Today was a great day :) We went to our family annual Christmas tree hunt with some of our family, I look forward to this day for months!! The only thing that could have made it more perfect was if there would have been snow outside .. but that's ok.. it was snowing great big snowflakes in my imagination!!!!

This is the 2nd year that we have gone to this new place. We used to go to this other place but last year they announced that they no longer did U-Cut due to whatever reason they had. It had something to do with not having enough big trees and that people were cutting the wrong trees. So last year I googled a search and found this new place...
We loved it and went back again this year. You could tell we were getting close about 4K from it as all these cars kept passing us with trees attached to their roofs. I guess the first Saturday in December is a good date for everyone to get a tree.

This was the first year though that the grandkids cut the tree. That has always been Papa's or one of the dad's jobs but this year the kids did it. I have to say they got that tree down pretty fast! The boys also helped him put the lights on which again has always been Papa's job with the kids helping me do the decorations. I guess they are growing up :( After they boys were done the girls and I did the decorations. It was hilarious watching our 15 month old granddaughter wanting to help. I would give her a decoration and she would just put it on a branch and toddle back to get another one. If I was taking too long she would yell NANNNNAAA and try and pull the box down to reach one lol. Her big sister had to go behind her and hang the ones that fell to the floor as they were sitting on a branch and not hooked on.

She also kept hanging on to Papa's leg while he was trying to do the lights. I guess every job needs a supervisor! The kids kept putting her on the other side of the coffee tables to keep her out of the way and she would scream till someone would lift her over. Then she would just toddle back to the box to get another ornament. It was priceless!!

We ended up getting a much shorter and smaller tree then we usually do which made it difficult to locate but one was found. Now we can get onto the rest of the preparations!!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Health Analysis.. huh go figure

Well hello all.. man where does time disappear?? Days are getting shorter and not just because it is becoming late in the season. Christmas has always been by far my favorite time of year.. I love all the hoopla that goes with it, the lights at night time, the prettiness of the decorations everywhere, the family gatherings.. all of it.. the baking till all hours of the night.. the smells.. the food.. yup yup yup I am a happy girl at this time of year.

This season has been slow moving for me. Well slow moving physically at least.. mentally I am still going on at break neck speed :) I was talking to my mother the other day and she was asking if I had had a nap that day, or the before or anytime this past week.. I said Mom I am 53 years old what are you going to do.. send me to my room? I am too old to be told to go have a nap. She went on to say how I needed to slow down. I was quiet and she finally said what?? Are you still there? Yes Mom I am here.. you are telling me I need to slow down.. yes... this coming from the woman who is going to be 80 in a few months, who still plants gardens, who still washes her walls every month and scrubs the inside of her oven and fridge every week.. and YOU want ME to slow down? She chuckled at that point.. sheesh mother... :)

So mentally my brain is as busy as always but physically my body is going so slow most days it seems I am going in reverse. UGH. I have started the Prolotherapy treatments, I had my first one almost 2 weeks ago now and will go for my 2nd one in a couple of days. The hard part was not moving at all... Thank goodness Keith was sitting at the head of the bed so I could squeeze his hands. The specialist kept asking if I needed a break or wanted to stop for the day and I kept saying no keep going. He kept saying how impressed he was that I could lay so still that most of his patients are yelling or squirming or asking to stop. He was putting Lidocaine in with each injection as he had mixed it in with the solution so that the freezing could go as far deep into the muscles as it could. So needless to say the freezing wasn't there so much to prevent me feeling all the injections but more for keeping me somewhat comfortable later on when I got home. And you sure could tell the second the freezing wore off.. not nice.. Poor Keith.. He sure is getting his fair share of sleepless nights. Thank goodness for family members who pop over at midnight to come and give me blessings and check up on me.

So last weekend we went to the West Coast Christmas Show. I had seen the ad for it and thought cool... they had designers there that held workshops on how to decorate your home, chefs that taught you new and exciting dishes to make for the holidays, dairy producers who had cheese tasting shows etc etc. All for ten bucks.. right in my budget!  Man I had a blast. But they also had exhibtors and one of them was a practitioner who did health analysis. Now I see them as kind of like hocus pocus that they draw you in with small talk getting you to reveal info about you without you realizing that you actually were doing so. I was walking with a cane that day and so I put it in the stroller so that they could not see I was having difficulty. The idea is you place the palm of your hand on a computer mouse sort of thing. You take some deep breaths and then in a couple of minutes the computer generates this analysis. Now I stayed quiet the whole time just letting her talk.. not letting on that she was right or wrong.

Then when she finished she asked if I had any questions. I just looked at her and said I had never had anyone peg my health so clearly and to the point. It blew me away to say the least!!The printout comes out in a bar graph and each area shows whether that area in your life was just fine etc. It the bar was clear it was normal, if it showed a splotch of green it usually was a temporary thing that needed to be fixed such as you needed to eat, you stayed up too late the night before, had jet lag or something that was easily fixed; it it was yellow it meant your body was trying to right that area on its own, if it showed orange, you needed to take care of it, kind of like a warning light; if it was red it was a problem, a serious problem.

I was surprised how many clear spots there was so that was good. The only one that I felt was wrong was my immune system. It showed as clear and I know for a fact it wasn't so I told her this. She said oh no, she said there was a difference between immune and auto-immune. She said you don't get colds or flues do you. I said I have never gotten a cold and the only time I have ever gotten the flu was when I had to get flue shots but other then that nothing. She then showed me my auto immune graph and that was red. She said your body is trying to fight against itself, it wants to heal itself but it's hitting brick walls.

It even does moods.. go figure - My organizational skills were clear, my enthusiasm, cheerfulness, communication and tolerance were also all clear as was thoughfulness, forgiveness and emotional stress release. My memory was red.. really? sorry what were we talking about :), Contentment, sympathy, and courage were yellow. I had no orange. Then she did the radiation.. now no laughing at this part!!!!! Computer radiation was off the cart red lol. I think that was when Lareta snorted behind me! So was mocrowave radiation (well I do nuke leftovers most days for my lunch) and radio radiation was orange.. radio?? She said well not transistor radio but radio waves from power lines etc.

Then she went into environmental poisons.. She said tobacco was bad.. but not tobacco but more second hand smoke was nasty. I told her I knew that for years. I also told her when I know I am going to be around a lot of second hand smoke even smoke that is on people's clothes I have to take allergy medicine ahead of time. She said why not just stay away from it totally because it was so bad.. I said well because my family smokes and they won't listen to me when I tell them it's bad for them :) . Mercury, copper and tin were all yellow/orange.My vitamin B's were all bad, carbs were orange, gluten was orange and my PH balance was out.

Then she went onto the organs, she said heart was excellent, part of the brain that works with sleep, cell rejeuvenation, calm was not good; Liver, skin kidneys needed help.

But it goes on.. she had it down pretty good. Cost me 20 dollars and well worth the 15 minutes of my time. I don't know if that is what it normally costs but it was a pretty good deal to me! Here is her website if you wan to check it out more:

Right next to her was an acupuncturist that did by acuppressure. His claim to fame was that he could tell all about you through your ear. Ok.. well the last one was so good let's go for it. Again there was no way he could have heard what she had been telling me. He did not see me with my cane so didn't know I was in pain etc. He checks my left ear for all of one split second and says you had a head traume right at the top of your head a couple of years ago and then right after says you had another bad head trauma at the back of your head about 40 years ago or so. Lareta asks what he was looking at in my ear that he could say that so fast?? So he shows her.. She told him I had a head truama 3 years ago and then I told him I had been in a bad car accident about 35 years before when the car I had been driving rolled off the road and I had been thrown completely through the windshield quite a ways out of the car. He went on to say I had a lot of pain in my shoulders and lower back, my right hip and left knee.. ok do I have a flashing sign on my firehead?? So he asks if it was alright to do the acupressure that he uses whole mustard seed and places them on pressure pointsl I said sure. So he starts and keeps asking is the pain gone? Nope. 6 times he does it and 6 times I keep saying no then he calmly said I had to ahve taken something for pain within the last hour and I said yes about 30 minutes or so. He said that was why, the pain killers were blocking the relief. So he walks around me and puts the mustard seed in my right ear and the pain in my shoulder blades disappear. He does anothe rspot and the burning in my tail bone disappears. The acute pain never left but the burning did. Again I was blown away.

So blown away that the next day I drag Keith all the way back so he could get done. Needless to say it was with the same results.. I didn't know if I should laugh or cry or shout Hoorah!!. So they both gave us some advice on how to work on ourselves, and I told him that I was a firm believer in accupuncture but had never had acupressure done. Although I do have to admit there is no pain whatsover in acupuncture but I could not say the same about the acupressure :)

So his website is if anyone is interested in hearing more about him.

OH and the best part? Keith and I went to the cheese tasting seminar and he actually tried not only Brie cheese (And loved it!!) but he got to try all these other cheeses that weren't even orange!! He figures if it is n't orange cheddar it isn't real cheese hehehehe

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Rain Rain go away

I am sitting here eating my breakfast and decided instead of whining about the fact that we have had solid rain for 21 days in a row I would come up with positive reasons... so here are my reasons why it is a good thing that we need all this rain..

now don't interrupt me.. I'm thinking..hmmm nope nothing yet

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Holiday Season

Hard to believe it's barely a month left before Christmas!!Life is getting busier then usual in the Haysom household. We finally got our village all done a few days ago. We have a new addition to it this year, Keith's great grandfather's train set. You will see it in the pictures below as the train on the higher level. We also took away a section only because of my health Keith has had enough on his plate so I told him to not put up the ski slope with the tram rides etc. He also is starting a 2nd job starting the 1st which I am even less happy about so am minimizing his to-do list.

All we have left to get ready for Christmas is to put up the outside lights (have to wait till it stops raining first ugh) and chop the tree down then decorate it but I can take care of that area. Keith just has to chop it down and get it home. I have been working on the gifts and making a very small dent in my list. Most of mine is homemade so it is just a matter of finishing what I started. I got the tree up and decorated at work this weekend so that's done and have started my baking although I will do the bulk of it closer to Christmas to keep temptations away.

On Saturday Lareta and I went to Super Saturday and made chocolates and some word plaques (see pic below as well). They were pretty basic beginner classes which I am way past that stage but it was time spent with my daughter so that is always a good thing. So will just have to make my regular chocolates closer to Christmas ..out of sight out of mind.. Keith will be working from 6am to 4pm at his regular job and 4pm till midnight at the other one so will have lots of extra time to make things when he isn't home to snitch :)

I went and saw the specialist this week and if I wasn't hurting before I was there I sure was by the time he was done. He had to check out each and every vertebrae, every joint every muscle group to try and localize where the pain was originating from. When he finished he said I had the worse back he had ever seen.. no ... really? I thought I was here for fun!! He did say I was a candidate for the prolotherapy but warned me I would go through a lot worse before I could get better. He suggested I continue with the acupuncture and that I might want to go with a more aggressive form of acupuncture called aggressive Neuro acupuncture. I have to say about 5 minutes after he started talking to me, my brain shut itself off. It was just way too disheartening to keep listening. He said my muscles were in one large spasm, that although most of the muscle groups were in chronic pain there were several areas in acute pain. Again.. no.. really?

So when I went to the front desk to book my first treatment I made sure that I made it late enough in the day so that Keith would be there and then he can remember everything. In the meantime I will just keep doing what I can when I can how I can. My motto is if I can fool myself into thinking I am doing great I AM doing great :) That's my story and I am sticking with it!!

Saturday night we had a progressive dinner out with friends.. it was A LOT of fun!! In case you have never heard of these.. this is how it works. You gather up your friends, and everyone moves to one house for appetizers, then everyone goes to the next house for soup, then to someone else for salad then the next for main course then the last house for dessert! I was so stuffed by the time we got back home.. oh man I will be lucky if I am hungry by Tuesday lol. It was very enjoyable and was glad for the evening out :)

So am off for now and going to go work on my next present.. enjoy the pictures :)Oh I knew I had something else to say :) Of course when don't I hehehe. I started 2 other blogs.. one is almost done so will post that address when it is more complete but have one ready for viewing.. I would love your opinions and comments :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Too early for Christmas

Our local radio station posted on their Facebook page a question on whether or not their listeners thought it was too early to begin decorating for Christmas particularly if you thought stores should not have their merchandise out until at least December 1st. It has become quite a hot bed of replies let me tell you. Then someone said I was not very Christian because I happen to post why should I be punished by not being able to check out stores for ideas for my home for decorating because parents don't want to listen to their children whining about "gimme gimmme". Are you kidding me?

It takes us several weeks to get our villages and train sets set up. We have to start in November otherwise it gets too crazy in December. I LOVE everything about Christmas. I think we have a very healthy blend of the true meaning of Christmas and the fun of Santa.

What do you think? When do you start decorating your home? When is it too early for stores to display their Christmas merchandise? Costco has had their stuff out since September and I have commented several times that it needs to wait until AFTER Halloween but yet I always have to go through the displays to check out their new stuff :-D

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Update on Medical Air Miles

So I decided today that BC Medical should develop some sort of a frequent flyer plan for those of us that seem to be in one office or another on a regular basis. I finally was able to see my family doctor this morning in regards to getting a req for upper back xrays after I saw the other specialist a couple of weeks ago for my lower back when he discovered my right rib cage had slipped forward.

I took advantage of being in her office to go over a few things that had come up since my last visit:

1. Upper back: she said she could see the difference just looking at me sitting on a chair, that my right shoulder was quite a bit lower then my left one. She gave me the req and said it could be either a compressed fracture or due to the sheer number of surgeries I had in my chest in the last 2 years that the muscles just are in constant spasms pulling on the shoulder forward causing the problem. I told her that the acupuncture had helped tremendously for my lower back that I had had at the other office, and that the only time my lower back burned now was when I forgot and bended at the waist to pick something up. She said to see if I can find a local acupuncturist and see them as often as needed. She also said Keith should go take a course on acupuncture so he could give me the injections. Uh. No.

2. H1N1: I told her that other people I knew that had cancer were being told to get the shot but that I had not planned on getting it and wanted to get her feedback. She said she is telling all her patients they need to make that decision on their own. If they wanted to have it she would arrange for them to get it. I knew that was a diplomatic answer so asked her if SHE was getting it. She said no she was not and she was not getting her family vaccinated either. She said the vaccine is just too new without enough information. She said she would not subject her family to it when there was so little info on long term effects. Good enough for me.

3. Sleep Study: I asked if she had gotten the report yet and she said yes. She kind of smiled at me and said she bet that the diagnosis of depression went over well with me :) I told her about my thoughts and how annoyed I was the doctor had not even been willing to discuss any other possibilities. So my doc and I spent about 15 mins going over choices etc. We agreed that I would increase one of my medications I am already on so that I am taking it throughout the day instead of just the night and that should help. We also agreed to start using Melatonin which is a natural sleep aid taking one that is quick acting and another that is long lasting so that I can fall asleep at a normal time and stay asleep for longer then 30 minutes at a time. Much better outlook then depression and anti-depressants. Although when I told Keith about this part he said he was going to have to have a chat with her. I said buddy when it comes to my health I trust her more then I trust you :)

4. Prolotherapy: I told her the specialist a couple of weeks ago had found a doctor that did prolotherapy so we went over that. She said to expect my pain levels to greatly increase. She said the solutions that are in the injections will actually inflame the area that is being injected. The idea is that inflammation is your body's natural way of healing itself but because of different health issues lately my body isn't able to heal itself. Gee.. thanks..

Now you understand why I think BC Medical should invest in a frequent flyer plan :)

Monday, November 09, 2009

New Project for Monday

I have been working on three HUGE projects this past summer, one was writing a family history book, another was doing a family reunion for my dad's side of the family and lastly a huge family history seminar where literally hundreds of patrons gather for an all day seminar of about 30 odds classes. It has been an exhaustive last year, add to that 5 surgeries and recuperation time in there to boot.

But we did it with a great team but today I went to get something in my office, went onto my online day timer and put only 1 thing on my daytimer for my todo list for tomorrow. CLEAN MY OFFICE. Now I have done many many times in the years but it will be the first time that I will clean and sort it without bending at the waist, don't bend to get anything , don't lift, don't wash walls, don't vacuum, don't take garbage out.. but where there is s will I will find a way. You can't stop me.

These are all the storage boxes that have gotten pulled out because someone needed something and they never got put back.

there is a spot from floor to ceiling beside the cabinet that the boxes are SUPPOSED to stored

THis is supposed to be my sewing area. And with Christmas coming I have projects to get completed

My poor dining room table would be so happy to get this cleared off and back onto my own desk so we can eat at the table again.

I'm not sure what scrapbooking projects I could work on here!! Bad bad bad

I have spools of ribbon that people have been using and most of the spools are unwound and all have to be fixed as well as things put away in drawers etc

And all the scrap papers and card stock now needs to be reorganized and sorted out, plus sort out and pout away kids play dohs and paints. But once all done I will be abl eto rest.. well until something else gets me going!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Tomorrow I have to go for my mammogram. I have been going for them since I was in my early 30's so basically 20 years. They have never bothered me. I could never understand why some women made such a big deal about it ...took 30 seconds per side, was never painful..piece of cake. I was very lucky to have doctors on my side that believed in letting women get them done before 50 when there was a strong family rate of breast cancer.

But this one tomorrow is scaring me to hell and back. First, it is the first one I have to have since my mastectomies. Secondly with all the surgeries I have to had these last 2 years I worry that something will split inside or tear or start bleeding... something to go wrong.

But I will be there, I will go through it because it is important to my family and important to me. So why am I telling you this? Because you can support me by getting yours done. If you have been putting yours off till "tomorrow" or next week, or later..don't. Just do it. Ignoring something does not make it go away. If I can go for mine tomorrow with everything I have been through in the last 22 months, you can go for yours. Please. Then let me know that you did it and I will smile and hug you and cheer you from my rooftop.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A woman like you

These last couple of years I have put Keith through paces that no spouse should ever go through. It brings on a whole new meaning to the term for better or worse, in sickness and in health... seriously... He has taken everything in stride..all the doctors' diagnosis, all the treatments, all the midnight wakings, ......

He makes me feel like I am the most beautiful woman on earth and takes everything with so much unconditional love for me. The other night he was working out on his exercise machine and I was working at the dining room table doing some work on the laptop when this song came on the tv channel CMT. Now I think everyone that knows me knows I am a die hard country music fan and if there isn't something on TV that we would be watching that channel is on so I can listen to the music.

There is only ever been in over 30 years one song that no matter what either of us are doing if that song comes on the radio or tv or anyplace no matter where we are we stop what we are doing and dance to this song... Three Times A Lady by the Commodores. We have pulled over on a highway to do this, in an elevator, in a movie theather... every single place we dance to this song.. But it has only ever been that song.

Well shortly after the song started he took my hand and started dancing to this new song. I had only heard it once or twice before. Now that was special enough but after each line that Johnny Reid sang Keith told me an example of how I fit that song.. needless to say you can very well imagine I was crying by the end. After the song ended he took me back to my chair and he went back to his weights. I sat in my chair wondering how on earth I am supposed to go back to what I was doing... my brain had lost all semblance of sanity at that point.

But it was exactly what the doctor had ordered. Depression semempression... that one little dance was exactly what I needed. What a man! I hope the link works..


Today I spent several hours in Ikea with Lareta to get things she wanted to get. As we were walking around I came to the realization I am not an IKEA person. I have been in there several times, have gone through their website, have gone over their catalogues that come to my door but I can't just warm up to their products. I do get their concept where no matter how small a home is, you can still make it a beautiful with amazing storage. That I get 100%! What I don't get is the tubuler furniture, plastic chairs, steel everything and the very bright colors everywhere!!.

I may be completely old fashioned but I am a traditionalist. I love wood. lots of wood, antique pieces, soft furniture that you can curl up in. My china is 65 years old. I have pieces that are probably close to 80-90 years old.. My wood is oak.

I always find things to buy when I am there, but it is usually candles and some decorating fluffs. I did get an ergonomic pillow today as I am tired of waking up with tension headaches from the pain in my neck from sleeping crooked all night :( So hopefully it will work.

No I will continue to comb antique stores for cool finds~

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sleep Study Results

Today I went to see the specialist to get the results of my 3 day sleep study that I had a month or so ago. I had my appointment late in the day so that Keith would be able to go to it with me. I hate it when I get a bunch of new info and I have to try and remember it all for when I get home to let Keith know. If he is there then it is one less step.. method to my madness hehehe. Well needless to say I was not so happy when I left there :(

Some things I already knew , some I didn't already know and others I did not want to know. Some things were the same as the last time I was tested about 5 years ago, some were different and others new. So here is the scoop...

-It took me an average of 3 hours to fall asleep once I was in bed with lights off.. knew that
-My legs twitch repeatedly at night although not hard enough to wake me up - knew that already although Keith asked did it count if it woke him up?
-I skipped all the stages of sleep and went straight into REM - did not know that and that is new from last time I was tested
-I was asleep 51% of the night the 1st night and 55% the 2nd night - well that sounds about right
-I did not have sleep apnea - I already knew that
-my medication I had been on did not work anymore - DUH
-I did not fall asleep easily during the day when I was supposed to - well kind of hard to force oneself to fall asleep when one trains oneself to NOT nap during the day otherwise even harder to fall asleep at night.- knew that
-once asleep I stayed asleep for at least 30 minutes at a time- knew that and this is new from last testing where I fell asleep easily but woke up it takes me a long time to go to sleep but stay asleep for longer periods of time
-she said I did not have any brain tumours or diseases like Narcolepsy (where you fall asleep at the drop of a hat.
-she said the average time frame for a person with sleep problems to fall asleep during the day is 7.8 minutes..mine was 17.1..Keith comments "that's because her brain never stops talking enough to go to sleep".. she never replied to that comment either

She showed me the actual report with all the graphs etc that showed to the minute when I fell asleep, when I woke up and what I did in between.. it was kind of cool.. till I asked her.. ok so now what is the end result...her diagnosis?

"Quote" Depression
.. what?
. are you kidding me? I'm not depressed.
This report shows you are.
The report is wrong. I have been depressed in the past.. twice in fact .. I know depression and this is not it. What does that 25 page questionnaire that I filled out in my first visit show?
Well that was inconclusive which was why we did the sleep study
I'm telling you there is something else because I am not depressed (This said as I try to not look at Keith who is making funny faces at me behind her back cause he knows I am about to bust a nerve and trying to calm me down)
Did you not tell me you were diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of years ago and had to have a bilateral mastectomy
Did you not tell me you lost your only sister and other family members recently to caner?
Did you not tell me you left your job since the last time you were tested due to your illness?
Did you not tell me you were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia since the last time you were tested?
Did you not tell me you live with chronic pain?
Sally any 2 of any of those things would be enough to put most people into depression let alone that many
Maybe most people but not me. I\m telling you I am not depressed
(Few moments of silent staring contest going on )
So what do you suggest?
I will send a copy of this report to your family doctor with my recommendation of you going on any of the antidepressants that I will include.. (Keith at this point is staring at the ceiling and refusing to look at me)
So what are the chances that it is something else that needs more investigation?
Pretty slim
But possible
The report is pretty shows you are depressed.
I am not depressed. I live a very full very active life.
Not all depressions are characterized by laying in bed all day and night with no human contact.
But they are all characterized by treating with anti-depressants?
That is my experience
So what are the side effects of these anti-depressants?
Oh slim to none.. very little
What are they?
Nothing to even none
Hmm well the two times I was on them in previous years, one I gained over 100 pounds in less then one year and the second time, my blood pressure lowered to dangerous levels as did internal bleeding. Both times I walked around like a zombie. Two different drugs.
Drugs have changed over the years, they are much easier to take with little or no side effects.
I take 6 medications right now and each comes with a long list of side effects.
Oh they all have to come with "possible" side effects just so the patients are aware but doesn't mean people will actually get them
But more then just a couple do get them correct?
Well yes
So then there are side effects to them
Big sigh.. well why don't you wait till you see your family doctor when she gets this report and you can decide then what you want to do but my diagnosis is still the same - depression with anti-depressants as suggested treatment.
Thank you I will do that thank you for your time

We walk out and as soon as we are in the hallway little granddaughter asks Papa why Nana is walking to the elevator so fast and that he has to hurry up so they can catch up and Papa tells her it's better that Nana has a time out right now.

Now let me set something very straight here... I do believe depression is a VERY REAL thing. I do believe that at times medication is needed to help get people that have depression over a rough time whether the reason they are going through it in the first place is medical, physical, social or any reason. I do truly believe that. And my denying I was/am depressed at this time of my life with the doctor does in no way minimize that others are going through a very real thing. I just know my body and my head and I know 100% that this is not the problem with me at this time of my life.

I think part of the problem is I have the BEST doctor on the face of the earth.. absolutely the best. I have mentioned that on here many times over the years and will continue to say the same thing. Because of her, I judge all doctors the same way and hold them all under the same category. So when others don't treat me the same way, or have the bedside manner of an ice cube or are unwilling to entertain the option of a 2nd or 3rd choice it rubs me the wrong way.

I know I have a sleeping problem. I did not have to spend 3 days hooked up to all these wires to know that. But going on antidepressants isn't going to fix the problem. It is just a bandaid solution. So when we got home, Keith and I talked about it and I finally asked him if he thought I was depressed and he said yes.. WHAT?? Why? his reply was "Look at your reaction" So because I am stating my case that means it's true? He said Sally you know most people that are depressed deny they are depressed. Most people Keith. I am not most people. No you are not Sally.

Needless to say I am not feeling very charitable right now

I participate

Last few weeks there has been extensive coverage on the news about this new cause "I PARTICIPATE" which is about people that care about their community and doing something no matter how little it is. So my little 5 year old granddaughter and I have spent the last couple of days thinking about what we can do to improve our community. Most things she came up with I knew I physically could not do it because of bending etc which is such a no no these days. This morning I had to keep her home from school today so we talked about it again as we were curled up on the couch and we came up with a great idea.

We are going to use my "grabber" which is a long handled claw kind of thing which I use to get things off the floor etc and we are going to go around our complex on Friday and clean up garbage laying around. Then one day next week we are going to go to the local animal shelter to volunteer our time and efforts to help out anything they might need help with. Of course mom and dad have to say yes first.

So how about you.. what are you going to do to participate in improving your community?

Twist and Shout

That has been my life last while..Twisting and shouting cause it hurts so much. It has gotten bad enough to go get the pain in my lower back checked out recently. Now 30 odd years ago, I started having problems with pain in my lower back. I know it is something that happens to a lot of people in my family. For me it started with the disc degenerating in the L5 area..then L4 then S1 then S2.. About 7 years ago or so my neck and shoulders started really giving me pain and after xray-ing those they found the degenerating had jumped the thoracic discs and gone straight into the cervical ones in the neck.

I have gone through just about every quick cures, to painful procedures, and every thing in between, some worked some hmmm not so much.. then about 7 tears ago I thought this weight is killing me so I got my butt and head in gear and lost 150 pounds in 2 years. That gave me a HUGE reprieve. 3 years later there was a clean slate.. the degeneration had not progressed. I now was in more pain then before but I had way more mobility.. give and take,,,But last couple of months it has gotten REALLY bad..bad enough to go to a walk in clinic rather then My doc cause I knew I would never make it to New West to see her.

He called me back a week or so later and said you need to go see your own doc if you have one as you have severe nerve root damage in your L5/S1 space. IT also stated severe narrowing of space. So I got a hold of my doctor and she had me in the next day. So went over the report and said here is your To Do List that you HAVE to follow: No bending at the waist EVER, no making bed, no picking things off the floor, no lifting anything, no sweeping or washing floors, no vacuuming, no washing walls, windows or floors, no playing golf, no loading or unloading dishwasher, no bending to take clothes out of the dryer.

She is sending me to see a specialist that I have seen before and gave me one exercises to do in the meantime. I called the office and said look I know the specialist is out of town till early next year and I explained why I needed an appointment. She said well we are not making appointments but he actually will be in town next Thursday to wrap up papers etc before he heads out of town again for a few months. If you can get here then we will squeeze you in. oh YEA!! I'll be there.

Do you have any idea how many things you do in any given day that involves bending at the waist? It would be easier to say what you can't do. This really sucks. She said sitting and laying down will irritate it as will standing in one spot.. or long walks.. I did tell her it had gotten worse after the race a couple of weeks ago. She said no more walks unless you are going to the corner store.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Computers and Smiley Faces NOT!

So here is my day so far... It is now 4 days before our huge genealogical seminar and I have a last minute to do list a few miles long it seems. I had an executive meeting this morning with my committee to go over the items left to take care of. I had my lists of things to do today while I was there. After the meeting..I am ready to work... but the computers wouldn't cooperate with me... I couldn't find a file I was needing off of one of my flash drives and yet I knew it had been there last night.. so had to go and open up each and every single file on the off chance that I had not saved it under what it should have been. So that took a couple of hours. In between doing that there were other distractions at work and other things that needed taken care of. I finally gave up trying to find it and started a new file.. then one of the computers went down (we have 9)... One of our computer guys happened to be there and so he took a look at it, fixed it and went home.. half hour later, a different one went down.. of course we had no way of knowing that one or more was down till a patron would come in and would go to work on it.

So I did what I knew I could do to fix it and worked on it but it wouldn't go so I put a call in and one of the guys came back... got it working... an hour or so later, 3 more went down, 2 hard wired ones and 1 wireless one.. got them working.. and back to my file.. lots of distractions by this time.. Then in comes another patron and it starts all over we are down to only 3 working computers. I needed to shut down the modems to reboot but wanted to wait till we didn't have any patrons in there using them so that I didn't inconvenience them... when they both left, I turned everything off, shut the modems down and rebooted everything. This time NO Internet on ANY computers, not even the main one that I had been working on all afternoon.. ughhhh

It was now way beyond my pay grade and patience level so I put another call in and over comes one of the techs at 3:30. At 5:45 I knew that the evening shift would be there but I still had another couple of hours of work to do on the file I was working on.. I was about half way through and didn't want to stop but I moved everything over to one of the back computers so the other shift would have the front desk to help patrons. I saved my file on my flash drive, move everything over, go and open the file on another computer and could not find it.. again.. well actually I did find it and it came with a "File is corrupt" message.. what????

Why oh Why oh Why... another hour and a half of trying to repair that file did not work.. I did everything I knew to do and it still would not work. I couldn't even open up the original file.. then I thought wait.... if I go back to the main desk and open up my flash drive there maybe I can find it so I tried and although I could not find the file that I had been working on all afternoon I was able to open up the original file .. but 5 hours worth of input all gone :( That is where my sarcastic smiley faces come to play! So now I have to re-enter it ..all that data ..sigh... just what I wanted to do tonight :(.. and 5 hours after he got there, the tech was still there...

Tomorrow is another day..

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Day!!

What I am truly thankful for today? For a husband who loves me unconditionally, who never says no to me, who goes without so I can do with, for children who give up their day to do a race with me, for a daughter who knows me but loves me anyway and doesn't think it is strange to hang out together, for sons that continually help me with my computer problems, that never make me feel stupid because I don't get it; I am thankful for daughters in law who forgive me when their husbands are going through their childlike stages and they don't blame me for it; for grandchildren who think I walk on water no matter how late I am with their birthday presents; I am thankful for friends who know everything about me and still love me; I am thankful for visiting and home teachers that faithfully come out every single month and that check up on me during the month as well; I am thankful for Del and Violy, who have seen me at my worse, wearing my worst, no brushed hair or teeth worse and come over anyway to help take care of me at times; I am thankful for my consultants at work who continually surprise me by pitching in to take on extra shifts when needed, help where they are needed; I am thankful for an executive committee who right now are going above and beyond the call of duty to get things ready for our seminar on Saturday; I am thankful for my computer gurus at work who help me keep things under control, who put out our "fires" for me, who patiently remind me that yes I will have wireless for Saturday to not worry; I am thankful for brothers and sisters in laws who keep tabs on me and how I am doing; who go out of their way every time I go back to my mom just so they can see me; I am thankful for my mother who is still in very good health, who still treats me like a child, who makes me have naps when we are together and who makes me eat porridge cause it's good for you; I am thankful for having God in my life; this past 18 months would have been a nightmare for me without His constant guidance in my life; I am thankful for having such a phenomenal medical team who still practice medicine the way the old family doctors did,they do house calls, they deal with the entire body not just the one area that you are having a problem with, they talk to each other, they report back to each other, and they treat me like a human being, I know dealing with my health issues and now the cancer, I would be lost without them. I am thankful for those that invented Facebook, due to you, I have found lost cousins and now keep in close contact with them and their families; it gives me a way to share their lives, their pictures, their children at any given moment.

I try and remind myself throughout the year that I am a very blessed person for all I have in my life; that I need to tell others thank you, and that I need to give credit where credit is due. So if I have neglected to tell you all of this throughout this past year I am saying it now, thank you everyone.. thank you for being a part of my day to day life, thank you for all that you do for me, thank you for loving me, for keeping in contact with me; most importantly...thank you for making me feel like I am important, that I matter to you and that I am loved. Thank you....just because I love you too.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Fall is in the air

Hello Hello Hello!!

It is fall outside and Mother Nature is at her best :) All yellows. oranges, greens, reds and purples.. Artists must be in their heyday just trying to capture it all on canvas or on film! Summer is still my favorite season though just cause we can go camping and fishing etc. But I like spring and autumn for the simple fact is that for the most part, the weather is gorgeous!! Nice and sunny but not overly hot, I can go walking in the middle of the day without feeling like I'm in a sauna.

But the REAL reason I love the fall is .. are you ready??? SWEATERS!!!! I love sweaters!! It's a terrible addiction way more then shoes although I would never admit I had a shoe addiction cause to do that would have to admit to Keith he was right and that would never work hehehee. I love all kinds of sweaters but my favourite are thick cable knit high turtle necks.. You know the kind that you have to roll down the neck 2-3 times .. so warm and comfy.. kind of like someone has their arms around you in a permanent hug 24/7. There is nothing that stops me dead in my tracks when I am window shopping then a window full of sweaters!

I have been working on our annual genealogical seminar for last few days almost non stop as it is coming up next Saturday and was getting frustrated. I am a perfectionist working in an imperfect world and it is frustrating when things don't go my way in my time frame. So this morning I needed a release so started vacuuming. I leaned under the bed to make sure there weren't any run away socks hiding and saw our storage bags filled with SWEATERS!!! Even though we have lots of closets I have to keep my summer and winter clothes apart otherwise I have no room. So thought hey.. temperature is cooling off .. I need a release valve.. so let's pull out all my winter clothes.

But it wasn't just pulling them out of storage it was having to take all the summer ones out of the drawers, the closets and the cupboards first to have room. It was very relaxing and therapeutic. I know I know I am weird what can I say ? :) So here is the end result. I know what Keith is going to say though tonight hehehehe "Why is it my side of the closet keeps getting smaller and smaller?" Sorry Love.. :-D

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

OOPS I forgot

I forgot to add the link to the news story from CTV news. I am about 2:04 time spot

Run For The Cure 2009

Well we did it!!! Our family completed our 2nd annual Run for the Cure to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. It was a great success! I can't even begin to describe my feelings of that day...of the love I have for my family members that were there, their getting up at 6am to get going on a day when they could have all slept in, of the love I have for my friend Leo from high school and his wife Carolyn, who took time out of their work week to run with me... of the love I have for Keith, who continues to support me day in and day out.

Last year when we did the race for the first time, I didn't know what to expect so my eyes were just bouncing everywhere just being caught up in the whole thing. This year was different for some reason. It was way more emotional for me for one thing.. it took sheer will power to be able to talk over the huge lump in my throat. Last year I ran with excitement, this year my head got involved, stats of survival rates, ratio between pink shirts and white shirts (survivors wear pink t-shirts and supporters wear white), stats of new diagnosed cases, how many "young" women were wearing pink, what my daughter was thinking about throughout the race, if she spent her days wondering and worrying about me.... head space things..

I had gone out a couple of weeks before the race trying to find something that we could wear as a family to show unity. Lareta and I came across pink cowboy hats at a store that was dispalying Hallowe'en things and there was EXACTLY the number that we wanted.. how perfect was that?? So we decided on that and pink bandanas.. it was a reminder to me of my roots. The men in the family never even argued that there was no way they were going out in public wearing pink cowboy hats they just did.

Last year I had trained to get my time in under an hour.. but ended up leaving my family "in the dust" till almost the end of the race. Here was my daughter who had just given birth 6 weeks before with a dislocated pelvic joint racing with me, a son who has a hard time walking a block racing with me, and there they were way behind me. This year, it never occurred to me to watch my time, we started as a family, we walked as a family and we ended together as a family. When we crossed my daughter was beside me and when I went to hug her thank you, my emotions just let go.

Just before the race started, our daughte rin law who is about 5 months pregnant almost collapsed. I was very worried for her and we had first aid attendants come quickly to where we were. She wasn't able to race with us obviously and our son stayed with her rather then racing with us. We kept in close contact with them with our cells and when we got to the end of the bridge and near the finish line they met us so they could go through the line together.

What possibly could I have ever done to get blessed with such an amazing family!!! At one point CTV news happen to come across our family before the race. They noticed on my race number on my back that states "Who I am running for" that it had a LOT of names and they wanted to know what was going on. I told them about the high rate of cancer in my family, of how there were 5 of us dealing with it right now and that I had an aunt that had died from hers earlier this year. I told them that I was going to be the one that broke that "tradition" that I was going to be the one that died from old age instead of cancer. Every innovation always starts with one person willing to step out from the crowd and that was going to be me.

I am going to do everything in my power to raise awareness for breast cancer this next year, I am going to do what I can to raise my voice to let others know that no matter how little one does for this cause it will count in the long run. So keep reading and listening and passing along any information that you feel might be useful for someone else you know.

I want to give a huge thank you to all of you that have posted your support on here or on Facebook, through your emails and calls. Every email, letter and card all have gone in my Sunshine Book that I take out on my dark days when I am tired of this, and it reminds me that this cancer didn't just touch me it touched everyone around me and that people love me. So thank you. You will never understand how much you mean to me. Enjoy the pictures :)

Our daughter in law Linda

What do you mean my hat is too big?? It just means I will be able to still race until it fits me :)

the poster on my front door that goes up about a week before the race. The reason I am making a "muscle" is to show cancer it will NOT get me, I am a SURVIVOR and will survive this

My favourite daughter Lareta as we wait for the train to take us home :)

My high school friend Leo and his wonderfully supportive wife Carolyn. Leo and I found each other on Facebook a year or so ago.. YEA Facebook!

Keith and I on the Burrard Street nridge.. and yes I do know I am wearing 2 hats, one for me and one for the women in my family that had lost their lives to cancer. Keith also is NOT that big lol he was wearing a down vest under his shirt as it had been very cold that morning. Most of us had worn layers and had been peeling them off during the day but Keith hadn't

Who says you are too young to do the race... I don't think so!

Angel's wings

Another set of angel wings

The start line.. it took us a good 15 minutes just to get to that point

gathering up the troops

The end of a very long day :)

Go Pink for October

Web sites will Go Pink during the month of October to bring attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, get people talking about breast cancer, and raise money for research.

But to be clear, raising money isn’t the primary purpose of this web event.

The hope is that you turn your site pink (in whatever way works for your site), go out to that World Wide Web thing and educate yourself about the multiple issues related to Breast Cancer, then take that new-found knowledge and tell someone else what you’ve learned.

We hope that you will:

1. Turn your web site/blog pink (however you like, it’s up to you).
2. Educate yourself about the multiple issues related to breast cancer.
3. Take that new-found knowledge and teach someone else what you know.

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in helping with this event. But even if you don’t have time to dedicate, consider redesigning your site for the month of October — Go Pink!

2006 (our first year) was a great start with the roughly 1500 sites that Went Pink. 2007 saw roughly 3000 sites Go Pink. 2008 was our biggest year with roughly 15,000 sites.

We are looking to make an even bigger splash in 2009, but we’ll need your help to do it.

Blog about it, invite others to join, become involved, help increase awareness, learn something new, and teach others what you know.

Many thanks!

~Matthew Oliphant

Friday, September 18, 2009

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fooz table and toys

We have this big yard sale coming up on Saturday to raise money and awareness for the Run for the Cure race that I am doing next month. I have been asking, nicely of course, if friends and families have items from their homes that they had been wanting to get rid of that they would willingly donate it to me for such a good cause. All week I have been collecting things filling every square foot (at least in Keith's mind) with stuff for the sale.

But 2 incidences happened this week that really touched me. One of our neighbors and friends have 3 children, 8, 6 and 4 years of age. They have a Fooz (sp?) table that they had planned on selling so they could have some spending money. When their mom told them what I was doing they decided, on their own according to mom, that they would donate it for our yard sale so the doctors would fine a cure so I didn't get cancer again. And one of our granddaughters who protects her toys with every being of her little body and would never ever let them go, decided to let Mommy and Daddy pack them all up to bring to the sale so that Nana would never get sick like she did last year.

How do you respond to something like? By swallowing the thick lump in your throat.

Sleep Sleep Sleep

Or rather lack of it.. so today begins my 6 day regime of no medication. Nothing Nada Rien, I am scheduled for a 2 nights and day sleep study at the UBC hospital beginning Monday night. For 2 nights they will hook me up with all the electrodes and read how I sleep. After the second night, I will remained hooked up all the following day so they can gauge how I react from sleep deprivation... uh... come hang around me on any given day. Sitting at the hospital with nothing to do doesn't give you a true reading.

But I can handle all that. It is the get off all medication beginning today that won't be so easy, no get out of bed card, no do not go past the bed card, and the do not collect your medication card. No medication for my FM, nothing for my restless leg syndrome (Keith has truly been missing his black and blue shins)and definitely no medication that fools my brain into thinking it actually is sleeping so it stops talking to itself and actually goes into deep sleep so my body heals.

Good thing I have the yard sale on Saturday so I can keep busy and not go to bed at all :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday a day of rest

Keith has really been on my case to slow down this past year and a half and to me I am already slowed down!! But what he said really hit home these last 2 weeks while I have been helping with my friend's husband for her funeral. So I told him last week that I would consciously keep one day a week completely work free..not even computer work although emails were ok. You would think that would be a snap right? WRONG!

Every time I turned around today I could feel Keith's eyes on me or hear his throat clearing. I don't know which was worse..sitting still or knowing he was watching me lol. I had promised I wouldn't do more then go to church, make meals and read or do letters etc. At one point I was on the couch reading and he was watching a movie and he tells me that tapping my foot against the coffee table was NOT being quiet and that he knew I really wasn't really reading because he knows I am a speed reader but had not turned a page in several minutes..sheeesh. Who would have thought staying still would be so difficult?? My mom has also been really on my case since last year as well telling me to slow down, asking me if I had a nap that day.. uhhh mom I had a 53 mother of 5 and grandmother of 14 I am too told to be go to my room for a nap... of course I would NEVER say that with my outside voice..nope nope nope. I am never too old to be brave enough to say that out loud!

So I decided to at least work on my day timer tonight for this coming week seeing as I couldn't do anything else productive today. Although I did do spagetti squash and some homemade sauce for dinner. Last week was an emotional and mentally busy week..this week I can put my brain on R&R and have a normal week.

Monday am: Executive meeting
Monday afternoon: doctor appointment (just for checkup so no worries!)
Monday evening: do rest of grocery shopping, go to ICBC for insurance for the new car; work on getting handouts for October's seminar

Tuesday am: put battery in car; take car to Air-Care, get it to the car wash and clean it out;
Tuesday afternoon: make some homemade pasta dough ahead of time for Wednesday's class I am teaching so I have some extra on hand, not too sure how many people will be at the class
Tuesday night: go through dining room and kitchen for items for Saturday's yard sale; write our recipes for Wednesday's class; work on October's seminar

Wednesday morning: Take Rosaleen to her first full day of Kindergarten, gather up all equipment for tonight's class and get it to Suncreek common room
Wednesday afternoon: print all the recipes, double check attendance and list items; send out all letters and schedules to family history centres and genealogical societies in BC
Wednesday evening: Teach homemade pasta and sauces class; clean up and get all things back home

Thursday morning: get all instruction packets out to all the presenters for October's seminar; go through linen closet and bathrooms for yard sale
Thursday afternoon: go to work
Thursday evening: Get poster boards and supplies for yard sale posters; go through spare bedroom for items

Friday morning: go through office for sale itmes.. try not to panic but yet be objective to getting rid of things
Friday afternoon: do up posters and pink ribbons/signs etc; start pricing items; do some baking of items for kids snack table to sell
Friday evening: focus on yard sale, make sure I've gone through the house with a fine tooth comb, try not to nag at Keith to go through his things and the storage room; get hot dogs and pop for the sale; get posters out in the neighborhood

Saturday morning and afternoon: YARD SALE!!
Saturday evening: Keith's surprise birthday party

Sunday: day of rest

I think that's about it for this week.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One Bowl Brownies

I got this recipe from one of my mother in laws cookbooks that I inherited after she passed away. I have been thinking of her a lot recently and thought I would make something from her book. Well I came across this brownie recipe that looked so easy a child could make it. But I have to tell you this recipe BY FAR is the BEST brownie recipe I have ever tasted in my life... hands down... so thought I would share with you. I think a recipe a week would be a cool touch to my blog :)

One Bowl Brownies
4 squares Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate
(I did not have any because I have a husband who constantly eats them so I checked the Chipits bag and for cup chips is the substitute for the squares)
3/4 cup butter
Microwave both items in large bowl on HIGH for 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is melted
Stir in 1 cup white sugar and 1 tsp vanilla until dissolved
Mix in 2 eggs until well blended (still only using spoon)
Stir in 1 cup flour and 1 cup chopped nuts until blended

Pour in 9X13 pan which you have lined with foil that has been extended over the ends so you have handles later. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 30-35 minutes until toothpicks inserted in middle comes out with fudgey crumbs. DO NOT OVERBAKE. It should look slightly "wet". Cool in pan. Life out from pan by foil ends onto cutting board. Cut into 24 brownies

I loved this because I did not have to use the mixer, I didn't have to use 2 bowls, my pan remained clean and they are so moist and delicious!!!!


PS. All of my new cookbooks or recipes that I get all have nutritional values attached to them with calories and fat content. But because this is an old book it does not have them so that means they are calorie and fat free. WOOOHOOO Bonus!!!!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Who Will You Run For

Hello Family and Friends
Getting a cancer diagnosis is probably one of the most devastating things a person has to experience. You read all of the time about people telling you how to cope with cancer and what your treatment options are, so I'm not going to do that. What I am going to do is to tell you that you are in my heart and on my mind, and I promise to continue saying a prayer for you every day for all the support I have received from my family and friends these last 18 months!
If there is one thing I know, I know that God is able. And as if that weren't already enough, I know I’m a trooper. I instantly thought that if anyone could get the diagnosis and beat it, surely, it was me. I can't say that I wasn’t scared to death when the doctor told me the news, but I can tell you a few things grounded me in that instance first, my faith, then, my love for my family, and then my zest for life.
I didn't flinch as I asked my doctor, "So, what's next?" She said, "Well, I believe I've removed all of it, and it doesn't look like it has spread. Through 6 long surgeries and recuperation sessions in these last eighteen months I’m happy to say my story ends well. The cancer hadn't spread, and I will be fine. I know everyone's story doesn't end like his. And I didn't tell you that to make you feel bad if your experience with yourself or someone in your life isn't looking like it will end the same. What I do want to offer you is hope; hope and belief other good things may come from it like how something like this pulls and welds families together.
So, if you're living with cancer or experienced it the way I have or through a loved one, a diagnosis doesn't have to be the end. Everything happens for a reason. Whatever season I’m in with this disease, I take it one day at a time and sometimes one hour at a time. My prayer is that a cure will be found to stave off this disease once and for all. But until it is discovered, I take heart that someone out there loves me and is praying on my behalf.
I also have an amazingly strong will to live.
I get out of bed every morning as if nothing is wrong. I may have known I was going to have to face things and could feel sick during the day, but I never got out of bed that way. There was a lot I was fighting for. I have children who think I am the best thing since sliced bread, a wonderful life and a magical love affair with my husband and since I was diagnosed I now have 2 more granddaughters making a total of 15 grandchildren! Who wouldn’t want to live after that?
My will to live means that I really want to live, whether or not I’m afraid to die. I want to enjoy life, I want to get more out of life, I believe that my life is not over and I am willing to do whatever I can to squeeze more out of it. The threat of death often renews our appreciation of the importance of life, love, friendship and all there is to enjoy. We open up to new possibilities and begin taking risks we didn't have the courage to take before. Facing the uncertainties of living with an illness makes life more meaningful. The smallest pleasures are intensified and much of the hypocrisy in life is eliminated. When bitterness and anger begin to dissipate, there is still a capacity for joy.
A way to strengthen this partnership is to extend the relationship to others. The emotional experience of sharing and enjoying your family and partnerships supports your love for life and your will to survive. This was the main reason I NEEDED to do our family reunion this year even if it meant it would exhaust me. I knew that being around that large of a family would be a drug that was like no other medication I could have been put on.
As I made the transition from helpless victim to activist, one of the most important realizations is that you have everything to do with how others perceive you and treat you. If you can accept your condition and hold self-pity at bay, others won't feel sorry for you. If you can discuss your disease and medical therapy in a matter-of-fact manner, they'll respond in kind without fear or awkwardness. You are in charge.
Sharing my life with others and receiving aid or support from friends and family will improve my ability to cope and help me fight for your life. A person who is lonely or alone often feels like a helpless victim. There is a need to share your own problems, but helping others find solutions or cope better with the problems of daily living gives strength to both the giver and the receiver. There are few more satisfying experiences in life than helping a person in need.
Hope can be maintained as long as there is even a remote chance for survival. It is kindled and nurtured by even minor improvements or a remission and maintained when crises or reversals occur. There are times when I feel exhausted and drained by never-ending problems and feel ready to give up the struggle to survive. All too often it seems easier to give up than to keep on fighting. Frustrations and despair can sometimes feel overwhelming. Determination or dogged persistence is needed to accomplish the difficult task of fighting for my health.
The experience of cancer is not only destructive in a physical way but can be a major deterrent to my fighting attitude and will to live. But even during the roughest times, there are often untapped reserves of physical and emotional strength to call upon to help me survive one more day. This reserve adds meaning to my life as well as serves as a lighthouse that leads me to a safe haven during a turbulent storm. Hope has different meanings for each person. It is a component of a positive attitude and acceptance of our fate in life. I use my strengths to gain success to live life to the fullest. Circumstances often limit my hopes of happiness, cure, remission or increased longevity. I also live with fears of, pain, of being a real financial burden to my husband, a bad death or other unhappy experiences.
Each of us has the capacity to live each day a little better, but we need to focus on both purpose and goals and set into action a realistic daily plan--often altered many times--to help us achieve them. These resources are the foundation of the will to live. Only by using the power of the will to live--nourished by hope--can we achieve the sublime feelings of knowing and experiencing the wonders of life and appreciate its meanings though vital living.
So that is why I am going to put my body into action so that it practices what it preaches. I have registered to attend my 2nd annual Run For The Cure Breast Cancer Race on October 2nd 2009. I had been unsure whether or not I would be able to attend as I knew I had my 6th surgery coming up in the fall. So needless to say when I came home from our family reunion in Sask in August I was thrill to find out I had a call from my surgeon’s office saying she had a cancellation that week did I want it?? YESSS!! And the first thing I did once I could move my arms without so much pain was to send in my registration to do the race. Here is where you come in by choosing one of the following ways you can assist me with my goal to raise awareness for breast cancer research.
1. Join our race team named SMILESONLY. If we can get the minimum of 10 people registered we get our t-shirts monogrammed  You can still do the race with us and not register. You can run the race, walk it, be in a wheelchair, stroller or any other way you need to do it by.
2. Send a monetary donation either through my snail mail address or through the website (at end of letter)
3. Join us for our 1st Annual Race For The Cure yard sale on September 19th. Address below. That date is actually our 31st wedding anniversary and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate it then by being thankful we still have one to celebrate and by using the funds collected that day to donate to the Breast Cancer Research. You can either come by and support us by visiting us that day (and buy things hehehe) or else if you have household items you are trying to get rid off please feel free to drop them off the day before with the understanding ALL monies collected will go to Breast Cancer Research,
4. Offer your continued support through letters, emails, calls, cards.. all things I get I print and place them in my pink scrapbook. So on days where I don’t get dressed and I spend more time with my head in the bucket then out of it, I open up my scrapbook and I am reminded I am loved by a lot of people.
5. Do the run in the city you live in
So whichever way you wish and are able to support me, I am eternally grateful. On closing I would like to give you the lyrics by Melissa Etheridge to a song she wrote after she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She too is a survivor.
It's been years since they told her about it
The darkness her body possessed
And the scars are still there in the mirror
Everyday that she gets herself dressed
Though the pain is miles and miles behind her
And the fear is now a docile beast
If you ask her why she is still running
She'll tell you it makes her complete

I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother your sister your wife
I run for you and me my friend I run for life

It's a blur since they told me about it
How the darkness had taken its toll
And they cut into my skin and they cut into my body
But they will never get a piece of my soul
And now I'm still learning the lesson
To waken when I hear the call
And if you ask me why I am still running
I'll tell you I run for us all

And someday if they tell you about it
If the darkness knocks on your door
Remember her remember me
We will be running as we have before
Running for answers
Running for more
Again thank you from the bottom of my heart and soul!!!! If you have any questions please ask away or if you have any fund raiser ideas that I can do in one more month let me know that too!!
All my thankful love
#101-13340 70B Ave
Surrey BC V3W 7Z1

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Shoe Additction:NOT!

So Keith and I are watching TV tonight while we have our laptops on the dining room table doing work and Ikea comes out with this bedroom closet organizer commercial. It shows a couple getting all dressed up fancy but neither speak it is just the Ikea narrator having this 2 sided conversation. You know kind of the inside voice versus outside voice that we all have had.. you know what I am talking about.. you know when people ask you how you are doing and you say oh fine and smile and the whole time you are cringing with a migraine.. yeah you.. see I knew you did that.

Any way.. the man is taking a tie out of a tie drawer (now that is OCD.. have you seen how neat that drawer is and how each tie has it's own compartment.. oh puhlease!) and smiles at his wife but the guy is thinking how lucky his wife is that her 73 shoes never fell on his head. I snorted or some similar thing.. the wife's shoes are all above his head and each shoe is securely held in place with individual hooks. I said what? Keith said that guy knows the truth.. what??? He said why do women have to have such shoe addictions.. what shoe addictions? There was hardly any shoes on the wall!! I mean he had a WHOLE drawer of ties.. get real! Keith replies about how ALL women have a shoe addiction that even our 4 year old granddaughter has more shoes then most adult women. I replied I don't have a shoe addiction.. now his turn to snort and asks if I even know how many pairs of shoes I own... no why would I need to know that? He said guess... I said I don't know maybe 20 pairs.. he laughs out LOUD and says he has 3 and 1 doesn't count cause they are his work boots.. well duh.. how many screwdrivers do you have? He said Solange (I hate that tone... )I need those for work,, uh huh then why are they in my storage room...

So he said you don't even know how many pairs you have do you? Sure I do.... He said you don't even know how many BLACK pairs of shoes you have.. yes but they are all different many different pairs do you need.. uh.. dressy high high heel for dress up, flats for skirts and leggings, loafers for pants, pumps for other skirts, slingbacks just because every girl needs sling backs.. open toed sling back because uh I am a girl hello!! Then I need leather ones and suede ones and matte ones and high gloss ones.. the eye rolls begin at this time with the tongue sticking out his cheek..

Ok and how many white ones do you have and how many colored shoes and how many brown ones.. I only have 2 pairs of brown I say in self-defense! One high heel pump and 1 loafer so he goes to get the other "brown" ones.. uh Keith that is not brown that is taupe and that one is sand and that one is beige and that one is nude.. there goes the eye roll again.

So he bets me supper dishes of who gets closer to the amount of shoes I have.

Keith: 34
Sally: 25
Actual: (not counting flip flops cause we all know those are not considered real shoes thank goodness)
35 pairs of shoes
3 pairs of runners
5 pairs of boots

It's not important to dwell on who's right in this case.. the important thing is that we all learn a lesson through all this.. and I will think of what that could possibly be while I load the dishwasher!