Tonight Theo met Kira. She's 6 weeks old on Dec 24. She only visited for about 2 hours but the nap Theo needed afterwards took 6 hours.
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Monday, 22 December 2008
This morning we woke up to a winter wonderland. Theo thought he died and went to heaven! There was a three foot drift in front of the door that he bounced over before becoming a snow bunny. He was too excited to even do his morning business. The video was taken by Cory this afternoon (after extensive shovelling).
Sunday, 12 October 2008
His name is Theo and he is an 8 month old Lab/Burmese Mountain Dog cross. He's a pretty big boy, weighing in at 85 lbs. I think he will finish up around 100lbs or 125lbs. His feet are pretty big. I'm complete deluding myself that he has hit his adult height and will just fill in.
He's a really good dog. We've had him for a week and he is already a member of the family. The kitties were less than impressed with his arrival but have started to ignore him. They are most upset when he gets excited and tries to play with them. He has a tendency to bounce and they aren't fans of the bouncing. They will now exist in the same space as him and occasionally rub against him. Last night I watched him lick Tweak's ear (well the whole head got licked but I think he was aiming for the ear), four days ago she was so afraid of him that she may have soiled herself when startled. Oops.
He is fitting in nicely. Now I have to build a fence so they can play loose in the yard....
Saturday, 27 September 2008
I'd like to thank each and every person who may have clicked my ads even by mistake. When my house is warm this winter, I will think fondly of you.
Sunday, 21 September 2008
Clomid should not be taken for more than 6 months and is designed to teach your body how to ovulate again. Majority of those who take it become pregnant within 3 months. From what I have read, the maximum Clomid cycles are 3 rounds of 6 months of treatment before moving to the next level of treatment.
As for side effects, most of them sound like PMS (rapture). Today I feel like crud but that was a result of a run in with a case of beer and a late night. I am not blaming the Clomid for my hang-over... but if my hangover hangs out for a few days, I may change my mind.
Monday, 15 September 2008
Sunday, 7 September 2008
I got to spend my week getting to know my team and I'm really happy with the personalities that have come together. They have had a rough ride with managers over the past year and are a little sceptical that I am here to stay. I spent the week getting them to open up to me on way makes them unhappy and honestly... most of it should be easy to resolve. What is really refreshing is that the complaints are all legitimate and professionally based. I'm really excited to work with them.
Saturday, 30 August 2008
I've been travelling to Fredericton everyday for training which has added an extra 2 hours on my day but I'm finally done with training. I start back in the Woodstock site on Tuesday after a 3 day weekend. I'm very excited about getting to work finally. Training was great but I'm ready to rumble now.
We have been exploring our options to replace the car... I was renting a car for the past 3 weeks to travel but now it's time to own something of my own. Cory has been in contact with a car dealer ship and these are my choices....
- A used 2007 Cobalt for $14 K - no warranty and a monthly payment of $331 (9% interest)
- A used 2002 Grand Am for $5 K - no warranty and a monthly payment of $220 (13% interest)
- A new 2008 Pontiac G5 for $18 K - a 5 year warranty and a monthly payment of $260 (0% interest)
So it looks like the G5 is the winner. I'm a little floored that a new car is the way to go but why fight it. With the G5, I am getting a standard transmission which is perferred and I get to pick the color. I'm actually a little pumped about getting my first new car.
At this point I just want wheels again. There is so much adventuring I need to do and I've been stuck in my neighbourhood except for cab rides.
A cab ride within the town is only $4.50 so it hasn't been that much of a hardship except that they double and triple up passengers. But that also means that I get to meet people and see different parts of town. My glass is still half full. Honestly, the biggest downfall has been the cab drivers great love for loud bluegrass music. Thankfully the rides aren't that long.
Thursday, 7 August 2008
We ran out of time packing but fortunately a fantastic friend finished everything up for us after we left. Thank you Jason!! You rule!!
We hit the road at 7 am on Aug 1 with 2 cars. One packed with the cats and the other with the stuff we would need to live for up to a week without our stuff. The first two hours went great with the exception of one cat that had taken it upon himself to mark every 5 second mark of the trip with a meow. And then the second car decided to die on the side of the road... died, dead... towed the rest of the way to Woodstock.... 4 hours... that was a little stressful... ok a lot stressful.
The house closing had some flaws... the mortgage hadn't been transferred to my lawyer yet. It didn't actually happen until the 5th due to the long weekend but the owner allowed us to move in anyway.
Our stuff was delivered on the 7th and now we are almost unpacked. Our neighbours are amazing. The people across the street have lent us anything we need including their car. Our next door neighbour came over to make sure it was ok that he continues to mow our lawn.
I started my new job on the 5th and am still amazed on the people focus of this company. Everyday I learn something new about the company that increases my level of awe. I feel like a princess...
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Where to start... lets start with movers....
So the movers called. They had decided that it is against their policy to direct bill a company for a single move. I guess they only move the military because I don't know that many company's that do mass employee moves. My HR Manager called and well, she's so sweet and she wanted to know if she could give them a piece of my mind for me. She said that they had moved someone from Halifax a year ago and had a company that had no issue with invoicing. She looked up who it was and told me to call them.
BIG ADVERTISEMENT FOR HOYT MOVING AND STORAGE COMING!!
I called and talked to the nicest lady. She checked to see if she could move us this week but when she couldn't due to bookings, she arranged for a load up on August 5 and she contacted the company to handle the billing. She used my previous quotes to guess the weight. She increased the weight guess and still came in under the previously quoted price. They provide more services for packing AND they provided me with free boxes after they closed for the day. I then got to call the other company and advise them that due to their billing practices we have chosen to go with another company, thank you for your time. *SNAP*
On the other hand, I called Rogers to see what was happening to my cell phone bill and was told that I was exceeding the minutes in my plan to the tune of $80 dollars. When I requested a rate plan change backdated to the beginning of the bill cycle to cover the usage, I was told that it was not possible. When I asked to speak to a supervisor, I was told that due to school being out their were no supervisors. I guess they must have all gone to summer camp or something. So after I sent my nasty email to Rogers, I took a grumpy break and read my book. Nothing like a nice murder book to take your mind off poor customer service. I can't wait to cancel with them and make them leave my live forever.
Everything is in place for the move with the exception of my house insurance. The insurance agent doesn't seem to have the same sense of urgency as I do, but I know that I have to have insurance in place for the closing so tomorrow she needs to have everything ready to go for Friday.
Still no RRSP deposit in my account. My HR access for my former employer is still active so they have not completed my resignation yet. So this means the RRSP's are still being held hostage.
Pretty much, I have a list of companies that I'm really not fond of right now.
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Please do a rain dance or pray to the rain gods or come to my house and use a hose to make it seem like it is raining.
Our goals for this week is to be completely packed by end of Wednesday and then use Thursday for family, then hit the road around 7 AM Friday for Woodstock... 6 kitties in tow.... This I will video tape!!
Monday, 28 July 2008
For the move, I requested a closure of my RRSP account to cover closing costs and other stuff. I requested this to be done on July 14 and was told no worries, 5 days tops. Today the money still wasn't there. With the house closing only 5 days away, my blood pressure started the gradual rise. So I call the RRSP dudes to see what their damage was... It appears that they are stuck until they receive notification from my now former employer that I am not going to be doing any more contributions, once they have that.... 48 hours easy. My last contribution was July 11 and apparently this information has not be confirmed by my former employer.
So I call my former employer and get a fantastic call centre employee who tells me it could take another 2 weeks. I think my head popped off at that point. I called a friend who works in the HR department and she tells me it's could be up to 6 weeks. I think I confused her. But she did tell me that my resignation had not been processed yet.
So then I call NB Power to hook up service. After holding 30 minutes for an associate, they tell me that because I've never had service with NB Power before I will have to pay a deposit totaling $475 that has to be paid prior to hook up OR we can run credit check and see how you do... Run away... 2 more minutes of holding and no more deposit. Yay for good credit!
Then I call the lawyer, they haven't received the mortgage instructions yet. Kinda holding up the show a little bit.
Then I call the movers to book them... nothing available this week but we can load on August 5. Well seeing that I start my job on August 5, I won't be here for the loading. They think they will get the stuff to us in 5-18 days. So it looks like we will be camping in our new house for possibly the first week or two or almost three.
Then my mechanic called to say that the car is ready but he has not safety inspected it. The bill is $1275 and because he can't figure out why the ABS light is on he is not willing to put a sticker on it.
I swear my head has popped off. The sainted Mommy has come to the rescue once again. She is loaning me the closing costs. I called Visa and got an increase on my limit. My mechanic is going to be a proud owner of a post dated cheque. I am willing to camp for a few weeks. I called my mortgage dude and he sent the instructions to the lawyer.
And I'm a proud owner of the world's biggest stress headache!
Saturday, 26 July 2008
My life is changing so fast that I don't think my feet have touched the ground yet... should be scary when it all sets in...
Sunday, 20 July 2008
On a quick aside, we stayed at our first Bed and Breakfast, Brigitte's Bed and Breakfast. We did not know what to expect and this place exceeded our expectations. This was their information at the time of our visit.
- Pricing per night from $55 to $69 CDN
- Located halfway between Woodstock and Hartland in the St. John Valley, we have a panoramic view from our large sundeck. ( NEAR FROM HOSPITAL)
- Two golf course. Longest covered bridge and other local tourist attractions with 10 minutes' drive.
- We offer 5 newly decorated rooms, a large family room with large screen TV, satellite, pool table, dartboard, exercise equipment and snack bar.
- We have a new 24' above ground pool with deck offering a relaxing end of day dip while enjoying the scenic view.
- Our 'last all day' breakfast has drawn rave reviews from our guests so far and will continue to be a delicious start to your day.
- Weekly & monthly special rate. (Special rate for family who have someone at the hospital. )
- We offer two bathrooms. We speak french
If you find yourself in Woodstock, NB, I am highly recommending staying with Brigitte and David. They also have the world's sweetest kitty who may abandon her family to spend time with you.
So back to my story... Sunday, We looked at our first house, we made our first offer and now we are closing on August the first! It's a bit of a whirlwind. I don't think it has sunk in yet that in 13 days we will be moving into our first house. It's a big place with lots of room for the kitties and.. maybe children.
Sometimes, I forget to breathe.
Thursday, 17 July 2008
Here's a quick run down of my week so far...
My apartment bathroom is getting a new ceramic floor. On the surface this doesn't sound tramatic but.... my apartment only has one toilet. The process requires my toilet to be lifted and placed in my tub for 3 DAYS. My landlady has provided us with an empty apartment 2 floors above us. So everytime we need to go to the bathroom, we have 2 flights of stairs to conquer first. I successful had a bathroom break on a commercial last night (So you think you can dance was on) but I was a little winded when I got back.
We are packing. Still haven't found a way to pack the 4 foot smurf but everything else is going away quickly.
I applied for a mortgage. I hate the waiting game. We found a house in Woodstock that we love and tried to rent it but the owner needs to sell. She says that she could close Aug 1. Fingers crossed. If we get approval, we will have to take the 5 hour drive up to make sure the house is as perfect as we think it is. And of course that is going to make a billion more appointments.
I've had my last doctors appointment with my current doctor. She gave me a years worth of my perscriptions and a years worth of lectures (given out of love). I'm going to miss my doctor. I've been with her since she got out of medical school. Cory has his last appointment with his doctor today
We both have a dentist appointment today for our cleanings.
We have another moving company coming in for another quote for the move.
The car is going in for repair and safety inspection on Monday. Hopefully it won't have to have a sleep over.
Next week, I need to train my replacement at work, hopefully go for a trip to Woodstock and look at real estate. Have lunch and dinners with a ton of people both co-workers and families. I wish I just had so much more time....
Sunday, 13 July 2008
I have a new job. I have given my notice at my current employer... my last day there will be July 25. My new job is in Woodstock, New Brunswick (about 5 hours drive from Halifax, Nova Scotia). It's been a pretty exciting process.
The job posting closed on May 20. Around the beginning of June, I had a phone interview with the HR manager. A week later I had a phone interview with 5 managers... a few weeks after that, they invited me up (all expense paid) to have a meet and greet. And Friday they offered me more than I was asking for...
Now the panic is setting in... need a place to live, have to pack all my crap (wow where did I get this stuff?). Fortunately the company is paying to relocate me. (Who bought this crap?). Have to work for the next two weeks while trying to get all my doctor, dental, etc... completed (Cory, do we really need a 4 foot high stuffed Smurf??).
My mother (forever to be referred to as Saint Mommy) has volunteered to make the drive up to Woodstock with me and the 6 cats. The longest drive that the cats have experienced in their entire lives has been the 9 minutes on the Hwy to get to the vet. We refer to the 9 minute drive as the Hwy to hell. When we get to the vet, they are covered in spit, have dumped at least a pound of hair in the carrier and our ears on the verge of exploding. Should be a good time...
Well I have 23 days to completely upheave my entire life and start work in a whole new world... ACK!!
Saturday, 21 June 2008
The first step was a pregnancy test. I needed to prove that I was not pregnant before they could proceed. As usual, the appearance of a cup in a bathroom immediately made all desire/need to pee to go completely away. After 15 -20 minutes, I finally emerged victorious and produce a negative test.
Down to X-ray I went... with someone else file. Fortunately, the person who had my file was curious enough to read it and we swapped out after a short read. Hers was WAY thinner than mine.
I'll skip the fantastic wait in the world tiniest waiting room with one magazine. Cory was the lucky man with the magazine and all the other husbands were clearly jealous.
***** Men might want to stop reading here ********
After our lengthy wait, I was finally called in. They asked me to pop up the table which was actually an xray machine. They explain that this will be alot like a REALLY long pap test. First they painted my girl parts with an iodine paint to prevent infection. Then came the speculum... this was pretty familiar. Next they used the paint again to paint my cervix... then came the pinch. I'm not 100% sure what the pinch was but my best guess it was to open my cervix. It's hard to explain the pinch except it was a pinch that felt like it was deep inside my stomach... it sorta hurt but only for a split second. Honestly it was hardly mentionable...
Now I'm all set to proceed, they pop out to grab the radiologist and we are ready to rumble. Once she entered the room, we proceeded. The Xray machine turned on and the dye was injected. This was the most uncomfortable part... as the dye hit my uterus, I felt a wicked menstrual cramp. It was only one cramp but it was a doozie. I breathed through that... it wasn't anything worse than mother nature had already subjected me in the past and it was only 1 cramp. We watched the dye proceed up my Fallopian tubes, I had to turn my hips a little and voila... all done.
Tubes are clear and unblocked.
They sent me off to the bathroom with a little clean up kit... wash cloth, towel, maxi pad. After washing off the paint (sticky yellow stuff), I got dressed and headed home. Due to the pinch, I had some spotting that lasted a day. I had some super minor cramping for the rest of the day but nothing noteworthy... mostly a just feeling that someone had messed with my innards.
I decided to share the details after I didn't find a satisfactory description online and went it without any preconceived notions of what to expect. I'm not saying I would want to have one everyday, but in the world of medical tests I have endured, this one was a breeze.
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
Monday, 2 June 2008
It was such an easy, gentle cleanse. As the toxins moved out of our bodies, we increased in energy and noticeably our moods improved. We learned meal planning and broke some serious processed carbohydrate addictions. I personally lost 10 lbs and over 15 inches off my body, Cory lost 18 lbs and 15 inches off his body. Most of which came off our tummy's, of course results vary from person to person.
I've had to buy new clothing (oh the humanity) as I dropped 2 full dress sizes. I used to dread buying clothing as it just reaffirmed how far the mighty have fallen. I found clothing shopping to be enjoyable and I actually feel sexy and attractive again. I'm planning on continuing with the weight loss program. I'd love to lose another 30 lbs... maybe one day soon, I'll post before and after pictures (if I can find any befores... )
Monday, 19 May 2008
We had our appointment on May 14. We have had an appointment with another specialist over a year ago but she wasn't very pleasant. My doctor decided that I should see someone else. Our appointment was at the IWK in Halifax. I say our appt as Cory was an active participant in the appointment as well.
Our appointment started with the questionnaire... one pink one (for me) and a blue one (for Cory). It asks everything from the age when you hit puberty (I guess I forgot to write that one on the calender) to the frequency of intercourse. If you are a private person, the questionnaire will make you uncomfortable. Then a nurse came in to review the questionnaire and asked for clarification where needed... which was pretty much every question. She took my blood pressure, my pulse, my height and my weight... I'm happy to report that all 4 were present and accounted for.
She then left....Then we waited.... and waited and waited....
After about 50 minutes, the doctor came in....
We started out with more discussion. One of my major issues is that my cycle can go long. Anytime a cycle exceeds 40 days, it is a good sign that ovulation has not occurred. So I have a prescription for Provera , which will cause my cycle to start. This sounds scary so I'm hoping to never have to use it. It also must not be used until a negative pregnancy test is achieved.
The next item on the agenda is an hysterosalingogram or a dye injection test. This is an Xray of the uterus and tubes by injecting dye via the cervix. This needs to be completed within the first 12 days of your cycle to lower the risk of pregnancy for the test. You are required to have a clean STD work-up completed (which was completed during my appointment) and a negative pregnancy test. This checks for blocked/damaged tubes. Apparently having the dye test will actually increase your chances of pregnancy as it spring cleans the tubes.
If I have a clear dye test, on my next cycle I can start taking my prescription for fertility drugs... Clomid.
So in a nutshell, here's my time line... have to wait for my next cycle to make the dye test appointment, then to my next cycle to start taking fertility drugs.
Sunday, 4 May 2008
- It has been one month and 4 days since my last cigarette. Not really missing it except occasionally I walk through a cloud of fresh tobacco smoke and it smells better than a rose garden. Then I find someone with a stale smoke smell on them and it solves that problem. Ew.
- Finally replaced the van which died a spectacular death in December. Found a 97 Acura to fill our needs for a grocery getter. Bought it 3 weeks ago, filled the tank that day and STILL have a quarter of a tank. Life is so much better with a 4 cycliner.
- Bought a Basal Thermometer to track my fertility. So far I've discovered... Nothing. But we have an appointment with the fertility doctor on May 14th, I'm sure it will mean something to her.
- I've discovered my favorite Xbox 360 game. Two Worlds. Loved it while I was playing it... missed it when it was taken back to Blockbuster, waiting for it to arrive from ebay.
- Drank a cup of caffienated coffee and felt physically ill for 3 hours... Lesson learned.
Pretty freaking boring. But the weather is turning. The camping is starting to be planned. I promise I'll be more interesting soon.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
My first day of not smoking was April 1. As a professional quitter, I used my normal method. My last quit lasted almost 2 years before it was foiled by a cigar on a camping trip.
My biggest hurdle for quiting smoking is the chemical depression the lack of nicotine creates. So in preparation for quitting, I started anti-depressants about a month ago.
On the night before Quit Day, I smoke my last cigarette. Clear away all the evidence that I ever smoked and head to bed. In the morning, I wake up extra early and put on a nicotine patch. I try to go back to sleep so the patch has kicked in before I'm forced to enter my morning routine without a cigarette. I don't wear a patch to sleep as it causes wicked dreams. Everyday I delay putting the patch on for as long as I can. I wore my final patch on Friday, April 4.
I am now 15 days without a cigarette, 11 days without nicotine and a couple of months without caffeine. I wonder what I'm going to give up next...
Wednesday, 2 April 2008
1. When we found him, he had a de-gloving injury of his lower lip. De-gloving injuries occur when the tissue is separated from the bone. 9 stitches later, his lip was re-attached to his gums. He tore out 2 stitches and the rest healed nicely.
2. He took a 3 story dive off a balcony and his tail was a little crooked for a few months.
3. He impacted a hairball in his intestines 3 years in a row (strangely every August) eventually resulting in the removal of about an inch of his intestine. Now he wears a snazzy home hair cut and ugly sweaters on the cold days.
4. He impacted an anal gland a few months ago. Ow.
5. He ruptured his cruciate ligament in his hind right knee about 2 months ago. During the X-ray to check his knee, they captured his right hind foot and found signs of arthritis.
6. Tonight, he injured his left hind knee. The vet is pretty sure he didn't rupture the ligament, but he definitely damaged himself. No xrays needed, so no new gems provided. I'm sure we will need to xray something soon enough.
So this is my 9 year old cat... the vet thinks he has 3 lives left. I was just proud that he didn't draw blood on this vet.
Monday, 24 March 2008
My other weakness is that complete and total inability to replace a "working" item. It feels so wasteful... sure the item is unsatisfactory but it works... sorta. I've had my TV for over a decade, my computer is almost 7 years old and until recently, my car was an unattractive, gas guzzler that I drove into the ground for 12 years.
Two years ago, we received a toaster as a gift. It was all shiny and new. Without testing its usability, we donated the old one to charity and embarked on what should have been a long and lasting friendship. I like my toast lightly toasted. This demon of a toaster took 6 pops to get a light tan on my bread. Cory perfers a darker toast... he usually gave up after the 9th pop. We would hold the popper thingy down and it would make an un-godly noise. Sometimes it would latch but most times you were forced to stand there holding the toast down. Every piece of toast was cursed at....
Our toaster was a conversation piece. We discussed and fantasized about ways to destroy this demon spawn that was ruining my toast experience. Hammers, baseball bats, a gentle punt into a brick wall... each dream becoming more and more joyful with each toasting experience. But this week, it all changed...
My mother, the angel who gave me life, bought us a NEW toaster. For the first time in two years, I can eat toast without anger. It is shiny and pretty and has lots of buttons, but most importantly, it actually TOASTS bread.
We have yet to discard the corpse of the demon toaster. No punishment has been found suitable for it yet. I fear discarding it intact for fear that some unsuspecting soul will adopt it. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
Friday, 21 March 2008
I'm still struggling with this cold... although after this much time, I don't think I can call it a cold anymore. My throat is still sore and I'm still coughing (mostly when I'm trying to sleep). I think I'm gonna take my cold to visit the doctor if it doesn't clear up by the time I can get an appointment.
My Lasik consultation was pretty interesting. I was surprised to find out I was a candidate after all. We even discussed the Grave's in relation to Lasik and other than eye dryness, there really isn't a concerned. Apparently I have thicker than average cornea's (I'm told this is a very good thing). I do have slightly larger pupils than the average person so they are recommending Zyoptix laser correction instead of normal Lasik to ensure that I do not have poor night vision. The bottom line for the Zyoptix is the same for everyone at $3500 but it does come with a lifetime maintenance package. As it is a medical procedure, there is not tax and I can use it to claim on my income tax for the year. Now to come up with my $3500... This is a good time for everyone to click on my ads.
Saturday, 15 March 2008
Friday, 14 March 2008
I'm a little excited/apprehensive of my consultation. Back in 1995 I was diagnosed with Graves Disease which impacts the thyroid, eyes and skin. I lucked out with no skin manifestation and a little impact to my eyes... but impact none the less. Graves Disease is an auto-immune disorder and the eye portion is the antibodies attacking the muscles in the back of the eye. When I saw my opthamologist the last time, I asked about Lasik and he told me that Graves is the back of the eye, Lasik is the front... shouldn't be a problem. Yet I'm afraid that they will tell me that I am not a candidate due to eye dryness. That would rot.
I've worn glasses since the 6th grade. I've been very lucky and have only destroyed one set of glasses in the last 20 plus years. Last week, the nose pads fell off my glasses and the 3 hours of wearing my old glasses while we went for repair sealed my decision to have Lasik.
I am very squeamish about having my eyes touched by someone other than me. So this should be a good time.
Saturday, 8 March 2008
I went to work the first day... big mistake! By the end of the day, I was in rough shape.. came home and slept for 26 hours. Just starting to feel like myself again... hopefully this is the last one of the season.
Monday, 3 March 2008
The only thing more exciting than an adventure is an unplanned adventure. On Thursday, we were given an opportunity to travel to Ontario. We jumped on it. I begged and pleaded for the days off to make the trip and as a result of the worlds greatest boss, I got the days off.
The plan was to have a 2 day trip, with a return on the red eye on Saturday night. Mother Nature decided that we needed to experience more of Ontario. Planning and winter are not good travel partners.
On Saturday we drove to Kingston Ontario to visit my sister in law. We really wanted to surprise her so we showed up unannouced. As we stood on her door step looking at a doorbell that was not in working order and an ineffectual attempt to knock on the door, we called. After 3 minutes of convincing her that we were actually on her doorstep, she finally let us in.
Our plan was to spend the afternoon with her and then head back into Toronto to catch our flight.... too bad our flight was cancelled. The next flight that I could find that wasn't executive class was the Red Eye Monday night. So our few hour visit turned into a few day visit instead. After some scattering to extend our kittysitters and a trip to the mall to buy more underwear, we settled in for a nice visit.
We are just now getting ready to head back into Toronto for dinner with a friend before heading to the airport. Looks like we are going to hit Toronto at 5 PM. I'm sure the traffic will remind me how much I love Halifax and our offensively polite drivers, respect for speed limits and rush hour traffic that means you have to wait a light for one complete light cycle.
On-Board GPS Navigation is absolutely the best invention since clumpable kitty litter. Anyways, the next post will be from Nova Scotia! Cross your fingers for us!!
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
For years, I have seethed in silence, resenting the fact that she is an alcoholic and is not getting help. I resented my father for not helping her. I resented them both for the harm they caused to our family because of their inability to recognize a problem and do something about it.
I spent many expensive hours slumped in a chair in a therapist's office, outlining the things that had happened, how I felt about them, and the effect they had on me. My coping mechanism was to draw bright boundaries in our relationship. To build a wall to protect myself from their dysfunction. To move far enough away to ensure minimal daily involvement. But none of it ever made me feel any better.
Then a funny thing happened in the last year. I came to accept my parents for who they are. I'd always carried in my head the aphorism “You can't change other people, you can only change how you react to them.” But I don't think I ever understood how to put it into practice. I got the first part, but I thought my changed reaction – essentially just waiting for them to change, instead of overtly trying to change them – was the answer.
I have now realized that maybe a truer and more helpful statement is “You can't change other people, you can only change how you react to them, what you think about them, and how you feel about them.” Maybe a wiser person would understand all of that was implied in the word “react,” but I am stubborn and literal-minded. For me, “react” meant just what I said and did in response to what my parents said and did. The feeling and thoughts were a separate process and still involved my wanting them to change.
I am the sort of person who holds onto principles like a shipwreck victim clinging to the debris of a sunken boat. Like those principles are the only things keeping me alive, the only flimsy bit of support keeping my head above water. Key among my principles was that my mother was Wrong for being an alcoholic and needed to do something to fix it.
What I learned this year was that if I let go of the debris, if I let myself sink beneath the surface of the water, I'd both learn I could breathe and would discover a whole hidden universe. Finally letting go has allowed me to appreciate the good things about my parents. Their kindness. Their generosity. Their unconditional albeit imperfect love of each other and their children.
Holiday gatherings are no longer as excruciating as a trip to the DMV. Interacting with my parents is no longer as soul crushing as a telemarketing job. The simple act of accepting them as they are, unreseveredly, flaws and all, just involved changing my mind and I cannot believe how that has changed my life.
I thought the only way I could ever feel this way about my parents was if they ultimately changed of their own volition. In recognizing that they might never change and realizing that it didn't matter to me, I finally achieved what I've wanted for two decades: peace of mind, the ability to truly love my parents for who they are, and the pure gift of enjoying the time I am able to spend with them.
This post has been living in my mind for the last several months, but as family members read my blog, I never felt comfortable with the idea of writing it. Thank you, And You Know What Elsefor inventing Blog Share day to allow people to express themselves anonymously.
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
Here's a list of the sites participating!
The Adventures of Shelagh
And You Know What Else
Bright Yellow World
Du Wax Loolu
Everything I Like Causes Cancer
Fretting the Small Stuff
For the Long Run
Galoot's Hoot Page
Just Below 63
Life After AC
Muse On Vacation
Nancy Pearl Wannabe
Not What You Think It Is
One New Duck
Rankin Inlet: A Journey Northwards
Red Red Whine
Reflections in the Snow-Covered Hills
The Reluctant Blogger
Tracy Out Loud
Way Way Up
Some studies show that caffiene can cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin. It causes what is called "Insulin Resistance"... Basically this means that normal levels of insulin doesn't trigger the body to start absorbing sugar causing the body to make more insulin until the sugar is absorbed. Because of the flood of insulin, your blood sugar can drop suddenly causing what is known as hypoglycemic reaction (low blood sugar).
Here are some of the symptoms of Insulin Resistance. (I can count 7 out of 9 for myself)
2. Brain fogginess and inability to focus. Sometimes the fatigue is physical, but often it is mental.
3. Low blood sugar. Mild, brief periods of low blood sugar are normal during the day, especially if meals are not eaten on a regular schedule. But prolonged hypoglycemia with some of the symptoms listed here, especially physical and mental fatigue, are not normal. Feeling agitated, jittery, moody, nauseated, or having a headache is common in Insulin Resistance, with almost immediate relief once food is eaten.
4. Intestinal bloating. Most intestinal gas is produced from carbohydrates in the diet. Insulin Resistance sufferers who eat carbohydrates suffer from gas, lots of it.
5. Sleepiness. Many people with Insulin Resistance get sleepy immediately after eating a meal containing more than 20% or 30% carbohydrates.
6. Weight gain, fat storage, difficulty losing weight. For most people, too much weight is too much fat. The fat in IR is generally stored around the midsection in both males and females.
7. Increased triglycerides.
8. Increased blood pressure. It is a fact that most people with hypertension have too much insulin and are Insulin Resistant. It is often possible to show a direct relationship between the level of insulin and blood pressure: as insulin levels elevate, so does blood pressure.
9. Depression. Because carbohydrates are a natural "downer," depressing the brain, it is not uncommon to see many depressed persons who also have Insulin Resistance.
Monday, 25 February 2008
A few years ago, a girl I worked with dropped between 70-100 lbs. When I asked her what she did to lose the weight, she said "I stopped drinking coffee". My first instinct was.. no more cream and sugar bang instant weight loss... but then the catch came... she's drinks black coffee. Pardon me?
She then went on to tell me about how caffeine can inhibit the bodies ability to process insulin making it impossible to lose weight. Cut out the caffeine, boasts the metabolism and boom... easy weight loss.
I started to roll back my caffeine a few weeks ago (trying to avoid that nasty withdrawal headache) and now I've been off the caffeine for over a week. I'm down 10lbs in total so far. There have been a few other changes in the overall variables so I am not calling it a scientific study at this point, but I'M DOWN 10 LBS!!
Friday, 22 February 2008
I was bored and honestly felt under-appreciated, lost in a sea of peers. I was aggressively seeking alternate employment, thirsting for an adventure. Little did I know that I could re-find my passion through a little instant message and I doubt that the person who sent me the instant message has any clue what a life changing event that she has precipitated for me.
I feel challenged at work. I'm busy from the moment I enter work to the moment I leave. I look forward to my day and the successes that I'm already seeing... even if only I and few other understand the impact of what I'm doing.
It's nice to feel good for now!
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
I've discovered how desensitized I've become to our fire alarm when (after I had my heart-attack from the noise), I immediately walked to the fridge, grabbed a snack, turned on the television to our "lobby-cam" and took in the show.
We had a full cast tonight... dis-sheveled neighbours, frantic superintendants and my true highlight, firemen. As usual it was a false alarm, or a dress rehersal as I like to call it. I don't think it will win any awards but after all that time with the writer strike, I'll watch just about anything.
Saturday, 16 February 2008
Friday, 15 February 2008
In July, a man in my city was arrested for attempted murder when he stabbed his pregnant girlfriend repeatedly in the stomach with a sword. I woke up that morning with the news on my clock radio. Later in the day, someone said that he used to work with us. My employer is the largest private employer in Nova Scotia so that doesn't always mean that we know someone who has worked there. It wasn't until someone showed me his picture on the front page, that I realized that I not only knew him but have considered him a close friend not so many years ago.
Alan and I sat next to each other for over a year at work. We were promoted together twice. We attended many weeks of training together. We hung out outside of work. He spent time in my home and I spent time in his home. Conversations were always deep, lacking the everyday superficiality to which we are so accustomed.
The man I knew, shared his childhood home with a stray cat that just started to live with him one day. He worried about his niece and the lack of a male role model in her life. He loved plants and gardening, especially a wild garden that took on it's own form. He was an artist of many different forms. He loved music and playing his guitar. He had a dark side but it always seemed that he knew his demons and had outlets for them.
When Alan left our employer, I kept track of him for a while but we lost touch as time went by. He still remained present on my MSN list but didn't message very often until a few weeks before the incident that has changed his life. Cory had a nice conversation over MSN with him where he told Cory that his life was going really well. That he had had some rough spots lately but now things were looking up.
Looking at his face on the front page of the paper, was shocking to say the least. The only explanation I could come up with was that he clearly had completely snapped but then he was found fit to stand trial. Today he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. I have a hard time reconciling the man I knew with the man who could do this horrific act. I don't know how to make this person match with the memory and I doubt that I ever will.
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
Thursday, 7 February 2008
I swear my lungs are trying to escape but my throat is so swollen, the lungs can't get out. My nose is only clear for the 3.5 seconds after I blow it. My coughing makes people feel maternal towards me. Now I have progressed into a new place... when I cough it now feels like someone is pounding a spike into the top of my head.
I feel absolutely betrayed by my normally spectacular immune system. I can't wait for this bad boy to pass. On the bright side, I am now lighter in weight than I have been in years. I wonder if coughing can be considered excerise?
Sunday, 3 February 2008
Saturday, 2 February 2008
Yesterday I found one that was written in the first person. It was one of the best obituaries I've read in a long time. I was moved by her words and the time that she took to write her own obituaries in the last moments of her life. If you feel like having a read, here it is...
I know that death isn't a hugely popular subject but it is something that I've always been fascinated by. If fact my pre-school report cards says something like, "Shelagh seems to have a preoccupation with death and often casually kills off characters while playing". Personally I think this has more to do with my baby sitters preoccupation with the afternoon soaps and the predictable death and resurrection of characters on a weekly basis.
I occcasionally wonder what that preschool teacher thought of my need to kill off useless characters and what she thought it predicted for the future. Perhaps she thought I was a sociopathic chain saw murderer in the making. My preschool was just down the road from the Maternity Home that was the subject in the book "The Butterbox Babies" by Bette Cahill where hundreds of infants were buried in butterboxes.
Realistically, I've grown up to be an adult with a healthy respect for death and a strong sense of empathy for the dying. I know that death is an unfortunate side effect of living. I read obituaries out of respect for those those who have gone before us. But mostly I wonder where they have gone to... but that is another post on another day.
Thursday, 31 January 2008
Monday started with my information session and interview with the Northwest Company. The weather blessed us with sheets of slush and ice on the roads but fortunately we were only travelling a few city blocks to get to the session. The session and interview was a fantastic experience. We learned a lot about the company and the type of environments that are available. The interview was very comfortable and I felt that it went very well. My references have reported back that they have already been contacted. They promised a communication by this coming Monday. It's all very exciting.
At work, I've been taking on extra projects that are right up my alley. I've been troubleshooting a reporting system for another client. That sounds really boring to most but it's something that I really enjoy. I also recieved client funding to increase the size of my current project so I am collecting applications this week and I should be able to start the selection process next week.
This weekend I have to finalize the January results for our front line employees. This should keep me off the streets for the whole weekend.
In the middle of a professionally busy week, I feel like I should be preparing to move away but without knowing if I have the offer, making changes to my home environment seems to be jumping the gun. So I pace around a lot looking at how much stuff I will need to get rid of and trying to distract myself with the best time waster in the world.... video games.
Hopefully all this work this weekend will make the time fly...
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
Sometimes the video makes me weepy, sometimes it makes me laugh and sometimes it makes me envious but at the end, I always feel like it is possible to follow your dreams.
I hope you find something you were looking for in it... The Log-Roller
Sunday, 20 January 2008
This is also the year my late grandmother was born. When I used to visit her, part of the visit was a bedtime story from one of her many Old Mother West Wind books. I loved these stories...
Almost every story began with Old Mother West Wind coming down from the purples mountains with her Merry Little Breezes. She would let the Merry Little Breezes play in the great meadow while she worked filling the sails for the men working in the boats. The stories surround the animals in the great green meadow... characters like Danny Meadow Mouse, Reddy Fox, Great Grandfather Toad, Johnny Woodchuck and Peter Rabbit (not Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit) and so many more.
When my grandmother left her home to enter into assisted living, I had hoped to have her books but she had already given the books away. Last year, I mentioned the stories to Cory and found out that he had never heard of them. I ordered a new edition from Amazon but it wasn't the same. I liked the black and white drawings from the old books, the smaller format... so I went to ebay...
I found three different books. A 1912 edition of Mother West Wind's Animal Friends, 1911 Mother West Wind's Children and 1915 Mother West Wind "Why" Stories. I bid my little heart out and voila, I had three books. I think when they arrived, I briefly looked them over and put them away, just happy to have a piece of my past back.
Last night, I finished another vampire book and decided I needed something different. I grabbed my Mother West Wind's Animal Friends and was surprized to find the inscription on the inside cover...
It said... "When I started teaching in 1918, this book was in my room library (2nd grade) & was the newest book they had in childrens books and they loved it." I have to admit it is an amazing feeling to hold a book that was read to children who are now, most likely, in their late 90's. I have to say, I'm a little humbled by my book.
Thursday, 17 January 2008
Nutrition was a bit of a mystery to me until I broke down the numbers. I thought I'd share the mystery...
First thing that I needed to learn was who the players were...
A Calorie is a unit of energy. One calorie is the amount of energy required to heat one gram of water one degree. In general, your body burns approximately 1200 calories a day just completing normal metabolic things like breathing, beating and digesting. A patient in a coma will require 1200 calories to maintain body mass. This can vary based on metabolic rates, but I'll use it as a ball park.
Ingesting less than 1200 calories per day will trigger a starvation protection in your body causing your metabolism to slow down. Your body will start to store fat to protect itself and start burning muscle mass. Remembering that the heart is muscle mass, this explains just the beginning of health hazards of anorexia.
Food is broken down into 3 components... protein, carbohydrates and fat. One gram of protein contains 4 calories, one gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories and one gram of fat contains 9 calories. Protein should make up 10-35% of your diet, Carbohydrates 45-65% and Fats 20-35%.
Protein is needed for building tissuing and repairing tissue. It produces enzymes, hormones, and other substances the body uses. It regulates body processes, such as water balancing, transporting nutrients, and making muscles contract. Protein keeps the body healthy by resisting diseases that are common to malnourished people. Prevents one from becoming easily fatigued by producing stamina and energy.
The daily recommended amount of protein is 0.8 grams per 1 kg of body weight. Even in my metric world, I don't know my weight in kilograms so I need to convert my weight from pounds to kg by dividing my weight by 2.2. I should be ingesting 60-ish grams of protein a day... at 4 calories a gram, this makes up 240 calories that I should be ingesting each day. Too much protein will be stored as fat.
Carbohydrates are fuel, it enters our bodies ready to provide energy. There are 4 kinds of carbohydrates... sugars, starches, fibers and gum. Carbohydrates are produced by plants. Sugars are... well anything that makes something sweet. Starches are just long chains of sugars. Our bodies can't digest fibers but it slows the speed our bodies absorb nutritents keeping the grumbly belly quiet longer. And gum is well, food filler than just passes through our digestive systems untouched.
Carbohydrates are extremely important as the gas to our internal engines. The problem is when we over-indulge in sweet treats, soda pop and other processed sugars. Unburned energy is converted into storage. Our bodies store energy as fat.
Fats have a bad rap. They have an important role in the make up of our bodies. If there is no fat in your diet, you will starve to death regardless of the other food you put into your body. This is called Rabbit Starvation.
There are good fats and bad fats. My best description of a bad fat is one that is solid at room temperature but that barely scratches the surface. Fats are a big subject so I'll just provide a link.
I know all that was pretty dry and to make it drier... here's the math.
Based on metabolic rates and activities level, I need approximately 2200 calories a day to maintain my current weight. 1 Pound is 454 grams. If I want to lose 1 pound, I need to burn off 454 grams of fat at 9 calories a gram which is 4086 calories. Clearly this can't be done in one day. To lose 1 pound in a week, I need to restrict my diet to 1600 calories per day for the week. I need to remove 600 calories each day for for one pound per week without dropping below 1200 calories. If I restricted myself to a 1200 calories per day diet, I would lose 7 lbs in one month.
Now to put this into real-life terms...
A Big Mac Combo... Big Mac, Medium Fries and a Medium Cola is 1000 calories.
A Whopper... no fries or cola... 670 calories.
A Subway wrap... not a sandwich, just the wrap all by itself is 310 calories before you even put on the good stuff.
One Boston Cream donut at Tim Hortons is 250 calories.
One plain 5.3 oz potato has 100 calories.
On a 1200 calorie a day diet, I could have a Big Mac Combo and most of a donut and NOTHING else for the entire day or I could eat 12 plain potatoes. It's a little boring but I wonder which one would keep the grumbly belly quiet longer?
Saturday, 12 January 2008
Way back when my sister-in-law Trish came to live with us with her 2 cats (we only had 4 cats at the time so this was a forerunner of things to come).
This is Church when he was a kitten. While playing with photoshop, I came up with this... it made me laugh so I kept it... came across it again today and it still makes me laugh. I think it's the complete look of indignation on his face.
Yesterday was the first time I had ventured out of the house in many days and I managed to find myself a nice dose of Pink Eye. I did an apartment search for what is probably an expired container of polysporin eye drops to no avail. Apparently, the old container was deemed expired and tossed out or a cat found it and thought it was a toy. So it's either in the landfill or under the oven. So now I need to make a trek to the drug store with my itchy, gummy, watery eyes to find some relief. Sucks!
Thursday, 10 January 2008
Anyhoo, this collection of mostly empty bottles seemed to indicate my inability to follow something through to completion sooooo we embarked on an adventure of mis-matched scents and body/volume control.
Today, after 4 long months, I heard the last bottle fart! With my clean hair (combo scent of Pantene, Outrageous and Dove), I get to buy new shampoo and conditioner. I can't wait to hit the shampoo aisle and start the smelling... I'm going to have matching bottles and scents. Very exciting.
A few weeks ago I needed to replace the filter on my bag less vacuum cleaner. I could drive 5 minutes over to Wal-Mart and pay 18.97 for this filter but I like to avoid giving Wal-Mart my money whenever possible. Besides, if I go in for an 18.97 filter I will spend another $50 on crap. Plus Wal-Mart had been out of stock on my filter for over a month.
For curiosity only, I pulled up Google product search and searched for my filter. Well, including shipping and handling, I got my vacuum filter for $11.
Today I went searching for a mini DV Cassette for my Camcorder... I found one for $3.50 including shipping and handling. The Best Buy down the street is advertising the sale price of $10.99 for the same one.
This is just feeding the frenzy. Today the Canadian dollar is 0.9943, its payday and I need some stuff!
Wednesday, 9 January 2008
Saturday, 5 January 2008
The highlight of my writers strike has been my trip down memory lane with a series that ran in 1990-91. "Twin Peaks", for those that were not yet self-aware in 1990, is the story about a very small town just 3 miles south of the Canadian border in Washington State. The first episode starts with the discovery of a body of a local girl named Laura Palmer. Through two seasons we follow the story of who killed Laura Palmer in what on the surface seems like an idealistic little town.
Honestly, Twin Peaks is not a "mainstream" television series. David Lynch and Mark Frost take us on a twisty turny adventure into a small town full of big secrets.
In 1990, "Who killed Laura Palmer" was on everyone's lips (even more than, "save the cheerleader, save the world" in 2007). If you find yourself watching "Hogans know best", take a look around for seasons 1 & 2 of Twin Peaks and find out the answer to the question.... I'm not giving any hints.