Friday, February 25, 2011

Where the heck is Spring?

Here in Winnipeg we woke to -30 degrees with a wind chill of -40.  I think someone forgot to tell the weather man that we are nearing March already, AND we have already had so much extremely cold weather we really don't need anymore!  I love winter, or I always did until this year, but now this cold weather is just plain insulting.

I went for my physio on my knee and in the cubicle next to mine was a man who works for the provincial government.  He seemed to know all the details of the upcoming flood that is being predicted for us this spring.  In 1997 we had the "Flood of the Century" where the mighty Red River devastated so much of southern Manitoba.  It is predicted that this flood will be worse than that one - at least that is what this person was saying.

I was laying there with my TMS machine working on my knee thinking Oh Great! - We get to trade the cold, for water... how lucky we are!  One should never eavesdrop on other's conversations, I'm thinking!

Maybe they will be all wet...

I'm hoping that they will be wrong!

So even though I want it warm up, I guess I'd better hope for a slower melt.  No point in getting my garden plan out just yet - we have a ways to go until I can use it.

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What would you do?

Okay, so yesterday I was tell you I had a dilemma.  I bought a 10 lb bad of potatoes a week ago, costing me over 5.00.  I have bought the same kind of potatoes for years, and from time to time have experienced one or two not so good potatoes in the bag, but this particular bag was 80% rotten.

It started on Saturday night when I made baked potatoes.  Every one we cut into after cooking was black inside.  So now it's Sunday - I have made a roast beef, and so I decided to make mashed potatoes.  When I started peeling the potatoes, directly under the brown of the skin was green.  When I sliced them to cut them in small pieces to boil them, this is what I found in most of them.

Would you not be disgusted?  I was, and still am.  The ones that were okay turned brown when they were cooking.

So on the bag was some big statement about the customers satisfaction being guaranteed, and wouldn't you know, an email address.

So off I go to my computer, with the bag in hand, and the pictures I have taken.  I write a firm letter of complaint, include the bar code from the bag, and of course my pictures... and here it is over 4 days later, and I have had no response.

This really makes me mad, mad, mad.  I don't want coupons, free potatoes for life or even my money back - I just want someone to acknowledge my complaint and my email, and tell me they are sorry or ruining two meals and my desire to ever peel a potato again.

Was I wrong to complain?  Would you have done the same?  Should I put it on Facebook... you know I am very tempted to do that...

Do you need another closer view?


Okay I have grossed you out enough - 

here are the answers to yesterdays quiz for Old Farts... yes that is what the quiz was called... so glad I only got 16 right, that means I'm still a youngster, and not an old fart!!


ANSWERS

1. (b) On the floor, to the left of the clutch. Hand controls, popular in Europe , took till the late '60's to catch on.

2. (b) To sprinkle clothes before ironing.. Who had a steam iron?

3.. (c) Cold weather caused the milk to freeze and expand, popping the bottle top...

4 . (a) Blackjack Gum.

5. (b) Special makeup was applied, followed by drawing a seam down the back of the leg with eyebrow pencil.

6. (a) 1946 Studebaker.

7. (c) Wax coke bottles containing super-sweet colored water.

8. (a) Wax for your flat top (butch) haircut.

9. (a) With clamps , tightened by a skate key, which you wore on a shoestring around your neck.

10.. (c) Eeny-meeny-miney-mo.

11. (c) Polio. In beginning of August, swimming pools were closed, movies and other public gathering places were closed to try to prevent spread of the disease.

12. (b) Taxi , Better be ready by half-past eight!

13. (c) Macaroni ....

14 (c) Hiding under your desk, and covering your head with your arms in an A-bomb drill.

15. (a) Princess Summerfallwinterspring. She was another puppet.

16... (a) Immediately sniffed the purple ink to get a high.

17. (b) Put in a special stamp book, they could be traded for household items at the Green Stamp store.

18. (c) Ammunition, and we'll all be free.

19. (a) The widely famous 50's group: The Inkspots.

20. (a) Tony Bennett, and he sounds just as good today.

SCORING

17- 20 correct : You are older than dirt, and obviously gifted with mental abilities. Now if you could only find your glasses. Definitely someone who should share your wisdom!

12 -16 correct: Not quite dirt yet, but you're getting there.

0 -11 correct: You are not old enough to share the wisdom of your experiences.


Good day everyone!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I love reading about things past.  I have the most interesting research book with "things"  little ditties about life in the 1800's and early 1900's. 

Yesterday I received an email from a friend with 20 questions to test your knowledge of the 40's and 50's... right up my alley!

Someof you might have received this email too - I tried it and got 16 correct out of 20.  Not bad for a youngster like me!

So here you go.  See how you do...

I'll post the answers tomorrow.

Also tomorrow I am going to share a dilema I am currently in.  It's about food - specifically produce we buy in the store, and it is gross... stay tuned.

Okay so here is your homework..

History Exam...


Everyone over 40 should have a pretty easy time at this exam. If you are under 40 you can claim a handicap.
This is a History Exam for those who don't mind seeing how much they really remember about what went on in their life.

Get paper & pencil & number from 1 to 20.
Write the letter of each answer & score at the end.

1. In the 1940s, where were automobile headlight dimmer switches located?
a. On the floor shift knob.
b. On the floor board, to the left of the clutch...
c. Next to the horn.

2. The bottle top of a Royal Crown Cola bottle had holes in it.. For what was it used?
a. Capture lightning bugs.
b. To sprinkle clothes before ironing.
c. Large salt shaker.

3. Why was having milk delivered a problem in northern winters?
a. Cows got cold and wouldn't produce milk.
b. Ice on highways forced delivery by dog sled.
c.. Milkmen left deliveries outside of front doors and milk would freeze, expanding and pushing up the cardboard bottle top.

4. What was the popular chewing gum named for a game of chance?
a.. Blackjack
b. Gin
c. Craps

5. What method did women use to look as if they were wearing stockings when none were available due to rationing during WW II.
a. Suntan
b. Leg painting
c. Wearing slacks

6. What postwar car turned automotive design on its ear when you couldn't tell whether it was coming or going?
a. Studebaker
b. Nash Metro
c. Tucker

7. Which was a popular candy when you were a kid?
a . Strips of dried peanut butter.
b. Chocolate licorice bars.
c. Wax coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside.

8. How was Butch wax used?
a. To stiffen a flat-top haircut so it stood up.
b. To make floors shiny and prevent scuffing.
c On the wheels of roller skates to prevent rust.

9. Before inline skates, how did you keep your roller skates attached to your shoes?
a. With clamps, tightened by a skate key.
b. Woven straps that crossed the foot.
c. Long pieces of twine.

10. As a kid, what was considered the best way to reach a decision?
a. Consider all the facts.
b. Ask Mom.
c. Eeny-meeny-miney-MO.

11. What was the most dreaded disease in the 1940s and 1950s?
a. Smallpox
b. AIDS
c. Polio

12. 'I'll be down to get you in a ________, Honey'
a. SUV
b. Taxi
c. Streetcar

13. What was the name of Caroline Kennedy's pony?
a. Old Blue
b. Paint
c Macaroni

14. What was a Duck-and-Cover Drill?
a. Part of the game of hide and seek.
b. What you did when your Mom called you in to do chores.
c. Hiding under your desk, and covering your head with your arms in an A-bomb drill.

15 . What was the name of the Indian Princess in the Howdy Doody Show?
a. Princess Summerfallwinterspring
b. Princess Sacajawea
c Princess Moonshadow

16. What did all the really savvy students do when mimeographed tests were handed out in school?
a. Immediately sniffed the purple ink, as this was believed to get you high.
b. Made paper airplanes to see who could sail theirs out the window.
c. Wrote another pupil's name on the top, to avoid their failure.

17. Why did your Mom shop in stores that gave Green Stamps with purchases?
a.. To keep you out of mischief by licking the backs, which tasted like bubble gum.
b. They could be put in special books and redeemed for various household items.
c. They were given to the kids to be used as stick-on tattoos.

18. Praise the Lord , & pass the _________?
a.. Meatballs
b. Dames
c. Ammunition

19. What was the name of the singing group that made the song 'Cabdriver' a hit?
a. The Ink Spots
b. The Supremes
c. The Esquires

20. Who left his heart in San Francisco ?
a. Tony Bennett
b. Xavier Cugat
c. George Gershwin

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gone Gone Gone!

How can three days disappear so quickly?  I had so much planned for my long weekend, and I before I barely began  - it's over!

I did manage to get our taxes done and filed, so that was a good thing.

I did manage to finish the little red dress for my old doll, and I think it turned out pretty cute.

I didn't get any painting done as planned as I discovered Saturday morning I didn't have the right sized paintbrush, and with the temps way down in the -20's I just was not inclined to go and get one, so I scrapped that idea until it's a little nicer weather so I can have the windows open at the same time.

Churchill wasn't doing very well again this weekend, so I made him his favorite food (mashed potatoes) and coaxed him to eat - and he did eat all I gave him.  The rest of the weekend, I hand-fed him, or he wouldn't have eaten a thing.   I don't know, it doesn't look like he's going to be with us much longer.  He sleeps a lot, and doesn't move around much, and I think I am finally prepared to say goodbye to my sweet little friend, when the time finally comes.

Week 8  on Weight Watchers and I am down 14lbs.  My clothes are starting to hang on me, which is a wonderful feeling.  It seems the weight goes in starts and fits... one week I loose a couple pounds, the next week I maintain.  Which is okay, as long as I don't gain!

Have you watched the news about the earthquake in New Zealand?  My neighbours are from Christchurch, and have many friends and relation there.  This beautiful old city has been really having a hard time.  It started in Sept 2010 with a large quake, and has been experiencing small quakes almost daily since then, and now another strong one.  Gordon and Elaine tell me that quakes are a common thing there, they know what do do, as they experience them regularly.  But perhaps all the little shocks over the past 6 months or so has weakened buildings, and now most definitely spirits.  My thoughts and prayers are with these people...

So now, on to the business of Tuesday... hope it's a good day for everyone.

  




Friday, February 18, 2011

A New Book on the Way.

I am back to writing a new book.  I actually started this one a couple of years ago, but ran out of steam a quarter of the way through it.  I have 20,000 words down, most my stories run about 80,000 words so I have a way to go, but I would like to share it with my readers here.

You were so kind to me with Winter Wheat - I'd like to see what you think about this one.   Bear in mind that it is the rough version, there will no doubt be re-writes long after I have put it on here, but we'll see how it goes.

It is modern day and that's all I'm going to say -

I will start posting chapters March 1st, and post only 1 a week so you'll have to check in and catch them when you can.  The reason I'll only do 1 a week is so I can keep writing a couple of chapters ahead of you.  Hopefully I can do this - knowing you will be expecting more chapters just might spur me on to writing every day until the book is done.

I am also toying with the idea of sending Winter Wheat back out to Publishers.  I haven't done this for a few years, after all one can only tolerate so many rejection letters a year - but it has been sitting dormant so maybe I will have better luck with it, this time around.  What do you think?  Should I get it moving again?

I haven't mentioned it lately, but I do appreciate every minute you spend checking and reading my blog.  I hope you still find my topics interesting, and I thank you all for your continued support.

It is a long weekend here this weekend, so I won't be posting on Monday.  I plan to spend the weekend painting the trim (windows and baseboards) in my sun room.  It has been 7 yrs since I last painted and decorated in there, and it is time for a much-needed face lift.  Of course, I will take before and after pictures of this project too.

The little red dress for my me-doll, is progressing slowly, but I think it is going to be cute when it's done.  Hopefully I will have a finished project by the end of the weekend.

So until Tuesday - stay well, stay warm, and please have a great weekend....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's Sweater Day

Did you know that today is "Sweater Day"  all across Canada?  What is "Sweater Day", you might ask?
It is a day of conscious energy saving.  We are supposed to turn our heat down by 3 degrees for the whole day and put on a sweater.   So if you are energy conscious - today would would be a good day to put this into practice.

Have you noticed how much longer our daylight hours are these days?  By the time I get to work at 7:09 - the sun is just reaching the horizon, and it's well past 6 PM before it goes back to bed for the night.  It is inspiring... even if the weather is cold, and the wind is blowing, the longer day reminds us that spring will come once again, hopefully soon.

I have an friend who lives in North Carolina, who has been pulling weeds in her garden and working in her yard for the past couple of days.  I am insanely jealous of her, especially when all I see when I look at my garden is piles of snow, but the snow isn't as deep as it was a week ago - so that is something.

I am wondering about my plants though... I have a explorer rose that has only wintered 1 season, and this winter was extremely cold.  I'm hoping that the heavy snow cover and it's south exposure will help it winter well this year too.  I lost a bunch of perennials last winter, I am so hoping that won't be the case this winter.
In any case I can't wait for gardening season to be upon us.  I have a ton of work to do out there this year, and am very anxious to get at it.

So remember to turn down your heat - don your sweater, and do enjoy your day! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What a Doll!

I got this little doll at my fourth birthday party, from a neighbour boy Glen Matsuo.  By the looks of her she was well played with over the years.. her painted socks and shoes are pretty much colourless now, and a couple of her tiny finger have been chewed (I confess - I remember doing this)!

I wish I could remember what she wore when new, but really - that was 51 yrs ago!

She stands 8.5 inches high, has painted on eyes, and has long reddish brown hair.  She has been sitting on my self for years wearing a pink crocheted dress that I made for her years and years ago when I was learning to crochet.  Gary says she has my face... awwwwwe!

I don't think I named this doll - if I did, I can't remember what it is.   She has no markings on her, so I think she might have been an inexpensive dime store-type purchase,  birthday parties being what they were 51 yrs ago - I don't think the gifts were outlandish like the parties of today.

I want to make her a new little outfit, but  I am in a quandary as to what to make.  A dress for sure - red?  Yeah I think red, to match her fading red shoes (which I think I'll repaint).  Should I make an apron too? Not sure... anyone have any ideas?

Oh yeah - I'm crocheting the dress from size 10 crochet cotton - forgot to mention that.

I know my friend Eva would sew something cute and frilly - but she's a sewer - I'd rather avoid sewing such a small dress, thanks just the same.


So now I have a project to work on before the weekend hits.  Think I can get it done by the weekend?  Maybe if I get off this darn computer, once in awhile, I just might be able to get it done!

I'll post a picture when I'm done.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A PAT ON THE BACK FOR ME!

Did I mention here, that I have been de-cluttering my home?  This is not a small thing for me, being the saver and collector of "things" that I am.  I am not a hoarder - really I'm not, but I do have a problem getting rid of things that have an emotional attachment to them. 

I tend to keep things that were given to me as a gift, or made for me by certain persons - for a very long time.  Not always a bad thing, but after awhile one runs out of space.  I have so much of this kind of thing in my home, and things that were my Mom's - things given to HER as a gift or made for HER that I have been clinging to for years.

I have a very tiny house with very little storage.  Open concept definitely does not apply.  My house is 82 yrs old with halls and doorways everywhere... so even decluttered tends to look cluttered.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try to de-clutter.  I made a plan and I made a pledge (to myself) to try and get rid of some of the things that I really had no use for, things that were given to me as gifts, that I had enjoyed, but now no longer used, and the biggest one - get rid of things that I inherited from Mom's home, because no one knew what else to do with them.

I purged from closets, cupboards, drawers and shelves, and even some totes and boxes, and I am pretty amazed at myself... I did good.... well.... good for me!


I donated all the items to the Canadian Diabetes thrift shop, and there are many usable items, even small appliances that have been gently used by me and mine.

True heirlooms have been saved for future generations and not one doll has left the building.  But now there is space to be had (at least for a little while) and I can see my way clear to a few redecorating projects for this spring.

Good job, Dale.... if I do say so, myself!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Are you going to celebrate Valentine's Day with your honey today?  You know, dinner out, flowers, chocolate, jewelry?  Personally I am not into the chocolate,(at the moment) and if asked,  I prefer a living plant to flowers.  Jewelry? - you know I have so much already that I seldom ever wear, seems as waste to want more and Dinner out - we eat out at least once a week as it is...

I know you're thinking - Wow her poor husband - what is he to do for Valentine's Day?

Well here's the thing.  He does, 365 days a year - not just on Feb 14th - and I wouldn't trade that for all the fancy dinners, jewelry, flowers and chocolate in the world!

So I ask you - who does buy the chocolate, jewelry and flowers?

I'm thinking the young lovers - you know the people who are looking for a soul mate, or have just found one?  Maybe those who are experiencing some difficulty in their relationships, or those who want to enhance an already great relationship?   Great Romantics!

I asked around, and most women I asked said - "Na - we don't buy each other anything... maybe we'll just go out for dinner..."

And then there is the study that I heard about this morning on the radio that said that the new trend in Valentine's Day is announcing a break-up.  Apparently more divorces are discussed at Valentine's Day than any other time....  Now that's just weird!

I guess it's one of those days that has many meanings to many people.  It can be all or nothing or a little or a lot... depending on the people involved.

Whatever Valentine's Day means to you, I hope yours is a special day, however you choose to celebrate it.  If you love flowers - I hope you get a bushel basket full of them.  If you love chocolate - may every heart you receive be filled with them.  If you crave jewelry - I hope you delight in every sparkle and shine; and if like me, you just want to be loved everyday of the year by one very special person - may each day be a day that tugs at your heart.

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!  

 

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's Friday Again!

Are you like me?  Completely and utterly thrilled that it is Friday and the weekend in near?  It's been a busy week, and I for one, am looking forward to a couple of days at home.

I have Canadian Diabetes coming to pick up stuff for the thrift stores on Tuesday, so I hope to continue to purge unwanted and unused articles of every kind to donate.  I still have a lot of cupboards and closets to get through so wish me luck.

In the back of my mind are several projects I would like to have enough time to consider.  One is a new pair of mittens - for me.  My double knitted mitts that I have been wearing all winter have finally deteriorated beyond the point of repair.  Too bad too - because they have been so wonderfully warm all these cold winter mornings waiting for the bus.  This morning I wore two pair of gloves (on of them wool) and my hands were freezing.

Another project I'd like to consider is finishing the replica of my wedding dress that I started last fall - made from my wedding dress for one of my old-fashioned fashion doll.  I have yet to source some high-heeled shoes for her, but my friend Eva has suggested Ebay - so there is another project for me.

And then there is the quilting project I started last fall.... remember that?  I barely do - but I have set it out so it is "in my face" - maybe, just maybe I can get inspired!

Whatever I do, no doubt the weekend will fly by as always, and I'll return to work early Monday morning, totally disgusted with myself for wasting so much of my weekend doing... well, a whole lot of nothing... but cleaning, laundry, cooking, surfing the Internet... well you get the picture!

Happy productive weekend all - don't forget to take some time for yourselves somewhere in the next couple of days....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Friend in Need!

On Tuesday I had my 5th mammogram since my breast cancer 5 yrs ago.  Today it was a trip to the surgeon for the results and for my 6 month check up.  I see him every 6 months, but it is the visit close to the mammogram that always has me fidgeting and thinking about the return of cancer and just plain worrying if it's back.

For the past month or so I have been having some breast pain, I never told a soul, but knew I would be seeing the surgeon and having a mammogram, so let it go.  Dumb - I know, especially after having already had one breast removed.

My visit to the surgeon went well, he was extremely busy, and there was one woman about my age who came out crying, and somehow my heart just new she was the latest victim of this horrible killer of women.  She was alone, and had to wait for the nurse to give her the details of her surgery arrangements, so there she sat.  I couldn't walk past her without saying something, so I stopped, touched her on the shoulder and when she looked up at me, I told her that she was in the very best of hands.  She looked so scared, and I felt so helpless, but I walked on as I was being ushered to the exam room to see the doctor.

My mammogram was fine, and he found nothing to be concerned about with the breast pain.  So I got dressed and walked back out to the waiting room to get my parka.

The woman was gone, so I bundled up and left the office.

She was standing at the elevator, and when I approached, she came toward me.  She told me she had breast cancer, and that she was scared.  I told her that I had gone through the same thing 5 yrs ago, and that so far I was cancer free.  We talked a bit, I don't know if I helped her or not, but when she reached to give me a hug, I didn't hesitate a moment.

I didn't even get her name - But I will keep her in my prayers.  Could you please do the same?

Reminder - have yearly check-ups, push for yearly mammograms past 40 yrs of age, and please please please... do your breast self examinations... it could save your life.....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Happier Day!

Music has always played a very special role in my life.  Over the years I have played many instruments, and sang in many choirs, and after taking voice training for a lot of years, I soloed many times at weddings, and other various occasions.

When I was a teenager I belonged to a youth singing group, and every year we did a variety show called "Showboat."  My voice trainer was also the artistic director for this show, so I had a lot of solos and lead roles over the years.  My voice was very suitable for folk music, and because I could also strum a guitar it seemed natural for me to perform songs such as Four Strong Winds; Where have all the flowers gone; The Green Leaves of Summer; Michael Row the Boat and many more favorites of the 60's and 70's.  It was the era of Peter Paul and Mary, The Brother's four; The Kingston Trio; Gordon Lightfoot, just to name a few.

Gary received an itunes card at Christmas, and last weekend he approached me with a huge smile on his face and handed me his ipod to listen to an album he had purchased off itunes.  It was the Golden Anniversary CD of The Brother's Four.  Yes - I did say Golden Anniversary - this year marks their 50th year of entertaining audiences around the world with their special blend of voice and acoustic instruments.  It's fabulous - let me tell you - I play it over and over, singing every song right along with them, - I can't seem to get enough of this wonderful album.


If you like folk - good honest to goodness folk - you have to check it out.  I guarantee you won't be able to sit quietly and listen - they will have you humming, or plain out singing right along with them.


If you read my sad story yesterday, I must tell you that little Churchill is back.  He is eating, drinking, kissing and busy cleaning and preening and hanging upside down on the side of the cage to get my attention.  My heart feels much lighter than it did a couple of days ago - but I still am going to keep a close eye on him and see if I can figure out what is causing these scary spells he's been having.

And lastly - the scale was kind to me again this week - I'm down 2 more lbs, for a grand total of 12 since the beginning of January.  I am really pumped to get rid of this weight, and I think I am well on the way to where I want to be.

So all in all a much better day than the past few - hope your day has been great too...


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

FOR THE LOVE OF A PET

I promised to be here Monday, and here it is Tuesday already.  My weekend was a a somersault of emotions for me, and it all had to do with one little bird.

Churchill is my 19 yr old Cockateil, that Gary and Jon bought for me for Christmas 19 yrs ago.  I am the bird person in the family.  I had a Cockateil (Dudley) for about eight years, and missed him so much when he was gone, that Gary decided to get me another.

Right off the bat, I decided I would raise Churchill to be a tame bird, so I opened his cage and trained him to trust hands and for the first 11 yrs of his life he was free to come and go as he wished. He trained easily and was extremely affectionate and sweet, and soon he was rocking with me on the rocking chair, taking showers, riding around on my shoulders and pretty much enjoying the best life a bird could have.  He thought he was people, so much so, that I could not cook a meal without him hollering for something of what we were having for our meal. 

When Churchill was about 11 yrs old,  along came Molly.  I was so afraid that the puppy would go after the bird, that for the first time in his life, he was locked in his cage, and although he didn't like it at first, he grew to love the dog so much, he really never complained about it at all.

Instead he'd spit seeds in her waiting mouth, he'd wolf whistle until she'd come in the room,  he'd chatter away at her, and at times I'd swear she knew what he was going on about.  Over the years they have become good friends,
A few months ago Churchill appeared listless and sick, he quit eating or drinking and I thought he was going to leave us, but within a couple of days he bounced back and was okay again.  I did a lot of research on the Internet, and I learned that old birds often get a liver disease, and it usually kills them in a few short days.  He had all the symptoms, but he got better.

This has repeated itself many times over the past months and every time it happens it takes him longer and longer to bounce back - and this weekend was the worst.

I thought for sure we were going to loose him this time, he was actually crying out as he climbed around his cage, and then he quit doing even that, and sat at the bottom with his eyes closed for long periods of time.

Have you ever got the weeps and couldn't seem to stop - well that was me for most of the weekend.  While I know his time is near, I couldn't seem to handle the thought of him not being there, in my own way I guess I was preparing for the end.  I told him that if he had to go, he could, that I would miss him so much, but I couldn't stand to see him suffer.  When I went to bed Sunday night, I said goodnight to him, and he peeped back at me, as he does every night, but I didn't actually think he would be with is come morning.

He was -  barely.

All day yesterday I would call Gary to see how he was and I could tell by Gary's voice that it was not good news.  I prepared myself for the worst, because Gary told me to, and when I went home, I headed straight into Church's room, and up popped his head, the minute he heard my voice.  He struggled to come to me and I picked him up and held him for awhile.   I cleaned his cage and lowered all his dishes so he wouldn't have to climb to eat or drink, and I made him some toast.  And he climbed on to his food dish and just sat there.

He started to eat, then drink, then preen himself, and pretty soon he was climbing up the cage (without crying this time).

He's been down to his dish several times since then, his eyes are wide open and he's chattering at me again.

And it seems, he's not ready to leave me quite yet...


I know one of these times I will have to say goodbye to my sweet dear friend, but I don't think it's going to be today, and I hope it won't be tomorrow, because I'm not ready to say goodbye yet either...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Another week gone!

How did it get to be Friday, again so soon?  It seems the older one gets, the faster the weeks fly by, and in my case this week  has flow by and I have accomplished very little.

But it has been an amazing week in our home, even if I didn't accomplish much, I don't really care.  The benefits of Gary's surgery on Monday have overshadowed everything else that went on this week, and we can feel nothing but joy for the wonderful outcome of this surgery.

As I write this, I can hear the pipe organ downstairs, and I am hearing classical pieces I have never heard played on this organ before (he's only had it since summer).  I haven't heard these tunes for almost two years, because Gary couldn't see to read the music.  He has pretty much been playing from memory, and not that it was not good - it was - it just wasn't spectacular like it is tonight.  I think some u-tube video will be coming up once he gets his fingers limbered up again.

On a totally different subject I must comment on the weather.  It got above freezing today (Thursday)and it is supposed to tomorrow  as well.  The snow was soft to walk on, but the air was beautiful , and the miserable north wind was noticeably absent... Yeah!

The down side of warm weather for us at this time of year is precipitation, and true to form, they are calling for snow and/or freezing drizzle tonight and tomorrow.  It would be much kinder to be able to enjoy the balmy weather without consequences, but I guess that's not our call.

The children down the street have been collecting the big chunks of ice and snow left behind by the snowplows and they have been building a fort city on the front lawns of two homes.  I remember doing this as a child myself, and later teaching my young son the art of fort building.  I suspect if the weather stays warm, and the snow soft, we will start to see some pretty sizable snowmen springing up around the neighbourhood.  Oh how I would love to get out there and join them!

So whatever the weather has in store for you this weekend, I hope you all have a great weekend - stay warm, stay safe, and I'll meet you here again early Monday morning.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Semper Fidelis

I graduated from the Misericordia School of Nursing in 1976.  After 2 yrs of intense training, and a whole lot of fun and frivolity, I left my Alma Mater, a RN with a bright future in my chosen career.

I had not always wanted to be a nurse - in fact my choice would have been to become a music teacher, but my parents, especially my Dad wasn't favourable to this, he really wanted me to be a nurse.  I really can't recall how my mind came to be changed, but a year after high school graduation, I found myself entering the hallowed halls of the Misericordia School of nursing for the first time.

It was a scary prospect at first, but about a month into my first semester, I knew I had made the right choice, and I knew that I was totally in love with the hospital I had chosen as my school home.

I didn't live in residence as my parents lived nearby - but that didn't stop me from becoming involved with the school community or the constant hy-jinks of the live- in students.  It was a blast, and for two years I lived and breathed medicine, nursing, cute young interns and doctors, as well as hard work, studying and the constant guidance of the sisters of the Grey Nuns who led us in our studies, and in our quest for fulfillment as young women and in particular, young nurses.
The class of 1976

I will forever be grateful for the training and guidance from these very special women.

Fast forward 35 yrs... I really can't believe it's been that many years since my nursing school days - In all those years I have only been in my Alma Mater a couple of times.  Once when my mother was rushed there with a heart attack and  once when I rushed there to see her pass from this life into the next, and then not for years and years - well 30 yrs to be exact when I rushed my husband to the emergency department for stitches after an accident at home.

On Monday when Gary had his eye surgery, I returned again, and this time I had some time to walk the halls and corridors of my youth, and I was saddened to find, that not much remains of the hospital I called home for over two years.  You see, the hospital is not longer a "general hospital".  Being relatively small compared to the other large facilities in the city, it has been changed from regular hospital to a facility of special needs.

The first being a holding area for geriatric patients waiting for nursing home placement.  Wards where major surgery was performed, are now nursing-home type rooms.

It has also become the hospital of choice for all eye surgery in Manitoba, and in the next few years will undergo yet another major change when the oldest portion of the hospital (1800's) will be taken down and a new center will be developed all dedicated to the treatment of the eye.  When it is completed it will be largest eye care centre in Western Canada.

My true Alma Mater is gone, but when I walk the corridors I can remember a different time, when it was a bustling center of learning, hope, love, and superior patient care.  I count myself lucky to be one who knew a different Misericordia Hospital so many years ago, so many memories ago.


Roses red of graduation; Wearers purest white
Mercy angels our vocation, See the lamp we light.
Oh, we carry on the footsteps Vivat Alma Mater.
Singing always faithful vivat, Misericordia...

(taken from the Misericordia School Song)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

With Much Appreciation

Sorry I haven't posted for a couple of days, but I have been very busy helping Gary with his eye surgery on Monday, and attending doctors appointments with him yesterday.

As some of you know, Gary has been pretty much totally blind for almost a year, and very poor sighted for many years before this.  He has had poor vision all his life and a couple of years ago was diagnosed with Macular Degeneration and given a very poor prognosis. 

He sought a second opinion and saw a different eye specialist and things started happening... The process has been painfully slow, referrals, and decisions, which the first was to remove the massive cataracts he has on both eyes, with great risk of furthering the degeneration.  There are few surgeons here who were willing to perform this surgery on someone with eyes such as his, but we did find one, and he had the first eye done on Monday  - and it was 150% successful.

For the first time in many many years, Gary can see detail.  His excitement yesterday when they removed his bandages had me bawling my face off!!  He can see better than he's ever seen, already... and hopefully the second eye will make it better yet. 

I watched him sit at the organ last evening and play for twenty minutes with the brightest happiest smile I have seen on his face ever - and again, I was moved to tears.

The little things we take for granted and this big things we don't have been returned to him.  He will once again be able to drive a car, and he will be able to return to work in another month or so. 

My thanks to the staff of the Misericordia Health Center, Eye Center, for their excellent care, to the surgeon, and nurses who took such great care of him, and me.  In the normal course of their day, they have made a dramatic change in one patent's life - and we are grateful.

Tomorrow I will tell you about my journey to my past, as I walked the halls of my Alma Mater - The Misericordia Hospital.