Monday, March 29, 2010

The Weekend Of The Plague

Don't have much to say today.  I'm still alive.  The weekend was quiet, filled with lots of movie watching, resting, eating healthy foods (I had a fantastic navel orange last night. It was huge, but oh so juicy).

I'm heading back into work today, early at that.  Since my gracious employers have decided not to work me on Good Friday and Easter Monday (a-don't ever work for a union and b-when working for said union, don't ever go on modified), I'm going in early, a half hour every day until I make up the hours (9).  I wonder if they'll also pay me the stat pay I'll be missing from that.  I'm guessing not.  Did I ever say never work for a union? *sigh*

I got my midterm marks back and I did a heck of a lot better than I thought I did!  Phew.  I'm maintaining my A-average so far and that's enough to keep me happy.  Thankfully, my request for extension was approved and instead of the 3 days I asked for, she's given me a week.  I can meager my way out of this cold and concentrate when I'm more able.

Over the weekend I've discovered a few things correlating between myself and my circle of (we'll call them) faith friends.  That is all I'm going to say about that.

I'm looking at the plants in the windowsill and I realize I'm slowly killing the lovely bright pink cyclamen I bought 3 weeks ago at market.  I had one for the longest time once and I can't remember if they like dry soil (I'm guessing) or moist soil.  My other plants are doing fine - a cactus, prayer plant, african violet, a bougainvillea vine and an ivy that's slightly retarded in the kitchen window.  I'd like to add a shamrock, but I'm not sure I have the room :)

Okay, so I had a bit more to say today than I thought.  I'm gonna get some lunch ready and rest up before my shift tonight.  Happy Monday (but yay for a 4-day week!)

Friday, March 26, 2010


Well world, I started to feel like crap last night before bed and I knew somethin' was comin' on.  I'd hoped I would have slept it off, though.

I got some sleep, not a full night and woke up with the Plague 'O Death my boss had 2 weeks ago (and continues to have, while still coming to work, thank you).  It serves me right - I've been eating nothing but sugar the past 4 weeks (thanks hormones, sans pill) and for fighting off getting sick earlier in the season.  I called in for my shift tonight.  Had a nap (for 3 hours. I never nap 3 hours) and I feel worse for it after.

So...The Bucket List is on the 'to do' list tonight.  It looks like it's a weekend in, so if you have any other movie suggestions for the weekend, I'd appreciate it :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hormones, Men and Classics

Good morning, world.

Well, I've had my head in the books the past few days and it paid off - I'm (almost) finished with my final.  Well, of one course, anyways.  After this one, I can rest a few days before I start my last two courses for the program.

The following paragraph is gurl stuff - skip if you wish (I warned you :)).  Since being off the pill, my body has been taking me through a slight adventure.  I've been breaking out a bit as the wonderful synthetic hormones purge themselves.  I find I don't get the PMS "crazies", which is a blessing.  Before, my emotions on PMS were like, an 8 out of 10.  Now?  Perhaps a subtle 2 or 3.  No kidding.  And uh.. I've become a little more (when I say a little, I mean a lot) can I say... lascivious? (it's okay if you look it up, I had to) :)  Though while this itself isn't a bad thing, it is when one doesn't have a partner to take said frustrations out on ;)  On a side note, though, I haven't had my cycle for 36 days.  I'm not expecting things to run smoothly the first month out, but c'mon, let's get things in gear.

On the flip side, I can't stop thinking about the ex.  I was hesitant sharing this with the world, but what the hell, I share everything else.  I usually keep things like this in my head, let myself work through them, etc.  But not today.  It's difficult to let go of someone you promised your life to.  It's even more difficult, that despite everything you've been through (eveny the bad), part of you thinks you're still meant to be with them.  It's that feeling, deep, deep down inside that you can literally feel when you're connected to someone.  And if it is true, I don't think that time is now.  I'm holding fast onto my convictions of everything I've learned and I won't settle for anything less than worthy.  This is the lesson I've had to learn.

I've added another book to the library; Persuasion, by Jane Austen.  It's amongst my list of classics and I read bits of it before bed.  I've just begun, so I can't tell you yet how I like it so far :)

It's Thursday!  I can't tell you how happy I am about this.  I've been having frustrations at work, so I'm anxious to get the week over with.  Hope it's been a good week for everyone!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The River Again..

I finally uploaded that other river picture.  I hope you can see it okay; the top is kind of dark. That big tree in the middle is new; must have fell during one of our storms in the winter.  There's another couple of trees that fell down river; must not have been able to take the weight of the snow/ice.  It's a very relaxing spot :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Quiet Weekend

Remember the picture I posted not long ago of the river from the footbridge?  This is it last Friday....

And this next picture is a spot down the river (as viewed in the above picture) where there's a railing to stand to just.. well.. watch the river, I guess.  I find it very peaceful, listening to the rumble of the water as it rushes down...

There was a third picture, but it didn't copy over to my email and I'm too tired at this point so it'll have to wait (it's just an extended shot from here, of the rest of the river).  I'll take new pics when things start to turn green again.

Weekend was good.  Quiet.  Some socializing.  Chores.  Studying.  You know how some Sundays can be; you clean everything up, then you make a big dinner and everything's dirty again (I'm saving THAT mess for tomorrow).

Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010


People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.
~ George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Awe of Space

Biomes posted a link to Saturn pics, when Saturn had its Equinox last summer.  These pictures are amazing, even if you're not a space person.  But... am I reading them correctly?  That the rings are hundreds of km's across?  Someone needs to confirm that for me, cause that's crazy.  That means Saturn is HUGE if the rings alone are that wide.  And if it's that big, why the heck can't we see Saturn from earth?  And who knew it had so many moons.

Just amazing.

A Fun Evening

Warning: sensitive topic ahead.

Tonight was a (pleasant) break from the ordinary.  C.Z asked me to come to the university to meet up with her to see a movie the university's Right to Life group was putting on about euthanasia/end of life care.  I thought, since my opinions haven't been fully developed in this area especially where faith is concerned, I'd give it a go.  So I met up with her in the room (I didn't get lost!) and we saw said movie and had a discussion afterwards.  I think I left more confused than I was going in.  For some reason I can't wrap my head around the fact that suicide is legal and assisted suicide is not.  I don't know why this sticks out, it just does.  I am very much pro-choice about a lot of things in life...but...I guess I'm having a problem with "where do I get to keep my independence yet do what is "morally" correct?"  We always want to do what the right thing is, but what if those "right things" are different from my personal thoughts/values/opinions on subject?  How do we stay at peace with our decision?  There are a million ways you can argue why it's right and there are a million ways you can argue why it's wrong.  Yes it's hard for the family to watch someone suffer (who are often doing worse than the person, because that person is usually wrapped up in survival).  Yes it might not seem like a good 'quality' of life (though we could even extend it and define 'good').  That person may want to die because they don't feel they don't have any dignity left - but what are *we* doing to aid in that dignity?  That compassion.  That supportive role that we can play in helping that person feel better and more positive about themselves and their situation.  No one likes to suffer, but we must do it.  We can question it, but we may not get any answers.  Lets say if I'm dying, suffering may not necessarily teach me a (life) lesson, but it may teach...insert person connected to me here....something.  I don't think it's that I'm for euthanasia, I just don't want anyone to tell me I can't do it.

On a brighter note.....

After said discussion we parted ways.  I was to meet up with C.Z afterwards, about an hour later.  I walked around campus a little, grabbed something to eat and plopped myself at a table in the caf and people-watched :)  Visiting a university is good for the soul.  It's got a good energy, a younger vibe to it.  Wakes you up if you've been sleepin' a while, if you know what I'm sayin' ;)  My friend arrived avec des amis (2, in fact) and we sat and talked and had VERY random conversations.  It was great.  I haven't had laughs like that in a while.  What a great start to the week!  I met new people, got to talk to someone else a little bit more that I'd previously met a few weeks ago.  Part of me is sad that they're not a little older.  Listen, I'm not age-discriminating, but there's a difference of demeanor when there's 13 years difference.  I need to meet more people my age.  But, I am happy with these friends - they're very intelligent people that I'm proud to associate with.

Thank God for friends.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Weekend So Far

It's been a quiet, dreary weekend.  Nothing but rain, save for the snow/sleet we had last night.  That was a surprise.  You know when temps start to warm up you're going to get that "one last snow", you just never know when it is.  Hopefully that was it.

I just went to put my heat pad/bean bag thing in the microwave to heat it up to put on my shoulder, where I found the coffee I'd re-heated this morning for breakfast.  Oops.  And I just made a tea.  I'm re-heating the coffee again :)  I can have tea later.

Mass was interesting last night.  Not interesting so much as the service, but the things that were going through my mind during it.  I know, not paying attention, bad me.  It happens to the best of us.  Anyways, the gospel was about the Prodigal Son*.  I'm really not entirely sure what started this thought process, but I came to realize I don't really know my father and my heart sank and I felt...well, I can't really say.  Sort of a combination of alone, isolated, lowly.  My parents split when I was 3 and I went and saw him every-other weekend (but it was just weekends and I was a kid and I was busy hanging with my siblings, not talking to my father).  Then, when I got older, it became less.  Now, we just see each other a few times a year, even though we're only 20 min apart.  When he was diagnosed with cancer a year or two ago (he's in remission now, no worries), it became very clear very quickly I won't always have him around.  I want to get to know my father.  We don't talk much.  Emails are short, phone calls are even shorter and awkward.  We don't quite know what to say to each other (we're both quiet, reserved people, so it doesn't help).  We've always had a sort of distance between us; sort of a wall.  We don't mean for it to be there, it just is.  So... I'd like to overcome that wall.  I just.... don't know how.  If you've ever had to do anything like this, suggestions are more than welcome.

Also during service, during some announcements, I heard one of my old patients passed away.  My heart sunk again and I sat in a few silent tears.  Audrey was an older lady, say around.. 80-some.  Sweet as pie.  She was in for a while and I got to know her a little.  I knew she liked ice cubes with the drinks I brought her in the evening and made an effort to do so (and she was always very thankful).  We got to talkin' and she was a very devout Catholic (she was transported to a different room one day and I'd asked her where her beads were and she'd mis-placed them, so I went to the Chapel in the hospital and got her a new rosary.  It made her really happy).  We talked about prayers, minor things going on in our lives.  She told me she was being transported to another local hospital for palliative care.  I wasn't sure what was wrong with her but "the news isn't good," she said.  So we'd pray for each other.  She knew bad things were happening and although you could tell she was sad about it, sort of internally dealing with it all, she kept her strength in her faith and I believe that carried her through.  So I'm going to use Audrey as an inspiration.  I'll try to keep my head up and I'll try to remember to lean on my faith when times get tough.  If she can do it after everything she's been through at 80, I can do it now.

*The Prodigal Son is a story of a man who had two sons.  The oldest stayed and cared for his part of the (divided) land.  He remained responsible, obedient, etc.  The youngest took his share, sold it and spent it on dissolute living. When he'd spent everything he had and reached the bottom, he decided to return home back to his family, realizing he'd sinned against his father 'and against heaven'.  The father welcomed him with open arms and there was a party.  The older son was angry and couldn't understand why, if he'd been so obedient, he didn't receive 'the best robes' and 'fatted calf' (feeling hurt and indignant). The father explained he is family and 'what's mine is yours' but they had to rejoice with the younger son coming back because he 'was dead and came back to life and what was lost is found' (he's a valued and treasured member of the family).

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Vaccines, Revisited

Below is a rant.  Please accept any opinions are mine alone and may not be popular and I'm okay with that.  I just ask you respect them.  I read something today which sparked 'something' inside that caused said rant and I couldn't seem to shut up about it.  It may or may not make sense........

There was an article today in The Globe and Mail discrediting vaccines as a reason for autism.  It states they found no connection between the additive thermerisol and autism.  At the end of the article, they mention Dr. Andrew Wakefield had done a study connecting autism and bowel disease to the measles vaccine*.  The mention of 'IBD' caught my attention.

Did you know you were vaccinated just under 25 times, by the age of 15 months?  30 times, now with the H1N1 influenza vaccine.  Your first shot is at 2-3 months!  It turns my stomach.  The body hasn't even *begun* to develop yet and already we're sticking chemicals and manufactured synthetic medications in it.  We haven't even won the right to learn to fight diseases, illnesses, colds off ourselves (actually, we have, but that's another argument for another time).  If I keep relating it to IBD, our intestines haven't even had the change to develop themselves and stabilize their unique intestinal flora that helps us fight off illness (a healthy bowel has proven to protect us against the common cold, etc, but again - an argument for a later time).  We're manipulating nature.

I Googled Dr. Wakefield and came across a slew of articles.  His main argument was to isolate the MMR into separate vaccinations.  He wanted to hold off the measles vaccination until further research could be done and wanted the mumps and rubella vaccinations separate, a year apart (a patent was started for this but never completed), thinking the MMR was too much stress for the body to handle at one time.  His paper in The Lancet (a British paper) was discredited and pulled for numerous reasons (allegations against how (by process) he obtained his information.  He's opposed as often as he is supported).  But I kept reading.  I found a couple of pages worth checking out (I was hoping to find a copy of his paper, but no one seems to have record of it, post-retraction).  I'm still not finding a lot of correlation between the vaccination and IBD except here (they keep referring to the mental connections) but I did find a great paper written by him and his colleagues here, in their research defense (I think it's a good read if you have the time).  You can find an abridged version here.

I don't know if all these articles are correct.  They're theories.  Everything's a theory, everyone's got an opinion.  Group A thinks there's a link between vaccinations and autism, Group B thinks there's no correlation and Group C thinks something entirely different (i.e environmental factors).  And you know what?  No one's wrong.  It just makes me think because MY interest is in the G.I tract; what caused my IBS?  No, I don't have autism, though I was never 'quick' or bright as a child, but I do have minor learning disabilities.  And you know what, I'll have to accept it's a cause I'll never find the answer to.  Everything's a theory.

I can't read anymore.  My brain is going to start seeping out of my ears.  Science is a field/career I never got into for a reason - and I respect those who did.  I doff my hat to you.

*The measles vaccine was introduced in 1967.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Can't Win For Losin'

Well, had a more of a down day today.  Frustrated.  Sore.  Just when I think I'm starting to get better, I get worse.  If I take the Naproxen (NSAID), it increases upset stomach, if I don't, I get achy and sore and cranky.  With my already-IBS, it's too much.  Do I live with the pain or do I live with not being able to leave the house because I'm too sick?

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Human Nature, Pt. II

I was doing some studying tonight (okay, I still am - just taking a break) and while reading my Communications course, I came across this.  I think it kind of ties in with my last post.  We avoid confrontation to avoid conflict, but there doesn't always have to be *conflict*.

Eight Techniques To Find Common Ground

~ Put their case first
~ Build two bridges
~ Offer a choice
~ Give to get
~ Defuse conflict
~ Find something to admire
~ Don't make quitting an option
~ Keep them involved

Okay, so maybe they're more business-oriented, but it doesn't hurt to try to apply some of them to your personal relationships, rather than just your relationships at work.  You end up practicing empathy, assertiveness, compassion, understanding whilst creating options - and that's never a bad thing.

*side note: Re: "don't make quitting an option" - When in personal relationships/friendships, I believe this *can* be an option. Sometimes it's just time to quit - and you both know it.  I'm just a girl who likes to give it her all, is all.  If I try 110%, then I can walk away knowing I did my best and my conscience can be at ease.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Human Nature

So... I've been thinking the past few days.  With this whole.. friends walking away thing.  It was total avoidance. Same as someone who left last year - avoidance.  People just try to quietly walk away, staying under the radar in hopes of escaping "confrontation".  Oh no, I said the 'C' word.  WHY do humans shy away from confrontation? What is it in how we were raised (by family, by society) to shy away from talking to our fellow man?  Anger gets in the way a lot, which overrides emotion.  We might fluff things up and dramatize them big enough in our head that we fear actually carrying it out will be worse.  We create 'whatever' scenario in our mind that makes shying away into a dark corner seem much more appealing.

But avoidance doesn't mean eluding confrontation.  I can prove this to you.

I heard a quote once that I absolutely love; "We create what we fear".  It's from Dr. Phil, of all people.  Anyways, by avoiding confrontation, indeed creates....confrontation.  With both of these friends, after having noticed we hadn't been in touch for some time, or knowing something was 'off' - I confronted them, which ended up bringing everything (or at least some stuff) out in the open to why there was a distance in friendship/communication, etc.

Now there are a lot of different factors.  I'll take accountability that a) I don't not-like confrontation. Hell, I almost seek it out sometimes.  Why?  Because I prefer honesty and b) each situation is different.  Yes, sometimes people fall away - it happens.  I'm just saying 'my' particular instances were causes of anger, resentment, built-up frustrations that weren't communicated when they should have been.

Am I so wrong to prefer honesty?  Yeah, those initial conversations can be rough, uncomfortable and awkward as all hell.  I've had 'em.  But you deal with the emotion and move on.  What a concept.

So try and be honest with someone if you haven't been lately.  Give them the benefit of the doubt; maybe they'll understand!  Humans have been given the greatest gift of all - compassion.  Go ahead.. test the waters :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Changed Again

Hey all.  I've changed comment settings again (eliminating anonymous users), so please email me know if you have any problems or don't see your comment after posting.  Thanks!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I'm Back, Baby!

There's been another shift in the universe.  A small one.  One that's making me re-evaluate people around me which in turn makes me re-evaluate myself.

Another friend left me (boy, they're dropping like flies, aren't they?).  I'm not too heartbroken about this one.  Shocked at first and hurt & angry, but not heartbroken.  I totally have faith that there is a sort of...cleansing...going on.  Shed the old, make way for the new.  It happens, right?  We need to let go of what doesn't challenge (or nurture) us anymore and make way for new challenging, inspiring, caring people who will support us, understand us, in good times and bad.  Sometimes it's not even about support, it's just about being challenged; having a good intellectual conversation or two.

That's it!!  I don't remember the last time I've had a really good, really deep challenging, intellectual conversation!  Hot damn.  I "knew" this was missing, for quite a while, but... I'd never put a voice to it.

And really, I'm getting very tired of being so depressed and negative and being a victim over all the crap that's been happening - friends leaving, my arm injury, things with the ex (actually, that's been quiet for quiet a while, so I should enjoy the quiet and bite my tongue before it comes up again), low energy, no energy, other health problems, stress at work because of said arm injury, faith, no faith, hard-to-find faith.  Aaaaaaaaaaargh!  ENOUGH!!  I'm stronger than that and better than that!  Where's my fighting spirit?!  Where's my, "I'm gonna kick everyone's ass" attitude? (for those that don't 'know' me, have faith - I can be quite brute, but it's all in good nature).  That's why I created this blog!  Okay, not the sole reason (and I do wish to have these 'conversations' in real time with 3D people but it's obviously not happening).  A) It's therapeutic, b) I wanted to say things people might think but not always say (I've been told I do this but I'm shy here and I'm still challenging myself to do it more here) and c) I wanted to initiate discussion on topics that were important to me and perhaps to other people. I want to learn from you!  Yes you!  I want to hear what *you* have to say!  *I* want to be challenged... so challenge me!

Phew.. all of that felt good.  Don't get me wrong - I still need support.  I'll still need to be reminded.  But I realize it's mostly up to me (and maybe a few prayers to the Big Guy for strength wouldn't hurt, either).  So if you see me falling, don't be afraid to call me on it.  I'll just need a gentle pick-me-up (or a kick in the arse, whatever you prefer) ;)

This weekend will be relaxing for me.  I dictate it so.  It started with a trip to market and I'll surround myself with friends and remember to take some time for myself.  Read.  Go for a walk enjoying this beautiful weather.  Turn my music up really loud.

What will you be doing this weekend?  Whatever you do, I hope it's great, it's with people you love and you get to relax.  We all deserve that.  Happy Saturday!


We need silence for a lot of reasons.  We need silence to try to understand who we are, to develop our true selves, to be honest with ourselves.  We need silence to stay open to the inner voice, the voice of the universal spirit.
~ Cecile Andrews, writer

New Look

Well.. what do we think of the new look?  It's still not perfect and I can't get things to move around where I want them (Blogger's layout setup is ridiculous) but I've got a pretty new page with most of the components I need.. so this makes me happy :)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Well, At Least There's This...

Everything seems to go to shite all at once for me.  But hey.. it's Friday.  Fridays are pants-optional! :)

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


We have stories to tell, stories that provide wisdom about the journey of life.  What more have we to give one another than our "truth" about our human adventure as honestly and openly as we know how?
~Saul Rubin, American rabbi

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Bear with me while I make changes. I attempted to use a software program to change my layout - and it messed EVERYTHING up, so I'm trying to get things back to normal. Thanks for your patience :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Oh, Those Germans...

Can I tell you how much I covet this 'fireplace'?


I'm going to attempt a post.  My wrist is sore, so I'll probably be taking intermittent breaks.  I hope it doesn't sound 'choppy'.

My arm has gotten worse, hence the strict physio restrictions.  I dropped going to the chiro and started physio last week and have been going every day.  I think it's helping!  I've been doing my exercises and they've been going okay, too.  I'm learning what my threshold is (at work and home) and try not to exceed past that.  This whole thing has taken over my life, though and it's weird.  My schedule's changed to days (from afternoons), I go to physio after work for an hour, I do exercises 3 times a day, plus heat (lots of heat!).  Everything revolves around my arm.  Things I do, or can't do (I need help with groceries, etc).  I was having a hard time with it at first, but things have started evening out, so I think I'm able to wrap my head around things again.

I've been working on the midterms of my courses.  The Communications course was a breeze, no struggle at all, but the Institutional Food Worker course is kicking my ass.  I'm really struggling.  Any positive thoughts sent this way would be REALLY appreciated :)

Life sans pill is going very well.  Not many changes worth noting yet, but I'm sure that'll change in the next 2-3 months.

I gave up coffee for Lent.  Yes, you read that right.  Well, 'gave up' as in limiting myself to one coffee a day from 2-3.  It's been a challenge!  I don't know if this is a by-product, but I've been craving chocolate up the wazoo.  Everything has to be chocolate.  Chocolate is consumed on a daily basis :)

Oh right... sleep apnea.  Remember that theory?  The other night I caught myself gasping for air - twice.  It was scary.  The first time I caught myself, woke up and it went away just as quickly, but the second time I was literally gasping for air.  It just lasted a few seconds (felt like forever), but it was scary.  It's only 19:30 and I'm tired and ready for bed.  This would explain it.

I think that's all I have to say for now.  Oh, there were some observations and thoughts from my "Fate of Family Farming" book, but those will have to wait for next time.

Hope you had a great weekend!

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