Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

... Joyeux Noël!

... Buon Natale!

... Frohe Weihnachten!

... Nollaig Shona!

... Gelukkig kerstfeest!

... Happy Holidays!

I'll be singing at midnight Mass tonight with my fellow choristers and finalizing with the Hallelujah chorus.  Can't wait.  Tomorrow morning I've been invited to a friend's family brunch and I've picked up a shift in the afternoon.  After that, there might be baking!

However you celebrate it, I hope you celebrate it in ways your heart most desires.  Merry Christmas readers, and (if you celebrate particularly) may Christ be with you and your family this season.   

~ Jody

Monday, December 19, 2011


So, it was a most excellent weekend spent with friends and family :)

Saturday I was able to whip up a batch of Shortbread Chocolate Chip Cookies (melt in your mouth) and had a friend over in the evening for dinner and a bit of football watching.  Sunday I was Mass and breakfast and headed home to meet a friend at the pub quickly to pick up a stained glass piece she did for me, then I had to get home 'cause my sister was coming to pick me up to see the new baby.  He's so adorable.  So... we spent time in the hospital with baby and the new parents (I got to hog him and hold him for what seemed like forever... and Ienjoyedeveryminuteofit).  Oh look - there's that healing circle I was talking about :)  We rallied and sat around the bed and talked, shared birthing stories.  Then the new parents rested while the rest of us held down the fort/took care of baby/answered phones/took care of carpooling other's kids to-and-from, etc.  I myself, came away grounded after visiting the family.

Today I'm doing my own sort of healing (with food!) and cooking a stew in the oven; it takes 4 hours.  I think about how we (past and present) rally around in the kitchen for meals; the kitchen, when used, is the warmest part of the house (in winter).  Unfortunately, Babu doesn't share in my desire to 'share stories over the cutting board'; he just gets greedy and comes to pick up potato peelings :)

I'm going to go spend more time in the kitchen; it's the most enjoyable place for me to be right now.  I've got veggies to chop up for snacking and a chickpea salad to make for lunches.  Stay warm and attempt to stay stress-free the week before Christmas.  Spend time with who makes you happy.  Don't lose the art of story-telling; share your stories and reconnect with those close to you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."
~ Oprah

I'm an Auntie!

Joyous, blessed day!  I'm an auntie again!  My baby (step) brother (who's only a year younger than me) is a father!  Baby boy Cameron was born into this world 8lb 8oz Dec 17th, 11:11pm... and he's beautiful :)

This calls for a toast!  Where's my hot chocolate....

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Morning Musings

I'm sitting rather early at my computer today, hands wrapped around a hot mug of tea...mmm.  I managed to wake up this morning, sans alarm clock.  Unfortunately, I woke up 'cause I was sick, thanks due in part to last nights dinner - ice cream, instead of 'real' food.  (Hey, don't judge.)  Then I got thinking about random things, things that are way too serious for a Saturday morning; about family dynamics, this person's relation to that person, what they have or haven't done, etc.  Bah.  I had to stop that right away.  Instead, I have something much better to talk about.

One of my patients, I've come to learn, was on a plane travelling.. I don't remember where..(someplace warm) and her spine collapsed. Also has 4th stage cancer of.. I can't remember now; something to do with the thoracic spine.  I think maybe lungs are involved?  Anyways, you walk in this woman's room and it's crowded with flowers, cards, pictures.  I mean.. *crowded*.  You can tell she's affected or is in touch with a lot of people.  You don't see a room like this often.  She often has guests and these people are VERY nice; but not only are these people nice, they're.. grounded, very down-to-earth and comfortable with who they are and with who they're around.  It's not often you walk into a room with such positive and healing energy.  Attached to her door before you walk in is a paper with a Buddhist quote, "Worry is prayer for something you don't want."  I like it.  I think.  I'm still sitting with it, actually, but I like that it's making me reflect.  I ran into one of her visitors in the hall whom I know well (I didn't know she knew her) and I told her I would check in on her personally to make sure she has everything she needs.  It was nice to feel more of a purpose again; to go above and beyond for a patient, making sure they're comfortable in a miserable place.  I can't provide much, but I hope that what I can provide makes things just a bit more pleasant.  It was nice to do that "added touch"; unfortunately, I wish I could do that for all my patients, but I just don't have the time (ironic, when my department is trying to focus more around patient-centered care, but that's a rant for another day).

One of my immediate co-workers, his mom is terminal and they're expecting her to go any day; this was another room with a group of family/friends (number of people varying on the day, from a few to several).  Also very nice people.  It's a comfortable room to walk in.

Both of these accounts have left me blessed to witness human compassion, healing and support.  These patients have amazing support systems, how could they not feel at ease going through their illness/death?  Not only does it help the patient, but it helps the family; I'm not worried much about my co-worker, for I've seen his support system.  It's unfortunate that these instances stand out, because often I see only a person or two at a beside, if any at all.  The amount of people I see that have passed without anyone makes me sad (if you work in healthcare, you'll understand my testament).

So I think about these patients and their "healing circles".  And it's literally a circle - the patient is in their bed and their visitors will position themselves literally around the patient.  What a magnificent thing it must be, being surrounded by healthy, strong people who come to bring us love.  It's a silent power, having people around us when times (or health) aren't well.  They offer a break from our ills, our worry, our stress, our pain.  They offer comfort, support, laughter, smiles, hugs... and any reprieve from what has us down is beneficial, with concrete effects of healing us faster.

So.. I'm going to do my best to ask for help from my "healing circle" over the next week and I urge you to do the same.  Don't need one?  Find someone who does.  Guaranteed there's someone out there who needs to know someone's there and someone cares right now.  Go out for coffee!  Send a "Thinking of you!" email, text or virtual hug.  Send a " :) ".  This world isn't going to get any better if we let increasing technology sterilize our relationships.  I want your heart warmed by witnessing (or being a part of) human compassion as much as mine has this week.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Your Weekly Dose of Random and Cryptic

If you've ever done a lot of self-work (or major/minor in Psychology), you'll understand what I mean when I say that I'm amazed at how much the human brain.. no.. psyche.. can hold, retain, cover, repress, forget, remember, unlock or expose.  Just when you think you have yourself figured out, you figure out something more.  It's fascinating.  Not only do you discover these things, but you are able to see how they're connected into the life you're living now. You see the path.  Extraordinary.

That is all.

I really should have kept with Psychology.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Your (Rhetorical) Tip of the Day

When using a knife, unbeknownst to your knowledge that was just professionally sharpened, please be careful when cutting onions.

I was having a hard go of it last night and a friend invited me for dinner.  I helped contribute (anything to work in the kitchen) by making my chickpea salad.  I was chopping said onion when... /slice/.. on my thumb.  Don't worry, I caught myself in time and it just cut the nail - thank God.  No skin was broken at all, but let me tell you, it was a fraction of a millimeter.  If I hadn't watched what I was doing.. oh boy.

That's all :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Heavy Thinking Sort Of Night

I've had a lot brewing upstairs lately; an incident from a couple weeks back has made me re-evaluate everything (*everything*).  Random and cryptic: be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

I wonder how much we hold ourselves back from our future happiness.  Perhaps we want something so bad that we think about it non-stop - and only in a certain ideal in our head (which may or may not be realistic at all.. and more than likely not) - but thinking about that one thing can hinder our success to actually having it.  All we really need to do is let go.  Let go.

Let Go!

Now this doesn't apply to everything.  I mean, I want and need a car, but fantasizing and visualizing about having said car doesn't mean I won't obtain it - I'm just trying to do a preemptive visualization exercise (if I envision it, it will manifest) however I obtain it (via hard work, second job.. what have you).  But when we try to envision a relationship, or more, a relationship with a particular person, *that* can get in our way.  We're not letting go enough for the universe (which is bigger than us) to flow with life around us.  More than that, how are we to know what - and who - is right for us?  You may think you know your own circumstance (and often in hindsight, you're even wrong with that), but you don't know theirs.  We're so quick to presume we know what's right for us when a plan (depending what you believe) has already been put in place.

Also, sometimes bad things happen to good people; bad things from the lowest scum that don't deserve a spot on this earth.  Thankfully, if you have a good attitude, you'll apply a theory that everything happens for a reason (even with the bad stuff) and you'll survive.  And sometimes you'll be blessed to see the reason(s) and many facets .

I want to rearrange my whole thinking; I'd like to be able to take time (not rushed!) to sit back and reevaluate some of my thinking processes/self-standards (and I mean, something like this takes days).  Sort of like... an elimination diet, but for one's thinking or lifestyle.  I want to shut off; I want to turn off from the world and not have to answer to anyone for a couple days.  Sure it's easy you say, just shut off the phone, the computer, the cell - but they're still there, in your space (or being around people you know or might run into).  I want to go somewhere where they're *not* there.  A silent retreat, if you will.  There are some Catholic-based silent retreats in the area from what I understand, but $$$.  Money's not an option for me right now with hours being low at work.  With major events, one's inner being shifts.  I'm slightly balancing the shifting amidst other everyday stress/natural occurrences, etc....I wish I could have total isolation.

Well, that's enough deep stuff for today.  We're finally getting some snow, but I wish we'd get a little more.  Some of what we had melted away.  Calling for some tonight, so maybe that'll stick.  It's a good night to get in cozy with a good book, wrap presents, catch up on correspondence, call an old friend.  Do something for yourself.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


"Sometimes God calms the storm...sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child."
~ Unknown

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I just came across this video on Facebook today.  I'd seen it circulating a couple times (maybe you have, too) and like most videos I see on Facebook, I generally ignore them (various reasons).  But I watched this one.. and it touched me in ways that I can't verbalize.  It became personal.  I identify with this kid so much (the way he carried his pain, the way he decides to survive anyways) that I wanted to post it here.  And since this blog is about making real the things we often keep hidden, it inspired me to share it with you.  I hope it touches you, too (and maybe you can even identify with it).

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I've always been a fan of Sarah McLachlan...for YEARS.  Hmm.. but now that I think of it, I've never seen her in concert.  Odd, that.  Anyhoo.. this has always been one of my favourite songs.  I thought of it with everything going on.

Cryptic Post Is Cryptic

Sometimes the most awful thing that can happen to you, can help you learn something so positive.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Still Alive

Hey all.  Haven't written much these days.  Dealing with ... stuff.  I like to throw a quote or two your way though, as you see, to let you know I'm still alive.

How are you?  How's your week going?  We got freezing rain here last night which made for slightly slippery roads, but it's dissipated since and now it's just.. cold. I spent the evening with friends that are family and I feel a bit better; a bit more grounded.  Content.

Is it just me, or is Christmas sneaking up on people?  I haven't even begun to think about Christmas shopping.  I have doubt about how much I'll be able to buy for presents; I'm still paying off Babu (which will be paid off in a couple weeks) and I've got to pay down a bit on the credit cards.. so.. I don't know.  I'm trying to think of an alternative to buying, but.. what?  I could bake.. but.. is that too.. predictable?  Common?  I have to buy for the parents, and my niece and soon-to-be-nephew (SO excited) I don't have much money outside of that.  I seriously need to marry rich.. sigh.. money just doesn't grow on trees.  Hmm.. I do like to entertain, so maybe I'll hold a big dinner?  An idea.  All I really want to do is spend time with people anyways.

My faith, after a brief hiatus, continuously increases albeit slowly.  I still have problems with some things, but right now it just seems a bit.. easier again.  Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before rising.   /crypticness

Cards.  I was looking for Christmas cards last night and didn't see any I like.  This is something I DO like to do, so I've gotta get on that.  I mean, are we REALLY near the end of November already?!  What just happened?

Applying for a second job is not going well; I'm not getting in anywhere.  I'm only mildly frustrated.  Give it time :P

I've succeeded in losing a few pounds.  Not much!  But a start.  Eating (mostly) Gluten Free is helping.  It's giving me encouragement to keep going.

Anyways folks, take it easy.  Stay safe if the weather is bad; dress warm; prepare.  Have a good rest of the week!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


A first essential setting for learning hope is prayer. When no one listens to me anymore, God still listens to me. When I can no longer talk to anyone or call upon anyone, I can always talk to God. When there is no longer anyone to help me deal with a need or expectation that goes beyond the human capacity for hope, he can help me (cf.CCC 2657). When I have been plunged into complete solitude...; if I pray I am never totally alone.
 ~ Encyclical, Spe Salvi. No 32., from the book The Virtues, Pope Benedict

Monday, November 14, 2011

Friends, Babies and Poi

So I'm happy to have a low-key day today 'cause I'm recovering a bit from a fantastic weekend.  Saturday was a bit muted but got together with a couple friends in the afternoon and went out for dinner.  Sunday was full of win from beginning to end.  I pulled off a challenging song Sunday at Mass then went out for breakfast. Got home and not long after Ange came over.  We haven't seen each other in a while (we seem to go in spans of 'forever') but we never have problems catching up; what I like about visiting with her is, the "catching up" doesn't HAVE to necessarily deal with everyday schtuff.  I mean sure, it comes up, but it's brief.  It's nice.  So we visit and head out for dinner to a vegetarian place in town (I became more familiar with it when I went veggie for Lent and she's full vegetarian, so... ) and had a great meal.  But what does she bring me this time?  A disc with fantastic music and a quick lesson on spinning poi.  Yeah, that's right, poi! (Except, I don't spin fire poi, thankyouverymuch).  I won't say no to the fire poi, just definitely not yet :)  So after dinner we headed home, a girlfriend of mine from work came over, chatted and the three of us headed over to another friend of mine's place for poi practice (more room/ceiling height).  I didn't think I'd participate, but upon picking it up (rather naturally, I'm told), I've found it's a nice outlet.  What a workout for your arms, it's fantastic.  It's kind of funny how the mind and arm don't always want to connect.  Your mind envisions it, but the arm can't execute it.. and it makes you left feeling rather fumbled.  But no less determined, mind; you instinctively want to keep trying.  I got myself a couple of times really good, but oddly no bruises to show for it today. So we hung out there for a bit.  I went to bed last night pleasantly exhausted.

This morning I bought tickets for Roger Waters performing The Wall, Live.  And if you don't know who Roger Waters is, well, I'm not sure we can be friends :P  This man's music lived with me through high school and got me and took me places in my mind I didn't know existed (and no, I wasn't always high, thankyou :P).  Concert is next June in Toronto.

Spoke with my brother's girlfriend this morning; she's due in a month and I can't wait.  I'm going to have a nephew!  I'm already blessed with a niece so this will be a nice addition.  After said conversation it occurred to me I'm the only sibling without a child now.  Eeeeexcelllent.  Another reminder of my ever impending single status. Moving on....

Not much else to write about today.  In an effort to save money, I'm ditching my land line and upgraded my cell and got on a plan this weekend.  Except, it turns out I'm not saving much money at all. *sigh*  Technology is funny that way.  But I's gots a fancy new phone :)  (The Samsung Galaxy S2)  I really think at this point I have a problem with compulsions to buy new electronic gadgets.  I suppose there are worse things....

Well, a bit more to do today that I planned so I'm gonna go.  Might go over to Jack's later to spin poi again; she's got the ceiling height I don't.

Hope everyone had a good Monday.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I went (a tad late) to our Remembrance Day ceremonies and walking in, I walked past someone that was  a striking resemblance to one of my ex's.  It made me take aback and I had to look at him again.  I feared staring at the poor man lest he thought I was, well, staring at him.  It was so weird.  I mean, a spitting freaking image.

I stood in my usual spot, the back/side of the arena, standing and leaning against... I don't know what you'd call them, things you can stand at, just wide enough to put a drink on, etc.  Two minutes of silence and silent tears in my eyes, the images, thoughts and feelings of the WWI, WWII vets had to face; heat, cold, mud, lack of clothing, lack of food, the fear.  I thought about some of the stories K. told me over the years; victories, disappointments, injuries, deaths, isolation.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Today I've made a small gesture; I'm going without makeup.  Yes, I'm foregoing vanity for the sake of those who have and are serving.  Silly?  Most likely.  Small, insignificant?  Yeah.  Does it mean much?  Probably not to anyone else but it does to me.  Any lady serving doesn't wear makeup on the field; she has no time nor desire.  They go, they do their work and they don't really give a shit about how they look; they're there to do a job.  Up with the hair and out the tent.  So, instead of the daily ritual of putting on my base powder to even out my skintone, cover-up for the bags under my eyes, a quick dash of shadow for colour, I'm going a la naked.  And at work today, they'll just have to deal :)

Oh and yo, think of everyone parading today; I'm standing "warm" (if you want to call it that, it was snowing), in my mitts and scarf, and they are out in bare hands, just blazers or uniform jackets.  God love 'em for braving the cold.

I'm watching specials on the History Channel and one vet just said, "We stand for 2 minutes, they stand for 65 years."


Remembering those who've served, who are serving and the families currently going through a deployment and/or have been left behind.  Peace, blessings and gratitude be with you.  I wrote my own personal soldier today to let him know I was thinking of him, so likewise, don't be afraid to thank a vet.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Reflection (and Technology Angst)

So.. I've had a case of information-overload, technology-induced anxiety (and I mean literal anxiety - to the point of shaking/being jittery).  The source of most of my mental problems right now revolves around my computer.  I kid you not.  I'm constantly putting off tasks (electronic, or otherwise) that I normally wouldn't put off.  I mean, I'm a pretty damn good procrastinator, but even this phase goes in the Hall of Fame for putting things off.  My apartment isn't as clean as it used to be; my dusting abilities are slacking,  things are disorganized, objects not resting at their proper home, papers not filed.  It's driving my OCD nuts!

The problem is I'm getting too much information and I don't know what to do with it.  It sounds silly in this age of technology that we're in; one would think that one would certainly be used to it by now.  The thing is, I don't want to be (used to it).  I don't want all the information.  I really DON'T need the CONSTANT updates on Facebook about every single thing my friends are doing, commenting, or 'liking'!  I really don't!  And to tell you, if I could quit Facebook tomorrow, I would!  I DON'T like that everyone can (likewise) see what I'm doing; there's no privacy.  Unfortunately, that's all anyone's tapped into these days, so if I want to know what's going on, or mass-communicate to my friends... Facebook's the only way to do it.  Not enough of my friends are on G+, unfortunately (which has more privacy/feed controls).  Then, say, there are new blogs I'm interested in, so I get feeds from them, or texts, the ever popular method of communication (and mine too, really, so it's hard to complain about this, though at times it can be excessive).  And so on, and so on.

When I was a kid, my dad was (and still is, really) in the technology sector.  Apple, to be exact.  The first computer the kids were allowed to play on was the Mac; and I mean, the little square one.  Remember those?  We'd play 'Where In The World Is Carmen San Diego?' :)  The very first computer I owed was an Apple IIe (I was the first of all my friends to own a personal computer).  I loved and hated that computer at the same time.  So I'm saying... I've had a lot of time to adjust.  But the more time goes on, the more technology and information gathered and fed through computers, increases.

For a long time now I've wanted to live away from metropolises and be surrounded by nature instead of cars, buildings and city noise (though I can't complain in my current area).*  My 'getaway' place in my head is beautiful; I'll share it with you:  It's a log cabin, surrounded in a valley by mountains.  A river runs through the property and we (yes, 'we' ~ though don't ask me who the 'he' is in the 'we') have just a few animals; sheep (I magically learn how to shear, spin and knit), a cow for milking, cow for beef, a horse (though I don't *love* horses, so I'm not sure why I see one.  To go riding maybe?), a magically reproducing log pile for our fireplace inside.  I do everything on my little homestead (canning, etc) and we're far enough away from the city to have quiet, but close enough should we need essential items, emergency care, etc.  I don't see the world outside of the circle of mountains, though, just inside it :)  The Apocalypse would be going on and I wouldn't know :P  Oh, but I do need to mention - if you visit, please leave everything as it were; I'd hate for things to be out of place when I return ;)

So my point, short of rambling, is I need to somehow create my oasis until I actually get it.  I need to learn to shut off the computer, walk away and do something productive (and/or read one of the hundred books I have on the go).  I've been doing well on weekends I work, I usually won't turn it on; fortunately I can get email on my phone, so I communicate through that if absolutely needed.  There are new things I'd like to do to the apartment, so maybe I'll get around to those this winter.  Paint?  Hang different curtains?  We'll see.

So if I'm neglecting your email, please know that it doesn't mean I'm not thinking of you.  I totally am.  I am just in a state of avoidance.  It's not personal :)

* Though to confuse you further, there are times I love being in the city.  I've visited Toronto a couple times the past few months and part of me misses it (I used to live there).  I love the bustle, the energy, the having-everything-at-hand, the various people (oh there can be some interesting ones), etc, etc.  But as excited as I am to visit it, after a day I'm just as happy to leave.  I'm just not that person anymore.

Monday, November 7, 2011


When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes you feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.
~ Dalai Lama 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I have a suffering case of ADD so I'm going to make this post short, to the point, and blunt.  Roll with it.

My apologies for not catching everyone up on Babu who's unsure - he's doing fabulously!  He's back to himself, if not a bit better.  He plays a lot more now, which is nice.  I really need to get him more toys; something that's more interactive.  I have him on a good quality food and he's doing well.

I don't know why I'm so jittery and jumpy and have the attention span of a gnat.  I can't read the paper online.  I don't have the ability to sit and write an email.  I have the TV going to distract my attention because I can't seem to concentrate on one thing at once.  Not sure what that's about.

I've come down a bit sick and feel totally wiped out.  Slept 9.5 hours last night (unheard of) and napped 2 hrs this afternoon.  I might watch a movie, pop some popcorn and veg.  Taking care of yourself while your sick sucks.  All I want is someone to come make me soup.

Oh, I also have a Facebook rant brewing but I'm not sure where to post it; here? Facebook? G+?  Ugh.. I can't decide.  All I'm gonna say is I REALLY wish more of my friends were signed up on G+.  I'm really, REALLY hating Facebook right now.  Privacy?  Out the window.  Hey look, I could rant a bit after all.

Tomorrow's Friday; it's my Monday (on an 8-day stretch at work).  Hope y'all got a great weekend planned.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Movies Don't Exist

I had taken the time to compile what could easily be called a bit of a rant, but I erased it all.  It wouldn't do you any good to read it and it doesn't do me any good to vocalize it into cyber space.  My depression has gotten the better of me tonight and I'm done all my movies (that were on TV), so I'm just going to go to bed.  If I was to attend your party (there were a couple) and didn't, accept my apologies.  I just wasn't in the socializing mood and wouldn't have been good company.

Hope y'all had fun tonight, whatever you were doing.  Babu and I are heading into a nice, warm bed, daydreaming of movies of things that don't exist.


"It's hard to wait for something you know might never happen;
but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you want."
~ Unknown


"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace today and creates a vision for tomorrow."
~ Melody Beattie

Friday, October 28, 2011

(Not) Being At Peace

This post has been a LONG time coming.  The universe has been haunting me, poking, prodding at me about this subject.  I've been thinking about it, pondering it, keeping it in the back of my mind until it's resolved.  Only it's not resolved, it's still lingering there, hanging in the air... now with bright, flashing neon lights.

I've long been concentrating on people's appearance.  Not their physical appearance (there's already been a post made about that, anyways) but their.. how can I say.. energy, for lack of better terms; how they present themselves, are comfortable with, or at ease with themselves.  How much they're at peace with themself.  And I mean *really* at peace.  They glow.  When being around that person, you feel their peace.  They are okay with who. they. are.  I don't have that peace.  I've been trying and I've been very unsuccessful.  Having said that, I've learned something about myself; also a bit of irony.

I've learned I adapt.  This is nothing new to me; I know I've been a very adaptable person in any given situation.  It used to make me even a bit successful whatever my surroundings/job/social situation.  But I can narrow it down even more and say I adapt *to* the person I'm spending my time with, about 99% of the time.  I think I've done this for many years, I've just never articulated or acknowledged it.  I read them and I play off them.  Okay, that might sound rhetorical to you, but it's not, not in the way I mean it.  I almost, at times, micro-manage my emotions, reactions and idiosyncrasies *to* them (or you, if you're reading this).  (It sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it?)  You can say in a way, I've made *my* persona out of fragments I've developed from many people.  Does that make me my own individual person?  Or does it not make it "me" and that it only makes "me" pieces of people stitched together like a quilt making a separate entity?  Those little cloths were once one large piece of fabric.  It was whole.  And I'm quite sure, if it could talk before getting carelessly snipped into fragmented pieces, it would tell you it was happy and at peace with itself.  But now that little swatch of fabric has joined other swatches of fabrics.  He might now feel surrounded by swatch friends, but does not feel whole.  Do they complement him or do they make him feel disconnected?

I heard a quote years ago that hasn't left me and pops up in my head from time to time; "What makes you think you're separate from the world around you?"

Metaphors aside, (I really do think too much sometimes, don't I?) I need to find the real me.  The me I'm comfortable being.  I'm not sure why I'm not.  Fear of rejection, perhaps.  Lack of self-confidence.  Being burned too many times by too many various people (and relationships - friendship or intimate). There is a huge lack of trust there.  People in my life (past or present) have often dictated (with or without words) how I should express myself, what I should say or shouldn't say, how I should act, socialize, be - so I think a large part of me has given up, resigned.

The irony I mentioned earlier?  Long story short; with the first chat site I belonged to (some 16 years ago), I thought of the code name 'Maveric' (yes, you're seeing it mis-spelled without the 'k'; some slimy bastard took the name before me, but being the stubborn person I am, still wanted it so I.. ha.. conformed..and altered it.  I couldn't pick a new name.  Noooo, that wouldn't do.  I gave in and altered instead of asserting a new choice).  Maverick as defined by Websters is, "A person who refuses to follow the customs or rules of a group".  They're a nonconformist.  What have I been doing the last 20 years?  Conforming.


There is that 1% that I feel I can be 100% of myself with (whatever that "self" is).  That number of friends I can count on is less than the fingers of my hand. I don't feel I need to compete with this person, or they've demonstrated over various situations and trials that I can trust them and I know they'll be there time and time again - whatever shit I pull.   So that usually dictates I've known these people for many years.  It's just a shame I can't spend more time with them.  Or maybe I should just conform less.

Wow, the mere mention of the word makes my skin crawl.  I hate it.  Striving for avoidance has caused me to manifest into the one type of creature I detest.  Do I detest myself?  No, not at all.  This cat's just trying to find her groove, is all.  So the adventure continues.

That's WAY more than enough self-introspection for today.  And for a Friday no less!  How dare I!  Well, I hope you have fun plans for Halloween weekend.  I'm heading to a party or two, perhaps sans costume (oh don't judge) so I'm looking forward to some social activity.  I even have plans into next Monday!  Exciting.  Oh, and tonight I'm going to see Jill Barber in concert!  Can't wait!

Have a great weekend folks.  Have fun and be careful, whatever you do!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Washing The Dishes To Wash The Dishes

I want to share with you an excerpt of a piece of writing I saw today.  I thought it is a good reminder to be in the moment and to not rush all the time if we can help it.  There's something to be said (in this example) for not thinking ahead.

"In the United States, I have a close friend named Jim F.  When I first me him eight years ago, he was working with the Catholic Peace Fellowship.  Last winter, Jim came to visit.  I usually wash the dishes after we've finished the evening meal, before sitting down and drinking tea with everyone also.  One night, Jim asked if he might do the dishes.  I said, "Go ahead, but if you wash the dishes, you must know the way to wash them."  Jim replied, "Come on, you think I don't know how to wash the dishes?"  I answered, "There are two ways to wash the dishes.  The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes.  Jim was delighted and said, "I choose the second way -- to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes."  From then on, Jim knew how to wash the dishes.  I transferred the "responsibility" to him for an entire week.
- Venerable Master Thich Nhat Hanh, from "The Miracle of Mindfullness"


"If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as they were a nuisance, then we are not "washing the dishes to wash the dishes."  What's more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes.  In fact, we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink.  If we can't wash the dishes, the chances are we won't be able to drink our tea, either.  While of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands.  Thus, we are sucked away into the future -- and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life."

I'm not going to make any personal comments on this; I don't want to taint what you might get from it, so I'm going to let it sit with you and you can come to your own thoughts and reflections.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

As Promised

I finally scanned a few pictures of Nathan (it's not that I didn't want to; my laptop has no battery life and I have to plug in; it's a whole production to do something simple).   Sorry it took so long.  I've tried cropping the pictures a bit; in the preview they extend over the actual post limits, size wise, so if they're 'off', I apologize. I wanted to place them big enough, because if you click on them to see the bigger picture, it's huge.  Hope you don't mind.

My mom wrote on the back of this picture, "The Crew of '82".  I would have been 6.  From left to right: Nate, A. and myself (what I would do for that colour hair again).  Weren't we goofy?  Always joking around.  

Look at the faces - again!  I don't think we knew how to do anything else.  This was our place, out in the country when they'd come visit; this is where we'd have the fires.  Good times.  

Me, my cousin, A. and Nate.  Went skating one day; a lot of fun.  Dude, just.. don't judge the hair (I hesitated putting this one up).  I remember really feeling something for him this day.  I kept skating with him or near him :) 

Their mom was getting re-married (cropped out).  This is probably the most recent pic I have of him - a year before his death, in 1990 (passed in '91).  In the rest of this picture everyone is looking in the opposite direction, but Nate was looking at my mom's camera.  Not sure why.  Lucky chance, I guess.  I'm thankful.

And that's that.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I read this somewhere today and I really like it.  It kind of goes along the lines of a discussion a friend and I had (you know who you are).  I hope you like it (rather you agree or not)....

Loving the wrong person
We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us, but if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. It isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems – the ones that make you truly who you are – that you’re ready to find a life-long mate. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person – someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have.”
 - Andrew Boyd, Daily Afflictions

Sunday, October 9, 2011


This is completely random.

First.. I miss studying architecture.  I watch This Old House and/or Ask This Old House and.. I just get home build/repair/renovation lust.  Then I get sad.

Second.. second... crap! I forget the second.  I had two randoms.

Well, I guess that's all for now.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Crazy Idea?

So today I got feedback about the Meyers Briggs test I did a couple weeks ago through work.  Turns out I'm an INFP.  Wasn't much to my surprise and all the explanations for the dichotomies were pretty right on.  In fact, I(ntroversion) and P(erceiving) had slight variances (aka. were on the border.  I'm highly adaptable to both, but have a preference to what's listed here), where (i)N(tuition) and F(eeling) were more moderate/pronounced.  We had a great conversation and we talked about how these traits carry me through work, rather feeding me energy or draining me.  I listed particular activities about the job that did either of those; it was easy to point out.  I was also curious how my attributes could be applied to another job and what sort of job would suit me better vs. what I'm currently doing, for example.  She said my eyes lit up when I spoke about this one job I'd contemplated applying for, only I didn't.

Food Service in a Hospice.

Crazy?  Not for me.  I've always wanted to work in Hospice or Palliative Care, ever since I was young and started volunteering in hospitals (back when I was 14; my friend MK and I started out fresh as Candy Stripers (yes, one 'p', thankyouverymuch :P) at the local hospital).  She actually continued a career in nursing and I in and out of hospitals, nursing homes and/or food.  I've always very much believed in and felt passionate about what I do at the hospital - giving the ONE thing that people can't live without - food.  It's sustaining, nourishing, healing.  I forget the importance of what I do, sometimes, getting too caught up in .. crap.  But what a service!

And whenever I heard, say, someone being on death row, it was natural for me that the first thing I would think of is, "Fine, but what kind of last meal are they getting?"

Sure, I thought I wanted to run a restaurant.  I wanted to reach people through food.  Communicate it's wholesomeness, warmth, comfort, sustenance.  Nourish them.  But how much better would it be if I gave that gift to someone who only had limited time to live?  And not only them, but their immediate family who visit them (that at times, can be daily - and that in itself is draining).

I could run a kitchen in a Hospice/Palliative Care setting.  I have the certification now (for institutional service).  I have tons of food service experience, in and out of institutions.  I have the passion, the care and the desire.  I would decide available meals (and they'd all be *fantastic* of course).  So why the hell DON'T I go for it?

To be continued......


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nathan (a long post)

It's late, I'm getting tired.  Too late for a tea, I'm afraid, or I'll be up all night (which I find extremely frustrating, because all I want right now is a damned tea).  But I feel like talking.  It's been a while since I've shared something personal with you.

I want to introduce you to a friend of mine, Nathan.  We grew up together from a young age (I'd say we met when we were about 5/6) having lived in the same townhouse complex.  Myself, him and his sister A., well, we were the three musketeers.  Inseparable.  I have pictures, I should scan one sometime.

There was never a dull day with us; one of us was always getting into trouble.  My parents had to remind me (when I was older) that one day Nathan hid his report card in the bush (not having done well, of course) and I pulled it out, questioning what it was, handing it over to my parents.  Ha.  Oops.  And our parents kind of disciplined the other's kids (their mom was much more easy going than mine was).  Poor Nathan, he was always getting into trouble.  I'm sure at one point he was standing in the corner (of *our* house), crying, having his mouth washed out with soap (I'm not even lying) for having said something inappropriate.  Or was that me?  I'm not sure.  Memory is sketchy from that age.  One day A. convinced me to use my Crayola purple finger paints and paint the walls - of our rented home - instead of paper.  *laughing*  Wow, I remember going from the top of the stairs, down the stairway (apparently it got on the carpet, too), sliding my gooey, purple hands aaaaaall the way down the wall of the stairs to the bottom.  I'm laughing about it now, but man, did we get in trou-ble!  Phew.  My mom was so pissed about having to clean all that up.  I didn't get any chocolate for Easter THAT year!  (We still talk about that story to this day and laugh.)

We didn't stay there long I don't think; a year or two, then we moved out into the country and A. and Nathan were still in the city.  We would visit; our families would get together.  I remember having them over for a fire (have pictures of that, too).  We would always goof around and we would ALWAYS be laughing.  Always, always laughing.

Spring ahead a few more years into our (early) teens (about 13/14).  I still lived in the country but would be in the city every other weekend to visit my dad.  Nathan and I started to get together more.  The anticipation I felt when I knew I was meeting up with him, the nervous jitters, the giddiness... but at the same time, not nervous.  He was one of my best friends to hang around with (even if we saw each other less as we grew).  There was a sort of peace being with him.  He felt like home.  I didn't care what we did, so long as we did it together.  He would treat me so well, I remember, always wanting the best for me.  He would take me out for lunch, talk, go for walks.  Oh the laughs we used to have.  I still remember to this day sitting together over lunch in this sort of fancy (well, for us kids) restaurant laughing over what was on our plates; the funny way the potato salad was arranged and he would (as always) crack jokes about stuff.  We were laughing so hard we were in tears, trying to catch our breath!  I smile now remembering it; his smile (heh, his braces!), his stark blue eyes, his blonde hair (that was buzzed short for cadets).  Vocalized or not at the time, we were dating.  I remember leaving him from one of our dates (it sounds so silly to call it a 'date' when so young); we were on the city bus sitting in the very back seat.  He got off first.  My eyes followed him as we drove off, turning around and waving to him out the back window.  He was smiling.  You know... that content, huge grin that someone brings to your face when you think of them.  I didn't like being away from him, but such were our realities.

One morning, I'm not sure what time (07:30?) when I was 14 (I was still sleeping of course) I heard someone come to the door.  My parents answered.  There was crying.  Still in my stupor, I knew something was wrong.  I knew who it involved and that dread filled and paralyzed me.  Soon enough, my mom gently knocked on my door, came in, sat at the side of the bed and told me Nathan had killed himself the night before; his parents found him on the floor in the basement family room, gun in hand (and a note I never got to read or hear much about, unfortunately).  I muttered some obscenities.  I cried.  I felt even more dread.  I was downright angry.  How dare he.  How DARE the one guy I felt at peace with and slowly fell in love with.. leave me!  We'd just started developing our friendship more, seeing each other.  I was completely empty.

I remember the funeral.  The black clothes.  So many black clothes.  A bit of the speech his sister gave.  The song she played that he liked ('Somebody', Depeche Mode.  To this day I'll cry when I hear it).  I don't remember if I cried or not.  I remember feeling sort of out-of-body.  I got to know death a lot when I was young, so funerals (and my actions during them) were common; I'd usually save my tears for behind closed doors.

After that is a bit of a blur, until I was 16.  I was suicidal (for other various, personal reasons) & his death had a bit to do with it.  But don't worry, things got better.  I moved on.  I... accepted.

Accepting someone's death doesn't mean you miss them any less.  God I miss him.  There are times in life I think about him daily and days or weeks I won't think about him at all.  I still get angry.  I get angry at having someone so perfect for me (who let me be imperfect) be taken away so soon.  But there's a reason for everything, isn't there?  Even when I was young I knew this and had faith and no problems accepting it.  Except with him... I never learned the reason.

I wonder if I've been trying to fill his shoes since he's been gone (a nearly impossible task).  Unconsciously, of course.  I see some of the common traits in my most important men (which I'll keep to myself, though if you know me you'll probably guess what some of them are).  I try to look at his death a different way these days, though.  How can I honour him?  How can I keep alive the one person who never mistreated me?  Who wanted the best for me.  Who, in some young way, loved me.  So I think about these things and I keep him close to me.  It makes me happy.  I ask him for guidance should I find a man to spend my life with.  I always thought he had a hand in K and I being together in some way.  But now?  I'm not sure.  Time will tell.

This is my Nathan.  He was such a fabulous person.  All he wanted to do was make people laugh.  I forgot how important that is (to have happiness, laughter).  I hope you have some in yours; he'd think you'd deserve it.  I know I do :)

Looks like I could have had that tea after all.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Today's the first time in a couple weeks now, that I've had the mental capacity to do anything for more than 10 min at a time.  Okay, that might be a lie - I've since tried to do 3 other things within writing that first sentence.

There's mixed news on Babu; he gets better, he gets worse.. all on a day-by-day basis.  The roller coaster is exhausting.  I'm not eating much.  And that's all I have to say about that.

I haven't even thought about Thanksgiving until now.  If you're local and want to do something, let's talk.  At this rate with Babu, I'm not sure I can instigate/plan something, but I can definitely take part.  Part of me would like to hold dinner (I always like to), but I don't know.  I don't have a turkey.  And that's all I have to say about that.

Work?  Bleh.  This past week was nice; we had a staff appreciation week for our department.  Management did some cool stuff.  I won a prize yesterday (Gwyneth Paltrow's book, "My Father's Daughter" which in review to my surprise, is actually quite fantastic!  Will expand on it later.  A DVD from the American Culinary Institute on cuisine in Vietnam and the Island of Sicily and Lipton's Chai Tea which is the only pre-made tea that I've found closest to my own homemade chai tea).  But work itself?  I'm done.  Completely done.  And that's all I have to say about that.

My innards are good.  GF and dairy-reduced ended yesterday, but I'm still going to keep it up.

Choir is going well, but I haven't got my voice back yet.  I think I sound atrocious, can't stay on key or get there in the first place or hit the notes I used to.  And somehow, I've almost slipped down to alto.  I am, technically, a mezzo-soprano - I can do both, though I'm most comfortable with soprano... until now).  I hope I'll bounce back soon before Advent.  And that's all I have to say about that.

Otherwise, enjoying the weekend off.  I'd better get back to work; I'm trying to clean off my table as I'm having company tomorrow for dinner.  Hope you're having a great Saturday.  Get out and enjoy that weather & go for a walk - it's beautiful out!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Hey all.  I'm gonna write real quickly to debrief you on Babu.  You may or may not know, but he's come down with a case of fatty liver.  This can be fatal in cats - easily and quickly.  Their livers can shut down and stop working, which means end of Babu.  I have to force feed him by syringe, and it's challenging at best.  I could be wrong, but I think cats are the worst to force feed; they like to do everything on their own time, never mind eating.  And never mind having someone force food down their throat.  Anyways... yesterday was semi-successful - despite protest, he accepted the force feedings and ate some chicken on his own.  Today, he's not doing anything and he brings up what he consumes.  He's going too many hours without food and I'm worried.

Just wondering if y'all could send positive thoughts and prayers this way - we need 'em!  Thanks!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Every person is a precious gift, and we are all like little children who yearn for acceptance, safety and unconditional love.
~ Bryant McGill

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gluten Free/Dairy Reduced... FAIL

Ugh.. I completely suck at this.  I mean, you have no idea.  I'm almost failing on a daily basis.  Not big things (usually), just little things mind, but still, a failure.  Tonight's dinner was a classic example; went out for sushi with a friend tonight (I've had mad cravings for it and I thought ahead - as long as I order my handrolls and sushi, I'll be fine, i.e - no tempura.  Mmm... tempura).  Anyways, I make my first order, start eating.  Oh hell.. soy sauce (has gluten in it, if you weren't aware).  Well, might as well keep going (poor mentality I imagine, I should have stopped) and tried to keep it at a minimum.  While I was at the soy sauce, I caved and had the tempura.  Sigh.  I'm hopeless.  Dude, don't judge.  Most days I'm okay, like 95% GF, but I find when I go out, I suck at it.  Even if I try to plan.  Even if I choose a meal that I don't think has gluten in it until after I get it (ordered a salad at the pub.. caesar, with a chicken breast on it.  What does caesar have in it?  You got it, croutons.  Epic fail.  Didn't eat them, but still).

So.. this whole diet change comes with a learning curve.  And discipline.  Lots, and lots of discipline.  That I don't have.  But... I'm honestly trying anyways.  A lot of other things I buy are GF; snacks, granola bars, stuff for breakfast, dinner at home, etc.  I've baked GF chocolate cupcakes (gross) with icing (Duncan Hines, which already comes GF, actually - and yum).

Anyways, just wanted to make a quick status update on the GF.  Going to bed early tonight.  Hella tired.  Having a close friend from out of town come visit tomorrow night and I can't wait.

Happy Saturday!  Don't do anything I wouldn't do ;)  (probably not a far stretch, compared to my GF adventures.. lol)

Toronto now has a Garlic Festival

Toronto now has a Garlic Festival

Yum... A Must Try

Sweet baby Jebus.  Yes, please.

Chef Michael Smith's delicious dark chocolate peanut butter cups.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

peach crème fraiche pie with a thyme butter crust | Sassy Radish

Must try this. It's on "the list"...

peach crème fraiche pie with a thyme butter crust | Sassy Radish

Emotions, Emotions, Everywhere

I haven't wanted to write about personal stuff for a while.  I've been working through some things (ugh..self work can be SO draining) and I just haven't felt in a sharing mood.  I feel my short-comings have been amplified and picked apart and judged (why is everyone so concerned with MY well-being lately?!  Honestly, I'm fine!  Or at least, I will be)... so I've been going into a sort of cocoon mode (I don't always want to talk about me!  Shocker, I know).  Besides, quietness grants more introspection.  Not always a bad thing.  When I need a time-out from my emotions, I know how to separate myself.

So.. let's talk about other stuff.  Health stuffs.  A lot has changed the past couple weeks.  After going off the antibiotics (only took half the prescription, they were making me *way* too sick otherwise) I also around the same time adapted a Gluten Free and reduced dairy diet (no more cows milk; now drinking almond milk, have very little cheese, but still eat yogurt every day).  Things I've noticed so far..

- decreased appetite (snacking has gone down)
- no sugar spikes
- in 12 days, a loss of 6lbs
- no cravings for breads at all (except a piece of toast.  I would KILL for a single piece of toast and butter)
- I'm medication-free aside from days/moments that I'm leery/want to do a preemptive (if I'm going out, etc)
- increasing fruits by far from previous intake, also veggies a bit

All in all, pretty damn good things!  The first few positives I've seen in a long time.  I'm going to try to use this motivation to get more walking in (so if you're local, hit me up) if I'm still feeling okay.  Especially with the nice weather.  Oh also, thanks to a talk with a friend tonight, I'm speculating I might have a sulphite sensitivity.  I'm going to test this moving forward; I'm interested to see.  Already, the theory has potential (as I look back at some of the things I've eaten and how I've reacted).  Will post more on this later.

Alright, keeping this short tonight.  Still recovering from tonight's endeavors and the Jazz Festival and Nuit Blanche last weekend (I lasted until 03:30 :) ).  Let me tell you, some of the BEST music is heard in back alleys or coffee houses in the wee hours of the morning.  For which I'm thankful.  I felt in my element.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I, with deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage, or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.
~ Anais Nin

Friday, August 26, 2011

Going Gluten Free

I have many adventures to write about yesterday's trip to Toronto (if I ever get around to it.  If I don't, the purpose for which I went made it a *very* successful day) but I will do that another time.  Today, is about health stuffs.

The doc put me on antibiotics, a bit to my protest.  Listen, if you know I'm taking these, you know I'm trying anything at this point.  We've almost completely run out of options (well, *I* think that, I know he still has stuff in mind).  These were the antibiotics that are trying to target certain bacteria in the gut that may be causing my problems (more on this later).  Ugh... they've made me so sick.  It's difficult to go anywhere so I've been boarded up in this apartment quite a lot, except for the purposes of work, appointments or (necessary) errands.  And when I do go out, I heavily medicate (wheee! more drugs!  /sarcasm).  I can't decide if I want to stay on them (I'm about half way done its course).  I keep telling myself 'short-term suffering for long-term gain' but I don't even know if they'll work!  Have I subjected my body to vulnerability without just cause?  Am I curing with medication when I've believed things can be cured through food/diet or lifestyle?  I just don't know.  Then he said it again (also in our previous visit)....

"You should try a gluten-free elimination diet for 4 weeks."

Last time I pretended not to hear him.  What are you talking about gluten free?  No breads?  Toast?  Pasta?  Cookies? (gasp! cookies!) No French cooking?!?! (how much gluten free French cooking do you know of?)  I think I might just cry at this point.  BEER!?!?  Denial is NOT just a river in Egypt.

So when he said it this time, I was ready to listen.  I still protested, don't get me wrong.  But what I soon realized was whining, was actually panic.  I don't know how to eat WITHOUT eating those things.  No oatmeal in the morning?  No toast as a filler between snacks, or before bed?  No grilled cheese sammiches?!  No relaxing beer on a Friday night at the pub?  Depressing.  But, if I want to feel better, I HAVE to try it.  Remember?  I'm trying anything.

The reason is thus (and I'm probably going to explain this totally wrong, so I apologize in advance); when I eat carbs (and I eat a lot, my friend), my gut can only process so much at a time.  What's leftover, ferments.  The bacteria in there is whoopin' it up, havin' a party (as it was explained to me, "it's like giving a kegger to a frat party").  More carbs?  More keggers.  That's what causes the pain, the sickness.  Your gut says, "Woa, too much!" and finds ways of elimination (I guess the frat boys are on their way home at this point).

So this also brings to suggestion about a fructose sensitivity (for the same fermentation/bacteria problem).  Now, I don't have an 'outright' problem with fruit.  I seem to ingest small enough portions at a time for it not to bother me; which isn't to say it's not a culprit, but I'll be cognizant of it for now.  It sure as hell explains why I can't drink apple cider (one drink of that and the pain, discomfort and sickness that ensues is enough to last me the year).

There's a six-food elimination diet (cow's milk, nuts & tree nuts, soy, shellfish and wheat/gluten - also see here) that's possible (it also seems to tie in with eosinophilic esophogitis which I'd never heard of until now), but he doesn't want me to go to that extreme right away.  Right now he just wants me to eliminate gluten and dairy.  If I try any first, I'll try the gluten (dairy will be easy, I don't consume THAT much.... or do I?).

So.. I've been spending the last few days mentally preparing.  What day I'll actually choose to give 'er a go?  No idea. Maybe Sept 1.  Which is right around the corner.  And I haven't begun shopping for gluten free foods.  Oh, please shoot me.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


"Just remember, there's a right way and a wrong way to do everything, and the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way."
~ Col. Potter, M*A*S*H, Television show

Monday, August 22, 2011

Quotes.. One For The Record Books

My friends, love is better than anger.  Hope is better than fear.  Optimism is better than despair.  So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.  And we'll change the world.
~ Jack Layton, NDP Leader, RIP

I loved this man purely for his steadfast convictions and his ability to relate with people.  With him, what you saw is what you got.  A very, very kind man.

RIP Jack.  I think we can definitely say you made an impact; your shoes will be hard to fill.  God speed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another Vent

And can I also say, I hate the advice (should a man message me), "Don't answer him right away."


I don't play the waiting game.  Mostly because I have a zero tolerance for bullshit.  If I have something to say, I'll say it.

Having said that, I don't want a man thinking I'm hanging on his every word and I understand the "needing to wait" crap.  But you know what?  JUST ANSWER THE EFFING EMAIL!!!



Yes there's a reason for this post.  No I'm not going to tell you what it is.

A Bit of Scripture...

For the Faithful.  Others may want to carry-on....

I have an app on my phone that gives me a reading every morning (I *try* to remember to meditate on said reading through the day, but I have to be honest that I usually forget).  Usually quite brief, contains a couple of verses.  A sentence or two.  Due to my lack of trust in The Plan, it seems He thought it was necessary to send me this.  A cruel, cruel joke.  I know He's saying, "I'm not ignoring you and I KNOW you're going to think this fits, 'cause that's how you roll, so you have to listen to Me because I haven't forgotten about you."

Romans 5:3-5

"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."

A More Common Sense Approach

I'm mainly tagging this article for Bix, but Michelle & Life Resident, you might be interested in it, too (purely for being in the health-care field).

This article, "Beyond BMI" is on how one group of people don't believe the BMI is the most accurate scale of one's health.  They've developed a new 'scale' or system in gauging one's weight vs. mortality/future health problems that seems more common sense to me.  I never believed in the BMI scale, only because yes, I've always been overweight, but until now (the past 5 years) I've been incredibly healthy otherwise with larger amounts of muscle mass than most (i.e) my size (I did a LOT of weight training when I was younger).  The BMI doesn't account for muscle mass.  Anyways, give it a read, you may find it interesting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Let's Turn It Around, Shall We?

Right, so, I'm an ass (and feeling a little sheepish).  I looked back at the reminder I'd kept for myself... and my memo wasn't on "fixing" people, it was on "helping" people.  I think perhaps I'd fixated on Coldplay's "Fix You" too much with one thought and the rest took a spin-off from there (and perhaps a slight case of PMS).  Whoops.  Having said that, I got to see how some of my own thinking is flawed and its foundation/motivation.  Anyways, let me explain....

My questionable theory was to help people evolve.  Yes, my opinion of them evolving into a better person is a) subjective and b) insignificant.  Again, why point out something to someone who may not want to receive said suggestions (or for that fact, might not be 'ready' to hear what I have to say)?  When I got upset at myself for my increasing need to judge/control people, in my heart & gut I knew it was because I wasn't living Christ-like.  Where do I get off trying to presume I know the intention of one's life path better than God?  I don't lead a stellar life all of the time and I sure as hell know some of my actions are less than holy, but as far as my values and convictions about how people should be treated - I try to keep as close to God as humanly possible.  When I saw I wasn't, I felt like I wasn't the only person I let down.  So my goal isn't to 'fix people', but to also make them more Christ-like*.  I have good intention, but the execution was a little flawed.

So when I see something in someone that strikes me as not (i.e) treating people well or with proper respect, I get a little twitchy and want to talk to them about *how* they're treating (for example) me and well, really, I want to point out their flaws (not so Christ-like) and to help smooth out the rough edges so if not me, the next person can benefit (more Christ-like?).  But how can I do this and not appear (or be, for that fact) judgmental?

Something else that kind of ties in with all of this that's really been irking me for a long time (and I mean, years).  It's a side tangent (read: vent) that's kind of related and I am a little angry about, so bear with me.  I'm tired of my friends (it's not all of you, just there have been people in the past/present) thinking they can dictate my life, who I should be with or not be with.  I've heard people come right out and say, "He's not worthy."  Who the hell do you think you are deciding who's worthy for *me*??  Don't put YOUR past and YOUR hangups on men on ME.  Unfortunately (fortunately?) I've been graced with the gift of having infinite amounts of patience for people and seeing *their* side of things (and seeing the good in them as well, when on the outside it seems not so good).  This is MY gift.  You don't have to like it, you don't have to understand it, but by God I need you to respect it (or at least me for having that ideology).  It seriously pisses me off and I don't have the patience for it, so you can understand why I'm upset with myself for pulling the same behaviour and becoming critical of others.**

Also, when I say I'm not being treated 'properly' (for lack of better summarization), in hindsight (and honesty) I need to express that it's just because I'm not getting what I want (really... acting like a 6-year old & throwing a tantrum).  The person(s) I speak of has never disrespected me (or if it's happened, it's been rare and forgivable for the most part).   I want to blatantly point out to said person(s) that if they just saw... /this/... they would understand, turn around and life would be magically happy and perfect again.  Wishing too much?  Right.

My patience is running thin, I'm having a lot of lack of faith for His plan and I'm just frustrated to all hell.  *I* know what I want, why can't He just give it to me? :P (joking, if you've missed the sarcasm.)  Damn, there's that Free Will guy again, I see him lurking around the corner.

Wow.  So... this whole.. admitting my faults publicly has made me quite humble and feeling accountable for my actions (at this point, I question why I write anything here).  I kind of want to bury myself in a hole for a while and not come out for a couple months until I smooth everything out .  Hopefully if you see me you'll be gentle and loving anyways while I try to piece and form myself back together again.

* To my Atheist friends: try not to have a knee-jerk reaction (if you have) with a dose of 'how dare you?'  I mean well and you can re-word/re-interpret as you see fit; understand what I have to say is that I just want to help one become better, more whole etc, as the universe uses me as a prop in your life to aid you in whatever life lesson you need to learn.
** This paragraph comes with so many other thoughts; mostly it's understood one's friend being critical comes from a place  of love and care - concern for wanting to see the best for the person we love.  It all comes from a good place, but can sound critical and superior.  Also, I understand my patience can be interpreted as losing interpretation of what's best for me, what I deserve, what my self-worth is and what I'll tolerate from certain individuals.  This is something I continue to learn and struggle with.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fix Me

I've got the PGA Tour on today.  Had it on yesterday too and will likely have it on again tomorrow.  I like watching it, but also like having it as background noise.  I find it very calming.  I'm a little sad McIlroy's out (from what I understand), though tendon injuries will do that to ya.  Not sad Tiger's out; he's lost his game and needs to take a break, I think.  Also, keep an eye on Keegan Bradley; slowly turning out to be a sure thing, I think.  This one's a tricky course; lots of sand and water hazards.

I'm a bit down after my previous posts.  Didn't go to Mass tonight; partly tired from work, part didn't feel like it, part a voice telling me I should stay in.  So I stayed in.  Might sit back with a movie, a comforting tea, and God help me if I can find any, some chocolate.

I'd like you to understand (since I've bared my soul ~ why stop there?), that it may appear I'm being overly hard on myself.  Sure.. a bit.  It's important to me, though, which is why it's taking such a tole on my soul.  This was the ONE thing I was proud of myself on, was not judging people.  It's not my job.  I leave all that stuff up to our Maker.  Yeah, I know I can be a control-freak, I just didn't realize how much, or how much I really listen to the little voices inside my head (read: how much they conform/suggest my actions).  However I move forward, I don't want to rush any change; I'd like to be cognizant of my actions.  Anyways, that's all for now.

I'm gonna forget about all this (or try) and pop in a movie, sit back with some munchies and have a quiet night.  Hope your having a great weekend so far!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fix You, Pt. II

So, I didn't entirely finish my thoughts in my last post.  I'd started, but it got too long and well, forgot.  There was a reason I was writing all that; more to expand on.

Is it our job to fix people?  "Fix people".. it's kind of a loaded phrase, isn't it?  How many meanings does it have?  Is it insulting?  Maybe it isn't articulate.  Let me explain my thoughts.  When I mentioned the last guy, I kinda said I wanted to vocalize things.  Well, I want to vocalize a lot to people anyways, but especially to him.  How perhaps I thought his thinking or rational was flawed (who am I to judge? Well, I did it anyways) and wanting to say things to turn everything around to.. make more sense (listen to me, I sound so ridiculous right now).

Wait.. let's just take a moment.  I mean, I've had these thoughts in my head, but now I'm almost hearing them from an outside point of view.  Change thoughts?  Flawed thinking?  Judge people?  Make things "make more sense"?  Who the hell do I think I am???  Wow.  I think I just got a dose/reason to STFU.  I think I'll carry on with my post, though.  If not for embarrassment, then at least self-therapy.  Humour me.  (Just like, don't send me hate mail. kthanks).

You know what.. I'm having a hard time right now.  I've tried writing an entire new paragraph, but.... I can't.  I can't think of a single example to express how I'm feeling/what I'm thinking without sounding *incredibly* a) judgmental  b) harsh or c) insensitive.  Who am I to say what a person does, is or isn't right?  Sure, we all form opinions.  We all get mad at times when someone doesn't do something we like (or the way we like).  I pride myself often on rolling with the punches, being adaptable or very understandable/empathetic to ones situation, but then I'm just as quick to want to tell someone when they're (i.e) not treating me as I'd like, or responding to something I've said or done not to my liking/desire.  When they don't act "accordingly" (for lack of better words), I feel a strong desire to vocalize "what" they're doing wrong.  How is that my job?!  How do I see that it's my position to change someone that might not want to change, or be told how they appear, or have pointed out their "faults" as I see fit?

I'm... speechless.

If they are doing something that bothers me, I need to take a look at what that act is that bothers me and why it's striking a chord.  Why is it upsetting?  Why do I (AGAIN) feel the need to control?

Sigh.  I assure you, I don't have a lot of control issues.  Okay, maybe I do (I can see my friends shaking their heads already - I'll save you the effort).  I mean, I'm not fanatic about it.  Okay maybe I can be at times.  Gah!  I don't understand where this comes from!

My childhood consisted of events out of my control: parental divorce, parental abuse, family-member abuse/violations, being told I couldn't do something (I mean in the context to aspire to be something), acquiring siblings I may not have wanted (but love all the same, don't get me wrong).  Am I really trying to over-compensate?  Right now I have issues beyond my control (an ex that won't come home from a job overseas, another local boy who says he doesn't want to be with me when I'm sure deep down parts of him does, how I'm treated at my job by lackadaisical and political management).  I know, these matters are no big deal and you can play your violin, but they're in my world and are predominant to me.  This is my reality.

I really don't know what to say right now and think I need to take a time out.  If you're my friend, hopefully you don't hate me and if you don't know me, hopefully you'll keep reading anyways.  I guess we discover (read: come to terms with) ugly truths about ourselves at some point or another.  I guess I'm pretty surprised because I realize how predominant these qualities are within myself.  They have been acceptable by those around me because this is "who I am", but who says I can't change who I am for the better?

Or at least try.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


As borrowed from a friend online...

If she's amazing, she won't be easy.  If she's easy, she won't be amazing.  If she's worth it, you won't give up.  If you give up, you aren't worthy.
~ Unknown

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fix You (and Self Therapy)

"When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse"

Coldplay's, Fix You has been running through my mind lately.  I'm not a big Coldplay fan, but this is a quiet, melancholic sort of song that's nice to listen to with a few poignant words.  Give it a quick listen if you haven't heard it yet.  I've been trying my hardest to organize my thoughts for this post (it's been brewing for a few days), but I'm having tremendous difficulty.  Or at least, to make it make sense for you.  Or sane.  Take your pick of words.

I have this desire to... how can I say... say a lot of everything that's on my mind to men.  And I mean, not *everything*, but most things.  Especially when things don't work out; I feel the need to offer my opinion, rather it's wanted or not.  I'm not sure what the rational is behind it.  I want to be 'heard'.  I'm sure it stems from the desire to control things beyond my control.  I think I secretly figure that if I offer enough opinion, it'll make sense, he'll see things my way, everything will fall into place.. and everyone's happy.  Or perhaps if I talk enough I'll be convincing and they'll *see* the logic (I'm saying this with a straight face, though you may not be seeing it like that.. heh).

Not so easy, my friend.

"And the tears come streaming down your face
when you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?"

When it didn't work out with this last guy, I was a tiny bit hurt (he threw around a lot of big words and phrases around, including the 'L' word) and a LOT confused & a bit frustrated - when he came back to say indeed we wouldn't be starting a union.  It's funny (in a non ha-ha sort of way) that yes I saw myself with this person, but not right away (this was in the past).  I saw them as slowly coming into their own, slowly slipping into that notch of maturity or growing up (and I don't mean this in a derogatory sense; we grow at all age levels) that would make them more.. complete, more whole, more... who they really are.  I thought this was the time, but apparently not.  They've gone back to minimal communication, cause that seems to be what's easier for guys to do.

"And high up above or down below
when you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
just what you're worth"

So I've had to discern again if I should change my vocation (to religious life).  I've looked into it before, but it kind of came to a dead stop.  According to my prayer time yesterday, that's not the path for me.  So.. what now?  What is my purpose?  I want a husband, but does God want me to have one?  I try and do "my part" and make effort to get one, but Free Will comes in and says, "Ha! Not yet!"  That blasted Free Will.  *shakes fist in air*

Let go.

"And lights will guide you home"

I can't.  I hope too much (the sign of an endless romantic).  So I fear I shall wind up a lonely, old spinster.  With lots of cats.  The crazy old spinster cat lady.

I was writing a friend and I came up with an analogy.  I think it's pretty bad-ass.  I sent them this (with minor tweaking)...

"I don't think you're less 'whole' now or more 'broken'.  Heartaches, life's obstacles & challenges create a more fully characteristic person.  I mean, I sort of relate it to an old hardwood floor.  At first it's strong, it carries the weight no problem.  Then it gets stepped on, worn, battered, abused... but it still carries everything.  The more it ages, the more it knows where its weak spots are, and its strong spots; it makes compensations, balances and adjustments how to carry that weight.

Going through these situations hasn't made you weaker - it's made you stronger"

And that's all I have to say for today.

Friday, August 5, 2011


We must eradicate from the soul all fear and terror of what comes to us out of the future.
~ "Better", book by Atul Gawande, surgeon

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Came across this through a friend today, an article on how Antioxidants Don't Work.  Anyone have any thoughts?  Bix?  Life Resident?  Amanda?  Michelle?

Sounds like to me such levels need to be in a fine balance, just like everything else.  But is it that easy?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Sold My Soul To The Devil

So, I helped a friend out with something this morning, and after we spent time together I asked if we could pop by Wal-mart so I could pick up a belt (much needed).  Wal-mart was close by, and not having a car myself, I didn't want to take her out of her way, y'know?  Now, please know I don't support Wal-mart.  Ever.  Or, I try not to.  At best, if I have to shop there for something, it's a) rare, b) for items I can get at particularly reduced prices (I'm not made of money, yo) or c) I'm sure I shop for name brand items (I don't support Wal-mart for many reasons, but one being they've been called on using sweatshops for creating their own brand items and refuse to do anything about it).  Thus, if I patronize Wal-mart, I support these poor working conditions.  See?

The belt I had to buy, sadly, was a Wal-mart brand belt.  *sigh*  I feel awful, disgusting, violated.  It was something of necessity, so unavoidable.

When I was checking out, I put a few coinage in the Red Cross jar almost in attempt to atone for my sins, but it did no good.  So now I have to keep thinking about some good deed I could do to make up for the crap I just bought.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

And Life Goes On...

I've had a hard time blogging lately; there's all of these emotions I'd rather keep under lock and key.  So many emotions.  Nonetheless, part of me wants to, so I shall attempt to do so.

I'll start with more recent events; last night we sent A.R off with a bang - a party and 'bon voyagey' (I always hear Bugs Bunny's voice when I say it like that) to celebrate his going to medical school.  It's always nice to be around friends.  With the summer being so busy for everyone, it was nice to re-group, sit around and chat, have a few (a lot) of laughs.  Oh.. and a LOT of food.  Always food.  Yum.  It was a late night for me and only had a few hours sleep, but it was well worth it.

Love's winding road: is winding.  I'm getting too old for this shit.  And that's all I have to say about that.

My vacation time a week and some ago went well.  It was nice to be away from work, but it feels weird to have all this time off.  Went to visit family.  Meh.  It went alright.  Every single time I'm reminded why I moved away from home.  Had visits with old friends, though, and those went great.  I would probably visit more if I had some other place to stay than with my parents.  Just sayin'.

Have a few days off presently, and they've been filled with visits with friends.  My favourite kind of days.  Today I'm FINALLY going to see Harry Potter.  I know, I'm such a slacker.  I usually see it opening night, but not the last two movies.  I can't wait.  I might get the whole popcorn and they gouge a hole deep in my pocket that I can't afford.

Also.. 'Horrible Bosses'?  Funniest shit you'll ever see.  Might have to buy that one when it comes out.

I don't think I have to catch you up on anything else (worthwhile, anyways).  I'm gonna drag my tired butt off this chair and get some stuff done.  I bought a lot of fruit so I should prepare some of that so it's ready to eat.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Dietitian

I've kind of been avoiding writing this post; it just brings up the feelings of frustration that engulfed me Thursday morning.  I'm not quite sure where to start.

I was received promptly, and she knows of course from the referral I'm there for managing my IBS via dietary means; weight, we discussed, will be a secondary focus.  One of the *first* things I tell her is that I have a nutrition background, so she doesn't have to "spell things out" for me, per se, like she would for most people.  I'm not sure that was well received.  She gives me a handout on foods and groups of foods to avoid for people with IBS.  I'm thinking in the back of my head, "Why are you giving this to me?  I KNOW all of this."  But maybe she has to, so I keep my mouth shut and play along.  She asked what my food triggers were (she almost seemed surprised that I knew these), medications I'm on and other secondary health issues.  Naturally, being a Canadian-certified Dietitian, she was a firm believer in Canada's Food Guide, which she also promptly put in front of me (I'm trying to count how many copies I have of this now).  I also have, what I can best presume to be an activity guide (how to get more exercise), but I refuse to look at it seeing as I told her I was active in some form or another 5-7 days a week.  Also, expending large amounts of energy is difficult for me per my sugar.

Anyways... she also gave me a handout on foods in different categories and their serving size.  I was also given sheets to record, for the next 4 weeks, food intake and subsequent reactions.  Basically it's an elimination diet (which I've also done in a light, varying form).  Then I was just told to go with said information, follow up in 4 weeks and that's it.


.... Really?

She asked me at the end if all this was "okay" and I spoke up.  "No, it's not.  I need more guidance than that."  Well, at that point it was the end of the appointment.  As it was, we went 10 min over.  I asked her if she would create an example of a one-week meal plan.  She said she usually doesn't do that as people don't often like all the foods on it (really? I think we could work together on that) and people get "stuck".  Listen, I can't apply a change of diet without some assistance of application.

I'm frustrated because there was no inquiry or discussion of my lifestyle (which greatly affects how one eats), how often I work, eating habits (telling me to eat a 'balanced dinner' every night is a moot point; I'm not going to eat a full meal at 8pm when I have to be in bed for 9), how to incorporate eating to fit my other health concerns (other than eating "every 2 hours".  Yeah, I know that, thanks).  Just.. it was a complete fail.

I'm not saying I don't have things to learn from her, but I think she went in with an agenda (a poor one at that, but who am I to judge), I went in with high expectations (an after having witnessed some great dietitians at the hospital) and came out on a low.  I'm trying to think of how to best approach her to be more productive.  I know dietitians are capable of so much more, so, I don't know.

Anyways, I've gone on enough.  That's it.

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