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.

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