Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sorry folks ...

Sorry for the lack of posts.
I've been rather preoccupied with Christmas.
Santa brought me such wonderful presents and I've just been basking in the quiet time that the holiday affords me.
I've already finished one of the books I received.
I'm deep into solving a jigsaw puzzle (once I start, I can't pull myself away ...).
So you'll forgive me if you don't see me here for a few days.  The puzzle I'm working on is a bit of a challenge.  But I really do love the escapism that solving puzzles provides me.  (I don't actually need escapism right now but that's what I get from doing jigsaws.)
The 'roids continue to do their magic.  So much so that on Christmas Eve, we delivered chocolates to our neighbours -- on foot.  Yes, you heard me, we walked.  And for the uninitiated, our neighbours  are a ten minute walk down the road!  Now, THAT's progress.
Today, we celebrate my good friend LC's 60th birthday.  LC is my other daughter's mother.  Usually, for her birthday, I go into the city and we go for dinner at a favourite restaurant, then we go back to her place and drink wine.  I spend the night and the next morning I head home.
This year, being her 60th, is a little different.  I will still go into the city and we will still go to our favourite restaurant for dinner.
But, unbeknownst to her, when we get there, she will find that a group of her close friends is also there.  As will be her son and his family, her daughter and boyfriend who have arrived from Toronto earlier than she was expecting, my daughter and her family, and my husband (whom I will have dropped off on my way to get her).
I'm not actually staying overnight either.  After dinner, her daughter and boyfriend are taking her to the Casino for an evening of fun and, hopefully, winnings.  (I don't do Casinos -- it's just not my thing.)
So LC, sure hope you enjoy your surprise!
Happy Birthday to you!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My hair - four months later

Here we are, four months after shaving my head (well, technically, four months plus one day).
This is what it looked like at four months less one day (on Monday of this week):
Then I went to my hairdresser, who "cleaned it up" for me.  Trimmed it all around, fixed the straggly back.
She cut humongous amounts of hair off me. (Unbelievable, really, how much hair was on the floor when she finished -- considering what she started with.)  I was worried she was leaving me with no hair.  Problem is, my hair is very thick at the back and she had to make sure that she left me with something that would grow out properly, for what I want to achieve.
I always hate my hair after a haircut -- any haircut.  But my hair grows so quickly that it has to be cut in such a way as to "assist" the growth pattern.  My hairdresser knows what she's doing and she really knows hair; (she especially knows my hair, given that she's been cutting it for 35 years).
It doesn't look much different in the front since she didn't have to do much with that, but it sure feels different.
So now, this is what I'm left with.
Like I said, my hair grows quickly.  It won't look like this for very long.

Monday, December 17, 2012

'Roids Rock!

Gosh this low-dose steroid is doing wonders for me.
No more pain.
Well, it's not 100% gone but pain is so low that -- for me -- it may as well be all gone.
Only pain I have now is the pain that comes from doing too much.
Yesterday I baked, so my back ached.  But really, doesn't everyone's back ache when they bake?  I remember that mine always did, even when I was younger.  The important thing to note here is that I mixed and stirred with my hands -- without pain!
It's really kind of nice to be tired as a result of being productive, rather than being fatigued from doing nothing at all, which is usually the case for me.
In a nutshell, I'm feeling marvellous.
I'm sleeping well too.  If it weren't for pee breaks, I'd be getting seven hours straight!  Fortunately, I'm only waking for one pee break each night.   And if I could break out of the cycle I'm in, I might even be able to keep civilized hours.  You see, my days seem to start between 3:30 am and 4:00 am -- consequently I'm hitting the sack between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm.   Naturally, by 4:00 am, I've had enough sleep, and the vicious cycle continues.
But, one can't have everything, can one?
I'll take the no pain, and the getting seven hours' sleep, and having energy to do things, over the alternative every time.
Thank you 'roids.  You rock!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mary Jane Gizzard Docker Danaher

My maternal grandmother, Sarah Gizzard, was one of eight children born to Mary Elizabeth Docker.
It's quite a convoluted story, the Docker/Gizzard one.
You see, Mary Elizabeth had given birth to five children before she married Richard Henry Gizzard, a barman, the son of a fancy box maker.   
My research has revealed that the first child born to Mary Elizabeth (William, 1883-1928) was not fathered by Richard Henry Gizzard.  William shows up on Census returns living with Thomas Houghton, and he declared Thomas Houghton to be his father on his marriage certificate.  My grandmother knew him only as her big brother, Bill, and he used the Docker name all his life.  (She would have been horrified to learn that he was her half-brother, had she been alive when my research unearthed this information.)
Children number two and three (Amelia, 1886-1972, and James (1888-bef1891) might have been fathered by R H Gizzard but I have no proof of that one way or the other.  I suspect that they were not.
Numbers four through eight (Mary Jane Gizzard, 1890-1946; Ellen 1892-1984; my grandmother, Sarah 1895-1986; Richard Henry, 1896-1897; and George 1898-1914) were apparently all fathered by R H Gizzard but only those born after the marriage could legally use the Gizzard surname.  Hence, some of the children are Dockers, others are Gizzards.  (It should be noted that, from January 1892, RH Gizzard served three years in prison for committing a second larceny offence.)
My grandmother was born a mere two weeks after her parents' marriage, so she was their first child whose birth was registered as Gizzard.  Two boys followed.
After their father's 1899 death, I guess Mary Elizabeth fell on harder times than they were already experiencing.  She was still only 35 years old, a widow, and she had six young mouths to feed.
By 1900, Jane and her younger sister Ellen were admitted to Nazareth House in Isleworth, London, a Home for the Aged, Poor and Children run by Roman Catholic nuns.
The 1901 Census shows the girls still living at the Nazareth House.  Jane was 12 years old, her sister Ellen was nine.  (Mary Elizabeth was at home with her eldest daughter Amelia, who at 15 would have been able to help with the two youngest children.)
Their mother died in May of 1901, leaving two younger children still to be cared for.  It's not clear what happened to Amelia following Mary Elizabeth's death.  She had a child in 1904 and married in 1917.
My grandmother, who was six years old at the time of her mother's death, ended up at St. Mary's Orphanage in Walthamsow, which was the "shipping agency" from which she was sent to Canada as a Home Child in 1911.  She often spoke of how her older sisters would "break out of their orphanage" and go to hers to try to get her out.  They desperately wanted to be together.   My grandmother never saw her siblings again, with the exception of Ellen who was the only one still alive when my parents took her to England in 1974.  It was a wonderful reunion for the two sisters.
The youngest child, George, was sent to a Convalescent Home for Children, at Grosvenor Place, in Margate, Kent.  He died there in 1914, when he was 16 years old.  My grandmother never spoke of her brother George.  I found out about him through my research.
It's assumed that Jane and Ellen remained at Nazareth House until they reached adulthood.  The 1911 Census indicates that Jane is 20 years old, a tin box maker, living in Bethnal Green, London.  I haven't found Ellen on the 1911 Census.  Jane married in 1913; Ellen in 1916.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Trying another approach

Yesterday was beyond horrible.  I felt like one big bruise ... like a wet dish rag.  It was clearly the effects of coming off the steroid and it wasn't fun.  I was as weak as a kitten!
It took everything I had to get through my exercises and stretches.  Biking was out of the question.
John was seeing his doctor for his annual physical yesterday and I had managed to get an appointment with my doctor in the same timeframe (they share office space).  I really wanted to just let her know how pleased I had been with the effect of the steroids -- how wonderful it was to wake up feeling so terrific and be able to do things.   That was my intent when I had called on Monday and requested the appointment.
Our discussion turned to whether or not I'd be able to utilize the same protocol to enable me to go to Spring Training in Florida in March.  Well, that's a no-no.  This really was a one-time deal.
She did suggest, however, that we could try a very  low-dose steroid on a continuous basis.  But if we do that, I will also have to take something to protect my bones from the effect the steroid will have on them.  She gave me a months' supply to try it.  If it gives me relief, I will take the steroid daily, along with yet another drug to protect my bones.  Where does it end?
This approach, she hopes, is temporary.
Because she is confident that my surgeon will agree to perform a bursectomy and then I won't have to take the steroid.  To that end, she gave me a letter to present to the surgeon, in which she requests that he discuss a surgical solution for both hips.  I assured her that the bursectomy of my right hip would not happen until such time as he is actually replacing that hip (I think).
My physiotherapist has also agreed to provide me with a report from her perspective.  I will ask my massage therapist to do the same when I see her today.
Seems to me that if I provide the surgeon with ample evidence of my not being able to benefit from having had my hip replaced, he will be amenable to making that right.  He is, after all, a reasonable man and he wants his patients to enjoy the full benefits of his work.
In the meantime, here's hoping that the low-dose steroid helps get me through the Christmas holiday in relative comfort.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Yesterday was a phenomenal day

I had energy to spare yesterday.  Two million bucks is what I felt like.
Up before 4:30 am, I had baked beans on the go by 5:30 am. (Onions chopped and bacon sliced without pain in hands.)
Put up a batch of Chocolate Peanut Butter Love Bars ... (Ingredients cut and chopped without pain.)
Then baked a batch of Hermit cookies ...  (Both baking jobs mixed by hand, without pain!)
Stripped the bed, did laundry, remade the bed  ...
Ran a load of dishes through the dishwasher ...
Cleaned up the kitchen from the baking frenzy ...
All before noon.
Later, when John commented on my productive day, I told him that it felt wonderful to want to do things again and actually be able to do them.  The only repercussion of course was that my back had objected.  But even that kind of felt good, in an odd sort of way.  
Last evening, I went to bed very tired -- but it was the kind of tired a person should feel after putting in a day like I had. Sort of what a normal person would be like.  (I almost remember when I used to be that way ... many years ago.)
Yesterday I took the last dose of the steroid.  I wonder for how long I will retain the benefit of this therapy?  I'm hoping it lasts at least through to the end of the month, for obvious reasons.  (That long and beyond would be fabulous, to be sure.)
Today, I'm up before 3:00 am and I have to go into the big city this morning for a physio session.  Then we have a Christmas Cheer outing to attend this evening -- a half hour's drive away.  If I don't manage a nap this afternoon, it's going to be a very long day indeed!

Monday, December 10, 2012

It all started with 3 month old Philip

That's what the notation on the photo told me.  A cousin in England e-mailed it to me along with other photos last week.
Cutie pie isn't he?
On the back of the photo is written:  "Philip Nowlan To Aunt Sarah & Uncle Sam with love from Philip aged 3 months Sept 15 1957."
OK, I know that the Aunt Sarah and Uncle Sam were my maternal grandparents.  (They had both come to Canada as British Home Children, leaving older siblings behind in England.)  But who the heck was/is Philip Nowlan?  I've not come across that family name in my research, and I'd certainly not heard it growing up.
Another photo in the group was of my grandmother's sister, Mary Jane, taken in 1940.  It's the first image I've seen of her.  The resemblance to my grandmother is uncanny.
On the back of this photo is written:  "Taken in 1940 died 1946 aged 56. To Aunt Sarah from sister Jane from your niece Joan Nowlan."
OK, now I'm getting somewhere.
Joan (now Nowlan, and apparently the mother of baby Philip) was my Grand Aunt Jane's daughter.  My notes about Joan indicated that I had been told, back in 1997, that she had "gone to Canada in about 1949 to become a nun."    I had not searched any further for her, assuming it would be futile.  I guess that plan didn't pan out for her since she obviously became Mrs. Nowlan and had a son!
Time to start digging.  Gosh the Internet is wonderful.
I found Joan Danaher's passage to Canada in April of 1956 (not 1949).  The passenger who boarded the ship immediately prior to her (according to the assigned passenger numbers) was a man by the name of James Nowlan.  Hmmmmm, I guess they married shortly after arriving here since baby Philip was born in June of 1957.  (Unfortunately, Canadian B/M/D records for those years are not yet publicly available.)
It didn't take long before I found a death record for Joan Nowlan in 2004 -- but in Silver Springs, New York.  Her Social Security Number had been issued in Massachusetts in 1968.  Was this the same Joan Danaher Nowlan?  The birth dates matched.
My next search was for Nowlan children born to mothers with the maiden name Danaher.
Up pops two -- in San Mateo, California in 1962 and 1963.
The public listing for James Nowlan gives an address in California, followed by a move to New York State.
I guess I had the right Joan Nowlan (my 1st cousin once removed).
It would appear that the family lived in Florida at some point too.
I discovered a marriage for Philip in Florida -- and his subsequent divorce in Connecticut, where he appears to remain today (if I have the correct Philip Nowlan).
The older daughter also married (and divorced) in Florida.  She appears to have remained there.
The younger daughter seems to have remained in New York State.  It is her daughter who I managed to track via social networking and to whom I have sent a detailed e-mail asking for contact with this new branch of my family tree.  She is Jane Danaher's great granddaughter (and baby Philip's niece).  That makes her my 2nd cousin once removed (her mother being my 2nd cousin).
It is always so exciting to find new living relatives.  I hope they will be as pleased as I that I've found them!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Today, it's only half a million bucks

The steroids would appear to interfere with sleep.
On day one, I was awake 'til 2:30am and up by 5:00am for the day -- barely three hours sleep.
Fortunately, I managed a nap that afternoon and caught some much needed z's.
Had a good night of seven hours' straight through sleep on night two though.
But last night?
Went to bed quite exhausted at around 9:00pm after a very demanding day of completing the challenge of putting together my Christmas village.  (It's lovely but the photo will have to wait.  The photographer was asleep by the time I finished.  He'll take a shot at twilight tonight when the lights on the village can be viewed properly.)  I tossed and turned 'til about 11:00pm and now I'm up at 3:00am -- looks like for the day!
The good thing though is that there's still no pain.
So why do I say that it's only half a million bucks today?
Because while I feel physically wonderful, I am really quite fatigued.
The physically improved me wants to do - do - do.  But the fatigued me can't quite keep up with the physically improved me.  Difficult to reconcile that!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Wow, I feel like a million bucks!

What a treat to wake up without pain.
And this after only two doses of the steroid.
Yesterday, I managed to put up most of the Christmas village. I've added a second level this year.  I don't know how I ever put all that stuff on just one level in previous years.  That village sure had some condensed living going on!!!!!  I had to take frequent breaks throughout the project; it's a physically demanding undertaking.  It's looking pretty good though.  I'll post a photo here when it's all done. 
Today, I'll finish with that part of the decorating and I'll also put up Santa's corner in my sanctuary.  That's where he'll deliver our presents at Christmas time.  (Yes, I still leave milk and cookies for him!)
But the important thing for you to know is this:  I feel like a million bucks this morning, and I still have three doses of that steroid to take.  Watch out world!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Damned Bursitis!

On Tuesday, my physiotherapist put me through the paces and confirmed that my new hip is functioning well.   (I have wonderful range of motion.)
My trouble is definitely coming from a badly inflamed bursa and a correspondingly tight IT band.  She added a couple of extra acupuncture points. (I think we're up to 50 needles now.)  Then she gave me a laser treatment around the most inflamed area of the bursa.  She'll continue those efforts each week until we see improvement.
On Wednesday, I saw my doctor to let her know that the cortisone shot didn't work.
She was almost not surprised.  Disappointed, but not greatly surprised.
I told her of my physiotherapist's findings and she was pleased to hear that we'll be doing laser treatments because it will help reduce the scar tissue.  We discussed all the therapies that have been tried over the years and she said that I'm taxing her ability to come up with solutions.  (I thanked her for so graciously taking up the challenge.)
It's amazing to me that the cortisone shots worked as well as they did when administered directly into my hip joints, yet they've never worked in the bursa.  I just don't get it!
I told her about the discussion I had had with the surgeon at an earlier visit around the matter of his not having removed the bursa when he did the hip replacement.  I had asked him then if he would go back in and get it, and he asked me if I really wanted to go through that again.  As I was telling her the story, she was nodding "yes" and said, "You want to have that discussion with him again because he needs to go back and take it out."
I was pleased to see that she is on the same page as I.
Her remedy in the interim?
Try a five-day steroid therapy.
Yes, I'm taking steroids. Prednisone - 50 mg - one tablet a day.
But only for five days.
That should be long enough to bring down the inflammation but it's not long enough to cause any negative effects.
Apparently, since the steroids have a systemic effect they will make me feel good all over.  Even help with the inflammation in my finger.  Make my hands stop hurting.  My knees won't hurt.  My lungs won't wheeze.
As the doctor put it, "You'll feel so good for the next five days, when you come off it you'll be upset with me that you can't stay on it."  What she can't tell me, of course, is how long it will be before the inflammation  rears its ugly head again.  But we cannot keep using steroids to bring it under control.  This is a one-off.  Which is why I have to have that discussion with the surgeon.
The pharmacist warned me that I'll have lots of energy while I'm taking the steroid, so if there's something I want done, this will be the time to do it.
Couldn't have picked a better five days to take this journey.  This is the weekend I mapped out to put up my Christmas Village.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A recent e-mail I received and loved

The Charles Schulz Philosophy

The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip.  You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them.  Read to the end, and you'll get the point. 
  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world. 
  2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners. 
  3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant. 
  4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize. 
  5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress. 
  6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?  The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday.  These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. 

But the applause dies... Awards tarnish... Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz.  See how you do on this one:

  1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school. 
  2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time. 
  3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile. 
  4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
  5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money ... or the most awards.  They simply are the ones who care the most.

             Wise man, that Charles Schulz!

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's baaaaaaack!

The very thing I feared has happened.
Prior to undergoing my left hip replacement, I had a discussion with my then-family doctor.  I was concerned that with my history of bursitis, I would go through the journey of hip replacement (which is not to be taken lightly!) only to come out the other end still plagued with bursitis.
My doctor assured me that that would not happen.  He even drew me a picture.  "When they remove the hip joint, they also take the bursa.  So you can't have bursitis after a hip replacement," he said.
With that understanding, I underwent the surgery without having a similar discussion with the surgeon (or any of the aides involved along the way).
Turns out it's a discussion that should have happened.
Within eight weeks of my having had the surgery, the physiotherapist noticed that I had "a bit of bursitis going on there."  How could that be?  My bursa was supposed to have been removed.  She encouraged me to speak to my surgeon because she was fairly certain that what she was seeing was bursitis.
When next I saw the surgeon, I asked if he had removed my bursa.  "No," he replied.  "I incise through the bursa, but I don't excise it unless it is highly inflamed."
I asked him if I had expressed my concern about bursitis with him prior to the surgery, would he have removed the bursa?  "Yes," he answered, "but yours was not inflamed when I saw it."
"Will you go back in and remove it now?" I queried.
"You really want to go through that again?" he asked.  We left the discussion at that.
Well, I am now at a point that my response to that last question is a resounding, "YES!"
The cortisone shot that my doctor gave me on November 21st has now had its ten days to do its work.  And it hasn't worked.  In fact, the pain is worse than it was prior to having had the injection.
On day ten (Saturday), I accompanied John into Ottawa to attend a photo show.  We ended up parking about a block and a half away from the event.  By the time we got there, my hip was screaming at me.  It wasn't long before I had to sit out the visit and simply wait for John to let me know when he was ready to leave.
Yesterday, I was aware of the pain with every step I took just going about my business around the house.
Last night, I got very little sleep.  I saw every hour and was delighted when it was finally 5:00 am and I could declare it a respectable hour to start my day.
Naturally, because my hip is hurting, it's affecting my gait.
Which is in turn affecting my SI joint.
Which is further affecting my gait.
Which is causing further inflammation of the bursitis in my right hip.
I'm back to having to resort to my "waddle" walk.
Which is all to say that I am definitely not enjoying the full benefit of having had my right hip replaced ten months ago. (I do have much better range of motion in that hip so the surgery wasn't all for naught.)
So, do I really want to go through that again?  Just to remove my bursa?
You bet I do!  And that is precisely what I will ask the surgeon when I see him again.
My next scheduled appointment is February 6th of next year.
I'm thinking I might call to see if that can be moved up.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What a lousy friend I am!

Two years in a row now I've missed a good friend's birthday.
For which I am extremely sorry, I might add.
I have no excuse, so I won't try to offer one.
All I can say is, mea culpa -- mea culpa -- mea maxima culpa.
So, MET, I'll honour you here today -- just one day late.

Sure hope you had a wonderful day!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Grammar Nerds?

I've talked here before about my penchant for correct grammar.
My poor little chickadee was drilled incessantly while she was growing up.  It was so bad that when a friend stayed for dinner (or an overnight visit), she would warn them, "Careful how you speak, my Mom will give you a grammar lesson."
The favourite of course was, "Jenn and I were ..." (not "Me and Jenn were ...").  As she caught on to the correction, I would simply have to say, "Would you like to try that one again?"  Then as she got older, she would say, with a grin on her face, "You weren't even there Mom!"
Anyway, all this to say that my little chickadee has blossomed into just as much a grammar nerd as her mother. How do I know this?  Because she does the same thing to her son as I did to her.  And he is getting very good with the rules too.
My only hope is that my striking young man grows up to be a grammar nerd too.  Because when he reaches high school, I would like to believe that he'll be able to appreciate the humour in this poster that my daughter found, courtesy of  Vintage Books & Anchor Books.
I love it!
Grammar nerds?  You bet!  And proud of it too!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Long drought?

Wow, I've been a bad girl, haven't I?
Nothing posted here since Sunday and here it is Friday already.
Ummmm, I have to admit, I still don't have anything to contribute.
Life goes on, as the saying goes.
I guess I could tell you that I went to the movies with my Angel last Sunday.  We went to see The Sessions with Helen Hunt.  We both enjoyed it very much (but of course, we are both Helen Hunt fans).  Given the subject matter (she plays a sex surrogate to a paraplegic), it was very tastefully presented. There were some sexually explicit scenes, and Helen spends a great deal of time in the nude, but none of it was portrayed in a pornographic manner.  
Following the movie, we enjoyed gab time over a light lunch.  It had been a while.
Tuesday was physio day and that appointment was preceded by a visit to the dentist to get the final filling  after my recent root canal.
Of course, yesterday was my massage therapy day.  So I do nothing else on that day.  Gosh I love Thursdays. 
And before you know it, it's Friday already!
So there you have it.  I'll try to be a little more attentive to this blog, I promise.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Woo hoo, we've got TWO!

Our female pileated woodpecker showed up at the suet feeder this morning.
What a delight to see her.
The male had been around for some time now, visiting us numerous times throughout the day.  We worried that he was alone in the woods.
But now we know that there is at least one other bird, and she is of the right gender to produce babies.
We hadn't seen any of the species all summer. (The last sighting was in early April.)  In previous years, we had identified as many as six coming to our feeder.
We were really concerned that predators had gotten all of them. That would have been a terrible shame.
In the Spring, it is such a delight to watch the adults bring their young to the feeder to teach them how to "get by" in this habitat. 
But it's OK now because we know that we have two.
Woo hoo, all is right with the world!

Friday, November 23, 2012

In Memory of Tamarra

Today marks two years since my grand-niece lost her battle with brain cancer.
She was only 18 years old.
I never had the pleasure of meeting Tamarra, but I followed her on FaceBook and she was certainly loved and admired by her family and friends.
Tamarra was my brother John's granddaughter (he lost his battle with cancer not quite three months earlier).
My heart goes out to Tanya, Tamarra's mother, who in the previous two and half years had been asked to cope with more pain than any one person should have to endure in such a short period of time.  Her grandmother (my mother) had passed in January 2008.  A month later, her mother died suddenly in February, 2008.  Her father (my brother) succumbed to lung cancer on 27 August 2010, and then her only daughter was taken from her.
On a happier note, Tanya recently married the man who had come into her life a short time before Tamarra's illness was known.  Congratulations Tanya and Mike!
A mother shouldn't have to bury her child.  Cancer shouldn't take anyone, much less a child.
In the first year after Tamarra's departure, her mother honoured her passing by establishing the Tamarra Cherryholme Foundation, a not-for-profit registered charity that financially supports families for children/young adults living with cancer to receive holistic oncology treatments.  For information about the Foundation and to find out how to make donations to help support this very worthwhile charity, visit
Rest in peace, Tanya's angel.
Tamarra Cherryholme
6 Jan 1992 - 23 Nov 2010

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Damned bursitis anyway!

My left hip has been giving me fits lately.
Yes, I said my LEFT hip.  The same hip that was replaced at the end of January.
You see, I've developed a large bump quite close to the incision.  Turns out that's what's causing the discomfort when I sleep.  The bump won't allow any pressure to bear so I can't lay on it.
Last week, my massage therapist wondered if it was the bursa but thought it was too far forward.  She said she thought it was scar tissue in the muscle, which is not unusual following surgery.  She explained how we could work together to massage the area to help decrease the inflammation.  In any event, we came up with the idea of using my memory foam neck pillow as a "donut" against my hip when I go to bed.  It works marginally.  (And it's a bugger to get into place, what with all the other paraphernalia I have to organize when I go to sleep!)
On Tuesday, I had my physiotherapist check out the bump and she too said she thought it was the bursa but it was too far forward.  She too said it was scar tissue that resulted from the surgery, a not unusual occurrence.  But she's no doctor so she would be more comfortable having it assessed before we started treating it (massage and laser would help decrease the inflammation).
Yesterday I saw my doctor and asked her to check it out.  She immediately declared it to be the bursa that is being pulled forward by scar tissue from the surgery.  She suggested we try a cortisone injection to see if that would help.
I'll try anything!
I now have to lie low for a week to ten days to let the cortisone do its job.
The massage therapist is not allowed to work in that area.
The physiotherapist has to stay away from that area.
I can't do my stretches and exercises (all of which involve the left leg), or my stationary bike.
And if this works, the bump may or may not disappear.  Depends on how much inflammation is present.  The cortisone will take care of the inflammation.  Once we get rid of that, then we can start massage and laser treatments to work away the scar tissue.  But in all likelihood, I'll be left with some degree of scar tissue (bump).  It just won't be painful.
We hope.
And if it works on the bursa, the doctor will try a cortisone shot in my left ring finger to see if we can get that inflammation under control.  Perhaps I'll soon be able to wear my wedding ring again.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's been three months today

Today is the three month anniversary since I shaved my head in support of my step daughter-in-law.

By the end of October, my hair had grown tremendously.

Now, three weeks later, I have to wash it every day because I can't bear the oil production.  And it always seems to be in need of having a comb put to it. (If you look closely, you can see the hair hanging over my collar in the back.)
I'm still another month away from seeing my hairdresser.  By then, she'll have some work to do, to be sure!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Second attempt, same results

OK, only an idiot would try a third time.
And I'm no idiot.
I took a second dose of that oral Voltaren yesterday at lunchtime.
And by mid-afternoon, I was out of it again.
Couldn't even see my computer screen clearly.
Sat and watched television (actually, "tried" to watch television) and I have no idea what I saw or heard.
Dinner was a chore to put into me.
When I went to bed, it took me quite some time to fall asleep.  Kept dry heaving, and I was sure that I was going to wake up during the night vomiting.  (I didn't.)
When I woke at around 3:30 am, I was still a little woozy.
By 5:00 am, my head was back.  *Phew*
I won't be trying a third dose.
It's really too bad that the drug has that effect on me because it was nice to have not-sore hands for two days.
This morning, my hands are right back to being just as sore as ever.
Short lived benefit.  Obviously, the stuff only works if I take it.
The doctor will be disappointed.  But she shouldn't be surprised.
I mean really.  If a new patient of my age reports that she can't take Aspirin, she should be believed.  Would I have tolerated all these years of arthritic pain if I could have popped a pill and been done with it?  Really?

Friday, November 16, 2012

That didn't take long at all

Well I don't have to look further to find out if I'll be able to tolerate oral Voltaren.  (By the way, the actual name of the drug is Diclofenac Sodium.)
Yesterday morning with my breakfast, I took a 25 mg tablet.
It did wonders for my hands.  (Just as the doctor had predicted it would.  She said the results with my hands would be swift and effective.  She was right!)
However, by early afternoon, I was quite out of it.  The disorientation was very evident.
I showered to get ready for my massage therapist and as I was dressing, my balance was clearly affected.
During the massage, my speech was losing clarity.
Following the massage, I walked down to the mail box to retrieve the mail and was acutely aware of being  lightheaded.  (I would not have been able to drive.)
The sense of "not being there" continued for the rest of the day.  It was really not fun.
Then the nausea struck in late afternoon.
I was able to eat dinner and never did vomit, but was seriously nauseous for the rest of the evening.  And the disorientation was very disturbing.
Fortunately, when I woke this morning the effects had worn off.  My head had cleared and there was no more nausea.
Later today, I will take a second tablet to see if my body will adjust to the medication or experience a worse side effect.  (At least my hands will be that much better again for having taking that second dose.)  Since I have no plans for the next few days, I can afford to "experiment" over this weekend.
When I see the doctor on Wednesday next week, I'll be able to honestly report that I did try it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


Thank God it's THURSDAY!
My root canal went much better than I had anticipated.  Technology has come a long way since the last time I had one.  This dentist was (is) a real sweetheart, very cognitive of the patient's comfort throughout the procedure.  (The chair massaged my back while she worked on my mouth.)  And she worked through a microscope.  I was amazed at how far her face was from my mouth!
I've had very little discomfort since.  Pretty impressive, I'd say.
Of course, I had a delightful breakfast with my striking young man yesterday morning before heading off for the dental procedure, so that was a bright spot in my day.  And what a wonderful way to begin the day!
Today has not begun nearly so well though.
I wakened repeated last night to reposition myself.  (Here we go again.)  Two hours is definitely my limit before I have to "change sides."  And to add insult to injury, at the 4:00 am wake-up, I suffered through an attack of diarrhea.
When I got up for the day (at 5:15 am), I had a headache.  It has become persistent.  I have to wonder if I might be coming down with something.  But what?
Guess time will tell.
In any event, as of this morning at breakfast, I am officially trying the "experiment" my doctor asked me to take up when I saw her back on October 18th.  She wants me to try taking Voltaren my mouth to see if it will give me relief from the arthritis pain that has been troubling me.  She is hopeful that since I tolerate the gel so well, I will be able to take the oral version of it.  However, when I filled the prescription, the pharmacist was alarmed because I have an allergy (intolerance) to Aspirin.  She alerted me to the fact that the medication is "very Aspirin-like" so I'll have to be cautious.  That is why I've held off taking it.
Until now.
I was getting such good results from the Tylenol Arthritis that I saw no need to introduce another medication unnecessarily.  But the Tylenol is no longer doing the trick.  So it's time to pull out the big guns.
The experiment starts today (with extreme caution).
We'll see how long and how many doses it takes before the vomiting and disorientation start.
But while I wait, perhaps it will kick-start some degree of relief.  At least that's what the doctor is hoping will happen (actually, she's hoping I'll be able to tolerate it but I think she wears rose-coloured glasses).
It is only because I know it won't kill me to test this stuff that I'm willing to try it.  Because if it turns out that I can tolerate it ... big time bonus indeed!
Anyway, today is Thursday and in a few hours my massage therapist will be here and all will be right with my world.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Off to Ottawa today

I'm overnighting in Ottawa again today.  (Bonus -- collect kisses and hugs from MSYM).
My physio appointment is at 1:00pm today after which I'll stop in for a brief visit with my good friend LC (MOD's mother).  Then I'll head over to my little chickadee's place and hang out with Pauple until the others get home.  Not sure how we'll pass the evening tonight but we usually find something interesting to do.
Tomorrow morning, I'll take MSYM for breakfast (which I couldn't do last week when I stayed over due to scheduling conflicts).
After breakfast, he'll go to school and I'll go to the dental surgeon to have a root canal done.  Yikes!
Guess I'll have a rather sore mouth for the next few days.
Hmmmmm, perhaps John might cash in on the extra quiet time around here?

Monday, November 12, 2012

The military and my family history

My father served overseas in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII.
Richard R. Cherryholme, 1943

His younger brother retired from the Air Force (although he was posted overseas in the late 1950s, he didn't see war duty).

Another younger brother spent his career in the Governor General's Foot Guards.

Both my grandfathers (who came to Canada in 1911 and 1912 as British Home Children) enlisted in the 77th Battalion of Canada's Expeditionary Force in WWI, and they were deployed to France within days of each other.  They were demobbed in June 1919, again within days of each other.  (Through my family history research, I discovered that my maternal grandfather's brother, William Thomas Sharpe, also served during WWI.  He  drowned in Germany as he was boarding the ship to take him home following the war.  He had been a private in the 8th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment.  He is buried at Cologne Memorial Cemetery in Cologne, Germany.)

I don't have any photos of my paternal grandfather from that period, but here's my maternal grandfather in 1915:

Then he re-enlisted in 1940, serving in the Veterans' Guard of Canada:
Samuel Sharpe, 1941
My grandfather served 330 days in the Veterans' Guard; time spent in Montreal while his wife was in Ottawa with their two still-young children.  He was eventually discharged on medical grounds (poor vision).  His eldest daughter's first husband died in service during WWII and is buried at Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Graves, France.

My brother served briefly in the Air Force.  A paternal cousin had a career in the RCMP.  Her brother was in Canada's Armed Forces and did see war; I'm not clear on which one but he is a retired veteran.

I guess you might say the military is close to my heart?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sometimes, an affliction can be a good thing!

OK, I'm being facetious but really, my lack of ability to smell will now come in handy on Saturday mornings.
For the uninitiated, John is treated to a "big breakfast" on Saturday morning.  Such breakfasts include a  poached egg on English muffin, bacon (once in a while pork sausage), home fries and baked beans.  Sometimes, we have a couple of spears of asparagus.  His plate includes fried tomatoes and he used to have blood pudding (which I would cook for him and kind of close my eyes while I served it).  We can no longer buy the blood pudding that he likes (made by Maple Leaf) and our supply has run out.  He has decided that mushrooms are almost as good (and they are certainly better for him).
So, being the dutiful wife that I am, I now find myself frying mushrooms for his Saturday breakfast.
This is where my loss of smell comes in handy.  I cannot abide the smell of mushrooms frying in butter.  Turns my stomach.  (Truth be known, I don't even like slicing the nasty things because it means I have to touch them!)
It's almost fifteen years since I lost my sense of smell.  And interestingly enough, while I can no longer smell those mushrooms frying, I can still recall not liking that odour.  (No, it is not an aroma to my mind.)
As the pan sizzled this morning, all I could think was, "Thank the good Lord I can no longer smell what I'm cooking."

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Getting ready for "The Season"

Well, I'm almost there.
Finished shopping, I mean.
You know, for Christmas.
Years ago, my sister and I used to meet for coffee every morning before we went to our respective workplaces.  And since the children had to go to school on November 11th but we didn't have to go to work, we would take the morning to pay respects and then we'd hit the stores in the afternoon.  And I would  invariably finish my Christmas shopping on that date (having started some weeks before).
Haven't managed to meet that target date in many years.  In fact, most of the past years I hadn't even thought about what I was buying for anyone before November 11th.
But this year, I'm on the ball.
As of yesterday, I am 93.33% finished my shopping.
The hold-out is only because John has to be involved with the selection of the last gift (and I will pick up one other at the same time).  This being deer hunting season, it's difficult to get John to do anything but hunt.  So it remains to be seen whether or not I'll finish by my target date.
Why do I like to be finished my shopping so early, you ask?
Because I really cannot abide the crowded hyped up shopping environment that is late November and all of December.  The less I'm in the stores through that period the better.  So I try to avoid them (other than for groceries of course).
Besides, I need my time to concentrate on getting my Christmas card list ready (which is really something that is an on-going production all year long).  It's nice, too, to be able to focus on producing our Christmas card without having to worry about shopping for gifts.
Yesterday we "think" we decided on the photo we'll use for this year's card.  I'll start working on that in the next day or two.  I'm also producing a personalized card for my step-son to send out, although in much lesser numbers than our print run.  I have to get that off my plate before I can turn my attention to doing our card.
It will be early December before I'll put up my Christmas village; that's a two-day job in itself.  Once that's done, I can sit back and wait for Santa to get here!
So, feliz navidad everyone!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Yesterday was a rough day

Wow, yesterday was not a good day.  I guess what I had was a mini fibro flare up.
And I can only imagine it was a result of having had lunch guests on two consecutive days.  Too much for me, obviously.  But neither day was very taxing.
On Friday, a good friend of mine (we've been friends for about 35 years) came out for lunch with her husband.  It was the first time John was meeting them, although he'd heard about them many times.  There was no pressure.    Since I'm always up early in the morning, I made a dessert first thing.  The lasagna had been made a week before so I just had to take it out of the freezer and bake it.  I threw together a Caesar's Salad, and brought dinner rolls up out of the freezer.  Everything was very relaxed and we had a really good time.
On Saturday, both step-sons and my step daughter-in-law were here.  I brought a meat pie out of the freezer and popped it into the oven.  We made mashed potatoes and cooked some frozen kernel corn.  Added more dinner rolls out of the freezer and there was a full meal.  And there was enough dessert left from the day before that everyone was served a small slice of pie.  Certainly no pressure there.
Yet on Sunday, I woke up in extreme pain. My hands especially.
You might say I had a very bad hand day yesterday.  Went around the house in my "ready for surgery" position all day.
Consequently, I took an enforced R&R day.  Didn't have the energy to do anything else. (Although I did manage two loads of laundry.)  Watched a lot of my canned TV shows (thank God I had many in there to watch).
Last evening, I took a jet massage bath to try to soothe my aching muscles.
It must have helped because I feel much better this morning, although my left hip is still giving me some grief.   (What's up with that I wonder?)
I have an 8:00 am dental appointment in the big city tomorrow morning, so I'm going to spend the night at my little chickadee's place tonight.  That means I'll get to see my striking young man and collect a bunch of kisses and hugs.
Following my dental appointment, I'm meeting a good friend for breakfast, after which I'll stop and have my snow tires put on my car.
By the time I get home tomorrow, I should have been gone almost exactly 24 hours.
It's deer hunting season so John may or may not notice that I'm not here.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

My niece is such a darling!

This is what (who) she sent me on my Facebook page this morning.
Gorgeous isn't he? (It's no secret in my family that I LOVE this man!)
My niece sent him to ME.
So he's mine.  ALL mine.

Friday, November 2, 2012

OMG, new therapy hurts!

My massage therapist recently learned a new technique that she just knows will benefit me.
But, she explained, she'll have to go very slowly with me.  (It's called 'joint cup release' and is part of the larger umbrella of orthopaedic massage.)
For the past few weeks she's been gradually introducing it during my sessions, without incident.
Until yesterday.
I guess whatever the progression she made yesterday was too much.
By dinner time I knew I was in trouble.  Before dinner really.
She left here at 2:00 pm and by about 4:00 pm, I was feeling the after effects.
When by 5:00 pm I was finding it incredibly painful to walk, I sent her an e-mail alerting her to my status so she could record in it my file while everything is still fresh in her mind.
I took extra pain killing meds on my way to bed.  Guess it wasn't enough.
I've had very little sleep to this point, and it looks like I'll get very little more.
Can't take any more meds.  I've exhausted the med pool until 7:00 am.
I swear the therapy didn't hurt one damned bit while she was doing it.  Honest it didn't!
Man, my body really has to be treated with kid gloves.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My hair update

It's just over two months since I shaved my head in support of my step daughter-in-law's ordeal with chemo therapy to treat her recurring breast cancer.  (That's me on the left.)
My hair is growing "in leaps and bounds" as John says.  On his return from his recent five day hunting trip, he couldn't believe how much it had grown.
There still isn't enough hair to do anything with though.  It can't be styled.  It sort of just sits there.
But there is enough to give me "bed head" in the morning.  Now it has to be wet down and put in place.

And I found out yesterday that it is now long enough to bother me if I don't wash it.
You see, I have very oily hair and while it was really short, that wasn't an issue.  Well, it's become an issue again because I have just enough hair that the oils are very noticeable to me.  And I can't abide the feeling.  Yucko!
My hairdresser has advised me to wait until my December 18th appointment before she does anything with it.  She figures that by then, there should be enough hair for her to actually work with.  That will mark exactly four months to the day since my head was shaved.
I'll put more progress photos up at that point -- the before and after shots.

Monday, October 29, 2012

I did it. I did it!

I slept over seven hours straight last night!  Haven't done that since I don't when.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I came to consciousness this morning and looked at the clock. "5:45 am???? Can't be,"  I thought.  "This is my first wake-up."
Then it hit me.  "I've slept more than seven hours right through.  Unbelievable!"
The CPAP machine registered 7.8 hours but it takes me close to a half hour just to get to sleep, I'm sure.
I woke up on my back, suggesting that I slept the bulk of the night that way.  I go to sleep on my left side, and switch to my back after about two hours -- that's usually my first wake-up.  Switching to my right side some two hours later causes my next wake-up.  Then I usually wake again when I revert to my back some two hours after that, etc.  I know I can move to my back without waking up, but I cannot move to my side unless I'm awake.  So when I rolled to my back the first time, I must have stayed there.
That Tylenol Arthritis is obviously giving me systemic relief, something I'm sure the doctor will be pleased to hear on Thursday.
And of course, if I continue to enjoy the benefit of improved sleep, things can only look up from here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sorry for the lack of posts

It's been rather busy around here the past couple of days.
You see, we had a "wood gathering bee" yesterday.
And in preparation for said bee, Friday was spent grocery shopping and cooking and baking.
First, we went for our flu shots on Friday morning before hitting the grocery store.  When we returned from there, I had to bake two pies (one apple, one blueberry). Once that was done, I had to prepare two lasagna dishes (one with yucky green stuff, one without).  Then I had to clean up from that preparation.
By the time all that had happened, it was drinky poo time.  And oh what a glorious day it was for drinks on the deck.  On the 26th of October no less!  That was followed by dinner, followed by an early bedtime.  My day was done (read:  no time to blog).
Yesterday, I didn't even have time to finish reading my morning newspaper before the first car arrived (my two step-sons) to start the wood hauling.  They and John got to work right away.  About an hour later the next car arrived (my little chickadee, Pauple, and my striking young man).  Pauple joined the men on the wood detail.
My striking young man wasn't feeling up to snuff but he managed the energy to help clean the deck and the patio of the mess of leaves that collect there.  Little chickadee and I moved the leaves from the edges and he pushed them off and away from the house.  He worked very hard.  (My muscles are still letting me know how hard I worked.)
At 1:30 pm, I prepared the Caesar Salad; the lasagna was almost ready to come out of the oven.  We had a wood shed full of wood and the boys were ready to eat.  And eat they did!
By 4:00 pm, everyone went home and the kitchen was returned to its normal state. (Of course, my little chickadee had helped with the clean-up before she left.)
Suffice to day, I was again tired to the bone, but not nearly as depleted as John.  I sent him to take a massage bath to ease his aching muscles, which he did.  He'll thank me later for that piece of advice.
So my faithful readers, please forgive me for not having posted while all this was going on.  I'm sure you'll understand that I had other, more pressing priorities.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Aaaaah, it's Thursday!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Thursdays?
This is my massage day and I soooo look forward to it.
I spend the morning lolling about in my jammies (although I do get on that bike for 30 minutes, and I most certainly do my stretches and exercises).
At around noon I jump in the shower to get all spiffed up and ready for my therapist.
She always arrives promptly at 1:00pm (today will be 1:30pm), sets up the table and converts my sanctuary to a private treatment room for an hour.
When she leaves, I get dressed and relocate to the living room, where I relax for the rest of the day, allowing my body to retain maximum benefit from the massage.  Sometimes, I nod off before dinner.
The therapy always leaves me in a very mellow state.
Thursday is truly a wonderful day in my world!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Remembering "Bullies"

Talk of late has turned to bullying since this latest, most public of teen suicides.  And as I read the many letters and columns in the newspapers about past cases of bullying, I find myself recalling my experiences.  

Yes, I said experiences.  As in plural occurrences.

I was a victim of bullying.  And not just once.

As I think back on my life, there were many instances of my being bullied.  And I knew it was wrong at the time.  I knew I was being victimized.  But I wasn't heard when I brought my complaints to those in positions of authority.  More often than not, I was told to "get a tougher skin" or "grow up" because "that's life, don't you know?"  

It started while I was in grade school, as early as grade three.  "Red head, piss the bed," the children would taunt as they danced around me.  How could they know that I still wet the bed, I wondered?  Of course it didn't help that my mother handled my late-age bed wetting in the worst possible way.  (She too taunted me about it, only making the situation worse.  I would continue to wet the bed until age twelve.)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Success, maybe?

When I saw my doctor on Thursday, she suggested that I try introducing Tylenol Arthritis to my daily regimen of meds.  Three times a day, every day, she said.  It should help give me relief in my hands.
I questioned the effect that might have on my liver, so she offered to monitor me with a blood test in two months if I was concerned about that.  (She also assured me that as long as I didn't exceed the 3xday dosage, there was no need for concern.)
As of that evening, I started taking Tylenol Arthritis.
And I can happily report that it seems to be working.
My hands are soooo much better than they have been in a very long time.
Such a simple solution.
Who'd a thunk it?

Thursday, October 18, 2012


This being Thursday, I am very much looking forward to my massage therapy session this afternoon.
Lord knows I need it!
On Tuesday, my physiotherapist gave me a couple of new exercises to do to help with this damned bursitis.  Every time we add new exercises, I find new pains for a while -- although it's always short term pain for long term gain.  She has never steered me wrong yet so I know I will soon be seeing the benefit.
Yesterday, we ran around doing errands and added a side trip to the book store (we both love browsing there!).  Too many stops for me and I wore myself out.  Oooops!
This morning, I see my (new) family doctor to have my physical.  I plan to discuss with her this issue of bursitis vs need for hip replacement.  I really don't know what to think about my right hip.  I need guidance!  (I also need help understanding the why of the bursitis in my "new" left hip.)
Of course, the other hot topic with her will be my hands.  They continue to be problematic but the swelling is very intermittent.  I'm sure it would be much easier to diagnose if something would remain persistent long enough for her to witness it.
In any event, I'll come home from that appointment to get ready for a wonderful hour of massage therapy, after which I will probably take a short nap.
My angel and her husband are joining us for dinner this evening and I'm quite looking forward to their visit.   Haven't seen them in quite some time so that will be an enjoyable way to end my Thursday!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My "Get up 'n go" ...

... has got up 'n gone!
For the past couple of days, I have just been "blah" in the energy department.
No explanation.
I've done pretty much nothing.
Which, of course, doesn't help because the less I do, the less I can do.
On Saturday, I managed to get in 30 minutes on the bicycle in spite of myself (forgot to do my stretches & exercises -- oops).
Yesterday, I did my stretches & exercises but couldn't get on that bike.  Just couldn't muster up the strength!
Today, I've already done my stretches & exercises (took everything I had!) and I will do the bike (I promise).
I have to.
My hands continue to be a major problem.  They ache terribly if I hold them lower than my waist.  That suggests swelling, although there is no visible evidence of swelling. (John says he can see the swelling.)  The redness is there though.  If I hold them up (like a surgeon entering the OR), I can feel the blood rushing downward and the relief of pain.  As soon as I lower them, the pain starts again.  Really, I can't walk around with my hands up in the air all the time!
Yesterday, my knees were giving me trouble again.  I moved in a certain way that caused my right knee to feel like it had come dislodged.  And the pain remained for the rest of the day.  I think the left knee was hurting in sympathy with the right.  Today, they feel almost OK.  I'm concerned that perhaps I didn't get the benefit from those Synvisc shots that I thought I had.  I guess my jury is still out.
Both hips are still an issue too, causing me to wake frequently to change position.  Obviously, my quality of sleep is way down.  I guess I need look no further for the "why" of my no energy.
I'm seeing my doctor for my physical on Thursday morning this week.  I booked extra time to discuss the matter of my osteoarthritis and the bursitis in my hips (and the frequency of mack trucks visiting me during the night).  I'm hoping she has some suggestions ...
Who knows, maybe there's something I haven't tried yet.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fall Colours

Don't you love going for drives in the autumn and seeing all the beautiful fall colours?

Fortunately for me, I don't have to go very far for that enjoyment.

This is the view I see every time I approach home at this time of year ...

Gorgeous isn't it?

All I have to do is look out any window to take in the beauty that is all around my home.

And that is just one of the reasons I love living in the woods!
(Photos courtesy of John T. Fowler,

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Enjoying "Alone" Time

My houseguest went home yesterday.
It was such a joy having her here.  We were calling this our "personal spa" and she declared it an excellent spa indeed.
Mostly, we just sat and read.
Each afternoon we had tea and biscuits.  And we chatted.  Just getting to know each other that much better.
It was a delightful couple of days.
But she wanted to go home yesterday because she was worried about her cats.
She'll be back early tomorrow because our husbands will be returning some time mid to late afternoon.  And her husband needs a drive home from here.
In the meantime, I get to enjoy some solitude of my own.
Short, but sweet nonetheless.
At 1:00pm today, my massage therapist will arrive and will find me already mellowed.  I'm sure she'll notice that I'm not nearly as tight as I usually am for these sessions.
Solitude is good for the soul ... not to mention what it does for my well being.
Aaaaaahhhh, we take what we can get.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada.
Tomorrow, families gather to give thanks for their bounty (some families will do that today).
John will leave at dawn tomorrow for a week's bird hunting with his son.
My favourite step daughter-in-law and I will spend the week here, finally having the quality time together that we never manage at any other time of the year.
Our week is fairly well filled with commitments though.
Tomorrow, we will go to my little chickadee's place to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with her and hers.  We will spend the night there since neither of us relishes the idea of the long drive back in the dark.
Tuesday, Suzanne has to present herself at the hospital for blood work.  We'll do that right after we breakfast with my striking young man (bonus!).  Then we'll head back here for quiet time together.
We'll enjoy a full day of doing nothing on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, she has to present herself at the hospital again on Thursday for a chemo treatment.  I don't know yet if I have to take her in for that, or if she can go alone (she might need a driver).  If she does need a driver, I will be cancelling my massage therapy in order to accommodate her.
Our husbands will be home on Friday and then the rat race will start again.
But, in the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
We have much for which to be thankful.