Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hairless again

Last evening, we had a dinner party.
Step-son, his beautiful wife, other step-son, sister-in-law and her husband.
Was a wonderful evening.  We don't see them nearly often enough.
Beautiful step daughter-in-law is again undergoing chemotherapy which is costing her her hair, again.
I told her I was in this with her and I meant it.
We said our hello(s) and headed straight for the bathroom where she again did the honours.
Now, since winter is upon us this go-round (it was August last time we did this), I will need to invest in a hat to keep my dome warm.
I very much dislike hats.
Never wear them.
I use ear muffs in the cold weather.
This winter will be an exception, for obvious reasons.
But regrets?  I have none.
My hair will grow back.  Unfortunately, that is not likely going to be the case for my darling Suzanne this time.
In the meantime, I will enjoy the benefits of my shorn look:
  • I will save money on hair cuts for several months.
  • I won't have bad hair days for a while.
  • Shampoo and conditioner costs will be way down.
  • Shower time will be reduced significantly.
  • My shoulders will appreciate the reprieve from shampooing, blow drying and curling my tresses.
You get the idea.
John and I have also decided that this time, as it grows back, I'm going to stop at the point where we liked it last time.  Not going to grow it out fully again.  Keep it quite short, and save my shoulders the ache of having to blow dry and curl.  That will be huge for me.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

It's Thursday

Aaaaargggh, such a convoluted schedule I have.
Normally, as you know, today is massage day.
At my home.
However, for this week only, that massage was moved to yesterday -- at the clinic -- because I have an appointment with my eye doctor right smack in the middle of the day.  That appointment involves a 40 minute drive on either side of it.
But, yesterday we had a major snow storm.  The first of the season.
We were snowed in and I had to cancel that rescheduled massage.  (This, after I had cancelled my Tuesday physio session because my Sunday/Monday had been too busy and I couldn't face the commute.)
Fortunately, my massage therapist has a block of time available this afternoon if I can make it to her clinic after my eye appointment.
You bet I will!
So, my formerly 1:00 pm Thursday massage in my home which had been moved to 1:00 pm Wednesday at the clinic has now been moved to about 2:30 pm Thursday at the clinic.
Got it?
Bottom line:  it's Thursday and I'm having a massage this afternoon.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Remembering Tamarra

Today marks three 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 (lung cancer had taken him 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 has since married the man who had come into her life a short time before Tamarra's illness was known.  Congratulations, Tanya and Mike, on recently celebrating your first wedding anniversary!
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 21, 2013

Tummy tuck reschedule

So, already my tummy tuck is not happening on January 20th.
Apparently, the surgeon will be away the week of the 20th.
Can I reschedule for the following week -- Monday, January 27th?
Obviously, I accepted the change.
But when I entered the new date on my calendar, I noticed that my follow-up appointment at his clinic was already booked for Wednesday, January 29th.
Oops.  Gotta change another that one.
The scheduling assistant and I have been playing telephone tag since Monday.  We finally connected yesterday and she tells me that the surgeon will be away the first week of February, when I would need my follow-up.  So she will now check with one of his colleagues to see if he can take me for the required visit.
She'll get back to me.
The joys of trying to synchronize schedules when people are busy and in demand.
I'm sure we'll get things sorted out some time between now and January 27th.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The deed is done

My tummy tuck is booked.
I made the down payment today. Have to pay the balance in full one month before the surgery date.
And when is my surgery date, you ask?  Monday, January 20th, 2014.
Woo hoo.  I can't wait.  I am soooooooooo looking forward to being rid of this 'apron.'
It's only been 30+ years.  But you know, good things are worth waiting for.
Perhaps, had I had the money to do this years earlier, it might have been wasted with all the weight fluctuations I've seen through the years.
Now is clearly the time to do this, as I enter that period in my life when I am acutely aware of healthy living (just don't take my nightly wine away from me!).
God willing, I will succeed in reaching my goal weight (I'm almost there) and will be able to maintain it going forward.  At least, that's my plan.  Not gonna pay all this money just to throw away the benefit.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lest we forget ...

Remember our Veterans
Many gave their lives for us

Percy E. Gibson was an uncle whom I never knew, but I recall hearing his name often.
  His widow, Mary Gibson, was my mother's eldest sister (my Aunt Mamie).

Percy Edward Gibson

My maternal grandfather's older brother (therefore my grand uncle), William Thomas Sharpe (1889-1919) died in Germany as he boarded the ship to take him home to Liverpool where his young wife and almost four year old son waited.  That child would grow up knowing nothing of his father's younger brother, whose name he shared.  In 2004, my family tree research led me to his descendants, many of whom I am in touch with today.


Let us also not forget:

My maternal grandfather, Samuel Sharpe (1896-1964), who served in WWI (photo taken 1915) and loved it so much he re-enlisted for WWII (photo taken 1941).

My paternal grandfather, Thomas Cherryholme, (1896-1960) who also served in WWI.  Although I don't have a photo of him in uniform, here he is c1952.

And my father, Richard Romeo Cherryholme, (1926-1979), who served as a rear gunner in WWII.

My father is seated, second from left.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I found them!

I finally tracked them down.
Been searching for my Cherryholme grandparents in the 1921 Census of Canada.  The indexed version of the Census recently became available at and I had thought it would be a piece of cake to locate them.
They were a  small family back in 1921, just Tom, his wife Marilda and their one-year old daughter Jeannette.  They should be the only Cherryholme(s) in the country at the time.  Shouldn't be too difficult to weed them out of the Ottawa records then.
You think?
Ha, guess again!
I've long since learned to search for many variations on the Cherryholme name when looking for that lot, including the name Holme(s). Up pops a Thomas C Holmes, right age, right occupation, born in England, immigrated to Canada in 1910 (my grandfather actually immigrated in 1912 but Census returns are notorious for being off on these details).  But this guy was single.  Could it really be my grandfather?  He should have been married to Marilda with a one year old daughter named Jeannette!  I put that record aside as a "possible" and kept on searching.
While I wasn't having any luck with Tom, I searched for Marilda with a daughter Jeannette.  No can do.  Nothing was surfacing.
Of course, when I'm searching any digitized records, I also pull the easy ones while I'm at it.  I had already located Marilda's parents' record, as well as her widowed grandmother's record.  I plan to look for her aunts and uncles as well at some other time.
Then I remembered that my Aunt Jeannette had told stories about her having lived with her grandparents as a young child.  So I went back to the record for Marilda's parents.
There was my great grandfather, John Raymond, living at 45 Pinhey Street in Ottawa with his wife Deliann (actually Delima) and their children:  Millia, 25; Eyvonne (Yvonne), 17; Victor, 15; Germaine, 12; and Gracia, 8.  And a lodger, Charion Genest, age 1.  (My great grandfather's actual name was Joseph Jean-Baptiste Labrosse dit Raymond, but he had Anglicized his first name and dropped the Labrosse in favour of Raymond some time around the turn of the century.  The family remained predominantly French.)
As I studied that record, I realized that something was just not right.
Their daughter, my grand aunt Emilia, had died in 1917.  But their daughter Marilda -- my grandmother -- would have been 25 in 1921.  Why was this daughter shown as single -- she should have been married, with a one year old daughter named Jeannette.
On studying the name of the "lodger" I realized what the record was actually telling me.  Reverse the order of the names, giving you Genest Charion, and you have Jeannette Cherryholme spelled in the oddest of ways.  Spelling obviously wasn't the enumerator's forte.
For some reason, "Genest" is not declared as John Raymond's granddaughter.  I know that my Aunt Jeannette grew up in her grandfather's home on Pinhey Street in Ottawa.  She loved regaling us with stories of her years there.
Once I recognized the significance of this find, I had to accept that the Thomas C Holmes record is in all likelihood my grandfather.

I can only surmise that both Marilda and Tom declared themselves to be single (although they actually married in 1919 in Ottawa) because they must have been separated at the time of the 1921 Census.  They obviously reconciled because they subsequently had four more children, my father being one of them.

All I can say is, it's a good thing I enjoy solving puzzles because this one was a doozy!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tummy Tuck update

My visit with my family doctor on Wednesday was very encouraging.
She explained that she would have the same concerns about our local community hospital's ability to deal with an emergency should it arise in the middle of the night, primarily because of the chance of my oxygen saturation level dropping significantly following general anaesthesia.  She too feels that my procedure should be done at a larger centre.
So, to that end, she was able to recommend two surgeons off the top of her head.  The first name she gave me intrigued me.  He just happens to be the husband of my dermatologist.  I had actually toyed with pursuing whether or not he did tummy tucks last time we were in to see her but we got side tracked talking about their year-old son.  Her husband, I knew, is a plastic surgeon who does the corrective surgery, when required, following the Mohs procedures that she performs.  They share the same suite of offices.
Anyway, later that afternoon, the tummy tuck surgeon called to say that he had the report from Monday's anaesthesiologist visit and unfortunately, he wouldn't be able to do my procedure.  BUT, he could recommend two very good surgeons who might be able to see me quite quickly.
And which names did he give me, you ask?
The very two names that my family doctor had given me that morning.
Now how's that for a coincidence?
He was able to give glowing recommendations for both surgeons, with the caveat that neither has the years of experience that he has since they are both younger men than he.  But they are both very competent and he wouldn't hesitate to refer anyone to them.  He offered to send a note to my first choice (my dermatologist's husband) to provide an intro for me.  I thought that was a very generous gesture.
Yesterday morning, I called the "new" tummy tuck doctor and made an appointment to see him for that initial consultation.
Wednesday, November 13th at 8:00 am.
Here we go again!