Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hello, spring? Are you there?

Here we are, March 30th and I wake up to snow.
Enough accumulation that the snow plow had to come by.
On March 30th???
Are you kidding me?
Man oh man, therapists must be having a banner year with their S.A.D. patients this year.
The winter that just keeps on giving.
Yesterday, I received an e-mail directing me to a Chatelaine magazine article:  "Seven wardrobe staples to add to your closet this spring."
As you can imagine, I need a new spring wardrobe this year since I've lost so much weight.  So I was interested in checking out the article.
Never mind that the suggestions put forward in the article are way out of my league.  They are also not even all that nice.  (OK, they're meant for a younger demographic too.)  But a bracelet that costs $375.00???  Does anyone really actually need one?
I expect to buy my entire wardrobe for not much more than the cost of that one bracelet!
Anyway, I might not ever need a new spring wardrobe.
Since winter refuses to leave, apparently spring is never going to get here.

Friday, March 28, 2014

The new "skinny minny" me

The other night, my little chickadee told me I was skinny.
The next day when I got home, my cleaning lady called me "skinny minny." 
Did my heart good.
Then my little chickadee retracted, saying that I was "very slim" rather than skinny, explaining that skinny implied not healthy.
Whatever.  I'll take it.  It's been so many years since I've been called either.
Yesterday my massage theraaahpist arrived shortly after we had a photo shoot.  She too said that I surely am a "skinny minny."  (Then we giggled because she commented that it is so rare that she sees me dressed -- I'm usually in a dressing gown, ready for my treatment, when she arrives.)
Anyway, here I am now, a mere five pounds and two weeks away from my goal.
The photographer forgot to say "smile" before he took the photo.  He took several shots, this being the least of all evils.  (Let the record show that I don't like any photos of me.)  My beauty queen daughter I am not!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring is coming, is it?

Spring, you say.
This is the view out our living room window this morning.
You do know that it's March 27th!!
At least my massage theraaaaahpist was able to get to me today.  And wow, did she have her work cut out for her.  After two weeks of no therapy, my back was quite the challenge. I best not be missing two consecutive weeks of treatment again.  Just not good for me.
Anyway, the robins are starting to arrive.
Poor things.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Success, finally!

Remember my previous posts about that darling photo that had come into my possession of a baby named Philip Nowlan?  
Over a year ago, I had FaceBook messaged a person I knew to be Philip's younger sister, Teresa.  I had also messaged Teresa's daughter (Philip's niece); and another woman whom I was fairly certain was Philip's daughter.  A message was eventually sent to a gentleman named Philip Nowlan whom I thought could be him.
I had given up, thinking that the family simply didn't want contact.
Well, turns out I couldn't have been more wrong.
Yesterday I received a message from Teresa and she was beside herself with joy at my having found the lot!  She can't figure out how she missed my earlier messages but it turns out that the Philip to whom I sent the message was actually her cousin on her father's side (just happened to have the same name).  He finally contacted her and told her that it looked like someone really wanted to be in touch with her.  Only then did she discover my attempts to find them.
Didn't take us long to share stories.
By telephone.
We'll be talking again.
And she lives just over the border in New York.
So we'll likely be visiting.
I've also upped my friend count on FaceBook by several people.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Enough already!

OK, even my Saturday massage had to be cancelled because -- once again -- old man WINTER reared his ugly head and rendered our road impassable.
I've had more than enough of this nonsense now!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First day of spring you say?

This is Thursday, the day my theraaaaaaaaaaaaahpist is supposed to show up.
Yet we had to postpone 'til Saturday because our roads are more like skating rinks.
I have one thing to say ...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Everyone's Irish Today

To all my Irish friends and family -- and to those who today wish (or pretend) they were Irish --

Monday, March 10, 2014

Our Trifecta Birthday Celebration

Our blended family has three birthdays to celebrate at this time of year.
  • No 2 stepson on March 8th.
  • Son-in-law Pauple on March 10th.  (He's 40 today!)
  • And step grandson on March 11th.   (He'll be 18 tomorrow -- where have the years gone?)

We always get together on the Sunday nearest those dates at Tucker's Marketplace in Ottawa because they serve an awesome buffet brunch.  Sometimes, one of the birthdays actually falls on the Sunday and that birthday boy gets to eat free.  Not so this year though.
But we don't go for the free meal; we go for the joy of getting together and having an awesome feed.
And celebrating three birthdays of course.
The Birthday Boys - Sunday, March 9, 2014
(Don't ask about the hat on grandson. He was having a bad hair day and the hat HAD to stay!)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Did you remember ...

... to move your clocks ahead one hour?    
Perhaps it will actually bring Spring!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Remembering My Brother John

My brother John would have been 60 years old today.
He passed away in 2010, at the young age of just 56 years.  He had been diagnosed with lung cancer earlier that year and lost his battle a few months later, after a valiant fight.
Brother John was the seventh of eight children -- but only the second boy among six girls.  In the 1961 photo below, that is my hand on his shoulder.  (Do you suppose he's holding his hand over his mouth in wonder at what he's in for with the realization of his birth place in the family of six girls and two boys?)
By the time he came along, after one boy and five girls, he was a welcome addition to the family.  Growing up, with five older sisters all acting like other mothers, he was especially tight with his one younger sister.  They were seldom apart as children and shared a friend-pool throughout high school.  In fact, when the baby of the family relocated to Kitchener/Waterloo in 1978, it didn't take long for him to make the decision to move his family to that area.
John married in June 1973, and his first daughter was born a year later.  He and his wife actually lived with me through the summer of 1974, with their infant daughter, and oh what a heat wave we were having!  I recall sitting outside in our very small yard trying to get relief from the August heat but there was none to be had.  We would sit up through the night, talking and reminiscing, rocking his daughter, hoping that she would at least drift off for a while.  It was a brutal summer!
His son was born only four months after my little chickadee came along and we visited back and forth often.
When I returned to work after my little chickadee's arrival (at that time, maternity leave lasted all of six weeks!), my brother John would pick me up every morning to deliver my daughter to the infant care centre so that I wouldn't have to take the bus with her.  I recall that it was an especially heavy snow-fall that winter of 1975/76, and he never missed a morning!
Once he moved out to Southwestern Ontario, our contact became less frequent.  In fact, the last time I actually saw my brother was the summer of 2005 at our niece's wedding.
He had relocated to Fort Erie some ten years earlier, a considerable drive from here, and my health issues had prevented me from making the trip (any trip, actually) because I simply could not travel.
In the intervening years, his first marriage had ended in divorce while his children were teenagers, and he remarried, welcoming another daughter to the fold in 1993.
By the year 2000, he was the father of three (one boy), and grandfather of three (all girls), so he was still outnumbered by women, but he was  fiercely proud of his family.  His youngest grandchild is not in the photo below, which was taken in 2008.
Throughout the summer of 2010, he enjoyed visits from family members and close friends, many of whom he had not seen in several years.  My little chickadee was able to make the trip and he was delighted to see her.
He was especially pleased to have the opportunity to meet my little chickadee's family (Pauple and his daughter were also there), having only met my beautiful boy once before (at the aforesaid niece's wedding five years earlier).
My brother John with my beautiful boy -- July 2010
Rest in peace, brother John.
Robert John Cherryholme
8 Mar 1954 - 27 Aug 2010

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Seven pounds to go

And I have only five weeks left to do it.
Surely, that's doable!
But, trust the internet to show me the way.
Nothing like finding a way to merge a love of wine (although mine is white, not red) with the need for activity.
Thank you Aunty Acid!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Spring Forward

Technically, we "spring" forward at 2:00 am on Sunday, March 9th this year.
BUT, it's prudent to actually put your clocks ahead one hour as you're going to bed on the Saturday night.  That way, you won't be late for whatever appointments you might have on Sunday morning.
For instance, our family has three birthdays on that weekend.
Step-son #2 is March 8th.
Son-in-law Pauple is March 10th (and this year is his 40th!).
Step-grandson is March 11th.
We celebrate the trifecta birthdays on the Sunday.  Have done so for many years now.
Sometimes, it falls on one of their birthdays. Not so this year.
You can be sure our clocks will be set ahead appropriately to ensure that we don't miss the party that is happening at Tuckers Marketplace at 10:30 am Sunday March 9th!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's Shrove Tuesday

Breakfast for supper.
I have no idea why this is such an exciting day for my little chickadee and me, but every year we have the same reaction.  We salivate in anticipation of this day.
As if we need permission to have pancakes for supper!
The day is really supposed to signify the beginning of Lent, which kicks off tomorrow (40 day fast before Easter).
That means we're supposed to think of something to "give up" for the next 40 days.
I'll think on it.
In the meantime, I get to have breakfast at both ends of my day today!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Our Tax Dollars at Work

Gotta love government policy wonks.
Our provincial health care wonks have been beating their heads trying to shorten wait times for certain surgeries in this province.  They've done an admiral job, for the most part.
But sometimes, they just don't quite cut it!
A few years back, it was decided that a central assessment body should be established for knee and hip replacement surgeries.
Not a bad idea.  Take a lot of the surgeon's load away, freeing up time for actual surgeries.
So the Total Joint Assessment Clinic was established for the Ottawa region.
Three years ago, I was referred to that Clinic.
And that Clinic assessed me as needing to have both hips replaced.  My choice which one was done first.
By the time I saw the surgeon, it was very obvious which hip should be done first and we proceeded with replacing my left hip.
That went very well indeed.  I am two years post op and doing mahvelously darling.
I am now that surgeon's "patient," being seen by him on a regular basis and as he follows up on my left hip, he has also been monitoring my right hip.
Some six months ago, we decided that I should get in the queue to have the right hip replaced.  Given the length of time it would take to surgery date, seemed like a good plan.
Well, last week don't I get a call advising me that I had again been referred to the Assessment Clinic.
"If it's been more than two years," she told me, "you have to come through again."
Bizarre!  Policy changed last November in an effort to further shorten wait times.
Now I ask, if my surgeon was monitoring me, and has assessed me as part of a prior surgical follow-up, how does that assessment impact on his time in a negative way?  He was seeing me anyway.
So I have to take an afternoon out of my life to go to the big city to be reassessed.  Did they really think the hip had improved in the intervening three years?
That reassessment happened yesterday afternoon.
It cost me a round trip to the city that I could have done without.
It cost me a tremendous amount of walking.  (Why do they always locate these units furthermost from the entrance door?  They have to know that the majority of their patrons are mobility challenged!)
It cost me a $14.00 parking fee.
For what?  To spend five minutes with a nurse while she reviewed with me the risks associated with the surgery and had me sign off on having been advised of such risks.
That was it.
It was an assessment on paper only!
No check up.
No "assessment" whatsoever really. 
All in the name of allowing the hospital to bill the province for an assessment, claiming that they saved the surgeon the need to perform an assessment that he had already done.
Our tax dollars at work!