Saturday, 31 December 2011

Good Bye 2011!

Good morning everyone! I can hardly believe today is the last day of 2011. Where did this year go? How many of us will be sitting around with family and friends saying those exact same words?

Its always amazing to me how time moves. You can be doing the same event at different times in your life and they will move at different 'speeds'. My youngest son participated in what was probably our last Christmas pageant for one of our kids to be in. I remember our oldest being in his first one and it was so cute and sweet, and then I remember after attending several different recitals and pageants and having to bring younger siblings to each one how long and slow each one seemed to be. Then fast forward to sitting in the church this year watching my son on stage for his 60 seconds of fame and realizing that's it for my boys and wondering how all those years had gone by so fast.

I'm sure everyone one of you reading this blog can share a story or moments that where time stood still (like baby's first smile) or flew by (your wedding day). Moments you thought would never ever end (that last month of pregnancy! ) or days that would never come. (your child's graduation day) But all these moments in time arrive and speed by and become treasured memories that we share with family and friends and wonder how in the world they went by so quickly.

So I guess I'm going to be a bit cliche and do a quick look back on 2011 for myself. I had the opportunity of those endless moments of waiting in many hospital  and doctor offices this past year doing what seemed like endless testing. Pokes, prods, x-rays, and scans and eventually we were given a diagnosis. Playing with different medications we also finally seemed to have found a mixture that is working really well.

All 3 of my boys have made me so very proud of them this year. My oldest is working hard at University and just got himself a part time job. My middle son has really applied himself this year in high school and is coming home with fabulous marks that he is very proud of. His football team won  City Championships this past season also. My youngest is having a fabulous grade 9 year. He is doing an almost totally unmodified program which was unthinkable 4 years ago, he's in Air Cadets, and he finally got his bag pipes this Fall. Surprisingly....they are sounding really good! Ha!!

My husband started a new job at the start of 2011 which has been a real blessing. One of his goals has been to be able to  go back to school. About 5 months working with this company, my husband found a project management course that fit perfectly into his schedule and his company was willing to subsidize 75%. He has been doing so well and been so excited. We are all very proud if him.

And for myself, I set a few goals. This blog was one of them and it exceeded my vision already. ( I already have had over 1000 views in less then 3 months which surprised me!! Thanks everyone!) I started an online course on herbology. And lastly I'm starting a small online business selling homemade doggie biscuits. (If anyone is interested just email me at

2011 has had its ups and downs...its endless moments....its 'where the heck did those go' moments....moments that made me laugh...moment that made me cry. Moments where I hurt so much I wondered if time was even moving, and moments when life was so perfect I never wanted it to end. I guess every year is kind of like that in the end. The amazing thing is at the end of each year we have these amazing memories that we hold onto and treasure.

So good bye 2011! Some of you may say good riddance...some may have a fond farewell...but either way...good bye...and welcome to 2012 and welcome new moments and memories!

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

End of the World?

Good evening my friends! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends. I also hope Santa filled all those stockings in time and put the right presents under the tree. I know at our house Santa was very generous as usual, and we also had a wonderful time visiting with new friends and old ones. It was a wonderful day!

Then, being Canadian, we did the mandatory thing and we braved the crowds in the afternoon and went shopping on Boxing Day. For those of you who do not know what Boxing Day is, essentially its just another excuse for Canadians to go shopping!! ha!! Its the day after Christmas, and stores open super early and slash their prices really low. Its would be a comparison to Black Friday in the U.S.A. So we shopped for a few hours, got a few deals, and came home with our wallets  even lighter then I thought they could possibly get after  Christmas.

House is a bit tidied up, the excitement seems to have been diffused from Christmas and now I find a lot of discussions have turned towards  the countdown for the end of 2011. Different theories abound from things based on the Mayan calendar saying that the world will end in 2012  either by natural catastrophes or aliens will take over the planet (if I understand what I've been told so far!) People have started talking about their personal resolutions for the coming year, and my personal favorite, are predictions for 2012.

The fun thing about this coming year predictions are, what if the Mayans are right? Then Dec 21, 2012 we better party because that will be our last day here. But how many 'Last Days' have we had predicted? I remember Y2K...all the people that hoarded all those supplies, convinced computers were going to shut down and the world would be thrown into chaos. And yet the clock clicked over past midnight and not a glitch to be found.

My guess is that there will be a lot of people who believe the Mayan calendar will be doing a rush of Christmas shopping when the world doesn't end on the 21st next year. Heehee!!

So any predictions for 2012? Any wild and crazy ones? ( E.T. finally coming and making official contact ) Any serious ones? Lets hear them folks...grabs a refill on that warm mug and send me your predictions for 2012. They can be funny or serious. Then next year we can look back and see how many we get right!

So thinking caps on everyone and enjoy your evening!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

T'was The Night before Christmas...

Good Christmas Eve to you all! I can not believe it is actually here.All the hustle and bustle, all the shopping and planning, the wrapping, the decorating, the baking...PHEW! `No wonder as adults December flies by!

I know today everyone is busy with last minute details and possibly running those last minute panic trips to the mall. Family traveling, schedules to accommodate...excited children..but I hope you all have a chance to catch your breath at some point today, sit quietly with some yummy treats and a Christmas toddy while enjoying your tree lights flickering.

My favorite time is after everyone has gone to bed and the gifts are all set out and I'm sitting on the couch with my husband just quietly enjoying our tree. He usually has some Christmas carols playing and the house is dark and everything is quiet. The dogs are snoring at my feet, and the occasional giggle is still  heard from the kids rooms. It is just so nice to have the calm and beauty of the season for that moment after the hustle and  harriedness of the month.

So my wish for you this day is for serenity and peace, for a quiet stolen moment under the mistletoe with that special someone and for love and a joy filled holiday. Merry Christmas to all my internet friends and family.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

All The Stockings Were Hung...

Good evening everyone! What a week it has been! I have missed chatting with you all and and very glad to be feeling much better today. The past weekend flew by, the tree was trimmed and I believe, as of this moment, I may actually, officially be done my shopping! WooHoo!!!

'The Ugly Stocking'
I had high hopes for finishing a lot of stuff last week, but unfortunately my R/A decided otherwise. My family and I were able to squeak in the trim trimming in the weekend which was a lot of fun. We had lots of finger foods and desserts, some eggnog, and pop for the rest of us who aren't all that into that. We had the Christmas carols playing and the kids just had fun helping set it up. The dogs of course pace the room wondering what horrible tragedy is happening!  You can see it on their puppy dog faces, "This isn't right! This isn't right!"

Also my husband and I were able to go to the symphony and hear Handel's Messiah. He had won tickets earlier in the week and we had fabulous seats. I was able to last the first 2 parts and got to hear the Hallelujah chorus which is my very favorite of all before we had to go, but it was a wonderful night and I am so glad we had the opportunity to enjoy the music.

Then by Monday my R/A and my Fibro decided they were going to fight to see who could be  the most intrusive in my life the week before Christmas. To be honest, I don't know which one won, but I do know I am truly grateful  for my remicaide infusion I get every 6 weeks, and I just got my last one this Monday. Kind of knocks my socks off for a few days but then I'm back on track for five weeks and look out world!! Like today, I spent five hours shopping, had a shower, wrapped some presents, now doing my blog then off to my son's concert. Woohoo! Life is good!

So everyone, I'm going to keep it short and sweet tonight, so I can make it to my young man's concert. Enjoy the little things this time of year. I know its tough, with so much to do and so much running around and all this holiday stress, but it can be done. No one really cares if the gravy is lumpy, or if you folded the corners perfectly on the wrapping paper. And guess what, if the do, they aren't worth impressing anyways! People usually don't want the expensive things...they want to spend time with you.

Hope your shopping is done, your tree is trimmed, and your eggnog is yummy!! 4 More Sleeps!!
'My Guys'

Thursday, 15 December 2011

And Then I had An Idea...

Good afternoon my internet friends! Hope you are all tucked in somewhere warm and cozy and have a steamy mug of something yummy to chase the chills away. I keep peeking at my calendar and watch it rushing to Christmas. I can not believe just how fast the days have flown by this year!

Okay everyone, get comfy and put those feet up...its time for one of my famous rants! If you have known me for any amount of time you know that I can go off on a foolish tangent and rant about about the silliest thing that happens to have unfortunately have caught my attention. Well, this week, my unknowing and unwilling target is pharmaceutical companies.

"Why?" you unwittingly ask...(silly unknowing person in the back who hasn't been introduced to my inane rants before) ....well...there are lots of GOOD reasons why I could rant against these giant companies stealing millions of dollars from sick and dying people who just can't afford the ludicrous amounts of money they demand for their products.

Or I could rant on how they use defenseless little animals as test subjects in cruel and inhumane ways to push products so again they can make their millions and billions of dollars( actual facts! its true! heehee!!) 

But while these and many other reasons are valid, I sat here today and looked at my many medications (as many of the people who read this blog do) and thought to myself for the umpteenth time (which is a lot of times) and thought to myself,"Why oh WHY do these big drug companies make medicines so boring to look at???" I mean, on an average day I take about 15 pills a day. Thats 105 a week...which is 420 a month...which is a lot a year!!(ok, my math is not that great...)

And as I look at my pill case and see the most exciting pill in there is a navy blue and white one...wooo ahhhh.( stood out from the pale pink and pale yellow one. It was very exciting) But really drug company? Can't you call the Skittles company and ask them what makes the Skittles rainbow so pretty??

Then I had a brilliant that I am sure will change the way people will take their medications if we can convince the drug companies to work together and work with us the patients!! I say we get the companies to make the medication into brightly colored Pez shaped candies! Then we can use Pez candy dispensers!! How much more fun will that be to have lined up on your night table? 2 Batman Pez, 1 Robin Pez and Frankenstein Pez before bed. Ha!! Sure will be way easier to fill up the containers too!

So, I say we start a petition! Just for fun see how many people we get to go with the idea! If nothing else...lets get the colors of the rainbows added! I'm tired of pale pinks and yellows!!Ha!!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Can I borrow a cup of flour?

Good afternoon everyone! Hope you enjoyed your weekend and enjoyed the Christmas parties that have started. I had the privilege of accompanying my husband to his work party on Saturday night and surprisingly I actually made it to 10pm which is way past bed time for me! It was fun to dress up and meet the people he works with and we had a wonderful supper. Thanks honey for a really fun night!

Well...I noticed its gotten to be crunch time. Every day for the past couple of weeks I have really good intentions of getting my Christmas baking done. I flip through my cook books, make sure I have the ingredients, and then I get distracted. The kitchen may be dirty, or maybe a load of laundry needs to be done, phone rings, or I may just not have the energy to do it. So then it waits til the next day...and the next day...

I must admit, it got me to thinking, how many of us still do our own home Christmas baking? I remember watching my mom baking the whole month of December (and probably starting in November) making cakes and cookies.  We never realized how much work was involved until we have to do our own baking for our own families, and even at that I know I never did the amount of baking my mom ever did. And I know even if I make the same recipes my mom makes...they just never taste as good as my mom's! I said earlier...its crunch time. I know I'm going to start resorting to cheating and hitting Costco and getting some yummy baking there...but I also know Christmas just isn't quite the same without a few home baked goodies. I was wondering if a few of you could share a few 'tried and true' recipes with everyone. Cookies or tarts or bars that are easy and quick to bake that for someone like me don't require much time or energy. It will be lots of fun also to get recipes from all the different countries that read my blog! I would love to try my hand at some baking from Russia, Spain, or Trinidad to name a few.

How fun this will be! Christmas baking from around the world! Now I'm actually looking very forward to attempting my baking once I get some new recipes from you, my friends. Happy baking everyone! Looking forward to your recipes.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Music to My Ears?

Good afternoon everyone! I have had a case of the 'lazies' today that I just can not seem to shake off. No matter how many times I am told its just my Fibro or just my Rheumatoid Arthritis acting up, it still feels like I am being lazy and wasting another perfectly good day. But in any case, I have my mug of hot chocolate, and sitting comfortably and anxious to catch up with every one. So welcome everyone to my kitchen table!

I have had a very busy week. My medication cocktail seems to be working quite well which has allowed me to enter the real world outside my bed room! (Ooohhh...aaahhhh!!) The only area that still needs work in my energy levels but I can cope with that. I have been out shopping and on a small road trip yesterday with my husband, the eye doctor and even a huge Costco run! Oh life is truly grand!

All my boys have had some really great accomplishments these past few weeks also. My oldest is in college working on a computer program certificate and had to build some electronic kit. To me it looked very complicated and to all the guys in the house it looked very impressive ( there was lots of ohhhs and ahhs when he first brought the kit home) Well, he came home the other day very proud of himself ( and he should be! ) as he had completed the kit and had scored high marks on it!

My middle son worked really hard this past week on an essay he had due for mid terms. And you have to understand, he has AD/HD so sitting down to read and write an essay are far from his forte. Well, my son spent an entire week going in at lunch time and any extra class time he could to get help and finish writing his paper. He came home with a 77%! I am so very proud of him!

And last but not least, my youngest son has been practicing very hard to earn his bag pipes. You see, he joined the Air Cadets last year and decided he wanted to learn how to play the bag pipes. Well....thankfully they don't just hand them over. You start with a part of the bag pipe that's called a chanter. It kind of looks like a recorder, and it is not very loud. He has had that now for about a year and he has faithfully practiced that for about a year now. We have gotten used to the sound of the chanter and kind of been lulled into a quiet acceptance of the inevitable.

You have to understand, I am a strong advocate for my children to take music. My boys have played the trombone, trumpet, baritone bass (I swear that was the AD/HD...the biggest shiniest instrument in the room...Ha!!) guitar, drums,and bass guitar. So adding bag pipes to the mix isn't a stretch for us, just something different.But I do have a confession to make here....I have to admit, I hate the sound of them. So bless my son's heart...if I'm home...he practices outside only. Ha!!

Well...few weeks back, my son walked proudly in after cadets with his new instrument in hand. Oh he was so very proud! After months of practicing his chanter he finally had his hard earned trophy in hand! So of course we needed a demonstration  from the musician! He quickly assembled it, spent a few moment blowing mightily and then let out this racket of a noise! The dogs started howling...his face was all red from huffing and were yelling at dogs...I was giggling at dogs and thinking holy smokes...what in God's green earth have we gotten our selves in to??

Well, in the past few weeks, we have learned how well our dogs can sing, how many dogs are in the neighbourhood and even bumped into people I have never met before and had them ask me which one of my sons is playing the bag pipes. Ha! He practices on the front deck and gets so excited and encouraged when people stop their cars in front of the house and watch him. He takes them to school so he can practice there, takes them to friends' houses, and even begged to take them to youth group tonight.

He has worked so hard for those bag pipes and even though they aren't the 'coolest' instrument to be playing he pours his heart and soul into them and I am so very proud of him. All 3 of my boys are like that. They have such a strong inner core. When they have a goal or a  passion for something nothing can stop them. They practice, study, read, or what ever else they need to do. The things my young men have already accomplish astound me. My oldest is a 2nd degree black belt and in college, my middle son plays high school football and has fabulous grades even though he struggles with his AD/HD, and my youngest is in air cadets, playing his beloved bagpipes, and doing wonderfully in school in an almost unmodified school program which is huge because he has lots of learning disabilities he has to over come and also struggles with his AD/HD.

So the beloved melodies of the bagpipes accompanied to the singing of the to my ears! Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Its Been Magical

Good evening everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful day. I am just sitting down after having a busy day running around doing errands which I totally enjoyed. So grab your warm mug of your favorite drink and come enjoy some catching up!

This weekend was busy and so productive.  As most of you know I am stuck in bed a lot so for a change of scenery, my husband humored me and changed the bedroom furniture around. Now I have a 'room with a view'! Ha!! I get to look out our bedroom window now and watch the birds in my feeders, and my dogs have more room on my side of the bedroom to curl up and sleep on the floor. Everybody is happy.

I was also able to go out shopping two day this weekend at the Mall. No small undertaking for anyone familiar with West Edmonton Mall. I bought myself a pair of pumps and a dress for some up coming Christmas parties we have on our calendar. One was this past Monday evening and next one is this coming Saturday night.

So last night we had our first party in I don't know how many years....I wore my new 'big girl' shoes and a dress (not pj's and a sweat shirt!!) and we went to a dinner and show with our awesome friends next door. Want to know what one of the most amazing parts of the evening was for me? My super awesome brand new shiny red pumps did NOT hurt my feet at all!! Thats right ladies! Brand new shoes and not even a little bit sore!! Woohoo!

Now today, I've been a busy bee too. I got my hair done, did some groceries, had supper with my middle son at his work....not a lot for the average mom, but for me, thats like being a mom on steroids. I have been looking back on my last week and looking at the stuff I have been progressively been able to get done.

Last week my doctor switched one of my medications. For anyone not familiar with the 'change the medication' routine it usually goes like this. Your doctor tells you to try new medicine 'A'. Its going to be awesome, they tell you. Start it in the morning, it wont make you sleepy! So off you go to the pharmacy, clutching the piece of paper hoping that you will be feeling better in 7-10 days like the doctor told you.

Well, 3 or 4 days into this new medicine, that little yellow ( or blue or pink or what ever ) pill is making you sleep until lunch time. You have called into work sick 3 days this week because you are higher then a kite and no way can you drive in safely. You see little leprechauns dancing in your bedroom and when you sit up your head spins horribly. The only food you want to eat is Fruit Loops and you sing in your sleep. Oh...and you still hurt. So back to the doctor...lets add Medicine 'B'..oh and 'C'...taper off 'A'...your a smart get the picture.

Well...I've been on the 'change the medication routine' for four and half years now. Its been magical. But after this past week, I think maybe....just maybe....we might finally be onto the right mix! I'm still slow...I'm still hurting...but I'm better then I was a week ago. I went out to a party. I went out shopping. I ran errands. I had supper with my son. I did more this past week then I have done in months. To me that would mean we are on the right path.

So yes the 'Routine' has been painful and frustrating and annoying....but now that I am finally getting some relief and I am able to do things most people take for granted I really appreciate all the time and effort all the doctors and nurses and especially my family have put into the 'Routine'. And I especially appreciate all the Fruit Loop runs my husband did! Ha!

So if anyone is just starting the 'Routine' patient...if anyone is living with someone going through the 'Routine'....yes...Fruit Loops are that magical!....And if your in the majority of the population and have no clue what the heck I am talking about..I hope I just entertained the heck out of you and you never look at a bowl of Fruit Loops the same way again!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Big Heart...

Good snowy Saturday morning to you all! Well, at least where I am it is. It looks like frosting on everything outside. Its that soft poufy snow that just floats around and makes you want to stick your tongue out and catch a flake. Heehee!! Can you tell who doesn't have shovel duty around our house? Ha!!

The funniest one to watch when its snows is my wee little dog. We think she is a Papillion/Shitzu cross and she is barely 5lbs. My big boy is a big lab cross about 80lbs and the 2 are inseperable. Well, this is Kira's first winter and being so teeny I wasn't sure how well she was going to handle the snow and the cold. My brother in law even bought her a little doggie jacket when I was out East visiting, so she was all set for the cold!

Recently we got our first real 'have to shovel' snow falls. (I think we actually got about 6"!) My boys can correct me if there as more as they were the ones out there shovelling for hours that night! Anyways, the dogs were all out there 'helping' the kids. I was inside giggling...there were 3 black and white dogs bouncing around in the snow and into the shovels as these poor boys were trying to push. The dogs were having a blast!! And to my amazement,my little Kira was just in her glory! The drifts were well over her head, she had to bound up and down to go any here, but she was having so much fun! There was no obstacle going to stand in her way to having fun in the snow that night.

My husband gets upset with me because when I have a good day I go like my little dog. He knows the price I'll pay for being 'normal mom'.  I bound around, no obstacles in my way!! I clean and cook and shop. I may meet him for coffee or lunch. My kids get home from school, there are muffins usually baked, laundry has been done...the world is good. Mom is 'normal'.

Then reality hits, and I wish I had the heart my little dog does. Some days my R/A or my Fibro are to much and they stand in the way. Then other days I can dig down deep into places I didn't even know I had...I can find that extra hour to sit at my kid's football game...go to dinner with my husband...hang out with my family. Things others take for granted but things that take alot of extra effort for me.

Oh to have the heart of my little dog! She may be wee little but she is determined! I know! What a funny place to find inspiration...but I figure, if such a tiny little package can run and jump and conquer mountains of snow with little doggie smiles, then I can try and conquer my mountains of R/A and Fibro with a smile and determination too.

Enjoy your weekend everyone! Hope your mountains are small and your hot chocolate is nice and warm!