Sunday, 30 January 2011

Fantastic Canadian Talent!

Not the greatest video quality, as it was shot by an audience member, but the sound is okay and what a great song! Jann Arden hauled back on stage after she'd finished her gig to sing a song with Michael Bublé (hence the jeans and hoodie outfit - apparently she was about to get into her van and drive away!). I love these two and what fabulous voices together!! Impromptu, unrehearsed and quite funny!

Hope you enjoy it.

And if that wasn't enough...

I've been having issues with my right shoulder for a few months now. Suffice to say, an old injury had flared up and wouldn't settle down, even with physiotherapy, acupuncture, massage therapy and chiropractic. So I took myself off to a sports medicine doc at the local (and very prestigious) PanAm Clinic, which is well known for it's sports injury treatments.

Now this is not a sport related injury, unless you can call dunking numerous large bags filled with flannel sheets into a tall metal cart a sport. I first hurt it in December of 1999, while at work. Off for a couple weeks on a workers' compensation claim, physio and all seemed healed. Over the intervening years, it has flared up on occasion when I have done something strenuous like wax and buff the car by hand. And since I am right handed, it only makes sense that my right arm gets the brunt of the work out.

Last fall, it started acting up again but wouldn't settle down. So I went through all the treatment regimes at my disposal. All with minimal effect. Last month I made an appointment with the sports med doc. He ran me through all kinds of tests ("hold your arm up here [at shoulder height] and don't let me push it down") that had me falling on the floor in pain every 20 seconds. He then had xrays done to rule out any arthritic changes or calcification in the tendons. My shoulder joint looks like a 15 year old's on xray. Too bad it feels like a 105 year old's in real life.

Next step, he said, is an MRI to see what's happening in the soft tissue. None of that shows up on xray. So I waited for that appointment, and got in last Tuesday. Considering wait times here are usually horrendous, getting the test in one month was pretty quick! I was pleased with that, and even ordered a CD with all the images on it. I want to know what I am looking at when he tells me what's going on.

The very next day - Wed. - at work, I injured it further. While emptying a jug of liquid from one of the dialysis machines (we have to pour this stuff down the hopper if there's any left after a treatment is finished), I felt a very sharp stabbing pain in my shoulder that almost sent me to my knees.

Now I can't lift my arm up. I can't get my hand any higher than my waist if I try and lift my arm out to the side or front. Ever try to take off a t-shirt when you can't lift up your arm? I can't push on anything with my right hand either. The worst part is the pain that wakes me at night... I think because it is immobile while I am sleeping, when I go to roll over, I get a horrendous pain that wakes me and literally takes my breath away.

So because I just happened to have an appointment with my family doc for totally unrelated things the following day, I got him to prescribe something for pain to help me sleep. Because I had taken Tramacet (with is an opioid [narcotic] with tylenol) when I had my gall bladder out a couple of years ago and it worked well, we opted for that. I can't take codeine because I have a really bad reaction to it. I also made an appointment to see the sports med doc on Monday, even though I know he won't yet have the report on the MRI. (I will be taking the Cd with me, so he can look at it if he wants.)

I took 2 of the pain pills before bed on Friday night. Went to sleep but woke up at around 2:45 in pain. It has been just over 4 hours since the first pills, so I took 2 more. The pain diminished considerably but I wasn't able to get back to sleep and spent the rest of the night dozing and tossing.

Got up at about 7:30. By 8:00 I was in the bathroom puking. I spent the day woofing my cookies every couple of hours, only there were no cookies to woof. I'd not eaten anything all day. I'd not even been able to keep down the sips of water that I'd tried to drink. It's not fun at all heaving away when there is nothing to heave. I was sweating, dizzy and nauseated. And tired as all hell. All of which, it turns out, are side effects of this particular medication. I'd not had this when I had taken it previously, but I don't think I took them so close together time-wise then.

It wasn't until I got some Gravol to stay down and a few sips of 7Up that I started to feel better. That was delivered to me, courtesy of LHB, who is in town. He, however, handed the stuff to be through the door as he said, "if you have the flu and I catch it, there are few things worse when stuck in a truck on the road somewhere". I could see his point. I was quite disappointed, though, as we have things that need to be discussed... that need to be ironed out. However, I was in no shape to do anything at that point, other than lie on the couch and try not to wither away.

Today, I seem to be on the mend. I've had a bowl of cereal for breakfast with no ill effects. I'm pretty sure it was not a flu, only the meds being rather unruly. Not sure if I will see LHB today or tomorrow, but it will happen. So not enough that I have this shoulder thing, I have a man issue as well, all that needs to be dealt with asap.

Thursday, 27 January 2011


This was my universe this morning while out walking with the dog. Hoar frost on absolutely everything! All the trees, vehicles, houses... even the edges of every fence board were ruffled with spiky whiteness. Then, later in the afternoon, as the breeze picked up a touch, the air was full of sparkly fluffs falling to the ground.

It really is quite beautiful!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

"There's this place in me where your fingerprints still rest, your kisses still linger, and your whispers softly echo. It's the place where a part of you will forever be a part of me."                                ~~~ Gretchen Kemp

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Snuggle time

I am in serious lack of this.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

If you want to laugh so hard you pee your pants, go here!

I just discovered a website called "Damn You AutoCorrect".

Apparently, autocorrect is a feature on iPhones and if you are texting someone, it will stick in words it thinks you want... Some of the texts are sidesplittingly hilarious!!!

Just check out this one:

damn you auto correct funny iphone fails and blunders

Thursday, 20 January 2011

I could not be any prouder

I've stated on here before that my oldest sister was killed in a head-on collision with an vehicle driven by a woman who was stoned on drugs at the time. My sister, to whom I was extremely close, was killed instantly when the SUV plowed straight into the front of her late model Toyota Corolla (pre-airbag age). That was October 19, 2005, around 5:00 p.m. in the afternoon while my sister was driving home from work.

The entire family, all her friends and the community where she lived and worked were devastated by her untimely death. But there have been two family members who have struggled with anger these past five years, to the detriment of their own well being. Those two are my brother-in-law and my nephew, my sister's only son (my sister has a daughter as well, so the two kids lost their mum).

My nephew had become bitter and depressed over this senseless tragedy and had never been able to come to terms with his mum's death.

Until recently. He decided to fight his demons head on and wrote a letter (email) to the woman responsible for taking his mum's life. I don't know what he said in the letter, as he's never shared that, but he did share the woman's reply and asked if anyone in the family was interested in contacting her. Each and every one of us (his aunts and uncles) have come to terms with my sister's death, found ways to lessen the pain and to continue our lives in ways that would make her proud. We each told him, in our own ways, that he needed to find a way to do the same, to take his mum's own outlook on life (and it was a damned good one!) and apply it to his own way of thinking and living.

Today, he shared his reply back to her with us. I am so proud, my heart could just burst! He has taken to heart all the things he knew his mum lived and believed in, and has seen it in his heart to forgive this woman for an unforgivable indiscretion. He is an incredible young man with a huge, caring heart and having seen how he'd been suffering the past five years, this is a major step in his healing. I love him as if he were my own son.

Below, I have posted her reply to his initial email, followed by his reply back to her. There is light and kindness and love in the universe, and a portion of it lives in this wonderful family of mine... especially my oldest nephew.

Reply from M*** to initial contact:

For 6 years I have not been able to get any info nor names of you or any other family members. I've wanted to get in contact, I've written letters that I couldn't send out cause of lack of info, so my jaw dropped when I received your message. Your pain & anger & bitterness shakes me to the very core. But it is completely justified. I am shaking as I type these words. I don't deserve your attention nor forgiveness nor can I forgive myself. It is a heavy weight that I will carry upon my shoulders for the rest of my days. That a beautiful soul of a woman was no more. That in a split second, I had turned so many lives upside-down. It floors me that somebody had to lose their life in order for me to live mine!! But that is exactly what happened. It is because of this tragedy that I am the person I am today. I just finished a 14 month incarceration due to this situation. There is not one day that goes by that I don't think of your mother. I actually pray & talk to her in my mind. I understand this might piss you off, for what right have I to do this? I pray that with each day that goes by, that all her loved ones & family might find it just a little bit easier to bear not seeing her beautiful face or hear her lovely voice or just feel her embrace. These things I think about. I have been in therapy for the last 5-6 years. I am a different person mentally, physically & emotionally. It is because of her that I am clean & sober & have been so since going to jail. And I've learned how to be a loving, caring and responsible human being throughout this journey that began on October 19, 2005. I feel indebted to your mother to remain this way. What a gift she gave me. But how undeserving I feel that I am. Obviously, I would trade places with her in a heartbeat. And how truly sorry I am. But "sorry" sounds like a cliche, for I am so deeply beyond "sorry" that I don't know if there is a word that exists to explain this deep pain I feel. In March of 2009, my mom was diagnosed with liver cancer. The doctors gave her a year, give or take a few months, and that was about 2 months before I went to jail. I remember thinking "God, please let me & my mom have time to spend some quality time together. Please, let her not die while I am in jail." Well, then it dawned on me how you did not get to have that option. There is so much I want to say to you & your family, I am overwhelmed right now, for it breaks my heart to know how much pain & grief I have cause you; all of you. And I don't know if there is anything you want to know, or ask me. No matter what you say to me, no matter if you need to unload your anger and sorrow or pain, I will respond to you. I also realize that just because I am sending these words to you, that you might just delete them and not give me the time of day.
Sincerely, M***.

M******'s response back to M***:

You know, M***, I so wanted to vilify you, and make you suffer just a fraction of what i suffered. The more I read your message, the more i don't want to be angry with you anymore. What's done is done, and while I'm not happy with the outcome, I can't change it.

What I can change is in my heart. I want to thank you for your sincere reply. You have shown me that hope can come from the least likely of places.

I'm not one to believe or follow the Christian vision of God, but do believe there are other powers and entities out there that help guide us and live our lives to the best of our ability. I hope that whatever you believe provides a solid foundation for who you are trying to be in this world. More importantly, I hope you are living by example, and teaching your son that you don't need to be a victim of your circumstances, and that you are always accountable for your actions and words in life. I believe he will make you proud if you can do that for him.

M***, should you wish, there is a bursary at the University of Manitoba, established after she died. It is a bursary designed to help single mothers who want to enter the faculty of education and need some financial assistance.

That is what she was, you see. A single mom of two, who got her teaching degree while raising my sister and I, because she refused to be a victim of circumstance - more specifically, she didn't let being poor and overwhelmed with life get in her way. I don't know your financial situation, but if you wanted to donate 20 bucks, 10, 5, whatever you can whenever you can, I know she would be pleased with that gesture. I don't make a ton of money, but have small donations set up as a payroll deduction, so every two weeks, it grows a little bit. If you want the correct information for the bursary, please call the University, the bursary number on the website is currently wrong. Or I can give you the right one if you like.

Since getting her education degree, Mum dedicated her professional life to helping young single mothers who had no chance at life. They had no idea how to keep house, pay bills, do a resume, care for their babies. These kids were all looking for a way to escape their circumstances, and not only did she lead by example, but she genuinely cared and loved each and every one of then over almost 20 years of doing this. I remember many nights her coming home and crying over the heartbreak she regularly faced, as some of these girls just weren't strong enough to get through it all. But she persevered, and was on her way home from working with a group of troubled kids on October 19, 2005. They came to her wake in Grand Forks, and they cried just as hard as all of us in her family did over what happened. She was easy to love, and accepting of all - without prejudice or judgment..

Had she known you before, M***, she would have supported you without judgment too. If there is an afterlife, I know now that even though what happened happened, she would still be with you, trying to help you find a better way. I encourage you to use her spirit as strength during tempting or troubled times in your life. We all know life does not get easier, so if her spirit and memory helps you be a better person, then you need to keep talking to her every day.

When I got your message, I reached out to my family, to see if any of them were interested in engaging with you. All of them have moved on and found a way to forgive you for what you did. It seems that I (and my Dad, who I fear will never stop being angry) were the only ones who had not let this go. Their reply was not to you, but to me encouraging me to be compassionate and forgiving, because any other road would only serve to poison my heart.

I must have read your message over 100 times since you sent it, and you know what? I can't be angry anymore. It serves no rational or emotional purpose. I need to let go and celebrate what life I had with her. I need to celebrate that I am the caring, sensitive, loving man that I am because of her. She was, is and will always remain my hero, and she can be yours too.

M***, I forgive you.

Live your life, honour her spirit and do good in this world. I have faith that you can and will.

With love and compassion,

Wednesday, 19 January 2011






Are there no original ideas out there anymore?????

Monday, 17 January 2011

You know it's cold when...

Here in Winnipeg it is -26C at the moment, and with the wind chill, it feels like -39. I bet I could do this too!

♥♥ Happiest Penguin Ever ♥♥

I wish I could be this happy that it's winter and snowy out there.

But with a brisk north wind and it feeling like -33C outside, plus the addition of several inches of snow to shovel this morning, can't say that I can.

It's too cold for the dog. She sneezes when she breathes in the crisp air, steps hesitantly out the door to do her business and then bolts back to the house, hair standing up on her back in a very feeble attempt to stay warm.

Don't get me wrong, I do like four seasons. Just not this one season that lasts for half the year and costs me a fortune in heating bills and puffy clothing.

It's just too cold to get out there and be happy!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

You meet a heart that becomes so close to yours...

And then you lose that heart because of someone else...

And yours is torn and bloodied on the floor...

Friday, 14 January 2011

Bryan Adams - Straight from The Heart

This isn't the version of this song that I wanted to post, but that one is "unavailable".

Here is the link if anyone is interested in the same song but a much, much better video:

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Bloody ridiculous!

It's dry in the winter here. Moisture doesn't like to hang around in the air when it's -25C or so (as it was this morning when I got up...). Add into that forced air heating in the house and there is absolutely no humidity at all!

Now, I get sporadic nose bleeds because of this, and have been plagued with a few recently. But driving home from work last night was a first!

I have a bit of a cold and so am a tad snuffly. I guess I must have snuffled a bit too vigorously because all of a sudden the blood started to pour out of my nose, cascading over my lips and down my chin.

I looked like this chicky - minus the long red hair and pointy piercing doodad, but the effect was similar, although I had more blood smeared on my chin.

I managed to get my gloved hand to my nose in time to prevent a major staining of my white uniform pants. There's a small dribble on my jacket, but it's dark pink and very washable so that's no big deal.

Picture this: one hand clamped to my hemorrhaging proboscis, using my knees to steer, while my 'free' hand is attempting to shift gears and root through my purse for some tissue to stuff up my nose. Good thing it was almost midnight and there wasn't much traffic! I managed to stay on the road, although I did graze the snowbanks in a few spots along the way. 

I'm pretty sure no one saw me with a white tissue hanging out of my nose and blood smeared all over, like I'd just gone all 'Twilight' on some poor unsuspecting soul...

And just a short time ago, while sitting in front of the computer minding my own business, it started all over again... right out of the blue! No snuffling involved this time.

Time to go coat the insides of my nasal passages with a thick layer of Vaseline. *sigh*

Monday, 3 January 2011

New Year's Eve

funny dog pictures - Jake knew he was under the weather when he coughed up the Hello Kitty and farted a rainbow

My New Year's Eve was spent kinda like old Jake's here... only much more monochromatic.

I had acquired a minor case of Gastroenteritis from the hospital. Several wards have been quarantined. This seems to happen every winter and some staff always end up catching it. The last time I had it was about 5 years ago and it was much worse than this year's bout! That time it was fire hose force out both ends at the same time. Good thing I had a large bucket in the bathroom!

Thankfully, this time it only lasted about 12 hours but then it took me about 24 to replace the 5.5 lbs I had lost. Almost all of that was water, of course (unfortunately...). I am now back to normal in that department. (Hey, I have never claimed to be normal in any other respect!)

So the final day of 2010 was crap (literally) but...! The first day of 2011 saw the resolution to a problem that had been making life miserable for close to two weeks.

All things considered, life is pretty good at the moment. A new decade has begun.