Thursday, April 30, 2009

Home again Home again

We were away at a conference from Monday until late last night. When we arrived back home who was in the dugout but our little friend Donald and his wife Donaldina!
I was so excited that he returned to nest in our yard. I don't know if he has been here for years, because last summer was really our first summer in this house, but we LOVE to have him. I called my mom to tell her he was back because she was here last year when he arrived.
(I can't believe a year has passed since she was with us.)

The yard is full of birds. We had our first fire pit fire of the year tonight. Max helped me to break sticks and pull out dead Caragana. It was awesome to go to a conference and listen to an incredible speaker and learn fantastic things, but being home trumps all of those things.

It looks as though our little one is about to pop a second tooth. Tonight he is running a bit of a fever and he has rosy, rosy cheeks - all signs of teething. I am HOPING he sleeps through the night.... we shall see.

I've blogged, I've checked out facebook, I've read my e-mail and I've watched my favorite television shows. In the past 24 hours I have talked to my mom, my brother and my cousin. I took care of things at work that needed to be taken care of and I've printed off my thesis supervisors comments on my "pre" thesis proposal. I am now ready to go to bed and read more of the book I picked up today at the library (and fell in love with as I was reading while taking the dogs for a run) . I love days like today.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ten on Tuesday: Ten words people would use to describe me

This week the topic is "ten words people would use to describe you"
Link to more participants HERE
Here are my ten:

1. Decisive.
2. Impatient.
3. Perfectionist
4. Sceptical
5. Respectful
6. Intelligent
7. Open-minded
8. Reliable
9. Humorous
10. "wet noodle".

I know that last one is two words, but it is a direct quote, so I actually KNOW that its words used to describe me.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday Meme

I took this from Sunday Stealing:

1. My uncle once : fell off the hood of a car while it was moving. It drove over him and dragged him along the road. He still has a scar on his face to this day from the incident.
2. Never in my life : did I expect to be living in Northern Alberta and raising two boys.
3. When I was seventeen : I started university and bombed horribly. I DID get a good grade in my religion classes and in my soccer class, but unfortunately they had little to do with credits towards graduation.
4. High School was : a long time ago. We moved back across the country when I was in the middle of grade nine and I started a new school in a new province. Unfortunately I had to read Romeo and Juliet and watch the movie West Side Story twice.
5. I will never forget : the taste in my mouth when I broke my leg.
6. I once met : someone who I fell In love with. It wasn't what I had imagined for myself, but it has been an awesome journey.
7. There’s this girl I know who : came into our lives for just three months as a foster child. She made me smile every day, she was such a character. I will remember her forever and I hope we will hold as fond a place in her memory as she has in ours.
8. Once, at a bar : my inebriated friends started a "tooth fund" for me and threw all kinds of change into the jar so I could visit the dentist and get a tooth implant.
9. By noon, I’m usually: pretty hungry but that's probably because I am not a good breakfast eater.
10. Last night : I had to work and then pack for a trip to High Level. I have never been to High Level and to be honest I was not anxious to come here.
11. If only I had: some way of convincing my parents to come back to Canada. I would do anything to have them live close by.
12. Next time I go to gym/church : ... I think the next time I go to the gym I will end up in church - because it will kill me!
13. Susan Boyle : has an incredible voice and it gave me goosebumps to watch her sing.
14. What worries me most : is being so far away from my family as my parents and in laws get older.
15. When I turn my head left, I see : my spouse reading a book in the bed at the hotel.
16. When I turn my head right, I see : the hotel chair with my clothing on it from today.
17. You know I’m lying when : I tell you?
18. What I miss most about the eighties : is absolutely not the clothing or the hairdos, but maybe a more normal Micheal Jackson?
19. If I was a character in Shakespeare, I’d be : very very old, but if I were still alive today I would probably be immortal. Dang, how old is Shakespeare?
20. By this time next year : I will have completed my thesis and I will be almost ready to walk across a stage and get my masters degree.
21. A better name for me would be : Doctor J.
22. I have a hard time understanding : the economics of a recession. It seems as though there is an awful lot that has been contrived by politicians and the media but has had a very real impact on human lives.
23. If I ever go back to school, I’ll : be working on my doctorate degree, because I'm already in school working on my masters degree.
24. You know I like you if : you make me laugh.
25. If I ever won an award, the first person I’d thank would be : the children. Isn't that a given?
26. When I compare 80’s rock to 90’s rock : I don't really have a comparison, because I like both. There were sure more hair bands in the 80's fo sho.
27. Take my advice, never : chew on tin foil in a thunderstorm while flying a kite.
28. My ideal breakfast is : one that I can eat later on in the day when I am fully awake and eating it won't make me sick to my stomach. My spouse makes the only kind of fried eggs I like. I am a fan of waffles :)
29. A song I love, but do not own is : the newest song by Rob Thomas which has not been released yet ... "Cradlesong".
30. If you visit my hometown, I suggest : not going anytime soon because it is incredibly unsafe at this time to travel in Zimbabwe at this time in history.
31. My favorite Beatle is : Ringo because he played the drums - and he was cute!
32. Why won’t people : get a clue about human rights?
33. If you spend the night at my house : we will hang out at the fire pit and roast marshmallows and hot dogs. You will see more stars than you have ever seen in your life and you will have a blast.
34. I’d stop my wedding for: witnesses. Apparently you need witnesses no matter where you get married. We did not know this when we got a marriage license and arranged for someone to officiate. She said we needed witnesses but we went to BC all alone and didn't know anyone. It's hard to have a wedding without witnesses.
35. The world could do without: people who judge.
36. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than : watch a Woody Allen movie.
37. My favorite blonde is : P!nk.
38: Paper clips are more useful than : velcro.
39. If I do anything well, it’s : play with my boys and make them laugh.
40. And by the way : I thought that coming to High Level would be a drag, and I can't honestly say i would recommend that anyone come here for fun. Having said that, travelling and hanging out with my spouse is always a blast. It is great to be getting some time away with her. (And having internet and cable in the room in nice!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

365/12 Mr.Calloway

I never knew his first name, Mr. Calloway was a teacher of mine in elementary school. I think he may even have only been a substitute teacher. He suffered from polio and he had one leg which was shorter than the other. He wore one shoe with a thick heel and walked with a limp. As a student I never ever thought of him as having any kind of deformity, or disability, rather I recall him as an imposing and a strict teacher.
I absolutely love school, but I don't know when this love started. I can't recall the day or the time when I just knew I loved school, loved reading or homework or getting good grades. Moving back to Rhodesia when I was young was very difficult because I was so far behind in school I must have had someone who worked with me to catch me up because I remember feeling very intimidated and overwhelmed with being behind the other kids. Something had to have changed in those first few years when we arrived back in Rhodesia to change my experience in school, because I was completely overwhelmed - I even cheated (tried to cheat?) on a times table exam and got caned for it when I was caught.
I don't remember a teacher who I would say made me fall in love with learning, but I have fond memories of many teachers. Mr. Calloway was strict. He walked with a cane, and if you put your nose too close to the desk as you were writing he would SLAM his leg up onto the desk with that great heavy boot and scare the daylights out of you.
Somehow I don't remember being scared of him - well, ok, just a LITTLE scared of him, but I was more captivated. He told the most excellent stories and it gave me a thrill to do things "right" and please him.
I am a real "traditionalist". I like order, respect, discipline, and consequences - ESPECIALLY at school. I think this all originates with Mr. Calloway. I would say he impacted me greatly in this area.

Three beautiful things

1.I know I have mentioned it here before, but I absolutely LOVE when the swans return. Watching the swans around our home is a beautiful thing. They are only here twice a year for a very short time and everytime I see them I am happy.

2. We have had the opportunity to relax and read some novels. I can't remember the last time I had uninterrupted days on end to just read. I have already finished two books and am beginning a third tonight. Reading is a beautiful thing. I have a feeling this might be the last time I get to do this until my thesis is finished which makes it more beautiful to me.

3. I have a week off from work. That is a beautiful thing. I am going to do my best to stay away (THAT will be a miraculous thing). Don't get me wrong. I know the place will survive without me, I just don't think I will survive without work. I am pretty sure I inherited this disease from my workaholic parents.

Bullet Sunday

There is a lot of information on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) available "out there".
We are foster parents and in the process of adopting one child (hopefully another child also) who have both been exposed to alcohol before they were born.
Over the five years of being foster parents I think I can say with certainty that we have had ONE child WITHOUT FASD in our home.
The one thing I have learned in five years is that EVERY child is different.

Here are some things worth knowing:
  • There is NO cure for FASD.
  • You will, or may, hear stories of kids with FASD and how they act. Let me reiterate... It affects everyone differently. Please don't judge my kids without knowing THEM.
  • Some people have asked us why we would "take on" children with FASD, knowing the potential problems they will encounter in life. My spouse and I have talked about this a lot, and I guess I would ask - "If not us, then who?" These kids are here, alive and growing up. Where should they be? Certainly it is every parents dream to have a perfect child, but there are children out there with imperfections, and they are no less deserving of a loving home than any other. So that's why. We don't have our heads in the sand. We KNOW there are potential problems, but we will educate ourselves, and we will advocate for our kids, so if not us, then who?
  • FASD does not impact IQ.
  • There may be NO outward signs, physical signs, of FASD. It is brain damage.

I am sure as we raise our family that I will post on FASD and the impact it has on our lives. I am preparing now with my spouse to go to an FASD conference where we will hopefully learn more ways of intervening on our children's behalf.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Friday Fill In

I am having some kind of blog issues, I actually did this yesterday but it didn't post until today we go!
Link to more participants HERE

1. Apparently there's some sort of mix up with the weather we have been getting.

2. This weather is so lousy sometimes I feel like I will never see another sunny day.

3. 2009 leaves a lot to be desired so far.

4. Tinkey Winkey stopped working and that was it.

5. For too long I've been wishing the sun would come out so I could prune.

6. I am not obsessed with pruning; I am not!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing room assessments so I can go home as soon as possible, tomorrow my plans include reading and sleeping and Sunday, I want to pack for my trip!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday 13: Things I have learned at work.

If you click on the picture above it will link you to the page where others participate in Thursday 13.
One of the hosts of the site is getting married and so lots of the posts this week are about marriage. I was racking my brain trying to think of things relating to marriage that I found interesting and it might just be too late at night because I can't think of anything I feel would be very interesting to write about in that area.
Instead, and only because I HAVE been thinking about it a lot with everything happening at work right now, here are 13 things I have learned in life, things I have learned at work.
1. You are replaceable. No matter how likeable you are, how thorough or how dedicated, someone else CAN do the job you are doing. I learned this working at University when I stayed too long at a job I hated. I should have left when I didn't want to be there anymore. No-one appreciated me staying longer and I resented that they didn't appreciate me more.
2. It's not personal. People can yell at you, swear at you, throw things at you, even call you names, but it isn't about YOU. No matter what they say, they don't know WHO you are and it's about work!
3. It will be there when you get back. Unless it burns to the ground, in which case something else will be there.
4. People move on. No mater how wonderful (or how terrible) a situation is, people move on. I worked with a team of people I absolutely loved. I can never go back and recapture that time. It is past, but I can keep those people in my life if I choose. I have worked in situations I have hated and either I left, or others left. Nothing stays the same.
5. There will ALWAYS be someone who has a bad attitude. Sometimes that person has power over you, sometimes they don't, but there will be one, always at least one. Try NOT to be that person! There was a secretary I worked with after college who was absolutely horrible. I don't think she knew how to start a sentence if it didn't have the words "You can't....."
6. People WILL remember small kindnesses. You may think no-one will ever care if you smile at them or treat them politely, but they will. Sometimes people will remember you when you have long forgotten them, or what you did for them. At the same token, they will also remember if you were ignorant to them. It doesn't take any more energy to be rude to someone than it takes to be nice.
7. Your actions speak louder than your words. You can TELL me something, but show me something completely different in your actions. I am going to believe what you DO.
8. The only thing constant in EVERY job, in EVERY place I have ever worked is CHANGE. If you can't handle change you need to learn some coping methods because when change happens, and it will, if you can't handle it, you make life difficult for everyone around you. This goes back to #7. If you SAY you handle change well, but then you are a wreck of a human being when change happens, I am likely to believe you don't handle change well.
9. You can get away with some things some of the time, but not all things all of the time. Bosses are like parents. They know more than you think they know. This can be very bad, or very good - depending on if what you are doing is bad or good, and if you are the boss or not!If you think you are being sneaky, you MAY be, but you won't always be. Working with kids in college has taught me this. They get together and do something and think they are getting away with murder, but I will hear about it. Sometimes I will even hear about it at Kentucky Fried Chicken when I am standing in line with my two year old, or when I am at the post office, but I WILL hear about it. I even hear about things people have done when they think they are alone. That can be embarrassing - for them, not so much for me.
10. There is really no good way for ice cream bike riders (like dickie dee) to keep the ice cream solid all day in the summer. Even dry ice melts.
11. Getting drunk and calling your boss to say you want to commit suicide can wreck a working relationship.
12. Sometimes it feels great to quit a job on the spot. The feeling won't put gas in your car though. I learned this at UPS - and I would do it again in a heartbeat, but I think I might try to sue someone first and at least get some money out of it.
13. You are never done learning. There is ALWAYS something to learn from someone. No matter who you are or how long you have been in a position. I learned the MOST in my employment years from the people I have worked FOR (kids, students etc) than from my bosses or the companies I was employed by or even through training or schooling. There is always something to learn.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Warning Labels

I have had a few superficial conversations about health care in the past few months. "Superficial" meaning I haven't really delved into the topic or done any research or anything, but just talked about it with people here and there.
My spouse and I moved here from the USA. In the USA we met at university (where neither of us had health insurance and had to use the medical center on campus if there were ever a medical need) and then when we both worked full time and paid for medical coverage (which still was not comprehensive - as we discovered when my spouse had major surgery.)
We have since moved to Canada where we have health coverage we pay for through the province and additional health coverage which I pay for through work. I have opted to pay for the highest medical plan I can because to US it is worth it.
An example of the worth of this medical insurance is this. We called the doctor's office and we said to them that our two boys had very high fevers and puking and were not well. They said to come in the same afternoon - within a few hours. The doctor saw the boys and immediately said they both needed to be admitted to the hospital. We went over to the hospital and they had us in a room with both boys, x-rays taken on both boys, IV's, breathing treatments, etc etc and it was all completely taken care of. Granted there are inconveniences, but overall we were very satisfied with the treatment of the boys and we never saw one bill for treatment at ALL. Not one. We were in the hospital for 4 days.
When my spouse had to be transported - BY AMBULANCE- over 100 km for tests in another town, we never saw one bill. ( We are glad the ambulance didn't hit the ditch and she wasn't killed by anything falling on her head, but that's a post for another day).
Don't get me wrong. We PAY for medical care. I am shocked every month at how much my Gross income is compared to my net income and still the peace of mind it brings can some days feel immeasurable.
BUT ( "and everyone has a big butt") there can be SERIOUS drawbacks. One of the drawbacks I find is in the "additional" medical services. Not necessarily the services by the doctors, but by other medical professionals like speech therapists (which we require for our son) and nutritionists (which we allegedly require for our son).
Let me discuss for a moment the nutritionist in our community. We Need to see her - we have been told. We have asked for some help to come up with ideas of giving our son healthy and varied meals. He has many, many allergies. He was tested when he was not even a year old and he has allergies to wheat, milk, soy and peanuts. We have an epi-pen in case he goes into anaphylactic shock. He has a CONSTANT rash on his face Which we are worried will leave permanent scars because it is almost impossible to keep him away from everything he is allergic to. We have struggled and struggled to get him to eat things he is "allowed" to eat and still we battle. He gets bored of things, and recipes change without notice (such as the margarine we were using suddenly started using soy extract in the recipe.) The local stores are NOT helpful in providing options and when they do carry things - like polenta - if they happen to run out of stock there is no guarantee they will #1. restock it, or #2 know what it is, or even #3 Acknowledge they ever carried it at all! So we talked to the doctor about maybe getting some ideas. We have spend countless hours looking for recipes on the internet, finding alternatives etc. but still thought we could use professional help. We were referred to the nutritionist. Now, we have worked with her before, and have a friend who has worked with her, and none of the interactions have left us overwhelmed with her insight and knowledge, but we figured we would give it another try.
So we called her. This afternoon she spoke to my spouse over the phone and gave some tips over the phone. This is what she said AND I AM NOT LYING. She asked if we had tried to give our son milk lately. Shel said we avoided it because he was allergic to it and he has a reaction to it. She suggested that "If he has never gone into anaphylactic shock, I would give it a try and see what happens".

Now yesterday I learned that q-tips come with a warning not to be inserted into ear canals. (A warning I have never read by the way.) Today I have learned that our local nutritionist should come with a warning. "Do not use if you value your health, EXTREME ALLERGIC REACTION, even death, may result". What a knob.

not keeping up with the news

Apparently I am not keeping up with "hot news" as I just found out by reading my cousins blog.

Who knew there was a big controversy over a question in the Miss California pageant? Who knew they still HAD Miss California pageants?

I had to go from my cousins blog straight to google to check out the scoop. Apparently Perez Hilton, who was a guest judge on the Miss California Pageant asked a question about gay marriage. If I read correctly, he specifically asked "Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?"

I don't understand why this is relevant to a beauty pageant, but what I REALLY don't understand is why Perez Hilton was a guest judge? Who IS he? Since when does someone become famous for being an opinionated jerk?

Personally I think more significant news is this: Major search launched for missing Ontario girl

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ten on Tuesday: ten underrated movies

Link to other participants by clicking on the logo:

1. Water. This movie actually won some awards and was even nominated for an Oscar. Still I don't think it got the acclaim it deserved. Many people are turned off by foreign films.

2. Serendipity. There are a LOT of sappy, predictable love story movies out there, but this has to be one of my all time favorites. Eugene Levy as a salesman in Bloomingdales is hysterical and the romantic notion of writing info into a book and "putting it out there" completely sucks me in.

3. So I Married an Axe Murderer. As far as I am concerned this is the best comedy of all time. Yeah. I said it. HANDS DOWN it is Mike Myers best film. I think Princess Bride DID get at kinds of critical acclaim, but this movie was sorely overlooked. (Don't get me wrong, I love PB, but I think SIMAM deserves it's props.)

4. Highlander. "Connor McLeod of the Clan McLeod." I honestly haven;t watched this movie in ages and ages --- maybe since 1986 when it was released? It is probably corny now with the advances in special effects, but it was epic.

5. Bloodsport. This movie as far as I am concerned is the ORIGIN of ultimate fighting. Ultimate fighting nowadays has NOTHING on the fights when they started -- back when there were no rules and the fights were so brutal they were illegal. Don't get me wrong. I watch UFC, and I like it, but it is so "clean" it is not even comparable to the GOOD old days. I can honestly say this is the only movie I would EVER recommend with Jean Claude Van Damme in it.

6 .High Art Lesbian movies are ALL underrated. Let me clarify. Lesbian movies for the most part SUCK... but there are one or two or three that I would watch a few times and even tell my straight friends to watch. But for the most part - they are low budget and BAD -- and most of them don't even have lesbians as actresses which makes any kind of intimate scene "AWKWARD".

7. Bound Might as well tie me up right now. GREAT movie and totally under the radar. (Should I say gaydar? LOL) I crack myself up.

8. But I'm a Cheerleader So I am on a bit of a lesbian theme here, but I am not deluding myself. I know that most straight people won't ever watch either of the two previous movies I just listed. They MIGHT watch this one though and it wouldn't be half bad. I know it glosses over issues and there are some jokes specifically meant for a homosexual audience, but I remember thinking that there were parts that closely resembled real life and what it was like to "come out".

9. The Other Sister. Giovanni Ribisi is one of my favorite actors and he is excellent in this movie. I am also a huge fan of Diane Keaton who doesn's disappoint in this film

10. Fargo. This movie won a BOAT load of awards but I am putting it here because even though it won so much I have never met anyone who has said "Fargo, what a GREAT movie." I completely love it and I ADORE Frances McDormand.

Honorable mentions.

These movies actually won awards, but I still think they were underrated. Sometimes winning an awards doesn't mean the movie was "popular" or as highly rated as i think it should have been.....
. Willow was actually nominated for (and won) some awards, but overall it was underrated. Great family show and another predecessor to the fantasy movies hyped so much nowadays. I think credit should be given to movies who did so much with relatively none of the special effects available now.
Much Ado About Nothing This is one of my favorites of Shakespeare and a great movie. I don't think making a movie of Shakespeare is any easy task and I applaud the makers of this movie for doing a great job.
Good Will Hunting Another award winning movie. This is probably the movie I have watched the most in my life - and for a "one time only" movie watcher like myself, that is saying a LOT.
Spanglish This is my favorite of all Adam Sandler films. The cast is fantastic and it is written SOOO well. Award winner, but underrated.

The Swans are Back

Hip Hip Hooray!
The swans have returned. We are lucky enough to live right in the migratory path of many species of bird. Every spring and fall the sky is FULL of geese, ducks, and swans as they fly right over our house.
I have always loved swans but it wasn't until I moved here that I ever thought about them migrating or flying in such large flocks. In the city there were always one or two on the ponds, never hundreds.
Over the last few days as we have been out and about we have seen flocks of swans flying overhead. Usually these flocks consist of about 25 to 50 birds, but sometimes there are lots more. They seem to be stopping in a field close to our house and as I drove to work this morning I wished I had the camera with me to photograph the literally HUNDREDS of swans in the field.
It is overcast today and raining a bit. My spouse and I have been trying to focus on "beautiful things" lately and as I watched a flock of beautiful white trumpeter swans flying overhead, stark white against the grey clouds I thought to myself ... that is a beautiful thing.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


There are some technological things in this world that I believe have made the world a better place.
The introduction of Skype to the Oprah show is not one of them.
It is absolutely one of the most irritating things to watch Oprah try to talk to guests on Skype - to the point that if I see a guest being skyped in I just fast forward the show and don't even bother watching.
I suppose that for Oprah it is a way of saving loads of money because she no longer has to pay for people to be flown in to the show.
For a viewer,however, it is annoying and not at all worth watching, even if the guest is Ashton Kutcher.

1. It always sounds as though Oprah and the guest have to shout to make themselves heard.
2. There is absolutely no rapport developed with guests which is one of the things I LIKE about Oprah.
3. There is wierd time delays like there used to be on long distance phone calls. One person talks then there is a pause so they start talking again, but the other person has started talking so they both stop, then they both start again.

I am pretty sure the technology will develop into something better, but I doubt I will ever be a fan of watching an interview on skype. For me it just destroys the whole purpose of what talk shows are.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Fill In

1. Join me in a trip to Candy Mountain, Charlieeeeeeee.
2. Put a little variety in your day!
3. Happiness is being in unison.
4. Looking at my boss and being confused.
5. I'm waiting for the RCMP to come and shut this garbage down.
6. Laughter is hard to resist.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting these parties closed down so I can go home, tomorrow my plans include watching the movies we rented and Sunday, I want to start pruning!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Thirteen: easter candy

Sometimes I feel prolific and have tons of things to say. Other times my brain just checks out and I feel as though a trip to the dentist is preferable to blogging.
This last week has been a tough one for me in the blogging world.
I have NO ideas whatsoever and so asked my spouse to give me a topic to write about. She suggested 13 of my favorite Easter candy. Easter is my FAVORITE holiday of the year and I LOOOOOOVEEEEE Candy. Here are my 13 with much thanks to my spousal unit for the idea.

1. Peeps. Couldn't find them anywhere until we went to Walmart today and they were 50 percent off.
2. Cadbury Easter Cream Eggs. These top my list actually. I love them, love them, love them. Thanks Easter bunny "Bok Bok"!
3. Cadbury Mini Eggs.
4. The gum that looks like speckled eggs. I don't know the brand but I like them.
5. The marshmallow things my spouse got this year. They aren't really marshmallow, because they are not at all soft, but they are yummy and I ate all of them from my basket AND all of them from my son's basket. He has no idea. I don't think he ever got that far in his basket to see everything, and if he did, he does NOT need the extra sugar.
6. Cadbury's chocolate covered marshmallow. These are one of my spousal units favorite, but I like them also.
7. Solid Chocolate Bunny. Who can resist a block of pure sugary goodness.
8. M and M's. My FAVORITE are peanut M and M's (from the USA because they have a different recipe there, but I won't turn Canadian M and M's away. I would hate to hurt their little peanut feelings.
9. Anything from See's candy.
10 Dove squares.
11. Pez. Sometimes I can't even wait to put it into the dispenser because it takes too long. I have to eat it right out of the wrapper.
12. Reese's Peanut butter eggs. I actually don't ALWAYS like these, but I do crave them and now that we have a kid with a peanut allergy I can only eat them when I am not in the house, so that seems to make something more appealing.
13. Did I mention Cadbury's Easter Cream eggs? These are especially fun if you work with lots of people and you like to eat them and make "sucking noises" and stick your tongue into them. People you work with sometimes LOVE it when you do that, but mostly not. (then again, sometimes people you work with have "sexy cheeto eating contests" so it doesn't matter what they think!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

ten on Tuesday

The topic for this week is: Ten ways you know you are getting older.
1. The last time I was in an elevator the music was a song I knew the lyrics to!
2. I like to take naps and I wish my kids did.
3. I graduated from high school before some of the kids I work with were even born. ACK!
4. When you add together the first number of my age and the second number of my age, it is almost a "teen" number :(
5. I have been out of high school for more years than I was IN school.
6. Time Life commercials on television are selling compilations of music I LIKE.
7. Micheal Jackson is 50 years old.
8. I remember when Ron Howard was "Richie Cunningham".
9. My parents are GRAND PARENTS!
10. I actually stopped channel surfing on THE WEATHER CHANNEL (but just for a minute.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday meme

This is From Sunday Stealing. Check it out HERE

1. What is your current obsession? The weather (waiting for the snow to melt)

2. What’s a good coffee place? I suppose a Coffee shrub is the best place for coffee.

3. Who was the last person that you hugged? My baby

4. Do you nap a lot? I WISH. I would nap every day if I could

5. Tonight, what’s for dinner? Green beans, Baked Potatoes and Ham

6. What was the last thing that you bought? Ummmm. Potato soup which gave me heartburn

7. What is your favorite weather? Warm weather. I don't mind rain if it is warm.

8. Tell us something about one blogger who you think will play this week? I have no idea who will play this week.

9. If you were given a free house that was full furnished, where in the world would you like it to be? Singapore.

10. Name three things that you could not live without. Internet. Sleep. Books.

11. What would you like in your hands right now? My pillow?

12. What’s one of your guilty pleasures? um..... klondike bars which I can't seem to find anywhere lately.

13. What would you change or eliminate about yourself? Eliminate about myself? That's kinda harsh. I suppose I would eliminate two or three of my extra chins.

14. As a child, what type of career did you want? I wanted to be a firefighter or a librarian.

15. What are you missing right now? Movies

16. What are you currently reading? Magyk.

17. What do you fear the most? Not getting sleep

18. What’s the best movie that you’ve seen recently? I watched 27 dresses and was surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did.

19. What’s your favorite book from the past year? Middlesex

20. Is there a comfort food from your childhood that you still enjoy? I enjoy most all foods from my childhood - especially if my mom is making it!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

12 of 12 April

12 of 12 is the brain child of Chad Darnell. Link to him HERE.

Here are my 12 pictures for April 12 2009.

1. 8:50 am Easter Morning. All the baskets in a row on the couch (with the dog!)

2. 9am Easter Morning. This is the first Easter for C-note and he LOVED his Easter Basket.

3. 9:30 am. Discovering what is inside the Easter egg basket (this took all day).

4. 10 am. My spouse seems to think if there is a HINT of grass it is time for the lawn furniture to come out, so out it came. Oh, there's grass alright, but there's WAY more snow. (and don't think it just comes out - she's already used it!)

5. 11am. All dressed up and ready to go!

6. 11am. We tried to put him down for a nap but he wasn't having any part of it. He donned his ball cap (a first) and my sunglasses (not a first!) and headed out to push his brother in the stroller.

7. 11:30 am. Time to do some yard work. Crushing up the snow makes puddles!

8. 6pm. after we eventually DID have naps and headed out again, even little boys don't like to wear their touques. The sun was warm but we were being protective mothers.

9. 6:15 pm. If we weren't making his brother keep a touque on then he shouldn't have to wear a coat!

10. 7:00pm Right before bedtime we measured our #1 boy. We measured him in this house for the first time last Easter and so we thought we would make it part of our Easter tradition. He has grown four inches!
11. 8pm. Right before bed, after I managed to peel his gumboots from his pruney wet feet, he stole some of my water. He would NEVER drink water himself and if you gave it to him he would rather dehydrate, but because it is mine......
Like his outfit? He dressed himself today after his nap and is still wearing his belt, his lanyard, and carrying his camera.

12. 9:45 pm. It has been a LONG day and SOMEONE (seen in previous photo) has had too much sugar and is still awake, only thankfully in HIS room, so the animals are "safe" to come out and get some rest!

365/11 David

I just realized how many David's I know!

When my family moved from African to Canada the SECOND time, we started out in Alberta, moved to Saskatchewan for a while and then on to Nova Scotia.
When we moved to Saskatchewan I was hoping we would end up in the same place as we had been before because I actually knew some people and going to school wouldn't have been the serious drag it was becoming in my life. (Don't get me wrong... I LOVE school - but PEOPLE at school were a whole other ballgame).
Unfortunately we ended up in a different part of town and after my mom tried to register us at the special needs school ( no lie- a post for another day) we were registered at Alvin Buckwold Elementary. There was a kid, whom I assume was popular, but he was rude to me. It wasn't a HUGE deal. I have met rude people before, and we weren't there for more than a month or so before we moved again and I thought I had seen the last of "David".
Well, as life happens we ended up BACK in Saskatoon when I was in high school a few years later and I again encountered David. Again - not so impressed with him or how he treated me. We had a few classes together and I thought he was arrogant and rude that was that.
THEN... I encountered him AGAIN recently in my life. My interaction with him has now spanned more than 20 years ( I just shaved five years off that last comment!) and what do you know.... HE IS THE SAME.
Now I am all about believing that people CAN change, but my interactions with this guy lead me to reflect on the words of Maya Angelou... "When someone tells you who they are, BELIEVE them!" This guy told me he was a jerk a LONG time ago, and he was right.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Three Beautiful Things


1. The weather was nice enough today that we were all outside picking up and enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. I could have SWORN that we spent a lot of time outside in the fall cleaning up the yard, where did all this junk come from? It is beautiful to be outside again.

2. Is is Easter weekend and as per tradition we visit Dame to drop some treats off for him. This year we gave everything to his mom so he really doesn't know it is from us but we don't care that he knows where it comes from, as long as he has something. He is ALWAYS excited to see us and get into "HIS" van. (He insists it is HIS). Here are my beautiful boys.

3. While I am typing there are two little boys in the bedroom with my spouse just LAUGHING at the top of their lungs, playing peek a boo. The laughter is a beautiful sound.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Fail blog

A blog I love visiting is fail owned <span class=

Today I was checking out the site and came across this which made me laugh outloud. At first glance you think "WOW... shouldn't that say hands?" Then you think "Are they asking staff to wash their genitals in the public bathroom?" And then you think "Who cares if staff wash their genitals?"
But I can think of some good reasons why staff should wash their genitals. What if they are strippers? What if they are Chippendales giving lap dances in Vegas? What if they are underwear models? What if they are prostitutes?
And THEN I realized... you know, this is good advise no matter WHAT occupation you hold. It's just good advice. Last year I had an employee who didn't wash his genitals. You may wonder how I would know that, and let's just say - if you ever work with someone who doesn't wash their genitals, you WILL KNOW. It got so bad that I actually had to bring him into m y office and tell him there was an issue with his personal hygiene and that he needed to wash his clothing, take a shower, and wash his undercarriage. It didn't help. I needed to get a sign like this made.
Is it funnier that it's true?

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Friday Fill in. Check out more people who participated by linking here:

1. Anonymous donations are thrilling to give.

2.Barfing babies are a sleep killer and creator of loads of laundry.

3. Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, smelly, barfing, little boy.

4. Pruning is what I look forward to most about Spring.

5. Who needs therapy when you have an awesome pair of pruning shears.

6.Cadbury Easter Cream Eggs MUST go into the Easter Basket!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to SLEEP WITHOUT BABY PUKE tomorrow my plans include coloring eggs with the boys and Sunday, I want to have an Easter egg hunt with the boys and take loads of photos!

When the night isn't long enough

My spouse and I take turns being the one to get up in the night with the kids. I WISH our boys would sleep through the night but they don't yet. By taking turns it gives one of us the chance of getting a "better" sleep.
Last night it was my turn with the boys. Max was fussing and fussing and fussing and I could not figure out what was wrong. I summoned the expertise of the spouse and asked her to see what was wrong with him because I could not figure it out.
She visits with him for a while and brings him downstairs and says to me he as a stomachache. She is the baby whisperer or something because I had NO idea what was wrong with him.
We have tried a couple of time to bring him into our bed when he is not feeling well, but it has never worked out. He does not settle down and we always end up taking him right back upstairs to his room.
Last night he proceeded to wake up the baby, put post it notes all over the bedroom wall, and tear the bed apart before I took him back upstairs. He was still fussing, but we were all exhausted and the poor baby had been woken up every time he fell asleep.
I think he was back upstairs for all of ten minutes before he started to scream. I ran up to find he had barfed all over his bed.
Thus began the night.
I THINK he ate some bad ham or goat cheese but no-one else in the family ate it so I don't know if it was bad or not. He barfed 12 times in 6 hours. Barf in his bed. Barf on the couch. Barf on our bedspread. Barf in the spare room. We had to shower at least once in the night and we went through the entire drawer of pajamas, changing every time he puked on himself.
It was a VERY VERY long night. He wanted me to rub his head (which is a miracle in itself) but every time I started to doze off he would wake me to keep my hand moving. I absolutely hate it when he is sick, but the fact that he wants to be held and touched goes against what the doctors said when we brought him home from the hospital. Even though I am so tired I can't see straight and I smell like puke even though I have no more orifices to clean, I absolutely LOVE that he wants to snuggle into me and have me rub his head when he is not feeling good. I just wish he would do it when it was more convenient for me!
I had no idea there could be so much fluid in one tiny body. We now have a pile of laundry that is taller than the washing machine.
He finally started to feel better this morning and at around 9 am he went to bed and slept until 1pm.
From the time he work up he wanted to be outside. He is out there with Shel now raking and digging and otherwise being very industrious. I hope he tires himself out completely and wants to go to bed for the night at 3:45 pm (that's a few minutes from now)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday Post

I think that Wednesday is the most difficult day of the week for me to post.
Soo........ what to write about today.
We got a call on Monday to go to the city (about 5 hours away) to the Children's hospital for an appointment for Max. There was a cancellation and if we could fit it in to our schedule we could have it instead of waiting until October. Well of course we wanted it simply because we prefer to go now than to wait many more months to go. So we said we would take it.
From the moment we said we would take it things started to go wrong.
We couldn't get the dogs into the kennel until after 5pm. We had no dog food to take to the kennel. An email was sent out at work about a meeting with human resources to give everyone letters regarding the merger we are in the middle of. Shel got sick and then I got a ridiculous earache that felt as though someone was gouging my eardrum with firey red hot pokers. And on and on and on.
We decided not to go. We called and apologized for not being able to take the cancelled appointment. We DID manage to get a boat load of stuff done because my spouse is a crazy kid who likes to leave the house immaculate before we leave so that when we return from a trip we return to a perfect home.
So before our little trip plans collapsed we we made a list and actually got some things checked off. I LOVE list making. I had to give my spouse tips on list making because she was putting down two or three things as one and so we were only able to check off one thing when we could have checked off more. For instance she writes : "Cooler" on the list. But the cooler needs to be
1.retrieved from the quonset.
2. washed out.
3. packed.
See how that works?
So she has on the list: Take the following items to the quonset:
1. Table and chairs
2. Cd players
Being the dutiful wife that I am, I took everything to the quonset. When I came into the house to check the items off the list she says to me " Did you take the ladder?" Now, I ask you. Did you see ladder anywhere on the list of things to go to the quonset? When I asked her if the ladder was on the list she looked at me as if I just walked off a spaceship from another planet.

Then tonight I was reading her blog and she did "three beautiful things" and listed the fact that we DIDN'T go on this trip as serendipitous because we were still able to get a while lot of things accomplished.

Did I just get hoodwinked into spring cleaning?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ten on Tuesday: Ten least liked foods

I have decided to limit my ten on Tuesday to foods I have actually tasted (or have the potential to taste) because really - there's a LOT of stuff out there I would not put near my mouth folks and it's highly unlikely I will ever encounter something like Yak milk so I won't list it.

1. Eggs with raw (not HARD) yolks.
This is actually so bad for me I can't even sit at the same table as someone who has a runny yolk egg because it makes me WANT to gag. Or actually gag. And dip your toast in it? I am dry heaving as I am writing this. For real.

2. Eggnog.
I don't actually remember ever actually consuming egg nog because I envision raw egg - see number 1. It will never touch these lips.

3. Meat that is not VERY well done. (burnt)
If I see pink - even a hint of pink - in meat, it has the same effect on me as egg yolk. My spouse has to hide her steak when we are eating in a restaurant because I will be unable to consume my food if I see the BLOOODDD in hers.

4. Kidney.
We used to have steak and kidney pie. It has been YEARS since we had it, I just don't think you can get kidney in a grocery store can you? Anyway I don't care that I haven't had it because it is nasty.

5. Sauerkraut.
Had it once, ate it all because we were guests. Hated it.

6. Anything on a bone.
That's right. I think I might be almost able to be vegetarian because I can't eat ANYthing on a bone. no ribs, no chicken leg, no t-bone steak. Where there are bones there are veins. You can actually see the vessels in which BLOOOOODDDDDDDD flowed. Sometimes people even can't bite through them and they have these stringy things in their mouths. Oh. Nastiness.

7. Lobster.
Not only does lobster have a bone - it has an EXOSKELETON. Plus it screams when it is cooked. PASS!

8. Fish.
Tastes fishy.

9. Milk.
Milk is a necessary evil in my life. I drink chocolate milk on occasion and I put milk on my cereal but I do not like the taste of plain milk nor do I like the fact that it is so full of hormones because they basically have to keep cows lactating to produce milk (so it is unnatural......)


One of the crazy things about being gay is that it is difficult to define the relationship in terms of "length". Straight couples can say things like "we dated for X number of years", or "we lived together for x number of years", or" we have been married for x number of years".
When you are lesbian and people ask you how long you have been together there is always a moment of hesitation while you try to think ... OK does that mean from the date we FIRST went on a date? the day we first Kissed? The day the U-haul came? The day we got a joint account? The day one of us decided we were monogamous (because I think that's different dates for each person - JUST KIDDING SHEL!)
Shel and I have three "anniversaries" which is nice because if you forget one you can always make it up on the next one, or if you remember all three then you have three extra celebrations in a year!
The first date, April 6th, is the anniversary of our relationship. We have been together for 12 years as of yesterday. Neither of us ever remember how many years we have been together and so every year I have to google the Ellen DeGeneres episode when she came out on the Ellen show because we were together then. (Just googled, and it was April 30 1997).
After we had been together for a few years we had a commitment ceremony which would be our second anniversary. That one is on June 21, and I THINK it was in 2001? THEN when we came to Canada we were LEGALLY married and that date is November 19 2004.
I have made these cross stitch wedding things for my brother and his wife, my sister and her husband and my one good friend (BTW I also messed up on the date on hers because she was married a day before -or after us - and a few years later) however, I haven't ever made one for Shel and I because hey - what date do I put on it? I think it might be funny to do one with all three dates, then maybe we would remember.
Happy anniversary to us for yesterday anyway :)

Vermont legalizes same sex marriage

This post comes to you directly from the NPR website.

You can link to it yourself by clicking here:

Vermont lawmakers on Tuesday overrode the governor's veto of a measure legalizing same-sex marriage, making the state the fourth to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed — but the first to do so through legislation.

Both houses of the Democratic-controlled Vermont Legislature mustered the necessary two-thirds vote to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto, issued just hours earlier. The vote was 23-5 to override in the state Senate and 100-49 to override in the House.

The move comes nine years after Vermont became the first state to allow civil unions for gay couples. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa also allow same-sex marriage after courts ruled gays could not be excluded.

The vote in Vermont was a major victory for gay marriage supporters, some of whom celebrated outside the House chamber as the vote was announced.

Robert Dostis said he and his partner, Chuck Kletecka, were making wedding plans for the fall. "We haven't decided who's going to propose to who yet, but we've been together 25 years in September, so I think Sept. 14 could be a nice wedding day," Dostis told NPR.

The veto's overturn follows an April 3 decision by the Iowa Supreme Court, which struck down a law limiting the definition of marriage to a man and a woman. The high court said the law violated the constitutional rights of equal protection. That ruling opens the door for gays and lesbians to exchange vows in Iowa as soon as April 24.

Iowa lawmakers had "excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification," the justices wrote.

From NPR staff and wire services

Monday, April 6, 2009

365/10 David

Outside of my family I can count on one hand the men I have loved. I can actually probably count on one finger the men I have loved.
I love David.
I first met David when we were both in university. He was running for student body president and I was quite involved in student government at that time. We didn't really connect other than I knew who he was.
A few years later when I worked in youth corrections I met Dave again. I trained him as a tracker - which was the job I was leaving and he was starting. We connected instantly and have been good friends ever since. David is one of my best friends. He is my best male friend. (I don't know why I call him David - everyone else calls him Dave.)
A few years after starting to work in youth corrections he left tracking and came to work in the same facility as I was in. We ended up working a LOT of shifts together. I am pretty sure we have spend more hours together as adults than I have spent with any one of my siblings. I am also fairly sure I know as much about him as pretty much any person on earth knows, and he knows the same about me.
Dave and I had fight nights once a month where we would get together with the "guys" (Dave, Ang, Justin and I mostly) and we would watch pay per view boxing, eat pizza and smoke cigars.
Dave and I went shooting together. We worked together, watched movies, played games, laughed together and he and I had one of the most wicked fights I have ever had with another human being. We YELLED at each other. I am pretty sure we SWORE at each other. At the end of it all we worked though it and on the other side we were better friends.
Since I moved to Canada we keep in touch on the phone and we have done a fairly good job of keeping in touch. The last couple of months we haven't had much luck getting connected. Tonight we FINALLY spoke and he told me he is getting married in 10 days.
I LOVE him. I can't explain why tonight I feel sad.

Monday Meme

I took this from Sunday Stealing which you can link to from here

1. When you buy a greetings card are the words or the picture more important to you? I think the words are more important but I like funny cards and a great funny card needs words and a picture.
2. Do you ever make gifts for people, if so what, or do you buy them? I prefer to make gifts but lately I have not had the time.
3. Are you going on holiday this year? If so, where? I have no idea where we will go but we ABSOLUTELY need to go on vacation this year.
4. What was the best party you've ever been to? Sad that I cant think of an answer to this question...
5. If you are married, describe your wedding. If not, what would your ideal wedding be like?It was perfect for me. We were married in our friends back yard with decorations made by our family and we just hung out. I would have preferred that the person in charge of music would have played songs that were significant to Shel and I and not edit them because of her own personal issues, and a BBQ would have been awesome.
6. What's the most romantic thing that's ever been said to you? LLL
7. What's your favorite romantic song? Suddenly by Soraya
8. Favorite heartbreak song? My Immortal by Evanescence
9. Which celebrity would you like a dream date with? P!nk
10. Which female celebrity do you find beautiful?P!nk
11. Which male celebrity do you think is attractive? David Beckham
12. Describe the kind of underwear you normally wear. It normally goes under my clothes.
13. If you could be in a television sit-com, which would you choose? Friends
14. Which character would you like to be? Phoebe
15. What are your favorite boy and girl names? Max and Sierra
16. What's your supermarket of choice? Although I have never been inside one I would LOVE to shop at Trader Joes. Otherwise I am a huge Maceys fan (need to be in Utah for that though)
17. What is your best character trait? I am really, really, ridiculously good looking.
18. What is your worst habit? Procrastination
19. Elaborate on your default icon. First of all I had to google it to even know what it meant. That's all I can say.
20. What is your current relationship status? Married
21. Ever have a near death experience? I have
22. Name an obvious quality about you? I am really, really, ridiculously good looking.
23. What’s the name of a song stuck in your head right now? Sin Wagon by Dixie Chicks
24. Name a celebrity you would marry. Elton John
25. Do you like pain? I like tattoo pain.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

365/9 Cara

The difficult thing for me in participating in 365 is that there are people in my life who probably don't want to know HOW they impacted me. Do I write about them anyway? What will be the cost to me - or to them?


I worked with a woman named Cara. At first I thought she was nice. I have always prided myself on being a good judge of character, but lately think I am quite useless at it. I had barely graduated from University and Cara spend some time talking to me about what classes I had taken, what I liked about school and what I disliked. I have ALWAYS loved school and I have been quite clear about it. I shared, enthusiastically, what I liked, what I hoped to pursue, and why.
Cara entered graduate school soon after and one day was sitting at work discussing her entrance essay with other students who had been accepted to the same program. As I sat at the table and listened to their discussion I realized that Cara had "quoted" me almost verbatim in her article and had claimed it as her own. It absolutely blew my mind. I feigned interest in what she was saying and asked to read her essay. Without thinking she handed it over to me. I think my jaw dropped. I am certain she saw the look on my face and she snatched the essay from me. It was as though she had tape recorded the conversation we had and written down everything I had said as though it was her. At that point the relationship between us changed. I knew she had been dishonest. She KNEW I knew she had been dishonest. This is a person who "claimed" that integrity was the most important thing in her life.
It impacted every interaction we ever had from that point on. I think I somehow threatened her because she interfered with my employment from that moment on. (Accusing me of doing things when I didn't, making statements about how I acted when she was not present etc.)
I think until that point I thought that when people spoke to me and asked about me it was because they were interested. From that moment on I became jaded. I no longer trust the motivation of people. I think that is sad.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

365/8 Alfred

When I was growing up my family moved back and forth from continent to continent.
I was born and raised in Zimbabwe. When I was born the country was "Rhodesia" and in the 1970's there was a civil war, ending in the countries independence and a name change to "Zimbabwe".
My family lived in Zimbabwe through this tumultuous time. My father fought in the civil war, his brother was killed. I have other family members who also lost their lives. Few people who lived there through this time were left unscathed.
In elementary school there was this boy, Alfred, whose family moved to the USA when the civil war broke out and did not return until after independence. Alfred was born in the USA.
Alfred was incredibly mean to me. He would call me "whitey" and say that my family did not belong in Zimbabwe and that we should be killed.
I never understood why the color of my skin should make me "less" African. Although Alfred was the first person in my life who overtly claimed I was not "African", it is a sentiment I have encountered many times in my life.

I am African, not because I was born in Africa, but because a piece of Africa was born in me.

three beautiful things

1. My curious and exploring 2.5 year old son. I think today I head my spouse exclaim that she found a banana in the soup can cupboard. Though all his curiosity can be tiresome it is beautiful to me how he is exploring his world and that he feels "safe" doing it. In the tub he has been exploring how cups can fit on his feet. This made me laugh out loud because I very specifically remember members of my immediate family doing the exact same things growing up!

2. My sleeping (spoiled) 8 month old baby. He is struggling right now to get comfortable as he sleeps because he is teething and HATES to take any kind of medicine that would give him relief. We hold him to put him to sleep (SPOILED!) but once he is asleep he wants to stay that way! He is so cute as we manipulate him around, change his diaper etc. and he fights to stay asleep.

3. The sun. We are getting more and more sun daily. In a month or two it will barely dip below the horizon and we will only get "semi-darkness" for a while, but the days are already getting longer and it is truly a beautiful thing. Tonight it was still light at 9pm.

Friday, April 3, 2009

365/7 Damo

My spouse and I became foster parents a few years ago. After going through months and months of interviews, reference checks, medical checks, home inspections, criminal record checks and so forth, we were approved as foster parents.

Then we waited. We waited MONTHS without a phone call or a referral. We bought a van. We bought a crib. We got "ready" and nothing happened. So we went on a mini-vacation. I had to go to a conference for work in Kananaskis and so Shel joined me.

We had barely arrived at the conference and we got a call. Could we take a little guy - an 18 month old and could we take him IMMEDIATELY. I couldn't leave the conference, but we cancelled our mini-vacation and high tailed it home to meet with our first foster kid.

Here is Dame.

Dame was with us for about 6 months. We took him on a trip to California to my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary and the whole family fell in love with him (and he with them).

We absolutely fell head over heels in love with this little boy. He is the first child - that is not a niece or nephew - that took my heart completely. When he left it was as though a part of me left with him and I still miss him desperately. My arms have this "muscle memory" which he fills which will never be filled by another, as long as I live. He will ALWAYS be "my boy".

We believe (and I am pretty sure his mom believes) his case was handled badly from beginning to end. There were SO many things in this little boys life which should have been handled differently, but there is no doubt that he was completely loved in our home and STILL.

As a P.S. Our little man. Damo, is home with him mom and he is doing ok. We have a great relationship with his mom which means we get to see him and we TOTALLY appreciate it. He knows that we love him and he always greets us with HUGE smiles and hugs. This little boy changed my life. He changed my heart.

Friday Fill In we go!

Link to more participants here:

1. Angel or not, I will NOT allow you to sleep on my head! (one of our cat's is names Angel).

2. Take me any way you want me, but put me back when you are done.

3. As my mother used to say, you're full of Rubbish? I don't think my mom said anything of the sort actually.

4. I can never find my inhaler after I'm done working out or doing something strenuous.

5. Even in the most crowded of rooms I can still smell my stinky feet. (BTW I dont actually have stinky feet as far as I know)

6. Travelling long distances with my two year old in the car is a day fraught with peril.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to HANGING THE DOOR, tomorrow my plans include working on my thesis proposal and Sunday, I want to nap!

365 update

When I originally started the 365 idea the purpose from the originator as I understood it was to post about 365 different people who made an impression on me. The way he did it was to post with less than 40 words per post. I thought 40 words would be a challenge, so I said I would try 50, but I have changed my mind again.
I decided to try this out because I thought it would be interesting to reflect how people had made an impression on me and when I tried to do it in 50 words my focus became the number of words and not the impression.
I totally believe that there is a connection between people and this 365 reflection is my way of exploring the connections in my life. I am "lifting" the restriction I put on myself to keep the number of words to less than 50 and I am going BACK to posts I have already posted to write more.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday Thirteen: Inuit throat singing

For Thursday Thirteen this week, I am going to post about something I JUST learned about: Inuit Throat Singing.

Let me just say I know absolutely nothing about this other than what I have found about it on the internet today, but I am fascinated.
Here's what I learned mostly from Wikipedia (forgive me if I'm wrong, I'm still learning):
1. Traditionally when the Inuit men were away on a hunting trip, the women left at home would entertain themselves with games once all the chores were done, which may have involved throat singing. It was a way of socializing and having fun.
2. Two women face each other usually in a standing position. One singer leads by setting a short pattern which she repeats leaving brief silent intervals between each repetition. The other singer fills in the gap with another rhythmic pattern.
3. Calling it "singing" is misleading. There are typically no words, but sounds which may be actual words or nonsense syllables or created during exhalation.
4. Usually the "song" lasts up to three minutes until one of the singers starts to laugh or is left breathless.
I found the following information here:
5. Throat-singing is found in other parts of the world. For example, among the Xosa of South Africa, as well as among few other Siberian peoples, such as the Chukchi from the far north of Russia or the Ainu of Northern Japan. Inuit throat singing is different than its Mongolian and Tuvan counterparts.
6. In many regions, throat-singing was forbidden by Christian priests for many decades. (Gotta love Christianity!)
7. Evie Mark is a throat singer who was interviewed about her talent and I will use her quotes as the next few points. She said the following (her complete interview is found at the link above).
"Throat-singing is a very accurate technique in a sense that when you are singing fast, the person who is following the leader has to go in every little gap the leader leaves for her to fill in. For instance, if I was to say 1 + 1 + 1 + 1, the ones being what I sing and the pluses the gaps, she would go in-between the ones, singing on the pluses. Then, if I change my rhythm, this woman has to follow that change of rhythm and fill in the gaps of that new rhythm. She has to be very accurate. She has to have a very good ear and she has to follow visually what I am doing."
8. "Throat singing is not exactly easy on your diaphragm. You are using a lot of your muscles in your diaphragm for breathing in and breathing out. I have to find a space between sounds to breath in in order for me to throat-sing for 20 minutes or more. 20 minutes has been my maximum length of time to throat-sing. You have to focus on your lungs or your diaphragm. If you throat-sing using mainly breathing, you are gonna hyperventilate, you're gonna get dizzy and damage your throat."
9. "In September 2001 in Puvernituk in Nunavik there was the first Throat-Singing Conference that ever happened on Inuit throat-singing. It was very successful. There were throat-singers from all ages, young people to the elders. There was a lot of exchanges between everyone. A lot of the elders were able to tell the younger singers "Don't add contemporary music to throat-singing." The youth replied "No we've got to follow the change of life, while keeping our traditional throat singing." The elders were much encouraged and pleased because young people showed that they wanted to learn from them and they were encouraged to keep going. So, there was a lot of good communications. "

10. " At this festival, what was the most fascinating for me was that we heard different throat-singing techniques from different parts of Canada. It was amazing for me. Some people were singing as if they were whispering. To me, this singing was like a great boom, a great spirit that was whispering with a very strong voice, even though it sounded like whispering. I was completely mesmerized. "
11. "Inuit people have lost so much in a very little time. What we lost, we really lost it. We lost it to religion, we lost it to development, we lost to settling down the Western way. And the youth like me never saw those changes, but my grandmother saw those changes, my mother saw those changes. I was already born when those changes were already there, so for me it was normal. What is pretty sad is that they also lost a lot of things that we don't know about. But throat-singing is such a strong tradition that it probably didn't want to die. It's probably not us who brought it to life again. I think it was so strong that it didn't want to die. So, I think it is coming back to us. We are not going back to it. It don't think it ever left us, I think we left it. And since it's so unique, so strong, it never died."
12. The reason I posted about this today having only just learned about it is that think it is amazing. There is so much in this world that we don't know about other cultures and so much that has been stripped away over time. To find something like this makes me happy because I feel like I am learning and I think it is great that there is a movement to reclaim culture.

nablopomo: growing

Tonight I am at work and my spouse sent me a text message to let me know our baby has finally popped his first tooth. He is growing so quickly it is exciting (and sad!)
I can't believe how teeny he used to be.

365/6 John S.

John S.

(I think I have blogged about him already in another post.) John was a religious leader of mine when I was a young adult. I admired him and looked up to him and his opinion mattered to me.
he wrote me a note one time after teaching an object lesson. The object lesson was about Joseph's coat of many colors. John was a magnificent story teller and whether he made stories up or just retold stories with skill, I loved to listen to him talk. His story about the coat of many colors spoke of the color purple and how special it was to have purple sewn into coats because of #1 how difficult it was to create the colour and #2 the special meaning that went along with anything purple. Purple was highly valued and very symbolic.
One day - a while after he told the story, he passed me a note written on a ripped piece of paper. All the note said was "You are the purple". I felt valued and appreciated and it meant an incredible amount to me.

Though I have left the church, I still have my scriptures in a case and in that case there is a side zipper. That note remains in the side zipper to this day.

I have always looked back on John with fond memories. Earlier this year he tried to reconnect with me. he sent me a letter and I replied. He asked about my family and I told him about my spouse. Since I wrote him the letter telling him was gay our interactions have completely stopped. I have tried to connect with him again to no avail. Now I suppose if I were an optimist I would say that he was busy or my calls and emails weren't getting through, but I am not an optimist. I am a realist and his actions/"non-actions"since then have changed my opinion of him completely.

Why I chose to write about this is because I discovered that one single incident can change the perception I have of people COMPLETELY. We knew one another for years and had years of interactions to build a relationship on and still the impression he has on my life has now taken on a whole new "colouring".

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

365/5 Desiree

Tonight I'll write about someone a little more "current" who has impacted my life.


Des is a wife, mother, nurse, animal right activist and all around a very hard worker. She hasn't had an easy time finding her place as an "in-law" in my family. Would you believe I am related to some opinionated women? She's a trooper, my friend, and I completely love and admire her.

growing ... headache

I currently have a growing headache. I am a little surprised because although I get headaches frequently I usually get them after I haven't slept well or on Fridays when I have been working late Thursday night and back at work early Friday morning. I can almost predict to the minute when I will get a headache on a Friday (right at 2pm).

When we go to the USA, besides eating LOTS of Mexican food we always stop and get Excedrin Migraine. It is one of the only things I can take that gives me any kind of relief from my migraines. Unfortunately today it is not helping.


The theme this month at NaBloPoMo is "growing".

The POINT of NaBloPoMo is to post something every day of the month.

I set this little challenge up for myself (to post something every day) for the month of March without making any kind of "official" comment that I was doing it, mostly because whenever I DO make such a vocal committment there is something that prevents me from accomplishing my goal, and partly because I have given up hope for Lent so I didn't want to "hope" I would accomplish my goal.

Happily I can report (after the fact) that I met the challenge for March and now I am going to try it again for April. Nablopomo has announced that the topic for april is "growing. We will see if I manage to post anything on topic.

I must say, however, that I don't know why I bother posting on my blog because my friend Rhonda pointed out to me today that no-one reads my blog anyway.