Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Today my sister Susan should have turned 54 years old.

Wishing her a silent happy birthday leaves tears in my eyes and sadness in my heart.

This first picture was taken on one of my favourite weekends spent with Susan, Chris and Melissa at her house in Kitchener where we played crazy 8's and drank beer until the wee hours of the morning.

Susan with her kids who meant the world to her.

This picture was given to me by a friend, taken of Susan in the 70s.

Miss you like crazy.
Yes - that book definitely has to go, I think it gave me the flu.

I stayed home from work today and even though it's now nearly 2pm and I went to bed at 9:30 pm last night and slept this morning - it's all I can do to stop myself from going back to bed. Even coffee is making me feel ill which is the benchmark for all sicknesses. You must be really close to death if you can't drink coffee. I think that's Chapter 1 in the books studied at medical school.

Yesterday Paul had me take his picture for a conference he's attending in September.

He's pretty hot and I have to admit that unlike someone else's picture, Paul's has barely been reworked in photoshop. The only thing that would have made this portrait even better is if he had worn his GOOD pajamas.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I just finished reading Libby Znaimer's book In Cancer Land and I have to admit that I didn't enjoy it.

That it's only my unfaltering anal-ism and need to finish everything I start, that I suffered through the entire book. And now that I've finally finished it, I feel caught in a funk. And it didn't help, as I lay in bed, still recovering from the autogenous reconstruction after my mastectomy, that I read in the last few pages her discounting my kind of breast cancer as "Stage 0", and not really "considered cancer by some doctors."

I thought back to being told that my 7cm mass was considered stage 2 out of 3 (ratings for DCIS) and that the angels must have been watching me as it came within 0.01mm from spreading to my sentinel nodes. That I am now counting the days until my May 24 MRI since I am being watched closely with semi annual check ups, alternating the mammogram with the MRI.

But being reminded of the stats also helped deflate me even though so many more women survive now because of early detection and better treatments then they did 20+ years ago.

And Libby's other C word: cured. Are you ever really considered cured or is the notion of cancer reoccurring something you just live with, painfully reminded of the chances at ever doctor's appointment. How did Libby phrase it? Something like "you don't die OF breast cancer, you die WITH breast cancer."

And as much as I don't want breast cancer to define me, I can't help being reminded of it every time I have a shower or get undressed. Or when asked how I am, I wonder if it is a reference to what I've gone through - though thankfully that's easing with time.

Some days are more exhausting than others but I think the personal weight this book created means it will have to find itself a new home. Even if it is personally autographed by the author.

Monday, April 28, 2008

These kind of things always seem like such a good idea, especially after having spent the afternoon drinking wine at a baby shower in London, Ontario. And then carrying more of that wine around in a travel mug while shopping with one older brother and one younger sister.

But even sober, and weeks later, I still enjoy them.

I'm just afraid to see what else is in that bag that came home with me.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Okay, whew, I have a drink in my hand. I've recovered enough to sing Paul a song by KT Tunstall while strumming feebly on my guitar and knocking him unconscious.

Could it be my voice?

I woke him just enough taking this picture for him to threaten my life if I post it or write about him, but I'm all about living on the edge. Plus I think it's called PAY BACK.

These are our new stools from Visitor Parking - aren't they beautiful and shiny and white? And is that chocolate or maybe juice stains I see? And are the bases all crooked? And look at the dirt and fur on the shiny chrome bases!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

I could feel myself being sucked into a very bad mood this morning - and it was unavoidable. It was like the gravitational pull from a black hole and there was nothing I could do to save myself so may as well embrace it and enjoy the ride.

The only thing that might have helped would have been to stay home and focus on the backyard and my sad little garden. And spending $1,000 at Canadian Tire, Zellers, and Rona, maybe Costco. Yes, all that and perhaps a glass of wine with a splash of pomegranate juice. You know, for my heart.

And RIGHT NOW, trying to tune my guitar, I have just broken my first f$&*ing string.

But now it's 8:30 and I had Pat and Brenda (and kids) over for dinner and Paul is outside while I type trying to put together 2 really inexpensive adirondack chairs and I can't hear one word of complaint...through the thick glass of the back doors...and maybe because Futurama is on...really loud.

So the day did end much better than it started. Take that stupid black hole.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Illustrator course...DONE!

And might I add that I aced my 2 final tests last night (I'm hesitant to label them exams because that would give them a certain weight which they definitely did not deserve) with marks of 19/20 and 25/25.

But I can't figure out where I lost the one mark so I will lay blame on my instructor, he probably miscounted the check marks.

The woman beside me, who sat at the computer I have been using since the class began - which totally left me agitated because I am a creature of habit and quite anal and do like things as orderly as mistress universe can create for me and therefore cast her the evil eye as consequence (learn from me Satchel!) - actually tried to get me to help her! To cheat!

Not only am I anal and all the other qualities listed above, but I am also a perfectionist and a rule follower and DO NOT help people write final exams, especially those who steal my computer.

I began to feel bad for her as I quickly finished the practical part of the exam and she sat staring into my, I mean her I broke down and mumbled sub-menu knowing that even though I handed her the solution to the first of her many issues, a stiff drink might have served her better.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Last night's party was fabulous with French Martinis, 80s hits and sushi enjoyed by all!

And big brother Bob has promised to leave me his cashmere blazer in his will after I spent the night following him around, stroking his back like a favourite pet.

I smartly didn't drink much, having only one martini. I tried for a second but it mysteriously went missing half way through consumption, which painfully reminded me of my wedding day when people kept stealing my drinks.

I mention smartly not drinking because after collapsing in bed at 3am, Jakob woke up at 4am coughing and crying "I CAN'T DO THIS ALONE! HELP ME!" And I said, "What..cough? Of course you can, go back to sleep." But being the good Mom that I am and with Paul passed out unconscious in the bed beside me, I dragged my weary body out of bed to get him water and cough medicine. Which he hates. Jakob hates cough medicine. This is so unlike him because normally anything that starts with MEDICINE is usually code for sugar.

So because it is now 4:20am and I have finally calmed Jakob, Arthur has decided that it is time to go outside and attacks Hamish in front of our bedroom door which again forces my weary body out of bed to yell at him and threateningly snap my fingers. This works until 6:30 am when he starts it up again.

Finally, it's 8:00am and even though Paul had promised he would take Satchel to swim class I know it's up to me because his blood alcohol level is still probably 3 times higher than the legal limit for purely functioning and outside of snoring, he's not moving.

This is when my morning becomes really obnoxious because Satchel cries the entire walk to swim, and between loud, body shaking sobs, he's casting snotty remarks and evil eyes my way.

Honey, I wanted to say, I am the QUEEN of casting daggers from my eyes and I just want to smirk at your feeble attempts. But I don't. I just grab his arm and continue dragging him to the pool.

15 MINUTES OF SATCHEL CRYING AND COUGHING AND CURSING, I am at my wits end and I'm sure I said a few things that most mothers probably would NOT let pass their lips but I just couldn't help myself. Plus I worked out I had only 4 hours of broken sleep and not even a full cup of coffee in my I was in a weakened state.

We finally get to the pool and he sits down on the bench outside and REFUSES to go into the change room to get ready. He just sits there while I say you've got 3 minutes. 2 minutes. 1 minute before class starts. And I realize we've hit a milestone in our relationship. One which proves that I can no longer pick him up, carry him into the change room, force him into his swimsuit and drag him into the pool. And I can't hit him. and I can't GUILT him into getting his sorry ass in there either.

So we left the pool without his swimming. And I was so angry. I'm still angry though we have talked about commitment and responsibility and owning up and not everything in life being wrapped in a pretty package with a nice bow. And that sometimes we have to do things that are not optimal like a 9:00am swim class instead of a more civilized time like 11:00am but you do it. You suck it up. It's part of growing up.

We'll see what happens next Sunday because my other option is to have Paul take him because he CAN still pick him up and force him to change and get into the pool...but I would hate to think that our relationship has come to that.

But despite the small dark stain, my birthday weekend was otherwise fabulous and I can only thank my very sweet husband and wonderful friends and family.

Especially walking home to strawberry crepes and bacon for breakfast!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The birthday celebrations continue with a party tonight. My liver is so going to HATE me.

Shirley and Jon drove in for it and she is already plying me with coolers - she is a TERRIBLE influence.

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's my birthday today!

And right now, at a time when I thought I would be indulging in a pedicure, or picking up a few things for the party Paul's throwing tomorrow night, I am instead at home with Jakob (who was sent home from school for not feeling well) who is obsessed with my cleaning the inside of his bum after pooing. Yes, THE INSIDE. For the record, I have completely drawn the line and refuse.

I have never met anyone who is as obsessed with post bathroom cleanliness as he is. And it's not just cleaning himself, it's the concern that he might smell bad. He also constantly judges people on what they smell like and if he even suspects there might be a bit of an odour on you - out. As Paul finds out regularly with Jakob yelling "DADDY - YOU STINK!!!!! YOU STINK LIKE POO!!!"

Thanks Jakob, just what the entire neighbourhood needs to hear.

I have just finished and sent off my final school assignment and now feel so free - well except for the final exam on Tuesday. Between work (which has been insanely busy and I am no longer flattered by being in such high demand), I have been managing the school newsletter and assignments for school - plus trying to squeeze in practice for the guitar lessons which I absolutely love. The guitar lessons that prove I have become retarded at the age of 44 with zero memory retention - which does pose a bit of a problem while learning - and that I have absolutely no finger dexterity at all.

But here I am in all my age old glory. Thank you photoshop, I love you most of all.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Is it really so wrong to be insanely estatic to find enough left over coffee from yesterday to make one very necessary cup?

I'm heating it right now.

Yesterday was an indulgence overload day - I ate more meals (probably 2 days worth) and drank more martinis and wine (probably 3 days worth) that I am feeling a tad wrecked today.

But it is glorious outside and I have a mound of cat poo in the backyard that's calling my name so I shall put my cup of day-old re-heated slop in a travel mug and some really big dark glasses and make my way outside.
Presenting...Satchel's face!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Satchel's getting his hair cut today.

It's going to be traumatic.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Todd from Ottawa visited last night and after dinner and wine we watched a couple of online sites that he recommended. is only 20 minutes long and with the animation and an engaging narrator is definitely worth the watch.

And no, it's not a tribute to Thanksgiving.

And as much as I would like to lord Canada's practices over that of the States, I know that on a smaller scale through virtue of our smaller population, this is just as applicable.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The newest addition to the family - Baby Girl G, born to Dave & Jody on Friday, March 28 in London ON.

Seeing as it has now been days, I wonder if she has been given a name yet. Not that Baby Girl G isn't catchy and would make an awfully nice license plate and also guarantee a place in hip hop super stardom - I worry that she may have difficulty being taken seriously in daycare.