Monday, April 23, 2012

April 2012 already?

Well I am going to take this blog back and start actually updating it.

 I plan to make this blog primarily about myself and my medical updates for family etc. The other blog ( I will leave for Brandon and Tyler's updates should I need it down the road.
I won't update it much (I hope!!) as they are both very well.

 So - Back to me. ;)

This will be fairly short and sweet.

 I am in remission.

 I have been so for about a month now.

 It's bliss.

 I'm eating just about all my calories and this past week have drank most of my fluids.

 I've come off several medications, and am officially able to drive as I'm no longer on the combination of meds that made it a serious issue (turns out maxing out on benadryl, gravel, dilauded, fentanyl, and occasionally wine makes you fairly sleepy and loopy... but hey it made the chemo and all that fun that goes with it bearable at the time.)

 I am going to physio and am now working on building up strength instead of just trying to stop losing it. 

I'm walking daily.

 I'm eating.


 Real, actual, food that tastes good and I eat with my mouth.

 Will wonders never cease?

Brandon was struggling the past few months. Lost a little weight and just wasn't eating well at all. At least 1 day, often 2 every week was spent at home, sleepy and barfy. Then a month ago we started him on tube feeds and Boost and we have a new child.

 He's still not eating much (eating is a LOT of work - when he is growing, or unwell, he stops eating simply because it takes more energy to eat the food, than he gets from it - so it stops being worth the work.) but the liquid nutrition is keeping him on track - he's not missed a day of school in 4 weeks! He's stronger, happier, more energetic, happier, healthier and happier...

 Much as the crunchy organic momma in me cringes at the manufactured nutrition - It's easy to put that aside when we I see him wake up with a smile instead of a wimpier.

 To wrap it up, Brandon was chosen by 'Catch-A-Dream', a charity out of Mississippi University, to go on an all-paid-for family trip to a fishing lodge! We will either be doing salmon in Alaska or catfish in Mississippi this summer and Brandon could not be happier!

It's an exciting time at our house.

 That said - I said none of this out loud... I don't quite trust karma just yet so lets keep it quiet k? ;)

Off to plan out our day - it will start with chemo and end with a new bike for Tyler - all around a good day in my books!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I have devised a new home security plan.

The concept is simple, affordable in the long term, and will easily have you the talk of the neighbourhood.

It is unfortunately a logistical nightmare and may draw the ire of the local bylaw enforcement officers (though I assure you they do not have a law under which to exact punishment).

So what, you ask, is my ingenious, all purpose, wonder-alarm?


My cousin Karli is travelling to Africa in March and has graciously agreed to procure the needed instruments to amass said army, I expect to begin beta trials of my new idea in about June, possibly a little later depending on our training schedule.

I anticipate it will take municipal level policy makers at least a year to enact legislation explicitly prohibiting hippos kept in the home, which will give me a solid year of quality, entertaining home protection services.

and of course when the lawmakers do indeed catch up with me, everyone knows there is little out there to rival the delicacy of Hippo-Steaks!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

*** Just a note - I realised after I typed this up that some of it is similar to my last post... I hereby blame the morphine for my forgetfully rambled nonsense.***

I find Christmas traditions fascinating...

Exibit A

The Christmas Tree.

Whoever decided that a good way to celebrate the birth of God's son and man's saviour was to chop down a tree in the bitter cold, haul it in the house, decorate it with things that are likely to catch fire, and force the homeowners to deal with keeping it watered/alive, and picking up buckets of needles from their floor not just through the season but for months to follow deserves to be shot. In fact... we usually find needles nestled into cracks, corners and furniture folds well into November... we usually manage to FINALLY get them all disposed of just weeks before we go out and chop/haul/decorate/pick up from our next Christmas tree. How does this celebrate Jesus??? Other than inducing a unique form of suffering upon whomever cleans the house it really doesn't scream "yay for our saviours birth!".... more like "lets rush the baby to the ER because she has pine needles lodged in her throat!".

Stupid trees.

Exibit B

The Poinsetta.

Other than being red, and blooming in the winter (when kept in a climate controlled building) what is it about this that has ANYTHING to do with Christmas??? It's fairly ugly... short lived... poisonous... I guess it provides a quick 'out' for anyone desperate to be excused from a particularly boring family gathering.... just eat a few flowers and you too can enjoy debilitating diarrhea. In many cases such an ailment is preferrable to the torture of Uncle Ed and Auntie Bertha arguing over who gets to eat the turkey neck.

Exibit C

Cookies. Really? Let's take a nation with out of control obesity, and type II diabetes, and spend a full month cramming cookies down their throats??? Again with self destructive holiday traditions? Nothing says 'yay the Lord Jesus is here to save us' like slowly cramming the small vessels of our heart with sugar coated lard blobs? Don't get me wrong - I love a good cookie... but I'm 94lbs, I can afford to love a good cookie... unfortunately 80% of my fellow north Americans cannot... Perhaps we should start celebrating with celery? A nice pretty tray of Christmas Celery? It's green, which is Christmassy (still not sure what red and green has to do with Jesus' birth but that's another rant), we could put some red bell pepper slices with it and we could have a downright festive veggie tray! Not sure it would take off.

Exibit D

The Jolly Elf himself. In what is in my opinion the most bizarre twist in Christmas traditions, Santa Claus and his flying reindeer (???) magically deliver presents to all the good girls and boys around the world. Santa is a long standing tradition, previously known as 'Father Christmas' and believed to be fashioned after Woden - the old norse god - a diety of a long dead religion. Exactly what Santa, and his magical reindeer entourage has to do with Jesus' birth is beyond me. The gift giving of course stems from the 3 wisemen and their gifts to baby Jesus, however that concept has been horribly perveted by commercial North America and the 'buy buy buy' panic that follows American Thanksgiving. Sugar plums and candy canes used to fill children's dreams, where today it's Xboxes, 100$ brand name sweaters, and expensive vacations...

Yes. Christmas has been so twisted and perveted and commercialized that it is hardly recognizable as a Christian celebration of the birth of Christ.

Figures from long dead religions have overtaken the holiday season, and traditions seem dead set on overindulgence, unhealthy treats, and promotion of hedonism, in a massive push that culminates with New Years - a time where everyone is expected and encouraged to resolve to undo the physical damage they brought upon themselves 'in the name of baby Jesus'.

Last week I asked my 5 year old son why we have Christmas. His answer was "So Santa knows when to bring all my presents to me". ~sigh~

I realized suddenly that I had failed miserably in my role of 'educator'. I began to explain to him that it was actually a birthday, for Jesus... He responded with "who is Jesus?".

This is a child who has gone to Sunday School, Church, and has a Bible. While our family is far from 'religeous', we do strive to educate our children on different religions and beliefs, etc, with a bit of a Christian leaning... yet he fully beleived that Christmas was simply to remind Santa to bring Tyler his presents. oye.

So we had a little chat... Brandon's response was that Baby Jesus was born in a stinky place. Tyler's reaction was that the wise men brought kind of dumb presents for a baby... We're making a bit of progress.... I'm on the hunt for a 'Christmas Story' book for the kidlets.

I'm sure I'll find it around the same time Santa finds all the presents he will be showering on our kids this year... along with all the cookies we will be scarfing and the poinsetta's we will have on hand just in case.

Ahh Christmas.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Here are my observations of Christmas.

1. Christmas - A Christian celebration recognizing the birth of Christ. In spite of the fact that the history documentation is clear that Jesus was born in September, the chosen day to recognize it is in December for whatever reason - fine - we had to pick a date, and mid-winter needed some joy so it works. Anyways, Christmas is celebrated around the world, often with some version of 'Santa Clause' who quite often takes on the physical persona of an old jolly man with white hair, a long beard, and rosy cheeks.

Interestingly, Santa Clause's origins go back to a man fasioned after the Norse God Woden (for whom Wednesday is named - it was originally Wodensday - hence the awkward spelling - I find it interesting that several days of our week, the things we fashion every part of our daily life around, are named for the Gods of a long-dead religion... just sayin').

How on earth Christians came to celebrate the birth of their saviour through the use of a man fasioned after a Viking God from 2000 years ago is beyond me...

Well thus concludes our history lesson of the day... I always thought Wednesday was spelled the way it was because someone, sometime long ago was drunk when they planned out the days of the week for us. Go figure.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Long Time No Ramble...

I think my hospital kitchen employs a fine dining chef 2 days of the week. For the rest of the week, Friday until Wednesday, I get what can only be described loosly as 'food' on my trays... usually it is a slice of meat, with a 'low salt' (aka - 'tastes like day old porridge') gravy, a dollop of what I'm fairly certain is instant mashed potatoes (or more day old porridge - it could go either way), and corn (possibly the only 'food' element of the meal - and I'm pretty sure it's from a can - luckily even cracker jack cooks from skid row can't skrew up canned corn).

(This is an actual photograph of 'food' that was presented to me here)

Accompanying my 'food' is a bowl of 'soup' which I suspect is made by collecting the shoes of the dead from the ER, boiling them in a large vat with the leftovers from the soup kitchens in the area....

The only redeeming part of the meal is quite often the jello - and unfortunatley by the time it gets to me it is half melted from being on the same tray as hot food.

Nothing says lovin' like gooey half-melted jello that tastes faintly of dead-people-shoe-soles and 'meat'.


On Wendesday....

It's like a paradigm shift. I swear a fancy french Chef moves in so Olga the War Maiden can take her weekend, and in 2 days this master of the culinary arts is able to erase a weeks worth of horror with 4 sublime meals....

Lunch time rolls around and we get a plate of meatballs in sweet and sour sauce, with rice, and 'italian veggies' - and the meatballs are like little pockets of awesomeness nestled in this amazingly well balanced sweet and sour sauce with chunks of green pepper and pineapple in perfect harmony... It is phenomenal...

The soup is a Canadian Pea Soup and it's so thick and flavorful and awesome...

It's mind blowing. The meal is just phenomenal, the flavor is one I have tried (and failed) to replicate at home wiht my own meatballs...

Then dinner comes along and I get Chicken A La King - and it's AMAZING... its served with the softest most melt-in-your-mouth awesome bisquit and rice, and a veggie medley that rivals the Kegs. The A La King is perfectly balanced, creamy, rich, and thick and chunky all at once...

The soup again does not dissapoint - we get a Corn Chowder that is just rich and creamy and full of flavor.

Then Thursday rolls around and by now I've usually forgotten about the week of cardboard 'we-promise-it's-real-food' meals I had to endure to get to the blissful oasis that is the Wed-Thurs menu. Thursday does not dissapoint. Lunch is a roast pork with a gravy that actually tastes like gravy and not something they dragged out of the grease trap and 'seasoned'. The pork is supple and melts in your mouth, and the flavor is out of this world.
The seasoned potatoe wedges it comes with are little nuggets of heaven.
Soup is a cream of mushroom soup that has clearly been made from scratch as it's hearty with mushroom chunks and full of creamy goodness..

The whole thing wraps up Thursday night with what might be the crowning item on the menu - at this point I'm usually dizzy with good food and the peace that comes with knowing your not eating the toenails they collected from the morgue.

Thurdsays dinner is 'Country Style Beef Stew' and let me tell you - those country folk know how to eat... the stew is hearty, thick, and the meat just falls apart in your mouth. It comes with rice and carrots and while im not a fan of the carrots I dont care because the stew and rice are more than enough to satisfy me.


Then... in a rush of reality... Friday rolls around.

Lunch is 'meat with low-sodium gravy'. Great. Olga the war maiden is back at the helm in the kitchen of hell.

The soup is some variation of 'cabbage broth' or 'beef noodle soup' (in which I have never seen either beef OR noodles - though I'm pretty sure I found a small eyeball in yesterday's bowl). Tonight my mashed potatoes were so smoothly shaped from the ice cream scoop I thought at first it was a baseball on my plate.

They smelled and tasted like paper mache.

So to Olga the war maiden cook - I hope you get sick and have to spend a few weeks inpatient being told to 'eat your food so you can get strong and heal!'.

And to whatever glorious beast it is that takes over the kitchen happenings on Wednesday and Thursday's - my hat off to you dude - you are awesome.

For now I will go nibble on the grapes that I managed to salvage off tonights tray - possibly the only food I can be reasonably assured does not contain stuff off the ER floor.

Just 4 more days until our french chef returns.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


All summer long my children bring me dandelions as presents. They wander around our yard (which is a veritable dandelion cornicopia - we like to tell people that we're going to try making dandelion wine - which would make our horrendous looking lawn a 'vinyard'... see.... we're classy) and pick me dandelions and bring them to and insist I put them in water. My windowsill spends it's summer cluttered with shot glasses containing dandelions in various states of death.

Personally I think they are beautiful. They are bright, sunny, hard to kill, and grow, well, like weeds. For me that's a winning combination for my flower garden!

Add to that the fact that they eventually transform into 'wish blossoms' (and since this is them 'going to seed' it conveniently skips the part where you have to do ANY work whatsoever to spread your beautiful flowers - AND you get to share your gift of sunny golden wine-bearing flowers with your neighbors (who's lawn is, lets be honest, pretty boring without any dandelions - all green and lush like that... surely they will be thrilled with your gift!)). (I can't believe I had to end that sentance with 2 parenthesis'... how awkward... almost as awkward as the word parenthesis' which I'm not actually certain is spelled correctly.). Tyler loves 'wish blossoms'. Or at least he did until the wind blew one into his mouth when he was trying to blow on it... now he's not so sure about them.

So... This brings me to my musings...

Dandelions are pretty, their easy to grow, and they are edible (the flowers and greens as salad and the roots for making wine)... so why do they have such a bad rap?

Why do any 'weeds' have a bad rap?

Who decides what plant is a 'weed' and what plants are desirable? Is it based solely on how difficult they are to grow? Like anyone who chooses dandilions over orchids is just copping out in the flower department?

Personally I find a field full of dandelions to be a beautiful thing... my children certainly feel the same way... so at what point did it become so distasteful that we would rather (as a societal whole) soak our yards in toxic chemicals known to cause cancer, just to get rid of a flower almost everyone at one time or another liked (don't try and tell me you didn't love picking dandelions or blowing wish blossoms as a kid)... when did that transition happen?

Dandelions aren't the only flower to get shelved as a 'weed'... What about foxtails? How can foxtails be relegated to the 'weed' category?? Even the name is elegant, nevermind the pretty shimmery pinks and purples....

Plus they are very entertaining to watch when you spray cat nip spray on them and the neighborhood cats attempt to eat them - the 'tail' part is all clingy and scratchy and the cats get all wierd because the catnip makes them crazy but the wierd clingy foxtail makes them even crazier... not that I would know anything about that.

And don't even get me started about clovers... who on earth decided that 3 and 4 leaf clovers are weeds?? We would all be so lucky as to have a lawn full of these precious gems. Everyone knows they attract leprechauns, and really, is there anything more to life than attracting leprechauns?? If you're lucky they will be leprechauns trained in the art of making dandelion wine, and you will be set!

A quick look through the lists of weeds that weedkillers will control is depressing -daisies (that seems like murder!), buttercups, buttercress, stitchwort, the list goes on and is populated mostly by quaint, pretty little flowers... Why decided that a boring, level, green lawn is superior to these treasures??? Oddly I've noticed it's usually the folks who don't actually USE said level, green lawn - but rather just look at it... It seems a sad waste of space.

Not us though - we will happily allow our weedy lawn to go crazy - we welcome the foxgrove, and daisies and dandelions, and laprechauns!

And when our vinyard finally does deliver our leprechaun, I will wish for a paradigm shift in the national obsession with the perfect lawn - perhaps if everyone cared a little more for matters of serious consequence, and a little less about the appearance of their front yard, we might be able to, oh i dont know, deal with some ACTUAL problems our country is facing?

And of course, we could all use a few leprechauns in our life (except the evil kind - but we won't go there - they are afraid of foxtails, so as long as you're following the 'weedful living' lifestyle you don't have to worry about evil leprechauns).

Lazy Post.


I'm tired today so that is all.