Friday, July 31, 2009

Almost finding a job

Well this week I went to a job fair for a store that is opening in my area. There were about 700 people that showed up on Monday. I had to wait approximately 4 hours to be seen. I waited outside for about one and a half hours. Then I filled out an application form and attached my resume. I then waited another two and a half hours for an interview. I was so relieved when my name was finally called. I had an interview with a pleasant man who really didn't ask me about my job experience at all but rather was only interested in my availability. I am now not putting up any more road blocks ( as Mr. Sunshine calls them). So my availability is when ever they need me. Well that was enough to get me a second interview. On Wednesday I met with the HR person for Canada. She extensively went through my job experience. At the end of this interview she set me up with a third interview with the store manager for this morning.

Well, I went for this interview. On the ride up on the elevator a man entered who I recognized from Monday (he was one of the organizers and interviewers). I was suppose to meet with the store manager Jeremy but this person who walked in with me Michael called my name instead. He also focused on my job experience. Asked my availability and asked what I have learned about the company so far. When he was done, he asked me to take a seat in the waiting room. I waited there for approximately 20 minutes hoping that my next interview would be with Jeremy. I don't know Michael's role in the company as he never told me and usually when they ask if I have any questions, my first question for the interviewer is always "what do you do for the company." Well Michael never asked me if I had any questions. He just whisked me into the other room and asked me to wait.

While I was waiting both Jeremy and Michael and the HR person that I had spoken to on Wednesday were all calling people for interviews. Some were first interviews, some were seconds and I assume that some were thirds like mine.

Well Michael came back in and called my name again. This time instead of going into the interview room, we sat in two chairs in the hallway. He said that they were interviewing many people but that they obviously have an interest in what I can bring to the company. Then he said that they would be making some important decisions today and that IF they decide to proceed with me then I would hear from them by the end of Today. Well that last part kind of burst my bubble. I have done enough interviewing to know that the 'if' word is usually translation for this is the end of the line.

I wonder if things would have been different had I have met with Jeremy like I was initially suppose to. I wish that I knew what Michael's role in the company was. In the end I also wish that I had told Michael that I would be happy with a sales position even though I know that they were leaning towards other things based on their questions and my work experience.

I will wait to hear if the phone rings today but I doubt that it will. It's too bad because I was really starting to like the philosophies of this company.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursdays on the Bench

Hello every one. I hope that you are all doing well. Its just me (Sunshine), Cathy and Carolin today. Louise is at work and we all miss her. It has been a very slow summer so far with a lot of rain but today happens to be a beautiful and sunny day. My sister was telling me that this weekend is supposed to be nice for a change.

Cathy says that she is looking for a hook for our blog. We are trying to figure out what she means. Cathy has now received a text message from her son saying something that she would like some clarification on. Carolin is getting call waiting and call display today by 6.00 pm and she wanted the Bell customer service person to explain to her how to pick up her call waiting and she said that she felt very old when this person called her mam. The person explained that she needs to press the flash button to pick up a new call but Carolin's phone is so old, there is no flash button. Then she needs to press the release button (both Carolin and myself did not know that the pick up/hang up button is called the release button). Cathy says that it is just common knowledge. I don't think so because release means letting something go but when I pick up on a phone that requires me to hit a button to talk I am not releasing the caller I am engaging the caller. So there you go. (Carolin) Are you all proud of me joining the 21 century and subscribing to these (for us) new features. I am only getting these extra features because of the teenager and the boyfriend, who are are always tying up my phone line.

Carolin's 'Highway of Heros' post was very emotional and we appreciate her sharing her story. Carolin is trying to find out something about the soldier. She was searching to find information about him. What is his name, she could not find out any information so far. Cathy thinks that maybe its better that we don't have his actual name because then our thoughts are for all of the soldiers. Cathy says that all of the deceased soldiers follow a certain path. I will leave it for Cathy to explain the route and what actually happens. All I added was that after the fallen soldier has left the coroner's and arrives at Peason Airport, they are also honoured as they travel to the aircraft which will take them to their final destination.

Cathy says that she is constantly correcting my spelling as well as Carolin's. Thank you Cathy we really appreciate it. Cathy is mortified at all of our grammatical errors. i can't no wat she is taking abot?

We seem to be having issues with some people who would like to leave an annonymous or otherwise comment and cannot comment at all. Our followers seem to be able to comment but I do believe that you need to sign in to leave a comment. We are working hard to find out why and to correct it. We would like to have anyone who would like to leave a comment do so when ever they want, whether they sign in or not. Also, If you are a follower and would like to see if there are any new comments then you can do so. Cathy will explain how. You can subscribe to the posts and also to the comments. Click on the appropiate tab and follow the intructions. By subscribing, you will get any new posts or comments on your desktop home page without having to log into the blog. Try it!

There is a little male bashing going on right now, I am sure you can all relate without going into details. Now they are talking about distribution of household chores. How is it in your home, does the work get evenly divided up between family members?

Cathy has brought up her blog about educated women and uneducated women (what ever that means!) and house work. She was hoping to get some controversy conversation. When I read the blog I was so angry but I didn't comment cause I didn't want to hurt her feelings. But let me say I hated the article and just what does an educated women mean? And I have been in clean house's and dirty house's and if a women is 'educated' or not has no relevance to a clean home. I say we boycott Chatelaine magazine, not that I read it anyway.

Cathy is now discussing the issue of money, and our lack of. Sunshine says she is so tired of the issue of money. It seems every conversation we have with our spouses revolves around finding a job and money.

I am exhausted today because my husband decided to switch sides in our bed (we have rearranged the bedroom after painting it, pictures will be posted soon I hope) So anyway he wanted to switch sides which is messing me up I didn't fall asleep till after 2:00 AM. Now that I am on the wrong side my sore ankle does not hang of the bed like it should and he kept kicking it during the night! Sunshine says she sleeps by the window so if a bad guy comes in the bedroom they will get Mr. Sunshine first as he is closest to the door. Cathy says if you can't sleep you should read the phonebook. I suggested maybe the Bible instead of the phonebook. Sunshine says yes the bible it would put her to sleep instantly. A little to much 'begetting' for all of us. I say go read the Message version cause its fun to read but it might not put you to sleep.

I would like to thank everyone for participating in our poll. Yea all 6 of you! It shows that you all like the interaction between us. We do too! We are going to try something new on the blog, stay tuned!

Sunshine and Carolin are still trying to understand the male psyche. They can't understand how men and women cannot apply the same value to daily life happenings. We try to do what's best with what we have to work with. We are all ok with making sacrifices and when we make that one sacrifice, ie finding a job, which seems to be the big issue....will it solve it or just lead to another issue.

We won't say goodbye for, hopefully Louise will sign on and leave her two cents worth tonight.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Highway of Hero’s

To go to camp all that you have to do is drive east. Just stay on hwy 401 and don’t get off for two full hours. The drive is normally long and somewhat boring. This time our drive was a little different as we drove east the traffic going west was heavy with cottagers driving home or we thought. As we got further into the City of Pickering and close to Ajax we started to notice people on the bridges over the highway. We stopped once at Tim Horton’s for coffee and there were families with Canadian flags walking towards the bridges. Once we were back on the highway the crowds of people and flags grew larger in size and we say TV News vans parked along side the highway at the on and off ramps. The further east we went not only was it people and flags on the bridges but also fire trucks, ambulances and police cars. At one point there were eight Ontario Provincial Police cars and officer’s standing at attention on the side of the west bound 401 Highway. As my family talked about what was happening I could feel tears pooling in my eyes.

At one moment the traffic going west was bumper to bumper then just as quickly the westbound lanes were empty of all traffic. Not a single vehicle could be seen along the stretch of highway, that was our final notice to what was to come. Our eyes were peeled to the east and then we saw the motorcade, slowly driving along the west bound highway.

By this time my tears were running freely down my face and not a voice could be heard in our car. Approximately eight black cars with flashing lights on their rooftops drove slowly by and behind them was a single black Hearse with the body of Canada’s latest casualty from the war in Afghanistan.

I am ashamed to say I don’t know the soldier's name or how he died. I have seen on the news too many times the funeral procession along the Highway of Hero’s (as that stretch of hwy 401 has been named) but to be honest I haven’t given it much thought. But this time witnessing the people on the bridges, the police at attention, the reality of another young man giving up his life to serve his country was very overwhelming.

I don’t know about you but I don’t really think much about the war that is going on right now. I intentionally turn the news off because I don’t want to hear anymore negative news. But as I watched the Hearse drive by it hit me, that because of his sacrifice I have the choice to change the channel on my TV. His commitment to my freedom allows me to not worry about where my familie's next meal is coming from, or that we can sleep in our own rooms in our homes. Because of this man's desire to serve I don’t worry when my children are outside playing and we can go for a walk and not be concerned that there are bombs hidden in the ground.

To all the soldiers who risk their lives for mine and countless others' freedom, I say thank you.

The Bachelorette (Season Finale)

Well everyone another season of the Bachelorette has ended. Monday's episode was fun to watch. It all took place on the Big Island (Hawaii). What an incredible setting. Ed ad Kiptyn both met Jillian's family. Both Kiptyn and Ed were well liked by Jillian's family and Jillian's dad really favoured Ed. When Ed asked Jillian's dad for her hand in marriage, he said that he would do cart wheels if his daughter married him.

Well at the final rose ceremony Kiptyn was let go and then there was a surprise visit from Reid. As we all know Reid was let go last week because he could not tell Jillian that he loved her. Well he came back this week and got down on one knee and proposed to Jillian. Sorry, Reid but Jillian's mind seemed to have been made up.

Lastly Ed approached and they professed their love for each other. He also got down on one knee and proposed. Jillian said yes and they are now officially engaged.

Good luck to Ed and Jillian I hope that they live happily ever after.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gods Promise

After reading all of the updates on Thursday at the park, I thought I would blog what my Thursday was like.

When we woke up around 7:00 am it was raining and it rained all day. Because of the rain all the regular camp activities were modified and indoors. I spent most of my day in the kitchen helping the head cook. We cooked and cooked and cooked.

After dinner a movie was put on for the campers in the dinning hall and I was able to get a load of laundry done. The Camp Directors snuck out for a little couple time at a local restaurant and myself and a few other adults just kept an eye on things. Which really wasn't necessary as the teenage staff are amazing, totally responsible and are amazing with the kids. About 8:30 PM the rain stopped and the sun was shinning. While I was hobbling to the laundry area the most amazing gift was given to all of us.

I looked east and say a rainbow but what made it even more spectacular was it was not one but two full arcing rainbows! The rainbows only last about 10 minutes but it was so cool that most of the staff and campers left the movie to marvel over the gift from God. I wish I could of hobbled quick enough to get the camera so I could show all of you but you will have to be satisfied with the photo the husband took of the sun setting later that night.

Day One at Camp

It 9:30 PM on our first full day at camp. The husband and little one are at campfire with all the other overnight campers and staff. The teenager is part of the camp fire entertainment. They do lots of silly songs and skits and it is fun to watch the staff have fun with each other and lose all inhibition. Tonight I would of liked to have watched with my family but after the day I have had I am now somewhat immobile.

I with the help of one of the maintenance guys dug one the two gardens I wanted to create in front of the dinning hall. The ground is very rocky and we could not go very deep even with the rottitler. We worked on the 6feet by 4 feet area for an hour and half. Even at 10:00 am it was hard, hot work.

I left it at 10:30 to wash up so I could help the kitchen staff prepare for two lunch sitting. We were preparing food for 120 campers and staff at the first seating and 60 of the same for the second seating. I finished in the kitchen about 1:30 and went back to my work on the new flower bed.

After we dug it up and went over it numerous times to break up the sod. I racked through top soil and tried to remove as much of the larger rocks as I could. I then add three bags of peat moss to the soil and using a hand trowel and garden fork tried to dig further down were each plant was going to be put, and pulled out more rocks. After about an hour or so of hot, hot, work I got all the plants in the ground. I watered everything including myself.

I then decided to have a real shower (not a garden hose shower) and get all the dirt and sweat off of me. I gathered up my stuff and headed over to the girls showers. When I got to what I thought was the shower I somehow stepped wrong and fell. As I fell I could hear three distinct popping sounds. When I landed I new I was in trouble. I looked at my right ankle and it was already three times its normal size.

I tried to move but the pain was too much and I had to call for help. Once help came and my ankle was gawked at it was determined that a trip to the hospital was in order. The teenager came over and helped me get a few things and then the little one came over. As soon as she saw me sitting on the ground she started to cry. I held her and explained what happened and that I need to go to the hospital so they could take pictures of my ankle and hopefully help me. She cried that first her sister had to go to the hospital last week and now I had to. She wanted to come with me but I told her to stay with her sister and the other campers and try to have fun, that it would be very boring at the hospital.

The Picton hospital is a small county hospital where it felt like everyone new everyone. The nurse that admitted me wore regular street clothes but what made her stand out was her nurse uniform hat. I think I have only seen them in old movies. At first I thought it was kinda strange but you know after a while I liked it. She stood out and was always professional but very friendly. She made me feel like I was in good hands and everything would be just fine.

The whole experience at the hospital was really nice (for being at the hospital) the Xray tech was the same women who xrayed the teenager 10 days ago. And she asked how the teenager was doing. The nurses who came and helped me and talked to me a different times where wonderful and told me she went to Pleasant Bay Camp when she was a young girl. After the doctor looked at the xrays and came and talked to me (another women, I never say a male person the entire time I was at the hospital even the waiting room was only women) she told me that thankfully they could see no break. My ankle was just badly twisted and would be real sore for a few days and just sore for a few weeks. A tenser bandage was wrapped around my ankle, which made it feel better.

I was then wheeled out the doors of the emergency and I waited for my ride to come. I had sent her my ride (Sarah) off to visit her grandparents because I thought it would take a while. But the whole emergency experience was less then three hours! While I was sitting outside waiting for Sarah, a nurse who was finished her shift came out waiting for her husband and we chatted. Also anyone who came in the emergency doors would stop and chat. I meet a retired minister, a grandma visiting her granddaughter, a doctor who was just getting back from Belleville, a couple bringing chocolate cake for a friend.

I at first felt silly sitting in my wheelchair outside the emerg doors but the visitors and nurses who would come check on me where so nice. After about 40 minutes of being the official hospital greeter my ride showed up. I was helped into the car and what felt like all of the hospital came out to say goodbye. I’m sure gona miss my new friends.

Note: I started writing this post last Monday but could not post till I got back home.

Rain and the Garden

I think we here in the east are all very tired of the rain! I even hear reports on the radio about summer S.A.D. as opposed to winter S.A.D.. I am trying very hard to look past the rain. I had high hopes for this summer after the lousy summer last year. We made plans for a staycation this summer and not just because of the economy. We have a lovely backyard and when we sit outside it is so peaceful. It is our cottage in the city.

I work from 6am Saturday and Sunday mornings, part-time. When I come home I am ready for the day. I usually am in the garden. I am ok gardening after a rainfall, best time to weed. I am not so dedicated that I garden while it is raining. So, what to do? I sound like my kids.... I 'm bored!

One day while it was raining I repotted my indoor plants and herbs, long overdue! They were happy for the attention! I then wrote in my garden journal, updating it with plans and ideas and the names of newly planted perennials from springtime. I realized that I need to move a few of the new perennials as they would do better in another spot. The best time to transplant is during a light rainfall or after a rainfall, less transplant shock.

My three rain barrels are full again!

The lettuce and pea pods are thriving, but my carrots are not. The carrot seed might be old so will try more seed later, once the rain stops.

Hey, I just looked out the window and the rain has stopped......gotta go.....bye

Friday, July 24, 2009

The skunk is still living under my porch

My first post regarding our skunk situation was on April 21 2009. Well, here we are almost 4 months later and every time we think that the skunk is officially gone, it sneaks back home over night. My husband has tried countless gallons of ammonia. He has poured it into the hole that was dug. He has soaked clothes in ammonia and filled the hole with the clothes. He has filled the hole with large pieces of cement. He has completely filled in the entire underside of the porch with gravel. He has filled the hole in with golf balls (don't ask). Well two days ago once again our skunk reappeared. The brick was torn up, the roots to the tree were dug up and there were golf balls all over my front walkway.

I have told Mr. Sunshine that as soon as I get a job I will call and have the trench dug up and sealed with wire and our problem will be solved for a guaranteed 10 years. Then I started wondering, they apparently keep returning because of the scent that they leave behind. So does it not stand to reason that they will keep coming back and digging even though they may not be able to get back in? I just don't want to go and spend all of that money and still have the place be such a mess. I really don't even mind if the skunk was a guest under the porch permanently as long as he/she was not such a messy house guest.

Cathy and I were talking and she also had a very good point. What if we keep the skunk from gaining access to the porch and the skunk decides to make another home somewhere else on the property, then what do we do?

I don't know. I will have to make some more phone calls next week and get some answers. If its like any other renovation in our home then I will probably be talking about it once again next spring.

The Bachelorette (the men tell all)

This week was the studio inhouse episode of The Bachelorette. They had most of the men who have already been eliminated with the exception of creepy Wes and sweet Reid. Reid was apparantelly attending a wedding and Wes, it was implied decided not to participate because of his behaviour on the show.

I thought that women were supposed to be the catty ones! Well, these men were arguing about some crazy breaking of what they called, " The Man Code." Some of them sounded like cave men.
The main subjects were about:

1> the betrayal, as they called it, of letting Jillian know that one of her suitors actully had a girl friend (that was Wes)

2>the inappropriate words that were used to describe Jillian's "ass" and the forward
unwelcommed touching of Jillian's body (this was Dave)

3>the nice guys finish last, and what a wuss some of the men thought that this nice guy was
because he should be, "drinking, swearing and watching porn like a real man" (this was
said about Jake, the one that most women feel was the best catch for Jillian.)

Jake, is the audience favourite, especially among the women, and he was also my favourite but he has little respect from many of the men on the show. He seems to be an honest and decent man with a good job and a real heart. The other men's reactions show us why many single men are still single.

Next week is the finale where Jillian finally chooses between Ed and Kiptyn. I don't know who she will choose. Her decisions have always surprised me, so although I think that Kiptyn should be the one, she will probably choose Ed.

I guess we will find out on Monday. Good Luck Jillian, we will be watching.

If all goes well she may be engaged by Monday night.

Thursday at the park

Well, hello all!

First of all I would like to apologize for the lack of a post last Thursday. Now that the kids are off school it is harder to get together each week. Last week Louise was at work (yeah!) and when she is not at work she is on the soccer field with her kids! Carolin was very busy last week with the teenager and hopefully all is well there. Carolin and her family are now spending a week at the same camp with the teenager. Carolin was hoping there would be Internet there, but I am sure she is just too busy having fun! Sunshine, wow, time does pass quickly as Sunshine and I have not even spoken this week so I am not sure how her week is going! That's pretty bad, isn't it!

I hope you are all keeping up to date with Camille's adventures. Sunshine's novel is becoming quite suspenseful!

So, what have I been up too? This is the first time all week that I have turned my computer on! I had to catch up on all my e-mails and then update my Norton. I was at work and I am still complaining about the lack of summer we are experiencing! We have a pool and although the pool water is warm, the ambient temperature is not and it's just not pool weather! (I know, I know, I can hear the violins now :) )

This weather is good for gardening and I love seeing the pictures from our gardens. Maybe this weather will reward us with a long growing season.

Hi, everyone I just noticed that Cathy had added this in our draft section so Cathy I hope that you don't mind but I decided to add onto it. It's been a busy week for me with family. Unfortunately I had a funeral to go to last week that took up 2 pretty full days. It was sad as are all funerals. I did get to see a lot of my cousins and as a result I went to a family picnic on Sunday with thousands of people from my dad's home town and a lot of family. I hadn't done for a very long time now so it was good to see them all again. There are always some crazy antics going on. Mostly it was fun but there is always someone who hasn't seen us in some time and who has some negative things to say about how people in our family should live their lives. Those are the conversations that I can do without.

I spoke to Carolin's husband last night as he called to enquire about the car that was left in the drive way as the battery was dead when he got back last night. He wondered if we noticed a car door open or anything like that. The girls and I did not notice anything when we were over feeding the fish and the cat. I was also informed that Carolin has hurt her ankle and had to go to the same hospital that her daughter was in just a short time ago. Apparently her ankle is sprained and she is on crutches. We hope that you feel better really soon Caroline. I don't know how much she will be able to help out in the kitchen. I hope that she is not in too much pain.

My older daughter goes to get her braces put on tomorrow. It is a two hour appointment and hope that she will not be in any pain after the installation. So yes I get so see the man of the hour tomorrow Dr. Mark or maybe I will see Cathy's favourite Dr. Black instead. Wow what suspense.

Cathy and Louise how are you both doing?

What's with this crazy weather? I don't think that we have had a summer like this in a long time. Braces went well today and she is feeling pretty good. She is feeling a little bit more uncomfortable as the night progresses. They have told us that tomorrow and the weekend will be the most uncomfortable of the days. All in all she is a real trouper as are all the other kids. Louise, thanks for your call tonight. We didn't get home until about 10:45 pm so I didn't call back because I didn't want to wake you but I did let her listen to the message and we both appreciated it very much.

Hay anyone watched the kids movie Coraline. We actually purchased it this week as we had preordered it. I don't know what possessed me to preorder it without anyone in the family having seen it yet but the girls had heard that it was an amazing movie. Well we watched it and it was a very strange, but as my girls both said an interesting movie. The girls said that they need to watch it a few more times. I can say that once was enough for me.

Hey, cool, I will be at the ortho tomorrow as well, the younger one is getting elastics. Ouch!

What is happening to Carolin? I hope she is ok. I can just imagine the story!

I just added a poll to the home page of our blog. We are looking for input as to what you enjoy the most about our blog. (please say you like it or it will hurt our egos! :) ) I am looking forward to your responses!

Hello everyone

I'm on week three, and I'm so tired! I'm glad to hear everyone is well, sorry to hear about Carolin's ankle hope she feels better soon. I'm sure they're taking real good care of her up north.

I have to go I have a screaming child to attend to........

Well, I know this is unlike our other Thursday's, we'll see what we can do next week.

We miss Carolin and hope she is mending quickly!

See you next week.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Movie review "Coraline"

There has been so much hype about the release of the children's movie Coraline. Some of my kids friends had watched it at the theatre and absolutely loved it. When we were at the video store a few weeks ago we pre-ordered a copy and we have been anxiously waiting for its release. Well we finally watched it this week. It was a very strange story about a little girl who feels under appreciated and ignored by her parents and then enters a world where she has a set of other parents who are just like her actual parents only they have buttons for eyes and they tend to her every want and need. This world is filled with replicas of her actual life which have been altered to make them as she would want them to be. I won't give away any more of the story but I will say that it was a little strange. My kids both fond it to be interesting. My younger one would like to watch it again. My older one says that she didn't like it, it was too weird for her. For me, once was quite enough.

Keeping a Clean and Tidy Home

While I was at the orthodontist office with the younger son, I leafed through the July issue of 'Chatelaine' magazine that I found on the magazine rack. One of the articles caught my attention. It had to do with enjoying or not enjoying cleaning and tidying a home. I don't have the magazine with me now so I can only offer you the impressions I came away with.

One of the opinions put forward was that educated women do not clean as well as uneducated women. It seems educated women do not consider cleaning and tidying a home as 'labour' as much as an uneducated woman might. Well, cleaning one's home is one of those thankless tasks. Never ending...never ending...did I say never ending!!!!

Before I can start to clean, I have to tidy! It seems no matter how many or how big the closets are or how many organizing bins I provide and no matter how often I sound off........ o.k., I just need to calm down a minute.

So, now everything is tidy, not perfect as that would just take too long. Now it's time to clean. How I clean depends on what's happening. Are we expecting company or not? Come on, you all agree with me, don't you?

Back to the magazine article, another opinion offered was that we see our homes as being dirtier and more untidy than others do who enter. I agree. We live in our homes and have time to see all the dust bunnies and the marks on the wall and smudges on the windows and dried whatever on the kitchen floor. I wonder how many times I walk past the above offenders before they annoy me enough to fix them!

One of the last ideas I remember from the article was the satisfied feeling we get when our home is clean and tidy. It is a solitary time, a time alone with our thoughts. I know I do like to clean, especially when no one is at home. I have the tunes turned up and I sing out loud with the music and dance. It feels good! I feel good!

So, do I consider cleaning labour or not?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The sound of children laughing

My girls are off for the summer and they have mostly been home just goofing around. Today we did some spring cleaning and just drew some pictures and now they are behind me just giggling away as they tease each other. It's a very welcoming sound as with such busy schedules during the school year and on weekends we rarely have the opportunity to just have fun and giggle about nothing in particular but just enjoy each others company. Its fun for me to watch.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Few Answers to my Garden Questions

Good Friday to All,

I just got of the phone with Sunshine, sorry to hear you are off to a funeral tomorrow. Try to enjoy yourself, I know that sounds odd but I have been to some funerals where I had a great time! So anyway while on the phone with the Sunshine household I spoke to Sunshines Dad henceforth to be called Nonno. He tells me that I can start picking my swiss chard anytime. I am told to pick the biggest leaves on each plant from the base and after I pick the leaves to bury the open base with some soil from the garden. That way the plant should just keep producing more leaves.

If I hadn't been slaving in the kitchen making tonight's gourmet feast of french fries (out of a bag) and hot dogs I would of cooked the swiss chard tonight. So it will have to wait till tomorrows dinner, Nonno tells me to fry up some garlic in olive oil and then add the swiss the chard to wilt and coat. Sounds easy enough and it is usually how I cook my spinach so I'm feeling confidant.

Earlier in the afternoon my buddy KD came over for a visit, her two girls Mac and Cheese (grinning as I type cause I love my new nick names for them!) came to play and swim with the little one. Though the weather this summer has not been swimming pool weather trying to convince three little girls from playing in the water is pointless. KD and I caught up on our past week, I filled her in on the teenager and she told me how great Carabram was this past weekend.

We then got down to business and hacked the crap out of the Sage bush trying to divided it in half. Man was it hard, we really could of used a saw to get through the thick branches. Also I was fretting cause there was ladybugs on the sage (it is in the same garden as the aphid infested rosebush) and I wanted them on my rosebush not the sage bush. I paid good money for those ladybugs to eat the aphids not to think it was thanksgiving and eat my sage! After a lot of team work we were able to get a couple of sections with root intact out of the ground. I added the sage to the bucket I had of purple cornflowers, violets, oregano, tarragon and this nasty purple bell flower that has taken over my gardens (I will be happy to see that go!). I will be taking all of theses plants with us to camp on Sunday. After KD and I finished with the sage bush and tried to make it look a little better we talked about camp.

Last year KD and I spent a week at camp cooking and let me say any romantic thoughts of being a chef are GONE. In the kitchen by 6:00 am and not out some nights till 9:00 pm at night has taken all thoughts of being a chef and tossed them with the leftovers in to the pigs bucket! It was exhausting but we did have some fun watching the teenage staff and their crazy ways. Anyway my family goes to camp this coming week to help where ever needed and KD and her husband Albatross with Mac and Cheese in tow will be going in August for a week of fun and work. Mac is looking forward to sleeping in the cabins with all the other girls her age and being a REAL camper. Hopefully next year the little one will go for a week of camp and be a REAL camper like Mac, by then the thumb sucking habit will be broken and she wont be so self-conscious of it.

I have the garden dug up that's to go to camp, I have a good chunk of packing done, so I would say we are just about ready to go. Mind you after the camp director called me this morning to confirm when we are arriving she did let it slip that we can't have your earlier arranged cottage as an older couple are staying in that cottage till mid next week. So that means I have NO bathroom in my cottage. I will be paying close attention to this cottage stealing couple and they better be real old! I think our week at camp is starting to look more like a week on the mission field. Hard work, no pay and inadequate plumbing but I did hear they have Internet so I will try to blog while I am away.

Harry Potter #6 "The half blood prince"

Last night we went to see the newest Harry Potter. I have read all of the books and the DVD series are a favourite in our home. The special effects were amazing and the movie was great.

IT is so cool to see those young actors becoming young adults right in front of our eyes. There are some amazingly talented kids and adults in these movies. My 9 year old was also with us and I can tell you that it was not at all scary for her. Well maybe only one small part but really I jumped more than she did. There is a touching seen between Harry and Hermione that really shows there acting skills. It was so believable and it brought tears to my eyes. So much happens in this movie that will make us question the outcome. Will good win over evil? With all that has transpired it is not very clear. The ending is shocking if you have no knowledge of the story line so be prepared. As with all of the Harry Potter movies so far I have got to watch it on DVD when it comes out to really appreciate it. That must be because I have read the books it takes a while to visually let the movie replace the visual story that already exists in my mind.

It is a great movie and I am sure that it will become one of my families favourites as are the other five.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Question about my Garden

I was out in the back garden doing some puttering. Things like making sure the tomatoes are in there cages, seeing if the ladybugs have done there job on the roses yet, weaving the peas through the web of string I made to help them climb. When low and behold guess what I found. Yes pea pods, I counted about 7 pea pods growing so far. There are lots of pretty little purple and pink flowers on the vines and they look gorgeous. I was all excited so I started taking pictures. I think I know when to harvest the peas, when they are easy to pick off the vine right?
When I planted the peas, I planted about 8 seeds at a time in two week intervals hoping that then we could have a longer season of fresh peas. I noticed that the last seeds I planted are just starting to break through the soil. Cool!

So my questions to the garden fans are I also have swiss chard growing. How do I know when that is ready to be picked and eaten. Cause some of the leaves are looking worn out and some of the others are being eaten by bugs. Do I pick it when the leaves are small, does that make it more tender or do I wait till they are larger? And by larger what do we mean, as big as rhubarb leaves or what? And my next question about swiss chard is do I pick from the stem at the base or just the leaf? Also will it just keep producing more leaves as I pick like basil does or once I harvest leaves for dinner that's it?

Now on to my Sage bush (it's huge) I wanted to chop it in half and take half to camp to plant there for the cook and cause it is pretty and requires no work. Any special trick I need to know before I hack the bush apart? Also does anyone have some good recipes for fresh sage. I have been using it on roasted potatoes lately with fresh thyme and oregano but what else could I use it on (besides turkey).

You know whats cool about my first year vegetable garden is everything growing in it, the little one and I started from seed. And now only half way through July the garden is huge.
I took this photo July 1st
This one was taken today July 16th

Rain Barrels - part one

My “Honey Do List” is usually overflowing. However the latest task is filing a newly purchased rain barrel without overflowing. As these barrels are usually stationed near an eves downspout, overflow must be avoided so the excess drainage does not irrigate the house foundation and wash away the soil. Even more importantly the extra moisture resulting from excess drainage in the area of the foundation over the winter months could freeze and cause damage including cracking of the foundation. If you are attempting to install this overflow type rain barrel, this is a very important consideration. I have attempted to describe my process below. Standard disclaimer, this is offered for information only and I will not be held responsible for any problems with your installation.

The methodology below with describe how to do this properly with care free maintenance of your reservoir. Please be aware that this procedure applies to overflow type rain barrels available from the Peel Region but except for the actual connection to the rain barrel can be universally applied.

Bill of Material
Peel region rain barrel and accessories
Qty 2 male x female downspout adapters
Qty small piece 1/8” – 3/16” plexiglass about 3” square
Clear silicon sealant
1” x 1” male x male hose coupling
1 Washing machine drainage hose kit
Assorted tie wraps, camps and hardware.

First the rain barrel itself must be set in location near the downspout. Firmly compact the soil where the barrel it be located level. I used a few interlocking bricks I had left over from a deck project to form a hard base on which the rail barrel could sit. Mark the level of the inlet spigot (back and side of the rain barrel) onto the brick wall next to it.. Using a level or the brick mason joint as a reference, mark the exact same level on the brick next to the downspout. It is very important to get this level right, the rain barrel will fill by gravity, once the level is where you want it the inflow will actually stop and the rain barrel water level will be no higher than the level of the inlet spigot. Getting this part right means your rain barrel will not overflow. Just in case, there is an overflow outlet on the backside of the rain barrel, you should use the soft plastic hose provided with the kit and connect it to the outlet, run it underneath the rain barrel in the recess provided and any potential overflow will be routed to the front where you can see it and direct it accordingly. Personally I don’t like the soft plastic hose provided and elected to use 1.5” DWV drainage pipe and a 90 deg elbow to route the pipe under the rain barrel and out the front. It’s up to you.

Now with the barrel placed and the level set, fill it with water and let it rest a few days so the ground can settle under the weight of the water, During that time we will construct the ingenious little weir that allows the rain barrel to fill only to the level required.

See attached picture of the weir first.

The weir is constructed to provide a little pocket inside the downspout oriented to catch the majority of water flow coming down the downspout. The pocket fills and is connected by flex hoses to the inlet spigot of the rain barrel. This pocket should be about 1 “ above the inlet spigot of the rain barrel. Once the level of the rain barrel is full the water will no longer drain down the hose into the barrel casing the pocket to fill and overflow inside the downspout. The overflow will resume it’s path to the ground via the downspout and safely directed onto you lawn and no where near the foundation.

See installment # 2 for construction of the weir (pocket)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Final Bill is in the Mail

The hopefully last update on the teenager and her mysterious illness.

We went to the doctors yesterday morning. Well in the exam room waiting for the doctor the teenager had a hissy fit because I insisted on being in the room when the doctor came. She carried on that she was an adult and could take care of this on her own. I looked at her and said "Tough"!

When the doctor did come in the room he found two women barely speaking to each other. He asked the teenager how she was feeling and she replied that she was getting better each day and the pain was less and less. He asked her "do the trick your mother asked you to do on Friday". So she jumped up and down and the pain was back on the lower left side. She did say it was not as bad though. He reviewed all the results of her test and everything looked normal. He looked at the ultrasounds and said the left side was not real clear so they could not get a good picture of it. We then all looked at her Xray. I really didn't know what I was looking at, the only thing I recognized was the necklace she forgot to take off for the Xray. So the final diagnosis is suspected cyst on the left ovary. But as her body is healing it self there is not much that can be done. He would like her to have another ultrasound in a months time to make sure everything is good. He also wants her on a high fibre low fat diet for the next month to let her body heal.

This morning when I got up she was already up (told you before she is an early riser) and she said with a big smile on her face that she felt great!! So that means we all head of to camp for what was to be her last week working there. I spoke to the camp director and they are looking forward to her return and have a list of chores for us to do well we stay. Sounds like it should be a great vacation!

Thanks to Sunshine for watching the little one for me yesterday, she had a blast playing and swimming. And thank you to all who called, fb, and commented here, asking how the teenager is doing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Customer Appreciation Day at my littler mall

On Saturday I went to my local A&P to do some grocery shopping. When I was returning to my car I realized that there was some music playing by the dollar store (it is an outdoor strip mall). I walked a little closer and there were various booths set up and clowns and music. I had my youngest daughter and her friend with me and we approached the booths. They was face painting, henna tattoos, and caricatures artists to name a few and it was all complimentary.

There were a lot of people. The stands were starting to close down so we headed for one that the girls would enjoy. The nice lady doing the henna tattoos upon seeing me told me that we would be the last ones in line and she could only do one. I asked very nicely if there was anyway that she could possibly do 2 small ones so that each of the girls in front of us and demanded that she put a henna tattoo on his 2 year old son's arm. She very politely said that she was sorry but she was told to close and that there were no customers after us. He proceeded to ask her if she had a problem with his culture and if she thought that he and his family were stupid? The poor woman was trying to defend herself but this man would just not stop insinuating that she was denying his son a tattoo because of her prejudice against his culture. He said just put anything on his arm. I moved aside to let her know that if she wanted to she could give the tattoo to the little boy and not worry about us because it was OK. The man's wife was nicer and she intstructed her son to say thank you after he got his tattoo.

The woman manning the stand was visibly upset and we talked a little bit and I told her that she did nothing wrong and that it was unfortunate that some people ruin it for others. She explained how she could not understand how someone could act that way when they were not even paying as it was all free.

I don't know what gives someone the right to think that they can treat another human with such disregard for their feelings for their own personal gain. It was a very sad thing to witness.

Apparently the whole thing was put on by the mall and it was to show their appreciation to the customers. The girls got there tattoos and animal balloons and bubbles. If I had known about it I would have gone earlier so that the girls could have had more time to wonder around. I must say that as an ongoing customer at this mall I did feel very appreciated (despite the greediness and insensitivity of this one person).

I have now been swindled twice this week

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I hate having to spend money when I don’t need to. I love a bargain and if I have a coupon on top of the sale, Yippee for me.

The husband takes my car when he goes to help a friend build his house three times a week. My car’s air conditioning works better then his car so it makes sense. So with that being said I have had to run to the store twice this past week to pick up a few things. And in both cases I have not had my reusable grocery bags with me cause they are in my car and I am driving his. Two different grocery stores have now charged me for grocery bags! And that just burns me. Why you ask, haven’t I jumped on the ‘Green’ band wagon, don’t I care about our environment, blah, blah, blah.

You would be right to think NO I haven’t jumped on the everything ‘Green’. I care about reducing garbage, I compost cause it’s a good thing and helps my gardens, and I refuse a bag if I don’t need it. I have refused to buy something if I felt it is excessively packaged. There was even a time when I mailed back unnecessary packaging (about 3 feet of saran wrap on bananas) to my local grocery stores head office to make a point. But do I support the latest customer charge of .05 cents per bag (grocery store’s only) absolutely not! First of all when the City of Toronto made a law that grocery stores had to charge their customers for bags I was out raged. Why is the city of Toronto interfering in non-government business' and where is this .05 cents going? Is it going to help with environmental efforts in each municipality? Uhh, NO it goes back to the grocery store pocket, so just how is that ‘Green’? But the stupid law went through and now all grocery stores must charge for their bags. My beef with this is I don’t live or shop in Toronto! So why is the grocery stores in my city that does not have this silly law allowed to charge for bags and why isn’t the public pissed about it? As it stands you can buy your bread at Wal Mart and not be charged for the bag but if you go to Sobey and buy the same brand of bread you will have to pay an extra .05 cents. Stupid, Stupid Stupid.

The argument is that less plastic bags will end up in our landfills, How? I like almost everyone I know reuses their plastic grocery bags for household garbage that can’t be composted or recycled. If I don’t have grocery bags to use then that means I don’t use a bag (yuck) or I now have to go buy special bags for my garbage bins. As I understand it these special garbage bags are not at all environmentally friendly and unlike some of our grocery store bags will never break down and if they do the toxins they leave behind makes the soil unusable. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

If our governments were truly concerned about the environment and I don’t think they are then they would go to the source of some of our garbage problems. You want to lower our garbage then hit the manufacturers with their outrageous over packaging. Think back to Christmas and the amount of packaging from your kid’s toys.

If the government really cared about being ‘Green” then they would not allow our vegetable to be packaged when not necessary. Today well in A&P (grocery store) I could not buy celery, broccoli, tomatoes, snap peas, and cucumbers that were not already wrapped in plastic wrap. Is any of the plastic wrap necessary NO. Even if I if was possible I could not take the plastic off the vegetables cause now the UPC is on the plastic wrap for the cashier to scan. So I am stuck with it or I guess I could give it to the cashier but then what, besides looking like an idiot he or she will just toss it in there cash garbage can and it will not even be recycled.

I wonder if the law makers who came up with this .05 cent bag law are the same ones who came up with the ‘no smoking in your car if you have children with you’ law. Another stupid, stupid, stupid law. Almost impossible to enforce and how does that stop the second hand smoke issue for the kids? If they have a person living in there home who smokes then they are already breathing it all the time. If the government really cared about people smoking and the health effects of first, second, and third hand smoking then they would out law cigarettes!

For crying out loud government get a backbone and stop trying to appease the industries and picking on the consumer. As a consumer we are not given much choice on how we can purchase products. And us as the consumer’s we need to start making a stronger louder point. We either stop buying overly packaged products or we return the packing to the source and let them deal with it. What I do know is we can’t just keep doing nothing but standing in the grocery line fretting if we have our cloth bag or not.

Removing Unwanted Hair

Why do women in North America spend so much time removing hair? Why do we think that hairy armpits and hairy legs and hairy bikini lines are so gross??? Don't get me wrong, I shave, wax and pluck, too!
I know men shave every morning, for the most part. However, men don't have to shave and they can look ok with hair on their faces, armpits and legs!!!
It doesn't take long to shave. The two minutes in the shower with conditioner in your hair is all the time needed to do a thorough job, and smooth legs look so nice! See, I've been brainwashed, too!
I have been to Europe a few times both on and off the beach. Men and women there are a lot more a peace with their bodies. They are willing to show them off to any who choose to look. The majority do not remove hair from the above mentioned body locations and no one seems to mind!
So, what happened when the masses made the move to the New World? All of a sudden hair is no longer a good thing? What difference does a land mass make??
Yes, I know, we have a choice here, too. I do have a friend who chooses not to remove hair and it is not a problem. I think people who choose to live a more organic life are more at peace with their choice and they do not care what other people think!
There are times when I rebel...... I choose not to shave! Good for me! Then I panic! I hear my mother reminding me to always wear clean underwear with no holes it it, just in case. Well, that habit also extends to smoothly shaved skin. If, heaven help me, I am in an accident and need medical help and my legs aren't shaved??????? How embarrassing for me, what will the emergency personal think about me?? I was not prepared!
I know, they could care less, that's what you'll tell me, but you never know....

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Bachelorette (Maui)

Last week Jillian finally sent Wes packing. What an excellent move and upon his departure, Wes was boasting to the cameras about how he made it to the final 4 while having a girl friend. What woman would want to date such a jerk?

Anyhow this week the remaining three bachelors and Jillian had overnight dates on the Island of Maui (Hawaii). The setting was so beautiful and each date was different.

Kiptyn and Jillian went on a dare devil date and were walking across tight ropes in the sky and standing on very tall totem poles. She is one brave woman. She was a little scared at times but it didn't stop her and Kiptyn is obviously very athletic and up for anything too. They then spent the night in the Fantasy Sweet and we really don't know what happened next but they both really enjoyed their date together.

Reid and Jillian went on a helicopter ride and spent time on a secluded beach having a picnic. They had a romantic dinner where she asked him some very tough questions. To me, Reid seems to be the most sincere of the three remaining bachelors and I really thing that he speaks from his heart, not for the benefit of the cameras. He expressed how he was falling for Jillian and made it very clear that he would love to get to know her better off camera. He also finds it very difficult to understand the fact that there are still 2 other guys besides himself who she really seems to like and be kissing and dating. It obviously makes him feel uneasy. Who could blame him? They also had their overnight date in the fantasy room and things seem to go really well.

Lastly there was Ed. He and Jillian spent time on a boat and did a lot of swimming and then Ed flew his parents in to meet Jillian. Ed had left the show weeks ago due to his job and then returned later so his parents are the only ones that Jillian did not get the opportunity to meet. I was not very fond of his parents. I can't put my finger on it but something was off. Jillian on the other hand really liked his parents and was grateful to Ed for having arranged the meeting. They also spent the night in the fantasy sweet and seemed to be getting into things with oils and massaging each other. Then the light went out and later back on again. Ed was upset and Jillian was in tears. She talked about how it was an incredibly exhausting date and of all the people that she couldn't wait to be close to Ed was the one that she was most enthusiastic about. She said that she was not sure if it was all of the pressure but lets just say that something with Ed was very disappointing to her. She questioned weather or not it would always be like that way or would things be different later without the pressure?

In the end at the rose ceremony she first asked to speak to Ed in private where she voiced her concerns about the lack of activity in the fantasy sweet and Ed promised her that she had absolutely nothing to worry about.

The first rose went to Kiptyn and the second rose went to Ed. As usual my favourite man standing was sent home once again. Of all of the three remaining I think that Reid is the real deal. I think that in Reid she would have found a love for life. I my opinion she made the wrong choice once again.

I guess that Sometimes you just don't know what some girls are looking for.

Bosom Buddies

Last week and part of this week we had an extra little visitor living in our home. We dog sat for my bother in law. We already have a dog of our own he is a little guy named Patches. He is a Yorkie- tees and he is a bit of a hand full because he has a disease called Addison's disease.

He needs more care then most dogs (daily medication) and he has some nervous habits because of his condition. Any little thing that makes him even the slightest bit nervous causes him to pee in the spot that he is in. For instance if the were to approach him while he is on the couch to say hello he would instantly pee.

If he were to have some food in his mouth and you would try to get it away from him he would growl at you and definitely nip you and yes he would pee. Some small children make him nervous too. He has nipped my nephew who was just sitting beside him.

He cannot go for a walk without barking at every dog that he sees. I am painting a picture of a not so well behaved dog but really he is a very sweet dog. It has been difficult to train him and help him to understand because of his condition.

Anyhow our house guest is a small Bichon Frisce. Her name is Yuki. I wondered what the 6 days with her would be like. Yuki and Patches have spent time together before so I knew that they would definitely get along. I knew that it would be an easy weekend when Yuki was handed over with a Tupperware full of food and her bed and no long note attached.

When ever anyone has dog sat for us there is generally a 2 page note with instrucitons on how many times a day to feed Patches with the measuring cup included and when to give what medication, which medication needs to be refrigerated and what to do if Patches will not take his medication( (he takes 8 pills a day) as he absolutely has to have it. We talk about what signs to look for if he is under stress and at what point it would be necessary to call us and perhaps the vet.

We leave directions and a phone number for the emergency 24 animal hospital in the event that he stops eating, will not take his medication and starts to vomit uncontrollably. This all puts a tremendous burden on our dog sitters. We use to board him in a kennel and later even at the emergency hospital until the last time years ago when he had an episode because he was so upset about us being gone that he crashed (all his organs stared to shut down) and he needed to be admitted into the hospital.

Now we are so grateful to our families for watching him because he seems to do very well in there care.

Anyways Yuki and Patches got along famously. I never knew that a dog could be so easy. She eats once a day, barely has to go out to do her business, and only barks if the door bell rings. The only thing that she really wants to do all day is play fetch. She will bring you the toy, drop it in your lap and very patiently wait for you to throw it. She was very calm and really didn't bother much with Patches at all which suited him just fine.

Self Struggles

I struggle with what I am suppose to do in my day today life. I use to just do things because it seemed like the right thing to do and my heart was always into it. Somwhere along the lines I started to get angry over some of the things that I made my self do that I didn't want to do. I decided not do some of the things that made me unhappy because I didn't really want to do them. The problem is that these actions (not doing things) make me feel even more unhappy.

They also make me feel guilty for not doing what would be helpful for someone else just because I don't feel like doing it. What does that say about me. I wonder if it just a phase and I need time for myself. That use to be such a foreign concept for me but now it is becomings the norm.

It happens with my family all the time and it happens with others in my life as well. I use to really work hard at trying to keep us all together (I'm talking about my family) and it would be a struggle all the time but in the end we saw each other ofter and spent a lot of time together.

Different people came and went and some people were unhappy about it but I always forced the issue for the greater good in the end. But sometime around the start of this year, I started to do things differentially. I stopped begging people to be a part of things and I stopped making myself invite people who made for a difficult evening to create a better atmosphere and an easier time for myself and for others. I don't really get questioned on this but rather I get people saying its fine with me, It's your house. I never really understood why you forced the issue so much (again this is all in reference to my family).

I feel guilty about it but I still continue to do the same thing week after week. Why?
With my sister, she doesn't really want to be bothered so much anyway so it seems to be OK with her. But when I tell her that we got together, I feel guilty and wonder if it bothers her. I don't really know because she doesn't really comment and she really never initiates anything anyway.

With my dad, the new woman in his life is so complicated and so much work and it is so much easier when she does not come but we ususally just grin and bear it. I have always taught my children that regardless of our feeling for her we will be polite to her out of respect for my dad. Well lately we have gotten together several times here and I have made the decisoun not to call and see if he was available. I have always told him about the get together later and really they have always been last minute in prompt toos (I am justifying again) and it was not the whole family because it was only my family and my sister and her boyfriend but still I know that if he were available, he would probabally come. I feel like such an awful person and a horrible daughter.

I hope that I go back to the girl that I once was a short time ago because I think that I liked her much better. I don't think that my heart is in it at the moment. I don't really know why.

I hope that God will soften my heart and help me to move forwards because at the moment I feel as though I have taken so many steps backwords.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Life's Last Breath

I have decided to try to write a short novel so here it goes, this is part one...............

Chapter #1

Camille stared at the bright blue sky and wondered if she would make it to tomorrow. A mere six moths ago she was a vision of health and her life seemed perfect. But now her lapse in energy and the darkness that threatened to overtake her is just a reminder of how sick she really is. "Camille, I'm very sorry the treatment isn't working. There isn't anything else that we can do." Camille's eyes filled with tears. She had been through it all before. She had held her mothers hand until her very last breath. "Could this really be happening to me? Who is going to hold my hand? I don't have anybody." Although to the outside world she appeared to have it all, even she is fooled at times by the mask that hides the true sadness and despair of her reality. She never takes it off. No one knows how alone she really is. She has carried the burden of her illness for some time now. It is like her illness is so deep inside that she can not bare to bring a voice to her ongoing sorrow.

Camille lives alone in an old farm house left to her by great grandmother. It was a family treasure for centuries and she always felt at home here. She could remember running through the fields as a little girl and reminiscing now she could almost smell the scent of wild flowers crushing against her wind blown hair. She recalled the beaming smile that was always on Williams face. She spent so many days by his side sharing stories and secrets. She was so grateful for his company as she was so alone without him. William was so dear to her although she loved him so much she regrets never revealing her true feelings to him. He always treated her like a close friend or maybe even a younger sister. But sadly this true friend and only childhood companion was not meant to be a lengthily relationship.

Camille looked around the familiar room for she knew that it would be some time before she would be back. She spent a few moments touching each of her mementos which although had no true monetary value were precious treasures to her. Each one came with its own elaborate story. She wished that someone would be there to care for them in her absence but sadly the old farm house would go vacant for some time even Camille was not sure how long that would be. She wondered slowly downstairs and lingered over the pictures on the fireplace mantel. This old house which she knew was once filled with so much love and laughter had not known such happiness for quite sometime. She closed the door behind her and took one more lingering look back and drove away.

The roads were slippery and the thick fog made for a difficult drive. She was so pensive as streams of thoughts filled her mind and each came with an explosion of its own emotions. Camille found it difficult to focus but she forced herself to concentrate on the road, She would not allow any further distractions as the fear of wrapping her car around a tree was greater than her need to relive her life's experiences. It took every ounce of energy for her to remain in the present and not escape into memories of her past. She tried to occupy her mind first by turning on the car radio and listening to music but each song was like a story of its own and so many of them were intertwined with her own life. She opened the window to try and get some air but it was raining so hard now that she would be drenched in moments. Nothing seemed to be able to keep her attention where it needed to be. She could not allow herself to drift into her thoughts again. Not now, not here. She needed to arrive at her destination unscathed.

She got out of the car and headed towards the door. The lights were so dim and she hesitated before ringing the bell. She waited anxiously for what seemed like such a long time. She could see a shadow through the etched window. It was so dark that she could not make out weather it was a man or a woman. Camille backed away changing her mind about the whole thing when the door opened the voice in the dark said "good evening, you must be Miss Evans, we have been expecting you. Won't you please come in." Camille took another step backwards. She had decided that she was going to turn and leave, getting as far away from this place as possible. As if sensing her hesitation the voice from the darkness spoke again. " I know that you must be nervous, that's understandable but believe me you are in the right place. We are only here to help you in your search and to lead you towards a better future. You have got to trust us." The shadow held out her hand and leaned in closer. Camille could feel her heart beating wildly and she swallowed hard due to the lump in her throat. What should she do? Her life's experiences led her to be suspicious rather than to trust. At this very moment she could not believe that she had even searched for such a place let alone made arrangements to be here. Her head was spinning and every fiber of her being was telling her to run and not look back. She was quickly contemplated her options when she blacked out cold.

When she woke up she was in a dark room. She tried to command her legs to move but they would not. Her hair was strung across her face and she tried to move her hands to brush it out of her eyes but her hands could not move.
"What's happening? Why is my body failing me?" She thought that if she could just concentrate, then she could will herself to just stand up. She closed her eyes and desperately tried to move her arms and legs but despite her efforts she still could not move. Tears began to stream down her face and she started to shiver. Camille did not understand what was happening. She tried to speak but there were no words. She could hear footsteps coming towards the door. Someone walked in. The pale man looked at her and for a moment Camille thought that she recognized him. The light was so dim and strands of her hair were still in front of her eyes blocking her sight so she could not be sure. He reached down and took her arm and injected it with some fluid. The last thing that she remembered was the man saying " Good night Miss Evans, rest, for you will need all of your strength for tomorrow."

Camille slept effortlessly. She wondered if it was due to the injection. She would awake often and have lucid thoughts but only for moments at a time. Her dreams were so vivid, she felt like she was reliving them and for the most part that made her happier then she had been for some time. She dreamt of when she was a little girl about 10 years old. It was the first day of grade 5 and she was taking the school bus back home when someone new caught her eye. He stepped onto the bus and was looking for a place to sit. At first it made her a bit nervous that beside her was the only available spot. He sat next to her and immediately started talking and telling her his life's story. He made his day to day life sound like an adventurous novel. He was kind and funny and confident. She was having so much fun listening that she didn't realize until he got off the bus that she didn't even know his name. He was tall with dishevelled blond hair and beautiful pail blue eyes. His clothes were a bit worn and somehow seemed like they just did not fit him quite right. She was curious as to why that was. She looked forward to seeing him on the bus every day and she was so glad to learn that he was in the same grade as her. Camille and William became great friends. They were inseparable. Camille trusted William and she knew that he would do anything for her. She grew to love him more each day but it was many years before she came to the realization that she was looking at William differently then she had previously. Could he tell that she was falling in love with him? These ongoing thoughts made her nervous and excited at the same time. She would spend countless hours talking to her mother about him and her mother would listen and giggle. She would never tire of Camille's stories and her excitement and happiness for Camille was evident. William spent almost every waking moment with Camille after school and on weekends. Summer vacations were the best times of her life from the time that she was 10 years old. The best part of all was that William seemed to enjoy Camille's company too. Camille's mother was very fond of William. Those years of her life were perfect and her memories were so sweet. But there came a day in Camille's life when she was about 17 years old where things changed and her happy days turned to torturous nightmares. As Camille was contemplated these thoughts she awoke and her eyes were filled with fear as tears ran down her cheeks.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

We Don't Need Dr. House, We Have MOM!

Well Good Afternoon All,

We have have been home long enough for me to make lunch for the little one. The sun is shinning which is huge improvement from this morning. As I was waking the little one up this morning around 9:00 am it was dark outside, thundering and pouring rain. Not such a nice way to start your day. But what is great is the morning only got better!

I asked the teenager how she was feeling she said OK, she said she only was up once during the night in pain. And because she hasn't eaten anything this morning her stomach is not hurting. She had me feel her left side, it took me a bit of prodding but I did feel a lump.
At 10:00 AM our family doctor called to check up on her. She was sleeping at that point but I told him she was doubled over in pain (stomach) about a dozen times through out the day yesterday. And that she was going for one of the ultrasound at 11:30. He told me when I get to the Lab to request a list of other labs in the city and see if we can get her in for the second one sooner. Waiting till July 20 is not acceptable.

At 11:00 we left for the lab, I had the teenager pack some water and told her to drink it just in case they can squeeze her in for both ultrasounds. We got to the lab and I explained the situation the receptionist said they didn't have a list of other labs but what she did do was bill for both ultrasounds and scheduled the technician for both. Yipee! At close to 12:00 PM the teenager went in and was done 25 minutes later. Unfortunately the Xray department is not open on Saturdays so we will need to come back on Monday for that but that's OK as it is just a walk-in and we don't need an appointment.

We will go back to the doctor on Tuesday and get all the results and work from there.

Now for something real cool (maybe only to my fellow bloggers). Well at the lab the receptionist was on Facebook. So I asked her to google 'conversations at the park' and when she did we didn't show up on the first page. Then she googled '' and we were number ONE!!!! We are moving up bloggers. For all our readers, the more you google us the higher our ranking goes on google search. What we want is to be number one or at least on the first page all the time. Cathy is doing research on Key Words and we are talking about changing our template and once we figure out the key word stuff we will incorporate in our blog. Exciting stuff I'm sure.

Have to go the teenager is on the floor in pain again!

Friday, July 10, 2009

My Tarnished Crown

I don't know about other homes but in ours even in the summer the little one is expected to do some school work. It is up to her to decide how long it will take her to complete the work but she understands that what ever time it takes her is the same length of time she goes without TV or computer. The goal here is for her to learn to concentrate on her work and stop daydreaming. On Wednesday it was two and half hours for about 40 questions. She only needs to do math three times a week and on the other two days she is required to do her math corrections (if any) and write in her creative writing book. The rest of the day she is free of school work.

So that being said today is Friday and she wants to go to her friends house for the day, which I want as well as then I don't have to bring her with me to the teenagers doctors appointment. So we start on the math. The math book I bought her this year is a review of grade three. I was hoping to reinforce all that she learned this past year not introduce new concepts. I am trying to make sure she retains what she has already learnt. So we open the book to chapter 4, 2D shapes and 3D Figures. Question number one: name the shapes, uhhhh, I look at the eight shapes pictured. I know the square, triangle, octagon (only cause of that lady in the states with the 8 babies and they call her octamom) and diamond. Not bad I knew 4 out of the 8 shapes. So I cheat go to the back of the book to the answers and write her a list that she can work from. Well seems I was wrong and there is know shape called diamond. Somebody should tell Shreddies that cause they have a whole campaign on there new diamond shape cereal, they even want the public to vote on there preference Square or Diamond. The grade three name for a diamond is rhombus. I thought rhombus was some kinda of dance they did on DWTS.

Ever the optimist we move to page two. Find the correct shapes to match the descriptions.
Shapes that have 2 pairs of parallel sides, done, 4 sides, done. Two or more right angles, uhh, lets go to the next question, two angles smaller than a right angle. "Well little one I think we should move on to page three cause we want to get you to your friends house".

Page three starts with, Draw all the quadrilaterals with 2 pairs of parallel sides in the grid. Write their names under them. Then answer the questions. The little one looks up at me with complete love and trust cause I am Mom and I know everything. I have told her that many, many times throughout her 9 years. I look into her beautiful blue eyes and think this is it she will never look at me the same way again. I am no longer ''ever knowing Mom' my crown has started to tarnish. I start to panic and wonder how I can get to the back of the book for the answers without her knowing her mother can't do grade three math. At that moment thank goodness the teenager started to cry out in pain and it was imperative that we close the math book for the day and take care of the teenager. That was a close call.

When the husband gets home tonight I will let him know he needs to spend more time with his daughter and they should work on math together and I will help her with her creative writing.

House is on Hiatus

I am assuming because it is summer that is why Dr. House is not responding to any of our blogs.

The teenager was up just after 7:00 this morning, had a shower and over a two hour period ate a piece of bread with peanut butter. She then laid on the couch in and out of sleep. At one point she did crawl into a fetus position because of the pain. I gave her two gravel, that seemed to help. We headed over to the doctors office for her appointment at noon. She had to fill out a bunch of privacy wavier to get the medical records from Prince Edward Memorial Hospital (Picton) faxed to us in Brampton. (that makes me wonder if I should of had her sign something before I spewed all her business on the internet. Hmmm, O well, to late now, where was I)And we could not get all the test results sent because the ones ordered by the doctor at the clinic she first went to is now on vacation and the clinic is closed for a week.

The teenager would not let me go in the Doctors office with her cause she says she is an adult now and can do this on her own. (teeth clenched growl from me) So I sat in the waiting room with my arms crossed pouting but then my attention was drawn to a new mom bonding with her brandnew (two day) old daughter. The baby was tiny, tiny, I later heard the nurse say to the mom that the baby's weight was 4 pounds 8 ounces. When I said tiny, I meant tiny.

Finally the teenager came out telling me she has to have blood work, ultrasounds, Xrays done. So at that point I asked her to jump up and down (just trying to gain some of my mother power back) and she did it (heh,heh,heh) but then doubled over in pain clutching her left side. So we went back into the doctors office and I told him what I had her do and told him in all my medical school wisdom if it could be her appendix. He smiled at me, took a deap breath and said very slowly "the appendix are on the right side" I think his smile was turning into a smirk at that moment, but I let it go. He did say that the results of the test done earlier were somewhat inconclusive and that is why he wanted them done again.

Down stairs we go to the lab and she does all the blood and little bottle with the orange lid work. We then go across the hall to arrange the ultrasounds (yes two) and Xrays. The doctor had written urgent on the ultrasound requisition so with that, the earliest appointment the teenager can get is July 20! Good think it is urgent. The women doing the booking said she would call us if there was a cancellation and I said we could come at a moments notice and since it was two ultrasounds one for the upper abdomen and one for the lower intestine we could split it up and come twice. So the hope for now is someone cancels and we can get her in sooner. We will have the Xray done when the do the ultrasound just seems easier that way.

In the car the teenager told me the Doctor has put her on a light diet. She can have soy milk, rice pudding, custard, pudding, jello. That's it, the thinking is if she should need surgery this diet will have the least effect on her, and until they can figure out what is wrong he doesn't want her body working to hard. We stopped at the grocery store and did some shopping for her.

When we arrived home she ate some rice pudding and a regular pudding within 15 minutes she was doubled over on the floor in pain. And 1/2 hour after that, again doubled over on all fours on the floor in pain. So for now we are praying that she gets in for the ultrasounds sooner then later.

What we know it is not: Not gallstones or gallbladder, not appendix (hmmm), seems unlikely to be a virus.

What it could be: Cyst on a ovary, ulcer, parasites, or your guess is as good as mine.

I think she might be a bit better as she is on my phone with the boyfriend. Guess I am going to have to invest in call waiting sooner then I had intended.

6:13 PM JUST IN!

Lab just called and the teenager is going in for one of her ultrasounds tomorrow at 11:30 AM. She is now on a strict fat free diet for tomorrows test.