Sunday, December 27, 2009

Some days just go down in the history books!

I am sure that this Boxing Day will in the future be referred to as the one where mom broke the table with her butt! (oh and thought she broke her finger in a totally different un-related same day miss hap!) Yup one of those stories that will go down in the family history book, one of those you will laugh at this one day moments in life. Maybe one day.. just not today!

Boxing day.. for many means a trip to the mall, or better yet the local electronics mega store to stand in line for hours in the freezing cold to get the latest and greatest gadget or gizmo that will be out of date tomorrow when the new models hit the sales floor.

Not in this house. I do not remember the last time I was shopping on boxing day. At least not since I met Royd some 25 years ago! Royd upholds a tradition that his mom started before she passed of having an open house & serving waffles on boxing day. So in our house it has always been a day of visiting with family and friends. There have been a few years off, but for the most part people know Boxing day = Waffles (with bacon and mushrooms) at the Hilstad's.

This is Royd's party, he whips up one monster batch of "Royd's wonderful waffle" batter, has earned the title of "WAFFLE KING" and from 10 - 2 he mans the hot iron and turns them out for all who come. However today at 9:45 (yes 15 min before people are to start arriving) I was on my way to the mall..... THE FREAKING MALL ON BOXING DAY! I had no choice... there was something we NEEDED and NEEDED NOW - zap straps, A.K.A. cable ties.

Ohi.. what the heck did I NEED cable ties so desperately for you ask.....

To fix my dining room table - keep in mind there are who knows how many people coming in 15 min for waffles for the next 4 hours some years it has been as high as 60 people coming and going. The table is a very useful piece of furniture to have functioning for this event. My very sturdy, heavy, pine table was laying in my living-room, legs up. Yup, broken leg! Very dead, & very unusable due to a very unfortunate meeting with my back end! Yup I cracked the rather large pedestal of my wooden table with my ASS! Only in our house can that claim be made. You would think we had some wild druken brawl. Nope, nothing quite so dramatic, I was simply trying to record this portion of the story of our lives...

I was trying to take a photo of the 'waffle king' in my kitchen & slipped. Who would know that slipping off a chair, knocking the corner of the table first with ones elbow, then posterior could result in the pedestal of the WOOD table to crack from bottom to 2/3 from the top... Any pressure added to the table would further fracture the pedestal causing more damage.

So off I went.. Walmart here I come. Where I must say I was presently surprised, there were a few available parking spots, I went in, picked up the zip ties, through the line, in my car and back home in less than 20 min! I was a woman on a mission. I made it home before anyone arrived, and the zip ties worked like magic once we settled on a system. The table held! Waffles were served with a smile and a slightly bruised back end. Most importantly no damage to the camera at all - whew, I would be heartbroken more over that than the table.

New years resolution.... to loose the caboose, so no more table damage can be done. Not that I plan on dancing on the table or anything... it would just be good to know it would hold me next time I have to change the light bulb above the table. Or I could just be more careful when standing on chairs and taking photos..... (which I will add tomorrow.... )

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A day of sprinkles and laughter

I have been wanting all week to sit and write this post, time constraints, emotional levels and my brain just not forming words held me back. Right now the house is quite and my brain is totally engaged and ready to roll with it.
Have you ever thought how fun sprinkles can be? Yup sprinkles! Those little bits of brightly coloured sugar shapes that get put on ice cream & cup cakes to take them from every day, to extra special. Did you know that there is a blog dedicated specifically to "sprinkles" , written by creative inspiration Stacy Julian it started with a simple jar of sprinkles given to her son, and now is a representation of the things we can sprinkle through life to make it happier for us and for others. "Sprinkles for life" she calls her challenges, it made me think, a good think, then I acted on that think, which was even better, not only did the sprinkles bring smiles, I was blessed in the process......
Monday afternoon I, wait let me back up a bit....
October 14th I received an email from an friend, telling me that her Grandson "J" had been rushed from Victoria, to Vancouver with his mom "L" to Children's Hospital, "J" had just been diagnosed with AML Leukemia, they are there for 6 months, would I pray? Of course I would pray, and keep praying for "L"and "J", as well as the extended family. "J" has 3 siblings and Daddy back in Victoria (for those who read from far away, it is a 2 hour ferry ride and another 45 min drive to get to Vancouver) who can only visit on weekends. In addition to that 17 years ago this Grandma lost her eldest daughter to cancer at 19 years of age, "L's" only sister. Emotions run high, pain resurfaces and you ask lots of questions. I was with them 17 years ago, I will walk through this with them too. Thankfully, they have a very strong faith in God, and believe that all things happen for a purpose, and that He ultimately is in total control. Good? Yes! Easy? No! There is nothing that we can do to change it, it is what it is, trust and faith through it is what we have to hang onto. Grandma's second question, Would I go visit? - Of course I would go visit when it was allowed.... I will be there as often as possible.
That brings me to Monday...
Monday afternoon I ventured down to the hospital with home cooked meals, and a small stash of scrapbooking supplies for "L", and a little extra something in my bag for "J". I was looking forward to the visit, to encourage and support.
What a trooper this little guy is at 3 years old is content to listen to mom, nurses, and doc's - resting and letting the meds make him better. Watching other kids play in the playroom, which he can see from the window in his room. Knowing that at this time he can not go play because contact with others can increase risks. So he watches and smiles and waves, making the best of it.
"J" is on an intensive drug regime daily to fight this. Chemo is nasty poison fed into the body to make it "better" by fighting off the affected cells. Drugs like that bring some very intense side affects, loss of appetite and weight loss being one of the better ones. However when you are 3 and "healthy" (as in not overweight) any loss of weight is not good. Food is unappealing, he does not want to eat. I had been reading updates daily before I headed down Monday, and am thinking what can I do to help this little guy.... He does not want to eat, I have been in the hospital and know that though the food is o.k, it is not great, certainly not like mom's, and it is not by any means presented well.
Hmm... sprinkles. So off I go and buy 2 jars of sprinkles just for him. One chocolate, because I know he likes chocolate, and one multi coloured mini balls because hey.. what 3 year old would not think that is fun!
Dinner time rolls around as I am sitting there and they bring "J" his dinner, broccoli that has a tinge of green, and lasagna - pretty good by hospital standards, but nothing there that he wants to eat, well except his chocolate pudding. I tell him I have something in my bag just for him, which gets his attention. Then I tell him that I bet no one else in the whole hospital has any of these for their very own, which brings big smiles, "L" is totally wondering too. So fun! Then I tell him that this is something that will make dinner more fun and he could put it on anything he wanted and I hand him the 2 jars of sprinkles. Big smiles and huge eyes, and a questioning look to mom ( who nod's her head, to say yup ... anything you want!) Great rewards for something so simple.
Then he asks "L" if he could put some on his pudding, which he finished down to the last sprinkle in the corner of the cup. Then on the apple sauce left from lunch. I told him he could put it on his oatmeal in the morning.. huge smile! YIPEE success - and the added bonus each teaspoon = 15 calories! "L" was excited about that. Calories however they get into him are good!
Sprinkles... something so simple, yet brought big smiles to a little one facing the biggest challenge of his life. As an extra bonus it also was a great ice breaker, as "J" had never really met me before this visit after he finished the pudding and apple sauce we spent an hour on the floor examining his treasure box, blowing bubbles which brought forth belly laughs. You know those laughs that start down at the toes and just burst forth. And we all know that next to sprinkles LAUGHTER is the best medicine.
I am glad that Stacy writes her blog, that "Sprinkles" challenged me, that I acted on that challenge. What challenges you? Have YOU acted on it? Have you taken time to count your blessings? A simple thing, taking 2 bottles of sprinkles to a little man in the hospital, blessed me beyond what I could have thought, I now have a little mini bottle of bubbles, because "J" wanted to share something with me in return. Blessed over again by his generous heart May your blessings be as plentiful as a jar of sprinkles and spread like bubbles in the wind.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sometimes life is not fair....

Tonight (well last night seeings as it is 6 am and I have been up for a couple of hours because I could not sleep so it still feels like last night) I attended a memorial service for a young man I did not know, but a young boy that I did and remember. I am connected closely to his extended family, they are the type of friends that I hope and pray that my girls will have one day. The type of friends that you just pick up the pieces from where you left of on the last visit and move forward forging new memories, the type of friends who know your heart, the type you miss when it has been too long, and when you are together time flies like there is no tomorrow. The type of friend that is closer than most family - these would be the family you CHOOSE for yourself kind of friends.

Tonight my friends were hurting, deep agonizing hurts that all you can do is step beside and give a hug and be there. The type of hurt where words seem shallow and your presence is enough. Though truly a sad occasion, I was blessed to be able to step up beside my friends and just be there, knowing that just by doing that they knew they were loved. To be able to share in grief at this level is hard, there are so many questions, and so few answers but it is the right thing to do. At the core of who we are as humans we need to connect with others, connections that run deeper than the surface, connections that bond hearts so that in the tough times you do not feel alone. I am emotionally spent, but would not trade it for anything. Just knowing that just by being there I was able to encourage my friends was worth the red eyes and soggy tissues. I would do it again in a heart beat, but hope that I do not have to for a very long time.

Sitting at the service my heart broke for the sadness in Tom's dad's eyes, pain that runs deep, questions that are there but not asked, simply put heartbreak at the rawest form. 22 is much to young to die. Heartbreak for the tragic way poor choices can end a life in the blink of an eye. How drugs in today's world are such a draw to young people as a way to escape when there seems to be no other way then they hook them and their lives are never the same. It truly seems un fair! No parent should have to bury a child. I remember thinking that for the first time after my uncle passed looking into the eyes of my dear heartbroken grandma , or 17 years ago when stomach cancer took a friend at the age of 21, then yet again when I watched a friend carry the coffin of her twin infant girls to a very small grave, and last year when I sat in the service remembering the life of a 6 year old. It is grief at it's rawest for sure.

Deep wrenching hurt - the kind that cause people to question God, to question if he exists, or if he cares. The kind of hurt that has people calling out to God even if they never have before because they want some hope, some assurance that somewhere in the universe there is a heaven and that their loved ones will be safe there. The God they may have cursed in the past becomes the life line they desperately cling to. The same God that with time brings comfort and healing to the hurts, will also be the same God who brings renewed joy as they move forward.

I know that life is not fair, I could tell you dozens of persona stories to support that, but life fair or not is life and every day we have a choice... we can either live and learn or complain and conk. I choose to live and learn, allowing myself to grow into a better person. Knowing that one day down the road the lessons I have learned will help someone else. Just like tonight, my friends were hurting and I was able to just be there in support and just loving them where they are at. And it was good!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This time last year.....

Time flies, more so when you are having fun, just not as fast when you are not. This time last year I was sitting in the waiting room at Eagle Ridge Hospital, on my fun scale not at the top of my list. However I am thankful I live in a country that allows equal access to health care to everyone. That things like mammograms are available to all women who are "of age" or are considered "high risk" and that when something like "cancer" pops up, you receive treatment, not based on if you can afford it, but because you need it.

Last year I was:

Waiting - in lovely extra long green socks, with a stunning gown / robe combination that I am sure would make ALL the worst dressed list. Best thing about waiting, is the heated blankets.

Anxious - a little

Fearful - not really

Relieved - for sure, it was finally happening - get the cancer out of me and let's be done with it forever!

Hungry - well food or water from midnight the night before. Funny how when you are told you CAN'T eat all you want to do is eat. However when you do not eat breakfast it does not faze you.

Worried - a little about not waking up, but not about the procedure. Getting "knocked out" is letting go of control. I do not think I have control issues for the most part, however when things are totally out of your control it is a weird thing to think about.

Trusting - God and knowing that ultimately he IS in control.

Wondering - about recovery, pain, appearance. I would be lying if I was not wondering or concerned about any of those things.

This year I am

Recovering - there are still days that I am totally whipped out. (There have been 3 surgeries since the initial one. My body is not sure what "normal" is.)

Glad -it is over. All doctors involved are happy with the results.

Happy - that I just had breakfast.

Grateful beyond measure to those who have walked beside me, prayed for me, supported in so many practical ways. I am blessed despite difficult circumstances. God is good all the time!

There are certainly scars, both physical and emotional that will in some cases never be gone. Physically I feel good, though the few extra pounds that I put on while recovering are not making me happy. I am in the process of doing something about those. Emotionally I think that when ever you hear the word "cancer" and it is associated with your body, you will always have this niggling little thing that just hovers there. A thing that can not be described as a feeling or a thought, but it is just there, in your sub conscious niggling away... will it return? Have I truly recovered . I try hard not to dwell on it and live each day to the fullest.

Nothing in this life is guaranteed, but for right now I am very glad this year is BEHIND us and that today is the first on a new journey. Each day is a journey for all of us, we do not know what lays ahead, we do not know what awaits us around the next bend - we do have a choice in each day we live, to make the most of it or make little of it. Over the last year, I certainly have had those days where I did not really feel like doing anything, I am thankful that those "dark" days were few and far between, and that life is certainly an adventure I do not want to miss out on.
Seize the day........

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Feeling a little nostalgic....

Today is the first full day of school.
Today everyone woke up and was ready to go on time. (Let's see if this can continue. I believe in miracles for sure.)
Today Mom's Taxi service resumes.
Today my baby started high school.
Today is the first time in 13 years that I have not had a child in our local elementary school
Today all 3 of my babies are in the same school for the last time.
Today my first born begins her last year of high school (her last year!Where does the time go?)
Today I shed a tear as I watched them walk together into the school.
Today I am thankful that they have each other and for the most part are friends.
Today I remembered my days in high school & am thankful for my friends back then.
Today my house is quiet.

Today I sit & remember the ride to the hospital to deliver my first baby. Not knowing who we would meet at the end of the process.
Today I remember feeling totally enamoured with this new little girl that changed our world. This special little being that made me a mommy for the very first time.
Today I remember when each of the others joined our family.
Today I remember changes along the way.
Today I remember dropping each one off at Kindergarten.
Today I remember shedding tears then.

Today is not that different than it was back then.
Today my house will be full of stories and tales from the first day of school.
For TODAY I am thankful.
For TODAY I am grateful!
For TODAY I will be here after school to hear, to laugh & to listen to their tales.
Today is a gift, and I will unwrap it one piece of tape at a time, folding the paper and savouring the content.
For when tomorrow comes, we do not know what it will bring.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Somethings you never knew.....

Did you know that there is a Lynwood WA... no I do not mean WA as in our neighbour to the south.  I mean WA as in Western Austraila our neighbours to the FAR south. This simply was too funny not to share.  For those of you who know me well, you would know that this would be one of those trips that I would love to take. However not quite this route or this method.

To drive from Vancouver to Lynwood WA USA takes less than 2 hours..... Check out what google maps gave me.  I roared, way too funny! 

View Larger Map

Make sure you click on the larger map version. To get the full details of the trip, including toll roads, in languages I am sure would ensure me loosing my way forever.  It tells you it will take 54 days 12 hours.  Including a couple of very riggorous kyak adventures across the Pacific ocean.  Anyone game?????
Here is hoping that this in not forshadowing of what my weekend adventrues will be.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

TO DO LISTS.... I am not a huge fan!

A wise woman once told me to put "eat chocolate" at the top of any to do list you ever make to ensure that each day you will have at least one success. I loved it, not being a huge user of the "TO DO LIST" it simply made me laugh, and yes every time I do actually succumb and do make such a list, "EAT CHOCOLATE" goes right there at the top. We all need daily success in life.

Yesterday this same wise woman blogged "accomplish something everyday" basically 5 things you need to do each day to feel like you have arrived at the end of your day and accomplished something. Interestingly enough though her list does not include things like dusting and laundry or mom taxi service type things that "fill" our day and make us busy, but things that add meaning to life. She challenged everyone to make up their own list of 5 things.... I am taking her up on the challenge here is my list:

1) Preferably start the day with quiet time, reading, reflecting, journaling, praying. Listening to what God would have me hear. (certainly does not always happen, but the day goes much better when it does!)

2) Create - be inspired to create or visa-versa inspire others to create.

3) Connect beyond the surface level with at least one other person in the world. Encourage, draw beside, share the burden or the JOY

4) Live in the moment - be aware of what is going on around me so that I can be used as part of the bigger picture of this thing called LIFE

5) LAUGH - it heals hurts, breaks the ice, cleanses the soul and can get you through many dark spots. Never Laugh at someone else's expense, but laugh with them and enrich their life.

Oh ya... and EAT CHOCOLATE (preferably Dark - there are health benefits to that - or at least that is my story and I am sticking with it.)

If at the end of the day I have done the above I feel I have had a great day. The laundry, and dusting will be waiting for me (so will the "TO DO LIST") the next day. Or maybe by some divine act of spontaneous bump on the head one of the 3 teens that live in the house think...
"hey I think I will do a load of laundry just because we have this cool machine and I like to watch it go round and round"

Oh.. I should add DREAM to my list of daily "TO DO's".....
Happy TODO Day..
P.S. Thanks Stacy for the challenge!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

This caught my attention and I thought it was worth pondering. Life is too short to not live in the moment and make the most of things as they come by. Just a quick random thougth for today.
Twenty years from now

You will be more disappointed

by the things you didn't do

than by the ones you did do.

So throw off the bowlines

Sail away from the safe harbour

Catch the trade winds in your sails


Mark Twain

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Good things....

I recently saw a fridge magnet in a gift store that read

"Not all days are good, But there are good things in everyday"

Even in the darkest of days there are good things that happen. I truly believe that.

We simply must open our eyes and hearts to be willing to see them.

God puts good things in our paths every day, for he desires good things for us.

How often do we miss God's good things?

I have had an idea peculating in my brain for some time about that very thing -then I read that magnet and my brain went into perk overdrive. Not totally ready to share the coffee yet, but soon. One thought is that we spend far too much energy on complaining and negativity and certainly not enough thinking about GOOD THINGS. Or acting on good things. We need to change our way of thinking and how we focus on life. We need to open our eyes and LOOK, and really see in order to find the good, especially in the not so good days. It seems
Especially when it is something that is shoved down our throat, society in general focus' on the bad. Pick up a newspaper on any given day, or listen to the 6:00 news and that negative view on life is confirmed. You might find a 'Good things" article tucked in a corner pages away from the front cover if it is a lucky day and we really have to hunt to find them some days at all.

We complain far too much about things that either we have no control to change or when it comes right down to it really do not matter one way or another. When it is too hot, or too cold, if the price of gas goes up a cent or the advertised special at the supermarket is "temporarily out of stock". When what we really should be thinking is wow, I am glad I do not live in a country where it is 35 degrees or higher everyday, or be thankful that we have a supermarket at all, where we have choice. I try not to be a complainer, however I know that I do... but I am trying to change.

For the past month and a bit I have been taking a moment at the end of the day to write down 1 GOOD THING. The list is growing and I have found that as I go through my day I am looking for good things, my perspective changes and life is just a little bit better from that point of view. I am looking forward to looking back months from now, and simply reading my list of good things.

Some are minor good things:

Cold water today is a VERY GOOD THING!

Oh, a good hair day!
Sweet, take out for dinner tonight.

Others will stay with me forever:

Had great heart to heart with Teryn about Dating while we were out in the van.

Was glad to make Joc & Oscar laugh when I visited today.

Reconnected with an old friend on facebook, I thought I would never hear from her this side of heaven!

Picked raspberries today for the 100'th time, but saw the Joy in a 4 year olds eyes as she picked for the first time in her life.

True some entries are, deeper than others, however each of them were significant to me on the day they were written - a small snippet of how life is good on that given day. Taking time to write them down has begun to change my outlook on life and where my focus needs to be. Finding GOODNESS in the simple things of life. Because like it or not it is our life and we are the only ones who can make the choice for it to be a good one or a not so good one. When it comes right down to it and we are honest, we all want the good life.

However, what that good life looks like, depends on how you look at the good life.

Is the glass 1/2 empty or is the glass 1/2 full? We do not need rose coloured glasses, we just need to open our eyes, goodness is all around us, we just fail to see far to often.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

We are officially certifible... or maybe just a little crazy!

We arrived home from our vacation at 2:44 AM, yes you read that right AM! Monday morning, it seems that the 2 am hour holds a dear place in our hearts. When we leave to go to Creation Festival we aim to leave at that hour to avoid border line ups, Seattle rush hour traffic and the heat. This weekend we decided to drive in the cool of the evening and arrived home at the magic hour. Some would say we are crazy, we just see it as brilliant.

Driving from Cache Creek we left at 10:30 ish - We were still able to spend a full day enjoying the company of cousins, the pool and just relaxing. What we did miss was driving in the heat, all the traffic coming into to the city after a long weekend both great things to do with out. Especially given that I have what I think is a wicked case of heat rash... brought on during a drive from Cache creek to Kamloops where one thermometer I saw read 39 degrees. 39 freaking degrees! That is Africa weather, not BC even in Kamloops it was HOT and the locals were mentioning it.

I now know for certain that when I visit Lisa in Africa I will have to go in the rainy season. I do not do well in heat like this. A good portion of my body is covered in heat rash, also known as Prickly heat and I know why, it feels like someone is pricking me from the inside out with 100's of tiny pins. Not too much fun, but who wants to hear about the discomfort of heat rash when there is way more interesting and fun things to blog about.

We had a great time camping with several cousins from Royd's side of the family - 4 families in total -11 kids and 6 adults stayed the weekend. We also had visits from 5 other families who were either heading home after holidays or lived close enough to make it a day trip to come and hang out. It was good to see each of them. All of us saying that we NEED to do this again soon and get the word out further so we can have more cousins join us. It is good to reconnect, it is good to catch up, it is SO GOOD for our kids to meet in some cases for the first time that they can remember. They have seen each other so few times in their lives it is like meeting for the first time all over again.

Amazingly it does not take long for kids to overcome shyness and start pushing each other in the pool, laughing and scaring all "Non-relatives" out of the pool - they were VERY loud these Hilstad cousins. But I think it was the adults that laughed the hardest hearing Ron tell his story of his as advertised on radio "painless vasectomy" oh my, we were all in stitches. Great memories, laughs re connections it was good just to be together. Celebrating family and life.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Where are they now????

After the last post my brain went in this direction..... it really is not all that random, but rather a logical follow up. Sometimes I surprise even myself.

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.

~Flavia Weedn, Forever, ©

In 40 plus years of living I have said hello and goodbye to many people. Some I was happy to see go, and others to this day I wish we had more time together. Time to know each other better, more time because simply life was cut too short or simply because we had only begun to scratch the surface. (it makes me think Heaven will be a great big friendly reunion!) True to the quote above, I will never be the same. For me there have been some very deep and lasting impressions made. Memories that I will never forget, things we learned together and many things I realized I learned after they were gone.

Call me nostalgic, curious, or simply just nosey I would love to know where some of these people are now. What they are doing, how they have chosen to live their lives, are they happy.

There is Doreen, a Brownie billet that came to stay for a week - ALL THE WAY from Lac La Hache, in grade 5 that was like the end of the earth. We hit it off the moment she walked through the door, but after a few letters back and forth when she returned home we lost touch.

Diane Vanderly, who was part of my life from elementary school to the early years of Jr. High, then we ended up at different schools, and in grade 8 or 9 her family ended up moving.... I have no idea where, I had heard rumors of Ontario. But????

Janet Erickson, a friend through Brownies and Girl Guides, and also during High School. She was one of the people in those years that truly inspired me, she despite being totally blind lived life to the fullest, she skied competitively, travelled the world and succeeded in a difficult world.

Then there is the group of teens I spent the summer of 1982 with in Australia, the things I learned that summer changed my life forever. Most of those lessons came from living with a group of 30 teens from all over North America. I have managed to keep in contact with a few of these dear friends, but others have been lost. I would love to know what they are up to, where they are living, what God has done in their lives since that amazing summer. Where are they in their faith, John Ross, Elizabeth Buck, Billly Nevils, Ken Weatherl, Bethany Saxby (our Austrailan host), Stacy Perreault, Steve Baker. . . oh this list could go on and on.

There are so many more, some who's names escape me at the moment, people that have come in and out of youth groups and church doors over the years. I wonder if they ever wonder about me, what I am doing, or if I am even a blip on their memory screen. I have been blessed, I can say that even though there have been some serious twists and turns in the road that I would not have planned, life has been pretty good. I am happy with where I am in life right now, happy with the choices I have made along the way. I have lived some dreams, created others, faced some serious challenges and won, each path is an opportunity to learn and grow, I can say that I have enjoyed most of the ride this far. There is very little I would change. Sure there are things that I wish were different, but most of those are far from my control. There are still places I would like to visit, things I would like to do and as long as there is road ahead I am going to live it and enjoy along the way the people I meet and the places I go.

Yup, these things have been known to keep me awake at night. Pondering. . . searching online.. Every once in a while I will pop a name into the Facebook search engine and just see who I might find.. sometimes I am successful, more often not. When you are looking for someone with a common mane there are 1000's listed at times or looking for girl friends, if they have married and changed their names, makes it more of a challenge. I am in awe of how small the world has become with the help of modern technology. I am thankful that my girls have tools that will help them keep in touch with their friends no matter where in the world they may end up. These will not be wonderings that keep them awake at night.

I will continue on occasion to search, but more than that I will be thankful for the footprints each of these past friends have left on my life. Aiding in making me the person I am today, I thank them for the memories, the laughter and the tears. My life is richer because so many people have come and gone....

Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things.
~Author Unknown

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thinking about Childhood.

My life long friend is off to Vegas today - I had to laugh as I read her Facebook status line saying something like..... Wish me luck. If I do not return you know I have won big. Am now residing along some beach, with man servants and a big sailing yacht! My response, remember I am good at getting you out of / into trouble just say the word and I will be there....
The two of us could have lots of fun and photo taking adventures in Las Vegas...not to mention what fun could be had on above mentioned beach or sailing yacht! I hope she has a ton of fun, wish her luck on the big win.

I do not have very many early childhood memories that do not involve Deb. We were pretty much inseparable from the time she moved in when I was 10 months old to the time she moved in 1973ish it could have been 1974 ( I was in grade 3 I know that but what part the memory is gone) Thankfully she moved not too far away and we were able to keep connected, though drifting in and out we always manage to pick up where we left off, no apologies, no excuses. Friends like this are rare and few between and I am blessed because of it. I always know that she is just there... the type of person if I was stranded in her town and just showed up on her doorstep there would be no questions asked and I would be at home...

The conversation would be sweet, and we would laugh about the good old days. The times of eating ourselves sick sitting up the plum tree. Or sleep overs where little sleeping was done (but much yelling from one mom or another to get some!) Talking on the phone till our ears burned from the heat, while the whole time we could see each other in our bedroom windows (but we were not allowed to go we burned up the phone lines) Bike rides exploring the blocks around home. Trips to Woodwards on 1.49 day, when our moms would cram the 4 kids in 2 buggies and "tag team" shop, one mom manning the buggies as the other shopped then switching off. (smart ladies that they were) Some of our best summer days involved VERY extensive barbie set ups, here camping trailer set up on her front yard, my tent trailer in our front yard, and in another yard 1/2 a block up the street G.I. Joe and Big Jim would have their space. Or there was the running between houses to find out which Mom was serving the best dinner and then asking if one or the other could stay for dinner. I think our mom's caught on to that one pretty quick when both of them said Liver and Onions one day..... talk about no options. (poor Deb the one time it was what my mom was truly serving...) I remember sitting in my back yard, waiting for Deb's little sister to be brought home from the hospital after her birth, just sitting waiting, for what seemed like hours. Huge water fights, or games of kick the can, dressing up for birthday parties - and I mean dressing up, party dresses, spiffy hair dresses and patten leather shoes a shining. Ah the sweet memories of Childhood. We were priviledged to live in such a great neighbourhood. The Rogers, Williams and Kyle kids were pretty much just the KIDS.

There have been some rough spots to be sure, but you know we have weathered those and have laughed many atime over some of the worst of them.... How many people can say they bit their best friend in the butt, drew blood through blue jeans, yes drew blood! (my bite her blood, I never have asked if she has a scar?) And know that all is forgiven - hey she broke the leg off my barbie on purpose I might add.... A barbie which she "replaced" for my 40th Birthday - and we howeld! Best gift of the night hands down. Or there was the time we were playing in her basement and we noticed that there was a little fire in this big metal box.. thinking that it was dangerous we blew it out. OOPS, how were we to know it was the pilot light for the GAS furnace. We got a tongue lashing from her dad..oh my ANGRY! Then there was the time a few years after she moved that we found a deck of smokes in the bush behind the school close to her house.... yup we choked our way through our first smoking expereience together. Sweet o.k. some bitter sweet and some just plain dumb things we did, memories of Childhood, but it was the 2 of us through thick and thin....

Life has certainly led us both down different winding roads, but some how some where in the midst of it all we always have managed to wind our way back and forth across each others roads. We do not see each other often, we "chat" a little on FB but I treasure this friendship as a rare gift and for those times we do manage to connect in person for real face to face I just add it to the memory bank and am simply thankful for just one more time.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

How is it....

The earlier post was one I was working on a few days ago and chose to finish before I started this one.... this is what was running through my head as I woke up this morning. I was finally able to put to words something that I saw yesterday. Jumping on my soap box now.....

How is it that we can live in a technically advanced society, one where I can chat real time with my girlfriends in Africa, or Calgary. Where I can type and you can read if you so choose seconds after a blog entry is posted. Where social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter can help you find friends that even a few years ago were seemingly lost forever. But yet we as a society in general can not master the golden rule..

Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself
Though not found in the Bible deep seeded truth of loving others is. Why is it that things like skin colour, mental health, physical differences or moral choices bring out the worst in people. Makes me crazy! We are all created in the image of God, we are all human beings. Sure we have differences that is what makes the world a more interesting place to live. Face it if you were all like me life would be a whole lot different that you know it now.
Yesterday, Jen, posted this link to a video on her facebook page. As I watched I was speechless, I had no words at all, it played in my head over and over. Shocked that in Canada, a country that prides it's self in being a multi-cultural melting pot of acceptance, violence like this occurs. That one man supposedly only because of his dark skin was taunted and attacked by 3 others because THEY thought he was of less value. My heart ached, for Jen the mother of 2 teens of African American decent who she loves with all her heart. How do you send your boys into a world like this. How do you teach them to be tolerant, accepting and loving if there is a possibility that they too could face such a situation. The only thing you can tell them is rise above it, prove to the world that you are better men, than the likes of those who choose to be bullies. Then hug them, and cover them in TONS of prayer as they learn to walk on their own. Something that so many of us take for granted to a certain extent, our safety and confidence in simply being who we are, because we have white skin.
Or my other friend Marja, who suffers from Bi-polar disorder and has for decades. Fighting not only the challenges of the disease on a personal level, but fighting the stigma attached to it on a global level. She does an amazing job, but she faces challenges and prejudices along the way for sure. Simply because she is different from the normal and she is fighting for those who are often ridiculed in "normal" society. Why? Ignorance, people do not take the time to listen and truly hear the hearts of people who suffer, face it anything that shy's away from the norm makes people uncomfortable. People do not like to be uncomfortable.
Or Joc, an expectant mother of triplets who is laying in a hospital bed trying with all her might to bring these precious lives into the world several weeks down the road. Not now! Who early on in the pregnancy was told that she would have a better chance of delivering healthy babies if she terminated one. Chose to keep all three despite what the medical professionals were telling her. Would those same doctors want to hear some of the same hurtful things they were dishing out if they were in the same situation. Likely not.
I grew up in a home where derogatory names were the norm for defining people of different ethnic backgrounds. I recall quite vividly at a young age knowing it was wrong & asking my dad to stop... (hmm, possibly, this was the beginning of our relationship struggles...)
I was probably 6 or 7. I know it was Grade 1, because I remember the class room, I remember the teacher. I remember one very specific situation that made me think what dad calls people is wrong. There was a new girl in our class. Some of the boys started teasing her because of her dark skin, her long un-cut hair and the clothes she wore. I remember the deep hurt I saw in her eyes, & remember looking at her and a tear slipping from my eye and the smile that lit her face when she knew she had found a friend in me.....
Why is it in a world where we can send people to the moon, or cure diseases, pay people millions to make a movie for sheer entertainment value can not learn to love with out boundaries.
Why is it that we pass down hate to our children so easily but fail to show them how valued they are simply for the amazing miracles that they are.
I hope and pray that my girls have learned that people are of great value, certainly above things. That no matter the colour of their skin, economic class or physical or mental limitations - they have great value.
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you"
John 15;12

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

These things make me smile.

Paper piles are a constant challenge in our house. It can be single sheets, lined or colourfully printed, envelopes that magically appear at our house daily often along with newspapers, printed items off the computer or paper bound in book form. No matter the form it can be found in every room of our house. It is my constant nemesis.

I love to read, and I have a hobby that is very heavily paper themed that given with the fact that I have issues when it comes to tossing out things the girls have created over the years you get the picture. It is everywhere. So this past week I started to tackle the problem, I figured if I take one box or pile a day for a bit I will get a grip by the end of the summer. At least it is a good plan. So far a little progress has been made and the recycling truck was heavier after this past pick up.

The fun thing about sorting paper, is you come across things that make you smile.

Like this gem, circa 1998.
Teryn drew this picture of her and I. Makes me smile big. Love that my ears stick out from my hair and we are both smiling. Check out the arms and legs, at least we seem to have clothes on. But my feet are huge. Too funny! I guess that is the perspective of a 4 year old. Love it.

This one is going to get a frame and will be hanning in my creative space providing inspiration for years to come.!

Then there is this. Shanna's math sheet from this year. When Ashlynn and I returned from Europe Shanna had us all in stitches on the ride home from the airport telling the story of this math assignment. I will chuckle for years and years.

Check out the instructions... Draw the missing line, measure and label the angles... done!
Then the instructions say Name it....
"Names" inside the bubbles..... Oh, my I laugh as I type! Billy, Bob, Joe..... She did just what the instructions said and named each quadrilateral. Too too funny.

The best part is that she told us the story and was killing herself laughing at it the whole time. Shows great self assurance. Man I love this kid.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Back on the wagon...

I updated my Facebook status a few days ago to say I was back on the blogging wagon, so I guess I better stay true to my word.

I confess I am a total blog surfer, and though I have lots of ideas of what to post, I do not get to it as often as I need to. This past year as I have been recovering, resting and following doctors orders I admit I have been very entertained by reading blogs. Much cheaper than a trip to the local book store, you can find pretty much anything you want, travel, recipes, self help, support, creativity, inspiration, humor it is all there. There are blogs that I visit regularly, those of family, friends and business associates, creative souls & even strangers. I look forward to updates and posts, and feel disconnected when they go for long periods of time without doing so. I enjoy seeing photos, reading snippets of their lives. Yet I go for weeks and months without posting - how unfair of me.

Today while surfing, another phenomenon hit me... how is it that someone living 1000's of miles away, we have met, but doubt they would remember me writes something that mirrors my own thoughts so clearly. Things that I have been thinking, but yet have not voiced, for fear that if I put them out there I would have to be accountable. Yikes. That is what happened this morning while surfing and stopping here at Cathy Z's blog. Scary! Yup sitting on the couch following doctors orders has taken it's tole, and it is one that will take allot of hard work to work off. As soon as I have the o.k. I will be doing something to shake the chub! In the very short mean time, it shakes on me! Yuck!

I have asked myself why I blog, simply put, I like to write, always have. I have countless journals filled with bits and snip its of my life, thoughts on God, the world around me, quotes, clippings from the news paper. Blogging is simply and extension of the journals I keep. There are days I prefer pen and paper, others that I like to sit and type (which can happen faster than writing for me). I think that deep inside all of us is the desire to know that we were on this earth for a purpose, and that it will be remembered. Much the same way as scrapbooking records snip its of life, so can blogging. Who reads? I'm not sure, I know there are a few that check in every once in awhile, do I have a following, nope, do I think I ever will - who knows. Would I like to, sure, easier than having a book published. However if I can connect with someone, encourage or just make them smile that's great, if it is simply providing a place where family comes to get an update on the 5 of us then great. I will be here and I will be writing simply because I enjoy the process.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bitter Sweet Week....

Bitter sweet....
For 13 years there has been a Hilstad child at our local elementary school. For 13 years I have walked in and out of class rooms, interacted with teachers, driven for field trips, attended assemblies, talent shows, student led conferences and grade 7 leaving ceremonies. 3 of those for my own children. As a family we have sat around the dinner table, talked and often laughed about what has happened at school, discussing homework, class antics, and little buddies. All that changes, this past week marked the last day of Hilstad attendance at Forest Grove as Shanna completed grade 7. My baby is growing up, parts of me are ready to give her wings, the other part wants to hold on forever. I imagine this is the plight of mothers everywhere as our children grow up. Next year all 3 girls will be in the same school for the last time in there public school lives. And so begins another chapter in the story of our lives....

Bitter Sweet. . .

For 25ish years, my sisterfriend Lisa and I have had a solid on and off again relationship. We met when she came from Invermere to Burnaby to attend SFU in the early 80's - she showed up at church one Sunday and we have been dear friends ever since, it was and is a connection that God intended to be. For the past 25ish years she has come and gone, home to Inveremere, to Regina, to Quebec, Pennsylvania, Benin, with visits in between here at the coast. She currently lives and works in Niger, West Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world. We share one of those rare friendships that picks up where we left off and go on from there, sure we keep in touch in between, but those times when we are face to face are special treasures. When she is in town, our door is always open, she comes she stays, she fits right in to our crazy lives. This past week we talked on the phone for likely the last time in 4 years, she is as I type on the journey back to Niger for her next 4 year term. Each moment we can spend talking or visiting face to face is a gift that neither of us take for granted. It is hard to hang up when you know it will be at least 4 years until the next conversation. It is bitter sweet.. I know that she is living out her passion, working where she does, but she takes a small part of my heart with her this sisterfriend of mine.
Life is full of bitter sweet moments, those things that we know must happen, but bring both joy and sadness. Things that come into our lives to strengthen character, build us up, teach or challenge us to be better people. The key is to keep our eyes and hearts open so that we can be taught.
Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts,
and we are never, ever the same.
~Flavia Weedn,

Monday, June 1, 2009

Long overdue!

This post is overdue
Far too much time has passed since I was last here ready to type!
The much talked about
Transit / photo adventure was long overdue.
What is a Transit / Photo adventure you ask?

Well it all started a few years ago at Remember Me with a conversation, between Nichole, Natasha & myself, wondering how far you could travel in one day on a public transit pass. The idea, get an all day transit pass (which by the way is quite affordable at $9.00 for 24 hours.) and go.... just see where or how far you can get. Nichole and Natasha decided that they were going to do it... just get on the sky train or bus and go... see where the road lead, one day!

The conversation evolved into me making a list of photo challenges to meet along the way. A way to make the day more interesting. Which eventually led to, not just writing the list but being included in the adventure. One day arrived this Saturday.
The first ever Transit Photo adventure.....

Saturday May 31, 2009

After lots of... We should really do this
We need to make this happen
It is a really good idea
(I think a few travels to far away may have happened)

Who: Di, Nic and Nat

Where: Lougheed Sky train Station
When: 7:30 am
(Right Nichole? You did say 7:30AM??? that was YOUR idea???)

Back packs packed, camera's ready, snacks packed, water & we are ready to go.
Well except that Nichole was not there! (oops, crazy alarm) She would eventually catch up around 10:30am.... still in plenty of time for lots of fun and adventuring
So begins the adventure
2 girls
2 back packs
5 photo taking devices
1 tri-pod
2 full day transit passes
1 list of 50 photo challenges
(one phone call from Nic, to join up later)

And we were off....

The goal.. to travel via public transportation and take photos...
I am happy to say that all goals were met!
49 of the 50 photo challenges were met.
I am sure that between the 3 of us we took a few hundred photos!

We rode the Sky train, Sea Bus (well 2 of us made that) Bus, Aqua bus, Stanley park Train (o.k not part of the public transit system, but still a fun mode of transportation and Nic could not recall being on it before so we HAD to do that!) and lots of walking. The weather was great, a tad bit warm in the middle of the day, resulting in a bit of sun burn. All in all it was a fabulous day, even the "dip" in the fountain! (yup I sort of fell in.. slipped. Must say that it was very refreshing on a hot day!) We walked, we talked, we ate, we laughed and we made memories that we will each recall for many years to come. Thanks gals for a great day!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ripple affect...

Time flies in the blogging world just as it does in real life. You blink and months pass in what seem like seconds. I am continually amazed at how lives are intertwined, how one thing leads to the next and before you know it things snowball. I started to think about this on April 1st, yes April fools day. I was in bed and Royd came in and said that I HAD to get out of bed and come and watch the news, there was a clip that I had to see and it was all my fault that this was happening on the other side of the world. I obliged and went and waited, thinking what could possibly be my fault on the other side of the world....

You see, some 19 or so years ago a friend and I went on a late night neighbourhood romp with several rolls of Saran Wrap (Toilet paper was passe) and did 3 different cars, one being our pastors. It was great, no one expected us at first... Jump forward 4 or 5 years and said pastor was now living in Australia teaching at a Bible College and we decided that he needed to be "initiated" down under. So we wrote a letter addressed to the college - Attention: youth leader or something like that. Included in that letter was some $$$ and an explanation of "Saran Wrapping Cars" could you please go and do this pastor's car one day.... And they did. Now in 2009 this is what it has become.... WHO KNEW!

Who knows if it could be directly linked back to a simple letter written over a decade ago. But like a rock tossed into a still pond, the ripples reach far and wide. Maybe one friend told 2 people and those 2 people told 2 more... and so on and so on.... then someone who had heard about the crazy fun, thinks hey that would be a great April fools joke, they go ahead and low and behold the original letter writers 1000's of Kilometers away see the news clip. Full circle.... ripples reaching far and wide. Interesting to think how the ripples we make today could come back and affect us years down the road.

Was I kind today? Did I say or do something that made someone laugh, cry, feel loved, cared for? Did I send out good ripples? I sure hope so, I had some very intense, meaningful conversations today, about some life situations that are very very hard, health issues that have to be faced head on despite the deer in the headlight feeling of total shock and fog like reality of the moment. I pray that my words, were able to be a balm to the hurting, that I could ease the burden just a little by telling someone I care and that I will be praying. Even for just a moment in time - give hope.... I hope that I can sit down a decade from now and say remember when and share in the victory of healing and strength, rejoicing, celebrating - that would be a great return on my ripples (and the tears I shed today!)

Friday, February 6, 2009

A series of unfortunate events....

I started this post 2 weeks ago, life got in the way and now that I am going to post it now it seems sort of ironic. Today being Friday the 13th! I think the whole Friday the 13th thing is whooie, and for me it is just a sunny Friday in Feb. BUT if the date did hold any significant meaning for us our Friday the 13th happened a few weeks back, o.k. and it was a Sunday. But it was the sort of day that some would associate with the 13th....

The events that you are about to read are TRUE.... and happened over the course of a few days, however the bulk of them happened within a couple of hours... It was truly a series of unfortunate events..... or just another day in my life as crazy and random as it can be at times.

Jan 29 - We are out for dinner celebrating Shanna's 13th birthday (Yes that makes 3 teens in the house - but that is a post for another time and space) as is the birthday tradition in our home. The birthday girl gets to pick where we go (within reason) Pizza Hut it was this night. We had a great time, lots of laughs and fairly good food. Then we go to leave, we slide open the door of the van and we hear this clink, clink sound... something hit the ground..

Teryn says, Oh that might have been a pen that has been rolling around back here. Quite plausible, seeings as when the van got cleaned out one time there were 23 pens of various sorts rolling around. No wonder there is never one by the phone when I need one. Sidetrack aside... back to the clink clink... not a pen, but a nut like looking piece of metal from the van door.... OH OH....

The van door will not latch, meaning that it will not close. Did I mention that it is dark, and we did not have the foresight to park by the light in the parking lot that would shine on that side of the car. Trying to figure out where the "nut like thing" fit on the door was going to be a challenge. Thankfully we have 2 door entry on the van and there was light shining on the other side and my dear husband was able to figure it out - and insert the errant object and managed to get the door to close and lock. However it is in that position permanently, or at least until we find the $$$$ to get it fixed it will look like this...

Fast forward to Sunday.... Royd had been away on the island visiting a friend and I was headed to pick him up at the ferry terminal. It was late, it was dark, and it was snotting out (raining and snowing at the same time) plain miserable night. Visibility was a challenge at best! I am driving along and change lanes at the terminal to go into the pick up / drop off zone and hear this very very loud BANG! Then the tell tail sound of a flat.... pffts, ssss, pffst... Shoot! I had no idea what I hit, but I knew I did a good job of it. (figured out later on the way up the hill, that there is a low curb between lanes - I must have hit that!) No where to pull over until the parking lot at the terminal, over a block down the road. So there I was, riding on the rim, KNOWING that the tire was flat, if not total obliterated, knowing that the longer I drove the higher the possibility of greater damage. Thinking about the van door & the cost of that looming over our head. Praying that this would not add to that too too much! I managed to pull into the pick up area, this time I DID park by the best light available thinking ahead to the job at hand. Oh, so not the way to say welcome home dear.

Now I am not a slouch when it comes to knowing how to change a tire, it has happened before and I managed fine, but remember that I am at this point 3 weeks post surgery, not supposed to exercises or lift anything too heavy. So I sit and wait for the ferry to come in, I did manage to pull out the jack, tire iron and un hook (not remove) the spare and "set things up" for Royd.

I walked to meet him at the terminal and said ...

"I am really glad you are home"

His response, "oh do you need gas in the van" Funny funny guy - or either that He knows me well. The later is certainly true - I hate putting fuel in the van, the smell of gas gags me!

"ah no the gas is fine.... but, well, you are going to have to change the flat tire I just got!"

"oh....." He is a great guy.. that is about all he said.

Remember it is truly a miserable night... thankfully there was a huge golf umbrella in the van along with an old baseball mitt - which was great for kneeling on, not only for padding, but it also kept the knees dry! So it was not as bad as it could have been. However upon inspection we realize that I not only blew the tire but managed to dent the rim. OUCH -it looks like we will need a new rim and tire! $$$$ What can you do! On with the job at hand, 45 minutes to change the tire, pack things up and off we go.

Travelling down the road, catching up on each others weekends, traffic is good, due to the fact that we avoided all ferry traffic. Then we hit the Iron workers memorial bridge.. Accident. Bridge is closed, both lanes. This could be serious! Great I wonder how long we will have to sit in this traffic, it is around 10:30pm at this point. I phone home and tell the girls not to worry, we are going to be late, there is an accident on the bridge we are o.k. see you when we get home.

Sid accident had just happened, it is about 12 - 15 cars ahead of us, emergency vehicles were just arriving on the scene, we have no choice but to sit and wait for the bridge to re-open. We could be sitting here for awhile. Good thing we have lots to catch up on.....

Just a few minutes into our wait we notice that cars are sailing past us to take the last exit and managing to get back on the bridge just past the accident... should we, should we not... we debate, we wonder, we then hear the ambulance coming. We stay put, the only path for the Ambulance is to our right. Ambulance comes sailing past and cuts in about 4 cars in front of us thinking that they will be able to get to the scene, however there is no where for the cars to go to let them past, they sit there for about 5 minutes...

In the mean time Royd decides that he is going to take the exit, and pulls out to do that. Unfortunately at that exact moment the ambulance decides that he is going to do the same thing. We are just past as he pulls out and hear the grinding of metal and metal as the front end of the ambulance meets with the rear quarter panel of our van... Great! We are on an off ramp, there is no where to pullover, no where to stop and we just connected with an emergency vehicle oh his way to an accident. We got to a spot where we could pull and the ambulance could pull by and go. They roll down the window and tell us to pull into the bus loop to wait for their return. So we do... and we wait, and wait, and wait. On the up side while we were waiting, we were able to give a jump start to a lady and her son who were waiting in an unlit parking lot in a car that was not functioning trying to figure out what to do. We were more than happy to pull out our jumper cables and lend a hand.

About an hour later an RCMP officer pulls into the loop looking for us. 45 minutes of statements, discussion with the RCMP officer the Ambulance supervisor. Both who were surprised that we stuck around and waited, they said mentioned that most would have gone off. We figured that the ambulance driver was sure to have taken our licence plate number so they could still find us. Likely charge us with leaving the scene of an accident etc. Right now we are praying that there is no ticket coming in the mail. Turns out that all emergency vehicles under siren are protected by the law in an accident - they are faultless. We were told that if this was any other vehicle it would have been there fault given the area we were hit. The ambulance supervisor was pushing for charges, the RCMP officer was saying that because we stuck around and were co-operative that he was not going to issue anything. However they have a year to do so.. so if the supervisor pushes he may have no choice. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

Irony... I am forever yelling at idiots that do not pull over when the emergency vehicles drive by under siren. It is one of my biggest pet peeves. Not to mention it is dangerous. My kids tease me that the drives in other cars can not hear me. I will always pull over, I have been honked at, and had the bird flipped more than once in my direction. And we get clipped! Somewhere there is humor in that right?

On the up side of the whole thing, the tire was not blown. The rim was toast, however it was less $$$ to replace the rim than it would have been to get a new tire. I guess there is a little humor there. And if for no other reason we were in the right place at the right time to jump start that ladies car - get her on her way safely home. She was so thankful for our help. Or maybe the delay of the flat tire was just the right amount of time for us to avoid being victim in the accident. Why things happen when they do sometimes is a mystery - I am glad that despite all the unfortunate events these few days, we are able to look at them and see that in this world we are not alone, we are part of a bigger picture, a puzzle of sorts that piece by piece are placed together to form that bigger picture.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Coveting prayer...

My day tomorrow is fairly well planned. Actually that would be my day today, as the day officially starts when the clock strikes midnight, and the clock struck about a half hour ago. Which means as of this moment I am not allowed to eat or drink ANYTHING! NOTHING, not a sip not a nibble nada! The nurse at my intake appointment was VERY adamant about this.

Why is it when you can NOT eat anything all you think about is how hungry or how thirsty you are. I know I know if I were to go to bed at a regular time then I would not be sitting here at 12:45 thinking about what I can not have. Oh well, I have done it before I can do it this time. Easy as pie. mmmm pie.. geesh!

So here is how my day TODAY should play out...

Leave home at 9:30 (ride not yet procured - but I have several options open!)

10:00 am arrive at hospital for surgery #2 of 3

10:05 I will be ushered into the secret chamber - where unless you are having surgery or are with a child who is having surgery you are not allowed to follow! I am special I get to go there AGAIN! And to think there are many who have never been!

10:10 - I will be presented with the most lovely of gowns to change into... actually 2! One to close at the back and the other with the opening at the front - all modesty preserved! Ha! The best part by far is the lovely foot ware they offer.... Lovely elf stockings that go to your knees - a fashion plate I will be for sure! Whoot Whoot!

10:20 - a nurse will come visit with me ask me my name over and over, as well as the procedure I am having done (which by the way is a Unilateral reduction and lift of the left breast - a follow up to the mastectomy in September and the precursor to the implant coming in March! - Basically this is so I will have a matched set, and will not sag at an alarmingly uneven pace!) Once they have confirmed that I know who I am and what is being done. Said nurse will begin to poke and prod, insert an IV line, take my temperature, and blood pressure.

By 11:30 I will be escorted down the hall to the operating room - where I will spent approx the next 90 minutes in a drug induced sleep - The doctors and nurses will do their thing and in the end it will all be hunky dory! After my stay in the OR I will then be wheeled to a lovely suite where I will be allowed to nap for a little bit. Then the nurses will come and force me to wake up, take all sorts of vital information....including ask me my name AGAIN, and then I will be allowed to rest peacefully however just when I drift off to sleep they will come again, and wake me up to offer me some ginger ale and crackers when all a truly wish to do is sleep. Nope soda and crackers gotta get me up and moving... I have been told that I should be released to go home in time for dinner! Good thing there is pizza in the freezer and the girls are very good at fending for themselves because I am pretty sure that the only thing I will want to do is rest without interruption.
Whew it will be a busy day - of which most of it I will not be able to recall as I will have been knocked out!

For those of you who are inclined to pray I am coveting your prayers if you happen to think of me today. Please pray for the nurses and doctors as they do their job. Pray that I will be a patient that is grateful for their care. Please pray that the procedure will go smoothly and that there will be no complications. Thank you in advance for your prayers and well wishes. I had better get to bed! God bless!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

O.K. It is time to get serrious.. but this first..

As a teen I wore a pin that read "Why Be Normal" many of my friends from that era remember it and have commented even years later. The pin I should wear now would read "Define Normal". I think that normal only exists in the dictionary, and if we were each to define it outside of that context the definition would be totally different each time. Normal for one is not normal for another.

That being said... I am pretty sure that this is not NORMAL anywhere but it is right now in my house! We are currently pet sitting! We have in our possession my sister's cat Manuelle - great cat, easy to have in the house, affectionate, cute, quiet, does not scratch the furniture or pee where he is not supposed to, great cat (and an easy house guest!) HOWEVER this cat washes his paws after he uses the litter box..... no joke. Monday night I dropped my sister and nephew at the airport, way too early in the morning, and since then I have noticed wet areas in the bathroom around the toilet. Now we do not have young boys in the house, the girls 9 times out of 10 will use the other bathroom, my husband is well trained and this has never happened before.

It was a mystery - very strange. Then today I figured it out.... though I have yet to catch Manuelle in the act, he uses the litter box, then hops up on the rim of the toilet and dips his paws in. Too weird! How did I figure this out... today there were traces of kitty litter in the toilet, and yesterday I noticed that Manny's paws were wet, being confined to the house I thought it was from his water bowl (but his muzzle was not wet!) At first I thought that he was drinking from the toilet, a common thing for cats to do. Nope not this cat, he is washing his paws. Who would have thunk it! Go figure - this is NORMAL in my house right now, at least for a few more days.

I think 2009 is going to be another crazy year! Time to hold on and put your head back the ride is just beginning!

Also not so normal for this time of year is the SNOW!!!! It just keeps coming. I have Dorie from "Finding Nemo" in my brain singing .... Just keeps snowing, just keeps snowing.... WOW! They say we have not had snow like this in our area since 1964! The year I was born - hmm maybe that is why it fascinates me, I love it! Even still after how many days now -It is beautiful, it is fun, it is quiet, and for us today it helps to make it feel more like Christmas. We are celebrating today with Royd's side of the family... Christmas round one was postponed due to Snow. Hmm looking out side right now I am thinking that maybe it will be postponed again until Easter. I am ready for who ever shows up when they get here. Snow or no snow, but I say bring on the snow!