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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Finally!! It's Christmas!!

I had a truly awful Christmas Day--not because Dave and I were apart--that I could handle. No it was because my father was his usual Christmas neurotic, nasty, vile self.  I had flashbacks of all the Christmases of my life while I lived at home and and how he did his best to ruin everything for Mother and I. And when he told me I was lying about being sick with the stomach flu, that was it, I left. In case anyone thinks I'm not being understanding of someone who is old, etc. let me tell you, my father has been like this all the years I can remember.  I want to love him, I try to love him, but he is selfish and mean spirited, among other things. He disrespected my mother while she was alive and he disrespects her in death and that really hurts me. On Christmas he complained about everything I brought and was totally unappreciative of the gifts, the food, and my presence.  I really wished I had stayed home. How many times have I come home feeling awful because of the way he has treated me and talked to me.  This time I was still feeling awful the next day. But out of this I have decided that I have had enough and I going to make some changes in my life. More on this in a  forthcoming blog post.

Duffy warming up for present opening!
The happy news is that Dave finally arrived here today, after fixing the his friend's wife's vehicle, so that the friend could loan his pickup to Dave.  And the weather gods cooperated and no one was sick, and it was Christmas!! We opened gifts and had our Christmas dinner of turkey, stuffing, holupche (cabbage rolls) made with sour cabbage and basmati rice, homemade beet pickles, homemade cranberry sauce, and garden grown squash. We also had a dry red wine made by my neighbor Gus Pucci.  No fancy labels like Diana showed us on her blog, but the price is sure right (free) and all his wine is good stuff.  Dessert was this:

We didn't eat the whole plateful!!

Duffy getting started on his stocking.

His new toy--Santa pup. Get a load of those teeth!!

Opening a Paws Absorbant Drying Towel for pets.  We'll see if it works like they say it will!!

The date doesn't really matter so much when it comes to these holidays, it's being together with your nearest and dearest that matters most of all. My Dave and my Duffy! ♥

Friday, December 23, 2011


Norovirus--now there's a word you don't want to hear at this time of year, or anytime of year!  But it's been doing the rounds at the Edmonton General.  Not all units have it but those that do have gone through quarantines.  The virus also keeps coming back too.  My dad had it 2 weeks ago, and I couldn't visit for 4 days.  Then he seemed to be all better.  But he had another bout of it this week on Sunday.  I was there on Sunday and Monday.  Guess what I have???!!  Despite endless hand washings everywhere, I succumbed.  I was sicker than a dog yesterday and although I don't have the active symptoms today--you know the ones, that make you want to drag your bed into the bathroom, just so you won't have so far to go!! But I still have the headache, stomach still hurts, feel like crap--no pun intended--lethargy, no appetite. 

I was so well organized this year too!! I had done lots of baking, have all the gifts wrapped, including gifts for 5 residents that fulfilled their Second Wind Dreams wish, and was going to attend the candle light Christmas Eve service at McDougall United Church. I was going to cook the turkey tomorrow, so that we could spend part of Sunday with my dad and not worry about the turkey needing basting.  Today I was going to make the holupche and maybe even some perogies.  Guess that's not going to happen eh?  I still had a few small prezzies to get--maybe tomorrow morning, I can manage that. You should be quarantined for 48 hours after your last active symptoms.

Norovirus is an extremely virulent one--symptoms appear 24-48 hours after exposure.  It is over between 24-60 hours after that.  But people shed it for weeks long after they have recovered.  That's why it's so bad in enclosed facilties, like nursing homes, cruise ships, etc. And it spreads most often through contaminated food.  It can take only one person who has it and handles food, to create an epidemic. 

We might be celebrating Christmas later next week--I sure don't want Dave to get sick, so he's staying in Olds.  We sure have some kind of luck don't we???

In the meantime, here are some pictures of Duffy for Christmas--we wanted to take him for a picture with Santa, but Petsmart only does that on Sunday's and Dave wasn't here on a Sunday.  So we brushed and trimmed him and took our own!

I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and may you all have the love and joy of family and friends to help you celebrate this special season.  God bless.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Yes, another birthday has come and is almost gone!! On the bonus side it wasn't -30, nor was there a blizzard blowing.  Jacqueline will remember the year we couldn't go out for my birthday because of the blizzard!! Then 2 years ago, Edmonton had the coldest temperature in the world on December 12!!!!  Ah the joys of a December birthday!  Because it's only 2 weeks before Christmas, when I was young, celebrations were low key, to put it mildly--one small prezzie, and my mom would bake a cake.  I never had a party either :(  But I survived!! Then in 1969, I had to write the first part of the English departmental on my birthday.  And from then on, university meant exams on my birthday--first taking them, then giving them.  Not so much fun!

This year, the day started out with me getting up at 5 and sitting at the computer for an hour, then laying down again and dozing off and on with Edward G. Robinson movies in the background--his birthday today too.  Much better than Frank Sinatra movies--also his birthday.  Then Duffy lay down beside me for a little while--I love that--I can reach down and pat and scratch him.  Then just before 8 he decided it was time to get up, so we did and then he decided the best way to celebrate MY birthday was for us to play HIS favorite game--hide the toy.  Hammy (aka Hamish the Hedgehog) was the toy of choice.  So we did that for awhile.  Then I talked to Dave who is stuck in Olds--they had a bunch of snow and the highways around Olds are dreadful, as usual.  And, he was called at 2:30 in the morning to go out and clean snow from parking lots and gas stations with a bobcat--he's been helping a friend out. So no husband to spend my birthday with. Phooey!! Thank heavens I have Duffy!!

I had 2 meetings to attend at the EG this afternoon. Diane showed up with a silly hat and a button and said I had to wear them!!  She's very bossy!!  It was hard to take minutes with the hat on--it kept falling off.  So I gave that up, despite her orders to put it on!! I later ditched it in my dad's room and we are going to donate it to Rec. Therapy so they can use it for their celebrations. Diane had brought a cake too, but the taxi cab took off with the cake in the trunk!! Somewhere in Edmonton tonight, there's a very happy taxi cab driver's family eating MY birthday cake!! Phooey!!

I wasn't going to attend the 2nd meeting, but decided that I should because there were some issues re staff behavior that I wanted to bring to Admin's attention.  There were 2 presentations, one was late, there were lots of questions from new members, and the meeting ran long, too long.  And guess what I got for my birthday???? A parking ticket!!Phooey!!

But on the non-phooey side, I had lots of birthday wishes from FB friends around the world, which is one of the cool things about FB, my friend Lin in Lethbridge called me, and Dave's Aunt Brenda called me too.  And the best, most wonderful surprise occurred.  There was a phone message when I got home about a floral delivery.  I called the place and Anna of Anna's Flowers delivered the flowers.  I wondered who they could be from--maybe Dave, to make up for not being here? Nope!!  From Jacqueline in Perth, Australia!! Not that the flowers came all the way from there!! Hahaha!! The message on the card is so great: "Just thought you should have something memorable for your 'and holding' year. Wish I could be there for a big Greek dinner."  I like the idea of a 'holding year'!! And I wish you were here too Jacqueline.  We always went out for Greek food!!  The flowers are absolutely lovely--yellow roses, deep purple irises, exotic lilies, and mums.  I am thrilled and very touched that she did this. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! ♥♥♥♥

All in all, aside from a couple of phooey events, a pretty good birthday!! And I am definitely 'holding"!!! Well, at least until next year, anyway!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Primum non nocere--First, do no harm.


Is chemotherapy effective/successful?

I found it particularly interesting that in a study done at McGill University, 54 out of 64 oncologists responding to a confidential questionnaire said that in the event of a diagnosis of cancer for themselves or a family member, chemotherapy would not be an acceptable treatment. Hmmmm.  Yet they have no compunction in recommending it for everyone else.

It is also interesting to note that one has a better chance of cancer survival by doing absolutely nothing to treat the cancer.  Not even a change of diet or taking supplements.

Paramount to treating any disease or health problem, is the understanding that you must change your diet. Remove all processed foods from your diet, all GMO foods too. No sliced meats, as they are full of sulphites/sulphates--notice they are putting sulphites in bread and baking at most grocery stores now--processed cheese slices, etc. Read labels--if it doesn't sound like food it probably isn't and don't buy it!!Get rid of chemical cleaners.  Get rid of lotions, bath and shower products, make-up, etc. that have any form of parabens in them and sodium laureth sulphate. Try to get away from using plastics to store and wrap food.  Go back to glass containers. Use only whole foods, real foods, organic if at all possible. Go back to basics, like the way our grandparents lived, the way our parents were raised to eat.

And remember when evaluating any potential treatments, the dictum, Primum non nocere!  "First, do no harm." This is what the medical profession, whether for human or animals, are supposed to follow. Do they? 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

Baking has begun!! I made lemon squares and these cherry pecan shortbread cookies for the unit Christmas party.

Friday evening before the party, I finally got to take my dad out to see the lights. Last Friday they had put him to bed at 6.  On Sunday it was pouring rain and only 1/4 of the lights were on anyway!!

Let the party begin!!

The decorations are up...but something's missing!!

Ahhh, there's Duffy--the best part of my Christmas and every other day of the year!!♥♥