Sunday, 18 November 2012

"Please excuse Heather from blogging as she is sick"

I officially suck at the daily blogging. It has been nearly a week since my last entry. I am just too braindead to function lately. Headcold moved into my lungs, and took what little brain capacity I had with it.

Will get back to normal blogging once I feel a bit better. Hope all of you out in cyberworld are healthy and happy today.

Monday, 12 November 2012

NoBloPoMo #10: Blanket Fort Day

Sunday was a very quiet day in our house. We all are still struggling with a nasty head cold, and have a few other pressures weighing on us. The kind that make you just want to stay in your jammies all day, and ignore the world.

What better thing to do on such a day than make a blanket fort to keep the kids amused.

NoBloPoMo #9 My Face

A couple days ago, I mentioned that I had a "beauty secret" that I do not talk about very often, and is the reason I look about 15 years younger than I do, have incredible skin, and never had acne as a teen. I always feel awkward when people ask me for my "secret" like it is something that I am putting on my skin or such, that they can copy. Unfortunately, it is not.

When I was 22 months old, I was run over by a car. Among the injuries was a broken hip, broken shoulder, and skull trauma (which I will discuss in post #10).  My face was also severely injured, to the point that most of the skin was torn off (I was run over face down in a gravel driveway). I ended up having extensive plastic surgery to my face to repair it. The first surgery had 5 plastic surgeons operating for 24 hours, and I had several follow up surgeries after that. They did  skin grafting on me, using my back and thighs to replace the skin on my face. The grids from the skin grafting on my thighs and back were visible until I was about 10. (I think modern skin grafting does not leave as severe scaring, but this was back in 1968, when some techniques for plastic surgery were still pretty new).

I have occasionally wondered what I might have looked like had I not had an "extreme makeover" at such a young age. My baby pictures from before and after the accident are quite different (ie the shape of my nose and chin is changed, and my hair grew back a reddish brunette, where I had been strawberry blonde before the accident).

Knowing that my face is not what I was born with gave me a huge complex growing up. For years, especially as a teen, I could not accept compliments on my looks. I felt like it was a lie to tell me I was pretty, because I did not feel like it was really me they were looking at, but rather the shell that had been artificially created for me. I know this sounds odd, but it was something I struggled with for many years, and I think is part of what lead to my issues with weight as well.

Besides the skin aspect, the car accident did end up being one of those life-changing events for our family. It was my father's boss who had run over me, and out of guilt and responsibility, he promoted my father well beyond his qualifications, moved us from the shack we were living in, to the house he had just moved out of (he had just build his family a new home), and covered all the medical bills. It was a step up to a better standard of living that my family was able to then maintain well after the accident. Sometimes benefits can come from even tragic incidents.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

NoBloPoMo #8 --- Aaaaachooo

I hate headcolds. Not sure where I picked this one up but it is a doozy. So I am going to keep today's blog to just a few cute pics of my twin grandsons. Today I am just not up to thinking beyond "where is the kleenex?"


We had a stray kitty show up on our deck. The boys were fascinated by it. Yeah for cheap entertainment, lol.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

NoBloPoMo #7: You make me Blush

Wednesday, November 7, 2012BlogHer Prompt: Talk about the last compliment you received.

When I was in Vancouver last week for medical treatments, we stayed at a fairly upscale hotel downtown: I managed to score a deal using one of those travel sites. I had forgotten something in my room, and my son went up to get it, while I waited in the lobby. The concierge came over to chat, and asked what was on the agenda for the day. I told him we were down for medical appointments. He asked "are you was down for The Cancer" (said in an exaggerated stage whisper). He looked up at this point to the chemo cap I wear over my bald head. I replied in a matching tone of stage whisper, that no, I am down for "the brain injury", and said I had appointments at GF Strong that morning, then St Paul's Hospital in the afternoon, and that the day before I had been at Vancouver General Hospital and GF Strong as well. He asked how I had gotten hurt, so I told him: it was just a simple slip in the bathtub while getting ready for work one day. I really did not expect it to change my life so drastically.

I tried to make light of it, and say at least it lets me spend time with my grandchildren, as my single daughter moved in to help care for me when she was pregnant, in a mutual help situation. (She needed financial help, and an extra set of hands with caring for twins as a single mom, and I needed help with a lot of things, given that my husband is also disabled from long-term depression). He could not believe I had first of all an adult daughter, and then had grandchildren on top of it. I thought he was just being polite, at first, but he kept on saying it. So I asked how old he thought I was. 32. He said he thought I was 32. I laughed out loud at that, then told him he made my day. Then told him my real age. I am 46. He was in total disbelief. I almost expected him to ask for ID. Thankfully he did not ask my "beauty secret" for looking so young. It is not one I  talk about often, and did not have the time to talk about that morning.

And that will be in a post I tell about on another day, as my brain capacity is pretty much spent after writing this much, and concentrating so much on election coverage last night. I feel like I have a bad hangover, even though I did not have a drop to drink last night.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

NoBloPoMo #6: Treasures from Mom

My mother passed away in March, after a severe bout of pneumonia. While I was in Vancouver this past week, I picked up a couple boxes from my stepfather of things that she wished me to have. Some of it smells so horribly of cigarette smoke, that it is impossible to keep in a house with a husband who has asthma (she and stepfather were heavy smokers). I hate having to get rid of stuff that is hers, but we are very sensitive to the smell of smoke, and unfortunately her stuff is infused with it. I wish there were easy ways to get smoke smell out of things -- especially things that cannot be washed, like photos, papers, books, etc.

Among the items were my childhood report cards and various certificates of achievement, and several photo albums. Most were albums I had taken myself as a preteen or teenager, so rightfully mine. One had baby pics I had never seen, so that was wonderful. One has wonderful pics of my mother's early childhood. Only issue is not one of the photos has anything identified in it, or written around it in the album. So I have no idea who some of the other people are (I can guess that some of them are my aunts/uncles, but they could also be her cousins; the adults I assume are her parents, but the family resemblance is so close with everyone, they could be aunts/uncles/other relatives). I do have aunts I can show it to, but they are the type who may try to take the album, saying it should be theirs, so I hesitate to even let them know I have it.

There was also all of her jewellery, including her wedding ring. It is nothing fancy. They were on welfare most of their marriage, or working minimally paying jobs, so could not afford gemstones, and she is allergic to a lot of metals. It is just a plain hammered silver band. But it is nice to have a memento of her I can wear daily. There are lots of pretty earrings and pendants, but with twin toddlers in the house, I find those are not the best items to wear at the current time, as the boys just pull at them constantly. It is nice to have a bit of jewellery again. Mine was either stolen or I have forgot that super safe place I put it. But I have not seen most of my stuff for probably a year.

I realised looking at the photos that 1) my daughter Ashli looks incredibly like my mother did when Mom was in her early 30s (Ashli is 24 now). 2) Ashli's twins look just like my brother.

Monday, 5 November 2012

NoBloPoMo #5: Revolving Politics

Monday, November 5, 2012
What are your thoughts about tomorrow's election in the United States?

Are we done yet?

That is my first thought. I cannot wait for this election to be done with. And I am not even an American. It has a bit comical, and a bit scary to watch it from the sidelines. I do not recall being this terrified of any election result before, in any other country.

First off, I should say what my personal philosophy towards politics in general is. I believe that most parties should get time in office, on a rotational basis, as they each focus on a different side of the economy and social structure that is needed. We need big business just as much as we need education, health care, military strength, natural resource development, and environmental protection. No one party has ever, or probably will ever meet all of the needs of every part of the nation. So at times, it is better for one party to be in power, and do what they do best, and at other times it is better for another party to be in power and do their special thing. It is up to the people to decide which person up for election is the one who is best suited to bring about what is needed for the nation at that time.

All political parties change over time. In the US, the Democrats and Republicans are not what they were two or three generations ago, and likely will evolve again as time goes by. The same goes with Canadian parties. The Liberals and the NDP have gone through very big changes. Some parties have totally disappeared, while others have merged, renamed, or reformulated themselves.

What has really puzzled me this whole race is this: Is Romney really the best that the Republican party has to offer. Really? Really? Could you not find someone better than him? It is almost like the party decided to give the election to Obama by finding the most unsuitable person for the job. Just like with Sarah Palin. He constantly belittles women and those who are middle or lower class. Which will be the majority of the people he is trying to win votes from. I have no respect for the man. Absolutely none.

 I am wholeheartedly an Obama supporter, but even if I were not, there is no way I could support this fellow (assuming I actually somehow ended up having a vote). As it is, if Romney gains power, I really fear for the future of the US in many ways, and particularly the way that impact will ripple out to the rest of the world. Romney has a very unstable grasp of a lot of political issues in the middle east.  He seems to speak before thinking, which will get the US in a lot of trouble with the more volatile Middle Eastern Countries, and possibly even others, like North Korea, and Russia. He seems hellbent on causing trouble with China. The economic issue he mention in the debate I think is just the tip of the iceberg. I could see further aggressive action in his plan later on. I just do not trust him. And this is not even mentioning his stance on women which is taking the women's movement back at least 50 years.

Republicans. If you want someone in office in 2016 take note. Get someone who actually has some competence to do the job. You dropped the ball with Sarah Palin. Then you brought on this guy. Get with the program! Do some major investigating of what is important to your voters. Then maybe you can get the votes to follow. And don't put someone even stupider up next time. The world just cannot handle a crazier election than this one.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

NoBloPoMo #4: Best laid plans

I had a wonderful post all composed in my head. But getting it from head to computer is just not going to happen today.

Today is a very low day mentally and physically. The kind of days I dread.

It is an effort to do anything other than just be in bed. Looking back though, I do have far less of these horrid days than I used to.

They still suck though.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

I Gave You A Gift Chpt 1: Observations by the Child of Migrant Worker

I Gave you a Gift
Chapter 1:
The Gift for the Child of a Migrant Worker

When I was a child, my father worked as a migrant or itinerant worker. Not always on farms, although he did work on many. He also worked in factories, poultry packing plants, garages, doing landscaping, decorating store window fronts, and many other odd jobs. He worked wherever he could find work, and often when the job ended, if the next job was not local, we moved. It was not until I was in grade 11, that I actually spent the school year in the same school. Some years we moved as often as every six weeks, and I attended as many as 8 schools in the academic year.

This taught me two valuable lessons.

The first is that work is work. We all need to work, and every kind of job we do is just as meaningful as the next guy's job. Take pride in what you do. Do your job with all your effort. Slacking off on the job is not acceptable. Just because you are doing a lower class job in some people's estimation does not mean you have to put in less effort than if you are doing the most important job on the planet, for every job is important.

The second thing I learned from all this moving around, is that change is inevitable, and okay. Change can even be a good thing. You just have to sometimes look around for awhile until you find the good part. But it is there, somewhere. I have always had an easy time adapting to change throughout my life, and I think this is because of the way I was forced as a child to accept the constantly changing environments I found myself in.  

Friday, 2 November 2012

NaBloPoMo #2 Take me Away

Today's question: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

My dream home location is the Douglas Park area of Vancouver BC. It would allow us to be in the Jewish community we want, within walking distance of the synagogues and yeshivas for the twins to attend when they are older (if they choose to).

It would also, and more importantly, allow me to access more consistent medical care, including programs where I would attend once or twice a week -- which right now is just not viable. This became really clear to me tonight as we were driving into town after being in Vancouver for three days, and I was thinking we were getting close to home. Then realized I could not remember where home was. It was truly terrifying.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

NoBloPoMo #1 What is My Favourite Quote

Nov 1st

Tell us your favourite quotation and why.

That should not be a problem. Only it is. I am sitting here, and I cannot for the life of me remember any of my favourite quotes. This is the problem with having a memory that resembles that of a gold fish.

I will just have to find a quote I like today, and ponder on it. But it will not be my favourite. Or maybe it is, and I just don't remember that it is.

Okay ... here goes. A good one for dealing with my journey.

The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.

Okay yes I know my tree is not a fruit bearing one, but it is a nice tree. I snapped this pic 2 days ago on our drive down. I was taken at the summit of Jackass Mountain in the Fraser Canyon. Shows even Jackasses have their nice spots.
Now where was I  ... oh yeah. Ummm. oh yeah. My quote. I am not going to get better quick. That much has been established by the Drs. I may never get back to "normal". Can't say I ever was truley noraml, but at least back to former functioning, and able to return to work. Slow progress is good though. Each day that I can do a bit more than the day before, is okay. Each day that I can get out of bed is okay. Rick Hansen did not learn to walk again in a week. Sidney Crosby did not return to hockey after post consussion sydrome (which I have), for a long time, but he did. Yes I have had it for almost twice as long now, but the fact that I have been through a lot in my life may play a part in the healing. Or maybe this is just what I have to deal with from now on. But I am still growing day by day. Like a tree. And like a tree, I just have to bend and sway as the wind blows -- I will not break in the storm, even just like the tree in my picture ... like I am alone on the cliff bank. Lots of trees around me, but they are all very different kinds. No one is there like me. I am here by myself, out on my cliff. Enjoying the scenery.
Now as I head off to the speech specialist, and 2 other Drs, here is bit of humour.

I can Blog If I Want To

I have always been in awe of people who blog. Thinking they have some kind of special mystic talent. I am hoping that this month I can grab just a wee bit of this awesomeness for myself. I do not think anything of mine will be awardwinning, or even worth reading by most. A lot of it is just a way to process mentally my current struggles with adapting to the changes I am going through, as well as talke about a lot of the big things I have survived in the past, and how they have shaped me.

I don't expect it will be a lot of content. For starters, my brain capacity is limited for both reading and output. Somedays I can do a lot, otherdays I am limited to making funny faces and noises with my twin grandsons.