Walking away is not an option... dialogue must prevail.

"A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with."
- Kenneth A. Wells

"I do not want the peace that passeth understanding. I want the understanding which bringeth peace."
- Helen Keller

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


The countdown has begun, a new year is upon us and I'm looking forward to what this new one will bring.

I realize I haven't been around much, haven't posted in a week. Sorry.

I've been contemplating what might lie round the bend for me.

I can report that I have been sleeping better and this has led to improvements on the health front. I have a feeling I had run out of power and needed to focus on nothing but recharging my batteries and spending time with the people I love.

Chicklet (the Wii lass) and I have had some much needed downtime together. I spent some time with Dad, just chillin'. I also had a few days alone to snuggle with the dogs.

I'm thrilled that for the upcoming days, I will be with my soulmate, just being.

In the New Year? I resolve to remember myself a bit more. I've sucked at that this year and I won't settle for being an after thought. I think the myth of the Superwoman has led so many of us astray, to think we can do everything and that nothing will suffer... and from experience? I can say that in the end, nothing good comes from it.

I watched my mother do it... I caught myself doing it. In time, I hope.

"I'll be able to live for myself once I get this taken care of... when I retire... when everything is done..."

But the truth is, we never know how much time we have. In the end, I want the people I love to be able to say that I was there, that I had passion, that I lived.

I'm going (ok continuing) on hiatus, in might just last a week... I don't know.

But I'll be watching, I'll keep tabs... I'll remember you.

May your eyes be filled with stars
May your heart know the Joy of Love
and may you dance in the moonlight...


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

May your hearts be merry...

Peace to you and yours, my dears...

"Nollaig Shona Daoibh"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

for Mom

Today is my Mother's birthday...

This was the last post I managed to put up before she passed almost two years ago.

I thought I'd share it again.

It's quite strange really...

My mother lies dying and she fights for every second. People walk by her room, stop to ask how she is... come to stand by her... hold her hand... and I find myself comforting them. My aunt, my mother's friend, my great aunt who sees two of her sisters in their dying moments when she looks upon her niece lying on that bed, weighing less than 50 pounds. It's my place in the world, it's who I am. They wonder what is holding her back. 'That's between her and God' I say. 'She'll tell him when it's time to go.'

Mom worked for the Franciscan monks for thirty years, keeping their books ( I have NOT inherited her passion for book keeping, I mean, I can do it, but YUCK!), running one of the monasteries, managing the staff... my mother is and always has been a driver. And she won't change now.

We're fortunate. My mother has been taken in by people who nurture and love her, and care for her as if she were their own mother. The Franciscans have an infirmary and she has been in their care for months since her chemotherapy. Secular people are never admitted there as patients, but she is one of them and receives the best there is. I see the sadness in their eyes as she slips away, and I hug them or pat them on the back, thanking them for their compassion, comforting them in their own grief. They love my mother, and I love them.

The janitor comes in every once in a while and checks on her. He likes my mother; she always has a smile or a kind word for Robert. He has cognitive challenges, but is a good soul and works hard and my mother admires that... so do I. He's come in and checked on her twice this morning, so far...

People here worry about me, but I feel my mother's strength as it leaves her and flows to me, slowly. Her heart is still strong. Like Robert said to me this morning: 'she has a good heart'. Yes she does, in more ways then one.

She gave me life some 37 years ago, and continues to nourish me even though the umbilical chord has been cut for a long time, even though I married (ok, so that didn't work out so well), moved out and now support myself and my daughter. I've been stronger now than I ever have been. Don't get me wrong, I'm tired. I don't get much sleep. I'm not Superwoman. But my mother gives me strength.

I catch people looking at me, the nurse's aids in particular... they really fret over me. And I appreciate their kindness and concern. Some of them have been through this with their own mothers, fathers, one has lost her husband to cancer. They have shared this with me and it is difficult for them... to relive it all.

I've gotten to know the staff very well. I eat pretty much all my meals with them, I assist them in caring for my mother, and I touch or hug them a lot.

One of them, Jackie (ironically my mother's name is Jacqueline) who also has just one child, a girl, walks by the room around meal times on her shift and 'reminds' me to go down and get something to eat. She mothers me like I'm her own daughter and I've seen a tear or two in her eyes when she comes in and kisses mom softly. I hug and kiss her all the time.

Robert sighting number 3....

And then there's Barbara, she has the sweetest smile. She loves it when Mom winks at her. When she moves Mom on the bed, Barbara snuggles up to Mom while holding her. She sat with Mom trying to get her to eat strawberry ice cream... every bite was a victory. She has the day off tomorrow and came in to kiss Mom and tell her she'd be back on Wednesday. I know she's afraid she won't get to see Mom open her eyes again. She left the room on the verge of tears, trying to hide it from me, but I watch closely. And I gave her the space she needed.

Denise brought Mom her new faithful friend last week, Pepe the colourful stuffed parrot and he's always on Mom's bed. poor thing had the call button clipped to his wing. I've taken over call button duties, I felt sorry for Pepe. She has always let Mom move at her own pace (Denise has a strong self -preservation instinct), even when it would take Mom 45 minutes to decide to take her medication. and then another 15 minutes to actually take it.

I sit in Mom's room, with my laptop on my lap (which can't find a wireless connection) on a big chair at the foot of her bed, writing this. This is where I've been sleeping the past few nights. In a room with white walls, a nice sized window, black and white checker floors ( I haven't counted the tiles.... yet...), knick knacks on the counter and pictures and cards on the dresser. I hear classical music in the hall in the morning and mid-afternoon, people walking by, the man in the room across the hall listening to the news (loudly), bits of conversations, life...

Robert sighting number 4...

Alain, one of the nurses here had a room made up for me so I could have a proper bed to sleep in... I never do sleep there, I just go into that room.. the special room... to call a family member or a friend to give them news so I won't disturb Mom. My mother really is sweet on him. She holds his hand tightly and winks at him when he comes to see her. He has come in from home in the middle of the night to give Mom her morphine injections because only a nurse is allowed to administer it in that form. I offered him the 'special room' he had readied for me, he smiled.

It seems my mother has a few sweethearts here. She calls François, a nurse's aid who I've often caught staring at me with concern in his eyes, 'mon chéri'. I've watched the tenderness he shows my mother, the way he handles her like fine china and makes certain things are done right, leaving instructions for the night shift and checking with me to make sure everything is ok. I've watched him tuck her in and kiss her cheek. he has great respect for the dying, and remembers that they have the right to dignity no matter how frail they are. He's a good man.

There's Nicholas, I think he's her favorite. He has kind eyes, is quite shy and felt awful when mom was in pain as he had to remove a bandage. It's sticky and removing it causes her pain. I actually offered to do it for him, but he said no. And did it with such gentleness, taking as much time as he needed even though he has so many other things to do and so many patients to care for.

So many people here comment on how strong-willed my mother is. But those who have gotten to know her understand. They tell me 'm like her, which would have infuriated me to no end a short time ago, you can't put two women like us in a room and expect calm waters. But I now see the good about it. And Mom slowly lets me become her voice... very slowly.

Mom's friend, father George Albert comes to see her every evening, like clockwork at 8:30. It's a ritual they started when she was first admitted here. Now, if she's sleeping, which she has been doing a lot of these days, he just says hello, blesses her and wishes me a good night.

Father Ferdinand, my new main squeeze, had his 88th birthday the week before Christmas. He stops off to say hello every evening on his way to his bath. And at lunch time I go up to him in the main dining room and kiss his cheek. Yup, I'm sweet on him.

I am fortunate to be surrounded by such wonderful people as the end of my mother's life draws near, people that have known my mother for years, decades even, and people that in a few short months have come to mean so much to her and to me.

Have I mentioned I've been blessed more times in the past few weeks than in my whole lifetime?

I miss my girl. I trust that someday she will understand why I have spent so much time far from her. She has my mother's spirit; I'm going to have my hands full.

A dear friend told me: 'you don't have to write it or post it. If it makes things harder then don't. But sometimes it helps to just write it down.' (-not an exact quote but it stuck in my head). Thanks bro. Your words mean the world to me. You are family.
To my dear friends who have been thinking of me these past few days... I love you.
Thank you.

The journey I've been on has been the most difficult I've ever faced, and it will only get harder. I draw my strength from mom, my girl, my family and my friends.

I love you all more than my luggage!
Hugs, smooches and gropes!

Bonne Fête Maman... tu me manques.

Friday, December 19, 2008


My thanks to everyone for their wishes of "hope they figure it out soon so you can get better". I really do appreciate it and normally I would respond to everyone individually but I'm not in that frame of thought at the moment. Some of you sent hugs, some made me laugh, some gave advice and I really am grateful for the support. The blogosphere rocks.

I'm waiting for the results from my labs. Doc said he would call today if something obvious and out of range came through. At some point today. So... I'm going to wait. Like waiting for the cable guy who'll be there between 7AM and 7PM but they don't tell you in what timezone.

Today's the last day of school for Chicklet before Christmas break - yup, it's not holiday break... It's Christmas break (just like when I was a kid). With a Christmas diner at lunch time (that I shall attend to get my mind off my worries and enjoy the kids), and presents, and kids receiving candy canes, and wearing Santa hats, and yummy smells of turkey and smashed potatoes mingled in that lovely wet snowsuit and wet snowboot smell... and chalk.

Oh... and we received three Christmas cards this week!

The ever luscious and sweet Lu sent a bunny themed card and it was first!

Then came Jay - cool dude extraordinaire with lovely wishes and snow in Arkansas?

And Bondbaby, who sent a picture of cutie-patootie Matt (humina humina!) *giggle*. Chicklet opened that one and said "that's my SP cousin".

I shared a video of these guys a few posts back and, well... there's nothing like a few of my favourite things (hi Jeff!) - Marines, Christmas songs, and a horn section to help me forget my worries...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

maybe I should explain...

I've been feeling "meh" lately. I went for blood tests this morning. I've been dragging my cute tushie everywhere over the past month or so. I'm starting to think the diagnosis of influenza may have been wrong.

I'm generally a "hyper" kind of person... mind always racing, but not so much lately.

I'm still off work and I frankly don't expect I'll see my office until next year unless the blood tests identify something that a quick course of meds can fix.

I should be worried about the year-end stuff that has to be finalized, but I'm not and that's not like me. I answer emergency calls from work when I'm in cell phone range while I'm on vacation... my work cell has been turned off.

I can't concentrate as my thoughts are strewn every which way, like the wrapping paper on Christmas morn.

I'm tired.

I love my daughter, I have the most wonderful man in my life, but I'm tired.

I enjoy reading (although sometimes I end up reading the same page over again...) - plus I can do this lying down...

I enjoy cooking the foods my mother cooked when I was a child before the holidays (which included a really good "tourtière" or meat pie this weekend)- it's the cleaning up that wipes me out and then I need to lie down.

I enjoy snuggling with Sharkdog (except when she farts - ugh) - also done lying down!

I enjoy watching old movies I haven't seen in ages... like "Anastasia" with Yul Brynner and Ingrid Bergman - the chesterfield is dang comfy to lie down on...

I keep starting my sentences with "I"...

But I'm tired.

I have headaches, body pains... did I mention I'm tired?

I'm looking forward to the time I will get to spend with my daughter in the days leading up to Christmas and the precious few days I will have with the man that holds my heart over New Years. Their hugs make everything better.

So, Dianne, Slyde, Irish Gumbo, Lisa... no need to kick anyone's butt.

Except maybe the asshats that named their kids Adolf Hitler and Aryan Nation... cause they? Are asking for it.

Or maybe the nurse that took my blood and used a surgical tape that seems to go from my armpit to my wrist... man, that's going to sting when I rip it off.

Little moments...

Monday, December 15, 2008



Friday, December 12, 2008

it kills everything else...

...maybe the cold and snow will kill the germies?

After being cooped up for a while, Chicklet and I went out to clear some of the snowfall we've had over the last two days. And after helping me remove the snow, and ice and snow (yeah... layers!) that covered the car, she wanted to play a bit.

It's nice to see some rosy cheeks on her face.

What sucks though is: no hot chocolate as the ban on all things dairy is still on *sigh*

"Love is like swallowing hot chocolate before it has cooled off. It takes you by surprise at first, but keeps you warm for a long time."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Secret Santa Can Suck It *Gift* Swap - edited

First Annual

When Bee told asked her blog readers that if they wanted to participate in a Secret Santa Gift Swap, I grinned a Grinch-worthy smile. I'd get to shop without crowds, I wouldn't have to spend any of my money (you know, like an heiress) and I was fairly certain I'd get to know a blogger I had never read before. Plus, it would give me a blog topic without having to come up with something myself.

Let me at it!

I was assigned a blogger and went on a recon mission in full stealth mode, mind you my little red fur-lined Santa dress and thigh-high boots made it hard to go unnoticed. Somehow I managed.

What I found was a fellow smartass, and a hottie at that! Lady Sarcasm aka Chica-X's alter ego... I searched high and low, and figured a smartass can always use:

A Portable Secret Trap Door (patent pending).

It might come in handy, whether it's to disappear when the Walmart greeter scopes you out, or some strange person follows you home for a smoke.

I can't tell you where it leads, well, I could but then what would be the point? Oh, I included the very cool "Get-Rid-Of-Rude-And-Stupid-People-By-Throwing-Them-Through-The-Door-Backwards" feature. That one? Lands idjits in a whole heap of trouble.

Now I'm going to run over to Bee's and find out who got me... I'm in trouble, I can feel it.

Many thanks and salutations to Jamie The Hussy Housewife aka Tinker Sugar Socks for the bountiful Red Dawn Survival Hussy Bag. I shall think of her as I use it, until the booze and happy pills kick in and I forget my own name.

So what's a Christmas gift giveaway without some music?

And what better than a USMC band - I see Topchamp tapping her toes and what a cute grin on ya there Travis!

This is one of my all-time fav Christmas songs and it is all kinds of awesome! The 1st Marine Division Party Band Earthquake makes me smile.

"It Must Have Been Ole Santa Claus"

Remember, if you travel over the holidays and are fortunate enough to cross paths with a member of the military, shake their hand, smile, say thanks, give them a hug, buy them a hot cocoa... do something people. Cause.... Santa's watching you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The things you see...

...when you're in a doctor's waiting room for a while.

I always bring a book, because, you know, it's going to be a long wait.

Although my book was highly entertaining and actually making me chuckle out loud, I did manage to look up at the other poor souls who were also gathering cobwebs waiting.

Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw.

Sitting 5 chairs away from me, without the benefit of a buffer person, was a guy. He seemed ok. Until I made the mistake of looking at him a bit more carefully.

He was holding a jar, you know those medical sample jars... the ones with orange tops? So far, no biggie. It's just that, he had apparently already collected his sample. AND I COULD SEE IT! *gag*
A mere 6 feet away from me was a man sitting quietly holding a jar of urine and having a conversation with the woman sitting next to him while she popped some orange Tic Tacs.

Now folks, I've taken samples in (when you've been pregnant at least once, this is a given...) but at least I had the decency to put it in a bag. Crap (Oh GOD could you imagine if a stool sample had been required! GAK!), even winos have enough common sense to keep their bottles in bags.

I started to wonder if he gathered his sample at home and brought it in. And if so, did he put it in the cup holder in his car? Yeah, think of that next time you put your piping hot java goodness in the cup holder in someone else's car... or a rental.


Was his aim good? Or is he like some of the boys (say Jack) in Vodka Mom's kindergarten class...

My mind was reeling... And nothing good would come from all these questions.

I saw a strange man's pee and it wasn't even in the snow.

I regretted looking up.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Canada's favourite dancer...

Last night on SYTYCD Canada (we know we can, we KNOW!!!), Canada's Favourite dancer was crowned... and all I have to say is:


I give you a moment with Canada's top 2 dancers, Allie Bertram and Nicolas Archambault, choreographed by Stacey Tooke, to "Permanent" by David Cook (YAY! How happy can a SYTYCD & AI fan be!!!)

The storyline:
A man and a woman are truly in love... but he's going to war and ultimately, there's something she hasn't told him.

A man torn between love and duty. The most moving piece I've seen of all the performances from SYTYCD.

This happens every day, folks... every day... May we find Peace, if only to avoid this kind of painful goodbye from happening ever again.

If you want to see the video that includes judges comments, click HERE.

This is what dance is all about. It's not: "were the extensions good?" , "how were the lines", "did she point her toes properly"... it's about bringing a piece to life and making you feel the emotion behind it. It's life set to music.

Félicitations Nico! Not bad for a dancer who is deaf in one ear.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hopefully we will learn

to live in Peace...

Lest we forget.

"If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Saturday, December 6, 2008

things you want to hear in bed...

"I just want to be in your sphere of hotness!"

Yes folks! That was uttered by someone last night in my bed.

Problem is?

My Chicklet said it as she was attempting to stick her ice cold feet on my bare legs.

Friday, December 5, 2008

let your soul soar...

It's Friday! If you're reading this, you woke up to live another day. If you never went to sleep? You're still breathing! If not, please get assistance now, I'll still be here after the paramedics (hope they're cute - but also competent) get you breathing again.


Is for someone who I believe know is a kindred spirit. ;) You know who you are... *fingers crossed*

"And it's our God-forsaken right to be loved, loved, loved, loved, loved..."

When it works, finally... it's awesome!


Is a big old hug for my new blogging buddy Goodfather (our beloved GF - but not in a girlie way *giggle*).

Earlier this week he gave me an award, which comes attached to a meme of his own construction... The "This Blog Measures Up Award"! cause he and Captain Dumbass sort of felt like there were all too many "girlie" awards out there.



And frankly, so does he. Yup, he IS awesomesauce...

So here's the rules:

1. Say one nice thing to a man in your life.

I'm going to say my nice thing to GF, see the song up there? Life is wonderful... know why? Cause you're in it. It's that simple. You have shown class and dignity through some rough shit, man. And for that? I'm going to manly fist bump you. (See? totally not girlie!)

2. List at least six ways that you measure success in your life (or for your blog).

This quote says it all for me:

"If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day."
- Alex Noble

I try to do something for someone else every day. Like help a small child fix the zipper on their winter jacket for instance...

I stop and look at the world, looking for something beautiful and I take a snapshot of it with my mental camera... just being thankful that I got to see it.

I try and find the good in every one I meet... not always easy, but even if's it's "they can tie their own shoes" , it counts.

I make it a point of learning something new everyday... like what a Tune Wedgie is.

Every day that I get to see my daughter, she gets a hug and an I love you. So she knows she is loved and appreciated. As a parent, the most important thing I can give my child is the knowledge that she matters, and not just because she is pretty.

When I do all this? I am at peace with myself.

3. Assign this award to six other blogs and leave them a comment telling the blogger that you’ve assigned them this award.

This is simple... if you're on my blogroll, or I follow you and you want to do this? Go ahead!

4. Link back to the blog that you received this award from.

I did it higher up in the post... but I'll do it again. HERE

“"I don't see much sense in that," said Rabbit.
"No," said Pooh humbly, "there isn't. But there was going to be when I began it. It's just that something happened to it along the way."”
- Winnie The Pooh

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I can't believe I said that

As Chicklet has been loafing on the chesterfield (that's couch for you non-Canadians) all day, she got to do all kinds of stuff from there, one of which: eating.

I made her what I believe is her favourite food of all time (apart from chocolate): shell noodle soup in chicken broth. It's quite the non gastronomic feast but.. it reminds her of her grandma and makes her feel better.

Mid second bowl, she felt the call of mother Nature and had to run off to the bathroom and tinkle. Thus leaving her half eaten bowl of soup on the living room table.

Guess who showed up? You got it... Sharkdog aka the bottomless stomach.

So, what did I say?

No soup for you!

I've turned into a Seinfeld character... well, at least I'm not George.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

you see weird stuff on daytime tv

While I'm still trying to work from home as Chicklet has only managed to accept a glass of orange juice this morning, the TV was on kind of as background noise.

I found out the following:

For people that have serious sweating issues, there's a treatment.


Yes folks, BOTOX!. They inject it under the skin of a person's underarms and VOILÀ! Apparently the treatment works anywhere from 3 to 6 months.

Of course my first and immediate concern was the following:

If you get BOTOX injected under your arms will you end up like Ralphie's little brother, Randy?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

it never ends...

Chicklet had been complaining of a tummy ache yesterday morning, but I thought it might have been related to the chili she had at her dad's so off to school she went.

Yeah, no.

I picked her up after a first miserable day back at work (apparently the sounds of my coughing echoed all the way down the hall) and she looked like a zombie. I was told she barely ate at lunch. She told me the smell of her food made her want to barf. So, I got her home, stopping on the way to pick up some ginger ale and orange juice. Got her settled into bed and she found that she indeed had a fever. So we're going back to the doc's this morning. Her tummy still hurts, she has a headache and it's concentrated behind her ears. Apparently there's been a bit of a gastroenteritis epidemic throughout the school. JUST what we needed.


It just never ends.