People

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Happy Saturday! Well, I was supposed to tackle the garden, but I ran out of steam, so a job for tomorrow and Monday.  It’s frustrating that so little wears me out, but such is the nature of my MS these days. At least I don’t have much of a garden at this house.  My choice, and it’s all perennials except of course, for the weeds that I do need to be more on top of!

Time for the topic at hand! People. We meet many people through our lives, starting with pretty much just family when we are first born and then widening our horizons with friends, acquaintances, co-workers, medical professionals, etc.

There is a book called ‘The Five People You Meet in Heaven,’ by Mitch Albom, which I understand is amazing and I really must read. Some time ago, my doctor wrote about the five people he had met in his lifetime that helped him to shape his life/career. We do meet a lot of people in a lifetime and some are in our lives for a short time, some for many years and some all of our lives, or at least most of our lives.

Every one of those people has the potential to make a difference in our lives, some by becoming a big part of our lives, like spouses and children, and some by just imparting some wisdom on their way through our lives. And then there is everything in between.

I am thinking of this because I am feeling so very blessed with the people I have encountered and spend time with in the various roles I have here in our town of Cobourg.  I am on two accessibility advisory committees, one for the town of Cobourg and one for the county of Northumberland. What a caring bunch of people on both of these committees!

I have connected with Community Care Northumberland, where I do friendly visiting with two ladies in the community, and I do palliative vigils, where I have met people in the last days of their lives and learned some really interesting things about the people they were.  I am also on the Community Care Northumberland local committee for the Cobourg location, where I get to find out about the amazing people in our community and what they do. Also, through this agency, I get to meet other volunteers at various events like the volunteer appreciation lunch, the annual palliative training and the bereavement training that I just took.

I also connected with the Extendicare down the street, where I visit with some lovely elderly people and have a great appreciation for the things they have been able to do in their lives.

I have even met the most amazing group of people through the Community Catholic Church of Canada.  I have known the Archbishop since she was an Anglican priest at the church I took my kids to 20 years ago and she has introduced me to some really awesome people and because of this, as I widen my horizons, I have met some awesome people at St. Peter’s in Cobourg and St. George’s in Gores Landing. They are all a wonderfully warm and welcoming group of people.

I also recently connected with an MS group that meets for coffee once a month and we just chat. I have often said that I have met some of the most amazing people since I was diagnosed with MS about 24 years ago.  I have met some fighters and I have met some who chose to crawl into a bottle, or never leave the house. We cover the spectrum, I think.

Every one of these people, has a story, and every one of these people has given me food for thought. Some of that food has been merely a snack and some of that food has been a many course meal.  It’s amazing, just what you get to learn that you can then apply to yourself, or just save for another day.

So, my suggestion is this:  cherish everyone you meet. There are some not so nice people out there and you will learn that you don’t want to keep them in your life, but you will still learn something.  God bless you and all the people in your life!

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Thanksgiving

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Happy Saturday! I’m afraid that I was really busy last weekend and didn’t slow down to blog, so here I am finally relating the events of last weekend, the Canadian Thanksgiving.  It was an unusually busy time for me, but it was great to spend time with family.

The weekend started Friday night, when my daughters arrived for hamburgers on the barbeque. The weather has been amazing, so it’s great to have the barbeque going.

Saturday morning, my oldest daughter, Alysse was up at 2am, to get ready to head to Brampton for a wedding that she was doing the hair for.  It was a nearly two hour drive from here and she had to be there by 5am to get everyone ready. She had time between that wedding and one in Whitby to scoot home for a few things. After the Whitby wedding, she headed to my place to check on the turkey, which I put in the oven before my youngest daughter Kaitlyn and I headed into Napanee so that she could visit with her grandfather and step-grandmother, as well as her Aunt Linda, Uncle Shane and cousin Alexandra. It was a short, but nice visit.

We headed home to finish our Thanksgiving dinner, although her step-sister Victoria, husband Shavoy and son Caleb had already arrived. We got dinner finished up, and had a great visit together.  Victoria brought her famous apple crumble and we were all thrilled.  I had made three pumpkin pies on the Thursday, so one was also part of dessert.  A little while after dinner, as Caleb was starting to doze, they headed back to Mississauga, dropping Kaitlyn off in Toronto, on the way home.  That was the end of day one of the Thanksgiving dinners!

Sunday, Alysse was kind enough to join me at church, after which we did a bit of shopping at the Cobourg mall before heading home to get ready to drive to my Dad’s place for 3pm.  A little while after we arrived, we headed north to my step-sister’s home, where we had day two of our Thanksgiving dinners! It was a great visit, with much of my family there and we had turkey number two, along with ham.  My brother David brought his famous apple pie, and a cherry pie! I brought another one of our three pumpkin pies–there was a ton of food!

We headed home a little while after dinner, to get ready for day three of the Thanksgiving dinners.  The Monday dinner Cavan was smoking a prime rib roast for.  Alysse headed home in the morning and Jett (our cat) got to come out of the bedroom, since his nemesis Dallas (Alysse’s dog), headed home with her. When the roast was ready, we wrapped in in aluminum foil, towels and an insulated bag and headed into the city to have dinner at Cavan’s brother’s place.  They had ham as well, mashed and scalloped potatoes, with lots of veggies, making for another great dinner.  We also brought pumpkin pie number three, which along with an apple pie that Maureen made, created marvelous dessert choices.

So, three different places, three different Thanksgiving dinners, and great company, making for a great, but rather exhausting Thanksgiving weekend!

Christmas will not be quite so busy, as Dad and Sally will be on a cruise, so it will likely be just dinner here, although we will likely see Cavan’s family at some point.

For those of you in Canada, I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  For those of you in the US, I pray that your Thanksgiving is as satisfying, when you celebrate late next month.  For those of you outside of Canada and the US, may you celebrate Thanksgiving all year long!

Blessings to all!

Book Unsales

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Happy Saturday! The September weather has finally found us and tomorrow is the first of October! That’s okay, I’m just glad that it has finally cooled off.

I was down at the Women of Faith Breakfast at St. Peter’s this morning.  I so enjoy those ladies.  I have to say that everyone I have met at St. Peter’s and St. George’s (it’s chapel) have to the most marvelous people. So very welcoming and giving.  What a blessing it is to spend time with them.

I’m blogging (actually complaining) on a Saturday because tomorrow, my daughter and I are heading up north for the day to visit with her godparents, who we have not seen for some years.  We have kept in touch, but we haven’t seen each other in some time.  I am really looking forward to the visit!

So, today’s complaint is the lack of support from AuthorHouse.  I believe that I mentioned a few blogs ago about the sale of 1520 books in May and June of this year.  It did seem too good to be true, so I kept going out to my sales reports to ensure they were still there.  Well, they were still there until September 1st and then they were gone without explanation.

Now, I know that there are any number of things that could have happened, but AuthorHouse cannot seem to provide me with any explanation, although they say their records are auditable. I’m a computer person, so I know a thing or two about programs that update records, and I can assume that they do not have a program that randomly deletes records.  That would not be auditable.

There must have been a program run overnight on the 31st of August that deleted my sales and spat out a report that said why.  There could be reasons like:  they could not fill the order, the books could not be shipped, all the books, or some of them, were returned. Some sort of explanation. That is all that I am asking for, and I want the proof of it.  They should have been able to provide me with a report that said something like:  The order for 60 books ordered on May 18th 2017 could not be filled, because the printer could not schedule it in time.

It would be interesting if that order was not filled because at the end of July, an order for 60 more books appeared with an order source of ‘AuthorHouse web bonus US.’ that was backdated to May 31st.

Another interesting point is that they claim that the sales were just ‘an error,’ but I also know that that is not true, because someone from AuthorHouse actually called me when the June sales were being made and told me the name of the person purchasing the books.  Had I known that they were going to be so dishonest, I would have made sure that I had written down the name of the person who called with their extension and the name of the purchaser.

This is very annoying.  Aside from the fact that it should have been royalties of over $7000 US, it is just distressing that I am dealing with a company that is so dishonest.  If it is indeed sales that did not go through for some reason, I should be able to not only get an explanation, but a full report, as proof to what happened.

Okay, off my rant.  If anyone has had any similar experiences with AuthorHouse, I would like to know about it.  I will never deal with them again. I had four books published through them and will find a more reputable company to deal with for future books in this series.

Well, I hope that everyone else has had a more profitable September!  God bless!

Signs

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Happy Sunday! It’s a hot and humid day here, unusual for this time of year, but I truly believe that the seasons are shifting a bit.  When I was a kid, July was hot and August a bit cooler.  This year, spring and summer were mostly rainy with summer having a few hot days, but September has been pretty hot all month. This is something we would never see years ago.  Not to say that we didn’t have the odd hot day, but it certainly didn’t sustain itself over weeks, this time of year.

So, is global warming a hoax? I think that the evidence over the last few years would have to say no.  There are signs, like this hot September.

Last year the farmers’ almanac promised a long, cold, snowy winter. At least our winter, was not long, cold or snowy. A disappointment to Cavan who bought that new stage 2 snow blower two years ago and didn’t get much use out of it the two years he has had it.  Perhaps another sign?  Let’s see what this year brings.

Sometimes, I am not good at paying attention to signs.  I have had MS for about 24 years now and I still ignore the signs that I have to slow down or take a break.  My summer was relatively quiet, but September has more than made up for it, so far, and fortunately, by the look of my calendar, it looks like it will get a little less busy in a week or two.

Cavan has been working really hard on the deck, and except for some staining, I haven’t been much help at all. I just had too many things scheduled and now that I have a bit of time, I have MS symptoms reminding me that I wasn’t paying attention to the signs earlier. But then, I am notorious for pushing through, thinking that I just need to make it to the weekend, or the end of the month, or whatever.  Then the MS gives me a big shake and insists on now.

So, I am in my nice cool house, with a thick numbness coming up the back of my left leg and a dizziness that I just can’t seem to shake. Ah, well, desk work and a bit of reading it is.

I have to be grateful for the help that Cavan had on the deck.  His brother, Sean, and sister-in-law, Maureen, were here last weekend with their son Liam and just yesterday, Sean and Maureen were here and all of the spindles are now back up (152 of them!).  Cavan is now working on putting the lights up, that we had planned ages ago, and we just have to work on the floor of the deck.  Thursday, it is supposed to start to be more seasonal, so hopefully, that work will kick off and it will all be finished in a few weeks.

The other sign, of course, is age. We’re not getting any younger.  As Cavan pointed out, who is going to refinish the deck in another five years, when it needs to be done again?  Hopefully, it won’t be sooner! A bridge to cross on another day!

Well, that’s life!  How does that song go? ‘Signs, signs, everywhere a sign…. We need to pay more attention to them, I think, but life gets busy and we just keep moving forward. There is a couple I used to work with, who have two lovely young daughters and are expecting a new child.  I follow them on Facebook, but I was commenting that they should not blink, as time goes by so fast.  My two young daughters are now 27 and 25. It goes by so fast!  Watch for the signs and take the time to smell the roses and really enjoy your kids!

So, my friends, enjoy your week.  I missed last week’s blog as I was in Ottawa, but I’m back on track now. May your week be peaceful.  God bless!

Attending Church

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Happy Sunday! I feel so blessed to look out my window and see a beautiful blue sky and know that there is no hurricane headed this far north. I pray for those recovering from hurricane Harvey and those in the path of Irma, followed by hurricane Jose right behind her, then Katia. There have been so many natural disasters in the last few days and weeks.

Wow, there was also the earthquake off the coast of Mexico  Flooding in Mumbai, Nepal and Koshi this year. Here in Ontario, we also had unusual flooding, but not to the extent that other parts of the world have seen. Wildfires in BC and some other parts of the world, too.  I pray that everyone can manage whatever has been thrown their way.  

The first responders have been amazing.  I have a friend who lives just outside of Houston, who rallied folks and money to prepare food for first responders all last week.  I know that one day, there were nine huge pans of lasagne! There are some wonderful, amazing people out there!

But, I did not intend to blog about natural disasters.  I wanted to blog about church.  

I have attended church since I was very young.  When I was in my teens, I took my younger siblings to church–well, Dad dropped us off, I just managed them once we got there. I was confirmed at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Ottawa, and attended Holy Trinity Anglican Church, when I lived in Pembroke.

I got away from church, for a while as I got a bit older.  My first husband and I were wanting to get married in a church and raise our kids with the church, so I started attending Church of the Epiphany Anglican church in Scarborough and we were married there. We moved further east in Scarborough, so I stopped attending for a few years, but then started attending St. Dunstan of Canterbury Anglican Church with my girls, where I taught Sunday School for seven years and my oldest daughter was an altar girl for a while.

Fast forward quite a few years of raising my girls as a single parent, and a move to Cobourg.  I have attended St. Peter’s Anglican Church a few times, but have pretty much settled on attending St. George’s Anglican Church in Gores Landing when it is open.  It’s about a twenty minute drive and it is such a lovely church with such lovely and welcoming people. It is only open from Easter until the last Sunday in October and I think we enjoy the coffee time as much or more than the service itself. I have learned so much about the area, and it has been such a blessing. We are working right now on getting a plaque prepared for a mass grave area in the corner of the cemetery on the church grounds. There were several groups of people wiped out by disease quite some years ago–typhoid and something else. So there will be a plaque put there to honor the German railway workers and the Irish immigrants buried there. There is such a history in this area.  Heartbreak, disaster and yet much love and fellowship.

Next weekend, I shall be in Ottawa to visit family and I think I shall attend St. Stephen’s one more time.  It is near the cemetery where we laid my mother to rest, so I shall visit there before I return home, as well. It’s funny how I now seek out churches to attend. I do so love the fellowship that it allows.

I guess this is a bit of a short blog this week.  I have a bit more tidying to take care of before my guests arrive tomorrow, so I had best get to it! May your week be gentle.  God bless!

As We Age

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Happy Sunday!  It’s a rather dull day out there today, although the sun has been peeking through the clouds from time to time, to remind us that it is still there! It’s cooler too, but I welcome that.  I much prefer spring or fall weather.

Well, folks, today’s blog is about aging.  We all age.  Some of us get bent out of shape that our body (and minds!) show that age, but aging is inevitable, showing it perhaps not so much…..

I was saying to Cavan the other day that another sign of aging is increasing and varying doctor’s appointments. We all have a GP (general practitioner, a.k.a. family doctor).  At least we should.  I have a neurologist, as most people living with multiple sclerosis should.  Now, I have to see a new doctor and have my first colonoscopy. Wahoo! Catch the sarcasm there?

Yup, I’m scheduled for my first ever colonoscopy on Tuesday.  Cavan had one a few years ago, but then he has irritable bowel syndrome, so it is a good thing to scope for that that too.

I don’t know what the age range is, but here in Ontario after the age of 50, I believe, you get to send little poop samples in the mail that get examined for blood and if they find any, you get to be scoped, as my doctor says.  I don’t know the upper limit on that, but I do know that my dear friend Viv, who is 91 has never had to do such a thing and had never heard of it. I also don’t know for sure how often we do this, as I get reminders in the mail from the province, but I believe that it is every two years.

Us ladies over 50 also get to go for mammograms, which I also believe are every two years, but then I also get reminders in the mail for that too, so I don’t need to keep track of that either. Us ladies also used to get a pap test every two years, but I believe that it is every three years now.  My doctor keeps track of that one.

All of this is preventative, or perhaps really more accurately, since it doesn’t actually prevent anything, tests for early detection. It would be nice to get to the point of actually preventing things.  I suspect that healthy eating and exercise is about as preventative as you can get, but we also know that even that is no guarantee.

I have recently gotten into essential oils.  Have I blogged about that? I have this feeling that we really need to get back to basics, to avoid having to resort to chemical medicines.  It may not always work, but the more I read about these essential oils, the more I think there is something to it.  Right now I’m working on a good formula to help Cavan to sleep better.  I have tried a few blends, but haven’t arrived at the perfect one yet.  He has a CPAP, so a diffuser isn’t of much help and I did get an insert for the CPAP, but it is a small piece on which you cannot put many combinations.  I’m working on a better solution.

So, what else do we need to take care of in our old age?  Cavan and I got the pneumonia shot that us elderly can have.  They don’t know how long it is good for, so I think we get another one every 10 years.  We also get the flu shot, but everyone can have that one.

I was just reading that coconut oil is good for alzheimer’s. Cavan and I are both highly likely to end up with alzheimer’s, so this is good to know.  Interestingly enough, I have been having Cavan and I take two coconut oil capsules with breakfast and dinner.  I’ll have to perhaps increase that, as I don’t think it is the dosage they recommend, I have to read up on it again to confirm, as I have forgotten what it said.  Hm, forgotten?  I had better get right on it!!

So, folks, make sure you are sending your poop through the mail, when requested and get whatever tests recommended.  Let’s have a gentle journey into our old age.  God bless!

The Blame Game

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Happy Sunday!  It’s a beautiful sunny day here in the resort town of Cobourg. I enjoyed the church service up at St. George’s this morning and we had some visitors, who don’t make it to Gores Landing very often and one of the lovely ladies actually bought a set of my books.  That’s four sets that I have sold at the church! And, I’m happy to say that the reviews are great.  I’m thrilled that they like the books.

I have a rather testy subject today, and if you follow my blogs, you will know that I don’t often tackle controversial topics, but this is likely one.  I have been bothered by the whole neo-nazi thing raising it’s ugly head.  I thought we won that war it is was all over and everyone was going to play nice and get along.  I am always the eternal optimist.

It seems that we still have groups out there that think they are better than anyone else.  This is where the blame game comes in.  If I’m not mistaken, some of what they are saying, now and back in the Hitler days, is that these ‘nasty Jews’ (please excuse these thoughts as they are not mine) are taking our jobs. These ‘nasty Jews’ are infiltrating our communities. And it goes on and on.

My goodness, can we not just all get along?  Every person has their merits, their strengths and weaknesses. We all have those things that we are good at and things we are not so good at.  That is even what our commerce systems are based on.  Move the call centres to areas in the world that are good at it and let us do what we are good at.

We have no right to blame others for our situation.  That’s too easy.  I can easily try to get sympathy because someone else got the job I wanted, but if they were the better choice, that was the right thing to do.  Now, I do take issue with the tokenism thing.  The idea that for stats, we need a certain number of minorities. I may have even been someone who, unknowingly, benefited from it. I was a single, disabled, mother.  Great for stats, but I don’t believe that I was ever treated differently because of it.  I was working for the same company when I was healthy and married, as I was when I became a single mother, and then disabled with MS.

What makes me really laugh at this though, is that these neo-nazis are sending their spit in the mail and finding out that they are not totally white.  Isn’t that a hoot!  My husband who’s sister-in-law teased about being a pasty, white Irish guy, has Ashkenazi Jew in his heritage, we discovered.  I have eastern asian in me–Iran, Iraq, Israel.

Remember, Jesus was a Jew, he wasn’t Christian, how could he be? Christianity didn’t exist before him and he certainly wasn’t white.  Mohammed wasn’t a Muslim, Buddha wasn’t a Buddhist. Think about it people.  It all had to start somewhere.

Instead of hating, look at all of the major religions, what do they all preach?  Love!  Love thy neighbor. Put your hand out there to hold another’s. We can be nothing but stronger together.

Forget the blame game. We can only blame ourselves if we hate, but we can be much stronger if we love each other and support each other.  We can make this happen.  Do not divide, unite!

All right, off the soap box. As you can probably tell, this stuff frustrates the heck out of me.  I like to see the good in people.  It is in everyone, I’m sure.

So, go out there and look for that good in people and it will surely make you feel better.  God bless all!