Saturday, June 30, 2018

June: a year of gratitude

June; Today I am thankful for…

1.      My car’s a.c. was fixed. It’s cold enough to make ice cream in.

2.      Annual flowers in my yard.

3.      My husband being 20 years cancer free! As an oncology nurse, I know there aren’t a lot of happy endings, especially with sarcoma. But God is faithful.

4.      Spending the day with my granddaughter, bonding. She said her first two word sentence. When I’d ask, “Where’s Robin?” She’s answer, “I’m heeeyah.”

5.      Dollar stores. So many good deals. Although I only ever go in intending to buy one or two items, I come out with three bags. I should own stocks in them.

6.      Dental care every three months, covered by my husband’s benefits.

7.      A new provincial premier.

8.      Prepping for the party, also smart to get the salads and cupcakes catered.

9.      The party for my husband. Exhausting but good.

10.   A day with my grandkids.

11.   Dental work.

12.   My mom brought me a tea towel as a gift from South Carolina. It says, Mimi is the name, spoiling is the game. Appropriate.

13.   Benefits for all my health care costs.

14.   World cup soccer starting today. Go Germany!

15.   Yoga for sleep class.

16.   A lady at church is hosting my women’s ministry team for a high tea as a thank you. Very nice of her.

17.   My husband’s 55th birthday and father’s day.

18.   A quiet day at home.

19.   School prep day.

20.   Massage; I really needed it.

21.   My daughter’s job offer for the next four months. An answer to prayer.

22.   Getting rid of the piano. The room feels more balanced and spacious now.

23.   My daughters beautiful new home. I especially love the attic.

24.   Church dinners. Appreciation for two elderly sisters who are moving away.

25.   A new roof!

26.   My daughter’s call to the Bar and a thank you dinner from her to celebrate.

27.   Pinterest. I couldn’t teach my grandson without its help.

28.   A new member of my health care team, an osteopath.

29.   Air conditioning, especially as we’re heading into a heat wave this weekend.

30.   Summer time. My favourite season, even with the heat.

New house/Call to the Bar

June Journaling

1.      Bought new lawn chairs and potted plants.

2.      Planted some impatiens in the front yard. Prepping for my husband’s party next weekend.

3.      Today my husband is 20 years cancer free!  He is also preaching this morning.

4.      No school, but my daughter is working today so I’m babysitting the one year old. My grandson will go to daycare.

5.      Chiro appointment. Exhausted today, and my balance is off again. Also noticed my scalp is puffy again, or boggy as my chiropractor calls it. Wonder if there’s a connection?

6.      Dental appointment.

7.      Prepping for my husband’s party.

8.      Cooking and cleaning for tomorrow.

9.      A bbq for 30 people at our house to celebrate my husband’s 20 years cancer free. Burgers, jerk chicken, rice and peas, salads, grilled veggies, cupcakes.

10.   Church and a loooong nap to recover from yesterday.

11.   A day with the grandkids.

12.   Dental work.

13.   A home day. Bible study and nap.

14.   A procedure. Drains me. World cup soccer starts today. Go Germany!!

15.   Yoga for sleep class. I don’t expect it will make a difference because my sleep issues are related to my illnesses.

16.   A lady at church is hosting our Women’s ministry team to a tea to thank us for the past two years.

17.   My husband is 55 and it’s also Father’s Day.

18.   Home day. Sore back. School prep for the new year.

19.   They’re decommissioning our cul-de-sac. Good bye free parking, hello noise, shaking and four new direct neighbours.

20.   Massage, then heading over to the grandkids. Sleeping over, then bringing them back to stay with us while their parents move on Friday.

21.   Great news day. Our daughter and her husband picked up the keys to their new house. They are now homeowners. And it’s the same date as the move in to our first home. And my youngest daughter who is now a lawyer was just offered a four month contract position where she has been articling, and it was thankful because the new Ontario premiere announced a hiring freeze just this week, but her job was approved before the freeze, and only announced today. She’s happy to be employed, and of course she’ll get a raise to a lawyer’s salary.

22.   Moving day!

23.   Piano finally going to my daughter’s house. It was a wedding gift almost six years ago, but they didn’t have space until now. Then we dropped the kids off. It takes a little longer to get to them now that they’re in Hamilton.

24.   Church, and a going away dinner for two elderly sisters. Slept over three hours today.

25.   Getting the roof re-shingled today. The noise is impeding my nap. Then a cupboard door shook right off its hinges.

26.   It’s my daughter’s call to the Bar ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall. Then she’s taking us out for dinner as a thank you for all the years of support.

27.   Our daughter and grandkids are coming for an overnight visit.
28. Wondered why I looked so fat in pictures, then came to the conclusion that I'm fat. Who knew? Facing facts. 

29.   Watched an action movie on Netflix, but fell asleep.

30.   Heat wave, plus I’m sick. Staying in.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

A Year of Gratitude:May 2018

May journaling; I am thankful for…

1.      A getaway trip to Niagara Falls

2.      Hotels, especially our suite. Someone to make my bed, clean the bathroom.

3.      WINGS maternity home ministry gala.

4.      My dishwasher prepared by my husband.

5.      Our eldest daughter has been accepted to grad school (social work)!

6.      A bbq luncheon at church.

7.      Dinner downtown with my youngest daughter, as an early Mother’s day gift. She took me to El Catrin, an authentic Mexican restaurant in the Distillery District.

8.      A once a year pedicure.

9.      My kindle to read to me.

10.   Being able to rest/pace myself/not work/concentrate on my health.

11.   Our garage door cable snapped, but we were able to get it fixed the same day.

12.   Being well enough to attend the Millions Missing event. Also my sister’s birthday.

13.   A supportive network of family, friends, and medical team that accepts me and my illness.

14.   My mother-in-law, whose birthday is today. We ordered Ethiopian food takeout.

15.   BOTOX, even when he nicks my facial nerve, like today.

16.   A home day to write.

17.   I had to drop off my car because of a flat tire. Thankful for car care.

18.   A 29 year career in nursing.

19.   My washer/clean clothes/effortless.

20.   My dryer/soft towels.

21.   Homemade soup.

22.   Crocuses and tulips.

23.   Daffodils and lilacs.

24.   My daughter’s family being able to buy a house.

25.   The generosity of my mother-in-law to give my daughter the down payment for their house.

26.   Women’s retreat weekend.

27.   Potted plants and seedlings; the extent of my gardening abilities.

28.   A local cupcake company I used for my 50th party, and now I’ve ordered some for my husband’s celebration bbq.

29.   The faithfulness of Marion Cozens over 9-1/2 years running WINGS maternity home, but she will be closing out the ministry at the end of August.

30.   The mental clarity to revise my manuscript.

31.   Actually completing the revisions of my manuscript in time to send it in tonight for a writer’s publishing contract contest.


May Journaling

1.      Still in Niagara Falls with my husband. We enjoyed another nice dinner out, but I can’t eat as much as I could when I was healthy. I had room service for breakfast, read and showered, went downstairs for a salad, where my husband joined me, then I took a cab for my once a year pedicure, and then napped.

2.      I went to listen to my husband’s presentation at the conference. He did a good job. Stopped to see the grandkids on our way home from Niagara Falls.

3.      Recovery day, then the WINGS gala.

4.      Another day of high winds. We lost another 12 shingles. Good thing we’re due for a new roof this month. But the wind took our gate right off its hinges. See the picture. It landed in the driveway right where my husband’s car usually is, but this time he had parked on the road. Thankful it was spared. We didn’t lose our power like many in the region did.

5.      A beautiful Saturday. My husband is running errands and doing work around the house. I prepped a salad and dessert for church tomorrow, then napped two hours.

6.      We had a bbq at church today.

7.      School day. The letter Z, and the story of Zaccheus.

8.      Bible study, and nap, then meeting my daughter and family downtown for dinner at a Mexican restaurant in the Distillery District. Can guacamole change your life? Yes!

9.      Chiro and massage today. In agony in the afternoon.

10.   Home day, finishing up Bible study homework.

11.   Prepping school for Monday.

12.   Today I attended my first Millions Missing event. It was downtown at Bay and Bloor. Of course nothing ever goes smoothly for me. My husband was going to come with me but he had a home inspector coming to check about damage to the house because of the new construction. Of course I got turned around and ended up walking for blocks, which is very draining on me. But once I got there I was able to sit in the chair I brought along. I met fellow sufferers and a medical doctor stopped to tell us she believes us and that she is also frustrated by the way we are treated by the medical community. Then my daughter stopped by, as she was working that day. Draining, but a profitable day. It was during my prime nap time, but I slept once I got back home. I posted about it on facebook.

13.   I posted a thank you to my family and friends for being so supportive of my illness; I know that is not always the case. We went to my mother in law’s house for Mother’s Day, and ordered Ethiopian take out.

14.   School day, learning about Blind Bartimaus. We also went out to eat lunch, and my son in law was there and paid for us. Also it’s the birthday of my mother in law, and my daughter’s mother in law.

15.   Bible study this morning. The final one except for the summary of Esther next week, then a break for summer for us. Then I went for my Botox injections for pain, and he nicked my facial nerve and it caused my face to droop and my eye not to close for a few hours.

16.   A home day, finishing up my summary of Esther for Tuesday.

17.   Had to bring my car in because my tire was flat, although there was no nail in it.

18.   Pain clinic for back injections, a few errands and a nap. I’m alone overnight. My husband has gone fishing and our daughter went camping for a few nights with friends.

19.   Alone again. Trying to tidy up for our daughter’s family coming tomorrow. I can only manage to vacuum and clean the bathrooms once a month. So different from when I was well.

20.   Grandkids are visiting. I bought sidewalk chalk, water balloons, and bubbles. We will also do a campfire, go for a walk (my husband will) and build a fort. My daughter and her husband will go out on a date tonight.

21.   Victoria Day weekend. BBQ with the fam.

22.   Presenting the summary of the book of Esther, then lunch out to celebrate. Then a break till the fall. Looking forward to it.

23.   Our eldest daughter and her husband bought a house today in Hamilton! I’m so happy for them. It happened quite quickly. They were thinking about moving this summer to another cheaper rental since she’s not working right now, but then my mother in law graciously gifted them with enough for a down payment to help them get a start. Then they looked and fell in love with almost the first house they saw, a renovated 1928 house, 2-1/2 stories, three bedrooms, two bath, backyard, basement, and attic. It was renovated beautifully. They move in a few weeks. Will try to help out as we are able.

24.   Just made a decision to try to send in my manuscript to a publishing company to win a contract. It was written long ago, but I have to tidy it up and apply some of the suggested edits from a California editor. I hope I can get it done, considering I have the women’s ministry retreat this weekend, and school on Monday.

25.   Heading to Elim lodge for the weekend. My mom is coming with me.

26.   Good weather, great teaching, lots of rest.

27.   Home again, always good.

28.   Final day of school, since they’ve got the move coming up. He is just over three but already knows most of his letters, counting to ten, colours and shapes, his right and left, his address, how to find where he lives on any map or globe, days of the week, months of the year, seasons, and how to spell his name. Pretty successful nursery school I’d say, even with just one day a week for 9 months.

29.   Dropped off my mom, now scrambling with edits. Heat wave, a.c. on. The a.c, is broken in my car, so I’ll get it fixed on Friday.

30.   A full day of revisions. Tomorrow is the deadline.

31.   Another full day of revisions. I’ve now read through the whole book. Finished with an hour to spare. Sent in. Now we wait. I don’t know what my chances are, I guess it depends on how many submissions they get. I feel it was a great accomplishment to get it done.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Do you see M.E.?

Do you see M.E. Prime Minister Trudeau?

Up until 2015 I was a healthy, active woman, working full time as an Oncology Nurse, when I was struck with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

I’ve seen many doctors, been investigated, and finally diagnosed, only to find that’s the extent of it. There are no approved treatments for M.E., no clinical trials, no funds dedicated to this debilitating illness. It struck me in 2015, the year cases of ME spiked by 38% in Canada. This is an alarming statistic.

We are the missing millions, too weak to protest, walk, or raise funds to get our lives back. We grieve all we’ve lost, we fear we’ll be part of the 95% who are incurable. This disease needs to be studied. A bio-marker needs to be found so it can be diagnosed early and believed by the community and even some in the medical community. In the past, before MS and epilepsy were associated with bio-markers they were also classified as hysteria and dismissed.

This disease affects women disproportionately, and therefore our suffering is minimized or dismissed. You claim to care about women. Please be the Prime Minister who will direct funds towards the study of this devastating disease. Canada should be a leader in the study of this illness as we have one of the highest rates of M.E in the world. I am one of the 580,000 sufferers in Canada, and one of the 17 plus million worldwide.

I am missing from life. I can no longer work in the career I loved. I have to draw on disability funds when I would rather be working and active as I was before. I want to have hope; hope for a cure, if not for me, then for the others who will get this illness. It’s hard to prevent something you don’t understand. No one is safe from it. It affects men, women, and children. It can strike you or a loved one. My daughters have a 50% chance of developing this. That terrifies me. Please see M.E.

Pia Thompson

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Happy Birthday to me

April Journaling

1.      Resurrection Sunday. Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!

2.      No school today because of Easter.

3.      A day off from Bible study. Trying to finish up my summary of Nehemiah.

4.      Chiro and massage. It always fixes my limp.

5.      Home day alone. I’m always surprised at how depressed I feel when I’m alone. I didn’t realize I was so needy. It’s not like I engage with my family so much when they’re home either. Curious.

6.      My granddaughter grabbed 1984 off the bookshelf and brought it to her mom to read.

7.      As I spend yet another afternoon in bed with pain and exhaustion, I long for Heaven where I will have a pain-free eternity. Illness weans you from this life.

8.      My husband got an 86 on his paper at Seminary. It’s the first paper he’s written in 30 years and he was nervous.

9.      Sunday, great preaching. My husband’s first Sunday as an Elder, taking part in the Lord’s Supper.

10.   My friend is visiting from out west overnight. She is the National Director for a parachurch ministry called Freedom Session which is a discipleship program. She has also done prison ministry, which intrigues me for some reason.

11.   Finishing up my message for Saturday’s WM Finale meeting. Making chicken noodle soup.

12.   Buying a small gift for the ladies on my ministry team as a thank-you. Yoga tonight.

13.   Making two soups for tomorrow. Finishing up my summary of Nehemiah for printing. Date night.

14.   Women’s ministry Finale brunch. Homemade tomato basil soup, homemade cream of mushroom soup, two quiches, homemade buns, pasta salad, green salad, taco salad, dessert. I’m speaking on VIRTUE, the Virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 and what that looks like today, and Emergency Preparedness drawn from old blog posts I did years ago. Then I’m finished with Women’s Ministry, other than the Retreat, but we have a separate team that plans that.

15.   No church today because of an ice storm. Good thing we spoke about emergency preparedness yesterday. Hopefully the women are somewhat prepared now. Slept deeply for 2-1/2 hours.

16.   A week of rain=a week of pain. Changed the school day this week for safety because of the storm. Is this mid-April?

17.   Bible study. Pain clinic for back injections. Then two stops on the way home for my nap.

18.   Doctor’s appointment to fill out forms for my pension to be covered one final year.

19.   School day. Missing yoga tonight; too bad, so sad. Not.

20.   Sending complaint letters to my MP about this “attestation clause” on applications for summer jobs money.

21.   I got a Kitchenaid stand mixer as one of my birthday gifts, now I can whip up some organic butter.

22.   Today at church there was a welcome lunch for newcomers, so we went since my husband is an elder now. Had to say a few words about ourselves.

23.   Possible terrorist attack today in Toronto. Nine killed, 16 injured when a man drove a van onto a sidewalk in North York. Sad, but the surprising thing is how surprised people are that it would happen here. There was a credible threat recently.

24.   Yikes! Because the government didn’t take any tax off my CPP back pay I now owe taxes. Plus we need to re-shingle our roof, so we had to cancel our flight out west. Sad. Maybe next year.

25.   Hair appointment. I should probably highlight my hair twice a year instead of only once, so I hide my greys.

26.   My daughter came over with the kids last night. Exhuasting. Today I had to drop off my car for a tire change-over and tune-up. My mom came over as well. My daughter brought cupcakes.

27.   Bible study at home; also sending out invitations for my husband’s party in June, 20 years cancer free.

28.   My husband is repairing our dishwasher. I didn’t enjoy handwashing for the past week.

29.   Church today.

30.   It’s my birthday! Safely through another year. I am going to Niagara Falls with my husband for two nights as he’s speaking at a conference on Water Supply.

Monday, April 30, 2018

A Year of Gratitude: April 2018

 I am thankful for…

1.      Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

2.      A break from school.

3.      The internet.

4.      A visit from an out of province friend.

5.      Supplements.

6.      Homemade soup. I’m on a kick.

7.      Getting my kindle working again; I thought it was a goner.

8.      Encouraging friends.

9.      My mom’s help at school.

10.   Homemade butter. I never thought I could do it.

11.   A warm house.

12.   Yoga, even though it’s hard.

13.   My women’s ministry team. I bought thank you gifts for them since we’re wrapping up.

14.   Teaching about Emergency Preparedness on the day before an ice storm.

15.   Being able to stay in during an ice storm.

16.   Power still on. No school today.

17.   Lunch out after presenting the summary of Nehemiah.

18.   A new Bible reference book.

19.   Coffee, and my Keurig.

20.   My husband’s job over 28 years.

21.   White wine, even if it’s from a box. Cardboardeaux.

22.   Meeting new people at church.

23.   Income; even though this year I owe income tax.

24.   Beginning a new Bible study; Esther.

25.   Getting highlights, so I look and feel younger.

26.   Car care; winter tire changeover and tune up.

27.   Birthday cupcakes from my daughter.

28.   A new spring/summer purse.

29.   I got a Kitchenaid stand mixer for my birthday.

30.   God’s faithfulness over 54 years. It’s my birthday!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Year of Gratitude: March 2018

Today I am thankful for…

1.      Dental care every 3 months for 35 years. I still have my teeth.

2.      Movies to distract/entertain.

3.      Old friends; we easily pick up where we left off.

4.      The Bible.

5.      Time to study.

6.      The privilege of teaching the Bible.

7.      Fried fish.

8.      Yoga class, even when it’s hard to go.

9.      Coffee. I love coffee.

10.   Yoga pants.

11.   Freedom to worship.

12.   School; planting seeds with my grandson.

13.   A week off from school for March break.

14.   Pickled beets, which I made for the first time.

15.   Loyalty cards to pay for flights.

16.   Ability to rest/not work/recover/pace myself, which is the only “treatment” recommended for M.E.

17.   Prospect of travel this summer to see friends.

18.   Missionaries willing and able to go. Ironic that on St. Patrick’s Day we commissioned an Irish woman to go to Ireland for missions.

19.   Jerk chicken.

20.   School; doing fun things like making slime.

21.   Pajama days; don’t judge me.

22.   Appliances, especially my dishwasher.

23.   My daughter’s final day at work!

24.   My i-phone.

25.   Good preaching.

26.   25 school days so far.

27.   My mom’s 78th birthday.

28.   Spring cleaning done by someone else!

29.   Netflix. Just got it. Let the binge watching begin.

30.   Good Friday. L Christ died, for me! J

31.   Long weekend (for my family). My whole life is a long weekend.