Friday, May 29, 2009

Buck up!

You know the saying. "Small things amuse small minds." I have a small mind.

Back in January when I had been sick for a couple of weeks, I blogged about Buckleys and the contest they run for the Buckley's ugly face. Cuz it's aweful. And it works. Well I entered the contest in a moment of boredom.

The contest ends June 1st. And I am actually somewhere near the top in the ratings. This is cool. I think. Anyway, if you are amused by ridiculously trivial things, please go watch my "Buckley's Mash-Up Video" and at the end you can click on the "five bottle" ratings to increase my chances of becoming rich and famous making ugly faces on tv for Buckley's.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Au revoir ovaries!

"I would recommend you have your ovaries removed," my doctor said to me yesterday. Then added, "if you are okay with that."

Okay with that? Scuse me doctor, this is what I have been asking for for a number of months now.

"Do you have a preferred Ob/Gyn?"
"Um, I already have an appointment with Dr Galliford on June 17."
"Oh," he says kind of surprised. "Well that's good then. I'll send a copy of this ultra sound to him."

He seems to forget that he ordered a copy to be sent to him when we scheduled the ultrasound and he forwarded my file on to Galliford the last time I was in.

He's not doing a lot to bolster my confidence in himself, the new guy, who took over for my retiring doctor a while back.

Apparently I have lesions. And lesions are a concern. I don't know a cyst from a lesion from a tumor. (I have all three.) But I do know pain. And pain is not my friend. So I just want the whole damn mess taken out.

And bring on the hot flashes. It is the end of May and I bundle up to go to work like its the middle of December. I just froze at work all day yesterday. And we don't even have the air conditioner turned on.

I'm sure the first time I experience a hot flash, I'll whine and cry and try to take back every word, but for now, they are sounding mighty fine.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hey, twenty bucks is twenty bucks.

They say exercise pays off. I don't normally give it much chance to prove this theory. However, today was a beautiful sunny day so I decided I'd walk down and get Xander for a couple of hours of Granny play time.

As I was walking along the road I stepped over a penny laying in the street. Of course the age-old saying crossed my mind, "Find a penny, pick it up. All day long have good luck."

Who needs luck so badly they'd be willing to stoop down to pick up a worthless penny, I wondered as I walked along.

And then out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of a folded piece of paper flapping in the breeze. It was a twenty dollar bill! Now, for that I'll gladly stoop. I glanced up and down the street to be sure no one had just passed by and dropped it before that other age-old saying crossed my mind, "Finders keepers. Losers weepers." And off I skipped to Xander's house.

When I arrived, I discovered Xander had gone to the grocery store with Mommy. But am I ever glad I didn't phone to find that out before I left the house, or I never would have been on the street at this most opportune time and some spoiled little 8-year-old probably would have rode along on a bike and found this little treasure that perked up my day.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I had a dream last night.

You know how dreams are often inspired by things happening in your life. Things you fear. Things you feel guilty about. Things you are anticipating. Things you have been avoiding.

For the life of me, I cannot remember one single detail of the dream I had, except for the final detail where I thought, "Yes! Now I have something to blog about! It's funny. It'll appeal to my varied audience. And I can't wait to get to a computer to scrawl it out."

So yeah, I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about blogging... day and night. Does that count for anything?


Friday, May 22, 2009

Hi.

Yeah, I know I have abandoned my post here. I'm a little distracted this week. Death will do that to you. For those who do not know, Jade's sister Angela passed away very unexpectedly this week. I spent a couple of days standing at her bedside and since have been funeral planning and having sleepovers with Xander and just doing what I can.

I am still yearning for a day filled with dull moments. I suspect I'll never get one. It's times like this that cause one to reflect on things and be thankful for the many many good things I have in my life - it helps to counter balance the shit.

Today is a beautiful sunny Friday and I have taken the day off work. I have an ultra sound this morning. My afternoon will be spent grocery shopping for the funeral tea. In the evening I will finish off the memorial cards and get them printed and folded.

There is youth group at the church tonight so I can't get in there until 9:30 to set up tables and decorate and prepare the kitchen for tomorrow mornings funeral. I can't find the white table cloths - does anyone know where they are?

I need a coffee.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We party in the face of seriousness. Damn cancer.

It started out so beautiful. Our tent area at Relay for Life was all decorated with pretty pink stuff and flower baskets. It was all welcoming and homey.

We were definitely in the minority having a team that was there to party in the name of cancer. Most took seriously their role of raising funds and awareness of the dreadful decease that has touched virtually every person in the country in one way or another.

But cancer has caused enough death and destruction and sadness. Damn cancer. We were there to celebrate life. Oh, we did our part in raising money too, but celebrate we did. We had costumes and paraphernalia and megaphone-enhanced cheerleading. While it was marginally embarrassing to be the one on the track as you passed the Pink Panter tent, it was also encouraging.

I could be wrong, but it sure appeared that large clusters of people would walk along at the same speed as the Pink Panters, just hoping to feel a part of the celebrations as they passed the Panter's tent. I know most people secretly wished they had the same unabashed zest for life and fundraising as our team. Go Pinnnnnk Paaaaaanters!

We even took to cheering on people from other teams if we happened to know their names. And you could see it in their faces as they rounded the corner towards our tent - the anticipation of being cheered and hollered to. You could sense the disappointment within, the times they were able to slip past without being noticed.

I celebrated with the team until 1:30am at which time I went home for a brief soak in the hot tub, a little nip of red wine and a couple hours of shut-eye. I had to work at noon Sunday.

I arrived back at the site at 6am Sunday. Oh my goodness. It was like waking up in the morning when you are camping and everyone had gone to bed drunk the night before. There was one lone participant huddled in a sleeping bag hunched over our small campfire making a feeble effort to cheer on the 2 members on the track walking in the morning sunshine.

My camera was laying dead on the table so I was unable to get pictures of the site. (Hopefully Barbee got some.) There were water bottles and pop cans spread far and wide, and half eaten bags of chips and bowls of dip all soggy with morning dew. There were papers and discarded clothing everywhere. There were children's crafts and free samples of sunscreen everywhere. And Tim cups - many many Tim cups.

It was definitely a different scene than the other tents which were clean and bare, save for a circle of 4 or 5 empty lawn chairs. A simple glance would tell you where the fun had been. And in our exhaustion we cleaned up our area at the end of the relay at 10 o'clock, unable to even consider participating next year. But we will. And you can too. Bring your noise makers and leave your pride in the parking lot.

***********************

It started out so lovely and serene:





The fun begins before the opening ceremonies:



Great participation. There were about 2000 participants and Prince George raised over $400,000. The tent city was 3 rows deep.



Even after partial boob removal, my yellow survivors t-shirt was a little snug. I donned it only long enough for the survivor's victory lap and our assembled group photo, before I put on a nice baggy standard t-shirt that everyone else was wearing.


That's me in the last sitting down row on the end at the right. If you click on this picture to make it larger, you can see my pants that have the word "Pink" written all over them, as well as my pink feathery tiara. (Most other survivors were a little more reserved than I)



Yes, we are a special group.



Xander was too little for the Relay t-shirts so he played the role of cool boy with a cancer society do-rag.



Shaelena garnered attention with her "Find a cure before I grow boobs" t-shirt. (And she walked an incredible number of laps for a wee girl of 2 years.)


Jed raised lots of money being the target in the dunk tank. (I'm sure everyone thought they were dunking someone from the fire department .. but hey, we took their money anyway.)



Connie looked fantastic in her handcrafted hat. There were lots of activities for children on site.


These pictures don't clearly exhibit just how red and sunburned I was. I was like a lobster and no one else burned at all. I did a little research online and discovered that taking tamoxifen takes the estrogen out of your skin and makes it far more sensitive to the sun. Oooops. I think I probably knew this way back in October, but I forgot over the course of our exceptionally long winter this year. I guess I'll have to be more careful.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Craft night with Granny.

Doing crafts with a 7-week-old is a bit of an adventure. I didn't get any pictures because, as it was, I was trying to single handedly do a job that probably should have had 2 or 3 adults participate.

But if you use your imagination you could probably visualize my kitchen spread with measuring cups, wisks and bowls of plaster while I hold a screaming infant football style under my arm with his hand anchored into a bowl of cold goop. He wasn't thrilled with craft night with Granny.

The final result is far from professional looking, but it was made with love. And I'm sure it's only the first of many kid-art gifts for Mommy to proudly hang on the wall.








My flowers and talking card ... very cool.

video

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Uh yeah, thanks for comin' out.

We had perfect weather for the Relay for Life this weekend. (Well, it could have been a little warmer during the night, but we'll try not to bitch about it.)

Barbee organized the team and Albert named it. We are the Pink Panters. Yes panters. We panted our way around the track for 24 hours to raise funds and awareness for cancer. Pink of course being a reference to my recent encounter with breast cancer. The fund raising was for all types of cancer, but for me anyway, breast cancer is a little closer to home.

A large part of our fundraising was a raffle for a beautiful quilt made by Barbee and my mom, and other fabulous prizes. The team raised over $3500. Yay team! My personal efforts amounted to somewhere just under a thousand dollars. Yay friends and family!

I had lots of people sponsor me - and unbeknownst to them all, everyone who donated money to me, either in person or online, I purchased raffle tickets in their name. Not a single one of them won a prize. But none-the-less I am honoured and thankful for each and every dollar of support.

I also wanted to honour and thank all the participants on the track who helped us to keep from 2 to 6 people on the track for 24 hours. So Barbee and I picked up a bunch of pink prizes. There was a pink tool belt, pink gardening tools, pink gardening gloves, Tim Horton gift cards etc. Every time someone walked for 1/2 hour they got to draw a slip of paper from a pink bag. These slips either said "You Won!" and the prize name, or else said "Thanks for supporting our team and this worthy cause."

It took quite a few hours before we had our first prize winner. So it became a bit of a joke when time after time the slip said "Thanks for your support". We started to sarcastically say, "Uh yeah, thanks for comin' out." But truly we meant it each and every time.

Sponsors of the event donated prizes for teams and individuals who raise the most money etc. The individual raising the most money raised just over seven thousand dollars. He won a trip for 2 anywhere in the world. Anywhere! And I thought seven thousand ain't that much more than one thousand. I could do that. If I tried. And so, come September, you can expect my begging to begin in earnest and creative fundraising efforts to abound. And come next May ... I'm on my way to Italy.

Meanwhile, I'd like to thank the following sponsors for the above paid announcement.

Barbee Ziemer
Connie Ziemer
Katie Hirvi
Patti Smith
Lucy Denotter
Megan Krauss
Michelle Johnson
Dan Johnson
Jed Ziemer
Jim Ziemer
Jayme Phibbs
Jody Phibbs
Carter Ziemer
Debbie Roy
Albert Ziemer
April Mason
Shirley Clarkson
Darlene Mjolsness
Karen Kellett
Janet Fleury
Jean DeBalinhard
Michelle Hall
Kore Connolly
John Squarebriggs
Elaine Ziemer
Beth Ziemer
Jade Cross
Xander Ziemer
Shaelena Hirvi
Dan DeBalinhard
Grace Ziemer
Vicky Smith
Adrie Denotter
Ken Ziemer
Crystal Bauffman
Amy Krauss
Kathy Innis
Candida
Tamara Ziemer

and probably others I am forgetting to mention. Thanks for comin' out.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Helping the proverbial little old lady cross the street.

She wasn't actually crossing the street, but rather the Home Depot parking lot.

As I was nearing the entrance of Home Depot, two elderly women were exiting. As they turned left towards where I assume their vehicle was parked, the elder of the two caught her foot on a raised jagged crack in the sidewalk. And down she went. Hard.

I think she may even have lost consciousness momentarily as her head smashed against the concrete. As I offered to call 911, her friend and a young man who followed them out of the store were talking with the woman, asking if she was okay etc. I don't think she had any idea where she was or what way was up for a while.

It took the three of us to hoist her to her feet and by that time a small crowd had come to assist, including a few employees. (Which is more employees than I have ever seen offer to help anyone. You can be sure next time I am wandering aimlessly looking for something or someone to help me, I'm just gonna trip over something and lay on the floor)

One gentleman helped her wipe blood off her face while we ushered her towards a nearby garden bench. He was not wearing an orange apron, but I'm certain he was a supervisor or something. The entire time he was talking with the woman in a way one would comfort a young child, "You're gonna be okay. You have a small cut. Let's clean this little bump up for you. Okay, there you are. You have a small bonk there ...." He stopped short of offering to kiss it better for her. I'm sure the entire time he had the word lawsuit bouncing around in his head.

Seeing she was being cared for and there was not much more for me to do, I continued on in my shopping quest.

I found some paper towel to wipe off the blood she got on me but I could not shake the feeling that I had to get home and wash this stranger's blood off me. I was afraid to put my hands anywhere near my face.

And of course the entire incident kinda shook me up a bit. So much so that when I went to get house numbers to put on our new mailbox, I could not remember my house number. We've lived here for four years!

"I'll just look at my driver's licence," I thought. Good thinking. Except that I had changed purses a week or so ago, and aparently I forgot to transfer my driver's licence. I did manage to find my recent paycheque with my address on it.

After getting home and cleaning up, I commented on Facebook about the incident. My mom comforted me by assuring me that the elderly woman probably didn't have any scary blood-transferred deceases. Then my daughter piped in and explained the reality of rampant decease in seniors homes.

It's sad what our world has come to when you can't help a little old lady without feeling all creeped out by it. And if I die of some communicable decease, please hunt down the elderly "Marie" who is surely going to receive a nice little settlement package from Home Depot.

Monday, May 4, 2009

**Update**

Jed went for his follow-up appointment (and yes, I was able to attend it with him - thanks God, for working that out) Turns out he had pneumonia that was not diagnosed on the first xray. By the time the 2nd xray was taken he had improved significantly so they opted not to give him antibiotics. He needs to get more xrays next week to ensure it is completely cleared up.

Only Jed would suffer pneumonia and not the take the perfect opportunity to whine and cry about how crappy he feels.

The Ugly Parts are Part of the Beauty

One of the seasonal options with Art Class with a Wine Glass I love my job. I really do. I am an art facilitator. At least that is the ...