Saturday, January 31, 2009

Decisions, decisions

Thursday afternoon I arrived back home from a quick trip to the library to find a telephone message waiting for me (Hubby was having his nap).

"This is the Home Care nurse. I will be coming tomorrow morning (Friday) to draw your husband's blood sometime between 8:00 and 9:00. He must be fasting. Oh, and I need a urine sample."

Oh, really? How convenient. Thanks for all the notice. There was no way of reaching this nurse to try and reschedule since it was after 4:00 pm and she had gone home.

These blood tests were just routine, so could be done anytime. The important thing was, I had booked a nail appointment for 9:00 the next morning (Friday).
Hmmmmm should I cancel my appointment? I could, but I don't feel right about cancelling at the last minute. Besides, I had 2 broken nails and really really wanted them fixed.

Could Hubby manage alone?
Why not? There is nothing for him to do but sit at the kitchen table and wait for the nurse. She could ring the doorbell and walk in. Do I really have to be there?
Or, with any luck, the nurse would arrive before I had to leave - then there wouldn't be a problem.

Nope - didn't happen.

The next morning, I taped a note on the front door instructing her to ring and walk in. It would take too long for hubby to walk across the room and answer the door. She might think nobody was home and leave.

I left dear hungry hubby (actually it was the early morning coffee he was longing for, not the food) sitting forlornly at the kitchen table. He wasn't upset that I was leaving - he'd encouraged me to go.

"I can certainly manage this on my own!" he said rather indignantly.
But I know it's hard for him to be on his own. Without me. Even for a little while. Especially with a "stranger" coming into the house.

How long would he have to wait (without nourishment) before the nurse arrived? Would he pass out alone in the kitchen? Would she be kind or impatient? Would she be skilled at drawing blood - or inexperienced? Would she remember to properly shut the front door after leaving? Or expect Hubby to make the trip from the kitchen to the front of the house, tiring him out unnecessarily. Would she be sensitive to Hubby's needs - his slowness of movement, his breathless speech, his need for his portable oxygen tank functioning at the same time as his oxygen concentrator?

All for the sake of getting a manicure? Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? How selfish! Guilty thoughts swirled around in my head as I drove to the salon, but as I pushed those aside, a teeny tiny voice of reason crept in and told me that I need some time too. My needs are important too, no matter how trivial they seem. I can't stop living because Hubby has COPD. He is at home. He is safe.

Calling home mid-morning I asked Hubby how it went.
"I waited until 9:00. The nurse hadn't arrived. So I had my coffee anyway."
"You did?"
"Well yes, I couldn't wait forever! And then around 20 minutes later somebody from Home Care called to tell me that the nurse was sick. They'd have to re-book."

Although Hubby will have to go through the whole "fasting for 12 hours" routine another day, I'm glad I listened to the teeny, tiny voice in my head and didn't cancel my plans for the day.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Diamonds in the Snow

If you look closely you can see bits of faerie dust..........

Or, they might be diamonds sparkling in the snow!

I think with an upgrade, or a more sensitive camera, the "diamonds" would be easier to see.

Couldn't let a post go by without a pic of flowers.
My kitchen hyacinth just beginning to bloom.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Trails in the snow

Snow is too deep for me to wade out into, so this was taken from my kitchen window - you can barely see the animal trails.
There's a much better view from my bedroom window (2 stories high). But it was too high up to take any good pics. From there I could see patterns of animal tracks in the snow. Each set of tracks weaving a story of the animal's journey:

Sometime during the night a raccoon, ambles his way from my neighbour's shed to the east corner of our house. He stays close to the walls for warmth then cuts across our back deck (probably on the lookout for left-over birdseed), before continuing on through the snow.

Squirrels scamper from tree to tree, like the tracks in the picture above. Except you can only see one tree - then the tracks curve around towards the hedge. A perfect place to play hide-and-seek! And do those squirrels like to play!

Rabbits hop out from beneath the warmth of a burrow,(presumably at night since I don't see them) at the bottom of our property, where our shed gives some protection from the extreme cold and wind. They hop into the hedge, then back out, across the snow-covered lawn, around a tree, towards the house, wherever their particular journey takes them.

Back downstairs in my kitchen (since I couldn't take really good pics of those animal tracks) I console myself with taking this late-blooming amaryllis. Late because I bought it on sale after the Christmas season was done. So it got a late start - but I'll take it anyway!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Jasmine

Happy Birthday Jasmine. She's two years old today.
Where has the time flown!

And here's Grandma Wendy with baby Nathan.
He slept all through the party!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby Nathan!

Baby Nathan Thomas arrived safely into this world at 10:18 this morning, via C-section.

He is a little fellow weighing just 5 lbs. and 10 oz.
Mommy and baby are doing well.
Daddy is over the moon.
Grandma Wendy and Jasmine spend the day playing dolls, playdoh, "little people", farmhouse, listening to music and NOT napping.
We jumped on the bed instead (well, Jasmine did - not Grandma Wendy)!

A heartfelt Thank You to everybody who kept us in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How Cold Was It??

Ha! Caught you! On camera, that is (and through the window too).
"What kind of a feeder is this?"
"Who cares as long as there are sunflower seeds to eat!"
"Wonder what happened to the other feeder?"

Naughty squirrels gnawed through the wood, trying to get to the seeds.

This part is almost totally off.
Will have to buy a stronger bird feeder, maybe a metal one.
But I like the look and feel of natural wood so much better.

How Cold Was It??

The corner of our patio doors.
Ice and frost build-up inside the house.

Here too. Where the wall corner meets the fireplace hearth.
But, things are warming up today. It's minus 11 Celsius or about
plus 10 Fahrenheit. We're coming out of the cold.
How are you doing?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Living in Joy

So This is Wonderland did a post on Joy.

The essence of her post was that there are two primary emotions that rule our lives. Love and Fear. We choose which one to live by.

When we are angry, anxious, resentful, insecure or worried, we are living in fear and have left love behind. In other words that which is fear cannot be love and that which is love cannot be fear.

To live in love is to embrace life, to make the most of every moment and strive for your dreams. To live in fear is to stop living, stop growing, and stop moving towards your dreams. To live in love is to live in Joy.

My paperwhites beginning to open.

It's obvious in our natural world that flowers choose joy. Have you ever seen a fearful flower?

I was very concerned about my daughter's pregnancy. She is high risk and at her last ultrasound the baby was only 4 lbs. Too little to be born. They were to wait another 4 weeks and re-do the ultrasound. Yesterday was the day.

If the baby had not grown, then my daughter would have to have a C-section done. Baby would be taken to the Neonatal ICU and kept there until he was big enough to be discharged home.

I had visions (nightmares really) of my daughter running from hospital to breastfeed and look after her new-born premie, and then back home to look after her almost 2-year old daughter.

Hard enough, but with Jasmine's medical problems, and this horrible cold weather, it would have been very stressful. I could help some, but I need to stay home with Hubby.
Well, we had good news yesterday.
The ultrasound revealed an almost 6 lbs baby. Good news. He is almost ready to be born. Today is the doctor's visit. We will have more information then.

It's time I stopped choosing fear. I need to take a lesson from my flowers and choose Joy.
* * * * * *
Update on baby Nathan: He will be coming into this world on Tuesday, January 20th. Please hold him in your hearts for a smooth arrival. Thank you everyone.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Seasonal Shopping

Remember this?

This was the electric snowshovel I wanted to buy, way back in November. It was on special at Walmart, but there were none to be found.
So, of course I had to have it.

I called all the Walmart stores in my area. And then I went further afield. But all to no avail. None in stock. Nowhere.

"Back-ordered, m'am." was all I heard.
So we hired a young fellow to shovel our front walk. He worked out for a bit then stopped coming.

After a bit of searching, we found somebody else. A really reliable young man. Works well. Reasonable rates. A good fit!

Yesterday, I was shopping in Walmart (no I don't live there, it's just that whenever I go, I always have a story to tell). Heading for the plant department (no, really? Not me), I happened to pass the "seasonals". And guess what I saw?

Electric snowshovels - lots and lots of them. The same model I had wanted earlier on in the winter.
When did they arrive?
Who cares. I stuck my nose in the air and walked away.

Meandering over to the jewellery section, I spotted a Star necklace that looked something like this.

I had seen it on sale just after Christmas, but didn't buy it. It was in the childrens' section and I thought that maybe a little girl would want it. It was the last one. How could I buy it? There were plenty of other styles: hearts, keys, animal shapes, but only one Star.

It was still here. And still 50% off. So I picked it up and put it in my basket.
I always go through the "self-scan" cashes. Scanned the tea towels, the fabric softener, coffee filters - everything scanned correctly. The Star necklace scanned at regular price ($10.00).
So I called the cashier over.
"This scanned incorrectly." I told her. "It's supposed to be half price."
"Oh, you're wrong - not this one."
"Oh, please! These have been on sale since after Christmas."
"Well, I'll have to go check."

She came back a couple of minutes later.
"You're right."
I held back a self-satisfied, smug smile and tried to look polite.
Zip, zip, zip, she punched in a couple of codes.
"Our mistake - you get it for free."

Now, that's the kind of shopping I like!

Monday, January 12, 2009


A tribute to my Great-Aunt Loukie. This spunky lady has successfully undergone surgery for breast cancer. At the ripe old age of 85!
To make matters worse, she also has congestive heart failure.

But, she got all her Christmas mail out on time. And organized things at home for when she would be in hospital.

One of the things she did was to get Life Line for her husband, who would be staying home alone. He is also 85 and suffered a series of mild strokes last year at this time. She then became his caregiver.

I was inspired by her actions. My great aunt Loukie did what needed to be done. I could do the same (and did - previous post).

Last year's poinsettia sits on my dining room windowsill. It lasted all through the long winter, spring and once summer came around, I put it in the garden and forgot about it. I'm surprised it didn't die. Don't think I watered it.

By fall, I took pity on it and brought it into the house. It's lovely red flowers (leaves really) had dropped off.

I remember my mother trying to bring back Christmas poinsettias by putting them in a dark closet for 12 hours and then in daylight for 12 hours. I don't think it ever worked for her. It never worked for me.

But this one is different. It's leaves are beginning to turn red, and soon will look like flowers.
I don't care whether the Christmas season is over. I don't care that it looks scraggly. This little plant has found inspiration.... and so have I.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Things that draw us..

Cheryl at Wildlife Sanctuary wrote about Temptation. She gave me the idea for this post. I was in a second-hand shop one nice summer day. My friends and I had just finished a tai chi class and nobody really wanted to go home. So we chatted over coffee for a while.

Finally, it was time to get moving, but one of the ladies suggested we stop in at this shop.
I really didn't want to. I had no desire to buy more "dust collectors". I have so much stuff at home.....
That's when this swirly green bowl caught my eye.
It pulled at me.

I ignored it.
It pulled at me.
I still ignored it.
What do you actually do with this?
Hmmm, I wouldn't get it all messy with salad or cookie dough; so it must just sit there.
Well, what's the point of that?

Then I looked inside and saw...
a couple of fishes.

How creative! I wonder what message that person was trying to give as he/she crafted this bowl.

Ooooooo - and that lovely peach-coloured swirl. What depths was this person trying to capture?

The more I told myself I didn't need this, the more this bowl called out to me.

So I gave in and bought it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Grow where you're planted

Paperwhites on the left. Grape hyacinths in the middle.
And an amaryllis on the right.

Each one of us grows at a different rate.

We are finally getting some home nursing services.

I say finally, because we never thought we'd need home care.

After all - we can look after ourselves, can't we?

Ahh - but the time has come for me to break open my cocoon - just a crack. I need to see that there still is an outside world. I need to see the ocean.

Hubby cannot stay alone. But I have needs too. And people who also need me.

So now we're in the process of setting up Life Line. And other emergency services for times when I'm not home and the power goes off. Or hubby falls ill.

I think I'm also growing a little.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Childhood Cancer Awareness

Mary at Mom2-2goodboys has done a post on childhood cancer.

The daughter of a friend of hers has had a relapse of her cancer (ewing sarcoma).

They thought she was cured. But it's back.

Little Ingrid will have to start chemotherapy all over again.

There is a petition to sign, sponsered by People Against Childhood Cancer and CureSearch. Their goal is 1,000,000 signatures.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

January... for the birds!

Here are my January babies. I bought some grape hyacinth bulbs at walmart. They were half price - left overs from fall planting. I didn't know if they'd sprout, but thought I had nothing to lose.

As you can see, after a week or so in a sunny window, they are growing!

Can you spot the chickadee? Hmmmm, I'm not too good at this.

What happens if I press the "zoom" button. Ah - that's better!

Actually I took about 6 pics of .......the bird feeder.

Chickadees had flown away. These are the only 2 where you can see the bird.

They move so quickly - I'll need lots of practice to capture these sweet little darlings.