Favourite Books

  • The Green Mile
  • Animal Farm
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Lord of the Rings
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Fat Kids Fast Food

As you all know by now, I am not a Doctor, a scientist, or really, even overly intelligent. I am a 56 (soon to be 57) year old woman, who has managed to survive this long, and learn basic facts that have allowed me to make it this far.
  I grew up in the times when, spoil the Rod, spare the child, was a common motto. My mother baked cookies (sometimes), we had homemade dessert most nights after supper. The cupboards had cereal (usually puffed rice in a ginormous bag) and tins of evaporated milk, along with that nasty bag of powdered milk. Many times there were a couple of cans of Campbell's soup, and the ever present tins of Kippers and sardines, my parents loved. The fridge held the usual, milk (if there was some in town) cheese, maybe some left-over butter scotch pie which was totally off limits to us kids, because that was for my Father. My Mom might have had a bottle of her wine in there, maybe some Cheez Whiz, and some yucky marmalade. We had a bag of sugar, a bag of potatos,a bag of flour and most times, home made bread. Not sure what was in the freezer, besides the hunk of ice that we would attempt to break off and pretend it was a popsicle(really, we did that!).
  We did NOT go to the store, unless we were sent there on our bikes to pick something up for my Mother.We did not have a pocket full of money, as children. Some friends got an allowance. In my house, my Mother informed me that each month she got money from the government (as did every single freaking family in the country, no matter what their income) called the family allowance. It was a set amount, and she told me that any extras would have to come out of that, after expenses like flip flops, or rubber boots. She told me there was very little left, but, gave me the option, a set amount, each month, or the opportunity to have a sundae at the drug store, each week, change for a comic book, and a few cents throughout the week. Even at a young age, I realized, if I took the allowance, I would have to use it for things I needed(wanted) that were covered by the $32 she got each month from the government, taking a large clump away from me. I went with the possibility of getting my money spaced out through the weeks and months, and I am sure it was the best choice.
  I can remember going to the Drug store , as that was the single store in town that had the good stuff. I guess they sold prescriptions, but, really, I wonder, as those were usually given at the hospital. I am not sure why it was called the Drug store... It had a bit of everything in it. There was a Soda fountain in the front of the building. In this section you would find all the stuff geared to sugar hungry children. The Pop cooler was there, the ice cream cooler was there, the comic book stand was on the other side, along with all the chocolate bars and other crapola.
  I was a comic book fiend, so if I got 25 cents, I had to budget. I could get 2 comics at 10 cents each, and a 5 cent Pep Chew bar. The Pep Chew bar was not my favourite, but, it could last a very long time, because it was so hard and chewy, and if I bit a little off, each time, I could manage to make it last all day, and get my "read on".
  Hard to believe, I would make a chocolate bar last all day now,but, those were different times. I was always a little heavier than most kids, maybe that was because I did spend an awful lot of time sitting alone, reading. But, the rest of my childhood was spent outside, on the move, all the time! We were never allowed to stay indoors. We did not have TV, so there was absolutely no need to be cooped up in the house, that was called" Grounding", and no one wanted to suffer that punishment.
  Now kids ground themselves! They make the choice to sit indoors from the moment they get off their school desk seats . The cupboards at home are filled with junk food. Chips are an everyday thing at home, pop fills the fridge, puddings, cookies, ice cream, it is in abundance. The children now, sit on the couch, and play their computer games, stuffing their faces with things that were in my home, only on holidays. Their pockets are always filled with money, parents will buy them anything their hearts desire, because they do not want their children to suffer without like they did.
  I am sick and tired of people claiming Fast food is making Fat children! No, it is the simple matter of a lack of outdoor exercise, and too much available junk! The lack of the word No in homes, the lack of control, and the lack of parenting. Yes, I say that out loud! To give in to children is not something positive. They are children, they will eat garbage as long as their bodies can keep it down. How the heck is this suppose to be burned off?  If they sat on their butts, playing computer games, and ate toast with jam, they would pack on the pounds. If they ate cheese, they would pack on the pounds, if they ate steak, they would pack on the pounds. I am not sure if they ate Tofu if they would pack the pounds on, as I don't know anyone who would enjoy eating a lot of that,LOL.
  Ronald is not dragging children in, to stuff Happy Meals down their throats, to force them to gain weight. The person in control of where those children eat, is the one allowing this food to enter those young bodies. Likely, either because they are too tired or lazy to cook a meal at home, they are rushed, and it is simple, or they simply do not want to say NO to the kids. All of which are definitely not in the control of the Fast food giants. They are simply profiting greatly. Do we make government stop this? Cripes, this is what the country is built on! If we go about stopping restaurants, what is next?  Swimming pools, because children may drown? Hockey games, because children may get injured ? Bikes, because an accident could happen! Get a grip, people!! 
  The solution is simple, just use Common Sense!!! Say no!! Drive by, go to the local market, buy some good food, take it home, and feed your children something good, and then send them outside to burn the damn stuff off!! Turn the computers off for a few hours, give them a ball and bat, a skipping rope (just realized, you never see that anymore) hop scotch, hide and seek, Red Rover, Mother May I, all things that do not cost an arm and leg, all things kids do in a social group (that they actually can see).
  Being a good parent does not mean giving in to everything your child wants, it is teaching them that in the real world, often the word "No" occurs.We can't always get what we want, sometimes we should simply learn, it is acceptable to get what we need.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Should Poor People be Allowed Pets?

Well, this one just popped into my head this morning, hope, once again, I don't offend, but, if I do, too bad!!
  My friends already know, right now I am on edge, because my beloved Dog has suddenly been injured, or become sick. It is clear to all, the sun sets and rises in my world around my dog. I am alone quite often, at this time of life, and my dog is the one constant. He is always happy to see me, is a warm body to speak to, gives love unconditionally, and in return, the whole family dotes on this animal. He has been to the Vet for regular visits, is up to date with all his vaccinations, has shopping done on a regular basis at the Pet stores, has leashes of many colours. We shop for his food, and check where the product is made, trying to ensure we are not purchasing something that will perhaps kill him with kindness. The cupboard is filled with treats, he gets one each time he comes in from outside(which may be why he goes in and out, like he has a revolving door).
  We took him for a drive a few days ago, he gets to run at a certain spot, the door was opened, and out he went. Immediately I knew something was wrong, he didn't take off like a bat out of hell. He, in fact, plodded, and began browsing on grass. I told my Honey, this was wrong, so back into the truck he came. We stopped at another favourite spot, where he usually wanders about checking the area, and we usually have to have patience before he is ready to leave, nothing...I noticed he was stumbling, and his back legs seemed weak. No discussion, drove right home and called the Vet, in the next town. Thankfully, we were able to rush right out for an appointment.
  Anyone who has come to a place in life, where their pets have become as important as ours has, will understand that sick feeling. The drive was made in almost total silence. Both of us so worried. We crossed our fingers this was just over-protectiveness on our parts, maybe it was a common issue? Sadly, the Vet observed the weakness, and was also concerned. We were sent home with some medication, and instructions to watch him closely, keep him at rest (almost impossible with an energetic lab/retriever cross) and if he did not improve to return on Monday for X-rays.This visit cost us just over $100.
  Now, he is not improving, so it is clear we will be out at the Vet's on Monday, the costs of what is to come, is on our minds, however, we will be doing whatever it takes to get our beloved dog back to health. I expect all the pet lovers out there are saying, rightly so, this is the way it is suppose to be.
  Well, moment of truth! This is the only dog we have had, that has the benefit of Vet care. We have had many dogs in the past, and thankfully most of them survived a lifetime without health issues. We could just not afford to pay Vet fees, while raising a family, and living pay day to pay day. Our dogs were well fed, and greatly loved. They were kept warm, and a part of the family, but, the children came first. Perhaps those holier than thou reading, will state, we should not have had pets if we couldn't afford them. Helllooooo...maybe we should simply have left them at the rescue place, in hopes someone else would come along, someone with tons of money?
  I keep thinking about the little dog we had when my honey and I first got together. He was a small breed, and another dog chewed the crap out of him. I was in a state, we did not have the funds to travel the 4 hours to a Vet, let alone pay Vet costs. The only solution in our world, was to put the poor animal out of his misery. I was heartbroken! I still remember my sister-in-law offering to pay the Vet costs, and the poor little thing came home with drainage shunts, and stitches, but, I will never forget how thankful I was, she allowed us to get him the help he needed.
  See, it wasn't because we didn't love the dog, it was simply because we could not possibly find funds to pay the extreme cost of a Vet. Vet's are like Dentists, if you have to go there, you know damn well, you are going to be dishing out a ton of money. Do we all have money set aside, for Pet emergencies? Rather doubtful. Most of us do not have money set aside for people emergencies! So, perhaps the SPCA will be setting up new regulations ensuring all people with pets must have an account ensuring the pet will be properly cared for in the future, limiting those who can have an animal to the wealthier? What will happen to all the other animals? Oh, yeah, people will spay and neuter, and we will just have a specific amount of animals to fill the homes of those with the emergency accounts......
  I get ticked when someone feels another should not have a pet, because they can't offer the animal everything. I have seen pictures of homeless people covering their dogs with blankets, and going without, themselves. Should we take that animal away, because there is no way in hell they could afford a Vet? A human being with a heart, can see that animal is loved. It is clear the person will do all they can to offer comfort to that creature, to the best of their ability. It is apparent that is not just an "animal" it is a friend, and a partner.
  Now, I am extremely glad at this point, we will be able to manage to find a way to pay whatever the cost, to make my puppy dog better, and although we may have to fore go a trip, or perhaps cut back on some extras for a while, we will manage. It is not up for debate, this time, like others. My children are grown, we have two incomes, and the "baby'" is number one. I do not have to worry about the SPCA or Animal rights dragging me into court because of mistreatment.
  I think we have come to a stupid place in life, with institutions like this running rampant. I am all for stopping animal cruelty,. I have been a dog lover since the beginning of my life, I will cry if I see Old Yeller, or Marley and Me. I hate to see an animal suffer. But, to limit people who have the ability to bring a pet into their homes, and offer it love and affection, a warm place to sleep, a full stomach, and the chance to be a part of a family, on the size of their income, is ludicrous. If this was the rule, I would never have had the 16 years of our last beloved animal, who never once made a Vet visit.
  Pets are People too...Well, mine is, in my world, at this time in my life. But, that is simply because I have left the world of raising children, and the cost and time and effort that takes. I still believe if you can offer an animal love and comfort to the best of your ability, that animal will have a good life. When Vet costs, like Dentists, come down to an affordable level, or the animal rights folks come out with some fund for those in need to access, do not judge the love someone has for their pets on the size of their wallet!Those folks who cannot afford to do what we are doing, are likely heart broken, and wish they could find a way to make their pet better. If you find it offensive they cannot manage, perhaps you can make a deal with the Vet?
  I for one, understand my Dog has a position in our world, that is pretty lofty. He is treated far better than any other animal we have had before, and, my children shake their heads at what we do for him. He is the "lucky" dog, the one that came along at the right time in life, when we were able to concentrate on his well being. I understand the other pets we had, never got this treatment, but they got the best we could give at the time, and. like everything else, what more can a person do? Our best is just a little better now, but, I remember, and I do not judge others as poor animal owners, if they have limitations. I understand the pain of a small wallet.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Extended Family

I realize, I have been on a tiny negative road for a while, so perhaps I had best concentrate on something a little more uplifting? Maybe I should share a few things that have happened in my life, that I am extremely grateful for? I know I have gone on a few times about the amazing friends that I have been lucky enough to pick up through the decades, but, there are others that I feel deserve to be immortalized in this written media, so here goes.
  These folks are ones that are in a section devoted to "extended family". Now, they are not all related, but, they somehow became a part of our home, and therefore, beyond friends. I will start with someone who IS family, but became my third daughter.
  Many, many years ago, when my honey and I first decided to take the plunge and become a couple, there was just the three of us, myself, my honey, and my 5 year old daughter. Oh, things were not peachy keen, I doubt many parents have an easy time when they form another relationship when a young child is involved. She will admit, today, she made his life miserable, and.... understandable. But, only months into our new life, we heard rumblings that my Honey's father was considering sending his two youngest off to live with their maternal grandmother. Yikes, we knew to uproot a teenage girl and her younger brother would not be a positive things, so...after some debate, we decided to bring them into our home. Family should stay together, right?
  Imagine, a pretty new romance, a ticked off 5 year old, and add 2 more kids who had to make a choice on being sent away, or moving into our home!  It was less than easy. We did not start off our lives together wealthy (cripes still haven't got there). Many times we had to learn to attempt to survive on EI or 6 week holdbacks, with a housefull. I learned to make meals with 3 ingredients, one of which was always rice from a ginormous bag that took up the whole bottom area of my pantry. I have heard from some, that they hate rice to this day, because it was so constant in those years.
 My daughter may not have made my honey's life easy, but, his sister became her sister. Oh, don't think that happened instantly, or maybe it did. She did everything in her power to tick CL off, and I suppose that is common for little sisters? Poor CL was the live-in babysitter, both my honey and I would jump at any chance to work, and often we would be on opposite shifts, leaving CL to look after the 2 others.
  I never regretted the decision , O.K. maybe I did, it wasn't easy! My honey did many jobs away from home, and it was certainly not any easier for me to become the "Parent" to his siblings, than for him to "parent"my daughter. But....When CL found her own honey, and had her own child, she called me on Mother's Day, that was a gift I will always treasure. Perhaps it is sad, I wish she had grown up with her Mother, but, I suppose for those years, she accepted I was the closest thing to a Mother, and because she did not have a higher standard to judge me by, I was rewarded.
  Because my first children had a 10 year gap, when we moved to Hazelton, my oldest was almost 15, and the younger 2 were 4 and 3. I worked there as well, my oldest did not come right away, so we had to have a babysitter for an hour between my afternoon shift and my honey's day shift. It was not easy!! I wanted to work (and sort of had to) because moving to a new town, I knew no one, and a job allowed me to meet people. However, the opposing shifts, and lack of family time took their toll. My honey belonged to the ambulance service, so we decided I would stay home, so he could go on call after his work day.
  That was the year my son started Kindergarten. I remember going to the school just after he started and a lady coming up to me and asking if I was interested in "babysitting". Her son was in the same class, and she had heard that I was a stay-at-home Mom. Yikes!! I had not really given this much thought, how many times had I moaned that I had too many kids, nothing was ever clean, I didn't have a moment to myself! However...this would be an instant friend for my 5 year old, a few extra dollars in my pocket, so why not?
  That was the best decision I ever made. My son not only had a friend, I found one as well! This woman became a friend I desperately needed in a new place. She put her trust in me, with her child, which is a huge thing, and this blossomed into something far beyond child care. Her son came to our home for as long as they lived in this town. My son stayed with them often, they took him on trips, it was like both boys had two homes. Hey, my friend continued to pay me, and in truth, each time I felt guilty, if we didn't need the extra money, I would have loved to be able to hand it back, because it stopped being a job almost immediately. I benefited in so many ways, payment almost seemed like theft.
  Today, these boys are almost 23 years old, and both families have moved far apart, however, at this moment, my "second son" is upstairs sleeping. These boys decided they would get together, and it is like time stood still. They spent a few days visiting my youngest daughter, and had a blast.Who knew that the day I decided to "baby-sit" 18 years ago, would result in relationships that extended our little family so far?Both of these boys love their Moms, but have developed such a tight family bond, that they in fact claim the "second son" titles, and spent time digging to discover somehow they are related "twice removed". Guess this makes things legal;,LOL.
  I would be remiss not to mention my other "son". He showed up the moment we moved here. Not sure how that happened, one minute he was visiting in our trailer, the next we trusted him to look after our home and pets when we went off on a holiday. He simply became a part of our lives. The boys were always together, if I woke up on a weekend and W was not in the house, I would worry. He was a part of our Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. Just seemed right.
   There would always be a crowd of kids in the house, and sometimes I would wake up in the morning to find 5 teenage boys sleeping in the bedroom, on floors, or on my living room couch. Not sure why it was my house, but, they were quiet, and would all disappear, never had an occasion to witness drinking (maybe when we were gone?) just a group of kids comfortable enough to spend the night somewhere safe and warm.
  So, perhaps I only had 3 children, but, in truth, I have been lucky enough to have the joy of watching many more grow up, and having them allow me to be a part of their lives. I can grow old, with the knowledge that I will never be alone...I have a family which extends farther than I ever imagined.I thank you all, for this amazing gift!!

Thursday, 23 May 2013


So, this one, I have been holding off on. I am a tad concerned as it is about someone I have ran across, who is  still wandering about the area. Some I work with, have been on my case for years to write about this individual, but, I just don't think i can put down the correct words to allow you to see him, as he truly is. He is so incredible, that he still finds ways to blow my mind, and I thought I had seen or heard it all by now.
  This is, my buddy's friend, who we will call the "Prince of hopelessness" or POH. This man has many nicknames, Puke Berry, Google eyes, Zesty, Broccoli, the list goes on and on, but POH will do for this rant. Why POH? Well, in my mind, there is absolutely no hope for this person, and...he seems to think he is on a level far exceeding that of the average human being. Perhaps he is a Prince? He is on a level beyond sanity, he lives in his own little world, filled with years of newspapers, and toilet paper. This man can go through  a roll of toilet paper every day! We expect it is because he eats an over abundance of broccoli...He is anal!! Perhaps that also is a reason for the excessive toilet paper usage? We must ensure there is a stock pile of this butt wipe, not the usual 2 rolls, each unit generally has in stock, no, this person has 5 rolls!! We noticed that as the roll diminishes on the dispenser, a new roll is placed unwrapped on the back of the toilet to ensure no possible emergency reach will occur, if he gets carried away. I have had a house full of children, and never gone through the squares as fast as this man does. He is not enormous, so his buttocks should not require a fist full to wipe (yes, I suppose we are getting a tad to far into depth here), in fact his behind is flat as a pancake!
  He is beyond cheap!! Remember, his way is paid for approximately 9 months of the year, by his employer. He apparently is a home owner, with two rentals, but, our hotel is the only home he lives in. This home allows him to have heat and hydro, he never has to buy butt wipe, he never has to buy shampoo. He also does his laundry in the bathtub!! No cost at the local laundry, more savings in his pocket. No dish soap, all supplied. TV, phone..all included. He is one of the very few guests that does not own a computer, although internet would be free as well.
  He requires his own personal soap. Oh, our little bars are not to his standards, we must request money, and go to the store to pick up a new supply of his requested brand of body soap. Heaven forbid he runs out, we are to keep our eyes open and watch his supply, otherwise the phonecall will be made to the office, and we mustn't upset him.
  He gets a deal on his room, usually it costs beyond what he is given in LOA, so a deal was made, and we do not make his bed every day, so he gets a discount. For goodness sakes, we must try and remember if a new girl goes up to do this room, to insist she not make the bed, if he find his bed made during the week, he gets very upset, and will make the call, then he will close his bedroom door and place a DND sign, likely because he is worried he will have to pay the extra. Truthfully he is not a lot of work, he is just a pain in the A$$ because you are always worried you will do something that will upset his OCD cart, and he will pick up the phone.
 Now, he has nothing in his life, besides his job, so small things excite him. A strange vehicle actually driving about his own personal area (in a hotel) will set him off. He has been known to mark times, vehicle descriptions, licence plate numbers, of cars and trucks with numbers of occupants on his calender. When they arrived, when they left. If I didn't know better, and I don't, I would think he feels no one else should ever be placed in any adjoining units, while he is there.
  He covers every single piece of furniture with towels. One day we counted more than 15 towels placed on the couch, chairs, coffee table, and yes, even on his bed, over his sheets! WTF!!! He is the only person sitting on this stuff, he is the only person on that bed, which has clean sheets placed each and every week, the only buttocks touching that sheet is his, why does he need to place a towel there???? So each week, the bed towel is removed, gingerly, and we place a nice clean towel on top of the bed.
  He is dead set against smoking. O.K. I understand that, however, he goes just a little beyond the average. He has claimed that someone in one of the units was smoking in their room, and the smoke made its way into his unit through the electrical outlets!!! Helllooooo....He also recently decided that an electrical issue in his unit was the result of a missing ballast. Helllooooo again..I am not an electrician, but..ballasts are only used with florescent lights, and this place does not have a single one of those!
  What really bothers me most about this person is he spends all his time bad mouthing my place of employment. Now, I admit, I do my share of bad mouthing, but..this thing is treated like Lord of the Flies. He is catered to, beyond belief. He has a choice of many other places to stay, but has continued to return to us. Then I go out for a meal to another restaurant, and listen to him at another table telling complete strangers complaints about where he stays, blatant lies about being charged for things, that never happened, and spewing all sorts of crap. Hey, I know the truth, but, to keep my job, I have to sit and bite my tongue.
  This man has been receiving a free breakfast for the past 4-5 years. Way back in the day, my employer made a business decision to try and entice customers. This free breakfast offer ended years ago, but...the POH insists on getting this to this day. Oh, it is not a simple breakfast, no, no...it is a specific order, with special additions. Each morning it is to be ready when he arrives!!! Then it is to be placed on the table with a container. He eats approximately 1/2 this breakfast, then with the side order, it is placed in the container, and lo and behold, he now has a free lunch as well!!!!
  He does not, however, eat supper at the hotel, this he has at another establishment, and I am unsure if he gets a special deal there!
  He is extremely arrogant, now, we are unsure, perhaps he was dropped on his head at a young age. We don't think he actually realizes that he causes most of the staff to attempt to hide when he appears, but, he does. We have cleaned his toilet for years on end, wiped his curlies out of his tub, scrubbed the soap scum out of his sink, and mopped his dirt off his floors. We have ensured he is kept in soap, toilet paper, dish racks, light bulbs, shampoo and towels. We enter his unit every day, overwhelmed by the stench of rotting fruit, an vegetables. We have cleaned up each time he left, and ensured things were proper before he returned. Not one, and I mean never, have we ever received a single tip from this individual. I admit, once a week he goes in and hands over an amount to tip the wait staff, it is a set amount, and I will say it does not exceed $11, and that is for breakfast 7 days a week. However, those of us who have to clean his crap, go that extra mile to keep on the fine line he expects with his idiosyncrasies, do not deserve any consideration.
  So, when I go on my rants about those folks who arrive in town to work for my very favourite corporation, I hope that you have some concept of why. He is simply one of many, someone I must cater to, who has somehow come to the assumption that he is a superior being. I am not sure if this is a course that is required, before being sent here, but, if he was the only one that came with this attitude, I would not go off the wall as often.
  Who knows, perhaps they are sent here once their ballasts are removed?

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Pictures of My Boobies

 Bet this gets some blog hits, LOL
Today was my annual Mammogram day. I almost missed it, and I'm pretty ticked about that. Each year, because we live in the middle of the boondocks, the mobile breast screening comes to our town. They are usually here 1 1/2 days. I have, in the past, seen the notice from the local hospital about a month in advance, advising women to call the 1-800 number to book their appointments. Now...the first time I called that number,I was unable to get a spot. The second time, one of the questions they asked was "who is your Doctor?" Hellloooo...I did not have a Doctor, Bingo, was not able to make an appointment! Now this tells me, the Cancer Society is not up on the impossibility to have a family Doctor. The few times I have had to go into the local Clinic, I get whatever Doctor happens to be in town, I do not have the privilege of having my very own regular person. Then it seems, because of this, I am denied access to a screening that is suppose to be available for everyone. Nope, wrong approach, dear Society. If you truly want folks to think you are actually looking out for the women of B.C. lose your Dr. question. I found a way around this, got a name of a Doctor that comes to town, and used that. Hey, what else was I suppose to do? Was that cheating? I don't know, but, it makes me choke a little when I see advertisements saying how all of this is available, no need for anyone to go undiagnosed, they can just walk in and get tested..Nothing is as easy as the TV states. This time, I did not see any notices, I did not receive a friendly reminder in the mail (perhaps those only come every two years , due to the new regulations which claim women only need to be tested every 2 years). I happened to drive to the grocery store and see the familiar Van parked outside the hospital. I wasn't sure, couldn't be the screening Van, no advertisement, no public service announcement. I sat down and checked my Facebook, and lo and behold, comments about folks who had been in for their mammogram! WTF!!!!
  I immediately called the 1-800 number, gave the same Doctor's name, and was able to pick any time the next day for my appointment. That, in itself,is either frightening, or disgusting. It is frightening to think in a town with at least 350 women, so few are concerned about a disease that kills so many friends and family, each year, that they would take 10 minutes to have a screening. It is, on the other hand, disgusting to think, that no one felt the need to advertise the small window that women could access this life saving procedure. Something is wrong, either way.Why would our local clinic not spew this out to the public? They spew out days the lab is closed, or a nurse is unavailable (big deal), but, suddenly the arrival of the Cancer Society's Screening Van is not important?
  I did not start having this procedure until my beloved childhood friend , who is a survivor, convinced me it was the dumbest thing in the world to ignore. I lost the first friend I made in this town, to Breast Cancer, and she was only in her 40's. I lost a woman who was, a friend, the mother to a friend, and a grandmother to my youngest's best friend , to Breast Cancer the same year. I lost an Aunt who I only knew for a short time, but, who touched me so greatly, I gave my oldest daughter her name.
  I doubt anyone reading this, has not seen the horror of terminal Cancer. It is a word that makes me cringe. I remember my Aunt, she lived in Scotland, which is where I had the pleasure to meet her. She was full of life, and full of fun. Not long after my holiday, and visit, I was told she was dying of Breast Cancer. We were sent pictures of some family get together, and I was horrified when I saw her. She traveled to Canada when her daughter got married, and my mother asked me to go to the wedding. I refused. Not because I didn't want to be a part of my Cousin's wedding, but because I could not bear to see my amazing Aunt, deathly ill. I wanted to remember the woman I met, when life was without Cancer. However, that picture is still clear in my mind, because that was not the last time I watched someone I loved, become a living skeleton, and suffer beyond human endurance.
  Mammograms are made out to be painful. Hey, perhaps to some they are. Maybe if I had big Jahougies, it might hurt, but because I am petite in that area, piece of cake! It is done by women, so no need to be shy. Likely you will never see them out on the street, so what's the big deal about baring your boobies in a room behind a screen? Cripes, I am one of those shy people, don't like to even go to the pool, unless I have my own cubicle to change in. It takes such a short time, they get you all set, it is obvious they are like trained seals, and are definitely not comparing who has perky or saggy ones. This is their job. It is clinical, and that is the best part. Just like getting your flu shot, quick, and simple, and out the door. Then you wait for 2 weeks, and hope the letter you receive does not request you to get another mammogram, or inform you to make a Doctor's appointment. But, if it does, the few moments you spent, may make the difference between life or death.
  So, for all you women out there, take a moment, because, nowadays, there are very few folks who have not lost a friend or family member to this. Remember those who did not survive, and pick out a Doctor's name, book your appointment, and have a Mammogram in memory of them!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

My Wheelbarrow

O.K. going to brag, just a little tiny bit....I got a new wheel barrow yesterday!!Some may not think this is a big deal, but in my world, having a wheel barrow is HUGE!! It also brings back memories of my Mother. Hola...weird you say, how does a wheel barrow remind one of their Mother? Well, my Mom had the oldest wheel barrow in town! It was made of wood, and had a wheel that was metal!She used that thing all summer long, working away at a yard that was nothing but bare patches, and yuck. That damn thing weighed a ton, but it did the trick. We used to use it to keep ourselves occupied, and would push our friends all about in it.
  She did get another wheel barrow, in later years, and I can remember using that prized possession when I worked on a summer job, clearing and making trails in the local park. I would bring my friend and neighbour home for lunch on the wheelbarrow. Glen was what we called a "Thalidomide" baby./ We had quite a few friends and classmates with this birth defect, because Thalidomide was given to mothers in the 50's to help with morning sickness, and the terrible consequences of this resulted in thousands of Canadian children born without limbs, or partial limbs. Glen was one, and his legs ended near his knees, he had 1/2 an arm on one side, and his other arm was not fully developed. He would wear a full pair of jeans (or when he dressed up, his cords) and simply pin them up, so if he put on his prosthetic legs, the pants would work both ways.
  Thinking back, this opens my eyes to how isolated our world really was, back in my home town. We had never seen anyone with the issues Glen had, before, yet..after a very short period, Glen became a part of all our lives. He was simply someone who didn't have legs, and yes, I am going to say it, handicapped! He had a 3 wheel bike that he used his one arm to peddle! Cripes, writing this, I realize how difficult his life may have seemed, but, those of us who hung out with him, must have been looking through rose coloured glasses, because, every thing we did, somehow between the bunch of us, we came up with a solution to allow Glen to be a part of everything.
  Every party, every school dance, every school trip, Glen was with us. Oh, I remember some dances, his safety pins in his pants would come undone, and he would be so into dancing, that others would start tripping on his pant legs that would be sliding about on the darkened floor. But, instead of getting annoyed, we would always laugh along with him, because, we knew he loved his music, and he loved his friends.
  Oh my goodness, when I sat down to write about my wheel barrow, I had no clue Glen would show up. now, I write with tears, because that is someone else lost to this world, and the world is missing a very special person. The one and only reason I was going to mention this person of my childhood, is, because Glen also worked with us on the project. Because he lived a block away from me, each lunch hour, Glen would hop up into my Mother's borrowed wheel barrow, and I would drop him off at his house, and pick him up after lunch for work!
 So, wheel barrows have become an important part of my life! I guess, even more important than I imagined, because, besides my beloved Mother, they will always remind me of someone else incredibly amazing.
  One person with a wheel barrow can accomplish as much work as two without. I have worn out 2 of the things in the time I have been with my Honey!!Hey, that says a great deal, right? The last one, he got me for Mother's day, years ago. He spent a fair bit of cash because it was a "contractor" barrow, and was built to last. My bad! I left it filled too many times with water, and yuck, and the body rusted, and wore rust holes into the thing. He wanted to replace it a few summers ago, but, wheel barrows are like old jeans, you get the feel of them, and you enjoy the comfort of knowing when it is too full, by the weight in the wooden handles. He riveted a piece of metal over the holes, to allow me to continue with my good old barrow, but, this spring, it was apparent I would have to let it go. Maybe we could just buy a new wheel? The one on it had so many holes it had to be filled up steady. Upon close inspection, the wheel had rotted, no filling that, so I scoped out wheel prices, $45 for a frigging wheel!!
  I did some calculating, with my cheap skate mind, we could dish out for that wheel, but...more holes were rusting, and it wobbled a bit too much when pushing, so, I broke down, and told my Honey, I was ready for new wheels. I looked it the fancy new 3 wheel barrows, nope, not my cup of tea. I guess they are suppose to be easier to maneuver, but, I suspect dumping them, might be a bit too much work. We returned home from our little trip with a nice metal (no damn plastic for me) contractors barrow that set us back $200 smackeroos!! But, even to a penny pincher like me, this was an excellent investment. That barrow will allow me to enjoy the spring to it's full extent. It will be my extra pair of hands, hauling leaves, and bits, moving stuff about, that is too heavy for my old arms to carry. My grandchildren can sit in it, when they visit, and enjoy a spin about the yard.
  Each time I do a job that requires me to pull out my wheels, I will be reminded of folks who I can no longer see, but, who, will come to mind, and be with me when I pick up the handles of my third wheel barrow!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Big Time Spenders (Hydrosaurus)

So, once again, the nasty dinosaur has reared it's ugly head. I am getting right fed up with this corporation! It is like a tiny little Vatican, a country all it's own. Every single day, I find a little tidbit, about what they give to their employees, and what, us as tax payers, and of course, rate payer must dole out to keep the citizens of this country happy.
  Now, first off, I am aware having to spend time in the hole in the wall town, must not be appealing to workers. Of course the majority of them are city folks, as cities appear to be the favourite nesting grounds for this creature. Too bad, they don't erect their dams in the midst of the cities!! But, sad facts are, they often build those in places that there are not enough voices to stop them, and far enough so that the large populations can forget they even exist. That causes a huge problem...they have to staff these dams, and someone has to get enough perks to convince them to put in their time. Trust me, the perks are many, and mindblowing.
  Just recently, I heard grumblings that Hydro was fed up with paying high rent for shoddy old places here in town. Helllooooo...the rent is only high because...yep, you guessed, Hydro raised the bar so high, that no one else besides ,no cost is too much, Hydro, could afford. I am ticked. I heard time and again it was Oil and gas causing the rent to sky rocket, Bull Poop!! Hydro offered extreme rent payments, to ensure they got all the property they needed. Oh, they are sneaky buggers. They always want the utilities included, Hydro isn't going to pay hydro, but, boy, they didn't have a problem renting all over town, homes that often sat empty, just in case someone showed up. They hired someone to clean up weekly after these folks, I actually considered doing this once, because the rate was much higher than what I get doing hotel housekeeping!
  So, let me state, in this tiny town for decades there had been absolutely no new homes built. This changed , just a year or so ago, someone came into town, and built 2 brand new beautiful log homes, beside each other. My goodness, wonder who was doing that? Someone must have information about progress happening, because, everyone else with rental property didn't have a single guest!!
  Well, surprise!!! Guess who the F*ck jumped right on the band wagon and rented these houses? Yep, you guessed it, Hydro!!! Mark my words, the rent is not the cheapest in town!! But...oh the houses are brand new, and suitable for Hydroids!!
  This corporation is so arrogant, so beyond average, they have plenty of homes they have passively acquired, yet, they will spend your money to sign a lease to rent the newest homes in town, for their management folks to use when they have to stoop so low to spend time in this town!!Come on!! Just think about it, this is your money!!! Who the F*ck works for this company that is so important they can't stay in a hotel, or a company owned home? Why can't they simply buy a few pieces of furniture, put it in the row of houses that sit 3/4's empty, right in a town that is desperate for affordable housing, and put these folks up, at no cost to the citizens of B.C.?
  I know I go on and on about this, but that is because I am not one of them!! I imagine even their own, must question the spending, but, they don't have the privilege of opening their mouths without their source of income at stake. Hey, don't think Hydro has ran rough shod in this town all these years, simply because they owned the place, they also owned almost all the people!!
  I am fed up with the whole place turning a blind eye to the waste, and frivolous bonuses and benefits, and perks. At a time when every single British Columbian is hearing how far in the hole this corporation has fallen, and how they have sold us down the river by making insane deals with those who they allowed to set up "run of the river" projects, they don't seem to give a sh*t!! They continue throwing money out the window, and I for one, see it!! I am here in hick town B.C. where it is in my face constantly!!
  For goodness sakes, people!! Is there no one out there who can stop them? Do they not have to answer to those who pay for all their stupidity? The government is well aware of what is happening, but...no one is stopping it. They see the waste, but they can't cut the head off this ginormous monster. It is eating our money up, and doesn't stop, because, Hey...they will just raise the rates. That is where we are. The money drains out the hole in the purse, and they just charge more and more, and more, to keep putting enough into it, to continue getting no where!
  You wait, the smart meters are a f*ck up, the tiers do nothing for people outside of the city. Those of us in the little holes that have the creatures all around us, pay the most. We pay to have a potential disaster in our backyards, we pay to lose large tracts of land, we pay to have our homes decrease in value, we pay to watch the citizens of the Vatican live beside us, but in their own tiny little Hydro bubble . Then, we get the double whammy, and pay rates through the roof, because our locality requires almost each and every home to pay the higher tier rate. We pay delivery fees the same as the city, although it is just coming from up the hill. Now, we pay so the Hydrosaurs can live in the nice new houses,why? I need someone to answer this question! I want to know why , when a huge crown corporation has lost so much money, they don't have to tighten their belts, and step down a few rungs on the ladder? Why they don't have to do like school boards and cut costs? Why they don't have to give up some benefits, and a few perks? Why they are allowed to continue spending like it is going out of style? I want these answers, because, if they can do it, why can't I?

Thursday, 2 May 2013


Well, I am likely stepping over the line, yet again, but.....I just can't stay quiet on this matter.
  Charity: The "Voluntary" giving of help, typically money, to those in need.
O.K. I grew up in small town B.C. When a family lost a loved one, it was almost like a buzzer went off in town. You could bet your socks that those folks in mourning would have all levels of food, placed on their door step. People understood, when you have suffered a loss, the last thing you are going to do, is make meals, or even, often, eat. These offerings were given from the heart. I did this more than once, and have had those gifts returned in my time of need. I remember answering the door to so many, who showed their condolences by a offering of food. It does give comfort. I may not have partaken of an awful lot of the food, but, those who stopped by to speak, had a drink, and desserts, and those of us, who had our minds numbed by grief, were able to offer food to others who enjoyed it.
  I will tell you of another instance. Years back, my honey was suddenly without employment. It came at a bad time, lots of bills, children to feed, and no money set aside. Hey, wasn't the first time we hit hard times, and not the last. You never ever get used to it, but, after some struggle, it is possible to get through the mess. During this time, I had a very bad day, at my wits end, wondering how we would manage, and set off to the post office to get the new batch of bills, we could not afford to pay. In the mail box was an envelope, it was from my internet friend, who I had never met, but had been writing every day, for years. I opened the envelope, and inside (she lives in the States) was $100 in Canadian money! I was dumbfounded. Oh, I could certainly use the money, but..for a little while, I was almost insulted. I wanted to send the money back, I didn't need charity, and that is what this felt like. We could struggle, we could manage on our own, not going to accept a handout!! My honey was shocked when I showed him, like me, he was offended. It seems our pride was pretty damn huge. I mentioned to another friend what had happened, she told me, under no circumstances to even think of sending it back. She explained, my internet friend would be crushed. It felt strange, and I, for a moment, felt like a total failure, but that cash would buy groceries, and it would make things much easier. I wrote my friend, and she simply wrote me back, "pay it forwards". I accepted that money. Upon acceptance, and the understanding that, this moment in my life, I did truly need the money, but, one day, I would find another person who was in a bind, and I could return this gift to them, continuing the cycle. I got comfort, it made me feel cared for, and I realized what a gift from the heart this was. I had not asked my friend for financial help, she just felt the urge to give, without any expectation, without reward, just her way of helping a friend. I will never forget that moment, I will never forget my pride over riding sense, or the incredible feeling of warmth, that $100 gave me then, and the warmth of the memory of that gift.
  Charity, voluntary giving of help! Yesterday I opened my e-mail. I read a public service announcement from someone local regarding a family who recently suffered a terrible loss of their home. I know the local bank has set up a donation box, the thrift shop opened their doors for clothing, someone found them a rental home, and they were not hurt, thankfully. That is all good, and charitable, and expected in small towns. However...it seems the wife/mother had just had previously scheduled surgery. The message went on to say, she was unable to make lunch or supper, and the author of the message was requesting members of the community deliver meals to the rental home. They even went so far as to request the meals be delivered in disposable containers, or cookware folks did not need returned. Then another message, stating that folks were to call a number saying what they were considering making, in case of duplicate meals!!!! Now, keep in mind, this is not the actual family requesting this, however....if I ever saw my name placed in something like this, I would be livid!! Yes, they lost their home, but, if they had not lost it, she would still, apparently be in the same position, and who the heck was going to make the meals? I don't think her husband is without limbs, in a family, should he not be stepping up to the plate, and making the meals after work?
  I find this pathetic! I think it may be placed by a church, as they worded something about a "ministry". Well, this should have been requested in Church, not to the community at large. I don't care if it is a small town, and they are "Nice" people. If they are so nice, then their friends would be doing this meal thing.
  The loss of a home, does not give free reign to have someone else take over every aspect of life. I assume they had insurance, so , although they will never recoup the personal items, and memories lost, they will rebuild. I am grateful that I have not suffer this devastation. But, I will not be making any meal, in disposable, or unneeded cookware. I will certainly not be coming up with something new and delicious to ensure they don't get a duplicate meal that they can store in the freezer until needed.
  There is a fine line, between charity, and unreasonable expectations. Because you have been dealt a blow, and must accept help from others, to find your footing, is charity, and is something that gives that feeling of comfort, and care from your fellow man. To expect others to step in, and make your day to day life easier, is simply, an excessive desire for more of something than is needed.
  I write this, not knowing if that family is aware of what was requested. I am not saying they asked that this request be made public. But, because this announcement was continued 3 times yesterday, I have to assume they have received more than one meal, by now. I know I would be mortified if, as a couple, everyone in town knew, we could not manage to find a way to feed our family, without a PSA!!
  Go ahead, tear me to shreds. Just my personal opinion, and you know how hard it is to shove me over to the other side of the fence!!