Saturday, January 10

When it Rains, it Pours!

So far 2009 has been an exciting year and this is only the second week. We had water pouring through the ceiling, which hubby fixed successfully. Then our neighbor, Marrianne, who lives alone, fell and ripped the tendon out of her knee. Subsequently, she went to the hospital and stayed there for 48 hours before surgery was performed. This morning I picked her up and brought her home. She can't do much for herself, so I am helping her out when I can.

Two nights ago, hubby slipped on the ice when he was working and did something to his back. He was in a lot of pain and today I phoned a chiropractor, who agreed to see him. He came home feeling much better and his wallet was a lot lighter. I guess it won't put as much strain on his back not having that $75 to carry around. He has to go back Monday for another treatment, which will make his wallet another $30 lighter. Seems to me that his back will not be under as much strain. Hopefully at that point he will feel much better and not have to go back. Keeping my fingers crossed.

On a happier note, Brandon phoned on Friday and asked if he could stay overnight. He arrived about 7pm and we watched a bit of TV and then had two games of Mario Baseball. The first game he beat me 15 to 1. He was ecstatic. However, the first time I batted in the second game, I hit a homerun. He said, "Okay, Grandma, no more mercy for you," and beat me 9 to 1. At least I did better the second time, but he was thrilled that he won both games.

This morning, Brandon and I went to Zellers (Canadian department store similar to Wal *Mart.) I happened to see comforters in a bin in the center aisle. They were marked $19.95. I didn't expect I'd find a Queen for that price but found two and I bought both. That is a great deal. Comforters are usually very expensive. I bought a cream one with roses and a black and white one. When I get the camera working, I will take photos.

When it rains, it pours. Some negative things have happened this year, but have also received a few blessings. One counteracts the other and that's what life is all about. ~Blessings, Mary~

Friday, January 9

Today at the Optometrist

I found this photo of a woman in an old box of clippings that came from an auction sale some time ago. I thought it was a nice likeness and since I like old photos. I kept it. I'm sure that a family member would love to have it.

Thursday, January 8

Passing this Along

Today I was honored to receive this beautiful award from Storyteller at Small Reflections. This is a beautiful award. Thank you so much, my friend.

  • The Blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances that pervades amongst different cultures and beliefs.
  • The Blog contents inspire; strives to encourage and offers solutions.
  • There is a clear purpose at the Blog; one that fosters a better understanding on Social,
  • Political, Economic, the Arts, Culture and Sciences and Beliefs.
  • The Blog is refreshing and creative.
  • The Blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking.
The Blogger who receives this award will need to perform the following steps:

1. Create a Post with a mention and link to the person who presented the Noblesse Oblige Award.
2. The Award Conditions must be displayed at the Post.
3. Write a short article about what the Blog has thus far achieved – preferably citing one or older Post to support.
4. The Blogger must present the Noblesse Oblige Award in concurrence with the Award conditions.
5. The Blogger must display the Award at any location at the Blog.

So without further adieu and in the hopes that these bloggers will pass the award on to others, I present this award in alphabetical order to:

Anni at Hootin' Annis
Jackie at In the Land of the Living Skies
Pea at Pea's Corner
Peggy at Hidden Haven Homestead
Sammi at Bears in Exile Return Home

I hope you ladies enjoy the award and please pass it on to others who fit the criteria.

Please pray for my neighbor Marrianne. She had just received word that she had a job interview in Nunavut next week. She got the word on Wednesday and they had planned to fly her in for three weeks to get the feel of things. However, on Thursday she phoned me crying. She had gone out in her slippers (silly lady) to shovel the snow off her deck. She fell and hurt her knee badly.

When she went into the house, she went upstairs. (silly lady) and I told her to come down on her backside. She did but something went wrong and she fell down the stairs and put her leg through one of the spindles...the same leg that was injured in her fall outside.

She went to the hospital this morning about 2 am and is still there. They were to perform surgery at 10am, but all was delayed and she was still lying on a gurney when I went to see her at 3:30pm.

Do I see a pattern here? Possibly she is not meant to go to Nunavut or possibly she is not to go at this time. I ask you to pray that God's will be followed.

Enjoy your weekend and remember to take some time to spend having fun with family. ~Blessings, Mary~

Update: Marrianne has been admitted to hospital and her surgery is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, please keep her in your prayers. She's in a lot of pain and more serious emergencies will bump her back. This I can understand but it's still not very nice. However, she is more comfortable as of 9pm, when they found a bed for her and gave her something to eat and drink.

Wednesday, January 7

Plumbing Disaster

Remember when we did the renovations of the upstairs bathroom? It looked quite sharp and though hubby had never gutted and renovated a bathroom before, he did quite a good job. The plumber connected the bathtub and shower, but hubby did the vanity and sink. I was quite proud of him and everything worked great.

The other day the tenant told us that the taps on the sink weren't working. If he turned them on, water was running everywhere. Hubby checked it out and the sink needed new taps. He went and bought them and today he installed them.

About an hour later, I heard dripping and when I walked into the living room, there was water coming through the tiled ceiling. I called him and he went upstairs right away and corrected the problem. Trouble is, I guess about a gallon of water had gathered on that ceiling tile and when hubby touched it, it came crashing down and water went everywhere.

My first reaction was OMG! That poor laminate floor. When the Christmas tree stand leaked, it was flooded and now again today. They tell you not to get water on laminate flooring, but such is life. We can't always control things as we'd like. So hubby mopped it up and cleaned up the mess. He put the ceiling tile outside to drain and luckily by 6pm tonight, it was dry and ready to be put back up. Poor hubby. He had a difficult day for more reasons than this. I felt really sorry for him as he's been trying to do everything around here while I've been sick. He's done a fine job but enough is enough.

It all turned out for the best. As far as I can tell he got the water off the floor quickly enough that it didn't do any damage. The ceiling tile seems to be fine but probably only because of his quick action to take care of it. Now, he is sleeping peacefully. At 11pm, he will get up to get ready for work and then battle the snow that is falling. He sure has a lot on his plate right now.

In other news, Brandon, Jordan and Michelle didn't stay sick long. They recovered quickly. The boys have been in school all week and Michelle went back to work as well. Take care and try to stay away from this nasty bug that is going around. I am doing a bit better each day but am still far from well. I'm hoping that by early next week I've made a complete recovery.~Blessings, Mary~

Tuesday, January 6

Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen

This debut novel by Lesley Kagen tells the story of the O'Malley sisters, Sally and Troo, short for Trooper. It is set in Milwakee in 1959 and is a kind of coming of age story.

The girls father died after being in an automobile accident. Before he died, he asked Sally to watch over Troo, her younger sister. Sally promised him she would. Not long after his death, their mother married Hall, not because she loved him but because she needed his help supporting the girls. They left their farm in the country and settled into a rented apartment on Vliet Street.

It wasn't long before things began to go dreadfully wrong. The girls' mother had to go to the hospital to have her gallbladder removed. Instead of returning home in a week, she developed an infection and was on the verge of dying.

Hall liked his drink and did nothing to ensure the girls were taken care of once that Helen went to the hospital. Their older sister, Nell, was infatuated with Eddy and spent all her time with him and neglected her sisters, sometimes not coming home. The girls were basically left on their own. They found unique ways to care for themselves.

Things became worse. The year before a young girl had been found murdered. The summer of 1959, another girl went missing and then the girl from next door disappeared. Sally had a vivid imagination and she figured she knew who the killer/molester was. She also knew that she was next on his list of girls to molest and murder.

Secrets both good and bad abound in this debut novel by Lesley Kagen. Will Sally become a victim of the killer/molester? What family secret will be uncovered that will change the girls' lives forever? So many many secrets...some surprising answers. This novel is a great read and one that every girl that grew up in the 50s and 60s in a small community can relate to. The book is a selection of the Readers Club of America. It's one you won't want to miss.

Ms. Kagen's pen shines in this bittersweet and intriguing novel. There is a conversation guide in the back and a list of questions about the novel that provides food for thought. Ms. Kagen has really outdone herself with this one. I picked it up and had a difficult time putting it down. I read it within 48 hours of opening the cover for the first time. It reminded me a great deal of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to be swept back in time to another era I grew up in and one that I loved revisiting.

Thank you, Lesley Kagen for sending me a signed copy for review. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. This is the best book I've read in years. ~Blessings, Mary~

Our Simple Gifts: Civil War Christmas Tales

I received this book through my Christmas Book Swap and was delighted. Being a Civil War buff, I looked forward to reading this book, which is a compilation of four Christmas tales from the Civil War era.

No matter what your tastes, however, no one should miss the last story in the collection. It is not only the finest in the book, but a classic work which illustrates the human condition better than any other story written in the last 100 years. The protagonist is a newly freed slave who had been unspeakably abused by his "masters." Now the tide has turned, the men are dead in the war and the mistress of the house is on the verge of losing everything to the bank and about to be cast out with her retarded daughter. The simple act of Christian kindness which the slave shows toward the women brilliantly illustrates the evil of slavery and the importance of religion.

Author Owen Parry, a retired army officer, wo writes on national defense, has a pen of steel and it was heartwarming to read these gentle stories. Each story stands on its own and tells a tale of Christmas at a tumultous time in American history. These tales tell of old fashioned values, love and hope. Mr. Parry has found the voice of the emancipated slave, the Union soldiers, Confederate loyalists and an emmigrant, who is trying to find his place in his new homeland. Each of these are honorably represented in this beautiful book. The stories are poignant and powerful, as are the characters. I recommend this book to anyone who loves Christmas, history and the era of the Civil War.

Monday, January 5

Memories of Skating on the Pond

Memories of childhood days take me back in time. I remember when I got my first pair of ice skates. They were black with black laces. I knew they were hand-me-downs from one of my uncles, but that didn't faze me a bit. I was ecstatic. Finally, I could join the others skating on our neighbor's pond.

We headed out, skates in hand. There was my aunt, my brother, my uncle and me. We made our way across the road and down the lane to the pond. My uncle tested the ice, slowly edging out farther to make sure it was safe for us younger ones. We put on our skates and laced them up. Under the wooden bridge next to the pond was an old wooden chair. It was there specifically for those of us who were learning to skate. I pushed that chair around the ice doing my best to keep my ankles from bending to the side. Even at a young age, I realized that the blades of the skates had to touch the ice in order for you to skate.

For several weeks I pushed that wooden chair around until I felt confident enough to try skating without it. At first either my aunt or uncle would skate with me to help me keep my balance. Then one day my brother and I went skating alone. We put on our skates and I ventured out onto the ice on my first solo skate.

I fell a few times, but got up and continued on my way. I was determined to skate gracefully around that little pond with no help from anyone. It wasn't long before I was flying around the pond, enjoying the bite of the cold on my face.

The following year, I enjoyed "crack the whip" with the older kids and we had a lot of fun on that pond. Our laughter would ring in the cold winter air and we'd skate for hours. I always enjoyed skating at night when the full moon beamed down on us, lighting our path around that pond.

Today, many of the kids I skated with there have passed on, but the memories of skating on that pond will always be with me.

If you would like to join the Remember When meme, please visit Speaking from the Heart.

Sunday, January 4

Grapefruit Juice and Drug Interaction

I must be feeling a bit better, because I'm bored to death. I've spent most of the last two days resting, napping and reading. I was up most of the night, sleeping only in half hour increments. About 4 am, I settled down and slept until 10am.

Hubby got me some chicken soup for lunch from Tim Horton's and I only ate a little of it and put the rest away for later. I just didn't have an appetite. I'm tired of reading but don't have the energy to do anything else. I talked to Mom and Michelle on the phone. Brandon and Michelle are coming down with this stuff too.

Being bored, I decided to get on the computer and do a bit of research. The other day when I was talking to Michelle, (she's a pharmacy technician) she told me that if I take Lipitor I was not to drink grapefruit juice as there is evidence that it causes a interaction that overloads the liver. It seems to be true. Be sure to read this article by the Mayo Clinic that lists some drugs that can cause interaction with grapefruit juice.

If you follow THIS LINK you will find where Health Canada has issued an advisory. Apparently it's been known since 1989 that grapefruit juice can cause drug interactions. This kind of thing makes me crazy. Why doesn't doctors and pharmacists advise people of the potential hazards?

Here are other links:

Grapefruit juice and medication a potent mix

Grapefruit juice and medication can be a dangerous mix

Fruit juice may affect medications

Canadian man dies after drinking grapefruit juice in Florida

Be sure if you are taking diuretics, blood pressure medication or meds such as lipitor or crestor (these are meds to lower cholesterol) that you do not drink grapefruit juice. If you are in doubt about the interaction between your meds and grapefruit juice, contact your doctor or pharmacist or avoid grapefruit entirely.

I'm off to lie down again. Writing this alleviated the boredom for a bit, but now I need a rest. Take care and have a relaxing evening. ~Blessings, Mary~