Friday, December 30, 2011
It's almost 2012 ... and I can't be happier. 2011 has been miserable ... the worst year that I can remember. UGH.
I have loads of physical scars ( and a few emotional ones) ... it really was a trying year. I was sick all year and it took the biggest part of the year to find out why. Then the cures became part of the problem and the ultimate cure has now left me with more things to fix up in the new year. Not what I was hoping for !! But things look brighter !!
I realized that people are not always what they seem and that for some, friendship goes to the highest bidder. It really can be bought for some . But that was all a good lesson - it is better to find that out about people at some point. Sad but good to know.
I learned - no I already knew this - that I have the best partner in life I could ever want. Through the blisters & tears , he was always good and kind. And even when I slept through our dream concert and blistered the hell out of our vacation, he still liked me ... lol. And I know how wonderful our good friends are. And that they are always there.
We had some personal sadness in our little family ... more like crushing heartbreak ... but got through it together. And then more. Wonderful people died, families that we loved broke apart, friends faced really hard situations ... it was a tough one.
So I will have no sadness when I bid adieu to this year ... actually it will be more like a "F*** YOU !!" (sorry if you are offended by that ...) I am opening my arms wide to 2012 ... I am going to give it a big kiss ON THE LIPS and say "I have been waiting for you!!" I know it is going to be a good one .
Friday, November 4, 2011
Hi ... I'm Pam and I don't really like Christmas. I like what I think Christmas should be but never like what it ends up being. I find it to be all about money, keeping score, "STUFF" for people who don't need stuff, a huge sense of obligation, and really a fake kind of jolliness. I want it to be all about the family & friends I love, making things to share, feeding people, gifting those who make my life richer without them feeling like they must reciprocate, giving to charities, and a true feeling of community and festivity. I want to make things for people but I don't really have a lot of people who want "made things". BAH HUMBUG !!
So four years ago I decided to do something about it ... create a little of that Christmas I wanted. I had been to a Cookie Swap and enjoyed it. It was fun to visit, share what we had made, and exciting to see what others had made. But ... for me ... it was a lot of baking ! I like to bake but just little batches ... 9 dozen was a lot ! And then all the amazing food I brought home ... wow ! It is just the 2 of us so , sadly, a lot of it ended up uneaten. So I liked the idea but wanted some other vehicle. I love to craft and never seem to have enough reasons to make projects. Hmmmm .... A craft swap !!! And so the idea was born !
I asked a few friends and then asked frequent customers who were fun & crafty people. I didn't know everyone really well ... I just knew that I liked them and was intrigued and inspired by their projects. I quickly found 9 people willing to give it a go ! I wished I could have had more ... but there is a limit to how many things people can make !!
The "rules" were simple ... make nine of anything you want. That's it ! Everyone gets together on the night of the swap, we all bring some sort of food and our crafts. We chat, we eat, we drink, and we share. And it is one of my favourite things about Christmas. Actually it might be my favourite ! We were a random group of people , none of whom knew everyone, but we all were people who like to create and share. Some had to be convinced that they were creative but they found their inner crafters !! The variety of what has been given is amazing and it has never become a competition.
We have had everything from bookmarks, candle holders, wall art, card holders, jams & pickles, bath salts, clove studded oranges, cards, bows, coasters, ornaments ... you name it ! I am amazed every year at what everyone makes. But the most important thing is that everyone makes something from the heart and offers it to the group. We all ohhh and ahhh , we even squeal ! Everything is appreciated and cherished. Some use their gifts, some give them as gifts, and some just hoard them all (that would be me !! This year I am going to try to use them ...) We pass the gifts around and each one brings about discussion about how it was made. It is truly a wonderful evening of shared creativity and friendship.
Through the years some have had to drop out, we have added others, and made new friends. Someone that you run into at the store or at a crop and now know. We don't get together for any other reasons but we have made such nice friends by doing this. And we look forward to each year's get-together.
And then we go our separate ways for the year ... and we plan what we will do next year !!
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Here's a quick recap ...
* renovating my store ... a chunk every week on my closed days
* unpacking an unholy number of boxes of new product ... did I really think I needed ALL of this ??? (yes, of course I did ...lol)
* filling my head with ideas for samples & workshops
* being so happy with the progress and newer tidier look of my store.
* helping out my favourite charities when & however I can ... not always easy but I will if possible. And I have let myself off the hook for not doing as much as I would like ... I KNOW I am not sitting on the couch eating bonbons !!
* dreaming up some kick ass Hallowe'en projects ... I love Hallowe'en !!
* letting go of my annual Pumpkin party ... it is soooo much work and I don't think I really enjoy it ... I'll enjoy a little more time more.
* enjoying cooking comfort food meals and baking (late at night) ... oven meals are sooo good !
* Nutella ... let me count the ways !!
* a little ... no, lots of solitary time. Here at work mostly while I am renovating. And I realize how much I like being alone & just chugging along on a project. I really like my own company and my own way of doing things !!
UPDATE !!! I do have news ... 2 new kittens !!! Leonard & Cohen ... and we LOVE them !!!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone !!! Be thankful - life is good !!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Watch for happy, non-complaining blog posts !!
WOOT ! WOOT !
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
I have been pre-occupied ... this has been my problem and it is taking me over !! Hives are my best friend & constant companion every day since January...24/7.... sometimes a dozen, sometimes well over hundred ... but there EVERY STINKING DAY. And when the triggers are bad , they become this ... (sorry for the yucky picture ...) and this is after a few days of healing.
It sucks. And it seems to dictate what I do. "Kneel down ? OOPS !! GET UP !! You'll get hives !!". "Be careful, if the cat scratches you, you'll be sorry !" "Don't get too hot/get that heating pad off you/don't exert yourself." Blah blah blah ... sucks. (I said that already didn't I ???!)
So I spoke too soon about it all going well ... but now I have become a real oddity and I have a TEAM of people reviewing the photos & biopsies. And it is hives but with something that is not hives ... interesting ... So I look forward to progress and finding my wonderful fall groove again. I got kicked out of that groove with a big ugly sucker punch to the gut, and I am DETERMINED to find the groove and climb back in. I will. So there.
P.S. I am starting a "hive diary" ... "The Year my Skin Turned on Me..." ... I hope it will help ... help the specialists and help me vent this junk out of me !! HAHA !!!
Monday, August 29, 2011
This is the last week of summer ... not officially, I guess, but by my inner calendar & the school's calendar it is ... I am not crazy about summer so I am happy to see it go ...go on with you !! ... I do like a few things about summer ... bonfires, open doors, sandals, flowers ... but I see no reason to not embrace those things all year anyway.
This is the week I pack up my tiredness. I sort through my old ideas & throw away those that aren't working for me. I unfold my dreams, write them down, plan the steps to make them happen. It is the mental equivalent of buying a new book bag and filling it with crisp new school supplies. It makes me excited , brave, and energized.
No matter how old I am, September will always be a new start . It is the first blank page of a new scribbler, a whole new pack of crayons, and a chance to start and learn. To try more, learn more, experience more, and be more.
I always have ideas percolating in my head ... hmmm ... but I let them simmer until now. If not I fear that summer's heat & (for me) discomfort will make the ideas wither and die. I will not have the determination or the mindset to deal with them. But come September I am "back to normal" ... lol. And I am ready to make dreams happen !!!
Thursday, August 11, 2011
As some of you know I have been complaining about hives ... for months ... since January actually, 8 months. Almost a full term pregnancy. lol. These aren't the spotty itchy hives though ... those I deal with ... every day. I have had those every day since late December. But these are - in addition - big huge swollen spots that burn and sometimes cause big blisters. They can last for days if they are severe. They exhaust me and make me unable to do a lot of things. They come from kneeling, carrying a purse, heat, walking, using a paper punch, applying a foot mask, having a massage treatment, rubbing my arm, wearing a sweater over sleeves, a paper cut, a bug bite, a bra strap out of place, shovelling dirt ... yep, silly things really. They can be on my hands , on the bottom of my feet, arms, anywhere. They are really a problem.
So I have been to the doctor several times, been referred to a specialist for 2012 (yes, waaaaaay in the future), that specialist died, and then I was referred to another specialist. I went Wednesday. I was so nervous the night before that I made lists on paper, I had my symptoms all layed out ... I was so sure I would have to convince the specialist. I had been hearing "Oh, you must have an allergy" for so long. I didn't sleep that night, I ate no breakfast ... I was nervous.
I went in & started speaking and she NODDED. She nodded. She knew what I was talking about and knew I wasn't crazy !! She did some very simple tests, took a biopsy (yes, right there ... cut out a piece of the hive !! UGH !!) , ordered some very specific blood work, and gave me a partial diagnosis ... right there !!! I was thrilled. It is fairly rare and is multi layered. The biopsy and tests will tell more but it's a start !! I am on a MEGA dose of medication for a month and then taper it off a bit for a few more months, then back to see her in 3 months. In the meantime we await the blood and pathology tests.
I didn't feel well when I left ... maybe from the biopsy ;) ... but I was elated !! To have someone say "I know some of what is wrong and can start helping you now. And I will soon be able to figure out the rest of it ... and it can all be dealt with ". I can't tell you what a relief !!!
Happy ! Happy !
Monday, July 25, 2011
You may not read about this life saving story in the paper ... there really was no media coverage ... but I'll share (as I am not one bit modest ... heehee). My husband (Feedman we call him) has been moving a truck body- by himself, by hand, with a jack & a winch. Hard backbreaking work. Inch by inch. (and yes, he realizes that there are people & machines who can do that, but he has been waiting months for any of a number of them to show up ... with no luck). So I have been coming back to work at night so I can check on him - I am worried he will get squished and I will be at home. (yes, I am a bit of a worrier...) Sooooo ... last week I went out to check on him and he needed a bit of a hand. The body had slipped off the rollers and needed to be jacked up again. So he asked me to go around and take the other jack out. Okaaayyy ... I needed directions on how to use a jack - never done that before - and I had to ask if the "righty tighty, lefty loosey" thing worked. It did. So I put in the handle, gave it a small turn to the left, and the BODY DROPPED !!! BANG onto my shoulder. OUCH !!! I heard Feedman give a yelp and my mind immediately envisioned him pinned under the truck ... OH MY GOD !! I couldn't look over as I was bent under the truck and it was sitting on my shoulder. I sat motionless ... I didn't dare move. I was (somewhat) calmly trying to figure out how I could continue to hold up the (fully loaded) truck body while getting help. Oh my . It was heavy. Then I hear Feedman say "Are you bringing me the jack?" WHAAAAT ???? Turns out I WASN'T actually holding up the truck body. I moved my shoulder and it DIDN'T fall ... something had hit the side of his face when it LOWERED . I removed the jack and took it to him. Later that night I admitted that I thought I had saved his life and had been supporting the truck with my shoulder ... let's just say he laughed ... a lot. But I do have a bruise ...
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
This is the view from my front porch ... and from my heart. I live in a blissful place and in a state of bliss. Yeah, I have things that bug me ... who doesn't ? But all in all, my life is wonderful. It flows along peacefully with gorgeous blazes of colour and happiness... what more could I want ?
* my FRONT PORCH ... besides the view "out there", I love the view "right here". I have put up some awesome kick ass (If I do say so myself ... and I do !!) planters and they are full of delicious colours. My lovely old gargoyles are peeling and looking like they have lived there an eternity ... just what I wanted. We have a wonderful new lawn, beautiful walls, and an amazing lamp that looks like it is beckoning those on the water to come in. LOVE IT !!!
* HIVE CONTROL ... I have learned the source of my hives and I am working on CONTROL. Not always easy ... mmm, cleaned the bathtub ? Apparently that's a hive inducer by the swollen knees and blotchy stomach ... who knew ? But I am working on it and doing okay ... avoiding heat, pressure, injury (except bathing the cat ... there was no avoiding the injuries I incurred there ... eeek ... and the hives INVADED !!) But all in all, I think I have the upper hand ... shhh, don't tell the hives !!
* DRAMA-FREE ZONE ... I hate drama in my life. I hate hearing the word "stress" . Hate hearing people talk about how "stressed" they are. ... hate it all ! So I have distanced myself from all that is drama and "stressful". I have no desire to listen to that. (and I don't mean real stress - I am 100% supportive if someone has a real reason for stress) Some people love drama and draw it to themselves ... feel like there is nothing going on if they don't have something to be fretting & obsessing about. And that's okay for them. But I find it sucks the life out of me ... keeps me from enjoying my days. SO I have stepped away from all that is dramatic and negative ... who needs it ? I like to enjoy my ups and deal with my downs (on my own) . And everything is smooth and happy.
* ZOKU POP MAKER ... makes popsicles in under 7 minutes ON YOUR COUNTER !!! Oh Yah ! Amazing. And the flavour combos are limitless and DELICIOUS !! And, HEALTHY !!! How often does that happen ???!!! So far we have had strawberry banana and pineapple coconut ... both WINNERS !!
So, I guess, what I am trying to say is ... stay drama free, stress free, hive free, and enjoy a good sunset with a popsicle !! Happy days to you all !!!
Thursday, June 30, 2011
(that's the "line" over to the little blue toll booth that you see in the background ... then there are 3x as many people on the other side waiting for the ferry ...)
And then add another $3.50 to what you were going to pay, walk 5 minutes down the boardwalk, stumble across a private water taxi, slip him $10 each, and BOB'S YOUR UNCLE !! You are on Centre Island in 5 minutes !!! ( haha suckers !!)
eating Tacos El Pastor, the most delectable pie EVER at Wanda's Pie in the Sky.... sigh .... heavenly.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
And they all lived happily ever after !!
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
We turned onto our road. Just two houses before ours we saw eyes flash on the road. There was animal walking up the middle of the road. Slowly. Deliberately. I couldn't make out what it was. We kept going slowly, expecting it to run off. No. It continued walking towards us. Finally it sat right down on the white line, starring into our trucks headlights. It was a cat. It sat stone still in the road. I got out, thinking it would scare him off the road. No movement. I walked to the cat and touched him. Nothing. Another car was coming up behind us, giving me a bad vision of us both being hit, so I scooped him up and carried him off the road. I thought his hair felt really matted on his belly. I set him down and still he stayed. In order to keep him from darting into the car's path, I reached down to pat him. .................. oh my. I felt instantly sick to my stomach. It wasn't matts. I could feel every bone, every vertebrae, everything. That cat was starving.
By this time Charlie was out of the truck and the cat was walking towards a water trickle in the ditch. We picked him up and took him home. Still no resistance.
We set him up in the woodshed with food, water, a litter box, a bed , and a blanket. He purred a mucousy purr and rubbed constantly against us. He was a little unsteady but seemed content to be there. He was so thin and probably sick. But he was sweet and loving. He ate food and rubbed. We left him to have a peaceful night and to fill his belly.
In the morning we realized that he was probably blind. His eyes were large vacant orbs. Again he rubbed and rubbed. Charlie took him to work in a carrier and called Animal Control so he could go the vet and eventually to a shelter. He lay contentedly in the carrier, responding to pats and affection until the Officer came.. He called the Vets and told them if he was unadoptable because of blindness we would take him back and keep him - somehow. The Animal Control Officer returned with the cage ... and bad news. When he came out of the carrier , he could barely move his back legs. That poor cat was so ill that most of his organs had shut down. Those that hadn't were in the process of doing so. He hadn't eaten , they estimated, for 2 weeks. He had to be put down, there was no hope.
I was blown away. I knew he was sick but had no idea it was so bad. And then I was heartbroken. That poor soul had walked right down the road to the front of our truck. Had it been someone else not slowing for their driveway, he would have been killed then. And then to find out that he had been neglected so badly and for so long, he just would not survive ... and yet he still purred and offered us loving rubs. How on earth anyone could leave an animal to suffer like that ... I shed many tears yesterday for him and for the ugly world that lets that happen. It was such a sad day.
Rest in Peace Stevie.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
1. I don't like not feeling well.
2. It is exhausting.
3. Not knowing what is wrong or when some other freak thing will pop up is enough to make me insane.
4. I am a medical freak ... now that's awesome ! *kidding* ... it may make you briefly famous among your healing circle but actually it sucks. I don't want to be in a giant pickle jar someday !! lol !!
5. Heat is not my friend.
6. I don't like to blog about negative things ... and getting to the point where this doesn't feel negative has been difficult. But I think I am there.
7. Blisters leave marks ... lots of ugly marks.
8. You learn who your true friends are ... when "I really am not feeling well" and the subsequent need to just go home is enough to have someone drop you like a hot potato ... that opens your eyes to a lot. But it is good - it's good to know who will just roll with you.
9. Short sleeves don't cover up ugly marked up arms (or flabby turkey arms - heehee) but long sleeves sometimes make things worse.
10. You need to take care of yourself, choose your own path, and do the research.
11. You need to roll with things every day ... things don't need to be planned to the milli-second.
12. I am terrified of human combustion. Always have been and am even more so now.
13. I have a wonderful husband & great friends.
14. Sometimes you just need to cry & feel sorry for yourself ... but then you need to put on your big girl panties and suck it up.
15. Chips sometimes do help ... briefly.
16. Sleep is the best healer in the world.
17. I am vain ... sad ... but I am. Hives were irritating but the day they reached my face ... then it was serious. I was embarrassed by my hands ... I am vain.
18. I am tougher than most people (including myself) think.
19. Relax ... relax ... relax ...
20. Don't consume anything that you don't want your body to have to get rid of later in life ... why didn't I know that when I was 17 ...?
21. Mind over matter doesn't really work.
22. I wish I had thin arms with well defined muscles.
23. I am okay with just taking things as they come. Life is great.
24. Reusable ice packs are amazing !!
25. I am kicking ass on this thing ... somehow. So there !!!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
This is why I live where I do ! I never come home at night without looking out at the water and being grateful to live in such an amazing place. It is glorious, calming & exciting at the same time, and just reminds me of how big the world is and of my little place in it. I am a lucky gal !!
Friday, February 11, 2011
Yep, it's true ... the last few weeks have been much like the last post. More treatments, more reactions, more hives, more misery (how's that for drama ?!) . And that is all I am saying about that. Next week I will have a whole new perspective on things and something cheerful to blog about !! ( I am looking for an adventure to embark on - just for material for the blog , you know !!)
Here are a few reasons why I don't get as much done as I sometimes hope for ... apparently the best beds in town are on paper & stamps or on the paper cutter. Comfy & blissful !!
Hope you have that cozy kind of week !! I'm off to work on my crappy attititude !! ;)
Thursday, January 27, 2011
I have an ongoing hand/arm problem that was dealt with about 5 years ago ... involved 2 surgeries and 3 bouts of phsyio. And then finally some DEEP bruising physio that fixed it. I made radical work & career changes and then happily carried on ... thinking it would never return.
Sloooowly over the last few years ...DUN DUN DUN ... it did return. So I ignored it until I couldn't and decided to bite the bullet and start deep tissue massage therapy ( and literally bite the bullet ... or my lip... or anything ...) . Found a great therapist and off I go. OWWWWWWW!!!! It was brutal as I expected but what I didn't bargain on was an allergic reaction to the soothing balm ... irony ... My arms turned bright eat-my-flesh-off-the-bones red with the whole arm being a raised welt. Both arms. Nothing could touch them. Then came the blisters. ooey yucky blisters. As the therapist said ... if it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have none. Yep. I agree sometimes. This is after 2 weeks of constant hives because I was pretending to myself to have no worries about this whole problem. "Me ? I'm not worried . Nah. " POP POP POP HIVE HIVE HIVE . SO I have been one sweet BLOTCH for all of this week too. Yesterday I had such a big hive on my foot, I couldn't wear my shoe the last half of the day !!
But ... it is getting much better. Skin is white again (except for the hives) and I can touch my arms !! WAHOO !!! And this may be an honour ... "Worst Arms Ever" was my diagnosis. Like human bubble wrap to massage. Pretty sweet huh ??! I'm so making a badge to wear to my next session !!
But there is a bright spot ... I am going to tell you what my secret fear was ... when the yellowy globs started appearing on my arms, I had no idea they were blisters. I was horrified. I thought the fat in my arms had all globbed together into these hideous masses ... I was terrified it would stay that way !!! (now it may have been all the Benadryl ... let's say it was ... but that was my honest to god fear ...) I was DELIGHTED to find out they were blisters !! So silver lining to every cloud ... hey ! I did end up saying something positive after all !!
Have a great week !!!
Friday, January 14, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
I LOVE STUFF.
*** A few years ago we did address the issue of hoarding ... let's just say it involved renting - and filling - a dumpster. AND discovering AMAZING things that had been squirreled away. It did show me the importance of a tiny bit of restraint and more organization but it did not squelch my love of stuff ... nothing could do that, I'm sure !! ***
So this year I am going to share from time to time some photos of my favourite things ... and there are many !!
In honour of the New Year ... fresh start, clean page , standing on the precipice of the sparkling New Year ready to dive in ... I have these faves for you !!
This is my clock in my workroom. I ADORE it ! It makes me smile every time I look at it !! I fully live by the concept ... DO IT NOW !!! Don't wait ! (Oh, I only apply this to fun stuff ... I can easily put off vaccuuming or other icky tasks... this may explain why I have lots of fun but a messy house ... but, really, who cares !!)
This hangs on the wall ... actually near the clock ... just in case I have a pang of responsible conscience ... a second opinion !!
And last but not least ...
My Damned Dollies !! I love these dolls. They are made by a girl in Toronto and I buy one each time I go to the One of a Kind Craft Fair. They are so fun ... and saucy !! I love their rebellious nature . How fun is a doll with an eye patch and a knife ?! I gave them a CN Tower so they wouldn't get homesick ...
Have a great week !!