Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Whew...what a day

Well, yesterday was a bit of an adventure...we returned home from seeing Avatar again (so good) to find a number of messages about my Mum being airlifted to the hospital here in town from the smaller city one she was at near the cabin. I was quite worried at first, but I am overjoyed now that she is here. Because her heart beats weakly and rather erratically, her lungs and ankles have slowly filled up with fluid over the past week or so, and until they can get her heart stronger they can't give her too many water pill meds to reduce the fluid as it would lower her blood pressure too much. So that is why they flew her here where the experts are so they can figure out what to do...and I am so glad.
The doctors here in the hospital where I work are indeed the best in the province...and I am being selfish in that I can now go visit her and see her. Last night after the messages, a call to my brother relaxed me a bit, as he had been in to see her and said that while she was not well, she is not critical yet. J and I went down to see here in emergency for a bit.
Today a cardiologist who I know and trust will be seeing her today and getting her set straight, and working to get her heart stronger. They are moving her out of emerg once a bed is free and will begin to remove the fluid from her lungs and legs. Once *that* is looked after they can focus on her heart meds more...for some reason the doctor she saw a few weeks ago had decided to reduce her water medication...and this is the result of it all. That particular doc is on holidays now, so we don't even know why he chose to do that and they are basically starting over from scratch to fix all of that...grrr. I'm sure he had reasons, but all I know is I sure am glad Mum is here under the care of someone I trust.

Last night she was in relatively good spirits, despite not being able to keep much food down or breathe very well, but she was cracking smiles and the people looking after her are doing a great job. My dad is here in town at my brother's now as well, having packed up the lake, so he can visit and be here. I'm hoping to see him this afternoon for a bit and will be off to visit mum again this afternoon. I'm hoping the cardiologist has been able to start helping her out and that they've moved her to somewhere a bit more quiet so she can get some rest. It's been a tough few days for her. For such a tiny lady she's very very strong. I wish her heart could keep up with her...
I for one was just glad to see her with my own eyes...I know she's far from being OK, but she's under good care and we are all together. For now that is enough.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas is in the house

Christmas day in our house was nice and mellow this year...what a pleasant way to spend the day.
There were a few top things for the day:
For J - the Ghostbuster's car...
For me - GIANT DOMO!!!

I'm glad that another Christmas is done.
This Christmas was quite nice, as it was a lot slower and relaxed.

J and I just spent a relaxing day together, and then had family dinner on Boxing Day. Then Magnus and I attempted authentic coq au van yesterday. Not too shabby. Never had a capon before...I don't know as I'd do it again soon as it was a LOT of work, but combined with the oven roast potatoes, asparagus and cheddar beer bread (thanks robot) it was pretty tasty...quite enough tasty food for a while though I think. Back to regular old foods...

Craftwise it all went well. I made 3 kinds of napkins for the sister in law:

And then bunnyhugs/jackets and hats for my 3 nieces.

I'm particularly happy with the one I made for my oldest neice- the ribboned fleece just looks so nice.

And now today I plan on sewing for myself...I have had fabric and a pattern for a bellydance choli for a while, so I' going to get started on that to keep busy.
My Dad just called and my Mum is back in the hospital again...so I'm trying not to worry while they readjust her water pills and try and get her feeling better, so she's not retaining fluids and can breathe easier. Their plans for new years at the lake are done...Dad is heading back to close up things and hopefully they will let her go home soon. Poor Dad is so worried...I'm trying to keep busy on my week off and do pleasant things to pass the time, as there's not much else I can do.

Hope you all are having a relaxing holiday...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Tunes

Given that my husband is a bit of a humbug, I tend to listen to Christmas music at work as I can't get enough of the stuff. Happily on Christmas day it's fair game for any and all tunes at home...but until then, my favourite online radio station SOMA FM has a holiday channel, full of classic Christmas tunes. I love it...they also have Christmas In Frisko - a much more irreverent random mix of holiday music. Not always SFW, but nice and weird...

It's a cool change from the usual Groove Salad, Sonic Universe or Secret Agent channels from SOMA I listen to here at work. They've got all genres, and Big Earl the cumputer helps the good people there play great mixes of music...
Check them out...they make my day fly by :)

Ho Ho Ho my good peeps...

Christmas rant to my coworkers

Hi everybody!

You're all cool, so I feel I can say this: for the love of Pete (hi Pete), PLEASE stop trying to make me eat crap food with you.
I am eating healthy. I work out. It's the way I am now.
Yes I'm thin.
Guess why?
Yes! It's cuz I don't shove every available piece of baked good, chocolate or junk food in my piehole just because it is there anymore. Just because it's Christmas I don't need to "treat" myself any more than any other time of the year. Thing is, I'm an all or nothing gal. I can't have "just one" - I'm not wired that way. And, yes, I do still indulge in food that isn't good for me...but it's what *I* want. And I thoroughly enjoy it.

PLEASE - Stop getting big pieces of sugary or fat-filled foods that I don't like and have already politely refused and breaking it in half, eating "your half" ("oh, it's only "half" of it so it's not so bad for you-there there dear...") and pushing the other half at me and trying to force me to eat it. Stop saying "Go on! You're thin! Eat it!" It's' wierd. It keeps happening. You can save it for later. Or throw it out. I don't want it - if I did I would have eaten it. If you want it just eat it. Don't foist your guilt on me. It's all yours baby.

I am human. Rest assured this holiday season I plan on cozying up to some shortbread and Mum's nuts and bolts topped off with mulled wine and rummy eggnog and having at them like any respectable holiday goon.

But they're my indulgences on my terms.



I have to say - I was quite blown away by Avatar.
I think James Cameron is a great director and most of what he's done in the past has been solid action with cinematic innovation and brilliant effects. Usually I enjoy his films. Past favourites are Aliens and The Abyss...and Terminator 2.

Avatar is no less than brilliant. Even if you choose to overlook the stunning 3D aspects of the film, it is so *full* of imagination. The world that this film takes place on is beautiful, and Cameron has created unique and fascinating cultures and characters. And really - a huge plus? Well, the scientists in the film...they too are *real*. So often scientists (and the science) in films aren't "right"-too nerdy or mundane. In avatar, they were akin to my colleagues...real enough that I could picture myself there in the lab working with them. (man what a job *that* would be :)

This whole film is stunning. If I had to quibble, I could say that the dialog wasn't always perfect...but it was *real* -usually what actual people would say and do. And in the end it worked for me. Seeing the jarhead marine who lost the use of his legs begin to live in his avatar, learning the culture of the planet to try and negotiate with the people there...amazing. The bioluminescent world, and the culture of the tribal people who live there? Beautiful...and fascinating. It was like a great fantasy novel blurred into futuristic reality. With some action thrown in too. It's been a while since I walked from the theater happily excited with a mind full of new ideas.


I anticipate seeing this a few more times over the holiday season...

But first, tonight is ebelskivers and a play and tomorrow is my last day of work before 10 days off work. It snowed about 4 inches overnight...everything is coated in the fluffy white stuff just in time. It really feels like Christmas. I'm all set with eggnog. Bring it on!

I hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring ting tingling too...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"These aren't the droids you're looking for. Move along. Move along..."

I may end up looking like a bit of an ass to all of you by writing about this, and maybe I should just keep my mouth shut all together,but I'm hoping that spewing it out will help me figure out what to do...or that at least if I'm way off base you all can set me straight. Nothing major...just an oddity.
I'm a little off mentally, as we ran into someone I knew many years ago after seeing Avatar last night. (Avatar is AMAZING. Go see it. Right now. Go on...off with you you can read this later...) At the theatre we ran into a casual acquaintance through school we hadn't seen for years...and didn't really want to. Now I must clarify that this person isn't a bad person...I don't strongly dislike them or anything...I'm more ambivalent to them. I have a small amount of gratitude to him, as if I hadn't found him to be so annoying many years ago, I wouldn't have dragged the man I happily ended up marrying along with us when he asked me out for coffee and I didn't want to give him the wrong idea. In a way, I owe him big time. :)
Thing is, we know he and his wife live in town. If we'd wanted to reconnect we would have. I've politely brushed off Facebook contacts, as this person had tended to be clingy and I don't have a lot of free time and I choose how I spend it and who I spend it with. Regurgitated TV humour and casual discussion wears thin really quickly. I just don't have much in common with them.

I'm past the point where I feel bad about myself and just hang out with people for the sole merit of the fact that they will talk to me. I know I have value. I'm OK with myself, by myself. I have taken time as I've grown in confidence and years to choose friends I care deeply for and...well, for a lack of another way to put it, this person was not chosen to be one of them. I'm hoping they don't just start"dropping by" or calling. I don't want to be rude and give them the firm brush off...I just don't have any desire whatsoever to reconnect on anything other than a very casual level. This guy was the sort of person that would just be around as he knows you'll be too nice to tell him to go away...so you end up spending time with him. I don't want him just randomly stopping by my house...somehow (I assume through mutual old friends) they know where we live (?creepy?). Meh. If I'd wanted to reconnect I would have. It's too bad, as I actually find his wife to be nice...but I can't take one without the other.

I resent feeling like a bad person over this. I don't think I would avoid them if I ran into them or if they wanted to go out for coffee once in a blue moon, but I dislike them wanting to insert themselves into my life. They weren't there before. If I'd wanted them there I would have reconnected years ago.
How does one politely banish someone to the ether from whenst they came? It's all just oddly disconcerting...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

In the week before Christmas my Geo sewed for me...

28 dinner napkins
2 bunny hugs
and a fuzzy toque of fleece, Mee hee... :)

I'm in the home stretch.
We've gotten the gifts we've had to buy (is it just me or are the stores particularly crowded with particularly grumpy people this year??) and I'm nearly done making the rest.
So. Much. Fun. I love making gifts.

I've serged up 3 sets of nice dinner napkins for my sis-in-law and two of the 3 bunny hugs are done for my 3 little nieces. Grandma has her bath salts...and I can see the end of it all. One little jacket to go! Victory photos when I'm done...I promise.

I had a nice visit with Mom & Dad. We worked out the grand scheme for renos when they are here in January. Mom is tired, but doing OK. They're safely home again.
Add to that a family dinner today with Mennonite cabbage rolls, deer sausage and tonnes of turkey and I must say:
Ho Ho Ho!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Talking the Talk

Today I had my first MSc committee meeting. My talk went well...and am I ever glad to be done official things until January. I'm in!
My parents arrived for a visit to day and it will be nice to see them for a few days. My Mum has slowed down...a lot. It's odd...seeing her puts me at ease...mostly. She's better and worse in ways than I had imagined.
I'm just going to enjoy visiting.
And sleeping.
Oh yes... Precious little of that lately.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Richest Man In Babylon -Thievery Corporation

Goooood morning!
I've had this groovy little song in my head all morning.
Hope you enjoy having it in yours...a little reggae groove thing for your morning.

As for me today, now that I've survived the frozen wasteland to get to work, I'm playing real life tetris in the lab. We have a 6 foot long biosafety cabinet we want to move to the other side of the lab so our very pregnant tech can use it, but there are protruding benches and gear in the way. We've turned and spuna dn moved it all over...and now are trying some moving guys to help us see if we can fit it in. It's soooooo close to fitting. Fun fun...we shall see if we or the room wins.

$10 buck on we... :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

I am working honest

Another thing that made me laugh out loud today...thanks Natalie Dee

Star Trek as The A-Team

I just had to post this.
It cracks me up..if you're a Trek geek (or married to one *ahem*) have a giggle...

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I've been sitting on this for a while, but I can finally explode and tell you all:

I am officially a graduate student! They can't get rid of me now...(just take all my $$ and time!)
My first MSc committee meeting is next week. I start my research in January. Working full time and graduate studies...ah! The stuff of legends.
I'm working on a project to improve testing and quality of testing for some aspects of breast cancer diagnosis. A real practical project in a field I love...that may help people.
I. am. so. excited.

Let the madness begin!!

But Baby it's cold inside

I sit bundled in the fuzziest of pajamas under a duvet in a house with many little space heaters going to keep it about 14 degrees. I can finally relax and get some sleep.
Well the motor has gone on my furnace, and it would seem that it went off just after we both left this morning...and seeing as I just got home around ten, it's gotten quite chilly in here. I called around and having someone come in would add about $200 to the price of things for tonight, as J managed to borrow a bunch of space heaters that we have running about the place to keep it at at least this temperature. The guy can come at 7AM tomorrow to replace the motor. Joy. It'll cost a bit less, but what can ya do? Can't live without a furnace in winter in these parts...

Moral of the story - if your furnace fan motor starts making weird intermittent squeaky noises in -35 weather, don't just go "huh that's an odd sound". Call someone about it before it cacks out all together the next day...

13 degrees is cold for inside :)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Distractions and a whole lot of polka dotted fleece

If any of you are of the praying, happy thought wishing or a magician sort, please send my mum some happy healthy thoughts today. She's still in the hospital, as they haven't been able to find a medication yet to help her poor tired heart out. They're trying something else today and hopefully by Friday we'll know if it's working...we'll see. Mom was hoping to be out of the hospital and up here by Monday, but life is what it is. Luckily her doctor is amazing and is doing all he can to figure things out. Having her in the hospital to observe while they change her medications around is perfect - she's properly cared for and they can monitor her very closely, as she is quite a bit more tired than normal.
Mum is getting quite bored. I helped Dad type up the Christmas letters and she's spent a few days addressing envelopes and all that, but now she's done that, so hopefully she has some crocheting to do. I wish I lived closer so I could swing by with some of the Danielle Steele fluff novels she likes to read...or to just hang out and visit. My Mum's not much of a visitor, but I think by now she'd like a visit or two.
It's a catch 22 really. You have a poorly functioning heart valve and a heart flutter, so you take medications for most of your life to thin your blood and help your heart beat stronger to compensate...and then eventually your heart just gets tired from all that extra work for years and years. That's essentially what stage Mum is at now. Hopefully they can find something to help her heart keep up....she may just be a low energy lady now though. It's hard to think about that, and I hope it doesn't come to that, as she's already slowed down a fair bit, but maybe that is the way it will be. We'll see. When you're 76 things don't bounce back like they used to :).
Thankfully my Dad is keeping himself well and sounds in reasonably good spirits. He's right in that there's not a lot of good worrying can do for my Mum, so I'm trying to send her happy thoughts instead as I'm too far away to visit. I think I'll have some flowers delivered today too. She'll like that. Hopefully she'll be able to come home soon and they can come and visit. Screw the renos...I just want to see them. The rest will happen when it happens.

I compensate for worrying by keeping busy...last night I cut out all the patterns I'll be sewing for my 3 little nieces for Christmas so I can sew at them as I have time. 3 different styles of bunnyhug/jackets with a matching hat. If I make 1 a week until the holidays I'll be done just on time. I have tonnes of fabric left over as the patterns had me buy a bout 1/3 more fabric than I needed (they're always that way it seems), so if anyone needs some blue, green, pink polka dot or pink swirly flannel and fleece, I'm your gal. I am thinking of finding some ridiculous hat patterns and making some of the gaudiest winter hats around...not sure what else to do with it. There's just not quite enough of any of them to make anything for me...any ideas?? Heh...anyone want a gaudy hat? :)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Billie Holiday - Speak Love (Bent Remix)

I love this song...and this chill remix of it is a beautiful chilled float of a song, with the glorious voice of the one and only Billy Holiday. Keeps me warm on this -34 morning :)


Friday, December 04, 2009

Tee hee...you said titmouse

My friend Chris was talking about how he was giggling like a titmouse.
After sniggering like a 5 year old I got to wondering:
What exactly is a titmouse (other than a word to make all people under the age of 40 giggle at)?

So I looked it up...it gets wierder - it's not a rodent at all. It's a bird. Sort of like a miniature bluebird. AND...wait for it...there is even a tufted titmouse...which made me giggle even harder.

Why call a bird a mouse?
(How is a door ajar? bwaha ha ha...)

Do birds giggle? And how do they sound when they giggle?

I'm not sure, but I bet it's AWESOME...

Thursday, December 03, 2009


An open letter to Whirlpool and JennAirr:

Dear Sirs,
Let's play a game. OK? OK.
Guess what?
No, go on...guess.

The stove panels I've been waiting for for my new stove from you for months (since bloody June) just arrived...and they are damaged! Again!


Do they hire idiots for your warehouse? Do you routinely beat the shipments with cannons prior to shipping out....
And, is this thing cursed?
Seriously...I'm scared to hook it up in case it blows up at this point.

So now I wait AGAIN, as they are ordered AGAIN.
It's 2 weeks until the thing is going in my kitchen - a mere 6 months after it arrived.

Hear me loud and clear.
There is no mistaking this: I WANT MY PANELS!

If you weren't going to give me the entire appliance, you should have let me know outright...what does it take to get an entire appliance in this country?

Sincerely, Geo


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Beat Poet

Taco Cat
He knows where. It's. At.
Wandering far...from...home...

Scoodeley wa wa wah wahhh!

Cunning Plans

 Life is wierd ya know. It seems a lot of things have been hitting me hard lately. Been distant from people, including my partner who is dea...