Friday, January 29, 2010

Spare Limbs Anyone?

If any of you watched Larry King on Tuesday, Jan.25th, you will have noticed his alarming news of patients with amputations and missing limbs due to being crushed in the earthqake.
Larry King invited guest Heather Mills, who also lost a limb in a car accident in 1993. She is a charity activist, with United Nations good will ambassador. She is working with Physicians for Peace and she is urging people to donate their old prosthetic, crutches and wheelchairs to the people of Haiti. She also talked about about the medical and mental support needed by the amputees during the coming weeks and years.
Having lived in a family with a member who has lost a limb, has a significant impact on all of us. ( I have witnessed first hand what it means to be able to have doctors provide the right comfort, fitting of limbs and providing emotional support. Every few years, a new limb is needed. Without this limb he could never have farmed...He now has the C_Leg (completely computerized) It has provided him with so many new opportunities and yet fulfilled his dream of farming with technology. The reason I share this story, passionately, is because with out the the medical support, he would not have been able to have continued to financially provide for his family. Hopefully this encourages all of us to keep giving unconditionally to the support of Haiti. All I know, is, that it's a long road........
(he lost his limb due to a farming accident 39 years ago)

Imagine 200,000 people having lost limbs.
How can one ever bring them back into the work world?
Keeping the wound clean.
Keeping the dressing clean.
Follow up care is important.

As I sifted through my photos this past week, I was once again reminded and totally amazed to see how my own children have learned to cope and adjust to their father's limitations. He loves to swim, ski, and cycle as his recreational activities. I found this photo...and could not help but share this information with you. It seems so appropriate at this time.

On one of Suzanne's science projects in Grade 6 she chose the theme...."A New Walk in Life" and demonstrated the use of prosthetic limbs to the students in her class. She showed them how they functioned and how one could continue to make a difference in life regarding physical limitations.
Would you believe that twenty years later, she, now being a school teacher has her father come annually to her class, bringing along his limbs, showing the students how the limbs function and then she has the students interview him. This is a hands on object lesson for all the students. This is something most of them never forget. Guess what John is doing the first week of February?
Once again, off to her class, bringing the awareness of living life with limitations.
If he can do it, I'm sure that by our continued support to Haiti, we can give life support to many other people who have lost limbs by amputation during the recent earthquake.

Did you notice one thing? She is wearing pink....that's a first.

A few weeks ago, John had to go into the city to have some adjustments made on his limb. One of the technicians showed us her limb. I could not believe that she could actually wear heals.
They have been able to make the prosthetics look so natural. She was so proud of her limb and here's a close up...

Is that a French manicure? Yes, in the summer she runs around in her sandals. Can you distinguish which is the real foot? They have come along way in designing and creating prosthetics to take on the real image of one's particular skin tones and foot measurements.

My other daughter is working as an Occupational Therapist. I remember way back when she was small....She said, "I want to help people like my dad, learn to walk." And that is exactly what she is doing. She loves her work and helps patients find new ways to develop new dreams.

I'm fascinated by watching and reading stories of the paralympic athletes. They have achieved remarkable results in their sports and private lives. There are over 1,350 athletes participating in the Paralympic Winter Games.
I'm sure that as we watch the paralympics we will become aware of many limitations, and yet the hope of each one to dream and reach their goals becomes so evident.

"If my dreams can happen to me, your dreams can happen to you. Champions are not made on the track or field; champions are made by the things you accomplish and the way you use your abilities in everyday life situations." Bob Beamon

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

More than a Birthday!

She started out as sweet as a button.
Her father bought this gorgeous pink dress and brought it to the hospital.
This was her DAY!!, Jan 27th, 1980.
And this may get long...but as a Mom and a blogger,
it's my privilege to enjoy and share the memories of life.
I've been through so many albums this past January,
and I just keep smiling as I go.

At 10 years old, she thought she was Queen of my kitchen.
Is that you lying on my island?

At 10, she believed her dog was also Queen of the house.

At 10, she thought she was Queen of the ski hill.

Can you see her peering through the window?
She has received a long awaited birthday gift.
What an exciting day.

Riding down the road,
with corn fields and Mt. Cheam as her backdrop
She was experiencing life at it's best!

At 20, she loved to teach her younger cousin to ride Cheval.
No wonder she continued on with her education,
to become a passionate teacher working with inner city children.

Today she is celebrating yet another milestone.
She's the proud owner of her very first home
and Queen of her own Island....
It's been a week of mixed emotions, as I watch her continue to
make her decisions about her new life in her own home.
She's grown, she's gone...
I knew that would happen.
It's so permanent.
I know that happened long ago...
but it's one more step to leaving home.
She cleaned out her bedroom this week.
It's empty....
I guess she's left for good.
Really, I can't wait to have coffee in her new home!

The two sisters giggle and laugh as they know there Mom is
trying to get a picture to post on her blog...
No decent family shots in this home.

The sisters take a tour of the new home.
I wonder what they are looking at?

There's laughter over this antique rocker.
This was my rocker which I used for rocking my little ones.
And yes, it has stories and memories.
Years back, she asked about having this keepsake.
So here they pose, pretending....
Where has the time gone?
As I said, no decent shots around this place.
Lots of love and laughter.

But today, I'm introducing just a hint of pink into her life again.
As I helped her unpack over the past few days,
honestly I can say...PINK has been eliminated from her life.

Add a pink card and away we go...

God bless you Suzannne in this special year
and in your new home as you share it with family and friends.
You've looked forward to this day.
We've all looked forward to this day!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Shop Talk!

Packing, moving and cleaning all weekend.
From one garage to another garage...
From one shop to another shop.
Four truck loads!

At the end of our packing today...
We still had one more item to pack....
We found this in another shop!
Who would like to help me pack this up?
Shop talk never stops at this place.
Does anyone recognize this refurbished antique?

Friday, January 22, 2010

FAVE Five ~ It's too Warm!

It's getting closer and closer to the Olympics!
We need snow....desperately.
But meanwhile we enjoyed some wonderful days outside this week.
Here's some of my highlights.
Thanks again Susanne for hosting this FAVE Five!

Spontaneous Invite!
My side kick, Steff and her hubby called up and asked about skiing.
It took no hesitation for me to reschedule a few things.
I don't know why she didn't tell me my goggles were lopsided.
We called it Spring Skiing!
Come and live in BC!
The climate is mild.
But, please, we need snow for the Olympics!

A visit from my grandson.
The mild weather brought out the toys from the shop.
Up on the tramp, out with the bikes.
Oh, you may want to check out this little bike.
It's called a's for the wee little ones.
There's no pedals, and they scoot along with their feet.
They never need training wheels again.
It's so light to pick up and nothing to tangle.

Then my Son dropped in.
I love it when he drops in.
He sat down in a comfortable chair and told us
tales of his wonderful little boys.
We laughed and laughed!

Walking with my DIL
She gives it all or nothing.
This is her pace..
But this week we walked.
First she has to check her Garmin GPS clock.

Everything is timed right down to the second.
First: mile 13 min.45 seconds
Coffee break at Starbucks!
Second mile: 13 min 55 seconds.
Perfect weather to get in shape.

Cooking is Fun!
We have to cook the rest of our lives,
so let's get over it and enjoy it.
Do you need something easy for supper tonight?
It's not quite warm enough to grow the garden greens.
You know where to go...MGCC

Have a great week everyone.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's a Dark Night!

Today I wanted to share a post with you, called,
"Before and After"
but due to circumstances it will wait...
It's too dark!

Tonight, the power went off at dusk...
I quickly scooted around looking for the flashlights.
Meanwhile I was lighting a few candles thinking,
Ah...this isn't so bad...
I was about to make a fresh creamed soup,
but that idea was canceled.
Anybody for cheese and crackers with candlelight?

After two hours of this darkness,
my mind escaped back to Haiti.
I still had a warm home,
running water,
and warmth.

I was trying to imagine all the mothers
trying to lay down their little ones out in a large field,
in the pitch dark...
the anxiety, the despair, the hopelessness,
not for only two hours,
but for a whole week,
feeling so hopeless.

Turn off your lights tonight....all of them.
Feel the darkness.
Reach out to Haiti.

It's a dark night!
Ask yourself, "What is my role?"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Olympic Rings

Remember, I told you I'd explain why I am fascinated with the Olympics?
First, let me share with you the symbolic meaning of the rings.

"The five rings represent the continents of the Americas (North and South), Australia, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The rings are interlaced to show the coming together or meeting of the continents at the Olympics. The emblem chosen to illustrate and represent the world Congress of 1914, five intertwined rings in different colours - blue, yellow, black, green, red - are placed on the white field of the paper. These five rings represent the five parts of the world which now are won over to Olympism and willing to accept healthy competition."
They were first introduced at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Belgium.

Various designs and creations of the Olympic rings.

It was way back in elementary days,
when I always won the overall award for Sports Day!
I had no idea why I was winning.
There was no such thing as practicing.
I just went out and gave it my best shot.
As I grew older, gaining the edge on competition, became my priority.
Competing for me, meant striving to thrive amongst my five brothers.
They brought the best out of me as I skillfully worked my way
through playing football, basketball, and baseball.
They were my team and they were my competitors.

I always loved to sport my royal blue Adidas track jacket,
with the bright blue stripes..(1979)
Do any of you remember those colors?
I wish I would of kept it.

About 10 years later, I met this gal camping up at Manning Park.
She fascinated me, no, I mean her shirt fascinated me...
Her shirt had the Olympic Rings!
To make a long story short,
I inherited her shirt as a thankful gesture for our hospitality.
I was so proud to wear an Olympic Shirt.
Why didn't I keep it?

Few years back, when Whistler was chosen to host the Olympic Games,
I was on a roll. I would become a spectator.

I entered the lottery two times and to my despair,
my name was not chosen.
I whined and lamented....


During our travels in Europe I had the privilege of visiting the
Olympic Stadium at Athens which hosted the Summer Olympics in 2004.

Here we are at the Panathinion Stadium. It was constructed in 1896 for the first modern Olympiad, birthplace of the Olympic Games. Once again, Athens hosted the Summer Olympics of year 2004. It is the only major stadium in the world built fully of white marble.
( Double click and you will see the large Olympic logo in the back.)

Then we were whisked off to Barcelona where we made, yet,
another tour around the Barcelona Olympic Stadium (1992)

Then, off to Rome.
I could not resist, departing from my group,
leaving them in the dust,
as I sprinted one lap around the Roman Coliseum. (80AD)
Some things you just need to do and Experience!!
This truly gave me a heightened experience to my Olympic spirit.

Have you caught the Olympic Spirit?

Come back next Monday and I'll share with you the rivalry over Olympic tickets.

Friday, January 15, 2010

FAVE Five!

The time slipped by quickly this week, and when I paused to reflect...I'm thinking...What did I actually do this week? It did not take long and I realized, I've had a week at home working on projects and where?
"All around the kitchen table."
This week I'm sharing the Highlights of My Kitchen Table.
Thank-you Susanne for hosting...Stop by!

Playing Lego ~ What better place.

Playing Cards and Games ~ Up and Down the River!

Filing Statements and Receipts ~ Year end drudgery.

Making Photo Albums ~ I love reviewing these shots!

Serving Food to our Blogging Friends
First of all this is Judy's table...but it tells a tale.
A group of us watched Julia and Julia this past week. This may be strange, but I observed something that was rather unusual. The table was placed in the middle of the kitchen. The table was not set eloquently as seen in so many homes. The table was used as counter space for cooking and preparing food. I noticed that the kitchen was very tiny. Very little counter space at all. And yet, she made some amazing dishes in that little space.
This reminded me of my mom's table. I remember when I was a small child, my mother always used the kitchen table. She was short and the table was just the right height. She rolled out her noodles, as she had them draping all over the place, chopped up her vegetables for her big pots of Borscht. The table was always used as another working space, and 50 years later, I'm doing the same thing.
Oh, if you want to know what's for supper tonight on My Table, dash over to MGCC Blog.

Last but not least, a Den for the dog?
He loves to sleep under the table.
Now I'm sure you know the source.


Have a wonderful week, my friends, and don't forget our friends in Haiti!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Clutter & More Stuff!

To all of you reading today...
I've taken a quick minute to interrupt my blog for today
and bring our awareness to HAITI!
I looked at my title this morning thinking,
Clutter and Stuff?
That's exactly what we are witnessing alive in Haiti!
Truly where does one begin in the midst of all this stuff?
Join me as we send hearts of prayers for those who
have lost family and loved ones.
Join me as we pray for our national leaders to make the right decisions.
Join me as we pray for Haiti today.
The rest of my clutter on my blog is meaningless,
when one looks to Haiti!

You've got it all.
I have boxes and boxes of photos sitting here..
I finally have decided to dig through the stuff.
I think I found a system that will work for me.
...who knows how long?
You may have a totally different idea...

We now have 3 children who have all left home.
Their photos albums from their early lives are half done (20 years ago)
They are in boxes waiting...waiting...waiting....

Later in life I started scrap booking.
It took hours and hours and lots of space and time.
Where on earth am I going to find a spot where I can just leave it untouched?
So it's all on a pile....waiting..waiting...waiting....

Now comes the best part.
We have Digital Cameras!
My computer has digital photos from 2000! Almost 10 years.
How on earth do I keep three systems going?

So this year, a new thought came to me....
  1. I love making albums on line like using Shutter fly. So why not enjoy that?
  2. Meanwhile, while I download photos, make a folder called Best of 2010!
  3. Put my favorite shots and events into that file.
  4. At the end of the year develop those photos, Best of 2010.
  5. Slip them into an album and you can share them easily.
I did that by accident this year!
I kept a folder called Best of 2009!
And therefore, I made a calendar
for every member of our family highlighting the events,
adding my own personal notes and quotes.
It is so much fun and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Then I took all those photos (125) and had them developed at London Drugs.
Today I picked them up and put them in a binder...
Voila!!! It's done..
Now I can have a quick overview of our past years,
without looking through tons of old unorganized photos...
that have no meaning later in life.

One thing I must add.. I purged many photos.
(I dread the thought of family sorting through my stuff.)
I only kept what I thought my family would find interesting.
Now that we have technology, they can find all my travels on line.
They LOVE to see things that are happening at Home,
current events that we have celebrated together as a Family.
I finally just finished sorting, and purging photos from 2003-2007.
I slipped them into a three ringed page which inserts into a binder.
It gives maximum versatility to change photos and pages at any time.
At least I have some new options to think about.

Mission Accomplished for Today!

Meanwhile I see how blessed I've been through the past years,
especially with the addition of the grandchildren.

For many years this has been overwhelming.

How do you organize your stuff?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thirty Days to Go!

I've been knitting up a storm.
Would you believe that after yesterday's hiccup...
I thought I best locate where I put my tickets...
I ran around the house frantically last night,
wondering where I had safely put them...
I found them later this morning...not in the usual spot.

I went to a party the other night and asked about purchasing
Olympic Badges...the kind that you can sew onto your clothes.
I realized very quickly...that was a NO! NO!
So then I thought I'd take the logo off some sweaters,
and sew it on to my new toque....
which would match my mittens.

Again, I was warned, that was a NO! NO!
Anyways, I finally made a trip down town...
to the Hudson Bay, our Olympic carriers,
only to find pins galore...
I was educated about trading pins.
Anyways I found exactly what I was looking for.

What are you doing to catch the excitement?

Today's paper had the emotional story of Darlene Poole,
bearing an Olympic Torch with her husband's image.
She lost her husband to pancreatic cancer in October,
hours after the torch was lit in Greece.
Poole is known as the "Father of Vancouver's Winter Olympics."

Anyways, I'm off on my walk counting the days!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Olympic Countdown Starts!

Well it's exactly one month to go!
We've all been waiting for years for this event to come..

My programs in hand....

The right apparel is in place...

I even found some Olympic Mittens!
I'd give you tickets if you could rotate this photo for me....

I've had a real hiccup tonight.
I have persevered for hours hoping to rotate this photo,
cropping it for my header for the next month.
I think I took 10 photos of those hard to find mittens...
in all different angles and poses,
and each time I inserted them, trust me, they turned vertical.
Has anyone ever had that happen?
What's the trick...?
Finally I just downloaded the six rings,
being slightly agitated and frustrated.

Here it is!!!
Thanks Lovella!!
(Lovella came to my rescue early this morning and sent me this jpg.)
I learned something new!!!!
It looks like you get some tickets???
OMG...I'll see what I can do...
or maybe just some mittens?
I'm sure that by now you've realized, that this will not
be the only hiccup in the Olympics.
There will be more to come.

My tickets are in hand....
Now the countdown continues.

Over the next few weeks, I'll keep you posted,
as to why I'm such an Olympic enthusiast.