Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thankful for Monty, birthdays, women, and classic TV

It has been a week.

You can insert "hell of a" or "exhausting" or "debilitating" in there if you would like.

But the week is coming to a close and, while some things are still not great, I am trusting they will be.

That is the whole purpose of this exercise, after all.


  1. Monty had a birthday today. He is 9 years old. Some days he is a grumpy old man and other days he is a spry pup. Every day he makes me laugh, gives me love, and annoys the tar out of me.

    I'm thankful for the day he was born in the middle of my sister's bed like a fat slimy black jellybean.

    Monty
    Monty as a pup


    Monty in the sun (2)
    Monty as an adult


  2. This weekend was my birthday too. A grand 38 years of age. I'm not sure I like getting closer to 40, but I've enjoyed my 30s a lot and don't mind getting older.

    1977 - (1)
    I'm still fabulous.
  3. The #YesAllWomen tag has been getting a lot of talk. It is spreading the message of awareness and mindfulness of all the things that daily occur to women around the world.

    I'm thankful for the openness of all people who recognize it is time to stand up and say "This is not what I want for women to ever experience again."

    original here

  4. We should be able to move completely into our house on Saturday. I'm saying "should" because right now I'm in a rental with an air mattress and large screen TV and I have no trust left in humanity.
  5. Grandma called in a panic to tell me Grandpa had died the night before (he died 8 years ago). Once I calmed her down, I shared the story with my brother. He replied with our favourite lines from Roseanne. "HE'S DEAD! DEAD!  He's fine, he sends his love."

    Watch from the 1:00 mark to the end.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Final 50 pictures: 100 happy days in 120 days or less

A long time ago, I did the top pictures of my first 50 days of the #100happydays project. I showed pictures of The Guy and Monty, shots of the house build, of walks in the winter, and of Lil E.



Spring


When I left you last, I ended with the picturesque shot of spring coming to the land. It was a slow spring and 27 days later, I was able to break out of my winter boots into something more fun.

Two days later, I was back in winter boots.

Day 52                                                                                     Day 79
Channels in the ice allowing water to drain. #100happydays #spring no filter
Signs of spring: water channels
Bringing out my cool kicks bc it's spring, dang it! #100happydays
Cool kicks bringing in spring!















It is now happily spring, loping towards summer, and I couldn't be happier with the warm weather gracing our presence again.

House progress


The house had started to take shape in the first 50 days and continues to edge towards completion. Our move in date was this weekend, but while our belongings and tenants (hi Sister-wife!) are in, we are not yet.

Here it is starting to shape up into a real house -- inside and out.

Day 56                                                                                       Day 88
We have drywall! #100happydays
WE HAVE DRYWALL!!
We have progress!! #siding #100happydays
We have siding!














I'm in love with the interior, the exterior, the possibilities of decorating each room to my exact liking. I am impatient, but happy with what will be awesome eventually.

Day 87
Reminded why my house is worth the wait. #100happydays #bathroom
Reminding myself why the house is worth the wait
Day 97                                                                                           Day 99
Pics of the backsplash as it goes in. #100happydays
The backsplash as it is installed
Fireplace surround is in!
Fireplace stone is in!
















My dog, my companion


I have been thankful everyday for my silly little dog. On days when I am grumpy, sad, hurt, or happy as all heck, he is there making every day better. When he got hurt this spring, it made me realize how much I relied on him just for snuggles alone.

Day 60                                                                                          Day 74
My cuddle bear #100happydays
My cuddle bug.
Morning cuddles with my puppy. #100happydays
Morning cuddles with my puppy














A few weeks rest and he was back to his old self. Trouble.

Day 80
The dog busied himself while I did outdoor yoga. #100happydays
The dog busied himself while I did outdoor yoga


Keeping busy

I started yoga in April and found a way to centre, re-focus, and get my body healthier. After my back injury in March, it was exactly what I needed.


Day 69                                                                                          Day 70
First day at yoga class. I was awkward, but I loved it! #100happydays
First day at yoga class!
Inside the yoga studio. Greenery, exposed brick, and a gorgeous view. #100happydays
View from the yoga studio
















Toddler madness


I have continued to enjoy hanging out with Lil E as often as I can. I love watching her go from baby, to not-a-baby, to little person.  She's a hoot and I am thrilled to watch her grow up!

Day 75
Enjoying supper with my favourite toddler. #100happydays
Lunch w my favourite toddler
Day 96
Hard to get a shot of this monkey wearing the sweater I made her. She was full of beans today.
Lil E wearing the sweater I made her

New animal friends, continued travels, and surprise presents


My last days of the 100 day challenge was spread over a few more than I expected. I intended to keep up with the every day, but grumpiness and busyness vied for my attention.

I did have great interactions with two animals named Stella.

One, the cat Stella, my office mate and I rescued. She was tiny and starving, but she flourished in cat foster care and will be causing all manners of mischief with her new family soon.

The second, french bulldog Stella, is the dog of my friend. She is ridiculous and has painted nails. I love her wrinkles.

Day 73                                                                                         Day 92
Stella the rescue cat!
Stella the rescue cat!
The wrinkles on this dog. #100happydays
The wrinkles on this dog














I travelled back to Melfort area a couple of times. Once I got stuck in the mud, the other I enjoyed the skies as I made it home before the storm.

Day 77                                                                                          Day 95

My knight in shining tow truck! #100happydays #drjohn
My knight in shining tow truck
The view from the side of the most boring highway #100happydays
Good scenery on a boring highway















After joking that I would need to try and convince The Guy to buy this print for me, he actually went and surprised me with it weeks later.

Day 63
In love with this print from Home Sense. I'm hoping I can convince Wade! #100happydays
My new painting!

Then, last week a friend - for whom I made a hat this winter - sent me the greatest thank you gift! Home-made quilted coasters and a little wall hanging!

Day 100
I got the greatest gift in the mail today! @ordinarymom Thanks!! #100happydays #instacollage
Great gift in the mail from a new friend

All in all, it's been a great 100 (well, 120) days.


Day 62
Wearing purple to promote seizure awareness day for my pal, Dawsyn! #100happydays
Wearing purple for my friend, Dawsyn,
in honour of Seizure Awareness Day.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My life in places: my first apartment

Yesterday, I introduced you to the first house I ever owned. A friend then reminded me of my first apartment ever. I thought it would be a nice addition to the list -- especially on Throwback Thursday!

My first apartment
My apartment building 

Freedom


When I was 19, I moved out of my parent's home. I knew the only way to do that was to go to school in another city, so I transferred all my credits and went to Saskatoon.

I rented a tiny bachelor suite in a building that smelled like cat pee.

I have no idea how I rented the suite because I didn't see it until I got there with all my things, but there I was. My mom and I brought the family van packed to the gills with all the things I'd been collecting since I was 14 so I could move out.

You would think they starved and beat me, I was so desperate to move, but that wasn't the case.

My new apartment building was within walking distance from the University. I could walk through the park, across the longest bridge ever, and be at my class within 25 minutes. I made that walk no matter the temperature or time of day.

I was too scared to learn how to use the bus system.

I also washed my clothes in the bathtub because the basement laundry was too scary.

I don't like new things.

Security


The building was 2 blocks from my cousin and his room mate as well as a half-way house. I didn't learn about the half-way house until I was already moved in for a month and I smartly did not tell my mother about it.

It would not have gone well.  The first night we moved in, my mother saw there was only a chain and a handle lock, so she slept between me and the door until the landlord could put a dead bolt in. I can imagine what she would have done if there were criminals next door.

Quality


The apartment was $210 a month (out of my $500/mo living allowance). At the time, I thought that was unreal. Now? I think it would go for at least $600, even with it's flaws (of which there were many.)

The front window was broken. It was one of the coldest winters that year, so I stuffed a sleeping bag in the window and duct taped it in place. It stayed like that until I moved that summer.  The heat was an old radiator in front of the window and I'm not sure who controlled it.

I can safely say it wasn't me. For the entire 10 months I lived there, the heat was full blast. I turned off all the knobs, but I'm pretty sure they didn't work any way. However, with the wind blasting through the window and the heat blasting from the rad, I think the temp evened out eventually.

My first layout


It was small, but I loved it. The kitchen was tiny, but I think I cooked twice that year anyway. You had to close the door to watch TV and it fit about 6 people in the room comfortably, but it was the first place I was solely responsible for.

Friends and neighbours


While it wasn't the place to be all the time, my small home did become a regular hangout for a few friends -- like the one who came to stay for a week and never moved out (Hi Carla!) It was just a place to be comfortable, hang out watching my 2 TV channels, and listen to my downstairs neighbours speak loudly in Chinese.

The day I moved out was the day I met my hall neighbour. I was carrying my last box into the hall when a tiny little woman peeked her head out of her doorway, squeaked, and slammed the door again.

She seemed nice.


*****
Somewhere in the recesses of packed boxes, there is a photo album with pictures of this place. If I ever find it, I will have to scan them. Stupid technology.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My life in places: My first house

For most of my life, the only thing I ever really wanted was a house of my own.

Home


It wasn't about the picket fence and the family for me; a home of my own was about putting down roots. It was about taking something and saying "This is where I am."

I've always been a home-body. I would get homesick on sleepovers until I was a teenager. I needed that sense of security.

Stability.

My mom, my brother, and I shared that need. The rest of our family was happy planning for what strange land they would visit, while we wanted nothing more to be at home with the people we loved.

My mom and I spent hours going through magazines and the Sears catalogue cutting out pictures of things we would decorate with if we only had the money.  We wandered through the neighbourhood peering into people's windows for decorating inspiration (and sheer nosiness!)  We loved to see how others lived and talk about what we would have done instead.

For both of us, having a home where people could come and be themselves was top on our lists.

Let the rest of my family travel.  I want my own bed. My own bathroom.

When my mom died, I used my inheritance for one thing I knew she would understand.  A BRAND NEW CAR!!!!!!!

No, wait.  That's The Price is Right.

What I did was use a big chunk of it for a downpayment on a house.

Deciding to buy


My dad did what they always tell people not to do in the first few months of grief -- he made major life decisions.  He sold the house where he, my mother, and my sister lived and bought a condo.  My sister was suddenly homeless and our family had no centre.

I felt like I needed to create a new base to make up for the one we had all lost when Mom died.

So, you know, I made a major life decision.

I spent a long time looking for the house of my dreams.  I'm sure we looked at 20 before I found the one I wanted. I saw a lot of houses, but the ranged from the "meh" to the "ugh".

Finally, I walked into the house on Chinook.  It was very 70s and not the good retro kind. Old cupboards with older hardware. Wooden spindles creating room separation.  A backyard that was all garden (aka: a weed plot)  It wasn't much, but I knew it could be home.

I bought it and less than two months later was in the doors.


Bronwyns house
My very first house.  It had a ton of hydrengeas which I happily tore out.
Much to the dismay of everyone else in the neighbourhood.


My first home


My sister, Lyn, moved in with me.

We went to town picking out paint chips, deciding on room layout, painting, and decorating. I made a hundred to scale room designs complete with cut out furniture I could arrange and rearrange.

We started painting almost immediately and had a lot of it done before we moved in.

When the time came, I had a house that was almost totally me. I painted almost every inch of the house.

Of course, being the procrastinators we were (are), we decided to wait until we moved in to paint the kitchen a gorgeous cherry red.

In the 3 years we lived there, it never got done.

I left the paint for the next owners.

living room - the wall
My living room: Eggplant on the main wall, Lilac on the other.  
I bought the blue furniture brand new and won a trip to Mexico.


Mine


I loved that house.  Every room had my touch (except Lyn's room... I wouldn't touch that if you paid me) and it all meant a lot to me.  I scoured books to learn how to do electrical work and I changed every outlet on my own.

I fixed things and built things and hung shelves and pictures.

It was exactly how I wanted it to be.

It broke my heart that my mom couldn't see it.  But, I was doing what she couldn't anymore -- I was trying to create a home for my family to migrate to.

bedroom - wall 1
My bedroom displaying my paintings and the plant I kept alive for 3 years.  
Thanks to Ky.  She watered it everytime she came to visit.  Once a month.



Despite all the trouble there was in that place -- a ever-renewing lake in the basement, an entire yard of weeds that were supposed to be a garden, the biggest lawn known to mankind -- it was my home.

I loved it.

Too much of a good thing


When my sister Ky moved in with Lyn and I, we were the happiest bunch of happies that ever happed. We were three sisters living the dream.

We watched a lot of So You Think You Can Dance and ate a lot of take out, but we had a great time.

Then one day,  the neighbours mentioned to me how great it was to see the place as it was meant to be.  They explained how three spinster sisters had moved to the house in the 70s and lived there until the last one of them died just before I bought the house.

I joined Lava Life the next day.

The rest is history.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My life in places: North Battleford Church Camp

Yesterday, I described my childhood home and what it meant to me.

Today, I want to tell you about my home away from home. North Battleford, Saskatchewan.


Church Camp


I have to admit, when you think of a great place that impacted every moment of your life, North Battleford is not the place you normally go to first.

It is a small city (two small cities, really) on the road to nowhere.  It is a beautiful community with lots of greenery, a river flowing through it, and the worse options of restaurants in the province.

I mean, unless Pizza Hut and A&W are your thing.  Then you're golden.

For my family, North Battleford was the epicentre of our summers.  It was not the town itself; it was the little section of land off Airport Road where we grew up: Sharon Schools.

Originally grounds housing a bible school and orphanage, this quiet little community made up of old airplane hangers and pilot barracks holds church camps at least twice a year.  My grandparents moved there in the 60s to take over supervising the orphanage and never left.  Grandma stayed nearly 50 years until we had to move her to a care home in Lloydminster.

Family


My mother grew up here.  Her childhood is here.  My grandparents adopted my two uncles and all but adopted my auntie.  They impacted more lives than we can ever know with their love and open door.  My grandpa built the hockey rink every winter and tended flowers every summer.  My grandma spent time in the gardens.

Every hug my grandfather ever gave me is here.

Every piece of advice my grandma gave is here.

My family spent a lot of time there and it is where my heart feels at peace.

North Battleford - tabernacle
The church at Sharon Schools.  Where my mom and dad got married.

As I planned to write this piece, I looked through all my photos for pictures to show.  I have none.  I went online and found some a friend had taken and he graciously allowed me to use them here.  Of course, he has none of my Grandparent's home, but he looked for me.

Sometimes, you are in a place so long, you forget that you might want to see pictures of it in your future.

Every year for a weekend at Easter and a week in July, between 300 - 500 people arrive to go to church meetings.

Togetherness


Everyone stays in the dorms that boast retro d├ęcor -- retro meaning that everything is from the 40s.  Not much has changed except the mattresses are no longer stuffed with straw.

We all go to church twice a day, eat together at the dining hall, play sports on one of the many areas dedicated to it, sit around the camp-fire, snack at the canteen, and soak up as much time with each other as possible.

North Battleford - H building
The H building (it's built in the shape of an H -- clever) and the men's dorm.

The girls all stayed in the girl's dorm at the far east end of the grounds.  From 13 years to married, we all crowded into 6 rooms with two plug ins and one mirror each.  One large bathroom to share and a furnace room that held all late night conferences.

I have so many great memories of that place -- staying up all night talking, singing as loud as we could, exchanging clothes, and laughing past lights out until the dorm mothers came to yell at us.

Grandma


Once I was too old for the dorm, but not yet married (stupid old person biases on the importance of having a man in your life bollocks!!) I returned to my grandma's home during those weeks.

It was then I got to rekindle my relationship with Grandma.  She has provided me with a lot of amusement, wonder, frustration and love.

North Battleford - main road
The main road from the centre of the grounds looking west.

This small area outside of the little city has been where I have experienced so much.

I have met life long friends, most of my old boyfriends, and people who have been my mentors and guides. It has been a part of my life before I had life and will continue to be important to me for many years to come.

I know every inch of this land and have spent hours exploring every building and piece of grass.

It is the home of my family.  The home of my friends.

It is where I know I belong.


****************************
Please note: all photos used here have been generously provided by my friend Dale.  He's a good chap.

Monday, May 19, 2014

My life in places: Sunset Drive

The Guy and I are preparing to move into our new home sometime this week. We are busy packing and working and stewing and planning. I thought while we were doing that, I would share my life in 5 places with you. I came across this question a few years ago and wrote about it on my old site. No one read it, so I figured it would be okay to pretend it was brand new!

If you had to describe your life in five places, which sites would you choose and why?

I love questions with that kind of history and depth to them. Also, I like when someone or something else tells me what to do. Also, I can take this to mean anything -- cities, locations, houses, etc.  That is why I've decided to show you the 5 most important places that have shaped my life.

This is the first in a five part series:

My childhood home


We moved to Regina the fall I turned 7 years old.  The house on Sunset Drive is the house in my memory when I think of being a child.

Shaped like a milk carton and decorated with bits of stone and glass, it was a perfect house for small kids: three houses from the school, a huge backyard, near tons of other kids, and close enough to walk to the library.

This house is the background for my favourite memories.

It is the place where my playhouse was built.  The place where I soaked my neighbour's birthday party with the garden hose.

It's where we tied my little sister to the tree and where she ran away to Canadian Tire before anyone noticed she was gone.  It's where my brother broke the window playing baseball and where my Mom watched us play out the kitchen window while she baked bread.

It is the house where Dad and I would put lights on the huge fir tree in front during the coldest blizzard in November using two long sticks nailed together with a T bar on the top.

1 - Regina Sunset 1
Front of our house on Sunset Drive.

It is the backyard that holds the most importance for me here.  It is where we spent most of our time.

It's where the neighbourhood kids congregated and where I felt the safest.

It was also where I spent a lot of time being grounded for doing stupid things outside the yard, but that's a different story.

The left quarter was where Mom's little garden was and our playhouse was built on top of the sandbox once we outgrew it.  Three lilic trees grew along the back fence and created a perfect hideaway for scented excursions.

But the best was the playset.

1 - Regina Sunset 3
The centre of my childhood. The swingset my Dad built for us.

Dad installed this shortly after we moved in.  We spent hours climbing the rope, swinging the swing as high as it would go, trying to make the entire structure sway.

It was part of the set up in our elaborate game of K!ll the Russians (can you tell we knew all about the Cold War?) where you had to climb the rope, jump down, climb the fence, run around the house, climb the gate, climb the tree, jump off the playhouse, and get back to the swing set.

I'm not sure what the rules of this game was, but I know we didn't actually kill anyone.  And, honestly, we like Russians now. (Hi Russian Step-Mom!)  -- Note, this part was written before all the mess between Russia and Ukraine where my dad and stepmom live. I'm not a huge fan of those ones.

We moved from this house when I turned 12.  My sisters remember the house, but don't have the same attachment to it that I did.  They have childhood memories in the house on Pasqua whereas I was a surly teen who stayed in my room for 4 years.

I drove past this house the other day when I was in the neighbourhood.  They have cut the huge Christmas tree down from the front yard.  They removed the playset from the backyard and painted all the trim on the house blue.  It is no longer the same home I knew and has likely seen many other families since ours roamed it's narrow halls.

I loved that house and the time we spent there.

While it's true you can't go home again, it will always be one of my favourite places.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Counters, lucidity, and family: thankful on a Friday

  1. After initial heartbreak and extreme frustration this week, our countertops were installed today. We are slowly inching closer to done.

    counters and cupboards
    Our choices, almost ready for reveal


  2. There are 7 days until we move into our new home. Whether or not they are ready for us!
    Untitled
    Excuse the mess

    Talking to my Grandma this week, she asked why we weren't moving in on May 15th like we planned. She couldn't remember my name, but remembered the house. 

  3. My dad and my stepmom Tanya are coming back to Canada for an extended visit. That means Ukraine is stable enough for them to travel here and back. 

  4. This kid melts my heart. She makes rough days better with her antics. She isn't mine, but I get to borrow her and return her when she's bad.

    10322429_10152444592631411_4392966993860765575_n
    When asked what her shirt is, she replies "Bot"

  5. Tea with friends to honour our friend who has been gone such a short time and yet much too long.



Up next week: My life in places

In preparation for moving into our new home, I am posting the 5 most important places I have lived or visited.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I be the dumb

In the last few months, I've been a bit distracted. Between my regular job, my contract work, my back injury and subsequent treatment, the house build, the lack of house completion, and all the other things I have going on, I cannot seem to keep a brain in my head.

Brain farts

I didn't think being so distracted was a problem. However...

I have lost my train of thought mid-sentence.

I have searched my brain wildly for a word and not found it.



I have resorted to charades on more than one occasion to get my point across.

I also cannot remember how to spell anything. That makes writing a tad difficult.

Running late

I have been late. To everything.

I'm rarely late.

These days, I'm the freaking White Rabbit.

I have been late to every appointment (of which there has been many - physio, chiro, acupuncture, and massage) as well as church, dates with friends, and bedtime.



I'm early only to yoga because I cannot remember what time the class begins.

Directionless

I keep getting lost.



That was the day I tried to go to church. The church I have been attending for 30 years. The church that is an easy drive from my house. I should have driven down 3 streets - 3 turns - 7 minutes.

Instead, I ended up on the ring road heading to the wrong end of the city.

The other day I tried to drive to an address 2 blocks from my office. 16 blocks away, I realized I had done it again.

I leave one room for another and have no idea why I'm there.

Normally, I would go back to the original room, remember, return, and complete the task.

I've done this cycle three or four times before actually getting it done.

Huh?

I don't know where all the brain power is going, but it's obviously leaking from somewhere. I'm trying to get things done, finish reports, write blog posts, spend time with The Guy, get more things done at the office, and remember to put on deodorant every day.

It's not working.

A friend assures me when we get into our house a huge weight will be lifted off my shoulders and much of my brain smarts will return. I'm not convinced, but I'm hopeful.

Wait... what was I doing here?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Gluten, gluten, gluten - Post from the Past

I originally posted this in April 2010 - in honour of Celiac Awareness month, I'm posted it again.

********************
I know, you're tired of hearing about it.  You're all like "Bron, we get that you used to be gassy and depressed, but seriously, if we have to hear about your diet one more time, we're going to force feed you pasta."  I know.  Shush, it's okay.

SUCK IT UP.  It's my site and I will talk about farts and wheat if I want to.

This week has been a bit of an eye opener for me.  Celiac disease in my own home is relatively easy.  Sure, I sometimes want to bury my face in flour and breathe deeply, but that could happen to anyone.  For the most part, I make good food for me and am a responsible Gluten-holic.  I can't have it, but I want it desperately.  I behave, but only because I know if I don't, it will hurt me.

This week, I've been at a conference.  One where I did not have time nor place to tell them I could not eat gluten.  One that has served meals of pancakes (breakfast), pasta (lunch on Thurs), pirogies (lunch on Friday -- I always thought it was spelled perogies?) and snacks of cookies and pecan pie.

I came awful close to attacking people for what was on their plates.  I talked to the wait staff and the chef has been amazing enough to make me special meals.  He's been a dream and the serving staff have been awesome.  PS, the Saskatoon Radisson rocks.  Even though their sleep beds suck, but they can't help that.

However, on Thursday night, unbeknown to me, I got some gluten in something at a local restaurant.  The one who swore that item was gluten free.  Not so much, but what can you do?

Well, what I can do is be thankful I had a room alone.

Now, today I felt a ton better and I started talking to a couple of like minded souls about our bowels.  It lead me to think about how grateful I am for this diagnosis and the things I had which I do not have any longer.  Without futher ado, I give you the list!

Bold is what I had.  Striked is what I no longer have.  After 20 ish days!!!  Get ready to have TMI!!!


Signs & Symptoms of Celiac Disease*

Alopecia  (I don't know what this means. UPDATE: It means hair loss.  Nope!)
Anemias, especially iron and folic (working on this!)
Anorexia
Autism
Autoimmune arthritis
Autoimmune connective tissue diseases
Autoimmune thyroiditis
Cerebellar ataxia
Cerebral and cerebellar atrophy
Cerebral calcifications
Chromosome aberrations
Chronic fatigue (getting better, now I just can't sleep!)
Chronic liver disease
Colitis
Constipation
Delayed puberty
Dental enamel defects (permanent damage)
Depression
Down’s syndrome
Early menopause
Febrile seizures
Gallbladder dysfunction
Gallstones
IgA deficiency
IgA nephropathy
infertility (scariest possibility)
Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
Intestinal Cancers
Kidney Stones
Low Calcium
Low Iron
Low Magnesium
Low Vitamin A
Low Vitamin D
Low Vitamin K
Low Zinc
Mild ataxia
Monoarthritis
Muscular hypotonia
Neurological disorders
Obesity (well, I'm "overweight" so says Wii, but I'm getting better!)
Obstructive pulmonary disease
Osteomalacia
Osteoporosis (on my way, but putting a stop to it!)
Pancreatic insufficiency
Pica
Pulmonary bleeding
Retarded motor development
Rickets
Sacroileitis
Schizophrenia
Short stature
Single generalized seizures
Spontaneous, low-impact fractures
Systemic lupus erythematosus
White-matter brain lesions


Symptoms and Conditions Associated with Gluten Sensitivity

Craving for wheat/gluten or inability to stop eating it
Obesity
Allergies, asthma
Sinus congestion, post-nasal drip
Arthritis
Joint and muscle aches
Diarrhea and/or constipation
Gas, bloating, abdominal pain
IBS, colitis, gastritis
Psoriasis, eczema or unexplained rash
Depression, anxiety or mood-swings
Hormonal imbalance
Neurological disorders
Memory loss
Unexplained Chronic Fatigue
Fibromyalgia
Increased liver enzymes
Frequent canker sores
Iron-deficiency anemia
Headaches / Migraines (near headache free for the first time in ~ 7 years!)
Hyperactivity
Osteoporosis
Dental problems
Short stature

*Info from glutendoctors.com

This is the greatest thing for me.  The pain is going away.  If I keep this up, I will not be in pain except for rare occasions rather than all the time.  It keeps me going.

It keeps me from killing small children for their chicken fingers.  And that is all that matters.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The good things in it all: Thankful Thursday

Though I have gotten out of the habit of doing this weekly, I'm still grateful for a great many things. This week has been a much better version of life.
  1. We move in to our new house in 2 weeks today. After months of waiting, we are almost there! Things are starting to look like they might actually get it all done.
     
    We have progress!! #siding #100happydays
    Siding! should be completed this week

    Reminded why my house is worth the wait. #100happydays #bathroom
    My bathroom of beauty

  2. Being on holidays means I can work on my contract report and get a good portion of it before we move to the new house.  This is especially good as I've had 3-5 months less than most consultants have to write it and it's turning out to be very complicated. 

  3. My latest physio assessment said I'm well on the way to recovery - the nerves are finally responding normally! My muscles are still tight and painful, but it is progress.

    This is especially good news as the week before I was a sobbing mess in her office because of pain. I'm now doing numerous things of acupuncture and massage - that plus yoga and I will be back. (Pardon the pun.)

  4. I compiled a list of 80s songs for my sister (at her request).  I have over 6 hours of 80s music just that I could find. I'm sure there is more because a lot of my favourites weren't on my file! Here is a snapshot just of my 80s pop/rock mix.

    The good thing is, this doesn't show how often I listen to it.

    Sigh. I'm a loser.

  5. Despite all the turmoil in Ukraine (link to: Ukraine fighting back), my Dad and my StepMom Tanya are still planting things of beauty and reminding us that life... it goes on

    Tanya's spring flowers

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Quilted wall hanging: the tutorial for those who don't know better

Many years ago, I wanted to make a wall hanging for a friend of mine. Yesterday, I found the pictures for the project, so thought I would make a little mini tutorial.

I decided I wanted to do the family's initials in a row. We had often joked combined they spelled KBAM! making them sound like a superhero fight scene. We had KB for the mom, A for The Boy, and M for The Girl.

It always made me laugh because it suited them all so much.

I started with colours I thought suited each one of them. (That, and I had these colours on hand!)

Material

Red for the passionate and life-loving KB, blue for the creeping-nearer-manhood A, and purple with a little flower detail for the sunshine and giggles M.

I cut three 6X6 inch squares out of the material. I intended for the final product to measure approximately 5 inches of colour and then edging, so I gave myself some room. I wasn't particularly concerned about being exact.

That is usually my biggest problem.

I used a chalk to draw the pattern I wanted on each piece. I lined the back of each piece with a thick silver cotton and sandwiched a pick of quilting batting in the middle. Then I took to the sewing machine.

I'm pretty sure in order to do quilting in real life you are supposed to use pins and patterns and... you know, thought.

That's just not me.

Pieces with quilting done

I sat down at the sewing machine and went to town.  I'm very lucky it all worked out. Lazy waves for KB, straight lines for A, and a tree branch motif for M.

I am still alternatively pleased and shocked at the way they turned out.

Then, I moved on to the fonts.

I went old school and used Word to choose a font that suited the personality and the style I was going for. I blew the font size up to giant (that's the technical term) and printed it off. It was about 6 years ago or so, so there is likely some fancy way to do this now.

I am not that fancy.

I cut the letters out, laid them on the fabric where I wanted them and pinned them within an inch of their lives. I sewed the paper directly onto the fabric and then picked out all the little pieces with a stitch ripper.

DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME.

It's not dangerous, but you will lose your mind.

I think if I had it to do all over again, I would trace the initials with chalk, but hey! Live and learn.

Finishing touches
Please note my tidy and professional work station.
I then sewed the 3 squares together and realized I'd buggered up, so used the silver cotton material to make separations between the letters.

I love making things up as I go along.  A lesser person would cry. I'm just like - Now I will do this!!!

Who am I kidding? I probably cried.

I used the backing material to make an edging all around the outside and finish off everything. I then added a silver ribbon to hang it from.

Finsihed product

It wasn't perfect, but neither is family. I think it pretty accurately described them, their personality, and the different ways they approached the world.

When KB moved into her "getting life back on track" apartment, she hung it front and centre on the entrance door.

I could not have been more honoured.