My transition from cluttered to simple living.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Do You Know the Signs and Symptoms of Meningitis?

Signs and symptoms

Meningitis and Septicaemia (blood poisoning) are not always easy to recognize, and symptoms can appear in any order. Some may not appear at all. In the early stages, the signs and symptoms can be similar to many other more common illnesses, for example flu.

Trust your instincts. If you suspect meningitis or septicaemia, get medical help immediately.

Early symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea (feeling sick), vomiting (being sick), and muscle pain, with cold hands and feet.

A rash that does not fade under pressure (see ‘The Glass Test’) is a sign of meningococcal septicaemia. This rash may begin as a few small spots anywhere on the body and can spread quickly to look like fresh bruises.

The spots or rash are caused by blood leaking into the tissues under the skin. They are more difficult to see on darker skin, so look on paler areas of the skin and under the eyelids. The spots or rash may fade at first, so keep checking.

However, if someone is ill or is obviously getting worse, do not wait for spots or a rash to appear. They may appear late or may not appear at all.

The above is from the "Meningitis Trust."

Our family has recently had dealings with this disease, and I felt that I should post this information with the hopes that someone might benefit from knowing the signs and symptoms of Meningitis and be able to seek help quickly if a loved one should develop this illness. Fortunately, our family member is on the road to recovery, but it has been quite a struggle for her, and a tremendous worry for those who care about her. Early detection and quick response is essential.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What Are you Thankful for?

Canadians have already celebrated their Thanksgiving , but as I have blogging friends who live south of the border, I figure that entitles me to another gratitude session. Sit back and put your feet up... My list is long!

I am thankful for my family...every one of husband...sons and daughters....(those I carried and those I did not)... grandchildren.....son-in-laws and daughter-in-laws....nieces and dad...and my brother. I am thankful for my extended family....

I am grateful for friends...some of whom I have known for many years...and some that I have only recently met through blogging, but who, already, hold a special place in my heart.

I am grateful for a roof over my head...a shelter from the storm...the place I call "home."

I am thankful for a new consciousness....for the recognition that less is more...that simple is better.

I am thankful that a peaceful, unprotected border is all that stands between us and our American friends and family.

My list can go on and on, but today I have a very special reason to be thankful. Annie is waking from her sleep... and she is hungry.

Thank you to all who remembered her in their thoughts and prayers.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Monday, November 23, 2009


It has been almost a week since I last wrote.  I have been slowly recovering from Pneumonia, and beginning to sound my usual self.  That, in itself, is a blessing, as I desperately want to visit my sister-in-law who has become ill and who is in ICU as I write this.

Anne, or "Nanda" as she is known to her family, was born in Guyana and came to Canada at 15 years of age.  She has two children, a boy and a girl, and is "nana" to Ethan, who is two.   She is a tough little cookie, and I am sure that she will do well recovering from this illness.  She has the support of a large family... a husband that has not left her side since she became ill....and two children that love her dearly.

What does one do from a distance?  Pray, encourage, support... and make quilts.  I am presently making Anne a Ragg Quilt which I hope will give her pleasure, and warmth.  I will post pics when it is completed.

So... Please send healing thoughts and prayers her way.  Thank you.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Well... I am back ....shaky... but back. It has been a long week and a big struggle. I have had a first hand encounter with Pneumonia which was more than like caused by the H1N1 virus. Man... I can understand why they would call this a Pandemic. My advice to you. Do NOT wait to see your doctor if you develop symptoms of this flu. If they see you within 48 hours, you can be treated with Tamiflu. After that, they treat the resulting illness which in my case, was Pneumonia. with antibiotics.

I did have an Epiphany, however. While I was ill, I imagined what it would be like to live with an illness that I had brought on myself by stupid living. I hate being sick. I would not be a good patient. So I am going to start, today, treating my body with the care and respect it deserves. Before I eat anything, I am going to ask myself..."Is this going to nourish my body?" I am going to nurse this frame for as long as I have left. Life is too priceless to treat with indifference.

Our earthly home needs to be treated with the same reverence. We need to care for her as if she were a beloved child or partner. What are you pouring down your drain today? Have you invested in biodegradable products? Do you use vinegar and baking soda as a cleanser? Do you monitor the amount of plastic that comes into your home? Do you carry a reusable mug?
Every small action helps...

For those who are tired of the environmental doom and gloom that seems rampant, take a little break from it and pick up David Suzuki's "Good News for a Change: Hope for a Troubled Planet", Visit here to see the interview

Thanks to every one for the kind thoughts when I was ill.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Off for a Few Days.

I have Pneumonia.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Field - Copy of Signed Original
Courtesy of Bee MacGuire
Obtained From TheMcCrae Museum of The Guelph Museum

Monday, November 9, 2009

Introducing... Dan and Tinah

The next on my list to introduce is Dan, my eldest son, and his wife, Tinah.  Dan has just turned 33.  (Is that dating me?  Do the arithmetic...  I was Mandy's age when Dan came along)

Dan is a Red Seal Chef.  I am immeasurably proud of him!  He is presently working in a Retirement Home but has had lots of experience in other facilities, including in a hotel in downtown Toronto.  Not only is he a "chef extraordinaire", but he is a terrific daddy to two sweet little girls and a great big brother to Mandy and Bryan.

His passions are Hallowe'en and fishing, and his little girl is following suit.

I have often referred to Dan as "my rock."   He has been a source of strength for me many times.  He has also been there for his siblings when they have needed someone to lean on.

Tinah is working in a Large hotel in the downtown core.  She is multi-talented, and bilingual, and has worked in many areas in this Hotel involving reservations etc.  She is a wonderful mommy to Alexia and Delia, and I am sure that those two children will never want for fun and adventure with a mom like Tinah.

Dan and Tinah have been married for over four years now.  Their lives are busy, and yet they still manage the time to make family a priority.

Did I say I was proud?



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Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mandi!

My "baby" has just turned 25. She is bemoaning that fact, and I have to admit that I have little sympathy for her. (Wait till she passes 50!)

I have decided that I want to take a minute to introduce some of the people that are responsible for a few of my grey hairs in the next few blog posts. Just kidding!!! What I really want to do is to introduce you to my children, and their spouses.. After all, my family enriches my life in so many ways. I love them and I am proud beyond measure, of every one of them.

So... This is Mandy. She is my youngest child and only girl. (I am also proud to say that I have a wonderful step daughter who I will introduce at a later date.)

Mandy has recently finished schooling and is now working with autistic children. This was her calling. She has always drooled over babies, and has enjoyed working with young children. (The baby in the picture is her newest niece..."Delia".) To get to where she is now, she studied and was awarded her E.C.E. She then went on to University and got her BA in Child and Family Studies. After many years of study, she decided to work with young Autistic children. Mandy is a talented girl. She is compassionate and caring.

Mandy has many friends but her "best" friend is her partner Jamie. The picture below was taken two years ago. Since then, Jamie has become a "Class A Mechanic" and he and Many are now engaged. I could not ask for a better partner for Mandy. He treats her well. She treats him well. They are ambitious... and fun to be around. At present, they are renovating their home with the intention of selling one day. They are doing this on their own....and doing a fine job.

So... now you know a little about Mandy, and what makes her such a special gal.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

My Condolences to Our Friends South of the Border.

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night

    by Dylan Thomas

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning, they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    As the world hears of the horrors that occur on a daily basis on some soil both near and we awaken to the knowledge that our world is ill and diseased, and that what we once considered normal is no more... as we find ourselves looking harder and harder to find good in the people and the world that surround us...we wonder at times what our future holds for the possibility of peace and health...our personal and planetary peace and our time. Are we approaching the end of our world as we knew it? Are we just to go softly into that good night?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Well Said

A fellow blogger posted words that are very meaningful this morning... and I encourage you to go here to read her post. We all struggle with raising children in this day and age. We have successes and failures. I think the author of her letter has hit the nail on the head. Bravo!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Thoughts on Our future

There seems to be a lot of "Doom and Gloom" circulating lately. At times it feels almost overwhelming. We are warned of a bleak future for humanity. We are told we must change our ways to avert disaster, and then we are told that our small actions are of little significance. I cannot believe this is so.

John Schaar
The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created--created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them, changes both the maker and the destination

It is a true that our world is changing. It is also true that most of the damage is caused by large corporations that continue to pollute unchecked by our elected government parties. I continue to believe, however, that the actions of like-minded individuals CAN and WILL make a difference.

Andrea Ayvazian
A reporter interviewing A.J. Muste, who during the Vietnam War stood in front of the White House night after night with a candle, one rainy night asked,"Mr. Muste, do you really think you are going to change the policies of this country by standing out here alone at night with a candle?" Muste replied, "Oh, I don't do it to change the country, I do it so the country won't change me.

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all." Dale Carnegie

Is it foolish to work hard towards change in every small imaginable way and then trust that there is a Greater Power that watches us and cares for us?

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake." Victor Hugo

I choose to move forward. I choose to focus on what I can do today to help make tomorrow a brighter future.


Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence.
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And To-morrow is only a Vision;
But To-day well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!

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