bogey & ruby

bogey & ruby

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mal Au Coeur

J'ai mal au coeur. There is no better expression to describe how I feel, not even the direct English translation of "feeling nauseous". The last time I felt this way was a year ago, on Christmas Eve. Luckily I was on holiday at the time, though I did miss Christmas dinner at my parents'.

This year, not so lucky, my malaise falls on my first day back to work after a week off.

My sweetheart was kind enough to drive me to work so that I could collect my agenda book to cancel my patients for the day. Once there, I bumped into my office mate who suggested that two years in a row indicates a pattern. "It's when you stop that you get sick."

Which reminds me of my treadmill analogy. Sometimes it's easier to keep running fast than stop: 'cause stopping abruptly is when you realize how tired you are, and the wall that's been creeping up behind you for months and months hits you full force from behind. And you have no option but to stop, completely.

I've got a year to figure this out.

Suggestions are more than welcome.

Peace, love and santé, dear readers.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014


A couple of weeks ago, one of my clients asked me when she would be getting her cheque from the Gazette Christmas Fund. It would go towards buying Christmas gifts for her grandchildren, she explained.

As a consultant, I don't usually refer people to these kinds of resources. That's more the role of a case manager. Unfortunately, things have been topsy turvey at my place of employment lately, and as a result, the client's name was not put on the Christmas fund list this year. Like so many, she fell through the cracks of a crumbling system.

I dreaded having to tell her. I postponed it as long as I could. She's been through so much this year and so has her family. One day last week, with a bit of extra office time on my hands, I tried to make it right by searching for other resources in my usual way, by asking my colleagues in homecare for help. They provided me with names and numbers and one by one I called them, only to be told that it was too late to apply for this Christmas. The cheques and baskets were already being distributed for the year. 

Dejected, I mentioned this to one of my colleagues in passing, because that's how we cope with bad/sad news after failed brainstorming where I work. We talk about it and commiserate and comfort each other. 

Yesterday morning when I rolled into the office, there was an enevelope on my chair and a text message on my cell phone from the aforementioned colleague. The money in the envelope was for my client. I was to give it to her and tell her it was from the CLSC, to make up for our gaff. 

I gave the envelope to my client and told her why it was cash and not a Gazette Cnristmas Fund cheque. But I didn't tell her it was from the CLSC. Instead, I told her it was from a colleague who had heard her story and wished to remain anonymous. She hugged my neck and cried. I wish my colleague had been on the receiving end of that hug instead of me. I sent her a text instead and told her she had made a significant difference in someone's life that day.

The stories are important, folks. They are what touch us, move us to advocate, 
prompt us to contribute, convince us to give a little more of ourselves when we think tnere is nothing left to give. You can make a difference in someone's life too. We all can. Use your voices to tell the stories. Listen to others telling them. And act.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014


I took a vacation day today and spent it at the elementary school where my sweetheart teaches music. It was a special occasion as the students performed their annual concert, this year's theme being a Music Festival of dreams, while parents volunteered their baking talents and time to raise money for the school.

The kids rocked their performances, songs like Dream, Rainbow Connection and Aerosmith's Dream On. And we got to perform too, a sweet little jazz song that just so happens to have the word "dream" in it. You can listen to our version here.

I spent the whole day at school, revelling in its culture, one that happens to be über supportive of music education. I had the opportunity to meet parents and teachers and some pretty special kids. In between the two concerts, one for parents, the other for the students themselves, I also participated in a couple of classes that my sweetheart was teaching, a grade one class in the morning and later that afternoon, a grade three class.

I was completely smitten by these children but let me tell you, as charming and wonderful as they all are, I can barely string two words together on this blog tonight, dear readers, as my head is pounding and my eyelids drooping. I am utterly exhausted from my day at school and I was only observing. Observing how vigilant the teachers are, how responsible, how they have to ask another teacher to cover for them and watch over their flock just to take a bathroom break, how they know the kids inside out, their names, personalities, quirks, strong points, weak points, adaptations, accommodations, etc. One day and I am in awe of their dedication, patience, tolerance to noise levels (ooh, my aching head), and their stamina.

As I reach for the bottle of Tylenol, I bow to my sweetheart tonight, to all teachers. Thank you for the work you do on behalf of our children. Please don't give up on them, despite the difficult conditions in public eduction these days. Carry on. Dream on ...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I met my son's teacher this afternoon, protocol after the first trimester report card. Armed with notebook, occupational therapy evaluation/recommendations, last year's copy of the IAP (individualized adapted program), and a little lipstick so I wouldn't look too dowdy, I strategically prepared myself for battle while at the same time steeling myself for bad news.

Except there wasn't any. None. Nada. Not one iota of negativity. Not even a recommendation.

The report card had been sent electronically earlier in the day and as I hadn't seen it yet, the teacher obliged me by pulling out a binder and showing me his marks and then comparing them to last year's. Apart from "arts plastiques", phys-ed and French, everything in his grade five report card was above average. I'm talking 80s and 90s. And even at 75%, his mark in French was only 1% below the class average. Not too shabby for an anglophone kid with issues!

She explained that it was perfectly normal for there to be an adjustment period in grade five. It is a huge leap from the previous cycle, not only in academic terms but also with respect to the level of autonomy expected of the students. After a slow start out the gate in September and plenty of angst thorough October, my son has adapted to these new demands so well that the teacher considers him to be a top student.

But how is this possible? He has struggled so much in the past and has needed so much support.

According to Madame Diane, he is using strategies learned via the various resources we have consulted since he was three and a half years old. Namely, occupational therapy and private tutoring. She believes that kids who are diagnosed early and receive subsequent intervention cope better later on when the going gets tough(er) because these strategies are already in place. Not to mention they are used to working very hard. Lord knows, he works hard. Nothing comes easily. Everything is uphill. He is striving and as a result, he is thriving.

The best part is the teacher acknowledges this. She suggested that with his positive and enthusiastic approach to learning, he might even do well in the Excellence Program in high school. Not in an elite private school, mind you, but rather the local high school we are zoned for. His marks have caught up and he is certainly used to hard work. Why the hell not?

I admit it, I was floored. And totally unprepared to let go of the bleak canvas I had painted of his academic future. Now I am replacing it, albeit cautiously, with all sorts of possibilities.

Let me make very clear that the issues have not disappeared. He still has DCD. He will still struggle at times. And he will likely always need some sort of support to cope with various challenges as they arise. But in the meantime, afters years and years of hard work and interventions, it is finally pay day and we are celebrating. Hurrah!

I want to acknowledge everyone who played a part in today's success story. Our main resource has been the Buds in Bloom team: interventionists Jessica and Anne, who helped so much in the early days, way before we had a diagnosis; Jeff, officially an OT now, who has been a major player in Sean's improvement in the past two years and knows all about Pokéman cards; and of course our champion, Michele Hébèrt, founder of Buds in Bloom, for her unwavering support and advocacy over the past seven years. I am also grateful to the gifted teachers at Lansdowne West, a private tutoring resource we have used for going on four years now. And to all the other people in our little village: friends, family, and special people in Sean's life, who have kept the faith even when I didn't, thank you. I love you all.

I won't gloss over this part. It has cost me a lot of money to access this support. Thousands and thousands of dollars. And this financial sacrifice has taken its toll, particularly on my wardrobe. Still, I would do it all over again to reach this point. Early intervention is key. If you have concerns about your children, seek out resources, pay if you have to. Your closet will forgive you and hopefully, one day, your child will thank you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Five Random Thoughts

1. It was raining when I got up today so I wore a hat to work to avoid absorbing any more atmosphere. I bought it while on vacation in Rhode Island this past summer at some big box store. As far as I'm concerned, they should call it "The Big Head" store. That's how incredible it is to find something that fits over my noggin and allows me to think clearly at the same time. The best part is that three of my patients told me I looked like a little girl. The fourth one had no idea who I was and it didn't seem to make any difference when I took the hat off. And yes, I'm still wearing it as I blog.

2. I have been eyeing a bag of hand-me-downs that a friend gave me for Sean. It's full of comfy-cosy, fleecy, stretchy, muffin-top accommodating active wear. The clothes are too big for Sean right now but just a little too big for me. I figure why not hand them up to me until he grows into them? Score!

3. Our professional team held its second symbolic 15 minute break today at work. Eighteen of us were lined up in our chairs outside the elevator and this time somebody brought lollipops. I'm thinking maybe I should bake something for next week's pause. A few people suggested that we should maybe take two breaks during the week. There's a thought! With such an awful work climate lately, this show of solidarity is a wonderful bonding opportunity, not to mention the candy.

4. My widow's peak continues to thin and wreak havoc on my forehead. I'm seriously considering having it permanently removed. Either that, or I am going to buy some hair glue and whip it into some sort of shape. What do you think of these styles?

5. My son's teacher gave him a head's up on his report card today : 94% in math! I must admit, I didn't believe him at first. Math is such a struggle for him and he works sooooooo hard at it, it didn't seem possible. But there you have it, hard work (and awesome resources) sometimes pay off. We decided to celebrate by having fast food for supper and Halloween candy for dessert and took some selfies just for the heck of it. Notice he's almost as tall as me?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Look Down ... Look Way Down.

I went back to my handsome Cowboy-Dental-Surgeon a week ago to have the hole in my head fixed. You may recall that I broke a tooth last Spring while eating some salad and it had to be pulled.

In case you've forgotten what he looks like, here's a little reminder.

I tried to live with the gap, I really did. Eventually I'd get used to covering my mouth with not one, but two hands every time I guffawed, right? And so what if I used my fork instead of a tooth pick to dislodge the food that got stuck in that cavernous space. Food like cranberries and peanut butter on toast, bite-sized pieces of chicken, and broccoli flowers. Surely I could enjoy a decent quality of life without Kraft caramels or sponge toffee. Couldn't I?

But then I broke a tooth on the other side of my mouth, probably because I had been favouring one side for so many months, and even though the dentist was able to repair that one, I didn't want to risk compromising the mastication process any further.

During the pre-op consultation, I was advised that I could opt for sedation during the procedure and opt I did.

The assistant seemed awfully concerned when I announced as much during last week's pre-surgery prep. "Are you sure someone is going to be picking you up?" Maybe they were worried I would try to sleep it off on one of the  plush waiting room chairs. Once I reassured her, she put this ginormous four-cornered cap over my head and complained the whole time that I had too much hair. (Yeah, yeah, talk to my hair dresser.) So there I was looking like the anti-conehead, wondering whether or not the person who designed it actually knew that the world was round. Ian says they put it on me because I'm a tête carré but I think we can all safely assume that they make you look as ridiculous as possible so that they can laugh at you while you're ga-ga in la-la land.

I don't remember what handsome Cowboy-Dental-Surgeon was wearing when he finally walked into the operating room but I'm pretty sure he was thinking there was a mighty big planet filling up the corners of that square hat. I also recall him telling me I should feel the effects of the sedation almost immediately, right after he injected me.

My next conscious thought when I woke up was that it was all over and oh God, please don't tell me my mouth was open the whole time and gasp, what if I drooled? Needless to say, by the time they brought Ian into the room, I was still pretty groggy and discombobulated. I'm surprised I managed to remember my PIN number after handing over my credit card. Bet they've got some pretty strong smelling salts handy when that happens. Or maybe they just tie you to a plush chair until you come to and fork over the cash.

On a completely different topic but eventually getting back to the main one, this past week-end, Ian and I were discussing possibly buying matching cowboy boots. Where does one buy cowboy gear in Montreal anyway? And are they any good for meaty calves? As my ex-mother-in law used to point out to others while I was still within earshot, "She got hefty legs, don't she?" By the way, I blame their heft and meatiness on all the toe-raising I have to do reaching for stuff.

I mentioned my follow-up appointment with Cowboy-Dental-Surgeon today and Ian asked me if he wore cowboy boots. "I dunno. I never really checked his feet."

So I decided to look down ... look way down, during my follow-up visit today, not an easy feat when the person you are trying to check out insists on making constant eye contact with you. I definitely noticed what he was wearing on top: a lovely burnt orange shirt with a cowboy embroidered on it and rich, chocolaty slacks. The opportunity finally arose as I swung my legs off the dental chair and sneaked a look down, down, down. Oy. Here is what (I think) I saw:

Or maybe they looked more like these:

Yep, they were definitely tan suede clogs.

Never mind. I'm getting a new tooth and to celebrate, I'm treating myself to some hefty-sized cowboy boots. Yee haw!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


I unfriended two facebook friends this week-end, a rare occurrence for me.

One is of no consequence, a random facebook dude I kept bumping into via the posts of a mutual friend. He seemed harmless enough initially but as it turns out, he is a right-winged anomaly amid a sea of lefties, his main purpose in life being to goad liberals into his pit of self-perpetuating nastiness. Indeed, he is the sad and pathetic lone troll of his own facebook posts.

The second person I unfriended however is someone I know personally. It happened as a result of two separate but equally hateful posts from her that showed up on my newsfeed suggesting: 1) that niqab-wearing Muslims could very well be terrorists and 2) if they ("they" presumably referring to niqab-wearing Muslims) don't like it here they should "insert expletive here" go to back to their own countries.

Not surprisingly, the awful circumstances, media hype and government reaction surrounding the recent killings of two Canadian soldiers have fanned the flames of intolerance. Mention the word terror and the usual suspects appear. Not the ones bearing rifles mind you, but rather the ones who, like predictable Pavlovian-trained dogs, fire up their self-righteous, narrowminded views and post them publicly, grammar mistakes and all.

For a refreshingly different take on these events, read this and this and this.

I wrote about the upsetting posts to a good friend of mine. He replied with a question, "Are you still friends with that racist?". Which made me stop and think because if being a facebook follower counts then yes, I was still friends with her. And for that matter, did I really consider her to be a racist?

I asked my son to pull out the list of words he was studying for his grade five Ethics and Religious Cultures course. Words like value, self-esteem, prejudice, discrimination and open-mindedness. He knew the definitions of these words by heart which pleased me but suddenly I wondered if he really understood them.

I was confused. Not to mention the two words I really wanted to clarify were not even on his list. I looked up the word racist first and wasn't convinced. Then I looked up bigot. Bigot, "a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially :  one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance". This fit the profile better than racist.

I thought back to the words my son had memorized and hoped he would not learn about racism and bigotry the way I had, being on their receiving end. Having your peers tell you "go home Paki" when you're only seven years old gouges the psyche. Being pre-judged for no other reason than the colour of my skin was probably the most defining moment of my life. No doubt, it's exactly the same feeling as being judged, hated, called a terrorist, or told to go back to your own country, for any other outwardly religious or cultural difference. It hurts. It maims. Sometimes it even kills. On this issue, there is no grey zone for me. I find it immoral, unconscionable, unjustifiable. I will not tolerate it.

So what's the solution if I can't change the world with loving kindness and peaceful intent? For starters, I can take a stand and dissociate myself from some of the ugliness on the net. I can take back control and stop the propagation of these hateful memes on my newsfeed.

Living an authentic life requires removing the pieces that don't fit, and that includes people whose core values are diametrically opposite to mine. What I did was the right thing for me, for my family and for peaceful niqab-wearing Muslims everywhere. I unfriended the bigot.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Eye To Eye

I was at the local grocery store the other day when an elderly lady in the canned goods aisle flagged me down in a panic and asked me if I could reach a can of something fishy from the top shelf. I looked her in the eye ... directly in the eye ... almost at eye level and asked, "Are you serious?". On the tip of my toes, I reached up to the cans of something fishy that were stock-piled in fours, removed the top three and lowered them ever-so-gently while she, who could be me in thirty years but only if I start my yoga practice right away and take calcium supplements and eat cans of something fishy on a regular basis to prevent shrinkage, steadied me from behind with two hands and a very large black patent pocketbook, its gold clasp digging into my lower back. "I only need one.", she said firmly. I placed the other two cans of something fishy on the shelf that was at eye level. We smiled at our respective pocketbook reflections. Then she thanked me and I promptly forgot all about my can of something fishy and whatever else I had gone down that aisle to get in the first place.

Monday, October 20, 2014


Compassion: " put ourselves in somebody else's shoes, to feel her pain as though it were our own, and to enter generously into his point of view. Compassion can be defined, therefore, as an attitude of principled, consistent altruism."~ Karen Armstrong from Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life.

I went on a home visit today and found the client, who was discharged from hospital five days ago, in a state of complete and utter despair. Because of bureaucracy and budget cuts, her case worker has to wait a week before presenting this client's basic quality of care needs to a manager. And even then, there is no guarantee she will get services.

I find it appalling that qualified healthcare professionals have to justify why a handicapped client sitting in her own bodily functions needs help. Unfortunately, it's the higher-ups sitting in their offices that wield the power. I'm not saying they're all without empathy. But there is a necessary detachment that is only possible as one moves up the management ladder, further away from the human story.

I truly wish it were the other way around. A process whereby deciding to veto services makes THEM accountable to the client. And while they're explaining things to the client, to my client, might as well hand her that box of Kleenex as she weeps in humiliation.

I did not do a physiotherapy evaluation today. Instead, I held out a box of Kleenex and rummaged for facecloths and towels and garbage bags. I cleaned up a mess that started out as a rumour and is now a big fat lie.

I'll probably get in trouble for this post. I don't care. The Hippocratic oath I took years ago trumps any loyalty I may have to my employer.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I will not be silent about things that matter.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Top 75%

Remember that cross-country race my son ran a week ago? Well, the results are in and he made it into the top 75%! More specifically, he placed 348th out of 458 runners in his age category. Woo hoo!

He was so afraid he might be dead last that I decided to explain what a claim to fame was. I have quite the collection of famous claims myself, not to mention my "hair on fire" photo in a museum in LA.  Perhaps it will be on a greeting card one day. 

I digress ...

My boy was thrilled with his virtual 348th place ribbon. So thrilled, he is sleeping with the print-out, probably dreaming of strategies to improve his pace of 5.39 minutes per kilometre.

As for me, I am relieved and happy. I am also very grateful he goes to a school that promotes physical activities in a positive and non-threatening way so that children with motor challenges like my son feel comfortable participating.

You don't have to come in first to win the race.

So run Sean, run. Run like the wind.

The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

-- Bob Dylan

I am so proud of you. xo

Monday, October 13, 2014


Where I work, everyone wants to walk. But those who want to walk the most are the ones who, for reasons of illness, progressive degenerative disease or injury, can no longer walk.
I remember asking a young paraplegic client of mine if he ever dreamed about walking. "All the time.", he said. He also kept up to date on the latest research in spinal cord injuries and knew exactly how much it would cost to get the latest walking devices such as Rewalk. What's a mere $70 000 if it means you can walk again?

There are huge physiological and psychological benefits to walking, to any weight bearing activity really. Sometimes though, the damage to the neurological system is too severe, and the connections between motor cortex and muscles are no longer viable. In spite of this, there is often a discrepancy between what the clinician knows (prognosis) and what the patient believes (hope). The physiotherapy evaluation then becomes confrontational as we ask the client to perform certain functional movements, only to have them realize they are no longer able to.

After thirty years in the field, I can usually predict what the outcome is going to be. Then there are those times I am proven wrong. In this context, I love being wrong, being put in my place by a universe that knows better than me. Miracles, albeit small ones, can and do occur and clients who were slated to spend the rest of their days wheelchair-bound rise up to pat me on the head. Yep, once in a while the complacency of experience is humbled by a little upheaval.

Last week, one of those very miracles stood up for the first time since her stroke three years ago, from the geriatric chair she is mechanically lifted into everyday. She then walked with a walker at least three meters down the hallway of the private residence where she lives. The first thing she said when she looked over at me was,"Gee, I feel so tall!". On the other side, her devoted husband couldn't stop beaming and kissing her. Her private caregiver filmed the whole thing from behind (thankfully cutting off the back of my bad hair day). And the staff of the residence cheered her on.

It was the kind of moment you live for as a physiotherapist, the convergence of an entire career into that one incredible feat. There was joy, there was gratitude, and there was reverence for the powers that be, the ones that allowed the damaged neurones to find their way again.

Accepting the prognosis may make it easier for some to cope. It certainly relieves the discomfort of healthcare workers faced with the sometimes unrealistic and cost-inefficient demands of clients. I mean, facts are science, right? Facts and truth. Yet there is also hope, and hope is something I refuse to take away from my clients, especially when it's the only thing getting them through the day. Because of that hope (I give credit where it's due), the universe occasionally offers up a big fat juicy miracle. And when it does, I bow in awe to its magnificence.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

I is for ...

'Tween moon glow
And the dawning
I waken to a light on
His eyes on me
They shine on
The love for him
They see.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cross-Country Race

I haven't taken any sick leave in over a year, the incentive being an extra paycheck for unused days, right before Christmas. As it happens, tomorrow I will take a couple of hours off to watch my son participate in a cross-country race. Because he asked me to.

He hasn't been training for long. In fact, it's only been once a week for the past month, at school, before classes start in the morning. I like those days because I get to the office early after dropping him off and feel like we are both getting a productive start to the day.

Truthfully, I could do without the race but it is included with the activity fee, tee shirt and all.

I want my son to run because he can already put one foot in front of the other and running simply means doing so at a faster pace. It's what the literature recommends for DCD kids. Activities that involve reciprocal movements of the arms and/or legs such as swimming, cycling or running. Of these three activities, running is the only one he can do with relative ease. We have been working on swimming in an adapted program for the past seven years. Cycling, the past four. It's been exhausting for all of us but particularly for him, because the gains are so slow in coming and he is so behind in everything. Deep breath, mummy. One day at a time.

I decided the best strategy was to prepare him both physically and mentally for not winning the race, even though I know he secretly wishes he would. So we have been training on my treadmill, trying to improve his individual time and speed, without having to compare himself to others. We've also been working with the occupational therapist on things like technique and breathing.

The most difficult part however, is the mental preparation. It takes incredible persistence on his part to learn a new motor skill let alone improve upon it. And even with all his hard work, the payoff is at best, mediocrity, all of which take a toll on his self-esteem. "I suck" or "I'm not good at that" is a pretty common refrain these days and while I don't feed into it, we do discuss how he feels about things. So the challenge is to avoid setting him up for failure and to find a deeper meaning to the race, something that will stay with him longer than any medal would, long after the runner's high has faded.

I hope the race is a positive experience for him and that running remains an activity he can pursue long term for all its health benefits.

I will be watching the race with my heart in my throat tomorrow, cheering for my boy.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Dancing With Leaves

My dog does a jig in the window 
as I gather leaves into bag number forty
and I'm not sure if it's me 
he wants to dance with
or the swirling leaves that escape my stuffing
but I appreciate his cheering me on
as my iPod plays its melancholy raking mix
and the sun makes me look taller and thinner
on the newly swept lawn.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Stair Training

the referral said
teach exercises
and train stairs
we reach the second floor
easy peasy
where her son waits
she's fine
but the dizziness may cause a fall
it already has
mended bone, broken spirit
does she want to go upstairs?
do you need her to go upstairs?
no but --
she needs to move more
to stay strong
he looks towards the room 
where she used to sleep
and at me
tired eyes plead
bring her back 
the mothering mother
who comforts
not the other way around
right then I am useless
so I bring her downstairs 
to the bed in the living room
where I show her exercises
that will keep her strong.

Friday, July 11, 2014


Three years ago
I bought my soul back
And remortgaged the house
I'll give it a year, I said
Before giving up
And when a year passed, I said
I'll take it one year at a time.
The other day my father told me,
Your fence needs mending,
Then watched me sag against its twisted trellis
How long will you stay
He asked
At least two years, maybe seven
He sighed.
One should not remain
In a house that can't be fixed
Or a relationship without tenderness
I left the marriage
But kept the house,
Searching for peace
Within crumbling walls,
And buried brown thumbs 
Deep in its neglected garden,
Hoping to find something to save
And love again.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Wild West Island

Post-op update.

I sat for all of five minutes in one of the nicest waiting rooms I've ever seen in my life. Gorgeous red leather chairs, tasteful art work on the walls, sculptures of healing hands, free wifi, and would you believe a coffee pod machine! I found it odd that the pen I was given to fill in the medical questionnaire was so crappy. Turns out it was a deterrent to me writing my life's story.

Much to my dismay, I was called into the "operating room" before I was ready. What's the point of a nice waiting room if you don't get to wait in it?

On the other side, things were rather clinical but still tasteful. An assistant set me up in a chair soooo comfy-cosy I could've had a nice nap. She bustled about the room giving me post-op instructions when all of a sudden this tall cowboy walked in. He was wearing blue jeans and a kelly green gingham shirt with what looked to be a little pink cowboy on the front pocket. I can't remember if he wore a hat or not but I can assure you, he looked exactly like this.

"Howdy ma'am. What seems to to be the trouble?"

"I broke a tooth."

"Don't you worry about a thing. We'll get it out for you."

And get it out they did, the cowboy and his posse. Six hands taking care of my every need, kind of like a French restaurant where the service is so good, you only have to take a sip of water before someone is hovering with a pitcher ready to refill your glass. In this case, all it took was for a little gurgle, a trickle of drool slipping out for not one but TWO suction technicians to make it disappear. I swear, there was no splatter to be found when I got home.

I must say it was odd, this tooth extraction experience. There were so many people in the room at one time, I felt like I was at a cocktail party having to make small talk. Overall though, it was a really good experience considering why I was there. Cowboy Gingham to the rescue!

Think I'll go early for my follow-up appointment to have extra lounge time in that lovely waiting room. I'll take lots of pics and maybe even sneak one of the cowboy hat. Yee haw!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I broke a tooth over a week ago, badly. A huge chunk of molar fell from the sky disrupting a perfectly lovely dinner party. Of course, it would happen on a Friday. It always happens on a Friday or a holiday. After an angst-filled week-end, my dentist finally called me back on Monday and had the nerve to give me the verdict over the phone. It has to come out. Not. I went to see another dentist, a boy wonder who at least had a good looky around and took an x-ray before saying exactly the same thing as my dentist. It has to come out. Shit.

The tooth is near the front. The space where it used to be will show when I laugh out loud, and at the opera when my head lolls back in my seat. I mean, I already have a decent sized gap in the front, one with a penchant for blueberries, broccoli, poppy seeds, sometimes an entire shish kabob. This new gap will be like a black hole in comparison. To replace the molar, if that's even possible, will cost a small fortune in emergency money. Should I opt for esthetics, function or simply suck it up and embrace the universe? 

I'm thinking a lot about my clients since it happened and the huge losses they have to cope with on a daily basis: amputated limbs, diseased organs, loss of autonomy, poor quality of life, the loss of life itself. I'm only losing a tooth, for goodness sake. I took it for granted, I ate lots of candy and am paying the price. 

Riding a wave of sadness right now and regretting all the times I neglected to floss. Think I'll suck it up a little later.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Porridge Blues

This morning's concentrated effort was to go for a run, then eat a healthy breakfast. (I haven't done the latter in a long, long time.) 

But before taking care of me, I made the boys chocolate chips pancakes, albeit with a scowl on my face. Aunt Jemima, I think not. Ian suggested I buy frozen waffles but I am already extremely lazy when it comes to food preparation and am trying to limit the amount of processed stuff we eat. 

After my run, I had to resist the cries of "eat me" coming from the protein bars in the pantry, the made-from-a-mix muffins in the fridge and the bagels in the freezer. Old habits die hard and I tend to eat for comfort rather than sustenance. 

So what to make? Eggs? Nah. Last night's meatballs? Then what would we eat tonight? I do keep oatmeal in the house for baking purposes and figured it would be the perfect low glycemic index food. 

Reading the directions, I was surprised to note that I could prepare it in the microwave. Hurrah, food preparation time saved! A third cup of oatmeal plus a cup of water and a pinch of salt. Stir and heat. Re-stir and heat. Top with maple syrup instead of sugar 'cause it's a little healthier. Easy peesy. 

And awful. Blech, blech, blech. All that effort to be healthy and breakfast sucked, tasting more like gruel than porridge. No, thank you, sir, I won't have some more. What I do crave, more than ever now is a protein bar, muffin or bagel.

Where did I go wrong? Should I have made it on the stove top instead of the microwave? Used cream instead of water? Feedback is welcome as are your healthy breakfast tips.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I'm turning fifty-one tomorrow. Not sure if I'm relieved or a little disappointed that it isn't another milestone birthday. It would be difficult to beat last year's celebration: a roomful of people I love singing happy birthday, contributing to a cause I believe in.

A year ago today, I was stressing over my speech. Fifteen minutes later, it was all over. Over but not forgotten, that is. It just so happens to be immortalized on YouTube and you can listen to it here if you have the time, fifteen minutes to be exact.

My birthday speech took stock of a whole decade, no wait, a lifetime. This year, I'm reflecting on the first year of my sixth decade via blog-entry format.

One thing I've realized this year is that I've stopped counting how long I would have been married to my ex-husband had we stayed together. I am even losing track of how long we have been apart. A friend of mine once told me it takes four years to recover from a failed marriage. I didn't believe her when I started my ending, but guess what? It'll be four years this March... and the kids are alright!

Time to press refresh and make new memories. Time to declutter this old heart and open it up to new love.

What else have I done lately? Well, I haven't accomplished a whole lot of personal growth. It's been more of an existence really, but it'll have to do for now, at least until my boy is a little older. I do use the word stateless and mindful a lot, particularly in Facebook posts. It stops my fickle mind from wandering back and forth between regrets and worries. And it reminds me to be grateful for all that I do have today.

It isn't an easy life. Nor is it an exciting one. But at fifty-one, it is a life filled with rich meaning and connection. If you happen to be reading this now, then you are a part of that connection. And for that I am grateful.

Peace out.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

I Miss The Old Me

I miss the old me
The girl who couldn't wait for her life to begin
A future rewritten, all grown up and away.

I miss the old me
The teen who wrote daily with gusto
Mundane details of a boring life that was artful all along.

I miss the old me
The hapless romantic who kissed pillows and posters
Movie star-heroine, walked the wrong way down the aisle still believing.

I miss the old me
The caped crusader who leapt out of bed
To sprint 10k without rest, on her way to save the world and herself.

I miss the old me
The wannabe mother who dreamed
Of the perfect child, who did everything right that was never enough.

I miss the old me
The dreamy deep sleeper
Without worries or pills.

I miss the old me
Looking back through this funnel
With longing and knowing, she'll never be back.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Blog or Blob

Recently, my son overheard me telling someone that I wanted to spend more time on my blog and understood it to mean I was embracing my inner blob. Kids! We had a good laugh over it but he still has no clue what a blog is and I suspect he was just being polite when he apologized for offhandedly calling me a blob. So why haven't I been writing more entries? Well, the main reason is that I'm not a writer. I mean, I can write stuff like Facebook posts and charts at work and the occasional long-winded email, if necessary, but it doesn't come naturally. In fact, much of the time it's a struggle, probably in part because I don't have a plan when I start writing. And because I don't have a plan, more often than not, it ends up being one long paragraph. Like this. But I'm going to persist because I want to get better at it. Ideas are swirling around in my head all the time. The challenge is how to express them in a way that touches the six people who happen to be following my blog at the moment. Honest. I'm thrilled that anyone would bother to follow me. Especially with a production rate of 1.5 entries a year.

New idea, new paragraph, right? The other thing I have to get over is my perfectionism. Yes, despite the perpetual messy state of my desk at work, I am a perfectionist deep down, a failed one at that. It's one of the reasons I don't cook. Can't stand the idea of messing up my shiny kitchen. I've been reading a lot about perfectionism over the week-end, how it stops people from writing, cooking, trying something new or finishing something started. I think the key is to put it all in perspective. I'm not a writer but I can still write. It doesn't have to be perfect but it can still be meaningful for me and hopefully for my six followers.

This one's for you, I. For asking me if I wrote on my blog today.

Count on another entry soon. I'm on a roll.