Facebook

Stupid things you do when you’re diagnosed with cancer. (Episode One: Family photos)

on Jan 15, 2016

Someday, I desire for this little corner of the Internet to be more than what it is. I have big dreams for this baby. At the moment, it’s a catch-all for my seemingly random firings. Little stories, anecdotes, things that get me thinking. There’s mostly no rhyme or reason to my entries, except that in my daily battle to write and my own pressure to post, every now and then, it’s crap here. Plain and simple. I admit it. But, as with my office—which is perennially disorganized with piles of things that forever need “filing” or “sorting”—or my computer photo storage program, which, quite frankly, is a mess, my blog remains at the bottom of a pile of wishful thinking. For now. However, when my wishful thinking becomes reality, this entry will be filed under the heading: Stupid things you do when you’re diagnosed with cancer. November 2014. Three weeks post-diagnosis. Email a photographer,...

Page 1 of 365 – Faith. Hope. Love.

on Jan 8, 2016

So. Happy New Year. You’ll have to excuse my lack of enthusiasm and exclamation points. I’m having a hard time these days. I struggle with the whole Christmas season, so by the time all the festivities have wrapped up, I’m ready to just run for the hills and not come back. I survived Christmas this year, but I’m not gonna lie, December was hard. The days are short and dark and in Calgary—where I live—it’s cold. So, now it’s January, typically a time of fresh starts and resolutions. But, quite honestly, even though I’m generally an optimistic person by nature, I’m not feeling the excitement of the New Year. Reflecting on 2015, I realize that it was perhaps a more difficult year than I thought as I was battling my way through parts of it. It began with a brutal head cold. “What started as a tickle in my throat on December 29, has become a nagging sore throat, irritated, coughing and...

Hold the bacon…

on Nov 20, 2015

I felt my world shift a little bit the other day. Of course, it wasn’t a literal earthquake, but no less unsettling. Well, maybe slightly less unsettling. A friend casually interjected this piece of information into a conversation. “Oh, haven’t you heard? Some new research out of the WHO (World Health Organization) has basically concluded that bacon causes cancer. “ There. Did you feel that? I’m sure the earth just moved. And sure enough, within days of that earth-shifting revelation, this was the cover of Time Magazine. Unfortunately for this meat-loving gal, the war on delicious doesn’t actually begin and end with bacon. It encompasses an entire food group! MEAT! (With the exception of chicken, which somehow has remained unscathed in all of this.) “The categories of meat in the new study are broad and inclusive. Red meat is defined as “all types of mammalian muscle meat, such as...

Monday Morning Musings… Anniversaries

on Nov 16, 2015

When you’re young, they’re something to anticipate. At 16, there’s such a thrill in marking one month with your first boyfriend, then two. If you’re lucky, one year. “Until death do us part…” promises many. But as we get older, some will lose their flavor. Become bitter. A mis-carriage. A child given up for adoption. A divorce. The loss of a parent, or a grandparent. Or, unthinkably, a child. Anniversaries etch a moment in time indelibly into our hearts and minds. I’m generally not one who is tied religiously to dates; I put much more stock in the moment or the experience than the number on a calendar. I have a divorce anniversary, but for the life of me I can’t remember the specific day the decree was issued. That paper is tucked away somewhere in a file drawer in my office. But memories of it are intertwined in years of going through it and doing hard things and coming out the other...

Monday Morning Musings… O.M.G!

on Aug 18, 2015

My children were banned from electronics today. No iPods, no iPads, no computers, no Youtube. They are the most miserable, pathetic creatures you have ever seen in your life. Seriously. I can’t even. On a warm and sunny day, they would be down at the water, splashing and keeping cool. But it’s kind of chilly today. Not water weather in any case. The lake is quiet. Their dad is puttering away at some outside stuff and I’m still recuperating from a recent surgery, so taking it a little easier than I normally would be. (Hard to believe that there is an “easier” mode than the one I live on in the summer, isn’t it?) I knew it would be a hard day for them. But I had no idea how bad things had become. When I came home from the hospital on Thursday, it was pretty quiet here. I was feeling poorly and still in recovery mode trying to regain my strength. There was a friend here also, which helped...

Misery loves company… the positive side of the comparison trap

on Aug 2, 2015

It’s no secret that I’m a reader. In addition to the pile of books on my nightstand, the daily newspaper and various online publications, I subscribe to a number of blogs, so with regular frequency—like every.single.day—I enjoy the writing of others. (It’s a wonder I get anything done!) My favourite bloggers are the ones who are honest about themselves, their lives, their bodies, their marriages, their parenting. You know, all the hard things. I especially love it if the author can offer some perspective through a lens of humour. But, I confess, as much as I love reading the work of others, it takes a toll on my aspirations as a writer. It’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap. To entertain the thought that I have nothing new or unique to offer. It’s all been said before, and much more eloquently or humorously than I could dream of saying it. So why bother? Facebook can be a...

The (dumb) Dog Door

on Jul 28, 2015

I like animals. Dogs are great. Cute. Loyal. Cuddly. And I love them more when they go home with their owners. Many of you know that I have a cat. And some fish. We used to have hamsters. I’m a fan of pets in general. I just don’t want any more than I currently have. My kids (well, mostly the youngest one) beg regularly for a dog. In fact, she’s put random reminders in my iPhone that pop up every few months that read “Get Leah a Dog.” I appreciate her resourcefulness. But the answer is still no. Usually, I deflect her case with the argument that our almost-15-year-old cat would hate it. He’s old. He’s grumpy. The stress would kill him. But, given that the cat is almost 15, I probably won’t be able to use that excuse for too many more years. My second line of defense is that I simply cannot keep any more living things alive. With four kids, a husband, a cat, several fish and two...

Monday Morning Musings… Whirlwind

on Jun 8, 2015

Life is a whirlwind. It starts moving—slowly in the mornings—with a groggy cup of coffee. Aging eyes that take longer to focus make the newspaper a challenge some days. A pen, my journal, an open heart, an open mind. In the summer, an open window and the lilt of songbirds are my soundtrack. The coffee starts to kick in and the eyes figure out what it means to be open again and then things start to pick up pace. Gaining momentum when the kids wake up and things begin to whirl. Get dressed. Make breakfast. Make lunches. Brush your hair. Pack your bags. Remember this. Do you have that? Quick, into the car, and off we go. And it continues, faster. There’s always something that needs to be done. Laundry to do. Tidying the house. Errands to run. Meals to plan. Groceries to shop. Appointments to keep. Kids to pick up. Dinner to make. Activities to attend. The hours in the day disappear. And...

Monday Morning Musings… My pants don’t fit–Second instalment

on May 25, 2015

Was it just nine months ago that I lamented on this blog that my pants no longer fit after a summer of lazing and lounging by the lake? You may recall that, at that point, I determined that in the coming months, I would move my body more—in an effort to once again squeeze myself back into my pants. Well, I am an enthusiastic starter and let me tell you, once the kids started back at school, I started walking, and—thanks to the accountability offered by a friend—began yoga. I was optimistic and ready to change my life! Or, at least the size of my pants! Fast forward nine months. I had a sobering run-in with my closet this past weekend. I needed a dress to wear to a Gala, our girls’ swim club wrap-up event. You can imagine my dismay when, dress after dress, each one I pulled out and tried on was just a little bit (or, in some cases, a LOT) too snug. Instead of LOSING pounds and inches,...

I need to get something off my chest

on May 13, 2015

This is such a difficult post to write.  I’ve been thinking about it—and putting it off—for almost seven months now. It’s not one of those things that just easily rolls off the tongue and into conversation. But it fills my head and my heart constantly. And maybe, if I just throw it out there, we can all just deal with it, then forget about it and move on with our lives. Do we have a deal? Great! I have cancer. There. I said it. Let’s just take a moment to let the words sink in. (Insert moment of stunned silence here…) Those of you who already know this information, you can just be patient for a bit… Are we good now? Awesome! I’m so glad we’ve had a chance to have this little talk. So, why have I been putting that off for so long?  It wasn’t actually that bad, now was it? But I’m sure you have questions. I had questions. So, we can talk some more if you’d like. I’m mostly ok with it....