Browsing: Uncategorized

My Momma



This is a photo of my Momma last week. There was a Hawaiian Barbeque at her personal care home. My sister-in-law accompanied her. When I saw this picture, I commented that I had not seen her so happy in a very long time. She really enjoyed the event and especially the special food that was prepared for the residents and guests. Later that evening she also indulged in a chocolate bar.

Momma loved to eat but unfortunately hospital fare just wasn’t her “cup of tea”. She did enjoy her breakfast of boiled eggs and a muffin, but for the most part, she was uninspired.  Instead, she would request cans of pork and beans and fresh cucumber and tomato. Simple food that could absolutely delight her. The last thing item that I removed from the personal care home was a sign which read: “Resident has food in her fridge if she requests food during meals”. This note said many things about my Mom but especially that she knew exactly what she wanted and that food was meant for far more than nourishment for the body.

The morning after the barbecue the lovely staff at Concordia Place checked in on her to see how well she had slept and let her remain in bed until they would transfer her to her chair for her breakfast. When they came back to do so, they couldn’t rouse her. She had peacefully slipped away.

The subsequent arrangements for the celebration of her life were easy: we knew that she would want us to be modest in our burial selections, but we also knew that there better be good food and lots of it!

This is an excerpt from my part of her eulogy:

Mom silently demonstrated how to love others by cooking for them-doughnuts for all the guys who delivered papers with my brother Tom, late night meals when my brother Doug and his band would roll in after a gig, me inviting all the Keg “orphans” to Christmas dinner, well you get the picture. For Mom, having lived through poverty and the depression, food was precious, and we were precious to her and so she loved us with food. She taught us to never waste a single thing-she even kept the water from boiling potatoes and added it to the gravy; she sent all those little butter packets home from the nursing home with Sue.

Kath’s quote (from one of the many sympathy cards that we received): “When a good-bye is so unexpected and sudden, it is the wise heart that knows that sometimes it has to look back and remember in order to look forward and hope”.


Love never fails.


The Gift of Restored Health


A week ago I had surgery to remove a tumour on my kidney. The operation went as planned and I have been recovering right on schedule. But let me back up a bit to late September of 2015.

About a month ago I was changing for my first yoga class when a pain hit me that was so acute, I could not stand up straight. My doc has recently retired so I had to go to a walk in clinic. That doc suspected a kidney stone and sent me for an xray. A couple of days later, I was sent for a ct scan. I received the results of the scan just before my plane took off from Toronto to meet Doug in NYC. At this time the doctor informed me that there was some concern about my pancreas and kidney and that I required a contrast ct scan. So I headed off on our “trip of a life time” with this news.

This last ct scan was scheduled for when I was in Montreal so I had to postpone it until last week. D took me on Tuesday and because the tech indicated that it would be 3 days before my doc got results, we headed to Regina. Half an hour later, my doctor called to say that he must see me as soon as possible. This takes us to this past Friday afternoon. I was successful in not letting my fear overcome my times in NYC, Tuscany and Montreal but last week I went to a pretty dark place considering what might be ahead.

To the good news- my pancreas is clear and healthy! To the not-so-good news. I have a small (2.2 cm) malignant tumour on my kidney that will have to be surgically removed, hopefully keeping the rest of my kidney intact. Cancer Care also contacted me Friday and I will see a doctor within two to three weeks. My walk in doc indicates that I will be top priority since the tumour is so mall. I was so relieved by the pancreas part of the news that the kidney part seems like a piece of cake. I am sure that there will be tough times ahead but this weekend as we told the kids and my family, I am the happiest Glamma in the world!

I thank God for so many things, the obvious one being that I do not have pancreatic cancer. But also that he gave me the kidney stone in the first place or I would not have visited the walk in clinic that day.

Unfortunately, I was not considered a priority since my tumour was small, in fact when I finally saw my surgeon in December, he indicated that he would consider my surgery “elective”. This of course is good news but it took some time to process the information and decide when the most opportune time for surgery would be. I decided that by waiting for May I could enjoy Christmas, help with Isabelle when Josie came along in February, get away on our March trip to Isla and fulfil a teaching commitment that I had in the spring.

So one week post-surgery I can tell you that my capable surgeon was able to do the procedure laproscopically which meant instead of a considerable cut and scar, there are four small holes in my abdomen. This method quickens the healing process but actually makes for a more complicated surgical procedure for the doctor.  This week has produced the balancing act between pain management with T3s and the side effect that the codeine produces (and my desire to renew my lovely tradition of having a glass of red wine before bedtime).

Even though the forecast is not the greatest, D is taking me out to the lake this afternoon. He will get me organized for my independent recuperation and the beach house is actually a better set up than home with no stairs and a smaller space to navigate. I won’t be taking my long walks on the beach or riding my bike to collect heart stones and drift wood but I will enjoy time in our solarium and sleeping with all the windows open.

But to the point of these musings: we are so blessed to live in a country where financial position does not dictate the access to healthcare and I am equally blessed by my loving family and circle of friends who walked this nine month journey with me. To all of you but especially D, thank you. I have felt your love and concern every step of the way.

Kath’s quote:” I have decided to be happy because it is good for my health.” -Voltaire


Love never fails.


The Best Gifts


D sings a made up song every year on this day “It’s the night before, the night before Christmas” and we are all prepared. When I say “prepared” I mean that the groceries are bought, some dishes have been premade and are in the freezer and gifts are bought and wrapped (mostly). But what I really mean is that our hearts are ready for Emanuel (God with us). I am contemplating this gift this morning and I cannot help but reflect on all the other ones that I have received recently.

The Gift of Age


I was so blessed when so many friends joined me to celebrate a momentous birthday. Thank you D and my family for all of your hard work. It was a memorable day in absolutely every way. A special thanks to my Toronto Bestie who has been in my heart for decades.

The Gift of Work


Everyday is new and exciting and full of learning. The work that I do is creative, satisfying and rewarding, not only in a monetary way but because of the rich relationships that I have with suppliers, clients and comrades.

The Gift of Friendship


I have often shared in this space that Sisters #2 and #3 are my best friends and I cherish that. This year though I have drawn closer to three girlfriends. We lunch together and drink wine together and share our joys and sorrows. Their perseverance and support has been an amazing gift this year.

The Gift of Family


In the next few days I get to spend time with most of my whacky 35 member family. We will assemble Christmas morning at my Mom’s personal care home for brunch and gift opening. There will lots of hugs and laughter (and eating).

The Gift of Travel


Yesterday I posted on Facebook that I would rather have a passport full of stamps than a house full of stuff and that is so true. In 2015 I have traveled to Vancouver, Seattle, Isla Mujeres, Montreal (twice), New York and Tuscany. I got to stay and visit with people I love, learn new things, see new things and just “be” in so many lovely places.

The Gift of Community


We are blessed with wonderful neighbours who fetch our mail and snow blow our parking spots. Our little house of 20+ years is the now the perfect size. We sit in our lawn chairs out front for an evening glass of wine (in summer) and visit with many on the street. We do our small part in creating a better Winnipeg and I am inspired by our mayor and chief of police.

The Gift of Freedom


Even with the effects of terror being felt around the world, I am vigilant but never afraid when we travel. I love Canada more than ever with a loving family man as our leader and his open and tender heart. D and I have been registered and hope to provide temporary housing for Syrian refugees in the months ahead.

The Gift of Health

I have had a bumpy ride in this department this autumn but I am empowered to get out and walk, get to the gym and focus on healthy whole foods that I have the time to prepare and the wealth to purchase.

The Gift of Peace


Through the bumpy ride mentioned above, I was filled with a peace that passed all understanding. I was grateful that my “bad” news didn’t feel bad at all when placed alongside all the things that it “could” have been. I am blessed with extra doses of peace when I watch falling snow, spend time at the lake or gaze at the turquoise sea of Isla Mujeres.

The Gift of Joy


Oh my goodness! My family and The Wee One are my constant sources. Yesterday I belly laughed with my almost 89 year old Mom over one of her “witticisms” and then watched The Wee One shake it up in the aisle when I took her to a live play. We cannot restrain our joy as we watch her sister growing inside J2’s belly and can’t wait for the birth of our second granddaughter in the new year.

The Gift of Love


Love is all around. This autumn I have known a special outpouring from friends new and old and constantly from my family. And then there is D. Even though I have aches and pains, white hair roots and new creases on my face, he loves me the same way as he did when none of these things existed. No, he loves me more and in such a respectful and accepting way. He kisses me the moment he awakes, patiently endures my ranting while watching Jets games and constantly plans new adventures for us to share. He truly is the most amazing Daddy, Poppa and Husband. I chose well.

And so this Christmas, I hope one thing: that you get the time to reflect on all the gifts that you have received this year.


Love-that is all.

Paris-I have no words for her beauty or my sadness













Boulevard Pub & Bistro


Do you watch those cooking contest TV shows? Have you always wanted to taste the fare from the time-pressured but inventive Chefs? Chef Heather Porteous of the Boulevard Pub and Bistro in Charleswood is one such Chef. She competed on Chopped Canada earlier this year. I won’t spoil the results if you have not yet seen the episode.

The thing that I was immediately struck by when I entered the bustling place at lunch time was that all her patrons seemed so happy to be there. I even heard them commenting that it was so lovely that Heather opened in the Charleswood neighbourhood.

My lunch date was a friend who was once hired by Heather to work at her first job at the Chicken Chef in Elie, Manitoba. She decided on the Pad Thai salad with its crunchy rendition of red cabbage, bean sprouts, rice noodles and organic greens. Both our salads were accompanied by huge pieces of grilled garlic toast. But just for good measure, we also ordered the Kettle Chips which came with no less than three sauces: onion & garlic, roasted red pepper and bacon & chive.

My mouth still waters when I recall my selection. The Rustic Italian Salad was a hearty concoction of crispy prosciutto, candied cashews, caramelized pears and apples and toasted quinoa. The salty feta adorning the top enhanced the sweet/salty tastes that I am a huge fan of.

At present meals are being served up in the lounge as they have experienced damage from a water leak in the dining room. This was in no way a hardship as we were sat at a huge half moon booth which was spacious and cozy at the same time. Our server could not possibly been any nicer and our food came impossibly quickly out of the busy kitchen.

Boulevard Pub & Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Winslow bounced over on the balls of his feet, clearly not experiencing any sort of crash. ‘Aren’t your guys nervous? I’m nervous as all hell.’
‘There’s nothing to be nervous about,’ Beck said, joining them. ‘Nerves are only useful when they can spur you on to work harder, faster, better. Once the work is done, they become pointless.”  ―
Louisa Edwards

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


« Older EntriesNewer Entries »