Thursday, November 27, 2008

Let Me OFF!

I think somebody, somewhere, is having a great laugh over my cosmic roller coaster life. Maybe my Guardian Angel is bipolar and went off her meds. I finally had to just start laughing because otherwise I would be totally off the deep end.

Let's start off from the last entry. I was crying or on the verge of tears for about 36 hrs. Then I received an email from Getty Images accepting me as one of their photographers. I was thrilled to get a chance to work with the world's premier photography company. What a yank out of the dumps. I felt validated and worthwhile. My very kind friends had been sending me messages of love and support and that made a world of difference. Sierra came up from BYU and Jonny was here to make me laugh. So here I am on cloud 9. Feeling like my old invincible self, I was ready to hit the road running.

Jon and Sierra wanted to go to Waterton and I thought it might be some great opportunity for winter photos. Off we set. It was cold, and we had a tiny skiff of blowing snow but it was 10am and already melting. 10 miles to the west we ran into more snow. 3 more miles and I was just getting that feeling of 'turn around now'. We crossed the Belly River, going less than 45 mph,.started up the other side and hit snow covered ice. One of the wheels grabbed a tiny slice of traction and it threw us across the road. I did everything I was trained to to. Steered into the skid, let off the gas, didn't touch my brakes. All to no avail. We shot into the ditch, hit a hole with the drivers side tire, pitched toward and hit a pole on the passenger side and flipped onto our side. The windows shattered onto Sierra but we came away without a scratch. For which I am truly grateful. However, the SUV, well....... it needs some major help. People kindly tried to stop to help us but they kept skidding as they got to us so we just waved them on. I must say, I love cell phones. A few calls and we had a ride, a tow truck and went on our way. We made it to Waterton and got some cute pics after all. Check the other blog for pics later.

But I tell ya, I am beginning to wonder about the happenings in my life and who is having the big belly laugh as they manipulate things. I figure if I don't start looking at all this with humour instead of dread panic, I'll be jumping off the High Level bridge. So, on this day of American Thanksgiving, I am thankful for humour, no injuries, good people, kindness, and friendship. But I'm also praying for a money tree 'cause if things were ultra tight before, well now I have no words to describe the fun we are going to have trying to meet all our obligations. Hmmm. I've told the Lord it's His deal now. I can do only what I can do and the burden is now on His shoulders.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Just Done!!!

I've had it!! No, really. I'm worn right out.

Yesterday, I logged onto Facebook and saw my brothers status "hanging out in Oahu with a friend". It just put me over the edge. I crawled off to my bed, bawling. It's not his fault. It just pointed out the glaring differences in our lives. In the last month he has been on a beach in Egypt, Florida, and now Hawaii. He also visited the Ukraine in that time. He flew over to Hawaii on a whim to see a friend for the weekend. Yet here I am killing myself to get enough money together to keep Sierra at BYU. I'm trying to raise an autistic child, keep my mother somewhat sane (no she's not truly loopy, just not really accepting reality), and have been taking care of my parents for the last 2 years. They lost their employment at 60 yrs old and moved in with us. I left my beautiful, huge, comfortable home, to come back to Canada for my son. It's hard. I don't have my husband here. I know I am doing what's best for him and apparently for my mother but crap people, I'm completely worn down emotionally.
I thought long and hard last night about where my blessings are for working so stinking hard to do for everyone else. Why does my brother, who breaks every commandment known to man get the cush life? Hmmmm? I was on my knees thanking Heavenly Father for some poor alzheimer guys donated dressers we got for free 3 weeks ago for my parents and Hunter. I've sacrificed my career, my education, and my health for my family and yet I'm sleeping on a second hand bed in an icky old house and still can't afford to buy a dresser. That donated bookshelf will have to do for now. I'm complaining, I know. I don't normally. And I'm coveting too. So what punishment do I get for that? No more second hand, 60 yr old, furniture? No more butchering the deer Dad shot? Yes, I know, be grateful for what you have. Blah, blah, blah! I am! Believe me, I love not having to keep my clothes in a suitcase anymore. I am glad to have a roof over my head. And most of the time I'm just fine with my situation in life. I'm just done. That's all, done. Need to go cry somemore.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Random Blabbering

I found this card I had written in my scriptures this morning on my way to church.......

"We had the most bizarre request in RS today. The lesson was about Joseph's letters to his family, so the teacher asked u to write a letter to some loved one letting them know what we would say if we were never to see them again. Well, that was out of the blue. Morbid much? Not something I want to think about really. So there we sat for 15 min faithfully scrawling in our little cards. What do you say? How do you choose just one person to write to? Besides, I kind of did this before with my cancer diagnosis. When your own mortality smacks you in the face you try to cram a lot into your life, but most importantly you cram your love down your kids throats! LOL! Hey, you know they want it. But, here's the thing. I can't just turn on that sort of emotion just because my teacher tells me to. Especially when I have done so well living in my own reality of happy land. If and when you get a letter like that it well be well thought out and sincerely written in my own time. Believe me, if I have something to tell you, I'll do it. I'm not the shy girl I once was. If you have impacted me in a meaninful way, I'll find a way to share that with you. Maybe someday soon you'll feel a tap on your shoulder or recieve an email expressing my deepest appreciation for the time, words , or love you have shared. Be on the lookout!"

Friday, November 21, 2008

Should I?

With all the hype about Twilight I've broken down and decided to read the series. I hadn't even heard about it until Aug. A little out of the loop, I guess. I'll let you know what I think.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rita's Answer

You asked so be prepared. The following is an explanation to the previous post's #87.

Most of you know I grew up on a farm so naturally we raised a lot of our own food. We grew a substantial garden but we also raised animals; chickens, rabbits, sheep, cows and horses. We often butchered our own chickens. These events were family affairs from Grandpa on down. However, these are not the only animals we ate. OK, we were really poor. If we ate beef it was often because we raised it and killed it ourselves.
When I was 5 we lived near Onaway, AB. My dad was into exotic cattle and one of the breeds we raised was called Chianina (Kee an ee na). These are Italian cattle and have really long legs, a little too long. We had a steer that would just step over the fences and get into the haystack. Dad tried everything to no avail. One day he got so mad at this steer he climbed up the haystack with his rifle and waited for him to step over the fence again. BANG! Dead beef. This animal was huge and we lived way out in the boonies. The only help he had was us. Now, remember, I am the oldest and I was 5. So mom, poor thing, had to help gut and skin this thing and carry it into the house. It was too big. They cut it into quarters and hauled them into the bathtub. It was then my job to pick off all the hair that remained. Don't want hair on a steak.
Unfortunately, the bottom dropped out of the cattle market and we no longer raised beef. Not only that, we were extremely poor now. So instead Dad started hunting deer and elk. Each year he would bring at least one of them home. Poor as we were we couldn't pay for someone else to butcher them. Dad would skin them and hang them in Grandma's garage for 10 days (all red meat is aged like this). Then he would bring it into the house where we would all participate in someway to butcher and wrap the meat. One year I got the fun job of mixing raw venison with pork and seasonings to make sausage, with my bare hands. MMMMM. Not really.
When I was 15 I went hunting with my dad. He and his best buddy Mark Walburger had hoped for a moose tag that year but only I got one. That year I got the joy of starting the entire process from live animal to table top.
So, Rita, does that fill in the blanks for you? 'Cause I'm not sure I can come out of my house now. I had serious social anxieties before. I may have to become an official hermit again.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Random List of Accomplishments if that's what you want to call it

Thanks Rebecca! I thought this was cute............. I've done the ones in blue.

Things I have done in my life:
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disney World
8. Climbed a mountain....does Bears Hump count?
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check (oops)
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chicken pox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person
101. Learned to play an instrument

I think my list says major redneck/ white trash. LOL I need a life!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lest we forget........

Image by Heather Patterson and Ron Lightburn

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 agoWe 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.
- John McCrae

Because this is Hunter's first Remembrance Day in Canada he was full of questions. His teacher asked them to write and essay for a contest at school concerning Remembrance Day and he had no idea what to do (see post below). He sat with us and asked about our family and what service they had given. That was the basis for his essay. I am going to post it here for you 'cause, dang I'm just too proud of him.

The first time I saw a red poppy I was curious. I wondered what it meant; I asked my classmate what it was and what it meant. She stared at me oddly. I told her that I hadn't seen on before. She told me it was a sign of peace and a symbol to honour soldiers that fought in the wars. I went home and asked about my family in the war. My grandma said, "Your Great-Great Grandfather fought in the First World War. When he was a young man, he went to Normal School to learn to be a teacher. While he was there, he met the girl he wanted to marry. She was a teacher too. But then the war came along. He decided that he had to join the army to fight for Canada. So, they decided not to marry unless he came back from the war. He fought with the army in France (Vimy Ridge, and Passchendaele) and was gone for four years. When he came back he had to find a way to get back to living away from the war and support a family, so it was another two years before they could get married."
She also told me about what happened when WWII began, "When the second war started, my grandparents had six children and a fram. He joined the war, but this time, My Grandpa wasn't the only one fighting in the family. The oldest son, my dad, and his two sisters joined and they all fought for Canada."
Grandpa told me, "Three of my uncles and two of my aunt's joined the Armed Forces of Canada. Two uncles never came back."
The poppy reminds me of those in my family that did and those who are now. To honour all soldiers, we try to make Canada the best it can be and remember them by wearing a poppy on Remembrance Day and bowing our heads for 2 minutes of silence.

Isn't it a great essay? I have 2 brothers in the US military. My brother Jon is a Marine and my brother Carl is in the Army Reserves. He has just been called up to go to Afghanistan.

Because of Hunters questions we realized that we didn't know very much about my Great-Grands experience in the wars. He really didn't speak of it. With the internet as handy as it is we began to dig. We found a copy of his enlistment papers and what regiment he served with. We now know that he was among the amazing soldiers who fought at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele. My grandpa helped his country win a battle that no other country was able to succeed at. If you don't know these stories you must read them. I did not know what he sacrificed until I read these accounts. It broke my heart, and made me so very proud and patriotic at the same time.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Proud Parents

Tomorrow is Remembrance Day. A day of pride, sorrow, joy and reverence. On the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour we pause for 2 minutes of silence. Because it is a holiday the elementary school held their assembly today and had the children participate more than I have ever seen before. The older children grades 4-6 were asked to write an essay or poem and the contest winners read their work. Hunter, has never had a Remembrance Day before and was a little surprised at all the effort and time put into this day. Veterans Day in the States is just not the same. The kids sang O Canada, watched a video on the importance of the day, sang again, recited poetry, ready essays, sang some more. Doug, who came to visit this week, was amazed at all that we do.

What we loved the most though, was that Hunter was selected as a flag attendant for the National Anthem and he read his essay as well. Tomorrow he is singing " The White Cliffs of Dover" with the school choir for the community program. He has really taken to his new community and they have taken to him. He fits in so well, which is a very new phenomenon for him. I'll post my official Remembrance Day info tomorrow

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


No, that's not quite true..... I've come to hate what that color represents. Call me politically incorrect, I don't care. I am sick to death of the pink ribbon and all the pink fundraising. All sorts of businesses donate portions of their proceeds in Oct. to breast cancer but don't support any other cancer, ever. I have taken to confronting them. Someone needs to say something. Honestly, those of us who have had other forms of cancer no longer exist. Do people really think that women only get breast cancer? Why does it get all the attention? Are we still to chicken too talk about the really big taboo cancer? I'll say it GYNECOLOGICAL CANCER!!!!! Yup, ladies it happens. A lot more than you would like to think! On average, one woman in the United States is diagnosed with gynecologic cancer every seven minutes -- that’s more than 200 women diagnosed each and every day. And I'm tired of being invisible. Did you know that there is no test to screen for uterine cancer? Why are we giving more money to the boobs? Women who lose their breasts to cancer can get reconstructive surgery to make them feel more normal and its covered by insurance. I didn't get a replacement uterus and ovaries. And yes the transplant is possible. Support groups all over for the boobs but the other girlie bits have to hide in a corner because we can't get the help or recognition we need. There are special groups to help breast cancer victims with wigs, special make-up lessons, special camps and get -away weekends, grants to help with medical bills and on and on and on........ Know what kind of help there is for women who technically become eunichs because of their gyn. cancer? NADA!!!!!! I am tired of being invisible. I want to make a fake uterus and pin it to my lapel. Then will you notice me? Will you?
So, in honor of all GYNECOLOGICAL CANCERS, I have changed my blog to purple, their color of support. That's right all the vaginal, vulvular, endometrial, uterine, cervical, ovarian and clitoral cancers, I'm letting the world know we are here. We exist. We need support too!! You never know when it could happen to you. I had endometrial cancer almost 4 years ago. I'm alive and kicking and in 16 months I will be an offical survivor.