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Showing posts from November, 2010

5

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Then

Photo by a Tink Parent Now


Happy 5th birthday, my lovies!

The Worst of Times and the Best of Times

For as long as I can remember, I have been the worst case scenario.
When I was growing up, there weren't a lot of options in terms of treating RA or JRA (now called Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis). And when I say there weren't a lot of options, I mean there really wasn't more than one, maybe two. There was gold injections and there was prednisone and although prednisone was used when things got really bad - as it did for me when I was 12 and my JRA went systemic and almost killed me - the goal was always to get off of it.
Throughout my childhood, my parents were the ones who helped everyone else in the loosely organized support group for parents of kids with JRA, because I was the poster child for how bad it could be and that meant they knew more than anyone elsse. I was the one for whom medication either didn't work or caused side effects that meant I couldn't take it. I was one whose body was so screwed up by age 14 that I spent a couple years in a hospital bed wai…

Ransom November

My semiannual three-month obsession ended this week when Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough one the 11th season of Dancing with the Stars. Last week, there was a huge controversy when Brandy got voted off instead of Bristol Palin. And sure, Brandy was a much better dancer than Bristol, but aside from the audience probably relating to Bristol better than to the professional performers, I have a theory why Brandy got voted off. Because last week, we saw Brandy in the confessional booth talking about how much she wanted to be in the finals and added it was because "and I say this humbly, we deserve to be there". And I said to the TV - because sometimes, I talk to my TV - "and honey, that's why you're gone". She then said something similar in an interview published the next day: " I’m so proud of me and I say that humbly ". Saying something proud and then claiming you do so humbly is impossible. It's an oxymoron. It seems fake, makes you sound like an …

Disability Time

When I go to ultrasound, I have to prepare to lose three hours of my day. The actual appointment is about 20 minutes, but when you involve WheelTrans, the parallel accessible transit system in Toronto, you need extra flexibility. Lately, they seem to have engaged in some sort of internal competition about just how much they can mess with my day. Last week, I got to my appointment an hour before I had to be there, but yesterday? Let me tell you about yesterday.
I called the morning before, requested for a ride to arrive about 5 min. before my 11:30am appointment. I get a ride with a pickup between 9:50 and 10:20 -several years ago, they created the concept of a pickup window of half an hour, which allows them to accommodate more riders, so in theory, it's good. In practice, it's kind of aggravating. My estimated time of arrival yesterday was 10:20am. An hour before I'd asked I have to be there. The way it actually worked out yesterday morning was that they picked me up at 9:…

Very Big Weekend

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Meet my new baby


Her name's Lexie and she can do everything. Well, except intimidate Lucy, who adopted the big box the minute it entered the house. Lexie's an early Christmas present from The Boy and this officially makes him Best Boyfriend Imaginable. I am now a writer who can print, copy, fax and scan - with a sheet feeder! You wouldn't believe the excitement...


After playing with Lexie, we went to see Mazowsze, a Polish folkdance group (video here) so I could get immersed in part of The Boy's cultural heritage. It was amazing and I had a blast - the costumes were incredible, the dancing wonderful and the singing was beautiful - I've no idea what they were singing about, but it sounded good. And then there were the yips - exclamations by the female singers to express... erm... encouragement? Excitement? Well, Janet called them yips. I think they sounded more like a mix of Lucy when she's excited and a hungry velociraptor - watch the video and let me know your i…

A Change of Pace

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“It’s so %*&ing Scandinavian.”
I was in the middle of reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and explaining to a friend why I was having such a good time. Aside from the story itself, there was so much about the way it's written, the interpersonal dynamics, tiny little moments, as well as big ones that were incredibly familiar and felt like home.
It's taken me about five months to finish the Millennium Trilogy - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - and mostly because I took a bit of a break between each, to sort of cleanse my palate. It didn't take long before I needed to dive back into Stieg Larsson’s universe, though and I’m sad it's over. There are certain kinds of books where you can only have the experience of discovering them for the first time - well, obviously this happens with all books, but with some, it's such a profound experience that even if you read them over and over again,…

Depression and Living with RA: an Interview with Merely Me

I did an interesting interview with one of the otehr Community Leaders at MyRACentral this week:
"Depression can be a normal part of living with rheumatoid arthritis. Whether it is depression that comes attached to a diagnosis or the worry and sadness that accompanies a flare, chances are you may become acquainted with this state of mind. The topics of depression and suicide prevention have previously been covered on MyRACentral by both Lisa Emrich and myself. Today's interview with Merely Me, the Community Leader on HealthCentral's MyDepressionConnection rounds out our discussion about this important topic."
The rest of the post is here.

Befuzzed with Pollen

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Last week, I realized I haven't updated my Flickr page in forever, so I'm working my way through the summer's photos. Found this and thought I'd post a bit of summer in a quite dreary November.

Everyday Hero

Thanks to everyone who left a comment in last week's contest, three quarters of you voting for Wish Upon. Thank you also for giving me this moment of publicly telling a certain someone that I told you so. Which is not to say that I don’t like Christmas Come Again, I do – I like its intense Christmasness – but I figured the other would be more versatile. I have obediently changed the packs around in the shop. And speaking of winners… I messed around with a random number generator and the winners of the calendars are comments #3 and 12. Congratulations kallajer and deb bennett! Contact me at landers5ATgmailDOTcom with your full names and addresses and I'll get the calendars to you right away.
The other day, I saw a bit advertising an upcoming story on one of the local news shows. Called Everyday Hero - which leads me to believe it's a bit of a series - this particular episode was a portrait of a woman with MS. The woman is a wheelchair user and her MS has affected her enough …

Before and After and Before

Two pieces of information before I get going. First, the contest to win one of two 2011 The Seated View calendars is open until 6 PM EST on Sunday. And second, if you live in the Toronto and vicinity area, there's a really interesting public forum on Thursday, November 25 called The Most Exciting Time Ever in the History of the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (surprisingly, with no exclamation marks). For more information on the forearm and on how to sign up, go to the link and scroll down to the fourth item. And now, back to the regularly scheduled program…
Before, the pain was with me always, coloring everything I did. Before, my shoulder, neck and back were tight, always, clenched into a fist that never let go. Every movement was accompanied by hurt, everything I did had its own soundtrack of pain, sometimes not too bad, just loud enough that I was very aware of it, sometimes blaring, at the forefront, in my face, so much that I was surprised the rest of the world couldn't…

Remember

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It's Heeeere! Contest

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The 2011 The Seated View calendar is here! 

I always forget how labor-intensive it is in early November when I make the calendar and holiday art cards, but I don't forget how much fun it also is. Combing through the past year’s photos, trying to find the best ones and then making sure there’s not too much of one kind and not too little of another. It’s one of the tasks that has replaced knitting for me, although with substantially less hand happiness from having soft wool glide through your fingers. Nonetheless, my new baby is ready and unlike a pair of socks, more than one recipient to get their hands on it.

For several years now, I've received requests for prints, particularly of Mystic, but have in a protracted moment of spectacular tech twittiness been completely unable to figure out how to make the image fit the CafePress template. Thankfully The Boy happened to be here as I was wrestling with it and found a solution in what is for me a terribly embarrassing short amount of…

The Sound of Water

I've always wanted one of those serenity fountains. You know the kind - maybe there are two small bamboo chutes to guide trickling water from top to bottom or maybe it's a pot with a bunch of rocks and water quietly burbling up in the middle. The only thing that’s kept me from getting one was the thought that various cats in my vicinity might take to drinking aforementioned burbling water, which didn't sound healthy. That and the cost, but it's been on my list of things to get for a while, just as soon as the financial situation got a bit better. Because what could be nicer? The quiet sound of water flowing in the background lending peace to the end of a stressful day. Because you all know how much I like the sound of the ocean and the next best thing would be a wee fountain on a shelf somewhere, right?
In related news, my toilet’s been running for over a week.
Well, that's not entirely true. My toilet’s been kicking up a fuss on and off since the end of June, start…

Old Game, New Name

I've been percolating this one for a while, trying to wrap my head around an idea, how to present it in a way it makes sense. Whether I'm quite there yet remains to be seen, but here goes…
It all started with a conversation I had a while back with Dave over at Rolling around in My Head. It was about discrimination as applied to people with disabilities and how the general public at large seem to have trouble connecting with the concept, often laughing at the idea, getting angry that you're suggesting people with disabilities experience discrimination (I know... huh??) or outright denying that it happens. I have illustrative examples to guide the discussion.
NaOnka is one of the contestants on this season of Survivor. Kelly B. was another, the contestant with the prosthetic leg I wrote about at the end of September. NaOnka spent the entire time that she was on the same tribe as Kelly spewing hateful things about her, more specifically hateful things connected to her being an …

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Traveling with RA

The holiday theme has started and over on MyRACentral, I write about RA and traveling:
"‘Tis the season. The start of holiday celebrations, for gathering with family and friends and that means traveling. Whether you're driving to the other end of the city, taking the train to the next state or flying across the country, at some point in the next six weeks or so, you'll be going somewhere. Staying comfortable during your trip is an important part of arriving at your destination feeling as good as possible so you can enjoy the festivities."
You can read the rest here.

Out of the Darkness

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I Love the Smell of Progress in the Morning

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About six weeks ago, I had a wee rant - well, it wasn't that wee, actually. As rents go, it was a pretty good one. I’d arrived at my local grocery store to find it significantly altered in the name of theft prevention, alterations which erected a number of barriers to accessibility. There was a gate consisting of two bars, the previous two accessible checkout lanes looked like they had been reduced to one, the new self checkout area was hopelessly crowded with people and there was a chain across the only empty checkout lane. Basically, I couldn't get into the store.
Every time I went to my local Metro after that, I felt unwelcome. I thought about it for while and then I decided that posting this rant was not enough. I wrote a letter, enclosed a copy of my post and sent it to the VP of Operations in Ontario, asking if Metro didn't want my business anymore. Shortly after that, I got a call from another VP named Peter who is responsible for this particular store.
Peter was co…