Showing posts from October, 2008

Happy Hallowe'en!

Posted with AB's permission.

Five Great Gift Ideas for People with RA

My latest HealthCnetral post is up: "The season of gift giving is almost upon us - sorry, I didn't mean for that to sound ominous. Am I the only one who gets surprised every single October that it's here again already? And then I usually hurry up and repress it, which inevitably renders my December busy and stressful. But this year, I've decided to get on top of things well in advance and, unlike last year (and the one before that and the one before that), I've vowed to be done with my shopping by December 1st! Maybe..." You can read the rest here .


I think I’m getting old . It could be argued that turning 46 years old might've been my first clue that I wasn't knee-high to a grasshopper anymore, but I always thought that when I was in my mid-40s, I'd feel adult and mature and as that feeling has yet to settle in, I’m pretty sure chronological age has nothing to do with my current issue. I t all started when I tuned into the new season of Grey's Anatomy. Although seasons one and two were clearly superior to what came after (talk about jumping the ferryboat), it's been good, undemanding entertainment, occasionally thought-provoking, occasionally funny, occasionally heartwarming. And then I sat down (metaphorically, as I tend to be sitting down most of the time) to watch the new season and… is it just me or did it get really silly and irrelevant? Were they always this self-absorbed, vacant and obsessed with getting laid? This young ? Does no one at Seattle Grace focus on their career? Sure, I h

Home Again

You don't have to read this blog for long to see that I have a thing about the ocean. It's more than merely a 'thing', though. Growing up surrounded by the sea and all that comes with it - the smell of wet sand, the wind, the sound of waves and the scent of salt in the air - does something to a person. Like calls to like and the 70% of the Earth that is ocean calls to the 70% of us that is salt water, the rhythmic whoosh of waves echoes the rhythmic whoosh within our pumping hearts and when I am near the shore, it is as if there is no me and no Other, there is just one. I disappear within it, it absorbs me, there is no me ending or it beginning, there is just being within and around and together. It is home in a way no other place has ever been. And living landlocked so far from salt and wind and waves, I am cut off from the sea. Cut off from my home. A fter I moved downtown, I found a substitute. I live close to Lake Ontario and for years, when the we

Winner & The Postcard Project

A short post today - I'm running off and spend every minute I can with AB before her flight leaves. First, the winner of Monday's contest. It could be argued that Michele's entry required a win for here lovely description of our friendship. However, that sort of smacks of cheating, especially considering the random choice aspect of the contest. AB chose comment number six and the winner is another outspoken female , who also wrote an excellent entry about her friend Jane. Email me at landers5ATgmailDOTcom with your choice of photo and I'll get on that as soon as possible. Note: you might want to wait until Monday-ish with choosing, as I haven't gotten around to updating my Flickr page yet. And second. Beth is on a mission: to send out postcards to anyone who needs or wants one (including, in an amazing fit of generosity) George Bush should he ask for one. The goal started beng 1000 postcards, although considering how this project has taken off, it's poss

Random October

Yesterday, it snowed in Toronto. Not downtown, so I didn't see it and can therefore pretend it isn't real. But it was. I need a drink. Best Tink line in a while. On Sunday at lunch, Liam wanted a grape tomato. Janne cut one in two, at which Liam, who's currently very three, disconsolately claimed with tears in his eyes that it was "broken". His dad then explained that if it wasn't cut, it would be a choking hazard. And Liam wailed "I want my choking hazard!!". I believe grape tomatoes now have a new name in our family. A Fresh Explosion (sent to me by Barbara in Nova Scotia ). It never gets old. Man succumbs to 7-year battle with health insurance (via Not Dead Yet ). My friend Michele and I once plotted a small business called Hate-A-Cake, in which customers would order a cake for specific nasty occasions and would get a confection designed specifically to commemorate said occasion. The boss you hate, the man who gave you an STD, that Me

A Friendly Contest

I don't remember becoming friends with AB, just being friends with her. When I entered grade 1, I didn't know her and her name was Anne Birthe. And soon after, all I remember is her being AB and my best friend. AB, though, remembers making friends with me. In Denmark , there is a tradition on your birthday to bring candy for your classmates and I had brought licorice (much like Twizzlers, except better and I'm not biased - if you've tasted Danish candy, you know I don't lie), one for each student. The way AB tells the story, she noticed that I had a few left over and decided to come over and say hi. Presumably I shared the leftovers with her and the rest, as they say, is history. That was 39 years ago. When we were kids, AB would come by our house in the morning and we'd go to school together, walking or biking home after school. Then we’d hang out at my house or her house and if it was the latter, we would torture her two-years-younger siste

Book Review: Hominids: The Neanderthal Parallax

  What if there were parallel universes? What if in one of those universes, Homo Sapiens became extinct and Homo Neanderthalensis lived on to create a complex civilization? What if one of those Neanderthals came through to our universe? This is the central idea in the Hugo Award winning Hominids: The Neanderthal Parallax by Canadian author Robert J. Sawyer and the thought behind my mentioning “books that entertain, educate and move the boundaries of your mind” in Monday’s post. In the depths of a nickel mine, Ponter Bodditt, a quantum physicist, is working with his partner Atticor Hold, researching parallel universes when something goes wrong (note: as I read this on audiobook, I'm fuzzy on the spellings). In the depths of the same nickel mine, in another universe, Louise Benoit is working in the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory when something goes wrong and in that moment, Ponter stays in one place, but moves between universes. Back in the Neanderthal universe, Atticor i

A Beginner's Guide to RA: Friends & Family

My latest post on HealthCentral talks about the impact RA can have on the relationships in your life: "I'm not going to lie to you: having a chronic disease like Rheumatoid Arthritis can be hard on relationships. Your friends and extended family -- partners and children will get their own Beginner's Guide -- have to go through the same emotional adjustment and learning curve as you do to understand your disease and the impact it has on your -- and their - life." You can read the rest here .

Mushroom Studio

The latest exhibit in the Sculpture Garden . Beyond great. You can read the Artist Statement here .

Happy Turkey Day!

Today’s the day Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving. Well, it all depends on your perspective – if you’re a turkey, I guess you’d spend the day mourning the annual mass slaughter of your fellow fowl. However! As I’m pretty sure no turkeys read this blog, I’ll stick to the former interpretation. W hen I first moved to Canada - back when the hills were mountains - I remember watching the Thanksgiving episodes of television shows where the family would go around the table, each member saying what they were thankful for. I always felt sort of embarrassed by proxy - not by the feeling of thankfulness, but the saying it out loud. Where I come from, we don't talk about things like that and for years, I thought people on this continent were emotionally incontinent. However, after 26 years, I've been North Americanized enough that now I sort of like the idea. So today, I am thankful for : A globetrotting family who, when we can’t come to them, hop on a plane and come to

And Then I Sneezed for 20 Minutes



I had a plan. I was going to start this post with a pithy and pertinent quote, which should be easy to find in Google. Should be a matter of mere minutes until I hit the right link and then we'd be off. Except I have now spent way more time than is reasonable trying to find this particular quote, doing untold permutations of what I'm looking for and can't find it. It's making me nuts. So you know that quote about how there's nothing more boring than people who tell you their dreams over the breakfast table? Yeah, that one. Imagine that in neat italics just below the post title and we'll move on (and if you know the quote I'm talking about, please leave it in the comments so my brain will stop trying to figure it out). B ecause that's what we're going to be talking about today. Dreams. I've had a couple of weeks with highly active, detailed and quite interesting dreams and if only I could remember them in more detail, there'd

Just. Fabulous.

According to the astrologer in my local paper, Mercury retrograde means "[it's time to improve and revise your plans, strategies and dreams." I've noticed they do that now, put a nice spin on what used to be described as a three-week episode of holy hell going on in the spheres of communication and technology. Not anymore! These days, Mercury retrograde is all about time to consider, to reflect, to finetune your plans so that within a few days of the planet going direct again - remember those extra buffer days! - you can confidently stride forth and implement your polished plan to the awe and applause of the general populace. W ell, they're not fooling me. A rose by any other name smells just as sweet and so does a pile of poop. Well, not that it smells sweet or anything, quite the contrary in fact, but you get my drift. A nd why am I nattering on about astrological happenings that nobody believes in unless it happens to dovetail exactly with what happene

What I'll Miss About Summer

This week, Fall seems to have arrived with a certainty, which prompted me to think about what I’ll miss in the next 6-7 months. B eing warm Being in less paim Sunshine, strong, clear and bright, not pale and washed out Not wearing socks People walking slowly, with a smile on their face Running errands in the morning before my hair dries (in the winter, it’d freeze) The smell of freshly cut grass Not taking 5 extra minutes to get dressed before I go out Open windows Connecting to joy being as close as watching dogs in the park The smell of hot pavement after the rain starts Patio restaurants The sun setting well past dinnertime Leaves the proper colour (green) and in their proper place (on the trees, not off ) Reading in the park Short shadows Sunlight shining through petals and leaves Birdsong Black thunderstorm clouds lit by sunshine Stopping to chat with friends, acquaintances and strangers about the lovely weather, their dogs, travel, food, pigeons and other important

Still Life with Vines