Showing posts from December, 2008

Sidestepping into Happiness

I was talking to a friend the other day about how this particular set of holidays used to be my annual experience of manic depression. Well, not the actual disease, but perhaps a little bit of insight into what it feels like. Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year and there is nothing about it I don't like. Happy, happy, happy. New Year's Eve, on the other hand, tended to send me into a spiral of self-loathing and wishing to jump off a curb, what with the not-so-subtle social pressure to take stock of the past year and find it wanting so you can come up with a number of resolutions that will magically fix whatever's wrong with you or your life asap. And inevitably, I would find things very wanting, somehow never quite having created the kind of life I’d hoped for. Sure, I accomplished things, but never enough, I wouldn't have found time to pursue my dreams, there was always something missing. A fter I got my life back , that changed. And yes, I know that link sh

Holiday Stream-of-Consciousness

Sometime late yesterday evening, it occurred to me that it was Sunday. Which means that it would very soon be Monday. Which is one of the days I traditionally post. And I had nothing. Because sometime on Saturday afternoon, I remember being unsure about what day it was and it was officially the moment where the holiday mindset started taking over. T hings have been a bit busy lately – if by ‘a bit’, you mean unbelievably - and I’d made it even busier because I planned to create a good 10 days (at least) around the holidays where I could putter around, relax as thoroughly as if I were at a spa, lose track of time, eat fruitcake ( hic ), watch costume dramas like the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice , Bridget Jones's Diary (Pride and Prejudice, except with more mentions of the word bollocks ) and Jane Eyre because that's what the holidays are all about. And in order to make this happen, a number of things had to get done and there has been way too long a time where I have a

A Tink Christmas

For those of you who are new to my little corner of the world, I need to introduce the Tinks. Three years ago, my sister and brother-in-law created a set of beautiful twins named Morgan and Liam - I blogged about the day they were born here and John (a.k.a. TinkPapa) gave the background of the nickname on his blog (it's on the right sidebar, I'm too technologically inept to figure out the link to a mirror site) (and although their parents no longer call them the Tinks, I persist). W e all gathered at my mothers as usual on Christmas Eve and after a wonderful dinner, we attempted a bit of carol singing, as tradition dictates. However, the kids were too revved up about all the presents and given that they had already waited several hours, we proceeded quickly to the tree Liam opens a book with pictures of himself over the past year (a Moster tradition) (Moster is the Danish word for mother's sister) Morgan becomes Nisse and it suits her well Janne (a.k.a. TinkMama) takes L

A Christmas Wish

H olly is the nicest person I’ve ever met. I don't remember the first time my friend Andrew introduced me to his new girlfriend - I think it was dinner somewhere - but I remember coming home and when asked by my mother and sister what she was like, I told them about how incredibly nice she was. Later, I also told them she was smart and articulate, may have admitted to being more than a little impressed with her career as a lawyer and told them how she was a warm, funny, generous and really, really good person. A ndrew and I had been best friends for years before he met Holly and much to my delight, she was the kind of person with whom it was easy to make friends, as well. I was privileged (and scared spitless) when they asked me to be a reader at their wedding - although I had done training sessions for a room of maybe 20 people, being on stage in a large church with many, many pairs of eyes on me on such an important day was a terrifying thought. But it

Random December

Before we get going on the monthly Link-o-Rama, there's a winner to announce. I asked my friend Andrew to pick a number between 1 and 36. For very good reasons, Andrew haven't been able to read the blog for a while, so he was as unbiased as they come. He picked comment #31, which is Emelie from Sweden. Congratulations, Emelie! Send me an email at landers5ATgmailDOTcom and we'll discuss prints and addresses. From Trevor , a musing on the 1 in 7 Canadians who have a disability. Via Broadsides , a wonderful video celebrating the 60 th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reminding us exactly what those human rights are. While we are in the Broadsides archives, a wee thing on imperfection and the quest for the impossible, all summed up in two photos . I got my Seated View 2009 calendar last week and was again astonished by the quality - really thick paper stock, the photos turned out beautifully and no, this is not a hopeless attempt at a sal

More Than a Little Overwhelmed

Yesterday, I found out that I had won Best Disability Blog in the Canadian Blog Awards and I am dorky and uncool enough to admit that I am ridiculously excited. Being nominated was a thrill and winning is an even bigger thrill. A couple of weeks ago, I watched Barbara Walters "10 most fascinating people of 2008" and one of the people she interviewed was Frank Langella (who I've liked for many years). Langella is particularly “fascinating” this year due to his role as Nixon in the stage play and now in the movie Frost/Nixon , which is apparently getting quite the Oscar buzz. Ms. Wawa asked if receiving an Oscar would mean a great deal to him and when he said a very firm 'yes', she faked surprise and asked why. To which he responded "it would be disingenuous and absurd to say 'oh, it doesn't matter.' Of course it matters" and based on his vocabulary and honesty, I instantly developed quite the crush on the man. N ow, I’m

Door Jewellery



A little while ago, I ran into (not literally) a woman I know, making her way slowly and painfully and on crutches into the building in which she lives. As she has been using a wheelchair permanently for over a year now, no longer able to walk further than tiny distances requiring only a few steps, I was stunned to see her ambulatory and asked how come she was up and about. She told me that she'd been at the hospital for surgery and "they didn't want the wheelchair there". And as she slowly, ever so slowly, moved past me, the image of her face, drawn in pain and humiliation, the hospital bracelet on her right wrist and her feet sliding across the floor with each small step in an attempt to make the pain less seared its way into my brain while I had no words of comfort. I was speechless, her words ripping through me. T hey didn't want the wheelchair there. I knew that I wanted to write about this, but it's taken me days to get past my emotional reaction to a pl

I Don’t Know Why She Fights It Every Year

Every December, when Steph realizes that's she's overcommitted herself with the knitting again, I make her a schedule . Or rather, a Schedule. In this document, I tell her exactly what she knits (and bakes, wraps, etc.) and when in order to get it all done by Dec.25. It's our Christmas present to each other - I get her through the gift knitting with her sanity relatively intact and she feeds my belief that when I run the world, it will all work out. We have a beautiful friendship. Being the maker of the Schedule , it is perhaps not surprising I like lists. Lists are soothing, writing down everything you need to do a week, divided into categories of e.g., Do, Call, Email, etc., allows you to get a general overview of the insanity that is life, assess whether you will have a decent week or one in which you need to invest in several pounds of chocolate covered coffee beans and creates a sense of control. As I hit 40 some years ago and therefore allegedly am somewhat wiser

A Beginners Guide to RA: Being a Chronically Ill Parent

My next post is up at HealthCentral: "Raising children is a challenge at the best of times and adding a chronic disease to the mix ups the ante on the emotional and mental resources required." You can read the rest here .

Partial Truth


In Which I am the Cat Toy of the Universe

I once developed a theory of how life works. In this theory, the universe is a cat and we are its toy. It makes perfect sense. You know how there are times where it feels that every time you try to get up, you get knocked down again? Am I the only one who thinks that’s exactly how a cat keeps batting away at a toy (or mouse) over and over again, patiently waiting between each swat until the "subject" starts twitching again? Until you just can't do it anymore and roll over, bear your throat (yes, I’m aware that’s for dogs, work with me) and whimper uncle . At this point, the universe/cat gets back up, an expression of "well, all you had to do was say you needed a break" and walks away to wash its face while you catch your breath. When you're back up again, this time with feet firmly planted on the ground, it comes back and meows in your face to play some more. And that is the Cat Toy Theory in a nutshell. I t all started a month a go when my D

BCE Place, 3 Views


Once More with Feeling

I’ve tried, I really have. Done my best, followed all the rules, done what everyone do and while they manage to nourish life and growth, I bring death and destruction. I confess. I have committed serial herbicide. I t wasn’t supposed to happen – I don’t mean to. Every time I get a new plant, I pay attention to the instructions, google some more and follow them carefully. But sometimes, I get distracted and forget to water when I should or do when I shouldn’t and before I know it, the leaves start turning funny colours and the whole thing droops, drop bits and… is gone. Happens even when I don’t forget or have one in my house, beuing cared for by others . The conclusion is inevitable: I have a black thumb. My damn aura is a black thumb. O nce, I got a pot with babytears at the exact same time as AB and did exactly what she did every day and after 2 weeks, hers was flourishing, overgrowing and mine was a collection of black tendrils in a bit of soil. She may still have the descend

A Disability Blog?

Thanks to all of you voting, I've made it to the second round of the Canadian Blog Awards in the Best Disability Blog category and I’m beyond thrilled (does that make me more dorky?). Last week, I was all humble, saying that it was an honour just to be nominated and it is an honour - it means something that someone thinks I might be “best” at this thing I do. It also means quite a lot of something that many other someones agreed and voted for me. And by now, I’m so tickled that I made it into the second round and, just in case, am working on my "Oscar nominee who didn't get the award" face, while being really, really grateful that when the results are announced, no one will be shoving a camera in my face and broadcasting it to the world. Which is a long-winded way of saying thanks so much for your vote and if you are still so inclined, I’d very much appreciate your vote again. No registration or Canadian residence needed and it's a