Tuesday, December 27, 2005


See that happy gleefull look? He's happy cause he managed to switch his orange chocolate for Grandma's mint chocolate before Grandma got to her stocking. What can I say? Yes I raised him but at least he's happy and Grandma doesn't know the difference! He of course, hates the picture and demanded that I delete it immediately. Not!

Christmas is over for another year! We enjoyed it immensely and all got lots of cool stuff. The kids were all home, the baby was here and my brother brought Mom out for us. Al took care of cooking the turkey and putting on dinner and it was truly delicious! I got a gift certificate to Coles Books as well as a massage from the European Health Spa. The guys and I got that for Jude as well so her and I will be going together and getting a full body massage. MMMMMmmm can't wait! I also got a really nice leather purse. Al and I bought ourselves a play station 2 that we have been wanting. So I got him the steering wheel that went with the game as most of the games he likes are racing games.

We got Christina a kitchen and left if for Dave to put together. We also got her a 100 piece kichen food and grocery kit as well. David looked at it all and said we'll put it together at home and took it all out to the car. Well he phoned me this morning to see if we had looked at the instructions? I said no that was the "Daddy job". He said they were huge and there were a million pieces and at 2 in the morning he had said "Screw this!!" and went to bed. He was back at it and trying to get it together. I could hear Christina in the background bouncing up and down and yelling "Is my kitchen done yet? Is it done yet!!?" I just laughed at him. Pay back's a bitch as they say! :)

After dinner Al and I took Mom home and came home and collapsed into bed. I was a week of running around and getting all the last minute stuff done and I am truly shocked we managed to get it all accomplished. Al has an appointment today to go in and get his stereo installed in his truck. I am spending some quiet time cleaning up all the stuff everywhere and all the various kids are back to work. I don't go back until the 3rd and then I'm off to the Dr. on the 4th to get the paperwork started for the pharmacare.

We have an ad in the paper for Wednesday to try and find a home for Kody. The kitties are gone. A friend of Ryan's was moving into a new apartment and was looking for a kitty. Ryan said she could have them both and all the kitty supplies that went with them and so they went for it and took both kitties. Sirus is just a year old and neutered. Molly is under 6 months old. All their food, litter box, kitty dishes and place mat, their bed and their toys all went with them. Keesha goes to the groomer on Thursday and she is going to be very unhappy with that. It's going to be hard enough finding a place that will let us have a dog of her size without her being a mess. I got her onto the flea treatment as well. She will be coming to work with me once we get moved. In the mean time she is needed to guard the house, a job she does very well.

I'm worried about Al. When we were driving mom home on Christmas night he mentioned that his legs were feeling weird. He has a bad back and he has arteriosclerosis of the lower spine. His legs go to sleep often and he gets really bad leg, ankle and foot cramps. Anway he mentioned it was feeling weird and then last night when he got home he said he noticed his ankle was swollen. I looked and both of his legs are swollen from the knee down. Today I'm going to make him a doctor's appointment so we can see what is happening. Maybe it's his back but if it is, the only solution is back surgery and that doesn't sound good at all. We'll see what the doc has to say.

We would like to get moved before we have to deal with anything like back surgery. We were actually hoping or I was hoping that we would get moved before I started treatment again, but it just didn't work out that way. Now we are ready to move and have to find a place. Josh's building is full, and the place going in across the street won't even get started before the first 2007 and we do not want to wait that long. We are considering moving to Langley but we'll see. Josh and Ryan wouldn't be very happy with that scenario but it's what we might have to do. We'll see what the real estate lady has to say and what's she's managed to find for us. We'll see, so much up in the air still. First things first though and we are steadily heading in the right direction.

Friday, December 16, 2005

A Plan in place

Just came from the doctor and he still wants to go with the plan we talked about in May. Start in January after we get the pharmacare applied for and set up. 3 months of ribavirin and interferon and then drop the riba and continue on with the interferon. Works for me. I have total trust in him and will do what he suggests. So back to him on the 4th and we'll get the paperwork in order and sent in. I guess his office does it for me or at least helps me with it. The paperwork goes back to his office and when they receive it they call and set up an appointment. I go and get the prescription and take it to the pharmacy. Leave it with them and go and get my bloodwork done and viral count. Go back and get the prescription (he is planning on same as before, prefilled glass syringe not the pen) take it back to his office and they go over it with me and then I'm on my way.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

December morning

Now how gorgeous is that. It was taken at 7:30 am this morning. I was heading down the last stretch of road to work and looked in my rear view mirror and the sky was this beautiful shade of orange and red. I pulled into work and basically ran into the building pulling out my camera as I went. I shouted at the guys, the sky, the sky and headed out the back door just in time to see Jude come flying in with the truck and jumping out camera in hand as we all headed for a high spot to take a picture. What a way to start the day!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's Snowing!

I feel like a little kid when it snows. I run back and forth to the window to see if it's sticking and how hard it's snowing. We hardly ever get snow that actually sticks on the ground here on the "Wet Coast" so it's a novelty. We used to get snow when I was a kid. I remember walking to school in knee deep snow (yes I know I was shorter then!). Back then girls had to wear skirts or dresses to school but on snow days we wore snow pants over our dresses. I was a tomboy so I loved being able to wear snow pants to school. Now we hardly ever get any kind of snow. I miss it.

I've been doing ok just finding myself very tired at the end of the day. Working 40 hours a week seems to be all I'm really able to accomplish these days and when I get home I just rest. Most days I'm in bed and asleep before 9 and last night it was 7:30. Yesterday though I had a wicked headache that just got worse as the day went on. By the time I got home it was making me feel ill. I laid down before dinner and then right after dinner I was in bed and asleep. I woke up off and on over the night and still had the damn headache. I was up at 5 this morning and was figuring out how I was going to get down 2 Acetaminophen when I suddenly realized what was going on.

When we went shopping last week I got a case of caffeine free diet pop to try and see if I like it in preparation of maybe not being able to have caffeine if I go back onto treatment. I have also stopped making coffee in the morning before I go to work and have hot chocolate when I get there. So yesterday I had no coffee and no caffeine in my pop and I was in caffeine withdrawal! I had made coffee and had two cups when Ryan wandered out on his way to work with me still holding the bottle of Acetaminophen and looking for something I could choke them down with. He looked at me for a sec and said, "I have candy coated tylenol" !! So he went and got them for me and I managed to get a couple of them down with some apple sauce. I am terrible taking pills and need to have food with them or as soon as they hit my mouth I start to gag and it's game over. By the time I got to work the headache was gone. I'm going to have to wean myself slowly.

Two weeks till the big doctor appointment and I'm getting nervous every time I think about it. Everything is sorta in limbo until I know what is going to happen. I'll be glad to go though and get it over and done with. Then at least I'll know what's happening.

The kids are all busy and doing well. Josh has gone into panic mode now that he and his girlfriend have broken up for the third or fourth time in four years. She wants a commitment and he wouldn't give one. Now she is heading off to India for the 3rd time for two months and will be travelling with a fellow she knows from Ireland. That was enough to really get Josh thinking and he is majorly stressed and ready to tell her he wants her to move in when she gets back. We'll see how this goes. Personally I really like her and would be very happy to see him settle down. As with all moms, all I really want or care about is that he is happy. He is 32 now and I would hate to see him old and lonely.

My chemo buddy seems to be doing well. I got my patient report and he is in week 32 of 39 weeks of treatment. I sure hope he continues to do well and beats this cancer he has. From all my caringbridge kids that I read about, rhabdomyosarcoma seems to be a particularly vicious form of cancer. It would sure be nice if they could find a better treatment for these cancers that kill so many. As in the case of Hep C, the treatment seems very harsh and for a young child it has to be so much worse.

Work is going well and I've been working on the format for our catalog and continuing work on the webpage. It is a never ending job so it's a good thing I enjoy it! It's one of those things that you sit intending to spend an hour or two and before you know it 6 or 8 hours have gone by unnoticed. With the site for work we have it spread over the site the website provider gives us, 3 of my personal webspaces and two of Khushwinders! Pictures take up a lot of space and we have a ton of pictures on the site. Some days I have open three different spaces and am trying to remember which I am trying to hyperlink to at any given time. Jude just put in a bid on a big new development in New Westminster that would be very nice to get. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Date night

Al and I had been planning our date night to go and see Harry Potter for weeks. On Friday night I came home from work and layed down for an hour so I'd be ready to go as I was up late on both Wednesday night and Thursday night. We went out for pizza and headed over across the river to the big Silver City Theatre that had it showing at 5, 7, 8, 8:30 and 10:15 We got there and there was a big sign on the door saying Harry Potter sold out all shows except the 10:15 and knowing it was a 2 hour 37 minute movie we knew we'd never make it. We had totally forgotten about pre-buying of tickets or we would have gone over earlier in the week and bought them. So we went and bought our tickets for Sunday at 5pm and went home and went to bed!

On Saturday the kids all had plans to go to one of their friends birthday party so Dave and Allie had called to see if we would watch Christina and of course we said yes! She arrived cranky after refusing to have a nap but after some dinner she perked up and played around quite happily. She is so funny and is talking constantly. She chased the cats around for quite awhile ( I always put the dogs in my bedroom and turn on the tv for them so have they something to watch while she is running around. It makes me too nervous as their mouths are at her face level and although they have never done anything to suggest they would hurt her it still makes me nervous) When bedtime came around I put Lady and the Tramp on for her and sat in same room with her. She sleeps on a loveseat in my computer room so it worked out pretty good except she just didn't go to sleep! Finally after Lady and the Tramp I put on Fantasia and at 11 she finally went to sleep and I headed off to bed.

At 4am she called me saying she was wet. So I got up and changed her and then said it's time to go back to sleep and I headed back to bed. She says No Grandma you have to sit in the chair! meaning that's where I was when she went to sleep and she wanted me to stay there while she went back to sleep so I turned on the computer and waited for her to go back to sleep. She didn't and at 5:30 we gave up and she got up so in total her and I had 5 hours sleep! She was very sweet though and kept me entertained just listening to her. When she left she said Oh Grandma! I'm going to miss you soooooo much!" I love being a grandma!

So Sunday by the time the kids left it was 1pm and I layed down for a bit of a nap before we left for Harry. Josh had seen it at the first showing on Thursday night at midnight but had missed the first 10 minutes so he wanted to see it again and he came with us. It was excellent! Well worth the wait and I love the continuity of having the same actors play the characters in all the movies. On one of the forums I am associated with it set off another big discussion about what is going to happen in book 7 and whether or not Snape is really a bad guy and did he and Dumbledore have an agreement that Snape would do whatever he had to do. We have decided that when Dumbledore said Severus please he was referring to the fact that he and Snape had an agreement that if it meant killing Dumbledore to make the deatheaters think he was one of them then he was to do it because they have to stop Valdemort at any cost. Of course the perfect ending would see Hermoine and Ron together, Harry and Ginny together, McGonigle as the new HeadMaster, Snape as the defence against the dark arts teacher and we've all pretty much decided that Draco will in the end turn out to be ok. lol we'll see.

Khush is back from India and came to see us on Friday and bring us some gifts he had brought back. It was sure good to see him. Monday morning the phones went crazy and we were busy all day. We've been pushing digging jobs off till the third week in November when Khush came back and I guess everyone took it to heart and marked it on their calendars and all phoned yesterday! Freaked us out a bit as we already have quite a bit of work lined up but we'll manage. He and Gary had the Takeuchi out in the field all day digging trees for the city that we have to get delivered Wednesday. Jude is going to look at a big job in Surrey this morning and just as I was leaving a big contractor called about a huge project they are working on in New West on a site that has dozens of beautiful old trees on it that they are interested in saving. Some may be way to big for our spades but we'll see. It would sure be nice to be able to save them.

I had to stop on the way home and Friday and take this picture. The mountain looked so pretty sitting up there in the clouds.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Lily's Jacket

As promised here are some pictures of Lily in her new jacket :) Racing stripe included! She loves it!

Monday, November 14, 2005

No More Puffer!!

Yay! No more puffer. I just came from the doctor's and he says I can stop the puffer but I may have more problems as my lungs are sensitive and if I feel anything like that coming on again just start with the orange one and do it for two weeks. He cleared me for my flu shot so I made an appointment for both Al and I for Thursday nights flu clinic. He said Ryan should have it as well as long as he is living here but Ryan won't go so I'm not planning on fighting with him about it. He is also smoking in the house so that doesn't help my lungs much either but it's only for a few months and I've already told him that if we move into a new place he cannot smoke in the house and he agreed. Not like he had a choice! He also gave me the paperwork for more bloodwork to get done at the end of the month, two weeks before I see Dr. Erb. So all in all things are getting better.

I had naps on Friday, Saturday and Sunday which kinda worried me a bit but I must have needed the rest or I wouldn't have fallen asleep. I'm back to work today and man it was cold this morning. We hit zero for the first time this year. I hauled out the long johns and wore them today. The office is on the chilly side anyway but Fuad put a baseboard heater under my desk for me last summer cause he knew I'd need it this winter. So between my long underwear and my desk heater I was really quite toasty warm today.

Today I was doing bookkeeping all day and I really love it. Doing the books is one of those jobs that is all black and white with no grey areas. The numbers are either right or they are wrong! I love when everything falls into place and the numbers come out just as they are supposed to.

Lynnie stopped by on the way to work this morning and dropped off a jacket for Lily. She shivers and shakes in the cold and wet so Jude was looking into getting her a coat but the darn things are very expensive and Lynnie said No Way! I'll make her one and so she did. It is adorable and rainproof, lined with a strap under the belly to hold it in place and she loves it. She was out running around and no shivering at all. I took some pictures of her so i'll add some later. Gotta run now and get some things done here.

Oh! We went and saw Mr. & Mrs. Smith at the movies last Thursday and we loved it! Lots of humour and a great shoot-em-up. She really is a beautiful girl! Harry Potter on Friday! Can't wait.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Working at home today....

Jude is sick now and the guys are working offsite so I am at home today with a little black kitty bouncing around in my lap, a cup of hot chocolate and work I can concentrate on uninterupted by the phones! My world is a bright and sunny place today (even though it's raining outside!)

I'm feeling much better although still have a bad cough and am still using my puffer. The doc said I have to use it for two weeks and that's til Monday when I see him again. Then if all is ok I can stop puffer and get my flu shot. I think whatever this was went after my liver too as I had some liver symptoms with very orange urine, and much fullness and pain in the liver area but finally today that is starting to feel better as well. I still tire very easily and was in bed and asleep by 8:30 last night. But I feel better today so we are definitely on the upward swing both physically and mentally.

This is a 4 day week this week with Rememberance Day on Friday. I'm glad. Thursday (if Jude is feeling better) is our girls night and we didn't do it last week because I was sick. Lynne's birthday was the 30th of October and mine is tomorrow so Jude wants to take us to dinner and a movie for our birthdays. That sounds like a blast and I'm ready for it this week, or next for that matter if Jude is sick tomorrow. Nov 1st was Josh's birthday so on Friday, Dave and Allie and baby are coming out to Josh's where we will all get together for Josh's and my combined birthday. Ryan has volunteered to pick Mom up in Richmond and bring her out and take her home afterwards (sweet boy) and she will finally get a chance to see Josh's new home. So the week is shaping up well with lots to look forward to.

We've had a great week so far at work too. Two of the local cities parks people came out and toured the farm and put in orders for trees which we'll dig as soon as Khush gets back from India. One of the parks boards is asking us about custom growing for them and that would be great! They tell us what they are going to need in a few years and we get them planted now so they are of a size when they need them and we don't have to worry about selling them as the are pre-ordered. All good stuff. We have several big tree moves lined up as well for when Khush gets back. Again for two different cities in the area. Love working for the cities as they pay with no hassles.

Anyway, I'm back, bright eyed and bushy taled and ready to go! Better get to work now if this little kitty will let me :) Picture today is the fall colour of my Samurai Japanese Maple I have outside on the deck. It has gorgeous veined green leaves in summer and goes to this in the Fall. Love it!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A better day

Well here I am 4 days later and I really am on the upward swing this time. I've been to the doctor and got 2 different types of puffer and some antibiotics. Unfortunately I started throwing up so have only managed to get down one antibiotic but finally yesterday we decided to try some gravol and it worked wonders. Maybe it will help when I'm on treatment. Anyway today is a better day. We'll go from here.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Cold and Flu Season

Well cold and flu season is definitely upon us. I've been fighting a cold the last week and finally on Friday just gave in and stayed home and I've spent the last two days in bed sleeping and feeling cruddy. It has brought back alot of the bad memories of treatment when I was too sick to eat and had to fight to even sip water. It sorta scared me and I've been second guessing myself again and wondering if I can do this again. It's fine to sit here when I feel ok and say yes I can do this and yes I'll do better this time and force myself to eat and drink and then I get a cold and sink immediately to the point where I am not eating and drinking enough. It is almost like a mini test of "Can I do this again?" The one and only thing that keeps me moving forward towards treatment is the consequences if I do not. Dr. Erb's words keep echoing in my mind. "You don't want to find yourself at end stage liver disease in 10 years because you didn't get treatment now"

I am thinking about trying the full treatment again if the doc can help with the anemia either by reducing the dose of the riba or maybe with the epoetin. Today is not the day to think about it though. Today I am feeling kind of fragile as far as all this goes. I think I deal with it mostly by not dwelling on the bad parts but today the bad parts are too close and too easy to remember. I don't want to think about sticking a needle into my stomach once a week for god knows how long, I don't want to think about trying to force those damn pills down when I know what they are doing to me, I don't want to think about any of it really but reality is kicking in and being sick has just made me remember what it was like to lay there and not have the energy to force yourself out of that bed.

I'm up today and moving. Al is now getting my cold the poor guy. He has a heavy workload at work, he's doing part time work on the side and he still tries to make sure I'm not doing too much. Ok this is just getting drearier and drearier. Maybe later.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

October colour

Busy week! Lots of changes at work and the hardest was Stewart leaving. He made it difficult for the rest of us by some of his actions this last week so by Thursday when he was finally gone we felt like a huge weight had been lifted. Wednesday was Winai's last day as he wanted a few days with his wife and baby before starting his new job on Monday. He arrived in Canada one week and was working for us the next so he's had very little time to relax and spend time doing touristy things. We will really miss him alot. On Thursday afternoon he showed up to pick up his rain gear and boots and whatnot and he brought a huge beautiful bouquet of yellow roses with a card thanking Jude and I! Friday was Avtar's last day for a few weeks. He'll probably come back in January but could very well be back sooner. We'll see him at Christmas too. Khush is leaving for 3 weeks in India to take care of family farm business over there. So it will be Gary and Jude and I for the next 3 weeks.

I got my bloodwork results back and they aren't too bad really. My ALT is 112, AST is 70 and Bili is 11. Feeling not bad, no more pains thankfully. Basically same as always. This week seemed very long with all that was going on. Thursday night was girls night and it was at Lynnies. Sophie is getting huge! She's only 4 and a half months and she's already over 65 pounds. She's a beautiful girl, very silky and very playful. She has energized Babe, their other Great Dane and the cat too is now involved with a daily romp through the house. Lynne has a fenced dog run attached to the side of the house and all three animals can get out there and that's where the dogs do their business. For some reason the siamese cat has taken it upon himself to go out there each day and cover the piles with wood chips (the flooring they use)! Lots of work when there are two Great Danes!

Ryan is in the process of moving his stuff in and we are starting to put stuff away for winter. We are still planning on moving but think we will be here over Christmas anyway. Treatment starts in January so I want to be ready in case we are moving February or March with having everything in order and already sorted and containerized so the move wouldn't be so bad. Kody is making himself unpopular at the moment and has peed in the laundry room twice in the last week. I know what his problem is but seriously he is not in my good books right now. I informed him the other morning that the only thing standing between me and a brand new condo with all the extra's was him! Because we have two dogs like we do we know a condo is not the place for the dogs to be. One we could manage but two just won't work. So he better smarten up quickly!

Keesha on the other hand is doing very well and she's aging gracefully. She's a sweet old girl and would do fine in a condo. She'd sleep all day while we were at work and then be quite happy to spend the evening with us. The only problem would be if she heard noises in the hallway she might bark. Have to see. Still we are torn about a house or maybe a mobile on an owned lot. Lots of building going on in our area. Al is considering a job change as well. So we'll see where it all takes us. I get momentary panic attacks when I think about all that's going to be going on both at home and at work and me on treatment! I have to keep reminding myself to take it a day at a time and stay positive. Gotta be in good shape mentally and physically to kick viral butt!!

The top Maple is called is called Atumn Flame and the colour is outstanding! The other is an Oak and they get a very nice colour too. Sophie and Kody and Keesha make up the rest. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The appointment is made.

Things are starting to fall into place. We've had two days of hashing it out at work and Jude is going to lay most of us off between now and December with a call back date of March 1. This works perfectly for me. We may work a few days in there between but that is fine as well. I phoned today to make my appointment with the doc at VGH for the middle of December so I can get my prescription and be ready to go in January. The deed is done, no backing out now!

I also phoned and made a doctor appointment with my family doctor to get my LFT done as they haven't been done in a few months and I'd like to see where they sit. A couple of days this week I've had a really bad throbbing pain in my right side just at the bottom of my rib cage that lasts for a minute or so and then goes away. But it was a stabbing pain you can't ignore. Not sure what the heck it was but it made me nervous. Of course anything that happens on the right side around my ribcage I immediately think must be liver related when it could be anything I guess. Not sure what else is in the general vicinity that could cause that kind of pain. It hurt so much I pushed in on it to try and make it stop which it mostly did but when I let go it came right back in a rebound type of pain. Anyway gone now, hasn't happened today so hopefully whatever it was has gone away. I've got a cold too with a nice barky type cough that is just generally irritating and a headache I'm assuming came with the cold.

The last couple of days have been really stressful at work with trying to decide how layoffs were going to work. Stewart is leaving and probably won't be back. Khush will start stepping into Stew's job. Winai is gone as of next Friday and has another job to go to. He has a young wife and a baby and is a good worker. He's been offered a job to train as an electrician and as much as we hate to see him go, it is an opportunity he cannot afford to pass up and we wouldn't want him to. With the Olympics coming here in 2010, construction is booming and they are crying for tradesmen. He'll learn a trade and when he's ready and goes back to Thailand he'll have something to take back with him. So he had already told us he was going. Avtar will go at the same time. Stew will stay til the end of October and then he is gone and that will leave just Jude, Khushwinder, Gary and I. I'll get layed off when we close for two weeks at Christmas and that will serve as my 2 week waiting period and it will also get me started on treatment. I can work at home for the first little while til we see how I do and what treatment I am doing or whatever. It is just very hard to see people you have become close to and care about move on to other things. We will miss them terribly. Avtar will come back in the Spring when we need him and we will continue on.

I've had a bad week with my sister too. A long horrid story that I am just not going to go into but it is very hard to be her friend right now and she really needs me to be. She is lying to everyone and asking me to pretend she is with me when she is not. She wants me to lie to both my Mom and my husband so they won't know what she's doing. I finally told her this morning that I will not lie to Al for her and please stop involving me. Now I'm pretty sure she is mad at me and I am not going to hear from her. I'm not trying to judge her and what she does in her life is her business but when she tries to drag me into it, well I just am not going to allow it. I have enough stresses of my own to deal with and just can't do this for her. She is looking very stressed and fragile to me as well. I am worried about her but I cannot help her at this point. I have been telling her she needs to go and talk to someone, get some help from a counsellor.

She came to see me at work yesterday and got me all involved in this without asking me and then with this whole layoff thing and my cold with my pounding headache, by the time I got home from work I was in a foul mood. As my poor husband came to meet me at the car and help me bring my stuff in I bit his head off and yelled at him because I could not reach him on the phone when I wanted to. I've spent the last two days apologizing for being such a bitch. After I explained it all to him and told him the whole story concerning my sister and my mother and what is going on he just looked at me and shook his head and said my whole f**king family was insane. Thankfully he understood and accepted my apologies for being so bitchy. He was probably afraid not to by that point.

The new kitty is now called Molly. Don't ask me how cause I'm just not sure but she is definitely Molly now. She and Sirus have been chasing each other all over the house and having lots of fun. Kody trails along behind and barks and occasionally gets his nose swatted but it is keeping him entertained as well. The kitten has had no accidents and has no interest in going outside at the moment. I guess she got her fill of the great outdoors while making her way to and hiding in the barn. She is quite happy to stay in when Sirus goes out. She sits at the sliding glass door and watches him from there and then goes off and sleeps someplace til he comes in again. I'm tired and am very glad this week is coming to an end. Tonight was girls night and it was at Jude's. I just got home at 9:30 and morning comes early.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Thanksgiving Weekend

It's Thanksgiving here in Canada this weekend. So we get a long weekend which is always nice. We are going out for dinner tomorrow night and all the various kids have plans so we're not planning on cooking a turkey this weekend. Maybe next. I love turkey and have found the leftovers make excellent tv dinners. At the dollar store you can buy tinfoil dishes with the lined cardboard lids like the kind you get with chinese food. Jude turned me on to doing that and it works great. I've tried various things and turkey works the best. After a long day at work there are many days when we just don't feel like cooking so throwing in some frozen turkey dinners is great!

We have a new addition in the household. At work on Thursday one of the guys came in from the barn with a small black kitten in his arms. She is about 14 weeks old and was very very skinny. We think someone dumped her (and the rest of her litter) off on our country road and she made her way to the barn. She must have hid out for awhile until hunger drove her out and the guys saw her and brought her to me. It pisses me off no end that people do this sort of thing. If you get a cat then you get it either spayed or neutered. To let them have kittens and then dump them off on some lonely country road when you can't be bothered to find them a home is nothing short of cruelty to animals. They starve, get run over or eaten by coyotes or other wild animals. As I was taking her home safely secured in a box I passed the body of another one farther down the road. I have no idea how many more may be running around but the one I brought home is the only live one I've seen so far.

We named her Sable but I've been calling her Sally for some reason so I think I will have to change it to Sally. When I brought her home the dogs looked at me askance like they just couldn't believe I would do this to them again! Sirus the other cat also looked horrified. The kittens tail looked like a bottle brush. That was yesterday. This morning as the cats were eating side by side Sally decided that Sirus's food looked better so she moved right in on it and Sirus let her. The dogs have decided she is good entertainment and they follow her everywhere she goes. Kody is trying to lick her and she swats him on the side of the nose. Keesha checked her out and now she just ignores her for the most part.

On Thursday (busy day Thursday was) my son David dropped off Christina to me at work around noon. He had a scheduling conflict with work and nobody else was available to watch the baby on Wednesday and Thursday so Josh went in and picked her up on Wednesday and took her to the park and out for lunch etc with his friend Corina. As they were leaving the park Allie (mommy) phoned to see how they were making out and Josh said, "Well, we are on the way to see you so you can change her dirty diaper" and Allie said seriously bring her to me and then she got a chance to show her off to the ladies at work. Josh and Corina picked Allie up after work and drove her and Christina home. Then Dave brought her to me on Thursday and I took her home with me and kept her overnight and took her back to work with me on Friday morning and Dave came and picked her up at 8am. She was most annoyed and thought she was spending the day at work with me! On Thursday it worked out well though as I also had the kitten who was walking all over my desk and keyboard as I was trying to work! I have kitty footprints all over half my paperwork!

Other than that it's been a pretty quiet week. Work and more work. Al too. Very busy handling two teams at work and beat when he gets home. For the most part we have just let the house go for the week so today I am cleaning and doing laundry. Ryan too has been working long hours. He was here this morning talking about getting boxes and getting moved in and then he got a call from work and has gone again. He has til the end of October to get moved so he's fine. I am going to make a huge pot of spaghetti tonight and we are going to snuggle down and watch some movies. Josh has a huge movie collection and lends them freely so we always have more than we can watch at any given time.

I have two computers here this weekend that I am fixing for friends as well. Computers are one of those things that if you know a little and someone else knows nothing then you become the expert! Luckily between Al and I we can usually figure it out, but it's just one more thing that needs doing. Luckily when working for free and for friends they don't hassle me to get it done and are happy to work on my schedule. Normal week for me healthwise. Same old same old.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Dirty Rotten Liver Blues

A little girl named Haley Vincent that I have been following through her Caringbridge page http://www2.caringbridge.org/ga/haley/ has written and sings some liver related songs. She is 11 years old and waiting for a liver transplant. This last weekend she passed away still waiting for her new liver. Cut and paste or you can download them at the bottom of her page. I'm thinking about Haley today and singing her songs in my head.


Sunday, October 02, 2005


Hockey is back and I am so happy to have it back! There was a pay for view game on last night against Edmonton. It was the last exhibition game of the year for the Canucks and our season starts on the 5th and I think it's against Pheonix. That makes me really happy as Gretzky is now coaching Pheonix so that will make them my team to cheer for after the Canucks. :)

We went to Josh's and watched the game on his projection tv. The game was great and the Canucks kicked ass. The Sedin twins and Anson Carter are going to make a great line. Our goaltending may be a problem again this year but I have high hopes.

I sat there at Josh's last night and looked around at the apartment and tried to imagine Al and I and the animals all living there (along with Ryan for awhile) and as much as I like the idea of all new everything I just can't see us all living there. We have pretty much decided that because of the dogs we will probably look for a small house with a yard. We talked to Sheilagh last night and told her we were probably moving and what we had been doing to the house as far as the laminate floors and the painting etc and she said that she and Brian had been talking about it since the night before and decided to pay for any repairs we had made. This will definitely come in handy with the move along with our damage deposit that has been accumulating interest all this time. We have made quite a few improvements to the house and yard including adding another bedroom and a new deck but Sheilagh has been watching the papers and saw that Don had sold and how much he was asking and she told Al that when we move she'll put the house up for sale. Don sold for $300,000 and these are old houses from the 50's on city lots. People are interested in the lots, not the houses. I'll be taking all my garden plants and digging up cuttings of stuff too big to move. Most of the trees I've bought I've kept in containers so they will be easy to move and it will give us a head start on any place we buy.

I was home Monday and Tuesday last week just feeling really crappy. On Wednesday I went to work and everyone else at work was sick too. Just sort of a fluey type of intestinal disorder with a headache. Thank heavens the headache has gone away for the most part. I was very worried it was here to stay. Hot flashes and nausea are still the norm but with the cooler weather it helps in the hot flash department except at night. I am so thrilled for Martin to have reached undectable. After three bouts of treatment he and Carol must be in 7th heaven. I pray he manages to stay that way after treatment stops. Everyone on the board seems to be doing ok with treatment right now and that is very good news. Lots of new people starting treatment. I wonder what it will take to crack this virus for everyone. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason for why some do not respond at all to treatment, some respond immediately like I did and then as soon as treatment stops the virus rears it's ugly head again. I noticed they are now referring to Geno type 4, 5 and 6 now as well. I hope they find something to stomp the ugly little bugger into the ground for everyone and make it stay there! As Paulo says "Kill the Virus"!!

We had torrential rains on Thursday and some of our pumps at work failed and the yard started to flood. Stewart (who is also sick) waded waist deep into two different ponds to retrieve pumps and at one point he almost electrocuted himself. I have blackmail pictures too :) He eventually had to strip down and change into Jude's sweatpants and fuzzy jacket to go home. I took pics :) and no I won't share. Stewart would definitley kill me if he ever managed to stumble onto this page! Last year at this time when the rains started, we were still in a trailer in the yard and the office we are in now was used for storage and the guys lunch room. It flooded knee deep a couple of times and I have pictures of the guys sitting in there in the middle of the flood having coffee at the table with the water swishing around their legs and stuff floating around them.

Then we decided we wanted to reclaim the building to use as an office and Khushwinder and Stewart and Gary worked on fixing the drainage and the berms around the office to stop future flooding. Thursday was our first big test to see if the water stayed out of the building. I had a minor fit as the water started to come up in the yard and I unplugged my computer and lifted it up onto my desk. Khush and Stew both assured Jude and I it would not come into the office so on Friday morning I plugged everything back in and so far so good. The guys got the pumps working and the water level in the yard went down immediately. Spend the last two days of work in gumboots though. We are still having to use outhouses at work and they were on the other side of the yard. With the yard being ankle deep we needed our boots. On Friday morning Khushwinder moved the outhouses right outside the barn for us. Much better arrangement for winter. We are still working on getting a bathroom working before it gets too cold. Nothing like heading outside in the middle of winter and planting your bare backside on an ice cold toilet seat!

Haven't seen Dave and Allie and Christina for a few weeks. I was thinking last night if we move to Chilliwack (another 20 - 30 minutes out into the valley) we will hardly see anyone. Ryan if he comes with us but even Josh won't make the drive out very often. For Dave and Allie it will be at least an hour drive to come out. Al works in Chilliwack and I work in Langley and we live half way between in Abbotsford. We are trying to stay between Langley and Chilliwack but realistically the pricing is better the farther out into the valley you go so with us wanting a house rather than a townhouse or condo we will probably find the best deals in Chilliwack or surrounding area. For me that will mean an extra 20 minutes to my commute each day but it will make it much easier for Al. The only problem that I can foresee is the winters. Between Chilliwack and Abbotsford is Sumas Prairie and the wind whistles through the valley across the prairie and if there is any snow it can make for whiteout conditions. If this is the case then they close the road. Now depending on where I am when the road closes can make for an interesting day at work. Jude and I have discussed alot of this anyway with me starting treatment in January we are already getting set up so I can work at home if necessary. We can even have the phone calls rerouted to me at home and nobody would really know the difference. Just get it forwarded to my cell and there we are. I have computer and 24/7 cable internet, instant messenger so Jude and I can communicate and I can do my work from home. I have no idea what the doctor will decide for treatment and I have no idea how I will react to it so it's all just a big waiting game at the moment.

Well I have stuff to do around the house and should boogy on. Oh! The tree at the top is called a Spindle Tree (Euonymus europaeus) They are in flower in the field right now and the colour is outstanding! The hot pink flowers open up and inside is an orange berry. I'm not sure how many pictures the blog will hold but am going to include some of what we have been doing at work the last little while.

This is Avtar, Khushwinder's dad, who works with us. We have a series of ponds at work and Khushwinder has been working to get streams and waterfalls running between them all. This is the deck/picnic table that Khush built over the lower pond. He has water pumped up and into the floor of the deck and then out the end and down into a small waterfall. Jude and I and the guys sit here on the nice days and have our lunch. It is still a work in progress but so far so good. The water runs through the floor of the deck and you can see it moving under your feet. It is very peaceful and helps cut the traffic sound in the background.

Next are Jude and Khushwinder sitting on a rock beside another section of pond and stream. The office with the green roof is behind them. Jude has been working on this piece of property for many for different people but this is the first time she has been running the show. She has a vision of how she wants the place to look and Khush can see what she is describing and he makes it come alive. We are all a good team and all of us love the farm.

I remembered I still had some pictures up of the floods from last year. http://members.shaw.ca/donnellypictures/floods.htm and just for good measure I may as well add the ice storm pictures. These were taken at home, not work. http://members.shaw.ca/donnellypictures/

Well I'm off to actually get something done around here.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Moving? Maybe......

This last week has been pretty good. Two days out of five at work everyone was out on big tree relocation jobs so it was just Avtar and I at work all day. Avtar has been out in the fields so I've just shut the gates at work and got alot of work done on the computer. It is a bit unnerving at work when you are a female and appear to be alone here. With Avtar way out in the fields it makes us very vulnerable. Twice people phoned from outside the gates (both women) and I went and let them in but other than that I just ignored anyone out there. I was there alone one day last spring and we had a sales rep come in and I walked out and met him in the yard. He is a little guy and really I could have bopped him one and could have held my own I think but he was one of those guys that as he handed me the paperwork he held my hand too long and tried to stroke my palm. Totally gave me the creeps and really he shot himself in the foot because now we won't deal with him at all. What do these slimy little men thing they are going to accomplish with this sort of behaviour? Jude and I have a system now and we do have walkie talkies and cell phones to call the guys in if we need them, but what we usually do if we are alone in the office area and the guys are all out in the field and some guy that makes us nervous comes into the office, we say "Oh sorry, one sec" and we open up the door to the back and yell, "Gary, sorry be right with you" and then turn back and continue on with them.

I've been updating our mailing list from the tradeshow and getting our current availability lists either emailed out or mailed to the Garden Centres and Landscapers. I've also been out in the fields myself taking pictures of the trees and getting them ready to add to the webpage. The fall colours are just starting on some of the trees and some look like it's still summer. This picture at the top is of a dogwood. It is called a Cornus kousa Chinensis and the fruit is edible although I don't like it at all. And the other is of some Acer platanoides leaves. A type of Maple. The red is just starting and it is so pretty.

We've had a few calls from the show already. Mostly for the tree relocation. On Tuesday the guys and Jude were off doing a job for one of the local area City parks and had 4 large trees to move. Jude said when they got there one guy was onsite waiting for them, pretty quick he was on his cell phone and calling other other city workers to come watch. By the time they were done calling each other there were 30 guys on site in orange vests! One of the trees they moved was a beautiful Japanese Maple and they moved it in front of the park board office that was totally bare of trees. As Stew was moving it into place all the girls were hanging out the windows cheering and clapping! It is pretty impressive to see these huge trees just picked up and moved across the street and put into place. By the time we leave the trees look like they have always been in that place. I got a call at the office from a guy saying he was watching our truck move a tree and could I please send it round to his house when we were done there so we could move a tree for him. I told him Jude would come out next week and have a look at what he wants done.

We are also working on a big 3 day job moving trees around a private girls school as they are doing some reno work. Stew walked all over the site with the head gardener and they want to hire us to come in on a twice yearly contract to take care of the trees. Sounds good to us.

Ryan will be moving home in the next few weeks and is planning on staying for approx. 6 months. So we are having to include him in our plans. We are a bit bummed with our living situation at the moment. We have been renting this house for the last 12 years and we are quite happy with the house and yard itself and have worked towards making the backyard as private as possible. We fenced the yard because of the dogs and have planted quite a few trees and vines and built onto the deck this last spring. Well in the last couple of months two homes, one behind us and one across the street and up a house or two, have been sold and the houses torn down and huge monster houses built on the lots. Both are still in the process of being built and now our next door neighbour has sold as well. His buyer has decided to rent the place out for a few months and then to tear it down and build a big house. When they do this they totally clear the lot of all trees and shrubbery as well. We have decided to start looking to move. We could probably buy a place like Josh's that is brand new but we have the problem of our dogs. Two big dogs and a cat and two adults in an apartment condo just does not sound good to me. Keesha is 11 years old now and Kody is 7 so they are part of the family! If we move to an apartment without a yard that means we will have to walk the dogs at least twice a day. Kody can be such a dickhead on the leash and he barks at any other dog he sees that he doesn't make walking him fun. Keesha fights the leash and acts like a sled dog and puts her chest into it and pulls. Great! just about rips my arm out at the socket! Yes yes I know bitch and whine, bitch and whine. Well we'll see what happens.

I've not been feeling too bad. Just tired as always, bad mornings spent fighting nausea but once I get moving it levels out. I am going to leave the Hep B shots til after treatment as well. I am covered for Hep A and the chances of me getting B are slight. But I will get it done eventually. Lots of liver pressure and burning in the area but I just ignore that. I haven't been for any bloodwork for awhile now and I'll have to make a doctor appointment with my family doctor and get the paperwork for the blood. It's been a few months now so I should have it done. I've been getting a bit of a headache now and again as well and that is something I've never really had to deal with much and hope it doesn't start now. Got enough to deal with without a constant headache.

Well we declared this weekend a rest weekend for both of us and so far we are enjoying it alot. We turned off our phones and have hunkered down and spent the day yesterday watching movies and eating junk food. We did go out for a walk in the sunshine and discussed where we want to live and what we want to live in. We'll be hashing this back and forth for weeks I'm sure, but the bottom line at the moment is as much as we might be ready for an apartment, we have to worry about the dogs and Ryan. Much to think about specially with me wanting to start treatment in January.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Unsheduled day off!

Remember that gorgeous white hibiscus I had up here? Well this is the same type but in red. You can see it's size by the pretty little daisy types that were a normal daisy size. Isn't it gorgeous? This is one of the pictures I took at the trade show. It was a good show and well attended and we met lots of potential customers and suppliers. A lot of the cities and parks boards stopped by and got our current availability lists. Well worth going but it made for very long days. On Tuesday we had to leave work at 7:15am to make it down and set up before the public was allowed in and we didn't get home til 8pm and then had to do it all again on Wednesday except we had to take down our booth and didn't get home til 9pm. Needless to say I was exhausted by the time it was all over. Yesterday we spent the day trying to get re-organized and took care of all the calls and emails that came in while we were gone. We gave up on the idea of retagging until Monday.

Last night was our girls night and we couldn't cancel as we had already cancelled on Lynnie a few times already. By the time we got there we were both just a big heap of tiredness but after relaxing and eating the good meal that her husband Al provided for us, we felt so much better and very relaxed and sleepy. Lynnie dyed my hair for me (skunk line was showing!!) and I helped her figure out why her webspace wouldn't upload (too full, but they never give that error message..grrrr) and answered some of her questions re tables and merging and splitting cells. Then I helped Jude write out some flash cards for the arborist plant ID course she is taking. We are going to have a few sets around work and flash them at each other as we go by and it will help all of us with not only the latin and common names of trees but the pronunciation of them as well. Chamaecyparis nootkatensis (Yellow Cedar) or Metasequoia glypostroboides (Dawn Redwood) doesn't just roll off the tongue without some help from each other. Jude decided we needed a paid day off and so today is it! I am enjoying it still sitting here in my jammies in front of my computer. Al even phoned me from work and insisted that I do nothing today except sit and play on the computer or read a bood or whatever as long as it's not housework. What a sweet sweet considerate man he is. :)

Ryan (youngest son, 26 years) stopped in. I don't remember whether I mentioned it or not (and am too lazy to go back and look) but he quit his job as a cook, which is all he has ever done, and got a job working for a stucco company. He's been with them 3 weeks now and is liking it. He is getting tanned and healthy looking and bulking up a bit. He spent so long being a cook and working in bars and grills that he hardly ever saw the light of day. Most of the work is at night and then they hang out afterwards and go home to bed in the early hours of the morning and then sleep most of the day away and do it all over again. I like this job for him much better and am very glad to see him looking so much better. He is even talking about quitting smoking. He asked if he could move home again.

Huge big sighs!!!!!!!!!!! But we aren't surprised really and it won't be forever. It will give him a chance to get his money in order and pay off his bills and save some money. I told him if he moves home though he must buy his own computer as I will not share well on a regular basis. It's ok when he is here for dinner each night and sits on my comp for an hour or so and then heads home, but if he is living here he will start to monopolize it and then I will get very cranky! He agreed he would get his own computer. We have a router already and we are set with the cable company to have two or three comps hooked up, so all he needs to do is buy one and Al can get him a good deal through work so ........ he best do it!

I phoned my doctor's office to see when the flu shots will be available and they said closer to the middle of October so I'll phone back in 3 weeks or so and see where they are at. There was talk on the news after the shortage last year that only the elderly or those with chronic illness would get the shots this year but according to the doctors office Al can still get his so I want to be there as soon as the flu clinic starts and make sure Al gets his before they start rationing them if they do this year. I've been getting mine every year for about the last 5 years after mydoc started nagging me to come in. I haven't had a bad case of flu since. It took me a year or two to convince Al to go but after a really bad bout he started going as well and hasn't had the flu since. I also have to make an appointment and go in and get a prescription for the Hep B vaccine before I start treatment again. Might as well get it done now. A new guy on the board called Canadian Dude. I asked if he was being treated at VGH but I guess he didn't see the post. Lots of people just starting treatment. I hope it goes well for them. I used to feel isolated and alone with this but now seeing these people on the board and getting to know their online persona's it makes me sad and angry and it makes me really hate what this disease does to us all. I feel bad for the Brits too with the system they have to deal with. It is better in Canada at least for now. God only knows how this will go when the thousand still undiagnosed start to show up. I would hate to think that the all mighty dollar will start to mean more than peoples lives here as it does in other countries.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Well fall is here and we are getting ready for the big show next week. We are still getting last minute stuff ready. I've been working on a picture loop that we'll have running on the laptop while we are there. So far it's running about once every 14 minutes and I have a lot more pictures to go through. I take pictures almost every day at work and we have a picture diary of our first two years. Jude takes just as many as I do so between us we have thousands of farm pictures. I take a lot for the webpage and we want eventually to be able to use our own pictures for our catalogs.

At the end of last week a guy showed up in the office one morning and said he was from one of our local tv stations and they were going to be filming for a new half hour tv show on our street on Tuesday and could they rent our back area behind the barn to park 5 or 6 big trucks? So long story short, we agreed and they said they would show up early on Tuesday morning. I got there just after 7 AM and there was already 10 or so big trucks and vans and cars parked all over the front of our yard and a big truck out back and they were setting up a food area for the cast and crew. The street at the each end was blocked with a police car and pilons with half a single lane to get through once you cleared with the police. At one point I wandered out to see what was going on and take some pictures and the girl in the orange vest came up and asked me if we were open. I said Yes we are! and she says, "Hmm I better go and let that policeman know that....." But the morning was interesting and they left as quickly as they had arrived by just after noon.

I talked to David this morning and they are coming out on Saturday for dinner. Josh and Ryan are both going to be here as well so it will be really nice. Dave and Allie are going to Vernon for a few days next week to visit a friend. They are both on holidays for a couple of weeks so I'm glad they are getting the chance to get away. Christina went camping last weekend with Allie's sister and her new husband Christian. They got married a few weeks ago and Christina was a flower girl. She looked so sweet!

I'm looking forward to the fall. I love the smells of fall and the changing of the leaves. I can't wait to get some pictures of the fall colours at work. I need them for the webpage as well so it's nice, part of my job is to wander through the nursery and fields and look for beautiful trees to take pictures of! What could be better? When we get back from the show we are going to close the gates and take inventory and re-tag all the trees. They have grown considerably over the spring and summer and need to have their prices adjusted to reflect it. It will be a busy few days as I've still the new tags to get printed and I can't do that until I have a new price and a count of how many I need. But first we need to get through the show.

Glad this is a short week. I work best on a 4 day week. I'm confused again about what is going on with me and whether or not the hot flashes have anything to do with the Hep C or not. With the hot flashes going away during the 48 weeks I was on treatment and then gradually coming back after treatment that it seemed to me it was somehow connected. Now I just don't know. I know the doctor calls me post menopausal and I have no other menopause symptoms but maybe the hot flashes can hang on after the rest. Why they left during treatment I have no idea. I'm tired but getting through my days. Today I did alot of walking at work as Stew and I crisscrossed the field doing grading so tonight I am very tired.

All I can do is try to stay positive, take care of myself as best I can, which I do. I probably drink too much coffee and diet pop and not enough water but I've done it since I was a teenager and it's hard to break the habit. I don't drink and haven't for years so that helps too. I am always very careful about any drug I want to take. When my back went out, I went to the pharmacist and asked him which one I could take with a liver disease and he checked his books and came back and said I shouldn't take any of them so I didn't. I hate taking pills so for the most part I take nothing at all. I get exercise in the form of walking which Al and I do usually on the weekends. We both do a fair amount of walking at work too. And seek treatment. I am also doing that.

After being a ChemoAngel for 6 weeks if you haven't heard from your buddy (most people don't hear from their buddies directly) you can sign on to the site and request an update on your buddy. They are required to check in once a month. I just heard back and my buddy is half way through his treatment and doing ok. I was very happy to hear that. I'd love to see him not need a chemo angel anymore because he is finished treatment and cured and getting on with life. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The months slip away

I've just come from the Hep C forum and then Ron's blog. In one of the posts Kerry Grace says she feels like the voice of doom and I know exactly what she means. I have things I could comment on in Ron's blog today but I feel like I would sound like a voice of doom so I don't make any comment at all. It is weird. Do I make a comment from my own experience if it is only going to increase the anxiety of the blogger or person in question? I just don't see the point in doing that. So I'll say nothing at all.

Well except for the anemia. Every person is different but I do know the anemia will totally tear you down mentally, emotionally and physically. The anemia is caused from the ribavirin and I had anemia so bad that when I was off the ribavirin and I started to feel so much better that I convinced myself that the whole source of my sickness and side effects was the ribavirin. I am now wondering how much that I put down to the ribavirin was actually caused by the interferon.

Martin's posting to the forum of the article about 80 % of us going on to get cirrhosis again spurs me on to getting back on treatment. I am going to make my appointment for the middle of December and have my prescription in hand for the first of January and get going on this again. As I said to Al though last night, by the time I get back to the doctor he may have a whole new plan in mind. Each time I see him the treatment he suggests is different from the last time I saw him so you never know. He is a heptologist who specializes in Hepatitis and Liver diseases so I do trust him and I like him very much. I just feel some days he is so busy and it's so long between visits that each time he sees me I'm like a whole new patient and we have to review it all again and he seems to come to different conclusions and treatment plans each time. Makes me worry a bit but I do trust his judgment and his knowledge so we'll see what he suggests when I go in December.

I am nervous though. I am going to have to be very diligent about making sure I get enough water. I know for a fact I didn't drink enough water and I'm sure the drugs built up in my system and that's part of why I got so sick. I have a very hard time with water as it gives me heartburn. Plus as I feel sicker I have a tendency to shut down and stop eating and drinking. If nausea is thrown into the mix then I don't eat and I can barely force myself to sip a liquid and was literally going a full day and not managing to get down an 8 ounce bottle of water. I simply cannot afford to get so that I can't function. It is too easy to slide lower and lower when you have just given up on functioning and decide to just ride it out in pajamas except for doctor or blood test days. I am hoping work will keep me focused on other things and keep me going.

I also fear the brain fog. Some days are bad enough now for memory but on treatment it was very very bad. I couldn't focus enough to read anything of any length and if someone asked me to do something or told me something I responded and then it just totally left my mind. When it would come up again or somehow my memory was jogged I would be totally shocked at how easily I had forgotten!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A better week

I went to Janis's Hep C page and reread all the symptoms for Hep C and it made me feel better. My husband thinks I shouldn't read it and that it will just get me bummed out. I had to explain to him that the opposite was true. When I am feeling really crappy and it carry's on for more than a few days I start to get depressed and anxious. I start to think things are suddenly progressing quickly or something else is going on. By reading it over and realizing AGAIN that the symptoms come and go, and everything I was feeling last week was a symptom of Hepatitis C. Therefore in the ebb and flow of the disease there are good weeks and bad weeks. Knowing that next week I will probably feel lots better and the symptoms will recede for awhile makes me feel better.

So! What's new this week. Physically I am still a bit out of sorts and tired but not as tired as last week and mostly the swollen feeling is going away. I've been drinking more water and cutting down of fast food and it certainly helps. Heartburn is bad and I get tired of complaining about hot flashes (they never change except for the year I was on treatment when they went away completely). It's been cooler this week so that helps too. All else is liveable and not worth complaining about :)

Work is busy and we are getting ready for the CanWest Show which is our big trade show of the year. We take some trees and set up a display in our booth that we hope will draw people (landscapers, cities and parks, contractors) to our tree farm. It will be Judy, Stewart, Khushwinder and I at the show so we can pair up and have a look at what the rest of the show has to offer. We all have our areas of interest. Stew and Khush are more into the different types of dirt and pots whereas Jude and I are into the lawn and garden ornaments and the new varieties of plants and flowers. It's two days of fun and socializing with others in the industry, and a ton of business gets done and many contacts are made.

Friday we were up to Stewarts for our company picnic for the day. He is caretaking a house on the ocean that has a private dock and a rowboat with an motor. The main floor of the house is rented out and the owner is in Mexico. They are thinking of staying in Mexico another year and if so Stew and Kathy would stay out at there caretaking. It is just outside the boundary of Belcarra Park. The bay is called Bedwell Bay and they are across from Deep Cove which is on the North Vancouver side. It was a beautiful day with hot sunshine all day. Winai, one of the guys that works with us, is from Thailand and he took charge of the boat and took Jude and I on a two hour sightseeing tour of Bedwell Bay and out into and up Indian Arm. It was so nice and the scenery was gorgeous. Rugged rocks interspersed in the first strip of land along the water with summer cottages that were only by boat access. Winai said he felt like he was back in Thailand. He was in heaven out there on the water and running the boat like he did back home for the tourists. He was laughing because that was how he was treating Jude and I. One of us would point out a cool rock or gnarly looking tree to the others and Winai would manoeuver the boat over to it and stop it so we could see and then he'd move along again. He was just one big smile most of the afternoon.

Stew had all the crab traps set and baited with fish heads and he and Kriss (Jude's daughter) and Winai brought them up and down all afternoon and hauled in crabs for dinner. Half were too small or female and were thrown back in, the rest were dinner. We also had steak on the barbeque, salads, veggies and dip, fruit and dip, cheesecake, buns, chips and dips. It was all very good and very nice. We had a great day and got home around 10pm.

Saturday we were at my brothers for a barbeque for my Mom's 74th birthday. She had a nice day but got weepy on a few occasions as she thought about Pat. My stepdad died last November at 80 years old and Mom misses him very much. All this year has been a year of firsts without her husband and it hurts. In her gift bag of things Al and I got for her I included a bookmark that had an Irish prayer on it and she had a little cry but it was my way of including him in her day and although she had a bit of a weep she was happy he was there in some way and that we had remembered him and brought him to the party.

My sister in law is the worlds best cook. Since she has retired she's gotten into cake making. She started making beautiful cakes for family and word spread quickly and friends and friends of friends started calling and now she is making quite a few. She made this cake for Mom's birthday. The leaves are made of white and dark chocolate and she paints the chocolate on the leaves and then when they dry she peels the leaves away. The balls are actually chocolate dipped strawberries. It was soooooo good! Dave and Allie and Christina had gone to the PNE for the day and Ryan got busy doing something so just Josh came with us. We had a nice evening and were home fairly early.

I've been watching the horror that has unfolded in the southern States in the aftermath of Katrina. I cannot even begin to image what it must be like to live through something so horrific. Bodies floating in the streets. Looting is out of control. Thank God the various National Guard units will start making order tomorrow by the sounds of it if they can get in to where they are needed most. Vancouver offered our Urban Search and Rescue and they were called to come tonight. They were ready and getting a police escort to get them to the airport and out on the fasted plane there. They were needed in Louisiana and that is where they are headed. I am very afraid that when all is said and done the death toll will be in the thousands.

Well I am tired tonight and am heading to bed with a book and a nice cup of tea.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Bad week :(

I'm stuggling this week. I'm not sure why. I had sorta planned to spend the majority of my week off having quiet time and resting alot. Somehow that didn't seem to happen or if it did, there just maybe wasn't enough quiet time. Maybe just being back at work is tiring after being off even though this is a four day week. Today is our company picnic up at Stewarts and Al is off running some errands so I am sitting here quietly trying to get it together.

I'm so tired and the hot flash's are so debilitating this week that I just want to scream sometimes or cry. They bring on waves of nausea to go with the heat and such a feeling of weakness that I have to sit and let it pass. My liver area seems to be a bit....hmmm well I guess enlarged or swollen. I can feel pressure and a bit of tenderness so again I think I am not drinking enough water. Last night coming home on the freeway there was some kind of something ahead that had us all alternating between crawling along and sitting and waiting. I have no air conditioning in my car and the heat just invaded and brought on hot flash after hot flash. By the time I got home I was beat red and Lynne and Dianne were here waiting for me. Al looked concerned as soon as he saw me as did the girls, so god only knows how I looked! I am weepy too for some reason. Mornings are ugly. It takes at least an hour to be able to feel well enough to function. I just feel cruddy. Hopefully it is just a low spot and all will be better tomorrow or next week. I feel like I need to be completely alone by myself with my computer and my books and swing and just spend a few days vegetating. But that is not going to happen.

Tomorrow we have a barbeque at my brothers house for my Mom's birthday. She's 74. Most of my kids are coming I think so I'll get to see the baby. But Sunday I am doing nothing!..........well after the housework is all done and I'm ready for next week I'm doing nothing. Not a very cheerful entry today I'm afraid. Maybe tomorrow...........

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Back to work

Two days back at work and it seems like I never had a holiday! It was good to see everyone and get back into the swing of things. This gorgeous flower is called a Blue River ll Hibiscus. They are almost the last of the Hibiscus to bloom and the flower on this one is huge. They are supposed to get to 10" across and this one is pretty close. It's the first flower to open on the plant so I am anxious to see what it will look like when the whole plant is covered in these flowers.

On Friday we are closed for the day and we're having a company picnic at Stewart's place at Belcarra. He is right on the ocean there with a dock and boat. Families are included so it should be a lot of fun. Fresh crab, Al is in heaven. :)

Friday last week we went to Capilano Suspension Bridge and the Treetop Adventure in North Vancouver. We've been wanting to go for awhile as we hadn't been in years. We decided to go on Friday and it was really impressive. The bridge is huge "Originally built in 1889, today's bridge is the fourth bridge at this location, 450 feet across and 230 feet above Capilano River and is, without a doubt, the world's greatest suspension footbridge!" (from the webpage). It sways and bounces as you walk across. Long way down too. Then on the other side and up a walkway is the Treetop Adventure. That was very cool. They have built a walkway like a suspension bridge high up in the trees. They are using a collar system that doesn't harm the trees at all. "An innovative compression system safely secures each tree’s observation platform using only 20 pounds of force per square inch, approximately the amount of pressure exerted by pressing your thumb firmly on a tabletop. Combined with custom-engineered steel cables and a commitment to routine inspections and adjustments, this system does not damage the Douglas fir trees in any way" - again from the website.

A few pictures from there.

There were lots of people on there so it was really moving. A couple of years ago a lady here in BC took her two kids over the bridge and "somehow" managed to drop the baby off the bridge. The little girl was down's syndrome and the mom was in a custody fight with the dad for the kids. She fell a long way down and her fall was cushioned by the trees. When rescue personnel got down there the baby was awake and crying with scrapes and bruises. How she lived is beyond me. The mom was charged and and in court said it was an accident and she tripped and the baby fell. The court believed her and she is free.

It was quite a long walk going over the bridge both ways, around the treetop adventure and then walking the lower trails. Took us a couple of hours with many rests. The walkways are wooden and very nice with many benches along the way. From there we went to Stanley Park.

Very tired tonight, long day catching up on me. I'll finish this tomorrow.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A good holiday

It's Saturday and my week's holiday is almost finished. We got done what we wanted for the most part and took a few day trips that were very enjoyable.

Saturday started with us going and getting Al a good crochet game. Josh came over and we played extreme crochet all over the back yard. At times I was laughing so hard I couldn't see to shoot the ball. The neighbours I'm sure think we are insane.

Sunday started with a mini-crisis for my mom. We were planning on a quiet weekend with a trip to the flea market on Sunday morning. We were getting all set when the phone rings and it's my mother with a burst hot water tank. She lives in a 5 level co-op townhouse in Richmond. When she got up and went downstairs to let the cats out, her floor mats were floating around the bottom level.

She phoned me in a panic and also my brother. He lives in New Westminster which is about 10 minutes away and we live an hour and a half away but we got there within 20 minutes from each other. He phoned me while we were both on the road and chatted for a sec and I told him not to let mom do anything til we all got there and figured out what needed to be done. Does he listen to me??? NO!!!! I had talked to mom on the phone while on the way there and she told me that the co-op president had been around and told her to do whatever was necessary such as bringing in a reclamation company and a plumber. So much easier.

We get there and my brother is gone. Mom says, "Oh he phoned the reclamation company back and told them not to come. He said it would be easy to clean up and he went to rent a shop vac and a big blower heater fan." My poor brother arrives back with said equipment to be met by a sister with a face on her like a meat axe (as my grandma always used to say) and I'm going "WHY!??!" "Why would you do that?" The water had covered her whole bottom floor and seeped under the walls on both sides to leak into the units on either side of her. The washer and dryer were sitting in all the water and needed to be moved, her crawl space was down there and she uses it as a storage area, the washer and dryer needed to be moved out and both my brother and my husband have really bad backs.

He took one look at me and says "What? No problem I can take it back and call them back." So he did. He comes back and we asked him if they charged him to take the stuff back and he said it was only $10. We asked what he told them and he said he told them his crazy sister had decendend on him like the hounds of hell and berated and bullied him into taking it back! They felt so sorry for him they did with a small restocking fee. LOL It pays to be the older sister on occasion. As it turned out the reclamation guy was a flood and water damage specialist and he had some meter thingy that he checked all the walls with and he said the wall was wet for 6 inches up all the way around and if they had not dried it properly it would have been moldy with that black mold in six months. So they cleaned it all up and got her a new hot water tank and got it installed for her. All was good again.

Seeing as how we were in Richmond anyway we decided to make a day of it and head into Steveston. The seagull at the top of the page was sitting on a piling waiting for a fish handout. Steveston is a small community right on the water of the Fraser River and the fishing boats come in there. On the weekend you can walk down to the docks and buy fish right out of the boats. Lots to see and always something going on down there in the Summer time. We had a really nice day and it seemed we walked for miles.

Monday was a rest day and then on Tuesday we went and picked up our granddaughter and took her for the day. Took her to see my Mom and had some lunch and she was very good. She didn't play shy at all and even gave Great Grandma a kiss and a big hug. Then we headed to Stanley Park. The park is beautiful and has a wide variety of attractions. We were going to take her to the aquarium but when we got there she heard the train whistle and wanted to ride the train, which we did.

She loved that! From there we headed to the Farm animal Petting Zoo. She liked all the animals but really was not much interested in touching them. They had a good selection of goats, sheep, pigs, ducks, chickens, ponies and guinea pigs along with some snakes in cages and some turtles. This little rooster was crowing and had her crowing with him at one point. Very pretty and silky looking little guy. She looked at everthing and commented on most of it.

From there it was the playground with Grandpa following her around like a shadow. You just can't be too safe these days. We don't take our eyes off her for a second while she is in our care. Then we wandered down the park towards the water park. She suddenly realized where she was and starts stripping off her clothes as she's walking and she's talking a mile a minute at the same time. "Oh look! It's the water park!! Well I have to have a shower because..........well just look at me..................I have sand on me" and she's handing me her t-shirt. She cracks me up and I love listening to what she has to say. She sings and points things out in the car as we travel along too. Grandpa and I took turns following her around the water park for an hour. She loves other kids and tries to join any group of kids she comes across. No shyness at all. She just goes right up and joins in the conversation and whatever it is they are doing. At one point she was running away from me and I was talking her picture and I got such a jolt of deja vu. She looked exactly like David (her dad) at that age. Her blonde curls falling down her back. Man o man, that was over 30 years ago.

She was getting tired so we put her in the car and headed to White Rock. It gave her time to have a nice nap in the car on the way and when we got there it was getting on to dinner time. We let her play on the beach for awhile and then we went to a beach side restaurant for fish and chips. Then home to her parents and we headed home to collapse in a heap of well earned tiredness. She is like a little perpetual motion machine and never stops moving. I am so worried about anything happening to her that I can't relax and am moving constantly myself. She exhausts me totally but she is so beautiful and fun to be with. Grandchildren are the best!

Wednesday was a quiet, around the house, type day. We needed to rest or at least I did. It rained overnight finally and was a bit cooler and I went and had a nice nap on the porch swing in the afternoon. There is just something decadent about napping on a swing in the middle of a weekday afternoon.

Thursday and Josh has been bugging us all week to go geocaching with him. He is our Mr. Technology. Any kind of electronic gadgetry and he is right there and knows what it's about. He has a gps system in his lap top computer and he went out and bought a hand held little thing to use for Geocaching. It is like a treasure hunt with these global positioning things. We found one that was short and nice and close to home to try it out. The idea is you follow the route they have layed out and it takes you to a treasure cache. You take the treasure and leave a new one for the next group to find or you take nothing and leave it intact for the next group. The one we took was here http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=beabeea7-7cb2-443a-9d3e-b21345008491 and the instructions said

If you are approaching the first location from the west on the freeway, be sure you take the exit that is about 700 metres from the location. If you are coming from the east, you will have to exit a couple kilometres down the road and backtrack on the parallel road. You will find a large parking lot. Look for a sign at the north end. On the sign you will see 2 dates (years). The next clue is found by filling in the coordinates as follows:N49 03._ _ _ (the first date minus 1540) W122 10._ _ _ (the second date minus 1160)Travel (walk) to this location and go underneath that object. You will find a total of six numbers that are 3 inches tall (in a group of 4 and a group of 2)... The cache is located by filling in the coordinates as follows:N49 03._ _ _ (the first 3 numbers plus 125) W 122 10._ _ _ (the last 3 numbers minus 39)Go to the cache from there. Even though the cache seems very close, you should travel carefully to it..... (Crossing freeways on foot is very dangerous.. be safe and drive it please)Please be sure to cover the cache well when you are done.

We had fun but we didn't find the cache. But next time we will be better prepared and know what to expect. It could be a fun hobby and Al and I can borrow the hand held device and do it ourselves if we are so inclined. You never know.........

Well that takes us to Thursday. This whole week I kept thinking about how being home from work and resting lots I should not be feeling tired so much but of course I am just as tired as always. I have also realized that I don't do stress well. I had noticed that stress seems to affect me badly but then something that Ron Metcalf said in his blog suddenly made me really think about it. Both times that Dr. Chan has sent me off to see Dr. Erb and get an opinion on what's going on, I have been under a lot of stress and my liver has shown bad enough symptoms to send me off to the doctor again. I know I don't do stress well and have always felt like a big woosy. But if I can just mentally put it down to a Hep C symptom I don't feel so bad. :) Overall I have been doing well except for the hot flashes both during the day and at night. I also have no stamina on walks but have found if I can just sit and rest for a few minutes and then continue on it works for me.

Well this has dragged on into a book and I'm not finished yet! More later. :)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Four more sleeps.....

One more week of work and then I'm on a week of holidays. I'm looking forward to a few days of doing nothing except what I want to do. Al has two weeks, the first with me and then he has another week that he plans on spending just puttering around the house. We are great putterers. We think we'll make great retired people! We are homebodies who like to putter at home and take the occasional day trip someplace.

It was a hot and busy week at work. On Wednesday, Jude and Lynne and I had our beach day at White Rock. It was glorious, the sun was hot, the breeze was wonderful and we just thouroughly enjoyed laying there for a few hours. We had fish and chips for dinner and by the time we got back to Jude's for craft night we were all too tired to do anything. We sat and chit chatted for awhile and then headed home.

I seem to be very tired these days and am really looking forward to a week off. I'm having a hard time sleeping properly and my nights are very disjointed. I'm up and down and turning this way and that. I disturb Al's sleep too. A couple of nights I got up and moved to the porch swing with a blanket and laid out there and dozed for awhile til I'd suddenly wake up again feeling damp so I'd get up and go back to bed.

This last weekend was fairly peaceful and we got a lot of little things done. The weather has been hot so we have only been walking a few times lately. We'll catch up with that again in the fall when it's a bit cooler. We've talked briefly about getting our bikes checked out and road worthy and taking them for a ride but have only got as far as thinking it might be fun. Maybe on our week off we'll do it.

Monday, August 01, 2005

August already!

It's August already and the summer is half over! We didn't make the beach on Thursday, that has been moved to this coming Wednesday instead. The week at work was very hot and quiet. Can't move trees in the heat, it will probably kill them. We do most of our tree relocation in the cooler weather unless necessary. People are pretty much done planting their gardens as well so I have been working on the website and getting pictures to trees.

Friday night Al and I went out for Pizza and then to a movie. We run into problems with movies because we like different styles of movie. I hate slapstick and Al is not into "chick flicks" so we usually end up with a comedy or an adventure. This time it was a toss up between War of the Worlds and Sky High. We ended up at War of the Worlds and it was pretty good. Good special effects, not much in the way of a story line but that's ok. We went and saw Josh's new apartment between dinner and the movie and it's looking great! He has the projection screen adjusted the way he wants it and can get the biggest setting on his projector tv. The only problem is that if the room is light it fades out the picture so he has blackout curtains on order and that will take care of the problem. He needs them anyway because he works nights and sleeps days so it will help in that department as well.

Saturday was a full day. We left home by 10AM and headed in to Vancouver. We are so funny. We have decided we get into ruts with things and refuse to deviate. So we decided to look at maybe a different place to watch the fireworks from. We headed to the west end. Drove aimlessly around there for awhile. Then we thought ok! Stanley Park is the place to be. So we headed into the park and around to the side with the fireworks and found a spot to park and paid for all day parking. Then we wandered about for a bit and tried to see where we would have to sit to see well and decided with the amount of people arriving during the day and evening the space would be very crowded so we finally just went "Oh to hell with it lets go back to last years good spot" So we gave away our all day parking pass and headed over to the other side of the harbour and right down to last years spot.

We got a great spot under the Burrard Bridge on the edge of Vanier Park and it only cost us $4 to park from 9AM to 11PM. From there we left all our stuff in the car and took one backpack and walked the seawall to Granville Market under the Granville Street Bridge. There are some really beautiful apartments along there. Must cost a fortune to live in them! We parked just on the other side of this bridge. The walkway extends all around the waterfront.

Once we got to Granville Island we wandered around and looked at some of the little shops (very expensive) and then into the market which is a huge warehouse type building that the front of is big sliding glass panels that open out onto a dock at the back along the water. There are benches and wide walking areas, places to sit out and eat or feed the seagulls. The little ferries run back and forth and the channel is fairly narrow so you are looking across the water and boats to the apartments on the other side. Inside the market are tons of little stalls that sell all types of food. Breads, cheeses, pasta, meat, fresh fish, veggies and fast food that you can then take outside to sit in the sun and eat. We bought picnic food; fruit, meat, cheese and bread and then I had a major major hot flash that damn near knocked me out. I was seeing stars and getting lightheaded and the sweat was running down my body. I said to Al, "I have to sit" He didn't even ask questions, just steared me to an exit and out to a bench. I sat in the shade for awhile (luckily beside a busker with a very nice voice) and he went and got us cold drinks. We sat and rested and enjoyed the people. Then we started meandering back towards the car and Vanier Park.

We got back and got out our chairs and books and picnic basket and had ourselves a very nice lunch and read and rested for an hour. Vanier Park has the Vancouver Museum, Archives, Planetarium and Maritime Museum all on the same site right on Kits Point.

The walkway going in the opposite direction from the bridge takes you down into Kitsilano Beach which is where I grew up. Spent many summer days hanging out at Kits Beach. In the 60's when we had the hippy days, Kits Beach was just down the road from 4th Ave which was the hippy stroll in those days. Like Haight Ashbury in CA, in Vancouver it was West 4th. I lived on 1st and Cypress and went to Kitsilano High. I was just on the young end of hippies and was still under parental control for the most part so didn't actually get into the best most fun part of hippydom but I did have alot of fun back then. My mom called me a hippy and that made me happy.

I really wanted to be a hippy and live the nomad lifestyle. By the time I started running away from home alot of the hippies had gone home and only the real druggy type hardcores were left and I really wasn't into that. I just wanted to be part of the whole "Make Love not War" "Flower Power" lifestyle hanging at the beach and sleeping 10 or 15 to an apartment all smoking some pot and having fun in the summertime going to the summer Be-in at Stanley Park, dancing and smoking when it was warm and fun. Not the reality. I got the tag end of it and some fun though. :)

Anyway we walked down into Kits and I took Al up into the old neighbourhood hangouts and down to Henry Hudson Elementary. We wandered around and peered in all the windows. It's one of the old red brick, three story schools dating back to probably the 30's or before. When I went there the basement's were split into the boys basement and the girls basement with the janitor's room in between and we weren't allowed on each others sides. I don't know if it's still that way or not. It sure brought back memories standing there looking in the window of rooms I ran around in back in 1960. The school looks exactly the same even on the outside with the playing field outside.

From there we headed back to the beach and got out our blanket and food basket and chairs and laid under a willow tree by a pond behind the planetarium and spent the rest of the evening there. We had a clear view of the sky over English Bay. We ate and played cards, read our books and in my case had a nice nap. We watched the ducks with tiny babies still swimming around the pond. The sky clouded up a bit but it stayed warm with a warm breeze blowing in off the water. It was heaven. The fireworks were excellent and Sweden was last years winner and they were again very good. We are thinking of going back next Saturday for the finale. We hung around afterwards. Took our stuff back to the car and then crossed the path to the water's edge and watched all the boats coming back in. The police helicopter flew overhead with a searchlight going over the crowd and the boats. Thousands of people. We heard on the news the next day that there were 62 liquor seizures, several fights and numerous drunk arrests but we saw none of that at all where we were. I think really the families come to the Vanier Park side of the water and the young partiers go to the West End/Stanley Park side. Also in Vancouver it was Gay Pride week this week and Sunday was the big Gay Pride Parade. The city and the West End were busy and full and lots of fun this weekend. We didn't get home til 1AM

Yesterday we were home most of the day doing various household chores and fix up's and sorting and changing rooms about kind of day. Worked on the bedroom and moved the room around. When Josh had his big entertainment centre in our livingroom we moved our much smaller one into our bedroom. It has the stereo and a tv and dvd in it and one of our shaw boxes. So we have left it there and Al got the stero hooked up and all the cords sorted out and zapstrapped together. Much nicer and neater. Then we were out to friends for dinner and cards.

This morning I am sitting here tired but feeling good. We did a lot over the weekend and we've been really enjoying it just being the two of us. We love having the house to ourselves and running our own schedules with no worries about anyone else but the dogs and cat. We still see the boys often and Josh drops in several times a week but he never stays long. He is loving his place and it's looking really good. He's a good housekeeper at his house :)

A few bouts with nausea this week along with this problem with the heat. It is very hard to manage if I need to be outside for some reason. Hats and sunglasses help as does lots of water but it does not stop the continuous hot flashes. They are so intense it's hard to explain to people. I go bright red and am instantly covered in sweat. I can see Jude and Stewart get worried looking. It must look like I am getting ready to have my head explode or something. Stewart generally tries to order me back into a building (I mostly ignore him unless I am seeing stars and feeling faint) and Jude starts fanning me with whatever she has in her hands. We must look quite the sight as we go about our day. This morning I am listening to Rob Thomas's new disk over and over. I love his voice. My My My is a great song. Norah Jones is good this morning too. Very soft and quiet today. Rest day.