Monday, July 31, 2017

Memories of my uncle, Jarmo

This is my mom's younger brother, Jarmo. He died on July 27, 2017 at the age of 71.
Five things stand out in my memories of Jarmo,

When we were little girls, back when Sanna was still a baby, he used to take me, Sirpa, and Sari to see the car races in the Soo. That was fun. I guess he got used to the idea that he’d be surrounded by girls.

He stood in place of my dad to walk me up the aisle when we got married.

He and Sirkka were amazing dancers. They were a joy to watch, both in ballroom dancing and Finnish folk dancing. They also taught dance classes.

He always remembered everyone’s milestones; birthdays and anniversaries and would send cards written in his excellent handwriting, or later, emails.

Speaking of emails, he was late in life getting into technology, but then he seemed to enjoy using it. He would send birthday emails and say things like, “Happy Birthday from London. Well, not everyone in London, just us.” And because English wasn’t his first language he’d sign it, Ankle Jarmo.

Canada 150

July Journaling

1.      It’s Canada’s 150th! Happy Canada D-eh! Friends dropped in from out of town.

2.      Church and then dinner at a friend’s. The theme was Mexican. Delish!

3.      Our grandkids are here for a bbq. My husband finally had two dry days in a row so he could re-stain the deck.

4.      Putting the deck furniture out, finally!

5.      Yoga tonight.

6.      My husband and I went to a Christian bookstore for a Paint Night as a date. There were 26 people there. It was relaxed and fun. The final product was rather juvenile, but that says more about my artistic ability than anything else. I’ll post a picture.

7.      Picking up my grandson to stay for the weekend because they’re moving.

8.      Busy day with our grandson. We took him to a farm, then we shelled peas, although most ended up in his mouth. I hulled a flat of strawberries to freeze. My berry picking days are over but I can still buy them. We had him run through the sprinkler and play a lot. We had a fire for him in the backyard and he enjoyed a s’more.

9.      We brought our grandson home to their new place. It’s very nice and new. He was emotional and kept asking to go home to their old place.

10.   Costco, and I’m done for the day.

11.   My daughter helped me clean out a closet to get stuff to sell at a garage sale at church this weekend. It feels good to purge, but I’m exhausted.

12.   Quiet day at home, reading. My daughter is cooking dinner for us tonight; a Thai prawn and coconut curry. Yoga tonight.

13.   Injections to my face today at the pain clinic. Useless the rest of the day.

14.   My uncle is in ICU in London with fluid on his lungs. He has his third cancer, in his esophagus. I sent him a letter a few weeks ago to share the gospel, praying God will speak to his heart before it’s too late.

15.   We had a Festival at our church today, with food, live music, garage sales, a bouncy castle and a dunk tank. My husband knocked one of the pastors into the tank.

16.   Church today, and then visited my mom because she’s going to Finland tomorrow for a few weeks.

17.   My husband is cleaning out the garage today. He’s on vacation.

18.   I have a pain clinic appointment for back injections. Then useless the rest of the day.

19.   We’re going to London to see my uncle as he’s not doing well.

20.   My daughter wanted me to order tickets for a kids’ concert but of course they were sold out right away, purchased by bots or people who want to make a huge profit. We looked on a secondary ticket seller site and we purchased them. Final price four times the original. Criminal.

21.   Visiting our grandchildren today.

22.   We have tickets to a TFC soccer game tonight. There were a lot of delays on the train both ways.

23.   Church today.

24.   My uncle in London is doing poorly; they’ve found more cancer in his lungs. They will have to make a decision soon, since he’s still in ICU and intubated. They don’t think he’d be able to handle any further treatment. Sad.

25.   We went to visit an elderly woman we’ve known for decades. She’s the widow of the Pastor who baptized me and married us.

26.   It’s our 31st anniversary today. 31-derful years. Hokey, I know. We’re going out to dinner at the KEG. Also happy to hear that my CPP disability claim has been approved. It's just validation for what I already know.

27.   My uncle died today. The memorial will be on Saturday in London.

28.   Beach day with the family.

29.   My husband did a short message at my uncle’s funeral and I shared a few memories, which I’ll post separately.

30.   Church, ribfest, and a corn roast at a friend’s place.

31.   Recovery day.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Fewer Pills

June Journaling

1.      Paperwork today. Dealing with disability and pension companies. Arrgh. Long nap this morning. Yoga tonight. Still sore from Monday’s class.

2.      Pain clinic today.

3.      Today marks my husband’s 19th year cancer-free. Praise God!

4.      There was a bbq between services today.

5.      Legit question: what do you do with old Bibles? We easily have 20 in the house, some are fallen apart; others are just versions that we don’t read that were received as gifts. What to do? I hate to throw them out, not because I worship the Bible, but because there are so many in the world desperate to have them who would love to have them.

6.      Final Bible study in the book of Ruth.

7.      Our granddaughter is sick today, not keeping her milk down. They took her to the ER, but she seemed to get better.

8.      Got my once a year pedicure. I do the gel because it dries instantly so I can get out of there quickly.

9.      Our daughter is graduating from Law School today. She made the Dean’s list as well.

10.   My husband is busy sanding the deck with a power sander. I’m tired just watching him.

11.   Such a good Sunday. I really appreciate our Pastor’s messages, especially the evening ones on the book of Daniel. You can check them out on our church’s webpage. Ajax Alliance Church.

12.   A trip to Costco was all I could manage for the day. Yoga was thankfully easier tonight. Also it’s down to once a week only for the summer. I can handle that pace.

13.   I presented the summary of Judges and Ruth and then they took me out for lunch to celebrate my belated birthday. They also gave me flowers and a nice card. So sweet. They seem to appreciate the lessons. Now we’re done till the fall. I appreciate the break. Then we’ll start on the book of Hebrews. Our daughter came to stay over with her kids. Our grandson ran through the sprinkler with my husband. Exhausting to have them, but lovely.

14.   My grandson woke up at 5:30 after I only had 4-1/2 hours of sleep. I napped in the afternoon when they left.

15.   Going to babysit so my daughter can take her husband out on a special date.

16.   At my daughter’s for the day.

17.   My husband’s birthday is today and father’s day is tomorrow. He always wants the same thing: steak and a chocolate cake. I also got him the newly released J.R.R. Tolkein book he asked for.

18.   Father’s day. He truly is a great father. So glad we didn’t lose him 19 years ago.

19.   Prepping for a hearing about my health on Tuesday by teleconference.

20.   Pain clinic today; I now go every three weeks.

21.   Hearing today with the Social Security Tribunal. Hard to say how these things go. I can only tell them the truth. It’s funny that when I’m applying for insurance, I’m too sick, and when I’m applying for benefits, I’m not sick enough. The guy seemed reasonable, but who knows? I’ll hear back in two months.

22.   Happy to say that since I had genetic testing which targeted all my meds and supplements, I’ve decreased from 90 pills a day, yes, you read right, to 30 per day. I won’t complain about that. I was so tired of all.those.pills.

23.   Our daughter is finished her BAR exams and has gone camping for a four day weekend with her law buddies. I’m going to babysit for other daughter so she can go to a wedding. Prepped my pills for the next two weeks. It’s easier this way. Doing my Bible study and Bible reading. I’m halfway through my Through-the-Bible chronological readings. I try to stay two weeks ahead because life happens and if I were to get behind, I’d likely quit because it’d be too hard to catch up.

24.   Babysitting the grandkids so my daughter and son-in-law can go to a friend’s wedding. Staying over because my night vision is bad and I don’t trust myself to drive at night. I need to get back for church in the morning because it’s my turn to serve refreshments.

25.   Another good day at church. It was also our last Sunday evening service till the fall. We had missionaries speak in the evening.

26.   A quiet day of studying my Bible at home. My yoga class was cancelled tonight. Our daughter returned from camping.

27.   Out for groceries with my husband.

28.   Visiting my daughter’s family with my other daughter.

29.   Chiro and massage today. The missionary family from Sunday night are coming over for dinner. We made them some Caribbean food since he’s from the Dominica. They have three young children. They’re here for only three months since she needs eye surgery.

30.   Haircut and errands for the long weekend.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

M.E. Awareness

May Journaling

1.      Getting my winter tires off and an oil change. Also doing insurance paperwork. No energy today, and lots of pain because of the rain.

2.      Bible study, pain clinic today.

3.      My grandson’s babysitter is in hospital so they came to stay with us for three nights to make it easier on her.

4.      That was exhausting. Also tonight we attended the fundraising gala for WINGS maternity home. I did it for my husband’s sake, but it was hard for me. Even with my earplugs it was too loud.

5.      Recovering from my busy week.

6.      Still recovering; long naps; not accomplishing much.

7.      Church today flanking a three hour nap. Then I couldn’t sleep till 3 a.m.

8.      Quiet day, mostly reading my Bible and doing my Bible study homework for tomorrow. Yoga tonight; my youngest daughter is coming with me.

9.      Busy day; Bible study in the morning; appointment with a Geneticist in the afternoon; making dinner, and then buying a new vehicle tonight so we can gift our old CRV to our eldest daughter so she has a safer, bigger vehicle for the two kids. We can’t help with housing but at least we can help with transportation.

10.   This is national M.E. awareness week so I’m posting public service announcements on my facebook page. I went to replace my licence plates today as they’re faded. Also I have a caffeine withdrawal headache from drinking a little less than usual. I can’t undo it no matter how much coffee I drink.

11.   Getting my brakes done on my car. Yoga tonight. Not a fan of all the goddess stuff, but I think about other things.

12.   Visiting my grandchildren and babysitting tonight so the parents can go on a dinner date.

13.   Attempting a few raised flower beds for vegetables, so I don’t have to bend over. The best way to get organic vegetables is to grow them myself.

14.   Mother’s Day. My eldest got me a mug with the grandkids’ picture on it, and my youngest and my husband made a nice raclette meal and cleaned up the kitchen. I’m taking my mom out for lunch on Tuesday.

15.   Homework day. Yoga tonight.

16.   Bible study this morning, lunch and pain clinic with my mom, and then we’re picking up our new car from the dealership. My husband will be the one driving it. It’s another CRV, but there are so many more standard safety features.

17.   Dropping off our old car to my daughter.

18.   Yoga tonight.

19.   Our daughter’s family are coming over because we have to go to city hall to get a signature notarized so they don’t have to pay taxes on the car we gifted them.

20.   Frustrated with my doctor’s office because they didn’t fax some medical forms and I almost lost out on my pension accrual while I’m disabled.

21.   Went out for lunch with a lady from church. So much pain and exhaustion. I slept three and a half hours today.

22.   Bought a few potted flowers today. My idea of gardening.

23.   My vegetables and herbs are coming along. I saw a post that said gardening was spending three months to save $2.17 on tomatoes. I also spent a lot more than that for the plants, the soil, and the raised garden beds. But at least I’ll know “my crops” are organic.

24.   We sent in our votes for the new leader of the Conservative Party.

25.   No yoga tonight as my teacher is unwell.

26.   Off to the Women’s Retreat. Our speaker is Deborah Vereecke and the topic is The Armour of God. There are 20 ladies going. What did I ever do before GPS? Oh, I know, I got lost.

27.   One woman couldn’t make it after all, but she sent a video of her elderly father getting baptized. He was saved while she was there in Italy. He had just been in Canada a few weeks earlier to witness her baptism. It was a great reason to miss it.

28.   I was so exhausted. I napped for almost five hours yesterday. We watched the movie, I’m Not Ashamed, which I’d seen at home before. I’m glad my mom came along. She’s still unsaved, but at least she hears the gospel at these events. It was another great retreat, good messages, lots of fun, and great food.

29.   Catching up with my Bible study homework. Yoga tonight.

30.   Bible study today. Women’s ministry planning meeting tonight. We chose a new theme for September, based on Phil. 4:8.

31.   Visiting the grandkids today. Exhausting, but I love them so much.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Maintenance Mode

April Journaling

1.      My husband got our taxes done. The refund will help with some recent expenses.

2.      Pajama day. Don’t judge me.

3.      Church, nap, church.

4.      Quiet day at home, except for a trip to Costco. All I could handle.

5.      Grocery shopping after Bible study. The rain is keeping me in pain.

6.      Visiting the grandkids. Our granddaughter is smiling now.

7.      Exhausted. Washing was my big chore of the day. Gotta somehow find energy for yoga tonight.

8.      Quiet day at home reading my Bible. It snowed a bit. Hrrrmmph!

9.      I bought yoga clothes because I actually do yoga.

10.   Church today. We may rent out our basement in-law suite to a young couple from church who are getting married in the fall. Their condo won’t be ready yet. We won’t charge much, it’s mostly to help them out.

11.   Bought some more yoga clothes.

12.   Our grandson is starting to get toilet trained. That saves on diaper money.

13.   Quiet day, yoga tonight. Our daughter is coming home for Easter weekend, then she’s back for her final two weeks of law school. I got my hair highlighted. I do it once a year around my birthday to cover up the greys.

14.   Good Friday. We had breakfast at church, then our other daughter’s family are visiting, as are my mom and sister.

15.   Bad day, in pain because of the rain. Didn’t do anything but renew my driver’s licence plate sticker, and even that was on line.

16.   Resurrection Sunday. Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed! Our daughter went back to school for her final three exams in Law School.

17.   My yoga class was cancelled tonight because of leaky pipes. Now I’ll miss the next two or three because of other commitments. But I went out for a walk with my husband in the ravine paths. I turned back at twenty minutes, while he walked an hour. I don’t want to overdo it.

18.   So mixed up about which day it is because of the holiday weekend. Accomplished next to nothing.

19.   Accomplished even less than yesterday, but that’s because it rained, so I was on the couch in pain, contemplating nonsense like why unicorns aren’t called unihorns, and why butterflies aren’t called flutterbies. Adding value to the world in my own small way.

20.   Chiro and massage today, then going to stay overnight at my daughter’s house because she wants to concentrate on toilet training my grandson.

21.   Nice day with my grandchildren.

22.   Women’s ministry breakfast. I spoke on Eve and also gave my testimony. Of course I cried at the part about the disabled boy. Then I was on the couch for the rest of the day to recover.

23.   Church. My husband preached this evening.

24.   I got my facial injections today. This time they only lasted 7 of 11 weeks instead of the usual nine. So I had a lot of pain in my jaw and temple for the last month.

25.   Bible study this morning. Our daughter is writing her final exam in Law School.

26.   Picking up our youngest daughter from Kingston. Law school is done.

27.   Got the results of my $700 genetics test today.

28.   Visiting our grandchildren along with my youngest daughter.

29.   Friends are coming for dinner. She was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, so we’re going to have them over to share what has helped me. Another couple had done this for us a few years ago.

30.   It’s my 53rd Birthday today! We went out to eat at the KEG, my favourite restaurant, but it doesn’t open till three and we needed to eat between services, so we went to il Fornello instead. Also the whole church sang Happy Birthday to me after someone announced I was 39. O.K.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Drum set


March Journaling

1.       Finishing my message on Esther for Saturday. Reworking an old one.

2.       Thinking about writing about my illness journey. Just read a very encouraging book called CFS Unravelled and his hypothesis about the cause of ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia seems plausible and the stories of people who’ve recovered, even after decades of illness is so encouraging. I have hope for the first time that I can recover and get my life back. Mark my words: this is the year I recover from my illnesses.

3.       Our blue boxes (recycling) either blew away or were taken. Now I have to go and purchase new ones.

4.       Women’s Ministry went well, but I crashed for a few hours afterward.

5.       Church flanking nap.

6.       Haircut and eyebrows waxed. Funny how just a little bit of grooming can make a person feel better.

7.       Pain clinic, plus my mom is coming for dinner, which she offered to bring.

8.       Working on writing today.

9.       More writing.

10.   Our daughter’s family are coming to spend the night so they can go on a date while we babysit. We’re giving our grandson a toddler drum set because he looooves drumming. I’ll post a picture, although the video is better.

11.   My husband had a men’s ministry breakfast and then is prepping easy worship for tomorrow. Also starting on our income tax returns.

12.   Our youngest has the end in sight for law school. She graduates June 9th, but finishes school in April. So proud of her.

13.   Quiet day at home, reading my Bible and writing my summary of Joshua.

14.   Pain clinic today, then my mom is sleeping over.

15.   Visiting my daughter’s family today.

16.   My youngest daughter who is in law school often goes to the law library at the university. There are sometimes non-law students who also go there. They refer to them as SNAILs, which means Student Not Actually in Law. So funny.

17.   Happy St. Patrick’s Day to those who are Oirish, or wish they were.

18.   Dinner party today. We’re doing a Raclette dinner party. It’s a Swiss cheese, but also a style of cooking. It’s an indoor grill so we prepped food and will sit around the grill and cook. Our menu includes seven proteins. We served three apps; Individual crudites and dip, crackers with goat cheese, and watermelon-feta-arugula skewers. Our mains; steak with Korean bbq sauce, chicken with Greek souvlaki seasoning and tzatziki sauce, honey garlic chicken, shrimp with cilantro and lime, scallops with wine-butter sauce and chives, Atlantic teriyaki salmon, Basa fillets with dill, parsley and lemon pepper. The sides were parboiled potatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers and red onion, bread, and cheese: Raclette, pepper raclette, cheddar, stilton bleu cheese, onion goat cheddar, herbed goat cheddar, Applewood smoked cheddar. And a light dessert of homemade lemon sorbet in lemon rinds. The most time consuming part was prepping the food the day before. My husband did the cooking. It was a lot of fun for the usual four couples.

19.   Church today.

20.   A quiet day at home, catching up with Bible reading. Yoga tonight. None last week because of March break.

21.   Bible study, last lesson in Joshua. Pain clinic in the afternoon.

22.   Ran a few errands, then recovering the rest of the evening. Terror attack in London today; five dead.

23.   Chiropractor and massage today, then I went to pick up my grandson to stay over two nights.

24.   Loved having my grandson over, although it wore me out. I took him to the mall for lunch and he loved seeing the garbage truck come by. The driver beeped and waved to him, which made his day. He also spent lots of time on the drums and watching shows. He speaks in full sentences, “I want to watch a show.”

25.   Our granddaughter is rolling from her tummy to her back already at six weeks. I checked and apparently it usually happens at four months. Overachiever!

26.   Today between services, we hosted some people from church for a meal. Thankfully I had enough time for a nap.

27.   Quiet day at home. My husband is doing the taxes. I have yoga tonight. He has an executive meeting at TBS.

28.   Busy day; Bible study where I’m doing the summary of the book of Joshua. Then out for lunch, then to the pain clinic for nerve block injections. Tonight is our church’s annual general meeting.

29.   I have a Fibroscan of my liver this morning. It’s apparently a better test than an ultrasound, but it costs $60 out of pocket. What else is new?

30.   We may rent out our basement apartment in the fall. Thinking about it. It’ll be an adjustment since we’ve had it empty for two years now and our life has spilled over into it. But it’s a young couple from church who are getting married in the fall and their condo won’t be ready for a year because of delays.

31.   I’ve been sick with a sinus cold for a few days; something I haven’t had in years. Hard to sleep. Spending the day at home, reading and writing.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

New Granddaughter!

February Journaling

1.       Our grandson is two years old today. I can’t even say how much I love him. He’s a Mimi’s boy, but I’m a Benny’s Mimi. Trying to catch up with paperwork for my insurance companies.

2.       Such a mess down there in the U.S. So many executive orders already. Does he not know how things are done day to day, by trying to prove the merits of the idea?

3.       A quiet day at home.

4.       Finished my Summary of Deuteronomy for Tuesday morning.

5.       We had a funeral this afternoon for a friend of my mother-in-law. My brother-in-law Michael, who is now a Pastor, did the funeral service. The thing I love about Caribbean funerals is that they serve real food, not sandwiches. There was curried goat, jerk chicken and bbq chicken along with hot side dishes. Delicious.

6.       Pain injections in my face today. I was numb in my head and shoulders, so I had to back out of yoga tonight.

7.       Presented the Summary of Deuteronomy today, then out for lunch. Pain injections to my back today.

8.       Helped my mom fill out forms for the same pain clinic I go to for the nerve block injections to my back. Then rushed over to Oakville because our daughter was in labour. She delivered a baby girl naturally after only five hours of hard labour. They named her Robin Elisa. We didn’t know what she was having, but are so excited to have a granddaughter. Since these are most likely the only grandchildren we’ll have, it’s nice that we have one of each. Benny was so excited to meet her. After he saw her first on the phone, he ran into their room and pointed at the bassinette and said, “Baby…tummy…out.” The video of them meeting was precious. I’ll post a picture of her.

9.       We were going to go over there again so my husband and mother-in-law could meet the new baby but my husband still has a cough and it’s supposed to snow a lot today.

10.   Women’s Ministry breakfast today. I finished out my old series on Even Me? The Unlikely Women in the Genealogy of Christ, with Mary.

11.   I’ve started saving money in different ways; one way is to save $5 bills as I get them, I’m up to over $500 that way. I also set aside cash each pay, to pay for any vacation in full. I also save all my coins. And I set aside money into another account every pay.

12.   I sent off a sample for DNA testing for detoxification studies. Almost $800 out of pocket for that. I hope it gives me some answers for targeted treatment. I soooo want to get better.

13.   Not thrilled to go to my family doctor today, as I’ve got so many insurance forms to fill out.

14.   Summary of Deuteronomy today, then lunch with the ladies.

15.   Finally! A few days off without anything to do.

16.   Catching up with my Bible reading plan. I try to stay a week ahead because life happens and I get too overwhelmed when I’m behind. Also Yoga again tonight.

17.   Picking up forms from the doctor’s office that she didn’t want to fill out when I was there on Monday. Also it’s costing me $40 out of pocket.

18.   My husband has been sick so this is his first time to meet the new baby. His mother is coming along as well. Then our grandson is coming for a sleepover.

19.   Our daughter is coming back tonight from Law School for her reading week. Nice to have her back.

20.   It’s Family Day. Quiet day at home. Tacos for dinner. No yoga tonight.

21.   Bible study this morning, pain clinic in the afternoon, and WM planning meeting this evening.

22.   My diet has changed because of my illness. I eat almost all organic foods, no preservatives or pesticides. Cleaning out the trigger products like scented cleaners, air fresheners, dryer sheets and memory foam pillows has made a big difference. I also don’t use plastic or Teflon anymore.

23.   Three appointments today; dentist, chiropractor and massage. My daughter attended my yoga class with me.

24.   Our youngest daughter and I went to babysit so our other other daughter and her husband could attend an appreciation dinner for the worship team at their church. They took the newborn along since she’s nursing. When we left the fog was sooooo thick. The visibility on the 407 was only 5-20 feet ahead for most of the way home. Thankfully, my daughter drove while I prayed. I must say I was quite nervous about it.

25.   Quiet day at home, doing laundry and reading.

26.   Church today.

27.   Osteopath appointment today. Just found out this new company we’re under since January doesn’t cover osteo like the previous one, so I may stop going. It’s not terribly helpful to me. Yoga tonight was extra hard but my goal is to hold the pose for as many breaths as I’m supposed to. Who knew stretching and posing could make you sweat? Yet, in only a month I’m building muscle and getting more flexible. Seems to be something to this thing.

28.   Last day of the month already. Bible study, then lunch out for the birthday of one of the ladies, then a quick rest, not long enough, and my pain clinic appointment for more nerve blocks to my back. They’re helping at least with my back pain, for about five days out of seven.