Sunday, August 30, 2009


Is it really the end of August? The summer sure is going fast and the days are already getting noticeably shorter. An article on the Weather Network site says we only had 3 days this summer that went over 30C, 70 hours less sun, and more rain to date than all of last summer. I'm not complaining. Cooler temperatures and less sun allowed me to enjoy the outdoors without the "strangeness", meaning far less MS symptoms. For example, yesterday I went to the Winona Peach Festival. It was overcast and threaten rain all day, yet I didn't mind. I had a good time even with killer hot flashes If it had been hot and sunny, no way would I have been able to even think of going.

Forgot to bring my camera, but you can check it out here

One thing I really liked was the food. Not that it was a big deal or anything Typical fare : hotdogs, corn on the cob, chunky fries, peach sundaes (yummy!), cotton candy, popcorn, etc. What made it good was the fact that there was no corporate food . All the booths were run by local community groups for fund raising, so it was kind of nice to know that I was supporting the Salt Fleet Boy's Hockey Club, and not Mc You Know Who.

And Oh the peaches ! The most beautiful looking, big juicy peaches. I bought a basket to take home, even though I had just bought some at the Farmer's Market.
It's going to be a peachy week. Maybe I won't even notice that September has arrived

Tomorrow,I have a guy coming to look at my hot water tank. No hot water all day today.

I also have another guy coming to give me an estimate on new windows. That should be interesting (read expensive) OK maybe they will be Gals, not that it will make it any cheaper.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I'm still in meltdown mode. Luckily a nice lady at work let me borrow her fan yesterday, otherwise I'm sure I would have passed out. Everybody had sweaters on complaining the air conditioning was too high. I was suffocating. When I got home I had to drink about 5 glasses of water and have a cool shower. Later I went out for dinner with a friend. Everybody was wearing pants and long sleeve tops. I was in shorts and t shirt, enjoying a cool breeze on a tree filled patio.

Here's a few songs to celebrate tiredness. Not that I feel like celebrating anything right now. Yay! to air conditioning and ceiling fans.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Heat Wave

We're having a heat wave and I'm having an internal heat wave. Could it be menopause ?
So far it's not fun. Time for some THC to help me sleep Ahhhhh!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Life Is A Beach

8:30 p.m Toronto, Lake Ontario. Strolling on the boardwalk in "The Beaches" area of the city. Seems like rock sculptures have replaced sand castles.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Britain Stirkes Back : Round Two

As the health care debate in the U.S. rages on, Britain continues to speak out against the myths of social medicine. Here is an article in today's Independent about "welfare health care" in the U.S. Yes, in the richest state, in the richest country in the world, people line up like beggars to get the health care they need. Read the stats on how much Americans pay for health care and how phony the debate is about "government control of health care"

You might be asking yourself "Why is Taxingwoman sticking her nose into an issue that has nothing to do with her? She has universal health care, so why doesn't she mind her own business? "
In answer to that. I love having America as a neighbour and yet it is like living in a cage with an 800 pound gorilla(I borrowed that from somebody but can't remember who) What happens there often spills over into my country. We have soldiers dying in Afghanistan because our Conservative government wanted to make up with George Bush,for not sending troops to Iraq. End result is we are now stuck in a pointless mess of wasted lives and wasted money.

I am concerned because today I heard several ads on the radio for "fast health care in the U.S." An insurance company will fix it so you can go to the U.S. for speedy health care. I worry that this is another attempt to erode our universal health care system. People here don't seem to get it that millions of Americans, wait and wait for the treatment they need because they can't afford it. Insurance companies in typical fashion, mess people about, denying claims or coverage. How many horror stories I have been told, news reports I have watched, regarding the U.S. system and I don't want it here.

America I don't understand ? You don't trust your government to regulate your health care system, but you trust private corporations ?

Look at the banks,insurance companies, and the auto industry. They came running pretty quick to the government for help when their greed sank them.
Here is a message I received a couple of days ago from a from a postcard member, twistingoak

It was in response to a post I had made on the postcard forum, about how much personal information I am willing to reveal in my profile. I have a link to my blog there, but not much else.
One of the benefits of having a blog and an online hobby, is I get to read so many stories of people who have there own challenges to deal with . It makes me feel less "alone" in my struggles. I am more aware of how life isn't a made for t.v. fantasy were everyone is rich, beautiful, and their only problems are worrying about their relationships and what shoes they are buying next.

So thanks twistingoak for allowing me to post this:

"As a transgendered,asexual, atheist, who is currently disabled by medically intractable epilepsy, I entirely understand what its like for you

When my epilepsy came out of remission last year, requiring me to use government aid just to get my medicine (initially $3,000/month) I actually had people angered at me because I had PAID MY OWN way through two college degrees, earning straight A's in both, without any help at all from my family, instead of deciding to be a life long Mcdonalds employee when I graduated high school. No doubt these same people would have thought it amazing if I hadn't become disabled by epilepsy and got to enroll in the elite doctoral school I was planning on being in this year (best in the US for my major). And would be getting $30,000'/year stipend, and free year round apartment and meals - and 97% of the graduates of that program have a job that makes at least $75,000/year. Yet I get harassed because I chose this path when I had absolutely no reason at all to suspect that I'd ever be disabled, even if my epilepsy happened to return as an adult- and there was a less than .3% chance of that happening.

When I was seeking out my family history to see what was wrong with me last year, I discovered numerous people with MS (my new seizures were manifesting in ways I never experienced before, mainly needing to sleep 20 hours on a good day). It does anger me that relatives I always considered lazy because they didn't work, didn't do much, and always bought our presents at the dollar store, were all relatives with MS. I would have had a much different, and greater, opinion of them if the family hadn't hid the fact they were disabled from me. In particular my grandmother who never did anything more active than playing bingo which caused me to look at her with some disdain when I was younger because I could see all these opportunities that I thought she was choosing to stay away from. It wasn't until after she died that anyone was willing to tell me she was sick and couldn't do those things. She was also allergic to all of her medication options (in my case I'm allergic or had side effects necessitating immediate removal to all but one drug). And many people were always after her to eat healthy foods like "fruit" - I am currently on a special diet, that is much like the one she ate. I can drink all the rootbeer in a day I want, but I can't have more than 2 small strawberries in a week. If it isn't full of fat, it shouldn't be part of the food I eat"

Friday, August 14, 2009

Think Before You speak

A friend sent me this today so I thought I would share it

Think before you speak....

Here are six reasons why you should think before you speak -
the last one is great!
Have you ever spoken and wished that you could
immediately take the words back...
Here are the Testimonials of a few people who did....

I walked into a hair salon with my husband and three kids in tow
and asked loudly,
'How much do you charge for a shampoo and a blow job?'
I turned around and walked back out and never went back
My husband didn't say a word..
he knew better.

I was at the golf store comparing different kinds of golf balls.
I was unhappy with the women's type I had been using.
After browsing for several minutes,
I was approached by one of the good-looking gentlemen who works at the store.
He asked if he could help me.
Without thinking, I looked at him and said, 'I think I like playing with men's balls'

My sister and I were at the mall and
passed by a store that sold a
variety of candy and nuts.
As we were looking at the display case,
the boy behind the counter asked if we needed any help.
I replied, 'No, I'm just looking at your nuts.'
My sister started to laugh hysterically.
The boy grinned, and I turned beet-red and walked away.
To this day,
my sister has never let me forget.

While in line at the bank one afternoon,
my toddler decided to release
some pent-up energy and ran amok.
I was finally able to grab hold of
her after receiving looks of disgust
and annoyance from other patrons.
I told her that if she did not start behaving
'right now' she would be punished.
To my horror, she looked me in the eye and said in a voice just as threatening,
'If you don't let me go right now,
I will tell Grandma that I saw you
kissing Daddy's pee-pee last night!'
The silence was deafening after this enlightening exchange.
Even the tellers stopped what they were doing.
I mustered up the last of my dignity and
walked out of the bank with my daughter in tow.
The last thing I heard when the door closed behind me, were screams of laughter.

Have you ever asked your child a question too many times?
My three-year-old son had a lot of problems with potty training and I was on him constantly.
One day we stopped at Taco Bell for a quick lunch, in between errands
It was very busy, with a full dining room.
While enjoying my taco,
I smelled something funny,
so of course I checked
my seven-month-old daughter, she was clean.
The realized that Danny
had not asked to go potty in a while.
I asked him if he needed to go,
and he said 'No' .
I kept thinking
'Oh Lord, that child has had an accident, and I don't have any clothes with me.'
Then I said,
'Danny, are you SURE you didn't have an accident?'
'No,' he replied.
I just KNEW that he must have had an accident, because the smell was getting worse.
Soooooo, I asked one more time, 'Danny did you have an accident ? This time he jumped up, yanked down his pants,
bent over, spread his cheeks
and yelled
While 30 people nearly choked to death on their tacos laughing,
he calmly pulled up his pants and sat down.
An old couple made me feel better,
thanking me for the best laugh they'd ever had!

This had most of the state of Michigan laughing for 2 days
and a very embarrassed female news anchor who will,
in the future, likely think before she speaks.
What happens when you predict snow but don't get any!
We had a female news anchor that,
the day after it was supposed to have snowed and didn't,
turned to the weatherman and asked:
'So Bob, where's that 8 inches you promised me last night?'
Not only did HE have to leave the set,
but half the crew did too they were laughing so hard!

Now, didn't that feel good?
Pass it on to someone you know who needs a laugh
and remember
we all say things we don't really mean,
so think before you speak!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More Health Care Rhetoric

More health care rhetoric.Next to Canada the U.S. loves to bash the British health care system. Well Britain is fighting back. Read about the myths here

More later about the Canadian woman who travels all over the U.S. to warn Americans about Canada's horrible system. A woman who's fav U.S. politician is John McCain . She even carries around a signed copy of his book . Hey! lady, nothing stopping you from moving to the States.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ghosts of Montreal

Back from a short trip to Montreal. Well, actually I've been back since Saturday . The last few days I was in recovery mode.

It was a strange feeling to be in that city and only have one relative to visit. When I was a girl, I spent most of my summers and winter holidays in Quebec, either visiting my Italian relatives( father's side)or my French ones(mother's side).Now they are all gone. No more pasta dinners at my Aunt Rose or Aunt Jeannette, nor pork roast and sugar pies at my Grandmother's. No matter how I try I simply can't make those foods the way they did. Picking wild raspberries with Aunt Aline, at her cottage in the Laurentians, while my sister and my cousin Richard tried to get bullfrogs to smoke cigarettes(they were a weird pair of kids). Why did so many of the French family die so young and so tragically ? At least the one surviving member of the older generation of Italians is fit and doing well, although it was sad to hear him tell stories about how this neighbour, and that friend ,had passed away. His circle getting smaller every year.

Now I walk the streets of Old Montreal with my son, and look for ghosts.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Earth Art 2009

Perfect weather today for Earth Art at the Royal Botanical Gardens. We spent about 5 hours wandering the different gardens looking at art. Thank goodness for the shuttle bus, otherwise I would never have been able to do it. Afterward we indulged in a guilty pleasure of foot long Texarcana hot dogs, which is a hot dog topped with chili and grated cheese. I never eat hot dogs but I have to say these are pretty good and it's a once a year treat. Check my blog from last summer to see a photo of the diner Easterbrooke's . A dumpy old place with all the original furniture and fittings from the 1950's.

Here's a few weird and wonderful sculptures we saw today. Oh! if you have a spare $20,000 you can buy the scarecrow !!

The very last photo is an old tree that died from a gypsy moth infestation. Did you know there's a formula to calculate exactly how much usable timber you can get from a tree? V=BO+B1*D^B2+B3*D^B4*H^B5

Art Musings

Here's a link to a very good article about art, written by one of my postcard friends
Sorav Roy.

I'll be back later with some pics of the outdoor art exhibit at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Vapourize Me

*WARNING TO CONSERVATIVES*: You won't like this post .

THC Vapour

Last night was evening three of my THC vapour trial. For awhile now, I have been thinking about trying THC vapour for my MS. Finally, after reading a few posts on Herrad's blog " Access Denied "
I thought I may as well give it a try. I encourage you to stop by her blog if you want more information on the benefits of THC . ( further warning to Conservatives: avoid it)

What I do is put marijuana buds and leaves ( courtesy of a friend ) in a vapourizer This machine can be bought anywhere as it's used for aromatherapy . I think this is just a cover for the real purpose, which is what I'm using it for: vapourizing pot to capture the THC . After letting it "cook" for about four minutes or so I inhale the vapour through a glass mouthpiece attached to a plastic tube.

I had decided before trying it that I would resist . I wasn't going to kid myself by thinking " oh yeah this stuff is great" So for the first few puffs I sat there doing my best to not let it work.

Well what do you know, it works ! No, not a miracle drug that will cure my MS, slow it down, or eliminate the symptoms . What THC does, is gently relax me, soothes the twitching and burning sensations in my feet, and helps me sleep. The first night it conked me right out and I only woke up once during the night. The second night, because I tried a milder dose, it took a little longer to fall asleep. The third night I tried an in between mixture of the two previous nights. That worked pretty good, although I think I could make it just a bit stronger. Guess it will be like Goldilocks with the porridge, trying to get it just right.

Now I know that there are many of you out there who will " tut, tut" and "pooh pooh" my pot smoking experiment. I've heard all the arguements against it, some I even use to believe myself.

So what's better ? Certainly not all those awful pills the doctor prescribed that at the very least, have annoying side effects, and at the worst, terrible side effects.

Sleeping pills ? Bad stuff. I've used them . Yeah they work fantastic, allowing me to sleep through the night and kill my pain . The next day it takes half the morning to recover and the entire day to get rid of that nasty metallic taste in my mouth. They are also highly addictive, which is why I rationed myself to one per week.

Pain killers? I use them. They only seem to work in high doses, so must be destroying my liver. They also contribute to fatigue . Do I need more of that ?

I could go on and on about prescription medications ( recent celebrity deaths would back up my claims). And you can go on and on about the dangers of pot.
I'm here to tell you that so far, for me, used for medicinal purposes, it works.

So Thank You Herrad for helping me decide to try it !!

Scare Tactics of the Right
The latest appalling scare tactics of the conservatives in America, who are opposed to health care reform. "Death care" that's how these desperadoes frighten the elderly .

As part of the of the health care reform legislation, doctors will be paid to counsel patients regarding "end of life". This would include advice on living wills, medical options for the terminally ill, and other information that would help people to decide how they want to proceed with medical care. So many people are terrified at the thought of ending up plugged into a dozen machines and being fed through a tube. Wouldn't it be a valuable service to explain to patients the choices they have, and how to go about ensuring that their wishes will be carried out ?

This would be a paid service permitted only once every five years for an individual patient.
Do conservatives, who claim to have such a high opinion of the current health care system; think so little of doctors that they believe they would use this service to convince patients to commit suicide ? Desperadoes indeed. ( more on this subject another time)

Soviet Style Shopping

Today I went shopping to look for two light bulbs. One for my range hood, the other for my new, fabulous, remote controlled, ceiling fan. Well what an adventure that was. There must be at least a hundred different kinds of light bulbs. Thank goodness I had one of the old bulbs for the range hood with me. I wasn't so lucky with the ceiling fan bulb, even though I did bring the instruction manual with me to the store. There doesn't seem to be a bulb for it. Out of desperation, I picked one I thought might be right .The book said it was a "J" style halogen bulb . Wrong ! Looking at the fixture at home I have no clue what sort of bulb it needs The receptacle is very odd looking. I only know there is no such bulb amongst the hundred I looked at today. It made me think how easy it must have been to go shopping in the old Soviet Union. There would have been only one kind of light bulb , resulting in stress free shopping .

Right wingers. I did warn you, so no whining now. OK ?