Saturday, July 31, 2010


Here's a few shots of different places I go walking.   If I look cool and collected it is only because I have my shorts and top stuffed with frozen cooler packs!! The pictures are not as good as I would like. I took them with my camcorder that has a photo option. Very handy, but also very inconsistent as to the quality of the shots.

The top picture is a tree that I thought looked interesting.Located at  Dundurn Castle, where you can see they are doing repairs on the stone entrance.

The next two photos were taken on the Sassafras Trail, which was closed for two years to restore it to it's natural state . Often the woodlands are over run by non native plants, most of which are weeds. The Royal Botanical Gardens does controlled burns to eliminate the bad plants and restore the good ones. They did a good job here.

Of course I had to throw in a view of the ugly side of Hamilton Harbour, where the steel plant is located. Steel is no longer the major employer in Hamilton.  Like other cities, the service sector, which pays minimum wages, is now the major employer. The steel  plants have been taken over by multi national corporations. What else is new? Soon there will be nothing left that is Canadian owned and operated .  Do we really think we can sustain ourselves with the majority earning low wages? Half the population of Hamilton only survives thanks to government handouts of one kind or another. The other half are government workers like me. Surely that can't last. I don't know, but I don't thik we should brag that a donut chain is the fourth largest employer in the city.

Last is a view of the Chedoake public golf course. The paved trail runs right through it, which means you have to be on the look out for stray golf shots!!  

Port Dover

Went to Port Dover last  Tuesday afternoon. Yes I actually went swimming in Lake Erie! That was the only way I could manage to stay cool aside from sitting under my sun umbrella.  I read a report in the news that the beaches of South Western Ontario are some of the cleanest in the world, so I decided to end my boycott of swimming in the lakes.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Case of the Missing Swimming Pool

Good Grief! I went to the swimming pool yesterday only to find it drained of water and abandoned. No sign, no message, no people around to explain why. Now I have to get in touch with the city to find out what's going on Seriously, my outdoor swimming options are becoming fewer and fewer AND I pay for this!

I consoled myself by going for a nature walk yesterday, but couldn't today. It's so hot and so humid;  like walking around in a steam bath. The thunderstorms, instead of cooling things off are are making it worse. I conked out today and ended up walking at the mall, just like I do in the winter.

I know some hotels let non guests use their pool for a fee, so I'm going to check that out. When I worked in downtown Toronto I use to swim at the Sheraton. They had a very cool combination indoor/outdoor pool with glass walls.  I just hope they have something like that in Hamilton. The only outdoor pool left close to me is about the size of a bath tub and there are way too many kids. Not that I don't like children I just don't like them dive bonbing on my head.

I am so itchy. Scratch! Scratch!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Delights

One good thing to come of this hot weather (34C today) is the bounty of local produce. Everything is early this summer, so we have yummy peaches, raspberries, and strawberries all together. I'm considering breaking my diet to make a huge Strawberry Shortcake and Peach Melba. I know I won't need much convincing.

Had my first tomato from my container garden!!

Later I'm going for a swim.  My favourite way to beat the heat.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another MS Celebrity

It's cooling down out there. 28C today instead of that horrible 38C we had just  a few days ago.
I had a couple more "spells" that left me in tears. Today I'm feeling not bad, not great, but not bad. I'm back using my THC, after a two month break. It's the only way I get a decent night's sleep.

OK truthfully? MS in the summer is a huge pile of suck.

AND, not enough that I feel like crap, that I have to have another perfect MS celebrity thrown in my face!!

This happened a few days ago while I was on holiday ( photos to be posted soon). I'm not a huge fan of country music; especially now that it has become almost as bland as pop music, with new songs coming out ever week, only to be forgotten the following week. I had no clue who Clay Walker was until a supposed near and dear one told me about a biography show they saw of him. AND I so hate those biographies of celebrities that tell you absolutely nothing about the person but are simply a vehicle to promote their latest song or movie.

OK I'm sure Clay Walker is a very nice guy and yes, it is great that he has his own MS foundation to raise money toward a cure ( poor misguided soul) however: I really don't need to here about his positive attitude and how well he manages his MS ( with drugs of course!!) and how he travels all over the country doing shows!

Dear Loved One: Do you have any idea how fed up I am hearing these so called inspirational stories?  I travel thousands of kilometers to visit you without the benefit of my own private bus or plane, nor do I have an entourage of people to wipe my butt.  No, I travel with all the other peasants on crummy planes, get pushed and shoved and man handled, through check in, customs, immigration , shuttle buses,  to come and see you.

It's hot out and I don't feel good, but I really am trying my best to keep a grip on things. Hey! this celebrity  is coping so well with MS. Good for him. Why do you feel the need to mention him and his great attitude?? What purpose does it serve?  The way I take it is that you don't think I have a postive attitude and just like everybody else, you think I'm not trying to get better.

I pray you never have anything like MS. I pray that you never need people to give you a break and just accept that there will be days when you feel horrible and can't do anything.

Get this straight.  MS sucks and it sucks big time. You think I'm cynical? Fine. All I know is I get up every day, face my responsibilites, and get on with my life. I actually do enjoy life but not all the time. If that isn't good enough for you, too bad. I refuse to be the nice little girl  who smiles and is just "Oh so happy" to have a crap condition like MS . I'm not at all happy about it, in fact I'm quite pissed off about it. Most of the time though you will notice that I just keep my mouth shut and carry on. You will also notice that I rarely ask for help because you make me feel like I don't have the right to ask for any. This is Love?

You want cynicism? I'm sorry to say that Mr. Walker will go the way of all the other celebrities who tell us to take our meds, drink juice, exercise, think positive, meditate, pray, etc. etc. His illness will progress as it does in all of us and there ain't nothin he can do about it.

So that's my whine fest for the day. I promise to post photos soon

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The MS Blues

Just returned from a trip to the Southwest U.S. It's as hot in South Western Ontario as it is down there, so I decided to go for it. I'll post some photos as soon as I figure out how to get them off my mini  camcorder. Yeah I bought a JVC Everio, which makes movies and takes still shots. Handy item and so far very easy to use.

Speaking of hot weather; it really is messing with my head and my body. MS sure doesn't like the heat and neither does menopause. I feel like a big vat of sweat all the time.

  Heat related symptoms include : losing my memory, confusion, anxiety, muscle spasms, and worst of all; totally losing control of my bladder . I know it isn't regular incontinence since I'm OK  99% of the time, even when I go for long walks and go up and down the stairs.
Two weeks ago, I was out walking and out of no where I peed my pants. Not just a little bit, no, I was gushing and couldn't stop it.  The day before I went for a very long walk and felt nothing except that walk was only supposed to be 15 minutes and ended up being nearly an hour because I couldn't remember where a restaurant was. Hey ! I had only been to the place a few days before and it is in a neighbourhood I know very well. That evening when I got home I couldn't remember  where two very important items where. I was  confused and had this weird anxious feeling. That same day at work I couldn't remember what floor I worked on. I had only gone up one floor to IT services to get my computer fixed. On the way back I got off at the right floor only I was certain I was in the wrong place. Luckily, two co workers got off another elevator and I followed them.   

The muscle spasms are strange; like mild electric shocks. My toes curl up too

How am I coping? Well taking time off work helps. Even though I'm taking a big hit financially, I don't care.
I'm allowed five weeks off without pay, over and above my paid vacation. The payments are spread out over a year.  I'm having trouble coping, even working at home in an air conditioned house.  I just need some time  to do things I enjoy and do them when I feel like it. On my holiday I spent lots of time swimming .  Lucky? Yeah I'm lucky. I know.

Tomorrow I'll talk about crummy remarks about my MS, made by people who should know better.