Friday, December 20, 2013

Junior Senior and Pot Woes

Some crows decided to attack my garbage during a snowstorm. The garbage is now  buried under a huge pile of snow. I dread the melt.

Here I am at the end of 2013. It's been a year of big changes for me.

I retired in April, fixed up my house and sold it in June, then packed up my gear and moved to Miramichi, New Brunswick. I have never been so tired!

Now I have to figure out what I'm going to do with my life as a " junior senior" . I think you are classed as a junior from age 55- 70. After that, you're just old.. It's a strange feeling for me to have time on my hands. To know that I can get up whenever I want, do things that I like instead of endless obligations,  and stay up late if I feel like it.

There's no schedule to speak of, except swimming at 8:00 p.m. and volunteering at 2:30 on Thursdays.

I have been dabbling; trying out different things: photography, painting, volunteering at the Boys and Girls  Club and a web design course.  So far my one success  is bringing grocery delivery to this city. I guess I whined about it so much that somebody decided to do something.  I say a big Thank You  to the people at the Beaubear Co-op for making my life so much easier.

What I need to do now  is to try and focus on a couple of things instead of simply  filling my days with activities.  There are so many people here who tell me they are lonely and bored. I don't want to become like them.

Ah, but what will I do?  I find the web design course interesting but I doubt I would want to do that as a job.  Typing code is  very boring and fiddly. You have to get it exactly right, otherwise,  there's a blank page staring at you.

I wonder what I will be doing next year at this time?

Besides all of that; the Federal government has  revised the regulations concerning Medical Marijuana.
Health Canada is getting out of the pot growing business . Medical marijuana will now be sold by licensed dealers. No more compassionate clubs, edible weed products will be illegal, as well as store front operations  that sell drug paraphernalia. Individuals will no longer be permitted to grow their own and any  weed they have already grown must be destroyed.

I have the added hassle of my new doctor, refusing to sign the papers to renew my license to possess and buy medical weed.  Why? The doctor just doesn't like medical marijuana. What nerve! I have to travel to another city 3 hours away  to see another doctor who will.

Yes, 2014 is going to be interesting!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tech Fails

Here is the Shediac lobster.  In New Brunswick  you can get  lobster really cheap, but milk is nearly double the price I paid in  Ontario.  The rent is  reasonable, but heating oil is very expensive and the only type of heating.  Still, I think I'm way ahead financially and most definitely emotionally.
Haven't updated the old blog in awhile and today just seemed  the right time  to do it. Everything else is a huge fail with  plenty of tech woes!
One of those days when things go wrong and nothing seems to work. I won't bore anyone with details of my customer service  complaints, since that seems to be  universal. Does anyone have positive experiences with that?

Why did I tell people I have MS? I thought they should know, just in case something happens to me. Big mistake! Now I have all these well meaning folks offering remedies and cures. I try to be polite and thank them,  but what I really want to do, is tell them to get lost. 

I'm amazed at the health, nutritional, and lifestyle myths that people believe. Beliefs that may even be endangering their health.  Examples: Diabetics who think eating honey is healthier than refined sugar and think that it's OK to eat  chips because they come from the health food store.  Advocates of Tai Chi, who think it can cure almost anything, including MS, and claim it has to do with releasing negative energy from your body.  People who smoke, drink, and abuse drugs but take supplements. One of them really believes that drinking homemade parsley water cleanses the poisons from their body and cinnamon in their smoothie will thin their blood!  Then they suck back a vodka cooler and eat a plate of nachos. Another woman who told me that I have MS because I use hair dye and I should switch to the natural ones. Oh, and lets not forget the organic crowd, who thinks eating organic cookies and  candy  is healthier. I'm not making any of this up 

No I don't do Tai Chi or yoga, don't eat organic food, don't take supplements, don't think natural is better, nor lace my food with turmeric ( "It cleanses your blood you know").  

I do avoid packaged and pre made foods, have cut way back on sugar and carbs, take vitamins, swim four times per week and  try to get a good night's sleep. I don't use any drugs except medical marijuana and only  do that to help me sleep.

Does any of it help my MS? I don't know and anyway that's not why I do  those things. Aside from my MS I don't have any of the most common health ailments such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes, so I guess I must be doing something right.   

Well that'd enough for now. Time to get back to trying to activate my new phone. Ha Ha !  

And please, anyone out there who wants to tell me that I'm wrong and I should take up Tai Chi to cure my MS. Get Lost!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Atlantic Airshow

Here's one of the members of the Sky Hawks team, performing at the Atlantic Airshow, which was right in my backyard.

The retirement community I live in was formerly Chatham Air Force Base. The runway still operates as part of the Miramichi airport and that's where they held the Airshow this year. Kind of cool to be able to just cross the road and go see  it.

And here I am getting   autographs from a few more Sky Hawks.

Ah to be twenty again! Not really, because then I wouldn't be able to live in what I think is one of the best retirement places ever! I'm quitting now because Blogger is being a pain. I wish they would stop trying to improve it

Thursday, August 8, 2013

New Life- Same Old MS

Here is a very strange looking photo of me at my new home in Miramichi ,New Brunswick

I don't why my camera refuses to take normal pictures, but I've had my fill of technology woes for the present and I'm not in the mood to fiddle with it.

Otherwise, I'm very happy with my new life. The first month was rough.  Selling a house, packing, moving,  setting up a new place,  in a new city, new province, and in the middle of a heat wave . A challenge for a healthy person, and more so for a person with MS. There were a few days there when I didn't think I was going to make it. Had to do lots of praying and positive thinking in order  to keep going.

If anyone out there needs, or knows a person who needs, an affordable place to live, with the best landlord you could ever find, Retirement Miramichi is it. Here a link to their website Retire NB.

It isn't your typical retirement community It's more like living in cottage country with all the conveniences.
Everything is well maintained  and clean. It is safe and secure and also very picturesque. I will post some photos once I get this crazy camera to work properly!

I get a free bus pass and the bus stops right outside my door. I have a business card that  I can show to local merchants etc. to get senior discounts, even though I'm not senior age; yet.

  New Brunswick has true universal health care. I never have to worry about going to a clinic or hospital, because everything is covered.The only snag is that all the specialists are in another city, Moncton, but that's only an hour away.

Retirement Miramichi is located on a former air base,Chatham. I think it was a wise decision by the province of New Brunswick, to have converted it to a retirement community, but also incorporate many local groups such as the Boys and Girls Club. One of the old hangars now houses a beautiful recreation center with a fantastic swimming pool.

I just can't say enough good things about this place. I just wish I hadn't had to bring MS along with me. It still sucks! At least now I'm in a place where I don't have to worry and I can enjoy life.

There's going to be an air show in a couple of weeks; right outside my door.  Have to get this camera to
 co-operate, so I can post some photos of that.

Here's to retirement!

Sunday, June 2, 2013


My house is  sold! I don't think the agent would mind  me using this photo.

 Surprising that it didn't take very long; less than a month to get an offer. I was worried  because houses in my city  can sit on the market for months, although I did  notice that a few other places in the neighbourhood also sold quickly. This is supposedly a "hot" area . The person who bought my house said to the agent that they are looking forward to going around the corner to Starbuck's. I guess that's as good a reason as any and what do I care.  

It was crazy for awhile. Every day at least two or three viewings That meant that not only  did I have  to keep the house super clean and tidy, I had to be out.  The couple of times I did stay home were awful. People are so rude and ask such stupid questions.  When I did go out,  I would return home to  doors  left unlocked, all the lights on , back door and gate open ( "come on in  thieves")  and people actually used my toilet!

Not my agent's fault, but all these other ding a ling agents, who were so rude. Like the one guy who was looking for a bargain for an investor (watch out for those guys!). Of course he found a hundred things wrong with the place.

Then there was the joke of a home inspection and I really don't understand why people waste money on them. I complained about the lazy, unprofessional way the inspection was done at my home. The list of things is too long to put here. I also complained about what I saw as a conflict of interest. The buyer pays for an inspection and then the buyer's agent and the inspector come and check out the house.  Who's representing the seller?  Anyway, they decided to withdraw the inspection based on my complaints.

So now I'm getting ready to move very soon. It's a killer for somebody with MS. I have to take advantage of the times I have energy, but Oh! does that ever run out quick and I can't get over how weak I'm getting.

I  won't say where I'm moving  to yet, but I do have a nice house waiting for me.  It's a rental so I will no longer have to worry about living in  a money pit.

I feel pretty good about things Retiring and selling my house were the right decisions.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Earth Day

Here I am planting trees on a very cold Earth Day.

 The weather went from summer like to winter  in one day, so hmm, is there such a thing as climate change?  I think yes , not that we are really doing much to stop it.

 When a young woman asked me if I wanted a sign to put in my lawn "Stop the Pipeiline" or something like that, I pointed out the  scores of SUV's and trucks parked in the lot at the Botanical Gardens.  As long as we continue to promote the use of gas guzzling vehicles; turning out a light or planting a tree on Earth Day  makes us feel good,  but isn't doing us much good.  I took a free shuttle to the event. A smoky, smelly, vehicle it was; so  much for my efforts to lessen global warming. Well, I keep trying.

This old tree has seen better days.  

As for me. Only 4 more days till retirement!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Good Bye Shingles- Hello Another MS Drug

I decided to use this famous image by Andy Warhol in my post because I just recently watched two  documentaries  about him.  I could go on for hours about why I agree that he was the greatest artist of the second half of the 20th century  and that there has been no new art since his death.

It only took 4 months but my shingles have finally cleared up . Once again I say : If  you are over 40 get vaccinated for shingles!!

Reading the news this morning I see that there is another new MS drug, called Tecifidor. As usual it is being heralded as a significant treatment for MS, with studies claiming it can reduce relapses by 53%. Serious side effects are  possible reduction in white cell counts and  fetal harm, which means it should not be used by pregnant women. Less serious side effects are  stomach and  bowel disruptions.

Did you know that drug companies earned over $14 billion from MS drugs last year? It is expected that this drug will bring in about 2-3 billion yearly.

All these drugs and yet where is the proof that they work? By work, I mean stop or slow progression.
My research; including reading several MS blogs and reading medical journals has led me to the conclusion that none of these drugs really work.

If you feel that they work for you, great. I'm certainly not going to say "Hey don't take MS drugs!"

 But, let's look at the claims made for this newest drug. How can they   say that relapses can be reduced by as much as 53%, given that relapses are so random, so unpredictable? I could take this drug and maybe only have one relapse during the time I use it, however, maybe I would have only had one relapse if I hadn't used it.  And how can they say this based on control groups. One group is using the drug, another is taking a placebo. They still don't know what the rate of relapse is or could be for either group..

MS progresses. It does so at different rates and  in different  ways. The way it progresses for me will be very different from the way it does for another person.  Relapsing/ remitting MS becomes secondary MS, most of the time, but not all the time. Progressive MS is rare, but it happens.  Having MS does not mean you will end up in a wheelchair, but it can.

So I live with uncertainty and I feel this is used as leverage to promote drugs that will not really improve my quality of life very much, if at all.

Only a few more weeks to go till retirement!  I also received news that I have a house available where I want to move to.  I'm excited and nervous and looking forward.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Here is a view of the harbor just a couple of weeks ago. It was a wonderful spring like day . Now we are back in the deep freeze and I'm hating it. It is partly to do with the fact that I have shingles .

 I'm telling anyone who has ever had chicken pox to please go and get vaccinated for shingles. You don't want to go through this painful, itchy, ugly, illness.  It's been over a month now and I'm still covered in a disgusting, sore, red, rash. I have also heard so many horror stories about shingles causing blindness and even death!  So please, please, go get vaccinated. Why the heck don't doctors tell people about this vaccine and why aren't they offering it to their patients as part of a regular vaccination routine?  I found out about it too late.

2013 is going to be a big year for me. I'm taking early  retirement in April, selling off all my possessions, and moving to another province.

 I thought about it for a long time and decided that I need a change in my life. My house is getting to be too much work and expense. I also can't bear to live in my adopted city of Hamilton any longer. I don't know why, but I just never took to this place, never made any meaningful attachments.

It wasn't all bad. This house was affordable and my son had twelve years of stability. You can see from  the photo above that there are some lovely places to go walking. It is also close to Toronto and Niagara Falls.

For the last six months I have slowly been getting rid of my stuff. Giving it away and throwing it out. Every week when I go to the office I wear one of my office outfits, then come home and put it in the donation bag. Wow, has my wardrobe shrunk! It feels so liberating to know I will never wear business casual ever again. I have always hated it.

 Once my house is sold I will have an estate sale and get rid of all  the rest. Yes everything must go!  It isn't worth the cost to ship everything where I'm going and I do like the idea of starting fresh. It will be a minimalist lifestyle from now on. No more collections, knic knacks,  magazine subscriptions,  kitchen gadgets, books, movies,  etc. etc.  All that stuff I thought I wanted, needed, and now I see what a burden it is.

I'll be doing some updates as I go along to map my progress.  Stay tuned, if you like.