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(no subject) [Mar. 17th, 2013|11:09 pm]
lemon tart

I need to write. I have so MUCH to write. And I have even sat down, fingers paused above the keys, but my conscience kicks in and tells me to do homework instead. I am currently curled up in bed, eyes ready to close, but I'm hoping if I make at least a brief post it will hold me accountable for returning and writing more.

Life is glorious. I have a month left of classes for this semester, which means a million final projects (most of them in group format, which makes me want to tear my hair out). Then it's home free for a few months, school-wise. I had debated doing one class over the summer but with so many changes and adventures happening I think it's wise to hold off - at least until I know what the next couple months hold and things are more settled and planned.

There are so many things happening. And it's exciting.

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(no subject) [Jan. 16th, 2013|09:50 pm]
lemon tart
I was downtown yesterday for supper with some people and stopped in at the drug store before making my way home, because I needed to buy tampons. I grabbed my usual box and walked up to the counter to pay. While waiting for my payment to be processed, I debated asking for a bag to put the box in, as I didn't have a purse with me that would fit them. I decided to not ask for one though, since I wasn't going very far [a ten minute bus ride] and could easily just carry them in my hand. If peole wanted to stare, who cared.

When the woman at the till handed me my receipt, she asked if I wanted a bag, making reference to the fact that it was a box of tampons and wasn't sure if I wanted some "privacy". I laughed and stated how I had just been debating that, and stated I was ok without one. We then started talking about how there is no reason to be ashamed of buying things like this - pretty much every woman at some point needs to buy something like that. Why should we feel ashamed about it? Men know it happens, and if they are grossed out by it? Guess what! They are a dick. And need to grow up.

I remember having a similar conversation with someone a while ago about buying condoms. If you're ashamed to buy them, and feel that others are judging you when they see you buying them, then maybe you aren't ready to be having sex. The way I see it is this: Yes! Yes I AM buying condoms. Cause I'm going to get some good lovin' tonight, woo hoo! [Hi Mum!] Because if you aren't comfortable buying condoms, how on earth are you comfortable using them? Or even being naked in front of someone else? Do you have sex in the dark, with absolutely no light whatsoever?! How boring!
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Excitement! [Apr. 20th, 2012|11:57 pm]
lemon tart

I'm headed over to Vancouver tomorrow to see Coldplay, and lucked out that City & Colour is opening for them for their second show in Van. I haven't seen either band before and adore both. Ok adore isn't a strong enough word for Coldplay. I LOVE them. So much that while reading a review of tonight's show I started almost hyperventilating. SO. STINKING. EXCITED. If you never hear from me again it's because I died of happiness. Weeee!!

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(no subject) [Feb. 22nd, 2012|12:03 am]
lemon tart

I just updated my 29 in 2012 list a bit. I have decided that rather than just keeping count of books/recipes tried, I will semi-document them, too. I may even eventually update the recipe portion of it with links to the recipes used [and whether it was good or not].

I can't really check off any items on the list yet except for perfecting eyeliner. Not liquid [yet!] but pencil liner. As a 29 year old woman that's sort of a huge thing!

I have been on a couple dates with a guy recently and it's made me realize how out of touch from the dating world I've been over the last... well, last number of years. I had this conversation with both Trish and Mum last week, how it has been a very long time since I've dated someone that I haven't known at all beforehand. I honestly don't know the last time I dated someone that I wasn't at least acquaintances with previously. It has been good though. It's fun and it's new.

My Joints in Motion... supervisor? Anywho, the woman who is my contact in that area approached me last week to join the committee for the Arthritis Society's Walk to Fight Arthritis. My first meeting with the group will be this Friday, so I suspect I will be directed to what my biggest role will be at that time. I know that part of why Trish asked me is to join is because of my personal experiences with arthritis.

Then she totally blindsided me [in a good way!] and asked if I would join her in another exciting venture here in town. Last year was the first time for the event Tour de Victoria and was a huge success. They had 1500 participants and are hoping to reach 3000 this year. To accommodate everyone they are incorporating different starting points, rather than just the one last year. What Trish floored me with was asking if I would be interested in being the coordinator for the 100K start line. Meaning I would be in charge of everything there. Thankfully it doesn't mean I have to DO everything, more just direct everyone around me so things go smoothly and on time. I am incredibly honoured that she thought of me for this and am excited for this little [huge?!] adventure. Thankfully I have lots of experience with race starts/finishes over the years, which is why Trish decided I would be perfect for the position.

After feeling stagnant in my old job for so long and not having a niche over the last while, this feels good. I'm starting to feel a little less like I'm just treading water trying to just make it through each week with no direction.

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A glimpse into my daily life through someone else's eyes [Feb. 6th, 2012|02:15 am]
lemon tart
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One of my goals for this year is to write more openly about living with rheumatoid arthritis. So far I haven't done much of that and it's partly due to the fact that my trusty macbook died a few weeks ago. Sadness all around, indeed.

My friend Lisa, who I met in the Caymans with Joints in Motion at the end of 2010, has a blog to keep people posted on how her training and fundraising is going. Lisa herself does not have arthritis - she goes through the highs and lows of training and slugging her way through the trials of fundraising in support of a dear friend of hers, Katherine, who was diagnosed with RA a few years after I was.

Back in November Lisa invited myself and Heather, a fellow RA-er and Caymans JIM participant, over to the mainland for the weekend to partake in the Walk for Arthritis with her and Katherine. After the Caymans Lisa told Heather and I that she would love it if we could meet Katherine, because she saw how instantly Heather and I bonded over the understanding of living with this disease and wanted Katherine to experience that, too.

So when it worked out that I had the weekend off I agreed immediately to join in what I knew would be fun. The thing that neither of them knew was that I severely needed the trip, emotionally. I was at a point where I was unhappy with a few things in life - my job and health specifically.

When my health takes a bit of a dive one of the first things to take a hit is my social life. I am often too exhausted and/or sore to want to go out after work. So I stay home where yes, I'm in less physical pain but then the emotional side of things takes a hit. I get upset (with myself) that I'm missing out on something. Or worry that friends think I don't care enough about them to get together with them.

And then I get blue, because I think "without this stupid disease I'd be able to enjoy things more". And let me tell you what a slippery slope that is.

So the thought of spending a weekend with people who either have RA or are extremely familiar with it was exciting for me. That I could walk a little slower and not be self conscious about limping and having someone ask about it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders.

You'll read in Lisa's entry about getting in and out of her car - Heather and I were almost in hysterics over it at one point because if anyone was watching us get out they would have thought "WTF?". But it felt so good to laugh about it while doing so, rather than releasing a sigh and wonder what people who saw me were thinking, which is usually what goes through my head.

I teared up on the ferry ride back to the island because it truly hit me how much I need trips and people like that in my life. I am so lucky to have them to lean on for support, both physical and emotional. And I know I need to plan more of these get togethers with these fabulous women. Not only for the sheer enjoyment of their company, but for my sanity in dealing with the tough moments this disease comes with.

When Lisa posted this entry on her bog it made me both laugh and cry. I was so touched at how observant Lisa was at how Heather and I do our "daily tasks" and search for any sort of shortcut to make it easier on our bodies.

Lisa's touching blog entry

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29 in 2012 [Jan. 23rd, 2012|07:06 pm]
lemon tart

Alright. Here is my 29 in 2012 list. Let's do this.

1. Go to the Farmer's Market in the summer to buy fresh produce, rather than the grocery store.

2. Read two books a month (on average) (6/24)
1. Smokin' Seventeen - Janet Evanovich
2. The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton
3. Mini Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella
4. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
5. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
6. The Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins

3. Make banana bread and chocolate chip banana muffins with the surplus of bananas I have in my freezer
Have made one loaf of banana bread and a double batch of muffins

4. Travel somewhere I haven't been before

5. Try one new recipe a week [on average] (7/52)
1. Banana loaf
2. Chocolate chip banana muffins
3. Shrimp curry
4. Curry soup
5. Spicy noodle soup
6. Slow cooker ginger chicken
7. Polenta fries

6. Make a recipe book of ones I often use/love

7. Abstain from buying any alcohol for a month, both at home and going out (for money saving reasons).

8. Do a major cull of my possessions/clothing

9. Get back down to my pre-shoulder surgery weight - which means ten pounds - and be more conscious in maintaining once there

10. Attend an event of some sort on my own. (This thought terrifies me but I know it also holds me back from meeting new people.)

11. Set aside 15 minutes a day for cleaning so that it doesn't pile up. Even if it's just organising my recycling. (I know this doesn't sound huge but I tend to let things pile up, then get overwhelmed and leave it longer, and then when I finally deal with it I pay for it physically)

12. Learn more about the manual settings on my camera. Practice them.

13. Blog more frequently and openly about living with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

14. Take lunch to work at least four times a week.

15. Buy a pair of boots I love and can walk in comfortably.

16. Go to six shows - concerts or theatre (0/6)

17. Buy and perfect wearing (liquid?) eyeliner.
Have perfected pencil eyeliner. Or at least perfected in my eyes!

18. Be more diligent with my eye drops so that I can wear my contacts more frequently again.

19. Make a cheesecake.

20. Get more proactive about my health, including dental and optical.

21. Get dressed up for no other reason than I feel like it, and don't feel self conscious if others around me are in jeans.

22. Stop making excuses for other people, and allowing myself to be used by fair weather friends.

23. Grow some veggies or herbs this summer. Cilantro specifically, and perhaps green onions.

24. Get a working visa for the UK.

25. Finish setting up my Etsy shop.

26. Quit dressing like I still work at the Running Room every day. On occasion, sure. But no more running shoes to hair appointments.

27. Make a pie once a month to use up the Saskatoon berries in my freezer. Share with others.

28. Plan at least one social outing/get together per week. I tend to hermit too much.

29. Plan something fantastic for my 30th birthday (which is a week after 2012 ends)

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29 in 2012 [Jan. 18th, 2012|03:00 am]
lemon tart

I'm going to do the [insert your age] in 2012 challenge, which for me means 29. Holy crap. To quote my mum in her email to me on my birthday morning earlier this month, "I can't believe you're 29!". Nor can I, Mum, nor can I. I still haven't quite figured out how I feel about it. I want to make it a great year though.

I'm going to take some of my goals from my 101 in 1001 (which I suspect needs to be updated) but also add some that are going to be specific for this year.

I know a few of you are already going to do this - anyone else care to join?

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(no subject) [Dec. 27th, 2011|07:14 pm]
lemon tart
Of course because I try and do the "smart" thing and fill a few months worth of a prescription before my benefits end, I am now being "randomly" audited for this particular claim by my insurance provider. I can't see how they can deny me [though the pharmacist did warn me they may only pay 100 days at a time, which is fine - I'll pay the portion for the extra 20] but it's such a freaking HASSLE.

Argh. On top of the last few days of RIDICULOUS customers this is the last thing I want to deal with.
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One year ago... [Dec. 4th, 2011|09:41 pm]
lemon tart
How do you sum up one of the most amazing experiences of your life?

You can't. But you can sure as hell try.

[I'm getting teary already, oh geez. BRING ON THE KLEENEX.]

When Jason suggested last summer that I be his hero for the Caymans Marathon with the Arthritis Society’s Joints in Motion team, I was honoured. So then when he stated I should come down and join as part of the Cheer Team I jumped at the chance, regardless how soon it was to the date of the marathon and how much I had to fundraise.

Words cannot express the absolute love, acceptance, joy, sadness and gratefulness that I experienced over those twelve days. I cried every day for weeks afterward. For both myself and for everyone that shared this amazing event with me, and everyone out there who is dealing with arthritis without much of a support group. This trip gave me something that I haven’t truly felt since being diagnosed with RA nearly seven years ago - a support system. I have amazing family and friends, but there are few people who actually “get it”. That will understand the little [and big!] twinges here and there. The constant dull, aching pain that you actually forget about because it’s just a way of life. The days where you can’t or don’t want to get out of bed because it hurts too much. The way that you modify doing something so that you don’t aggravate a tender joint. The ones who never complain because we have come to deal with this disease silently.

I may have gone down as Jason’s hero for the event but I feel that everyone who participated in the event, arthritis or not, became my hero. My life is a million shades brighter having met all of these wonderful people, and sharing the experience with them.

Of course I wish I had never been diagnosed with this disease. That I could run and jump and do all the wonderful things that I did for 22 years prior. That I wouldn't have to evaluate every outing, every activity, and decide how much it will affect how I feel the following days. But let's focus on the silver lining. Without it, over the last seven years I wouldn't have met some of the most amazing people that I have in my life. People who understand me, who inspire me, who comfort me, who push me just enough to keep me going when the going gets a little tough.

If friendship was wealth, I would be swimming in money like Scrooge McDuck.

I posted this here a few days ago. I'm going to start writing more about the "arthritis" side of things over there and link to it publicly, in hopes to keep people informed of what it really is like living with this disease. I'm not looking for sympathy - I'm just looking to spread awareness.
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(no subject) [Nov. 30th, 2011|09:54 pm]
lemon tart
I came across this quote last week while reading an article about the new Muppets movie [seriously, I cannot stress how fantastic this film was!] and I thought it was just delightful:

Kermit the Frog on his co-stars: "An awful lot of the guys aren't that good at what they do. I like to sing but, let's face it, I'm no Frank Sinatra. Miss Piggy is an actress who's not a great actress. Fozzie's not a very funny comedian. Gonzo's a horrible stunt guy who always gets hurt. We are excellent failures. Maybe that's a lesson in and of itself."

So many times I think we get too hung up on being perfect. We don't take into account how our flaws, both big and small, make up such an important part of our personality. I wouldn't say I'm perfectly imperfect - I'm far from it. But I've come to accept that I have a ridiculous sense of humour - the cornier joke the better! That I'm not the coolest kid on the block - but I think that's part of my charm. I'm stubborn to a fault - I hate to ask for help. I can get my back up over things that perhaps wouldn't even phase others.

But that's ME. So many others have all these quirks, too, but no two people will ever share the exact same ones. And that's what makes us all so unique. And hopefully lovable.
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