Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chilly but bright...

I am cold. There is a chill in my bones. It's probably from going outside with slightly damp hair. My attendant this morning rushed, which is unlike her. Usually, she takes her time and is very calm. Maybe my attendant had something on her mind. The weather is pleasant, but slightly windy. The sun is out. Sunshine reminds me that spring is here.

On the news last, I was listening to talk of all the housing foreclosures in the United States. Poor people. Imagine having to walk away from your home? The notion seems so out of my grasp. Where do people go? If we don't have a home, how do we feel safe? My heart goes out to all of the struggling Americans. The Canadian economy is not in good shape, but we are better off than our US neighbours.

I haven't been doing as much reading as I would like. The Shack is still sitting on my kitchen table and I pick it up every other night. It's spiritual and makes me think, but it's not as though I can't put it down.

Mom bought me some mango/peach lotion from the new store Bath And Body Works. I tried it this morning and loved it. Body lotion isn't something I would normally get excited about, but this kind makes me feel good. A little pampering goes a long way.

I am excited to get my new glasses. My view of the world should be much clearer. In such a tumultuous time for everyone, clear vision is a good thing. Things around us might be rough, but by seeing our surroundings, maybe we can put them in a brighter light.

- OCG

Monday, March 30, 2009

Good Monday!

My Monday has been marvelous. I sleep in late every week. My attendant care shedule worked out this way. I like it. Most people dread Monday mornings, but they are my favourite day. Maybe when I get a full-time job, I'll feel differently. I spent the morning on the phone and time passed surprisingly quickly. I realized that there is a funky smell in my apartment. I don't enjoy the smell of air freshener. The scent smells manufactured and fake. Years ago, I bought a box of chai tea and remembered that the smell wafted from the box in the cupboard for months. Chai tea is an Indian flavoured spice tea that smells of cinnamon and cloves. It's sweet and delicious. Coffee is always my first choice of hot beverage but chai tea plays a close second. I like to drink it with Splenda and sometimes milk.



When I came home from visiting my family last night and was hit with the funky odor, I wanted to buy a box of chai tea right away. I love the tea for its taste the the way the smell lingers. At the drugstore, my favourite customer service worker helped me find a box of tea and English muffins on sale. Good help and a good deal counts as a double blessing. I was so happy. I ripped open the box as soon as I got home and drank in the sweet Cinnamon scent. We'll see if the funky odor is replaced by the scent of cinnamon and cloves.

After having dinner with my family, I miss my parents. They want me to come home and pick up my new glasses, but I feel like I should wait until the weekend. Mom doesn't have scheduled shifts at work. They call her when they need her. If I come home and they phone her, she doesn't feel free to work.

We celebrated my sister-in-law's 29th birthday. Seeing everyone was fun. My sister-in law enjoyed herself. Her hair is growing back and looks like a puff. She makes fun of her puff and it makes me crack up. When the Observer was leaving last night, my Dad couldn't find the toque he arrived wearing. After the Observer left, we discovered Riley playing with it. That puppy gets her paws on everything. Just thinking of my sister-in-law's puff of hair and my parents' puppy is bringing a smile to my face. Words that begin with the letter "p" must have positive energy.

- OCG

Sunday, March 29, 2009

An hour...

The rain came. Looking outside watching the droplets hit my balcony ledge is pretty. Rain is calming as long as one is not stuck in it. There were lots of police cars, fire trucks and emergency vehicles with their sirens on this morning. Wet roads cause accidents. Hopefully nothing serious happened. Talking to Dad on the phone this morning, he could hear the sirens in the background and said, "They're coming to get you." I smiled and said, "They come to get someone every twenty minutes around here."



The Observer came to visit me yesterday. He wanted to check his bank information, so we headed to the mall. Somehow we mis-communicated and both ended up at two different machines. Living in such a convenient area is wonderful. Bank machines, drugstores and coffee shops are everywhere. Whatever I need, I can easily acquire. However, there are disadvantages to being surrounded by great abundance. Yesterday I knew the Observer wanted to use an ATM machine affiliated with his bank. I found one and assumed he was there. Little did I know, there are a few of the same machines and he was at a different one. We spent a good amount of time searching for each other before getting in touch on our cell phones and agreeing to meet at home. As a free spirit, getting side-tracked or lost doesn't bother me. I often find new places to hang out this way. However, when getting lost involves losing another person, I get anxious because I know whoever I am with is probably anxious too. The Observer did look worried when I saw him back at my apartment, but we found one another which is what matters.



Over dinner, the Observer and I had a heart-to-heart talk about where our relationship is headed. We agreed that we love each other and our best friends. We agreed to drop the topic of marriage. We didn't really come to any conclusions, but I think communicating is always wise. The Observer listens well. He hears what I say. Maybe one day he will have a wife and children. I hope that, if this is how the future turns out, I can still be in his life and get to see the family he builds. The Observer is my soul mate and I can't imagine not having him in my life somehow. I want him to make his dreams of having a family a reality, even though I don't share the same dream. The most basic meaning of love in my opinion is wanting another person to be happy.



The Observer got hungry later in the evening so we went to the Pickle Barrel. Being the weekend, there was a big line-up but the hostesses recognized us as regular customers and gave us priority seating. Getting around town has its pay-offs. All of Toronto was said to participate in "Earth Hour" an hour to turn off all lights and non-essential technology to perserve electricity. The idea of the city in darkness intrigued me. I love candles and find a bit of darkness comforting. I thought the restaurant would be operating by candlelight. I would have loved that. They only flicked the lights off right at the start of Earth Hour for a few minutes. I was disappointed but seeing the Observer's big, shinny, bald head glowing in red lightening made me laugh. I forgot about the restaurant's lack of participation in the Earth Hour and smiled. No one has a head like the Observer. Even in the dark, he shines.

- OCG

Saturday, March 28, 2009

TV lessons...

I spent last night catching up on Grey's Anatomy and ER. I only have a few favourite shows and those two take the cake. Whenever I can, I try to stay up to date. One of the shows usually brings me to tears. Since both deal with medical crisis and raw emotion, I suppose the shows are aiming to pull at the heartstrings. Health problems can affect anyone at any time. We can all relate to struggles of our own or people we love at some point. Maybe that's why I enjoy Grey's Anatomy and ER. They are dramas, but their main plots are quite realistic. True, there is lots of heat, conflict, and heartache, but it keeps the shows balanced. If all episodes were full of tragedy alone, I don't think they would be as popular. Life is a mixture of happy and sad, calmness and drama, love and conflict, and reality and fiction. We need contrasts to balance out each day.



In the most recent episode Grey's Anatomy, an old woman who was near the end of life kept pulling through. After years of narrowly escaping death, her family was getting tired of racing to her deathbed only to watch her come back to life. As the old lady once again walked the line between living and dying, her family bluntly said they wanted her to let go so they could move on. Doctors treating her thought the woman's family lacked compassion.



In her family's defense, the dying woman said,"They have waited so long and always come back." They are my people and people are better than no people." When the woman finally passed, her once impatient and anxious family was devastated to say goodbye.



Grey's Anatomy made me think. The notion that, "People are better than no people" is true. Everyone needs people around them, especially at the beginning and end of life. Sometimes we think we want something major to happen, but when it does, we are hit with unexpected sadness. It's impossible to predict how we will feel about a major event like death of a loved one until the time comes. Maybe it's part of life's mysteries and this keeps us going.



This morning I listened to my attendant tell me all about what is on her mind. She unloads her feelings every Saturday. I listen. Being in a rush, I was tempted to say so, but realized I wasn't too short on minutes. My attendant talks fast and I don't always understand what she's saying, but it's OK. I have a hunch just being there helps her talk. After all, I am a person and my ears are better than no ears.

- OCG

Friday, March 27, 2009

I am grateful for...

* Being needed by my friends

* My new orange hairbrush

* Living close to the center of the city

* Red peppers

* The song Beautiful U R by Deborah Cox

* Discovering the "Sleep" button on my TV

* The way the Observer is such a social, larger-than-life guy

* Being able to go home and see my family

* Feeling clean after a good shower

* My box of Splenda

* Having a routine each day that makes me happy

* No longer needed to wear a winter coat or mittens

* Coffee!!!!!!!!!

* Having the money to buy the sausage roll I ate today.

- OCG

Sunshine, sausage rolls, and a quiet night...

It's a beautiful day outside. The sun is shinning and the weather is right. Plus, it's Friday and isn't that always a good thing?



I woke up this morning, looked outside and smiled. You know how we just know it'll be a good day before it even starts? Since yesterday turned out a bit crummy, I am especially glad today has been better. The weather is too spring-like not to be outdoors, so I decided to wheel down to the St. Lawrence Market. Last night I went but they were closed. I wanted to buy bagels for Mom and Dad. I couldn't find the kiosk a few weeks ago. Today I realized that it was right in front of me. Part of being human is overlooking what is right in front of us. I don't know why that happens, but it binds everyone and is humbling. Maybe we are used to life being complicated.

The St. Lawrence Market was busy because I stopped by at lunch. Lots of people go for a quick bite. I browsed through the fresh produce, but realized I really didn't need any fruit or vegetables. My eye caught a European themed stand selling homemade pastries. I saw they had sausage rolls and had to buy one. The Observer's Mom makes the best sausage rolls in the world. I wanted to see how these ones stacked up. The one I ate was flaky with little bits of sausage around slightly greasy pastry. The meat wasn't salty, which disappointed me. Since I rarely eat pork or beef, I like it to have strong flavour. The meat was bland, but the pastry was okay. Nothing compares to the sausage rolls made by the Observer's Mom. Hers are more like a fresh, light bun with hunks of salty olives and meat inside. There is no flaky, greasy pastry because a sausage roll ought to taste like a carbohydrate with meat. I'd give the sausage roll I ate today three out of five stars and the Observer's mother's six stars. There is nothing like homemade food made with a mother's love. That said, it's good to taste a little competition. The man who sold me the sausage roll was kind and helpful. I was glad that I gave him a bit of business.

Tonight my plan was to have coffee with a friend close to my apartment. She cancelled not long ago. She was worried that I be mad at her. How can I be? I've had to cancel on her before. Things happen. I am disappointed. It would have been fun, but I am going to read and watch TV instead. I'm slowly getting through The Shack. The beginning was good, but I got a bit bored. Like most people, if I'm really into a novel, I can finish it quickly. The Shack lost me somewhere, but I still want to see how the story ends. Sometimes trudging through a book pays off since the ending can be better than expected. It's a bit similar to persevering through the long, cold winter and being rewarded with great weather like we have today. The sun has to come out eventually regardless of how many storms come before its arrival.

- OCG

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Enjoying life while we're here...

I'm tired today. I feel a bit spacey. My body is craving sweet and salty foods. Maybe I just want to eat junk. This morning I didn't feel like doing much. I watched taped episodes of Oprah. There was a show talking about secrets to living longer. They mentioned calorie restriction as a way to increase longevity. People eat the bare minimum and only natural foods. While I think it's great that science can proof that eating less leads to living longer, who wants to live to a hundred years old and constantly be hungry? When I am hungry, I can't focus on anything but food. If I were eating only enough to sustain me, wouldn't this make me obsessed with food? I'm all for healthy eating and living well, but the whole idea of calorie restriction seems a bit extreme. Lately I have been trying to remember not to knock something until I've tried it, but I don't know if I'll be practicing such sparse eating.

I miss my Mom today. I feel like going to see her and having company. The Observer is working late tonight. We talked this morning and I was a bit short with him. (Sorry Observer.) We have some weddings coming up that should be fun. Spring and summer are popular seasons to tie the knot.

I am going to stretch with my physiotherapist later, so maybe that will brighten me up. Seeing him is healthy for my body and he's a good friend. Keeping my body in the best condition possible is important to me. That said, I think eating with some freedom matters. After all, we're here for a good time, not a long time, so what's the harm in the odd piece of cake?

- OCG

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Listening over coffee...

Today has been a good one. If you know me, you know that any good day begins with waking up and drinking top notch coffee. The person who made it for me always makes the best java. She must take her coffee seriously just like me. Feeling awake, I called the Observer at work. I know he's always busy, but last night he didn't call to say goodnight as he usually does. I told him that, " I wanted to make sure he was still alive." I was joking, but did want to check in. As I thought, he fell asleep and didn't hear the phone. I'm glad that I didn't wake him up. After breakfast I stopped into the drugstore to pick up medication. The customer service desk was very helpful. I have dealt with the same guy many times and he's always more than willing to see that I get what I need. Good service makes such a difference.


I had coffee with a friend later in the day. On my way to meet her, the sky looked grey, but the rain held off. I'm grateful when the rain waits until evening. I was late arriving at the coffee shop. My friend thought I stood her up. It felt awful to hear that. If I ever stand someone up without cancelling ahead, it would be because of some emergency like an accident, illness, or the crisis of a family member or friend. Never would I leave someone waiting for me without calling to explain or update. Hopefully all of my friends know that I am not a baler.



Once I found my friend, she seemed so pleased and relieved to see me which made me feel important. It's been a while since we have seen each other. Somewhere inside, I had a hunch that she may need a friend. The last time we chatted, I learned that my friend's father needs surgery to remove a brain tumor. He's had surgery before, but I am amusing the tumour grew back. Understandably, my friend is very worried about her father. She's been stressed out and emotional and admitted to needing a good listener. Hopefully my ears did their job. Listening isn't always as easy as we think. There is temptation to interrupt, talk about oneself and give advice. Admittedly, I probably did some of that today, but I was glad we saw each other. Listening to a friend feels productive. My friend told me that she has few peers to talk to. I am sad for her. Every one needs at least one five-star friend and maybe one or two to fill in the gaps. At the end of our visit, I told my friend that I am praying for her and to call me anytime. Hopefully, she knows I mean it. We hugged a tight hug that we both needed.



The friend I saw today is my second friend whose parent is having major surgery. In two weeks, my best friend's Mom is having a mass removed. I am worried for both of my friend's families. They are so concerned. After my Mom's heart attack, I know how earth shattering any health scare involving a parent is. As our families age, we are experiencing health crisis more frequently. The complications of parents getting older is bittersweet. On one hand, we are lucky that our parents are alive to enjoy each day, but on the hand, it's hard to watch those we love struggle with health issues. It's a blessing that we can help and relate to one and another. I feel for my sweet friends.



Checking my machine after coming home, there was a message from Dad saying he was thinking of me. Dad ate the bread I just brought home and wanted to tell me that it was tasty. Hearing his voice, I was grateful for his good health. Before sleep tonight, I will pray for both of my friends as they anxiously wait for their parents to have surgery. After that, I will thank Mother Nature for holding off the rain. Lastly, I will thank God for my wonderful Dad who is healthy and likes the spelt bread I pondered over buying at the grocery store. Life can be complex, stressful and heartbreaking. Somehow though, simple things remind us that life will provide what we need. Sometimes it's as basic as a good loaf of bread.

- OCG

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Home for a tune-up...

Well, it's deceptively cold again. Maybe mother nature is making sure that we really want winter to be over. I haven't been able to warm up since yesterday. There's been a chill in my bones. I had an appointment in the afternoon that was worthwhile. My bus connections worked well, which is always a bonus. After my appointment I met the Observer at a mall near his work. It's been a while since I have visited that mall, so it was a refreshing change. Seeing the Observer was fun. I think he is getting a cold. He looks tired and he has been sneezing. Hopefully I am wrong. Once I got to my parents' house, we watched Dancing With The Stars. It's Mom's favourite show. Being the first time I watched an episode, most of the contenders are new to me, except Denise Richards and Jewel's husband, Ty. Denise is no natural dancer, but Ty had flare. I enjoyed watching Dancing With The Stars with Mom.

This morning I had a pelvic ultrasound. If you've had one, you know that drinking eight glasses of water is a prerequisite. Luckily I have a bladder of steal and held all the water with no trouble. I appreciated Mom being there to help me get on and off the exam table. Most women know the drill with pelvic ultrasounds.

Mom and I went to our favourite local restaurant for salads at lunch. My standard order is warm chicken salad, but today I felt like topping my greens with steak. I'm glad I did, as my body seemed to crave beef. I rarely eat steak, but when a craving hits, I honour it.

After lunch, Mom took me to the eye doctor for a check-up and a prescription for a new pair of glasses. My vision has changed slightly. The glasses I have now are so badly scratched I could barely see out of one eye. I guess I'm getting more subdued, because I couldn't be bothered to fix them for a while. I ordered a new pair of glasses that are similar to the ones I have, but are slightly more fitted. I'm happy with my choice and can't wait to see the world clearly out of both eyes.

I was sad to leave home because I had such a pleasant time with Mom. Hopefully all the running around didn't tire her out too much. I told her that she ages like an apple. She stays shiny and smooth with time. Dad, on the other hand, ages like a prune, getting shriveled and wrinkly as the years go by. Genetically, I take after Dad. With all of my intestinal troubles, I guess it only makes sense that I resemble a prune as an old lady. I've eaten many in my day. They say you are what you eat. I think I am in trouble.

- OCG

Monday, March 23, 2009

Missing mittens...

My hands are thawing out. This morning I made a silly decision not to wear mittens. I didn't think it was that cold. I was wrong. Early mornings are usually the coldest times of the day. I should have known. My hands turned red very quickly. It's been a while since they've been so chilly. I smartened up for most of the winter and asked for help putting on my mittens. Sometimes being assertive matters. I'm learning to speak up as I get older. Numb, red, freezing hands aren't worth it.

The Observer and I saw I Love You Man yesterday. It was funny. There are a whole group of popular comedies with the same type of cast and plot.. The movie is about a newly engaged guy who lacks friends and needs to find some before his wedding. The idea of two guys hanging out and NOT being gay comes up often. It's an issue our diverse society seems to struggle with. I left the movie reminded that we all need friends of the same gender, because it's important to be able to relate to someone on an easy, peer-like level to relieve stress and find things in common. I Love You Man was light-hearted and made me smile. The Observer often tells friends he loves them. He's affectionate and very open with his feelings. When he tells a friend of ours he loves him, our friend says, "I love you too buddy, in a manly sort of way." Maybe they should start saying, "I love you man."

Lately, I've been exhausted. My sleep has been deep. I was drained yesterday and very hungry. During the movie, the Observer worked hard to retrieve crackers from my backpack. After he got them out, I dropped them on the floor. He must have wanted to scream, but thankfully they weren't open. Since the Observer worked so hard to pass me my crackers, I felt compelled to eat them all. I was full, but appreciated his help. My body is demanding attention. I am going home to visit my family today. The loaf of bread I bought is with me, so at least I'm not so tired that I forgot it in the freezer. I did overlook mittens, but who gets everything right all the time?

- OCG

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunshine on a Sunday...

It's a beautiful, bright day. I think it was Easter this time last year. I remember thinking the holiday came pretty early. Easter falls right in the middle of April this year which will feel more like spring. I'm a big Easter fan. Who doesn't love all the speciality Easter eggs? I saw Cadbury Cream eggs at the drugstore today. The gooey, yellow, sticky yolk in the middle is my favourite part because it reminds me of a real egg. What real egg is chocolate? I know it's silly.



Yesterday the Observer came over. We ran a few local errands. I bought some healthy, organic snacks and some bread for my parents. The bread is preservative-free so it is in the freezer until I go home tomorrow. Hopefully I won't forget it's there. In the grocery store, I was beside a woman who couldn't speak English very well. She bought a bunch of bananas, but when the cashier asked if they were hers, she didn't answer. The cashier put the bananas with another customer's groceries until she was corrected. The cashier got upset with the banana buyer, but I don't even know if the woman card. When we don't understand a language, I suppose we have other stresses besides bananas. There's always some type of drama in my grocery store. It's a big city...



Later in the day, the Observer and I decided to go to the mall. We ended up on opposite ends of the street but still heading towards the mall. The Observer was confronted with an eccentric looking street goer who muttered some kind of strange remark. No sooner had the Observer bypassed that person when he found himself face-to-face with the brown-strained rump of a dirty, scummy, homeless dude. Looking over at the Observer on the other end of the street, I couldn't stop laughing at him trying to navigate around the city's craziness. Sometimes we all end up on the wrong side of the tracks.



This morning I headed to the mall. It was quiet. Sunday mornings at the mall are peaceful. I did see two rough looking teenagers of the opposite sex almost duke it out right in the middle of the mall. I was surprised by how brazen the guy was and how unfazed the girl appeared to be by the direct threats. What's up with youth these days? It was a public place where lots of parents were shopping with their kids. I bought an orange hairbrush, two tubes of toothpaste infused with baking soda and conditioner. The trip was productive and cleared my head.

The Observer gave me a copy of U2's newest album No Line On The Horizon. The stuff I've heard is impressive. It's typical, upbeat U2. There's something comforting about their greatness - kind of like the Observer. *Thanks Observer!*

I hope it's sunny in your corner of the world!

- OCG

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Turning around, Union, and night confusion...

I wanted to go to the St. Lawrence Market yesterday to buy bread and bagels for my family. Half-way there, my hands got too cold and I started to shiver. Many times this winter I have braved the temperatures because I had no other choice. A girl has to travel, right? Knowing that I would be out for a few times before the day was out, I chose to cut my loses and head home. I am glad I did, because I ran into the sweet superintendent in my building. After telling her about the stubborn who have built a nest and now layed an egg, she stopped by and sized up the situation. A company is going to solve the problem. The superintendent stayed and talked for a bit. She made my day. I am so glad decided not to freeze at the St. Lawrence market. I would have missed the chance to visit with my sweet superintendent. She is my neighbour, so I often see her in passing, but we rarely have the chance to exchange anything other pleasantries. Our talk was a great way to start my day. I learned that if we are doubting something, we are doing, changing courses is helpful as there may be a better option waiting.



The superintendent told me that if it were up to her, she'd let the pigeon egg hatch. Seeing a little pigeon family on my balcony every day would be sweet, but they make a mess. Once I allow them to stay, the pigeon family would be back year after year. Is that fair to my building and neighbours? I hate killing a pigeon egg, but what can I do?


Last night I met my friend at Union Station for our ritual chat, vegetarian sandwich and coffee. This week felt like it has been a long one, so chatting felt therapeutic. There's nothing like a good girl talk to put a little perspective on life. The trip to Union was chilly. My extreme ties felt numb from the cold for a bit. The heat must have been on high because I could feel warm air blasting in my face, but because I was so cold, it didn't bother me. I was hungry. As soon as I ate dinner, my mood brightened. Having missed my mid-day coffee, I was feeling groggy from caffeine withdrawal. I must have asked my friend if she was ready for coffee three times. Second Cup was out of butter pecan flavoured coffee, so I opted for hazelnut cream. I enjoyed it.



Every night an attendant comes to help me turn over in bed. Shifting positions is essential for a good sleep and to prevent getting stiff. At four o'clock in the morning, I heard my door open and a short person wearing a hood walked into my bedroom. For a second, I got scared. The attendant who helped me earlier in the evening wasn't wearing a hood. Fear ran through me as my first instinct was that there was now myself and some thug in my bedroom in the middle of the night. I stayed quiet, not knowing what to do. Soon I realized it was my usual attendant but with a hood. The places my mood go at night are puzzling. Telling her of my confusion, we both laughed. She wondered why I didn't say hello. Though I am a bit embarrassed, the incident makes me smile. Anything that can bring humou can't be be bad.

- OCG

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Teacher...

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO of a large company, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about teachers: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." To stress his point he said to another guest; "You're a teacher, Bonnie. Be honest. What do you make?"

Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make?" (She paused for a second, then began...)

"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like a Medal of Honour. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental. You want to know what I make?" (She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.)

''I make kids wonder. I make them ask questions. I make them apologize and mean it. I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions. I teach them to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn't everything. I make them read, read, read. I make them show all their work in math. They use their God given brain, not the man-made calculator.

I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity. I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

I make my students stand and sing O Canada every morning, because we live in this great country called Canada. Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life."
(Bonnie paused one last time and then continued.)

"Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant... You want to know what I make? I MAKE A DIFFERENCE. What do you make Mr. CEO?"

Forgiving what I can't understand...

It's cold out today. Where is spring? It's a deceptively sunny day outside. Looking out, one might think it's warm, but after a few minutes outside, the harsh cold hits. The wind is chilling, especially heading towards it. Yesterday was my Grandma's birthday. She turned seventy. The plan was for my parents, my siblings and myself to visit her with a cake and presents. Mom worked all day and made grandma's favourite angel food cake with whipped cream and bananas. I made it home at the same time as Mom. After calling Grandma to let her know we were on the way, Grandma said "Tonight (then) wasn't convenient." We planned to visit a long time ago. Grandma and my uncles were all for it. What happened?

My Mom hung up and started crying. I was sad and angry. A short while later, my uncle called. I answered the phone. He had all these excuses for why we shouldn't come. Whatever. He said tomorrow would be better. I asked him to tell my Grandma how sorry I was that I couldn't see her. I sounded short, so he hung up quickly. I'm glad. I had nothing nice to say.

I love my Grandmother. I'm sorry I can't see her more. She's always saying that she misses me. I miss her too. I wish she knew how we all cleared our schedules, because she matters. She pushes love away and that makes me sad. I'm sorry for Mom who tried to reach out, but I hope she knows that it's not about her.

Last night was still a fun night. I saw my family, got my stomach troubles sorted, ate a salmon dinner and three pieces of angel food cake, and was there for Mom.

I'm not my seventy-year old Grandma. I can't understand her, so I forgive her. Hopefully I'll see her soon.

- OCG

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A night at the circus...

Well, I learned not to knock something until we try it. I was pleasantly surprised by the Britney Spears concert last night. It was quite the show.

The opening act was the Pussycat Dolls. We missed their introduction while getting free vegetarian pizza from a family friend of the Observer. That guy ha sweet connections wherever he goes. The Observer's friend was supper sweet and helpful. Knowing where she was ahead of time and that we needed to leave the show to find her and get food, I figured it was better to miss a bit of the Pussycat Dolls instead of Britney. Hopefully the Observer agreed. We still saw their last two songs which are big hits right now. I'm not a big fan of the Pussycat Dolls, but they do know how to dance and entertain. Their music made me happy and that says something.

The Circus Tour started with a videoed introduction by celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. Given that he lives to trash famous people and seems fascinated by Britney's dysfunctional life, his role was fittingly ironic. The crowd went crazy when Britney came on stage and the lighting was amazing. It quickly became clear that the show was meant to mirror the ups and down of Britney's tumultous career. Being that the tour was called Circus, I guess I should have known there would be some theatrics. Funky performers and dancers with colourful, elaborate costumes kept my attention. Free-style dancers and bollywood type artists added flare. Being my first pop concert, I was impressed with the variety of music and versatility of performers. Britney herself was okay, but it was the entire show that I enjoyed most. I paid more attention to the crew and back-up dancers than Britney. The Observer was cheering at the top of his lungs. Seeing him so excited was the highlight of the night for me. The Observer knows how to enjoy himself and his free spirit rubs off on me. His yelling and hooting made me crack up.

I had a great night. The show was definitely impressive. Britney complimented her act by sharing the spotlight. I learned that I am not be a huge pop music fan, but creativity can make a great performance. I am glad I got to see Britney's show with her biggest fan. Sometimes it doesn't matter as much what we are doing - it matters who we are with.

- OCG

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Freedom to be...

Today really does feel like spring is around the corner. The thought makes me very happy. Everything is brighter and more alive - or maybe I feel that way. Whatever the reason, I'll take it. Last night I went to bed wearing a short-sleeved shirt and didn't even need my usual fleecy, green blanket. That's a good sign.

I watched a taped documentary that aired on Saturday about how children are no longer encouraged to play freely and independently. Their time and energy is so structured that the freedom to be kids without expectation is being threatened. The documentary talked about how parents don't trust that their children can play safely outdoors. To compensate, they sign their children up for all sorts of teams and classes. While doing so keeps their children active, structured activities don't offer kids the problem solving, exploration, and confidence of free play. Psychologists talked about how parents cram their kids days with activities and cart them from one commitment to the other. Experts called this "hyper parenting." Moms and Dads who fall into this category have good intentions but run the risk of putting too much pressure on themselves and their children to perform. Rates of anxiety and depression among little people have increased as their schedules have become packed. Isn't that scary and sad?

The idea that technology allows parents to track their children's every move was highlighted as a modern disadvantage. Aren't we losing something by watching our children when they are off being interdependent? Who can parents trust if they can't trust their own children? Isn't their growth in dealing with a little risk each day? An anthropologist questioned what happens to a baby who never learns how to pick himself up when he loses his balance and falls to the ground? What kind of society are we becoming if we are not allowed to experience the joy of freedom as children? If we can't be free as kids, when can we be free?

I understand how scary the world can seem. Bad things happen every day. I'm not a mother, but if I was, I'd want to protect my child as best as possible. I'd probably be guilty of "hyper-parenting" myself. After watching the documentary, I realized the value of letting go and having fun. Tonight the Observer and I are going to see Britney Spears in concert. The show is Christmas gift. The Observer LOVES Britney Spears and also the Pussycat Dolls who are the opening act. I know the Observer will cheer, yell and hoot. Though I am shy to show excitement in public, I hope the Observer feels comfortable to be himself. We all need to be free sometimes, no matter how old we are. Tonight will be the Observer's third time seeing Britney. He's probably going thinking, "Hit me baby, one more time."

- OCG

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!

You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don' t
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So...
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

- Dr. Seuss

Hallow pits on St. Patrick's Day...

There are pigeons building a nest on my apartment balcony. The birds get busy every spring. Pigeons are cute and all, but they are also REALLY messy. Their droppings make a big, gross mess and it's supposed to be really toxic to humans. That's not cool. I need to tell my superintendent before there are little pigeons everywhere. I better do something about their nest soon. Looking out my window last week, I noticed a brown pigeons holding a little tree branch, so I had a feeling they were nesting. Every living creature deserves a home, but not on my balcony.

The weather is gorgeous today. It's sunny and warm. People are wearing spring coats. I'm wearing my pink vest and a green shirt in honour of St. Patrick's Day. The streets didn't appear any "greener" than usual, but it's still early. Serious drinking is for the evening.


I am off to buy a hairbrush. The one I have does little to untangle my thick mass of hair. It does brush, but not work out the knots. I need a top-of-the-line brush to really straighten my head out. Actually, people have been trying to "straighten me out" for years with no luck. It's unlikely a brush will do it, but it's worth a try....

My arm-pits are oddly deep. They are concave and hallo. Lots of people comment on how deep they are. After doing research, I learned that my armpits are deep because I don't move my arms the same way most do. I must use my arms differently because of my disability. I want them to look more natural, to be higher and more muscular. To make this happen, I need to make a conscious effort to stretch and tone my arms every day. Upon discussing my plan with an attendant, I lifted my arm and sang, "I am woman, I am strong." It was funny. I am determined to normalize my armpits. I am not be straight in the head, but at least I will have a solid hairbrush and can work on straitening my armpits.

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

- OCG

Monday, March 16, 2009

Home to ponder wedding invitations...

I stayed overnight at my parents' house last night. Mom liked her birthday gifts. I'm glad as she is a tough person to shop for. If Mom wants something, she'll buy it. Her taste is distinctive. Mom knows what she likes. Besides an itunes card from me, Mom got a white, classic nightgown from my sister. It looks like Mom's style. My sister knows Mom's taste a little better than me. My brother gave her a voucher for a manicure and pedicure and my twin got her a gift card to her favourite local restaurant. All in all, Mom scored some pretty top-notch loot. A top-notch lady deserves top notch gifts, I suppose.

On my way home, I had a snippet of time to kill between catching buses, so I picked up a yellow rose for Mom. The girl working at the flower kiosk reminded me of one of the Observer's good friends from work. She had a funky, young, rocker-type edge, but looked innocent at the same time. She helped me pick just the right rose and spent a lot of time ensuring it looked perfect. Only good people make that kind of effort. I said thank you and meant it.

My sister and her fiancee showed my family ideas for their wedding invitations. One looked like a cartoon of a bride and groom. I think they were going for a cute, funny look, but to me, the picture looked hooky. I concealed my dislike, but I think they knew how I felt when I said, "Is this your final decision?" Being a thrifty woman myself, my brother and law to be said I'd approve of the price. I said being economical is important, but we only get married once. The observer thinks most people don't pay much attention to wedding invitations. He's right, but it's not that hard to match two colours, a classic font and compose a short invitation. No graphics are necessary. The invitation looked like a joke. Marriage is no joke. I didn't say much, but my parents knew I wasn't impressed. Mom says their most recent consideration is worse than the picture of the bride and groom....uh oh. I will stay quiet. It's not my wedding, but why did the invitations I say bother me so much? I'm all for being economical, but not for looking cheap. There's a line and when we are talking about the most important day of one's life, it's best not to cross into the land of obvious penny pinching. Who isn't cost conscious when it comes to wedding, but we don't need proof that the price of something motivated you over everything else. I'm cheap, but I don't like people to see proof that I am.

Today I chatted with Mom over coffee and loads of snacks. I have missed her. I told her that, if I ever have to chose an inviation for an important event, I hope she will tell me if it looks silly in a hooky sense. She said yes. I believe her. The lady's got style. So does my sister, but where is it now?


- OCG

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Have a little faith...

It's a beautiful day outside. The sun is shinning and spring is in the air. Life is good. There is a St. Patrick's Day parade on the streets. People are wearing long, leprechaun, goofy green hats. There is a marching band, fire trucks and police cars cramming the streets. I had to push my way through the crowds just like all the other city goers. The only difference is that people were slightly more understanding towards me because I get around on four wheels instead of two legs. I've never been a huge part-taker of St. Patrick's Day festivities. I'm not a big drinker, but I like how the day brings people together to have fun. McDonald's has a green shamrock milkshake every St. Patrick's Day. Growing up, I tried them a few times and loved them. I go crazy for most things mint. If I happen to be close to a McDonald's this week, I may celebrate with a green milkshake. They are only around once a year, so why not?

The Observer came to visit yesterday. My intestinal troubles were solved shortly after he arrived. He must be a good luck charm. Being a bright day, we decided to go for a quick shopping trip to the mall. I picked up an itunes card for my Mom and a card. The Observer had to buy rye for a friend's birthday gift. He was worried when he learned that he bought a different type of rye than his friend usually drinks. I told him that, when people want to drink, they aren't too picky. He's a good friend. We went to the drugstore on our way home. The Observer needed body wash and I needed a card. I saw the Observer buy Cadbury mini eggs - my favourite Easter treat. I love those crunchy, coated, chocolate eggs so much that it could almost be classed as an addiction. The sight of mini eggs makes my heart beat faster....seriously. Once home, the Observer gave me eggs and a box of Splenda, my other guilty pleasure. In October, he bought me a large box and instinctively knew I was out. What a guy....



When dinner-time came, I knew the Observer felt like going to a restaurant. He loves the Pickle Barrel. I was fixated on having a vegetarian sub. I was determined to have the same dinner two days in a row. It's weird, I'll admit. We argued because I wanted the Observer to go ahead and reserve a table while I quickly ate my sub. After much tension, that's exactly what I did. The whole time I ate, I felt guilty for being so stubborn. I almost choked on my sub and thought to myself, "Serves you right, you anal witch."


Once at the restaurant, I found the Observer at the back waiting to eat. We resolved our issues. Starving as he was, he was still pretty understanding. The Observer ordered mini hamburgers to start, pasta that came with salad and a milkshake. He was too full to finish his pasta and milkshake, so I ate all his left-overs. All that disputing and I might as well have had dinner with the Observer. Sometimes, I am too complex, even for me.

I saw my attendant who prayed that I would have a bowel movement. I told her that her prayers worked. She smiled and told me that I would have found relief anyway. Maybe so, but a complicated girl like me has to believe in the power of a little faith.


- OCG

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Half a dozen, bagels, friendship and faith...

It's a sunny Saturday. I am feeling rested. I was exhausted when I got home from Union Station. The place was packed. Being Friday, I guess travellers were anxious to get out of the city. Before meeting my friend, I went back to the St. Lawrence Market to pick up bread for my family. There is a little kiosk that sells bread and bagels that Mom and Dad love. On Wednesday, they only had a half a dozen of whole wheat and multi grain bread and bagels left, so I wanted to go back and buy more. I learned that there is a reason shoppers head to the market early. Again, the kiosk only had a combination of half a dozen whole wheat bagels and bread. I took what was left and picked up some crusty, fresh preservative-free bread. I didn't buy from the same kiosk because I couldn't find it and was short on time. Hopefully my parents will be OK with the bread and bagels I bought. Part of me feels that anything sold at the market is healthy because it's fresh and less processed, but maybe I am wrong.


Rushing to get to my bus, I had to ask a sweet looking couple the way out. They had the same kind faces my parents do. I looked at them and missed Mom and Dad. Thanking the couple for their help, I felt lucky to have met them and wanted to say so. As I went on my way, they told me to "Keep warm and be safe." That's something my parents would say to someone they met on the street.



I was a little late getting to Union Station. My friend is always early for all the plans we make. It's just her way. I asked her how long she had been waiting. She told me half an hour, but I think it was longer. We chatted in the arrival area and watched people make their way from the trains to the street. Our ritual is to eat vegetarian sandwiches and have coffee. Union Station Second Cup often sells butter pecan flavoured coffee. It's my favourite flavoured coffee and is hard to find. I was in luck yesterday. Finding a place to sit is challenging.The train station is for moving not hanging out. A few weeks ago, we found an area with tables, which was a sweet score. I told my friend to hold our table while I checked out which coffees were available. Once I saw butter pecan, I got excited and bought my coffee. As soon as I had it in my possession, I knocked the cup and it spattered everywhere. The shop was kind and didn't charge me for another coffee. Sensing trouble, my friend came to see if I was OK. Both her and the Observer have a strong sense of when I need help. They often know I need help before I do. I can't think of a better quality for my loved ones to have. Hopefully I know them as well as they know me.

My stomach is being very stubborn. It won't cooperate. I am loaded up on laxatives, so I hope they work soon. This morning I asked my attendant to pray that my intestines listen to their cues soon. Praying for a bowel movement sounds strange but I am getting desperate. Her prayer was clear, focused and heart-felt. I couldn't have prayed with such conviction if I tried. I'm glad I called on her faith. She was happy to help. When medicine and health are involved, we can't force things to happen,even if we try. Sometimes all we have is faith. My prayer will hopefully result in a plugged toilet. It's a minor household issue that makes me proud.

- OCG

Friday, March 13, 2009

A stubborn chill...

I am freezing. My hands feel icy and my skin has a funky purple tinge. Outside is cold again. The sun is shinning, so you wouldn't know how cold it is unless you're out. I went to bed wearing a short-sleeved pajama top and long bottoms, which was probably my mistake. Sleeping was allusive. Our bodies must have a hard time relaxing when we're cold. I watched Party Of Five, Scrubs and Frasier in syndication and a bit of the food network into the wee hours of the morning. My bedroom TV sure breaks up the night.

I have to pick-up more bagels for my family at the St. Lawrence Market today. There were only six pumpernickel left the other day. Mom told me that Dad takes two for his lunch, so he must be just about out. Hopefully it's not going to be too cold of a trek. My mittens are coming back into use. I wish I didn't need them, but at least the latter half of winter is over.

Tonight I am meeting a friend at Union Station. I'm looking forward to seeing her. Union Station is always a fun, exciting place, especially with her around to keep me company. Only close, chatting friends could find joy in sitting at a train station for hours.

The Observer's parents come home from Italy today. He dreaded them leaving, but has done well flying solo. I am proud of him. I hope he knows just how independent he can be when he must be. The Observer's extended family really stepped up by cooking, visiting, cleaning and being helpful. He is a lucky guy.

I am dreading going outside in the cold again. there is still a chill going through my bones. Maybe I am cold because I have less hair. after having it washed and styled this morning, I realize how short it is. I am a bit sad, but I'll get used to my new haircut. Maybe the weather will warm up by the time I do, so I won't miss my long locks as much.

- OCG

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

I got my hair cut today. I decided to try out a new place right downtown. It's impossible to wash my hair when I go by myself since I can't sit in the hairdressing chair. I asked if I could receive a discount, but the woman said no. It was worth a try. She was soft-spoken and kind, which was an advantage. I tend to get a bit nervous when it comes to my hair. Once it's cut, we can't change our minds. I asked the hairdresser to chop about three inches off. I'm nervous that my hair is too short now. It's still long enough to put back in a ponytail, so that's a good sign. When I got home, I asked a hair savvy attendant to size up the damage. She said the cut was a bit uneven, but it looked OK. Hopefully, my attendant wasn't just saying so to prevent me from freaking out. If someone asked me my opinion on their haircut and it didn't look good, I'd have a tough time being honest. How can you tell someone that his or her haircut looks awful?

My hair was needing a touch-up. It was long and straggly. I feel better just knowing that it looks tidier, but we'll see how I react when it's down. Hair grows back, right? Many people have bigger things to worry about, so I guess I need to be grateful for a haircut, even if it is uneven and too short. The Observer is lucky. He's bald. I always tell him that I got some of the hair he was meant to have. Hopefully I can't still say that.

Today is my Mom's birthday. I realized too late that I should have made plans to see her. I miss her.

Happy Birthday Mom. I love you.

She doesn't read my blog, but I can't not say happy birthday in writing. Birthdays are special and my moms warrants celebrating.

- OCG

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Freedom rules...

My wheelchair was busted yesterday. It froze. I was going nowhere fast. The second I couldn't move, I called the repair company. I assumed my situation would be seen as a priority. Not so. The woman in the service department wasn't very compassionate and told me that the technicians were swamped with calls. That's not the response I was hoping for. Without my electric wheelchair, I am dependant on my attendants to push me around. The lack of freedom sucks. The lady I spoke to didn't seem to understand my predicament or didn't care. I have dealt with her before as three times this month I have had troubles , so I should have expected her attitude. When something as essential as wheelchair breaks, the last thing I feel like dealing with is a lady who acts like something is pinching her. However, she has stayed constantly rude each time we have talked. With all the bad luck involving my wheelchair, the rude woman really got to me. She was nasty to me and I gave it right back to her. I don't like behaving this way, but sometimes I have no choice. A pinch for a pinch, I say.



I had an important appointment yesterday. Luckily, I was still able to make it in my manual wheelchair. Bus drivers and my attendants were very helpful when it came to making sure I had what I needed and got where I needed to go. People step up when they see I am in a spot. Being stranded at the kitchen table for the first half of the day, I listened to the radio and made calls. After my appointment while waiting for the bus, I started reading The Shack by William P. Young. I got sucked into the story. It's about a father dealing with the murder of his little girl. In his grief, he comes to some insightful conclusions about God, faith and needing to believe in a higher power.



A repairman came early today and put a new controller on my wheelchair. I am free to roam. I went to the St. Lawerence Market and picked up mustard and bagels for my parents and a tea cozy for my Grandma. I enjoyed the trip, even though it was a bit windy. I felt a inkling to come home as my bladder was full. I made it just in time to greet Dad who stopped by for a nap, dinner, and a chat. Maybe our bodies give us physical messages, so we won't miss other opportunities. If I didn't have to pee, I might have missed being home to greet Dad. Yesterday was frustrating, but today made up for it. I love being able to roam the streets. Freedom is beautiful, especially on good days when the sun is shinning and I can buy treats for my family. Life doesn't get much better.



- OCG

Monday, March 09, 2009

Life takes Visa...

What are you waiting for? A written invitation to participate in life? Well, you have one. It's called a birth certificate. So, what does life take? Life takes ambition and practice. It takes luck. Life takes tradition. It takes exploration and wonder. It takes confidence and respect. It takes determination and talent. It takes risk and joy. Life takes spontaneity. It also takes a little help. That's where we come in, to give you the freedom to experience life the way you want. So go on, live life, and remember that no matter what it takes, life takes Visa.

Poking...

Have you ever eaten a bowl of Cheerios because they remind you of being a kid? Tonight I did. After just getting home from my parents, I felt a little sad. A week will go by before I see them again. When I got home last night, I had dinner with my parents and twin brother. For a good three years of living at home and being in high school, it was only my parents and my brother and I at the dinner table as our older sister and brother were away at school. The four of us sitting at the table felt like a blast from the past. I enjoyed it. I've been really tired at night lately. All that coffee after dinner must be catching up with me. I keep telling myself that eventually our bodies get so tired, we HAVE to sleep. We fall into fairyland. I'm waiting for the crash.

Mom falls asleep around ten o'clock most nights. Her days start at 6 o 'clock and she goes full speed ahead until she crashes on the couch after dinner. Her routine is so predictable that it's comforting. As she dozed off last night, I suggested we both go to bed. She told me it was too early. I was exhausted and could have hit the hay right after dessert, but was too embarrassed to admit it. When I did go to bed, I got distracted by a show on TV about a transgendered person with a dysfunctional family. It was disturbing, but I couldn't stop watching.

I went to the doctor for some blood work. Needles don't bother me, but I startle so easily, that I jump when I feel the "poke". Lab technicians think I'm scared and often treat me like a little kid. It's annoying. I'm twenty six and can handle a poke people. Please....Last year when I needed blood work, the technician took one look at me sitting in my wheelchair and refused to draw blood, saying she was afraid she would hurt me. I was furious. I wanted to poke her eyeball with a needle. What a lady. The lady who drew my blood was helpful and smart today. She did her job with no fuss. My mom held my arm in case I jumped. Moms instinctively know what we need - or maybe mine is a star. I'm glad I spent time with Mom. I missed her. As an adult, it's hard to admit how much I still need her and that Cheerios make me so happy.

- OCG