Monday, December 30, 2013

Stopping for gratitude....

Beautiful snowflakes are falling on the street. I just ate rice, peas and peanut butter ice cream with Mathew. There are new, fun, colourful magnets on my fridge. I saw John and Danielle for coffee today. John is healthy. An old attendant worked with me this morning. It was fun to catch up. She is skilled and funny. I ate pumpkin pop tarts for breakfast. Mathew knocked on my door and it made me happy. I wished a wheelchair technician happy holidays. Mom called. I kissed Mathew's forehead.

Tonight I watched a TED talk on gratitude. The lecturer said, gratitude means we need to "Stop, look,  and go." I am grateful for today.  Tomorrow we're having vegan pizza. I'm already grateful....

- OCG

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dear Shane,

You're home this weekend on a pass from treatment. Cole is staying with you at Mom and Dad's house. Mom has pneumonia. She had it last Christmas. I am worried. You are too, I know. I wanted to see you, but this is your time to be a Dad. Mom and Dad say that you sound clear headed and are starting to look like your old self. I am so happy. You're awesome inside and outside Shane. Mom says it's your job to set up chairs before meetings. Jobs are purposeful.

Christmas was sweet. We missed you. I missed the train and took the Go Bus home. Dad and Jeff tied my wheelchair to the truck of the van. Jeff stood in the back while Dad drove slowly. The ropes gave way just as we pulled into the driveway. Jeff said, "It's a Christmas miracle." It was.

Jeff bought the cutest toys for Skylar and Hannah. There was Leo The Lion for Hannah and a princess suitcase for Skylar. He did well. Carlie's tummy is getting bigger. She's going to have three kids! 

The last month hasn't been easy on you. I am glad you are safe. The way you lived made me so sad. I hurt with you. I think of you every day. Recovery is the most challenging in the beginning. It's akin to being lost in a foreign country when you're very homesick. Locals try to convince you to stay but it feels so strange and unfamiliar. You just want to go back to where you came from. Stay on the this side of the face. It's uncomfortable, but you'll get used to it. I have tremendous respect for what you're doing. This is the fight of your life. Nothing else will ever require this strength.  Pull, push, scream, cry, laugh, and please, don't give up. You are worthwhile. Life is worthwhile.

I love you Shane.

- OCG

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dear Shane,

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I'm going to miss you. Mom and Dad say you sound clear headed. I'm glad. Katie sent a picture of Cole with Santa. He is so cute! He knows you're not at work and misses you too. Don't worry Shane. He'll understand one day. Maybe he already does. I am staying in the city overnight this holiday. It'll be different for both of us. I hope you are OK. Recovery is a path and the beginning feels like a dark tunnel. Gradually, there will be light. It will sting until you grow accustomed to it. Change is hard. You know that. I am so proud of you Shane. I love you and want you to be happy. You're so special. I miss you kissing my check, and tousling my hair. I can't wait to see you. My new boyfriend, Matt is looking forward to meeting you. He's funny, sweet, and smart. You will approve. I pray you'll have a merry Christmas. Let yourself be free.

Happy holidays my brother. XOXO

- OCG 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Dear Shane,

Tomorrow you leave for treatment. I don't know what to say. I'm relieved. At least you'll be safe. The road is long but our days are mashed together. I am sorry you hurt. I miss the old you. Remember that dude? You were so funny, sarcastic and kind. You are in there. Come back. Be healthy. You deserve a better life. My texts are unanswered. It's OK. I want you to know that I'm proud of you for trying. Whatever happens, you'll make it through. We all will. Somehow. I am sad for the life you've missed. We only get one. I don't want you to waste yours. Neither do you. A part of me is scared. I know that recovery is a slope. You may struggle for a while and that will be hard to watch. I pray you will have the strength to pull yourself up. Once you've rebounded for the first time, it will get easier.

Just hold on. The other side is much, much brighter. You have a future ahead. There is a son waiting for you, a niece or nephew to meet in the summer, a job, all of us, friends, music, golf, love, and a fresh start. Choose to live and embrace it. It's yours if you reach out. Please....  

I love you.

- OCG 

P.S. You and I often talk about new music we enjoy. Today I've been listening to the song Unbelievers by Vampire Weekend. You'd probably like it.





Sunday, November 17, 2013

I am grateful for....

* Late night visits
* Lemon squares
* My new phone

* The movie Now Is Good
* rain

- OCG

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Falling Slowly...

Once is a great movie. The soundtrack is beautiful, especially the song Falling Slowly.  

Take this sinking boat and point it home 
We've still got time 
Raise your hopeful voice 
you have a choice 
You'll make it now 

This song reminds me of my brother, Shane. He's in hospital again. I'm so tired of watching him suffer. If Shane doesn't want to be here, I don't want him hurting himself. I love my brother and want him to be free.


- OCG

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Random stuff....





 "You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it. "

"What I've figured out is that when you love somebody that much, that hard, that long, you can never get away from them, no matter where you go. And that only comes once in a lifetime. Just can't get a handle on it. I cannot let go."

"Why would an amazing woman like you even talk to someone like me?  Why not?"

"My mommy died."


Oh, wow! My condolences go out to you and your family, Mr. Mee. Oh, wow.

Sweetheart, Mr. Stevens is a stranger honey. He didn't know mommy.
 

I know, but he should have.
 

Oh, oh, oh, oh! Just knowing you, Rosie, right now, I...I...I love your mom. Uh...I love her. I picture...I picture your face on a grown lady. "


- Quotes From The Movie We Bought A Zoo:

“Because you are defined not by life's imperfect moments, but by your reaction to them. And because there is joy in embracing - rather than running from - the utter absurdity of life.” 


From The Book by Jenny Lawson, Let's Pretend This Never Happened:
 
 
The six rules of life:

1. Don't like something just because you think other people will like it, because they won't.
2. What you think is important isn't. What you think is unimportant is.
3. Lean into it.
4. Don't shit where you eat.
5. Most doors are closed so if you want them to open you need a cool knock.
6. Don't sleep with people who have more problems than you do.”


- From the movie People like us

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bed bugs...

Where do I even begin??? I have been home for the past two weeks. Bed bugs found me. Falling asleep one night, I saw one beetle like bug crawl across my pillow. I knew I had to kill that bug as proof. Let me tell YOU. That sucker didn't die easily. It took serious muscle power. The next day, he was STILL moving even while squashed inside a Kleenex. Isn't that nasty? Two days later, the exterminator found twenty in my bed. the second spraying happens in a few days. I threw out my bed, my mattress, my new love seat, my pillows and blankets. 

My brother has been in the hospital twice since I've here. His journey has drained all of us. When will his chapter end? Thankfully I won't be home long enough to find out.

I am safe and have an amazing family.  Thank you God.

- OCG

Friday, September 06, 2013

Quotes from the library....




No Matter What Happens......

 I remember a time when the world was a playground and my life a song,
And I fluttered through years with barely a care,
Ignoring the future and what waited there.

School was intriguing and filled with delights.
I played away day-times and dreamed away nights.
My parents assured me I had nothing to fear,
And that no matter what happened, they’d always be there.

Little I knew of a world outside home,
Where tragedy, sorrow and murder could roam.
All I saw were blue skies, rainbows and stars.
I looked past destruction of buildings and cars.

As a child, my biggest concern was just me;
I had to be happy, I had to be free.
And if I was content, I would not shed a tear,
And no matter what happened, I still would be here.

But as I grow up, darkness starts to set in;
My bright world has turned in to concrete and tin.
I now see the violence I looked past before;
My friends start to die and my heart hits the floor.

Deadly diseases claim people I love,
There are landfills below me, pollution above.
I often think back to when life was a game.
But no matter what happens, it can’t be the same.

There are days when I just want to break down and howl,
To give up completely, to throw in the towel,
But I hold my head high and I push my way through.
I have too much to give and so much to do.

And I make a vow that, though it’ll be hard,
I’ll go on with a smile and play every card.
I’ll give all I can, help others and love.
No matter what happens, life will bloom again,
And the strength I don’t have will come from above.
So come, take my hand, and through darkness we will sail –
If we all join together, we never can fail.
We’ll remember to care, remember to feel,
And no matter what happens, our world we will heal.
Alison Mary Forbes

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

A look back at summer 2013....

Well, the summer of 2013 is nearing end. As a summer lover, I'm sad. I already feel a bit cold. Looking back on the summer, some highlights were:


  • Fireworks in my parents' backyard for the May 24 and July 1 long weekends
  • Buying a new couch and decorative pillow 
  • Getting caught up in the Gay Pride Parade and taking the Go Bus home
  • The big rainstorm on July 8
  • My brother Shane being hospitalized and going through detox
  • My brother Jeff getting his gallbladder out that same week
  • Buying an air mattress
  • Helping my friends through wedding planning drama
  • Finding Whole Foods in my area
  • Hanging out with Cole on Sundays
  • Buying a new red fan
  • Discovering a love for yellow zucchini, mushrooms and black bean salsa on salad 
  • My mom's "pudding cake"
  • Going to Queens Quay and being around water
  • Chocolate peanut butter Pop-Tarts
  • Having Des visit on weekend evenings
  • Keeping my fridge well stocked with a variety of pop
  • Hannah's first birthday party
  • Skylar's face when she saw her cousin Cole naked for the first time
  • The three guitar playing buskers that I love
  • White peaches and cherries
  • Tea tree oil for between my toes
  • The song Madness by Muse
  • Goodnight kisses
  • My family for being who they are
  • Bran muffins
  • Being healthy to enjoy the sunshine
  • Jeff and Katherine visiting
  • Visiting Christina in Oakville before she moved to Barrie
  • Long distance phone calls from Christina
  • Still having hope for the future 

I spent the night at my parents' house this past weekend. Skylar slept over. I loved watching her cuddle on the couch with my parents. In the morning, Skylar came to wake me up. We had pumpkin pancakes. Later we watched Toopy And Binoo. Skylar tried on her school uniform, so it could be mended. She looked so cute! Today was her first day. It's been rough. Change takes time....

I've been on a hunt for yellow zucchini today. My attempts to buy some at two stores this morning failed. Later, Loblaws was stocked. Yellow zucchini is pretty on a salad....I'm trying to soak up summer even by what I eat.

- OCG 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Guess who's coming to dinner?

I am trying really hard to let go. Anger has no place in my heart, but it's there. I still hurt. I still wonder why. I still laugh at memories. I still want to say, "How COULD you?" The other half of me wants to say thank you for so much love. Sometimes I can't believe I was so lucky to be with you. If the one we love is a reflection of ourselves, then life was sweet. I couldn't have picked a better husband. However, if we were meant to be, he'd be here.

I want to say sorry. I'm not sure why, but I do. Life has moved forward and I'm trying to trust it. This process sucks. It's lonely, scary and like riding a roller coaster. I want to get off, but then where will I go???

Tonight I watched Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? This quote resonated with me: 

But I can tell you the memories are still there - clear, intact, indestructible. And they'll be there if I live to be 110. Where John made his mistake, I think, was attaching so much importance to what her mother and I might think. Because in the final analysis, it doesn't matter a damn what we think. The only thing that matters is what they feel, and how much they feel for each other. And if it's half of what we felt, that's everything. As for you two and the problems you're going to have, they seem almost unimaginable. But you'll have no problem with me. And I think that uh, when Christina and I and your mother have some time to work on him, you'll have no problem with your father, John. But you do know - I'm sure you know - what you're up against. There'll be a hundred million people right here in this country who'll be shocked and offended and appalled at the two of you. And the two of you will just have to ride that out. Maybe every day for the rest of your lives. You can try to ignore those people or you can feel sorry for them and for their prejudices and their bigotry and their blind hatreds and stupid fears. But where necessary, you'll just have to cling tight to each other and say screw all those people! Anybody could make a case, and a hell of a good case, against your getting married. The arguments are so obvious that nobody has to make them. But you're two wonderful people who happened to fall in love and happen to have a pigmentation problem. And I think that now no matter what kind of a case some bastard could make against your getting married, there would be only one thing worse. And that would be if - knowing what you two are, knowing what you two have, and knowing what you two feel - you didn't get married. 

Sometimes old movies say it best.

- OCG

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

One Day....

I never noticed it before, but it was always there. Just waiting, lurking. I used to hate you too. Quite violently actually, Dexter. No! I'm sorry, but only...because she lit up with you, just in a way that she never did with me and it used to make me so angry because I...I...I didn't think that you deserved her. She made you decent, and in return, you made her so happy. So happy. And I will always be grateful to you for that. 

- From the movie One Day by David Nicholls


My niece Hannah had her first birthday party yesterday. She was so cute holding up her pointer finger when we asked her how old she was. It was fun to watch Cole and Skylar play. They have grown close. I enjoyed watching Octonauts with them on Treehouse while they ate pretzels. I wore a new dress and felt pretty. My  brother got drunk so we had to leave in a hurry. I felt sorry for my Dad who had to take my brother's keys away. Sitting on the toilet at home, I cried. Why can't my brother stop drinking??? He makes me sad. My brother's house sold yesterday and he's hoping to move into a condo. I'm worried about his health. He's not coping well.

Lately I've been binging and restricting. I feel in control this way. Binging sucks. My weight is up which is not surprising. I've been here many times  and survived, so I'm trying to relax. Today I watched the movie One Day. The book by David Nicholls is amazing. A few years ago, I saw the movie in the theater. Knowing that I would cry at the end, I left before the credits rolled. Watching the movie at home, I didn't cry. Emotions are fleeting. I have been lit up with love before. It is a wonderful gift.

In Loblaws, I bought my Mom a gray orchid pot. She has a purple one and liked it so much that she asked me to buy her a plain coloured pot. Mom sweetly bought me two bottles of hot sauce. I love that stuff....

I am afraid there are bed bugs in my apartment. I woke up with bites...Argh! One day I would like to sleep with a special friend - just not a bed bug.

- OCG


Thursday, August 22, 2013

After all this.....



Sunshine makes me happy. The Italian gelato store owner brightens my day when he says, "How's my girl?" Cole is going through a parental separation but he's still happy and so sweet. Shane is home and safe. Salad is yummy. I discovered the magic of Febreeze. I am letting go of hurt. I have been to Queens Quay with a good friend. Skylar FINALLY pooped on the potty. I watched Salmon Fishing In The Yemin, Ides Of March, Moneyball, The Iron Lady, Pitch Perfect and Fame. Ides Of March and Salmon Fishing In The Yemin were my favorite movies. Heather from my women's group died of a pulmonary embolism. She was a mother figure to me. I will miss her dearly. I've learned that life is made of givers and takers. I want to be a giver. It's impossible to know how life will unfold. Just live.

- OCG

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

The Hole In The Sidewalk...

Chapter I
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit … but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V
I walk down another street.
By Portia Nelson

* Thanks to IfGreenShouldSlip for recommending this poem.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Get lucky....




My brother Shane has two herniated disks. He will need those repaired before he can start any rehab. The hospital is pumping him full of pain medication, so he will go through drug withdrawal. Poor guy....

I watched most of Dan In Real Life, Just Go With It and Serendipity on the weekend.  For brunch on Saturday, I ate French toast. The next day, I went to the Golden Griddle and ate grilled cheese and sweet potato fries. I bought a lemonade cupcake. My emotions have been everywhere, but I'm OK. I'm trying to be a good listener and friend, but I have my own drama. We all do. One day, this time in my life will be a memory. I hope to be stronger, wiser and better. Maybe my brother and I are right where we're meant to be. Maybe we're lucky. After all, we're still here, aren't we?

- OCG



Monday, July 15, 2013

Dear Shane,

You've been in detox for about thirty six hours now. It hasn't been easy on you. You're on Vallium, Haladol, and some other drugs. You stunk and have the runs. You can't dress yourself or put your shoes on. You've seen dragons on the ceiling and men with bandannas. You yell at Mom and Dad. You look like a homeless man. You asked the nurses to tell you what is real."We are real. Your family is real and you're real Shane," they say.

The doctors said you could have died had you stayed lying on the bathroom floor. Your blood pressure was very high and your magnesium out of whack. You could have had a stroke.

Maybe you'll remember all these things or at least some things. I hope you never forget this hell you're in. I hope you stay somber from now on. This isn't you. You haven't been you for such a long, long, time. Do you even remember who you are?

The nurses and doctors say that Mom and Dad are amazing and one in a million. Most people just drop their loved ones off and go. Not our parents. There is always one by your side. How did we get so lucky? Please don't do this again. It breaks my heart.

I love you Shane.

- OCG

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Serenity Prayer...

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

--Reinhold Niebuhr
My brother is in hospital detoxing tonight. I'm both sad and relieved. I want him to be safe, happy and healthy. I have faith in my brother. This is hard, but it's better than watching him die.We all have struggles. We're all human and we all deserve help. Have faith in people, love and beauty. I try to.

- OCG

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Flare....



Rain pelted the city on Monday. There was more rain in one hour then we usually accumulate for the whole month of July. Danielle called me to see if I wanted to meet her and here finance for coffee. After seeing the sky turn dark very quickly, I took a rain check. Outside looked like the Amazon rain forest. Many surrounding areas lost power. Subways were evacuated due to flooding. Go Trains were halted. I was home safe and sound. Phew! Sometimes even coffee isn't worth sacrificing safety.

I watched My Fair Lady and Same Time Next Year. My Fair Lady was OK. Same Time Next Year was a play I saw performed a few years ago. Sadly, I left before the play finished. I was excited to see the ending on DVD. Same Time Next Year was sweet. The last book I read was called Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes. I enjoyed reading about a quadriplegic who wanted to die. It sounds dark but it was uplifting. Right now I'm reading a book called Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala. It's about the author's experience of losing her family in the tsunami of 2004 in Sri Lanka. The story is gripping.

I am updating my apartment. I bought a new love seat, a decorative pillow, a napkin holder, polka dotted napkins, a storage box, a mop, and storage bins. I'm looking for a big picture, and a throw. Change feels refreshing. At first I thought the pillow was ugly and matched nothing. Over time, I've grown to like the new pillow. It adds flare - kind of like these mixed up fonts.

Happy summer!

- OCG 

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

I'm grateful for....

* The movie and song Singing In The Rain
* The ability to move my bowels
* My new green love seat
* Fireworks on Canada Day
* Sending mail
* Pasta salad
* Mousse cake
* Seeing Cole and Skylar get so excited about colouring books and crayons from the dollar store
* Watching my Dad and Skylar walk a blow-up pool turtle across the lawn
* Hearing Hannah say, "Good girl!"
* Getting caught in the Pride Parade and laughing
* A free Kind bar
* Taking the Go bus to my parents' house with no complications 
* Danielle enjoying the dinner she ate with me yesterday
* Shane going to his first AA meeting tonight
* Shane for giving sobriety all he has
* Summer
* My health
* Family

- OCG

Friday, June 28, 2013

Tales from the plugged....

Well, tonight things turned a corner. I am out of the woods. Two weeks ago, I went home and my Mom noticed I wasn't eating and my stomach was very distended.  I am the queen of constipation, so no big deal, right? Wrong. I tried EVERYTHING - ennemas, Klean-Prep, grapes, binging, and bran muffins. Nothing worked. Mom and Dad offered to take me to the hospital, but I knew I would be tube fed Klean Prep. I have Klean Prep at home, so why go through all that trauma when I could drink it myself? In the last week, I drank as much as I could with an already sore stomach.

I've been home for most of the past two weeks. Thank you world for my amazing family. I was so close to going to the hospital. Thank you God for allowing me to stay in my home. Thank you for my Mom's bran muffins, grape Kool-Aid, cable TV and a place to be nurtured.

I gained weight, but who cares???! Life is good as long as I can poop! When I can't sh*t, I don't give a sh*t about anything else.

Excuse my language, but I've just been through an ordeal. 

- OCG

Monday, June 10, 2013

All In The Family....

Archie and Edith Bunker's Final Appearance

Jean Stapleton passed away on May 31, 2013. As a huge All In The Family fan, this saddened me. Edith Bunker's kind heart reminds me of my own Mom. Rest in peace Jean. Rain is hitting my windowpane. It's been raining all day. I watched Love In The Afternoon, an old Audrey Hepburn movie. Maybe I'm an old soul. I suppose that, as long as we have a soul, it doesn't mater if it's old or young. 

- OCG

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Crazy fonts and thoughts.....

If the sun were to explode, you wouldn't even know about it for 8 minutes because that's how long it takes for light to travel to us. For eight minutes, the world would still be bright and it would still feel warm. It was a year since my dad died and I could feel my eight minutes with him... were running out.
- From the movie Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close

Today has been rainy. I'm sitting under my sun room fan. It's noisy but provides a welcome breeze. I'm still wearing winter clothes. It's almost June! Crazy weather we have here....

I spent the day reading The Dinner by Herman Koch. It was violent and suspenseful. The book reminded me of a Woody Allen movie called Match Point. Before reading The Dinner, I read Stranger Here: How Weight-Loss Surgery Transformed My Body and Messed with My Head by Jen Larson. The message is whatever size we are, we must be at peace with ourselves. Preach it sister! I'm in the middle of watching Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close. I've fallen asleep mid movie for the past four nights, but I've enjoyed what I've seen so far... 

Lately I've been doing OK. Honestly, I still feel lost sometimes. The Observer seems sad. That makes me sad. After changing his life, why isn't he happy? We're not friends, but I don't hate him. I hope he knows that. People say I would feel better if I started dating. Ugh! It's like eating salmon after it's given me Salmonella. No thanks....for now.  The way things ended made me doubt my worth as a person. Did I pick a poor potential husband? Am I lazy? What made me unlovable? I have so many questions. 

One of my Facebook friends just lost her six year old cousin to cancer. Isn't that sad? My biggest problem today was that I thought my watch was broken. Now I can wear it fine. Having my watch be wearable totally made my day. Life is short, but time goes by quickly. I keep thinking about this quote from Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close: "If things were easy to find, they wouldn't be worth finding."

What if I already found that one big thing and now it is gone? What do I do now???


- OCG 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

All Of Me...


Sometimes I cry when a song touches my soul. All Of Me by John Legend did. It's beautiful. The finale of season 9 of Grey's Anatomy tipped me off.

Tonight I watched The Life Of Pi. The movie was deep and beautiful.I tweeted:  It's important in life to conclude things properly. Only then can you let go. 

I'm tired and a little sad....


Goodnight.

- OCG

Monday, May 20, 2013

The storms we navigate....



There was a crazy storm that just passed outside my window. It's raining a little now. Victoria Day weekend is almost over. My friends John and Danielle got engaged on Friday! I saw them today and they are over the moon with happiness. Danielle's ring is beautiful and suits her perfectly. Being engaged has to be the best feeling in the world. I bought Danielle two red roses and two chocolate cupcakes for her and John. Those friends make me happy.

Yesterday my family had fireworks for Cole and Skylar. They looked so cute sitting in their deck chairs with their juice and Bits And Bites. The fireworks were beautiful. I loved when both kids yelled "Kaboomba!" They are my natural mood elevators. Cole and Skylar get as excited for chocolate cake as I do.

Earlier in the week, I visited home for some help to ease my constipation. Luckily I'm okay now. Thank you Mom. When I arrived home, my brother told me that he and his wife are separating. I'm sad, but not surprised, They are selling their house and moving five minutes away from each other. Cole will alternate weekends with each parent. My brother told me this is the hardest thing he has ever gone through. Broken relationships are heart-breaking.  My brother is an alcoholic and I am recovering from an eating disorder. I wanted to tell him choosing recovery every day is the hardest thing he'll ever go through. Not wanting to push, I nodded. Last night my Dad searched my brother's car because family suspected  he was drunk. I saw nothing, but I hurt for him. I texted my brother and said, I'm sorry. It sucks when family doesn't believe you, but I'm happy you put their suspicions to rest. I love you. He texted back and thanked me and defended our family. I love my brother and hate to see him in such pain. Hopefully the storm he is navigating passes soon.

- OCG

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I'm grateful for....

* Dorine clipping my hang nail this morning with her fancy nail clipper
* New Omega 3 fish oil capsules
* The world being so full of books that we don't have to read bad books
* The nice older librarian with the grey hair
* The way Calvin Harris looks
* Meeting Sharon, a new nutritionist and totally clicking with her
* The pretty tulips I saw today
* My women's group
* Sheppard's Pie, salad, strawberries and cookies for dinner
* My Mom for being so concerned about my constipation
* Being plugged up but still feeling well
* My renewed friendship
* Kaley
* No wedding showers to stress over

- OCG 

Friday, May 10, 2013

A person's a person....

Today was raining and grey. I went to a women's movie night. We watched Bridesmaids. That movie never gets old. It's HILARIOUS! Sometimes I was the only one laughing, but that was fine. There was a really rude and smelly girl there. Another rude girl yelled at her. Rude people attract rude people. I ran into Bernadette on the way. Bernadette is a classy, caring lady. She made my day.

The library has had lots of speakers. I've been in heaven. Sally Armstrong, the co-founder of Home-makers magazine and Edward Ruthford, a British author, made appearances. I enjoyed both. Rutherford says he "recommends marrying your cousin because at least you know what you're getting." Funny guy he is.

On Wednesday I tweeted:  I just read George Estreich's The Shape of the Eye. Very moving and real, but was the afterward necessary? I hate to be critical, but I was honest.

It's Cole's birthday at Spring-tide Farms tomorrow. My nephew is three. I'm excited for the party. I miss him.

I watched Lady And The Tramp and The Hunchback Of Notre Dam. The sequel to The Hunchback Of Notre Dame was better than the first movie. That is rare in movies. More recently, I saw Horton Hears A Who. This quote resonated with me: A person's a person, no matter how small.” (Or how badly they smell like urine.)

- OCG

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

This is what it feels like.....

Could I finally be accepting my body at this size? I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. I go out. Food is just food. Most of what I eat I enjoy. After three years of weekly treatment, it's down to twice a month. My weight has risen, but I'm still here.  Maybe the little voice inside my head telling me that I'm fat got tired. Honestly I've been in this happy place before and this changed fast. A part of me doesn't want to take recovery for granted. When I think of where I've been, I don't even know how I survived. Now I'm free. I am alive. This is what it feels like.  

Wherever you are, be free!  

- OCG

Monday, May 06, 2013

I'm grateful for....



* The song Moon Dance by Van Morrison
* Seeing Sally Armstrong speak at the library tonight
* All the Sunday nights I spent watching Amazing Race with my parents
* Eating ice cream cones at my parents' kitchen table
* Skylar sitting on my lap, looking out the window and saying, "I'm so happy" to my brother Jeff and I
* Sunny and beautiful Mondays in spring-time
* My health

- OCG

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Silver Linings....

“In my arms is a woman who has given me a Skywatcher's Cloud Chart, a woman who knows all my secrets, a woman who knows just how messed up my mind is, how many pills I'm on, and yet she allows me to hold her anyway. There's something honest about all this, and I cannot imagine any other woman lying in the middle of a frozen soccer field with me - in the middle of a snowstorm even - impossibly hoping to see a single cloud break free of a nimbostratus.”
- Silver Linings Playbook

Welcome spring! I'm so glad you're here. We all made it through the winter. The weather has been BEAUTIFUL! Tonight I finished reading The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. Silver Linings Playbook is intense, heartbreaking and positive. Beautifully written, the book won me over from the start. The ending paragraph moved me. Earlier this week, I read Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp, about a mother whose son dies before his first birthday of Tay–Sachs disease. It was sad but very honest and well-crafted.

The Toronto Maple Leafs won their game tonight. Cheering filled the street. I think they now made the play-offs. This has not happened for a very long time. My dad and brothers will be thrilled!

I am the proud owner of a new hair dryer. My old one last ten years, so it didn't owe me anymore air. This morning was the first I used the new hairdryer. I was impressed. It even came with a new brush. You lose some and win some, right?  The Toronto Maple Leafs qualifying for the play-offs and a functional hair-dryer counts as a double win and a sliver lining. 

- OCG

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Funny face....

Today I tweeted: Just as we ought to treat others as we would want to be treated, we ought not ask others questions we would not want to be asked ourselves.

The mother of a former friend (who I no longer really speak to) was fishing for personal information. I kept our conversation brief. The woman knows my engagement ended. She pretended otherwise, but I'm not dumb. Move on lady. If I know something sad, why would I grill the person who got hurt? Now I know why her daughter is the way she is. More important, I'm glad we're not friends anymore. Sometimes the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

In happier news, I watched Funny Face starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. It's a fun musical. I also finished The Soundtrack Of My Life by Clive Davis. The book was long, but I finished it. He spoke frankly of his struggles with Kelly Clarkson, love of Whitney Houston and Alicia Keys. I read Wallflower At The Orgy by Norah Ephron. It was mediocre. Remember how I watched the DVD The Hunchback Of Notre Dam? It was the sequel, so I'm going to see the first one soon. 

These lyrics are stuck in my head: 

 I love your Funny Face
your sunny, Funny Face
Though you're a cutie
with more than beauty
you've got a lot of
personal-i-ty for me

You fill the air with smiles
for miles and miles and miles
Though you're no Mona Lisa
for world's I'd not replace
your sunny-- Funny Face
 

One day I hope someone loves my funny face.....

- OCG

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gone, Gone, Gone.....

If Philip Philips were older, I'd be interested in dating him. I love cute, rugged, guitar playing, dark haired, pleasant smelling men. Family friends Varie and Pat had their third baby today - a girl named Adeline Audrey Grace. I love that name! It's very feminine. Adeline joins a twelve year old sister, Amaya and nine-year-old brother, Nolan. I'm happy for their sweet family.  

Today I met my Dad at the St. Lawrence Market. He picked up ground turkey and I bought bagels for my brother Shane as a little birthday gift. Dad and I had coffee and shared a pumpernickel bagel. Our visit was spontaneous and special. The bagel was so tasty, it was soon gone, gone, gone! However, the happy memory of my visit with my awesome Dad will stay with me forever.  

- OCG

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What a sweet life I have...

My Dad got me hooked on the song Heave Away by The Fables. The song reminds me of our trip to Prince Edward Island a few years ago. Good times!

This week I finished the book Until I Say Goodbye by Susan Spencer-Wendel. I cried. I also read Most Talkative by Adam Cohen. It was akin to a two hundred and fifty page People magazine. The content was light and addicting. If I lived in Hollywood, Adam Cohen might be my BFF. I hate the word, but in reference to Adam Cohen, it just fits. Now I'm reading Clive Davis' biography called The Soundtrack of My Life. So far so good. Last night I watched a film called Like Crazy. It was about a couple who couldn't seem to live with or without each other. If you've ever loved someone like crazy, you'll enjoy this movie. I did. I also watched Disney's The Hunchback Of Notre Dame.

Today began with a Fiber One brownie, coffee and a Cinnamon Pastry flavoured coffee after  breakfast. I ate pesto pizza and a yummy ice cream cone for lunch. My parents and I strolled to the park with my niece. She said, "Muaww" when she kissed me. Mom made halibut with fried rice and pecan pie for dessert. The whole meal was delicious. We watched The Amazing Race 22. I want the hockey players or country singers to win...

On the way back from seeing a friend last night, I realized what a sweet life I have.

- OCG  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bittersweet and strange....

This song played in Timothy's Coffee today. Listening to it gives me a lump in my throat. I'm not sure why. It's beautiful. There was a bombing at The Boston Marathon today. Many people were injured and lives were lost. I saw a clip passing a restaurant window on the street. The sun went in and the sky turned grey.

My good friend April had a surprise birthday party this past Saturday. Her boyfriend organized a fancy dinner. My friend Christina was my date. I have two amazing friends.   

Yesterday I hung out with my Grandpa and my other family members. Last week we celebrated Grandpa's 86th birthday with ice cream cake. He enjoyed his cake and so did I. 

Recently,  I watched the DVDs Toy Story I, Beauty And The Beast and Sabrina.  Beauty And The Beast and Sabrina are worthy classics. Lately, my reading pace has slowed. Currently, I'm reading Until I Say Goodbye by Susan Spencer-Wendel about a woman determined to fill her life with joy while facing an uncertain future living with ALS.

My weight is back up to a healthy range. I've gained seven pounds in a year. The chub bugs me but at least I can poop. That's all I ask of my body for now. Weight loss is a little whisper in my life but not the roaring voice that used to demand I starve. I have come a long way. These lyrics from Beauty And The Beast echo my thoughts:
 
Tale as old as time
Tune as old as song
Bittersweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong
 
- OCG