Saturday, February 27, 2010

Have you ever seen my home?

Check out this Quidi Vidi Brewery Commercial - Music Video. It promotes the beer, the Island, the people and the band, At Ships End, all at once. Love the shots. Great song. Good fun.

Makes me long for George Street!

Song by: "At Ships End" Written by: Dave Whitty Directed, Filmed and Edited by: Phil St. Aubin

Friday, February 26, 2010

Something Positive

Canada has been taking a lot of crap in the press these last few weeks. The Olympic games is the focus of much of the ire, with headlines from the UK like: 'Vancouver Games continue downhill slide from disaster to calamity"; Canadian organizers are responding to complaints about everything from the weather, protesters, ice surfacing and to the fence around the Olympic Flame, and the horrific death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili on the opening day. Add to that the scandal Premier's Danny William's decision to get surgery outside his own province, and worse, outside Canada. He ignited the debate about the quality of health care in Canada versus the United States on both sides of the border. And today, we have the hullabaloo over the gold winning Canadian Women's Hockey team daring to celebrate their win in such a "rowdy" way- drinking and carousing! How dare they? Had this been the gold medal win for the men's team such celebrations would not likely have made the papers; even if it did the finger wagging the girls received would be pats on the back for the men.

Yeah, our collective Canadian image is taking a bit of a pounding.

So it made me feel good to see this video circulating on Facebook. It is Canada, as seen through the eyes of American news anchor Tom Brokaw which was aired just as the games were about to begin. It is a very positive piece about Canada and our relationship with the U.S. I found myself sitting up a little straighter as I watched it- and I was very pleased to see so many shots of Newfoundland.

Thanks Mr. Brokaw, we needed this:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

One language at a time

As many of you know, my 3 year old son has a bit of a speech delay. He couldn't hear for much of his second year of life so he has to catch up a little. He is doing better, I see improvements every day. I have discovered that he can be pretty creative in trying to get his point across.

Take last night for example: bath time was over, and the bathroom floor was appropriately covered in soapy water and bubbles and Wilson was sitting on the counter top wrapped in a towel, swinging his legs back and forth. He was waiting happily for me to brush his teeth- I usually let him have a go at it and then I do the real cleaning. But last night I was in a bit of a rush- so I just put the toothpaste on his brush and started in.

I noticed almost immediately Wil was pulling away from me a little as I brushed, which is odd for him. Finally he put his little hand on mine and push it away gently- a confused look furrowed his brow.

"What's wrong buddy?"
"Momma, it's smokey in my mouth"

It took a second for this to register. He quite often will say something that seems out of left field but when I think about it a bit I can usually glean some meaning out of it. The problem was that in my haste to get the bedtime ritual underway I used my extra strength whitening toothpaste instead of Wil's toddler toothpaste and the poor shagger was feeling the burn. I felt so bad.

But he had another little verbal surprise for me just minutes later. He has been kicking a cold the past few days, so I have been rubbing Vicks Vapor Rub on his chest just before lights out. He usually looks up at me when I have finished applying the smelly goo and says: "That feels better Mama"- last night though he had something else to say.

"Gracias Mama"

Aw geeze kid, let's master the English language first 'eh?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Stones

About two weeks ago I had a little health adventure, and I have been getting caught up on life and worked missed since then- hence the dry spell for Missing the Rock.

It was Thursday, Feb 5th, my little guy was not feeling so well and I wasn’t up to my usual superhero status either. So after work we marched ourselves to the Walkin Clinic and had a little check up. Wil had an ear infection, and I was told I had a UTI. A trip to the drugstore later we were home and into the evening ritual of food prep, mealtime, bath and bedtime.

Around 4:07 am Friday I awoke with a lurch and a small cry. And then I promptly vomited on myself. I tried to get to the bathroom so I could vomit in the toilet but the searing pain in my left lower abdominal was preventing that.

I slid to the floor, landing with a thump and dry heave and crawled my way to the toilet. Wondering the whole damn way: “Was it something I ate, is it a reaction to the medication? and “What in the name of holy hell is causing the pain in my side?” Once I got to the toilet I held myself there in a bizarre combination of the praying and fetal positions. The pain was still bad, but squat like this, holding my head up on the toilet bowl I felt a little better. That is to say I no longer felt like cutting a hole in my side with toenail clippers on the sink and pulling out the small rodent that was gnawing its way through my inner plumbing.

I am not sure how long I sat there, I believe I may have passed out. At some point I tried calling out to Don. He was sleeping in the guest room- banished there for snoring offenses. When he got to the bathroom I was standing in the door frame, holding myself upright by clinging to the door. He told me after that I looked yellow- all I needed was a blue dress and blue hair and I was a dead ringer for Marge. My eyes were bugged out like hers too.

So off to the emergency room we headed. We were very lucky Wil’s daycare opens early so we had one less worry to think about. Don dropped him off- literally. He opened the door, handed Wilson off to the first worker he saw, told them we were on our way to the hospital and left. Daycare drop off is usually a 10 minute ritual- this was about 7 seconds.

As we were driving to the hospital in Ajax my stomach started to really ramp up the pain. I turned to Don at one point, crying inconsolably and whimpered: “I think I just ruptured something.”

That was when the first accident nearly happened. Don just pulled out into oncoming traffic cutting off several early morning commuters in the process. I reached out with a shaking hand and put on the four way flashers and mentally decided not to update Don with any further developments until we reached the hospital.

Well I tried not to anyway. The second accident almost happened while we were on the one lane stretch of road that spans the little divide between Whitby and Ajax when I yelped like a cat whose tail was run over by an 18 wheeler. And that was when Don tried to pass first by darting out into the oncoming lane, and veering back, and then by edging over to the soft shoulder. But my frantic screaming at him to stop put that in check.

When we finally got to the hospital we got lost trying to find the right way in. They are renovating right now, and the signage is lacking. By the time I was finally seen by a Dr, I was pretty much incoherent. I have heard the phrase “the pain was blinding” used before but never really understood it. Now the definition is very clear.

The nurse tried to get me settled and helped me into one of those useless hospital gowns. The Dr came in poked and prodded me, asked a few questions, scribbled on my chart, and started ordering the battery of tests I was to undergo. Then he said the magic words: “The nurse will give you something for the pain”. Now, I don’t know how many of you know this about me, but I am afraid of needles. Pass out afraid. But when the nurse returned to my room with three needles on a tray and a look that said “Bend over lady”, I just rolled over on my side and lifted the gown up. Had she told me that the injections had to go in my eyeballs I would have consented to that too.

Blood work, an ultrasound, a cat scan, one shot of Toridal, Demerol, and Gravol later it was determined I was passing a kidney stone. The pain was a result of it leaving my kidney and going for a little jaunt. The cat scan reveled another little surprise, I had an additional kidney stone still in my kidney. Waiting there. No time line. Just a little something to look forward to- like root canals and colonoscopies. Also, my kidney is distended, which may be a result of the stones or it could be something else.

They released me later in the evening, with the chilling phrase: “We think this is small enough to pass on its own” and a directive to see my family doctor. So I am in the midst of more testing, and I am feeling a lot better. However, I am still waiting for stone 1 to pass, my Dr feels it may be sitting in my bladder, and of course there is stone 2 who has yet to make its presence known.

I did learn two things from this ordeal:
  1. The next time we have that kind of emergency we are calling an ambulance.
  2. If you want to be seen by the ER staff right away you have to include chest pain in your list of symptoms.
But I still have several questions. I am hoping someone who has been through this before will offer some advice. Is it possible I passed the stone without knowing it? And cripes, if the stone that caused all that initial pain was “small enough to pass” what in the hell is going to happen to me if the other rock drops and it is bigger?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Reduce? Reuse? Recycle? Repair? Repay.

You know, I do my best for the environment. I recycle, I reuse what I can, I even compost household waste. My husband and I try to reduce what we consume as well. We buy what we need and we make it last as long as possible. In the past few months I have come to wonder why I bother at all.

Before Christmas my watch died. At first I thought it might be the battery, so I had it replaced. The new battery did not bring the watch back to life so I brought it in to be repaired. As I handed the watch over they quickly surmised they could not fix it at that location; it had to be sent away. It is a pretty watch, one my husband gave to me a few Christmases ago so I agreed. “We will call you with a price before we fix it” they promised. Somehow I was not comforted.

A month later I get a call- it can be repaired for the bargain price of $85.00! It needed to be retooled. Ok. Don might have paid 150 for the watch when he bought it. I just blew 30 bucks on a new battery, and now it will cost me even more bones to fix it? At this point is it not cheaper to buy a new watch? I gave them the go ahead to repair it because it is better on my wrist than in a landfill.

Around that same time our TV died. We could still get a picture and sound, but with the added bonus of a high pitched whine- like a cat being skinned alive a few houses down the road. We bought this TV, a Slim Fit Samsung CRT, in 2006, it should still be working as far as I am concerned. But it wasn’t, and it was our only boob tube, so off to a repair man it went. That was last November.

Last night he called to tell us it had been repaired- for a cool $285.00 plus tax. Mmmmm. A CRT TV- the kind not even being made anymore, will cost over three hundred bones to be repaired. Meanwhile I can go to Crappy Tire and pick up a new 42 inch LCD TV for less than $500!

A friend of mine bought a new computer a few years ago, and with it came a fairly decent printer- one with great photo printing. When the ink ran out he went online to buy more; he found out that the ink was so expensive it was cheaper to buy a new printer. So that is what he did. The old printer was given away.

Indeed, Dell printers won’t even allow you refill their cartridges- at least not the model we have. We got away with it once, but on the second refill the computer no longer sees the cartridges as full- and the only way around it is to buy new Dell cartridges. Such a waste.

It drives me nuts. You can’t walk down a store aisle anymore without being smacked in the face by some green version of your favorite products- with a higher price tag. The garbage men on my streets won’t even pick up your recycling or garbage if you haven’t packed it just so. And anyone caught in a grocery store having forgotten their reusable bags is looked upon with scorn and derision when they have to ask for plastic. I must have about 20 “Green Bags” because I just cannot bear that look from the cashiers. I cave and buy yet another reusable bag.

Yet, no one is raising any kind of a stink when it comes everyday items we have in our homes. Business don’t seem to have a problem with the fact it is more cost effective to buy new than to repair the old, and their customers seem to accept this as fact. It is just the way things are.

In so many ways our lives have been improved by the things we own- the technology we have acquired in these past few years is really astounding. The calculator you have at work has more computing power in it than the computers that were used to send humankind to the moon in 1969. And yet, somewhere along the way we forgot how to make anything that will last. Anything that can be easily upgraded. Collectively society seems to have lost a sense of pride in what we create, manufacture or service. These are concepts that seem to have died out with a wind up watch and manners.

All the while, despite all that desperate recycling, the vilification of plastic bags and the many green, recycled and organic products that have invaded the modern marketplace, the landfills continue to grow.