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a little update


It has been a long time since I’ve written and I’m not sure if anyone will still be around to read this, but I am going to try to catch any stragglers up on what has been happening.

The tall hormonal kid and the small squeaky kid have both stopped growing and are taller than me. I no longer feel like I have all the power. And their ability to argue against everything that they are asked to do continues to improve in creativity. It doesn’t get them anywhere, but it is interesting to hear.

The tall kid has discovered rep hockey and rugby, so we are on the road a lot. This year she made Team Ontario for rugby and won the provincial championships, which led to her being one of 60 girls chosen from across Canada for the selection camps for Under 18 Team Canada. Now the 15 year-old has an eating plan and a training plan that will be monitored as part of the selection process. That is interesting. Have you ever seen a teenager give up junk food willingly? This coming weekend she will be playing with the Eastern Ontario team at a tournament in NYC. It has given her many opportunities to travel and meet new people and we are all having a blast. Last summer we drove to Nova Scotia to watch one of her tournaments. The hockey travel has mostly taken over now (last night we had our first drive through a winter storm to a hockey game) but there is still rugby filling in the cracks.

The small(er) squeaky kid has a new horse and continues to take lessons and pony club and enter into occasional shows. She started playing rugby too this year. Her big sister was excited until I nixed the idea of using her for tackling practice.

The dad has sold his old business and bought a new one. It’s keeping him busier than he anticipated, which is excellent any way you look at it. He also has a few staff now and therefore the freedom to take time when he needs to drive the kids to their various sports. Mercifully he hasn’t attempted to grow a mustache this year for Movember.

And I am now a stay at home mom. The leave from work became permanent because of changing health due to MS. It took a while to adjust and cope with the change in circumstances and health, but I think I am as close to being back to normal as possible. I took lessons and had hand controls installed in my car, so I’ve gained my independence back again. I was also referred to a doctor who helped with pain control, set up occupational therapy and physical therapy and has made suggestions that led to a lot of improvements. I have my independence back and am even going to the gym three times a week and using a personal trainer. Nothing can stop me now.

I stopped writing because I was no longer doing a lot of the things that I wrote about, but I think that we occasionally manage to do something interesting that will make it in this space. Hopefully it will also be entertaining.



seeing MS


I’ve recently found Seeing MS, a site that tries to help explain some of the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis through photography and a short video of each symptom. I think they’ve done as good a job as possible at showing others what the symptoms feel like to those of us that are experiencing them.

For the past few months, I have been off work while I recover from an MS exacerbation. For the past few weeks, I have been dealing with another increase and worsening of the symptoms. The cane that I have been using for the past few months has been replaced by a walker. It’s not very sexy, but it is much safer and has helped me to be able to get out of the house occasionally without using a wheelchair. I have received some steroid treatment and hope that it will help turn things around soon, along with the exercises that visiting occupational therapist and physiotherapist have been teaching me. In the meantime, I spend a lot of time in doctor’s offices trying to explain what is going on in my body. I have often wished that it was possible to project the way it feels for a few moments, to avoid trying to explain it, but I also wouldn’t necessarily wish the feelings on anyone else.

Right now, my main symptom is spasticity. The photo above is one photographer’s interpretation of that symptom. It does a great job of showing the feeling I’ve had this winter of trying to get outside with the slippery ground while using a cane. The other photos on the website are also good representations of the other main symptoms of MS. I’d recommend having a look if you know anyone affected by the disease.

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slow living update – November


As usual, our month turned out to be busier than we were prepared for. I’m not sure that we accomplished much this month because it feels like we were never home, but going through this monthly summary always helps me to find the small things.


The dad did most of the cooking in November. I was completely on board with that. It takes us a while to get used to the dark coming so early at night – and the dad has more energy than I do at the end of the day, so the arrangement worked out nicely.

We are still fighting the lure of the hockey arena fries, but we usually follow them up with a better meal at home later. And by usually, I mean sometimes.


I have nothing to report here. This part of the year is mostly behind us now.


The dad fixed our chlorinator (it keeps the nasty sulpher taste and smell out of the well water, but doesn’t leave behind the taste or smell of chlorine like you get with town water) and set up the pellet stove in the basement. Both would have been expensive fixes without his “farmer” skills.

{Green – cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies}:

I can’t say that anything is new here either, but the clothes in the basement dry much faster with the heat pumping out of the pellet stove. That is a great incidental benefit. I use the dryer mostly for towels or for when the small kid suddenly realizes that she has no dry jeans to wear to school in the morning.

I’ve also been ride-sharing to work due to continued numbness in my feet. I look forward to being able to drive again, but in the meantime, we are saving a bit of gas and putting one less vehicle on the road.


The potatoes have been dug up (much too late, but we will still have enough to last for a while) and have been stored away in the cold room. The onions were forgotten in the porch last week during our cold snap (-19C one night), and were softened by the freezing, so my job tonight or tomorrow is to chop them and freeze them instead.

Our neighbour very nicely plowed the garden just a day or two before the snow started to arrive last weekend. Another year’s work finished.


I didn’t even have a creative thought in November. My lack of posts can attest to that. I hope to do better this month.


I managed to spend a little time by the fire reading, but mostly I find that I fall asleep quickly and my book remains unfinished. It’ll get better as soon as the days start to get longer.

I did, however, spend enough time in hockey arenas that I am learning a lot more about the rules of the game.


{Enhance – community}:

As usual, our November was capped off by our local Ducks Unlimited fundraising banquet. The dad has been volunteering for the organization since he was a teenager, and we have supported the dinner with friends for many years. My highlight of the evening was the roasting that the dad received for his substandard Movember mustache by the local radio announcer.

The mustache didn’t quite make it to the end of the month. We attended a funeral on the 30th and we both agreed he should shave. I refused to go to a funeral accompanied by a husband who looked like a person of interest on a wanted poster in a police station. And I think he was tired of people telling him that he had a little something smeared above his lip.



This is the section that we spent most of our energy on this month. We made a day trip to the Royal Winter Fair to watch the pony jumper show, spent a weekend away at a hockey tournament in the Capital, had a birthday party for my mother-in-law, went to the plaque unveiling for the dad’s great-uncle and enjoyed a fundraising banquet at the end of the month.

The small squeaky kid came home from a riding competition with three ribbons (we missed that show because of the tournament, but the grandparents attended in our stead). We also spent a lot of time in cold hockey arenas drinking coffee, eating Jolly Rancher candies and cheering for the tall hormonal kid’s team.

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