Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse...

I'm not one to complain a lot, but this is ridiculous. Remember how sick I've been for the past week? Just when I thought I was getting better, things suddenly got worse!!!

I ended up in the emergency room at the hospital today (thanks, Mom for dragging me even though I didn't think I needed to go). You see, I sort of knocked myself out from one of those relentless coughing fits. It was non-stop coughing and I couldn't breathe. Oh, it gets even better than this. Not only was I coughing up a lung and unable to breathe, but I had a Fisherman's Friend in my mouth and started choking!!!

Yeah. Right after that I ended up knocking myself out and giving myself a beautiful little bump on the back of my head. Nice. Try telling the attending doctor that you knocked your head on the floor and ended up with a bump on your head because you started choking on a Fisherman's Friend!!! Ummm...

Not only do I have a bump on the back of my head, but now I also have the most horrific red eye ever!!! It scares me to even look in the mirror because my eye reminds me of something you'd see in a horror movie! It looks almost demonic! Scary! The even better news is that the doctor said it would take weeks for the red eye to go away. WEEKS?!?!?!?! I seriously considered making myself an eye patch (you know, the kind that pirates wear) because I'm much too vain to interact with people with this freaky red eye!!! It's not like it's pink eye or anything. This is serious stuff! I basically broke blood vessels IN my eye from coughing so hard.

A subconjunctival haemorrhage occurs when a small blood vessel under the conjunctiva breaks and bleeds. The blood is trapped under the clear conjunctiva – like a bruise. This condition is painless and, although it can look frightening, is harmless.
Causes of a subconjunctival haemorrhage include coughing or sneezing, although many occur spontaneously. The haemorrhage does not require treatment and usually absorbs of its own accord.

The good news? Hubby's been washing the dishes and he did the groceries for me. My grandma is on the Island visiting for a month and she and my mom have been taking care of me. Dad's been cooking supper for Hubby and me. Yeah, I'm spoiled. As soon as I get better, I'll reciprocate though :)

Aaaaargh. I just want to get better already. I hate being sick!
Please, please make this red eye go away!!! Oh, I'm not even going to post a photo of it because it is just too scary looking!

Oh, okay. This is what my eye looks like:Pretty gross, isn't it? This isn't a photo of my eye. I borrowed this photo from Google Images. Hubby looked at me this morning and said, "It doesn't look that bad", but the look on his face told a different story! ;) He loves me...funky eye and all!
Monday, April 28, 2008

Go away and never come back!!!

You followed me home sometime last week and you don't seem to want to leave me alone! You're making me miserable. Sleepless nights, tossing and turning, painful coughing fits, the chills, cold sweats, and broken blood vessels around my eyes from coughing are only some of the many fine presents you gave me.

First, I tried my *cider vinegar potion. It usually does the trick. Nope. Not this time.
Then I tried my *ginger tea recipe. Despite the horrible taste, you still stuck around!
I tried orange juice and chicken noodle soup for a few days. Nothing. You're still here.
I tried taking a hot bath and letting the steam clear up my chest. It worked for a while, but then you returned.
I tried filling the sink with hot water and a few drops of eucalyptus oil and hovering over the sink with a towel over my head so I could breathe in the steam. That was only a temporary fix.
I even slathered on the Vicks vapo rub and you still wouldn't leave!
I don't like taking medicine, but since nothing seems to work, I had to whip out the big guns. Sweet Hubby went out and bought not one, but TWO types of medicine for me!
First, I tried to get rid of you with Benylin. You still wouldn't leave me alone!
I had no choice but to try Buckley's. The commercial on TV says "It tastes awful, but it works".

I thought that would certainly drive you away. I was wrong.

I even psyched myself into believing that I was better and that this pesky little cold was gone. I went out with some girlfriends on Saturday and had a delightful time. I was not going to let you ruin things for me. However, when I got home, things were a zillion times worse. You seem like you just don't want me to get better!

My mother-in-law came to the rescue yesterday and sent over her vintage Hankscraft steam vaporizer and humidifier. Last night was the first night in almost a week that I was able to get more than two hours of sleep! Two whole hours of uninterrupted sleep! Two hours with no coughing fits! Two hours of clear breathing!

Now please go away and never come back! My husband doesn't like sharing the bed with you. Personally, I'm getting pretty annoyed with all the crumpled up tissues on my nightstand. Enough already!

* Cider vinegar recipe: 1 cup of hot water, 2 Tbsp cider vinegar, 1 tsp honey (optional). This recipe really works well in killing off bugs and making your throat feel better.
* Ginger tea recipe: 1 cup hot water, 1-2 Tbsp ginger powder (depending on how strong you want it). You can use fresh ginger root, but the powder works too if you don't have any fresh ginger on hand. This is a strong tasting drink, but works wonders on sore throats. It also has a warming quality to it. Not my favourite flavour but I force myself to drink it when I'm sick.
Friday, April 25, 2008

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue

With quite a few of my friends and family members getting married soon, I've found myself rifling through my memory boxes for my own momentos. The day of my wedding was all a blur that I don't even remember what my something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue were! I think the something new was the gold necklace one of my Chinese great-aunts gave me. The something blue may have been the blue lace trim on my garter belt, but I'm not sure!

Going through my boxes of memories (the same boxes that my drawings and paintings were tucked away in), I found this scrunched up piece of paper:
I wrote this list on July 23, 2001. This was years before I'd meet Hubby. This was years before I found out the Island even existed! This was years before I'd realize what a real relationship was like and how a real boyfriend was supposed to treat me.

On the list, I wrote a few things that were important to me when it came to "the right guy for me". This is something I carried with me for years. I had this piece of paper folded up in my wallet to remind me to never settle for anything less than I deserve. It was my own personal mantra of sorts. When I read this list today, I was surprised to see that Hubby is everything on that list and more :) This is my something old.

My something new is easy. Farming is totally new to me. Never in a million years would I have imagined I'd end up married to a farmer and living on an island that I had never even heard of up until five years ago! I do love the fact that we live "close to the land", we grow our own produce, we're active and outdoors a lot, we understand and appreciate the beauty of life and birth and can experience all sorts of little miracles each day. The one thing I'm still having difficulty with is the death part. Losing calves during birthing or from weakness has got to be one of the hardest things a person could ever experience. I'm not sure if anyone can ever 'get used to' this part of farming. It's hard. This is my something new.
My something borrowed is the beach we got married on. We didn't exactly 'borrow' it, but we did ask for permission to get married on that beach. It's my favourite beach on the Island. Hubby and I used to go for walks at sunset when we were dating. We still try to get some time in so we can go for our strolls at sunset every now and then. It's a spectacular beach. Fine white sand, clear turquoise water...It's almost hard to believe that this beach is in Ontario!
My something blue is a series of paintings I did in my "blue" period. LOL! ;) Almost everything I painted during that period was blue! This is one of my pieces. It's supposed to be stylized and not an accurate rendering of the human form. I've got a few other pieces I'd like to post, but they're too large to scan. One of them is a drawing in pastels that is titled Tristesse.

Do you have any things in your life right now that are old, new, borrowed and blue? If so, what are they?

Calling All Artists!!!

Ever since I was a little girl, I've always wanted to help those who were not able to help themselves. From petitioning to save our rain forests and indigenous animals, to volunteering at the women's shelter, supporting World Vision and other charities, I always felt that if we are in a position to help the less fortunate or those who are unable to help themselves, then we should. It may sound strange, but when it comes to children and even animals, I feel the impulse to help out even more if I can. Why children and animals? They are defenseless compared to adults who can find ways to survive. I've always felt that children should be able to be children. They should be given the ability to go to school, play, eat healthy meals, and have a safe and comfortable place to sleep at night.

My father always called me a Mother Theresa wannabe. I am not even half as devoted to the charities of my choice as my friend (and former colleague) Jen is to hers. Jen is the reason I'm writing this post today. Jen is a Board Member and the Development and Communications Coordinator for the Room to Grow Foundation, based on the Thai-Burmese border.
"Room to Grow Foundation is a charity that assists orphans and unaccompanied minors with their basic needs so that they can focus on being children. We support local organizations that provide food, shelter and basic necessities to children so that they can go to school with a full belly and go to sleep safely with a mind full of dreams they will one day be able to realize."

Presently, Room to Grow is looking for Toronto and area artists who are willing to donate a piece of their work so that the organization can sell and raise money for various projects. Room to Grow has numerous photos of refugee children and orphans that they think will look beautiful as paintings or drawings.

There will be an event in Toronto some time in the fall to showcase the art work, raise funds and to raise awareness about the cause and the organization.

Calling all artists!!! If you are interested in donating your time and/or talents, please contact Jen.

Room to Grow also has a blog! Check it out!
Jen, congrats on all the hard work you and the rest of the organization are doing. What you guys are doing is truly admirable. I can't imagine how rewarding it must feel :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More Randomness

I have been such a delinquent blogger (but not on purpose)! I've just returned to the Island from a few days in Montreal and haven't had time to read my favourite blogs, return e-mail or use the computer much.When we left the Island, I was complaining that the price of gas was really high at 117.6, but I was shocked that in Quebec gas is even more expensive! It was 134.4! CRAZY! I have a feeling the price of gas will be like this all summer. *sigh*Remember the Crème Brûlée that my husband loves so much? There's a delightful little place called Premiere Moisson in le Marche de l'Ouest. Premiere Moisson is a boulangerie, charcuterie, patisserie all in one. If you want proscuitto, patés, terrines, or sausages, you can find them there. If you want cheese, chocolate, or baked goods, they have them there too.

I can't eat all these rich, delectable treats, but being the good wife I am (Hubby, are you reading this?), I brought back a Crème Brûlée for Hubby and one for my mother-in-law.More photos to drool over:
My beautiful sister-in-law and my adorable little nephewMy cousin, Married Winkel and my aunt with Kenny. Can you tell that the Habs were playing that night?

In the next photo Kenny is posing with my grandmother, Married Winkel and Mrs. Married Winkel :) Married Winkel is lovingly dubbed The Godfather (he's one of Kenny's godfathers) and Baby Hog (because he loves to hog the baby...then again, we all do!!! EVERYONE loves to carry that little guy!) :)
Kenny's birthday was in March, but he's the first grandchild on my mom's side of the family and he is spoiled by everyone. We had another birthday party for him in Montreal. This is a photo of Kenny's second first birthday cake!
Rrrrren and Sharmander, the soon-to-be-marrieds :) I just love this couple!!!Bong and Reese (I didn't have a nickname for my cousin's girlfriend for the blog, so I'm just going to refer to her as Reese for now since she looks a bit like Reese Witherspoon).Married Winkel and his wife prepared lunch at their place on Sunday. Oh, my goodness! I had no idea that my baby cousin was a chef extraordinaire! Seriously! The guy even sketches the way he is going to arrange and plate his food before he serves his dishes! Beautiful presentation and A++ on the taste! On the menu: sweet potato fries, open-faced turkey burgers with roasted red pepper, roasted zucchini and Portobello mushrooms.

I know I said I was going to eat healthy, but I caved. I did have a glass of white wine and one of these!!!I'm not big on sweets, but these cupcakes were so moist and delicious. If you're in Montreal, you can find them at Itsi Bitsi. I realize that this is quite a long post, but I've got even more random thoughts for you.
There were several things that surprised me when I got back to the Island.

1. Fred (our cat) had four kittens the day before I returned. We didn't even know she was pregnant!!! Fred had her first litter last July. She's Trouble and Spike's mom. This time she didn't even look pregnant and all of a sudden there were four teeny tiny kittens. They're so tiny, they look like little rats! Anyone want a kitten? We'll be giving them away after they're weaned. We got two of the kittens from last year's litter "fixed". We didn't get all of them fixed because we do need barn cats to take care of the birds and mice in the barn. Anyway, if you live on the Island and want a kitten, let us know! :)

2. One of the heifers had twins and they're healthy! They were having a hard time sucking on their own, but seem to be doing okay. Their mom doesn't really want to have anything to do with them though. I suppose she doesn't realize that they came from her. Hopefully soon she will take to them. The calves are both female and they are so cute! One of them is 65 lbs and the other is 60 lbs.

3. I was surprised that there was a riot in Montreal the day after I left. I'm a Montrealer and for most people from Montreal, hockey is considered a religion. I am a Habs fan, but it ticks me off that fans go crazy after a big game and think that rioting is acceptable. Setting fire to Montreal police cars? Hello, people! Celebrating is one thing, but committing crimes as a form of celebrating?!?!

4. Try saying this really fast:
Whether the weather be cold
Whether the weather be hot
We'll be together no matter the weather
Whether you like it or not
The Japanese-Filipino boy who is staying with us for four weeks got me with that tongue twister at supper last night! He's so funny and such a smart boy!

5. I went crazy at the garden centres in Montreal on the weekend. I am going to attempt a little experiment. I bought a few blueberry plants and will try to grow them in pots. Cherry, I may need to e-mail you for your hubby's expertise! Last time I tried to grow blueberries, the plants died because our soil is not conducive for growing blueberries here. I was thinking that if I can grow them in pots and control the PH levels then I may be able to have some success.
I also bought a banana plant. I don't think it'll ever fruit, but I just love the way the leaves look. I think my husband wants me to stop getting plants! Some wives love jewelry and expensive clothing...I love plants and household appliances! LOL!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The winner is...

Here are the answers for last week's movie contest:

1. Terms of Endearment (1983)
Jack Nicholson, Debra Winger, Shirley MacLaine

2. Beaches (1988)
Barbara Hershey, Bette Midler

3. Love Story (1970)
Ryan O’Neil, Ali MacGraw

4. The Way We Were (1973)
Barbara Streisand, Robert Redford

5. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Justin Henry

Six of you got the correct answers.Since more than one person got the correct answers, your names were put into a hat and Hubby picked the name at random.

The winner is...
Congrats, Canine! I'll be sending you your prize later on this week.
VE, Deb, Karen, Uncivil, and Starshine, if you e-mail me your details, I'll send you a little something too as a consolation prize. LOL! ;)
Saturday, April 19, 2008

Thought this would make you laugh :)

This is one of the funniest videos ever :) It's Valentina Hasan, one of the contestants on Bulgarian Idol and her rendition of Mariah Carey's "Without You".

I'll be back on Monday. Hope this video gives you a good chuckle!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Random Thoughts

1. I just realized that I'm not as daring as I used to be. Now that I'm in my thirties, I feel more cautious. It's hard to explain. When I was younger, I'd just do things on a whim. I'd fly by the seat of my pants, I'd be really spontaneous and I'd do crazy things. A girlfriend of mine would call me up and ask what I was doing and we'd decide right then and there that we were going to drive to New York for the weekend...or drive from Toronto to Montreal just to have breakfast at Chez Cora's! There were other crazy things I'd do, but I won't mention them here! ;)


Now, even with little things like getting my hair cut, I feel more 'prudent'. I always get just a little trim...nothing drastic. I got my hair cut last month and to me it was a big adjustment from having long-ish hair. Today, I felt like being a little more daring. My mom, a girlfriend of mine and I went to get our hair done and this is what I got:It's a little fun and light. Perfect for getting ready for summer!

2. I never knew that spontaneous combustion could actually occur. How on earth does something start to go on fire by itself?? I saw examples of spontaneous combustion in movies and in books, but never knew it could happen in real life.
My husband and I were in the truck last summer and he was telling me how bales (of hay or grass or whatever) could self combust. Another friend of ours told me that she and her dad were moving bales in their barn and two of the bales started to self combust! They just started smoking! I suppose from moving the bales, if the conditions were right (oxygen levels, etc), then it could happen. It's really interesting if you think about it. Trust me, this is not something I probably would have ever thought of if I were still living in the city!!!3. I'm off to Montreal tomorrow morning to spend the weekend with my grandmother. As much as I love, love, love living on the Island, I just miss my family sooooooooo much! My grandma will be eighty-eight years old this August! I'm really close to my family and need to be with my grandma when she's in Canada. She spends the winters in the Philippines and the summers in Canada. I need to spend as much time with her as I can!4. This year we have more maple syrup than last year. Hubby and I just finished bottling our first batch and still have more to do. We're almost done. Aren't these the cutest? They look like little maple syrup soldiers all lined up. I'm not sure if Hubby thinks I'm weird because I need all the labels facing the same direction and everything needs to be uniform. *sigh* I know, I've got issues.5. Don't forget about the contest I've got on right now :) I'll announce the winner on Tuesday!
Monday, April 14, 2008

A Movie Contest!!!

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of curling up on the couch with my mom and a box of Kleenex, bawling our eyes out as we watched the most poignant, memorable tearjerkers on TV. My mom and I would just sob and sob! My dad used to ask us why we even bothered watching movies if we were going to cry like that.

I just treasured those moments with mom. Tears and all. Even after all these years, I will never be able to forget those wonderful movies we watched together.

Here is my list for the "Top 5 Saddest Movies Ever Made":

I'm a huge believer in "what goes around, comes around" and "you get from the universe what you put out". Having had the recent good fortune of winning an amazing prize, I would like to pass on a little good fortune to someone else.

If you can name all of these movies, the year these movies came out and the main actors in each, then you will win a neat little prize. What's this prize, you ask? As you know, I love promoting my friends and their businesses. The winner gets some of these:

**Contest closes on Monday, April 21st at midnight.** I will announce the winner on Tuesday, April 22nd. In event of a tie (or multiple correct answers), I'll write your names on a piece of paper. Hubby will choose a name at random. If your name gets picked, you win!

Even if you do not wish to enter the contest, drop me a line and let me know what your "Top 5 Saddest Movies Ever Made" are! :)
Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lost and Found

I was looking for a particular grammar usage book when I came across a box filled with memories. There were CDs in there that I had been searching all over for. There were presents from students I had forgotten about. There was a Japanese wooden toy, a traditional Mexican calendar (I think that's what it is!), several Korean magnets and bookmarks, as well as a glass portrait of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus (with a wooden stand) given to me by my Mexican students. At first, I wasn't sure if my Mexican students were kidding me when they gave it to me, but they were serious :) Being an ESL teacher, I get some pretty interesting presents!

What surprised me the most was unearthing these next few oldies! It was a bittersweet moment. I found oodles and oodles of art work that I had done. Funny... I noticed how I only feel inspired to draw, sketch or paint when I'm experiencing conflict in my life. I haven't doodled, scribbled, painted, drawn or sketched since I left the city. Odd.
Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist (it's one of my favourite books). I went through a stage where I was having a rough time drawing hands accurately and proportionately, so I did a lot of drawings with hands either as the subject or in the background.
Yonge & Eglinton was my subway station. I used to sketch while waiting for the subway.
A few years ago, I spent Thanksgiving in Georgetown, Ontario with my college buddy, Stephen and his family (and friends of the family). Georgetown is a lovely place. The Highland Games = a must see!
I called this one Inseparable. Back in the city, I always had my cell phone in hand. It was rare to not see me texting or chatting with someone on my cell. Rude. Sad. Inconsiderate. Of course, I didn't think I was being all those at the time!
Portrait of Richard, an artist friend of mine in Toronto.
Portrait of my lovely cousin, Jey.Of course, I always wear my heart on my sleeve.

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About the Blog Author

City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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Life on Manitoulin: Just a bunch of ramblings from a city girl gone country!

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