An Emotional Journey – The Road of Recovering

I recently went to my first therapy appointment for my leg.   I had a tumour removed in April, 2012 but because I didn’t have a job or benefits at the time, I wasn’t able to go for the needed therapy to help with the mobility and swelling.   I bought my own benefits plan when I could afford it so that I could get the much needed treatment for my leg.   It was a great first session and I could already feel a difference in my leg after the first hour.

While I had been eagerly anticipating the therapy for quite some time, I was very surprised by my emotional response during the session.  It was something that I hadn’t expected.   I cried uncontrollably  for at least half the session.   I was shocked and embarrassed by my reaction.   After all, why was I crying?  I have been wanting this therapy for a long time, was excited to finally be going, and yet here I was, extremely emotional and openly unable to stop sobbing.

I tried, at first to hide my tears.   I felt embarrassed and didn’t want the therapist to see my steady flow.   But finally, no longer able to hide the emotional outpouring, I asked my therapist, Lisa, if others cried during their appointment.

“Yes”, she replied without hesitation or thought.   According to Lisa, most people, on their first visit would show anger at first, and then eventually, tears.

“It’s a very emotional process that most people don’t understand”, Lisa informed me.    Suddenly, with the force of a volcanic eruption,  I  blurted out: “I want my leg back!”    The outburst both shocked and liberated me all at once.   I never realized just how much of a toll the entire pre operation, operation and post operation journey had taken on me until this moment.

When Lisa asked what I missed not doing, the answer was easy:  bike riding with my son.   We used to bike ride every day before my surgery but haven’t been able to go for the past two summers.   That’s been very difficult for me.  Walking with ease, bending down, crouching.  I missed  just being able to  go out and do something physical without limits or thought.  Even something like stair climbing was challenging.  I missed the freedom of having 2 healthy legs that we often take far too for granted.

I have to say, I’ve never, at any time, felt anger during this journey.  Even when they first found the tumour and believed it was cancer, anger was just not an emotion that I had.   “It is what it is” I would say.    I actually felt like one of the lucky ones.   I knew right from the beginning that the tumour was not terminal and that my life was never in danger.

Once the tumour was removed and they were able to clearly determine that it was benign, I felt grateful.   It should have been, for all intents and purposes, malignantly.   The fact the it wasn’t has been a medical miracle.

But the recovery has been longer and more difficult than I could have ever expected.   I thought, because the surgery went so unexpectedly well, that I would be back to my normal self within a couple of months.   That hasn’t been the case.  The healing has taken a long time and my mobility and usage of my leg has been very limited.   I am no longer able to move the way I used to or for as long as I used to.   My leg fatigues and gets sore very easy and while I push myself, that too, can have significant consequences.   I never realized just how much this would affect me emotionally until recently.  But here I was, a year and a half later, crying uncontrollable over the loss of use in my leg as a result of the removal of the tumour.   I have learned first hand, just how traumatizing certain events in our lives can really be.

Since that first visit, I have felt so much better, not just physically, but emotionally as well.   It felt wonderful letting these emotions out.   As I anticipate the upcoming appointments and treatments, I know that there will be more moments where my emotions overcome me.   But I’m looking forward to releasing them.   This therapy is not only allowing me to heal physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.   And both, are long overdue!

Have a Happy, Healthy Bully Free Halloween

Happy Halloween

Welcome to the month of witches and goblins and all thinks spooky and fun.   October, the month of Halloween.   Anyone who has been around children has no doubt, heard the children excited planning what costume they are going to where when they go tick or treating.  As the night quickly approaches (2 more sleeps!), children – and many adults – are eagerly anticipating the parties, trick or treating and, most important for most children, the treats.

As I listen to the children around me talk about this favoured day, I am reminded of a nasty incident that occurred last year when a lady from North Dakota decided to use Halloween as an opportunity to tackle childhood obesity.   She made international headlines when she proudly announced that she was going to give children whom she felt were over weight nasty letters rather than candy.

People were  understandably openly shocked and outraged by her blatant vicious attack on children.

While I had hoped that people would openly boycott Ms Child Hater’s house, I have not been able to locate any follow up articles to find out whether or not Ms Child Hating Evil Woman actually had the gall to act on her malicious plan.   Nor have I found any articles that showed that Ms Halloween Bully felt any type of remorse for her heartless and hostile plan.   All I can hope is that this openly heartless and abusive woman actually had some sort of change of heart and scrapped her hateful plan.

But as Halloween rapidly approaches, is there a chance for a repeat performance?  Let’s hope not.

What was lost in translation by Ms Meanie’s nastiness was the need to tackle childhood obesity.   Childhood obesity is a global epidemic that is only getting worse.   Children today are growing up substantially overweight and the toll that it is taking on their health now and in the future will be tremendous.   Many life threatening diseases and conditions such as high blood pressure, glucose intolerance, coronary artery disease and Type 2 Diabetes are showing up in children as young as 10 years old.    If we, as a society, do not start to take this issue seriously and actively make changes, the health and future for many children is bleak and it will only get worse.

That is a reality, a sad reality.   Segregating children by their weight and attacking certain children does absolutely nothing to help the situation, in fact, it only causes more damage.    But for those adults who want to address the issue in a healthy, happy, meaningful and permanent way, there are many things that can be given to all children who come knocking on your door.   We do not NEED to give kids candy for a treat.  There are many other things we can give out instead.


How about a juice box or bottle or water?  OK, so water is stretching it a little but taking the time to decorate the bottle as a ghost, witch, pumpkin or cat can easily make it more appealing.   While juice is still high in sugar, real fruit juice with no added sweeteners is still better than candy.

Sugar Free  Gum

Kids love gum.   Sugar free gum is a better alternative to high sugar candy treats and, with the different flavours, can be just as exciting to children.


Dollar stores are full of fun age, appropriate Halloween toys for kids.    Home owners can get an array of puppets, stuffed toys, balls, colouring books, crayons, play do and games to give a just a few suggestions that can be handed out instead of candy.   Kids will be delighted to find a toy in their bag.


Dollar stores are full of all sorts of books from picture books, cook books, puzzle books, sports books, journals, big books and little books for almost every age range.

Craft or Game Kits

Many stores have mini craft kits or games that can be purchased  for a minimal price.   For those on a budget, home made craft kits can be just as exciting for children.  And the internet is full of great ideas.

Playing Cards

Sports cards, popular TV show game cards are an ongoing fashion favourite for children.  Homeowners can look around to find the best deal on price and have a variety on hand for the variety of children that come to their door.

Guest Passes

Last year my son got a free guest pass from one of the homes we visited.  The home owner was a martial arts instructor and the passes were good for 1 free class at the club where she trained.   As most clubs offer free trials, handing out free one day guest passes is a win-win for both.

There are many great alternatives to candy that home owners can give ALL children on Halloween that will be just as exciting to children but, at the same time, will not take away from the traditions of the holiday.    There are many non candy treats that people can hand out that will not segregate, belittle, bully or ridicule any child.    Halloween is supposed to be a fun holiday for all children.   Home owners can keep the excitement of the holiday alive handing out non food or unhealthy treats.   While changes definitely need to happen to combat the escalating problems with childhood obesity, the changes do not need to openly attack any child.

                        So to all the trick or treater’s that will be going out on Friday, have a safe, happy, healthy and bully free Halloween!

Global halloween                                                                                                                         jackolantern


Happy Thanksgiving Canada!! Giving Thanks From My House To Yours!

Happy Thanksgiving Eh

This weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada.  People throughout the country have been getting together with friends and family to celebrate their blessings and give thanks.

Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays because I have a lot to be thankful for.   I have many wonderful friends and family in my life who I cherish.  Every opportunity I get to spend with these amazing people is a celebration.

Along with wonderful friends and family, I have many other blessings that I am thankful for.

Firstly, my son.  He is the most important person in the world and I cherish him.   He is simply amazing.  I enjoy watching him grow and develop into a wonderful, thoughtful and mature young man with his own personality, interests and dreams.

I have been very blessed with the gift of motherhood.  That is a gift that I am thankful for every single day.  Motherhood has made me a better person and has fulfilled me in ways that no other life event ever could.

I am also thankful for my mom.   She is my friend, my role model and my hero.   My mom is the strongest woman I have ever known.  She has gone through many challenging situations and has always come through smiling.  She is a warm and caring woman who is always there to support and encourage her children, grandchildren and friends.

I am thankful for my family.  We are a funny, quirky, zany, friendly and, at times, crazy (in the best of ways) bunch who love and support each other no matter what.   When we’re together, we talk, we laugh, we goof around and we just enjoy being together.   I am very blessed to call this wonderful group of people are my family.   They make every event a memorable occasion.

I am thankful for the many friends that I have in my life.   Some I have known for years while others are recent relationships.   They are all wonderful, beautiful people who are always there to support and encourage me.   While life’s busy schedules sometimes make getting together challenging, we always keep in touch and remain strong in each other’s lives.   My friends –  every single one of them –  are extremely important to me.  I could not go through the up’s and down’s of life’s journey without my friends and family.   I am so very thankful everyday for these wonderful, amazing, people who bless my life.

I am thankful for my pets.  My cat is a  beautiful dainty little lady who purrs around my legs every time I’m in the kitchen and meows loudly every night to let me know it’s bed time and she wants to snuggle on my pillow around my head.   She is graceful and dainty; a perfect little lady.

My dog is a crazy, hyper, loveable girl who makes me smile just as much as she drives me crazy.   She’s energetic and playful and loveable.   She was everything I never wanted in a dog, yet she wove her way into my home and my heart.  They are both important members of my family.  My house would not be my home without their meows, barks and happy wagging tails.

I am happy for my health.   Other than needing to lose a few pounds, I am in great health.   This is something I do not take for granted.   Many of my readers will remember from past posts that I had a tumour a few years ago that was believed to be cancerous.   I am extremely fortunate that the tumour was benign and, although the recovery from the surgery has been more difficult and longer than I could have ever expected, my overall health is excellent.   I have no serious diseases, nor am I at risk.   I am grateful every day for good health.   And yes, I am even working on losing the “few extra pounds”. :)

I have 2 jobs outside the house that I enjoy doing.   Not everyone can say that they enjoy going to work, but I can times 2.   It’s still a novelty for me to go to the fantastic work places that I go to everyday.  Before these jobs, I was forced out of a job because of workplace bullying (see one of my first blog articles about my experience with workplace bullying).   It was the worst experience of my life.  But it was because of those horrific conditions that I have an even greater appreciation for the work environments that I have now.   I love my jobs and enjoy spending time with great coworkers.  For this, I am thankful.

I love my house.   It is a small house that I have put a lot of work into.   It is old and still needs work done. But it is mine.   I bought it for my son and I with my own money. I pay the mortgage and do most of the renovations myself.   I have repaired and designed the rooms with my own hands, my own ideas and my own taste.   I have made this small house into a warm and cozy home that my son and I both enjoy living in.    We look forward to coming home from a day at work or school.  Throughout the challenges that I faced in recent years, I never had to worry about losing my home.  It is a safe and loving environment that makes us feel good when we are in it.   It is an inviting and welcoming environment for friends and family.   While my home is not a large custom made, designer home with a perfectly manicured lawn, it is mine and I am thankful to have it.

I am thankful to have the money to pay my bills with a little extra to spare.   It is really difficult for many people to make ends meets today, especially single parents.  Rising costs of living and stagnant salaries create ongoing challenges for far too many people try support themselves and their families.   This is even more difficult for single parents or single income families who are trying to survive in a dual income society on one income.   I know first hand what it’s like to be poor and to not know how you are going to come up with the money to pay the bills or put food on the table. It’s hell.   Having a steady income that enables me to pay the bills and feed my son is something that I am very grateful for.

I am thankful and blessed to live in such a great country.    This is a beautiful, free country with lots of opportunity and privilege.   I am blessed to be born in one of the greatest countries in the world.   I am Canadian!  I say that very proudly.

I am thankful for the writing opportunities that I have been given recently.  Writing has always been my passion and thanks to the internet, the opportunities to fulfill my dream as a writer have become a reality.   The internet has opened doors that never existed for me before.

On that note, one of those opportunities has been this blog.   I am very thankful to have a blog site that allows me to share my articles on topics that are of great interest to me with others.   I am grateful to everyone who visits my blog and reads my articles.  I am grateful for the comments that readers leave.   I am grateful to the other bloggers on this site who write engaging articles that I enjoy reading.   I am thankful for the world that blogging has created.

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!  Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to my world of readers near and far.   Thank you for being part of my life and sharing in my blessings!!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

How To Detox The Body Naturally

detox the body



Detox, a word once reserved for treating persons with substance addictions, it has now become synonymous with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Detoxing means to remove harmful toxins from the body. With all of the pollutants in the air we breathe and food we eat, many people are looking for ways to try to remove those toxins from their bodies.

detox pathways liver

For many people, wanting to detox their bodies can be confusing. There is so much information to sift through; it can be difficult trying to determine what is real and what isn’t, what works and what doesn’t.

Detoxing is a rapidly growing trend in the health and wellness industry. Hundreds of products and therapies are promoted everyday by many medical professionals, alternative therapists, non trained professionals, companies and celebrities who all promise that with their product or regime, your body will be detoxified within a specific time frame. Fasting regimes, supplements, body flushes, colon cleanses, leach therapy, foot soaks, pills, sprays, powdered cocktails, specialized tea mixtures, smoothies and juicing recipes are just a few of the solutions recommended to those looking for ways to cleanse the toxins from their bodies.

But are the regimes and kits necessary? Do they actually help detoxify our bodies? Detoxing is not a weekend fix but rather a lifestyle. We need to develop long term, healthy habits to keep the body clean of pollutants.
Our bodies are designed to naturally remove toxins and waste. Our liver, intestines and kidneys continuously filter through substances to clean out and remove the pollutants. Keeping these organs healthy so that they can function properly, is essential in maintaining a clean detoxified body. There are many steps that we can take to ensure that our bodies are working at their optimal best.

Drinking Water:



Our bodies are made up primarily of water. In order to function properly, our bodies need to be kept well hydrated. Water is essential for every part of our body from our skin, muscles, tissues, organs, saliva, blood and digestion of food. Adequate water is needed to ensure that the kidneys and intestines are able to filter through and easily remove the toxins and impurities from our bodies. There are many ways to increase our water intake. Aside from drinking water, we can also consume water from foods that we eat including soups, stews, fruits and vegetables.

Eating Fruits and Vegetables:

detox heart

Aside from the above mentioned benefits, fruits and vegetables contain many nutrients that our body needs to be healthy and vital. Fruits and vegetables is the only food group that contains nutrients that are required for every cell and every organ in the human body. Many fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, beets, onions, kale, spinach and pomegranate contain antioxidants which help the body’s immune system fight off diseases. Other fruits and vegetables such as corn, bananas, apples and beans are high in fibre which helps the intestinal tract remove waste from the body. All fruits and vegetables have essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need in order to stay healthy.

While an important food group, fruits and vegetables is also the most under consumed. To maintain proper health, a person needs to consume 5 to 10 servings per day. When we do not consume an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables daily, our body does not get the necessary nutrients needed to maintain health. Without these nutrients, the body begins to degenerate, and with degeneration, comes disease. Eating fruits and vegetables everyday is essential for detoxifying and maintaining good health.

Stay Away From Refined Sugars:


The fact that refined sugar is bad for our health common knowledge. What most people do not realize is the amount of sugar that is consumed every day. On average, a person should consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day. However, the average person actually consumes anywhere from 22 to 41 teaspoons per day. This sugar wreaks havoc on our bodies and is a major contributing factor of several life threatening diseases including certain cancers, Type II Diabetes and cardio vascular disease. To detoxify the body, less is more where sugar consumption is concerned.

Avoid Processed Foods:

food aisle

Processed foods are loaded with chemicals and poisons that harm the body. Every time people ingest processed foods, they are ingesting chemicals, toxins, hormones, steroids, drugs, trans fats, saturated fats, high quantities of sodium and refined sugar but very little nutrition. Processed foods do not supply our bodies with any of the nutrients needed to maintain optimal health. While it may be difficult to completely eliminate processed foods from our daily diets, the less consumed, the better.

Eat Organic Foods:


Organic foods are grown in chemical free soil and are therefore, a much healthier choice. While the cost, season and location can make this rather challenging for some, as much as possible, people should choose organic foods.

Regular Exercise:

exercising hearts

Exercise aids in detoxifying the body in many ways and should be part of a regular daily routine. Exercise is essential for increasing oxygen into our body, improving circulation of the blood and lymphatic fluids, digesting food and removing wastes. Exercise is also essential in hormonal balance and stress management. Exercise helps detoxify the body in several ways. Increased blood flow increases the oxygen intake while removing more carbon dioxide. Increased oxygen intake improves cellular activity, organs become stronger and function more efficiently. Hormone excretion is more balanced and lymphatic fluid is circulated more quickly and evenly throughout the body. The muscles and tissues are stronger and more agile. Through aerobic exercise, harmful toxins are also expelled through sweat. By exercising daily, our bodies are better able to naturally remove the toxins.

Detoxing our bodies does not have to involve spending lots of money, eating strange concoctions, fasting for several days, soaking our feet in an unknown solution or allowing leaches to crawl over us. It is also not a short term therapy or a weekend fast. Detoxing our bodies involves creating long term, healthy habits that become part of our daily activities. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, our bodies can naturally remove the impurities.

Remembering The Soldiers 100 Years Later

WWI soldiers in trenchI love highway driving. It’s a complete escape and freedom from everyday life. I can cruise down the road,  allowing my thoughts to flow freely without the interruption from other traffic. I am mentioning this because it was during my drive today, during the free flowing moments of my thoughts, that I began to think about World War One and the true magnitude of the sacrifices made by the brave men and women during that period of history.

Now, I know that my above statement has probably raised a few eyebrows and I have to say that war is generally not something I think about often. But it did come to my mind today, which was not actually a great surprise. It’s been 100 years since WWI began and there have been many articles this past weekend in several venues from Twitter to online news forums to actual home delivered newspapers about the war. Families are understandably eager to share their relatives’ stories of valour and heroism.

And we need these stories to be told. As the years, decades and generations pass, the full magnitude of just what these men and women actually did, has been sadly lost in the shuffle.

Imagine a world without technology: no TV’s, internet, Ipods, cell phones laptops, Ipads. No high tech weaponry, immediate communication devices, satellite and infrared destructive forces. By todays standards, the machinery and vehicles used during WWI were extremely primitive and completely incapable of the mass movement and impact that is now part of today’s norm.

Imagine a world where all you really knew was that someone from another country was threatening your country, your freedom. Imagine, without any actual real knowledge of what tomorrow would bring, you, without hesitation, answered the call of your country. Leaving your loved ones – not knowing if you would ever even see them again – to go fight a war because you wanted to ensure that your family and the future family members would be free.

Earlier today, I saw a picture in our local newspaper of WWI soldiers standing in a trench. It was nothing but long dugout muddy trench. And the soldiers, dirty, tired, probably hungry, cold, damp and yearning for their loved ones, stood in the muddy trench with their guns ready for battle.  No homes, no tents, no showers, no cooked meals, no bathrooms. No high tech gizmos to email or Skype home with, nothing. Just mud, an endless trench of mud.

They were there for us, fighting selflessly for us. Those unknown soldiers fought strangers for strangers. They didn’t fight for their future, they fought for our future. They gave so that we could get.

We, who live in many ways, a very privileged life, owe our free life to those men and women who sacrificed their time and their lives so that an unknown future could be a free future. We owe these men and women, not just our gratitude or our thanks, we owe them our lives. We owe it to them to remember, to respect, to appreciate, and, most importantly, to never forget.

Finding My Zen: Getting Back To Life After A Long Work Stretch

jugglingpriorities1I work, if you can believe, 5 jobs outside the home. Yes, 5 jobs. Three are during the day and the other 2 are part time/casual/contracted positions. My job within the school is comprised of 2 separate positions plus I work in the lunch program. The lunch program is a perfect part time job as it’s only 1 hour a day during my workday. It does not interfere with my home life what so ever.

My instructor jobs are contracted positions that I work on weekends and holidays. As many jobs as I have outside the home, I am lucky because the hours are catered around my home life. As a parent, it’s extremely important to me that I be there for my son. AS a single parent, I don’t have a spouse that I can team up with to find balance. Everything falls on my shoulders. I have worked diligently to ensure that my work life and home life balance.

My son has not had to go to daycare for most of his childhood, which has not only saved me a lot of money, but has given me the extra time with him. My weekday work hours are the same as his school day hours and my weekend/holiday work hours are during his visitation times with his dad. Life is very busy with little opportunity to have any “me” time. I work almost everyday with only 1 day off a week if I’m lucky.

That’s not including the work I do at home. I have a home to run, pets and a child to take care of, errands, appointments, meetings. I’ve always got something to do. Life is so busy, that when I do have a moment to sit down, I feel lost. I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s strange, almost unnatural.

During the last 2 months of this past school year, May and June, I probably had a total of 5 days off from work in the 2 months. I ended the year working a 19 day stretch. I was exhausted to say the least!

The end of the year couldn’t come soon enough. It’s difficult to think clearly or logically when you reach that level of fatigue. Your brain and body become completely numb. I desperately needed time off. I desperately needed a little “me” time.

As the year was finally coming to a close and the long stretch of work nearing an end, I knew I needed to rest, relax and find my zen. To do that, I planned a road trip with my son and mom. I wanted to get away from everything and focus on complete R & R. What better way to do that than to leave your home and go somewhere completely new for a few days? No housework, no chores, no pets, no yard work. I didn’t have to think about the bills or the groceries or any other errand. For those few days, I was completely separated from the normal, everyday life. I could sleep in, relax, shop, see the sites. I could have others wait on me, cook for me and clean up after me. I left the work, responsibilities, concerns and stresses at home, far away.

My technology was turned off so there were no emails, social media, phone calls or texts that could bring home into my sanctuary. I was completely free from my daily life for a few days. It was heaven!

We had a fantastic road trip. We shopped, toured, swam, relaxed, laughed and enjoyed the moment. I found an energy and revitalization that I hadn’t felt in a long time.

I returned home feeling carefree, stress free. I was beginning to find my Zen. I could look ahead to the upcoming months clearly and with great anticipation.

As exhausted as I was by the end of the school year, getting away was the best way to rejuvenate after a long work stretch. It gave me the freedom and distance from daily life that I needed to focus solely on my son, myself, my family.

Trips, no matter how short or inexpensive, are a wonderful way to get back to life after a long, difficult, tiring stretch. Whether they are one day or several, the next town or next country, road trips or flights, trips are a great way to completely step away from everyday life. Trips are a wonderful way to break away from the ruts and add zest to your life. I love travelling, and all the benefits that come with it.