Western education 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

....... round 2 week 3

..... is going fast now that I am feeling so much better than I have in months.  I feel the need to get so much done before chemo round 3 on Monday.  This week has been split up between running Will around to buy his necessities before going to boot camp on Saturday, sewing a few projects and working at the college to get all the soldering projects completed before start of semester.  Very productive without trying to wear myself out.

I am taking eye drops this week for eyes that are getting infected from the sinuses that threaten to break out into a full blown infection if I am not careful.  I do not like taking medication if I do not have to but at this point, I cannot risk any infection which is why my family is camping for a few days and I am at home taking care of the pets and working at the college.  I feel like I am missing out  and Max knows this as he sends pictures of their far, they have water skied with Chris Hadfield (astronaut) and gone camping without me because of risk of infection as a result of bug bites.  The mosquitos are vile this year with the cooler wet weather.  West Nile is once again in our area, so after the sun goes down, I must head in.  My friend Pat has given me a number of natural products which work exceptionally well to reduce the swelling and prevent scratching if I do get the occasional bite.  Magical elixirs!!

This summer has been the absolute worst for weather.... there were only two weeks this summer that the heat reached into the high 30's and then, just as quickly as it came.... the heat disappeared and the fall like weather continued.  Ten years ago today, there was the historic blackout in North Western Canada and the States which took 10,000.000 Canadians and about three times that number affected south of the border.  Three days of quiet, dark nights when you could see an astonishing number of stars in the night sky without the constant interference from the city lights.  What a wonderful time spent with family and marveling how little we missed the TV during those days.  I worked in TV at the time and we still put on a show regardless of who could or would see it.  We ran on generator to operate the essentials of broadcasting and lighting.  I remember the sweltering heat in an old building without air conditioning.  One of my co-workers knew about a hidden door behind the staging in the old studio and opened it up to get air circulating in the building.  We continued to use the back up generator as did other major businesses who had them, in order to reduce the stress and demands when the system came back online.  My youngest was only 1 year old at that time. We lived in an old house which had poor air circulation at the best of times.  Before the outage, I had installed an inline fan, used in farm applications into the attic opening and put a window air conditioner in the opposite end of the house.  I could run both simultaneously- the fan would draw the cool air up into the upstairs taking the ambient temperature from a balmy 103 degrees to a cool 78 degrees in a matter of 30 minutes.  The boys discovered that the draw of the fan was such that they would stand underneath it and release toilet paper and whatever else the fan would draw up into the powerful updraft of the rotating blades.  Max would later discover the items of deployment when he had to climb into the attic one day to remove some insulation and check for mice.  That summer of the blackout, we were sleeping on the living room floor as the temperature upstairs had become unbearable without the fan.  The evenings were spent out on the porch chatting with neighbors and anyone else that walked by..... the quiet and the peacefulness of three nights without power had enough of an impact that we would leave the lights off for nights after that.

I headed out to the college this morning packed with a lunch and all the necessary components to get our projects completed today.  On my way in from the parking lot, I sang out good morning to the parking attendant removing the coin box from the pay parking lot.  I looked at his face closely when I recognized his voice.  "Mike?"  "Hello Marita!!"  Well, my goodness, I haven't seen Mike in about 7 years since we moved from our old neighborhood.  "it's not the same there without you", he states and then proceeds to let me know that he has been following me on the news reports over the years.  This morning I have worn a headscarf to keep my head warm from the cool morning breeze and I announce to him that I am once again in the journey.  He wipes tears from his eyes and apologizes.  Yes Mike, I miss you too and thank you for your kind words of support and offer of help....I have been blessed with many phenomenal neighbors and he makes me realize that my current neighbor issues with the bully across the street are totally unimportant in the big scheme of things.  The old neighborhood is not the same... my house is now a rental with the barest remnants of a garden in contrast to a beautiful well manicured garden when it was mine.  I used to take care of all my elderly neighbor's needs in gardening and lawn maintenance....most of them have passed away now or moved on.  I used to be the lady the neighborhood kids would go to whenever they needed help.... rescuing baby ducks and relocating them into the coves with the mommy duck flying overhead and within eyesight of the 10 babies jumping up and down in the recycle box from my porch, bandaging little cuts and running a wounded child to emerge with a traumatized mother, playing one-on-one basketball with the Native kids who threw rocks at my house (long but good story), canning vegetables with my neighbor and long-time friend Brenda....twelve years of memories and great neighbor friends.  My neighborhood here is great too and we have many close friends here as well.  Part of me just wishes the nasty neighbors across the street would just move away.

The past few days have been spent at the college getting ready for the new semester with new electronics projects.  I always go through everything to refresh myself with what the students might experience along the way and how to troubleshoot their projects as they build them.  This year, it is Sara and myself building multiple projects to come up with the best layout.  I love working in the lab and we worked continually with a very short lunch so we could get back to the task at hand.  I have almost everything in place.... just now getting all the lecture notes started.  I am getting really excited and can't wait to get back into the classroom!!!  Sara is amazing and we enjoyed chatting and singing along to the radio while steadily working away.

I left the college and headed to Sarah's house to have a quick bite of dinner and to see Miss Payton.  Wow, she is just growing in leaps and bounds as she came to greet me at the door.  Trust me to completely rial her up within minutes.  Peals of laughter and tickles as she turns into that 3 year old that needs a quick time out... testing boundaries and trying to assert herself.  I have to smile but wary as to not encourage her.  Mommy Sarah is tired these days as she is now into her third trimester.  Baby is growing fast.  Sarah needs a break and calls her mother-in-law to see if she will take her.  She will and after supper, Sarah drops her off while I wash the supper dishes.  I head off home to take the dogs out.  Sarah picks up Chai Lattes on her way to my house.  We have decided to work on finishing the quilt we started before she got pregnant.  I have two sewing machines, so while she worked away at her quilt, I made myself a bag and broke two needles in the process!!!!  I am out of needles so now I assist Sarah in getting her quilt done.

William has called on his way over to the house.  The moving truck will be at his place tomorrow afternoon to pack up his belongings and to put them in storage until he finishes his training.  Sarah has brought a gift for Will.  She had her mother-in-law engrave two dog-tags with his name and military trade on them and a keychain clip.  Really thoughtful and timely gifts.  William stays for an hour and then wraps himself around her before leaving and tells her how much he loves her.  She has always been a part of his life all these years since he was 7 months old.... and now Sarah stares up at him and wishes him good luck.  She loves him like one of her own.  Ironically, she shares the same last name as him. They hug again and he heads out to go back home to get ready for tomorrow.  I try not to be emotional when Sarah and I discuss him leaving.....I have caught myself being tearful a number of times over the past few weeks.  I know he will be fine, I will miss him dearly.... he is not my baby anymore.

I should probably head up to bed.... morning will be here soon and my appointment with the lab vampire and oncologist.  I will remember to park somewhere safer? in the hospital parking lot.  I will dedicate this blog entry to all good neighbors.... the ones who care and respect each other.  The ones who lend a hand, advice and friendship in the true sense of the word.  Thank you to Sue and John, Mitch and Brenda, Kevin and Ruth, Marg, Ian and Laura, Lynda and Murray for being really good neighbor friends!!  Sending out love and hugs to each of you and to those neighbors I left behind from the old neighborhood. xoxo

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