Western education 2013

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August Long weekend visit....

The long weekend is here and my sister arrives in the late afternoon after a long drive from Ottawa.  Her smile lights up the front hallway as the kids come down the stairs to greet their Aunt Patricia and Uncle Al.  It's been a year and so much has happened since their last visit.  Patricia spoils us with lovely gifts and grins widely when Lydia wraps her arms around her Aunt and thanks her.  Mitch pulls on the red Roots sweatshirt and gives her a hug.  He has grown and slimmed down since she last saw him and comments about how adorable he looks.  Lydia comes in for a second hug and smiles up at her wonderful Aunt.  How lucky are we that she and Alan have made the journey again.   My gift is a Coach purse... my first ever!!  I have only hugs and love to give back.  

They have brought steak with them for supper so Alan and Mitchel head into the kitchen to begin the preparation while us gals head to the back deck to catch up with a beer in hand.  I love listening to her stories and of the places they have visited... later in the weekend, they will show us a slide show of the highlights of their 9 week trip to Australia and New Zealand.  I wish we had done more travelling when I had the full-time income.  I am deeply proud of them for pursuing what is important to them in life and living their lives to the fullest.  They are a phenomenal couple!!! 

Patricia pulls together an amazing salad and Mitchel has cooked unbelievable steaks and baked potatoes with guidance from Alan.  Wow, what an amazing meal.  We continue chatting into the evening over beers until they head off to their hotel. 

Saturday has us heading out to Port Stanley for a visit to their famous beach and then later to eat at GT's on the beach.  Mitchel has decided to stay home - he is feeling under the weather.  The day is overcast and by the looks of the weather warning on the Weather Network, it will soon turn ugly as the afternoon progresses.  We take advantage of the early afternoon to walk through the town after picnicking on the beach.  We take in the sights and the quaint shops as we stroll along.  The men decide to sit it out when we head into the 'girlie' shops and re-join us when a store piques their interest.  My sister chats amicably with the store owners and one in particular about a specific type of Italian glass.  Her travels have taken her around the world and she has experienced and learned so much....I quietly take in the conversation from a distance when I realize the artwork I am standing in front of is from a man I used to work with at the TV station years ago.  

My Beautiful sister Patricia

I could tell you about the man behind the artwork but not the form of art he does.  This is the second artist I knew from the two galleries we have just visited.  From near or far from where you live, there is always something to learn and experience.  It was fun playing tourist in a small town we have visited many times.

Welcome to Port Stanley

GT's On The Beach
Dinner was amazing here as we sat beneath the metal roof of GT's.  It wasn't long before the sky opened up and the rains poured down while we ate lake perch caught right here in Lake Eerie.  It is a large fresh water lake that forms one of the Great Lakes separating Ontario from the United States.  This lovely town of 38,000 swells to more than twice that in the summer with cottagers arriving from all over.  The local fisheries sell their fish in the market just off the harbour.  

Harbour Fish Market

One of the fishing boats moored behind the fish market in the harbour.  Two seagulls rest atop the hardware on the deck.

This is our last day together and we have decided to visit with my Dad at the longterm care facility.  They tell us he is in a grumpy mood as we make our way to his room.  This is Patricia's first visit with him in years and she is not sure what to expect when we arrive.  He is laying down on his bed just staring around when I approach and get close enough to get his attention - he is blind in one eye and has minimal sight in the other.  He hears my voice and looks up into my face and smiles.  "Hello Dad", I smile back into his now broadly grinning face.  "I have a visitor here who has come to see you.  Would you like to see Patricia?"  He looks confused at first and then his face brightens as she moves in for a hello.  We help him to sit up and note that his PJ's are wet from sweat.  No worries, the PSW has come in to take Dad to the bath.  Since the bath is not ready, we are walking him around the floor trying to keep him occupied until its ready - about 15 minutes later!!!

We will head downstairs to the outside garden to have our coffee with him.  She is happy that he has some lucid moments in our visit together.  She takes him around the small garden and points out flowers and things of interest including the myriad of little feathered visitors.  We have our coffee at a little cafe table in the now deserted garden.  Then the hijinks and hilarity started.... here is Dad being silly!!  Oh, and my new look.... from Artic Blonde to redhead.  

Monday August 3rd 

Tuesday August 4th....

...... gets me out of bed soon after falling asleep.  My stomach is rolling and the burning sensation lets me know that the liver or gall bladder is once again dumping its contents. I head to the spare bedroom to lie down but find myself groaning as I push myself back up off the bed and head to the bathroom.  There is some relief but the bowel doesn't feel empty and hasn't for a few days.  I want to cry but I know that it will only serve to make matters worse so I head downstairs to take a tablespoon of Apple Cider Raw/unpasturized/organic Cider vinegar.  The pain will slowly ebb and flow.  Max has made his way downstairs... I can hear him behind me but I tell him to not touch me....I have my head on the counter and I am jogging my feet up and down to help slosh the vinegar around the belly.  I ask him to go to bed as I make my way to the dining room to continue my jog on the spot as I lean in to the table.  I can hear him head up the stairs.  I hope he gets some sleep.  It takes another 15 minutes before I make my way back up the stairs and slump into the spare room bed.  I turn over and note that the pain in my sternum has radiated into the ribs.  Great.  Just one more thing to be concerned about.  At least it doesn't hurt when I breathe..... at least not yet anyway.  This morning is dark and stormy - perfect background for how I am feeling.  

I find out that I have an ultrasound appointment for the one day that I am volunteering at the College so now I am attempting to get that changed if I can to another day.  The frustration of being in pain and a constant stream of appointments and medical pokes is driving me nuts.  The CT scan only showed the abdomen and not the chest.... so here we go again with another scan which hopefully does not happen on my holidays... but knowing my luck.... it will.  Sigh.  This morning, the frustration showed in the tears escaping down my cheeks as I kept busy trying to not focus on how I am feeling these days.

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