This is not a blog. So sue me!

Crikey, things are looking up!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Letters to M Jun 2012

Hi M,
It sounds like you've been working very hard on your therapy! I hope you soon start feeling a bit better. You are all very brave, and very lucky that you have each other.
Today, I was teaching some people to row in rowing boats. These are long, narrow boats that have big oars that people use to push them through the water. I am part of a rowing club, and during the summer months we row almost every day. It is very good exercise and a lot of fun!
Every Spring we teach some new people to row with us. We have some boats that take one person, some that take two people, some that take four and one boat that has eight people rowing at once! This boat is about 18 metres long! How long is that? Well if you mummy takes 18 long strides, that is how long it is. It is huge! In the case of the four-person boat and the eight person boat, they go so fast that we have to have a person to steer the boat. They have to do this very carefully, because all the rowers sit facing backwards and can't see where they are going!
In the one and two-person boats the people have to keep looking over their shoulders to see where they are going! It's like riding a bicycle backwards!
 Our boats are very light, but fairly strong. However, sometimes we row into a rock which can crack the bottom. I was in a boat last year with another person and we did just that! Luckily we only had a little leak and we were able to row to shore before it could sink! 
Sometimes people make mistakes and they can fall out of the boat - the boat still floats but the people are in the water. Most of the time this is not very dangerous because the water is not very deep where we row, but right now it is still quite cold and it is important to get out of cold water quickly!
In the Fall, we go to rowing races that are called regattas. We often take our boats along with us, which needs a special trailer to carry the boats and oars. We are what are called recreational rowers - we row for fun.
There are people who are called competitive rowers - they are very serious about racing! In a few weeks the Olympics will be held in England and almost every country competes in sporting events. Canada has some very good rowing crews. They have a good chance to win some races and get awarded prize medals!
I hope you can watch some of the Olympics on television - they are only held every 4 years, so the last time they were held you may have been too young to remember!
Anyway, I will be thinking of you when I go rowing again tomorrow!
Here is a video of high school students rowing:
Best wishes to all,

I remember when Don had his open heart surgery that a kind fairy (not unrelated to your mum, I think) dropped off at my desk a basket of useful supplies for his hospital stay - and that basket was great for use on the hospital side table (otherwise things just slid to the floor). So thoughtful and so kind...I have since passed it on to another person in hospital.

We know about the disturbed sleep - all kinds of noises in the night. One of the best items in the basket that Don remembers were earplugs! A fancy toothbrush, skin cream, wipes, something to read and assorted other little luxuries that I forget now. 

Another thing I found great to do, was to go into the visitors lounge in the middle of the night and put on a movie - something really funny and stupid, like Airplane. Also reading comic books. Doonesbury and Bloom County at that time I think...keeps you going and puts a smile on your face...which is the most important thing for your loved one!

Thinking of you all!



What a day! It sounds exhausting for you all. 

We are so sorry that you have to take such awful pills, M! You are such a great fighter. We think you are great!.

When I was a little girl, my little sister Helen was very, very sick for a long time. She had asthma which meant that she couldn't breathe properly and often had very bad chest infections. Sort of like your infections, the original problem was something different, but the bacteria were taking advantage of the fact that her defenses were down for a while. It's like fighting weeds in your can win - if you have lots of help - but you have to keep at it all the time and root them out! 

Just like you, she had to take horrible pills, brown-type poop-goop, and a tube down her throat; but she got better that time, and all the other times that it happened. Helen is now a grown up woman in very good health and she feels great now! 

Lots of love,


Hi all,

What a lovely picture of you M! (I really see the resemblance to your mom!)

We had our first taste of fresh local strawberries today! They are wonderful! I took my cat, Freya, to the vet (which is a doctor for all animals, except for humans) for her annual check up. He said she was in great health, which is good. The only thing is that she has a long black fur (which must be very annoying on these hot days). When she grooms herself, she licks herself all over, and the long hairs form a huge bundle in her stomach which then makes her vomit up the last meal (and, if we are lucky, the hairball that made her sick). Sort of like you've been doing...So the vet recommended that I give her some mineral oil which is like wet Vaseline and makes the fur in her insides a bit less tangly. They make a special goop like this for cats, and they flavour it with tuna...too bad they can't flavour your medicine with something other than ick.

Anyway, outside the vet's office, which in in Winchester, about a half hour south of Ottawa, there was a smiling man selling new potatoes and fresh strawberries. It was Thursday last week, the hottest day of the year so far, and he was outside...he did have a tent over him and the produce, but the wind was like being next to an oven. I bought some new potatoes, they are tiny, smaller than an egg, and deliciously tasty! Yum...the strawberries are also delicious - they are quite tart flavoured  - I am sorry to say that by the time I got home to Morrisburg, only 20 minutes in the car, I had eaten about half of them!

I put it down to stress. Freya was not happy in her cat box. It is a large plastic crate with big holes all around and a wire mesh door at the end. She hates being in the carrier! I have to put her in there, because if she is wandering around the car when I am driving, it can be very dangerous. Cats always seem to want ot get under the  pedals so that you can't stop the car if you have to! So she was in the box, howling and crying, and scrabbling like a mad thing at the door! It breaks my heart to hear her like that, even though it is for her own good - she doesn't realize it!

Of course, when we get home, I opened up the cat box on the driveway to let her out and she walked out all calm as if to say, "What is all the fuss about?" She can be quite contrary to what you'd expect. I suppose that the smell of her home was enough to reassure her. 

Did you know that cats and dogs have a much, much better sense of smell than us humans? They rely on smell as much as we rely on our eyes! I think cats only see in black and white, not colours like us. They get a lot of information about the world from the smell of things we can't even detect.

So Freya is back home, which is very important to a cat.Right now she is sitting on the rail of our back deck quite happily looking at birds. Luckily for them, they know that cats want to eat them! Every time she goes into the garden, all the birds get up on the wires and scream, "Cat! Cat! Cat!" - of course they don't say it quite like that - but the other birds get the warning!

All the best, sweetie, I hope you feel a bit better soon.

Love to all,


No comments:


St Lawrence Rowing

Test content from SLRC