Bottoms Up!

As the cherry raspberry goodness slid down Sandra’s dry throat she found herself in instant pain; brain freeze to the max! The icy liquid stung her insides as it made its glacial escape down her esophagus. Sandra reverse arched her back trying to relieve the pain, like a contortionist made out of spaghetti. This was quite the feat to do so, since there was limited space in the little red leather booth that she and her Gibson guitar had currently occupied for the last 2 hours.

Her dark greasy hair hung heavily down under her grey beanie toque, masking her made up face, as she silently counted the change that she had found while rummaging in her little blue Honda’s sticky backseat. Soggy french-fries, questionable dust bunnies and coffee lids were just some of the treasures that her callused fingers had found as they anxiously searched for any monetary compensation to help fuel her current existence.  $3.55 was left till payday or at least till she could find her next gig.

 The horizon was a beautiful hazy purple that reminded her of the crocuses that emerge quietly, but mightily in the spring. Breaking their way through the crisp, fresh air; announcing their presence like the first bite of marshmallows on a clear night’s fire.

She peered out through the smoky window of the little diner, as the air filled with bacon and fries. A brilliant fire could be seen spitting and burning on the gleaming outside grill, as the burly chef flipped the dark charcoaled burgers that were eagerly anticipated by her fellow patrons, and their overflowing wallets. Sandra’s taut stomach started to grumble and ache, as not even the cool smoothie could satisfy its famished call.

The life of a starving artist, everyone had warned her. But that was before she had thrown caution to the wind and found herself gnawing down on the freedom to express. The road to find one’s self and one’s purpose ate at her soul, like a fat kid discovering the last donut in the box. Its allure was just too tempting.

Sandra’s mouth watered with anticipation as she found herself unsure of what her next move was. She had two options, use the quarters that she had scrounged up and call her parents, admitting defeat; or finish her drink. Bottom’s up, I guess, as she set down her glass before picking up her guitar, and taking a seat at the front of the room.

And with the strike of the chord, her soul had its first taste of what, Sandra hoped, would be a buffet of a lifetime.

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The tourist sun

As a young girl, from about 6 years of age, I would find myself staring up at the sky, watching the clouds move effortlessly; I would close my eyes and feel the wind brush across my face, like the touch of a new born babe.

I always loved getting lost amongst the tallest of evergreens; feeling their thick bark rough against my cheek, as I gave each one a huge wet kiss and a bearlike hug, thanking them for the shelter that they had provided me. 

The woods were my home away from home. Where one could hear the quiet cicadas, just as clearly as a violinist striking her callused fingertips against the jagged strings; creating a melody of sounds by the singular plucking of each note. 

I remember feeling the earth beneath me, firm, yet supportive, as I sat there braiding fresh sweet grass that my grandmother had showed me, just as her grandmother before her had. Its slippery, yet cool flesh; intertwining between my fingers, as it was weaved back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, representing the mind, body and spirit as it filled my soul.

The world is your oyster, my grand daughter; she would tell me, as she brushed my hair and let it fall through her fingertips, gently tugging away at each knot that was captured by her knobby knuckles.

Her hand always felt warm and soft in mine. It reminded me of silky butter, so smooth and creamy. She was a member of the monthly Elizabeth Grant skin care club. I had asked her once, what her secret was, and all she would tell me was ‘tourist sun’. I remember staring at her in awe, wondering when I could be a tourist and get me some sun.

It wasn’t until years later that I had discovered that it wasn’t the ‘tourist sun’ that had helped enrich Grandma’s pores to that of a beauty queen. But it had been torricelumn; the ultimate game changer in skin care.

My journey for the ‘tourist sun’ would finally come to an end as I picked up my phone carefully swiping at its cool exterior. Within a few seconds, I was connected with an operator who assured me that I could get same day shipping. And wouldn’t you know it, when the FedEx man came and passed me my rough brown package, I literally felt a jolt.

It was like I was home again. With each unwrapping of the packaging, I could feel the cool grass. With the smooth turning of the lid, I could feel the breeze on my face. And with the dab of my pinky, I could feel Grandma stroking my cheek, as she gently shared our space, basking in the ‘tourist sun’.

It Ain’t All Roses


As the rickshaw first wove through the bustling city, my nose was blasted with an array of smells; from the spicy curry, to the sweet aroma of jasmine, to the raw sewage that accumulated alongside the street. In one breath my nostrils were intoxicated, and then just as quickly, violently assaulted.

I had thought my luck was finally changing for the better. I had scratched some lotto tickets that Santa had splurged on last minute. To my surprise, I had not only won, but I had won big. 10G in matter of fact, and after almost traveling for what seemed like an eternity, I finally found myself in New Delhi.

Thank the heavens, for one’s airway, can only be attacked for so long by silent seepers (deadly farts), and smelly feet in a vacuumed cannon. After 18 long, stifling hours, I could finally feel my lungs release, the last of the fresh air I had consumed prior to boarding.

I first found myself startled by the offense on my senses, as not everything is a bowl of roses when you leave the airport or as lovely as they make it seem at the travel agency. You are warned that you are entering a third world country and that poverty is an every day occurrence, but that the beauty will outweigh the stench.

My driver, for instance, even though he had on the latest pair of Adidas shoes, more than likely made here in a child slave factory, had an odd smell that would creep up on me with each pedalling motion of the rickshaw. It was a mixture of sweet sweat, mixed in with dust and dampness, from the high humidity of the day.

His face was marked with odd tattoos that he said he had acquired over the years to help him feel closer to Brahma, as he was a practicing Hindu. I, being inkless, found myself mesmerized by his face and discovered myself having hundreds of questions silently popping in my head as I stared intently at each design.

As he spoke, I listened. I noticed a haze that had surrounded the city as we cycled by a park. He said it was the smog that accumulated mostly from the factories that produced bricks for the housing. We passed a playground. Only the wind played amongst the swings. There were no children there, as the lack of air quality for that day was too dangerous for them to play outside.

Its acrid smell burnt my throat, causing my eyes to water. I wondered how people live like this. We finally pulled up to my hotel. I noticed the ample flowers hanging from the baskets, beckoning me to overcome the stench and embrace the roses.

I thanked my driver, and gave him an ample tip for his trouble, as I walked through the doors breathing in the pumped oxygen that embraced the rich and kept out the poor.

Lady Bird

As the water lapped along the sides of his Lady Bird, he found himself lost amongst the waves. It was the early dawning of the morn, as the sun was just starting to peak through the mist that clung to the water’s edge. 

A light pitter-patter could be felt coming down, leaving perfect circles on his black thick framed glasses, that the lady at the eye store had assured him were the “new and hip” thing, whatever that was.

He could feel the cold, as it pierced and howled at his wrinkled flesh, begging him to be let in from the storm. It whispered in his ear, promising him sweet nothings for the exchange of heat and warmth. He found himself wringing his raincoat tighter to his withered body that had felt the sea a thousand times, as it pelted his leathered skin like the sound of a beating drum.

Onward he travelled farther out, only him and the quiet putt-putt of his motor, longing for answers that only the sea could provide. With each wave, his coffee sloshed around his mug, making it frothy and bubbly.

As he quickly put the hot liquid to his lips, the acrid taste of burnt coffee grounds caused him to sputter and choke. Had he forgotten that the pot had been on since yesterday? What day was it again? Had Maxwell House not claimed that their coffee was ‘good to the last drop’? These questions ticked in his brain, as he made a mental note to send them a strongly worded letter about their false claim to fame, when he came back to shore. Besides, he found himself with nothing but time on his side since Mary’s passing 6 long months ago. 

He could still hear the final beep, as they turned off the machine that had been helping keep Mary’s heart from finally saying its ‘too soon’ goodbye. It’s haunting melody had been on repeat for 6 months, 2 days and 26 minutes, not that he was counting.

His only escape these days, had been with Lady Bird, a name fitting for a queen, at least that was what Mary had told him when she christened the boat. They had planned to travel the roaring seas; seeking new adventures and treasures at each port. But that had been before he had answered the ring. One final call, that would send his life spinning towards gasps, whirring, and mechanical sounds that do not speak lovingly or reassuringly to one’s heart. Instead the crashing reality of how one quiet beat could be so fleeting, yet so endless in the same breath.

“Here’s to you, my love. May you continue your voyage to every port, and may your laughter be heard within every wind that breathes life through every sail.” He said quietly, as he slowly poured her ashes overboard and watched them slip away, whispering sweet nothings, as they danced towards the clouds.

2 for 99 cents (The Big Gulp)

** I have signed up for a 6 week writing course by Sarah Selecky. Each week we are to use a specific sense to incorporate within our writing, as well as given 3 picture prompts to include in our piece.**

2 for 99 cents (The Big Gulp)

As the miles of hi-way stretched between Joe and his hometown, he found himself sandwiched between rows of cornfields, golden like the sun, and fluffy cotton candy like clouds that appeared to swallow the horizon.

His little pale blue Honda civic, dotted with splotches of rusty patches, had just over 250,000 Km on it and hopefully, would make it another 50K by the time he figured out where he was headed.

The speedometer glowed a brilliant orange hue that reminded him of the last bit of embers one finds after a rewarding night’s fire spent with loved ones. Next rest stop was still a good 50 kilometers to go. With any luck his bladder would hold up, as he glanced uneasily at the Big Gulp container that was now three quarters empty.

Buyer’s remorse, he thought to himself. Then again, a deal is a deal, and some things are hard to pass by as he recalled the 2 for 99 cent sale that had caught his baby blues as he had surveyed the cooler that was speckled with condensation. Then again, maybe it had been the cute blonde sales girl with the sapphire eyes, and curves a plenty, who had convinced him that it was a better deal to buy 2, rather than to get the medium Coke that he was currently holding in his slender, yet manly hands.

But for now his bladder would have to wait, as the asphalt was beckoning his name. Long, and windy, with the occasional bump and pothole that reminded him of how his life had been over these past 26 years.

Each curve seemed to mirror his life. Each crack and crevice, a reminder of the marks left on his life by the choices he had made.

Next stop…Rainbow Falls. It sounded nice enough, but just thinking of it, made him want to pee. Actually, at this very moment in time, as he started to squirm in his bunched up dark blue Levi’s, it was no longer a pleasant want, it was a burning need.

As he pushed his right cracked leather loafer down on the gas pedal, he braced his left foot into the dusty moss brown floor mats that needed to be scrubbed a good 200,000 Km ago. He hoped the sensation of at least putting pressure onto the floorboards would help restrain his bladder from exploding any minute now. If only he could find something that could occupy his thoughts.

He surveyed the interior of his car. All that remained were now, two empty Big Gulps, with their glaring red letters that had challenged him at the time, to essentially go big or go home, and the odd brown Timmies’ hash brown wrapper; nothing seemed to quench his thirst for distraction. Besides being a constant reminder that he really needed to pee, as well as recognition that the two Big Gulps had indeed won the challenge.

He reached for the radio knob and found it to encrusted with a sticky substance that had to of been a combination of this morning’s hash brown, with a little bit of Gulp on the side. Gross, he thought to himself, as he wiped the gummy residue alongside the leg of his jeans.

There was nothing but silence, as the signal was lost through the valley of corn that looked like the color of bubbling sparkling apple juice.  Even the thought of bubbles was having an effect on his concentration.

He quickly flipped open his car’s console, and dug around, scraping his fingers along smooth cd’s, hoping to seek one piece of treasure that would help him from losing his mind, before his bladder did. As he reached along the deepest depths, he felt a rectangular case with ridges that might just hold the answer to his bathroom prayers.

It was a cassette tape that had belonged to his sister. Dance Mix 95, a coveted tape from the 90’s that could essentially solve any of the world’s problems. She had given it to him before he had left, promising him that if he ever found himself getting lost, he need only to listen to the sweet melodies of Whigfield or Haddaway, and all of his miseries would melt away or be flushed down the toilet. Either way, he would be going somewhere.

He found himself sliding the cassette into the tape deck, hoping that his sister’s advice would do the trick. The sweet sound of “What is Love” blasted through the mini Bose speakers that adorned each side of the car’s doors. Joe quickly found himself drumming his long fingers on his steering wheel as the sensation to relieve him-self, started to dissipate.

Soon he was singing along, throwing caution to the wind, being one with the road, and putting the pedal to the medal. He barely noticed the speedometer surging past 150, or the flashing colors of red and blue, lighting up his rear view mirror like fireworks on the fourth of July.

 

Late Night Musings

All of my babies are sound asleep. I too, should be headed to bed but I found myself googling random things and then found myself logging onto my site. I haven’t written on here in almost 2 years. A lot has happened. I am divorced. I have an almost 7 month old. My oldest is in grade 6 while my middle child is in grade 4. My oldest cat had to be put down on my sister’s birthday and the weather has been wreaking havoc on my head lately. We are still adjusting to Diabetes as we near the 2 year mark. It’s crazy, as it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. We have a pocket puggle, his name is Rory. He gets along well with our 3 yr old pug Penny. I’ve been doing card readings. Which I’ve found to be very therapeutic. So in a nutshell, good, and you?

DKA- Diabetic Keto Acidosis

I sit in a darkened room, while my daughter sleeps in a hospital bed next to me. I should be sleeping but I am staying up a bit knowing that her blood work will need to be done in an hour… a process that she dreads with a ferocity of a lion. She has been poked with needles over 20 times in the last 2 days.

It has been a long 2 days. But we are out of the woods… at least that is what the doctors have told me.

Let me back up for a minute. Rewind to Sunday. We thought, Bethany had had the flu. It turned out, she did not. When she came home on Monday from spending the weekend with her dad, she was very pale, tired and lethargic.

She was not her usual perky self. But neither would you be after puking most of Sunday into Monday.

I made her take a nap, as most parents would and after her nap, she promptly barfed – showing off her flu like symptoms and upset tummy. Her Dad even complained of not feeling well himself saying she had passed her flu symptoms onto him.

I took her grocery shopping with promise of ginger ale and gatorade… again thinking that this would help her tummy. She couldn’t even walk around Walmart, so I stowed her away at McDonald’s with her brother so that she could have something to eat and so that I could quickly finish our shopping needs.

We came home. She drank her ginger ale and seemed to perk up a bit. She was so cold so we took a bath. Again, it helped for a bit until she felt nauseous again and barfed.

This would continue well into Tuesday early morning. At which point around 3:30 a.m. my concern for her grew alarming as she was breathing very rapid and heavy while she was trying to sleep and even harder when she woke up and tried to walk to the bathroom but could not catch her breath.

So I called her dad and told him that we needed to go to emergency. We got to the hospital just after 4 a.m.

I told them of my concerns, and they thought she was dehydrated with a case of constipation. They tried to draw blood from my sweet girl at least a dozen times but was unsuccessful with each attempt as her poor little arms were left with holes. They were even trying to look at hooking up an IV in her feet… as nothing was working. 😦 The doctor then had her drink lots of ginger ale and pedialyte in order to help hydrate her.

I’m sure she gulped back close to a litre. At one point, one of the nurses asked about her being tested ever for diabetes. I said no, but admitted that she had a family history of both types on both sides. So the nurse brought a meter in to take her reading…

the first swipe of her finger…where the range only went to 44… read out the words HIGH. It wouldn’t even give a number.

My poor baby was having trouble breathing not because of the flu… but because she was in diabetic ketoacidosis… according to the Mayo Clinic –

“Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones.

The condition develops when your body can’t produce enough insulin. Insulin normally plays a key role in helping sugar (glucose) — a major source of energy for your muscles and other tissues — enter your cells. Without enough insulin, your body begins to break down fat as fuel. This process produces a buildup of acids in the bloodstream called ketones, eventually leading to diabetic ketoacidosis if untreated.”

We didn’t know. 😦  She promptly stopped drinking the rest of the ginger ale. We were taken to the Stollery by ambulance and arrived there by 9:30 a.m. and on the way we finally were able to get a reading of 32.6…. and once under the supervision of many doctors, nurses, and specialists.. she was diagnosed with having TYPE 1 diabetes.

So now, I listen to her breathing and am so thankful that she is pulling through. That she is coming out of the woods. We finally were able to have a meal today. I had to bribe her to eat ravioli.. not a huge fan of the sauce… but she kept it down. We actually had conversations, as yesterday was painful to watch as they had so much trouble with getting IV’s into due to collapsed veins, and poor circulation. They kept on asking her questions every hour.. due to being worried about brain swelling. Words a parent never wants to hear about their child.

I know we have a long road ahead of us on diabetes education and life change. I’m just so eternally thankful and grateful to have my baby by my side and to know that we have the best of the best looking after her. I have been a roller coaster of emotions and know that I have to be strong and that we will get through this.

Our family and friends have been so supportive and they are our rock and I wouldn’t know where I’d be without them. You all are my everything!

So onwards and upwards and prayers for my girl to get back to her full strength and spunk. We love you Bethie Boo! Tomorrow is a new day.

 

 

A Look At Me in 2016

As 2016 begins to come to a close I begin the process of reflection. I look at how this year has shaped my life, my beliefs and things that I may once have held in high esteem. As I stare at the super moon and wonder about what I need to release, as well as what I should aim to plant for the future, I can’t help but think about things that I have accomplished.

For one, I started a new chapter of teaching. I switched over from a regular D.I. classroom, to a special education classroom that many colleagues have not dared to ever try. I am in my 15th year of teaching and sometimes feel as if it was yesterday and I was starting out on my own.

I wrote my first short novel over a span of 3 days this year. That in of itself was a feat and I am proud that I stuck with it and finished it. My mom is my inspiration and I could’t have done it without her.

I walked on the tundra that is sandwiched between the Yukon and Alaskan border. I felt it under my feet and was taken away by the awe and beauty of the Canadian wilderness. I saw 7 bears in one day and was blown away by how beautiful our country is.

I paid off my car in August. My second vehicle in fact to be paid off. Now, comes the plans for saving towards my super car fantasy: a jaguar XJR. I’m putting it out there and so it will be.

I made it a year being Gluten Free and survived! Ha ha! No, really, I am feeling great and am glad that I made that change when I did. If you need some great recipes, you need to look no further.

I also discovered that I am stronger than I ever thought I was. I know who I want to be, and who I do not want to be. I know what makes me happy and with that revelation, everything becomes a lot less hazy and more focused.

I’m okay being alone with my own thoughts and know there is a difference between being alone and being lonely. I am getting used to my own space and my own sense of rhythm.

I like the me that I am becoming. I can look that woman in the face every day and tell her that she’s doing a great job and that she needs to keep her chin up. I tell her that with each day comes a new mystery, challenge, or reward and that it’s okay not to have all of the answers. Because in reality, no one does.

I know, it’s okay to not know what’s around the next corner. I just have to have faith that what will be, will be and that everything will be ok. Just be prepared to take those steps and walk on the road to greatness.

12 days Of Reiki

I have been actively enjoying sharing Reiki with my co-workers this week. I am glad that many are taking me up on my offer to experience it for the first time. I took the bull by the horns and sent out times available, this seemed to work rather well because not shortly after I had sent my email, my inbox became flooded with requests. I am grateful that I am being given the opportunity to offer up this wonderful gift.

The healing of energy is like no other and knowing that I am a part of the process really makes me feel good during this time of year. I’m also grateful that my mom inspired me to take my Reiki level 1 and 2 course years ago. If it wasn’t for her, I never would’ve known about the world of Reiki and I can honestly say my life has changed because of it.

So my gift to my co-workers over the next 10 days, it really was 12 when I started, is to help people walk lighter and feel at peace, even if it’s only for a moment. I know that at least, while in that moment, they will find contentment and they will find their own bit of peace on earth.

Positivity & Banana Bread

As I type I am happily munching on some scrumptious, mouth watering, tantalizing chocolate chip banana bread! My secret santa made it for me and really is making my week into an awesome one. They must really love me… because I love chocolate chip banana bread. I am practically a slave to it! Give me some and I become weak in the knees, probably due to all of the salivating that occurs.

I am finding myself in awe of the season yet again, as I see co-workers actively go out of their way to be nice to others. Not that they are scary hags throughout the rest of the year- don’t get me wrong, I work with some truly awesome people- I just notice that I see more smiles right now than say in January. lol

The positivity that is felt really feels great, like a super charged magnet. All the particles are aligned and it really does feel splendid to feel alive. I sent out an invite for some free reiki/reflexology sessions and I am eager and excited to see that people have taken me up on my offer. I am in a giving mood so you really should take advantage while you can.. ha ha! But really, I have a feeling that those who seek me out are in need and I am more than willing to help. Those who are scared…well they need to live on the wild side a bit more.. just kidding…or at least try it to see if it’s something that they are missing out in their life.

Either way, the positivity is flowing and I am looking forward to all that comes my way. Wishing you and yours all the best this holiday season.