Monday, 18 March 2013

A Blue Rose

I have always loved the legend of the blue rose, the thought that at the end of it all a true heart can accomplish the impossible.  I am a firm believer that despite the odds one can prevail.

So in the spirit of continuing to learn new things, I tried my first oil painting, a blue rose done with a palette knife ( no brushes). This blue rose is for Chris and for Aiden, that they always know that love, that faith and hope.It isn't great - my mother thought they looked like cabbages. ;) But Aiden and Chris where here with me while I painted it, cheering me on, so to us its pretty special.

Aiden has been doing his own blog, and we continue do learn new things together. I have been teaching him watercolours and acrylics, and together we spent the last few weeks tumbling our own rocks. We kept a journal and now that they are finished we're turning them into pendants and dangles for family and friends.
We also got a painting in the mail, so had to go into Opus and learn to stretch it ourselves. Chris did it, and it was an amazing new experience. 

Today was another first, for me. As I dropped him off at his day camp for spring break I had to park at a Curves gym. Those of you that know me are probably aware that I am not the most physically active person; however, after a year of inactivity  I feel the need to get my body back. I need to get my strength and stamina back, and I am also hoping it will help with the post- chemo arthritis that I am still dealing with.
So! Friday I have an appointment with my GP to get some ideas on the arthritis and get her green light about my exercise plans. I got some information and handouts from the Curves owner, and its close enough to Aiden's school that I could drop him off in the mornings and come down to do a workout before heading home.

Monday, 4 March 2013


A year ago today, the world changed.

I was baking challah with my son, preparing to celebrate Purim and then go watch The Lorax with my mom and sister Ilana.

And then I ended up in the hospital, wheeled into surgery and coming out with a cancer diagnosis.

Today I am going to be a bit of a hermit. Aiden stayed home, so we are going to enjoy the sun, go for a walk, paint together. We will research together the rocks that we are tumbling, we will tackle the next Jules Verne's book together.

Life never gets back to what it used to be, but I think we are starting to figure out this new normal.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

The Month Without Microwave Challenge

Trying New Things

There are many challenges and new adventures we have undertaken of late. After seeing how quickly one's world can change I've made it a point to keep trying new things, learning new things.  This past weekend Aiden, Chris and I made it up to Whistler for me and Aiden to learn to sky under Chris' tutelage... that didn't quite work out thanks to inclement weather and a mistake when getting our skis, but it did put us in the mood to keep trying new things. :)

I have often told Aiden that for me standing still is stagnating; the day that you stop learning something new, trying something new... that day you aren't really living. On the way back from Whistler we stopped at Britannia Mine and had a tour of it as well as of the mill; Aiden was as fascinated as we were, and we got to enjoy the store's selection of rocks and minerals. That resulted in us getting a rock tumbler, so that we can tumble our own rocks and learn more about the process and minerals in general. Sure, its noisy and it will take us the next three weeks, but we are all intrigued.

The Month Without a Microwave!

I have long had a love affair with microwaves. Let's face it, they are handy, handy things. However, one of the things that came out of the long year battling cancer was the need to revamp our eating habits. By and large, we are fairly healthy eaters; when I was pregnant with Aiden I had high blood pressure, so after he was born we tried to cut out salt and incorporated lots of vegetables and fruits. Last year was a challenge because of the state of my digestive system after the MOAS and during chemo; everything we knew pretty much went out the window, so we had to re-learn how to think about nutrition and about food in general.

Something I realized is that life is too short to eat food you don't enjoy. That means that you are never going to get me near a brussel sprout again, but it also means that I am a lot more conscious of what I am putting in my body. Having gotten the Cancer Fighting Cookbook we decided it was  a great chance for all of us to rediscover food and its joys together.

It also meant that I didn't want to go near food that I don't trust for some reason.

I have a couple of friends that have gotten rid of their microwaves. When I first heard about it I thought it sounded impossible. How do you make a quick meal? How would you reheat leftovers?

But that's the point, isn't it? No microwave burritos or pizza, and as for left overs... well, you simply have to make smaller portions and eat each meal fresh. Theoretically less food would be wasted that way too, since we found that we would get bored eating the same thing over several meals.

So, starting now, this is our challenge -- we took our microwave out of the kitchen and have put it away for the month of March. If we can make it a month without needing it we will break our microwave habit, and can get rid of it for good. This is the first step in what I feel will be a healthy me, and I am excited that Chris and Aiden are on board with the challenge too. :)

So here's to the upcoming month... we'll see how we fare!