Thursday, March 25, 2010

Life Through a Purple Haze

Wow, I can't believe that Purple Day is tomorrow. And I haven't even posted on it yet!

Not because I've forgotten about it or we've just been sitting around on our purple bottoms -no way!

It's just that we've been too busy doing stuff for Purple Day.

Last Saturday was spent at our local Mall with a Purple Day table. We sold bracelets, handed out lots of purple pins, ribbons, cupcakes as well as information on epilepsy and had some great chats. It was so cool to see people walking around the mall wearing the Purple Day pins and the epilepsy ribbon. Especially since the vast majority of them had never heard of Purple Day before.

And besides painting both blogs purple, we've had our local Village Council proclaim March 26th as Purple Day, we have three local schools (elementary, middle and high school) participating and a local day care is involved in the Purple Day Bunny Hop.

Oh yes, the Blue Jay will also be selling purple cupcakes (with the help of some of her friends and the resource staff) at her high school tomorrow, there will be special PPP draw for the kids wearing purple at the middle school (grand prize being a Purple Day Cake for that student's class) and, yesterday, the Kids on the Block landed at the elementary school to put on a presentation for the Grade 5s at the elementary school.

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Now for any of you wondering what this Purple Day is and what all the fuss is about ... you should have been here last year! [Just scroll down through that last link]

Just teasing ... Purple Day is about a very special young Nova Scotian. It's about speaking up and stepping forward. About not being afraid. About bringing epilepsy "out of the shadows". And about what one person can do when they make up their mind to something.

9 year old Cassidy Megan didn't want to tell her classmates that she took seizures. That she had epilepsy. She was afraid they would make fun of her.

But when members from the Nova Scotia Epilepsy Association came to Cassidy's classroom and did a presentation, it empowered her to speak up for the first time in front of her classmates and admit that she had epilepsy.

And yet Cassidy went beyond that. She realized that people needed to learn more about epilepsy, "especially that all seizures are not the same and that people with epilepsy are ordinary people just like everyone else". She also wanted kids with epilepsy "to know that they are not alone". And with this realization, Cassidy became a spokesperson for epilepsy.

She went to the principal of her elementary school and asked if they could create and celebrate Purple Day ~ a day when everyone would wear purple to increase awareness about epilepsy. With the help of her mom, Cassidy began contacting politicians, celebrities, non-profits and corporations, asking them all to spread the word about Purple Day and epilepsy.

And with that, Purple Day was born.From students in classrooms around the world to Paul Shaffer on the Late Show with David Letterman, people wore purple to spread the word about epilepsy on March 26, 2008. Cassidy was interviewed by news outlets across Canada and was even featured in a South African epilepsy newsletter.

Last year, we brought Purple Day to the Annapolis Valley. And to the combined approximately 700 students at a local elementary and middle school. And like I said above, this year we expanded it a little.

How can you fail to be be awed by a story that starts with a 9 year old Nova Scotian girl and ends with purple tea parties and pizza parties, purple cocktail parties and fundraising events, purple art shows and pool competitions, a Calgary City Hall Purple Day Proclamation Celebration and a purple-lit CN Tower and Niagara Falls?

So on behalf of the Blue Jay and our family and the 300,000 Canadians and 2.5 million Americans and countless others around the world who live with epilepsy each and every single day, we offer a very heartfelt thank you to Cassidy.

I wonder how many people are aware that epilepsy affects more than twice as many Canadians as those who live with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis combined or that one in 100 people has epilepsy? I wonder how many people are aware of many epilepsy issues?

Well, thanks to Cassidy Megan, I am sure the answer is many more now. And that number is growing every year.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Olympic Spirit - I Believe

There was so much I wanted to post when the Olympics were on but it just didn't happen. It was really rather sad I thought, just one lonely Olympic post.

But then. Then I was saved.

Because following hard on the heels of the Olympics was the Paralympics.

And I realized the obvious ... that the Olympics weren't over, that I hadn't missed anything. That the Olympic spirit lived on.

Because lest we forget, the Olympic spirit is not just about the Olympics. Far from it.

The Olympics, the Paralympics and the Special Olympics. They all encompass what makes the human spirit great. Inspiring, even.

Because whether it was Canadian figure skater Joannie Rochette's performance two days after her mother's death; Lauren Woolstencroft, a little girl born with no legs below the knee and no left arm who came home from school and retreated to the basement every day, determined to teach herself how to skip, who went on to win five alpine gold medals at this month's Paralympic games or Loretta Claiborne, the middle of seven children in a poor, single-parent family, born partially blind and mildly retarded, unable to walk or talk until age 4 who has twice placed among the top 100 women in the Boston Marathon, won medals in dozens of International Special Olympics games and holds the current women's record in her age group for the 5000 meters at 17 minutes (ironically, as a child she used her speed and strength to protect herself in fights against cruel classmates) ... it's all really about the same thing.

Believing in yourself.

Believing in your dreams.

And. Never. Ever. Giving up.

With which I have some personal, first-hand experience when I see my oldest daughter pump her fist with the world's biggest smile on her face when she finishes in the top three (let alone first place) in a Special Olympic swimming event.

Or when she tells me that someday she will swim in the National Games.

I believe her.

For the simple reason that she believes in herself.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Thank goodness for my handy dandy site meter!

Mulling through it this evening I noticed that someone had spent a fair bit of time and quite a few page views on Free Falling for just coming off a Google image search.

Curious, I clicked on their entry page. And reminisced through this post.

Reminisced to the point that I clicked back over to Kaboom.

Not sure exactly why I went there, perhaps just to hear the Killers once again. But, boy, was I glad I did!

Did you know that Lt G Capt G Matt is blogging again?!

Better even than that (hard to imagine, I know) .... drum roll please ... KABOOM (the book) is out.

Finished. Published. Ready to rock and roll. And, of course, read.

So yeah, if case you couldn't tell, I'm stoked!

Because even though I just ordered (and am awaiting the arrival of) six books from Amazon, now I have another one I need.

As in. I. Need. It. Now. Can't. Wait.

Must. Find/ Money. Tout suite.

Update: If you're not familiar with Kaboom and are wondering what all the fuss is about, this is your required reading. Because it starts at the beginning of his deployment. No, you can't start with what he's written today (he's no longer in the military) and work backwards. That simply will never do. And don't think you can simply sneak off and do that and I'll never know the difference. I got my eyes on you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More Mini-Me

The good news is that I'm busy.

The bad news is that I still don't seem to be blogging.

I took the week "off" work - meaning I'm not going into the city for a day of work and I'm ignoring the work I would usually do at home, as well.

But it's far from a week off...

I took a break from the paying work (which I can ill-afford to do) because I just have too much STUFF to do. And the plan is to get it done this week. So far. So far, so good.

Everyone is familiar with those Legal Will kits you can buy, right?
Personally I don't have much use for them. I figure they might be fine if you have a very straight-forward situation - I am dividing all my assets between A and B - but not if it's much more complicated than that.

But that aside, I am in the process of attempting to creating a Legal Guardianship kit. Guardianship has become a big issue in the disability community in Nova Scotia with the advent of the RDSP (Registered Disability Savings Plan). Although personally I think it should have been an issue long before now.

At any rate, it's an expensive proposition for parents contemplating getting court-ordered guardianship of their challenged young adult son or daughter. And it struck me that it shouldn't necessarily have to be so.

Particularly in cases where the young adult is very low functioning, it should be relatively easy for parents to do this for themselves. Without a lawyer. And without what for many families is a prohibitive cost. But with, of course, a little help from their friends. Because we all need that, right?

And so it that I am now knee deep in precedents for such a kit. Nothing like good clean fun.

And then, of course, it is income tax time again. Being self-employed, that means adding up a lot of receipts. Did I mention that there are a lot of receipts?

Then there's other stuff going on as well, like attempting to help my other half deal with a situation where even though he has worked in an industry for 30 years, he is now required to take a 4 hour test to become certified. Which, as unappealing as that might be, grows exponentially worse when you dropped out of school as soon as you could. And have a learning disability. Yeah, so that's fun.

So such is my life at the moment. Busy, busy, busy.

Notice I've conveniently neglected to mention the health issue ... it's still there but quite frankly I'm too busy to pay much attention to it at the moment. Unless it becomes particularly demanding. Which it does on occasion.

Still though, reading this morning's newspaper accounts of the rapes of women and girls (as young as 2 years of age) in Haiti made me want to ...

To say nothing of our priorities being so totally screwed up ...

Well we won't go there right now, will we? No, we won't. Because we have the luxury of neither having the time or the energy. Which must seem like quite the luxury to those desperate abused Hatian women.

So yeah. This is what you get at the moment.

Mini- me.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

'When You Thought I Wasn't Looking'

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you feed a stray cat and I learned it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make my favourite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make a meal and take it to friend who was sick and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it and I learned that we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grew up.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw tears come from your eyes and I learned that sometimes thing hurt but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking I learned most of life's lessons that I needed to know to be a good and productive person when I grew up.

When you thought I wasn't looking I looked at you and wanted to say "Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking".

~ Author Unknown ~

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Running Walking Scared

I hate to be a whiner.

Or, perhaps more accurately, if 'n I'm going to whine, can I at least have some cheese with that?

Blogging remains light. Both here and at the other blog. And that bothers me because, after all, it is me, so of course I have things to say. And yet, as much as that bugs me, it's really the least of my concerns.

In the past 24 hours I found myself trying to express (with conviction, nonetheless) the same thought, albeit for very different reasons, to both my husband and a good friend. Namely that although there is much in life we can't control, the one thing we always do have control over is our attitude, how we choose to respond to what life throws at us.

Sounds rather noble, doesn't it? Ain't I smart?

The problem is that I'm feeling a mite hypocritical at the moment. Because although I tried to give myself a rather stern talking to this afternoon on the very same topic, I seem to have trouble taking my own advice heeding my own words of wisdom. In other words, apparently I am having a bit of difficulty adjusting my own attitude to what life is throwing at me at the moment.

Not to put too fine a point on it. But. I. Am. Scared.

And wimpy. And whiny. And more than a little bit cranky too.

I haven't been feeling well lately. That you know.

What you most likely don't know is that I'm not exactly starting to feel any better. And I could very easily freak myself out just a little and start to believe that things are actually getting worse. But I would really rather not go there.

Which leaves me here. Wondering if I should create a new blog label. "Warning - Whining Ahead".

And struggling to control my own emotions. To not "freak out", so to speak.

I go back to see the specialist in May. And my plan had been is to simply wait it out until then. Keep on keepin' on.

Which is what I will do suppose. Seeing as how I don't seem to have many other options at the moment.

And yes, yes, I did question whether this was an appropriate blog post. And then, after giving the matter the careful consideration it deserved, decided ... to hell with it.

It's my blog. I'll cry if I want to.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

'She's All Washed Up'

It being the 6th day of March.
And this song playing on the radio this morning.

It is now our theme song for the day.

**Now renamed 'Canadian Dream'.
What? You gotta problem with that?**

Well that and this one.