Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Friends


I always thought of running as a solitary sport, not something that you did with others.  Boy was I wrong.

When I first started running, I did a learn to run program and made my first running friend.  Sheila could have run faster then me, but stuck with me every week. We then ran our first 5k together.


When I decided to train for my first 10k, my friend Donzella offered to train with me and ran the 10k race in a torrential downpour, getting me over the finish line long after I was ready to give up.


Since then I have made so many more running friends.  



Friends who run in the rain with me; friends who wake up before the sun so that we can drive to races together; friends who join me at the track on a Sunday morning while I run 50+ laps.  Friends who finish their race and double back to help me cross the finish line.  Friends who are always at the finish line to cheer me on. 

Friends who give me a gift to remind me every day that I should believe in myself.


Friends who believe in me.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Flint the Donkey

As part of his birthday gift this year, my Mom sponsored a donkey in Liam's name at a farm near her that rescues donkey's and cares for them.  The Donkey Sanctuary has over 60 donkeys, and opens their doors twice a week for the public to go and visit them, so we got to visit Flint in person.



Flint was born on the sanctuary on July 20th,  2014.  They don't breed the donkeys in their care but Flint's Mom Diamond was pregnant when she was rescued.  He's a fiesty little guy that likes to eat the other donkey's harnesses when he's out in the field with them. 


Liam is an avid animal lover, so adding a donkey to his list of creatures was a great birthday gift and he can't wait to go back to visit Flint again next summer.

Friday, December 30, 2016

STRONG

In 2017 I will be STRONG.

When I think of the word strong, my first thought always goes to “physically strong”. And I don’t think of myself as being physically strong. I need Hilary to open most jars, Liam to carry heavy things down the stairs and I couldn’t do a push up or a pull up to save my life.

But strong can mean so much more. I want to be strong in my resolve. I want to be strong in my convictions. I want to be strong in my relationships. I want to be strong for my family and friends. I want to be mentally strong. And yes… I want to be physically strong too.

In 2017 I am going to focus on being strong. I don’t know how that will look, or what the end result will be. But I do know that I will be a stronger person in the end.

Check out my previous words of the year:

2013 Do
2014 Believe
2015 Determined
2016 Healthy

Friday, December 16, 2016

I tried to be Healthy

My word of the year for 2016 was HEALTHY.  I wanted to:

  • eat healthy
  • improve my physical health
  • have healthy relationships
  • be emotionally healthy
  • improve my overall mental health

2016 has been an interesting year for health in our family.  Liam and I started the year off by each having surgery on the same day, at different hospitals, down the road from each other.  Hilary’s Mum was going to come stay with us to help during that time, but she came down with a very bad flu bug hours before her flight and couldn’t make it.  Thanks to some great friends, Hilary was able to be with Liam till he was home, come back and pick me up when I was ready, get everyone’s prescriptions and settle us in for recovery.

Liam bounced back from his toe surgery within hours, and I was back on my feet in a few days.  We had hoped that this surgery would mean the  end of Liam’s toe issues, but alas, that was not to be.  The same toe became ingrown and infected again in September.  This time we were able to get him in to see a podiatrist the same week and got it cleared up lickity-split.  We are now working on preventing more ingrown nails and infections so that he doesn’t have to spend another winter in flipflops.

Hilary’s health continued to improve all year, and she just recently had her one year post-treatment check-up.  Still no cancer!  Every checkup is another victory.

So with everyone on the mend I started back running again in the spring as a way to improve my physical health.  I ran thirteen 5k races this year, including some fun ones like Not Since Moses and the Zombie Run.  I met some new people running this year and have formed some great friendships.  Having running buddies makes it so much more fun and gives me the incentive to get out the door even when I may not want to.  I was having such a great time running that I decided to sign up for my second half marathon next spring. I had a great training plan, lots of time to get ready and them WHAM…. injury.

I’ve been dealing with a bum knee for almost 3 months now.  It kept me from running at all for the first 5 weeks of my training plan, and has me back to only being able to run a couple minutes at a time.   I’m not letting that stop me though – my long runs are currently up to 8k, and if I have to run the whole half-marathon in 2 minute running chunks, then so be it.   I’m also dealing with a frozen shoulder.  While it doesn’t bother me to run, I have lost nearly 50% of my range of motion and am dealing with a constant ache and sudden acute pain if I move my arm the wrong way. I’m currently in physio for it and have an ultrasound scheduled to see if there is a tear in my rotator cuff.

So overall my physical health has had a few ups and downs in 2016.  I am eating healthier (mostly) and I feel that my mental and emotional health is at the best that it’s been in years.  That is thanks mainly to having great, healthy relationships with friends and family.

I’m glad that HEALTHY was my word for 2016.  It is an area that is important to me and one that I will continue to focus on.


Edited to add: after I finished writing this, but before I got it posted, I managed to hurt myself - again.  I did a SPECTACULAR swan dive in the living room after tripping on a cat toy.  I landed on my bad left side.  Other than a lovely purple bruise on my hip and a very bruised ego, I am okay.  A bit sore, but okay.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Rainbow of Colour


One of the downsides of having short hair is that the style is the style... there isn't much you can do with it.  At best if I let it grow a bit long I can spike it up, but that only lasts for a week or so before I get it cut again.

The one thing I can do, and have been doing a lot, is change the colour.  It started out with just dying the bangs different colours, but lately I've been doing the whole thing!  People often worry that I am ruining my hair with all the chemicals, but then I remind them that I shave it off every 6-8 weeks anyway, so it's really always new, untreated hair that I'm dealing with.

The whole head colouring started on a whim to dye my hair blue for the BlueNose!  Then I switched it up to purple to match the Sole Sisters race.   Now that I don't have any races on the books until September, I'm just having fun, changing it up every couple of weeks.  My favorite so far was a complete accident that ended up with a yellow and red "fire" look.

I've stuck mainly on the pink-purple-blue colour wheel.  Yellow is pretty shocking, but very spring-like.  Currently I'm playing around with green.  I have a work trip planned in a couple of weeks, so I'll have to figure out what is the best work appropriate colour!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Catio

Today we made a "catio" so that the feline members of the household can safely enjoy the great outdoors.












Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Drouin Family Reunion



The Drouin side of my family is fairly large.  My father was 1 of 10 siblings, most of whom had several children, who have had children and so on.  We are all spread out across not just Canada, but some have moved to the US as well.  Add in ancient family drama, and the opportunities for us to all get together are few and far between.

My cousin  Carol, the oldest of all the cousins, decided that enough was enough and organized a family reunion for this past weekend in Niagara Falls, which made it central to the majority.  Carol travelled all the way from South Carolina, Liam and I flew in from Halifax and several people drove down from Québec.  



 Carol sharing the Drouin family history after dinner.

All together, there were 60 people in attendance, ranging in age from 2 to 96. It was fun to see cousins that I haven't seen in almost 40 years and to even meet some Aunts for the first time. Of the 10 siblings, both brothers - my father and my uncle, have died, and 3 of the sisters were ill to travel.  

5 of the sisters, plus my Mom, representing the original family.


The best part of the reunion was that it gave us a chance to dress up and take some family photos.  The Drouin family crest is royal blue, so we were all asked to dress in blue and white, which made for some nice shots.


I don't know if there is a plan for another reunion, passing the planning and organizing on to the next generation, but if there is one, I'll be sure to go.