Friday, December 30, 2016


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


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 Qu├ębec.  

 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.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy New Year

Yes the new year started a week ago, but for our family we are starting it today. Today everyone is healthy - and what better way to start a new year off!

2015 was not a good year for us health wise.

Hilary was diagnosed with stage 2 cervical cancer in June. She underwent both chemo and radiation treatments from September to November. It was a long and rough road but a road that has led to recovery.  Her oncologist declared that there was no longer any visible cancer so she is now being seen on a regular basis to make sure that it doesn't come back.

Liam managed to drop a canoe on his toe in July that caused a cut near the toenail.   It became infected and overgrew the nail. He underwent surgery this week to clean it all up, remove part of the nail and to sew a flap of skin over it. While he is still bandaged and won't have the stitches out till next Friday,  he is well on the road to recovery. At least he is no longer leaving bloody/pusy toe prints all over the house.

And me?  For the past couple of years I have been having gallbladder attacks. I saw a surgeon in September who finally realized that the frequency and intensity of the attacks warranted surgery sooner rather then late.

So what does a family who has multiple medical issues do?  Schedule 2 surgeries on the same day.

Hilary did an amazing job of keeping everything together.  She and Liam got me registered at the adult hospital before they headed down the street to the kids hospital. His surgery was over first, so he got settled at home before Hilary headed back to pick me up. 

The original plan had been for Hilary's Mum to fly in and help out for the week. But the best laid plans are always the ones that don't work out. Hours before leaving for the airport,  Rosemary came down with the flu. She couldn't leave the bathroom, let alone fly across the country. Hilary and I have some amazing friends who came to our rescue, offering drives, sitting with Liam and taxiing Hilary to the pharmacy late at night.
So now we are all on the mend and ready to start 2016. Hopefully this year is free of all things medical for our family!