Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Aristotle had it right

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Define friend....

So many ways to explain what a friend is but I still think Aristotle had it right on the git go.

Aristotle's definition: A true friend is one soul in two bodies.

And in this case I struck gold! I am truly blessed.

Up until I read this quote, I always struggled with the definition of friend. So many people interpret the word friend in so many ways. 

My definition of a friend has always been someone who:
- answers the phone whatever the time may be and is prepared to listen.

- will laugh and cry with you. 
- will always believe in you, even when you don't believe in yourself.
- will always bring out the best in you.
- will always be honest, even if it hurts.
- will not need an explanation as he/she will always understand.
- is willing to share their time with you.
- accepts you as you are.
- is willing to reach out to you, instead of you always having to do the reaching out.
- will not judge you.

I like how Wikipedia defines friend.

Soulmate: the name given to someone who is considered the ultimate, true, and eternal half of the other's soul, in which the two are now and forever meant to be together.

Spiritual friendship: the Buddhist ideal of kalyana-mitra, that is a relationship between friends with a common interest, though one person may have more knowledge and experience than the other. The relationship is the responsibility of both friends and both bring something to it.

Some would say many more things quantify friendship, but I still say Aristotle had it right. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

To realise the value...

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To realize
The value of a sister/brother
Ask someone
Who doesn't have one.

To realize
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
Divorced couple.

To realize
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.

To realize
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

To realize
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to a premature  baby..

To realize
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed  the train, bus or plane.

To realize
The value of one-second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.

Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.

You will treasure it even more when
You can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend or family member:


Hold on tight to the ones you love!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Talk about a different viewpoint

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I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia this past spring. At the time, I didn't realise just how much it would affect my life. I had put on blinders so to speak and just did my best to forget and ignore it. 

A few weeks ago, it decided to remind me in a rather painful way that it was there . As the days went by, the pain grew and I could do less and less until I couldn't even walk a block without being rooted to the ground by pain and spasms. As it worsened, I turned to forums and websites on fibromyalgia and found so much information, some good, some bad, some downright frightening, that only made things worse. I finally booked an appointment with my neurologist who actually could fit me in the very next day as another patient had cancelled. After going over the symptoms, pain, cotton ball head, spasms, etc... we had a long chat and he answered my questions truthfully and with no added sugar coating. At the end of a 2 hour appointment I felt better, understood a lot more the process of fibromyalgia and what outside influences will make it worse. He also adjusted my medication and told me that I should begin to feel better shortly and he was right.

Today, I'm going through the mail at work (replacing receptionist for just this week) and came across a magazine called Abilities On the cover was a photo of Stephen Hawking. For those of you who do not know him, he has done mountains of research in the fields of cosmology, quantum gravity and especially black holes. You would think that it sounds pretty normal but now add the fact that this man has not spoken a word since 1985, is paralysed and depends on others to feed him, etc... and now you get a much different picture. Mr Hawking suffers from ALS but much to his credit he has not let this fact slow him down in the least. 

In the following article from which I've excerpted a rather significant viewpoint, it really puts my fibro in a different light and made me realise that despite ALS;  he can work, play, enjoy life, etc... why should I let fibro stop me from enjoying the things I like to do. Certainly it will take adjustments, but it doesn't mean that life as I know it is over for me. It's all in the perspective, the viewpoint and not the point of view.
"I have had motor neurone disease for practically all my adult life. Yet it has not prevented me from having a very attractive family and being successful in my work. This is thanks to the help I have received from Jane, my children, and a large number of other people and organizations. I have been lucky, that my condition has progressed more slowly than is often the case. But it shows that one need not lose hope." Excerpt from Stephen Hawking: In His Own Words, 
On Disability.
And to show just how much freedom he has, in 2007 on one of his trips to North America,  he flew in the zero-G aircraft and experienced weightlessness for the first time in his life.

Dr. Hawking enjoying weightlessness for the first time
On a side note, go to his website and take a look around. I didn't realise until today that he has written children's books with the help of his daughter. I wish my children were still young enough to enjoy being read to from these books. They explain space and what's up there in a way that children will understand quite clearly. It's an amazing way to develop a love of science in children.

He has also been a presenter on Ted.tv. His viewpoint on the universe is fascinating and brings up many questions. Well worth watching.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Goofy and funny, that's what I needed today!

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 This one I keep in reserve when I need a laugh. First time I saw this video I sat there and just stared, slack jawed watching someone dance that I never thought I'd see.  Who would have thought that Christopher Walken used to dance professionally before he turned to acting! The man is so darn serious I never thought he could actually do something fun....  heck funny!


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Lest we forget, 9/11 - Two minutes of silence

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Where were you September 11, 2001?
I was getting ready to go to work when my husband told me to turn on the news. It was 8:30 and the scenes unfolding in front of my eyes sent a chill down my back and raised goosebumps on my arms. These were the scenes of a horror movie. Couldn't be real, couldn't be happening in North America, New York, no way this was real. But the longer I watched, the more horrifying the morning became as I watched a 2nd plane crash into the WTC and finally both towers crashing to the ground. I didn't want to think what those specs raining down from the towers were as things got worse. I wanted to walk away but I was glued in place. Hands clutching a cup of coffee long gone cold. A pile of used tissues piling up next to me as I couldn't stop crying and yet, my eyes could not leave the unfolding events before me.

That day, I lost my job since the clients we dealt with had offices in the WTC but that is small potatoes compared to the loss of so many lives, so many families broken up, so many who will never see their Mom, Dad, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends and the list goes on and on.

I will never forget September 11, 2001 as I've never forgotten other major events in our recent history. Events that have marked us, reminded us that we are as frail, as fleeting as catkins in the wind. 

The video's audio track has been disabled. It doesn't need one. I can hear the voices of the commentators on CNN as clear today as I did back then. There is no song, music, commentary that can accompany this, so in silence, let's remember and hope this insanity never repeats itself.

Fair warning to all, this video has scenes that are disturbing, but then again, maybe we need to see disturbing to remind us this is real.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Songs I love #4

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This composition from Thomas Newman always makes me think and also leaves me a little sad, missing people I love. But it also helps me deal with those losses.

The first time I heard this music was in the movie Phenomenon with John Travolta. This score is part of a scene where he looks to the trees with the wind blowing through the branches and leaves. I've always loved the sound of wind in the trees and this song brings back this cherished memory from living in the countryside away from the hussle and bustle of the city streets.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cheer up song #3

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Whoever said you only like music from your own generation was full of crap!

Case in point, me. I love music, yes, I was a teenager during the Disco era, but that's not the only kind of music I enjoy listening to. Today, with youtube, people have taken the creative process of making music to a new level. Browsing through youtube, you find gems along the way.

Like the above track from a composer who will likely never be published except on YouTube. Digitalpiece has 9 creations on YouTube which are download-able. Bonus for us! Well worth looking up this artist or even adding him to your favorites since I'm sure he will be publishing more gems along the way.

This song isn't so much about cheering up but more about thinking through things and giving you hope for the future. At least this is how it makes me feel.


Top down Raglan Sweater KAL

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I joined the Spud and Chloe Top Down Raglan sweater KAL last week. This is how far I've gotten on the sweater for one of my nephews.

All I need to do now is add a moss stitch hem and then it's on to the arms!
I'm really enjoying the creative process for this sweater. Great first time sweater for someone who's always wanted to knit one but was afraid to.

I've also cast on for the Baby Professor vest (Ravelry link). I'm using some gorgeous mossy green yarn that was gifted by my daughter. It's a quick knit and I love how the moss stitch gives it a whole new texture. I'll definitely be casting on for #2 since I have tiny twin nephews to knit for! Progress photos to be added soon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Favorite song #2

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This is another one that I like to play when I need cheering up. It's a very cute song with a nice video attached.

Monday, September 6, 2010

An Award!?!? 0_o

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Well gooolly!

I have received an award from Alex at Pinkfeatherparadise thank you ! I love her blog and crochet, shop finds,  adventures with her darling children, the ups and downs of being a Mom, wife and friend.

now I have to do 3 things...
  1. Thank the award giver...... Done!
  2. Tell you 7 interesting things about myself.... Ugh!
  3. Give the award to 15 fellow blogger's..... Hmm.... let's see! 
7 count 'em 7 interesting things about me! Hrmm.. do they have to be interesting?

  1. Ten years ago, I took a leap of faith and agreed to meet a man in person whom I'd met on the internet. I picked him up at the airport after a 6 hour flight on his end and a 7 hour drive on mine. We've never been apart since and he's the jewel in my world, the cream in my coffee, the cherry on my cheesecake... you get the drift :)
  2. I seriously dislike ignorance in people. 
  3. I refuse to let fibromyalgia run my life!
  4. I'm my own worst critic.
  5. I'm ambidextrous. I knit left-handed and crochet right-handed. Freak? Yes!
  6. I always dreamt of becoming an artist, but life had other ideas, so I express my art through knitting and crochet designs.
  7. I'm terrified of publishing my own patterns, see #4.... 
  8. I'm a chocaholic. Only thing that stops me from gorging on it is diabetes LOL
Now to list those I deem worthy of this award :)

Lucy always brings a smile to my lips anytime I drop by to catch up on the goings on in that lovely victorian home. I love her bold color choices, the projects she lovingly puts together to make her home a warm pleasant cozy place. It always feels like the door is open and you're welcome to walk in and sit for a while with a cup of tea by your side.

Donna is an exceptional crochet square designer and crocheter. I love to test her new patterns and there's always something new and shared stories to read about.

Diana inspires me. She also has fibro and I gather courage from her posts. Her blog is about so many things, there's never any time to get bored over there. So go on over and visit for a bit with Diana :)


This lady doesn't have a blog. I wish she did. She is an amazing friend, a soulsister, someone I can talk with that accepts me as I am, warts and all. Someone I share so much with that I don't know what I did before we were thrown together by fate.


My darling daughter whom I adore. She is also my bestest baby girl, my friend and my daughter all rolled into one. I am always amazed at how much she manages considering the health issues she has to contend with to function every day. Yes, I am proud of her and if she had a blog, it would be at the top of my list to read every day.

I've always loved Susan's blog right from the first time I stumbled onto it. Her children are adorable, especially TC. She reminds me so much of my own daughter at that age. I love Susan's posts, a mix of home, events and knitting. She is a down to earth lady who knows how to balance life between being a designer, a Mom and a wife. 

This lady loves colour in all it's forms. I first learned of her blog when I discovered the African flower group on Flicker. It's always a breath of fresh air to drop by and read up on what she's been doing. She always inspires me when I'm running low on imagination.

Aussie Maria

I love her blog, she makes me laugh. I love reading about what goes on down under. I love the versatility she uses in creating lovely patterns and lately her gorgeous blanket for her daughter. 

As her profile says "Life has one beginning and one end; the rest is just a whole lot of middle. What are you doing with the middle?" And that's the part I love reading about.

I always enjoy Gemma's blog. So many things to read about, her life, crochet, knitting, adventures with the kids, niece and nephews.

Ceci is one of these ladies who lets her imagination roam and then she creates the most amazing objects using her crochet and some floss. I absolutely love seeing what projects she's working on and also reading her version of the world around her. She expresses what  I think and has no qualms about it either :)

Ok, so I didn't hit 15. But the blogs and people I have named above are at the absolute top of my list of blogs to read (if they have one) each day. Congratulations to all of you. The award is well earned :)

Cheer up! Favorite song #1

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When I'm looking for an instant cheer up, this is the song I turn to. The line drawings are so cute and always manage to put a smile on my face when I watch it. Hope you like it too!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sweaters and squares and life oh my!

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My niece sent me this clip she found on Vimeo. After listening to it, it reminded me that I am not alone, that I have someone who stands by me through thick and thin, through the good times and the bad, through sickness and health. That person is my darling husband. Despite his own health issues, he is there for me when I hurt too much that I can't even walk a simple block. 

Stand by Me from theRedPillRadio on Vimeo.

It also reminded me that I have a friend, a very special friend who also stands by me, who accepts me as I am. She is also by my side through thick and thin, giving me the support that I need. 

And all this reminds me that I cannot go through life thinking that I can do it alone, that I must be strong for others and forget about my pain. There are days that, yes, I can put my pain aside and be there for friends and family and then there are days that the pain is too much, that I try and bury it by keeping myself busy, but it comes through anyway. It feels like a beast with huge teeth gnawing at my nerves and muscles... and that's when I turn to knitting and crochet to keep me sane.

When the doctor told me that I have fibromyalgia, I didn't realise just how much it would hurt as it develops. I do hope it reaches a plateau sooner than later since it is already affecting what I can and cannot do. Between the fibro pain and the neuropathic pain I'd rather go with the neuropathic pain. This fibro pain is something that totally cuts my breath when it hits. I can feel it building and building when I try to keep going despite the fact that I'm hurting and then it just clamps down and I find myself unable to take another step and struggling for breath.

I've been volunteering as a test crocheter for a lovely designer, SmoothFox, and have enjoyed the process quite a bit. I've tested several squares and a beautiful blanket for her and look forward to testing more. I still have to take photos of the most recent test squares but I do have a photo of this lovely square that I completed a couple of weeks ago for her.
Neapolitan Ice Cream Square 12x12
As I keep testing other squares for her I will eventually have enough to assemble a lovely blanket of beautiful original squares.

I decided to participate in a sweater KAL with Spud & Chloe. I had never done a raglan type sweater before and I thought, why not join in, this way I get to learn how to do a raglan sweater and have immediate help and support if I run into a snag. So far it's going fantastically well. I love the top down construction of the sweater and the fact that it is seamless means no bulky side and underarm seams like other sweaters constructed separately. 

Raglan sweater so far
This one I am knitting for my 11 year old nephew. I decided to go with nice chunky stripes in navy blue and white. It's a great pattern and to have online support for questions and help is fantastic. You can see everyone's progress on Ravelry.

I have other projects that are almost done that I will post photos of in my next post.