Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

I had everything all planned out, how I was going to help Karma along the way. I was involved, actually had a boyfriend, for the first time in five years this year, only to find out that he was a liar and a cheater, among other things. Those closest to me know about that.

To say I was devastated is putting it mildly. It took five years to open my soul to someone, to lay it on the line. And what happened is how I was rewarded for trusting again. Trusting the wrong person.

I know that Karma is a bitch, and I know his day and that of the Skanky female will come. I came across info that would ease Karma along, even delighted in the wickedness of planning, nothing huge or major, but enough to cause a little bit of grief, small potatoes compared to what I have endured. Let them squirm and hurt, thought I.

And so we have Christmas, a time of joy, happiness and peace. Quite a while ago, I had sent a note to him saying I had forgiven him. But was I truly living the forgiveness in my heart? I think by now, you know the answer.

Now, today, I make the final peace in my heart, the peace that God and Jesus have gifted to me. I have no doubt that someday they will get theirs, because as ye sow, so shall ye reap. And I want to reap kindness, love and joy. I want peace, harmony and tranquility. By wishing ill upon others, no matter how much they deserve it, I will only keep the thorns in my side and in my soul.

And so my challenge to you on this glorious Christmas Day, the day when hope was born, is to forgive someone who has hurt you. If even from afar, love that soul, and wish that soul peace. No one says you have to be with them, talk to them or even think much about them. But embrace the peace and joy of the season by letting forgiveness fill your heart. It is the best Christmas present you could ever give yourself.

A truly blessed and peaceful Christmas to all.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

News From the South: Good Deeds: Where's Karma When You Need Her?

Shopper's Drug Mart, Mexico
1. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. Part A: While trying to heal my broken heart after breaking off with a lying, cheating SOB, I went on my usual fall missions. Nothing like good friends, good deeds and good margaritas to balm the wounds. On the way to Guatemala through Miami, I discovered via the wonderful xray at security, that I had left my treasured Leatherman in metallic purple in the bottom of my backpack. Apparently, security in Mexico didn't think anything of it. But American security thought I could down a plane. I had to either lose the $75 + tax tool, or check in my back pack. Being penny wise and pound foolish, and in a hurry as usual through that stupid airport, I checked my backpack with the snarky American Airlines guy who said to me " I can't believe that you thought you would get away with that!" What, do you think I'm stupid? That I fell off the turnip truck yesterday? My turnips have been rotting in the ditch for weeks, thank you very much, I explained how I always have it in my checked belongings, but I had totally forgotten that I had put it in my backpack for the mission for the purpose of pulling things out of people's ears, screwing things in or out, and even filing my nails. Snarko rolled his eyes.
Family vehicle.

And when I went for my camera a day later, well, the case was there, zipped up and intact, but the camera and the charger were gone. So, a net loss of about $700. I totally forgot to pull it out of the back back. American does not cover the loss, because they clearly state that they are not responsible for electronics left in checked baggage. Which means there is a giant, invisible sign that says, "Take Me." The fact that the case was left in the backpack, zipped tells me it is an inside job. Thanks again Miami frickin' airport and American Airlines. You've done yourself proud.
The only good thing about MIA: key lime pie by Icebox.

2. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. Part B: While in Mexico,  my right second upper molar decided to sing a tune, and that tune became louder and louder until I was eating 600 mg of Advil avery2-3 hours along with some Tramadol, and rum chasers. Eventually I was never able to relieve the pain much, but I didn't care. That part lasted  until Guatemala. I had to approach our dentist, I was in such agony. He wanted to save my tooth, but face it, in a dark room lit up by LED headlamps, you can imagine there wasn't anything there for something like a root canal. He froze me two or three times one day, and it was the only time I had no pain. The unfortunate reality is that freezing wears out, especially since he was using Lidocaine, hence the multiple freezing.

The last morning of the mission, I could take it no more, and I eagerly climbed into the chair as the first patient of the day, with many sets of Mayan eyes on me as they were going to be next. I needed to be brave and show them it was okay. When the tooth proved difficult to freeze, I had an iron grip on the Translators hand, I bet to this day it is weak and withered, such is the life I squished out of it. Once the dentist thought I was frozen enough, a healthy "Ow!!" followed by chicken sh*t tears sent the message loud and clear to the next patients. That either I was a complete Wuss (guilty) or that this was not going to be a very good day for them. Out came the tooth with a piece of my jaw bone. After 45 minutes of letting the freezing wear off, I was in less pain than before the extraction. And of course, the cerveza/rum combo at the closing fiesta was pain killer enough.
Opening soon...

3. No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. Part C: I had to have a stitch in my gums, a figure of eight, he said. So I went to my dentist once home to have it removed. A couple of snips, and it was gone, so I thought. Until I explored the area with my tongue, and found the damned stitch sticking out like chicken wire. What the heck to do? More rum. Maybe go to the walk in clinic the following day - I was flying out to work in the evening. Nah. Because like a dog with a bone, once you know that thing is there, you constantly play with it over and over until your tongue starts feeling raw. So toughen up, says I to my lily-livered alter ego. Grabbed my wonderful Tweezerman tweezers, the same kind the Mexicans had confiscated two years ago because they thought I might bring down another plane. Poked around until I had the end of the stitch. Gentle tug. Nothing. A little harder. Ow, still nothing. Finally with the will of someone performing her own bikini wax, I pulled hard, screamed, had tears in my eyes, and now a hole in my gums. The thing came out, with a non flexible kink where the eight crossed over. It's a good thing my dentist didn't charge me for the visit. I'd be looking for a refund.
Where toilet seats go to die...

4. In Other News: We now know where all the toilet seats have gone. And we're not telling.

I bought a new camera. For next time.

Love to all.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

More Arctic Antics

Summer Arctic.
Pet Rock.
1. Only in Canada: My flight was late into Yellowknife. I tore into the terminal and ran screamingly to the gate room, where gates 1 and 2 reside. Lots of people, but no Canadian North attendants. Until I heard my name over the P.A. system. I had to report to gate 5. Where the hell was gate 5? Didn't know Yellowknife airport was big enough to support 2 gates, never mind 5.  And so once again, I channeled my inner O.J. and ran and leaped over to gate 5, where I had my own personal escort out to the plane.

2. Someone exposed the x-ray films, and we aren't telling you who.

3. That'll Learn Ya: Imagine my delight when one of the undisciplined little kids, cute as a button, decided to figure out the mouse trap. A sticker made the boo boo all better.

4. EEK!!!: The Quack of the Week does not like mice. Hence the traps. He is afraid. Very, very afraid. Bwahaha!.

4. WAKE UP!!! : Imagine my complete and disdainful surprise when I realized that I had turned on the timer on the Ridiculously Expensive Alarm Clock Known as the iPhone instead of the alarm, and that this realization came at 0205 in the AM whilst I was fast asleep. That sucker was ringing, vibrating and lighting up all over the place, and in another context, might have been wickedly fun. Just saying...
Who let the dogs out?

5. Someone may have exposed the x-ray films a second time in the same day, and we are still keeping it a secret.

6. Who in their infinite wisdom decided that room darkening blinds and windows that work are not a necessity in the Land of 24 Hour Sun?

7. I wonder why it was necessary for me to find out how much of a mess a can of exploding pop left in the freezer overnight makes?

8.  WAKE UP! part 2: I am in Belgium. The temperature is hovering around 30 degrees C and sweat is pouring off my brow. Ah, but a lovely Belgian brew awaits me, just a mere one minute walk away. Who dares to blast me from my reverie? What the...? I am in the Arctic? Who makes this stuff up? God? Can you have a little mercy down here on someone who wants a palm tree and a beer with the heat? Or just a tree, period? Doesn't matter what kind, anything over 6 feet tall would be appreciated. In full leaf.

9. On the first day of placement, at my front door, within an hour of landing, I was asked if I wanted to buy: a wall hanging; another wall hanging; a hat; ; sealskin mitts; the first wall hanging yet again; and a carving. The first wall hanging pretty much did the daily rounds. Assorted carvings came and went. More wall hangings. Jewellery. Eventually they tried to appeal to the foodie in me, with char and caribou. I bought the char. What I really wanted was someone with a beer and a palm tree. Guess I was expecting too much.
That is a grain of rice. Those are hand carved.

And that is how it went. Love to all.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I just want to say thanks to the U.S. Military. Since becoming involved with my Ex Marine, I just want to thank you for all the knowledge you have inadvertently helped me to gain.

1. I am now an amateur expert, if there is such a thing, on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Thank you, because in trying to understand the man you sent home broken, I have become a better nurse. My patients are well served.

2. I am better able to pick my battles. I can step away from a problem and wait. Most of the time.

3. I know first hand what PTSD can do to an individual.

4. I know firsthand what PTSD does to those who love them. 

5. I always understood grief and anguish, pain and suffering. I have always understood souls. But now I have the almost unbearable pain of watching someone's soul suffer, someone whom I love dearly, where I can do nothing but watch and worry. And maybe let go. 

6. I have re-learned to second guess myself at times.

7.  And now I am re-learning to not. 

8. I have learned that even the simplest requests/wants/needs are not always the easiest.

9. Of the many bodies and souls I have tried to help and heal, his is the one soul that I wanted to support. And the one that may be impossible to heal.

You took a young man, who did not lose his life overseas, but in reality, he has lost his life. You have taken many many others, and constantly re-deployed them in spite of their altered psyches, and sent back broken images of suffering, of guilt, of shame, of pain. These men and women are our forgotten angels, except I cannot and will not forget the one you sent to me. Nor the other ones I have met along the way.

 I have learned that I have more compassion than I ever thought possible, and that all the compassion and love in the world may not be able to repair the damage to him, to me, to us. That these courageous men and women, and specifically, my man, are left within a shell so impenetrable that all the love and compassion in the world cannot help them, inspire them, comfort them, has my stomach and my soul in knots. 

 Expendable for a lifetime. That is what you have so carelessly sent home. Some get excellent care. Many do not. And yes, thank you, I know the ins and outs of sufferers themselves, that poor decision making can be rampant. That denial is constantly by their sides. But in constantly re-deploying those already affected with PTSD, you have given them and their family members a life sentence on a road so rocky that many end up alone, used, and abused. And deep down, oh so very frightened.

Whoever said "All you need is love" is a liar. And thank you for proving that to me.

And thank you for reminding me that when any of us is stripped of everything, of love, of dignity, of self worth, that we still possess a brass ring, a glimmer of hope. The soul.

Monday, June 17, 2013

What To Do When You Have Too Much Time On Your Hands, Winnipeg Airport.

Go to the zoo, check out the rare Sock Monkey.

See the local wild life.

Await the Titanic.

Hide from Security in the Jungle.

Peruse the Children's  Petting Zoo.

Awake to the reality that you still have another 7 hours to kill. With the bar only open during the last  4.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

More Mission Madness

Belizean Sunrise
1. Smugglers Take Note. One wonders how all the drugs make their way from Columbia through Central America to the North. I'll tell you how. Pretty simple. They take the bus. And maybe even a taxi. On the way to Belize from Mexico, I was subject to the possibility of a luggage search at the Belizean customs building. Now at three AM as the only passenger on a luxury bus with 2, count them, 2 drivers (oh wait, couldn't count, one was sleeping in the luggage hold), the fact that I was frozen solid after travelling for 5 hours in that meat locker on wheels bus, I was given a pass. I think I have a name for a Benjamin Moore paint - Canadian Ice Cube Blue. Oh, that was my language when I got out of the bus on the way down and realized Mexico and Belize were in the middle of a cold spell.

This will be mine. All in Belizean time.
On the way back to Mexico from Belize, I puddle jumped through 4 or 5 take offs, and caught a cab from Corozal in Belize to the bus station in Chetumal, Mexico. Thankfully, I needed only 1 taxi, no walking between borders. When I asked when I needed to take my luggage out for inspection at the Mexican border, he said I didn't have to. And he was right. No checking for baby birds or mysterious packages that wash up on the Belizean shores. I just toddled my way to the ADO meat locker distribution plant bus station to await my bus to Jose Maria Morales.

2. If Only I Had a Picture. Oh, if only. I could see my hotel in the distance, after such a long day of travel, I didn't feel like bumping there with my luggage. So I took the only transit I could find. A bici-taxi, no motor, pedalled by Grandpa. My suitcase barely fit, and me even less so, and there was Grandpa grunting and groaning away as he pedalled, mercifully slightly downhill, save for 35 speed bumps, to the hotel. Lo and behold, Shakira's successor was parked there, dislodging her passengers, and I was ecstatic to see Kathy and Ann, who were wondering who the wild screaming Banshee was. I guess they thought it should have been Grandpa in response to the heart attack he was having while taking me to the hotel.
Shakira's successor. Popular with the locals.

3. A Word About Shakira. We had many laughs over Shakira. It was the name of our mini van transportation we had been using during previous missions in Mexico. You have to picture it - a group of Catholic missionaries travelling around in a mini van that had a huge scantily clad image of Shakira painted on it. With a side helping of Ricky Martin. We Catholics know how to party. Shakira unfortunately has not aged well and is now scrap. Like the human one will be, well, some day.

4. What Bugs Me. Roaches, actually. Especially at midnight. The roaches in Mexico seem to be half way between the size of the New York Specials and the Belizean behemoths. Which is to say, if you step on them, they crunch. And leave a mess. So there I was at midnight, trying to shoo said night visitor out of my room. Talking to him, cajoling him to just go. Now. He ended up hiding in the door jamb, so I did what anyone would do. I closed the door, waiting for the crunch that would make me feel more comfortable over night. When I opened the door in the morning, expecting roach guts, he was gone. I could only hope he hadn't scurried over to Kathy's next door.
I met his younger brother Jose the following night. Jose received the Royal Flush, and I had visions every night thereafter of him lurking just beyond the elbow in the toilet, waiting for me arse, to come up and bite me.
Shoo this!

5. Speaking Of. Toilet seats. There weren't any. Except in Queen Ann's room, in the pent house suite. Mexicans must be well padded, or never have wonky knees. I was like Samson, holding out the walls, every time I used the facilities. Fortunately, the bathroom was small. I mean honestly, who can pee when their knees are firmly hooked to their chins????

6. Corn Flakes. Apparently not just for breakfast anymore. God bless our ground team, one night after a really long day, when lunch was not even supposed to be provided (but was, thankfully), we arrived back at the ranch to a hearty bowl of... corn flakes. I don't mind breakfast for dinner, but of all the cereals in the world, the bane of my existence and the one I hated the most, was up for dinner. Then of course, I had to remind myself  of my purpose of being in Mexico. Beer. Margaritas. Cabana boys. Mission work. A lot of folks don't even have sawdust corn flakes to call a meal. Offered that one to God. He knows I suffered.

7. My Name in Mexico. I have had some interesting takes on my name in Mexico over the years, seeing as the"y" is pronounced as a "j". So I have had Yudy, Yudi, Yuni, Yumi, and my personal favourite that earned me a name tag, Yuri. this time, however, my Amurcan interpretor told me that Judy is "Yolanda" in Spanish. And so I was introduced as Yolanda the whole mission. Except it isn't Judy in Spanish. I'm going to get a complex soon.
I ate it. I don't remember what it was.

8. First Time For Everything. About 34 years and 40 pounds too late, I put on my first bikini. Luckily, I had already gone snorkeling in the Bathing Suit of Armour, so the fish were left intact for the other tourists to see. Went for a Mayan Mud Bath.

First, I had to struggle out of said bathing suit, for the mud, as the masseuse offered me the, uh, bikini. It looked like the paper shoe covers you wear in the O.R. Can't remember if it had treads on it. Maybe all the bikinis were rejects from the O.R. company. Anyway, we all know how hard it can be to extricate oneself from a wet bathing suit. Try doing that with one that is designed to suck in all your flab into an hour glass shape, one that is partially filled. Let's just say, it is a work out. until the masseuse just comes up and tears everything down. There now. And offers me the paper, strapless bikini. I am sure the Mayan gods in Chichen Iza heard me laugh. They banned any offerings of born again virgins that day.

Of course, the strapless bikini was made for little stick things, even the extra large. The guys get to wear the bottoms too. Not sure which is worse, those or Speedos. They give Speedos a run for their money. But there I was, all decked out in my strapless, no support, paper bikini, possibly with treads.
The rosaries were flying after I was spotted in my bikini.

They rub the mud on, exfoliate, and dump buckets of water on you, all while on the table in said bikini. then they put some other stuff on you, let you marinate, then rinse you off, which entails sitting on a tree stump in front of what looks like a rain barrel, using a coconut shell to ladle the water over yourself. Then the masseuse has you stand up, because you are not doing a good enough job, I gather. She then proceeds to pull out the bikini top from the top, and then the bottom (my lord, what huge stretchy elastics they have!) and dump water over the girls, ensuring every nook and cranny gets rinsed. I might as well have been naked. And the same for the bottom. Leg elastics pulled, water thrown, all creases devoid of mud. Then the massage afterwards. I met my colleague after that, with a stupid smile on my face. Proceeded directly to the margarita bar. I don't think I will make it as a pin up girl.

9. Penny Wise. And pound foolish. What the hell was I thinking? I had spent a month in Mexico, spent a fair penny, actually, and then I nickeled and dimed myself out of a non stop flight home. Spent 4 excruciating hours on a layover in La Guardia, an airport I had previously decided I would never set foot in again. Okay, so now I REALLY will never set foot in it again. I mean it this time. Just like Miami.

And that is my little world once again.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

News From the South: Mexican Mission Madness With a Side of Belize

Sunrise, Belize City Municipal Airport. Take that, Pearson!
Iskia. At least she didn't try to kill me.
Greeting from beautiful Belize! I know it has been awhile, so without further adieu:

Where my left kidney would try to exit via my navel.
1. Things that Go Bump 1: Me. During my week in Merida, I joined my friend Dianne, her esposo El Perfecto, and a few of their friends on a jaunt to Celestun, to see the 40,000 odd flamingos that reside there in all of their glory. And how splendid they were. What wasn't so splendid was me slipping on the back of the boat while getting in, thus sitting down in the bottom of the boat really, really hard while basically pushing a kidney through my abdomen. Why the f-sharps never flowed, I don't know.

2. Bend It Like Beckam: Me. While attending to, shall we say, personal issues after injuring my ego and my hip/kidney/spleen/any other organ on my left side, I found I had to have the dexterity of an unbaked pretzel to complete the job without causing me excruciating pain. And with my bathroom window right by the kitchen at the B and B, I am sure they were wondering about the screaming.

3. Things That Go Bump 2: Me. Whilst tooling around town with Arturo the medical student, he forgot to slow down for one of the 1 billion speed bumps in Merida. I was airborne. At least until I hit the roof of the car.

Arturo. Don't let his smile fool you. He tried to kill me.
4. It's All In The Pronunciation: I had bought Tramadol over the counter in Merida for the problems stemming from number 1, as well as a bunch of other co-dependent meds. No problem in Merida. Needed more while in Vallodolid on the mission. No matter how I asked, she didn't have it. Then I wrote it down. Silly me, I had been putting the emphasis on the "Tra" and pronouncing the "ol" with a short "o". It should be a  long "o" with the emphasis on the last syllable. My pronunciation was in a completely weird language, I guess. Maybe even English.

5. All Things happen In Threes: So for the mission, I had two other room mates. It was wonderful. Two of us yelling across the third roomie because we couldn't hear well. The third roomie had the blankies drawn up over her head. We could hear some muttering for about a half hour from beneath the blankets, but were suprised by a jack-in-the-box appearance and an appeal to be quiet. WHAT?????

6. Modesty: Some folks have no sense 'cause their mamas never learned them. I have visuals engraved forever on the billboard of my brain. And it ain't pretty.

7. Itching For A Scratch: Doesn't matter what country you are in, just the very mention of scabies sends me into an itching frenzy. If I see a patient with it? Let's just say I'd be your scratch person if you buy scratch and wins in bulk. I'd want half the take, please, for putting up with the dead skin silver crud underneath my nails.

8.She's So Cold: Me. Hard as it is to believe. I had read about the ice box ADO buses from Mexico to Belize City. So I totally prepared. I wore my capris and my handy dandy Tilley Shirt. Kept a t-shirt out as well as a pair of socks to wear with the croc flops in the back pack. Because, you know, I am never cold. Something just to take the edge off.

And there I was on that big honking luxury bus, the ONLY passenger. Period. With two drivers. Something about being in a herd that creates heat. My herd of three created diddly squat, especially when the second driver disappeared out of the bus once we were outside of Merida. The driver, Jose, had no control over the air con, I guess to keep the head sheep awake during the trip.

I put on the tshirt, then the socks, then tried to snuggle in the seats and into the curtains, to no avail. I think the vents were everywhere. Even in the seat cushions.

I was looking forward to the heat of the outside air when I arrived at the Mexican border at 2 AM. Ha! I laughed at the face of adversity, as I laughed at the outdoor temps that were colder than that wheeled meat locker.

Belize Municipal Airport Sunrise. Take that, Miami!
 Finally, at the Belize border, where I had to take out my suitcase for inspection, I donned my jeans and my runners. Still frozen. Then I looked at the driver. It wasn't Jose anymore. He looked like the other guy who had disappeared earlier. Shook my ice cube addled brain. Maybe this was some new guy they picked up at the border. But then, where was Jose? Strange things happen on the night bus.

Until we were a few minutes away from the bus terminal in Belize City. We pulled off to the side, I heard the luggage hold open, and lo and behold, out popped Jose. He had a blanket, something else the bus lacked besides heat. The only thing I could think of was that he was on a tray much like you find in a morgue. Hell, he was even covered up, like we cover up bodies, well, not with the heavy duty plastic wrap they put them in. And my two drivers, my Really Big Bus, and I, arrived at the Belize City bus station. In the cold. At about 5 AM.

Take that, Betty Grable!
9. Stupid Is As Stupid Does: Who on earth would go to the jungle in capris without bug spray, only to be bitten by a trillion no see ums that have no trouble seeing this um, sucking about 2 litres of blood out and making both legs look like the Guinness Book of Record's largest connect the dot project ever, and causing same person to apply lime juice thus smelling like a giant mojito in the middle of the night because the legs. Don't. Stop. Itching.?
Give up?

Why I do what I do.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Little of This, A Little of That

1. Thoughts on Cruising.
As opposed to lily white thunder thighs?
a) Why is it  on every cruise I practically toss my cookies when a see a BIG suntanned, wrinkled old dude parading around in the brightest orange Speedo that ever defined a set of testicles? Very few Willies look good dressed up like a Sunkist navel orange. Shrinkage? Not due to the cold, it's due to sheer embarrassment. And, uh, I really do not need to know, much less see, that you are circumcised. Poor Willie has no where to hide.
b) The comb over pony tail. Yeah, there's an award winning do if I ever saw one. Most resplendent when the hair is greasy yet fly away, not well secured, and grey. Everywhere we went, I caught sight of this powerful fashion statement, and can tell you that three of the World's Best Margaritas at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville in Grand Cayman did not enhance the experience. The saving grace is that he was not the one in the Speedo. Now there's a picture forever burned to memory.
Norma Jean and Rupert. An honest way to travel. And a horse I didn't have  to carry.
c) Dishonest cabbies really get to me, and I have been hit with my share. I was good in Ft. Lauderdale, the trip to the pier was $19 plus tip. Eunice, who arrived a little later, was charged $25 plus tip. Her guy made a detour. Karma will be a bitch someday.
d) It pays to be nice and chatty. I arrived at the pier well over an hour before boarding was to begin. I didn't care, I was so excited. And then I met up with Lu. Lu is one of Holland America's Ambassadors, helping to make the ship boarding process go smoothly. I was going to be boarded in Group 4. We chatted and laughed, and chatted some more. The twenty some odd year old supervisor came by, she said if Lu was happy, she was happy, and by the way, would I like to go down to the VIP lounge? It meant I would be one of the first to board. Of course, said I, and that was how I became a VIP for an hour.

e) My lord, what a homely child. Sat at the table behind us. No one else but the other nurse at our table and I noticed it. He was the happiest little sot. Still homely, though. Good thing parents and Grandparents are exceedingly blind.
f) This one I knew.Hand shaken margaritas do not necessarily mean fresh. It means they've shaken the bar mix with the liquor and ice, in a shaker, by hand. With as opposed to what, I don't know. Still tastes fake. Whatever happened to squeezing the limes, muddling ingredients that need to be muddled? Then hand shaking, as opposed to shaking with your feet, your hips, or your dog.

2. The North.
a) Do not whine because you have to wear a sweater. I have been in temps of -35C or more, with windchills of -50C or more. Your nose hairs becomes so frozen and brittle they snap, and if Grandma sports a moustache, well, you will certainly find out when the frost hits the upper lip adornment. Never knew I had sideburns, either.
b) Well, you know, just read the label. My Roomie had a call from a patient asking how many times a day to take his medication. She asked him what it said on the bottle. "Take one pill twice a day." There ya go!
Whaddya mean I'm old?
c) You have never flown until you have made an ambulance road run from here to Thompson. I think I spent more time airborne inside the back of the ambulance than I ever have on the Flying Tubes of Death. A wicked ride indeed!
d) "Hello, Judy?"
    "You the one with the hair?"

as opposed to:

e) "It was that older nurse that was looking after me."
Gee. Thanks. I guess.
f) You think you have it hard? What about the elder, who used to work the trap lines to make money? He'd be out for a month, with dogs and sled, working the lines. No tent, just sleeping under heavy blankets in the -40C weather. See a).
g) 0515 and 0640 flights all suck, unless you are going on vacation.
Hmm. Looks like I have 2 left feet. Or maybe 2 right feet.
h) Shopping up north can help kill the blahs. As long as it isn't the Ridiculously Expensive Store.

And that is my world for now.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Woman of the North

I now know where bears do it in the winter time, if they should wake up from their sleep, and drink a large Timmie's along the way.
Oh how careful I was, I hit the back-in bathroom on the airplane on the way to the Sardine Tin known as Thompson Airport, then again in the Sardine Tin once there. A third time in Timmie's while purchasing a large single cream for the 1-1/2 hour journey. Surely after the loss of so much fluid, my bladder and body could withstand that bumpy ride in the cold.
Such a pretty drive up here, lots of frozen lakes, partially iced rivers, and snow clad fir trees. And lots of bumps in the the road. About halfway to my destination with Cliff of Cliff's Taxi, one little bump started that familiar twinge of, "Oh no. Gotta go soon.." With each little bump, the twinge increased in intensity to, "Gotta go right now."
 But where do you go in northern Manitoba when the snow is up to your armpits if you step off the road? Well, Cliff had it all figured out. We proceeded to a straightaway where we could see the traffic coming and going for miles. He pulled to the side, and earnestly I asked "Where the hell am I going to go?"
To which he replied, "I'm gonna pop the trunk." Say what??
He popped the trunk to provide me with privacy. I nervously looked around to make sure there was no traffic or bears coming or going. Toilet paper in hand (I am always prepared), I faced the road behind the wide opened trunk, and shone a full moon on the road. Using the bumper for support, and still whipping my head around to make sure no vultures were circling, I squatted. Unknown to me at the time was that the road going forward was a wee bit downhill, ever so gentle, and I watched in horror as the tsunami made its way towards my boots. And I wasn't yet finished. With the bravado of a young boy, I was able to aim a little further up the road, and doing a two step that would do any Newfie proud, while still hanging onto the bumper, I avoided the high tide, which promptly froze hard into the surface of the road behind me, under the bumper, because it was that cold. I did not carry out the paper. It too had frozen into the surface of the road.
Me arse was cold for the rest of the journey. And now I can say, I am a true woman of the North.