Shine On US of A

Canada and the US of A share a huge border and live not only in peace but family trees criss cross the political border to a huge degree, I know mine does.

When crisis happens, like 911, and planes bound for the continental US were grounded unexpectedly in Canada, we welcomed our unexpected guests. See story in USA today here.

It’s no wonder either because In my opinion Canadians know the real America is represented by kindness to others and I see this in my nation also.

Thanks Coach Muller for confirming my belief, click here to see.

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You Sunk My Battleship

A favorite song sung beautifully, and childhood memories are the lettuce and tomato of this post.

Life and Random Thinking

Manning Park February 2012 Manning Park February 2012

Growing up I didn’t have to walk knee-deep in snow ten miles uphill to and from school each day but my childhood was certainly different from the current generation.

Happiness doesn’t depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude.

I am glad for the lack of electronics then as I live now in that age but also have the benefit of having grown up without it and memories of simpler activities.

I can appreciate colour tv because when I was young, tv was black and white. I hope you are sitting down for this, I’m not kidding, no remote control, really. If you wanted to change the channel you had to walk over and do it yourself, same with volume.  We only had a handful of channels anyway.

I can appreciate cell phones because when I was young, they didn’t exist and…

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How has my life changed?

I received a kidney transplant April 24, 2019

The terrific readers who regularly read my post already know I received a miracle this year on April 24, in the form of kidney transplant from a living donor.  My living donor was only available to me because a personal friend of mine agreed to donate a kidney if someone else who was a match for me donated to me.  It’s called a shared donor program and I believe half of kidney transplants in British Columbia are living donors and most are shared donor exchanges similar to mine.

Mine was actually a type called a Closed Chain.

 Closed Chain
closed chain, is similar to a paired exchange, except there are more pairs included and the donor of the last pair donates to the transplant candidate of the first pair.

There is so much to tell about why my finding a donor was a miracle, but I want to inform you what a difference that gift has made to me and my family and friends.

In the last decade my health seeped away slowly as my previous transplant waned, and eventually was rejected and stopped working. That kidney transplant was an amazing gift also in July 1987 from a deceased donor.  We are so grateful to have had that transplant for 31 years !

When your health diminishes at a slow rate, you keep functioning and working harder to do your job, enjoy your off time, support your family and be normal.  Like a tree in a forest, you can be too close to see the changes but others do as they are more objective.

2018 I started dialysis of my blood 3 times a week

In 2018 in the autumn,  due to end stage kidney failure I accepted I could go on no longer without succumbing to dialysis (cleaning of my blood via a machine) three times a week, about 4.5 hours each visit. Afterwards I felt better than before, but I had a very restricted diet, and nearly no fluids from food or orally in between to make the process possible. Not a picnic, but it’s not meant to be, it’s meant to keep you alive.

Click here for youtube interview of me on dialysis. 

People are dying on dialysis daily as they wait

Statistics are different due to population differences between Canada and the USA however matchingdonors.com states that daily 22 people die in the USA waiting for a kidney transplant, most waiting 7 – 9 years.

The statistic would be similar for waiting times in Canada but fewer people daily, according to kidney.ca; 

There are over 4,500 people waiting for an organ donation in Canada. Sadly, about 260 of those people waiting for a transplant will die every year, that’s about five deaths per week, or one death about every 30 hours that could be saved if they had a viable donor.

My transplant gives me so much

I apologize for this longer post, suffice to say my life has changed – it has been given back.

  • I have more clarity of thought,
  • I have better health,
  • I have more time away from hospitals and doctors,
  • I have the opportunity now to travel,
  • I expect a longer life expectancy (remember people waiting on dialysis often succumb after 8 years, some even finding life too difficult and choosing to go off dialysis and basically dying in 7 to 14 days in hospice).

 

I have my life back,  thanks to doctors, nurses, surgeons, all able to be set in motion because my friend agreed to be a living donor.

It’s a process, and many are willing but are unable to do so but if you want to learn more,  go to Considering Living Kidney Donation.

Posted in health, Some of my favorite posts, Thinking Out loud | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

If I only had a brain! or Wizard of Oz Day

Start a conversation with this opening statement; If I Only Had A Brain !

Bound to cause a pause, we have all had moments when we asked ourselves what was I thinking? Lock the keys in the car? Put the milk away in the cupboard?

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An IF I ONLY HAD A BRAIN moment below of mine.

I am about 44 years past a moment when I asked myself “What were you thinking?” I went to Vancouver Technical school for part of my high school years in East Vancouver, BC.

The school was a series of buildings probably built at different times so often you walked outside in between classes to go to your next class. I remember being alone, walking to another building.

As students were apt to do, we would sometimes tap from behind in a sideways motion the back foot of the student ahead of us, to trip them. (It was juvenile, but so were we and usually it didn’t work) The dumb part is next; I decided to practice tripping on myself. (insert loud Duh here!)

I managed to wrap one ankle behind the other and fall quite hard, dropping all my books. The worst part I lay there looking around and was worried some one had seen me trip Myself! – how DUMB must have that looked! Fortunately I was alone, but the potential embarrassment still makes me grin.

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wiz-of-oz_scarecrow

Speaking of needing a brain – Today is the anniversary of the movie Wizard of Oz premiering in Hollywood, August 15, 1939.

World War II for Europe began September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland in an unprovoked attack; the United States joined the fight after Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941.

Just to put a mood on the release of this movie, the world everywhere was thinking deeper thoughts not long after release, and along came a funny movie with a message of hope.

The song, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, was a huge hit at the time but really took on new meaning to the Jewish people, and others during the Holocaust in Europe.

The quote below is from the link in BLUE above –

The song was first published in 1939, at a time when the Jews in Europe were coming under increased hostility.

Their freedoms were being taken away, their identity being dragged through the dirt, and many of them were feeling isolated. They were trapped, unable to “fly”.

The song is about hope, that the bad times will one day be over. It is this feeling of hope within the song that we can all relate to and it is hope that helped the Jewish people through the Holocaust.

The movie Wizard of Oz was expected to be a big success, and MGM spent about three million on the budget, about 55 million in 2019 dollars.

An unusual movie in many respects including dwarfs as actors, but it’s huge success surprised everyone as it was embraced during the war years. More than a billion people have seen this classic movie starring Judy Garland.

Movie Quotes – that may make you nod.
If you like movie quotes, and great lines in songs, this movie has it all 🙂

Dorothy: How can you talk, if you haven’t got a brain?
The Scarecrow: I don’t know. But, some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t they?

Wisdom from a scarecrow?

If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard.
Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right? – Dorothy

Definitely deeper, but I think it means that happiness is a choice.

I have observed travelling some very happy content people, whose material wealth was limited but it did not constrain their ability to be happy.

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If I Only Had A Brain – (the lyrics if you care to sing 🙂 )

I could while away the hours
Conferring’ with the flowers,
Consulting with the rain;
And my head I’d be a scratchin’
While my thoughts are busy hatchin’
If I only had a brain.
I’d unravel ev’ry riddle
for every individual
In trouble or in pain
With the thoughts that you’ll be thinkin’
You could be another Lincoln
If you only had a brain.
Oh, I, could tell you why
The oceans near the shore
I could think of things I’d never
Thunk before,
And then I’d sit,
And think some more!

This is a cute little song, easy to memorize, and will bring a smile to you inside and out, as it always does to me when I sing it.
Wishing you today, the brains of a scarecrow, the courage of a lion, the heart of a tin man and the insights of youth. Thanks for visiting.

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Messages without Sound

I was thinking about how easy  we can communicate the wrong meaning in a situation and cause miscommunication without meaning to.

Even non-verbally we communicate differently  all over the world. Indians bow and say Namaste as Greetings. In the middle East – greetings is Salaam and the person touches their heart, forehead, and up & outward.  In Canada, we nod to acknowledge strangers and shake hands or share a hug with close friends and relatives. Tibetan tribesman say hello by sticking their tongues out and some East African tribes spit at each other.

In North America whistling is a sign of approval, such as at a performance or sporting event. But in Europe, whistling means the opposite. Whistling means disapproval and derision such as when the fans dislike a referee call.

In the situation of entering a crowded aisle of seated people such as a theatre, in North America we usually slide along facing forward and our backsides face the people who are letting us into the aisle. In the Soviet Union and in some European countries this would be rude, you should enter the aisle and slide along facing the people.

When travelling, if we want to know the local practice, we should watch others. Waving our hands back and forth, Beckoning palm up with the index finger, the “ok” sign with thumb and finger, even V for victory if done wrong mean drastically different things around the world and the wrong gesture can result in an insult!

The best gesture is internationally understood, and is good for us because it releases endorphins.

Feel free to use it freely, driving, walking, and use it often and this is of course, the smile.  How easy, and as a bonus it exercises all those facial muscles!  Exercise them now!

 

 

 

 

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People are amazing

I succumbed early last light to sleep when it beckoned so when 5:30 arrived, I was rested and I knew blessed rain had visited while I  slept as I saw rain gushing along the curbs to the storm sewers during the night when I woke up.

I love the air after it rains, and needed no more prompting to leave early and forgo my email in favour of the smell of the atmosphere freshly scrubbed. Plus it was a lovely 16 degrees, perfect for riding.

2014-09-11 17.21.06

It rained almost exclusively at night the first year I moved here that I thought that Penticton had invented a weather machine, rain for the plants at night, and hot beach weather and sunshine all day. Paradise!

Today I approached Skaha Lake expecting to find it nearly deserted at 6 a.m. instead I found it curiously busy with cars everywhere and people toting kayaks. As I was on bike, I sidled up to the beachwalk easily and the answer was obvious from the sign.

On the beach was a starting line and a sign Skahalakeultraswim.com.

These athletes are amazing!

The swimmers swim the length of Skaha lake (11 kilometres) with a swim escort in a kayak or a stand up paddleboard and it takes hours!

I remember I  had a buddy who trained with me for a couple years at the pool until we could each swim the 50 lengths of the pool for a kilometre. I thought it would never happen, but he pushed me to be disciplined, and swim regularly. Then one day it happened and I swam 60 lengths in 20 minutes. I was slow but steady, the real athletes would tap me on the feet and then pass like dolphins.

I can’t imagine how much training it takes to swim a lake, it’s more difficult than in a pool by leaps because of waves and having to lift your head to check direction.

I admire people who are disciplined and push themselves to achieve. It can be fun or educational: tennis, yoga, wood-working, running,  cycling, skiing (water and snow), snowboarding, learning new skills, and even new languages.

  It takes discipline, and sometimes a buddy to achieve what you never knew you could, and tenacity.  They inspire me when I stop at something, to start again.

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