I protested too much

Another disadvantage of getting a little seasoned every day, as in being a grizzled veteran of life, is that you are honest with yourself.

Okay, that honesty is a good idea, isn’t it? If you expect a certain result, then be clear, be precise on what you are wanting or needing otherwise learn telepathy, because they can’t read your mind. That applies to business, and relationships.

winnie 8About two weeks ago, I had, for me, a very special day. I reached the 30 year milestone of my 2nd kidney transplant. I really started to look forward to crossing this “finish line” of sorts about two years ago when I received some bad news at a medical appointment.

During the day,  on July 7,  I thought back of the gadzillion visits I’ve had at hospitals, and laboratories since 1978 when I met a renal specialist downtown alone in Vancouver.  It was likely a shock to the specialist that I was alone, and 18 years old getting this news but no one saw it coming. It was a lot to absorb for a teenager.

joshua-earle-234740.jpgNow  it is nearly 40 years later, years of dialysis, peritonitis, one failed kidney transplant and one kidney transplant successful were behind me. I felt a bit like I reached my own Mount Everest summit. Still, the journey continues, but it was a summit worth celebrating.

Back to the title of this post – In my life I protested too much about parties to celebrate milestones because I realize that I do really like making a fuss once a year, and I can see that it is fun for my inner circle of special friends and family also.

The days march on, and if we don’t take the time, with our circle – the days will march on regardless.

memory 2In the last two weeks I have reflected that those celebratory parties are the whipping cream that comes free with the special cake that is life.

My takeaway thought for you reader and myself is  – take the cream on your cake, throw on the icing character, put the flamingos on your lawn and not only that, don’t wait for someone else to plan it for you, make sure you get what you want or need from life, by planning for it yourself.  

No regrets, please.

Thanks for reading, following along, sharing, commenting and have a wonderful day. 🙂 

 

 

 

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July 1 was extra special this year

 

July 1 is Canada Day, ironically I am writing this on July 4 which is USA’s national day.

Allow me to say that over the years of travels to the United States, and interactions with some fellow bloggers in the USA, my fondness for their nation keeps improving.  I know that my family tree is on both sides of the Canada/USA border as two brothers immigrated to New York in the early 1900’s, one brother stayed in the US, and the other went to and stayed in Canada. As a result, it seems natural that I like the USA, but my heart is Canadian as this is my home that I love and am proud of.

This Canada Day was especially memorable as my yard is flourishing with flowers, and we added a Canadian flag to hang from our front deck at our home. It looked grand!

Later in the day, we took it to the beach and my wife, son and I took turns posing with the flag with Skaha lake in the background. We have never done that before and we enjoyed it.

My home city, Penticton, I am informed, is one of only two cities in the world that is located between two different lakes.  Canada Day here is celebrated with much public fanfare.  In a park downtown there is bandshell and all day long the bandshell hosts different types of music and entertainment from belly dancing to scottish highland dancing. Of course there are food trucks everywhere and after the grand opening there is free cake!

During the opening ceremony, we citizens stand and sing O Canada, and recognize the indigenous people and their culture.  At night the boats and beaches are full as the light is lit up with fireworks, as I know it will be tonight all over in the USA.

Many years we enjoy aerial displays from the Snowbirds but not every year.  They put on a dazzling show that is always exhilarating to watch. Click here to see what I mean.

In Ottawa, the national capital for Canada, there is a huge party on July 1 – click here to hear The Nylons sing O Canada

Every country has it’s national day, and hopefully you will enjoy yours especially this year, as I did mine.

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Nice day to sit on lakeshore bench

Thank you for visiting,  and big thanks if you follow and add helpful suggestions/comments or ask questions, 🙂

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Arnold Chan – Member of Parliament

Okanagan Lake statuesSaturday, June 17, 2017 In the Globe & Mail newspaper I read an article written by Laura Stone.  If you want to read the short article – click here

I don’t as a rule find my blog inspirations from newspaper articles but this one about the Liberal MP Arnold Chan struck a chord.  It struck a chord because:

  • What he is doing,
  • What he is not doing,  and
  • His marvelous attitude

Arnold Chan is a member of parliament, and a lawyer.  He is also a man who is seriously ill with a cancer diagnosis.

What he is doing

He continues to go to work in the Commons, and he does this he says; because he still can. ” I have this privilege. I want to exercise it to the best of my ability, one should just continue to live one’s life, despite whatever challenges you happen to have. And that’s how I choose to deal with it.”

What he is not doing

Mr Chan is not complaining, he is not blaming, he is not whining and this is despite having a serious health circumstance. He is very aware of every day but his daily choice is to “carry on“.

His marvelous attitude

Life for Arnold Chan has difficult, battling cancer for two years, but he says ” Life will take me where life will take me, this thing that unfortunately I have, will take me where it will take me. That’s all.”

My thoughts after reading this is that so many people are rich in health, and future and yet they are oblivious and  complain. They grump, they swerve around cars and pedestrians in traffic, too discontent to look around and take in the moment, and oblivious of the treasure to be alive.

Some people are hoping to see another day, some others hope to leave their hospital bed and feel the wind on their cheek, and yet some people are irate because their drive took 30 seconds longer to get to a destination. I have no patience or understanding for drivers who think the road belongs to them.

I appreciate this article by Laura about Arnold Chan MP, a gentleman living his life the best he can despite illness and doing so with inspiring style. Visit Arnold Chan’s website here.

A person’s a person, no matter how small. – Dr. Seuss

Thanks as always for reading, and I always try to reply to any comments.

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Welcome to my world again

I thought it would be a good idea to move some pictures from my phone to my blog and voila, today’s post.

I bumped into a friend and he asked me what have I been up to, and this is it.

Mark Twain –

“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.”

An assortment of pictures from recent weeks.

Can you match them all up ?

  • Skaha Lake paddleboarding, the lake is so calm at 7 am and that’s my son and wife.
  • Africa the cat, absorbing some rubs while purring like indoor thunder
  • I don’t know plants, but this Cambria Lily bloomed today within two days of being adopted and brought home. Looks nice!
  • Looking down on the world, that’s my son waving through a hole in the leaves in our cherry time – and they look ready now!
  • A double selfie with #1 son in Manning Park, this spot had a roaring creek!
  • My Van Gogh son turning a river rock into a garden turtle 🙂
  • The historic Sicamous on Okanagan Lake, a parked paddlewheeler.
  • A view of the Okanagan lake, looking a lot higher right now.
  • Africa again, dreaming of the tango.
  • Another lily, this one’s a tiger!
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Kodachrome World

Yesterday the theme of my weekly Toastmasters Club meeting was Colour.

Grand Tetons2-67HDRThere is so much science about color, cultural perceptions about colour that are specific to different parts of the world. I also learned that color blindness is much more likely to happen to males than females.

Psychology of color – if you look around online you will quickly find that color choices in ads are carefully planned to reach target audiences.  A lot of research has been done to be able to predict how the public will respond to the commercial uses of color. It isn’t exactly behavior manipulation but still the right color choice affects how audiences respond, but the color choices could be totally different for a different culture.

Go to this link to find out What Colours Mean in Other Cultures.

I was wondering would you wear glasses that block colors for a week so that you could experience color for the first time like these people did?

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Stand By Me – Marvin Gaye

http://wp.me/p19pY3-vu

Most posts I write now are read but in 2012 when I wrote this i probably didn’t have many readers, but I  still liked what I said.

Maybe you will also.

Enjoy the last days of spring this week. , ☺

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So many shades of Green

Two decades ago I regularly spent long periods in the hospital, having surgery and moving forward hoping for success. Hoping to return to my own bed in my home, my own life, to working even.

No needs to remind a hospital patient about Mindfulness as defined as the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

In the hospital, the day started with a nurse checking how I slept, making notes, and of course temperatures and blood pressures 6 – 8 times per day.  After some toast and cereal which I would to make to be some event of my day – then there is usually some medications and blood work to follow.

Sometimes I had to be wheeled to another part of the hospital for another test, at least it was a change in my routine.

No my readers, I feel confident based on experience to say hospital inmates like myself are very mindful.

I won’t be tedious talking about the rest of the hospital day suffice to say after a few weeks or moments you dream of your couch at home like a fish in the desert dreams of the open ocean.

view from cape foul weather I think

Oregon Coast, one of hundreds of wonderful beaches from a holiday

 

Mindfulness is something I try to use another way now though. I like to go outside and not read or study, or anything. I look around and try to absorb the breeze. A breeze is wonderful kiss from the earth when you have been inside a ward on an IV for a long time. I remind myself how sweet a breeze can feel when you miss it.

I open my eyes and I look at the trees, the grass,  all the plants and I consciously try to see all the shades of green and inhale to detect if the lawn was freshly mown.

I don’t want to take any of it for granted, I want to be mindful of my gift of health.

Life is an incredible gift, and in a blink of an eye it can all change. Forget the phone and computer screens for an hour and sit on a bench along a channel, or listen outside for a bird’s song and be mindful of what you and I are given,.. by being alive.

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On a bike ride I took this of a park, long shadows at end of the day

It changes my perspective, by being mindful. How about you?

I sat down today to write a post and this popped out. It is a sunny day here and I just had a bike ride for 45 minutes, I’m feeling appreciative of the privilege. I hope you had a great day, thanks for reading & for your ideas and/or comments.

Humorous thought I remember the first time I saw a universal remote control – I thought to myself – Wow! This changes everything.

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The answer to “What is the Process?”

I find it strange almost everyone would accept a organ transplant if they needed one, but the majority of people have not taken 5 minutes to confirm being a organ donor.  I understand some racial groups are especially notorious for this.  This is confusing.  I think everyone should be automatically a donor, but they can opt out if they want to. living donor 1


My post today is to share information about the Living Donor Process.  Since I live in British Columbia, I will refer to Vancouver General Hospital.

Perhaps you have become aware that living donor transplants are being done more and more frequently. This is because of the huge improvements in surgery and the absolutely huge amount of precaution beforehand to ensure the donor is a good match and will remain healthy after the surgery.  The health of both the donor and the patient are of high priority concern to the transplant team.

 

living donor 2Why a Living Donor?

A Living Donor transplant enables a kidney patient to go straight to transplant, and the recipient’s health is better by avoiding dialysis.

 

 

Donor Criteria

  • Donors can live normal healthy lives with one kidney.
  • Donors must step forward to donate voluntarily.
  • Donors are carefully screened to ensure they are in good physical and emotional health and able to give informed consent to the transplant process.
  • Donors in BC must be at least 19 and there is NO UPPER LIMIT of age.
  • Donors are reminded that anytime, anytime they can choose not to proceed and they will never be pressured to donate.

Don’t Donors have to be related to the patient?

Often living donors are related, but they don’t have to be. A living donor can be a sibling, parent, child or a relative. A donor can be a friend, or a relative through marriage, a co-worker or just a member of the community.

What are the Steps? 

Step 1 : Pre- Screen.  You can begin the process by calling Pre-Transplant Services at Vancouver General Hospital – toll free 1-800-663-6189. The pre-screening is done by filling out a medical and social history questionnaire. If no concerns, the nurse coordinator will arrange for a blood type and cross match test to check for compatibility.

Step 2:  Everything going well so far, next you will need to do a number of tests to ensure it is SAFE for you to donate. This might involve your family doctor.

Step 3: Everything still smooth, the laboratory and diagnostic tests confirm it is safe for you and if you still want to proceed then the next step is to meet the members of the Transplant team at Vancouver General Hospital.  This actually takes place over TWO days  as there are different parts of the team to meet, some procedures to be performed. This step results in all your questions being dealt with and the team is confirmed of your ability to provide informed consent.  I think another result is confidence because you see the depth of the experience and the knowledge of the team who are there to ensure you remain healthy and not just for the patient. Everything is strictly confidential, and are not shared with the patient.

Step 4: Surgery and Recovery.  Donors usually spend as little as 2 nights in the hospital after surgery and as long as 4 nights. Total recovery requires between 4 – 12 weeks of time. Surgery is done using advanced minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery which is safe and results in faster recovery time.  It is still a surgery of course, so there is possibility of problems as with any surgery but the risk of dying from donating a kidney is 0.03%.  The risk of serious complications is about 1-2%.


If you want to know more –

Or just call the VGH Living Donor Program – tel: 604-875-5182 or toll free 1-855-875-5182

Thanks for reading, and the international online friendship you provide. God Bless you all.

 

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Unexpected, welcome, and appreciated

 

coffee shopI have discovered that people are surprised by compliments or expressions of appreciation.

I don’t mean with family, or your closest friends – they aren’t surprised. I mean the people you see regularly, but you don’t know their birthday,  but you aren’t a stranger neither.

The cost is free, the time it takes is negligible to give a sincere compliment but the effect is long lasting.

I worked in an office in Vancouver decades ago, and this event is still remembered. One of my coworkers took the time one day to mention she noticed I took the time to dress well for work (ironed shirts, ties) everyday.  She complimented me on my appearance.  It struck me because the compliment was unexpected but appreciated. I don’t remember her name but I recall how I felt because she took the time to say a few kind words. Unexpected, welcome and appreciated.

After finishing my consultation with my doctor a few years ago, I advised him I had one more thing to talk to him about.  He waited, expecting another medical question. Instead I thanked him sincerely for being my family doctor since 1992, and that I noticed and appreciated how he periodically called me in to review my health situation and proactively took an interest.  My doctor was at a loss for words.  To my surprise, he wasn’t used to being thanked for his caring and professional services. Unexpected, welcome and appreciated.

friendshipA few days ago, I received a compliment from a man who became a friend in recent years., an encouraging supportive friend. The generous compliment resonated to me because it was unexpected, welcome and appreciated.

I can live for two months on a good compliment. – Mark Twain

Kindness starts with how we speak and talk to our fellow humanity – try an experiment. Give a verbal box of chocolates to someone you know but not someone you know really well, someone who gives you good service, but not someone you know as a close friend- observe how it refreshes their day.  Unexpected, welcome and appreciated – but it won’t be forgotten. I guarantee it.

Thank you sincerely to the followers, and visitors of this blog, I enjoy your comments, and visiting your blogs. I appreciate your interest, feedback and encouragement, I really do.

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Watching the People Go By

In the sunny burg where I live, Penticton, on Saturday mornings there is a big farmer’s market every week from May to October.  All together it is about 4 blocks of market chaos.  {click farmer’s market  or Penticton to learn more}

One block is dedicated to farmers,  and there is all types of produce, and plants for sale at this time of the year. There is also fish, sausage, wine tasting, and everything of that ilk.

Another block is foods from thai food, samosas to artisan baking.

Another block is all types of things, from vinaigrettes to home made soaps, popcorn, perogies to amazing wood carvings.

Organized chaos, sort of organized but only sort of.

Yesterday I sat down on a bench to watch the parade of humanity stroll by.

  • Families with parents trying to keep track of energetic children,
  • Mommies pushing strollers,
  • Tourists,
  • People in shorts,
  • People without shirts,
  • Tall people,
  • Short People
  • Serious and joyful people

But what really struck me was how I was drawn to the body language of those people who held hands.  Men and women, sisters, fathers and sons,  best friends and young and seasoned alike.

The ones who were holding hands were most connected, most relaxed and obviously this is my opinion also, they looked the happiest.

Some locked arms at the elbow, some tucked one arm in the elbow of their companion and as they did you could actually see their steps start to sync as together they journeyed the noisy bustle of the bumping crowds.

But now people parted for the two of them, and the couples stopped together to admire loaves of bread or tomatoes ready to plant. In my mind I imagined their breathing syncing and their heart rate and blood pressure relaxing. The struggle to stay connected was gone.

Life seems often to be often to be about resolving conflicts and differences, but these couples were communicating, sharing and moving together as one. Such a simple thing, holding hands to talk, to walk together – planting unity and harmony with intertwined fingers and arms. 

annie-spratt-54462.jpgGo for walk with someone you care about soon, and when you do, get a little closer, and see what I mean. 

Thank you for taking the time, and sharing your day! If you liked this post, I would love to hear what you liked, thanks.

 

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