Saturday, May 21, 2011

Long weekend plans

So it's the end of a very long week and am I glad the weekend is here and I can tend to my garden.  I think I spent more time away from my desk than at it this week. It was workshops and more workshops and for the first time I was a panelist for a non-academic grade appeal which lasted for 4 hours and at the end of it, we had not resolved the situation. It's interesting how 4 people can hear evidence and come up to different conclusions based on the evidence presented.  It was a mentally exhausting 4 hours which means that we have to meet again to come to a decision.  It's a perfect case of the Rashomon effect. Here is an explanation of Rashomon effect: 

At the end of that session, I ran back to my office, gobbled down some lunch and headed off to do a workshop to a group of 39 students in the Medical Lab Technology program on human/workplace relations.  I gave them 4 case studies based on events that they might encounter at their practicum placement sites.  There were 8 groups of 5 and they were assigned one of the cases.  They had to do an analysis of the case, come up with two possible solutions beyond the obvious and then choose the one that they thought was the best of the two.  One of the cases was about a technologist who keeps a beard for religious reasons and is asked to shave it off because he has to wear a special mask because of a flu outbreak.  He tells his supervisor that he cannot shave his beard for religious reasons and his supervisor tells him that he can keep it.  However, the next week the technologist overhears a colleague telling another colleague that he is angry that he has to shave his beard and the first technologist gets to keep his.  One group came up with a pretty stunning solution: If the technologist wants to be in the medical field, he should have to follow the rules of the organization.  So he must save his beard or choose another profession.  The group also said that if the technologist wants to live in Canada, he needs to follow the rules of Canada and assimilate into the Canadian culture - which I presume means that Canadians don't wear beards.  I wish I had more time than two hours and by the time the group presented, it was almost the end of the two hours. 

What would you say if someone said that to you?  What if someone said that you had to choose between your religion and your career? What would you say/do?  I know that the laws of Canada protect the individual from this kind of situation, but what if it was more subtle and your employer/supervisor knew just how to manipulate the rules?  I ended the week feeling drained so I came home intending to have dinner and jump into bed by 6pm.  That was my aim but sometimes I don't aim very well so I ate dinner, spent some time in the chaise lounge contemplating how many steps it would take to walk from the chaise to my bed but instead of my feet walking toward the bedroom, they walked right out to the backyard and before I knew it, the three of us had rearranged, planted and replanted several plants in the yard.  I planted my dahlias and canna lilies and moved some of the perennials that are getting overcrowded.  Then the rain came down in perfect time and fell gently all night - just the right kind for a newly planted garden.  I am really looking forward to seeing them grow over the summer because besides the fact that they look like a piece of the tropics, they attract several hummingbirds all summer. I love looking at those little creatures.  Their colours are so beautiful and they are so hardworking.  I wrote in a previous post about how much I love them.  

Today I spent the morning watching all my favourite PBS cooking shows and then cooked some curried chicken because Hana was coming over for dinner and to spend the night.  She is now sitting with mom in the family room and Hana wants mom to hold her like a baby. She is six and a half and is almost as tall as mom 51 inches to mom's 61 inches.  It's funny to watch them.  Mom is trying to hold her like a baby but give Hana a couple years and she'll be holding mom I think.  By the way everyone, Mom has decided on Thursday that she will stay with us on a permanent basis.  That makes things a bit easier for all of us I think.  She can now feel more settled and can make plans for the future which I hope will include some travel which she has not been able to do for a while.  She is much more at ease these days and I have to say that it's nice to have an extra set of hands around for meals and such.   I am also encouraging her to get involved with a senior's organization in the Fall so that she can made some new friends. Two of the organizations have book clubs, exercise and painting classes, a lunch club, bowling, and yoga as well as other seasonal activities.  I think she is hesitant but I'll keep encouraging her over the summer. 

Okay everyone, have a good long weekend and whatever you're doing, I hope you have fun. 


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A BIG THANK YOU to my CancerCare walk contributors

 This is my way of acknowledging the people who have contributed to my CancerCare walk so far.  No contribution is too small in the fight to find a cure for cancer.  I f my Dad lived with and valiantly fought a terrible enemy for 5 years, then the least I could do is walk for 20k and do it with a purpose.  If I end up with sore feet - so what?  He had a lot to deal with and didn't often complain so I can tolerate some soreness which I know is only temporary. The contributors so far are:

AND ME OF OF COURSE! plus I'm doing the walking! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Getting through the mountains of paper work...

It's been about 10 days since the last post and I am not sure who is still reading it but here is an update.  It's been a very busy two weeks since returning to work. After being away for almost two weeks after Dad's passing, it's been a lot of catching up on work related projects.  With my brutal schedule at work and the seeming mountains of paper work to be filed on Mom's behalf, I am sure I am going to have some serious injuries by a thousand paper cuts.  It is staggering the amount of forms that have to be filled out for the most mindless things. My kitchen table at one point was looking like an office with cords to the fax machine, file folders filled with papers and the numerous pieces of paper that require signatures from mom. 

I've tried to find some time in my schedule last week to do the training required for my walk in June but I have to say that it's hard to find a block of time each day to do that so I am fitting it in at lunch time at work including the 300 stairs for my circuit. After a brutal week of projects, meetings, workshops and the like, I came home on Friday and wanted to think of nothing more than falling into a long sleep.  Mom and I made dinner and by 5pm I said that I was going upstairs to have a nap.  Well that "nap" lasted for 3 1/2 hours.  I got up at 8:30pm - only because I thought I should get up. I had a shower, came downstairs and had a slice of toast and went back to bed to sleep for the rest of the night.  I woke at at 8am feeling like I had been drugged because I could hardly keep my eyes open.  Now I know that  you'll say that I had too much sleep but I know my body and it was more of a case of trying to catch up on weeks of little sleep.  Sharm was supposed to come over for a haircut at 1:30 and I kept looking at the clock, hoping that 1:30 would arrive at about 10:30am so I could go back to sleep after.  She didn't come till 2:30 so I slept on the sofa for about 30 minutes.  I looked liked one of those people at airports who are so tired that they will sleep on the floor in front of anyone passing by and don't care as long as they can shut their eyes. 

Later that afternoon I went to the store to buy a BBQ, and some clothes for Robin's birthday which was delayed by a week. All in all, it was a successful day - after I had some much  needed sleep.  I decided on Saturday evening that I was going to sleep in till 10am on Sunday but as with all well laid plans, I woke up at 6:45am and decided after 15 minutes of thinking what I should do with my day, I got out of bed, got dressed and went for an 11k walk.  By the time I was done, my foot was falling off (still don't have the plantar fasciitis fixed).  I soaked in warm water with Epson Salts and put some Tiger Balm on it.  It smelled good but only helped psychologically.  I also broke down and took two Alleve because the pain was getting unbearable so that I was hopping around. 

By the afternoon, I was tired but decided that I would do some gardening.  You'd think that I had a bundle of energy again since I actually had a full night's sleep on Saturday night and an extra 30 minutes on Sunday. Wow! What a difference a few hours of sleep can make.  I tended to my evergreens and mom pulled out some quack grass.  The yard is going to look very good this summer because she's going to manage the garden. 

Auntie Maggie gave mom and I two lovely hanging baskets for Mother's day so I have been enjoying them since last week. Thank you Auntie Maggie.  That's the kind of gift that keeps on giving because I can enjoy it all summer and way into the Fall.  Usually I give one to Mom for Mother's Day but I got one this year.  

I am finally caught up this week on most of my projects at work and I can now concentrate on analyzing some data for my next chapter of the dissertation.  It's interesting to read what teachers have to say and I am looking forward to writing the chapter.  

I am now $1,111 toward my $2,000 goal (yes it is an odd number as of right now).  It's going a bit slower than I expected but it'll probably get up there within the next two weeks.  I have to turn in the funds by June 3 but at least I've reached the $1,000 minimum so that I can participate in the walk.  I have to have to go to Phoenix the day after the walk to present a paper at a conference.  And wouldn't you know - the flight leaves at 7am which means that I will have to be at the airport at 5am which means that I have to wake up at 3:45am - that's after walking 21kilometres the day before.  Someone said (I think that was me) that the universe unfolds how it's supposed to but this is crazy!  Maybe after my walk, someone will massage my feet and make my a nice dinner.  The walk should take my about 3 hours 10-20 minutes so maybe I'll even get lunch and a massage!  That would be nice - if any of you are reading this!

By the way, no one has offered to join me in my walk.  You don't have to actually be walking by my side.  You just have to agree to do the walk that day while I am doing it in my city (assuming that you're in another city).  Failing that, you can make a contribution to the walk and I'll walk for you.  The link is below. How is that for a good deal?  Pay someone to exercise for you.  Can't get better than that.  Can you?

have a great week