Saturday, August 20, 2011

My first diamond ring

My uncle Ronald (my Auntie Robbie's husband)  is in New York battling terminal cancer.  I spoke to him last week and he sounded just like he did when I was younger.  I have not seen him since I left Guyana in 1970.  That's a very long time not to see a favourite uncle. 

I was glad that I got a chance to tell him last week about the fond memories I have of him.  This is one of them.  When I was a young girl, Uncle Ronald use to come to our home to visit or we would go to my Nani's home where he and Auntie Robbie rented an apartment.  I remember he had very chunky gold rings and bracelets that looked like they would weigh me down if I ever wore them. 

He was a miner - diving in the rivers of the interior of Guyana looking for gold and diamonds.  He came to our house one day and he told me that he loved me a lot because I was such a pretty girl and so cheerful so the next time he came out of the bush (that's what we called the rainforest area where he used to dive), he would bring me back a diamond.  I was pretty excited but didn't really expect to have a diamond since I was only about 11 or 12 years old. 

True to his word, the next time he came, he had a piece of paper with a diamond wrapped in it.  He gave it to me and gave my mom some gold and told her to make a ring for me.  Mom had the ring made and I wore it to school. showing it off to all my friends.  Of course no one believed that it was a real diamond because no 12 year old would have a real diamond.  I was so proud to say that my uncle gave it to me.  My disbelieving friends told me to prove that my diamond is a real diamond by cutting some glass.  Never passing up on a challenge, I walked over to the newly minted louvered windows of my classroom and carved my initials into the glass with my ring.  Gasping in surprise, my friends were convinced that I really had a diamond ring (since diamond is the only thing that could cut glass or at least that's what we were always told).  I wore my ring proudly for several years. 

One day I looked at the ring and the diamond had fallen out beause it was not mounted properly.  I cried for days.  Mom had an extra gold nugget so she had it put on the top to over the hole.  I still have the ring as a memento of a wonderful uncle.  

I love you Uncle Ronald and I'm glad I had a chance to tell you how much you mean to me - even if I haven't seen you in many years.  

Love doesn't matter in years and dates.  It simply matters.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Getting ready for our Alaskan cruise

Sunday is almost upon us for the start of our next adventure - our Alaskan cruise.  As I mentioned before, we are taking Izabel and Sahana with us.  We leave very early on Sunday (6:30am)  from Winnipeg and change planes in Edmonton where we pick up Izabel after a 3 hour layover and head for Vancouver. 

We arrive there at 11:15am and will take a taxi to the cruise ship terminal. We should be on board the ship by 12:30pm and then we start our adventure.  I am not sure if I am as excited about the cruise as I am about spending a week with the two girls! 

We depart Vancouver at 4:30pm and sail from that afternoon till Tuesday afternoon when we arrive at Icy Strait Point in Alaska.  We'll be there for about 7 hours.  I'm not sure what we'll do there but there seems to be several interesting things to do.  Then we cruise the next day around the Hubbard Glacier.  Then on Thursday, we go to Juneau, Alaska  where I have booked a whale watching and glacier tour for us.  On Friday, we go to  Ketchikan, Alaska.  I have not yet planned any activities for there yet but I have some ideas.  Everyone that I've spoken to who has taken an Alaskan cruise said that it was quite beautiful. 

I'll be blogging - or at least I'll be writing - but may not be able to post if I don't have internet access.  The cost on board the ship is something like $2 per minute so I won't be using internet until we got to land. 

I'm getting excited but I should think of packing soon.  Looks like rain gear and Fall clothes are in order.

Have a great weekend,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The miracle of castor oil!

By now most of you know that I am dealing with some issues with my foot for several months.  After all this time with visits to my doctor, 2 chiropractors, an athletic therapist, a podiatrist and a naturopath, there have been no significant improvements.  I have not been able to walk long distances nor at the speed that I usually walk at for marathon training, so needless to say, it has also affected my mood.  I am doing aquasizes and yoga but don't feel that I am getting sufficient of a workout to feel fit, hence the moodiness although no one else seems to notice that. (I think).  This week I committed riding my bike every day for at least 10kms.  I've been doing about 15k each day and that is making me feel 100% better in terms of my mood and the great part is that it doesn't hurt my foot. 

Anyway, where I was going with this story is: I frequently receive emails from two websites - a walking website and an alternative health website - that are quite good.

Well I decided to try the castor oil pack because at this point, I have nothing to lose.  I bought some castor oil from the drug store on Tuesday and went home and tried it that evening according to the directions below:

Castor oil pack:
•Make a small pad by folding a small piece of unbleached cotton flannelette into 3 or 4 layers.
•Dip the cotton pad into Castor Oil and place it on to the affected joint or muscle.
•Cover the pad with a plastic wrap.
•Place a hot water bottle or heating pad over the plastic wrapped cotton pad. The plastic wrap will prevent the water bottle or heating pad from getting oily.
•Leave the cotton pad on for 45 minutes to an hour, once per day.

This Castor Oil pack can be reused. Simply place it into a plastic ziplock bag and refrigerate it until it is ready to be used again. It can be refrigerated in a ziplock bag.

While I had to pack on, I felt a horrible throbbing and pulsing at the site where I usually feel the most pain. There were a couple of times when I wanted to remove the pack because it was hurting so much but I endured and after an hour I removed the pack, wiped the excess oil off my foot and  I stood up and announced that I was cured (much like people do when they go to a faith healer). But the oddest thing happened.

When I started to walk, there was very little of the pain I was feeling an hour before.  I felt embarrassed that I was so mocking moments before but there was really very little pain.  I went to bed thinking that it was psychosomatic but the physical pain was hardly there.  Yesterday morning I got up and for the first time in almost 7 months, I did not have to hop on  to the bathroom favouring my right foot.

I tried the pack again last night and same thing.  The pain was hardly there.  This morning I got up and my foot was sore but not unbearable so I tried the pack for about 20 minutes and by the time I got to work, it was hurting less.  I don't know how it is working but it seems to be working to relieve the pain - at least for the last day and a half.    

I am going to a sports injury doctor the day after I return from my Alaskan cruise so hopefully, he'll be able to do something to help me.  I am beginning to think that I have an undiagnosed stress fracture. I've had no xrays but apparently that would not show a stress fracture.  A bone scan will do that so I may ask for one because I can almost pinpoint one specific area that is hurting and when that gets bad, the pain radiates to my whole heel.  Not good for walking long distances like I did in June for the 21k Cancer walk but that was for a good cause.

So castor oil is my miracle cure for today.  I may try to for growing long eyelashes and for getting rid of my wrinkles.  Apparently it' supposed to be good for that too. I'll let you know how that works.  I know for sure it works as a labour inducer.  When I was pregnant with Subhadra, she was 6 days late and Mom suggested that I take some castor oil to induce labour.  The thought of having to drink a thick sludge like castor oil should have been enough to induce labour (memories of growing up in Guyana and having to take that as a "clean out," although we were spared that revulsion), but alas it was not so I drank some and within an hour, I was in labour.  Disgusting stuff but it worked.  She was born a few hours later.  As long as I don't have to ingest it, I'm willing to try it.  Something just occurred to me: if your skin is the largest organ in the body and the skin absorbs meds and other stuff, will you get the same laxative effect if you apply it externally? 

I have to go...  :(( 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Sunita!

I know it is not turning out to be the day you expected (somewhat like my last birthday) but I hope the birthday party goes well in spite of the challenges of today.

Stay cool and level-headed as you usually are and things will work out fine.