Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Well, it is officially Fall now... on the calendar and by the temperature in my house last night. I was out with my girlfriends having dinner and when I got home, it was only 63F (my thermostat is old and is only in Fahrenheit).

Needless to say, it was freezing! Even my dog was chilly. The hairs on her back were standing up a bit. She'd probably been sleeping all evening while I was out - as she is wont to do - so no movement = no increase in body heat.

I was forced to turn the heat on. On Sept. 29th!!!! GAWD! In September I needed the heat on. That just sucks big time. It was just for a few hours and I turned it down overnight, but when the temp outside is 2 or 3C (yeah I know that is Celsius but that is what the weather icon on my taskbar tells me, so the thermostat and weather thingie are not on the same page, let alone in the same era), you gotta get the furnace pumping to take that chill out of the air. Especially when that air in indoors!

So today I replaced my old thermostat with a new, 5+1+1 day programmable one. All new-fangled and computerized. So now the house will cool down and heat up automatically and it should (as they claim) save me money in the long run.

I also replaced the door sweep on my door. I would say front door but it is on the side of the house. And it is the only swing-type door I have. As the only other door to the outside is the sliding patio type. So I got that freshly sealed to prevent cold air from wiggling it's way under the door in the dead of winter. The weather stripping around the door frame is in good shape.

To see the state of affairs above me, I climbed up into my attic today. Wanted to see what the insulation situation was like. Turns out it is that blown in grey stuff. It is pretty uneven, so I think I will buy some and spread it around to thicken things up. Have to figure out how much to put in there. The local hydro company has some pretty good tips on their website for this. They say you should have the attic insulated to R50. Will have to measure and figure out what I have now, so I know how much to add.

I also am going to make a rigid foam cover for my one and only basement window. It is an original, wooden framed window. All the other windows in the house were replaced with nice, decent quality vinyl windows a few years ago, so no worries there. Why they didn't included the basement one is beyond me. One more would have added about $300 to the total bill. So I think I will replace it in the spring, when funds are little freer (hopefully). For the winter, however, it will get a nice, thick layer of rigid foam insulation to keep the cold at bay.

Since I just moved into this house in July, I really don't have any idea what it will be like in the winter. I am certain it can't be as bad as the house I rented last winter, where there was old sawdust for insulation (the damn thing was built in 1900!) so it cost me over $300/month to heat the thing to a chilly 15C. I wore so many layers of clothes last winter INSIDE that it was friggin' ridiculous! I hated that house.....

But this house I really like. I have been in it for two months now and have done a little bit of decorating. I have a huge list of things planned to do in the future, but those will be tackled slowly and over a number of years to help defray the cost.

Unless, of course, I win a bit of something on the lottery.....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I knew someone would find a name for our election process for this year.

Electile Dysfunction :
The inability to become aroused over any of the choices for PRIME MINISTER put forth by any party in the 2008 election year.



A man died in the ER department of a very busy local hospital on the weekend. A man who was sent to the ER by a community clinic where they were unable to help with his medical issue. The man was found dead in the waiting room approximately 34 hours after he arrived.

Today the details of this tragedy surfaced. This man was one of the homeless in Winnipeg who was a frequent ER visitor. He had a catheter that was blocked and was unable to drain urine from his bladder via that catheter. The autopsy showed he died of a bladder infection.

What also surfaced was that this man never registered at the triage desk in the ER so the staff did not know he was there. It also surfaced that the community clinic where he had been seen and sent to the ER in a cab from never called the hospital to say he was coming in.

Now, it is a horrible situation and should never have happened but who is at fault here?

One would think, that if you go to the ER with a problem, you have to go to the triage desk to let them register you and get you into the queue to be seen by a doctor. Or even a nurse. A plugged catheter can be easily replaced and the issue resolved, along with appropriate antibiotics to treat the infection. But this man did not bother to do that. He sat in the waiting room, getting more loaded with bacteria and septic by the hour, until he passed away. Unbeknownst to those around him, until someone finally noticed his lifeless form.

The ER staff at that hospital are extremely busy. It is a huge facility, with multiple hospitals rolled into one big conglomeration, and hundreds of people probably pass through that ER every day. If they don't know you're there, how can they help you?

The community clinic that sent the man there didn't follow up with any kind of contact to the ER. At least, that is what is mentioned in the news. So.... why did someone from that clinic not just call the ER and tell them they were sending this guy over and what the issue was? Why was there no follow up to see if the man had been attended to in the ER?

My opinion on this is that the man himself was the first one responsible for what happened. He'd been to the ER enough times to know that you have to present yourself at triage to be seen. He arrived in a cab, for gawd's sake, so he must have been well enough at that point to make it to the desk and tell them his story.

The second offender in this scenario is the community clinic, with lack of contact and follow-up with the ER. Continuity of care has to exist to ensure that things get done properly and in a timely manner. Health care is the one area where this is of extreme importance. Helloooo..... it obviously makes a difference between life and death.

I can't say that the ER staff are really to blame, but one would think that a guy whose been parked in a corner somewhere for a day and a half would be noticed by the staff at some point - hopefully before he's dead. But I haven't spent any time in that ER so I really can't say what it is like. I guess it really depends on how busy it is (and I do know that many ER's are crazy-go-nuts most of the time) and how observant the staff are; whether they are understaffed and overworked or whatever.

All I can say is, is that everyone needs to take responsibility for themselves. In all aspects of their lives. Don't expect someone else to look after you if you are capable of making decisions for yourself, cuz more than likely that won't happen. And if someone is NOT able to take responsibility for themselves, then someone needs to be assigned to do that, be it family or a worker in whatever capacity. And they need to follow through until everything is resolved.

It is a tragedy, and I am waiting for the legal fallout to happen. Will this man's family sue the hospital, or the community clinic? If they do, where the hell were they when he ended up in that clinic and then the ER? Who will be disciplined for this in the health care settings where this man was seen (or not)?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


It was like this....

I was in bed and asleep and the world exploded around my house. No shrapnel or debris flying, that I could tell. Just a huge explosion. Scared the bejeezus out of me, woke me from a dead sleep and sent me floundering upright in bed, where I squished Pips (the little cat) with my leg. She always sleeps with me.

Pips didn't complain. I could only tell I squished her because it felt... well.... squishy. The bed isn't so I knew it was a cat. And BB (the old man) usually hunkers down on the floor somewhere so I can cuff him in the head with my foot as I make my way to the bathroom in the dark.

We had a thunderstorm last night. I knew we were in for bad weather, but holy crap! I think the universe exploded completely to smithereens at least three times and the other explosions were just bits being blown off.

I had to get up at one point and check my basement for flooding (I think it was around 2:30) because it was raining so hard, I was afraid the window well would fill up again and the water would flow in around my one and only old wooden framed basement window. Had that happen a couple of weeks ago. Not fun. Need to get it replaced and fix the window well (ie: make sure it drains into the weeping tiles properly).

I actually watched out the window a couple of times but nothing happened so I would go back to bed, fall asleep, only to be blasted awake with another kaboom! kkkeeerrrrack! I have a room darkening blind on the window so I didn't see the flashes first. Hence, no warning.

I love thunderstorms. But I love them when I am awake and don't have to get up at 5:30 a.m. to go to work. Needless to say, I did not love this one. So today I am bagged.

And to top it all off, I had just fallen back asleep around 4:00 a.m., only to be wakened at 4:30ish with a gall bladder attack. Which, as of 10:40 a.m., has just finally settled down to the point where I can have some breakfast. Can't wait for the surgery date in October to get the damn nuisance out.

I need a nap....

Saturday, September 20, 2008


September 21st is Peace Day - internationally - voted on in the United Nations and adopted in 2001. Watch this video and see how the actions of one man have snowballed into huge effects worldwide.

What will you do to make peace in your tiny corner of the world on this day?

Friday, September 19, 2008


I had a visit with my dentist the other day. Turns out I actually had a cavity! Come on! I haven't had one of those in years. I've had lots of other issues, like root canals on teeth with huge ancient fillings that crack and allow bacteria in to abscess the damn thing. And crowns and bridges that cost an absolute fortune, even with dental insurance. But a cavity!?!?

Well, it turns out that a molar on the bottom right, that was crowned years ago because of a filling that was falling apart (no root canal on this one), developed a little cavity at the gum line, between it and the tooth behind it. I only noticed it when I flossed and then it was a bit sensitive. So when I went in for my cleaning, I mentioned it. Xrays showed a cavity.

Well, this little inconvenience necessitated another visit. Which necessitated the green rubber dam rigged in my mouth to prevent bits of metal and tooth getting impaled in my oral tissues.

Once the crown was cut away and the cavity cleaned out and filled, the hygienist mixed up this paste, put it on a holder and had me bite down and hold the thing in place for two minutes. Because I have to have a new crown made. To replace the one that was now cut into a zillion little metal shards. Which will cost me over $400 - and that is just my half of the cost - Blue Cross pays the other half. I thought the crowns on the top were going to pop off when I tried to open my mouth after the two minutes were up. That goop really gloms onto your teeth! They take impressions of the upper and lower teeth to get the shape and bite right for the new crown.

Once I head back to the dentist in a week and a half, I will end up with a new one of these:

Right now, I have a temporary crown on to keep the tooth stump protected. It doesn't fit very well (it is just a generic tooth, after all) and it is quite rough from her trimming it to fit my bite, but it does the job and won't be there for long.

The biggest inconvenience of this whole day was the amount of freezing she had to use! Because she had to spend time cutting off the crown, filling the cavity and then fitting the temporary crown, she gave me two needles of anaesthetic. So my face was frozen from the centre of my mouth to the middle of my ear and from the bottom of my chin up to just below my eye. Half of my nose was numb so only one nostril could flare if I tried to take a deep breath in. I couldn't feel the front part of my ear but the back part had normal sensation. The numbness even extended into my hair above my ear for a couple of inches.

But the biggest thing was my tongue! The right side of my tongue was totally frozen, so I had a speech impediment for most of the afternoon. I talked like I had cotton balls or marbles in my mouth. And I had to go to work at 3:30.... I didn't have any lunch because I didn't want to bite the bejeezus out of my tongue and cheek. Drinking a pop out of a can was a challenge - I couldn't tell if I was drooling on the right side or not until it rolled off my chin and hit flesh that felt!

So I went to work, mumbling and drooling and smiling with half my face. One of my patients asked me if I was okay because I didn't look so good. When I laughed, he did too, because I looked like this:

It probably took until mid evening for all the freezing to wear off. I had soup for supper to protect my delicate oral tissues from mastication. Next week I can look forward to a shorter visit, hopefully with less or even no freezing, for my shiny new crown.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Breaking Threads.....

Very tiny threads... of connection... knowing this would come eventually, somehow... so with a smile, with sadness, with affection, with a few unexpected tears... but mostly with understanding.... those threads are severed.

Reflections on Losses

I was driving today, listening to the radio. A song came on that stirred up memories that I don't really care to remember much, but often have no choice when they surface. So I got to thinking on all the kinds of losses we suffer in our lifetimes.

There is the loss of innocence when, as a child, you finally realize that Santa and the Easter Bunny are not real. (Really? They're not? Says who!)

There is the loss of virginity, as a teenager, with your first boyfriend. (Now THERE is a unique and once in a lifetime sensation!)

There is the loss of your first love - the heartbreak and angst you feel - that life just can't go on and how will you possibly survive - and two weeks later you are madly in love with someone else.

There is the loss of a job - being fired for not being able to type fast enough - when speed had not been a pre-requisite when you were hired but became an issue - for your employer, at any rate.

There is the loss of contact when you move away from your home town, province, country.... when the frequent visits that had been a regular occurrence in your life became phone calls and letters (and later on, emails, as technology progressed).

There was the mind blowing, heart wrenching devastation of the loss of a love, one who couldn't cope with life and ended his, without telling you how bad things really were.... and along with that is the loss of time, a space of days that are forever blocked from memory because of the pain and hurt that are too much to bear.

There is the loss of trust, when one you marry betrays you... with alcohol, with drugs, with other women.... and tries to demean you into staying.

There is the loss of parents too young, of grandparents quite elderly but still sorely missed, the unbelievable and inconceivable loss of a sister who meant the world to you, who was your sister-friend and confidante.

There are beginnings that become endings as life moves on and people pass through. As you go on, searching for that someone who will be the one... who will be the right match.... only to find one whom you think IS the right match, and you fall head over heels for him, only to lose him because you are not the right match for him.

There is the lost opportunity at a position - at a job you know you would be very good at, simply because others had more chances to gain the necessary experience in that position, with that employer, while your experience was elsewhere and not as relevant to this employer, despite being the exact position as the one you applied for.

There is the feeling that someone is just out of reach, someone who has the potential to be something special to you, if only he hadn't suffered a loss long ago that has coloured his world and made him hesitant. There is a connection, a friendship that you yearn to grow into something more, but realize that pushing it will cost you everything, and add another loss to the string of lifetime losses that already abound.

So patience is a virtue, no matter how difficult it is to not push. To prevent one more loss is worth it, though, because the slowly growing friendship is a base that is solid, that has the makings of a gain that may make waiting worthwhile in the long run.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Fall is in the air and the mornings are getting crisp. Leaves are changing to the fiery hues of autumn, lending an artist's palette to the landscape.

It is a beautiful time of year. The air feels clean and crisp as you breathe. The bugs are almost gone. The trees are awash with colours that vary from vibrant green to burnt sienna, with ruby reds thrown into the mix.

The only problem is all this beauty leads to this:


Friday, September 12, 2008


Well, I didn't get the postiion, as mentioned in my previous post.

So I am still doing the same stuff as before, slogging away on the front lines.

One day, when something else comes around, I will go for that one too.

Either I am a glutton for punishment or an eternal optimist.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


In just under two hours, I have a job interview. I already have a good job, but this one is a step up. It is within my unit in the hospital so no change in who I work with or where. But it would give me an opportunity to sit behind the desk and cut the wear and tear that my hands, feet and back have been taking in my nursing career.

If I am successful, I would become one of the Clinical Resource Nurses in our unit. That's a fancy name for Charge Nurse. There are three positions. One is vacant because the previous occupant moved on to bigger and better things at another hospital.

I am starting to get a bit nervous, but more because this will be a panel interview than anything else. I will know everyone on the panel, but there will be about 5 - 7 people looking at me and asking me questions. EEK!

I have new clothes, just got my teeth cleaned and have researched a lot of stuff that they will probably ask me. I am as prepared as I can be. Maybe I can dazzle them with my brilliant smile and they'll give me the job just to save their eyesight.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Greener Family... and Pasture Values.... uh, wait a minute...

That should be family values and greener pastures.

We had a family gathering at my niece's house this evening.... a send-off party for her brother (my oldest nephew) and his wife, who are moving to Calgary to be dinks for a while. They leave in about 10 days and will be sorely missed, but.... someone else to go visit!

(That would be double income no kids kind of dinks.... they are actually extremely nice people. But I am not biased or anything.)

I love getting together with my family. My niece and her husband and their two little girls (ages five and a half and almost two) are great at organizing and hosting these shindigs.

(And yes, that IS a sea-lion kissing my great-niece on the head!)

My youngest sister and her hubby were there. They are off to Vegas tomorrow for a few days - it's their 25th anniversary this year (in August) and they have planned a nice little get-away.

(My brother-in-law hates having his picture taken. This is a rare shot. What you usually get is something like the hand in the previous picture, as he hides behind my sister.)

My youngest brother and his girlfriend also came - lovely to see the two of them.... often months go by with no contact, but that is just because of work scheduling conflicts, and nothing more.

One of the things I love most about my family is how openly affectionate we are with each other. All the women hug everyone, and most of the guys (all the ones related to me by blood, anyway) will hug everyone (other than the non-blood related guys, that is), including each other. The ones related by marriage just haven't gotten into the hugging thing... yet. You never know.... we may convert the younger ones yet!

But the best part of the evening was when it was time for the great nieces to head to bed. They both got changed into their jammies and then came out to the livingroom to say goodnight to everyone. The older of the two hugged everyone without hesitation.

The little type, who had looked at me when I got to the house earlier as if she'd never seen me before in her life, ran over, gave me a big hug with her head on my shoulder, and a nice big kiss on the smacker for good measure! What a doll...

What a family! I am blessed by whatever gods you want to thank for having been born into this family. I am proud and I love them all.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Ever since I blogged about googling my blog name, all the hits (well, almost all) on my blog have been people searching terms like:

ponygirl breeding
ponygirl training
ponygirl bondage
submissive ponygirl
ponygirl leather


Prior to that post, there were very few hits on my blog regarding the name 'ponygirl'. I think I have opened a can of worms, and even though I removed the label ponygirl from the post, I am still getting those kinds of search results.

There are obviously a lot of people out there interested in that kind of submissive play. Listen up, people: I AM NOT ONE OF THEM!!!!!

I am THIS kind of Ponygirl:

Not THIS kind:

Maybe if I can figure out a way to change the spelling of my blog name without having to start all over, I can get those folks off my tail (pun intended... I know, I know...).

So, what do you think? PONYGURL? PONYGYRL? PONYGIIRL?