15 Little Known Facts about me – challenged by my blogger buddies

In response to others I follow like Marie Ennis O’Connor @JBBC ,  Isabel Jordon @seastarbatita , Carolyn Thomas @heartsisters and many others who are such excellent bloggers – here is a list of the top 15 little known facts about me.

To begin with

1.  I was made aware recently of proof that my mom took me on the Queen Elizabeth in December 1949 on a voyage to meet my grandparents in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, England.  My first and last visit with my grandparents.  I did know about the trip but I had no idea that I had spent 3 months in England.  I can’t imagine my mom making that trip with me in those days.   Not very kid friendly for travel

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What a cutie pie huh

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2. I lived from 1959 to 1964 in Churchill Manitoba, a remote Arctic community with an attached miliary base – my father was a Pentecostal preacher and roamed Canada to preach and help others.  I think it was in Churchill that I became very aware of poverty and the plight of Aboriginal peoples.  I will always remember some coming to sell blueberries door to door to make money.  Not only did my family buy the berries but they invited them in to have a meal, and sent them on their way with a full belly and a sermon (yep that was my dad)

3. I was a poor student, probably always had my head in the clouds.  Bad at Math, still am.  Would rather try to write or plan to run away from home.  I was a great reader and escaped my world in the pages of others.  I still enjoy reading, not to escape but more to learn, to understand, to experience.

4.  I have a fear of water, because I tried to jump off a pier once that I thought was a safe depth for me.  I ended up over my head in water and as a non-swimmer thought that was going to be the end of me.  I didn’t go back in the water for the rest of the summer…dabbled my toes in the sand.  I know how to swim now – just enough to save my life if I had to:)

5.  I have lived in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and moved around a lot with my family as a child, and also as an adult.  I was born in Exeter Ontario, after 3 days of labor – breech and with the cord around my neck 3 times.  I was told I was lucky to survive.  I think it was more that I wasn’t ready to face the world…always the chicken!

6.  My first volunteer job was working as a “candy Striper” in a local hospital in Estevan Saskatchewan.  That led me to my career of caregiver – and my eventual training as a Personal Support Worker.  That was the only big certificate I ever got for education.  I was top of my class.  I was aged 50 when I graduated and carried on working full-time til retirement at 60 yrs of age.  I had done many other jobs early in my life as a nurse’s aide.  Caregiver genes:)

7. I love music.  I love it live, loud and I can sing along.  I have seen live Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman. The Oakridge Boys, Tommy Hunter, Gordie Tapp, The Nylons, The Canadian Tenors, you name it I will attend.  Years of living in isolation gives you a hunger for entertainment, live theatre, music.

8.  I lived in Moosonee, Ontario for 20 years with a couple of small side trips to Porquis Junction (look that one up) and Kirkland Lake.  Northern Ontario is in my blood.  Northern Canada for that matter.   Living in isolation with a population of 1000 souls, one store, no theatres, restaurants, coffee shops, parks, no roads out to the rest of the world – gives you a viewpoint that not many will understand.  You have to live it to get it.  It gives you a great appreciation of life in the larger centres.  I don’t pass up many opportunities to see anything Live, Free, or even with admission price.  I enjoy fairs, pow wows, craft sales, anything and everything:)

9.  I learned to crochet and knit from ladies in my dad’s church.  I wasn’t allowed to go and do things that most others my age did – movies, parties, etc.  I enjoy creating things and am happy to share anything I can make.  It is like my gift to others – something of Me goes into the things I create.  I know other amazing creative souls on Twitter.  I believe they will agree with me that creativity is a gift that is to be shared.

10.  My favorite food is comfort food, shepherds pie, pizza, home-made soups, My mom created the best food for us – out of many rough kitchens with wood burning stoves.  That is a challenge.  I never learned how to make pie crust though.  I still can’t.  Mom was the best cook.  I am a simple cook – straight from the heart to the tummy:)

11.  My other favorite foods are Chocolate and Coffee and I am delighted when the Internet tells us another great thing about the so-called bad foods we eat and drink.  Try and stop me:)

12.  My childhood was full of bullies.  I was afraid to go to school, to take walks, to feel safe.  I still fight that feeling and that is why I try to help others – fight for others.  I am now a senior and I see that seniors get pushed around too.  It’s time to stand tall and be brave.

13. I have traveled to various parts of the world – one of them being Hawaii (7 times)  I guess that is why I love social media and new forums like Periscope and Twitter that brings us the world to where we are.  Living in isolation for so many years I am now craving seeing more, and re-visiting by virtual tours – places I was fortunate enough to visit.

14.  I didn’t grow up wealthy,  I have had bedside tables that were glorified orange crates with a curtain with a wire holding it in place.  I was very proud to have simple things.  I still am.  I don’t judge others by where they live – or what they have, I know it is about what is inside, what the person is like that matters.

15.  Whew, I didn’t think I could get to 15 things about me.  I might be able to do another 15!  The last thing I will tell you is – I never tire of seeing a sunset, watching a storm, listening to the wind, and will always feel soothed by ocean waves and streams.

If you liked my list – as I have enjoyed reading others – please write your own list on your blog and share.  Thank you for reading.

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Summer Mini-Vacation

This story is about Summer Day Trip for someone who is total care…my granddaughter.

I can’t say enough about the place she lives and the nice people who work there.  Not only do they have families of their own, but they give from the heart every single day they work.  They don’t push papers, they don’t lift boxes, and they don’t punch a cash register.  They do a very different job of personal care, dressing, feeding, socializing and delivering love and attention to their charges.

On Friday my granddaughter and another resident of the home went off on a day trip with their caregivers.  The excitement must have been tangible in the air.  This was a special day trip.    This was an exciting trip to see Polar Bears and a Pioneer Village.

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I wasn’t sure how the day would go – it was a big trip and a long day but the pictures said it all.

Many of us take it for granted that vacations for kids happen, that they all interact and can run and play.  But my granddaughter and others can’t .  They needs everything done for them.  They wouldn’t have a “vacation” without hands-on caregivers who get them to the location, who encourage them to try new experiences.   Luckily the group home has a wonderful “red Van” with plenty of room, lots of windows, and places to tie down safely – the residents.  The staff plan weekly adventures to concerts, appointments and places like the Polar Bear Park in a nearby town.  The residents Know when they go out in the van, that they are about to have fun of some kind – whether its a visit to the lake , McDonald’s or the Polar Bear Park!ducks1

RedVanSo Friday was special.  Friday was a blast!  Friday’s photographs warmed the heart of our family.

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Polar Bear swimming

Can you feel the excitement?  I can!

The day was a success!

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Polar bears made the day special.  The home staff made it possible to have this moment in time.

Adventures can be simple.  Adventures can be close by.  Adventures matter for us all.  I am so happy that yesterday was an adventure that made two people very happy!

This is what makes life special  – being included no matter what it takes.

I just wanted to share my good news story with my readers.