Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Checking off Milestones

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Bosco

Today marks the end of a week of milestones for our family. Taking posession of our home 12 years ago (August 2nd), The 1st anniversary of Bosco's arrival to our family (August 4th), My sister-inlaw's birthday (August 6th), and today our 21st anniversary.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

The next chapter in the medzone

The last week or so has seemed like rather a whirlwind of medical appointments and plotting. I'd teased my teddybear that booking more than a couple of days off in a row would  tempt the fates and he'd laughed.  It never fails, every time we plan to do something for ourselves, something gets royally screwed up!  

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Sometimes it's perfectly OK to be unplugged for a few days..

This might just be the first year that I didn't get online to post something for Father's day, and for my father-inlaw's bday. Kids came down for a few days and we were too busy enjoying them that my keyboard didn't get any airplay whatsoever.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

An unexpected trip to London and a fabulous weekend!

How awesome is it that it's Thursday, and I'm still pumped after a fabulous weekend?
The District "G" Portion of the Convention Parade.  My teddybear is carrying our branch flag. 
What we thought was going to be a weekend comprised largely of meetings and a "work" type atmosphere turned out to be so much different than I had imagined. 

We'd jumped at the chance to attend the Legion Zone Convention in Gananoque just a few weeks before and I hadn't even considered adventuring to London for Provincial Convention. Part not wanting to push my luck  having just gotten back from what we'd been calling the closest thing to a vacation we'd seen in quite a long time, and partly logistics. 

I had been chatting with fellow comrades who were encouraging us to go, and  so I promised to bug my teddy bear.  Much to my surprise, he had already been thinking about it and had started the wheels in motion.   We often joke that this is one of the perks of having been together so long.  We often find ourselves in synch when we haven't actually vocalized our "evil plans."

A bigger bonus was that my cousin Tom was to be the Dominion guest speaker.  I was pretty happy that I would get to be present for that.  I didn't know he would also do the new officer installations but I probably should have guessed.   I got to get some pretty fabulous photos for the family album as well -- Scrapbooker for the win!  As is the norm, I'm way behind on getting the bulk of them posted, but they'll arrive on a Facebook page near you soon. :) 

I thought it was pretty fabulous that a son of my Dad's eldest brother and I, a daughter of the youngest brother would be together at the same convention talking "shop."  I wonder what our Dads would have thought about that. 

It was the longest road trip I've been on in a while, clocking in almost 6 hours by the time we got through Toronto.  It's been a very long time since these poor legs felt like they'd been fashioned into pretzels.  Days later, my knees and legs still haven't recovered but it was so worth it -- I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

The weekend was an opportunity to meet a number of faces to go along with names we already knew as well as a chance to connect with people we talk to regularly but don't always get to see.  I also made a number of new connections and a few new friends.  I really enjoyed the chance to network with other Legionnaires from a variety of experience levels.  I came home re-energized and ready for the new term. For once I felt like I had more answers than questions, though my convention book margin notes remind me I still have much to learn. 

I'm still giggling at just how very different some folks are out of uniform than they are in uniform.  My first Provincial convention I witnessed a new induction for a couple of fellows to something called the Order of the Thong, in the middle of a meeting of the Pink Ladies.   No, I wasn't drunk, nor did I imagine any of it.  Colour me amused.  

I even won a $100 Walmart gift card from one of the vendors on site! 

I really enjoyed the presentation by Invictus Games Co-Captain Natacha Dupuis (Retired Master Cpl., who shared her story and talked about what the opportunity to once again represent her country means to her.  I'd read about the games last year but hadn't really followed them.  After this presentation, I don't think I'll ever look at them the same way again.  CTV London interviewed her as part of the Convention coverage, check it out here.

Maj. Mark Bossi
We also had the opportunity to reconnect with a presenter we'd seen at the Gananoque Convention.  Major Bossi had given such a captivating presentation on the OSI (Operational Stress Injury) Program. It was one of the best presentations I've ever seen -- we were thrilled to bump into him again.  He did speak at this convention as well, but it was a much more condensed version. 

Even though I was an Observer not a Delegate (meaning I didn't get to participate in the vote) being there still made you feel like you were part of the process.  It was SO much better than reading the reports (or having them read to you) after the fact.  

This year the Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Command elected its' very first female President on this the 50th convention.
Sharon McKeown, President of Ontario Command
I found myself listening to how she'd come to be a member of the Legion and smiling to myself as it was my Dad that got me involved too.  I found myself wondering what I'd say if I eventually had the opportunity to share my "why."  

We met the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veteran's Affairs outside our hotel Friday evening and then caught up with him again the following day and were able to get photos with him.  James teased me that I'd gotten a new photo for my "collection" that I hadn't needed my media credentials to get.  Smartipants. 
James Edwards, Secretary Branch 105 (and my teddybear) pictured with the Hon. Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Tom Irvine, Dominion 1st Vice President (and my cousin) at Provincial Convention in Londaon Ontario.
I'm always amazed when I meet one of those "larger than life" people that you've only ever seen from afar and you realize that they're people too.  He couldn't have been more personable or friendly.  I spent some time chatting with his photographer as well. 

I was offered a new project this weekend as well, but that's another blog.  I'll wait until we have our meeting in a couple of weeks and I know more about what I'm getting myself into before I start making noise about that.  Just know I am quite excited about the opportunity!!

Now we set our sights ahead to Dominion Convention 2018 in which Tom will be invested as Dominion President.  Come Hell or high water, I definitely want to be there!

Today's blog comes with a very hearty thank you to 3 fabulous comrades who I am proud to hold among my family and friends.  Your constant encouragement and support despite many newbie questions and sometimes hair-brained ideas is precious to me.  Your patience has been so very appreciated.  <3


Friday, 21 April 2017

Remind me not to blink as I fast forward 4 more years

A message popped up in the reminders on my Facebook page this morning from 4 years ago and I couldn't help but take pause at the realization that 4 years had gone by since I wrote it.

It had been written in the hangover of my Dad's passing, and a whack of family drama. I'm always amazed at how much unnecessary crap people can create at the most inopportune of times. Never surprised, but always amazed.

I'd started out thanking a few close friends and family who stood by me through the year gone by. It was one of the worst of my life. The only thing that carried me through was that feeling that I wasn't as alone as I felt. I am so grateful to have had my beloved James with me and that his boss was willing to let him take extended leave to be with me. I could never have gone otherwise.

Aside from the obvious leg-wrapping and care issues, I honestly don't think I'd have survived any of it without him. He's pretty modest about it all, of course, but I cannot forget the daily leg wraps, the gall bladder drain tube I was sporting at the time waiting on a surgery date, and the pure logistics of everything. His sunny disposition and whole "you'd do it for me" attitude still makes me smile. He is my energizer bunny, and he keeps me going. (Often quite literally).

Calling up friends I'd known for years, but hadn't seen in a long time to tackle a variety of tasks while we were ut there was a true testament to good friends always being able to jump back in to place right where they left off. I'd forgotten how huggy our bunch was. I'd missed them so very much.

On a plus note, I got to "show off" my teddybear and dispel the myth that such an awesome guy really did exist, and that after all the misteps they'd witnessed in the past that this girl had finally gotten it right.. always nice to get to find at least a little bright side :)

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I'd actually written a long post on my Facebook page about it:

I still can't wrap my head around this message being 4 years old. I could have written it just yesterday (except for the thanks to fabulous friends).

I remember being 10 and 11 and having Dad go through his ritual of showing me where he kept his wallet, his coins and among other important things like making me memorize his SIN number, and DVN #'s.

Unfortunately this ritual always seemed to take place in a flurry of tonight's the night I'm going to die and often after a night of drinking with friends so I'd always thought he was trying to make me crazy. I never really appreciated the "lesson" he was trying to convey.

On more than one occasion I was furious with him for even suggesting that he would leave us too, leaving us with no parents.

He, on the otherhand, was so determined to make sure that in the event of the inevitable I'd be ready -- I'd be OK.

No matter how ready you are, however, it is impossible to say goodbye to someone who has been such an integral part of your life forEVER. I still find myself talking to him on occasion and wondering what he['d think of this or that.

I imagine him up there above the clouds somewhere laughing and shaking his head at me.. but it's all his fault. He's the one that gave me the warped sense of humour.

Hard to explain that he's gone, but he's he's still that inner voice in my head that never goes away. I stll hear him giving me advice, and hear his wit and wisdom coming back to me often when I least expect it. He's here.. but he's not here..

Dad used to talk about missing his parents, people I didn't really remember. I didn't get it then, but I do now. I never thought I could miss one person so much.

I have to believe we'll see each other again some day Dad.

When Dad passed, people told me that time would heal all wounds. That in time, it wouldn't hurt any more. To put it simply, PEOPLE, are generally full of shit.

Today marks 4 years since that post, and this December will mark 5 years since his passing. I can't say that time has fixed anything.

If anything it has only served to make me sadder. I still miss Dad. The family drama caused irreparable damage that has no repair manual. Sadly at least one of the participants has also passed.

Beyond the hurt and angry, lives a broken heart that may never heal. I'd heard stories of vultures in the wake of such events, but the experience was beyond my wildest expectations. People so focussed on gossip and stuff that couldn't be bothered to realize that in the midst of all of the responsibility that had been left on my shoulders, that above all I'd lost my Dad too.

Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger (or so they say). Where are those damned zombies hiding anyways?

Until next time!

-T.



Thursday, 9 March 2017

He's Coming Out - Oh to be Happy and Gay

North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan Announces he is Gay

The announcement was posted to LinkedIn, though the actual post was in the fashion of a guest blog post on bronzeandgoldblog.ca

Friday, 3 March 2017

Opportunity Knocks - March 3rd, 2017


Opportunity knocks is a regular helping of area opportunities to volunteer time, donate tangible items or otherwise serve to better the communities we live in. 

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to share my column with friends and colleagues,  who has submitted an item for inclusion,  or has sent a message to comment on the project.  I appreciate the support! 

Do you have an opportunity that you'd like to share? Please send it to me at tammy.dcemediaproductions@gmail.com

 ~ Tammy 

Brockville - The Brockville Y is accepting nominations for its board of directors.  Nominations will be accepted until March 31st, 2017.  For more info: http://https://lnkd.in/dzMd_XY

Brockville - Kingston The Kingston/1000 Island Crimestoppers seek volunteers to join their 2017 board.  Click for more info.

Please contact us at 613-340-0948 or email your resume to Kingston Police agutheinz@kpf.ca or Chairman of the board j.a.oliveira71@gmail.com

Cardinal - The Cardinal Legion seeks volunteers for a variety of tasks, and events.  Students welcome!  Contact rcl.br105@gmail.com

Prescott - Cardinal - Spencerville - The Food for All Food Bank is seeking Volunteers.  Did you know that high school students can volunteer to get their 40 hours of community service required for graduation?  

Students may assist in stocking shelves, making posters, assisting with fundraising events, and interacting with the community.  We always need volunteers, so come on down and get started today! 

Smiths Falls - Town of Smiths Falls seeks volunteer firefighters.  More info.

Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry: Victim Services of Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry and Akwesasne is seeking volunteers. 

Are you looking to gain some hands-on experience in dealing with crisis situations and want to make a difference in the life of someone who has been affected by a crime or a tragedy?  Volunteer with us! 

Call 613-938-8900 for more info or e-mail info@vsv-sdga.ca


Thought for the day: