September  2021 –  A beautiful sunny and warm month with lots of changing of leaves 🍁

The month of September started with some sadness that we didn’t expect to happen, but we lost our dear friend Mchale she used to be my staff. Mchale and her baby son Noah were murdered. My friend Mchale was super duper outgoing, biggest heart and always up for anything. Friends and Family of Mchale and Noah are trying to get Noah’s Law passed. Please sign the petition and help this from happening to someone else. Here is a picture of us in a ride at Jay Walker’s jamboree.

My friend Theresa and I went for nails at Cloud Nine Day Spa because I bought her a gift card for her birthday almost two years ago!

Sometime in September we had a walking scavenger hunt with Rose Club and we had lots of fun looking for things like a red car, house for sale sign and some holes in the ground. We had to find yellow leaves on trees and hidden behind the trees! We had to find K on a license plate! We had to find a school or school bus and take a picture of.

My Auntie Gail had her birthday in September, so I made her a birthday card! She had a lemon cheese cake for her birthday, and her work her co- I workers put up an sign ( you hit the Big 50 on her desk at work)

We took family pictures and everyone was wearing blue, black and white shirts! Ashley bough Coco an outfit and it matched my Mom. I think my Mom needs some grandkids!

My friend Teresa lost her Auntie, so I mailed her a card.

Then the last week of September was karaoke with Rose Club and Rebecca made a wheel of our own names and then she would spin it and picked our names that way it was pretty cool!  Rebecca put up YouTube and we played karaoke.

I can’t wait to see what Fall brings. The leaves are already leaving and the cold is coming!

My friend Rebecca and her heart blockage…

Rebecca had heart palpitations and I was interested to interview her about her journey. We met at Camrose Community Church, and she was the Sunday school teacher! I remember when I was younger, she made me a doll cake for my 8th birthday party! When I was 16, she made two strawberry cheesecakes! For my 17-birthday party, we went to her shop after we went to the bowling alley. We were able to decorate cupcakes!  She also made me a graduation cake and she made (my brother Luke and my confirmation Cakes!  

Kelsey: How did you know something was wrong with your heart?  How did you feel?

Rebecca: I was having heart palpitations, I was tired, didn’t feel good.

Kelsey: Why did you need surgery?

Rebecca: The top and the bottom of my heart stopped communicating.

Kelsey: How did you feel after surgery, compared to before?

Rebecca: I felt really good after surgery, I couldn’t feel my heart beating funny. I thought I had carpal tunnel, after surgery my hands stopped going numb.

Kelsey: What was your recovery like?  How long did it take?

Rebecca: Recovery went well, I had to be off of work for 6 weeks.

Kelsey: What’s your advice for other people going through the same thing?

Rebecca: Be patient, recovery takes time.

Kelsey: How did your family react when they found out you needed surgery?

Rebecca: Louis and the kids were very worried, because it had to do with my heart and was so sudden. I was able to reassure them that I would be ok and feel much better.

Kelsey: What was your childhood like?  Do you have siblings?

Rebecca: My childhood was like everyone else’s. We played and went to school. I have one brother he is 3 years older than me.

Kelsey: Where did you grow up?

Rebecca: I was born in England and grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Kelsey: What countries have you lived in?

Rebecca: England, Germany, Canada

Kelsey: What’s your favourite memory of your mom and dad? 

Rebecca: Camping, picnics while going on bike rides.

Kelsey: How many kids do you have? What do they do?  Do you have grandkids?

Rebecca: 4 kids, Matt goes to school, Human Resources, Aiden is working in Marketing, Emily is working in Edmonton for a road construction company, John is a construction worker. 1 grandson Mason who is 13 years old, he lives in Regina.

Kelsey: What’s your job today?

Rebecca: I work for Canada Post

Kelsey: What other jobs have you had?

Rebecca: Sold furniture, baker, owned my own restaurant, waitress, catering

Kelsey: How did you get into baking and cooking?

Rebecca: It was something I could do while I was raising my family. I sold my baking at markets, then I opened my own shop.

Kelsey: What’s your hobbies? 

Rebecca: Crafting. Gardening. Baking.

Kelsey: How did you and I meet?

Rebecca: We met at church and we became great friends!

I hope you have learned something about this interview with Rebecca! I didn’t know about heart palpitations before I interviewed her! Rebecca is wonderful, hard working and loving, and a kind friend who I look up to and trust!  Thanks for your interview, Rebecca!

For more information about heart palpitations check out this website I found…

Rebecca had to receive a pacemaker. This is what I found on the internet…

A pacemaker is a small device that’s placed (implanted) in your chest to help control your heartbeat. It’s used to prevent your heart from beating too slowly. Implanting a pacemaker in your chest requires a surgical procedure.

August 2021 *Life is slowly but surely getting back to normal *Little by little!

For Rose Club name that tune in August I won a wooden picture that we painted and gave to our senior for this month! 

My friend Karlina from high school came for a visit and we played Yahtzee!

On a sunny Saturday afternoon, I did some rolling on a blanket on the grass outside!   Then I did some colouring on the deck!

In the evening it was Rose Club Birthday Bash on Zoom, it was Big Valley themed, so it felt like we were at Big Valley at home! 

On the Sunday morning, My Grandma Sharon, and my Auntie Gail (my Dad’s Mom and sister) came to visit us! My Dad and I took them to where my dad works and where Big Valley usually is! And Jubilee Park!  I showed them the wheelchair accessible outdoor gymnasium.   We went on a long walk.  We went to the under pass! Yahoo it is wheelchair accessible!! 

My Auntie Gail gave me some butterflies and flowers on canvas!  Thanks so much!  Also, some word search books! Then we got back from our adventure, we taught them how to play the game Qwirkle.  I got to try out my mom and dad’s hammock for the 1st time!   While I was in their Hammock, my mom and dad were drying out the swimming pool and getting ready for the fall season!

A month ago, I was in my bed with my hot water bottle, and it got a hole in it and I got my 1st burn on my arm!

One Monday morning I got to show my mom the under pass at mirror lake!

The start of September and then the long weekend…

On a Wednesday afternoon I got sore from sitting too long so I showed Dana my staff how to put me on my mat!

On Thursday morning I got to go back to Centra Cam!  (Just in the morning though) I did some weights, medicine ball * a ball with handles on the sides* and some bands! That was 1st period of the day.  Then, after the coffee break. I started reading the book…”Ella Enchanted”.

When I came home, I started to paint the 1st canvas. It’s a butterfly!  

On a Friday afternoon I started to paint another painting with flowers and butterflies! 

On a Saturday afternoon I finished painting the second canvas, and I went back to my parents house. We went on a walk outside on the berm and I said “let’s make a birthday cake for the puppy! After supper we made a dog cake! 

On Sunday morning my Mom decorated COCO ‘s 1st birthday cake!  In the afternoon we celebrated our grand puppy/my niece’s 1st birthday! She ate a piece of her birthday cake! My Mom bought her a pink jacket. Joel and Ashley came with Caramel Macchiato cappuccino cups for dessert! They were in mini glass cups! They were very yummy, they reminded me of an ice cappuccino without the ice!  Thanks for bringing us over dessert!

On Monday morning I painted on the back deck! How do they look?! 

I went back home and made rhubarb crisp with my mom, played two games of Yahtzee and we went on another walk, and I helped make supper! It was meat balls rice with salad, and carrots from Good Foods!  After supper we watched Parent Hood!

Looking forward to the Fall Season and all of the changes that are coming.

My Auntie Donna and her hip replacement

My Auntie Donna had a hip replacement and I wanted to interview her! I think it’s a hard road for recovery but she’s feeling good again! I look up to my Auntie Donna who is doing everything for her family and friends! I don’t know what it is like having a hip replacement surgery! I always get to sleep during surgery and she was awake for her hip replacement surgery!   We had made some of memories! I remember going to her place for Christmas for one year! We played Mad Gab with the cousins! She was here in the summer and we played Qwirkle.

Hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the hip joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant, that is, a hip prosthesis. Hip replacement surgery can be performed as a total replacement or a hemi (half) replacement. Such joint replacement orthopedic surgery is generally conducted to relieve arthritis pain or in some hip fractures. A total hip replacement (total hip arthroplasty or THA) consists of replacing both the acetabulum and the femoral head while hemiarthroplasty generally only replaces the femoral head. Hip replacement is currently one of the most common orthopedic .

Kelsey: When did you notice something was wrong with your hip?             

Donna: Our daughter Kaitlyn worked in Finland for a year and in July 2012 we went to visit her.  We did a lot of walking and every night when I went to bed, my left leg would throb like a toothache all from my hip to my ankle.  I thought it was because I was overweight and out of shape.  However, I realized it didn’t matter if I was active or still – my leg always seemed to ache.  That September I joined Pilates because I am very rigid and hoped my flexibility would increase.  It didn’t, and I was frustrated because there were certain movements I couldn’t do because I just didn’t have the range of motion.  That fall I had my yearly physical with my family doctor and after telling her my concerns she suggested we start with x-rays.  The x-ray tech looked at them and said, “No wonder your hip hurts!”

I met with the orthopaedic surgeon in Saskatoon in the spring of 2013.  He told me there was degeneration of the hip, but at 51, I was young to have a hip replacement.  By April 2014 when I saw him again, the degeneration was worse – practically bone on bone, and he said it was time for surgery.  I could have had surgery in August, but we had a holiday planned to go to Virginia. I got a call in the fall and had my surgery November 5, 2014.            

Kelsey: Did you try anything else to relieve your pain before surgery, like physio or cortisone shots? 

Donna: I did not have physio or cortisone, and neither was ever suggested to me.

Kelsey: What was the pain like before surgery? 

Donna: The pain was like a toothache down the left side of my left leg.  I think I have a low threshold for pain, so it was often a level 8.  I often didn’t realize it myself, but friends at school would know when it was bothering me because I would limp.  While Bob and I were waiting during one of my appointments I saw someone walking on a path toward the hospital.  I commented that they must need a new knee or hip because they were limping so severely.  Bob told me that was exactly how I walked sometimes, but I didn’t realize it. 

I still participated in activities such as Pilates, going to the gym, and walking but had limited range of motion.  The pain seemed to be bad whether I sat, stood or walked.

Kelsey: Tell us about your surgery.

Donna: I told the surgeon and anesthesiologist I wanted to be completely out during my surgery because I didn’t want to hear power tools!  I took along my iPhone and my earbuds so I could listen to music.  There was a sheet draped across so I couldn’t see below my chest.  I thought of holding my phone up and getting a picture, but I didn’t.  I did take a selfie, plus one of the surgeon, though.  I don’t recall how long the surgery took.

At one point during surgery I was aware that I could see my leg and it appeared to be raised completely straight up and hanging from the ceiling.  I thought “Cool!” because I know I just couldn’t do that.  I also remember hearing what sounded like a hammer hitting copper pipe, but thought I must have imagined it.  However, on last season of Grey’s Anatomy, Dr. Richard Weber needed hip surgery, and during the episode it was the exact same sound!!  Proof the sound I remembered hadn’t been a drug-induced hallucination!! 

Before my surgery I told the kids at school that I was going to be away because I was having a hip replacement and would now have titanium in my leg.  One of the kids was heard saying “Our librarian is going to be a Cyborg!”  Another asked why I was going to be gone, and a fellow student said “She’s going to get a new leg.” 

Kelsey: How did you feel after surgery?

Donna: After surgery when I was still numb from the spinal it was awesome!!  Absolutely pain free!! However, things changed as the anesthetic wore off.  I am allergic to a couple different drugs and medical staff weren’t sure what I could take for the pain, nor how much they could give me.  My pain was off the charts for about 9 hours, and if it wasn’t for my Pilates breathing, I would have lost my mind!  I apologized to my roommate the next morning because she must have thought I was dying.  I do admit I dropped a LOT of F-bombs!  I don’t remember what I was finally given for the pain, but after they found the correct dose, I felt so much better. 

My surgery was on Wednesday at noon.  I was up the next morning after they’d removed the catheter, and when the nurse helped me to the washroom I was surprised how sturdy and solid my leg felt.  Thursday I was walking with a walker, and Friday the physiotherapist had me going up and down stairs.  Saturday I had another physio session, and was out of the hospital by noon and on my way home. 

Kelsey: How was your recovery?

Donna: At home I had lots of support.  A physiotherapist visited me on Monday after a teary phone call when I told her I was sure my left leg was now about 6 inches longer than my right – a normal reaction I was told.  Bob was very good about helping me with my exercises and when friends came to visit they became my coaches.  I used a walker and then graduated to a cane.  I had a raised toilet seat and for extra safety had handrails in the shower.  I was diligent about doing my exercises and after the staples were removed friends took me swimming to North Battleford twice a week.  I was grateful for this as I couldn’t drive for 6 weeks after my surgery.  I found the water therapy to be very beneficial, noticing an increased range of motion immediately.  At first I just walked in the lazy river using a paddle board for support, but then graduated to an aqua bike, and then swimming. 

At home I took my pain medication as prescribed but soon found I had very little need for it. After I recovered, I was happy to have full range of motion but was happiest to be pain-free with none of the throbbing, deep aching. 

Kelsey: How long were you off work?

Donna: My surgery was in November and I went back to work the end of February.  While recovering at home I relaxed in bed, had lots of afternoon naps, watched Netflix, read and practiced Spanish using Duolingo.

Kelsey: Any cons to having surgery?

Donna: Since my hip replacement, any time I am flying, I always set off the metal detector. 

Kelsey: How is your other hip?

Donna: My right hip has now started to give me trouble, and I had x-rays two years ago so we could have a base-line to see how the osteoarthritis is progressing.  As of today, my right knee has been worse than my hip.  I recently saw my surgeon and he told me hip problems often show up in knees.  From x-rays my right knee is showing 30% wear, but my hip is at 90%.  My surgeon asked if I was ready for surgery again, but the pain isn’t unbearable, plus I’m not limping.  I will use those two factors to determine when I make the call to be put on the waiting list. 

Kelsey: What do you do for work?  What other jobs have you had?

Donna: I am a librarian at Unity Public School and have loved my work for over 15 years.  I took my library technician program via distance education from SAIT in Calgary.  I had previously worked as an Educational Assistant and had also worked for the Mental Health Association of Saskatchewan.  For a time I worked at Curves, a fitness center for women; I worked at a funeral home doing after-care and pre-planning funerals; I was a village administrator; I have been a Mary Kay beauty consultant for 32 years.  In high school I worked at an ice cream shop which is why ice cream is one thing I can stay away from. 

Kelsey: Do you have kids?

Donna: I have three children.  Grant is a navigator with the Canadian Armed Forces and works with Search and Rescue.  Interesting point is that Grant is on the waiting list for a hip replacement, even though he is only 39.  Sorry about those bad genes, Grant!  Kaitlyn works for the Saskatchewan provincial government in communications.  She was working for the Ministry of Health when COVID began, and that was a very busy, interesting time for her.  Courtney is a dental assistant but is just completing classes in Dental Hygiene in Toronto.  My husband Bob is a regional manager with Farm Link, a grain marketing company. 

Kelsey: What do you do in your spare time?

Donna: In my spare time, and before COVID, I like to read, cook, bake, swim and entertain friends and family. Since COVID I have gotten hooked on paint-by-numbers and diamond art.  I’ve recently lost 30 pounds and have gotten much more active, working on the elliptical, doing work-out videos, Pilates and yacking on the phone while I’m on the treadmill. 

I hope you learned something interesting about hip replacement and thank you Auntie Donna for your interview.

July 2021 ! Summer with better and beautiful things

For Canada Day we went to the pool and hockey rink area where they were playing music and hanging out, ball, water bottles and freezes! By the glass area there were some booths of Canada Day stuff! In the afternoon we watched two movies. One was 5 feet apart and a girly movie! There were amazing fireworks in the evening!

On July 3 was our mom’s birthday so I surprised her with a ice cappuccino and a birthday card! We celebrated her birthday on the Sunday! We gave her some jackets from Rickis! We had homemade ice cream cake with peppermint flavoured and chocolate mints!

Our brother Luke had his birthday the weekend after our Mom’s birthday! We gave art supplies for his birthday! We had brownie cake with cream cheese icing!

Sometime in July my friend Teresa lost her friend. So, now that I can actually get out of the house and I can go back to shopping again! I brought her a kitty stain glass for her window! I have been enjoying the outdoors and blowing bubbles on the deck!

We got prizes from Rose Club , which were some tie dye sets and we bought white t- shirts and tie dyed them!

When your Doctors can’t finger out your lower back pain and did everything that he could….. I went for physical therapy and she had said keep on moving! We thought it was my hip was out, but it wasn’t out of place! So, I have learned how to help myself with the pain! Do some workouts on the mat and walk in the walker!

Rose Club had another scavenger hunt and we had a wonderful time looking for items! We had to find a # 7 on a van! We had to look for a bench, bird and some thing with paws! We had to find a lawnmower and take a picture of it for the scavenger hunt!

I actually got to go to the new pool with Mary Ann and her grandson Dylan! I actually get into the hot tub because there’s a ramp for the hot tub!

One Saturday afternoon we went to the new Space Jam movie and I went to Cruella with my Mom on one Tuesday evening!

We went to watch the Snow Birds and it’s was an amazing show and an awesome experience!

I remember one summer I was able to go meet the Snow Birds!

My Mom and Dad have been babysitting Joel and Ashley’s puppy Coco! My Mom and I made a zucchini chocolate cake! I wasn’t hungry for cake though! Mom has a machine called save food, that you can seal up bags and we put the leftover zucchini into the bags!

Theresa and I got some face masks from Rose Club prizes from bingo or something! So we did our fingernails and we had face masks!

My Auntie Donna and my Mom came to visit me at my house and we played qwirkle!

My best friend Teresa mailed me ” thinking about you “presents! I got an hoodie, pants, homemade slippers that her mom Victoria made for me! It was a wonderful surprise, she also gave me a book where you put water into a pen and draw out the picture, once it’s dry, you have to start over! She sent me some stickers as well!

My Auntie Gail and Hashimoto’s Disease

So, I decided to interview my auntie Gail on her Hashimoto! She’s very strong, happy and a joyful person to be around. I really enjoyed two years ago when my Dad took me to Lloydminster and we went out for ice cream with my Auntie Gail and my Grandma Sharon. It was really nice to see where my Dad and my Auntie Gail went to high school. We would go to Lloydminster for Christmas Eve the last two before COVID, so this past Christmas we didn’t get to go to Lloydminster. I love going back to see family and playing games with the whole family. I hope everything is back to normal this Christmas! I hope you learn something from this interview!

Kelsey: How did you find out you had Hashimoto? 

Gail: I had not been feeling well for a few years. I was always very tired, and it has always been very hard to lose any weight.  I had been to my family doctor, and she had checked my thyroid but she always said it was on the edge of the normal range so we should just watch it. Then in the summer of 2018 I thought I would try seeing a naturopath doctor. She sent me for a few different blood tests than my regular doctor had, and they came back positive for the Hashimoto’s disease antibodies.

Here is what I found out about Hashimoto:

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Also called Hashimoto’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease, a disorder in which the immune system turns against the body’s own tissues. In people with Hashimoto’s, the immune system attacks the thyroid. This can lead to hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid does not make enough hormones for the body’s needs. I have a link at the end of the interview for you to find out more information….

Kelsey: What were your symptoms and how are you feeling today?

Gail: I definitely had a few of the symptoms listed for Hashimoto’s. I had fatigue all the time and joint and muscle pain. Even just doing regular everyday stuff like cleaning the house and doing laundry would make me tired. One of the symptoms is a goiter that develops on your neck and I am very thankful I did not have that symptom. I take medication every day to help regulate the thyroid gland and I am feeling much better now. A few months ago, I had a check up and I had been feeling a sluggish so I had my thyroid checked again and it was back to being a little slow so my doctor had to adjust the dosage of my medication.

Kelsey: How did your family act when you found out what’s was happening?

Gail: I think they were very relieved that I finally had a diagnosis and that it was fully treatable with medication.

Kelsey: Did you have to change your diet or eating habits?

Gail: The naturopath also found out that I had a sensitivity to gluten as well as Hashimoto’s so I have totally changed my diet and eating habits. I do not eat anything with gluten and that has been quite tough for me as I loved bread.

Kelsey: What’s changed your lifestyle when you found out what’s was happening?

Gail: Because Hashimoto’s is classified as an autoimmune disease. I do have to make sure I get proper rest and eat well. They told me to limit my stress because too much stress will make the inflammation in my body worse.

Kelsey: What was your childhood like growing up? What were your hobbies when you were a Child?

Gail: I grew up in Lloydminster, which is where I live now. We lived very close to our school so we were able to walk to school every day and come home for lunch. Our school also has an outdoor swimming pool in the summer and an outdoor skating rink in the winter. I loved to skate, in the winter I would skate pretty much every day after school. I took figure skating lessons for a while as well. When I got older and went to high school, I was very lucky Michael drove me to school every day and dropped me off at my part time job until I got a driver’s license.

Kelsey: Where did you go after school?

Gail: I always came home after school. My mom worked and I always looked after my younger brother Patrick. Well and sometimes Michael. Ha ha ha.

Kelsey: What’s your job today?

Gail: I work at a company called Guardian Radiology, they do diagnostic imaging, which is x-rays and ultrasounds. I work in the finance department mostly doing payroll as there are over 100 employees in 12 different locations. I am also responsible for receivables as well.

Kelsey: Where did you meet my uncle Wayne? When did you have kids?

Gail: I met uncle Wayne when I was in Grade 10 we went to the same high school. Hard to believe I have known him since I was 15 years old. We started dating when I was about 19 years old and we got married in 1994 when I was 23 and he was 24. We had our first child, Eric Hans in 1995 and then Ian Andrew in 1999. Our boys have left home now and are living in Edmonton together.

Kelsey: Where have you been in the world? Do you like to travel?

Gail: I love to see new places and I love to travel. I am not a great flier but once I get there, I am good. I have been to many places. I love the beach we have been to Mexico many times, and Bermuda, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Antiqua. We have been to New York a few times and Uncle Wayne loves Las Vegas. I have also went to Greece and Italy with Eric on a school trip which was lots of fun. But my biggest trip was to Egypt for 3 weeks with a friend of mine. It was a long and exhausting trip but so worth it. We saw so many museums, ruins, tombs, pyramids, rode donkeys and camels, and climbed Mount Sanai.


Kelsey: What are your hobbies today?

Gail: I love to ride my bike in the summer and I love to read. I read every day. I also like to garden a bit. Wayne built some raised garden beds last year and I planted a few vegetables. I also am a member of the Kinette’s club.

Kelsey: Are you close to your friends from school or have they moved away?

Gail: I have a few friends that still live here from my school days. One is my friend Tammy, we have been friends since Grade 4 and she is my hairdresser as well.

Kelsey: What’s your favourite memory growing of your Mom, and your Dad?

Gail: My favourite memory when we were young, we went on a summer holiday to BC. We had a camper and we drove. We stopped at the Flintstone park and we drove go karts. It was a really fun trip.

Kelsey: How many siblings do you have?

Gail: I have 2 siblings. I have an older brother Michael and a younger brother Patrick so I am a middle child and the only girl. 

For more information check out this link:

Thank you Auntie Gail for doing the interview and providing the website. I really enjoyed learning about your life. I hope some people learned something from your interview. Maybe they have Hashimoto Disease too!

June 2021- Summer is in the air! Looking forward to a fresh new start

Around my birthday, my Mom changes my feeding tube. I lean my wheelchair back and I make my dad hold my hand because changing the feeding tube is kinda uncomfortable and I don’t enjoy it very much! Good thing it’s only two times a year or unless it falls out.

My birthday was June 7. In the morning I got up to balloons, they were red, a happy birthday balloon, and a flower purple balloon! In the early afternoon I got to open some of my birthday presents from my roommates! I got hair dye, pictures in pictures frames and some smelly bulbs for my butterfly night light, some bath bombs and lights and you make words with the letters.

I went to my parent’s house for my birthday supper and homemade ice cream cake. Joel, Ashley and I did face masks! My Mom’s friends surprised me and dropped by and sang happy birthday and gave me Red flowers! Joel and Ashley got me the Twilight books! My Mom and Dad got me some new bed sheets and a bigger weighted blanket for my bed, and some red shorts! My Auntie Gail got me a K necklace for my birthday! It was a good day!

We painted bird houses and we gave them to our secret senior! I finished my colouring book in four days. It had 30 colour by number and 30 colouring pages!

For Father’s Day Rose Club did a paint pottery activity. I made a whale and a Dad sign for my Dad for Father’s Day! For Father’s Day the whole family put up our swimming pool in the backyard, we played bocce ball with Dad while Mom took Coco for a walk, and we had two games of Yahtzee! My Mom finally finished my birthday present, she made me summer moccasins with sunflowers, which I love.

My friend Kirsten had a baby boy named Alex and we got to FaceTime with her and meet her baby! She used to work at the Kandu Camp that I used to go to and now she’s moved to Edmonton, got married and had a baby in December!

My friend Emily from high school came to visit me with her baby girl Brielle, we visited for 1 ½ hours. I bought her baby girl some t- shirts and a yellow dress which Emily loved!

Rose Club had a scavenger hunt and we had pages of pictures that we had to find. We saw a bull and a baby cow! We had to find a golf cart and I got to sit in one (my very 1st time sitting in a golf chart!) We also went to the park with the spaceship! We went to the spray park, and we needed to get a group picture of our house, but I can’t really put other people in my blog, so it’s just got a picture of myself at the new spray park. We are super excited about everything reopening on the 1st!

Mom and I enjoying the pool!

My brother Joel and his life with allergies and asthma…

I have learned a lot about my brother Joel’s experience with allergies and having asthma! I didn’t realize how bad it was when he found out. I am his younger sister and didn’t understand what was happening.  We had some cats growing up and it wasn’t that bad. I think it was worse with dogs and horses. I can’t imagine how much his eyes swelled up! That’s scary!  We had some excellent experiences with the family and going on holidays! Joel was only with us when we went to Disney world and Disneyland! He was going to school in Edmonton when we went on more holidays! He’s my big brother who has been there for me. He’s great at changing my feeding tube every December and June if he’s around! I love him so much!  I hope you find his interview educational and interesting.

Kelsey: How did your allergic reactions start to pets?

Joel: They first started when I was about 5 years old. We were at my parents’ friend’s house and they had a dog. I am told I had a runny nose and had trouble breathing.

Kelsey: What are your allergies and your symptoms?

Joel: I am allergic to dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs, hay, dust, mold, birch trees, grass, and the most severe, chores 😉. My symptoms range depending on the allergen, but my main symptoms are runny nose, itchy/watery eyes, and difficulty breathing (I get very wheezy and need to use an inhaler).

Kelsey: Do you take medications for your allergies?

Joel: I take Claritin mostly because it is non drowsy. I also have a salbutamol inhaler for my breathing. About 4 years ago I started getting allergy shots for my allergies. I have found my symptoms have become milder since I started them, but they are still present.

Kelsey: How did your family react with your allergies and asthma?

Joel: The most memorable reaction was when I went horseback riding as a kid. My eyes started to swell up, so my mom had to take me home. On the drive my eyes swelled completely shut and we were a bit freaked out and she took me to emerg. Luckily, I haven’t had my eyes swell shut since!

Kelsey: How has your allergic reaction been to Coco, has the shot been helping?

Joel: I have fairly mild symptoms to our little dog Coco. She is hypoallergenic, which helps, but I still have some trouble breathing at times and often take allergy meds. The shots seem to have helped a bit as I used to get quite sick around hypoallergenic dogs. We also have an air purifier which helps my breathing.

Kelsey: How long have you had Coco?

Joel: We got her in November 2020.

Kelsey: What sports did you play?

Joel: Although I am allergic to grass, I didn’t have a problem playing sports outside. Sometimes in the spring I would need allergy medication or my inhaler, but it wasn’t too bad. The main sports I played as a kid were soccer, hockey, and football.

Kelsey: What did you want to do when you grew up?

Joel: As a kid, I apparently told my mom I wanted to be a “lady doctor”. When I got older and learned what a “lady doctor” actually meant, I quickly changed my mind.

Kelsey: What are your hobbies?

Joel: I like to play sports but since Covid I have started getting more into woodworking. Ashley and I have started selling different types of shelves online and I also built us a coffee nook. In the summer I like to play golf, go camping, and go for hikes. This summer we hope to go camping in Tofino.

Kelsey: Where have you travelled?

Joel: When my sister was 16 she got to make a wish with the Children’s make a wish foundation. She wished for her family to go on a vacation to Disneyland! I’ve also been to Disneyworld, Guam, Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, and a number of a countries in Europe during a school trip in high school.

Kelsey: Do you remember when you graduated high school, how was that?

Joel: I enjoyed high school and remember having a good time celebrating graduation with my friends and family at the Knights of Columbus hall. We had a little party there with the friends and family of Josh, Taylor, Eric, and myself!

Kelsey: Are you still close with your friends from high school?

Joel: Most of them! I still see your future husband Josh quite often.

Kelsey: How’s living in Edmonton?

Joel: Living in Edmonton is okay but it is a bit too big for my liking. I would like to live in a smaller city, but it is hard to find two OT jobs for both me and Ashley in a small place!

Kelsey: How is your job? Do you like being an OT?

Joel: I am currently an OT at a long term care facility, which I enjoy! It was quite challenging back in December as we had a Covid outbreak and a lot of the residents got very sick. Things are starting to get back to normal now that all the residents and workers there are vaccinated!

Kelsey: Where did you meet Ashley?

Joel: I met Ashley when I was in the OT program at UofA, she was in my class.

Kelsey: What’s her job?

Joel: Ashley is an OT at Children’s Autism Services of Edmonton. She works with young kids aged 3-7

The month of activities in May 2021! Somewhat feeling normal again!

I made a happy anniversary card for my friend Nicole and her husband Kevin’s wedding anniversary on May 19.

For Mother’s Day weekend. We made signs with Rose Club on Zoom!  For Mother’s Day I helped with Mom’s garden and gave her the sign, Happy Mother’s Day!

I changed out my clothes and everything is summer and spring clothes. 

I love going on walks and going to the outdoor workout gym by the park! 

It’s been a super-duper stressful week as my Mom has been in hospital in Camrose. She needed knee surgery replacement on Monday.

My special friend Teresa had her birthday last week on Wednesday and I mailed her a birthday card. This is probably my favourite picture of Teresa and myself.

We watched the high school musicals on Disney + and I love the High school musical 2 which is in the summertime.

We had another school presentation today; everyone was at their houses, so they had little boxes of people on the computer screen!  It went very well! Thank you to the Mrs. Calhoon’s OLMP Grade 5 class for having me.

So, for my roommate Craig’s birthday we played block buster charades! Happy birthday Craig! I gave him a subway gift card for his birthday! We had take out for supper and his Mom made black forest cake! 

We had bingo spring with rose club! We all got a bingo! We got to get bingo prizes!

My hair was purple around Easter and it’s slowly getting back to normal colour!

Saturday night we watched the perfect date! What a good movie!

Saturday afternoon… we went walking around the house in my walker. It’s felt so good to walk after a week of being sick! We played Yahtzee and I got Yahtzee! I was spring cleaning my markers and threw out some! Emma did my fingernails red and blue!

On Saturday night we had birthday bash with rose club! I had some more chocolate cheesecake!

Sunday afternoon of cooking. Making rhubarb crisp and making meat balls with potatoes and green beans!  We got some meals from Good Food and you get everything precut and everything else is inside the bags! All you need to do is make your meals and cook!  Super duper easy and so much fun with good taste!  This was huge help while my mom is recovering from her knee replacement! 

Replanting sunflowers

My Cousin Eric and his Lactose Intolerance

My cousin Eric’s stomach problems with dairy.  I was curious about my cousin Eric’s journey about his stomach problems with dairy, so I decided to do an interview with him!

Kelsey: What were your symptoms?

Eric: My symptoms are usually nothing but can include stomach pains and gas but if I have way too much dairy I will throw up.

Kelsey: How do you make your symptoms better?

Eric: To make the symptoms better I find time, water and lactase pills do wonders.

Kelsey: What is your diagnosis?

Eric: I am lactose intolerant, which means my body lacks the enzymes required to break down lactose. What this really means is that I cannot digest parts of dairy products.

Kelsey:  Do people see you differently with your dairy problems?

Eric: I don’t believe anyone sees me differently. Many of my friends also are lactose intolerant so we often share jokes about our shared intolerance.

Kelsey: How did your friends and family act when you told them?

Eric: My family and friends are okay with my lactose intolerance as they understand the nature it.

Kelsey: Can you have dairy?

Eric: I can have some dairy though I usually avoid things like milkshakes and drinks with steamed milk.

Kelsey: How do you plan your diet?

Eric: When planning my diet around this I try to have dairy in moderation though I do not always succeed mostly because of my love of dairy even though it can upset my stomach.

Kelsey: What’s your hobbies?

Eric: My hobbies include riding my bicycle and hiking.

Kelsey: What’s your favourite memory growing up?

Eric: My favourite memory growing up would have to be sledding down the drive at my grandparents’ farm.

Kelsey: What makes you feel better?

Eric: Nothing makes me feel better than a warm cup of tea and a good action movie.

Kelsey: What tips do you have?

Eric: Some tips I would have for people with the same symptoms would be to take it easy and do what you think is best because not everyone has the same severity of symptoms.

Kelsey: How’s school?

Eric: School is going well; it is now all online, so I get to work at my own schedule which is nice.

Kelsey: What’s your favourite Christmas present?

Eric: My favourite Christmas present growing up would be the books I have received over the years, plenty of which I have read multiple times.

Kelsey: What are you excited about this year?

Eric: I am excited for the new year I hope we can finally have a somewhat return to the way things were before. My goal for this next year is to start my career and hopefully get a full-time teaching job for next fall.

Kelsey:  What’s your favourite memory?

Eric: My favourite memory growing up with Ian must be all the rough housing we used to do when we were younger. I would say we got along well enough then, but we have become much closer over the last few years.

Here is a website I found on lactose intolerance if you want to check it out!

I asked my Auntie Gail to explain how she figured out how my cousin had an allergy to milk?

When Eric was almost 1 years old, I gave him some milk in a snippy cup and his whole face ballooned up and we had to take him to the emergency room. Then our doctor sent him to a pediatrician in Edmonton and they said he was allergic to milk and eggs. They told us to look for alternatives to milk like goats’ milk or soy milk. This was 25 years ago, and our grocery stores did not offer any alternatives. Today you can find all sorts of lactose free, almond and soy but back then it was hard to find.

It was very difficult at first, but we had to learn to read labels and he loved peanut butter toast which was good because he could not have cereal. It has always been hard to get him to try new foods but as he has gotten older, he will now try anything. He does eat a bit of dairy now but only in small amounts and his reaction to it is not as severe as it once was.

Thank you Eric and Auntie Gale for helping with this interview. I hope you learned something from this interview.

I am always looking for new educational topics so please contact me if you would like me to interview you. I send you a list of questions and you send me back your answers and some pictures. It is that easy!