Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday VIDEO Spotlight - The Empty Pickle Jar






A magnificent example of the importance in keeping one's life in balance.

Enjoy!







Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Zodiac Birthday Horoscope For The Week Of July 23rd - July 29th






If your birthday is between July 23rd and July 29th be sure to visit EE on your special day to check out your HappyZodiacBirthday Horoscope! Remember to share this page with your friends and family who may also be celebrating a birthday this week.

Happy Birthday!!


July 23rd -2014
Sadness is a state of mind. Inspire yourself through thinking better thoughts and happiness will be your state of mind.

July 24th-2014 
Do not worry about yesterday. Lift your head up to today and let nature takes its course on your path to tomorrow.

July 25th-2014
Having thoughts of travelling? Go for it. Check out the last minute trips on the travel sites and pick an all inclusive trip to somewhere you have never been! You will love! Or in the alternative go camping in the wonderful world of Canadian summer.

July 26th-2014
Give yourself a break. If you are too hard on yourself then you will get stressed out faster. Take it easy on yourself and when outside stress hits it will not get you down.

July 27th-2014
You will be thinking about how to help save the planet, animals or people. Take your thoughts seriously and get involved if you are not already. Helping others helps yourself too.

July 28th -2014
Feeling like you need to take better care of your health? Start today! Your birthday is a better day than any.

July 29th -2014
Do what you can to get things done in a timely manner. Procrastination will only make you feel regretful later.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Stop The Negativity - Please!






Let me say right now that this post may turn out to be a rant, because I am a bit upset. And yes, I do realize that if I were allow it to turn out that way, it would be completely contrary to the point of the message behind this post.

*Deep Breath*

I have to say that I am really bothered by people who find a way to cast shadow on every positive message or post.  This happens all of the time on Facebook.  Today for example, someone wished Prince George a Happy 1st Birthday and immediately there are negative comments. Either about their personal disdain for the Royal Family, or comments about the lack of spotlight on starving children around the world, or the crisis in Gaza. I mean. C'mon!!!

What is that about? Why?!?!?  Why can't a post just be about that sentiment.  If someone (in this case) takes the time to acknowledge a milestone of a first birthday of a BABY - why can't that be enough? It was on that person's heart to send good energy to that precious child. Let it be just that. Why feel the need to muddy it up with the darkness in your own heart?

Who cares if you don't personally like the Royal family?  What does that have to do with a sweet innocent baby celebrating a 1st birthday?

Starving children around the world, and the dying children in Gaza - are horrific tragedies.  But, again, what does that have to do with this baby?

Are we saying that because horrific things are happening around the world that we should not celebrate a birthday? Are we saying that because there is suffering - there should not be rejoicing in the good things? Are we saying that we cannot celebrate, embrace and show love until every single person on the planet is well?

Wouldn't that be lovely.  Do you hold to that standard on your birthday?  Do you carry that with you when you go out to ring in the New Year?

I mean, c'mon!!!!  Yes! It is awful that wars, and illness exist. It is a travesty that children get caught in the crossfire. Clearly I am not saying that we should not give proper attention to that.  However, does that diminish every single good moment in life? Is that not then evil winning over good?

Sounds a bit counter-productive to me.

And then there are the people who will say - there are children all over the world having a birthday today - but because they are not famous, we don't wish them a Happy Birthday.  True.  To a point.  I'm quite certain that each one of us do indeed wish anyone around the world a Happy Birthday, whether they are known or unknown.  If you happen upon a stranger, and discover it is their birthday, do you not then offer them well wishes on their day?  Does that mean that if we are aware of a 'famous' person's birthday we should not also wish them a Happy Birthday, if we are so moved?

And if we are not moved to do so. That is fine.  Fabulous.  But why do people who are not moved to share in the sentiments, feel the need to poo-poo the ones who are?  This happens every single day online.  You see a post, you do not share the sentiment of the post, and rather than just scrolling past it and moving on with your day, you feel the need - the necessity - to stop your life - and spread negative garbage all over that particular thread.  WHY?!?!?!

Have we not yet learned about rebound energy? Have we forgotten that what we put out there comes back to us - ten fold?  Have we forgotten that if we purposely go around dumping our garbage on everyone else, that surely goodness will not come our way?  Have we forgotten that it is our Divine duty to embrace one another, even in such a simple way as wishing one another good will?

It is my great hope that each of us will take the time to remember how it feels when someone takes time from their day to send us good thoughts or energy. How nice it is to have our special moments in life acknowledged.  And how easy it is to extend love to our fellow human beings.

Please remember, to treat others, the way we, ourselves, would want to be treated.

With that, let me wish you the absolute best in whatever milestone you are celebrating today!

Love and Light

-Laura


Monday, July 21, 2014

Your HOROSCOPE For The Week Of July 21st!






Aries (March 21-April 19)
Be on time for all appointments. You will not only make a good impression, but you will also be in loop of all information necessary to know for your appointment.  

Taurus (April 20- May 20)
Do not feel sorry for what you said of did. As long as you were doing it with a clean heart then you are in good standing.

Gemini (May 21- June 20)
An employer may seem a little off kilter this week. Do not take it personally. As long as you are on time at work, and get tasks accomplished in a timely manner then you have nothing to worry about. If you are slacking then pick up the pace by next week and you will be in the clear.  
  .
Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Get your proper amount of sleep and eat a good amount of veggies and fruits. Sleep and diet will be essential to your moods this week and next.    

Leo (July 23- August 22)
If you are celebrating this week then do not overeat or over indulge on alcoholic beverages. Both will bloat you and they will also make you feel lethargic for more than a few days. 

Virgo (August 23 - September 22)
Remain quick and on the ball. You are being watched at work and a promotion will be offered within the next few weeks to three months. If you are self employed and single then look out because there will be a new love coming your way soon.     

Libra (September 23- October 22)
Save your money. Each and every little cent you waste will be a cent you will need in September. So spend your money wisely and save as much as you can.    

Scorpio (October 23- November 21)
Listen to the wise words of older friends and family members. It is not their intention to lead you astray so do not worry about their advice doing harm. At the end of the day it does not hurt to hear them out even if you decide not take their advice. . 

Sagittarius (November 22- December 21)
Be clear in your interactions with people who you know are interested in you more than just a platonic connection. Leading them on will only hurt them. 

Capricorn (December 22- January 19)
Do not worry about things you cannot change. Just be happy you are experiencing life and dealing with it as best you can.  

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)
Do not disclose information about somebody else, otherwise it will come off as gossip. 

Pisces (Feb 19- March 20)
Reach out to an old friend.  




Sunday, July 20, 2014

Prince George Is Walking!





Clarence House tweeted this picture today of Prince George walking all on his own!  How adorable is the little Prince?!

Prince George, third in line to the throne of England, is set to celebrate his first birthday on July 22nd!

How time flies.  It feels like just yesterday that the media set up camp outside of the hospital awaiting the announcement of the Royal birth. Only to be outdone by the first glimpse of his sweet face. In fact, I still remember the day that Prince Charles and Princess Diana introduced their first bundle of joy; Prince William, to the world.  (OK, I may be getting old!)

Surely the Duke and Duchess will now have their hands full with a free-traveling little one on their hands. haha Oh how I remember those days!

Happy (early) First Birthday sweet Prince!



Saturday, July 19, 2014

How I Pray






Prayer is a personal thing. It is a conversation between you and God. It is an expression of what is in your heart, even more so than what is in your mind. There is no right or wrong way to pray. How could there be? How could something so private, personal, intimate such as a conversation between you are your Creator be judged as correct or incorrect? It can't.

For many people, prayer is a big production. There can be a big build-up before the actual prayer even begins.  "Almighty God, The most highest, most righteous, King of Kings, My Saviour, My Creator, I come before you, humbled by your grace and forgiveness, to bring to you my .... etc.. etc.."

For some people, prayer is saved for Sunday Church service. Led by the Preacher. The Preacher will deliver the sermon of the day, and lead the congregation in prayer. Those gathered will follow along, ending the day with a collective Amen. Then depart and go about their week.

For others, prayer is a meditation. Meditation is a peaceful period, where the person will transition themselves into a connection, bringing their inner self in line with the source. Mediation, again, can be a production. For some people, they have to perch themselves upon a mountain top, at sunrise - or sunset, contort themselves into the lotus position, and there they will sit - sometimes for hours.  For other people, meditation can be a mere minute. A touchstone moment in time, where they can reboot themselves with the press of a peaceful re-set. A moment to connect with the Spirit. To realign themselves, to balance themselves. And then proceed with their day - until the next moment calls upon them.

The truth of the matter is that there are as many ways to pray as there are people in the world.

For me, prayer is not a set moment. It is not a pause in my schedule. It is not a day of the week. It is not an appointment in my calendar. It is a continuum. A conversation with God. Really no different than having a conversation with a friend on the phone, then hanging up. And calling that friend later in the day to pick up where you left off.

I believe that God is with me in each step I take, in each breath that enters and leaves my body.  God is aware of the happenings in my life. He is aware of the experiences I have. He is aware of what is in my heart. Therefore I don't' feel the need to 'catch Him up' on what has been happening.  He already knows. There is no need for me to give Him a copy of the minutes from our last meeting so He can be up-to-date. God is always on time and always caught up.

For me, prayer is an opportunity to give thanks for the blessings that occur in my day.  And also for the hardships that God leads me through. For I know that in the hardships, there are lessons. And lessons are blessings.  It is an opportunity for me to ask for strength. For I know that God does not give me strength, He is my strength. So I am actually asking God to stay with me through a crisis that I may be experiencing in that moment.

From my bed, I can look directly through the window of my bedroom. The window covers the entire width of one wall.  So each morning as I wake, the moment my eyes open, I turn to look through the window at the sky, and I say; "Good morning God. Thank you for giving me another day in this life."  And then of course, I pull back the covers, and roll out of the comfort of my bed, and do the things one does first thing in the morning.

Once I have washed up and gotten dressed, I take my medication and get ready to take my dog; Bentley, out for his morning walk. Typically my legs are still sore, as the medications have not yet kicked in, so as I walk, I pray. "God, please ease the pain in my legs. Be with me. Carry me through this walk. Enable me to take Bentley ____ (wherever we are going) ___"  

When we arrive back home, I may watch the news to see what is happening in the world, what the weather will be like. I may do the dishes, do some writing here in my blog, I may have an appointment.  Whatever my day holds, I continue the conversation. I continue my prayers. In fact, often times, my prayers are through song. When I am walking about, I often catch myself singing. "Yes, Jesus Loves Me." "Amazing Grace."  "Healer" "Stand". And so on.  I don't even realize that I am doing it, until someone passes me on the street and glances at me oddly.  I smile kindly at them. Then I have a little giggle to myself and know that God is also smiling at that moment. Have you ever heard a song on the radio and it gets stuck in your head? I sometimes wonder if the person passing me on the street, will find themselves singing. I hope so!

At night, some people will kneel in prayer at the side of their bed. Well, needless to say I am not able to do that. But my physical/medical limitations do not stop my conversation. I climb into my bed each night, and get myself settled. As I reflect upon my day, I will again thank God for the gift of another day in this life. I will thank Him for getting me through whatever challenges and obstacles met my path through the day. I will ask God to help my daughter in her life. I will pray for health, wellness, and joy for my family, friends - and all those whom they love. I will pray for God to be with all who are hurting, hungry, facing illness, grieving, experiencing loss, surviving a tragedy - around the world. I will ask God to watch over me as I sleep, and that if He decides my time in this life is over, that He may call my soul home to be with Him.

Additionally, through my prayers, I will ask for guidance. Clearly, I do not have all of the answers. I believe life is a learning experience. And as we evolve though life, we discover things about ourselves. We put the pieces together and, much like a puzzle, gradually the picture is revealed to us. I believe that the picture does not have to be permanent. Indeed, it may just be a rough draft. And if there is something that we don't like - we can ask God to help us change that part of the picture. Realizing of course that the picture is really a reflection of ourselves.

For me, that is the root of prayer. Knowing where I am in any given moment, being grateful, thankful, for all that is presented to me in this life. And learning all that I can along my path. About myself. About this gift of life that I have been given. Never really knowing what I will experience along my path, but trusting in my faith that the final destination has been pre-determined for me. If you view your journey or path as a road-trip, and you view yourself as a car, you can then view prayer as fuel. The fuel needed to keep you going, so that you may also arrive at your destination.

Much like other writings throughout this blog, my heart often dictates what is written here. And in this case, I was watching some Saturday afternoon programs, when my heart called upon me to share How I Pray with all of you.

And with that, I invite you to engage in your own conversation.

Love and Light,

-Laura








Friday, July 18, 2014

Total Knee Replacement - Surgery Booked







I have lived with arthritis for most of my adult life. And as many people who have arthritis know, it attacks the joints. And often times, people who live with arthritis will experience great pain in their joints. Sometimes the damage is so severe, you will eventually require joint replacement.

This is what I am in the midst of.  The arthritis in my right knee is so bad that the cartilage is completely gone. Causing the bones in my knee to grind together.  For probably fifteen years I have had what I call the ratchet feeling when bending my knee. The clicking that can be heard and felt when bending and extending my leg.

Over the years the clicking has gotten worse as the cartilage wore away, and I began having the sensation of my knee slipping out of alignment. This of course causes extreme, sharp, stabbing pain.  I would then have to bend and twist my leg until I felt the 'click' and my knee would line up once again. At this point the pain would dramatically reduce.

In March of 2013 I had a bad fall outside of my apartment building.  I call this "the beginning of the end".  I never really recovered from this fall. I went straight down on my knees, and the pain shot through my body like a missile. I battled the recovery of the fall through the Spring and Summer, never really recovering from it. It was about three weeks before I could even walk again, and by the end of September, I was in so much pain that I knew my only real option would be to discuss surgery with my family doctor.  Although I am not a fan of surgery, having had so many of them in my lifetime, I knew that if I did not want to end up in a wheelchair, something drastic needed to be done.  Also, a good friend of mine had just had her first knee replaced and was doing so wonderfully well that it really gave me great encouragement that this journey might be right for me.

At my next appointment, I addressed my thoughts and concerns with my Doctor and he agreed that it was time to pursue surgery. Because I am a research type of person, naturally I had read up about it, and after having lengthily conversations with my friend, I knew that the first step was a scope of the knee.  This is essentially a mini operation, which requires the same amount of recovery as TKR (Total Knee Replacement). To me, this seemed ridiculous. I have zero cartilage in my right knee. Coupled with the fact that I also live my life with Fibromyalgia, and so inviting more pain in to my life is not something I take lightly.  I spoke with my Doctor about my concerns and he agreed with me that a Scope is a step we should skip, and go directly to surgery.

In January I got an appointment with a Surgeon, who wanted to do a scope. This frustrated me. Really, it upset me greatly.  I informed him that in no uncertain terms was I interested in having a scope done. And that I would be having the surgery done elsewhere as he was unmovable on the matter.  So, back to my Doctor for another referral.

In February, I attended my new appointment at a different hospital here in Toronto.  Funnily enough, the surgeon I was to see was at home, recovering from his own hip-replacement surgery.  So, my appointment was with a Fellow on his surgical team.  I cannot say what I truly want to say about the woman I saw during this appointment.  But I will say that she was horrible. Just awful.  So much so that I left the hospital in tears. In effect she told me that she would not recommend the surgery to the surgeon.  I was crushed. Devastated. Hurt. I felt deflated. I am only 45 years old, and this awful, horrible, woman in essence, had just said to me that I should live the rest of my life in agony!

I cried the entire way home, which must have completely freaked out my taxi driver.  Once I got home, I cried for three hours!  I was so upset!  Then the fighter in me took over. I decided that this horrible woman - who wasn't even a full doctor - would not have the final say in my future.  I called the office of the surgeon and spoke with his assistant.  Ok.  That isn't entirely true. The truth is I had a full breakdown on the phone with his assistant. I told her of the appointment I just had, how awful the person was, and that I wanted to speak with the surgeon.  She agreed and took my number and told me to try and relax while she looked into it.  She also informed me that mine was not the first complaint/concern/breakdown she had had with regards to this particular "doctor".

A few hours later my phone rang, it was the surgeon, calling me from his home, while in recovery from his own surgery.

WHAT?!?!?! Who does that?!?!?!?  HE DOES!!

We spoke for about an hour. I stated all of the reasons that I needed the operation. He asked me tons of questions, screening me.  And ultimately I said to him that with the Fibromyalgia, I would never be 100%, I knew that my life would never be as I wanted it to be, that I would never live a pain-free life, but the truth is that he went to medical school to become a surgeon - to help people, and if there was any chance that he could help me - shouldn't he?  And he agreed.

I was so excited!!! I thanked him (about twenty-five times) and told him that I would see him at the next appointment when he returned to work from his own recovery.  I then phoned his assistant. I could tell that she was waiting for my call. I could almost hear her smile.  I cannot say how thankful I am for this wonderful woman! I just love her to pieces!  She is a large part of the reason that I am even scheduled for surgery!

July 14th I finally got to meet my surgeon in person.  My appointment began with another series of X-rays, followed by a meeting with him.  He is fabulous! So kind. So understanding. Patient.  And - in my research - I have heard/read wonderful things about him from other patients.

We discussed my X-rays, and how interesting it is that my left knee is perfect. It is the ideal picture of what a knee is supposed to look like.  My right knee on the other hand looks like a twelve-car collision.  Just horrible.  So much so that he looked me square in the face and said; "I can see your pain. I don't know how you are standing ...and walking around."

At the end of the appointment I signed the consent for surgery and blood transfusion forms. I was given a ton of booklets and pamphlets to read prior to, and in preparation of my surgery.  Needless to say, there are a lot of appointments involved.  The pre-operative appointment has been booked for August 7th.  This appointment will take up to 5 hours, as I'll be meeting with the Anesthesiologist, someone from PT and OT, as well as nursing staff to go over my medical history.  Then there will be more X-rays, blood work, and an ECG. (Which I am not concerned about, as I have had two ECG's done in the past six months and know that my heart is in great shape!)

My Surgery will be done on September 5th.  Seven weeks from today!  I will be in the hospital for a few days and assuming I go directly home, I will be discharged on the 8th or 9th.  If I go to a rehabilitation hospital, I will be there for a week, before coming home again. Obviously I am praying that I will be discharged directly to my home, where I can recover in my own surroundings.

Then of course, there is a list of other various visits that will be taking place. Staple removal, post-operative appointments, physiotherapy. etc.

This journey is going to require a lot of hard work. Not to mention the great pain! It will be trying. But I am determined. Actually, I really just want to be on the other side of this process. I will be coming home with a walker, and a few weeks later, I will be walking with a cane. It will not be for approximately six weeks before I will be able to walk without an assisted device.  This is what I am looking forward to. Being able to do my groceries, walking my dog - without assistance, and without pain in my knee. Although I realize that it will be a few months before I can do my own shopping again. My eyes are focused on next March. Spring, for me, will spell freedom!

As with other areas of my life, I will be writing about this journey, sharing it with all of you.  I know that there will be good days, and days that are not so good. But as with everything else, I will be candid about the details of the surgery as well as my recovery. I'm sure with so many friends of EE, there is someone - somewhere who may be going through the same trials in their own life. And if nothing else, they may know that they are not alone. :-)

Stay tuned.....!