Riding the LRT and finding my Disney princess

Last Saturday we decided to take part in the  Grand opening of the Ottawa LRT and take a ride to the Rideau Centre for some shopping and adventures. My grandson Gabriel who is an avid train enthusiast absolutely loved it! It was so sweet to watch him take it all in…especially watching the trains coming in the opposite direction!

We ended up at the Disney store and  I glanced at a wall of Disney Princesses wondering which one closely represented me.  At a quick glance I didn’t really identify with any of them until I did a bit of research and discovered there IS a Deaf Disney Princess. Her namWall full of Disney Princess at the Disney storee is Gabriella. She is a recurring character in Disney’s 1992-93 television series The Little Mermaid. She is a deaf Latina mermaid who communicates in sign language; her friend Ollie, an octopus, serves as her interpreter. Pretty neat eh!!

Image result for gabriella deaf mermaid

After supper in the Byward Market at The Aulde Dubliner we headed to the St-Laurent mall…On our way, we ran into  Councillor Jeff Leiper (Kitchissippi Ward) who gave Gabe some awesome O-train stickers.
I suggest everyone go out and ride it at least once, it’s quite impressive!
Cheers!
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Another senior….Great dane to love

Last night Birch Haven Rescue did their home visit with Miss Daffodil. I am happy to say that my home met all their requirements and she is staying! 

Daffodil is six years old and an absolutely gentle girl! She is the true definition of Gentle Giant!

Chocolat is super excited!

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Rest in Peace my lovely George

Photo Credit: Keshet Kennels

My sweet George has passed away. I first introduced you to George in a post I did last year when my blog turned 5. When I rescued him on Canada day in 2016 from Danes in Distress I knew that he had a heart murmur and would need to be monitored closely but I had no idea what to expect. He was initially quite thin, weighing in  at 48 kg.  I worked hard to get him to a healthy weight and help him build more muscle mass. We had weekly runs at Keshet Kennels (his favorite being Timberland) and I walked him every day (approx 1.5 hours).  By the following summer he weighed a healthy 61 kg.

Things had been great up until last October when he was diagnosed with Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).  He was first seem by Dr. Greg as he was having difficulties breathing.  After ruling everything  else out we were referred to Dr. Boileau one of the best cardiologist in the region.

The cardiologist prescribed a series of medications right away. Some of the initial side effects of one medication (furosemide) made him pee a lot and also made him super thirsty. He was constantly going outside and eating snow. He also experienced what looked like some dizziness;  all these symptoms settled in time and he was much better after a couple of weeks.

By November 20th I started to see some weight loss.  He was eating, but loosing muscle mass which seems to be a side effect of cardiac  disease. By the end of January he weight 50.7 kg.

In early April I  took him to see Dr Greg again as he had blood in his urine and was showing signs of incontinence. After doing a urine test he discovered that he had a bladder infection. He was put on antibiotics.  He now weighed 47.6 kg.

At a follow up visit in May with Dr. Spina at the Greenboro veterinarian clinic (very close to my house) we discussed his quality of life. It was then that I knew I had to help him along and make the decision I dreaded.  I contacted Claire Place Veterinary Hospice  and within a  few days  the arrangements were made.

George died peacefully in the comfort of his own home on May 29th, 2019. RIP my lovely baby.

Thank you all for the love and compassion shown to him during his difficult time. He was greatly loved and is finally at peace. 🐾

Cremation Services: Eternal Companions

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It’s a new day and a new week with new goals and new challenges!

Last Friday I renewed my membership at Movati Trainyards as I had let my membership lapse for a couple of years.  It was time to spread my wings and finally do this on my own again, but this time, so much stronger! For the last 8 months I have been training with Leslie at PRIME Personal Training Studio. I met her twice a week at 6:15 am to train for an hour. My goal was to strengthen my core as I’d been having some back issues  and last summer I actually dislocated a facet joint and let me tell you it was almost as painful as natural childbirth (been there done that) and I certainly did not want a re-occurrence! My last MRI revealed osteoarthritis in my facet joints, so I need to change things up if I had any hope of running again and also I need to keep up with my grandson Gabriel.

I really enjoyed my sessions with Leslie (check out her qualifications). She has great interpersonal skills and her knowledge of physiology and fitness is all but unmatched. She designed the perfect training plan for me and when I was ready to do so, would switch it up and increase the intensity. Leslie is very caring and attentive to what I need, she knew what my limits were, and how far she can push them. She encourages and motivates me to do better each and every day.

But I am not quite ready to let go 100% as I will be seeing her on Wednesday nights. She is offering a weekly small group strength training class at PRIME at 5:15 pm for only $20/class.

Remember to make it count and think happy thoughts! ‪ ‪#‎BeAwesome‬ ‪#‎FreshStart‬ ‪#‎Positive‬ #fitness #PersonalTrainer #Movati #Prime #PrimePersonalTraining #GetFitwithLes #Igotthis

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Depression and Hearing Loss

It’s Bell Let’s Talk Day!

It’s okay to not be okay! If you or someone you know needs help, reach out! #BellLetsTalk  #endthestigma

It was first discovered I had significant hearing loss after my Leadership course in 1990 (Now called DLP training). During my course, we were doing night time maneuvers and I was sentry guard. My job was to stand guard and prevent the passage of unauthorized persons. Anyone coming through had to provide the ‘password’. I quickly learned that I could NOT lip read in the dark and it caused some frustration for me and confusion to my colleagues around me. The next morning as we were marching back to camp, I was unfortunately the subject of many unfavorable comments because of the incident the night before.

Not my actually audio-gram.

Once I got home from my course I made an appointment with the ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) clinic at NDMC. After thorough testing it was discovered that I had conductive hearing loss, my audio-gram showed a cookie bite pattern and I was fitted with ITC hearing aids.

 

 

 

A couple of weeks later my hearing aids were ready.  I picked them up and they tweaked the programming and I was to come back in a few weeks for some adjustments, if needed. As I drove home (in the rain) I was confused with a weird sound that my car was making…you see, I had never hear the back wiper on my car. Initially, I could only wear my new hearing aids for several hours at a time because my brain was not used to ‘hearing’ all these life sounds; which caused some terrible headaches. I was  initially quite depressed when I was diagnosed and embarrassed to wear my hearing aids; I even changed my hair style so people would not see them.

Fast forward 28 years; I now wear BTE hearing aids as my hearing has progressively gotten worse (severe hearing loss now).  All to say that it is definitely tough when you first get diagnosed…but it is important to follow through with treatment and seek support.  I know I NEED them to function every single day.

This is a great post on depression and hearing loss: http://www.audiologypractices.org/depression-happens

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My blog turns 5 today!

IMG_2554

5 years ago I launched my blog. My original thoughts behind this blog would be to help people understand my deafness and perhaps, a little deafness education. (see #5)

5 year blog

As I  was reflecting this morning on what to write, I decided to highlight 5 things that have touched my life in the last 5 years:

1.

img_25572013: the year I launched my blog was also the year my daughter Kristine got married to her amazing partner Alain. Not only are these two super amazing people, they are also amazing role models on what great relationships should be. There is lots of love of course, and also resilience (they attended different Universities for the first 4 years of their relationship), their respect for each other, they support each other in everything they do (Alain has never missed attending one of her races) and they treat each other as equals.

2.

img_25592014: I turned 50 this year and had the amazing opportunity to travel to Italy for a 4 day Duvine cycling adventure in Tuscany. Cycling  through Tuscany really allowed me to see the countryside and all that it has to offer. The picture of me above was taken as we were stopping for lunch at Villa Loggio on day two of the tour.

Andy believes that everyone should have the opportunity to travel the world by bike and to focus on the simple pleasures: enjoying food grown right where you eat it on the farm, spending time talking with a grandmother whose memories are a treasure trove, and experiencing the uncommon, authentic moments that make travel meaningful. ~ Andy Levine, Founder & CEO

3.

2015: The year my life would change forever as I became a grand-maman. As her Doula, I held space for my daughter as my grandson Gabriel come earthside. This in itself was an amazing experience and I felt so honoured to be present during his birth, did you know he was born in the caul.

In medieval times the appearance of a caul on a newborn baby was seen as a sign of good luck. It was considered an omen that the child was destined for greatness!

4.

2016: The year I fulfilled a life-long dream of owning a great dane. The hobby farm I lived on as a child had two great danes living up the hill; a fawn and a black one. I always found these dogs so majestic and vowed to own one!  I first saw George’s profile on the Danes in Distress Facebook page and decided to put in my adoption application. He was a senior (6 years old) and looked like such a gentleman. On July 1st, 2016 I drove to Toronto to meet him. We clicked straight away and I decided to take him home. Did you know that George  alerts me to the smoke alarm? This in itself is a true testament that we were meant to be together.

5.

2017: October 27th, 2017 I said goodbye to my 15 year old Hearing ear dog Walker. I knew it was time and that he could not possibly make it through another one of our cold Canadian winters. Although it was a hard decision to make, it was the best decision for him.  What exactly do hearing ear dogs do?

Hearing Dog Guides assist individuals who are 10 years of age or older and who are deaf or hard of hearing to detect sounds they are unable to hear on their own. They have been taught to distinguish sounds, make physical contact with their handlers and lead them to whatever is making the noise; be it someone at the door, an alarm clock, or a ringing telephone.  Since 1988 graduates of the Hearing program have gained an increased sense of security knowing that they will always have a link to the world of sound through their Dog Guide. This allows handlers to be more at ease in their home environment. ~ Lions Foundation of Canada

 

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Walker – Reflections on death

Walker with his big brother George (July 2016)

It has been one year since you crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and not a day goes by that I don’t think of you. It was difficult during the first little while. I kept seeing you everywhere, almost like your spirit was still with me.

In the last couple of days, my grandson Gabriel has been asking about Walker. My sister made this painting a few years back and it hangs in my dining room. This kind of caught me by surprize as I hadn’t realized the one year anniversary of his death was soon approaching. I found this article helpful in talking to toddlers about death, it is important to stick to the facts.

I miss you Walker! Thanks for being so devoted to me for over 15 years, you will never be forgotten! #GonebutnotForgotten

Walker (right) with his brother Willy who is also a Hearing Ear Dog. (2003)

Walker (left) with Kelso his best buddy during our 2 weeks of training at the Lions Foundation of Canada in Oakville, Ontario (2003)

Walker always loved to eat out of George’s large bowl. He had his own, but for some reason this was better.

Looking forward: Not long before Walker passed, I discovered George could alert to the smoke alarm which was a great comfort for me. The smoke alarm has gone off a few times accidently during cooking and every time George has responded with great enthusiasm, actually, if he could eat the smoke detector, I think he would!! I am still trying to teach him to bring me outside afterwards; we’ll keep working on that, but there is no doubt that I would ever be in danger during a fire, that is for sure!

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Hearing aid woes

My right Oticon hearing aid stopped working yesterday…all of a sudden I could hear…tock, tock, tock in my ear. I knew that didn’t sound right, so I took it out and did my best to trouble-shooting the issue…I blew in it. Ha! That is the extent of trouble-shooting I do, I leave the fixing up to the professionals at Davidson’s Hearing Aid Centres.  

Imagine you are getting ready for work and discover something is wrong with one of your shoes…and you cannot wear it….I know, I know seems absurd to have only one pair, but stay with me here. You cannot function and go to meetings with only one shoe, well, you can but you will perhaps have a hard time getting around and people may give you strange looks, etc… 

Well, I cannot function with only one hearing aid, and now I’ll have to tell people in meetings (who may not even know I wear them) that my hearing aid is broken. For the record: I am still uncomfortable with the whole “Hey, I am hard of hearing” announcement during meetings. I am thankful that today was a quieter day at work with only one meeting and guess what? The sky didn’t fall when I made my announcement. #Thankful #Encouraging #SpeakUp #Deafgirl

 

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World Hello Day

Today is the 45th annual World Hello day! Anyone can participate in World Hello Day simply by greeting ten people. This demonstrates the importance of personal communication for preserving peace!

You can view letters from people ALL over the World, participating in World Hello Day over the years.

Here is how you say hello in American Sign Language (ASL)

 

Bonjour, Hola, Hello, Ciao xox

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7 Rules to Follow If You Want to Live a Life Without Regrets

This is an awesome article! #noregrets

1. Do ridiculous things = like diving! My first check-out dives were in the Saint Laurence in 2012, the following weekend I was diving in Miami. My favorite diving location so far is Grand Cayman (Ocean Frontiers). I am hoping to be diving in Costa Rica sometime soon. (Remember, I am totally afraid of water)!

2. Choose the job that will teach you the most = sometimes taking on new challenges stretches us a little, do it anyway! I have learned so much in my current role.

3. Steer clear of charlatans and the toxic = if you can’t stay away, try to limit your exposure and ensure you stay grounded!

4. Value the quiet moments = staying grounded is key…a walk in the forest will do it for me! (especially when I have George with me)

5. Have a philosophy = just be kind to others #kindnesswins

6. Don’t compare yourself with other people = just don’t

7. Think about death = because it happens to all of us…even our pets. Just lost my 15 year old service dog two weeks ago.

https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/7-rules-to-follow-if-you-want-to-live-a-life-without-regrets.html?cid=mustread0

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