Monthly Archives: December 2005

Christmas Gathering

We had our Christmas gathering of friends last evening.  We still have food left over – funny how that works.  But all the spicy shrimp, stuffed mushrooms and miniature quiche’s are gone.  Michelle, my daughter-in-law spent a good chunk of time in the kitchen with me yesterday afternoon doing the crab stuffed mushrooms – and they were good. 

We had an interesting group of people with us.  And yes we did have a mix of languages, mostly French and English but there were also a couple from the Philippines(originally) who could have thrown in some Spanish and one from Holland who could have carried on a conversation in Dutch.  And some Lingala was thrown into the mix.  Then there was our Muslim friend who speaks Bengali.  He recounted the times when he has been asked if he is bilingual on job interviews and how those of limited language abilities seem to discount the fact that many people are bilingual – just the languages are not always just French and English.

Our younger kids also invited some of their friends and they seemed to have a good time too.  It mostly takes food to pull off that I think.

I do not think that I am really a gifted hostess.  I stress out too much about it all ahead of time.  And it takes a lot of energy to pull off a night of visiting with a house full of people in the three languages I can converse in. But it always turns out to be fun when I get right into it and last night was a lot of fun. 

Now, four more days of relaxation before the holidays are over.

Advertisements

Comments Off on Christmas Gathering

Filed under Christmas

I want to wish you…

Comments Off on I want to wish you…

Filed under Christmas

Almost ready

Christmas Eve approaches.  All my children and grandchildren will be under my roof as well as my Step-mom, Sharon and my Aunt Florence.  That is only 15, not that many!

And I think everyone is bringing something so it doesn’t end up being that much work.  It is not a high stress day for me once I get the food under control.  My kids have all seen my house au naturel  so I don’t have to put on a show for them, even though I will have the house pretty clean I hope. 

 

Today I accomplished a lot of things I needed or wanted to do.  Outside lights finally fixed.  Cookies all baked.  Wrapping mostly done.

 

There are still a few last minute groceries to pick up – make sure we have enough milk and bread and of course ketchup.  Ketchup is one of those staple foods in my house – even on Christmas – for the tourtiere.

 

I think the rest of the week we will eat left overs.  That is one of my favorite forms of turkey. 

 

The only other big event is a bit of an open house on Wednesday.  We’ll have some friends and acquaintances over, some colleagues of Leo’s, some friends from out of town a way, and some friends from church.  Bring your best French for the occasion since that is the language of preference for some of our guests.  But English will do if you are linguistically challenged.  If you are in town, come on over around 7 pm. 

Comments Off on Almost ready

Filed under Christmas

Two gifts

This week I received two special gifts.

 

Not the conventional gifts of chocolates, cookies or cards that are commonly given by patients.

 

These gifts came totally unexpectedly, unannounced and unaccompanied by a card.  In fact the givers don’t even know they gave them.  But they were among the best I have received this year so far.  Real live success stories.

 

The first came from a young woman.  She is 20 now and has a small baby.  She carried herself with a confidence that in some ways surprised me. 

 

When I first saw her she was frightened and in pain; sent down to see me by the dental therapist in her home community.  She was pretty enough even with the obvious lack of development of the mid-face till she opened her mouth.  Her teeth had never been cared for and were so decayed and covered by debris that she did not smile.  Her teeth were not only badly decayed but were a jumble; a malocclusion that was so severe from poor jaw development that we wouldn’t even be able to make her decent looking false teeth if we went that route. 

 

This week I received two special gifts.

 

Not the conventional gifts of chocolates, cookies or cards that are commonly given by patients.

 

These gifts came totally unexpectedly, unannounced and unaccompanied by a card.  In fact the givers don’t even know they gave them.  But they were among the best I have received this year so far.  Real live success stories.

 

The first came from a young woman.  She is 20 now and has a small baby.  She carried herself with a confidence that in some ways surprised me. 

 

When I first saw her she was frightened and in pain; sent down to see me by the dental therapist in her home community.  She was pretty enough even with the obvious lack of development of the mid-face till she opened her mouth.  Her teeth had never been cared for and were so decayed and covered by debris that she did not smile.  Her teeth were not only badly decayed but were a jumble; a malocclusion that was so severe from poor jaw development that we wouldn’t even be able to make her decent looking false teeth if we went that route. 

 

In a case such as this, successful treatment depends on attitude, determination and a willingness to change some ingrained habits of hygiene(or lack thereof).  I didn’t know if she could do it but everything depended on it.  We would do our best to get her treated if she kept up her end.  She needed more than what her insurance normally paid in a year.  She needed to see the Orthodontist within the year and she didn’t meet the criteria because of the extent of her decay and her poor hygiene.  We would have to plead her case with the authorities and get the rules bent. 

 

She understood the extensiveness of the treatment she needed enough to leave our office in tears.  She knew that she would have to meet some pretty rigid standards if we were going to advocate for the treatment she needed. 

 

The changes didn’t happen overnight but she came back to be treated.  Little by little we made progress.  We requested special considerations for her from the regional dental officer and got them.  She overcame her fear and had fillings, root canals, more fillings and oral hygiene instruction till we knew that she knew what to do.  She began the long process of getting ready for braces and maxillofacial surgery.

 

This week she came back for her regular check-up.  She came in with a smile, showing off her braces.  She is cavity free this year.  She is flossing, brushing and keeping those braces shiny, even investing some of her own funds for the preventive products we could offer her to help strengthen her enamel.   

 

We didn’t get to see her small baby – the band would spare no funds to send her nursing baby down with her.  As she left we asked if she would like an infant toothbrush to take home for her baby.  “No thanks,” she replied. “Don’t worry though.  I have about five of them.”

 

The second gift also walked out of the office smiling.  He is a big guy; not so old, only seventeen I guess, but he has thick black hair down to the middle of his back and a full beard.  He is the kind of guy you might be afraid to pass walking down the street if you judge by his looks.  In reality, he is one of the most polite gentle young men I know. 

 

A few years ago he came in with his father, his teeth pretty much a jumble in his mouth too.  His dad wanted his son to have better teeth than he did.  So we started work on getting things straightened out.  But kids from homes where the parents have split up can have a real hard time complying with the consistent wear that a retainer type of appliance requires.  So it went with him – missed appointments, poor brushing and instructions not followed very well; walking in late because he had to get himself to our office. 

 

Finally we suggested to him that he come in with his parents and we would discuss discontinuing his orthodontics.  This time mom came in with him.  She promised that she would take control of getting him to the appointments seeing that he brushed and of making the payments.   So we gave him one last chance.

 

The chance we took with him paid off.  Today we removed the braces from his beautiful teeth; straight with no cavities.  It was good to see him leave smiling.

 

That kind of satisfaction, seeing good things come about in kid’s lives and having a part in it, makes me love the work I do. 

Comments Off on Two gifts

Filed under Dental

A Man of Excellence

And to think I married him!

 

It is an honor to be married to a great man.  Well, at least he is great in a local sort of way – to the health region here in Prince Albert Parkland and of course to me and his kids.  Tonight, I and as many of the kids as could, got to attend the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region 2005 Health Excellence Awards.

 

It is possible they came for the food – it was an excellent banquet put on by the Travelodge.  But I suspect they really like the “Old Man”.

 

Leo was honored with the Excellence Award for Client Centered Care.  It was awarded for his work in Public Health (working towards the smoke free bylaws) and specifically for his work in the areas of Addictions and Hepatitis C.  One of his sayings that was quoted in his letters of nomination in reference to his treatment of patients with addictions was “We are commanded to love them, God is responsible for judging them.”  I am proud to be the wife of a man who is known for his attitude of non-judgmentalism, for the way he treats all people with dignity and respect and for the way he gets programs like the methadone/addictions and the Hep C treatment program up and running. 

 

And I guess I even like the way he tells jokes.  His respect for other people is heavily flavored with a good amount of humor.  If he really likes you he will probably tell a joke at your expense or his own.  I ought to know – he really likes me.

Comments Off on A Man of Excellence

Filed under In the News

I wish

I am sitting here listening to CBC2 as suggested by Randall.  I wish I could sit here in the light from the candles and tree lights and the quiet and just sit and read for hours.  I wish no one would bother me about anything today – no dinner to prepare, no demands on me to do anything.  And I wish I didn’t feel so tired.  There seems to be a bit of a flu bug going through our house and although I am thankful I am not feeling really sick, I do feel wiped out.

But there is tourtiere to make and since the meat is cooking now, I guess I can’t avoid that.  And we have our church Christmas party this afternoon.  I have to organize the ordering of pizzas for that so if I do not wish to be in everyone’s bad books, I’d better get that done!

Soooo… as they say “No rest for the wicked.”

My sister and her husband are here from Calgary so last night we all got together (those of us feeling well and at home) at Sharon’s and nibbled on munchies and visited.  It is always good to see my sister. 

We all went up to the graves of my parents and grandparents as well – put a couple of Christmas wreaths on them.  I guess Dad always did that at Christmas time with Sharon as they remembered my mom and grandparents.  The rabbits had been running across the cemetery grounds and had a path across his grave.  I think he would have liked that. He would always point out animal tracks to us when we went skiing or for winter walks at the farm.

Comments Off on I wish

Filed under Christmas

Meanwhile Christmas is coming

I have been very busy over the past week putting the finishing touches – actually rewriting at least 6 drafts – of an article on postmodernism for our denominations Canadian quarterly paper.  It has been hard work but is work I like and I even like the discipline it requires.  It makes me really sympathize with Becky writing her Master’s paper.  It helps to have a couple of helpful souls around who don’t mind editing.  Thanks Randall and Leo.  Without you two I would be way too verbose.  I wonder how much it will get edited before it is printed. 

 

I will maybe post the whole thing here even if it is a bit long.  But maybe I’d better wait till it is published in print first.

 

Meanwhile, Christmas is coming and I have a score of things that were not getting done while I was writing.  Pizza to organize for this Sunday’s church Christmas party, gifts to get for certain people, hampers to help with, and my least favorite – phone calls to make.  I also have to call and make a doctors appointment; another thing I have been putting off way too long.  And our outdoor lights have not even been hooked up yet this year.

 

This weekend is going to be a bit hectic I think.  Making lemon squares, tourtiere and shortbread.  Housecleaning and wrapping presents.  I need to do so many things.  And then Christmas arrives and I have a week off.  That will be the best – some time to sit and read in front of the fireplace.

 

 

Comments Off on Meanwhile Christmas is coming

Filed under Day to Day