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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Way to go Jennifer!

So pleased to get the most amazing news from daughter Jennifer this morning. People close to me know that Jenn is a cancer survivor. She endured a harrowing and horrible time in 2009 and 2010 when it discovered she had a rare form of leukemia. Jenn was confined to hospital for months. She could not walk. She endured chemo-therapy, radiation, spinal surgery. But she fought back. She survived. She learned to walk again, going from a wheelchair, to a walker to a cane and finally back on her own two feet. Four years ago, Jenn set out on another journey. She was so impressed with the loving care she got at the Sudbury cancer centre that Jenn decided to become a nurse. 
In December, we celebrated the fact that Jenn graduated with honours for her B.Sc. Nursing degree. This morning Jenn called to let me know she has been hired to work at the Sudbury hospital, Health Sciences North. Yep, she is going back to work in Oncology, helping the people the way she was helped. 
I am so, so proud of this amazing young woman! I am also more that pleased with the incredible love and support Jenn got from her husband Scott and her boys Tyler and Nathan. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Such good news ...

I have to say I am pleased to hear that 2016 was a special year for mining safety in Ontario. I am working on a story today about the fact that 2016 was the first year in many, many years that no one died in an underground mining accident in Ontario.
That is such good news. Over the years, I have done too many stories of men dying in the mines. And just a couple of years ago, I had to do the story of the first ever woman to be killed on the job underground. As a reporter, as a former miner and mine rescue man, I hope we are in a new era and the trend continues.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Life is good

New Year’s was great this year because Claudette and I were back together. We first met just before new year's several years ago. Time passes, things change and we are together again. It’s all good. I think the best part is that she knows me better than I know myself in most cases and doesn’t put up with my usual bullsh*t. So I have to say 2017 is going to be a good year. 

So happy new year and other stuff...

Okay so 2017 is here and by my reckoning that means I have been blogging now for 10 complete years. This January marks my 11th year! I confess, I am not writing in here as often as I should. Some days I think, who cares? But then I remember that part of the exercise here is to write about things I want to remember. Not that I have any memory problems! LOL. Plus it’s nice to share the good things that happen.
Christmas Day, like most Christmas celebrations in the past year, was at Scott and Jennifer’s place. Even before Terry died, we were celebrating at Jenn’s I think mainly because of our grandchildren. It just made the whole celebration that much more fun.
So this past Christmas was different. We exchanged no gifts at all. That was Jenn’s idea because we had decided to spend a week on a family vacation in Punta Cana. It cost a bucket of money, but it was the best thing.  For years I would tell people I had no interest at all of going to a southern climate and sitting on the beach. And it was true. But I had no idea how much I would enjoy it.  And going to an all-inclusive resort is the only way to go. I am sure I will find time to do it again.

I think the best part was going out to a different restaurant each night and spending time with the whole family. There was Jennifer and Neil and myself, Jenn’s husband Scott and his parents Don and Denise, and the grandchildren, Victoria, Tyler and Nathan. In the photos below we have Denise, Jenn and Victoria. Then there is another nice pic with Denise and Jenn, and then a pic of Scott and Jenn. 

Coming home to Northern Ontario and Timmins was nice, but the weather was indeed a bit of a letdown after spending a week with blue skies, warm breezes and sunshine.
But it is good to be back at work and back into the groove of covering local news stories and staying in touch with what is going on in town.
I should mention one of the best things that happened on our vacation was Jennifer getting news back from the school that she has completed her nursing education. Yep, Jenn has an honours degree B.Sc. in Nursing. Woohoo. I was proud to stand up at dinner one night and make a toast in Jennifer’s honour. We are all super proud of her.
The worst thing about the vacation was the night I was awakened with a huge pain in my right kidney. I knew immediately. I was passing a kidney stone. It has happened to me before. That kind of pain is extreme and I suspected it the day before when my urine looked pink. There was nothing to be done but to endure it. I didn’t know the resort had a physician on duty 24/7. And I had full insurance. But I sort of went into a pain trance and fell asleep about two hours later. I was better the next day and thanks to some heavy duty Advil, things got better.
In the photos below, Neil and Scott enjoyed some tequila, Jennifer and I in a photo at the beach, and that was me showing off the bottle of champagne they put in my room.


2017 is going to be a good year in Timmins I predict. There has been a lot of fuss in Timmins over the fact that the city is planning a huge celebration for the Canada 150 anniversary of Confederation. It will be an eight-day festival of fireworks and music. Mayor and council are taking a lot of flak over it, because the city is putting up $3.5-million to make it work. I think in the long run, people will see that the city finally had some guts to step up and do something different and exciting. Complainers will always complain. And even if the event is a winning success, complainers will still find something to whine about. Anyway, check out the website: starsandthunder.com
Facebook is one of the reasons I think. It was supposed to a fun thing, to see how other people are having fun in their lives. There was a time you could just walk away from the whiners, but now they get in your face every day. LOL.
In the window of life, it’s always nice to look for the good things. But then again there are always those people who come and smear shit all over the window. The price of democracy is that everyone has a voice.