Happy Holidays!

2:25 PM Edit This 0 Comments »

Who's jolly and cute,
Wearing a beard and
a red flannel suit,
And if he is chuckling
and laughing away,
While flying around
in a miniature sleigh,
With eight tiny reindeer
to pull him along,

Then let's face it...

Your eggnog's too strong!

Merry Christmas and
a Happy 2OO9


History was made

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What a night! Fantastic! I am not American, but do follow politics to a certain extent and was very pleased when Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States of America!

OIIQ Exam Results...

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Results are in, and while not quite the same hype as the USA election, the excitement is right up there!

I... PASSED! I am now officially an RN!

Thank you to all my friends/supporters/classmates/teachers!

Happy Halloween!

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One of these things is not like the others...

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Congrats Irene & Chad & WELCOME Justin!

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My friend Irene, who I used to figure skate with had a baby boy one month earlier than expected. Both Mom and Baby are fine and home and Justin is growing and is absolutely too cute for words! I cannot wait to finally meet him (they live in the USA). Here are a few pic of him.

Happy Turkey Day

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Some more funnies!

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Five Minutes

A hospital posted a notice in the nurse's lounge saying: "Remember, the first five minutes of a human being's life are the most dangerous." Underneath, a nurse had written: "The last five are pretty risky, too."

On a busy Med/Surg floor the doctor stops the nurse to brief her on a patient's condition. "This patient is a fellow physician and my favorite golf partner. His injury is serious and I fear he will not be able to play golf again unless you follow my orders exactly." The doctor then began listing orders:
"You must give an injection in a different location every twenty minutes followed by a second injection exactly five minutes after the first. He must take two pills at exactly every hour followed by one pill every fifteen minutes for eight hours. He must drink no more and no less than ten ounces of water every twenty-five minutes and must void between. Soak his arm in warm water for fifteen minutes then place ice for ten minutes and repeat over and over for the rest of the day. Give range of motion every thirty minutes. He requires a back rub and foot rub every hour. Feed him something tasty every hour. Be cheerful and do whatever he asks at all times. Chart his condition and vital signs every twenty minutes. You must do these things exactly as I ordered or his injury will not heal properly, and he will not able to play golf well."

The nurse left the doctor and entered the patient's room. She was greeted by anxious family and an equally anxious patient. All asked the nurse what the doctor had said about the patient. The nurse started, "The doctor said that you will live." Then quickly reviewing the orders, the nurse added, "But you will have to learn a new sport."

A nurse dies and goes to heaven. She is met at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter who asks her questions about her life. Over St. Peter's shoulder the nurse spots a man in a white coat sitting on a cloud with a stethoscope around his neck.
"Oh brother!", she cries. "Is that a doctor?"
St Peter glances over his shoulder and says, "No, that's God. He just thinks he's a doctor."

On a Lighter Note...

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Two nuns, Sister Catherine and Sister Helen, are traveling through Europe in their car. They get to Transylvania an are stopped at a traffic light. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a tiny little Dracula jumps onto the hood of the car and hisses through the windshield.

'Quick, quick!' shouts Sister Catherine. 'What shall we do?'

'Turn the windshield wipers on. That will get rid of the abomination,' says Sister Helen.

Sister Catherine switches them on, knocking Dracula about, but he clings on and continues hissing at the nuns.

What shall I do now?' she shouts.

'Switch on the windshield washer. I filled it up with Holy Water at the Vatican ,' says Sister Helen.

Sister Catherine turns on the windshield washer.

Dracula screams as the water burns his skin, but he clings on and continues hissing at the nuns.

'Now what?' shouts Sister Catherine.

'Show him your cross,' says Sister Helen.

'Now you're talking,' says Sister Catherine.

She opens the window and shouts,



5:03 PM Edit This 3 Comments »

Well, the time has come! I am taking the OIIQ Boards this coming weekend. The OSCEs are Sunday and the written is Monday. I do not feel prepared at all, and frankly fully expect to fail it this time around.. which if I do, is a huge waste of $500! BUT really, the prep book they sell us I find to be very lacking and has mistakes in it! (mainly b/c it is translated from the French).

The OSCEs are 16 scenarios, and the written is 100 short answer questions.. INSANE!

Wish me luck, those who pray, well pray away for me! All this stress to become part of the Order of Nurse and be able to write RN after my name!

Student Nurse Humour

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A male patient is lying in bed in the hospital, wearing oxygen mask
over his mouth and nose.
A young, student nurse appears to give him a partial sponge bath.

'Nurse', he mumbles, from behind the mask. 'Are my testicles black?'

Embarrassed, the young nurse replies, 'I don't know, Sir I'm only here
to wash your upper body and feet.'

He struggles to ask again, 'Nurse, please check. Are my testicles

Concerned that he may elevate his blood pressure and heart rate from
worry about his testicles, she overcomes her embarrassment and pulls
back the covers. She raises his gown, holds his manhood in one hand and
his testicles in the other. Then, she takes a close look and says,
'...there's nothing wrong with them, Sir!'

The man pulls off his oxygen mask, smiles at her and says very slowly,
'Thank you very much. That was wonderful, but listen very, very

'A r e - m y - t e s t - r e s u l t s -b a c k?

The Main Event

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I love watching Olympic Gymnastics, and this year was no different! The showdown for the Team event was USA vs China. China won, with USA in 2nd and Russia in 3rd. The AA was next, another showdown but this time the top two spots would be USA vs USA.

Nastia Liukin came out on top, Shawn Johnson in 2nd and Yang Yilin from China in 3rd.

Nastia: Silver Team, Gold AA, Silver Bars, Bronze Floor, Silver Beam

Shawn: Silver Team, Silver AA, Silver Floor, Gold Beam


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I am very excited! I am looking forward to watching the Women's Gymnastics events! Go Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin of Team USA!


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Well, it's been 2 months without taking Zanaflex.. I hate not having it anymore, as it really helped with my spasticity. BUT, it was making my "good" arm very weak and useless.. I can't afford to have a 2 "bad" arms!

So now, without the drug, my arm is better (as the second EMG proved). NOW I am more spastic even with an increased dosage of Baclofen. Grrrrrr :(

Had my 4th round of Botox and for some reason this time they all hurt/burned while going in. Oh well, I just suck it up and deal as I know it's worth it in the long run.

R.I.P. Randy Pausch

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October 23rd, 1960- July 25h, 2008


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I have had a few people ask me WHAT happened to me that I became paralyzed and what has gone on since.. I posted a bit about it in my first post back in 2006, but here is more...

Ok, so how I became paralyzed.

4 years ago, March 17th I started to feel intense nerve pain, burning/tingling, between my shoulder blades. I thought it was from a pinched nerve or slipped disc, as I was a competitive figure skater and had had a few bad falls the week before and I taught pre-k and had had to scoop up and carry a heavy 4 yr old across the street to make sure he didn't get hit by a car the day before. (he had dashed into the street).

That night I took a hot shower and I went to bed and woke up at 2 am in worse pain, took another hot shower and went back to bed. Woke up for work the next morning, too another hot shower and felt weird, like I could not feel touch on my back. And the pain was a 20 on the 1-10 pain scale!

March 18th
I went to work (I know stupid, but I did not trust my TA to be able to handle the kids as she was nice, but could NOT discipline!). I only worked until 1pm anyway and then I would go to the clinic.

I made it to work, concentrating on each step I took. I felt like I could not walk well, like I had ants in my legs (kind of like having restless leg syndrome). Once there I lay down on the story-time mat and cried. I hurt so much, I knew I could not function. My TA walked in and I told her to get my boss. It was 8:30AM at this time. My boss came, finally, and said she would bring me to the walk-in clinic as she did not want to call an ambulance as she was afraid the kids would be scared (I know, Bitch..sorry, but ya). I got there around 9AM, and finally saw the MD at 9:45. At this point I could not walk well, felt like my legs would give out. I was on the examining table, and the MD was touching my spine, I could not really feel the touch and the pain was intense. She told me it was most likely a pinched nerve and gave me a few prescriptions and told me to come back Monday (It was Thursday).

Problem was I was leaving to compete at Nationals in Burnaby BC on Sunday and would be gone 10 days. I was freaked! All I wanted was a quick fix to get me through the competition. She told me to then get back to her when I came home, but to take it easy... ?? Ya, right, this is ME we are talking about!

I went to get down off the examining table, swung my right leg off, no problem, got my left leg down, and FELL. My left leg was paralyzed and I had had NO IDEA!

I was on the floor, the MD came running back in. I told her what happened and she called 911. They came and by that time, my stomach muscles had gone too! They took me to the hospital, at this point I could still move my right leg, not as well, but still had movement.

By 11AM, I was paralyzed from the breast-line down. They took bloods, x-rays and an MRI. By 11PM I had a diagnosis of Transverse Myelitis at T1, with some disturbance (sensory, migraines, nausea..) at C6-5, possibly higher. On the MRI you could see the inflammation at T1-T3. They did a lumbar puncture and another MRI later that week with contrast.

I spent 10 weeks in acute care (regular hospital, on the neurology was), where I was ok the first 5 days, then went downhill with extreme nausea, migraines... and was put on primary care (so I had the same team of 3-4 nurses all the time). I ended up getting C-Difficile, and stopped eating for fear of having to poop all the time again, even after the C-diff cleared up. I had a PICC line put in and was on TPN (IV "food") for 3 weeks. I was discharged May 27th. From there I went to a rehab hospital (IRM) after the 10 weeks, spent 8 weeks as an in-patient, then finally got home in July.

I was in a wheelchair and went to PT 3x a week (5x a week when in hospital and rehab hospital as an in patient). I worked hard. Went back to work as a pre-K teacher in September, 6 months after getting TM. I still had PT/OT 3x a week, along with the gym (where I did rehab they have a phys-ed program too, so you do PT and OT and GYM). This was now at Lucie Brunneau rehab hospital. I spent about 18 months going there for PT/OT/Gym/psych. I was tired.. all the time, but knew I needed to do this.

I got sick again in Feb 2005, not paralyzed, but extreme nausea, fatigue, migraines. Spent 3 weeks in hospital again, after being "sick" for 3 weeks at home/work. Lost about 30 lbs.. some of which I needed to lose as I had gained weight anyway being in a chair! LOL

March 1st 2005 I applied to nursing school, after having gotten out of the hospital 4 days earlier! I was still in a chair of course, but working hard to regain my ability to walk. I could, but not long.

I was accepted and as of June 18th I stopped using my wheelchair, unless it was to go to the mall or long distances. I used my cane and leg brace and worked on endurance and balance until classes started in late August.

And the rest, as they say is History!

Human Pincushion

5:30 PM Edit This 0 Comments »

AKA EMG/Nerve Conduction Test take 2!

I had another EMG yesterday, to make sure my arm is actually getting better and I am not daydreaming that it is. and...

Lo and Behold, IT IS! YAY! The reason my arm lost function was in fact due to the Zanaflex I take. So now I am not taking it anymore, just taking the Baclofen and getting the Botox every 3-4 months. Not ideal, as my body reacted well to the Zanaflex (too well, I guess).
Oh ya, when the neuro did one in my hand (to see if a muscle distal to the problem was affected) I thought I would pass out, it hurt so bad! She hit the motor end-plate and the nerve endings there are numerous.

Global view of a neuromuscular junction:
1. Axon
2. Motor end-plate
3. Muscle fiber
4. Myofibril

Nurse Marieke :)

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Bedding for Health Professionals?

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Check this out... I found it at Ikea. For anything bigger than Twin size, the duvet cover has 2 people stenciled on it.

Bonne Fete Quebec!

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It's Quebec City's 400th anniversary!

Lower End – Old Quebec City

Happy Canada Day!

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Happy Canada Day

Convocation 2008

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6:09 PM Edit This 0 Comments »

I have a few weeks off before I start working. I went to New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

I did a bit of shopping as usual and Saturday we went to see the Visa USA Gymnastics Championships (Nationals). We saw the Sr Women's Final for All-Around and Event Finals.

It was AMAZING to see live. Reminded me of when a friend of mine and I went to Atlanta for the 1996 Olympics.

I am glad that Shawn Johnson won, along with Nastia Liukin in 2nd place. I feel bad that Jana Bieger is being so poorly scored. Ridiculous!


4:45 PM Edit This 1 Comment »
Well, I should change the title of my blog as I am now DONE with nursing school! I am not quite an RN yet, still have to write the OIIQ Board exam and Practical in September (20-22nd). For now I am a CPNP : Candidate to the Practice of Nursing Profession .

But much closer than when I started this blog... and I can FINALLY wear whatever colour scrubs I want! WOOT!

Update on EMG...

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I realize now that I forgot to update my post about my EMG and Nerve Conduction.

1) Yes it hurt in some spots, the first needle insertion I did not feel at all... the others I did!
2) The Nerve conduction part pinches and surprised me by that!

I was so tired that Friday, having been up since 5:30AM b/c I had my OSCEs that morning for school. I was only being picke up at 4PM from he neuro's office and I was done by 2:40PM, and had my Grad dance that night at 8PM! My neuro is sweet, she let me take a nap in the waiting room even after they were closed (she was still there doing work). I needed that nap too. I was up for 21 hrs that day!

She (neuro) did my right arm (3 spots), one spot in my left arm (deltoid only), and my right leg.

Well, the culprit to the shoulder weakness may very well be the Zanaflex I take, so am now no longer taking it. Damn! I liked it, it worked well for my leg.. too well I guess!

On the plus side, it may help me with the hypotension (low blood pressure) I have, Zanaflex tends to lower BP and mine is already low so of course the Zanaflex complicated it all the more. It may have also been weakening parts of my lower body more than needed too. My neuro increased my Baclofen from 60mg to 80mg to compensate for the lack of Zanaflex, but I seriously am noticing more spasticity. NOT HAPPY! I should be getting more Botox soon so that'll help.

On a side note: I am going to the USA for 3-4 days, VT, NH and MA. And I may be going to see USA Gymnastics National Champs in Boston on Saturday! YIPPEE!

Sex and the City!

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In honor of the SATC movie I bought a PINK & Sparkley drink shaker pictured below and a nice set of Martini glasses!

All Done!

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Well, I made it through the written final, the OSCEs and the EMG test my neuro did. Had the grad dinner/dance last night and it was great! It still doesn't feel real though.. I feel like I should be studying or something...

Last week or The End Is Near!

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Well, this is it! Last week of "school". Feels weird to think that after this week I will no longer need to think about studying, at least for a while! I will have to study for the OIIQ exam in September and no doubt I will have in-service and classes to study for once I start working in June, but really, i's not like school.. not like going to classes and doing clinicals. This is it! 3 years of hard work done and finished with!

I have my written final on Thursday and the OSCEs on Friday, both in the morning (so any of you out there who read this CROSS YOUR FINGERS FOR ME!)

On another note... I had an MRI a few weeks back after I had seen my neuro in the ER because I had had some major weakening of my right arm (well deltoid and triceps). Kind of scary considering the TM attach 4 years ago was sudden and unforeseen. Of course, me being me, I freak out and think Oh great! I have MS... there goes 3 years of nursing school and hard work!

So had the MRI of brain/spine (C and T) and it's CLEAR! Yippee! Ok, so now what? My neuro has decided she was to perform an EMG.

"Electromyography (EMG) is a technique for evaluating and recording physiologic properties of muscles at rest and while contracting. EMG is performed using an instrument called an electromyograph, to produce a record called an electromyogram. An electromyograph detects the electrical potential generated by muscle cells when these cells contract, and also when the cells are at rest."

Sound like fun? Ya, didn't think so! I had at one point wanted one for my "bad" arm, the LOBPI to see what exactly was affected, but figured OUCH! No way! Sticking a needle into an area that is already hypersensitive would not be a great idea.. At least my right side isn't hypersensitive (much).

She called to tell me it's set for FRIDAY! Yup! THIS Friday.. same as my exam (OSCE). In the afternoon though... then that night I have the Grad 2008 dinner/dance! I just hope I am functional, if not, just prop me in a corner and give me a glass of something alcoholic! I plan on celebrating, one way or the other! LOL (No, I don't drink much, but really, it doesn't take much!)

I will post more about the EMG and dance and post pics of either one or BOTH events!

Time Flies

4:57 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Nursing School Friends 2005-2008

The Real World

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This is where I will be working.. for money.. no longer a student! Big hospital, where even after 3 months of internship I still get lost!

I will be working on he same floor too, Cardiac Surgery/Neurosurgery.


12:08 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
my butt hurts

4 years ago today

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It's been 4 years since I was "hit" with Transverse Myelitis and paralyzed at T1 (and down). It's been like being on a roller coaster, ups and downs, and sometimes scary.
I went from being completely paralyzed from the mid-chest down to being paralyzed on the left side with the left leg being the most affected. Plenty of other functions don't work well (bowel, bladder, intercostal muscles...) and I have pain 24/7 and am a walking pharmacy, BUT, for the most part I don't let it get me down or stop me from doing what I want to be doing. Sure I have days (more lately) when I am sad and frustrated and wish it had never happened. But I can't change it and figure I have 2 choices... crawl in bed and do NOTHING or continue living the life I choose to live. I've never been one to give up or sit still for long, so I choose to live.

I walk with a long leg brace and a cane, and sometimes use my wheelchair. I get plenty of "poor you" looks from strangers and at times odd, insensitive comments too. Whatever!

I am in my last semester of my RN program and will be graduating this May (fingers and toes crossed). I never thought I would make it, yes I wanted to, but honestly had no idea if my body would let me. So far, so good!

I thank the nurses who inspired me and encouraged me to do this. I will never forget it, it means so much to me. THANK YOU!

Happy St-Patrick's Day!

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St Patricks Day

The *S* word!

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Enough Already Mother Nature.. we get it!
To date we have received 347cm of snow this season.. another 40 cm and we break the snowfall record of 1971 with 383cm! I for one, would NOT like to see that record broken frankly. We are supposed to have MORE snow though...

... and a pic of Bear Jr, the former outdoor kitty!

Just like my Sjoukje..

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Yet another add that I like..

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This one makes me laugh.. every time. Reminds me of the Mac adds for some reason.

Mac vs PC

And to make it even better... The UK versions, making fun of Nanny 911!

And yes.. I own a Mac and always have :)

Things I have learned.. so far!

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This semester has been interesting. I am doing my internship which consists of 4 days a week of 8 hour shifts.

So far I have taken blood samples (first time) and gotten the majority of them without busting the vein in the process or just plain missing!
I have done ECGs, one on my own, and gotten a good reading.
I have perfected my PEG/NG/Dobhoff feeedings (sounds easy, but trust me, some crushed pills are pains in the butt and can really block up the tube), that and I can now do it in record time (check for residual, flush, give med, flush some more..).
I've swabbed more things for MRSA/VRE/Other than I thought possible in one month time!
I am now mostly on my own, meaning no teacher (from school) following my every move!

It's nice, we get our independence and learn better that way too I find. We are assigned to be with 2 patients right now, we'll get 3 eventually...

My feet hurt, my back aches, and I end up with a massive headache.. BUT I love it!

Spinal injury regeneration hope

11:06 AM Edit This 1 Comment »

How cool would this be? Not just for me, but for everyone with a spinal cord injury!

Scientists believe they are close to a significant breakthrough in the treatment of spinal injuries.

The University of Cambridge team is developing a treatment which could potentially allow damaged nerve fibres to regenerate within the spinal cord.

It may also encourage the remaining undamaged nerve fibres to work more effectively.

Spinal injuries are difficult to treat because the body cannot repair damage to the brain or spinal cord.

We are very hopeful that at last we may be able to offer paralyzed patients a treatment to improve their condition
Professor James Fawcett
University of Cambridge

Although it is possible for nerves to regenerate, they are blocked by the scar tissue that forms at the site of the spinal injury.

The Cambridge team has identified a bacteria enzyme called chondroitinase which is capable of digesting molecules within scar tissue to allow some nerve fibres to regrow.

The enzyme also promotes nerve plasticity, which potentially means that remaining undamaged nerve fibres have an increased likelihood of making new connections that could bypass the area of damage.

Boosts rehabilitation

In preliminary tests, the researchers have shown that combining chondroitinase with rehabilitation produces better results than using either technique alone.

What often happens in a clinical setting is that you don't get to see the results you would have liked
Paul Smith
Spinal Injuries Association

However, trials have yet to begin in patients.

Lead researcher Professor James Fawcett said: "It is rare to find that a spinal cord is completely severed, generally there are still some nerve fibres that are undamaged.

"Chondroitinase offers us hope in two ways; firstly it allows some nerve fibres to regenerate and secondly it enables other nerves to take on the role of those fibres that cannot be repaired.

"Along with rehabilitation we are very hopeful that at last we may be able to offer paralysed patients a treatment to improve their condition."


Dr Yolande Harley, of the charity Action Medical Research which funded the work, said: "This is incredibly exciting, ground-breaking work, which will give new hope to people with recent spinal injuries."

Paul Smith, of the Spinal Injuries Association, said medical advances meant that spinal injuries had ceased to be the terminal conditions that they often once were, but they still had a huge impact on quality of life.

However, he warned against raising expectation before the treatment was fully tested on patients.

He said: "What often happens in a clinical setting is that you don't get to see the results you would have liked."

In the UK there are more than 40,000 people suffering from injuries to their spine, which can take the form of anything from loss of sensation to full paralysis.

The average age at the time of injury is just 19.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/02/17 00:01:25 GMT


Neat Collage of My Pics

4:33 PM Edit This 1 Comment »

Two Little Monkeys

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Please take a look at this site, and please feel free to purchase a T-Shirt!
This is one medical issue I have and I know the person in charge of this site, she is a wonderful mom and spokesperson to raise awareness for OBPI (Obstetrical Brachial Plaxus Injuries).


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Don't Know Why, But It Makes Me Smile!

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Jeep Commercial on TV these days... and I found one made for Venezuela, same concept, different animals!

Tattoo II

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I got my tattoo today! I love it! I am glad that I did it. Thank you Melissa for coming with me! You are one amazing person and friend!

10 Years Ago

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In 1998, we had a huge ice storm. We lost power for 5 days, many homes lost power for up to 30 days...The area south of Montreal (Montérégie) was so affected that the triangle formed by Saint-Hyacinthe, Granby and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu was nicknamed the triangle noir ("dark or black triangle") by the French-language media for the total lack of electricity for weeks.

"Canadians had never before endured a natural disaster like the ice storm of 1998. A difficult morning of car scraping quickly turned into a state of emergency from eastern Ontario to southern Quebec. Millions huddled in the dark by their fireplaces. Many suffered from hypothermia and carbon monoxide poisoning. Heavy ice sheets toppled huge power pylons and in just six days an electrical system that took decades to create was razed."