Sunday, November 30, 2008

Best Christmas memories...

Tomorrow marks the first day of December, one of my favorite months.
Stores begin to play Christmas music, lights are being put up everywhere, trees are being sold at most corner gas stations, and the streets are jam-packed with people.

I remember one particular Christmas when I was 7 years old. I heard a sound on the roof (looking back, it was probably snow falling off) and swore it was Santa. My mom played right into it, and told me that he wouldn't come down the chimney if I stayed awake, so I quickly pulled the blankets over my head and forced my eyes shut.

The next morning, I jumped out of bed, woke up my sister, and ran downstairs. There on the table in the living room, were 2 envelopes. I opened my letter, and It read "Dear Christopher, thank you for the milk and cookies. The Reindeer loved the carrots, too."
I was blown away. Santa is on such a strict schedule, but he took the time to write a personal note to me and my sister?
The rest of the morning was spent opening our gifts, eating breakfast, then heading outside to show our friends what we got.
On the way out the door, my mom stopped me to show me the living room carpet. In a direct path from the chimney to the tree, were heavy boot prints - Santa's bootprints!

It turns out our elderly next door neighbor wrote the letters so we wouldn't recognize the writing, and the boot prints were my dad's....unless my dad IS Santa.

My parents are the best. These are the kind of things Ali and I are going to do with Ellery.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy belated Thanksgiving

In the midst of my dreaded stretch of night shift, I forgot to say happy turkey day to our Southern friends.
Usually, I remember this day as a day when football starts at 11:00 in the morning, and goes all day.
I also think of Sarah Palin pardoning that one little turkey, while some get slaughtered in the background. A classic on Youtube.

So, happy (belated) Thanksgiving to all of my American readers. I hope you ate turkey and sweet potatoes until your belts exploded.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wintertime fun!

A friend of mine who's Australian, wants to go ice fishing. He's really excited to go this winter, and he keeps on asking me little things like "Do you drill your own holes?", or "Do you use live bait?", and my personal favorite "Does the water freeze after you drop the line down the hole?".
It's how I imagine fishing with a 4 year old will be.
I'm going to make a real strong effort to go out at least once here in Manitoba. Sadly, I've lived here for going on 7 years, and I've only bought a Manitoba fishing license once. Most of my fishing is done in Ontario.

We're in the process of buying Ellery a sleigh. We want to continue to go for walks in the winter, and a sled is the only practical way to lug around a baby. I never thought that two pieces of wood and a rope would be so expensive. When I was a kid, we used to slide down hills with a plastic garbage bag, or the ever-so-popular "Crazy carpet" which was essentially a stiff chunk of plastic about three feet long, and two feet wide.

When I was living at home in Ontario, my friends and I used to tie 4 or 5 different toboggans/GT snow racers/sleds behind a snowmobile. We had a little course set up around the yard that weaved it's way through the trees, around the shed, and over the hill in the field across from the house.
When it became boring, we used to have competitions like who could stay on the longest. My personal favorite move consisted of running along side the moving sleds, and kicking my friends in the head to knock them off. 60% of the time, it worked every time.
Once in a while we would venture off the beaten path, and go full throttle down the street.
I remember one night, a few of us did this for about 2 hours straight, up and down Ali's street. This was one of my "wooing" tactics to get the girl. It worked.
I wonder if there's any way a 30 year old man can pull that kind of stuff off now...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hockey night in Canada

So, now that my beloved Blue Bombers are finished for the year, the time for our "unofficial" Canadian pastime begins. Actually, hockey started over a month ago, but I just got into it.

I've always enjoyed skating, and playing hockey. I was never on a team, but would rather play in a pick-up game, or play road hockey in front of my house.

One of my fondest memories of road hockey is the following;

It was a game of two on two. Me and my best friend Mike were battling my neighbors, who, happened to be cousins.
We had been playing for over a hour, when we decided that the next goal wins. Just then, I passed the ball (which was frozen solid, and hard as a cue ball) to Mike. He was about 10 feet away from the net, and as the ball was rolling towards him, he began the longest back swing I think I have ever seen. It was like watching Chi Chi Rodriguez lining up on a 400 yard drive.
The ball connected with the blade of Mike's stick, and launched at the goal at break-neck speed. Actually, it was launched at the poor goalie's, ahem, area at break ball speed.
He hit the goalie square in the nards, and he crumpled like he had been shot. After a few minutes of him trying not to cough up his balls, he got up and quietly whispered "I'm going home now".
Nobody saw him for 2 entire days. We thought he was dead.

One other time, I was invited to play on a team who was one man short. I borrowed the missing guy's equipment (all except his jock) and took to the ice. As I took to the ice for my first shift, I just tried to stay out of everyones way.
I was playing defense, and as I was entering the other team's zone, the puck scooted around the boards, and lazily bounced towards me.
I wound up to take a one-timer and fired the puck at the net. Just as I was completing my follow through, I noticed this big orange blur. It was my neighbor form the road hockey incident.
He crouched down just before impact, and that's when everything turned to slow motion. I remember him hitting me, my feet leaving the ice, and me lying face down on the ice, trying to figure out which way was up.
The hit itself wasn't too bad, nor was the impact of smashing down onto the ice. Actually, after I realized that the equipment actually padded my fall, I thought that contact wasn't so bad.
The only shitty part about this whole experience, was the fact that I was wearing one of those thin, flimsy Jofa helmets, similar to what Wayne Gretzky used to wear. No protection whatsoever. That's when the headache began, and my one game hockey career came to a screeching halt.

Since my back is feeling much better lately, I'm hoping to be able to take my skates and stick down to the local rink and have a good old fashioned game of non contact shinny.
Just another typical day in Western Canada.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I should be on ER

At my place of work, we have the occasional code, or "medical emergency".
Today, I was at the nurse's desk doing some paperwork, when I heard a little voice yell "Call a code blue!!! Room 47 bed 2!!"

I quickly jumped up, as I knew that this was my patient, and ran down the hall. I was in the process of transfusing blood to this woman, so the risk of her having a reaction was always a possibility.
I was surprised when I entered the room to find my patient sitting upright in bed, perfectly fine.
Her husband, on the other hand, was rigid as a piece of plywood in a chair at the foot of the bed.
Me and another nurse quickly scooped the man under the arms, and helped him back into the chair.
Within seconds, the "code team" was in the room. This is a specialized group of doctors, nurses, IV nurses, and Respiratory therapists which answer these medical emergencies.
As I was making my way down the hall to check on my patient, my mind was swirling, and I was preparing myself for the worst. I was thinking "o.k, I'll get into the room, put the head of the bed down, set up oxygen, do a quick blood pressure, assess the patient, and then initiate CPR if needed". All of this went out the window when I realized that this was a visitor to the hospital, not a patient on our ward.
I had to stand back for a second, and restart the whole process. First off, I didn't know who this man was. Secondly, I knew nothing of his past medical history, or any medications he was taking (or not taking).
As I was trying to assess the man, I was asking his poor wife questions about his health history, as she lay there in bed with a total look of terror on her face.
It was quite the distraction - normally, one would only have to focus on one patient and have the full support of the code team, but there I was, with one other nurse, a concerned wife in the bed next to me, a son who was frozen with fear, and a family friend who was crying hysterically.
I asked the other visitors to leave the room to give us some room to work. Just then, the team showed up with the "crash cart", which is loaded with everything from oxygen and dressing supplies, to Epinephrine and an EKG machine.
Luckily, the man came to his senses, and we were able to load him into a wheelchair, and whisk him down to the safe confines of the Emergency Department.
Still shaking for the events that had just happened, I grabbed my lunch and headed to the break room to have some lunch and gather my thoughts.
Just as I began my lunch, I heard on the PA system "Code blue, Adult Emergency".
I don't know if it was the same man or not, and I wasn't able to settle in and enjoy my lunch after that.
I now know why people try to find things to get their heart pumping. These adrenaline junkies love the way they feel during something that terrifies them. As much as I didn't want those events to take place, I found myself just kind of going into robot mode, and just doing what had to be done.
I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.